The number one hindrance to online success is that businesses are naïve in allocating their online marketing budgets which is to select the most efficient and productive e-marketing strategy. Online amateurs often have sophisticated ideas, build a fancy website and even hire consultants, yet often time they fail to make money online and either fail or work on the edge of profitability. One such reason is basically that they don’t know how to attract solid traffic to their sites.
The end result on the web is usually traffic. Whatever your web objectives are, if your website is not getting enough ‘hits’, you will never get a dollar. In essence, for one to succeed on the web, you need to have an ‘it is all about the traffic’ mentality. You also need to be tactical in terms of which online strategy to choose from and obtain the highest return on investment.
There is a countless number of opportunities to successfully start up a business on the internet, but building a website is only the first step.
People are only a click away from any piece of the online real estate. So you need to put your advertising signs where there is “qualified” traffic in order for people to buy from you. In this case, “qualified” includes those web surfers who are interested in your goods or services.
When you purchase advertising online, you are simply trying to buy traffic because you can’t get much traffic through natural search. In essence, you are paying someone to put a sign on their website so as to redirect people to your website. In the ancient days of the internet, advertisers could only purchase banners. Banners are those big square or rectangular shaped ads on websites that appear at the top, bottom, right side or left side or anywhere that a website is willing to sell space to its advertisers. As an advertiser, you buy banner space at CPM which stands for Cost per Thousand (M is the Roman numeral for 1000).
Although banner advertising is still a lucrative business on the web, several advertisers have moved their online advertising budgets to what is called pay per click (PPC) advertising or “sponsored network”. With PPC, advertisers only pay the website when someone actually clicks on their ads. So, instead of paying dollars to advertisers for just sight-seeing that never clicks on your sponsored network of PPC ads. You only pay for performance which is better than the click per thousand strategies.
Banner advertising is the online equivalent of purchasing relatively big space ads in a magazine or newspaper while pay per click ads are like tiny categorized ads. There are often no graphics linked with sponsored links which are basically lines of text promoting an offer or describing a product that shows on top and along the right columns of search engine result pages (SERPs) or on Gmail accounts. These ads are related to the keywords inputted in the Google search bar or to the content of your email.
So why do these simple plain-text ads get much attention than the prominent banner ads where fancy images, flash, and videos are employed?
Pay per click ads might be displayed in Google or Yahoo!’s search results or on websites that show up ads mixed with other related contents which are a marketing strategy called site-targeting. For instance, if you sell earphones online, you would consider placing an ad on a website or blog that offers consumer electronic reviews, as well as you would want your ad to be showcased on Google when the keyword “buy earphones” is typed into the search bar. The initial option is classified as “contextual web marketing”, since your ad is well displayed alongside contextually important articles, and the second is known as search engine marketing” (SEM).
The ability to obtain your customized message at the doorstep of interested buyers while searching your products makes search engine marketing (SEM), a very effective and aimed way to advertise. The famous advert placement for PPC has increased in the past several years because you can easily track the return on investment with the help of Google and Yahoo!, which are the two largest PPC advertising networks.
Like in conventional marketing, on the internet one has to focus on the customers and meet their immediate needs. When people input keywords in the search column, just like in Google, Yahoo or any other search engine, they have a need. They have unanswered questions. They want to be served the solution in the form of information as to how they can resolve their problem. They are really saying: “I’m looking for…” or simply “I need…”
Your job as a marketer is to put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself certain questions like what keywords are my ideal prospects going to type in their search boxes? If you can’t choose the right keywords, then you won’t simply get traffic to your website. You won’t get a chance to display that brilliant advertising copy that will urge prospects to click through your site, read your offer and buy your product or services.
Search engine marketing is a fast-growing industry. According to Forrester, digital marketing spending among the entire online channels was the highest for paid search PPC which amounted to about $4,067million spent in 2006. Furthermore, according to another survey by Marketing Sherpa, online advertisers decided to rank paid search ads as the best performing online marketing channel in 2006.