SEM, or search engine marketing, is an ever changing landscape with constantly evolving best practices. It’s important to continually improve your SEM practices to maintain clickthrough rates and search engine results.
SEM vs SEO vs PPC
SEM, or search engine marketing, is an umbrella term that includes SEO, search engine optimization, and PPC, pay per click, which is a paid search result on Google and other search engines.
Most businesses will utilize a combination of organic and paid search results to achieve traffic and sales goals, but it’s a marketing tool that needs constant attention.
Performing an SEM audit for your small business will ensure you are following current best practices, show areas of improvement, and give you the best return on your SEM.
Check Your SEM Performance
The best way to measure your SEM performance is to look at the data. That way, you can see what’s working and keep doing it, and identify areas for improvement.
Google offers some great in-house tools to get you started. Google Analytics will allow you to review in-depth data about your website traffic, users, paid ad performance, and traffic acquisition sources. Google Search Console focuses on search engine visibility and SEO performance for organic traffic.
You can perform a full site audit using a tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs, which will automatically generate a report of your site with metrics like domain authority, traffic reports, backlinks data, keyword ranking, and Google Ads performance.
Review Current Best Practices
Google and other search engines are constantly updating their SEO and PPC best practices for user experience and accessibility, and it’s necessary to roll with the changes to stay in Google’s good graces.
To stay familiar with best practices, you can go straight to the source—Google Webmaster guidelines. You can also stay informed by following digital marketing blogs, podcasts, active networking groups, and attending webinars.
Create A To Do List
As you’re staying informed about best practices, keep a checklist with changes you’d like to make to your site. You can organize it as a simple to do list or a full project plan with a timeline utilizing a project management tool.
Slowly Implement Changes
While it may be tempting to overhaul your SEM and make changes to your site overnight, it’s incredibly important to implement these changes slowly.
Each time you make a change to your website content for SEO performance, Google has to reindex the page, which may result in a temporary drop in page ranking. If you make too many changes at once, you may experience a drop in traffic to your site.
If you make too many changes to your Google Ads or other paid traffic sources at once, it becomes difficult to A/B test and you may end up spending more on ineffective ads.
Hire A Specialist
Conducting an SEM audit and implementing changes is a huge endeavor, but you don’t have to do it alone. Hiring an expert to guide you through the process will save you time and identify goals for your business to prioritize.
We have specialists in this area and we’re ready to help!