Imagine 1.6 Billion people around the world are online almost constantly, more shockingly, 90% of them turn to the Internet when looking for their needed products and services!

The question is: If they are searching for a service or a product you provide, can they find you before your competitors?

Well, don’t think about the answer, think about the great increasing potentials that lie in the search engines nowadays. Google, the biggest search engine on Earth, gets 3. 4 billion searches every day. Of course they don’t make 3 billion registration calls or sales; however this may explain why almost all of the businesses across the world tend to increasingly use search engine marketing, otherwise known as SEM, on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to boost their ROI.

What is SEM?
SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing which is basically about the online activities of driving more traffic to your website and of gaining better visibility, leading to a higher rank on search engines. Search Engine Marketing incorporates all paid efforts that more likely to take the shape of PPC campaigns (pay-per-click), CPC campaigns (cost-per-click) and CPL campaigns (cost-per-lead). Worth mentioning, SEM should not replace the free efforts of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), as both must go hand in hand in order to drive the desired results.
Nonetheless, if you’re bored of waiting for the free efforts to yield good results, it’s time to consider Search Engine Marketing.

Why Your Business Should Invest in SEM?
As a matter of fact, 99% of companies have certain objectives to achieve in order to grow steadily and professionally in the digital world. The objectives are almost the same, but they may differ in terms of priorities from a company to another or from industry to another. However, the most common objectives of all the businesses nowadays are to:

1. Increase website traffic
2. Increase brand reach and awareness
3. Generate new leads
4. Sell products
5. Divert traffic from their competitors

On the other hand, the greatest advantage of Search Engine Marketing is its ability to offer you the chance to show your ads in front of the customers at the very moment they are using search engines looking for the products or the services you already provide. Therefore, it’s a reliable way to divert more traffic from millions of the customers who are using search engines every day when searching for a product to buy. Additionally, there are numerous perks you’ll get when embracing SEM as an efficient method to increase your online sales and boost your ROI. Here are a few potent reasons to start investing in SEM right now, if you want to get ahead of the competition:

a) It Works like magic!
As the digital world, search engines, in particular, are developing progressively, they are not likely to stop working at any time soon. Search Engines, Google on top of them, focus on improving the process of the search by collecting data about all the users; about their interests, favorites and consuming behavior in order to help both; businesses in reaching their right audience they are looking for and the customers in getting the service or the product they are interested in.

b) Search Engines Control 80 – 90% of The Market Share
As mentioned above, more than 3 billion searches are being done daily by potential customers who are searching and comparing between a wide array of products and services all around the world. It’s estimated that 80 -90% of those customers look for prior online reviews about the products they are willing to buy. This number is definitely going to increase as time goes by.

c) It’s Results-driven and Cost-effective
Compared to the other paid activities on the social media platforms and Email Marketing, SEM by far outperforms in every way. The reason behind that is its ability to target the exact right audience by specifying the keywords your customer use when searching for the products you offer. Consequently, SEM campaigns can help your website rank better and have a higher position than it has with the organic results.

d) Your Competitors are Using It!
Honestly, if you are not improving or even trying to develop your marketing and advertising strategy every now and then, you are going to lose ground and your business is not going to be able to stand out in the competition. Ignoring such a valuable tool might result in losing a great potential to build a strong brand, able to compete and make more profit.

Types of SEM Campaigns
Since SEM campaigns are considered as a key driver of business growth and lead generation for most of the huge companies, it can absolutely promote your products and help you increase online purchases by driving more traffic to your website. Unfortunately, SEM campaigns are full of odd terms and acronyms that might, at some point, seem confusing, although we bring the most common types of SEM campaigns in front of your eyes in a simple and easy way to understand.

There are 2 main categories of advertising on search engines:

1. Search Ads:
These ads are created to appear to those users who are searching for a product at the moment. The real benefit of this type is that it shows your ads to motivated customers who are willing to make purchases. These ads appear in many formats. It could be a short text or a combination of text and images.

2. Display Ads:
In display ads, your ad does not appear on search engines, but it rather appears on other websites that dedicate some spaces on their pages to display ads for their visitors. Such ads can be found along with the content on the websites, on the top of web pages or even take the shape of banners on YouTube videos. Despite this type is cheaper than the previous one, it is less engaging and yields fewer results than the search ads.

After getting aware of SEM campaigns, the prominent question now is how you can start and do it right!

How SEM Works?
In order to get the optimum results, you need to combine the SEO effort with the paid advertising methods. Such combination will help you achieve your business’s short- and long-term goals. The following steps can be a guide for you to follow so that you can run an effective SEM campaign.

a- Create a List of Keywords
In fact, keywords search is the core of SEM activity. Choosing the right keywords enables you to make a balance between targeting the right audience and getting the lowest price for your keywords. It is imperative to use the terms that the users enter when looking for the products, describe the unique selling points that are relevant to your audience’s interests as well as to search what the other competitors use for gaining more traffic.

b- Optimize Your Website Content
In just a few steps you can optimize the content of your website, as this helps attract and engage the visitors as well as it must offer a value for those visitors so as to stay longer and repeat their visits. It is really important to write rich content with well-searched keywords, to be certain that the content is well-organized and structured in a catchy way, and to choose good headings and subheading that allow your website to rank higher on search engines.

c- Set up a Compelling Landing Page
The main purpose of the landing page is to convince the prospect customers to take the final step in the right direction that you want. It must be catchy, simple, well-organized and informative so that the visitors can easily and quickly understand its content and message. If you managed to create a great landing page for your ad, this will definitely result in generating more leads with minimal effort and cost.

d- Set Your Budget and Start Creating Ads
Since the budget is the amount of money you are ready to spend on the ads for selling certain products or services. It usually differs from an industry to another. When bidding, choose the bid that makes you feel comfortable, and with minimal risk.
When it comes to the process of the ad creation, you must be aware of a few things that contribute to the success of your campaign. First, be aware of the text limitation of your ad copy. Second, target the right audience who might seem interested in your services or products. Finally, be smart when writing your CTA (Call To Action), as this is the last thing sticks to your audience’s minds, and it determines whether they continue heading to your landing page or skip your ad.

e- Apply Tracking and Reporting Codes
Creating the ad is the easy part, but monitoring its performance is what really matters. Tracking the performance of your ads allows you to keep a close eye on the cons to avoid and the pros to improve. You will be able to track the number of the actual clicks and the actual conversions and leads generated on the landing page. Put simply, this is how you can assess the success of your ad!

Final Thoughts
Since SEM campaigns are the easiest way to get directly in front of your prospect customers, it is now considered as the greatest investment of your business. You don’t need to wait for the free activities to drive incredible results; the incredible results are in your hands and upon one simple, yet turnkey decision. Start today and trump your competitors by achieving the success you always wanted with great ROI.

Want to run an SEM campaign, but don’t know where and how to start? Contact us now and see the results we can bring to your business.