Are reaching everyone you need to in order to make the market aware of your innovative product or service? Are members of your target audience who do not otherwise know you exist searching the Internet for topics that relate to your business but not finding you? Whether your target audience is searching Google, Bing, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, a consumer review site, or even just a directory, you need to be there. You need to bring them to your website and convert them.
Demystifying Search Marketing
Search Marketing, also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and sometimes just Search, has one of the highest ROI’s of all Internet marketing and should be considered a top marketing priority for all companies. It can be more difficult to get right than other inbound marketing modalities, but the payoff is substantial, and the results are measurable. Cleantech companies are generally lagging behind in Search Marketing, so you may have a great opportunity to surpass your competition.
Search Marketing is both an art and a science. Requirements include creativity and clever copywriting, as well as an in-depth understanding of search algorithms, and the ability to analyze data about your website and make strategic adjustments accordingly. Rather than provide here a highly technical list of services that may mean little to you, we will get you started with a description of how of Search works, and what you will need to do to conduct a successful campaign. Will not just get you on the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page), we will make sure that Searchers click on the link to YOUR site, and not your competitor’s.
A good Search Marketing campaign is not limited to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by way of making a few website tweaks and acquiring some inbound links. Nor does a Search campaign just put you at the top of Google’s organic Search Engine Results Page (SERP). You can do that just by spamming the search engines, although these days that’s become a lot more difficult. but you will succeed only in jeopardizing your Page Rank and making your brand look immature.
Additionally, Google’s latest algorithm update, known as Panda, has virtually guaranteed that keyword stuffing will lead to a penalization. You need to select the right keywords and put them in the right places, and make sure that keyword density is between 2-5% (at the absolute max), depending on multiple factors. You also need to know how to fit those special words into engaging copy that will compel your target audience to click on the link to your website when they have dozens to choose from. Searchers spend approximately 40% of their time looking at the title of the link (page title), another 40% looking at the page description, and less than 20% of their time looking at the URL of your page. You yourself search, so you know how quickly searchers move and how savvy they are. If you don’t give them exactly with they are looking for and entice them to click, you can be sure that they will pass you by and end up on your competitor’s website. If this happens repeatedly, your SERP ranking will suffer.
But wait, before you even get that far, what are the goals and objectives of your search marketing campaign? As with all marketing campaigns, you shouldn’t embark without a clear focus. With search marketing you need a strategy for getting searchers to follow a series of steps, the final of which is “conversion” of some kind. This could include making a purchase, downloading a white paper, signing up for an e-newsletter, grabbing your RSS feed, “liking” your Facebook page, following you on Twitter, or watching a video. Sound like a good idea? Before you go there, make sure you have a good grasp of your Google Analytics data, because you will eventually need to make historical comparisons to see if your search marketing campaign is working.
Once searchers get your website, you need to know how to keep them there. If you don’t give them what they were expecting based on what you wrote in the page title and description, they will be on their merry way once they’ve skimmed the first few lines of your webpage. And they may also feel duped, leading them to dislike your brand and not to return to your website, which has shown itself to be untrustworthy. Now, you’d better give them something of value before you pitch your products and services, otherwise you’re likely to drive them away. Once they feel you have delivered value, you are free to pitch–and they will be much more receptive to what you have to offer. Whenever possible, deliver value on your landing pages.
So, is your strategy converting searchers in the ways that you had hoped? Are you not only bringing the right searchers to your website, but also realizing your conversion goals? If not, it’s time to re-evaluate. Grab a cup of coffee, because you are going to have to dig deep into the Google Analytics data on your website, and then make some changes to your campaign.
At this point, some of you may still be thinking you’d be able to handle this yourself. Not so fast. To make search marketing work, you will also need to understand the technical aspects of search, especially SEO, which often involves reworking a website’s architecture and code so that Google can make the most of your site. Snooze. We don’t want your eyes to glaze over, so we will avoid a more technical description of SEO.
There is one last thing about Google’s pesky ranking algorithm that you need to consider. Google now accounts for social media activity, and even video, when it ranks the pages on your website. Why? Because people like social media and video, and Google wants to give people what they are looking for. That’s what Google does best, after all. So you want plenty of active social media accounts linked to your website, and a blog too. The good news is that you can at least double up: in addition to helping your site meet the requirements of Google’s algorithm, social media marketing will drive traffic to your site directly.
The successful search marketing campaign requires an intimate understanding of your target audience, including psychographics, demographics, and of course what motivates them to buy and to search in the first place. As specialists in clean technology, CleanTech Media Solutions can deliver all this, and more. Odds are that you found our website through search, so you can be confident that we get it.