Paid search advertising is the bread and butter of online advertising.
If you do one thing to find people who are close to making a purchasing decision, it should be search advertising or ‘CPC’ (‘cost per click’). With this type of advertising you are targeting people who are actively looking to solve a problem.
We like to call them ‘active targets’.
Let’s say you are an accountancy firm looking for customers in South West London. What better place to put an advertisement than in front of people doing a Google search for ‘accountants in South West London’? Of course this works with whichever problem you are trying to solve for your customers.
You can setup a google search campaign using their advertising tool called AdWords (get in touch with us for £75 of free advertising credit).
You decide how much you are willing to pay for each click on a particular ‘keyword’, this can vary from 5p for very niche low competition keywords, up to £5 or £10 for very competitive ones! You can also set a ‘daily cap’ to ensure your costs are under control starting with something as little as £5 per day.
Here’s an example of what an ad like this may look like:
So you have managed to setup a search marketing campaign and you are using Google analytics to track how well your campaigns are working. It’s probable that a lot of the visitors you send to your website spend time looking around and then leave without buying .
The marketing ‘Rule of 7’ states that on average a prospect needs to see your message 7 times before they buy from you.
So it’s not at all unusual for people to not buy on their first visit.
In fact it would be unusual for people to do so!
This is where display remarketing comes in. People have visited your website and then left.
Perhaps because they wanted to research some other sites before buying or perhaps because the doorbell rang and they completely forgot to come back to what they were doing.
By running display remarketing campaigns you can retarget your website visitors with banner ads after they have left your website.
You’ll almost certainly have seen these ads. Perhaps you looked at some shows on a website and now the shoes are following you around the web?!
Business owners run remarketing ads because they work. Who better to target than people you know are looking for a solution like yours?
The most basic form or remarketing ads will simply have some text or an image in them reminding the customer of how you can solve their problem, alongside your logo. The more sophisticated ads will show them an image of the specific product or service they were looking at.
Like search ads, display ads can be setup in Google AdWords.
Your Google Search and Remarketing campaigns are live and you are successfully sending visitors to your website and remarketing to them.
So what’s next?
Search Remarketing is something else that helps you make sure you are getting in front of active targets. Quite commonly prospects will conduct multiple searches online before they make a buying decision.
Especially for higher value products.
If you have successfully tempted someone to your website with one of your search campaigns, it’s worth making an extra effort to make sure that the next time they do a search, you advert comes up with a strong and persuasive message.
You want them to think “Ah it’s these guys again, they are clearly the leaders in this space…I’ll take another look”.
This is search remarketing.
The difference versus search marketing is that you are willing to increase your CPC and outbid your competitors to achieve a more prominent position in the Google results in the knowledge that these people are now more likely to buy from you or make an enquiry.
So now you have your active targeting basics in place but are looking for more ways to get in front of prospective customers.
Display advertising tends to refer to banner adverts. Google AdWords is the most straightforward way to get your message in front of a large audience using banner adverts. There are a couple of great tactics you can utilise:
Intent targeting – target banners at prospects who have conducted searches for a specific product or service online. So for example if you are looking to sell bed linen online, you can target people that Google knows have conducted a search for ‘bed linen’ on Google recently.
Affinity targeting – if you know that people that visit specific website are likely to want to use your product, then you can target them with affinity targeting. So if for example you sell travel insurance, you can target people that have recently visited flightcentre.com etc.
Insider tip: Why not try using affinity targeting is great for targeting your competitors websites?
With these campaigns up and running you will will be able to deliver qualified prospects to your website. You should use Google analytics to closely monitor what actions people are taking once they get to your website so that you know what’s working and what isn’t.
If you have all of this activity in place – fantastic! In terms of next steps, you need to consider other channels like Facebook which we will cover in a separate post.
It’s often associated with paying someone a lot of money to be told what you already know!
