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What Are Issues For Search Engine Marketing Lacking Organic Search?

Google’s Intuition & Search Engine Marketing
Technology has changed the way we live. That’s a fact. Some innovations make our lives easier, such as iPhones and automatic braking. However, with the pluses, there are minuses. You may have to ask Alex three times to turn on your living room lights because she misunderstood you. Or, automated phone menus that transfer you to the wrong department. And now, Google is displaying answers without any search results (zero search results). This is frustrating to not only users, but to marketers. Google Updates is taking away the opportunity for organic search results with this new algorithm. So, what’s a marketer to do?

But first, let’s take a look at how far search engines have come. Before Google, there was Archives (Archie). It was created in 1990 by Alan Emtage. Essentially, it was a database of web file names that would match user queries. Back then, people didn’t share files via the web; they shared files via File Transfer Protocol (FTP). The first prototype search engine was Enquire by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991. He built the first web browser and editor called WorldWideWeb, which was developed on NeXTSTEP. He also created the first web server called HyperText Transfer Protocol daemon (httpd). A search engine has three parts: spiders, an index and search interface and relevancy software. They work together to produce search engine results. These results would bring up anything and everything related to the query.

The Birth of Search Engines 
By 1993, search engines were popping up on the web – JumpStation, the World Wide Worm and Repository Software Engineering (RBSE) spider. The use of search algorithms began with Excite. The first web directory was Galaxy in 1994. Yahoo! began as a collection of web pages before turning into a full-fledged search engine in 2003. Hotbot came on the scene in 1996 and Ask Jeeves in 1997. Ask Jeeves was a natural language search engine. Jump to 2005 for the transition of Google from a vertical search engine to a three-column search engine. As search engines became a part of our lives, so did search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO). SEM is done through organic SEO, paid search engine ads, paid inclusion and pay per click ads. In the past decade, SEO has become an integral piece of the digital marketing pie and is increasingly valuable to digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing Challenges
Now that Google has gotten “smarter”, digital marketers have to work harder because they can no longer count on organic search results. Google doesn’t show related searches, just the answer. Marketers are losing organic traffic. It not only hurts marketers, but it also hurts users because they lose out on finding nuggets of information as well as a related product or service. Along with displaying the answer, there is a button to list the full search results. Search engine marketing is responsible for this. This can be good and bad; the good is that Google is cutting down the search time for a user and bad because the user has to go an extra step to see the results. It also removes paid results.

Does this mean that marketers are to give up on organic searches? No. Some will still want to see related searches, especially if they are looking for a related product or service. Also, paid ads still bring the most visibility to a product or service. There has been a shift in digital marketing from putting all your eggs into the SEO basket to putting them into social media, traditional and digital marketing and SEO. The goal is still to be on page 1 of Google, but it’s importance has waned. However, there are more SEO tools out there to ramp up your digital marketing, such as SEMrush, Screaming Frog, Moz and Google Search Console. As long as Google puts out new updates, marketers will adapt.


All Time Greats

Digital Marketing for Law Firms, How Hard is it?

A lot of "verticals" or industries make sense for digital marketing and the whole process can be very easy and intuitive. For instance, if you are running a Search Engine Optimization company, it's very straightforward to content market:

1- Write blogs or articles about SEO
2- Try to answer questions people have about SEO
3- Optimize those blogs around what the questions are and what you are saying.

But what about an industry that is a lot more complicated and not very straight forward? What about marketing for lawyers?

ACE, one of Philadelphia's top Law Firm Marketing companies, just posted this extremely helpful blog about why SEO is important for Law Firms. It delves into exactly how to do the job for a complex industry like the law and its practitioners.

One of the key points in the entire article is: "If your customer journey does not have a use for search services, then you'll never see SEO campaign results."

We recommend reading the whole thing. …

Tip #3 to improve your digital marketing

Do Your Research You may have ideas for what is going to work best for your audience based on past experience with your ads, but taking the time to conduct thorough research and have data to support your actions is important. You may anticipate that your customers will behave a certain way, when in fact they go in a completely different direction. It’s essential to be prepared for this ahead of time and use the information you collect from research to planning your marketing strategy. Elliot Simmonds explains this concept below:

“ A lot of people use sponsored posts and other paid advertising, and it seems that many are happy to simply pay the money and watch the views and clicks roll in - even if some of those clicks are from individuals tangential to the product or service they're promoting. Most platforms allow you to specifically target your sponsored posts and ads, and my tip is to do so following a period (even if it's only a short period) of actual research. Your gut i…

Tip #2 to Improve your Digital Marketing

Spend Wisely Each platform used to market online provides you with a different value. You need to analyze which outlets you should invest more time and money into, and which ones are not as important. Some platforms that work well for one company, yield little to no results for another. You need to find the one that suits your business goals the best. Digital Marketing is all very specific to your brand, and you need to plan your budget accordingly. Determining what each platform is going to do for your specific advertising efforts should be the basis for the decisions you make with your campaigns, explains Hitesh Sahni, Marketing Consultant at Smemark:

“It’s imperative to understand the value each channel offers. Search advertising platforms, such as Google Adwords, work best when there is a clear demand for your product or service, and you want to target people who search for your product or service online. Search advertising is less effective for a startup that has created a new an…

Does SEO Actually Work?

I wrote this for my new Doctor Digital column over at Results Driven Marketing's Blog. But I wanted to share it here too.

It's the most basic question of all: Does SEO Actually Work?

Yes it does! But not like you think it does.

This graphic should explain it pretty well:

Tips to Improve Digital Marketing: Tip 1

Digital advertising has become a major component of modern day marketing strategies. Here are tips on how to improve your digital marketing strategy:

1. Be Creative Your business has visual elements that make it stand out from your competition. Use that to your advantage in your marketing efforts. Whether it is a logo, mascot, font, or color scheme, having it included can help make your brand recognizable. You want to catch the eye of the audience, but you also want to maintain their attention and have them remember your brand. Incorporating unique and creative visual elements into your ads is crucial to the success the ads will bring you. Sarah Maloy, Content Marketing Manager at Shutterstock points out that you want a variety of creative images, but they should be consistent: "When advertising on social media, it's important to refresh your creative often so that it is relevant and so that users aren't seeing the same post more than once. When testing variations and tryi…

AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list of 2018

It’s Early in 2018 and AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list It’s only the first week in February and you are reading about the Metrics/Data supplier that has provided us with fodder by creating a huge marketing blunder, Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is world's biggest third-party database of search queries with refined monthly search volume and research metrics.  Their data is used by untold numbers of digital marketers across the world.  Arguably they are the industry leader in this type of data.  The only thing that they changed was how a tiny item in their metrics was being calculated. 
About a week prior to the effective date of the change, Ahrefs notified users that a change was coming to how they calculated a domain rating or DR.  They also stated that many sites would see their rankings drop.  I agree that a need for change was warranted.  What I don’t agree with how they calculated the change and its ramifications for roughly 75% of all websites.  

This past Friday evening around 11 P.…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!