Search Engine Dominance Webinar Questions

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During our recent Webinar, we received several great questions that we’re addressing here. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to email [email protected]

If you missed the webinar, no problem! Visit What is Search Engine Dominance to watch the recorded video.

As a marketing agency, how do you diffuse the question from a client…”I googled my business and it doesn’t show up but I am spending money on search”?

This is a common question asked by customers who are new to search and can be diffused by educating them on a few points. First, if they have a small budget there’s a chance their budget was exhausted in the morning which will hinder them from showing up for searches the remainder of the day. This would imply an impression share lost due to budget issue and could be a good opportunity to discuss a greater investment level to boost lead generation. Also, Google is constantly working to serve up the most relevant result for the individual, so if your client is searching their keywords on a consistent basis and not clicking on the ad, Google may not serve the ad again as it was possibly deemed irrelevant. There are other negative implications of conducting a Google search to see if your ads trigger as this may reduce your CTR and hurt your quality score. In addition, there are geographic issues at times where a customer conducts a search outside of their target geo, which won’t trigger the ad (this is the beauty of geographic targeting). Last, it could be there’s impression share lost to rank, which means as an agency or PPC manager you need to optimize bids (most likely increase max bids) to win placement.

Does Bell only buy search from Google? If no, who else?

Bell Media has historically managed paid search on multiple search engines but we choose to focus primarily on Google due to their market share and performance. As of mid-2019, Google’s search market share is over 92% with Bing and Yahoo owning less than 5%. The remaining 3% is spread amongst other search companies. One other point that’s important; Google’s market share is greater on mobile, achieving 95% market share.

What tools should I use to determine what the best keyword phrases for which I might want my business to rank?

Keyword Planner – Free
Anser the People

As a small business, how do I compete with larger players in the marketplace?

Competing against big brands for search engine visibility can be a challenge. Here are a few things to consider if you’re competing against bigger, well-established brands.

If you serve a local audience, leverage your physical location by setting up and optimizing your Google business listing. Be sure to generate positive Google Reviews regularly and you’ll stand a solid chance of gaining visibility in the maps section of search. 

When you are developing an SEO strategy you’ll want to consider keywords and topics relevant to your company but it’s likely your stronger competitors will have better online visibility on Google for those keywords. If this is the case, consider longtail keywords as the primary content strategy on your website. For example, you may have a hard time ranking organically for a search such as “car insurance agency”. You may, however, rank for a search such as “average car insurance rates in {{name of your city}}”. By developing a longtail keyword strategy for your website pages and content, you’ll stand a better chance of gaining SERP visibility.

Also, Paid Search can be the equalizer. As long as you’re willing to bid competitively for high-value keywords, you can gain top of page 1 visibility immediately and compete head-to-head. You’ll want to consider your website experience and ensure you’re maximizing your website visitor’s experience so you can take advantage of clicks to your website; otherwise, your ROI may not be healthy due to an expensive click.

Competing against the big dogs isn’t easy and requires scrappiness, but can be done if you’re willing to put time into your local presence, strategically think about your page and website content plan and invest in search. 

Since we know that better placement will help us generate more conversions/customers, what can we do to push our listings higher in the search results? What kinds of changes to our website content should we make? How important is our metadata? Is it more important to have more pages with a variety of specific content or fewer pages with a larger variety of content?

We believe that consistent fresh content is important if you desire to improve your organic rankings, but what’s more important is that you have highly relevant and valuable content that hits the mark with your target market. Google likes to see content updates and really rewards time on site. Content that hits the mark will improve your visitor’s time on site. If you have limited resources, think about your content and web strategy as going an inch wide and a mile deep (vs a mile wide and an inch deep). Spreading out a ton of content among many topics likely won’t yield desired results compared to being specific about your content strategy and drilling in deep. For example, if you run an insurance agency you could choose to write content on the 10 different service lines you offer. But if your desire is to yield better rankings, you may want to choose 1 or 2 service lines and invest more time in those.  Regarding Metadata, it’s an important factor for driving a better CTR in SERPS. Metadata isn’t technically a ranking factor, but the byproduct of properly structured and compelling metas will be greater CTR and click volume. In this regard, it’s very important as a higher CTR and more click volume from relevant audiences will yield better results in the organic section. Aside from Metas, it’s very important for your site to have well-structured page titles and H1s.

Is it okay to ask customers for Google Reviews?

It’s absolutely ok to ask a customer to leave a review after you’ve completed the service. It’s important that you don’t incentivize for any review solicitation. 

In years past it was only said that organic search was far more effective than paid search…. is this still the case?

It’s true that organic positions will yield the most web traffic but there are a few things to consider. Paid Search is continuing to yield more web traffic as a result of SERP composition (Google adding more paid search spots to the top of the page) as well as relevancy (Google continues improving quality requirements to ensure paid search ads are relevant to the keywords or topic searched). Both of these factors are increasing click volume and conversion value from the Paid Search section. In years past, it was common to generate a 1%-2% click-through rate with Paid Search; we regularly see paid search campaigns driving 3%-5% CTRs today meaning that the Paid Search section is gobbling up 12%-20% of all page 1 click volume. This means that if you aren’t investing in Paid Search you’re not maximizing your in-market traffic opportunities. The reason we promote a comprehensive SEO and Paid Search strategy is to ensure you’re maximizing more page 1 real estate and capturing the largest quantity of in-market web visits possible.