4 Tips to Find the Best SEM Keywords

Posted by Nick Pizzolato on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:09 AM

4 Tips to Find the Best SEM Keywords | Wicked Local Media Solutions

Search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns have proven to be a successful way for businesses to engage with consumers after they’ve completed a specific web search. With so many businesses already advertising on search engines, and utilizing keywords that you want to use, your business can have a hard time standing out. When building a SEM strategy, your goal should be to find keywords that will be most likely used during a web search and give you the best value possible when bidding for ad placement. Here are 4 tips to help you find the best keywords for your SEM campaign.

1) Brainstorm Keywords

Before you start to check on the popularity of certain keywords, brainstorm the words people might use to search for your business, your industry, or a service you provide. Think of common misspellings of those words and even key phrases that may be used during a search. After your brainstorming session, organize those words into descriptions used for a particular product, brand, or service and as general words that consumers may use when conducting a search. Don’t worry if your lists seem long, there will be time to edit them later.

2) Use Specific Questions as Keywords

A lot of us think of keywords as a single word or phrase to describe a possible category. If I wanted to learn more about long haired cats, I may search for, “types of fluffy cats.” If your business used “fluffy cats” as a key, you would have to compete with other businesses who use that topic.

However, submitting a specific question (“What are the names of fluffy cat breeds?”) as a keyword may gives your business an edge on the search results page. This is because using questions in your campaign makes your ad more likely to pop up with reference results, and not in topic search results.

3) Research

When you have completed your lists of keywords, start visiting search engines to see how many businesses already use them as a part of their SEM strategy. Don’t eliminate popular words completely, but take notes about how they can be amended to help your business.

Use SEM analytical tools to gauge how popular search terms are. Sites like Wordstream, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMRush offer you the ability to see the keywords that offer the best results. These numbers dictate how expensive they word will be when you are bidding against other businesses for top ad placement.

4) Study Your Results

Once you’ve finished the keyword selection process, and bid for top position, you then can start measuring the success of your campaign. After thirty days, assess how effective your strategy was. Which words performed well? Which ones were too expensive and didn’t lead to sale conversions? Trends and keyword popularity are always changing, so for your SEM campaign to be successful over time, you should continue to research and adjust your strategy every month.

Every day, millions of consumers use search engines to find local businesses that offer products or services that they need. Converting these users into customers requires your business to select keywords that are popular and affordable for your budget. By keeping your SEM campaign fresh, your business has a better chance of consistently delivering consumers to your site.

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Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at

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