The Limitations of Search Engine Marketing

Everyone needs to make the most of their marketing budget, and today that means every business is online. However, there are some issues with traditional internet marketing channels such as search engine marketing (primarily google Adwords) and it’s always a good idea to take an occasional look at alternative approaches – to see if you can squeeze a little more from your advertising dollar.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a huge growth area but in many instances it’s an expensive way of bringing traffic to your site. Without a perfectly optimised squeeze page, and an inexpensive “quick win” offer – it can sometimes work out overly expensive without enough in the way of revenue generation to justify its use. The main reason for the high inflation in the AdWords market is the limited pool of audience it is aimed for when focusing only on prospects who actively intending to purchase something. When targeting this kind of audience the conversion rate is very high but often not high enough to justify its high cost – which results in negative return on investment.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is often seen as the “free” alternative to SEM. But of course that discounts the time and effort required to generate content and that can work out even more expensive than SEM in the long run. Not to say that SEO isn’t a great and important channel of marketing, but it also has it’s limitations such as limited reach and luck of branding. Too many companies focus solely on this channel with their digital marketing missing out on the true power of the online advertising.

The Alternative – Display Advertising

Display advertising isn’t a new form of internet marketing – it’s a well established platform, but one that hasn’t received the same levels of attention as SEO or SEM. By harnessing display advertising providers – it is possible to attract customers who might not even be aware of their need for your products yet. That’s a big advantage over the narrowly targeted search engine marketing regime.
One of the big advantages of this medium is that your brand is displayed clearly to those your adverts are presented to. While nobody remembers an anonymous adwords campaign – there’s no doubt that brands that are well displayed – stay in memory (this is what drives both TV and outdoor advertising spend).

Your adverts are also much less intrusive to the internet user’s browsing experience, as adwords can often feel forced upon the user who may come to resent them. A well designed display advert on the other hand, looks right within the context it is being served in. It represents your brand in a non-pushy and aesthetically pleasing manner. They peak curiosity in the viewer who then actively chooses to engage with your company.

You’ll find that the understated power of display advertising is its ability to grow your market rather than compete in it.

Display Advertising Providers

There are a lot of good quality display advertising providers and you’ll probably want the help of a professional to ensure that you choose the right one for your internet marketing activity. Yahoo! is one of the longest standing and most successful providers to date and is very firmly established in this field. Appnexus is another great marketplace, being one of the largest providers of real-time advertising on the web. Of course in any growing market there’s always new competition and Google are now putting some more efforts behind their own display advertising channel, and Facebook’s entire business model centres around this concept.
For companies looking for extremely targeted and ROI driven marketing campaigns, Performance Networks are probably the best solution for this kind of media buying, since they work with a wide range of display providers and select the ones that will achieve your marketing objectives.

In fact, display advertising is becoming so popular that 1 in 10 dollars assigned to internet marketing this year will be spent on this activity. That’s a fact that a switched-on marketer can’t ignore – if 10% of marketing budgets are being spent this way, then 10% of all potential revenue (or more) lies at the other end of this rainbow.