@ChristiJOlson, https://www.linkedin.com/in/christijolson

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Increasing sales means attracting more customers to your website. It all starts with reaching your ideal target customer quicker. That’s where search engine marketing (SEM), also known as pay-per-click (PPC) and paid search, can help by increasing the visibility of your website.

Here are five SEM tips to help you reach your best customers.

1. Know Your Customers

A little customer research goes a long way in helping you to target and attract new customers (and hold on to the ones you already have).

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What terms do searchers use to find your product or service?
  • Where are your target customers located?
  • Do prospects use mobile or desktop search to find you?
  • When are people most likely to search for your business?
  • What drives your target audience to purchase your products or use your service?

This information can help you build campaigns and ad groups targeting different customer types with the keywords, ad copy, and landing pages most appealing to them and their needs.

2. Get Trendy

Many ad platforms have tools that help you know when, where, and what device to bid on so that your ad is shown to qualified potential customers.

For example, Bing Ads tools like ad scheduling, device targeting, and location targeting, show you click-through rate (CTR) and cost per click (CPC) trends for potential customers based on industry and sub-industry. The click-through rate refers to the number of people who see your ad and click it. This metric is often used to gauge how well your ads and keywords are performing. Cost-per-click is the amount you pay every time someone clicks on your ad. This amount is set by you, the advertiser.

Using these tools effectively can translate into money saved by helping you zero in on ideal customers when building or optimizing your SEM campaign.

3. Build a Successful Campaign

A successful campaign starts with a little organization and planning. Choose whether you want to split your campaigns by theme, goal, or category. If it’s by goal — such as generating general business awareness, driving searchers to your website or increasing foot traffic — craft your ad groups, ads, and landing pages with that goal in mind.

If category or theme is more appealing for you, mirror your website’s navigation in your campaign structure by creating a campaign for each product category and an ad group for each sub category. An organized campaign structure will also help you stay on top of your budget, ad groups, ads, keywords, and customer targeting in the bigger picture.

4. Stay on Target

Getting your ad in front of those customers most likely to buy your service or product means using built-in targeting features in search advertising platforms like Bing Ads.

You can target ads by:

  • Geography
  • Day
  • Time
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Device type
  • Remarketing (targeting previous website visitors)

For example, based on your research, you may want to target business customers in your city searching for local web development firms in the morning on tablets. You will save precious SEM budget by optimizing your ads to be displayed to those searching for your product or service when and where they’re most apt to buy. Learn more about how to target your best customers and increase your sales reach with these how-tos from Bing Ads.

5. Land Your Best Customers for Higher Conversions

The goal of your landing page is to get the visitor to complete a specific action – for example, click on product details, sign up for your service, opt-in for a newsletter, or something else. These actions are called conversions and a great landing page often results in higher conversions.
Construct your page so that the keywords, features, and benefits most important to your customers are front and center. Simplicity in copy and design is key. Avoid jargon as customers want clear, concise language about your business and your products. It also lends credibility. Lastly, make sure to highlight your call to action too!

The Bing Ads team is offering Microsoft Partners the chance to receive $150 USD in search advertising credit with Bing Ads if they take advantage of the Microsoft Digital Commerce and Campaign Network (DCCN) which helps build awareness, generate demand and increase sales with rich, interactive content for partner websites.  Find out more and sign up by visiting Microsoft DCCN. Click here for offer Ts & Cs.

How do you plan to use SEM to drive customers to your website? What successes and struggles have you experienced to date? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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