Acceptance of Circumstances, Being Found On Bing, Being Found on Google, Search Engine Optimization, search terms, SEM, SEO, website

What Your Google My Business Profile Can And Can’t Do For Your Organization

As I’ve shared in a number of blog posts, I tend to get my ideas for new blog posts from encountering the same client questions or challenges over a short period of time. Recent questions about Google My Business and its impact on an organization being found for relevant searches in geographies non-local to the organization prompted this one.

Why Do You Need A Google My Business Profile?

  • You want your organization to be found on Google for relevant “near me” and “city” and “town” searches. When I say “relevant,” I mean searches that contain terms related to the products, services, and solutions you offer, such as property management services or roof installation services.
  • Even if, in addition to being found locally, you want to found and hired by individuals and businesses residing far outside of where your main physical address/headquarters is located, you still want and need a Google My Business Profile and you want to embed it on the “Contact page” of your website.
  • Creating/claiming a Google My Business Profile for your organization is just an SEO best practice and no-brainer, because, hey, if you can’t even rank locally, how are you going to rank regionally and nationally? I always say if you try to “rank everywhere, you’ll end up ranking nowhere (unless you’re a household brand like Pepsi, of course.)” And, I’ve always heard that ranking locally via a Google My Business Profile indirectly supports ranking more globally even if it doesn’t directly cause the aforementioned ranking.

So, What Can A Google My Business Profile Do For You?

The answer is quite simple. As indicated above, a Google My Business Profile can help you be found locally, but its primary purpose is not to cause your organization to be found regionally or nationally, even though, as also mentioned above, having such a Profile can support ranking (being found) regionally or nationally in search engine results for relevant search terms, known as “keywords”.

Again, Google My Business Profiles are all about helping organizations be found for local, relevant searches. That was the primary intention/purpose when Google first introduced such Profiles.

On The Flip Side, What Can’t A Google My Business Profile Do For You?

I’ve read that a Google My Business Profile is unlikely to be served up to anyone searching for an organization who offers the products, services, and solutions you do who is conducting such a search from a location more than a two-hour drive away from the physical address associated with your Google My Business Profile. And, as I always say to clients, “the further away the physical address associated with your Google My Business Profile is from the geography in which you hope to be found, the less likely Google is to serve up your Google My Business Profile, and the more likely it is to serve up a competitor’s Google My Business Profile that has a physical address associated with it that is closer to, or in, that specific geography.”

As alluded to above, your Google My Business Profile can’t cause you to be found for searches related to your products, services, and solutions, in cities, towns, states, regions, zip codes, and countries that are nowhere near your physical offices. It’s just not going to happen that having such a Profile is going to be the primary driver of your organization being found for geographies far outside your physical address.

Other Means For Your Organization To Rank Regionally/Nationally/Globally

Fortunately, there are other digital marketing tactics/activities that can help your organization be found by searchers who live or work far from your physical offices. That’s where your website and/or Google Search advertising or Bing advertising (paid search, SEM, search engine marketing, paid SEO) come in. Related to your website, there a number of best practices that our organization can help you to employ to support your organization being found in geographies that extend far beyond your local service area and physical office, and we also have more than 10 years experience in implementing search-engine advertising campaigns for organizations of all shapes and sizes including Google Nonprofit Ad Grant campaigns for nonprofits. Reach out today to learn more, or read more about our organic SEO services.

Acceptance of Circumstances, Being Found On Bing, Being Found on Google, Bing Ads, Google Ads, online advertising, paid search, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, SEO

Why Run Microsoft Bing Ads?

Recently, we’ve been hearing more about organizations running paid search ads on Bing. And, more clients are interested in employing them to see how effective they are in creating awareness, generating leads, and causing sales of products or engagements for services. Here’s some of the reasons why Microsoft Bing Search Advertising is suddenly becoming hot:

  • if available data is accurate, there’s been a recent uptick as of the time of this blog post (June 2024) in the % of search-engine users who are using Bing vs. other search engines like Google
  • searchers using Bing’s search engine skew older, and therefore, may have higher incomes — ultimately, making them more likely to make a purchase
  • Bing searchers tend to be more mission-driven and are using Bing’s search-engine to really hone in on information that will answer their question(s) or allow them to complete a desire action — ultimately, leading to a strong ad click-thru rate. And, since they tend to spend a longer amount of time on the websites they visit as a result of conducting a search, they tend to “convert” better
  • since to-date, far fewer advertisers advertise on Bing vs. Google, there’s less competition to have ads shown to searchers on relevant search terms who meet other targeting criteria, such as geography
  • cost-per-click paid for search ads on Bing vs. Google tends to be significantly lower (we’re talking 50% or more), which means an advertiser’s budget goes much further
  • as with Google Search ads, whose ads appear on Partner sites, such as YouTube, Bing ads can appear on Yahoo and LinkedIn

Our Boston SEO Company Now Offers Microsoft Bing Advertising

As part of our overall, and paid SEO services, effective June 2024, our Boston digital marketing agency and SEO Company is offering Microsoft Bing search advertising services to existing and new clients. As a component of the SEM (Search Engine Marketing/paid search) portion of an overall SEO strategy, these ads can either complement current and planned Google Ads, or be used as the primary/only form of paid search advertising.

With over 15 years of experience related to Google Search advertising, we’ve got lots of very relevant experience related to search marketing, and we can help you import existing Google Ads campaigns into Microsoft Bing’s advertising tool.

This image has a pale green background to reflect the color that Microsoft Advertising uses in their branding in keeping with the following image message "Our Boston SEO Company & Digital Marketing Agency Is Pleased To Announce That We Are Now Offering Microsoft Bing Ads Advertising Services (In Addition To The Google Ads Services We've Offered For 10+ Years." The image also contains the logo of our Boston SEO Company and Digital Marketing Agency, Results Communications and Research

Reach Out Today To Get Your Microsoft Bing Ad Campaign Going!

As we pointed out above, it’s easy to import an existing Google Ads campaign into Bing, so you don’t have to recreate the wheel if you decide you want to run identical search campaigns on both Google and Bing simultaneously. Reach out today and our team of SEO experts will be glad to get you started on reaping the benefits of advertising on Microsoft Bing!

Bing Ads Deliver Strong Results

July 9 2024 Update: To test the waters and get to know the Bing Ads manager tool better, we ran Bing Ads for our own business. We were very pleased with the following Bing Ads KPIs (key performance indicators):

  • Very strong click-thru rate (CTR): during our 8-day pilot, our ads generated a very strong CTR of 24.68%. We checked the search terms report which shows the actual terms that someone entered in Bing for which ads were served up, and we were pleased with the search terms we were seeing.
  • Extremely reasonable cost-per-click: just 22 cents! Far lower than what we experienced when we ran Google Ads for our business and extremely favorable for B2B (business-to-business) services advertising.

While to-date, we haven’t generated any leads — inquiries or sales — from the ads (unfortunately, we believe a lot of competitors search on relevant terms to see what their competition is doing, and then, click on our ads), we like to practice what we preach about landing pages, so the ads caused us to revisit our SEO services ads landing page to make sure it was more effective!

Acceptance of Circumstances, Being Found on Google, Google Ads, Google Nonprofit Ad Grant, keywords, paid search, pull marketing, Search Engine Optimization, search terms, SEM, SEO, Setting Marketing Budget, target audiences, Target Marketing, website

Will Google Search Ads Work For My Organization? You Won’t Know Unless You Try.

As I write this blog post, my favorite sports team, the Boston Celtics, will soon face game 3 of the NBA World Championships, which ties in nicely with this post’s subject, and one of my favorite quotes, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” The author is unknown because this quote has been attributed to a variety of sports players, but it’s a very thought-provoking one and one that applies far beyond a playing field or arena.

Knowing that it’s one of my specialties, prospective or existing clients regularly ask me if they should run Google Ads, how much they should spend, and how much will they will pay per ad click. We addressed in a previous post the topic of Google Ads budget-setting and the challenges with being able to identify up front what your particular organization’s cost-per-click will look like — so we don’t plan to revisit them here. This blog post, therefore, is going to focus on the remaining and more high-level question, i.e., “should I run Google search advertising?”

Since we’ve already written numerous blog posts on the topic of when and why to run Google Ads, we’re going to focus on the concept we shared at the beginning of this blog post. If you’re in a hurry to rank well in Google search results in the geographies you serve for relevant, desirable search terms (known as keywords) used by your target audiences and/or key competitors are all running Google Ads, plus keyword research has shown that your target audiences are actively searching to identify an organization that offers the products, services, and solutions you offer, then we say, “go for it!” when it comes to Google search ads.

Because as the title of this blog post points out, you won’t know if you don’t try, and you can’t win at a game you never even tried to play. Neither I nor any other digital marketing agency owner or marketing consultant have a crystal ball. We can’t say with 100% certainty that Google Ads will be effective in generating the level of awareness, leads, or sales for your organization that you hope it will. But, we can say if the circumstances outlined in the paragraph above this one apply, it’s likely the ads will contribute to your organization’s success, particularly if you have a strong website landing page for ad clickers to land on!

Image has a green background in keeping with it being NBA playoff season and our favorite team, the Boston Celtics whose key color is green playing in them. The image says "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" and indicates author unknown. It has the image at dusk with a beautiful sunset in the background throwing up a basketball into a net. We don't know if the ball went into the net or not but it is close to being in the basket. This image is shared by our boston digital   marketing agency related to testing and trying Google Ads to see if they work for you.

Need A Google Ads Coach?

You’ve come to the right place. Our Principal has been involved with Google Ads campaigns for a very diverse set of for-profit and non-profit organizations (including ones who have obtained a Google Nonprofit Ad Grant) for at least 15 years. We know what questions to ask you, and the inputs required, for us to set-up, monitor, analyze, and report on Google Ads for your organization. While this blog post focused on Google Search advertising, since the majority of the Google Ads campaigns we run are related to ranking well in Google Search results because of our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expertise, we also have sizeable experience in executing and optimizing Google Display campaigns.

