Frequently Asked Questions

Advertising Campaigns

Q. I want to advertise my products and services, can Entity help set up and manage my ad campaigns?
A. Yes, Entity can set up and manage ad campaigns. Entity manages hundreds of ad campaigns for a wide range of products and services. We can identify the right media mix and develop ads that get attention in trade publications and on Google and Bing and other media.

Q. Can Entity help me advertise on Facebook and other social media?
A. Yes we’ll advertise your company on social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, GooglePlus and Instagram. We haven’t tried Snapchat yet.

Q. Can Entity help me place ads in print media?
A. Yes Entity can design and place ads in print publications.

Q. I want to improve the performance of my ads on Google and Bing. I’m currently running some search campaigns, how can I get more exposure and better ROI?
A. Yes we can manage search ad campaigns on Google and Bing and monitor the ROI. Customers turn to Entity for support managing Google and Bing advertising on the search network and the display network including YouTube.

Q. I want to get started running Google Ads, can Entity train my team to manage our campaigns more effectively?
A. Yes Entity can provide training for staff to improve the performance of Google Ads. We strongly recommend the Google AdWords Certification, as a foundation for understanding the way search advertising works. There are specializations in search ads and display ads among others.

Q. I want to hire someone to manage my online advertising, is Entity a Google Partner?
A. Yes Entity is a Google Partner. That means that we have demonstrated proficiency and passed tests to certify our experience with Google AdWords. We manage hundreds of ad campaigns and millions of keywords.

Q. What is the difference between Google Search Advertising and Google Display Network?
A. Google Search Ads are the ads you see on Google when you search for something. They generally appear at the top or bottom of the search results pages on Google, and they also can appear on other sites in the Google search network. Display ads are shown on publisher sites, but not in relation to a search query. Sites such as the New York Times, Forbes or Bloomberg, trade publications and blogs serve display ads. There are many other differences as well between the two types of online ads.

Q. What are some other differences between search ads and display ads?
A. Search ads are good for reaching people when they are actively searching for your product or service. People who search for something are likely further along in the decision making process and more likely to have an immediate purchase intent. Display advertising may appear at other points in the sales cycle. Broadly generalizing, for these reasons, many businesses will use search ads to generate revenue and display ads to generate awareness.

Q. I want to advertise, but I am concerned about the costs. Can you recommend a budget or explain how much it costs to advertise?
A. Yes, we will recommend an advertising budget and help you decide on bidding strategies that achieve your goals. Online advertising is measurable and very flexible. In most cases you can start out with very little expense and scale as rapidly as needed. We often recommend trials for initial campaigns that could be under $100. There’s no way to generalize on an amount but by testing and evaluating the results we’ll work to minimize risk.

Q. Is there any free advertising?
A. Yes it is possible to advertise for free. But there’s always cost for labor. Free media exposure on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, GooglePlus,, and some forums can be just as effective and costly as paid advertising. Entity can offer credits for ads on Bing or Google for new accounts. Typically new accounts can qualify for $100 or $200 of free credits on Bing or Google.

Q. Can I get a grant to fund advertising expenses?
Y. Yes Entity can help you apply for a grant to fund advertising expenses. We are familiar with the Google grant program that helps non-profits get up to $10,000 per month in free search ads on Google.

Q. How will I know if my advertising is working?
A. For each campaign, we set goals with you and work with data to analyze the campaign effectiveness. We can show you how to capture and analyze the right data to manage your ad campaigns using AdWords Conversion Tracking and Google Analytics, Google Data Studio or other analytics tools you may be using.

Q. What is Google Data Studio?
A. Google Data Studio is a drag and drop report builder, that takes data from Google Analytics and other sources. With Google Data Studio, analytics data is transformed into more meaningful and actionable intelligence. To explain that further, analytics data is presented in a question and answer format that would answer questions like, “What pages get the most views?” or “Which products generated the most revenue this month?”. Entity can set up Google Data Studio and Google Analytics to help you understand the effectiveness of your ad campaigns.

