How to develop a search engine marketing plan

Alexandros Nasiopoulos on 29-10-2019. Modified on 19-09-2020
How to develop a search engine marketing plan

How to develop a search engine marketing plan

If you understand the benefits that your business will have from developing a search engine marketing plan and looking for ways to build it, you are in the right place.

If you are looking for an easy way to promote your business and/or your products in the search engines, I am sorry but unfortunately, there is none. Why do I mention this? Because you should have enough time and patience just to read this article, let alone to accomplish what you need to perform.

Maybe you wonder if it is worth developing a search engine marketing plan?

If I were to tell you that there are about 5.6 billion searches a day or 2 trillion searches a year, just in the Google search engine, what would it look like?

Isn't that enough for you and you want to know the number of Google users? Well, given that the average user does 3-4 searches a day, with a simple division it looks like the audience you can target daily can reach 1.6 billion users!

If this is not a big audience to develop a marketing plan, then what is?

And it's not just the size of the number that makes search engines stand out.

In most of the other marketing channels, it is impossible to target your audience so accurate. What I mean; You might, for example, run an ad on facebook. Most of the users who will see the ad are certainly not interested in what you are trying to promote. And if that isn't the case, they certainly don't care at the time they see the ad.

Search engines, on the other hand, target users exactly when they need the information and search for it.

A piece of information can be news, a product, a book, a video, etc.

As we also said in our article "How to improve your search engine ranking", the purpose of search engines is to answer users' questions and help them find what they are looking for quickly and easily.

The type of marketing or marketing method that is related to search engine promotion is Search Engine Marketing or SEM and is a digital marketing method.

After taking a brief historical overview of SEM, we will study its basics and then move on to how you should develop the right search engines marketing plan.

A brief historical overview of Search Engine Marketing

As the number of websites increased in the mid-1990s, search engines began to appear.

Search engines have developed Pay-Per-Click business models to finance their services.

The term "Search Engine Marketing" was popularized by Danny Sullivan in 2001 to cover the spectrum of activities involved in performing SEO, managing paid listings at the search engines, submitting sites to directories, and developing online marketing strategies for businesses, individuals and organizations.

Around 2007, Pay-Per-Click programs turned out to be moneymakers for search engines. The dramatical increase in the number of websites, along with the huge number of search engine users, played a key role in this.

What amounts are we referring to? In 2007, as I mentioned above, the amount spent in the United States on Search Engine Marketing exceeded $26 million.

What exactly is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing - SEM, is a form of online marketing that increases the visibility of a website on Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs, mainly through paid advertising.

Search Engine Marketing is a broader domain, which includes SEO. SEM includes both the results of paid traffic and organic traffic. SEM uses ways of advertising such as Google Adwords or Bing Ads, ie Pay-Per-Click - PPC advertising and making sure SEO has been done.

In some cases, however, the term SEM is used exclusively for PPC advertising, especially in the advertising and marketing communities that are active in SEM or have interests in this narrow definition.

What is Pay-Per-Click - PPC

Suppose you want to buy a mobile phone.

To find the information you need like the features you want it to have or the price you want it to have, you can go to a search engine like Google or Bing and type "mobile phone" into the search field.

If you use Google, the links that have an "Ad" mark (from the advertisement) will appear first, followed by the search results displayed by Google's algorithm.

All of the links displayed contain the keyword you typed. In terms of advertising, it is a keyword that some company/companies pay Google to display each time someone searches for it.

If you click on the ad, only then, the advertising company will pay an amount to Google. This is called Pay-Per-Click - PPC.

The exact way Pay-Per-Click works will be discussed in our next articles.

What is Search Engine Optimization - SEO

SEO - Search Engine Optimization is a combination of practices.

With these practices you can increase both the quantity and quality of your website traffic through unpaid promotion, known as organic traffic.

In the example mentioned above, SEO is about the results that are beneath the ads, that is, those displayed by the Google algorithm.

Search Engine Optimization is a set of techniques that can influence the order in which websites are ranked and which websites will be found in search engine results. Simply put, SEO is a set of techniques that can put your website on the 1st page on search engines.

SEO can be either On-Page or Off-Page. This means that it consists of practices that can be implemented within your website (On-Page) and outside of your website (Off-Page) eg. backlinks.

SEO can also be theoretical - but also technical.

Theoretical SEOs are practices such as finding the right keywords, placing them properly in your texts or at the URLs of your pages, etc. Most of these practices can be implemented on your own.

Technical SEOs are practices that deal with your website's code and can be structured data, AMPs and even the speed that your website opens. To apply such practices, you need to look for the right SEO company that will ensure you get actual results.

A lot of SEO information can be found in our Search Engine Optimization category.

Do I need both SEO and Pay-Per-Click for the marketing plan?

The answer is that if you want to have a complete Search Engine Marketing plan then you also need SEO and Pay-Per-Click, as each one can help in different ways.


SEO is the traditional cornerstone of successful digital marketing. It gives your business the best chance of being found in the searches of the users, but the SEO development process takes time.

Pay-Per-Click or Google Ads, as Google names its Pay-Per-Click service, is a quick and easy way to get visitors, regardless if your business is new, small or big.

Using a combination of Pay-Per-Click and SEO can give you the best opportunity to increase your website traffic in the short term and boost your online business presence for long term success.

Of course, your final decision is up to you.

In which search engine should I apply the Marketing plan?

There are currently about 25 search engines. Which one should I choose and why is everyone talking about Google?

With Google accounting for 75.48% of search engine usage on desktops and laptops, according to, it's obvious why everyone is talking about Google.

The image below is taken from this website and shows the usage rate of the 8 most popular search engines, including Google, Bing, Baidu, Yahoo!, Yandex, Ask, DuckDuckGo and Naver, for the period October 2018 to September 2019.

How to develop a search engine marketing plan

Yes, but what about mobile phone searches? Mobile accounts for 58% of website visits.

In terms of mobile phones, Google also leads the way, accounting for 87.38% of search engine usage over the same period as shown in the figure below.

How to develop a search engine marketing plan

If it is worth developing a marketing strategy in some or all of the other search engines, you should evaluate it yourself. Now, at least, you know the numbers that will help you decide how to move.

How to develop a Search Engine Marketing Plan

All of the Search Engine Marketing strategies have one main goal: To improve the visibility of your website in search engines.

In simple terms, search engine marketing strategies include everything you can do to increase the visibility of your site to search engines, with the ultimate goal of increasing your website traffic.

This promotion, and therefore the traffic that is promoted to your website, can be either organic traffic or paid traffic, as mentioned above.

But before you make an effort to increase the traffic of your website, you need to make sure that you get the most out of that traffic, that is, the visitors you will attract to your website.

It makes no sense to attract visitors if you do not benefit from them.


Every marketing strategy must serve a high business goal

Maybe I didn't become perceived?

What is the point of increasing visitors if your website speed is very slow and users are leaving it immediately?

What is the point of increasing visitors if your website looks old and neglected and results in a bad perception of your business?

What is the point of increasing visitors if they are struggling to check-out, that is, completing their order?

Now that I have your attention, let's get things started and see how you should move.

The plan we present is not only applicable to Search Engine Marketing but applies to any marketing method that aims to increase the traffic of a website.

How to develop a 12-step search engine marketing plan

  1. Google My Business
  2. Google Analytics
  3. Conversion Rate
  4. Web Design
  5. Social Media Optimization
  6. Target Group
  7. Competitor Analysis
  8. Keyword Research
  9. Copywriting
  10. Search Intent
  11. Search Engine Optimization
  12. Pay-Per-Click Advertisement

Let's go through these actions one by one and see how each can help you reach your goal.

1. Google My Business

The simplest and at the same time a very useful tool that you can use to promote your website and your business to the local community and the internet users in your area is undoubtedly Google My Business.

Google My Business is a Google tool with which you can view your local business on, Google Maps, and Google Earth when a user searches for your business or category that your business belongs to.

With Google My Business you can give important information about your business, such as your website's URL, your address or navigation directions to your business, your business opening hours, your business scope, etc.

Even if you don't have a website, you can use Google My Business to develop smart Google Ads campaigns, a Google advertising product that does not require daily ad management.

