Skyscanner for Business Guides: 6 Expert SEM Tips to Success for Start-ups
SEM is an essential way to drive traffic to your site and something which all businesses and start-ups should think about as part of your growth plan.
It used to be, that getting the most out of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) meant purchasing as
many key words as possible to produce the largest Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
yield. But SEM has evolved, and today requires a thorough business plan that fits your
company’s specific needs.
Search still makes it possible to target buyers in “Hunt Mode,” according to DidIt.com’s
Kevin Lee in his recent “Introduction to Search Engine Marketing.” According to Lee,
these hunters “desire relevant information and are open to digesting and acting on the
information at their fingertips.”
In the travel industry, this relevant information leads to quick action. We’ve put together some great information to help launch your best SEM plan - so check out our 6-point SEM plan of attack below!
- Establish Goals
SEM expenditures will burn through your budget if you don’t establish a clear set of marketing goals. For this, you will need to understand your conversion funnel and the steps you want your users to take, so that you can set goals which allow your team to evaluate everything from leads to transactions. Understanding the conversion funnel will also help you better evaluate your overall position in the marketplace, and allow you to establish your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).
- Be Agile
Bigger isn’t always better. Yes, the bigger companies possess more resources and have a bigger SEO presence, but as a start-up you can be far more nimble, can access well established brand keywords, and react more swiftly. In short, agility is king in the ever-evolving SEM environment. Read more about how Skyscanner takes an Agile approach to projects.
- Tracking Matters
It may seem obvious, but you should always know exactly where your SEM dollars are going. Set up tracking first to see exactly what is and isn’t working; that way you know where to invest and what to kill.
- Know Your Customers
The better you know your customers, the better your keyword purchases will be. Use Google Keyword Planner to check which relevant keywords have the highest search volume, and remember to target long-tail search terms as well as short-tail terms; they are often less competitive which give you an advantage.
- Structure Pays
Creating an accurate account structure keeps everything in check. Your outline should contain individual campaigns constructed of themes made up of keywords.
- Integrate to Optimize
Check out the strength of different keyword combinations and then increase the volume of the strongest ones. This way, your optimized accounts expend the least budget to produce the most conversions. Did you know that Skyscanner also offers a Travel Insight tool, with data taken from 50 million unique, geo-tagged users per month that shows historical user exit and destination trends, among other intelligence. Having access to this kind of information on the industry can help guide your marketing and keyword strategy.
Need a bit more of a steer? Why not check out some of the following great SEM resources:
Skyscanner is more than a travel data solution; we're here to make your business succeed. Why not check out some of our other handy start-up marketing guides such as our top tips on SEO basics, our advice on making the most of a conference and our founder Gareth's "Start-up laws".
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