SEM Consultant: What Service Deliverables You Should Ask For

SEM Consultant_ What Service Deliverables You Should Ask For

Search Engine Marketing: Qualities of a good SEM Consultant

Today SEM (Search engine marketing) is one of the most efficient and targeted forms of digital advertising.  All you have to do is use it to put your brand before customers that are already active visitors on Google, YouTube, Bing, and other popular search engines. This is where SEM agencies come into the picture. They are responsible for making sure your brand is recognized and sells handsomely by devising ways through which your brand can be popularized.

Not all SEM agencies in Singapore are the same. When hiring one, it’s crucial that you come up with a checklist or a series of questions that you’ll be asked to choose the right one.

Singapore has a long list of agencies specializing in Search Engine Marketing or PPC, and it’s worth mentioning that costs and results will always vary among them. Another possibility is that you’re new to PPC and search engine marketing. You, therefore, lack both the experience and technical expertise to help you choose a good consultant from a mix of bad ones.

It’s therefore important that you start by doing thorough research on what to look for when choosing a search marketing consultant to invest with.

Below are some of the essential questions to ask the SEM consultant you’re considering hiring before you can go ahead and decide on whether or NOT to enlist their services:

  1. Managing PPC Ads

PPC in full is Pay per click ads. One of the major qualities of an SEM consultant is their ability to manage PPC Ads. A website master and brand owner cannot make the most of the website if they do not have the best PPC management team. This team should always be present to set it and spend time managing the account. An SEM consultant should be able to know exactly which areas of an account require more work and which ones bring in the greatest returns. They should know how to improve paid search workflow. This can be done by best-aligning Ad texts, Keyword grouping, landing pages, and keyword research with PPC management best practices. For instance, if someone has more than one PPC account, they need to hire an SEM agency that can easily determine which account needs the most immediate attention and which tasks should be prioritized.

  1. Ad Policies

Ad policies have been designed to give advertisement viewers a good experience. They are also there to help advertisers get the desired end results of the commercialized products and services and help in making sure that every ad adheres to the applicable laws in the countries they are featured in. SEM agencies are there to help you with all the above. They will make you aware of every ad policy associated with every online advertisement platform. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube all have their specific ad policies that advertisers with the help of SEM consultant services are supposed to follow whenever they use these platforms to sell their brands. A good SEM consultant will have mastered every ad policy there is to know and make sure your ads all follow the policies to avoid your brand from being compromised.

  1. Getting maximum conversion

A good SEM consultant will know how to maximize conversions that automatically set bids to aid in getting the most conversions for any campaigns in the process of spending the budget. If you do not know which automated bid strategy best works for your brand, the SEM consultant will guide you and help you understand what automated bidding is all about and which one best suits your campaign needs. They will first check to make sure the campaign is not part of a shared budget before checking the daily budget amount to avoid the maximized conversions from eating up your daily budget. They will advise you on which ROI goals to go for to make sure the average target set is achieved.

  1. Setting up campaigns

Search campaigns are mostly set up using Google AdWords. SEM agencies have the role of setting up campaigns as it is one of the most popular forms of online advertising. You might not know how to set up such things o your own, and it is therefore important that you choose an SEM consultant that will suitably set your advertisements to be displayed in the search listings of any Google search. They can pick a keyword that triggers your search and display an ad. It all depends on how much your adverts are optimized and how high your ad bids are. With the help of a good SEM consultant, you can influence how many times your ad appears in the listings of the search networks.

  1. Optimizing CPC

CPC is the cost per click. What SEM agencies should tell you is that you should never stop optimizing your campaigns, which is among their roles. As long you keep optimizing them, you can always be sure to get the best performance that yields a lower cost per click and get a higher Ad rank on Google search engines.

  1. Being pragmatic when necessary

A good SEM consultant should know how to deal with things sensibly and realistically in a way based on practical consideration.  Good SEM consultants should always provide strategic consultation they will know when it is the right time to ask questions, speak up and also give their comments and opinion on issues that might negatively affect your brand. Every progress made should always be communicated to you to make sure you are all on the same page. After all at the end of the day if something hugely goes wrong, then both will lose. So it is important that the SEM Agency you go for can be pragmatic whenever necessary to ensure desirable outcomes.

  1. Differentiates between GDN and GSN

On most occasions, people confuse these two terms, Google Display Network, and Google Search Network. Considering that these people are the ones that make up SEM Agencies, you should make sure to pick one that can clearly distinguish the two. GDN lets you use data that Google has on its user’s target advertisements; it is usually a value add given to those that buy its display inventory, known as the AdX. On the other hand, GSN is a group of search-related networks and applications that your ads can appear in. when you advertise on GSN, the ad can display near search results every time someone searches with terms related to one of the keywords you have used. A good SEM consultant will be able to control where your search network ads can appear, tell the different types of adverts on the GSN and how they can remove or include search partners.

  1. Knows how to get awareness campaigns out

Getting your SEM awareness campaigns out is one of the major roles of an SEM consultant. They should know that the very first step to winning is aligning the campaign with the business goals. Together, you will put down any SEM strategies for your business. From this, they can then bid competitively on the keywords of your brand, nonbrand, and that of your competitors. The next step is inning new customers which will drive sales, and finally, your brand can enter new markets.

  1. Knows how to target platforms

The fast changes witnessed in digital marketing trends require an SEM consultant that knows how to target platforms. They have to come up with the best strategies to outweigh your online competitors. Through search engine marketing, you can increase traffic by purchasing adverts on search engines, because many searchers, who are your potential clients, depend heavily on search engines when they want to look for information on the web, targeting SEM platforms will prove to be a highly effective marketing channel.

  1. Knows how to use GA set goals

You should always make sure that your website is actually helping your business grow. With the help of a good SEM consultant, you will know the important metrics that you should be tracking such as leads, eBook downloads, trial signups, newsletter signups, account creations, and white paper downloads. All these can be achieved by using Google Analytics (GA).  The goals you have set are the ones to inform GA to keep track of the critical elements of your business. Use events, URLs, time, and visits to track your GA set goals with the aid of your SEM consultant.

  1. Can integrate Google DSA with GA

Use Google Dynamic Search Ads to easily find customers that are searching on Google for exactly what your brand offers. If you are an advertiser with a large inventory of customers or a well-developed website, DSAs will use your website to target your adverts ad help you fill in any gaps of your keyword-based campaigns. An SEM consultant that knows how to integrate DSA with GA will help you identify exactly where customers who bring more profit to your business come from. The two when integrated will help set important targets, teach you more about trends in the digital marketing industry and see how you compare to your competitors.

  1. Knows how to use Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter LinkedIn for paid campaigns

All these are social media platforms, and you should know that using social media in your business tragedies is one of the best ways your brand will be known to the world. Every SEM consultant should know this and be able to maximally use them for paid campaigns to sell your brand. You can use them to market your services and products and boost your brand. You also get to establish useful connections with customers and potential customers on a personal level that builds brand loyalty. Build a fan base on all these platforms to maximize your visibility and get your paid campaigns out there.

What Is Search Engine Marketing And How Does It Benefit Singapore Businesses

We live in a digital world where every business is hungry for visibility online. The most successful companies in Singapore have ingenious ways of achieving this goal without contravening Google guidelines. Online customers, on the other hand, are bombarded with hundreds if not thousands of ads daily.

 Is it possible to get the attention of online customers and profit from it? What can we do to ensure that our business website in Singapore is displayed on the first page of Google? These are just a few of the questions that we get from our community. The answer to both questions is that, Yes, you can grasp and retain the attention of your target customers online and also ensure that your website is displayed on the first page of Google by using Search Engine Marketing. 

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What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing is a new internet marketing technique that has gained traction in recent years due to its effectiveness in increasing organic traffic and conversion rate. It entails promoting a website on search engine results pages through paid advertising.

Advertisers will bid for keywords that the target audience mostly uses to look for services or information related to your business on Google or any other search engine such as Bing. The ads will be displayed alongside the standard search queries whenever a user uses the specified keyword on Google to look up information or businesses.

These kinds of ads are referred to as pay-per-click ads and are available in different formats from text-based ads to product listing ads. They are displayed on top of the search engine results list, and this makes them more visible to the users. By clicking on the ads, the website visitor will be transferred to your website or landing page that you specify when creating the ad.

