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Search Engine Marketing (SEM) For eCommerce: Everything You Need To Know

Showing your website or online store on Google’s pages, driving more traffic, boosting your conversions, and reaching the right audience for your brand can seem like hard work for some businesses. 

With extremely high competition, a crowded market, and endless ads, you might think it is nearly impossible for your brand to have a chance to appear in the first search pages of your potential customers.

Knowing everything about search engine marketing can help you boost your brand positioning, increase your sales and ease your marketing process.

This article will help you out with everything you might need, giving you all the information about what SEM is, how to use it, and what its benefits are.

Table of Content:

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine MarketingImage source

SEM is one of the forms of online marketing used to boost the visibility of your website in search engines. Search engine marketing (SEM) is all about paying for ads to get your website to appear from the top links options on the SERP of Google, Bing, and other search engines. 

This happens through an auction system where website owners can bid on relevant keywords that their customers use while searching for their products. Search engine marketing (SEM) ads are also known as pay-per-click (PPC) ads. This means that Search engine marketing (SEM) is cost-effective as you don’t have to pay for your ad unless someone presses on it. Search engine marketing (SEM) can appear in formats like: text, visual ads, or video ads.

What is The Difference Between Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEM Vs SEOImage Source 

As we said, SEM is all about paid ads that help your website appear in the SERPs, while SEO is all about optimizing your website in several ways so that it can appear in the SERPs organically.

Both SEM and SEO can help your business bloom and can help you maximize your sales and your website traffic. However, SEM can be a faster way if your business is still new in the market, whilst SEO can be more of a long-term strategy to show results.

How Does Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Work For eCommerce?

Search engine marketing (SEM) works with auction-based advertising letting marketers identify their relevant keywords, and then they can bid for ad space on the SERPs. This means that Google sets a rate for certain ad spaces, and marketers start bidding for that space. Hence, every single time a search takes place in Google, a real-time ad auction happens, and your ad appears according to the auction results. 

Those ads are using pay per click (PPC) models. SEM ads are placed on top of SERPs above organic results and have the word “ad” beside them. 

How Does Search Engine Marketing WorkImage Source

One thing you need to keep in mind, the ad space is usually awarded to the website that owns a combination of the highest per-click bid along with the highest “Quality Score”. This means that each ad is checked according to Google or other search engines’ evaluating factors.   

Some of which are: estimated click-through rate (CTR), relevance, and ad landing page.  

As a marketer, what you need to do is to try to achieve the highest quality score with the lowest cost-per-click. This can happen by choosing the most relevant keywords, attractive ad copy, compelling headline and engaging landing page.

Learn more about how to decrease your Cost Per Click (CPC)

How To Use Search Engine Marketing To Achieve The Best Results?

Search engine marketing (SEM) can be one of the greatest tools to help you achieve the results you are looking for. Here are some simple steps that can ease the process for you: 

1- Good Research

To start right, you need to start with good thorough research and set your short-term and long-term goals. What are the best and most relevant keywords for your business? How much traffic do you need? What is your budget? What are your marketing objectives? Who are your competitors? What are they doing?

2- Have Your List of Relevant Keywords

 List of Relevant Keywords SEMImage Source

After a good keyword research, you will have a good list of keywords. Use low-competition keywords and identify negative keywords. There are multiple free tools to help you with your keyword research. Hence, you need to start optimizing your website with those relevant keywords. Write appealing website content, relevant, attractive ad copy, and compelling headlines with those keywords.

3- Optimize Your Website

This will help you with your SEO and SEM as well. So, it will be efficient if you do paid ads or not. Optimizing your website is not only about keywords, but also it includes visuals, content organization, registering your site in important directories, and inbound links “the higher the “rank” of these sites’ links, the better it is for your own ranking”. 

On a side note, optimizing your social media with the same keywords, visuals, and links can have a great effect on your ranking and can help with your SEM and SEO.

4- Start Preparing Your Ad

  • Have your google ad account ready first.
  • Have your list of keywords ready, your website optimized, and your ad copy well-written.
  • Make sure you have developed targeted, attractive landing pages for each campaign. Keep in mind this will be the first impression about your clients, and the first impression lasts.
  • Start with your bidding and budget allocation.
  • Make sure you have implemented your tracking pixels to analyze and measure results.
  • For even better results, merge your campaign with your paid social campaigns to reach a wider audience, maximize sales and boost awareness.
  • A/B Testing For Paid Ads

After launching your ad, you can start your A/B testing. To know what works best for your audience, use different ad copy, different landing pages, different strategies, and different visuals so that you can detect the performance of each ad and what can achieve better results next time. Track, measure, and analyze the results of your ads to know what you can enhance and what you can do better next time! 

6 Benefits of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) For eCommerce

Did you know that Google processes over 5 billion searches per day?
Appearing on top of these searches can help you boost your brand, double your sales and maximize your brand awareness. Aside from all of these benefits, search engine marketing has multiple other benefits. Explore some of them below: 

  1. Brand Awareness

    Search engine marketing can help your brand stand out amongst the strong competition and crowded marketing. Appearing on top of SERPs can help spread awareness for your brand. Knowing that search engine marketing ads are pay-per-click ads can help you spread your brand awareness for free if no one presses on your link.
  2.  Reach The Right Audience

    Search engine marketing can help you reach the right audience in the right location at the right time. Search engines will help your website appear for the ones exactly searching for your products or services. Also, you can choose different keywords for different audience groups.
  3. Drive More Website Traffic

    Having your ad placed at the top of the SERPs will definitely push people to click on it if it has the right keywords and appealing headlines. This will surely maximize your website traffic even if people don’t purchase.
  4. A Faster Way To Achieve Your Sales

    Search engine marketing (SEM) is considered a much faster way to reach your audience, drive traffic, boost conversion, and achieve sales than SEO. It can have instant results. It is ideal for a short-term strategy.
  5. It’s Trackable

    Search engine marketing (SEM) is perfect for businesses to know how their ads performed and what the results were. While measuring and tracking the results of your ad can be a tough process, SEM platforms like Google Ads help you track and measure all your ads’ results and performance.
  6. It’s Cost Effective

    Search engine marketing (SEM) is actually highly cost-effective as you don’t pay except when someone clicks on your website. Hence, you can achieve brand awareness for free and pay only for each one visiting your website. 

A good SEM strategy will help you with your Quality Score, drive more traffic to your website, and boost your conversion rates

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