Modern Search Engine Marketing 101
Most Internet use begins with a search engine, which provides an opportunity for your advertising to reach a wide audience. Marketers have taken notice, with both B2B and B2C marketers listing search engine marketing as their most widely used tool. Search engines have responded by updating their advertising programs to accommodate the needs of modern marketers.
Here are 5 search engine marketing trends and how to make the most of them:
- Increased character limits. Advertising describes your product or service in a way that appeals to your potential customers. It can be challenging to do that in just 70 characters and a 25-character headline. This is why both Bing and Google are testing expanded text ads that will allow advertisers 80 characters with two 30-character headlines. In order to prepare for this change, advertisers should write engaging ads that fit the new requirements. Along with basic information about your business, include a clear call-to-action and relevant keyword. These elements will make your ad more likely to show up in searches and improve your search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines encourage this as Google AdWords has a Keyword Planner that can help you to come up with potential keywords for your campaign. To learn how keywords help search engines find you, check out our SEO Checklist.
Before Pulse creates an ad campaign, we use the keyword planner to inform our ad’s content. To the right is an example of a list of keywords we generated for a client’s AdWords campaign. We’ve circled our chosen keyword, “ziplines,” in red.
- Responsive ad design. Responsive design is not just for websites anymore. Along with adjusting to the size of different screens, your ads can now adjust to the format of the content they’re being viewed in, whether that be a website or social media platform. This type of advertising is known as native advertising and is an effective way to get around ad-blocking software. As a result, your ad will be more likely to be viewed. It is estimated that native ads are viewed over 50% more than banner ads.
- Targeting by device type. Nearly 2 out of 3 Americans own a smartphone, so it’s likely that your ads will be viewed on one of these devices. Google is now allowing advertisers to target ad campaigns by the device they’re being viewed on and bid as such. Bing has taken this a step further by allowing campaign performance data to be segmented by device. More important than these search engine features in reaching mobile device users is being mindful of mobile-friendly design elements and investing in mobile marketing as a whole. One way to do this is to include a click-to-call button on your ad, which connects visitors to you by phone quickly and easily.
Below is an example of an ad that we created for one of our clients. Notice how we included a keyword, a clear call-to-action, and a click-to-call button. Our keyword, “ziplines,” is bolded. The call-to-action is in blue print after the client’s name, “Xtreme Adventures.” The phone number serves as a click-to-call button.
- Local search ads. Local searches drive potential customers to your door. Google’s recent changes to ad displays on Maps will help you gain more customers this way. These changes include showing ads in the Local Finder and indicating specials at your business with promoted pins. Even with this assistance from Google, you should pay attention to your local SEO strategy so local searches can find you. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 local SEO strategies for your business.
- Remarketing. Marketing is about reaching your target audience. Remarketing allows you to personalize your contact with them. Through data collected by your analytics programs, you can choose who sees your ads and where they see them. You can follow your prospects by using strategically placed ads around the Internet as they search for related products or services. Along with their online purchasing and Internet browsing habits, you can further target your prospects by using demographic information about them, such as age, location, or gender. This information can be used to write more effective ads that can be used as part of your overall search engine advertising campaign. Creating a customer persona is one of the first steps in this process. We’ve created a Customer Persona Checklist to guide you.
At Pulse, we have taken advantage of the opportunity presented by remarketing. To the left is an example of a remarketing audience we set up to target visitors that stayed on our website for 3 or more minutes.
Keeping up-to-date with current search engine advertising features can make your campaigns more effective. When combined with other marketing strategies, including mobile marketing and SEO, you can get the most reach for your advertising dollars through search engine marketing.