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#2.21: The “Better Search Results” Issue

1 > Monitor your bids — don’t overpay
2 > Improve your click-thru — customize it
3 > Getting the most of your crawls

1 > Monitor your bids — don’t overpay

With the growing popularity of pay-per-click search engines like Overture (formerly GoTo), FindWhat, Google, and Sprinks, marketers can direct targeted traffic to their sites for only pennies per click. Don’t let the price tag fool you, because your balance can quickly go through the roof. Take the time to monitor your bids and manage the spread. Your competitors, which likely share the same keywords, can “drop the floor” from underneath you; so without even knowing, you could be paying significantly more than the next bidder where you only really need to pay one penny higher. If you don’t have the time to manage your bids, there are automated services that will monitor and adjust your bids.

The lesson: Monitor your bids so that excessive bidding doesn’t eat up your margins. Don’t ignore your pay-per-click campaigns as the values of these words are highly volatile, leaving you susceptible to needless spending.

2 > Improve your click-thru — customize it

Whether you’re using pay-per-click search engines like the ones mentioned above, or Direct Search Inclusion (DSI) with a search engine optimization company, it’s important to customize the search result for your potential customers. For instance, if a prospective buyer enters “mahaguny head board”, your search result could say something like, “Mahogany Headboards on sale now.” This result incorporates two strategies — the first is to include the search term in the headline and description results; the second is to use misspelled keywords and correct the words in the headline and description.

The lesson: Watch your click thru rate spike and conversion percentage increase just by customizing your headlines and descriptions. It’s worth a few minutes more. Also, include common misspellings — you’d be shocked at the number of people searching for something they cannot spell.

3 > Getting the most of your crawls

Search engines continuously crawl the Web to index pages so that interested shoppers and buyers can find you. Make it easy to find your site by eliminating the use of frames, flash, and large pictures (that have no accompanying words). While cute and jazzy, search engine spiders cannot read or catalog the content within these formats. Your hard work and great content go unnoticed because these pages will be skipped.

The lesson: Eliminate all barriers to entry by creating a spider-friendly site. Flash, graphics, and frames inhibit your site and/or page from being indexed.

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