We are often asked about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Google Ads and Social Media Advertising (PPC) by clients, friends and colleagues and as I write this article we realise lots of businesses make LOTS of money promoting themselves as SEO experts, SEO ranking experts and Ad experts.
Our advice to most is this;
Magazines, newspapers and print publications always survived on advertisers' revenue alone...
This situation still exists today, except now it is Google, Facebook, LinkedIn. Companies with the biggest marketing budgets and advertising spend always had the largest, glossiest adverts in the strongest page positions within print publications whilst smaller companies or businesses could barely afford small box adverts in the classified section at the back.
Fast forward to today, spending advertising and marketing budget with SEO experts, SEO Ranking or Ad Specialists, is very comparable to the printed publications example above, whereby the companies with the largest budgets will always appear first whilst the smaller companies will be somewhere towards the back.
Let’s be clear, SEO experts are only interested in money
SEO experts very quickly establish how much you have to spend and how quickly they can spend it for you.....and when you have exhausted your budget they will move on to the next company willing to spend money with them.
We do not believe they are interested in understanding the detail of your company, understanding your USP’s and taking your business forward
Whilst this is a very cynical view, I remember in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s, a number of businesses and companies in a market sector I was involved in, each spending £100,000’s per annum on glossy ad’s in a small number of targeted publications. In some cases this made no commercial sense whatsoever and these were often examples of vanity-advertising, just so companies had more ad pages than their competitors, in a particular edition.
Companies not generating revenues large enough to support high advertising spends were simply pushed aside and publications simply moved on to the next companies willing to pay.
Digital advertising represents a very similar situation.
Companies can choose to re-invest profits in SEO experts (think glossy magazines) for short lived vanity i.e. they may potentially rank very well with sponsored adverts for as long as their budgets will sustain it, but in our opinion, this does not represent the best value for their businesses in the long-term.
My advice is to clients, friends and colleagues is consider how you spend money on digital advertising, it is very easy to burn lots of cash without any measurable returns or results.
This is a little unfair but in our opinion, targeted PPC advertising with particular outcomes in mind, can be very valuable but the outcomes must be very clearly identified before spending a penny. Advertising a new position on LinkedIn or trying to reach targeted audiences for a particular purpose works very well but display network advertising on PPC platforms only really works for very large, well established brands.
Strong, high-quality website content is now more critical than ever. If you want audiences to find you, engage with you and learn more about your company/product or service, you need to widen your search footprint with content that adds value. You also you need to widen your social footprint, engaging with your audiences, not just talking at them.
Here are our top 8 Tips for being found on the internet:
Tip #1 Avoid companies saying “We can get you to the top of Page 1”
Tip #2 Create strong, visually engaging and interesting content as part of clearly defined marketing strategies.
Tip #3 Avoid “Keyword Stuffing Pages” and optimise all of your website content including Page Titles, Meta Page Descriptions and Images.
Tip #4 Be conversant with Google RankBrain and Hummingbird updates and how organic searches work.