By now we all know the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). If someone is searching Google or Bing for “business insurance,” you want to be sure you’re doing everything you can on your website to rank high in the results so the searcher buys your insurance.
It makes sense, right? It can take some time to move up the list using traditional methods, but the work is worth it! However, you can also use some strategies to reach the top of search results more quickly. These strategies are referred to as “paid SEO.”
Appearing at the top of the list requires money because you are paying to have your results displayed in an ad position above the organic results on specific keywords, in particular geographic locations, and even at precise times of day. “Paid search” isn’t a new marketing tool, but it has changed over the years. Whether you are just jumping into paid search or are reviewing your strategy, be sure to pay attention to these six tips.
1. Always put the user first. Make the experience on your page really good. Users should be able to load the page quickly and easily find what they need.
2. Pair paid listings with good general SEO practices. It’s the cheapest way to do paid SEO. Search engines take things like page relevance into account when calculating how much to charge for a listing. If your page quality and content are poor, they will charge you more or remove your ad altogether.
3. Revise regularly. Work with the specialists at your listing provider (e.g. Google, Yahoo!, Bing) or make sure your SEO firm does. These people can offer special insight into what you need to do to spend your money wisely and have high-quality ads on their network. They know the tools best and know the ins and outs better than anyone else.
4. Make a path for customer conversion on your landing page. This is just good marketing. If the shoppers in your physical store were unclear on what to do after walking in, you wouldn’t make much money. Do you want your website visitors to sign up for classes, buy a product, purchase tickets to an event, or spread the word on social media? What is the ideal path someone could take? Highlight that. If an alternative action is also good, include it, but don’t try to make it a co-focus. For example, if you want the user to buy something, make it easy to purchase it immediately after landing on your page. If a good alternative is for the user to save the item on a wish list, make that available—but not the visual focal point.
5. Implement demographic targeting. If you sell hurricane insurance to businesses, you probably don’t need to target Iowa at midnight. When do you think company owners would be researching insurance? Probably early in the workday or perhaps on weekends, right? If your budget is limited, aim for the times of day that are best for the users. Whether you target a time or not, take advantage of geographic targeting. (Iowans don’t really need hurricane insurance, so instead opt for an area that does.)
6. Run experiments, analyze the results, and make changes. Then, do it again. Think you might do better spending your money in the evenings rather than mornings? Try it! Split up your budget a bit and see how it goes. Then, make the necessary adjustments and try another experiment.
Paid search isn’t a standalone tool. It is important that your search strategy aligns with the rest of your marketing plan. Make sure you are targeting the right potential buyers at the right times and with the right message—and make it easy for them to make a purchase. Use the strategies above, and you will start to see success using paid SEO.