By: Olivia Bias, SVP of Sales Operations for Goodway Group

Paid search management & strategy has come a long way since the days of Lycos and AltaVista in the mid-1990s.  Besides Google now being the dominant engine, search strategists now have to consider a myriad of factors in order to run a successful campaign such as increased competition as more advertisers have come on board and more sophisticated user psychology patterns as users navigate through an increasingly complex online environment.

Has your SEM kept up-to-date with the times?  Here are two areas on which you can focus now to keep your search competitive amidst changing technology and user behaviors:

  1. Optimize towards the mobile user experience – if there is one thing you can do this year to improve your search results that would be to ensure that your users have a painless experience discovering your business through search on their phones.  Did you know that beginning early last year, more Americans (55%) used devices to access the internet over PCs?  This is a huge shift in user behavior and a trend that will only become more prevalent in the months and years ahead.  Mobile considerations:
    • Implementing click-to-call extensions that make calling your business easy
    • Implementing app-extensions that make app download easy via the ad
    • Device-optimized landing pages and sites
    • Optimizing towards mobile technology factors such as device type or OS
  2. Optimize towards conversions – Since you pay for clicks it is only natural to want to optimize towards clicks, but a better long-term strategy is to optimize towards users who are engaging and taking meaningful actions on your site.  Google’s Quality Score algorithms have become more favorable towards advertisers who do a better job of delivering what users are actually looking for and they measure this through bounce rates, time on site, etc.  So while clicks are important – they get your “foot in the door” with the user – conversion optimization will help you drive a better quality score, better page position, and ultimately lower CPCs in the long run.

Need help with your search?  Goodway has a dedicated search team, skilled in SEM strategies for many types of industries and can work with you to place pixels for conversion optimization and make recommendations to provide a better user experience on mobile devices.