When I meet with small businesses and explain to them the theories and methodologies behind pay per click advertising, they gasp at the monthly budget required to achieve relative success with search engine marketing. I constantly have to remind business owners and marketing departments that search engine marketing is both an investment as well as less expensive means of advertising one’s business in comparison to other advertising and marketing channels. The good news for business owners is the concept of running test campaigns that range between $200 and $1,000.
A test campaign will allow business professionals to run a test campaign through Google Adwords and other search engine outlets and locate the better performing keywords based on specific metrics that are typically viewed as high commercial intent keywords. These metrics include click through rate, searches or impressions, and cost per click.
Click through rate has to deal with the number of searchers who click through your Ad to view what you as a business is offering. Typically, any click through rate that is 1 – 2% or greater proves there is some opportunity for those keywords. So if a keyword or keyword phrase gets 1000 searches per day on it and 20 people click through to the Ad this creates a 2% click through rate. In addition, you want many clicks for certain keyword phrase. When running a test campaign, I recommend targeting keywords that provide over 500 searches per day as a group of keywords.
The cost per click is the final metric that truly matters. Cost per click is derived by a secondary auction in which Advertisers on Google bid on particular keywords. Based on that bidding, the cost of the keywords either goes up or goes down based on the value derived by those advertisers. Take the keyword “bankruptcy Los Angeles” as an example. This keyword is likely to cost over $4.00 per click because it is valuable keyword that likely sends ready and able consumers to lawyers advertising on Google who need bankruptcy help. For purposes of running a test campaign, it our firm typically focuses on cost per clicks over $1.00.
Once all this data has been derived, the business we have decisions to make. It there are enough clicks over 500 per day, click through rates above 1.00%, and cost per clicks above $1.00 per click, then it may be prudent to start advertising and utilizing Google along with other search engines to advertise. The other benefit of retrieving this actionable data is that it can be utilize for search engine optimization. The last thing business owners want to do is begin an SEO campaign on selected keywords they deem relevant and critical to their business. Image Proctor & Gamble launching products and services without conducting focus groups and gather consumer intelligence on those products. This is the same perspective behind running test campaigns. The investment is minimal, it can be written off, and it can truly make a difference for companies who may be initially skeptical about search engine marketing but still want to see if it can truly impact their business.