November 3, 2017
When small business owners hear about SEM, the first questions on their mind are, “What is it, and how will it help me?”
SEM stands for search engine marketing. This form of marketing will help increase your business’s visibility on a search engine through the use of paid advertisements. Whenever a potential customer begins their search for a product or service related to your offerings, a good SEM strategy will make sure that your product or service pops up on the search engine results pages.
Here are some ways your small business can benefit from an effective SEM strategy.
SEM is More Cost Effective
When compared to traditional forms of advertising, SEM can be a lot more cost effective. Sometimes when setting up a budget, the traditional methods can cost a lot. Therefore, a small business may not be able to fully utilize traditional advertising for their marketing needs. With an SEM strategy, you can set the budget to as little as you want. For example, you can set your budget to as low as $5 a day or as high as a $1000 a day depending on what your needs are and what your budget will allow.
SEM is Flexible
With a lot of traditional advertising methods, you have to work on a rigid timeline. You also have to come up with your ads months in advance. Any changes you want to make later on can be costly. With an SEM strategy, you have the flexibility to change your ads or tweak your campaign strategy when the need comes up. SEM makes it easier for your business to take advantage of social trends that you can incorporate into your marketing. Sometimes businesses will try to capitalize on holidays such as Easter or Thanksgiving in order to increase business. Instead of having an Easter ad or a Thanksgiving ad planned out months in advance, you can wait until the holiday comes around to see what ad would work well for the holiday for this particular year. With traditional advertising, often times there is a lot of guesswork involved in whether or not an ad will be successful. SEM will allow you to wait a while so that you can get a feel as to how the public would react before putting an ad in place.
You can also rework ad campaigns that are not working. By making the switch over to an SEM strategy, you do not have to stick with strategies that do not work! This added flexibility saves you a lot of time because you do not have to waste time on ad campaigns that are not generating the results you want.
SEM is More Transparent
Employing an SEM strategy is more transparent because you receive detailed reports on the number of impressions (how many people see your ad) your ad makes, click through rates (the percentage of people who actually click on your ad after the initial impression), how often your ad is clicked on, and the conversion rate (the percentage of visitors on your website that converted after clicking on your ad). This level of transparency on ad performance is better than traditional methods because you gain a more in-depth report over the specific ads that work and which ads don’t work.
SEM Gives You More Control
As explained above, SEM strategy is less costly because you have more control over the budget you want to set. SEM also gives you more control in terms of what keywords you want associated with your products. Having control over the keywords is important because it can better help control the connotation surrounding your message. In a way, it also helps to ensure that the keywords associated with your ad is in line with your brand image. Therefore, doing keyword research and picking keywords that are right for you are extremely important.
SEM also gives you control by allowing you to monitor the campaigns in real time. This allows you to make changes to your SEM strategy as you see fit. This is a level of control that traditional methods do not readily provide.
This level of control also gives you the autonomy to test and experiment with a variety of different ads to figure out which ad works best for you and the goals you have for your business. For one, you have more control over the timeline and how you want to release your ads. Often times with traditional advertising, you have to work with the timeline you are given by the people who are hosting your ad. With SEM, you can work based on a release schedule that you control.