The Digital Essentials, Part 3
Developing a robust digital strategy is both a challenge and an opportunity. Part 3 of the Digital Essentials guide series explores five of the essential technology-driven experiences customers expect, which you may be missing or not fully utilizing.
Search engine marketing has never been as effective as it is today in acquiring, engaging, and retaining customers. Here are some tips on using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) to gain new customers while keeping your current ones.
How can I target new customers?
With PPC, you’re able to hand select your audience. So you can choose to only show ads to people who have never visited your website. Or, you can focus your dollars on highly-competitive, non-branded words where searchers are unaware of your company or products.
To gain new customers using SEO, or organic search, you have to focus on your website content. Create useful and meaningful information that attracts customers at any stage of the buying process – education, investigation, pre-decision, decision and post-decision. This will improve organic search performance and the overall user experience.
How can I advertise to current customers?
With PPC, you can create “audience lists” of people based on their historical interactions with your website. For instance, you can show a specific ad based on purchase history or site engagement. To make the best use of your dollars, you can also pull back advertising to customers just after they purchase, but start back up a few months later if you’ve learned that’s when customers tend to repurchase.
How do I know if it’s working?
To measure success with PPC, you can start by taking the default revenue attribution (last click) metric in your analytics tools and divide it by your overall media investment. However, you should consider attributed or assisted revenue as well. This means following the user beyond what they did during the visit in which they purchased. Did they visit the website before? Are they on your email list? Are they a past purchaser? Did they convert in other ways that you can attribute value to (i.e. form submissions and downloads)?
With organic search, clearly calculating ROI based on specific efforts can be difficult. It’s nearly impossible to tie transactions back to an individual keyword at this point, so you need to evaluate your ROI based on the results of a particular page or section of the website. Try to focus on revenue over rankings or traffic. One thing to remember with organic search: it takes time to work. It could take months before you start to see a result from any new efforts. But while it does take time, proper strategy and maintenance can continue to pay dividends for years to come.