Q. Can you recommend advertising strategies if I have big campaigns running already?
A. Yes Entity can recommend advertising strategies as an objective partner to your firm and can work with your staff to reevaluate your current campaigns and help decide whether goals and budgets are realistic. Together we can evaluate which campaigns are under-performing and which channels are underutilized. Each channel will have ROI, conversion metrics, visitor profiles and other performance characteristics that can be looked at for new opportunities.

Q. What is meant by advertising channels?
A. Advertising channels are segments of the media mix used to reach an audience. Channels can be thought of in broad contexts such as social media, trade publications, print media, online media, word of mouth, trade shows and events, email, etc. – in short any conduit through which advertisers reach an audience. The acronym POEM signifies Paid, Earned, Owned Media.  Paid channels include ads in publications or on websites, billboards, radio and television. Earned media is when other people provide exposure for your product or brand by word of mouth referrals, by online reviews, in editorial coverage, tweets or social media posts. Owned is when the company itself controls the channel, for example a company website or Facebook page, twitter account or signage.

Q. I’d like suggestions on improving my ad campaigns. How can we work together?
A. We start client engagements with a written agreement that defines the scope of work, and the hourly rate and retainer. We treat your business like our own, getting to know your advertising goals is important to the process of improving ad campaigns.

Q. What are typical fees for your services? How much do you charge?
A. Usually there is a $200 per hour fee. In most cases, there is an hourly charge against a retainer, to cover some portion of the expected work for a specified period. We prepare detailed itemizations for tracking.

Analytics

Q. What is web analytics or what is Google Analytics?
A. Google analytics is an application that tracks and reports on traffic to your website. Google Analytics has a free version and a paid version. Using reports from Google analytics or similar applications, exposes actionable intelligence about visits to your website. Trend data can help you understand whether changes are needed. Demographic data can help you understand expansion opportunities. Segment analysis can help you target the most productive audiences. We understand analytics and the web, so we can help improve your website.

Q. What is Google Analytics certification?
A. Google Analytics certification is a certification earned by analysts who have demonstrated proficiency in analyzing websites and users. To qualify for certification, a person must pass a test and periodically renew.

Q. What tools do you use for analytics?
A. We mostly use Google Analytics, Google Data Studio and Google Optimize to understand visits and visitors and to test changes to websites. We also use Google In Page Analytics, Hotjar and a wide variety of other specialized tools to help with usability and user experience ultimately with the goal of improving conversions.

Q. Why is it important to know what visitors do on your website?
A. Analyzing where traffic originates isn’t going to tell the whole story. It’s important to look deeper at what visitors do once they arrive at your website, to consider their intent and to evaluate whether the site met their needs. We can look at where they travel once they are on the site and we can take some action based on that analysis. Make more valuable content easier to reach for example. Remove content that people don’t use which is just as important sometimes. That’s a content strategy.

Q. Why is it important to know where traffic comes from?
A. Perhaps relatively little traffic comes to your site from “social” and “paid”. So using these channels looks like opportunities – immediate strategies – to grow your visibility.

Q. What is the significance of “direct” traffic?
A. “Direct means there is no referrer because the visitor’s browser was not open to another page before requesting your page. We can infer that “direct” represents people who already know your website or who navigated to your site from an email or a link in a document that opened a new browser window or tab.

Q. Why should we analyze search queries?
A. We need to look at the search queries that lead to your site. Separately we need to look at whether the site ranks well for the terms that are important to your goals and those of the visitor. We need to see who competes with your site for those terms.

Q. What is meant by referral
A. Referral – what page led to the next page.

Q. What does “direct” mean?
A. Direct – there is no referrer – in other words the browser wasn’t open before the page was requested.

