Pay-per-click is a term that all Marketers are used to hearing and while it’s widely accepted as a great way to promote your business, how much do we actually know about it? The world of online marketing can get a little overwhelming, that’s why, we’re asking what are the advantages of a pay-per-click campaign and when is it beneficial to use one?
PPC advertising will deliver immediate results. In fact, the minute your campaign is approved your ads can be viewed by millions of web users. The capacity to launch a campaign quickly and ensuring it reaches your market instantly makes PPC ideal for product launches, seasonal promotions and event-focused marketing.
Take advantage of business opportunities
As it is so quick and easy to launch a PPC campaign you can really use them to your businesses advantage. Is your competitor’s website down? Have they been experiencing some bad press? No problem, you can have your campaign set up in a matter of minutes and their customers may just come running to you. When you’re in a race against time the efficiency and immediacy of PPC can really be on your side.
Track the success
Everything about pay-per-click is measurable, from the amount that you’re paying to the number of hits your website receives. This makes it a useful tool for testing different campaigns, strategies or landing pages allowing you to evaluate which are the most responsive and the best option for your business. PPC isn’t just a way to drive traffic to your site, but a way to understand exactly what your customers are looking for. It’s also very handy to have a tight budget as pay-per-click can get a little pricey when your post proves popular. The more clicks, the more it costs. By measuring the CTR you can stop the campaign before it gets too expensive.
Ensures exposure and brand recognition
PPC allows you to target specific keywords related to your industry which will help to build your brand image and establish yourself as an industry leader. This will also increase your exposure, as PPC ads are usually posted at the top of search engine results pages (depending on how much you pay) which can immediately boost the traffic of your website. On average, 41% of all clicks go to the top 3 paid ads on the search results page, if you aren’t using PPC then you’re losing those clicks to competitors that are. If you’re determined to maximise your click-share of searches for keywords relevant to your business, PPC is essential.
Highly targeted website traffic
Reaching the right audience can always be difficult, yet PPC allows you to target very specific groups. You can also choose when these ads appear which really allows you to segment your market, making sure you’re only reaching the people that will benefit your business. And being picky clearly pays off, PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors.
Initially with PPC you only need to make a small investment, one of the biggest advantages of using a pay-per-click campaign is that there can be no charge until someone clicks on your ad. You decide how much you pay for each campaign making it suitable for all budgets, although the more you pay the greater your potential results.
You don’t have to be SEO reliant
If you aren’t the savviest in terms of SEO then pay-per-click is perfect for you. Although SEO is essential for your brand’s long-term success, this method will allow you to make profitable short-term campaigns at the touch of a button. Similarly, if your website isn’t designed for SEO you can generate traffic through PPC and won’t have to worry about meeting Google’s content-heavy criteria.
Read more at https://www.business2community.com/marketing/ppc-advantages-pay-per-click-marketing-explained-01959416
5 Tips for a Successful SEO Strategy for Your Business
The nature of business today requires a wide brand visibility to harness the best opportunities that show up in the market. Advancement in technology and changes in communication systems across the world give businesses great marketing opportunities through online platforms and search engine optimization. SEO is an online marketing tool that is extremely important for small business, as it allows them to increase their customer and client base by leveraging the internet and search engines such as Google. Good rankings on search engines can translate into lucrative business opportunities for an organization that implements the following five tips for a successful SEO strategy.
Narrow the Focus
SEO efforts should work to achieve a unified goal. Even though one might want to diversify the objectives and goals of the business to compete on different levels with the rivals, this method can sometimes lead to great regrets. The best thing to do is consolidating all the resources and expertise to create specialized content. Aim at one thing and build on it with consolidated efforts to make your SEO more effective. Focus your keywords on the main aspect of the business and you will get more traffic and have great rankings in Seo Companies Toronto Narrowed focus gives you time to perfect your content.
Use Long-tail Keyword
Strong keywords are the founding blocks of successful SEO marketing and having long-tail keywords helps you focus on an idea and purpose. Long-tail keywords are longer phrases that have a tacit summary of the content of your business. For instance, the title above “5 Tips for a Successful SEO Strategy for Your Business’’ is an example of long tail keyword structure. Creating such keywords for your businesses will increase the brand visibility by getting better ratings on Google. If you use them well will the top-ranked business in your industry.
Get custom-made SEO Tactics
SEO marketing is extremely competitive. You must be creative and unique to get outstanding command of the market. You must be willing to cash in your efforts, resources, and take time to plan and strategize. Unique content and website design are effective competitive tools to use. Many people will recognize your business by the level of its differentiation from other businesses. Look for the services of reputable people in the industry to help you with making your content unique, as it will generate more traffic and brand visibility. Most importantly, don’t try to copy other businesses.
