Digital Marketing Resources

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Patrik Muehlematter

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Top SEM Bidding Practices

Bidding is necessary for Search Engine Marketing (SEM), mainly in the paid search, where manual bidding is still the dominant strategy. However, making adjustments in the bidding can be tedious, and feels a bit arbitrary, so considering the keywords report and making necessary adjustments while placing top-performing and poor-performing keywords with higher volume can be effective. However, what if there are hundreds of keywords contained in an account? Then what will you do?

Search Engine Marketing, often known as SEM or PPC or simple paid searches as this uses different acronyms that also represent the measurements or the bidding strategy.

Cost Per Click

When you prefer to enter into the paid search or Google Adwords campaign, you need to set up the maximum cost per click bid that is the CPC$ for each keyword or the ad text. It will help if you are completely prepared for the pay-per-click as you can get the keywords that can show up in Google's search results. If you want to rank one on Google's search results that are on the right-hand side of the sponsored links areas, you need to pay around $0.01 cent that is more than the second-best bid. If the existing highest bid for the keyword "services" is $1.20 and you are bidding for 1.30%, you will be ranked #1, but you only have to pay $1.21 to gain the position.

Search Creative

Your search creative includes the headings, descriptions, and click-through URL that are essential for the paid search ads, and these are also known as the ad text. You need to be sure that your creative search is intuitive, which means it needs to match the keywords that users are typing in the search box, and this needs to be informative and engaging to provoke the users to click on those. It is not even hard to predict what users are thinking and looking for when they are writing for your search creative; you need to be sure that these could match the landing page and the click-through as well. If you have the search creative that can generate the relevant clicks, but the landing page is not delivering up to their expectations, you will get the poor quality store and do you no good work.

Click-Through Rate (CTR%)

You can calculate your click-through rate (CTR%) by the number of times your ad is showing up in the search results and the number of times you have clicked on it. You can have a stronger indicator if your search creative is the strongest or the weakest, and your click-through rate is very relevant to your bidding strategy, and the quality score. If you are the top bidder for your keywords, but you have a poor CTR%, then Google can relegate your ad to second or third ranking. It is mainly because your competitors have a stronger click-through rate, and Google wants to provide its users with the best possible results they are looking for.

Quality score

Your quality score depends on your search landing page and the number of users who are clicking on the sponsored ad, but they then clicked straight back, which is also known as "bounce." If there are too many users bouncing back to Google immediately after they are clicking on your ad, Google assumes that the page does not match the search keywords used and penalized for the poor quality.

You need to remember that Google always wants to provide the best users' experience as soon as possible, so they also reward the websites that help them do this with a good quality score. However, a strong quality score can effectively help you outrank the competitors with the dedicated search agencies and larger budgets than you have.

Search bidding strategy

Your Google Adwords bidding strategy also depends on your end goals, the competition you are currently facing, your time frame, and the budget you have. One bidding strategy is to always rank #1 for the essential keywords, and these ensure you can show up on the search results page. You will get the brand exposure with more clicks, but it can also burn through your budget fast as well. The strategy is also used for the head terms that include the generic keywords or the brand terms, which users are typing at the beginning of their research or at the start of the consideration cycle.

Furthermore, another bidding strategy focuses on always showing up within the first three paid search listings, and it is a great way to show above the organic or the natural search listings on the left side. If it does not happen, you are ranked number three, which also makes you number one on the right side of the listing, and it can get a lot of brand exposure that doesn't affect your budget easily.

You can also consider the bidding strategy that only focuses on the long-tail keywords - these are the multiple words or the phrases that users can type into Google when they do some research and are further in their consideration cycle.

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