Being Found On Bing, Being Found on Google, digital marketing agency, Google Ads, Google Analytics, keywords, marketing agency, marketing consultant, Marketing Planning, organic SEO, paid search, pull marketing, Search Engine Optimization, search terms, SEM, SEO, technical SEO, Uncategorized, website

Why Our Boston-Area Digital Marketing Agency Specializes In SEO

As we were pleased and proud to share in a spring 2024 blog post about our Boston digital marketing agency’s and SEO company’s 10-year anniversary, Results Communications & Research has been serving for-profit and non-profit clients for more than 10 years!

After 30 years working in corporate roles, and many of them in marketing and marketing leadership, our Principal, Gail Snow Moraski, decided to launch a digital marketing agency that would allow small business owners and nonprofits the same breadth/depth of experience they’d get from a larger marketing or adverting agency, but at lower rates, and more personal attention.

From corporate roles, our Principal knew a decent amount about paid SEO (Google Ads) because of working with ad agencies (for whom she was a client) on various campaigns, but her knowledge of organic SEO (search engine optimization) was fairly limited. Since she’s always been a very technical and analytical person — characteristics that are required to really succeed at both paid SEO and organic SEO — needing to slice ‘n dice data and use technical skills really appealed to her. So she set out to better educate herself on both organic SEO (tactics that support ranking well in search engine results without paying for a media/advertising buy) and paid SEO (search engine marketing/SEM).

Gail’s first marketing job after completing her MBA with a marketing concentration at Boston University was at a market research firm where she oversaw market research studies for well-known consumer brands. She loves “peeling back the onion,” to see what the data reveals and that’s an exercise she does all day long related to all of the following activities (and many more!):

  • Conducting and analyzing keyword research using Google Ads keywords planner tool or Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension
  • Employing website diagnostic and SEO ranking audit tools to access whether or not an organization’s Google My Business Profiles and/or website are ranking well in Google search results for relevant terms in desired geographies
  • Making and/or recommending organic SEO revisions to websites and Google My Business Profiles, or revisions to Google Ads campaigns, and assessing how those revisions impacted results
  • Employing various digital marketing accounts like Google Analytics (GA4 Analytics), Google Search Console, and Google Analytics to obtain and analyze data to inform current and future marketing strategy and activities.

Plus, per our recent blog post, “Is Social Media Worth It?,” our Principal has always been a bit apprehensive about organizations relying too heavily on social media posts to move the marketing & sales needle. Based on years of analyzing Google Analytics website visitor data and behavior for a diverse mix of clients, our experience has been that social media posts, in most cases, do not generate sales, leads, or inquiries. There are exceptions to this, particularly when it comes to consumer goods and service organizations, but we’ve seen many an organization invest a very disproportionate amount of their marketing $$ and time in social media post creation and scheduling when very little, if any new business, is generated from it. Should all organizations maintain a social media presence of some sort? Sure. You want your organization to be viewed as “relevant,” and social media also creates awareness, the first step in the sales cycle, but don’t expect social media to move mountains.

Given the above, Our Principal wanted to focus our energy and time for clients on marketing activities that most move the sales needle and has always believed that, as long as your products, services, and solutions are ones that research shows individuals are searching to find, why not put a good chunk of your marketing $$ and time in being found by those individuals since they are “hot” leads?

And, quite honestly, our Principal also saw that offering Google Ads campaign set-up, monitoring, optimizing, reporting, and analysis, plus organic SEO services related to employing best practices to support websites and Google My Business Profiles ranking well in Google, separated her from a number of other marketing consultants and small marketing agencies who didn’t offer such services, or have such knowledge.

Let Us Bring Our Passion For SEO To Helping Your Organization Be Found On Google (and other search engines, of course!)

We can regularly be seen on LinkedIn responding to SEO conversations, and we read everything we can get our hands on about SEO. We also passed a number of Google Ads certification exams. Plus, as mentioned above, we constantly test and evaluate ideas for getting our own Google My Business Profile and website, and well as those of our clients, ranking higher in relevant search results. Let us bring that passion, knowledge, and expertise to your organization’s SEO efforts. Reach out today to schedule a complimentary discussion with us about your marketing challenges and opportunities!

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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!

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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!

Being Found on Google, Google Ads, Google Nonprofit Ad Grant, keywords, online advertising, paid search, pull marketing, Search Engine Optimization, search terms, SEM, SEO, target audiences

Google Ads: Search Terms Vs. Keywords

As a Google Ads/Paid SEO expert, I’ve known for years that there often is a sizeable difference between the keywords with which you provide Google Ads vs. the actual search terms for which Google serves your ads up to a searcher employing their search engine. So what’s the difference and why does it matter?