One of the highlights of search engine marketing in Singapore is that it gives you an opportunity to place ads in front of already motivated clients who are willing and ready to make a purchase. Google will bill you based on the number of clicks that the ads accrue over time.

Another benefit is that even if nobody clicks on the ads, your brand will still benefit from the free visibility by being placed top of SERPs. Who knows, a potential customer who sees the ads might take note of your website and visit it directly thereby saving you money that you would have paid to the search engine if they were to land on your site by clicking on the ad.

Now that you know what search engine marketing is let us proceed and look at how this type of internet marketing benefits Singapore businesses.

Increases Brand Awareness

Branding is the cornerstone of your online business in Singapore. Proper branding will complement your other digital marketing strategies such as email marketing and increase the rate at which your business grows.

Search engine marketing (SEM) has proven to be very useful in increasing brand awareness. Since the ads will be displayed to a specific audience that uses your target keywords to search for information on Google, they will not only save you time but also connect your business to potential customers.

search engine marketing

You can also create custom ads for your Singapore search engine marketing campaign to connect with different groups of customers. More importantly, since SEM positions your business on the top of other SERPs, your brand will instantly get some attention. Even a new company that does not have any visibility online can get some attention and crank up their website traffic using SEM.

It is Measurable

When doing internet marketing in Singapore, it is of paramount importance to track results that you get to be sure that you are headed in the right direction. If you realize that the campaign is not providing tangible results, tweak it or ditch it for another technique to avoid wasting more money.

SEM is different from other campaigns since it allows for precise tracking. That is, you can carry out a comprehensive campaign analysis on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to know if you are getting value for money. Whatever your goal is, you can use the data to see if you are getting value from this form of Singapore advertising. The analysis will also help you to make informed decisions especially when budgeting and selecting keywords.

Gets the Attention of the Audience at the Right Time

You have only 3 seconds to grasp the attention and convince him/her to visit your website and make a purchase. 90% of the people who research for information on the web and prefer shopping online instead of visiting the store already knows what they are looking for even before they get on their computer.

SEM will give you an excellent opportunity to display your ads to the right people at the right time. This highly engaged target audience is ready to convert compared to a regular user who is just looking for information related to the products or services that you are offering.

Easy and Quick to Implement

Unlike other internet marketing strategies that require a lot of research and planning, search engine marketing is quite easy and quick to implement. Even though it might take a little longer to see tangible results, SEM is highly configurable and flexible. . By highly configurable, we mean that changes can be implemented on an ad-hoc basis. That is, you can customize your site content, keywords, and budget based on the behaviour of your target audience.

What Is Search Engine Marketing And Its Basics?

A professional Singapore internet consultant can create a custom SEM for your brand in one day or less depending on the goals that you want to achieve

Summary of What is SEM

Search Engine Marketing can help your business get to the next level of success by displaying your ads to the right audience and at the right time. The campaign has to be properly structured and monitored continuously to ensure that it continues to deliver the expected results. Our team has vast hands-on experience in Singapore digital marketing realm and can create a custom SEM campaign for your brand. We will look forward to discussing this project with you.

What Should You Know About The SEM Consultant

On average, a social media user spends two hours per day online, there is always a chance that they will come across your ads, get curious and click on them.

  1. Does The Consultant Value Transparency

One thing you’ll come to notice while you’re out there shopping for the right SEM consultant is that most of them create a frustrating cloud of mystery around what is it that they do. Instead of laying everything out there in the clear, they’ll be hiding every important piece of information regarding their work.

Some even go to an extent of manipulating analytics and reports to paint an overblown image of the results that they show, each of which drives to a common goal – to scam you off your hard-earned cash by falsifying results or to hold your online data hostage.

Goes to show that some of the SEM consultants in Singapore don’t really care about your business.

In which case, a good SEM consultant should be transparent enough to walk you through the details of what it is that they do when hired to deliver on their services. They should let you have access to all the keywords they’re targeting, the campaign, and all the reports you need to find out whether or NOT the PPC campaign they’re running is working.

Before you even get down to hiring one, ask them to show you sample reports of some of their past clients. A good consultant should always have one on the ready. But if it happens they don’t have one or are reluctant to show you one, then that’s a dead giveaway that you’re working with a shoddy SEM marketing consultant.

