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Source: SEO or PPC; What’s More Important?

SEO or PPC; What’s More Important?

Just recently, a friend of mine approached me about his dealership site and how they had a consultant (SEO guru), do an SEO analysis of his site.

He was concerned that he may be losing money on keyword selection based on the analysis. As I explained to him there is some confusion out there regarding the entire Google platform and that having a balance of both high-level SEO, and an optimized PPC campaign is the ideal. I also explained that you only get charged by clicks, not keyword choices (lol)

Let’s cover SEO first.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” which is a practice that makes sure that your website follows all of the necessary rules of engagement to make it easy to rank as organically high on the search engine results pages (SERPs) as possible. It includes having good content in the form of copy, pictures, and video. All material should be relevant to the subject matter and have keywords and key phrases as an essential part of the site copy.  There are other technical aspects but forget those for now.  Having great SEO is the “free” way to get listed.

Offsite SEO is still a huge part of the overall SEO mix. Having other high-quality sites backlink to your website is the water that lifts the ice cube to the top of the glass so to speak. Having your dealership properly listed via all of the 300+ listing sites and the 4 main data companies (Factual, Acxiom, Infogroup and Neustar (Localeze), means that people will correctly know your company name, address, hours of operation, and telephone number. To have incorrect info strewn about the internet will definitely hurt your chances of getting highly-ranked. It will hurt your overall “Quality Score” which is essentially what Google uses to rank you in the search engine, and that’s where PPC and SEO strike their balance.

What is the “Quality Score”?
Quality Score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It is used to determine your cost per click (CPC) and multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. Your Quality Score depends on multiple factors, including:

1) Your click-through rate (CTR) (PPC campaign)

2) The relevance of each keyword to its ad group (PPC campaign)

3) Landing page quality and relevance (SEO)

4) The relevance of your ad text (PPC & SEO)

5) Your historical AdWords account performance (PPC)

As you can see, there is a mix of PPC and SEO involved in optimizing a Quality Score which essentially determines where your stores website is going to show up in a typical search operation. Great SEO alone can get you on to the first page of search, but unless you are well-branded, your position may vary from near the top, to not on the page at all. The leads you get from great organic (unpaid) placement are basically free and are high quality. However, to get into the top position and get the most clicks possible, and the best clicks according to numerous studies, you have to pay for placement.

PPC guarantees a first page presence.
The cost of that presence is somewhat based on the quality of the website’s SEO execution. The ads in the pay per click campaign have to be compelling enough to get a good click through rate, but the words and phrasing used in each ad must also match those keywords and phrases (long tail search terms) on the website pages they are linked to. The better the execution and matching of verbiage in ads and on the site, the better your organic ranking, and the cheaper you clicks will be. It’s a seriously incestuous relationship. Google wants to reward you for creating a good user experience (SEO) but needs to make money so they have PPC to nudge those rankings to the top if you pay enough to rank high.
Google really has it figured out. It used to be that Google had two columns on every search results page. The left column had the organic listings (best SEO executions and/or brand names). People used to click at an 8:1 ratio favoring the organic or “free” listings over the listings in the right column which were all paid for. Google then eliminated the two column design and started putting PPC campaign ads on top of each SERP which now has only one column combining paid and free results. This cut down the ratio that favored free search results and increased Google’s click revenue.
The point is, having as much visibility as possible in any search operation is crucial. It’s termed “page dominance”. In my estimation, the companies that do both well, win. The companies that only do PPC, run inefficient, expensive campaigns. The companies that ignore PPC, are likely too budget-conscious to compete and suffer with inconsistent visibility. Those who combine Google Best Practices, and optimize both SEO as well as their PPC campaigns, dominate their competition.
I hope this helps clarify the decade-old question of how SEO and PPC affect one and other, and how using both to your advantage is the best way to the top of the mountain.

