Category Archives: Web

The Power of an Integrated Web Presence – Part I

Optimization = Integrated Web Presence

What is an Integrated Web Presence and why is it important? That’s a question we’ll attempt to answer in the next series of posts. But first, we’ll take a step back and look at how the answer came about.

Our approach to organic search has been evolving over the past three years. Without even realizing it, we’ve been involved in a natural selection process. As we slowly recognized that process, we realized we needed to label its outcome in order to effectively market it.

We now call that outcome the Integrated Web Presence. Here’s a simple overview of that evolution.

In the past, web designers built nice looking web sites. In the early 90’s that was good enough. Today, people want a web site that’s search engine friendly. A decade ago that was pretty easy – these days, not so much. As more and more businesses sought top positions for the most lucrative search queries, more and more web designers learned about organic search optimization.

As this process evolved, web designers executed more tasks at a higher level to gain search position. Some of them became Search Engine Strategists.

We’ve always focused on organic search at mywebmarket.com, but the integrated web presence takes SEO to a whole new level.

Search Friendly Design

First and foremost, we execute a search friendly design structure on a responsive server.

Design that takes advantage of product and service categorization is critical. One of our favorite developers produces page and post widgets that allow us to drag and drop snippets of optimized pages onto their category page. We found that search engines love this almost as much as we do.

For example, Company X offers 5 services and 6 products. We’ll build a well optimized page for each service and each product. Then we’ll build a broader Product category page which delineates each of the 6 products. Next, we build a Service category page which delineates each of the 5 services. This is the type of design structure that optimizes your site for organic search. Naturally, this lays the foundation for paid search as well.

Specific is Terrific

The biggest mistake we see in poorly optimized websites is the tendency to lump too many items on a single page. This breaks the cardinal rule of “singularity“.  Sure, it saves time and costs less, but how can you expect your expert transmission repair service to be found if it’s on a page with your brake service, your tune up service, your engine rebuild service and your oil change service? Now, if people typed “brake, tune-up, engine rebuild and oil change service” into Google, there’s a chance that page might show up. But people don’t search like that. They search for specific things, one at a time.

Not to belabor the issue, but it’s so important (and so often overlooked) it bears repeating. Search engine algorithms are logical, and they respond favorably to categorization and specifics. So when your content is properly categorized from broad to specific, it’s easy to find. That structure gives you the added bonus of acceptable repetition.

Gone are the “old days” of SEO tactics defined by keywords repeated over and over in multiple blog posts, pages, paragraphs and footers. That form of repetition earns an immediate DOWN-RANK by today’s advanced search engine algorithms. But a broad category page (of products or services for example) leading to more specific detail pages gives you the kind of repetition search engines love.

The immense popularity of the WordPress platform owes much of its early success to the structure of its search friendly blogging format utilizing categorized posts. We leverage that same functionality in our page development.

Server Response Time

An Integrated Web Presence
Integration is Great. But 2367 Tenants in the Same House is Too Much!

Let’s get responsive. And we’re not talking just mobile responsive, we’re talking about server response time. Having a slow site is the kiss of death on any device: mobile, tablet or desktop. So make sure your hosting company is “up to speed” like mywebmarket.com.

While certain “big box” hosting companies (and site builder platforms) boast that they can host thousands of responsive sites on a single server, our speed tests using the link above tend to prove otherwise. You can go to domaintools.com and enter your domain to see how many other sites are hosted on the same server as yours.

When your site is hosted along with 2367 other sites, is it any wonder you fail the Google speed test for mobile and desktop? When “server response time” is the only big red X in your “fix it” report, you need a new host.  The client’s site referenced in the image above failed pretty spectacularly. Their new site will be hosted with us.

So … as another 15 hour work day draws to a close at mywebmarket.com, it’s time to finish this post and hit the sack. In Part II we’ll cover the second most important series of tasks to “execute well” in the pursuit of a fully integrated web presence – one that outranks the competition with many little things done well … and fully integrated.

Tallahassee SEO

A Tallahassee SEO Company Located in Tallahassee

Tallahassee SEO Local
You may have a Google Listing, but is it properly configured and verified?

