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If you’re a web specialist, you are probably aware of the latest vocabulary and acronyms. If not, as a novice, it’s time to become familiar with some of the terms frequently used in the digital world.

As a result of the merger between SEO (Search Engine Optimization), otherwise known as organic or natural referencing, and SEA (Search Engine Advertising), or paid search, the term SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is very often used when dealing with digital marketing.

Combining these two first techniques of referencing, the objective of this SEM strategy aligns in the development of visibility on the web by allowing the advertiser to appear in the first results of the pages of search engines, also called SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

What are the noteworthy differences between SEO and SEA? How do these two SEO techniques complement each other and form SEM? What is the real strength of this combination?

Amauta Marketing, an expert web marketing agency in Laval, with clients in the greater Montréal area and elsewhere in the country, answers these queries.

SEM: Everything You Need to Know About How It Works

What Is SEO?

SEO can be defined as a set of actions implemented by an advertiser in order to optimize its position in the organic results of search engine pages.

The term “natural referencing” takes on its full meaning because no advertising investment is necessary. The result is based on several factors such as the quality of the content, the keywords used, the external links (backlinks) leading to third party pages or the internal linking.

Consequently, this method emphasizes a meticulous and technical work. By its natural or organic aspect, a contrast is established with paid techniques.

What Is SEA?

Depending greatly on your advertising portfolio, this second SEO technique is aligned with the same main objective, which is to increase visibility on the web through a comfortable position on the results of various search engines.

SEA differs from SEO by its immediate but costly benefits. Indeed, as opposed to natural referencing, the principle of this strategy is based on a system of advertisements resulting from a principle of keyword submissions. In this situation, if the marketing campaign is well conducted, your ad can quickly land at the top of the search results.

However, keep in mind that the operation depends fully on the budget allocated to the campaign. Without investment, the traffic to your site will be nil.

SEM: A Global Web Referencing Strategy

SEO + SEA: A Winning Combination

If SEO and SEA appear as two techniques that are opposed in form but similar in content, a complementarity exists between them, giving birth to SEM.

Being perceived as a grouping of digital marketing techniques and not as a single method in itself, the goal of the Search Engine Marketing strategy is to develop the traffic of a website through SEO and SEA techniques.

Indeed, the principle of SEM is based on the fact of being positioned in a natural way in the first results of the search engines in the long term, while optimizing the visibility in a punctual way through paid campaigns and rigorously targeted, provoking an impact in the short term. The role of keywords, common to SEO and SEA, will be decisive.

SMO, The Contribution of Social Networks

Last component of this marketing ecosystem, SMO (Social Media Optimization) gathers actions implemented to increase the visibility of a brand or a company on the web through social networks.

Indeed, in the generation of traffic, social networks can have an impact. YouTube is particularly important in search engine results. It is common to see videos from the platform displayed in the SERP.

Also, let’s not forget that social networks are also responsible for brand awareness and, consequently, for search engine optimization.

Finally, it is possible to conduct advertising campaigns via social networks in order to develop its digital visibility. To do so, many tools exist.

Amauta Marketing, Web Marketing Agency Expert in SEO

Definitely, the control of SEO requires real in-depth skills and a certain experience on the subject. Every company has specific needs, depending on its positioning, its budget and its field of activity.

Amauta Marketing in Laval offers you a personalized accompaniment by setting up the best possible strategy to meet your expectations. Composed of digital experts, the web marketing agency, focused on measurable results, helps you develop your online visibility. These real SEO professionals are waiting for you!

September means it’s time to go back to school, and for Amauta Marketing, it means new additions to its client roster. We are proud to announce Kid Car New York, Montreal SOS Ticket and Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University have retained the services of Amauta Marketing to increase their digital awareness and reach high quality Internet users with targeted Google Ads campaigns.

Kid Car specializes in the safe transport of kids in New York City and supplies cars with child seats adapted to their age group. Kid Car drivers are trained to install these seats correctly and are particularly sensitive to the needs of this young clientele. The company has asked Amauta Marketing to help increase the number of app downloads in the US market.

