Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Top Money Wasters – Part 1 of 3

As much as I love search engine marketing (Google advertising), there are some major mistakes that you can make to flush your marketing budget down the toilet in a hurry.  I’ll discuss three of the biggest mistakes over the next few posts.  If you’re running your own SEM program and you’re making these mistakes, the good news is that it’s not so hard to fix them.  If you’re using an agency or professional search engine marketer, it wouldn’t hurt to confirm that they’re on the right track.

Mistake #1:  Not geo-targeting.  One of the coolest things about Google advertising, especially for small businesses, is that you can specify the geographic location where Google shows your ads.  For example, if you’re a dentist in Seattle, you can tell Google to only show your ads to people located within 10 miles of your office.  Google will look at the IP address of the shopper and try to determine their physical location.  Also, if someone types in “Seattle dentists”, Google would likely see this as a good match and show your ad.

Let me share a real life example of a small business owner who was just throwing away money.  I was researching competition for a client who runs an architecture firm.  I live in Seattle and typed “home remodel” into Google.  The top ad was a drywall contractor in Florida.   Unless the contractor was planning on flying across the country to work on my remodel – doubtful – he was throwing that money away.  What’s worse is that if he wasn’t using other controls like daily spend limits, he could have potentially drained his annual advertising budget in a week because Google estimates that “home remodel” could get up to a couple thousand hits per day, and I’d guess that term costs at least $4 per click.

Even if you do business across the US or in multiple countries, Google will let you target the specific locations and even specific languages if you’d like.  Not taking advantage of this tool is just giving your money away.  Stay tuned for Mistake #2 – Not using Negative Keywords.  Until then, thank you for reading.

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5 Responses to “Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Top Money Wasters – Part 1 of 3”

  1. Please don’t take this the wrong way. I think your overall ideas are fine but you might want to put a little more thought into your next posts. I say this becuase it seems like your writing style has gone downhill a bit as opposed to your previous posts. – C.

  2. Brianna says:

    Interesting, never thought of it like that

  3. Jeremy says:

    Hi Charlotte,
    Thank you for your comment. I hope you find my upcoming post on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to be of higher quality.
    -Jeremy Farkas

  4. Minh Ginsberg says:

    Hello! I want to say gracias for an interesting site about a something I have had an interest in for many years now. I have been lurking and reading the entries frequently and just wanted to express my thanks for providing me with some interesting articles. I anticipate reading more, and taking a more involved part in the discussions on your site.

  5. Jeremy says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, you can republish as long as you reference Small Business Marketing Group and link back to the SBMG Blog.
    Jeremy Farkas

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