Content Marketing, SEO, Web Development

Why You Should Be Using Google AdWords

Every gain comes along with a certain payment; it can be hard work, intelligence, power, or investment. The phrase applies completely to Google AdWords, as it is a tool Google offers users to gain traffic through clicks against payment per click. As the Google AdWords Campaign costs money, the decision to use it may sound risky but it also comes with assured business and traffic, and with the effective use of the Google AdWords Campaign, this business can be driven to profit-earning revenue.

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Google AdWords offers assured, immediate traffic to Web sites against a certain investment, and therefore using this campaign comes with a host of advantages for Web sites and businesses. Google AdWords is the main advertisement and major revenue source for Google. It offers a Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaign that includes ad programs with local, national, and international distribution.

Google AdWords is one of the most useful methods of bringing traffic to one’s site, but the fact that Google AdWords brings assured traffic does not mean there is nothing more to be done. One needs to be an active participant in the AdWords Campaign and choose titles, provide descriptions and images, and understand keywords, conversion of keywords, and so on in order to utilize Google AdWords for earning profit. A failure to do so could lead to bankruptcy. Therefore, it is very important to manage a planned and effective Google AdWords Campaign for a Web site. This article will discuss the reasons why one can still use Google AdWords and how to implement effective ideas with Google AdWords for profit. The first section includes the importance of Google AdWords, followed by the reasons behind the popularity of Google AdWords, and how you can use it effectively. Before going into the benefits of using Google AdWords, let’s observe the major importance of the Google AdWords campaign.

Importance of Google AdWords

Google is the largest search engine on the Internet, and to use the Internet as a profit-making source, one needs to use Google. The more smartly you use it, the more benefits you will reap. Google AdWords makes your marketing task a whole lot easier by bringing huge per click traffic through the use of proper keywords. When these keywords convert to business and sales, the traffic driven from Google AdWords is converted to profit. Many factors contribute to Google AdWords’ success as a method for Web sites to earn profit. Keywords are search terms or strings of search terms that when put in the search box show results relevant to that search. For example, a person searching for “CAT exam” will get, say, 1000 search results in the search engine, and the user can click on any of the items to view the results and details. However, the top search results that come through Google AdWords have greater chances of visits. On the other hand, Google ads appearing in relevant Web sites, such as “e-learning materials” showing in one corner of an educational Web site, have a greater chance of getting visitors through them. Both these situations come along with the Google AdWords Campaign. Thus, this campaign is of great importance in bringing relevant clicks and visits to one’s site.

Google AdWords’ location targeting enhances the importance of the campaign all the more. Location targeting is one of the most important and useful components of implementing a successful PPC campaign. This determines in which location a particular ad campaign will be shown and thus one can customize ad displays per location. It also disables locations where the ads need not be displayed. These features that come along with the Google AdWords campaign highlight its importance for e-business.

Now, after highlighting the importance of Google AdWords, let’s focus on the reasons behind its use for a successful campaign.

Here are 10 reasons why you can still use Google AdWords:

  1. Small Initial Investment

This is the major reason why Google AdWords is so popular. Google AdWords comes with a small initial investment. You need to pay only a small amount to create an AdWords account; thereafter you can bid on the best keywords. After creating the Google AdWords account and releasing the content, the payment is billed after every click. Therefore, with each click, a certain amount is billed and if no click happens, no amount is billed. In such a case, Google AdWords comes with assured clicks, and payment is billed only against clicks. Thus, there is no loss if keywords generated are perfect, and effective related measures (discussed later in the article) are taken.

  1. Defining Budget

This is another important reason why Google AdWords is used. You can set your own budget with Google AdWords and monitor your budget, thereby reducing any overspending. After the account is created, the bid for any keyword is independent of choice. Therefore, any keyword that performs well can be bid high for better results. And a keyword that does not perform well and does not bring any profit to the site can be removed from the campaign. Also, keywords that bring more clicks but less conversion can be removed or bid with a reduced amount. You can also control your budget during a crisis. At times, when a site is down, a bid can be reduced in order to control the defined budget. Thus, defining the budget becomes another essential reason behind the use of Google AdWords.

  1. High ROI

Google AdWords comes with a Return of Investment (ROI). This means you need to pay Google per click, which suggests your investment is returned against assured business. Google AdWords increase click through rates and visits; therefore, there is a greater chance of business. Now, by following some other rules such as generating the best converting keywords, effective bidding, a fast loading site, and so on, these clicks can be converted into profitable business. Therefore, Google AdWords ROI makes people pay only for business and profit, so evident loss can be controlled.

  1. Target Traffic

This is another important and very useful aspect of Google AdWords that serves as a major reason behind the use of the Google AdWords campaign. By using this, you can bring targeted traffic directly to a Web site. As ads are displayed along with a defined title and description, a serious audience will end up clicking these links and taking a further call to action. Thus, Google AdWords serves as an effective way of bringing traffic to your online business. This target traffic can be defined as per location and places as well. There are options through which you can specify a definite keyword for a specific location. This increases the rate of visits and conversion, which improves the business of a site tremendously.

  1. Test Marketing Campaigns

These campaigns are another major reason why you can still use Google AdWords. Test Marketing Campaigns means using different types of ads for different keywords. If a certain ad campaign fails, you can use a different campaign with a different title line and description. For example, the first marketing campaign can be tested with an exact match, then a phrase match of the keyword, and so on. Such flexibility in a marketing campaign makes Google AdWords more usable. You can test marketing campaigns many times without paying anything extra. Thus, you get many chances to experiment with the right title line and description for display ads. The same goes for having keywords included. While good performing keywords can be bid high, low performing keywords can be bid lower or removed from the marketing campaign. Thus, you get enough tests to experiment with marketing campaigns, which serves as a major plus point for using Google AdWords.

  1. Instant traffic

This is one of the most important reasons why you can still use Google AdWords. Google AdWords bring instant gratification or traffic to one’s Web site. On-page optimization and off-page optimization is very important for bringing traffic to one’s online Web site. However, all measures such as link building, on-page optimization, and so on do not come with assured traffic brought by Google AdWords. Google AdWords showcases relevant ads in relevant sites and also at the top of search pages, which increases the chances of clicks and visits, which later convert to business. Google AdWords brings instant traffic to a site, which would otherwise take a much longer time and require greater investment. Thus, as it comes with instant gratification against a certain investment, it becomes an effective way of bringing immediate traffic to a Web site, which translates into a profitable and successful business.

  1. Tracking success

By using Google AdWords, you can track your success and take effective measures when required. You can use Get Clicky or Google Analytics to track the reports of the Google AdWords campaign against keywords. This allows you to decide on their future steps with regard to a certain keyword or marketing campaign. Suppose a keyword or a campaign is performing well; you can track its report and place it prominently with a high bid in future to increase traffic towards a profit-making business. On the other hand, a keyword or a campaign that fails to bring expected traffic can be removed for future usage. Thus, you can track success and failure in real time and decide on calls to action for future marketing.

  1. Targeting ads locally

Google AdWords offers location targeting for display ads. You can specify definite display ads for certain locations, which will enable those particular ads to display exclusively to a particular location. This enhances the effective use of Google AdWords as it allows you to reach browsers at local, national, and international level. You can also customize ads in the local language to make them more useful and prominent for a particular location. For example, ads that will be displayed in France can be customized in French, which will have a direct impact on a French audience. By customizing your ads, you can focus on a targeted geographical audience with focused goals, which will give you a greater chance of getting instant traffic and business. Also, customizing ads per the seasons relevant to locations makes them more effective.

  1. Suggested high volume keywords

Google AdWords does not just display ads, but also suggests high-volume keywords for an ad campaign that will convert to purchases and a profitable business. High-volume keywords are those that are searched the most, so including them prominently in the ads, title lines, and in the description improve the click rates for the ads. High- volume keywords can be included keeping in mind the competition. Also, as phrase matches for keywords work better, such search terms can be included for the ads and the campaign to be more relevant. This is another major reason why you can use Google AdWords.

  1. Improves hands-on experience

By using the Google AdWords campaign, Web sites get instant traffic or gratification and therefore soon become effective direct marketers. Users perceive these sites as popular, and therefore are likely to click on the site for another purchase decision without giving it a second thought. Also, marketing through the PPC ad platform levels the playing fields for people and their competition. It gradually increases the value of the site and takes the business to a level of brand. Thus, the feature of improved hands-on experience makes Google AdWords more relevant for users aiming to generate profit from their Web sites.

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Content Marketing, Online Reputation Management, SEO

Seven Steps to an Enhanced Online Reputation

reputation management

It can happen to any business.

A Tweet from an unhappy client that goes viral

A nasty blog post from a disgruntled former employee

An anonymous complaint written by an unscrupulous competitor.

On the web, it doesnt really matter if the statements are true or false. Once they are published online, they are picked up by the search engines. It is a sad fact of doing business in the age of the Internet.

How do you fight back?

You can try to get the people who posted their nasty remarks to remove them, but that doesnt always work. A far better way to go about it is to create a mountain of positive content to offset the negative. It is best to create the content before the negative comments appear online, because a trove of positive content can keep the negative content far, far away from the first page of search results for you or your company.

