MediaOne SEM Agency
Use MediaOne’s extensive experience managing some of the largest SEM campaigns in Singapore to your advantage.
Engaging an SEM agency is not just about setting ads and letting the Google AI run its course. It is about high quality research, obtaining insights about your customers, strategising to help you stand out from the crowd. It is about getting you more clicks, more viable traffic, more engagements and more conversions.
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MediaOne SEM Specialists have decades of combined experience dealing with all the particularities of varied industries. So they have the ability to find sweet spots in order to get great ROI for you.
You will be appointed a dedicated SEM Specialist who will have the necessary creative and technical experience to get you that unfair advantage. While other agencies superficially pump in generic keywords which make no sense to your ads and offerings, MediaOne is well known in the industry for deep-dive research to capture terms that make sense to you and your clients.
Our Performance Marketing zeros in on what makes the most money for you by pin pointing profitable keywords, creating converting sales pages, smart tagging to bring important insights, and creating strategies which gives you the biggest bang for your buck.
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There are millions of brands competing for visibility on search engines, and it is now more important in the modern era to do online advertising and marketing. However, you should consider a wide range of digital marketing types to ensure the success of your digital marketing campaigns such as search engine marketing (SEM). To date, many brands in Singapore have tried to wrap their heads around SEM with little success. This is why they prefer to hire SEM agencies to handle all the activities involved in search engine marketing. With that said, we hope that these questions will shed light on what SEM is, what you can expect from SEM agencies, why you should do it, and how to do it right.
Search engine marketing is the process of marketing a brand using paid advertisements that appear on the search results pages. Essentially, digital marketers bid on keywords that search engine users enter when looking for products and services.
This gives them an opportunity for their ads to appear alongside the search results for particular search queries. These ads, which are also known as pay-per-click ads come in a variety of formats ranging from small text-only ads to more visual product listing ads (PLAs).
An SEM agency in Singapore works on your ad campaign and website to increase impression-share, clicks and actions to get more targeted engagement and leads. This includes keyword research, ad copywriting, ad campaign setup, campaign monitoring and optimisation, optimising the landing page.
The SEM agency will also guide you on the best type of ads to use for your SEM campaign to yield maximum ROI. They will then put your ads in front of potential customers who are motivated and willing to make a purchase.
When done right, none of the other digital marketing practices can come close to delivering results like SEM. For this reason, you need to hire a knowledgeable and experienced SEM agency to ensure that the ads are effective in growing your online brand engagement.
While they all work to ensure more visibility for your brand in the online platform, there is a stark difference between SEM and SEO. Search engine marketing involves paying search engines to display your ads alongside the search results.
SEO, on the other hand, involves using relevant content and keywords, without the need to pay search engines for visibility. This requires that you stay on the trends of search engine algorithms to know the best practices that will help your site rank higher on the results pages.
With that said, SEM agencies tend to double into both PPC and SEO practices since they are complementary. However, if you are looking for an SEM agency, ensure that you review their past works. Contact their current and previous clients and gauge how it is like working with a particular agency.
On top of this, SEM and SEO both rely on the proper use of keywords and this should be high on your agenda when choosing an SEM agency. The agency ought to have the resource and the capability to carry out proper keyword research and competitor analysis to ensure the success of your campaign.
Despite their differences, SEO and PPC are two sides of an SEM coin, and they each have their pros and cons. However, time and money are the biggest determinants in which strategy you should employ.
For example, if you have a hefty marketing budget and you want instant results, paid advertising is the better option. A professional and experienced SEM agency can set up a PPC campaign in less than 24 hours, as well as tweak it in real time to maximise your ROI.
On the other hand, SEO takes longer to realise results and a lot more work, which makes it more expensive when you consider the time value of money. With that said, constant search engine algorithm updates can affect the results of your SEO campaigns. However, if you are operating on a low budget, then SEO is the better strategy.
Wirth that said, the SEM agency ought to know the trends shaping the online marketing and advertising circles. Ideally, the agency ought to use a combination of both PPC and SEO, which will ensure that you dominate the search engines results and visibility on your niche.
While the choice of strategy depends on your overall goals, paid advertising will work best with high competition keywords that are relevant to user queries, while SEO works best with long tail and easy to rank keywords.
The agency ought to ask as many questions about your goals as possible to understand your business objectives and the desired outcome. Without this part of the process, the chances are that you will not receive your desired return on investment.
According to statistics from Google, it can take a high-quality website close to a year to scale up the search result rankings. On top of this, high ranking is dependent on undertaking several best practices and monitoring what your competition is doing.
With that in mind, SEM positions your small business at either the top or bottom of the first page. What this means is that while your SEO tactics might not get your website to the first page as soon as you want, you will get visibility by virtue of your ad is on the first result’s page.
You will need an SEM professional, and since small businesses are cash strapped, it is best to outsource the services of an SEM agency. With their experience and workforce, you will be able to generate revenues quickly from your online platforms and scale your business.
The good thing about SEM is that by applying the proper strategies and ad copies in place, you can expect to record sales on the same day. However, the SEM agency must do proper maintenance in order to attain the desired ROI on your SEM practices.
It takes many hours to master the art and science of combining different SEM factors to generate the best results. With that said, there are certain qualifications that you ought to look out for in order to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money when hiring an SEM agency.
Preferably, the team working on your SEM campaigns should be Certified Search Partners with Bing Ads and Google Ads. On top of this, they need experience with bid management, as well as creating and implementing PPC strategies.
More so, the SEM agency should have a team that knows its way around ad copy development and testing, keyword research, budget planning, and pacing, lead generation, landing page optimisation, shopping ads, and more.
The only way to ascertain the SEM agency’s competences is by contacting their current and previous customers. They will give you more insight into the professionalism of the agency as well as the results you can expect.
The cost of SEM services in Singapore varies greatly from one agency to the other. However, your preferred agency should work around your budget and deliver the best possible results.
Common practice has seen a majority of the agencies offer SEM services as part of a larger digital marketing package that includes SEO, social media marketing, content development, keyword research, and analysis, and more.
With that said the average PPC advert goes for between $1 and $2 for every click. On average, businesses in Singapore spend between SGD 3,000 and SGD 20,000 per month on paid advertising.
While paid advertising is all about paying for ads placement, businesses with the largest marketing budgets do not always win. They might have the financial might to create and deploy targeted ads using highly competitive keywords, but this will not translate to SEM success.
This is because the ads go through an ad auction process before they appear on the search results. To explain this concept, we will take the example of ad auction on Google Ads. The ad auction for a specific keyword takes place every time a user enters a search query into the search bar.
The SEM agency will identify the keywords they want to bid on and indicate how much money they are willing to spend to have their ads appear on Google’s search result pages, in order to participate in the auction. If your keywords correspond to the words or phrases in the user’s search query, they will be entered into the auction.
Not every keyword has an adequate commercial intent to justify it is displayed next to the results. On top of this, two factors determine who wins the ad auction; the maximum bid you have placed and the quality score of your ads.
An SEM agency, in this case, ought to ensure that your ad wins as many ad auctions as possible. This includes knowing the optimal amount of the bid, as well as creating high-quality ads that have proper commercial intent.
In Google Ads, quality score is the metric used by Google to rate the relevance and quality of the displayed ads. More so, it is used to determine your ad position and the cost per click. For this reason, you need to ensure that an SEM agency can deliver a high quality score.
It can do this by creating an ad that uses the relevant keywords, a good click-through rate to a high-quality landing page.
When done right, SEO will bring you a considerable amount of organic traffic to your site. However, search engines regularly update their algorithms and this will affect your organic traffic.
For this reason, SEM is the better solution to keep a steady flow of traffic to your website. For starters, user demographic is changing not only in Singapore but also across the world. What this means is that you will get fewer organic traffic as time goes by.
Besides this, an SEM agency will do keyword analysis to display your ad to a wider range of which will give a better guarantee of traffic to your website. Irrespective of the amount of site traffic, you need to stay on top of the game with professional SEM services.
The ads are available online until your daily budget is exhausted. With that said, a competent and experienced SEM agency will have bidding systems in place that will interact with search engines several times a day to ensure that the ads are visible to the right people.
However, several factors will determine how fast your ads daily budget runs out. They include
- Cost per click
- Competitiveness of the industry
- Click fraud
Preferably, the agency will choose the most relevant keywords for your business needs and bid on them for a monthly rate. For most agencies, if you have budget surplus, they will roll it over to the next month. On top of this, the agency should advise you on the best keywords to buy before launching your SEM campaign.
Only experienced and professional agencies will offer the appropriate tracking mechanisms to ensure that you know the performance of your SEM campaigns. For instance, the agency you settle upon should give you a monthly report that will outline the performance of the campaign.
This should include information such as:
- The number of times your ad has been viewed
- The number of clicks derived from your ad
- The number of phone calls you have received from your campaign
This is only but a snippet of the metrics you should expect from your SEM agency. Some agencies will have an online reporting tool that you can access 24/7. The tool allows you to monitor the most popular keywords, the day-by-day ad click operations, and the activity charts tied to your SEM campaign.
The use of negative keywords will make a huge difference in attracting the right people to click on your ads. It requires that you identify a term that is irrelevant to your campaign and add it as a negative keyword.
The result is that whenever someone does a search containing a negative keyword, your ad will be hidden from the results page. There are several benefits of adding negative keywords to your SEM campaigns including:
- They lower your overall conversion costs
- They increase the click-through rates
- Negative keywords are instrumental in improving your quality score
With that said, researching, and compiling an effective negative keyword list can be a daunting and challenging task. It is for this reason that you need to hire an SEM agency that is knowledgeable in your niche.
Before you add the negative keywords to your Google or Bing Ads account, you need to be certain of their irrelevancy to your SEM campaign. This will help you in identifying the correct match type that you should put in your negative keyword.
The SEM agency needs to understand and advise you on the match type you will use for your campaign. This includes knowing whether to exclude a specific term or any term that includes your negative keyword.
There are three categories of match types for use on an SEM campaign:
- Negative broad match – and this filters out any term that has a word or words of the negative keyword anywhere in the search query irrespective of the order with which they were entered
- Negative phrase match – will filter out the search term where it is included in the keyword in the exact order you entered it
Negative exact match – this will filter out the queries that are an exact match to your negative keywords
For the negative exact match to work, the queries cannot contain any additional words to the negative keywords, and it needs to be in the same order that you entered them. With that said, the SEM agency ought to study your business objectives and choose the right match type for your campaign.
After you have created your list of negative keywords, the next crucial decision is in identifying the ideal level to add them. As any SEM agency will tell you, you can add the negative keywords in three different levels:
- Account level – here you add the negative keywords to a shared library, and you can use them for a variety of SEM campaigns
- Negative phrase match – will filter out the search term where it is included in the keyword in the exact order you entered it
- Negative exact match – this will filter out the queries that are an exact match to your negative keywords
An SEM agency ought to know where they should apply the match types to ensure that the intended people see the ads. For example, if they mix up the negative keywords, you will have unqualified leads viewing and clicking on your ads.
Reports indicate that every PPC campaign undergoes some degree of click fraud. For some businesses, they experience it more times than others, but the bottom line is that you are losing money due to click fraud.
You would think that search engines would be making an effort to stop this action, but they do not. They make money from PPC ads, and that is why your best bet is with your SEM agency. The agency ought to have click fraud detection software.
The software will detect the people who are fraudulently clicking on your ads without making a purchase. By taking specific actions, the agency can stop this action and in the process save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
This is always a touchy issue since you have more control of your campaign when you hire in house experts. However, the trend in Singapore is that companies are outsourcing the SEM and other digital services.
Established companies have in-house personnel, such as a Digital Marketing Manager or a Webmaster, but they still end up outsourcing SEM services to a trusted agency. There are different factors to consider whether you should outsource or hire an in-house SEM expert.
These factors include:
- Business objectives
- The available internal resources and marketing budget
- Level of expertise
The biggest advantage of outsourcing your SEM services is that the agency will remain professional and emotionally unattached to the ideas. This will increase your chances of success and winning at the ad auctions.
Most small businesses are looking to get more things done on a shoestring budget. For this reason, they prefer doing SEM campaigns on their own by investing in training manuals and online video tutorials. The downside to this approach is that they usually end up using more money than professionals at an SEM agency would and with dismal results.
What they do not realise is that an SEM agency will work around their budget in order to give the best possible results. With that said, we will give you a proper quotation of the minimum bid you should make to ensure you get substantial returns on your investment. Contact us today for professional SEM services in Singapore.
What Is Google Ads?
- Google Ads, previously known as Google Adwords, is simply Google’s proprietary advertising platform. It allows businesses to create unique audience ads.
- A business can run ads on the Google Search network or the Google Display Network. Google Ads offer diverse targeting, bidding, and campaign options.
- In the same way, affiliate marketing works, the advertiser will pay only and when a visitor clicks on an ad.
- Google Ads, just like in the world of affiliate marketing, advertisers on Google Ads, pay only per results.
- You might ask whether Google Ads has any connection with keywords. Truly so, businesses must identify keywords that they intend to target. Based on these, a business needs to pay to get their Ads on top of the SERP pages.
- Google Ads run on search network; that entails pay-per-click advertising. Here, advertisers have to bid on business-relevant keywords to get the opportunity to display their Ads to users who key in those keywords on Google’s search bar
- On the Display network, advertisers have the chance to place visual, banner style Ads on websites affiliated to the display network. Quick fact: Google’s display network is accessible to 90% of internet users worldwide. That, right there, is phenomenal?
Does Google Ads Also Incorporate Pay-Per-Click (PPC)?
- Otherwise referred to as the PPC model, AdWords allow you to place bids on a set of keywords in a bid to target a specific market. That way, your link gets to show up at the top of the search results shown, thus instantly connecting you with prospective consumers with a stronger intend to purchase your product or service.
- Google Adwords also has other advertising models such as Cost Per Thousand (CPM) which is defined as also called cost per mille, is a marketing term used to denote the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage (source: Investopedia).
Why Is Google Ads So Powerful and Versatile?
- Google AdWords has greatly advanced within a short span of time to emerge as one of the largest advertising platforms in the world. This makes it an incredibly powerful marketing tool for small businesses, especially those looking to gain visibility in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) in the shortest time possible.
- Even better, the network boasts a friendly learning curve, simple enough to be understood by virtually anyone that’s willing to give it a whirl. Not to mention that it only requires a palatable initial investment, with a guarantee for instant results if done right.
- Understanding how the network works is a no-brainer. At the core we have a prospective customer searching for a product or service they’re interested in buying. In which case, the first place most of them are likely to turn to is Google search. They’ll simply enter their search query and wait for the search engine to work their magic and reach back with results and recommendations.
- As a business owner looking to rake in massive profits, AdWords allow you to place your business at the forefront of the results presented, which goes to increase the amount of traffic you’re driving, and to ultimately increase the number of sales you’re able to make at the end of the day.
How SEM Ads Could Help Your Business
Gets You Noticed
Search Engine Marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate targeted traffic to your website. Utilizing keywords as the medium, SEM isn’t just cost-effective but also a good way to reach out to people who may be interested in your product or services.
So, What Exactly is SEM?
In simplest of terms, SEM is a digital marketing strategy that relies on paid tactics to gain visibility in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
The objective is to drive specific traffic to a website by paying search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing) for ads displayed along with organic results.
Why Choose SEM?
It’s cheaper compared to other advertising options. You only pay when people click or engage with your ads. Plus, there are no monthly fees.
It’s highly targeted. You can choose the geographical location that you want the ad to be shown and the keywords that trigger them.
You have complete control over your spending and can stop or pause your campaigns whenever you feel like it. It also helps that Google offers a fantastic Ads product with excellent customer service behind it.
A few months of solid SEM will have your business website climbing the SERPs, and you’ll soon be on your way to building a strong brand online.
Where To Start?
First, it’s important to understand that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are two different things. SEM is a paid strategy, and it only kicks in after you’ve done some ‘free’ SEO to improve your site’s ranking.
To start, you’ll need to research the keywords that best describe your business or products and send them to us to check their popularity on search engines. Once we have this list of keywords, we can develop a good SEM strategy and structure your campaign.
We have all the tools you need to become an SEM pro and manage every aspect of your campaigns: Keyword research, ad group creation, managing bids, setting budgets, and creating ads.
Best Practices for SEM Campaigns
- Research Your Keywords: You should do this before you even think about your SEM campaign. Get an in-depth understanding of your industry and the keywords people use to find your business and products.
- Be Specific: Targeting is everything in SEM. The more specific your keywords are, the better your ad will perform. Don’t just aim for a high volume of generic terms; you should be targeting long-tail keyword phrases (3-5 words) that are highly relevant to your product or services.
- Keep it Short: The best way to go is to keep your SEM campaigns focused on a specific product or service. The shorter your ad, the more it’s likely to be clicked on and lead to a conversion.
- Make Sure Your Keyword Appears in Your Ad: This is crucial because your SEM campaign might not bear results if your ads don’t have your keyword as part of the title/description.
- Change it Up: Don’t be afraid to change your ad often. You can even add new campaigns and keywords to test different messages for the same product or service.
- Use Negative Keywords: Using negative keywords is a great way to prevent wasting money on irrelevant traffic. Having a negative keyword list in place means your ads won’t show for a broad range of irrelevant searches.
4 Key Benefits Of SEM
High ROI – SEM is great because you only pay when someone clicks on an ad or performs a search that triggers it. You can set daily budgets and stop/pause your campaigns whenever you feel like managing costs.
Visibility – Everyone who’s logged in to their Google / Yahoo! account will see your ads. Your SEM campaign will be targeting people who are actively looking for a service or product like yours; it’s the most targeted form of advertising.
Selectivity – Every penny you spend on SEM is completely under your control and can be stopped or paused at any time. It will also only be targeting people who are actively looking for a product or service you’re offering.
