The two dominant players in digital marketing are SEO and SEM. Having a well-defined SEO and SEM strategy is a necessity for every business. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the best source for businesses to get quick results and boost business. But the competition on this platform has hit the peak and advertisers are putting their 100% to get the best ROI. This article would present advertisers best SEM marketing strategies and SEM strategy templates to improve their performance by following some high performing yet not so popular strategies.
Localise your Ads – Region-Specific Campaigns
One of the best PPC strategies is to give the audience flavor of their region in your campaigns. As the saying goes ” Think globally, act locally”, it is always recommended to stick to your roots. Hence any ad campaign resonating the users’ local features would be loved.
To be precise, let’s consider an AdWords campaign which is trying to generate leads for a residential real estate company. If someone searches for “2bhk apartment for sale in Juhu ” and the ad says “Buy 2bhk apartment in Juhu” rather than “Buy 2bhk apartment in Mumbai”, there is a high chance that user will click on the ad as it matches his/her intent. This can be associated with Ad customization as well.
To be more particular about regional ads, where one needs to understand the intent of the user based on their location of the search. Let’s imagine people in India are searching for “best colleges to study fashion in Chicago”. Now the ad from universities can be plain and straight to the point like “Top university to study fashion” and the landing page can also resonate same. But when we talk about regional ads, knowing that these queries are coming from India, the ad can be customized to include points that how the university is diverse in terms of its students intake based on their region and the landing page can include testimonials from Indian students which builds up the credibility.
Another important reason to have a region-specific campaign is that bids of keywords vary based on the competition in each location. If your ad is ineligible to participate in the auction of a specific region, even your search impression can’t detect it. It’s advisable to launch separate campaign for major regions and change the bid accordingly.
Give Google A Chance For Bidding – Automatic Bidding
Though human beings love using automatic methods, marketers get paranoid to use automatic bidding methodologies with the fear of losing control over campaigns. But if you win over that fear and give one chance for auto bidding based on your objective, it can do wonders for your campaign.
To make things more clear; if the objective of your campaign is to drive as many conversions as possible, you should go for ECPC (Enhanced CPC) auto-bidding. This bidding will increase or decrease the set bid based on the likelihood of a click turning into conversion. How does Google know it? It’s based on its machine learning algorithm which has analyzed previous data of conversions in terms of location, day, time, browser, device etc and takes a data-driven decision to do so. Just imagine, if you have to do the above-said analysis, it will take forever. Hence give your precious bidding freedom to Google to an extent and measure the results. You still have great control as you can change the base bid and Google can increase or decrease only up to 30%
To quote another instance, where you have a budget to stick and a target cost per acquisition, then Target CPA is the most suitable bidding strategy. In this bidding, Google will adjust your bid so that you never cross your target CPA. This is again based on machine learning of your previous data. In this strategy also, Google adjust the bid to some extent.
Basically, based on your objective, there is an automatic bid strategy you can use. Try it, if it works good, if not, then you can always fall back.
Talk the Same Language – Landing Page Customisation
Most of the times advertisers worry about ad relevancy, as it is the first piece of information which a user sees and it enables users to click on the ad, but many a time, the scenario after clicking on an ad is neglected from marketers. It is very crucial to have symphony between ad content and landing page content as this will play a major role in enhancing landing page experience for the user and drives them to take the desired action.
Let’s understand this with an example; A user is searching for flights from Delhi to Chennai, a company ad says “Best flights from Delhi to Chennai”, the user clicks on the ad and navigates to the landing page. The landing page has flight details of multiple destinations. The user has to apply a filter to view flight details of his/her requirement. Well, there is nothing wrong, just that the user got annoyed and may leave the website and check out other websites. This might cost a bomb to the company if it happens with most of the users.
It is always recommended to have synchronization between ad copy and landing page content.
Know your Real Prospects – RLSA & Customer Match
In SEM, the obvious notion is that your ad needs to show up for all the searches which a keyword gets. Well, it’s not necessary, it would be enough if you show your ads to your real prospects rather than to 100% audience. What do real prospects mean? These are the people who are genuinely in need of product or service and they aren’t doing any research or they aren’t your competitors.
But how will an advertiser get to know this? This is where RLSA (Remarketing List for Search Ads) and Customer Match comes in place. Using RLSA, you can show ads to people who have visited a particular page of your website when they are searching your keywords again or you can create a similar audience from a remarketing list and showcase your ads to only people who are matching the characteristics of your listed audience and searching for your keywords. Similarly, you can upload your customers’ list to Adwords and show ads to people matching the characteristics of these audiences.
Mobile is not same as Desktop – Device Customization
With the increase in mobile traffic, it has become necessary for advertisers to pay dedicated attention to the performance of AdWords in mobile devices. It is worth to note that having a mobile responsive page isn’t enough. The psychology of a user when browsing through mobile & desktop are completely different. A person browsing in mobile is generally in hurry, he/she wants to grab the information in a jiffy and take action. The landing should be designed by keeping these things in mind.
Negative Keywords are very Positive – Campaign Hygiene
As the keywords list of an account keeps increasing, maintaining the hygiene of the account by weeding out irrelevant keywords is a must. Google claiming 15% new searches are done by users every day, one needs to have a close look at the keywords used by their users by referring Search Term Report on daily basis and add negative keywords periodically.
Know when not to Bid- Ad Scheduling
Similar to the notion of “Know your real prospects”, advertisers should be smart enough to know, when not to show up in Google Search. It’s impossible to have great results 24*7. Every business will be having its peak and low periods. Advertisers’ needs to wear an analytical cap and take a lot of data (probably 3-6 months) based on the volume of traffic they receive, process the data and take the insightful decisions to reduce the bid or pause the keywords at the combinations of days and time.
It’s good to know your share – Search Impression Share
This might seem like contrary to “Know your real prospects” section, but it’s not. Before you try RLSA or customer match, you should look into your search impression share for all the searches happened. This metric will tell you what you are actually missing out and what should be your bid to cover that gap. Once you cover the gap based on your company objective, you can test with RLSA or customer match and analyze the difference it is making.
1st Position might not be the best Position
Who is the second person to step on the moon? Well, a jiffy google search would give the answer but we don’t really care because it is the second position. Sadly, most things in the world don’t matter if it isn’t first. Gladly, SEM doesn’t work like that. Generally, all advertisers are obsessed with the first position, but the good news is they needn’t. A lot of researchers have proved that having 2nd, 3rd or 4th position on AdWords has fetched great results compared to the first position. As a user yourself, you won’t stop looking for options by clicking on the first ad on AdWords, you click on other ads based on their compelling ads. It’s safe to say advertisers should try to target other positions and test the result.
Raise above High Volume and Competitive Keywords
It’s true that one should bid on keywords having high search volume which will increase the website traffic and ultimately improve the business. But, don’t forget all your competitors right from big brands to new bees are targeting these keywords which increases the competition of keywords like a rocket. There is one bright spot which advertisers normally miss out, which is a long tail keyword. These keywords might be having low volume, but a lot of them put together will be equal to one of your high volume keywords and the good news is nobody is bidding for them.
That’s all folks!
There you go, these SEM strategy examples top our list. SEM strategy is all about trying new tactics to make the best use of each penny you are spending. Google keeps adding new features to its basket regularly, be open to try it and test how it works out for you. Please do mention if any strategy has worked out for you in the comments section.
Image Credits: http://blog.undergroundelephant.com, www.choice.com.au