Posted by KameronJenkins
With marketing budgets taking a hit under the economic strain of COVID-19, advocating for the value SEO can bring to a struggling business is a new take on an old battle. This popular Whiteboard Friday episode by Kameron Jenkins covers five common objections you’ll hear to SEO and how to counter them with smart, researched, fact-based responses — an important skill to brush up on now more than ever.
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Hey, everybody. Welcome to this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday. My name is Kameron Jenkins, and today we’re going to be going through five common objections to SEO and how to respond. Now I know, if you’re watching this and you’re an SEO, you have faced some of these very objections before and probably a lot of others.
This is not an exhaustive list. I’m sure you’ve faced a ton of other objections, whether you’re talking to a potential client, maybe you’re talking to your friend or your family member. A lot of people have misunderstandings about SEO and that causes them to object to wanting to invest in it. So I thought I’d go through some of the ones that I hear the most and how I tend to respond in those situations. Hopefully, you’ll find that helpful.
1. “[Other channel] drives more traffic/conversions, so it’s better.”
Let’s dive in. The number one objection I hear a lot of the time is this other channel, whether that be PPC, social, whatever, drives more traffic or conversions, therefore it’s better than SEO. I want to respond a few different ways depending.
Success follows investment
So the number one thing I would usually say is that don’t forget that success follows investment.
So if you are investing a lot of time and money and talent into your PPC or social and you’re not really doing much with organic, you’re kind of just letting it go, usually that means, yeah, that other channel is going to be a lot more successful. So just keep that in mind. It’s not inherently successful or not. It kind of reflects the effort you’re putting into it.
Every channel serves a different purpose
Number two, I would say that every channel serves a different purpose. You’re not going to expect social media to drive conversions a lot of the time, because a lot of the time social is for engagement. It’s for more top of the funnel. It’s for more audience development. SEO, a lot of the time that lives at your top and mid-funnel efforts. It can convert, but not always.
So just keep that in mind. Every channel serves a different purpose.
Assists vs last click only
The last thing I would say, kind of dovetailing off of that, is that assists versus last click only I know is a debate when it comes to attribution. But just keep in mind that when SEO and organic search doesn’t convert as the last click before conversion, it still usually assists in the process. So look at your assisted conversions and see how SEO is contributing.
2. “SEO is dead because the SERPs are full of ads.”
The number two objection I usually hear is SEO is dead because the SERPs are full of ads. To that, I would respond with a question.
What SERPs are you looking at?
It really depends on what you’re querying. If you’re only looking at those bottom funnel, high cost per click, your money keywords, absolutely those are monetized.
Those are going to be heavily monetized, because those are at the bottom of the funnel. So if you’re only ever looking at that, you might be pessimistic when it comes to your SEO. You might not be thinking that SEO has any kind of value, because organic search, those organic results are pushed down really low when you’re looking at those bottom funnel terms. So I think these two pieces of research are really interesting to look at in tandem when it comes to a response to this question.
I think this was put out sometime last year by Varn Research, and it said that 60% of people, when they see ads on the search results, they don’t even recognize that they’re ads. That’s actually probably higher now that Google changed it from green to black and it kind of blends in a little bit better with the rest of it. But then this data from Jumpshot says that only about 2% to 3% of all search clicks go to PPC.
So how can these things coexist? Well, they can coexist because the vast majority of searches don’t trigger ads. A lot more searches are informational and navigational more so than commercial.
People research before buying
So just keep in mind that people are doing a lot of research before buying.
A lot of times they’re looking to learn more information. They’re looking to compare. Keep in mind your buyer’s entire journey, their entire funnel and focus on that. Don’t just focus on the bottom of the funnel, because you will get discouraged when it comes to SEO if you’re only looking there.
Also, they’re just better together. There are a lot of studies that show that PPC and SEO are more effective when they’re both shown on the search results together for a single company.
I’m thinking of one by Seer, they did right now, that showed the CTR is higher for both when they’re on the page together. So just keep that in mind.
3. “Organic drives traffic, just not the right kind.”
The number three objection I hear a lot is that organic drives traffic, just not the right kind of traffic. People usually mean a few different things when they say that.
Branded vs non-branded
Number one, they could mean that organic drives traffic, but it’s usually just branded traffic anyway.
It’s just people who know about us already, and they’re searching our business name and they’re finding us. That could be true. But again, that’s probably because you’re not investing in SEO, not because SEO is not valuable. I would also say that a lot of times this is pretty easily debunked. A lot of times inadvertently people are ranking for non-branded terms that they didn’t even know they were ranking for.
