Advertising the Easy Way – Search

Some quick comments on setting up your own SEM (search) ad campaign — Facebook ads coming later.

It’s really pretty easy. Before you get started consider:

  1. Where you want your ad to go. Is it your Website? If you’re a small business without a strong Web presence maybe something Like Yelp where customer’s have reviewed your business might make more sense.
  2. What customers are likely to be doing or looking for on-line where if you can intercept them at that moment, they will be the most engaged.

Set up an account. It’s easy, its free. Google is going to get you the biggest audience, but if you’re in the travel or health lifestyle business, consider Bing/MSN. Yahoo tends to skew to an older demographic, but it’s also strong on entertainment.

Don’t ignore targeting.  Focus on getting traffic from the people you WANT as customers. The biggest mistake you can make is trying to generate as much traffic as possible. Instead focus on quality traffic.

Run a small test. You only need to spend what you want to spend. The search engines will provide you with somewhat accurate cost estimates, but it is worth running a small test with a limit of a few hundred dollars (or less) to get started.

Is it  worth it? The best way to determine this is to calculate your average cost per customer acquisition or customer engagement. If you can’t / don’t know. determine the probability that this person will become a customer. Then determine what the value of that customer is likely to be.

Oh, and you don’t have to always sell. Search advertising is a great way to get the news out, manage crisis communications or extend the reach of traditional advertising.  Today the number one follow-up activity after someone hears about something of interest, is a Web search on that topic.

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