In the early days of the Internet finding something could be a hassle. The systems by which search engines operated had not yet been perfected. Relevant information was often hidden away in obscure user groups or sparse online directories. Thankfully those days have long since passed. The chaos of the primordial net has given way to an army of aggregators and search services. The algorithms that these services use have likewise evolved. This development presents an opportunity for marketers, opening the door for a phenomenon known as SEO marketing. So what is SEO marketing?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Simply put SEO marketing is the mechanistic calculation of the internal workings of a search engine, thereby allowing a business to utilize these workings. Most search engines sort returned articles in order of relevance, that is their relative weight in relation to a search term. So what is SEO marketing’s main goal? SEO marketing allows a business the opportunity to cement their relevance within a given series of search terms. The ramifications of this are obvious: higher order relevance leads to organic exposure. We define organic exposure in this sense: exposure by which a customer searched for a company and got a result. This is similar to other organic methods, which have come to fall under the blanket expression “viral marketing.”
Let’s examine a hypothetical company: Tom, Dick and Harry Marine, a relatively successful boat, and Maritime equipment dealer. Looking to increase their market share the owners elect to examine a number of different approaches to increase their exposure. Conventional marketing is always an option, billboards, radio and television advertisements, sponsorships and events, all of these can increase exposure. Unfortunately, most if not all of the aforementioned can be expensive. The larger the desired exposure, the more expensive this can be in the end. Let’s say that our intrepid entrepreneurs instead decide to employ SEO marketing, through a keen understanding of the way in which search engines determine the most relevant items. So in this circumstance what is search engine optimization marketing’s effect?: instant exposure for a bargain basement price.
SEO Marketing may very well prove to be as effective as more traditional forms of advertisements. As more people turn to the Internet as their primary source for information, the influence exerted by search engines dramatically increases. As these search engines become more and more important to a person’s day to day life, understanding how to effectively utilize them for the purposes of marketing becomes critical. So what is search engine optimization marketing? SEO marketing provides the tools to reach a wider consumer base, tools to grow, to expand.
So what is SEO marketing? In the right hands, understanding how search engines work, and tailoring your approach to maximize your exposure in an increasingly net reliant world can only be a boon to your business, leading to better exposure, and through that, a better market share. In today’s interconnected world, can your business afford not to capitalize on such an opportunity?
Facebook Advantage and Disadvantages
Today I had a missed call from a London phone number, and I thought, "who the heck do I know that would be calling me from London?" A few hours later my phone was ringing again, and it was the same London phone number, so I picked it up. It was Google.
More specifically, it was a call centre employee dubbed a "Google Account Strategist", and they were calling me about a new small business AdWords account I had just started managing. I receive so many calls from overseas people about Google and SEO, and how I "can be number 1 in Google for a fee" blah blah blah, so my first instinct was to say "no thank you" and hang up, but I knew the client would be told if I didn't at least hear what the account strategist had to say.
Fast forward 30 minutes to when the call finished. I was actually impressed with the level of knowledge and step-by-step detail the account strategist provided for features that don't cost extra to implement. Google AdWords has so many options that setting up a new account can easily take two days, so it was nice to get a refresher on a few strategies I hadn't got to yet.
I thought it would be helpful to share these tips with you as well, whether it's a refresher or you're still exploring everything that AdWords can offer. I also have a step-by-step guide for starting AdWords, Get Started with Google AdWords, which you should take a look at first if you're new to AdWords. The foundation needs to be right before exploring the advanced features.
Here are the 5 Google AdWords strategies that are definitely worth experimenting with.
Firstly, I'm a big fan of ad extensions because they allow you to include additional information beyond the character limit of the ad copy, giving way more prominence to your ad.
My go-to ad extensions are always:
Location Extension: Showing your physical address for hyper-local marketing.
Call-Out Extension: A good spot for value proposition text such as "friendly team".
Sitelinks Extension: As you're only allowed one URL per ad, this type of extension enables you to add other links to cross-sell within the same ad. For example, if you're advertising a painting category, then within the extensions you can also have links to ladders, paint brushes, and even paint services. Highlighting more of your offering positions you as an attractive one-stop option.
Call Extension: Make it very easy for people to click while on their mobile and instantly calls your business.
Ad extensions can be applied:
At the Account level: This option will add the extensions to every ad within the whole account.
For Specific Campaigns: This option allows you to tailor the extensions based on the Campaign theme.
For Specific AdGroups: This option allows you get even more specific with the extensions based on the AdGroup theme.
The more relevant your ad is to what a searcher is looking for, the better it will perform. Using the paint example again, it's not a good use of space to also advertise that you sell plants within the same ad. Sure, it'll be interesting to some people, but you should have a separate AdGroup for plants with ads written specifically for people searching for plants.
The next two ad extensions have evolved, and I will definitely be using them wherever possible.
1. Structured Snippets
Structured snippets is an ad extension that allows you to insert another line of words, which adds more depth to your ad message.
a) Click on the Ad extensions tab
b) Click on the drop-down and select Structured snippets
c) Click the red button '+extension'
d) Click on New structured snippet
You're restricted to fixed categories, but most will allow up to 10 items. The categories to choose from are: amenities, brands, courses, degree programs, destinations, featured hotels, insurance coverage, models, neighbourhoods, service catalogue, shows, styles and types.
Adding the additional information can make your ad more enticing and is very useful if your offering is broad.
