Frizzell: There's a Time to Pay for High Page Rank
That was bid management strategist Laura Mete Frizzell's question. She's vice president of media services at 360i LLC, a search marketing firm that last week organized an educational seminar for clients and prospects prior to the Shop.org FirstLook 2006 conference.
"The better the exposure, the more the clicks," she said.
If your page rank rises from the fourth spot to the third, there is 43 percent more conversion, she said. There's a 54 percent jump in conversions from third to second. On the business-to-consumer side, a 71 percent increase in conversion occurs if the page rank moves from second to No. 1.
However, when bidding for keywords, marketers should keep in mind their budget as well as the cost/benefit ratio, Frizzell advised.
Also, marketers should structure keyword campaigns by their company's purchase cycle.
Take the keywords "cars for sale." The conversion rate will be lower because people who type these keywords are still in the consideration stage. Marketers shouldn't pay too much for this term for consumers in this learning phase, Frizzell said.
However, "used cars" typically shows a higher conversion rate because consumers are further along in the purchase funnel. As for brand names and terms that are product specific, conversion on them is high.
"You want high rankings here," she said of brand names and product-specific terms.
Google and Yahoo have different approaches to bid strategies. Google operates on a click-through rate and Yahoo on maximum cost per click.
The approach to search engine optimization, or natural search, differs. Chris Humber, director of search optimization strategies at 360i and Frizzell's colleague, suggested marketers consider several issues related to their SEO strategy.
First, what is the quality and coding of the site? Second, what's the keyword copy? A multivariable URL string prevents spiders from crawling that site. To attract the spiders, marketers should improve that as well as the title, design, layout, text and headers. Then, is there a dedicated host? Shared hosting hurts the site.
"Every page is a potential entry point for customers or spiders," Humber said. "Every page should carry the same navigation and strong call to action. So it's important to leave no page behind -- that's our mantra."
He said marketers should identify every linking opportunity, undertake URL-based link analysis and find links from popular sites to help increase positions within Google and Yahoo.
How competitive are the paid search results versus organic?
"The natural positions are offsetting the cost of paid positions," said Bryan Kujawski, co-founder of 360i.
Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters