Search Searching Online Network Website Concept

Search engine marketing (SEM) goes hand in hand with search engine optimization (SEO) and in today’s post. I’d like to share more details about it. Beth did a great job explaining SEO in a previous post and I’ll try my best to explain SEM in a similar manner, but probably not as well!

While SEO is a long-form process to make sure your site shows up best “organically”, SEM is a way to purchase the top spot. The trick is making sure you show up in the right searches. It could get quite expensive if you set your ad up incorrectly!

There are many options for purchasing search results but since Google is the most used one, I have focused our time and energy there.

First Step – Site Evaluation

When onboarding a new client – before we start search engine marketing we will perform a site evaluation. There’s no point in maximizing search if a potential new client lands on your site and doesn’t know what to do. Sometimes this means adjusting the content, sometimes it means an entire site redo.

Second Step – Goal Setting

From there we want to evaluate your goals. Is it to get phone calls, link clicks, or making sure people are educated about what you do?

Third Step – Targeting

Every business is different. We’ll review with you what your typical client looks like such as age and location. This is normally determined by reviewing who has made purchases from you in the past along with analyzing who is purchasing from your competitors.

Fourth Step – Budgeting

This is 100% based on what you are comfortable spending and will need to be constantly reviewed. Google is great in helping with this too and will help us in providing analysis of your budget versus results. We’ve had customers decide that they can only handle a certain amount of business each month and have dialed back their budget to make sure they provided a great experience for each client.

Fifth Step – Keyword Research

We’ll research what keywords relate to your business that we need to purchase. These can make or break you because if they are common keywords, you can be bidding against many people thus raising the costs and reducing your return on investment.

Sixth Step – Ad Creation

We write copy for your ads that help people to understand what you do and why they need your services. We match it with appropriate images that help catch people’s attention for ads that are graphical in nature.

Seventh Step – Review Results and Adjust

Just because it worked for one month, doesn’t mean it will continue to. Algorithms change and your competitor may make moves to suppress your advances. Your account is in a constant state of review…which is what we help with!


It’s a lot of steps to ensure the money you spend on Google best benefits your company. While you can do it yourself, why leave it up to chance. Take advantage of our experience and let us get to work for you.

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