Search engine marketing (SEM) is a medium designed to work with your bigger marketing picture. To make it work for you, you need an overall strategy and plan and a specific SEM strategy.
Here are some of the most common SEM mistakes:
8 Most Common SEM Mistakes that you’re Probably Making
SEM can be a significant asset to your business, but it’s also one that can quickly turn into a liability if you don’t approach it correctly. Do not fall into these traps when setting up your SEM campaign.
1. Not Bidding on your Brand Name
If you have a popular brand, bidding on your brand name makes sense so people searching for your business can find you. But if you haven’t thought about whether or not there are any other terms associated with the company that might drive traffic to you, then you’re missing out on lots of potential traffic.
Since SEM is about getting the most visibility possible, you should bid on your brand name. However, many companies are not doing so. Why?
This is mainly because they are focused on the short-term results that they can see right away. They want to get more traffic to their website as soon as possible, even if it will cost them more money in the long run. If you’re one of those companies, you might want to rethink your strategy and start bidding on your brand name.
2. You’re not Focussing on your Competitor’s best Keywords
If you aren’t tracking your competitor’s best keywords, you probably aren’t optimizing for them either.
You should be using competitor analysis to determine where your competition is currently ranking and how they’re getting there.
If you’re a local business, it’s essential to understand what keywords your competition is ranking for and how much weight there is to them – because if you rank for these terms, you’ll be stealing from your competition – and gaining from them.
3. Not including your Company Name in ad Text because it’s already in the URL
SEM can be a potent tool to drive traffic and sales to your site. But, if you’re not doing it right, SEM can waste a lot of money and effort. Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make with SEM:
Not including your company name in ad text because it’s already in the URL – You should never use generic ad copy for Google AdWords. Your ads should appeal to your audience, not just be a way to send random visitors to your website. Make sure you include your keyword phrase and your company name in your ads. If you don’t, you won’t get as many clicks from people looking for your product or service.
Most marketers don’t know that Google looks at both the URL and the ad text for matching information. So if your keyword is “boots”, and your ad text is “click here to buy boots”, but your URL is “http://www.buybootshere.com”, then Google will see that as two different pages.
To prevent this problem, make sure that any information in the ad text is also in the URL — you want them to match exactly.
4. Your Landing Page is too Hard to Get to from the ad
You want your ad to link directly to a landing page that you’ve designed specifically for the ad and where you’ll make a sale, right?
Generating leads is great, but if those leads don’t turn into customers, they’re worthless (and you’re losing money).
Your landing page should be simple and easy to understand. It shouldn’t rely on the user having knowledge of what you do or company history. Your landing page should also be easy to find and get to. If it’s buried deep in your website and is challenging to find and bring to you might as well not have one at all.
5. Not Sticking to a Single Keyword Strategy
If you’re going to do SEM, it’s best to have a keyword strategy in place. Whether you’re outsourcing the work or doing it in-house, having a keyword strategy in place can be extremely important. Without a keyword strategy, you’re just throwing money at a wall, hoping that something sticks.
Having a clear and consistent keyword strategy is one of the essential parts of any SEO campaign. Although we all heard about the importance of keywords in your campaigns, many people still ignore them, and that’s why they fail to see good results for their campaigns.
6. Not having a Clear Business Objective
Having a business objective is the first step to creating a marketing strategy. Having a clear understanding of your objectives will help you define what your marketing needs are. You can’t determine which strategies are best for your campaign if you don’t have clear objectives in the first place.
What’s important to remember is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to SEM. Different objectives call for different methods, so it’s essential to understand what each one entails before deciding on an SEM strategy that best fits your business.
You can have different business objectives for different products/categories, but it should always drive more sales. If you are not sure what kind of sales you want to drive or your objectives, you’ll have a much harder time making progress in your SEM efforts.
7. Not Understanding your Customer Experience
If you are not good at answering questions about your product or service, how can you expect someone else to find out about these answers by using Google easily? You must have a firm understanding of your ideal customer and what questions they will be asking before you begin putting effort into SEO.
If you want to succeed in SEM, then you need to understand the customer experience. Do your market research and try to get into your customers’ shoes before going into any campaign. Always ask yourself What would my customers want? What would they expect from me? What kind of questions would they have? How can I help them?
8. Thinking too far Ahead with an inadequate Budget
SEM is an investment in the future. It requires a budget to be effective, and it can take time to see results. As with any investment, there are ways to increase the likelihood of success. The first step is determining your SEM goals, which you can read about here. Once those goals have been determined, you can execute those goals within your budget, as outlined here.
This happens when you spend too much on the wrong keywords. You may see that your keyword position is 17th, and that’s not good enough for you. You will then start thinking of ways to double your budget to get more positions. That’s what I call “thinking too far ahead with an inadequate budget.” A better way to look at this would be to decide if your keyword is worth it or not. If it’s not, then stop spending money on it.
There’s a learning curve to search engine marketing. Think of SEM as a medium designed to work with your bigger marketing picture. It’s not hard, but it will take some getting used to. This is a long term strategy so start slowly, right now.