Category Archive: Driving Traffic – PPC

Aug
29
2011

PPC vs SEO Draft

Pay Per Click versus Organic Search Engine Optimization

In an ideal world you would use both strategies to maximize your site’s profile.  Due to budgetary constraints however, this is not often possible.  Trying to do both on a limited budget or with limited resources can result in neither campaign producing ideal results.  If this is the case, you must focus on one or the other.  Since the majority of users click on organic listings and anyone can pay for PPC listings, I almost always focus my effort on SEO over PPC.  However, this short article maybe give some insight into what’s best for you.

Organic Search Engine Optimization

I’m going to identify some of the advantages here of SEO versus PPC.

Trust.  Studies have found that searches trust organic listings 86% of the time versus its counterpart.[i]  This is because paid ads are, well just that, paid.  Anyone can place an ad on the networks and entire fundamentals of Google, to organize the world’s information, is why their search engine is number one.  Their listings and their algorithm is very, very tough to game, and in turn, their results are very accurate.  Hence, increased trust.

Click Through Rate.  I know you’ve clicked on more organic listings in your lifetime than paid.  So has your competitors, friends, family.  It’s a given and therefore its safe to assume the click through rate on organic listings outperform PPC listings.  To prove this, a study I discovered found that search users are up to six times more likely to click on the first six organic results than they are to click on any of the paid results[ii].  Another interesting find was a study of eye tracking, a solution to measure where the human eyes go on a webpage.  This study found that over 50% of users start on the top left corner of the listing, varied groups scanned middle left to right and few users started their scanning on the paid results[iii].Finally, another study shows that 30% of searchers click on paid listings, leaving a whopping 70% who click on organic listings[iv].

Visitor Value.  Trends are showing that more sales are resulting from organic listings than PPC[v].Additionally, the overall conversion rate of a few of the sites that we manage, which are local businesses, is $17 higher for unpaid search results than the rate for PPC.

PPC Awareness.  Hundreds of people on the Internet are millionaires, some billionaires, from managing affiliate PPC campaigns.  It’s much more difficult to do this since PPC has become visible to the average surfer as a marketing tool.  While I don’t have this statistic reference, I recall reading that only 50% of searches are aware of the distinction between PPC and organic.  Frankly, when I’m selling SEO and I ask the question “Do you know the difference between PPC and Organic listings?” the answer is typically, ‘well no, not really’.  I know this happens more than 50% of the time.

PPC Pricing is increasing.  This is obvious.  This is economics of supply and demand.  As more advertisers compete in the PPC world, the supply doesn’t change that much, however the demand is increasing.  Therefore, as costs go up, your profit margins shrink.

Long Haul Game.  Marketing anything is a long term endeavor, however, PPC changed that.  While there are pros and cons of each, SEO takes longer to get results, but your efforts stick for a longer period of time.  Just as quickly as you can get an ad up in PPC and begin to get results, you lose that traffic as soon as you stop paying.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

I can hear your little voice now saying, why would I want to even read this PPC section, I’m sold on SEO.  I’m not discounting PPC - it’s an effective strategy.  If you have the budget left, even $200 a month, I would suggest running a PPC campaign for at least your first 6 months.

Results.  Your results are instant.  You get an account right now, in 15 minutes you could have traffic.  Your SEO efforts can take months to get results.

Budget.  OK, nothing is free.  While we say organic traffic is free traffic, let’s not kid ourselves.  Organic traffic is not free, in fact it’s very expensive.  Whether you’re spending your time or money outsourcing, it’s costing you.  Hiring someone for $250 a month will not get you decent SEO results.  We charge upwards of $1000 per month for a small business on SEO.  But bear in mind that for $12,000 per year, we have generated millions in revenue.

Easier to manage.  OK, so this is a long post and I remember the first time I begun to learn SEO, I was overwhelmed.  It has taken me years.  I don’t expect you to know SEO like I know it.  Even a step by step book can’t simplify SEO to the point that a monkey could do, it still requires intelligence.  A simple PPC campaign can be managed in house by someone with little experience in marketing.  I’m not saying this person will be successful though, since I heard once over 50% of all online campaigns fail.  I think they were referring to PPC.

