Blog >> search engine marketing

Darcy Grabenstein Jan 26

A marketing must: Make a good first impression


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When we think about first impressions, it’s usually in the context of a job interview or a first date. As the saying goes, “First impressions are lasting impressions.”

Make a good first impression

This holds true for marketing as well. Here, we’ll look at the importance of first impressions in digital marketing.

Unless the prospect knows your organization’s URL or enters your organization’s name directly into a search engine, chances are the first online impression will be a banner ad or search ad. It’s not only the ad itself that will impact that first impression, but how that ad is served up and who sees it.

Who sees your ads depends on how you target your audience. For example, you can target your audience via different demographics. Want to attract a diverse audience? Serve up ads, with appropriate imagery and messaging, to women and minorities. Want to drive traffic to a brick-and-mortar location? Target your audience geographically. Looking to hire someone with X years of experience? Target your audience by age.

Why bother targeting, you ask? Why not try to reach the largest possible audience? When you target, you will attract quality leads. You also will be delivering relevant content to viewers.

Digital marketing is both an art and a science. If you’re doing it right, when prospects click on a banner or search ad, they won’t go to the home page of your website. Instead, they’ll be taken to a carefully crafted landing page. You should have a separate landing page for each ad campaign. That way, there won’t be a disconnect between the ad and your site. Again, think relevant content. Make that your marketing mantra.

Keep in mind that the landing page cannot — and should not — include every single aspect of your product or service. It should include just enough information to pique the prospect’s interest. A key component of your landing page is the form capturing prospect data. To minimize distraction and encourage form completion, your landing page should have no other outbound links besides the form itself. You need enough form fields to capture data but not so many that the prospect is overwhelmed. A lengthy form can create an unfavorable first impression among prospects. And a strong call to action (CTA) will boost form completions.

For those who do go directly to your website by entering the URL or searching for you by name, your home page will make the all-important first impression. You want an attractive home page, but you shouldn’t sacrifice content for aesthetics. Make your site “sticky”; that is, include content and links that will keep visitors on your site longer.

Your entire website should include keywords that you (and your competitors) are bidding on in search marketing campaigns. If you’re not sure what keywords to use, free online tools such as Wordtracker can help you get started.

Timing is everything. Your sales cycle may or may not coincide with the buying pattern of prospects. There certainly will be overlap, such as at Christmastime for a gift retailer, but this will vary among your prospects. That’s why you should schedule ads throughout the calendar year. And that’s why you should constantly refresh your creative. If you have outdated ads, that first impression won’t be a positive one.

The first impression is just the first step in terms of marketing. While first impressions are important, it’s the continuing dialogue with your prospects and customers that will build your brand — and your business.

Darcy Grabenstein is senior copywriter at Annodyne.

 


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Diana Altobelli Aug 28

4 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Facebook Ad Campaigns


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Have you been thinking about marketing on Facebook? Or have you used Facebook ads but are not getting the results desired? Whatever the case, you have an opportunity to get a better return on investment by incorporating these four tactics into your social media campaigns.

Before I begin, I will jump on my soapbox and for a moment remember the days of Facebook being ad free and CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying it will remain that way. Well, like all those with a great idea (no matter if it starts out free), Zuckerberg wanted to get paid for his brilliant idea. I can’t say I blame him. However, let’s think for a second how this transitioned our lives forever once advertising began on social media. For example, I have a particular design taste. The shabby-chic, French cottage, one-of-a-kind décor that you can’t seem to find at your Pier 1 Imports or Wayfair (and if you did it’s way above what I’m willing to pay).

Through Facebook’s algorithms, however, I have been able to find more local small business owners and boutique shops, thanks to Facebook advertisements, remarketing and suggested pages to “like.” This has given me the opportunity to find entrepreneurs who make the handcrafted pieces that I am seeking. Normally, I am not one to congratulate the social media giant because I like to find things on my own, but Facebook has helped me greatly these past few months.

