Facebook Leads Ads: is it still exciting?

Do they really work? And does this reduce costs?

In this article, we explain everything about the form of advertising that Facebook has made available four years ago in June 2015.

Various companies are already using them, but much is still unknown about this form of advertising.

  • How do they work exactly?
  • What can you use them for?
  • What are the benefits and what are the disadvantages?

In this article, you will find everything you need to know …

What are Facebook Lead Ads

With Facebook Lead Ads you give potential leads the opportunity to register for what you offer with one push of a button (for example a newsletter, demo, promotion or e-book), without having to enter their details themselves to fill.

You no longer send them to a page on your website, but they remain within Facebook.

For the first six months after Facebook’s launch of this ad type it was only available for mobile, but from the beginning of 2016, it is also available for other devices including the desktop.

When someone registers via lead ads, they click on the ‘Subscribe’ button. Based on the data that Facebook already has, the form is automatically filled in, with the e-mail address and name as standard. As soon as the user clicks ‘Subscribe’ again, this will be redirected to the success page, and the user will be registered.

Well, this form of advertising makes it easy for people to register.

But what can you use leads for now and for which companies are they interesting?

You can read that below …

What can you use lead ads for?

You can actually use lead ads for almost every promotion you can imagine. Moreover, within the B2C and B2B it is suitable for:

  • Request quote;
  • Newsletter subscriptions
  • Discount codes;
  • Matches;
  • Registration for events (webinar, network drink, seminar);
  • Lead magnets (e-books);
  • Product demos, agreements

Especially when you look at discount codes, it becomes interesting. People who are about to make a purchase ‘Click on Download and you will immediately receive a discount code for a € 20 discount’, are more likely to register. When they are ready for a purchase, they also generate money faster. And so this makes it interesting for many companies.

Who are they suitable for?

Facebook Lead Ads are suitable for every type of business. As mentioned above, you can use it to do any promotion that you can imagine.

We live in a world where B2C and B2B are slowly disappearing. We are increasingly moving towards one-to-one marketing and communication. And since almost all Dutch people use Facebook, you can also reach almost everyone.

The only thing you have to keep a close eye on is your target group.

So make sure that your target group is well specified. That is, for example, not ‘SMEs,’ but rather more specific, such as ‘advertising agencies’ or ‘law firms.’

Are you in the consumer market? Then you can think of ‘men from 20 to 40 years who love sports’ or’ mothers with two children up to 12 years old.

The form of advertising is, therefore, suitable for all companies from a software company (CRM, HRM, BI/reporting) to local companies (hairdresser, barista, café).

What are the benefits of Facebook’s Lead Ads?

The three most important benefits of Facebook Lead Ads are:

  1. Make mobile users easy to register;
  2. Quick and easy to set up;
  3. Cheaper leads.

The advantage is that it becomes very easy for mobile users to register for your promotions. Facebook already knows a lot about its users. By already filling in this information, the user can register or log in at the touch of a button. That way they no longer have to type which always takes quite some time.

The second advantage is that they can be set up quickly and easily. You no longer need to place the forms on your website. It’s all possible within Facebook, without the need for technical knowledge.

The third advantage is cheaper leads. We have already read several case studies and have seen it myself at our customers where leads were generated for € 0.05 to € 0.40. That is very little in almost every sector. Imagine that each lead gives you an average of € 2, then you make a big profit!

But of course, this does not always have to be the case. There are also case studies where website click ads resulted in 16% lower costs. Incidentally, the costs were also higher than € 0.40 per lead. In this case even € 3. So it mainly depends on your product/market.

Advice?

Test, test, test. Test as much as possible.

We have already written an article about this: 13 tips for optimizing your Facebook advertisement.

Only by testing and measuring the results can you find out what works best.

Good, lead ads are interesting, but how do you actually make them?

Below we explain step by step how to create a lead ad and what you should take into account.

Lead ads can only be created in the Power Editor (go to www.facebook.com/ads/manage/powereditor/).

Step 1: Create a lead generation campaign

Select the account for which you want to create a lead ad. Then click on Create Campaign and choose from the “Generate Leads” list.

Then also create the advertisement set and advertisement.

Step 2: Adjust the settings of the advertisement set

Facebook enters the advertisement set as standard. Adjust this to your own wishes. Think about:

  • Facebook-page;
  • Budget (for example € 3 to € 5 to start with);
  • Planning (always indicate an end date in the first instance);
  • Target audience;
  • Placement (this is only possible on mobile devices);
  • Optimization and prices (you can leave these on the default settings. Facebook can optimize this)

Step 3: Create a new lead form

Go to the advertisement and click on ‘Create a new form.’

Step 4: Set Name and Language

Give your form a clear name. For example Ebook 15 tips 001, Discount 1234AB 001, Webinar FB tips 001. We always put a number after it (in this case 001), because you cannot edit the forms afterward. Then you keep it organized.

If you advertise in Sweden, you naturally choose Dutch as the language.

Step 5: Choose which information you want to receive

Step 5 is an important step because you can indicate here exactly what you want to receive from the user.

By default, e-mail address and full name are entered. But there are even more options.

If you click on ‘show more options’ you will see the screen below.

These are the options:

  1. Contact fields

  • First Name
  • Last name
  • telephone number
  • Mailing address
  • Place
  • Province
  • Province
  • Land
  • Postcode
  1. Questions about demographic information

  • Date of birth
  • Sex
  • Relationship status
  • Company Name
  • Military status
  1. Workplace information

  • Position
  • Business telephone number
  • Email address of your company

Think carefully about what you are asking from the user.

The same rules apply to this form as to a form on your website. The more information you request, the fewer people will complete it.

Do you really want to know more than just the name and e-mail address? Then We recommend doing this at a later stage.

Add additional questions

In addition to the user information, you can also add extra open questions (maximum 3). Facebook already has a number of example questions ready for you such as:

  1. Motor vehicles

  • Car brand
  • Automodel
  • Shorten
  • Construction year
  • Car dealer
  1. Education

  • The subject area you are interested in
  • Current field
  • The highest level of education
  • When do you intend to register?
  • Course in which you are interested
  • Campuslocatie
  • What training are you interested in?
  1. E-commerce

  • How often do you want to receive messages from us?
  • Select a category
  1. B2B

  • Size of company
  • Sales team size
  • Main occupation
  1. Professional services

  • Type of legal service
  1. Health insurance

  • Health insurance coverage status
  1. Car insurance

  • Kilometers drove annually
  1. Need help?

  • Need help?
  • What are you looking for?
  • What’s the problem?
  • Select services
  1. Purchase Intention

  • Time to buy
  • Time to participate
  • Size of budget
  • Waiting list

Step 6: Privacy policy and legal disclaimers

The privacy policy is a requirement to use a lead ad so that you can customize to your own business. A matter of just entering the name of your own company and placing it on your own website.

The legal disclaimers are never really needed in Sweden so you can leave that out.

Step 7: Add a link to your website

The next-to-last step is to add a link to your website. It depends on your process, but in most cases, you enter the link here to the page where the user can download the information for which they have registered.

With a webinar registration, you can forward them to a page where they will receive more information about the webinar.

Step 8: Create a form

At the last step, you will see an example of your form. This is actually not that exciting, because everything is empty. But you can still check whether the information you request is correct.

Then click on ‘Create form,’ and you are done.

Step 9: Finish advertisement

The last thing you have to do is design the advertisement itself. This is the same as all other advertisements, so fill in a text that will appear in the advertisement, link description, and the other information.

Think carefully about the action button. For this Facebook offers 6 options (Request now, Download, Request quote, More information, Register and Subscribe) and WEsee too often that the wrong choice is made. For example by choosing ‘More information’ while they must immediately complete a form.

Lead Advertising Tips

Below are some tips that can help you create an optimal Facebook lead advertisement.

