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Don't Overlook Search Engine Marketing Fundamentals

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 16, 2009

If you are looking to get more from your search engine marketing investment, take the time to evaluate and fine-tune your campaigns. You may have overlooked some fundamental tactics that can measurably improve your results. Here are a few to get you started.

Tactic 1: Expand your keyword list.
Brainstorming an intuitive set of keywords related to your products or services is the best way to start your campaign. You can easily expand your intuitive list by using the search engine’s keyword tool or other tools available on the Internet like Wordtracker, HitWise, and Keyword Discovery. Bid on as many relevant keywords as you can. Expanding your keyword bidding list will allow you to get more traffic for less if you bid on less popular yet relevant keywords.

Tactic 2: Promote specific products or product categories separately.
Search engines like Google and Yahoo allow you to create several ad groups inside your campaign. This also allows you to use specific keywords and ad copy targeted to each product or category you want to promote. Each click-through should direct your visitor to the specific product you are promoting. You’ll find out that you can get higher click-through rates when your ads contain the specific keywords you are targeting in an ad group. You may also find that smaller, more targeted keyword groups are easier to manage.

Tactic 3: Advertise locally.
If your business is focused on a particular geographic area, use keyword terms such as city, state, or metro area to attract those searching for nearby providers. You may find out that adding a particular location to your list of keywords can turn out to be less expensive and bring you more targeted customers.

Experiment with one or more of these simple tactics and you will likely be rewarded for your time and effort.

Dorab Patel, PhD
Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Santa Monica, California

Reader Comments

Kevin Hutto

January 18, 2009 9:57 PM

Another technique to help get more relevant clicks is to use negative keywords. You can choose to have your ad NOT show up if certain keywords are used in the search. For example, "free" is often an appropriate negative keyword. This is because if you are selling something online, you dont want the guys who want it for free to click on your ad as they arent looking to buy...

Kevin Hutto

John Maclay

January 28, 2009 2:38 PM

25% of what you can do to get better page ranking in a Google search result is can be accomplished within your site code. There are many items from ALT tags on photos to proper titling and heading formatting. However, is that all we want to settle for is 25%?

A whopping 75% of what it takes to keep you page ranked high on search engine results lies out in the world of “in-bound links.” Sure, getting your site known and trusted by the Google’s spiders requires having a good site. But even more, it takes having the internet world trust you enough to link to it. There are many places to spread your links—and free! A “” link is great, but a “Your Name” or “Market Keyword” that is a hyper to your site is even better.

After all, when the top 3 names on a Google search yields more hits than the positions 4-200 combined, you can’t afford NOT to do a good job. So get our there Johnny Linkleseed and spread those links!

John Maclay
Yagotcha! Marketing


June 27, 2009 5:08 PM

I wanted to just add my two cents here with following up with John's comment regarding the world of in-bound links:

Not only is spreading your own "Market Keyword Hyperlinks" important, but having other site owners link back to your own site with the same keywords would make sense to generate even more relevant search visitor traffic would it not?

Now, I'm not certain this is a prominent topic, but I would still like to know how each site can do this, especially if the site owner is using a standard comments box.

Maybe this is something that takes place behind the scenes when the comment is still in moderation and you or I can make those keyword changes from the comment that was originally posted.

I'll keep you posted!


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