COVID-19 marketing, marketing best practices, organic SEO, pandemic marketing, Post-COVID-19 Marketing, post-pandemic marketing, SEO, technical SEO, Uncategorized

Why These Turbulent Times Are Ideal Ones to Optimize Your Website for Search

I’ve shared this already via some social media posts, as well as part of e-mail and phone conversations. I do believe this is the ideal time for both for-profits and non-profits to optimize their websites to be found well/rank high in search engine results for relevant searches for the following reasons:

  • It’s a good way to redirect marketing $$ and energies if it doesn’t make sense to market now. Depending on the products and services your organization offers, it may come across as insensitive, irrelevant, or just plain crass, to be promoting offerings that could be viewed as too much of a luxury right now or that just don’t make sense because of their inaccessibility. Think a service or product you can’t receive or purchase virtually. Why not redirect the money and time that you planned on spending on other marketing activities to search engine optimization (SEO) efforts?
  • SEO is a no-brainer and best practice. Even if your organization’s website doesn’t currently receive a lot of organic traffic from search engine searches (this could be because your site has never been optimized for search, or simply due to the fact that individuals aren’t searching to identify someone who offers your products or services), or your industry is a referral-driven business, as many business-to-business industries are, it’s always a best practice to optimize your website to be found by searchers looking to identify an organization that offers the products and services or the solutions to problems that you do. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that if relevant searchers are searching, they will find your organization.
  • You’ll set yourself up for future success. As we shared early on in our current health pandemic, no-one has a crystal ball. While we all have our guesses and theories, it’s impossible to state, as of the date of this blog post, which types of organizations will be most impacted long-term by our world health scenario, and which types will rebound most quickly. But, in keeping with the bullet above this one, why not set yourself up for the best possible chance of being found by those who are searching for help and needs related to what your organization offers?
  • Your organization will save and maximize marketing $$ when $$ are particularly tight. One of the many outcomes we love about implementing technical/organic tactics to support a client organization’s appearing high up in relevant search engine searches is that it can help them avoid unnecessary spending on paid search/PPC advertising down the road. Depending on the competitiveness of an organization’s market, and whether or not searchers are indeed looking to identify someone like the organization, implementing SEO tactics may make paid search/search engine marketing (SEM) spending gratuitous in the long-term.

If you scroll through our blog at https://allintheresults.com/ponderings, you will find a large number of blog posts to get you up-to-speed on organic/technical SEO basics, and we are glad to answer any questions on those basics on a complimentary basis because of our desire to give back right now. We are also always here to help with some of the bigger and more complex lifts like keyword research. So, please reach out if we can help answer questions about smaller SEO tasks or help you complete larger ones.

fundraising/development, keeping up with trends, marketing consultant, online advertising, staying current, Understanding Your Environment

Online Advertising Isn’t Just For For-Profits

While I’ve spent much of my career working in the non-profit world, most of friends, family, and colleagues don’t make the connection that I have. This is probably due to the fact that, while many healthcare organizations and health insurance plans are non-profit/not-for-profit organizations, their size and extensive advertising campaigns which I’ve overseen cause others to think of them as for-profit organizations.

In light of the above, despite volunteer work with non-profit organizations like “Home for Little Wanderers” and “Relay for Life”, many few me as a new kid on the block as far as developing and executing marketing and fundraising campaigns goes.  Luckily, I’ve had the good fortune of working with organizations that the general public readily views as non-profits on both a paid and pro bono basis — organizations that provide social services and funding to vulnerable populations.  And, what I’ve learned from this is that many of the marketing and communications tricks that work well for for-profit organizations also work well for non-profits — whether they are looking to create awareness of their organization or raise funds for their organizations.

A prime example is online advertising, specifically paid search and display advertising. I worked with a well-known Boston non-profit to create an ad campaign to support a holiday fundraising event, and am now managing it. Because individuals are equally interested, if not more interested, in researching both fun things to and charitable things to do, as they are researching business matters, the search and display ads are receiving a pleasing number of “click-thrus”, which my client and I hope and anticipate will lead to increased ticket sales from last year to this year.

