SEO | Evolve Digital Labs

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the use of various strategies and tactics in order to increase the quality and quantity of visitors to your website by organic (unpaid) search engine results.

How To Build A Search Engine Marketing Strategy For Your Business

How To Build A Search Engine Marketing Strategy For Your Business

What Is A Search Engine Marketing Strategy?

A profitable and efficient search engine marketing strategy is the perfect marriage between comprehensive on-site SEO implementation combined with keyword-driven and data-driven paid media (PPC) marketing in Google Ads.

Over the last five years, marketers have seen an evolution of search marketing where data is at the epicenter of every campaign, and rightfully so, data tells us what our customers want and need, marketers just need to listen and deliver answers.

Without actionable data, a search engine marketing strategy is nothing but a guessing game, based off of gut instinct. Not to say gut instincts are wrong, but they can’t be proven – keyword research and cross-device reports can.

As humanities education process through search engines continues to advance, their user journey advances with it. We’re seeing more devices come into the picture, and as that span from desktop to mobile devices increases, it’s becoming more important for any marketing organization to truly leverage an Omni-channel search marketing strategy that completes your customers’ “jobs-to-be-done” better than the competition.

Why Do We “Search”?

Search connects inspiration with action, linking those moments of customer intent, like when someone wants to buy something, find a business or a place, or understand what’s going on in the news, with a relevant piece of information.

Four trends that are changing Search Marketing that can’t be ignored:

  1. Mobile
  2. Voice
  3. Messaging Apps
  4. Connected Devices

A successful search engine marketing strategy bases content and messaging off those customer intent signals and data, so your brand can be at the right place at the right time and deliver a potential customer the answer, product, or service they need in as few clicks as possible so they become a loyal customer.

The Three Pillars To Creating A Profitable Search Engine Marketing Strategy:

  1. Keyword Research & Implementation
  2. Ad Creation
  3. Bidding Strategy

How To Discover The Right Keywords For Your Search Engine Marketing Strategy

There’s no question, extensive data and keyword research are the most important precursors to any successful search marketing strategy.

Users don’t search on Google for questions, they go to this platform for answers and your search marketing strategy must focus on completing their jobs-to-be-done in every line you ever create.

Think about these customer questions before strategizing your text ad copy.

  • What are they trying to accomplish on search engines?
  • What are their questions, concerns, and jobs they want to be done?

These incredible keyword tools are at any organizations disposal and will help you with your search engine marketing strategy:

A tool like Google’s keyword planner will show your business invaluable predictive analysis for a multitude of data points so your brand can strategize your keywords to achieve maximum ROI in your search marketing strategy.

What Google does better than almost anyone, they produce a truly customer-centric user experience. Their goal is and always has been to complete a user’s “job-to-be-done” as quickly as possible.

If your company can use one of the many machine learning tools to digest the important questions, deduct your customers’ problems and then strategize your sales and marketing efforts around their pain points, you’re sure to elevate their user experience, all the while creating a generation of brand-loyal consumers.

A service like Google’s Keyword Planner is the epitome of working smarter, not harder to achieve success in your search marketing strategy.

In addition to the research, a tool like this is essential to innovation and growth because it will seamlessly allow you to organize this uncovered customer data from thousands of your keywords so you can leverage that to influence your search engine marketing strategy.

Data without purpose is just data. It’s practically meaningless and many large organizations struggle to know how to leverage it in their messaging. But, organized and comprehensive data and analytics will keep your company leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

The data and insights uncovered will allow your brand to set baselines and:

  • Produce custom intent audiences with segmentation
  • Identify related searches to use remarketing more efficiently
  • Uncover levels of competition of industry and non-industry competitors in the Paid & Organic marketplace
  • Gather customer language to segment targeted audiences and messaging

Customer experience is everything to Google and the more valuable keywords your organization can gather, the more likely you are to be the company answering the questions a user is searching for.

The benefits of keywords don’t end with your customer, however. You’re also appealing to Google’s algorithm that scans every one of your website pages explicitly looking for relevant keywords that will place your product or services in front of the right customer when they search on their desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.