No Contract or Time Commitments.  While we do not have time contracts for PPC, most SEO firms will require you to invest with them for six months or more.  For SEO, I’m considering offering 12 and 24 month SEO contracts.  We need six months of your investment, or we won’t get results.  Granted, we’ll get local results in the first month, but we need top placement results to look good for several keywords.  We achieve this in the third and fourth month and by the sixth month, our clients have translated a lot of that traffic into business.


[i]eMarketer

[ii]Oneupweb Study

[iii]Enquiro, July 2005

[iv]Search Engine Guide, August 2005

 

[v]Search Engine Guide, August 2005



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Jun
07
2010

CNN Bashing Google and BP regarding this oil spill?

I tell you, sometimes it’s amazing just how a message can totally be twisted and turned depending on who you hear it from.

I wonder if there is politics involved in this search engine dilemma regarding the oil spill.  I mean, let’s consider this video from CNN.  Talk about ignorance on their part, we we’re suppose to trust their opinions.  This is wrong on their part and when you listen to this video and break it down, they are doing exactly what they are accusing others of doing.  WHAT?!!

CNN’s Own Incompetence and Blame

Ok, so there’s this video on their site that went live a few hours ago.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2010/06/06/nr.bp.ad.space.cnn?hpt=Sbin

CNN Suggests Google and BP are sharing money and laughs to control information to the American Public

During this video, CNN’s discusses several times on how BP is spending money to basically monopolize the search results and ‘push’ other stuff down.  It discusses how this company is spending an unknown amount of money per day and how companies like Google are actually accepting this money, and in turn ‘placing’ them on the top of the search results almost inconspicuously in a very litely shaded area, at the top.

In turn, CNN discusses how they are controling the information by canabilizing the information on their site, in turn controlling the truth.

In other words, BP, Google, Yahoo and Bing are all in this for profit and deliver only skewed information to the public.  That’s exactly the message I got delivered from this video.  Thank You CNN for the TRUTH.

I’m not here to defend BP.  They are merely conducting a PR campaign and providing information.  I checked out their site.  It’s skewed in their favor, discussing all of their wonderful clean up efforts.  They provide government links to sites about the beaches and wildlife.  Not bad.  It’s still slanted.

Let’s take a look at this BP ad that is supposedly providing skewed, monopolistic information about the oil spill.

CNN – Are you REALLY suggesting this when we EASILY can get the information you can only find a moron expert to ‘estimate’?

YUP, that’s it.  BP is really trying hard to buy it’s way into controlling the online media and push down the truth, as CNN has suggested.  No, it’s clearly deceptive here in their messaging why their site is skewed in their favor.  They are telling us that their site is about them, how they are helping.  Whether they really are or aren’t is the question here CNN, it’s their message.  To them, they believe they are helping and being transparent.

So, CNN says that they have no idea how much BP is spending per day.  Some so called expert estimates it could be at least $10,000 per day.  What?  Is that really a lot?

According to SpyFu.com, an online tool us marketers use to gain competitive information, tells me exactly what BP is spending on a daily basis for their ENTIRE online campaign.  Granted, this isn’t 100% accurate, but provides data from May 2010.  Wow, CNN is WAY, WAY, WAY off, like around 500% over projected!  Come on.

So, you know anything about Pay Per Click Advertising?  That top spot, for a search of [oil spill] ANYONE can buy, for CHEAP!  It’s not like BP is making a large PR push to monopolize the Internet searches.  I checked.

It’s $1.66 for that keyword according to Spyfu.com.  Come on, I pay more per click for [courier service] than that with my national Same Day Delivery company.

CNN – Don’t Call the Kettle Black

So, as CNN discusses, this is wrong for BP to do this, and eluding to Google, Yahoo and Bing.  Let’s consider what was not discussed during this segment.

Pay Per Click yields about 20% of the traffic, compare to Google’s integrated mainstream organic results.  NO ONE CAN PAY for ORGANIC Results.  The TOP results are NEWS.  80% of the traffic will click one of those results.

