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SEM in Singapore: The Complete Guide


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
2023 5.9
2022 5.8
2021 5.7
2019 5.5


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:

  • AdWords
  • Product Listing Ads
  • Retargeting
  • Mobile search advertising
  • Amazon ads
  • Geotargeting
  • 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.

impact of sem on businesses

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 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Hire a marketing professional

It is crucial that you have an experienced team that understands website structure and how it can be changed.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Automation

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.

  1. Click-less SEO

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.

  1. Amazon Advertising

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.

  1. 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]

  1. 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.

  1. Brand building

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.

  1. Personalisation

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.

  1. 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.

  1. Voice assistants

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.

SEM in Singapore: The Complete Guide 1

Every time someone searches on Google, you have an opportunity to lead them your way, either through organic means or paid search.

While SEO helps improve your visibility in the free listing based on keyword searches, SEA lets you insert paid ads in the search results pages.

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.


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 

SEM in Singapore: The Complete Guide 2

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.

get google ranking ad

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.

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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. 

SEM in Singapore: The Complete Guide 3

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.

SEM in Singapore: The Complete Guide 4

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.

  1. Visitor’s activity

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 visitor’s activity on a website.

Page Page Views Average Time Spent on Page Bounce Rate
/category/skin-care 13, 465 00:00:40 11.21%
/cart/details 9,564 00:00:15 0.03%
/category/fashion trends 6, 556 00:00:34 0.00%
/category/skin-products 7,564 00:00:26 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.

  1. 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
265,425 10,457 5,757

After 60 days

187,465,567 267,464 120,478

MajesticSEO is an effective tool for monitoring inbound links.

  1. 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
5,372[67.45%] 86.35% 4,463[66.46%] 22.33% 2.36 00:02:43 17.46% 576[76.35%]
3,627[29.17%] 85.36% 3,466[46.72%] 21.37% 2.28 00:01:56 15.56% 743[38.45%]
943 80.37% 999[15.37%] 15.45% 1.46 00:01:45 11.47% 291[14.64%]


  1. 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
Direct 17,473[60.37%] 88.38% 10,328[78.72%]
Paid search 10,473[43.38%] 74.27% 8,327[54.37%]
Organic search 9,463[38.48%] 17.36% 5,282[37.37%]


SEMrush online marketing tool offers a practical approximation of how your organic search is doing when compared to paid advertising.

SEMRush tool

Source: SEMrush

  1. 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

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.

  • Keyword performance

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 about how much your ads are generating.

  • Quality score

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 only effective tactics to achieving instant results from a display campaign in the most cost-effective ways.

Here is how.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 understand languages, recognise voices, plan 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. 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.

  • Analyse data

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 at 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 signal, consumer data, and more to allocate marketing spend. This prevents over-bidding.

  • Engage dynamically

AI in internet marketing helps to engage with customers dynamically. Chatbots also performs 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.

  1. Ahrefs

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.


    • API
    • Business Intelligence
    • Charting
    • Collaboration tools
    • Customisable reporting
    • Data filtering
    • Dashboard creation
    • Data import and export


Ahrefs starts from $99 per month

  1. Google AdWords

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
    • API
    • A/B testing
    • Activity dashboard
    • Campaign management
    • Content management
    • Customisable branding


Google AdWords is free.

  1.   iSpionage

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.


    • SEO
    • Competitive intelligence
    • PPC


iSpionage starts at $59 per month

  1. Keyword Competitor

Keyword Competitor allows you to discover and monitor competitor’s organic and paid search. It also helps you track daily changes in landing pages and ads as well as enabling you to discover competitor’s landing pages, ads and keywords.

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    • Competitor analysis
    • Keyword checker
    • SEO
    • Keyword research


The keyword competitor starts at $29 a month and has a free 30-day trial.

  1.  SEMrush

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 competitor’s keywords and ad copies.


    • Backlinks
    • 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.

  1. Google Analytics

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
    • Reporting
    • Data analysis and visualization
    • Data collection and management
    • Data activation
    • Integrations


Google Analytics is free.

  1. AdGooroo

AdGooroo provides visibility into every day’s paid search landscape, including competitor’s 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.

  1. Adbeat

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 competitor’s ad network activity, trend lines and much more.


    • Data
    • Insights
    • Reporting
    • Advanced features


Adbeat Standard Plan starts at $249 per month.

  1. SpyFu

SpyFu uncovers the competitor’s keywords on paid and organic search. It also allows you to discover competitor’s 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.

  1. WhatRunsWhere

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 helping you analyse competitor’s ad copy.


    • Top brand and affiliate ads
    • Analysis
    • Data


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.

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Here are the top 10 most important KPIs for PPC Ads:

  1. Clicks

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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.

  1. 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 surpass the $1 mark. 

Industry Average Cost Per Click on Global Development Network (CPC in U$) Average Cost Per Click on Google Search (CPC in U$)
Advocacy  $0.62 $1.43
Auto $0.58 $2.46
B2B $0.79 $3.33
Consumer Services $0.81 $6.40
Dating and Personals $1.49 $2.78
E-commerce $0.45 $1.16
Education $0.47 $2.40
Employment Services $0.78 $2.04
Finance and Insurance $0.86 $3.44
Health and Medical $0.63 $2.62
Home Goods $0.60 $2.94
Industrial Services $0.54 $2.56
Legal $0.72 $6.75
Real Estate $0.75 $2.37
Technology $0.51 $3.80
Travel and Hospitality $0.44 $1.53

PPC KPIS to track

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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 these 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 a 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 jeopardising 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 have 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 success 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

mismatched ads and page theme

Source: Lyfe marketing

You can go around this by using landing pages for ads or add titles to landing pages. Alternatively, use the traditional thumbnail in the result pages.

