Tag Archive for: SEM

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a powerful tool for driving traffic and sales. But, without a well-thought-out strategy, it’s easy to see your marketing budget vanish without return. Here are five common SEM mistakes and how to avoid them to ensure your investment pays off.

1. Not Defining Clear Goals

Aimlessness Leads to Waste:

  • Without specific goals, you can’t measure success or ROI.
  • SEM should have clear KPIs like CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), CTR (Click-Through Rate), or Conversion Rates.

The Fix:

  • Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.
  • Regularly review and adjust these goals based on performance data.

2. Ignoring Negative Keywords

Costly Clicks Don’t Convert:

  • Negative keywords prevent ads from showing on irrelevant searches.
  • Failure to use them can result in paying for clicks that will never convert.

The Fix:

  • Use the search terms report to identify irrelevant queries.
  • Add these as negative keywords to refine your traffic and reduce costs.

3. Overlooking Mobile Optimization

Mobile is a Must:

  • Over half of web traffic is mobile.
  • Ads and landing pages that aren’t mobile-friendly offer poor user experiences and low conversion rates.

The Fix:

  • Ensure your website is responsive and loads quickly on mobile devices.
  • Use mobile-preferred ads within your SEM campaigns.

4. Neglecting Ad Copy Testing

Stale Copy, Stale Results:

  • Using the same ad copy indefinitely can lead to ad fatigue.
  • Not testing different calls-to-action or value propositions can leave potential conversions on the table.

The Fix:

  • A/B test different ad copies to see what resonates with your audience.
  • Regularly refresh your ad copy to maintain engagement and effectiveness.

5. Forgetting About the Landing Page Experience

First Impressions Matter:

  • A landing page is where your prospects land after clicking your ad.
  • Poor landing page experiences are a major reason for high bounce rates and low conversions.

The Fix:

  • Align your landing page content with your ad message.
  • Make sure the landing page is easy to navigate, has a clear call-to-action, and loads quickly.

The Bottom Line

SEM can be a significant expenditure, but also a profitable investment when executed correctly. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can optimize your SEM campaigns for better performance and a healthier bottom line. Remember, in SEM, every click comes at a cost – make sure it’s a cost that brings value to your business.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is an essential tool in the digital marketer’s arsenal. While effective SEM strategies can drive more traffic to your website and increase conversion rates, making mistakes in your approach can have the opposite effect. This blog post will discuss five common SEM mistakes that could be reducing your conversion rates and how to avoid them.

Ignoring Negative Keywords
One of the most common SEM mistakes is overlooking the importance of negative keywords. Negative keywords are those that you do not want your ads to show up for. They help filter out irrelevant traffic, ensuring that your ads only appear to potential customers who are genuinely interested in your products or services.

Failing to use negative keywords can result in your ads being shown to people who have no intention of converting. This not only increases your cost-per-click (CPC) but also reduces your conversion rates.

To avoid this, make sure you regularly update and maintain a list of negative keywords. Conduct thorough keyword research and identify search terms that are irrelevant to your business or that attract low-quality traffic.

Not Testing Ad Copy
Testing your ad copy is essential to find the optimal message that resonates with your target audience. Without testing different variations, you may never know if your ad copy is truly as effective as it could be.

A common mistake is creating only one version of an ad copy and assuming it will perform well. Instead, create multiple versions of your ad copy, experimenting with different headlines, descriptions, and calls-to-action (CTAs). Use A/B testing to determine which ad copy performs the best, and continuously optimize your ads based on the results.

Overlooking Landing Page Experience
The landing page is where your visitors arrive after clicking on your ad. A poor landing page experience can lead to high bounce rates and low conversion rates, negating the impact of your SEM efforts.

Here are some common landing page mistakes that can hinder your conversion rates:

  • Slow page load times: Visitors are likely to abandon your page if it takes too long to load. Optimize your landing page for speed by compressing images, minifying code, and using a content delivery network (CDN).
  • Inconsistent messaging: Ensure that your landing page message aligns with your ad copy. If visitors are promised a specific offer in the ad but can’t find it on the landing page, they may leave without converting.
  • Poor design and user experience: A clean, easy-to-navigate design is crucial for a positive user experience. Make sure your CTA is clear and prominent, and that your page is mobile-responsive.

Setting the Wrong Bidding Strategy
Your bidding strategy plays a crucial role in the success of your SEM campaigns. Choosing the wrong strategy can lead to increased costs and decreased conversion rates.

There are several bidding strategies available, including cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM), and cost-per-acquisition (CPA). Each strategy has its advantages and is suited to different campaign objectives.

To determine the best bidding strategy for your campaign, consider your goals, budget, and competition. If your primary objective is to drive conversions, consider using a CPA bidding strategy. If you’re more focused on brand awareness, a CPM strategy might be more suitable.

Failing to Monitor and Optimize Campaigns
SEM campaigns require ongoing monitoring and optimization to maintain their effectiveness. Neglecting this aspect can result in reduced conversion rates and wasted ad spend.

Monitor your campaigns closely to identify areas for improvement. Track key performance indicators (KPIs) like click-through rate (CTR), cost per conversion, and conversion rate. Use this data to optimize your campaigns, making adjustments to keywords, ad copy, bidding strategies, and targeting.