Reach out today to our Boston SEO company to schedule a complimentary discussion about employing Google Ads as part of your marketing mix!

Acceptance of Circumstances, accountability, Being Found on Google, Blog, Blogging, competitive advantage, landing pages, Marketing Planning, online advertising, organic SEO, paid search, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, social media, strategic planning, website

Why You Should Set And Adhere To Organic-SEO Deadlines The Way You Would Advertising Campaign Ones

This may be one of our shortest, but most important blog posts. As a digital marketing agency who specializes in SEO services, we often see organizations back-burnering execution of business-critical initial or ongoing SEO tactics. We use the phrase “business-critical” because, for many organizations, neglecting implementing one-off and ongoing SEO best tactics means that they are missing out on what tends to be one of the highest sources of traffic to any website, i.e., search-engine traffic.

And, for many organizations with which we work, search-engine traffic “converts” better than any other source of website traffic, including paid search advertising (Google and Bing Ads), direct traffic (traffic from individuals who have bookmarked your site or type it directly into their browser), organic (unpaid social media posts), paid social media (Instagram and Facebook ads, etc.), and referral traffic (traffic stemming from links found on external sites, known as “backlinks.”)

Examples Of How Organizations Put Off Important SEO Work

Below are two examples of how/where/why SEO work stalls. Note that these aren’t the only reasons SEO work gets delayed, but these are the reasons/situations we witness most often in our work helping organizations rank better on Google or in other search engines. Delays could be due client capacity and staffing or just not prioritizing work properly.

One-Time/One-Off/Initial Organic Work

  • Not reviewing or using keyword research with which we provide our clients as part of an engagement to complete initial SEO tactics/deliverables. Often when our firm is first engaged to employ one-time/one-off SEO best tactics, our second step or first step (depending on whether we conduct an SEO audit rankings) is to provide our customers with lists of the highest-volume keywords (search terms) individuals are using to find an organization that offers the products, services, and solutions that the client does. As part of this research we employ a tool called “Answer The Public” to identify relevant questions that target audiences have. Before we can use those keywords and questions to implement other SEO best practices, we need our customers to provide feedback on which terms and questions feel appropriate and authentic to their business. But, unfortunately, often those reviews are stalled or delayed, which means other SEO work (that is dependent on the aforementioned work) can’t move forward.

Ongoing Organic SEO Work

  • Not making time to post to one or several Google My Business Profile(s) the way organizations post to social media platforms.
  • Not asking customers for reviews. Read about the importance of Google reviews to ranking well locally.
  • Not using the keyword research and Answer-The-Public question lists mentioned in the section above to inform and write new blog posts or new questions to be housed in an FAQ, and ultimately, posting that new content to the organization’s website.

Organic SEO Tactics Often Achieve More Than Advertising Campaigns

Per the beginning of our blog post and the header above, organic SEO tactics often deliver better results than any kind of online/digital and/or print or other form of advertising. So, we encourage those who keep putting off implementing initial SEO best practices and ongoing/monthly ones to reconsider their marketing and advertising priorities. We recommend the following:

  • Set a deadline for implementing initial/one-off SEO best practices. These include, but are not limited to:
    • making sure important keywords/search phrases used by your target audiences are incorporated in page content and in behind-the-scenes meta page/post title tags
    • embedding your Google My Business Profile on the contact page of your website
    • placing in the footer of your website a statement that indicates to Google the geography where your organization is located as well as the geography you serve
  • Schedule two 1/2 days a month where you will:
    • Write and post a new blog post using keyword research and questions research
    • Post updates to your Google My Business Profile — these updates could provide an intro. that links back to a blog post on your site
    • If you’re short on time, consider the following tactics related to how not to let your SEO slide.

Reach Out To Our Team Of Boston SEO Experts Today

Want to better understand the above? Whether you want to get a better handle on why delaying SEO tactics impacts marketing and business success, and/or on how to implement organic SEO tactics, reach out today to schedule a complimentary discussion with one of our SEO experts!

Acceptance of Circumstances, Being Found on Google, competitive advantage, differentiation, lead generation, marketing best practices, online presence, organic SEO, pull marketing, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Understanding Your Environment

How To Get Your Google My Business Profile To Rank Better

We won’t recreate the wheel by explaining why your organization will want and need its Google My Business Profile(s) to rank as well as it’s website, particularly if you’re a local business with a limited geography. You can learn more about the importance of your Google My Business being found locally in our blog post about why you want your Google My Business Profile to appear in what’s known as the “Local Pack.

We recently did an audit for one of our SEO (search engine optimization) clients because we were surprised to see that the organization’s Google My Business Profile was no longer being served up as high in Google search results for relevant “near me” searches, as it had been. We took a close look at the organization’s competition (firms whom our SEO rankings audit tool showed were ranking far better for desirable search terms than our client). Since the client and our firm make sure their Google My Business Profile is very comprehensive, the only key differentiator we could determine between the client’s profile and competitor profiles that were ranking better was that the competitor profiles had far more Google reviews since all of our client’s’ Google reviews were positive.