Once you’ve compiled your list of valuable keywords and related data, you’re one step closer towards formulating a profitable search engine marketing strategy.

How To Create Profitable Ads For Your Search Engine Marketing Strategy

A text ad on Google search is the most widely used form of digital marketing. Even though it may seem like a simple task to create ads for your organization, it actually takes a tremendous amount of research, creative strategy, and tactical bidding to achieve predictable growth and profitable ROI.

Every ad is broken down into four parts:

  1. The Headline Text
  2. Description Text
  3. A Display URL
  4. Ad Extensions

If your organization is looking to maximize success on Google, we’d suggest creating three or more ads per ad group, while allowing optimized ad rotation and enabling four or more ad extensions.

Why, you ask?

  1. It will give a performance uplift.
  2. You will win more auctions.
  3. You will extend your message to a wider audience.

Google states that ad groups with three or more high-quality ads can receive up to 15% more clicks or conversions than groups with two or less high-quality ads.

Need-To-Know Search Marketing Tips

  • Focus on user benefits.
  • Tie creative execution to your keywords.
  • Avoid generic language and use “user journey focused” focused CTA’s.
  • Avoid questions, people are already searching because they have questions, give them answers.

Headline Tips For Your Search Marketing Strategy

  • Introduce your value proposition, hook, or CTA. This should immediately communicate the relevance of your ad to a user and grab their attention.
  • Swap headlines. This is one of the simplest ways to create and test new messages.
  • Utilize your keywords. By leveraging your top performing keywords into your headlines you’re strengthening your message as well as your quality score.
  • Focus on testing ad copy in your headlines. Your headline is 90% of what is read by a consumer when they’re browsing Google. It matters.
  • Use direct and relevant headlines to your true market audience.
  • Try rhyming with keywords or using alliteration to grab attention.

Description Line Tips For Your Search Engine Marketing Strategy

  • Educate and inform your consumers. Utilize the description line to provide additional information about your products or services. Go as in-depth as the 80-character limit allows.
  • Think cross-device. Create text ads that appeal to users whether they are on their mobile device, tablet, laptop, or their desktop computer.
  • Focus on the user. Include the most important information as well as the action that you want them to take.
  • Use all of your characters. The more real estate you can take up on search pages, the better.
  • Provide a clear CTA, give users a next step to complete.

URL Description Tips For Your Search Engine Marketing Strategy

A user-friendly URL is subliminal advertising at its best. It’s yet another tactic for your digital marketing specialist or SEO expert to grab your audience's attention and say, “hi, I’m relevant to you.”

Now, there’s no question, the average customer searching through Google isn’t necessarily thinking about impeccable URL design, but when it’s done right, your business will immediately attract your customer’s attention and you’re more likely to generate quality leads.

It’s these kinds of small additions to your Google Ads text ads that increase conversions and click-through-rates.

Take it from any SEO expert, even the Google Webmasters want you to use keywords in your URL, this will increase the likelihood of your site ranking for the terms you’re spending valuable advertising money on.

  • Avoid “and’s” or “the.” These are just distractions and can be stripped out of the URL altogether.
  • Keep tabs on lower-case and upper-case URLs. Use canonical tags to mark the lower-case URL as the preferred version or use permanent redirects.
  • Hashtags can be helpful when you want to send users to a specific section of a page, but try to minimize hashtags in other conditions.
  • Stick with hyphens to separate words within your URL design. Underscores will join two words together, so be very careful when using these.
  • Google gives you 512 pixels for your URL, after that they will truncate your URL in search results.
  • Avoid too many keywords. While having keywords in your URL design is a positive thing, too many may be abrasive to a potential customer.
  • Keep URLs simple and relevant. Your goal is for your users and search engines to understand the URL, so keep it clean.
  • Do not use spaces to separate words.

Ad Extension Tips For Your Search Engine Marketing Strategy

Google’s ad extensions are an incredibly underused opportunity for any business to gain prominence on search result pages, while simultaneously adding valuable information and visual assistance to your potential customers.

