SEO - Search Engine Optimization

How Much Advertising Does Google Control? And Why Should it Matter to You?

Its amazing in just under about a decade and a half the growth of Google as the one of world's largest advertising platform.  This of course, has coincided with the move away from traditional print advertising and the worldwide acceptance of the internet as the go-to place for information. What are some brief takeaway for business owners?

How Big is Google's Advertising Platform?

This includes Adwords, Doubleclick and other Google properties.  Let's put it into perspective:

1.  Google receives almost $5 of every $10 spent on online advertising worldwide. Its total income from advertising last year was over $29 billion. To put this number in perspective, the total advertising revenues of all US newspapers combined last year was less than $22bn. And the major US television networks (excluding cable and local stations) earned  $21.7 billion in advertising.  (-indra de lanerolle).

2.  As far as online advertising goes, ZenithOptimedia has issued a report that tells us this:  Google controls44 percent of global online ad revenues.  AKA:  Way ahead of its competitors and the dominant online force (including Android/mobile).

What does this mean for business owners? 

There's good news and bad news:

1.  Bad news:  The days of set it and forget it are over.  Remember when you could just put an ad in the newspaper?  Or had to meet once a year with the Yellowpages guy to update your ad?  Those days are over (See picture to the right).  People search for EVERYTHING online. 

What does this mean?  Businesses have to either:

A.  Learn how to market their website and business online, which means paid search, organic search, local listings, social media and constantly changing and adjusting things. 

Or if you don't have the time (or desire) to do this: 

B.  Learn enough so you can understand some of what goes into online advertising so when you hire a professional internet marketer who can know enough to hire someone who is actually knows what they're doing and won't rip you off (very difficult) and will get you the calls, emails and leads you need to keep your business growing. 

The Good News: 

If you find a professional to help you OR learn how to market your site online yourself you can:

1.  Beat out your competitors not just because you outspent them for the largest Yellowpages ad.  No, online advertising whether paid or organic search rewards the smart advertisers.  It is not always he who spends the most wins, but he who understands (or hires someone who understands) how to market their business online wins.

2.  Get extremely qualified calls, leads, emails.  After all people aren't just picking up the paper or yellowpages.  They typing in very specific terms.  If you come up in the search results instead of your competitors for those terms.  They will call you.

Bottom line is this:  Businesses need to at least start putting into motion how they'll market their site either by doing it themselves or hiring a pro.  This begs the question:  How can you find the right person to hire for marketing your website.  You should call or email us ; ) ! 

Failing this, our next post will be about how to hire an Internet Marketing pro who will help your business and not just take your money.  This is a very requested subject, due to the number of people we've talked with who have been ripped off and the number of accounts we've taken over that had very poorly done marketing work.  What are you thoughts on the above?  Stay tuned...

Google +1 and the Effect your Adwords Campaigns

With all the buzz surrounding the launch if Google Plus (+1) a great question to ask is:  How will this affect my Adwords campaigns?   This article will address a couple of things regarding this.  (Please note info from the Adwords help file on Google +1 is in italics.)

It has to be admitted with Google being the planet's largest advertiser, with most of its profits coming from advertising and revenues from it in the tens of billions of dollars.  So any change is rightly watched closely by tens of thousands of paid search advertisers and the businesses' account they manage (Including us). 

You've probably already seen the little +1 button in both paid and organic search queries.  The simple idea is that people can click on that button and when people in your Google Plus network do, you either see a number or them.  This may add weight to whether you click on the ad, in a similar way that for instance a blog post with a Facebook like button with hundreds of likes may influence a searcher to read that post vs. one without many likes. In a somewhat similar way the +1 button, it  "lets users recommend the content they like on the web, helping to improve Google search for their friends and contacts"  (Google quote). Here's a picture of what this looks like ( You can see the little +1 icon in both the ads & organic results):

Also according to Google:  "When users click the +1 button for a particular webpage, their names and profile pictures will appear as part of personal annotations in their friends and contacts’ search results. Users will see their names and pictures beneath the ads and organic links associated with the webpage."

Of course when reading the above its clear that Google +1 can influence a searcher to click on one ad over another.  Depending on how Google +1 does and how many people adopt it, it may affect how your ads do or don't do.

This is all pretty straightforward.  But the thing that needs to be understood is what Google next says on the help file page in Adwords: 

"Whenever possible, the +1 button is associated with a site’s final landing page. This means a user can recommend a webpage by clicking the +1 button on that page, or the +1 button next to a Google search ad or search result associated with that page. For example, if a user +1's an organic search result with the same final landing page as your ad, the +1 count associated with both the organic search result and the search ad will increase."

This is where it gets a little more interesting, having the Google +1 clicks associated with the final landing page.  But not just for organic or just for paid, but for both.  So for instance if someone clicks on the plus one button for your paid ad and another clicks on the Google +1 for your organic listing, both clicks count to up your +1 count.  Why is this interesting?

There's been alot of debate on whether if you rank well organically for a particular keyword, should you also bid for that keyword in Adwords to show up both in paid and organic for that search.  Some people say yes, showing in both places reinforces in the searchers mind you're the site they need to visit.  Some say its a waste of time to paid for something you already rank well for organically. 