Of course, we are making some assumptions that the above is the key reason why our client’s Profile isn’t ranking as well as competitors. But, given that service areas and business categories are accurate and complete, we’re posting to the Profile regularly and employing other Google My Business Profile best practices, it’s worth a shot to try to obtain more Google reviews from satisfied customers to see if it moves the SEO needle right?

How To Get More Positive Google Reviews

Google makes it so easy to ask satisfied customers to write a Google review on your organization’s behalf. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Log into your Google My Business Profile by having the e-mail address you created the account with open, and either typing the name of your organization into Google or your browser, or going to https://business.google.com.
  • You should see your profile laid out in the fashion below with the following menu of activities you can complete.
  • Click on the icon shown in the print screen above for “Ask For Reviews.”
  • Google will provide you with the URL you can share on your website, in an e-mail or text, or on social media for individuals to provide you with a Google review, such as the following URL: https://g.page/r/CblxOCik2bHfEBM/review (and, yes, that’s for our organization and we always welcome positive reviews).
  • Share the link with internal team members/employees, particularly those who interact regularly with prospective or existing customers, such as account and customer service representatives. If a customer mentions how happy they were/are with your service when interacting with your employee, your team member should be proactive about sharing the link to the URL you obtained from Google (following the steps outlined above) for someone to write a review about your organization.

It’s all so easy-peasy. So why wait to start growing your number of positive Google reviews to support your Google My Business Profile ranking higher up in results for relevant local searches?

Don’t Forget These Best Practices Related To Soliciting and Responding To Google Reviews:

  • For ethical and legal issues, never offer an incentive of any kind for a customer to write a Google Review on your behalf. Similarly, never imply that there will be negative ramifications if a customer doesn’t write a Google Review about your organization.
  • Post a reply to any reviews you receive. If a review is negative and appropriate, acknowledge what you could have/should have done differently, and regardless of whether it was warranted, share that your organization always strives to offer the highest quality products and exceptional service. Even if you don’t agree with the feedback, thank the reviewer for it, and definitely don’t get into an online argument about the feedback. Thank anyone who provides a comment or feedback for doing so. Visit our Google My Business Profile for examples or appropriate replies to comments received.

Need Help Ranking Better Locally?

Reach out today to schedule a complimentary discussion with a local SEO/local search expert.

Acceptance of Circumstances, warriors, fighters, doing good, giving back, paying it forward

Creating Awareness Of Neuropathy: An Invisible Disease

Since neuropathy is something that hits close to home, we’re using the platform that is this marketing blog to address a non-marketing topic to help or support others, as we do from time to time.

We’ll keep this post short and sweet initially, but plan to continue to add to it.

What Is Neuropathy And What Are The Types Of Neuropathy?

There are a number of forms of neuropathy, including peripheral neuropathy (the most common) — often referred to as PN. In fact, we learned after original posting this post, from someone struggling with it, that there is a form of neuropathy called autonomic neuropathy that can impact many, diverse parts of your body and cause unpleasant symptoms and complications related to internal-organ nerve functioning such as heart rate and blood pressure challenges, vision issues, night sweats, digestion and bladder challenges, body temperature regulation and more.

Learn more about other forms of neuropathy.

In layperson’s terms, neuropathy is basically a collection of numbness, balance issues, and prickly, painful, heat-/fire-like feelings that someone experiences in one or several parts of their body. Neuropathy can occur in your hands, feet, and even in your scalp. Yup, your scalp (itchy, crawly feelings at the top of your head can be caused by neuropathy, so if you see a loved one regularly scratching their head, it could be due to neuropathy, not because you’ve got them guessing or they need dandruff shampoo!)

As neuropathy progresses, it can be present 24/7, which can be extremely annoying. So annoying that many people with neuropathy experience depression. It is unknown whether the depression is just another symptom of having neuropathy, or if those living with the condition simply become depressed because of the huge impact it has on their life quality.

Neuropathy is rarely cured, although some instances of cure have been reported. So, a diagnosis can be very defeating to the individual receiving it. It’s harder to stay optimistic and hopeful when you know you might have to live with a health condition forever. There are exercises individuals can do, and particular diets (think anti-inflammatory) one can follow, that can reduce/improve symptoms.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of spammy products, supplements, etc. out there that claim to improve neuropathy, but don’t. Or, they could even worsen it, so be careful about what you pursue to help with neuropathy.

Living With Invisible Disease

What’s particularly disconcerting about neuropathy is this — neuropathy is an invisible disease. It’s usually only a neuropathy sufferer who recognizes neuropathy in another, but neuropathy can make a number of chores and activities very difficult, such as those that require hand dexterity or walking or standing for long periods of time.

Individuals with neuropathy often hesitate to share their diagnosis with friends and family members for two reasons:

  • It’s really hard to explain what it feels like
  • They don’t want others to think they are “crazy.”

