Search Engine Marketing / Pay-Per-Click
Google’s version of pay-per-click is called AdWords. Keeping this as simple as possible, here’s how it works. A dentist wants his listing to show when someone Googles “Tulsa dentists”. He signs up for an AdWords account, and bids on that keyword. Let’s say he’s willing to pay $3 every time someone clicks on his ad. That means he’ll show up higher than the other dentists bidding on that same keyword who aren’t willing to pay $3/click but lower than dentists willing to pay $3.01/click. Add in a factor called Quality Score, and this algorithm gets a little more complicated, but you get it. You bid on the words you think your customers are searching and you show up on page one. Also, you get to make a lot of choices with AdWords: What keywords? When will the ads run? What will the ad copy say? How much am I willing to pay each day? What position on the page do I want? Sounds complicated, and it is – if it’s done right. While anyone can sign up for an AdWords account, running a good campaign is practically an art form. Analyzing the results, tweaking the campaign, watching the competition . . . and when every single click comes right out of your pocket you’re going to want to make sure it’s done right. You’ll want to really study, or hire a certified Google AdWords manager.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization: Onsite and offsite
Make your web page “Google friendly” by designing it in a way that Google can easily read it and tell what it’s about. There’s WAY too much to cover here, so talk to your web designer and make sure he or she is optimizing the following:
• Title tag – Should be 70 characters or less. Should be your main keyword and geography.
• Content – Should be rich and full of keywords. Fresh content should be added regularly.
• Flash – Use none or very little. Google can’t read flash!
• Site Map – Tells Google’s robots how to crawl your site and what it’s all about.
• Pictures – Search engines can’t read pictures. Name the pictures with keywords. (i.e. lawn-aerator.jpg)
Once you’ve done the basics of getting your site in order, you’ll need to start getting links. Links are essential for ranking because Google views them as “votes” for your website. The more links you have pointing to your site, the better. Relevant, authoritative links are the best. So how do you get these links? Part of it happens naturally. You’re a member of the chamber so they link to you. That’s good. They’re even an authority on local business. Your business is covered by the local paper and they link to you in an article – even better. Your cousin owns a barber shop and puts a link to your site on his. Not so much. Sure, it’s a link, but unless your business is related to cutting hair, Google won’t be very impressed with that vote. Building links is possibly the most difficult and time consuming of all SEO. This truly is an area that hiring an expert is probably your best choice.
There are, of course other things to consider besides SEO and SEM. Social media can play a huge part in your online strategy, as well as review sites, and yes, even online yellow pages. The good news is, everything you need to know about HOW to get on the internet is ALREADY ON the internet. Just Google it! Blogs, articles, and even podcasts can teach you everything you need to know to do it yourself or what to look for in order to hire the best person to do it for you. Whatever you decide, take action. The longer you wait, the bigger jump your competition will have on you. Good luck.