LSMinute – LSM Wins Advertising Award From Google

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • We were named WINNER of the ‘Growing Businesses Online Award’ in North America at the 2017 Google Premier Partner Awards, which recognizes the top-performing Google Premier Partner in North America for their contributions to digital marketing, product innovation, and client growth.
What This Means For You
  • Thought you might like knowing that Google thinks we’re doing an excellent job at marketing of our clients’ businesses on their search engine and display network.
Next Steps
  • We now have a chance to represent the Americas in the Global Premier Partner Awards held in New York City on September 28th. After that, onto the 2017 Facebook Awards!


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What Happened?

  • First, Facebook introduced ways for retailers to push people from Facebook into their physical locations. Now, they’re testing an option for advertisers to target people who visited their real-world locations with ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook’s Audience Network.
What This Means For You
  • In addition to serving ads on Facebook and Instagram to people who’ve physically visited your stores, this new feature helps businesses convert existing customer bases into audiences to target on Facebook. For example, a kids clothing store creates a custom audience of people who visited one of its locations in the past month, and filter that list with other Facebook targeting options like “parents with early school age children” to run campaigns that promote back to school shopping with an exclusive discount code for each audience. Pretty cool stuff!
Next Steps
  • We’ve been one of the Facebook Agency Partners testing the new feature out this summer.  We’ll be sure to connect with our clients about how to best utilize this new feature during monthly strategy sessions with their LSM account manager.


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What Happened? 

  • Earlier this summer, Google released the Google For Jobs initiative. As part of this initiative, they introduced a new feature in Search that will let people search LinkedIn, Monster, Facebook, and more sites all at once.
What This Means For You
  • As an employer, you’ll gain access to several free benefits with Google For Jobs. Any work you’ve done across internet job boards now improves your chances of earning a prominent place in the search results!

Next Steps
  • Ensure your job postings are optimized. A well-optimized job posting will not only increase the chances of your job opportunity being discovered on Google, it will motivate more applicants to contact you about the position!


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Facebook made another case study about our ability to conduct effective Facebook ad campaigns (they even highlighted it in their global newsletter!). In this instance, we created conversion-optimized ads for Current Meditation to encourage people to sign up for their free trial class, resulting in 5X more memberships compared to click-optimized ads.

LSMinute – Facebook Ads Are Becoming More Expensive

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned advertisers that Facebook is quickly running out of ad space. That doesn’t mean there’s no room for ads, this just means you’ll have to pay more for meaningful impressions. This same thing happened with Google in 2009.
What This Means For You
  • For those of you running Facebook ads, you’ll likely need to increase your budget in order maintain current levels of success. For those not running Facebook ads, you should strongly consider them in the future since they make sense for a majority of businesses (as long as you know how to run a campaign well).
Next Steps
  • Expect your account manager to connect with you and discuss Facebook advertising for your respective business in more depth over your next few monthly strategy sessions.


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What Happened?

  • A recent study from eMarketer showed approximately 78% of total digital display ad budget (about $33 billion) is spent on programmatic ads. For those who don’t know what programmatic advertising is: essentially, it’s using artificial intelligence and real-time bidding to automate the decision-making process of media buying.
What This Means For You
  • Consider focusing more of your ad spend in programmatic digital display ads.  For a list of benefits of programmatic advertising, check out this link.
Next Steps
  • If you’re already using LSM to manage your programmatic ad campaigns, terrific. If not, your account manager will be in touch about testing out programmatic ad campaigns in the future (depending on your specific goals of course).


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What Happened? 

What This Means For You
  • If you’re a Director of Marketing, CMO or CEO overseeing your brand’s online marketing strategy, consider attending this annual conference. You’ll network with peers and learn about new marketing tactics/trends that make sense for your business to pilot.
Next Steps
  • Visit this site and check out the conference’s agenda and speakers in more depth. If you plan on attending, let us know and we’ll take you out to dinner!


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Facebook made another case study about our ability to conduct effective ad campaigns. In this example, we worked with Amazing Lash Studio to promote the grand opening of their new location in Eastvale. Our work increased sales by 35%, decreased cost per lead by 10% and resulted in a 4.8X return on ad spend. That makes us feel like dancing!

LSMinute – Instagram Rolls Out “Stories” Ads to All Businesses

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • Businesses now have the ability to advertise in Instagram’s Stories section. If you don’t know what Instagram Stories are, you can learn more about them here. Basically, they’re photos or videos you can post that will disappear after 24 hours; you’ll see Stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed.
What This Means For You
  • More than 150 million Instagrammers watch and create Stories daily, and now your business has that chance to get in front of these folks on a regular basis with full-screen ads, meaning nothing can distract viewers from your sponsored content.
Next Steps
  • Read this article on why you should use Instagram Stories for your business. It should inspire you to allocate some precious marketing dollars toward a test campaign or two… or two hundred.
  • Let your account manager know if you’re interested in running ads on Instagram Stories and they’ll help you set them up.


