How to harvest your low hanging fruit

6 Minutes

Clients, especially startups and small businesses, often ask us what the best or most efficient use of their marketing dollars is, and our answer is always the same. We’re a firm believer in two very powerful online solutions – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), more commonly known as online advertising. The latter is almost always the lowest-hanging fruit.

Did you know that Google processes over 3.5 billion searches every day. And with 58.4% of consumers purchasing a product or service online each week, the influence of search engine marketing is more important than ever.

Think with Google.

As more and more customers research and purchase online, SEO and SEM have become critical component of any online marketing plan for businesses. By building and optimizing your website and launching a solid search marketing campaign, you’ll see an increase in visibility and target audience reach, which, in turn, will drive more conversions, whatever that looks like to you.

Meeting your customers where they are: Search Engine Optimization

You probably have a basic idea of what SEO is all about, so instead, we’ll highlight a few key (often overlooked) benefits:

One – payoffs for years to come

If set up properly, SEO aids search engines in sending traffic to your content as long as it’s the best result for a particular search. In some cases, age positively influences your ranking because authority takes time to build and establish. That being said, continuing to add high-quality fresh content is also beneficial, especially for news and in fast-moving industries.

Two – higher quality leads

Customers who find you organically are often better quality leads. They tend to do more research ahead of time and have more realistic expectations and knowledge on your brand. They’ve read through your website and possibly reviews of your business. Informed decisions reduce the possibility of buyer’s remorse. 

Clients who find you through organic search often have higher budgets and work well within your process. They’ve planned this purchase for some time and understand the value of your products and services.

Saving your customers time in their explorations: Search Engine Marketing

Using complicated algorithms, search engines ensure that the most relevant results are returned, including things such as regional context and other available information. This is where Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can come in handy.

Would you rather:

  1. Advertise to people who are actively searching for your product/service.
  2. Advertise to someone browsing the web for something completely different than your product/service, such as a new recipe for dinner or the latest celeb hot goss? 

We guess you’d rather advertise to people actively searching for your product or service.

This is what makes search engine marketing so compelling. There are very few ways to put your advertisement directly in front of potential clients so close to the point of sale. Do it right and you’ll get the call instead of your competitor.

Advantages of SEM

  1. You can focus on niche keywords and phrases that are pertinent to your products or services. This allows you to directly access your most valuable audiences, even those you wouldn’t normally access. This could lead to higher conversions. 
  1. Search marketing can be relatively cost-effective compared to other forms of advertising. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, for example, allows businesses to only pay when someone clicks on their ad, rather than other forms of advertising where you pay for ad space regardless of whether or not it leads to a sale. This can help your businesses save money and get more bang for your buck.
  1. Search marketing can help your business increase its brand awareness. By appearing at the top of search results, your business can build trust with potential customers and increase the likelihood of a purchase happening.

Exceptions for SEM 

While we recommend SEM for many and most companies, some exceptions mean you may not always be successful with just search engine marketing. 

  1. If your product or service is so new, nobody knows its existence. To combat this, you’ll need to create demand with other forms of advertising before you can service that demand. Get your product or service in front of people in other ways (social media, etc.) before putting effort into SEM.
  1. If you have an unlimited budget and want to maximize your potential customer base. Lucky you! If you have more resources, you’ll want to incorporate a variety of advertising tools to get a larger reach. 
  1. If your products or services have too much competition. This one is a hard one. You may have to get creative or go very niche to build an effective online advertising campaign.

Optimizing your SEM efforts

Seeing the results of search engine marketing efforts is all well and good. You’re probably already seeing some conversions! But we also want to ensure those efforts are efficient and effective. That’s where A/B testing comes in. 

How does A/B testing work when it comes to SEM? 

We aren’t interested in “set it and forget it” campaigns when it comes to SEM work with our clients. A/B testing is the best way to ensure you get the highest conversion rate possible. 

Tipping customers from “just browsing” to “buy now”: Remarketing

The last piece of the puzzle is to use remarketing to engage with audiences that have previously interacted with your brand. This includes people who’ve abandoned carts, cruised through your website, or even dipped into the pool of your previous customers. 

Statistically, previous site visitors are 2 to 3 times more likely to click on your ads than those who have never been to your site. Not exactly a surprise, but it is certainly something to consider when planning your marketing resources. 

Not only are you increasing the likelihood of converting these people into customers, but you’re also building awareness and loyalty with people already familiar with your brand. 

Remarketing audiences

Using behavioural criteria, audiences can be built out in order to re-engage with your window shoppers and previous customers. Breaking them down ensures the right resources are being put in the right places and will maximize efforts. 

The right resources

With the right approach and strategy, you can make a big impact with even a small amount of resources. Using a combination of search marketing and remarketing can be a powerful tool for growing your business.