Special Report: Search Engine Marketing
“Being more specific gets you better return on investment,” says David Fischer, director of Mountain View, Calif.-based Google’s AdWords advertising program. “Think like your catalog customers: What would they search for? They might start with a simple keyword, but then use SKUs, product names or numbers.”
The most heavily trafficked search engines offer easy keyword builder tools for their respective pay-per-click SEM programs. Google’s AdWords (https://adwords.google.com/select/) and Yahoo!-Overture’s Precision Match (www.content.overture.com/d/USm/ays/index.jhtml) give you simple tools to help choose appropriate keywords.
Catalogers sometimes don’t realize they think of their products a lot differently from their customers, says Heather Lloyd-Martin, president/CEO of Bellingham, Wash.-based search marketing consulting firm SuccessWorks Search Marketing Solutions. So to get a better sense of how consumers search, she suggests you consult outside sources such as Wordtracker.com, a compiled database of terms for which people search. The tool can tell you how often people search for specific keywords, as well as how many competing sites use those keywords.
What’s more, don’t forget about seasonality when it comes to keyword choices, says Diane Rinaldo, director of strategic alliances for the Pasadena, Calif.-based Overture. “You want to capture spring season keywords when you mail your spring catalogs and are introducing spring fashion, for instance,” she says.
Another way to stand out from other marketers is to use deliberate misspellings in keyword searches. “Using common misspellings can perform very well and often get large volumes of searches,” says Google’s Fischer, “because it’s something competitors might not have thought of.” For example, try keywords such as “ladeys apparel” or “telefones.”
Another tip: Attract customers to your site by using call-to-action keywords, such as “free shipping,” “overnight shipping” and “online specials.”
2. Compare Paid vs. Organic/Free Search
Even if you come up with the most effective keywords, your efforts could go to waste if they aren’t steering browsers to the most appropriate landing pages, points out Overture’s Rinaldo.