Before launching anything—whether it is a complex marketing program or a highly effective rocket ship—professionals should always take the correct steps to ensure that the launch goes smoothly. This process should involve understanding the most you can about your product, prelaunch. Talk to your client about the difference between how the company views itself and how customers view the company. Here are four top-level actions that every search marketer should take when launching a new product.
1. Look into Client History
Find out as much as you can about your new client before you launch their search program so you can launch a smooth campaign. If the client was working with another search agency before you, see what that other company has done. Try to get as much information and content as you can from the old search team. You may hit a brick wall, as marketing companies are generally protective of their search secrets, but always try to cultivate as much search history as you can. Some clients will purchase their content from their old company, so talk to the client about transferring this content to you.
If your client is completely new to search, then you will need to talk extensively with the client about their general marketing plan. By understanding marketing information such as the client’s target demographics, you will be able to develop a viable search marketing campaign. Also, use prelaunch opportunities to look at competitor campaigns and see how competitors bill themselves to customers.
2. Discuss the KPI
Although it is possible that neither you nor the client will alter the client’s key performance indicators (KPIs), you should always discuss them with the client before launching a campaign. Discussing KPIs will give you insight into what is important to the client, and it may help the customer reevaluate and update its marketing goals. Search marketers will also be able to see how the client measures performance, thus granting the search team an edge in achieving the client’s goals.
3. Update the Landing Pages
Launching a new marketing campaign should be all about questions. You need to ask your client a lot of questions before you can legitimately understand how to launch the program. Find out how many landing pages the client has, what types of pages these are, and how actively these pages are updated. You also want to see which keywords link to each landing page and if this makes sense from the customer’s side of things. Beyond landing pages, use an analytics tool to determine what paths customers take to action and what keywords lead them there.
4. Develop a Testing Plan
Search marketers should constantly be testing, adjusting, and working to get better. When you get a new client or product, you need to develop a prelaunch test plan to see what works, what doesn’t, and what could be improved. Using the company history and whatever other information you have, you should develop a testing plan that will allow you to consistently adjust and improve.
Beyond Top Level
Of course, beyond these top-level actions you will need to run through the nitty-gritty of launching a campaign. Check that you have the right ad copy, make sure you have substantial keyword lists and that they are grouped effectively. With a solid prelaunch foundation, your campaign will run smoothly and you will have opportunities to expand the reach of your client and its products.