When people search for “Tallahassee SEO” on Google, the top results don’t necessarily reflect Tallahassee based providers.  Yes, we too sometimes manage SEO from afar. But most of our clients are Tallahassee businesses who would like to sit down with us in a face to face consultation.

This is where we get to meet business owners in person and talk to them about their unique value propositions.  And we love to discuss both short and long range goals.  As a local Tallahassee business, practicing organic search marketing since the mid 90’s, we know the Tallahassee marketplace.

We Don’t Follow – We Lead

Not to be brazen, but those who “follow” the self proclaimed SEO experts will never rise above that crowd. There’s great info to consider, but our own testing and results are our final guide. We use our tools and expertise to develop a fully integrated web presence – one which combines a search friendly design structure with targeted content, on a responsive server.  Combine these attributes with properly configured social integration, and exceptional results are inevitable.

Search engine algorithms are evolving and adapting. Search engine companies want to give searchers a relevant search experience. So do we, So we take advantage of categorization, content keywords, readability, image tags and just the right amount of repetition.  When we manage and integrate those critical details (and many others) you get optimal results. That means the right searchers that convert from prospects to customers.

It’s not that hard to optimize when you know what you’re doing. We don’t make excuses about Google’s “changing algorithms”. Sure, they change – often – but those changes don’t affect good SEO, they usually reinforce it.

What’s the cost of all this? Not enough apparently, because when we “clean up” behind the amateurs and see what they charge for that mess, it’s embarrassing. But don’t worry, we won’t tell.

Contact us to find out more about the possibilities of web based marketing you can rely on.

 

Display Network Advertising

I often talk about, and write about Search Network Marketing. Today I want to give a little time to Display Network Marketing. Let’s start with the key difference between the two.

The Search Network is mostly a TEXT based format. You enter a query into a search engine and receive textual links to websites which relate to that search. Yes there are a few visual elements that display in blocks here and there, but for the most part, the search network has always been (and remains) a text based network, where advertising is text based, hence the name Ad WORDS.

The display network is a VISUAL format. It is the realm of “banner ads” though certainly not in the old school sense of buying a banner on a single website. There are thousands of websites in the Google Display Network, grouped by topical categories (and other elements).

Google Display Network
Google Display Network Partner Sites – Just a few of many thousands!

While search marketing is a powerful advertising means, some products or services do well in a visual format vs, just plain text. Both text and display ads will send you to an advertiser’s website when clicked, but visual ads that have motion and color and other forms of visual appeal, could get your attention, and may entice you to click where text alone does not.

Display Network advertising also works well for new technologies and new or unique ideas. A business may have a really cool offering that would excite you once you saw it. Yet it’s not something you’d ever search for (because you don’t know it exists). That’s where Display Network advertising outperforms search marketing. Where the Search Network delivers ads in response to a search, the Display Network delivers ads in response to prospect affinity.

Case in Point

Let’s say you’re a business that sells a product that really appeals to sports car enthusiasts. You have your ads appear in sports car blogs, forums and in sports car sections of Display Network sites. Your prospect clicks your ad, visits your site and finds the product interesting. He may purchase then and there, but let’s say he moves on … then, the following morning he visits his favorite news site.  If the site is a Display Network partner, he may see your same (or a similar) ad there.

The news site has nothing to do with sports cars, but he clicked your ad yesterday and visited your site, a cookie was accepted in his browser, and that partner site read his cookie and served up another of the your ads today. That’s how the ad “followed him” from his prior visit. This is an example of re-targeting. You are targeting site visitors to see your display ads elsewhere. The repetition helps your message to sink in, or remind your prospect of that great offering.

This is just the tip of the Display Network iceberg, but it’s enough to give you an idea of what lies beneath the surface. To learn more, call or email us, and … don’t forget to spread the love below if you found this post interesting.

Why is Search Engine Marketing So Successful?

Why is Search Engine Marketing So Successful?Well I just HAD to write this blog post because I felt that some of the top ranked articles for the query “why is search engine marketing so successful?” were clearly missing the mark.