Ease of Ad Optimization – SEM provides detailed data on every aspect of your campaigns, such as clicks, impressions, CTRs and much more. That allows you to constantly refine your messaging and landing pages until you find one that generates the best conversion or ROI.
SEM Agencies Vs. Inhouse SEM Campaigns
If you go with a specialized SEM agency, you’ll get someone who knows what they are doing and can manage every aspect of your SEM campaign. The downside is that most agencies charge by the hour, which can quickly become very expensive if you have any in-depth SEO needs.
Hiring an in-house SEM specialist sounds like a viable option. You’ll have someone on hand 24/7, and they’ll get to know your business inside out. The downside is that you will need to be prepared to pay for their salary, office space, equipment and any training courses taken to gain experience.
Worse still, you might hire a person who just doesn’t cut the mustard. In this case, they might end up costing your business more in terms of lost time and money.
We believe the best option is to go with a specialized SEM agency because:
- They can use their experience to manage PPC as part of your marketing mix.
- You get complete transparency because everything is managed under one roof. There’s no head-scratching should you need new pages added or existing ones changed/updated.
They can also provide a “ready to go” package that works right from day one.
What To Expect from SEM Agencies?
SEM agencies will typically charge you a monthly retainer fee but for that price tag, expect them to:
- Manage your SEM campaign.
- Show you detailed reports of how your campaigns are doing or performing.
- Put together a strategy that works best for your business and is scalable over time. Spy on your competitors’ SEM campaigns (if necessary).
When choosing an SEM agency, be sure to look for a few key things:
- Make sure you know how often they will be reporting: It might be once a month, once every two weeks, or even weekly. It’s important to have good communication to ensure everyone is on the same page at all times.
- Find out if the SEM agency has SEM/PPC experts as part of its staff: That’s crucial because SEM (and PPC) can be pretty much challenging if you don’t know what you’re doing.
- Don’t sign any contract that’s too long or restrictive: You need to get out of the SEM agency relationship if things fail to work out for you.
- The SEM agency you choose to work with should be able to provide references from past clients: If they can’t, take it to mean that they can’t be trusted.
- How Much Does the SEM Agency Charge? Not all SEM agencies charge the same. SEM agencies typically charge a retainer fee that’s calculated as a percentage of your SEM spend. That is usually around the 5-10% mark, but some SEM agencies can charge anywhere up to 50%.
Why are SEM Agencies Important?
SEM agencies have a strong SEM knowledge base and plenty of SEM experience. They know what keywords to target, what messaging to use on your SEM ads, which SEM ads to run (e.g., Google Ads, Bing Ads), where to place them (e.g., Google’s Content Network), and how much you should be paying per click.
SEM agencies provide SEM management on an ongoing basis. They will ensure your SEM campaigns are always updated and adhering to the latest SEM best practices. They also take care of all the grunt work that comes with managing an SEM campaign, like optimizing your landing pages, updating metadata, and managing bids.
Types of SEM Agencies
Not all SEM agencies are created equal. Nor do they all offer the same services. Here are a few SEM agency types you may have come across:
- PPC SEM Agencies – these only deal with paid SEM campaigns (such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, etc.) and nothing else.
- SEM agency – SEM experts work as SEM marketers. They are in charge of SEM campaigns and making them perform well in the SERPs.
- Digital Marketing SEM Agencies – these SEM agencies can manage everything digital marketing-related (SEO, PPC, social media advertising, and more). They aren’t SEM experts, but they know enough about SEM to manage your SEM campaigns for you.
- SEM Media Buy Agencies – The SEM media team specializes in managing SEM budgets. They know which SEM tools to use and how to get SEM media buys at the best SEM prices (which, as SEM marketers already know, is important for generating a good ROI).
- Google PPC Agency – SEM experts who focus on pay per click (PPC). They work with clients to create SEM ad copy and SEM keywords for their Google Ads campaigns. They also build SEM landing pages for conversions and manage SEM keyword bids. They might also help you improve your quality score.
- Facebook Ads Agency – these SEM agencies manage your Facebook Ads campaigns. Their specialty is Facebook ads, and they know how to work around them to achieve the best ROI.
7 Signs It’s Time to Outsource SEM
If you want to know if SEM is right for you, consider these seven signs:
- You Don’t Have Time for SEM. Let’s be honest: SEM takes time. It can even take up all your time if you let it. SEM is a time-intensive activity requiring extensive SEM knowledge and SEM experience to get the campaign running smoothly. Since SEM agencies manage SEM campaigns on an ongoing basis, they know how to operate SEM accounts correctly.
- You’re Wasting Money on Low-quality Scores: SEM agencies are experts in Google Ads Quality Scores (and SEM in general). Come to think about it: it takes time to build up SEM history, SEM link building, and SEM campaigns. A bad score (QS) can be a sign that you’re wasting money on SEM.
- You’re Not Getting Enough Sales: SEM agencies have experience with different SEM campaigns, SEM account structures, and SEM keywords to know what works and what doesn’t. If you’re not getting enough from your SEM campaign, then you might want to outsource it to an agency that knows what they’re doing.
- Your Keyword Research Skills Aren’t Up to Snuff: SEM experts know where to find the best keywords for SEM campaigns and which ones are worth bidding on (and which are not). They also know how to build SEM accounts around keyword lists.
- Your SEM account Structure is Inefficient: SEM agencies have a solid SEM account strategy that they follow for every SEM campaign and client they manage. They have the required SEM knowledge to create great SEM account structures, so you don’t have to waste time figuring one out yourself.
- You Don’t Know What Works: SEM agencies don’t rely on one tool or one SEM management method – they use a variety of different SEM strategies, tools, and techniques depending on what SEM campaign they’re running. They’re always learning and perfecting how they run their SEM campaigns.
- You have low-quality SEM content: SEM experts know how to create great SEM content tailored around your target audience and search intent (what they are searching for). They also know how to link SEM content to landing pages for the best results.
7 Common SEM Mistakes People Make
When your SEM campaign isn’t working, your agency will do everything it can to make it work. But there are times when SEM just isn’t enough. SEM is a vital part of the marketing mix, but for your SEM campaign to achieve great results, you need to avoid these common SEM mistakes:
- You’re Targeting the Wrong Audience. If your business is selling something that not many people are searching for, SEM won’t work. SEM only works if your target customers are actively looking for what you’re selling on the Internet.
- Poor SEM Account Structure – An SEM expert has to consider all aspects of your SEM campaigns when designing an SEM account that works. They know how to create SEM account structures that can increase your SEM ROI.
- You’re Targeting the Wrong keywords/ad text — SEM only works if SEM keywords and SEM ad texts are closely related (if they’re not spot on, it won’t convert). SEM experts know which keywords work for SEM campaigns. They also know which ad texts can get you the most SEM conversions.
- Misusing SEM PPC Keywords – SEM agencies know the best keywords and how to use them in SEM campaigns for the best results. They also monitor SEM keyword performance closely and adjust them accordingly when necessary.
- Poor Link Building – SEM experts know the best SEM strategies and tools for link building. They also know how to build links and make them count towards ranking your SEM campaign higher in the SERPs.
- Low-Quality SEM Content – SEM experts have access to the best SEM content creation tools on the market because their content is tailored around your target audience and SEO goals. If you create your SEM content in-house, an agency will help you polish it for even better results.
- Not Paying Attention to SEM Quality Scores – SEM experts monitor quality scores on an ongoing basis to correct problems and adjust their SEM campaigns accordingly.
- Not Using the Best SEM Tools on The Market – SEM tools can be costly. However, with an SEM agency, instead of incurring this cost alone, it will be shared among a long list of their clients. Meaning they do not get to experience the brunt of it.
7 Questions to Ask Your SEM Agency
When outsourcing SEM, here are seven questions to ask a potential SEM agency:
- What SEM strategies do you use?
- How does your SEM strategy vary depending on the SEM campaign you’re running?
- How do SEM tools and SEM content contribute to SEM ROI?
- Do SEM campaigns require link building?
- What are SEM quality scores, and how can I improve them?
- Why is SEM account structure important for SEM campaign success?
- How will my SEM campaigns be tracked and measured, and what data will be provided?
Asking these questions will make the SEM expert know you are serious about SEM. So, they’ll try to give you their best answers — which is what you want as an SEM client. In fact, the SEM agency may even throw in some free advice on how to improve your SEM performance.
4 Tools for Managing an SEM Campaign
Tools play an important role in running a successful SEM campaign. SEM experts use them all the time to manage their SEM campaigns and track performance.
They need these tools to improve their quality scores, speed up campaign execution, and get the most out of their SEM budget.
That said, here are four tools SEM agencies use to manage their campaigns:
SEMrush has all the features and functionalities you’ll need to plan your PPC campaign from start to finish. It pretty much combines the functionalities of so many other tools into a single platform.
However, unlike the other tools on the list, it’s not PPC dedicated. You can’t use it to manage bids or exclude certain keywords.
But if you know how to use it, it can be an excellent choice of tool for researching, planning, and analysing your PPC campaign.
Top SEMrush Use Cases
Here are four ways to use SEMrush:
- Analyse your Competitors’ Keywords and Ads Spend: you can use SEMrush to get an overview of your competitors’ SEM strategies and success.
- Research SEM keywords — You can use the SEMrush database to get hundreds of daily updated SEM ideas that will help you find new SEM opportunities for your SEM campaigns and follow your competitors’ SEM footprints.
- Track SEM keywords — SEMrush’s SEM Keyword Magic tool will help you generate thousands of SEM keywords in seconds. You can use SEMrush to track and manage your keyword bids and get daily reports on SEM performance.
- Create and optimize SEM ads — SEMrush’s Ad Builder is an easy-to-use web-based SEM ad planner. You can use it to create ads and analyse their performance on the fly.
SEMrush Pricing: The basic SEMrush package comes with a 14-day trial and starts at $119/month. It’s worth the investment as long as you know how to use it.
#2 Google Ads Editor:
Google Ads Editor lets SEM experts create, edit, and update SEM accounts in bulk.
Google Ads Editor Use cases:
- Manage SEM ad groups — Google Ads Editor has many features to help you organize your SEM ad groups. It has an SEM ad builder, keyword research tool, and copy generator.
- Update SEM accounts — Google Ads Editor can help upload banners and new text ads faster than most SEM tools.
- Track SEM keywords — Google Ads editor lets SEM experts simultaneously monitor and manage their SEM performance across multiple accounts. That’s something SEMrush lacks in its SEM toolkit.
Google Ads Editor Pricing: The Google Ads Editor is a free tool that SEM experts use to manage their SEM accounts, keywords, and ad groups.
#3 SeoQuake SEO Browser
When you need a second opinion on your SEM campaigns and strategies, the best platform to turn to is SeoQuake.
SEM experts use this tool to track SEM keywords, campaigns, and ads, all from the same panel. It also provides valuable SEO data like search volume for different keywords (which SEMrush lacks).
SeoQuake Use cases:
- Track SEM keywords — SEOquake lets SEM experts track SEM keywords across different SEM accounts and campaigns.
- Check SEM Rankings — You can use SEOquake to check competitor SEM rankings.
SEOquake Pricing: SeoQuake is a free browser extension.
Ahrefs is a must-have SEM tool for SEM experts looking to boost their SEM traffic and conversions.
Ahrefs SEM toolkit includes SEM keyword research tools, analysis tools, data explorer, and more.
Ahrefs Use Cases:
- Research SEM keywords — SEM experts can use Ahrefs to get SEM ideas using keywords, search volume, backlinks, and other SEM metrics.
- Track SEM keywords — SEM experts can track SEM performance across different accounts with just a few clicks.
- Analyse SEM rankings — As your needs grow, you might need more advanced SEM tools. Ahrefs SEM toolkit will come in handy then as it lets you track your SEM rankings, the share of voice, and links for over 600 million domains worldwide.
Ahrefs Pricing: The basic SEMrush package comes with a 7-day trial and starts at $99/month.
7 Important PPC KPIs Every SEM Marketer Should be Tracking
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the metrics you use to measure the success of your marketing effort, be it in SEO, PPC, SMM, SEM, or CRO.
SEM KPIs help SEM professionals track their SEM performance and make necessary adjustments.
Below are seven KPIs every SEM expert should be tracking if at all they want their SEM campaigns to be successful:
That said, here are seven KPIs You should be tracking:
- Clicks: Every conversion that happens on your site started with a click. They’re the ignition to everything that follows. As SEMs, we should be tracking clicks closely because they can tell us whether or not our SEM efforts are working.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): There’s a difference between clicks and click-through rates. While clicks on measure the number of people who visit your site, CTR measures the number of people who click on your ad and visit your landing page.
- Conversions: Conversion is the ultimate goal of every SEM strategy. The conversion that happens could be in the form of an online sale, completing a form on your website, making a phone call to you, or anything else that’s important to your business mission and success.
- Average cost-per-click: SEM campaigns run on keywords, which means your SEM agency should be able to tell you how much it costs for someone to click on your ad. For example, if the SEM agency tells you that it costs $10 for someone to click on your ad, this is your SEM cost-per-click.
- Lifetime Value (LTV): Calculating your LTV is complex, but it’s by far one of the most important SEM metrics. It measures how much money a single conversion is likely to make you over its lifetime. It focuses on retaining existing customers rather than attracting new ones. In which case, SEMs can use LTV to figure out which SEM strategies are most profitable in the long run.
- Number of Keywords: SEM experts usually recommend SEM agencies to monitor and optimize only a certain percentage of the keywords in their portfolio. Maintain that percentage, and you’ll notice your overall SEM performance increasing.
- Average Position: SEM experts should also look for an increase in the Average Position as this reflects higher exposure, better domain authority, and improved conversion rates.
Your Quality Score
Quality Score refers to a form of analytics that Google Ads use to tell advertisers whether their ad campaign will succeed or not. It’s measured on a 1-10 scale. Google weighs up the ad campaign based on the Ads, keyword, and landing pages. These aspects help advertisers to tweak to improve their ad ranking.
- Google ad relevancy to the search query
- Google keyword relevancy to your ad group
- The ad relevancy to its landing page
- The chronological ad click-through rate and the ad group
- Account performance over time
What is Ad Rank?
Ad Rank is a Google metric that the search engine employs to determine how search Ads will show up on the SERP rank.
That said, the ad with the highest rank will show in the first position, and the sequence follows according to rank
Do you think that the bidding amount is the only factor that determines Ad Rank? Well, other factors are:
- Context of the user’s search
- The Ad Rank thresholds
- Ad extensions
How Does Google Ads Charge?
Many Singaporean businesses invest in Google Ads campaigns. It would prompt you to ask how much does it costs to run a Google Ads campaign.
Subsequently, it appears that the amount you’ll have to pay for your Ads campaign is dependent on several factors, including whatever that you’re advertising.
Seemingly, ads purely pay per click. You are charged when a visitor clicks on your ad. Since the ads system is a live auction process, what you pay is determined by the level of competition and what they can pay for a click.
If implemented properly, Google Ads drive traffic to the site at a cost that is highly competitive compared to other advertising methods.
Since you’re a prudent business owner, all you need to do is to manage the ad campaign expertly. Lack of it can lead to unexpected costs, and you’ll end up with dismal traffic flow.
When scoping out what you be required to pay, it’s crucial to look at the factors that influence how much it’ll cost for every click. Some of these factors include:
- Click-through rates
- Maximum bid and position
- The average budget
- Keyword competition
- Keyword quality score
Also, you need to note that you could end up paying a huge amount id you’re targeting a high volume keyword that clocks big monthly searches monthly. It can range anywhere between cents and ten dollars for every click.
Google Ads Bidding Strategies
So, once you’ve identified your keywords and polished the ad copy, it’s time to let Google know what you’re willing to pay to get your Ads in front of your potential prospects.
You can bid blindly. As such, you need to follow ad bidding strategies they are:
It entails getting clicks on your Ads where the focus is to draw traffic to your website.
The strategy focuses on the number of times that your ad gets displayed. It’s perfect for businesses that want to build their image and brand name
Here, the strategy points to the customer conversion rate. It suits those who want to promote an already established offer to make sales.
How to Set Up a Google Ads Account
What’s the actual Google Ads account set up process like? If you’re a newbie, worry not. The setup process is easy.
There are two ways to go about it. You can create an Ads account using your existing Google account. On the other hand, you can create an Ads account with a dedicated Google Ads account.
Here, you can go for either of two options. The next step involves providing info such as time zone, location, and preferred payment preferences, eventually, provide billing information to enable the process.
- You can go for automatic payments that allow you to pay once you’ve accumulated clicks.
- You can pay when you exhaust your billing threshold-usually 30 days after your last payment.
When you go for manual payments, you’re required to pre-pay for the Ads. Your charges will be deducted from the pre-paid amounts. Should you deplete your pre-paid balance, your ad campaign gets suspended. You’ll have to make additional payments for the ad camping to continue.
If you think you’re done, pause. There are several other considerations to ponder over. Given that they’re critical aspects, you need to know so that you don’t skip them and mess.
Google Analytics Can Help You Get Greater Insights
Of course, you want to know what is going on as soon as the ad campaign starts.
This is where you need to incorporate Google analytics. The resource enables you to track and make informed marketing decisions.
Choosing a Google Ads Agency
If you’re too preoccupied to run the goggle Ads personally, there’s always a way out.
The answer lies in finding a reputable, credible Google Ads agency. But how will you know they’re the right fit?
The ideal Google Ads agency should be well versed in your niche.
They should know the dynamics of Google advertising.
Make sure that they’re not working for your competitors as well.
They’re Transparent & Truthful
Some SEM agencies are not transparent, and thus they do not give you direct access to the analytics of your Google Ads account.
You should avoid new or unreputable agencies because it is a crucial factor when choosing a good SEM agency to promote your brand.
Cooperation is one of the basics of a successful ads campaign, and thus both you and your agency should be on the same page on most critical issues.
You should choose marketing agencies that provide you with full account ownership.
That way, you will be able to access the entire history of your account and ensure that there are no hidden charges by the SEM firm.
