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Savvy Ways To SEM: For Small Businesses


SEO and SEM, stand for search engine optimization and search engine marketing, respectively. These methodologies are employed to bolster the flow of traffic to a website by augmenting its visibility in the search engine results pages, commonly referred to as SERPs.

SEO, unlike SEM, is a protracted and enduring strategy that concentrates on refining and honing the overall architecture of a website to make it more detectable, perceptible, and salient to search engines, thereby elevating its position in the SERPs. On the other hand, SEM is a short-term strategy that concentrates on paid advertising to improve your visibility in SERPs immediately.

Both SEO and SEM are important for small businesses. But, in this article, we’ll focus on SEM since it can be more effective in the short term and doesn’t require as much time or effort to implement.

Types of SEM

There are two main types of SEM: paid search advertising and organic search optimization.

Paid search advertising is when you pay to have your ad appear in SERPs. Organic search optimization is when you improve your website to make it more visible in SERPs.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to do both.

Paid Search Advertising


Paid search advertising is the most common type of SEM. With paid search advertising, you pay to have your ad appear in SERPs when someone searches for a keyword that’s related to your business.

You can pay for your ad to appear in SERPs in two ways: cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM).

CPC Paid Advertising

With CPC, you pay a certain amount every time someone clicks on your ad. With CPM, you pay a certain amount every time your ad is shown 1000 times.

CPC is the more common pricing model because it’s more effective. CPM can be effective, but it’s often less so because people might see your ad but not click on it.

When you create a paid search ad, you need to choose keywords that you want your ad to appear. These keywords should be related to your business and what you’re selling.

For example, if you’re a plumber, you might want your ad to appear when someone searches for “plumbing services” or “emergency plumber.”

You also need to write your ad copy. This is the text of your ad that appears in SERPs. Your ad copy should be clear and concise, and it should include a call to action.

The pivotal facet of effective ad copywriting is its pertinence to the targeted keywords. The ad’s relevance to the keywords is paramount as a lack of coherence between the two can instigate users to click on your ad only to swiftly exit your website, leading to an escalation in your cost-per-click (CPC). Despite paying for the clicks, the absence of conversions catalyzed by such a mismatch would be counterproductive.

Source: Localiq
CPC: Measuring Ad Spend

Once the keywords have been meticulously selected and the ad copy has been painstakingly crafted, a decision must be made regarding the magnitude of funds that one is willing to allocate towards the advertisement campaign. Two options lie before the advertiser; a daily budget or a total budget for the entire campaign.

To efficiently monitor the efficacy of the campaign, tracking of several key performance indicators is imperative. The CPC, CPM, and conversion rate are the three crucial metrics that need to be continually assessed. The CPC, which stands for cost per click, is the monetary amount that is shelled out for each individual click on the advertisement. The CPM, or cost per thousand impressions, is the unitary cost incurred for a thousand impressions of the ad. The conversion rate is the percentage of users who actually take the desired action, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter, after clicking on the ad.

If the CPC is exorbitantly high and the conversion rate is suboptimal, recalibration of the campaign is in order. This can be achieved by tweaking and tinkering with the keywords, ad copy, or budget to bring about the desired outcome.

CPM Paid Advertising

With CPM, you pay a certain amount every time your ad is shown 1000 times. CPM can be effective, but it’s often less so because people might see your ad but not click on it.

When you create a CPM paid search ad, you also need to choose keywords and write your ad copy. But, since you’re not paying per click, you don’t need to worry about your CPC.

You do need to track your CPM, though. If you CPM is high and conversion rate is relatively low, then you will need to adjust your campaign, by changing keywords, ad copy, or the budget of the campaign.

Organic Search Optimization

Organic search optimization is the process of improving your website to make it more visible in SERPs.

There are a few different ways to do this:

  • Choose the right keywords
  • Optimize the website for the choosen keywords
  • Work on building backlinks to your website

When you choose keywords, you need to think about what words or phrases people would use to find your website. For example, if you’re a plumber, people might search for “plumbing services” or “emergency plumber.”

Once you’ve chosen your keywords, you need to optimize your website for those keywords. This means using the keywords in your website’s title, meta tags, header tags, and content.

