What is paid search?

While SEO is a rock-solid strategy for businesses of nearly all types and should remain a priority, it does have its limits. One of those limits is time — it can often take a while to see your SEO efforts pay off in the form of seeing better results on the search engine results pages (SERPS).

Paid advertising has become an increasingly important part of an effective social media marketing strategy and the same goes for paid search. As more and more companies devote time and resources to SEO, creating and implementing sound paid search campaigns that are based on well-chosen search terms — and just as importantly, exclude unnecessary search terms — will be an increasingly valuable element of search engine marketing.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a topic we hear a lot about and, like other facets of digital marketing, it has evolved considerably over the years. The very question, “just what is seo marketing?” itself can’t be answered as it once would, as SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) have differentiated themselves over the years, with the former centered on maximizing organic traffic and the latter encompassing both paid and organic traffic.

Moz, a high-profile company in the Inbound Marketing niche, defines SEO as “a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results.”

Exactly what constitutes those practices seems to be in a state of perpetual change — often for the better. There was a time when Google, as well as other search engines, lacked the ability to effectively detect keyword stuffing (the practice of a company or website proprietor inserting the pivotal phrases — or keywords) that prospects use in their searches in an unnaturally high frequency to rank higher in organic results.

Thankfully, growing sophistication in this area has led to an improved user experience — keyword stuffing not only rarely works but is grounds for search engines to punish offenders by pushing them lower in the search results. Instead, putting in the due diligence to determine what keywords best serve a company’s interest in the form of mirroring user intent, then creating helpful, valuable content along those lines constitutes the best practice in this area.

Over the years, we’ve been advised that email marketing would one day become secondary in priority to social media. As far back as 2012, internet keynote speaker Jay Baer noted that “email is like Madonna and Facebook is Lady Gaga”.

Some prognostications turn out to be wrong. This is an example. Email is still very much a priority for nearly all companies. After all, who doesn’t start their day by checking their email — business and personal accounts alike — before even getting on social media?
The priority of email marketing has also increased by virtue of an important reality in the social media realm. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or any other platform, a company is just renting space on that platform’s real estate and the platform can ultimately decide if a company’s organic messages get through to its audience, or the price the company will pay to get that exposure.

By contrast, assuming that company has efficiently and ethically compiled its email list, that audience remains ITS audience, unless of course subscribers opt out.

Like other aspects of digital marketing, email marketing has evolved. The skillful use of automation and audience segmentation can drastically increase the open and clickthrough rates of an email campaign and are now among the most important email marketing services an agency might offer.

There was once a time when a company could boast of having the most talked about website by virtue of aesthetics alone — never mind the website’s overall effectiveness — but sound website design now involves plenty more.

For example, SEO results are directly affected by HOW a website is constructed — the compression of its images and the clarity of its text being among the most important elements. While hand coding may no longer be an essential part of the mix, effective website design services require a broad knowledge base on the part of the service provider. Simply entering the search term, “website design near me” might not get you what you need.

Luckily, platforms like Zoom have bridged the geographical divide, so consider searching instead for the best website design, whether that provider is just down the street from you or clear across the country. In fact, this same priority should extend to all the digital marketing help you might seek.

At the same time, because of the introduction of a variety of tools — both free and paid — the ability to measure key website metrics has become easier than ever before. Why are analytics important in marketing? First and foremost, the priority of web analytics is to facilitate determining what is working, what isn’t and what can be improved.

As they say, “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth measuring.” Digital marketing analytics is your means of measurement. Putting a company in a position to accurately analyze areas of potential website improvement is among the most important benefits of web analytics.

How can businesses benefit from using analytics on their website? A sound web analytics strategy centers on determining the metrics that are most important to a company’s online success — often conversions geared toward maximizing subscriptions or purchases — then tracking and testing variables to optimize these metrics.

Should a company find that a key conversion area isn’t performing as they would like, based on these analytics, changing the call to action on a button or asking for less invasive customer information can often make a huge difference. This is a clear example as to how web analytics helps business.

SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a topic we hear a lot about and, like other facets of digital marketing, it has evolved considerably over the years. The very question, “just what is seo marketing?” itself can’t be answered as it once would, as SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) have differentiated themselves over the years, with the former centered on maximizing organic traffic and the latter encompassing both paid and organic traffic.

Moz, a high-profile company in the Inbound Marketing niche, defines SEO as “a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results.”

