Now that you know the two main factors to consider when integrating your display and sponsored search ads let me give some tips on the actual integration of the two types of ads.
1. Start with the search ads
Since the sponsored search ads is the primary ad then you should start with it first. It also makes sense in that it is usually easier to write the ad copy for the search ads since you need only focus on the words and can put aside the imagery issue that needs to be resolved when developing the banner ad. When writing ad copy for search ads always keep in mind that you have a very limited amount of space so you need to be really concise yet find the wording that will appeal most to your target audience. And since we’re always SEO conscious make sure you also get to insert some of the keywords if you want to get better results.
After finalising the ad copy for the search ads you can then expand this ad copy for your banner ad. You can also stick to the same wording and proceed to the graphic design phase of developing your banner ad. Note that the good thing about having the ad copy finalised is that the graphics designer will have a more definite as well as clearer picture of the direction to take in designing the accompanying images. If you start out with the banner ad chances are you’ll irritate your graphics designer by having to make him go back to the drawing board when you realise that the existing banner ad design is not too consistent with the newly churned out search ad copy.
Popularity: 12% [?]
The Goal of the Ad - While the main purpose of any kind of ad is promote your website/product/service if you think about it each type of ad actually has a different “sub-goal” since a different approach is used to be able to successfully promote whatever it is you are promoting. To make it a bit clearer let me state the goal of sponsored search ads and display ads.
- Display ads - Display ads (banner ads) are usually used to promote branding since it is in banner ads that you can display your company logo, catch phrase, etc. Since the advent of targeted ads in search display ads role has shifted from once being the primary form of online advertising to a mere supporting role. That doesn’t mean that it does not produce excellent results but only that most online advertisers prefer (and with good reason) using sponsored ads as the primary way of promoting things.
- Sponsored search ads - Since sponsored search ads can more easily reach a wider yet still targeted audience it is mostly used to generate leads and sales.
The importance of being able to differentiate the “sub-goal” of each ad is for you to be able to develop/write each ad to suit their roles better. Since you know that display ads are great for branding then you focus on that when writing the ad and since you know that sponsored search ads is used for lead generation then ads should be phrased accordingly.
Popularity: 14% [?]
When it comes to online advertising most websites opt to use a variety of methods in order to promote themselves. Two of the most common advertising method used online today are sponsored search ads and the more traditional banner ads.
To be able to make the most of these different types of advertisements one should always look at the online marketing campaign as a whole and focus on integration of different approaches used. While display ads and sponsored search ads will both yield results even without really finding putting a lot of effort in making sure that they play off each other well what you want is to maximise the results you can get and, as already mentioned, you can only do this if you integrate these two methods.
When integrating various ad approaches the first things you should always consider include your target audience and the goal of each kind of ad.
- Your target audience - Even if you only use one marketing technique knowing your target audience is still the very foundation of a successful venture. This comes in useful not just in your SEM campaign but in your over all approach to your website’s SEO and whole website design. When it comes to ads though what you specifically want to know are their needs and the words/images that will appeal to them so that they will end up clicking on your ads.
to be continued…
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Last time I mentioned how it is important to keep track of the changes in search engine algorithms.
If you are a professional SEO you would have probably noticed changes every now and then. If you’ve been in this profession for more than a year then you would have seen the significant changes such as last years devaluation of reciprocal links. If you notice some SEOs still espouse reciprocal linking as one of the important aspects of their link building strategy. Clearly these SEOs are not following the emerging trends in SEO. Although I am not saying that you should completely stay away from reciprocal links (If you want to participate in link exchange read this Link Exchange Guidelines) since even in organic link building you will be getting reciprocal links from relevant sites the devaluation of reciprocal links dictate that engaging in reciprocal link schemes (massive exchange of reciprocal links) should NOT be a cornerstone of any site’s link building efforts. Unfortunately many honest websites end up firing the services of SEO firms that do not keep themselves updated thus getting sub-optimal, if not harmful, results.
As an SEO how can you keep track of the rapid changes in the search industry? According to SEOmoz’s Randfish what you can do is to:
- Observe the websites you manage - Note that it says websites with an S. You should manage more than one site to be able to note the differences in the performance of each site and thus get enough data to deepen your knowledge about the emerging trends in search.
- Regularly read the following resources - SEO by the SEA (a favorite of mine), SEO Book (one espoused by PhoenixRealm), The Google Cache, and SEOMoz (this one’s added by me).
- Run tests - Tweak. Discover. Learn. Adjust and implement.
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If you want to be really good at SEO you should make sure that you keep track of the changes going on in the search engines’ algorithms. Why is this?
Since the algorithm is the equation(s) used by the search engines to compute a website’s rank in comparison to other websites then it is obviously important. Simply put it is the algorithm that will determine how your site fares in SERPs.
So what do you need to know about search engine algorithms?
