5 Tips for Search-Engine Marketing Success
Search-engine optimization is nothing more than modifying Web page content and code to get free, organic lists in the search engines for targeted search terms. But as online strategist Liz Murphy, partner at Red Boots Consulting, explains, effective search-engine marketing also employs pay-per-click advertising (buying relevant search terms from the search engines at a per-click cost) and search-engine PR (getting your Web content and press releases top visibility in search engines, news sites and search-engine news pages).
Here, Murphy offers five quick tips for search-engine marketing success:
1. Be creative and strategic in selecting keyword-search terms. Keyword research identifies new opportunities to drive the right prospects to your site, Murphy says. Example: “buying used Mercedes” vs. “cars.”
2. Define campaign goals and actions (conversions) at the start of a campaign. How many visits to particular Web pages are you looking for? Total online donations? New members? It’s important to set realistic but aggressive goals and to chart your progress.
Murphy formulated this checklist for a recent American Diabetes Association campaign:
* Created list of 100+ search terms to test, in 14 ad-group categories;
* Wrote ad copy for each ad category and/or term;
* Placed and tested conversion tracking code on ADA donation pages; and
* Bought keywords in three search engines to start.
3. For paid ads, create targeted landing pages to convert targeted prospects. The design and copy on your landing pages should emphasize the call to action and help prospects through the process of signing up or donating quickly and easily, Murphy says. Remember the 30 percent rule: With every click your donor has to take, you have the potential to lose 30 percent of your donations or online-store sales.
4. Use strategic ad copy to weed out non-qualified prospects for higher conversions. The following three examples received differing click-through rates:
Help Find a Cure
Help fund research on prevention and cure for diabetes. Donate now.
RESULT: 2.1 percent CTR
Finding a Cure
Help fund research to cure diabetes. All donations tax deductible.
RESULT: 3 percent CTR
Help Find a Cure
Support the American Diabetes Association. Donate now.
RESULT: 0.5 percent CTR
5. Use conversion-tracking software or programming to track conversions. You can track conversions by search engine and keyword, and vet landing and confirmation pages.