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Tips for Launching SEM Campaigns for Service Companies

Search Engine Marketing or SEM may not be something you recognize by name, but you certainly know it by effect. Whenever you need to find someone near you who performs a service, you likely type the search terms into Google. Those top companies in the search engine results page (SERPs) result from SEO and SEM. While search engine optimization is vital for attracting organic traffic to your website, SEM is crucial to ensure people can find your service company quickly and efficiently when they need your services.  

SEM Reaches Customers as They Research  

SEM gives customers better access to your company based on how they look for information. SEM also ensures your service company is top of mind during periods of focused attention as potential customers search for someone that can provide what they need. And it does so on the customers' schedule.  

The unique value of SEM is in how it reaches customers. It conveniently puts your business front and center as they conduct their research. SEM positions your brand to show up at all points during the buyer's journey. During crucial decision points, such as at the zero moments of truth, SEM keeps the spotlight on your company's offerings.  

Tips for Service Companies Launching SEM  

Search engine marketing keeps you from relying only on organic search traffic. It leverages the known behavioral characteristics of how people use search engines so that you remain prominent in SERPs and stay top of mind for your customers. Now that you understand why your service company needs SEM, let's look at some tips for launching your SEM strategy. The easiest way to remember the best practices for your SEM strategy is to think about what information is essential to you when you search for service providers, then work backward from your process.  

Demonstrate How You Can Help 

What sets your company apart from your competition? Do you offer a unique service, or do you have an innovative process? Perhaps you have better than competitive rates, superior customer service, or highly skilled technicians or artisans. If you have an excellent reputation, show it: post customer feedback, reviews, awards, or anything else that lets your potential customers see that you are the best choice to help solve their problems.  

Concisely Convey Your Key Points  

When anyone needs a service provider, they don't want to spend days slogging through wordy pages to understand what differentiates one from another. It is more likely that they need the service quickly and wants a way to find the best choice expediently. Your key points should be one of the first things the customer sees. Concisely state your value proposition in a way that instantly sets you apart.  

Create a Keyword List  

Keyword lists are much more than descriptors of your services. You want to include those topics but go beyond to include tangential keywords that indicate customers share similar pain points. The goal is to create an all-encompassing list so customers can find you when they need your services.  

That may sound daunting, but you can offset much of the legwork. Keywords should draw from a "taxonomy" or group of common searches. Search engines compile these, so it leaves a lot of effort to Google, which has infinite resources to know how people search. Since you pay per click, not per keyword, having a long keyword list will benefit you. 


While your primary focus should be creating a list to attract customer attention, you must also consider what keywords you want to exclude. Negative keywords help to ensure you end up featured on the appropriate SERPs. For instance, if you have a landscaping service or plant nursery, you would want to add negative keywords such as infant, daycare, or other words to indicate that you nurture plants, not children.  


The good news is, when working with a digital marketing agency, the keyword list is created for you. They have the expertise to curate a list based on how consumers searched for your products and services in the last 30 days.  

Provide Further Information on Your Website 

SEM brings people to your site. However, you must capture their attention quickly and keep it long enough to get them to follow through with purchases. That means providing more of the correct information to usher them through the buyer's journey and convince them to make your company the one they choose. Remember, you want to make it easy to schedule your services, so ensure you have a highly responsive, user-friendly website that puts the most crucial points where the customer can see them without any additional effort. 

SEM Is More Important Now Than Ever Before 

If you haven't yet implemented an SEM strategy, you have no time to waste. Businesses must have customers to survive and grow. When competing with other service companies for the same customers, you must make your presence and value known. SEM is more important than ever to set your services apart from your competition. 

No one knows your business as well as you. However, it takes special expertise to understand how customers search, what techniques can elicit specific responses, and how best to reach the people most interested in what you offer. SEM allows you to convey the solutions you provide concisely and effectively so that your potential customers recognize that your business is the superior choice among the competition.  


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Lisa Sikkema

Written by Lisa Sikkema

Lisa Sikkema is a Regional Sales Manager at Federated Digital Solution with over 25 years’ experience in sales & marketing and 13 of those years just focused on digital. Lisa’s passion for helping local businesses is what drives her to find and help as many local clients as possible. Lisa’s focus is to truly understand a client’s business goals, challenges and expectations and then create customized strategies that will bring her clients the best ROI for their marketing dollars. Lisa loves it when strategy meets technology to create measurable & consistent results.

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