Why start a search engine marketing campaign?
Buying traffic for the sake of buying traffic will send you broke. The reason is because it isn’t targeted, so you will only get people coming to your website that just leave. Buying just any traffic is like putting up a T.V. ad, you are shooting millions of arrows out to try and hit a prospect. The answer to not wasting your money is to target specific users and prequalify your traffic.
Target specific users – Market to people who are interested in your product. Michael Kiely taught me to “Fish where the fish are”. I took out of that advertise where people are looking for your products. Search engine marketing targets the people who are interested in your products because the visitor types in what they are searching for. The user makes their intentions clear that they are searching for “a way to save my marriage”, keyword typed in = “Save Marriage Book”. Before the user goes to your website they tell you what products they want to see. If your product matches what they want to see you can easily market your product to them.
Prequalify your audience – Buying advertising on a performance basis is a great start but you still don’t want to be paying for traffic that is not sent to your website for the right reason. Getting a user to do something like typing in a query makes the traffic more qualified. Users actually have to search for your ads.
I recommend buying search engine marketing traffic as the first thing to do. The reason is that you can keep your budgets low, ($100 per month) and you can keep the campaign small and manageable to determine what results you get.
How to start your search engine marketing campaign to get instant traffic
Step 1 – Choose your search engine: I recommend starting with Google because it accounts for around 70% of the Australian search engine market traffic. Yahoo and Ninemsn each account for around 12% each and the minor other search engines account for the remainder.
Below is a snapshot from one of my clients websites that shows you the % of traffic they get from each of the search engines.
You can see from the above results that Google is the big Gorilla in the Australian search space so I always recommend you optimise first for it and buy Adwords first. After that consider Yahoo and Ninemsn.
Step 2 – Setup your campaign on Google
I have put a guide together to help you in 7 steps get your site live on google. Just go to www.StartSearchMarketing.com.au and follow the steps.
To begin you will need the following:
- A website – You need somewhere to send the traffic you will get from the search engine.
- A credit card – This is to pay for your ads.
Performance Media may be one of the easiest, and most effective, online marketing opportunities in today’s market.
What is Performance Media/Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an agreement between two sites in which one site (the affiliate) agrees to feature content or an ad designed to drive traffic to another site. In return, the affiliate receives a percentage of sales or some other form of compensation generated by that traffic.
What are the benefits?
- You only pay for results. You don’t pay for page views or click-throughs: you pay for results. You decide what is most valuable to you — a sale, an e-mail lead, a download, a newsletter subscriber, or any other measurable activity.
- It exposes you to a bigger market to sell your product.
- It gives you the potential benefit of getting advertising space on sites and only paying for commissions, not for the actual advertising space.
- You will most likely benefit form lower cost per acquisition than traditional online marketing.
5 things that you need to consider for a successful Affiliate Marketing Program:
- Direct traffic to the most persuasive and relevant section on your website – The last thing you want is to generate traffic to your site and see it dropping off straight away, because people can’t find what they are looking for. This is particularly important as your affiliates are incentive by commissions and if your site doesn’t convert they will stop promoting your program. When you are advertising for a certain offer in your ad, make sure that potential customers are directed to the exact section of your page that promotes that product or offer. A lot of businesses redirect potential customers to the landing page and lose valuable leads, as people don’t have time to look through the site to find the particular product/offer that you advertised for. Keep the message simple and deliver on what you promise in your ad, i.e Avoid hidden costs or charges.
- Work with your affiliates – Building a strong relationship with your affiliates is crucial to a successful performance campaign. See it as a long-term relationship that you need to work on constantly, which will lead to a win-win situation. It is essential to develop a community of reliable affiliates, who are committed to your program and its success. One strategy to do this is a monthly email newsletter to communicate directly with your affiliates. A monthly newsletter not only increases awareness in your program but allows you to offer incentives (e.g. Higher commissions) for better performance. Another point to think about is whether you will pay your affiliates a commission on sales only, or pay them by some other incentive. As a merchant, your options for commission payments are: Pay-per-sale, Pay-per-click or Pay-per-lead.
- Ensure your site converts, otherwise you are wasting your time – The best performing online businesses have a simple and clear site. Ensure your site is easy to complete the desired conversion action e.g. fill in a contact form and that potential customers can find what they are looking for within 2 clicks away. A site map can be useful for users who wish to navigate to specific sections. Organize your pages into nice categories so that it is not frustrating for your readers to find what they want. Ask yourself the questions:
- Who am I trying to persuade to take the desired action?
- What is the action I want them to take?
- What does that person need in order to feel confident taking that action?
- Rotate your creative to keep it fresh and converting – There are many different types of online advertising creative such as: banner ads, pixel advertising, pop ups, emails, text links and the more options you provide your affiliates the easier it is for them to promote you. You have to decide which is the best for your product and/or service. If you’re not experienced, one of the easiest ways is to find out what methods the bigger sellers in your market are using. Always make sure you have few different ad-formats available, as this will generate more exposure and will give you a better understanding of what works, its also helps you understand which creative converts the best and therefore what your customers prefer.
- Contact details/Excellent customer service – Many small businesses that aren’t performing well on the internet may find that their contact details are impossible to find. Lots of people think that their privacy will be violated and they will get hundreds of customers calling them asking questions. This is a tragedy. You must speak to your customers as they want to spend money with you. Every single one telephone call is a potential opportunity to make money. It’s also important to give your customers the peace of mind that they can just pick up the telephone and contact you. After your customers trust you they will order more on your website and thus keep your affiliates happy. To be successful in your affiliate program, you should have customer service and support not just for your customers but also your affiliates. Be prepared to respond to questions and enquiries in various forms such as emails, faxes, phone calls or instant messages from your affiliates promptly and professionally so that you build better relationships.
If you want to learn more about performance media opportunities for you business, please speak to one of our consultants for a free evaluation as to whether it will be suitable for your business. Contact us on 02-9339 6747.