3 Stages Involved in Effective Search Engine Marketing

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No doubt, getting ranked on the first page of Google (or any other top search engine) does wonders for a business, yet how does this happen? Many people claim to have the answers, yet if it were so easy then everyone would be on the first page. Truth is, there's not a simple one answer solution to getting ranked high and staying there, rather it's a continual process. In an effort to explain, let's discuss 3 stages involved in effective search engine marketing.

#1. Research:

This stage is an important starting point – the foundation – for developing effective SEM strategies. From this research, businesses will gain the insights needed to develop effective SEM strategies; analytical software, testimonials, reviews, projections, trends, and keyword tools – are all valuable tools to help in this researching process.

This is an ongoing process, rather than a project based one, which seeks to answer key questions targeted customers have; also, this process seeks to solidify the objectives a business has. For instance, some businesses, simply, need to have a website with fresh content supplied through social media channels, while other businesses (with more competition or complex services) need to be seen as a thought leader in the industry.

The goals of the business and the intent of the targeted audience needs to be researched and understood, which means answering key questions with every tool available. The aim with this process is to gain unique insights and ideas, to implement in the development of a strategic plan. The more in-depth a business understands its targeted audience, the more they'll be able to capture and engage them -- beyond keyword search optimization.


#2. Strategy/Planning:

Digital marketing doesn't have a one size fits all strategy, so each business needs to develop their own, unique approach. Taking the insights found during the researching stage, businesses can now start to develop a strategy that fits their budget, time, and goals. This could be as simple as: hiring an agency to start a website and a social media campaign, paying for digital advertising, or listing the business in relevant regional online directories; or, it could be more complex, such as: starting a blog, sending out newsletters, producing videos, optimizing sales funnels, integrating marketing automation, etc.

The complexity of the SEM strategic plan will differ, according to the needs and desires of each business. The strategy and planning sessions can either be accomplished in-house or with the help of a digital marketing agency; the latter is recommended for businesses with complex needs, or ones that lack the time and/or ability to carry these processes out. Outsourcing SEM is relatively inexpensive and has high ROI potential, especially, when businesses have almost no online visibility to start with.


#3. Content Creation/ Execution:

Every form of digital marketing involves some form of content, whether: video, text, or images. This is why the execution of SEM strategies, intrinsically, involves creating content. Content is created from the results of the research and strategy processes accomplished before. The content is a reflection of the insights and ideas gathered, and should be deployed and used through the strategic methods developed during the planning session.

The content on webpages, blogs, newsletters, email marketing campaigns, digital ads, sales funnels, videos, logos, chat boxes, social media channels, and even the phone's voice message – should all reflect the strategic plan developed from the research. Creating positive brand recognition, loyal customers, thought leadership, and streamlined sales funnels – all require quality content placed in strategic places at the right time.

We've all heard the phrase “content is king”, yet this isn't true with substandard content used without an effective strategy. Sometimes, quality means improved UX and UI, in-depth articles, images, logos, style, mobile apps, etc. Yes, content is the best method to reach an audience, yet to be effective, it needs to be the manifested result of the research and strategic planning stages.



Consumers are searching for services and products, mainly, online in today's modern societies. This trend is changing the way all businesses think about marketing. Digital marketing, as a result, has become a necessity for businesses to gain the visibility needed within their local, regional, or worldwide marketplaces. These 3 stages involved in effective search engine marketing are logical steps businesses should take in developing online visibility.

The complexity involved in these processes depends on the type and goals of each business. Many times, outsourcing digital marketing is a preferable option, as quality agencies have the experience, tools, and understanding needed, to streamline these processes and produce excellent ROI. Also, outsourcing initial campaigns helps in-house marketing teams gain insider understanding and best practices for continual SEM execution.

For a decade, Sydney agency, Hat Media has been helping local, regional, and worldwide clients gain online visibility, using effective search engine marketing strategies. Effective digital marketing is more than just a software solution, it's also a way to understand the values of businesses and their target audiences, which means nurturing meaningful relationships. To learn more about effective SEM marketing please contact us today.


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