Search engine marketing or SEM is the umbrella term for a set of tactics and strategies utilised by marketers to increase their search engine ranking. This may be critical for improving your visibility (and revenues) since you want to be high on the list of search outputs for your industry and keywords combination. As opposed to traditional SEO instruments, many of SEM tools involve financial spending to purchase impressions, advertising space or other resources from search engines. Below you will find 8 unique SEM tactics for driving more traffic to your website without breaking your bank.
1. Always Use Back End Tracking Instruments
Applying any kind of paid instruments without knowing your ‘baseline effectiveness’ is like driving with your eyes closed. You never know if something has improved or has become worse if you rely on second-guessing rather than the cold hard measurable facts.
At the very minimum, focus on monitoring the weekly amount of traffic and the number of click-throughs from your ad impressions. These figures will show you if new tactics produce positive results in reaching your target audiences.
2. Get Rid of Irrelevant Keywords
While your Instagram marketing experience may suggest that adding more keywords may be the key to getting into everyone’s newsfeeds, Google mechanisms function differently. So-called keyword stuffing or the abundance of irrelevant keywords on your page may actually decrease your visibility.
Search engine crawlers are already capable of recognising the overuse of certain words and penalise these practices while users are tired of artificially sounding texts that are ‘over-optimised’. Hiring a good copywriter and auditing your existing pages may be a good solution to achieve the optimal balance in this dimension.
3. Achieve Superior Quality before Paid Inclusion
Yes, paid inclusion is a powerful instrument that can improve your rankings and let you generate high-quality traffic to your website. The question is, will these substantial investments pay for themselves if your website conversion rates are mediocre.
The main rule of thumb is to focus on improving the quality of your platform, e-store, and content before reaching for additional paid exposure. In the long-term perspective, the costs of paying professional designers and webmasters for website optimisation may be well-covered by future conversion improvements.
4. Index Website Pages with Several Search Engines
Keep in mind that more and more users rely on Bing, Baidu, Yahoo, and other search engines besides Google, which means that focusing on these resources may be effective due to the smaller number of competitors and the lower prices of paid inclusion.
Index all pages with several platforms to maximise the amount of quality inbound traffic. International companies should also realise that the use of certain search engines may be determined by geographical or demographic characteristics of customers. For example, Chinese buyers frequently prefer DuckDuckGo for sensitive purchases due to its high privacy standards and personal data protection.
5. Improve Your User-Friendliness
According to the technology acceptance model, the perceived ease of use is one of the key factors determining whether a certain solution is adopted or discarded. In the case of your website, this means that your PPC advertisements are only as strong as the quality of your website or e-store.
If a person leaves it in 10 seconds due to the counter-intuitive interface or poor design, your advertising budget has just been wasted. Showing your most popular products and discount deals right away may be a good idea if you are interested in good conversion rates. However, do not over-utilise pop-ups and other potentially intrusive instruments.
6. Improve Your Website Speed
Another common problem is related to the poor choice of hosting options or poor website optimisation. Investing money into driving traffic to your website may be ineffective if your website is unable to process a large number of visitors or does not provide sufficient speed for good responsiveness.
A recent study revealed that most customers do not like to wait more than 10 seconds to see their page of interest. Make sure that you provide this level of quality on a consistent basis. You can do this by reducing the size of the images on the website, using localised hosting options or optimising your pages for mobile devices.
7. Make Proper Geotargeting Choices
Even ‘born global’ companies may find it commercially ineffective to purchase impressions in multiple countries at once. You must thoroughly analyse your traffic patterns before applying any SEM instruments in order to show your ads in your primary areas of interest through effective geotargeting.
Maintaining a steady focus in this aspect is especially important for local companies that rely on offline sales and want to attract customers to their retail outlets. A person from China learning about your brick-and-mortar souvenir store in Greater Manchester and visiting your website does not represent high-quality traffic if you seek conversion rather than mere visibility.
8. Choose the Right Time
SEM mechanisms allow you to purchase impressions shown through Google AdWords and make their demonstration time-bound.
For a marketer, this means that you need to know the periods when most of your prospective customers are online and search for information about potential purchases. How can you find out the optimal time? Analyze traffic to your resources to learn both the location of your current visitors and the time of their visits. Then extrapolate these findings to the timing of your future ads.
Making your SEM strategy work can take time and money since there is no ‘best choice’ for every company. However, being unique does not necessarily mean being effective. Instead, we would suggest being both. On the one hand, you should be inventive with your use of keywords, backlinks, paid inclusion, and time-bound impressions.
On the other hand, you should also be tracking the effectiveness of every new idea or instrument. Make sure that you are applying it because it is effective and not because you have read about it from a famous SEO specialist or a popular blog. Besides that, even the most unique strategies can further benefit from fine-tuning and costs optimisation.