They’re Google Certified and are Google Partners
Suppose a third party is to manage your resources or investment, rest assured that Google needs to see some credibility and accreditation.
A Google Ads agency that works with the back of the alley analysts isn’t a good idea.
Are They Experienced In Google Analytics and Tagging?
A Google Ads agency that doesn’t know Google analytics may not know what to track or report.
Well, they need to display proficiency using metric tools to read, weigh, filter, and give appropriate reports.
Getting Google certification is an important step in jumpstarting your career as a digital marketer, but it doesn’t necessarily make you a professional in the field of marketing. If anything, anyone can take the AdWords exams and get certified.
However, to attain the required level of expertise required to guarantee top results, you’ll be required to attain technical expertise in many areas, some of which may demand that you employ a rockstar staff with many talents and speciality in different fields.
So yes, start by making sure that the agency you choose is Google certified. But that’s just but the first stage of the vetting process that you’re required to employ.
Here are some of the issues you have to consider to determine how your experience with your advertising agency will work, and their probability of achieving your goals.
Dedicated Account Managers
When hiring a Google SEM advertising firm, ensure that you choose an agency whose staff work tirelessly to bring you the best results. Several firms hire other offshore workers or subcontractors and do not optimise your campaigns themselves.
The problem with this type of contracts is that there are extra levels of authority and barriers, which can slow down the process, making it inconvenient for quick reforms. This kind of partnership can be disadvantageous when you want to know what is happening to your account quickly because of poor communication due to the long chain of authority.
You should select certified agencies that have dedicated staff. Ensure that you are comfortable with the expertise and services of your SEM advertising firm.
Size of Agency
The famous brands are increasingly going for smaller SEM agencies to undertake their digital marketing processes because the large agencies lack innovation and speed. If you wish to progress faster than your rivals, you should consider hiring a small firm. Their exceptional expertise and personal connection are beneficial to your business.
The benefit of hiring a large agency, on the other hand, is that you can always get the marketing strategy of the whole company which has run successful campaigns for many different industries.
You should choose an agency with expertise in Google Ads with experience in marketing various famous brands.
Determine if the agency offering you their services has excelled the Google Ads certification tests.
However, certification does not indicate special competence – previous outcomes and experience are what matters most. You should inquire about the agency’s internal processes to learn more about their workflow and methodologies.
You should hire an agency that provides you with their internal workflows and processes for handling various tasks like optimisation, development, and communication.
Past Experience of The Agency
Most agencies choose to make the services they offer private. But that doesn’t limit them from having a portfolio or a list of companies they have succeeded in getting them tangible results through AdWords.
It’s however important that you take every case study you’re offered by any agency with a flat of salt, considering most of these case studies are created by the agencies themselves.
It is not always possible to list all the names of the clients in an agency, but it is advisable that they provide you with some insights of the businesses that had previously hired them. You could even enquire if they can connect with any current or past clients so that you can learn about their experience with the agency. Client testimonials are a good indicator that you can trust your agency.
You should look for firms that are experienced in managing large SEM accounts, received good client feedback, and that can bring you profits.
How You Receive Reports
The main aim of receiving reports is to ensure that the company is on the right track with its roles. You must observe the Google AdWords campaign results if you want to monitor the ability of your agency in increasing your sales. The agency should provide you with reports on a regular basis as per your agreement containing the critical performance indexes of your marketing.
You should hire an agency that uses analytics to improve their services, provides you with scheduled reports, and that can assist you with your more urgent queries.
Various AdWords agencies use different billing methods including flat monthly charges, hourly charges, and percentage monthly ad expenditure. These methods have their advantages and disadvantages.
You should choose an advertising agency that gives you value for your money. Make sure to agree upon a marketing budget to avoid runaway costs.
The Expertise of The SEM Agency
Good marketing agencies do not solely depend on marketing information offered by Google Ads. They acquire insights about your ads and your website while still monitoring Google Analytics.
Wrong google analytics can result in biased and inaccurate results. These errors can eventually cause immense loss of money and time. You should choose an agency that has at least one expert in the category of Google Ads marketing to ensure that your tracking functions well before starting your campaigns.
Do They Have Any Prior Experience Working a Company Similar to Yours?
Does the agency have any prior experience working with a company within the industry you’re in? If so, how well do they understand your market?
It’s NOT necessarily a must for the agency to have any prior experience working with a company that’s similar to yours, but other factors held constant, you might want to consider an agency that’s successfully managed to work with a company within your line of business – if NOT for anything else, then it’s for the experience they mustered during their working stint.
The Track Record of the Agency
Start by looking at the companies the SEM agency has successfully worked with in the past. Go ahead and ask about the experience they had while working with the agency. Did the agency manage to help them achieve their marketing goal at the end? If so, which step did they use to help them reach their growth goals?
Do this for at least three companies then use then feedback you get to corroborate case study you were issued by the agency before you can go ahead and make an informed decision on the agency to work with.
What KPI’s You Should Ask for
There’s a whole lot you can learn about an agency and the services they provide based on the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) they give.
Of course the KPI’s will vary, but more often than NOT, they’ll include the following:
Bad – when all the agency talks about are impressions, ad positions and clicks
Good – When the agency talks about conversion rates, cost per action and profits.
Best – when the agency focuses on real insights, digging in for measurable outcomes, based on individual needs and situations. They also try to come up with a customized plan on how they’ll be helping your business succeed instead of pulling in canned strategies and ideas.
The benefits of SEM lie in the Return on Investment, ROI it offers.
Good agencies generally focus on the significant outcomes they provide for their customers. You and your agency should jointly determine the aspects that are crucial in achieving your goals. If you come across an agency that just starts promising better rankings for your ads and more impressions at a cheap cost, you should avoid their services.
They don’t know much about how SEM campaigns can be used to influence your customers.
You should seek for agencies who focus on enhancing your ROI, revenue, and sales while reducing your hiring prices.
What Is a SEM Campaign: Strategic Guide on How to Build One?
We always talk about SEO and how much it’s changed in the past few years. But what about the other cornerstones of digital marketing?
I’m talking specifically about SEM or search engine marketing.
SEM and SEO (search engine optimization) are considered the bread and butter of digital marketing. While SEO is the art of drawing people to your website organically through things like content marketing and optimization, SEM focuses on the pay-per-click aspect of it.
Unlike SEO, SEM is inorganic – whereby you pay search engines to appear in search results.
Here’s an example of a paid listing in search engine results pages:
The “Ad” label identifies paid listings.
In the early days of search engines, PPC wasn’t synonymous with SEM. It was an all-encompassing word that included SEO, SEM, and Display Advertising.
Nowadays, SEM is narrowly focused on paid search, the process of buying ads that appear next to the natural or organic search results.
Why does this matter?
SEM is a great way to get your business in front of prospects actively looking for what you have to offer.
And when done correctly, it can be an extremely profitable channel for your business.
But there’s a lot more to SEM than just slapping up some ads and sitting back to watch the money roll in.
How SEM Marketing Works
Simple, you pay search engines a small fee to appear in search results that match your keywords.
When a searcher enters those keywords into a search engine, your ad may appear next to the organic search results.
When someone clicks on your ad, search engines deduct the cost of the click from your account.
As you can see, SEM is a fairly simple concept. You pay to have your business appear in front of people actively looking for what you have to offer.
In the beginning, developing an SEM campaign was more straightforward than it is now. You would pick your keywords and bid on them to show up in search engine results pages (SERPs).
But today, it’s grown to be a little more complicated.
For starters, you can no longer just throw money at Google without knowing what you’re doing.
The days of bidding on a few keywords and seeing instant results are gone.
To be successful with SEM, you need to develop a comprehensive strategy that includes keyword research, competitor analysis, and ad copywriting.
That’s where this guide comes in.
What’s the Difference Between Search Marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and SEO?
To better understand SEM, it helps to understand the difference between SEM, SM, and SEO.
Search Marketing is the umbrella term for both SEM and SEO. It’s a blanket term covering any tactic you use to increase your search engine’s visibility (whether paid or organic).
Search Engine Marketing
SEM is a subset of SM. It focuses on all paid initiatives to get in front of prospects or customers searching for your products or services. It includes PPC, Display Advertising, Remarketing & Retargeting, Paid Social (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), and Shopping Ads (Google Shopping, Bing Shopping).
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the second subset of SEM. It refers to all the activities that organically increase your website’s visibility in the search engine results pages. That includes optimizing your website for keywords, developing high-quality content, and building links from other relevant websites.
A Common Misconception
You might have read somewhere (in some dated blog posts) that defined SEM as “an all-encompassing term for SEO and paid search.” This is a HUGE misconception!
That’s because SEO and SEM are two different things.
They’re both under search marketing, but each has a different ball game.
SEO may influence SEM, but they’re not the same.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing
A key term you’ll frequently encounter when reading about SEM is “PPC.”
PPC is short for “pay-per-click,” and it’s the most common type of advertising on the web.
PPC is a payment model used by search engines and other online advertising platforms to charge marketers for ad placement. Advertisers pay for each click an ad receives, hence the term “pay-per-click.”
How to Run SEM Ads
Now that we’ve covered the basics of SEM let’s dive into the how-to.
First, you need to choose the right platform for your business.
There are a few different SEM platforms to choose from, but the two most popular players are Google Ads and Bing Ads.
Both platforms offer different ad options and features, which is why you might want to test both to see which one works best for your company.
Googles Ads Vs. Bing Ads
Google ads: Google ads is the biggest ad platform. It offers advertisers the ability to serve ads on Google search results (Search Network) while also extending their ads to other websites like YouTube (Display network) and Google properties (Gmail, Google Play app store, etc.).
Bing Ads: Bing Ads is the second largest search engine after Google. It offers a similar ad platform to Google but with a smaller reach.
They claim to connect 3 million search users that Google can’t reach. They also serve ads on partner sites such as MSN and Yahoo.
The 3 Pillars of SEM
There are three main components to any successful SEM campaign: Keyword Research, Ad Copywriting, and Competitor Analysis.
If you can master these three areas and develop an effective strategy for each pillar (I’ll show you how in a moment), then you’re on track to become an SEM master.
1. Keyword Research
Before creating any paid ad campaign, you need to do a little research and identify which keywords make the most sense for your business.
The more targeted and relevant your keyword list is to your business goals, the better your ads will perform.
That’s where keyword research comes in.
There are several different ways to do keyword research, but the most effective method is to use a tool like Google Ads Keyword Planner or SEMrush.
Google Ads Keyword Planner is a free tool offered by Google that lets you see how many people are searching for your keywords.
It’s pretty helpful in finding out how much competition exists. However, its data is limited and requires you to be familiar with Google’s search algorithm.
SEMrush is an enterprise-level solution that provides more robust keyword data as well as detailed insights into your competitors. It’s a powerful tool, but it does come at a premium price.
Types of SEM Keywords
There are four types of SEM keywords:
- Broad Match Keywords: These are the most general keywords and will match with any variation of the word or phrase. For example, the keyword “shoes” would match with “women’s shoes,” “red shoes,” “buy shoes online,” etc.
- Phrase Match Keywords: These keywords are more specific than broad match keywords. They’re somehow action-driven and match a phrase or sentence that includes the keyword. For example, “buy red shoes online” would be a phrase match for the keyword “red shoes.”
- Exact Match Keywords: A keyword setting that allows your ad only to show when someone searches for your keyword or close variants. Close variants factor in misspellings, singular and plural forms, abbreviations, accents, the removal and addition of functional words, stemming, same search intent, etc. For example, “running” would be an exact match for the keyword “shoes for running.”
- Negative Match Keywords: These are keywords you add to your campaign to prevent your ad from appearing for specific queries. For example, if you’re a shoe company, you might add the keyword “Nike” as a negative match to prevent your ad from appearing when someone searches for “buy Nike shoes online.”
When setting up your SEM campaign, you’ll want to choose a mix of these four types of keywords and use them appropriately.
2. Ad Copywriting
Once you know which keywords make sense for your business, you have to create ads that entice people to click through to your website.
The two main factors you’ll consider when writing ad copy are: 1) how to stand out from the competition, and 2) how to make your offer irresistible.
Standing Out from the Competition
One of the best ways to write an effective ad is to focus on what makes you different from the competition.
What do you offer that they don’t? Why should people choose you over everyone else?
Making Your Offer Irresistible
The other key ingredient to writing a compelling ad copy is making your offer irresistible.
People are bombarded with ads all day long. So, your goal with your ad copy is to cut through that noise and convince people that what you’re offering is [exactly] what they need.
One way to do this is to focus on your results by working with you. For example, what will they get if people click through your ad and visit your website? What will they learn? How will it improve their lives?
3. Competitor Analysis
The final pillar of SEM is competitor analysis.
That involves studying your competitors to see what kind of ads they’re running, what kind of keywords they’re targeting, and how their website is structured.
This information can be used to inform your own ad campaign and help you find new opportunities to target.
Keywords targeting tells Google or Bing where your ads will show. SEM targeting, on the other hand, takes things a step further.
It allows you to target people based on their demographics, interests, and even past behaviour.
That said, here are the three most common types of targeting:
- Location Targeting: You can target people by country, state/region, city, or zip code.
- Demographic Targeting: This type of targeting allows you to target people based on their age, gender, income, parental status, etc.
- Ad Schedule Targeting: You can target people based on the days and times they’re most likely to be online. For example, you might want to target people only during the workweek.
- Device Targeting: With this type of targeting, you can choose whether or not your ads will show on a mobile device, tablet, desktop computer, etc.
- Other Targeting Options: There are other targeting options as well. These include remarketing (people who have already visited your site), affinity audiences (segments of people based on broader interests), and in-market audiences (people who have already expressed an interest in buying a product or service like the one you offer).
SEM Terms You Should Know
To get started, you have to familiarize yourself with the SEM lingo. You can begin by understanding how some terms are used in SEM marketing.
Quality Score: Google hasn’t revealed how much goes into their quality score calculation, but we do know that it takes into account the relevancy of your keywords, ads, and landing pages to users.
Relevancy Score: The Facebook relevancy score is calculated based on how often people see your ad, click it, like it, share it, and comment on it.
Click-through rate (CTR): This score is the percentage of times your ad was clicked when it was displayed. CTR can be calculated using impressions and clicks.
CTR = (The number of clicks your ad received/the total impression (or how many times it showed up in the SERPs)) *100
Your CTR will be shown in the dashboard of your PPC account:
Bounce: A bounce is when someone clicks your ad, goes to your site and leaves without taking any other action.
It’s one of the most dreaded things that can happen in SEM marketing, and it’s usually a sign that your ad wasn’t relevant to the user or your landing page was irrelevant or poorly designed.
A bounce isn’t entirely a bad thing.
In Google Analytics, a bounce refers to a single page or single session visit. That means that the user only visited your site once, didn’t search for anything else on Google or other sites, and left.
It doesn’t matter how long the user stays on your page. If they left without taking any other action, that’s considered a bounce.
Bounce Rate: The bounce rate is the percentage of users who bounce. It’s calculated using page views and sessions.
If, for example, 20 people bounced from your site out of the 100 who visited it, your bounce rate would be 20%.
Why is Bounce Rate Important?
A bounce rate may or may not be a good indicator of the quality of your landing page.
And Google is smart enough to know when to factor it into your quality score.
However, if your bounce rate is high, it could be because your landing page doesn’t match the ad or keyword, or there’s something wrong with its design.
When a Bounce Rate Doesn’t Matter
Picture a business that relies on customers calling it for its services.
Whether or not a person engages with their site doesn’t matter as long as they make a phone call to contact the company.
The customer can order anything from the company without clicking on anything.
Google analytics may count this as a bounce, but your Quality Score won’t be affected. Google might even mark it positively.
That also explains why Google offers call tracking – meaning you could improve your quality score based on the phone calls coming in instead of relying on your landing page.
Ad Landing Page: The landing page is the page that a user sees after clicking your ad.
The content of your landing page should be relevant to the keywords in your ad group and the product or service you’re offering.
Your landing page should also have a clear call to action (CTA).
A good landing page is designed with conversion in mind.
Keywords: The keywords you choose for your ad group should be relevant to the product or service you’re offering.
They should also be high-traffic, high-conversion keywords.
You can research which keywords are best for your business using Google Ads Keyword Planner Tool and other tools like SEMrush and Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
In Google Analytics, keywords with high competition tend to be highly competitive, buyer-centric, and expensive.
dashboard of your PPC account:
Search Intent: The search intent of a keyword reflects the user’s intention when they type it into Google.
There are three types of search intent:
- Informational: The user is looking for information about a particular topic.
- Transactional: The user wants to buy a product or service.
- Navigational: The user is looking for a specific website or brand.
When choosing keywords, you should consider the search intent of your target audience.
Knowing the distinction between different types of search intent will help you write ads closely related to your keywords.
Your landing page should also be designed with the intent of your target audience in mind.
For example, if you use informational keywords in your ad, you should write an ad that provides information about your product or service.
If you use transactional keywords, you should write an ad that promotes the purchase of your product or service.
Ad Creatives: These are the ad variations you create in your ad group.
Google has advanced a great deal over the years to the point that they now allow marketers to create numerous different ad creatives to be served for one keyword.
Ideally, you should at least create three ads for each keyword.
Here are a few tips to observe:
You can start by looking at your existing ads. See if there’s any way you can improve them. Experiment with different USP’s and offers and see which ones bring in the best results.
Try changing the verbs in your ad copy. Use different representations of numbers. You can even include or exclude your brand name in some of your ad variations.
Look at your competitors’ ads and borrow a few ideas. Try mimicking some of the ads to see how it’s working for them.
SEM Account Structure
Now that you understand the basics of SEM, the next thing you want to know is how your account will be structured.
Before creating any more ads, you must understand the three layers of Google ads design.
Understanding the relationship between these layers will help you create organized, effective ad campaigns.