Here are seven ways to bolster your online reputation:

Your Business Website

If your business has a website, then, by all means, you should have a detailed personal profile in your About section. It should be search engine friendly with keywords emphasizing your areas of expertise. Your name should also appear in other areas of your business website. You will find that your business website will come up at or near the top of all search results.

Your Business Blog

If you do not have a blog, start one immediately! If you have the time and commitment, a personal blog is a great way of creating a significant body of content. This content is picked up by the search engines and will rise to a prominent place on your search results.

Beyond helping your search engine results, a blog can help humanize you and your business and help to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Social Media Accounts

Google and other search engines love the major social media sites and give them prominent placement in search results. As you can see from my personal Google results, my LinkedIn and Facebook accounts appear in the top 10 search results for my name.

Along with personal accounts, create company pages on social media platforms as well. Blue Fountain Medias LinkedIn and Facebook company pages both appear in the top 10 results for a search for Blue Fountain Media.

Press

When it comes to online reputation management, having the press write about you can either be a great thing for your online reputation or a disastrous thing. No amount of content building will ever change the fact that a Google Search of Bernard Madoff will reveal pages and pages of negative press before you get to any results even mildly neutral.

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Positive press mentions, especially from major news outlets, can provide a huge boost to your online persona.

I have been fortunate enough to receive positive press from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Crains New York, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Inc. and many other major media outlets. All of these press mentions serve to bolster my online reputation and have led to a significant increase in business.

Press Release

Distributing your press releases online can serve your business in numerous ways. Obviously is it a great way to get positive news of your business broadcast and it can lead to press coverage (see above), but press releases often get prominent placement in a businesss or executives search results.

Speaking Events

Speaking events provide yet another way to enhance your online reputation. The organization sponsoring the event publicizes you and you also have the opportunity to promote the event through emails and newsletters. All of these become positive fodder for search engines.

If you videotape the event, use a site like YouTube to get further positive links to your name and your businesss name.

Commenting

Yet another way to take control of your online persona is to comment on blogs and news stories. If you have something intelligent to add to the conversation, if theres a way to demonstrate your particular expertise or insights, then- by all means- comment. The comments are treated like any other content and are picked up by the search engines.

In Conclusion

Your online reputation can either be a huge benefit to your business or it can destroy it.

Content Marketing, SEO

Inbound Marketing and SEO: Where does the future lie?

So, before I really get stuck into this blog, let me just say thanks for coming to SEO Inbound!  This is the first blog I have published on the site (so if anyone does read it, go easy on me in the comments!) and I’m really excited to finally have the opportunity to provide something of value back to the SEO community.  Well, I say value, but maybe that a bit of a lofty ambition for my first independently published blog post, so I should probably set that bar a bit lower…let’s just hope it’s not rubbish!

Times are changing

Then you better start swimming, or you’ll sink just like a stone, for the times they are a-changing.

What is SEO?

Right, to the matter at hand – what is Inbound Marketing and why do I believe it’s the future of SEO?  I assume that the majority of people here know what search engine optimization is, but I’ll just give a very basic description none-the-less.  Essentially, SEO Services is the process of using certain on-page and off-page strategies to achieve higher rankings for your website in the organic search results.

The purpose of these increased rankings is to drive a regular flow of targeted and relevant traffic into your website.  This targeted traffic, with the right information architecture in place, the right product, and right sales material, has the potential to be converted into paying customers.  This is the basic model that SEO is often sold on, and many businesses have had a lot of success adopting this approach.

What is Inbound Marketing?

I imagine the question at this point is how is Inbound Marketing different to SEO, and is it just the same process repackaged under a different label?  Well, I think there are some fundamental differences that people need to think about before embarking solely on an SEO campaign.  The emphasis with SEO is, by definition, on developing the organic search results (usually on Google) as the main source of traffic into a website and often, financially benefiting from those visitors.  With the amount of time and resources that are required to attain higher rankings, particularly for very competitive terms, it could be said that cultivating other traffic sources if something that is often neglected.

Inbound marketing is a more holistic approach to online marketing than SEO in that developing new traffic sources, developing a community and creating a positive user experience are all considered just as important as getting those high rankings.  As has been seen over the years, particularly recently with the Panda and Penguin updates, relying purely on organic search to bring traffic to your site can be a risky strategy.  Practically, with the flick of a switch, that traffic coming to your site can completely vanish.

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By developing other traffic sources, you are not only giving yourself an insurance policy should your website fall foul of Googles Webmaster Guidelines, but you are also building the outreach and visibility of your brand, and consistently attracting more targeted visitors.  These newly cultivated traffic streams are developed by adopting a wider range of strategies into the online campaign as opposed to just link building.  Social media marketing, content marketing, building mail lists, developing a stronger offline presence and creating communities around your niche or product are considered conducive to a successful inbound marketing campaign.

