Last month we introduced a few basics concepts of SEO and the world of advertising online. If you missed it, you can catch up by clicking here. This month we’ll expand on the concept of Search Engine Marketing by exploring “Local Search Marketing’. We’ll also take a look at the Pay Per Click model – specifically AdWords and how it works. Finally, this month we’ll also start taking a look at some of the aspects of Social Media as another form of exposure.
Local Search Marketing
We’ve grown more dependent on our smart phones and we’ve become more accustomed to searching in requests like “[insert any business here] in [insert any town anywhere]”. To compensate, Google has implemented filters to provide the most geographically relevant result possible based off the location of the device making the request. These location based requests have become a mainstay in the results pages for all 3 major search engines, in car navigation, and other local directory based websites and apps.
Local Search marketing online is best when working to drive business to a physical location or for a service that operates out of a particular region. Retail spaces, bars and restaurants, art spaces, etc, require a campaign that will drive users into the store. Businesses like plumbers, general contractors, gyms, and other types of companies aim to be found at the top of what is known as the Local Pack, which is shown below. The Local Pack is usually made of organizations that search engines feel are most relevant to the question at hand. It’s usually shown with users reviews and ratings, as well as business information like hours of operation and contact information.
There are a lot of different tricks to tie a website to a physical location. To do so requires implementing a lot of the principles of SEO, but in a very different way. This style of SEO requires optimization for local directories – Yelp, YP.com, superpages, etc. As well, for Local Search, it’s crucial to list the correct business information. Your NAP – or Name, Address, and Phone Number, should be accurate for every listing to reliably demonstrate that your company pays attention to every detail. Keeping track of all the information and listings can be difficult, but it’s important for the future. There’s always going to be a small change to be made, and keeping good records makes this process considerably less time consuming.
Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC)
PPC, or Pay-Per-Click marketing, is a tried and tested way to get traffic to a website. It’s probably one of the most familiar to the average internet user too. These are those paid ads that show up every time you run search on a search engine. They generally look like this:
For the most part, PPC campaigns are run through Google’s AdWords system – this is one of the few ways that Google makes their money (About 90%+ of their total revenue). If you’d like an in depth explanation of how the system works, Word Stream – an authority in the world of PPC – has created a wonderful infograph that explains exactly that.
PPC campaigns can be a great way to funnel people back to a particular page on a site. As long as there is a clear goal and destination for the users, like to a particular product or a menu, etc, PPC can be very effective. When the goal is a bit more less defined the efficiency goes down, but it is still an effective.
Each time an ad is clicked a small fee is paid. This is normally taken from a daily budget, anywhere from $5 to $500,000 or more a day, and each click costs a small fraction of that budget. When properly executed, this cost is mitigated by bringing well targeted users who are ready to convert to your site. These leads believe that you are the best result for their search, so it is important to have a landing page that is ready for this type of advertising. Your landing page is what will guide these visitors through the next step in the sales process.
Each ad is designed to be seen by search engine users who have entered a search for a particular term. Digital Greenlight ads, for instance, would appear when a user searches for “Digital Marketing Richmond VA”. To have your ad displayed for a particular keyword, AdWords users must submit a bid, like an auction. Each keyword has its own varying levels of competition and costs. The current most expensive keyword in Google’s AdWords is “Insurance” at a jaw-dropping $54.911 per click.. Leads in this industry can be well worth the $55 per click, which is the driving factor for the price of the ad. The ROI can definitely be there for PPC, and you should have a well defined goal in place to measure your success.
Social Media Marketing
It requires tact, skill, and creativity to succeed in Social Media. Combining these three aspects can be tricky, but it’s necessary for your brand to survive and become a leader on Social Media.
Social networks are great for giving brands a way to cast focused nets using specific, well-known, highly populated, networks that your customers are already on. Creating shareable content allows for your brands message’s reach to naturally expand in a way that resonates with users, as well as providing your website a new point of entry for traffic to be funneled in through.
Having an active presence on social media increases the likelihood of being found by using your audience to help you spread your message. Followers on Social Media are the people who are your most brand loyal customers and are most likely to be a brand advocate; those who will provide precious word of mouth about your business. When you have your social media accounts properly established it gives engaged users a place to connect with you. Being active on social networks will give you a platform to broadcast your brand’s confidence and vision while facilitating interactions.
Each social channel serves as a direct means of communication with your customers but the marketing approach is dependent on the network. Choosing the right social media channels is a major decision in how you choose to represent your brand. Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine require a very image heavy approach that has requires frequent updates. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are used primarily for keeping customers in the loop of news and for answering questions from curious users. These platforms are also a great way to directly reach out to unhappy customers. Facebook and Google+ also have the added benefit of being able to collect reviews from users. On the other side of these tools is LinkedIn, which is a great place for businesses to carve out a niche as a thought leader within their industry. For many B2B companies, a strong LinkedIn presence should be considered a mandatory aspect to a Social Media marketing campaign.
There are several ingredients that are required to create a successful Social Media campaign. High quality eye catching imagery is an absolute must. Creativity in written content and the ability to create bespoke branded imagery will further enhance your customers perception and add legitimacy to your online presence. With these ingredients in place, you’ll be in a prime situation to provide value to your customers by way of creating high quality visual and written content that they can share to their friends and family.
So, there you have it – the basics of Local Search, Social Media, and Pay Per Click marketing. Each of these can be considered essential components of what makes up a healthy digital marketing campaign. Next week we’ll be taking a look at Online Reputation Management (Digital Brand Management) and what defines Content Marketing. As always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more then send us a message