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What Happened?

  • Facebook has rolled out Messenger Day which, in short, does most everything that someone can do on Snapchat. If it’s essentially a copy of Snapchat’s feature, then why is it an advantage for Facebook? The answer: Facebook’s massive user base (79% of internet users in the US have a Facebook account).
What This Means For You
  • Nothing just yet, but soon enough they’ll open up Messenger Day to businesses, which will provide you with the opportunity to post a “day” from Messenger into your Facebook Business page for all your fans to see.
Next Steps
  • Start thinking about what kinds of temporary, visual content (photos & short videos) your business can create and share via your Facebook Business Page. Your account manager will be thinking about this as well!


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What Happened? 

What This Means For You
  • Your “view” on social media trends, demographics and buyer habits is likely out-of-date, which could mean your idea of a quality social marketing campaign is stale too.
Next Steps
  • Read through these 47 social media statistics and then ask yourself “am I taking full advantage of social media marketing for my business?” Then, share your thoughts with your account manager, who already has an opinion on this matter.


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For the fifth time in six years, Local Search Masters was recognized by the Business Journal’s Best in Business Awards in the 26-100 employee category. Winners were selected by a panel of judges who looked at a variety of criteria such as profitability, community involvement, and workplace environment. We’d rather be six for six, but we’re okay with our .833 “batting average” that’ll earn us a spot on the All-Star team every season!

LSMinute – Digital Drives Trillions in Offline Retail Spending

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • According to Forrester, $1.26 trillion of local retail sales were affected in some way by digital media in 2016. By 2021, Forrester’s expects that mobile devices alone will influence $1.4 trillion in local sales. Sweet sassy molassy!
What This Means For You
  • It’s likely that your digital marketing endeavors are providing a better ROI than you think, it’s just challenging to track the true ROI generated from your digital marketing campaigns.
Next Steps
  • You know what makes true ROI lead tracking less challenging? Using Local Search Masters’ new, proprietary lead attribution technology that allows you to understand the specific ROI of different advertising campaigns, factoring in lifetime customer value through CRM integrations. Contact your account manager to learn more.


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What Happened?

  • According to Search Engine Land, online ads are performing better now than they were last year. Overall click volume rose 15 percent and impressions rose 19 percent. Also, mobile devices continue to become the dominant source of impressions, clicks, and conversions.
What This Means For You
Next Steps
  • Your account manager will continue providing recommendations on where and when you should allocate your online ad budget, so be sure and attend your monthly strategy sessions!


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What Happened? 

  • You can now log into your LSM dashboard and view the results generated from your Google My Business profile such as website clicks, phone calls, direction requests, map views, branded queries and non-branded queries.
What This Means For You
  • Some people never actually go to your website, they contact your business directly through your Google My Business listing. This has made it challenging for businesses to quantify the amount of business generated from their web presence. Access to this data helps resolve this issue.
  • It’ll help you understand the ROI generated from traditional marketing efforts. For example, you run a TV or radio ad over a two week period: you can see how that ad impacted the number of times people searched for your business over that two-three week period, and use that information to better determine the success of that ad.
Next Steps
  • Feel free to log into your dashboard and check it out for yourself. Otherwise, expect your account manager to discuss the results generated from your Google My Business listing during your next strategy session!


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Facebook decided to make a case study about our work with Heartland Dental, a dental support organization that provides non-clinical services to 740+ dental offices in the US. We increased their online leads by 460 percent and decreased cost per lead by 56 percent. Facebook liked our work so much that we’ll be featured again in Q2!

LSMinute – A Simpler Way to Monitor Social Interactions

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger merged into one inbox. Facebook pages now have access to all of their interactions in one convenient place. Whether you get a page comment, a Facebook message or an Instagram message, they all will appear in one location.
What This Means For You
  • As business owners, you are now able to provide a more personalized service. As messages and comments come thru the inbox, you can tap to view the responder’s location and profile information to better meet their needs.
Next Steps
  • This updated inbox feature will be rolling out in the Facebook pages app in the coming weeks. Until then, please reach out to your Local Search Masters account manager to learn more about our premium social media option which includes monitoring and responding to your social inbox.


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What Happened?

