Whether we like it or not, paid adverts on Search Engines or display networks, Social Media and other channels via Pay Per Click, PPA, PPM or other models is an unavoidable part of any serious Online Marketing Strategy.
Shrinking Market Opportunity
For example, the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is crammed with blocks such as Local search, Jobs etc and only a few organic slots are available outside of these blocks. Competition for these blocks is high and while competing for them is still a very powerful and lucrative tool once you establish your credentials, not only will it need the assistance of paid advertising, but the synergies between the two are very substantial. Read on . .
Synergies between Organic Search ( Not paid for) and Paid advertising arise from the fact the Google and other search engines have been refining their algorithms for many years to show the adverts which are more likely to result in a click. Naturally the goal is clicks because these are the things that earn them revenue. What this means for you is that, apart from the obvious risk of fraudulent clicking by competitors, the Search Engine is monitoring your site performance and advert performance to see which ones the users like best and are likely to keep clicking adverts for.
The cost of your advertising campaign will therefore be substantially lower and you will attract visitors with higher propensity to spend if your website is performing well in the eyes of the search engine algorithm. Search and advertising simply cant be separated any more.
The Market Research factor is an equally important element of Search advertising. Traditionally, SEO experts research existing content on the assumption that high performing sites must be getting things right, then set out their stall and wait and wait and wait some more to see how that went. If it didn’t go so well, the option was simply to try plan B. Now everyone in business knows that feeling, sometimes it is inevitable and some celebrated winners are just lucky and vice versa, but isn’t it irresistible when you can place the same proposition using the same words and get a response and some real data by tomorrow some time?
Semantic traps and search Engines combine to create a huge problem for search marketers, but especially for SEO experts. The difficulty is that however you much make allowances, the bots and search engines and everything surrounding them are built in California with a concentration in the Bay Area and that is the language format the bot understands. AI and ML have not come anywhere close to solving this issue yet despite it being a mature subject that predates the internet.
Search Marketing helps in two ways. Simple A/B tests can help you find the search phrases that work best and more importantly, you can appeal to a local audience in their own language while satisfying the search bot in Bay Area slang. That way you get the best of both worlds.
Targeting is more straightforward.
People who click on adverts know they are being sucked into a potential purchasing situation. While some of us have no problem with getting information and avoiding the checkout, it is a fact that SEM clicks are substantially more likely to be on a purchasing journey and therefore qualify much further down the conversion funnel on average than purely organic traffic will.
How to make advertising decisions
The bottom line with Advertising is ROI. I always stress not to mix up Branding spend with Lead generation spend, despite the synergies that occur naturally. Sure your adverts are doing something for the brand, but when it comes to lead generation, it is all about ROI.
First you must take some time to bed in your process and achieve a consistent rate of visitors and a consistent rate of conversion into leads or checkouts.
Now it is straightforward to calculate your Customer Lifetime Value (in Profits not revenue) and divide it by the cost of acquiring that customer.p
Getting set up to do Search Engine Advertising (SEM) well
- First you need a small budget for testing., Never begin with a big budget, you will most likely lose it all
- You need analytics properly set up to be able to measure and analyse closely what is happening, otherwise you will never learn and improve and that is the goal of the first phase. If you never did this I would strongly advise that you go back and start again.
- You need professional research to see who is winning in your space and why,what adverts are working and what concepts seem to ring true with users
- You need brainstorming to match your unique proposition with these competitors and look for the areas where you can stand out.
- You need professionally written copy optimised for the day, time, personas, needs and constantly tested and improved
- You need someone watching the budget and watching out for fraudulent actors
- You need a solid list of negative phrases to avoid paying for clicks form unsuitable users.
- You should probably have a Lead nurturing system to track the type of information they consume, offer them more helpful content and maximise the number of visitors who end up doing business with you .
If you are just starting out on a journey with Paid Digital Advertising, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Advertising, etc then click below to receive a free website appraisal and Project planning template to get you started on the right track.
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