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Thursday, January 12, 2012

 

Google’s algorithm changes over the past 2-3 years are making it harder to directly influence search engine rankings.  Factors such as the Google ‘trust’ factor (which gives preference to older domain names) are impossible to influence, leaving many businesses with sub-optimal organic rankings.

With many businesses being disgruntled with SEO results there is an ever-increasing trend (as Google had hoped) towards paying for search positions.

Yes, with pay-per-click advertising you need to continually spend to get a result.  However, these 7 key reasons may have you reconsidering your marketing mix to include pay-per-click advertising.



1. Paid Clicks are from Hungry Customers

Common sense suggests that people clicking organically are early in the buying cycle, whereas those clicking on paid ads are more ready to make a purchase.  Paid ads often contain special offers, discounts, pricing examples, and are directly targeted towards what the searcher is looking for.  E.g. see the compelling offers that appear when ‘carpet cleaning’ is searched on Google – '3 Rooms for $65', '10% off' etc. Compare this to the first 4 organic listings which have minimal marketing appeal.

 
 Click to Enlarge


2. Search Engines have Shareholders

Organic results are being bumped down the list in favour of paid ads, in an attempt to maintain share prices of the search engines.  Ads can now include a business location and links to other pages within the website (see examples below).  As a result, the paid ads are getting clicked on more than ever before because searchers don’t like having to scroll.


   
 Click to Enlarge  Click to Enlarge


3. Organic = Watching Grass Grow

It can be frustrating watching and waiting for your website to improve organically.  No one knows how high it will reach and how fast it will get there.

Pay-per-click advertising gives immediate visibility.  Ads can be shown to a searcher in a specific location for a specific keyword, within as little as 10 minutes.  This sure beats sitting around hoping/praying for your website to improve organically.



4. Pay-per-Click Covers 1,000’s of keywords

It is difficult to get a website ranking organically in the top 3 for 100’s of popular keywords without the website having literally hundreds or thousands of pages.  Many older websites will rank well under a select few popular keywords but they could be missing out on customers who search for variations of these keywords.  Pay-per-click lets you actively pursue all keyword variations, without having to write additional content!


5. Greater Control

The description used in organic search results will be the meta description of the relevant page, or in some instances, an extract of text from the page.  Whilst you can alter the meta description, it isn’t guaranteed that this will be displayed, and any changes that you make won’t be reflected until the search engine re-crawls your website (which could be hours or months – no one knows exactly). By comparison pay-per-click ads can be changed almost instantly and are reflected generally within 10 minutes online.


6. Make use of Landing Pages

1-page websites, also known as ‘Landing Pages’ or ‘Squeeze Pages’, are renowned for having higher conversion rates than full websites.  Landing pages work well for businesses whose customers are making a time-sensitive decision (e.g. pest control), the customer can get the same or a similar service elsewhere (e.g. mortgage broking), and credibility can be quickly conveyed in a few key bullet points.

1-Page websites generally don’t rank well organically in competitive areas due to the website having insufficient content.  However, pay-per-click advertising can have these pages ranking high in any keyword category, and driving quality targeted traffic that converts into leads.  It is not uncommon for a good landing page and pay-per-click campaign to convert 25% of visitors into leads.

These statistics are from a test comparing the conversion rate of a full website (SEO Landing Page) with a 1-Page PPC Landing page –


  Conversion Rate 
SEO Landing Page  15.1% 
PPC Landing Page 26.9%


7. You Control your Rankings

By bidding on keywords you can control your rankings with pay-per-click advertising.  Note however that your bid is only one of a number of factors search engines look at when determining how much you pay per click.  A good quality landing page with relevant keywords will help keep your click costs to a minimum.
Friday, October 07, 2011

The Truth about Google AdWords

AdWords is a phenomenal marketing tool if used correctly. Our clients have generated millions of dollars worth of sales and achieved a positive return on investment where their campaigns have been correctly architected and managed.

Google AdWords is designed in a way that encourages businesses to spend money using campaign settings they think are beneficial, but can actually be detrimental to the performance of a campaign.


A typical day in the life of an Australian small business owner...

So you’ve just received a Google AdWords voucher in the mail for $75 worth of free advertising credit – how exciting!

You login to Google’s website, setup your campaigns, enter your credit card and voucher details, then wait for the phone to ring.

But somehow nothing happens. This brilliant advertising service that everyone talks about just spent $75 of Google’s money with no result. 

Speculating, you spend a little more of your own money, tweak some keywords, re-write your ads, and then your receive a call from someone claiming to be looking at your website.

