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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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2012 Search Engine Optimization Predictions | click-finders.com

What changes will 2012 bring?

It’s seems every Tom, Dick and Harry out there is spouting off some form of 2012 predictions for SEO and social media.  Some are valid, well thought out and data backed insight and some…well some are just not.  The truth of the matter is none of us really know the totality of the changes that will come about in 2012.  In fact, I would venture to say that even Google does not have a clue about some of the changes they will have to make later in the year.  It’s impossible for anyone to know for sure because no one really knows what everyone else is doing.  Sure they have an idea about what they “want” to do, but they still don’t KNOW with any sense of certainty exactly what changes will come about….especially later in the year.  So to everyone out there trying to predict the future, put your crystal balls away, it’s just not worth the effort. 

It’s no secret changes are coming in the areas of Privacy, Panda and Video SEO, so instead of trying to predict what the end results will be, I thought I would share my “wish list” for 2012 in the world of SEO and social media changes that I would like to see.  Who knows?  If the right people read it, it may actually influence a change [getting the Big Head].  Here they are:

PRIVACY – Google shocked the SEO world with the announcement that certain search terms from “logged in” users would be hidden from Google Analytics.  Although shocking, this is not really that terrible for SEO’s.  First of all any GOOD SEO is getting data from multiple sources and further to that, the amount of data actually hidden is minor at best.  It hurts more however, the individual website owner that is trying to conduct some level of SEO on their own that don’t have a bazillion sources for data collection.  SEO’s are a resilient and defiant bunch.  The data lost (minimal) will come from other sources and the more Google goes down this road, the more they hurt the small guy, not the SEO.  What I would like to see is the option for logged in users to “opt in” for search data sharing.  That way the choice is the searchers and not Google’s.  Talk about making some SEO’s mad…that would do it for sure! 

PANDA – No doubt, the most blogged about, cried over and for some websites, the most debilitating anti-spam algorithm update ever!  The funny part is that Google had been warning against low quality content for years.  The problem is that they never backed up their claim…that is until Panda!  The sites that developed and promoted quality content were really not hurt.  The sites that were not developing and promoting quality content however…well they were mad to say the least.  The funny part is that I do not believe Panda is done just yet.  I expect even more Panda roll outs in the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2012.  What I would like to see is for Panda to somehow integrate low quality social media into the mix.  Just like when content was king and low quality content arenas were formed and used, as social media becomes more prevalent, so do the people who try and “cheat” the system.

VIDEO SEO – No doubt that video has become the new “in thing” to do.  With search results becoming richer with news and video content, this trend is likely to continue.  The proliferation of and cost effectiveness of high speed internet connectivity have given birth to a new generation of marketing efforts.  The ability to craft video descriptions and titles to show up in search results will become ever more important.  What I would like to see is a Panda version for video.  Again, low quality should not count.  The problem is the only way you can effect this change would be to judge a video based solely on video description and title, so it’s easy to manipulate the results unless they count total views.  Great content however, will develop a good viewing audience and that feedback is what has to be included.  

Well that’s it….my three “wish list” items for 2012.  The one thing I (or anyone else for that matter) am sure of for 2012, is that change will come.  The other,  is that some will not like the change at all.  My take on it…roll with the punches, do quality work and build quality content and you will have little to worry about with the search engine changes.  What about you?  What are your thoughts on the coming year in search?  Your comments are very welcome in the comments section below!

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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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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