Q. What is Google Optimize?
A. Google Optimize is a free tool to test changes to a webpage. With Google Optimize, changes can be served to sample of visitors, before being rolled out to all users. Changes can be made with no particular knowledge of coding or HTML and without help from a designer or developer. You can change the wording or position of text on a page, to see the effect on conversions for example. This type of experimentation is usually called A:B testing because it compares changes. Google Optimize computes the statistical significance of A:B tests to choose the best option.

Q. Besides Google Optimize what do you recommend for A:B testing?
A. A:B testing with Optimizely is an alternative to Google Optimize.

Q. My company uses Google AdWords. How can I tell if Google AdWords are generating revenue?
A. Google AdWords can use the data layer to track information such as order ID, product ID and revenue.

Q. What is search console and how can I use it?
A. Search console is a tool set that provides valuable information about search terms people use to find your site. It can be integrated easily with AdWords and Google Analytics. Other tools in the set can test speed, mobile compatibility, AMP and Schema compliance and more. You can use search console to upload sitemaps and test them for errors. Search console is also known by its previous name as Webmaster Tools. Bing also has webmaster tools.

Q. What is a sitemap and do I need one?
A. A sitemap is a list of pages on a site. Of course search engines crawl a site and discover pages and index them without a sitemap. Generally popular sites are crawled frequently and smaller less popular sites are crawled less frequently. It takes time to crawl a site, putting burden on scarce resources, so a sitemap is a more efficient way to find pages. Yes you should have sitemaps and keep them updated. WordPress sites generally have sitemaps created automatically and are kept up to date.

Search Engine Optimization

Q. What is search engine optimization and how do you do it?
A. Search engine optimization is a methodology of designing webpages so they can be understood by search engines and users alike. Well written pages stay focused on a particular topic and organize subject matter in a logical way. SEO is very complex because search engines rank pages based on such a wide variety of factors and they keep changing. Search engines look at the speed of a site, user interaction, time on site, and the quantity and quality of links to the pages among many other criteria. A search engine is looking at technical factors like the structure of the data and the number of broken links the frequency, proximity, prominence and weight of terms and topics on the page. Optimizing a site relies on specific knowledge of how search engines discover and rank a page. We do search optimization by the book, no promises of overnight results. We track performance with specialized tools.

Q. What specialized tools are used for SEO?
A. We use MOZ, SEMRush and ahrefs, Alexa, SpyFu, Search Console, Hotjar and many others. With these tools we can track broken links, trend positions, judge user behavior, analyze competitors and suggest which terms can be valuable and attainable for your particular circumstance.

Q. I am relaunching a website, how does that affect SEO and what should I do?
A. Relaunching a site always has SEO implications. Everything changes, site structure, images, text, links, anchor text and user behavior all play a role in ranking the new site. It also takes time for search engines to crawl and index the new content. Links from other websites need to be redirected and updated, new sitemaps have to be created and uploaded. We can do all of that for you or work with your developers pre and post launch to ensure a smooth relaunch.

Q. If I do SEO can I get number one position on Google or Bing?
A. There are no guarantees.

Q. I want to improve my search ranking. What should I do to get the top positions?
A. Google and Bing provide sensible guidance on how to rank high in search results. Write information that is authoritative, engaging and clear. Try to take care of all the technical aspects so the site is fast and responsive for mobile devices, use search console and other tools to get specific recommendations. Entity can evaluate your site and do ongoing maintenance. We can set up the tools and create the accounts you’ll need to manage SEO yourself, or we can do the SEO work for you.

Q. How can I learn SEO?
A. Read the guidelines on Bing and Google, attend the SMX conference in a city near you, attend MOZCON in Seattle, take a class with Bruce Clay join SEMPO, read SearchEngineWatch.com and SearchEngineLand.com.

Q. Does your staff have formal training in SEO, how do you stay current if everything is changing?
A. Bob has attended seminars and conferences dedicated to SEO and has practiced SEO since the beginning of the world wide web and is a SEMPO member.

Q. What is SEMPO?
A. SEMPO is the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization. It is a membership group of SEO practitioners who exchange best practices in SEO.

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