2. Price Extensions
The price extension is a must-have if you have a sale or promotion. I don't think I need to explain why, have a look at the screenshot to see how prominent the ad is. It will certainly stand out!
a) Click on the Ad extensions tab
b) Click on the drop-down and select price extension
c) Click the red button '+extension'
d) Click on New price extension
I like that it allows you to choose whether to be specific with prices or keep it general.
a) Choose the type; brands, events, locations, neighbourhoods, product categories, product tiers, service categories, service tiers or services
c) Price qualifier; none, from or up to
g) Units; none, per hour, per day, per week, per month or year
h) Final URL
3. Phone Call Conversion Tracking
If you are using the call extension, there are additional steps you need to take to enable calls to be tracked within the account. It's a must-have measurement to judge the performance of your ads. Especially if you don't have Google Analytics linked (but you really should link to Analytics - so that you can monitor the behaviour once people are on the website. If people click and then leave, you're wasting your money on those keywords without knowing it).
a) Click on Tools in the top menu, click on Conversions and then Phone calls
b) Select the 1st option 'Calls from ads using call extensions or call-only ads', fill in the options (change call length to 5 seconds and count to 'every'), and save
c) Then go to call extensions and click the red button'+ extension'
d) Select Campaigns or AdGroups, add your phone number and click the edit pencil on the right
e) Turn call reporting ON, expand the advanced option - tick the report phone call conversion and select the phone conversion from the list we set up earlier and save.
4. Shared Library: Bid Strategies
Shared bid strategies are located in the AdWords shared library; you'll find this in the left-hand menu. Here you'll find the option to choose from six different flexible bid strategies: Enhanced CPC, Target Search Page Location, Target CPA, Target Outranking Share and Maximize Clicks.
However, we're going to focus on the Target Search Page Location.
It's a reality that the top 1 or 2 ads will get the most clicks, and if that's your goal, then this is an ideal strategy to test out. This option will automatically adjust the bids required to get your ads to the top of the page, or the first page of search results.
Here's a look at the options you can set: Target search page location
a) Select 'Top of first page' and 'automatically'
b) I recommended that you set a bid limit. Otherwise you can easily blow out your budget. This may defeat the purpose of the strategy, but if you aren't willing to spend $20 per click to get to the top, you need to fill this in.
5. Use 3 Variations of Ad Copy
And finally, it's always best practice to write 2 to 3 variations of ad copy and based on the result, the ad that generates the most activity will automatically be shown more. The account strategist recommended this particular structure for each AdGroup, as the combination has apparently gained good results from tests Google have done:
Ad Copy 1: Use your business name in the headline
Ad Copy 2: Use keyword insert in the headline to match the keywords that the user has typed into Google search. E.g. AdWords automatically replaces the code with the keyword that triggered your ad: KeyWord:House Paint.
Ad Copy 3: A strong call to action in the headline, e.g. Claim Your Free Paint Sample
So, there you have it, 5 handy tips straight from a Google Account Strategist that you can implement in your Google AdWords account straight away.
How Do I Start a Facebook Page?
Search Engine Optimization is a method used by webmasters to achieve a better ranking in the search engine's listings for a particular website and its content pages. These methods are aimed particularly at benefiting from organic or crawler search engines. Organic searches are natural searches that don't involve pay-per-click advertising. Crawler search engines follow the links on a page from one web page to another, taking note of all the connections.
Unfortunately, SEO (search engine optimization) methods are often misunderstood and misused (even abused) by many Internet marketers. As a result, various SEO methods have come to be classified as either "white hat" (meaning that they are proper and legitimate approaches within the eyes of the search engines) or "black hat" (meaning that they are either deceptive or unethical or frowned upon by the search engines).
There are two primary arenas for search engine optimization: on page SEO and off page SEO. On page SEO generally includes providing good content for visitors, and the proper use of page titles, meta tags, header tags, text bolding, alt tags, keyword emphasis, and outbound links. Off page SEO generally includes such tactics as anchor text, article directories, link exchanges, and back links from site submissions, forum comments, and blog comments.
Let's take a quick look at some of these terms:
Page Titles: these are the words that appear in the upper left-hand corner of your browsers, in the blue bar at the top, that identify the website page you're currently on.
Meta Tags: these are tags inserted in your HTML header code that describe the subject matter of your webpage. There are two common meta tags, one for your keywords and one for a short description of the page. While Google tends to ignore these tags, other search engines will often give them added attention and use them in their descriptions of your webpages.
Header Tags: these are used to emphasize the importance of specific text within your content. They are generally used to highlight your keywords much in the same fashion as a newspaper highlights an article with a bold headline.
Text Bolding: once or twice in your content, if you use bold texting around your keyword, it's believed the search engines will give extra attention to those words.
Alt Tags: these are short descriptive words that are associated with an image on your page. For instance, if you have a web page about water skiing and there's a picture of a little girl water skiing behind a boat, you'll want to tag that photograph with a descriptive statement such as "Water Skiing Girl" that emphasizes your keyword "water skiing."
Anchor Text: these are the words that are emphasized in linking back to your web page. For instance, you could link back to your water skiing page with anchor text that simply states the URL of the page (let's say, http://yoursite.com/waterskiing.html) or you can push your keyword for that page and use "water skiing" as your anchor text.
All of these are legitimate approaches to search engine optimization, standard white hat approaches. At the end of the day, by using search engine optimization to help those visitors who come to your web page to quickly understand and interpret your content, you not only serve them better, you also make it easier for the search engines to send them your way. Relevance is the key to assuring the traffic that comes to your page is the right traffic that for that page.