Search engine marketing is a digital marketing strategy to receive traffic to a website through paid search. SEM marketing campaigns allow businesses to gain more online visibility and open unique markets to new prospective customers.
Create a Winning SEM Marketing Campaign in 5 Steps
Follow the step-by-step guide below to create a high-converting SEM marketing campaign.
Step #1: Plan for Specific SEM Long Tail Keywords
SEM keyword research is vital to the success of search marketing campaigns. For example, if you advertise to someone searching for a “car,” you are going against billions of webpages in both paid and organic search results.
Why Specific Long Tail Keywords are Beneficial for SEM Marketing Campaigns
Uncovering specific intent behind the search with broad match keywords is more challenging. If the marketing campaign targets a generic head term or a broad keyword with high search volume, advertising spent will significantly increase for highly competitive keywords.
Try the Free Google Ads Generator for Ad Headlines
Leverage Intent-Based Long Tail Keywords in SEM Marketing Campaign
To ensure the marketing dollars are put to good use, start by narrowing down a list of long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are extended phrases that typically yield lower search volume but provide a more precise intent behind the searched terms. Try different variations and combinations of keyword phrases that best represent a product or service to uncover new market shares.
Example of Long Tail Keywords in SEM Marketing Campaign
Going back to the “car” example, let’s say your target audience is someone searching for a “current year blue four-door sedan on sale.” This long-tail keyword tells you that the visitor is specific about the car’s age, color, model, and is looking for a discount. You can significantly narrow down what a potential customer is looking for by applying more specific descriptions to a keyword.
Try the Free Google Ads Generator for Ad Descriptions
Focus on High Intent-Based SEM Keywords
Capitalize on the SEM keyword strategy specific to the high intent-based search queries. It can translate into increased opportunities for converting a lead or sale. The key is identifying and narrowing down a list of quality long-tail keywords unique to the business so you can discover and capitalize on expanded niche markets.
Learn more about SEM keyword research strategies.
Step #2 Utilize SEM Tools for Effective SEM Keyword Research
How to uncover the most profitable and relevant keywords for a website? Research long-tail keywords with relatively lower search volume but show great user intent, such as intent to purchase or learn about a topic. Competition for those keywords will be comparatively low.
Start keyword research with quality SEM tools that takes the guesswork out of the equation.
Top 2 Free SEM Keyword Research Tools
Free SEM Keyword Tool #1. Google Ads Keyword Planner
Google Ads Keyword Planner is one of the best keyword research tools, and it is free to sign up when you have a Google Ads account. Pay only when you start running ad campaigns.
Advantages of Google Ads Keyword Planner
Google Ads Keyword Planner is a tool that provides keyword suggestions and estimates potential search traffic for each keyword within Google. Additional data, such as keyword competition level and suggested bidding price, are available to help determine the best keywords for ad campaigns.
A Google Ads Tip
Remember to select an applicable target geographic area and define the location parameters. Learn more about Google ads location targeting.
Defining Geographic Parameters in Google Ads
Free SEM Keyword Tool #2. Microsoft Bing Ads Keyword Research and Opportunities
Like Google Ads, Microsoft Bing Ads has its own platform for SEM marketing campaigns. It is free to sign up, and you can easily import Google Ads campaigns directly into Microsoft Ads.
Advantages of Microsoft Bing Ads Keyword Research and Opportunities
The Microsoft Ads Keyword Planner returns keyword search volume data aggregated from Bing, Yahoo, and AOL search networks. These data represent SEO organic searches. The stats on the search volume are based on the previous six months of historical records.
The Microsoft Ads Keyword Research tool generates keyword suggestions in different languages to the respective countries, which targets ad content to specific demographics. Although the search volume will be smaller than the Google Ads Keyword Planner data, it is still a reliable research platform for getting additional keyword search volume.