Choose the Best SEO Service Provider
When choosing an SEO service provider, you must always ensure that they can offer nothing but the best for your business. Don’t rush into making choices that will suppress your business growth and crush all the efforts you have put in to expand your brand visibility. Service providers such as SEO Toronto offer some of the best services for businesses. Have a list of all service providers around your area and choose the best among them. A good service provider will give you authentic SEO marketing and good ranking to propel your business to the next level.
This cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform powers over 400,000 online stores. Find out some interesting facts and stats about Shopify’s success story.
Shopify has most certainly become a leader in eCommerce since it was launched back in 2004. This cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform powers over 400,000 online stores and sells products worth more than $34 billion in total. Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, Shopify is easy to set up, use, and manage.
Shopify noted a monumental global growth, especially during the last few years. International brands like Budweiser and Foo Fighters are using Shopify as an ecommerce solution for reaching their targeted markets.
Check this Website Builder infographic to find out some interesting facts and stats that you probably didn’t know about Shopify’s success story.
Contributor Will Scott outlines six reasons why your business can’t afford to ignore YouTube when it comes to online marketing.
Advertising on YouTube is a cost-effective way to reach potential customers for nearly any product or business. YouTube users consume more than a billion hours of video content per day on the site. Within that large volume of traffic, advertisers are able to target specific demographics and regions.
For startups and international corporations alike, the video-sharing website has become an increasingly popular place to advertise. In 2017, 20 percent of all video ad revenues in America will go to YouTube, according to eMarketer forecasts. Below, find out why so many businesses are turning to YouTube for online marketing.
1. High rate of consumption
With over a billion users, YouTube hosts nearly one-third of all the people online. And the platform reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds than any cable network in the US, according to YouTube.
With younger generations reluctant to pay for television and cable, YouTube provides a free alternative for all kinds of media content, from music videos and tutorials to vlogs and cat videos. Industry-specific and informational videos are an effective place to reach niche markets, but outreach across YouTube puts your message in front of a much broader audience.
2. Find your business’s target audience
As with other online platforms, advertisers on YouTube have the freedom to target specific regions and demographics for their advertising budget. By sponsoring specific kinds of content, your business can advertise on the types of videos most likely to appeal to your potential customers.
Nationwide and industry-specific targeting is easy with the suite of options available to advertisers. Because many viewers are logged into their personal YouTube accounts, advertisers can target specific populations based on their search history and other key data. Affinity audiences allow your business to target viewers based on categories of interests, like auto enthusiasts or do-it-yourselfers.
3. Follow your audience along the consumer journey
Depending on search terms and video content, you can target customers with different types of videos. Is a viewer already comparison-shopping for your service? Your commercial may need to emphasize reasons to choose your business. On the other hand, the same video may not be effective for your established customers.
Customer Match allows you to filter the audience for particular videos using data from AdWords and uploaded email lists. By showing specific videos to your customers and newsletter subscribers, you can reinforce brand loyalty and shape the reputation of your company.
4. Part of a diverse advertising strategy
Facebook is likely to remain the biggest player in social media, but YouTube has a solid footing with vloggers and video content. Rather than advertising exclusively on one website, it’s better to plan an inclusive strategy that includes both social media and paid search advertising on Google.
When users move between search engines and different social media platforms, it’s important to have a clear presence across the different arenas for advertising. The mobile viewers on YouTube spend 40 minutes in an average session. Advertising directly on YouTube allows your business to reach your audience when they aren’t actively on Facebook or interacting with search engines.
Unlike other forms of advertising, online ads provide detailed information about the effectiveness of each listing. Exposures, click-through rates, bounce rates and conversions are just a few of the critical data points that would be nearly impossible to objectively measure with radio, billboards and conventional alternatives.
With data about which ads are most effective, your business is better able to tailor promotional and marketing strategies in the future. The relative success of certain ads can serve as market research into the selling points and products most important to consumers.
6. Audience research
Unlike with conventional television, YouTube advertisers can allow viewers to “skip” after the first few seconds of a commercial. While millennial viewers skip videos nearly 60 percent of the time, according to a survey from LaunchLeap, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing for advertisers. Viewers eager to skip after the first few seconds likely aren’t interested in the product or service, and platforms like TrueView allow you to pay only for the content watched to completion.
The data about which viewers click “skip,” on the other hand, can be beneficial for evaluating the success of different marketing strategies. You can even learn how long viewers continued to watch, whether they skipped immediately or after a certain point in the commercial.
The major benefits of advertising on YouTube parallel the advantages of other online marketing strategies. Unlike billboards and other tangible forms of product promotion, online advertising is easily scalable to fit any budget. A higher available budget can be used for a higher level of exposure and views. On the other hand, a small budget can be specific for targeting a niche industry or interest group.
YouTube video advertising is just one of many important elements for promoting your company’s presence online. Make the most of this vibrant social network by making sure that your business is a visible participant.
