Why is Search Engine Marketing in Singapore Important for Startups & SMEs? For start-up businesses and small and medium enterprises, having a high brand awareness among potential customers can kickstart your success. With that in mind, many new business owners direct their attention towards Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for their online platforms. SEO allows your website to appear at the top of the result page of search engines. However, it takes a long time (3-6months) before a website can reach even the first page of search engine results. This is where Search Engine Marketing for Singapore start-ups and SMEs comes into play.
With the advancement of Smartphones, people usually research on the go. Mobile & Desktop Users usually pay attention to the first thing they find on the search engine. So, for businesses that are in their earlier stages, 3-6 months is too long a time to wait; every minute lost in fixing your SEO can cause loss of sales from potential customers. For instant results, start-ups and SMEs can utilize SEM for their online marketing.
Search Engine Marketing in Singapore, or more known as SEM, is one of the most popular digital marketing practices. It is commonly used by brands to attract customers to their website whilst building their SEO. However, SEM is usually overlooked by smaller businesses that are in favor of using SEO. SEO is a free way to reach online customers and ensure long-term growth for your website, even though it takes a long time. On the other hand, SEM can make your ads appear on the first page of the search engine within just a few days. It also gives you a huge variety of ad formats to choose from.
So, what is SEM? How does it work? How effective is Search Engine Marketing for Singapore start-ups and SMEs in terms of boosting brand awareness and improving their sales?
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING IN SINGAPORE
Search Engine Marketing or SEM attracts potential customers to your website through paid search advertising. Paid advertising allows you to buy advertising space on the search engine results page. Instead of waiting for months for the SEO to rank your website in a high position, SEM can have your ad appear in front of the search results immediately.
How does SEM do so? Search Engine Marketing in Singapore allows you to buy your advertising space on search engines and bid on keywords. Keywords represent what your potential customers are looking for. For example, if your business offers “cleaning services”. By bidding on the keywords “ Cleaning Services, Singapore”. Your advertisement can immediately reach people who are searching for phrases like “Cleaning Services in Singapore”. These people are looking for “solutions” online. Since your ads are relevant to what they are searching for, they will be more likely to engage your services; despite them not knowing your brand in the first place.
Another benefit for SEM is that if your website has reached a high ranking in search engines using two or three popular keywords, through SEO. As a result, your website attracts many visitors. However, a competitor can buy search ads on the keywords that your website depended on for online traffic. This takes away a portion of your page’s visitors and redirects them to your competitor’s site. You can do the same to your competitors by bidding on the keywords they are using to snatch their traffic. This is a common issue among start-ups and SMEs that solely depend on SEO for their online marketing.
Though it is still important to take in mind that this article is not saying that SEM is better than SEO, or vice versa; each serves its own purpose and major brands with larger budgets for Marketing usually would utilize both. Rather, it’s stating that Search Engine Marketing in Singapore can give your business an immediate boost in terms of online marketing, while you are taking your time to get your SEO ranking in a higher placement.
IMPORTANCE OF SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING IN SINGAPORE
Still, as mentioned earlier, many are not aware of the benefits of Search Engine Marketing for Singapore start-ups and SMEs. To have a clearer view of how SEM can help boost your online marketing, here are some of the advantages of using this method:
SEM Generates Immediate Results
As mentioned, using SEO to rank higher in search engines can be a “waiting game”, whereas SEM can produce immediate results. Ads usually take a few minutes to make. The average time between creating the ad, having it approved by the search engine, and launching the ad is only around one business day.
Not only does SEM quickly launch ads, but it also places your ad at the top of the search engine results page in no time. Having a paid search ad gives you a good chance of being at the top of the SERPs (search engine results page). It also depends if you have a good adscore and a high enough bid for your keyword. Being on the top of search engines, especially the first page, is vital for any business because this part has the highest online traffic. High exposure to potential customers is important for small enterprises as a greater number of website visitors can lead to higher sales. Your marketing ad becomes less effective once it starts to place on the later pages of the search engine because the number of people visiting those pages becomes scarce.
With the right ad copy, title, and bid, SEM can help your business to appear at the top of search rankings, without having to wait for so long.
SEM Increases Brand Awareness
Because SEM immediately places your ad at the top of search engines, it provides immediate brand awareness to your business. According to Google, search ads can increase brand awareness by 80%. Which is a big thing for brands that are just starting to get their name out to the market.