The main reason that “search”  (organic or paid) is so successful boils down to two key differentiators:

  • You are reaching prospects who are specifically searching for what you offer, and …
  • You are reaching them at the moment of peak relevance and interest

No other form of advertising truly excels in both of these two critical areas like search marketing. And when you think about it, it’s clear that these two advantages are inherent by design.

The Shotgun Approach Versus Focused Targeting

With billboard, radio, direct mail, email, cable, and even social media, you are pushing out your message to a somewhat random audience. They may be interested in what you have to say, but it’s more likely they are not. It’s true that there are means by which demographic targeting can narrow your audience in the above formats. But despite great improvements in targeting over the years, none of these mediums hits the target squarely on the mark for these two bullet points above.

Let’s take an example business type: roofing. We can try to narrow our audience to certain age groups, certain income levels and even certain neighborhoods. But we cannot target “homes with roofs struck by trees in the last 12 hours”. We’d really need a team of “spotters” driving around the entire geographic territory looking for recent roof damage, say, after a major storm. That’s not a bad idea actually, but a bit costly.

We still wouldn’t capture the homeowner who has been saving up for a new roof and is just ready to do it. Maybe he’s ready because the roof is old, there are a few minor leaks and the timing is right. The only way we can truly target homeowners (or business owners) who are ready to replace their roof and are open to advertised offers is by creating and advertising an offer to be shown only to prospects searching for a roofer or a roofing contractor.

It’s NOT Just a Game Of Impressions

What’s even better, you don’t pay a dime to show that ad to that targeted searcher. You only pay when they actually click on your offer. Compare that with those extremely expensive display ads of years gone by in the “yellow pages” (yes, some of us still remember those days). Yellow page display ads were able to generate significant revenues for directory companies for many years prior to the newer more efficient means of “search marketing”. That’s because directories (phone books) were the original “search marketing” form of marketing.

But even back then (and still today) with directory ads, like every other form of advertising previously mentioned, you are paying for impressions. You don’t do a direct mail campaign, and only pay for people who contact you from the flyer or card. You pay for delivery and hope that there is an “impression” left (though many people will simply throw away the piece).  When you spent $2500 on a nice display ad, or $15,000 for a “back cover”, you were paying for a year’s worth of impressions – until next year’s phone book came out.

Now, to be fair, it is true that people will search online for the purpose of long term research, including “do-it-yourselfers”. This is especially true when the need is not dire or emergency event-driven (note to businesses that provide emergency event-driven services – you better be doing search marketing because your competitors definitely are).

But again, to be objective, you are marketing to the same proportion of researchers as any other form of advertising. So there’s no real disadvantage to search marketing other than the ease with which to compare other advertisers within the same search related category.

Search Marketing: Then and NOW

Search engine marketing is successful for many of the same reasons that directory advertising was so successful in years past. It has the same main drawback (many competitors in the same search category) but search engine marketing has several awesome advantages.

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) costs a fraction of the price
  • YOU create the ads so there is a real creative advantage
  • you can turn SEM up, down, on or off as business conditions warrant
  • you can test, tweak or change your SEM message in real time, at any time
  • SEM supplies valuable metrics that help you gauge your ROI
  • SEM still hasn’t caught on to the degree of directory advertising when the Yellow Pages were still “King” in the  marketplace
  • The most widely used search engine in the world derives most of it’s revenue from SEM – so success is more or less “baked in”

Let’s take this last advantage seriously, because Google is a serious company, and ultimately it wants SEM to work well (so it can make money). And there’s no doubt it can more than help to bring this about.

We have quite a few website clients who are VERY well positioned organically (and have been for years) and they continue to get about 10 to 20 relevant clicks per month organically. These same companies have easily gotten 40 to 60 additional clicks when we create SEM campaigns for them.

Remember SEM is a marketing format (within search) whereas search in general is more of an information gathering format. Clearly it makes more sense to achieve better marketing results in a marketing format on a platform that makes the platform provider money. And without a doubt, a greater share of marketing success has been driven to SEM from SEO over the last 15 years as the marketing capabilities within search engines has improved. I saved this one for last since it is the most compelling, obvious and persuasive reason as to why search engine marketing is so successful. Google’s share price should be a good indicator of that success.

