Detlev’s Tips and Tricks for Paid Listings and Organic Search Optimization

Detlev Johnson at SearchReturn published his search marketing tips and tricks that he’s preparing to present at an upcoming event. There’s some sound advice here for both paid listings and organic search:

Dos and Don’ts.

1. Do: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

You can use the Paid listings platform to test gads of things that will lead to better ROI directly from those programs. Many of the lessons you learn through testing Paid, can be brought over to your natural or organic search marketing efforts. It will help you strike a better balance between paid and natural listings. You can test keywords, multiple ad creative and landing page effectiveness.

2. Do advertise where you have a natural listing.

It is often thought of as wasteful to advertise through paid listings when you have a top natural ranking. You will want to test this for your business segment, but most businesses see an increase in natural clicks when they also purchase the paid listing. Why? Because most clicks from search occur with natural listings (6 out of 7) and the math almost always works out for better ROI after paying for those that click the paid listing.

3. Do ramp up your natural or organic efforts.

Paid is easy to engage. The search engines’ own incentive is to make it so. Therefore, often those that engage the paid listing programs often fail in natural or organic listings. This is such a huge opportunity for balancing the equation, since natural receives as many as 6 out of 7 ecommerce type search result clicks. Balance for you probably means more investment in natural or organic.

4. Don’t ‘set it and forget it’

Setting up a paid campaign is easy enough that you may start up a campaign because the opportunity to purchase keywords is obvious.
Don’t just set it up and forget it. Next time you see the charge against your account, make sure to remind yourself that engaging paid and thinking about natural or organic requires resources.
If you can’t assign internal resources when the online channel is important to you, find a vendor that can help you.

5. Don’t purchase links.
In December 2007, Matt Cutts from Google was reviewing a website that had a reported 197,000 inbound links (links from websites pointing at the site in question). When he logged into a private Google tool to learn how much of that linking helped the site rank, the number he discovered was 3. It was because the site owner obtained his linking through purchasing them from link brokers. Imagine the waste of that ongoing spend.

6. Don’t bother with ranking reports.

Ranking reports actually serve to distract you from what’s important. Look at your incoming traffic, the keywords that are bringing in those requests, and don’t bother looking up keywords where you have no rankings. This will get you to the real work with paid as well. Did you know a broad match hit on ‘travel’
means your actual user might have typed ‘time travel machine’?

If you run a travel site, that would be too important not to know. Forget ranking reports and use the extra time by examining analytics reports.

A word about Ranking Reports.
For years we’ve been telling out clients not to focus solely on ranking reports as they don’t tell the whole story. Instead focus on the actual traffic you receive.

The past couple of years we’ve been telling clients that it will continue to get harder and harder to even rely on ranking reports. Ranking reports are becoming more and more ineffective as Personal Search grows. With Personal Search, everybody gets different search results based on their history.

Clients have a hard time with this. “How are we going to know if you’re doing a good job for us?” We have to show them the metrics that really matter during the project.