SEO: Organic Search vs. Paid Ads

In today’s world, search engine visibility is everything.  As any business owner knows, getting your company on the first page of results is not an easy task.  If you’re successful at it though, it can completely change your business.Today, we’d like to share a bit of insight as to why search engine optimization, or SEO, is so important, and how paid advertising can help your company succeed while your SEO efforts build over time.

The first step is to understand the difference between organic results and ppc, or paid online advertising.  For purposes of our discussion, let’s use a Google search as our example.  If you search Google for Car Detail Companies, you will see a full page of results.  The first three results, which now have the word Ad in yellow next to them, are pay-per-click, or ppc, ads.  In addition, all of the results you see over on the right-hand bar are all paid ads.  These are ads that advertisers initiate through Google Adwords, and are placed through an auction process.  For example, if my car detail company bids $.56 per click, and your  company only bids $.43 per click, my ad will appear ahead of yours.  So what happens when I click on an Ad result?  That company will be charged on a per click basis.  So, if 600 people click my ad that day, Google will charge me about $336.00.  If your conversion rates are strong, those dollars are well spent, and your company can grow significantly through ppc advertising.

Now, let’s talk about organic search engine results.  In our example, the listing that is actually fourth is the #1 organic search result.  In our example, Google has decided that this listing is the most relevant for your search query.  How does Google decide this?  Well, that’s a complicated question, with literally hundreds of variables.  Those variables, of course, are the basis for all of our SEO efforts.

Let’s take a look at an extremely simplified explanation of organic search results.  When you search for Car Detail Companies, Google’s algorithm wants to provide you with the most relevant answer to your query.  In our example, Google’s algorithm takes into account the type of company you are looking for, where you are making your request from, which company’s website has content that provides relevancy to your question, and which website has the greatest authority, or links, to their website.  As mentioned, there are many, many other factors that go into organic search results, but our time, and blog space are somewhat limited.

So, let’s assume that you look at your search results, and skip past the ads.  You’re not alone.  Consumers are between 3-5 times more likely to click on an organic result than they are a paid ad.  So, like most consumers, you choose to click on the very first organic search result.  Guess what that company is charged for the click.  Not a penny.  That company will not spend a dime on getting you to view their website.  Instead, that company chose to focus its resources on great SEO efforts.  As a result, they are now ranked #1 in organic search.  And while they will need to maintain their SEO efforts to keep their position, and keep competitors at bay, those efforts are well worth it.  Being a top organic result in Google can be life-changin.  A recent study found that a stunning 53 percent of clicks go the top result.  The second result sees 15 percent of the clicks, while the third receives 9 percent of the clicks.  The fourth and fifth position receive just 6 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

Now that you know a bit more about Organic Results vs. Paid Advertising, which is the right strategy for your company?  The short answer is probably both.  SEO efforts are absolutely necessary for long-term success and are invaluable to any company.  Organic search results, in the long run, are everything.  SEO efforts, however, can take a longer time to show measurable results.  Paid advertising strategies, including PPC ads, can generate results overnight.

If you’re ready to grow your business, consider getting started on SEO services right away.  As you wait for those services to take effect, paid advertising tactics are a great way to get the phone ringing.

Website Design & Development

Website design & development is not for the faint of heart.  After all, you need a stunning design that enhances your brand, provides great content and increases conversions.  Your website must be engaging, functional, and of course, highly visible to search engines.    As you can imagine, we review ineffective and under-optimized websites every day.

Great Website Design or Great SEO?

Truth be told, most agencies fall into one of two categories:  those that are great at design & those that know how to optimize a site for search engine visibility.  We have assembled a team to ensure that we always do both incredibly well.

The Random Web Design Process

The very first step in our process is to try to fully understand your business.  We want to know everything we can, including your history, your products or services, your targeted demographics, your key competitors, and of course, your goals for the future.

Our team then starts an extensive research and benchmarking process to ensure we can create the best website possible.  Our focus in on great design AND great search engine visibility.  We also want to ensure that your conversion ratios far exceed your previous website and your competitors.

