Guía sobre SEM para pymes


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Guía sobre SEM para pymes

  1. 1. Search Engine Marketing for Small Businesses We’re taking on the task of tackling a huge topic: Search Engine Marketing. That’s why we decided to create a Search Engine Marketing Guide for Small Businesses. Don’t stay outside, find out how to get the most of your PPC Campaigns. What is Search Engine Marketing? “Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization and advertising.[1] SEM may use search engine optimization (SEO), that adjusts or rewrites website content to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages or use pay per click listings.” In other words, it’s an all-encompassing term that includes pay-per click advertising and search engine optimization. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 2
  2. 2. The Guide Chapters 1. What are your Search Engine Marketing Goals 04 3. How to Research your way to the Keyword Success 13 2. How to Understand your Target Audience 4. How to Find the Perfect Advertising Channel 5. How to Run a Pay-per-Click Campaign 6. How to Do SEO the Right Way 7. How to Get Started with Google Places 8. Test and Measure your Way to Search Engine Marketing 9. How to Convert your Prospects into Customers 2014. All Rights Reserved. 09 17 22 28 34 38 44 We Y Landing Pages | 3
  3. 3. 1 WHAT ARE YOUR SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GOALS 2013. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 4
  4. 4. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide What are your Search Engine Marketing Goals? What do you specifically want to achieve with your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign? What are your SEM goals? Do you want to increase sales? Increase traffic? Generate leads? To get an idea of how to set goals for your SEM campaign, it’s valuable to look at the state of the industry. Internet marketing goals are changing. Driving site traffic, generating leads and increasing click-through rates used to be the holy trinity of SEM goals. But branding has now become a significant goal. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 5
  5. 5. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS 1. Increasing Traffic The traditional goal for Search Engine Marketing has always been to generate traffic. This is where your Internet marketing has to start. There are many ways to increase traffic, and most of them depend on your product and your audience. Here are some of the ways you can increase traffic using SEM. A. PAY-PER-CLICK Pay-per-click (PPC) is a great way to drive initial traffic to a new site. However, it can be expensive, depending on the keyword combinations you use. According to the SEMPRO study, the following sites were most used by internet marketers as part of their PPC campaigns: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) B. SEO SEO, or organic search, usually takes time to start generating traffic. Depending on keyword competition and saturation, it can take from a month or two to almost a year to begin showing results in search engines. C. MOBILE Mobile is the area to watch . The SEMPO survey found the mobile trend was the top concern for marketers, with 47% rating mobile as a highly significant factor in their future SEM efforts. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 6
  6. 6. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide As you can see, there are many ways to generate traffic. What you emphasize in your SEM mix depends on many factors, such as: • What industry you’re in • our target market Y • he geography of your market T 2. Generate Leads Lead generation, enables you to establish a relationship with your potential customers via an ongoing dialog, primarily through email. Brian Massey provides a useful series of formulas to help companies think through their online lead generation strategy. Massey says in addition to generating leads, you must also generate permission: For a lead to truly become a lead, says Massey, your prospect has to take some action that proves they are a lead. This usually comes in the form of permission. Your prospect gives you permission to email them. 3. Sales Selling your product or service is another important SEM goal. However, marketers have placed this third in their goal priority for their SEM campaigns. Selling outright is important when the product you sell is relatively inexpensive and your customers have time to wait for delivery However, for every online buyer who has an immediate need, there are many more potential buyers who can be programmed to buy from you in the future. 4. Increase Brand Awareness Though marketers mention branding as fourth in their SEM priorities, it is increasing in importance. If you sell a consumer good that is only available in stores, like soft drinks, gasoline and detergent, or if you are running a political campaign, a branding campaign might be your primary goal. You most likely won’t be selling Coke or Tide online, and voters cannot cast their vote by 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 7
  7. 7. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide clicking on a “vote” button on your landing page. However, driving brand awareness from a PPC campaign is completely different from the large TV-based branding campaigns of the past. You need to establish some sort of metrics to measure the value of your SEM campaign. For example: “…create some sort of common value metric hopefully based on data, but minimally based on good intuitive reasoning…” 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 8
  8. 8. 2 HOW TO UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE 2013. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 9
  9. 9. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS How to Understand your Target Audience Before you do anything else: before you conduct keyword research, before you write an ad, before you launch a PPC campaign, before you build a landing page, you need to understand your target audience. And we’re not talking about a generic target audience such as “women aged 20-40,” or “Chief Marketing Officers of Mid-Sized companies.” When we talk about our Target Audience we’re talking about the concept of Persona. From now on you need to think about Personas- the audience we are looking for – when we are designing our landing pages. We’re talking about very specific personas, people that share certain psychographic characteristics, goals, dreams, concerns, fears, values, and points of view. We’ve reached an age where the “riches are in the niches.” And there are infinite niches. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 10
