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3 SEM Strategy Tips for CTAs That Convert

SEM Strategy Tips for CTAsYour SEM strategy is in place. Now, you're set to kick back and watch that traffic roll in and convert — but not so fast. If your calls-to-action (CTAs) are weak, your click-through rates (CTRs) will be, too. After studying our own paid search campaigns, CMG found that ads with a strong CTA produced CTRs that were about five times higher than ads with weaker CTAs. What makes a strong paid search CTA? Take a look at these three tips.

Talk to Your Audience Directly

Use phrases that address why the customer might be looking for you to begin with. Instead of using clichés like "Click Here" or "Buy Now," your text should showcase benefits you can offer the customer, and you should talk to your customer directly. CTAs that performed best in the CMG study include "Use discount code SURFSUP!", "Shows start at $17. On sale now!" and "Call now for a free estimate." Specificity gets your customers' attention, and it also works on search engines. CTAs that speak to your audience can be used for page titles, or within the meta description.

Give 'Em More of What They Want

When a customer finds your ad, their path may not be what you'd envisioned. Fortunately, within the details of your Adwords keywords report, you can view the actual search terms they used to find your ad. There will be exact match and broad match terms. The broad match terms offer new possible keywords, which, in turn, can be used to create new landing pages that reflect what is drawing different types of customers to your business. From there, you can customize the CTA on your various landing pages so that each appeals to that particular audience segment.

Test It Out

The only way to be sure your CTA is pulling its weight is with A/B testing. Entrepreneur recommends perennially testing all aspects of your CTA. Even something as small as switching from first to second person can make a huge difference (a 90 percent increase in this example), but you'll never know which is better for your SEM strategy until you test one against the other.

Paid search makes a great complement to your organic search efforts, but you have to make sure you're getting the most out of your campaign. Choosing the right CTA is vital in getting the most click-throughs on your ads, and even a small tweak in design or wording can make a huge difference.

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