  • Google’s new pilot feature in Google My Business will give companies the ability to communicate via live chat with customers directly from the Google search results.
What This Means For You
  • While this is a pilot feature that’s still in earlier stages, the business implications for this could be huge. This feature offers customers another way to communicate with you. Responding to customers can provide you with another opportunity to answer a question, tell your story, and ultimately drive more sales.
Next Steps
  • If you’ve received an email from Google inviting you to participate in the pilot, follow these instructions to start messaging with customers. Let your LSM account manager know too!
  • If you have not received an email from Google, sit tight and stay tuned. Google is testing the feature now and will soon begin to roll this out to more businesses.


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What Happened? 

  • In 2016, mobile overtook desktop as the primary device used to access websites. Suffice it to say, mobile has well and truly arrived.
What This Means For You
  • Having a mobile-friendly site is incredibly important. According to Google:
    • People are five times more likely to leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly
    • Over half of mobile users leave a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
  • The takeaway: if your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you stand to lose out on a lot of new business.
Next Steps
  • Use this test and/or this test to see how mobile friendly your website is.
  • Perform a mobile usability report of your website, which will detect problems for visitors on mobile devices.
  • Connect with your LSM account manager to see what strategies can help make your site more mobile-friendly in 2017.


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Local Search Masters‘ search engine marketing specialist Zach Schimenz was recognized as a finalist for the ‘Young Search Professional’ award at the 2016 US Search Awards. Celebrating its fourth year, the US Search Awards mark the largest celebration of search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising in the United States, attracting hundreds of entries from leading search and digital agencies and professionals. “It’s an honor being nominated for this award, which is a reflection of not only my work, but also the excellent work of the team around me,” says Schimenz. In other words, teamwork makes the dream work!

 

LSMinute – Are You Visible To Those Using Siri For Search?

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?
  • Digital Assistants such as Siri and Alexa have continually grown in use over the last year, with no signs of slowing down. Interestingly, we interact with digital assistants much differently than we do with traditional search queries. The majority of queries coming from digital assistants are phrased in full, grammatically correct sentences; versus the short keyword heavy traditional, typed, search queries.
What This Means For You
  • It’s becoming increasingly important to try to “capture” these full question queries for your brand in both organic and paid search listings. Using insights from Google Analytics and Google AdWords, we can shape the content to closely match those questions, which will increase relevance and, in return, increase ranking for that term.
Next Steps
  • Creating a FAQ page is a great way to “capture” full question queries. Look at your recent search terms, and identify common full question queries. Design your FAQ page to ask and answer those questions. The next time that question is asked to a digital assistant, your brand’s FAQ page should show as a top result.


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What Happened?
  • Facebook launched advertisements that are native in the Facebook News Feed, but are directed to Messenger, which is Facebook’s chat platform. With Messenger as a new destination for consumers, advertisers have the ability to have real-time conversations with their customers through a Messenger bot. The Messenger bot has a configurable structured message that prompts consumers to make real-time decisions such as purchasing an item, taking advantage of a coupon code, or even booking an appointment.
What This Means For You
  • Real-time responses are becoming more and more crucial with today’s social media platforms. Instantaneous messaging for your consumers gives you the capability to provide a real-time and impulsive experience. More and more businesses are finding ways to reach their customers as quickly as possible and before other companies have the opportunity.
Next Steps
  • Instead of linking customers to your website or running advertisements for brand awareness, put your Facebook advertisements into the trusting hands of the Messenger bot. You can give consumers an experience like no other advertising experience without the hassle of giving a real-time experience yourself.


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What Happened? 
  • Facebook is testing a “Jobs” tab on a select few Business Facebook Pages. The goal of this test is to seamlessly integrate job postings on the platform and improve the user experience for both the business and the applicant. The new tab will allow page admins to share job opening information as a status update. An “Apply Now” button directs to a job application that’s pre-populated with contact information from their Facebook profile. Business Pages will receive completed job applications via Facebook Messenger, where they can then reply directly to the applicant without ever leaving Facebook.
What This Means For You
  • According to Muse.com, 14.4 Million people in the US have used social media to search for a job. Of those 14.4 million, nearly 30% of them used social media as their primary tool in their job search. Instead of posting job openings via online job boards, your business has an opportunity to get in front of millions of job seekers via the Facebook platform. Best of all, because this is Facebook, the feature will be free to use with the option to boost posts or pay for ads targeting candidates.
Next Steps
  • As of now, the Jobs tab is still in the testing stage and has been rolled out to only a handful of businesses. No release date has been announced, nor has there been a definitive decision made as to whether or not the Jobs feature will be rolled out universally. In the meantime, make sure your organization has a Facebook Business Page so that you can take advantage of this free feature when it goes live and take your recruiting efforts to the next level.