So go into Google Search Console, look at their non-branded queries and see what’s driving impressions and clicks to the website.
Assists are important too
Number two, again, just to say this one more time, assists are important too. They play a part in the eventual conversion or purchase. So even if organic drives traffic that doesn’t convert as the last click before conversion, it still usually plays a role.
It can be highly qualified
Number three, it can be highly qualified. Again, this is that following the investment thing. If you are actually paying attention to your audience, you know the ways they search, how they search, what terms they search for, what’s important to your brand, then you can bring in really highly qualified traffic that’s more inclined to convert if you’re paying attention and being strategic with your SEO.
4. “SEO takes too long”
Moving on to number four, that objection I hear is SEO takes too long. That’s honestly one of the most common objections you hear about SEO.
SEO is not a growth hack
In response to that, I would say it’s not a growth hack. A lot of people who are really antsy about SEO and like “why isn’t it working right now” are really looking for those instant results.
They want a tactic they can sprinkle on their website for instant whatever they want. Usually it’s conversions and revenue and growth. I would say it’s not a growth hack. If you’re looking at it that way, it’s going to disappoint you.
Methodology + time = growth
But I will say that SEO is more methodology than tactic. It’s something that should be ingrained and embedded into everything you do so that over time, when it’s baked into everything you’re doing, you’re going to achieve sustained growth.
So that’s how I respond to that one.
5. “You can’t measure the ROI.”
Number five, the last one and probably one of the most frustrating, I’m sure this is not exclusive to SEO. I know social hears it a lot. You can’t measure the ROI, therefore I don’t want to invest in it, because I don’t have proof that I’m getting a return on this investment. So people kind of tend to mean, I think, two things when they say this.
A) Predicting ROI
Number one, they really want to be able to predict ROI before they even dive in. They want assurances that if I invest in this, I’m going to get X in return, which there are a lot of, I think, problems with that inherently, but there are some ways you can get close to gauging what you’re going to get for your efforts. So what I would do in this situation is use your own website’s data to build yourself a click-through rate curve so that you know the click-through rate at your various rank positions.
By knowing that and combining that with the search volume of a keyword or a phrase that you want to go after, you can multiply the two and just say, “Hey, here’s the expected traffic we will get if you will let me work on improving our rank position from 9 to 2 or 1” or whatever that is. So there are ways to estimate and get close.
A lot of times, when you do improve, you’re focusing on improving one term, you’re likely going to get a lot more traffic than what you’re estimating because you tend to end up ranking for so many more longer tail keywords that bring in a lot of additional search volume. So you’re probably going to even underestimate when you do this. But that’s one way you can predict ROI.
B) Measuring ROI
Number two here, measuring ROI is a lot of times what people want to be doing.
They want to be able to prove that what they’re doing is beneficial in terms of revenue. So one way to do this is to get the lifetime value of the customer, multiply that by the close rate so that you can have a goal value. Now if you turn on your conversions and set up your goals in Google Analytics, which you I think should be doing, this assumes that you’re not an e-commerce site.
There’s different tracking for that, but a similar type of methodology applies. If you apply these things, you can have a goal value. So that way, when people convert on your site, you start to rack up the actual dollar value, the estimated dollar value that whatever channel is producing. So you can go to your source/medium report and see Google organic and see how many conversions it’s producing and how much value.
This same thing applies if you go to your assisted conversions report. You can see how much value is in there as well. I think that’s really beneficial just to be able to show people like, “Look, it is generating revenue.My SEO that’s getting you organic search traffic is generating value and real dollars and cents for you.” So those are some of the most common objections that I hear.
I want to know what are some of the ones that you hear too. So pop those in the comments. Let me know the objections you hear a lot of the time and include how you’re either struggling to respond or find the right response to people or something that you found works as a response. Share that with us. We’d all love to know. Let’s make SEO better and something that people understand a lot better. So that’s it for this week’s Whiteboard Friday.
Come back again next week for another one.
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COVID-19 has altered paid search: How marketers can adjust strategies
- Since shelter-in-place rules were enacted, the way people use the internet has changed. They’re consuming more media and increasing web research and browsing.
- Paid search strategy is not one-size-fits-all. Each vertical must be treated differently, as some industries like ecommerce have seen improved performance while others have seen a declined performance.
- A pandemic is not the time to cut ad budget. Instead, investing in advertising now should pay dividends when the market normalizes.
- Ensure your ad copy is appropriate for the landscape. That means even going back to a campaign that started before the pandemic to update any language that isn’t applicable to the current landscape.
