More Money Being Spent on Paid Search :
The top-spending 500 web merchants in the U.S. with the largest paid search budgets sank even more money into paid search digital marketing. In fact, the average increase in spending for all 500 merchants was an 18 percent growth in 2014 over the previous year, with Amazon coming in with the largest overall increase.
“Search engine marketing is still the digital advertising form that soars above the rest,” says Phil Thow, President of SEM Media Group. “And it doesn’t seem to be budging off its perch.”
Just considering Amazon, which itself bids on 3 million keywords, the company increased its spending on paid search by 56 percent in 2014.
SEM Media group has been tracking these reports on digital marketing and paid search to be able to adjust their online advertising strategies for their clients. “We pore over reports like these to not only know what successful companies are doing, but why,” says Phil Thow. “I consider these reports as the proverbial canary in the mineshaft.”
The results have shown substantial increases in e-commerce and web traffic. SEM Media Group noted that by honing paid search advertising, from bidding on keywords to developing a stronger landing page, conversion rates on some high-dollar products more than doubled for some of the top e-retailers.
The equation is proving to show that spending more on paid search is also yielding more business. One of the newer Google search campaigns that retailers are using is Google’s product listing ads (PLAs), which was introduced in 2012. Many searches for specific products are now yielding a horizontal row of product images above the first page of query results. With these “hyper results,” Google ads can show more dynamic pay-per-click ads with more specific keywords and descriptions.
“When retailers use PLAs to their fullest advantage,” says SEM Media Group President, Phil Thow, “they are finding that their customers are much more motivated to make a purchase from these highly visual ads.”
There is a lot of insightful information SEM Media Group pulls from Internet Retailer researchers who pull together all aspects of spending, marketing, and budgeting from the most successful, and often largest, retailers on the web.
“Any business that does business online should take a long, serious look at their digital marketing budget,” says Phil Thow. “The dollars spent on paid search can literally make or break any e-commerce website.”
Responsive Web Design is a Needed Mobile SEO Strategy :
Nearly 94% of the world’s population has mobile subscriptions, with one in four of those having smart phones. In the United States, according to mobiThinking, more smart phone users use browsers on their phones than apps to interact with a business, website, or brand. In fact, when it comes to shopping, up to 81% of users polled say they prefer to research products, prices, reviews, and make purchases through a browser than a native app.
What if your website isn’t ready?
Mobile sales have overtaken desktop sales, and by the end of this year more people are expected to access the Internet through a mobile device than a desktop.
Responsive web design (RWD) will make sure your website is mobile-friendly and ready for business. Moreover, responsive web design will help with your site’s SEO. At SEM Media, we build websites with responsive web design to bring our clients to the top of the search results.
Here is why our clients need responsive web design:
Responsive web design is recommended by Google for mobile configuration (even labeling it as the “Industry Best Practice”) because RWD websites have a single URL (using the same HTML), as opposed to one desktop-compatible website and a separate mobile website (i.e. www.mobile.website.com). This makes it simpler and quicker for Google to crawl and index the website, and it is easier for users to link to and share content from a single site, which creates a fertile ground for “going viral.”
But why listen to Google? Probably because Google owns 67 percent of the search market share, with over 13 billion searches a month, so if they say websites need responsive web design, we at SEM Media listen.
Responsive web design brings all the devices together. Imagine, for instance, the scenario where a business has a mobile version of its website and a traditional version. One user shares a link to a mobile website (your website!) from his smart phone, and his friend opens the link on his laptop computer, but all the friend sees is a stripped down mobile version because the site was NOT built with responsive web design. This creates a poor user-experience, and Google is now placing a premium on user-experience as a ranking factor.
In short, a better website is better for users, and what’s better for users is better for SEO.
Since people are accessing the Internet via laptops, desktops, smart phones, and a variety of tablets and readers, it would be entirely impractical to build custom sites for each screen size. With responsive web design, the site automatically conforms to the user’s device, so no information gets lost in the shuffle.
Responsive web design streamlines your business and your budget. If your business operates a separate mobile website from its desktop website, you are essentially creating competition between your two sites, and you are paying double for your SEO! With responsive web design, your business only needs to manage a single site with a single SEO campaign. This can be the most money-saving advantage of having SEM Media create a responsive web design site for your business.
When planning and running an effective SEO campaign, keywords are key! When your campaign can be tailored to both mobile searches and desktop searches, and yet drive traffic to the same URL, your business is casting the widest net to attract the biggest audience.
It should be clear why SEM Media Group chooses to be a leader in responsive web design. It marks the future of the Internet.
Responsive web design has no limitations; therefore SEM Media Group has no limitations. Let us show you the power of an adaptive website!
