Search engine marketing (SEM for short) is one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness and reach new customers online. A search engine marketing agency can help develop and execute an effective strategy to expand your business's online presence while boosting your ROI.
Customer acquisition is just a Google search away, so what are you waiting for? Stop spending, and start investing in SEM. In this speedy guide, we'll spotlight everything you need to know about this lucrative digital marketing method and highlight the benefits of working with a trusted SEM agency like PPC Masterminds.
What does SEM mean in marketing?
SEM stands for search engine marketing. As the name suggests, it includes any marketing efforts associated with search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The primary purpose of SEM is to ensure your products and services appear on search engine results pages through ranking organically or appearing in strategically-placed paid ads.
Benefits of SEM
Asking yourself if it's worth investing the time and marketing dollars on SEM? The answer is yes. In today's digital age, it's one of the most effective ways to reach your online customers. So effective that in 2021, Google's ad revenue totaled 209.5 billion US dollars.
Let's highlight a few of the benefits of working with an SEM agency to expand your search engine presence:
Increase Brand Awareness
For most businesses, the number one goal of SEM is to increase brand awareness. The more search engine results pages you appear on (whether through paid ads or organically ranking web pages), the more visibility your brand gets. Plus, ranking alongside your competitors ensures you don't lose out on potential customers.
One of the best parts about search engine advertising is that you're only charged when a user clicks on the ad— not just when the user views it. Your business gets free exposure to users who scroll past your ad without clicking. Users who do click are more likely to be high-quality leads who are easier to convert into paying customers.
Easy Customer Targeting
It's easier than ever to reach your target audience through SEM. Thanks to Google Ads' complex algorithms and data collection system, your ads will only appear on highly-relevant searches by users who are more likely to be interested in your products or services. A few key criteria you'll want to specify are:
- Personal interests
- Search history
Global/ Local audiences
SEM also allows you to expand to new target audiences, locally and globally. With over five billion internet users worldwide, the possibilities are endless. For small businesses, this may mean targeting community members through local SEO and location-focused audience segmentation. For large, multinational corporations, SEM provides opportunities to reach new markets around the globe.
Unlike other digital marketing channels, SEM campaigns deliver fast results. While it can take weeks to months for SEO articles to achieve high rankings organically, your paid search ads will appear in front of customers right away. Through spiking traffic to your site, you'll attract new leads and increase conversions in no time at all.
While it can be difficult to quantify the performance of other marketing strategies like billboards and influencer marketing, SEM results are relatively easy to measure. Google Analytics makes it easy to track key performance metrics like:
- Total impressions
- Total clicks
- Click-through-rate (CTR)
- Conversion rate
- Cost-per-conversion (CPC)
- Google Ads Quality Score
Unlike other agencies, PPC Masterminds provides clients with real-time reports about SEM campaign performance. The proof is in the numbers, and we're not afraid to show it.
Is SEM a paid service?
SEM relies heavily on paid marketing strategies like PPC advertising and remarketing/retargeting. While an SEM project can include SEO services, it will most likely focus on the following types of ads:
- Google Ads
- Bing Ads
- Facebook Ads
- Pinterest Ads
- Other Social Media Platforms
What is a search engine marketing agency?
An SEM agency is a digital agency that provides search engine marketing services. They'll work alongside your marketing team to develop and execute an effective SEM strategy to boost ROI and reach your business goals.
PPC Masterminds SEM Services
PPC Masterminds takes a data-driven, customer-first approach to search engine marketing. All our digital marketing services will set you up for success. Our goal is to feel like an extension of your in-house team, offering stress-free support wherever and whenever you need it. Here's how our SEM experts can help your business take advantage of the power of online search:
The majority of your SEM efforts should be focused on PPC advertising. In this widely-adopted model, advertisers are only charged when a user clicks on the ad. According to a 2017 study by Moz, PPC advertising generates an average of 50% more conversions and site traffic than advertising through organic keywords alone.
