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Beginner’s Guide to SEO + SEM For Small Businesses

Beginner’s Guide to SEO + SEM For Small Businesses

Beginner's Guide To SEO + SEM For Small Business

Tripod, the Tricycle Creative podcast, is for anyone interested in being a better Digital + Content Marketer. Hosted by Ross Herosian (a Marketing coach, content creator, and entrepreneur) episodes are a mix of helpful Marketing tips, social media updates, inspiring interviews, and his own unique perspective on how to promote and grow your business.

In this episode of TriPod, Ross welcomes Jyll Saskin Gales. Jyll is a former Google employee who now coaches business owners, helping them get the most profitable return on investment from Google Ads. And she has over 45,000 people follow her on TikTok for her bite-sized, actionable Google marketing tips.

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Show Transcript:

Ross Herosian

Oh my god, it’s been way too long. I know I’ve neglected you guys – my faithful TriPod listening audience. I’m here. It’s a beautiful spring day as I record this, I just watched Judge Judy, you guys know like, that’s my jam. If anything’s gonna get me really ready for a show. It’s watching Judge Judy. She’s my power animal. I also ate lunch. So I’m already raring to go for this episode. And I am so excited to talk about what I’m going to talk about today. Well, what is that? Well, I am going to talk about one thing that I really love SEO, and I brought a guest in to talk about something that she really loves and knows a lot about, which is SEM. Now you may be saying to yourself, “I don’t understand SEO and SEM” – well, you’re gonna understand by the end of this episode.

Meet Google Ads Guru, Jyll Saskin Gales

Ross Herosian 

So my guest today – and really, I think its probably more appropriate to call her a co-host, because we’re going to be shouldering equally shouldering the weight here is Jyll Saskin Gales. Jyll, hello!

Jyll Saskin Gales

Hello! Thank you for having me today.

 

Ross Herosian

Yeah, I’m super excited. I’ve been looking forward to this week, I always joke that really, most of my podcasts are like the least produced show ever. But we have put in a good amount of planning to really outline what we’re going to talk about today. And that is, I think it’s kind of like the Venn diagram of SEO and SEM, right? Like, where they’re different and where they are they the same? And, and I think where it makes sense for the solopreneur  and small business marketer. And I think also, there’s a lot of things when it comes to SEM, that I say, and it was so I’ll say reassuring, when we talked to hear a lot of the same things that I’ve been saying from an expert like you. So this made me feel really, really good. Do you want to start with just talking a little bit about maybe your background?

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

Jyll Saskin Gales

Absolutely. So I am a proud Canadian live in Toronto, and I run my own digital marketing consultancy. And the reason I’m able to do that is because I worked at Google for six years, left Google in, oh, gosh, almost a year ago, April 2021, to start my own business, because I really saw you know, a Google I got to work with the world’s largest and most sophisticated advertisers, the kind of businesses that spend millions of dollars a year if not a million dollars a day on Google ads. And that’s great and wonderful and loved what I got to do there, but I saw this big gap where all the small business owners and entrepreneurs out there just couldn’t get a foothold. And not because Google Ads isn’t designed for them. It absolutely is. But because there just wasn’t a lot of information and help out there. For the people who have maybe $20 or $30 a day to spend on Google ads.

 

That’s I really focused my business. I’m The Google Pro on TikTok and Instagram. And I just love sharing tips on how to get the most out of Google ads, of course, and also free Google tools. And the number one thing I say to people as someone who makes a living from SEM is start with SEO first. So really excited to dive into this conversation today with an SEO expert like yourself.

 

Ross Herosian

As an SEO person that made me so happy when we talked, because it reaffirms what I’ve been saying and because I truly think that that is the right order of operations. I’m really keyed in on, particularly with a lot of my clients, they come to me and it’s a lot of “they don’t know what they don’t know” when it comes to digital marketing. And so I’m really big on kind of, you know, even digital order of operations  – you should do this and then this and then this and then this because if you do it in this order, you’ll save money but also these things. You get compounding interest. If you do your branding first and then your website and then you’re like, like having done those exercises in a particular order. gives you tremendous benefit.

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Why should your business be on Google?

