Evolution of PPCIn 2013, more than half the staff in the average office will have heard of PPC, or pay-per-click, even if they don’t quite know what it is – but not long ago, only those who worked in digital marketing knew anything about it. Following the exponential growth of the digital marketing industry over the last decade, pay-per-click advertising is no longer a niche marketing medium. As we have moved towards a digital economy, few stragglers remain. Nearly all large, medium-sized and indeed many small companies, either having led the way or dragged kicking and screaming, have moved with the times.

Today you’ll rarely find an organization of medium or above size with a stake in the digital economy without the core components of a digital marketing function – typically a social media manager, a web analyst, an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) manager and a PPC, or paid search manager. If the company also does email marketing, you can add another head to that. The functions are occasionally combined – in really small companies, it may all fall to one person – but as anybody who has managed PPC campaigns on a large scale knows, it’s a full-time job.

Google AdWords is still by far the largest pay-per-click network, although Yahoo and Microsoft combined forces in 2010 to launch their own PPC platform, AdCenter, via Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

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Conversion Optimization Part 3

conversion optimization turning website visitors into customersIn this article, we’re going to cover how to guide your visitors through your website or landing page and point them to a further action.  As we have talked about before, it does no good to have the best, coolest looking web site in the world if you are not turning any of your visitors into paying customers.  The first steps of course Building Trust and Aligning Your Website and Business Goals, covers the basic of website design and flow needed in order to attract and hold your visitor attention.  Now let’s discuss the science of getting them to buy something through the process of a conversion funnel.

 Creating Value –

One of the very first things you need to establish and quickly mind you, is value.  Your visitors need to see that you offer something of value to them.  This can be accomplished numerous ways.  I usually prefer a nice <H1> Header or Good Graphic with compelling text that is placed above the fold, has high contrast coloring and clearly states the value that you offer to your visitors.  An example:

  • <H1>”We have the best mortgage interest rates in the country with NO closing costs”</H1>

For someone who searched for “low interest mortgage loans” or “no closing cost refinancing” and landed on a page with this at the very top of the page, it screams to them “You are in the right place!”

So now that they know they are in the right place, now what?  Sometimes the above value statement is enough to get that conversion (lead data or sale).  Other times you need to provide more information for them.  This will also add credibility and authority to your page so don’t shy away from this part.  Get real, show even more value and advantages about doing business with you.  I prefer a short opening paragraph (2-3 sentences MAX) and then 3-6 bullet points.  Anything more than that and you may lose their attention.  Keep your information short and avoid industry jargon that might not be understood by someone not familiar with your business.  Some example bullet points that would complement the above header:

  • Close in less than 30 days!
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd mortgages!
  • No closing costs!
  • Less than perfect credit is OKAY!

Call to Actions (CTA) –

Now that you created value and you have their attention, it’s time to start placing “call to actions” in the body of your message.  A call to action is simply a statement that directs the visitor to interact with you on some level.  It encourages them to take the next step.  Example CTA’s:

  • Request more information now!
  • Apply Today!
  • Call Us Today!
  • Start Now!

Typically for CTA’s, I will use no less than 5 on a Paid Search campaign and no less than 3 on any Conversion Page on an organic site.  I have used as many as 11 before.  The point is, there really is no telling at what point the visitor will be motivated to take that next action.  Make sure you strategically place your CTA’s throughout your landing page so that you don’t miss any opportunities to convert that visitor!

One last note on PAID SEARCH Landing pages.  If you are investing in a Paid Search Campaign, you will want to concentrate your efforts and put a lot of thought into crafting your value statement and CTA’s.  Then, once that’s done, make sure you strip your landing page of useless distractions like “about us” links and social media links.  Save those for the confirmation page AFTER they requested more information, signed up for your mailing list or actually bought something from you!

conversion optimization turngin website visitors into customers

Next up in the series…”Best Practices for Web Forms” followed by “Conversion Measurement and Testing”.  Stay tuned for more!

If you found this article helpful and you enjoyed it, please take a minute and share it [CTA] through any of the social media share buttons located throughout the site.  We love our social media friends and the shares we get and we certainly will return the favor when and where possible.  You can also comment [CTA] in the comments section below and regular commenters receive “Do-Follow” link status to help you with your SEO program!

Click-finders.com offers a full range of Internet Marketing services including Affordable SEO Services, PPC Management, Social Media, Inbound Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and more.  Contact us [CTA] through www.click-finders.com, Twitter, Facebook and our Organic SEO Blog to learn more about Organic Search Engine Optimization and even request a FREE SEO Website Analysis[CTA]


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Danger BAD SEO's are everywhere!  Learn more at click-finders.com
Bad SEO’s are everywhere…

