What do you do when your SEM campaign is not delivering the results you intended? You were hoping for more leads or conversions, yet it seems the campaign is spending its budget but not delivering a return on all that investment.

It's time for campaign optimization—when you determine what needs to be done to help your ailing campaign.

You can begin by reviewing the various elements of your campaign, and then take steps that combat the downward spiral and give your campaign the lift it needs to perform.

Nine Elements to Review or Modify

1. Keywords

Keywords are the heart and lifeblood of a campaign. If your campaign is not driving the intended traffic, one of the first places to look is your keywords.

Don't waste money on nonconverting keywords. Pause underperforming keywords or keywords with a low click-through rate (CTR). Doing so will allow you to allocate your budget to better-performing keywords.

The right keywords can make a campaign run efficiently and reduce cost per click (CPC).

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Bruce Gibbs is a manager of SEM for YP, a multibillion-dollar business operating the largest US local ad platform.

LinkedIn: Bruce Gibbs