Are you using the right keywords?
The power of search engine optimization is stronger than ever before: As many as 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search engine results, according to stats compiled by Search Engine Journal. This is reason enough that you need to employ good SEO techniques and get your business to rank on page one of every targeted keyword search.
Employing poor SEO practices can leave your business buried in search engine searches, making it impossible for your customers to find you. Below, Forbes Agency Council members share advice on the most common SEO errors that could be hurting your search engine rankings.
1. Lack Of Quality Content
While user experience is increasingly paramount, you also have to think about what search engine bots see when they crawl your website. Your content needs to be effective in communicating to your audience and to bots. Each page on your website should have 400 words of quality content at the very least, but 700 to 1,200 words is optimal. Remember, this includes your product and collections pages as well. – Brock Murray, seoplus+
2. Seeing Double
One of the most common SEO mistakes out there is duplicate content. If you have the same content on more than one page on your site then the search engines will be confused and your pages will end up competing against each other or your website will get penalized. – Andrew Miller, Enter
3. Choosing The Wrong Keywords
The definition of “wrong” keywords extends to selecting keywords that don’t accurately describe your products and services, or selecting keywords that don’t convert into customers. Select target keywords carefully, as they are your biggest determinant in SEO success. – Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
4. Not Optimizing For Engagement
While backlinks are still a heavily weighted value in SEO rankings, you should focus on user engagement. We are finding that longer, well-written content that captures the reader’s attention is increasing rankings. Incorporate images, videos, quotes, resources and infographics to assist with the reader engagement. Your bounce rate should reduce while the time on site and rankings increase. – Breynan Hammons, Innvio
5. Lack Of Title Tag Optimization
One of the biggest errors we see with our clients’ websites is that the textual content is not optimized. It is a best practice to have variations of your primary target keywords in three heading tags across your homepage and any other sub-pages where SEO work is being done. The heading tags consist of H1, H2 and H3 title tags. Keeping those optimized will help boost your rankings. – Darryl Stevens, DIGITECH Web Design
6. Keyword Stuffing
Now that Google’s algorithms are much smarter and always change, they can recognize and penalize sites for keyword stuffing. Instead of overstuffing, use relevant keywords within your site’s content but always in moderation. Always keep your audience in mind. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
7. Absence Of A Blog Strategy
One big SEO initiative that we work on with our clients is developing a consistent, ongoing, informative blog strategy. Too often, people create a blog and don’t take the time to blog properly – helpful, meaningful information with regular posting that uses appropriate keywords. This is very helpful for organic search, plus it provides great content to share on socials and e-newsletters. – Duree Ross, Durée & Company.com
8. Thin Content Lacking Target Keywords
One of the most common issues for my clients is the use of thin and irrelevant content that lacks a target keyword and related keywords. Content needs to have depth and deep analysis of the subject, and each piece should focus on one or two keywords at most. Next, semantically related keywords are needed for algorithms to grasp the relevancy of the topic. – Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com
9. Index Bloat
I’d say about 35% of the leads we receive suffer from index bloat in one way or another, whether from poor WordPress optimization resulting in tag, category, media and archive pages being indexed or from an absurd amount of thin content being indexed. Typically, an excessive number of thin pages comes from blogging for the sake of blogging, rather than providing value and answering searchers’ queries. – Kyle Sanders, CWR SEO
10. Not Prioritizing High-Value Non-Branded Keywords
Like with many other practices, success in SEO starts with the fundamentals. And the reality is, many firms, including prominent ones, do not include valuable non-branded keywords in their title tags, especially on their most important pages. Simply put: If you aren’t taking the effort to use the keywords your target market is, they are going to have a harder time finding you. – Larry Gurreri, Sosemo
11. Too Broad Optimization Goals
Trying to attract everyone. Optimizing for broader, more generic keywords is an easy and understandable trap to fall into. But here are the pitfalls: 1) There’s a lot of competition when optimizing for generic keywords, and 2) You may be drawing traffic to your site that will never convert. Instead, be as specific as possible with your keywords. You may get fewer visitors, but you’ll get more buyers. – Joey Hodges, Demonstrate PR
12. Title Tags Not Describing The Page/Business
One of the most common SEO errors is incorrect assumptions about how to label title tags. A lot of companies make their homepage or sub-page title tags the title of their company. Instead, this should be a short description of the product or service the company provides. – Kyle Kramer, Huify
Search, Engine and Optimisation are three words that probably don’t spark a whole lot of enthusiasm in many marketers, except maybe those in the IT and web design industries.
It has always been challenging for any business, big or small SEO budget, to get found in Google’s organic search, but this has recently changed. Alterations in the way Google displays search results have created opportunities for businesses to not only get to the top of the search engine results but to actually get above the traditional listings and into the coveted “position zero” at the top of the page.
