Increase SEM Efficiency and Succeed in 2009

In any economic downturn, marketing strategies may be called into question as return-on-investment shrinks. This could cause marketers to take drastic steps in an attempt to increase return, when actually their strategy is sound. When times are tough, online marketing campaigns will be exposed for the inefficiencies that may be unknowingly built into the campaign.

Here’s what you need to do:

1) Re-evaluate your campaign structure

  • Efficiency in paid search begins with campaign structure. An improperly structured campaign will ultimately cause you wasted time and budget.

2) Take advantage of any new ad platform feature (because your competitors may not be).

3) Optimize your campaigns specifically for each channel.

  • Ensure your budget is being spread across all marketing channels according to return. If Google is spending 70% of the budget, but only returning 60% of the conversions, shift some budget to another channel to increase spend efficiency.

4) Stay relevant to the user’s search query.

  • There are only so many searches on your top keywords each day. Make sure your ad copy speaks directly to the user’s search query. Generic ads will create spend inefficiency, as lower performing keywords will soak up the spend your top performers are missing. Writing more ads that are specific to a user’s search query will increase your click-through rate, which will maximize your daily traffic to your top keywords.

5) Use ad platform targeting features to reach your audience efficiently.

  • Location (geo-targeting)
  • Ad scheduling (day-parting)
  • Audience (demographic bidding)
  • Language targeting (are your customers multi-lingual?)
  • Placement targeting (If you’re running a content campaign, do your research and select placement sites that are relevant to your product and target demographic.)
  • Network targeting (Is your click budget being wasted on Google’s search partner network? It might be.)
  • Device targeting (mobile or desktop/laptop computers)

6) Test, test, test, and then test some more. Repeat.

  • It is imperative for optimal campaign efficiency that all things related to the campaign are tested. This includes but is not limited to: ad copy, landing pages, promotions/offers, ad positions, site placements and keywords.

Stay positive and you can achieve your campaign objectives in any economic climate. Your competitors are experiencing the same economic landscape that you are. By optimizing every aspect of your paid search campaign you can create efficiency in your efforts that will allow you to stretch your marketing budget further – without making cuts and sacrificing market share and return on your investment.