  10. 10. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide Using Personas But why do we have to work with Personas? Why we need to stop thinking just in visitors? Changing this mindset is difficult. Visits are easy to work with, easy to segment (by keyword, by traffic source, by city, by browser, by landing page) We have plenty of data from our visits. In the other hand, people is very difficult to analyze. What do we know about the people behind that visits? What are they like? How can we group them? How can deliver content that fits their needs? This is where Personas come to the rescue. Let’s start saying what a Persona is: “Personas are archetypes that describe the various goals and observed behavior patterns among your potential users and customers.” Kim Goodwin. The average number of personas are from 3 to 5. Personas are not statistical or demographic representations of users. How do I create Personas? It’s complex and time consuming. Said so, is a one time job that will give you an edge over your competitors. The secret is to identify the BEHAVIORAL variables and link them to goals and motivations. Having this is a cheat guide to succeed in our business 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 11
  11. 11. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS These are the 3 steps to build them: 1. Research First of all you need to make your own research, where you have to identify the main roles, try to arranged an interview with you stakeholders, do some surveys. You need to get all the information to build a Persona. 2. Modeling Now it’s time to analyze all this information, you need to get some conclusions. You’re suppose to be able to identify behaviors, goals, personalities. You should be close to create the Personas behind your visits. 3. Implement You made the research, you analyzed that information, now it’s time to get in action! Design your main scenarios, attached Persona’s goals with the business’s goals. Identify what elements needs each persona to achieve their goals. More clear, now you have everything you need to create your Persuasion strategy: How to seduce each persona. So where do I begin? Well let’s begin doing some interviews with your customer and your prospects, you can meet with your service team to get involve with your customers like. This is a must! You need to know your customer, what he or she wants. Also you can start an online survey to find out what people is coming to do to your Website. Once you’ve done that, you should know by now really well your customers, and be able to identify the main roles accessing to your website. So now ask yourself: Am I optimized for each one of them? 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 12
  12. 12. 3 HOW TO RESEARCH YOUR WAY TO THE KEYWORD SUCCESS 2013. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 13
  13. 13. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS How to Research Your Way to Keyword Success With the objective to increase sales online, you should understand the identity of your ideal customer. As we explained in the last chapter about Persona Development, customers aren’t attracted with a general sales pitch. Developing a user persona is just one step on the road to converting a hypothetical persona to a real-life customer. Understanding How People Search One of the most important things you can do to identify with your customers is to understand how people search. Understanding user personas will help you understand the phrases they use to search for your product. This is paramount to your online sales. Online searchers use certain words and phrases to find what they are looking for. More than likely, researchers won’t be using your brand name in their search for the product or service you offer. Your job with keyword research is to think of the words used by an online customer, which will lead them to your brand. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 14
  14. 14. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide The three groups of researchers with which you’re contending are: • People who don’t yet know they have a need • People who are comparison shopping • People who have made a decision The focus of your search engine marketing (SEM) campaign should be people who are comparison shopping, and then convince them to make a decision on your product or service. Keyword Research will assist in website optimization and in strengthening your search ranking. It will also help you determine what content to develop for your audience. One place to start is your website. Ask yourself what the main focus of your website is, then write down keywords related to that. If you have an idea of where to start, using Google can help you expand your keywords. The suggested searches that Google provides will further your search for words and phrases relating to your business. These search engines will help you continue your quest for long tail keywords. They have a higher value in terms of traffic because they have lower competition. Even if your website is optimized for the most searched and popular words, optimizing it for long tail keywords will strengthen the possibility of appearing in search results. When your website is optimized for 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 15
  15. 15. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS Broad Terms Long Tail Keywords keywords with lower competition, it doesn’t matter if each long tail keyword is only searched once a year. If you have enough long tail keywords, they add up to moving as much traffic to your site as popular keywords. Researching Your Target Audience The user personas you developed will be extremely helpful in researching and understanding your target audience. You want to keep in mind the phrases that best describe the intentions and needs of the personas you envision visiting your website. Just as your potential customers have different motivations and are searching for different things that are important to them in a product or service, your range of keywords should follow suit. Rather than casting a broad net for customers, it’s better to think about specifics. Think about the problems they have and how your product or service provides the perfect solution. Your job is to be the suitable place for a person to bring their business. Your ideal customer will appreciate that a business is out there which speaks to their needs and wants. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 16
