Search Engine Marketing Ultimate Guide – Forbes Advisor

  • Semrush: Semrush is an online tool marketers use for SEM, including everything from keyword research to traffic analytics, and ad analysis. You will be able to research top keywords and see which ones are ranking highest and which ones are the hardest to rank for.
  • Google Ads Keyword Planner: Since most advertisers are likely aiming for their ads to appear on Google, Google Ads Keyword Planner is a helpful tool for keyword research. The tool will also suggest bid amounts for specific keywords to help you come up with a budget. Plus, you’ll be able to create an advertising plan and launch your campaign all through this tool.
  • Google Trends: Google Trends is a free and helpful tool to use when starting your research. You’ll be able to see how popular a specific term is on Google over time (since 2004), limit your search to a particular country and find related queries based on the words you are researching, which help with brainstorming ideas for your ad.

How Much Does SEM Cost?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the cost of SEM. According to Irwin, a ballpark estimate can range anywhere from $500 to $10,000 per month. “Of course, this number could go up or down significantly depending on your needs and budget,” he said.

You can also adjust your budget as you gain more insight into which keywords work best. “The good news is that the tactic is so highly measurable, you can see what’s working and what isn’t—and adjust the budget accordingly. The bad news is the honest answer to this question is: it depends,” Dappert said.

“When setting up your campaign, you should research historical Industry Cost-Per-Click (CPC) rates in keyword-planning and search-forecast tools to get an estimate of how much your competitors spend,” Dappert suggested. She adds that CPC ranges from $2 to more than $55 depending on the industry and that reasonable conversion rates are usually between 5% to 10% and there’s a base floor of 15 clicks (per day, per ad group) needed for the engine to optimize .

“The best strategy when assessing cost is to look at what competitors spend, keeping your goal value in mind, and recognizing that you may have to spend a bit more than them to get yourself on page one,” Dappert added.

Bottom Line

SEM is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website to sell a specific product or service. SEM allows you to create targeted ads that appear on search engines and reach potential customers who are actively interested in the product or service you offer. Any business, small or large, can use SEM strategies. While there is a lot to learn about what makes an effective search ad, the good news is that there are plenty of online tutorials to learn more.

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