The act and experience of shopping are not the same anymore. There has been a major shift in the way purchases are made today. Bricks and mortar stores have lost their significance. This is because of the increasing popularity and excellent availability of e-commerce.
With the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, online shopping has witnessed a major boost all over the world. Billions of people shop online today. However, this digital revolution is accompanied by more online searches.
What do you do before buying any product or service?
The most common practice today is to search the same online, irrespective of where you purchase it from. According to Think with Google, “53% of shoppers say they always do research before they buy to ensure they are making the best possible choice.” The number ‘53%’ is so large. However, other sources claim it to be around 80% as well. Though the number can vary for different geographical locations, one can’t ignore a simple fact:
Most people today do an online search before making any purchase.
With such massive changes in the way people shop, there also needs to be other upgrades to the entire shopping cycle. ‘Marketers go where customers go’ is a simple marketing lesson. So if people have turned to e-commerce and online search, then this is the most beneficial place for a marketer. This logic forms the basis of a popular marketing technique – SEM or Search Engine Marketing.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
This refers to a practice in marketing where a business uses paid advertisements to appear on search engine result pages or SERPs. The technique begins with marketers bidding on keywords that users might enter while searching for products or services on Google and Bing. Consequently, this provides the advertiser with a chance for their ads to pop up with the search results.
These ads are also known as pay-per-click ads and they can be in multiple formats. First, there are product listing ads that are more visual. Others that are small are usually text-based ads. Additionally, there are product-based ads that provide necessary information like price or reviews to the customers.
What makes Search Engine Marketing so effective?
There are many marketing techniques that can be easily incorporated into a company’s marketing strategy. However, search engine marketing is extremely effective.
This is possible because the marketing technique provides the opportunity to advertisers to put their ad exactly where customers search for it. Enthusiast customers who are in search of a product or service search about the same online. This is where search engine marketing works and presents your advertisements exactly when they are planning of making the purchase.
The timing and the rationale behind search engine marketing are its major strength. Hence, it is an effective way to grow your business.
How is SEM different from SEO, Search Marketing, and PPC Marketing?
The terms SEO and SEM might seem confusing but there’s a major difference between the two. The latter is a paid advertising tactic whereas the other is not. SEO or Search Engine Optimization improves organic visibility in search. Additionally, they do not have an “Ad” designation on their results because they are not paid.
On the other hand, Search Marketing refers to any technique used to increase a brand’s visibility in search. So, this can include Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing, or even both.
PPC Marketing refers to Pay Per Click Marketing. This is a strategy where a brand creates a digital ad and they are charged for it every time a user clicks on it.
Even though PPC ads in the search results are considered SEM, all PPC Ads are not SEM. This is possible because PPC also uses channels other than a search like Facebook Ads. It also includes Google display ads that charge brands when a user clicks on a banner ad on a website. Hence, the term PPC refers to an SEM-based strategy but it can also be used for display ads or social marketing.
How does Search Engine Marketing work?
The first step after making the decision to invest in Search Engine Marketing is to enter an ad auction. Let’s take the example of Google Ads. This means every Googe Ad visible on the web goes through an ad auction.
The first step to enter this auction is to identify the keywords you want to bid on. Additionally, you will have to clarify how much you want to pay for a click on these keywords. When Google finds out the keyword you bid are included in a user’s search query, then you are entered into the ad auction. However, not every ad will be visible on every search linked to the keyword.
This is because some keywords do not have much commercial motive that will allow them to include ads on the page. For example, search queries like “what is business” do not show ads.
Besides this, even a keyword suitable for an ad might not always win the bidding. This is because an ad auction also considers two other factors. First is your maximum bid. The other being the quality score of your ad.
Quality Score refers to the estimated quality of your ads along with keywords and landing pages. This score which is given on a scale of 1-10 is displayed in the keyword Status column of your Google Ads account. The factors included in your Quality Score can be:
- How likely a user is to click on your Ad
- The landing page experience
Relevance of your Ad to a use
This means companies should work on improving their quality scores to leverage the benefits of search engine marketing.
Search Engine Marketing has been one of the most trending marketing tactics of recent times. The ongoing digital revolution has been motivated by the pandemic. With e-commerce becoming extremely common and popular, online searches have followed them. Based on this logic, Search Engine Marketing helps businesses to grow.
If you are a business looking to grow, we at Shaktiki can help you with marketing solutions including SEM.