Search Engine Marketing can be a difficult term for most business owners to grasp.

Those that understand it are able to get a competitive advantage. An affective SEM strategy can drive significant traffic to a website. It can also lower the average cost per acquisition of a new customer. Here's how SEM can help.

Search is one of the most trusted mediums for users to get information. Google Search facilitates over 3.5 billion searches per day and search is the source of over 65% of all web traffic.  Marketers can easily get lost analyzing keyword rankings because it's easy to forget about the individual asking the question. This common misstep can often lead brands to focus on keywords rather than consumers. This delivers the wrong audience for their needs. For instance, the first instinct for an auto dealership looking to improve their search numbers may be to simply optimize for the words “auto dealership”. This casts a wide net that may seem effective. Therefore, it actually brings in many people who fall into the wrong consumer category.

Understand Your Audience

The concept of understanding users when designing and developing new digital campaigns isn’t new. Many people are less familiar with taking similar steps to create a smoother, more cohesive SEO services experience. Understanding your audience’s intention will push you to create the proper campaigns and content every page needs. Finally, this drives more higher quality traffic. This is a specific example of how SEM can help a business get more customers.

Once SEO strategy is built into the design process, it’s the marketer’s job to define the best ways of bringing the right type of user. There are three simple practices that utilize tools SEOs are already familiar with. Search intent can help you break down these larger needs into useful pieces of information that directs the right people to your site. Effective search boils down to working alongside design and strategy teams to build mechanisms that already offer what users are looking for. Search engine optimization should not be just an afterthought; SEM should be a primary focus during the design process. Because of this, it is often hard to measure how SEM can help drive improvements to an SEO strategy.  Next, we will address several considerations that can help improve your SEM strategy.


  1. Input your potential keywords into Google Keyword Planner. The key is to identify words and phrases that are off-brand to your users. Then, you can avoid using them. This ensures that you wont attract the wrong audience. This can drive immediate results.
  2. Buy keywords through paid search and measure the user stats. Click through rate, bounce rate, time spent, conversion rate, to gauge if it is the right fit for your users. This is an effective method to hone in on effective keywords. Buying terms can give you a good sense of what does and doesn’t fit your audience, which then allows you to understand the intentions of your users. Going back to the auto example, if we buy terms like new car, Chevy Tahoe, and new car rebates, we can compare conversion rates to alter our messaging and increase conversion rates. Every industry will have some common terms that would apply to each business. The key is to identify priority keywords with relatively high search volume, with low levels of competition. This has been our recipe for success.

Following these simple rules will help you set up an SEM strategy that aligns with your overall digital marketing strategy.

Do you have any specific questions about how SEM can help drive results for your integrated marketing strategy? Learn more about us or reach out to us or leave a comment below.