2. Google Analytics

When the time comes that you have implemented the marketing plan and you want to measure the performance of your efforts, Google Analytics is undoubtedly the most valid tool for this job and not only.

Google Analytics is also a Google tool that not only lets you get metrics and view traffic statistics for your website, but it can also be very helpful before you start implementing your marketing plan.


With Google Analytics you can view things like the speed of your website or the bounce rate of your website, that is, how well you maintain existing visitors to your website and make crucial decisions about whether and how to proceed with web design, which we will analyze below.

With Google Analytics you can also find details and statistics about your website visitors, such as where they are from, the visiting hours, the device they use, what pages are bringing the most traffic to your website, etc.

Properly leveraging the data you can get from Google Analytics can help you find your target group, the keywords you should choose, etc.

3. Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate is the number of unique visitors to your online store in relation to your sales.

If, for example, your online store sales are 100 per month and your unique visitors are 10,000 then CR is 100/10,000. That is, CR is 0.01 or 1%. According to surveys, a CR above 1% is considered healthy.

Since you know your e-store's CR index and it's not good you need to apply the techniques you need to increase it, before developing your marketing plan.

To help you with this, we have developed some techniques that you can find in our article "How to increase sales in e-Commerce?"

4. Web Design

Google Analytics statistics, along with your store's Conversion Rate (as long as your website is an online store), will help you decide whether to consume resources to the design of your website.

The design of your website is extremely important for the first impression it creates and the overall impression it will create for your website visitors.

The design of your website can play an extremely important role in the speed of opening your website, which along with the overall image of your website and the functions of your website, can determine the conversion rate or bounce rate of your website.

For more information on web design, you can read our article "What is the correct website design", in which we have gathered all the features that a good web design should have.

5. Social Media Optimization

Social Media Optimization is the optimization of websites or web pages so that they can work optimally for social media.

Examples of social media optimization are the RSS Feed as well as the facebook like and facebook share buttons that you find on most websites.

By optimizing your website for social media, you are increasing the ease with which your website visitors can share what they like on your website to their friends on social media.

This way, your website visitors can, by themselves, help increase the traffic of your website or, in other words, multiply it.

If the platform with which you have built your website does not allow you to implement social media optimization, you will need to find the right web development company to help you with this.

6. Target Group

Target Group or Target Market is a group of customers within the services of a business that marketers target their marketing efforts and resources.

The target group is usually made up of consumers who have similar characteristics and are more likely to purchase from a business or likely to generate more profits.

Although there are many different ways of dividing a market, the most common bases used in practice are:

  • Geographical: Home address, location, climate, area.
  • Demographic / socio-economic: Gender, age, income, employment, socio-economic status, level of education, marital status, religious belief.
  • Psychographic: Behavior, principles, beliefs, interests, lifestyle.
  • Behavioral: Cases of use (eg Christmas, birthday, anniversary, etc), degree of commitment, user status, readiness to buy
  • Needs-Based: Relationship between customer needs and specific features or benefits of products or services

If you recognize your target group you can either increase the effectiveness of your marketing plan or reduce its cost.

7. Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis or competition analysis is exactly what the words mean: Analyze your competition.

The first step you need to take to analyze your competition is to find your competitors. You could also try to identify your potential future competitors.

Once you have found your competitors you should discover their strengths and weaknesses. You can also identify situations that may create opportunities for them or even threats.

Before you can analyze your competition, you need to ask the right questions. The following are some of the questions frequently used in marketing to analyze competition.

  • Who are your competitors?
  • What products or services do they sell?
  • What market share do they possess?
  • What were their previous strategies?
  • Do they use the same strategy?
  • How aggressive are they in their ads?
  • How competitive are they?
  • Are their strengths and weaknesses the same as yours?
  • Do they pose a threat to you?
  • How do their strategies affect your business?

Analyzing the competition you will find information such as the weak points of your competition, obvious moves you need to make but which you were unable to identify by analyzing your own business and other elements that you should consider for your marketing plan.

8. Keyword Research

Keyword Research is crucial to the effectiveness of your marketing plan.

