Alternative Keyword Selection
After more than 10 years of doing online marketing and various aspects of reputation and branding management, I have a keen sense of alternative methods of achieving a goal. Often I am brought in by small and medium sized companies to analyze their Pay Per Click campaigns. Most have someone internal who among a dozen other tasks also manages their online advertising. What this often means is a “set it and forget it” strategy. As long as the leads keep coming, the owners or executives don’t pay that much attention to the large bill on the Amex every month. What they don’t realize is that a few hours spent optimizing their strategy up front, plus one hour each month to check, tweak, and change their strategy can reduce their expenditure by 10, 20, or even 60% or more. For most of the businesses I work with, this is typically thousands of dollars each month. Well worth the investment of time and money on the front end. While I have no interest in long term management of PPC campaigns, I am in great demand for one time consulting on such projects.
One of the areas I see the most common error among smaller businesses is the costly mistake of choosing the wrong keywords. Every company, especially the biggest players in the market will want the highest traffic words. It is not that these keyword don’t drive great traffic to their site, it does. However, it is not the only way to get quality traffic there. By using other keywords which might have slightly less traffic, or be a bit off, but still attracting the right clients, they can either reduce their monthly investment or significantly increase traffic to their site or landing pages.
Here is an example I recently analyzed for a firm that does general financial planning. This includes the sale of stocks, mutual funds, annuities, life insurance, etc. When I looked at their campaign, the majority of their budget was for the keyword Financial Planner. I asked the owner, would you rather save money or get a whole lot more leads. He said, how about you reduce the budget by $X,XXX to cover your fee, then use the rest of the savings to get us more traffic. In that case, I was able to increase their lead volume by more than 25% per month at no cost to the client. A true win win.
Take a look at the cost per click when I expanded their keyword pool away from just financial planner:
Financial Planner 100 clicks cost $156
Insurance Agent 100 clicks cost $124
Stock Broker 100 clicks cost $59
Life Insurance 100 clicks cost $5
Not only would a “financial planner” potentially save a massive amount of money by choosing different keywords, he/she may end up in a much less competitive situation.
Take a look at the competition the financial planner faces for adds:
Now take a look at the competition he/she faces under Insurance Agent:
And for Stock Broker:
So while “financial planner” may be the ideal keyword, when considering the cost savings and the lack of direct competition, while still attracting the right kind of clicks,using alternative keywords is one of the strategies I recommend most to my clients. It is always a sure fire way for instant credibility. Once we have that covered, I can dive in and look at their overall online presence. From online reputation and online brand management to overall sentiment in social media, all areas of a businesses brand need to be crafted, monitored and protected.
Also, if you would like to read some of Brian Newmark’s other content here are the links:
Brian Newmark is a reputation and brand management consultant specializing in International Accounts, with a specific focus in the MENA region. Catering to high profile individuals, multi-national businesses, political figures and governments throughout the world Brian is able to both control what shows up on search results as well as public perception. To accomplish these challenging objective, Brian utilizes high profile media outlets, bloggers, third party sites, as well as cutting edge technology for sentiment and moderation. Brian has 20 years experience in the marketing field with more than 10 years in digital marketing. In that time he has run massive Pay Per Click campaigns, Social Media Campaigns, been a thought leader in Reputation Management, and led the way with thought provoking public perception campaigns. Brian lives in Villanova, PA with his wife of 17 years and his two children.