"You're sitting at your desk and the email lands in your inbox with a thud," writes Michael Brenner at B2B Marketing Insider. "[S]omeone important in your company just did a search in a major search engine on a keyword they thought was important, and your paid ... ad didn't show up." So, now you're being hounded about it. What to do?

Brenner offers a letter that he has copied and pasted into innumerable responses to such complaints. And there's a good chance you'll find inspiration in the way he explains search to a lay audience.

Since few casual observers know the basics of search marketing, Brenner begins with a succinct explanation of search types:

  • Organic search (SEO). "In general," he tells colleagues, "if you have content that uses the same keywords as the search, and if that content appears credible, then you are more likely to be displayed."
  • Paid search (PPC). After outlining the basic process for choosing and bidding on keywords, Brenner notes that, depending on the bid, "the relevance of our landing page content to the keywords, the number of clicks we generate over time, and other factors like our location [or] the position of our ad, is determined by the search engine, at the time of the search."

He then addresses frequent concerns:

  • Most people won't use the same keywords as industry executives. "Generic terms," he says, "have a higher likelihood of being used by a student, researcher, or other non-prospect as opposed to our branded or solution-specific keywords."
  • PPC campaigns will be optimized over time. "Paid search programs generally start out inefficiently because there is no way to predict market outcomes to the many variables," he explains.

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