12 ways Organic Search and Paid Search work better together 0

Posted on March 21, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Yin-Yang-of-SEO-and-PPC

In Chinese philosophy, yin (the shady side) and yang (the sunny side) describes how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected and interdependent in the natural world. In digital marketing, yin and yang apply to the way organic search and paid search work.

Organic Search (Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the the process of obtaining a natural placement on search engine rank pages using keywords, keyword analysis and link popularity.  The goal of SEO is to attract users organically without paying for it.

Paid Search (Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Pay Per Click (PPC))  is where web site owners pay an advertising fee to have their web site search ads shown in a top placement on search engine pages or display networks. The goal of SEM is to ensure search visibility.

Although 80% of people clicks on an organic listing first. Whether they go to organic search or paid search, 33% click on the web listing in the first position, and 90% of all click occur on the first page. So, as Ricky Bobby says, “if you ain’t first, you’re last”

How do you get the most out of organic search and paid search. Here are 12 ways to make organic search and paid search work better together.

  1. MORE “SHELF SPACE:” It’s no secret, when you have 2 listings you own more real estate and chances of being clicked.
  2. INCREMENTAL CLICKS: Google research shows even with a #1 organic search ranking, paid search ads provide 50% incremental clicks.
  3. GREATER CONVERSIONS: Even though roughly 80% of clicks on a search page occur on organic listings, 42% to 48% of conversions happen against paid traffic according to Forbes.  That means paid ads work after a would-be customer knows what they want to buy.
  4. ORGANIC LINKS + PAID LINKS = MORE CLICKS: Studies show users have a higher propensity to click on paid links if your organic link is listed, as well the other way around.
  5. MORE COMPELLING COPY: Take your best performing ads in terms of click through rate (CTR) and conversion rate and try applying those headlines and ad copy into your meta descriptions and title tags. Additionally, take copy from top performing organic pages and see how they work within paid ads.
  6. FASTER RESULTS: It can take months to see progress in organic search rank. The ability to appear in the search results in a top position in paid search helps carry your brand while building an SEO presence.
  7. BETTER HEADLINES AND LANDING PAGES: Paid search makes it possible to test landing pages, headlines and templates without hurting your organic traffic. When an advertiser can learn what is most effective and achieves better click through rate and more conversions, everyone wins.
  8. COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE: There are many ways and tools for organic search and paid search for competitive intelligence. Identify who the top competitors in organic search are for a particular keyword with Keyword Spy. Find relevant long tail keywords, see what competitors’ bid and their PPC ads with SEMRUSH. Use these tools to identify competitors’ keyword priorities and strategies.
  9. ACHIEVE CAMPAIGN GOALS TOGETHER: Want to see how PPC & SEO work together to achieve your campaign goals? Link Google Webmaster Tools to Google AdWords which provides additional insight into the relationship between paid and organic search campaigns. Using the Paid & Organic report effectively shows any instances where a potential customer might have seen paid search results, organic search results and paid and organic search results together on the same results page.
  10. MORE WEB TRAFFIC: It is plain and simple; with more links pointing to your website at any given moment there is more opportunity for increased visitors.
  11. COMBAT NEGATIVE PR: Occasionally, someone will say something negative about your company. It happens, and when it does, combined PPC and SEO efforts can be great damage control. A great example was seen during the Gulf oil spill. For some time afterward, BP paid for PPC ads linked to the keyword ‘oil spill.’ The PPC ad led to a page on BP’s site about the cleanup effort. They wanted to make sure that whenever someone searched ‘oil spill,’ BP’s PPC ad was at the top of the list. Use this technique to help tell your side of the story.
  12. TARGET MORE PRECISELY USING SOCIAL: The social media landscape is changing dramatically, and part of that change has been the emergence of highly targeted advertising opportunities. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube (owned by Google) can serve up ads targeted to incredibly specific groups of people. Using Facebook user profile information, it’s possible to show an ad only to 22 year olds living in Kansas City who are interested in motorcycles and horticulture. It may be a small group, but it’s precise. The data that you collect from these campaigns uncovers granular details about your target audience to help refine your organic and paid search strategy.

Did this convince you of the yin and yang organic search and paid search? Could it benefit your business if they were working better together?

