Skip to main content

Helpful SEM Advice from MarketingSherpa


If you missed it, MarketingSherpa hosted a webcast on New Research: Top 5 Tests to Raise Landing Page Conversions earlier this week. Key findings from their presentation:

  • Marketing results are generally getting better—either marketers are getting landing page design down to more of a science, or the strong economy is fueling more buyer interest, or some combination of the two.

  • The most popular test was dynamic pages—changing the information displayed on the landing page to reflect the exact search term. Considering that half of the respondents don't or can't do even simple a/b testing, it's surprising that a sophisticated technique like dynamic landing pages would generate this level of response, but that's what their data showed. Here is MarketingSherpa's example of this practice, though it doesn't work quite right (I actually searched for "stratocaster guitar," not "stratocaster parts").

  • Other popular tests included registration forms (shorter is better); creative design (the key is eyeflow—two columns are better than three, one column is better than two); and optimizing SEO landings (which should be a no-brainer).

  • Other design findings: never use center-justified text, avoid reversed-text (light on dark background) if at all possible, and use big type: 10 point minimum, 12 point is better. Make buttons big—you should be able to see them from six feet away from your monitor.

  • I've had it drilled into me that "PR is NOT lead gen," but one company that linked terms in its press releases to specific landing pages on its site saw a 12.5% conversion rate. Hmm, may be worth trying.

  • The most important—and basic—point is that you can't manage (or test) what you can't measure: nearly 20% of respondents had no way to test landing page results. They are (quite possibly) wasting their money just paying for clicks.

  • And the most surprising point: 16% of respondents said they didn't share SEM results with their agencies. My question is: why isn't their agency managing their SEM program in the first place?

For more MarketingSherpa advice on landing pages, you may want to check out this excerpt from their 2007 Landing Page Handbook (or spring for the $497 full copy).

They also recently published an outstanding case study on improving SEM results through Google's content network entitled How to Get the Most Out of Google AdWords—8 Strategies to Maximize ROI. It's one of the best pieces I've seen providing clear, concise and practical advice on maximizing content network results.

Lest you think I'm a shill for MarketingSherpa—naw, just a fan, as they usually do excellent work. Once in a while, however, they blow it. Another of their recent case studies, "How to Use Online Calculators for Lead Generation & Quadruple Conversion Rates," sounds tempting but is crap to be avoided at all costs. The campaign it describes is too idiosyncratic for broader application; too expensive for most marketing budgets; and panders to global warming hysteria—"carbon footprint" nonsense designed only to make the ridiculous Al Gore even wealthier. I remain a fan of MarketingSherpa, but even their experts screw up now and then.

*****


Contact Mike Bannan: mike@digitalrdm.com

Comments

All Time Greats

Best of 2008 - SEO Tools, Part 1

This content has been moved to Best of 2008: SEO Tools on the Webbiquity blog. ***** technorati tags: SEO tools, backlink checking, search engine rank, website grade, link building, Searchlight, Brian R. Brown, Netconcepts, Link Counter, Search Engine Land, Mona Elesseily, Page Zero Media, SpyFu, Search Marketing Blog Online, Jon Clark, TechCrunch, Erick Schonfeld, Website Grader, HubSpot, Rank Checker, KeywordEnvy, Trevor Claiborne, SEO People, link ninja, Paul Teitelman, Traffic Marks, Small Business Search Marketing, Matt McGee, SheerSEO, SearchNewz, Navneet Kaushal, Search Engine Journal, Ann Smarty del.icio.us tags: SEO tools, backlink checking, search engine rank, website grade, link building, Searchlight, Brian R. Brown, Netconcepts, Link Counter, Search Engine Land, Mona Elesseily, Page Zero Media, SpyFu, Search Marketing Blog Online, Jon Clark, TechCrunch, Erick Schonf

How to Use SEO: Leverage SEO To Be Found Online and Boost Your Online Marketing

All businesses that want to attract customers online, no matter the business size or age, have few options other than Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  SEO In The Box™ by Results Driven Marketing®, LLC There are roughly 1.8 billion websites online, and basic SEO allows Google to find and index or catalog your webpages.  After that, Google serves you up to searchers in the organic section.  The question remains: where they list your site, on page one or page 22 or further back? SEO controls your positioning. Do you want to be found online or not? If your business is online or you want your product or service to be found online, then Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must, and knowing how to use SEO to leverage the power of the internet is vital. Arguably, an effective SEO strategy gets you on the organic results section of the search engine results pages (SERP). Organic traffic is highly valuable and requires high-quality SEO. But even businesses that use l

Email Campaign, Newsletter and Banner Ad Click-Through Rates (CTR)