Anyway, back to the meat and potatoes of what this blog post is all about.

1. Split Test Your Facebook Ads

Whether you use Google AdWords or Bing, split testing is necessary to see what works. We all know this is a best practice, but the time and discipline required to set this up and then analyze the data after tests can become dreary. Stick to it, though, because the work you put into your Facebook campaign will yield a return on your investment. Simply change a variance in your ads and measure to see which one gets the best results. This could be different keywords, images, text, calls to action or even types of ads. You have multiple options on Facebook: right-hand side ads, newsfeed ads and carousel/multiple image ads. Once you test this and refine your ads, you’ll lower your cost per click (CPC), resulting in less-expensive conversions.

The ads are not the only thing you should vary. Don’t forget to test different target audiences and demographics. You might realize the interests and behaviors you are targeting are not associated with the type of user who will convert on social media. You might want to start with the little things first: keywords, images and text. Start them on the same day with similar conditions to get the best possible results. Then lead to demographics.

2. Use Facebook Conversion Pixel

Now you may think installing the Facebook conversion tracking pixel is a waste of time but, believe me, it is not. Facebook wouldn’t offer it if it weren’t helpful. It does exactly what is says, tracks conversions on Facebook. This will allow you to determine how much you are paying and what you are getting in return for those dollars spent.

3. Keep Mobile and Desktop Ads Separate

You might be wondering why you shouldn’t just use every ad location available for your new Facebook ad set. Well, here’s why: By separating them, you will have more control and the ability to optimize your ads, bids and conversions by device. Calls to action and text also display differently on desktop versus mobile. By catering your ad copy toward the device will allow for great conversions and a better end-user experience.

4. Set Up a Remarketing Pixel

Remarketing seems to be all the rage right now. What is it? It’s when potential customers have visited your website but did not convert. After visitors leaving your site, it’s easy for them to forget about your business. This is where Facebook remarketing comes into play. You then have the ability to target them after they have visited your site., creepily following them online and serving ads to keep your company top of mind.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg. You also can maximize your ability to target on Facebook through income, behaviors, look-a-like audiences, test calls to action and more. Social media advertising can be highly profitable if done right. Facebook enjoys a significant amount of traffic, and it can be directed toward your website or landing pages if ads are set up correctly.

What do you think? Will you use some of these starter strategies to increase the effectiveness of your Facebook ad campaigns? Leave your comments below!

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing specialist at Annodyne.


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Marisa Albanese Jul 23

In Search of a More Perfect Algorithm…


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Today, we’re going to discuss erroneous algorithms in machine learning (this term is used to describe computer-based predictive analytics). To set up the context, I’m going to share a little something I learned back in my political science days as an undergrad. OK, something I learned besides where on campus was the best place to take a nap. (For any Temple University students — SAC, upper level, near the conference rooms. You’re welcome.) There is a central question nearly everyone has asked within the poli sci realm: Is there a perfect form of government? Short answer: No. I will not bore everyone to tears by detailing why not but there is a very simplistic way to understand this dilemma: Government was created by people, people are flawed and, therefore, government will naturally be flawed. Side note: Please do not turn the comments section into a political thunderdome over this proclamation.

This brings me back to the topic of algorithms. Recently, The New York Times published an article that pulled from various studies completed about bias in online marketing ads based on algorithms. An algorithm is a formula. It’s what Google uses when a person types in “best running shoes for beginners” to produce search results. A person creates algorithms, using the principles of predictive analytics, usually some calculus and a dash of black magic. Machines, however, learn from human behavior and adjust algorithms over time. This is known as a learned algorithm.

The Times article gives a great example. When you type into Google or Bing “best running shoes” it auto-completes the thought. But the crux of the article was how search results are being corrupted by the negative, and deeply stereotypical, side of society. For instance, ads targeting applicants for high-paying executive jobs appeared in the search results for men over double the rate as they did for women. A separate study revealed ads for arrest records appearing in searches for African-American-centric names.