This feature is known as Google’s Rich Answers and getting your site up there is not as difficult as you might think. Best of all, it can easily be switched on, so I thought I would share this lesser known marketing strategy with my fellow marketers as I believe it has a lot of potential for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
What are Rich Answers?
Rich Answers are a way that Google attempts to make it as easy as possible for its users to get the information they’re looking for by providing the answer to a question right on the search engine results page.
These answers can come in many forms from text based to images and graphics, maps, lists or just about anything else that the enigmatic Google algorithm deems appropriate.
Here is an example:
Rich answers appear at the very top of the search engine page, above the list of results. Getting your content featured in the Rich Answers section puts you in pole position, right above the number one Google spot.
Are Rich Answers a threat to click through rates?
Some marketers view Rich Answers as a problem in online marketing. This is mainly because users can now see the answer to their question without having to click through to your site. The suggestion is that if the Rich Answer is displayed in full from your site, you may miss out on a potential visitor.
Personally I don’t feel this is anything to worry about. In fact Rich Answers are a fantastic way to stand out from the crowd and prove your authority and expertise. For any given search, unless you show up on page one or two of the results your chances of getting a click through to your site are virtually non-existent anyway. Appearing at the top of the list in the Rich Answers will give you credibility and visibility where you would otherwise go completely unseen.
Interestingly, Google doesn’t just pick the sites with the fanciest SEO and greatest domain authorities to appear in their Rich Answers. This is good news for smaller businesses that might not otherwise be able to reach the number one Google spot.
How to get your content featured on Rich Answers
The first step to getting your content featured on Rich Answers is to determine the specific questions you want to answer. These will be questions your target audience use when they are searching for information relevant to your business.
One great way to find the questions people are asking is to use the autofill feature on your Google search bar. Just start typing in a question and look at how Google completes it. This will give you a clue to what people are searching for so you can word your questions and answers accordingly.
Once you have identified a number of questions you will need to create content around those questions. Remember that content doesn’t have to be written; it can be visual in the form of images or graphs if that is relevant.
After you have determined your questions there are four things you need to do:
- Use <h1> tags to mark up the questions you want to answer
- Use keywords in your content
- Ask the question and answer it succinctly in the body of your content
- Provide variations of the question throughout
Google’s Rich Answer box provides websites of all different shapes and sizes with a great place to feature their content and improve brand awareness. It’s free and if you can pull it off you can beat the big guns to the number one spot and potentially bring more traffic to your organisation’s site.
The best advertising strategy is one that helps the advertiser in delivering the message to a maximum number of people at a minimum cost. That is why from startup companies to large corporates; digital advertising is the first choice of smart businesses all over the world.
Almost a year back, the IT giant Cisco saved $ 100,000 when it decided to promote the newly launched router on digital platforms only. These days’ advertisers bet on digital advertising solutions because they help them accurately analyse the return on cost and the overall impact of an advertising campaign. A forecast made by PwC USA also claims that digital advertising is growing exponentially and American companies are going to spend $38.6bn by 2019 in this domain. In contrast, newspaper advertising is going to have a tough time and could experience a negative growth of 33% during the same period.
A major advantage of digital advertising is Pay per Click (PPC) payment mode, which means advertiser does not pay any extra amount to the partner website other than the number of clicks on the advertisement. Besides, display of an ad on both desktop and mobile screen ensure maximum outreach of a brand. Also, the mass appeal of social media and the availability of advanced analytical tools on social networks make Digital Advertising highly cost-effective and result oriented.
Strategies that Bring Results and Save Money
The cost of digital advertising is significantly cheaper than traditional advertising and businesses can save a great amount of if they carefully focus on the following things.
To ensure best returns from a digital advertising campaign, it should be targeted to the right audience. Advertisers who carefully select their target audience using the first-party data, second-party data, and third-party data as per their relevance receive impressions from the potential customers only. Data-based audience segmentation empowers advertisers with informed bidding decisions which ensure the success of an ad campaign and save money for the businesses.
Chase the Majority with Dayparting
Dayparting means dividing the scheduled week/day into multiple time slots and selecting those time slots when potential customers are expected to view and click on the ad. Various analytical tools help to study and predict the media consumption behaviour of the target audience and enable the advertiser to broadcast the ad at the right time. Dayparting ensures maximum return from a digital ad campaign because it empowers the advertiser with effective bidding strategies.
Keep the Campaign Fresh with Frequency Capping
Frequency capping decides that how many times the ad will be displayed or broadcasted to the particular audience during the total duration of the campaign. Advertisers who strategically fix the frequency capping usually get better attention of the people and they positively influence the decision of the prospective buyer. Low-frequency cap is considered beneficial for new campaigns with fresh creative while in the case of repeat/revised campaign frequency capping should be increased moderately.
