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So your SEM budget increased – what now?

Published: April 7, 2014

Author: Jaime Sikora

 Recently, one of my clients wanted to experiment and see what could be done if they pushed their spend. Seeing that we were well-covered on our search keywords and had tried most of the basics on the GDN, it took a little digging to come up with some potential ideas. When your client is open and willing to experiment (within reason), here are some ideas to try.


Google has long touted the value of mobile, although there are still cynics out there.  Most non-brand search Enhanced Campaigns start with some form of mobile bid reduction (usually around 30%).  It’s always good to keep an eye on mobile performance by segmenting by device.  How is the CPA?  Is it around target?  How is the search impressions share?  What percentage of conversions is coming from mobile?  This can be telling of how much additional opportunity is out there.
mobile conversions
Also, Google claims, ultimately, there’s an additional mobile lift that doesn’t get direct credit. In the event that your client is a retail client with physical store locations, someone might perform a search on his or her phone, then end up in the store buying the product.  Or, in other instances, people might do the original research on their phones, then end up later converting on their laptop or tablet.  The best bet is to communicate these possibilities with the client, experiment, and communicate.  Find out from the client, after implementing some mobile testing, if they see any lifts in their sales & leads.

Search Partners

As most SEMs know, Google has a network of sites with search capabilities known as their Search Partners.  Ifyour campaigns are not opted into them to begin with, it wouldn’t hurt to try testing them to see if they pick up additional conversions.





Another inner secret of the elite SEMS is the list of Google Betas – various products Google is currently testing/refining. Each usually requires signing an NDA and cannot be spoken about on this (or any) blog. There usually is a running list of quite a few products that are in the works.  One of the agreements in opting into a beta is usually that you must share your data with Google so they can know what worked/what didn’t/etc. as they refine and potentially widely release the product.  My recommendation is to reach out to your Google rep and figure out which current pending products could be a good match for your clients.

Call Extensions

Call extensions can be found under the ad extensions tab, under the view drop-down:

call extensions

What call extensions do is display a click-to-call number with your ad.  Call extensions are great with for clients or products that are not necessarily a simple, one-click purchase.  In the instance your product requires some background research or there are several offerings and one might need some advice on the best choice for one’s needs (think insurance policies), call extensions can be a great add-on.  You can view performance metrics from the dimensions tab under call details.


Here you can see the average call length, the area code (in case your client is focusing on a certain area) and whether or not the call came from a direct click or was manually dialed (after having been viewed on a computer).  Usually a slightly longer call demonstrates there was some level of interest.
Also, one quick thing to bear in mind – the reporting on this can be a little confusing. (For a full breakdown of how to interpret metrics, check out this post from my colleague Susan Waldes, speaking on this very topic at SMX London 2014). The calls, like sitelinks, are charged as clicks.  However, if you are to look under call extensions, the cost displays for every time the call extensions were displayed with the ad and a click to anything (the ad, the sitelink, the number) took place.  In order to find out the amount of extra cost your client is incurring due strictly to the calls, you will have to go to:

call extensions

Those are just a few ideas of tests you can run when you have a little extra spend to play with. What would you add to the list?

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