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Search Engine Marketing Tips: 7 Basic Insights

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Paid search advertising

Good search engine marketing tips won’t guarantee high rankings on result pages. They should guarantee that what you pay is what you get.

SEM is the art of spending money on search engines to promote your site.

As a core element of an online marketing strategy, SEM requires an intuitive sense of shifts in consumer demand. They include the rise and fall of searches for products and services reflect the economy, the time of year, company budget cycles and other factors.

Good SEM management also means using a spreadsheet, database or custom application to track results at least weekly if not daily. The size of the campaign determines if tracking is best done daily or weekly. The larger the campaign, the greater the need to track daily. Track less often and run the risk of losing control.

For example, a site marketer spends $1,000 a month on SEM. Each day, she plugs into a spreadsheet the results of the previous day. The results include

  • How much of the daily budget actually was spent?
  • What was the cost per click?
  • Which ads and keywords received the highest clicks?
  • What did the visitor do after the click?
  • How many page views and conversions took place?
  • What are the trends?

Try spending several hundred thousand dollars to promote a website. If a major portion of that budget goes to search engines, it will reveal some useful search engine marketing tips about what to do and what to avoid.

1) Search engine marketing is high on response and low on branding.

When the campaign ends, the audience numbers may drop steeply. It usually means the people who clicked on the ads didn’t come back to the site because they didn’t remember or bookmark it.

The value then comes in the form of what they did on the site during the visit. High conversion rates are critical.

2) Because it is response-oriented, SEM is better at targeting niche audiences rather than going for mass audiences.

If the intent of the campaign is targeting, expect to pay a higher cost per click.

Use it for higher value products such as real estate, automotive, finance, travel or employment categories that need more inventory or that have clients who are already paying premium CPMs.

If the intent of the campaign is the pursuit of mass audiences, obviously go for the lowest possible cost per click in order to get the largest volume of responses.

3) Demand for keywords on search engines ebbs and flows with the season, the economy and other factors.

For example, it is harder to buy keywords for a travel site when the tourism season heats up. Bidding wars erupt over keywords and will drive the cost way higher.

4) Constantly evaluate the results at least weekly if not daily.

Lower the cost per click you are willing to pay if one of your keywords is getting too high of a response and another one is getting a low response. Otherwise, it will skew the results.

5) Track and record results based on a series of critical metrics.

They include actual daily budget, average cost per click, keyword click-through rate, ad click-through rate per ad, page views per visit (user experience) and conversion rate.

6) Experiment with target audiences.

Google AdWords, for example, allows clients to target countries, states, cities, languages, devices, time of day and other characteristics.

7) Float the budget.

It makes no sense to keep spending $1,000 a month that was originally established in the budget when the economy is in recession and the conversion rate is tanking.

Likewise, it makes no sense to spend only that $1,000 a month when the economy is taking off and the conversion rate is well above budget.

Search engine marketing is one valuable channel in a total promotional plan for a website. It serves a narrow purpose, but that purpose is quite useful in building site traffic — and generating revenue.

4 Responses to “Search Engine Marketing Tips: 7 Basic Insights”

  1. Kaley Massar Says:

    What makes an article marketing strategy effective is market reach. Take full advantage of all web syndication methods out there and have your thinking distributed.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I agree that market reach makes article marketing effective. Some article marketing sites, however, are better than others. I find that placing articles on the big sites is worth my time, and it’s a benefit for SEO, but I have trouble seeing the value in some of the mid-sized and smaller article sites.

  3. Lindsay Sampselle Says:

    Previous to even looking into your articles, the prospect must first of all receive a reason to pay attention to what you have to say. This is what makes headlines that vital element in article marketing.

  4. Madison Niche Marketing Says:

    Good advice. An additional point is to keep track of bounce rate over time. Lower this variable so that you keep clients on your site.

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