9 Ways to Optimize Your Paid Search Campaigns

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By Louise Myjel Guevarra on May 15, 2018
Louise Myjel Guevarra
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Nowadays, Search Engine Marketing and Paid Search strategies are standard marketing procedures that entice customers who rely on online information to purchase products and services.

Through Paid Search Marketing, you get customer data that can help you with future campaigns or ads. However, Paid Search management can be a frustrating journey since there are hundreds of variables that can determine its success, especially when you fail to revamp or improve your strategies.

Before you begin with a new campaign, determine your number one goal for doing Paid Search and develop a SEM plan that can best be applied to make it work. These advanced Paid Search optimization techniques may help you reach that objective:

  1. Build a Strong Account Structure

To build a healthy account, determine first how many keywords are in each of your ad groups, how many ads are in each group, and how relevant the keywords are to each other and the ads.

You can start by focusing on a few campaigns around a product, location, or any other themes that fit your business objectives. Google suggests having less than 30 keywords per ad group, and 2–3 ads per ad group that are using keywords within the ad text.

Keywords, advertisements, and landing pages must be relevant to one another so that the prospect sees consistency in content with a clear next step.

  1. Running Keywords Through a Google Suggestion Tool

These tools predict the most commonly related search phrases to your keyword, as well as a few suggestions for long tail keywords. These tools are great when you’re looking for inspiration as to what topics to work on. They can also show you keyword search volume to help determine the potential traffic for each keyword.

Aside from Google Keyword Planner, some of our other favorites are Ubersuggest, Keywordtool.io, Moz’s keyword research tool, and LSIGraph.

  1. Build Out Negative Keywords

Creating a list of negative keywords can improve results and cut costs since it weeds out searches that aren’t related to your business, while keeping terms that indicate buyer intent.

To identify negative keywords, use tools such as WordStream Advisor or QueryStream that can serve up actual search query data. This will help set up multiple word negatives, add keywords that can be bid on, and create new ad groups.

  1. Determine Keywords with Poor Performance

When a keyword is not performing well, it could mean that its bid value is not high enough, it has a low search volume in general, it’s not getting enough clicks, or it’s too broad/restrictive.

Make sure to do enough research before pausing keywords that are not doing well. You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot by stopping a potentially lucrative campaign. The idea is simply to clean up your keyword list, so you’re not wasting resources on those that don’t perform.

  1. Expand Current Keyword List

Depending on the type of keyword, there are different ways you can expand your existing keywords list.

For long tail keywords, you can add adjectives or modifiers to target ads better, be specific with bids, and increase ROI. For short tail, you can take out these modifiers to expand the keyword’s reach. Great places to look for keyword inspiration include keyword suggestion tools, relevant social communities, and of course, your competitors’ content.

  1. Accelerated Ad Delivery

Accelerated ad delivery can help you in various ways but can also eat up your budget quickly. It ensures maximum brand coverage and click-through rate (CTR) without much concern about budget restrictions.

For time-sensitive campaigns or short-term offers, accelerated delivery can ensure that your ads will show within the duration of the offer. It also gives you a chance to test out creative copy, targeting methods, bidding strategies, and other settings quickly. Remember to keep an eye on your bids and your budget if you’re going to implement this practice.

  1. Customer Reviews

Products and services that have at least 30 unique reviews with a minimum of four stars can be displayed as part of the ad using the seller rating extension, and are a great way to establish trust and increase CTR. The ad will show the reviews, star rating, verified links to the reviews, and text snippets.

However, reviews may not always be displayed due to different reasons like relevance score, available space on the search results page, the review not being from a publication or organization, and other possible extensions.

Keep in mind, that reviews are only displayed on desktop and search networks. So, they should focus on the entirety of the business, and that it should be distinct from the ad text.

  1. Enhanced Cost Per Click (ECPC)

ECPC can improve campaign ROI by increasing bid for clicks that AdWords determines are more likely to convert. It looks at historical conversion data and uses this to tweak maximum CPC bids. It can also optimize your Ad Rotation settings.

This may sound great, but you should always be monitoring your CPC because ECPC may exceed your maximum set CPC occasionally. Don’t let it ruin your desired acquisition cost.

  1. Geo-targeting

Unless you’re trying to build brand awareness before a product launch or a have a product or service available internationally, you should only be targeting your ads to specific locations.

Take time to analyze your geographic setting to know if your ad is running on a sound geo-targeting strategy. You can use the Geographic reporting in AdWords to analyze traffic patterns.

Geo-targeting is one of the easiest ways to reduce your SEM campaign costs and improve ROI. So, unless you’ve got a good reason for it, you should only serve search ads in locations where you expect to find customers.

Always Be Optimizing

As with other advanced SEM strategies, there’s always room to improve your Paid Search. It may be a grueling task that takes a lot of time to maintain and optimize, but the results, no matter how delayed, can be significant for your business.

Additionally, make sure to understand the different aspects of Paid Search that need to be reviewed, analyzed, and optimized regularly to know which techniques would work best for your business and objectives.

The best SEM campaigns will be the ones you’re able to optimize yourself, based on actual research, historical data, and continuous improvement.


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Topics: SEM, Paid Advertising

Louise Myjel Guevarra

About Louise Myjel Guevarra

Myjel works as a writer for different platforms on various subject matters and disciplines. She likes to read during her spare time—be it fictional novels, think pieces, or the latest Hollywood gossip and viral memes. She wants to learn how to cook, read Kanji, and play drums. She also believes that humans don’t deserve dogs.

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