Search Engine Optimization / Search Engine Marketing

Search Engines rely on clues from the web page they are crawling to gather insight on what the page is all about. Analyzing the content in context allows the Search Engines to determine whether the page may be relevant to a search request. There are many factors that are used to determine the relevance of the content to a specific search. Factors such as: Is the search a request for knowledge or a request for pricing information can help determine whether a searcher is sent to a shopping cart page or to an article explaining the definition, purpose, or principle of the search terms.

Search engine optimization (SEO)is part art, part science in interpreting what the search engines are doing when they analyze a page and then attempting to provide a more clear path to the search engine crawlers to help make it clear that your content is valuable and relevant to the search terms most likely being used to find the type of content your page is displaying.

Generally speaking, SEO refers to optimizing your website page content to show up in “Organic” search results. Organic search results are the sections of the search results pages that do not show sponsored ads. Optimizing your ads for the sponsored ads section is referred to as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or more commonly known as Pay-per-click or PPC Ads. Sponsored ads can link to any page of your website regardless of whether the content on that page is relevant to the ad or not. Having someone click on the ad is not nearly as important as having them take the desired action (commonly called conversion) once they arrive on that page. The goal would be to get as close to a 1:1 click to conversion ratio as possible.

Optimizing ads for SEM is significantly different than optimizing page content for organic search results and it is important to understand these are 2 different but complimentary strategies. They can be used in concert, or separately. Which you use and how you use them depends on your specific budget, strategy and/or goals.

There are many parts to effectively optimizing page content that will benefit the reader and also make it easy for search engine spiders (also known as “crawler”, “bot”, & “robot”) to determine what the page is all about.

Just as the search engines have changed the way they gather and analyze the information over time, so has SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. It used to be that you would simply try to place as many search terms as you thought someone might use throughout the body of your text. This made for good pages for spiders, but horrible user experiences.

As the search engines have become “smarter”, it is more important now to be sure your content is relevant to the subject. It should provide value to the reader and be in-depth enough so as to help inform, but short enough to be scanned easily and quickly for relevance so the page visitor can quickly determine that they have arrived at the right place.

The goals of SEO are to make sure that your pages are valuable and relevant to searches such that the Search Engines determine your page is very likely to be exactly what the searcher is looking for. These search results typically will be listed on Page 1 of the SERP (search engine results pages).

The goals of SEM are to get someone to click your ad and then be taken to a page where the desired action will be taken.

If you are not listed on Page 1 of the SERPs, either organically or via sponsored ads or both, then you most likely are losing business to a local competitor who does show up on page 1.


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Email Marketing

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US Customer-acquisition growth by channel,
% of customers acquired

Source: Custora, E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot, McKinsey iConsumer survey


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With the rise of Social Media, some think that E-mail is no longer an effective vehicle to communicate with your clients and prospects, but nothing could be further from the truth. E-mail marketing is not only inexpensive when compared with other methods of marketing, but it is also one of the most effective.
“E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined (exhibit). That’s because 91 percent of all US consumers still use e-mail daily,1 and the rate at which e-mails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17 percent higher.”2

Not only is E-mail more effective at acquiring customers than social media, but when it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, E-mail has the highest conversion rate (66%), when compared to social, direct mail and more according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). And E-mail marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social.

Other interesting facts concerning E-mail vs social media:

  • Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. (For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI). – DMA
  • 24% of visitors from email marketing buy something as compared to 2.49% of visitors from search engines and 0.59% from social media.
  • The average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.
  • Marketing Sherpa determined in a survey that 72% [of] people prefer to receive promotional content through email, [as] compared to 17% who prefer social media.
  • Email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources. – QuickSprout
  • According to Radicati, a message is 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook.
  • 90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed.

Probably the most important factor to consider in E-Mail vs social media marketing is that you own the customer relationship with E-mail marketing. These are your clients that on once can prevent you from communicating with. Social media can and does change the rules of engagement frequently to maximize their returns.

We have been doing and assisting our clients with their E-mail marketing strategy and execution plans for more than 14 years. We know that consistent, relevant marketing and educational messages tailored to the needs of each individual recipient will help convert prospects into buyers and generate both good will and higher and more frequent revenue from your existing clients.

1.ExactTarget, 2012 Channel Preference Survey.

2. eMarketer, Email Marketing Benchmarks: Key Data, Trends, and Metrics

Social Media Marketing

Social media itself is a catch-all term for websites that may provide significantly different social actions. Social media marketing, in its most simple form is the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. Simple huh? Simple in concept. Not so simple in practice.
For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities.
Social Media posts are monitored by search engines and Social media posts often provide links to new content such as news stories, therefore social media can significantly assist in getting a website or pages listed at the top of search engine results very quickly. Social media can also help build links that in turn support SEO efforts.
People also perform searches on social media sites to find social media content. Frequently this content links back to website or pages with more information or details.
But social media is not just good for search engines. It can also be very beneficial or very detrimental based on comments good or bad about a company, their services, products or people. Users of social media want interaction with other people and companies they do business with or take issues with. Un-monitored and lack of response to negative comments can do real damage to a company’s bottom line. The flip side of the coin is that positive responses can provide an almost immediate boost in business interest and sales.
Social media provides a good platform for being able to interact with customers, get feedback, float new ideas or services, provide support and interact with customers in a way no other media would allow.
If you are not using social media for your business, you are likely missing a golden opportunity to interact with your customers in a very positive way.
Not sure how to get started? Have one or more social media accounts but not actively utilizing them? Have a personal account that you are using for business and do not know how to set up a business account? We can answer these and many more. Just give us a call. Or complete the Social Media Contact form:


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