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The Path to Enlightenment – Avoiding the Pitfalls of SEM

By May 28, 2012 No Comments

Along the path to successful search engine marketing, there is a constantly changing landscape of tools and channels available to you that will demand your attention. Becoming proficient with these tools and marketing channels is paramount to your success; while neglecting them will ensure failure. It’s a sink or swim environment, and many people are jumping in with water wings. As with everything else, practice makes perfect. That’s why we train like certified Olympians.

 

But how do you train like an Olympic marketer? The Google Certification Program is a great place to start.

 

Becoming a Google Certified Partner is one of the major steps on the path to ‘marketing enlightenment.’ The program requires you to immerse yourself in the Google product suite, and develop a thorough understanding of how Google search terms are aligned with the results users will see. There are also Qualifications to be met, and your certification will expire every 12 or 18 months (depending on which Google product we’re talking about). This approach to certification is rigorous, and requires a thorough understanding of a number of processes including working with HTML, URL building and website design.

So why work with a Google certified partner? How hard could it be to create and maintain my own marketing campaign?

 

The problem is that we all make mistakes, and the mistakes we make can lead to painful learning experiences (painful = expensive). Here’s a list of some of the pitfalls to avoid:

  • Never build one campaign for all your keywords – Grouping your keywords under a single campaign muddles up the reporting data, and prevents your ability to make accurate interpretations of how your efforts are resulting. (Fix: Organize your campaigns in logical groups: by product type, buying stage, geography, or other logical groupings. The more you segregate the more accurately you can manage your campaign.)
  • Do the keyword research first – Don’t jump in and start adding keywords before you know the lay of the keyword land! Skipping this step will force you to learn the keyword landscape using dollars and not research (Fix: Pick the top logical keywords for each product or service offering and use the Adwords keyword tool to refine, research, and discover where the traffic and competition are. The more you know about the competition, the easier it is to target keywords with less competition and ample traffic to generate results.)
  • Use targeted landing pages for all your keywords – You’ve gone through all the effort creating a definitively targeted ad. It has beautiful text proclaiming your solution to the customer’s problem. Now it’s time to deliver! However, far too often, potential customers are sent to a landing page that is completely irrelevant to their original search. (Fix: You do the work for your customers and target the ads that land them on the pages for the products or services they are looking for. any people are too lazy to do the work for their customers. Guess what? The customers are too lazy as well, and unfortunately they will bounce.)
  • Monitor your campaign religiously – The competitive keyword landscape will be constantly changing, and it’s easy to be left behind. Again, a great way to waste money. (Fix: Make it a habit to check your campaign on a regular basis. It only takes a few hours here and there to go in and tweak ads, monitor keywords, and search for new angles to beat the competition. This is where the true value of your marketing efforts will shine though.)

 

Delivering on these basic principals can really squeeze the dollars out of your advertising budget. It is easy to rack up spend on SEM mistakes, especially if you aren’t monitoring your efforts properly. That’s why we’re here. We want to eliminate the cost of these mistakes, and to help establish your business in these emerging and constantly evolving marketplaces. Our team strives to be on the cutting edge of the technology available to us in order to drive maximum results for our clients. We’ve had the training, and gained the experience necessary to streamline our advertising efforts and spend into measurable results. Don’t fall victim to the pitfalls of DIY marketing. Let us put your business on the path to marketing enlightenment!

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