SEO and PPC: Confused About Where to Start?

confusedIf you’re thinking about how to maximize your internet marketing budget by using search engine optimization or pay per click marketing for the first time, the decision can be a confusing one.

Since most people feel that SEO and PPC are two different strategies, they often feel that they can only go with one option. And this is where most people get it wrong – SEO and PPC work best when combined to help you meet a common goal at the end.

But how does it work? If you’re skeptical about using these two services at once, here’s a better way to look at how the two help each other out.

The Groundwork of SEO

When you start with SEO, it’s a permanent asset that will help your website content become more visible to search engines and targeted visitors. It’s best to have a list of desirable keywords that you’re targeting so that you know how to precisely track your progress. Depending on your industry, it may be more difficult to compete with certain terms. While SEO can only do so much to give you an overview of the best keywords to use, PPC can be a powerful tool to narrow down that list.

Pay Per Click Helps Your Optimization Strategy

As we’ve talked about before, broad search terms tend to be the most competitive ones. This usually means that they’re more expensive when it comes to cost per click. Using PPC’s insight on longer tail searches might look at less traffic but it will certainly help you reach more qualified customers who know and want what they’re looking for. Customer preference and search behaviors fluctuate and PPC can also help you see which areas of your business you should focus on promoting. No more wasted effort here!

A Recipe of Success

Establishing a strong SEO reputation by consistently creating unique content will help your site in the long run. This can also improve your website’s quality score and give you better leverage when (and if) you do decide to start with your PPC campaign. A good pay per click landing page = happy customer. In the end, SEO and PPC shouldn’t really been seen as two entirely different strategies, as they work well together to help create a more cohesive marketing goal in the end.

Tools for Measuring Facebook Engagement and Growth

Measuring engagement and ROI can be tricky topics… but even more so when it comes to your Facebook Page. As of now, there is no definitive answer or “right” way to do it. Luckily, there are many tools and strategies that will help give you a better understanding of the social activity on your Facebook Page.

  1. Facebook Insights – I’m not a very big fan but it does the job. Facebook Insights give you an overview of’ ‘Like’ growth since your Page’s creation, fan demographics, and analytics per post. As Mari Smith puts it, impressions are based on the number of times your post is loaded on someone’s Facebook stream. This isn’t very helpful and also doesn’t take into account unique views.
  2. Google Analytics – If you prefer using Analytics, you can embed a tracking code onto a custom tab on your Facebook Page. Again, it might not be too helpful because it can’t be used to track activity on the Wall.
  3. Manually - Depending on how much time you have dedicated to a campaign, tracking engagement manually can be a cost-effective method.

In the end, Facebook measurements can fall short, so it’s important to avoid getting too caught up in numbers. How do you keep track of your Facebook Page growth?

And before I forget, here are some great (free) tools that you can use to track your social media marketing campaigns:

Facebook Ads Gone Wrong

bad Facebook ads

What’s wrong with these ads? A LOT, considering that I’m a 23 year old female.

It’s no wonder Facebook ads aren’t wildly successful. I stumbled across this article where a small business owner ran up a bill of nearly $300 in Facebook ads for “nothing”.  Perhaps, Max got it wrong when he assumed that simply creating an ad will generate customers or even calls. Take this as a lesson before you attempt to create a Facebook ad campaign. Here are some takeaways:

Targeting the right demographics: These ads clearly got it wrong when it came to consumer demographics. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t willingly advertise dentures or hip replacements to me. So it’s either a) they don’t care b) they didn’t bother to specify the demographics. From age, location, interests, you can specifically target how your ads show up.

Keep an eye on your budget: Don’t be a Max. Setting up an ad campaign for the first time can be complicated. If you’re just starting out, make sure to set a daily or lifetime budget. I’m sure if Max did this, he wouldn’t have ran up that $300 bill. Also pay attention to CPC (pay per click) and CPM (pay per 1000 impressions).

Review feedback and consider other alternatives: Facebook ads are known for having relatively low CTR (click-through rates). This means people aren’t interested in ads on Facebook or you just have bad ads. Perhaps, if you have a small business, you’ll benefit more from pay per click ads or even free means of promotions.

In the end, I think Facebook ads work best to get people to Like your Page. If your Page is engaging and has a lot to offer, people will click Like as if it were a badge of honor to show off to their friends. Looking for computer repair services in a certain area? Not so much… What’s your take on Facebook ads?

Do You Have Enough Time for Social Media?

Feeling a little overwhelmed this holiday season? Between work, family, avoiding sick co-workers and shopping for gifts, you’ll be glad to know that you can also effectively schedule in some time for social media. Great. More stuff to add to your list!

Always start with an objective in mind. Don’t have one? Here’s a list for some helpful ideas. These are some things that you’ll realistically be able to accomplish if you put in the time.

Get rid of distractions. It’s easy to get lost on social media sites as the links lead you to more interesting places. But don’t lose sight of your goal. If your priority is to Tweet or date on a daily basis, you can easily make that happen. Set aside a certain amount of time for social media so you aren’t constantly checking throughout the day. Unless you’re 50 Cent, there’s no real point in checking/updating your Twitter account every 5 minutes. (And even then, it’s highly questionable!)

Use the right tools. I find SocialOomph and Hootsuite very helpful for scheduling purposes. I started using Crowdbooster and it gives some helpful suggestions. Check it out below:

Crowdbooster

How do you stay on schedule when it comes to social media?

Blended Search Results Webcast

emarketed blended search

Attended a Search Marketing Now webcast this morning about SEO and blended search results. Chris Sherman of Search Engine Land talked about the evolution of blended search results. It was an eye opening presentation because really, do you really remember a time before blended search results?

First off, blended search (or universal search) means that results are made up of non- web sources and traditional web search results. If you do a simple search of something like “summer vacation”, you’ll get images and videos along with traditional results (as pictured above). Chris shows stats that 35% of users don’t use vertical search. Vertical search only focuses on one thing. For example, Expedia can be considered a type of vertical search as it concentrates on travel. Google results are considered more universal because they contain all different types of results.

The benefits of universal search is that more results show up than in the traditional format. This helps local businesses as up to 10 companies can show up on first page. This was a question asked on the webcast and an important one that you should ask yourself – can your products/services be found through:

  • Videos
  • Images
  • News or press releases
  • Reviews or testimonials
  • Social media or blog content

If not, you’ll know that these areas give you a great opportunity to gain more exposure.
So, do you ever wonder why Yahoo is not as popular as Google? One factor can be that Yahoo only delivers limited universal results. Just something to keep in mind as we can see how universal results influences the giants as well as the little guys. As always, Chris reminds us just how important SEO is and how important it will continue to be for your online business success.