Simple Steps To Start SEM Campaign in 2021
Investment and strategy; one weighs more on one side and another on the other, but both share natures and need each other. Modern positioning necessarily goes through hybrid models of SEO and SEM.
This is the case even though unpaid optimization has gained the dialectical terrain in recent years. The growth of eCommerce, and especially of Internet competition, has been reinforcing the role of the different CPCs and the business approach of search engines.
For medium and large companies, and for projects with high visibility ambitions, Google’s algorithm does not offer sufficient guarantees of success. That is the gap covered by investment in the platform that today occupies almost 90% of the market.
Origin and foundation of Search Marketing Optimization (SEM)
The middleman also needs benefits. At the end of the 90s, network traffic grew geometrically; there were more and more advertisers and users. Before long, the rudimentary positioning system was limited.
There was too much competition to be able to appear correctly in the first positions of the search engines. That was until 1998 when the founders of Google presented PageRank, a ranking by points based on parameters that still persist today.
Keywords, tags, backlinks, responsive. All these Anglicisms joined the name of the company, initiating its unstoppable rise towards the pseudo-monopoly of the market. Of course, in the process, a logical business model would be drawn.
Google was unwilling, first to miss these rules of the game, and second to ignore a virtually universal advertiser market. Thus, in 2000 Google Ads would appear, the reference platform for modern SEM.
With this move, the giant left the door open for other companies to continue depending on the search engine while serving a product of interest to those willing to pay to position themselves.
Advertisers could pay based on certain parameters and unanimous quality factors, to appear in the SERP (search engine results page) between either the first four results or the three visible before the footer. Of course, accompanied by the legend “Announcement”.
SEO and SEM: how are they different?
If by paying I can appear in the first results quickly, why am I going to make an effort building an SEO strategy? The data reveals that the first apposition absorbs almost a third of the clicks and that more than 50% of the remaining users choose the next two.
Without going into details, the SEM would seem like the definitive tool for companies in the digital vector. However, this monetized aspect also has its trade-offs. And that is why the reference giants bet on both solutions.
It is true that SEM eliminates much of the competition, that it offers more clicks, that it allows to segment with much greater precision and that it greatly shortens the return time. But it is not infinite.
Leaving aside that the results will appear in the “advertisements” section – with the consequent deterrent effect – in the medium and long term, its constant demand for investment can destroy the profitability of any campaign.
Yes, the bidding system is interesting to publicize a product or a service, to generate a lot of noise at a certain time. But if you want to be sustainable and remain positioned, it is essential to go to SEO.
Go for the SEM bids
To appear at the top of the SERP, advertisers have to follow the rules of a live bidding system. Google offers positions based on different types of pricing and leaves room for amounts to be proposed.
Therefore, before launching to invest, the company must be clear about its objective. By adapting to each and every one of them, the search engine has different costs subject to the actions to be achieved.
It is not that a specific cost is less expensive, but rather that there are more and less suitable alignments. Google will measure each referral through the CTR (click-through rate), the number of clicks received in relation to all the impressions generated.
The advertiser will pay for packages of a thousand impressions. The cost per mile provides the advance payment of the estimated cost to the Publisher, offering it greater security of return in advertising.
However, this type of measurement is only profitable if it is expected to generate a large mass of clicks. It is logical that it is common for multinationals with very defined strategies and in cross-media campaigns that bet on several media at the same time.
With CPM, the Publisher obtains income for each visitor, regardless of the type of lead generated, but requires an iron decision to know that the thousand impressions will be reached quickly.
It is the most recurrent model and the most accessible for those companies without much capital or experience. The cost per click or ” pay per click ” does not oblige the advertiser to advance any amount, but establishes a payment to the Publisher only for each click generated.
This allows the company to more efficiently control its advertising spend, and the Publisher to optimize the performance of its sites to the extreme. Both parties agree on a fixed price per click , which will serve as a ceiling when pricing the campaign.
The CPC is thus more interesting than the CPM if the aim is to generate clicks regardless of their quality. It depends on the recipient’s interest, intention, location, and day and time.
How is it calculated? Dividing the total cost of investment by the number of clicks generated. In practice, many other factors intervene such as AdRank, the relevance of the keywords, and the Quality Score (we will explain this later).
Here the famous conversion comes into play. The cost per acquisition depends, not on the clicks generated, but on the type of action that the lead performs on the site. It is therefore risky for the Publisher and very safe for the advertiser.