  • Try utilizing at least four ad extensions for each campaign and/or ad group. The more eligible extensions you give your ads the better the opportunity to complete user’s jobs-to-be-done.

These ad extensions, such as location extensions, call extensions, and app install extensions are proven to aid user experience as well as increase conversions. Any added friction in a customer’s purchase or education journey will almost always lead to abandonment and your potential customer will more than likely take their business to a competitor.

Every account has the ability to enable extensions to show with your ads and allow your customers to complete their jobs-to-be-done in one click. So, we would recommend enabling every extension that aligns with your marketing goals and objectives.

  • Ads with multiple extensions often perform better than ads with only one extension.

Try not to repeat what you already say in your ad text.

  • Call Extensions: If you’re trying to receive phone calls for leads, these display the phone number for your business or a forwarding number provided by Google. Any time you can provide a one-click process, you’re showing customers that your brand cares about user-experience.
  • Location Extensions: If you’re a retail location and trying to drive customers to your brick and mortar, these will link your ad to your address. Again, producing a one-click experience is key towards digital growth.
  • Sitelinks: These allow you to provide links to additional landing pages. They allow your organization to take up additional real estate on search result pages as well as
    provide quick links to improve user-experience.
  • Callouts: These are little, bullet point messages where you can provide more information about your offer or business in a reader-friendly format.
  • Structured Snippets: These will allow your team to add a list of items to your ads. If you sell different brands then you could create a list, or if you provide different services, you can list them for your customer to easily peruse.

How To Formulate A Profitable Search Marketing Bidding Strategy

Google released a statistic that 80% of digital marketers’ time is spent on manual tasks like bidding, the remaining 20% is spent on strategy. The problem is, this division of time should be reversed for digital marketers to create truly effective digital marketing campaigns.

Digital marketers need to be smarter and more efficient with their time management and Google wants to help, that’s why it’s important to test Google’s Smart Bidding. It was introduced to help your clients or your business solve these time management issues and tackle this increasingly complex bidding landscape.

Why use Smart Bidding?

  • Because bidding impacts account performance
  • Because a search auction is dynamic
  • Because the user journey has become more complex

Why Smart Bidding Is Relevant For Your Business

  • Smart Bidding strategies will free up time so your paid media strategists’ and marketing teams and focus on brand strategy and creative visions.
  • Auction time bidding improves the performance of your accounts.
  • You’re able to bid on exclusive signals for an increased quality in account management.

Auction Time Bidding Improves Search Marketing Account Performance

Smart Bidding allows any organization to tailor their bids to each user’s unique search context, using relevant signals present at each auction time improves performance.

Basically, they allow your brand or client’s to bid on exclusive signals.

smart bidding signals

This is how smart bidding can help your brand bid on exclusive signals that will help segment your audiences online and increase the relevance of your content.

Let’s say there are three different users searching the same search query of “Hilton Hotel London.” However, these users are all in three different locations. By utilizing smart bidding you’ll be able to garner more information about them even though the searches were identical.

  1. A man searches for Hilton London and he’s looking for room availability and pricing for booking.
  2. A woman that’s currently staying there and she’s looking for what time the gym and spa are open until.
  3. Another woman is searching for directions to Hilton London.

Take Action In Your Search Marketing Strategy With Smart Bidding

plan implement measure

Plan

Do comprehensive keyword research and define your audiences and their “jobs-to-be-done” and how your search engine marketing strategy can accomplish those jobs as efficiently as possible.

Implement

Enable three or more expanded text ads per ad group.

  • When your organization creates at least three distinct pieces of ad creative within the same ad group, you’re ensuring that Google can test each variation to make sure it’s serving the right ad to the right user at the right time, which will incrementally boost the likelihood of achieving your targets and goals.

Apply lists for any audience groupings that you wish to target at the campaign or ad group level

  • By adding audience lists to your campaigns, Google’s algorithms will automatically take into account rich user signals, such as intent, context, recency and adjust bids for your true market audience.