Once designed and approved, our development team works to ensure that every design element works flawlessly, and that the website provides a smooth, elegant, and enjoyable interaction with your visitors.  At the same time, our SEO team & content marketers are hard at work creating engaging, highly optimized content for each and every page of the website, future blogs, social media posts, and coordinating backlinks to the website.  In addition, our marketing team is hard at work developing paid advertising campaigns & strategies, retargeting methods, and social media strategies.  Finally, our copywriters and graphic designers are busy building text ads, banner ads, and the retargeting advertisements that will help your business start to grow immediately.

More Opportunities, More Tactics, More Success.

The website design and development process has become much more involved with each passing year, and it will continue to do so.  There are more opportunities, more strategies, and more tactics that we can employ to ensure your company’s success, and we are committed to utilizing every method that is appropriate for your site.  It is a very involved process, but it is one that we love.

Rest assured, when it comes time to launch your site with Random, you can be certain that your website will be beautiful, engaging, highly functional, and of course, will be easy to find through search engines.

If you’d like a free evaluation of your current site, and a complimentary SEO analysis, feel free to contact us here.  We look forward to seeing how we may be able to help!

The Secrets of E-Commerce

For any business or entrepreneur, creating a highly visible E-Commerce platform one of the easiest ways to grow your business.  Never before in human history can one person or company offer their products to more consumers so easily.  With a great website and strong SEO practices, your new e-commerce site could literally transform the future of your company.

So what are the secrets to creating a great e-commerce site?  As with any digital platform, there are two sides to the coin – great design and great marketing.

On the design front, you want your site to look great, be fun to shop at, and carry exactly what your customers are looking for.  Think about where you currently shop.  If you’re like most people, you probably go to a few local boutiques and smaller stores, and probably go to some of the big-box retailers like Wal-Mart or Target.

On the web, things are somewhat similar.  You have smaller sites that offer unique items, fulfill niche needs and products, or offer a fantastic shopping experience.  The larger sites, like Amazon, offer a little bit of everything.  Some may offer a great shopping experience as well, but usually, they are designed to give you exactly what you’re looking for, and allow to shop quickly and easily.  Currently, those big-box sites account for about 20% of the e-commerce landscape.  That leaves about 80% for you.

So let’s talk about your e-commerce site.  You likely have a unique product or products that consumers may have trouble finding elsewhere.  If not, you may offer better prices, unique product bundling, or you may have discovered a unique selling proposition that others have overlooked.  Regardless of which of the above is true, your site will need to designed to making shopping enjoyable and convert a large percentage of your visitors.  It will also need to be heavily branded.  Your customers need to know who you are, what you’re offering, and you need to remain memorable in their minds.  You will need to find the right design, the right colors, and the right layout and structure to make products easy to find, easy to view, and above all, easy to purchase!  In addition, you need to find ways to maximize your revenue for each and every customer.  This can happen through suggested products, upsell opportunities, as well as free shipping or additional discounts over certain dollar amounts.

So, now you have a great website.  What are we missing?  Customers.  In retail, the three most important rules are location, location and location.  For e-commerce, the rules are a bit more complex.  Certainly, the first is search engine visibility.  Great SEO is paramount for the success of any e-commerce site.  But let’s think about how else customers may be able to find you.  At the top of that list is social media.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pintrest are just a few of the tools our team utilizes to get the word out, create fans, and grow brands.  Social media platforms are also an ideal targeted advertising medium where we can reach the friends of your fans.  Fortunately, friends tend to share similar tastes, so if I can present you with a brand of cupcakes that your friend Suzy loves, you’re likely to take a look.  Our other avenues of growth will include additional online advertising opportunities, retargeting, email campaigns, outreach to bloggers, and actionable business information and analytics.

When you’re ready to start an e-commerce business, or perhaps rebuild and enhance your current e-commerce business, give us a call.  And don’t worry – we have plenty of other secrets up our sleeves that we only share with our clients.

