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!

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!

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.

accountability, advertising agency, Being Found on Google, blog, Blog, Blogging, brand promise, community involvement, Customer Service, differentiation, digital marketing agency, diverse experience, Enjoying What You Do, good will creation, Making Connections, Making Connections and Introductions, making time for things you value, marketing agency, marketing career, Marketing Planning, mission statement, Networking, Nonprofit Marketing & Communications, Objectives Setting, online presence, organic SEO, PR firm, relationship building, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, SEO, social media, strategic partner, strategic planning, target audiences, Target Marketing, traditional marketing, Understanding Your Environment, walking, warriors, fighters, doing good, giving back, paying it forward, website

Celebrating Our Digital Marketing Agency’s 10-Year Anniversary: A Then and Now Story

Because one of the services my agency offers is PR — and we’ve had some decent success obtaining meaningful media coverage for some of our for-profit and non-profit clients (as documented in our Public Relations Portfolio) — of course, we reached out to The Patriot Ledger to see if they wanted to do a “then and now” story about our South Shore organization since they covered our story nine years back. We’re still awaiting news, literally and figuratively on that one, but we figured why not go ahead and share a similar version of that story on our blog using the highlights we shared with them? So, here goes…

Our Then Story

Here’s the telling of our story by a local reporter about a year after we launched our digital marketing agency, which eventually developed a specialty in search engine optimization (SEO) — which is why we often refer to our business as a Boston SEO company too!

I prefer to refer to my business as a digital marketing agency vs. a marketing consultancy because we do as much as hands-on work as we do developing & recommending marketing strategies.

Our story actually began with me launching my own WordPress website without the help of anyone else, and my officially hanging my digital marketing agency’s shingle via that site. And, if I knew as much as I know about WordPress and website development now as I knew then, I would have originally launched my site with WordPress.org (the platform that it’s on now) vs. WordPress.org, so I could use the many great WordPress plug-ins from the get-go! Or, I might also have considered Joomla instead, but owning a business and getting it right is all about the journey. And, you can’t learn what you need to learn without making a few mistakes and getting your hands dirty, right?

What’s been particularly challenging as an organization who helps others with their own marketing is, sometimes, as I’ve been known to share, “the cobbler’s kids have no shoes.” That means often we are so busy helping our clients with their marketing, we don’t have time for our own. The aforementioned said, we make every effort to have our firm’s own marketing activities (such as our website and social media profiles) serve as a shining example of how to maintain a strong online presence, and it’s great that we’ve been able to use our own business to test and try out various marketing activities — therefore, serve as a bit of a guinea pig — before we test or try something brand new with clients.

We’re proud that, over the last 10 years, we’ve literally written and posted over 140 marketing, SEO, and health-related (yes, health-related — keep reading to learn more) blog posts, and we’ve had a few guest or co-bloggers along the way too!

This image is a light gray square one with the words "Celebrating 10 Years Of Using Our Digital Marketing Agency/SEO Company As A Platform For Doing Good." The image contains some colorful confetti in the middle and the logo of our Boston Marketing Agency, Results Communications and Research at the bottom.

Our Now Story

I believe and hope my story can motivate and inspire others considering opening their own business. Before, or right after I launched my business, I was told by one individual who works with entrepreneurs that 80% of female marketing consultants fail. I refused to be a statistic, and regularly told myself that during the first 5 years, which were the hardest. It takes a good five years to get the word out there and have business come to you organically/naturally thru referrals, leads, and recommendations from others — made by former co-workers and clients, existing clients, other marketing consultants and agencies, and other organizations who serve the same vertical/target audiences whom you serve.

My philosophy and dreams when I started my business have remained pretty constant and I’m pleased to report I’ve followed them. I’m particularly proud that I’ve been able to continue to offer what I believe, based on research, are very reasonable rates to small for-profit and non-profit organizations. Due to my years of experience and expertise, clients have access to the same level of knowledge and skills that they’d have access to via a larger marketing agency, but at much lower rates than what a larger agency might offer. And, because we have significant experience in both traditional marketing AND digital marketing, we can offer the majority of services a larger, full-service agency can.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned that I’d love to share with others starting a business is this: don’t think of others in your space as competitors. Think of them as collaborators – people who serve the same target audiences who may need your services.