  1. 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.

  1. Not using distinct negative keywords

A negative keyword is any keyword that you want your ads appearing 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Targeting the wrong audience

Pay-per-click is very effective in generating customer 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.

  1. 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 at which display ads appear is majorly dependant 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 metric’s 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 SEM in Singapore The Complete Guide


MediaOne is a leading digital marketing agency that is also ISO- certified. The agency is awarded Best in Search and has served over 700 clients since it was founded ten years ago.

Services Offered

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO and SEM
  • Reputation management
  • Influencer marketing

Physical Address

4B Craig Road, Singapore 089664

Phone Number

+65 6789 9852


activa The Top 20 Media Companies in Singapore   

Active Media

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.

Services Offered

  • Keyword marketing
  • Strategic consultation
  • SEO and SEM
  • Social media marketing

Physical Address

51 Goldhill Plaza, Singapore 308900

Phone Number

+65 6235 6678


ifoundries SEM in Singapore The Complete Guide


iFoundries is a top digital marketing agency that produces digital marketing solutions and web design services to growth-stage companies.

Services Offered

  • Inbound marketing
  • Email marketing
  • SEO and SEM
  • Web design
  • Web development

Physical Address

10 Ubi Crescent # 02-51 Techpark, Singapore 408564

Phone Number

+65 6297 7751


happy marketer SEM in Singapore The Complete Guide

Happy Marketer

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.

Services Offered

  • Inbound marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO and SEM
  • Website and Apps development
  • CRM

Physical Address

Guoco Tower, 1 Wallich St, Level 22 Singapore 078881

Phone Number

+65 6653 8060


foretec SEM in Singapore The Complete Guide


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.

Services Offered

  • SEO and SEM
  • Website development
  • Pay-per-click
  • Online marketing

Physical Address

22 Sin Ming Lane, #06-76 Midview City Singapore 573969

Phone Number

+65 6460 0180


iclick SEM in Singapore The Complete Guide

 iClick Media

iClick Media is a certified digital marketing agency and is one of the few agencies that is certified by Google and Yahoo.

Services Offered

  • SEO and SEM
  • Web design and development
  • Web analytics
  • Social media marketing

Physical Address

246 MacPherson Road, #02-01 Betime Building Singapore 348578

Phone Number

+65 6362 0123


innova SEM in Singapore The Complete Guide

Innova concepts

Innova concepts are a full-service web development agency that provides comprehensive technology and design solutions to its clients.

Services Offered

  • Web design
  • Ecommerce
  • SEO and SEM
  • Content management systems
  • Flashdesign

Physical Address

Singapore Post Centre Post Office P.O. Box Singapore 914027

Phone Number

+65 9366 9060


impossible SEM in Singapore The Complete Guide

Impossible Marketing

Impossible Marketing is a leading digital marketing agency in Singapore that is also certified directly by Yahoo and Google. They focus on the marketing aspects and website conversion of their clients.

Services Offered

  • SEO and SEM
  • Social media marketing
  • Social media management
  • Web application development
  • Influencer marketing
  • Video marketing

Physical Address

14A Yan Kit Road Singapore 088266

Phone Number

+65 9845 5111


biz edge SEM in Singapore The Complete Guide

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.

Services Offered

  • SEO and SEM
  • Social media marketing
  • Web design
  • Lead generation

Physical Address

64 Flora Road #01-08 Singapore 506911

Phone Number

+65 8172 6968


notion age SEM in Singapore The Complete Guide

Notion Age

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.

Services Offered

  • SEO and SEM
  • Web development
  • Email marketing and EDM blasting
  • Content creation and marketing

Physical Address

1 Kallang Junction Vanguard Campus Level 6 Singapore 339263

Phone Number

+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.

Night Owl

Approach Night Owl if you need a 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.

Carbon Interactive

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

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.

Construct Digital

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

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.

Brew Interactive

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 Digital

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

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

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 is 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 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 turn out.

Here’s what to expect from the ideal SEM company and a good insight of how each aspect can help your business.

  1.  Competitive Research

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, asses 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 manages to maintain a large audience.

  1. 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 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 setup 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.

  1.  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 on 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 users needs, they get more absorbed in your site. Hence more customers who are converting and you get to stand out from the competition.

  1. 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 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
  1.  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 collaborate 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.

  1. ROI-Driven

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 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.

  1. 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.
  1. Industry Experience

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 their 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.

  1. Budgeting

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 who 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 remains to qualify for different auctions that target potential clients for your site.

  1. 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.

  1.  Competitive Research

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 against your business to see what you are not doing right.

  1. 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.

  1.  Ambitious

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, you can 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.

  1. 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 position 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 presented 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:

  1. 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.

  1. Fixed hourly or monthly flat fee based on the model

This model entails the SEM vendor charging a fixed monthly or hourly spending

  1. Hybrid Model

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.

  • CRO Analysis

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 of SEM in Singapore can pay off.

Get in touch with MediaOne for the best SEM services in Singapore. 


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