5 SEM tips for small businesses

The key to ranking higher than your competitors is an effective search engine marketing (SEM) strategy. However, there’s more to SEM than placing a couple of SEO articles on your website and waiting for customers to come to you. To rate highly in Google searches, you must incorporate the following into your overall SEM strategy.

#1 Set a clear budget

Budgeting is no one’s favourite activity. However, it’s a vital step when determining your SEM strategy and ROI goals. You can get a clear estimate by researching your industry and target audience. Remember, SEM is a long-term project, not an overnight success story. Therefore, your budget should be frequently reviewed, as you learn which SEM tactics are yielding the best returns.

#2 Base your strategy on data

To succeed, your SEM strategy needs to be backed up by research, rather than intuition. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of assuming they know which SEM techniques customers will respond to. However, you won’t know which techniques are most effective until you test them and have data to back it up.

#3 Get inside your customers’ minds

Remember to keep your customers in mind when choosing keywords. That is, do some research into the particular words they put into a search engine when looking for your product or service. There are many handy analytics tools to help you discover the exact words your customers are searching for.

#4 Monitor your competitors

Whatever your industry, you’re bound to have plenty of competitors. When developing your SEM strategy, it’s crucial to examine what they are doing (i.e. on social media channels, email marketing, etc.). Learning what competitors do and don’t do well will help you create a custom SEM strategy specifically for your customers.

#5 Create content for specific keywords

To attract new customers, SEO keywords are essential. However, just like your product or service offerings, these keywords must be tailored specifically to your customer base. In other words, research the words your target market searches for most frequently on Google. Once you know these, create blog content based around these keywords and phrases.

For more advice on developing a targeted search engine marketing strategy, call or email MK2 today.