Pretty much everyone who knows me is well aware that I am obsessed with motocross. I love everything about it. From the smell of race gas to the feeling I get when I throw my leg over a bike. People also know that I am a search marketing professional (99% of my friends outside the industry have absolutely no idea what it entails…they think I work for Google or design websites).
I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for quite some time now. There’s no shortage of comparisons between search marketing and other fields, though I think this is the first analogy between search marketing and motocross. Surely nobody has written about how a successful search marketing campaign is like a dirt bike…How is it anything like a dirt bike, you ask? Well really a successful campaign can be compared to any well running machine, but I want to talk about dirt bikes…because dirt bikes are cool.
Other than the motor, the bare necessities needed to get a dirt bike running are oil and gas. No motor can run without them. SEO & PPC are the oil and gas of an online campaign. In today’s world, a marketing plan without search marketing is like trying to run a dirt bike without either one of these essential ingredients. Whether you’re a startup or a Fortune 500 company, your customers are looking for you online, every day. Ignore search marketing and your online strategy will be running dry.
Tools. Well this is kind of self explanatory. Just like a dirt bike, you’ve got to have the right tools to be able to dial-in a campaign, making sure it’s running efficiently and effectively and it can. What’s that? There’s a keyword that’s getting clicks, but isn’t converting? Get a coffee, grab socket wrench, Phillips head screwdriver (or Google Adwords Editor, Analytics and Excel in this case), figure out what’s wrong and fix it!
Oil, gas, tools…check, check, check. So, the bike is running now. That’s great, but why are all those people still flying by you on the track? What makes their bikes so much better? Must be those cool aftermarket parts they’ve got on there. Aftermarket parts = Post-Launch Testing (PLT). The number of things you can test in a search marketing campaign is endless. Whether it’s ad text, your landing page, a contact form or call to action on the site, you should be doing at least some sort of testing. Personally, I love testing ad text. I get so much satisfaction when I see one ad performing better than another then taking what I’ve learned there and applying it to another ad test.
So, there you have it…a perfectly running search campaign/dirt bike. Except we forgot one thing. A dirt bike is only as good as its rider, or in our case, a search marketing campaign is only as good as the person running it. I see people at the track all the time that show up with no experience and a brand new bike, fresh off the showroom floor. They unload their bike wearing a wife beater, jeans and maybe some tennis shoes. Surely, they’ll get their riding gear on before they get on the track. I mean, they showed up in that huge truck with the $10,000 lift kit, a trailer in tow, and that sweet looking bike! NOPE. They head to the track entrance dressed in their redneck attire and once they get on the track, they look like a cat in a bathtub. Buying a dirt bike and putting all the cool stuff on it isn’t difficult…neither is giving Google Adwords or Microsoft Adcenter your credit card, but creating a successful campaign takes practice, experience and skill. Behind every successful campaign, is an even better search marketer.
I bet you never thought you would ever see a blog post that included search marketing, dirt bikes, rednecks and cats, huh?