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Online marketing refers to the techniques available to a business to market, promote, or advertise their products, services, or brand on the World Wide Web. There are two main sub-channels of online marketing that utilise different angles to help a business promote themselves online. Below is an outline of the online marketing channels that businesses may integrate into their marketing campaign.
Pay per click advertising (PPC)
Pay per click (PPC) advertising is a form of inbound marketing used to promote businesses via advertisements displayed alongside organic search results on a search engine's results page (like Google). Each ad is triggered by a search for a particular keyword related to what the advertisement is promoting, and the advertiser only pays when their ad is clicked and a user visits their website — hence the name "pay per click".
Pay per click advertising is available on all major search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing, as well as on a number of smaller search engines and websites. If you would like more information on how pay per click advertising works visit What is pay per click adverting (PPC)?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation aims to increase the visibility of and traffic to your website by achieving higher rankings in search engine results. The process of Search Engine Optimisation refers to making improvements to your website, ensuring that it is attractive to the search engines — both in regards to its on-site content and coding as well as its off-site web presence. The more search engine friendly your website is, the more likely it is to appear higher in the organic search results for selected keyword phrases.
Search engines use complex algorithms to determine the order of the results they display for selected search phrases. These algorithms take into account hundreds of different factors, from the way the website is coded, to the relevance of the website content, to the search term and how many inbound links there are to the website.
Search engine marketing or SEM is the general term used to describe SEO and PPC together as a single marketing strategy. Many companies will undergo both pay per click advertising for immediate results and Search Engine Optimisation as a long term strategy — this can be considered a complete search marketing campaign.
Webcentral specialises in Search Engine Optimisation and Pay Per Click. Learn more about how Webcentral's online marketing experts can manage your SEO campaign or how we can help with your pay per click campaign.
Search Engine Optimisation refers to improving the placement of your website in the organic search results of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing for selected keywords or phrases related to your business.
Before you can understand exactly what SEO is, you need a background understanding of how the search engines work and how they determine the rank of websites in their search results. You also need to understand the difference between organic search engine results and paid search engine results.
Each search engine uses a different set of criteria to determine exactly what sites are "most relevant" for each search term — these are known as the search engine ranking algorithms. The algorithms take many factors into account and in Google's case there are over 200 different factors that are used to determine a site's ranking. These algorithms are changed and updated constantly, so a large part of Search Engine Optimisation is keeping up to date with the important factors in the search engine ranking algorithms.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO involves making onsite changes to your website and completing offsite tasks to increase its search engine friendliness. The more the search engines "like" your website the more likely they are to rank it highly in the search results. The search engines try to determine and return the websites that will be most relevant and useful for each search completed. The more useful the results, the more people will use the search engine and the more revenue the search engine will make.
Onsite Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) incorporates any changes made specifically to the website's content or code. There are hundreds of known aspects of both website coding and content that are believed to increase a website's attractiveness to the search engines. These can include things such as:
- Website layout and structure
- Proper use of HTML tags
- Inclusion of keywords in prominent positions and content
- And many, many more
Offsite SEO entails building your website's prominence on the wider web. The search engines not only look at your website's code and content to determine how it will rank in the search results but also how it appears in the broader online community.
A large part of Search Engine Optimisation involves increasing your website's endorsements or recommendations by building inbound links from other websites to yours. Each inbound link that comes from another website to yours can be seen as a recommendation that your website is a valuable source of information and hence should be displayed more highly in the search results.
Generating inbound links to your website can be a difficult task and often happens naturally over time — however the process can often be expedited using various techniques such as:
- Make sure your website is listed in relevant, trustworthy online directories
- Creating valuable, interesting content that other websites will want to link to
- Being an active online community member on forums, blogs and online discussions
- Creating an active social media campaign and generating interest via social interaction
- And many, many more
Successful SEO for your website
A successful SEO campaign has to incorporate many different things, including in-depth keyword research to determine the keywords most relevant for your business; a balance of onsite and offsite SEO; a balance of user friendliness versus search engine friendliness; ongoing review, testing and reporting; and consistent offsite SEO activity.
