Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Google Adwords, Bing, & What is Important for Success
There is a difference between Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) to the more advanced marketer. While most of SEM is done on a PPC bidding basis, you can also use PPC with social media advertising, content marketing, and most sites that offer you banner ad space on them.
The real trick with search marketing is to set up your campaigns, ad groups, keywords with a very granular structure so that each product/service/group/geography etc, can be optimized on it’s own giving you a better chance to find what works and eliminate “negative” keywords on a more granular level. This does take some more time to set up, but it is well worth it in the end.
You also look to set up goals, CTAs, landing pages, quality scores for pages, keyword ranking, and a whole other set of things if you are an eCommerce business doing SEM.
What to look for from your Search Engine Marketing resources or partner?
Here are the core characteristics that you should try to find for the people/firm managing your SEM:
- Talks about granular set up – The more you break down your campaigns into specifics, the more you can find low hanging fruit, and the easier it is to optimize out the bad performers as well as find keywords/phrases that work based on industry, geography, and category, not just cast a wide net and take what performance you get. There are also some limitations that should be put on Remarketing as well.
- Depth of Expertise – Because every client is different and data matters, there should be NO cookie cutter tactics for your SEM/PPC. Eyeballs make a difference as well as understanding copy, landing pages, development, and branding or not. You optimize for Return-On-Investment and levels of conversions, not just more clicks. There are always more clicks available, but performance outweighs traffic, especially the longer your campaigns have been running. Branding and reach can be a good idea here, but mainly with larger budgets (say $3k-5k+/mo).
- Transparency with strategy & performance – this is a key factor to if this resource will make a good partner for you. Their willingness to share information, expertise, reports, and strategize with you is a tell tale sign that they are doing what they should. A lack of details, is typically a sign they either don’t know what they are doing or isn’t devoting enough time to your campaigns.
- Bandwidth & Longevity – This is mainly an issue with individuals. They get a bigger client paying them more money – do you have their attention? They have a life, but no back up on performance. They also don’t have a team of people who understand PPC, content, developments, CTAs, graphics, etc. like an agency does and where that “team” spends time talking about all their accounts as a team. This individual might know more than you, but there are limitations to performance and risk in working with individuals. And if they decide to go to work for an agency or company, you get to “start over” with a new resource.
For More information on what to look for in a firm, check back for our white paper coming soon.