Lessons Learned From 10+ Years of SEM Leadership

YPCB054 – 10+ Years of SEM Leadership
Posted by: Melissa Burghardt – VP, Media Products

The beginning of a new year is a time when many small business owners begin to think about what they can do differently to better promote and grow their businesses.

According to a recent Google study, four out of five consumers use search engines to find local information. They also prefer ads that are customized to their local area. This is just one of many reasons why local search engine marketing (SEM) should be an important focus area for small businesses looking to take their marketing efforts to the next level.

As a quick refresher, SEM works like this:  1) People enter their search query into search engines to find information about products or services they are potentially looking to purchase; 2) When keywords specific to a given business are entered, relevant and targeted search ads from that business appear within the desktop or mobile search results; 3) Those search results make it as easy as a single click for consumers to take a desired action, whether it be booking an appointment, ordering food, calling a business, or redeeming a coupon; 4) When an action is taken (ie. when the search ad link is clicked), some level of ROI is achieved.

So, what has YP℠ learned from more than a decade of experience executing local search marketing campaigns for hundreds of thousands of businesses?  

  1. High Impact Industries Lead the Pack
    SEM performance among our small business customers has traditionally been most successful for medical and dental offices, legal services, and pet and animal services. Even though these services oftentimes carry a hefty price tag, they also provide high value in terms of customer impact and need. These types of businesses should definitely be adopting SEM efforts that target local consumers who are diligently researching their options online.
  2. Mobile Matters
    As SEM expert Shelly Kramer pointed out in a recent post, people who are ready to buy often search for local products and services when they’re already on the go. These customers need quick solutions to get from doing to done, fast. Having a keyword-rich, mobile-friendly site that complements a business’ SEM efforts helps them break through the noise and capture and engage potential new customers more effectively.
  3. Knowledge Is Power
    SEM seems simple enough (in theory), but the competition for ad placement is fierce. There are search ad platforms to master, not to mention other factors, like website quality rankings, that make a difference, too. Understanding how search engines work – or hiring a marketing partner with that expertise – can help businesses not only make the most of their online advertising dollars, but also ensure the highest ROI.

For more information about SEM for small businesses and to learn how YP’s local SEM solutions help businesses grow, visit marketingsolutions.yp.com.

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