Make your words matter with a solid SEM strategy

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is nothing new, but when done right it can significantly improve your brand’s prospects by making customers come to you.
By Alex Ng, Hong Kong

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is nothing new, but when done right it can significantly improve your brand’s prospects by making customers come to you.
By Alex Ng, Hong Kong

Many marketers out there think that investing in search engine marketing (SEM) is just like ordering avocado toast at brunch: not worth your money, especially because it’s something you can do yourself. But there’s more to search engine marketing (SEM) than keywords and search engine algorithms. You can’t just hijack every trending keyword in the Googleverse and hope this makes your brand discoverable online. A good SEM strategy will make them come to you. And that’s the dream.

The key components of building a strong SEM strategy include:

  • Understanding search intent
  • Relevant landing pages and content

Think about the psychology behind search queries. It’s important to build an SEM strategy that falls within that “sweet spot”, where customer consideration intersects with your brand’s expertise. Consumers have such niche tastes and search behaviors that it’s necessary to consider them, along with your competitors’ performance when developing your own SEM strategy. If you’re a cloud services provider, you’ll want to have words and phrases like “cloud computing,” “data centers,” “hybrid cloud”, but you’ll also want search terms such as “IoT” or even “digital transformation” and “the mobile workforce.”

Content & Context

It’s also important to make sure you’re leading your audience to a (mobile-friendly!) landing page that’s relevant to their search query. If they’ve searched for a particular product or service on your website, make sure your links are driving them to that information, not just your homepage. That would be like taking someone’s order at a restaurant and serving them a menu. Context is key here – creating content using specific keywords that makes it relevant to your audience’s search intent.

Content keeps your target audience on your landing page, and encourages them to explore your site further. Users will engage with content that is unique, interesting, and valuable, so it’s important to make sure your content is developed in line with your SEM strategy. Just because it’s clicky, doesn’t make it sticky.

Today’s audience is more sophisticated when it comes to looking up things online, making it more important than ever to make your (key)words matter. Think about their needs, and their pain points, and develop a strategy that speaks to these while highlighting the solutions your brand . This will give you a clear picture of the keywords they’re searching for, help you align content with your SEM strategy, and enable you to remarket to customers who have searched for your keywords.

Once you’ve got a solid SEM strategy down, researching keyword and staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving algorithms of search engines become much easier than making avocado toast. Pair SEM with in-depth SEO, and compelling and relevant content, and you’ve got all the elements your need to build a high-performing campaign online. If you’d like to learn more about building an integrated digital marketing campaign, click here.

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