What Are Key Causes Of Neuropathy?

Some individuals are diagnosed with what’s called “idiopathic” neuropathy, meaning neuropathy whose cause is unknown, but common causes of neuropathy include:

  • Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation
  • Diabetics
  • Lyme disease
  • Vitamin deficiencies, such as B12 deficiency
  • Thyroid issues
  • Spinal compression
  • Bowel resection surgery
  • Excessive B6

It’s important to determine the cause/source of neuropathy for these reasons:

  • Neuropathy could be caused by an underlying health condition that needs treatment
  • The source of your neuropathy will dictate your treatment plan, and depending on the source, treatment may greatly improve or eradicate your neuropathy

What Kind Of Tests Should I Expect To Undergo To Get At Source Of Neuropathy?

Phase I: Blood Tests To Determine Source Of Neuropathy

It’s very likely, unless there’s some obvious source for your or a loved one’s neuropathy, that a number of blood tests will be done to address both some common and far less common sources of neuropathy. These blood screens will likely include the following:

  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Vitamin B12
  • TSH
  • Lyme
  • HIV 1/2 antigen/antibody
  • HTLV I/II antibodies
  • Vitamin E
  • Copper
  • Peroxisomal Panel
  • Syphilis Antibody

Phase II: Imaging To Determine Source Of Neuropathy

If the above blood tests don’t reveal a possible source of your neuropathy, you may be asked to undergo, one or both of the following imaging tests, since spinal compression or an issue with your brain (such as brain lesions that accompany MS) might be at the root of your neuropathy:

  • Brain MRI
  • Spinal MRI

What Can You Do To Support Someone Living With Neuropathy?

  • Offer to help them with a task if you see them struggling
  • Plan activities that don’t require walking long distances (although some walking is considered beneficial, particularly for those dealing with neuropathy in their feet) if you know your loved one has neuropathy in their feet
  • Plan activities that don’t require standing for an extended period of time, such as waiting in a long line at a restaurant or an event
  • Check in with the individual living with neuropathy once in while to remind them that you care and that you recognize they often don’t feel well
    • Give them a pat on the back for “keep on keeping on,” or for being a fighter or “health warrior”
  • Walk, run, etc. in an event that supports neuropathy fundraising and research, or support other neuropathy fundraising events
  • Don’t suggest the neuropathy sufferer just ignore their symptoms — you can’t ignore them!
  • Introduce individuals you know who struggle with neuropathy to each other so they can share ideas and support each other
  • Share this recent issue of the Foundation For Peripheral Neuropathy e-newsletter with them, and suggest they subscribe to it chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.foundationforpn.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/FPN_2024_SpringNews.pdf?blm_aid=7144802305

Revisit This Blog Post About Neuropathy

As mentioned above, we’ll continue to add helpful information to this blog post as we continue to gather it via our own research. Feel free to reach out to gail.moraski@allintheresults.com for support or provide neuropathy information that you believe might be beneficial to our readers!

Need Inspiration To Keep Up The Fight?

Consider joining a Facebook Support Group for Neuropathy — there are a number of them — and check out our “Keep Up The Fight” website page that contains fight songs and inspirational quotes to cheer on anyone dealing with any kind of challenge in their life. E-mail us at gail.moraski@allintheresults.com if there is something you would like us to add to the “fight” page. As humans on the same journey, we are all in this together!

Acceptance of Circumstances, Being Found on Google, differentiation, Google Ads, Google Analytics, keywords, landing page, landing pages, lead generation, marketing best practices, Marketing Planning, online advertising, paid search, pull marketing, Results Analysis, Search Engine Optimization, search terms, SEM, SEO, staying current, strategic planning, target audiences, Target Marketing, Understanding Your Environment, website

Google Search Ads Not Converting? It May Not Be Your Ads Nor Landing Page That’s The Problem

Note: Because executing, monitoring, tweaking, analyzing, and reporting on Google Ads campaigns is one of our SEO company’s specialties, we decided to write a number of blog posts on the topic this spring that are more granular, and therefore, provide more detail and really get into the Google Ads weeds! So, enjoy this second post in our Spring 2024 Google Ads series of posts!

Sometimes, it’s hard to hear or accept that there may be challenges with the features/characteristics of the products, services, and solutions you offer. But, if you’ve been checking the “Search Terms” report under Auction Insights in your Google Ads account (and made sure your Google Search ads are being served up to the right “searchers”), your ads are achieving a decent click-thru rate (2.5% or higher), and you’ve followed landing page best practices (outlined in our blog posts about ensuring ad clickers have a smooth landing and about making sure your landing page isn’t too-self serving), then there’s a high probability that website visitors who arrived on your website from online advertising ad clicks just aren’t that interested in your products, services, and solutions.