Google Ads Keywords

In the world of Google Ads, as stated above, keywords are the “search phrases” you assign to the various ad groups you set up within a Google Ads campaign. Keywords must be provided within your Google Ads account at the ad group level vs. campaign level. Often, a campaign may have three distinct campaigns. For example, let’s say your organization offers online music classes, and you want to run an ad campaign to promote that. Within your ad campaign, you might set up two distinct ad groups or more, such as one for voice/singing classes and one for instrument classes. For each of those two ad groups you’d provide Google with a separate set of search phrases, known as “keywords” for which you want your ads to be served up to searchers who are using their search engine. You likely want the ads in the voice/singing classes ads served up for “private singing lessons,” “singing instructor near me,” and “where to take singing classes.” For the instrument classes, you might want to have the ads in that ad group served up for “piano lessons” or “guitar classes.” And, of course, you could get even more granular with your ad groups and create ones for specific instruments and only include keywords related to that type of instrument.

How Do I Know What Keywords To Use With My Google Ads Ad Groups?

As you start adding keywords to any Google Ads ad group, Google will start providing recommendations for other keywords to include. But, you can also use Google Ads’ keyword planner tool to identify appropriate keywords. As you enter keywords into your Google Ads Account related to the ad group in-question, try to walk in your target audiences shoes. Think about the people you hope and want to either buy your products or services, or at least create awareness of your organization among, and what terms they’d likely be using to identify an organization that offers the products, services, and solutions you do related to the ad group in-question. Remember, keywords can be one word or several words, but the longer and more descriptive they are, the fewer the opportunities there will be to have your ads served up for what’s known as “long-tail” keywords. Plus, Google likely will note in your account that the keyword has low search volume and is not eligible for use.

So, What Is a Search Term In Google Ads?

Within the Auction Insights section of Google Ads results reporting, you can view a “search term” report for any timeframe that you set. See report example below that shows where in Google Ads to access the report. This shows you the actual search terms that a searcher put into Google, and that subsequently, Google served up the ads in the ad group in question for.

Sometimes, despite your providing search phrase ideas to Google via the keywords you set up with ad groups, Google takes too much of a leap or too many liberties as far as the search terms for which it serves up your ads to its search-engine users. The aforementioned scenario is a key reason I wrote this post because it’s something that I’ve found myself having to explain to a handful of clients recently. And, it pertains to both for-profit organizations as well as non-profit clients whose Google Ads campaigns are run under a Google Nonprofit Ad Grant account.

How To Increase The Probability Your Google Ads Are Served Up For The Right Search Phrases

I’ve always made it a practice to review Google Ads search term reports regularly as part of monitoring how clients’ Google Ads campaigns are faring. Why? Because those reports show me what terms Google has actually served my clients’ ads up for during a particular timeframe. I make and take the time to scroll thru the terms that are generating the most impressions and clicks, and then, simply make any search terms for which Google Ads has served up the ads that I don’t believe are appropriate “negative.” Plus, reviewing the report often makes me think of similar search terms I should make negative. See example negative keyword list below and where to go to in Google Ads account to add negative keywords.

Concerned Your Google Ads Are Being Served Up To The Wrong Searchers?

Reach out to our team of Boston SEO experts today for advice and help. We’re glad to initially meet with you on a complimentary basis!

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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, 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!

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Is Your Advertising Landing Page Too Self-Serving, And Ultimately, Hurting Your Organization?

As a Greater Boston digital marketing agency and SEO company, we’ve implemented and executed countless online and traditional marketing activities to drive traffic to our clients’ websites, particularly online advertising campaigns that include Google Ads search advertising. Since we’ve already outlined in a former blog post what makes for an effective landing page (and what a landing page is to begin with), we won’t repeat that information here. Instead, we want to focus on why what we consider to be a “self-serving” landing page can hurt your organization.

Why You Shouldn’t Make Your Website Landing Page All About You

As we’ve explained in a number of past blog posts, in the marketing and marketing-activity-results-tracking world, a “conversion,” is a desired/desirable action that a website visitor takes on your website. A website visitor conversion could be:

  • Signing up for your e-newsletter
  • Clicking on social media icons that link to your various social media profiles to visit them
  • Completing an inquiry or contact form
  • Clicking on a hyperlinked e-mail address to send you an e-mail
  • Clicking on a hyperlinked phone number to call you
  • Downloading a white paper or a pdf housed on your website
  • Purchasing a product, service, or solution, including tickets to an event
  • Providing an e-mail address, via a gatekeeper type system, in order to download a document housed on your site, or to complete some other activity

We think you get the picture!

