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TIP: How Much Should You Spend on SEM?

How Much Should You Spend on SEM?

By Karen Vujnovic, Manta Staff Writer – October 30, 2015

How Much Should You Spend on SEM?

SEM—or search engine marketing—is a way to advertise to Web users looking for businesses like yours. Buying keywords that are relevant to your business allows you to control your budget and target your advertising to your most likely customers.

Here are some things to know before launching an SEM campaign:

  • Have a budget: Every small business owner should know what they can afford to pay for a conversion and still make a profit.
  • ROI: It’s all about return on investment. If you know you can afford to spend $20 per lead to make a sale of $50, you’re in great shape—keep spending.
  • First month blues: If you’re new to SEM, you’ll probably spend more the first month because you’re testing what works and what doesn’t.
  • Highs and lows. SEM is industry-dependent. Some keywords cost pennies per click, while other businesses may spend $50 to $100 for each click.
  • Start small. Test the waters with a $500 monthly budget.
  • Make a move. Scale your budget up or down anytime, so if something’s working, scale up.

Jason Rothman, an Oklahoma City pay-per-click marketing consultant, believes every business can benefit from an SEM campaign. “You get to put your ads in front of only people who are actively searching for exactly what you sell,” he said. “And you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website.”

It doesn’t get any better than that.