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!

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

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

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

Why Do You Need A Google My Business Profile?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acceptance of Circumstances, Being Found on 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, 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!

Being Found on Google, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Google Nonprofit Ad Grant, keywords, landing page, landing pages, Marketing Planning, Nonprofit Marketing & Communications, online advertising, organic SEO, paid search, pull marketing, Search Engine Optimization, search terms, SEM, SEO, strategic planning, website

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.

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

SEO VS. SEM

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

What’s The Difference Between SEO and SEM?

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

The following activities fall under the broader SEO umbrella:

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

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

When Should You Employ SEM/Paid SEO Tactics?

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

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

The SEO Bottom Line

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

Reach Out To Speak With Our SEO Services Team

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

Acceptance of Circumstances, alt-tags, Being Found on Google, digital marketing agency, Google Ads, keywords, marketing best practices, marketing consultant, online advertising, organic SEO, paid search, pull marketing, Search Engine Optimization, search terms, SEM, SEO, SEO tags, website

Why You Need To Think Of SEO Like Jello

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Moral Of Our SEO Success Story

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

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

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

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

Our Team Of SEO Experts Is Here To Help

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

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4 Free Google Accounts Each & Every For-Profit and Non-Profit Organization Needs

Regardless of whether your organization is for-profit or non-profit, because it’s highly likely you want target audiences to learn about your mission, products, services, and solutions, and you want to be able track which marketing and communications activities are creating awareness and sales/engagement, you’ll stand to benefit greatly from setting up and using the following four types of free Google accounts:

  1. A Google My Business Profile – this supports your organization being found locally by relevant searchers, since often Google will serve up a Google My Business Profile in lieu of a website for searches that include “near me” or the name of a city or town. You don’t want to miss on out on the opportunity to make target audiences aware of your organization!
  2. Google Analyticsa GA4 Google Analytics account will allow you to analyze which of your marketing activities are driving the most traffic to your website, e.g., Google Ads, social media advertising, organic social media posts, search-engine optimization tactics, or e-mail/e-newsletters.
  3. Google Search Console – this tool serves a couple of purposes. It allows you to see for which search terms Google is most frequently serving up your website. And, then, for which search terms for which Google serves up a listing (which includes a link to your website) are searchers then clicking on the link to visit your site. This free Google tool also lets you see, on average, where in Google Search results listings, a listing with a link to your site appears, and the % of people who click on a listing link when it is served up to them. You can also use your Google Search Console account to submit revised or new blog posts or website pages for indexing/crawling, so that you don’t have to wait for Google to find this new and revised content, and therefore, wait for Google to start serving it up in search results for relevant searches.
  4. Google Tag Manager – this tool allows you to set up tags that track various actions that a website visitor can take on your website. These tags basically “fire” and provide data to and in Google Analytics when visitors take actions like completing and submitting an inquiry form on your website, clicking on a hyperlinked e-mail address or phone number, scheduling an appointment, or purchasing something. Such desired actions by visitors are known as “conversions.” Without the use of a conversion-tracking tool like Google Tag Manager, you’re never going to know what marketing activities are causing website visitors to “convert,” and as a recent article about analyzing digital advertising results from Search Engine Land explains, that’s so important to understanding the effectiveness of various marketing activities and where to spend your marketing time and dollars.
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Need Help Setting Up Google Accounts?

Our team is always here to help. Contact our Boston digital marketing agency today for assistance or learn more about such services on our Google Analytics Set-up and Reporting and SEO services pages.

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What Content Served Up In Google Generative AI Has In Common: 8 Practices To Implement Now

As we mentioned in our previous blog post about how to plan and prepare for Google SGE, why wait to create website content and assets that might make it more likely Google will serve up a link to your website in relevant Generative AI/Generative Search results?

What Our Recent Audit Of Google Generative AI Results Revealed

We conducted an audit of the various content and websites that were served up in Google Generative AI results for a number of questions we posed via Google SGE and identified some commonalities among the content (content that was either shared directly in the results by Google or, indirectly, in the blog posts or website pages to which Google SGE linked in results.

As shown below, in addition to sharing content in Generative AI results, Google may serve up links to various websites below the content or in a carousel to the right of results. And, Google may even serve up an infographic!

Eight Commonalities Among Content Or Websites Served Up In Google SGE Results: 

  • Use of questions in page or post titles or in headers or sub-headers (H2, H3, etc.) on the page/post 
  • Use of headers/sub-headers, in general, to break up content 
  • Content contained bulleted lists and/or numbered lists 
  • Concise/short content (keep in mind content should still be actionable/provide enough detail to really answer someone’s question and allow them to take next steps) 
  • Rows of space/white space to break up content 
  • Infographics (keep in mind that Google doesn’t tend to like infographics from an SEO standpoint because they aren’t accessible; unless they are tagged on the back-end, a screen-reader used by those who are visually impaired can’t read them; if you decide to add more infographics to your site, be sure to use what’s known as “alt-tags” to make infographics accessible
  • Use of inner-page/inner-post or external links (these support ranking well under the current Google algorithm and standard Google search tool too) 
  • Post/page title or header makes it obvious a list will follow, such as “3 Steps…” or “5 Actions To Take…” 

Is It Possible To Prepare For SGE?

The answer to the above is a strong “yes,” and the above commonalities information should provide lots of insight to get you started with developing new, or revising existing, content to make it more likely to be of interest to Google SGE. Need more hands-on help with or advice about Google SGE Prep & Planning? Reach out to our team of SEO experts today!