This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bing Network. All opinions are 100% mine.

Search is changing. As consumers evolve the way they interact with technology, search is adapting to better understand user behaviour. Search is now more accessible than ever. It has become an integral part of a new ecosystem of connected devices. And it is becoming more organic and more intertwined with our daily activities. Your business should take advantage of new opportunities search presents.

What really matters for any business is attracting and retaining customers and increasing profit overtime. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can play a critical role in driving sales for your business. It can deliver high quality and relevant leads thanks to advanced targeting segmentation.

If your business is ready to make a long-term investment in search advertising, treat it as a marathon, not a sprint, to keep up with the competition and gain the maximum benefits.

Why SEM is Important for your business

Search engine marketing is one of the most lucrative digital strategies to attract relevant and targeted audience to your business site. Visitors who come in through search engines tend to be highly targeted. A well-planned search engine marketing strategy can significantly increase your business’ turnover.

Every day, millions of people type-in billions queries into search engine, looking for solutions and answers to their problems. Your business has the unique opportunity to target people directly based on what they are looking for online, putting your brand right in front of targeted audience, generating awareness and more importantly relevant traffic to your website or landing page. Here is why SEM matters for your small business.

Search engine marketing is predictable

You can’t determine how much traffic you can attract from your content marketing efforts, but with SEM, your visitors are directly tied to how much you spend. You know what to expect. You can also drive visitors to your website in hours, not months.

Once you understand how people search, you can adjust your adcopy messaging, calls to action and landing pages accordingly.

According to Jacob Raadsgaard, (Founder and CEO Disruptive Advertising), pay-per-click advertising has produced amazing results for companies he has worked with in the past.

“After spending a few years at Omniture/Adobe, I knew that what they really wanted wasn’t more leads—they wanted more sales. The trick was going to be producing more sales at an acceptable cost-per-acquisition. After identifying what we were really after, I set them up with Search Center (which has since evolved into Adobe Media Optimiser). Since the goal was sales, not just leads, we took the time to integrate Search Center their custom in-house CRM, AdWords and BingAds. 

He further said in a post on the Disruptive Advertising blog:

“By tracking things all the way through to the client’s bottom line, it was fairly easy to identify some quick wins and begin optimizing our campaigns for overall profitability.

It’s measurable 

You can test a campaign, analyze your results, and optimise to improve it. You can continually optimise your keywords, the amount of money you spend and the content you use.

If you’re having an amazing results and want to scale up your efforts, all that you do is raise your budget a bit or target additional keywords.

Oleg Calugher, Co-founder of MyUKMailbox, shared his experience with Small Business Trends.

“While we generated steady traffic from PPC campaigns, we realized early on that our landing page wasn’t doing a great job converting,” said Calugher. “Fortunately, since we monitored our PPC campaigns closely each day, we were able to spot the problem and immediately correct it. One idea we are playing with in the future is the use of a short, animated video to quickly explain how we work and build customer trust.”

You will know what to expect when you make an adjustment. This is not the same with content marketing. You can produce more content but you don’t know if that will attract prospective customers.

 It’s easier to run a profitable campaign

It’s a lot easier to manage your SEM campaign. You have every opportunity to identify the areas which needs improvements for better results. While it may take a while see the full impact of your first search engine marketing campaign, it’s highly flexible and can be set up in a few hours.

With the help of a digital advertising agency, Siutse, a small salon business, used Bing Ads to increase sales leads by 104%. In a case study, the agency said:

“By expanding the Siutse search advertising campaign with Bing Ads, White Shark Media provided more leads and improved the company’s return on investment significantly. Specifically, the agency increased the amount of phone calls by 144 percent and decreased the cost per lead by 96 percent. “After running ads on the Bing Network for just three months,” says store owner David Nuñez, “The company has achieved better results than I ever expected.”

In another case study, an online florist company recorded superior return on investment.

“FloraQueen earned a cost per acquisition lower than Google AdWords and a superior return on investment. The company is actively looking to spend more on Bing search advertising. “I want to do more with Bing Ads,” says FloraQueen marketing director, Jonatan Nuñez Garcia. “For me, there’s no limit in advertising spend as long as I get the cost per acquisition I want and expect and continue to get a good return on investment.”

It pays to keep an open mind

Search engine marketing is more than just Adwords. Google is not your only option. Bing’s technology is increasingly being adopted across the industry. The Bing Network allows you to reach unique audiences. Combined with Bing’s syndication partners such as Yahoo, AOL, WSJ, adMarketplace amongst others, the Network reaches 1 in 3 PC searches in the U.S.

That’s 170 million searchers in the U.S., 56 million which are exclusive to Bing network. And these searchers spend 22% more than the average internet searcher. A full 25% of clicks on Bing Network are queries only searched on Bing.

The Bing Network is an option that complements existing Google solutions. Your business should take advantage of the opportunities the Network presents, especially since it’s likely to perform more efficiently with better ROI and lower CPC.

Bing is deeply integrated throughout Microsoft products and Windows 10. There are over 200 million devices running Windows 10. Microsoft are aiming to have Windows 10 on 1 billion devices by 2018. Bing is also the default search engine for Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant.

Bing isn’t limited to Microsoft

Bing powers the web results for Apple products such as Siri and Spotlight Search. It is the default search on Amazon Kindle devices. Uber also uses Bing’s mapping technology for it’s services. Bing utilises data from Yelp, Twitter, Foursquare and TripAdvisor to enhance search results. Bing Network is where you want to be when consumers are making decisions.

Learn more about Bing Network

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