This article will help drive traffic and growth to your brand. in other words the marketing the basics to your website. A step by step guides that will teach you everything from Search Engine Optimization procedures to PPC advertisements.
Before getting into this article, it’s important to refresh your memory on branding. so make sure you are up to date.
Are you ready? Let’s go!!
Basic terms to start off
there are two types of traffic when talking about online marketing – Paid and Organic (non-paid).
Being the majority of the traffic on the web (±60-70%) non paid traffic is any traffic that comes from search engines like Google or Bing. Organic traffic relies on search engine optimization (SEO)
This refers to traffic you generate through paid advertisements. There are many channels and formats for paid ads.
The Anatomy of Google
Before we dive into the methods of organic and paid traffic, it’s crucial to understand how the world’s most popular search engine, Google, displays search results. When you search for something on Google, you’ll see a search engine results page or SERP.
Bear in mind that Google is constantly seeking to improve its SERP (how it ranks and displays search results); it’s an evolving process. But we’ll now review the most current key elements that Google fetches for you when you perform a search.
Keep in mind the SERP will vary based on the nature of your search. It might display images, shopping links, videos or various other forms on content based on what it is Google thinks you want to see.
Let’s look at the most important elements of a SERP:
- Search box:
This is where a user types in a search by using either a keyword (“roses”); keyword phrase (“red roses new york”) or a question (“where can I buy red roses in Tribeca?”). The SERP will vary based on how specific the search is.
- Organic results:
The top result is an organic search result. This means that it was earned through SEO rather than a paid ad (we’ll explain SEO soon).
- Paid ad
These results are paid advertisements generated by Google Ad Words and are always marked with an “ad” icon. These ads can either appear at the very top of a SERP (above the organic results) or to the side.
- Featured snippet:
This gives you a quick and easy snapshot of information. Relevant into your search without having to even click on any links in the SERP. How is a snippet generated?
It can either come from a relevant web source (that Google chooses) or from Google’s own ”Knowledge Graph.” If your SEO is strong enough, your site can be featured as a “snippet.”
- Google My Business:
This displays businesses that are listed on the Google Business Search directory. A business doesn’t need a website to be listed.
You simply need to list yourself on Google Business with a google account. You can add your business address, phone number, photos, reviews, open hours, and more. This ensures that if some are searching specifically for your business they will see your business in the results.”
Now, that you understand what Google shows you first and foremost when you do a search. We’re going to show you how to improve your chances of getting ranked on the first page of Google’s SERP.
This process is called search engine optimization/ SEO. The good news is improving your SEO doesn’t cost any money!
That’s why SEO is considered an organic method for driving traffic. Unlike a Google ad, you cannot pay money to be the first result of a Google search or to be a “snippet.” You’ve got to earn it by practicing a solid good SEO method.
What is SEO?
In order to explain SEO, we’ll use an analogy. Think of the Internet as a gigantic library and Google as the head librarian who is in charge of helping people find the book or article they need.
Let’s say you want to find a book on Albert Einstein’s life. Google scans all the content on the Internet in order to build the SERP. While scanning, it uses a two-sided algorithm that is divided into 1) On-page SEO and 2) Off-page SEO.
We’ll continue with our analogy to understand On-Page SEO. In order to find you the best book, the librarian will look at three key things:
- The title of the book
- The book’s index
- The content of the book
How do these 3 things relate to your website? Good question. When Google refers a website based on the site’s on-page SEO, here is what it looks for:
- Web page title (these appear in the web browser’s title bar)
- H1 headers (this appears in the body text of your website)
- Content of your website (quality)
The more you’re connected to relevant sources, the better your ranking will be.
These elements are called “On-page” SEO because they are visible on your page; your page visitors can see them. But keep in mind that your website title and H1 page titles must also appear in the code of your website—if they aren’t in the code, Google won’t be able to find them.
In addition to on-page SEO, Google also looks for “off-page” SEO, which isn’t coded into your site or visible in the content. Off-page SEO is basically a referral. Returning to our analogy of the book:
The more a book is quoted or referenced by relevant and reputable sources, the more authority it gains and the likelier the librarian is to recommend it to you.
The same works for websites! The more a website is linked to other reputable and relevant sites, the higher Google will rank it.
For example, you sell flowers and Flowers.com, a reputable and relevant site links to your website, that improves your off-page SEO.
For example, how often is your published book quoted by other sources?
The more it’s quoted, the more authority it has (this translates to “inbound” links—who is “quoting” aka linking to your site and how many relevant sources link to your site)
User Experience (UX)
There is one other thing that the librarian (i.e. Google) looks for when recommending the best book (i.e. search result):
How the book looks and feels, or the reader experience. This translates to the “user experience” (UX) of your website. What is UX? Well, in the analogy, think of it this way:
Would you have a good experience reading a book with really fine, red print in Comic Sans font? Probably not! And, what if the book didn’t have page numbers?
All of this would make for a bad experience with the book, even if the actual content is great. It’s hard to read, so it isn’t recommended.
Paid Traffic – Pay Per Click (PPC)
Now, let’s look at how to get paid traffic to your website, which is called pay-per-click or PPC.
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”.Ohn Wanamaker, founder of Macy’s
With online advertising, you know exactly which half is performing – and moreover, you know how each cent is.
