Google’s results explained

What Google displays in its search results

A very common question that people often ask me is “What are the differences in the results that Google displays?”. This answer to this question, is the very essence of what a good online marketer should explain to his/her potential client, as the results that Google displays for search queries are extremely important to understand. In this post, I will explain the different search results that Google displays, so that you have a basic understanding of this.

Paid Google advertising vs Organic results

It is important to note that when a user searches for something, Google displays certain results where advertisers have paid to show their adverts in the results, and Google also shows results which are not paid for. The paid-for results, are actually advertisements that advertisers have targeted that particular search result. To give you a better understanding, have a look at the below image:

Ads vs SEO results

When you search on Google, the results on the right-hand side, and at the top are the paid for results (ie advertisers have paid to have these results there). When you click on the advert, you will then be taken to the advertisers website, and the advertiser will pay Google for this click. The amount that they pay, is based on an auction, and is set-up with something called Google Adwords (I wont delve too much into how much they pay etc, that is for a separate post), but it is important to understand simply that these are paid-for results.

The first result underneath these paid for results, is what is called the “Top Organic result”. This result is not paid for, but is this result is what Google considers to be the MOST RELEVANT result for a particular search query.

To view this with a practical example, consider the below image :

adwords compared to seo results

In the above image, the user searched for “Myrtle Beach home inspection” and Google returned the results. The top 3 results and the results on the right hand side are all paid adverts (you can see the image saying “Ad” next to these results. The top organic result (ie Not paid for) us the result from a website called “Buckeyehi.com”.

You will also notice in the above image, that Google displays whats called “Local reults” where certain companies show up with their name, address and telephone number. These results I will not be covering in this post, but, at a basic level, these results are taken from the relevant companies Google Plus page. I will cover the local results a bit more in a separate blog post.

I hope that this information has helped you get a better understanding of the Google search results, and most importantly, the clear difference between the paid-for and non-paid for results that Google displays for all search queries.

Periscope – why it matters in 2016

What is Periscope?

I have been asked this quite a few times recently, so I thought I would make a blog-post to try and explain this a little better for those that have heard a bit about Periscope, and want a slightly more detailed description of what Periscope is, how it works, and just some general info about it.

So what exactly is this new phenomenon called “Periscope”. Well, simply put, Periscope is an application that runs on smartphones, that enables people to broadcast in real-time to an audience of people that watch the broadcast. The application runs on both iOS and Android, so pretty much anyone with a smartphone can use Periscope. For slightly more detailed stats click here to see what Wikipedia says.

Periscope is quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon, in fact, the growth of Periscope adoption in the US is crazy – Periscope reached 10 million user accounts in 4 months after launching. When you consider that it took both Facebook and Twitter over two years to get to 10 million user accounts, you will no doubt realise that this is a platform that is here to stay, and needs to be utilised in your online marketing efforts.

The below chart shows the amount of time that users are watching Periscope broadcasts per day

Periscope-time-watched

The numbers above are from 2015, and the numbers from 2016 are growing even faster. More and more people are spending an increasing amount of time watching Periscope broadcasts, and this is a massive opportunity for your business to make use of. In South Africa, if you ask your friends and business associates, not that many of them will have heard of Periscope, but this is sure to change in 2016.

It is important to note that Periscope is only one video marketing channel out there. Youtube usage is also growing daily, as are videos being watched on Facebook, Twitter and all of the other social media platforms. An effective video marketing strategy should embrace all of the above, but Periscope should most certainly be part of the marketing mix in 2016. In terms of overall video numbers, check out the below inforgraphic :

Video-marketing-trends

One can see from looking at the numbers above, just how much time people are viewing video online. Video is just such a powerful tool to communicate a message simply to your potential audience. We would have all seen the animated videos, the whiteboard videos and other videos – do a test and see how many videos you yourself watch online every day, and you may well be shocked at just how many videos you actually watch online a day. I did the same exersize the other day, and found that I watched 10!

In summary, Periscope is an incredibly powerful tool that should be utilised in your online marketing, and in 2016 we will all be seeing an explosion in its growth. Jump in now to this new phenomenon, and take advantage early.

For more information, please be in touch with us at GL Marketing, and we would be happy to see whether we could help your business integrating Periscope into your online marketing strategy.

7 important online advertising platforms

7 of the Best Places To Advertise Your Business Online

Are you a small business owner that feels like you are constantly wasting your marketing money? You are not alone.

Print advertising, direct-mail advertising, television and radio are still relevant for some industries, but for many, it really is a huge waste of time and money. The consumer attention span is getting shorter, together with an ever increasing amount of online advertising, you can see why people deal with their day with blinkers on.

Compare that with advertising online. Online marketing is exploding in terms of growth. There are tons of statistics relating to online media, I wont bore you with those, but let it suffice to say that your business needs to advertise effectively online. Its as simple as that! I am probably stating the obvious, but you need to make sure that you are utilising the correct online channels to market your business.

If you aren’t advertising online yet, or are seeking new avenues to pursue, here are 7 places you can market your small business online. It is possible for anyone to set-up the advertisements on these 7 platforms themselves, but I strongly suggest you utilise an expert as there are tons of features that can be an implemented, that a first-time advertiser will not be aware of.

Google Adwords

Since Google owns the lions share of the search engine market, it makes their advertising platform Adwords the biggest platform for Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing. You can also get very specific in when your ad displays, making your marketing spend very efficient.

