It’s quite impossible to be successful in the digital marketing arena without productive search engine marketing or SEM. Specifically, in a competitive scenario as of modern times; it has become imperative for a digital marketing campaigner to execute SEM strategies well. SEM refers to the practice of promoting a business through paid advertisements; those can be witnessed through the search engine result page.
Here the advertisers or business operators bid on keywords those are frequently searched through search engines regarding the product or service related to their business. The intention behind targeting the specific keyword is basically to give the advertiser a chance for the ads to appear for the search engine results. In digital marketing term, it is called the PPC ads.
A PPC ad or ads as per the SEM strategies can be of various format; it can be text-based advertises or in the product listing form, like the shopping ads. In general, the product based ads are preferred by the campaigners as here the details can be got through a quick glance, including both the cost and review.
The best part about SEM is that here advertiser or campaigner gets the opportunity of showcasing its ads in front of the most potential customers, those who are up for buying the product. There is no other way available in digital marketing that can be as effective as of SEM.
First of all, understand the difference between SEO and SEM:
Before going for the most effective SEM, it is important for a campaigner to understand the difference between SEM and SEO. SEM is the paid search marketing where the campaigner has to pay Google for getting clicked on its ads. On the other hand, in the case of SEO, one doesn’t have to pay anything to Google for traffic.
They can get displayed free of cost, below the search engine box; not inside an explicit box. One may go with both SEO and SEM as well because both are relevant to modern day online marketing. Naturally thus, it is always recommended to go with a service provider that can provide both SEO and SEM in one place. This would make the overall execution more effective.
Test their keyword research knowledge:
As explained above, the keyword is the key part of search engine marketing. Hence, it is important to select the right set of keyword for bidding. In this context, it is advised to do extensive keyword research for the SEM. It is always recommended to go with the keyword with higher click-through rates, but comparatively minimal CPC.
Hence, the concerned service provider needs to be experienced enough in understanding the keyword strategy, ad auction procedure, account setting and other aspects. Going through the past track record is not enough. This is so as the strategy often varies from product to product and service to service.
Hence, it is advised to ensure that the concerned service provider possesses good track record, specifically in the same range of product or service you deal with. Safest way in this regard would be to go with someone who has previously worked with the concerned service provider, for similar products.
One may take the reviews of it in to account as well through different forums, though this is not the most reliable way as the forums often contain paid reviews in modern times. In fact, negative feedbacks can’t be trusted as well in contemporary times because the competitors deliberately put negative feedbacks at different forums or review sites.
It should have in-house SEO and SEM departments, working in concurrence:
Just like you take a look at the shop to check the whole range of products it offers, similarly, you should check your SEM service provider. As explained above, you should enquire about their expertise in both SEO as well as SEM. This is important as both the strategies need to go hand-in-hand for the best result.
It’s a misconception that both SEO and SEM is the same thing, which is not. The only common part between SEO and SEM is the keyword research. Otherwise, SEM is moreover about business. One needs to analyze cost, account structure, PPC, CPC, keyword bidding process, etc. aspects thoroughly for the best result.
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On the other hand, SEO involves promotional strategies, keyword analysis, backlinking, on-site and off-site optimization, link building, etc. In fact, the site’s design also needs to be optimized for the best SEO. It means SEO service providers are expected to have an in-house designing and development team as well.
If the concerned service provider has to deal with SEM aspects as well, it needs to have the team of designers, SEO expert, along with SEM experts as well. Hence, make sure the service provider you go with has an expert team in all these three departments to get the best result.
Always prefer real-time reporting:
Be it about SEO or Search engine marketing; the outcomes are steady in each occasion. It is important for the campaigner to have a close look at the progression rate. Hence, the service provider is expected to deliver a thoroughly maintained report consistently. Specifically, priority should be given about real-time report generation.
The biggest advantage of real-time reporting is that it helps in adjusting the budget by the progress result. It makes the analysis process strategic. You can check whether your product has got the genuine brand image among the customer. In accordance, you may scrap the budget as well.
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The ups and lows in everyday performance can be better analyzed through such real-time reports. However, it is also true that a lot of analysis is essential to be done in this regard. Some service provider may ask you about the option of one ultimate reporting, instead of real-time reporting. However, you should demand about the real-time reporting only.
What if you can handle either SEO or SEM?
Most of the digital marketing campaigner runs their ecommerce sites or any other kind of online business. This is obvious as, after all, anyone would love to make the most of his/her knowledge. In such cases, either the campaigners have expertise in SEO or SEM. This is so as getting expertise in both is quite tough as it takes long years to be a master in these things.
In fact, one needs to stay updated with the latest tricks as well. So, if you are a campaigner who can handle SEO of your own, you should look for an SEM service provider that is focused only on SEM; not the both, as it is recommended above. This is so as a company having its SEO and SEM always wants to handle both things.
Ground level fact is that in some way or the other they try to drag flakes in your SEO strategy. It means they make your SEO strategy responsible for any compromised performance. No matter how much you support their SEM team, they complain about SEO and SEM departments not working in harmony.
You can’t feel good giving them the responsibility of SEO as they demand extra charge for the same. In short, they ask for the cumulative cost of both SEO and SEM. Hence, it is advised that if you are expert in SEO or believe that you can handle of your own, better find a company that focuses only on SEM; you won’t have to deal with such conflicts as a result.
The same advice is applicable for those who are experts in SEMs as well. They should look for a company that focuses only on SEO; not the both. This would help them in accomplishing things at a lower budget.
What to do when they ask for an advance?
Payment aspects are often controversial. Hence, it is always good to be as transparent on this matter as possible. Though most of the companies promise about performance-based payment system, they often have hidden conditions which later create conflicts. Modern-day SEM service providers make contracts for certain time periods, like for 2-3 years. You should try to avoid these or keep it as minimal as possible.
This can keep you on a safer side. There are many companies which agree with only six month’s or lesser contract as well. The point of making a contract is that they demand advance charges in accordance. Lesser the contract, lesser has to be the advance amount. It would be even better if you manage to find a company that demands no advance payouts at all. Though finding such a company is tough; but indeed not impossible.
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Well, someone too desperate about taking up a project should not be trusted as well. This is so as most of the newbie find this a way to experiment or learn things; you can’t deny about any other ill mind as well. Hence, a reputed company demanding fair advance amount, with a clean track record can be trusted. You may check its past performances, the ranking of sites they have earlier worked for, etc., to judge their ability.