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It’s every business’s goal to appear at the top of page one on Google. However, securing a position there doesn’t happen by accident. Showing up at the top of Google takes a calculated effort. It requires diligent research and targeting strategies to get there and stay there. The hard work pays off when you’re able to beat your competition and reap the benefits of exposure at this level.

Today we’re breaking down some of the best moves you can make in your search engine marketing, or SEM, to outrank your competitors on Google.

Find the Winning Keywords That Fit Your Business

Your business provides a specific set of goods and services. When people search Google for the solutions that your company offers, you want to show up over your competition.

You don’t want to waste time, money, and energy appearing on searches that have nothing to do with you. That’s why it’s important to perform keyword research and apply relevant, strategic keywords to your Google Ads.

Keyword research uncovers all sorts of data regarding the terms, phrases, and questions related to your business. It helps analyze your audience and clarifies your strategy to start appearing in searches over your competitors.

Research reveals common searches related to your business.

Through keyword research, you can discover the different words and phrases people are using to find a company like yours online. Though you may have an idea of what your audience is searching to find you, the actual search could look a bit different.

There are helpful tools available like Keyword Planner that show the most beneficial keywords to use, as well as their estimated cost-per-click. The keywords and phrases you find during the research phase should guide your SEM strategies on Google and reshape your SEO-focused content moving forward.

Research reveals an estimated number of people searching for your products or services.

Keyword research does more than analyze the words people are using to search; it gives you an idea of how many people are conducting these searches. This information helps you identify the size of your audience and the potential reach of your campaign, helping you to further shape your targeting strategies.

Research reveals your audience’s search intentions.

When someone turns to Google for information, their intentions involve one or more of the following:


The user is looking for more information about the topic they searched.

Commercial investigation

The user is looking into a product or service, potentially becoming a customer of whatever business they find.


The user is looking to make a purchase. (This search tends to involve words like “buy,” “for sale,” “discount,” and other transaction-related terms.)


The user is looking for a company’s contact information or a specific route to their web page.

Start researching intentions on different keywords and phrases related to your company. Doing so will guide your keyword strategies based on what actions you would like users to take when they encounter your ad. Do you want users to make a purchase online? Submit a contact form? Give your company a call? Visit your location? By understanding intentions, you can shape your ad strategies to achieve these outcomes.

How to Apply Keyword Research to Your Google Strategies

Once you’ve uncovered the best keywords and keyword phrases for your ad campaign, begin establishing ad groups, creating ad bidding budgets, and incorporating the right keywords into all of your online content to optimize your marketing efforts on Google.

Beat the Competition With Help From M&R’s Expert Keyword Researchers! Call Us: 478-621-4491

Overtake Your Competitors Through Targeting Strategies

If you want to see more web traffic, higher conversion rates, and an even larger ROI ratio, you need to utilize targeting strategies in your SEM. Targeting keeps your ad campaign effective and efficient. It reduces budget waste and increases the likelihood of conversions.

Although targeting does not guarantee top ranking on Google the way bidding does, it’s still an essential factor to your Google Ads campaign. Three of the most effective strategies to take advantage of are:

  • Location targeting
  • Demographic targeting
  • Ad scheduling

Target your ideal audience by their location.

Location targeting allows you to set specific locations where your ads will show up on Google. This helps capture your audience in those areas, and it decreases wasted spend on people outside of the set locations. Whether you are targeting established service areas or areas you want to start reaching, location targeting is a highly beneficial strategy to increase brand awareness and conversion rates.

Target your ideal audience by their demographics.

Demographic targeting is a way to further specify your audience and appear in their searches. This strategy breaks down a user’s:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Household income
  • Parental status

Target your audience by specifying your preference within these categories. Doing so will allow you to show up in front of more ideal audience members, increasing your chances of converting leads into clients.

Target your ideal audience by the time of day.

Ad scheduling isn’t for everyone, but it may be a benefit for companies and businesses who operate within specific timeframes or under specific conditions.

Take an after-hours emergency clinic for example. Their ideal audience are people in an emergency outside of normal office hours who need a clinic immediately. Therefore, it makes the most sense for their ads to run during times of operation. There would be too much budget waste if their ads appeared on Google between 9am and 5pm. The most efficient and effective strategy is to show up when these users would need them, so they should schedule their ads to appear from 5pm to 9am.

Most businesses are okay to show up in searches after hours or on days they aren’t open since brand awareness and lead generation are beneficial components of SEM. Consumers who interact with your Google Ads can fill out a form or leave a voicemail with your office after working hours. However, in a case like the emergency clinic, the best strategy may be for ads to appear when they are most useful.

Ready to Outwit the Competition? Our In-House Digital Experts Are Here to Help!

Our digital team is highly knowledgeable when it comes to digital marketing on Google, and they know the strategies needed to gain an advantage over your competition. If you’d like to improve your digital ad campaigns or presence on Google, give us a call at 478-621-4491.