So you’ve got a website. Great. But you need more online traffic and sales? A lot of people then think- those good guys at Google have an online pay marketing system, let’s try promoting our website on that.
These people are joining what Ian Hughes of Consumer Insight fame categorises as the Stupid Rich group. And if they keep going in the same vein sooner or later they will relegate themselves into what Ian calls the Stupid Poor group.
Why? Many other people think that Google’s cleverest attribute is their ability to rank websites- except of course your own, frustratingly.
Wrong. Google’s cleverest attribute is their ability to extract copious amounts of loot from your company credit card, which is paying for your Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign.
For every £100 that Google increases your credit card balance- which is added to the $3,871,000,000 revenue that they earned in their last quarter, £85 of your hard earned money goes straight to their bottom line.
Just in case you thought of trying to redeem yourself by investing in some of their shares- their current p/e is a yawning 44 years.
OK- So what do the Smart Rich people do? The wise money have taken the time to get the basics right first.
There are three main factors that Google currently use to rank someone’s pay per click advertising. Firstly, Google looks at how much you are prepared to bid for a particular keyword phrase.
Then they look at how successful your campaign is at actually attracting click throughs- your conversion ratio. Thirdly, they look at the “Quality Score” of your website and the pages that you are promoting.
Your Quality Score is dependent on how well search engine optimised your pages are for the keywords that you are bidding for.
Search engine optimisation (seo) is the ongoing process of convincing search engines that your website is attractive and authoritative enough to be highly ranked for your specific keywords.
It’s ongoing as the both the search engines alter their ranking criteria and also your competitors will be constantly improving.
There are a number of factors that will affect the quality of your search engine optimisation. These currently include getting your titles, description and keyword metatags, headers, pictures, text and links- both incoming and outgoing correctly balanced.
But, if you become over zealous with your keywords, search engines will even blacklist you from the main free results sections.
Another topic to consider is the rising cost of the clicks throughs. I hear more and more clients moan that the cost of my keyword clicks has doubled in the last twelve months!
Not only has Google made it easy for you to get on the PPC bandwagon, they also made it easy for your competitors to join you in the bidding wars.
As far back as February 2005, Blue Nile a NYSE listed online jeweller had to report then that the cost of their PPC marketing had doubled in the past year.
The Web Guru hypothesises that unless/ until some major event/ competitor comes along to halt Google’s rise you can expect the cost of your keywords PPC marketing to double every year for the foreseeable future.
Fraud is also a growing problem for PPC marketers to accept. This is the “practice” whereby your competitors click on your ads as a way of costing you extra money and decreasing your efficiency.
Back in the heady days of the sub prime credit boom, some souls were paying up to £55 for EACH and EVERY click for the “consolidate debt” keywords. How chuffed are you at the prospect of your competitors doing that to your business?
As Richard Thaler, the University of Chicago academic now regarded as a founder of behavioural finance, once put it “People are not blithering idiots but they are a long way from hyper rational automatons.”
Don’t follow the sheep to the slaughterhouse- do something different.
One of the areas where the online and offline marketing and business worlds differ is in branding. Unless a company has a very strong offline brand name, your potential online customers will be looking to satisfy their needs through non generic keywords rather than visiting brand name websites.
Continuing the finance example, people looking for loans type into search engines “low cost loans” rather than say “barclays loans”.
You can only be a Master of One not a Jack of All Trades. Google will only rank you well if your keywords are in your Title. However they only currently allow you about 9 or 10 words in Titles.
So, if you sell more than a few products you will not be able to fit these in and you have little hope of achieving a high ranking.
How good are the keywords that you have chosen to market at actually attracting new business? It’s the choice between placing your digital shop on the high street or on a small back street.
The difference between being on the high traffic ground floor of what those in the parlance who are in touch with their feminine side describe as a retail therapy destination rather than being on the top, semi deserted floor.
What the Smart Rich do is research what people are actually typing into search engines. You can find a very effective, free keyword search facility at WordTracker.com which also quantifies your prospective keywords’ traffic.
They then find and register the Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)- website names, that most closely match these high traffic keywords and set up seo-ised satellite websites that should get them high rankings and deliver long term low cost traffic linked through to their main website.
So, if you are paying for a PPC campaign without search engine optimising your website first you are literally throwing your money away.
I hope that this has helped you and wish you the best with your digital marketing.
Simon Dye, Chartered Marketer- MBA,DipM,FCIM,MAMA,
24 Charlton Drive, Cheltenham, Glos GL53 8ES, UK.
Tel + 44 1242 521967 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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