Inbound Marketing 101: How Google Works (#1 in a series)

June 4, 2012

Google Search Button 400pxHello Inbound Marketing enthusiasts and loyal followers! This post is our attempt to make Inbound Marketing, and Google in particular, more interesting and understood by the average business owner that doesn’t necessarily know much about Google and what drives results online.

For the most part in the beginning of my learning process, all I knew about Google was that you enter in what you’re looking for in the search bar and up came some options ("results"). If you were like me, you maybe knew that the top shaded areas were businesses that paid money to be in that spot (sometimes too much money, I came to find). And you may have thought that the area below the paid, shaded area were pages that were viewed more often (not necessarily the case).

By 2006 I knew that Google was getting 16 billion searches or more in just the USA, per month. Wait a minute! People talked all the time on how many eye balls watch the Super Bowl like it was just an amazing number and how much businesses will spend on advertising for those eyeballs watching the Super Bowl (actually only a fraction of what Google has in a month by the way).

Google Inbound Marketing Agency Search Results 400pxFast forward to 2012: Now I am really starting to get it, and I realize all these people using Google are actually interested in the term they searched for, at the time they click "Google Search". As an advertiser or marketer, this knowledge, this opportunity is pure Gold; to actually have people come to you that are interested in what you have, in real-time. But the key is attracting the right traffic.

AdWords makes it simple

Did you know you can just pay Google and reach the top of the results page? Wow what a concept! Many business owners believe that you just walk away and watch visitors roll into your site and spend all kinds of money at your business.... WRONG! Most people that have experience spending money for search keywords will tell you it isn’t that easy, not by a long shot. In fact one of the things we do within Connection Model is monitor our clients’ spend on keywords with software tools to determine better and more accurate options for keywords, bidding strategies and analysis.

Relevancy equals money in the PPC game

Now let me really try to open up your mind…. Did you know that it is possible to actually pay less than your competitor for keywords and rank above them? It’s possible if the Quality Score (QS) of your landing page(s) is higher than that of your competitor.

So HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST QUALITY SCORE?

Google gives the quality score answer to this in Google-ese but here’s the common business owner version:

Think of Google as a matchmaker between Questions and Answers. If your answer is the best, you’ll pay less. In other words, if your landing page (or website page) is the most relevant, trusted, best source of quality information on a topic, the quality of that page result (as judged by Google) will displace money in the AdWords-Auction bidding environment, and allow you to spend less on a cost per click basis. Google rewards quality and relevancy in the form of lower costs. What they call this reward is "Quality Score".

Inbound Marketing is simple, but never easy.

It takes a ton of time to do this stuff correctly. Many business owners and successful executives find that hiring a digital / inbound marketing agency to run this part of their business allows them more time to run their business, which they do best.

Follow Connection Model (on this digital marketing strategy blog, via RSS, on Facebook or Twitter) throughout this series and I will make your path to Google Campaign results easy to understand and increase your chance of success.

Here are five (5) questions to ask yourself that will aid you in the decision of whether or not to consider using a Digital Marketing Agency.

  1. Do you wonder how well your Google campaigns fit in your competitive landscape? Are you leaving money on the table?
  2. Do you have a sneaking suspicion that your Google campaign(s) could be generating better results?
  3. Do you find yourself trying to justify greater investment in PPC to management?
  4. Are you curious to compare your results in PPC vs. what is possible – what your competitors have achieved?
  5. Are you looking to be recognized for bringing about serious, exponential gains in your online results this year, or content with modest improvements?

This is part one of my Inbound Marketing 101: How Google Works series to help educate the average Joe Business Owner, like myself, about Google and Inbound Marketing.

Talk Back

What are your questions about Google in general, or about AdWords PPC? What are the mysteries you’d like de-mystified in this series? Please feel welcome to leave your comments below.

Be on the lookout for #2 in the series: It’s All About Relevancy, and be sure to stay tuned for post #3 in this series where we’ll ask and answer the critical question: How do you find and attract the best candidates / prospects for your business?

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