Search Engine Marketing and Small Business Attitudes

How SMB can Benefit from Search Engine Marketing

The American marketplace is a complex and convoluted sort of mess, not unlike search engine marketing. While there is a whole economy that is made up of small and large businesses alike, if you look closer, you will notice that is made up a series of smaller economies.  Not many people realize how much our economy relies on small business. In fact, it makes ups a whopping 99% of the American economy. Which says a lot about who actually contributes to America’s economy. But I digress. These businesses work functionally as small pieces of a larger capitalist puzzle. As long as they exist, the free market will always have a place in American society.

Unfortunately, it seems that they are less equipped in comparison to their big business counterparts. While newer small businesses are purely based online it seems that search engine marketing, let alone marketing plans, are still slow to catch on. In fact, only 50% of small businesses have a marketing plan at all. Compared to the insane amount of marketing by large companies, there is little doubt in my mind that there is a disparity between the knowledge and resources available to smaller businesses regarding marketing strategies.  This begs the question. Why don’t they engage in marketing? Also, how could search engine marketing benefit them? Let’s find out.

small business, search engine marketingWhat Small Businesses Think of Marketing

According to Search Engine Journal, the reasons behind the hesitancy of small businesses when it comes to marketing, including search engine marketing vary.  These reasons that were recorded in the article’s survey include:

  • 25% of respondents are unsure of how they plan to grow their businesses in 2019.
  • 55% of SMB (small business) owners spend less than 5% of annual revenue on marketing.
  • Over 58% of SMB owners spend five hours or fewer on marketing every week.
  • 86% of respondents would rather spend their time on other business activities than spending time on marketing.

These responses give us a bigger picture of what is going on in the small business world. For starters, at least a quarter of small business owners are ignorant of the marketing and advertising process. This makes sense because of the demands that come with owning a business. Business owners have to focus on several aspects of their business at once. This can lead to overwhelming situations and dropping balls.

Another thing this data tells me is that revenue, or money when starting a business is scarce. When you don’t have much money behind a business, there is little room for trial and error. And if marketing appears to be a gamble to someone who does not know about the process, it makes introducing the idea of a marketing strategy harder. Especially when you introduce the concept of something like a pay-per-click model to a business who can’t afford to experiment.

Also, marketing/advertising is not for everyone. When people start a business, they want to do the work that is related to the business first. A furniture maker would rather make furniture instead of begging people to come to their store. Overall, it makes sense that the prospect is overwhelming to 50% of small businesses.

What Can Search Engine Marketers Do to Fix This?marketing, search engine marketing, consultation

There are several solutions that marketers can do to convince small businesses on the merits of marketing.

The first one in mind is to explicitly define the difference between marketing and advertising. In layman’s terms and companies hiring sales positions, both marketing and advertising are considered one and the same. We need to fully explain and define marketing as what it is, an examination of the relationships between a business and a consumer. Anybody can intrusively ask something via advertising. Marketing is hyper-targeted and when done right, it matches the right people with the right products.

The second is to offer flexibility to small business owners.  Not all marketing has to start out as an expensive endeavor. If there is little flexibility in price, to begin with, you can work with low-cost options that are super effective, such as search engine marketing on social media formats like Facebook combined with SEO practices. As soon as it takes off if the small business you work for makes more of a profit, you and the owners might be more comfortable talking about more expensive marketing options in the future. Nothing has to be set in stone.

The last idea is to demystify the process altogether.  Show examples of what coming up with a marketing plan looks like. Break it down step by step. Search engine marketing and marketing plans don’t have to be a headache.

By |2019-05-23T12:46:17-05:00May 23rd, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Search Engine Marketing and Small Business Attitudes

4 Types of Search Engine Marketing Segments

4 Types of Search Engine Marketing Segments

search engine marketing

Search engine marketing has come a long way since the age of pop up ads on the internet. Today’s Search Engine Marketing in Huntsville Alabama and other places all over the country have become super targeted. This is to both the benefit of the customers and businesses, decreasing the chances of frustration and wasted spending from both parties. In fact, it has grown so vast over the last few years that there are now 4 different avenues of Search Engine Marketing. So, let’s look at what each of them is, and what sort of strategy can be applied to each type.

Search Engine Marketing: Pay Per Click

Its initial definition from the dictionary is, ” a business model where a company that has placed an advertisement on a website and pays a sum of money to the host website when a user clicks on the advertisement.” It is a business transaction that is between a search engine platform and the company renting out advertising space. There are ways where this type of segment can be useful. If a company pays $10 per click and gets a $300 sale, then it is a profitable model. Where it gets tricky is the intent behind the click. Not all clicks lead to a sale. Sometimes, people don’t realize it is an ad, or their finger slipped and they clicked away. This creates a problem of losing money in this system. If too many people click and don’t follow through with a sale, then your business will hemorrhage money fast.

This is why it is best to stick to large sales results, to cushion possible loss. If you are selling something cheap, this may not be the route for you.

