Traffic: Are you Getting Enough?
Broadband has got better and better around the world. We now have super fast 4G mobile internet, amazing fibre optic broadband, and very good ADSL broadband. Consumers are spending more time than ever online. The “movement online” by UK consumers signals amazing opportunity for those businesses that have the intelligence and professionalism to put their business in the right place; in front of their target demographics.
Many of us focus on organic search marketing these days. Generally known as search engine optimisation, it is the driving of traffic through the natural process of developing inbound link authority, and on-page keyword targeting, resulting in rankings. These days getting rankings means getting links from high quality authority websites in your niche, and getting shares through the social media platforms.
The frustrating part about search engine optimisation is that it has a very long lead in time. You have to invest time and money in order to drive the links and produce the content required to develop your online readership. Only after much has been set in place will you be able to start deriving an income. The sandbox effect, commonly talked about in relation to Google, means that you often have to wait at least a month before you get any visitors. This can be more than frustrating; it can be crippling.
Thankfully there are solutions to this problem. There are ways you can start deriving income from day one. All it takes is to have a high quality business model and to have a budget.
In this article we shall focus on Google Adwords as a means to derive income at the opening of your business. We will also talk about how you can transition towards search engine optimisation and organic means of residual traffic as time goes by.
What is Google Adwords?
Google Adwords is the online advertising platform produced by Google. Whenever you look at search results in the Google search engine you will see adverts at the top, normally three, and adverts down the side, normally five or six. These adverts will have catchy titles and a short description, followed by the URL of the website. These companies are paying to feature in these positions in an auction model. The highest bidders are at the highest spots.
To set up Google Adwords is very simple. Let’s take a look at how.
Setting up Google Adwords
To set up Google Adwords you need to navigate to www.google.co.uk/adwords. You can then sign up for an account and begin searching for keywords straight away. Google has got rid of its old keyword tool, and replaced it with the keyword planner. With this new tool you can search for keywords in a number of ways.
It is important that you choose keywords that can generate your income, but also that are within your budget. If you’re in the finance space targeting annuities, the keyword annuity will be high volume, but could be very expensive. Often you will have to pay £8 or £9 for every click that you receive on this keyword. The very expensive keywords are often the best converting.
The way forward is to do some thorough, good research. Think about what your target audience is searching, and find out what they are talking about in social media. By listening and gathering information, and talking to your existing clients, you will be able to work out some niche keywords that you can target, that may not be as expensive. The process of using Adwords really is all about keyword targeting and getting that right business model in place.
Writing Your Ads
Once you have your keywords that you would like to target you need to develop some adverts. These should be catchy, but also qualifying. You shouldn’t go for every visitor you could potentially get into your website, as you will end up with very low conversion rates. Target your adverts to the consumers you want clicking through.
For example, if you are again selling annuities. You may want to only focus on annuities that are above a certain size. Therefore, qualifying in your advert with a subheading such as “do you have an annuity over £50,000?”, can ensure that you don’t end up with the dribs and drabs that you don’t want to be dealing with.
Test different adds for a specific period, for example 100 clicks, and find out what works best.
The Business Model
The business model is crucial to your success. Every visitor costs money, and therefore you need to get the right number of people through to your website and through to conversion.
There is no point getting so many leads that you can’t handle them and you end up scrapping them.
On the other side of the Adwords coin, if you aren’t getting conversions, but are getting people to your website, then you are just wasting your money.
Develop a spreadsheet so you can understand exactly how your business needs to run. Monitor and track everything. Run your Adwords campaigns by numbers. Install Google Analytics, and use Webmaster tools in order to inform your keyword research and business flow.
Google Analytics also enables you to track the paid traffic that comes to your site. You can look at the flow around your site and where people are dropping out. This can help you to focus on the keywords that are the most profitable, as well as develop new ways of enticing customers to interact with you.
Why the Internet?
In 2012 around 36 million people bought something online. In 2013 even more will. Shoppers are increasingly changing the way they behave. Many of us are going out to shops to find out about product and choose the products that we like. Then we go home and order online at the best price we can find; sneaky but true.
This means that the online environment is far more competitive; there is a bigger cake which online retailers can slice up, but with smaller margins. Indeed, it is much easier to find products and services online than it is off-line. It stands to reason that you need to maximise your online presence, and Google Adwords can be a fantastic way to do so.
Transitioning to SEO
Over time it makes sense to transition towards an increasingly SEO-based marketing model. Adwords clicks are expensive. And while you can up your advertising spend as your business grows, having free traffic is the holy grail of Internet marketing.
By producing quality content on an ongoing basis, and sharing it through social media, you will become an authority in your field. Over time this influence will turn into visitors. You will gain inbound links that will drive your rankings up the search engines, and therefore enable you to get free traffic and free customers. It takes an investment of time and money in order to have a good search engine optimisation campaign. It also takes a keen focus on quality.
If you are willing to put in the time, you will get the rewards. By starting your business with a Google Adwords model, and transitioning to a search engine optimisation model as you profit from the Adwords, you will be able to achieve better margins as time goes by.