There’s still time to take advantage of the relative “newness” of search marketing, especially for small local businesses in smaller to medium sized cities.

In many cases, there is little search marketing competition, and what does exist can be outranked and outperformed by a good search marketing strategist. These are some of the most compelling answers to the question: “Why is search engine marketing is so successful?”

SEM is likely to remain the most successful means of advertising for years to come in terms of ROI, but the advantages of “first to market” are still available in some markets, which gives advertisers an amazing ROI boost.

To learn more about the advantages of a well run search marketing campaign, gives us a call or shoot us a message.

Share below to spread the love <3.

Small Business Website Promotion

Whether you’ve launched a new business, want a new look or have a new product /service launch that would benefit from online promotion, our small business website option may be just right for you.

Being a local small business ourselves, we understand how to help other small businesses establish their brand and promote their value proposition in the competitive online marketplace.  And because we run lean, we can do this well at a surprisingly low price …

Small Business Website Promotion

Our Entry Point of $429 Includes:

  • 20% savings over our already low price of $536
  • mobile responsive design (your site adapts from desktop to tablet to smartphone seamlessly)
  • a smart domain for your business or product launch
  • a valid license for your site design
  • up to 7 pages of content, including a contact page
  • domain based email / forwarders to your existing mail accounts
  • consistent design with your existing logo / brand
  • the first year of web hosting, included FREE

Need to establish your identity or design a new logo? How about search engine and content marketing? Do you need custom applications like e-commerce, online learning or member registration?

Of course we can handle all that, immediately or down the road, and not at some exorbitant price. We believe that small business owners should be able to benefit from web technologies without having to be web experts themselves. We discuss those things critical to your success when we meet with you and then choose the right platform for your objectives.

No matter what your immediate or long term needs are, our small business website promotion is affordable enough to lay the groundwork, with no monthly fees or long term contracts.

Small Business Website “Code 20” Call In Promotion

You must call 850-766-2711 by October 20th, 2016 to claim your 20% savings. If the call-in number is busy, leave a message mentioning “Code 20 Promo” and we will call you back within 1 business day. We will reserve your discount as long as you begin the site launch process with us by November 20, 2016.

(use the social links below to refer this promotion to other small businesses that you think may benefit. Contact wil@mywebmarket.com for quotes or requests not related to this promo)

Web Applications

In days of old, a website was a website. In other words, an online brochure with a contact form. That contact form was probably the most technical web application deployed, since it easily enabled a website visitor to contact the website owner.

Database Plug-ins enable Web ApplicationsToday, I’m not sure “website” is an accurate or descriptive term for what web developers like mywebmarket.com now produce. Let’s look at how we use the web to create value for businesses beyond the traditional scope of a website.

E-commerce
One of the most useful adaptations for businesses on the web is the prolific use of e-commerce within a business website. Ecommerce has become simplified and less costly in recent years, allowing smaller businesses to adopt it as an alternative revenue stream.

E-Learning
e-learning systems have become more widely adopted for businesses, both as training systems for employees, and as outward facing offerings to visitors. These too have become simpler and more affordable in recent years.

Online Forms
Online employment or screening applications, sub-contractor applications, mortgage applications, etc… have all become easier to create and manage with the increased use of online form builders. Online forms reduce or eliminate the cost of paper-based processes and can eliminate or reduce costs associated with ink and paper, fax-machine use and lines., etc.

Online Work Orders
Like Online Forms, online work orders can eliminate tedious paper processes and save time. Plus, mobile workforces can receive form data in real time, creating other efficiencies and savings.

Social Integration
With the rise of social networking comes the increased use of social integration between a website and its social profiles. This allows for more customer interaction, as well as a public facing customer service portal.

These are just a few of the more interesting developments that continue to evolve across the web. It takes some time and effort to understand how to maximise these developments so that businesses can benefit fully from the latest enhancements.

