Are you selling a product or service online and wish you were selling more? A new or revamped search engine marketing campaign may be just the thing to increase your sales.
What are You Selling?
If you haven’t already, the first thing you need to define in evaluating current or future SEM campaigns is what exactly your goal is. Whenever we ask this question, the answer inevitably is “to get as many leads as possible for the least amount of money.” It’s a fair answer – we want that, too.
In most cases, though, when you thresh it out, you’re wanting to run or improve a campaign for a very specific purpose. For example, you:
- Want to run a test to see whether a particular form of search engine marketing is a viable long-term strategy; or
- Are in expansion mode and want to generate as many leads as you can as quickly as possible. Here, the cost per lead, while important, is not the overriding factor;
- Have a decent lead flow, but the quality isn’t good. Maybe it’s gotten so bad your sales people are no longer putting in the proper effort in following up on those leads because they’ve become demoralized; or
- Need to keep your lead flow roughly the same, but need to decrease the cost per conversion.
Paid Search vs. SEO
Once you’ve determined your specific goals, you need to evaluate which form of search engine marketing is right for you: paid search marketing or search engine optimization (SEO). For purposes of a brief outline here, we’re going to include social media campaigns in SEO as part of an overall organic strategy.
If you haven’t already decided on your SEM strategy, we’d strongly suggest speaking with an SEM firm who can discuss your particular situation with you to help you make an informed decision. Heck – you can even do it right now by calling 800.979.3177.
But if you’re just starting out with basic research, these are some things to consider:
- Using paid search and SEO wisely together can often produce a 1+1=3 effect. If you have the budget, doing both together is usually a good thing.
- Paid search costs more. In addition to money and time spent on management, you’ll be paying for ads (although you’re only paying for clicks, not just having your ads displayed like in print, tv, or radio).
- SEO takes longer. While this is not universally true for all situations and certain types like local SEO can often produce quicker results, paid search can be turned on or off within minutes or hours. (Note: setting up or overhauling accounts does take time when done correctly.)
- Paid search gives you a little more control over the process, with things like landing pages and funnels and tight geo-targeting. It can also provide a great way to identify best-converting keywords for SEO targeting.
Be aware: we’re huge fans of both organic and paid search marketing and don’t favor one over the other generally. But one form or another may be better for your situation and we’re happy to help you make that determination.
Call to Discuss Your Sales Goals & Challenges
If you’re looking to improve sales or profit margins on your site, give us a call 800.979.3177 or click here. We’re happy to discuss your products or services and the challenges you face no matter where you are in your company’s lifetime cycle.