Choose the Right Destination with Geotargeting
Geo targeting means more qualified leads and maximum utilisation of the ad spends because it allows the advertiser to run a campaign in selected geographical locations. The target area can be finalised within a particular state, city or even a selected region of the city which ultimately reduce advertising waste. Geotargeting is an ideal way to control advertisement investments in digital landscapes as it enables the advertiser to develop a customised campaign for niche segments. Geotargeting is ..
PPC can be an incredibly cost-effective way to generate leads through search engines. The key is to look at the right metrics for the right situations and use that data to make the most meaningful changes to your campaigns.
There’s one thing nearly every potential B2B buyer does before buying a product or signing a contract for your services: search.
In fact, 77 percent of B2B buyers are said to research on Google before making a buying decision.
And while improving your organic search engine ranking is important, executing an search engine optimization plan takes time. It’s a long-game approach that pays long-term dividends.
For many businesses, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising through services like Google Adwords has become an incredibly effective way to leverage the keywords potential customers are using to search for your business or industry.
Here are a few reasons why PPC might be an incredibly valuable marketing tactic to increase traffic to your website and generate new leads.
1. You don’t have to wait to start generating leads
Because you’re paying for them, PPC allows you to get up and running with ads for the keywords you want to rank for pretty quickly. While an organic SEO strategy takes time, PPC allows you to get in the game for important industry keywords.
2. You only pay for what you convert
With PPC campaigns, you only pay for the clicks you generate. This means you’re only paying for the people who actually click through on the ad and visit the landing page you intended them to visit.
3. You can easily track conversions to measure ROI
By adding conversion pixels to your landing pages, PPC allows you to identify the exact cost-per-lead of your campaign, which can be a lot more arduous to generate with other marketing tactics. As a result, you’re able to continually tweak and optimize your ads to decrease the cost-per-lead.
How to measure PPC success
The truth is there are dozens of PPC metrics you can track. So, which ones matter most when it comes to reaching your business goals?
Rather than focusing solely on PPC analytics like clicks, impressions and click-through rates, here are some metrics that allow you to analyze macro metrics that speak to the ROI of your efforts:
- Cost-per-conversion. This helps you determine if the PPC clicks you’re generating represent quality traffic that’s actually converting into sales.
- Most valuable keywords. Being able to track which keywords lead to sales can help you zero in on where to give credit within your PPC campaigns.
- Lifetime value of PPC customers. Once you have an understanding of how much it costs to convert a PPC lead, compare that to the other cost-per-customer marketing tactics against the lifetime value of your customers.
At the end of the day, PPC can be an incredibly cost-effective way to generate leads through search engines. The key is to look at the right metrics for the right situations and use that data to make the most meaningful changes to your campaigns.
Owning more paid search spots on search results can increase your clicks by 30–50 percent for each additional spot that you occupy. To get this type of monster click growth from paid search, tap on your affiliates, partners and resellers to make a paid search land grab. For example, if your CTR (click-through rate) alone is 2 percent, removing one competitor and replacing it with one affiliate with a CTR of 0.8 percent grows your additive CTR to 2.8 percent — a 40 percent gain!
The learnings I am about to share come from years of working with search marketing clients through my position as CEO of The Search Monitor.
Growth hack 1: Use affiliates to protect brand terms
One of the most effective ways to use your affiliates is to box out competitors on your brand and brand+ keywords. In this hack, you will grant a trusted list of affiliates with brand bidding rights. Typically, you will also restrict ranking so that your ads always appear on top. By utilizing affiliates to fill in competitive ad spots on your brand+ keywords, you effectively reduce the reach of your competition.
The big benefit: More page real estate for you
This tactic works best if you are in a highly competitive space with three or more advertisers bidding on your brands. If you are already dominant — i.e., the only advertiser on your brand and brand+ keywords — then this tactic does not make sense for you.
The big challenge: Cannibalizing your clicks and messaging
To protect yourself from cannibalizing your SEM team’s efforts, you need to ensure a few safeties are in place:
- Your affiliates are granted limited rank rights so that you are always at the top.
- Your affiliates stay on message so that there are no conflicting offers showing.
Below is an example of Verizon taking advantage of this tactic. All of the top positions are for Verizon — nicely done!
By contrast, the screen shot below provides an example of ADT getting taken advantage of by not using this tactic. Positions 2, 3 and 4 are occupied by competitors.
If the cumulative CTR for ads on this keyword is 6 percent, then assuming the off-brand competitors are able to snag 2-3 percent CTR as a group, ADT has lost ~50 percent of its potential clicks. Given that SimpliSafe has a better offer at $15/month versus ADT’s offer of $9/week, the click loss might be higher than this.
