Introduction to Search Marketing
Search marketing is nothing more than a very competitive game in which the results can be unbelievably rewarding. If approached correctly, search marketing becomes a science—a simple, profit yielding equation.
When jumping into search marketing, you should always focus on learning as much as you can from everything you do.
How Search Works
First let’s discuss how search marketing works.
Major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing receive much of their income through displaying the “sponsored results” when you search with their search engine.
Every time a sponsored result ad is clicked, the merchant pays a fee for that click. Essentially, every keyword a user types into a search engine can be bid on by a merchant who wants to show their ad to a user searching for that keyword.
The price the merchant pays for the click depends on their max bid for the keyword that led to the click, compared to other bids for that same keyword.
For instance, if my max bid is $0.55 for a keyword and the next highest bid for that keyword is $0.50, I would pay $0.51 per click for that keyword. Google has 11 sponsored ad slots for every keyword a user enters, so the top 11 bids on a keyword are displayed.
The highest bid is placed in the first ad slot. It is important to fully understand how this process works as you will need to bid on targeted keywords to promote your offers.
The name of the game with search marketing is to earn more than you spend.
Various search marketing offers “convert” on different parts of the offer page.
For example, an email submit offer requires only that a user enter a valid email to credit the conversion. Other offers could require more information, all the way up to the user having to actually buy the product. Of course, the more a user has to do to convert, the more you are paid for the conversion.
If you are promoting an offer that pays $5.00 for a one page field submission, and you are paying Google $0.15 a click, you would need to convert 1 in 33 clicks ($0.15*33 = $4.95) to make a profit. Obviously, the higher the conversion rate, the better as this means you are earning more money.
The whole challenge of search marketing is to bid on relevant keywords that convert. Your key to success is as simple, yet as complicated, as that.
A landing page is the page a search engine user goes to when they click on your ad in the search engine. While not every offer needs a landing page, a good affiliate marketer creates landing pages which increase the conversion rate.
Landing pages have turned into a general requirement for Google’s AdWords program. A landing page attempts to persuade the viewer to fill out your offer.
For example, if I am trying to promote an insurance offer, I am given a referral link from my chosen affiliate company for that offer.
When that link is clicked, the viewer is brought to the offer page, which is simply a form for the user to fill out. When you create a landing page, the user goes to your page before the offer page.
Here you can “sell” the offer to the viewer so that it converts better. Landing pages will make or break your campaign, so it is up to you to choose your words and layout wisely, making it as persuasive and convenient as possible for the viewer to fill out your offer.
In Day 4 of this course, you’ll learn everything you need to know to create knock out landing pages.
The other important aspect of your search marketing campaign is your keyword selection. It is important that you bid on keywords that are relevant to your campaign.
You have to put yourself in the search engine user’s shoes—what types of offers would a user entering a specific keyword into Google be interested in?
For instance, bidding on the keyword “flower” would not be very targeted towards a Dozen Roses Offer. A good keyword for a flower offer could be “Mother’s Day”, “Valentine’s Day”, “anniversary”, “birthday gift”, “get well gift”, or “wedding present”.
These are keywords that apply to the offer you are promoting in an indirect way. You want to avoid the mistake of bidding on very broad keywords for a number of reasons. Broad keywords are very competitive which means higher bid prices.
Additionally, broad keywords do not target a very specific user demographic, so they often lead to low conversion rates.
On the positive side, broad keywords get a lot of searches, so if your offer is very broad, a broad keyword may work. Still, broad keywords work in only select circumstances.
To put it in perspective, someone searching the word “flower” may be looking for many things that relate to a flower that has nothing to do with your ad, such as a picture of a flower, or how to grow flowers. This leads to the potential of untargeted clicks costing you valuable money.
Unfortunately most novices do not realize this and figure it out the hard way. Conversely, targeted keywords can lead to very high conversion rates.
The risk here is that your keywords could be so targeted that you don’t get many clicks. This is where creativity comes into play and can lead to earning huge profits. If you can come up with keywords that target users very likely to fill out your offer, you will get high conversion rates.
Think outside the box and come up with unique keywords to target the clicks you want.
Another obstacle you must take into account when creating landing pages and selecting your keywords is that Google and Yahoo assess a quality score to your campaign. What this typically means is that Google evaluates how relevant your keyword selection is to your landing page.
Google does this to reward keyword lists that have higher click through rates (which means more money for Google). The way Google typically does this is to measure the keyword density of the keywords on your landing page.
Writing each keyword twice in the content of your landing page normally gives your page a good quality score. If you have a low quality score, Google raises the minimum bid price on your account (sometimes as high as $10 per click in bad cases) making it almost impossible to earn a profitable return.
Google really just wants relevance, as measured by click throughs.
The last aspect of a successful search campaign involves tracking which keywords convert. The idea is to start your campaign with a lot of keywords, determine which keywords have a high conversion ratio, and take out the keywords which are not converting well.
You can do your tracking by splitting your keywords into groups of 4 or 5, and sending each group to a different landing page URL with a different sub ID.
A sub ID is a code attached at the end of your referral link that shows where the conversion came from. (ex:www.cpacompany.com/floweroffer.php?subID=LandingPage1) When you go to check your stats, you will see which conversions came from the referral link where you added the “LandingPage1” Sub ID.
Once you see which groups of keywords are getting conversions, you subdivide your successful keyword group up into their own groups with only one keyword per sub ID. Now you can see exactly how many clicks each individual keyword is getting and how much money you are making from that keyword (there are expensive programs out there that can do this type of tracking for you).
The key here is to find keywords that have very good conversion ratios. Finding these types of keywords are not always easy to find, but can earn you thousands of dollars once they are discovered.
The process of creating a successful search marketing campaign can be a lot of work.
If you are a dedicated person who likes to think outside of the box and is determined to make money in internet marketing, search marketing can be a provide great supplement income, or even a career.
In Day 4, we’ll take a look at creating effective landing pages.