I know that we have posted a few recent images that cover the difference between “Paid results” and “Organic results” so I apologize right now for another.  However, this topic is just too important not cover, even if it means I have to post another “Paid vs Organic” search result image yet again.  Besides, this is an entirely different take on the subject that covers SEO Advertisers.  But wait, aren’t they the guys that are supposed to know the difference between the two (paid vs organic)?  Yep….you bethcha!  We as Search Engine Optimization Professionals absolutely should know the difference.  So why then, is there the need to cover this topic yet again?  The reason for this blog post is to educate the general public about the difference.  I received a call this week from a potential client who found us on the first page of Google (just like they are supposed to).  After the initial introductions and pleasantries, we started getting down to the brass tacks of the conversation and I was asked, “if you are such a good SEO agency, why is XYZ firm at the top of the page and not you?”.  The potential client was referring to a firm that was listed in the paid search results (the very top three on the page).  Here’s another example of Paid vs Organic search results for those that do not know the difference:


Organic vs Paid - SEO Services Warning by click-finders.com

Organic vs Paid Search

I used this particular example because it happens to be the exact search that the potential client used when searching for an SEO Agency to help him with his SEO program.  Affordable SEO Services Company is a term that click-finders.com happens to rank #1 for out of 150,000,000 possible results.  Pretty impressive huh?  Anyway, after a few minutes of conversation, I explained to the caller that those top three results in the slightly shaded box are actually “paid ads” and that he should consider that strongly before making a final decision.

“As much as I hate to admit it, there are hundreds if not thousands of so called ‘SEO Agencies’ out there that take advantage of unsuspecting and uneducated business owners.”

So why then use Google Adwords to promote an “SEO Company”?  Because there are just too many people out there that don’t know the difference between SEO and Paid Search.  They type in a search term and click the top result and don’t think another thing about it unless they did not find what they are looking for, in which case they simply perform another search.  An unscrupulous company might be one who then sets up a Google Adwords account and posts an ad for SEO Services and then just takes the money and does nothing for their customers.  Or they charge a large amount of money and open an Adwords account for their new client and actually show them the results they got them. 

Either way I think you really have to ask yourself if you want to hire a company to help you get to the top of the “organic search results” that has to have an Adword account and pay Google in order for you to find them.  I would tread cautiously for sure and treat suspect any company that uses Paid Search to advertise for Organic SEO Services.

Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed this article please share it with any of the multiple social media share widgets on this blog (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Social Bookmarking).  Also, please feel free to comment below.  I openly welcome any and all feedback, especially from other internet professionals!

Click-finders.com is a full service internet marketing company that offers a full range of services including Affordable SEO Services, PPC Adword Campaigns, Social Media Marketing, Web Development and more!  Contact us today for a FREE no obligation SEO Analysis of your website and find out today, what it’s going to take to rank high in the search engines!

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How to lose Money on Paid Advertisement - PPC - SEO | click-finders.com

Not finding a mistake like this can really hurt...

I have wanted to write this article for quite some time.  It just seems there’s not enough time in the day to get to all the little “want to do’s” lists that I have.  However, I finally have a minute to sit down and bang this one out, so here it goes.   It’s an important topic and one that is all too often overlooked by Internet Marketing professionals (both in-house marketers and agencies).  It’s a serious problem that most often results in finger pointing once found.  The in-house manager says the agency should have caught it and the agency will most likely state that the company reviewed and approved all keywords before launching a campaign.  In the end, no matter how it happens, it’s still a BIG, expensive problem in some cases and one of my biggest pet peeves in the search engine marketing world.  The truth is, they both (in-house management and professional SEO Services agency), have an obligation to prevent things like this from happening, even more so if it’s done entirely in-house!  The issue is having Paid results come back for the same term that already ranks #1 organically, when results come back like this:

How to Lose Money on Paid Search - ZAPPOS | click-finders.com

Note the results.  The search term was “Zappos”.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have a whole lot of respect for Tony Hsieh and his team over there at Zappos.   They have truly built a wonderful thing with an innovative, unique and truly effective customer service business model.  But to be honest, with all the brain power over there how was this missed?  Look at the results again.  The search term “Zappos” returned the “Top Organic” result and then the “Paid Search Box” also shows Zappos.  Call me silly, but I’ll bet you anything this oversight is costing Zappos a pretty penny every month on their Google Adwords account.  In fact, let’s look at a quick analysis from SPYFU.com on the term search term “Zappos”.  SPYFU is a well-known and search industry recognized resource for internet marketers for SEO and Paid Search marketing data.  Note the estimated daily clicks and cost for this term:

Zappos Paid Search Mistake - SPYFU | click-finders.com

Now if we are to believe these numbers, and trust me when I say they can be deadly accurate, then the total monthly cost for this little over sight could be costing Zappos  as much as $99,300.00 each month!  Maybe Zappos can afford that considering annual revenues at just over a billion dollars at this point and further, some might say that having the top two spots on Google (i.e. more page one real estate) is worth the cost.  Some people would also argue that certain users will ONLY click on paid search results for various reasons (trust, ignorance of the search results page, etc.).  All of these might be viable arguments for a smaller company, but how many people that actually search for the term “Zappos” are not going to click on the top organic result just because a paid result is not shown?  I’m guessing very little, if any, loss in traffic if this one term was dropped from the PPC campaign, yet the monies saved by this simple move could then be spent on other more effective terms that don’t show up as the first organic result and yield even more buying visitors to the site.  I hope at some point, internet marketers wake up and realize that top paid and organic search results are not needed at the same time for MOST instances.

Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed this article please share it with any of the multiple social media share widgets on this blog (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Social Bookmarking).  Also, please feel free to comment below.  I openly welcome any and all feedback, especially from other internet professionals!

Click-finders.com is a full service internet marketing company that offers a full range of services including Affordable SEO Services, PPC Adword Campaigns, Social Media Marketing, Web Development and more!  Contact us today for a FREE no obligation SEO Analysis of your website and find out today, what it’s going to take to rank high in the search engines!


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Virginia Get Your Business Online | SEO Services by click-finders

Google wants you Online Virginia

You may or may not have seen an email, webpage, blog article or other news media source that Google itself is pushing out.  The crux of the message is ”Virginia, Get Your Business Online!”.  The message is a pretty simple one, Google wants all small businesses to get online and publish a website.  According to Google it’s an easy, practical and FREE way to promote your business.  Google has gone so far as to come into Virginia communities with a small team of Google representatives and met with business owners to give out this free advice.  They even point you to ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) that Host a website for one year for FREE and provide free website templates that can have even the most non-tech savvy person configure and launch a website within a couple of minutes and start to be found by the throngs of searches that are looking for the small business product or service you provide.  Everything they say is 100% true.  Of course, truth can be a relative term.

What do I mean by that?  I’m glad you asked.  You see, Google has a vested interest in having every small business create and then maintain an online presence via a website.  Have they spoke the truth though?  Is it possible to put up a live, fully functional website within a few minutes for FREE?  Yes, it absolutely is.  So if it’s true, then what’s the problem with this scenario?  Well from a distance nothing.  Google has stated the unequivocal truth and they will undoubtedly stand behind their message with a “we just want to help small business harness the power of the internet” statement.  If that’s true, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  However, as an internet professional who earns a living evaluating, fixing and promoting websites, I have some pretty serious concerns with this kind of message.  There is no way a “non-tech savvy” business owner with zero internet marketing experience is going to be able to launch a website within an hour that is even remotely visible to the search engines, not to mention actually promote it.

“Google could be starting the next great thing by helping every small business get an inexpensive website, or they could be setting themselves up for a never ending stream of paid search dollars.”

So what is Google’s motivation for this push?  Is it to share knowledge and promote the internet market place?  You see, in order to answer that question, you have to understand exactly how Google earns its revenue.  It does so by selling advertising and paid search results (the top three highlighted links returned on nearly every search).  That’s right.  If you want to be on TOP of Google, all you have to do is set up and Adwords account and be willing to pay XX amount of dollars per click that they get you on their ad and BOOM, you get your website listed at the TOP of Google.

Paid Search Results | SEO and PPC by click-finders
Don’t get me wrong, paid search advertising has its place in this world and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  However, I will take issue with Google (or anyone) who proclaims that any small business owner can get on line for little very little cost and then be at the top of the search engine results pages without an investment of some sort.  In order to be at the top you must be willing to invest in one of the following:

  • #1 You Invest Your Time – Self education in internet and organic search engine marketing.  Expect to spend about 3-6 months just learning what to do and how to do it the correct way.  Once educated, then you can start marketing your site and you can expect to spend anywhere from 3 to 24 months on that full time effort, depending entirely on the competitiveness and difficulty of the keywords you are trying to rank for.
  • #2 Invest in Organic Search Engine Marketing – You can hire an SEO Services Company and you can invest in an SEO Services Package that will market your company and help you gain the trust and authority you need to rank well in the search engine results pages.  This assures you actually get results, that you get those results in a timely manner and that you get them in an ethical and search engine friendly manner (very important, lest you be banned from the search engines altogether for doing it wrong).  All this of course, is based on you hiring the right SEO agency to promote your site.  The benefits of a properly optimized and promoted website can have lasting affects with minimal cost to maintain the rankings once you’re at the top of the search engines.
  • #3 Invest in Paid Search Results Advertising – Quite simply you just need to open a Google Adwords account (or Yahoo/Bing account), register your site,, give them your credit card, spending limits (daily, weekly or monthly), select and bid on your keywords, select your target market segments and then write your ads and publish them.  If you have done everything correctly, you can have traffic at your site within a few hours.  How much traffic and how much revenue can you get this way?  That depends on your keywords, your bids and how good your website is.

So although it’s true, that Google can help you get online within minutes, the likelihood it will change your business that quickly is pretty slim.  Just like anything else worth something in this world, if you want quality traffic that is going to affect your business, you will have to spend an investment (in time or money) marketing it.  The question about the quality of the site, the quality of the traffic and how you market your site, is up to you.

We would love to hear what the professional web design and internet marketing community think of this Google initiative also.  So if you are an internet professional, please feel free to chime below in the comments section.  Also, if you are a small business owner and found your way here, please feel free to chime in your opinion as well.  We would love to hear what you think.

click-finders is a full service Internet Marketing firm that offers Affordable SEO Services, PPC Management, Social Media Management, Web Design and Development, Reputation Management and more.  Contact us today for a FREE, no obligation SEO analysis of your website and find out how we can help get to the top and stay at the top of Google!



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