A mistake we often see marketers/advertisers make, though, is focusing too hard/much on the actions that THEY want visitors to take on their website, i.e., the actions THEY consider desirable vs. focusing on the actions that visitors may want to take and the tasks they hope and want to complete when they visit a website that offers the products, services, and solutions you do.

What The “Bounce Rate” Can Tell You About Your Landing Page

GA4 Google Analytics allows organizations to view the “engagement rate” for all your website pages and posts, including your landing pages (even if those are hidden from the navigation that the general public sees, and are only used in conjunction with specific marketing activities/campaigns). The inverse of a website page’s engagement rate is known as the “bounce rate,” and that can be calculated by subtracting the engagement rate from 100% (if a page’s engagement rate is 60%, then the bounce rate is 40%).

If a large percentage of visitors “bounce” from a website page or post, it means many prospective customers or customers left your website from that particular page or post without interacting in any way with the page or post (e.g., scrolling down on it, clicking on links/calls-to-actions/call-out buttons contained on it to visit other pages of the site, starting or completing a form contained on the page or post, etc.). The higher the bounce rate is, the less likely the page satisfies the needs of various visitors to complete desired tasks/take beneficial actions on your site — tasks and actions that are of importance to THEM vs. YOU.

How To Lower Your Landing Page Bounce Rate

Granted there will likely be some overlap between the actions A VISITOR might hope and want to take on your site and the ones YOU hope and want them to take on your site, but you and/or your team should go thru the following exercise to make sure your visitors’ needs are met more often than your own, and that they are a priority.

As SEO experts, we’ve shared quite often, including in this blog post about how helpful content impacts SEO/ranking on Google, that Google rewards websites that are helpful and are about what users want and need, not just what the website owner/advertisers want and need. To ensure your visitors have a positive experience and your website is “helpful,” we suggest you do the following:

  • Make a grid, such as the one shown below, that lists all the tasks that you want visitors to complete on your site, as well as the tasks you believe visitors want to complete on your site. Really think hard and try to walk in target audiences’ shoes! Keep in mind that many individuals already receive e-mails from countless organizations on a daily basis, and many are reluctant to have their name added to another e-mail list. They know what will likely follow is a stream of e-mails to sell them the product, service, or solution they were investigating on your website, or ones asking for a donation, etc. Will you cause them to “bounce,” and lose them altogether as a potential customer because you kept certain content “gated,” or your marketing activity took them to a landing page that only allowed them to visit that particular page of your website vs. quickly/easily visit other pages of your site?
  • Review the grid you created and highlight those activities that you believe would be considered desirable/beneficial to both parties, i.e., your organization AND website visitors. Functionality should then be created/installed and included on your landing page to allow for completion of those tasks.
  • Then, review the activities which you believe are more valued by visitors (less preferable to your organization), and consider for which of those actions you’d be willing to provide functionality on your site for visitors to complete them. A great example, is requiring individuals to reach out to schedule an appointment to get pricing information. Even if your pricing is customer-specific/customized, many prospective clients may be reluctant to reach out, particularly if they aren’t in a financial position to invest in your product or service immediately. Think about what/how much downfall there would be to providing visitor functionality to get an estimate/access pricing information, and whether you’d be better off keeping visitors happy and on your website longer, or better off letting them bounce. Only you will know the answer to the aforementioned and the implications of trade-offs.

Ultimately, the more the scale swings in the favor of your website visitor vs. your organization when it comes to desirable action-taking, the more your organization will likely be to succeed at providing a great user experience, ranking better in search engines, and ultimately driving sales from satisfied visitors who were able to obtain the information, and complete the tasks they wanted, without being on the receiving end of what might be perceived as too “hard of a sell” by your organization or a too “self-serving” website.

Get Complimentary Advice On Landing Pages From Online Advertising Experts

Want objective advice on how to set your landing page up so that both your organization and visitors achieve their objectives? Schedule a complimentary online advertising brainstorm with us!

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How Much Should I Spend On Google Ads?

As a digital marketing agency and SEO company specializing in both paid SEO (Google Ads) and organic SEO, we often get asked the question, “how much should I spend on Google Ads?” This isn’t going to be a long blog post because the answer to the above question is a fairly straight-forward one — one that focuses on Google search advertising vs. Google Display advertising, or Google’s hybrid form of advertising, known as Google Performance Max.

How To Set A Google Ads Budget That’s Right For Your Organization

When deciding what $ figure to set your Google Ads Search advertising daily budget to (your budget is set at the campaign level and is entered as a daily amount you’d like Google Ads to spend on your media/ad buy vs. a weekly or monthly amount), you should keep the following in mind:

  • What Size Google Ads Ad Spend Can You Afford To Carry/Cover On Your Credit Card? You will need to provide Google Ads with a credit card that it will debit for your ad spend/ad buy. Normally, your card will be charged once or twice a month to cover the cost of clicks on your ads (you will be paying for ad clicks vs. ad impressions (the serving up of your ads to one set of eyeballs/searcher) that have accrued since the last time Google Ads charged your account.
  • What Is The ROI (return-on-investment) For Your Advertising? As long as the money/revenue you are making from actual product sales or engagements for services generated by your ads outweighs to a decent degree the cost of your advertising and other acquisition-related costs (such as someone’s time processing an order generated by an ad), and you are financially comfortable accruing and covering the associated ad spend, you likely will want to continue running your ads, but also test the results of “upping” your spend. As long as your Google Ads continue to generate a positive ROI, why not keep employing and testing a slightly higher ad spend every 2-3 months?
  • Are There Enough Opportunities For Google To Serve Up Your Ads To Your Target Audience In Your Geography For Relevant Terms? This equates to are enough people who meet your targeting criteria (age, gender, income level, parental status, plus geography), searching on relevant terms in Google? This can be assessed by checking to see if your initial or increased daily budget is being fully used 85% or more of the time — therefore, the total cost shown in your Google Ads account for any particular campaign (charges accrued for ad clicks, which equals the # of ad clicks generated times your average cost-per-click) associated with your advertising for a particular timeframe fairly closely aligns with the budget you set for that timeframe.
  • To What Degree, Will Your Google Ads Cannibalize Your Organic (Unpaid) Search-Engine Traffic? An SEO Rankings Audit and/or a review of your organic search volume and nature, using your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts, will help you determine if there are big concerns about your paid ads causing appropriate searchers to not find you as frequently for an organic listing that comes up in search results because search ads are appearing too frequently above organic listings that link to your website or Google My Business Profile. If proper conversion-tracking is set up on your website, you can determine which form of traffic — paid search/Google Ads vs. organic search traffic “converts” better, i.e., causes website visitors to complete meaningful actions on your site, such as e-mailing you, or completing a contact inquiry form. As you continue to increase your budget, keep an eye out for shifts in the degree to which individuals are landing on your site from an organic search. If your organic search traffic converts better than paid search, you may determine a particular ad budget/ad spend doesn’t make economic sense for your organization because you are cannibalizing too much profit-producing organic search traffic, and you may want to decrease your budget, so that your paid ads appear less frequently.

What Google Ads Daily Budget Should I Start Out With?

We recommend that, at a minimum, you launch any brand new Google search advertising campaign with a daily ad spend that equates to $500 a month, so roughly $17.00 a day. If, by employing conversion- tracking, you are able to determine that your Google Ads campaign ROI is positive, then we suggest making small incremental upticks in daily budget spends, as discussed above.

While Google Ads’ keyword planner tool provides an estimate of what the cost-per-click might look like related to a particular search phrase for which you’d like your ads to be served, it is just that — an estimate. Many factors influence your cost-per-click, such as the number of competitors in your marketplace who want their ads served up for the same terms you do, the click-thru rate on your ads, the Google Ads optimization score assigned to your ads, and how cohesive Google views your keywords, ads, and ad website landing page to be.

Does Google Ads Offer Nonprofits Discounted Advertising Pricing?

Well, actually, yes, in a way they do. As we explain in our blog post about the benefits to nonprofits of Google Nonprofit Ad Grants, nonprofit organizations who qualify for such grants are able to employ $120,000 in free annual Google Ads search advertising.

Got Google Ads Questions? We’ve Got Answers.

Our team has roughly 15 years of Google Ads experience — from both corporate marketing, and consulting roles — related to executing, optimizing, analyzing, and reporting on Google Ads search, display, and Performance Max campaigns for nonprofits and for for-profits of all shapes, sizes, and industries. We’d be glad to chat with your organization on a complimentary basis about whether or not we believe Google Ads advertising makes sense for your particular organization.

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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.