Ensure each ad group is focused around a specific theme and directs a user to a detailed and keyword focused landing page.

  • Building ad groups that push users to a singular landing page will allow your brand or your clients to be extremely targeted and specific with your keywords and ad copy. As your messaging gains specificity, you’ll increase quality score and ROI.

Measure

There are typically two factors that impact how long your organization should wait before assessing data:

  1. Learning Period: Google’s algorithms are constantly learning and adjusting to meet your or your client’s needs. The more stable, long-term data points you can attain, the better you can form predictions and optimize to surpass goals.
  2. Time Lag For Conversions: Most clicks don’t result in immediate conversions. Know your standard time lag for conversions and factor this into the waiting period to make sure you’re measuring conversion performance accurately.

For search campaigns: identify your time lag by vising search attribution reports and setting a 30-day window and view the conversion lag from first click.

For display campaigns: set your date range to a 90-day window and segment your campaign level conversion data by “days to conversions.” Utilize that data to calculate your average conversion lag.

After your organization has allowed sufficient time for the algorithm to learn and for your conversions to register, you can begin to analyze your performance. That’s the final step towards success in your search marketing strategy. It’s a constant state of testing and optimizing so you can hone your search marketing focus for continued growth.

To Sum Up A Profitable Search Marketing Strategy

When it’s all said and done, planning out a data-driven and creatively strategized Search Marketing strategy will not only give your brand or your client’s new insights on how to improve ROI, but you’ll also help accomplish potential consumers “jobs-to-be-done” and by doing that you’ll produce a generation of brand-loyal users.

If your organization is still shaking its head over Google Ads search marketing strategies and what your company should be doing to increase brand awareness and maximize profits, reach out to Evolve Digital Labs for your free consult.

What Is Google Ads? It’s The New Google AdWords & It’s Here To Stay

It shouldn’t be shocking news to anyone when I say, the world of PPC and Google Ads marketing is in a constant state of evolution. Year after year, marketers are presented with new bidding strategies or advanced and comprehensive targeting practices and they’re expected to embrace them if they want to succeed.

Well, this July Google decided to evolve the PPC game once again. In a branding effort to simplify their marketing platform, Google has changed the name of their online marketing platform from Google AdWords to Google Ads.

It may take some time for the paid search and SEO world to transition into using Google Ads in their everyday language, but marketers need to act fast in their written communication for Google Ads.

If your organization is producing content about Google marketing and still utilizing the former name of "AdWords" instead of "Google Ads," you could be missing out on key customers in your digital marketing strategy as well as taking a step to create valuable content at a lower cost.

So, where can your organization make improvements in your written content so you can speak to your true market audience and show Google’s algorithm that you’re aware and taking part in their rebrand?

Utilize the written usage of Google Ads in these aspects of your branding:

  • On your website
  • In your emails
  • In your blog content
  • In your Google Ads content
  • In your social media posts

It has taken some time for marketers to embody the new branding, but the online community is adapting faster than most would have imagined.

Check out the chart below to see some data around how quickly Google Ads is taking the online community by storm.

google ads keyword research

This shows marketers one thing, now more than ever, we need to embrace and embody change at blinding speeds if we want to stay as far ahead of the competition as possible.

If your organization has any questions or concerns over Google’s rebrand or if you’re wondering how to best strategize this into your content marketing strategy please reach out to Evolve Digital Labs for your free consult.

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Alexa, How Does SEO Work With Voice Search?

Voice Search is Coming

Technology is constantly progressing. We all know this. 60% of searches are now performed on a mobile device, according to Hitwise. Something that goes hand in hand with this statistic is the collection of studies being made that claim that voice search is going to be making up more and more of that 60% as time goes on. It makes sense—technology is always in the process of adapting to us. As humans, we tend to prefer technology that feels more natural and complements our lifestyles, so when presented with the option of either tapping away at a small screen to find information or the option of simply using your voice to interact with your devices, opting for the latter is understandable. From ordering food to operating the lights in your house to choosing a song, you can do it all with your voice alone.