The three layers are:
1) Campaigns: A campaign consists of different ad groups that share a common marketing goal, like increasing brand awareness or generating leads.
2) Ad Groups: An ad group contains one or more ads, each with its own set of keywords and targeting.
A general rule of thumb is that an ad campaign shouldn’t have more than ten ad groups.
For example, an ad campaign targeting virtual assistants (Vas) can have two ad groups targeting part-time VAs and full-time VAs.
3) Account: An account is a top-level container for all your campaigns and ad groups. It’s associated with one email address, password, and billing information.
SEM Ad Copy
An SEM ad copy is a short text ad that appears as part of search results. It should include a call to action and an offer.
It mimics organic search results and can show additional information, like an image or ad extensions.
A standard ad has two headlines, a brief description, and a website URL.
Ad copy should be brief, clear, and concise. It should also include a call to action (i.e., “click here to learn more,” “shop now,” etc.) and an offer.
SEM ads also have different ad formats, which allow you to show additional information, like a product carousel, image, callout, and site link.
You can also add:
- Sitelink extensions
- Callout extensions
- Price extensions
- Call extensions
- Location extensions
- Message extensions
- Structured snippet extensions
- Advertiser ratings
SEM Ad Auction
Setting up an SEM ad comes with no guarantees.
You’re essentially bidding against other advertisers for a spot in search engine results.
The auction takes place behind the scenes, so you won’t know who’s bidding or how much they’re spending.
SEM platforms have a built-in system that determines when and where your ads will show.
It’s based on a combination of quality and bid price. How much you’re willing to pay determines which positions you can get.
Higher bids lead to higher positions in search results, while lower bids lead to lower positions.
It’s through the auction that Google determines your ad rank, based on the following three key factors:
- Maximum Bid: This is the most you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad.
- Quality Score: This is a metric that Google uses to measure your ad’s relevance to a person’s search. There’s no straightforward formula for calculating your ad’s Quality Score. But some people believe it’s calculated based on click-through rate, keyword relevance, landing page relevance, and historical ad performance.
- Ad Rank: This is a combination of your bid and quality score, and it’s what determines your ad placement. The higher your ad rank, the higher your ad placement.
These three factors work together to determine your ad placement.
The higher your quality score, the lower your CPC will be.
Generally speaking, the auction process is continuous and self-adjusting. Higher-performing ads move up in position while underperforming ads move down.
Since ad rank is directly related to quality score and max bid, it’s in your best interest to optimize your ad for these two factors.
Ad Rank = Max Bid (CPC) x Quality Score
The main takeaway is that brands with high-quality scores receive better ad placements and pay less than brands with low-quality scores.
SEM Best Practices
Now that you understand how to set up an SEM account; so how about we show you how to optimize your campaign performance.
There are a few best practices you should keep in mind:
1. Know Your Target Audience
In a survey conducted by the CMO Council, 43% of marketers stated that personalization drives conversion.
Autopilot’s finding agrees with this study by revealing that consumers are four times more likely to respond to a personalized offer than a generic one.
The more you know about your target audience, the more effective your ads will be.
Don’t just settle for demographics and interests; build buyer personas so you can create laser-focused ad campaigns based on their unique needs and goals.
The data that can help you personalize your offer include:
- Geographic location
- Age group
- Day of the week that they’re most active
- Time of the day that they’re most active
- Device they use
- Detailed buyer personas
2. Use the Right Keywords
You can start by creating a list of keywords related to your product and your target audience.
Think of all the keywords related to your product, like “facial cleanser,” “skincare line,” and “anti-aging products.
Use Google ads keyword planner to validate your keyword list. The three things you want to look at are the search volume, competition level, and suggested bids.
Search volume tells you how many people are searching for that particular keyword.
The competition level determines the difficulty of ranking high on search engine results pages.
The suggested bid is the average amount of money advertisers bid on that specific keyword.
The keyword planner will also provide a list of suggested keywords.
Once you have a list of keywords, use them to create ad groups.
Grouping related keywords will help you target your ads more effectively and improve your click-through rate (CTR).
3. Write Catchy Ad Copy
Your ad copy is what will persuade people to click on your ad.
It should be brief, to the point, and persuasive. The goal of ad copy is to convince people to click on your ad after reading it.
An ad copy consists of three key elements:
- Headline: The headline should be short yet attention-grabbing. Try using a number or question.
- Description line 1 (SL1): This is where you provide more information about your product and what it does.
- Description line 2 (SL2): This is where you highlight the benefits of using your product.
Note that one letter is enough to change someone’s mind. For example, just including the word “free delivery” in your ad copy could increase your CTR by up to 50%.
In addition to personalization, you can also improve your ad copy by including your unique selling point (USP).
That’s what makes your products or services better than the rest.
Knowing your USP can help you write a compelling ad copy and attract more customers.
How can your USP Help You Attract More Customers?
Everyone has things they do better than most. You can use that to your advantage by highlighting your USP in the headline.
For example, if your product is all-natural, you might write “All-natural skincare products” in your headline to attract people looking for organic options.
Being specific about benefits rather than focusing on what your competitors are doing will help you stand out from the crowd.
Also, if there’s a pain point associated with what you do, mentioning it can also be helpful.
Lastly, you also want to add an image containing a human face on your landing page.
Highrise ran an A/B split test on this and found out that users responded better to these types of landing pages.
4. Your Account Structure
No one likes to fumble through a mess, especially when it takes away time that you could be spending to make money.
That’s why organizing your account structure can help improve performance by making everything easier to find.
You can organize everything in your account by compartmentalizing them into groups for better organization.
You can start by reverse-engineering your SEM account structure from your buyer persona’s path to purchase.
Once you know the steps, you can create ad groups and landing pages that correspond to each step on the path.
You can target users searching for your products or services or intercept those looking for your competitors’ products. You can also target users actively searching for your products or services or target those who don’t even know that your product or service exists.
Each audience belongs to a different stage in the customer journey, and you’ll want to target them differently.
Users who have never heard about your products or services
Users who are searching for your product or service offering. They have nothing specific in mind.
Users who are specifically searching for your brand or product
For example, instead of using a retargeting strategy, you can set up remarketing ads that contain product images and testimonials.
That is more helpful in getting people to convert because it looks like they’re making an informed decision.
5. Understand Keyword Grouping
A successful SEM campaign has five key elements:
- Ad group
- Landing pages
SEM campaigns feature at the top of the structure. Ad campaigns contain ad groups and keywords; each ad group contains specific keywords that you can use to target your audience for retargeting, branding, or informational purposes.
Your ad text should contain the keyword you’re targeting, and the landing page should be relevant to the keywords in the ad group.
When creating your account structure, think about targeting each stage of the customer journey.
Start with the awareness phase and work your way down to the conversion phase.
Singapore has about 4.92 internet users, and the number is projected to grow to 5.9 million by 2023.
With over 80% of the Singaporean population using the internet, online marketing is one of the most effective ways to market your business, boost it and stand out among your competition. With dozens of companies vying for the same cut, advertising online has become a necessity with search engine marketing [SEM] being one of the best ways to do so.
Internet users in Singapore 2019-2023
|Year||Number of users in millions|
What is SEM?
Search engine marketing is the practice of marketing a business via paid ads that appear on search engine results pages [SERPS]. Advertisers bid for keywords that users are likely to use during search queries, which puts the advertiser at an advantage for their ads to show alongside those queries.
These ads, also known as pay-per-click [PPC] ads, come in small, text-based or visual ads. An advertiser is not charged when their ad is viewed, but when they are clicked upon. Using the right keywords guarantee that you capture potential sales by reaching your target audience searching for your services and products.
SEM covers paid search advertising such as:
- Product Listing Ads
- Mobile search advertising
- Amazon ads
- Mobile search advertising
The biggest advantage of SEM is that advertisers can place their ads in front of purchase intent customers which no other medium can.
Source: drewa designs
Keywords in SEM
Keywords are the backbone of search engine marketing as they are what users enter into search engines.
As an advertiser, you should do thorough keyword research as part of your keyword management tactics. Use keyword tools to identify relevant keywords for your business and the probable keywords users use to search for products and services.
SEM Ad Auction
All ads go through an ad auction before appearing in SERPs. The auctioning occurs every time someone enters a search query into the search engine. Advertisers need to identify relevant keywords to bid on and state how much they are willing to spend on every click to be entered into the auction.
The ad auction considers some factors when placing ads on SERP and not every ad will appear on every search. The maximum bid is the most substantial amount you are willing to spend on a click. Quality score forms the metric basis of the overall quality of an ad. These metrics are calculated during the auction to determine the ad placement of which the result is an ad rank.
SEO vs. SEM
SEO and SEM are quite different and are often confused.
SEO is unpaid traffic, while SEM is paid search marketing.
SEO is most useful for the top-of-funnel traffic and usually takes time to rank on top of SERPs. SEM, on the other hand, is a more straightforward way of getting exposure to potential customers through paid ads. With the right keywords, and a perfect ad and landing page, benefiting from the SEM campaign is quite fast. SEM is a bottom-of-funnel kind of traffic.
How To Conduct Search Engine Marketing
Major search engines such as Google set guidelines for search engine advertising with the main modes of advertising being Search engine optimization and paid search advertising. SEO helps a website’s content rank high, while paid search advertising is about buying paid listings using specific keywords.
In most cases, you are required to have a PPC plan which enables you to see organic, paid, and free listings every time a user performs a query.
Learning the two types of advertising enables you to drive more traffic to your website.
Here is how you should conduct SEM in Singapore.
Set up a system to track your campaign
You need to have a system for your internet marketing campaign for it to be successful.
Consider the things below.
- Have a clear goal in mind for your search engine marketing campaign.
- Establish your budget. Put labour, tracking, PPC bids into consideration.
- Invest in tracking software to determine the success of your campaign.
- Select key performance indicators [KPI] to help you gauge the performance of the campaign.
- Establish the baseline of your traffic by tracking the statistics without the paid ads. Then compare every campaign against the traffic of your baseline.
Try out various types of paid search advertisement
You can pay for search engine advertising in several ways:
- Through paid listings that are often highlighted at the side, top, or bottom of search results.
- Content promotion used to advertise particular content.
Track your campaign severally
- Assign someone to track your campaign’s progress and evaluate it.
- Stick with advertisements that bear fruits
- Get rid of any unsuccessful campaign and stick to what works for you.
Hire a marketing professional
It is crucial that you have an experienced team that understands website structure and how it can be changed.
Do thorough keyword research
Find out which keywords can do well for your site. Conduct searches based on your most profitable keywords and monitor their relevance regarding your competitors. If the particular search is accumulated with what you offer, consider getting the larger share of the market.
Also, do some research on paid advertising and set up a PPC campaign using Google AdWords to determine how much you achieve in sales.
Also, gauge the profitability of your keywords based on the profit of the clicks you get. You can do this by comparing the profit you get per 100 visitors.
Have a well-structured website
Your links will only be popular and rank high on search engines if they are easy to access and remember. As such, include at least one static text link.
Include your keywords in simple URLs
Always include at least one of your profitable keywords on every page. Also, make your URLs as simple as possible before posting content to your website.
Use attractive landing pages
Create an appealing landing page that adequately addresses your visitor’s needs to increase the conversion rate. Landing pages are also ideal for tracking crucial search engine data to help you assess them on your homepage.
Create high-quality content
Invest in customer-oriented content that is of high quality to encourage your visitors to return to your site and the more popular your link is, the higher you rank on search engines.
Now that you understand what search engine marketing is, let us shift gears and look at how to find a credible SEO company that offers SEM services in Singapore.
Number 1: Pricing Model
A majority of the PPC agencies in Singapore charge clients on a per-spend basis. That is, the total cost of the SEM service rendered is dependent on how much you spend on PPC search engine marketing. One of the challenges of this model is that the service charge increases if you adjust your paid search budget upwards.
Don’t worry though, there are SEM agencies that have a performance-based, hourly, or flat pricing model. Request for information about the pricing model to know if the agency suits your brand and budget.
Number 2: Transparency
There are some SEM agencies that create a mystery around the type of work that they do for brands. They do not disclose how they achieve results. In some instances, they might silo your data off so you or your in-house digital marketing team cannot access it without going through them. The worst-case scenario is if they manipulate the reports to give you the wrong impression about the performance of the SEM campaign.
Such theatrics are meant to make the agency look indispensable to your business. Steer clear of any SEM services Singapore team that is known to use such tactics to generate more revenue from clients.
Transparency will ensure that your Singapore SEM campaign delivers the expected results. Ask each of the prospective SEM agencies if they will give you direct access to the reports, campaigns, and keywords. Go an extra mile to request a sample of client report, and to explain the process.
Number 3: Does it Add Substantial Value to your Business
As you debate with your team on whether spending money on an SEM services Singapore Company, ask yourself if the agency will be doing more than you are actually doing independently. Find out the additional processes and tasks that they do apart from relaying reports back to you.
The bottom line is that, an SEM agency is only worth hiring if they can guarantee results that exceed what you are actually able to accomplish on your own.
Number 4: Check Recent Projects Related to Yours
It is of paramount importance to check recent projects that the SEM agency has done that are related to yours. Look at the results that they achieved and ask them to explain how they did it. Contact the referees (companies that hired the agency to do SEM for them) to get a clearer understand of how they operate before signing the contract documents.
At this phase of the evaluation process, do not shy away from asking as many questions as possible about the project to understand the agency’s processes and work ethic. The reports and everything they tell you should match what the referees tell you about the project and results they achieved.
Number 5: Does it Rank in Google
One of the main reasons why you are considering hiring a Singapore SEM agency is to get more visibility on search engines by ranking for target keywords. If the agency does not rank well in Google, how are they going to help your site be listed in the first page of Google?
Number 6: Does it Focus Solely on SEM
Nowadays, there is a plethora of individual digital marketers and agencies that claim to specialize on everything related to digital marketing from PPC to SEO and SEM. Carry out an extensive background research to know if the agency specialise only on SEM or offers additional services such as content marketing and SEO.
The best choice for your Singapore brand is a company that offers SEM services and other extra services to complement the campaign such as SEO (search engine optimisation). Nonetheless, it should have an expertise and emphasis on SEM.
Number 7: How Does it Measure Success
Professional SEM services Singapore provider usually have one or more tools for tracking SEM campaigns and monitoring results achieved by each of them. Ideally, a successful SEM campaign is determined not only by the number of clicks an ad gets but also increase in conversion rate, traffic, and quality leads.
Make sure you understand the tools that the SEM agency uses to measure the success of a campaign before you make your final decision. More importantly, ask yourself if their notion of success resonates with your own. Think about the goals that you set when you started looking for an SEM agency in Singapore.
For example, if their idea of a successful SEM campaign in Singapore is improved Google rank and yours is ROI, you might not get the results that you were targeting.
Number 8: How Often DO They Generate and Send Reports to Clients
Does the agency offer real time reporting? Get to know how often they generate and send reports to clients to understand its reporting process. Graphs and numbers are not enough to understand the performance of the campaign. Select a company whose personnel will take time to explain the figures and metrics listed in the report.
It is also important to note that the amount of time it will take to see results vary depending on the medium used. Unlike other campaigns such as SEO, SEM delivers results faster. Desist from hiring an SEM agency that tells you will start seeing results after 2-3 months.
SEM Marketing Trends in Singapore
The best marketers are always on the lookout for new trends in SEM. As Google regularly changes its algorithms, it can prove challenging to stay at the top of the game. However, you can stay ahead of your competitors by learning the latest trend for SEM in Singapore.
Automation for everyday tasks is now a thing for marketers. Automation makes the search engine marketing campaign successful, and more marketers are using the smart features and automation tools for this purpose.
Automation is also a massive component of bidding and numerous bidding features target particular cost/conversion. It is no secret that automation helps businesses realize better results and failure to jump on board will find you lagging.
Click-less SEO accounts for half of the searches made today. It is how a user’s queries are answered with an answer box without having to visit a website in the search results.
While Facebook and Google are still kings of paid advertising, Amazon is steadily gaining ground. What makes amazon stand out is its unique ad features and the increasing number of users with purchase intent.
Amazon is an excellent platform as its sole purpose is to sell; hence it generates higher conversion rates.
SEO and PPC Integration
SEO and PPC are one side of a coin used to maximize results. PPC data inform SEO of the most profitable keywords for better ranking. SEO data, on the other hand, identifies the best keywords to bid on.
Brands that incorporate organic and paid listings look more dominant in the search engine result page [SERP]
Video Ads are gaining ground
Video marketing is now a big deal, and it continues gaining popularity since it can be used on social platforms as well. Video ads present extra chances to reach a broad audience.
Marketers often focus on ROI and forget about marketing, which creates product demand and brand loyalty. Segmenting tactics by goals to develop brand loyalty is becoming popular in place of trying to make each click profitable.
It is now easy to analyse the people you are advertising to. You can quickly know their ages, what sites they visit, which videos are popular with them etc. Use this information to target relevant customers.
Google local map and visibility
One trend affecting SMBs today is Google’s local map pack visibility. If you can elevate your business to appear organically at the top of Google’s local pack, it is one of the most effective ways to boost your business and earn free, qualified traffic to your website.
Voice assistants have had an enormous impact on SEM. SMBs should not shy away from making this investment as it helps your customers interact with you on the devices of their choice.
Google SEM Guidelines
To advertise in Google, you must follow the set guidelines relating to keyword usage, website linking, and the design of the advertisement. Google set these guidelines to ensure good user experience with search engine marketing, to ensure the success of the marketing campaign and to meet the legal requirements.
Ads that fail to comply with the guidelines are automatically denied.
Below is a brief overview of Google SEM guidelines you should know for SEM in Singapore.
Unauthorized Ad Content
Unauthorized content may refer to services, products, or information that may not be advertised on Google. They include:
- Dangerous products: Google considers drugs, drug paraphernalia, and altered substances as dangerous products. Ads containing such content are rejected. The ban also extends to explosives, ammunition and weapons.