The most popular search engine— and thus SEM platform— is Google, which dominates 86% of the global market share. Other popular search engines are:
- Duck Duck Go
- Yep (this is new but catching on!)
A search engine marketing company will assign a dedicated account manager to oversee your Google Ads account and monitor your campaigns. PPC Masterminds offers a range of scalable PPC services to help your business succeed on Google:
- Keyword research & analysis
- Competitor research
- Strategic bid management
- Google Ads/ PPC audits
- Display advertising on the Google Display Network
- Google Shopping
- Video ads, primarily on YouTube
- Gmail ads
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Another way to take advantage of search engine marketing is by creating compelling content that ranks organically. While your SEO efforts won't pay off overnight, they're an incredibly cost-effective strategy in the long run.
Unlike paid search ads, you won't need to pay Google a cent for your pages to appear on a search results page. Instead, these blog posts, products, and web pages rank through a series of complex algorithms that predict page relevance. These search engine rankings are tracked daily to better understand how effective your search engine optimization strategies are.
There's no understating the importance of high-ranking organic links. A 2019 study of over 5 million Google search results found that the top-ranking organic search result is ten times more likely to receive a click than the tenth-ranking link on the page.
Combining the power of PPC and SEO can make a world of difference when it comes to SEM. Let's highlight a few key SEO services PPC Masterminds offers:
- In-depth keyword research
- Full-service content creation
- Link building
PPC Masterminds delivers real-time reports to our clients, ensuring their never out of the loop about SEM strategy and performance. Not only will a data analyst share your results, but they'll also provide an in-depth explanation to ensure you understand what every metric means. Here's a handful of KPIs you'll want to monitor:
- Cost-per-conversion (CPC)
- Quality Scores
- Click-through rate (CTR)
- Total monthly ad spend
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
Online reputation management (ORM for short) is the evaluation and improvement of your company's reputation on the Internet. A ROBO Economy study shows that nearly half of all smartphone users read reviews online before making a purchase IRL. By managing what is being said about you online, you'll have better control of customer perception. PPC Masterminds can assist your business with ORM through:
- Monitor your social media tags, comments, and mentions
- Ask customers to write Google and Yelp reviews
- Use SEO content to rank organically on relevant search queries
Web Design & Web Development
Web design is a crucial part of any SEM strategy. Ads and organic rankings are only as good as the web page they link to. Sites that feel outdated or difficult to navigate won't get the same level of attention (and conversions) as sites that feel polished, professional, and up-to-date.
Over the past decade, mobile web traffic has surged around the globe. In May 2022, 58% of all web traffic came from mobile devices. It's crucial for your web pages to have mobile-responsive designs that work on all screen sizes. PPC Masterminds' web development team always uses web design that works on both desktop and mobile devices.
What makes PPC Masterminds the best SEM agency?
For over eight years, PPC Masterminds has supported businesses of all sizes with their online marketing efforts. Our 5-star ratings and glowing customer testimonials are proof that our data-driven method works. We'll handle the day-to-day tasks of SEM management, so you can get back to running your business. With real-time reports and unrivaled transparency, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your company is in good hands.
Working alongside your in-house team, we'll develop a custom digital marketing strategy tailored to your company's unique products, services, and brand identity. Our staff of designers, copywriters, data analysts, account managers, and PPC marketing experts can support your business with:
- PPC management, including ad creation, testing, and bid management
- Conversion rate optimization
- Competitive research and monitoring
- Revenue tracking & analytics
- Quality Score Management
- Content marketing, including keyword analysis, content creation, and SEO
Unlike other search engine marketing agencies, PPC Masterminds takes a contract-free approach. Instead of locking you into inflexible contracts, we offer scalable services with proven results. You're free to adjust your digital marketing plan at any time to better serve your business's changing needs.
Contact us to get started with a free proposal today! Our dedicated team of SEM experts are here for you.