It’s always fun when you get the chance to work with friends. A former colleague of mine has a company called Sales Funnel Professor that does sales funnel audits and go-to-market strategy and often works with us for our specialties.
I was honored to get the chance to sit down virtually to answer a number of questions that are quite common from both small and large firms that don’t have a wealth of internal digital marketing expertise.
Take a look at our conversation below.
The Interview in Full:
Todd, when I was COO of a fintech/SaaS company and interviewed hundreds of PPC experts, we landed on you being the right person to turn the dials at the top end of the funnel within Google Ads and paid social media. We were lucky to have you on that marketing team.
Since then, you’ve packaged your expertise up with Happy to Help Marketing and have been collaborating on a number of Sales Funnel Professor-led projects.
One challenge with SEO, PPC, and even social media in the Meta/Facebook ecosystem is the tools have become so convoluted and the support articles and teams provided by the platforms are rarely accurate.
That said, we’re excited to pick your brain about some of the common tools that any firm doing digital marketing should be aware of and what their purpose is when optimized.
A: To try and explain SEO, Search Engine Optimization, in a way that may be easier to digest, SEO is like a high school popularity contest for your website. If you just sit in the corner being shy and not doing anything to stand out when Google tells you what they are looking for in a friend, your website will never begin to show up organically.
If you take the Google hints and start optimizing H1s, meta descriptions, title tags, adding relevant content, asking for new friends (external link building) etc… you are way more likely to start moving up the Google friend list to be his #1 spot friend!
PPC, Pay Per Click, is exactly that, the advertiser pays anytime their ad is clicked. Google Ads is the main platform when referring to PPC advertising, but Bing is also a platform I like to recommend due to less competition and sometimes a better bang for the buck over Google. These are the ads that usually show at the very top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
Paid Social is almost a must nowadays. The daily average of time spent on social media is 147 minutes/day Average time spent on social media – Only posting organically on social media, you will get your message out to less than 1% of your followers. There are so many platforms out there and they each have their own positives and negatives.
Meta (Facebook/ Instagram) is usually a great place to start, but depending on the target audience, other platforms might be better. For example, LinkedIn Ads is considered “Paid Social” and might be better for a B2B audience.
Q: Would it be fair to say that for most companies, SEO and PPC center around Google? Are you concerned with Bing, DuckDuckGo, or other search platforms?
A: That is definitely fair to say. To be honest, our only focus is Google. According to StatCounter, as of June 2022, Google’s global search engine market share was at 91.88%, with Bing following at 3.19%, Yandex at 1.52%, Yahoo at 1.33%, Baidu at 0.76%, and DuckDuckGo at 0.64%.
Q: Let’s focus on Google first. What is Google Analytics? What is its value proposition?
A: To me, Google Analytics is like the brain of your website. It takes in all the information, processes it, and shows the results on how users interact with your website. You can see how many users come to your site, how many of them are new, how long they stay on your website, what page they bounce from, and how many convert on your desired actions like phone calls, form fills, sign-ups for the newsletter, etc.
Q: We rarely hear about Larry Page (or Sergey for that matter) anymore. Is Page Rank still a thing?
A: Yes and no. Page Rank as a tool has been retired by Google due to misuse by SEO’s “optimizing” websites to focus on Page Rank over adding relevant content and creating a better user experience.
The factors that went into the Page Rank tool are still relevant but now all happen on the backend of the website and not through a Toolbar that shows a website rank. SEOs abused PageRank and used it to manipulate rankings, leaving Google with no real choice other than to retire the toolbar, which happened in 2016.
Q: What about Google Ads? What is its value prop?
A: Google Ads is my favorite digital marketing service to provide. Google Ads is a type of PPC advertising mentioned earlier. You basically tell Google that when someone searches for “x”, I want my ad for “y” to show.
The reason that Google Ads is my favorite is that a lot of times this is the main driving force for new business for my clients. I know their business, their family, their employees, and their family’s livelihood rely on how well I do my job. I have always been a very competitive person and always want to drive the very best results for my clients.
