I am an HR person but right now I have given a task about marketing one of our websites for business. I am kinda new to it, I need to know what is pay per click and how website advertising works? Simply said, how do I market a website and make it sponsored link on Google, Yahoo and other search engines?
First off, let me start with a bit of a rant: marketing is a tough job and savvy marketing people are worth a lot of money. A good marketing campaign can easily be the difference between a company growing by leaps and bounds and a company flailing, losing market share, and shutting up shop completely.
A lot of “marketing experts” and agencies do a poor job, at best, too, with inane campaigns or tedious rehashes of a campaign that was successful for a competitor but now is just tired and obviously derivative.
Watch the advertising on TV for an hour and you’l lsee what I mean. How many of the ads you see are genuinely effective, interesting and engaging? How many of them actually promote the company and make you want to buy the product or service?
So, no offense, but you’re starting out behind the proverbial 8-ball already as someone with expertise in Human Resources being asked to do a completely different, unrelated job that requires skills and experience you probably don’t have. It’s like asking your plumber to guest lecture on early Aztec history at the school down the street. Not so good.
My suggestion, therefore, is for you to focus on the core message and value proposition. Start at the beginning and ask “what problem are we solving for our customers?” Then ask the next critical question: “how do we differentiate from all the other solutions in the marketplace?”
Once you have both of those questions answered you can start to ask the marketing question of “how can we convey that message to our market?”
Finally we can talk about avenues for marketing your business online.
The fast, easy solution is to join a program like Google AdWords and pay for your text or graphical advertisements to show up on search results and third-party content sites. It’s an interesting option because you only pay for specific actions: if no-one ever clicks on your ad, you’ve gotten the exposure for free. But then again, you haven’t made any sales so it’s not effective if your marketing isn’t “closing”.
This can nonetheless be an expensive path to travel because if your ad promises something amazing you can have thousands of people click on it in a very short amount of time. Even at $0.05 or $0.10/click, the cost adds up, and over a month or two, I have heard of companies being shocked by $10k, $20k or higher AdWords bills because they misconfigured their accounts and didn’t pay attention.
Keep in mind that advertisements are promises that need to be delivered when the person clicks on the advert and comes to your so-called landing page. Do not lead them to the company home page, or even to the generic product information page on your site: the most effective ads have an offer within the ad itself (“20% faster than the competitors”) that is then fulfilled on the landing page (“Here’s independent performance ratings for our product compared to the market leaders…”).
Once you’ve SOLD the product or service you can then ask them to buy, not before.
I said that AdWords is the fast, easy solution. It is. And it’s expensive and doesn’t take into account human nature, doesn’t leverage trust or word of mouth, etc.
You can learn more about AdWords at http://adwords.google.com/ and more about Yahoo’s search engine marketing solutions at http://sem.smallbusiness.yahoo.com/searchenginemarketing.