The Dos And Don’ts of SEM


 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month, we shared the dos and don’ts of SEO (http://sperlinginteractive.com/blog/dos-donts-seo/). Today we will be covering the dos and don’ts of SEM. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a powerful tool to bring visitors to your website through your search ads and display ads.

DO write a strong ad copy. Think about what sets you apart from your competitors and put that into an engaging copy that holds your audience’s attention. This includes a killer headline and call to action. 

DON’T forget geo-targeting. Geomarketing should be used by both small businesses and large businesses. For small businesses, geomarketing keeps your ads local and eliminates your ads from popping up anywhere when you only have a certain community. Large businesses can use geomarketing to create custom ads for specific regions.

DO make sure the landing page goes along with the ad. Now that you’ve created an ad that is getting people to click on it, you need to make sure the landing page connects to the ad so you can convert visitors into customers. The foundation of the ads you post online should be trusted.

DON’T underestimate A/B testing. It’s important to analyze how your ads are performing. In A/B testing, you create two ads and test them both to see which one performs better. You keep the ad that performs better and replace the other ad with a new one. You then have those two ads battle each other out. Over time, you can determine the most profitable ads for your business.

DO write different ad copies for different demographics.  Customizing your ads can help your company reach and retain its target audience. You can enable your ad to reach certain demographics such as gender, age, parental status, and income. For example, if you own a bar in a college city, you may want to target an ad to people in their early twenties. If your bar ever hosts a ladies’ night, you might want to create an ad that will bring women to your establishment.

DON’T neglect a negative keywords list. Negative keywords are just how they sound- words you wouldn’t want associated with your business. Important words to always include on your negative list are ‘bad’, ‘worst’, or ‘terrible’. You wouldn’t want the ad for your business to pop up when somebody is inquiring for the worst in your industry.  

DO check your quality score. Your quality score is your ad campaign’s grade. It is a combination of your ad’s quality and relevance, click thru rate, and historical performance. The scores are out of 10, and the quality score can let you know if your ad is performing below or above average.

How to Promote Content

What would be the point of creating content if it is not going to be shared or viewed by others? Getting your content viewed by others is more important than creating content in general. Because of this, we have composed a list of tips to help promote your content in the best ways possible.

Share on social platforms:

This is one of the more obvious tips. Whenever you create content, you should always start by self promoting it on your social media, as well as on your website. Remember that each social platform requires a different form of content sharing, so make sure you are adjusting the way you promote it according to the social media.

Share snippets on social media:

Take several “snippets” of information from your content to share online in order to catch the audience’s attention and promote your content several times throughout the month. These snippets can be quotes, statistics, short statements, etc.

Mention those included in your content:

If you have important companies or personas mentioned in your content, like in a blog post, make sure to tag or mention their social media accounts when promoting. This will help get your content viewed by outsiders who may not have heard of your business before, especially if those who are being mentioned repost or share the content as well.

Get connected:

Connect with other who post similar content as you through email or on their social media. Share what you have created with them and ask them for their thoughts and if they wouldn’t mind sharing your content on their platform.

Share in different forms:

Try making your content more appealing by converting it into a different media form. Short videos and infographics are a great way to share content while keeping it interesting and entertaining. Switching up your content is always a great way to keep your audience engaged.

 

Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce

Cape Ann was founded by pilgrims in 1623 and was named after England’s Queen Ann. Currently, Cape Ann offers big-city culture while maintaining a small-town charm, and its four communities consist of Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-sea, and Rockport. With such an amazing location and so much to offer, it’s no wonder why we have been a part of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce for two years.

As a member of this organization, we are able to express the great benefits that come from being a member – from networking and training to adding value to your business. The following are just some of the many benefits Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce offers:

In their membership directory (both print and digital), help coordinate ribbon cuttings for special business occasions, host networking events (seminars, speaker programs, board meetings, etc.), sponsor and advertise business events in publications or online.

Gain insight into their affinity program. Here your business can save up to 25 percent on constant contact discount and gain access to a variety of health plan options and providers through Health services Administrators. Your company can even save on credit card processing!

Contribute to the community. By being a member your business can contribute to Business Education Collaborative to enrich the education and career development of students, to Businesswomen’s Committee that helps create a strong network group for women, to Government Affairs Council in creating a healthy business climate for the community, and to the Tourism Council, which works to promote Cape Ann as a premier visitor destination.

Gain access to other exclusive benefits like access to over 900 chamber members, office referrals, Cape Ann certificate program, and Discounts on local media advertisements.

To find out more about these benefits, or others, or if you are interested in being a member visit their website here

What is Geo Targeting & why adopt this Technique?

Geo targeting is delivering different content to a website consumer based on their geographic location. The way this system works is by taking the IP address of a server in order to determine the location of the consumer. Advertisements that match the criteria and the location of the web consumer are then sent out to them. All of this is generated through servers like Maxmind, Digital Envoy, etc..

In order to geo target correctly and effectively businesses should be as specific as possible when choosing the appropriate demographics. There are many ways to do this depending on the media platform you wish to have your advertisement available. For example, if the advertisement were to be posted on Facebook, you could click on “Boost” on your company’s page and select the location, demographic, and interests related to your advertisement and the audience you wish to target with it. For Twitter there is a similar option available for your tweets.

On WordPress websites, you could geo target to specific audiences by downloading free geo targeting plug-ins. Geo targeting server, Geolify, is a one that works along with WordPress in order to help in this aspect by transcribing IP addresses so that it can determine the location of the web consumers (city, state, and zip code).

If it is not yet clear why geo targeting is something that should interest you, here are some points that will clarify it for you:

  • It helps advertise to the appropriate consumers and locations in order to make advertisements effective.
  • Geo targeted ads are two times more effective than the average advertisements (Source: SearchEngineLand.com)
  • It can help increase the amount of pay-per-click advertisements when it is targeting the appropriate people.

Techniques to Increase Traffic to your Site

One of the most frequently asked questions from businesses is,  “How do we get more people to visit our website?”  At Sperling Interactive this is one of the things we successfully help our clients with regularly.  As marketers, we understand that what every business wants is more customers.  One of the best ways to get that is by having more people visit your website and convert into customers!  Here are some of our top tips of simple things that you can do to increase traffic to your website.

  1. Advertise Your Site – This may seem fairly simple but many companies forget that there are a multitude of channels through which to advertise.  Free business listings is the first place to start.  Be sure to have all pertinent information about your company in the listings including an easy link to your site, your phone number and google address. Paid search, social media advertising and display advertising are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand and getting your site in front of people. Adjust your paid strategies to suit your goals – do you just want more traffic, or are you looking to increase conversions, too? Each paid channel has its pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you decide.  We can help you find the right channel for your desired audience.
  2. Social Media – Do you have great content on your site that you would like to promote?  One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote that content. Create links on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram pages.  Give tidbits of content on these sites and encourage viewers to visit your main site to get more information.
  3. Keywords – Specifically Long Tailed Keywords are optimal for attracting customers to your site.  Drive target searches to your site by using very specific and focused keywords.  Long-tail keywords account for a majority of web searches, meaning that if you’re not targeting them as part of your paid search or SEO efforts, you’re missing out. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to find long-tail keywords that match up with your content or, even better, write content unique to your brand.
  4. Blogging – They say that content is king, so be sure your website has valuable content that viewers will want to access.  Blogging about your business field will draw customers to your products or services and give them a sense of your company’s voice through your blog.  In addition, search engines reward companies who are getting high-quality, consistent content coming from them.
  5. SEO – Optimizing your content for search engines is still a valuable and worthwhile practice. If customers are not able to find your company then the game is over.  Sperling Interactive has many techniques that will help your company be found.  Contact us today to start planning your SEO and Marketing strategy to increase traffic to your website.