Next, BP’s top position in PPC will enjoy sharing some of that 20%, and experts such as Howie Jacobson, author of Adwords for Dummies, has indicated that the top PPC spot doesn’t always outclick spot #2 or #3.

So how much is BP really putting forward here?

Don’t Be Evil

I mean Google’s moto, DON’T BE EVIL and their recent exit in China indicated they would never, ever, ever allow for any company to skew their search engine, for no amount of money, ever.  They built their business on a model that offered organic, unbias, democratic results.

Bottom line is that the evidence is clear that CNN is the culprit of skewing the data and has in fact shot themselves in the foot by suggesting other’s are doing it, and in the very discussions they themselves only tell you what they think is important to create a controversial story.  Nothing new.  Just unethical, that’s all.

Alright, so again I’m not happy with BP here, but come on CNN.  This isn’t about them buying their way up on the search engines to skew the American public about the truth, this is about CNN playing a pity party with the American population and limiting the information to pursuade the population into believing their is a collaborative corruption here, in turn portraying a message that other’s such as Google have veared away from what is simply right.

Come on guys.  Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, CNN.

Don’t Be Evil.  Tell the Truth.  This is SO not News Worthy when the entire truth is told.



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Oct
30
2009

Local Search Marketing

Local Search Marketing is the process of a local business who wants to acquire new customers utilizing strategic placement within the search engines.

Therefore, local search marketing is comprised of placing such local business in three separate areas of the search engine results page (SERP). These three areas are:

  1. Paid.  as in PPC or Adwords in the case of Google.
  2. Organic.  These are the mainstream results.
  3. Local Business Results (LBR).  This is when Google or Yahoo! shows the map of the physical location of the company.
Here’s a nice post on SEO vs PPC.  Here’s a post on Local Business Results and Citations.

In order to place a local business in any of these area requires a specific skill set.  Just like how different how a carpenter, plumber, electrician and artitect are require to build a home, to position a website in any of these areas require a different skill.

These skills are differents sets of online marketing skills.  There are experts in each field of Local Search Marketing.

For example, being good at the paid results means you can double the traffic and cut the costs by 50%, from the numbers Google gives you.  Perhaps the skills for LBR including knowing that citations are the driver along with public opinion.  This skill is leaning more towards creativity than science.  SEO, or organic, on the other hand, is a highly misleading concept today.  Too many people chase the algorithm rather then focus on marketing, creating transparency and exposure.

I suggest you opt-in for our free report the help demystify the components of Local Search Marketing.  If you chose, watch our 90 second video before opting-in at our Local Marketing Education portal.  If you own or manage a local business and are interested in learning more, I suggest you get our free assessment of your campaign at my local internet marketing company.



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Jan
06
2009

PPC versus SEO

Pay Per Click versus Organic Search Engine Optimization

In an ideal world you would use both strategies to maximize your site’s profile.  Due to budgetary constraints however, this is not often possible.  Trying to do both on a limited budget or with limited resources can result in neither campaign producing ideal results.  If this is the case, you must focus on one or the other.  Since the majority of users click on organic listings and anyone can pay for PPC listings, I almost always focus my effort on SEO over PPC.  However, this short article maybe give some insight into what’s best for you.

Organic Search Engine Optimization

I’m going to identify some of the advantages here of SEO versus PPC.

Trust.  Studies have found that searches trust organic listings 86% of the time versus its counterpart.  This is because paid ads are, well just that, paid.  Anyone can place an ad on the networks and entire fundamentals of Google, to organize the world’s information, is why their search engine is number one.  Their listings and their algorithm is very, very tough to game, and in turn, their results are very accurate.  Hence, increased trust.

