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While Google is definitely the biggest player in the space, Bing is growing their presence in the market and can offer comparable performance for some keywords and locations, and (sometimes) significantly lower costs.

Here’s how to grow your business with search engine marketing.

Search engine marketing (SEM) generally refers to the paid advertising shown by search engines like Google and Bing on their results pages, says Sensis group manager media products Cam Pegg.

“On Google, for example, these ads are the results at the top of the page and in the right-hand column that carry a little yellow ‘Ad’ marker, but they can take a number of different forms, such as ‘product listing ads’.

“Search ads are generally sold in an open auction-style market, which means that the price for any given keyword (or search term) is dependent on the number of people who want to bid on it. The fact that the market is open to everyone means that small businesses can compete on a more-or-less even playing field with much larger businesses.”

Here are three simple tips to get your online marketing and search strategy on track for your business, according to Pegg.

1.      Use tailored landing pages

“Rather than just pointing your search ads at your home page, set up dedicated landing pages that reflect the content of your ads and have a clear call to action. This could be any behaviour you want to encourage, such as the purchase of a specific item or service, for visitors to sign up for an email newsletter or provide their contact details for a call back,” says Pegg.

“Your home page represents your business overall, but it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to driving a particular course of action. But landing pages are set up with a specific purpose in mind and can help boost the conversion rate of your campaign.”

2.      Add click-to-call to your mobile SEM

“Be aware that both Google and Bing offer the ability to add a phone number to mobile search ads which enable customers to call you directly from the ad. With the ever-expanding reach of mobile devices, this can be a very effective way of generating incoming calls for your business.”

3.      Look beyond Google

“While Google is definitely the biggest player in the space, Bing is growing their presence in the market and can offer comparable performance for some keywords and locations, and (sometimes) significantly lower costs. I wouldn’t recommend shifting all of your spend over to Bing, but it’s certainly worth doing your research,” says Pegg.

 

 

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