  1. Their Pricing Model

Many PPC agencies in Singapore charge for their services on a per-spend basis. Which is to say, the services they offer to you will be determined by the amount you’re willing to pump into PPC marketing, coupled with their service fees of course.

The only problem with this model is that your service charge will be scaling with the amount you spend on paid search. So, if you’re operating on a somewhat lean structure, you might want to look for a consultant that offers a flat, hourly, or performance-based pricing model.

  1. The Value in Hiring the Consultant

The consultant your hiring must be in a position to offer more than what you can do on your own. Is it their experience or level of expertise? Is what they’re saying serve as proof that they’re completely knowledgeable about PPC and SEM at large?

No consultant will guarantee you value on their own. You have to make the minimum effort of digging out for more info about what it is they can do for you.

What does the consultant do beyond running the campaign and reporting back to you with results? What’s their research process? What are some of the things that they do to make sure you’re getting the results you crave for?

Don’t be afraid to ask them about what makes their services so special compared to what you or your in-house team of marketers can do. If the answer they give hints that they can offer results that stretch far beyond what you can accomplish on your own, that shows that you’re dealing with a really competent consultant otherwise you’re better off checking out the next advertising company you can find.

Keep in mind that the more questions you ask the more you get to learn about the search engine marketing consultant in question, and the more you’ll be increasing the odds of outsourcing the services to the right consultant.

  1. The Cart Before the Horse

It’s NOT about what the consultant can offer, but what exactly you’re looking for as a business owner.

You can start by taking a deeper look into your business. Are you a small business that’s looking to scale up and crank up the number of sales you’re making? Are you operating on limited resources and are looking for that one particular digital marketing company that will be helping you maximize your ROI without draining your pockets dry?

Of course, you may come to find out that you do NOT necessarily need the services of a consultant, NOT when it’s possible to get everything done on your own. But after reaching a certain level when your future success is dependent on the results you get through the PPC campaign you’re running, then seeking the services of a reliable and trusted pay-per-click management agency becomes inevitable.

How, before you even think of taking the DIY route, it’s important to keep in mind that it takes a lot of devotion and dedication on your part to drive significant results through search engine marketing. It’s, for this reason, that majority of businesses in Singapore find it fit to seek the services of a PPC marketing consultant as they focus on what they’re really good at – and that is, running their businesses.

Reasons to Consider Hiring an SEM Consultant

The reasons for hiring an SEM consultant are more appealing and the right move for your business as opposed to managing an in-house team of search engine marketers. Read on to find out:

  1. Scalability

If the campaign you’re running is big enough or you’re running a series of small or medium campaigns, then you might want to consider the fact that a competent SEM consultant operates with a dedicated team of search engine marketers and a cornucopia of resources. They have also invested a great deal in a broad range of tools that makes it a cinch for them to manage your campaigns for the best possible results.

Some of these agencies work with custom-made tools or expensive third-party tools such as Clickable and SEM software. With these tools, these agencies can easily manage multiple campaigns with a minimal strain of their part and the required amount of efficiency.

Which is to say, both their resources and manpower allow them to manage several campaigns, regardless of their sizes, to the best possible standards the industry has to offer.

  1. Time

Do you ever realize how complex search engines have become? It’s surely going to make you loads of time to wrap your head around them and figure out the best possible way to engage them.

Do you have what it takes to manage a dynamic SEM campaign? Do you even have the time to spend researching the campaign and testing out some of the strategies you pick along the way?

In other words, SEM should be your core competency to run a reassuring SEM advertising campaign. Otherwise, you’re better off outsourcing the services from a real pro.

You can start by looking for a partner that’s been in the business long enough to understand the fine nature of running a successful SEM campaign. The company you decide to go with should be transparent in its services and offerings. It should also be willing to define the SEM campaign they run in clear terms.

Come what may don’t make the mistake of investing your campaign money in a consultant that doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing. You also don’t want the consultant to be experimenting with your business.

In the end, the company should be able to help you maximize the profits you make by making the campaign they’ll be running more efficient and result-oriented.

  1. Talent

Running an SEM advertising campaign is NOT something you pick along the way. You have to be willing to put in the hours, spend a tremendous chunk of your day-to-day life researching different SEM strategies and even testing them out in the field.