Some options available to you via Google Adwords:

When you perform a Google search, search Ads– These are traditional ads you see. There are usually 2-3 ads above the organic results along with several ads to the right of the organic search engine result. Here you target specific keywords people are typing in as they compete and search in an online auction with competitors for top placements.

Display Network– These are ad placements away from the traditional Google search. Google owns dozens of properties like Gmail and YouTube where you can place image, video and text ads across all their networks. They also partner with numerous 3rd party websites giving Google Display Network the biggest reach out of any online advertising platform.

Remarketing– With a remarketing campaign, after someone has been to your website, you have the ability to advertise to that individual person as they surf the internet. Between Google’s own properties and their 3rd party network, you have the ability to reach that person almost anywhere online. Remarketing is available for both Display and search Network campaigns.

Bing Ads

Much like Google Adwords, Microsoft uses it’s Bing search engine to serve ads in it’s search engine results along with partner networks. The Bing search engine has a much smaller audience than Google, but this typically makes bidding on keywords more economical and could save you money as it extends your marketing dollars a bit further.

Over the past few years Bing Ads has made great strides in improving their ad network along with keeping it easy for business owners to run their own campaigns. Bing Ads offers free advertising credits but they may be hard to come by. They will offer you an advertising credit for trying it out if you go to the link below and submit your site to their search engine.

7 Search

A smaller player in the paid search industry, 7 Search uses smaller, niche search engines to display your Pay Per Click (PPC) ads. They claim a better ROI than their bigger competitors and bidding on keywords is cheaper than both Google Adwords and Bing Ads.

I have had very limited experience with 7 Search until now but they have a really good customer support service and their Cost Per Clicks are definitely cheaper, although you won’t get the same click volume as Adwords or Bing Ads.

Advertise.com and InfoLinks are two other smaller players that offer paid ad placements.

Search Ads– These are traditional ads you see when you perform a Google search. There are usually 2-3 ads above the organic results as well as several ads to the right of the organic search results. Over the past few years Bing Ads has made great strides in improving their ad network as well as making it easy for business owners to run their own campaigns. Their video ad platform seeks to rival even YouTube and they seem to be pushing out new advertising features every week.

Relative to traditional advertising like newspaper ads and direct mail, paid online advertising is very efficient.

Twitter Advertising

While Twitter has allowed advertising for quite some time with promoted trends and tweets, it has been way out of the budget for small business owners (unless you had a min of 10k to spend a day!). Twitter since launched a small business advertising program that will make things even more affordable for businesses to advertise on Twitter.

Pinterest Ads

Pinterest is a very interesting platform, driving more traffic and sales for many businesses than other social ad platforms. They have launched an advertising tool called Promoted Pins, though it is not open to everyone just. Pinterest can be a top performing ad platform for you if you have a business that targets women and you can create visually appealing graphics.

Instagram

Since they purchased Instagram, Facebook has been attempting to find out a way to monetize the platform. They have been trying out different ad formats and will be opening advertising to everyone in the soon. Advertising was originally reserved for big brands but has since opened up to everyone via a self-serve platform.

Stumbleupon Ads

Stumbleupon has an advertising platform called Paid Discovery where you pay between.05 cents and.25 cents for every person that stumbles on your site. There are no advertisements here, the website page you select becomes your ad for visitors. They also have a traditional advertising platform with paid placement opportunities.

While I love Stumbleupon, I would only consider using it if you have a product or service that has general appeal as it’s not nearly as targeted as PPC or Facebook advertising. I also wouldn’t use it to drive sales, but to obtain content you have created out in front of people fast.

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn Ads may be exactly what you’re looking for if you’re in the B-B or professional services industry. Linkedin can serve highly targeted ads to other professionals and businesses on Linkedin. The Cost Per Click (CPC) is greater than practically any other platform listed here, but you can target your ads to very specific people.

If you are B-B or offering professional services and you are looking to acquire high value clients, I would recommend this. The advertising platform is pretty user-friendly and with numerous highly detailed user profiles, offers incredibly detailed targeting choices.

Facebook Advertising

Advertising on Facebook may be a gravy train for local business and their ad platform has come a very long way the past few years, both in effectiveness and ease of use.

Facebook ads work much like traditional Pay Per Click advertising (pay only when someone clicks on your ad), but the great thing with Facebook is that you can add an image or video together with your text. Even when people don’t click on your ad, you’re still getting tons of great exposure to a target market absolutely free.

While platforms like Adwords and Bing Ads typically target user behavior (looking for a service or product), Facebook lets you target depending on demographic makeups and user interests. Their platform is unmatched in this respect and if you know exactly who your target audience it, may be a powerful advertising platform. Their video ad platform seeks to rival even YouTube and they seem to be projecting new advertising features weekly.

Online advertising, when correctly done, really works!

Relative to traditional advertising like newspaper ads and direct mail, paid online advertising is very efficient and also, most importantly, is within easy reach of every business. I also like that fact that it’s usually a pay for performance scenario, where you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad and visits your website.

Final note, paid advertising should accompany your organic marketing efforts (Search Engine Optimization), you should really be doing both as both of them interacting can bring awesome results for your business. If you have any questions regarding your business’s online marketing, please do not hesitate to be in touch with us at GL Marketing.