As each business is different, so is the approach and usage of the latest applications, but in most cases, proper implementation creates efficiencies and savings, as well as increased user satisfaction.

Give us a call at 850-766-2711 or email us to discuss potential web applications specific to your business. There are ready made database “plug-ins” for most business case applications today, with new ones being developed evey day.

 

Understanding Today’s Modular Website Design Strategy

Modular Website Design StrategyOver the years,  web design strategy has changed.

The “new strategy” gives us the latest technologies and most appealing design elements possible — at a fraction of the costs involved using the “old design strategy”. This post tells you how and why.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

It would be nearly impossible for one individual to design, modify, host and secure a world class website (with complex applications) within a reasonable time frame and at a reasonable cost using the old strategy.

But today, with the help of a global community of expert designers, graphic artists, programmers, platform architects and database application experts, it’s not only possible, it’s well within reason.

HOW MODULAR WEBSITE DESIGN STRATEGY WORKS

PHP is the scripting language of WordPress, which works well with HTML and CSS (the foundation of modern web design and layout). But it also enables back-end MySQL functionality for practical, preconfigured “plugin” applications which power interactive forms, e-commerce, member communities, calendars, calculators and many other useful tools.

In a modular design world, one set of specialists can focus on the design and layout “module”, another set of specialists can focus on plugin application “modules”, while another (customer facing) specialist brings it all together to meet a project’s specific “final assembly” and marketing needs. We are that customer facing specialist – and your local business partner for web based marketing.

A good analogy is a musical trio of keyboard, percussion and string instrumentalists. Each musician is a focused specialist, yet the final product of their collaboration (the music) is of a higher form than the sum of each individual part.

Our theme developers create the first leg of this “modularity” by creating visually appealing design layouts, incorporating various creative scripts to enhance visual appeal. They will sell “single use” licenses to many “final assemblers” for, say, $60 each and a few unlimited use licenses for perhaps $1600 each, all from the creation and marketing of a single well-developed theme.

So, for example, a world class WordPress theme developer can easily sell 300 single use, and 12 multi-use licenses in two years for a top notch theme. That comes to $15,000 in revenue for a single theme.

So businesses could have a world class theme as the foundation of their web presence that would cost maybe $15,000 to be “theirs exclusively”, vs $1600 or less to have a final assembler customize that foundation to their specifics. Is there anything on the web today original enough to warrant that price difference? Probably not, but that’s for customers to decide.

So the first leg of today’s modular design strategy is a given: acquire a world class foundation for your web presence at a fraction of what it would cost to have it developed exclusivley for you. Then, let an experienced local developer customize that theme to your organization’s brand / image.

We install and modify elements and applications to your specifics.  And from an inbound marketing standpoint, we apply advanced SEO skills (plus years of practical sales and marketing experience) to make good things happen for your business.

As applications are updated, and new applications become available, we are able to “plug them in” rather than redesign the entire production (as the old strategy would require).

Clearly, the new modular design strategy is far superior to the old. There is no longer any real benefit to paying thousands of dollars for a unique design that becomes obsolete in a few years (or less).

Just as global corporations are migrating their old mainframes to ” dot net open source” for economies of scale and modularity, small businesses can take advantage of similar open source benefits – with today’s modular strategy.

You should expect no less from your local web presence partner.

“Tallahassee Web Design” – Does it Matter?

For years web designers in Tallahassee have attempted to dominate the top SERP (search engine results page) in order to attract local business.

But do people who search for “web design” really need web design?

Map for Tallahassee Web DesignWe tend to search the web today based on past searches and past results. As long as our expectations are met, those results become a feedback loop. In the 1990’s, people searched much like they do today, even though the role of a local “web designer” has changed significantly in recent years.

Back then, small businesses needed someone to get their business name and value proposition onto the world wide web. This was a basic need, during a time when search engines were less complex, and the web was far less crowded. Good navigation and layout practices (along with nifty software like “Flash”) were used to create an appealing experience in contrast to the multitude of amateurish sites springing up.

Today, small businesses still benefit by meeting with a local web presence developer, but is “web design” really an accurate description of what’s being provided? In some cases perhaps it is, but quite often, there’s much more going on than that.