It must be working! You spend some more, this time increasing your bids because you notice your ads are too far down the list. Your cost of clicks increases and you’re now sitting in the top 3. The phone rings a little more!

A few days later you check your ads and you’re sitting 5th of the list for your #1 keyword – how dare your competitors outrank you! You then start to wonder if they’re clicking on you.

So you increase your bids a bit more but notice your ads are receiving less clicks, and you start wondering ifAdWords is all it’s cracked up to be.

Then...you read your credit card statement and nearly faint at the charges from Google!


Case Study – 82% of a budget wasted!

When we added the keyword ‘advertising perth’ to a trial campaign it triggered visits for keywords including ‘how to study advertising in perth’, ‘personals adverts perth’, ‘quokka advertising perth’, ‘transperth advertising’.Of the $162 spent in 7 days, $134 was spent on clicks that were totally irrelevant!

Click on the thumbnail below to see the full list –

This click wastage is prevalent in almost all AdWords campaigns and is a moving target.

This is only one of over 10 different ways Google encourages businesses to spend more on AdWords than they need to (last quarter they generated $9.03 billion in revenue from this service). It pays to have any AdWords campaign professionally managed to obtain the best possible result!


Are You Bronze, Silver or Gold?

If you are running Google AdWords or are considering launching a campaign to promote your business, PositionMEonline provides three levels of Google AdWords management to ensure your campaigns are run most effectively. 

Starting from $130+GST/month for the Bronze service we will review your campaigns every month and provide you with an update on your campaign performance. This small investment often pays for itself as a result of substantially reduced click wastage and a higher return on investment.


Find Out How Much You’re Wasting - FREE

If you have a Google AdWords account that is currently not managed by us and would like to know how much you have spent on unwanted clicks, we provide a complimentary campaign review and will reveal the finite dollar value of your wasted click costs. This offer is valid until 31 October 2011.


Not Running AdWords Yet?

You could be missing out on an excellent source of high quality traffic to your website. All new campaigns are created by PositionMEonline’s AdWords Qualified Consultants and are highly refined to ensure minimal click wastage.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

We're pleased to announce the launch of a new free guide for businesses looking for a web marketing service provider. 

Our industry is littered with one-man operations, fly-by-nights, and companies that give our industry a bad name.  This guide has been developed by our team to assist you in filtering out the wheat from the chaff.  Best of all it's 100% free, and could save you thousands in fees and lost business!

Click the icon below to download your free copy now!





Friday, June 11, 2010
"When Kat & Kaboodle launched, we needed to create a slick website that would rank well in Google. The professional organising industry in Australia is still a relatively young one, so people are not yet instinctively searching for ‘professional organiser’ when they want to get organised.

Looking around at other websites in the industry, I found the sites to be quite cluttered and hard to navigate – which obviously isn’t a good thing when you are promoting an organising and de-cluttering business! PositionMEonline got straight to work on implementing a template for our website which was clean, easy to navigate and fully functioning. 

Your team immediately understood my business and how I wanted to communicate with my potential customers. Best of all, you were honest and up-front with their advice, and were genuinely passionate about providing me with the best possible website for my business.

I credit your business with building the best professional organising website in Australia (if I do say so myself!) which continues to display on the first page of Google! You designed a fantastic blog which is so easy for me to update, and a homepage which not only looks amazing but is easy to follow. 

You took the time to train me in sending an e-newsletter to my database and how to update pages, which I have found to be easier than editing a document in Microsoft Word! Nearly every day, I receive emails from people asking about my wonderful website and I always send them along to PositionMEonline.

I know they will receive honest, value-for-money, friendly service that us amateurs rarely find when dealing with website developers."
- Katherine Tate, Kat & Kaboodle - www.katandkaboodle.com.au
Monday, February 01, 2010
Despite the financial crisis over the past 18 months many web-related companies have enjoyed strong growth as businesses become more savvy and cost-conscious about their marketing.  With traditional forms of advertising becoming less cost-effective businesses are turning to the internet as a reliable source of low-cost leads.

One particular recent situation stands out, highlighting the major differences in return achieved from traditional advertising when compared with website marketing -

A long-term client shared with us a full page press advertisement that their competitor had run in The West Australian (WA's leading local paper).  The advertisement was on page 48 of the newspaper, just before the stock prices. 

At $7,500 one might think twice about placing such an ad, but the value of this businesses services is such that around 4 new clients would need to be obtained in order to make it a worthwhile venture.

72 hours after running the ad we were told that the business had received 3 phone call enquiries and zero appointments - i.e. the return on investment was practically nil.  It was $7,500 wasted on something that had a shelf life of around 24-48 hours before the next edition of the newspaper was produced.