Our Impact: Local (South Shore of Boston), National, and International

  • I’ve helped a number of young adults who grew up on the South Shore, or elsewhere in MA, get hands-on experience that they were able to parlay into a post-graduation job elsewhere.
  • Related to the above, I’ve had the great fun and pleasure of working with my nephews, my brother, my brother-in-law, and my late sister-in-law on various client projects.
  • I’ve also met with a number of college or graduate school students looking to pick my brain about careers in marketing and learn from me – including one in my neighborhood who found me thru a Google search! Yes, because early on I recognized I needed to create a Google My Business Profile for my own business to be found by local, relevant searchers and this is something I regularly help my clients with now!
  • I’ve given a large number of pro bono hours to nonprofits as part of a totally free consulting/volunteer situation or discussion, or as part of their paid arrangement with me. I’ve had a number of very interesting local nonprofit clients, including ones in the faith-based space, arts and music space, ones serving vulnerable populations, ones serving individuals with special needs, and one providing financially challenged teens the opportunity to serve vulnerable teens abroad, and more! Some have an international impact.
  • One of my specialties is helping nonprofits apply for a Google Nonprofit Ad Grant. I, then, often stay on and manage the Grant for them – $120,000 in free Google Search advertising annually. I can explain more.
  • I also have a number of for-profit clients on the South Shore, but my client base is national and I have had clients in New Orleans, CA, Texas, and more!
  • I’ve served over 120 for-profit and non-profit organizations in the 10 years I’ve been running my digital marketing agency/SEO company.
  • I had no idea when I launched my business that I would become an expert in something that I only had very little knowledge of at the time when I launched my business – search engine optimization (SEO). Many of my referrals for or sub-contracted work come from other agencies, marketing consultants, and website designers who need to pull someone into their client work/project who knows how to get websites and Google My Business Profiles ranking well in Google via organic and paid search (Google Ads) SEO activities. I’ve become a self-taught SEO expert and very proud of it. I just read and watched everything I could get my hands on, took Google Ads certification classes, and attended free webinars. I still do that daily as Google’s Search Engine will be switching to an AI one, and I’m already helping my clients be proactive about that and prep for it (Google SGE).
  • As indicated above, while I do sub-contracted or referred work for other agencies, marketing consultants, and website designers, many of my clients are my own clients, and I usually have a plate of about 12 – 15 clients for whom I’m doing ongoing, digital marketing work for on a monthly basis, plus also juggling several one-off/one-time clients at the same time. At any given point in time, I’m normally doing work for about 17 – 25 clients with the help of some fabulous interns and associates, as they were/are available.
  • My clients are diverse – large, small, business-to-business, business-to-consumer, product businesses, service businesses. I’ve done a bunch of marketing work in the food space, legal space, education space, and more! 
  • I’ve given a number of free workshops for SCORE and other organizations serving entrepreneurs, and I’m a SCORE volunteer and have provided tons of free advice to entrepreneurs by meeting with them on a complimentary basis. And, related to all of this, I’ve had a blast partnering with fellow marketing experts to give presentations that address multiple marketing areas of expertise! Thank you! You know who you are!
  • I’m a data geek and SEO geek and proud of it. I’m a huge data slicer and dicer and that’s what separates me from a lot of others in my space. I always say I won’t encourage clients to start or continue with marketing activities that don’t make sense for them based on what data is showing. I consider myself to be my clients’ accountability partner, and I’m not afraid to give tough love when I need to. I’m not afraid to voice a different opinion than other marketers. If I think something isn’t going to work, or isn’t working, I speak up.
  • I’m also proud that my marketing agency survived our recent COVID-19 pandemic and was extremely proactive about providing helpful insights from the very start of the pandemic for marketers to appropriately respond to the pandemic/pivot, such as these blog posts about using paid ads during the pandemic and how to make sure your social media presence wasn’t offensive and was relevant.
  • I give back significantly to the community. I was involved with the Braintree Relay For Life Committee for a while, and now, I do a number of charity walks in addition to all the other beneficial work I mentioned above.

Our Focus On Health & Wellness

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know that I’ll throw in a good blog post about walking once in a while. You can use the categories search tool/drop-down menu to search on “walking” to see the various walking topics about which I’ve written.

Since my corporate marketing days, I’ve always loved to share health & wellness tips — whether they be with fellow employees as part of an internal communications role, or with members of a health plan I worked for, and from the get-go with Results Communications & Research, I’ve aimed to inspire those with health (and other challenges) to never give up, and keep fighting via my “Keep Up The Fight” website page. And, I recently put up a new blog post about an invisible disease with which many health warriors who have battled or are battling other forms of illness have to contend.

Our Thank You

My digital marketing agency/SEO company and I would have never made it this far without all the help of great collaborators, cheerleaders (friends, family, my husband Jay, and other fellow small business owners), and most importantly, our clients who looked to us for expert marketing guidance and assistance. We have many clients with whom we’ve served as an outsourced marketing department for years, and we thank you for your faith in us! We’ve so enjoyed being a part of your business family! We also thank those who we haven’t had the opportunity to work with for as long as some of our long-term clients, but have enjoyed or are enjoying being a part of your organization’s success story.

What’s Next

I don’t know what the future holds for Results Communications & Research, but I’m excited about what’s to come! And, I know I will continue to try to give back as much as possible with the platform that this fun, educational, and interesting business provides!

Want To Benefit From The Marketing Services Of A Digital Marketing Agency/SEO With A Long Tenure And Who Gives Back?

Reach out today to schedule a complimentary discussion about how we can help your organization create awareness and/or drive inquiries and sales via our outsourced marketing and/or strategic marketing planning services.

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.