We write a lot about enterprise SEO services. The reason being some of our oldest clients happen to be enterprise SEO jobs. One client in particular – we have been working on for almost 3 years now continually.
This client is an e-commerce company. They sell a ton of products and have a huge website with over 70,000 pages. As you can imagine this is a lot of work, there are a ton of images and a whole lot of text to be optimized. That’s where professional enterprise SEO services, from a company such as ours come in to play.
Aside from being a massive sales funnel, this website is also tied to a brick and mortar store. A lot of the inventory and the pages on the site could also be locally optimized if the brand so chose. Instead what they tend to do is use the e-commerce site as a means of selling additional inventory. In some cases items they’re not already selling in their brick and mortar store. Not only does this give them additional channels to liquidate inventory through, it also makes their business much more diverse as a whole.
We have been doing work for this company for going on three years. Their website has over 70,000 pages and is one of the larger jobs we have done. If all goes well, we will probably still be doing it in another couple years as long as the company continues to sell products. We have seen other vendors come and go, but we continue to do what we do best and they continue to give us work.
Let us show you firsthand the value of the work that we are doing for this company. The company itself spends a lot of money not just on our enterprise SEO services but also on other means of advertising themselves. They spend money on pay per click in Google AdWords. So how can we clearly and decisively show the difference between the results of our enterprise SEO services and the advertising the company is doing?
That is where “knives” come in. At the time we started to do SEO for this brand, Google AdWords would not allow you to advertise certain items they had deemed unfit for their ecosystem. Knives were one of those items at that particular time. As a result, our client was not advertising the knives and any increase in traffic on those knives would have to have been from the enterprise SEO services performed by Apex Digital Media.
We started the job in July of 2015. As you can see from the analytics screenshot above, there was clearly an increase in traffic to the brands “knives” page. We can also show direct google search traffic coming to several of the sub-pages underneath this root category. It is safe to assume any increase in traffic to these products is a direct result of the enterprise SEO services performed by Apex. Since these products were not being advertised on Google AdWords and no budget was being spent to advertise them in any other venues.
Additionally, this company is still a client and has been for almost 3 years they obviously see the value of the work that we are doing. If they did not they would have stopped using our services a long time ago.
If you are interested in discussing enterprise SEO services with Apex Digital Media please fill out the form below and someone will get back with you as quickly as possible.
Here at Apex Digital Media we keep a close eye on our rankings. We are an SEO firm after all. So it’s not surprising that once we started to achieve some stellar rankings for keywords like “local SEO” or “Social Media Management” people were going to copy us. Enter Apex Digital Marketing .au – probably the most visible offender as far as “brand thievery” and SEO coat tail riding go.
Imitation is the greatest form of flattery no doubt, but some people take it a little TOO far. To the point where it becomes fraudulent.
The most visible examples of this for us is Apex Digital Marketing in Australia.
They got the “apex digital” part of our name ranking to piggyback on, but these guys took it a step further. They even connected themselves to us in LinkedIn – and were listed on our page as an employee of our firm. This despite the fact that they are out of network for us.
Maybe they are a great firm who produces great results, I’m not here to judge that. What does concern me is someone pretending to be our brand – Apex Digital Media because if they are scam artists or engaging in shady business practices they are visibly trying hard to associate themselves with our company… The Linked In listing is proof of that.
That aside, I don’t own the name “Apex Digital Marketing” – I’m not here to say that people who are using that name can’t use it – just that they can’t pretend to be us. There are thousands upon thousands of businesses using the word “apex” in their name – so it’s really more about making your brand actually mean something to people other than yourself.
There is another “Apex” brand in New Zealand too. A quick search for the term “Apex digital marketing” will turn us up along with 2 other businesses in Australia.
Here are the other two brands that are most visible for this result:
Building a brand is something we’ve worked hard to do over the past 3 years so when someone comes in and tries to co-opt that for their own benefit it’s something we are going to take a serious look at. For now these seem like mostly harmless associations, but this is something we look at frequently.
At the very least we hope the people who are riding on our coat tails are doing high quality work!
– Team Apex
According to a recent report by eMarketer, the majority of internet users prefer online search to find local products. Roughly a third of them also believe these results to be “trustworthy and accurate.”
“eight out of 10 respondents said a search engine was their top choice among a collection of digital and non-digital sources to look up information for local businesses last year.”
While printed white and yellow page publications hit an all time low, 80% of users surveyed said they used a search engine in the week prior to the survey. The data showed that online search lead other sources when it comes to consumer trust and accuracy. In other words, Google is doing a great job at producing high-quality search results for it’s users.
Another huge takeaway from this survey is the importance of a branded website. People trust Google because Google has created an environment that gives it’s users good reason to trust them. A user’s 2nd choice though was a company website – which speaks volumes about the importance of your own online brand and making sure that it’s easy for customers to find.
The term “audience development” is basically a friendly way of saying “advertising.” Essentially you’re taking steps to draw an audience. Your audience is what is going to make you money in most cases so it’s a valuable thing to develop.
There are a lot of different ways to do this, most of them cost money and if they don’t they cost time. If you’re a small business owner, time = money so one way or another you’re going to end up paying here. It’s not necessarily a bad thing though… the trade off is worth it in the end. Once you have a thriving digital presence that’s bringing you real world business you’ll be thanking yourself for the investment.
The first and best way to get real traffic is through optimizing your site for keyword searches. Today it’s basically making sure that your site is 100% technically sound and producing regular content. This is one of the reasons I’m writing this blog right now. Simply put, regularly writing or creating video about what you do is the best way to gain organic search ranking. Google is looking for fresh content relevant to the keywords people are searching by.
In an industry like digital marketing things are continually evolving and changing. So content is really the best way to show the search engine that we are aware of the changes in our industry. It’s a simple idea but one that is lost on a lot of people. Relevance – this is what Google thrives on and to dominate in organic search you need to have relevance. So a video that was made yesterday about best practices for Pay Per Click is going to take precedent over something that was produced 10 years ago… in most cases. There are exceptions here, especially when the content is poor, has holes in it or there is a massive amount of “social proof” for other content. That is users have shown an affinity to a particular piece of information that makes it still more relevant than your newer piece of information. Hopefully that makes sense.
A big ranking factor is making sure your site is aligned with best practices. This was hinted at earlier but to explain in more detail, Google has good reasoning behind a lot of their rules and regulations. The goal is to have a search engine that succeeds at their mission:
PROVIDE THE USER WITH THE BEST AND MOST RELEVANT SEARCH RESULTS QUICKLY AND EFFICIENTLY
Simply stated, that’s the goal of Google and if you play by their rules they will elevate your website naturally.
A great example of this type of practice is the character limit on title tags and meta descriptions. These limitations are not simply arbitrary. They are designed to assure that when a user gets a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) it is clean and easy to navigate with accurate descriptions of each link displayed. As more and more people search, Google’s algorithms begin to note the links that get the most clicks and elevate those organically based on this and many other factors.
This is a simple process that we hammer on quite a bit if you read our blogs but it’s an important one. The first thing you should do is ask yourself: “If I was looking for my website what would I type in?” – the answer to this question contains the words you will optimize your website and future content around.
This is probably the single most important aspect of how you word and layout your website. It’s also very simple and often neglected so by taking it seriously you instantly put yourself ahead of a lot of your competition. It’s also not something you should generalize with as people can find you in a variety of situations. For example, if you sell auto parts you would want to optimize your homepage around the keyword “auto parts” but a typical user may find you while searching for an oil filter for a 1978 Chevy Nova. For this reason like it or not the bigger and more vast your website is the better chances you have of netting organic search traffic.
When you think about where people go online these days a large portion of the hot spots are social media
networks. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. All of these can produce traffic for a business due to the discovery engines that drive them. We have written page upon page about social media marketing so I won’t go into a ton of detail here but just mention that it’s extremely important to have a social presence if you are serious about growing your audience.
There are a lot of different advertising methods you can use to get traffic to your site but Google AdWords Pay Per Click is probably the most efficient and best quality source of purchased traffic. The reason being is that search has real intent behind it. You can buy traffic from Facebook to run to your auto parts store but when I go to Facebook I don’t go there looking to buy auto parts. So advertising in an environment like Facebook is going to be less effective for sales but a good avenue for branding. Google AdWords on the other hand allows you to buy into keyword searches that have real intent. If you’re bidding on the keyword “Buy Auto Parts” in Google it’s a safe bet that most of those searches are actually people looking to buy auto parts. Other than maybe Amazon, there aren’t a ton of places you can buy that kind of traffic. Pay Per Click is the best way to get visible instantly if you have a budget to spend.
One of the most important aspects of digital marketing is content for your business. The old cliche “content is king” holds true still today in the internet age. I would even argue that the single most important thing you can be doing to promote your business online is creating content.