- Fake products: unauthorized logos or brand names are considered fraudulent and hence rejected.
- Ads that promote dishonest actions: ads such as those that advertise for counterfeit services or documents are rejected.
- Inappropriate content: ads that contain sexual, religious/political intolerance, hate messages, etc. are prohibited.
Restricted permitted content
Some ads are considered sensitive and are restricted to a particular location or group. They must also meet specific requirements.
- Adult content: adult content such as sexually suggestive content must comply with the set laws of the target country.
- Alcoholic beverages: alcoholic beverages ads must comply with the legal requirements and standards of the target country.
- Copyrighted content: Google restricts copyrighted material and you must provide evidence that you are the owner or have proper authorization.
- Health-related content: respective restrictions to health-related ads vary by its nature and the country the ads run.
- Trademarks: trademark owners whose trademarks have been used without authorization can file for a complaint against the advertiser.
- Gambling content: any ad that contains gambling related content must be approved by Google and must comply with the regulations of the county the ad campaign takes place.
- Politically related content: any content of this nature must comply with the regulations of the countries the campaign takes place.
Unauthorized advertising practices
All measures, which include misuse of irresponsible handling of user data, user misrepresentation, or advertising networks, are regarded as prohibited by Google.
- Misrepresentation: advertisers are prohibited from concealing important information about services or products to prevent users from feeling misled by the ads.
- Misuse of advertising networks: harmful or content that does not add value to users is considered abusive by Google.
- Inappropriate handling of user data: Any data that is collected without consent or data that is used for advertising to users directly is classified as abusive. E.g., using credit card information from insecure websites to analyse the financial condition of users is considered irresponsible data handling.
If SEO had a brother, his name would be search engine advertising (SEA). Two sides of the same coin, where each nourishes the other.
While SEO takes time to show positive results, SEA delivers instant gratification. And yes, the more you improve your SEO, the better your SEA gets.
A solid SEO strategy should contain a generous number of organic results, complemented by a healthy mix of ads from Google Ads and other ad networks.
So, in short, the two perform even better when they complement each other. But why is SEA so important for your business?
What’s Search Engine Advertising (SEA)?
Search engine advertising is the process of driving traffic from search engines through paid ads.
Google, Bing, and Yahoo control more than 90% of the global search engine market.
Before discussing why optimizing your presence on these three search engines is important, let’s discuss how it works.
How SEA Works
Google receives about 5 billion searches in a day, 98 000 searches every second, and 1.2 trillion in a year.
Every time someone searches on Google, you have an opportunity to lead them your way, either through organic means or paid search.
Ads fees are based on the pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-mille (CPM) payments models.
Google ads are the most prominent PPC model system.
Advertisers pay to display ads when specific keywords are searched with the PPC model. And, as the advertiser, you’re only charged by Google when someone clicks on the ad.
On the other hand, the CPM model charges advertisers every time their ads are displayed on their ad network. The CPM rate varies based on the targeted audience and traffic that the site gets.
PPC ads come in two types: Google Search Network and Google Display Network.
SEA vs. SEO
While both SEA and SEO aim to garner results, there are several notable differences between the two.
With SEO, it can take months to see positive results, while with paid ads, you only pay when your site is clicked on.
With organic rankings, people should be interested in what you offer and come to your site naturally. With paid ads, you have to target your desired audience specifically.
With organic ranks, nothing is guaranteed. With paid ads, you’re guaranteed a targeted audience.
Paid ads are more reliable when you need to drive traffic quickly.
Search ads are free until someone clicks on them.
With paid search, you only pay when someone clicks on your ads. On the other hand, SEO is an ongoing process and requires more time before you start seeing serious results.
So, how does it work?
When a search term contains a common keyword, Google may have several suitable ads to display. Usually, these ads are rated based on their relevance, with the top ones shown on top of the organic listing.
All this happens in a split second. Imagine a mini-auction happening inside the Google search engine system within microseconds all the time.
The criteria to deciding which ads show up where and in what order all boil down to a few factors:
- Your Bid (CPC) Amount: How much you’re willing to pay for one click. The higher your bid, the more likely your ad is selected.
- Your Quality Score: Google gives you a score based on your ad and landing page’s relevance to the keyword used.
- Your Ad Rank: Combines both CPC bid and Quality Score to determine where your ad ranks and how much you’ll pay per click.
Types of Ads on Google:
Google offers several types of paid ads, each with its own unique features and benefits. Here are the most common ones:
- Search Networks: Formerly known as Google AdWords, Google Ads are the most popular Google ads. They’re easy to set up and use, but they’re limited to targeting keywords and placement above or amidst organic listings. Google charges them based on the PPC model.
- Display Networks: Ideal for websites with large, high-traffic sites. This type of campaign lets you advertise on Google’s vast network of partner sites. Usually, they’re in image form and paid per impression (CPM).
- Video Campaigns: These are the 6- or 15-seconds videos that appear as ads on YouTube. They’re paid per view (CPC) or click (CPM).
- Shopping Ads: These promote your products on Google’s Shopping search engine. They’re paid per click (CPC).
- Discovery Ads: People using the Google search engine will see your ads as part of their discovery panels. These ads also appear on Gmail, YouTube, and millions of partner sites. They’re paid on a CPM basis only.
Goals for Search Engine Advertising
If you’re going to pay for ads, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of them. You have to make sure you understand what you’re gaining from them and where your money is going.
Here are a few good goals to consider:
- Drive traffic to your site or blog: When you’re paying for ads, you want to make sure your money is going towards getting people to visit your site and potentially turn into buyers.
- Drive conversions: If you run an eCommerce store and use paid ads, this should be your ultimate goal. Eventually, each conversion should result in revenue for your business.
- Driving phone calls: If you run a business that gets a lot of phone calls, free ads may not be the best option. Paid ads can help generate more phone calls for your business, especially when targeting specific audiences.
- Website Form Submissions: If you run a lead gen business, paid ads can help increase the number of form submissions you get.
- Increase awareness: If your business is relatively new and just starting, this may be one of your goals. Paid ads can help bring more attention to your company and brand.
- Increase in-store sales: If you’re doing eCommerce and selling products, this should be one of your main goals with paid ads.
- Growing Social Influence: Paid ads can help you increase your reach on social media sites by gaining more followers and increasing the amount of exposure your posts get.
When Should You Be Advertising on Search Engines and Why?
Google is the most predominant player in the search engine game by far, so it’s no surprise that most people choose to advertise on the site. It’s the most effective way to reach your target audience and convert them into buyers.
If you’re still contemplating on whether or not to advertise on Google, then here are a few instances when such a decision is a no-brainer:
- You Have a Small Ad Budget: When your ad budget is somewhat limited, it makes sense to take advantage of Google’s PPC model, which is low cost and easy to manage. If anything, these ads are the most cost-effective way to drive direct conversion. It’s only after you’ve mastered these ads that you can extend your PPC efforts to other networks.
- You Have a Limited Time Frame: If you’re running a sale or promotion and need to get the word out, Google can be helpful. You could resort to other channels like Facebook ads, but that would cost you more money and require more time and effort to manage.
- You Need Results Now: Almost everyone has heard of the importance of SEO in building a business’ online presence, but most people don’t realize how much time and effort it takes to have a noticeable impact. That’s why PPC ads may be the best fit for your needs since the results are almost immediate.
- Your Organic Traffic is Lacklustre: Despite all the work you put into SEO, organic traffic can still be a bit unpredictable. Sometimes you’ll get a long period of slow growth, while other times, it will pick up for a short while and then drop off again. If your efforts aren’t getting much traction even though your on-page optimization is good, then maybe you consider giving PPC ads a try.
- You’re a Newcomer: If your business is getting its first real taste of online visibility, then you might be better off going with PPC ads to improve that visibility and help build up some momentum. You can later switch to an SEO-first approach since it’s more cost-effective and doesn’t require monthly spending as PPC.
- Your Competition is Ahead of You: Even if your SEO efforts are going well, it’s a good idea to keep a constant eye on what your competition is doing with their ads. You can even use tools to spy on them and look for areas where you could outrank them and potentially steal traffic from them.
- You want to Generate Quality Leads: It’s much easier to generate leads by using PPC ads than with SEO. If you’re not well-versed in link building or don’t have the time to devote to content marketing, then maybe it’s best to focus on generating leads through PPC ads.
- You’re Selling an Emergency Product or Service: In most cases, people don’t shop from an ad that shows up on a search engine. They click the organic listings and only consider the ads if they need to. If you’re selling a product or service that’s more urgent, then PPC ads may be the best way to go since they will help bring in immediate buyers.
When Not to Use PPC Ads:
There are a few instances when you shouldn’t use paid ads, even if they fit into your budget. In these cases, you’ll end up wasting money and resources that could be better used elsewhere to attract more quality traffic.
- When the Bid Amount is Higher than the Generated Revenue: No business is so good that it can afford to pay more than its products or services are worth. If your bids are way higher than the revenue you make from a sale, then there’s no point in running those ads.
- When Competing Against Giant Brands: If you’re a small company offering niche products or services in an industry dominated by large brands, then it’s going to be tough for your brand to show up on a search engine. In this case, even the best PPC ads won’t help much since you’ll have very little visibility and can’t afford to pay anything close to what big brands do.
- When Your Organic Traffic is Satisfactory: If your organic traffic is doing well and your on-page optimization is good, you can afford to skip PPC ads since they would be a waste of money. However, make sure that the situation is as true as it seems before you completely rule out running PPC ads.
- When You Have Hours to Spend on PPC: If you have a day job and hardly any time outside of that, then it’s best to leave the paid ads to those who can devote more time and energy to managing them. It can be incredibly complicated, and there are all sorts of tools and tricks to learn to get the most out of your ads, so it’s best to leave them up to the experts.
- When You’re Just Testing a Hypothesis: Even if you want to put in lots of time and effort into running PPC ads, don’t do it just yet. You want to make sure you have a solid hypothesis before committing to PPC ads. Since you will be paying for your ads, every click counts, and you need to be sure that each ad is being targeted correctly before you pay for it.
That is not an area where you want to make any guesses or take uncalculated risks, so be sure that your hypothesis is spot-on before implementing PPC ads.
How to Know if Your PPC Strategy Is Working?
As you continue with your paid search efforts, there are some metrics you should watch closely at all times. These include your traffic numbers, CTR, CVR, and more.
- You’ll Measure Your Traffic Numbers: You have to know how many people come to your site through paid ads. You can use Google Analytics and other tools to monitor this and ensure that your efforts are paying off and bringing in the right kind of traffic.
- You’ll Measure Your Click-Through Rate: CTR is a value that describes how many people are clicking on your ads. A high CTR indicates that people find your ads relevant, while a low one means it’s time to improve or change your ad.
- You’ll Measure Your Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and Conversion Rate (CVR): Every click on an ad has its own value in terms of cost. You need to know how much each click is worth and whether the CVR is higher than your bids, indicating that you’re getting a great ROI.
Key Google Ads Benefits
Let’s try to break down a few ways Google ads may benefit your business:
1. Google’s Massive Reach: Google has elevated itself from a brand to a verb. People no longer search the internet. They Google it.
It’s the first place that people head to whenever they want to know something, and that’s because Google has worked hard to provide the best search experience possible. With over 90% of all web searches conducted on Google, it’s a must-have tool for your digital marketing campaign strategy.
2. Wide Range of Targeting Options: With Google, there’s always something for every business and prospect at every stage of the buying journey.
Bidding on broad keywords like “Digital Marketing Singapore” will show your ad to prospects at the early stages of the buying journey, allowing you to fill the top of the funnel with two simple techniques:
- Capturing your prospects contact information with a post-click landing page
- Building rapport with prospects through lead nurturing campaigns.
You can also use retargeting options to show your ads to people who have visited your website or even your competitors’ websites. The level of customization and targeting options is endless, allowing you to zero in on the best possible audience for your business.
3. Harness Intent: The biggest difference between the people you’re reaching with Google ads and those you’re reaching with other forms of ads is their intent.
Google ads reach people actively searching for something related to your product or service, making them far more likely to become a customer than someone you pulled from social media.
You’re advertising to people who want to buy instead of those who might be buying.
4. Full Control of Your Campaign All the Time: The best part about Google ads is that you can see and adjust your campaign at any given time.
You can easily monitor your ads and ad groups with the click of a button and make changes in real-time. This puts you in control and will allow you to constantly refine your campaigns, increasing their effectiveness with each iteration.
You can also make your ads more or less prominent, change your budget, or pause specific ad groups with the click of a mouse.
Flexible Enough to Accommodate Any Budget: One of the biggest benefits of Google ads is its versatility, especially when it comes to budgeting.
Google offers two types of advertising options:
- Search Network Only
- Display Network Only
If you have a limited ad budget – say only $100 per month – then you can narrow your campaign down to just search. This will ensure that your ads are being shown to people actively searching for things related to your business and services.
If you don’t mind paying for clicks, Google will allow you to bid on keywords in real-time with the maximum amount you’re willing to pay per click (CPC).
5. The Display Network: The display network is a completely different animal from search. We’re talking banner ads, interstitials, rich media, and YouTube ads here – an entire world of advertising options that allows you to reach a much broader audience at a much lower cost per click.
Unfortunately, the display network has a reputation for being overly complex and challenging to manage. If you want people to see your ad, there are so many options for placements that it can be difficult to pinpoint which ones will work for you.
Display and Search: How the Two Work Together
You might be looking at the two and thinking, “they both can give me a great option to collect all the customers I want to hit my sales goals.”
However, this only works when the two are combined the right way.
Display ads are great for branding, familiarizing people with your logo and name. They can help you generate leads for later use, allowing you to collect information like names and emails. Since display ads tend to be more passive, you need to ensure that your landing page is compelling and that people really want your offer.
Search ads allow you to go for the low-hanging fruit; those customers who are ready to buy but just need that extra push. That is why it’s best to think of your display ads as the appetizer and your search ads as the main course.
Mistake 1: Targeting both Search and Display with the Same Ad Campaign
The problem with this is that you’re not giving each of them enough attention. In fact, you might be wasting money by doing this since your ads aren’t suitable for one specific group.
To reap the benefits of search and display ads, you must target each with a different ad campaign. Figure out how to break the two campaigns into two separate network-specific campaigns.
You’re allowed to use the same keywords as long as you’re using them for different ad groups within the campaigns. For example, search ads can target customers who have been on your site and display those who haven’t heard of your brand before.
Mistake 2: Not Creating a Landing Page for Every Ad Group
Since you’re probably already making some noise about your brand on social media, take advantage of that by creating relevant landing pages. The more places people can go to learn more about you and the products or services you offer, the better.
Don’t just send people to your homepage or some other part of your website that doesn’t give them the information they’re looking for. Make sure every ad has a highly relevant landing page with compelling copy and an offer that will have customers racing to fill out their name and email address in exchange for something like an eBook, special report, or demo.
Mistake 3: Not Expanding Your Reach
It’s hard to get all the customers you want when your ads only reach a particular geographical area. Fortunately, there are some tools you can use to increase your reach and become available to more people in every corner of the country. These include geo-targeting and dayparting.
Geo-Targeting: You can use geo-targeting to limit your ads only to the people in a specific area. That is great for local businesses looking to increase their presence and ensure people in the area know they exist and what they offer.
Day Parting: This refers to tweaking your ad schedules so that you can run them when more people are likely to be using a computer. That might mean running them in the early morning or late at night, depending on your target audience and their schedule.
Mistake 4: Not Tracking Metrics
Tracking metrics is crucial. It helps you keep an eye on what’s working so that you can do more of it and what isn’t so that you can stop or tweak it.
To get valuable data, you have to keep track of the metrics that matter most. In other words, find out which ones contribute directly to sales and how significant each contribution is so that you know where to focus your efforts in the future.
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): This refers to how much it costs you to get someone to fill out their name and email address or make a purchase. The lower this number, the better.
ROI: This refers to the amount of money you’re making minus how much you’re spending on ads. The higher this number is, the more efficient your ads are. If you want to know how much you’re profiting, take the cost of what you sell and subtract it from your ROI.
Conversion Rate: This tells you how many people are turning into paying customers after seeing or clicking on your ads.
How to Set Up Google Search Advertising
You can start by following this link to open Google Ads. Click on “Start Now” proceeded by “New Google Ads Account.”
Next, you’ll be asked to select your goal. Choose a goal that best serves your business objectives.
Whether it’s to promote an app, drive traffic to your website, generate sales, or increase brand awareness and reach, choose a goal, and Google will provide a set of recommendations and features that can help you achieve the specified goals.
Google has been pushing advertisers to take advantage of their machine learning optimizations. This comes in handy if you’re a beginner advertiser.
Google also allows you to set a goalless campaign (the last option). This option will enable you to access all of Google’s features. It also provides more flexibility and customization opportunities for seasoned Google search advertisers.
After choosing your business goal, the next thing would be to select the type of Google ad campaign to run. Your options include Search Ads, Display Ads, Video Ads, Shopping Ads, and Discovery ads.
If you chose “Website Traffic” as your goal, you’d be prompted to enter your website URL, after which you’ll be asked to select a name for the campaign. A simple trick you can use is to choose a name that clearly describes your campaign theme.
Next, select your campaign network. Your network indicates where you want your ad to appear. With Google Search Network, your ad will appear on Google Search. For Display Network, your ad will appear on both Google Search and Non-Google Search sites like CNN.
We suggest you only choose “Search Network” for Optimal results.
Now go ahead and select your location. You’re also allowed to add multiple locations and draw a radius around any of the locations you’ve selected. For more targeting options, click on “Advanced Features.”
After you’ve selected your location, you can go ahead and set your budget and delivery method.
For delivery type, you’ll be presented with two options:
Standard: Your budget will be spent evenly over a given day
Accelerated: Tries to spend your budget as quickly as they can. Meaning, your budget may be depleted before the day ends.
