Fantasy SEM

Yield Software · May 6, 2010 · Short URL:

Crush Your Competition!

SEM PlaybookFantasy sports continue to attract more interest each year. The concept of assembling a dream team of elite players, watching them outperform and raking in the profits is very appealing and addictive to many.

Since there are never enough sport analogies in the business world, let’s apply these fantasy team concepts to SEM. If you were to assemble your own SEM fantasy team, what would it look like?

The Fantasy SEM Team Roster. You can’t play any sport without a full team. What does a full team for SEM include? You need team members to both attract visitors to your website and then convert them once they get to your site.

Here’s what your starting lineup should include:

The Offense: Get them to your site.

Paid Search Keywords. Star keywords are short tail enough to get great volume and make a competitive stand, but yet specific enough to get you real results. You’ll need to think in terms of the search refinement path and the buying cycle so that you have all the necessary assist impressions and clicks as well as those that actually convert. The dream team keywords often come with a steeper price tag, but frequently contribute far superior rewards.

Paid Search Ad Copy Unique Offer Descriptors. These are the snippets in your ad that make your ad stand out from the competition. These grab searchers and say “hey- look at me and this amazing thing I have.” You’ll need a couple of different ones so you aren’t always showing the same line to searchers as they head down the search path.

Paid Search Ad Copy Calls to Action. These ad copy snippets motivate searchers to click and act. Create a sense of urgency and be specific about what they can expect and what you want them to do.

SEO Keywords. These are the keyword searches that would enable you to crush your competition on the natural search side. It’s important for these keywords to have great chemistry with the paid search keywords. When you’ve got a presence in both the paid and natural results on a page, your click-through rate will skyrocket.

SEO Link Bait. Your link bait can come in many different forms – original and valuable content is key here. It’s especially important for your link bait to play well with your SEO keywords, to give your rank the boost it needs.

The Defense: Stop visitors from leaving your site before converting.

Website Smack Talkers. No fantasy team would be complete without some smack. Highlight your benefits over the competition on your web pages. Make it as easy as possible for searchers to understand how you line up and what you have to offer that’s unique and better.

Website Credibility Givers. Showing awards and including reviews are good ways to make yourself shine and provide credibility.
Website Calls to Action. Without a score, even if you play great, it just doesn’t pay off. This is one of the spots where you can even use a player to play both offense and defense. If you have a call to action that’s working in your paid search ads or website, don’t be afraid to use the same one in both locations.

Remarekting ads. Rebounding is always important. If someone gets away from your site without converting, get back out there and try to lure them back in. Don’t give up because you didn’t make a score on your first try.

Fantasy SEM Tips for Success:

Here are a few tips for assembling and managing a winning Fantasy SEM Team:

Create Team Chemistry. Not only do they have to be great stars themselves, but it’s important that the members of your team have good chemistry between them and be on the same page. Consistent keywords, while providing broad coverage and consistent messaging without being repetitive to death are important. Your team members should create a cohesive tightly woven message.

Foster Team Competition. Even star performers can get a bit lazy if there isn’t some competition continually pushing them to do their best. Always have a set of backup players practicing every day and giving your stars a run for their money.

Reward Consistent Performance. Nothing is more frustrating than a great click here and there, but otherwise dismal performance. This is your dream team, not the minor leagues, if a piece of your team can’t perform consistently it should take the bench.

Keep Scouting. Don’t miss out on a hot new keyword, rising pain point or new critical feature. You need to continually keep tabs on the market place to make sure you spot and incorporate sleepers into your team to stay on top.

Monitor Competition. Keep an eye on all of your competitor’s moves. Do they have new messaging? Are they showing up for new keywords? Have they retired anything that wasn’t working? Are they copying any of your techniques? Always stay a step ahead and stay unique. Never be caught off guard.

Be Prepared for Challenges. As with any stars, your fantasy SEM team will likely have high drama associated with them. They will be in high demand, people will try to steal them from you, copy their techniques, etc. They also don’t come with ease, don’t come for free and don’t stay unless they are continually nurtured.

Become Addicted to Stats. As with any fantasy league, watching your star performers work in action is half the fun. Luckily reporting is easily available for much of SEM, so you can kick back on the couch, crack open a cold one and watch you fantasy SEM team work wonders – getting clicks, having visitors spend quality time on your site and bringing in “the Quan.”

Don’t Let Gut & Emotions Rule. There are going to be some offers and some keywords that in your gut you really want to be star performers, but when you look at the data, they just won’t be. Don’t let your emotions take over and put your non-performers on the bench.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize. It’s not free to play and the stakes are high, so you better stay focused on winning. Keep focused on how you are performing against your goals and in comparison to your competition. You might decide that second or third prize has enough cash for you, but you’ll need to monitor where you are in line, not that one of your competitors goes out and adds in some new messaging or keywords that crushes you.

Keep a Consistent Strategy. There is a lot of hype around SEM and people with new strategies and schemes every day. It’s important to tune out the noise and stick with your strategy until you are sure (based on the facts) that it needs tweaking.

Staying focused on an elite fantasy SEM team, can be a great strategy for achieving these 3 main SEM goals:

  1. Make a name for yourself
  2. Crush your competition
  3. Make money

And there’s nothing wrong with those outcomes, right?  So assemble your team and take your league by storm today!

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Yield Software's complete Yield Web Marketing Suite for Business and for Agencies includes a Paid Search Optimizer for management of PPC campaigns; Natural Search Optimizer for improved SEO and page rank; and Landing Page Optimizer, which includes a multivariate test engine to ensure landing pages are converting as well as possible.  Our system enables businesses of all sizes and growing agencies to fully embrace the potential of search marketing across Google, Bing and Yahoo! All of which leads to increased traffic to websites at a lower overall cost, resulting in greater conversion rates and increasing revenues.  Try a free 15-day trial or learn more at

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