Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a term that can be considered as the art and science of getting traffic to your website. As a small business, you can use this strategy to achieve growth with your business, so it’s essential to have one in place.
Aside from including this tactic in your strategy, you can also try different tools to analyze information and calculate your metrics. If you’re utilizing analytics tools but are confused about them, here’s your cheat sheet to Google Search Console vs. Google Analytics.
What Is Search Engine Marketing?
As a small business, improving your visibility is one of your primary goals. You can achieve this by investing in Search Engine Marketing (SEM) efforts. All activities related to advertising on paid and other similar platforms to drive traffic back towards your website or landing page for conversion purposes fall under SEM. This traffic can be grouped into organic or paid traffic.
- Organic Traffic
Organic traffic refers to the ‘natural’ or unpaid search results that pop up on a user’s screen when they enter a keyword. As an entity, your goal is to rank high in these types of searches so you can generate more leads and sales for your business.
Therefore, your website content must be relevant to your main keyword to rank higher with search engines’ algorithms. They should also be informative and well-written for the sake of quality and relevance to your target audience.
- Paid Traffic
Paid traffic refers to the paid advertisement that you see when you perform a search. It makes your goal of competing for high-value spots on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) possible. This, in turn, can help your business make more money with new leads, sales, and conversions.
Combining these two tactics can be a powerful way to optimize your content for better rankings. Digital marketing agencies, like BCC Interactive Digital Marketing Agency, make use of SEM to get visibility from both organic and paid searches.
Benefits Of SEM For Small Businesses
Many benefits come with investing in SEM for small businesses. They’re as follow:
- Your company may rank higher on search engines, thus more likely to get found by potential customers looking for your services or products.
- More exposure and visibility can lead to increased business.
- It’s cheaper than other forms of marketing like TV or radio ads, mainly when appropriately utilized.
- Your company will be able to get the best bang for your buck.
With these advantages, it isn’t surprising that more and more companies are turning to them. In fact, many small businesses have started including SEM efforts to develop a highly converting digital marketing strategy over the past years.
How To Get Started With SEM
There are many ways a small business can start with SEM. Some strategies include:
- Keyword Search
Your campaign can start with keyword research. You determine keywords relevant to your industry or niche of interest so that search engines know who you are when people search for these terms.
You can then use these keywords throughout your content marketing efforts, including social media posts and blog articles, among other things. This step allows you to rank higher than competitors when potential customers search for products or services related to yours online. Read this guide to keyword search for starters.
- Images, Videos, & Links
The next step is to include relevant and appropriate images on your website as well as videos or links. Your content should be engaging in a way that will compel visitors to want to learn more about what you have for sale.
- Content Marketing
This strategy includes (but isn’t limited to) writing blog posts, press releases, social media posts, and more. You can also apply this in creating product listings, which are essentially one-page websites about your products or services made on e-commerce platforms.
- Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
PPC advertising is when you pay for each click on your advertisement, a banner, or text ad that appears in search results or on social media feeds. Your objective with this type of paid marketing should always be to drive traffic from the general public.
Other Things You Need To Know About SEM
As a small business that has just tried or is looking to try this kind of marketing, here are some things you need to know.
- The results of your SEM efforts are improved with a well-optimized site and continued optimization. Realistically, a business can see its effects in a matter of weeks if the site has been appropriately set up.
- Organic traffic is a long-term investment in marketing. It may take time before any fruitful returns are seen, which can be discouraging for some.
- Some businesses may not afford an in-house Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert or even full-time staff for maintaining their online presence. There are resources available such as hiring freelance specialists and using software programs to streamline some of the work involved.
- Marketing your business on social media will also help. Still, you need to be careful about what you say for marketing purposes. It’s always best not to make false claims or mislead people in any way.
- Using analytics can help you analyze your performance and identify what needs improvement. Your reports will help identify any issues with crawling or indexing so that you know if your changes are effective.
If you’re a small business owner, chances are that the idea of search engine marketing (SEM) is something new to you. Hopefully, this post has provided an understanding of how it can be used effectively by your organization.