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5 Vital Points Of Online Marketing And Advertising

Search engine marketing, in theory, is quite simple. Basic guidelines, when correctly followed correctly, enable better search engine placement.

Implementation and execution are what make this basic concept complex. These “basic” guidelines not only continuously evolve but proper execution requires time, diligence, and a skill level more advanced than following a blog or podcast.

Outlined are 5 Vital Points of Online Marketing and Advertising. Though not intended as a SEM tutorial, this should give a layperson a good insight into why a “seat-of-the-pants” SEM strategy may fall flat before even getting started. Structure and strategy are essential.

Measurement

a.k.a. web analytics. According to SEMPO over 30% of advertisers do not track conversions. Surprisingly almost 40% of advertisers are not calculating ROI. How do they know what works? Simple, they don’t.

Quantifying results whenever possible should be top priority. Advertisers often do not walk blindly into a campaign, they use data collected from the past to hypothesize results. Advertising and marketing on the web should be treated no differently. Return rates are as necessary to calculate as direct mail or email campaigns.

Determining what works, what doesn’t, and what may need a little boost is essential to building a successful SEM strategy. Instead, many advertisers blindly spend money online without the slightest ways to determine return or cross channel results.

Another overlooked area of measurement exists in the paid advertising world. Most advertisers have no idea if what they’re spending covers what they’re earning. Analytics pay off both in organic and paid results.

Negligent quantification methods have aided in the increased cost of bid prices for over the past two years. This trend will continue as long as advertisers continue failing to monitor their spending and success/loss trends in the online market. Many advertisers give up feeling online spending either isn’t working or isn’t worth the effort. Competitors will jump on this.

Knowing which ads win customers and which ads drain budget helps offset rising costs, total spend, and increases ROI.

Flexibility

Possibly the most difficult for traditional advertisers to ponder; offline ads will not convert the same online. Willingness to move away from comfortable tactics to new techniques can be daunting but necessary.

Staying flexible in thinking when it comes to online advertising will ensure a broader success than sticking with tried print ads. The medium is different, the targets are different, the interaction is different. Why would ads be the same?

Be pragmatic. Research keywords users are querying don’t rely on yourself or team to guess these words. Target more specific keywords rather than vying for top position for a handful of broad terms. Good online marketing campaigns include both “big” and “small” keywords and phrases.

Don’t get stuck thinking every keyword must rank #1 in either PPC or organic listings. Focus on the important words and most likely the broad terms will also be covered.

Curiosity

Pays off. Staying involved in your campaigns, or hiring someone to do so, will allow a better review of which ads are working and which aren’t. Could the ads be tweaked? Could more work be put into the landing pages? Could you be more specific to the target?

Many advertisers and marketers fail to optimize ad text, or at least fail to reoptimize once the campaign has launched. Competitors are probably changing ad text, landing pages, etc as required to stay on point, you should know what they’re doing and stay abreast of change.

Persistence

Don’t fall into the “fire & forget” trap of many offline advertisers. A successful search engine marketing strategy requires time, attention, and follow-through.

Maintain interest in your campaign, know what the industry is up to, what competitors are changing and trying, how you can upgrade your own campaign.

Follow-through on your efforts. Once you’ve spent the time and money on creating an ad campaign online maintaining it is a must. Keep an active team or expert in charge to follow successes, losses, changes, and improvements.

Balance

Search engine marketing requires a variety of techniques. Paid search advertising can be great, but it’s not the end-all-be-all. A balance of organic and paid advertising is best supplemented with link building.

Paid advertising provides quick access and good visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) but you pay per click. Organic / natural listings are essentially free listings – though paying a qualified SEO/SEM to produce a quality campaign is a good idea – and cost nothing per click.

Discontinuing payment for PPC advertisements causes search engines to drop them, making your site invisible once again. Organic / natural listings are long term, do not require a charge per click and are often viewed more favorably than sponsored ads alone.

Several studies show organic listings are chosen first 70% of the time by online searchers, compared to 24.6% of sponsored listings.

It is important to implement a thorough SEM strategy and follow through. The greatest success comes from those who have current SEM knowledge, the patience and know-how to analyze data, the imagination to write impressive creative, and curiosity to stay innovative.

Search engine marketing may appear easy on the surface. However, many facets and avenues, the requirements for top performance and high-maintenance structure often prove too difficult for amateurs. While quality may cost more up front, in the long run quality always prevails.

Submitted by:

Kristen Owen

Kristen Owen writes for ContentWorth (http://www.contentworth.com), a market-leading search engine optimization firm dedicated to complete SEM services, with an emphasis on organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Other services include pay-per-click (PPC) consulting, link building, and optimized content creation.




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