Search engine marketing is exaggerated so much in the realm of everything that is either internet or online marketing and it seems that it’s becoming the new digital equivalent of snake oil. It seems that there are so many online marketers claiming that search engine marketing is the one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter solution to all sorts of online marketing headaches. I really wish this was the case. Moreover, I wish that there was such a marketing tool that would make all sorts of marketing and branding problems go away overnight.
Unfortunately, when you hear about this type of blatant talk, you know you’re dealing with wishful thinking talk. Deep down inside you may probably already know that someone somewhere is pulling your leg. This is the sad reality. The magic-bullet advertising tool has yet to be invented. I wish it already exists but it doesn’t. If you want to truly benefit from search engine marketing, you need to get a clear working definition of what it is.
Armed with this knowledge, you can put together an actionable strategy that would enable you to save money while maximizing results. This should be one of your top local online marketing goals. Unfortunately, a lot of local small business people and entrepreneurs have a fuzzy idea regarding search engine marketing is and consists of so they up getting taken by quick talking pitchmen.
I’m not saying that all these digital media agencies playing up the value of engine-based marketing options are scammers and spammers. What I’m saying is that, it’s too easy for them to appeal to your hopes and dreams to such an extent that you end up falling for your imagined picture of what a search engine branding should be instead of getting a clear and realistic view of what it is.
You have to understand that there’s a big difference between how things should be and how things really are. Sadly, too many people are so good to part with your money pursuing something that they think should exist only to end up feeling disappointed. I don’t want that to happen to you so it’s really important for you to be alert about the most overlooked factor in search engine marketing. If you understand this, then it’s going to be very hard for you to get ripped off. It is going to be very hard for you to get stuck with something that you don’t deserve. Keep in mind of the following.
Search engine marketing and PPC deliver solid value potential
Pay-per-click marketing is all about showing your ads right when people enter certain keywords into search engines like Google. It’s very easy to see the value here. When people are actively searching for a certain item, they enter it on Google then your ad shows up. What’s not to love?
Well, there’s actually more to the story than this. You see, people use all sorts of search phrases because we’re all differently. We process information differently, label things differently, and categorize things in almost idiosyncratic ways. To simply assume that just because somebody typed in a certain search phrase, it automatically means that since they’re on the market for certain things, it actually leaves a lot to be desired.
Unless you are very careful, your ad might be appearing with search terms that may not have that much similarity to your product or service. People might still click on your ad but at the end of the day, they’re probably not the kind of people who you would like to advertise to. Simply put, your ad is being viewed by an audience that was targeted incorrectly. I hope you can see what’s wrong with this picture and how this leads to using quite a bit of money in a very short period.
The problem: Most marketers face a steep learning curve
The sad reality is that the vast majority of PPC marketers face a steep learning curve. In fact, a lot of them simply not survive the learning curve. They spend upwards of thousands of dollars on a campaign only to content themselves with a few expensive conversions.
Honestly… If you wanted to pay $2000 for a conversion on a product that costs only several hundred dollars, you probably would have done things differently. You probably could have dispensed with the PPC campaign in the first place. Most people would find this to be a bad deal. Sadly, it’s too easy to get taken in by the hopes of a successful ad campaign and instead of taking the time to find out how to set up pay per click correctly.
While I’m not saying that PPC advertising will never pay off, it can be quite an expensive proposition. You can actually spend thousands of dollars up front trying to learn how it works and then try to catch up later on. That’s how most successful PPC marketers play the game. In the beginning, several small local business selling a service or product get hammered hard by their heavy ad spends and then they try to make up later by zeroing in on cheaper terms that produce better results.
The good news is that you don’t have to things that way. That is probably the most undelightful way especially for small companies that don’t have much capital begin with. If you want to really get the most out of search engine marketing, you need to focus on the power of keyword intent.
Understanding the power of keyword intent
When people enter search phrases on to Google, they actually intend for something to happen. What makes this tricky is that two different people entering the same search terms might be actually intending two different outcomes. This happens quite a bit and understanding this properly is the way to turn cheap click keywords to conversions. It may seem like an almost impossible task: straddling two seemingly mutually exclusive worlds. Still, they were able to find cheap keywords that lead to high intent which then maximizes conversion.
I know that it sounds too good to be true but it actually exists. You just have to have the proper strategy to make it happen and take advantage of it. Unfortunately, there is no easy way out of an advertisement testing process. I wish I could tell you that there’s some sort of magic bullet that would make PPC produce profit from day one. Sadly, that system and technique has yet to be invented.
Trying and failing the right way
You will still have to deal with a learning curve. The good news is that it’s completely up to you whether that learning curve will be steep and long or if it will manageable. I was able to get more out of my search engine marketing campaigns by simply resolving to try and fail the right way. Failure is always part of the equation so you should abandon your plans trying to fail.
The best way to trying and failing right is to use an elemental approach. Put in keywords and break the ads up into different elements. Pay close attention to which changes to which elements lead to conversion and which ones lead to losses. Given the right strategy and resources, keyword intent-driven PPC mastery is possible as far as conversions go. This should be the most important factor that you should focus on search engine marketing. Everything else flows from it. In fact, every other alternative approach falls flat.
Additional Resources for small businesses:
- Authoritative websites always get more traffic and sales.
- Here’s why local businesses use search engine marketing
- How to use online marketing for small business owners