Six tactics to improve your pay-per-click search engine marketing program
It is no secret that search engine marketing (SEM) can be an effective online marketing tool. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy practice to master. Here are six proven tactics to help you increase your ROI from pay-per-click search engine marketing.
Choose Your Weapon
Before you begin, you must decide on a plan of attack. Determine which keyword selection strategy will help you hit your SEM goals:
• the shotgun,
• the laser or
• a hybrid?
Practitioners of the shotgun approach start their SEM campaign with a wide variety of keywords across multiple categories (a large budget), and narrow it down based on performance. This approach can work for advertisers who have aggressive goals and a short timeframe. The shotgun method makes keyword bid management an arduous task and may warrant the added cost of a bid management system such as Atlas OnePoint or Did-it.
In contrast, the laser approach begins with very few keywords and gradually expands. This approach is the “slow and steady” method and is ideal for small budgets and risk-averse marketers.
With a hybrid approach, a marketer may choose one category of keywords and purchase a wide variety within that category. Once it has narrowed the category down to keywords generating the target ROI, it moves on to the next category.
As a direct response marketer, it amazes me when I come across companies that do not track the ROI of search marketing buys; proper ROI tracking is critical to developing a successful SEM campaign. Marketers can track ROI with a variety of tools, such as DoubleClick DART, Atlas DMT, Commission Junction, LinkShare, Direct Track and My Affiliate Program. Larger search engines such as Google offer an ROI tracking component. You may even have an internal tracking system that can help you track ROI from keyword buys. The point is, you cannot effectively optimize these efforts if you don’t know ROI by keyword, search engine, etc.