Keywords are the words that users write in their queries in the search engines.

To attract users to your page, you need to develop appropriate content that contains the keywords that users are looking for and are directly related to what you offer on your page.

But it's not that simple.

The keywords you will choose may have strong competition, so they will not bring visitors to your website. Or they may be keywords that users are not searching, with the same results as above.

9. Copywriting

Copywriting is the act or occupation of writing a text that is used in advertising or other forms of marketing. The product, called copy, is written content that aims to increase brand awareness and ultimately to persuade a person or group to take a particular action.

In simpler terms, we could say that copywriting is a technique used by SEO specialists, marketers or copywriters in which a text, a sentence or even a title becomes more attractive to the readers or prompts them to do something specific.

Copywriting along with Search Intent, which we will discuss in the next step, are techniques that you need to know and can help increase the effectiveness of your efforts.

More information on copywriting can be found in our following articles.

10. Search Intent

Search Intent (or keyword intent) is, in simple words, exactly what a user is looking for in a search engine. Is he looking for a product, a service or maybe information? Maybe none of these?

Search intent is a search engine optimization technique (or more generally a digital marketing technique), in which we try to predict the query of the users who will come to our site. It is similar to the keyword research we discussed above but in a different way.

The purpose of search intent is to offer the user what they are looking for so that they do not leave our site once they realize that what we are offering is not what they want. For example, if the user was looking for an article with information and we presented a product, he would return to the search engine to find the information he wanted.

To find out more about Search Intent, you can read our article "Search Intent: How does it help SEO?".

11. Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization or SEO, as already mentioned, is a combination of practices.

Since we are talking about a combination of practices, if you think that because you have finally arrived at step 11 your suffering will end, I'm sorry but you're wrong.

These practices can be implemented within your page (On-Page SEO) or off-page (Off-Page SEO). These practices can also be theoretical - Theoretical SEO or technical - Technical SEO.

Applying SEO techniques along with creating the right content and putting into practice all that you have learned from the previous steps will start to drive traffic to your website and finally, you will see your hard work pay off.

Unfortunately, if I continue talking about SEO in this article you will get tired and give it up, which I would never want to happen.

If you would like to know more about SEO, a good start could be with our article "What is SEO and why do I need SEO".

12. Pay-Per-Click Advertisement

What Pay-Per-Click is, we already mentioned above in this article.

What I would like to add, at this point, is that posting a Pay-Per-Click ad will not be difficult. The difficult part is to master the knowledge you need so that the ad you register and pay to be optimal.

If ultimately, you decide to choose Google to create a Pay-Per-Click ad, all you need is a Google Account (which you can get by creating a Gmail) and your transition to Google AdWords.

You can read our article "How to choose the right keywords" to choose the keywords to use and then proceed to the creation of the Pay-Per-Click ad on the keywords you have chosen.

Summary of search engine marketing plan

In case you have forgotten or are confused, here are the steps again for a proper search engine marketing plan.

How to develop a 12-step search engine marketing plan

  1. Google My Business
  2. Google Analytics
  3. Conversion Rate
  4. Web Design
  5. Social Media Optimization
  6. Target Group
  7. Competitor Analysis
  8. Keyword Research
  9. Copywriting
  10. Search Intent
  11. Search Engine Optimization
  12. Pay-Per-Click Advertisement

As I said at the beginning of my article, if you are looking for an easy way to promote your business and/or products in the search engines, there is none.

After all, if it were that easy, everyone would do it. Also, marketers would be unemployed or poorly paid for their services, which is by no means the case.

You can, of course, skip some of the steps we suggest or even go straight to the last step and start paying Pay-Per-Click advertising.

This, of course, is something we neither recommend nor propose.


Well, for two reasons:

In principle, if you go straight to the last step you are most likely to spend your money almost or completely unnecessarily.

Also, once you have decided to give your business a chance to grow, you should apply all the techniques available so that you are as likely as possible to achieve your goals.

Do you feel you won't make it through?

Our company Cloud O.E. can build the website or eCommerce you need to get the most out of implementing a proper marketing plan that will specifically meet the needs of your business.

What you need to do is simply contact us.

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