Nuts & Bolts - SEM: 5 Ways to Do Paid Search Without Keywords
It's a concept many direct marketers may have trouble wrapping their heads around, but Alex Cohen of ClickEquations says search engine marketing without keywords not only can be done, it can be highly profitable.
New paid search options offer keyword-free bidding, allowing marketers to instead target categories of consumers or to find areas into which their products and services can be grouped, says Cohen. The senior marketing manager of the Conshohocken, Penn.-based pay-per-click software provider spoke during the SES New York 2011 session, "PPC Beyond Search: New Ad Formats, Display & Social."
Cohen says SEM is becoming more than just words, coinciding with Google's efforts to provide multimedia content to its search users. Results in universal search queries now include videos, photos and social media links that he says pull attention away from PPC. Cohen suggests marketers capitalize on keyword-free search opportunities by targeting consumers through:
1. Audience: Pick demographic targeting and bidding options, such as household income, location, age, education, language and devices used.
2. Business Type: Small- to mid-size businesses with free Google Places listings may benefit from Google Boost, he says. This paid option allows ad copy, URL and address to be inserted in Google Maps and Google Places, where the listing runs with a blue marker instead of the default red one.
Comparison searches—comparing things such as annual percentage rates of credit card companies—are also starting to pop up. They're only on UK search engines for now, but making comparison information available now will aid in those searches.
3. Product: The Google Merchant Center is the gateway to Product Listing Ads, which display images of the products, prices and URLs. AdWords Ad Extensions work similarly, by allowing marketers to include maps, videos or images.
4. Behavior: Within Google Ads Preferences, marketers can pick which consumer "interest categories" relate to their products and services. Remarketing, or retargeting, means only consumers who have shown specific interests see certain advertising, such as display ads.