Are we on the brink of a double dip recession? Will Greece default on its debt, followed by the rest of Europe’s second-tier nations? The short answer is we don’t know, but if we were to hazard a guess, we’d probably say possibly to the first question and certainly to the second. Others, of course, would disagree. We all have our views on the economy and its current perilous state, but what we’re all agreed on is that things aren’t looking too clever. Money’s tight for everyone, and if you have to spend to stimulate your business, then it pays to make sure the money you are spending is working as hard as it can for you. This is particularly the case for search engine marketing. No business wants to waste valuable resources on an advertising platform that just doesn’t deliver. Online advertising budgets are squeezed to within an inch of their lives, so they have to be cost-effective and they have to deliver. So, are there any steps your business can take to ensure that it’s getting sufficient bang for its buck? Can you still run an efficient SEM programme and save a few bob at the same time?
If there’s one major advantage that the internet has brought, it’s the ability to analyse and measure online advertising. Everything is measurable. The internet gives businesses the ability to assess what’s working in terms of SEM and what isn’t, yet it’s surprising how few businesses use this information. If you analyse your SEM data and find that, despite your best seo efforts, it isn’t working, then maybe now’s the time to change things. Throwing good money after bad is pointless, so make us of all the statistical information you can lay your hands on.
Test and test again
In order to decide whether your advertisements are working as they should be, you’ll need to measure their effectiveness. Businesses should measure everything: landing pages, calls to action, advertisement placements and the effectiveness of blogs. They should also continue to test on an ongoing basis to measure what, if anything is changing. The more a business tests, the more successful its marketing campaigns will be.
You don’t always have to stick with the major players like Google and Bing: other advertising networks can help to extend your budget
We’re all in agreement that Google, Bing and Yahoo are great. They always deliver, well, nearly always, and can be relied upon. Unfortunately because of this, they’re also the most expensive to advertise on. There are other cheaper networks, like long-tail advertising networks that can deliver an equal number of clicks and extend your advertising budget. What’s more there isn’t a significant decrease in quality either.
If you use these cheaper networks, make sure they’re vetted thoroughly
It’s fine to use cheaper networks to generate traffic, but you’ll want to know that the traffic they claim to generate is genuine. So, make sure your online ad network thoroughly vets traffic through third party, independent traffic cleansers. Most advertisers are happy to do this and confirm that you’re getting genuine clicks from genuine people, not from bots or adult sites.
Recession forces all prices down, including advertising
That’s not meant to sound heartless, but you have to do what’s best for your business, even if that’s at the expense of someone else’s. Advertisers need to attract custom, and during economically stagnant periods, they tend to do this by reducing prices to pull in the business. If you can get more clicks for less of an outlay, then grab it. If you don’t, others certainly will.