One of the most cost-effective methods of increasing traffic to your business Web site is using Google Adwords ads or Facebook ads. Either or both method may be appropriate depending on the nature of your business.
Google ads are a cost-effective, efficient marketing tool.
Google ads are the text ads that appear on the right-hand side and top of Google's search results pages.
When you create an ad, you specify which keyword searches you want your ad to appear on.
You only pay for an ad when someone clicks on it.
The cost of an ad depends on how much other advertisers are willing to pay for the keywords you're targeting.
Google Adwords ads are the text ads that you see on the right-hand side of the page or at the top of a page on a coloured background when you get the results from a Google search. The ads that appear are related to the search that you've performed, so if you search on "summer camps" you can expect to see ads about summer camps. Without getting into too much detail, the order that the ads appear in, and the frequency with which they appear depends on how relevant to the search keywords an ad is considered to be and how high a bid price you're willing to pay. Paying the highest price, however, doesn't guarantee you to the top position in the list, but it does help to move you up the list of ads.
Facebook ads are similar to Google Adwords ads but they only appear when people are logged into their Facebook accounts. Facebook also attempts to show ads that are relevant to the viewer. If you have a consumer-oriented product, Facebook ads may be a good vehicle to reach more customers.
Google also runs another program called Adsense. The Adsense program allows people who operate Web sites to put relevant advertising on their Web sites. For example, if I personally have a hobby as a photographer and build a web site to show my pictures and blog about my photography experience, I could use the Google Adsense program to put ads on my site. Google then shares the revenue generated by clicks on those ads with me.
When you create a Google Adwords Ad, you have a choice whether you want it to only appear on Google or whether you want it to appear on Websites that use the Adsense program to display Google ads. Traffic generated by clicks on other Web sites typically aren't as good a quality as those that come directly from Google but depending on your product, may give you a valuable boost in traffic.
You only pay for an ad if someone clicks on your ad. This means that your ad appears on many people's search results but you only have to pay if someone is interested enough in your ad to click on it.
The cost of Google ads varies depending on the popularity of the keyword. If you're targeting unpopular or otherwise non-commercial keywords, for example "cute kittens", the bid price for each click will be very low. If you target the keywords "personal injury lawyer" in the US marketplace where personal injury lawsuits can carry huge payouts for the winning lawyer, you can expect the cost per click to be quite a bit higher because the value of generating traffic from those keywords is high.
You can set your daily budget to whatever level you like. Adwords manages your ad campaign so that you stay within your budget. The total cost depends on how many other people are bidding on the same keywords and how many clicks your ads pull in. You can adjust your daily budget at any time.
Set up a Google Adwords account for you
Create the ads for you (with your input)
Select appropriate keywords to target (with your input)
Refine the ad text and target keywords as the campaign progresses
Manage your ad budget.
Report on the effectiveness of the Adwords campaign
Help you create landing pages on your Web site that expand on the message of your ads.
Your next question is, Do I have to hire someone to do my SEO or can I do it myself? The answer is that you can definitely SEO your own site yourself. It's not rocket science. Many people and companies make it sound like it's magic or something extraordinary, but the reality is that unless you get into the less ethical methods that some companies use, SEO is a process that anyone with some basic Web skills can handle. However, and it should probably be HOWEVER, it is not something you're going to knock off in a morning before you head off to work. It's going to take hours of time and it's something that you have to keep coming back to month after month until your results are up where you want them to be.
It's impossible to say exactly how long the SEO process will take because every site is different and the competition for keywords varies considerably. It also depends on how well the structure of your Web site was built. If the person who built your site did so with knowledge of SEO, then optimising it might be fairly simple. It's even possible that your site is already optimised. However, it's also possible that your site will need a complete re-write. When I say re-write, I'm not talking about the content of your site yet, just the back-end HTML and CSS code that presents your site. In such a case, you're talking about an even bigger job.
The bad news is that doing a proper SEO job on a site is not a job for the faint of heart. It's going to take time and some technical skill to get it done. The good news is that it can be done in an incremental process – step-by-step. You could spend 3 hours today dong some SEO tasks for your site and then 2 hours next week and 8 hours the week after that and after each time you worked on it, your site would be improved and more optimised.
If you want to tackle an SEO job yourself, you might want to head off to your friend Google and finding some helpful sites that explain this process in more detail, or pick up a book from your local book store that covers the topic. One useful site I discovered is: http://www.bruceclay.com/. The site author is also a book author on the subject of SEO. There are many others as well. Bruce is thorough but a bit long winded sometimes.
