Tag Archives: SEO

Nicola Peaty

Pay Per Click Explained.

By Nicola Peaty

Between the importance of having a website and the power of Google, most marketers will be focused on driving traffic from the search engine to their online business. This can be done organically with search engine optimisation (SEO) via specific web content and/or with paid search marketing. This blog explains the basics of Pay per click and some tips to help especially for smaller companies.

Pay per click (PPC) is also known as Search engine marketing (SEM). This is when a company pays for specific search terms and keywords that people may enter into a search engine when looking for a related product or service to their company. The results of typing in a search term into Google, or other search engines, will produce a results page called a search engine results page (SERP). PPC results will appear at the top or right hand side of the page with ‘Ads’ next to them. The company then pays each time a user actually clicks on the link to their website for that particular search term.
See below an example for the term wedding cakes. You can see that Waitrose and Marks and Spencer have paid most for this search term as they appear at the top.

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‘Wedding cakes’ would be a premium search term and most small to medium companies would not be able to compete and afford this as a PPC option. Therefore, smaller companies can be smarter about the terms they either pay for or include those terms on their website for an organic listing. You need to be as specific as possible to match the needs of the users looking for your particular business products.
See the below example. If the search term is refined to ‘small wedding cakes in London’ then companies who have matching content on their site will appear higher in the SERP such as 1st Choice Cakes. Companies who have paid for ‘similar’ terms will appear lower down, so Marks and Spencer have dropped to the bottom of the page and The Cake Store appears higher as a PPC listing.

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The Google ‘bots’ crawl sites to find the most suitable results to match the user’s search. So it’s worth taking the time to understand what terms people are using to look for your related products. It is then your choice, depending on your marketing need, whether you go down the PPC route or spend time generating relevant organic content on your website.

There are a number of advantages for PPC. Firstly, if, like the Marks and Spencer targeting wedding cakes, a company wants to raise brand awareness in a market, then PPC is a less expensive form of advertising. You have the advantage of capping your budget by only paying for an agreed budget limit on how many people click your Google Ad words. And as shown above, you can use specific terms to align with your target market.

It is also very straight forward and simple to set up once you’ve chosen your ad words, and then update as and when you need to. SEO obviously requires rewriting content on your site should new words and terms become necessary. This can take time, whereas Google ad words are immediately effective from the moment you set them up. This can be of real benefit if you have a timely event or promotion and need to quickly target your audience. Just ensure that your links drive traffic to the relevant landing page or you will lose paid-for users straight away.

You are totally in control of your PPC and can react and change as you feel necessary. This means trying and testing new campaigns and monitoring which works best. Having access to immediate results in terms of click through rates will allow you to track the performance of campaigns and assess ROI. The emphasis here is to stay on top of your PPC and keep a check on the SERP and whether any competition affects your listing as well as if users are finding and clicking on your campaign links. You may have to ‘up’ your bid slightly to guarantee top listing against a competitor or change your ad words if the market are using a new search term.

Finally, if done well, make sure you have conversion points in place when users reach the required landing page. This can be an online form, enquiry email link or for a sales rep to contact them. Any form of lead generation requires this essential part of the marketing ‘funnel’ and gives you the full picture to track you ROI.

 

Nicola Peaty

How to use Google+ to help market your business.

By Nicola Peaty

google+Google+ is another fast growing social media platform which marketers are using to help target and generate leads for their business. With impressive statistics on the increase, it’s no surprise why Google+ is becoming another important part of the marketing mix:

* Over 300 million active users
* 50% of users visit daily
* 42% use Google+ to interact with brands’ content
* 70% of top 100 brands are using Google+

SEO: As this platform is actually owned by Google, there are obvious benefits when using Google+ to enhance your Google listing. By posting content with relevant keywords, Google indexes the data which helps optimise your content and in turn increases your ranking. This is something which limited on both Twitter and Facebook. Therefore, use Google+ as another stream of optimised content as part of your overall SEO strategy.

Circles: Another key feature which Google+ boasts are the ‘circles’ which enable you to circles-bigsegment and organise your ‘content consumers’ by similar demographics. This plays so well for marketing opportunities and allows a business to target in different ways such as by prospects and evangelists or by geographics and interests. Circles should be built on the knowledge of what the users’ interests are, what content they are sharing and the relationship with your brand and business. Google will respond well to great interaction between your streamed content and the actions of your users with that content.

Content: You can share content by posting on your profile, emailing to your circles or via your Google+ communities. It is down to each individual business to ensure that quality, relevant information is streamed to targeted communities. This means not only creating your own content but also recommending other ‘quality’ content. This is also a good time to remember the 20%/80% rule of promotional/useful information, otherwise you’re likely to lose your users. With so many multimedia options available, there’s no excuse to compete creatively with your content and delivery by using YouTube, Hangouts, infographics, striking images, events, webinars, the list is endless. Your ‘+1ing’ should start to increase as users receive, like and share your content.

Interaction: The aim is to grab users’ attention, get them to open up to allow your content to stream to them and then start building engagement through two way communication. Join specific conversations by joining communities and using the Explore tab, which enable you to comment on key topics which relate to your business. Maintain regular interaction to help keep the engagement and build closer contacts. If and when creating your own content, don’t forget to use links which drive traffic back to your site, not just on the platform. Google+ has a great post click engagement and refers a high quality traffic with over 2 pages per visit.

Brand: As with all communication in the marketing mix, your brand personality should maintain the same values, tone and image throughout. Make sure your profile, sharing of information and content creation/delivery all have the same brand continuity so that users build a clear understanding of your business and position in the market. Have al ook around at different brand pages to get inspiration. Below are a couple of good examples:

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Nicola Peaty

Infographics explained…with a little help from some infographics!

By Nicola Peaty

What is an infographic?
With so much data and detail to communicate and explain these days, an infographic is brilliant way to use an image or design which visually digests a particular topic or piece of information.

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The facts….
According to facts by the Visual Teaching Alliance, our brains process visual information 60,000 faster than text and 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual.

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Why use an infographic?
If done well, an engaging infographic can capture the attention of an audience with a view to inform and be shared by many. Marketers are using clever designers to use this simple and effective way to communicate content marketing online. Infographics can be used to:
* Explain complicated subject matters.
* Raise awareness and profile.
* Target key audiences.
* Drive traffic.
* Push viral campaigns.
* Build SEO.
* Show you as an expert in a particular topic.

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How to use an infographic.
Once you have chosen your subject matter, designed the visually impactful infographic, ensure you include your logo/website so that when it gets passed on, you take full credit and build your profile. Then it’s time to post it in all social media channels especially your blogs and visual media such as Pinterest. Encourage viewers to recommend, post it on their own sites/blogs and share as much as possible.

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Some varied examples to inspire:

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