SEO SEM Company Syracuse NY

Search Engine Marketing and Social Media

Search engine marketing (SEM) and social media are at the heart of digital marketing. Both are great tools in which to generate valuable leads for your business online. However, search marketing and social media take different approaches and therefore, require different expertise to deliver them effectively and the fundamental way in how they engage with a target audience.

Search Engine Marketing

What is ‘search marketing’? We are really talking about search engine optimization (SEO) and Google Adwords (PPC). These are the two ways in which a company can get themselves in front of potential customers based on what they search for on Google, but they work in different ways.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of doing what is necessary, both on your web pages and elsewhere, to get your website visible on the first page of search results when somebody types in a search phrase, and ideally at the top of those page one results. It does not follow, however, that the more you spend on SEO, the better results you will have. Like most other areas of products and services, you need to do your research to be sure you will actually get what is being offered.

With rare exception, SEO has a much higher ROI than PPC. It has been shown time and again, for example, that the amount of time a visitor spends on your site as a result of an organic search result click is substantially longer than the time they spend on your site from clicking on a PPC ad. The reasons are various, and we will devote some time to that in subsequent posts, so stay tuned.

You are probably asking yourself, if SEO happens ‘organically’ and it’s free, then what am I paying for? Well, this leads us back to the very fundamentals of SEO. Google ranks search results based on relevance to the enquiry or search made. But the term ‘relevance’ is a completely subjective term. If someone searches for “social media agency”, are they looking for help managing social media presence for their or are they really looking for a job in the digital marketing field? Due to the dynamic and complexity nature of Google, hiring an expert to manage your search engine optimization is where a bulk of your monetary cost will be.

SEO and PPC marketing are different in practice. With Google Adwords you only have to pay out if someone actually clicks on your advert and goes through to our website. With Google Adwords (PPC) you are bidding on space that is around the organic results for that particular search term. Anyone, with any business and any website, can do this no matter the quality of their content is or how established their site is.

The point is, if do have a website that is fast loading and incorporates mobile-friendly, responsive website design, with text that is written well and with an eye to the search terms that people are actually using, ranking well in search engine results will basically yield consistent website traffic and ROI. As a general rule, if you are using both SEO and PPC strategies, when you look at your website traffic stats in Google Adwords, you should ideally see more organic traffic than paid traffic. (As with any statement like this, there are exceptions to the rule based on industry type and other factors).

Search Engine Marketing and Social Media

The real difference is that search marketing is just that, people searching for a business that provides certain services or products. Social media marketing, on the other hand, consists of using social media to identify your target audience and drive them to your website. There are major areas of cross over of course. Especially between SEO and social media. Social media has an impact on SEO search engine optimization generally and Local SEO specifically in numerous ways, from YouTube hosted videos to Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp. The list goes on. Ultimately, at the end of the day, a well-rounded, diverse social media profile leading back to your company website will yield continuing benefits.

As with many forms of marketing, you won’t know exactly which avenue will work best for you until you actually give them a try. One of the major wins is that with digital marketing, you can accurately track multiple metrics and ultimately your return on investment.

Paul Albee is the digital marketing director of ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. Paul and his team specialize in all aspects of online digital marketing including website design, SEO search engine optimization, social media marketing as well as print and advertising design.

Local SEO Syracuse

Local SEO. Getting the Basics Right.

Local SEO: The Basics.

Local SEO isn’t like regular SEO search engine optimization. Local search results change more often that you may imagine and careful planning can make all the difference in the world.

Now, more than ever Local SEO needs to be consciously integrated into a company’s digital marketing plan. As search has moved from the desktop to tablets and smartphones, the importance of being visible in mobile search has skyrocketed.  It’s no longer an option. It’s a necessity of business.

“Google” almost any product or service you can imagine and you can see immediately that the focus is virtually entirely local.  Not only that, but a majority of the first page search results are dedicated to review and other local “directory” style listings such as Yelp, Google My Places, YellowPages, Foursquare, and the list goes on.  While traditional SEO campaigns are as important as ever, careful attention to “Local SEO” in a mobile context is just as important.

Mobile Search and Customer Expectations

Google My Business and Beyond

Step One:  Claim your Google My Business page and get it up to date.  Not only does it immediately create your business presence in Google search results, but it also helps Google to better understand your website and business. And the more Google knows about you, the better.  It also gives users ability to write a review about your business and we all know how important reviews are in the digital economy.

Wondering how to get reviews?  Just ask your existing customers.  Many of them will be happy to let people know how great you are. Post a sign on your front sales counter. Put a QR code on the table or menu allowing them to scan and review. Have your service personnel ask for reviews at checkout. Place a kiosk in the lobby for them to leave a review. Sometimes, all people need is a little encouragement.

Step Two. Claim your Yelp listing and fill it out completely. Information, business hours, products and services, and above all pictures, pictures, pictures.  The internet is a visual medium, after all.

Step Three. If you are heavily involved in B2B commerce, and even if you’re not, don’t forget LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be an amazing place to garner new business and give Google and Bing clues with which to deliver meaningful search results

Someone once said that effective search engine optimization isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.  You have to keep watching, creating, engaging with visitors and potential customers (Wash, Rinse, Repeat).  But the first step to effective Local SEO is claiming and maintaining your local listings.  A famous politician once said, “All politics is local.”  So is search engine optimization and visibility.

Related: The Decline of Desktop Search


Generating Website Traffic for Syracuse SMB

Generating Website Traffic: The Long View

Here are five simple rules to increasing traffic to your website or blog:

1. Get Social

There’s all kinds of social media networks out there:  Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Youtube, the list goes on and on. The more quality posts you create and share, the more likely you are to attract the kinds of people (and customers) you’re looking for.  Be sure to use hashtags to help your content be found.  We’ll discuss hashtags in another post.

2. Write really good content.

What you write about is important to you and to your audience.  Always strive to give something of value to your audience.  You don’t want to read boring, rehashed stuff and neither do they. They came to you for information. Give it to them.  Inspire people with what inspires you and gives you the passion to get out of bed each morning.

3. Links. Links. Links.

Regardless of which social network you happen to be on, be sure to include your website URL (address). Basically, it boils down to “the more inbound links to your website the better.” A word of caution: be conscious about where you are getting those links.  Low quality links can be bad news when it comes to Google ranking your pages in search results.

4. Don’t stuff your content full of keywords.

Keyword stuffing is a Google no-no, and you’ll get your wrists slapped and your website demoted for it. Keep it natural and you’ll be better off in the long run (and so will your website traffic).

5. Video is hot!

You don’t just have to write articles.  You may not feel comfortable doing that a lot.  Not to worry.  Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world.  Between Youtube, Twitter and Facebook, not to mention your own website blog, there’s plenty to share along with your written words.  Mix it up with relevant, well crafted videos and pictures to keep your audience engaged and more likely to share your content and your message.