What Happens After The Click? - Mark Taylor and Shane Atchison report on how success online is dependent on both the relevance of, and the customer experience with, content
Online marketing has come a long way since the 1990s
where “eyeballs” were the currency of the Web.
Today, it has moved well beyond passive, unidirectional
awareness work that was so prevalent then, to differentiated
models brought about by new tools, techniques and
methodologies that make real online relationship marketing
more effective and more affordable.
Google, Overture, MSN and others have made
keyword-driven search engine marketing the “darling” of
acquisition marketing. Jupiter Research says search spending
will continue to be a larger percentage of online advertising
revenue—about 43%—and is expected to grow 11% a year,
powering search to $11.1 billion by 2011.1 Search marketing
is a powerful addition to the online marketing arsenal, and
tying established relationship marketing principles to the
arsenal is even more potent.
With more than one billion Web pages
competing for attention, marketers cannot
afford to sit back and hope their content
Consumers undertake a search because they are actively
seeking information. If the keywords used directly relate to
our clients’ products and services, there is no better time to
show them an advertisement and accompanying link.
Potential customers have declared their interest in our
product or service, they have eliminated our competition, and
they have made another entry in the now-famous database of
intentions.2 The cost of paid search campaigns has not
stopped growing. The battle is moving after the click—fail to
engage your visitors here and the cost of the pay-per-click
model becomes prohibitive.
The Holy Grail is when online marketing becomes interactive
marketing and the initial click becomes a first step on a
customer journey that engages prospective customers in
meaningful, relevant dialogues that lead to lasting
relationships. That’s when Web “spectators” become Web
“participants.” That’s what leads customers to take action—
whether they purchase a product, sign up for more
information, or register on your site. That’s what online
marketing today is all about —or should be! We call it After
Success on the Web requires a combination of solidly
established goals, effective metrics, data and insights,
testing, optimization techniques and (perhaps more than
anything else) relevant, idea-driven creative messaging. Yet,
search engine marketing today is about buying traffic as
efficiently as possible. Hence, 96% of the money spent on
search leads to lost opportunities and abandoned or aborted
After The Click™ is about engaging that traffic and
establishing a relevance-based dialogue. Search engine
campaigns involve hundreds or even thousands of keywords
and phrases, all of which require monitoring and
management. Without experience, time and tools for effective
monitoring, marketers will be at a distinct disadvantage. A
long list of purchased terms most certainly increases traffic.
However, marketers beware! Care must be given to the
quality of that traffic. Cheap keywords may provide a less
than 0.1% conversion rate. “Good” words may offer
conversion above 4% but can cost more than $100 per click
because of competition from other bidders.
A well-constructed search engine marketing
strategy gets people to your site. However, a
good After The Click™ strategy helps convert
those visitors into valuable customers, raising
the site’s conversion rate.
Conversion rate refers to the number of site visitors who took
a desired action divided by the total number of visitors.
Converting your visitors means persuading them to do what
you want them to do, i.e., subscribe to a newsletter, buy a
car, or give permission for future contact, etc. The call to
action must be a reflection of the site’s business objective.
When conversion occurs, site spectators turn into
participants and site browsers become prospects.Download the full report (pdf)
This article originally appeared in volume 13 of WPP's Atticus Journal.