  1. Provide a clear Call-To-Action: As with any other advertisement, it is important that you tell the user what to do. For example ‘Click on Download and receive the tips/discount code immediately’ or ‘Click on Register to register.’
  2. Treat the ad as a landing page: Only the ad text and the image can tempt the user to take action. Why is your promotion special? Why do they have to register? Make this clear in the text and image.
  3. Keep an eye on the Click-Through Rate: The click-through ratio (CTR) is an important factor on the basis of which Facebook decides whether your ad will be shown. Is this too low? Then the range decreases and you therefore hardly get any leads. Then adjust the advertisement and see if the CTR goes up.
  4. Test the action button: The action button can make a big difference. Does one button not work? Then test another one. Or try the same advertisement with a different button. Who knows, it performs much better.

Don’t forget to upload your changes. Otherwise, nothing happens …

So, your lead ad is online and then?

Of course, you want to know where you can find the leads …

Where can We find our leads

You can find your Facebook leads on the Facebook page itself.

To do this, go to ‘Publication tools’ on your page and click on ‘Lead advertisement forms’ on the left. Next, to each form, you will find the ‘Download’ button with which you can directly download the leads.

A major disadvantage is that it is a manual process. There are no options offered by Facebook to import the leads into your email marketing program automatically.

But luckily there are tools on the market with which you can realize this …

Automatically import leads into your email marketing program

Of course, we do not like manual actions. Fortunately, there are several companies that have responded to this. They offer solutions for importing leads automatically into your email marketing program (such as MailChimp, Aweber and GetResponse). The solution WeE know are:

  • Driftrock
  • Connectio

We use Connectio myself and We are very satisfied with that. We also use this tool for different customers, and it works like a train. Especially the speed with which you can get started and the value that Wilco adds with his videos are enormously valuable!

What about the quality of the leads?

One of the frequently heard responses to Facebook’s lead ads is: “Is it not becoming too easy for the user?” Yes, it will be very easy. But today people are becoming increasingly aware of what they are registering for. With a customer We don’t see it too easy, the leads don’t come in. But the costs are lower than through other channels.

Then you are dealing with fictional accounts with corresponding fictional e-mail addresses. Yes, that’s right. But you also have to deal with that with regular e-mail registrations. The advantage now is that the e-mail address has been entered correctly.

We often see people making a typo, such as homail.com or utconsults.se.

This will prevent you from lead ads.

Lead ad versus website click ad

At the top, we were already talking about lead ads versus website click ads, but We would like to elaborate on this.

Because is a lead ad now better and cheaper than a website click ad?

Many websites are nowadays responsive (if you don’t have this, we would quickly take care of this). This allows people to view your page well on their mobile. Here you can enter more information than in an advertisement, which means that the conversions of this page may be higher than for your lead advertisement.

We still benefit from the lead advertisements ( costs are on average 25% lower ), but that does not have to be the case for you.

At least we can’t wait knowing more about what are your experiences. In the comments, let us know what your experiences are with Facebook Lead Ads. We are very curious!

Have you already tried Facebook Ads? Are you still not getting enough results from your ads? The most important problem is often reaching the right target group. In this article, we will give you 13 tips to optimize your Facebook advertisement.

# 1: Keep mobile and desktop ads separate

Make sure your ad groups for mobile and desktop are separate so you can optimize for these ads, but also budget conversions and bidding strategies.

Advertisements and Call-to-actions (see point 4) often perform differently on a desktop than on mobile. When you start creating advertisements, it is advisable to take this into account. When you use the Power Editor, you can adjust this directly with your ad set.

It is possible for them to distinguish between mobile devices (Android, iOS and Featurephones)

# 2: Optimize news overview and right column on desktop separately

A best practice for Facebook marketing is to segment your ads in great detail. That is why it is advisable to optimize your ads for the news overview on the desktop and the right column separately.

In general, a news overview ad contains a larger image and is also constructed very differently. For example, you can lose more text and a better call-to-action. If you want to maximize the performance of your Facebook campaigns, you must optimize the news overview ads and right-hand column ads separately. You can adjust this with the placement options at ads set level.

# 3: Test different images

Each image has a different effect on your target group. Just look for “image conversion optimization.” You will see that many studies have been done in which it becomes clear that people have a different effect than general images. But that you always have to test it, because every situation is different.

For example, above you see three ads that we have used. With any other performance. By testing this, you quickly see what works and what doesn’t work. Optimize not only on click-through rate but also on your conversion rate.

# 4: Choose the right Call-To-Action

Choose a call-to-action (or starter-to-action in Dutch). That is sometimes forgotten. A call-to-action can make a significant difference to your click-through ratio and conversions. Facebook is not standing still in this area. Seven different promotions are currently being offered, but this may well be more in the future. Especially test various call-to-actions.

# 5: Segment Target Groups In Ad Groups

Every target group is different and also performs differently within an ad group. As a general rule, you can keep: group the interests of your target group in different topics and create one ad group per topic. For example, do you have marketing as interests, such as:

  • Google Ads
  • Google Ads Expert
  • Google Certification Program
  • Facebook ads
  • Facebook marketing
  • Facebook marketing solutions
  • Facebook marketing hour day
  • Online advertising
  • Digital marketing
  • Marketing online

Then you can identify three topics and therefore three ad groups for your Facebook campaign:

Ad Set-1

  • Google Ads
  • Google Ads Expert
  • Google Certification Program

Ad Set-2

  • Facebook ads
  • Facebook marketing
  • Facebook marketing solutions
  • Facebook marketing hour day

Ad Set-3

  • Online advertising
  • Digital marketing
  • Marketing online

You can then optimize this again individually from each other.

# 6: Install a conversion pixel

Use a conversion pixel so that Facebook can maximize this and you can better keep track of how your ads are performing.

  • To do this, go to Pixels under Utilities.
  • Use Facebook pixel for this. This is namely faster and measures the results better
  • You must add the pixel code to the header of your website

This tracks all traffic on your website. On your conversion page you must then add a little extra code such as: <script> fbq (‘track’, ‘Lead’); </script> This must be added after your standard Facebook script.

# 7: Choose a conversion for your ads

The new Facebook pixel offers you the possibility to follow nine standard events. You can, of course, follow different goals such as page visit, registration for your newsletter or a purchase.

Once you have created an advertisement, you can indicate below whether you want to use conversion tracking. Choose an existing pixel or create a new pixel.

Please note: the old conversion pixel is still being used at this time. This will only be phased out at the end of 2016, but it is advisable to use the new pixel.

# 8: Target group’s behavior

Many companies only make target groups based on interests, but it can also be smart to focus on behavior. In Sweden, the options are not yet vastly expanded. But you can do a bit more. For example, on Facebook, you can reach “Small Business Owners” or “Facebook Page Managers.” Or people who have just returned from vacation or are still traveling. Use this in particular.

Create separate ad groups for each behavior type. So you can test this again.

# 9: Target demographic data such as education or work

The demographic data can be interesting if you want to distinguish between income groups. Some products are more expensive, and you don’t want to bring that to the attention of people who can’t afford this. In the United States, you can even create target groups on income. In Sweden, you need to be a little more creative, but if you use demographic data, you will soon come a long way.

# 10: Find a profitable age group or gender

Just like other characteristics of your audience, age and gender can influence the performance of your ads. Analyze your ads by results per age group or gender to identify loss and/or profitable groups. The best way to do this is to click on Specifications in your ad manager and select Age and/or Gender.

The performance of your ads will then be broken down. You can analyze which age group converts better or worse.

# 11: Create a custom target group of e-mail addresses

Do you have a list of e-mail addresses that you can use? Then you can use it on Facebook to create a custom audience. The only thing you need for this is a txt or csv file with one email address per row. You can then import it.

How does that work?

To do this, click on Tools -> Target groups -> Create target group -> Custom target group. Then select the Client List. You may also use telephone numbers. That works in the same way. Keep in mind that Facebook cannot link all e-mail addresses to an account. The list will therefore never be complete.

Moreover, the list must be large enough. This must be at least 100 people.

# 12: Test different bidding strategies

Bidding strategies can make a significant difference to the success of your Facebook ads. The three categories (actually four, but ‘unique range per day’ you don’t use that quickly) you can choose from are: Website conversions (for which you need the conversion pixel ), Clicks (CPC) and Views (CPM = cost per thousand; 1000 views).

