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Established 2009

Digital Advertising

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Digital Advertising with Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Traffic. If you’re a driver, it spells trouble. But if you depend on a website for your livelihood, the more traffic, the better. Pile it on, in fact. Especially when it’s quality traffic that will be likely to purchase what you are selling.

But how to get more traffic, and fast?

Paying for your web traffic is the quickest, most trackable, and most powerful way to get an immediate flood of visitors to your website. This is the realm of search engine marketing (SEM).

The term SEM is a misnomer because – technically – your ads can appear on more than just “search engines”; rather, they can show up on a wide variety of websites … any of potentially millions. Typically, your ads are delivered via ad networks that serve up your text or banner ads on search engine results pages (SERPs) like Google or Bing. Your ads may also run almost any given type of website, such as news sites, specialty/interest sites, shopping, commercial or personal blogs and many, many more.

Digital ads typically come in many flavors.

Text Ads

Text ads are simply snippets of text with no accompanying images. Text ads can show up on pages like Google’s search page OR on private websites who have agreements with ad networks to show text ads.

Text ads are ideal for helping you target people with specific needs since they show up in response to specific keyword searches by your prospects. They are well-suited for targeting people with specific interests, needs, or sentiments as expressed in keywords they use on search engines like Google. You can also target prospects based upon geography, age, interests, and other factors. Text ads are usually managed on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis.

Display Ads

Also known as banner ads, display ads are static or animated image ads of a predefined pixel dimension (e.g., 728 x 90, 300 x 250, 120 x 600, etc.). The standardized size format allows the ads to be shown on millions of websites that want to generate ad revenue.

Display ads are ideal for building your brand and driving specific actions (like visits to your website). A picture (or animated graphic) is worth a thousand words. Banners ads are often run on a cost-per-impression (CPM) basis. Targeting prospects via display campaigns can take into account geography, gender, age, affinity groups, and even keywords.

Video Ads

Video ads are shown on YouTube, Vimeo, and other popular video websites that promote video content, often as a clip that is shown as pre-roll before a video plays. This is an increasingly-powerful ad medium. After all, the second-most-popular search engine after Google is YouTube! In fact, it is estimated that 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Video is a great way to use story to sell your brand. Videos can range in length from a few seconds to a few minutes. Video ads leverage typical geographical and demographic factors, as well as psychographics.

Social Media Ads

Social media ads are sometimes confused with social media content. While they all leverage popular social media platforms such as Facebook, social media ads are in fact different. Shown on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others, social media ads usually combine text and images. Bid types range from CPM to CPC formats.

In addition to geographic targeting, social media ads leverage the power of social media platforms’ extensive and very specific knowledge of their users. This translates to very specific targeting options that help with conversion rates.

Retargeting Ads

Also known as remarketing ads, retargeting ads leverage one of the above-mentioned formats – such as display ads or retargeting ads. But they are shown in a different way. Here’s how retargeting works: once a prospect has visited your website, retargeting ads will “follow” that person around on other websites – showing your ads directly to them over the coming weeks or months directly. Your ads just automatically “re-target” your past website visitors.

Clicks or Conversions?

Most ad networks that leverage the above-described ad formats allow for conversion tracking. A conversion can be defined however you like – by any measurable action on the site. Examples of conversions are: a purchase, a web form fill, a visit to a particular page, the download of a PDF brochure, or many others. Conversions represent a “valued action” that is more valuable than a simple site or page visit.

While conversion tracking is not a requirement of a solid search engine marketing campaign, setting it up can certainly contribute to more trackable results. That because when it comes to web traffic, it’s not only quantity – but quality – that matters. With conversion tracking, you will be able to know WHICH particular ads and target keywords are leading to sales (or some other desirable action). That’s powerful.

Find out about how an expert-designed SEM program can benefit your bottom line. Contact MindEcology today.


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