Growth hack 2: Use affiliates to bid on brands you sell
To extend your reach, consider granting your trusted affiliates with direct linking rights to brand bid on brands that you sell. Direct linking involves an affiliate using your display URL in the ad (so that the ad looks like yours), and then driving the clicks through an affiliate link as the destination URL, then directly to your website.
The big benefit: More reach for you, no SEM budget changes
This tactic extends your paid search reach without extending your paid search budget. Your affiliates take on the risk and the budget, while driving traffic, branding and attention to your own website.
Amazon uses this tactic a lot. Amazon’s reach is tremendous because it uses this tactic across nearly every brand where you see an Amazon ad. The ads below are all direct linking ads from Amazon’s affiliates marketing on non-Amazon brands: Nike, Keurig, DKNY, Logitech and Verizon:
The big challenge: Direct linking is risky
Allowing affiliates to link directly is a bit risky, which is why most advertisers do not allow their affiliates to do it. A few problems can arise without careful monitoring:
- If the keyword lists overlap with your SEM team’s list, direct linking will cause tremendous channel conflict between the affiliate and paid search teams.
- Ad copy and messaging need to be carefully monitored to ensure that the messaging is on-brand.
- If the affiliate direct links on your own brand name, you have defeated the very purpose of this tactic; you should never allow affiliates to direct link on your own brand name.
To showcase these challenges, here are a few Amazon backfires:
- Here, Amazon gave its affiliate too much leeway. The resulting keyword choice and ad copy messaging makes no sense:
- Here, an Amazon affiliate sneaked up on Amazon’s own branded keyword. Brand bidding should never be allowed by direct linking affiliates. We call this problem “URL Hijacking”:
Do your homework
If you are going to deploy either of the above tactics, be sure to do your homework so that all goes well and you can sleep easily at night.
Define your search policy. Your affiliate agreement must describe exactly what is and is not allowed, including keyword bidding, messaging and direct linking.
Pick trusted affiliates. Pick affiliates who have the ability to manage SEM properly. To gauge trust, ask these questions:
- Is your affiliate monitoring its own activities? A huge credibility win is when your affiliate uses a compliance monitoring utility to police itself.
- Is your affiliate risky to other merchants? Try to gain insight into the brand bidding behavior that the affiliate poses towards other merchants.
Monitor for compliance and report often. For this plan to work, all of your affiliates must comply with your rules. Carefully monitor search results pages, automate reports, get alerts and fire off complaints if affiliates are not following your rules.
How will you know if this strategy is working?
Below are signs that your plan is working:
- Your traffic increases from the paid search channel.
- Your reach increases — your ads appear on more search results.
- You see fewer competitors on your brand terms.
- Your CPC (cost per click) decreases — our clients expect to see a 50-60 percent decrease in CPCs.
- Your CTR increases — our clients have seen 30-40 percent increases in clicks.
There’s a joke that asks, “Where should you bury something that you don’t want people to find?”
Answer: On the second page of Google.
Sure, it’s corny. But there’s still some truth to that statement.
75% of people will never scroll past the first page on a Google search.
That means you can’t afford to be ranking on the second, third, or fourth page.
You just won’t get the clicks and traffic you need to make SEO worth your time and money.
And you need that organic traffic because 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
On top of that, there are over 1 trillion searches every single month!
A good SEO presence has the power to drive inbound traffic that could grow your business for years to come.
But the average-joe website owner doesn’t have the power to rank on the first page of Google for the best keywords.
There are already countless high-profile websites capitalizing on the top industry keywords.
And there are thousands of other bloggers trying to rank for that keyword as well.
That means the deck is stacked. And it’s not in your favor.
You shouldn’t give up, though! There are a few proven methods that I’ve used and found success with to show up on the first page of Google.
And the best part is that you don’t need the authority or links to rank for many of these keywords.
I can teach you how to show up for them anyway.
First, I’ll explain why you’re doomed for now.
And second, I’ll show you how to use this problem to your advantage to rank on the first page of Google despite your shortcomings.
Ready to get started? Let’s do it.
Why you probably can’t rank on the first page of Google anytime soon
I’m going to be straight with you:
You’re pretty much doomed. If you’re trying to get noticed and rank organically on the first page for popular industry keywords like “SEO Guide,” it’s not going to happen anytime soon.
If you’re just starting out, you’ve got no domain authority, a tiny backlink profile, and hardly any traction as a result.
And if you take a look at Google’s first page results for “SEO Guide,” you’ll quickly see what the major problem you’re up against is:
See what I mean? The domain authorities of these top page rankings are going to blow any new website out of the water.
Moz? 93 domain authority. Kissmetrics? 85.
How many backlinks does that #1 spot have? 18,389 to be exact.
That’s more than most of us will get on our entire site. Ever.
Plus, these guides have been up for years!
The Beginner’s Guide to SEO from Moz has been up for five years or so. Their website claims that over three million people have read it.
