Since this post is about quick improvements to your search engine marketing, I’m going to refrain from my usual verbose style and get right to the point:

1. Add negative keywords: words like "free", "sucks" and "illegal" can get you a lot of clicks with no conversions (depending on the product). Remove them and save yourself money;

2. Expand your top keywords: does "piggy bank" work well for you? Then buy "pink piggy bank", "piggie bank" and "child’s money depository" for Pete’s sake!;

3. Delete bad keywords: If a keyword isn’t working, cut your losses by cutting the keyword;

4. Test ad copy: On Google this is easy. Add a few ads to an AdGroup, see which one performs the best, then add it to your other AdGroups;

5. Focus on campaigns that work: Sure it’s fun to test out a bunch of second-tier search engines and experimental keywords, but if this is taking time away from the campaigns that are driving your profit, you need to get back to the basics;

6. Create targeted landing pages: There are almost no instances where you should send clicks to your homepage. Depending on your product diversity, you’ll need anywhere from a couple to several dozen targeted landing pages to be successful;

7. Track everything: Add tracking URLs to all keywords. Get a Web analytics program to analysis your site traffic;

8. Copy competitors: Use tools like GoogSpy.com to see what your competitors are doing, then copy them;

9. Keep up-to-date: Read Webmasterworld, Search Engine Watch, and (of course) Blogation, so that you know what changes are coming down the pipe and you can react quickly;

10. Consider AdSense: Test AdSense ads on some of your landing pages. Perhaps you can convert non-converting traffic into clicks back to Google. Over time, this can make a big difference to the bottom line.

Tags: adwords tips, sem, ppc, pay per click, search engine marketing, google

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David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky is founder and CEO of 3Q Digital (formerly PPC Associates), a position he has held since the Company's inception in 2008. Prior to 3Q Digital, he held senior marketing roles at several Internet companies, including Rentals.com (2000-2001), FindLaw (2001-2004), Adteractive (2004-2006), and Mercantila (2007-2008). David currently serves on advisory boards for several companies, including Marin Software, MediaBoost, Mediacause, and a stealth travel start-up. David is a regular speaker at major digital marketing conferences and has contributed to numerous influential publications, including Venture Capital Journal, CNN Radio, Newsweek, Advertising Age, and NPR's Marketplace. David has a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. with honors from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, David enjoys salmon fishing, hiking, spending time with his family, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, not necessarily in that order.