“I’ve been paying a company for months and I’m not seeing results”
There are good, bad and downright ugly search engine marketing companies out there. I like to think Creative Mode is one of the good
guys girls. To qualify that statement, sure some people just want to go the quick and dirty route (and that’s OK too if that’s what you want) but the way I like to do SEO (search engine marketing) is via best practice over the long term. Profile building over time will deliver results far better for small business owners who tend to need more bang for their buck. Organic SEO is close to my heart because that’s where I started many years ago but also, people trust it more.
So let me explain what the go is here. Adwords vs Organic SEO.
Google Adwords Management
Let’s start with Google Adwords. Often called pay-per-click advertising or PPC if you like acronyms. This is about buying traffic. Pure and simple advertising. You pay to be seen. You can pay more and you are seen more. You stop paying and you disappear. What people often don’t realise is that how much you pay depends on the quality of your website landing page. The more relevant your website is to the advertising, the less you pay. So anyone who is managing your Adwords advertising service really needs access to your website in order to do a good job. Ideally you want your landing pages to be separate from your usual website navigation and you want to track conversions. After all conversions are usually the goal not the traffic.
What’s involved in an Adwords campaign setup is (at the basic level): research the market, setup the landing pages, create campaigns, watch and adjust. There’s a lot of work initially and this is very much dependant on knowledge of the business and the location they operate in and also whether it’s a fairly generic service or something specialist or with a very small niche market. Once everything is set up, there’s a time period of watching and learning, making small changes, adjusting bids, trying different ad copy and adding or removing keywords – basically getting to know the search market for that topic can take more or less time depending on the market. After things are humming along you can just tweak it every now and then and keep an eye on conversions via reports. Sometimes campaigns will be specific and time sensitive, other times you might just have a generic long running ad group. How that works depends on your goals, your market and how aggressive your your chosen strategy is.
Organic Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing
Organic Search Marketing is so great for small business. If you do this the right way you can literally obtain top five Google listings and sit there without having to continually pay for advertising. Organic search marketing is about getting traffic to your website because it’s relevant to the search phrases people type in. When your website is well-built and the content matches the search phrases, you can attract new visitors without having to pay for them. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making your website match the search phrases and this can seem difficult and time consuming to those who don’t understand but it’s actually quite simple once you have your website set up. It’s also just basic marketing (that you should really be doing anyway), but structured in a way that attracts visitors to your website.
What’s involved in organic search marketing is not rocket science. At a basic level this is what you need: a well built website with the right structure; content that is relevant to your market and your targeted search phrases; fresh content regularly, links from social media sites to your content, links from other websites to yours. If you have someone managing this for you they will no doubt start by whipping your existing website and content into shape to make sure it has that all important structure (this is the optimisation part). This will help a little to start with and you can usually then see fairly quickly how much work is ahead depending on where your website sits in the results already. The process of search engine marketing includes keyword research, content development and optimisation, regular new content creation, social media management and of course goals setup and reporting in Google Analytics so you can track and improve on results.
DIY Marketing or Hire a Professional?
There is certainly a lot of information available for free if you choose to learn to manage your Adwords and Organic SEO yourself but there is also a knack to it as with most things. I am not a huge fan of DIY unless you already have marketing skills (and spare time to learn) because in my experience this is the slow path to business growth. Hiring a professional to take care of these tasks is faster and more effective.