Posts Tagged: google

When your brand name becomes a verb or the de facto name of your product, you know you’ve done something right. And with that, you know people won’t forget about you. For instance, Kleenex is often used in place of any facial tissue. You take an Uber even if you are using Lyft. Or you Google something whenever you are searching for anything online.

search engine marketing in san antonioGoogle is so well known that any SEO expert will gladly tell you that your most important goal is to rank number one for your search terms on Google; however, you shouldn’t disregard the other search engines out there.

Though Google happens to be the top site in the world according to Alexa, it only holds approximately 64% of all desktop searches. Granted that is a big piece of the pie, but that leaves another 36% to take advantage of.

What does this mean to you? Essentially, if you are on a budget and have a need to find success and start realizing the benefits of high rankings, you should start with the other search engines: Bing (Alexa rank 18, approximately 20% of all searches) and Yahoo (#5 and 12%). The reasoning behind this is because most SEOs will only target Google because it provides the largest return. More often than not, SEO providers will often ignore or even disregard the other search engines completely.

Finding yourself at the top of the other search engines may not net you the same results as being on top of Google, but in the long run, having those top rankings can acutally boost your Google rankings. If your site provides the information and holds visitors on your site, your on-site metrics will increase. These are important numbers for Google as they are always looking for the best solutions for people’s queries.

While everyone wants to be number one on Google, it’s important to remember that Google isn’t the only options out there. Ranking on Bing and Yahoo can give you great traction and allow you to build up your clients or customers so you can take on Google and the other SEO experts out there.


Related: SEO Keyword Research – Know which terms you want your site to rank for


It’s difficult to think back to a time when social media wasn’t in existence.  For many, MySpace was their first interaction with social media, and for a long time, it was the big game in town  (For an interesting look back at the social media timeline, click here).  Today, there are a vast array of ways to keep in touch with your friends, family, and total strangers on the other side of the world.

social media cubesBetween posts, feeds, tweets, +1s, and everything in between, there are so many options to let the world know about your business.  Often, it’s asked if social media actually plays an important role in a company’s online marketing campaign.

The simple answer is: YES!

There are two aspects to look at when it comes to social media within your business.  The first is the actual use of social media to connect with and keep in touch with your customers and clients.  The other is strictly for SEO purposes.

This post is going to focus on the SEO aspects and how it can benefit your company.

When it comes to ranking your site in Google, you have to consider that Google is becoming more and more sophisticated in determining what deserves to rank.  The idea of something going viral is simply the easiest explanation.  When something goes viral, traffic is increasing at the destination.  As traffic and on-page engagement increases, your ranking capabilities increase with it.

How does this work?  Google records a wealth of information about what is going on throughout the internet.  They know where you go, how long you spend there, and what you’re doing at almost all times.  Let’s look at two sites: Site A and Site B.  Both sites are almost identical to the point where one site would not have an advantage over the other for any reason.

Both sites utilize social media in exactly the same manner; however, Site A has a larger following and a better creative team.  Every post or tweet from Site A sends is sent to 1,000 followers while Site B only sends to 100.  Let’s suggest that each post only gets a 10% engagement of sending the followers directly to each site.  Once on the site, every user is greeted with a video about the site, a product, or a service.  Site A has a video that is 5 minutes long.  Site B’s video is only 1 minute long.

The stats are as follows:

Site A – 100 visitors to the site @ 5 minutes per visit
Site B – 10 visitors to the site @ 1 minute per visit

In Google’s eyes, strictly from an algorithmic point of view, which site appears to have the content that people are looking for?

And at the end of the day, Google just wants to display results based on what people are really looking for.  High traffic, high dwell time (time spent on a site), and a low bounce rate (bounce rate is how often people leave your site quickly after visiting) are all large factors when it comes to ranking a site.  It is indeed possible to rank a site based purely on social media.

Again – Is social media important?  In an SEO sense, absolutely.

Video is perhaps one of the most important, yet often overlooked, methods of online marketing.  The statistics that accompany this claim are absolutely astounding.  What’s more is that most businesses have no idea of the value that a quality video marketing campaign, coupled with SEO of course, can bring their business.

Take a look at the following statistics and see why video can make a huge difference in a business’ successes:

YouTube – The following facts and figures are courtesy of YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html)

  • Over 1 billion users
  • Every month, the number of hours of videos viewed is up 50% year over year
  • 300 hours of video uploaded every minute
  • Half of YouTube views are on mobile devices

Video Marketing – The following facts and figures are courtesy of WebpageFX (http://www.webpagefx.com/blog/marketing/28-unbelievable-video-marketing-statistics/)

  • Videos Increase People’s Understanding Of Your Product Or Service by 74%
  • The Average Internet User Is Exposed To An Average Of 32.2 Videos In A Month
  • 50% Of Users Watch Business Related Videos On YouTube Once A Week
  • 75% Of Users Visit The Marketer’s Website After Viewing A Video
  • Website Visitors Are 64% More Likely To Buy A Product On An Online Retail Site After Watching A Video
  • 80% Of Your Online Visitors Will Watch A Video, While Only 20 Percent Will Actually Read Content In Its Entirety
  • Your Website Is 50 Times More Likely To Appear On The First Page Of A Search Engine Results Page If It Includes Video
  • 90% Of User Say That Seeing A Video About A Product Is Helpful In The Decision Process

Those number, facts, and figures should get you excited about implementing video in your marketing strategy.

As always, we can help you with your video marketing needs.  Please click here to learn more about what we do.  Or, if you are ready to get started, click here to fill out our discovery form.

Quick! Grab Your Phone

It wasn’t too long ago that you had to power on your computer, wait a few minutes to dial into your internet service provider, and spend 2-3 minutes waiting for a web page to load. Today, most people have the internet nestled safely in their pocket.

Mobile Friendly San AntonioThe age of the smart phone is upon us and Google has taken notice.

Having access to the internet in the palm of your hand is nothing new. What is new(ish), however, is that mobile internet traffic has eclipsed and overtaken desktop/laptop internet traffic to the tune of 60% of all internet traffic. That number is slightly skewed because mobile apps tend to eat up great deals of bandwidth that you wouldn’t ordinarily use at home. Mobile apps such as Pandora, Instagram, and many others account for large chunks of data usage.

That doesn’t mean that a good deal of users aren’t still utilizing search engines on their mobile devices. Those numbers are still also climbing. With mobile devices so easy to use and often within reach, it’s easy to see that the majority of internet traffic is going to go mobile.

April 21, 2015

What significance does this date hold for you? That depends on the state of your website.

If your website is mobile-friendly, then you likely won’t see much happening. If your site, however, is not mobile-friendly, then your site may disappear from mobile search results altogether. So… I take that back. If your site is mobile-friendly, then you may see a bump in your mobile search engine results ranking. Win/win for you.

WHY?!

Why is Google doing this? It’s fairly simple. Google is the world’s number 1 search engine. That means that people generally trust the results they get from Google. Either that or everyone just loved the term Google over Yahoo so many years ago and we’ve been stuck with it since.

Back in reality, though, Google needs to make sure that people continue to trust their results and continue to use their search engine. Why is that important? Because Google makes a fortune off of paid advertising through their search engine. If people stopped using Google, no one would advertise with Google, and Google would eventually cease to be.

This is why they want to make sure that the top results for any given search term offers the most relevant return as well as the best user experience. If you have ever tried using a non-mobile-friendly site on a mobile device and found that everything just didn’t work, you’d understand the frustration. And Google wants you to have a pleasant experience so you can keep them in business.

What Should I Do?

If your site is not mobile-friendly, you (or your webmaster) should have received an email from Google informing you what you need to do to get in line. If you’re unsure if your site is mobile-friendly, you can find out at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.

If your site comes back as not mobile-friendly, you need to take action immediately assuming you want to retain your mobile search engine rankings. You should contact your webmaster/site designer first and start implementing a design/redesign to fall in line with what Google determines to be mobile-friendly. Keep in mind that this could actually end up resulting in a complete site redesign and overhaul.

If you are unable to reach your webmaster, you should contact us immediately and we can provide you with a free analysis and game plan to help get your website mobile-friendly.

REFERENCES
http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/07/online-traffic-report-mobile.html
http://searchengineland.com/google-sending-mobile-usability-warnings-huge-number-webmasters-213113
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html

Paid Advertising

What is Paid Advertising? (PPC)

PPC, or pay-per-click, is often utilized to get instant results with minimal effort; however, those results often come at a premium price depending on your targeted audience. In short, you are paying for advertisements to appear on websites or search engines and you pay every time someone clicks on your ad.

There are a few things you need to take into consideration before you run your first PPC campaign.

Target Audiences

Depending on your advertising platform, you have certain controls over who actually gets to see your advertisements. Most platforms follow a similar model as would be found with Google Adwords. In this model, you write an ad, decide what terms it should show up for, and then you place a bid. Your bid and keywords determine when, how often, and where your ads are going to show up.

facebook adsIf you are utilizing Facebook for your advertising needs, you get a completely different method of determining who gets to see your ad. From here, you get to decide the demographics of who gets to see your ads. Rather than using search terms, you get to tell Facebook to display your ad to males between the ages of 24 and 50 who live in the London, England and are teachers. Or you may cater your ads to women between the ages of 27 and 30 who live in the United States and earn more than $50,000/year.

These are the two most common forms of PPC. That’s not to say there aren’t other options out there, but most likely you’ll run into one of these two.

