As the world of marketing marches further into the digital era, more eyes are turning to the world of Search Engine Marketing, or SEM.

The idea of SEM is to place your ads in front of potential customers right when they are searching for a product or solution. Seems like a great idea, right?

While Google does its best to make the process of getting your ads in front of customers as easy as possible with automation and suggestions, there are still more ways to stretch your marketing budget.

First, we should note that there are only so many things that Google can do to help you.

You will have to define your own goals for a campaign, define your audience, and decide when and more importantly where your ads will run.

Google Ads are served up on an auction basis, meaning you can’t just pay x amount for an ad spot like you would with traditional media. There are dozens of factors that go into how much you will pay to get your ad showing, but essentially what Google wants is to serve up the best, most relevant ads to the potential customers that are most likely to convert.

Basically, it’s a two-way street. People won’t click ads if they aren’t relevant to what they are searching, and advertisers will stop using Google if they aren’t getting conversions. To encourage advertisers to make the best possible ad experiences, well written and well targeted ads cost less than poorly written ads.

As you dive into Google Ads (formerly AdWords) you will start to see how quickly you can spend your ad budget. Here are a couple high level tips to help you get every conversion you can out of your ad spend.

Pick the Right Keywords

This seems like a no brainer, but choosing the right keywords can make all the difference.

Google provides a great keyword planner tool where you can input your landing page and they will give you what they think are the best keywords. While that is a great place to start, we recommend including some keywords that you know your customers will be searching for.

Make sure not to include too many keywords per ad group, either. A good rule of thumb is less than 10, but the fewer the better. Narrowing your keywords into relevant ad groups allows your ads to be more pertinent to your customer. If you provide multiple services, break out each service into a separate ad group, that way your customer doesn’t see a pizza ad when they are searching for sandwiches, even if your company makes both, which brings us to our next point.

Write Great Text Ads

The easiest way to save money in Google Ads is to write great ads and to bring users to a great landing page.

The landing page is where your customers will be directed after they click your ad, and represents that vital first impression. Try and direct them to a product or service specific page, not your homepage. Your ad will want to catch customers attention while also including a call to action. Google also likes it when you put some keywords into your ads to further entice users. Ultimately, the landing page is your chance to convert.

Track Your Goals

You know what they say: what gets measured gets done.

While this should be done in every marketing channel, Google makes it particularly easy to track your goals in Google Ads and in Google Analytics. You can set conversion points for your customers and can measure campaign success. You will be able to see where your money is going and what you are getting out of it.

Review Performance

Reviewing performance is also particularly easy on the digital side.

You can track down conversions to specific ad groups, ads, and keywords. See what types of ads are doing best and try and replicate that in your other campaigns. After you have at least two weeks’ worth of data (Google recommends a month), you will have a pretty good idea of how your campaign is performing. Once you review how your ad groups are doing then you can start making those little adjustments and fine tuning your campaigns.

Now, go! Save some money.

Matt Kortum

Author Matt Kortum

Matt is a SEM Specialist at InQuest Marketing. He creates and manages search engine marketing efforts for a wide variety of clients and enjoys being able to see direct results from those efforts. If he could have any superpower he would choose the ability to fly, and his favorite meal is a steak dinner with a glass of bourbon.

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