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Simplifying Online Advertising Options

By: Mary Blackmon
Posted: June 24, 2008, from the February 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 3 of 6

Well, welcome to the world of search engine marketing—not to be confused with search engine rankings. Rankings are the order in which your ad appears on results lists when a certain word or phrase is entered into a search box. Search engine marketing involves the paid advertising listings that typically are found on the right side of the search results screen. Commonly, it is a small tile ad filled with text and a link to your Web site.

First, you must choose key words and phrases to align with your Web site. Perhaps “facials in Minneapolis” or “Minneapolis facials” would be two targeted phrases for a skin care spa in Minneapolis. However, if someone then types in “facials Minneapolis,” your ad will not appear. See how frustrating this can be? You must be very specific with your marketing phrases.

Also, you must bid on each phrase you choose. So, put in the maximum amount of money that you would consider offering for that particular phrase, and hope that the competition will not be tough. Cross your fingers, but don’t hold your breath! You can define further where your ad appears by determining whether or not you want people to view it nationally or just regionally. On some search engines, you can select whether or not you want the wording to be “loosely” matched, enabling your ad to appear when something that is not exactly your key phrase is typed in, but almost matches. Make sure to set a realistic daily budget so that you don’t go through too much money in just one day.

Hint: Remember that you need to monitor this method frequently in order to examine clicks and to see if someone has outbid you, perhaps bumping you down the totem pole. Oh, the joys of competition.

Directory marketing. If a potential client is on a Web site that is associated with spas, seeking spa information, you need to be there! How do you choose which ones to be on? It’s simple—pick a few of your favorites that you would like if you were a potential client. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it.