sample sem ad

We’ve been in the Colorado Search Engine Marketing¬†(SEM) game for a long time, and despite Google’s efforts to change the perception, there still seems to be a commonly accepted stance in the business community that many forms of SEM are only good for eCommerce companies. While it is certainly true that it is easier to show concrete results when you have a dollar amount to refer to, here are a few tactics which SEM companies can use which are a little unorthodox, but can bring long term value for client goals.

Announcement

If there is an upcoming change in the products you sell…say a new fall line, show some display ads to build anticipation. Drive users to the site to sign up early for the catalog or coupons even if the new items aren’t out for another few weeks.

Also, if a change in regulation or availability is going to mean a boost in demand in the near future, educate your users ahead of time. If a product is going off the market, find the queries they are using to research this change and show ads related to the content. Let the users know they only have ‘X’ amount of time to act.

Recruitment

It might be pretty tough for small businesses to rank organically for the term, ‘boulder sem jobs’ if they only hire a few times a year and don’t offer job listings as a service. Instead of paying to get their listing on job sites, or weeding through hundreds of applications after posting on craigslist, some companies recruit by showing highly targeted pay per click (PPC) ads alongside the organic results. If a user is savvy enough to look for long tail terms, they might be a good candidate.

Research

If you’re in a fast-moving or highly innovative industry and you’re curious how much interest there is in a new product or service, run some PPC ads. Anyone in the SEM game will tell you that all traffic prediction tools have their blind spots and low historical volume can’t predict the future. Build a splash page for your new product or service and gauge interest by tracking click-through rate on your ads and by how many people sign up to learn more about it.

As with all online marketing campaigns we advise our clients track their goals and evaluate their successes with concrete data, but sometimes working on a long term goal…one which isn’t as easy to track as an eCommerce sale can bring lots of value to the table. And sometimes that Google AdWords coupon for $100 in ‘free’ traffic is worth thinking about creatively.