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  • Vivien Koh

Search Engine Marketing Guide for Small Businesses to Drive Sales


Looking for ways to accelerate your business growth and drive sales efficiently in the post-pandemic period?


While economies are now bracing themselves for the post-pandemic era, this has led to an acceleration in the Digital Marketing efforts by businesses in order to stay relevant in these evolving times by sustaining their business growth. Research shows that small businesses who initiated digital marketing efforts saw revenue growth of up to 46%. Additionally businesses who adopted digital marketing are 65% confident that they are prepared for post-covid recovery in comparison to 38% for businesses who did not venture into digital marketing. Considering the resources and time constraints for small businesses, it is pivotal that they efficiently utilise the accurate marketing tools available to achieve their business goals.


Search Engine Marketing is undoubtedly one of the most common digital marketing practices adopted by businesses. The popularity and reach of search engines such as Google has only made it more lucrative for small businesses to adopt this tool in order to scale up their performance.



Benefits of using SEM for Small Businesses


  • Reach your target audience: SEM allows businesses to choose their target audience and ensure that their ads are visible to their desired target segment. Establishing a right target audience is pivotal; it differs depending on whether the business operates in the B2B or B2C industry. Determining target audience is also a crucial step as it sets the tone for messaging across all ad copies as well as helps determine ad spend depending on the segments you intend to reach.

  • Gain Brand Awareness Faster: While SEO takes time to let a company come on top of the page as it is organic, SEM can lead to businesses coming on top of the page in a shorter span of time. However businesses need to have the right strategy, technical and analytical execution in order for a business to consistently show up on top of the page leading to increased brand recognition.

  • Increase in lead generation at a faster pace: With effective strategy and keyword analysis, we had first hand experience to generate 52 leads for one of our B2B clients within shorter amount of time (3 months) in comparison to SEO which is focused on organic brand visibility. For an effective lead generation. it is imperative that you have the necessary expertise to determine that key metrics such as ad relevance, search impression share, click-through-rate etc. are optimised well towards attracting your target audience. This will lead to leads acquisition at a faster rate; thereby leading to revenue growth.

  • Control over budget: SEM as a tool is advantageous as businesses can set their own budget via their designed media plan and alter their budget in order to allocate it as per their set goal. Furthermore, enterprises can even optimise their ad copies in order to get the best possible results and can even consider setting accurate target audience segment to ensure effective ad spend directed towards desired audience.


How can Small Businesses utilise the benefits from SEM?


  • Select your Target Audience: In order to maximise the results out of the budget that you have set for your campaign, it is important that an ideal target audience is selected and SEM efforts are directed towards the chosen segment. This will ensure optimised ad spending towards the desired audience.

  • Decide on your Goal: For any successful SEM campaign, the key is to decide what the business goal is and what would you want the audience to do when they come across your ads. The types of goals you may want to consider can be: wanting your audience to download a newsletter/article, leading them to your website page in order to drive your website traffic or wanting them to make a purchase etc.

  • Industry Benchmarking & Keyword Research: After deciding on the goal and target audience, businesses would then need to research on competitive keywords to bid for depending on competitor benchmarking. Bidding for keywords requires expertise and understanding of optimisation functions in order to utilise these SEM tools.

  • Set up Google Tag Manager (GTM): It is recommended that businesses set up Google Marketing Tags on your website for tracking purposes. By setting up google tag manager you can track your desired events such as button clicks, downloads, form clicks etc, and send the data to Google Analytics. While setting up GTM is a complex process requiring technical skills for a good execution, an effective GTM tracking would help businesses analyse their SEM campaign better.

  • Regular monitoring of campaigns: After setting up your campaigns it is imperative that the campaign performance is regularly monitored. As SEM is a competitive space and factors contributing to its success are both internal & external it is important that with a good technical know-how you monitor and execute changes from time to time in order to ensure that the ads are running effectively.


How can you embark on your SEM journey?


In terms of effective execution, SEM tool contains complex analytics and optimisation functions that need expertise in order to navigate and implement. With VKT performance marketing solutions, you can be assured that your business goals will be achieved. Our experienced consultants at VKT will be able to assist you in your performance marketing strategy and development by carrying out and implementing intensive data-driven insights in order to accelerate your sales and revenue growth.


With our extensive B2B & B2C strategy & execution experience in the Asia Pacific region and with a strong performance-driven customer-centric approach, VKT provides end-to-end solutions to its clients, enhancing their competitiveness in order to strengthen their brand presence and achieve sustainable incremental growth.


Join us for a virtual coffee chat to learn more about how you can leverage our expertise to begin your transformative performance marketing journey here.


Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2018/02/09/the-value-of-seo-and-sem-for-small-businesses/?sh=617633e5022d

https://www-statista-com.libproxy1.nus.edu.sg/statistics/642351/sme-search-engine-advertising-expectations/

https://www.yellow.com.au/business-hub/why-sem-is-vital-for-small-business/

https://medium.com/@digitalmonster/why-sem-is-important-for-small-business-and-startups-fdf9ab987a65

https://www.uobgroup.com/web-resources/uobgroup/pdf/newsroom/2021/Infographic-state-of-digitalisation-SMEs.pdf







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