Won’t make it to SES Chicago this year.
I’ve done so much travelling in 2008 I’m hanging up my noise-cancelling headphones and staying in Blighty for December – right up until I fly to Seattle for Christmas that is!
One fellow who will be there is Greg Jarboe from SEO-PR. Greg is one of the nicest men in search. His warm and steady charm creates the perfect atmosphere to teach what can initially be quite a complicated – and dry! – form of marketing.
He’ll be giving the SEM Master Class for marketers new to the channel on the second day of the conference.
As someone who has been in the industry for eight years, I sometimes find it difficult to articulate the basics from a beginner’s standpoint, so I caught up with Greg in Vegas to ask three very simple questions…..
MelC - With the economy in such turmoil right now, I guess you’d have to work harder to encourage marketers to invest in a new channel. So how would you go about persuading newcomers to SEM that their time and energy will be well spent?
GJ - A recession is both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is obvious: Marketers need to do more with less. But the opportunity to is persuade marketers that investing in a new channel or technique will increase their marketing ROI. For example, I recently spoke at the 2008 PRSA International Conference in Detroit.
My topic was: What’s the ROI on Your Press Release? And I shared some case studies of press releases that generated a measurable ROI. This includes optimized press releases that generated $200 million in qualified leads for Symmetricom’s chip-scale atomic clocks, more than $2.5 million in ticket sales for Southwest Airlines, and almost 1.3 million searches for “florists” on SuperPages.com.
I also explained how combining blog outreach with press release optimization generated a record 450,000 unique visitors to The Christian Science Monitor, more than 88,000 entries into Parents magazine’s cutest kid in America photo contest, and a record 1,100 attendees to the Wharton Economic Summit.
The most effective way to persuade newcomers to SEM that their time and energy will be well spent is to show them the money.
MelC - Getting started is always a tad daunting so what advice do you have for folks taking their first steps in search?
GJ - Start by taking baby steps.
You need to build a case that the ROI of search engine marketing (SEM) is significant. So, start with a modest pay-per-click advertising campaign on Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft adCenter.
You’ll see measurable results in a month. That can be leveraged to build the case for investing in search engine optimization (SEO), which may take a couple of months before you see a measurable ROI. Then, you can build the case for press release optimization, blog optimization, and video optimization.
But for all of these steps in search, measure results in website traffic, lead generation or online sales. Ranking #1 may feel good, but it doesn’t make the cash register ring.
MelC - Once your campaign is live, what three things should one look out for, and concentrate on, in order to get the very best return on investment?
GJ - The first thing you should look out for is “clicks.” How many clicks did I get?
But, in order to get the very best ROI you need to concentrate on conversions. What percentage of my clicks converted to leads or sales?
Then, you need to move to ROI. Where do I get the biggest bang for my bucks?
Once you know which tactics or terms are generating conversions cost-effectively you can manage your entire marketing mix — from PPC ads, to SEO programs, to PR campaigns.
MelC - Thanks Greg and good luck in Chicago!