Is “Tallahassee Web Design” What Searchers Really Need?

Today most small businesses have a web site of some sort, with many others competing for the same customers. In a few cases, a start-up business is in need of a brand new web presence, but in most cases businesses are looking for better results from an existing website that isn’t meeting their expectations.

They may really be looking for an “effective online business strategy” or an “online lead generation system”. But they’re not always searching for that. Searchers looking for these things will probably search for “Tallahassee Web Design” because:

  1. Feedback loops of the past still inform search behavior
  2. That phrase will get them better results than a more detailed and complicated query.
  3. They still want to meet and work with someone locally.

Local web design firms compete to be found for that phrase, partly because it establishes that they can optimize their own websites, but also because they know how prospects search.

We find that businesses who search for a local web design firm are often looking for:

  • a defined online business objective
  • an articulate value proposition
  • a content marketing strategy
  • web-apps that add helpful functionality
  • a successful social media strategy
  • an optimal promotional message
  • an online lead generation system
  • an ecommerce or similar fulfillment platform
    (and so on …)

Notice that the words “web design” do not appear in any of the above,  and yet … many business owners hope to find all or some of these features by performing that search.

Websites That Meet Search Result Expectations

It’s not always exactly what you do that matters to searchers, it’s what searchers expect to find based on the simplest way to express what they need.

We examine search queries to determine how search behavior applies to an advertiser’s specific strengths. We look at what you’re really good at, what you want to do more of, and what helps your bottom line.

And then we analyze the behavior of searchers looking for those three things. And then finally, we develop content that draws that search demand to you, in a relevant way.

We wouldn’t call that process “web design”. We wouldn’t even call it “search engine optimization”.  What would YOU call it?

Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Part II

In Part I of this series, we hinted at a website search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that involved getting website owners or employees in the business of digital marketing.

That may seem like a good way for a digital marketer to plan for retirement. But believe me, there are more technical roles for the digital marketer to undertake than posting on Facebook, or a blog.

Naturally, I post articles related to my business and my profession for certain reasons. Take this post for example. Within a month or so, it will be found by people who are interested in, and searching for website search engine optimization. Some of them may contact me for help in this area.

But no matter what I write about. If it’s interesting and well written, and if it is well optimized for its subject matter, and if there is ample demand for it, it will be searched for and found. That’s a simple fact of modern life.

Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) With WordPress SEO by YoastSEO is a big part of my business and my value proposition as a consultant and service provider. So I tend to write it about it more than, say, pizza (something I love even more than SEO).

So what about you? What about your business? What about your value proposition? Is that something you can write about? Do you love it? Do you at least like it enough to write something interesting about it, or would you rather try to make your living eating pizza?

Now, as an SEO professional, I have a little bit of an edge over the average blogger – I understand WordPress SEO, I have it installed on this blog, and I know how to use it, optimally.

Some of our customers also have blogs, but most just post on Facebook. After all, doesn’t everybody? And that’s great, because it proves that YOU CAN PUBLISH TO THE WEB. We couldn’t say that 15 years ago when I had just started forming the concept of mywebmarket.com, a web based marketplace that YOU operated from your own WebAds account (with a little help, when needed).

That concept is more viable today than ever before. And yet getting business owners to write about their businesses is still a struggle.

But it’s my job to help! So our customers (and our newsletter subscribers) will be receiving a special offer to have a WordPress blog installed, with the WordPress SEO plugin included.

The offer will include a hands-on screen sharing tutorial via Google Hangout that clearly shows how I optimize posts using basic SEO optimization strategy (in conjunction with WordPress SEO) using real post by post examples, including this one.

But most importantly, I’m going to show the results, in my Google analytics account, that prove beyond a shadow of doubt, how well these techniques can work.

And these business owners will see how to apply these same techniques to their business, and to their website optimization strategy, to achieve the same great SEO scoring, and results.

I’ll even do a little of the heavy lifting and optimize their first few posts so that they can have a template for success to look back upon going forward.

