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the SEO Tear Down with Scott Gombar

Episode 6 | 4 SEO Strategies to Beat Your Competition

the SEO Tear Down with Scott GombarThis week we discussed a blog post I found about the 5 Best Ways to Beat Your Competition Using SEO.  After reviewing the article I discovered they only listed 4 methods but I analyzed them and provided additional information.  Here is a short synopsis:

 

  1. Know Your Competition:  When it comes to SEO you should know what your competition is doing and stay ahead of the game.  If you fall asleep at the wheel it’s easy for a competitor to leapfrog you.  If you’re doing everything right and staying ahead of the game and staying informed then you really won’t have to worry about it but if you (or your SEO person) slips you may find yourself looking up.
  2. Content is King:  I’ve probably written about Content Being King at least a half dozen times in the last 2 years so it’s no secret.  What some SEO people don’t tell you is that content comes in several shapes and forms and you should do your best to use all of them.
  3. Monitor Backlinks:  If you listened to me over the last few weeks or read this blog post then you know this is not AS IMPORTANT as it used to be but you should still do your due diligence.  Penguin 4.0 addressed link and now you are much less likely to be penalized.
  4. Keyword Planning:  Yes keywords are still relevant but not in the way they were 5 years ago, or even 5 months ago.  Research different variations of your keywords and use several.  Don’t use the one keyword, one content method of keyword planning.

I also talked briefly about a new Google AdWord type of campaign that will be rolling out.  Soon you will be able to create Click to Text Ads.  I will create a video on that as soon as I am able to.

Watch & Learn.  Remember, if you want your website to be featured on the SEO Tear Down then sign up here.

One Simple Step to Eliminate the Marketing Funnel Immediately

One Simple Step to Eliminate the Marketing Funnel Immediately

marketing funnel elimination with Google AdWordsIt is a well-known fact in the AdWords community that Google has dramatically improved the AdWords platform over the last year couple of years.  Outside of the AdWords community it is not so well known.  As an AdWords Certified Partner (as I write this I remember I need to retake two of my exams as they have expired) I am constantly updated, trained and tested on my knowledge of the new additions as well as the removal of some things.

One of the things that Google added about a year and a half ago was call-only ads.  I am writing about it today because I still talk to people almost daily who are unaware of this type of ad. It doesn’t really surprise me because let’s face it; you shouldn’t have to try to keep up with the changes in the Google eco-system.

Now you’re wondering what does that have to do with the traditional marketing funnel.  It’s actually quite simple.  The traditional marketing funnel may vary depending on who you talk to but in most cases, there are six phases that require multiple touches and time to drive a potential sale through the funnel.

Lead nurturing can take a lot of time and energy and while some people will tell you that it is a waste of time I think it’s more important than ever.  With that being said there is a way to eliminate the marketing funnel.

Eliminate the Marketing Funnel

As mentioned before there are 6 steps in the traditional marketing funnel.  They are:

  1. Awareness-at the top of the funnel, and where you deal with the most people, is where you build your brand and make people aware that your business exists.
  2. Consideration-the funnel narrows a little and you’re now educating your audience about your product or service.
  3. Preference-Your audience begins to interact more with your business. They start engaging more, asking more questions or getting more information.
  4. Action-This is usually the purchase step. You’re not really done here though because it’s easier to retain a customer than it is to get a new one.  Exhausted yet?
  5. Loyalty-Now that the client has made a purchase what have you done to keep the client and turn them into a loyal member of your audience.
  6. Advocacy-These are the people who got your back in the business world. They leave reviews, refer more business to you, drive traffic to your website, etc..

You can see why the marketing funnel is still important.  Step 6 is a very powerful step.  What if I told you with Call Only ads you can eliminate steps 1-4?  Here’s how call only ads work.

Google still accounts for 65-70% of search today.  As of May 2015, more search happened on mobile than on desktop.  Combine both of those statements and you can understand why acknowledging mobile search is extremely important.

At the top of a Google Search Results Page is 4 ads.  They appear before anything else on the page.

What if your ad showed up at the top of the page and the link to the ad called your business directly.   You’ve just eliminated the marketing funnel and you are now talking directly to someone who wants to make a purchase.

Marketing Funnel Eliminated!

marketing funnel eliminated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve created a 5-minute video to quickly show you how to set up a call only ad in AdWords.  Hope it helps.

Stop the Lame & Mundane Digital Ads

Stand Out In a Crowd of Ads with AdWords & Facebook Ads

Stop The Lame & Mundane Ads Now

It’s time to step your Google AdWords & Facebook Ads game up.  

Let’s face it, the internet is a noisy place, right?  You know it, I know it..everyone knows it.   A simple Google search will show you exactly what I mean.

Boring Google AdsLet’s work with an example.  If I search life insurance on Google I get four ads at the top of the Google Search Results Page.  If you look at the image you will note that the ads are all very similar in nature.  If you’re anything like me you would likely pick one at random from the four unless you are already familiar with one of those companies.

