Paid search is calling my name. See, in my professional career I’ve been a search marketing journalist and blogger and now a community-building conversational media marketer, but never tasted the purity and simplicity of paid search.
Paid search wants me. Those simple, plain as day conversion rates. The immediacy of data. No more lengthy Neo-PR campaigns that build community, traffic and sales gradually (yes I will be studying the recent viral success of SEObomb for ways to speed up my effects .
I think Paid search can help me improve my community building though – and when I’m ready to scratch my paid search itch I’m going to read Tom Hale’s AdWords blog. Repeatedly.
I found Hale here on the SMSblog. He commented on a recent post regarding the community involvement strategies he employs – answering questions in forums. He’s using a blog strategy I recommend – and use myself: answering questions in a forum and then blogging about your work afterwards.
This sells you on your blog AND in the forum as an expert. And in your blog you’re showing that you have valued connections and involvement with your professional community. And your help in forums will – eventually – result in prospects knocking on your door. Oh yeah, and it should give you a nice little bed of links that bring targeted visitors.
So when my community building efforts for one of my clients are fully operational I’m going to figure out a paid search strategy to help boost them, and I’ll come back to this post in SMSblog to remind myself that:
1) As you are starting out, control your spending via your budget controls, not your bids.
It is better to get fewer clicks per $ spent to begin with and establish Quality Score than it is to get more clicks per $ for a few days and then get blown out of the water.
2) One of the lessons I have learned is to let the market do the research. Sure you have to be smart about initial keyword and ad selection, but you do not have to crack the code before beginning.
So I usually start with one ad group, including several dozen to a couple hundred keywords and phrases, depending on the clients scope and budget. The initial keywords and two or three ads come from the target website, keyword tools, and a little common sense web surfing.
3) CTR is so important when managing AdWords for two reasons. First it is your Hot-Cold meter. Am I on the right track? Am I fishing in likely waters? What keyword/ad creative combinations are resonating with searchers? The second reason CTR is important in AdWords strategy and management is that Google uses CTR as an integral part of their Quality Score.
4) “Draw the tightest line from your prospects exact thought at the time of search, based on their keyword, to your most appropriate landing page.”
Ok, so that’s a good start for me when it comes time to begin my own AdWords campaign for my community building efforts. Big thanks to Tom Hale for creating such a strong, concerted and clear paid search how-to blog.
Tom – any chance you’d be interested in contributing to the SMSblog from time to time?