PPC - Pay Per Click Advertising
My wife is a big “Ugly Betty“, “Grey’s Anatomy” fan and still appreciates television without the Tivo or DVR (although she’ll go to ABC.com if we miss something). Even though I’m not a dedicated viewer, Thursday nights represent a bit of family time, and fortunately, only my physical presence is really required.
Found on Wikipedia, courtesy of ABC
Thus, “Must See TV Thursdays” becomes a 2 hour opportunity to tie up loose ends from the regular work day, work on few side projects or catch up on the personal “to do list”.
With the holiday weekend past us, dogs are once again allowed on Nauset Beach and most of the seasonal businesses on Cape Cod are assessing the success (or failure) of another tourist season on the Cape. Late fall and winter probably will get filled up with the obligations we’ve missed or delayed, preparation for the holidays and some time for business development. In addition to everything you’ll be doing offline, here are some recommendations for what you can do online, as it relates to the building your search engine marketing success for the Summer of 2008.
I came across the SEOmoz Expert Quiz, testing your understanding of search engine optimization, and am happy to say that I can officially call myself an “SEO Master”. The quiz contains 75 questions and the percentage you get correct will rank you from SEO Novice all the way up to the SEO Deity status. Unfortunately, I kind of started to drift around question 50 or so (that’s my excuse for not achieving Godly status) and think the questions probably got more difficult as they went on, but I was definitely surprised at the diversity of questions and range of topics (it wasn’t your average 20 question free online quiz).
More business owners than I would expect treat the exact match function of Google AdWords in a similar way that traditional searchers are unaware of search query shortcuts and advanced operators in the search field. I would recommend using the Exact Match keyword function in every Google AdWords campaign that a small businesses is running, no matter how valuable or high priority a particular keyword may appear to be. Here are a couple reasons why and how business owners can leverage this information.
I was disappointed when a client forwarded me the Advertising Age article on media outlets buying Google keywords. Essentially, certain news publishers (The NY Times and Washington Post among them) could have been buying paid advertising placement in Google (Google Adwords) to be seen for keyword searches such as “Virginia shooting”. Is the need for Google traffic that important?
There’s nothing wrong with using PPC campaigns to build a brand presence and capture market, but I personally feel that it depends on the situation and objectives of the case. Is it “okay” to use a news story of this nature for purposes of something that appears to be linked to monetary share? I’m not certain, but I didn’t like reading about it from a Google Adwords campaign.
I want to demonstrate two important SEO observations in this post and one not-so-important announcement to everyone but me:
- It takes time to achieve SEO success. The more competitive the keywords, the greater the length of time required when trying to achieve success. Be wary of SEO vendors promising quick results for competitive keywords.
- Know the competitive nature of the keywords you are working towards. Be careful if your SEO vendor (who is promising quick results of course) starts showing you higher rankings for “low hanging fruit”. That means keywords that are not very competitive and likely drive little search traffic, even when you are visible near the top.
After a couple discussions with small business owners over the last week or so, it is definitely apparent that there are still a lot of misconceptions on PPC – search engine paid advertising – out there. So without further ado, here are some things to think about when managing your PPC budgets.
If you are new to PPC in general and want to learn more, here is a great resource on PPC, terms and definitions, background and everything you would want to know on the subject to get you started.
Integrating Search Marketing Into Your Small Business PPC Campaigns
One of the best travel-related lodging opportunities of Cape Cod is the abundance of bed and breakfasts all over the region. That also means that there is tremendous competition from both a regional and town-specific perspective. Even now, in the slow season of travel to Cape Cod, there are over 35 advertisers bidding to be seen when a user searches “Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast” in Google paying an average of $2.60 per click. The top advertisers are paying nearly $5/click to appear at the top. Google projects that advertisers will receive a conservative 2 to 3 clicks per day on effective ads, meaning advertisers will spend at least $5 to $15/day for their advertisements.
A core competency in search engine marketing is understanding what keywords will bring the most quality traffic to your website and what keywords end up resonating with your audience. In addition to the strategies we use for determining this, there are tools available for any website owner or manager that assist in determining if the keywords desired are more competitive and what projected search volumes will be.
This post offers some pros and cons on four keyword research tools that I have had the experience of using:
Here is a quick tip on determining how popular a particular keyword may be: How many advertisers are being displayed on Google or Yahoo when the search results appear?
If I owned a hotel on the lower Cape and had a website, I need to consider what the best opportunities are for my website to be seen by users online searching for hotels, or places to stay on the Cape. Here are some initial thoughts: