Search engine marketing is the method of using keywords and relevant ads on search engines (ie: Google) to encourage people to click through to your website.
- Probably the biggest advantage is that you are advertising to people when they are in the buying mode, and you are using a less intrusive way to get them information.
- They are actively searching for information that you can provide. The chance of them clicking on your ad is much greater than when they receive something in the mail.
- The percentage of people that take an action based on your ad (click through rate) can range as high as 60% or more, compared to the 3-5% response rate of direct mail.
- 100% variable cost.
- Ads are only served up when certain keywords are entered into the search engine, ensuring that your ads are going to people who are actually looking for information that you are providing.
- You are only charged for the ad when someone clicks on it and is sent to your web site. You are not charged for just the ad appearing.
- You can determine how large of an audience you want to reach.
- You can target your ads on a regional, national or global basis.
- The size of your audience is not limited by the size of your mailing list.
- You can produce multiple ads that carry different messages and have them triggered by different keywords.
- Different people may enter different keywords into a search engine.
- Different people may click on different ads.
- The search engine automatically serves up the ad that is clicked on the most.
- Your budget determines your campaign activity.
- You determine a bid for each keyword, a daily budget and a campaign date range. The search engine uses a formula based on your bid, ad relevance to keyword and ad click through rate to determine what rank your ad receives. The goal is to be ranked on the first page of the search engine results.
- You can measure your results with online reporting.
- Can be competitive for certain key words.
- You are competing with other entities for the same spot on the search engine results page.
- Your ad is not guaranteed to show up on the first page.
- You need to choose keywords carefully, develop ads that are relevant to each keyword and make competitive bids.
- Can miss some targets if they're not using the search engine to get information.
- Some of the people you are trying to target (past clients) may not use a search engine to find information.
- As mentioned above, you only pay-per-click, and you determine how much you want to spend.
- You bid on the maximum amount you are willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad. This amount can be as low as $.05, but you may want to bid higher and be more competitive to get a higher ranking on the search engine results page (ie: Top 10).
- You set the amount you want to pay per day. Once that amount is reached, your ad will no longer be served up that day.
- You set the date range you want to have your ad served up.