You get the idea.
Sites that have been around for a long time are going to dominate the top page rankings for popular industry keywords.
These people are producing stellar content and getting countless backlinks to their content.
If you’re just starting out, you need to pursue different strategies.
You can’t afford to wait around for five years to rank on the bottom of the first page for “SEO Guide.” Not with the number of hours and dollars it would take.
But that’s OK!
Just realize that you’re not going to rank organically for it right now.
The good news is that you don’t need to. There’s still hope.
The trick is to readjust your strategy and use different methods to still show up for your target keywords.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Start by dominating long-tail keywords
There are more long-tail keywords out there than big, popular ones.
Here’s a simple comparison to explain the difference:
And my own beautifully simple example:
- ‘Head’ keyword = “SEO guide”
- Long-tail = “SEO guide for small businesses 2017”
Each might not send you a ton of traffic. However, long-tail keywords do in total when you add a bunch of them up.
For example, I was able to increase my organic traffic to 173,336 visitors monthly using a long-tail strategy.
Long-tail searches also make up the majority of searches on Google.
You should target these long-tail keywords because they’re easier to rank for. And that means they’ll usually take less time and money.
So you’re not going up against the mammoth, industry-leading companies on these search engine result pages (SERPs).
Still skeptical of the power of long-tail strategies? I was, too, at first!But then I read about how Amazon makes 57% of their sales from long-tail keywords.
How? Because long-tail searches are looking for very specific information, whereas short-tail keywords are more general.
If you can give the searcher specific information, they’re going to stick around and convert.
Here’s an example SERP of a long-tail keyword search to help you get an idea of how it’s possible to rank for them.
Do you notice that the SERP isn’t overcrowded with industry influencers and top blogs?
Sure, there are still a few in there, but the top-ranking sites are ones that you’ve probably never heard of.
Instead of going up against a website with a 93 domain authority, here’s what the first ranking page for this long-tail search query looks like:
Now I’ve got your attention, right?
So sure, this keyword might have lower search volume than “SEO Guide.”
But remember that these long-tail keyword conversion rates are almost always higher.
And you know what I preach:
Traffic doesn’t mean anything if people don’t convert!If you’re getting 50,000 visitors a month from a popular keyword, but nobody is converting, it’s not doing you much good.
Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket for “SEO Guide,” create more content and optimize it for long-tail searches to dominate the SERPs!
Now let’s talk about a few ways to rank for the more popular terms that you just can’t seem to resist. And let’s do it without any ‘classic’ SEO.
2. Pay to reach the top of the AdWords search network
Now, you may be thinking, “Neil, my friend, my mentor, you do know that AdWords is not organic search, right?”
Well, just hear me out on this one, okay?
I’m going to start this one off with an example because it’s the only way to understand how truly effective this strategy can be.
So let’s fire up a search for “Best CRM.”
Here’s what the results page looks like:
It looks a bit different, doesn’t it? There’s not a single organic result until you scroll past the fold.
You’ve got four AdWords search network ads and a featured snippet from a single organic result.
It takes the user multiple steps just to reach the organic results and decide what to click on this SERP.
But something even more important jumps out at me here.
The keyword intent and the results that appear don’t line up.
Here’s what I mean.
Check out the first three ads:
They all talk about their own CRM and say that they’re the best in the industry.
That’s not surprising, necessarily. Everyone wants their products and services to be seen as the best.
But for this search, that’s a problem.
And more importantly, this is an opportunity for you to show up for that keyword.Here’s why.
What are people looking for when they type in “Best CRM?”
Are they looking for Salesforce or Zoho or Pipedrive right now?
No. They’re looking for a CRM comparison to see which one is the best. They want to consider their alternatives and options before deciding.
You can validate this by looking at the organic results, which all feature comparison articles and reviews.
Google wants to help the searcher find what they’re looking for as fast as possible.
That means the top organic results usually reflect the searcher’s intent.
So instead of looking for a branded PPC ad about one product being the best, a searcher is looking for CRM comparisons!
Now, do you remember those top 3 PPC results? They’re probably not getting any clicks because they’re not answering the searcher’s question.
The content doesn’t match the intent behind the search query.
But look at the 4th result:
If I were a betting man (which I am), I’d bet you that this low-domain-authority website is getting countless clicks for “Best CRM.”
I’d bet that this ad outperforms the ones above it.
This no-name site can rank with the big boys because they’ve done a better job matching keyword intent with their ad.
It’s practically cheating the system, and it works perfectly.
Now check out all of the traffic you have the opportunity to steal without competing for it head-on with massive brands in the organic rankings:
Instead of preaching about their product, the fourth ad lines up their content to look exactly like the organic results.
However, they show up before the organic results with no effort spent on link building.
