Make your budget dollars go further with site and listing optimization.
Whether you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on search marketing or just a few thousand per month, you probably have expenses over and above your media costs -- fees paid to the agency that manages your campaign. Alternatively, if you manage search in-house, you look at the payroll costs of your marketing team, which spends time working on search campaign management and optimization.
Though these search marketing costs may seem high, truth is you may not be investing enough in your staff or agency to fully leverage search's power. Not investing enough can be disastrous; poor search marketing implementations can cost millions in missed revenue and profit opportunities. Unlike in traditional media, where poor creative or media selection may go unnoticed, in Internet marketing -- especially search marketing -- your campaign results can be easily measured.
At the DMA/AIM net.marketing conference last week, Phil Terry, CEO of Creative Good, reminded attendees of the importance of creative and landing page optimization. He demonstrated site improvement initiatives alone have delivered 40 to 150 percent improvements in conversion.
With these ideas fresh in my mind, I thought this would be a good time to revisit the topics of site optimization and listings optimization. Imagine a $50,000 monthly budget working as hard as if you spent over $100,000, with no additional spending!
To make sure your search marketing budget goes the extra mile, your in-house search marketing department or outside agency should be:
Of course, to do all the above, your marketing department or agency will need a technology and campaign management platform that gives it the power to measure, and execute on, the data. Many site changes made as a result of search analysis pay dividends for affiliate and other marketing (particularly landing-page optimization). If you are going to spend the money on paid search (or other media), you owe it to your organization to see that the budget is well spent. Sometimes that requires a bit more investment of time, money, or resources.
Your investments in optimization activities will pay dividends in the form of higher profits and revenues with lower (or the same) budgets. The more you spend every month on paid search marketing, the more benefits you gain from improvements. Spending on paid search but forgetting to optimize is like purchasing a gym membership and working out for 10 minutes. You might see some returns, but you'd miss out on the major payoffs. Give your search campaign a full workout -- manage it professionally and show off the results.
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Kevin Lee, Didit cofounder and executive chairman, has been an acknowledged search engine marketing expert since 1995. His years of SEM expertise provide the foundation for Didit's proprietary Maestro search campaign technology. The company's unparalleled results, custom strategies, and client growth have earned it recognition not only among marketers but also as part of the 2007 Inc 500 (No. 137) as well as three-time Deloitte's Fast 500 placement. Kevin's latest book, "Search Engine Advertising" has been widely praised.
Industry leadership includes being a founding board member of SEMPO and its first elected chairman. "The Wall St. Journal," "BusinessWeek," "The New York Times," Bloomberg, CNET, "USA Today," "San Jose Mercury News," and other press quote Kevin regularly. Kevin lectures at leading industry conferences, plus New York, Columbia, Fordham, and Pace universities. Kevin earned his MBA from the Yale School of Management in 1992 and lives in Manhattan with his wife, a New York psychologist and children.
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