In today’s era of internet savviness, it is almost unheard of to operate a business without having a website. Consumers are apt to feel as though your company is more credible when you have a professional looking website to reference and/or direct them to. That being said, having a website is only half the battle. There are a few mission critical items to consider if your intention is to maintain a long-term presence online:
Search Engine Marketing (SEM). You now need to market your site and make it visible in the search engines. A Cost Per Click (CPC) campaign will help to promote your site in the various engines such as: Google, Yahoo, MSN, ASK, etc.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In conjunction with SEM, simultaneously incorporating SEO into the mix will help to supplement the cost of your paid efforts. Remember, all organic results equate to FREE traffic and who doesn’t want FREE traffic?
Return on Investment (ROI). Now that your site is visible and searchers are finding you through your SEM/SEO efforts, you need to determine how they are finding you and which specific keywords and search engines are giving you the best ROI. This is where a critical piece of the puzzle comes in place = Analytics. There are a number of analytic tools available today to measure online marketing performance. These tools will afford you the ability to make very educated decisions with your initiatives. Most tools will offer the functionality to ensure you are spending your advertising dollars wisely. Just a few variables an analytics tool can provide you with: bounce rate, conversion rate, shopping cart abandonment rate, percentage of new visitors versus returning, etc. Paying for clicks that do not convert into sales (or generate valuable leads) is a huge waste of money; especially given the state of the economy today.
Feel free to check out our Analytics Blog, which provides helpful tips and techniques to better understand web analytics: https://www.morevisibility.com/analyticsblog/index.php
A professional looking website + SEM +SEO + Analytics = $$$$$.
Last night I pulled the full plastic trash bag out of my kitchen garbage can and accidentally ripped it. Next thing I knew, I was standing in a pool of ketchup, while coffee grinds dripped out of the hole in the bag. I knew I should have bought the more expensive bags. The store branded bags were cheaper than the ones I usually buy, so I figured, “What difference will it really make?”. Now I am stuck with 50 tall kitchen bags that tear because they are unable to support even a paper cup. Not only that, but now I have to double-up some of the bags, so in essence, I’m just spending more money. There are just certain things that you should not purchase based on price.
Here are 10 things that I would not purchase just because they are inexpensive:
10. Garbage bags
9. Toilet paper
7. Business consultant
6. Lasik surgery
5. Defense Attorney
2. Paper plates
And the last “thing” I would not purchase based on price is:
1. Internet Marketing Firm
Cheap SEO? It doesn’t even sound like a bargain. I speak daily to companies that are looking for optimization services. One of the first things they ask is “how much will it cost? I’m looking for a cheap solution, but I have to be on the first page of Google”. I just shake my head because I know if they find what they are looking for, they are going to wind up calling me next year after they are banned by the search engines.
Cheap PPC? I speak to businesses who claim they can outsource PPC Management Programs for a very inexpensive percentage of their budget. How much human interaction, analysis, A/B testing and campaign adjustments are they going to receive at 7%? With poor campaign management, ROI would be lower and they would probably be spending more in the long run.
Beware of search marketing firms that are “cheap”. You’ll get what you pay for and the ramifications are much greater than just wiping ketchup off the floor.
Feel free to add to the list.
When it comes to Search Engine Marketing it is critical to ensure you are utilizing the most effective and targeted keywords to get the best return on your investment. Your keywords are the foundation to any cost per click campaign and should be chosen wisely. They should be updated and tweaked often and ultimately be paired with compelling ad copy and the most relevant destination URL.
So how do you know if your keywords are “up to par”? It is sometimes difficult to choose the best keywords when you are so close to the subject. In other words, you may think you know what searchers are typing into the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc) to find your site, however you might be surprised to find that what you may think is being searched upon is not at all the case. This is where an analytics tool comes into the mix. It is imperative to have a tool which affords you the ability to determine the specific keywords that are driving your sales, conversions or the desired action item (such as a whitepaper download, catalog request, online form, etc.) to occur. Your keywords should never be chosen by intuition, but rather, you should rely on your analytics program to guide you to the most educated choices.
One word phrases tend to be costly and generic; research shows that the savvier the searcher, the longer the keyword phrase or tail will be. In fact, a recent article stated that the average searcher is now utilizing 4 words to run a query. This approach not only keeps keyword cost down, but also provides for a more targeted and qualified visitor. For example, someone searching for the one word phrase dentist is a lot less qualified that someone searching for Dentist in Santa Monica.
Improving the keywords in your campaigns will boost your traffic quality and as a result your sales and ROI.