In SEO, There’s No Such Thing As A Guarantee

I got an email today that I wanted to share with you loyal readers. The title was 1st Page Results Guaranteed. Now I never ever read emails that are obvious spam. Even though I knew the contents of this one would be garbage, I couldn’t resist.

Here’s what it said:
“Do you wish you could increase your online leads? Getting a GUARANTEED 1ST PAGE GOOGLE RANKING is easier and more cost-effective than you might think. We have helped a lot of businesses thrive in this market and we can help you! Simply hit reply and I’ll share with you the cost and the benefits. See you at the top!”

Have you seen an email like this one before? What about a claim on an SEO’s website similar to this? Or maybe you’ve been told something like this when you’ve met with a search engine optimization firm. If you have, hopefully you deleted it before picking up the phone. If you haven’t, you are lucky because guarantees like these seem to be everywhere.

If you have not seen or heard anything like this before, then I am going to give you a visual to keep in mind for when you do. I want you to associate the SEO guarantee with this picture:

Read moreIn SEO, There’s No Such Thing As A Guarantee

Pay-Per-Click Marketing is a Quality Battle, Not a Bidding War

Here’s a quick recap of a recent conversation I had with the owner of a successful small service business here in Southern California:

Mark: Wow. That’s such a unique service. I bet the competition on Adwords (Google’s pay-per-click advertising platform) for your keywords is fairly low.

Biz Owner: Oh, I don’t spend the money on online advertising. I hear Google is too expensive.

Mark: What makes you think it’s too expensive?

Biz Owner: Well, all I know about it is that it’s a bidding war and that competition drives up the click costs too high. I can’t afford to waste the money.

Read morePay-Per-Click Marketing is a Quality Battle, Not a Bidding War

Paid Search Campaigns: Focus on What Matters

Fortunately for us, we frequently get contacted by potential clients to perform our free search evaluation service.  Recently, we’ve seen a uptick in the amount of requests for reviews of paid search campaigns, as opposed to a review of a website’s organic search results. That’s inspired us to write a short series of tips about the most common paid search mistakes companies make.

Our most recent article focuses on a very common occurrence we see with companies that manage their own paid search campaigns – focusing on being ranked #1 more than the fundamentals that make up a successful campaign.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read the article. But for those of you really crunched for time, here’s the Cliff Notes version: out of the allotted time you have to run your campaign (and I believe you should be running your company, not your campaign), stop spending it on increasing your bids so that your ad is ranked #1 all the time.  While being at the top of paid results is great and probably gets you more looks, it doesn’t guarantee you more business. Getting higher click-thru and conversion rates is where you need to focus your time. That means you need to constantly tweak you ad text, calls to action, and landing pages until you feel like you’ve reached optimal levels of conversion. And when you reached that rate, keep tweaking and improve it some more!

Bottom line: stop worrying about the fact that your competition might be ranked #1 and you are ranked #2. Let them drive up their price per acquisition while you increase your margins.

What’s Better, Traffic or Leads?

Check out our newest Free SEO Tip. This one is about the most common mistake we see when we meet with business owners who manage their own paid search campaigns. Inevitably, they are wasting dollars on keywords that are way too broad for their business. They get sucked in by the allure of increasing their traffic and forget that the whole point of paid search is to get business!

The secondary lesson here is that proper keyword research is critical to any successful paid search campaign.

As always, I look forward to any questions or feedback you have.