Exactly what constitutes those practices seems to be in a state of perpetual change — often for the better. There was a time when Google, as well as other search engines, lacked the ability to effectively detect keyword stuffing (the practice of a company or website proprietor inserting the pivotal phrases — or keywords) that prospects use in their searches in an unnaturally high frequency to rank higher in organic results.

Thankfully, growing sophistication in this area has led to an improved user experience — keyword stuffing not only rarely works but is grounds for search engines to punish offenders by pushing them lower in the search results. Instead, putting in the due diligence to determine what keywords best serve a company’s interest in the form of mirroring user intent, then creating helpful, valuable content along those lines constitutes the best practice in this area.

Email Marketing

Over the years, we’ve been advised that email marketing would one day become secondary in priority to social media. As far back as 2012, internet keynote speaker Jay Baer noted that “email is like Madonna and Facebook is Lady Gaga”.

Some prognostications turn out to be wrong. This is an example. Email is still very much a priority for nearly all companies. After all, who doesn’t start their day by checking their email — business and personal accounts alike — before even getting on social media?
The priority of email marketing has also increased by virtue of an important reality in the social media realm. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or any other platform, a company is just renting space on that platform’s real estate and the platform can ultimately decide if a company’s organic messages get through to its audience, or the price the company will pay to get that exposure.

By contrast, assuming that company has efficiently and ethically compiled its email list, that audience remains ITS audience, unless of course subscribers opt out.

Like other aspects of digital marketing, email marketing has evolved. The skillful use of automation and audience segmentation can drastically increase the open and clickthrough rates of an email campaign and are now among the most important email marketing services an agency might offer.

Web Analytics

There was once a time when a company could boast of having the most talked about website by virtue of aesthetics alone — never mind the website’s overall effectiveness — but sound website design now involves plenty more.

For example, SEO results are directly affected by HOW a website is constructed — the compression of its images and the clarity of its text being among the most important elements. While hand coding may no longer be an essential part of the mix, effective website design services require a broad knowledge base on the part of the service provider. Simply entering the search term, “website design near me” might not get you what you need.

Luckily, platforms like Zoom have bridged the geographical divide, so consider searching instead for the best website design, whether that provider is just down the street from you or clear across the country. In fact, this same priority should extend to all the digital marketing help you might seek.

At the same time, because of the introduction of a variety of tools — both free and paid — the ability to measure key website metrics has become easier than ever before. Why are analytics important in marketing? First and foremost, the priority of web analytics is to facilitate determining what is working, what isn’t and what can be improved.

As they say, “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth measuring.” Digital marketing analytics is your means of measurement. Putting a company in a position to accurately analyze areas of potential website improvement is among the most important benefits of web analytics.

How can businesses benefit from using analytics on their website? A sound web analytics strategy centers on determining the metrics that are most important to a company’s online success — often conversions geared toward maximizing subscriptions or purchases — then tracking and testing variables to optimize these metrics.

Should a company find that a key conversion area isn’t performing as they would like, based on these analytics, changing the call to action on a button or asking for less invasive customer information can often make a huge difference. This is a clear example as to how web analytics helps business.

Paid Search

While SEO is a rock-solid strategy for businesses of nearly all types and should remain a priority, it does have its limits. One of those limits is time — it can often take a while to see your SEO efforts pay off in the form of seeing better results on the search engine results pages (SERPS).

Paid advertising has become an increasingly important part of an effective social media marketing strategy and the same goes for paid search. As more and more companies devote time and resources to SEO, creating and implementing sound paid search campaigns that are based on well-chosen search terms — and just as importantly, exclude unnecessary search terms — will be an increasingly valuable element of search engine marketing.

Paid Social Media

One of the seismic shifts in digital marketing strategy stems from the fundamental changes in organic reach on seemingly all social media platforms. As social media becomes more of a “pay to play” proposition with every passing year, creating well-crafted paid social media campaigns becomes an ever more essential element in digital social media marketing.

This has changed the landscape as far as what constitutes effective digital marketing services on social media. Gone are the days of an individual or small group simply posting on behalf of a client being able to pass muster as a social media marketing agency. Companies looking for digital marketing services — whether that be in the form of strategy consulting or actual digital marketing support — are often disappointed when the individual or agency they put their trust in can’t provide the results they’re after.

To really be effective, an agency’s social media marketing services must include a paid social media strategy. Small wonder that the plethora of self-help books centered on “how to digital marketing on Facebook”, many of which never go beyond mere posting strategies, are no longer adequate.

The best digital marketing strategy consultant will be one that has both fundamental knowledge and practical experience in both the paid and organic social media worlds.