The next thing would be to set up your bidding and choose your campaign’s main optimization focus:
- Conversion: The action you’ll be measuring when users interact with your ad: purchase or sign up.
- Conversion Value: The financial equivalent or worth of each conversion you get.
- Clicks: When a user clicks on your ad to access your page
- Reach: How many unique users have been exposed to your ad.
Tips to Boost Your Ad Performance
1. Use Different Keyword Tools to Find the Specific Keywords that Your Audience is Using: Use the Keyword Discovery tool to accurately count how many times your keyword has been searched online in the last 12 months.
Another easy tool to help you out with this is Google’s free keyword tool. Take the keywords you want to target and run them through Google’s free keyword tool.
You can also choose between broad, phrase, and exact match options.
2. Use Negative Keywords: When running a campaign, it is crucial to identify potential negative keywords so that your ad won’t be shown for specific terms. Doing this will save you from wasting money on irrelevant traffic.
Start by creating a negative keyword list, which you can use to identify specific words that should be removed from your campaigns. With the help of the Google Ads Keyword tool, include a list of possible negative terms and keywords that may not lead to conversions for your business on Google Search Network. Before running ads for your business, find the potentially damaging keywords to your ad performance.
3. Target Long-Tail Keywords: When launching a new campaign, targeting keywords that have been searched less is always a better thing to do. The more specific your keyword phrase, the greater the chance of finding an audience that would be relevant and most likely to convert.
Find the Perfect of Quantity and Quality: A good PPC campaign doesn’t generate leads. It generates sales. Figure out how to balance the number of leads you get and the average sale value.
You can start by setting up a campaign that targets a single keyword. Test the clicks, spend, and average CPC of your campaign to find a sweet spot in terms of performance and value.
4. Lead Nurturing: Use your landing page to build trust and rapport with visitors. In the world of digital advertising, creating awareness for a brand is no longer enough. You have to engage your audience and draw them into the sales funnel at every stage of the buying cycle. Be sure to incorporate a sign-up form or provide another means of capturing contact information.
How to Measure ROI’s of an SEM Campaign in Singapore
Online marketing has created a buzz over the last years with companies expecting to not only drive traffic to their sites and rank high in SERP but to have a good Return On Investment [ROI] for their online marketing campaign as well.
ROI is the basis of every business with every marketer hoping that their business will exceed the amount spent investing in internet marketing. ROI of Search engine marketing is not fixed and the amount of effort spent on online marketing will affect its outcome.
There are a couple of ways to measure if your digital marketing is working for SEM in Singapore.
Discovering which pages on your website have the most effect on visitors can help you know which ones need improvement. You may find that some of your pages drive a lot of traffic but still get a high bounce rate. You need to re-evaluate and fix any issues.
The table below is an example of a visitor’s activity on a website.
|Page||Page Views||Average Time Spent on Page||Bounce Rate|
|/category/fashion trends||6, 556||00:00:34||0.00%|
By persistently monitoring your visitor’s activity on your site, you can make any necessary changes to improve the conversion rate. Google Analytics is an effective tool for this.
Monitor inbound links
High-quality backlinks from different sites are crucial to Google’s ranking algorithm. Earning links from authority domains is a sure sign that your internet marketing campaign is working.
Therefore, increasing the quality of inbound links can drive you more traffic and result in higher revenue.
Here is an example.
|External backlinks||Referring domains||Referring IPs|
After 60 days
MajesticSEO is an effective tool for monitoring inbound links.
Goal setting and tracking
Google analytics helps in setting up business goals to track the website’s progress. While the industry will dictate your goals, growing your business to a particular size remains a constant goal for every marketer.
The table below is an example.
|Sessions||New sessions||New users||Bounce rate||Pages per session||Average session duration||Goal conversion rate||Goal completions|
Traffic from Organic Search
Organic traffic is a vital part of online marketing. You can drive traffic to your site using various strategies to improve Google ranking for relevant keywords. Using the right SEO tactics will see you enhancing your rate for organic traffic.
The table below is just an example of the figures.
|Channel Grouping||Sessions||New sessions||New users|
SEMrush online marketing tool offers a practical approximation of how your organic search is doing when compared to paid advertising.
Actual Revenue Generated
The accumulated revenue can shed light as to if your internet marketing efforts are paying off. It is one of the easiest ways to measure your ROI for SEM in Singapore.
Performance of Different SEM Ads in Singapore
For productive SEM in Singapore, key performance indicators [KPI] are crucial to showing if the online marketing campaign is working.
This is how you gauge the performance of your SEM ads.
Click-through rate [CTR] tells you the number of people who clicked on your ad. Calculating your CTR as well as improving it lets you track the success of your ad campaign.
Performing extensive keyword research and having a comprehensive understanding of search intent is essential for your ads. You need to monitor your keywords to see how well they perform. Take quality score, CTR, clicks, etc. into consideration.
Cost per click
Every marketer knows their set budget and approximately how much they are willing to spend on PPC. However, a predetermined budget doesn’t always work as planned as bidding depends on what your competitors spend. Hence, you will be required to bid higher.
Cost per acquisition
One crucial metric of Google is cost-per-acquisition, which KPI lets you know how much your ads are generating.
Quality score lets you know the relevance of your ad using CTR and other metrics to determine how well your ads satisfy customer needs.
A good quality score is often above seven.
How to Maximize SEM Efforts with Search Retargeting in Singapore
Search retargeting is the only effective tactic to achieving instant results from a display campaign in the most cost-effective ways.
Here is how.
Search retargeting structure
To get results to optimize your SEO in Singapore, you need a search retargeting structure to get results. Using relevant keywords, optimized strategies, and effective budgeting decisions should be crucial in your campaign for SEO in Singapore.
Move certain areas
Determine which areas behave differently in the retargeting and move the ones cutting into your budget to a new targeting. This creates a presence in your user’s minds on relevant sites.
Utilise what you have
Every marketer using SEM in Singapore needs the essential tools and techniques to capitalize on their SEM efforts. Start with SEM ad groups and optimize your keywords. For the keywords without proper presence, create a new group for them. These could be broad head terms or brand names.
Once your campaign has head started, getting data on keywords and sites giving the best results will be easy, and you can use this information to your advantage.
Take notes from search retargeting
There is so much to learn from search retargeting such as customer information. Information on keyword-level reporting can be used to test various approaches at lower costs targeting large keyword lists and gauging how your audience responds.
This kind of data also comes in handy when it comes to feeding back into SEM and SEO.
AI vs. Machine Learning: How it Can Benefit your SEM Campaign
Artificial intelligence [AI] and machine learning are common terms used in online marketing and you have probably heard of it in the course of your SEM in Singapore. While the two terms are often confused to mean the same, they are different with different impacts on search engine marketing and online marketing.
Artificial intelligence can mimic a human brain and perform diverse tasks such as understanding languages, recognise voices, planning events, and much more.
AI comes in two forms: weak and strong AI, with the former being the most common that are utilised daily. Weak AI is programmed to comprehend specific tasks and interactions and respond accordingly but doesn’t deliver the same level of human intelligence.
Strong AI mimics a human being more accurately and adapts to new experiences. It is capable of developing tactics and responses other than those it’s programmed to.
Machine learning is a component of AI used in digital marketing to process large volumes of data of a task to analyse. It makes it possible for computers to learn in the process of performing a task more so developing new programming.
Benefits of AI vs. Machine Learning
The two in digital marketing and SEM have different functions.
Both help marketers analyse large volumes of customer data to understand their purchase intent and needs. They are used in automation. Machine learning steps further to identify unique traits of the target audience.
Improving lead scoring
Machine learning makes creating predictive models to predict future trends possible. This boosts lead scoring.
Delivering well-timed messages
AI is very useful in decision making while machine learning delivers messages to the target audience in real-time. The tech relays ads to the relevant audience making message automation easy.
Improving marketing spend
Machine learning takes into consideration factors such as buying signals, consumer data, and more to allocate marketing spending. This prevents over-bidding.
AI in internet marketing helps to engage with customers dynamically. Chatbots also perform the same task using natural learning processing to understand the customers.
Top 10 Must-Have Tools for Monitoring SEM Campaign in Singapore
SEM tools are essential for any marketing campaign, and it is no different for SEM in Singapore. Tools reduce time spent on standard management tasks, meaning that you focus more on other things that boost your campaigns.
There are numerous SEM tools available. Tools that come in handy when you need to automate your reporting, set up keyword lists, monitor your optimisation process, to name a few.
Here are the top 10 SEM tools to use for SEM in Singapore.
Ahrefs is an SEO and backlink checker. It tracks backlinks, keywords, brand mentions, and competitors’ traffic to offer comprehensive intelligence data.
It also provides intelligence data enabling your users to improve their SEO, content marketing strategies, and link building. Its batch analysis tools allow you to compare numerous URLs or domains, including domain ratings, number of links per type, and more.
- Business Intelligence
- Collaboration tools
- Customisable reporting
- Data filtering
- Dashboard creation
- Data import and export
Ahrefs starts from $99 per month
Google AdWords allows you to create ads that appear in Google search results for specific keywords in certain regions hence driving more qualified traffic to your site. You can use the Google keyword bidding system to decide which keywords trigger your ad to appear and to appear higher in search results for popular keywords.
- Campaign analysis
- Automatic notifications
- A/B testing
- Activity dashboard
- Campaign management
- Content management
- Customisable branding
Google AdWords is free.
iSpionage offers reports for competitive analysis in paid and organic search. It shows the competitor’s paid search keywords including average search volume, cost-per-click, etc. as well as analysing their ads and landing pages. It also enables you to track benchmarking data during your campaign.
- Competitive intelligence
iSpionage starts at $59 per month
Keyword Competitor allows you to discover and monitor competitor’s organic and paid searches. It also helps you track daily changes in landing pages and ads as well as enabling you to discover competitors’ landing pages, ads, and keywords.
- Competitor analysis
- Keyword checker
- Keyword research
The keyword competitor starts at $29 a month and has a free 30-day trial.
Semrush provides analytics tools and reports to discover competitors’ activities in paid and organic search as well as display advertising. It also helps you analyse identify competitors’ keywords and ad copies.
- Keyword research
- Display advertising
- Advertising research
- Organic research
- Product listing ads
- Traffic analytics
SeMrush starts from $69.95 per month with a seven-day money-back guarantee.
Google analytics benchmarking reports allow you to compare your performance with industry data from other businesses. It uses various segments to enable you to focus on individual traffic channels. It also shows you different metrics including average session duration, bounce rate, and much more as well as enabling you to benchmark data at device, channel, and location level.
- Analytics intelligence
- Data analysis and visualization
- Data collection and management
- Data activation
Google Analytics is free.
AdGooroo provides visibility into every day’s paid search landscape, including competitors’ click-through rates, landing pages, ads, keywords, cost-per-clicks, and more. It also helps you estimate the competitor’s traffic volume and budget.
- Trademark protection
- Ecommerce analysis
- Marketplace analysis
- Campaign analysis
Contact to request pricing details and demo.
Adbeat offers dashboards reports for competitive analysis targeting contextual advertising. It allows you to see an advertiser’s text-image creative, image, flash, and text. It also provides dashboards on competitors’ ad network activity, trend lines, and much more.
- Advanced features
Adbeat Standard Plan starts at $249 per month.
SpyFu uncovers the competitor’s keywords on paid and organic search. It also allows you to discover competitors’ ad copy as well as enable you to eliminate low-performing keywords using historical data.
- SEO research
- PPC research
- Keyword research
- SERP checker
- Keyword rank checker
- Domain overview
SpyFu starts at $39 per month.
WhatRunsWhere offers competitive analysis data focusing on mobile advertising and display. It provides historical data in a span of four years with daily updates as well as helps you analyse competitors’ ad copy.
- Top brand and affiliate ads
WhatRunsWhere starts at $299 per month.
10 Critical PPC KPIs You Should be Tracking
Only a few of the visitors you get from your PPC campaign will be converting. In fact, if you’re achieving a 1-in-4 (25%) conversion rate, then you’re doing better than most marketers.
The thing is, not every lead you get from running a PPC campaign will always translate to a direct campaign conversion.
It could be that your potential customers came to find out about your product or offer through the PPC campaign, too early for them to make up their mind and decide if that’s what they need.
While conversion is the ultimate goal, it sure isn’t the only way to measure the success of your PPC campaign. There are other key performance indicators you may use to track the performance of your paid ads and make necessary adjustments on the run.
Here are the top 10 most important KPIs for PPC Ads:
Every conversion begins with a click. Someone has to find your paid ad and click on it to be directed to your landing page or website.
That’s why it should bother you when your ad gets so many impressions but no clicks.
This KPI is pretty simple and straightforward.
It’s a matter of finding out how many people clicked on your PPC ad. Come to think about it: there’s no point in running a PPC campaign if your ads aren’t getting any clicks.
Clicks are an excellent choice of KPIs for your mid-month account performance check-ups. However, they cannot work in isolation. To track your campaign success, you should use it alongside the other KPIs.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR)
This metric has an obvious strength – when people click on your ad, it goes on to confirm that they find it valuable and relevant.
Based on the number of clicks your ad is getting, you can decide on whether to boost your ads or pause your campaign.
At the base level, CTRs clue you in on how relevant your ad copy is, and with deeper analysis, it can also highlight your audience’s psychology for a better understanding of your audience personas.
By tracking CTR, you can find out which type of CTAs drive the most engagement. Are users responding better when you include a certain keyword phrase in your headline?
CTRs are an excellent way to increase ad relevance and drive your CPC down.
- Impression Share (CRM)
Impressions refer to the number of eyeballs your ad gets.
It doesn’t matter if they click on it. As long as they have viewed the ad, that counts as an impression.
Again, looking at the number of impressions an ad has isn’t an indicator of success, as it doesn’t show how many people found the ad effective.
Impression shares try to compare the impressions that your ad got and the impressions that your campaign was eligible for.
Impression shares = ad impressions/eligible impressions
Eligible impressions are calculated by looking at so many factors, including approval statuses, targeting settings, and ad quality.
Google has impression shares for ad groups, keywords, campaigns, and product groups.
Impression shares are good for analysing your competition. For example, with a 30% impression share, that means your competitors have the remaining 70%.
By increasing your impression share, you’re decreasing the number of times your competitors’ ads show.
You can increase your impression share by increasing your bid amount or ad budget.
- Average Position
Google has to balance organic and paid search results for every queried search.
Paid search results show at the top of SERPs, with organic search results appearing right under them.
The ad that appears first is said to rank in position 1. Right underneath it will be the second ad that ranks in position 2, and exponentially so.
Average position refers to your ad rank or the position it will be shown in the search engine result pages.
Google doesn’t always award the first position to the highest bidder. Instead, they award positions based on ad ranks.
There’s a formula for calculating ad rank:
Ad rank is calculated as the product of your quality score and your maximum cost per impression (CPM).
Ad Rank = Quality Score * CPM
Still, this is not the full story. You may find that your ad moves from position 1, 3, and 6 within a day.
Average position is still a vanity metric as it does not guarantee results. Don’t be surprised to find out that ranking in position 4 generates more results than even ranking in positioning 1.
The average position is good for providing context around your campaign. You want to find out how many results and conversions you’re getting by ranking in different positions.
- Quality Score
Quality score, as a PPC metric, is a bit abstract.
Google created this KPI to measure the relevance and quality of your ad copy. Quality score is calculated using multiple PPC metrics, among them:
- Your Click-Through Rate: Google takes into account your CTR and account history when calculating your quality score.
- Your Ad Relevance: Google will also check your keywords for relevance. They’ll analyse your ad text and the keywords you’ve used and determine if they’re relevant to the queried search.
- Quality of your landing page: Another important determining factor of your quality score is the quality of your landing page. Google will analyse your landing page for speed, user-friendliness and, most importantly, its relevance to the ad message.
Quality Score is calculated on a scale of 1 to 10, where 5 is considered the golden mean. In the same vein, a good Quality Score will range from 7 to 10. With a good quality score, you can still dominate paid search by paying less.
If your quality score falls below 5, you should work hard to improve your landing page and ad copy.
- Average Cost Per Click (CPC)
The CTR cannot be tracked in isolation. That’s to say, if it costs you a lot to run a single ad, then the campaign won’t pay off.
That’s why it’s critical to calculate the CPC and make sure you’re not running the ad at a loss.
Digital marketing stats indicate that the average CPC for Google Ads now stands at $2.69 across all industries.
Sure, that’s the number — and how much you’ll pay for each click depends on so many factors, such as your ad quality score and keyword competitiveness.
The legal industry has the highest CPC (at 6.75) and is closely followed by the customer service industry (at $6.75).
While the CPC for a majority of marketers ranges from $2 and $3, there are industries whose CPC barely surpasses the $1 mark.
|Industry||Average Cost Per Click on Global Development Network (CPC in US$)||Average Cost Per Click on Google Search (CPC in US$)|
|Dating and Personals||$1.49||$2.78|
|Finance and Insurance||$0.86||$3.44|
|Health and Medical||$0.63||$2.62|
|Travel and Hospitality||$0.44||$1.53|
- Cost Per Conversion/Cost Per Action (CPA)
This is the PPX metric that tells you whether or not your PPC campaign is profitable. It can be defined as the amount you pay for each customer you acquire through your PPC campaign.
Improving your quality score means your cost per conversion will go down.
In other words, a good quality score lowers your cost per conversion (CPA).
Your CPA will also vary depending on what industry you’re in.
In which case, the average CPA across industries is $48.96, with the tech industries having the highest CPA (at $133.52).
Calculating the average CPA is pretty simple. But there’s more to it.
In addition to calculating the average CPA, you should take advantage of Google’s targeted CPA when setting up your campaign.
This is a metric created by Google that allows you to automatically set your bid and increase your conversions based on your CPA budget.
Working around targeted CPA isn’t easy. You need a few bidding tactics to succeed.
- Conversion Rate (CVR)
Conversion rate doesn’t just measure your campaign success. Moreover, CVR is the reason a company may want to hire you in the first place.