I remember reading an article by Lee Oden at Top Rank where he stated that, SEO is really just marketing, so deal with it.  It took Lee to point it out to me, but it almost felt like an awakening.  SEO is just marketing – the most long lasting, successful SEO campaigns will undoubtedly have a solid marketing strategy at the core.  I think the sooner SEOs start thinking with a more commercially driven mind set, the more successful their campaigns will be. Both in terms of financial gains and longevity.

Just to make it clear at this point, I am in no way saying SEO is dead – I don’t live under a bridge, and I don’t ask travelers to pay a toll as they pass me by. I’m even tempted to stay away from the SEO has evolved mantra, because that too is starting to become a cliché.  I like to think of it as something of a rebrand – the same principles at its heart (driving targeted traffic to a website), but with a wider scope and under a different label.

Is Inbound marketing accessible to all businesses/niches?

I’m sure there are many questions people have about then entire concept of inbound marketing, so Ill try and answer a few here.  Firstly, is inbound marketing more or less accessible to businesses or independent web marketers than SEO, and is successful inbound marketing often dependent on how active the online community is of the niche in question.

Well, my opinion is that if you have a business offering a service or a product, or are an affiliate marketer trying to sell a product, if you truly believe that what you’re selling is great then you have the potential to run a successful online campaign.  Of course, it’s easy to say that from my point of view, but then I’m not a small business struggling to sell lug nuts over the internet!

Is Inbound marketing more demanding than SEO?

I like to think of SEO and Inbound Marketing as like ice and water – different forms of the same composition.  By this I mean that the same basic skills underpin both SEO and IM campaigns, but the end result can be something completely different.

If you consider yourself to be an SEO it is your job to help a site rank higher. You’ll achieve this by implementing solid on-page SEO (keywords, URL structure, quality interlinking, silo structured categories, good content, social implementation, pretty pictures etc.) and your off-page might largely consist of various link building techniques.  How you approach link building will obviously depend on, dare I say it, the color of your hat – but to be honest I don’t really care.  If you build links you aren’t white hat anyway.  When you have achieved those rankings, you want to convert as many visitors as possible, so you just kick back and watch your Ad Sense account hit $30 a month.

If you do inbound marketing, it is also your job to make a site rank higher.  Like SEO, you achieve this through solid on-page work, and off-page.  Link building will inevitably be part of this off-page work, but it is by no means the be all and end all.  As mentioned above, off page work for an Inbound Marketer might involve more intense content marketing, a broader and proactive social media presence in order to cultivate these sought after multiple traffic streams.

When the users are on the site, instead of the objective being to have them convert as quickly as possible (whatever a conversion might be on your site), the real challenge to give them an experience.  Something to remember you by.  In the case of Zappos they offered super customer service, in the case of Old Spice its brilliant content and powerful, imaginative advertising (the man your man could smell like), at the Red Bull site you’re getting a memorable, viral news portal, and a similar thing with Coca-Cola.  These sites aren’t selling products, they are selling the brand.

Bring this jumbled mess of a post to a conclusion please!

FINISH HIM!!

SEO and Inbound Marketing aren’t that different – I just feel that one is an extension of the other.  The most successful online marketers, the ones who are good at SEO, will be good at Inbound Marketing because they don’t see the end goal as being number one rankings for a specific keyword.  They recognize there is digital life beyond the SERPs, and while Google might still send the majority of your traffic, your business won’t become dependent on it.

For an industry related example, look at iAcquire – they were outed for offering financial compensation for links by some self-righteous nitwit (I’m being very polite) who thought he was doing someone a service by pointing out they had overstepped one of Googles arbitrary guidelines.  As a result of this inexcusable hate baiting, acquire found themselves removed from Googles index.

For some businesses this removal of organic search traffic would have spelled doom, but because of the reputation acquire had built, and the reputation of several key staff within the SEO community, they were able to negotiate this 3 month spell without Google traffic.  In my opinion, that was a result of them developing their brand reputation successfully when some companies might have been satisfied to stagnate at the top of the rankings for certain search terms. Rightfully, they have been reincluded again.

Inbound Marketing is a long-term investment that requires dedication, knowledge and a real passion for the product or service you are selling.  Just to reiterate, I think SEO is still a hugely important, but its just one part of the online marketing process.  I think as businesses begin to become more web-savvy and have the realization that ranking for a keyword doesn’t guarantee long term success, the SEO industry will have to reposition in order to display these additional marketing skills.

I’d be interested to here other peoples take on the SEO/Inbound Marketing debate, so please, if anyone has managed to slog through this entire post, please leave a comment with your thoughts!

Thanks for reading the first ever SEO Inbound blog post – click the link at the bottom of the post to get your reward!