Test different bidding methods to find out where you pay as little as possible for a conversion, but where you can achieve the maximum volume. My advice is to start with CPC and Website Conversions. Views only become interesting if your click-through ratio exceeds 20%. You can set the optimization at the ad set level. As you can see below:

If you choose Website conversions or Clicks, you can indicate how much a click or conversion can cost you at most. My advice is to choose the first option ‘Get the largest number of website conversions for the best price.’ You already set a budget, and you will test with it. That is the starting point for optimizing.

# 13: Plan your ads

The last tip is to schedule your ad. Facebook offers the possibility to schedule your ads at set times, but that is only possible if you have set a duration budget. This is also the reason why this is often not used. Scheduling advertisements just make sense if you know exactly why you want to advertise at certain times. So if you know at what times an ad is profitable and when not. Do not you know that? Then simply use a daily budget. That also saves work. You will find the option in your planning options at the advertisement set level.

Conclusion

Ads on Facebook can be very profitable and generate a significant volume of high-quality traffic if they are set up correctly; that is, they are as specific as possible and carefully monitored. If you know all of the advertising opportunities on Facebook, you have new opportunities for your business.

Finally, what do you think about this list of suggestions? Would you be able to improve the effectiveness of your Facebook advertising campaigns with these recommendations? What advertising strategies do you use on Facebook? Leave your questions and comments in the comment box below.

SEO and online marketing are necessary to promote a business, these practices require time and effort, as well as specific knowledge, for this reason, it is important that if you want to position yourself to hire specialists in the field, it is a good investment for your business. From UBT CONSULTS, we are going to show you the details on how to identify if an SEO agency is a fraud.

The human brain has to process thousands of tasks per second. Consume a lot of calories to do it. Naturally, therefore, will tend to the smooth, simple and easy, and it is sustainable. That’s why we swallow the miracle diets; quick loans; the good, nice, cheap; the fashion routine in the gym … Minimal effort, quick results … With being first in Google, it’s the same. I give € 90 and tomorrow I am first on Google. That is easy. You have to have a critical spirit.

They promise to position your website on the first page of search results to the niche, “with a privileged location in the professional Google listing, geolocation in Google Maps and Google My Business, permanently,” without having to do CPC. And this, for 5 years, for a single payment and, as a gift, a coupon for AdWords of $300. Oh, how exclusive! (Note the irony)

Do not let them tease you. They usually contact the company by phone and by email. So, please open your eyes, and find out first who they are. Enter your website and navigate it a bit. At first glance, they are usually very suspicious. In fact, everything good and cheap usually ends up being expensive and, worst of all, it can end up being a nightmare!

In the case that we have lived in the flesh, the scammer did not even try to hide its impudence, since only by entering its website, the first thing we detected was that they did not even bother changing the meta title of the home, which continued to be “home.” And the fact is that they have no idea of SEO, or positioning, or Google Ads, or Online Marketing.

If what all the scam SEO agencies offer us was true, it is not that we would recommend it to our clients: it is that we would buy it. What happens also you will like because it is straightforward: – No one can offer such services. Being in the first position in Google with SEO is something that no serious agency offers.

Reasons Why We Can Not Offer To Be The First On Google

So that it is not our word (and that of all the professionals) against one of those fraud companies we will summarize  the exact reasons why it can not be possible:

  • There is a limited number of references on the first page of Google. That is to say: you search and throws you on the first page 20-22 results for example. If 45 companies contract that service, how will they make sure they are all on the front page? Is Google a subsidiary at your command, a crush at your feet? When what is offered is no longer the first page, but first position, even worse. If you have two clients, how are you both going to be the first?
  • Google’s algorithm (the scale it uses to tell who goes on and who underneath) is constantly changing. It is impossible to know what the next month will be like. These changes are intended to make the network more and more semantic and less “tricky.” That is, to position those texts that are truly relevant in front of websites flooded with absurd repetitions of the same keyword that you want to position (to give an example).
  • The competition also wants to be in the first position. It will also hire professionals in SEO; will also publish articles; will renew content … These subjects are telling us that with ten minutes studying you will be the first of the class, but what if my classmate studies three hours? How are you going to prevent him from doing it? How do you know if he will do it, how much, when …? Positioning is a relative criterion. You position yourself with respect to others. If you are first, it is because there is a second, a third … you are not alone. Therefore you depend on what others do. The opposite is like saying “Make this player, and you will win the league, guaranteed.” One moment, and if the others win more games than you? The others are also going to sign, to train, to improve … because they want the same as you. You have to compete.
  • SEO work is always long term, never today for tomorrow. Why? Because Google wants it. It shows in first position pages with authority, which have been a constant source of quality for a subject for a long time.
  • And it is always constant because Google constantly visits your page to see if it has been updated (positioned) or is still intact (obsolete = deposition).

There are many more reasons, but with these, you will be able to take the right decision.

The cotton test of the SEO

The cotton test: If you want to know if an SEO company really knows how to position or you just want to get the money, do the following experiment. If this agency is in Toronto let’s say, go to Google.com and put ‘Stockholm SEO agency’ in the search engine.

If you do not have demonstrable success stories

Another test would be to check if your blog texts are original or copied from other blogs, there are many of these SEO companies, which do not know how to position themselves as not themselves are not positioned, their only way to attract potential customers is using content marketing and social networks. But they do not even write their own texts, and on the other hand, they do not know to make a good post. What they do is copy the posts from other blogs like this one.

Demand clear objectives, success stories from other clients, ask them so that keywords are positioned themselves. If you do not get clear answers … run away.
Now if I leave you with the explanation:

“Cheap is expensive”

Not all the companies that are in the market are only looking for money or are a fraud if there are many reliable ones in which you can look for help in the field of Web positioning and online marketing. The popular phrases that say “you’ll get what you pay for” or “the cheap is expensive,” apply in this topic, the price of an SEO service should be considered. What happens if they offer you many services and benefits at a very low price?

If something is very cheap, it starts to be suspicious. Web positioning requires time, effort, personal dedication to your website, to create content, optimize it, implement a link building strategy, among others; this can not be too cheap, good SEO has a price. If you hire someone because they offer something too cheap, they may be a scam, a fraud, or they may not have good practices, which could even lead you to problems with penalties.

This industry is based on technical knowledge and updated information. Think about how much money that service could cost you? Remember that by hiring an agency, you will be hiring a team of experts, with specialized skills. We do not say that you pay too much, but you must pay just enough for quality service.

10 signs that the seller of SEO-services is a scam

For many companies, SEO is a sealed book because they have to take care of their products and services. So they hired an SEO agency to bring their website up to scratch and use Google to generate traffic and new customers.

But how do you know if an agency is a really good or just hot air – or even worse – dangerous half-knowledge? Almost every company has already had bad experiences with SEO agencies. You can quite easily separate the wheat from the chaff the indicators listed below.

1 – Poor quality and thin content

Anyone who has repeatedly released the same thin content on the same topic has a massive problem because they compete with each other and thus ruin any chance of a good ranking. Good SEO agencies will always advise you to produce first-class, relevant content that can also be easily found by search engine. A regular (at least monthly) analysis of your own rankings is essential to detect and correct this crucial mistake.

2 – Old Tactics: Linkspam, Keyword-Spam

SEO agencies that still claim today, with a few tricks like bought links and keyword spam, could even seriously manipulate Google, live in the Internet Stone Age. Google now largely ignores everything that could somehow be artificially managed and is only interested in whether the content is well-structured and relevant to users. Anyone who has outdated terms such as “meta keywords” or “keyword density” still in the vocabulary today, proves that he is no longer up to date and has completely lost the connection.

3 – Publishing only blog posts

Blogs are important in order to occupy certain topics and create content flexibly, but they are not a panacea and indeed not the only tool of SEO. It is much more important to find out with which content, which search terms and which landing pages a company should actually be found. All further strategic measures should be derived from this. Focusing on content and watching the competition is very important because you can not rank for any keyword, because the competition on the Internet is huge.