5 Components of a Strong SEO Strategy

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy, technique or series of tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. (Webopedia) The higher a website naturally ranks in organic results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user. How then can business owners (large or small, new or well-established) create a strong SEO Strategy for their company?  Lets look at the key components that can help your company get ranked higher thus increasing your exposure.

  1. Keywords – Keyword research is the first step to a successful SEO strategy.  Keywords about your service, product or brand can help drive traffic to your website.  Many keywords are very competitive now and thus companies are turning toward long-tail keywords to get a higher ranking.  The new Hummingbird on Google now looks for specific intent of the search as opposed to separate keyword searches.  For help finding and writing these long-tailed keywords read more at Long-Tailed Keywords, as suggested by Forbes Magazine.
  2. Quality Content – We have all heard it over and over “Content is King.”  Well it is true!  Search engines have stated that creating quality content is the best way to not only rank for keywords, but also create positive user experiences. In addition to having relevant content each page should have the goal of having dynamic content that changes periodically to attract even more attention from the search engines. The goal here is not to make the search engines happy as much as it is to create content that readers find useful and that they want to share with their friends.
  3. Link Building – Believe it or not link building is still a great way to get noticed by the larger search engines.  Get listed on free directories or try back-linking to site that mention you or have used your business.
  4. Social Media – Maintaining and growing a social media presence on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube can help your rankings as well.  By capturing your audience on social media you have a good chance of engaging the consumer to check out your webpage or take advantage of offers you announce on social media channels.
  5. Be mobile ready – We have all seen it.  People cant walk down the street without checking their phones.  The statistics show that 80 percent of adults now have a smartphone; the average time spent on a mobile device was 1.85 hours a day (over a half hour increase from 2012). Be sure your website is ready with responsive design that allows viewers to see your site easily regardless of the type of device , whether it is a tablet, phone or desktop.

 

Changes in Google Keywords

Last year’s changes are still rattling the world of SEO professionals.  As of last September all Google Searches became “secure” and result in a “not provided” response from Google.  Despite initial claims by Google that it would only affect a small percentage of overall analytics data for organic search, the reality is some sites were seeing well over 50 percent “(not provided)”, particularly in sectors like technology where there is a higher likelihood that a visitor would be logged into their Google account as well.

Fast forward a year and now 95% of keywords being reported as “(not provided)”, with that remaining 5 percent coming from non-Google searches. So why did Google do this and what does this mean in the long term for SEO professionals trying to decipher the analytics.

The “why” portion of this question, , , it  can be answered by Search Engine Watch Group online. “There has been plenty of speculation, running wildly from “the NSA told them to” to “they did it to force people to buy more AdWords ads!” Tin foil hats aside, neither of those options make a good case for why Google made the secure search change.” In reality Google has been moving toward steps to protect everyone’s privacy and to prevent eavesdropping by government agencies for years.

What are some current workarounds to battle against the Google encryption.

  • Look at Non-Google Keywords- Look at your non-Google search engine referral traffic. While Bing doesn’t send a significant portion of traffic for a site will looking at overall search, you still can get an idea of what keywords are bringing traffic, particularly for sites that have significant amount traffic.
  • Use Google Webmaster Tools- If you’ve gone this long without using Google Webmaster Tools, you will definitely want to sign up for it now. You can still get keyword data in Google Webmaster Tools, by clicking on Search Traffic > Search Queries, and yes, it does include search data from encrypted searches.
  • Analyze On-Site Searches- You should capture all the on-site searches that visitors are doing on your site, so you can also get a better idea of exactly the keywords they are for.
  • Look at Historical Data – But without the keyword data, you’ll be stuck kind of guessing at the potential keywords that are bringing in people to a page on your site.

Whether we like it or not, Google’s encrypted search is here to stay. We will continue our efforts to find new ways to work around the analytic problem.  Read More

Search Vs Display Advertising

In the world of advertising, most companies spread the budget around to many channels to attract the targeted consumers. . . including: tv, print media, and of course internet advertising.  With a vast majority of Americans buying (and researching online before buying) it is no wonder that internet advertising has tipped the balance of most marketing budgets.  Online marketing is a bit more measurable than say, tv advertising since millions may be spent on one commercial and a company will have no idea how many customers purchased as a result of that commercial.  Let’s look at two such advertising techniques online and see how they can translate into brand awareness and ultimately purchases.