Voice Search & SEO

It is a modern marvel, for sure. And while we already know that voice search is a growing functionality, we need more details. Who exactly is utilizing voice search? The answer is simple: everyone. It’s no shock that the leading demographic is 18-43 year olds, as that is typically the demographic that adapts to newer technologies first. However, those 44+ are not far behind the younger generations. The reason that those who are 44+ actually prefer this growing search technology is likely because it does away with small screens and buttons—it is technology in its ideal state. And if voice search is appealing to all demographics on all fronts, it is likely here to stay.

As a digital marketing agency, we need to know how to optimize voice search for SEO and keyword research because it is not the same as traditional search.

Here’s what we know: the way we word queries through voice search is different than the way we tend to word them through traditional, typed search queries. Data from Bing shows that when we typing a search query, we tend to keep it short and sweet. For example, if you were trying to figure out the age of Ajit Pai, you would likely search “Ajit Pai age.” Alternatively, if you were using voice search for the query, you would likely search “How old is Ajit Pai?” When you’re speaking your queries instead of typing them, it is a lot easier to stick with the natural, conversational tone you typically use when speaking.



Image Credit: Purna Virji


Something else to consider is that when we speak in full phrases instead of strings of keywords, our search intent is easier to figure out. If you were to search for “burger,” there’s no telling what you’re really looking for. Are you wanting to eat a burger? Find recipes for burgers? Pictures of burgers? When you ask a full question, you’re revealing your intent. This will certainly impact bids for question phrases and filler words.

Search Results Just Got More Narrow

Additionally, the age of SERPs might be coming to an end–or at least a sharp decline.With functionalities like voice search that enable users to do hands and eyes free searching, there’s less screen interaction and consequently devalues SERPs. Acquiring and holding top spots on search engine results pages used to be an end goal for those employing SEO strategies. Now, being Number 1 will be so much more critical. Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant aren’t going to provide you with the whole page of results with a voice search. They are going to be giving you the top answer to your voice query.


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Voice Search is ComingTechnology is constantly progressing. We all know this. 60% of searches are now performed on a mobile device, <a href=”http://hitwise.connexity.com/070116_MobileSearchReport_CD_US.html” data-cke-saved-href=”http://hitwise.connexity.com/070116_MobileSearchReport_CD_US.html” data-mce-href=”http://hitwise.connexity.com/070116_MobileSearchReport_CD_US.html”>according to Hitwise</a>. Something that goes hand in hand with this statistic is the collection of studies being made that claim that voice search is going to be making up more and more of that 60% as time goes on. It makes sense—technology is always in the process of adapting to us. As humans, we tend to prefer technology that feels more natural and complements our lifestyles, so when presented with the option of either tapping away at a small screen to find information or the option of simply using your voice to interact with your devices, opting for the latter is understandable. From ordering food to operating the lights in your house to choosing a song, you can do it all with your voice alone.<br />

Voice Search & SEOIt is a modern marvel, for sure. And while we already know that voice search is a growing functionality, we need more details. Who exactly is utilizing voice search? The answer is simple: everyone. It’s no shock that the leading demographic is 18-43 year olds, as that is typically the demographic that adapts to newer technologies first. However, those 44+ are not far behind the younger generations. The reason that those who are 44+ actually prefer this growing search technology is likely because it does away with small screens and buttons—it is technology in its ideal state. And if voice search is appealing to all demographics on all fronts, it is likely here to stay.As a digital marketing agency, we need to know how to optimize voice search for SEO and keyword research because it is not the same as traditional search.<em>Here’s what we know:</em> the way we word queries through voice search is different than the way we tend to word them through traditional, typed search queries. <a href=”https://moz.com/blog/how-voice-search-will-change-digital-marketing-for-the-better” data-cke-saved-href=”https://moz.com/blog/how-voice-search-will-change-digital-marketing-for-the-better” data-mce-href=”https://moz.com/blog/how-voice-search-will-change-digital-marketing-for-the-better”>Data from Bing</a> shows that when we typing a search query, we tend to keep it short and sweet. For example, if you were trying to figure out the age of Ajit Pai, you would likely search “Ajit Pai age.” Alternatively, if you were using voice search for the query, you would likely search “How old is Ajit Pai?” When you’re speaking your queries instead of typing them, it is a lot easier to stick with the natural, conversational tone you typically use when speaking.<br />

