Search engine marketing is a highly cost effective way of marketing your business. As more consumers turn to the internet to find the products and services they need, it’s imperative that every business undergo some sort of search engine marketing campaign to capture the attention of these consumers and drive them their way.
However, if a company is not careful, they could end up wasting time and money and not get the results they had hoped for. Here are five common mistakes to avoid in order to ensure a successful search engine marketing campaign.
1) Unrealistic Goals
One reason many companies struggle with search engine marketing is that they have unrealistic goals and become discouraged too quickly. In order to get the most out of your campaign, you need to realize there is a learning curve at the beginning. If you are new to SEO or have never engaged in a search engine marketing campaign before, you’ll need to learn the basics and most importantly identify your goals.
Unfortunately, this can only be done through trial and error. Understanding that it will take a bit of time to know what works and does not work will prevent you from becoming discouraged and stick to your marketing plan.
2) Poor Keyword Research
Poor keyword research is one of the biggest mistakes companies make when trying to market their business via search engines. If you target a term that is too broad or competitive, it may take much longer than you realize to see results or you may not have the budget to compete with larger companies to gain a first page ranking in the search engines. Rather than throwing your marketing budget away by targeting these broad terms, you will want to focus on “long tail keywords” that can be much easier to rank for. Long tail keywords are typically phrases with at least 3 words. “Car insurance” will be hard to compete for, but “cheap car insurance companies” will be more attainable to rank your site for.
In addition to targeting long tail keywords with less competition, you will want to only target keywords that generate conversions. Setting up some type of tracking or analytics software like Google analytics will allow you to see which keywords are generating conversions on your landing pages and which ones are not. Be sure to consider “user intent” when selecting keywords. A keyword like “SEO” may seem like a good keyword if you are a company that provides SEO services, but “SEO” will also bring people searching for information on the topic of SEO, or the definition of SEO. “SEO services” or “SEO Services in YOUR CITY” is a better keyword to bring people to your site who are looking for help with their SEO. If certain keywords are bringing traffic to your site but no conversions, they may be costing you money and can be removed from your keyword list or it may be that your landing page needs work.
3) Poor Landing Page Design
Another common mistake companies make when it comes to search engine marketing is landing page design. The layout of your landing page plays a major role in the overall effectiveness of your online marketing campaign. A quality landing page will be optimized for conversions and will follow proven landing page best practices. If your landing page is receiving good traffic but not generating any conversions, you should consider A/B testing or multivariat testing and try different versions of your landing page at the same time and see which version works better to increase the amount of conversions you receive. Then take that landing page and improve it and run both again. Using this approach you will fine tune the page and increase your ROI.
4) Do Not Overextend Yourself
A good search engine marketing campaign will include both search engine optimization and pay per click advertising (budget permitting). Using both techniques your website will get immediate attention and possible ROI from the PPC and it will build long term exposure and ROI from the search engines and the traffic they generate. However, trying to manage both SEO and PPC marketing campaigns at the same time can be time consuming, especially when you are first starting out as a small business.
It’s best to focus your time and attention on one form of search engine marketing until you have successfully created a campaign that is bringing in new customers for your business. Then you can turn your attention to the other type of online marketing and give it the time and attention needed to be successful.
5) Budget Your Time
Running an effective search engine marketing campaign is nothing short of time consuming. In order to see the best results, you need to set aside a few hours per day to analyze all of the data and see if your online marketing campaign is providing the results you are looking for. If you are a business owner, it can be difficult to find the time in your busy schedule to manage it yourself.
We encourage you to consider outsourcing your search engine marketing work to professionals. You’ll get faster results, save money and avoid search engine penalties. You can focus your time on the day to day operations of your business and simultaneously receive the benefits of a quality search engine marketing campaign.
Search engine marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to advertise any business. However, if not run properly, it can drain your advertising dollars very quickly. Avoiding unrealistic goals, perform good keyword research, designing a quality landing page, focusing your efforts on one type of search engine marketing at a time, and making sure you have the time to effectively manage your campaign will help you see the best results and ROI on your SEO and Internet Marketing.
Camryn G. is a freelance writer and web marketing consultant who enjoys helping small businesses be prosperous on the web.