Category : Google

BLOG SEO PPC

SEO and PPC Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Last June, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) required that search engines deliberately and visibly label paid advertisements so that consumers have the fair option to click or not.  In November, we saw one of Google’s first attempts to comply with the FTC’s new guidelines when search engine results showed advertisements precisely labeled “ad” in the same yellow color as the second “o” in Google.  Some of those who saw it called it a soft roll out, and some called it beta testing, but what everybody did (or didn’t) see was Google’s reluctance to comment about this possible new feature.

 

Google HummingbirdIn 2013, with the advent of Google’s new algorithm, Hummingbird, SEO strategies were forced to shift from pushing keyword- stuffed meta tags and buying back links, to producing relevant, high-quality, and well-written content, in an uproar that was startlingly called “the death of SEO.”

So what do these changes mean for the future of these online marketing avenues?  How will “Ad” labels affect click through rates (CTR) and what will the implementation of Google’s new algorithms mean for SEO campaigns?  While many Content Strategists turn their nose up at Pay-Per-Click advertising, and many proponents of PPC scoff at the patience needed to watch a SEO campaign evolve, perhaps the most telling factor about the future of online marketing avenues is that SEO and PPC are not mutually exclusive.

 

Instead of having marketing strategy that favors either PPC or SEO, consider the following: Imagine a user searching for “apple pie recipes” in Google.

PPC Apple PieOn top the user sees Google’s golden yellow “ad” label beside a search result and clicks.  The user is met with a well-crafted story about the history of this particular apple pie recipe.  The user clicks a few more times before purchasing apple pie mix, or perhaps even a cookbook of old American recipes, like this particular pie.  Now imagine that the user scrolled past the paid ads for “apple pie recipes” to a result whose description reads “guest blogger Jane Smith shares her family’s apple pie recipe,” and clicks.  The user reads the guest bloggers story and is invited to “check out” the guest’s blog where the user then recognizes a banner similar to the one marked by Google’s yellow “ad” label.  The user may or may not click, but at least now feels that he or she is part of some unspoken network where apple pie recipes can be sold, bought, told and shared.

 

apple-pie-slice-a-la-modeIn 2014, it is safe to say that in the grand debate between PPC vs. SEO, the business who decides to employ both strategies will come out the winner.  The surge in the popularity of mobile devices and laptops means that both PPC and SEO strategies will need to focus on having thoughtful mobile sites and applications that pay attention to local searches.   Google has also started to favor content linked to Google+ accounts which simultaneously proportions interesting options for PPC display and banner ads. Pay-per-click ads can be avoided and ignored, yet they drive traffic at a faster rate than SEO.  While SEO strategies do not spend money on traffic, money is instead spent on strategy and eloquent content and the results come at a slower rate.  Use them together to have a fully-integrated, online marketing campaign is a decision that should be as easy as apple pie.

 

BP-google-glass

No Advertising on Google Glass

Google Glass, which has no official release date to the public, could possibly be the most incredible piece of technology that will change the way we humans interact with each other. In an interview with Project Glass leader Babak Parviz, Parviz said that “at the moment, there are no plans for advertising on this device”. This is a very interesting development since advertising is a sure fire way for Google to make a small fortune off of Google Glass, not to mention that currently 95% of their revenue is from advertising. Also Google said the apps for Google Glass, or Glassware as they call it, at this point are also going to be released as free. While this seems like a bad idea for Google, fiscally this is a very customer friendly part of Google Glass.

            There are many reasons why Google should advertise on Glass. First and foremost, Google Glass is an entirely new platform that is destined to attract many new customers. This is instant exposure to many groups of people and there is no avoiding the ads. This could be similar to the way Apple and Android advertise on a smart phone. As a customer, we have grown to deal with the advertisements as a part of the phone and we tend to work around them. However, Google Glass is a completely different animal. Google Glass is at eye level, literally in your face. People may find ads on Google Glass to be invasive and cluttering. It could also take away from the whole experience of Google Glass. We’re not exactly sure how much of your sight line Glass will take up, but people only have so much vision space, and filling it up with advertisements is definitely not consumer friendly. Personally, I do not find ads on my iPhone all that annoying, but more just something that has to be contended with when you purchase free apps. As a person using an iPhone, you have a choice whether or not you want to click on the ad and investigate further, or just skip and move on to the next screen.. As long as they are not very frequent, quick, and do not take up too much of my vision, I do not have a problem with them. Advertisements are part of the world that we live in today.

