Search Engine Marketing: Part of Your Strategy

Compliment your marketing efforts with search engine marketing, not because you can, but because you should.

On Tuesday I talked a bit about search engine optimization, and its clear impact on getting found.  But like any great marketing strategy, it shouldn’t stop there.  One thing I am very interested in is integration.  I find myself reaching for ways that I can help businesses optimize their entire marketing strategy, across all platforms.  It’s not just about SEO and it’s not just about content.  I cannot stress enough how important it is for each business to do what’s right for them.  Thankfully, finding your perfect mix of marketing efforts is made just a little bit easier with search engine marketing.

Let me introduce you, and hopefully teach you a few ways that search engine marketing, namely Google AdWords, can be integrated into your strategy.  There are a few things that are really helpful to keep in mind while discovering your position in this process.

First, how the heck does Google AdWords work?  Google AdWord Paid vs Organic searchJust like organic searches, it all starts with a user typing something into a search box.  There are a few differences between organic searches and paid, the first being the placement.  Paid search appears at the top and right hand sides of your search results.  The ranking system is a bit different too.  Three main metrics are used to rank Google AdWords and they include expected click through rates, landing page experience, ad relevance, and ad formats.  While they aren’t exactly the same, they can help each other and work together (this is where the integration comes in).  Let’s take click through rates and landing page experience for example.  If you have compelling content and an effective call to action, users will be more likely to click.  But wait… shouldn’t we have great content and a call to action already? Right, we’ve talked a lot about creating those things for your buyer personas with their spot in the process in mind.  These things are just amplified though search engine marketing! Google sees that appreciation though the number of clicks and these clicks lead to actual action for your business.  Every conversion, micro or macro, begins with a click.

How can we leverage these amenities?

The best part of search engine optimization and search engine marketing is the power it gives marketers as a tool for success; no longer do we have to guess and check.  With digital marketing, every conversion is trackable and actionable.  For example, paid search can be used for landing page testing.  Are you finding that currently not many web browsers are clicking on your link?  A potential opportunity is right in front of you!  It is possible that your call to action (CTA) isn’t attention grabbing enough or doesn’t resonate with the potential lead.  Perhaps you are wise enough to do a little A/B testing to see what type of CTAs work well for you *hint hint*.  Is it your value proposition or price that motivates the individual to click? All questions the marketer has the power to answer.  Another problem could be lack of relevancy, and there is probably a need for reengineering your keyword selection.  With AdWords, you are able to see keywords that have been typed into a query that have led Google users to your ad.  Put simply, you can see exactly which words are leading potential customers to you, and furthermore, which keywords you might not have known about.  This equals increased conversion people!  Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Finally, the last important way that Google AdWords can be integrated into your strategy is based on your strategy itself.  So I’m sure by now, the big question on your mind is cost.  More and more these days, marketers are on a budget and need to be able to qualify and quantify the cost of operation.  Thankfully, quantifying the cost of Good AdWords is built right into the system with the ability to qualify from there.  There are three cost structures of AdWords that can be used based on which strategy you identify for your business.

First, ask your self, “what are we trying to get out of this campaign?”  If your purpose is to increase brand awareness, focus on impressions.  You can actually pay via cost-per-impression.  Another way to employ AdWords in a strategy friendly way is to use their cost-per-click cost structure.  This is probably the most common choice, because in most instances, we want to display our business at the top of a Google search because we want to see a conversion.  To take this one step further, you would select cost-per-acquisition, which allow you to bid for your position on the search result page.  Elevate optimization by bidding on your position relative to others.  Generally the rule-of-thumb is that higher is better.  However, heed this with caution.  A higher position is only better when it is relevant for you.  Having a high position is only effective if it makes sense that the user would use or need your product or service.

If you are interested in getting into the nitty gritty of AdWords, Google has a free certification that will ensure you know the ins-and-outs before the end.

So I know all of you (more or less) have been faithfully following my blog, and if you have, you are probably beginning to see a theme.  I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing your buyer persona, their position in the buyer’s journey and leveraging that information with inbound marketing efforts in the digital sphere.  Yes, this week I focused on search engine marketing, but you’ve also hopefully noticed the other marketing efforts I’ve discussed in weeks past seeding throughout.  These strategies do not stand alone.  The true power comes when you integrate.  That way, not just your search or webpage is optimized, but your entire marketing is optimized.

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2 thoughts on “Search Engine Marketing: Part of Your Strategy

  1. Pingback: So what’s the deal with Google Analytics? | Hannah Ricker

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