SEM: a question of money?

SEM: a question of money?


SEM is paid search engine advertising that appears in search results.

In this article we are going to talk about Google, through Google Ads, as it is the most popular and where we are going to find most of the digital marketing campaigns, but remember that we can also run campaigns on Bing through Microsoft Advertising.

Well, having said that, let’s try to answer the question that I throw in the title of this article:

SEM is only about money, the answer is NO, but also a resounding no and I will try to argue it for you to understand.

Google Ranking

First of all, we must talk about the famous Google Ranking, as it is essential to know the rules of the game that Google will use to give you a positioning or another. It is important to understand that it is not only money that will determine our position in the search engine. We would all like to be in first place, and even more so if we pay, but it is not that easy… they have even come up with a formula to explain the criteria:

Ranking = CPC X Quality Score (quality score) X ad extensions.

Well, we have stayed the same, haven’t we? So let’s get down to business…

CPC: this is where “the money” comes in, that is, the more money you are willing to pay per click the more likely you are to be in the top positions, but as you can see this factor is multiplied by the level of quality of your campaign and this is what is going to make the difference. We also have the variable of the ad extensions, but we will touch on that in another post.

I think that, with the formula and the mini-explanation, the question in the title is fully answered, however, let me explain a little more.

Knowing the positioning rules recommended by Google is absolutely essential if we want to achieve successful campaigns.

But why does Google care more than the CPC?

Simple, because Google is there to make money and not to lose reputation. Keep in mind that Google will only charge if the internet user clicks on your ad, so if your ad is bad, is not understood, is poorly written, for example, or has spelling mistakes will have very few clicks and, therefore, Google will not charge. But let’s go one step further. Imagine that your ad is good and seduces enough to generate clicks, but when the user clicks on it and arrives at a poorly constructed page or does not find the product offered in the ad (for example, you advertise a black high heel shoe and it takes you to the home page of your men’s and women’s shoes page…) this will cause Google to jeopardise part of its reputation, so it will penalise your position for not having an adequate level of quality.

What is the Quality Score?

Look, the Quality Score is a concept that is formed by the good practices that Google recommends for the publication and improvement of the positioning of the ads.

What practices should we follow to have a good Quality Score?

A good CTR

The first thing we need to put in place to have a good Quality Score is a good CTR, i.e. the level of clicks between the number of impressions. So that we understand it, if there are many clicks in relation to the number of times Google shows it (impressions) Google will be interested, as your ad generates a profit with respect to the space in which it is being placed and also sees that users are interested in what you show, so Google will reward it without any doubt.

Your landing page

As I mentioned in the previous example, the page that the user will reach after clicking on the ad must be appropriate. My recommendation is that you create a Landing page for each product you are going to advertise.

For example and to continue with the previous example.

If you have a website that sells all kinds of shoes, both men’s and women’s shoes and, for the Christmas Campaign, you want to launch your new product: A wonderful stiletto-heeled shoe for women in black… it is coherent that if the user clicks on the advert, he will not want to find men’s shoes, don’t you think? The best thing to do in this case is to create a landing page for this black women’s stiletto heel and provide all the information (price, quality, options, photographs, etc.) and, what’s more, if you make it even easier for the user, all the better… I would provide an access so that they can buy it directly.

Historical performance

Experience is a degree… Google will take into account your seniority and will reward accounts with more seniority and better results with respect to newer accounts or accounts with a history of poor results. Therefore, as is well known, beginnings are costly, both in terms of effort and money. For this reason, when we turn to a professional, they have an added value over any other person, who, no matter how well they carry out the campaign, has a history of inferior or worse results in their account than the digital marketing professional.

Relevance of the ad

The relevance of the ad measures how well the keyword matches the message of the ad. For example, if the user is searching for stiletto heels, what you have to put in the title of the ad is “stiletto heel shoe” to appear in the top positions. Keep in mind that Google is always thinking about the user in order to give the best user experience.

Keyword relevance (Keywords)

It is very important to do a good keyword planning.

When we make the ad groups and we have to assign the keywords it is essential that we consult the Google keyword planner to see exactly what level of searches will have these keywords. For example, if you choose keywords for which the level of searches is minimal, that practically nobody searches for them, Google will not position this ad in the top positions, as there are no users who demand these searches, therefore, we must choose relevant keywords that interest users.

Therefore, and to sum up, there are users who, even paying less for CPC, with a better Quality Score are better positioned than the user who is only willing to invest in CPC, even if they pay twice as much per click.

What I would like to make clear is that this is not “Benito’s purge”, but if you want your investment to be effective, leave it in the hands of professionals.

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