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As a first time writer on the blog, I’d first like to introduce myself to our oh so loyal audience. My name is Jen, the (now sorta) new Account Manager here at Amplify Interactive. I’ve lived in Oregon for the whole of my 30 year life and have loved every minute of it. Advertising has been my life ever since I graduated from college. With new technology and more social channels popping up just about every month…every single day is different. The majority of my Account Management career was focused in planning and executing Direct Response television campaigns with an emphasis in multi-channel attribution. So how did I end up at a boutique SEM agency you ask?? Because Search Engine Marketing is where it’s at. It’s the most efficient and highly targeted media channel.

2012 Media Consumption

2012 Media Consumption (Source: Forrester)

Throughout years of attribution analysis it was clear where people’s focus was moving…online. Consumers browse, research, and now, engage with companies/products online. The best part about that is, it’s much cheaper to reach them through PPC and Social channels AND get them to actually take action…which let’s face it, is the bottom line. So with that said, I’ve learned so much over the past four months and feel compelled to share, what I see as, the top five reasons to STOP overlooking your Search Engine Marketing plan.

1) Potential customers need to be able to find you in order to use your service or buy your product.

If you haven’t put in the time and money to ensure you show up in search results when consumers are looking for you…you shouldn’t waste your money advertising anywhere else. Sadly, I will admit that in all the years I was involved in multi-channel media plans and attribution models, PPC was very rarely even mentioned as something important to consider. I mean, if you’re going to spend the money to develop a new TV campaign, display at a tradeshow, or launch a new product, the goal is most certainly to create buzz and drive more traffic/sales to your website or call centers. And as we’ve all experienced, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to find a company or product and getting shown everything but the company’s website you’re looking for. So please, please, please don’t spend one more dime on advertising until: PPC campaigns have been setup properly, tracking codes are in place, the best assets have been chosen, and you don’t just push them live and then forget them (and if you’re not sure what “properly” means…check us out on SlideShare for some free tips).

2) Once those potential customers have found you, you want them to be served precisely what they were searching for.

If the search was for “Ethics Training” you want them to be directed to your best asset (whitepaper, webinar, services page, etc.) that could potentially get you that lead or sale; not to your generic home page where they have to navigate their way through all the different options before they can even find the “Ethics” section. With the proper keyword research, optimization, tracking, and ongoing analysis within your PPC, SEO, and Social campaigns, you can ensure you are paying attention to your different target segments wants/needs and giving them the proper solution the first time they come to you.

3) Spend money and get immediate, trackable results.

Push vs. PullPPC is the most efficient way to start driving traffic to your website. Though it is dependant on other marketing efforts to drive demand, it’s by far the channel that you see the most return in since it captures all the interest the other mediums stir up through awareness. You may have heard the terms “push” vs. “pull” when describing offline vs. online media and I believe that’s the best way to visualize the purpose of individual marketing channels. TV/Radio/Print/Email/SEO, even online display all push awareness for your company/product, while search “pulls” that interest and directs them to the appropriate page.

4) Testing is the key to success and in an environment that changes daily, online media allows for larger impressions at lower costs.

Before spending thousand of dollars on production of newspaper or TV creative, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable knowing what some of your target customers think about it? In fact, that’s what a majority of creative agencies do now anyway…test their creative concepts or offers through banner ads or online focus groups in order to reach a wide range of their customers at the lowest cost possible. In TV specifically, a minimum of $25k and two weeks on the air is necessary to gain any statistically sound learnings, whereas learnings from online media (of course unique to search volume) can be gained at a fraction of the cost (almost always under $5k) and can sometimes only take a few days. As customers search patterns and needs shift and new competition pops up every day, it’s crucial your message is continuously customized.

5) The data’s available, why not use it?

Regardless of how much time and money your company decides to invest in PPC, SEO (Content and Link Development), and Social (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest) campaigns, the facts can’t be denied…people WILL be looking for and researching you online. Please don’t waste that valuable information by not capturing it or analyzing it. Do you know how potential customers find your product or service? Do you know what they’re actually interested in? After seeing the data that’s available to them (through keyword research), almost every client I’ve worked with has been surprised by what keywords or phrases customers actually use vs. what they thought their customers used to find them or were interested in. All that data can then be used to shape the way you communicate to your audience and allow you to be more specific to their needs when delivering them a solution.

And there you have it! After overlooking this crucial part of my marketing campaigns for so long, I’m committed to make sure companies stop making the same mistake. Call us today, ask questions….just make it happen!

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Amplify Interactive offers Paid Search (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services for medium to enterprise sized businesses. Contact us today to chat about your search strategy.

About Jennifer Echternach

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