If you decide that this isn't a job you want to tackle yourself, I would suggest hiring a consultant to do the work for you. A good consultant will involve you in discussions of keywords and competitors to make sure that your site heads in the right direction and you won't be giving up complete control over your site.
Bectin provides SEO services to small business and can improve your Web site's ranking in search results. If you're interested in moving your site up the results list, contact us.
If you want to know how to SEO a Web site, you'll have to plan on doing some fairly in-depth research but we'll summarize the SEO process here.
So, how exactly does SEO work? SEO is a process and it's a process that should begin before your Web site is even started. However, you probably already have a Web site and it's never too late to optimise it. In fact, I suspect most sites don't get optimised until after they're launched so you're not alone.
Following is a high-level outline of the steps you need to complete to SEO your site for better search results.
Research your competitors' Web sites to see what keywords they're targeting.
Research the keywords to identify those that you think have the highest value.
Decide what keywords you want each of your Web pages to target.
Benchmark the performance of your site and your competitors' sites in all relevant targeted keyword searches.
Make sure the meta information for each page is done correctly.
Evaluate the text of each of your Web pages to see how effectively they respond to the target keywords.
Make sure that you have a page that targets each set of keywords or key phrases.
Make sure that the targeted keywords are used effectively in headings and that the headings are tagged correctly in the HTML.
Rewrite the content of each of your Web pages to target the keywords.
Check the architecture of your site to make sure that the CSS and HTML are designed properly to present the information in the correct order.
Set up your site with proper tracking tools like Google analytics and Google Webmaster tools.
Register your site with various search engines.
Get other sites linking back to your site.
Track the performance of your site in user visits and visitors who take the desired action like contacting your company or buying a product.
Evaluate the performance of your keyword optimizations and take corrective action as required. This is an on-going process that should take place at regular intervals - at least monthly or weekly.
If you think you would like to SEO your own Web site, you should read Can I do SEO Myself?
Search engine optimizations or SEO, is the process of making changes to your Web site content, structure and design so that your site appears higher up the list of search results when a computer user searches on specific keywords. For example, if your business is tree removal in the city of Ottawa, you'd probably like to be at the top of the Google search results when people search on "tree removal Ottawa". Or you'd at least like to be in the top 10. Search engine optimizations is the process that can improve your rankings.
If your search for "SEO" or "search engine optimizations", you will probably find that there are somewhere over 200 million entries on this topic. If you dig a little deeper, you'll probably realize that it's not a simple process. If you go even deeper, you will find that some companies offer guaranteed results. They'll guarantee top 10 positions for example. What isn't immediately obvious is that some of the companies offering SEO services do not operate ethically. They do not adhere to the guidelines published by the search engines and if you hire the wrong company, you could find your Web site is removed completely from the search engine results. Quite the opposite of what you're trying to achieve. So whether you optimise your site yourself or hire a company to do it, you want to be sure that it is done properly.
If you're interested in learning more about how to optimise your Web site for search engines, read How to SEO a Web Site.
If your Web site is not showing up as high on search results as you would like or isn't showing up at all, Bectin can help you to improve your ranking for specific keywords. We provide two levels of SEO services: Phase 1 and Phase 2.
Phase 1 SEO is what should have been done for your Web site when it was created. The objective is to make sure that HTML and CSS code for your site is structured properly and that the essentials of good SEO content have been done. In addition, we ensure that the site was registered and verified with the major search engines and we set up Google Analytics for monitoring your site traffic. This won't guarantee that your site will rocket to number 1 in your targeted searches, but it means that your site has a fighting chance of moving up the ranks and you can start to monitor the traffic to your site and analyze your site's search performance.
Phase 2 SEO is usually a much bigger undertaking. We
The Phase 2 SEO steps can have a much greater impact on your search results ranking than a phase 1 but depending on how competitive a space you are in, it may be more than is necessary.
Each Web site is different and the changes required to improve a site's ranking differ significantly from site to site. Sometimes only a small change to a site is required to have a big effect on its search result ranking, however, many sites require a complete rework of their structure and content to bring their search rankings up to the desired level. As a consequence, pricing of our SEO service is based on an assessment of the work required to improve a specific site. Before we provide a price for optimising your site, we will perform an initial assessment of the site to determine what is required and will provide you with a detailed, customized quote for the job.
If you would like to understand more about SEO, take a look at our What is Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) page.