Did you know that 98% of users select a business that is on the first page of SERPs (search results), according to BrightLocal? Reality probably shows a lower percentage, but the data still underscores the importance of web positioning in e-commerce. It is not surprising, then, that more and more companies decide to include SEM strategies in their marketing campaigns.

Better known as SEM, search engine marketing has become one of the indisputable allies of e-commerce, allowing them to increase their sales through paid advertising. Other advantages include the profitability of targeted and segmented traffic, recognition and brand building or the ability to measure and monitor results.

However, investing in SEM campaigns is not like betting on a winning horse. You have to work very hard to get good results. The best ecommerce get it thanks to some of the SEM tactics that you will discover below.

What are the best practices of SEM? 7 that you should know

Optimize sales with a landing page

Custom landing pages are behind the best performing SEM campaigns. By contrast, sending users and potential buyers to a generic page will not only be limiting conversion possibilities, but could also generate confusion with search terms.

For example, if a customer is looking for Armani high heels, he should not be redirected to the general category of men’s footwear, where he will stumble upon NIKE snickers and other unrelated products. It would be a fatal mistake, as he is not interested in such shoes!

However, this advice should not be misunderstood. Not all SEM strategies require a personalized landing page. For example, retargeting campaigns use the same product or category sheet that the customer previously visited.

Bet on video marketing in your SEM campaigns

Another of the most interesting SEM tactics is to bet on formats as innovative as video. Most advertisers limit themselves to using text links or banners with images in the best of cases. However, a moving image offers more conversion possibilities.

In this sense, brands should not forget that Alphabet, Google’s parent company, also owns the second most used search engine, YouTube. There is no need to mention the advantages of being promoted on Google and YouTube at the same time.

Set yourself goals and monthly fees

If the best sales reps impose weekly and monthly goals and quotas, why shouldn’t marketing teams do the same with their SEM campaigns? In this way, the professionals involved will be able to work with a clear reference. The objectives will not always be to sell; sometimes they will be to achieve greater visibility or brand recall.

On the other hand, establishing commercial objectives beforehand is vital to decide which will be the maximum CPC to pay. Will you compensate for paying a certain price per X number of clicks, will there be a positive return on investment or is it an unprofitable goal?

Increases segmentation of target customers

Another of SEM’s best practices is to improve campaign segmentation. This is crucial in order to obtain more clicks and greater profitability from the available budget. To achieve this, the creation of an advanced person buyer is a necessary first step. How else can we increase the degree of segmentation of our SEM campaigns?

A good way to optimize segmentation is to implement past behaviors, useful for understanding consumers’ interests and buying trends. Demographic data (age, gender or location, among others) are also very important, as well as the context, i.e. where and when the searches are carried out. The latter applies not only to local SEO, but also to PPC ads targeting consumers in a given region or city. Surely, one of those SEM tactics that will help you improve the performance of your campaigns.

Still don’t know the negative keywords that hurt you?

Many businesses use keywords that can cause confusion with other unrelated search terms. For example, a travel agency would make a big mistake if it didn’t create a list of negative keywords indicated with safari terms related to Apple’s browser. Otherwise, its SEM campaigns on safaris in Africa would have a very bad performance, due to the volume of searches that this well-known browser has.

Make fair play in your SEM campaigns

This is not an SEM tactic, but a general recommendation for all companies contemplating black hat strategies. We all want to get immediate results with minimal effort, but success (if true) requires effort, time and patience. Google is always one step ahead of us, and so its algorithms detect bad practices in SEM campaigns. On the other hand, you can be sure that their penalties are very dissuasive.

Take advantage of the organic and paid search together

Does the use of SEM ads necessarily lead to the abandonment of SEO? Not at all! Organic and paid traffic can work together to form an infallible tandem. In fact, the best ecommerce companies in the market use a combined strategy of PPC ads and content marketing initiatives (blogging, guest posting, etc.). While paid search produces faster results with limited ROI, organic searches offer long-term results with almost unlimited ROI. Benefiting from both strategies is the smart thing to do.

In view of the above, either of these SEM strategies is a safe bet to improve the commercial performance of a company, regardless of its sector, target audience or product/service.