Monday, October 17, 2011

Advice to Small Online Business Owners

Simply create a well structured PPC campaign in an afternoon and budget $100/day to achieve real success.

Targeting hundreds of thousands of keywords means gaining the knowledge, creating a strategy and developing a system by which to manage them.
Is this the proper fit for all businesses?
Some businesses? Just a few?
Google at all teach that PPC campaign structures should go after the tail using ever smaller campaigns with a vast number of ad groups with neat and tidy keyword groups.
For SEO we want to optimize existing pages and create pages where there are gaps in important keyword sets. These could mean dozens if not hundreds of pages.
In-house SEM guru, Agency, Bid management applications, Analytics and continuous multi variant testing are just a few of the ingredients needed to evaluate and manage the long tail strategy.
This is all good and fine for the national brands, the retailer with thousands of products, and the lucky blokes with fat margins, but does all this effort and expense make sense for every type of business? For every budget and small or local business? For unique product and service niches?
I would recommend that the local accountant, lawyer, dentist, plumber the like be take the time to do a full cost assessment of chasing the long tail before they jump in head first.
How many keywords does a person use when they search for a dentist in their home town? I fully agree the dentist must realize that “Dentist” is not targeted and needs to expand. However the expansion may only be 100 keywords to cover all the bases.
Instead of a dedicated SEM, hiring an agency, and creating a vastly complex and expensive system to chase the long tail they could simply create a well structured PPC campaign in an afternoon and budget $100/day to achieve real success.
I’m not advocating against the long tail, or against SEO and the various tools like Wordtracker to take on huge keyword sets. It is a truly powerful strategy. I just want to point out that it is not for everyone. I would advise small businesses, folks with limited budgets and resources or those with niche verticals to carefully evaluate the time , effort and cost of going after the long tail. I’ve seen many businesses chase their tail and they look just like my dog.