Google Adwords

For many companies, Google Adwords and other PPC opportunities have been lifesavers.  In our early days, we were contacted by an attorney whose business was reaching a standstill.  He and his partners were in a smaller market where it was nearly impossible to break through.  Our strategy involved a brand new website, and a rapid Adwords campaign.

The beauty of Adwords is that the results are immediate.  We can literally start a campaign and have your phone ringing within an hour or two.  It is one of the fastest, most effective, and successful advertising mediums ever created.  To fully take advantage of Adwords and PPC campaigns, however, you need to have a great deal of education and experience.  On the surface, it is a fairly simple advertising platform, but underneath lies a complex and highly targetable tool.

At Random, our team holds certifications in both Google Adwords as well as Bing Ads.  We have taken the time to study, test, and experiment with these exciting tools over thousands of hours and countless campaigns.  This knowledge, and experience, allows us to create, analyze, manage and refine campaigns in a way that provides higher returns on investment for our clients each and every day.

Whether your budget is small or large, Google Adwords and Bing Ads can be an exciting addition to your overall campaign.  If you’re ready to see exactly how quickly we can move the needle with a PPC campaign for your business, give us a call today!

Why Retargeting Works

The use of retargeting has increased dramatically over the last year.  It is a fascinating bit of technology that allows us to more effectively target our ad spend, and focus our message to consumers who have already expressed an interest in our product.  As with any advertising tool, however, you have to have a great deal of knowledge and experience to use retargeting to its maximum potential.

To make a long story short, retargeting involves installing a small invisible pixel on your website.  When someone visits your site, that small piece of code then anonymously follows your consumers for a specified period of time.  If you return to that website and make a purchase, that piece of code is deactivated.  While all of this may sound a bit scary, it is an incredible advancement for an advertising agency.  It allows us to present consumers with ads from products or services that you are interested in, but for some reason, have not yet decided to purchase.  If you’ve been on the web for the last year of so, you’ve already seen it at work.  You may have noticed that shortly after you searched for a product, you just happened to see an ad later that day on ESPN, Facebook, or your local news site.  It may have caught you off guard, or even surprised you, but you’ve definitely seen retargeting at work.

So why do we employ retargeting?  In short, we’re spending our ad dollars to reach people who are already interested.  They’ve gone to your site, either through organic search, a PPC ad, or perhaps through TV or radio campaign.  Although they did not yet make a purchase, they are interested.  If we can use a percentage of our ad dollars to target those interested but not yet converted consumers, the ROI can be tremendous.

So the next time you search for that great resort vacation, and then see an ad for that perfect beach resort a few hours later on Facebook, relax.  That resort wants your business, and their agency is wisely taking advantage of advanced technology in advertising.  If you’re ready to test retargeting for your business, give us a call today.

The Power of Video Marketing

Video marketing has been a key focus for us since we began.  Our sister company, Random Motion Pictures, has created and produced some of the most recognizable television commercials, direct response campaigns and television shows in history. We’ve taken that expertise, experience and pure storytelling ability to create incredible video web content for our clients.

The use of video in digital marketing is growing each month.  Random has created everything from home page videos to webinars to virtual events and viral videos.  We know how to create original video marketing content that drives high conversions and great social media engagement.  Regardless of the project, Random’s video marketing always enhances the value of the brands that we work with.

For many companies, like resorts, having a beautifully-produced video on your homepage can create instantly create higher conversions.  In fact, for some of our clients, we have seen conversions more than double after we add video.  For consumer products, and direct response campaigns, autoplay versions of television commercials have resulted in conversion increases of 300% and more.

Simply put, video drastically enhances the effectiveness of your website.  If you can allow your visitors to view your resort, see your product in action, or hear testimonials from satisfied customers, you can instantly overcome perceived objections and convert those prospects to customers.

If you’re ready to see your website come to life with incredibly stunning video, give us a call today, or just click on our contact form.  We’re ready to get rolling.