6 SEM Best Practices Growth Marketers Need To Master

These six best growth marketing practices will help you maximize your paid search campaigns’ bottom line.

You may hear the terms growth marketing and growth hacking used loosely.

You can even find job titles and functions that specialize on “growth hacking”.

What does growth marketing mean?

Growth marketing means finding and driving the right customers for your business. These customers are most likely to buy from your brand, regardless of whether they are at the top or bottom of the funnel.

What’s the secret to marketing growth in today’s market?

Three words: Search engine marketing (SEM).

Search marketing is not to be confused only with SEO. It has shown time and again that it can produce positive results.

SEM isn’t a one-time effort. It’s an ongoing strategy that will drive qualified customers to conversion over the long term.

Here are six tips to win in the current market for SEM.

1. Deliver value throughout the Decision Journey

Your growth marketing plan must adapt to the changing behavior of your customers.

Who are these customers?

Microsoft Ads research allows us to understand better how customers view the five stages of purchase intent.

  • Awareness: Obtaining background information and understanding the buying landscape to be a better researcher.
  • Consider recommendations and buying guides to find products that meet the essential criteria. A few products are compared to see which ones meet the customer’s requirements, such as ratings, reviews, features, and cost.
  • Conversion Locating where to buy, seeing pricing, promotions, availability, and local stores, and finally making a purchase.
  • Keep: Although you may already have a relationship with a company, they might come across products or services relevant to your business.
  • Expand A satisfied customer leaves reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations for your business. These customers then move on to the Awareness stage.

2. Align your Campaign and Business Goals

Search can help you achieve your business goals.

Make sure your SEM strategy is aligned with your campaign goals.

  • Increase brand awareness and perception. Compete on keywords that are not related to your brand or competitors. Searches that are not brand-related are vital to starting a journey. Non-brand queries influenced 69% Brand ad clicks. After exposure to a brand advertisement on a generic query or a competitor’s, searchers were 30% more likely to conduct a branded search.
  • Get new customers: Search is crucial in consumers’ purchasing decisions. SEM can assist with all stages of the decision-making process.
  • Drive sales. Search’s strength lies in driving conversions. It has higher conversion rates than other marketing channels.
  • Expand your reach into new markets with Search’s ubiquitous nature allows you to create a cross-border marketing strategy. This strategy drives foot traffic using Location Extensions, receives more calls with Call Extensions and increases ad clicks through Sitelink Extensions.

3. Increase Your Marketing Funnel

Search is our constant companion. It’s not just a product. It’s a behavior.

We do search at all times, in all places, on all devices, including our smartphones, laptops and tablets.

It is possible to engage your audience with new audiences by understanding how they search at various points in their buying journeys.

Search has become an engine for insights and now influences all five stages of the buying process (awareness to consideration, conversion, conversion, maintain, expand).

SEM can also strengthen your conversion funnel and unify disparate marketing activities.

4. Take Audience Targeting to the Next Level

Potential customers are not attracted to your business by just right-time, right place engagement.

With audience targeting, you need to reach as many searchers as possible.

Step 1 – Create richer buyer personas by taking into account these factors.

  • BehavioralPast behavior can be used to understand consumers’ interests and the likelihood of purchasing. Analyze user behavior across sites, search engines, and content to understand it better.
  • Demographics: Shopping preferences are affected by essential factors such as age, gender, location, and income.
  • Contextual Searches are often done at the moment. Analyzing where, when, and how consumers search for more effective ad campaigns is helpful.

Step 2 – Select keywords that correspond with your target customers’ key stages and mindsets:

  • Awareness: Keywords like “What is” or “Benefits” are best used at this stage.
  • Consideration – Keywords like “Buying guide” or “Models” are best at this stage.
  • Conversion Keywords like “Where” or “Coupon”, work best at this stage.
  • Maintain: Keywords like “Support” or “Experience” are best at this stage.
  • Experience: Keywords like “Reviews” work best at this stage.

5. Paid Search can help you lift other investments

Combining organic Search and a paid SEM strategy can optimize your search results.

  • Social and paid Search: Customers that click on your social ads and paid searches are more likely to spend more and buy more. You can tailor your bidding strategy to commercial-related PPC campaigns to increase your keyword coverage and get more impressions.
  • TV and Search: Search volume rises for days following a commercial. A Catalyst Digital study found that search volume increased by more than 30% when a commercial aired compared to the same days and times when it did not.
  • Search and display: Running Search and display simultaneously can allow you to decide which channel drives the best results, which may be both, according to Investis Digital.
  • Search, and Other Channels: Purchases made with Microsoft Ads alone have a 27% lower average order value than those that do not include Microsoft Ads. These purchases generate value when paired with other channels.

6. Fight and Win the Battle for Paid Search Budget Sharing

SEM is still a viable option for marketing your brand.

Bring along data that connects search engine marketing to business benefits.

Three elements make up your budget-sharing battle plan:

Choose the Right Metrics to Measure SEM Impact

Metrics make it easy to identify what’s working and what isn’t.

Your team can optimize, test, and change your brand’s SEM strategy for better results.

You can focus your reporting by identifying and tracking key performance indicators that correspond to your business goals.

  • Acquisition of new customers
  • Foot traffic.
  • Get more phone calls
  • Increased ad clicks
  • Building brand trust
  • Expansion of cross-border strategy

SEM Impacts Separated From Other Channels

Find out which channels are driving your marketing results.

Each sale results from many marketing touch over days, weeks, or months.

Attribution can be pretty complicated at times. If you show that campaigns with paid searches deliver ROI and bottom-line results, you will unlock more budget and optimize search performance.

You could be looking at conversions using a last-click model and underestimating the contribution of other channels and tactics.

Use the Same Process to Allocate Budget Between Google Ads and Microsoft Ads

This last piece is when you examine the paid click share and query of each SEM option within your industry.

Your paid ads will help you get your business to a large audience and increase your chances of getting clicks.