61% of people who use the internet start their journey on a search engine, according to Hubspot. This shows just how important it is to use search engine marketing to develop awareness of your brand. Yet, 50% of small businesses don’t have a marketing plan at all. So here’s how you should use search engine marketing (SEM) to build up your business.
The GF Shopper Research study found that 81% of shoppers research products online before committing to buying them. SEM gets your name out there as every time they search for information about the product they’re interested in on a search engine, your brand name and products will come up. This is important as 59% of people say they would rather buy from a brand that they are familiar with. When you bear in mind that shoppers spend 79 days on average looking into a product before parting with their cash, your brand will definitely become a memorable one to them during this time.
On average, it takes between 6 and 12 months for a website to rank well with Google when search engine optimization (SEO) is used. The benefit of SEM is that you’ll gain instant exposure to your target market on Google and similar search engines. This is a really effective and low-cost way of getting your name out there. No one quite knows exactly how Google ranks pages so that they’re displayed at the top of the search results, so this is a safer bet than relying on SEO. Once you’ve got visitors to your website, you need them to buy from you. An effective way to turn this interest into a conversion is to use conversion rate optimization. To do this, you need to swiftly recognize any conversion issues on your website, such as a poorly structured landing page, a lack of call-to-action buttons, or unclear images. You then arrange for your website to be redesigned and your layout and copy to be optimized to address these issues and to increase your conversion rate.
Marketing is costly for new businesses. Legalzoom estimates that new businesses spend up to 50% of their sales on marketing during their first year. The beauty of SEM is that it’s a type of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. You’re only charged when someone clicks on your advert so there’s no upfront marketing fees to think about. The bonus of this is that if a consumer has clicked on your ad, you’ve gained their interest and could potentially make a sale. This sale would therefore cover the cost of your ad and some. According to Google, when a business spends $1 on Adwords, they make a return on investment (ROI) of $2.
Mint reports that 57% of shoppers prefer to buy from local businesses. Local marketing is very important as it helps to build your brand in the local community and bring in new local customers. SEM is great for targeting customers who live close to you as you can set filters so your ads only reach searchers based within a set mile radius from your business. Statistics show that most consumers don’t want to travel further than 20 minutes from home to make a purchase, so this is worth considering when setting your ad parameters.
Reach target audience
Nielsen has found that around 47% of online ads don’t reach their target audience. If your ads aren’t reaching the right people then your brand isn’t getting seen by the right people and you’re effectively wasting money. Thankfully, SEM simply and easily prevents this problem. With SEM you can use keywords that are specific and most relevant to the age, gender, ethnicity etc of your desired buyer. You can also utilize the buyer funnel. This is a scoring system which identifies how likely each searcher is to buy from you. Once you have this information, you have a group or groups of people that are more likely to turn into a positive conversion. These are the customers that are the most suitable candidates for your brand, so you need to continue reaching out to these consumers with tailor-made ads. The more they see your brand name and the products you provide, the higher the chance they’ll spend their hard-earned cash with you.
Search engine marketing is something every business should utilize. New start-ups, in particular, can benefit from SEM as it can bring valuable customers to your business and help you to quickly become a recognisable and trustworthy name.