May 24, 2016

In Organic Search with SEO or Paid with Adwords, getting what you want from Google is not simple.

How to rank in search enginesWouldn’t it be awesome if doing business online was simple?
“Want to rank number one in Google search for a certain phrase? Just put that phrase on the page and get some links to it, and wait a little while.”
Noooooooooooo! SEO is much more complicated than that.
“Don’t want to wait? Just start an Adwords campaign.”
N- well, wait a minute. Adwords is almost that simple – until you get into it.

The reality is that neither SEO nor Adwords is that simple. And there is no reason to think it would be. Google’s search engine calculates millions of search results at a time for the paid and unpaid spots, and for the most part, it works very well.

With SEO, the big challenge is making sure Google understands what your page or site is about, and sees it as the best answer to the searcher’s query.

With Adwords, the challenge is making sure your ads appear in better locations than the others, are more appealing to potential customers – all while maintaining a positive return on your investment.

Paid and organic search channels both have basically the same goal – getting people to your website.
Neither can be called easy.
As someone who works in both organic and paid search, I spend a lot of time talking with people about what is happening (or not happening) with their websites in both of Google’s search marketing channels.

On the SEO side of things, it can be very confusing for people who don’t work in SEO on a daily basis. An online marketing consultant can tell a client,
“First, we need to put up some more content about ____”; to which the client will often reply,
“OK great. Then we’ll be number one for that, right?”
Marketer: “Well, maybe. We also need to do some tinkering with the site, we may need to work on getting some links from other sites, and let’s see if we can generate enough interest in the new content so people start talking about it on social media.”

Client: “Maybe we should just get the links. That should work.”
Marketer: “No, we need to have the content otherwise you’ll have people coming from Google and not finding what they were looking for. Or worse – Google will decide we are spamming and ignore what we DO have.”

Client: “OK then we’ll make sure we use our keyword like 50 times so it ranks at the top.”

Marketer: “No, if we do that, Google will think it is junk and it won’t work. And it will probably look stupid, so people won’t like it either.”

Client: “Alright, fine. We’ll do all of that, THEN, we’ll be number one, right?”

Marketer: “That’s the plan, but we’ll probably need to take another look at the content and adjust a few things after a while. And people are searching for so much more than just that keyword. We will need to make sure we are being found for a wide variety of related phrases.”

Client: “OK, that doesn’t sound fast and easy enough. Can we just do Adwords? All we have to do is plug in the keywords and pay for it.”

Marketer: “Um, not quite. We can get some ads up right away, but we need to do more than just have ads that just show the keywords and a link. We will need to write ads that people will want to click. The ads and keywords should accurately match good landing pages so we can keep our ad costs to a reasonable amount since low quality scores lead to higher costs. The ads will also have to be better than everyone else’s ads. So will the bidding strategy. We should also look at other related keywords like we did with SEO, optimize our Adwords campaigns for the type of people and places we want to reach, determine a bidding strategy that will do what we want within budget, where we want our ads to appear, and keep refining those and other details over time.”

Client: “Ugh. Hand me that marker and cardboard! I am just going to draw a sign and stand by the road instead. Oh yeah – I just heard that Google only shows four ads at the top of the page and not all those cheaper ads on the side. That means it is going to cost more.”

Marketer: “Yes, they are doing that with the ad layout, but it may not mean higher costs. We will be able to configure the campaign in a way that your costs won’t go up without your revenue going up, too. Since they are showing fewer ads, they may actually be more believable to users compared to those old pages with lots of ads all over the place – so people might be more likely to become customers.”

Client: “And you can just push a button to do all that Adwords magic, right?”

Marketer: “Not quite.”

Client: “I thought the internet was supposed to be easy and free. But you are going to charge me money for doing all that… I’m ok with that, but when you send me the progress reports just give me whatever our pagerank score is or something. I don’t understand most of this stuff. I don’t want to try to understand sales conversions, cost per action, whether or not that traffic is worth anything… I just want to know the score and see my site at the top of Google. I don’t need to learn all about how it works – that’s what I am paying you to know.

Marketer: “So you’ll really be OK with just a simple thumbs up/thumbs down rating as long as your sales are up you see your site in organic and paid search?”

Client: “No, I want to know everything you did to make that happen and why it worked. You know, so I can make sure I am getting what I paid for.  But keep it simple so I can understand it all.”

Marketer: “Hand me that marker and cardboard…”

SEO and Adwords are too hard

The Myth of “Just Do This…”

The truth is if you “just” set up an Adwords campaign, add some keywords and start running ads, you will probably lose money and be disappointed. There is so much more to it than just bidding per-click.
And if you “just” stick some supposedly good keywords into your content or “just” install an SEO plugin but neglect proper configuration, you will also be disappointed.

Just like anything you do to build a business offline, online marketing requires hard work, dedication, and know-how.
Find out how Ker Communications can help with Adwords and/or SEO… or get yourself a piece of cardboard and a marker.