- Marketers must stay flexible and agile during this time and monitor what’s working or not working and creating a quick plan to adjust.
When COVID-19 began spreading across the U.S., marketers scrambled to figure out how to respond. Sudden work-from-home mandates, cancelled business trips, postponed conferences and frozen budgets threw a wrench into usual expectations and plans. Users’ needs and online behaviours have changed in tandem, forcing marketers to meet them on their new terms.
Search is more important than ever now because people are spending almost all of their time at home and online, consuming media, researching, browsing and shopping. According to Forbes, total internet hits have surged by 50% to 70% with people under lockdown, while 32% of people say they are spending longer on social media. Hours spent in non-gaming apps are up as people turn to TikTok, WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter to keep entertained, connected and informed. To stay relevant in these turbulent times, it’s imperative that marketers maintain their paid search presence while adjusting to the needs of the moment.
Vary strategy by vertical
While no industry is immune from the impact of coronavirus, businesses are affected differently and should adapt their paid search strategies accordingly. Industries like B2B and ecommerce have seen improved performance, while industries like travel and healthcare have struggled with poor results.
The fact that healthcare is struggling may seem paradoxical, given the overwhelming need for healthcare services right now. While hospitals are busy with COVID-19 patients, people who don’t have the virus are avoiding medical centres, hospitals, and non-essential medical services like bariatric surgery and physical therapy.
Users are shifting their searches for their healthcare needs. Notably, people under shelter-in-place orders are seeking to receive care while staying in their homes. eMarketer published data from CivicScience which found that between February and March 2020, the number of U.S. adults who reported intent to use telemedicine rose from 18% to 30%. As a result, healthcare providers have to switch their offerings – along with their messaging – to emphasize virtual and telehealth services. The same is true for many restaurants as they pivot to pick up or delivery only.
The situation is different for B2B companies
The situation is different for B2B companies, which have longer sales cycles. While businesses like restaurants are worried about running out of money now, B2B companies are concerned about how they’ll fare months and, in some cases, years from now. The instinct may be to cut down on marketing budgets to save money, but extreme changes in paid search strategies can have long-lasting effects on performance. During this time, it’s important B2B companies continue filling the funnel and building brand awareness to alleviate large sales gaps that can occur later in the year.
Financial service-related searches are surging
Financial service-related searches are surging right now as people explore their options for economic relief like loans. Many companies in this space are smartly increasing their ad spending and shifting the bulk of it toward campaigns that push their best performing service lines. The same is true for ecommerce companies, especially those that sell household products and cleaning supplies, loungewear, cooking equipment, workout gear and entertainment items like board games and puzzles. Shares of Hasbro, for instance, have soared. For these companies, the adjustment is less about the offerings and more about the messaging.
Don’t stop advertising when times are tough
There are universal principles for how to optimize paid search strategies that apply to marketers in every industry. The first is not to neglect paid search, even during difficult times. The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) recently ran a survey which found 81% of large advertisers deferred planned ad campaigns and cutting budgets due to the coronavirus pandemic. Of those surveyed, 57% said they had decreased budgets greatly or somewhat due to the virus outbreak; however, cutting out advertising or marketing completely can make the road to recovery more challenging.
Experts advise not to stop advertising during a downturn. Evidence from recent economic downturns like the 2008 housing crash show that companies come out stronger in the end if they continue investing in brand awareness. According to Google, “Even in categories where consumers have pulled back spending right now, creating a branding impact now will have a halo and pay dividends when the market normalizes. Research and historical examples of economic downturn have shown this to work.” It’s important to keep investing in your brand and branded keywords, regardless of industry. The last thing an organization wants is competitors monetizing on branded search results.
Every cent counts these days. Not only is paid search cost-effective with a low barrier to entry, but it also enables companies to be extremely agile. A company can get a campaign up and running pretty quickly, run tests, collect data and easily alter the messaging as things change day-to-day. Marketers can also see the results of engagement, click-through rates and conversions in real time, so they know whether their investment is paying off. COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation, so testing and learning are critical during this volatile time in the market.
Best practices for paid search
For any marketer thinking about how to adjust during COVID-19, here are a few best practices for how to optimize paid search.
1. Pivot messaging
Messaging needs to be both accurate and appropriate for the current landscape. Confirm that messaging is updated with current business hours and offerings, and revise CTAs away from messages like “Visit in-store.”
2. Keep an eye on the tone of messaging
Is your copy appropriate or empathetic? An ad for booking a vacation package could feel out-of-touch. Customers will be turned off by companies that seem like they are trying to profit or gain from the pandemic, so craft communication to focus more on brand identity and values. Businesses can also use marketing to let customers know how they are responding to the pandemic. A construction firm or ecommerce company could talk about safety practices for workers, for example.
