Search Marketing Strategies: Optimising Paid Search and
Search Engine Optimisation to Maximise Site Traffic
by Chris Smith
General Manager, Digital
Direct Banking, NAB
28 September 2010
• Fundamentals of a search marketing strategy
• Trade-offs between search engine optimisation and paid
• Social media optimisation: Why it’s relevant for search
• Examples of NAB search marketing campaigns: Analysing
campaign strengths and areas for improvement
Fundamentals: Search Marketing Terminology
• PPC Pay per click
SEA • CPM Cost per 1000 Ongoing
• CPA Cost per action Cost, AKA
Advertising • Display Paid Search
SEO Mainly upfront
Search • Content cost, then top-up
Engine • Links
Optimisation AKA Organic Search
or Search Marketing • Forums
SMO • Twitter
Social Media • Facebook
Optimisation • Blogs
Online • Monitoring Tool
Reputation • Manual monitoring
Examples of Organic and Paid Search
• Right side and sometimes the top of the page
are paid or sponsored search results
• Left side search results are the organic, or
• Publisher sites are eligible to display the same
text ads or display ads (CPM) aka AdSense.
Fundamentals: SEO in a nutshell
• Searchers type simple phrases (the
“search term”) in a search engine.
• Search engines index all pages they
have discovered (by following links)
• When the query is processed, the
search engine checks its index and
presents no more than 1000 results,
typically 10 results per page.
• These results are ranked based on
their relevancy to the search phrase.
• The ultimate goal is optimise your site
to rank #1.
SEO involves many people
URL length Technical Page markup
Publicity SUCCESS Writing for
media Links TRUST
Content Style guides
Fundamentals: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising in a nutshell
• Searchers type simple phrases (the “search
term”) in a search engine.
• The results page displays the most relevant and
most effective ads on the right and sometimes at
the top of the page.
• The higher-placed ads are clicked more than the
• A high placement can be achieved by:
> Compelling copy (attracts a click)
> A landing page that matches the search term
> Setting not necessarily the highest bid, but
enough to be high on the first page:
SEO vs PPC: Some interesting statistics
• Source of Clicks
- 92% of all clicks are from Organic Listing
- 8% of all clicks are from Paid Search.
• Marketing Budgets: SEO
- 61% of companies surveyed spent up to
$75k/year on optimising content
- 28% of the largest companies (rev > $1
Billion/ year) spent nothing on SEO.
• Marketing Budgets: SEM
- 63% of companies surveyed spent between
$3-$5m on PPC
• Disconnect? A fraction of spend is used to
attract majority of “free” clicks, whereas >
30x spend to attract minority of “paid” clicks.
* Source: SEMPO State of Search Engine Marketing Report - 2010
SEO vs PPC: Where to put your spend in 2011?
• The case for SEO
— Great opportunity exists local,
news, blog, video, image, product
— Much better ROI based on overall
— PPC is “easier”
• The case for PPC •Good reasons to do both
— Flexibility in spending, quick —Learn which keywords are
results performing well from paid search
— Ability to adjust quickly —Good optimisation leads to
— Less reliance on your Web/IT quality scores
teams —Own as much real estate as
— Pretty straightforward possible, less for competition
— Placement of results more reliable —Multiplier effect
Social Media in a nutshell
• Social networks have been
around for over 20 years. Key
message is that only some of
them are relevant to banks.
>Social Networks, e.g. Forums >Audio, e.g. Podcasts
(discussion groups), Facebook, >Video, e.g. YouTube, Vimeo
MySpace, LinkedIn >Aggregators, e.g. my.yahoo.com,
>Blogs Google Reader
—Promotion tools, e.g. tools, e.g. Delicious, StumbleUpon
Feedburner >Ratings & Reviews, e.g. Digg
—Blog search tools e.g. >Photo Sharing, e.g. Flickr
Technorati >Wikis, e.g. Wikispaces, MediaWiki
—Blog communities, e.g.
Social Media in the Search Marketing Mix
• Everyone seems to have embraced social media (SM).
• Is your SM campaign integrated with the rest of your search marketing
Social Media Optimisation (SMO)
• Simply using various popular social networks is
half the journey.
• You can optimise each in different ways, e.g.
— Facebook Pages are the only part of Facebook
that is crawled and indexed by Google
— Videos can be optimised to benefit SEO
— Customers have conversations at social
networking sites and references to a company
serve as “Citations” to their website even
when there are no clickable links.
• You can be proactive in maintaining a good
reputation by educating your marketing and
corporate affairs department.
Press Release Optimisation (PRO)
• Press releases are now known as Media
Releases and some companies have Social
• Submit to various online distribution services
such as PRWeb and PRNewsWire
• Apply standard SEO principles:
— Use plain English
— Insert deep links to a specific part of your
— Provide links to relevant supporting media
such as images and videos.
— Provide links to your profiles at various
social media outlets e.g. Twitter, blogs
• See http://schools.nsw.edu.au for local example
Search Marketing Strategy: Pulling it all together
Social Network Content
(Word of mouth,
viral effect) comparison site Success
Case Study: Optimising Your PPC Spend
• If you are not happy with your Google or Yahoo PPC results, your
campaigns might simply need a tweak.
— You are paying too much per click.
— You are not getting enough conversions.
— You don’t know if your ads are working for you.
Case Study: Improving your Google Quality Score
The Quality Score is fairly simple to grasp:
• Scale from 1 to 10 (10 is best)
• Are the keywords in your ad group present on the landing page?
• Are the keywords in the ad copy?
• Does the landing page load fast?
• Is the landing page a quality page?
— Is it relevant to the keyword?
— Is your business transparent?
— Is the content original?
— Is it navigable?
Yes, a high Quality Score is achievable
Case Study: Lowering the cost per conversion
• Comparing two dissimilar ad groups, one being non-competitive and the
other being very competitive, we can see not only the difference in the cost
per click, but also the lower cost per conversion.
Non-competitive, High Quality Score
Competitive, Low Quality Score
Wrapping it up
— Effective search engine marketing is a blend of SEO, SMO, PRO and PPC
— SEO is the cheapest to implement but it involves your own organisation
on an ongoing basis, not a short engagement with an agency.
— PPC is essential to fill gaps in search engine visibility and gives instant
results and gratification.
— Social media needs careful planning and splendid implementation. It is
not for everyone, but for consumer brands it is essential and should be a
long term commitment.
— Chris Smith
— General Manager, Digital; Direct Banking, NAB