By Karen Garcia, on 26 June 2019
SEM or paid search engine marketing can be implemented through different platforms, but the most widely used is Google Ads. For brands, doing SEM on Google is an excellent opportunity to attract qualified traffic to your websites and increase conversions. Here’s how to create a SEM campaign on Google step by step and optimize it to get better results.
How to create a SEM campaign in Google step by step
To create a SEM campaign on Google, we will go from the most general to the most concrete. In addition, we can understand in depth the different elements of advertising in Google Ads.
1) Create a campaign
To create your own SEM campaign in Google, the first thing is to register at https://ads.google.com (or log in if you already have an account). From here, you can start creating your campaign.
Google Ads campaigns are the basis of the ads we are going to launch, so they must have an objective that fits what we want to achieve. For example, to attract customers who are looking for products or services similar to ours, we will need a search campaign. On the other hand, in order to get them directly in contact with the company, a call campaign is most appropriate.
At the campaign level we will also make the following decisions:
- The location: where are the users we want to reach?
- Language: what language or languages do they speak?
- Bid strategy: we can choose between automatic bidding and manual bidding.
- Campaign daily budget
2) Create ad groups
Below the campaign level, there are ad groups, which serve to organize campaigns internally. We can think of the groups as the different "topics" of the ads.
In general, it is advisable to create the ad groups that make the most sense for our product line, but being careful not to exceed certain limits in order not to end up with an unmanageable campaign. In general, between 7 and 10 ad groups per campaign are more than enough.
3) Select the keywords
Keywords are the terms that users enter in the search engine and determine whether an ad is shown or not. In general, it is advisable to include some 20 terms per ad group, always looking for those that offer more profitability and opportunities for conversion. It is essential to look at the user's intention when searching: do you want to buy a specific product or are you just looking for information?
Another aspect to take into account when choosing keywords for SEM in Google is the level of agreement, that is, to what extent we are strict when it comes to matching the user's search with the exact terms of the keyword. We have these options:
- Broad match: includes related words and synonyms.
- Modified broad match: you have to include the same words that appear in the keyword, but the order may vary.
- Phrase match: you have to include the same words and in the same order, but admit that there are others before and after.
- Exact match: as the name implies, the keyword must exactly match the term that the user enters in the search engine.
4) Create the texts of the announcements
Finally, we will introduce the different variants of ads that will be shown in the search engine when users search for the keywords in our list. Two or three ads for each group should be enough.
In addition to the description and the title of the ads, we can also configure some "extras" so that the user has more information. It's about ad extensions. There are many different types, which can be adapted to multiple objectives and needs. To begin with, these four are the ones that are usually most useful for companies:
- Link extensions: link to other pages of the website (in addition to the one that has been included as an ad landing page).
- Text extensions: additional texts to explain the offer in greater depth.
- Call extensions: for potential customers to contact the company directly.
- Location extensions: ideal if you want to generate more traffic in a physical store.
Tips to optimize your SEM campaign on Google
- Investigate your keywords thoroughly. Keywords are like the "bricks" of your SEM campaign on Google. If you appear by the appropriate terms, the chances of success multiply, but if you choose too competitive or generic terms, it will be much more difficult to generate conversions. The key to getting it right is to spend as much time as you need to research keywords before launching the first campaign. In addition, the information you generate will also be very valuable when it comes to better guide your SEO.
- Run A/ B tests. Google Ads offers multiple elements that lend themselves to optimizing, such as the title or the visible URL of the ads. The only way to know which variant will give the best results is by testing it in a controlled manner by experiments such as the A / B tests. Ideally, this type of testing is always taking place within the account, in order to publish increasingly better ads.
- Evaluate the results. Periodic checks are the only possible way to see what is working and what is not within an account to continue optimizing the results. Therefore, we should never fall into the error of thinking that "your work is done" after launching a campaign.
- Bet for simplicity. Especially for small and medium businesses that start with SEM in Google, it is better to opt for few campaigns, few ad groups and few keywords. There is always time to grow later as the budget and expectations increase.
- Strategically manage the budget. SEM in Google calculates many factors automatically to offer the best possible results within the budget set by the advertiser. Therefore, if we are changing it continuously, the system will never fully optimize and we will obtain worse results in the long run. The smartest option is to divide the monthly budget by 30.4 and allocate that budget to each day invariably.
- Pay attention to the level of quality. Within the multitude of metrics offered by SEM in Google, it is necessary to distinguish between those that can really make a difference in the performance of the account. And without a doubt, the most important of all is the level of quality. The quality level is a score awarded by Google Ads based on the perceived quality of the ads. In turn, it is calculated using parameters such as the expected click rate, relevance and experience of the landing page. The higher the level of quality, the better the ads will rank and the lower the cost per click.
- Keep an eye on profitability. In the end, the most important metric is always the same: the ROI. What we are looking for with Google Ads is to generate conversions in a profitable way, so we always have to control how much we are spending on campaigns and what is the value generated in the form of conversions.
SEM in Google has great potential to help companies achieve their goals quickly and scalable. To get the most out of it, the ideal is to have experts who have extensive experience positioning brands with Google Ads.
If you want to take advantage of all the benefits of SEM in Google for your brand, get in touch with us!