Even if a user does not click your ad, it still gains exposure because of its position on top of the page. If you can consistently stay visible at the top of the page, it would be easy for potential customers to recognize your product, brand name, or URL. Potential customers also have the possibility of clicking your ad if it includes keywords that they are looking for. Also, if your website gives the customer what they are looking for, it can easily translate to a purchase of your product.
SEM Brings Consistent Online Traffic
Online marketing is not only about achieving brand recognition among potential customers. It is also about maintaining their awareness of your brand and having consistent sales no matter what time of the year it is. Unfortunately, spikes and drops in the number of people visiting your site happen often, and sometimes you would not know why that happens. Search Engine Marketing in Singapore helps you plan, forecast, and budget future ads you are planning to launch. Paid ads can generate consistent traffic for certain keywords and help you control the number of people coming to your site at any time.
SEM Reaches Your Target Customers
More important than having many people visit your website is having the right people to visit your page. Paid search ads allow you to target a specific group of people that will benefit from your service or product. Which has more potential to be a paying customer. Through SEM, you can customize or select the audience that will far more likely to see and engage with your online advertisements.
SEM Gives You More Competitive Data
SEM also helps your business in discovering helpful information that can improve the status of your online marketing advertisements. It allows you to analyze your ads. You will be able to see which ads receive the most clicks; how much revenue did the ad generate, and the more important trends. It also offers you keywords that reflect what your potential customers are searching online.
However, as mentioned earlier, search ads is a competitive area of online marketing. The great thing about SEM is that it also delivers insights about your competitors. You can check your competitor’s ads and compare the keywords they are using with yours. By allowing you to analyze other company’s performance, SEM allows you to improve the effectiveness of your ad campaign. If you do it right, you’ll be able to outshine your competitors whilst using the same keywords.
SEM is Diverse and Flexible
Search Engine Marketing for Singapore start-ups and SMEs makes way for ads that can reach a variety of audience, anytime, anywhere. It gives you the freedom to customize your online marketing based on your audience and location. It also gives you a variety of options that fits your budget.
SEM provides several ad options to choose from. Text-based ads are common amongst businesses who use paid searches. However, there are other types of ads that you can explore, depending on your budget, goal, and audience, such as:
- Display Ads: banners at the top, sides or footer of a website or result page
- Re-Targeting Ads: ads that display on other websites based on a user’s previous searches
- Call Tracking: ads are targeted or re-targeted to those who have called a specific number that is displayed on a search ad
Lastly, SEM helps you gain online traffic across different platforms. With 2.71 Billion people having access to a smartphone; many companies are looking into mobile marketing or creating online advertisements that suit the features of mobile phones. Through SEM, your ads can reach even those potential customers that use their phone, rather than a computer, for online searches.
SEM Is Worth It, If You Can Afford It
One reason why many small enterprises use SEO rather than SEM is that SEO is cheaper. In SEM, you are paying for advertising space in a search engine. This is enough reason for many business owners to dismiss SEM and think that its cost will outweigh the benefits. However, as we pointed out, there are many benefits to using SEM that are worth your investment. If you run your ads correctly, there is a potential for a 2x return of investment per dollar spent as stated by Google.
The budget is not a big problem for start-ups and SMEs that are interested in utilizing SEM in their marketing. There is no minimum amount that is required for you to run an ad; for as little as $5, you can already create an online campaign for your business.
Search Engine Marketing in Singapore is also more cost-efficient than traditional advertisements like TV ads. Instead of targeting a broad audience that may or may not be your target customer; search ads can specifically target customers that will avail of your product. It is also free to create changes in your paid ads. If the ad performs well or you experience an unexpected decline in sales, it would be easier to adjust it accordingly; unlike in TV ads where you are tied to a contract and you need approval before making any changes. SEM ads cost you less because you already know what works for you and what doesn’t.
These should be enough reasons for you to consider Search Engine Marketing for Singapore start-ups and SMEs. Again, this does not prove that SEM is the best or better than other online advertising practices like SEO. Rather, you can utilize SEM to boost brand awareness and revenue in a short period of time.
So if you are in the early stages of your business, always consider using SEM to see immediate results. To learn more about SEM, you can visit the Sevenwolves website.