5 New Year’s Resolutions for Smarter SEM in 2017

gorilla typing on a laptop

Much like signing up for the gym, there’s a little feel good moment when you know you’re going to do something positive for yourself. But the reality is, you still have to show up and do the work. With that in mind, here are five 2017 resolutions for SEM managers. All things that, to be honest, you should be doing anyway. But the start of the year is a great time to revisit the basics, remind yourself that webinars only work if you show up for them, and generally start as you intend to continue in 2017, for SEM success.

  1. Read the Trades

    • It may feel time consuming and never ending, but things change way too fast in the world of SEM. You can’t afford to be an under-informed PPC manager.
    • Fortunately, there are people who devote their entire jobs to keeping us all up to date. Follow them.
    • Resolve to spend time with online publications like PPC Hero and Search Engine Land.
    • Curate a Twitter or Feedly account of folks you like reading. If you’re going to get your news by glancing at your phone, keep your Twitter followings manageable, so the juicy SEM stuff doesn’t get lost. You do not need to follow 10K people in the hope that a few will follow back.
  2. Use Alerts

    • Every SEM platform has them, find them, learn them, use them. If you want to know ASAP if there’s a rise in CPC, or you’re exceeding daily budgets—and you do, trust me—alerts are priceless.
    • Once you’re set up, they’ll hit your inbox every morning with easy to correct/QA items.
      • Figure out which ones you need to see personally.
      • Delegate group alerts or create specially assigned alerts to team members.
      • Be smart and strategic. Don’t create spam alerts, make them impactful.
    • Saves you from missing a costly mistake before it actually becomes costly.
      • Setting up the right frequency for each alert and what you are looking for is important
  3. Add (even) more negatives

    • Negative keywords are an amazing way to create more efficient SEM accounts. Get resolved to use more in 2017.
    • Ensure you aren’t wasting ad spend on unqualified traffic.
    • Ensure every query receives the most targeted message.
  4. Attend More Webinars

    • See #1. You can’t afford to be under-informed. Endless email invites for webinars can feel spammy, but don’t get numb to them and ignore them.
    • There are a lot of smart people out there creating great content that will help you grow and make you smarter, use it. Particularly useful can be webinars that include a Q&A component.
    • Book them in your calendar. Keep it simple and don’t overbook yourself. If you tend to sign up for everything and rarely catch anything, focus on the most relevant topics. Then actually show up.
    • If applicable, book a conference room and invite more of your team and turn it into a group discussion afterwards.
  5. Pareto Principle

    • Also known as the 80/20 rule.
    • It’s easy to get lost “in the weeds” with PPC, when you can make countless micro-adjustments to accounts.
    • Focus on the big items that make impact and move the needle. Ensure that they get regular attention, and don’t assume that they’re always “working as intended”.
    • Make a to do list for smaller items and circle back later, time permitting.

Could your SEM campaigns benefit from a review and fresh ideas in 2017? Contact our SEM team to schedule an audit.