You’re Cordially Invited to the SEM Party

Consider this: You’re headed to a party and know everyone there will have something in common with you, yet you don’t want to be lost in the crowd. Inevitably some party-goers seem to shine a little brighter or warrant more engagement from the other guests. So, what can you do to make sure you form a connection with others and stand out? The answer is easy and is the same process you should take to build your online search engine marketing (SEM) strategy for your business. See what we did there?


You’ve probably experienced talking to someone at a party who clearly had no interest in what you were saying. This isn’t your person. Instead, look for someone who has a commonality or a need you can fulfill. Someone who will listen to you. The same is true for your SEM strategy. Don’t waste your time or more importantly, your money seeking out an audience that isn’t relevant. Your audience should be people seeking you out because they have a need you can help them with. Join their conversation and target those people.


Think of your marketing campaigns as individual conversations you want to have with specific people. For example, let’s say you’re a t-shirt distributor. You sell customizable organic cotton shirts as well as graphic tees featuring cats. (Maybe it’s a niche market, yes?) One partygoer seeking you out is the “team mom” for a youth soccer team who needs custom practice jerseys. The other is Whiskers’ mom, a proud cat owner, who wants cat faces all over her wardrobe.

The messages you send will look different for each of these people and therefore, each requires different paths to discovery. The team mom may be asking the other party guests about team jerseys and shirts. At the same time, Whiskers’ mom may be seeking out someone who can chat about cat clothes and cat owners’ clubs. As it relates to your SEM strategy, these party conversations equate to you performing a keyword analysis when setting up your SEM campaigns to help you ensure you’re choosing the right keywords to attract the appropriate audience. This step ensures the right message is delivered to the right people.


The team mom and the cat owner found you at the party, so now is your opportunity to shine. For your strategy, crafting SEM ads that are not only enticing but also relevant is a major factor in earning the engagement you want. Your ads should highlight what makes you the best choice and what makes you better than your competition. Your goal is earning a click through to your site to view valuable and applicable information, diving your audience deeper into the conversation. Search engines score you on this to protect the user experience, so be sure to craft opening ad lines that are both enticing and accurate. 


At the party, you’re drawing people in and having conversations with people you’re excited to talk to (i.e. your campaigns are set). Some people are becoming friends while others are moving on to talk to others in the room. For your ad set, now is the time to optimize. Review your ads and keywords to find out what’s working and what’s not. Adjust your ads to increase traffic and conversions, and determine which ads should be retired.


Think of a search engine platform as the host of the party. The host’s priority is to make sure guests are having a good experience, so be mindful of their rules. Review advertising policies so you know what will get you confined to a dark corner of the room, or kicked out of the party entirely. Ultimately, your SEM strategy should be similar to a conversation between two people looking for each other, both with something to gain from the friendship.