The first thing you want to do is become an authority in your industry. If you are good at what you do, chances are you already ARE an authority which makes content creation simple. All you really have to do is talk about what you do, blog about what you do, make videos about what you do. Share your expertise.
Joe Pulizzi is an authority on content marketing. He formed the CMI (Content Marketing Institute) and wrote the book ‘ Epic Content Marketing‘ He suggests that finding a niche within your industry is the biggest factor in becoming an authority. He cites the example of a pet store owner. The “Pet Supplies” marketplace is vast and dominated by well funded players like Petco, PetSmart, etc. So a more lean and nimble organization might begin producing content specifically about “Pet Travel Advice” that will help them to dominate a niche within the “Pet Supplies” industry.
Quality backlinks are a huge part of organic search optimization and the best way to get them is by producing quality content that is shared and quoted.
A long term marketing strategy is one of those things that never really seems like it’s necessary until you have used one. One of the biggest issues with digital content is the speed with which it is consumed and forgotten. With that in mind what’s best is to create a solid “pillar” theme and then develop small branches off from this.
Essentially you want to create one large piece of “authoritative” work that can then be broken down into several other more detailed and in-depth pieces. As you do this each piece feeds into the greater pillar and becomes a pathway for a new user to discover your larger body of work.
The best place to source content for your business is from your own daily interactions and experiences. If there’s a question you get a lot you can answer in a simple blog post do it. Chances are people asking this question in Google will find you and use your business for other needs out of gratitude. This of course isn’t always the place but this is more and more the type of ecosystem you’re going to be playing in so it’s a good perspective to have. I’m not advising you to give away the farm, but you can maybe take a couple fence posts out and let people play on your lawn. That’s how you build trust among people who aren’t already your customers.
When you create content that responds to the needs of your prospective customers they are much more likely find you. A wise person recently told me: “Cold calling & old school sales is dead because everything we want is right at our fingertips” – I don’t think anything sums it up better than that. If you want to get customers you have to make yourself visible to the people searching for what you do. Creating content that is useful is the best way to do that, so get out there and make yourself useful!
You’ve established your online presence. You have a great website, several social media pages and a well positioned digital brand. Now it’s time to set some goals and layout a plan to achieve them.
Your goal is going to change depending on the nature of your business. For example, if you are a blog that specializes in news the goal is going to be driving page views, maybe subscriptions, etc. The end game in this situation is developing a large audience that will facilitate advertising dollars. On the other hand, if you’re trying to sell handmade jewelry through an e-commerce site your goal is not sheer volume of audience but audience that’s looking to buy handmade jewelry. As you can see the nature of your goals are variable based on what you want to accomplish.
We borrowed this graphic from a Google training deck because it’s the perfect summation of most online business models. Take a look at this chart and find the one that most closely matches what you are doing.
One of the things we run into quite frequently is unrealistic CPA goals. As an example, if you’re a doctor or a lawyer the price of clicks and leads is going to be higher for your service than say, someone selling a toaster. The reason for this is that the cost of the product or service is so much different and the pay off for converting a legal lead is much higher than it is for selling a $20 dollar toaster.
Still a lot of people will come to us and say “Hey I want to get leads for less than $1.00!” – And while this is possible, the old addage: “you get what you pay” for holds true in digital advertising. I would seriously question the quality of leads for under $1.00.
So how can you vet the price of leads? Well Google AdWords is a great start and there are plenty of documented benchmarks for different industries. You can even use Google’s pricing to keep other vendors honest. The industry averages in Google should be relatively similar for most, if they are not I would do some digging.
One of my favorite sources of industry benchmark information is WordStream. Here are their benchmarks on Cost Per Action:
So how do you calculate your ad budget or your “Cost Per Acquisition” using this information? In order to keep it neat – We’ve put the steps into a numbered list for you, this is the step by step process we would use to find a good starting CPA goal.
Google offers everyone it’s basic analytics service for free. Attached to that is Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools). Search console shows you first hand what keywords you’re ranking for in organic search as well as which ones are getting you traffic. The value of this tool cannot be overstated and it’s not incredibly difficult to set up and manage.
Analytics goes incredibly deep as well allowing you to create conversion events on your website and track users paths to those events. This can show you where you’re getting the most and best performing traffic from so that you can focus on developing those sources further. It has several other invaluable features as well, the ability to release site maps being an example.
If you build a solid plan with realistic goals and follow through with it you will see results. The quality and magnitude of those results depend on a multitude of variables, but that’s the fun part. Once you have the goals in place you can begin to look at data and make adjustments that will help you to yield the most from your efforts.