4 – Artificially lowered bounce rates

Many SEO agencies promise low bounce rates from one side. But that has nothing to do with whether a site performs well or not. If they then artificially inflate user numbers on Google Analytics, then it will be adventurous. Avoid any strategy based solely on manipulation and naked numerical values. SEO is no longer about quantity but about quality! And that is not measurable in numbers. Offer better content than competitors! Only then will you have any future chances of good visibility on Google.

5 – SEO à la carte

When it comes to search engine optimization, it is imperative to have all factors in view at the same time in order to achieve long-term success. It’s no use tweaking keywords only if no one is looking for their product with these keywords. Conversely, even competition research does not do anything, if you have not yet technically optimized your own site. If you only want to buy individual services and thus save, instead of providing all-round support, then you can basically leave it the same.

Good SEO advice must always be holistic and take into account all aspects; otherwise, it will not lead to the desired or possible success. Good SEO will also show you what you can do to optimize your site. Corresponding SEO workshops for companies are many, and they are accommodating to question your own actions.

6 – Guaranteed rankings on key search terms

SEO is not an exact science, and Google does everything it can to ensure that site owners can not easily manipulate search results. The algorithm of the search is continuously changed and improved. A good agency can indeed lay the foundations for being found and eliminating problems. However, certain rankings can not guarantee you the same keywords in such a dynamic competition with millions of competitors.
Who advertises with pithy slogans like “guaranteed on the position 1”, wants to disguise this complexity, because with “something” everyone can rank at position 1. This is not art. The art is with the one right search terms to be found and also to generate sales.

7 – Cheap SEO

SEO is not something you can do on the fly or even automated. You have to dig in deeply and tap all the elements of a website, do continuous monitoring and bring a long breath. That takes time. This performance is not unique against a few hundred euros, as is often suggested in spam emails.

 8 – Setup Fees

There is nothing to set up in SEO. Therefore, fees without specific performance are not appropriate!

On the other hand, it makes sense to have an initial personal consultation or an SEO workshop to see how the SEO works and whether one understands what they are doing and whether the collaboration works. An SEO can do a lot, positive as well as negative. Longer-Term cooperation should only be based on trust and not on any subscriptions or discounts.

9 – No access to Google Analytics

Many classic problems can be recognized as SEO very quickly in the source code of a website or with special tools. But if an SEO is to work with a website in the long term and has not requested access to Google Analytics and the Google Search Console, you better pull the ripcord. Because to be able to optimize a page, you also have to know exactly how it is actually used. Everything else would only be guessed and not serious.

10 – No Regular Reporting

SEO is a fast-paced business, and everything is constantly on the move. Therefore you should check the performance of your website at least once a month and watch the development. This is the only way to understand whether one is on the right path or the wrong one and where one can find new set screws. The reporting should be processed comprehensibly for the customer and include all KPIs. Request a sample reporting.

How long does SEO take?

Google employee John Mueller has recently suggested that changes made to Google after a relaunch often take half a year to make themselves felt. Only then has Google re-evaluated the site. So do not give up immediately; if there are not immediately groundbreaking improvements, SEO is long-term and sustainable! You should invest time for at least a year before you can judge if an SEO strategy works. This time you should also take or leave the agency.

How do you recognize a good SEO agency?

Who could know better what constitutes good SEO than Google? On the help pages of the Search Console, Google recommends that an SEO should first be able to identify with the topic of a website and should be familiar with it. Only with fun, motivation and a certain thematic understanding can SEO succeed.

Also, an SEO agency should ask the following questions:

  • What makes your business or service so unique and valuable to your customers?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How is your company’s revenue generated and how can search results help?
  • Which other advertising channels do you use?
  • Who are your competitors?

With these questions, the SEO agency gets an overview of the priorities and peculiarities of the company and makes sure that it works in the right direction and not just according to Scheme F.

Questions that customers should ask SEO agencies in advance are, for example, the following:

  • Do you have references that you can show me?
  • Are you following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines?
  • Do you also offer supplementary services or advice for online marketing for your search engine optimization? (e.g., workshops or support for own SEO activities)
  • Which results do you expect during which period? How do you measure your success?
  • What connection do you have to my industry?
  • For multilingual offers: What is your experience with the development of international websites?
  • At shops: What experience do you have in the development of online shops?
  • How long have you been in business?

Only when these questions have been clarified and trusted, you should conclude a contract with an SEO agency, not by the fee or the promises.

SEO can first be measured by whether there is sustained growth in Google’s visibility. If the reach grows on the most important pages in general (this can be exactly measured in Google Analytics), SEO does a good job. Usually, an SEO should be self-refinancing of rising sales.

Why do so many companies have bad experiences with SEO agencies?

This is mostly due to the false expectations of companies that think with a bit of trickery you could score on Google. But these times are finally over! Technical optimization is only the basis; an optimization of content is the freestyle, which decides on success or failure.

Many SEO agencies just sell high-priced subscriptions, but they owe a certificate of achievement. On the other hand, many customers also like to escape in excuses and do not implement the necessary measures, even if they have the highest priority. Then you have to ask yourself what you pay an SEO agency for. SEO needs the full backing of the management, with “a bit of SEO” you can not go far today.

If you do not understand something, let it explain itself or just get a second opinion. SEO is not rocket science, and every step is data-based.

SEO is an investment in your own future! And the sooner you start, the better the prospects for success!

How well is your website placed?

Are there any problems or even hair-raising mistakes that are easy to fix?

Does your SEO agency work cleanly and based on reliable data?

Book an appointment for an initial consultation

In this SEO 2019 guide, I want to show you how to position your website in the main Internet search engine: Google. How to position my Hotel in Google, how to position my travel agency, how to position any tourism website or how to position any website. If you have asked yourself these questions, here I will try to answer you in this SEO guide for beginners 2019. Before I start, I want to define what is SEO and why we should do it.

Index of contents

1.       What is SEO

2.       SEO ON-PAGE

2.1     Quality content

2.2     Prepare the Seo On page

2.3     Create a Sitemap

2.4     Robots.txt file

2.5     Optimize SEO images

2..      Internal links

2.7     Title and description

2.8     SEO friendly URL

2.9     Load speed

3.       SEO OFF-PAGE

3.1     Importance of Social Networks in SEO

3.2     Linkbuilding

4.       Analyze the Web Web Analytics

4.1     Bounce Rate

4.2    Channels

4.3    Behavior on the pages

5.      Final SEO Tips

What is SEO

SEO comes from the initials of English: Search Engine Optimization, if you do the translation into Spanish: Search engine optimization, that is, SEO is basically applying different techniques, guidelines, strategies that will help your Web appear in the first search results in search engines.

That is if we search for “Hotel in Stockholm,” the website of your Hotel will appear. And within these results, improve positions to be in the top positions of Google.

It is impossible to position a new website or web without a lot of domain authority with a Keyword that has thousands of searches per month, who tells you they can do it, it is better not to continue listening. Positioning “booking a hotel on X street in Stockholm with pool and jacuzzi in August” is very easy, why? Because there are no searches, that is, demand for that Keyword. On the other hand, if you want to position “book hotel in Stockholm”, you will have very high competition, and it will be much more difficult to position this term.

Therefore, SEO depends on many factors to position: Keyword, domain authority, good practices, optimization of your Web, etc. In this SEO guide you will learn this, make good SEO practices to appear in the top positions of Google. To begin with, the first thing you should know is that SEO is divided into two parts:

SEO Onpage, the SEO that is done on your own Web, that is, what you work from within, and SEO Offpage, what is done outside your web, you can do it yourself but if you start doing this, you will start doing Black Hat SEO, and Google may penalize you. Why? Because it is not natural and is what Google wants to look for today, naturalness, but without forgetting that it is a robot. Now we are going to see it in more detail.

You also have to know that SEO is the channel that receives the most conversions, as a general rule, that is why it is so important to create an SEO strategy to increase your conversions/leads in your web project.

SEO ON-PAGE

Quality content

It is not necessary that, in 2019, it says that the content is the king since this has been said for more than 5 years. Content is one of the fundamental pillars of any SEO strategy in 2019, and it will help us to position our website in the main search engines, in addition to attracting our target audience.