- We do not know exactly what the equation is but if you want your website and your client’s website to do well then you have to understand the factors that impact a website’s ranking as well as the kind of impact these factors result in.
- The algorithm used by each search engine is different, however, the majority of factors they use to compute for a website’s rank is the same. However, they differ in the weight they give to each factor and their approach in solving ranking issues.
- The algorithm used by all search engines changes. This is the reason why it is very important to stay updated if you offer SEO services.
Popularity: 19% [?]
We all know the frustration red-tape can bring. When it comes to business though it must never get in the way of innovation. You simply have to explain to the big wigs that the hassle of going through all that red tape will be well worth the effort in the end.
Note though that red tape seems to grow the bigger a company grows, although there are exceptions of course. This is why you should be prepared to do a lot of waiting after presenting your proposal. Even with the copy writing stage you can still expect a lot of waiting time because with big companies they need to get anything they will put up on the website approved by the legal team. Of course this can take some time since it will be passed back and forth until everything is up to company standards. In short not only do you have to battle their reluctance because of all the red tape but your own impatience as well!
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The third and fourth reason Callow stated is “languages and multiple countries” and “legal red-tape”.
For languages and multiple countries she explains that the difficulty posed by a big company with clients spanning different countries is that they need to be able to address their clients’ needs by translating the site’s content in several languages. The translation part might not be a problem but deciding whether to keep all the languages under one top level domain (TLD) or to put each one under a relevant country code top level domain (ccTLD). The part where the decision becomes tricky is that while there is a need to host different languages in their respective countries under their own ccTLD (.co.uk) is that the cost of course increases if this is done. The cost for hosting and domain registration is minimal but maintaining the CMS, optimising each site, and the other things that can be done only once if all the languages are kept under one TLD will have to be repeated. Because of this most companies are reluctant to invest in optimising their sites in terms of languages/country even if it means not appearing on the SERPs of in-country searches.
to be continued…
Popularity: 15% [?]
The second reason given by Callow, which is personalisation and tracking, starts where we ended in the last post. They want actual figures. They want results to be quantifiable.
The problem with this is that when explaining SEO to the big companies those without search background generally have a difficult time grasping the idea that not all of the pages in their site can do well with each and every keyword they demand you optimise the page for them. This is especially true if they are asking you to optimise broad and highly competitive terms. It is difficult to explain why you might want to focus on optimising the landing page and other major pages in order to simply point customers to the specific product pages. Because of this your job is to be able to convey the information they need in a way that can be understood. This also means showing them ways in which results can be tracked, giving an explanation on why a certain SEO strategy will result in optimal revenue, and doing all this in terms they can understand. A really tall order but doable to SEO/SEMs that have experience optimising with company sites.
to be continued…
Popularity: 15% [?]
If you offer SEO services and have been trying to court clients for some time now you have probably noticed that it is usually easier to convince small and medium-scale businesses to SEO their websites than it is to convince the big companies. According to Laura Callow of Search Engine Marketing Insight there are four major reasons why the attitude of big companies towards SEO is this way.
- Ease of maintenance;
- Personalisation and tracking;
- Languages and Multiple Countries; and
- Legal red tape.
According to Callow big companies need a website that is easy to maintain making them go with different kinds of content management solutions. The problem with these is that they usually aren’t SEO-friendly. That being said it is clear to me that it is not SEO they do not want but the hassle and cost of having to migrate to a new/different CMS that will allow SEO to be done. Thus to overcome this reluctance what an SEO should do is to be able to show that the cost it will entail to migrate to a new system and to redevelop their site and do SEO is well worth it in (monetary) returns. When convincing the big wigs it is important that you be able to show actual figures. Show how SEO will benefit their revenue in the long run and how developing a new site and adopting a new CMS will not necessarily disrupt their operations too much. Of course, you can only do this if you can deliver the results and you have experience with not just SEO but the whole web development packages.
to be continued…
Popularity: 18% [?]
I believe this two things to be discussed today should have actually been the one I discussed in the very first place, but since they really are crucial in managing an effective PPC campaign I will still mention them. Better late than never right?
- Compare the advantages and disadvantages compared to other marketing methods - It is very important that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of a PPC campaign versus not only a traditional SEO campaign but other online marketing campaigns as well. In fact if you are also consider other marketing methods aside from those online you should also compare and contrast them to PPC campaigns. This way you will be able to make the most out of all the marketing methods you will be using since you can choose the ones that will complement each other to achieve the results you want.
- Know PPC’s limitations - I guess this should crop up before comparing the pros and cons in comparison to other marketing methods since you have to know the limitations if you want to be able to do a thorough comparison. Note that the major limitations of PPC campaigns are due to steep competition. The competition makes everything so volatile so that although PPC campaigns do not require someone to be an expert to handle the campaign it does require that someone to be dedicated enough to spend plenty of time monitoring the campaign.
Popularity: 18% [?]
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