My Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click Campaign Efforts:
After analyzing Google Analytics, I discovered that my search engine optimization and pay-per-click efforts brought a total of 105 clicks to my website, with an average of 3 page visits and 6 minutes spent on the site. The most visited page of my website was my resume page with 41 unique page views. I think that it received the most clicks because I invested the majority of my budget for my pay-per-click campaign into my resume page. I focused my time on improving that particular campaign through adding several smaller ad groups pertaining to specific job titles and providing a list of keywords catered to that title. Unfortunately, my resume page also had the highest bounce rate of 71.43%, meaning the page was not what the majority of visitors were looking for because they almost immediately excited the site after clicking on the ad. The high bounce rate could be a result of poor page content or poor ads that may have mislead viewers. My goal is to continue working on my site content and search engine optimization in order to decrease the average bounce rate of the entire site from 52.28% to about 20%.
I was really excited to see that my site received 9 clicks from a referral on Twitter and 3 clicks from a referral on Theresa B. Clarke’s website. This is important because a site’s search engine ranking can be increased by increasing the number of external links to your site. About 32% of my site’s total clicks were a result of my pay-per-click campaign and about 15% came from organic search results. I will continue to work on my search engine optimization efforts by increasing the number of primary and secondary keyword phrases included in areas such as, the body copy, header tags, and link text, in order to increase my organic search ranking.
MKTG 470: A Valuable Course in Internet Marketing:
Strategic Internet Marketing (MKTG 470) opened my eyes to a whole new career opportunity that is quickly growing in the marketing industry. One of the most important topics I learned about in this course, was search engine marketing. Search engine marketing is a continual process involving activities such as, search engine optimization and pay-per-click campaigns. In MKTG 470, I not only discovered important tips on how to increase my search engine ranking and click-through-rates, but I also got to experience the process through optimizing my personal site and running a two week Google AdWords campaign. Through my pay-per-click campaign, I discovered that it is extremely important to create several ad groups and use long tail keywords that are unique to that particular target market. Long tail keywords are beneficial because they have a reduced cost per lead with a higher conversion rate, and collectively, they can drive significant levels of traffic. Search engine marketing is a great way to reach customers who are actively looking for you on this “lean forward” media, called the Internet. However, when optimizing your sight, remember that quality content should come first and then focus on search engine recognition.
My Future Plans in Search Engine Marketing:
I plan to maintain my website throughout next semester and continue to target potential employers by showcasing my resume and marketing projects. I also plan to continue my education in search engine marketing by participating in The Google Online Marketing Challenge in next semester’s MKTG 490 course, also taught by Theresa B. Clarke. I look forward to diving further into the topic of pay-per-click campaigns for internet marketing and taking the opportunity to further experience Google AdWords, beyond the brief introduction experienced in MKTG 470.
I took the time to explore Twitter for a MKTG 470 assignment and I discovered that it can actually be a very useful tool for college students. Twitter is a great way to keep up with industry trends, share information, and even get a job. I enjoy following news channels on Twitter, like @CBSNews, because it is an easy way to receive updates about what is going on in the world and, with a click a botton, you can read further about the topics that interest you. Visit @lindskeller to see some of the interesting articles I discovered while exploring Twitter.
Twitter can also be a useful tool for businesses to connect with their customers. Like Facebook, getting on Twitter has become a daily routine for many individuals, so it is a good way for businesses to keep a continuous flow of communication with their customers at a low cost. It allows businesses to build a connection with their customers by sharing company news, reminding them of upcoming events, and allowing for two-way communication. Twitter provides customers with an easy alternative to give feedback to companies, allowing for businesses to identify areas of improvement and capitalize on their strengths. Twitter has also become another outlet for businesses to provide customer service. It is important for a company to address customer issues immediately, in a public forum, to show that they value customer’s opinions and to promote customer satisfaction. Twitter is also a useful tool for distributing promotions and encouraging trial. Today, it is necessary for companies to get involved in social media in order to be successful.