Obviously, before you reach the above conclusion — that there’s something about your products, services, and solutions that may be turning website visitors off — you need to give your ads appropriate time to “convert.” If there’s a high cost associated with your product, service, or solution, and/or it tends to be a purchase or engagement decision that’s not made lightly/overnight, then you need to wait one or several months to determine whether or not your ads eventually “convert,” and therefore, cause ad clickers to take desirable actions on your website like completing an inquiry form, or reaching out to you by clicking on a hyperlinked e-mail address or phone number.

This is an image of handsome black man in a suit meeting with a pretty white woman. The image is shown to depict a business owner or representative meeting with a client. It is shown in conjunction with our Google Ads experts team explaining how you need to make serve your product features and characteristics appeal to your customers.

Revisiting Product & Service Features and Characteristics

The below list is not meant to be all-inclusive since the number of different products, services, and solutions available to businesses and consumers throughout the world is immeasurable, and there are countless different industries offering products, services, and solutions — each requiring very different product and service specifications, having different features, and meeting very different needs.

Some common product and service features and characteristics that should be considered and revisited to determine if they may be the reason behind website visitors NOT purchasing a product or engaging you for your service — or at least reaching out to your organization to learn more include:

  • Ease of use – how difficult is to use or learn to use product or service?
  • Convenience – how convenient is it to use product or service? Can it only be used in certain places at certain times?
  • Appearance/Look/Feel – of course, opinions about whether or not something is attractive can vary, but, overall, is the product or service something appealing/attractive?
  • Price – does the value or benefit of the product or service warrant what is being charged for it? What are competitors charging for similar products and what makes yours stand out if you’re charging far more? Will prospective clients recognize the “value-add” and be willing to pay for it?
  • Ability to solve target audiences’ problem(s) – does the product or service solve a common problem, or among everyone whose problem it solves, will it accomplish what it needs to accomplish in all/most cases?
  • Portability – can the product or service be used outside your home, town, or state, etc.? Therefore, is it “portable?”
  • Uniqueness – is your product or service different enough from other similar products or services, and unique enough to make the purchaser feel “special?”
  • Durability/Lifespan – how long will the product or service or the effects of it last? Is current pricing warranted given the product or service lifespan?
  • Relevancy – is your product or service in step with current times and your current marketplace, or is it dated or out-of-touch? Have competitors entered your marketplace to offer a more modern or relevant product/service?

Get a refresher on why both “product” and “pricing” are one of the 6P’s of marketing and questions you should be asking yourself about your product or service and associated pricing!

Need A Google Ads Expert To Analyze Why Current Or Past Google Search Campaigns Didn’t Work Or Aren’t Working?

Schedule a complimentary brainstorm with our Search Engine Marketing (SEM) team today using our calendar app or contact us!

Acceptance of Circumstances, Being Found on Google, Google Ads, online advertising, organic SEO, paid search, pull marketing, Search Engine Optimization, search terms, SEM, SEO tags, technical SEO, Understanding Your Environment, website

SEO VS. SEM

Being an organization that offers both traditional and digital marketing services, but specializes in SEO and SEM, we get asked all the time by prospective and existing clients whether they need to invest in both SEO and SEM strategies. We’ll be providing an answer to that further on in our blog post. But first, we need to explain the difference between SEO and SEM.

What’s The Difference Between SEO and SEM?

SEO is the acronym for “search engine optimization.” SEO is all about employing a variety of initial/one-off/one-time tactics, as well as implementing ongoing SEO tactics, to ensure your website and other digital properties/assets — such as your Google My Business Profile, and social media profiles — rank well in search engines. And, by ranking well, we mean listings for your digital properties appear high up in search-engine results for desirable, relevant phrases that your target audience(s) enters into a search engine to find an organization like yours.

The following activities fall under the broader SEO umbrella:

  • Organic SEO tactics: these are tactics you implement on your various digital properties that you don’t pay for (except for in the cost associated with the human time and energy spent on these tactics); these tend to include activities such as writing and posting content that answers target-audiences questions and that they find helpful, and appropriately “tagging” content and “images” using meta and alt-tags (behind-the-scenes tags)
  • Technical SEO tactics: these are tactics that impact a search engine’s desire/willingness to serve your site up in search results, such as making sure your website is mobile-friendly and doesn’t have a slow load speed
  • Paid SEO tactics: unlike the two tactics outlined above where the primary cost associated with the tactics are human resource ones (either in-house marketing team or a marketing agency or marketing consultant you hire), these are tactics for which you have to pay for a media or advertising buy, in addition to the human time involved. And, as you’ll learn below, paid SEO = SEM.

SEM is the acronym for “search engine marketing.” As we mentioned above, SEM is paid SEO. Some also refer to SEM as “paid search.” It involves paying for advertising, like Google Ads or Bing Ads, so that your ad appears at the top of search-engine results for relevant, desirable search terms used by prospective customers.

When Should You Employ SEM/Paid SEO Tactics?

For many clients, we both oversee their organic SEO and their SEM/paid SEO tactics. So, why do these clients need to employ both types of tactics to appear at the top of search-engine results? These are the three key reasons.

