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seo marketing
November 28, 2018

Our Best Tips for Using Search Engine Marketing in a Small Business

If you feel like a small fish in a big ocean, don’t worry. Search engine marketing – also known as SEM – can be the perfect tool to help you compete with bigger, more established businesses. It’s related to SEO, but you pay for results rather than investing your time and effort. This means that results are often quicker and if you hit upon the right keywords, you can be competing with the big boys in no time!

We want to help your small business succeed, so to do that and help you take your first steps in search engine marketing, we’ve rounded up 9 of our all-time best SEM tips to help you set out on the right foot. Ready to dominate in search engine marketing? Great, so are we. Read on!

Know your audience

Deep down, we all know that this is a rule for a business stop and not just marketing. The first step on that journey is to get to know your audience as well as if they were standing in front of you – just because they are online is no excuse. Nail that audience down, or see it disappear!

Long tail keywords FTW

As you’ll discover on your SEM journey, the choicest, most popular keywords come with a hefty price tag. Now, there’s nothing wrong with paying for the best ones in certain circumstances, but by only using short-tail keywords (trendy ones), you’ll burn through your budget in record time. Research less popular keywords that still get plenty of clicks (look for the best balance of search volume and price per click), and you’ll find that these “long tail” keywords will still work hard for your money.

Keep your persona in mind at all times

With so many options at your fingertips when it comes to creating search ads, it can be easy to get carried away with cool groups of people, interests, locations, and demographics. Don’t! Avoid this risk by using your research (#1) to develop solid customer personas, and keep these personas in mind at all times when creating ads.

Create smart content

Although it’s not essential, many small businesses see great results from a combination of search marketing and organic SEO via a blog or content marketing. This is great, but it’s easy to let content creation get out of control in a small business. Avoid this by creating smart – use the 80/20 rule, repurpose content, and always reuse the best.

Become a fountain of info

Becoming an expert in your niche will give you huge benefits that affect your whole business – and your SEM campaigns are no exception. Think about giving this knowledge a permanent home on your website with a glossary or content library – the results for SEM and SEO will be stellar.

Use your info to blog

Another strategy that works best when you unite SEM and SEO is blogging. Blogs are great for SEO, and you can super-power them by running SEM campaigns around the best, most asked-for content on your blog. Remember, in blogging, consistency is key, so start conservatively and keep it going.

Focus on the niche with the best ROI

If your business offers some services, remember to focus all your search engine marketing efforts on the one with the highest possible return on investment. You won’t have the time or budget to run campaigns for everything you do, so make sure you’re investing where it will have the most financial benefit.

Plan a journey with your ads

It’s really easy to create search ads with the tools offered by services like Bing and Google – a few clicks, and you’re done. Haphazard clicking won’t produce the most effective results, however. It’s important to plan a customer journey with your ads, tying them into your brand values, website, and content marketing efforts. Making sure they’re all in harmony will return the best results.

Apply automation carefully

Once you’ve gotten started with search engine marketing, you might build up to such a level of ads that it becomes time-consuming and tedious to deal with them. There are lots of tools and automated systems that can make and run your ads for you. Make sure you have a firm grasp on the tool and your needs and results before you leave them to manage your ads. A little bit of wayward automation can create trouble (and credit card bills!) like you wouldn’t believe!

So, we hope these suggestions are relevant and helpful for your businesses first steps in search engine marketing. SEM can be a powerful tool but, like any power tool, you need great control, or you’ll suddenly find you’re not the one calling the shots anymore!

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