SEM agencies spend their time hiring, training, and managing a team of competent SEM talents. They invest heavily in them and supply them with the resources they need to do a bang on the job.

Making the same investment is NOT a worthwhile business decision if SEM is NOT your core competency. What leading SEM agencies do is that they spend their time attracting and retaining the best of the SEM talent they get.

Some of them also have an organizational structure that they use to train and nurture great talents.

At the core, a successful SEM campaign can only be conducted by a great mind that has invested a great deal of time, resources, and effort in understanding the undercurrents of running a successful search engine advertising campaign. This makes it both an art and science. Art in the sense that you need a certain level of creativity to get it done right, and science in the sense that it can be studied and analyzed, and some adjustments made to it for even better results.

  1. They Serve Other Clients

You’re NOT the only client the consultant is attending to. They have several other clients, as well. So why is this important, you ask?

Focusing on a single business to some extent leaves you with a narrowed point of view with regards to the SEM market you’re targeting. But when agencies get to serve other businesses as well, they end up developing a qualitative and quantitative perspective on a stretch of the SEM market, and which can prove to be very valuable as you progress.

First, it’s by supplying the much-needed data on what’s trending and working in other verticals, the result of which can be replicated to your marketing campaign to make it more effective.

It also helps to benchmark the data in your own vertical. This data can prove to be invaluable, as it makes it easier for you to understand the success and ROI of the SEM campaign the consultant is running.

  1. Metric Reports

All you have to do is give the consultant total control over or full access to all the data from the SEM campaigns you’re running, and they’ll reach back with a detailed report and insights on the campaign strategy you’re employing.

If anything, SEM agencies work with a long host of tools that they’ll be using to keep track of your campaigns from any imaginable angle. This allows them to understand your business and the nature of your campaigns on a deeper scale. That way, they’ll be able to provide valuable insights on the various aspect of it and the entire SEM investment project as a whole for the best possible way forward.

The Implications of Choosing the Wrong SEM Consultant

It bears repeating that NOT all SEM consultants care about your business. Some are just after the money in your pocket and nothing else.

As a business person looking to grow their business and scale to even greater heights of success, it’s critical that you make sure you’re assigning the task to the right agency. Never underestimate the power of search engine marketing. If anything, this is one form of marketing that comes with significantly huge potential.

engage google ppc agency ad

But the difference between a badly-managed account and a well-managed one could mean the whole difference between making millions of dollars in profits and losing a tremendous chunk of your hard-earned money in the process.

What Is Search Engine Marketing in Singapore

If you run a business in Singapore, you must have come across this term – search engine marketing.

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing strategy that aims to increase the visibility of a website on search engine result pages. More visibility means more traffic to your business website, and this has several advantages to your business.

In the past, SEM covered both search engine optimization and paid search activities. The term is currently used exclusively to refer to paid search.

How does search engine marketing work?

Search engines use complex algorithms to comb through websites to ensure that a searcher gets results that are most relevant to their search query. With SEM, your website gets a higher ranking and more visibility on search engine result pages than the organic results.

For example, if you are looking for the best digital marketing agency in Singapore, you will type a relevant phrase on the search engine.  On the results page, you will see the companies that offer such services. Search listings that use SEM will appear on top of the page, above the organic searches, meaning that a user is more likely to click on them.

From a marketer’s point of view, SEM is a strategy whose objective is to boost a business by driving more potential customers to their website. The first step of implementing SEM is choosing a suitable platform, such as Google AdWords and Bing Ads.  After this, the business owner will enter a set of keywords relevant to their website, choose the targeted location for the ad, create the ad that will appear on SERPs, and finally bid on a price they are willing to pay for every click on the ad.

What are the different types of search engine marketing?

The most popular method of search engine marketing is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. PPC is a strategy that allows marketers to place adverts on the ad platform and pay the owner of that platform for each click on their ad. The objective of a PPC advert is to lead a search engine user to a business website where that user can complete the desired end action, such as buying a product or a service.

Google AdWords is the biggest PPC ad platform, followed by Bing Ads. Many businesses in Singapore favour these two because of their close links to Google and Bing, which are the most used search engine platforms in the country. Also, these services operate with real-time bidding (RTB), where the advertising inventory is sold in a private automated auction using real-time data.

engaging the top social media agency in singapore

Every time there is a vacant ad spot on SERPs, an instant auction takes place for the relevant keyword. Several factors, such as the quality of the ad and the size of the bid, determine which listing appears on top of the search results.