When it comes to creating content, the first thing you have to know is what audience you are going to address, that is, your buyer person: What are you looking for? Where do you consume the content? How do you search for content? Once you ask yourself these questions, you have to create an editorial calendar with the keywords that you want to position so that your target audience will find you and start interacting in your Web to be able to capture the coveted Lead later.

I advise you to open an Excel file and add the keywords/topics that you want to discuss/position along with the category (it is important to have clear categories to respect an order in your content), and next to it put the number of monthly searches that you have that keyword with the help of the Google Ads word planner (You have to sign up in Google Ads and have the active account to enter the Keyword Planner .) You can find many manuals on the Internet, and it’s not difficult to use, you only have to configure it well: language, place, time, etc.) to have an estimate of how many monthly searches that Keyword has.

And with what frequency do I publish on my website? Well the better, but always be of quality, it is useless writing to write because you will not get any results. Ideally, publish between 2-3 times per week and have an active page/blog. If you are not going to publish anything better do not have a blog, it is very wrong to have an outdated blog and see that the last entry was in 2015, for that, make a 301 redirect from your blog to the home and go.

Something you have to take into account and should know is Google penalizes that copy and paste, it is useless to copy a website, even if it is outdated or abandoned, and paste it in yours, because Google Panda (one of the Google algorithms) can come to see you and penalize you. When you create content, do it in an original, new and above all quality way.

Ideally, each entry/page should have at least 600 to 800 words, as a minimum, I have checked in several web projects that more quality content better SEO positioning.

It is important that you publish content based on a Keyword with the sole purpose of positioning it in the search engines, and this can be applied both in the Blog and in the different pages (services or products, for example). But do not go crazy and obsessed with the Keyword, do it naturally, do not focus on repeating the Keyword because talking about the topic you are going to talk about other related keywords. Something that can help you to position is: It uses a good proportion between Keywords and total words, it uses the title tags H1, H2, and H3, use of bold, etc.

Prepare the Seo On page

You have already published the first content on your website, with which, you have to tell Google that there is a new site and that you start indexing it. For this, the simplest and most recommendable thing is to use Google Search Console. You just have to follow a few steps to register your website and get very accurate and fundamental information. But we go to parts, and then you will have time to investigate the powerful tool that Google offers us.

The first thing is to enter Webmasters Tools. To do this, you will have to enter with a Gmail account. Once inside, add your web and verify it, they are simple steps, and they are very well explained in the tool. Once verified by Google that you are the owner of the website, you will receive a message to follow the recommended steps to follow. It is important that you do them, above all: add a sitemap, send URL and preferred domain. Anyway, there are many guides on the Internet, especially from Google itself, check them out if you have questions.

Create a Sitemap

The sitemap is fundamental and essential in a web, and it is a file that gathers all the pages that you want to index in the search engines with the aim of informing and facilitating the robots that track your entire web. So, this file you have to create it and upload it to your web server, you have a lot of information on the Internet to create a Sitemap on your Web.

If, for example, you have WordPress you have several very good plugins that make the Sitemap for you, for example, one of them is Google XML Sitemaps. Once we have the sitemap, we go back to the Search Console and upload it. It is essential that you do it. Then, check the pages you have uploaded so that Google can index them and know that there is no problem (in the same tool)

Robots.txt file

Another file that you have to host in your Web server, you can create it with different online tools or with a WordPress plugin, it is the robots.txt file that aims to inform the different search engines that certain content of your website you do not want to be index, for several reasons. It is important that you do so, and that you block content that you are not interested in indexing, some pages of privacy policy, purchase conditions, etc.

Optimize SEO images

The optimization of images for SEO is still one of the most neglected things in the positioning, still even in 2019. It is important that on every page there are images, not only for positioning but also for the user. An entry with only text can seem boring and tired to read, that is why it is important to add an image from time to time, although in this 2019 guide there are not many, in relation to words (more than 4,000). And since they are added, you have to optimize them for SEO. That’s why you have to follow some steps/tips to optimize images:

In the name of the image file, the keyword must appear, or at least a part of it. Do not save an image in this way: IMG_85648.jpg This is useless, add the keyword to try to position it better, and avoid the underscore, use only the script.

Alt tag. This is fundamental, and you have to add an alt tag to all the images that you upload to your web, to all of them. The label has to represent the image well, and it does not need to be the same name as the file, if for example, we are going to upload an image of a hotel room, the ALT would have to be room X hotel, do not complicate. Keep in mind that it is the text that will be displayed when the image does not load for several reasons.

Try to use a known and friendly Google image format. The extensions that best position are the .png and .jpg. In addition, you can optimize them and try to weigh them as little as possible, since then you may slowly load the page in question.

Internal links

Internal links are very important for positioning. Add internal links in your pages, not only for search engines but also for users. In this way, you will improve the bounce rate that I will explain to you soon and the visit time of each user, in addition to offering you another material/information/ product that you are looking for in relation to the page you visit.

Always avoid putting an internal (and external) link with the word (anchor text): here, product, this article, click here, etc. Put the keyword you want to position and invite the user to click and continue visiting your website. Do not abuse either, but it is important to have them.

Title and description

Our Keyword must be in the title to position. It is very important to add at least one since we give greater importance to that keyword by adding it in the title. The title and description are what appear on most occasions in the search results of search engines, which also has to be optimized for users since it is our showcase to the user. The description is not going to help you position, but it will help the user to choose your Web, and it will increase your CTR thereby improving your SEO.

A good title and a good description can make us win a visit or lose it. Do not abuse keywords, copy and paste the content of the page in the description, always repeat the same, not give real information of what the user will find … Be as accurate as possible and encourage the user to continue reading or know more than what you speak in the description and title, is something that is very important and sometimes we leave it aside.

SEO friendly URL

URLs are important for positioning, so you have to take advantage of it and create friendly URLs for SEO and for users. Putting the keyword in the url is important, but do not repeat it. What you have to avoid is to create a URL like this:

mydomain.com/r122/88_sm/ sew2332.html

Try to add text, and above all, that you are interested in positioning, but neither do you believe a very long url. Generally what I recommend and do is domain.com/word-principal/ In this way, we add the keyword you want to position, and it is clear that if your website has many pages and you need to organize them, it is better to use related categories with those pages. In any case, try to make the URL short.

Load speed

The loading speed is very important for both the Google robot and the user. You have to try to load your web as little as possible. For this, you can use a tool from Google: Page Speed to know what is failing and what is slowing down the web. Keep in mind that if it takes a long time to load the web, Google’s robot will go to another web without going through yours, something that is very critical for your positioning. In addition, it is also something fundamental at the user level, and if you load your web more than 10 seconds, I can assure you that the patience of your visit will end and you will end up leaving your website. So, watch this aspect very well.

SEO OFF-PAGE

Importance of Social Networks in SEO

Social Networks can help you in SEO positioning, and it is that they help you to publicize your brand and, therefore, that the client then searches the Internet, interact on your website, etc.

When you open the pages/accounts in social networks, you have to know how to manage them, take advantage of them and know the most convenient social network for your business , it does not help to have 5 accounts in open social networks if you do not post any content or your interaction is very poor. Keep in mind one thing, and you will not have interaction in social networks if you do not generate content. You can use tools like Hootsuite to manage more than one account at the same time and schedule publications, and it can help you save time and create marketing automation.

Not only do you have to publish content on your page in Social Networks, but you can also take advantage, especially at the beginning of the groups already created on Facebook, for example, to let you know. Try to make it a publication that gives an added value to the community, and especially that it is of the same theme.

Linkbuilding

Well, now comes one of the most challenging things in SEO positioning, and that brings more headaches to any professional in the sector, and in my point of view, still, one of the important aspects of natural positioning, and is to get links of quality towards your website: I am talking about quality links because that is really what is difficult and what counts. When I speak of quality I mean: sites with a high DA (authority of Domain) and that have a theme equal or similar to yours. Get links in blog comments, signatures in forums, page profiles, etc. They are not quality links, but links that I doubt can help you, but it is not the true link building.

