How Can Search Engine Marketing Get Customers To Love Your Brand-And Stay Loyal!

Don’t you find it confusing how it works when businesses with similar products and services compete against each other for the coveted top spot? What specific quality does a company need to have to emerge victorious despite the stiff competition? The search engine is a digital jungle where only the strongest shall survive (and thrive). So how does search engine marketing help you increase brand awareness?

Search Engine Marketing and Brand Awareness

When you are searching for a product or service, you turn to Google to obtain additional information that will help you make a buying decision. There are organic search results, but then there are paid advertisements as well. These ads appear at the topmost portion of the search engine results page, which is where the most amount of views will happen! As they say, you can’t eat your cake and have it too… Well, if you want your products to get the attention it deserves, you need to pay for the ads. I think that’s basically the definition of paid advertisements…? I could be wrong though.

Sure… you could go all the way down to a brick and mortar store to buy something, but technology significantly changes the way people do business. The ads are going to be the online storefront of your company. But you can’t find them anywhere unless you use a specific search term.

The beauty of search engine marketing is that you have the freedom to choose which search engines to use which is really neat.

Let’s dive deeper into the anatomy of search advertising…

Say you’re looking to hire a bookkeeper. Google displays results relevant to your search term. Now, the best thing about these ads is their powerful impact on people searching for a specific product or service. The fact that ads extend the online reach of your brand can give you a competitive advantage. Of course, implementing an effective SEO strategy is still essential to achieving the goal, because it will naturally get you more organic, unpaid traffic. Not to mention some people won’t even click ads based on the principle.

Google Ads vs Display Advertising

Mobile junkies like me are very familiar with display ads. Don’t confuse them with search advertising because they differ in terms of format. Display ads appear on the sidebar of social media platforms such as Facebook or even on websites. They occasionally appear on your newsfeeds too. Like search advertising, it takes a creative genius to come up with clever display advertising creative work that people can’t resist.

The Cost of Search Engine Marketing

The advertising budget you need for your SEM isn’t fixed, but keep in mind that the higher your budget, the greater the results. If you want to increase brand awareness, then your focus will be on the cost per impression (CPM). Other metrics you can use include cost per click (CPC) and cost per acquisition (CPA). CPC is the most preferred metric, which costs anywhere from a dollar (or sometimes even less if you do very well) and up depending on the competition in the market, how well your ad is built, and its conversion rate.

SEM Keyword Research

Here’s the tricky part about SEM: your potential customer won’t know your brand exists unless you use relevant keywords.

You need to perform comprehensive research to identify keywords that are relevant to your brand. A keyword research tool allows you to find keywords that your business should bid on. Watch out for negative keywords, which refer to irrelevant terms. Say, you have a cake business, you might want to put “cake recipes” as a negative keyword, as prospects using these search terms are less likely to purchase your product.

How about the cost of SEM? How does it compare to other methods?

The cost depends on your techniques. The key here is to run effective SEM campaigns so Google (or other search engine providers) will reward you by lowering the cost and increasing your visibility. But if you’re the type who choose to set it then forget it, expect your costs to be higher than typical. Regardless of the platform you use, quality is always rewarded. I know you’ve heard people complaining about how expensive Adwords has become, and it rings true when you don’t understand the reason you’re paying more. There’s a secret sauce to keeping your Adwords cost low.

Focusing on long-term strategies is vital to keeping your quality score up and your Adwords cost low. SEM helps you drive more leads and sales faster than a lot of other methods, you just need to know how to get the most out of it.

5 Vital Steps To An Effective SEM Plan

1. Set Your Goals

Before you get down to the nitty-gritty of implementing SEM strategy, start with defining your goals. Your goals act as your compass which leads you to your desired results. Do you want potential customers to sign-up for your weekly newsletter? Purchase a product? Or maybe just download your latest app?

Whatever you wish to accomplish, be sure you align it with your marketing efforts. Someone looking for online sales is going to be looking for someone that’s looking for brand awareness.

2. Know Your Competition

Ah, the art of war: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Not knowing what your competitor will ensure that you are not maximizing your campaigns. After all, you’re implementing SEM strategies to outperform your competitors. This can get pretty time-consuming and mentally exhausting, there’s a lot of in-depth work required to get a comprehensive understanding of your competitors. Sometimes this type of work is best left to the professionals! If you want to take it head on, using a tool such as SEMRush can help you get a better understanding of your marketplace and competitors.

3. Research relevant keywords

You advertise your brand to increase your online reach. Well, it is only possible if you choose the right keywords. Whether you are choosing high-volume or fewer keywords, the choice will depend on your goals. If you’re looking for exposure, you can be more slack on the keywords. But if you are strictly aiming for conversions or leads, you need to be strict about making sure that the keywords you pick are the most likely to bring you buyers that are ready to purchase.

4. Analyze your budget

Let’s face it, SEM is a costly strategy if done wrong. So, how much are you willing to spend on SEM? Again, the budget you set will depend on what you are trying to achieve but typically speaking you should start with about $5 per day while you learn more about your demographics and what is working, then increase it as you see positive results.

5. Write a good copy

You’ll end up wasting your money on paid advertisement if you lack one important element: compelling ad copy. (See our post here) With your ads team (or yourself) running tests based on your relevant KPI’s, you will know which ad copy is more appealing to your audience.

Too busy to start a search engine campaign? Let’s help you increase the value of your brand by crafting a search engine marketing plan tailored to your business needs! Get in touch with our awesome team at Next-Gen Business Solutions for a FREE consultation to identify which aspect of your business needs immediate attention, and which ones will get you money the fastest!

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