Skip to main content

Here Are Your Answers To The 15 Most FAQ By Sherpa

MarketingSherpa yesterday published an article titled Long-Tail Keywords Dead? We Answer This Question and 14 Others on SEO (open access on their site until September 25). Without summarizing the entire 5-page (at 9-point font size!) article, here are a few highlights and observations:

Paid vs. Organic Search

The article states that 95% of search clicks go to organic results, and only 5% to paid links. While there's no question that organic search results get more clicks than the associated ads, the contrast isn't quite that extreme. Lee Odden puts this breakout at closer to 60/40, HubSpot has it at 75/25, and Dynamic Digital says...a lot of things, but basically that organic results get 70-80% while paid links receive 20-30%.

Because organic links perform better, Sherpa advises focusing on SEO, then "only when you see natural search traffic going down should you look to paid search links to supplement that organic traffic." That's just plain wrong!

The first question you have to ask yourself is: what's the value of paid search to you? The closer your product is to the low-cost, tactical, single-decision maker end of the scale (e.g. computer network hardware), the better pay-per-click advertising works. For products that are very expensive, strategic and involve multiple decision makers (e.g. post-merger consulting services), the less effective search engine advertising is.

Second, there's an excellent argument to be made for using paid search first. It will show you which terms most successfully drive profitable traffic to your site much more quickly than natural SEO can. Then you can focus your SEO efforts on high-value terms that are easy to optimize for, and continue to use paid search for those terms which are very difficult to SEO.

Third, as Anne Holland always advises when faced with any question like this, the answer is to "test, test, test."
Average cost per click varies considerably by industry and product type.

Long-Tail Keywords rock. "The majority of searches (67%) are made up of one to three keywords. However, 82% of searchers said that they are likely to enter a few more words when they can’t find what they are looking for in a search. Phrases of four or more words are often used to deliver the targeted results that most searchers aren’t seeing with broader-based search terms. These terms can offer you higher conversion rates at a lower cost per click" when used in SEM campaigns, and are far easier to SEO than two-word or even three-word phrases.

Questionable advice on professional SEO: "If you’re a marketer who doesn’t have a good foundation in Web design, try to find a member of your IT or Web design team willing to undertake your SEO projects." Actually, that sentence would be fine if they had used the phrase "collaborate with you on" in place of the word "undertake." SEO is a mix of art and science. And I'd argue that its easier to teach a marketer the science than it is to teach at IT person the art.

SEO Frequency: The majority of your SEO work should happen up-front, during the website design phase. After that, you need to enact a policy of steadily adding to that framework with small pieces of new, optimized content...Aim to add at least one new element that builds on your SEO strategy every few days." Just need to add: the majority of the ongoing effort is link building, not onsite changes.

Blogging for SEO: "Blogs can be a tremendous piece of your search marketing strategy. Blog posts create an ongoing stream of new, keyword-rich content that often generates links from other sites back to your website." As long as the blogging team follows a few simple guidelines and avoids the seven deadly sins of blogging, then absolutely!

*****


Contact Mike Bannan: mike@digitalrdm.com

Comments

All Time Greats

How to Use SEO: Leverage SEO To Be Found Online and Boost Your Online Marketing

All businesses that want to attract customers online, no matter the business size or age, have few options other than Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  SEO In The Box™ by Results Driven Marketing®, LLC There are roughly 1.8 billion websites online, and basic SEO allows Google to find and index or catalog your webpages.  After that, Google serves you up to searchers in the organic section.  The question remains: where they list your site, on page one or page 22 or further back? SEO controls your positioning. Do you want to be found online or not? If your business is online or you want your product or service to be found online, then Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must, and knowing how to use SEO to leverage the power of the internet is vital. Arguably, an effective SEO strategy gets you on the organic results section of the search engine results pages (SERP). Organic traffic is highly valuable and requires high-quality SEO. But even businesses that use l

Email Campaign, Newsletter and Banner Ad Click-Through Rates (CTR)

When planning online advertising and email promotion budgets, it's critical to calculate the likely ROI upfront whenever possible, as well as to establish campaign benchmarks. The first step is understanding the average and likely range of CTRs for various programs. The growth in online advertising, the proliferation of enewsletters, the emergence of new forms of information delivery such as RSS and the emergence of social media sites have all affected CTR, so planning based on current data is crucial. It can be challenging to find current statistics, but based on several studies, these are typical CTR ranges for email newsletter ads, email campaigns (blasts or internally-produced enewsletters), and banner ads. Email newsletter advertisements Open rates range from 28-40%, with an average of about 33%—meaning that roughly one-third of the subscriber base is likely to see your ad. The Advertising Is Good For You blog tracks these statistics from DoubleClick . The average CT

