A few pointers for small business owners looking to dive into search marketing (also known as pay-per-click, or PPC):
1. Think relevance. The search providers want ads to be relevant, and add value to the search results. They actually quantify this as a “quality score”. An ad with a high quality score may get a higher page position at a cheaper price than a competing ad. A high-quality-score ad is relevant to the keywords being purchased, and users who click on the ad don’t jump back into Google immediately — the ad leads them further in a productive search.
To create a relevant search marketing campaign:
- Use focused adgroups with relevant keywords.
- Make sure you ad copy is relevant to the search and keywords.
- Experiment with a landing page that works, keeps users on the page, and leads to conversions.
2. Pay more in the beginning. Search involves a healthy amount of trial and error. Costs will go down and performance will increase over time.
**Don’t be afraid to start out with higher bids. You can lower them later, but higher bids appease the algorithm god in the early stages.
**Know that some keywords (usually your favorites) may not make the cut. Check into keywords services and mine your weblogs for good stuff.
3. Separate search campaigns from content campaigns. This makes analysis much easier. If you want to sell a product on Google’s content network, for example, set it up on its own campaign.
**Keywords for content should relate to the text of the page they are being served on, and aren’t always interchangeable with search keywords.
4. Read blogs and news on PPC, and other forms of online marketing. You can learn a lot as you read and investigate the meaning of pro jargon. Plug them into Google Reader and it’ll only take a few minute a day. There’s a lot to learn, but it’s fun and you can come up to speed fairly quickly.
Here are a few blogs to try: