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Top 9 Practices for Google SEM

As with all things in life, when it comes to paid advertising, you get back only what you put in. While Google Adwords offers much in the way of automatic keyword bidding and targeting, and this automation will certainly bring some traffic to your site, getting the best possible results will require a little know-how on your part. Fortunately, Google does not hoard their knowledge, but openly encourages Adwords users to study up on best practices for SEM to help their business flourish. Our Adwords experts here at ScriptiLabs are eager to share their top 9 best SEM practices to help get you started with achieving your paid advertising goals.
1.       Keyword research. The foundation for your paid advertising efforts, keywords set the tone for your entire campaign. Paid advertising is all about finding your niche – and finding the balance between high competition and highly obscure keywords. While keywords like “shirts” are unlikely to be successful due to high competition, keywords like “purple and pink polka-dotted toddler girl’s three quarter length sleeve shirts” are equally unlikely to be successful due to low search volume. Ideally, you will want to research to find medium to low competition keywords that still get decent traffic and are candid to what you’re advertising.
2.       Creative Ads. With limited space in text ads, it can be tough to get across all the information you want, but creative ad content is one of the most important things you can do for your campaign. After all, your beautifully optimized site is meaningless if you can’t entice searchers to click your ads. For this reason, sometimes it’s worth sacrificing details on your product or website in order to stand out.
3.       Ad Extensions. Ad extensions offer additional space for some of those details you’ve left out of your ads to make room for creativity. Callout extensions offer additional text space for things like info on shipping or sales and call extensions add your company’s phone number. Taking advantage of all of Google’s ad extensions that are relevant to your business is a great way to boost your ads to the top.
4.       Bidding v. Quality Score. While it’s important to offer an appropriate bid amount, the importance of a good quality score cannot be overstated. Quality score is basically the evaluation of how your keywords, ad text, and landing page all work together to give the user a good experience. Bidding high on a keyword cannot make up for a very poor quality score, and with a poor quality score, Google won’t run your ads. So be sure to perfect your landing page and only use keywords and ad text that are relevant to it.
5.       Display Advertising. Take advantage of Google’s display advertising! Especially if your goal for paid advertising is brand awareness, sometimes a custom digital ad can reach an audience far better than a text ad.
6.       Mobile Optimization. These days, it’s imperative to optimize for multiple platforms. Fortunately, Google allows you to create and preview mobile-specific ads. It’s crucial to remember that the landing pages for these ads needs to be mobile optimized as well.
7.       Location Targeting. Perfect for local businesses that mostly want to drive traffic to their brick and mortar store, or who provide a local service such as real estate or insurance. Location targeting can be as broad as statewide and as narrow as a specific zip code.
8.       Shopping Campaigns. Especially with Google’s new Buy Button on the horizon, if you own an ecommerce site, a Shopping campaign helps get your products out there with pertinent information and a product image.
9.       Analytics. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that the paid advertising scene is constantly changing. Keywords and ad text that have been working flawlessly for you may inexplicably stop converting. For this reason, always keep your eye on analytics to evaluate ad and keyword performance.

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