People are leaning on machine learning data and calculations because we see this way as the ultimate truth. Machines have no prejudice and will just report the facts. But if they are implanted with bad search algorithms, not necessary created with malice but lack of social understanding, this is like building a house on a cracked foundation.

This sets up the discussion “Oh my God, this is how Skynet started” (this is a reference to the storyline for the “Terminator” series). The machines are learning without us! Artificial intelligence! Before you start building that underground bunker, keep in mind a few things. For starters, data scientists are still trying to understand this phenomenon. It has been suggested if an algorithm shows signs of this behavior to rewrite it. These signs would be present during testing. Ah, yes! That magical thing I suggested a few blogs ago: Always create a test plan.

Test your algorithms. Then test them again. Also, I’m going to drop some additional poli sci knowledge. Niccolo Machiavelli, who wrote The Prince, did not fake his own death. He simply wrote about it. So to everyone who thinks Tupac Shakur faked his own death because he named one of his posthumous albums Machiavelli, this is wrong. But “California Love” is still an awesome song.

 mA5vD2Q

This cat is re-creating my most common activity during college.

 Marisa Albanese is database marketing analyst at Annodyne.


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Diana Altobelli Jan 22

The Struggles With Higher Ed Marketing and How To Overcome Them


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As if digital marketing weren’t already tough enough, the search engines don’t seem to be easing up any time soon. Not only that, but higher education keywords and phrases are getting to be quite expensive. Here at Annodyne, we service many higher education institutions. Using online marketing strategies such as search engine marketing, we have seen great success with our clients in filling the seats of MBA and EMBA programs.

education-marketing

With that being said, it can be even more difficult for institutions with small to medium-sized programs to gain online recognition and traffic. The price tag for higher ed to attract potential students via paid search continues to increase, costing anywhere from $50 and up per click.

As paid search becomes more expensive and with limited budgets, it is important to spend your marketing dollars wisely and in a space where you can compete. Let’s talk about content marketing, for example. If you ask me, the term is getting a bit irritating at this point but bear with me.

Institutions are challenged to come up with a great key message that will stand out among the rest, one that will resonate with potential MBA and EMBA students (or any student, for that matter). Only a fraction of colleges and universities are nationally ranked, or have the funds to pay for rights to use the badge signifying their ranking.

All the rest must determine what makes their program truly unique. Why not start with alumni and faculty? Learn what professors and teachers at the college are doing internally, then create stimulating ad copy that will resonate with students. Whether you create case studies, white papers or even infographics, you will engage the end user and capitalize on your marketing efforts by providing relevant information.

What would be even greater is if the potential student engaged with that content. Micghael Schrange from MIT sums up what engagement is really all about. “Engagement is smack at the intersection of commanding attention and taking action.”

social-network-gif

For example, views and traffic are great, BUT… that does nothing for your campaign if no one is interacting with your posts, photos or videos. Let’s think of it in reference to search engine optimization. You are getting tons of traffic to the website, but no one is filling out lead forms. You might want to check your bounce rate; is there enough content to keep the reader engaged for awhile? These are all questions you need to ask yourself when looking to keep the end user engaged.

The same goes for social media. You can post 2-3 times a day, but if no one is sharing, liking or commenting on your material you may want to think twice about what you are doing. Or if you are just starting out maybe you want to assign some team members as social media ambassadors to help increase the engagement with like users who may be interested. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Now since, search engine marketing maybe not be the greatest avenue to bring in leads for your Executive MBA programs, leveraging your social media pages might do the trick. Yes, it is becoming even more of a struggle to gain the reader’s attention, but having an active presence on a platform where a majority of users spend their time can create conversions.

As with Google AdWords, you still have the ability to target your audience on social media. With Facebook, you can target by interests, behaviors, location, age, gender and more. This not only allows for more effective targeting but can be much cheaper than the search giant.