Cost Per Impression

The second of the four search engine marketing segments is cost per impression. This model is structured like pay per click, but the difference is that companies pay for an ad being shown to its target audience, whether it is clicked on or not. The pricing of impressions can be lower the pay per click model, but since the number of impressions is higher, the cost will go exponentially higher just for the sake of exposure. This method is not ideal for all situations. The best scenario that can be accomplished with this model is for an already well-known company promoting a temporary good or service. A good example of this is Coca-Cola’s orange vanilla flavor campaign. They know that the more people who are aware of it are going to try it. So they don’t need the clicks to survive. An impression is enough.

Search Analytics

This is the search engine marketing segment that can help your business determine where it stands. And can help give you the knowledge you need for a course of action. It includes an analysis of who visited your site, how many of them result in a sale, the average value of those sales as well as your total earnings. Some of them will even let you see what keywords they found you on so that you can focus on keywords related to that search term. Without knowing what it is that people are looking for, and the terminology they use, you are flying blind. This is why there must be due diligence from every single business on the web when they come up with a marketing plan. If this information is not combed over once in a while, a lot of opportunities may be lost.

Web Analytics

Just like search analytics, web analytics tell you where you stand on your search engine marketing platform. Instead of an analysis of search engine terms and indexing, however, web analytics is an analysis of the functionality of your website. People want shopping on the web as a quick and easy process. We are in a time where instant gratification and hinderance management is a big part of the shopping process. So, when people are impeded by things like slow loading time, bad formatting, or buttons that don’t work, they are not likely to follow through with their purchase. That is why it is important that web analytics are up to date. If your site isn’t up to date, functional, and easy to understand you will lose prospective clients. That is why you need experts in coding and visual design to bring your message across correctly.

Search Engine Marketing Conclusions

This mix of search engine marketing segments is a hodgepodge. Some of them are outright mandatory, and others are optional, depending on budget and end goals. All that is for certain is that you need a search engine marketing plan if you expect for any online marketing campaign to be successful.

By |2019-05-16T13:42:16-05:00May 16th, 2019|Post|Comments Off on 4 Types of Search Engine Marketing Segments

Search Engine Marketing & The Online E-conomy

Search Engine Marketing: The Online E-Conomy

Marketing your business online is tricky.  This whole thing relies on the consent and cooperation between three existing parties. The company, the consumer, and the host service. The whole goal of a company who participates in online marketing is to make their target audience aware of their product or service. The consumer wants accurate information on what they are looking for. Search engine host services want to provide accurate information to the consumer.

Eventually, Search Engine Marketing became the answer to meet the needs of all three entities. Advertisers would pay for space on web pages, provided they didn’t tamper with genuine information on search results. The host would comb through the data, and allow a set form of advertising without damaging the integrity of the information offered to users. The users would click on that advertising for goods and services. This gives both the search engine and the company a chance to profit.

So, if that is how the system works, is it foolproof? Not exactly. That balance is still a precarious situation. If any of the three parties are not careful the whole thing will fall apart. How?  Well, let’s look at what happens when one part of the search engine market overpowers the rest of the participants.

search engine marketing todayImbalanced Scenario One: Corporate Interest Trumps Information Dispensation

This hypothetical situation is a little more plausible compared to the other two. This is because it is a common criticism in other forms of media like television, print media, and radio stations. There is even speculation that this is what is going on with search engines today. In this scenario, there is more advertising space than actual information on search engine results. These ads would be unrelated to the search bar. There would be several pop-ups for every single website that has ad sponsorships. Unchecked, this means the death of the internet since free and accurate information would require a lot of digging.

However, while this is the most plausible issue to occur over the internet, there has since been enough outcry and mitigation when the SEM landscape covers too much internet space. One of the things that Google does to offer free information to the public is to limit the ad space that can appear on the result pages. It also relies on relevancy to determine whether ad placement should be awarded to a company that bids for it. Google even tried to decrease the rate of unnessecarry pop-ups by creating its own ad blocker and allowing third-party extensions that do the same thing. Even if it is to the chagrin of news sites.

Imbalanced Scenario Two: The Overregulation of Search Engine Marketing

This scenario is less likely to happen. However, it is a very real fear among those who wish to utilize search engine marketing as part of their main marketing mix. In this case, ad space would be even more limited than usual. There would be an increase in both regulation and penalties all across the board. The public and businesses would have little information on how the policies work, and would probably need to pay for it to participate. Were this to happen, small businesses would definitely get caught in the crossfire, due to a lack of know-how and availability in the system. Larger businesses with more money would get a bigger chance of using ad space.

This model, however, is not likely going to happen. Because, while people don’t like too many ads, they still love to shop online. While Google would make some profit, it would not make near as much profit if they didn’t allow the PPC system. Too many limitations on ads would ultimately change the landscape of e-commerce by decreasing the incentive to shop online. But what about the shoppers? What would happen if they had control of the market?