But as for Google +1, if it does indeed take off, having your site show up in both organic and paid and having the paid ad send the user to the same page as the organic page may result in a higher Google +1 count, and maybe more authority and searches to your site.

 In addition, we know Google is tracking plus one in Google Analytics and it seems likely they may use how many +1's your pages have to indicate relevancy and maybe even ranking.  And when it comes to quality score in Google Adwords we certainly could seem them using how many +1's your ads get as an additional factor in determining quality score.

That's alot of caveats but its something to keep an eye on.  Perhaps the final thing that is possibly confusing is this:  A searcher types in a search query.  They see the search results with the plus one icon.  Are they going to click on that icon when their not sure if its the page they're looking for?  It would seem like you'd just click on the link to find the page you want and once you're there its unlikely you'll go back to the search page to click on the +1 icon.  This means to get those +1 votes, you'd need to have the Google +1 icon on each page of your site like you have the Facebook Like button.

What do you think:  Will Google +1 be as big a factor as some think in how your Adwords campaigns perform?


Stop! Do This BEFORE You Start a Link Building Campaign

Before You Start Link Building:

Before you start a link building campaign, you need to decide what keywords you will include in your anchor text.  What is anchor text?  The anchor text is the hyperlinked text that when clicked on sends the user to your site. 

Anchor Text- The Key(words) to Great Links & Rankings

Most people wrongly just have the site linking to them decide this.  This ends up with them having their website address hyperlinked or the words click here.  While getting links is great, this is the WRONG WAY to have your link put on a site.  While a link from a trusted site will help your website you need to have the correct keywords as the anchor text.  These keywords are the keywords you would like to rank for on Google. 

 Why is this the case?  Google search technology is rapidly getting smarter and smarter.  It can more or less "read" (loosely used) the text of a link and compare the page its linked to for relevance.  So if a link says Greenville Used Cars and leads to a site that is about Greenville Used Cars Google says, "this page is about Greenville Used Cars", so when people type "Greenville Used Cars" into Google, I will show them this page as a top result, and not their competitor that also sells used cars in Greenville but has as the anchor text."  See the picture below to get the idea:

Courtesy SEOMoz

Another example:  Let's say you have a painting company in Lake Norman area north of Charlotte, NC your anchor text may be:  Lake Norman Residential Painter, not (or whatever your site is).  But how do you know which keyword phrase or phrases to choose for the anchor text of your links?  Take a little time to do some keyword research to find out the actual terms people are typing into Google to find your product or service.  You can use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. 

In Deciding Which Anchor Text to use for you links, remember these DOs & Don'ts:

Don't make the anchor text too broad, like "residential painter", "painter", "house painter", or you will be competing with every residential painter in the country and won't show up on.

Don't use just one phrase for your anchor text (such as "Lake Norman Residential Painting") if you are a large site or target multiple main keywords. Use a phrase for a number of links and then a phrase for another number of links (like "Lake Norman Pressure Washing" if you were a painting contractor that also does pressure washing.

Don't use keywords that may have possible obvious multiple intents such as "Lake Norman Paint", "Paint Lake Norman", etc. because this person may not want a professional painter but rather just where to buy paints.

DO choose anchor text that is relevant to what you sell or do. Don't use anchor text such as "Lake Norman Landscaping" when your site is about window cleaning. Your links should be from sites relevant to what you do to a site that matches the anchor text.

DO Remember, links are a vote of confidence. You wouldn't believe the recommendation for an excellent Italian restaurant from a person who hates Italian food. But you would from a person born and raised in Rome. Google also doesn't give as much weight to links to sites that aren't relevant, but on the positive side it does to sites that are authorities and relevant to what your site is about.

DON'T have keywords that are either too broad in scope or too narrow.  Choosing a keyword phrase such as "Lake Norman Professional House Painter Custom Painting" for your anchor text is to specific. You're looking for a keyword phrase that people actually type into Google enough times a month that they will visit your site, but not one that is way too competitive.  Again, see the picture below to get the idea:

Courtesy SEOMoz

Does this sound like alot of work even before you start the tedious but important work of actual link building?  How do you do this Keyword Research?  Are you worried you'll get it wrong and not choose the correct keywords?  To be honest, you should be.  Because if you choose the wrong keywords and your competitor chooses the right keywords for their anchor text, they will show up higher in the Google search results page in most cases.

For a fantastic, in depth article about link building, please read: 

17 Ways Search Engines Judge the Value of a Link (from

 Shameless plug:  If this is way above your head or you have absolutely no desire to do it, hire a professional internet marketer.  Depending on your budget, you can hire him/her straight out, or for just a few hours of consulting or training to show you how to do this (yes, we do both).   But please do the above BEFORE starting your link building campaign.  Failure to do the above initial keyword research can result in frustration and much time wasted. 

What are your thoughts on link building, and using the right anchor text.  Let us know!

INTJ: The Ultimate Personality Type for Online Marketing & SEO?