Obviously, there are times when you’ll want to use an Adwords style campaign over a Facebook campaign. If you are a local business trying to get in front of people actively searching for what you have to offer, then an Adwords PPC campaign would be more beneficial. If, on the other hand, you are trying to get your product in front of a large audience, then Facebook would be the better choice.

Associated Costs

When it comes to standard PPC, you pay every time someone clicks on your ad. The costs are decided by your bids when you start your campaign. If you have a high bid, your ad will be shown more often. At the same time, you will be paying more per click than anyone else. You need to find that line where you are getting impressions (one impression is your ad being viewed one time) and paying minimal costs for every click. That can take some time and patience, though.

adwords pageYou do have another option, though. This option is known as CPM, or cost per thousand impressions (M = 1,000 in roman numerals). This is as simple as it sounds. You pay a set amount (again, based on your bid) every time your ad is viewed. If you have a bid of $5.00 CPM, you will pay about $5.00 for every 1,000 views of your ad. Simple enough.

This is really where you need to do some research into your product and decide which campaign would best suit you. You can run a CPM and get only 2 or 3 clicks. At that point, you may be better off moving over to PPC as the cost would then reflect the number of clicks. Of course, at that point, your ad may get better positioning resulting in you getting more clicks (and, of course, paying more). In which case, you may think you would have been better off with CPM. And it can go back and forth like that. That is why you need to watch your campaigns and adjust as needed.

The Ad and Your Landing Page

As with any form of advertising, if your ad is terrible, you won’t get anyone clicking on your ad either way. You need to make sure that your ad is eye-catching and draws your potential customers in.

At the same time, you need to evaluate your landing page, or the page the ad takes the user to when he or she clicks on your ad. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to your landing page. Does it take too long to load? Is it interesting enough to keep someone’s attention? Does your ad reflect your landing page?

Split Tests

When you get into paid advertising, you need to make sure you can afford to run split tests. What this means is that you need to run several concurrent ads – and pay for them all.

What you want to do is set up multiple ads with multiple landing pages and run them all through CPM and PPC. Essnetially, you should have the following at a minimum:

  • Ad 1, Landing Page 1, PPC
  • Ad 1, Landing Page 1, CPM
  • Ad 1, Landing Page 2, PPC
  • Ad 1, Landing Page 2, CPM
  • Ad 2, Landing Page 1, PPC
  • Ad 2, Landing Page 1, CPM
  • Ad 2, Landing Page 2, PPC
  • Ad 2, Landing Page 2, CPM

With some monitoring, you can begin to whittle away the ads that aren’t doing so well and decide on one ad that has the strongest click-through rate while paying the least for those clicks.

Of course you don’t have to set up that many campaigns, but if you are looking to optimize your ROI, you would want to ensure that you are getting the most for your money.

Warning

Once your campaign is set and ready to go and it begins, your results are literally just what is being reported back to you. That sounds odd to say, I know. However, there literally is no proof that your ad is shown to those that you are requesting to have it shown to. You are taking the word of the advertising platform and you will have to live with that. I’m not saying that they flat out lie and run your CPM campaign by only showing your ad to 100 people and reporting it as 1,000 (though it could happen with bots regularly scouring the internet). I’m sure they are displaying accurate numbers, just maybe not to your exact specifications.

For a better understanding, check out this post regarding social media, and view the video about one-third of the way down. That video does a better job at explaining why paid advertising campaigns might not be as legitimate as we all wish they would be.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, there is a lot to consider when dealing with paid advertising. There are some people out there that absolutely crush it with paid advertising. Then again, there are way more out there that seem to find no luck with it.

It is still a very lucrative platform for getting your business out there in front of potential customers. And a lot of businesses utilize the services (see how much Google makes in advertising here). All I can say is monitor your campaigns like a hawk. Don’t start a campaign and just walk away or you might end up as just another contributor to the billions of dollars Google earns without you seeing anything back.

The Alternative

For those who have actually made it this far, you are probably wondering what the alternative is for paid advertising. If you want your business to be seen by those actively looking for your products and services, I will always tell you that SEO is the way to go.

With SEO, you more or less know what you’re getting in to. You are moving your business up towards the first spot in the search engines. Once there, you have the potential to earn more business than in any other position, including ad spaces.

The biggest problem with paid advertising is that your ad is clearly labeled as an advertisement. For many, that is an instant turn off as we are bombarded with ads everywhere we go.

Want to watch a 15-second YouTube video? You have to watch a 30-second ad first. You want to read an article on a news site? Let an overlay advertisement sit on your screen for 15 seconds first. We see ads everywhere.

When the average user is looking for your products, they want what they perceive as the recommendation from the search engine, not a paid advertisement.

I will always recommend SEO over paid advertising. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a lethal combination of the two. If you’re interested in SEO services, please fill out our Discovery Application and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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