Articles in the Digital Marketing 101 – The Basics Category

Once you get the hang of it, digital marketing can seem like old hat. Before then, it’s important to learn the basics. In our Digital Marketing 101 blog posts, we offer an education into the ins and outs of the digital marketing landscape. Read these blog posts to learn digital marketing basics, such as creating campaigns, writing effective ad copy, and more.

April 10 2008

My Business Is Not Right For Search Engine Marketing

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Some of you reading this may actually believe that headline. I come across too many small businesses that believe that pay-per-click (ppc) is not right for their business.

In 2008, all businesses should be taking advantage of ppc advertising and if you are having trouble convincing yourself or your team to try it, here are some ways to counter popular excuses.

We are a B2B company and most searchers are consumers

While many searches are conducted by consumers, B2B customers also use search engines to find vendors and services. More importantly, ppc advertising allows you to only target words used by your potential customers, limiting who will see your ad. Additionally, you only pay when someone clicks on the ad, meaning that they should be a qualified lead if you have good ad copy.

We don’t have the budget

PPC advertising does not require a large budget. You can start on your own for as low as $20 and grow from there. Your company must be able to spare a little money to test this medium and then calculate the return on investment. If the medium provides a good return, marketing dollars will be shifted there.

We don’t have an online store

PPC advertising isn’t only for companies with online stores. Many service companies use ppc to generate leads and you can do the same whether you sell physical products or a service.

We don’t know anything about PPC advertising and don’t have time to learn

That is why companies like MoreVisibility exist. Outsourcing makes companies more efficient and allows them to focus on their core competencies. It usually works out cheaper to outsource than to hire an in-house specialist.

We are targeting a very niche market

That is the perfect opportunity to use ppc to reach customers. No other advertising medium offers the kind of targeting and reporting that ppc does. With contextual and site targeting, you can also advertise exactly where your niche market is online.

We prefer display advertising to text advertising

While text ads are the most popular, ppc advertising is not limited to text. Google also offers display advertising (as well as audio and video). You will be able to place your display ads on websites of your choice.

I hope that the responses above help to convince you and your team that ppc advertising is a good fit for most companies.

March 19 2008

The “Marketing” In Search Engine Marketing

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I studied marketing in business school and one of the most important things that has always stuck with me was the 5 P’s of Marketing — People, Place, Product, Promotion and Price. I later realized that some people were taught less than 5 and I personally came to believe that there should be 6 — Profit should matter as well.

More companies are realizing that SEM is a valid and important strategy, but many of them are not approaching it in the same way that they approach traditional marketing. People working in the SEM/SEO industry blog about these kinds of clients all the time — those that think it is as simple as picking a few keywords, throwing up an ad on a search engine and bidding more than everyone else to get the top spot.

This is not the process for traditional marketing and should not be for SEM. I have outlined how a company should use the 5 Ps to plan a paid search campaign better.

People — Who are you targeting? Targeting businesses instead of consumers means that you should be taking advantage of specific engines. Google, Yahoo and MSN are not the only options for paid search campaigns.

Place — Where are your customers? Most paid search platforms allow you to target specific states, cities or even choose your own radius from a specific point on a map. Not every company needs to target the entire USA so use geo-targeting to your advantage.

Product — What are you selling? Too many paid search ads do not clearly focus on the product and instead try to focus on the company. More importantly, the landing page for the advertisement needs to quickly explain what the product/service is. It makes no sense to spend money to get a lead only to provide them with a terrible landing page containing little product information.

Promotion — Are you promoting properly? Return on investment is usually proportional to the amount of promotion (though after a certain point saturation adds little value). Search engines like Google offer the option to show ads as quickly as possible or show evenly over time. If you have a sale/incentive with a specific end date, are you taking advantage of this option?

Price — The price of a product/service always matters and should be communicated on the landing page as quickly as possible. Searchers treat a landing page like finding a product on the shelf and they expect to quickly find the price, not carry it to a cashier for a price check.

ProfitThis is my addition and it is important because it helps to determine what you could be bidding for your ads. Higher margins provide more room to adjust bids, but higher bids do not automatically mean more sales, so be careful not to overbid. All advertisers should test lower bids and not always aim to be in the #1 position. The lower position could very well result in a better return on investment based on the cost per conversion.

I hope that I have helped you to see where the “marketing” comes into play in search engine marketing.

March 19 2008

I need to do a Google Search…

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While I was racking my brain over the weekend trying to come up with a good idea for my blog, it hit me right in the face. On Sunday, I was on the computer catching up on some recent sports articles and paying a few bills. My future step-son, who is only 8, asked me how much longer I am going to be on the computer. At that point I am guessing he wants me to come outside and play catch with him, maybe check out a few bugs he’s been collecting, or just run around with some squirt guns (some of his favorite outdoor activities on the weekend). I explained that I was almost done and as soon as I sent this last payment we can go outside. He comes back with this statement, “Oh I don’t want to go outside right now, I want to go on the computer, I need to do a Google search”. I was floored, not so much by the fact that he wanted to forgo playing outside to be on the computer (he likes to play games on the computer as much as play outside) but the fact he actually said “Google search” blew me away. Out of the mouths of babes, as they say!

I recently came on board here at MoreVisibility, but I’ve been in the internet marketing business, in some role or another, for about 8 years now (at least as long as my future step-son has been in this world) and his statement alone justified my career path! The internet has become an important resource for all of us and it is only getting bigger. I look at my Dad, who wants nothing to do with a computer, and I look at my future step-son and I see a true passing of the guard. It won’t be long before my future step-son is a young man looking for his first car, where to go to college, or what to buy his girlfriend for Valentine’s Day…and where do you think he is going to look for these things and everything else? I think we already know…he is 8 now and he needs to do a Google search!

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