By enabling other businesses to promote their products and services on the internet, Google has become one of the most successful companies in the world. There are two primary ways to be found on Google: either appearing in the organic results, or creating a Google AdWords account and becoming a Google advertiser. The image below from a search on Google for ‘castle Edinburgh’ illustrates this: the red line is around a Google AdWords ad, the blue shows organic search results.
Any business can use both successfully, and this success should be measured (free) using Google Analytics. Employing SEO and AdWords to send relevant visitors to your website, and optimising using Google Analytics, is a successful formula, and works for nearly all businesses, from the largest to the smallest. All you need is a little knowledge to get started
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):
SEO is the art of improving your website to ensure Google finds it easily, so that Google lists your website when a potential customer searches for something relevant to your business.
SEO is often outsourced, often needlessly. While outsourcing can be effective, it is often expensive and, at worst, dangerous if the SEO company you hire breaks Google’s rules. Thousands of businesses, from BMW to tiny local businesses, are penalised by Google for cheating, and this is usually due to their SEO agency doing questionable things.
It doesn’t have to be this way: managing SEO in-house makes sense: anyone can learn how to do it as it is largely not technical. Equipping staff with a knowledge of SEO is extremely valuable as everyone then spots SEO opportunities in their everyday jobs. A few hours spent learning the basics will demystify the subject completely.
AdWords ads are pay-per-click, and allow businesses to select keywords relevant to their products and services. The business then links these keywords to ads that display to people typing in the selected keywords on Google. 90% of Google’s $50B revenues come from AdWords ads, demonstrating how effective they are for many businesses. Millions of businesses use the system, and as a self-service platform, even the tiniest of businesses can use it in-house. Google rewards relevant advertising with cheaper clicks, so learning the basics will really pay off
The largest organisations, including Google itself, use Google Analytics to analyse their website performance, but the beauty of Google Analytics is that you will find valuable insights whatever the size of your organisation. Creating an account is straight-forward, and anyone can read the reports, you don’t need to be technical. Once you have an account you will be able to access data on many aspects of your website’s performance, from whether it works for mobile, to analysing the effectiveness of an email newsletter or Facebook page.
To learn more about SEO, AdWords or Google Analytics, book on one of Edinburgh Chamber’s courses, run in conjunction with former Google employee Lucy Johnston from Bread & Butter Marketing, an official Google AdWords Certified Partner.