Home' Border Enterprise : Spring Summer 2010-2011 Contents enterprise
Vol 3. Summer/Autumn
THERE are several cost effective ways
to target internet users so that they
are more likely to click on your site.
It's one of the great mysteries of the
internet. How can Google be one of
the most valuable e-companies in history when
its presentation is so clean and uncluttered with
The answer lies in those relatively restrained
sponsored links that turn up in the right-hand
column when you search for anything from
alfalfa to zebras.
But are these links an effective way of
reaching the huge number of people who use
the Google search engine?
Google's head of sales in Australia and New
Zealand, Kate Vale, right, claims 35 per cent of
all searches are now commercially driven. "AC
Nielsen research indicates we have 5.3 million
unique users in Australia alone who log onto
Google each month. So advertisers now have a
huge opportunity to get their messages in front
of potential customers."
But sheer weight of numbers does not
necessarily translate into impressive sales
figures. Google claims new developments in
technology provide the answer.
"We have just started to offer a service where
businesses can regionally target internet users.
So costs are kept down because you only pay
to be seen by likely customers. Furthermore,
our new conversion tracking system enables
businesses to better understand which
keywords are actually creating sales," Vale says.
Sponsored links were introduced three years
ago and broke the trend of search-engine
operators charging companies for their websites
to appear high up in the results of supposedly
With the Google approach --- now adopted
by many others --- advertisers pay to have their
links appear on the right-hand side of search
results pages by buying keywords associated
with the user's search. Vale stresses the
actual search results on the left are completely
unaffected by commercial concerns.
She says the system offers a high return
on investment. "Firstly, it is very cost effective
because advertisers are charged on a strictly
'pay for performance' basis. That means you
pay only when users click on your link.
"Furthermore, you can choose to pay as much
or as little as you like for each time a keyword
is clicked." But this doesn't necessarily mean it
won't cost you much.
A client's position on the page is determined
by the cost per click paid, multiplied by the click-
through rate. "Someone who has nominated
a lower cost-per-click rate may appear above
someone who has nominated a higher cost-per-
click rate if their link proves to be much more
popular with users," Vale says.
Is it possible to further maximise your results in
the search? Some of the most effective means
of optimising your ranking are free, according
Here visitors are given a tutorial on choosing
keywords, meta tags, directory/search engine
submissions and creating popular links.
Kate Vale will speak at the Small Business
Shows in Sydney and Melbourne.
MICHAEL GERACE spent
$100,000 last year on a
sponsored link and says it
changed the course of his business.
"Three years ago we were using
banner and 'pay-per-click' advertising
on other search engines with the
result we were getting about 500
visitors a day to our website. Now,
with our Google-sponsored link, we
are achieving at least 4000 visitors a
day," he says.
Gerace and his partner, Roy
Caccamo, run thehairstyler.com
where visitors can upload photos of
themselves or choose one of a model
to view more than 2000 hairstyles.
"I can pretty confidently say that
if we dropped our sponsored link
tomorrow we would be down 40 to
50 per cent of our current business
Gerace says he has no qualms
about the cost of his sponsored link
because the investment return has
proved to top the 200 per cent mark.
"One reason for this kind of return is
that we can advertise in all English-
speaking countries." The sponsored
link isn't the be-all and end-all
though. Gerace says he still uses
magazine advertising. Nevertheless:
"The great thing about the sponsored
link is that it keeps our business
operating 24 hours a day."
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