An auction starts when a user types in a keyword in the search engine, or when an advertiser shows interest in displaying ads related to the user’s search query. The ad that wins the auction gets more visibility on the search engine result pages.

If you want to participate in these auctions, you must first register an account with Google AdWords or Bing Ads. After registration, you will then configure the ads and decide the location and time when you would like the ads to appear.

PPC aside, the other method of search engine marketing is local search. This technique aims to improve the visibility of your website within a specified area, say Singapore. When creating a business profile for local search, it is advisable to include the company name, physical address, and phone numbers. You can also increase the effectiveness of this strategy by encouraging existing clients to give you positive reviews online.

The Benefits of Implementing SEM

SEM is a massive investment that has numerous benefits to any business. These include;

  1. Increases Brand Awareness and Authority

A well-implemented SEM strategy provides more visibility for your website, which in turn makes more people aware of your business. Also, consumers often trust companies that appear on the first page of SERPs. If your page ranks high on Google, you are likelier to generate more leads which you can then convert into regular clients.

  1. Easy to set up

It is relatively easy to initiate a search engine marketing campaign. SEM also takes effect in a much shorter time than SEO, meaning that changes are noticeable a short while after implementation. Depending on the reactions of your target audience, you can either improve on what you are doing or change it completely. The best thing is that you can modify your site, keywords, and SEM budget based on the response you get from your audience.

  1. It grabs the attention of your audience at the right time

According to studies, 90% of internet users know what they are looking for. The importance of keywords in any online marketing strategy underpins this finding. By implementing SEM, you are delivering your content, products, and services to an informed audience that is already interested in your offerings. This means that you are not forcing an idea onto them and to make it better, SEM only bills you when they click the ad.

  1. It is measurable

Another unique quality of SEM is that it is measurable. It allows you to track its progress using detailed analytic tools such as Google Analytics. Such data is particularly essential, as it helps with keyword optimisation, content optimisation, and most importantly, budget allocation.

How to Prepare an SEO Audit Report for Your Clients (Just Like an Agency)

Measuring SEM against your business goals shows you if the campaign is viable. This is crucial in preventing excessive losses where the campaign proves to be ineffective.

  1. Audience Targeting

search engine marketing

As mentioned earlier, ad platforms require you to enter a target location when setting up a paid advertisement campaign. In addition to keywords, targeting your ads improves their effectiveness, as they reach people who are likely to show interest in your products and services.

  1. Competitive Advantage

In this digital era, many businesses in Singapore are growing their online presence as a means of improving their sales and brand awareness. However, the majority of these enterprises only have basic websites without SEM and SEO. Investing in SEM gives you an edge over other competing companies in your niche by ranking your website high on SERPs. A whopping 71% of search traffic clicks originate from the first page of Google search results.

  1. Greater ROI

Paid search strategies have a much greater ROI hat other marketing methods. You only pay when a user clicks on your ad, meaning that very little money goes is actually wasted. Furthermore, when a person clicks on your business listing, they are already interested in your offerings and there is a high chance of making a purchase. Other advertisement strategies, on the other hand, require you to pay beforehand, and there are no guarantees over whether the message will reach the target audience.

Another way in which SEM improves ROI is that you can easily pull down ads that have low conversion rates. With traditional adverts, you have to wait until your contract with the ad platform runs out. If you have to pull it down immediately, you will have to incur extra costs.

  1. It is scalable

SEM is incredibly scalable. If you own a startup or an SME in Singapore, you can start with a budget as low as S$10. This allows you to test the waters without taking a huge chunk off your limited budget.

As the revenues start increasing due to SEM, you can increase the number of ads as well as the budget allocation. Ensure that you remove ineffective ads and further refine the ones that are selling. Most PPC platforms allow you to set a maximum daily budget, which makes sure that you don’t overspend on your SEM strategy.

What are the main differences between SEO and SEM?

The most significant difference between SEO and SEM is that the former focuses on strategies that improve your ranking on search engine result pages, while SEM combines SEO and other techniques to increase the visibility of a site, mainly PPC advertising.

