Articles in The 'keywords' Tag


October 28 2010

5 Tips for Successful Holiday Campaigns

by Katherine Bennett

The holidays are quickly approaching.  Soon Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas will be knocking at our doors. Get prepared for holiday season now, so it doesn’t catch your business off guard. Here are 5 tips to help get your paid search campaigns ready for buyers.

Tip 1. Have a Game Plan
It sounds simple enough, but many businesses skip this step and it shows in their paid efforts. Decide which holidays your business will target with paid search advertising. If you’re only interested in reaching the Hanukkah and Christmas audiences, set a date range for when ads will begin and end. Hanukkah is from December 1st through 9th. It would make sense to run ads in November to reach this audience; whereas Christmas is December 25th and ads for this holiday could begin at the beginning of December. Determine what strategies your business will use to target searchers. Will you try banner ads? Will you offer incentives? If so, what type of incentives? This leads us to tip 2.

Tip 2. Offer Incentives
If you haven’t noticed, most people like to get a good deal during the holiday season. In fact, many of your competitors will probably be offering an incentive. What will your business offer? Will you try coupon codes? If so, when will they expire? Free shipping and discounts on products are good ways to get people to purchase. Also, make sure to plan out what discount your company can afford to offer. If your company decides to offer free shipping, but the shipping costs will eat into your profit too greatly, consider offering free shipping with a minimum a purchase amount. For example, free shipping on orders over $50. It’s good to offer incentives, but make sure the incentive will not hurt your profits. Next, start working on your ads

Tip 3. Make sure ads are Holiday Related
Ads are a crucial part of your holiday campaign strategy. They determine if people will click on them and get to your website. Include “holidays” in your ad copy. For example: “Big Thanksgiving Sale”, “25% Off Christmas Sale”, “Celebrate Hanukkah Sale”. This signals to the searcher that these sales are for a limited time. Why? The searcher knows that a Thanksgiving Sale will not be running until Christmas. It may cause the searcher to think, if they don’t act now, they might miss out on the holiday sale. If your business is doing banner ads, make sure they have the right holiday theme. Don’t run ads with pilgrims and turkeys in the background with ad copy that says, “Enjoy Our Christmas Sale.” By the same token, a generic background may not signal to the customer that this sale is related to an upcoming holiday.

Tip 4. Bid on Holiday Keywords
In keeping in sync with holiday related ads, your business should include holiday search terms. If your business sells jewelry and is targeting the Christmas holiday, consider bidding on keywords like “jewelry for Christmas”, “Christmas jewelry gift” “Christmas jewelry sale,”etc. Keywords that are holiday related can help drive potential buyers to your site.
Once the keywords are in place, think about your landing page.

Tip 5. Landing Pages that Reflect Holiday Incentives
Landing pages are one of the final steps in getting a customer to purchase your product or fill out a lead form. The page that a visitor lands on once they click on your ad is called a landing page. Make sure your landing page lines up with the messaging in your ads. If your company is offering 20% off in the ad copy, the landing page needs to mention 20% off. It can be frustrating to a customer to click on an ad that offers 20% off, but end up going to a page that doesn’t even mention the discount. How can they be sure they’ll receive the discount? Furthermore, is it worth their time to find something they like, hoping that when they get to the shopping cart page the 20% off offer will be there? Think about it. 

The holidays are a great time to reach many new customers. By following the five tips above, a business can rest assured that they are on the right path to having a successful holiday campaign.

April 28 2010

Don’t Blindly Follow Lemurs

by Katherine Bennett

Remember hearing the story about lemurs? Every year around a certain time they jump off a cliff. However, one would think that at least one lemur would look over the cliff and say, “Hmm, I don’t think I’m going to follow the crowd in jumping off the cliff.” It seems like it would be common sense, yet it happens in the world of online marketing time after time. The rule of thumb to remember when marketing online is that following the crowd isn’t always the best option, especially when it comes to keywords and websites.

