Tips & Tricks for Mastering SEM

There are many things you can do to continually improve the performance of a SEM campaign but here are our top suggestions.

#1 Take it slow

Adwords and other SEM platforms are not the most user-friendly interfaces for the average small business owner. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Start with a small campaign and get to know the interface. When you feel comfortable, expand your campaigns.

#2 Check your campaigns daily

SEM can have a bad rap for being a bit of a money pit. The real problem lies in getting the mix of keywords and bids correct to ensure a return on investment. Keep an eye on your campaigns on a daily basis if you can. You might not be able to identify any specific problems on a given day but a daily look at your campaign will help you see trends so you can act quickly if you’re overspending or not seeing desired results. 

#3 Consider ‘negative keywords’

If you use broad or phrase term keywords, you should keep an eye on the actual referrer keywords that are prompting your ads. If your keyword is “London florist” you might not want your ad to trigger if someone searches “London florist jobs” so you could add “jobs” as a negative keyword to ensure your ads displaying in the most relevant searches.

#4 Adjust your budgets accordingly

Sometimes your best keywords are more expensive. Make sure you increase your budget on individual keywords that you feel like are important. You usually set a standard Adgroup budget when you set up your campaign, but take a look at the keyword level and make sure you’re bidding enough to show in the top results for your most relevant keywords.

#5 Consider time of day

You are able to set the time of day you’d like your ads to run as well as adjust the percentage of your budget you’d like for any particular part of the day. Say you have a small restaurant and your ads running from 7:00 to 20:00 and you think that people looking for restaurants between 15:00 – 18:00 are more likely to visit the same day. You can set your budget to make the most of this window and use less budget at the times that are less likely to bring you business.

#6 Make use of ‘sitelinks’

Sitelinks are available in Adwords as additional links that can appear in your ad should you list in the 1st or 2nd position. Use sitelinks to link to promotional pages, contact pages, store loctater pages, etc. Google notes that using sitelinks can improve clickthrough rates by 30%. 

#7 Enable local extensions

Similar to sitelinks, local extensions are another element you can use to customize your ads by including your business address and phone number information in your ad. These are particular helpful for reaching people on the go and increasing your foot traffic.

#8 Test, test, test

One of the great things about SEM is that there so many elements you can test and tweak in order to improve performance. Test ad copy to try and increase your click through rate. Test your landing pages to increase your conversion rates. Test ad extensions to try and increase both. It’s important to test to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.