My favorite compliment I have ever received is that an owner once said “We can’t keep up hiring enough employees to keep up with all the business we have been getting now.” Google Ads and Google Analytics can give me all the data I need to make decisions to optimize the Google Ads to drive better results month over month for my clients.
Some people like doing crossword puzzles, some like doing Sudoku. Not me! I like digging through Google data to optimize Google Ads.
Q: How about Google Search Console? How do you use that?
A: Google Search Console is another very important Google tool to keep an eye on. Google’s core web vitals are located here and need to have an eye on this at all times to watch and make sure nothing is failing Google’s grade of your website. You can also see if there are any crawl errors, 404 errors as well as submit sitemaps to Google.
Pro Tip, if you make major changes or add new content like a new page to your website, instead of waiting up to a few months for Google’s bots to crawl the page, you can go to Google Search Console and manually request Google to index the page right away.
Q: What about Google Tag Manager? What’s its purpose? How does it work with the tools referenced above?
A: Google Tag Manager is a platform that is utilized by Google to “tag” certain actions that you want to track on your site like button clicks, page scroll depth, how much of a video was watched, etc., and then integrate with Google Analytics.
Another way Google Tag Manager is utilized is for inserting other platforms’ pixel codes on your website. It acts as a bucket for scripts from Facebook/Meta, LinkedIn, Hubspot, etc.
Q: Wow! That’s a lot of tools just for Google optimization. Let’s go ahead and drown our readers in other stuff they should know…What about Meta/Facebook world? What platforms has Zuckerberg bought over the years?
A: As everyone knows, Zuck initially brought us Facebook as a company, now called Meta. Zuck/Meta now has 3 of the top 4 Social Media Platforms. Facebook is the #1 Social Media Platform, YouTube (owned by Google) is 2nd, while 2 Meta-owned platforms round out the top 4: WhatsApp and Instagram.
Q: If you want to run advertisements in Meta social networks, how do you do it?
A: Head to https://business.facebook.com/business/tools/ads-manager to get started. There are several types of campaigns to consider depending on your business goals. There are Reach, Traffic, and Conversion-type campaigns to name a few.
Pro Tip: Do not start out with a Conversion campaign, Facebook needs to get data coming in so that it actually knows what a conversion is to you. You need to have at least 50 conversions happening a week for Facebook’s algorithm to optimize properly for a conversion campaign.
Q: How many different advertisement tools does Meta currently offer? How are they different from one another?
A: Currently, Meta offers ads through Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Oculus (Meta’s VR Platform) as well as an “Audience Network” of 3rd-party websites and apps where ads may be placed.
Q: So let’s say one of our readers uses your brilliance to stand up some ads and sees business pick up. What is digital attribution and how do you know what business came from digital advertisement?
A: Digital Attribution is like trying to connect the dots from an original digital marketing source to taking a desired action like calling you, filling out your form, signing up for your newsletter, etc.
Some platforms/marketing efforts are good at surfacing 1 for 1 attribution. For example, a user landed on your website via a Google Ad and completed a desired action like making a purchase, filling out a form, making a call, etc.
You can tell your marketing efforts are working with more straight-line attribution approaches.
But what about SEO? That is a bit more difficult. How can you tell if a company that is doing SEO work on your website is working? There are many tools out there to monitor your website traffic, but you’ll be able to tell with Google Analytics. Is your organic traffic going up? For example, a client that started with me 30 days ago for SEO work on their website saw organic Google search impressions go up 26.95% and 39.57% more organic clicks to their website.
This particular client has call tracking via CallRail setup, and we can see their organic call volume go up as well as listen to call recordings to see what the calls were about. Several organic calls turned into sales for them.
So the question is, would they have gotten those orders without our optimization on their website? We can’t say 100% yes, but what we can say is that we helped increase the chances of them closing almost $500,000 in new sales by 40%.