Advanced SEM Keyword Research Tool
Basic keyword research tools are sufficient for preliminary SEM marketing. Consider using an advanced SEM tool to win strategically and consistently stay on top of the competition.
Advantages of Advanced SEM Keyword Research Tool
Advanced SEM tool conducts SEM audit, runs competitor analysis, and completes comprehensive keyword research to identify lucrative high-intent keywords. It goes one step further to reveal the competitors’ ad copywriting and their top-ranked keywords.
Semrush is the Best Advanced SEM Keyword Research Tool
Semrush is the most comprehensive SEO and SEM keyword research tool for digital marketing performance tracking. It effectively identifies lucrative and high-yield keywords for search engine marketing ad campaigns.
How Semrush Works to Improve SEM Marketing Campaigns
$108.33 / Month
Best for SEM Marketing.
Sign up on Semrush’s website.
- Discover all the best keywords to target and bring traffic to your site through Semrush keyword research tool.
- Audit webpages and suggest ideas to improve SEM performance.
- Uncover all of the keywords and content in competitors’SEM strategies.
- Research competitors to uncover their display ads and SEM marketing campaigns.
- Track hundreds of relevant keywords and their Google CPC pricing on a daily basis.
- Easily research keywords that have search volume relevant to any blog or website.
- Get competitive research on SEM and display ads.
- Does not include social media analytics
Step #3. Optimize and Integrate Keywords to SEM Marketing Campaign Landing Pages
When potential customers know what they are looking for in Google, they are more likely to respond to call-to-actions. Ensure the landing pages are highly relevant to the keywords in the ad copywriting to maximize conversion. Integrating relevant SEM keywords into landing pages reinforces the SEM ad campaign and improves the conversion rate to drive call-to-action, such as closing a sale.
Top 4 Types of Winning Keywords to Integrate to SEM Marketing Campaign Landing Pages
Step #4 Budget-Control SEM Marketing Campaign Cost
After identifying a list of keywords, assign a feasible budget to an SEM ad campaign. Determining how much to spend on SEM marketing campaigns depends on a few factors.
Top 4 Factors that Influence SEM Keyword Pricing
What is Google Ads Quality Score?
Quality score is essentially Google’s 1-10 ranking system for ads. The quality score measures relevancy, click-through rate, and overall user experience delivered through an SEM campaign. Google uses this rating system to determine the quality of ads and landing pages through the keywords used to run the ads.
How Google Ads Quality Score Affects SEM Marketing Campaign Cost
Google Ads assigns each ad copy with a quality score. The higher the score, the less you pay for clicks on the ad. Remember to keep your overall budget in mind and avoid ego-bidding wars with competitors.
Learn more about SEM marketing campaign cost control strategies.
Step #5 Write Compelling SEM Marketing Campaign Messaging
You are up against more competition than you think. Competitors are not just limited to your direct parallels. For example, a local car dealership may compete directly with dealerships of the same brand, any other brands in the same geographic location, or even used car dealerships from another state that provides free delivery service.
Stand Out from the Competition with Unique SEM Ad Copywriting
Spend time researching which competitors are advertising for the same keywords. Highlight the unique qualities of your business in ad messaging to entice visitors. Work on differentiating your ad copywriting from the competition.
Include a Benefit Statement in the SEM Ad Copywriting
Create eye-catching benefit statements to improve SEM ad click-through rate. Benefit statements encourage visitors to click through to your website. Focus on identifying and promoting the best features of your product or service on the ad landing page.
Example of SEM Ad Copywriting with Benefit Statement
Keep Testing SEM Marketing Campaign Ad Messaging
Persistence is the key to long-term SEM marketing success. Visitors appeal to different communication styles, so it is important to customize campaign messaging for different audience groups. Test variations of ad messaging over time, and you will find the most profitable version with the highest return on investment, lowest cost per acquisition, and lowest pay-per-click.
Learn more about SEM ad copywriting strategies to increase click-through rate and conversion rate.
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