Click Through Rate.  I know you’ve clicked on more organic listings in your lifetime than paid.  So has your competitors, friends, family.  It’s a given and therefore its safe to assume the click through rate on organic listings outperform PPC listings.  To prove this, a study I discovered found that search users are up to six times more likely to click on the first six organic results than they are to click on any of the paid results.  Another interesting find was a study of eye tracking, a solution to measure where the human eyes go on a webpage.  This study found that over 50% of users start on the top left corner of the listing, varied groups scanned middle left to right and few users started their scanning on the paid results.Finally, another study shows that 30% of searchers click on paid listings, leaving a whopping 70% who click on organic listings.

Visitor Value.  Trends are showing that more sales are resulting from organic listings than PPC.Additionally, the overall conversion rate of a few of the sites that we manage, which are local businesses, is $17 higher for unpaid search results than the rate for PPC.

PPC Awareness.  Hundreds of people on the Internet are millionaires, some billionaires, from managing affiliate PPC campaigns.  It’s much more difficult to do this since PPC has become visible to the average surfer as a marketing tool.  While I don’t have this statistic reference, I recall reading that only 50% of searches are aware of the distinction between PPC and organic.  Frankly, when I’m selling SEO and I ask the question “Do you know the difference between PPC and Organic listings?” the answer is typically, ‘well no, not really’.  I know this happens more than 50% of the time.

PPC Pricing is increasing.  This is obvious.  This is economics of supply and demand.  As more advertisers compete in the PPC world, the supply doesn’t change that much, however the demand is increasing.  Therefore, as costs go up, your profit margins shrink.

Long Haul Game.  Marketing anything is a long term endeavor, however, PPC changed that.  While there are pros and cons of each, SEO takes longer to get results, but your efforts stick for a longer period of time.  Just as quickly as you can get an ad up in PPC and begin to get results, you lose that traffic as soon as you stop paying.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

I can hear your little voice now saying, why would I want to even read this PPC section, I’m sold on SEO.  I’m not discounting PPC - it’s an effective strategy.  If you have the budget left, even $200 a month, I would suggest running a PPC campaign for at least your first 6 months.

Results.  Your results are instant.  You get an account right now, in 15 minutes you could have traffic.  Your SEO efforts can take months to get results.

Budget.  OK, nothing is free.  While we say organic traffic is free traffic, let’s not kid ourselves.  Organic traffic is not free, in fact it’s very expensive.  Whether you’re spending your time or money outsourcing, it’s costing you.  Hiring someone for $250 a month will not get you decent SEO results.  We charge upwards of $1000 per month for a small business on SEO.  But bear in mind that for $12,000 per year, we have generated millions in revenue.

Easier to manage.  OK, so this is a long post and I remember the first time I begun to learn SEO, I was overwhelmed.  It has taken me years.  I don’t expect you to know SEO like I know it.  Even a step by step book can’t simplify SEO to the point that a monkey could do, it still requires intelligence.  A simple PPC campaign can be managed in house by someone with little experience in marketing.  I’m not saying this person will be successful though, since I heard once over 50% of all online campaigns fail.  I think they were referring to PPC.

No Contract or Time Commitments.  While we do not have time contracts for PPC, most SEO firms will require you to invest with them for six months or more.  For SEO, I’m considering offering 12 and 24 month SEO contracts.  We need six months of your investment, or we won’t get results.  Granted, we’ll get local results in the first month, but we need top placement results to look good for several keywords.  We achieve this in the third and fourth month and by the sixth month, our clients have translated a lot of that traffic into business.



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Aug
11
2008

The Future of Search Engine Marketing

While fuel prices are cutting into the business owner’s bottom line, increasing prices of every day goods are beginning to hit the consumers.  Consumer confidence levels have dropped, housing markets declining and overall business expenditures are dropping. 

 

Opportunities?!!!

 

You bet!  People make money in both good and bad times.  No matter what, items need to be shipped.  Everything around you has been on a truck and those goods are still moving, just not quite as much.  Point is, while the others are complaining about their poor business results and blaming the fuel prices, the economy and seasonal fluctuations, you can be earning a profit.

 

Now the questions is, if other businesses are failing, which they are, how do you find their customers?  How about a billboard ad and hopefully someone will see your ad.  Better yet, buy a TV slot.  You might get better results if you throw some mud at the walls.