Don’t Let Your Video Become a Flash In the Pan – Automotive Digital Marketing

Brian Cox

Brian Cox

Don’t Let Your Video Become a Flash In the Pan

 

There’s no doubt that video marketing, in general, has become increasingly important in today’s world. Google has the search market cornered which is why, as marketers, it is important to pay close attention to the changes they make. However, did you know it’s even more important to pay attention to the second largest search engine in the world? You might think that I’m referring to Bing but, in fact, the second largest search engine is YouTube. Thus the importance of video for SEO.

Dealerships have increasingly embraced video in various degrees for years – from simple stitched videos to professionally created live walk-arounds. There’s no doubt that consumers love video. In fact Google’s recent automotive study indicates that over 80 percent of car shoppers will watch a vehicle video and then take immediate action.

The challenges that face car dealerships when it comes to creating videos are the same as they have always been – time and money. There are many solutions that exist for car dealerships in video marketing. I’m fairly certain that you would agree that ANY video is better than no video. And you may even believe that all video is equal. Well, with this blog, I hope to help dispel those erroneous thoughts.

Let’s start with the fact that live video is the most effective (which it is). I don’t think any dealer would deny that, in a perfect world, they would have video walk-arounds for every one of their vehicles. The infrastructure and format of your video is just as, if not more important than the quality of it. Some providers use flash-based video which allows them to offer video services to their dealer clients at a lower price point… and, on the surface, there is no visible difference between a flash video and a real video. In reality, however, there are huge differences.

Flash videos are self-contained videos that require a player (like Adobe Flash Player) or a compatible web browser with a plugin. It wasn’t too long ago that flash video was the de facto standard. Technology, however, has changed. Consumers are increasingly accessing the Internet and websites using mobile devices. Guess what’s not compatible with those? You got it, flash video. In fact, in mid-July of this year, Google itself announced that it would start issuing warnings to people attempting to access websites containing flash with the statement “Uses flash. May not work on your device.” Chances are really good that a consumer coming across a website or video that receives this message will probably not continue, but rather seek their answers elsewhere.

Your website will certainly not benefit from video if your audience is not viewing it. In fact, flash video isn’t supported by any Apple device, nor Android versions 4.1 or higher, according to Google. These devices account for a HUGE share of the mobile market. Flash video is also not compatible with some third party inventory sites, and it also has problems with syndication to social networks and other touch points that consumers are on.

Real video, on the other hand, offers a few very important distinctions as web developers gravitate towards such things as HTML5 with mobile capabilities and syndication. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, “Nearly half of the U.S. population has a mobile phone with Internet access, and one out of five page views on the web happen on a mobile device – a number that is growing every month.” Needless to say, if you are using flash, you are already costing yourself 20 percent of potential traffic.

As a dealer, how do you know what kind of video you have? The answer is if your videos are syndicated across the web, viewable on a mobile device or tablet and the search engines can see them, you are doing the right thing and have real video. If not, you most likely have flash.

One of the largest advantages to real video is semantic search.
Search engines don’t have the capability of indexing flash video. Real video, properly tagged and built using a semantic structure, can be indexed. Not only can they be crawled by search engines, but the search engines will read each video as an individual web page. This increases your page rankings.  Last, but certainly not least, real video has the ability to be syndicated everywhere. All of those touch points that consumers use when vehicle shopping can display your video and increase the reach and impact of your video marketing. Of course more exposure brings more traffic viewing your inventory. And the more traffic your inventory receives, the more leads, conversions and sales you’ll see.

The bottom line is that flash video is a bad solution for video marketers. Flash video may be cheaper than real video, but what are you losing in the end? Just because it’s a shiny object and looks pretty, doesn’t mean that you should be using it. Real video offers businesses the ability to have a bigger footprint with their video marketing. It increases the effective of any marketing and the likelihood that a consumer will want to AND have the ability to watch it. This is the whole exposure aspect of real video plus real syndication. It equals more traffic, which equals more leads. The few dollars you may save by going the flash video route will pale in comparison to the profit you’ll lose from customers who never see your video or visit your dealership.

Introducing Google Now – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

From a strategic positioning perspective, I see Google Now as the alternative to iOS Siri on iPhones and iPads.  The intersection of GPS location with time of day is fascinating.  Let the competitive development wars continue… Will Siri include contemporaneous integration like Google Now seems to have?

