SEM, SEO, CEO . . . what are all of these anyway?

Well, hopefully you know what a CEO is. But let’s talk about SEM and SEO. What exactly do these mysterious 3 letter combos entail? And how do they impact your business? SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is a ranking algorithm Google uses to determine who shows up on top when topics are searched. For example, if I search “where to buy baby tigers in Delaware?”, I probably won’t have successful search results. The reason for this (and yes, we tested it) is that there aren’t ways to legally purchase baby tigers if you live in Delaware.

Does that mean Google will just be a blank page with no search results? Nope. Instead, it populates with links to Trip Advisor (where to see baby tigers), local Zoo’s, and other relevant content. This is called Search Engine Optimization.

What about SEM? SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing – this is how you market yourself so that when you DO show up in the search results (hopefully not for selling baby tigers in Delaware, because that is illegal), people are clicking on your website and visiting your online storefront. In today’s tech advanced world, getting people to visit your online storefront is CRUCIAL to your success as a local business. SO how do you master the art of SEM?

SEM Tips for Local Businesses

Write Good Ad Copy. While this may seem basic, good ad copy is the bread and butter of a great SEM campaign. You can show up at the top of search results all day long, but if people aren’t interested in clicking on your link, it’s a waste of effort. Great ad copy will speak to a target audience in a way that gets them to engage with your business. For example, if a vacuum repair shop in Delaware were to market with great ad copy, they might start with the understanding that people looking to repair a vacuum are usually an older demographic, and write their SEM ad copy to target that audience.

A/B Test Your Ads. This goes hand in hand with writing good ad copy. Sometimes, you will have a few different ads that might perform well. Test these ads by running them both at the same time and seeing which one converts higher. Do this several times and try to develop patterns for what types of ads perform best in your industry. This is the heart of SEM. Test, test, test.

Track EVERYTHING. If testing is the heart of SEM, tracking is the brain. Testing will do you no good if you aren’t able to capture data behind what is happening, and if you don’t know how to interpret that data. How many people are viewing your links? Of those views, how many are clicking? Of those clicks, how many are spending significant time on your website? How many of them eventually become customers? Do you have a way to track this? How much SEM ad spend did you have to use to acquire a new customer? It’s a lot to track, however, tracking this data is how you make good SEM decisions for your business.

Internet Marketing Can Be Hard (so outsource it)

Look, we get it. You need to focus on the most critical aspects of your business. Internet marketing and SEO optimization and setting up SEM strategies might take too much time away from what you need to focus on right now. Outsource it. Hire an internet marketing strategy team to take care of all of this for you. Not only will this help generate more leads for your business, but it will also give you the time to focus on what matters most. Developing a good SEM strategy takes time and energy. In fact, online consumers are so picky today, that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, 40% of people will abandon it. Let us help you capture those extra leads by developing an excellent SEM strategy for your local business needs.

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