Writing to get Results on the Internet
The Internet offers a tremendous opportunity to anyone with anything to sell. Whether you are large or small, and whether you are selling a product or a service, there is something exciting about the huge size and potential of Internet marketing.
But the size and sprawling nature of the Internet is a double-edged sword. On the one hand there is the dazzling potential of so many good prospects, on the other there is sheer volume of people just like you who want to sell the same or similar products or services. The myth of the Internet is that if you establish a good presence on your web site, that people will find you. This is not going to happen. There are millions of websites and more are being created every day. There are steps that you can take to "optimize" you site to make it easier for the search engines to find you. But frankly, as more and websites seek the same prospects, even optimization does not assure marketing success.
Is there a quick way to get yourself noticed on the Internet?
Yes, and it’s called PPC or pay-per-click advertising.
Pay per click is a method of advertising where you attempt to attract prospects by paying search engines to show a brief ad that you write for your website. What makes PPC worth your notice? If you place an ad in a newspaper, or a magazine, or even on TV or in a banner on the Internet, you really don't know who is reading your ad. PPC is different, if you are an attorney specializing in matrimonial law, you can be pretty sure that someone that types in matrimonial lawyer, or divorce lawyer or matrimonial attorney is somebody who is more or less interested in what you do. PPC enables you to pay the search engine so that when someone types in "matrimonial lawyer" for example, your ad will appear. Other ads can appear as well but if you want your ad to appear first, all you have to do is pay more for the privilege. PPC rates are a bid auction with the highest bid getting the best position.
If you want PPC to work for you, the key is finding the best search terms. Think about the person who is looking for your product or service. What might that person type into a search engine? Then, having typed in a search term, what is the next thing that person will want to see?
This is important because if this process is going to work for you, you have to make it easy for your prospect to find you. The best way to do that is to anticipate their needs - and make sure that your PPC ad and your website work together to convince the prospect that he or she has come to the right place. Here's an example. Let's go back to our matrimonial lawyer. Let's assume that the lawyer bids on the term "matrimonial lawyer" in the geographical location in which he practices. He opens an account with Google Adwords or Overture and writes the following ad: Need a Matrimonial Lawyer? Experienced attorney answers all your questions. Free Consultation. The ad contains a link to the attorney's web and here too, it is important to make sure that the buying impulse created by the ad is reinforced by the website. To get the best results the prospect should arrive at a web page that directly addresses the needs of a person that is looking for the services of a matrimonial lawyer. The more focused the page, the better the results.
It is important to maintain the communication from ad to page. If you look through PPC ads (sometimes called "Sponsored Links" and if you click through to the website they are advertising, you will discover that many advertisers don't pay sufficient attention to the transition. If you want results, you must continue the communication seamlessly. Think how you would feel if you were looking for a matrimonial attorney. You like an ad and click through but when you get to the website you arrive at a home page that tells you about the law firm and lets you know that this firm has many practice areas of which matrimonial is one. Is this what you want to hear when you are looking for a divorce lawyer? Or would you rather be delivered to a page that answers your immediate need for information about the situation you are in?
One way to make sure that you make this important transition is to create a "topic page" sometimes called a "landing page" in which you take the impulse created by your ad and expand it into a fuller presentation. For example, in our example, the lawyer might deliver the prospect to a page in which he empathizes with the state of mind of someone who is seeking a matrimonial lawyer and takes the time to assure the reader that while this is a stressful time, there are definite actions that can be taken to make things better. Since the main object of the marketing campaign is to generate new leads, the landing page should also contain an easy way for the prospect to contact the attorney to learn more information.
It is important to note that while PPC marketing can be confusing to the uninitiated, it is really only the mechanics of the process that cause the confusion. From a communication point of view, it is really pretty simple: you need to follow the rules of the engines (word count, etc.) to write an ad to attract the prospect and then you need to continue your pitch on your web site. Either by delivering the prospect to a specific page that follows your ad copy or by creating a topic page.
It seems odd to some that at a time when you can have elaborate Flash animations, sound, even movies on your web site that simple words can make so much of a difference. But they do. If you want to market effectively on the Internet, the most valuable skill that you can hone is the ability to find the right words.