  16. 16. 4 HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT ADVERTISING CHANELL 2013. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 17
  17. 17. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS How to Find the Perfect Advertising Channel What’s the best place to advertise online? The answer today is more complicated than it’s ever been. Google AdWords is what comes to mind when somebody thinks of a classic Pay-Per-Click campaign But the choices are endless, and they’re getting more numerous. The question is: what’s the perfect place for your customers and your particular product or service? Where do your customers spend their time? As we explained in chapter 2, before you decide where to advertise you’ll need to have a detailed profile of who your target market is. What their likes are, their dislikes, their dreams, problems, beliefs and hobbies. Where does your ideal customer spend his or her time online? • Do they have a favorite blog? • Do they visit major news sites? • Do they spend a lot of time on Facebook? • Do they like watching cat videos on YouTube? • Is your customer a traveling sales person who uses her phone to search for places to eat? 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 18
  18. 18. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide The Ever Growing List of Online Advertising Options? Your Persona profile will tell you where your ideal customer spends his time, which is also the key for the best way to reach them. As we mentioned above, the list of where to advertise online is very long, and growing longer. Ad networks, social media, individual blogs and independent websites are now being joined by the mobile experience. Here’s a sample list of the most common places to advertise, but this is by no means a comprehensive list. Search Engines Google AdWords is by far the best known and largest online property to advertise, with Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing in second and third places, respectively, in the U.S. However, if your market is global, China’s Baidu network is ranked 2nd in the world, and fourth was Russian’s Yandex network. Ad Networks Closely related to search engines are ad networks. Google, Yahoo, Bing and many other companies manage advertising on third party sites. If you’ve ever visited several websites in a row, and you saw the exact same ad in the header or the sidebar, then you probably encountered sites whose advertising was managed by an ad network. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 19
  19. 19. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS Two of the most famous are the Google Display Network and the Google Affiliate Network. The Google Display Network is massive, encompassing more than 4 billion daily page views, 700 million monthly users, and reaching more than 80% of the online audience. It enables you as a business owner to advertise on potentially thousands or millions of independent websites that your potential customers frequent on a daily basis. Social Media Options YouTube YouTube is actually the third largest search engine in the U.S., and the fourth in the world, according to Karmasnack. Using videos is a great way to separate yourself from your competition, so this is an advertising property we would pay special attention to. Facebook Facebook is amazing not just because of its sheer size, but also because of the level of micro-targeting you have access to. You can target your advertising with very detailed demographic and geographic options, allowing you to spend far less than you would normally spend on a Google ad, yet achieve much more targeted results. Linkedin If your buyer is more of a business buyer, then LinkedIn advertising is probably a better fit. As with Facebook, you can target specific demographic characteristics, with the addition of companies and industries. Again, a very cost-effective way to micro-target your audience. B2B Networks If you sell a niche product or service to a B2B audience, you might want to consider advertising on one of many niche websites or ad networks, such as IT BusinessEdge and UBM Tech. For a younger, hipper IT crowd, venture 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 20
  20. 20. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS capitalists and geeky consumers, sites such as Mashable, TechCrunch, GigaOm, VentureBeat, ReadWriteWeb, ClickDex and Sociable Blogs present interesting alternative advertising networks. Blogs The beautiful thing about the web is that you can approach independent owners of successful blogs that target your ideal customer. Many bloggers don’t take advertising, but many do. Independent bloggers also provide an added benefit: many of them are willing to enter into an affiliate relationship with you. Essentially, you don’t pay for the ads until somebody actually buys something, a great option if your advertising budget is low or non-existent. Mobile Advertising Mobile advertising is the brave new frontier of online advertising. I would venture to say that anybody who advertises online should put this at the front of their list (always taking into account who your target market is). Mobile is the fastest growing way to reach the internet. It already surpasses the desktop in most third world countries. If you haven’t made mobile a centerpiece of your online marketing, you’re behind the eight ball. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 21
  21. 21. 5 HOW TO RUN A PAY PER CLICK CAMPAIGN 2013. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 22
