Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Archive for the PPC/sponsored links Category

7 Trends for Successful Digital Marketing (Infographic)

There’s a lot going on in digital marketing lately. For your small business to compete successfully, you need to be aware of and respond to current trends and changes in internet marketing and digital marketing more broadly. Here are the 7 top trends to be aware of:

  • SEO
  • Social media
  • Video
  • Email marketing
  • Paid advertising
  • Lead generation
  • Content marketing

Below is an excellent overview of the most important trends in digital marketing you need to watch. Thanks to the folks at Serpwatch for all their hard work on this.

7 trends in digital marketing for small businesses to be aware of.

Do AdWords customers get special treatment?

If you buy Google Ads, can you get special treatment?

Google has long said that buying AdWords ads doesn’t help your rankings in the search results. But someone recently asked why his AdWords rep couldn’t help answer some questions about his organic rankings.

Google’s Matt Cutts answers the question.

Need help with your organic rankings? If Google can’t help, Rank Magic can!

Nearly Half of All Traffic Comes From Organic Search

The largest share by far of website visits come from organic search.

Enterprise level SEO company Conductor recently conducted a study of 30 large websites across six industries to evaluate the sources of their inbound web traffic over a one-year period. They analyzed over 310 million visits and found that, overall, organic search was responsible for just about half of all visits.

Traffic sources

The sources of traffic break down into six categories:

  • Organic search — the main, natural search engine results, as distinct from PPC (pay per click) ads
  • Direct visits — where visitors typed in the website domain address in the address bar of their browsers
  • Referral visits — where visitors followed links from other websites
  • Paid search — from PPC ads in the search engine
  • Social media visits — from posts in social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Website traffic source distribution

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Organic search – 47%
  • Direct visits – 29%
  • Referral visits – 15%
  • Paid search (PPC) visits – 6%
  • Social media visits – 2%
[Click on the image to the right for a larger version]


There are a few factors to consider when considering what this means for your business.
1 – These are large company websites. For smaller companies the proportion of social media visits is likely to be larger, but is highly dependent on how active a given company is in social media.
2 – Organic searches done on mobile devices running iOS6 and higher and Android 4 and higher could not be captured. If they had been included, the organic search share would almost certainly have been greater than 50%.
3 – There were some quite significant differences by industry so the overall proportions may well be different for your business. See the report by Conductor for an industry breakdown.

How does traffic to your site compare with this? Let us know in the comments below.

Need help improving your share of organic search visits? Rank Magic can help.

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Does Buying Google AdWords Help Your Rankings?

Google AdWords logo

The Myth That Just Won’t Die

 Google AdWords logoI guess we’re all just too accustomed to unprincipled corporate greed, because this myth has persisted for years. Most recently it was asked at my local BNI meeting:

Does participating in Google AdWords (Google’s Pay Per Click or PPC program) help your non-PPC rankings?

The corollary to that is the question:

Does Google punish sites that don’t pay them for for Google AdWords by lowering their rankings, thus encouraging participation in AdWords where Google makes money?

The Answer is No.

Google AdWordsThe answer is No. Always has been and always will. The simple reason is that doing this would reduce the relevance of Google’s main organic rankings. And once that happens, Yahoo, Bing, or another search engine will unseat them as the Big Dog of search.

More savvy searchers typically avoid the PPC ads because they understand the sponsored links up top aren’t there because they’re the most relevant match for your search. Those top ranking PPC links are there largely because the advertiser is willing to pay more than others for your click.

A blog post over at WSI said it well:

Doing AdWords does NOT directly help or effect rankings. Integrity in this area is a cornerstone of Google’s business. If this were violated it would damage Google beyond repair, not to mention a slew of legal actions. Google would never risk those consequences. Google has stated over and over that AdWords advertising will not affect rankings.  I don’t always believe Google but….

I have been managing Adwords and doing search engine optimization for my clients for many years. I have managed every combination of clients that do or don’t do AdWords combined with SEO. There have also been cases where SEO clients stop doing AdWords, or start doing AdWords. I can say that I have never seen anything that indicated that AdWords affected rankings.

There are a number of reputable SEO research firms that study this issue and every one of them has come to the same conclusion: AdWords does not affect rankings.

My experience is completely in agreement with that assessment.

There’s a place for Google AdWords advertising, of course, and it’s true that if you show up in both the PPC and the organic results on the first page it super-validates you as a site searchers will want to click on first. But the AdWords itself has no impact on how highly you rank in the organic results.

Bottom Line: AdWords won’t help your organic rankings. Only SEO can do that.

Need help improving your online visibility? That’s what we do! Click here to get in touch or call us at 1-866-RANKMAGIC.

The Best Marketing Platform for (Very) Small Businesses

If you could pick only one  —

If you could pick only one type of marketing to spend time and money on, what would it be?

search engine optimization In a survey of small businesses last November by MerchantCircle, the 2,555 respondents overwhelmingly chose search engine marketing as the one channel they would use if they were to put all of their marketing dollars in to one basket. Organic search engine optimization (SEO) was selected by 32.9% of the small business owners. Other choices were traditional (19.7%), social media (16%), paid search (9.8%), mobile (3.7%) and none of these (17.9%).

80% of the respondents were very small businesses with fewer than 5 employees.

How about you? What would you choose, and why? Tell us in a comment below.