Attracting Buyers, Not Browsers, Comes Down to Word Choice

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A recent book by one search engine advertising expert shares simple tips to attract customers, not surfers, to your website.

Search Engine Advertising, Buying Your Way to the Top to Increase Sales

Waves of people clicking on your search engine ad listings sounds like a great thing, right? Sure, but waves of qualified shoppers would be better. A recent book by one expert shares simple tips to attract customers, not surfers.

In "Search Engine Advertising, Buying Your Way to the Top to Increase Sales" (New Riders Publishing 2004), Entrepreneur magazine columnist Catherine Seda shares specific advice she claims will attract more buyers and fewer browsers. She write, “While the rules for creating effective marketing messages for the web are not radically different from traditional advertising, on the web ad viewers have less patience. Tapping into exactly what a buyer is shopping for can really set your listing apart.”

One tactic that Seda recommends in her book that doesn’t apply to traditional marketing, but is important in search engine advertising, is to include your keywords in your ad listings. This improves the relevancy of the ad listing in the mind of ad viewers, who become more likely to click the listing. This copywriting tactic can increase click-through rates by 50 percent, according to Overture. “This makes sense,” Seda says. “If shoppers search for ‘aromatherapy candles’ they may ignore ‘scented candles’ or ‘aromatic candles,’ even if all three phrases mean the same thing to advertiser.”

Effective copywriting for pay-per-placement search engines is becoming essential because costs for clicks are increasing. Competitors continually outbid one another to secure a top position. So paying for “junk traffic” can end up costing companies a lot of money.

“You’ll drain your ad budget faster than you can blink,” Seda warns, “if you drive the wrong people to your online store. You can explain what your company does while promoting a special offer in a way that pre-qualifies search engine users. Then you’ll get clicks that’ll convert into customers.”

Catherine Seda is president and CEO of Seda Communication (, an Internet marketing and training company. She’s also a popular conference speaker who shares practical tips on low-cost Web site promotion.

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Catherine Seda
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