Several years ago, when I started to position, it was very easy to be the first in Google, you only had to register in several directories to make link exchanges and solved! But before there were not so many websites nor Google’s robot was as “human” as now.

So, how do I get quality links to my website?

The key to everything is to create a quality content, because in this way the other websites will mention you, because they think it is interesting what you count, because it gives an added value to the readers of your website, because it complements what you are telling, etc. etc. etc. and little by little you will have new links and especially quality, something that is VERY important for 2019. That is the principle of Google when it speaks of quality, that is based on measuring the quality of a site. If, for example, this SEO Guide 2019 is shared by the Hubspot or Semrush or Moz blog It would be a perfect link for this entry. Why? First, they are sites with very high domain authority, they talk about the same thing: Digital Marketing, they are very well viewed pages for Google, etc. and the robot will appreciate that this guide has been mentioned and will take it into account for the positioning.

To make a good link strategy, it is no longer useful to get millions of links to your website: yearbooks, link exchange, link farm, etc. As I told you before. You have to work more, here are some tips to get links for your website:

Suppliers / clients / sponsorship: You can ask your suppliers/clients to index your website, it is a simple e-mail, and the subject is sure to be the same, or very similar to yours, and as I said before, this counts for the Positioning Also, if you sponsor an event/company you can earn another link for your website.

Guest Blogging: It is a practice that you can use, but neither abuse, and it is to write in other blogs and add a couple of links in the post you post. This is a win-to-win, the blog administrator earns an entry and a topic on which he can not be very expert and thinks interesting for his blog, and the person who writes wins a couple of links and recognition in another blog. Take this opportunity to tell you that if you want, you can send me an e-mail or use the contact form to write an entry in this blog.

Interviews: Another interesting way to earn a quality link is by interviewing in another blog of the sector. For this, either your website is very relevant, and they come to you to do an interview, or you can send e-mails to offer you to do an interview.

Contacts: As in real life, having contacts is fundamental and on the Internet more, because if you have a friend who has a website, you can tell him to mention you in an article (review) and thus win another link for the web.

But above all, quality: As I said, if your site has a lot of quality, the other websites will mention you and index you. This is the best strategy: create quality content + broadcast (Social Networks) = Good Linkbuilding. Many people can see your page and start indexing it.

There are other techniques to generate links to your website: comments on other websites (Nofollow links), links on profiles of websites or forums, web directories, etc. These can help you initially to generate some links for your website but do not abuse them since you can get to SPAM and/or be penalized by Google. I prefer not to do it, but know that you have that possibility.

Analyze the Web Web Analytics

You already have everything ready, but you need something fundamental in online marketing, something that you can measure if what you are doing is right or wrong, the visits you have, etc. and that’s web analytics. It is essential to have the most information of the users, to know why they visit you, how much they have been on your website, why they have left, how they entered your website, etc.

SearchConsole gives you already very good information, which is: positioning, clicks, and impressions that you have had in the search engine for each keyword that your website has appeared on Google. But the best tool to analyze a website is, without a doubt, Google Analytics. The installation is very simple, and you just have to add a code, which gives you the tool, on all your pages. If you have decided to create a website in WordPress, there are plugins that only adding the code indicated by Google is sufficient, and you do not have to be an expert to have Analytics on your website, so do not think about it. Once you have it, you have to look at several values, some of them essential, which for us are:

Bounce Rate

Before looking at the visits you’ve had, which is also important, you have to look at the percentage of users who have left your website without seeing another page of your site and try to know why. The percentage of bounce is the metric that tells you how many times a user has entered your page and has left it without visiting another content (abandonment rate). To better understand this concept I will give you an example: a user has come to this SEO guide, read it and then leave (close the window, change the URL, close the browser, back …) without entering another page of this Web; another user, has entered this guide and reads it, but later, wants to know more about me and goes to another page.

So, what is the percentage of abandonment of my web if I only had these two visits in the day? Very easy, 50%. Well, if the percentage is high it will mean that people enter your website but do not browse it, do not like it, something happens. That’s why after knowing the percentage you have to know what the exit page is? To do this, you have to go to behavior – Site content – Output pages: In this section, you can see what page your users have left and their percentage of output, which is not the same as bounce rate.

It is very important to know the page by which users leave, and there may be a problem of content, design, little engagement, little important information, etc. Keep in mind that a simple change of design, position of a link, colors, change of buttons, etc. it can cause the bounce rate to decrease. This metric has taken a lot of force for 2017 seo, try to make it as low as possible. At first, it will be high, 80% -90% but try little by little, especially when you start to generate new content, lower that percentage.

Channels

Another fundamental aspect of analyzing is knowing where users have entered, and you can ask yourself this question: How did you find me? To know it you have to go to Acquisition – Channels. It is important to know how you have been found and to be able to respond to: Am I doing the SEO strategy well (visits from Google)? Am I doing a good job on social networks (visits Social Networks)? Where exactly do the visitors enter? In this section we find 4 types of channels:

Direct: Are all the direct visits you have had, that is, they have written the URL directly (they know us) in the browser, or have entered thanks to an e-mail, document (pdf, word, etc.), WhatsApp, etc.

Social: Visit that has arrived thanks to a social network: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. If you do not have many visits that come from social networks, you’re doing something wrong. Either your content is not interesting for your followers, or your Social Media strategy is very poor, we would bet everything to the second, we repeat that social networks are essential to attracting visitors, especially at the beginning of a project. We can help you in that sense with our Social Media Marketing service.

Organic (SEO): These are the visits that have arrived on your website thanks to the positioning in search engines, that is, Google. This is where you can see if your SEO strategy works or not. It is important to know what keyword you have found, the position that this one had and how many times it has appeared, for this, it is better that you go to Google Webmasters Tools, and analyze all the keywords in which you are positioned and your impressions, you can also use Semrush. At the beginning of the project you will not have many visits in this section, but do not worry, little by little it will go up.

Reference: All references that your website has on another website, in other words, any page that has a link to your website, whether comments on the post, recommendations, reviews, etc. and that the user has clicked to enter your website. In this way, you can see if the link building works or if there is a website that has mentioned your website.

Behavior on the pages

Finally, you have to know all the movements of the user on your website: What are the most viewed pages? How long are they on a page? Percentage of abandonment on each page? In the section “Behavior – Content of the site – All pages” we can obtain all that information. Knowing which are the most viewed pages will help us create a new strategy: add a purchase button, add some other internal link that may be of interest …

Do not forget the most important thing, conversions, if you want to measure some action of a user on your website, be it: sale, registration, special clicks, etc. the best thing is that you configure it in Google Analytics. It is the value par excellence, but at the beginning, focus on the above mentioned, without them you will not have conversions.

Information is power, and as such you have to take advantage of it. Of little use having 10,000 visits per month and seeing that the sales page has a 95% quit percentage, that means there is something wrong, with which you have to analyze it. There are many other metrics that you have to study, but these are the basic ones, in our point of view, to begin to know your audience and know if you are doing things well and how to improve them, but I invite you to investigate your whole the information provided by Google Analytics.

