SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, refers to the suite of marketing strategies which use search engines to find and engage prospective targets. SEO falls under the category of Search Engine Marketing, but because it’s so different to paid advertising it is talked about separately.
SONDR® specialises in finding logical and profitable ways of presenting your products online to the right audiences. We have a particular expertise in SEM campaigns for eCommerce, but have worked in every type of vertical imaginable. We ensure you never need to pay more for a click than absolutely necessary, and that your campaigns drive bottom line ROI. We will work to a list of pre agreed KPI targets and goals to bring success to your business. The key to a successful paid advertising campaign is creating a consistent journey for the customer from first interaction to last, typically via keyword – ad – landing page – conversion. Because we want to know which ads and keywords are performing best for you, we’ll set up end to end campaign tracking with the use of goal creation in Google Analytics and Tag Manager, pixel tracking codes and attribution models to see whether our ads were the first or last clicks that a customer performed.
Google Ads vs Bing Ads
So, when we refer to SEM, we are talking about your paid strategy which is paid ads across Google and Bing. As Bing accounts for such a small percentage of the UK market (it’s more established in the US where around 28% of the population use it), we’ll discuss the infinitely complicated world of Google Ads here. The product used to be called Adwords but has been rebranded. For anyone interested in the Bing Ads platform, it’s basically a copy of Google Ads. You can create a Google Ads campaign and upload it into Bing, so if you can use one you can use the other. The nuance between choosing between the two is to do with demographics – Bing has less competition, which equals lower cost per clicks and an older average target market (often less web savvy users who never change the default browser option on their PC).
What types of SEM are there?
SEM is a very complex marketing channel with the main ways of reaching users being:
- Search (text results on search engines)
- Display (visual ads on contextually relevant websites or videos)
- Shopping (making use of Google’s sophisticated eCommerce delivery tool)
- Retargeting (tracking users who have already been on your site or engaged with your brand in some way and trying to capture them via a secondary offer
How can I target my SEM marketing campaigns?
Essentially targeting falls into the brackets of reach and actions. You can reach users by serving them impressions of your ads or videos, without them ever interacting. Or you can choose to only pay per click, pay per view etc, working on a cost per action model. It’s then a case of creating targeted audience segments such as:
- Demographics (age, sex, location etc)
- Topics (e.g automotive)
- Interests (e.g driving)
- Remarketing lists for search (e.g a list of users who have visited a page on your website about cars in the last 90 days or shorter)
- In market (reach an audience who have bought products similar to yours)
- Similar audiences (created with Google tech to find you new customers)
- Content and placement targeting to match your ads with relevant websites and content so they are seen in the right context
- By device – you may wish to bid up or down on ads according to which device people see them on
- Click vs call – you can choose to pay for phone calls rather than clicks if you prefer.
These are just a few of the myriad ways in which Google can segment and target your campaigns. As you can see, with so much complexity to it, it’s important to have an expert PPC agency deal with your campaigns.
How are SEM campaigns structured?
Google Ads work best when set up in a very granular, methodical way. That ensures that you cover all the possible keyword, targeting and audience options without bidding against yourself. A large-scale campaign might have hundreds of campaigns, thousands of ad groups and hundreds of thousands of keywords and ads. To manage something on that scale you need a great deal of experience and expertise. The same goes for shopping campaigns which may need a standardised import of thousands of products, products codes and prices to run. Don’t try to wing it - leave it to the experts.
What makes SONDR® stand out?
We’ll take a holistic view of your SEM so that you’re not wasting money. Why send traffic to poorly performing landing pages? It makes sense to invest in your website and content first, making it the very best it can be before sinking money into ad campaigns. Therefore our other core offering services of SEO and CRO are strongly linked with SEM. At the same time PPC activity is a great way to test which keywords are best for SEO from a conversion perspective.
With our tailored approach, we can establish a paid marketing strategy that is best-suited to your specific business goals. To find out more about SEM services, contact us today.