 

6 insights into the social media paradox 0

Posted on March 15, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 

  • 50% of business owners have increased their time on social media
  • 55% state they use Facebook, Twitter and the other major platforms for customer acquisition and sales leads
  • 60% say they see no results (source: Forbes)

Why do so many companies put so much time into activities that don’t produce results?

A paradox is an absurd or seemingly self-contradictory statement that, when investigated, is well-founded and true. These facts say there is a paradox (or paradoxes) about the way businesses use social media. Because spending so much time and seeing no results makes no sense.

Some social media paradoxes to explain these paradoxes are:

  • Social media is perceived to be an end when it is a means to an end
  • Social media is so attractive because it is the least social form of communication
  • There is no such thing as a strategy for social media; there is only a business strategy in which social media fits

The Socio-media-logy chart above illustrates a social media paradox. Although to “run” is the fastest way to get someplace, the paradox is companies would see better results with social media if they took the time to “crawl” and “walk” first.

Here are 6 insights into the social media paradox.

  • BUILD IT AND THEY DON’T COME: On average, there are 1,500 stories that can appear in a person’s Facebook News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. Even Facebook says their organic reach is declining. Over 2,000,000 blog posts are written and 864,000 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded every day. Your business may expect if you build, your audience will come, but the numbers say they don’t.
  • TARGETING INVOLVES KNOWING WHERE TO AIM: It doesn’t matter how many social networks your business uses if you don’t where your target customers are most likely to be So, before you began, a little research goes a long way. Look at the social presence and growth of your competitors on their social networks. See what thy post; what is commented on and shared. Listen using keywords about your industry or brand using a social search engine like Topsy or HootSuite. Profile what social networks are used most often on Social Searcher; what days of the week, what time of day and when content is most shared on BuzzSumo.
  • INFLUENCE COMES FROM KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT IS PERSUASIVE: 15,100,000 consumers go to social media before making purchase decisions. 81% said friends social media posts influenced their decisions; 79% like a company Facebook page because it offers discounts and incentives; 44% of women trust their favorite blogger. Do you know what’s likely to influence purchase decisions for your brand? Are you doing it?
  • PERSUASIVE CONTENT TEACHES SOMETHING NEW: Social media is the least social channel if it is used to broadcast information that is put out on non-social channels. That’s why it’s most effective use is usually for a purpose not meet by other marketing channels. One that is socially oriented. Customer service, product in use demonstrates, new usages, crowd sourcing new ideas and customer feedback are just a few of the ways social media can be used to teach something new and amplify your selling proposition.
  • TRUST IS BUILD WITH CONSISTENCY: Research shows that 42% of consumers who complain on social media expect a response within 60 minutes. 57% expect the same response time at night and on weekend, even if it’s not during normal business hours.Being reliable, honest, timely and showing integrity and qualities that build trust. They happen not in a single occurrence but by showing up authentically day after day, week after week and month after month. They pay dividends in good times and in bad.
  • IF YOU CAN’T MEASURE IT, YOU CAN’T MANAGE IT: You can’t determine what is successful until success is defined. Success doesn’t have to involve a whole new nomenclature either. For example, it can be done with: 1) Reach = a measurement of the size of audience you are communicating with; 2) Engagement = the total number of likes, shares, and comments on a post; 3) Conversions = he number of people who achieved a desired result and 4) Sales = did your business make any money? It can also be done with just a couple of analytic tools like Google Analytics and Buffer.

Does this explain the social media paradox? Did it teach you something new? Does your business need help with the social media paradox?

Strategy or tactic? 21 ways to tell the difference 0

Posted on March 07, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Strategy or TactcIn 500 B.C., Sun Tzu, the Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who wrote The Art of War said you can’t win a war without a strategy and tactics. Why? Great tactics win battles but great strategies win wars.

That wisdom is just as applicable today. Whether it’s war, marketing, sales, research, business intelligence or personal, both are inextricably linked and co-dependent.

Sometimes, when people are creating a plan, there is confusion about whether something is a strategy or tactic. It’s important to know. As Sun Tzu states, the wrong application can influence the outcome.

Strategy or tactic? Here are 21 ways to tell the difference.