In conclusion, avoiding common SEM mistakes is crucial for maximizing your conversion rates and achieving your digital marketing goals. By utilizing negative keywords, testing ad copy, optimizing landing pages, selecting the right bidding strategy, and continuously monitoring and adjusting your campaigns, you can significantly improve your SEM performance. Stay vigilant and proactive in your approach to SEM, and you’ll be well on your way to reaping the rewards of increased conversions and a higher return on investment.

September means it’s time to go back to school, and for Amauta Marketing, it means new additions to its client roster. We are proud to announce Kid Car New York, Montreal SOS Ticket and Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University have retained the services of Amauta Marketing to increase their digital awareness and reach high quality Internet users with targeted Google Ads campaigns.

Kid Car specializes in the safe transport of kids in New York City and supplies cars with child seats adapted to their age group. Kid Car drivers are trained to install these seats correctly and are particularly sensitive to the needs of this young clientele. The company has asked Amauta Marketing to help increase the number of app downloads in the US market.

SOS Ticket provides legal aid for car owners in ticket cases. The company is active in the Montreal market and represents those who wish to contest verdicts against them. Their digital marketing needs include increasing its web presence and they have asked Amauta Marketing to create a tailor-made advertising strategy with Google Ads.

Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University is known worldwide as one of the leading management schools. Its digital marketing objective is to increase its visibility with potential students in the United-States, Great-Britain, China and India, and they have asked Amauta Marketing to help them reach these markets.

The whole Amauta Marketing team is proud to be associated with these three prestigious clients and to assist them with using our digital marketing strategy and experience to build their brands

The optimization of your PPC strategy is essential to maintain or improve your ad campaign’s performance on search engines. Knowing what steps to take or where to start can be confusing, so here are some tips on how to optimize your PPC campaign:


  1. Keywords

In a PPC campaign, keyword selection is paramount. To choose your keywords, focus on those that appear in the largest volume of search. It is best to limit yourself to 15-20 keywords per ad group. Poorly chosen keywords can cost you money, so it is a good idea to have a web marketing expert to help you. To learn more, read our blog posting on keywords.


  1. Search words vs. negative keywords

It is important to regularly review your list of search words and the keywords being used by Internet users. You could be surprised by what you find.

You want to be vigilant about what search words you DO NOT want to be targeting in order to optimize your ROI. This is called negative keywords, which lets you exclude search terms from your campaign in order to only target the right customers and increase clickthrough. This list of negative keywords can be shared among all your Google Ads campaigns.

We recommend that you list all the negative keywords you want: such as products or services close to yours but you don’t offer, words linked to job postings, names of your competitors, scandals or sensitive subjects you don’t want to associate your company with.


  1. Ad Testing

In all marketing initiatives, testing is recommended to maintain effectiveness. Web advertising allows testing opportunities like no other medium. You can create 3-4 banner ads (with different visual and copy elements) for the same keyword groups and then see how their clickthrough performance compares. You can then get a better return on investment. Repeat this process as often as needed, and remember, Google Ads uses an ad rotation system that shows the ads that are performing best throughout your campaign.


  1. Geotargeting

This may seem logical, but do not forget to indicate the geographical area in which you wish to have your ads shown. If you only provide services to the Montreal area, it doesn’t make sense to target the whole planet. If you analyze the Geographical Report and conclude that some Internet users are coming from locations that you do not want to target, you can exclude those locations (city, region, country etc.) the same way you do for negative keywords. This avoids wasting your advertising budget.


  1. Conversions

Conversions are considered customer actions that your company believes are valuable. They can include purchases, signups, downloads, web page visits or lead generation. To optimize your tracking of conversion actions, consider the following questions:

  • Does your conversion follow-up work?
  • Does the conversion action align with your company’s most important KPI (Key Performance Indicator)?
  • Is the conversion tag on the correct page of your web site or is the Google Analytics corresponding to the correct page and action?
  • Are you tracking too many conversions?

Web marketing experts recommend you follow no more than two conversion actions on Google Ads. For example, for an e-commerce website, it could be sales (a primary KPI) and shopping cart add-ons (a secondary KPI).

In contrast, with Google Analytics, you can follow secondary conversion actions like newsletter signups, downloads of a catalogue or activity on a chat.

The problem with following too many conversions is that each one has a different value; therefore, the overall picture can give a distorted perspective on your actual return on investment of your advertising dollars.

  1. Budgets

A PPC budget requires monitoring and regular adjustments which means you should allocate your budget according to the ad campaign or keywords performance. Keep in mind, often the name of your company or your brand has a high conversion rate, but this doesn’t mean you should invest more on these keywords. The more targeted for conversion, the better.

Bonus Tip: Bing Ads now offers a tool to estimate conversions based on your budget to make it easier and quicker to optimize your budget.


Final Advice

Improving and optimizing your PPC campaign is an on-going process based on Internet users behavior and search trends over time. The more you carefully target your keywords and ads, the more you improve your campaign’s performance and optimize your budget.

If you don’t have the time, patience, or knowledge to manage your Google Ads campaign, Amauta Marketing is here to ensure the best possible return on your investment based on your budget.