Want to meet new consumers for your product or service? Want to retain those you have? Then one place you certainly need to be is the Search Results Page.
The most common starting place for consumers to discover new products and services today is the search query. Yet too many marketers relegate this aspect of their marketing to a tertiary role. Since it’s a place where consumers could be encountering your brand for the first time, you should not only make sure your brand is there, but that it’s lookin’ sharp.
If you’re not doing this, or leaving the task to people who don’t understand your fundamental brand strategy and character, you could be missing out—big time.
Here are five things you should ensure are being done effectively, to help your brand shine in this important venue:
1. Communicate Your Values
Too many text ads have nothing more to say than “Lowest price… on sale now!” If that’s all there is to your brand, it’s not very compelling. A text ad is still an ad, so make sure it represents your brand values clearly and proudly.
2. Get the Assist
Your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) program is most effective when it works in tandem with the other elements of your marketing plan. When someone clicks on a search ad to learn more about your product or service, and later completes the conversion through a display ad, that’s called an assisted click. There are also assisted impressions; and both kinds of assist can be a valuable part of your path to purchase. So make sure all your marketing campaigns are cooperating to achieve your common goals.
3. Make Your Groups Relevant
Another way your PPC activities need to be integrated with the core content of your brand messaging is in setting up the Ad Groups that correspond to the landing pages on your website. Developing keyword groups and text ads that are relevant to the content on those pages will give you higher quality scores, which can translate into better click-through rates, at lower cost.
4. Emphasize the Negatives
Negative keywords are a powerful way to focus on your target audience, by excluding “false positives” in your keyword lists. But they have to be chosen carefully, based on a clear understanding of the needs and behaviours of your audience. For instance, if you sell only ladies’ footwear, you might want “stiletto boots” as a keyword, and allow “stellitoe” as a misspelling; but you’d be smart to put a negative on “steel-toe boots.”
The things you can learn from the experience are the most important reasons your PPC search program should be managed by the same people who manage your display ad and traditional media campaigns. For instance, when people click on your ad, Google will tell you the exact phrase they typed into the query box that triggered it. There is gold in those Search Term Reports, giving you valuable insights into the way your audience describes their changing needs and desires. Those insights are actionable in the targeting and creative development of other campaigns – which can put you ahead of your competition.
In short, an effective PPC program requires both strategic thinking and creativity. With the right combination of art and science, you can make your PPC program pay unforeseen dividends.
Got more tips on using PPC for brand building? We’d love to hear them… just leave a note in the comments!
You can learn more about my thoughts on Google and search engine marketing in episode 6 of Brand Edge.