Who should manage your SEO/SEM & online advertising?
I recently made a presentation to a Daytona Beach Chamber of Commerce group concerning how to make your website drive customers to your business. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle, and search engines are certainly one of them, so as a part of my presentation I covered search engine optimization (aka SEO, or how to make your site rank well in search engines for free), and Pay-Per-Click advertising (aka SEM, or how to rank well by paying). My presentation on SEO/SEM went very well (someone took a picture of my SEO slide, woohoo!), and after it was over, I opened the floor to questions. Several hands went up and I pointed to a woman who owns an independent flower shop in Daytona Beach area, let’s call it Suzanne’s Flowers. She asked this question: “Does the person that keeps calling me about online advertising really work for (insert-search-engine-name-here)? Or is it a scam?” As soon as she asked her question, several others chimed in that they were getting the same calls. There’s obviously no way for me to know who is on the other end of the call, so I just answered them as best I could. Basically what I said was, I have no idea, but if they do work for (insert-search-engine-name-here), hang up, you definitely don’t want them handling your online advertising. Sound strange? It’s not, you should either learn how to do it yourself, or have us handle your online advertising. Here’s why:
1) Our primary interest when building your online campaign is the success of YOUR business.
Why? Because your success leads to repeat business and referrals. So we want to make sure your business isn’t spending more than necessary to get results. Unlike the search engines, we don’t get paid when a user clicks on your ad. We get paid to create SEO/SEM ads that are the most likely to appear when a user is researching a purchase, and to figure out which ads are working the best at generating particular actions on your site. A contact form fill for instance. A search engine just wants the clicks (that’s how they get paid). What’s the difference? Let’s use the flower shop as an example. They want to show their ad to someone that searches for “flowers” or “flower arrangements” a poorly targeted campaign might also show the ad to someone searching for “when to plant flowers.” Related? Sort of. A potential customer? Not even close, which takes us to reason number two…
2) We want to send you QUALIFIED leads.
What’s better than a lead? a qualified lead, someone that you know is interested in your product or services. Isn’t that pretty much the whole point of advertising to begin with? Good news, search engine advertising is a great way to bring qualified leads to your site. Unfortunately, a poorly built SEO/SEM campaign will also send a TON of other traffic to your site. Not a huge deal if they’re coming in from an organic (free) search result. But if you paid for the click, it’s a waste of money. Even worse, your ad might not ever get shown to a qualified lead. How could this happen? Let’s say you’re spending $100 dollars a month on SEO/SEM advertising, that’s roughly $3.27 per day. If a click on your ad costs $0.65, that works out to about 5 clicks. If those first 5 people are just searching for something that’s sort of related to your business (like the flower example above), you not only just wasted $3.27, but you missed the opportunity to show your ad to someone that might actually make a purchase. What do you do? If you ask the search-engine-employee they will probably recommend upping your budget. If you ask us, we generally recommend revising your campaign so your ad is less likely to appear to someone that’s not likely to buy from you. This saves you money while still generating leads.
3) We can also help you improve your organic (free) ranking.
If you do end up talking to a search-engine-employee, don’t bother asking them about how to improve your organic (free) ranking. Why? Because they guard the details of how their search engines rank websites as closely as Coca-Cola or KFC guard their recipes. There’s no way they’re going to even hint at anything that will help you search engine optimize your site. On the other hand, we WANT you to rank well. Why? Same as before, your success leads to repeat business and referrals for us. And generally, our clients start seeing their sites improve in rankings within the first couple of months that their site is launched. And after a year, one of our clients here in Daytona has more than doubled their traffic in the last 12 months. The majority of their traffic is the result of good SEO, causing their site to rank at or near the top of search results for the services they offer.
And that’s it in a nutshell. If you have any questions about how to handle your SEO/SEM campaigns, or want to sit down and talk about how your site can drive customers to your business. Please fill out our contact form to the right, or call us here at the office. We’d love to sit down and talk about how we can help.