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We’ve been recognized by Clutch as one of the Leading SEO Consultants in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Clutch, a business-to-business research firm, updates this report every year based on research leveraged from their proprietary Leaders Matrix methodology, mapping each agency’s focus on providing value-added SEO services against their ability to deliver on clients’ expectations. “Each of these agencies has proven capabilities in providing a full suite of consulting services and unique SEO solutions to their respective clients,” stated Grayson Kemper, Analyst at Clutch. We appreciate the recognition and look forward to remaining on this report for years to come!

LSMinute – Google Possum Update = Expanded Competition & Ranking Opportunities

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened? 

  • Google is now applying filters to reward businesses that are not only physically closest to searchers but that also are optimizing their web presence for search far better than anyone else.
What This Means For You
  • More chances to rank highly. If your site is SEO-optimized, then Google will let it rank on more localized searches regardless of your physical location. For example: when I search “tennis store Nashville,” I now see a store located in Franklin (16 miles outside of Nashville) rank #2 in the Local 3-Pack search results.
  • Greater competition for high organic rankings. It’s even more important to have an SEO-optimized web presence to prevent other businesses from overtaking your position in the search results.
Next Steps
  • We’ll review your rankings and investigate 1) new search queries you may want to try and rank for and 2) which competitors may start challenging you for rankings more often. It’s updates like this that help demonstrate the value of an award-winning SEO agency!


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What Happened?

  • Google’s Knowledge Graph now shows reviews about your business from multiple sources, not just from Google. For example, if you search for “Massage Envy Green Hills” and look at their location’s Knowledge Graph, you’ll see their composite review scores on Facebook, Foursquare and YP.com. If you type in “CertaPro Nashville” you’ll see their composite review scores on Home Advisor and Customer Lobby.

What This Means For You

  • It’s even easier for people to see multiple reviews about your business.

Next Steps

  • We’ll check out which composite review scores show up in your Knowledge Graph. It’ll then be your job to acquire more positive reviews about your business on those respective websites. Need advice on how to acquire more reviews from customers? Ask your account manager.


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What Happened?

  • A recent study was discussed at SMX East 2016. It showed that the most important factor for getting a website to rank in the Local 3-Pack / Map search results is having excellent inbound links. It accounts for 50% of the ranking equation, with various link metrics taking 10 of the top 15 ranking factors.
What This Means For You
  • This reiterates the importance of link building for SEO purposes. Without consistently getting new, quality websites to link back to your website, you won’t be able to obtain/maintain high rankings on competitive search queries.
Next Steps
  • You’re ahead of the curve because you’re paying us to build links to your website. To acquire a few more quality, local links to your website, watch this video we made at Google HQ about 9 “low hanging fruit” link building opportunities for small businesses, and then get back with us on how we can work together to develop these links.


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LSM’s portfolio of work with Amazing Lash Studio, a national eyelash extension franchise brand, was named a finalist for the ‘Best SEO Initiative – Small Business award at the 2016 Landy Awards. Presented by leading industry publication, Search Engine Land, the Landy Awards recognize individuals, agencies and Internet marketing teams who demonstrate excellence in organic and paid search marketing initiatives.

For LSM, it feels like we’ve been nominated for an Oscar! It wouldn’t have been possible to earn this recognition without the excellent communication and support provided by the folks at Amazing Lash Studio, so behalf of everyone at Local Search Masters:

LSMinute – Facebook Upgrades Advertising Platform

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened? 

The social network is adding multiple new features to its advertising platform that will:

  • Track whether your Facebook ads result in store visits and offline purchases.
  • Let people navigate their way to your brand’s nearest store from within the ad itself.
  • Offer the ability to optimize ad creative, delivery and targeting based on store visits.
  • Provide results across individual stores or regions.
What This Means For You
  • You’ll have access to real-time data on the offline response to your Facebook ads.
  • It’ll be easier for multi-location businesses to obtain and analyze the results of their Facebook ad campaigns at the local and regional levels.
Next Steps
  • We’re a Facebook Partner and a scheduled beta tester for these features. We’ll be learning and testing out these new features over the next few weeks, and then begin implementing these new features into our clients’ Facebook ad campaigns as they officially roll out.


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What Happened?

What This Means For You
  • This could be another great spot for your business to run ads.
  • This will increase the Local Pack section’s size, from 3 listings to 4 listings, meaning it’ll the take up more top-shelf space on Page 1 of the organic search results.
Next Steps
  • We’ll evaluate this feature further as Google continues rolling it out to their partner network and let you know it’s something your business should consider trying out!


