Is SEO the Holy Grail of Internet Marketing?

The Holy GrailWe previously discussed whether PPC (pay per click) is a cost or an investment and concluded, from our point of view, that it leans more on the cost side of things. We love that PPC can get you instant results; however, we do not like that we are fully dependent on paying for this model.

Here is where Search Engine Optimization, also referred to as SEO, comes into play. Before we start discussing this topic any further let us define what SEO is.

As you can read from Yoast’s explanation, SEO is the process of optimizing a website to make it appear in a higher position in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing (by the way, Yoast makes excellent tools and plugins for SEO so make sure to check them out).

What makes SEO so different from PPC?
If we take the example of the search result we used in the previous post (“online advertisement”), the results that show up right below the “Ads” are what we call organic results.Organic search results These results are not paid for and if we dig down deeper, these top 10 organic results are what Google thinks are the best results for your search query. A website doesn’t just happen to show up on the first page or rankings. Google takes hundreds of ranking factors into account to judge who deserves to be on the first page of search results.

Unlike PPC, if the SEO for your website has been done with high standards, your high rankings should stick. Your website will remain on the first page of search engines even after you are done paying for the campaign. On the other hand, without organic rankings, once you stop paying for PPC, your visibility disappears.

If you are like us, we rarely ever click on the “Ads” that show up on the top because we feel that these are biased. Any company can promote their product, service, or website in this spot as long as they pay up (assuming that they aren’t breaking any rules set forth by Google). On the other hand, the organic results can’t be bought. You can consider these results as vetted for by Google. So from our point of view, these organic results are more trust worthy. Studies also show that most clicks go to organic results and only a fraction go to paid results (PPC Ads).

Now you must be wondering, “How do I get my website on the first page of search engines?”
The easiest and least stressful answer would be to hire a reputable SEO Company. You can start studying SEO and try to do things your self; however, you must be warned. Google has hundreds of factors they consider when ranking websites and they make hundreds of changes to their algorithm every year. This means that SEO is always changing and the one implementing this must evolve and adapt along with these changes. If you are busy running your business, you will definitely not have the time to stay on top of all this.

How long does it take?
This is a very difficult question to answer because this all depends on what your current website is like, what kind of keywords you are going after, the general competition for the keywords, and your target niche. It may take as short as a month or as long as a few years. To get a rough idea of how long it will take, it would be wise to speak to an SEO specialist. They should be able to tell you how long you should expect the process to take.

How much does it cost?
Once again, this is a very difficult question to answer because there is no one specific answer or rate card. Sure, you can find 100 USD/month SEO offer sin your inbox but most high quality SEO costs a pretty penny. We have heard of companies investing hundreds of thousands of dollars PER MONTH on SEO. That being said, it really depends on how difficult your target keyword is to rank. Consult an SEO agency and have them send you a quote. If you cannot decide on a good SEO to speak to, we recommend you to visit our SEO partner’s facebook page and see if they have any special deals.

Last words.
Ideally, we would work on a PPC campaign and an SEO campaign simultaneously; however, if we had to pick one, we would opt for SEO. For our Cycle Slam promotion we were lucky enough to have enough budget to use both PPC and SEO.

Let us know if you have any questions!

PPC – Cost or Investment?

Pay Per Click

PPC is without a doubt one of the quickest ways to gain visibility for your website. PPC, short for “Pay-Per-Click” is a form of internet marketing/advertisement where a person or company (advertiser) pays a fee every time their advertisement is clicked on. A good example of this would be Google’s advertising system, Adwords. Whenever you search for something using Google’s search engine, you may have noticed that in many cases up to 4 of the top spots of the search results are sponsored results that are marked as an “Ad”. See the below screenshot for a search we made for the keyword “online advertisement” for reference.

Search Results (PPC vs Organic) Boxed

Every time somebody clicks on these results, the individual or corporation sponsoring this ad will have to pay a fee. This fee is dependent on popularity, competition, location, time, demographic, etc. of the keyword.

One of the key strengths of running a PPC campaign would be that you are able to see immediate results if done properly. Which means you have done the proper keyword research for your product and have put in bids high enough to get your ad placed highly and frequently.

PPC can be highly targeted and effective; hence this is definitely one of the recommended ways of getting traffic to a web property.

Jumping on the PPC bandwagon may be a no-brainer; however, there are big downsides to this method of online marketing as well.

  1. The moment you stop paying for this service, your online visibility will disappear if you are not ranking for relevant terms and keywords organically. Meaning sales coming from online channels might go down to zero.
  2. Beware of bots! There are plenty of studies that point out that large amount of clicks on your PPC ads are not coming from real human being. Instead, “bots” are responsible for these click. This is often referred to “Click Fraud.” In this case, your precious dollars wasted on bots which will in no way lead to meaningful traffic, sales, and leads.
  3. Majority of searchers don’t click on Ads. If you are like any of us, we usually ignore the ads at the top of search results because we want to find something that is not sponsored or “tainted”. Anyone can take these top spots if they pay to play; however, you can’t buy the top spots of organic results. These spots are given to the “chosen” websites that have a certain “quality” and “popularity”.

As long as PPC can bring you constant returns that cover its cost and leave you with some profit it makes sense to keep running that campaign; otherwise it is just a cost and should be cut.

