"Should I do some advertising?"
Twice in the last week I have had clients ask about doing paid advertising on the internet. One was for Facebook, the other for Google Adwords. I also had someone ask if doing SEO was worth $2000 per month.
Anyway, I figured you might also be wondering about this, so here is a version of my reply;
Online advertising is like any marketing. I could go and put an advert in the classifieds that reads: "Web design 0410123123" and I might get a call. (I know, I could jazz it up and write a great advert, but stick with me here) Alternatively, if I had a strategy that, with research, found that my audience is reading one trade magazine, then I come up with a plan to test 4 different adverts over 4 months, that each have a specific, measureable call to action path, then I am going to get a better result.
Classifieds are the same with trying adwords, Facebook, banners or even SEO on their own. Unless it is planned and there is a path that you are taking a prospect, then you are less likely to see great results, or your results are going to be intermittent.
A rough guide to what will work for many businesses is this:
- Start with the website - ensure it is designed to sell* and capture email addresses. Know the outcome you want for each visitor.
- Do some research to ensure your audience is looking for you/your service or product. (If they are not, then we have to get creative.)
- Design some targeted landing pages (A landing page is like a home page, but for one type of audience/product mix)
- Start with an Adwords campaign perhaps with someone like Reachlocal, or do it yourself at Google Adwords. Ensure you are pointing visitors to the landing pages only that are specific to each search phrase.
- Measure Everything. Change and test the calls to action in the advertisement, the landing pages, and any other page or email you send your client.
- Check you are measuring everything then double check you are measuring everything.
- After 2-6 months you should be certain that you have a clear list of search phrases that are resulting in sales - not just clicks. Don't stop testing, but expand and build other funnels of marketing.
- You are now armed and dangerous. You can see clearly the words that are producing sales, so you now have the best tools for SEO, Banner advertising, and any other type of targeted advertising.
- The next step is to begin honing your site to focus on the search phrases that produce sales. Usually done with SEO techniques - which are a whole different topic.
*For the purpose of this article, 'Selling' or 'sales' is whatever the result is that you wanted for your visitor, which may be contacting you, sending a message or filling a form.
Brendan Byrne - Monday, December 14, 2009