You worked so hard over the years to build a respectable budget for paid search, and now the search engines themselves are pitching non-search ads at you or others are suggesting you try the latest ads on a social network. This session looks at when you want to stand up for search, with strategies on keeping your budget strong and arguing that new ads require new money, not a slice of paid search funds.
Moderator / Speakers
Jeffrey K. Rohrs, Vice President, Agency & Search Marketing of ExactTarget, is moderating this session along with Rob Kerry, Editor at Sphinn.com, who is moderating the Q&A portion. Speaking is Brian Combs, Founder & Senior Vice President of Apogee Search, Adam Jewell, Search Engine Marketing Specialist at NetPlus Marketing, and Kchitiz Regmi of Milestone Internet Marketing.
Brian is up first. It is not all about budget. The larger investment may be time itself. Know your numbers in order to defend your budget. Also be able to separate different paid search models - keyword search, content match, etc. Now there are often hidden costs in testing. Another way to defend ad budget is to allow your paid search to inform other type so advertising. That's it for Brian - pretty short and sweet.
Adam is up next. In defending budget, first clearly define your online goals and what success actually means. Focus on the highest leverage ROI drivers to maximize ROI across all advertising and promotional programs. Use web stats to evaluate effectiveness of programs.
In defining goals, clarify if it is sales, leads, traffic or something else. You have to be able to show that you have reached or exceeded those goals if you are going to effectively defend the search budget. If you can use analytics to show sales compared to search leads, search is always going to show that it is a great ROI. The key is presenting that in a compelling manner.
In summary, allocate budgets to highest ROI generating outlets. Test new opportunities but don't leave money on the table by under funding search. Adam then showed us several "real life" examples of programs that might get cut while others might receive more funds thrown at them. It involves taking a look under the hood to see what is working and what is not.
Finally, Kchitiz is up. He is going to focus on arguments defending the importance of paid search. He points out that you can capitalize on video ads with YouTube. It is not just text ads anymore on Google. He then shows examples of Google paid results, paid result on Google Maps, ads on YouTube and even on mobile phones. In other words, paid search continues to grow in its reach. Another defense for paid search is the ability to geo-target. He goes on to show how targeted paid ads can be - something that is not available with many other forms of advertising.
Finally, showing positive ROI will go a long way in defending a search budget against new ad fads. With analytics, the effectiveness of a paid search ad can be demonstrated very easily. Don't forget to use landing page testing to prove the effectiveness of paid search.
Now the Q&A portion begins. Rather than try to capture every question and answer, I will point out some highlight from this portion of the session.
- One person asked what the opinion of the panel is on "in-text" ads. Brian
answered that if you get good pricing, you can get a good ROI. Conversions
rates will very likely be lower.
- What happens when affiliate marketing is kicking paid search's butt? You can't ignore the reach of paid search ads. Also, not every company is going to be able to even run an affiliate program.
David Wallace - CEO and Founder SearchRank.