Conversion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of clicks your campaign received.
CVR = total conversions/total clicks *100
CVR is usually expressed as a percentage.
If your campaign has a CVR of 10%, that means that out of every 10 clicks you get only one person converts.
Meaning, for you to get 100 conversions, you should be aiming to get 1000 clicks.
Conversion is the ultimate goal of any PPC campaign. Still, many marketers prefer optimising their campaigns for clicks.
That’s one way to go about it.
A better alternative would be to directly aim for conversions by optimising your ad for CPA goals.
However, before you’re allowed to optimise your account for conversions, Google requires your account to have at least had 15 conversions in the last 30 days.
- Budget Attainment
As a paid search marketer, you’ll be allocated a monthly budget for the ad campaign.
Budget attainment is the KPI that determines how close you came to achieving the ad budget you had set out to.
It’s one of the most overlooked PPC performance metrics, despite providing so much information on how to best manage your PPC campaign.
Marketers tend to underspend or overspend on PPC ads – and it’s all because it’s hard to keep up with the constant fluctuations in PPC auctions.
It’s a task that requires ongoing optimisation and oversight, with no machine learning to help.
The case we’re making is that budget attainment is a critical KPI that no serious PPC marketer would want to ignore.
- Lifetime Value (LTV)
Lifetime value is the indicator that determines your ability as a PPC marketer or the overall health of your account.
The formula for calculating your customers’ lifetime value is a complex one.
Retaining more of your paid-search-attained customers may mean more revenue for you.
Will there be repeat purchases? Does the bulk of your customers stick with you or do they hop right into your competitors’ arms after they’re done with you?
It’s measured by the number of days, months or years customers continued to buy from you after the first purchase.
The process for calculating customers’ LTV tends to vary from company to company. For large companies, you may be required to take into consideration the average customer lifespan, the profit you make on one customer, applied discounts, and so on.
The Best Time to Track SEM KPIs
These KPIs aren’t mutually exclusive. They’re always intertwining.
For example, the quality score will directly impact your ad position, while your ad position will directly impact your clicks and conversions.
That’s why it wouldn’t be wise to just focus on one metric and ignore the rest. The point is to try and identify the context behind each KPI and the information they have on your PPC campaign.
More importantly, while setting your PPC goals, it’s always good to remind yourself that there isn’t one particular standard way of doing this. Every business is unique in its own way.
You can begin by setting realistic business goals and choosing the KPIs that make the most sense to you or those that will best help you to track these goals.
5 Reasons Your PPC Campaign Isn’t Converting
While not every paid search click translates to a conversion, you should never be contented with a low conversion rate (anything less than 25%).
We’ve worked with so many clients to understand that users don’t just click on a paid search ad and walk away without converting. There’s always a reason they’re not converting:
- You’re Sending your Users to your Homepage or Cluttered Landing Page: Sending users to a cluttered homepage or landing page is the wrong idea.
For one, these pages tend to be unfocused. They’re full of items that distract users from doing what initially made them click on your link. Remember when a user clicks on your link, most of the time they’ll only be interested in doing what made them click on your link in the first place.
What you need is a dedicated landing page, with simplified messaging, and an easy form to fill out and contact your company.
- Your Website or Landing Page isn’t Mobile-friendly: You’re misguided for thinking most of your PPC traffic will be from desktop or laptop users. In a few cases, this may be correct, but if your business is service or product-oriented, then a majority of the users will be browsing your website or landing page via their mobile devices.
There’s no trick around this. You just have to make sure your website or landing page has been optimised for mobile – make sure the site is easy to navigate, read, place an order, and contact you on a mobile device.
Be sure to test all of its functionalities and features and make sure they’re all work flawlessly on a mobile device.
- Your Website Loads Like Molasses: Online users are anything, but patient. They don’t have the patience to wait as your site loads. If everything doesn’t feel like a snap, they’ll sure get frustrated and click back and try out the next link.
Confirming this statement is Google’s own statement that seems to suggest 53% of mobile users will abandon any website that takes more than three seconds to load. That’s how fast your website should be.
Adding to this statement is another study report from Forbes, which suggests that a 2-second delay can increase your conversion rate by up to 37%.
Simple. Learn to speed up your website and make sure everything loads in under 3 seconds, unless otherwise.
- You Didn’t Set Your Campaign the Right way or You’re Targeting the Wrong Group: The most challenging part of running a PPC campaign isn’t to get users to click on your ad, but to convert them. It’s easy when your ad is driving qualified traffic, and an uphill task when it’s not.
The default settings on Google or Bing Ads may not be ideal for your PPC campaign.
Here are a few ways your PPC settings might be jeopardizing your campaign:
- You’re targeting the wrong geographical region
- You’re targeting the wrong keywords – maybe the keywords are too broad, which is to say much of your ad spent is going to waste.
- You’re running the ad at the wrong time or day: If your ads generate a lot of clicks during weekdays, and none during the weekend, then it’s simple logic that you’d want to pause it on weekends.
- Your ad messaging isn’t completely different from the messaging on your website or landing page: Users don’t like getting baited. In other words, your ad and landing page messaging should both communicate the same message. Your ad should indicate what the user is likely to find once they open your landing page or website.
- Running the wrong campaign: You have to make sure you’re running the right campaign. The first option would be to just run a “search: campaign.” The second one is where you run a “search and display” campaign. But with the wrong settings, you might be wasting your money and resources running displays ads on websites that don’t align with your brand or marketing goals.
- Lack of Branding: Why do you think big fortune 500 companies invest so much in branding?
It’s because they know branding influences buying decisions. Just having a well-establishing brand is enough to make your customers ignore all the other options and consider purchasing from you.
In other words, converting a lead is a lot easier when the lead already trusts your brand or has ever heard or even interacted with it before. A virtually unknown brand will have an even harder time converting new visitors. The reason being online users tend to be less trusting of businesses they have never heard of before.
Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid
The world of SEM in Singapore and the rest of the world is a successful minefield, but it can also be very frustrating when the right strategies are not used. To succeed as a marketer in SEM in Singapore, you need to learn the common SEM mistakes so that you can avoid them and run a successful campaign.
Using the wrong keywords
Keywords are crucial in SEM for you to rank. When a user searches for something relevant, there is a chance that your page will show up in the results.
It’s vital that you do extensive research on keywords to ensure you use the ones likely to be used by users.
Confusing landing pages
When a customer goes on Google and clicks on your ad, you need to be sure that the landing page is well-organized and relevant. This will enable the user to navigate and find what they are looking for.
You need to make your website navigation easy and clear to reduce bounce rates. Consider using relevant page titles and make finding the search bar on your landing page natural.
Mismatched Ads and landing page themes
The most common mistake marketers make is having two different themes on their corresponding pages and landing pages. Your landing page should live up to the promises as in the featured ad to ensure better conversion rates.
Source: Lyfe marketing
You can go around this by using landing pages for ads or adding titles to landing pages. Alternatively, use the traditional thumbnail in the result pages.
Using different keywords on expensive keywords
Particular keywords drive higher traffic than others and hence their cost-per-click bids are quite high. These valuable keywords require you to bid on them using their exact match.
By using the exact keyword match, you won’t spend so much as you will only pay for the expensive keywords, and the clicks you get on your ads are mostly from potential visitors. That said, identify expensive keywords and use them as they are.
Not using distinct negative keywords
A negative keyword is any keyword that you want your ads to appear against. E.g., the keyword ‘free’ eliminates any non-transactional search term.
Negative keywords in the ad campaign ensure that your ads appear only in relevant search queries. You can avoid wasting money on underperforming terms to increase your ROI by using negative keywords.
Using the wrong metrics to analyse
SEM in Singapore and everywhere else requires you to measure the efforts. You must track the right performance indicators for your metrics to show you if you are going in the right direction.
Focus on getting links from high-performing websites instead of spending so much time on inbound links.
Paying flat fees
Setting a standard cost for SEM in Singapore is a huge mistake as the price you spend on each ad for a specific action can be very expensive.
Setting a single cost-per-action [CPA] means that you will be bidding more on cheaper phrases than you will on expensive ones. Therefore, do some research on particular keywords or phrases and be flexible on how you spend when measuring your efforts.
Targeting the wrong audience
Pay-per-click is very effective in generating customers when properly executed. However, targeting the wrong audience can halt your marketing campaign, and you end up losing money on paid ads without generating any conversions or leads.
Disregarding user intent
Using a specific keyword is never enough. It should match what a prospect is thinking. Throwing in a random keyword without taking into account user intent can be very harmful.
Proven SEM Hacks to Enhance Performance
SEM improves your website’s website on search engines by running ads that target those keywords that customers search for. SEM also touches on organic marketing.
With the right understanding of SEM platforms like Google AdWords and advertising tactics like PPC, you can incorporate some hacks into your campaign to boost its effectiveness.
Here are a few hacks to use for SEM in Singapore to improve performance.
Make Keyword research your starting point
Keywords are still superior in search engines, and with voice search swiftly becoming popular, you need to pay attention to semantic terms as well as long-tail keywords.
There are excellent SEM tools out there, such as SEMrush that enable you to generate lists of your keywords that you need to use before beginning your SEM campaign.
The SERPs should guide your ad format and copy.
Search queries are navigational, informational, or transactional. The manner in which display ads appear is majorly dependent on the queries’ nature. Hence, your ads should solely be based on the searcher’s intent, not forgetting the sales funnel as well as the customer’s journey.
Make benchmarks your friend
A lot of marketers waste about half of their money when advertising. The problem becomes accounting for this half. Take into consideration your Key Performance Indicators at the beginning of each campaign and watch every metric closely such as Customer Lifetime Value [CLV], Cost Per Click [CPC], and so on.
Also, be keen on these metrics’ averages and standards to ensure that your budget stays intact.
Monitor your competition
With SEM, you can monitor your competitor’s activities and use a few tactics to beat them. You can also go ahead and bid on those branded terms your competitors aren’t bidding on as well as yours to hinder them from gaining an advantage while spending little on it.
Have an expert write your ad copy
Marketers often make the mistake of writing their copy for the ads just because they understand the ad platform.
Don’t make this mistake. Instead, use a creative team to do the work for you, such as crafting headlines, graphics, and texts.
Make use of all the platform’s features
Some platforms such as Google AdWords often make changes to their ad’s display and structure. Extensions come up now and then enabling you to add specific information like the time-limited offer, phone number, and so on to your ad copy.
The search engine displays these features and it is wise to consider them. These features can also allow you to adopt multiple bidding strategies.
Create different ads for desktop and mobile
Online users make search queries from either desktop or mobile. Mobile queries are instant and are based on location, while desktop queries are more into information gathering. The cost of ads for these two differs as well. Therefore, let this factor guide you when creating ads.
Top 10 SEM Agencies in Singapore
Digital and social media marketing agencies are a booming business in Singapore. There are plenty of local agencies offering incredible digital services for the digital market. Digital marketing is rising in Singapore with many companies seeking external help from agencies to gain more exposure to boost their businesses.
While there are tons of agencies, we will only highlight the top ten agencies that offer digital marketing services, including SEM services.
MediaOne is a leading digital marketing agency that is also ISO-certified. The agency is awarded Best in Search and has served over 2000 clients since it was founded ten years ago.
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- SEO and SEM
- Reputation management
- Influencer marketing
64B Boat Quay Singapore 049852
+65 6789 9852
Active media is one of the earliest internet marketing agencies in Singapore. They also offer strategic ad campaigns on popular platforms such as yahoo, Google, and Facebook.
- Keyword marketing
- Strategic consultation
- SEO and SEM
- Social media marketing
51 Goldhill Plaza, Singapore 308900
+65 6235 6678
iFoundries is a top digital marketing agency that produces digital marketing solutions and web design services to growth-stage companies.
- Inbound marketing
- Email marketing
- SEO and SEM
- Web design
- Web development
10 Ubi Crescent # 02-51 Techpark, Singapore 408564
+65 6297 7751
Happy Marketer is one of the most awarded digital marketing agencies in Singapore. Since its foundation in 2009, they have helped companies through results-oriented and data-driven digital marketing initiatives.
- Inbound marketing
- Social media marketing
- SEO and SEM
- Website and Apps development
Guoco Tower, 1 Wallich St, Level 22 Singapore 078881
+65 6653 8060
Foretec provides highly focused digital marketing services for various clients. They are some of the best in the industry proof being in the ROI and client’s rankings.
- SEO and SEM
- Website development
- Online marketing
22 Sin Ming Lane, #06-76 Midview City Singapore 573969
+65 6460 0180
iClick Media is a certified digital marketing agency and is one of the few agencies that is certified by Google and Yahoo.
- SEO and SEM
- Web design and development
- Web analytics
- Social media marketing
246 MacPherson Road, #02-01 Betime Building Singapore 348578
+65 6362 0123
Innova is a full-service web development agency that provides comprehensive technology and design solutions to its clients.
- Web design
- SEO and SEM
- Content management systems
Singapore Post Centre Post Office P.O. Box Singapore 914027
+65 9366 9060
Biz Edge Consultancy
Biz Edge Consultancy specializes in many forms of online and digital marketing to help companies benefit from all the internet opportunities to boost their businesses.
- SEO and SEM
- Social media marketing
- Web design
- Lead generation
64 Flora Road #01-08 Singapore 506911
+65 8172 6968
Notion Age is a leading digital marketing agency in Singapore and offers hand-craft digital marketing services to brands and businesses. The team guarantees that companies seeking their services get the best return on investment in the marketing investment.
- SEO and SEM
- Web development
- Email marketing and EDM blasting
- Content creation and marketing
1 Kallang Junction Vanguard Campus Level 6 Singapore 339263
+65 6438 8303
Other Potential SEM Agencies in Singapore
SINGSEO was founded in 2012 by an ex-Googler and has grown remarkably to provide industry-standard SEO, SEM/PPC, web design, and social media marketing services. Among their teams are experienced experts knowledgeable in bing Ads, Semrush, Google Analytics, Google Ads, WORDPRESS, and ScreamingFrog.
Approach Night Owl if you need search engine optimization, Google Analytics, and issues relating to display. Night Crawl is currently working on projects of some of the most recognizable brands in Singapore including ALDO, ZUELLIG PHARMA, EZZBBQ, OMRON, AMBIENT, SIRS Singapore, Shinagawa Eye Centre, Singapore Productivity Centre, and the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore.
Ice Cube Marketing
This agency consists of hybrid marketers who combine the science of marketing and art in establishing SEO, SEM, and SMM for their clients. They provide free no-obligation digital strategy consultation to clients. In the free consultation, you’ll find out the best channel among Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Instagram; if a digital paid acquisition is great for your business; and how to maximize your online sales potential among other things.
SMMILE was founded in 2012 and has been empowering businesses across Singapore in matters relating to creative marketing strategies, cybersecurity, and digital solutions optimised to drive sales.
This is one of the top digital marketing agencies in Singapore. Their services include SEO, branding, SEM, SMM, content planning and strategy, social listening, crisis management, consultancy, and analytics. Carbon Interactive’s clientele includes Sentosa, One Faber Group, Changi Airport, National environment Agency, and Disney Interactive.
Clickworkz Solutions began in 2009 and has been offering laser-focused SMM, SEO, SEM, and advanced web analytic services. They also deal with blog marketing, email marketing, and web development. Their clientele list includes Ademo, CTC Travelers, Hairdreams, Divano, and CityGas.
Established in 2001, Convertium is one of the oldest digital marketing companies in Singapore. Besides SEO, SEM, and SMM services, they also provide web development and user experience design services. They’ve worked on projects of Bank of Singapore, Lexus Asia Pacific, Marina Bay Sands, NTUC income, and Shangri-La Hotels.
Hamsheta has been around since 2012, offering social CRM services as well as SEO, influencer marketing, SEM, SMM, social analytics, and social campaign services. They’ve worked for Fujitsu, NTU Ventures, Zii VueBox, Parkway Cancer Center, Swatchies, The Waffle, and StemCord.
If you want an agency that would help you build effective digital marketing campaigns as well as perform SEM for you, this ClickTrue would be the best choice. They’ve been in the industry since 2008 and now provide such services as lead web analytics, SMM, and SEM. Their clientele list includes Accenture, ACRA, MES Group, 3M, Efficient Systems, etc.
Construction Digital was established in 2010 to provide an array of digital marketing services including, inbound marketing, SEO, SMM, SEM, as well as mobile application development, and web development. Their clientele list includes Riverbed, Coast Cycles, Giant, Starbucks, Coast Cycles, and Tupperware.
De Mellows is said to make use of human psychology, web automation, and best practices to build your SEM in less than 24 hours and SEO in a matter of months.
Very much like brewing a nice drink, a great inbound strategy needs a mix of correct ingredients and processes for it to work and Brew Interactive does exactly that; they combine the right strategies, which have been working for them for the last 10 years, to establish your SEM in less than a day. Their clientele list includes Hitachi, JLL, Prudential, and Qatar Airways.
RIFF is one of Singapore’s top digital marketing companies with an international presence – they have offices in Jakarta, Amsterdam, and Singapore. They’ve been helping companies discover their own online marketing rhythm since 2009. The global team of RIFF Digital consists of over digital marketing experts with specialisation in such areas as SEM, SEO, and SMM.
Asian Trade Press
This is perhaps the oldest SEM service provider in Singapore. Asian TP, as it is often stylised, has been operating in Singapore since 1974, of course doing other things unrelated to search engine marketing. They’ve diversified over the years to provide a variety of online marketing services. Some of their previous clients include UBS, Williams, Fagan Company, Xerox, and Post Oak Capital.
Ate Ideas was founded in 2006 and has one of the best experienced digital marketing staff in Singapore. They’ve worked for Luis Vuitton, TWG Tea, and Unilever.
Ideaverse Network blends well with both new and old media. The provides most of the digital marketing services including SEM and SMM. They’ve previously worked with Street Deal, Billabong, and American Express.