  22. 22. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS How to Run a Pay-Per-Click Campaign Once you’ve chosen where you will be advertising, it will benefit you to know how the advertising will work. The most common form of online advertising today is Pay-Per-click (PPC) advertising. First Steps in Google Adwords: Google AdWords is one of the most popular choices for a PPC campaign. If you’re concerned about your budget, AdWords allows you to spend as much or as little as you can. You’re not responsible for payment when your ad is displayed; instead, you owe when your ad is clicked. Rates are determined by an automated auction system, and you decide on the maximum amount, or the highest CPC bid, you’d like to spend on each customer that clicks your ad. The higher your bid, the higher your ad’s position on the search results page. Bidding higher increases the chances of your target customers seeing, and therefore, clicking your ad. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 23
  23. 23. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS You don’t have to be the highest bidder to get results. As long as your ad is highly targeted with relevant keywords, it will gain a substantial Quality Score. Your Quality Score is important because it determines the usefulness of the keywords, ads, and landing page to someone who spots your ad. Google AdWords enables you to calculate your Quality Score for any of your keywords. Other features which assist your relevancy include location, day of the week, and time of day, etc. Although it is a good, measurable method, a PPC campaign does not ensure financial success but is a valuable learning experience for the future. PPC advertising is an experimental medium with which you will test what works and what doesn’t. Campaigns In terms of Google AdWords, a campaign encompasses many tools which Google has to offer. A campaign is defined as a “set of ad groups (ads, keywords, and bids) that share a budget, location targeting, and other settings”. An AdWords account isn’t limited to one campaign, and multiple campaigns are actually encouraged. Based on location, budget, distribution settings, language, etc., individual campaigns can target different components. The purpose of an ad campaign is “to organize categories of products or services that you offer.” 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 24
  24. 24. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide AdGroups As described, AdGroups assist a campaign as a set of keywords, ads, and bids which also play an integral role in how an account is organized. You also choose a bid for each ad group. Google AdWords encourages you to build ad groups for each related product or service in order for keywords and ads to belong to a certain theme. According to Google AdWords, it’s also helpful to divide your ad groups into “selling points (like free consultation and gourmet menus), or ways to describe your business (like caterer and on-site food service).” Landing Page Quality The goal of a PPC campaign is to direct customers to your landing page. It is the page on your website that they see upon clicking your ad. When clicking through to your landing page, make sure they see exactly what they expected. Otherwise, you can bet on your potential customer making a snap decision to hit the back button, which results in what is called a bounce. Regardless, you want your landing page to quickly engage a potential customer. Your content should be high quality and correspond to their search or the ad clicked. Keep in mind that the landing page experience also plays a role in a keyword’s Quality Score. It is based on the number of links on the page, how easy it is to navigate, the content’s value and suitability to the customer, among other factors. When making your ad, you will be asked to choose a destination URL. This will most likely be your landing page, unless you use a redirect feature for tracking purposes. Per Google policy, a landing page and display URL must belong to the same website, sharing the same domain. A display URL is the link featured in your ad. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 25
  25. 25. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS LinkedIn, Facebook, and Bing Advertising: Before choosing a LinkedIn ad, you have to answer the question as to whether it benefits you and your business. The key is your business’ audience. If your products or services are targeted at working professionals or business owners, then you want to look into LinkedIn ads. The cost runs from two to five dollars, with a clickthrough rate of 0.025%. There are a couple of tips you can use to help your clickthrough rate, or CTR. The first is to run no more than two ads at a time. In this case, less is more because you don’t want to hurt your ads’ chances of getting clicked. Another tip is to change your ad every month. Not only does this assist with the number of times your ad is shown (called impressions), a new ad will also increase your opportunity to get a clickthrough than an older one. As it turns out, users are clicking on Facebook ads. Generating more than $4 billion in revenue for the social networking site, it may be useful to think about placing an ad. The unique thing about Facebook ads is that they are somewhat personalized. Based on profile information, demographics, and location, Facebook offers options that are exclusive to how they create ads. Once you’ve created an ad, you’re ready to set a budget. You have a couple of options on the bidding process: each click or thousand impressions which your ad acquires. A useful thing to remember about Facebook ads is that users are not on the website to buy a product. The ad serves the purpose of a user becoming familiar with your brand and products, such as via a display ad. Expecting a purchase is risky; instead, asking someone to sign up or submit their email address is a low key approach to encouraging a potential sale. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 26
  26. 26. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide In the case of Bing, it is one of the largest paid search vendors. With more than 162 million searchers on Microsoft and Yahoo! sites, Bing has more than 6 billion searches every month and 30 percent of total search engine share. Bing ads work roughly the same way as AdWords, sharing features such as setting your own budget and only paying when your ad is clicked. A unique feature is importing your existing PPC campaigns (i.e. Google AdWords) to Bing ads. It may be something to think about, considering that keyword bidding is actually lower because the competition is lower. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 27
