June 9, 2011

Google Adwords: SEM Tips & Tricks

Everyone wants to have a successful online marketing campaign so it’s no surprise that Google, and search engines in general can play a big part of your sucess or failure. To be successful in Search Engine Marketing (SEM) you need to have a strong grasp of what your potential customers are trying to achieve. Advertisements that are relevant to the customers search queries will bring higher click-through rates (CTRs), better quality scores on Google and lowers costs per click (CPC); all leading to more sales and wider margins in the end. Your customer’s buying process, and it’s understanding, are critical to a successful SEM plan of attack (P.O.A). This is different than a normal marketing techniques on other mediums like radio, television and print which although still focus (hopefully) on your customers buying process and understanding it’s more of a best guess by professionals. With the internet you are starting with direct input from the customer themselves which should sound like a marketing team’s dream.

When a customer goes to search their are indicators from what they are searching. The results can tell you the customer’s mindset and help gear your approach accordingly.

  • Generic searches signal a “research phase”; this should be considered the official opportunity to promote your specific product/service. Generic search example: “HD video cameras”.
  • Detailed or Specific searches indicate a “buying phase” where customers will be responding to highly relevant ads. This is when your keyword optimization is critical for getting quality click-through traffic. Specific search example: “Samsung Q10”

So the second mindset, “buying phase” is a key aspect to SEM. Creating good copy that will pull those customers in can be the deciding factor between success or failure.

Adwords Copy Quick-Tips

  1. Create clear messages to drive up your CTR. A poor CTR will assign a low quality score and increase click prices.
  2. Find your initial traffic by using a few broad keywords, then use “search query reports” to add the more relevant, measured keywords into the mix.
  3. Add some non-related negative keywords* to avoid unwanted traffic.
  4. Once you have traffic, break out your keywords into separate ad groups with super-relevant ad copy that directly relates to your customers’ search queries.
  5. If you have a set budget, use tracking technologies to better understand your traffic and which keywords/ads are converting to sales. Google Analytics can do this type of analysis required.
  6. Always run at least three ad copy variations to see which messages work the best then delete the other two and make two new variations off of the successful one. Rinse and repeat with all ads.
  7. For keywords that don’t convert at all, do some analysis to learn if there is a mismatch between your ad copy and the offering or it’s simply not competitive enough.

*Negative keywords are words used in a Google Ad Group that prevent an ad from displaying whenever someone uses that particular word in a search on a Google search page or a partner page.


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