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What Happened?

  • Google officially announced the release of Campaign Groups, which lets advertisers group AdWords campaigns with common targets to monitor performance against those goals.
What This Means For You
  • We’ll be able to make better recommendations for your business’ Google AdWords campaign based on aggregated data across multiple accounts. Pretty good timing on Google’s part since we just mentioned how Facebook’s now providing results across individual stores or regions.
Next Steps
  • We’ll begin implementing this feature into our multi-location clients’ campaigns over the coming weeks.


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We’re proud to announce that we’ve made the 2016 Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies in the United States, coming in at #1282 with a three-year growth rate of 301%. Our agency could not achieve this recognition without the support of our clients and partners, so on behalf of everyone here at Local Search Masters:

LSM a Featured Speaker at Nashville Entrepreneur Center


Local Search Masters was asked to be a featured speaker at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center‘s ongoing “How To Workshops,” a hands on training series taught by community mentors in order to help new companies and entrepreneurs learn specific business skills at a high level. Earlier this month, LSM’s Business Development Executive, Luke Myszka, spoke to the group about digital marketing best practices entrepreneurs should consider applying to their business’ marketing strategies.

Key takeaways from Luke’s presentation include:


Over 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses according to Yelp, and that trend is only increasing as the population becomes more and more integrated with technology. Even if the point of sale does not occur online, a customer’s journey to purchasing your product or using your service will almost always include some kind of online component. For example, a customer might see an ad for your retail store on their favorite news website, click on to your ad, navigate to your “Contact Us” page, and then drive to your retail storefront to make a purchase. Long story short: your business needs to be online, and it needs to look great too.


Providing your audience with quality content is a terrific way of establishing trust between them and your brand. Great content converts search visitors into sales. When a potential customer finds the information they were looking for on your website, they stop browsing, and and they take action.


Customers are more likely to engage your brand on platforms where they already have an active presence. This concept usually comes up when a client asks whether they should support newer social media channels (ie. Instagram) or advertising platforms (ie. Facebook ads). If your customers are on that platform…yes….if they aren’t on that platform….probably not.


Do PPC Campaigns Affect Website Rankings?


Often times when speaking with folks about LSM’s services, I hear this question:

  • “Will running PPC (pay-per-click) ads help my organic search rankings, and vice versa, does SEO help my paid advertising efforts?”

The short answer to these questions is: directly, no. However, there are components of each of these scenarios that CAN affect the other indirectly. Let’s take a deeper look.


In a Search Engine Results Page (SERP), the first listings you typically see are paid advertisements that are served through auction networks like Google AdWords or Bing Ads. These ads are what we refer to as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, meaning the advertiser only pays when a visitor clicks on the ad.

    Beneath these advertisements are the local map listings (otherwise known as the “Local Pack” section) and the organic search results. These results are populated based on the search engine’s own proprietary algorithm, and it’s impossible to directly “buy” any visibility or placement in this portion of the SERP (though Google recently tested running ads in the Local Pack section).

     This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. Agencies such as Local Search Masters perform SEO best practices to help inform search engines that your website has a better answer to the user’s search query than other sites on the web.


While there’s no direct relationship between paid traffic and improved search rankings, having any traffic to your site can help signal to Google’s algorithm that your site is trustworthy. Another positive side effect of running PPC campaigns is that you have much greater insight into which keywords generate revenue – this knowledge is a gold mine for optimizing those pages even further organically. Andrew Girdwood, Media Innovations Director at DigitasLBi says, “It is true to say that a combined PPC and SEO campaign can drive more traffic than two separate [PPC] campaigns.”


There’s a bit more tangible evidence that a well SEO’d website will perform better as a destination for a paid advertising campaign. We predominantly support two ad networks: Google Adwords and the Facebook Ads network. With Google Adwords, a large component that determines the cost of a click deals with “Quality Score,” a number between 1-10 that Adwords gives your ad based on numerous factors, such as expected click-through-rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience, the most pertinent factor here. If you have a well-optimized landing page, your quality score will improve, which can increase the number of ad impressions/clicks and reduce the amount of money it takes to garner those clicks, i.e. reduced CPC. Facebook also employs a rating factor called “Relevance Score” that acts similarly to Google’s Quality Score.


Remember, Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo strive to serve the most relevant search results they possibly can based on what a user is looking for and what content is available. Jim Yu from Search Engine Land says, “By intelligently integrating your paid and organic search activity, synergies provide greater results in SERP domination.” A unified SEO and PPC strategy can help both organic efforts and paid efforts simultaneously if it’s done correctly.