Digital Marketing For The Layperson

By this point I shouldn’t be surprised but, these days I often find myself dumbfounded by some people’s struggle to comprehend the simple nature of our industry. Fear of the unknown seems to be driving much of the confusion and I suppose a lot of it comes from generations with little to no exposure to computers in their youths but, it amazes me nonetheless.

I am a “Gen X’er” so, I was a part of the very first generation to have computers in the classroom and the first to have video game consoles in the home. Growing up in what is now the Silicon Valley might have given us an advantage over other schools throughout the country but I am grateful for the early start.

I know some very intelligent, capable, successful people who simply cannot wrap their heads around digital marketing and, I know some folks with below average intelligence who oversimplify what we do and as a result, are equally impossible to talk to. Even though there are plenty of books, blogs and video tutorials dumbing down what we do for mass consumption, I am going to attempt to explain the basics of what we do, in my own words. Bear with me.

Search Engines

Unless you’ve been in solitary confinement at a C.I.A. black site, you’ve probably heard of Google so, let’s start there.

Think of Google like an interactive phone book but, instead of flipping through pages, you type in keywords (relevant to what you’re looking for), into a search bar. After you click the search button, you’re going to see a list of results, some consisting of names, numbers, and locations of either people or businesses (non-business related searches will also pull up the appropriate results). If the information you are seeking displays on the page(a business’ phone # and/or address) you’re golden, if not, you may have to click on links to be taken to a page that has the information you’re looking for. It’s really that simple. On most search engine result pages there are 3 sections: Sponsored ads, local results and organic results, to the untrained eye, they are all the same but there are some important differences.

Sponsored Ads:

These are PAID ads but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t click on them. I have heard countless people say something to the effect of “everyone knows those are paid ads so I don’t click on them”. Really? That is one of the most absurd arguments I have ever heard. Do you also refuse to buy anything you see in a tv commercial, radio ad or print ad because the advertisements are paid for? I didn’t think so. Nobody is trying to “trick or deceive you”, sponsored ads are clearly marked and they are placed in positions on the page that search engines know to get the most activity.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Google makes 97% of its revenue from sponsored ads (Billions) so, they are going to position those ads in most strategically advantageous places, the same way advertisers choose certain audiences, programming, publications, markets and time slots when advertising on T.V., radio, and print.

Example:

Local Results:

The “Map Section” as it’s commonly referred to, usually only consists of local results based on a geo modifier used in a search query (name of a town, city, county, state, province, country or continent) or based off the users location, as it’s perceived by the device being used to search with (laptop, tablet, phone. etc). Improve your ranking in this section with a service called Local SEO, a valuable and affordable service we offer. Listings in this section are not pay per click.

Example:

 Organic or “Natural” Results:

These results are not paid for and appear where they do through a number of factors, mostly outside of your control. Google’s always changing algorithm ultimately decides how the results are ranked but there are things you can do that will help over time. Keeping the same URL helps, having updated, relevant content, blogging regularly and having a current, mobile and user-friendly site will go a long way. Although usability is far more important than appearances, good aesthetics certainly don’t hurt.

 

Display Ads:

Google Display Network is a group of more than 2 million websites, videos, blogs and apps where your ads can appear. Display Network sites reach over 90% of Internet users worldwide*. With the Display Network, you can use targeting to show your ads in particular contexts (like “outdoor lifestyles” or “cnn.com”), to particular audiences (like “young moms” or “people shopping for a new sedan”), in particular locations, and more.

 Here are some examples of ad shapes you might recognize:

Large Rectangle 336×280

 

 

 

160×600 Skyscraper


 728×90 Banner

 

 

 

Feel free to email us with any questions about digital marketing.

 

Cheesy marketing joke of the week:


A SEO copywriter walks into a bar, bars, tavern, pub, pubs, public house, Irish, bartender, drinks, beer, wine, liquor…

Sorry, that was not fair to SEO professionals My apologies, apology, apologize, best apology, how to apologize, really sorry…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Minutes

 

 There are many things one can do in 15 minutes like, make a grilled cheese sandwich, change a tire, brew a pot of coffee, troll your least favorite celebrity on social media or, dissolve a dead human body in a large, schedule 2 plastic tub full of hydrochloric acid. Personally, I prefer a shallow grave and a bag of Lye but, I digress.

For business owners, 15 minutes of free time can be hard to find but, by taking a few minutes each day, you can help improve your company’s online presence and, without spending a dime.

 Your Website: Updating specials, sales, events, products, employees, services, charitable endeavors, changes in contact info and/or any other relevant information doesn’t take long and can be very helpful to visitors on your site. If you do not have the ability to make changes to your site, I recommend getting a CMS(Content Management System) like WordPress that allows you to make edits without the need for a web developer. If you are in the market for a new site, give us a call, we build in WordPress.

Facebook: With over 2 Billion users, Facebook has become a valuable platform for businesses and whether or not you spend money on FB ads, updating your company’s page regularly is a great way generate awareness, interest, and revenue. Just like with your website, updating specials, sales, events, products, employees, services, charitable endeavors, changes in contact info and/or any other relevant information is a good practice to be in.

Yelp and Google reviews: I cannot overstress the importance of responding to online reviews, the good and the bad alike. Thanking happy clients/customers who took the time to write a positive review is just good business and responding to bad reviews is equally, if not more important. Any PR professional will tell you that you must respond to damaging allegations, accusations or public criticism, simply put, if you don’t tell your side of the story, somebody else will tell it for you. Bad reviews can hurt your bottom line, and many times they are embellished or outright fabricated so, telling your truth is crucial. If you are dealing with a reasonable person and you are willing to work through their grievance, sometimes you can get them to remove or update the review. Make time to regularly check and respond to reviews. Many businesses have unclaimed Yelp listings but taking control of your page is not difficult, you cannot respond if you don’t have administrative access to your listing.

Check Your Local Listings: If you Google your company name and location, you should see relevant results going down the first page, click on any company listing and make sure the information is correct, many times it is not. Incorrect information like hours of operation, contact info and location can cost you money. Your business is listed hundreds of places around the internet, if you don’t have the time or the desire to monitor them all, I recommend taking advantage of our Local SEO service, it’s more than affordable and incredibly valuable for any business.

If you are so busy that you cannot find the time for any of these suggested tasks, you are a perfect candidate for our services and you should give us a call @ 866-609-3483

Until next week……

 

Cheesy marketing joke of the week:

How do you get people to notice you online?

 

You have to really make an impression.