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On the subject of online advertising

Martina Martina

February 2nd, 2011.

What to do with organic search results

Firstly, what are ‘organic’ search results?

Organic search results found in search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, are those that are not strictly altered by anyone and are not paid for. They are results that appear centre-left on the screen after you put in a search term.

Doesn’t organic mean ‘pure’?

Yes, it does. This term is ideal because unlike the many paid/sponsored results, the purity of the organic result means that they are free from blatant advertisements pushing a product or service.

Search engines such as Google are great at separating the two. The paid adverts are usually columned off to the right.

So just how important are organic search results?

Very important! In fact 83% of commercial purchases come from them in comparison to paid results. So that’s 5/6’s of all potential business. Whilst PPC is a competitive and additionally important SEO element, if it only accounts for 1/6 of your overall success then organic results must be made priority.

Okay, so now I know about organic results and PPC results – but I’ve heard about sponsored or ‘paid inclusion’ results – what are those?

Paid inclusion is a search engine marketing tool where search engine companies charges fees for the inclusion of particular websites in their search index. These websites are then known as sponsored listings.

This sounds surprisingly similar to PPC…isn’t it the same thing?

Well, the line between PPC and paid inclusion is a thin one. Some believe that any paid listings are advertisements (which is essentially what PPC is), while others insist they are not because unlike ads, webmasters do not control the listings content, it’s ranking, or even whether it is shown to any users.

Okay to sum this all up, what are the differences between all three?

1. Organic traffic: includes the free-of charge results off to the left side of the page.

2. PPC listings: are the ads typically at the right side of the page. Occasionally they will appear at the top & bottom of pages too. When PPC ads appear above or below organic results in most search engines, they are in a coloured box which helps make it that little bit clearer.

3. Paid inclusion results: are mixed in with regular organic listings however paid inclusion is known to have no effect on relevancy. They are simply blended into the search results anywhere and cannot be easily distinguished from the other search results.
However, some search engines such as Google, feel as though paid inclusion is a conflict of interest with relevancy, this is why they have never had a paid inclusion program.

Okay so back to organic results…how do I improve them?

  • Be an expert on your site. Literally know everything you need to know about it – it is extremely likely there will be competition, so that little bit of extra information is what will help you to stand out.
  • Research the competition to see how competitive the keywords you are using are.
  • After you have found the most effective and unique keywords make sure you include them in your meta-tags, your page title and everywhere you can on the page.
  • Submit your site to as many directories as you can find (that are relevant your location) If your services go as far as the South East of London and you are submitting to American directories, you may be found in the USA – but then ignored.
  • Each page should have a specific focus – whatever you mention on one page should stay there, no need to keep backtracking, it’s repetitive and ideally you want to be found for different things in search engines rather than just the one service/product.
  • Search for spam in your keywords and report any you find – you may be able to them removed.
  • Build links. This is the most effective element of SEO that exists. If you aren’t building links, start!
  • Remember that content quality matters much more than quantity. Don’t waste any time putting a site together  with tonnes of useless or badly planned out information when you haven’t got any strategy on what to do with it.

Belles

April 14th, 2010.

Facebook PPC vs Google PPC

Many of us have the question in our minds trying to figure out whether they should use facebook ppc or Google ppc, but realistically the only way one can resolve this dilema is to try them both and measure the results over a period of time.

Facebook Ads:

  • Facebook ads are rapidly gaining in popularity and are very beneficial to small to medium size businesses, attempting to increase traffic with pay per click.
  • Facebook is currently showing up as having four hundred million active members and is the only company that Google actually acknowledges is a real competitor to them.
  • Facebook is pretty much untapped compared to PPC advertising on Google, Yahoo or Bing.  There is another big benefit to this type of advertising – if people like your business, they can pass “word of mouth” very easily to other people on facebook, and now you have happy customers doing your advertising.
  • Another fantastic advantage of facebook advertising is you can target a list of potential customers in a way that was never available before.  Demographic targeting means that facebook PPC clients will be able to set up their ads so that they only appear on the facebook pages of people who are tightly defined as part of their target market. For example, advertisers will be able to select from a number of options such as age, gender, marital status, geographical location, hobbies and interests. When ads are as well targeted as this, copy writing becomes a much easier process. You have a much better chance of generating targeted clicks to their sales pages.

Example of how to advertise on facebook

Google Ads:

  • Google pay per click advertising is a flexible, relatively low cost method of promoting your website and generating interest that can help you achieve your company’s targets.
  • It can be economical compared with more traditional advertising strategies.
  • The principles of pay per click advertising are straight forward – if a company is willing to place the highest bid for a keyword it will be ranked the highest on the search results page.
  • For short-term advertising campaigns, pay per click advertising is ideal – allowing organisations to change the copy of ads. as desired to reflect keyword changes.