  1. Strategy is an idea; tactics are actions
  2. Strategy fulfills your predetermined goals and objectives; tactics and the things that make it happen
  3. Strategy is a plan for reaching a specific goal, while a tactic is the means you use to reach the goal
  4. Strategy does not depend on brilliant tactics for success; but even the best tactics can’t compensate for a lousy strategy
  5. Strategy identifies clear broader goals that advance the overall organization and organize resources; a tactic utilize specific resources to achieve sub-goals that support the defined mission
  6. Strategy is long term and changes infrequently; a tactic is short term and flexible to market conditions
  7. Strategy uses experience, research, analysis, thinking, then communication; a tactic uses experiences, best practices, plans, processes, and teams
  8. Strategy produces clear organizational goals, plans, maps, guideposts, and key performance measurements; a tactic produces clear deliverables and outputs using people, tools, time
  9. Srategy is the thinking aspect of planning a change; tactics are the things that get the job done
  10. Strategy requires a deliberate allocation of resources in a given direction; tactics are the choices one makes when executing a strategy – they are the means to an end
  11. Strategy answers the question: “Who are we?” Or, more specifically, what is it that we stand for. A tactic answers the question, “What do we do?”
  12. Strategy is done above the shoulder; tactics are done below the shoulders
  13. Strategy helps you understand outcomes and helps predict future outcomes; tactics are steps you take
  14. Strategies are a broad look at how a company will achieve its objectives; tactics are very detailed plans which must take into account the specifics of a tactical environment
  15. Strategy addresses the “why” of an operation and tactics address the “how”
  16. Strategy focuses on the big picture, the highest level scope of a particular unit in a given mission; tactics focus again on the small scale for a given unit
  17. Strategy is a matter of figuring out what we need to achieve, determining the best way to use the resources at our disposal to achieve it, and then executing the plan; tactics are the art and science of winning engagements and battles
  18. Strategy  is proactive, and looks for the future. It focuses on the long term; tactics are any movement done in order to achieve a momentary goal
  19. Strategy and tactics are different, related, and intertwined.  You won’t succeed with one and not the other
  20. Strategy is a general plan before the encounter and tactics is the way the strategy is played out
  21. Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.  Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat

Did this explain the differences between strategy or tactic to you? Does it help you with your plans? Are you applying them in the right way?

20 powerful reasons to use infographics 1

Posted on February 02, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

  • 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual (source: Unbounce)
  • 65% of the population are visual learners (source: Unbounce)
  • In the last 2 years, search volume for “infographic” and “infographics” has increased by 800% (source: Google Trends (chart above))

Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.

Infographics have been around for many years. In newspapers, infographics are commonly used to show the weather, as well as maps, site plans, and graphs for statistical data. Modern maps, especially route maps for transit systems, use infographic techniques to integrate a variety of information.

The increase in the number of easy-to-use digital tools has made the creation of infographics widely available to everyone. Social media sites allow for individual infographics to be shared and spread around the world.

Visual.ly and Piktochart are two companies that offer great platforms for creating infographics. We, at BarnRaisers, are big believers in the value of infographics for our clients. Here’s a recent one we did for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on Eight Reasons Why Digital Advertising Works for Brands.

What makes infographics so effective. Infographics tell stories that are in sync with way we like to learn and retain information as human being.

Here are 20 powerful reasons to use infographics.

  1. People who follow directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations
  2. People remember 80% of what they see (source: The Content Cloud)
  3. Researchers found that color visuals increase the willingness to read by 80% (source: NeoMam Studios)
  4. 70% of all our sensory receptors are in our eyes (source: NeoMam Studios)
  5. 67% of the audience is persuaded by the verbal presentation that has accompanying visuals (source: NeoMam Studios)
  6. 50% of the audience are persuaded by a purely verbal presentation (source: NeoMam Studios)
  7. 50% of the brain is active in visual processing (source: Piktochart)
  8. 45% more web users click on a link if it features an infographic (source: Bit Rebels)
  9. 40% of people respond better to visual information than text (source: AnsonAlex)
  10. 30% of those who click share on an infographic then share the infographic(source: Bit Rebels)
  11. People only remember 20% of what they read (source: Unbounce)
  12. Only 20% of people read past headlines in text articles (source: Buzzsumo)
  13. 12% more web traffic for publishers who use infographics vs. those who don’t (source: Unbounce)
  14. Infographics are 30X more likely to be read than a purely textual article (source: The Content Cloud)
  15. The words “infographic” and “infographics” are searched an average of 547,000 times per month in Google; 301,000 search “infographic” and 246,000 search “infographics”  (source: AnsonAlex)
  16. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text (source: Unbounce)
  17. Infographics get 540 Tweets in an hour; 87,000 in a week; 345,000 in a month; 6,000,000 in total (source: Unbounce)
  18. 41,000 Re-Tweets from 2010 to 2012 for KISSmetrics referencing their infographics (source: The Content Cloud)
  19. The average person is exposed to 174 newspapers full of information every day (source: Unbounce)
  20. 1/10 of a second is how long it takes us to get a sense of a visual scene (source: NeoMam Studios)

Below are infographics from Customer Magnetism and NeoMam Studios that tell the story of infographics effectiveness in word and visuals.