Ross Herosian

Now, that’s a side tangent. Let’s put that on the shelf for now. So I’m going to start with the most obvious statement, maybe I’ll say in this show, but it is: If you’re listening, you should want to be and need to be on Google. And what does that mean? Well, we’re going to be talking about that, because how you get on Google is two different ways: SEO and SEM. And I pulled up some quick stats, right? And I’m just gonna say, let’s just do this real quick, because I want to hammer it home, that it is something of importance. (In fact, I actually argue, we’re doing work to get on Google is better than doing work on social media. But again, side tangent, whatever.)

 

Here’s some quick, quick, quick facts. Google controls over 91% of the global search engine market. 91%. It’s actually 91.8. Let’s round up 92%. So, yes, there are competitors entering the space. But Google still has a 90-percentile ownership over the global search engine market. nearly 35% of product searches in the world start on Google. Right. It’s the place that when you’re looking for a product, a third of them, go to Google first. And Google, not surprisingly, is the most visited website in December 2021, Google was visited 89.3 billion times. That’s a lot of visits. Second only to my MySpace page, which is still really doing well for you guys.Thanks. I’m really working I love the marching ants, I find is what brings people into my account. And really always, you can always change up your top eight, this is just a wait, this isn’t on my list, but forget that.

Key Differences Between SEO and SEM

Ross Herosian

I think the first place to start is difference between SEO and SEM. I’ll start with SEO. And then you can talk about SEM just at a real high level, right? SEO is organic. And what that means is, it’s a non-paid, or non advertising. It’s not that you obviously you may need to pay people to do it. But just to understand this is a non-advertising method to increase the overall traffic from Google and the key there is that you not only increase the quantity, but that you increase the quality, right? Relevancy is incredibly important. I say this with my clients, where if you just want to increase the volume, you know, and you’re a website that sells roller skates, and you’re driving a lot of people to your website who want to buy ice cream. That’s not a useful improvement. So, relevancy and volume are incredibly important when it comes to SEO. So now I’m going to hand the baton to Jill – how is SEM different?

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

So SEM, search engine marketing, is when you pay to show your business and your website on Google. And that can often be conflated with PPC, another term that gets thrown around. So PPC means pay per click. And that’s any kind of digital advertising where you’re paying for a click something like Facebook ads or LinkedIn ads or tick tock ads or Google ads, whatever it might be. And then SEM is a specific kind of PPC that’s focused on search engines, like Google or Bing or others like Baidu if you’re in China, and focusing on using money as a shortcut to get your business to the top of search results. So the first thing I say, where people often get confused, is thinking that, “oh, well, if I paid Google for ads, that’s going to help my SEO.” And so I just want to say from a former Googler, that is absolutely not true. What actually happens at Google is behind the scenes, the system that operates all the SEO and organic rankings is a totally separate system from an Google ads and all of that to us as end users. It’s just one page and we think well, of course, one influences the other, but they’re actually totally separate systems behind the scenes. The reason that often people who have a really great and strong SEO presence will also have a great strong SEM presence is because a lot of the same principles lead to success with both like you were mentioning Ross relevance having highly relevant ads to what people are searching for will help you SEO and your SEM. But no, you cannot pay Google to have better SEO, you can pay an SEO expert to help you with your SEO, you can pay Google with Google Ads to have great SEM. But they are independently operated systems. So I just want to get that out of the way. First thing.

 

Ross Herosian

And that’s another piece that I talk with my SEO clients about, so that they understand that. And, yes, well, Google falls under the Alphabet corporate umbrella, if you will, those two, I’ll say, machines or even platforms of organic and paid, I would imagine, they are incredibly different, right? And that they don’t see each other because people do come in like, “Well, maybe if I do pay, that’s going to help my SEO.” And so I think that’s a really great first myth to bust that we did. Now the second thing I want to hit on just right off the top is another misconception around SEM that Google Ads are just placed because someone pays the most, they can just go to the highest bidder. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Google Ads Myth: Ads Just Go To The Highest Bidder

Jyll Saskin Gales

Yeah, that also is absolutely not true. And that’s really the beauty of Google and why Google became this multi-billion dollar company is the concept of Ad Rank. So historically, the way advertising had worked was like an auction, whoever pays the most wins, great. But the way the Google ads actually worked is based on a concept called Ad Rank, and Ad Rank, where your ad shows on the page depends on two things: your bid (how much you’re willing to pay), but also your quality and both are taken into account for Ad Rank. And what’s so cool about that is, the higher your quality, the less you have to pay to show an ad. So the person who gets the first ad result doesn’t necessarily have to pay more than person to they may be paying more, but they may not be. And so Google Ads really is are can be this great equalizer because you don’t have to have a multi-million dollar budget in order to show your business at the top of the paid search results. One of the reasons I think it’s so powerful.

What Is Quality Score?

Ross Herosian

So Quality Score, I think is one of those things that’s a little bit shrouded in some mystery, right. And understandably, it’s a secret sauce to some extent. But I think there are things that we do know about it, are there some high-level things that we know, impact quality score?

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

Yes, there are. So the full algorithmic workings of Quality Score are blackbox, just the way the full algorithmic workings of SEO are a blackbox.

 

Ross Herosian

Or the full algorithmic workings of Facebook’s algorithm or Instagram and so forth. Yeah, that’s their secret sauce. It’s their 11 herbs and spices that they keep in a vault somewhere.

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

Yes. But what Google does tell us are three key components of Quality Score. And actually, when you run Google ads, Google search ads, specifically, you can actually see how you’re doing on each of these three components. So the most important is expected click through rate, click through rate, meaning of all the times your ad shows how often do people click on it? And that’s kind of the best barometer of quality Google’s like we’re gonna show your ad to people are they actually going to click on it? Because of course, Google only makes money if people click on ads. So Google wants people to click on ads. And then you as a business only get website traffic, if people click on your ads, which is what you want. And then even users as much as well behind click on ads, I don’t like ads, like, of course, we want ads that are more relevant to us, and not ones that are irrelevant to us.

 

Ross Herosian

And this is what’s interesting. Everyone out there listening, when you understand that this is not just about you’re getting served this ad because someone paid the most that this is actually being delivered to you. Yes, because someone is paying but also because it is highly relevant. I think you’ll become more apt and open to clicking on ads than thinking that oh, this is just junk, right? Like, it was transformative for me when I learned years ago, a little bit more about how Google Ads work to be like, okay, I don’t need to be ashamed or scared or whatever, to jump over those top three ad results, or the top five or whatever. Because a lot of times, they are incredibly relevant to my search.

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

Right! And if they’re incredibly relevant, you’re going to click on them. And so that’s why that’s the most important component of Quality Score is expected click through rate. So that’s number one. Number two is something called Ad Relevance. And so that just means is the thing the person searching for related to your ad, like if they’re searching for ice cream, does your ad mention ice cream? And then there’s your landing page mentioned ice cream, because of course, Google is the one who has these, you know, 89 billion visits in the month of December 2021. When you’re placing ads, you’re really saying Google, take your customers and give them to me. And so before Google is going to hand off that precious traffic to you, it wants to know, are they going to have a relevant experience? Or are they going to land on your website say this is actually a website for roller skates, and then come back to Google again and go look for another result which a user does not want to do that You want to just find what they’re looking for.

 

Ross Herosian

And that’s a bad user experience. And Google does not want to create an environment where their users have a bad experience, because then what happens, they leave. So Google is incentivized to make ads incredibly relevant to your search, not just give them to the highest bidder.

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

And that’s exactly why Quality Score is so important to why it’s not just bid. And I’ll mention just quick the third piece. So click through rate, ad relevance. And the third component of Quality Score is landing page experience. So part of your ad rank has to actually do with how fast your website loads, if it’s mobile optimized, if it has original content, or if it’s just been some AI generated garbage. So like that your landing page itself, nothing to do with your keyword, your ad, that’s actually a component of your quality score and affects how much you will need to pay per click in order to get people to click on your ads.

Google Ads: Are They A Shortcut To Revenue?

Ross Herosian

The flip side of all of this is about the return on investment. That someone running Google ads would think that ads are a shortcut to revenue.

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

I wish that it were true.

 

Ads are an easy shortcut to traffic. And as mentioned earlier, traffic does not mean revenue. Now, if you’re getting the right kind of traffic, you know, you have great targeting the right keywords, right audiences, then you are going to bring in traffic that is more likely to convert, but it’s still your websites job to take that traffic and turn it into customers, you know, garbage in, garbage out. And so that’s why I always say page should follow organic, whether we’re talking about Facebook ads, or Google ads, it’s like if the people who come to your website from SEO organically from Google aren’t converting, then people who come when you pay money aren’t going to magically start converting. That’s why you need to make sure you have a well converting website, you want to look at your conversion rate from direct traffic and from Google organic traffic. And generally, you know, general rule of thumb, I would say you want a conversion rate of at least like bare, bare minimum 1%. Ideally, more like 2-5% before you even consider spending money on ads, because ads are not a shortcut to revenue, they’re a shortcut to traffic, your website has to convert traffic to revenue. Now, can your ads work and try to optimize towards conversions like sure, you’ll then feed that data back to Google ads to say, who converted and who didn’t. But at the end of the day, Google can learn from that and change the kind of traffic it sends your way. But it’s still just sending you traffic, it’s not sending you revenue.

 

Ross Herosian:

I always think this is one very important way of framing. I think a lot of ads. And it’s always that like the gray space between marketing and sales or marketing, is that marketing creates opportunity. And sales creates revenue. And we were talking about that as it relates to ads. You know, it’s not a client that I’ve ever ended up working with but I’ve had many who come to me and they have a god awful website. And instead of wanting to invest in SEO, or invest in a new website, they want to do Google ads. And it’s just the “garbage in garbage out” situation. If your website is bad, and your copy is not relevant to your target audiences. And you don’t have, you know, again, relevant pages that you’re driving traffic to with consistent messaging. No amount of ads are going to fix that.

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

What you are saying is actually a lesson I learned the hard way. When I first left Google and started my business. I was so idealistic, you know, I’m here to help small business owners get up and running with Google ads. And the first two clients I worked with both female entrepreneurs, great small businesses, ran Google Ads for them, ROI negative on both. And I’m admitting that here and it hurt my heart and I was so upset and doubting myself. And it’s like, I forgot this cardinal rule because when I work with these giant corporations, they have this figured out already. But when I looked at it, I saw, “Oh, it’s not that the Google Ads didn’t work for these two small business owners. It’s that their websites aren’t working.” And so all I did by running Google ads for them was drive more people into a broken website. And I felt really terribly about it. And so I ended up helping both of them try to improve their website a bit, but still said, you know, what, come back to me when your conversion rate is 2%. And to this day, for both of those businesses, it’s still not there. And so neither of them are running ads. And I have learned from that, and as a result, have said no to so many business owners, please don’t run ads, don’t hire me.

 

Ross Herosian

Yet, guys, this is important, a huge piece of what I do and the guests I bring on this show and the things I talked to you about are so that you have the necessary accurate information to make decisions. And so this is important for you to hear, again, that there really is no silver bullet that applies to all businesses, right. And, and I think a lot of people look at ads that way, and even to some extent, maybe other aspects of digital marketing, and every case is going to be very different. And, you know, marketing. I had a fellow agency owner colleague, once say to me, like, marketing, doesn’t answer questions, it illuminates them. And I think it’s very true. And that’s the thing. That’s what always drew me towards digital marketing, and even content creation was the constant analysis. And here’s how we can improve. Here’s what worked, here’s what didn’t work. Now, here’s what we need to do, right? Like, it’s a constantly evolving type thing. And with that, I think it’s a good time for maybe us to talk about the actual how the strategies work a little bit more, you’ve, you’ve already done a great job of talking about, we’re going to pull the curtain back a little bit more, I’m going to talk about how SEO works at a really high level, we’re gonna talk about SEM, how it works.

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SEO + SEM Strategies Explained

Ross Herosian

And now what I wanted to do is again, talk about the two strategies that are kind of a high level. You know, we talked about SEO, the way I approach SEO is that it is both a blend of content and technical, right. I think particularly now since even the Google AI has become so much smarter in the past six to nine months, as we sit here recording this in March 2022, it’s become so much smarter to understand context and relationships and language that SEO is no longer just about, I’m just going to put this keyword on this page 20 times, and that’s gonna get me to the first page. Run, don’t walk away from any SEO person that recommends that strategy. Google’s smarter than that. Okay. SEO is really about creating relevant, informative, valuable content related to your business and what your business does. There’s a big there’s kind of a tenet inside of SEO that talks about creating content that establishes the EAT – expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. You know, there is a technical side, though, with technical, it’s about metadata. You heard Jyll mentioned before site speed, that is a factor on both. So if your site is loading, slow, so you’re probably asking “what’s slow”? Would you say slow is definitely longer than two seconds. Is that is that a kind of a good general benchmark?

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

When I first started Google in 2015, I would have said five seconds, like 2018, I would have said, three seconds. And now I would say like one and a half to two seconds. Anything longer is slow.

 

Ross Herosian

Yeah, what’s called that like the first content bite coming in, you know, in that in that within that first second? So they’re not looking at a blank page, maybe something’s coming in, and all the element other elements kind of fall into place. But yeah, I think two seconds, because, you know, fast is a subjective term, I think it’s important that we say, if it’s your site’s loading in over two seconds, particularly on mobile, right, but I think in both situations, you need to look into getting that fixed. And that’s a that’s a conversation for another day. And even now, the evolution of Google getting smarter with what’s called core web vitals, weirdly enough, design can now even play a part in SEO. And it’s how design actually impacts functionality. That’s really where this thing that’s called core web vitals comes in. And, and with SEO, the thing is, it’s an ongoing thing, I don’t take on any clients for less than six months at all right? It’s just ridiculous to do SEO for shorter than that. I usually recommend a year that someone worked it for a year. It’s an investment, and you get what I call compounding interest. So when you do SEO, you start to see your rankings improve, you start to see your site go up, you start to see your site traffic go up, you start to see the signals that SEO was working impressions on search, so on and so forth. You can continue to get those if you do stop doing SEO, not forever, mind you. But if you keep working it, you get again, this compounding interest concept where you get added benefit over time. So that’s SEO. Jill, let’s have you talk about that flip side with SEM.

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

I like your build on your compounding interest analogy there. I say SEO is like being a homeowner. And SEM is like being a renter. SEO, you like buy the house, and it’s a fixer upper. Because that’s all you can afford. And overtime, you renovate and build and work it up. And then you have this wonderful house to live in. And if you don’t maintain it, it could fall into disrepair. But like you have that equity, you’re a homeowner and you just like slap down security deposit, like boom, you’re in and as long as you pay your rent every month, you have somewhere to live, but the moment you stop paying get evicted. Yeah, so that’s how I think about it as a homeowner or a renter.

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

Yeah, so SEM, as we talked about earlier, the thing that matters the most is your Ad Rank. And so what you’re willing to pay does matter. You know, clicks don’t cost a cent anymore, they cost $2 to $5 can be as high as $20. Even higher than that, depending on your industry. But the better your quality. The more relevant your ads are to what a user searching for, the less you have to pay. And the basic structure of search engine marketing is really like any other kind of digital marketing. You can have various campaigns. And within those campaigns, you have keywords and ads, or actually with machine learning. You don’t always have to have keywords nowadays but for simplicity saying you have keywords, which are specific terms that are relevant to your business that you want to advertise on. And then billions of people come to Google search every day around the world, they type their query into that search bar. And if there’s a match between their query and your keyword, you’re eligible to show your ad. So are hundreds of other advertisers.

 

So you have to win that auction by having a high enough ad rank. But if you do, you’re eligible to show them an ad. And then hopefully, they click on it. And that’s how search ads are really complicated and really simple, all at the same time. And when we talk about Google Ads, we often think of search engine marketing. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Google Ads is not just SEM. There’s also display and discovery and video and app campaigns and the new Performance Max campaigns, which combines everything into one. So search is like the foundation and in most use cases where I suggest people start with Google Ads. But then there are lots of other ways to expand your reach or improve your efficiency or both. With formats beyond search ads within Google ads.

Is Google Ads Automation A Good Thing For Small Business?

Ross Herosian

I have a question for you, as a pro, as an expert, someone who lives inside of Google Ads, right? What is your take on Google Ads moving towards automation? I think it’s tricky, because to the layman’s person who just comes in the small business owner, like, oh, great, you know, oh, okay, I get I have to click less, I have to no less, I have to do less. And I kind of just leave it up to Google’s, you know, AI and the machine learning. But I read some things that it is very difficult because AI requires so much more data to actually deliver results. So do you have a take as someone who lives in there as versus like, kind of like the more I’ll say, curated or handmade Google Ads versus the automation,

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

I do actually, that was the topic of a monthly meet I just hosted a few days ago, I have my own learning platform called Inside Google Ads for small business owners who want to learn about Google ads. And part of that is a monthly meet using Google Meet, of course. And the topic this month was this is automation, your friend or foe. And this is a place where, as someone who worked at Google, my perspective is very different than most other PPC experts out there.

 

This is where I get the vitriol on Twitter, because I fundamentally believe in the power of automation, and that Google intends its automation to do good things for business. But understandably, those who haven’t worked at Google are don’t share that same blind optimism around Google as I do see a more sinister cash grab, Google’s just trying to push us towards automation to make more money for Google.

 

So I will say when you think about automation, kind of the way I broke it down earlier this week, there are three main ways to leverage automation within Google ads. There’s automating your bidding. So rather than choosing I want to pay this much for this click and this much for that click letting Google take care of bidding for the most part. I’m a huge proponent of that I think it saves time, I think it’s great. There’s automation of your targeting, which I alluded to earlier, do you pick your own keywords? Or does Google pick them for you? Do you pick your own audiences? Or does Google pick them for you? And that’s where small business owners can be at a disadvantage, because to your point, Ross, the systems need more data on what kind of targeting works in order for them to work well. So something like Dynamic Search Ads, which is where you don’t pick your keywords, instead, Google ads just looks at your website, figures out the right queries for you. But that only works if your website is already optimized to do well, in an SEO environment. Sure, if your website doesn’t do well, with SEO, it’s not going to do well with Dynamic Search Ads in SEM, and that for audience data. So that’s things like: do you have a large customer list of data that you can share with Google? If so, it’s going to be able to go out and find more customers better for you. But if you don’t have a large enough list, you’re not eligible for that feature. So with targeting, in theory, it absolutely works better than manual every time if you have enough data, which many small business owners don’t. And so for small business owners, my advice is to test and see.

 

Ross Herosian

That’s true of any ads. I don’t care where you’re running it. Television, the newspaper, Facebook, Instagram, Google guy on the sidewalk, spin in a sign. You need to test see what works. Maybe that sign spinners getting more people talk to him during lunch hour. Okay? Don’t have them out there. In the early parts of the morning write like everything related to ads. And even by extension, most aspects of digital marketing, which is the beauty of digital marketing that you least get data I recognize it could be drinking from a firehose, but you have data to make informed decisions. And I want to say this you, you brought up, I think, a very common thing, not only in marketing, and not only in ads, and not only is in life that it needs to be either/or – that the truth or the outcome, can’t be that both are true. And for me, it sounds like it is very conceivable that two things can be true. increased automation, can be better for the person running the ads, and make Google more money.

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

Yes, those don’t need to like they the incentives are aligned, as we saw earlier with the way Ad Rank works. And the way quality score works, like the incentives of business owners and Google like, are more aligned than they are not. I’m not gonna sit here and say it’s perfect and hunky dory all the time. But they are more aligned than not, more in common than not in common. And, and I’ve seen, you know, the way automation can just make a Google Ads account print money, just the money printing machine. And the key though with automation, that doesn’t mean that humans don’t have a job anymore. You know, automation does exactly what you tell it to do. Nothing more, nothing less. So it really changes our jobs, whether you’re a marketer or a business owner, we’re kind of a hybrid of the two, you need to understand how the automation works and what it’s doing and what new directions you can try to push it in. It’s really what we call higher value work. I think it’s more interesting work. And it allows all this creativity to come in to what’s normally a very quantitative space. So I’d say automated bidding, for the most part, excellent. Automated targeting can be great, but can have drawbacks. The third piece of automation, which is where I most skeptical, ad creative,

 

Responsive ads, I’m a full fan of I know, most PPC experts out there hate them, I love them. I think it’s great, great and responsive. That just means rather than designing an ad to exist, exactly the same for every single user, you give Google as a few different headlines, a few different descriptions, a few different images. And it plays Tetris kind of mixing and matching to the best combination,

 

 

Ross Herosian 

You kind of give it the ingredients, and then it can make different recipes, if you will…

 

Jyll Saskin Gales 

Depending on the user. So that’s absolutely great. But that still requires you a thinking human to create the text to come up with the images to create the videos. Now there’s more and more automation coming in to take that off your hands. Sometimes results good, sometimes not as good. So that’s the place where I am. Automation does the least right now. But like the direction we’re going, and it’s going to take care of that. And so the one piece of advice I’ll give you to keep in mind is when you are creating your ads, again, whether it’s for Google or something else, what you think is the best line of copy is not necessarily going to be the same copy that drives the best results. So when you run these tests, Google ads will tell you exactly which headlines and descriptions are working and which aren’t. Don’t try to tell Google they’re wrong.

 

So the feedback you get from the automation is great. But for now, humans still have to be the ones to write the text, design the images, etc. So those are kind of the three. That’s how I look at it, at least the three pillars of automation, all are useful. All are taking over more and more and more. And I see that as a good thing. Work with the automation to figure out how to make it work for you. Don’t just bury your head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist, because there will come a point where there is no manual option. We’re seeing that happening more and more each year. So guys,

 

Ross Herosian

You just learned a ton about how these actual strategies work. So to wrap up this episode, we’re gonna take a quick break, we’re gonna come back, and we’re gonna talk about which one is right for your business.

SEO vs. SEM For Small Business: How To Get Started + Cost Expectations

Ross Herosian 

Man! Have we learned a lot? I’ve learned a lot. Jyll, thank you so much for being here. I don’t know, I think as someone who’s a marketing coach, and again, you’re a teacher, you know, I’m voraciously curious. So this is why having subject matter experts, like you on this show are so incredibly helpful. Because, you know, I’m honest with my clients, like, I know a lot about a lot, but I am, I don’t live inside of all these platforms all the time. I mean, I pretty much have cut Facebook out of my life. Like I don’t use it personally. But I can still train and coach and I’m in there enough so that I’m not, you know, teaching this antiquated guidance. But, you know, Google Ads or something that years ago, it was a service I was offering. But as a business owner, myself, I wanted to start to gravitate towards the things I think that I did best and that I love doing. And that really tied into marketing strategy and marketing coaching. So I just want to say, as we come up and talk about this last session, just how thankful I am, that you’re here. And thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

Thanks having me, I feel the same way. You know, when I worked at Google, I thought I knew it all. And then when I left Google, I realized how much I still had to learn and how much I’ve learned over the last year. And my business has also really evolved to coaching and teaching is what I do most now, because there’s so many misconceptions out there about Google. And I’m not here to be a Google shill to help Google – Google does not need my help. I’m here to help small business owners and entrepreneurs who only ever see the side of digital marketing experts that say, here’s the hack to Google doesn’t want you to know. And here’s the trick. And here’s how he was trying to cheat. I hate it. And I find that so toxic and productive. Like if I’m a business owner, and I think Google’s trying to cheat me. What use is that to me, you know? And so I just I enjoy bringing this different perspective of showing like, here’s how to make it work for your business. Because shocker, Google only succeeds if the business owners who use Google succeed.

 

Ross Herosian

I mean, listen, there are hacks and whatnot, which I you’ll never see me ever put out a hack or anything like that. I talk about tips and strategies, right?

 

So, SEO, SEM, which one is right for your business? And, you know, of course, as I said before, there is no silver bullet per se, but I think that we can speak very broadly. And in our own experiences, generally about what’s kind of a good path to at least consider if you’re out there listening and thinking about these two strategies. You said it already. I’m going to double down on it. Your recommendation as mine, is that anyone that’s looking to start, should start with SEO. That’s kind of what builds the foundation, it’s a playground, I use this with Facebook and Google, it’s like we, we need to get your playground in order, right? So that we can have people come in, or your park or whatever it may be, we need to get this piece of land in order. Because if people come into your playground and you have broken glass on the slides, and drug dealers hanging out, it’s just not an optimal place. And just like you said, you’re not going to want to send one person to it. So we need to get that a in good foundation where everything is functioning properly. A place where you are creating and have created relevant content that speaks to your current and prospective audiences, your customers, that kind of thing.

 

And I think when we’re talking about cost and expectations, you know, I talked about this already with SEO, you should be prepared to at least invest or go in for about six months. Strategy should include an initial site optimization, monitoring, content creation, and backlinking. Those are kind of big tenets of SEO. And for me, and this is just me, right. But, you know, my cost for this, what I call the done for you SEO service is you’re looking at around $2,000 a month. I’m not gonna say that other people out there, don’t do it cheaper. I’m not gonna say other people out there don’t offer some variations. That is the cost to do all of that stuff in a way that makes an impact. So, again, I think it’s very important. I actually had someone inside of my Marketing CLARITY Community this past week praise how transparent I am. So I’m going to walk that line right now and just put it out there. So you understand the costs going into this.

 

Now, do you want to talk a little bit about like expectations when it comes to costs for SEM?

 

Jyll Saskin Gales 

When someone decides, okay, I’m ready to spend money on ads they ask “how much do I need to spend?” So let’s say the bare bare bare bare minimum, is $20 a day for at least 30 days. So a $600 investment? Now that $20 a day for 30 days is if you are a local business with very specific narrow keywords then okay, $20 a day for 30 days. If you are trying to sell towels across the whole U.S., that ain’t gonna cut it.

 

Ross Herosian 

Or for insurance…

 

Jyll Saskin Gales 

Or insurance. Exactly. Clicks can be $80 are no definitely not. But just bare minimum smallest a small businesses $20 a day, likely more if you’re not sure, you can actually create a Google Ads account without spending a dime. And within Google Ads, there’s a tool called Keyword Planner. And so Keyword Planner is really useful to look at, even if you don’t know what keywords you want to use, you can just put your website in, it’ll suggest some keywords. That’s how you know if your SEO is good. By the way, if those keywords that come back are relevant, good SEO, if they’re not so relevant, go work on your SEO before you buy ads.

 

Anyway, look at those keywords, and then pick the geographic area you want to target whether it’s US state to city, whatever, it’ll tell you the average cost per click for one click so you can figure out from there, you’re probably gonna want to drive what at least 10 clicks per day from an ad, you’re gonna want to release 30 days, that’ll give you a ballpark of how much you need to spend. And then you want to know, can your business support running ads? Are you ready to run ads.

 

And so the really simple equation, I tell any business to figure out, ballpark finger in the air or you ready to run ads is looking at your conversion rate, and your average order value. So let’s say your conversion rate on your website is I don’t know 2%. And your average order value is $100. Let’s say multiply those two numbers together, that would be $2. In our example, here, and that gives you your revenue per session, meaning on average, every time someone lands on your website, how much money do you make, given your downstream conversion rates. And that initial number, if you’re going to run search ads, you want that initial revenue per session number to be at least $2. Like the cheapest clicks you can reasonably expect would be to dollar cost per click. So if it cost you $2, to bring someone to your website, you want to know that you’re making at least $2 Whenever someone lands on your website, ideally more than that, so you have some profit.

 

But again, just as a ballpark, any business can do an exercise, look at your conversion rate, and your average order value, multiply them together, and you want that to be at least $2. If you’re going to run ads, if you’re not in the e-commerce space, and you’re more like services, how do I do that, then just look at your conversion rate to someone filling out your form or contacting you. And then from there, how many of those convert into customers. And then from there, how much you make on average per customer a few extra steps of math for you. But you can do the same exercise that way. If that number is like $2 or less, you’re not running to run ads yet you need to work on improving your conversion rate, or your average order value or both.

 

 

Ross Herosian

So obviously, I am biased to say if you are in the market for SEO, you should hit me up. We have all kinds of stuff tripodpodcast.com to grab the show notes, and I’ll include in there obviously a link out to my SEO done for you services. I also offer an SEO Bootcamp. So for those of you out there that maybe you know can’t afford that monthly done for you service. I have a six-week SEO Bootcamp that can really help you kind of get the train on the tracks with very clear actionable instructions of what you can do yourself. Conversely, if someone is ready, or wants to learn more about SEM, Jyll, how can they connect with you? Or what services do you offer?

SEO Bootcamp

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SEO Bootcamp | Training Wheels by Tricycle Creative

Jyll Saskin Gales

Yes, so if you want to learn about SEM, if you found this conversation really exciting, and you’re thinking I want to do that for my business, then I would suggest you check out my course platform Inside Google Ads, you can access it via my website, jyll.ca. And it’s just $29 a month subscription, on-demand learning everything you want to know about Google ads, with actual in-platform, here’s how you do it. So that’s the best way to learn about Google Ads with me. And then if you did want some more personalized one-on-one support, I do offer Google Ads and Google Analytics coaching sessions. And again, you can learn about all of that at my website, jyll.ca. And I will say as a special treat for all of you here today. And thank you for having me. You can use the coupon code tripod to get $5 off your first month of inside Google ads. So when you go there, just type in coupon code tripod at checkout. And you’ll get $5 off your first month of Google Ads learning with me.

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Jyll’s Google Ads Insider program isn’t about hacks, tricks, or cheating the system. It’s practical, easy to digest lessons, guided by a Google Ads expert. It’s all about how to work with, not against the platform to get the best out of it.

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Jyll Saskin Gales

Ross Herosian

I feel like I’m a lifelong learner. And I’m going to tell you digital marketing, like obviously, I think many things but digital marketing is something that is constantly evolving. And there is space enough in here for all of us a most, maybe not all, of us marketing coaches to thrive and help people in a lot of different ways. So I was super stoked to have you really enjoyed our conversation. Again, links to everything we talked about.

 

Jyll Saskin Gales

Thank you so much for having me. It was great to be here to talk all things SEO and SEM, and hope to speak to you again soon.

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