What this SMB did to lift its search engine marketing game

Art lovers founder talks about the search engine strategy helping it to find new customers

Art lovers exhibition
Art lovers exhibition


When your business exists to sell the work of undiscovered artists, being seen is critical. But with the proliferation of online retailers in Australia today, standing out from the crowd has become an increasingly difficult proposition.

Art teacher, Nancy Donaldson, says she founded Art Lovers two years ago as a means of supporting under-represented artists. In her own life as a teacher, she has seen numerous students leave the arts due to the difficulty of making a living.

“We were seeing lots of really talented people who just don’t get seen or picked up by galleries,” Donaldson tells CMO. “You have to be producing at a certain level for a gallery to take you on, and for lots of people art is a part time activity.”

But while the online world offers a theoretically limitless exhibition space, it is useless if no one can find what you are selling.

Donaldson initially turned to keyword search advertising, but as a small business did not have the budget to compete effectively, and hence was constantly being outbid. So she turned to Melbourne-based direct response marketing agency, King Kong, to help turn things around using content, search engine marketing and retargeting.

King Kong founder and head of growth, Sabri Suby, says the strategy developed for Art Lovers reflects the transformation taking place in search marketing since it first emerged 20 years ago. One of the key changes was to be more targeted in the keywords Art Lovers was buying.

“Doing search marketing, you need to start thinking more and more not just about vanity keywords like ‘art online’, but specific artists names and people searching for long keyword strings,” Suby says. “In the beginning, people were just searching for one or two keyword-based queries, and now they are putting five or six keywords in search queries.”

Ascertaining intent

Another critical factor is to understand which searches actually carry genuine intent that might be converted into sales.

“If someone is looking for ‘art shop’, there is very low purchase intent behind the keyword, even though it gets the vast majority of searches,” Suby says. “However, if someone is Googling ‘art shop Melbourne’ you know there is purchase intent behind it because they are thinking about a location to go and look at.”

While search engine marketing might be 20 years old, Suby says it continues to evolve rapidly. This is being driven in part by changes being made directly by Google, such as removing the ability to target an exact phrase match.

“Google AdWords as a platform today is completely unrecognisable to what it was six months ago,” Suby says. “New features are constantly being rolled out across client campaigns, and unless you are really looking at these campaigns weekly and daily, then there is a lot of wastage that occurs.”

Suby says one particularly useful tool now is the site, Answerthepublic.com, which pulls in aggregate search data from Bing and Google.

“You can look at what that keyword mindmap looks like in a visual representation and look at all the questions people are asking,” Suby says.

As a result of working with King Kong, Donaldson says Art Lovers’ has seen a return on investment of $6 for every $1 spent.

“We could see the advice was valuable, especially for newcomers like us, and it brought our attention to things we had missed,” Donaldson says. “At the moment, we have 60 words out there and 50 sitting in first second or third place, and 56 are on the first page. So the agency has done a really great job of getting those words in there.”

More of CMO's coverage on digital marketing:

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

3 ways to leverage the talents of your team to avoid disruption

​According to the World Economic Forum in its most recent The Future of Jobs report, the most important skills for the future are not technical, task-oriented skills, but higher-order skills such as creativity, social influence, active learning, and analytical thinking.

Gihan Perera

Futurist, leadership consultant

CMOs, it’s time to stop squandering customer attention

Businesses continue to highly value the attention they buy through paid media, yet at the same time, many continue to disregard and under-value opportunities to connect with customers using their owned media.

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

The popularity of loyalty programs is diminishing, though I'd say it is because customers are savvy enough to recognise when a loyalty pr...

Heather

It’s time for marketers to rethink their approach to ‘loyalty’

Read more

Thanks Nadia for sharing this blog. It has really useful and amazing information about Salesforce Commerce Cloud and digital engagement w...

Holly Smith

Adidas taps data and technology smarts to build personalised digital engagement with consumers

Read more

clearly someone who's jealous and only comments from the safety of being behind their keyboard

Peter Sibson

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in