One might argue that there are other less tangible benefits (such as branding) and that further potential customers may have booked an appointment at a later stage, however the business was not of a substantial enough size to warrant a branding focus.  Hence, the purpose of the ad was to generate appointments, which it clearly failed to do.

What is different about web marketing?
A business that goes about its web strategy correctly will benefit from an asset that continues to generate a good source of leads or sales with minimal ongoing expenditure.

Using the example above, a $7,500 investment in a website that is professionally designed and marketed to be found on the major search engines will continue to reap rewards for many years.

Newspaper advertising, radio advertising, TV advertising and Yellow Pages all require an ongoing investment in order to be given "air time".  By comparison, a websites ongoing costs are generally hosting and domain registration fees (which are easily <$1000 per year).

Think outside the square
Before you invest in your next traditional form of advertising, consider whether that money would be better invested in a website designed specifically to market a particular product. 

Investing in more "salesmen whilst you sleep" will help generate a strong source of leads and sales - why have 1 salesman, when you can have say 3.  Likewise, why have one website trying to capture everything your business is about, when you could have 3 highly specialised websites targeting different divisions/products/services/angles of your business.

To discuss some creative ideas on how you can add more "salesmen whilst you sleep" to your team, call us on (08) 9313 2699 and we can demonstrate how other Australian small-medium businesses are benefiting from our innovative online marketing strategies.


Saturday, August 08, 2009
Choosing and SEO or Search Engine Marketing company can be difficult.  You may obtain 3 vastly different quotations both in content and in price, and be no wiser as to which company is better than the next.

Fortunately earlier this year the Australian Web Industry Association (AWIA) released a document designed to help website owners decipher the companies that are legit, and the companies that are solely in the industry to trick unsuspecting customers.

The guide is available to download here and is well worth a read should you be looking to engage a SEO or search engine marketing company.

The principles mentioned in the guide are adhered to by PositionMEonline, as our business success is largely defined by the success of our clients.  The more clients we can obtain excellent results for and have lasting relationships with, the better our business becomes, and in turn the better we can serve our clients with new technologies and more 'outside the box' thinking.

To speak with one of our SEO consultants about how you can obtain more customers from the internet call (08) 9313 2699 today!
Friday, June 12, 2009
Did you know you can get on the first page of Google, Yahoo and MSN within an hour? A form of search engine advertising called ‘pay-per-click’ is sweeping the world as a cost-effective means of obtaining instant visibility across the major search engines.

Compared with traditional forms of advertising, businesses can target customers actively looking for their products or services, and track how they interact with their website once they arrive.

As the name suggests, the advertiser pays the search engine every time someone clicks on their ad. These ads can be targeted geographically, and only appear for keyword searches as specified by the advertiser. A cap can be put on the advertisers daily budget to ensure the costs don’t blow out considerably.

Pay-per-click advertising works best for businesses with websites that are successful in converting their visitors into customers (e.g. florists), or sell items with good profit margins (e.g. cosmetic surgeons). Whilst these advertising campaigns can be set up by anyone, it is best to use someone who is qualified by Google and has had considerable experience in managing these campaigns. The way the campaigns are architected is crucial to achieving a good return on investment.

We have had numerous clients approach us with Google AdWords accounts that they set up themselves, wasting tens of thousands of dollars because they were not architected correctly.
Friday, June 05, 2009
I am astounded to see that some of Perth’s major educational institutions are teaching students how to build websites with considerable amounts of graphics, animations, and very little content. As these students graduate, they set up their own businesses and sell their services to the WA business community who are taken in by the stunning ‘look’ of what they can produce.

Our business, PositionMEonline, and other web marketing companies of a professional ilk are unfortunately left to break the news to these business owners that their websites will be difficult to find on search engines. The search engines thrive on text content, not images or animations, meaning that many WA websites are missing out on new customers who use generic search phrases to find information online.

Businesses in the market for a new website should always ask how their web designer intends on getting visitors to their new website. Remember, marketing a website is more important than simply building one.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The term 'search engine optimisation' and 'search engine marketing' are becoming more familiar to business owners, yet if you asked 100 of them what it means you will most likely get 100 different answers.

Their answers will differ because web designers will inform business owners of their understanding of how the search engines work, based on what they have read online, been taught at TAFE or university, or have heard from other web designers.

BUSINESS OWNERS BEWARE

The information published on the internet about search engine marketing is largely out-dated or educates based on techniques that trick the search engines, which can cause a website to be penalised by search engines.

...and just because the information is out-dated doesn't mean it will be removed from the internet - it stays online for unsuspecting people to read without knowing good from bad!

