Jun 27, 2018

Why Do You Need Search Engine Marketing?

Why Do You Need Search Engine Marketing

SEM, PPC, CTR, CPC, the digital marketing world is full of acronyms, all of which provide a specific benefit to your business, if you can understand how to make them work for you. Today we want to shine a light on the world of SEM or Search Engine Marketing.


The term SEM can include both paid and unpaid marketing strategies, but today we’re going to focus on paid options, specifically Pay-Per-Click (PPC). PPC is a strategy in which an advertiser pays a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Using Google’s or Bing’s Adwords platforms, you pay to have your ad at the top of a search engine or one of their partner sites.  The beauty of PPC is that it allows you to skip waiting for your pages to rank organically for keywords and show up at the top of search engines for a fee. It’s easy to find Google and Bing’s text ads, currently occupying the top four positions on a search results page.


So how much does it cost to be at the top of a search engine? The cost can vary depending on the geography and the market you are in, as well as the search term you are bidding for. Another variable to consider is how much your competitors are bidding on the keywords.


PPC gives you a lot of control over what searches you can appear for by using various keyword match types. These match types surround your keywords and let Google know if you want your keywords to show up if someone types in the exact words you specify, or if you are open to close matches to the phrase. You can and should also include negative keywords which allow you to rule out showing up for a search term that isn’t relevant to your business. You can also specify how much you want to bid for keywords. Beware though, because bidding too low may result in not showing up at all. You have to be very careful when setting up these accounts or you can spend a lot of money and not see the results you want. However, if done correctly you can end up getting a lot of business.


It can be hard to rank for certain terms organically, even with months of SEO, sometimes the competition is too high.  This is where SEM comes to your rescue. You can go after a wide net of search terms or a very narrow focus. The choice is yours.  You can very quickly get to the top of a search engine for certain search terms if you are willing to pay for it. 


To give you a little hint of what you can expect to pay for a click, check out the industry benchmarks for spending. However, be careful since places like Toronto can have a much higher CPC than a place like Sudbury and these are just averages taken from all AdWords.


Google and Bing Adwords have many options for you to display your ads from text-based ads to image ads and even app ads. Here are some of the various ads you can run:

1. Text Ads

These are the ads you probably see the most in your searches. You have two headlines and a description line. These direct your target market to a specific page on your website. You can customize the text but there are character limits. You can also attach ad extensions to help your ads stand out and communicate more information.

2. Call-only Ads

These are ads that will show on mobile devices. When a user clicks on them they will be prompted to call the number you have provided and you will be charged when someone clicks on the ad and is prompted to call. Unfortunately just because a user has clicked the ad, doesn’t mean they’ll continue with the call but you will still have been charged for the click. The cost per click on this type of ad tends to be a bit higher as is the value of a direct line to the customer.

3. TrueView Video Ads

These are ads that can be found on YouTube. There are two types of ads on YouTube: in-stream and video discovery ads. In-stream ads are videos that appear when watching YouTube videos and are charged by cost-per-view. In this case, you are only charged if someone watches a set time amount of your video, usually 30 seconds. Alternatively, video discovery ads appear in  YouTube search results, YouTube mobile home page, and related videos. These ads are charged when someone clicks onto the video.

4. Display Ads

These are visual ads you can create to capture the eye of people searching the web and build brand awareness. They are often seen in banner sections of websites. You can create the ads yourself, or you can use an ad builder tool. These ads tend to have a much lower click-through rate, but they are charged a lot less, and can even be charged by how often they are seen. 

5. Remarketing Ads

These are ads that are triggered if someone has clicked on a previous ad of yours. You can change the ad text and include more calls to action in these ads, or place an offer that makes your audience more likely to click on your ads. You can also change how much you want to spend with the ads to have them show more often, in a higher position on the search, or a lower position if you don’t want to spend as much for returning visitors. Those that interact with your site more often are more likely to convert so these types of ads can be highly effective.

6. App Ads

You can advertise your app on Google Search, Google Play Store, YouTube, Display Network, and other Google partners. These are ads created to advertise your app and attempt to get downloads. You are charged when someone clicks on the ads.

7. Product Listing Ads (PLAs)

These are ads that appear for various product searches. They display the product and the price, appearing at the top of the search engine results page. This allows the customer to get the information they need most, including the price and item appearance. This can help to increase the chances of someone buying your product.


While Google’s Adwords platform has many built-in tools, it can be tough to know how to properly set up a campaign. Having a dedicated team regularly optimizing your campaigns and fine-tuning keywords, ads, and ad groups will ensure your metrics improve over time. Contact us today to learn more about how we can set up a targeted and successful Google AdWords campaign for your business.