While there’s a lot said about search engine optimisation (SEO), there is still plenty you can do in the online search space, even if your organic rankings aren’t getting you the business you need.

Search engine marketing (SEM) can take a number of forms, but Google holds close to a monopoly on the Australian search market.

We thought we’d take the chance to go through a few tips to help you optimise your paid search campaigns in order to produce the best possible return on investment.

The key advantage of an SEM campaign is the opportunity to pay based on clicks rather than impressions (your business only pays for each click on your ad).  This is a great option for measuring and reporting, because you can attribute each click to a corresponding action on your website or other digital property. Think newsletter sign-ups, ticket sales or online shop sales.

When first starting out using SEM it’s important to have a clear cut strategy in place. This will help you outline how your campaigns will be most effective, where you can improve your keyword lists further to boost results. By evaluating your business goals and understanding the needs of your target market you can ensure the best possible ROI for your campaigns.

It’s worth noting that creative still plays a big role in digital advertising. Does the ad capture the brand’s identity? Is it the most effective in supports the overall goals of the business? Does it take the online user journey and experience into account? Correct copy and art can still make a huge difference in the end results of your campaign.

Make sure you have an Analytics program installed and configured to measure the results of your campaigns. Confirm a target measurable – impressions, CTR, CPA, fills, signups, purchases or similar and ensure all of your team is focussed on that target.