3. Adapt offerings to what your customers need
As mentioned above, healthcare companies are moving to telehealth, restaurants are moving to pick up, delivery and B2B companies are repurposing content planned for conferences into virtual webinars. Marketers should be connecting with customers virtually to let them know how you are supporting them.
4. Adapt your strategy to your customers’ changing digital behaviour
During the quarantine, desktop usage has increased. Conversely, the rise of remote work conditions and people being less on-the-go has caused mobile search traffic to decline by nearly 25%. We’ve all become accustomed to a mobile-first world, but given the predominance of desktop, it’s especially important to ensure all search ads and landing pages are optimized for both mobile and desktop.
This pandemic has caused so much of what used to be normal out of the window. Whereas before, marketers might have used a multiphase process for developing campaigns that involved planning and back-and-forth and feedback, now they have to act fast to keep up with the rapidly changing world. Marketers need to craft campaigns that are affordable, cost-effective and agile – and that means paid search.
As marketing and advertising professionals, we’re all trying to figure this out together as we go. There is no roadmap or rules, but there’s no doubt that staying flexible and using this time to connect with customers is a smart strategy.
Brianna Desmet is Media specialist at digital and demand gen agency, R2i.
The post COVID-19 has altered paid search: How marketers can adjust strategies appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Virtual selling: How to create a video for sales strategy
Guess who’s back? Back again? Liz is back. Tell a friend. 🎶
That’s right, folks. I am back in your feed with yet another exciting announcement about how all of you home-bound digital sales and marketing rockstars can develop in your careers and revolutionize the way you hit your traffic, leads, and sales goals from the comfort of your couch.
Or your bed or desk or kitchen table or splayed dramatically across some sort of chaise. I don’t know. I’m not here to judge where and how you get your work done.
In case you missed it, so far I’ve shared the following courses:
- How to create a content strategy in the modern digital age
- How to create a video sales and marketing strategy that gets results
Today, we’re talking about video for sales.
I love this topic so much, because we have been preaching the gospel of how using video throughout the sales process is guaranteed to yield happier, more educated prospects, a shorter sales cycle, and more closed won deals.
But not all of you believed us!
(Or maybe you did, and you thought, “Eh, we’ll get around to it!”)
It wasn’t until coronavirus (COVID-19) smacked us all in the face, however, that the vast majority of sales teams were forced to take their once face-to-face sales processes virtual.
And that, of course, includes embracing video. Freaking finally!
Get caught up with some related resources
- The ultimate guide to video for sales
- How to run a world-class sales demo virtually over video
- Questions to ask before you jump into virtual selling as a sales team
- Virtual selling: the essential video sales call checklist
- Virtual selling in practice: using COVID-19 to modernize sales practices
These resources are pretty amazing — and you should 100% consume them immediately. However, what I am going to share with you now is going to knock your “always be closing” socks off.
Introducing our video selling strategy course
Now, as part of your pro membership for IMPACT+ ($39), you have access to a brand spankin’ new online course dedicated specifically to building your own video for sales strategy, so you can immediately start closing more deals faster.
Myriah Anderson is your fearless professor in this course, and trust me when I say you’re in good hands. She not only wrote the book on video for sales (literally), she is sharing all of her top secret tips, tricks, and hacks she’s developed while using video to facilitate thousands of sales calls over the past two years.
Bottom line, there is no one else I believe more qualified to talk about video selling strategies than Myriah. Hands down, she has the best approach you’re going to want to copy and start using right away to start increasing your close rates.
What you’ll learn through the video selling strategy course in IMPACT+
- How to leverage personalized, one-to-one video at every stage in the sales process (from connect and discovery, to proposal and sales-to-service hand-off), so you can stand out from your competitors and win more deals.
- Myriah’s top tips and secret hacks for being an absolute video selling rockstar in a way that’s easy, makes you likable, and helps you prevent fewer lost or stalled deals and excite your prospects.
- The exact tools and tech you need to immediately start implementing her video selling strategy. (I’m not kidding, there is no real on-ramp here. You can start implementing these tactics immediately.)
- And, finally, how to measure the success of your video selling strategy, so you know what’s working, what’s not working, and how to quickly make changes that have a positive impact on your close rates.
Now, go forth, create your pro IMPACT+ account, and watch Myriah’s course. Trust me, I’d wager it’s the most impactful (ha!) things you can do right now to not only survive, but thrive in this uncertain economic climate.
