Special Report: Search Engine Marketing
If consumers find a site by searching for “cashmere sweaters” and “sale” or “discount,” they should click through to a page from a marketer’s site that shows such sweaters up front. If you prefer to have browsers land on your homepage, that’s OK, as long as there’s a clear path to find cashmere sweaters, she says. “Be sure there’s promotional language on the homepage to convert those visitors to buyers.”
While the right keywords will attract potential buyers to your site with organic SEM, a presence in paid search can qualify prospects better because they’re more inclined to click on paid search ads if they’re more serious about buying. And the higher the clickthrough rate you can get, the higher your ads will rank.
Most marketers taking an aggressive approach to SEM incorporate a combination of paid and organic search. “The best thing is having a site that search engine spiders can [access] to get those free listings on the search engines,” Lloyd-Martin says. “But if a cataloger doesn’t use pay-per-click as well, it’s missing the boat. By using both, your prospects will see your name everywhere.”
3. Select the Best Possible Bidding Procedures
On Google, the order of pay-per-click search ads is based on cost-per-click and the ad’s clickthrough rate — the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions, Fischer says. Let’s say Cataloger A bids on “men’s dress shirts” at $1 per click and Cataloger B bids on the same key phrase at $0.50 per click. If Cataloger B’s clickthrough ad rate is more than twice the rate of Cataloger A’s, the $0.50-per-click ad will get ranked higher on Google.
In paid search bidding, not all marketers necessarily want to bid a rate that will be high enough to put them at the top. In determining how large a bid to place on a keyword, Rinaldo suggests ensuring you have an effective analytics tool. “Without that, you don’t know how any of your marketing is performing, and you wind up bidding in the dark,” she notes.