agency,PPC,search engine optimization,SEM

What to look for in a search marketing agency

  • Jess
  • ON
  • November 30, 2018
Search marketing combines all the elements you can use to improve your presence on search engines. It builds a complete strategy with the ultimate goal of making your website more visible so that a larger audience can reach you and purchase your products or services. At times a complicated assortment of details, having a search marketing strategy is so important in today’s digital landscape. According to Payfirma, over 50% of mobile searches lead to a purchase, so it’s absolutely essential your website comes up on the first page of relevant search results, as close to the top as possible.
So, does it? If you feel as if your current place online isn’t what it should be, it may be time to consider hiring a search marketing agency. Not only can they help you navigate the details of flushing out a complete search marketing strategy, they can also take the stress off you in managing this ongoing and intricate process.

Before you hire an agency, know what search marketing is

Search marketing includes both the paid and unpaid efforts a business utilizes to drive traffic to their site. These methods increase your site’s visibility and improve your search engine ranking.

Unpaid Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This includes features involved with SEO; those which help improve your ranking on search engines. It also helps drive organic traffic to your site. The focus within unpaid search marketing tactics includes optimizing site content, utilizing relevant keywords, and reviewing the overall structure and links of your site.

Paid Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Also known as pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, paid search centers on text-based ads that appear at the top or side of any search engine results. These are closely aligned with key search words or phrases to ensure they appear when the right types of queries are entered into a search engine.

Finding the right balance of the two search marketing strategies for your business is just what the best search marketing agencies will help you do.

Why you should consider search marketing support

Hiring a search marketing company to help with your strategy addresses many common pain points your business may be suffering as you work to maximize the return of your online presence. Digital marketing is still a relatively new aspect of an overall marketing plan, and with constant changes in social media rules, online advertising best practices, and search engine algorithms, it can be difficult to keep up. Bringing in the expertise found within a search marketing agency can not only enhance your knowledge about the functioning of your own website, but keep you up-to-date with relevant changes to search marketing in order to take advantage of the latest developments.

Working with an agency also helps you stay on top of the minute details of search marketing without spending time doing all the research yourself. Especially at agencies like Brain Bytes Creative, where each team member brings their expertise on a specific area of digital marketing to the larger team, you get an in-depth understanding of the whole process broken down into digestible pieces. You’ll also have the confidence that enough time is being spent delving into best practices in all areas since there’s not just a single person handling everything.

A partnership for the long haul

Improving your standing in search engine results often takes longer than most people expect. Typically, when you implement changes in the way you market your business, you expect quick results. With search marketing, results can take time to be fully realized. “Search doesn’t happen in three months,” says Jason Sirotin, Chief Creative Officer at Brain Bytes Creative, “it happens over years,” which is why it’s important to think both short and long term when working on your search marketing strategy. Building a plan that demonstrates a positive return on your investment will trickle in for years to come, so it’s necessary you manage expectations in a way that doesn’t diminish the rewards of your hard work. A search marketing agency partners with you throughout the whole process, totally in it for the long haul. They should connect the dots for you over time, explaining how the work you’re implementing will affect traffic to your site for a long time to come.

What to look for in a search marketing agency

Once you’re ready to start exploring options for the ideal search marketing agency to partner with, it’s important to consider whether or not they exhibit certain qualities that can help make them a good fit, including:

Inquisitiveness

A good agency will continually ask questions to get to know your business and understand your marketing goals. Without this information, they can’t set meaningful strategies for you that will yield the right results. Make sure they’re curious about you and your business and are genuine in their interest.

Experience

Research past clients and check each potential agency’s website for feedback. Ensure that the work they’ve done in the past aligns with what you’ll need them to do for you. Additionally, it’s good to do a little research on the individuals at the agency themselves. Make sure they have the right skill sets for the work you will need done, and that the overall company boasts a variety of talent in different areas. You should also check that they’re up-to-date on all relevant information for SEO, including Google’s latest algorithm, as well as any new criteria for PPC ads. A good team should have a deep understanding of marketing principles as they relate to a digital audience.

Communicative

This is a multi-faceted quality a good search marketing agency should have. You want to know not only how often they check in with you, but whether or not they clearly communicate reports and data back to you in way that’s helpful. You need the ability to take the information they share and pass it along to your own internal stakeholders, so a proper agency should do more than just send you Google charts and graphs.