  27. 27. 6 HOW TO DO SEO THE RIGHT WAY 2013. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 28
  28. 28. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS How to Do SEO The Right Way When blogging started to catch on, around 2006, many people scrambled to learn the dark arts of SEO: meta tags, keyword stuffing, backlink building, and plugging into networks of virtual friends who would share your posts through Digg, StumbleUpon and Delicious. SEO Basics: Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have changed the game for the blackhat SEO artists. As Joe Pulizzi says in this Content Marketing Institute article: “Search engine optimization (SEO) is an incredibly important top-of-the-funnel tactic. As Google gets smarter, it’s almost impossible to game the system. Today, getting found through search engines has more to do with amazing online storytelling than most anything else.” This is a relief to most of us who believe in honest, straight forward marketing. But what does it mean for you? It means you have to produce epic content that people will want to link to and share with their friends and family. How to produce epic content is a topic for another guide. But the basic premise is: create content on a regular basis that your consumers or prospects will find extremely valuable. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 29
  29. 29. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS How-tos, tutorials, thought leadership content, industry overviews, and new concepts fit the bill. Creating product centric content or content that talks all about you and your products does not. But I digress. So, is SEO all about creating awesome content? That’s part of it. But there are some steps you have to follow to make sure Google finds your web pages and landing pages, and makes sure the people looking for your products and services find you. A. Keyword Research Good SEO always starts with keyword research. You need to identify the words your ideal customers use to search for your product or service before you can optimize for these keywords (to state the obvious). Always start with the initial words that describe your product or service. For example, if you own a restaurant and brewery, you might start with the keywords “brewery,” “brewpub,” and “craft beer.” These are your “seed” keywords. Then you want to look at long-tail keywords. These are longer keywords, usually compound terms composed of three or more words, that are searched less frequently, but have less competition. You can use check your site’s Google Analytics to find the long-tail keywords that actually bring people to your site. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 30
  30. 30. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide Finally, you want to look at “keyword phrases.” Keyword phrases are the terms people actually use to search for your product. How do you find your keyword phrases? You can find these on Twitter, Facebook, comments on your blog. You can also read emails you get from your customers to get the natural language they use. Local Keywords If your business has a storefront or provides services within a metropolitan area, don’t neglect the hyper-local market. Add regional or local terms to your keywords, such as your state, city, neighborhood and cross-streets. B. Use your Keywords Intelligently If you think we’re going to tell you that you need to add a bunch of keyword “meta-tags” to each page on your website, think again. As noted earlier, SEO has changed. Google’s Panda and Penguin updates rendered obsolete many of the traditional tactics internet marketers used to “game” the system. Some of the tactics Google is now penalizing are: • Excessive link-building without regard to quality • Deceptive doorway pages • Lots of keyword stuffing • Publishing lots of meaningless content just to get traffic from search engines Title Tags Each page has a title tag, but don’t confuse title tag with the title of the page. Your page might have a title, also known as a “headline”, that your visitors see when they hit the page. But your title tag is what shows up on those SERPS. This is a piece of code that tells Google what your content is about, and it’s probably the most important place for your keywords. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 31
  31. 31. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS Why would you want your title tag and page headline to be different? A headline typically appeals to human emotions. They’re designed to elicit curiosity. A title tag should be very clear and straight-forward, as it tells the search engine what the content is supposed to be about. Body Content You also want to use your keywords within your content. But be careful: don’t “stuff” keywords all over your page. Make it natural. Write the way people talk. Don’t artificially place keywords all over the place to try to trick Google to list you higher. Google might actually list you lower! The best way to use keywords in your body copy is to use the keyword phrases you identified earlier. If you did this the right way, the keyword phrases reflect the natural way people talk, so they should fit in quite nicely. Meta Description Google does not use the meta description to find and categorize your content. It uses it to let human beings see a quick synopsis that describes what that site or page is all about. Make sure your meta description is short (155 characters or less) and clear. You want to be able to convince visitors to click on your link, not ignore it.! C. Build Inbound Links If your site has lots of valuable content that contains the keywords you researched, you’re only halfway there, literally. Google places more emphasis on links than on anything else. Why? Because if sites are linking to your content or website, then you probably provide valuable content or a valuable service, and Google wants to provide consumers with quality, valuable sites. However, be careful about the kind of inbound links you build. Matt Cutts, who heads up Google’s Anti-Spam team, says Google values. hard links, not easy links. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 32