The Future of SEM in Singapore
Internet marketing and search engine marketing are ever-changing.
What then is the future of SEM in Singapore?
Hot trends in SEM
SEM in Singapore will continue to encounter new search engine marketing trends. These trends help pay-per-click experts smarter and not harder for improved targeting. Implementing campaigns on social and search channels advanced ROI tracking, using the best performing social posts to craft search ads are all trends to watch out for.
More and bigger advertising updates
AdWords now let you add notes to Google’s Ads interface. Search Engine Land reported that these notes are now available, and you can create an ad note you want.
Keyword targeting vs. audience targeting
Targeting users using only keywords is a thing of the past. There is already an expansion of Google’s Remarketing Lists for customer match, search Ads, and similar audiences for search which marketers can use to target their audience on life events and demographics.
SEM Company In Singapore: What To Look Out For
Search Engine Marketing is the most practical, cost-effective, and efficient way to reach your target audience. Traditional methods had businesses invest in an ad spot. In SEM or paid search, you basically pay nothing for your ad to appear on the search engine for potential customers to see. You are charged only once a user clicks on your ads.
Over 90% of people the world over have gotten used to the habit of ‘googling’ or using search engines to find just about anything. Given the enormous audience and exceptional targeting capability of Google, dramatic results can be achieved in a very short time. Whether you’re a startup or a brick and mortar shop that launched a new website, the right SEM company can tailor their SEM services according to your needs, and provide them well.
Search engine marketing is the mastery art of acquiring the website’s traffic from purchasing paid ads from search engines. The paid ads give your site exposure, and you easily get recognized on Google. SEM advertisements incorporate PPC to help you reach out to potential clients who may convert. However, for a successful search engine marketing venture, you must purchase contextually relevant ads which resonate with the user’s searches. By doing so, your company will appear on search engines result pages to enhance the visibility of your content. Are you wondering how to advertise your content for enormous leads? Worry not since SEM company in Singapore has come to your rescue. Here, you will you can expect an exceptionally high audience turnout.
Here’s what to expect from the ideal SEM company and a good insight into how each aspect can help your business.
Competition lurks around every corner of today’s industry. The market appears to be crowded not just by businesses, but blogs, social media, wiki sites, and more. No wonder the best sites with the best services out there can become non-existent in the online world. A comprehensive analysis can gauge how strong competition is, assess the situation, and aid in formulating an effective marketing strategy to stay on top of your game. While Google is the market leader, a good SEM company never overlooks Bing and Yahoo! Search, and other channels which manage to maintain a large audience.
Seamless SEM Integration
Initial research gives the SEM company a better understanding and enables them to follow through with appropriate strategies, including:
Pay-Per-Click. One of the main objectives of SEM is to ensure your business is marketed to the right customers. PPC advertising increases visibility as ads are shown to people who are already searching for the kind of products or services you are offering. They are more likely to click on it to learn more, buy from you, or avail of your service, thereby traffic substantially increases.
Content Optimisation. A website audit may be conducted to check for technicalities such as page speed and links that need to be added or cleaned up. Expert SEM consultants have a broad understanding of how different pages are ranked by search engines. Content quality, accuracy, keyword quantity, and webpage traffic patterns are some areas that may have to be addressed.
Reputation management. SEM consultants can set up Google Alerts to notify you whenever your company is mentioned anywhere on the web, especially when it comes to complaints. Quick resolution of customer service issues is crucial in maintaining your online reputation.
Comprehensive Keyword Analysis
For a successful search engine marketing campaign, it is essential that you identify a pillar keyword phrase that is going to represent your business. Selecting an outgoing and mostly searched keyword builds exposure for your products and services. Conducting keyword research helps you outweigh the pressure that comes with SEM campaigns.
Hence you must identify the unique keywords that rank for relevancy and demand in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It is essential that you consider your audience’s opinion while choosing the keyword to represent your brand. Mostly, for your business to generate exceptionally high converting leads, SEM recommends that you use long-tail keyword phrases.
By this, you eliminate the chances of other misguiding keywords that the users might mistake for your product. You can also brainstorm your audience for ideas to use as keywords. After, you can compare the audience’s list with the search demand on the phrases.
Keyword research tools such as Moz, SEMrush, and Google AdWords will serve to direct you to the proper keyword phrases to use. Depending on the search volume of the keywords you attain, prioritize the most relevant keyword and that which has low competition. Providing contextually relevant content to your users is essential. Hence keyword analysis will help you settle on the most searched phrases. If your subject keyword addresses the user’s needs, they get more absorbed in your site. Hence more customers are converting and you get to stand out from the competition.
Tracking and Reporting Transparency
A successful campaign is not all about seeing an improvement in rankings but is also founded on traffic increase, quality leads, and boosting sales. Tracking all impressions and conversions will help you measure the value of your ROI and campaign performance. Clients should be able to see for themselves, track, edit and manage their own ad campaigns.
Data analysis and statistics monitoring offers a reliable way to determine which SEM strategies are working and those that are ineffective. SEM specialists may look at your current ranking, the amount of traffic, and which products or services racked up the most revenue. Numbers on graphs or tables are not enough though. Find a company that will take the time to give you feedback and explain the figures and key metrics.
Reputable companies take pride in their previous campaigns often supported by real-time reporting, credible ROI estimation, and stellar communication. So don’t hesitate to ask about what they did, how the campaigns were executed, and what the return on investment was.
When using your PPC advertisements, you must integrate a redirecting link to your main page, which is the landing page. It serves to determine whether your audience is converting or they are potential leads that will generate more leads. Thus, the architecture of your landing page should feature;
- Lead generation- From this page, you can get contact information about your visitors. You can contact them for a subscription to your services or offer them an eBook. Within the lead generation page, there is the sales page link.
- Sales Generation- Here, it is a call to action message. You can request your audience to enroll or purchase from your company
Flexible and Adapts to Change
It’s imperative to choose a firm that fully understands the changing algorithms and keeps abreast of the latest updates. You’ve found a good SEM company when they are constantly innovating to create unique solutions for you. SEM experts that they are, expert consultants remain open to collaborating with other web experts with only your best interest in mind.
They usually work with web designers to build an incredible website that compels visitors to respond to CTAs. SEM backed by SEO specialists to drive traffic and increase sales, web developers to give you the technological advantage, as well as digital content managers to increase customer engagement, will undoubtedly attain great outcomes.
Not only do the most reputable companies track your ROI, but they’re dedicated to increasing it. Sure, the whole point of your campaign is to get as much visibility as possible. You want to ensure that loads of people see your ad and then click through to view your website or offer. And you’re probably willing to invest whatever amount is necessary in order to achieve this goal. However, even if you attract a lot of new visitors, it is only beneficial if you actually see a return on your investment.
The most reputable companies understand the importance of making your ROI a top priority. No matter the size of your budget, SEM Singapore experts are focused on getting way more out of it than it is worth. This means that they do more than choose the most popular keywords, they instead find those that are most relevant to your business. Instead of thinking in terms of cost-per-click, they think in terms of cost-per-sale.
Crafts Enticing and Engaging Ad Copy
There is nothing more captivating than a well-crafted ad. In fact, if done well just one ad can lead to thousands of new customers. A great ad is usually the result of great ad copy. This is why it’s so important that you search for a company that is skilled in creating ad copy that is both enticing and engaging. The best ad copy can outdo even the highest bidders and search engine rankings. And this is a great way to stand out from your competition.
Your ad copy serves as the spearhead of your search engine marketing strategy. For an effective ad copy, your message must be an eye-catcher for the audience. Thus, it must be precise and carefully planned. Attracting the audience’s attention is not an easy task. Knowing that many people view ads as irritating and blocs them, you must then provide a compelling ad copy that integrates a call to action statement.
Use Google Services
One of the best ways to secure the top spots in Google’s search engine is to make use of Google’s services. This company offers several services which can give your business a significant boost and a lot of exposure. For instance, if you own a brick-and-mortar business, a reputable SEM agency will suggest that you sign up for the Google My Business page. This is an ideal way to display your phone number, hours of operation, and location. It also aggregates your customer reviews and allows you to engage with them. This has a significant impact on the way people view your business on all Google properties.
Committed to A/B Testing
The most credible companies will put a huge emphasis on A/B testing. You see, A/B testing requires you to simultaneous experiments two or more pages. This gives you the ability to find out which pages convert or perform the best. Once you have an idea of what works consistently, you can develop strategies that are more consistent and predictable. There are several benefits to A/B testing. It increases your conversion value, lowers your ad spend and helps to reveal other optimisation opportunities.
The most credible SEM firms understand this and that’s why many are led by their A/B testing. They don’t want to just stumble across a winning strategy, they want to record the steps that it took to get there so that you can continue to win. This especially comes in handy when testing your landing page. Many firms will do their best to identify a winning formula for your call to action, headline, images, and much more.
Landing Page Expertise
When using your PPC advertisements, you must integrate a redirecting link to your main page, which is the landing page. It serves to determine whether your audience are converting or they are potential leads that will generate more leads. Thus, the architecture of your landing page should feature;
- Lead generation- From this page, you can get contact information about your visitors. You can contact them for a subscription to your services or offer them an eBook. Within the lead generation page, there is the sales page link.
- Sales Generation- Here, it is a call to action message. You can request your audience to enroll or purchase from your company.
If you want to ensure that you are working with the right company for you, then you find out if they have experience with your particular industry. While there are many companies that can provide quality SEM marketing services, not all will have knowledge about your particular niche. One of the best ways to tell if the company has limited experience is by taking a look at its list of clients. If you notice that they tend to work with the same industry over and over again, then they may not be the right choice for you. However, if you notice that their list of clients is diverse, then it’s a good sign. A big part of SEM is knowing what resonates most with your target audience and this comes with experience.
Not every business is able to invest in a multi-million dollar SEM campaign. In fact, some are just starting out and need a little guidance. If you are launching a startup and are working on a limited budget, then it’s important that you work with a company that will cater to it. Specifically, you should be on the lookout for companies that do not compromise their quality based on how much of an investment you make.
Setting an ad budget is crucial for an effective SEM campaign. Depending on the SEM company you are using, you get entitled to a daily or monthly budget that gets your ads campaigns running. For daily budgeting, are subject to a daily fee that makes your content go viral each day. Similarly, to the monthly ad budgeting. Thus, until that time your budget gets exhausted, your ads remain to qualify for different auctions that target potential clients for your site.
Innovative Approach To Each Campaign
Due to the constant changes in technology and how they affect the day-to-day activities of SEM campaigns, you can expect the top companies in the SEM industry to provide you with the tools and resources that you need to be successful. From hiring the most creative technical staff members to implementing marketing channels that work, these SEM firms are familiar and well versed in numerous aspects of search engine marketing but are willing to try new things. For instance, these teams of SEM marketers are open to change including launching new betas and testing creative solutions to improve processes that need to be updated.
You must know the position your business has secured in the marketplace. Know your top competitors and what strategies they employ. Compare the results against your business and see what SEM strategies you can take advantage of to achieve your goals. With good research information about your competitors, you can build a solid foundation for your success. It is not about copying what your competitors do but rather, manipulating the information to stay differentiated from them. SEM integrates the information garnered from research to enable you to sustain a long-lived customer relationship.
You can benchmark, monitor your competitor’s progress by pausing as their client. At that time, you will get acquainted with their customer care service and compare it against your business to see what you are not doing right.
Strong Verbal Communication
When you decide to hire these professional consultants for SEM, you should pay special attention to the way each representative communicates with you. Because industry-specific terms and phrases may be confusing if you are just starting out, a clear interpretation of what is being said is critical. Therefore, when you are making your decision to hire an SEM company, you need to consider how well the company explains the work that they do.
Also, when you are trying to hire the best match for your organisation, you need an SEM company that will not give you complex answers to straightforward questions. You should also watch out for ramblers that go and on without saying anything that makes any sense. For instance, if you want to make sure that you have the best fit for your company, you need someone that will give you a thorough point-by-point analysis.
The best SEM companies are usually very ambitious when they are working on your SEM campaigns. This is the quality that makes these companies better than others in the industry. Not only are they devoted to hitting the goals that you have jointly established, but you can also look for them to be committed to achieving the highest standards possible.
Going above and beyond is simply what they do since they have a track record of success for anyone that they service. So, you want these professionals on your team to ensure your site is appropriately optimised for your content, an effective pay-per-click strategy is created and your online reputation is managed properly.
Importance of SEM In Singapore
According to a survey conducted by Singapore Business Review, about 4.83 million Singaporeans or about 87 percent of the population of Singapore used the internet in 2018. These figures are expected to jump by 8 percent by the end of 2019. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is, therefore, essential for any Singapore company that is keen on tapping into this ever-increasing web penetration in Singapore.
When done correctly, SEM can be a valuable tool in enhancing brand awareness which in turn leads to increased sales in products and services, generation of online leads, and reinforcing name recognition across the country. SEM allows you to focus on your target clients and avoid the expensive traditional marketing routes.
The Difference Between SEO and SEM
It is easy to mistake SEM with SEO but they aren’t the same, just related. SEO is the process used to maximise the number of users or visitors to your website by ensuring that your website appears high up on the results returned by the search engines. SEO strategies keep changing due to periodical changes made on the search engine’s algorithm. SEM, on another hand, entails the promotion of sites by boosting their visibility in the SERPs (search engine result pages) through advertising and optimisation.
SEM can employ SEO tactics and other search marketing techniques for its strategies to be successful.
So what’s the difference between SEM and SEO? First, think of SEO as a component of SEM. This can be confusing but you need to understand that SEM is a large field that encapsulates every promotion you could do using a search engine.
This means that, besides SEO, even SMM (social media marketing) and PPC (pay per click) strategies are part of the larger SEM family. So both SEM and SEO work hand in hand but SEO is a component of SEM.
Secondly, SEM is paid for while SEO relies on unpaid or “organic” results. You should never use them interchangeably because although both tend to be sometimes implemented in tandem, they’re two really different things.
When Do I Use SEM And When Do I Use SEO In Singapore?
Have you just launched your website and you desperately want to create your first online footprint as quickly as possible? If that’s the case then SEM would be the appropriate tool for you to achieve immediate visibility before you build your online credibility.
You should use SEO when you want to boost the rankings of your site in the search engine’s results over a long period. As you can see, SEM is for those who don’t have time to wait; they want to achieve visibility faster but at a significant monetary cost. SEO, on the other hand, is great if you have all the time in the world to increase the rankings of your site free of charge.
What Are The Benefits Of SEM?
SEM can bring enormous benefits to any business.
SEM provides instant brand awareness
As said earlier, SEO, SMM, and other unpaid strategies take a long time to work. In Google’s own words, it can take as long as one year to increase the rankings of a site through SEO. Furthermore, just because you tried doesn’t mean it will work, you must employ the right strategies to get it right. What your competitors are doing could also affect the success or failure of your efforts.
In contrast, SEM instantly positions your site on the top or, in some cases, the bottom of the first page. Therefore, a business with no current brand recognition or visibility can instantly achieve attention.
SEM is capable of generating revenues quickly
If you employ correct Ad copy (the main text on a clickable advert) and other strategies, a lot of sales can be made on the same day you establish your SEM. It doesn’t require a long time to start working.
And it’s much easier to establish compared to SEO. However, to get the correct SEM ROI, you’ll have to keep a sustained maintenance plan.
It reaches people at the right time in the right places
It is estimated that roughly half of the population of the globe is now online. Most people’s first experience on the internet begins with searching for something using a search engine.
No other web infrastructure drives more traffic like search engines. Being visible in the returned search results means you are present where your potential customers are located.
SEO reinforces a brand or name recognition
When a new client transacts with you, you may easily think that a person merely found you while on random activities and ended up purchasing from you.
But there is a strong chance that the person’s journey began months, weeks, or a few days ago. It is the manner you’ve repeatedly and consistently present your brand in the meantime that has helped the customer reach your products to make a purchase.
What Are The Typical SEM Charges In Singapore?
Several models can be used in a typical agency-client dealing where the client entrusts the SEM company to promote the brand on Adwords on the organization’s behalf. Any deal may entail the following:
Percentage of the brand’s Ad-Spends
In most cases, the SEM vendor would agree with the client to link this charge to the overall performance of Sale/Lead volume and thus measure along Cost of Sale of Cost per Lead. Roughly the fee percentage of Ad-Spends lies between 7 percent and 14 percent and can vary a little depending on the total capital spent – the higher the spending the lower the percentage fees.
Fixed hourly or monthly flat fee based on the model
This model entails the SEM vendor charging a fixed monthly or hourly spending
The hybrid model combines the above schemes
What Are The List Of Deliverables For An SEM Company In Singapore?
More often than not, the SEM agency would employ some SEO strategies to establish your SEM. As mentioned earlier, SEO is part of SEM although the two aren’t necessarily the same. Here are the deliverables of a typical SEM agency:
Site crawl and analysis
One of the first things the SEM vendor ensures is the “crawlability” of your site, or how crawable your site is so that it can rank high in the SERPs. The reason is, pages that cannot be indexed and crawled will never rank higher, and that could mean you’re missing the chance to attract hundreds and thousands of new clients organically.
Besides that, web crawling is essential in identifying issues that could hold back SEM efforts. Furthermore, site crawling is important in identifying the website’s total number of pages and ensuring that the site is healthy.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is one of the priority digital marketing strategies designed to boost conversion rates among site visitors through continuous optimization and testing.
During this analysis, the SEM team tracks how visitors engage with your site pages, provide data for your A/B testing environments, and identify areas of new opportunity. CRO is the best strategy to opt for if you’re planning to boost conversion rates on a given page.
Search engine marketing is the most practical and cost-effective way to target your audience. Given the massive number of people searching for products and services on Google, you can achieve dramatic results in little time. With the right strategies, tools, and SEM services from a reputable company, your efforts in SEM in Singapore can pay off.
Get in touch with MediaOne for the best SEM services in Singapore.