            At this point, since Google is not allowing advertising on Glass, there could be even more opportunity for more branded apps for Google Glass. This would be a great way for brands and companies to get their name and make their mark on Google Glass. If companies can produce apps that are beneficial to consumers, and are non-invasive, it could be a great way for companies to gain positive exposure and engage with customers. One example of this is coming from the New Orleans Tourism Corp. Mark Romig, the company’s CEO, says that they are developing an app that will allow for potential visitors to “walk the streets, see architecture, taste the food, and hear the music”.

            Google has already distributed numerous pairs of the Google Glass to many CEO’s and developers so they can get a head start in producing apps for Glassware. A couple interesting ideas have already been developed. Two very intriguing apps have been developed by Mike DiGiovanni, one of the tech leaders for Roundarch Isobar. Since Google Glass does not lock like an iPhone or Android does, he saw a major security risk with this. As a result he created an app called Bulletproof that acts as a lock for your Google Glass set. He also developed an app called Winky that allows people to take pictures with Google Glass just by simply winking. This is quite revolutionary and there are reports that major social media platforms such as Facebook have already begun developing apps as well.

            For Google Glass there are still issues that they have to contend with. Apparently, a couple of the outside developers have successfully hacked or jailbreaked Google Glass. While Google has time to fix issues like this, they also still have time to decide if they really want to put advertisements on Google Glass. Would you care if there were advertisements on Google Glass? If there were advertisements on Google Glass, would it steer away from purchasing Google Glass?

#HappyTechsGiving! An Honest Reflection of Our Favorite Online Marketing Tools

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we at Strategis have taken some time to reflect on the things that we are thankful for when it comes to online marketing. From social media management apps to online advertising tools, new developments in web technology have made our jobs much easier as the industry evolves. This is not to mention the innovative channels of communications that have completely changed the way that we interact with one another and with brands.

Although there are many different pieces of technology, apps, and tactics that aid in our day-to-day marketing efforts, we’ve chosen to narrow down our favorites to a list of five:

1. HootSuite:  A social media manager’s savior, HootSuite is a helpful tool when handling the social accounts of various clients. From Facebook to Foursquare, any major corporation or small company can manage and track their social footprint amongst followers. With this tool, you have the ability to schedule up to 200 posts across all social media accounts with just one click, in addition to analyzing the effectiveness of your social outreach. While there are many different social media management apps on the market, HootSuite has always been our go-to tool.

2. Google AdWords: When it comes to enhancing your clients’ online presence, Google AdWords are of great importance. The science behind Google AdWords lies in Google’s “contextual targeting technology”, which only displays your online ad to people are searching for content related to your offerings. You can also tailor your reach to target people of different demographics, from various geographic regions, and even during particular times of the day. This particular piece of technology, allows us to do a more efficient job at targeting the right audience for our clients’ messages.

3. Google Alerts: If you’re looking to keep track of news pertaining to your company or brand, Google Alerts is another useful tool. You can simply enter a query topic(s) and have Google scan and deliver web results as often as you’d like. This is especially helpful when tracking your online reputation and/or staying up-to-date about your competitors or developments in your industry.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search Engine Optimization or (SEO) is the process of increasing traffic to your website through search engines like Google or Bing. A number of ranking factors are taken into consideration when boosting your web search prominence including, page content, external links, and social media shares, amongst others. Given the immense amount of emphasis that is placed on a brand’s web presence, SEO is crucial to maintaining a prominent image online.

5.  Basecamp: For a marketing communications agency with many clients, Basecamp project management software is a must-have when it comes to organization. Keeping all project members in the loop, Basecamp offers an array of features including management of task assignments and sharing important documents and files.