Imbalanced Scenario Three: The Public Being in Charge of SEM Policies

The public has a lot more say with the fate of
search engine marketing, old internetsearch engine marketing than the general public realizes. If it weren’t for their spending power, after all, there would be no incentive for either search engine owners or companies to make SEM a reality in the first place. But what if the public had taken the reigns entirely on search engine policies and the market. We actually have a model for that during the early days of the internet.

In the late 1990s, during the Wild West of the Internet,  indexing was mostly determined by how people wanted results to rank. This lead to a lot of misinformation and dubious practices. The lack of regulation was so bad at the time that it was easy to scam people. They would run amok with false products, stuffing irrelevant keywords and littering the page with way more advertisements than people could keep track of.

The regulation of this behavior from the search engine owners, backed by the profit from corporate spending, helped reign in the chaos into something more functional. This, in turn, kept search engines from charging the public for their services and gave them a shout out if they played by the rules.


If you are interested in search engine marketing for your business visit our main page and contact us!

By |2019-05-11T14:28:22-05:00May 11th, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Search Engine Marketing & The Online E-conomy

Digital Marketing Abroad

Digital Marketing for International Audiences

It is not hard to come up with a digital marketing campaign in a local area. For instance, if you have a brick and mortar store in a small place like Decatur, Alabama and you want to advertise it, you can come up with a generic strategy for a marketing mix. Some of the campaigns might be digital, and another part of it would be analog, but usually, you can come up with the right mix on a trial and error basis.

However, it is not as easy coming up with a digital marketing plan in places abroad. This isn’t because it is a particularly bad thing to do. There are just different sets of obstacles that come with the intended goal of doing international business. We have more access to people, goods, and services around the world than ever before, thanks to the Internet. Still, if you don’t know the market you are pitching to, locally or internationally, you are not going to succeed. So, let’s talk about some things to be aware of when making a digital marketing campaign abroad.

digital marketing international


Be Mindful of Cultural  Sensitivity

What will fly for advertising in America may not be considered appropriate for your target market. In fact, a lot of what is deemed advertiser-friendly in the digital marketing world boils down to cultural norms in that area.

For instance, things like patriotism, religious affiliation, and alcohol consumption aren’t seen as big of a deal in most of Europe compared to America. In Asian countries like China and Japan, things like humility and hierarchy carry more respect and honor compared to meritocracy and individualistic behavior.

Even Canada has different attitudes and customs compared to America about certain topics and personal practices. I had a friend once who married into a Canadian family. Their initial impression of America was from the news stations. They believed America to be a violent hellscape and they were in disbelief that my friend’s hometown Decatur, Alabama didn’t have any sidewalks.

This is why it is important to conduct research on your target market before crafting your digital marketing strategy. And to do that properly you need to make sure you have the correct perspective of your target audience. If you are forcing your ideas down their throat, you will not only do terrible business, you might even be viewed as disrespectful.

Translation Translation Translation

Language barriers are the biggest obstacle when it comes to a digital marketing campaign. Especially if you have no familiarity whatsoever. Even if you managed to learn the target audience language, there are nuances that are just native.  That is why it is important to have someone on your team that has an in with someone who speaks the language natively. Bonus points if they grew up in the area of your target audience.

Look into colloquialisms or terminology when you are focusing on abroad SEO. Maybe even format your English to match international standards in lieu of American English. After all, many countries teach English as a second language. Find a way to linguistically meet them where they are at. A little understanding goes a long way in digital marketing and sales.

Not All Digital Marketing and Internet Consumption Look the Samedigital marketing abroad

It is very easy to be blind to the conditions and attitudes of other people. This is especially true of the internet. We are so used to meeting people internationally over the web, that we assume that they are using the same internet. While that may be the case sometimes, it is certainly not the case all the time.

Internet connections vary from country to country, with both speed and access. This may surprise most people but in spite of the fact that an American and a British man invented the internet, England and America do not have the highest connection speeds worldwide. That title belongs to South Korea. Britain and America rank 15 and 10 respectively. But most people wouldn’t think that the case because of our high dependency on technology for things like digital marketing.

Then there is censorship and access differences. What you may have access to now, may not be the case for someone in Sweden or the Republic of China. The UN passed a recently controversial Article 13 to protect the rights of businesses and decrease access to violent or disturbing content. China and North Korea are notorious for censorship. Especially for political reasons.

And that doesn’t even cover format preference.  In fact, some countries like Japan and Saudi Arabia prefer the use of mobile phones for internet access over desktop computer use.


When you come up with your digital marketing campaign, these factors and more are just the tip of the iceberg. That’s why it’s important to have a crack team for your digital marketing needs. If you want to advertise your business locally and abroad, give us a call. Or you can visit our website.


By |2019-05-04T11:13:13-05:00May 4th, 2019|Post|Comments Off on Digital Marketing Abroad