  32. 32. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS Hard Links vs. Easy Links Easy links are the results of link-farms, comment spam, and indiscriminate registration with directories that don’t have any traffic. Hard links are links that people actually use. They’re usually from authoritative websites with lots of traffic from loyal readers. “Yes, you want links, but links that are hard to get, that take effort to obtain, that you’ve somehow earned, not “easy links.”” How to get Hard Links The best way to get hard links is actually not hard at all – if you provide valuable content. Jon Morrow says guest blogging is one of the keys to drive high quality links back to your site. When you submit your article or blog post, always provide a short biography about yourself. It’s customary to provide a link back to your own website in your bio. This should be a link with your preferred keyword as the anchor text pointing to the particular page you want to be ranked for. Other than guest blogging, just try to write high quality content that people enjoy and want to share with their friends. You will naturally attract links from sites whose owners like your content. • Research the keywords your customers actually use to find your product or service • Write valuable content that people actually want to read, with the proper keywords in the title tags and in the body copy • Attract links from authoritative sites through legitimate means – attract hard links, not easy links Eventually, you’ll start to see results from your SEO efforts. But this is not over. Next, we’ll cover the mechanics of local search using Google Places. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 33
  33. 33. 7 HOW TO GET STARTED WITH GOOGLE PLACES 2013. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 34
  34. 34. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS How to get started with Google Places They say location is everything. Well Google Places is one of the most lucrative locations you can establish for your business, and is part of the growing trend towards local search, and even hyper-local search. Ninetyseven percent of consumers search online for local products and services. Are you there when they need you? Complete Your Google Places Profile The first place to start is to set up your Google Places account. Setting up an account only takes five minutes. You’ll feel an iota of excitement when you’re greeted with the message,“Welcome to Google Places for Business!” You’ll be asked to verify your account and you’ll have the option to stay “informed of future releases and other relevant information.” Essentially, to subscribe to the Google Places newsletter. I’d subscribe if I were you, because it’s full of valuable information that can help you in the future. Be sure to verify your account. When you have a verified account, your business will show up in local listings. You’ll also be allowed to edit your listing. One thing to note is that any edits will undergo a quality check before being updated. Several business days can go by without any changes appearing, and the previous version will continue to be present, so don’t panic if your changes aren’t showing up! 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 35
  35. 35. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS Add your logo, choose your business category, and enter your address, phone number, and hours of operation. Places even encourages you to complete your profile by declaring the information you left out “missing” (i.e. “Missing hours of operation”, “Missing description about your business”). You’ll then be shown a link to “Add it”. The information you provide enables Google to analyze your business and further assess when it should be listed in Google search results, including Google+, Earth, and Maps Because your Google+ Local page and Google Places listing are linked, you can manage them simultaneously. Even though Places and Google+ Local are separate entities, any edits you make to your Places listing will automatically apply to your Google+ Local page. Your Reviews are an Opportunity Besides providing the means for your business to be found, Google Places serves another purpose: providing critical customer feedback. Seventy-two percent of consumers rely on online reviews, and more than half are likely to visit your business based on a favorable review. Online reviews are important because they let you know how your business is perceived by your customers. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with them and respond to both positive and negative feedback. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 36
  36. 36. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS Remember that negative feedback is an opportunity, as well. If you don’t want your response to be on display, offer the customer a chance to personally contact you in order to address the feedback. Your customers will appreciate your accessibility, and learning from your mistakes will only make your business better. Try Google Offers for Free Consumers love promotional giveaways, and Google Places offers a coupon generator to drive consumers to your door. After you have verified your authority within the business, your Google Places account will give you access to the coupon generator, known as Google Offers. Google Offers lets you present a promotion to potential and returning customers. The type of offer is your choice, and you determine the length of time it will run. Within hours, you will be ready to receive your first Google Offer from a customer. When using Google Maps, consumers will find the coupon searching for your type of business via their mobile device. The person has to be located near your business in order to find the offer, but this is an advantage because they can visit you right away. Your knowledge of keyword search will come in handy because you’ll recognize the advantage of choosing categories that describe your business. You want to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find you, and the categories you choose to describe your business will show up in their keyword search. Google Places for Business is a growing source of traffic to local businesses, and is especially valuable as mobile becomes more important. Your homework today is to go and claim your Google Places location right away. Next step? Measure your actions! 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 37