In getting to know a number of Internet Marketers, the first thing you notice is the wide variety of personalities.  Some are extremely outgoing people persons.  Others are very introverted and shy.  Still others are very process oriented.  And finally some just do marketing "by the seat of their pants" and say they love the excitement of it.

This is all well and good but if you're someone who is going to hire someone to market your website and business online what really is the best personality type to hire? 

After all you want someone friendly, professional, someone who is able to communicate what is being done in a way that you can understand.  But in the end you want results.  Higher rankings, more sales, more customers, more profits, etc.  You don't want someone ruled by emotion and who is not able to sit in an office for any length of time and get the work done.

What is the best personality type for Internet Marketing? 

Let the Myers-Briggs Personality Types be your Guide

You've probably heard of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test.  About 70 mulitple choice questions will let you know which of the 16 personality types you are:  ENFP, INTJ, and introvert, extrovert, logical, creative, etc.   If you're not farmiliar with it, please Google it and take the test.  It's quite eye opening to say the least.  Have your wife, husband or kids take it too.

Our Completely Biased Opinion as to the Best Personality Type for SEO & Online Marketing

Our owner has often wondered why he enjoys systematically improving websites, totally happy to set up a complete system for doing this, being extremely thorough and methodical.  The reason?  He is probably the perfect personality for an Online Marketer.  In fact, after you read the explanation for his personality you will see the obvious advantage. 

We could say an unfair advantage versus other online marketers, one that would certainly benefit all who use our services.  But it's not like a person can take credit for their natural occuring personality traits, perhaps no more than for their blue or brown eyes.  Some people are artistic, some are logical, etc.  So here it is:

INTJ - The Mastermind

Intellectual conceptualizer, a system builder who brings clarity and objectivity to decision making. Excels at seeing the big picture and finding solutions to complex problems. Has a talent for deductive reasoning.  Rare, comprise less than 2 % of the population. They love:

  • Fair performance measurement
  • Autonomy
  • New projects or learnings
  • Strategizing
  • Control
  • Opportunities for creativity
  • Things to perfect

Famous Masterminds (INTJ): 

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Lance Armstrong
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Peter Jennings
  • C. S. Lewis
  • Colin Powell
  • Ahhnold! Schwarzenegger
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Sir Isaac Newton

Even more eye opening is the longer definition below ( credits: adapted from the Book Please Understand Me II by Dr. David Keirsey).  Read through this and see if this is not the personality type that you want working on your SEO, PPC, Analytics and Online Marketing campaign:

Portrait of the INTJ - Keirsey's Rational Mastermind

All Rationals are good at planning operations, but Masterminds are head and shoulders above all the rest in contingency planning. Complex operations involve many steps or stages, one following another in a necessary progression, and Masterminds are naturally able to grasp how each one leads to the next, and to prepare alternatives for difficulties that are likely to arise any step of the way. Trying to anticipate every contingency, Masterminds never set off on their current project without a Plan A firmly in mind, but they are always prepared to switch to Plan B or C or D if need be.

Masterminds are rare, comprising no more than one to two percent of the population, and they are rarely encountered outside their office, factory, school, or laboratory. Although they are highly capable leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead. Once they take charge, however, they are thoroughgoing pragmatists.

Masterminds are certain that efficiency is indispensable in a well-run organization, and if they encounter inefficiency -- any waste of human and material resources -- they are quick to realign operations and reassign personnel.

Masterminds do not feel bound by established rules and procedures, and traditional authority does not impress them, nor do slogans or catchwords. Only ideas that make sense to them are adopted; those that don't, aren't, no matter who thought of them. Remember, their aim is always maximum efficiency.

In their careers, Masterminds usually rise to positions of responsibility, for they work long and hard and are dedicated in their pursuit of goals, sparing neither their own time and effort nor that of their colleagues and employees.

Problem-solving is highly stimulating to Masterminds, who love responding to tangled systems that require careful sorting out. Ordinarily, they verbalize the positive and avoid comments of a negative nature; they are more interested in moving an organization forward than dwelling on mistakes of the past.

Masterminds tend to be much more definite and self-confident than other Rationals, having usually developed a very strong will. Decisions come easily to them; in fact, they can hardly rest until they have things settled and decided. But before they decide anything, they must do the research. Masterminds are highly theoretical, but they insist on looking at all available data before they embrace an idea, and they are suspicious of any statement that is based on shoddy research, or that is not checked against reality.

So there you have it:  The ultimate personality for Internet Marketing:  The INTJ Mastermind.  The person you want working for you.  What do you think?

Quick Ways to Explain SEO to Clients

We've all met with a potential client to see if they can benefit from online marketing.  All too often, they may with good intentions ask a few questions on how things work.  How does Google figure out which sites rank the highest, how Adwords works, etc. 

You might try to answer their question but notice in under a minute that their eyes have totally glazed over.  Is there a better way to help them understand?  One way that could be very helpful is using a couple of new videos that Google has put out.  Emailing your prospective clients links to these videos can really help them- and you- out alot as far as being on the same page.

I showed these videos to a friend and the first words out of their mouth is "now I kind of get how Google works and kind of what you do". What do you think?  Does prepping a client with relevant videos help you to explain things better?

The videos can be found on this page:

Here are the two videos:


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