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First Page Placement: Two Paths, One Result

There’s exactly one absolute law in search engine marketing: if your website doesn’t have at least one first page placements on Google, you’re not going to get enough traffic to survive. Even a 100% conversion rate won’t help you if you only get a visitor every five days.

There’s two (white-hat) ways to achieve a first page placement, and they’re both equally effective — only perhaps under different circumstances. The first, organic SEO, is slow, less expensive, more efficient, and lasts a long time. The second, pay per click marketing, is fast, more expensive, less efficient, and ends the second you stop spending money.

Organic SEO
Organic SEO is essentially the art of ‘tricking’ Google into putting your website at the top of the rankings for specific keywords. That’s accomplished through a huge variety of tricks (a complete SEO Bible would be longer than most encyclopedias) most of which involve manipulating the website itself to appear more relevant and authoritative for specific keywords (on-page SEO) or linking to the website in a way that makes the website appear more relevant and authoritative for those keywords (off-page SEO).

Organic SEO is slow because the way Google calculates authority is based, at least in part, on website age and number of incoming backlinks — and if you build too many backlinks too quickly, Google will penalize you for ‘cheating’. So it’s a process that builds up over time. That said, the cost-per-visitor once you reach the top spots is almost nothing, and the authority you’ve built take a long time to fade away.

Pay Per Click Marketing
PPC marketing is basically ‘paying Google for traffic’. All of the “sponsored links” you see when you Google something are people who are paying for PPC marketing. PPC marketing is drop-dead simple in concept and bewilderingly complex once you get into it — that’s why it’s always a good idea to hire a PPC management team to take care of the details for you — anything else is basically wasting money.

PPC is fast because the moment you get your campaign set up, the ads start appearing and people start clicking. However, you will pay at least a few cents for every visitor that comes to your website — so you’d better have the conversions and the profit-per-conversion up high enough that you can afford to do so.

Check 1,2,1,2! Are Your Facebook Posts Sufficient?

Facebook, whether you have noticed or not, has been constantly improving the approach company names can use to network and connect with their customers. Keep in mind when posting information publicly comes more than just making a post, but a strategic method!

This brief checklist was created to assist you with the most-important characteristics to create a successful post.

Facebook has such an advanced targeting system that should be taken advantage of. Did you that you are able to generate different messages for your different audiences you wish to target?

Facebook is now equipped to target page posts by:

Age

Gender

Interested In

Relationship Status

Language

Education

Workplace

Location: Country, State, City

You are given the opportunity to construct a precise message that truly addresses your specific audience, rather than distribute a copy of poor quality to those that may or may not even pause in their news.

Friendly tip: Asking questions is a great way to catch attention! Keep in mind: Don’t just throw out a question to get an answer. Conceive an answer based on what you wish to discuss and ask a question that will lead your audience there; or goes even further. Also, it is a great idea to attach different pages to bring into the conversation; this is just a simple click away when you tag them in your post.

Making sure you are picture perfect! In today’s remarkable social media such as, Instagram and Pinterest, displaying the visual desires of many is a prime example of turning images into clicks.

Distinct pictures are rapidly becoming an important aspect of brand marketing. It’s important to aim for images with a medium size dimension (the size of a pinned post on Facebook). The reason being is so that you can appear clearly on the newsfeed. Quick question to ask yourself; when scrolling through your news-feed, which do you tend to pause for most? A picture, or a typical status update? Exactly. It some-what relates to the option of reading a picture book or a 3 inch book.

Fun Fact: The marketing industries, for the first time, are setting aside a budget to social media’s establishment of imagery.

Marketing over Facebook still carries the same concept, connecting between exciting content. This concept will never change though will and has been evolving. Facebook will continue to develop the need for educational and enlightening topics.

A PPC Management Case Study

PPC management is the art of outsourcing your Google Adwords and other pay-per-click marketing campaigns to a company that makes understanding PPC their business. This is an aggregate case study, meaning it’s an average of several similar case studies for the purpose of conveying the point without naming any specific entities. Names are obviously fictional.

The Client: Alkohol Industries (AI) is a #2 rated online liquor store. It’s reached a plateau in it’s PPC campaign, and believed it had ‘maxed out’ the RoI of it’s PPC campaign. (In the world of pay-per-click marketing, this happens whenever adding a new keyword to your list would cause your cost-per-sale to increase more than your profit-per-sale increases.)

Strategy: The first thing to do here is analyze the client’s campaign history. Examining their advertisement, keyword list, click-through rates, cost-per-click, conversions, and total spend, it’s possible to find some areas where improvement can be made. a

With the learning portion complete, it’s time to optimize. As it turns out, AI appeared tightly optimized, but had a little room for growth. By adjusting bids for some of their common keywords upward or downward by a few pennies each, it was possible to open up some money in their budget for other keywords, slightly increasing sales without affecting their cost-per-sale.

More importantly, AI was operating exclusively through Google Adwords. By opening up PPC campaigns on other networks (largely Yahoo and MSN) we increased spend slightly, but dramatically improved total visits and total sales — and with them, profit-per-sale and thus total income.

Result: Alkohol Industries’ initial RoI on their PPC campaigns was 900%. By spreading to new PPC venues and perfecting the already-mostly-optimized Adwords, their RoI rose to a clean 1000% — returning $10 for every $1 of spend.

(We’d like to see the “organic SEO is always more profitable than pay-per-click” crowd explain that away.)

Social Bookmarking 201: How Pinteresting Are You?

For quite a while in the past few years, lots of people were saying that social bookmarking was dead. Then along came a cute little website called Pinterest and threw common wisdom on it’s head the way the Internet is prone to doing on a regular basis. Now the question on everyone’s mind isn’t “is social bookmarking worth my time”, but rather “how can I make my site more socially bookmarkable?” (By which they really mean “worthy of Pinterest?”)

Making a Pinteresting Site
The first and foremost thing you need to get your site pinned is badass graphics. Pinterest is a social bookmarking site that is intensely graphics-centric — if you don’t give your customers something obvious to attach to their bookmark as their picture, they just won’t do it. On the other hand, if you give them some striking, meaningful, and otherwise attention-grabbing visual to attach to their pin, they won’t hesitate. (This does NOT mean you should blitzkrieg your surfer with dozens of crazy graphics — less is still more, just make sure that the few you have are truly appropriate for both your business and Pinterest.)

The second — and yet most obvious — thing you can do to get your site Pinned is to put a “PIN IT” button in an obvious but not intrusive place on your website. It should be clearly visible above the fold, but it shouldn’t take up real estate best used for more important elements. The “PIN IT” button acts a subtle call-to-action, encouraging people to pin your site, as well as making it easy for them to do so.

You might — depending on the design of your website — want to include a few “PIN IT” buttons for individual elements of your website as well. Just don’t overdo it — you probably don’t want a button for your on-site video, your testimonial panel, and the sweet picture you chose a couple of paragraphs ago. At some point, it’s just overkill. Just give your surfers the opportunity to pin the page itself and maybe the most interesting element on the page separately if it’s worthy, and you’ll be fine.

Finally, be sure that whatever you put a “PIN IT” button on, you also provide an easy to copy-paste description of nearby — Pinterest requires such a description, and people are much more prone to Pinning if they don’t have to think of one on your own. (You can also use this as a sneaky opportunity for some affordable SEO by sneaking keywords into your descriptions.)