If it’s been said once, then it’s probably been said a thousand times, “I saw my competitor doing it.” This seems to be the classic answer that companies use to justify their marketing strategy or what they think is a marketing strategy. Let’s look at an example. Say Company A is a leader in providing offshore outsourcing to software companies and they are bidding on the keyword “offshore.” Company B, who wants to gain in market share and be a leading provider of offshore outsourcing to software companies, see’s that Companies A’s ad is coming up for searches on the keyword, “offshore” and  Company B decides they also should be bidding on that keyword.  Company B is assuming that Company A is bidding on the right keyword, but they aren’t. The keyword “offshore” covers a myriad of topics like offshore drilling, offshore banking, offshore racing, and offshore boating to name a few. The keyword “offshore” is too broad for the niche service of offshore outsourcing to software companies. Both Company A and Company B will be losing money on the keyword “offshore.”  Like a popular proverb says, “If the blind lead the blind they’ll both fall in the ditch.”

Another area where companies blindly follow a competitor is in website design and content. Many times a company will see what a competitor is doing on their website and mimic it as closely as possible without plagiarizing. Here’s the deal. Many times the competitor’s website isn’t good. They don’t have good keyword density, the site isn’t user friendly, and the url’s don’t have a good naming convention. In some cases, the competitor is using black hat tactics that could get them banned by the search engines. Yet, another company will look at a competitor’s site and say, “we want to be like them.” 
In some cases, the company that copies ends up losing clients, while the competitor makes adjustments to the site that others are copying.

It’s good to track and watch competitors, but to blindly follow and copy them is not recommended. Many times competitors are bidding on the wrong keywords, wasting money, and are clueless on how to run a successful paid marketing campaign. On top of that, they may think their website is great or they may realize it needs help and they are working with someone to get it changed (while your company is copying their old mistakes). In the world of online marketing it’s better to research and ask questions. Then decide if what your competitor is doing will work for your company. It’s good to be cautious when following a competitor; otherwise you could be following them over a cliff.

October 2 2009

Back to the Basics

by Katherine Bennett

It seems that some people tend to think that search marketing campaigns are magic. That “If you build it, they will come.” In theory, that is true. However, building a search marketing campaign is only half the battle. The next steps are to analyze the data so that the necessary adjustments can be made to the campaign to create an even better outcome. Three key components to analyze and improve are keywords, ad copy and landing pages.

Keywords are necessary for any search marketing campaigns; however the right keywords along with the right ad copy are even more essential. Keywords direct users to your ad copy, which if clicked on leads searchers to your landing page. If your keywords lead a searcher to ad copy that doesn’t make sense, they’re not likely to click on the ad. What some fail to realize is that match type and keyword grouping also play a significant part in the success of keywords.  If you use broad match, for a general keyword, you’ll reach a lot of searchers, but a good percentage of those searchers may not be in the target you’re trying to reach. If you use phrase match, you will limit the number of searchers who see your ad, however the searchers will probably be more qualified. If you use exact match, you’ll only get the people who search for your exact terms, but you’ll miss a great deal of people who could have been potential customers. The best way to solve this is to test and to use negative keywords. Plus you want to make sure your ad copy is relevant. Ad copy plays a key role in the success of a campaign and leads the searcher to your landing page. 

Landing pages have a critical role in the success of a campaign because they have a great affect on how a searcher will respond. Make sure searchers are being sent to relevant landing page. It is very annoying to click on an ad only to be led to a page isn’t relevant.  This will cause searchers to leave a website as soon as they get there. Landing pages should coincide with the ad copy. If you’re a camera store and you’re advertising, Canon Powershots, send the user to the Cannon Powershot page, not the Nikon page. It will improve the results.

It may seem elementary, but if a search marketing campaign doesn’t get the basics right, it will fail no matter how much money is thrown at it. The best steps to take are to focus on the fundamentals; from there the results will follow.

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