The first company, Amica, is spending approximately $333,000 a month on Google AdWords.  Global Life is spending over half a million a month.  Select Quote is spending almost $885,000 a month and AAA rounds out the top 4 spending $408,000 per month.  There are a few flags right away for Global Life and Select Quote but we’ll get to that on another blog post.

There really is nothing that makes any of these ads stand out.  Life Insurance might seem like a dry topic that has little room to be creative because of compliance.  However you can be creative while staying in the compliance guidelines.  Take a look.

Just a real quick creative for AdWords and Life Insurance.

You’re Not Dying Are You?
Life Insurance Isn’t Just About
Death. College, DI & LTC Planning

The ad meets compliance for most life insurance companies but would definitely stand out in the crowd of boring ads from the top advertisers on Google.

It’s really not too hard to be creative even with the character limits of an AdWords ad.

On Facebook you can be even more creative.  I am part owner of a startup in the golf industry and we ran a few ads on Google and on Facebook.  On Facebook the ad can include an image so long as the image is not more than 20% text.  No problem.

We created an all black image with a golf club and ball.  There were two different statements that we used for this set of ads. The first was “We’ve Got The Balls To Change The Game” and the other said “This Isn’t Your Father’s Golf Game”.  Both ads went over very well and drove traffic better than any other ads we ran on any platform.

In both scenarios the status quo of the digital advertising industry was challenged by being creative and bold in our ad text.  These are just a few examples of what are possible.  I will add this little caveat.  Not everyone will like these ads but for those that do your conversion rate will certainly be higher.  Not everyone likes the boring ads in the life insurance ad results either.  Either way you will have some that disagree with your methods so why not use the one that will work to your advantage? Why not use the ad copy that gets you more traffic and conversions?

Challenging the status quo of advertising is nothing new in the advertising world but it is relatively new in the digital advertising world.  The idea of using an all black ad was first used by Smartfood Popcorn.  Many people told them no one would buy a bag of popcorn if it was all black.  Man, were those people wrong.

If AdWords or Facebook Ads didn’t work for you in the past it might be time to revisit and do things a little differently.  Buck the trend.  Be Bold.

Google Search Results Explained

I speak with a lot of people who have a hard time understanding the results of a Google search.  The Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) can be confusing to someone who is not familiar with Google’s logic.  One client, in particular, insisted he was showing up as number 7 on the search results when in reality he was showing up as number 2.  I explained to him that the first few results are actually ads.

I decided to create this post to help everyone gain a better comprehension of how to rank higher on the different sections of a Google search.  It’s not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.  The keys are diligence, testing, monitoring, and understanding..or just hire me!

Google Places for Business

The first image below the listings for Google Business.  If you have not claimed your Google Business listing I strongly encourage you to do so to prevent inaccuracies in contact and description information.  These results typically show up below the second or third entry of the organic search results.  So if you’re showing up 4th on the organic results it may appear that you are further down because of Google Business.    This is another reason to ensure that your Google Business information is accurate.

Google is going through some changes to these listings.  The plan is to incorporate Google+ with Google Places and as of this writing, it seems as though they are pretty close to accomplishing that.  Some indicators are there if you set up a Google+ Page today.

Google Plus Listings

Google Search Results

The next screenshot I have has 3 distinct areas.

The Blue section is Google Adwords.  These are listings that the business is paying to have placed on Google Search Results, and possibly partner sites.    Typically there are 4 ads at the top of the page and 5 at the bottom of the page but it depends on the search query.

Adwords are a great way to generate traffic, especially for new websites.  Imagine having your business listed in the ads, and in the organic results.  That would increase your credibility and potential clicks by 100% among users of Google.

Adwords uses a bidding system to determine how much your ads will cost.  Using appropriate keywords and good ad copy will decrease your cost per bid.  Careful research is critical to a successful campaign.

The Red section is Google Organic search results.  The people using Google to search for things almost never go past the first page.  In fact, 98% of Google users do not go past the first page.  While it’s impossible to rank for every keyword for most businesses you can rank for your most popular keywords.

You will want to research what keywords your business should be found with.  When I created this blog I used CT Plumber as an example.  I didn’t just use Plumber.   Google does narrow your search down based on your IP address but searching just plumber turns up sites like Wikipedia, BBB and List Directories dedicated to plumbers.   Broad keywords usually mean more competition which makes it tougher to rank at the top.  This is also true for Adwords although Adwords factors in ad copy.

The Green section is a map which places a peg with a letter in it.  The peg references a Google Business listing from a list similar to the one above.  Having an accurate listing is very important to your clients.  Potential clients do not like to be inconvenienced and will likely go elsewhere if you’re not where Google thinks you are.

GoogleSearchResults

 

Hopefully, that clears up any confusion for those of you using Google.  If you have any questions or want to move your business up on Google feel free to call 203-806-0736.

Have any feedback?  I’d love to hear it.