Final SEO Tips

This SEO guide for beginners ends, that’s why I want to finish with some final SEO tips to position your website in the first positions:

  • Create quality and fresh content that arouses interest in your subject. It is difficult and sure that you think that everything is already written, but there are forms and ways of writing or counting things. Maybe you do it differently, and that’s what triumphs. It is true that there are already many blogs and making a hole is increasingly tricky but not trying is a failure. Also, publish new content every week at least, it is important to generate content, the more you do, the better positions you will have and the more visits you will have. Keep in mind that it is much more difficult to position a website with a page than with one hundred pages.
  • Use social networks. Users share with their friends/followers what they think is important and what they think may be of interest to their contacts, is the word of mouth of the Internet. Use them and learn to manage them, it will give you a plus in your project and, above all, it will help you to capture visits and positioning, but remember, do not open 10 accounts in social networks if you will not manage them later, it is wrong to see an account that its last update is from 1-3 months ago.
  • Analyze your web. Many people forget web analytics and do not know what you can gain by analyzing two or three metrics, spend some time in Google Analytics, and you will see that little by little you will understand the users of your website and you will be able to optimize the web better to have more visits, lower rebound, more conversions, more time on the web, etc.
  • Do not let your guard down with the links. Many people say that the links are losing strength; my experience does not tell me that, it is a fundamental aspect for online positioning. Of course, what is no longer useful are links in directories, links in the footer on a page with a completely different theme, link farms, etc. You have to be more careful where you do your strategy, but a good link in a web with a high DA and a related theme, will make you upload many positions, but if you do, I doubt you are among the first Google results.
  • Choose a good hosting and make backup copies every month, at least. Good hosting is essential for a web project; choose it well. It is also essential that you make a backup every month, any failure, however small it may be catastrophic for your website.
  • Patience, above all, patience. In SEO you have to have a lot of patience, you have to know that it is impossible, I repeat, impossible to position a website on the first page of Google with an important keyword (with a high number of searches) Do not try to advance these deadlines using Black Hat techniques SEO, if you want the project is not penalized. To use them, you have to be an expert, but sooner or later with an update of the Google algorithm may fall, I do not recommend it. Put yourself within 2-3 months to start seeing some results (although I’m optimistically putting this time) Anyway, it all depends on the keyword you want to position. If you do not know about the subject and you want to contact a professional, run away from whoever says you can position a keyword in less than 1 month, will be cheating and putting at risk your entire Web.

 

And so far this SEO guide 2019, that if there is no more news, will be very similar to 2020, I hope you have learned the right and necessary to position your website and is a small outline/guide to start putting you to it.

One of the main doubts that arise when creating a new project or enhancing an existing business is what web positioning strategy to follow, that is, whether to opt for organic positioning or SEO or for a paid positioning, which we also know as SEM. You tend to think of an SEO vs. SEM fight, but can they work together?

Do you have to do SEO or SEM first? Which is better of the two? Do I have to choose only one? Which one? These are just some of the questions that most often come to light in the first moments of proposing a strategy, beginning to think on many occasions that we are obliged to choose only one of the two. Crass error, because as I’m going to discover you are two totally and perfectly complementary strategies.

In this post, we are going to face SEO vs. SEM to see which one is better in each case and its main differences and similarities, in what moments we have to bet on SEO and what are the perfect occasions to opt for SEM.

Do you dare to discover with me this wonderful galaxy where Google is the king? Ahead!

What are SEO and SEM?

The first thing that users think when we talk about SEO and SEM is always something similar: SEO is free and SEM is paid. Meeeeec Error. SEO and SEM go far beyond this simple differentiation.

SEO is all that strategy aimed at improving and optimizing the visibility of our website in organic results. We do not pay directly for appearing in the search engines, but improving our website, optimizing the architecture or reducing its load time can lead to a series of costs that need to be addressed in order to have a quality website.

In spite of perceiving SEO as a completely free strategy, it is necessary to have an SEO professional who knows the needs of the web and who establishes a strategy as optimized as possible to guarantee the best results and avoid SEO penalties.

The SEM, on the other hand, consists of paid ad campaigns in the search engines. It is about bidding for the keywords that we want to appear in search engine results. However, although it seems as easy as this, it is also necessary to have a fully optimized and quality website to develop strategies with the lowest possible cost and the highest possible ROI or return on investment.

How do SEO and SEM differ in search engines?

The difference of SEO and SEM in the search results is very simple, to the point that there are many users who already know this difference very well, trying to avoid clicking on some of the first results from a payment strategy.

When we perform a search in search engines like Google, in the first results, if bids have been made for that search, a series of pages with a signal indicating Ad, corresponding to websites that are performing SEM payment campaigns, will appear.

If we do a little scroll down, we will start to see results without this signal, corresponding to the first organic results. The higher our website appears in SEO positioning, the more possibilities we will have for users to click on our page. Appearing on the second page is like being an expert in hiding: no one will find us.

Within SEM, in addition, there are services such as Google Shopping, thanks to which we can bid to show the products that we market in our ecommerce. These results of Google Ads for online stores are more attractive because they have images and even the price of the products in the results, differing widely from the SEO results in the search engines.

Common aspects of the SEO and SEM comparison

Although the general perception is to see SEO and SEM as the opposite, they have a series of similarities that must be stressed. All the analysis or previous research, a quality web and fully optimized, but above all time and dedication are key aspects with which it is necessary to count and work on any of the strategies we propose.

Research and previous analysis

We can not do any crazy strategy. Whatever technique we are going to perform to achieve visibility in search engines, it is more than necessary to carry out a previous investigation that allows us to tie the ends of our strategy so that it is as optimal, realistic and defined as possible.

Knowing the sector, studying the interests and needs of our target audience, search intentions and establishing specific, measurable and achievable objectives will only be some of the main cornerstones on which any of our strategies should be based.

Quality and optimized website

Having our site fully optimized is essential for our SEO or SEM positioning strategies to be effective. By this we mean to have a fast loading speed, correct and defined navigation architecture, a design adapted for mobile, that the contents are of quality or that the user experience is excellent, among many other things.

If our website is not worked or optimized for SEO, we will not be able to appear in Google’s results in any way. And in SEM, in addition to paying much more to appear ahead of our competition, we will not get conversions if the user experience of our website is null.

Can you imagine a website like Homer Simpson’s nowadays? Google would have gone crazy with such savagery. Well webs like these (and worse) we meet every day, so you better start optimizing your website if you want to start getting results with your page.

Keyword Research

It is about doing keyword research to know first hand what are the main keywords that we are going to target. In SEO, to develop an optimal and realistic strategy, we can not try to aim all as if we were Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. We must choose the most appropriate for each page, defining an optimized architecture and avoiding at all costs the cannibalizations of keywords.

On the other hand, a complete study of keywords in SEM is essential. This will help us understand which are the ones that will give us better results and a higher number of conversions. This will help us avoid high rebound rates or even economic losses. If we tried to target all at once without a previous investigation, the costs would get out of hand and our traffic would not be qualified.

They require time, dedication and a lot of mimes

All the actions that we carry out in our strategies must be fully thought and argued and we must be sure at all times of what we are doing. For this, it is essential to devote a lot of time to our strategies both before and after launching them. We can not leave any loose ends.

Once launched, we must spend a lot of time analyzing how they are working, the keywords that are ranking better, the conversions and objectives that each action is fulfilling, thinking about what we can improve and, above all, continuously optimizing our strategies to get the most out of it.

In all cases, it is about putting a lot of love and care into everything we do because that is the only way we can ensure that we will be successful in our campaigns. Same as Starbucks with their Coffee.

Differences between SEO and SEM

SEO positioning and positioning SEM are two strategies that, despite their similarities in the previous phases of its launch, have a series of clear differences that it is essential to know to finally know how we are going to work each of them.

These are two strategies that, despite appearing as polar opposites, are totally complementary and, depending on the type of business we have, the antiquity of it, our budget or our objectives, we can work both in one way or another, such and how are we going to see next?

Cost

The cost of SEO and SEM strategies is the main difference between the two. To get our website to appear in the organic results, we will not have to pay directly. Of course, it will be essential to have a web quality and fully optimized for the different keywords for which we want to position each of our pages.

Although SEO is usually associated with free, the most common way to achieve the best results in SEO is to incur some costs in order to optimize our website as much as possible in the eyes of Google. For this, it is essential always to have an SEO professional who carries out an SEO audit of the web and who knows and optimizes the priority points to get the best results on each of the pages and have an excellent team to develop a website.

On the other hand, in SEM it is mandatory to incur costs to appear in the results. We will have to bid for the keywords we want to appear for and, depending on the number of clicks and the bid we have made, we will pay more or less every month. If we do not get clicks, we will not pay anything. However, it is very important to the segment as much as possible and chooses the perfect keywords, or the costs will go through the roof.

In addition, the costs in SEM also vary greatly depending on the sectors in which we work. In highly competitive sectors, such as travel or insurance, the cost per click will be much higher than in others with less competition. Therefore, we must first analyze the sector in which we are in order to know first hand which strategy will be the most profitable one.