<br />
Image Credit: <a href=”https://moz.com/blog/how-voice-search-will-change-digital-marketing-for-the-better” data-cke-saved-href=”https://moz.com/blog/how-voice-search-will-change-digital-marketing-for-the-better” data-mce-href=”https://moz.com/blog/how-voice-search-will-change-digital-marketing-for-the-better”>Purna Virji</a>

<br />Something else to consider is that when we speak in full phrases instead of strings of keywords, our <em><strong>search intent</strong></em> is easier to figure out. If you were to search for “burger,” there’s no telling what you’re really looking for. Are you wanting to eat a burger? Find recipes for burgers? Pictures of burgers? When you ask a full question, you’re revealing your intent. This will certainly impact bids for question phrases and filler words.Search Results Just Got More NarrowAdditionally, the age of SERPs might be coming to an end–or at least a sharp decline.With functionalities like voice search that enable users to do hands and eyes free searching, there’s less screen interaction and consequently devalues SERPs. Acquiring and holding top spots on search engine results pages used to be an end goal for those employing SEO strategies. Now, being <strong>Number 1</strong> will be so much more critical. Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant aren’t going to provide you with the whole page of results with a voice search. They are going to be giving you the top answer to your voice query.<br />

Where Do We Go from Here?It may be too soon to really tell what the true reach of voice search is, but so far it has already dominated much of the market and does not show signs of stopping. Whenever game-changing technology is developed, it is exciting. It is exciting from a usability standpoint, but also from a digital marketing standpoint. The way that we communicate with each other is constantly in flux and it is an incredible challenge to tackle, and as digital marketers, we must stay on top of this challenge each time it evolves.According to a <a href=”https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-brightedge-report-reveals-the-future-of-content-must-adapt-to-ai-voice-search-and-hyper-local-300476292.html” data-mce-href=”https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-brightedge-report-reveals-the-future-of-content-must-adapt-to-ai-voice-search-and-hyper-local-300476292.html”>study by Brightedge</a>, 62% of marketers have no plan for voice search in the next 12 months. Numbers like that are often used to grab attention and cause fear of missing the ‘next big thing,’ but we need to look at some of the other contextual statistics to get a true analysis of what is going on. Nearly a third of those surveyed agree that voice search is that next big thing, but a quarter (27%) are still focused on transitioning from desktop to mobile – keeping mobile in their focus.One thing to note when you are looking for validation that voice search is worth some attention is that Google reported that 20% of mobile searches on Android devices are done via voice. So even if you aren’t using voice search much right now, it is imperative to know that others are, and that number is only going to grow. Voice-driven digital assistants are still in their infancy. As voice recognition technology progresses, the interaction will get smoother, eventually to the point that we don’t even think twice.Where Do <em>You</em> Go from Here?With stats like those above, it is easy to say that you aren’t alone in feeling frustrated and exhausted. That is before we even start including artificial intelligence and machine learning into the mix. We love staying on top of technology trends, data science, and how it all works to affect your digital properties. Most importantly, we are confident that our framework of <a href=”http://dev.evolvedigitallabs.com/jobs-to-be-done-theory/” data-mce-href=”http://dev.evolvedigitallabs.com/jobs-to-be-done-theory/”>outcome-driven innovation</a> can keep your business strong and even grow as all of these “next big things” come and go.You’ll benefit from working with a digital agency that is prepared to evolve with the dynamic times of marketing and advertising online. At Evolve Digital Labs, we pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge of digital strategy and tactics. We’d love to help you reach (and exceed) your business goals.<br />

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