How to build an effective SEM strategy

How to build an effective SEM strategy | Xena

Author: Heideli Loubser

Edited by: Xena

If you’ve been following our SEM series, you’ll know all about the importance of using Search Engine Marketing to increase your business’s online visibility and scale your sales. We recommend reading Part 1: Search Engine Marketing for Beginners: SEO vs SEM and Part 2: Search Engine Marketing for Beginners: Types of SEM before continuing with this post. 

Today, we’re exploring our 5-Step guide to effectively building an SEM strategy for your business!

Step 1: Assess your available resources 

This will look different to everyone in terms of budget, time and skills. Use what you have but more importantly, just get the ball rolling!

Step 2: Determine your priorities 

Decide on your top priority for the next three months — for example, is it creating awareness, getting more online reviews, building website traffic, ranking online, lead generation or straight-up scaling your sales?

Step 3: Start with non-paid strategies

Compile your strategy starting with the non-paid options that have not been implemented yet or

refresh them if they’ve not been updated recently. This includes things like your Google My Business listing. If any pages on your website have not been properly SEO-optimised yet, start there, and make sure your company blog is also optimised for SEO.

Step 4: Optimise Keywords

Use the keywords you’ve compiled using tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and AnswerThePublic, in your ad campaigns and PPC, and then decide how much you’re willing to spend to achieve the goal you’ve set. We recommend using Adbot to make your ads even smarter and more effective (they have an AI tool that makes everything super easy for you).

Step 5: Reassess

After three months, assess the results and make a note of what worked and what didn’t. Use the ads and keywords that got the best results and most engagement in more of your content marketing.

Bonus tip for effective content marketing


You don’t have to crank out all the copy (writing) by yourself. Look into hiring a copywriter, or use AI tools like Jasper, as well as editing tools like Hemingway app, Grammarly and ProWritingAid to create content that reads well and includes your keywords. 

Remember, the trick is to not stuff your writing so full of keywords that it reads unnaturally. Don’t cram it! Google will not like it either (yeah, they’re smart like that). Sprinkle your top priority keywords in your title, caption, sub-headings, and your content, particularly in the first paragraph if it’s an article. Use it in your social media image captioning, but stay human, okay? Keep working on your goals and enjoy the results, Xenians! 

Consistency always pays off.

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