New Trends in SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

We’ve all heard of SEO…but SEM?

SEM is Search Engine Marketing. It is a form of marketing that involves the promotion of websites. It increases search engine rankings primarily through paid marketing.

Every year brings new technology to the marketing space and SEM is no exception. Here are some trends businesses need to be aware of.

PPC

PPC and SEM go hand in hand. This internet advertising model involves an advertiser paying a publisher when an ad is clicked, and it is instrumental in boosting a website’s search engine visibility.

Those who want to use PPC to its best advantage must be on top of the current trends and to say 2020 has thrown even the most experienced experts for a loop may be an understatement. But with all challenges, there is an opportunity for learning.

When it comes to being prepared for 2021, we’ve learned not to rely on the automated tools PPC offers, but also to think of what’s going on around us. For instance, in 2020, we saw a rise in e-commerce due to more people staying at home. We also saw a shortage of supply that negatively affected many company’s abilities to sell.

While we can still count on tools to automate, we must use our abilities as humans to take consumer trends into account. This will help ensure ads are hyper-focused and it can also account for dynamic elements the advertisers can insert including lowest prices, product variants, and limited availability which can be effective in promoting a sense of urgency.

Google Ads

Google ads play a primary role in SEM. Their ability to allow advertisers to bid to display brief advertisements or product listings can place ads in the results of search engines and non-search websites.

In recent times, it has become more of a challenge for advertisers to maintain control over their campaigns and not let Google’s optimizations take over. One way to achieve the optimal balance is through the use of keywords.

When it comes to keywords, Google favors consistency. The more similar your keywords are in terms of performance, the more successful your campaign will be. It is important to determine the user’s intent and use keywords with a similar focus.

You will also want to declutter your campaign to stop wasting money on ad spend. A good way to do this is to study analytics Quality Score and Search Query Report. These will help you determine what search terms are most effective so you can focus on them and eliminate the rest.

While investing in new keywords is important, the best thing you can do is make sure you have the market share on the keywords that will bring you the most business. You can do this by monitoring the impression share you have on Google Ads SERPs.

Check your competitor’s market shares and the top 10 campaigns. If you are not showing up in those campaigns, you have the tools you need to determine your next move.

New Search Engines Taking Over

Let’s face it, when we talk about getting to the top of search engines, we usually think of Google. The term “We’ve got Google for that,” clearly marks them as the defining voice of SEO.

But now there are new kids in town. Search engines like DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Neva, and You.com are starting to come up in the ranks. Meanwhile, Google has been undergoing scrutiny due to business practices that are considered unethical.

It has been alleged that the company uses anti-competitive practices. Some users also claim they would like more privacy measures in place when they use the engine.

Admittedly, it will take a lot for new search engines to dethrone Google, but they are using unique strategies that just may be effective. DuckDuckGo and Neeva are focusing on users interested in building out their ‘own corner of the web’, an appealing angle for that intent on maintaining privacy.

While details regarding You.com are still fuzzy, they seem to be heading in a direction that offers benefits by helping users with online purchasing decisions.

If these search engines manage to gain ground against Google, they could take over, or they could motivate Google to keep up by providing competitive options. In any case, the arrival of new search engines is something SEM marketers need to keep their eye on and shape their strategies accordingly.

Conclusion

Already a month into the new year, we are seeing changes in SEM starting to take effect. Marketers can keep up by combining the conveniences of AI with their own sense of reasoning and intuitiveness. This will come into play in determining technology, consumer and keyword trends and shaping their strategies with them in mind.

The bar is set. Are you prepared for what 2021’s SEM brings to the table?