Business Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Sponsored

SEM Strategies & Tips for Businesses to Increase Efficiency

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A cost-effective yet highly accurate advertising channel is undoubtedly SEM (search engine marketing). For the unversed, SEM is making promotional efforts on search engines like Google and running various kinds of ads on the platform.

A popular platform for all SEM needs for Google is the Google Ads tool. So before you master the techniques or learn the different strategies to optimize ads, learn Google Ads and how it works in advance.

For our readers who are already familiar with the platform, here are some strategies & tips to keep in mind to optimize your ads.

Must Read: SEO vs SEM vs SMM

Target Long-Tail Keywords

Google ads work around bidding for certain keywords/search terms and showing your ads when a user types in the same/similar keywords. If you use vague/short-tail words, the intent of the user may not be strong and hence your targeting becomes weak.

Instead, go for long-tail keywords. For example, if you are selling a course, target “digital marketing courses in Mumbai with placements” instead of using “digital marketing courses”. You might notice that the audience reduces but understand that all of them have higher intent.

Use Negative Keywords Function

While targeting the right keywords is important, it is also necessary to ensure that your ads are not displayed based on wrong words which are similar to your search terms. Hence, the negative keywords function comes to the rescue.

You can very specifically instruct google to not display your ads on XYZ keywords. This way, you’re not wasting your time trying to appeal to a user who’s looking for something else. Learn how to do the right keyword research for optimum results.

Check the Quality Score

Quality score is a metric given by the Google Ads platform to your ad campaigns to display what the clickability, content, etc. look like. It’s a great way to check if you have optimized correctly. Thus, never launch campaigns before checking this score. It will give you suggestions as to what can be improved.

An ideal quality score you must try to achieve is 6 to 7. Although, this is determined by the intense competition of the keyword. If the competition is low, you should definitely aim to achieve 7-8 but if the competition is higher, anything between 3-5 is also fine.

Track Real-Time & Optimize if Necessary

Campaigns don’t always perform as projected and many times deviate from their goals. But there’s nothing to worry about when it’s on Google Ads. You can always track the campaign in real-time to see how it’s going.

If there are defaults/ mini deviations, you optimize and modify your campaign while it’s live to set it back on track. Now, this strategy is known by many but not all of them leverage it. They generally keep it aside once it’s live. We suggest not to make this mistake to begin with and to always monitor, however confident you are.

Opt for the Similar Audiences Feature

Similar Audiences is a brilliant feature when it comes to increasing your audience base with high intent. Under this, the platform goes through your remarketing lists and finds similar audiences in terms of behavior, demographics, location & more.

You’re already aware of how people in the remarketing lists have a higher chance of converting. And now, you not only target them but also target similar people who are in the deeper stages of the funnel. Hence, it results in quality investment.

A/B Testing for the First Few Campaigns

Today’s marketing game is less about communicating what a brand wants and more about what the consumer wants. So while you may struggle to understand what appeals more to them, you can let Google Ads help you.

For the first few ad campaigns, simply choose the A/B testing feature where you can add two completely different creatives that are sent to 50% of the audience respectively.

The tracking and data will be given separately for both the tests which allow you to analyze what users like better. The tip is to use this a few times and then decide which factors are working well for which kinds of audiences.


These were all the main strategies and tips to help you make the campaigns better and effective. Along with leveraging SEM for your business, you must also start with SEO.

It’s about ranking organically on search engines that result in higher impressions and clicks without investing in ads. If you are interested, here’s a great online SEO course that will help you learn right from the basics to the advanced levels of SEO. And if you want to master all the elements under digital marketing for a more holistic approach for your business, register for this online digital marketing training

About the author


Karan Shah

Founder and CEO at IIDE

An ‘Edupreneur’ and the founder of IIDE – Indian Institute of Digital Education.
He is a passionate public speaker and teacher for over 10 years. He has trained over 1,00,000+ students and 25+ corporates in Digital Marketing via online and offline channels. He is a Harvard alumnus specialising in E-commerce. He is a TEDx speaker and is a visiting faculty at India’s top management institutes like the IIMs.