Developing an Effective SEM Strategy—From Scratch

As the holiday season approaches, many of us will head to the kitchen, break out grandma’s old recipe book, and bake some delicious treats. Without question, the satisfaction that comes from starting with raw ingredients and baking from scratch can be just as exhilarating as the taste of these holiday desserts themselves. Believe it or not, some of today’s most successful enterprises utilize a similar methodology when it comes to constructing their search engine marketing strategy—using reliable search “ingredients” and techniques to craft a homemade SEM plan that consistently delivers exceptional returns.

The growth of using SEM to stimulate business has rapidly expanded in recent years. Whether this is primarily due to cost-effectiveness of paid search marketing or the real-time analysis and metrics that are available through this marketing platform, many corporations are actively beginning to engage paid search activity when they work in the digital marketing space . . . but here is the $64,000.00 question: where do you start? Let’s examine two important questions that you should ask that will help you plan, analyze, and launch a positive SEM strategy from scratch.

First—Define the “What & Why”

Developing an SEM strategy should start from the ground up—looking at the “what and why” before looking into the “how and the where.” Here are a few practical questions you should be asking during this first step:

Clearly define the purpose of your online presence. This is defining the “what” category.

Once you clearly define the purpose of your website and how it is used to stimulate growth within your company, you have a great starting point to establish SEM goals, and this will significantly help shape your SEM activity.

Why Would You Use SEM?

The next step in this process is to clearly define the “why.” There are a multitude of digital marketing mediums you could use to reach that killer CPA or drive highly targeted traffic to your site, so why choose SEM?

The answers you provide to each of these questions are vital in order to begin the process of developing a SEM recipe from scratch. Not only do these answers help you clearly define your audience, but they also provide insights that will permit you to fine-tune each SEM strategy to target specific goals.

Just like preparing to bake some delicious holiday treats, the first phase in creating a powerful and successful SEM strategy will always begin with defining a reason—or defining the “what and why.” In my next two blogs in this series, we’ll dig deeper into the “how and where” or what “ingredients and cooking instructions” we need to produce a successful SEM campaign.