We apply various marketing strategies in order to promote our blogs, businesses, and brands. We do content marketing, email marketing, video marketing, and much more. One of the most popular – and effective – strategies we have today is SEO – which means Search Engine Optimization. This strategy falls under Search Marketing, and has a brother called SEM (Search Engine Marketing). These two categories are different but they have the same purpose: to increase search visibility, improve search rankings, and increase website traffic via search. SEO is a strategy practiced by many but if you’re considering SEM, this article will talk about how to do SEM content strategy the right way.
SEO and SEM
Before going into planning your SEM strategy, we must clarify the two terms. As mentioned before, both strategies are the two categories of Search Marketing. Both strategies have the same goal but the practices applied in both strategies are different. SEO is a practice that uses organic strategies in order to increase search. On the other hand, SEM uses paid strategies.
SEO strategizes its content to be as relevant as possible with an accompanying keyword. The more relevant your content is, the higher you will appear on the search engine results pages or SERP. For SEM, your content will be basically a paid ad. This is why this strategy is also called the pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. You do keyword research, set up ads with your targeted keywords, and you pay every time a user clicks on your ad. These ads could be in text form or could be presented in visual form.
How to Do SEM?
Now that we’ve defined our terms, we’ll now talk about how you’ll create your SEM content strategy.
Define the Target Audience
When you first start creating your SEM content strategy, one of the first things you’ll be asked is your target audience. According to Autopilot, personalized ad content is much more effective in terms of conversions. Content that your audience feels personally connected to will convince them more to look into your product. In order to define your target audience, you have to determine several things: location, age, language, the devices they access search engines, when are they most active, and what are you offering that they need or want.
Do Your Keyword Research
Another important thing you’ll have to do when creating a content strategy is to find the right keyword(s) to use. Just like in SEO, keywords can make or break your content strategy with SEM. The first thing you’ll have to do is to think of every keyword you could think of that your audience would use that can lead them to your product.
Image Credit: Wordstream
After determining your keywords, check them with a keyword planner like Google’s. There you will the keywords’ search volumes, competition level, and bids. Just because you paid for the ad campaign does not mean that you’ll automatically be put on top of the list. There is what we call an ad auction where the platform – like Google – decides which ad will be on top of the SERPs. Google takes into consideration your bid, as well as the Quality Score of your ad.
Of course, the most ideal keyword is the one that has a high search volume but not too competitive.
Organize Your Account Structure
Most people overlook this, but having an organized account structure is essential to any SEM content strategy. For an effective strategy, your account structure should look like this.
An ad campaign focuses on a product or service and the ad groups further categorizes them into sub-groups. For example, if you’re running a travel agency. Your ad campaign could focus on tour packages and under that, the ad groups will be categorized to European Tours, Asian Tours, etc. Once you have created an account structure, you will see that your SEM content strategy will get more click rates while lowering your costs per click.
Write a Persuasive Copy
Of course, since your ads are targeted towards a certain audience, you already – more or less – have an idea on how to target them. Unlike SEO, since it relies on organic reach it has a more general audience – making your copy more generic. With SEM, you can now be more persuasive and even promotional with your copy since you know that you are offering something that the audience is looking for.
Do A/B Testing
Lastly, but definitely not the least, never forget to test your campaigns to see what would be most effective. You can always have a cohesive and solid SEM content strategy, but if it doesn’t resonate or even reach your audience, it’s not going to work. Always be on the lookout which strategies work, what keywords are best to use, and which ad campaigns have better results. Constantly update your ads since trends and audience preferences are always changing. This is all to ensure that your SEM content strategy is always working at its best.