You don’t need to organically rank for a keyword to get traffic for that keyword. Just remember to match the searcher’s intent and mimic the organic results to drive traffic.
3. Write more blog posts than your competition
What’s the downside of a long-tail keyword strategy?
You can’t stuff a bunch of random keywords onto the same page. You should still focus on one or two keywords per post, max.
That means you’re going to have to create a lot more content!
This is no great secret.
If you write more content, you’ve got a better shot at ranking on the first page of Google.
The more you write, the more pages get indexed, and the more traffic you bring to your site.
If you’re writing 5-10 posts a month, it’s still not enough.
Your competition and industry leaders are writing 16+ every single month.
You can’t reasonably expect to outrank a competitor or catch up to an industry leader by writing less, can you?
You need to write like your business depends on it. Because based on the information above, it does!
And it can’t be any old 500-word blog post that you slap together in an hour.
Here’s what the top content on Google looks like on average.
Everything on the first page of Google is over 2,000 words.
That means that you need to write more in-depth content that guides users through the process of solving their problems.
This content should be actionable and filled with images, examples, and step-by-step instructions.
Now is about the time when you start thinking, “How on Earth am I going to carve out time to write more?”
If that’s the case, maybe you need to hire someone.
The good news is that content marketing costs 62% less than other marketing mediums. All while generating 3x the number of leads.
If you want to start ranking for the top keywords, you need to produce valuable, unique content — and lots of it.
On top of that, you also need to optimize your content to generate the highest CTR possible.
Why? Because optimizing headlines and meta descriptions for searchers can result in a 10% increase in CTR.
And an increase in CTR means you’re on your way to ranking higher.
Here’s an example:
Why do you think this Search Engine Land post outranks the post below it?
Take a look at that headline!
Instead of a basic headline, they make you think about what you just searched.
It goes against the grain of normal, acceptable advice. It’s like a pattern interruption that causes you to stop what you’re doing.
Now you’re rethinking everything you once thought was true!
Here are a few powerful headline templates to try immediately to boost your organic CTR:
[ ______________ ] Using These 5 Strategic Moves
10 Quick Moves to [ ________________ ] and Increase Revenue
How I Used These 5 Moves to [ ____________ ]
Interested in more headline tips to increase your CTR and boost your rankings? Start with my in-depth guide on headlines.
4. Get reviewed and featured in round-ups
Sometimes, spending money on PPC ads to rank higher for keywords isn’t an option.
Spending too much time and money on creating long-form guides to rank for your desired keywords also may not be feasible.
Luckily, you can still get your name featured in top-ranking content! All while doing a fraction of the work.
Rather than having your official site placed on the top page of Google from AdWords or organic rankings, you can get featured in round-up posts with minimal time and effort.
Here’s what I mean:
Just go to Google and search “best SEO tools 2017”:
All the results are roundup-style posts in which the authors review and analyze the top tools.
It’s basically free advertising.
You can get your name out to thousands upon thousands of consumers a month who are clicking on those top-ranking posts.
For example, let’s click on the first result from PC Magazine:
They cover each SEO tool, providing reviews of each feature the tools have and then helping to prioritize them for everyone else.
Now, you can use these roundup-style posts to your advantage. Rank well on these posts, and you’ll get tons of traffic in return.
For example, thousands of people are already searching for “SEO tools.”
Then you can conduct outreach to have your tool featured in those comparisons.
And that traffic can be huge:
If you’re featured on all of the comparison posts that already rank on the top page, you’re going to get traffic from each one of those.
And this traffic will already be primed to buy from you.
A few simple outreach efforts can now save you years of grinding away in obscurity to get your brand in front of eager searchers.
No time, no money, and just a little effort can still get your brand in the top results.
If the deck is stacked against you in one game, just switch the game that you’re playing.
Showing up on the first page of Google is nearly impossible if you’re just starting out.
That’s harsh, but it’s also true.
Industry leaders who’ve been producing content for years dominate all of the best keywords and SERPs.
Many of them have been spending millions on big-budget ad campaigns, too.
So you can’t expect to rank first when you’re new.
The competition is already so far out ahead. They’ve been accumulating thousands of links and countless shares while this business was still a twinkle in your eye.
Their brands are well-established, and their authority is too high.
But you still need organic traffic to thrive and keep your business growing.
Thankfully, there are a few workarounds.
Try researching and producing content for long-tail keywords. The volume might be lower, but so is the competition.
Use sneaky tactics like PPC ads to rank above the organic results for an extremely popular ‘head’ keyword that you know you’ll never be able to rank for organically.
Try getting reviewed in roundup-style posts to get featured on top articles.
There’s plenty of unconventional methods to get your brand in front of the traffic that you crave.
You just have to get a little creative and understand that you might not always rank for the top terms.
But other methods exist to get similar results if you know where to look.
What strategies have you used to rank on the first page of Google?