13. Internet Marketing
13.1 Leverage Your Business with Keywords
At the outset, it should be noted that the best keywords are often not individual words but a keyword string. Using keyword strings offers the opportunity to be specific and being specific means that a search query is likely to result in a conversion.
The use of keywords in SEO is, at best, a moving target in the pitch dark. With dedicated persistence the user community has established via trial and error what may work and what will not. Keywords are a case in point. There was a time when keyword optimisation had a direct impact on page ranking. Optimisation referred to the use of keywords on a page and its page headings. This was further strengthened by having keywords in the site’s Meta Title (the title sent to search engines) and in the site’s URL. It is common knowledge that search engines diluted or removed keywords as a factor in their page ranking algorithms, but evidence pop’s up every now and again that supports the view that keywords are demonstrating that they have a positive influence on page ranking. Thus while the truth, to what may be a moving target, is that we are asked to believe that keywords to search engines are like green light to animals in the dark; they see it not.
The use of keywords in search dynamics is stable and is critically important. Users search for keywords and when a variety of descriptive keywords will equally describe what you do or have to offer the search result ranking will be of no consequence if your choice of keyword is not associated with the keyword that the user is searching for. Your choice of keywords will transfer your fish from the sea to rock pool and it is the page ranking that will transfer your fish from the rock pool to the user’s plate!
Be aware that users that use the Internet with the aid of their favourite search engines will migrate from broad keyword phrases when they begin to more narrow keywords as they progress. This is a trend that holds good to the norm that when users begin they are not sure of the specifics of what they want. As they establish the specifics of what they desire so, they will compare one type of product to another. Website traffic that is desired is that of buyers who know what they want. Broad phrase keyword browsers are not generally buyers; they may be future buyers in the making but as yet they are not. For this reason, keyword research is suggested to be directed at narrow niches that generate enough traffic so as to offer the opportunity for a sustainable business.
How do you ensure that you attract a steady stream of users who have reached the stage of being buyers? The answer is by ensuring that your site is found. There are a variety of ways of achieving this, including the following. Firstly by generic free positioning on search results pages, secondly by paying for PPC positioning, thirdly by paying for traffic from affiliate marketers and fourthly by referral (links) from directories, articles, offline direct marketing, blogs, sites with a special interest in your site, etc.
You need to do the maths:
Affiliate marketing can cost you a minimum of some 10 to 25% and a maximum of about 75% of the sale price. It is your choice of what to offer to attract affiliate marketers.
Say a product costs 100 cents and that the conversion rate on Adwords traffic is 5%. The sales revenue from 5 sales is 500 cents. To match the cost of affiliate marketing at 50% commission, the cost of the PPC adverts would need to amount to no more than 250 cents being 50% of 5 x 100 cents. This means that you can bid on the keywords of choice to generate the traffic of up to 2.5 cents each on 100 clicks on PPC Adwords to establish whether or not you face a positive cost benefit scenario or not.
13.2 Leverage Your Business with Adwords
Adwords relate to the sale of keywords. Keyword economics are a question of supply and demand within a scenario where keyword demand drives up the price of any given keyword. Value is what you get for the price that you pay. Value then is a function of conversion rates and profit margins on the sales generated.
In addition, one needs to ensure that conversion rates are not diluted by offering misdirected adwords adverts which have very little chance of meeting the expectation of conversion; for conversion read sale. All too often this happens when merchants do not group keywords and associate a group to defined and relevant adverts. A farmers market for instance would group specific keywords relating to vegetables in season to an advert about sliced and diced vegetables. If they did not then the local hotel may click on a broad advert for the farmers market and end up being offered scarves knitted by Grannies for a church fundraiser. Ask yourself what the user’s expectation is from searching the Internet, will your keyword advert specifically be the solution to the need and when clicked will the product that is presented be the solution that is desired?
Adwords are specified as applicable to defined categories; broad match, phrase match and exact match. Broadmatch means that your ad applies to users searching for a result that has your keywords included in their search phrase but in any order and with or without other words. Broadmatch keywords are entered without punctuation e.g. diced mixed veg. Thus > diced mixed veg < as a broadmatch keyword string will generate an advert in all circumstances where the search phrase contains these three words in any order and with or without other words e.g. 10 kg bags of mixed diced vegetables. A phrase match needs to meet a search for all of these three words in the exact order specified but which can be within a keyword string containing further words. A phrase match requirement is identified as a keyword string in inverted commas e.g. “diced mixed veg” Finally an exact match is a search for the three words entered in the exact order and without any other words. This is identified as a keyword string in brackets e.g. [diced mixed veg] In addition to these keyword string specifications one can filter searches with the use of a + or - In these cases specific keywords can be specified to include or exclude a result. One may exclude the word –frozen if you only wanted users looking for fresh veg. Merchants are recommended to study the Google guidelines on offer at https://support.google.com and in particular to the table that offers the above keyword string specification requirements.
Great adwords campaigns are those that work and deliver the desired expectations. You should start with exact phrases and move backwards to find a balance between traffic and conversion results. Testing different wording and keyword phrases is critically important for what may seem to do the job to you may not deliver the best results. Often questionable specifications trigger surprising results. You need to keep score and take decisions based on the numbers, maths and trends. When doing the maths you need to also include the lifetime value of a new customer. If your initial sums show that you should not pay more than 2.5 cents for a click what would you say if the lifetime value of this client is hugely more as he will, on average, stay for years and he will buy other high margin goods. In these circumstances you could happily pay far more that the 2.5 cents which would generate a short-term loss but a significant lifetime profit. Another dynamic is testing to assess the return on investment of adwords (cost) that result in ads ranked at various positions on the top page. What is the cost benefit return on being the number four ad versus the number one ad? If you are not the manufacturer and the manufacturer does not sell to the public do you need to outbid them for the number one ranked paid advert? You should also study the competitor adverts in whose company you find yourself. It is possible that they need not be considered a threat if your product is not a direct competitor. In this case they may be using broadly based keyword strings which will not deliver to them the optimal results that you seek.