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Search Engine Marketing (SEM) requires a competitive spirit if you want to outperform companies similar to yours. Audiences are using search engines like Google and Bing to find the products or services you provide. You want to make sure you’re the one showing up on the page and grabbing their attention instead of other companies.

With the right strategies for your SEM, you can see increased conversions, better click-through rates, and victory over your competition.

If you’re looking to outrank your competitors on search engines, consider the following SEM strategy best practices.

Keyword Research Helps Target Your Competitors’ Audience

One of the first steps in creating a competitive SEM strategy is finding the right keywords for your campaign. Your ads need to reflect the search terms used to find your services and products so that you will rank well on the search engines. Analyze those search terms during your research and pull out the keywords that best apply to your company.

The sharper and more focused your keywords are, the better your chances of capturing your competitors’ leads and increasing conversions.

Tips for Successful Keyword Research

When it’s time to perform keyword research, follow these tips to help define your goals and improve ad performance.

Think About Keyword Themes and Search Intent

There are multiple keywords or keyword phrases that apply to your campaign. Within the list of keywords you find, you’ll notice certain ones that fit a common theme and satisfy certain search intents.

We covered search intent in a previous article, but here’s a brief rundown again:

  • Informational searches – the user is looking for topic info (“How to change a tire”)
  • Commercial searches – the user is looking into a product or service with the potential to buy (“Exterminators near me”)
  • Transactional searches – the user is looking to make a purchase (“Smartphone for sale”)
  • Navigational searches – the user is looking for directions either to a physical location or an online site (“Directions to the mall”)

If you want your campaign to increase sales of a particular product through your website, it’s wise to group the keywords that apply to the topic and the right intent.
For example, let’s say a local mechanic offers oil changes at their shop and sells bottles of motor oil through their website. If their campaign goals are to increase sales of the oil product online, they should separate the keywords for oil changes from those related to the oil product. Within the product’s keyword group, they should utilize those that satisfy commercial and transactional intents.

Develop a User Persona

Shaping your keyword research around an ideal person or group of people in your audience helps define the keywords’ tone or language.

Think about who is likely searching for the products or services you offer. Are you more likely to serve men, women, or both? Do you cater more toward younger crowds or older? Do you have a wide service area, or do you serve a more specific region?

Creating a user persona helps wrap your mind around your audience and shapes your keyword focus and research. Once you discover the keywords that your particular audience is using in searches, you’ll be able to target them better within the campaign.

Want To Win the Competition and Convert Leads into Customers? Let Our Digital Strategists Help! 478-621-4491

Competitive Bidding Puts You in Front of Your Competitors’ Audience

Pay-per-click ads (PPC) are naturally competitive since you are bidding against your competitors for a spot on the search engines. Your bidding should reflect your end goal for the ad, whether that’s increased clicks, conversions, or impressions. When creating a bidding strategy for an ad, it’s important to think about:

  • Your highest cost-per-click bid for the keyword
  • Your keyword’s quality score
  • Your keyword’s relevant ad extensions

These are all factors that affect ranking within a Google Ads auction. To show up in the searches over your competitors, you want to maximize your budget with ad extensions and keywords relevant to your audience and your company.

Maximize Your Budget on Google with Smart Bidding

There are two main types of bidding on Google—manual and automated. Although it’s not for everyone, we generally recommend automated bidding as it works to optimize your bids and removes any guesswork or blind spots from the process.

Smart Bidding is a part of automated bidding on Google that concentrates on conversions during an auction. Smart Bidding offers strategic features like Maximize Conversions, where bids are automated and designed to achieve the most conversions from your campaign budget. With more conversions for you, there’s less business for your competitors.

Ready To Win Bids and Increase Conversions? Talk To Our In-House Digital Department! 478-621-4491

Unique & Consistent Content Separates You From the Competition

Your ad content should be unique to your company, products, and services. Although you are competing against businesses like yours, the last thing you want to do is feature content that sounds the same as the other guys.

Not only does Google frown upon duplicated or too-similar content, but it also tells your audience that you are not distinguished enough. Without separating yourself from your competition, you’re likely to lose potential leads.

A Distinct Brand Voice Helps Solidify Your Image and Message

Whether intentional or not, every company develops a “voice.” It’s how they communicate with their audience and how they are perceived by their audience, leads, and customers.

If the tone of your digital ads is different from the tone of your landing pages, website, or social media pages, your audience may consider your brand to be scattered or inconsistent, which could weaken their view of your company.

Audiences like consistency. They like recognition. Strengthen the opinions of your company by creating a unique voice and tone and utilizing it throughout all your marketing.

A strong voice will also help you unify your content. You’ll maintain consistent messaging across all platforms, boost audience reception, and stand out from everyone else.

The Pros At M&R Are Ready to Help You Beat the Competition. Talk To Our Experts Today!

Our digital experts know what it takes to create and maintain a successful digital campaign against the competition. If you’re ready to see SEM results, reach out at 478-621-4491.

Want to Dig Deeper? Read our Free Definitive Guide on SEM Here