It’s also important to build backlinks to your website. Backlinks are the links that point from other websites to yours. The more backlinks you have, the more visible your website will be in SERPs.

You can build backlinks by guest blogging, writing articles for other websites, or listing your website in directories.

Check out our other blogs on SEO and SEM, to know more about how to choose the relevant keywords, how to build backlinks, or even optimization tips. You will be an expert in no time!

SEM for Entrepreneurs

Several brands benefited from paid advertising in no time! Some of these brands are new in the market while some of them have been around for a while. But all of them have one thing in common- They used SEM to grow their business.

SEM can be a great way for entrepreneurs to get their brand out there and attract new customers. With the right kind of guidance and motivation, any business can be successful in online marketing.

Here are some tips on how entrepreneurs can use SEM to grow their business:

#1 Budgeting

The initiation of an effective SEM campaign necessitates a preeminent focus on budgetary considerations. Mere extravagance cannot guarantee efficacious results; instead, the allocation of funds must be done strategically. One must ponder over their affordability and expected return on investment (ROI) before settling on a budget, following which campaign planning can commence.

#2 Finding the right agency

For individuals lacking expertise in online marketing, procuring the services of a seasoned agency could be a prudent course of action. An agency’s invaluable assistance in aspects like keyword selection, ad campaign configuration, and progress monitoring can prove to be the crucial difference-maker. The agency’s adept counsel on campaign optimization to elicit maximum outcomes also constitutes a compelling reason to consider this option.

#3 Well-versed with Google Ranking Process

An indispensable prerequisite for successfully running an SEM campaign is an encyclopedic familiarity with the intricacies of the Google ranking process. Such erudition would enable you to discern the inner workings of how your ads are positioned and what can be done to augment your placement.

Our blog article, titled “A Complete Guide to How Google Ranks a Website Using Search Engine Optimization”, comprehensively elucidates the Google ranking process and offers valuable insights that can potentially transform the fate of your campaign. If you’re keen to delve deeper, click the link and peruse the article.

#4 Tracking your progress

Once the SEM campaign has been initiated, vigilantly tracking and scrutinizing the progress is of paramount importance. This would enable you to discern what strategies are proving effective and what needs to be revamped. To that end, it is imperative to keep a watchful eye on metrics such as CPC, CTR, and conversion rate, among others. If the CPC is soaring and the conversion rate is languishing, then tweaking of the campaign is in order.

Undoubtedly, SEM can be an exceptional conduit to catapult the growth of your business to new heights. However, it must be kept in mind that SEM is not an overnight success; rather, it requires an unwavering commitment of time and resources. Patience and consistency are the keys to unlocking the full potential of an SEM campaign.

What is the maximum price you can spend on ads as an entrepreneur?

The enigma that confronts every entrepreneur intending to deploy SEM as a growth tool is a multifarious one. The answer to this quandary is contingent upon several factors such as the nature of the business model, the target audience, and the financial resources earmarked for the SEM campaign.

For instance, a nascent small-scale business may not have the luxury of splurging $10,000 on its SEM campaign, unlike a well-resourced conglomerate that can easily afford such an investment and more. It ultimately boils down to the specificities of the business model and the campaign objectives that determine the optimal budgetary allocation.

In case of any uncertainty regarding the ideal budgetary constraints, seeking the guidance of our subject matter experts is highly recommended, as they can provide invaluable insights into the process and various options available for receiving the right assistance.

Bonus tip

For those seeking further counsel on the nuances of business expansion, wait for our forthcoming blogs posts exploring the art of leveraging SEO and blogging to stimulate business growth.


For small business owners who are just starting, the web of SEO and SEM can be quite intimidating. However, with a smidgen of knowledge and comprehension of how these marketing methods operate, you can augment traffic to your website and lure more customers. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve expounded on the rudiments of SEO and SEM and demonstrated how to apply them to your small business. If any doubts or uncertainties arise, please do not hesitate to inquire in the comments section below or get in touch with us at 12channels.

We hope that this guide on SEM for small businesses was informative and illuminating. If you deem it helpful, we implore you to share it with your family and friends!

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