Did you know that a recent study on Search Engine Land’s website showed that 76% of Adwords budgets are wasted? Whether you are trying your hand at google ad words yourself or paying someone to do it for you, how do you know that what you are doing works? First, you need to understand which of your keywords are offering the most value. How are you tracking your results? How can you optimize your campaigns to produce the best results if you don’t know what is working and what isn’t?

Google Ad WordsFirst, let’s talk about why AdWords is wasted. Not counting negatives, Google offers four match types of keywords you place in your account. Broad Match gives Google the most control and will map you out very broadly to good and bad search queries. These keywords can be the most wasteful if they are not monitored daily.

You don’t need to bid on every keyword to get the right results. You do, however, need to know what keywords are the right ones to bid on to get the best results. If you’re using the right keywords, your ads should show up when people are searching and clicking on your ad should take them directly to the right page. There is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a link and it not taking you directly to the intended page. So how do you know what are the right keywords for your business?  A strategy should be set up with your marketing team before the start of every month. At that point, a ‘game plan’ should be set in place on what you want to accomplish for the month. Your marketing team should also be aware of what your competition is doing and what keywords they are using to help promote their business. If your marketing team does not have a clear view of what your competition is doing, then they can’t help you ultimately reach your goal.

SEM campaignOne of the biggest mistakes to make with search engine marketing is to not review your ad performance consistently with your marketing team. Your marketing team should specialize in creating an SEM campaign that is best for your business, but ultimately, it is YOUR business. You should know where your dollars are going and what results you are getting for your effort. Once you have a strategy with your marketing team, it is imperative to keep reviewing performance to make tweaks such as adding new keywords discovered from the actual search queries, adding negative keywords, raising or lowering bids. You can accomplish a lot even on a small budget with the right team and the right strategy.

Finally, it is essential to be in constant communication with your team.  Meet with your team regularly and review your strategy as well as your spend.

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