This week I’ve been focusing on Search Engine Marketing or in the marketing world of acronyms SEM. Let’s start at the beginning, what is Search Engine Marketing? Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is defined as “a process by which multiple methods are utilized to improve market visibility and exposure for a brand, product or service.”, by techopedia.
Why is SEM important?
When I think about SEM, I think of using tactics and tools from the entire marketing and communications mix, including online and offline to gain visibility for a brand and their products or services in order to drive sales.
What can you use Search Engine Marketing for in business?
- You can understand more about the importance of primary data and customer preference and opinion information you acquire – do you know what it really means, and can you translate it into future tactics to be relevant to your target audience?
- You can understand more about customer purchasing habits. Why are some products and services more popular? What opportunities are there for underperforming products/services to be more attractive to customers? If this doesn’t work, why not and what should we do with the products/services?
- You can listen to what your customers say about your brand/product and or service. Your perception may not be the customer perceptions, and this is where many businesses let their customers down, by not adapting to the changing customer.
- You can find areas of opportunity to surpass customer expectations in your service and elements of your product.
- You can have sustained customer journey awareness. Where do your customers like to go on your site/ in store? What types of customer.
- You can gain insights into customer personas. Are your customers buying the same products and services? Have their shopping habits changed? Are there new customers? What behaviours or patterns do they have? Do you need to create an additional persona?
What are search engine marketing trends at the moment?
I’m focusing on SEO and PPC advertising, two of the many ways businesses and people are using search engine marketing.
What is SEO? Oxford English Dictionaries online defines SEO as “The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”
How do you use SEO? When visitors reach your website, do you know what you want them to do? Is it clear to them and not just your company? This is always an area for opportunity that will enhance the customer journey and increase engagement of your brand. For it to be beneficial to a product or service, a clear Call to Action (CTA) is important. Google crawls for popular search terms within websites, the more you know what your customer searches for the easier it is to include with your product or service. This relates back to market visibility that SEM offers your brand, product/service.
How do you measure SEO? There can be clear KPIs that you set such as an engagement increase on service/product, following where customers go on your site, do they stay or leave? Do they stay on the landing page or go? If they stay, the search term can be very relevant. If they leave immediately it may be worth changing the search term after an agreed amount of time.
What is PPC? Oxford English Dictionaries online defines PPC as “(on the Internet) a business model whereby a company that has placed an advertisement on a website pays a sum of money to the host website when a user clicks on to the advertisement.”
How do you use PPC? This method of advertising is especially helpful if your brand, product/service is in the unawareness/awareness phase of the marketing and sales funnel. There are many terms that people search for that will be associated with your brand, product/service that people may not realise. Pay per click allows you to focus on the most relevant key words, and long and short tail search terms your target audience search for and associates your products to them so they are seen by a wider audience when searching for what they want or need.
How do you measure PPC? The cost of clicks should be decreasing the more accurate the keywords search terms you pay for are. You can take this one step further and look at the total budget spent on key words and compare this to the number of leads and/or sale conversions from PPC advertising – which is greater? There are very intricate tracking methods that PPC specialists use that can give very specific costs but for the purpose of basic business needs, knowing how much you spend on PPC advertising and calculating the sales conversions that are a direct result is important.
Concentricity is incredibly important to every business. Internally, from service/product offering to externally, and how the customer perceives the service/product offering. Whether they gain value from your proposition and become a loyal customer or even better and advocate through word of mouth/mouse. From traditional advertising to PR, sales promotions, direct marketing, social media and content marketing, SEO and PPC advertising, amongst many others – you can pick and choose tactics from your entire marketing strategy to trial with your customers, see the results and make informed tactical decisions based on those results.