In both cases the disadvantages of pay per click campaigns is if they are not monitored on a regular basis, ones company could end up spending more money than it made by pay per click advertising. The cost per click will remain the same rate, whatever your traffic levels are.

Belles

March 25th, 2010.

What is best for advertising your business on facebook a group or a fan page?

‘What page should I launch – a group or fan page?’ 

You are not alone in this question and here are some simple ways that might help you decide.

There are two ways on facebook you can advertise your business – a fan page or a group page.  Firstly, you should consider how you want to communicate with your audience, i.e. do you want to be an information source or do you want to engage your audience in dialogue? Both groups and fan pages allow you to create discussions and others to reply. Both have a wall for people to write on and allow you to share videos and pictures and require you to manually remove posts as an administrator if something does not meet your standards or purpose for the page.

Here are some points that can help you decide which is best for you:

Fan Pages

Example of a fanpage in facebook

  • Pages are similar to personal profiles on facebook, but used in a commercial capacity such as a celebrity, public figure, Brand, local business and so on.
  • Pages are essentially a profile for your business, which can also be viewed publicly by people who are not users of facebook.
  • Businesses can use fan pages to publish information, which is then picked up in status feeds of their fans.
  • facebook users can connect with their favourite artists and businesses through fan pages and also show their colleagues/friends what they care about.
  • Once a facebook user becomes a fan they then can recommend that page to other friends.
  • Pages have two walls, one which the Page owner writes, and one just for fans to write their own messages. Like a normal facebook profile, Pages have tabs that uncover more information.
  • Pages are better  for companies who want to interact with their fans or customers without having them connected to a personal account, and have a need to exceed facebook’s 5,000 friend cap.

In summary if you don’t want to mix your personal interactions with your business on facebook, then a fan page might be just want you need.  Your fan page can be strictly for your online business and will keep all your interactions steered towards your business contacts.

Groups

Example of a group page on facebook

  • These are generally better for hosting an active discussion and attracting fast attention.
  • Groups allow you to send out bulk invitations (for instance, you can ask all of your friends to join the group) and any of your group members can also invite their friends. If you have “friends” on your facebook page who are acquaintances or just share common interests this is a good way to market.
  • Groups are not public, but allow you to send messages that show up in a person’s Inbox, making more direct communication.
  • Group pages allow you to set other administrators to see who is requesting to join the group. If you post something to the group page, it will also show up on your personal wall. Some people don’t like this because it ties them to their businesses, but this can be useful in creating a “person behind the online business” feeling with your customers. You have more control over participants and permissions with group memberships.
  • A group, however, has a limitation of 5,000 members if you wish to send a message. They are generally considered to be best for more personal interaction.

In summary groups are great for organising on a personal level and for smaller scale interaction around a cause.

Regardless of which one you choose (of course, you can have both), be sure to update regularly, keep your audience engaged and offer something of value. If you use your fan page or group purely for promotional reasons, you are far less likely to build loyalty, and there’s a good chance that your members and friends won’t be returning to your pages anytime soon.

Adam Adam

September 17th, 2008.

Online Marketing after the fall of Lehman Brothers

The recent news of the fall of Lehman Brothers Bank has caused a knock on effect for large and small businesses around the world. More and more companies are assessing their expenditure, including online marketing budgets.

However, the latest report from Netimperative shows that online advertising is proving to be the choice advertising stream for small and large businesses, having a dramatically increased prediction for advertising spend over the next couple of years.

According to the report:

“81% of advertisers claim that their allocated online ad spend has grown in 2008 and predict that it will continue to do so over the next couple of years”

With a predicted increase of 16% in 2009 and 17% for 2010.

Furthermore, “three quarters (73%) state that they are increasing their use of online as an advertising medium whilst 31% of advertisers claim their use of TV is decreasing and 40% cite a decrease in the use of newspapers.”

So What Does This Mean For Your Business?

In this economic climate companies are rightly evaluating where and why they are spending money. However, businesses looking to cut back on their advertising spends should be aware of this report when deciding which advertising streams to cut back on.

The predicted growth of online advertising according to this report is set to be potentially the best, with TV and newspaper advertising decreasing. With the support of these latest statistics, it would be a wise move to increase your online marketing budget, as the growth of your online audience delivers cost effective results.

The timing for increasing your online advertising return on your business is now. With the growth prediction for online advertising for the next two years, increasing your online advertising budget now will help increase brand perception and brand awareness for your business, whilst bringing greater return on your online advertising spend.

Contact Datadial to maximise your online advertising budget today

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