We frequently have clients contacting us having just spent thousands on SEO (search engine optimisation) with their web designer, to find that they still don't rank well for the chosen keywords.  When we dig a little deeper, we find that many of them are stuffing keywords in their Meta Tags (Google doesn't rank a website based on the Meta Tags), adding a variety of keywords to their Home page but nowhere else, or even hiding text in pages that the business owner never knew existed!

Unfortunately it is not the web designer that has gone out of their way to trick you into spending money, but their lack of education or mis-education means that they can waste a lot of your money with little to show for it.

Fascinating Industry Trend
As search engines have grown in popularity, more clients are asking their web designers what they can do to gain top ranking positions for their keywords.  Prior to 2006 or so, these web designers would refer their client to a search engine marketing specialist (such as ourselves) who would perform a service and get the client satisfactory results.

Nowadays, web designers are wanting a bigger slice of the pie and claiming to provide search engine marketing services to supplement their income streams.  A common scenario evolves:

  1. Web design sales team notices more clients asking about search engines.
  2. General Manager sees an opportunity to provide a search engine marketing service and allocates one of the team members the role of 'search engine specialist'.
  3. The search engine specialist researches as much information as they can online, reads books, and attends some local events, then devises a Bronze, Silver & Gold search engine marketing package for their clients.
  4. The sales team sells the package to a client and the work is carried out.
  5. 6 months later the client is still nowhere to be seen on search engines, or is still generating little business from their website.
  6. Client gets fed up and looks for another search engine marketing company.
We see this scenario play out regularly as many clients contact us having just been burnt by a web designer who thought they knew what they were doing.  Unfortunately their mis-education served them and their client badly.

What Does This Mean?
It means a considerable number of web design companies who have branched into search engine marketing are building a batch of unhappy clients with sub-standard results.  Businesses should be careful with who they select. 

Here are a few handy tips on choosing a search engine marketing or web design company:
  • Ask them how they go about 'optimising' a website - if they can't give you a straight answer, walk away.
  • Ask them if meta tags will make a difference - if they say that they will make a major difference, move onto your next potential web designer.
  • Ask them to give you a detailed tour of Google Analytics - this is a standard industry tool that any search engine marketing consultant should know backwards.  It provides invaluable information for tracking website visitors
  • Get them to explain how they go about choosing keywords - if they say the keywords are up to you, forget it!  The keywords should be chosen based on research into what people search for - there are databases you can licence that tell you this information.
  • If you are interested in pay-per-click advertising like Google AdWords, ask if they have certification by Google - if not, chances are a lot of your budget will be wasted on irrelevant traffic.
Where Does PositionMEonline Fit In?
We have our roots in search engine marketing, and have only started developing websites because our clients demanded it.  Having a background in the industry, access to influential people at the major search engines, and regularly keeping updated with the latest techniques and trends, means we can provide a high value service beyond that which is offered by your local web design company.

Should you be considering engaging a company to build your website and/or provide search engine marketing services, we gladly provide a free review of their service offering to ensure that your money is put to best use and will achieve the results you are after.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Last time you did a search on Google there is a 94% chance that you clicked on the 'organic' search results (the left hand side of the search results page), according to a US Study*.  This means 6% or thereabouts of searchers are clicking on the 'Sponsored Links' or the 'paid' section of search engines.

This same study revealed that despite the large volumes of traffic clicking on the organic search results, businesses were still likely to spend at least 3 times as must on their paid positions as opposed to optimising their website to rank high in the organic search results.

Madness?  Well not quite.

Paid search programs such as Google AdWords offer business owners an immediate traffic solution - within 30 minutes of activating your campaigns, your ads are visible in the 'Sponsored Links' section of search results.  Search Engine Optimisation does not offer you quite the same immediacy or control, but once done correctly, the traffic is free.

Consider these benefits of having your website optimised effectively:

  • Clicks are free
  • No fighting the ever increasing click costs (our clients have seen an average increase of around 20% in click costs in 2008)
  • Increased brand recognition - higher ranking websites achieve greater brand awareness
  • You aren't limited to a defined number of keywords - your website has the potential to be found for hundreds of derivatives (we have a client in Melbourne with an optimised 14 page website that had their website found for over 850 keyword variations in a standard 30 day period)

Paid search programs such as Google AdWords offer you the immediacy you may require to test-market or get those crucial sales through the door.  However, if you are looking for a long-term cost-effective solution that delivers a strong return on investment, it is hard to ignore the need of having your website ranking high in the organic search results.

» Call or email one of our consultants today about for an analysis of the potential costs and cost savings that are available through our search engine optimisation services.








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