1. What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)?

    Pay-per-click advertising is an amazing way to advertise. For a very reasonable amount of money you can get a world-wide audience to know more about your business. This post is going to talk about what is PPC advertising and why it’s important.


    Many websites offer pay-per click (PPC) advertising on them, but not all of them are necessarily a good investment. It’s hard to know where is the best place to advertise on the web, but starting with Google is never a bad thing. The next thing I’d do is look at what other websites appear near the top in searches for your targeted key phrases and then see if they offer advertising on them.

    How Does PPC Work?

    When you search on Google, for example, the PPC advertisements are the listings that show at the very top and also on the right side of the page. Research shows that the top left, followed by the top right is where most people’s eyes start out on a search result page, so placement is critical.Of those ads, when you set up an advertisement to trigger when a person searches for a particular phrase, you are competing in an auction against anyone else who also set up an ad to trigger for that same phrase. So the logical conclusion is the more broad the phrase, the more people competing for it and the more it will cost per click. This is why it’s critical to be as specific as possible when coming up with your key phrases. Ideally, your ads should link to a specific page on your website that talks about the same thing that the person searched for, so pointing to your home page is not always best.For example, if you own a shoe store and one of your key phrases is "Nike 330K Running Shoe" then you ought to link to your product page for that specific shoe. That improves your quality score in Google and keeps the user from having to search for the specific thing they want all over once they get to your site. 

    So what is "Quality Score" in Google? Google wants advertisements to be as relevant to the search term as possible. This results in a better experience for the user. If someone searches for "Roses in Raleigh, NC" and lands on an auto parts store, that would tell the person that Google advertisements don’t deliver. And Google doesn’t want that, since that is how they make their billions of dollars. So they rate all key phrases with what they call a "Quality Score" in order to encourage more relevant advertisements. You make an advertisement relevant my making sure  that your key phrases match wording in the ads for those phrases and point to a page on your site which also contain those same key phrases. In order to do this, you may need to break your key phrases in Adwords into several groups and get specific with the ad for that group and the landing page that the ad points to.

    One of the best parts of PPC advertising is you don’t have to concentrate so much on search engine optimization and link building and you get much faster results. And sometimes no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get a page to rank well for some phrases, but because you know it’s a killer phrase, you’d be willing to pay to show up for it.

    Another advantage to PPC advertising is you can get TONS of analytical data on how many clicks you get, how many times your ad appears to people, how long does someone stay on your website when they search for a particular phrase, what country they are coming from, etc. Unlike traditional advertising, you have a lot of numbers to work with. Unfortunately, with all those numbers comes the complexity of analyzing those numbers to interpret trends that work in your favor. That is where an expert in search marketing comes in handy.

  2. How Do I Get My Website to Rank Well in Google? (Part 3)

    Okay, so we’ve been discussing keyword generation, search engine optimization, link building and today we tackle the basics of paid online advertising…

    Online Advertising

    There are a lot of places you can spend your money advertising on the web. Some places yield better results than others. Find sites that rank well in searches, and don’t forget you can advertise directly on search engines using Google Adwords or Yahoo Online Marketing. Often it’s easier to pay for an ad for a key phrase than to rank for it organically. This is especially true for highly competitive phrases. The best part is you get almost instant results with paid advertising, unlike link building, which takes months to see the full benefits of your labor. Also think about sites where your target demographic are. Facebook Advertising, for example, has a great advertising program that let’s you target specific demographics.

    So that sums up our three-part discussion on online marketing. I plan to flesh out more specific details in future posts as well, so stay tuned!

  3. How Do I Get My Website to Rank Well in Google? (Part 1)

    One of the things we get asked a lot by business owners is "How do I get my website to rank well in Google searches."

    I typically respond with "It’s kinda complicated, but here’s the basics…"

    So, here’s that "basics" schpeel for those out there still wondering.

    This is a large conversation that all falls under the umbrella of
    "Online marketing." Online marketing is composed of three main subsets
    in my mind: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) , Link Building, and Paid
    Advertising. Over the next couple of days, I’m going to focus on each of these three areas.

    Search Engine Optimization

    SEO can be broken down into two things:

    1. Making sure your website
      contains the key phrases that people will be searching for on a search
    2. Making sure those key phrases are in the right places

    Come up with a list of key phrases that should land a potential client
    or customer to your site. Go ahead…I’ll wait. You may come up with
    10-20, if you’re good. Now we need to multiply that by ten 🙂 Think
    like a layperson. You may need to include terms that aren’t really
    accurate but they are what the general population might think to search
    on. Now think like an expert…a person in a desperate situation that
    may need your product or service right this second (Think emergency
    24-hour plumber)
    . Now look at your competitor’s websites. Notice any
    key phrases being mentioned that you didn’t think of? Try viewing the
    source of their site and look for key words in META tags, the title, or
    as ALT names for images. Now pull out a thesaurus and come up with
    alternate synonyms for your words or concepts. Now plug in some
    adjectives that describe your terms like "free" or "best" or "cheap" or
    "friendly." Now think of geographical names for areas you marks to. Now
    mix and match all of the above. Your list ought to be rolling now.
    Note, there are tons of tools on the web that help with combining
    phrases or identifying new ones.

    Getting keywords in the right places may mean checking with your web designer, but basically, it means putting them in body copy,
    headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.), in the page title, as ALT tags on images, in TITLE tags for
    links, lists, in bold and italic. Also, put absolute links on your pages to other
    pages on your site and make sure each page of your site uses different keywords in the title and META tags. Many people use the same info for all pages and that is not ideal. Also, you may need to create "Landing pages" which are pages dedicated to talk about a particular group of related key phrases. You can’t optimize one page for all key words, so creating these landing pages is a must. And it’s not a bad ideal to link directly to these landing pages when linking elsewhere to your site, if you are referring to these key phrases. That would be called "Deep linking’ and it’s a good idea to link to specific pages when possible rather than your home page. It means more relevancy, and that is what search engines are after.

    So now you should have a bunch of key phrases and your website should be optimized for those phrases. Stay tuned for the next post, where I’ll discuss link building!