Search Engine Marketing isn’t really a cakewalk. In fact, the central principles of SEM aren’t that difficult to comprehend. The knowledge and tools required to run an impactful SEM campaign are available to anyone and everyone who knows what to search for on Google. Great SEM though, is a big deal. Success with PPC marketing comes from hard work and consciously following the best practices.
A lot of SEM consultants paint themselves as master of some dark art which gives them leverage to charge exorbitant rates for their services and dismiss complaints by claiming that clients are completely oblivious to what’s actually going on in the industry. Let’s crack into a few practices, followed by one of the best digital marketing agencies in Mumbai, such as Sociosquares, which when done right can skyrocket your entire SEM campaign.
Habit 1: Choosing the right keywords
A lot of people waste time trying to come up with “long-tail” keywords instead of focusing on more critical facets of SEM. Although keywords are important, they are other things to focus on. Every campaign should have 5 types of keywords:
- Root terms: The most relevant keyword to your campaign. Say you’re running a mortgage lead campaign, it would include words like “mortgage” and “mortgage rates”.
- Synonyms: Words that mean the same thing as the root word. For our mortgage example, this might include “home equity” or “refinancing”.
- Action prefixes and suffixes: 2 types of prefixes and suffixes namely general ones and category-specific. Category prefix might include a geographic region or the name of the brand itself. Generic prefixes and suffixes are pretty much redundant now because they have been completely broad matched.
- Runs and misspellings: You may get a few cheap clicks for misspellings by putting these words in other ad groups especially if you use dynamic keyword insertion in your text.
- Plurals: You want to make sure that you include plurals for your top keywords too. Some search engines like yahoo consider singular and plural keywords as the same entity.
Habit 2: Creating great Ad Copy
Creating a great Ad copy is a skill that takes into account 3 skills namely statistics, psychology and creative writing. Here are a few tips to create an emotionally impactful Ad text.
- Test, test, and test: Testing is key for ad text optimization because although it’s not impossible, getting the right combination could be a little tricky which requires trial and error. The way to do it is to find a generic ad text that can work across multiple ad groups. Create like 2 or 3 of these ads and test them out in different groups over a couple of weeks. Pick the winner. Do this process until you maintain the winner through multiple ad wars. Do this for the top few Ad groups and pick about 2-3 winners.
- CTR: Click-through rate is an extremely important metric to determine how good your Ad is. But a combination of great click-through rate and a horrible conversion rate will quickly consume your budget and kill your ROI.
- Take inspiration from competitive Ads: It’s a great idea to observe what your competitors are doing, especially the ads in the top positions. Chances are, these ads have been iteratively refined over time and finally landed a copy that works.
- CTA: We as humans, want clear cut instructions on what should be done. Adding a call to action at the end of your Ad such as “Learn more now” and “View our gallery now”. A call to action doesn’t necessarily have to be too sales oriented.
Habit 3: Setting the right bids
Bid management is an extremely overlooked aspect of SEM and when done wrong can cost your business a lot.
- Keyword-level tracking: How good the bid management process depends on the tracking behind it. The best way to track is to install conversion pixels which are tiny code snippets which have barely any impact on a site’s page speed. One can use this for search bars to see which ad text or search query or backlink lead to conversions and then eliminate keywords that aren’t getting the required ROI.
- Rule-based bidding: This is the easiest and most popular mode of bidding. It involves determining what the value of a click would be for your business and then using a portion of that value to bid for a business objective. There are 3 steps to this approach:
- Select a business objective
- Set threshold values for your data
- Calculate the value of your subsequent bid.