  37. 37. 8 TEST AND MEASURE YOUR WAY TO SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING 2013. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 38
  38. 38. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide Test and Measure Your Way to Search Engine Marketing Success Your meticulous planning based on your knowledge of internet marketing best practices will fail you when your Search Engine Marketing campaign sees the light of day. This is a sad but true fact. But it’s also liberating. It means you’re free to test new theories and implement new ideas, and see if they work or not. Let’s Tackle Vanity Metrics Page views. Unique visitors. Number of pages per visit. Average visit duration. None of this matters. These are vanity metrics that make you feel good if they go up, and make you feel bad if they go down. You can get whiplash following the ups and downs of your daily vanity analytics numbers. The problem with vanity metrics is they don’t tell you how your SEM campaign is doing. They don’t tell you if: • The right people are coming to your site • They are engaged by your content • They sign up for your mailing list, online demo, or click the “contact us” link • They purchase your products 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 39
  39. 39. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS To know any of these important pieces of information, you need to focus on the right metrics. We previously spoke about setting goals for your SEM campaign. Now you’ve got to put your goals into a practical system where you can track, measure and test these goals in order to improve your SEM campaign’s performance. Your Hypothesis You first must determine what you’ll measure and what you’ll test. It’s impossible to measure something when you don’t know what to measure, so you’ve got to do what scientists have been doing for years: develop a hypothesis. Your hypothesis is what you believe will happen as a result of your SEM efforts, and it’s a little more complicated than customers clicking on your ad, falling in love with your product, and buying it. To come up with a hypothesis for your own product, take a little bit of time to think about and document the particular path to purchase for your product. And your path may not even be to purchase anything – it may be to increase the number of subscribers to your newsletter, or to reach 100,000 likes on your Facebook page. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 40
  40. 40. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS Putting Together Your Hypothesis Now you have to be a little creative. Think about the scenarios I mentioned above, and then think about your particular product and how your path to sales would look like. Answering these questions might be helpful: • What is your target market? Who is your target persona? • What are their typical online behaviors? What are their favorite websites and social networks? How much time to they spend online? • Do they access the web from a desktop or laptop computer from work, or are they primarily a mobile user accessing the web while she’s in class at university? • Do they subscribe to newsletters? • Are they impulse buyers, or do they have to make a decision with a committee? • Is your product sold online, at a retail location, or through a complex B2B sales process? • What other questions can you add to this list? Measuring your Sales Funnel Your conversion hypothesis is the design you will use to build your online sales funnel. Your sales funnel will consist of: • Your online ads • Your landing pages, blog posts, home page, and product pages • Your nurturing vehicles, such as your email newsletter • Your call-to-actions, and • Your conversion actions Each of these are steps in your sales or conversion funnel. Each of these steps provides a point at which you can record relevant data, the data that lets you know how you’re doing. Using Google Analytics or any number of other online measurement tools, measure how people move from one stage to the next. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 41
  41. 41. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide Measure: • The Click Through Rate (CTR) of your PPC ad • The bounce rate for your landing page • The conversion for your call-to-action • The subscription rate for your newsletter • The download rate on your white paper, case study or special report • Clicks on your contact us page • Shopping cart abandonment rate • Hits to your “thank you page. This last measurement is the most important for you if you sell something from your website. It’s referred to as your tripwire. Google Analytics lets you set up conversion goals and funnels so you can get away from vanity metrics and measure how effective your SEM campaign is in driving sales. Testing For Success Finally, you’ve got to test. Or to put it another way, conduct experiments. The reason is simple: if you’ve launched an online marketing campaign before, your initial results will be much worse than you expected. 1-2% conversion rates are typical. You may be happy with that rate, but it’s sub-optimal, and you can achieve so much more. Testing will allow you to try alternative versions of your calls-to-action, headlines, body copy, PPC ads, colors, positioning of elements and landing page structure, to see if you can improve the conversion rate at each stage of the funnel. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 42