Thank you to Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO of Search Mojo, for sharing her knowledge in search engine marketing with Dr. Clarke’s MKTG 470 class. Search Mojo is a search engine marketing firm founded in 2005 that provides search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising management, and social media monitoring for various clients including, National Geographic, Mazda, and the American Heart Association. Ms. Miller really emphasized the importance of firms putting more of their marketing budget towards search engine marketing because it is a highly effective and targeted form of advertising that yields trackable results.
I learned that Google AdWords has a quality score for ad/keyword combinations that affects the ad placement and cost per click. Three ways to increase your quality score are to create small ad groups, cluster very similar keywords together, and include keywords in the ad copy. I also learned that an aggregate of specific, less searched terms for your keywords can provide better ROI than highly searched terms. If you use a broad match for keywords in your AdWords campaign, your ad will appear more often but you run the risk of having a low relevance and paying for more clicks with no conversion. Another way to improve your ROI on pay-per-click campaigns is to use targeted pages as the landing page for users that click on your ads. The home page is crowded with too much information and the keywords used for one group do not always pertain to other targeted groups. If this interests you and you would like more information regarding search engine marketing, feel free to contact Ms. Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I chose to change the theme of my website from iblog to Station, for my strategic internet marketing assignment, because of its professionalism, simplicity, contrast, organization, similar functionality, and customization opportunities. In order to find the Station theme, I left my search open by only using one key word, professional. I knew that I wanted my website to take on a professional image because I am targeting potential employers. I did not use more variables to narrow down the search because I wanted to explore the various options offered in a professional theme.
After exploring the options, I decided that I wanted a dark website so that it would stand out from the browser and draw in the viewer’s attention. I wanted to use a dark background to stand out from the average website as opposed to using a flashy and colorful background because I didn’t want the theme to distract the viewer from the content. The theme is also very simple and grouped into two columns allowing the user to easily navigate throughout the site. Lastly, the search box is clearly visible and conveniently located in the top menu bar, contributing to the user friendly layout.
Next, I looked at the ratings for each theme and eliminated any with less than four stars. Lastly, I noticed that Station and iblog were both built on the PageLines CMS framework, so both themes have similar capabilities and there were no significant changes in functionality. I chose the Station theme because it allowed for a custom-header, custom-colors, and a customized favicon. I didn’t want to distract the user with a flashy theme, but at the same time I wanted the opportunity to personalize the image of my site to reflect my personality. I was also able to keep all my existing widgets and categorize my blog posts. Finally, one of the most important aspects of the theme is that the options set up within the Dashboard is extremely user friendly and easy to understand.
Thank you to Ms. Van Horn, the Vice President of Marketing at the Rockingham Group, for sharing her work experience with my strategic internet marketing class. The Rockingham Group is a regional insurance company serving families in Virginia and Pennsylvania. The mission of the Rockingham Group is to be a versatile financial services company delivering sustained profitability and growth through an exceptional focus on its customers. The Rockingham Group has entered the world of social media and is using it as a tool to build strong relationships with it’s customers.
The Rockinham Group has become actively engaged in Facebook and has realized several key advantages for companies getting involved with social media. Ms. Van Horn has begun tracking the influence Facebook has on new sales by keeping record of those individuals that have become a fan of the Rockinham Group page before making a purchase with the company. It may be interesting to survey those customers to see what it was that convinced them to make a purchase. Social media is also a great way to build relationships with current customers, ultimately increasing retention rates and referrals. The Rockingham Group does not use Facebook as a tool for selling insurance products, but as a tool for sharing important safety information with their customers. Another key advantage of using social media is that it allows for two-way communication, encouraging feedback. While the feedback may not always be good, it can be a useful way of discovering problems and improving one’s service. Social media is a trend that businesses can not ignore.
Welcome to my blog. I am currently enrolled in Strategic Internet Marketing (MKTG 470) taught by Dr. Theresa B. Clarke at James Madison University. As part of the course requirements, all students will be completing some of the assignments as blog posts. This is my first official blog post for Dr. Clarke’s course in the JMU Department of Marketing.