10 things you need to know before you spend money on keyword advertising
By Lori Bratz
The best customers are the ones that come looking for you. I could sit and cold call businesses all day long and try to explain why they need me, but it’s much easier to pay search engines or strive for high organic placement to send me qualified leads: people who are looking for my services already. It’s good to strike while the iron is hot, and when keywords turn into hot customers, send them to me.
What do you need to know to buy keywords that actually convert to sales?
#1. Know your bottom line. An alarming number of business owners have NO idea what percentage of their money is being spent on essentials or how much profit they are earning, consequently, they don’t know what they can afford to spend on advertising. Do not start buying advertising (or anything else) until you know your bottom line.
#2. Know your customers. Who are the people that want to buy your product or service? Where do they live? Target those people in that area only. Highly targeted ads are more expensive, but they also deliver more qualified leads.
#3. Know your sales cycle. How long does it normally take consumers to purchase your product after they decide they may want or need it? Usually, the more expensive a product or service is, the longer the buying cycle. If you’re selling a $50 radio, you will probably see lots of conversion right away. If you’re selling a $15,000 roof repair job, the sales process will take a lot longer. Your audience is taking time to make an informed decision, gathering information, talking to experts, financial institutions, insurance companies, etc. If you stop advertising before the buyer completes the buying process, then you wont be there when they are ready to make the purchase. Be prepared to go the distance.
#4. Have a realistic advertising budget. Remember the old saying, “You need to spend money to make money.” I always tell my clients that if the conversion is there, they should spend as much as they can on their advertising. That is, if it costs you $10 to make $100, why wouldn’t you do as much as you could? Throwing just a few dollars at advertising is like throwing it out the window.
#5. Know your acquisition cost in order to get started. That is, how much it costs you right now to get a customer. For example, if you spend $200 mailing out flyers, and you get 10 customers in your store, then your acquisition cost is $20. It costs you $20 to get a customer. Online advertising works in much the same way. Don’t expect the internet to magically send you customers for nothing. Anything worth having is worth working for. It’s a numbers game. Go go go.
#6. Know your availability and inventory. Are you advertising so aggressively that you can’t keep up with your orders?
#7. Know your industry. If you are selling a product or service that is in a highly competitive market with major, corporate-backed budgets, consider niching. A niche is a specialty product or service. If your market is highly saturated, your keywords will be far less effective than a new or un-tapped market.
#8. Know your competition. Study your competitors ads to see how they are representing themselves and then make your ad more inviting to customers. If you see that your competitor is offering your main product for less, then offer free shipping. Note: You must NEVER click a competitor’s ad. That is plainly and simply stealing. When you visit your competitor’s site, type their URL into a browser. There’s plenty of customers out there for everyone. Fraud click is the lowest, most reprehensible behavior on the net.
#9. Know when to try something else: You can learn what keywords people are searching to get to you by studying your search engine account page and you own website statistics. If you have keywords that aren’t converting, then simply stop spending time and money on those keywords.
#10. Hire a professional: There are lots of people who claim to be SEO specialists, but only a few truly deliver on these claims. You truly get what you pay for. Look for someone with proven results.