Integrity

Any agency you work with should put you first. There should be a willingness to partner with you at all levels of service in order to do good work. Your agency team should strive to deliver the best results and let actions speak louder than words.

Finding the right fit

So, does it? If you feel as if your current place online isn’t what it should be, it may be time to consider hiring a search marketing agency. Not only can they help you navigate the details of flushing out a complete search marketing strategy, they can also take the stress off you in managing this ongoing and intricate process.

The team at Brain Bytes is dedicated to this process. Putting the customer first, they work tirelessly to get to know you as they establish a partnership whose primary goal is to improve the functionality of your online presence. Prioritizing transparency, communication, and service, Brain Bytes looks forward to learning more about your search marketing needs. Contact us today to get the conversation started.

PPC,search engine optimization,SEM

Should I focus on SEO or PPC?

  • Jason
  • ON
  • November 8, 2018

Site traffic is the name of the game, so what’s the best way to make it happen? The choice is simple: Focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and go after organic search; or go the PPC (Pay Per Click) route and make sure your ads are being seen.

Let’s do a quick breakdown of both options before I get to the answer.

The benefits of SEO

The benefits of great SEO should be clear. 2017 studies showed that 18% of organic search clicks on Google went to the first position, 10% to the second, and 7% to the third (Slingshot SEO). Not only that, but leads from SEO have a relatively high conversion rate compared to other forms of lead generation. Being at the top of organic search is so important for so many reasons.

    • Your site gets noticed. This is just obvious. It’s true for PPC, too. Getting noticed is the reason we even bother with content. When your site answers questions and helps users, you gain domain authority. That’s what you want.
    • It builds trust.This is what separates SEO and PPC. PPC is great for getting to the top, but if you get there purely based on the merits of your site, then users are more likely to click on your link. Do you click on the paid ads at the top of search? Chances are you scroll down, looking for a site that you know is relevant to your needs.
    • It reflects good work. If you’re near the top of organic search, it means Google rates your site highly based on the keywords people are looking for. You’re doing your job, you just need to keep doing it.

So what’s the question here? SEO is great, we should focus on that and leave the untrustworthy PPC stuff alone.

But here’s the thing; having great SEO is freaking hard. Getting good domain authority takes a while. You have to pay constant attention to UI/UX, and search trends, and always be putting out more quality content. The upside is that when you do those things well over time, you’re rewarded.

The benefits of PPC

Pay Per Click has evolved. It used to just mean Google AdWords, now it’s social as well. There are definite pluses to putting targeted ads in front of the right audience. As far as Google searches are concerned, PPC is a double-edged sword. On one hand, your ad, your site, is just there. Everyone sees it. All it cost you was money.

On the other hand, people don’t really trust PPC ads. They’re way more likely to pass them over and click on the first, second, or third organic link. What’s more, even if you get people to your site, they won’t stay unless your UI/UX is on point.

Still, your name is out there. For an agency without the power of reputation in their favor, sometimes that’s the most important thing.

SO, JASON, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

There are benefits to SEO and PPC. You may have guessed that I’m going to take the coward’s way out and avoid the choice. You’re half right. The answer to the question I posed in this article is, of course, you need to focus on both. SEO and PPC are a brother and sister pair and your agency won’t reach its maximum potential without them together.

But, I put a question to you. Is that the way of a coward? I say the coward chooses one option and neglects the other. Why? Because doing both is more work, that’s why.

SEO is a long game. Yes, people are more likely to trust your site when they see it in organic search. But if you only invest in organic search, it might be awhile before you are recognized as a domain authority. How long can you afford to wait?

Afford, you say. Isn’t that the point of SEO? I don’t want to spend money on PPC. Well, tough shit. Guess what happens when people see your company’s name at the top of the page by PPC and organic search? They feed off each other. It increases the trust clients have in your brand even more.

And, by doing both, you actually save money on PPC. Google charges less money in the PPC arena to sites that have good SEO, too. If you neglect SEO and invest only in PPC, you’re paying more to Google for that top spot, AND people will still leave your site the second they don’t find the content they’re looking for. You’re throwing money away.

To be successful at PPC, it helps to do well in organic. To achieve a high rank in organic search, you need to get your name out there and be trusted and paid can help you get there.

Ready to transform your digital presence? Check out the wide variety of digital marketing services we offer, including SEO, PPC and more. Then contact us to get the conversation started!