The bottom line is developing an end goal, a marketing strategy so that you can properly measure, track and gauge how your social media or search engine marketing campaigns are doing. Once that is laid out, it can be much easier to determine which tactics and platforms to use when it comes to higher education marketing. Make sure they are aligned with the institution’s objectives as a whole!

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing coordinator at Annodyne. 

photo credit via AZ NetMarketing

The Social Network gif via The Other Hubby

Crewe Fox 


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Diana Altobelli Jan 8

New Year’s Resolution/Spring Cleaning for PPC Campaign


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Many strategies for search engine marketing have come and gone. Launching new campaigns can leave a lingering remnant of disorganization after a whole year of fiddling with details, either impacting your PPC in a negative or positive way. So now it’s time to clean it up a bit and start fresh.

new-year-fresh-start

The “remnant changes” that you may or may not have kept track of are those alterations made on the account that were left active. PPC is a fast-moving world. With strategies and new versions of Editor upgrading daily, it’s easy to miss the tiniest detail (yes, even for those who have the keenest of eyes). Working on multiple accounts, maneuvering in and out of campaigns daily, can produce these remnants.

Seasonality is one example. A majority of your client’s budget was heavily geared to the Christmas season. Post-Christmas is the client’s slow time, so you adjust budgets accordingly to spend those dollars wisely. Another prime example is gym memberships in January. You run a special promotion to be heavily marketed in the New Year, as everyone heads to the gym for resolutions (how long they last, well, that’s up to you!).

If you ask me, I am glad the holidays are over. I felt out of the loop during my time off. Don’t get me wrong, it was great! I had little downtime and got to spend it with family. For me, however, there is no better feeling than having a fresh start.

It’s easy to make many changes and forget you enhanced the campaign, made some bid modifiers for devices or locations. So now is a good time to go back and review those changes to see if they are still relevant.

Following is a list of items to quickly check in your campaigns that will help keep your clients happy and make you look like a pro when following up with them:

• Geo targets and bid modifiers – When was the last time you took a look at the targeting in your search engine marketing campaign? Now, after analyzing Google Analytics data and where the traffic is coming from, does it correlate with your target location? Or could you venture into new areas of service to capture a broader audience? This could be something to review and adjust.

• Mobile modifiers – Mobile is huge right now. Some of my clients’ traffic to landing pages and websites is anywhere from 50 percent to 75 percent mobile, depending upon the industry, of course. This could be a great way to target those on tablets and phones, making your campaign efficient on every device.

• Ad copy – Do you test ads all the time? If no,t it might be a good time to start testing. Start by reviewing tired ad messaging in your account, making sure it is still relevant and that all destination URLs are active and working properly. There is nothing more frustrating than going to a dead-end page.

• Landing page – Your keywords and ad copy can only get you so far. Through continuous testing throughout the year you also want to make sure your landing page content pertains to your marketing goal which may have shifted over time.

• Negative keyword lists – Sometimes, without you even realizing it, negative keywords may have been implemented campaign wide, when really they should have just been applied to the ad group. Be sure you are not hindering your campaign by creating unnecessary negative keywords. You could be sabotaging your own campaign!

The list can go on for items to check, refresh and delete when it comes to cleaning up a search engine marketing campaign. So I hope this brief checklist helps you get your SEM life in order, with no lingering errors that may affect your performance.

Happy New Year!

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing coordinator at Annodyne.


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Diana Altobelli Dec 3

All I Want For Christmas Is A Successful PPC Campaign


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Ho! Ho! Ho! If you haven’t started shopping yet, you are way behind. Just kidding! You’ve got about 2-1/2 weeks and counting to hit the overly packed malls or shop from the comfort of your home the good ol’ digital way!

For me, well, I am done my holiday shopping. I know, don’t hate me. So with a majority of people completing their shopping online, what better way to prep your search engine marketing campaigns for the season of spending.

holiday shopping humor

If you have invested in PPC for quite some time, take a look at last year’s campaign performance. See what performed well and what didn’t. This will allow you to know where to invest your marketing dollars.

