So you want to show up in the top results within the search engines? The question is, are you willing to pay for it? Whether you are new to Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or a savvy online advertiser, setting an appropriate budget can be a difficult task without a strategy in place. I have found through experience that many firms setting new Cost per Click (CPC) budgets are simply shooting in the dark.
A common recommendation is to set a testing budget and monitor your results. This flexibility allows you to find the right budget to maximize your ROI. Keep in mind that bidding for first position is not always as profitable as lower priced positions. By using the following tools, you can investigate keywords and bid prices to come up with the right budget for you:
Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Yahoo Bid Tool
I have worked with several companies that found through this testing process, whether increasing their CPC bids or monthly budget, they actually produced a higher return on their investment. Remember there is no perfect solution, and the more flexible you are, the more open you will be to online success.
If you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes! This saying also applies to the dynamic search industry. If there is one thing that is certain about the future of search engines, it is that they will continue to change frequently. For example, I often find myself discussing a Search Engine Marketing topic with a client and the very next day, the same topic we discussed is completely outdated. It could be something as basic as online market share percentage, to a search engine completely changing who they are partnering with. (see next paragraph for more on this topic) The Search Engine Marketing industry is so completely dynamic and constantly changing, and always keeps me on my toes!
A perfect example of how things rarely stay stagnant for too long, is with the search engine http://www.miva.com/ . Miva is one of the search engines we submit many of our clients to. MIVA recently announced that they will be dropping Yahoo and signing on with Google. In more simplistic terms, the search results will no longer be generated from Yahoo’s database; they will come from Google. This change should occur later this month. Being that Google accounts for the majority of the market share, it is not surprising that other engines, such as MIVA, would want to partner with them. Click here to read the entire article (Did I also mention that MIVA was previously called Findwhat?)
Another example of how this industry doesn’t wait for anyone is the constant evolution of Search Engine Algorithms. The top search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms and filters, and spiders continue to improve. Simple changes to an algorithm can have a noticeable impact on the way your site is positioned within the search results. It is critical to be aware of such changes within the industry, and take a proactive approach.
A great way to keep up with the constant changes is to sign up for newsletters and articles from various publications. They are free and very informative. Here are just a few that I find useful:
The Search Engine Marketing industry is never static, and things will continue to change rapidly, however articles and publications like those mentioned above can certainly provide some insight! Happy reading.