If you are a business owner who is looking to improve their digital marketing footprint, the first question any reputable digital marketing agency will ask is whether or not your business is performing Search Engine Marketing (SEM). In a competitive market like Malaysia, SEM is critical for a company to have a strong presence online. A great place to start with SEM is Google Ads, formerly Google Adwords, and in Malaysia, Google is king for SEM.
If the answer to the question above is “no”, then you have your work cut out for you. Performing SEM for Google using Google Ads in Malaysia is an excellent way to gain valuable exposure for your brand’s website.
Curious to learn more about using Google Ads in Malaysia? Here is a handy cheat sheet you can reference to inform your next marketing decision.
SEO vs SEM
Before we speak further about SEM, let’s first break down the differences between SEM and SEO, two initialisms you’ve likely encountered. While they are similar, there is a key difference that separates them.
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of enhancing your website’s content to fall in line with Google’s search algorithm, thus resulting in your website ranking higher when a user searches your keywords. SEO is very nuanced and detailed, but the key thing to note is that it is free. Updating your content is done internally, and Google does not accept payment for higher search results; that would give big businesses an unfair competitive advantage.
SEM is the opposite in that it is paid advertising on Google’s platform. In a competitive market like Malaysia, Google Ads serve as a valuable purchase. When searching for keywords, the top results will be reserved for advertisements or Google Ads. Malaysian companies can bid on these keywords so that the ad is listed.
Marketers call this paid media, and in a world dominated by Google searches, Google Ads are Malaysian company’s best bet to quickly raise the search rankings.
How Do Google Ads Work?
If you’ve ever searched on Google, you likely have seen Google Ads in action. By design, Google Ads are made to look like organic search results. The main difference is the amount of information one can include in the ad and the fact that there is a small notice saying “ad” in the upper left corner.
With Google Ads, Malaysian companies can list a host of useful information about their brand’s product or service to encourage users to click on their page. Google Ads allow for three headlines – short descriptions about your brand or what you are promoting – and two descriptions – longer strings of information that appear below the headlines in smaller text.
Brands can also utilize site links to direct users to specific pages in their web domain. For example, a hotel in Kuala Lumpur may use Google Ads to get Malaysians attention, with the main ad linking to the hotel’s home page. Sitelinks in the ad can instead direct them to pages such as Rooms, Gallery, Contact, etc.