Priyanka Shitole

Often I get asked about running a few ads and getting started on a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Campaign to help businesses grow. Sounds simple enough, but it doesn’t really work that way.

An SEM campaign is not just about creating ads on Google or Bing. There is an intense thought process and groundwork that make for a successful measurable SEM Campaign.

SEM started out as a combination of both paid ads and Search Engine Optimizations (SEO). Over time, SEM has evolved into marketing for search engines using paid ads only. There are vast amounts of information out there on this subject matter and it can get daunting at times. To help clients understand the process, I have narrowed it down to a simple four-step explanation – the FAST Approach – Focus on Intent, A/B Testing, SEO and Tracking.

Words and Pictures SEM FAST Approach by Priyanka Shitole

Focus on Intent

It is very important to create an online ad with high-intent ad quality. An ad should target the audience that is looking for your services or products. Once someone clicks on the ad, they should find more information or be able to benefit from what the ad promises. What’s the point of spending all the money on ads if your landing page does not give a user what they want?

A/B Testing

After years of experience, it is quite natural to think that once we have nailed down a perfect ad, we know exactly what a customer needs or predict what they’ll do next once they click on the ad and link to the landing page. However, the assumptions and predetermined user-expectation can go only so far. An A/B test or spilt test is useful to drive traffic to a landing page to test user experience or a design component that provides measurable results.


If you want quick and short-term results, running online ads is the way to go. But if you want ongoing and long-term success, then you need to optimize your website for search engines. SEM and SEO go hand in-hand with successful online ad campaigns.

Track. Analyze. Adapt. Repeat.

Next time someone offers to set up your  Google Ads for an affordable price, understand that all you are getting is the online ads. You don’t get the research and analytical input for a successful digital ad campaign. Better yet, next time someone assures you that they can set up the  ads for an affordable price and all the guarantees of success, be prepared to say -– it is more than just setting up the ads.

Ready to take the next step and want to learn how Words and Pictures can help your business? Don’t be shy — get in touch today!

Download our SEM campaign cheat-sheet and apply to your current campaigns!