Title Tags and Their Infinite Importance to SEO :
From meta tags, meta data to keywords, descriptions and title tags, the SEO “lingo” seems never-ending. Luckily, SEM Media understands it all and this week is going back to the basics by showing what is arguably the single most important element of SEO on any web page: the title tag.
A title tag is part of the meta tag that lives at the top of your HTML, inside the <head> area. If it helps, think of title tags as the chapter title in a book – it clues visitors and search engines into what your page is about. It is the title tag that shows up in search results, so it should contain important keywords to help search engines find your site.
The trick to a good title tag is to write them for humans but format them for search engines, and that’s where the value of an experienced SEO team, like SEM Media, pays in dividends.
If you would like to assess your own title tag, SEM Media has prepared a quick checklist for you:
- The length of your title tag should be no more than 70 characters (including spaces).
- Your site’s most important keywords should come first.
- Use pipes (|) to separate keyword phrases; don’t use commas.
- Keep your wording short and simple.
- Put your company name at the end of your title tag, as it’s not usually a targeted keyword.
- Don’t duplicate: title tags should be different for every page.
- Be relevant; they must describe the actual content on the page.
If you have questions about the strength of your website’s title tags, contact the pros at SEM Media today.
10 Signs of a Good Business Website :
SEM Media knows how to build good business websites. Here we put together 10 features that every good business website should have. If your website doesn’t have these, then talk to our professionals at SEM Media today.
1. A Clear Roadmap. Almost more important than aesthetics is that your business website is easily navigable. Plan out how your website will work before you type a drop of HTML. Then you can create a mock-up and test it out.
2. Complete Business Information. You would be surprised how many business websites fail to provide complete information about their business. From mission statements to what you sell, you must list what makes your business a business.
3. Contact Info. How can customer find you and buy from you if you fail to list good contact information, and we’re not talking about just an address. Provide all the links to your social media accounts and email addresses so people won’t have to work to get in touch with you.
4. A Navigation Strategy. Essentially your “call to action,” your navigation strategy should make your website easy to use and pleasing to the eye. Think about what your customers will want to know when visiting your website and make sure that information is easy to find.
5. Be Secure. If you run an e-commerce site you must invest in securing your site with an SSL certificate. Without good security, you’re a sitting duck.
6. Social Media Presence. As good as your website may be, you must have a voice in the world of social media. It will boost your SEO and help you connect directly with your customers.
7. Be Mobile-Ready. Smart phones are not the “wave of the future” – they are the reality of today. 70% of smart phone owners use them for simple and everyday tasks, like surfing the Internet. Make sure your site is ready for mobile traffic.
8. An FAQ. Don’t assume your customers won’t have questions. Gather the most frequently asked questions your customers have and create an online FAQ.
9. Reliable Hosting. Your site must be in good hands, 24/7. If your host goes down, it costs you money. Invest in the best web host you can.
10. What You Don’t Need. Your site does not need “bling,” so forgo the auto-play music, obnoxious Flash and anything else that might slow down your page load speed and otherwise risk annoying your customers.
If you have questions about your website, have a web professional at SEM Media take a look at your site.
Be Ready for the Shift in Online Marketing :
Online marketing is a fast changing place to do business. Luckily, SEM Media knows how to keep pace. For instance, SEO has been around for about 15 years now, and Google just now released some of its most significant changes to date. With influences like Google+ and other social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), the importance of remaining competitive is now paramount.
With that said, let SEM Media point to two different ideas as they relate to creating online content. First, create a “content mix.” Instead of posting web page SEO, blogs and videos and trying to drive traffic to them; if companies would first research their customer base and find out what type of content they prefer to see, that company can then tailor their approach to their customers’ preferences. This allows for information discovery, a richer user experience and deeper customer engagement. All of which equals increased sales.
Through this idea, the “optimize” part of SEO (search engine optimization) is just that – the optimal alignment of content for the customer. It’s functional and effective. Done right, customers will be more willing to buy, refer and share your content and products.
The second idea is founded on the premise that the Internet world changes – fast! To remain competitive, an SEO firm, and their clients, need to have in place both processes and plans for fast detection, testing and evaluation of the latest social or online techniques to see if they are a good fit for a company’s marketing goals. Not every new program or social media site will stick around forever, so it’s important to quickly identify and maximize one’s presence on the ones that will.
Through an adaptive approach, a company can leverage its image by being in the right place at the right time. Most of that adaptive power and insight will come from your SEO agency, like SEM Media; however, a company should also tap into the collective power of their fans, followers and customers for what’s important to them.
If you have questions about your business’s optimization plan, contact SEM Media today.