  42. 42. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide We discussed A/B testing in our blog, but it’s important to emphasize a few points: 1. ABT: Always Be Testing. You should make testing a habit. Always have ongoing tests for your headlines, your calls-toaction, your conversion forms, or any point in your conversion funnel where you might lose a prospect. 2. Test one element at a time. To really know what affects your conversion rates at any point in your conversion funnel, test only one element at a time. Test your headline, then test your bullet points, then test the color of your call-to-action button. But don’t test them all in the same test. 3. Don’t cut your test short. Many marketers make the mistake of cutting their tests short. Don’t make that mistake yourself. You need statistically significant data. Let your tests run long enough to collect the data you need to make a decision about either replacing your current conversion element or keeping it. Each of these are steps in your sales or conversion funnel. Each of these steps provides a point at which you can record relevant data, the data that lets you know how you’re doing. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 43
  43. 43. 9 HOW TO CONVERT YOUR PROSPECTS INTO CUSTOMERS 2013. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 44
  44. 44. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide How to Convert your Prospects into Customers We’ve come full circle in this ebook. You’ve learned how to test and measure your search engine marketing efforts. You’ve relied on Google Adwords , Google Places , Yahoo, Bing, and a host of other online spaces to connect with your ideal customer. But Search Engine Marketing is not complete without conversion. You now must convert your visitors into paying customers. And even though you may have other goals, such as increasing engagement, or improve your exposure, ultimately your goal is to get paying customers. Or else why are you in business? So what is conversion anyway? 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 45
  45. 45. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS Conversion Optimization On average a website converts two percent of its visitors into customers. But you can make that figure much higher – to ten percent (or more). According to Brian Massey in his book, “Your Customer Creation Equation”: The conversion rate is the number of conversions divided by the number of visitors who come for a given period of time.” In other words, conversion rate equals actions divided by traffic. Increase your conversion rate in one of two ways: • Reduce the number of visitors who don’t plan on seriously considering a purchase • Increase the number of visitors who take action on your landing page But there are many areas that you must optimize. A. THE HEADLINE Make your headline as compelling as possible. A headline with a benefit, or a combination of problem/solution is usually the best way to go. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 46
  46. 46. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS SEM Guide B. THE BODY COPY Most of us think of copy as the words written on a page. But copy can also include images and design. C. THE CALL TO ACTION Your call-to-action can be a big fat juicy “Buy Now” button, sign-up form or a simple hyperlinked words that says “click here.” D. THE ONLINE FORM If your form is to collect credit card information, you have no choice but to ask for as much information as you need to charge their credit card. Make this form attractive and easy to use. If you’re trying to get people to subscribe to your newsletter or download your white paper, the more information you make your visitors fill out, the lower your conversion rate. E. THE POSITIONING OF THE ELEMENTS Finally, will you put your call-to-action button in the middle of the page, or just below the body copy? Will you place your body copy to the left of your page and your sign-up form on the right? To improve the conversion of any of these elements, conduct A/B tests, small experiments in which you change an aspect of each element to see which converts better. Brian Massey said: “We must accept the fact that conversion is first and foremost about measuring results.” To get results, you don’t want to try something different without a reason. Think of it as a hypothesis. When you make a change, measure whether it improved or decreased your conversion rate. When testing your hypotheses, be sure to eliminate the things that didn’t work and keep the things that did. Your experience with testing will result in a higher conversion rate and lower marketing costs, and you’ll have mastered conversion, the ultimate goal in your business’s online success. 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 47
  47. 47. SEM Guide SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESESS Final Words Well, the inevitable has happened, we get at the end of this SEM Guide for Small Businesses. We’re sad it’s finally ending. But we see this not as an ending, but as a beginning. This Search Engine Marketing series just scratched the surface. There is so much you can learn. But don’t let what you don’t know stop you. A person can go crazy trying to learn more and more, and never implementing anything. We recommend the following: • Create a search engine marketing plan, with goals that are appropriate for your business • Study your ideal customer and create your buyer personas • Research the keywords your ideal customer will use to look for what you’re offering • Research and decide where to advertise • Launch your pay-per-click campaign • Optimize your website and landing pages for search engines • If you have a retail location, optimize your web presence for local search, including Google Places • Set up your testing and measuring system • Make sure each one of your conversion steps will efficiently move your prospect closer to purchasing your product • Finally, sign up for a free account with Lander so you can create that conversion oriented landing page! 2014. All Rights Reserved. We Y Landing Pages | 48
  48. 48. Special Gift for you: Get the most of your PPC Campaigns There’s no more excuses, now you know everything you need to set up a successful Adwords Campaigns. But there’s one thing missing to get the most of your SEM campaigns: Landing Pages. That’s why we want to give you some help to run a perfect PPC campaign: that boost your conversion and increase your sales. Try out all Lander’s Features with this huge discount we’re giving you. Use this promo code and get 20% discount in any plan for three months! It’s easy: choose the upgrade, paste the code and start boosting your conversions! Promo code: SEMGuide20%3 Use your Promo Code! We Y Landing Pages | 49
  49. 49. THANKS FOR READING Have you found this Ebook really useful? Share this with your friends!