Using Search Marketing EffectivelySearch marketing, or search engine marketing (SEM) is one of the hottest marketing strategies today if you have an online presence (or even if you don’t). Search engine marketing uses keywords, specifically tied to your business, to bring online searchers directly to your website. Search marketing, if you do it effectively, brings your customers to you, rather than forcing you to search out your customers. Here are some ways to use search marketing effectively for your business, no matter what type of product or service you offer.

Create a Plan

Most people want to jump right in and start advertising, but that can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, there are several things you should think about before you start online marketing. First, decide what it is you actually want your campaign to accomplish. Do you want more customers, or do you want more corporate accounts? To you want to establish your brand, or entice local customers? Decide what you want before you start, and figure out if you and your staff have the time and energy to manage a full SEM campaign. If not, think about outsourcing it to any number of companies who’ll manage it for you. Finally, how will you know your campaign is a success? You need to know how to analyze your results in numbers and sales, so you know your campaign is successful. Once you have these elements of the plan, you’re ready to create your keyword search strategy.

Find Your Strategy

Just like you have to find your customers and develop a marketing campaign when you use traditional advertising, you need to develop a strategy that works for your business. That means you need to understand what keywords are right for your company. If you use trial and error, it could take quite a few hits and misses before you find the right keywords to market your business. So, before you embark on your search marketing campaign you need to figure out what some of the major keywords linking your business to your customers are, and how to use them online.

There are several services online that allow you to look at possible successful keywords for your business. Some are free, but many of the most effective services now cost money. It will save you money in the end, however, if you use one or two of these services, so you don’t waste advertising dollars on keywords that don’t work. Make a comprehensive list of the keywords you think are the most applicable to your own business, and then match them with the keywords that show up in these SEM keyword services. Then, pick the overlapping keywords for your advertising campaign. While the services don’t guarantee the keywords will work every time, doing your homework can create a much more effective marketing campaign costing less time and money. If you create a plan and marketing strategy, your search marketing should be much more effective.

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