Search Trends – Expanding the SEM sandbox

Search Trends – Expanding the SEM Sandbox
Feb
08
2016
Posted by: Melissa Burghardt – VP, Media Products

The way people search for products and services online has dramatically changed in recent years. There was a time, not so long ago, when the search journey, if you could call it that, required nothing more than simply inputting a query into a search engine and then rummaging through the search results page (via a desktop computer, no less!).

We’ve come a long way since then. In fact, it’s safe to say that the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) “sandbox” has rapidly expanded well beyond the once tried-and-true desktop search results page.   

Technology is evolving at a dizzying pace – as is the way consumers are adapting to it. The digital experiences we create today will likely be “outdated” in a year (if not within the next few months). Keeping up with this constant change is not easy to do; however, the businesses that stay ahead of the curve are those that ultimately succeed in the long term. Here are a few ways marketers and business owners alike can stay nimble in this constantly changing search landscape:

  1. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” Adapting to changes in search behavior does not mean that more conventional marketing tactics suddenly fall by the wayside in the face of newer, shinier options. For example, everyone seems to be talking today about mobile as the next battleground for engaging consumers, driving sales, and creating cohesive digital experiences. While it’s true that mobile marketing is a very effective way of reaching the ready-to-buy consumer, it’s important to keep in mind that today’s “zigzagging” path to purchase involves a myriad of devices, platforms, and both online and offline experiences. Conventional SEM is still an important way of reaching consumers at one point along the purchase funnel.
  2. Know your customer with data. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are mining search data to provide brands and businesses with keen insights and enhanced targeting options that help them pinpoint the exact audiences they want to reach and engage. Not only has this data made it possible for marketers to better understand changing consumer behaviors, but it also allows them to tailor marketing campaigns that address the specific wants, needs, and expectations of their target consumers. By using data to know who your customers are, how they behave, and what they care about (ie. search for), you will be better equipped to reach them as they “zigzag” through their purchase journey – hopefully one that leads them directly to your brand!
  3. Know when to get help. DIY is less of an option and more of a reality for many small business owners, especially those just getting their businesses off the ground. Executing more than a simple SEM campaign can be hard to do without some level of expertise or a reasonable understanding about how the search ecosystem operates – as will monitoring and optimizing those campaigns to ensure the best results. So it’s important to know when to ask for help when it’s time to step up your search marketing game. There are plenty of experts (YP℠ included!) that will gladly lend a hand.

In short, search marketing is all about turning online searches into new opportunities. For more information on how YP helps businesses do just that, visit YP Marketing Solutions today.

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