If you need immediate results, PPC would be a good strategy to start with; however, we highly recommend that you would simultaneously invest in search engine optimization.

At first glance, PPC may seem like a very simple and easy thing to run; however, we suggest you hire a specialist to help you if you aren’t a hundred percent sure of what you are doing. PPC can be a big waste of your precious capital if done incorrectly. Hire a professional and learn what they are doing. Keep note of what keywords, locations, demographics, time-ranges, etc. they are targeting. Once you are confident that you can duplicate results, you can try it on your own.

What was the Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam about?

 

Dallaglio Flintoff FAQ

So, we already told you that we did some work from an internet marketing point of view for the Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam 2012, but what exactly was the Cycle Slam?
Here are a few quick FAQs that may be helpful to understand it’s significance.

Q1: In a nutshell, what’s The Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam all about?
A: Lawrence Dallaglio and Freddie Flintoff wish to harness their status as two of England’s most iconic sportsmen to raise a large sum of money for charitable causes in the same year that sport’s most iconic event takes place in London.
To do so, they cycled from Olympia in Greece – the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games – to London, the venue for the latest edition of the modern Olympic Games.
The target was £2.012 million. It was raised via corporate sponsorship, fundraising events, private donations, entry fees and sponsorship funds raised by anyone who rode in the event.

Q2: How long is the journey, how long did it take and when did the event take place?
A: 2,872km (1,795 miles). It took 26 days comprising 22 days of cycling and four built-in rest days. The Slam started in Olympia, Greece on Monday April 23rd 2012 (St. George’s Day) and finished in London on Friday May 18th, 2012.

Q3: Which stages were the hardest, and which were the easiest?
The easiest Stage was the first, but that is full, as is Stage 2. All the stages are challenging in terms of distance and climbing. Stage 3 and 4 are beautiful rides through the Italian countryside and mountains, but they tend to be longer steady climbs – it was too early in the year to go too high on to the really big climbs
Stage 3 did include a little riding on the white dusty unmade roads used in the Giro – hence the ‘Strade Bianche’. Stage 4 is spectacular, in the Swiss Alps, starting in St Moritz, then along the southern shores of Lakes Walensee, and out into France through the magnificent nature reserve of the Massif du Ventron. There is not much climbing on Stage 5 – but it is long, the route traversing the glorious French countryside of the Champagne Region south of Reims, to Paris-Roubaix which is a unique technical and physical challenge, since there were sections on the infamous pave (cobbles to you and me) – hence the ‘Hell of the North’, then via Euro-tunnel to London. Party time.
As we knew from the past, a lot depends on the weather. We had snow in Italy and sunshine in Edinburgh. One thing for certain – they are all great cycling roads, in beautiful countryside.

Q4: How was the journey divided up?
A: It was comprised of five stages:
– Olympia (Greece) to Bari, Italy
– Bari to Siena
– Luca to Aprica
– St. Moritz to Epinal (France)
– Nancy to Olympic Stadium Stratford (London, England)

Q5: Did Lawrence and Freddie ride the entire distance?
A: Yes, they did – and so did 11 other ‘core riders’. Other riders rode specific stages or individual days.

Q6: Were any other well-known people taking part in the ride?
A: Yes, there were former Olympians and a range of sporting and other celebrities.

Q7: What charities or project benefited from the event?
A: The funds that were raised initially go into the Lawrence Dallaglio and Andrew Flintoff Foundations, and Virgin Unite. From there, specific charitable causes will be granted funds – please see ‘Charities’ section of the website for detail.

Q8: Have either – or both – Lawrence or Freddie attempted anything like this before?
A: Yes, in March 2010, Lawrence Dallaglio completed a 2,400km from Rome to Edinburgh, visiting each of the Six Nations rugby stadia en route. £1.14 million was raised, shared equally between Sport Relief (BBC) and the Dallaglio Foundation. Lawrence was joined on stages 4 and 5 of the 2010 ride by Andrew Flintoff, as part of his training program after knee surgery. On the basis of their joint success in 2010, they have joined forces for The Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam

Q9: Who is organizing the Cycle Slam?
A: The Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam is being organized by a team of specialists from the sport, media and event management industry. Slam Chairman in Andrew Croker and Event Director Rob Mauchlen.

Q10: Who helped with the online marketing and what strategies were used?
A: We did! We would love to take all the credit; however, we did consult some of our partners to make sure we got things right. As for strategies, we used a few strong options. The first was a paid option called Pay-per-click advertisement on Google (Google Adwords). These are the advertisements that showed up on top of Google search results. The second was a strategy and process call SEO. SEO is short for search engine optimization and is the process of getting a website (in this case www.dallaglioflintoff2012.com) on the first page of Google when searching for a specific set of phrases (for example “Cycle Slam” or “Charity”. We will get into both these methods somewhere down the line so do not worry if you are feeling overwhelmed.

On the Down-low: IM Expert Dallaglio Fintoff Launches Again!

How do I get more people to buy my products? How do I get people to find my services? Do not worry, all these questions will be answered on our new blog. Dallaglio Fintoff has been offering help regarding getting your company “heard” since 2012 through our campaign with the Cycling Jam. Check back often, or sign up for our frequent newsletters to keep up to date on all new releases from Dallaglio Flintoff!