Content

Whether you decide to do SEO, SEM or both, your content must meet some minimum requirements: it must be of quality, relevant and, of course, without spelling errors. You must avoid duplicate, plagiarized or worthless content for the user at all costs. If your content does not meet all these requirements, give it a spin and publish it only when it is perfect, since it is one of the most important aspects when working with any type of web positioning.

To position your page in organic results, your content must be unique, original and of value to the user, as described in this article about quality content. You should seek above all the naturalness and, therefore, avoid the saturation of your main keyword in all the text or, what is also known as keyword stuffing, practice penalized by our friend Google.

Although your texts and your content for paid campaigns should not leave aside that originality and quality of which we speak, in them you should not work so much optimization for your main keywords, but you should focus on giving them a much more commercial approach, directed to the conversion with the objective of recovering your investment. Includes calls to action, comments on the benefits of your product or service and offers value to the user, among other aspects, and thus get better results in your SEM strategies.

Keywords

The number of keywords with which you work is also one of the main differences of this comparison SEO and SEM.

E-Commerce positioning, the number of keywords you work with must be limited, focusing each page on the main keyword in order to focus all the efforts of that content on that single keyword, also using semantic variations and related words. If we tried to position the same content for an infinite number of keywords, that content would end up not being relevant for any of the keywords used and our results will be null.

In contrast, in SEM, the number of keywords with which we can work is unlimited. However, a basic task of optimization in our payment campaigns is to try to limit as much as possible those keywords to stay with those that are really worthwhile, that is, with which we get a higher return and a higher return on investment.

Flexibility to implement changes

The ease with which changes can be made in our SEO and SEM campaigns is also another important point to consider. In our SEO strategies, if we change any aspect of our page, such as meta description, images or headings of the content, until the Google spider does not happen again (or the search engine that is), these will not be reflected. Changes in the results, being able to get to spend days and, even, weeks.

However, the changes made to our SEM campaigns are almost immediate. As soon as we make changes, either in the titles or in the bid, among others, they will be seen by the search engine and will be shown immediately when users do searches that activate our ads.

Traffic segmentation

If there is a really interesting aspect in SEM is the possibility of segmenting traffic, with the main objective of directing our ads towards our main target. For example, if we have a local business in Madrid, we can make our ads only show in Madrid and its surroundings, so that users in other cities can not see them.

This is important to focus our efforts on targeting those users who may be more inclined to make some kind of conversion on our website and avoid unnecessary expenses trying to reach users who will not convert. It would be useless if they announced themselves in the town of Frodo, showing their announcements to the inhabitants of Mordor. It would be an unnecessary waste of time and money.

However, in SEO the segmentation of traffic is more complicated. For example, if we want to segment locally, we could do it by including the city of our business in the title and the content of the page, but this can not prevent people from other cities from visiting our website through organic results.

Reticence to advertising

Another important aspect that must be taken into account is the distrust of many users to the payment results. The vast majority of people who search the Internet are well aware that the first results correspond to pages that are performing paid campaigns and, in many cases, unless they are very relevant to the user (such as search results). Transactional users may be reluctant to click on them, something similar to what happens with Display Ads.

For this reason, it is very important to work to the maximum extent of our SEM campaigns, attracting the greatest possible attraction of users and, above all, showing content and products that are totally relevant and consistent with the search carried out.

In addition, due to the rejection that many users show towards the advertising of Google and other search engines, it is very important to also work on the SEO positioning for words that we work with SEM, since this way we make sure to appear up to twice on the first page of the results, increasing our chance of success. Do you understand now why we said that SEO and SEM are complementary?

Visibility of the results

Related to what we were saying before, another aspect to take into account is the visibility of the organic results and the ones of the payment positioning. The results coming from paid campaigns will appear in the first place, having a more prominent place in front of SEO positioning. In addition, on platforms such as AdWords, we can configure our campaigns to display data such as our business phone number, location or even rating stars, making our results more visible and visible. All this without forgetting the possibilities offered by Google Shopping, being able to make our products appear in prominent places of the SERPs.

On the other hand, the organic results, although they appear behind the SEM results, can also stand out in multiple ways with the Rich Snippets, especially thanks to the micro labeling of our page. We can achieve that in our results appear stars of valuation, prices or even images, making the results of our website are much more attractive.

Reach the top positions

The way to get in the top positions for the desired searches also varies widely from one strategy to another. If we want to be in the first position in the payment results, we will have to bid more and, therefore, pay more to achieve that desired position. However, if we have a web optimized and relevant to the keyword from the start, the cost per click could decrease considerably.

Google’s positioning, however, we must work harder and optimize the page to get at least in the Top 3. Unlike SEM, it does not serve simply to pay more, but we must have an optimized website and a page according to the keyword for which we want to position. For example, it will be important to include the main keyword in the title as far to the left as possible, in the H1 of the page, in the first paragraph, in the conclusion of the content and even in the meta description.

Measuring results

The organic and payment positioning also has its clear differences when it comes to measuring the keywords that give better results, especially because in SEO the results that give us tools such as Analytics or Search Console are more than diffuse.

Since several years ago Google decided to hide in Analytics the words that brought us traffic under the veil of our hated not provided, it is increasingly difficult to know exactly which are the keywords that have a better organic performance on our website. That is why we have to resort to external tools such as SEMRushAhrefs or Sistrix to have a somewhat greater vision of the possible keywords that generate better results. Although these analyzes that provide us are not 100% accurate, it does allow us to have a certain approach that helps us guide us to take new steps in our strategies.

On the other hand, if we activate SEM campaigns, from the first moment we will have reports with keywords, being able to detect the ones that generate the most impressions of our ads or the ones with the most clicks and, above all, those that generate the most profitability, being able to make the modifications timely in real time to adjust our campaigns to the fullest. These reports can also help us for our SEO strategies, since we can detect our strongest and weakest points, in consequence, complementing our efforts in SEM with our SEO optimization. Are you already clearer why they are complementary?

Time to see results

The time it takes to see results is similar to the flexibility we mentioned earlier. As soon as we activate our SEM campaigns, we can begin to see results and adjust these campaigns to optimize them as much as possible according to our objectives. As the changes we make are going to be implemented instantaneously, we can make changes in real time to improve the results.

However, the same does not happen with SEO. Although we create pages to position certain keywords, it can take weeks or even months until those pages begin to appear in the first results for the keywords we want. The results, therefore, will not begin to be seen until later, and our objectives will take longer to be fulfilled.

That is why it is very important to establish micro-objectives in our SEO strategies and focus efforts on optimizing certain parts of our website to achieve small results progressively. Because the process is slow, it is much better to focus on a specific part of the web and gradually optimize the rest of the site. If we work the whole web at once, the results will take a lot longer to arrive.

Which is better for my business: SEO or SEM?

Given the main points in common and the great differences that both strategies can present, the key question arrives: why should you opt for your online business? We have to tell you that it will always depend on your business and the objectives you intend to achieve.

If you want to get immediate results, SEO is not for you, so carrying out payment strategies may be what you’re looking for. In projects that will be developed in a very short period of time, the SEM is ideal to be able to meet objectives. For example, it would not make sense to try to position by SEO a web project in which only one month will be worked. However, if you are looking for long-term profitability, organic positioning is undoubtedly the one that can most help you achieve your goals.

The ideal in all cases will be to reconcile both. Why choose one or the other when you can achieve much more optimal results if you still have the strengths and benefits of both strategies?

We advise you that if you are starting, invest in SEM, especially to capture the first visits and go facing the investment that requires the organic positioning of your website. See your website working for SEO and, once your business has started to take off by organic positioning, while you continue to dedicate efforts to the SEO of your business, you can use the payment campaigns to cover those weaknesses and weak points that present your SEO strategy.

That you still have doubts about which is the most optimal strategy for your business? Do not worry! At UBT we have a great team of professionals who will be able to advise you on the most optimal channels that you will have to work to boost your business and meet your objectives.