  • The client is in a very competitive marketplace. This means there are numerous other organizations offering similar products, services and solutions in the same geography — which likely means there are numerous organizations who are employing best organic SEO tactics, too, to appear naturally at the top of search-engine results.
  • Several or many key competitors are running paid Google or Bing Ads, which means the only way the client can appear at the top of search-engine results (since those paid ads vs. organic listings will take up the first few results listings related to a particular relevant search) is by buying and running “paid search” ads themselves.
  • A page of the client’s website is being served up in search-engine results for a particular search phrase, when the client actually wants and needs a different page of their site to appear in search-engine results.

The SEO Bottom Line

So, what should you take from all of this? If you’re an organization offering products, services, and solutions in a crowded marketplace, you’ll probably want and need to employ all of the three types of tactics listed above: organic SEO, technical SEO, and paid SEO/SEM.

Reach Out To Speak With Our SEO Services Team

Our SEO team is glad to speak with you about your organization’s SEO opportunities and challenges. We can help you determine which types of SEO tactics need to be implemented in the short-term, and which make sense for the longer-term. So please reach out for a complimentary discussion with our SEO experts.

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Why You Need To Think Of SEO Like Jello

As we discussed in our blog post about four things getting in shape and SEO have in common, SEO is not a one & done, or set it & forget it activity. And, particularly, if your organization hasn’t given much thought in the past to optimizing your website and your Google My Business Profile for search, suddenly employing SEO best practices and tactics isn’t going to cause your website or your Profile to rank well overnight for desirable search terms.

In our blog post about ranking for “things to do in any town” we talked about one of our SEO retail clients with whom we’ve been working for about a year at the time of this post. This client’s business model is focused on individuals visiting their storefront in a large U.S. tourist city, and on in-person sales vs. online sales.

All the initial and ongoing SEO tactics that we’ve put in place are really gelling now, and from February 2023 to January 2024, search-engine/organic search traffic to their website has doubled and the percentage of overall traffic represented by organic search traffic has grown to 66.75% from 41.32%! But, as indicated by the year-long timeframe — while we slowly began to see improvements in the # of individuals who found and visited the site because of a search-engine search, and we began seeing the percentage of overall website traffic represented by organic search slowly rise, it did not happen overnight.

Similar to jello made by using a gelatin mix like Jell-O that you combine with hot water, SEO tactics take a while to gel. You can’t expect instant, sudden results.

SEO Tactics We Employed To Double Organic Search Website Traffic And Cause Google My Business Profile To Rank Better:

  • Initial best practices we employed:
    • Conducting keyword research and employing appropriate high-volume keywords in page title tags
    • Revisiting existing website content and peppering high-volume keywords in page content, as appropriate
    • Adding inner-page links to main website page content
  • Implemented a blog section on website to support ongoing SEO:
    • Began posting about topics relevant to the time-of-year/season that focused on “things to do” type terms, such as romantic things to do in New Orleans
    • Continued to add new blog posts throughout the year — one or two a month
    • Optimized both the post title tags and the alt-tags for any images used in the post
    • Incorporated inner-page and inner-post links in content
    • Submitted the new blog posts for indexing/crawling by Google
    • Added an update to client’s Google My Business Profile that linked to the blog post we just added to the website

The Moral Of Our SEO Success Story

The moral of the above and other client SEO success stories is this. Don’t have unrealistic expectations about the timeframe during which you’ll see results from your SEO tactics; however, if you do implement effective initial and ongoing SEO tactics, it’s very likely you will begin to see the fruits of your labor in the form of improved rankings for desirable, relevant search terms in 6 – 12 months.

As we explained in this blog post about when to employ paid search advertising, such as Google Ads, if your organization needs to rank better immediately in search results for terms entered in search engines by target audiences related to the products, services, and solutions you offer, you may want to consider search advertising.

Free Search Advertising For Nonprofits Who Qualify: Google Nonprofit Ad Grants

And, if you’re a non-profit organization, be sure to to determine whether or not you qualify for free paid search advertising available under Google’s Nonprofit Ad Grant Program.

Our Team Of SEO Experts Is Here To Help

Our Boston digital marketing agency’s team has more than 15 years of experience related to recommending and implementing both organic SEO tactics and paid SEO (SEM) tactics — for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Reach out today to schedule a complimentary discussion about your particular organization’s SEO challenges and opportunities.

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Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: How, When, and Why To Use Each Form

As we’ve shared in other blog posts, we don’t love the use of the phrase “traditional marketing” to refer to activities that marketing teams at organizations, and advertising agencies, employed prior to the arrival of the internet and the digital marketing tactics made possible by it, but it’s become a tradition now to use the word “traditional,” and it’s something we don’t see changing. As we just alluded to, digital marketing activities are those that require the internet for execution and/or present information in a digital fashion or on some form of digital media.

Per our blog post heading, the aim of this discussion is to provide some insight on the difference between traditional and digital marketing and when to use each form. Most organizations will benefit from employing a combination of traditional and digital marketing for the reasons outlined below.

