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5 Game-Changing SEM Tips in 2023

  BlueTone Media

If you have not made SEM (or Search Engine Marketing) a priority by 2023, you are certainly going to feel the negative effects very soon – that is, if you haven’t already.

And in a digital age where search engine algorithms are constantly changing, it is becoming even more critical for businesses to stay alert and adapt their digital marketing strategies.

We tell our clients this, and we will repeat it here…

The very BEST time to start investing in search engine marketing was yesterday.
But the second best time is today.

In this article, we will…

  • Define SEM,
  • Explain the difference between SEM and SEO,
  • Describe the importance of SEM,
  • And offer 5 tips that will make all the difference in your 2023 marketing strategy.


The precise meaning of SEM depends on who you’re talking to.

Many use the term when referring specifically to paid search ads that point viewers from the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to a company’s website.

However, others often use the term more generally to describe ALL marketing efforts that drive website traffic from search engines – like Google.


But what about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – isn’t that the same thing?

In a way, yes!

SEO describes the steps taken to modify web pages so they “organically” appear higher in search results. When we say “organic,” we are referring to digital marketing methods that do not require payment – such as making edits to your website code or adding SEO-friendly content to the pages of your site.

When defining SEM in the more general sense, SEO is absolutely a critical component of any search engine marketing campaign. However, SEM can ALSO include certain types of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing – i.e. paid advertising.

In this article, we are NOT going to dive deep into the nuances of search engine optimization. You can learn more about SEO here.

Instead, we will focus more closely on the best practices and tactics you can use to develop and execute successful paid search advertisements in 2023.


SEM is a powerful marketing tool for a number of reasons…

  • It increases your likelihood of boosting your web page to the top of page #1 of Google.
  • It often achieves quicker results than organic SEO.
  • It typically results in more qualified leads and conversions.

While we would love to be able to say that any business could bring their website or page to the top of the SERP through organic SEO tactics alone, there are situations where that might not be the case – especially if a business is in a particularly competitive field.

When it comes to developing a winning marketing strategy, we – without a doubt – recommend an integrated approach (i.e. one that incorporates a mix of methods, from SEM and SEO to content creation and on-the-ground networking).

Top 5 Tips For SEM Success in 2023


Want to increase your returns on your SEM campaigns in 2023?

Follow our 5 suggestions below.

1. Take advantage of ad extensions.

Ad extensions are going to be your best friend!

Ad extensions refer to all of the extra information – like location details, app links, call buttons, lead forms, images, etc. – you can choose to display within your search ad.

One of the most overlooked tools of ad optimization, ad extensions can really increase your likelihood of attracting search traffic to your website. Fill out all of Google’s available extensions, and you will be doing much better than about 80% of your competitors!

2. Create a custom budget-pacing script.

With paid search ads, it is exceptionally easy to go over-budget very quickly. To make the most of your ad spend each month, you need to create a budget-pacing script and set clear daily limits.

Why is this important?

Google Ads will automatically spend 50% more of your daily budget in the first 15 days of the month. The only way to override this is with a custom script…yes, you may need a little bit of coding knowledge here.

To ensure your ads show up high in search results all month long, we recommend pausing your ads for the first 15 days of the month and raising your bids in the latter half of the month (when most competing advertisers will be low or completely out of their monthly budget).

3. Create a landing page that converts.

Even if you have the most captivating search ad, you are not going to secure the conversions you really want – and need – unless you send clickers to an effective landing page.

A landing page is what we in the marketing industry call a web page where you send users in order to capture their information or convert them into leads or customers.

To ensure your landing page is optimized for conversions, you need to look a range of factors – including a powerful, informative headline, strong Calls-To-Action, a strategic lead capture form, SEO-friendly content, and more!

4. Spend more time on targeting.

One of the most important steps of a successful advertising campaign is picking the right target audience. Unfortunately, most business owners do not invest nearly enough time or effort into building a strong targeting strategy.

But how do you actually find your target audience?

First, you must choose the right keywords – the words that relate most closely to your target audience and what they may be searching for on the internet. Use Google Trends to identify the most popular search terms, and use those for your keywords.

If your goal is to get people in a particular area to see your search ad, geofencing is also a spectacular tool to use.

5. Focus on clicks.

When evaluating the performance of a paid search advertisement, the primary metric you’re going to want to monitor is your clicks. Google Analytics will show you a couple of different metrics, including (but not limited to)…

  • Impressions (how often people view your website link on Google)
  • And clicks (how often people actually CLICK the link & land on your website)

A good rule of thumb? Pay close attention to the clicks – and far less attention to the impressions.

While impressions are not a great indicator of the effectiveness of your ad, clicks provide much more valuable information. The metric tells you whether viewers actually find your advertisement intriguing and can help you decide whether you need to modify your campaign strategy.

BONUS TIP: Use Google’s search term report to exclude any unwanted (spammy) clicks to improve your campaign’s performance and gather more accurate analytics.


Does all this sound too complicated?

It is!

Developing an effective SEM strategy is no walk in the park. And the list of SEM tips provided here only brushes the surface!

Instead of attempting to navigate the world of SEM on their own, many business owners opt to partner with a marketing agency to ensure the success of their search ads – ultimately saving them the time and money it would take to figure out the most effective SEM strategies without the help of experts.


When it comes to SEO and SEM, the BlueTone Media team gets a little geeky.

We are always tracking the most recent Google trends and algorithm changes and continually improving our search marketing techniques.

What can we say? It’s kind of our thing!

Need some SEM help? Contact us today. Let our marketing team help you develop an SEM strategy to achieve your unique 2023 business growth goals – while you do what YOU do best…running a stellar business!


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