By: Michael Pedone
Search marketing, like all online marketing, is very measurable. One of the great things about paid search, in particular, is how easy it is to launch a campaign and how quickly you can start measuring the results (often within 24 hours).
We’ve put together a handful of top-line learnings that anyone can glean from their search marketing campaign. This helpful information ranges from learning what your customers want (in the language they’re familiar with), to testing and measuring the effectiveness of your messaging.
Your search marketing campaign can help you learn:
1. How to speak your customer’s language. One thing search has taught us over the years is that our clients’ and their customers can often speak very different languages. For example, you may call your product “financial planning”, but your site metrics and search campaign results may show (via conversion tracking) that your clients are looking for “investment help.”
2. That your web site needs improvement. Search ads are targeted – if they are effectively written and relevant to the keyword you are targeting, you can practically predict high clickthrough rates. However, this does not necessarily mean you are going to get high conversion rates. When you have a large amount of visitors, which are not translating to sales, the next step is to look at your web site itself. Are your landing pages relevant? Is your navigation intuitive? Are you targeting the right terms?
3. How to measure ROI. Analyzing the impact of your marketing initiatives is no small task, and can be overwhelming for a lot of marketers and business owners. Search is a great way to get your feet wet with marketing accountability. Both Google and Yahoo offer built-in conversion tracking so you can see the effectiveness of your media dollars in near real-time, down to the keyword level.
4. What your competitors are doing. It is almost impossible not to analyze some competitor activity when maintaining any type of search campaign. Organic SEO, in particular, is a great way to root out websites in your space and see what they’ve got that you haven’t got (and why they may be ranking better than you in the search results). It’s easy to monitor competitive activity with paid search too – all the ads are right there lined up neatly in a row, and services such as AdGooROO and KeyCompete are popping up all over the place to help you monitor your competitor’s search activity.
5. What messaging works. Paid search ads are a great way to test your messaging. Google and MSN, in particular, make it very easy to swap out ad copy and monitor ad effectiveness. Paid search ads are also a great way to test a new message before rolling it out to other (more expensive and less maneuverable) media channels.