SEO isn’t science. You simply can’t be sure of the results a certain actionable plan will yield, considering a significant amount of what happens within the SEO sphere is mostly trial and error.
On reflection, search engines are always shifting their algorithms, making constant adjustments on how you interact with their system. So apart from investing on great content, you just can’t be sure on whether the approach you’re taking will still hold weight a few years to come.
Calculating your Return on Investment with regards to SEO is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Meaning you can’t just be sure on whether your SEO effort will one day pay off. And in the event that it does, you still can’t put a timestamp on it.
That pretty much explains why SEO agencies still find themselves struggling with SEO, their many years of experience notwithstanding. Of course it works, what is hard is pointing out the capacity with which it works. The whole point is that SEO takes time, and tend to be a little too complicated to figure it out in the clear.
So as an online marketer looking for a strategy that’s really fast and has an agreeable level of certainty, Search Engine Advertising should be among the first things you consider.
What’s Search Engine Advertising?
Otherwise referred to as Pay per Click (PPC) advertising, or Google Advertising if you use Google Search Network (GSN) or GDN (Google Display Network), search engine advertising is a marketing technique that basically involves paying for your ads to be included in the search engine result pages. Just as the name suggests, businesses pay a small fee each time the ads are clicked, instead of paying to showcase them on search engines as it’s widely assumed.
As it stands, this is one of the most powerful form of advertising and it’s all for one simple reason – the people who depend on search engines for the stuff they buy reveal a whole lot about themselves and their online intention. For instance, by looking at their search query it’s possible to tell what they intend to buy, their location, and if they’re really ready to proceed with the purchase.
For marketers, all they have to do is bid on a list of keywords so they can be displayed alongside search engine results every time someone hits the search engine bar with the intention to buy the products and services they’re offering on their sites.
Try comparing search engine advertising to any other form of online advertising and you’ll agree with me that there exist no better way to target your prospects.
Why is Search Engine advertising so Popular Compared to Other forms of Online Advertising?
Search engine advertising has grown to be one of the most sought after form of advertisement – even more popular than display and TV ads – and it’s all for a number of good reasons.
Core among them being it’s flexible enough to allow an advertiser to bid on the search query results for absolutely any amount of money. Search engines also allow you to inform them on the maximum amount of money you’re willing to spend on a single ad click.
So whether you’ve limited marketing money or are operating on a war chest of cash, you can still go ahead and set up the ad without worrying if your budget is big enough to facilitate it.
What’s even interesting is the fact that this form of advertising only charges you when someone clicks on the ads. So in a way, you get to enjoy a free display of the ad you post.
With PPC, there’s a whole lot you can do with the ad to ensure your budget stretches out so much more to reach out to an even bigger audience of prospects. All you have to do is understand the program well enough and you’ll come up with a couple of tricks up your sleeves that you can always pull when setting up the ad and stretch out your market base.
How it Works
There’s nothing complicated about search engine ads. But to understand the entire concept, it’s important that you wrap your head around some of the search engine terminologies people use all the time.
Every time a user searches for something on Google or any other search engine, the search engine responds by listing a number of all the relevant links directing the user to a web page relating to their search query. The page where all the results are listed is what is widely referred to as Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
Among the links shown there will be organic results. These are the pages that the search engine algorithm consider the best based on the set standards and policies. To earn the spot in the organic results presented, then you have to be thorough and strategic with SEO approach you undertake.
However, for those NOT patient enough to take this route, or are looking for a quick way to drive traffic and generate leads as they wait for their SEO effort to pay off, search engine advertising offers them the opportunity to display their links either at the top or bottom of the SERPs, alongside the organic results presented.
Strategies to Employ in Your Search Engine Advertising Technique
Running a successful search engine ad is NOT a walk in the park. You have to be really strategic and tactful with the approach you take for it to pay off. The strategies listed below should help you make the most out of it:
Run a Series of Ads, NOT just one
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the business long enough, running a single ad is NOT enough considering you need something to compare your ad to.
Running two ads or more allows you to keep track of your bids and make necessary adjustments where needed.
Your concern shouldn’t be with the number of clicks your ad is garnering. Reason being, garnering many ad clicks doesn’t necessarily mean your ad is performing well. What’s important is if you’re getting enough conversions.
By running two or more ads, you can make comparison on their performance and figure out which one among the bunch is generating the highest number of leads.
Be on the Lookout for Seasonal Products
Does any of the products or services you’re offering experience a sudden shoot in demand at a certain time of the month or year, or during a certain type of weather or major event? If so, then you have a seasonal product.
That means you should be channeling a bigger chunk of your marketing money and effort to that particular product or service when that time comes. Start by preparing beforehand and ramping up the marketing effort directed to that particular product or service a month or few months before the season kicks.
Polish Your Ad Copy
Assuming you have the right set of keywords, what should come next is for you to look at your ad copy and polish it until it is suitable enough to attract and even bigger chunk of online visitors. Look at the content. Is it appealing enough to increase the buying intent of a user in question?
Focus on keeping your content simple and interesting. It’s also important that you try to cut on the fluff by being straightforward and very concise with the kind of message you’re trying to drive home.
It’s a Wrap
The size of your business doesn’t matter. Whether you’re a small business or a multi-billion dollar company, there’s a whole lot you can still gain by running a simple search engine ad.
To learn more about PPC and receive more techniques, feel free to contact MediaOne today for a free SEO and search engine advertising consultation.