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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh From the Oven

It seems that these days, cable tv is inundated with cooking shows, hell, there are even entire television networks dedicated just to this subject and of course, magazines, clubs, social media groups, and several podcasts to boot. Foodies love their cooking shows. Being the illegitimate bastard love child of Master Chef, Gordon Ramsay, I think that “Kitchen Nightmares” is perfect for an Ideal Positions parody. To anyone not reading this blog that might be unfamiliar with the show, Ramsay is called upon to help struggling restaurateurs save their business from failure, making sure to hold them accountable for their poor decisions by brutally and hilariously insulting them every step of the way. “Website Nightmares” will follow the same blueprint and will feature a combination of both spoofed and original mockery and insults, doing the research for this will be a lot of fun as there are numerous compilations of Ramsay’s best meltdowns on Youtube. There may be a “Hell’s Kitchen” parody to be cooked up as well (pun totally intended) but it will have to get in line as there are already close to 40 ad concepts and projects we have conceived, completed or currently in production.

After all this talk about abusive language, let’s talk about therapy. You’re a website not getting a lot of traffic, you have an abnormally high bounce rate and a very short average time on site, as a result, you feel like a failure, you’re lonely, your self-esteem is at an all-time low and you really need to talk to a professional. Your business owner neglects you, doesn’t meet your needs, doesn’t give you the attention you require so you end up on a therapists couch. Your Psychiatrist tells you that you’re in an abusive, toxic relationship and that if your business owner isn’t willing to participate in couples counseling that you should find someone who can better market your needs. A prescription for Adwords and Local SEO makes you feel better and just like that, your future looks bright. This one will also be fun to play around with, I like the idea of trying to recreate the dynamic between Tony Soprano and his shrink but it may not translate well, only time will tell. No matter which way we go with his one, I know it will be good.

This is just another sneak peek at some future projects brought to by Ideal Positions. Stay tuned for upcoming blogs from Ian Davis and Maile Collier.