What Is Digital Marketing?

As we expressed above, digital marketing activities are those that require the internet or other digital technology/platforms for execution. Unlike traditional marketing opportunities that are all about putting the idea of your products, services, and solutions in the heads of individuals who might be a good fit for them, many digital marketing activities, such as organic search/SEO, paid search advertising, and social media posting are focused on getting information in front of individuals who are actively searching for your particular organization and/or the products, services and solutions you provide. Digital marketing activities include:

  • E-mail marketing – sending an e-mail/e-blast to existing clients, or to prospective customers who meet your target-audience criteria, e.g., meet certain age, geography, income, gender, job title, industry, or other demographics.
  • Social media postingposting free/unpaid updates on various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, and LinkedIn.
  • Display advertising/social media advertising – this includes running paid ads that are served up by a social media platform, such as Instagram or Facebook (you can buy ads on the two aforementioned platforms together) to people meeting the targeting requirements you set, such as those outlined above for e-mail marketing; plus, Google Ads offers display (image) advertising to allow you to reach individuals whose behaviors, interests, and demographics make them a good fit for your products and services.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – employing free/unpaid/organic tactics such as optimizing behind-the-scenes meta/SEO post and page title tags to ensure your website and Google My Business Profile rank as well as possible in Google and other search-engine results for relevant searches conducted by your target audiences.
  • Paid search advertising – think Google Ads or Bing Ads – these are ads that are served up a the top of search results for search terms used by target audiences that are relevant to the products, services, and solutions an organization offers. This former blog post addresses when it makes senses to employ paid search/paid SEO tactics.
  • Banner advertising – this is advertising that is bought from an external website that serves the same target audience your organization wants to reach.
  • Other – the above list is not exhaustive, but highlights the most common forms of digital marketing. Other examples of digital marketing include, but are not limited to, digital billboards or transit posters, and ads that run on a TV-type monitor at transit stations, such as subway stations.

So, What Is Traditional Marketing?

As we explain in our blog post about push vs. pull marketing, to us, many forms of traditional marketing are “push” activities. They are marketing vehicles and activities that reach your target audience(s) and put the idea about your product, service and solution in their heads. Examples of traditional target marketing activities/vehicles include:

  • Broadcast Advertising – radio and TV (network and cable — of course now, you can also run advertising on streaming channels and stations)
  • Print Advertising – magazine, newspapers, and other print publications
  • Direct Mail – a postcard or letter is mailed to a purchased or existing list of current or prospective clients
    • When the list is purchased, the names and addresses you obtain would meet certain criteria that you specify, like geography, age, gender, income, job title, industry, etc.
  • Outdoors Advertising – billboards (static poster, and now digital options as well)
  • Transit Advertising – posters and signage (static, and now digital options as well) that appear inside a bus, train, or subway car, or on train, bus, or subway platforms. You can also “wrap” a bus or train, or a bus stop kiosk, with your branding.
  • Mall or movie theater advertising – posters and signage (static, and now digital options as well) that are placed throughout mall corridors or advertising that appears at the beginning of a movie while one is waiting for a movie to start.
  • Event Attendance/Tabling – the aforementioned could refer to having a table at a community or some other event where prospective customers can walk up to your table to obtain information about your organization and your products and services.
  • Tradeshow Attendance/Booth – the aforementioned is all about setting up a booth at a trade show which is expected to draw your target audience, and sharing information about your products and services with booth visitors.
  • PR/Publicity – distributing press releases to gain media coverage of an announcement made by your organization, or pitching your story to media/reporters who serve your target audience in hopes the media/reporter will “cover” your story.
  • Other – the above list is not exhaustive, but highlights the most common forms of traditional marketing. Other examples of traditional marketing include but are not limited to distribution of branded, promotional items, and lobby merchandising (if your organization has physical locations that customers can visit).

Why Most Organizations Should Employ Both Traditional and Digital Marketing Tactics

As we’ve discussed with many of our clients, some target audience members may not be “online” regularly. Perhaps, their busy personal and work lives just don’t allow for them to be regularly viewing social media posts and profiles, and/or conducting search-engine searches. Or, they may just not like being online.

While, individuals who visit your social media profiles and/or land on your website because they conducted an appropriate search-engine search might be warmer/hotter leads — therefore, they may be more poised to buy your products, or engage you for your services/solutions in the near future — some other target audience members may need some prodding or reminders (delivered to them via traditional media) about your products, services, and solutions.

Sometimes, there’s just not enough people searching regularly related to the products, services, and solutions that your organization offers. Target audiences just don’t know you and/or your products and services exist. All the more reason to employ some traditional marketing tactics.

Free Marketing Brainstorm With Marketing Experts

Our Boston marketing agency has experience related to executing the majority of the digital marketing and traditional marketing tactics above. Unsure which tactics to execute when, or need more detail on what’s involved in executing them, and/or more information on production and media-buy costs?

Schedule a complimentary discussion with our expert marketing team today to brainstorm about your organization’s particular marketing opportunities and challenges.