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Understanding SEM and paid ads

SEM, also known as search engine marketing, is about using paid ads to improve your website’s visibility on search engine results pages. By utilising SEM, you can quickly increase your visibility, traffic, and ultimately sales.

Here we will go through what SEM is, the most basic things you need to know about SEM, and what to consider when optimising your paid ads to rank high on Google.

Why is it important?

Quick visibility and traffic: SEM boosts your website’s visibility through paid ads that appear at the top of search engine results pages. This allows you to quickly reach potential customers, increase traffic, and drive sales.

Measurable results: SEM provides detailed insights into your paid ads’ performance, including clicks, impressions, conversions, and cost per click (CPC). This data enables you to optimise campaigns based on profitability.

Enhanced targeted marketing: SEM allows targeting of audiences based on demographics, location, search behaviours, and devices, increasing the chances of turning clicks into conversions through pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

Flexibility and adaptation: With continuous SEM efforts, you can quickly adjust your campaigns in response to changes in search engine algorithms and user trends, keeping your sponsored listings relevant.


Understand the basics

Keyword analysis: Identify relevant and profitable keywords that your target audience uses. Use these to create and optimise your online advertisements.

Ad quality: Create engaging and relevant ads with clear calls to action. High-quality ads improve performance and reduce cost per click (CPC).

Budget management & optimisation: Set a budget for your campaigns and monitor their performance. Adjust bids and strategies based on data to improve results.

Product feed management (Merchant Center)

We manage your product feeds through Google Merchant Center, ensuring they are optimised for maximum visibility and exposure. This includes:

Product Data: By uploading accurate and detailed product data in Google Merchant Center, such as names, descriptions, prices, and images, we ensure that your products/services are displayed correctly in search results. This increases the likelihood that potential customers will click on your products.

Optimisation: Keeping product information up-to-date and accurate with clear, descriptive names and high-quality images helps improve click-through rates and conversions, as customers gain a better understanding of what you offer.

Feed: Using feed rules in Merchant Center to customise and optimise your product data allows us to meet specific Google requirements and improve your products’ visibility in ad results.

Ad creation

We create engaging and well-optimised ads for search advertising, ensuring they resonate with your target audience. This includes:

Ad creation in Google Ads: By using Google Ads to create text ads, display ads, or video ads with relevant keywords and clear calls to action, we can improve ad relevance and click-through rates, leading to higher conversions.

Image and video ads: High-quality images and videos capture users’ attention and convey your message in a clear and engaging way, increasing the likelihood that users will click on your ads.

Testing & optimisation: A/B testing different ad variants helps us identify which ads perform best. By analysing the results and adjusting the ads, we can maximize their effectiveness and achieve better returns on ad spend.

Bidding strategy

A strong bidding strategy ensures the best possible placement of your ads, making the campaign cost-effective. This includes:

Automated bidding strategies: Using automated bidding tools such as Target CPA or Target ROAS in Google Ads allows bids to be adjusted automatically based on campaign performance, optimising costs and improving results.

Manual bidding strategies: For campaigns that require more control, manual bidding strategies allow for adjusting bids based on time of day, geographic location, and device, ensuring that ad spend is used most effectively.

Monitoring & adjustment: Regular monitoring of bidding strategies using Google Ads reports allows for necessary adjustments to ensure ads are performing optimally, leading to better campaign results.

Ad optimisation

We continuously work to optimise your ads and ensure the best possible results. This includes:

Regular analysis: By analysing performance data for your ads, we can identify those with the highest click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates, helping us focus on the most effective ads.

Ad content adjustment: Based on analysis results, we adjust ad copy, images, and audience targeting to improve performance. Experimenting with different ad formats and messages ensures we always have the most effective ads.

Ongoing optimisation: We continue to test and optimise your ads by implementing new strategies and lessons learned from previous campaigns. Staying updated with the latest trends and best practices in SEM helps us maximise the effectiveness and results of your ads.


Basic Strategies

To get started with SEM, begin with a keyword analysis to identify the most relevant keywords for your target audience. Then, create engaging ads in Google Ads and optimise your product feeds through Google Merchant Center for maximum visibility. Implement a strong bidding strategy and regularly monitor to ensure the best possible performance. Finally, continuously optimise your ads based on analysis data to maximise efficiency.

Keyword analysis

Keyword analysis is one of the most fundamental and important aspects of SEM. By identifying and using the most relevant and profitable keywords that your target audience uses when searching for your products or services, you can ensure that your ads reach the right audience. This includes:

Optimisation: Selecting the right keywords and using them strategically in your ad copy and landing pages improves click-through rates and conversions, as your ads become more relevant to users’ searches.

Tools: Using various tools allows us to tailor and optimise your keyword analysis to meet specific search volumes and competition levels, improving the effectiveness of your campaigns.

When can you see results from SEM?

The results from SEM can often be noticed much faster than from SEO, but the exact timeframe can vary depending on several factors. Here is a general overview:

1. Immediate traffic

Since SEM involves paid ads, you can start seeing traffic to your website almost immediately after your ads go live. This can happen within a few hours of the campaign launch.

2. Improved visibility

Within the first few days, you may notice increased visibility on search engine results pages (SERP), leading to more clicks and visitors.

4. Conversions & sales

Depending on how well your ads and landing pages are optimized, you can start seeing conversions and sales within the first week. However, it may take a few weeks to fine-tune the campaigns to maximise their effectiveness.

5. Optimisation & adjustment

To achieve the best results, continuous optimisation is required. This involves monitoring performance data, adjusting bids, keywords, ad copy, and target audiences. You should expect to see more stable and improved results within 1-3 months of continuous work and optimisation.

Expected timeframe for SEM results

Initial insights (1 week)

Now we have data on ad impressions, clicks, and CTR. We can see which ads and keywords drive the most traffic.

Preliminary results (2-4 weeks)

First conversions and insights into the best campaigns. Enough time has passed to adjust bids and optimise ads.

Optimised performance (1-3 months)

Improved conversion rates and stable results. Regular optimisation of bids, keywords, and ad copy leads to more effective campaigns.

Fully optimised campaigns (3+ months)

Stable performance with cost-effective ads generating traffic and conversions. Long-term optimisation and adjustments based on data analysis provide the best results over time.

Like SEO, SEM campaigns require time and commitment. Despite quicker results, continuous analysis, optimisation, and adjustments are needed to ensure successful outcomes.

Do you want to grow with us?

Every business is unique, and standard solutions don’t work for digital marketing. That’s why we tailor our SEM strategies to fit your specific business needs. We work closely with you to understand your business and create customised solutions that deliver clear results.

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