Google and the Parable of the Turkey

In The Black Swan , Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes about the life of the turkey: for 100 days, the turkey is sheltered, fed and cared for by the farmer. The turkey grows to trust the farmer completely, even perhaps developing a fondness for the farmer (and of course the feed). Then, on the 101st day (with Thanksgiving quickly approaching), the relationship between the turkey and the farmer changes abruptly and permanently. The rationale behind the farmer's apparent benevolence become clear in a final flash before the turkey takes the necessary step preceding de-feathering, vacuum-packing, freezing and shipping off to the market. Taleb's lesson for us from this: don't be a turkey. More succinctly, don't assume that the future will resemble the past, or, in the words of mutual fund prospectuses , "past performance is no guarantee of future results." Also, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Of course, that doesn't take into account the pe

Best of 2008: Social Media Optimization, Part 6

This content has been moved to Best of 2008: Social Media Marketing on the Webbiquity blog. ***** technorati tags: online video SEO reputation management social bookmarking social media marketing SEO and reputation management Search Engine Journal Loren Baker Google Video ClipShare PHPmotion 30 largest social bookmarking sites Anything Goes Blog Stuntdubl social media can increase revenue Social Media Today Jacob Morgan increase blog traffic How To Make My Blog Marko Saric what not to do in social media Interactive Insights Group Robin Broitman social media gaffes Target Motrin Starbucks Whole Foods FedEx del.icio.us tags: online video SEO reputation management social bookmarking social media marketing SEO and reputation management Search Engine Journal Loren Baker Google Video ClipShare PHPmotion 30 largest social bookmarking sites Anything Goes Blog Stuntdubl social media can increase revenue Social Media Today Jacob Morgan increa

Top Notch Digital Marketing Tip: Google AdWords and PPC

Looking for some online marketing strategy or social media tips to grow your business? Well, you’ve come to the right digital marketing resource! Web Market Central has been doling out the proper digital marketing advice for years. And as you already know, marketing to customers online is 100 times easier than using dated, expensive and traditional marketing tactics. Like seriously, who uses billboards in 2019? But you already know how effective digital marketing can be in the modern age. So now that you're totally convinced of what you already knew, let’s give you today's top-notch digital marketing tip! The Pure Unfettered Power of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and PPC Campaigns Just like optimizing your site to rank for keywords, you can use our online marketing tips to pay to run advertisements on Google so that your business is shown on the first page of search engine results. Ranking this way is instantaneous whereas SEO (Search Engine Optimization) takes some

Top-Notch Digital Marketing Tip: Advertisements That Make Sense

Looking for some online marketing tips to grow your business? Well, you’ve come to the right digital marketing resource ! Web Market Central has been doling out the proper DM advice for years. And as you already know, marketing to customers online is 100 times easier than using dated, expensive and traditional marketing tactics. Like seriously, who uses billboards in 2019? But you already know how effective Digital Marketing can be in the modern age. So now that you're totally convinced of what you already knew, let’s give you today's top notch-digital marketing tip! Advertisement Congruence If your business is running ads this is one of our most important online marketing tips! Ad congruence is when your ads and landing pages look alike or have the same message. Have you ever clicked on an ad and been taken to a page that looked nothing like the ad? When your ads look like the web pages they lead to, customers will feel like they are in the right plac

Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 2: The Worst

Although I generally try to keep the tone of this blog positive and avoid disparagement, it's important to expose what doesn't work as well as what does. Saves you the time and trouble. With that in mind, here are 11 Web 2.0 social tagging sites to avoid. If the owner of any of these sites cares to fix their problems and contact me, I'll be happy to post an update. folkd.com On my first attempt at registration, I tried five different email addresses; the service kept saying "email address already in use. Please use another or click 'password forgotten.'" There was no link to "password forgotten" on the page. My second attempt at registration went more smoothly until I reached the account activation page from their activation email, at which point I copied the activation code they had sent and got an error stating "Could not activate your account! Please insert a valid activation ticket to activate your new account." After the third at

Book Review: Website Optimization

This post has been moved to Book Review: Website Optimization – Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets on the Webbiquity blog. ***** technorati tags: Andrew B. King, Web Site Opimization LLC, Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets, book review, Wordtracker, SEO insights, social networking, Marketleap.com link popularity tool del.icio.us tags: Andrew B. King, Web Site Opimization LLC, Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets, book review, Wordtracker, SEO insights, social networking, Marketleap.com link popularity tool icerocket tags: Andrew B. King, Web Site Opimization LLC, Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets, book review, Wordtracker, SEO insights, social networking, Marketleap.com link popularity tool Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom