Is Search Marketing like Traditional Display Advertising?

dollar-signSearch marketing with Adwords is quite unlike traditional advertising which is largely about branding and/or impulse purchases. Adwords marketing is more about meeting the customer with a need at the time he is searching for the solution to his need. A clear and present demand.

In order to meet that demand it is first necessary to identify the search terms used by people with a need for your product or service. We often see AdWords advertisers use a poor choice of keywords, often targeting the obvious ‘head’ terms rather than longer tail ones, or forgetting that some words mean different things to different people.

Someone looking to book a carpet cleaning service in Penrith right now is probably not searching for ‘carpet cleaning’! He is more likely to be looking for ‘carpet cleaners Penrith’ or ‘carpet cleaning services Penrith’. Somebody searching like that is much more likely to be about to make a booking, so as an advertiser you need to understand he is a better prospect to target.

You would be amazed how many folk try to advertise their graphic design businesses using keywords like ‘design’. Bad idea! It means too many different things to different people so you might find your ads are shown to people looking for information on tattoos or interior decorating!

Sure there will be much less traffic in those long tail keywords but the conversion rate is much higher and there is no point paying for traffic that does not convert well.

Search marketing is not at all as sensitive to ads going stale as traditional display advertising, this is because the searcher for carpet cleaning services today is usually a different person than the one searching last week. He is not seeing the same ads over and over again so ad blindness is rarely an issue.

If you track your conversions in AdWords you can easily see which search queries are bringing in the sales. Don’t rely on the keyword list in your campaign panel however. Instead use the search query report from the reports tab and see the ‘real’ search data. Look at a large enough sample and the highest conversion rate keywords will become obvious.

You can then adjust your ads and landing pages to target very specific searches if you like and truly optimise your performance.