SEO / SEM / PPC Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?
SEM is a form of Internet Marketing that promotes websites by increasing website visibility in the search engines. It’s an umbrella term comprising many activities including search engine optimization (SEO), local search optimization, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), social media optimization (SMO), visitor analysis and more.
- How does Search Engine Marketing help my business?
If you have a business, your internet presence is the most important business tool you have working for you 24/7. Search Engine Marketing benefits your business by:
- Increased sales for your eCommerce site,
- Increased leads to your professional services business,
- Increased numbers of visitors to your brick-and-mortar business,
- Increasing whatever action you want the Internet visitor to take.
- How do I come up to speed on all the search engine terminology and commonly used terms?
You can start with our list of SEO/SEM Commonly Used Terms and Definitions and then go from there.
- How can a search engine marketing analysis help my business?
A search engine marketing analysis helps you to answer the following questions:
- Who is visiting my website and where are they geographically located?
- What search terms or referral sites did visitors use to find the business?
- Am I missing an audience on the internet that might want to buy my products or services?
- How can my website rank higher in the search engines, like the “top 3″ (Google, Yahoo, Bing)?
- Are there any websites or directories that my site should be listed in to generate referral traffic?
- Is Pay Per Click Advertising Right for Your Business?
- How can my Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign get a higher click-thru-rate (CTR)? A higher conversion rate? Are there ways to lower the cost-per-click (CPC)?
- Are there search engine marketing opportunities that I am missing for my business because I don’t know the questions to ask?
- What’s the best way to interact with my customers using social networking?
- Can you explain the term SEO and why businesses use it?
In layman’s terms, SEO is the process that is taken on websites to get higher rankings on search engines, most notably the “top 3″ (Google, Bing and Yahoo). Usually, the higher a site ranks and the more visible it is, the more people will visit the site. SEO is not magic. It legitimately works when done well and leads to increased sales and leads. A variety of techniques are used to organically optimize a site. To start with, analysis is required on the website’s structure, target audience, keywords and search marketing strategy before moving onto on-page optimization, link building, off-page optimization, SEO copy writing and more.
- What are organic search engine results?
Organic search engine results are also referred to as natural search engine results. They are website listings on search engine result pages (SERPs) that are not paid for, in contrast to paid and sponsored ads. Many factors affect search engine results placement, including the geographic location of the searcher, longevity of site, website content and on-page keywords, quality of inbound links, competitiveness of the market, social media signals and visitor behavior.
- How do Google, Bing and Yahoo decide what websites are in their organic search results?
Broadly speaking, the intent of a search engine is to return to a user links to information on the Internet that match what the searcher is looking for. The search engine makes an educated guess based on the search term the user typed into the search box, their location and personal preferences. The more specific the term, the more relevant the search results become.
In order to fulfill its purpose to the searcher, the search engine has an application, called a spider or crawler, that walks from page to page through the Web and stores information about every page it finds. It stores all of this information in what is called the search engine’s index, which is a huge database of information. When you perform a search on Google, it will search its index and retrieve the most relevant web pages according to its algorithms. Yahoo and Bing will do the same. You may get different listings in different orders in the search results of each engine because each search engine is following its own proprietary algorithms.
- Why can’t I find my website in Google, even for the name of my business?
Longevity of your site is the first thing to consider. If your site is new or only a couple of months old, it is likely that Google and other search engines have not indexed it yet. Another thing to consider is incoming links. Search engines need to find sites via incoming links to them; just having a site on the web is not good enough.
- I already receive traffic from natural search, why should I consider paying for sponsored ads?
See Pay Per Click Management to find out why.
- I have a small business in a specific geographic area, can PPC advertising bring business to me?
Absolutely. A PPC advertising campaign can be geographically targeted to specific locations and regions. Geo-targeting is well suited for brick-and-mortar stores and service businesses operating within a specific region, for instance real estate agencies and other professional services. Your PPC ads show only to those within the geographic area that are setup within the campaign. As with a local newspaper, you are only advertising to the target audience who is likely to use your service or buy your product.
- I want to have a Google AdWords campaign setup but don’t have the time, will you do it?
Yes. Once we understand your business and objectives, we can setup your Google AdWords campaign and optimize it for your target audience. From there we can either manage the campaign for you or teach you AdWords so that you can manage the campaign yourself.
- My Google AdWords campaign has AdGroups with low CTRs and conversion rates. Can you help?
Yes. We provide a service to optimize existing Google AdWords campaigns. Once we understand your business and business objectives, we will review your campaign, the keywords and ads. There are techniques that can be employed to optimize the campaigns which should increase click-thru rates, lower cost per conversion and increase conversion rates. While click-thru-rates tell us how many people clicked through to your site, they do not tell us how many people took the desired action. Therefore the number of conversions and cost per conversion/acquisition are the key metrics when analyzing the success of a PPC campaign.
- Should I consider running sponsored ads on Bing and/or Yahoo?
Absolutely. Although Bing has fewer users than its biggest competitor Google, those that use this search engine have statistically taken action more often. For our clients, the costs per conversion are sometimes lower on Bing than on Google. As of October 2010, there is only one search advertising platform, MS adCenter, to advertise on both Bing and Yahoo. This enables you to advertise to a wider audience with just one tool. Note that as of mid-2012 Microsoft adCenter has changed its name to Bing Ads.
- Do you maintain and/or optimize Bing Ads (formerly Microsoft adCenter) campaigns?
Yes we do. Contact eBizVisibility for details on generating paid ads on Bing and Yahoo.
- Can you guarantee me a #1 position in Google?
No, we can’t guarantee a #1 organic spot and beware of anyone that does. There are many factors that affect search engine results placement, including such things as location, longevity of site, quality of inbound links and the competitiveness of the market you are in, thus the keywords your site is optimized for. However, real estate on the first page can also be taken with local search results and paid advertisements, with proper optimization and ad triggering.
- Can you guarantee first page results placement in the search engines?
Just about anyone can get on the first page for a search term in sponsored listings if they are willing to pay for it and have a relevant webpage and ad. Organic search engine results are a different story. We can’t make any guarantees, there are too many factors involved. We use professional SEO methods to achieve high rankings for key phrases related to our clients’ businesses. Each website is unique and presents its own business challenges. We provide an honest assessment of what we believe can be achieved compared to the competitive market.
- Will you submit my site to 10′s or even 100′s of search engines?
No, there is no need for this. Search engines prefer to find websites by crawling the web naturally and following hyperlinks to other sites. Submitting your site to a search engine does not mean the search engine will crawl and index your site. Using a service like that is a waste of your marketing budget.
- Will you submit my site to web directories?
There are some top trusted directories that are favorable to search engines. These can be all important to be listed in and affect the rankings of sites. Some have no cost to be listed in, some have a yearly fee. We will make recommendations about which ones make the most sense and will gladly submit your site as part of our services.