snippets from the guide   (Introduction ⇩)

(Introduction ⇧)

Marketers are often building cyber assets — websites, Facebook pages, YouTube brand channels and so on — because everyone seems to be doing so. Not much thought goes into the strategy or the execution. The outcome is a collection of disconnected properties that diffuse and disorient their brand, and confuse customers.

It is crucially important that before you execute, you have a cohesive strategy that integrates all offline and online brand assets, such that all the elements play well coordinated, yet distinct roles. That your brand’s communication and imagery remains intact as customers move across the media platforms, yet each channel contributes incrementally to its equity.

This guidebook will help you achieve these outcomes. It will give you a clear understanding of the building blocks that constitute digital marketing, and equip you with the tools, the techniques and the knowledge to develop cohesive market strategies, and prepare and execute effective digital marketing campaigns.

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Exhibit  Organic and Paid (Sponsored) links on a SERP.

Though the term Search Marketing increasingly refers only to paid search, I prefer the original definition that encompassed both organic and paid processes of attracting search traffic. These two fundament approaches to improving your rank on search engine result pages (SERPs) are the subject of this chapter.

Paid search marketing falls under the purview of Search Advertising. These ads are sponsored links that appear at the top, bottom or alongside SERPs.

The process of organically drawing traffic to your online properties is called Search engine optimization (SEO). It encompasses the technical and creative approaches to attracting traffic by:

  • Improving SERP rankings,
  • Seeking your prospects’ attention,
  • Helping search engines comprehend the topic of your web pages, and
  • Making it easier for crawlers to find your web pages.

The Exhibit shown above illustrates the organic and paid link on a SERP. Notice that the sponsored links are at the top, and can be distinguished by the “Ad” box that prefixes the URL. Similarly, ads are placed at the bottom of SERPs; that, though, is not visible in the exhibit.

Search Marketing — Exercise

In the context of your company’s website, answer the following questions.
Note: If you do not currently have a web site, consider the PropLog property portal for this exercise.

  • How do you segment your market? Which segments do you target? How do you differentiate your offering for each target segment?
  • What keywords (and landing pages) have you chosen to draw target customers? Distinguish between short and long tail keywords. (think segments, think personas)
  • Use Google Ads Keyword Planner to research and refine your choice of keywords?
  • Which competitor keywords, if any, do you want to target? Is it feasible/advisable to incorporate competitor keywords within your content?
  • Use Google Ads Keyword Plan Forecast to gauge how much to bid for your chosen keyword? What other factors do you need to consider?
  • In the context of Google’s advertising architecture, how would you structure your advertisements in terms of campaigns and groups?
  • What ad extensions are best suited for your business?

Factors to consider when bidding at Google’s Ad Auction:

  • Select a pricing model. CPC (cost per click) where advertisers pay only for clicks, is a good to begin with.
  • Bids are set for keywords. Average CPC on Google Ads vary substantially by keyword, industry and location.
  • Based on benchmarks compiled by WordStream, the average cost per click is roughly $2.32 on the search network, and $0.58 on the display network (third-party websites that have agreed to show Google ads).
  • Gauge return on advertising spend and optimize bid with the Keyword Search Volume Forecast facility supported by Google Ads Keyword Planner.

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