Internet Advertising Terminology
cpm (cost per thousand impressions) is often what publishers want to get since it guarantees them the income regardless of how good / bad an advertiser's banner / product is.
cpc (cost per click) is often what advertisers want because they only pay for the people who actually click on the ad, not that just see the ad.
cpa (cost per action) is becoming more and more the trend and is even more what advertisers want because they see an immediate ROI. The publisher only gets paid if someone sees an ad, clicks on it AND makes a purchase... sound like an affiliate program?
The bottom line is this:
|1. You must know exactly how much a new client is worth to you. Before you start investing money or effort, whether you embark on email promotion or Internet marketing, you have to know the payoff. Outsourcing financial Internet marketing services can be expensive so plan, plan, plan.|
2. You must know your conversion rate of prospects to clients (e.g. you need 10 prospects to obtain a new client)
3. You must know (from testing) the conversion rate on your Internet advertising. For example, if you have 50 people click on your ad or web site but only 1 leaves their contact information, then you have a 2% conversion rate. In order to track results, you must have CRM for financial services marketing tracking and follow up.
With the above three factors, you can determine if Internet advertising will pay and how much you can pay a publisher (the site that will run your ad). Of course, you will test several sites that target your niche to find those the deliver the most and the best clients.
Banners have low response rates and generally, are used by the largest advertisers for image advertising. Banners typically don't pay.
Much better than banners. This is usually text in the middle of an ezine. It comes right in the middle of the content so it has a high readership rate (unlike banners which are obvious ads). Text allows you time to use good copy to get the reader to click.
Pay Per Click
Services offered by Overture (now owned by Yahoo) and Google whereby you bid on key phrases so that your ad pops up when someone types the key phrase (or something close to it). For most financial advisors, you cannot use this as you don't have distinctive keywords and for a common key phrase like "long term care insurance" or "financial planner", you cannot afford to match the bids of the large companies. If you have a very rare niche, for example "french stock marketing investing" then you will be able to affordably bid on this key phrase because there is little competition.
The great thing about pay-per-click is that you get design your own ad. It can be very effective for generating Internet insurance leads and investment leads and you can see examples of lead ads.
Search Engine Optimization
If you have some unique key phrases on your site, then there's a chance you can get your site to rank very highly in the engines for free and have a lot of prospects find you. For example, if you search on Google "Financial Advisor Marketing," you will notice that Javelin Marketing ranks highly. This high rank is achieved free by placing the content on the pages in such a way as to achieve a high rank. However, if you have the same phrases to optimize as every other advisor (e.g. annuities, mutual funds, etc), forget it, you have too much competition doing the same.
Web Site Promotion
Can you get others to link to your site because you either pay them for a lead or you capture the names of visitors and give them those leads or you have something else to offer (a link from your site to theirs). Think of who you want to promote your site and then ask yourself "what's in it for them?" Of course, a financial advisor web site is critical to Internet marketing as respondents must have some place to "land."
Web Site Submission
Search Engine Submission: Getting Listed
"Search engine Submission" is the act of getting a Web site listed with search engines. Another term for this is "search engine registration."
Getting listed doesn't necessarily mean you'll rank well for particular terms. It simply means the search engine knows your pages exist.
Search engine submission is akin to purchasing a lottery ticket. Having a ticket doesn't mean you'll win, but you must have that ticket to have any chance at all in the game.
SEO: Improving the Odds
"SEO" is the process of altering to improve its chances of ranking well for particular search terms, especially with the crawler-based search engines.
Returning to the lottery analogy, assume you could increase the odds of winning by picking your lottery numbers carefully. SEO is akin to this. It's making sure the numbers you select are more likely to win than a set of random numbers would.
Search Engine Placement and Positioning: Ranking Well
Terms such as "search engine placement", "search engine positioning," and "search engine ranking" refer to a site actually doing well for particular terms or a range of terms at search engines. This is the goal for many people -- to get a top 10 ranking for a particular keyword or search term.
Search Engine Marketing and Promotion: The Overall Process
Terms such as "search engine marketing" (SEM) or "search engine promotion" refer to the overall process of marketing a site on search engines. This includes submission, optimization, managing paid listings, and more.
These terms also highlight the fact that doing well with search engines is not just about submitting properly, optimizing well, or getting a good rank for a particular term. It's about the overall job of improving how your site interacts with search engines so your target audience can find you.
Most people think that a submission campaign is just about registering your main URL. If you do that, you are shortchanging yourself. A submission campaign, when done properly, is about registering all the content in your site that can stand on its own. For example, you might have an MP3 archive. There are search engines that help people find just MP3 files. Or you may have an email newsletter. There are directories of just those, too.
So the first step is to take a hard look at your site and identify the pieces of content that could stand on their own.
The next step is to find the sites to which you want to submit.
A quick side note here about the difference between a search engine and a directory.
Often people call everything a search engine (like my friends who made the crummy auto submission tool that "submits" to 3,600-plus search engines). But that is technically incorrect. A search engine takes the URL you submit and sends a piece of software called a spider out to it. The spider builds information about your site based on meta tags and the page content. HotBot is a search engine. A directory, on the other hand, is a manually compiled and organized list of links. When you submit your information to a directory, you give the directory the description and keywords it should use and that is what it puts in. Yahoo! is a directory.
So you can see, if you don't put the keywords you want to be found under in the description you submit to Yahoo!, no amount of tweaking your meta tags is going to change that. That will be important later when we talk about actually executing the submission campaign.
So, back to my point about finding the site to which you want to submit. I've made up five classifications that I use:
Major search engines. There are only about seven search engines that most of the Internet uses to find things. They are: AltaVista, Excite, Google, HotBot, Go (Infoseek), and Northern Light. Be sure you are in all of these. And if you submit to the above seven engines, you'll also cover AOL Search, MSN Search, Netscape Search, and Webcrawler because these engines draw their results from
Inktomi (which powers HotBot), Google, and Excite. You absolutely need to be in these.
Major Directories. There are five major directories you should be in: Yahoo!, Open Directory, LookSmart, Snap, and the "Go Guide" section of Go. You absolutely need to be in these, too.
Specialized Directories. These are directories that index the type of content you are submitting. (Remember the newsletter example above?)
Newsletters, discussion lists, newsgroups. These are email newsletters, discussion lists, and newsgroups where it might be appropriate for you to submit an announcement about your site.
As you probably suspect, numbers three, four, and five are what take all the labor to compile. The irony of the Internet is that because there is so much information out there, it's not always easy to find useful things.
What good professional registration firms do is keep the sites they find in a big database. It saves them effort the next time they need to do a registration campaign. You should do this, too. If your site deals with music, you should keep a database of search engines and directories that specialize in indexing music resources. And then update it every month or so by going out and looking for new sites.
If your head is spinning that's because the science of Internet marketing is something I've studied continually for 5 years and I learn something new every week. So, you can either teach yourself or you can outsource this. Make sure you speak to several of the expert's clients because there are a lot of people that say they are "internet experts" that know very little.