SOS Ticket provides legal aid for car owners in ticket cases. The company is active in the Montreal market and represents those who wish to contest verdicts against them. Their digital marketing needs include increasing its web presence and they have asked Amauta Marketing to create a tailor-made advertising strategy with Google Ads.

Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University is known worldwide as one of the leading management schools. Its digital marketing objective is to increase its visibility with potential students in the United-States, Great-Britain, China and India, and they have asked Amauta Marketing to help them reach these markets.

The whole Amauta Marketing team is proud to be associated with these three prestigious clients and to assist them with using our digital marketing strategy and experience to build their brands

The optimization of your PPC strategy is essential to maintain or improve your ad campaign’s performance on search engines. Knowing what steps to take or where to start can be confusing, so here are some tips on how to optimize your PPC campaign:

 

  1. Keywords

In a PPC campaign, keyword selection is paramount. To choose your keywords, focus on those that appear in the largest volume of search. It is best to limit yourself to 15-20 keywords per ad group. Poorly chosen keywords can cost you money, so it is a good idea to have a web marketing expert to help you. To learn more, read our blog posting on keywords.

 

  1. Search words vs. negative keywords

It is important to regularly review your list of search words and the keywords being used by Internet users. You could be surprised by what you find.

You want to be vigilant about what search words you DO NOT want to be targeting in order to optimize your ROI. This is called negative keywords, which lets you exclude search terms from your campaign in order to only target the right customers and increase clickthrough. This list of negative keywords can be shared among all your Google Ads campaigns.

We recommend that you list all the negative keywords you want: such as products or services close to yours but you don’t offer, words linked to job postings, names of your competitors, scandals or sensitive subjects you don’t want to associate your company with.

 

  1. Ad Testing

In all marketing initiatives, testing is recommended to maintain effectiveness. Web advertising allows testing opportunities like no other medium. You can create 3-4 banner ads (with different visual and copy elements) for the same keyword groups and then see how their clickthrough performance compares. You can then get a better return on investment. Repeat this process as often as needed, and remember, Google Ads uses an ad rotation system that shows the ads that are performing best throughout your campaign.

 

  1. Geotargeting

This may seem logical, but do not forget to indicate the geographical area in which you wish to have your ads shown. If you only provide services to the Montreal area, it doesn’t make sense to target the whole planet. If you analyze the Geographical Report and conclude that some Internet users are coming from locations that you do not want to target, you can exclude those locations (city, region, country etc.) the same way you do for negative keywords. This avoids wasting your advertising budget.

 

  1. Conversions

Conversions are considered customer actions that your company believes are valuable. They can include purchases, signups, downloads, web page visits or lead generation. To optimize your tracking of conversion actions, consider the following questions:

  • Does your conversion follow-up work?
  • Does the conversion action align with your company’s most important KPI (Key Performance Indicator)?
  • Is the conversion tag on the correct page of your web site or is the Google Analytics corresponding to the correct page and action?
  • Are you tracking too many conversions?

Web marketing experts recommend you follow no more than two conversion actions on Google Ads. For example, for an e-commerce website, it could be sales (a primary KPI) and shopping cart add-ons (a secondary KPI).

In contrast, with Google Analytics, you can follow secondary conversion actions like newsletter signups, downloads of a catalogue or activity on a chat.

The problem with following too many conversions is that each one has a different value; therefore, the overall picture can give a distorted perspective on your actual return on investment of your advertising dollars.

  1. Budgets

A PPC budget requires monitoring and regular adjustments which means you should allocate your budget according to the ad campaign or keywords performance. Keep in mind, often the name of your company or your brand has a high conversion rate, but this doesn’t mean you should invest more on these keywords. The more targeted for conversion, the better.

Bonus Tip: Bing Ads now offers a tool to estimate conversions based on your budget to make it easier and quicker to optimize your budget.

 

Final Advice

Improving and optimizing your PPC campaign is an on-going process based on Internet users behavior and search trends over time. The more you carefully target your keywords and ads, the more you improve your campaign’s performance and optimize your budget.

If you don’t have the time, patience, or knowledge to manage your Google Ads campaign, Amauta Marketing is here to ensure the best possible return on your investment based on your budget.