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Advertising Online - A Guide to Successful Market Penetration Part Two: Search Engine Strategies

Written By: Deborah Kilpatrick
Published On: January 12 2003

The Strategy Search CPC Model

Keyword Advertising

Most search engines use the CPC model, and price keywords based on their market value. Currently, the market is stating that generic keywords such as investment and insurance are highly valued and consequently more obscure, but targeted keywords are valued much lower. Another, more efficient system is categorizing the website and determining the market value of the industry the website falls into and taking a step back from pricing keywords. The average price in the industry for CPC advertising, including categorization, is fragmented as the CPC can range from 1 cent to 2 dollars depending on the industry.

Everything stems from your keywords since it is these words that will let you be visible to the billions of online searchers. However, there is more to building keyword lists than just coming up with words that describe your product or service offering. For example, results show that 45% of users search by using a combination of keywords (key phrases), 28% use one keyword, 18% search by a pre-defined option (such as browsing through a directory category) and 9% search by typing in a question (NPD).

There are two schools of thought when it comes to creating a keyword list. The first is listing generic keywords in order to generate the most traffic as possible to your site, resulting in high click through ratios, but low conversion rates. The other option is listing targeted keywords that will drive targeted traffic to your site, resulting in traditionally lower click through rates, but higher conversions ratios. For example if you are selling ECRM services in New Jersey, and are only capable of delivering your services in the US, then you may not want to list the single keyword "ECRM". You would receive a high amount of clickthroughs, but from traffic that may not be interested in purchasing, or from users that you would not logistically be able to supply. This is a waste of advertising dollars. If you were to list keyword phrases such as "ECRM in the US" or "improve ECRM for US business" you would receive more targeted traffic, given that the user typing in this keyword is probably looking for information on ECRM in the US.

Since building targeted keyword lists requires some knowledge of online advertising, search engine's staff editors are always available to help in building highly targeted keywords for your campaign. Keyword enthusiasts also go to Wordtracker.com and WordSpot.com. The number of keywords that you list on a search engine is also crucial to your online success. Each additional keyword and keyword phrase you suggest will increase your site's chances of being located. Think of it as not only placing as many hooks as possible in the lake, but also making sure they are of the right type to attract what you need.

This is Part Two of a three-part article on successful online advertising.

Part One addressed the question "Why Internet Advertising?"

Part Three will cover Geographical Targeting and Fraud Prevention Programs.

Powerful Creatives

Almost as important as the keywords are the creatives that support them. Creatives in the search industry refer to the titles and descriptions that expand upon the keywords. They provide a small glimpse of what your website has to offer.

It is important to be as clear as possible for a number of reasons. First, it is preferable not to use superlatives, caps or exclamation marks in your titles because this reduces the validity of your offer and is not viewed as a professional listing. Second, it is suggested that the title and the description have the keyword in it to further prove that the result is relevant.

It should also expand in as few words as possible the website's is offering. Using the ECRM solutions firm as an example, the title should have the following elements: "ECRM business solutions for US businesses". The description then, as an expansion of the title should have the following elements: "Reputable ECRM business solutions that can make you business more profitable". Using this method of advertising on search engines, you are sure to be attracting your target market to your site, (from a purely geographic demographic).

Relevant URL's

In addition to using specific and relevant titles and descriptions, the URL that you submit to the search engine must be very targeted. Ideally, the user should get to the exact page that they are looking for on the first click. For example, if the user is searching for a specific ECRM solution, that solution should be on the URL associated with the creative. Internet searchers have low patience levels, and if they cannot immediately find what they are looking for on your site they will give up and move on to the next result on the list.

This concludes Part Two of a three-part article on successful online advertising.

Part One addressed the question "Why Internet Advertising?"

Part Three will cover Geographical Targeting and Fraud Prevention Programs.

 
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