As the marketing industry evolves and changes, we look forward to even more developments that can aid us in executing the most effective tactics for our clients. In the meantime, share your most favored online marketing tools in the comments below or via Strategis’ Facebook or Twitter, adding the hash tag #happytechsgiving.

 

…And of course, Happy Thanksgiving from all us here at Strategis… :)

The Google Crisis Map: A Storm Saving Grace

Just as Hurricane Sandy barreled towards the Northeast on Monday, Google unveiled a new crisis map that enables users to follow the storm’s path. Although the map is cool by nature, given its real-time, interactive capabilities, its availability is vital to those who lay in the storm’s path. This map also serves as a saving grace of information for long distance friends and family members who are concerned for their next of kin, and are unable to get in contact with them.

With the current death toll at 69 as a result of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction in the Caribbean, Google’s crisis map serves as an essential source of information for dwellers of the Northeast. Not only does the map offer real-time Doppler location of the storm but evacuation alerts, shelter locations, and flood warnings, amongst others. This helpful tool isn’t the first for the Google machine; they have also created maps and resource pages for the July 2012 California wildfires and the August 2012 floods in the Philippines.

 Now, although the map serves as a useful tool in the event of natural disasters, one important note is that you may not always have access to it via your computer or mobile device. Most times during a storm of this magnitude, many people are without power and thus a strong Wi-Fi connection needed to power the Internet. The crisis map is a web-based application that requires the Internet to fully utilize the features. This is not to say that the map is completely obsolete, given that there are people who have sustained power; but for the estimated 7.4 million who do not have that luxury, preemptive measures must be taken.

it’s all about rhetoric

Big changes this week  – in social communications terms – or not. Both Facebook and Google have upgraded popular business features.

This week launches Facebook’s strategy for “Like” v. “Fan”

And Google announced the renaming of their Local Business Center to Google Places.

formerly Google Local Business Center

Of course these products are not exactly the same as their more poorly worded predecessors. There are little tweaks and perks that come along with the upgrade. Google Places will now offer a paid advertising option called Tags, where businesses can, for a small fee, be featured on Google Maps with a yellow ‘tag’, where you can attached a special offer or promotion, or as Google calls it “important aspects of their businesses,” that can be viewed by customers when they click your tag.

Facebook’s changes to the way people connect with business also accompanies the addition of Facebook Community Pages which we announced earlier this month. – But son’t worry, Facebook has created an FAQ page to answer all of your questions.

Top Google Pranks This April Fools 2010

1. Google Changes It’s Name to Topeka

In response to the City of Topeka’s announcement that it is changing its name to Google for the month of April, Google has in return decided to change it’s name to Topeka. Not quite sure this is true? Just Topeka it.

2. Where Am I? Pluto.

Smartphone users that log on to Google Maps and type “Where am I?” into the search bar might be surprised to find that they are further away from their intended location than they thought. Google Maps users will find that instead of receiving the usual latitude and longitude coordinates, they are receiving answers like “Neptune,” “Apollo 17 landing site,” and “Mordor, Middle Earth.”

3. Your World Now in 3D

When using the Street View on Google Maps, users are given the option to view their location in 3D. Unfortunately for me, I forgot my 3D glasses at home today and haven’t been able to test this out for myself, but having spoken to a reliable source, I know that this works.  Just zoom to street level, click on the orange icon wearing the red/ blue glasses and watch as your world becomes 3D.

The Year SEO Lost Importance…

Scoops Here.

My colleague stumbled upon this post that I thought would be worthy of breaking news in Scoops world, even when taken with a grain of salt. Robert Scoble posted yesterday about shift away from SEO in regards to small business marketing. His reason–Because Google and Bing keep changing the rules so frequently, that they are  figuring out the real businesses that deserve to be on pages. Below is the video George Revutsky and Dustin Kittelson,  co-founders of ROI.works, a search marketing firm,  that have been doing search engine and online marketing:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rSX8HHjCJE]

With social networking becoming more and more relevant in the same of SEO, I agree that business will have to continously change their methods which may ultimately lead to the demise of  SEO. Maybe not this year, but I am sure somewhere down the road.