Having learned from almost half a century on the planet that a do-it-yourself approach isn’t always the best way, first I tried my own analysis of how to work with Google to achieve good results for high-tech member companies of VT KnowledgeWorks, then I ran my ideas by someone who knows more than I do.
I am very grateful to Kirk Carter of Service First Webmasters, Inc. for his expertise:
"Here is the information you requested on Search Engine Advertising (SEA), relative to the search term ‘portable water purification.’
For the US only, this one keyword only, you would need to spend about $60/month for about 35 click-throughs and average placement in the top 3 ads.
If you had $300/month, we’d recommend a longer list of similar keyword phrases and ads to go with them.
For example, the list might include:
drinking water filter
drinking water purification
portable water purification
reverse osmosis water
reverse osmosis water filter
reverse osmosis water filtration
reverse osmosis water treatment
…and possibly more. We would, of course, have the client verify that these terms apply accurately to the product.
This list and $300/month would get about 100 click-throughs. We find that 100 click-throughs means approximately 100 new visitors: people who have never seen the target web site before.
This might sound like a lot of money compared to getting mentioned on a blog, but it all depends on the number of people reading the blog who are in the market for a portable water purifier right when they are reading the blog entry. Search advertising brings your site shoppers who are interested in buying right now or in the very near future.
A blog entry may work very well to increase awareness of a product, while SEA works with your web site to sell a product. Were I in the business of selling portable water purifiers, I would want both.
Of course variables abound: number of keywords, cost of keywords, budget, geographic location of searchers to see the ad, competition for keywords…
Please call me with any questions."
Anne adds: Thanks again, Kirk. And thank you to TE Carter who left this helpful comment on "low search volume" terms. To further our discussion of search engine results, a reader sent a link to this 7/9/09 post, Introduction to Google Ranking, from The Official Google Blog.