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Five SEM Hacks For Developers Ted Carstensen

In his Heavybit Speaker Series presentation, Soso Sazesh, founder of Growth Pilots, teaches you everything you need to know about conversion optimization. You can view the full talk here.

At one point in his talk, Soso outlines how incredibly valuable SEM is for young startups because it provides cheap yet meaningful insights into your business and customers. Here are five SEM hacks Soso recommends:

1. Test Messaging With SEM

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To start, SEM is a great opportunity to test messaging. Using a tool like AdWords, you can test multiple different variations of your messaging to gauge which version performs best.

If you’re unsure how to best articulate your product’s value proposition, or perhaps you’re unsure which landing page headline will convert the most customers, SEM is a cheap and effective tool for testing your assumptions and iterating on those tests quickly.

2. Drive Targeted Traffic for Experiments Using SEM

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Are you preparing a new feature for your product? You can launch an AdWords campaign specifically targeted at keywords that surround this new feature. The feedback you get can help you plan the marketing for this new feature, as well as how and when to roll the feature into your larger product.

3. Estimate Customer Acquisition Costs Using SEM

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How much does it cost to acquire a customer at your company? Using SEM on primary keywords around your product at a young stage can help you narrow in on your CPA.

Investors love to know what the cost per acquisition is early; it’s an invaluable stat when they’re planning ahead for when you’ll be spending millions on paid-acquisition.

4. Hijack Competitors’ Traffic With SEM

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Morally speaking, hijacking the main keywords for a competing product is questionable at best, not to mention very expensive due to the relevancy tax of SEM. That said, you shouldn’t be surprised to see your competitors buying up keywords that surround your product.

In Soso’s experience, while this type of ad buy is significantly more expensive than keywords for your own product, the customers you’re reaching are markedly higher value. If you go after competitors keywords, don’t be surprised if they return the favor.

5. Retargeting Existing Visitors Via Search

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Search Retargeting is different from traditional Retargeting in that it’s tied to keywords that a potential customer is searching for as opposed to a site they’ve previously visited. If a customer searches for a keyword, hits your page, then bounces back to Google to search a different set of keywords, you can place ads on the resulting search page for your product.

Search Retargeting isn’t as widely used as traditional Retargeting, which makes it a cheaper way to re-engage a potential customer.

Want to know more? Watch Soso’s full talk in the Heavybit Library

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