Webcentral has a dedicated Online Marketing department which specialises in Search Engine Optimisation. If you would like Webcentral to manage your SEO campaign so you can focus on your business, learn more about SEO.
Pay Per Click advertising has many pseudonyms: PPC, search engine advertising, SEA, paid search advertising — but they all refer to the same thing. PPC is a type of online marketing available on the popular search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google, where the advertiser only pays if their ad is clicked and a visitor arrives at their website.
The PPC ads appear alongside and above the organic search results on the search engine results pages. Major Pay Per Click advertising platforms are based on a bidding per keyword model. The advertiser simply decides which keyword phrases they would like to trigger their ads and chooses a maximum price they would be willing to pay if a visitor clicked their ad once triggered by the selected keyword.
Many different advertisers are often bidding on the same keyword and hence the bidding model is used to determine the position where the advertiser's ad will display. Google, the largest PPC advertising channel (Google AdWords) displays a maximum of 11 ads per page. The most commonly seen arrangement of ads is three ads above the organic search results with a further 8 ads down the right hand side with position 1 being at the very top and position 11 being at the bottom of the right hand side.
The cost per click is determined by many different factors:
- Number of competitors bidding for that word
- Position of the ads in the search result (from 1 to 11)
- The quality of the ad and relevance to the keyword
- The quality of the website that users will finally end up on
- The relevance of the website that users will end up on to the keyword and the ad
- The click-through rate of the ad (how many people click the ad compared to how many times the ad is displayed)
In most cases the top position in the paid results is the most expensive; however other factors as listed above can mean that the highest bidder will not necessarily take the top position.
Pay Per Click advertising is available to anybody with a website or a landing page and is a highly targeted digital marketing channel. PPC advertising allows you to target users who are actively searching for keywords associated with your product, service, or business, and then only makes you pay if someone actually visits your website.
PPC advertising also allows for detailed reporting and analytics, so you can tell exactly how many people clicked your ads, what it cost and how much revenue you made. This makes it super easy to calculate your return on investment (ROI). You can set your daily or monthly budgets so that you know exactly what you are going to spend on a day-to-day basis, which makes keeping track of your advertising costs simple.
Finally, PPC advertising allows for almost immediate results. A campaign can be drafted, posted and live within a few hours — meaning that clicks and revenue can be generated in as little as a day.
Find out how you can squeeze the most out of your PPC budget with the help of Webcentral and our certified Google AdWords professionals. Learn more by clicking here.
Email has been around since the very early days of the internet. Sending and receiving electronic mail has made day-to-day communication so simple. It has now become an avenue for not only day-to-day business communication but also digital marketing.
Email marketing refers to using email as a platform to market your product, service, or business to a bulk email database. Email marketing is in fact a form of direct marketing, however it can be directed to specific audiences, for example your current customer database or potential customers who have signed up for newsletters.
Email marketing campaigns work on an opt-in structure, whereby all recipients of the marketing emails have agreed to receive the email marketing campaign. The recipients may have opted in via a form on your website or by checking a box during the buying process on your website. There are various other ways that recipients may end up on your email marketing mailing list, but in all cases a voluntary decision has been made by the recipient.
Email marketing does not refer to sending unsolicited emails to a bulk database of email addresses. Sending bulk emails to recipients who have not voluntarily agreed to be part of the email marketing list is known as SPAM and is against the law in Australia and most other countries. Further to this, email marketing campaigns are required to include an unsubscribe feature, whereby any currently subscribed recipient can choose to be removed from the email marketing mailing list.
Sending email marketing campaigns is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies available. Keeping your business front-of-mind for continued brand loyalty and customer retention is imperative for all business. Webcentral can help launch your email marketing campaign with Mailroom — our professional standard email marketing platform.