 

Targeted Marketing is paying only for an audience that is looking for your service.  Unlike the airlines strapping you to a seat for 4 hours and emersing you in advertising on your seat tray, we’re talking about giving your message to those that have asked for it!

 

Search Engine Marketing and Targeted Email Marketing are just that.  There is no question that advertising dollars are moving from traditional means to online means.  The North American SEM industry 30% from 2006 to 2007.  Thirty Percent folks!!!  The Kelsey Group reported that Online Advertising will hit $147 Billion by 2012, from $11.5 billion in 2007.  Are you kidding me?!!!  Someone is making money from advertising online, or it wouldn’t be growing so much!

 

Whether is Pay Per Click, Search Engine Optimization or Paid Inclusion, standardization and growth of the SEM marketplace is inevitable.  Today those standards do not exist.  There are white hat, black hat, grey hat and every other color hat SEOer.  Today the black hats exists, but in time, they will go away and an elite group of white hat SEOer will prevail.  Marketing in the days to come won’t find success with tricks, but old skool marketing will prevail in the online world.  Traditional tricks won’t work, but hard, quality campaigns and solid content will win.



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Jul
14
2008

Actual Search Volume Data!

Time has come folks, depsite Yahoo! being highly scrutinized in the past for releasing hard data and Google being the convert engine dangling carrots, Google has finally provided a tool to give us actual search data!.  I mean, this means no longer we need to use expensive services like Trellian Keyword Discovery or Word Tracker that has data compiled from Dogpile and other not so reliable sources.  Granted, Google’s data may be skewed from rank checkers and they provide ‘approximate’ data, but with roughly 67% market share, we not have even better data for keyword research.

Did you know ‘Chicago Courier Service” is searched over 5980 times a month?  That’s 200 times a day!  There’s business folks out there on the Internet.

Here’s is the information right from the Horse’s Mouth.

Based on advertiser feedback, and our commitment to provide useful tools and information for our advertisers, we’ve now added search volume data to the Keyword Tool. Now, when you use the Keyword Tool to search for relevant keywords to include in your keyword list, you’ll be able to see the approximate number of search queries matching your keywords that were performed on Google and the search network. These approximate numbers are intended to provide better insight into keywords’ monthly and average search volumes than previously provided by the tool.

You can view the new statistics by looking at the Keyword Tool’s Approx Search Volume columns. Search volume data can be useful to you in several ways, including:
• Account structure: You may want to create a new ad group around high-traffic keywords that you find particularly relevant. Closely target ad text and a specific landing page to the small, narrowly-focused set of similar keywords you’ve found through the Keyword Tool.
• Budget planning: See how much traffic is available to your keywords so you can better plan your budget.
• Keyword choice: Search for and select the relevant keywords most likely to return quality leads within your budget.
Remember, the Keyword Tool also provides several other keyword-related metrics that can help you select highly relevant keywords to improve the overall performance of your campaigns. You can easily view data on advertiser competition, search volume trends, estimated average CPCs, and estimated ad positions for keywords.”

To use this tool, visit Google AdWords Keyword Tool.



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Jul
09
2008

Online Marketing Mysteries for your small business

I was asked to speak on Online Marketing for the MCAA‘s national convention.  Here I took a piece of it to discuss Search Engine Optimization for your small business servicing a local market.

Watch Part 2
Watch Part 3
Watch Part 4

 



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Jun
27
2008

Detangling E-Marketing Mysteries

Web Marketing Techiniques range a very wide variety of solutions. Some things work, others will burn a hole in your wallet. From Search Engine Marketing to Social Marketing, emails campaigns to blogs, there are simply too much to know.

Leveraging my experience in transportation, I’ve included an article here what you should be looking at as a small business owner in terms of Internet Marketing.

While this article relates directly to the courier business owner, it can be applied to almost any small business wishing to promote their local services through the Internet. Its about local SEO.

Are you ready to get your business local internet traffic? How about increasing customer retention? Decreasing processing costs? What about catering to your audience?

Its all here. To download the entire article, click E-Marketing Mysteries



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