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How to advertise your business online through SEM

As a website owner, one key question you probably find yourself thinking about often is how to drive leads and customers to your site. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) provides an effective channel for advertising your business online and gain visibility to customers through search engines like Google and Bing.

What makes SEM great is the fact that you can monitor the ROI on your campaign a lot more accurately than offline forms of advertising. By using SEM to drive leads and customers to your site, you only pay when someone using a search engine clicks on your ad. By watching your cost per click numbers closely, you would be able to measure the effectiveness of your advertising campaign and adjust your spending based on how many leads and customers you are getting.

To effectively use SEM as a lead generation channel, you would need to do some keyword analysis and optimize your website for your incoming leads.

There are many great tools you can use to do some keyword analysis such as Google Keyword Planner and Wordtracker. If you spend enough time doing proper research and analysis for keywords that are relevant to your business, you will be able to discover search terms that are contextual and specific enough to drive you valuable leads that you can convert to sales.


You can also target long tail keywords that might not have as much daily search volume or competition online, but that can give you a competitive edge when you run your ad campaign. To get started with your ad campaign, you can use Google Adwords or Bing Ads to start driving leads to your business. You can also use Sitewit, an easy to use DIY tool for small businesses that can help you setup your Google Adwords and Bing Ads campaigns.

Google AdWords

To optimize your website to effectively capture your incoming leads, it is important for you to have a simple and easy to navigate landing page. It is also very important for you to have a clear next step on the page. Usually, the fewer actions you have on your landing page, the better as multiple prompts can end up overwhelming your readers, leading to suboptimal clickthroughs.

When deciding what call to action, or next step, to use on your landing page, think carefully about the goal of your SEM campaign. Are you looking to get long term leads for your business or to close sales immediately?

Thinking through your goals will help you present your users with the right call to action. If you are looking to build a more long term relationship with your leads, you can offer them a free resource to encourage them to sign up to learn more about your products and services. You can also increase conversions on your landing page by including discounts, offers or special incentives to your leads.

Once you have decided on a landing page and set up your ad campaign, you should be ready for your journey in getting more leads for your business through SEM. Keep in mind, that SEM is a continual effort and not a one and done program. It should evolve as your business does.

Have you had any success with SEM campaigns for your Yola site? Share your learnings with us in the comments.

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