When planning online advertising and email promotion budgets, it's critical to calculate the likely ROI upfront whenever possible, as well as to establish campaign benchmarks. The first step is understanding the average and likely range of CTRs for various programs. The growth in online advertising, the proliferation of enewsletters, the emergence of new forms of information delivery such as RSS and the emergence of social media sites have all affected CTR, so planning based on current data is crucial. It can be challenging to find current statistics, but based on several studies, these are typical CTR ranges for email newsletter ads, email campaigns (blasts or internally-produced enewsletters), and banner ads. Email newsletter advertisements Open rates range from 28-40%, with an average of about 33%—meaning that roughly one-third of the subscriber base is likely to see your ad. The Advertising Is Good For You blog tracks these statistics from DoubleClick . The average CT

Best of 2008: Social Media Optimization, Part 6

This content has been moved to Best of 2008: Social Media Marketing on the Webbiquity blog. ***** technorati tags: online video SEO reputation management social bookmarking social media marketing SEO and reputation management Search Engine Journal Loren Baker Google Video ClipShare PHPmotion 30 largest social bookmarking sites Anything Goes Blog Stuntdubl social media can increase revenue Social Media Today Jacob Morgan increase blog traffic How To Make My Blog Marko Saric what not to do in social media Interactive Insights Group Robin Broitman social media gaffes Target Motrin Starbucks Whole Foods FedEx del.icio.us tags: online video SEO reputation management social bookmarking social media marketing SEO and reputation management Search Engine Journal Loren Baker Google Video ClipShare PHPmotion 30 largest social bookmarking sites Anything Goes Blog Stuntdubl social media can increase revenue Social Media Today Jacob Morgan increa

Top Notch Digital Marketing Tip: Google AdWords and PPC

Looking for some online marketing strategy or social media tips to grow your business? Well, you’ve come to the right digital marketing resource! Web Market Central has been doling out the proper digital marketing advice for years. And as you already know, marketing to customers online is 100 times easier than using dated, expensive and traditional marketing tactics. Like seriously, who uses billboards in 2019? But you already know how effective digital marketing can be in the modern age. So now that you're totally convinced of what you already knew, let’s give you today's top-notch digital marketing tip! The Pure Unfettered Power of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and PPC Campaigns Just like optimizing your site to rank for keywords, you can use our online marketing tips to pay to run advertisements on Google so that your business is shown on the first page of search engine results. Ranking this way is instantaneous whereas SEO (Search Engine Optimization) takes some

Top-Notch Digital Marketing Tip: Advertisements That Make Sense

Looking for some online marketing tips to grow your business? Well, you’ve come to the right digital marketing resource ! Web Market Central has been doling out the proper DM advice for years. And as you already know, marketing to customers online is 100 times easier than using dated, expensive and traditional marketing tactics. Like seriously, who uses billboards in 2019? But you already know how effective Digital Marketing can be in the modern age. So now that you're totally convinced of what you already knew, let’s give you today's top notch-digital marketing tip! Advertisement Congruence If your business is running ads this is one of our most important online marketing tips! Ad congruence is when your ads and landing pages look alike or have the same message. Have you ever clicked on an ad and been taken to a page that looked nothing like the ad? When your ads look like the web pages they lead to, customers will feel like they are in the right plac

The 8 Layers of a B2B Web Marketing Plan

One way to think about designing a B2B technology web marketing plan is as a series of layers, like an onion. At the core is SEO—simply making your website "findable" through organic search to buyers who are looking for what you offer. Working out from the center are concentric layers of additional investment and sophistication. Small companies and start-ups with modest budgets will focus most of their efforts on the inner layers or rings, which are primarily designed for lead generation. As the company and its marketing budget grow, efforts can be expanded to the outer layers, which are aimed more at branding but support lead generation efforts. Ideally, a company eventually reaches the outer layer where pure branding activities (such as print advertising) help to maximize the effectiveness of lead generation programs (such as SEM) near the center of the circle. This diagram shows how different types of web marketing programs can be prioritized in order to maximize the re

Top Notch Digital Marketing Tip: Optimize Your Site

Looking for some online marketing tips to grow your business? Well, you’ve come to the right digital marketing resource! Web Market Central has been doling out the proper digital marketing advice for years. And as you already know, marketing to customers online is 100 times easier than using dated, expensive and traditional marketing tactics. Like seriously, who uses billboards in 2019? But you already know how effective digital marketing and an seo strategy can be in the modern age. So now that you're totally convinced of what you already knew, let’s give you today's top-notch digital marketing tip! Optimize Your Site to Improve Search Engine Rankings Most small business owners know that their websites need to be optimized in order for search engines, like Google and Bing, to find them and rank them on the search engine results page. If you don’t know, that’s okay. You can learn all about Search Engine Optimization and SEO best practices here to help impr