Another great way to optimize your ads is to cater to the buyer. Create some holiday-specific ad copy. This will instantly increase the effectiveness of your holiday marketing campaign. Then think about when your target audience would be searching for your product. For retailers, evenings and weekend mornings see a lot of traffic. On Cyber Monday, however, the entire day was fair game.

This way, your ads will show during peak times for optimal performance. You can then create a monthly plan to finish out the remainder of the year. Will you have any promotions? Time-sensitive sales can help create a sense of urgency, making the shopper pull the trigger a bit faster, so to speak.

One thing that some might forget when it comes to search engine marketing is scoping out the competitors. Check out what kind of deals they are offering. Are they running a promotion? Free shipping? Or even a free gift with a purchase? These are some ideas that might push a consumer to choose your competitor’s ad over yours.

Oh, and before I forget, do not decrease mobile bids because you think people will not convert. Many holiday shoppers will research and look for deals on their smartphones then execute using a desktop.  See below this infographic from About Performance Blog.

holiday trends for mobile device shopping

So before you give up on holiday shoppers altogether, take a quick look at the remaining budget for 2014, update holidayesque ad copy, and add some holiday keywords to your ad groups. Don’t be a Scrooge! Update the ad copy, keywords, site links, promotions, mobile friendliness and give it to consumers when they are actually shopping!

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing coordinator at Annodyne.


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Diana Altobelli Nov 5

How to Compete with Big Brands on Google AdWords


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When it comes to paid search, you might think it’s just for the big dogs. How in the world can I compete with companies like Nike if I am Jenkintown Running Company or any other local shoe store, for that matter? Nike sure does have endless budgets to simply get the top first-page bid.

Even though your small to medium-sized business may not have the funds to compete with big brands, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Believe me, I love a good underdog story in any sport or aspect of life. So when it comes to search engine marketing and budgets, here are some great tips that will allow you to compete for the same real estate on top search engines like Google.

underdog-wreslting-match

  1. Make sure your keyword selection is on point. This is a great way to compete against companies who have millions of dollars dedicated toward their online marketing strategy. You need to be as strategic as possible when it comes to selecting the keywords you want in your campaigns. By using long-tail keywords, you will have the opportunity to produce higher quality leads and not spend as much.

    What is a long-tail keyword? It’s a search phrase of three or more words. “Shoes,” for instance, is a short-tail keyword. “Women’s running shoes” is an example of a long-tail keyword. Since long-tail keywords are less competitive, do keep in mind that they will receive less traffic.

  2. Take the time to do the proper keyword research. This will allow you to obtain good quality leads that are not as expensive. Broad keyword terms that have high search volume can seem like shooting in the dark for a small owner.

  3. Re-evaluate your ad copy. If you haven’t yet created your AdWords campaign, take the time to write specific ad copy for keywords and ad groups. Especially when outbidding isn’t an option, you need to come up with other ways to stand out. What deals are you offering? Free shipping? Half off? By offering enticing promotions and writing headlines with keywords in your campaign, you will create ads that stand out from the rest. Include keywords in your ad headline and bold the search phrase to automatically drawing the end user’s eye to your ad.

  4. Advertise on different platforms. For example, Facebook and even Bing can be a great alternative. Although Google may have the most traffic, it also is going to be the more expensive option. There are pros and cons to every network, but you may be able to get cheaper keywords on other networks. Don’t limit your options. Pan out to target all users, not just the most.

  5. Use ad extensions. Those on a tight budget need to take advantage of every single opportunity out there. By implementing extensions, you give the end user more information about your business such as telephone numbers, locations, reviews and more. Displaying this information can increase your click-through rate and even entice a user to complete a landing page form.

In all, paid search can be very expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you do the right research and use the tips I’ve provided. Don’t let big brands like QVC, Nike and Apple scare you away, no matter what your industry. The possibilities are there when it comes to search engine marketing, so work smart with your budget!