Simply put, SEO is the process of optimizing your website with the aim of getting free traffic from search engines. Search engine crawlers can easily navigate through optimized websites which increases the chances of ranking higher on search results.

You can implement SEO on two levels – on-page and off-page. On-page SEO refers to the actions you perform on your website to make it search engine-friendly. Off-page SEO involves getting recommendations from other websites which increases the trust that search engines have in your site.

Contrarily, SEM is only implemented on your website. Recommendations from external sites have no impact whatsoever on the success of your SEM campaign.

There is no denying that both SEO and SEM are effective – however, SEM has a slight edge over its counterpart. SEO is ideal if you want to create site authority by building your organic visibility. It is a lengthy process that requires patience and determination.

If you are after quick results, you should definitely implement SEM. A properly created PPC campaign allows you to easily analyse and fix any issues that hindering your conversion rates. You can experience massive improvements in your sakes from SEM within a few weeks, as compared to SEO which can take up months or even years.

Unlike SEM, SEO is subject to regular updates on search engine algorithms. You have to frequently update your website content to the latest updates by search engines, or risk losing your high ranking on SERPs. Given that SEO takes years to become fruitful, losing ranking overnight is hurting.

PPC ads are predictable and offer more stability.  Any changes will not force you to make major alterations in your advertisement strategy. This means that it is easier to run an SEM campaign than it is to run SEO.

Investing in SEM is different from investing in SEO. SEM allows you to set a specific budget at every step of the campaign, ensuring that you only increase the allocation when the strategy is working, and you can easily pull out if the results are negative. You can also start small, and continually increase the budget as the business grows.

SEO vs. SEM – Which Strategy is Better?

search engine marketing

Many marketers in Singapore remain undecided over which of these two strategies is better suited to grow their businesses to greater heights. As much as SEM provides quicker solutions, it is largely ineffective without the implementation of proper SEO.

The ultimate choice depends on your business and marketing goals. If you are a startup in a highly competitive niche, SEM is a smart way of getting ahead of your peers. On the contrary, you can opt for SEO if you are in no hurry.  Before settling on a particular strategy, ensure that you understand your needs, the difference between the two, and what it will take for the tactic to yield the desired results.

Balancing SEO and SEM (PPC)

Although it seems intricate, you can implement both SEM and SEO simultaneously.  This ensures that your business enjoys the short-term advantages of SEM, as well as the long-term benefits offered by SEO. Better yet, the two strategies will cover up their respective shortcomings.

The first step involves collecting conversion data from the pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and using it to convert leads generated through organic SEO. If some keywords are proving useful in SEM, you should also incorporate them into your SEO.

Secondly, ensure that you maximize your efforts on both the SEO and PPC fronts. More visibility on SERPs will boost your traffic and increase the chances of making more sales. This is particularly crucial that are bidding for highly competitive keywords that require a bigger PC budget.

If a certain keyword is popular but too expensive to bid for, consider integrating it into your SEO. This way, you ensure that your PPC campaign focuses on affordable keywords that have a sustainable ROI.  Likewise, you can also make a copy that is performing well and includes it in the description of your paid ad listing. By doing this, you can significantly improve your click-through rates, which is beneficial for both SEO and SEM.

Lastly, you can use cheap PPC ads as a platform for testing the popularity of keyword phrases before integrating them into your website’s content. A phrase that performs well with PPC is likely to be a success when implemented for SEO purposes.

Remember, implementing both SEO and SEM gives you the upper hand over your competitors who only use one of the two strategies.

The Disadvantages of Search Engine Marketing

Similar to other marketing strategies, SEM has its fair share of disadvantages. You should know of this before you decide to implement SEM for your business in Singapore.

It can be expensive

PPC can be quite costly, especially if you are running an upcoming business in a competitive niche. What makes it worse is that the costs are initially unnoticeable because they tend to be small.  If you fail to do adequate research before posting ads, you will lose lots of money without getting meaningful returns.  Focusing on wrong keywords and targeting inappropriate audiences can also drain your budget within a short time.

It needs continual investment

PPC campaigns need continuous investment to run – the more money you spend, the better the results. It is worth noting that this makes sense only if you are generating profits. Otherwise, you will end up losing large amounts of money while clinging to hope that your fortunes will change.

