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 The Three Biggest Mistakes in Yahoo! Search Marketing

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Number of posts : 1850
Age : 55
Registration date : 2008-03-08

PostSubject: The Three Biggest Mistakes in Yahoo! Search Marketing   Sat 5 Apr - 19:39

Yahoo Search marketing is becoming mainstream (as opposed to sidestream, I think), but I still find people drowning in that stream. They forget that search marketing is more about marketing than search, because the search technology piece seems so new and different. Woe to the search marketer who misses the marketing part—they’re likely to make one or more of these mistakes:

1: The Rank Amateur Error
Rookie search marketers often fixate on the rankings of their ads, thinking that getting a #1 position on an important keyword is the road to success. Now understand, being #1 usually beats being on page 17 of search results (unless you are targeting the obsessive-compulsive segment), but the days of even knowing your page’s ranking are coming to an end.

Search engines are personalizing more and more search results, so that different searchers get different results for the same keyword. If you focus only on rankings, soon you’ll wake up to find that only the search engines themselves know your rankings. Rather than slavishly reviewing your rankings, your time is better spent finding another metric that best captures the business value of your marketing efforts.

2: The Traffic Report Error
Well, if it’s not rankings, it must be traffic, right? After all, the purpose of search marketing is to drive traffic to your site. That’s true, of course, but the business value of search marketing stems from buyers, not lookers. For paid search, in fact, having more lookers with few buyers is the worst possible situation to be in, because you pay for every searcher who clicks, but you’re getting next-to-no sales to show for your investment.

Instead of studying traffic reports, focus on conversions—the sales that result from your search campaign, whether online or offline. Very often, search keywords that send heavy traffic to your site convert at low rates, while less popular keywords drive more revenue. Focus on the keywords that drive sales, not just traffic.

3: The 24/7 Sales Pitch Error
Some search marketers who avoid the first two errors still fall for the third, blanketing their web site with sales pitches without the proper background. Of course, it’s natural for you to emphasize information about your products, such as advanced features, special deals and capabilities that differentiate your wares from competitors’.

However, that information targets people who already know they need to buy something—folks who know that your product (or your competitor’s) solves their problem. What about the people who know they have a problem, but have no idea what to do about it? Do you have the kind of problem-solving content that those customers are looking for? If you do, figure that some of those people will appreciate the information and stick around to buy from you.

As you gain experience in search marketing, focusing on content across the entire buying cycle (including problem-oriented content for folks not ready to buy yet) will provide you with the widest net with which to snare searchers and turn them into customers. And you’ll be measuring just how many of them buy, instead of tracking only rankings or traffic. By avoiding these big three mistakes, you’ll be ready to make a few lesser mistakes—or maybe even get it right.
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