The first will only receive profits when the user buys, subscribes to the newsletter or performs whatever action is set, and the second will only pay when they actually get the customer to do what they want.
The CPA is the reference in Affiliate Marketing; the advertiser only pays these when the leads lead to the proposed objective. That way, you make sure that the referrals sent are of good quality .
This fee should not be confused with the CPL, according to which the advertiser pays for the simple contact between the user and the site (without the need for them to buy or take any action).
Techniques such as cookie and call tracking or promotional codes (which also serve as a benchmark for tracking) are used to measure CPA.
Ranking score and obligation to optimize
If relevance is the main pillar on which the entire SEO strategy is built, quality or Quality Score (QS) is the rudder that guides all SEM efforts. We are talking about a score that Google takes into account when setting the cost and location of the ads.
It operates with the same logic as organic positioning; the technology giant gives more quality to those ads that offer more value to the user; that adapt to your needs and deal with transparency, ethics, and consistency of what is sold.
How influential is the QS in a campaign? According to Metricool, getting a 10 out of 10 induces a reduction of up to 50% in the CPC of the ad. On the other hand, getting a score of 1 causes a 400% price increase.
Google takes an average of three days to combine all the factors to determine the quality of the ad. Namely:
- Quality of the Landing Page : as in SEO, the first page that the user sees when accessing the site must be relevant, transparent and have fluid navigation,
- Targeting device : the performance of the ad in each of the available media (Google will not show the same campaigns on computers and mobile phones, for example).
- Display URL CTR – The history of the click-through rate of the promoted link on the web.
- Account totals: the general sum of the CTR and the keywords for the given site.
- Relevance of the keyword -ad : that is, the relationship between the keyword and the creativity itself. Whether or not it appears in the same slogan or ad title.
- Geographical performance : identical to the device parameter, but conditional on the region in which the campaign is being launched.
- Relevance of the keyword -search : identical to SEO. That is, the value of the keyword in the search engine (whether it is used a lot or a little).
Google sets a score on each of the metrics and then projects an average that will be reflected in the Quality Score. Of course, not all variables have the same weight in the calculation; CTR, for example, accounts for 40% of the valuation.
Which is the best strategy? Obviously, try to improve the exposed fronts. But without ever surpassing the advertiser who is just above the AdRank. In the event of a tie, the search engine falls in favor evaluating the extensions .
Far from anglicisms or complex calculations, all Google auction processes follow the same order.
First the advertiser creates the ads ; Search for keywords , create a Landing Page, write the text, set a maximum CPC and add the Ad Formats of interest (visual buttons with the phone number, the web, or sitelinks ).
After that, Google Ads performs a search with all the ads whose keywords best match the way users entered the phrases in the search engine, executes a selection and starts the auction .
Each advertiser bids a limited amount by the cap chosen in advance by themselves. Only one bet per account is allowed. And finally Google calculates the AdRank to set the final costs of the campaigns and their delivery.
A step-by-step SEM campaigns
Search Engine Marketing strategy does not differ much from what is applied to any other advertising planning. That is, selection of objectives, study of the context, choice of tools, execution and measurement.
s a series of steps to follow that are not doctrine, but that serve to guide a first SEM campaign:
- Definition of objective: orients the investment to sales, positioning, visits, or any other parameter. This will determine the CPC, CPM or the reference to be used in the bid.
- Calculation of the return: before investing it is essential to assess whether or not it will be profitable. For that, there is a very simple formula: (Income generated – Investment in Adwords) / Investment in Adwords.
- Campaign creation: divide themes and product lines. In each of these, you will be able to establish daily budgets, language, content, execution dates, and other metrics.
- Divide campaigns by ad groups: it is essential to obtain results in SEM. Try to include at least three ads per group, with a differentiated product or service for each one, but united by the same common theme for the entire campaign.
- Keyword Research: step identical to that of the SEO strategy, conditioned in this case to the structure chosen for the campaign. Use tools and explore carefully to find the best keywords.
- Execution of the ads: the creatives must be linked to the keywords, the titles must not exceed 30 characters and the descriptions must not exceed 90 characters. All texts – and links – must be aligned under the same positioning strategy.
- Landing Page Design: it does not have to be the home page of the site. In fact, it is advisable to go for an ad hoc page built from scratch with conversion in mind (with large buttons and eye-catching CTAs).
- Measure and correct: check both the CTR and the average position, the number of conversions, and the Quality Score by keyword. This will allow you to optimize the structure of the campaign, the selection of keywords and texts, as well as the Landing Pages.