How Digital Advertising Aids Organic Optimization

Relying on organic optimization of a landing page to attract new clients is limited, at best. Why? 

Here are some reasons why organic optimization of a landing page is limited in reach:

  1. Often, new web pages and even updated pages don't get indexed right away. So there is a delay in having this info found in search results. Best case is to submit your newly optimized page to search engines so it can be index asap.
  2. Most websites are associated geographically to a location. Or the user's location will be auto-detected. Users can also have their location manually set. In all of these situations, the ip location associated with the search significantly effects the results seen organically. What this means is anybody outside of your geographic local will have to include your location in their search or have their location set to include your location. In other words, reaching people beyond your stated city or zip code is a real hit and miss, mostly a miss. Unless the searcher's keywords almost perfectly match significant on-page elements such as domain and page title, your well thought out content will remain lost in space most of the time. 
  3. Gaining organic reach takes time. It is, however, something that we should always be trying to improve and work towards. In addition to creating meaningful pages and blog posts, all content needs to be cross-linked or cross referenced. New pages or posts, especially need this type of support from other existing content. If you don't already have a "tight" network of content you will need to create necessary supporting pages and posts to help put a foothold in organic search. Consider this effort to be long-term and on-going.

So you have something to sell or perhaps you want to increase sign ups to your email list, or both. 
In either situation you need to drive traffic to the page with your desired "call to action".  The best case scenario would be having high qualified traffic find your landing page, organically, and complete the "call to action". That would be perfect. Unfortunately, it's just not that easy.

Step one is preparing your landing page(s).
This is the page of your website that clearly describes what you are promoting, not necessarily the homepage. Perhaps you are having a sale or you are promoting a contest of some type. Having a clear "call to action" is a big step in the right direction if you are serious about a marketing campaign. 

Once you have completed the landing page (including best use of SEO techniques to improve the page's organic search quality), you are ready to unleash your marketing campaign. What does that mean any how? Well it could mean you will be sending out an email notification to everybody on your email list about your important event, make a post on Facebook (using hashtags) and even write a blog post. Yes, that will have some effect. This type of campaign will be telling everybody on your email list and your friends of your FB page about your event. It won't necessarily be speaking to the greater public who are looking for your type of event but are not already associated with you. The blog post, hashtags used on FB post, and the newly optimized landing page will actually have the best chance of attracting new clients.

If you are trying to attract new clients versus just notifying existing clients, a digital advertising campaign is necessary. There are several reasons why advertising digitally should be included in your marketing campaign. Please note that I mentioned "included". Digital advertising should be a component of your total marketing campaign. 
  1. You can identify keywords used to trigger your ads and ultimately drive traffic to your landing page. This information helps with landing page and ad optimization. 
  2. You can identify additional keywords or phrases that have triggered your ads that have otherwise been overlooked. This provides additional landing page optimization keywords or content.
  3. You can perform A/B test on landing page(s) to discover the best user friendly layout that completes your desired action. 
  4. Tracking code can be installed that provides data on actual conversions and goals, and how they used your website to complete the desired action. 
  5. You can see how a visitor entered the site, how they moved around in the website, if they completed the desired action, what pages or content are the most useful, and how they exited the site. 
  6. Digital ads are not restricted geographically. You have the ability to identify locations that are interested in your business and target ads directly to specific locations.
  7. Digital campaigns can be search, branding or both, in type. Ads can be text or image in type. Digital ads can be turn "on" or "off" and have an immediate impact on your marketing goals.
In a nut shell, advertising digitally provides a wealth of data and analytics that takes the mystery out of just organically optimizing your website. Having an actual resource of user information on how they found the site, how they maneuvered through the site, demographics on visitors, and how they performed or did not perform the desired "call to action" is valuable information when maintaining organic optimization updates on your website.

There is analytical data for organic search; however, the data is more restricted due to maintaining public privacy. On the other hand, this public privacy courtesy does not apply to paid digital advertising. The data recorded is much more granular, specific and useful.

Yes, there is a cost associated with paid advertising but you may also say there is a cost associated with not paying for advertising.

Paying for digital advertising has a two fold benefit. 

  • First your are able to drive qualified traffic immediately to your website to perform a desired action. 
  • Secondly, you have a wealth of analytical data to better understand your audience and perform organic updates in order to maintain traffic and provide meaningful information. 
When you do not have access to all the tools associated with digital advertising you are left to guess at how the user behaves. Couple this with the slow effect of organic updates, your marketing campaign is not going to deliver the immediate results you most likely want. The reach and privacy limitations will not provide robust data associated with paid digital advertising campaigns. Not being able to access a wealth of user data that is provided via paid digital advertising will leave you short when making organic website updates. Essentially, maintaining paid digital advertising campaigns lends its' self to maintaining an organically optimized website.

How Important Are Reviews?

Online Reviews, You Can't Ignore Them:

Current data tells us that 9-out-of-10 consumers read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business or make a purchase. In other words, we are all reading reviews in order to make informed decisions. As consumers, we have the ability to share reviews across social platforms; thus increasing the impact of our experiences to our closest friends and family. Additionally, Search engines weigh in on reviews; frequent and current reviews are favored in search results. Reviews are important, they impact our decision making, we share reviews, and they affect organic search.

If you are a business owner or represent an organization, it is imperative to ask for reviews. Reviews are helpful on many levels. To begin with we know consumers are reading reviews; however, they can also provide useful insights for the business or organization. When reviews are read, often they reveal a theme of positive comments, such as a recommended product or service. You may also discover particular employees that stand out. Additionally, reviews shed light on areas that need attention, such as products that are not performing or services that are lacking.