6 Tips For Shooting Videos Of Yourself On Your Own
How many times have you looked at your camera or phone and thought—today is the day I’ll shoot that video…
And how many times have you decided, “Eh… maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.”
*Raises their own hand*
Shooting a video of yourself on your own is a daunting task, but we’re here to show you that it’s not as tough as you think. You can create high quality videos at home or in your office, without fancy camera gear. Just using a phone, a quiet space, good lighting, and the right angle you can record videos that viewers will think involved a lot more fancy equipment.
Here are 6 tips for shooting videos of yourself on your own, so you can make high quality videos for your followers, warm leads, and customers.
#1: Find a Quiet Spot
When you’re shooting video, there are 2 things you want to be most concerned with: audio and lighting. We’ll talk about lighting in Tip #2, but for now we’ll focus on audio. Whether you have, or don’t have, an external microphone—you’re going to need to make sure the environment that you’re recording is as quiet as possible.
Recording next to a window above a busy street is going to create a lot of background noise that you won’t realize exists until you’ve finished recording. That noise is distracting and gives your video a lower quality feel. By avoiding that street side window, you’ll be able to amp up your audio, even if you don’t have the most expensive microphone on the market.
#2: Find Your Best Lighting
Aside from audio, lighting is a crucial factor for shooting videos at home. People (including you!) don’t want to watch a video of someone with loud background noise and dim lighting. It makes you feel less authoritative, weakening whatever conversion you’re trying to get from your video.
There are 2 options when it comes to lighting: find it or buy it. Natural lighting is always ideal, and natural lighting with extra lights around you is more ideal (but you don’t need that). To shoot with great lighting, find the brightest room in your home or office—this may change throughout the day—and figure out what the best time is to shoot videos. For example, morning might be the best time or mid afternoon. Between good lighting and audio, you’ll be able to fool anyone watching your video into thinking you have the best tech gear available… even if you’re just using your phone.
#3: Get Your Angles Right
If you’re looking down at the camera or up at the camera—your video is going to throw off the viewer. You don’t want them focusing on your chin or the top of your head, you want them looking at you just as they would if you were sitting across from them talking. Getting your angle right will ensure your video has a natural and conversational feel—which is exactly what you’re aiming for when marketing your business or products.
Tripods are by far one of the easiest video equipment to finagle at home. You can use drawers, nightstands, shelves, books, decor, etc. to prop up your camera or phone so that it’s at the perfect angle.
#4: Use The Best Camera Available To You
If you’re using a camera—then you’ve already got the best camera available to you. If you’re using a phone to record your videos, make sure to use the best camera on your device. For example, on the iPhone, the back facing camera is the best camera. It takes better quality videos (4K) which means that’s the best camera available to you, not your front facing camera.
Using the back facing camera of a phone also keeps you from looking at yourself while you’re filming. You want to look at the lens of the camera while you talk—if you look at yourself on the screen your recorded video will look like you’re talking slightly away from the person watching the video.
#5: Do A Test Run
Ah, the infamous test run. The marketers who do test runs are the ones that have recorded a 10 minute (plus!) video only to find out that their angle was off, their camera was out of focus, or their microphone wasn’t turned around. And it always stings—always.
To avoid making these mistakes, do a quick test run of your video before you jump into recording. Record for at least a minute to make sure that your lighting looks good, your audio sounds good, you are in focus, and the angle is right. Trust us on this one.
#6: Be Honest With Your Audience
If you’re usually in a studio recording high quality videos OR if this is your first time recording videos for your audience—tell them. Being honest with your viewers, whether they’re prospective customers or paying customers builds the relationship between you and them. Instead of pretending that you’re not at home recording videos when you used to be in a fancy studio, tell them about it. Or, if this is your first few videos, tell your audience, “This is one of the first videos I’ve recorded.”
Then, ask them to give you feedback. If you’re recording videos for social media, their feedback, in the form of comments to your post, is going to boost your engagement and help them keep seeing your content (ah, the classic Facebook algorithm).
If you’re recording videos for a paid membership, asking them for their feedback on how to improve your videos is going to make them feel more attached to the final product. In both cases, you’re creating a better relationship with your followers, prospects, or customers.
We told you at the start of this article that shooting video of yourself on your own was a daunting task—but not a challenging one. Using these tips, you can record videos of yourself that have everybody fooled into thinking you’ve got the latest video tech, all while you are shooting from your bedroom.
The post 6 Tips For Shooting Videos Of Yourself On Your Own appeared first on DigitalMarketer.
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