Mastering Search Engine Advertising

Buying your way to the top of search results may seem easy, but managing an effective search engine advertising campaign requires a thoughtful approach with more than a little elbow grease.

Search engine advertising has exploded in popularity over the past few years, offering marketers top positioning and providing searchers with appealing alternatives to annoying banners and popups. To newcomers, the process of bidding on keywords, then sitting back and watching site visitors and online sales start rolling in, seems easy and painless.

That is, until the hapless advertiser gets into a bidding war with a non-rational competitor. Or when the boss asks for specific ROI numbers to justify the expense of a search advertising campaign. These are just two of many issues that can bedevil a marketer setting out on a search advertising effort.

Search Engine Advertising, a new book by SearchDay guest writer Catherine Seda, offers a wealth of information about the entire process of creating and running an effective search advertising campaign. It’s an excellent book, written by a pro who not only understands the mechanics of search engine advertising, but also has the ability to describe sometimes difficult concepts with ease and skill.

Importantly, the book starts off with a critical but often overlooked activity: planning a successful strategy. The apparent simplicity of search engine advertising can be a trap for those who don’t lay a solid foundation for their efforts.

Long before you place your first bid, it’s crucial to go through the often challenging process of keyword research. It’s also important to spend time writing your ads, creating compelling copy that entices people to click through to your web site. Another key activity is creating effective landing pages, your one chance to convince your visitor to spend more time on your website and ultimately “convert” — buy a product, register for an account, subscribe to a newsletter. Seda covers these topics in depth, offering numerous tips and strategies from her own extensive experience.

The book also has excellent coverage of paid placement and paid inclusion programs, their strengths and weaknesses, and when and how to most effectively use them. It also covers specialized search engines — shopping search engines, and targeted search engines that focus on a particular niche, or cater to residents of different regions of the world.

Once you’ve created and implemented a search engine advertising campaign, you must monitor it constantly, measuring success (or failure) and continually tweaking your approach. Part four of the book provides detailed information about performance measurement, including a look at some popular bid management, analytics, and ROI tracking tools and solutions.

The book wraps up with a section on protecting your profits. Although it’s not widely discussed, click fraud can and does occur with paid placement programs. Other problems include improper use of your trademarks by competitors, or affiliates using tactics that may do you more harm than good. Seda shows you how to identify these types of problems, and also offers useful strategies and tips for dealing with them before they become major issues.

Full disclosure: I was a reviewer for this book prior to publication. I’m going to repeat what I wrote then:

The wealth of accurate, savvy information contained in this book makes it a must-read for anyone promoting products or services online. Using even a few of the tips and techniques offered in Search Engine Advertising will boost your results significantly, paying for the book many times over.

Search Engine Advertising
by Catherine Seda
New Riders, $29.99
ISBN 0-7357-1399-5

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Report: Shanghai Will Monitor Internet… Apr 22 2004 12:23PM GMT
Yahoo to Offer Free Auction Listings in China… Apr 22 2004 12:21PM GMT
IAB: Search Drove 2003 Internet Ad Spending Surge… Apr 22 2004 11:41AM GMT
Google Inks 3 Distribution Deals… Apr 22 2004 11:41AM GMT
Portal envy strikes AOL…
CNET Apr 22 2004 11:10AM GMT
‘Siebel meets Google’… Apr 22 2004 8:20AM GMT
Yahoo makes bid…
USA Today Apr 22 2004 3:18AM GMT
Google Wins Rights To…
Search Engine Lowdown Apr 22 2004 2:23AM GMT
FindWhat Integrates Miva Marketplacet… Apr 22 2004 1:53AM GMT
WebCrawler Search Engine Turns 10 Years Old…
Search Engine Journal Apr 22 2004 0:10AM GMT
Semel cashes in more stock…
CNET Apr 21 2004 4:08PM GMT
Google to establish R&D center in Japan…
Asia Times Online Apr 21 2004 11:43AM GMT
Yahoo swings gavel at eBay in China…
Forbes Apr 21 2004 10:21AM GMT
Yahoo Japan says 2003/04 net profit jumps 105 pct…
Forbes Apr 21 2004 6:26AM GMT
Ask Jeeves profit soars 74 percent…
San Francisco Chronicle Apr 20 2004 11:09PM GMT
powered by

Related reading

google ads conversion rates by industry
search industry news trends 2018