Do these reason convince of the power of infographics for storytelling?

infographic effectiveness

Infographics marketing tools

How to build a strategy for social influence in 8 steps 0

Posted on January 18, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

social influence

  • 78% of people say companies’ social media posts impact their purchase decisions
  • 71% are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals
  • 25% of social media users have purchased a product after sharing it or marking it as a Favorite on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest (source: Digital Information World; an infographic from invesp is below)

These facts show social influence plays an important role in our purchase decisions.

Social influence is a reason companies turn to social media. But, to get desired results, there has to be a strategy: A roadmap with guiding principles that defines a plan, actions and measurements to achieve success.

Is social influence a reason your business is in social media? Do you have a strategy?

Here’s how to build a business strategy for social influence in 8 steps.

  1. DO RESEARCH TO IDENTIFY INFLUENCERS: Find out who is talking about your brand, industry or key topics. Start with social listening tools like HootSuite, or Topsy using keywords. Look at their website rank, audience and links through Alexa: influence with Klout; measure the size of the social network followings. Assemble a list of dozen or more potential influencers to begin building key influencer relationships.
  2. ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS BASED ON SHARED VALUES: Whether you pay influencers or rewards them with your own products and services, the basis of the relationship has to begin with shared values. Kim Kardashian is reported to get $25,000 a tweet for Armani. I guest post on websites of colleagues like Mark Schaefer’s {Grow} and Mike Moran’s, Biznology blogs to increase outreach. There’s a big difference in the currency but, in both cases, there is a similarity in that the relationships are based on shared values.
  3. DON’T USE INFLUENCERS TO SELL BUT TO TEACH SOMETHING NEW: Influencers are deeply involved in their community, whether it’s a school district or friends who share similar interests in cooking or working on their cars. Influencers arrange their lives to collect information about things they’re passionate about. Their community relies on them to be the first to find out about the things in which they’re most interested.
  4. PUBLISH OR PERISH: Relevant content is the key ingredient to any social influence program. Your audience expects it on a regular basis. Don’t disappoint them. Publish regularly behind a schedule with sufficient resources. Create a Content Calendar to guide, direct and manage this key task. As examples, HubSpot has a good template and CoShedule is a more recent service that prolific bloggers recommend.
  5. CONTRIBUTE A MIX OF CONTENT TO THE CONVERSATION: Content is anything but a singular asset. It can cover a range from: blog posts, images, videos, reviews, testimonials, surveys, newsletters, case studies, how-to-tips, ebooks, product in use or demonstrations to you get the idea. If you need more ideas, here are 101 different types of content.
  6. BE THERE WITH CUSTOMER CARE AND SERVICE: If your social influence program is working, your product or service may not for some of your customers. They will use your community to talk about a product that malfunctioned or didn’t work properly for them; or maybe just to sound off. You have to be prepared for these events and have guidelines for managing unruly conversations. Here are some tips to deal with angry customers in social media.
  7. MEASURE PROGRESS AND BE FLEXIBLE TO CHANGE: Every strategy requires a measurement plan with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to guide success. A social influence program is both within and without your control so there is always going to be an element of the unexpected. If you listen for it and are flexible to change, it’s likely to work to your advantage.
  8. DON’T EXPECT ANY SHORT CUTS: Social influence is a good use of social media, especially in an integrated marketing mix where specific channels have focused business requirements. A key benefit to a social influence initiative is that your business is earning audience trust. When something is earned, it tends to last longer. But there is rarely a shortcut to earning anything.

Are you in social media for social influence purposes? Do these steps help with your strategy? Do you need more help in developing your social influencer strategy?

Social media influence

  • About

    BarnRaisers is a full service digital marketing agency. Our expertise is strategy, analytics and results. We build brands with proven relationship principles and ROI.



↑ Top