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.

 

 

The History of Ideal Positions

Beginnings

The origins of Ideal Positions can be found in the humble setting of a small studio apartment and the ambitious vision of founder and entrepreneur Kelsy Anderson. In the beginning, Kelsy and a small handful of employees sold online advertising exclusively to real estate agencies and realtors on what was then the largest search engine on the internet, Yahoo!. What happened from there eventually flourished and grew into the bustling, successful company that Ideal Positions is today, boasting over 40 dedicated employees, multiple departments collaborating in their expertise, and countless clients who have seen their own businesses flourish and grow alongside our truly unique company. What follows are some of the sea changes that led to where Ideal Positions is today and where we are still going. You will find that Ideal Positions is a company that has adapted to the changes of our industry, stayed ahead of the curve, and yet never sacrificed the integrity and personal touches that make our company special.

Any business that has been involved in Search Engine Marketing (SEM) as long as Ideal Positions remembers the days when Yahoo! was king. Ideal Positions began by advertising exclusively on the Yahoo! and MSN search engines using the Overture Pay Per Click (PPC) platform. In these early days, Ideal Positions’ focus was solely on marketing for real estate professionals. As the success of the company grew and our top-notch marketing was proven with scores of realtors, it was time for Ideal Positions to expand its services beyond the real estate market. Over the years, Ideal Positions has brought expert marketing and campaign management to a wide variety of different industries, including attorneys, photographers, plastic surgeons, locksmiths, bail bondsmen, carpet cleaners, electricians, contractors, counselors, therapists, dentists, plumbers, wedding planners, and countless other industries too numerous to mention. Ideal Positions continues to expand into new verticals, building experience and expertise with a vast diversity of businesses.

As the Internet evolved, so did Ideal Positions. It wasn’t long before Ideal Positions realized that the Yahoo! and MSN search networks were no longer reaching enough users to deliver the volume of traffic our advertisers needed. At the time, Google AdWords was emerging as the dominant platform for Search Engine Marketing, and Google eventually overtook Yahoo! as the most popular search engine in the United States. Ideal Positions took note, incorporating Google AdWords into its existing Search Engine Marketing services, expanding to encompass the two largest search engines on the Internet and bringing our clients incomparable web presence in the process.

With the adoption of Google AdWords, Ideal Positions dedicated itself to the mastery of the Google AdWords Pay Per Click marketing platform. Concurrent with our ever growing proficiency in Pay Per Click account management, our rapport with Google grew and Ideal Positions became a Google AdWords Qualified Company.

In 2009, Microsoft launched the successor to MSN and Live Search: the bing search engine. Ever on the bleeding edge, Ideal Positions immediately adopted the new Microsoft adCenter Pay Per Click platform (currently known as bing Ads) and began offering Pay Per Click marketing on the bing search engine network. A client of Ideal Positions could now be found on the most popular search engines in the world: Google, Yahoo!, bing, and their innumerable search partners!

From the beginning, Ideal Positions focused on Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing over Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for many reasons, among them speed, potential Return On Investment (ROI) for our advertisers, and reliability. However, as the Internet and the search engines continued to evolve, a third major element of online marketing came into play: Local SEO. In early 2010, Ideal Positions took note and began to offer a new service, branded as Local Listings Optimization (LLO). LLO focused on optimizing and managing a businesses’ presence and reputation across many search directories and Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs), providing a new way for our clients to be found by the users searching for their services. The local ecosystem has gone through dramatic changes over the years, and Ideal Positions has adapted and evolved LLO every step of the way to keep the service robust, flexible, and effective.

One of the biggest developments in the history of Ideal Positions was the introduction of the Web Development Department in the first quarter of 2010. Our talented web developers have used their expertise to build better websites for many of our clients, not to mention Ideal Positions’ websites as well. Perhaps the best testament to Ideal Positions’ web developers is the site you are currently on. As you can see from the screenshots of our past websites, the skills of our Web Development Department have consistently elevated Ideal Positions and our clients’ online presence to the next level, keeping up with the cutting edge of web design on the Internet.

In February of 2011, Ideal Positions began offering a level of transparency still unheard of in Internet marketing to this day. Utilizing Google AdWords’ user invitation system, Ideal Positions granted clients access to their Google AdWords accounts, giving advertisers the ability to see exactly how their campaigns were being managed, how many clicks they were receiving, and much more. Providing this level of access extended far beyond the norm for SEM agencies, most of whom still provide reporting only in the form of third-party tools whose data cannot be easily checked against Google AdWords’ own reporting.

In July of 2013, Ideal Positions made a significant change to our service, advertising all clients on Desktop Computers, Mobile Devices and Tablets. Whereas the mobile network had been offered in the past, Ideal Positions now incorporated all of the networks into a single package, anticipating Google’s introduction of Enhanced Campaigns, which integrated all devices into the same campaign. By staying ahead of the curve, Ideal Positions’ clients were advertising on mobile devices and tablets ahead of their competitors and got the edge on Google’s Enhanced Campaigns before they were rolled out to the general populace.

Ideal Positions has always placed the client’s needs first, customizing each advertising campaign to the specific needs and nature of each business. Years of experience in Search Engine Marketing have proven that the more time we have to fine tune a campaign, the better the results. The bright, Google AdWords Qualified Individuals that work with Ideal Positions’ SEM Team are dedicated to developing these long term campaigns to optimize for the lowest cost per click and cost per conversion for our clients.

Every step we have taken along the way has been in the best interest of our clients and together we have grown. As our industry continues to change with every passing year, Ideal Positions will continue to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of the people and businesses we serve. The future looks brighter than ever!