Google Next Update Will Make Current SEO Practices Obsolete!
In a few days time, Google will unleash the biggest shake up of search engine rankings in it’s history.

It’s so big, Mat Cutt’s made the unusual decision to pre-announce it at a conference a couple of weeks ago.

Matt Cutts, the head of search spam at Google, said “you don’t want the next Penguin update.” He warned that the Google “engineers have been working hard,” on this update. He even added the next few updates will be “jarring and jolting” for webmasters and SEOs.

If you’ve been following me, this can’t come as a surprise…

Winter Is Coming

It will be hard, for you, for your clients, for your rankings.

BUT

In carnage comes great opportunity.

One of the biggest opportunities will be in helping local businesses through this shake up. Google isn’t unleashing hell on the indexes for fun. They are hitting the reset switch to take advantage of context based searches. They are doing it to stay relevent.

Delivering search results the user needs BEFORE they even knew they needed it…. [1]

Caro McCourtie and I having been training people to work with local businesses for years now. On Thursday evening (US East Coast Time), Caro and I will take you through whats going on.

It sure won’t be link building!!

To register for the webinar click here…

Phoenix From The Flames – How you can take advantage of the imminent Goomageden

Sent from my iPad

Ralph Paglia
http://RalphPaglia.com
http://LinkedIn.com/in/RPaglia
http://Facebook.com/RPaglia
http://Twitter.com/RalphPaglia

Industry Thought Leader Shares Guerrilla Marketing and Competitive Conquest Advertising Strategies – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.
Ralph Paglia, Vice President of Digital at Tier10 Marketing, is sharing with automotive dealers and managers his insights on guerrilla marketing and competitive conquest advertising strategies

DETROIT September 7, 2011 Ralph Paglia, Vice President of Digital at Tier10 Marketing, is sharing with automotive dealers and managers his insights on guerrilla marketing and competitive conquest advertising strategies for the web. With today’s technologies and the sophisticated messaging and advertising systems available, there are more ways than ever before for aggressive dealers and managers to take their competition’s customers away from them.

What are some online tools and techniques that dealers can use to see exactly which keywords the competition is bidding on in Google?

How can dealers and managers use their dealer advertising association’s own web site to take customers from other dealers?

Paglia offers advice to dealers and managers on:

  • How to create a dealership Google Adwords account.
  • How to register competitive conquest domain names.
  • How to build guerrilla marketing microsites.
  • How to determine the weakest gazelle for conquest.

Ralph Paglia has 20-plus years of leadership in information technology enabled automotive marketing strategy and tactical implementation. Widely known as the outspoken director of Digital Marketing at ADP Dealer Services, Paglia is now vice president of Digital at Tier 10 Marketing.

Paglia is also the founder and editor-in-chief of America’s leading social network for automotive marketing and sales professionals. The Automotive Digital Marketing (ADM) Professional Community provides an online exchange for strategies, tactics, best practices, files, images, videos and professional networking among marketing professionals working in the car business.

Paglia has presented critically acclaimed workshops at each of the 10 previous Digital Dealer Conferences.

Ralph Paglia will be speaking to dealers and managers about guerrilla marketing and competitive conquest advertising strategies for the web at the 11th Digital Dealer® Conference & Exposition, October 5-7, at The Mirage, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Google +1: Now in PPC Ads and Affecting Search Engine Ranking – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

 

Google makes it clear that the +1 button does have an impact on your organic rankings, regardless of whether they come from a PPC ad or your organic listing.  As long as the URL of your PPC ad matches the URL of the organic listing, +1’s will show on both results.  The company also notes that while +1’s will affect your organic search ranking, they will not change Quality Score or ad ranking.  However, the most important component of Quality Score is Click-Through Rate (CTR) and I suspect that the primary reason that Google is testing this functionality in PPC ads is that they believe (as I do) that when a user sees a +1 from a trusted source, they will be more likely to click on the ad—increasing CTR, Quality Score, and Google’s ad revenue.