It allows competitors to review your campaign

For a novice, it is hard to decode a PPC ad listing. This, however, is not the case for competitors who want to understand your marketing tricks. Competing businesses can easily look at your keywords, landing pages, and tactics by clicking on your advert.

How to Implement SEM for your Business in Singapore

Now that you know what SEM is, its advantages and disadvantages, how it compares to SEO, and so forth, let us look at how you can implement this strategy to improve your business.

Learn why your clients use search engines

SEM is entirely run on search engines, so it makes sense to know why people are using these sites in the first place. The top three reasons are research, entertainment, and shopping.

Your PPC ad should encompass these three elements. For example, it should contain adequate information about your business to satisfy the researcher. The description should be entertaining and you should also include a compelling offer that will convince the shopper to visit your website.

Allocate a budget

Failing to designate a budget promotes overspending. Ideally, your SEM budget should cover the expense for writing copy, creating landing pages, research, campaign management, analytics, and PPC.

Moreover, you have to ensure that your site is fast and responsive. The best way of doing this is by integrating SEO into your plans.

Set clear objectives

Any marketing strategy must have clear objectives. Goals are vital in gauging the progress of an SEM campaign, as well as its feasibility.

Objectives vary depending on the business – some aim to increase brand awareness, while others work to generate leads and make more sales. A smart way of tracking the actions people take on your website is by leveraging the powerful Google Analytics tool.

Identify your target audience

One of the key objectives of SEM is to give potential customers the services they are after, easily. Having knowledge of the needs of your target audience helps you create ads that are more relevant and have the chance of earning several clicks.

The easiest way of understanding your targeted clients is through compiling and evaluating the behaviours of your current customers. When doing this, identify the ones that are most likely to convert and make purchases.

Create compelling landing pages

When a user clicks on your ad listing, it redirects them to the landing page. For this reason, ensure that the message on this page is consistent with the description given in the ad – if the ad is about pizza delivery, the landing page should be similar. Having a different product increases the bounce rate, which is detrimental for both SEO and SEM. Also, the landing page should have few distractions and if possible, offer only one product.

If your product or services needs detailed explanations, refrain from using the landing page for this purpose. Instead, provide a link to another webpage with the explanation.

You can boost a customer’s confidence in your brand by including logos of previous clients. Most importantly, ensure that your landing page has a compelling call-to-action statement.

psg digital marketing

Keyword research

Without relevant keywords, you are readying your SEM campaign for failure. The primary objective of keyword research is identifying the popular phrases that people are using to find websites in your industry. It also helps in estimating how much you are likely to pay for that particular keyword.

Maintain high standards

Paying for SEM doesn’t guarantee the top spot on SERPs. The quality score of your ad listing depends on the click-through rates (CTR), keyword relevance, landing page quality, and historical performance.

A high CTR means that your ad is relevant, which translates into a higher ranking on SERPs. The same applies to relevant keywords and landing page quality. The aspect of historical performance slightly disfavours new entrants into the SEM scene, but if the other factors are on point, it has a negligible impact.


From a layperson’s perspective, SEM is a version of SEO where you pay to get quick results. Both strategies share a similar end goal, but SEM offers a quicker path to the main objective. You can deliver your ads to a relevant audience that is already in the sales funnel and almost ready to convert.

If you relish this prospect, stop hesitating and get started. After all, this article tells all you need to know, and most importantly, how to effectively implement SEM.

Get in touch with us for custom search engine marketing (SEM) services in Singapore. 

The first step to hiring the right PPC management is understanding what your business needs are. Most of the time, most of the companies that claim to do PPC, don’t really know how to get it done right.

The world of PPC is motivating in a way. There’s no school to provide proper training in it or dictate the required level of professional standards be upheld. Don’t get fooled when salespeople throw in big terminologies to lure you in. In the end, nothing they do will be affecting your bottom line.

For more information regarding SEM marketing or help in managing your PPC campaigns, you’re hereby invited to make a point of reaching out to MediaOne today for the service or free SEM consultation.

SEM is all about creativity and being opportunistic. It takes the right SEM consultant to help you excel in this digital media marketing world. So, be sure to consider the above qualities and make sure the agency you pick has a great mastery of Search Engine Marketing and more just to be safe.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Social Media




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