But action focussed marketing consultants can in fact have a significant role to play in changing the fortunes of a company.
Where some consultants will take a cookie cutter approach and dispense advice without properly understanding the client, a good consultant will take some time to understand the business challenges and consider a range of prioritised options that can easily be translated into action.
This should leave the client with a fresh and exciting perspective on the range of opportunities available to him or her in pursuit of business growth.
Here are the top 3 reasons to use a marketing consultant:
You get a high level of expertise and experience without needing to hire a full time employee.
To hire a marketing professional full time is going to cost you ten’s of thousands of pounds a year.
If you want a good one with decent experience you need to budget £30k+.
In just a few days, a marketing consultant should be able to clearly outline actionable steps that you can take to start reaping the benefits of a good marketing plan.
They can also show you how to employee freelancers to run the activity at a fraction of the cost of a full time employee.
2. Fresh Perspective
When you spend every day in your business, it can be difficult to take a fresh unbiased look and find clarity on the range of options available to you.
By utilising a marketing consultant, you will get a fresh, expert perspective combined with an ability to quickly home in on the ideas most likely to succeed.
A lot of this will come out in a free consultation.
Consultants tend to work across a variety of businesses which means they are exposed to a multitude of situations and have seen what works and what doesn’t.
3. You will save money
Good consultants will make sure that the benefit of using them outweighs the cost.
In most cases they will educate you or your team about techniques and processes that you can use long after you have finished using them.
So what initially may seem to come across as a high cost, will in fact deliver huge ongoing value to your business.
Good consultants will always prioritise the items that will have the fastest and greatest impact so you see rapid payback on your investment.
SEO is sometimes considered the dark art but in reality, by following a few simple principles, you can make sure you are giving yourself the best chance to rank will organically:
Keep the user in mind
Google has been explicit in making it clear that websites should be built with the user in mind. Trying to manipulate the website in favour of search engines but at the expense of users will rarely work.
So when designing your website, always think about the user first and SEO second.
Hopefully you have done some research and are confident that your product or service is solving a genuine problem for someone.
What do people type in to Google when they seek a solution to this problem?
Whatever that search term is – should be part of your keyword strategy.
But don’t forget the more generic the term, the more competitive.
For example “Pilates classes” will be far more competitive than “Evening pilates classes in Clapham”.
You can use tools like SEMrush to help figure out which keywords will work best for you.
Meta titles and descriptions
Once you have your keywords, you need to make sure that they are included in you meta titles and descriptions.
Meta titles and descriptions are not visible when you look at your web page but appear in the Google search results.
Here is a great tool to help you write your meta titles and descriptions. Remember though you are wanting to entice people to click on your link so make sure it contains relevant, useful and persuasive text.
H1 and keywords
H1 is the name given to the main title on each page.
You should make sure you H1 includes your keyword. Again keep the language natural, writing with the user in mind.
If Google sees your keyword in your meta title, description and again on the H1 tag, it will have a pretty good idea on what your page is about.
Frequent fresh content
Google has crawlers which search the web and add pages to their index. Websites that are frequently updates are crawled more frequently by Google and therefore more likely rank higher in the search results. A good thing to do is write articles, perhaps a couple per month and add them to your blog.
Another factor that helps Google decide whether your website is important enough to rank in the search results is it’s ‘Domain authority’.
Your domain authority is derived from the number and quality of websites linking to your website. The more quality links the better. You can check your domain authority using this free tool from SEOmoz.
A great way to get links is to write press releases that get published on other websites and then link back to you. You can also look as guest blogging and directories. You should never buy links and ensure that any links you try to get are from a reputable website.
Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console is perhaps one of the most underused tools by business and entrepreneurs.
It doesn’t cost anything, all you need to do is place a verification tag on your website and Google will give you access to a wealth of information including diagnostics which will alert you to any site issues and a goldmine of keyword information which will tell you which keywords you are ranking for and how many site visits you are getting from them.