A Search Engine Marketing Campaign Primer

These days, we are all looking for ways to reduce expenses, increase margins, and generally make our businesses work smarter. There are a few simple tactics you can use to get the most out of your search engine marketing campaigns.

First, improve prospect targeting and increase traffic at a lower cost by using key phrases or keyword combinations rather than keywords alone. While single terms are often more popular, two- or three-term key phrases can bring more qualified traffic at a lower cost.

Next, bid for a lower and less expensive position. Remember you don’t always have to be first. A good tip is to aim to appear on the first page of search results, as most searchers quickly scroll through the entire page but do not necessarily move on to the second or subsequent pages. Research has shown that listings at the top and bottom of the page are more likely to get noticed than those in the middle. Most of all, set the bids so as to achieve the best return on your advertising investment.

Last but not least, write relevant and enticing ad copy. The title and copy of your search ad text are the most important drivers of leads and potential customers. Give your potential customers an extra incentive or advantage with "on sale" or "free shipping" offers, which are proven click-generators. You should also include a strong call-to-action such as deadlines or discounts—"limited time" or "percentage off" are good examples. But remember, your landing page must reflect the offer you put forth in your search ad. No misleading allowed.

Dorab Patel, PhD Founder & Chief Technology Officer MatchCraft Santa Monica, Calif.

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