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As an advertiser what should you know about Search Engine Marketing / PPC Campaigns.

That’s a question asked by everyone who ventures into online marketing. And why not? It is an important question. For every advertiser / business owner it is necessary to know where Internet marketing monies are being spent and if the spends are worthwhile. SEM or PPC as it is popularly known is really a mix of science and art of advertising on Search Engines to drive traffic to websites / web pages in anticipation of conversions or leads or prospects.

Consider this – of the approximately 1,966 million online users worldwide 95% use search engines and in the same at least 56% of those people use a search engine once day (source: Internet World Stats). That’s not all, the number of clients on using search engines as an effective Digital Marketing medium is growing fast. More and more clients are finding value in search intent based marketing. Can you ignore the ROI and cost efficiency offered by PPC campaigns? The answer is NO!

While employing an experienced agency like VirtualSnipers will get your work done, it is imperative that you know what goes into a successful SEM campaign. This will help you understand the medium and its operating efficiencies, success parameters etc. Here are a few pointers.

1. Clean and Simple landing page – often referred to as the “digital storefront” this where the customer lands and takes the decision whether to delve further of not. People view a landing page similar to how they would view other media. They scan first. That means you need to put your message right across without asking the user too much of his time. A typical internet prospect will take his decisions in the initial few seconds he spends on the page. Good copy, images and easy to fill form will help improve your landing page and campaign performance. More information on Landing pages can be found here

2. Keyword research – On PPC you are targeting an Internet user based upon his intent. By intent we mean his interpretation of his need resulting in word/s, phrase/s he will use to seek a solution to satisfy his need. This is where understanding user behavior becomes critical. Thus Keyword research is all about understanding the prospective consumers behaviour and his intent when he is on search engines. Keyword research is performed to establish a list of keyword phrases that are relevant to the product and/or services being promoted. When the right keywords and phrases are targeted the higher is the possibility of Web users visiting the website / landing page.

Targeting wrong or irrelevant keywords will mean that your customers and prospects customers may never find you, resulting in negative ROI.

3. Keywords Long tail strategy – So what is this long tail? Long tail keywords are longer keyword phrases that may have three or more words in the search phrase. Long tail keywords tend to be more specific of the users intent and may draw less traffic for the website, but of higher quality, which results in increase in ROI.

Let’s take an example, if ‘Credit Cards‘ is the general keyword the long tail keywords could be

credit cards for people with low income

list of high discount credit cards

good american credit cards for students

As you can see long tail keywords are nothing but actual search queries.

A quick understanding of Benefits of Long Tail keywords:

Higher Conversions

More Quality Visitors to your website

Lower CPC’s

Better overall campaign performance

Higher conversion potential

5. Landing page optimization – Landing page optimization is refers to continuous improvement of the content quality, design, navigation and usability of landing pages. The landing page has an important role to play in a SEM PPC Campaign. It not only affects your conversion rates but also has a bearing on PPC Bid Management.

Having appropriate keyword strategy, perfectly crafted advert copy, effective bid management is not enough as you can loose consumers after they reach your landing page.

6. Regular campaign monitoring : So you’re getting “X” number of hits a day on your website or Landing page, but how many of those hits are meeting your SEM campaign objectives? Is your ROI in line with expectations? Do you need to re-think your ROI objectives? What is the cost of a consumer?

While it is important to drive traffics to website / Landing page, the success of any SEM campaign depends on the ability to monitor, analyze the traffic and constantly changing campaign parameters to reach an optimal mix of factors. Remember each click is a cost and you can’t afford to run a campaign without keeping a close watch on its performance. Being satisfied with the traffic is not the way to ROI that, your campaign needs to be effective. Surely Traffic is required but targeted and relevant traffic that results into higher conversions and a strong ROI is an ideal goal.

Along with Google, Yahoo and Bing reports Site analytics of your website are also important. You can read about web analytics here

7. Patience. Yes this is an important trait to have. Search marketing campaigns can take a few weeks of optimization before they reach start performing. It’s important to understand that the results of the initial few weeks should not be taken as a long term benchmark. As the campaign matures over a period of time, your ROI’s will enable you to set the right benchmarks.

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