Trying to attract consumers in this economy can be difficult for businesses. With consumer spending under pressure, many businesses need to find more effective means of advertising. One of the ways of doing this is to reach specific people interested in the goods or services your business offers. Search marketing is one of the most cost effective ways of reaching targeted consumers.
The Power of Search Marketing
Search marketing refers to the process of attempting to get your business in front of users who type in certain words into one of the major search engines. This form of marketing benefits from the interactivity of the internet; unlike the television or other forms of media, the customer will actually tell you things about themselves through the computer. When a person searches for something in Google, you know here is a person who is looking for something specific. If you happen to provide the services they are searching for, it is a perfect match, if you can get in front on them.
Since just about everyone would love to have access to these customers, it is pretty competitive. However, the good news for most businesses is that only a minority of their competitors have even considered that these people can be captured as customers. For example, there are experts in search engine optimization (SEO) that know how to tweak a site to make it rise in the search engines. This is done through modifying the website and by doing a search engine marketing campaign by placing specific links back to the website all over the internet to make Google and other search engines believe it is the most popular site in that niche.
Pay Per Click Advertising
For those who know nothing about the techniques of search engine optimization or that do not want to hire an expert, one can engage one of the search engine themselves to put up ads for your business. Typically one bids against other companies to display an ad for very specific keywords such as “buy mufflers London.” If your company bids the most (assuming all other things such as click-through rates are equal) then your ad appears at the very top, and if your business sells mufflers in London, you might have just acquired a customer for a couple dollars per click.
Paid advertising in a sense is the easiest form of search engine marketing to execute; however, it can also be expensive if the campaign is not optimized. You only pay if someone clicks through and is interested in your ad. However, Google wants the highest click-through rates at the top, so if a competitor has a more interesting ad they can potentially get the top position even if they bid a lower price. However, if your ad encourages so many clicks that it gets a lot of visitors that might not really be interested in your product, the average cost per client could end up being higher, even if the ad resulted in a lower price per click.
Search engine optimization tends to be the hardest to execute, but the cheapest in the long term if done correctly. Each click is technically free. The only hard costs in search engine marketing are the price paid to write content to post all over the internet, the fees associated with link building tools, and the price for paid links or expired domains to build a link network. If a company outsources the work, as most do since it is a very specific expertise, the consultant fees will often be the major cost component.
Search engine marketing is a great way of narrowing your focus and marking your limited advertising budget achieve greater customer acquisition rates. The key is to have a good strategy to better optimize your campaign given what competitors are doing and your understanding of your ideal customer. For those with the time to master it, search marketing should pay off handsomely.