I’m really hoping that more non-profits, particularly those that are indeed viewed as charitable/cause organizations, will be interested in speaking with me about the cost-effective and budget-maximizing activity that is online advertising.  My last blog post spoke to “Missed Opportunity”.  I believe for a non-profit to dismiss the possibility of employing online advertising to promote their organizations and/or raise funds is another “Missed Opportunity”.

marketing consultant, online advertising, social media, staying current, Uncategorized

Online Advertising 101

No wonder lots of non-marketing individuals and even marketing individuals are so confused.  I can’t think of any other form of advertising or marketing that is referenced in the number of ways that what I call “online advertising” is.

It would take hours and hours to explain the pro’s and con’s and different opportunities associated with online advertising, so this post simply aims to provide a basic understanding of terminology, so you can at least feel comfortable initiating or participating in a discussion about online advertising.

  1. Online advertising or marketing = digital marketing, and is advertising that appears above or to the right of search engine results (search advertising), when you are visiting a web site (banner or display advertising) or social media site (social advertising).  All these forms of advertising and marketing are only accessible through an internet connection via a computer, tablet, mobile phone, or other hand-held device.
  2. PPC or P-P-C advertising = pay-per-click advertising = advertising that you only pay for when your ads are presented to an individual online, either as a result of a query they typed into a search engine like “Google” or “Bing”, or as a result of an individual visiting a web site that is part of the “placements” you selected for your “display” advertising.
  3. Google Adwords advertising = search network or display network advertising.  You can have your ads appear above or to the right of organic search results as a result of an individual typing an appropriate search query into the Google search engine (search network) or you can have them appear on web sites participating in Google’s display partner program, such as the “New York Times”.
  4. Paid search advertising = advertising for which you pay  to appear in response to individuals entering certain search phrases (or what’s known as “key words”) into a search engine like “Google” or “Bing”.
  5. Banner advertising = when you purchase ad space directly from a particular organization (such as the “Boston Globe”), so that your ad will appear on that organization’s Web site. This form of advertising has become significantly less popular with the growth of paid search advertising since, in general, paid search allows you to reach a larger number of individuals who may want or need your product or services, at a much lower price.
  6. Social advertising = actual ad presentation or promotion of your profile or page within a social media site, such as Facebook.

As I stated at the top of my post, understanding the terminology is just the tip of the iceberg as far as online advertising goes.  There are so many different online advertising opportunities.  For example, you can choose to only run your advertising in certain zipcodes, at certain times of the day, or on certain days of the week.  And, you can decide you only want your ad presented when someone enters the exact phrase “online advertising genius” into a search engine, is identified as having a particular interest, or is reading content related to your product or service (contextual advertising).

I am currently studying to become a Google AdWords Partner, while enhancing my previous hands-on experience managing, monitoring, and optimizing campaigns by overseeing both my own and client Google search and display network advertising campaigns.  In addition, I’ve overseen online advertising for my most recent employer.  What I’m learning as I manage campaigns and study for exams is this — anyone can set up a Google AdWords account and start a campaign, but in order to truly run an effective campaign — one that maximizes both your budget and the achievement of your objectives, whether they be awareness, requests for information, or actual sales — you really need to have a strong understanding of all the many intricacies of search, display, and social advertising, and how to best optimize your campaign and maximize your online marketing dollars.

I suggest the following:

  • Unless you have the time and staff to understand the many nuances of and opportunities available through online advertising, particularly, Google Adwords, don’t go it alone. You’ll probably end up wasting valuable marketing budget dollars because you won’t know how to identify the most efficient mechanism.  Hire an expert, like my organization, to help you set up your advertising in the most effective fashion, and to monitor and tweak it, as needed.
  • Have someone on your team study for and take the Google Adwords exams.  Even if they don’t pass — which is not an easy feat, but well worth the education — they’ll be better positioned to make intelligent decisions and recommendations regarding your organization’s online advertising.

I hope you’ll reach out to me at gail.moraski@gailm.sg-host.com with any questions you have about online marketing/advertising.  Based on how quickly and frequently online advertising options have changed and grown during the past decade, I expect they will continue to expand and shift. Rest assured that, as a marketer particularly interested in digital and online marketing opportunities, I will continue to stay informed and knowledgeable about all online advertising opportunities, so I can help you maximize your marketing dollars.