Marketing your start-up through search engines

Jeremy and Oliver share their thoughts on marketing a start-up business using Google Adwords. Watch the 2 part video series below or download the full audio podcast. You can also subscribe via iTunes.

1. Understanding Google is essential

About 80% of web browsers begin any “web journey” in a search engine (mostly Google), so understanding how Google and Adwords work is an important step in marketing a successful start-up business.

We find that Adwords is the best way of marketing our business as we get feedback on the performance of our campaigns quickly, and it’s easy to measure success and trends.

2. Build custom landing pages for different searches

Build customised landing pages tailored to each ad-group in your Adwords campaigns. Building specific landing pages helped increased our conversion rates from click to customer from less than 5% to over 10% in most campaigns.

Customers that search for ‘plumber sydney’ should see text ads that re-iterate the search term like ‘Find a plumber in Sydney’. If they click on the ad the landing page should have a header like ‘Sydney Plumbers’ which emphasises the keywords and text ad. Make sure there is consistency between keyword, text ad and landing page will reduce the number of customers who bounce out dramatically.

3. Optimise your landing pages

It’s a good idea to test different combinations of elements, copy, colours and graphics using the Google Website Optimizer. You can run experiments to test how different designs compare to one another.

We increased the click through rate from our landing pages by 30% by changing the colour of a button from orange to green and a simple text change.

4. Our thoughts on traditional advertising

We have found other forms of advertising are generally not as successful when promoting a new business.

TV, radio or banner advertising can reach a large number of people, but the vast majority of these people don’t care about who you are who what you do. Search marketing reaches the people who are relevant to your business.

5. Cost of pay-per-click search marketing

The cost depends upon the nature of your business. The trick is to be granular with your keywords. More specific keywords have less competition and so have a lower price.

6. Publicity is great, but can be hit-and-miss

The only thing that has been as effective as paid search marketing for us is publicity, but it can be hit-and-miss. You don’t have the control that you have with Adwords.

7. Track Conversions

Conversion tracking allows you to track which keyword resulted in a sale, how much this keyword cost and how much in total it cost to acquire each customer. You can use this customer acquisition value to refine your keywords and bidding strategies and attract high value customers.

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