Advantages of paid marketing
- Precise Costs – It’s measured in precise costs, you can track and know how much money it brings you back – called Return on Investment, or ROI.
- Immediate results-now every ad you publish you get results – and insights – immediately
- Tracking – You can track specific audiences and personalize – each platform knows A LOT about their audience and allows you to be very specific with your messaging
- Optimization – Measure everything, and optimize it.
So, while the value should be clear, you should also keep in mind that there’s no one way to create a successful online ads campaign. The learning curve is steep. But once you have a good grasp of all the elements, you have a good chance of success, and as long as you keep improving, you will eventually reach your potential.
So, let’s go over the basics. We as marketers’ need to identify the following
- Who is my audience
- Which advertising platform is most relevant to my audience?
- What’s my budget and how much am I willing to invest?
- What’s my ROI & How do I perform.
Understanding an targeting your audience
If you’ve completed our previous section on defining your audience, you probably have a good understanding of who your audience is by now! Remember the “persona” exercise. It is really useful for PPC!
Try to come up with a marketing persona – a fictional character that embodies all the traits of your ideal customer, including where and how you can reach them.
Danielle, an NYC realtor, may have a marketing persona called Jenny, she is a 33-year-old single woman. She does freelance designing for a living and is looking for a new apartment in Brooklyn. She is actively looking for apartments using Google, so search ads would be an effective way to get in front of her.
Once you identified your audience and where to reach them, let’s go over the main value of some ad platforms:
Bidding for a chance to be exposed to the right audience is a common practice in online marketing. Such as platforms like Google, Facebook, and Publisher networks. In essence, advertisers offer a price and the highest bidder gets the best spots.
Before you go into bidding you must know how much each conversion is worth to you. Here’s a quick example: Let’s say you’re a residential real estate agent in NY. I have the assets (my website and social media pages) – but now I need the right people to visit my assets, drive traffic.
How much to invest in PPC
Ask yourself theese questions:
1. How much would pay in commission for someone to bring you customers?
Johnny has a flower shop. The average customer will spend $300, so he’s willing to spend up to $100 to acquire a paying customer. (the average commission is 10%-30%).
2. Out of 10 people who come through the channel (a referral/ an ad/ marketing email), how many people will actually purchase anything?
This depends on you: the quality of your product or service, your ad, your targeting, your landing pages. Once you have this number of how many people who will actually convert to a paying customer, multiply by the amount by you’re willing to pay (1 out of 10 =
- Johnny is willing to pay $100 for a new customer
- Out of every 10 clicks (people who visited the store from the referral), one actually converts and pays.
- 10% will convert.
- 10% x $100 = $10 per click
- TO be conservative, you can say 1% should convert.
- $50 (amount willing to pay for a customer) X (1% expected sales conversions) = .50 cents
There is no high or low bidding! The more you understand how much a conversion is worth and how well the channel converts (we’ll explore in the future), your bid will be more precise.
Back to Daniel who can try to think of the keywords Jenny might use to find apartments in NY. So, he tells Google “find me people who search for “2 bedroom apartments in Brooklyn for rent” “Apartments for rent in NY”. Then Google will say, how much are you willing to pay to get these people to visit your site?
Now, there are other realtors who also want this audience. So we start bidding on a search term– Google will give every ad a relevancy/quality score.
Social Network Ads: FB, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter
When growing your audience on Facebook, try the Lookalike Audiences feature to reach new people who are most similar to your favorite current customers.
Once you have a good grasp of the websites that you’d like to advertise on – most publishers.
Research how much ads costs on that channel. Not every ad space will come with the same price tag, so sometimes you may find it more feasible to go with your second or third choice to get more bang for your buck.
If you’re creating Search Engine Ads, start with researching your keywords using Google’s free keyword tool. Finding good keywords that aren’t used as much will be cheaper. This results in higher click-through-rates (the ratio of users who click on a link to the number of total users who viewed it).
Measuring paid ad performance:
So what is your ROI on paid ads? Luckily it’s easy to measure. You just have to do some number crunching using this ROI calculator:
Let’s say we have a campaign budget of $10 and your estimated rate is to make 1000 impressions in your targeted audience. Out of these 1000 impressions you received 50 clicks.
If out of those 50 clicks 2 converted, therefore, your initial $10 investment yielded 2 customers at $5 each.
Think of your website the same way. You can have the most relevant on-page SEO: website title, H1 (header) page titles, and content. If your website is hard to use or navigate, then Google will not recommend it as much. You have to also pay attention to the user experience of your website.
Luckily, most website builders like WiseStamp, Wix, and WordPress have easy-to-use templates that ensure good user experience. If you are having your website developed with custom code. It’s important that your web designer really understands how to optimize the UX.
In addition, You don’t need to be a PPC expert in order to understand your ROI on paid growth. However, you do need to understand the basic strategy and formula behind it. The good news is that most paid ad networks use this same model, so you can apply the same strategy to Google as you do Facebook, for example.
Crunching the numbers is easy once you have an idea of how well your ad converts and what your goal is. Remember: Throwing more money into PPC won’t necessarily translate into higher conversions. You need to make sure you target your audience and messaging appropriately regardless of how much money you have to spend.