The offer is going out once in October and once in November, and it’s only going out to newsletter subscribers.

There’s only so much I can convey in a blog about website search optimization – what we’ll convey in the coming live, interactive Google Hangout will go far beyond a single post – but if a single post gets you there, that’s good enough for now.

SEM: The Challenge of Technical Keywords

In our increasingly complex and technical world, we take for granted many new technologies and related terms that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Because searchers on the web have varying degrees of familiarity with these terms, their ability to find what they are looking for varies as well. To say that technical keywords present a challenge in digital marketing would be something of an understatement.

As technical terms and keywords grow continually, so grows the necessity to distinguish the nuances of our technical lexicon.

PPC, SEM and SEO - the challenge of technical keywordsEven in the practice of SEM / SEO , we have growing permutations of technical jargon. So when we market a client’s technical product or service, we should be equally sensitive to the many variations of terms that could  veer quality searchers away from our content. We should also be on the lookout for close match searches that bring the wrong kind of searcher to our online destinations – because we can be paying dearly for “clickers” who bounce away (leave our destination) quickly – which has negative consequences beyond just an irrelevant visit.

With SEO, we look at webmaster tools and analytics to determine what search terms are attracting visits, and we make a judgement call about the value of those terms – and based on that, we adjust.

With SEM, we use AdWords Dimensions to track terms that trigger paid clicks, and fine tune with negative keywords and keyword matching options. Let’s talk about that for a moment, and try to close the gap between what we think Google is supposed to do, and what we observe it actually doing in practice.

If you’ll look at the link above, at the way Google defines phrase match and exact match, I think you’ll find that in practice, query matches tend to be much less restrictive than those simple explanations provide. And this tendency is greatly magnified in the realm of technical jargon, due to the burgeoning of technical terms that correspond to similar (in the mind of the searcher) yet irrelevant (in the mind of the advertiser) offerings.

Let’s say you’re a manufacturer of high tensile strength coated fibers that are superior to steel cable in bridge suspension applications for the construction engineering industry.  You may need to avoid being confused with fiber optic cable manufacturers who supply a completely different product to the telecommunications industry.

Or you could be a service bureau who provides optical scanning services to convert contracts and invoices into digital format for a line of business workflow database – and somehow be confused with providers of digital converters for analog television sets.

I know it sounds absurd, but I’ve seen both, and I’ve seen searchers click on Ad text that has NOTHING to do with what they are searching for. In fact, I’ve literally seen them do this in droves (to my complete dismay) partly for the reasons cited above.

Clearly, as the complexity of your offerings increases, variations of exact matches will need to increase as well.

We have to remember that in our technical world, there are many levels of acumen and understanding. These levels range from novice searchers just beginning to learn how to effectively find their target destinations on the web, to advanced searchers who are far more likely to search more narrowly and click more precisely.

And keep in mind also that search perspectives can vary by measures beyond intellect or sophistication alone. A CFO will not search using the same terms as a CIO – but both can be influential in a complex enterprise technology sale.

Objective: Quanitity of Clicks or Quality of Searcher?

In our Adwords campaigns, when we see a keyword beginning to dominate impressions and clicks, it’s generally a good indication that the term is too broad. That’s when we peer into the Adwords Dimensions tool and look at the keywords that are generating clicks.

When we do that, we begin to see a whole new dimension of what is being searched for, relative to our marketing intent. And as with any other metrics tool, we adjust accordingly. Then we begin to ask ourselves, “Who are these searchers?” Are they decision makers, influencers, or even obstructionists? Are they employees of our target accounts, or are they our own competitors, or perhaps industry analysts?

They could even be potential partners searching for ways to support their clients, who in turn support our efforts (as partners – which sometimes occurs) in our high-dollar complex technology sale.

The term “Dimensions” is quite fitting for this AdWords feature tab. I highly recommend exploring it, along with each of the 12 drop down views below, especially “search terms”. Using Dimensions, you’ll be able to fine tune your matching and decide where exact matches need to be used.

But you’ll gain more than that – you’ll begin to gain the perspective of your searchers as they arrive at your content. And that perspective is invaluable.