Web Advertising and the Small Business: Do I Need a Middleman?

Web advertising is becoming an increasingly self-serve business, allowing SMBs to run their own web campaigns. Now that anyone can purchase keywords on search engines and pay per click advertising, do SMBs really need a company to help them advertise?

Although the new age of advertising does offer unparalleled flexibility and affordablilty, wading through the sheer amount of options and technical lingo can be overwhelming, and many SMBs still find it worthwhile to have someone to guide them through the process, sift through the options, and find the most effective and economical strategy for their advertising dollar. Techniques such as search engine optimization, and organic SEO though simple in concept, can be tricky to implement.

For the unsure, online ads can be as simple and old-fashioned as the online yellow pages ad. Any business owner familiar with yellow page advertising can wrap their head around this one, but the technique is still the same as print advertising, visibility is determined by the size and placement of the ad. Local search sites like city search add such features as customer reviews, but not much else.

Search engines, considered by many the most effective form of online marketing, also bring a wide spectrum of options and increased complexity along with them. The goal here is the highest rankings, but truly effective search engine optimization is far more than popping up first under a particular search. For example a search for “plumbing” versus “plumbers” or “plumber” can yield far different results. This complexity has created a niche for companies like Emarketed to help SMBs plan SEO campaigns more effectively.

The irony is that as web advertising becomes more accessible to the small business owner, the complexity of effectively running these campaigns increases as well, meaning that at least for the present, SMBs will find themselves best served by consulting these middlemen for their online advertising campaigns.

Organic SEO vs. PPC

seo-vs-pccThe ongoing debate between organic SEO and PPC has continued to be a hot topic among many website creators.  The debate between using organic SEO or Pay Per Click continues to be hot with ups and downs to both of them.  Which one is best?  Some experts say that both organic and paid searches are important.  They are both important for the success of a website and business advertising on the web.  Organic SEO is accomplished by optimizing your webpage and using link popularity by acquiring links that direct people to your site and the optimization gives the site higher rankings based on your chosen keywords and popularity based on its links.

PPC advertising is when you actually buy clicks or visitors from a search engine.  PPC is a market place and you are buying clients and selling then a product at a profit that hopefully lets you dominate the marketplace .The keywords are bid for or you are buying them.  Anytime you are making money organically it is a good idea to try it on the PPC side.  One of the most important things to think about is the time in which the results are needed.  One of the downfalls of organic or natural marketing is that it takes time to see the impact of linking and other organic SEO techniques.  Every site would benefit from organic SEO and traffic is great from all businesses.  In terms of putting resources into organic SEO, the kind of sites that can benefit from this type of campaign are those who need a large audience and a larger body of traffic.  Organic SEO is seen as more trustworthy and be more sincere than PPC.

Professionals recommend that both organic optimization and PPC advertising be used together.  It is very important to know how to stay in front of the competition.  One good way to see if your SEO is working by looking at Google’s quality search ranking for how useful and good any particular website is.  Further, websites that rank high organically are also most likely to be less expensive for pay per click campaigns.

PPC is great if you are starting a new site and you believe in the product it is a faster way to get a greater audience as opposed to natural SEO.  In the meantime it would be wise to get the organic SEO campaign on track drawing from the data that the PPC advertising results have given you.  PPC search results are easier to predict in terms of ROI and can provide immediate results and traffic, and possibly revenue.  Paid placement search is also evolving.  Which sites does PPC or SEO work best for?  SEO works great for blogs while hardly anyone tries to use PPC on a blog.  Ecommerce stores, for instance probably spend 99% on PPC advertising.  Sites not necessarily focused on selling a product are probably better off sticking to SEO.  In conclusion both SEO and PPC offer great tools to webmasters looking to promote their sites.  Keep posted for more articles to come!

Google AdWords Editor

I’d recommend using Google AdWords Editor if you manage over 100 words for your pay per click campaigns. Google is at it again with a new version just released. You can download AdWords Editor 6.5 and load your user ID and password in and be managing your account within minutes, We’ve been using the editor for a few years now and it saves us hours of frustration, tears, and sweat on a weekly basis.

A few of the new features from the latest update:

  • Horizontal scrolling when viewing data
  • Updated calendar so you can view statistics
  • New keyword opportunities tool (my favorite!)

A few of the existing features that have saved us hours of work:

  • Bulk changes/uploads
  • Easily copy or move keywords or ads between ad groups and campaigns
  • Quick navigation
  • It’s Free!

It’s baffeling to me sometimes to think of all the different departments at Google that are just working on one aspect of the great company that provides so much more than just search.