Crafting an SEM campaign is a lot of work, and it can be frustrating when a well-thought-out strategy isn't generating the leads you expected it to. However, by taking a step back and reevaluating some of your campaign's core components, you can get back on track without completely going back to the drawing board.
Whether your campaign has only been running for a few weeks or is well-established, these are three mistakes that you could be making right now.
Your Keywords Are Too Popular
When you first begin crafting your SEM campaign, you'll probably do a little research and find keywords that will help searchers connect with your business. Although this is a great place to start, it's easy to forget that competitors may very well be crafting their campaigns using the exact same keywords you are.
If you notice a sharp decline in impressions and clicks, it could be because your competitors are outbidding you for the same keywords. If you think this is happening, try running a few ads with different keywords that are longer or more specific, or even less popular, and see if there is a measurable improvement.
Your Call-To-Action Needs to Be Refreshed
Every ad needs a call-to-action, but simply adding "click here" to your ad copy isn't enough. Inc. recommends that marketers craft an explicit call-to-action that engages consumers in an exciting way, but still makes the path to action clear. If you are using weak or vague phrases like "Browse Selections" or "Select Options," you might be confusing or daunting consumers, which could be a contributing factor to a low conversion rate. Using proven, direct phrases like "Shop Now," "Save Now" or even "Sign Up Now" will give consumers a clear path to action, which can help boost an SEM campaign's effectiveness.
You've Stopped A/B Testing
David Ogilvy, of the marketing and communications giant Ogilvy & Mather, famously said, "Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving." It's common for marketers to run a few A/B tests when they're crafting their campaign to make sure they're using the most effective headline or call-to-action — but stopping there could be stopping your campaign.
You probably don't need to invest a large amount of money in A/B tests after your campaign is up and running, but keeping a few small-scale tests going will help you continue to optimize your campaign and identify potential trouble spots (like the aforementioned keywording issue) before they become big problems.
Crafting an SEM campaign can seem like a simple endeavor at first, but there are a lot of variables and moving parts that, if not factored in at the start, can lead to less-than-desirable results. Fortunately, it's never too late to course-correct, and by going back over some of the core components of your marketing plan, you can salvage even the most bruised campaign.