  • Search ads– Search Advertising is a method of placing online advertisements on Web pages that show results from search engine queries. Through the same search-engine advertising services, ads can also be placed on Web pages with other published. Search advertisements are targeted to match key search terms (called keywords) entered on search engines. This targeting ability has contributed to the attractiveness of search advertising for advertisers.

One of the major benefits of search ads are that they are the most measurable form of online advertising, thus allowing a company to see the return on their investment.  Search ads can translate directly into clicks (which are quantifiable on metrics) and purchases by placing a product before the consumer at the exact moment they are making a purchase.

  • Display Ads – Display advertising is graphical advertising on the World Wide Web that appears next to content on web pages, IM applications, email, etc. These ads, often referred to as banners, come in standardized ad sizes, and can include text, logos, pictures, or more recently, rich media. Targeting by behavior and demographics in this type of advertising allows for fantastic targeting of your audience.  Metrics such as impressions and clicks help track the performance of this ad.

Display ads—such as banner ads on websites—are much more visible but are less likely to translate into direct clicks. By raising brand awareness, however, display ads may contribute to a consumer’s eventual decision to click on a search ad. Thus search ads get much of the credit, according to Google, for the  sale, but the display ad may have driven the consumer to the company to begin with.  Used in combination search and display ads can help raise brand awareness and put your product in the path of your desired consumer!

 

 

 

Importance of Social Media for SEO

In the world of Marketing strategy the acronym SEO or Search Engine optimization is one of the more important for the visibility of a website or a web page.  As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.

Typically the rank of a piece of content comes down to two key drivers: relevancy and authority. Relevancy is all about using the right keywords and Authority has predominantly been defined by the number and type of sites that are linking to your content via inbound links. Recently search engines have begun to incorporate social context into their search results.Let’s look at the major ways that Social Media is affecting your SEO.

  • Social Shares are the new Link Building – Link building has always been an important factor to determine whether other websites across the web deemed your website to be a quality source of information. Recently links are achieved through developing original content that is shared across social media. Links to your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and other social networks help the search engines understand what websites are credible and should be ranked for what keyword phrases.
  • Authority – search engines have become more integrated with social cues and features for the growing social network. With the dawn of Google + authorship their account and bio are linked to the content in search engine results.
  • Speed Up Indexing – Articles that have been shared and tweeted about can cut indexation time by 50%, while reducing the time it takes Googlebot to find your content from 2 hours to 2 seconds.
  • Boost Relevant Key Words – The keywords used throughout social media factor into where content ranks in search engines.

Benefits of Visitor Detailed Analytics

In today’s data-driven world, analytics changed everything, from business to sports to even running our federal government.  You could say that it was a “game changer” of sorts because it drastically altered the way we generate insights about our world whether it is our personal life or business life.  By collecting and using data gathered from consumers clicking on our web sites we can transform our businesses!

Hold on to your seats because here comes the next BIG thing in the world of analyzing data!  Visitor Detailed Analytics produces NOT just analytic data but  turns anonymous website visitors into qualified sales leads.  Visitor Detailed Analytics has a massive advantage over statistics of traditional analytics in that it can provide your company with the real time data needed to convert leads into sales.It can tell you who visited your website, what products and services they clicked on, and can send an email the moment they visit your website.  All of this is done without requiring the visitor to log in or complete any forms.

This program is designed with benefiting the sales team and generating new leads.   By identifying visitors to your website, and receiving their contact information, you can impact sales and your bottom line.  Designed to be easy to use, all you have to do is wait for your website visitors to show up.  Visitor Detailed Analytics does all the work by sending you real time notification of those visits. This newest program has the ability to change your statistics into real life leads.