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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, December 24, 2010
To remain competitive and at the forefront of your industry in 2011, the team at PositionMEonline recommend giving consideration to the following components of your online marketing strategy –

1. Bulk up your website content
This will keep visitors at your website longer and attract more searchers for a broader variety of keywords. Best of all it doesn’t cost much except your time in writing the content!

2. Register keyword-rich domain names & build additional websites
Don’t miss the boat on this. Many clients now run multiple websites for the purpose of generating leads for their business. A once-off investment that will yield results for years to come.

3. Market your business with MySuperAds
Before you consider running newspaper, magazine, radio or Yellow Pages ads in 2011, talk to us about the value of being able to advertise to customers specifically looking for your business, and monitor how many of those call or email you for more information.

4. Keep building inbound links
A well executed link strategy will make it difficult for competitors to outrank your website. Stay tuned in early 2011 for more information about our new improved Link Building service.

5. Establish a Facebook Page
Facebook is here to stay, and a company Facebook page is no different to a web page. Find a young staff or family member to run this for you (we can help kick-start the page with a design specific to your business). You can see our Facebook page by clicking here.

Get to it before your competitors do!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Every business owner should be aware of a recent change in Google’s search results.

Over the past few weeks many businesses have noticed a change in their search engine rankings. Google is now using a mode of advertising called ‘Google Places’ to influence the way searchers find information about local businesses.

What has changed?
You will notice the following 6 major changes on Google when you search for something by location (e.g. ‘mechanic Perth’)

  1. The organic search results and the Google Places listings are now combined, displaying the phone number and street address of businesses beneath their organic listings.
  2. Businesses that once ranked well in the organic search results but did not have a Google Places listing are now positioned towards the bottom of the page, and will generate minimal traffic.
  3. The map that once appeared on the left hand side of the screen above the organic search results is now often on the right hand side, just above the paid ads – this makes the organic search results appear higher on the page and gives increased prominence to the paid ads.
  4. Businesses that once had multiple keyword focused Google Map listings are now confined to just one ‘Google Places’ listing for their business – this makes it harder (but not impossible) to rank in the map section for a broad variety of keywords.
  5. A preview of each website in the organic search results can be seen by clicking the magnifying glass – this means searchers may make decisions to access websites based on a snapshot of your Home page, hence the importance of an aesthetically pleasing website.
  6. Directories of local businesses are being out-muscled by the individual businesses themselves, as Google is giving more power to the individual business to control its information on Google.
What are the major ranking factors for Google Places?
You need to ensure the following factors are addressed to maximise the probability of your Google Places listing ranking well –
  • Completeness – bulking out your listing with opening hours, payment methods, photos, videos, an accurate description, and coupons, will help give your listing more weight.
  • Accuracy – Google will verify the accuracy of your listing against other sources on the web (e.g. White Pages), so ensure your business name, address and phone number are accurate. 
  • Reviews – ask your customers to rate your business and write a review about their experience in dealing with you, as Google Place listings with more reviews (not necessarily better reviews) will tend to rank higher.
  • Citations – being listed on prominent industry-specific directories can add additional weight (e.g. association websites) as it helps confirm how established your business is based on the number and quality of these references.
This article provides a more detailed description of each factor

The next step...to ensure your Google Places listing is properly optimised
PositionMEonline has launched a new service called Google Places Optimisation (GPO) in which we:

  • Claim your Google Places listing on Google (if it hasn’t been already)
  • Ensure the information on your listing is complete & accurate – i.e. we bulk out your listing
  • Add up to 10 images and 5 videos to your listing
  • Provide you with a 1-page step-by-step instruction manual for getting customers to review your business on Google Places
The service is $195+GST once-off – probably the best money you will spend on your Google rankings ever. To have our team optimise your Google Places listing, simply reply to this email with ‘Yes please proceed’ and we will arrange this for your business.

Or Save Yourself $195 and write us a review!
If you would like the Google Places Optimisation (GPO) service for your business but would rather not pay for it, simply write us a review! To do this click on this link and review our Web Marketing services then find the link called ‘Sign in to rate’. You will need your Google Account login details (if you haven’t got a Google account you can click on ‘Create an account now’ and create one in less than a minute).







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