Your Website’s SEM Wish List for 2011

- December 27, 2010

As the year is coming to a close and we look back on new innovations to search engine marketing, here are five things (in no particular order) your website’s SEM efforts need in 2011:

Mobile Ad Campaigns. According to Nielsen, smartphones are expected to be in the hands of half of US mobile users by the end of Q3 2011. With the rise of smartphones, it has become critical, and easier, to market to users on their mobile phones. Mobile ads can appear on mobile websites in text, image and sometimes video format.

Remarketing Ads. Remarketing allows you to show ads to previous visitors of your website as the user browses other sites through the Internet. Remarketing allows you to reach more qualified potential customers because these visitors have already shown an interest in your product or service. Remarketing is like being able to reach window shoppers who have come to your store, did not make a purchase, and entice them to come back with a special offer and complete a purchase.

Ad Extensions. Google ad extensions are an added value to your Google AdWords ads and come in the form of location, phone, product and sitelinks extensions. They are available at the same CPC costs as your regular AdWords ads.

  • Location and phone extensions allow you to include the address and phone number of your business to your Google AdWords ads.
  • Product extensions allow you to link your Google Merchant Center account to promote your products directly on Google when your listings match a user’s search query. Images, titles and prices of your best fitting products will appear with your ads.
  • You can provide deeper, more relevant content to users searching for information by using Sitelinks Extensions within your AdWords ads. They provide up to four extra links to pages within your website, versus one link to one landing page from a regular ad. With these extra links, you can direct searchers to special promotions, products or contact information.

Display Ads. With placement and audience targeted capabilities, keyword related matching and a CPC model, the display ad has been re-born. You can now specify how and when your display ad is shown so that it is only being viewed by the most qualified user. In addition, Google has introduced an “above the fold” restriction where your display ad will only be shown on web pages above the fold on a user’s screen.

Optimized PPC Campaigns. Since the SEM industry is ever-changing and becoming an increasingly competitive channel, it is imperative to closely monitor your PPC campaigns as often as possible. CPCs are expected to increase in 2011, which will impact your ROI, so it is important to go back to the basics in order to maintain cost-effective campaigns.  Focus on ad copy and landing page testing as well as optimize keywords on an ongoing basis.  Most importantly, optimize your landing pages because it would be a waste to have a PPC campaign with all the bells and whistles that links to a landing page which does not have messaging that connects to the visitor.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2011!

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