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing coordinator at Annodyne.


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Diana Altobelli Nov 3

Here’s How to Pass Google AdWords Fundamentals


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Are you looking to become Google AdWords certified? Well, you are in luck. I took the Fundamentals exam last week and passed! No need to toot my own horn, but this is a big milestone for me as I begin to learn the in-depth skills and tactics when it comes to search engine marketing. I will be honest; I studied for a few hours and took practice tests on Way To Exam and, let me tell you, it helped tremendously. What’s even better is that it is now FREE. It used to be $50 to take and if you didn’t pass, well, that’s a total bummer because then you were out some cash.

After the Google AdWords Fundamentals exam you will then need to take the Advanced Search or Advanced Display to become fully certified. But that post is for another time. So to start, here is an overview of the exam:

• 90 multiple-choice questions

• 85 percent or higher to pass

• 120 minutes to complete the exam

• Once you’ve passed, certification is valid for two years

 

google-fundamentals-meme

Oh, and one more thing that brought me a sigh of relief: Your screen is no longer locked when taking the test. You can simply open up another browser and essentially have an open-book test. Now, although this is great I DO NOT recommend winging it because, trust me, you will not have time to complete it if you looked up every answer.

 

open-book-study-tip

1.   Create a dummy AdWords account. If you have never logged into an AdWords account, you may want to so you can understand the interface and core concepts. The certification process not only tests you on questions about running an effective campaign but also being able to use the tools.

2.   Study the Google AdWords Fundamental exam study guide. This guide contains a ton of information and it can seem overwhelming. However, it has everything you need to know in order to pass.

3.   Review topic areas. These are the given topic areas that you will be tested on. Become BFFs, and you will pass with flying colors.

google-adwords-fundamental-study-guide

 

4.   Be prepared and stay calm. No two exams will be the same. The 90 questions that are given to you are pulled from a pool of questions. You might end up with some Display questions, Search questions, who knows! With that being said, be prepared.

I found myself taking practice exam after practice exam and psyching myself out. This is normal; don’t be alarmed. Haven’t always been the best test taker but I wanted to be prepared and pass on the first try. (I can’t say the same for my driver’s permit test….)

5.   Think like Google. Yes, choosing the best and right answer is important but, to be brutally honest, “What would Google think the right answer would be?” is how I began to think. I believe this method helped me in the long run. After all, you are taking Google’s test.

6.   Read carefully. During my practice exams I found I was rushing to take it. First off, because it didn’t count and I was just running through it to see what the questions would be like. Then I began to get questions wrong that I thought were 100% right. However, after reading carefully all of the multiple choice options I found that some of the wording can be extremely similar. Then after reading what the correct answer was I was like, oh duh, why didn’t I pick that one to begin with?

7.   Keep an eye on the clock. If you aren’t prepared (which I previously advised), then you might want to keep your eye on the clock. The time will be ticking down in the lower right corner. Don’t be alarmed, though, there is more than enough time. If you’re prepared you should have time left over.

8.   Know that you will be faced with similar questions. I noticed a couple of questions seemed very familiar in wording in that both had the same answers. Do not be fooled; just because you answered this way once before doesn’t mean it’s wrong the second time around. Google is not tricking you. Go with your gut.

Passing the Google AdWords Fundamentals exam gets you one step closer to becoming certified. It not only is great to have for your company but personally as well. Certifications build trust and let others know you have taken all the requirements needed to successfully manage search engine marketing campaigns for optimal performance.

So if you are a first-time test taker, I hope this helps. Let me know if you have passed or will be taking the test soon! Advanced Search, you’re up next.

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing coordinator at Annodyne.