Reviews affect organic search ranking. The most important factor of reviews on search ranking is recency of reviews. Regular interaction of review posting is the most favorable in terms of search results. Reviews that are old or if new reviews have not been posted, this is not favorable. Developing a plan to encourage reviews is necessary for any business or organization that is serious about their digital success.

Online reviews are here, everybody is referring to them, we use them to make informed decisions, and they affect organic search results. If your business or organization is serious about their online presence and relies on the internet for new business or growth, managing your reviews and developing a review solicitation plan is essential. I can help you, easily and efficiently, take control over your review management and solicitation development.

Please contact me , 970 819 1385, if you would like an easy and affordable solution for review management and solicitation.

Content Marketing vs Inbound Marketing

At best, it’s a difference of opinion. At worst it’s a massive terminology chasm, lost in the interwebs.

Therein lies the contention of content marketing versus inbound marketing. I suppose that, in a way, content marketing has been going on "undefined" from the creation of the written word, like in the case of the Bible. The Bible fulfills many people's questions about life and makes "believers" out of the written scriptures. In turn, the Bible became a bestseller, churches were formed, and a very faithful following of subscribers was created--to the point that we formulate our communities and fundamental behaviors around the scripture. The Bible is a phenomenal example of content marketing...or perhaps it would better fall under inbound marketing. Regardless, it is absolutely a magnificent example of successful marketing, spanning through the ages...

Has the chicken and the egg adage arisen in a new style? 

First there was content and then there was marketing. Well created content turns into marketing, whether intended to be or not. Marketing creates content for the sake of marketing, which turns into understanding the process of making “believers”. This process then turns into inbound marketing or a more defined understanding of the effects of well delivered content.

And thus we have arrived at the birth of inbound marketing. Defined as content that has been dissected and modified into a pseudo-science. Hubspot, the father of the term, breaks it down as follows:

- Content + Distribution: Content that answers prospective client's questions and basic needs. Content is appropriately disseminated through a wide variety of channels.
- Lifecycle Marketing: Is the continued distribution of content in order to gain believers or promoters.
- Personalization: The act of tailoring content to the needs and wants of a specific set of people, and then modifying this content over time to more accurately deliver content to that group.
- Multi-Channel: Simply delivering content using all the communication channels available to us today. This is completed through engagement with people "in the moment", by providing the ability to interact, answer those questions, find answers.
- Integration: The use of content creation, publishing, and analytics in conjunction to create the right content in the right place, at the right time.

Defined by The Content Marketing Institute, "Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it." In a nutshell, this summarizes inbound marketing very well.

So what truly defines the line between content marketing and inbound marketing? It is apparent that both essentially define the same thing, however, the difference lies in the fact that content marketing is, for all intents and purposes, a subset of inbound marketing. Content marketing in and of itself does not include a marriage of both sales and marketing strategies--it focuses more on the information being created. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, collects and analyzes data, leads and other information regarding the marketing strategy as a whole. Thus, a far better understanding of the sales-marketing relationship transpires.

Regardless of where you stand on the subject, it’s easy to see that the two are very similar to each other. Inbound marketing is essentially a far more refined version of content marketing. So what really came first, the chicken or the egg?

Have You Gotten Your Cardboard Yet?

Something about that just doesn't resonate with me as a technology professional. Cardboard?
Google Cardboard
Should I be seen in public with this, OK very cool? Maybe this is to help us connect with some of that special alone time, with your cat of course. Really, I just can't see myself keeping these very handy, next to the sunglasses? I have issues with forgetting my sunglasses so this could be a problem here as well. Or, they could be one of those items that gets lost (flattened) in the bottom of a miscellaneous drawer, or the dog gets a good chew out of them… No, they will be one of those nostalgic items I can pull out in 5 years to show off to my techie friends, like an artifact. See, I'm so cool, I still have a pair of these (original only used twice). Of course I will have to dig to find one of those "phones" and oh yeah, a video to watch? For sure it will bring big bucks on eBay, stock up!

It's the latest and the greatest roll out from Google no actually, Youtube Red. Have you heard? Time to check in on this and get your cardboard. It's what we have all been waiting for, Youtube Red. Although, Google glass sounds more futuristic. What do you think?

Business Engagement in Social Media, is it Necessary?

More and more people look to search engines, social media, product reviews and other technologies to make informed purchasing decisions. As consumers, we no longer have to rely on slick marketing to influence our choices. As business owners, engaging in reviews & social media, is now a part of the "new age" of marketing and customer service we live in.

Why is it important to respond to reviews and engage in social media? A review is the beginning of a dialogue. Increasingly, customers are sharing their experiences online. If a business truly wants to understand how customers perceive their products & services, and influence perceptions in the market place, engaging in social media & reviews, is a must.

A company can learn from listening to customer reviews. Often a common complaint or common compliment will be revealed. This enables management to take appropriate action or reward departments that are doing a good job.

Reviews can be seen as part of customer service. By providing responses to reviews, the customer will experience the same kind of prompt and engaging attention often promised when beginning the customer journey. This is especially true for reviews that include an element of complaining. Responding to this type of review shows that your company cares. Not only will you demonstrate that your company cares about the customer but that you care about how your company is being perceived. Responding to the customer voice is a part of customer service and maintaining your company reputation. 

Managing social media and customer reviews can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are tools available to help with this. Review and social media alerts can be set up through 3rd part tools. These alerts enable the business representative to respond or engage with online comments almost immediately. If you're interested in setting your business up with social media management tools, please contact me.
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