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Diana Altobelli Aug 21

5 Reasons Why Local Businesses Should Invest in PPC


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Ask a small business or local mom-and-pop shop about its advertising — better yet, maybe you should start with whether it has a website. One might believe simple word of mouth or a flier in a magazine will do the trick, but in today’s world, businesses are far more competitive. that means having a solid web presence is important to your businesses success. Even with a small budget it can still be beneficial.

google-adwords-local-business

You might want to argue the fact that organic search results are free, so why not just show up there? Easier said than done. In order to have high rankings for keywords relevant to your business it takes time, strategic planning, PR efforts, an old URL, creative content, uniqueness, a social strategy and authority status in your industry. Although search engine optimization is a marketing strategy not to be ignored, there are other ways to promote your business that can bring much faster results to the table. With strategies and algorithms constantly changing, it’s tough for a small or local business to compete, especially with the changes in Google Maps listings.

Also, small businesses need to remember that in highly populated metro areas, it is likely there are more than one option. And with limited exposure to begin with in the organic search results, search engine marketing is the next best thing. Here’s why:

seo

1.  You have a greater chance of showing up on the first page results in the search engines.

2.  It is a great way to increase leads and revenue while a search engine optimization strategy is in place. SEO changes don’t happen overnight, and with the help of pay-per-click (PPC) or search engine marketing it’s the best alternative to bring in website traffic.

3.  Organic is not all that and a bag of chips. It is a great to use both PPC and SEO simultaneously to create synergy. The probability of gaining more leads doubles because you are taking up more real estate on the search engines.

4.  Search engine marketing can sometimes cost less than search engine optimization and will get you quicker results. By being able to control your bids and budgets on particular keywords, you will never go over your marketing spend.

5.  You have the ability to geo target your market unlike search engine optimization, unless you are using local modifiers on keywords. This way, you are bringing in leads that are of high quality and in close vicinity to your business.

ppc-humor

For all these reasons and more, PPC advertising is something to highly consider when it comes to online marketing for small businesses — even for those who have a small budget! So jump on in with a small campaign, because there is always the option to hire a professional for the most efficient results when the time comes.

Diana Altobelli is a search marketing coordinator at Annodyne


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TJ Kropp Aug 19

The Jury’s Still Out on Google Location Extensions


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Each year we are seeing a rise in smartphone and tablet usage, while desktop usage remains on a steady decline. Since these are on-the-go devices, what are users actually doing differently than they may have been on desktop? EMarketer recently released the below data showing what we can expect to see from the smartphone and tablet segment of users. The analysis further suggests map usage is on a constant increase among mobile users.

“The number of mobile and tablet map users rose 22% year over year to 117 million, while the desktop map user tally fell 16% to 76 million.”

emarrketer-smartphone-activity

 

With this information being released after Google announced improving location extensions, it’s time to start connecting the dots. Location extensions are a great way for users to quickly find directions to local businesses with a limited number of clicks from their smartphone. Google’s recent announcement is aimed at making these easier for advertisers to use as well. By moving extensions to the account level, management of locations from Google My Business will be more consolidated and a smoother transition.

Knowing there is an influx of map activity on mobile and management is becoming easier through AdWords, both can be viewed as a positive change for users and marketers. However, MOZ has recently posted a curveball for location extension progression. The below screenshot is believed to have been taken during an overnight testing phase. This view is one of the many possibilities of where location extensions could be heading. In this instance, the top three positions are reserved for specific company information only with no descriptive ad copy. This is a similar direction where shopping has gone via product listing ads (PLAs), limited advertiser call-to-action interruption with direct and informative results.

google-extensions

While it’s still too early to tell what the final outcome of location extensions will be, it is interesting to see they are gaining more attention through the evolution of paid search. Moves like this can make SEM more approachable for small businesses. This is another step toward allowing them to be more competitive and not forgotten about against their franchise counterparts.

(Source: https://plus.google.com/+SEOmoz/posts/2DQL75XVFQF)

(Source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Youre-Map-Happy-You-Know-Tap-Your-Screen/1011077/1)

TJ Kropp is a search marketing specialist at Annodyne

 


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