need to know What’s Clicking

Not All Search is Created Equal By Dave Beltramini, G5


arvard Business Review reported in April 2015 that, for the first time in history, customer relation-

ships are being valued more highly than a company’s brand. And how do new customer relationships start in 2015? Via search. Today, 97 percent of U.S. adults use search engines to research products and services, according to BIA Kelsey research. Having a best-in-class website with

integrated SEO and PPC creates a strate- gic formula for success. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

is often referred to as organic search. It is the practice of optimizing content, keywords, site speed, citations, links, and social signals to leverage brand perfor- mance on search engines and improve organic website discoverability. PPC (pay-per-click) is often referred

to as paid search. It is a targeted way to deliver the right information to the right prospect at the right time, displaying contextual, behavioral, or keyword-tar- geted advertisements across the web. A couple of common misconceptions

persist around SEO and PPC: Misconception #1: You don’t need

PPC if your SEO is optimized. With more than 51 percent of all searches now tak- ing place on smartphones and tablets, PPC is the clear winner on mobile, potentially dominating more than 70 percent of the first page listings. PPC may be the only way to out-rank Google and get above the fold for many queries. Misconception #2: PPC is a tem-

porary solution that is required until SEO “kicks in.” Nathaniel Tower of First Scribe wrote in a recent blog post, “What business owners need to understand is that SEO and PPC aren’t rivals; they are harmonious partners. They are two equally important marketing strategies that shouldn’t—and don’t—compete against each other. Rather, they work together to create a stronger, more reli-

able strategy for your site.” The results of a Google study exploring click trends between organic search results and PPC ads confirm the symbiotic relationship between the two disciplines. On average, 50 percent of the ad clicks that occur on the top PPC ad are incremental. In other words, they would not be recovered organically for the same site if the ad campaigns were paused. So, even if your website ranks in the

top position, and you were to pause your PPC campaigns, 50 percent of the ad clicks that used to be yours would now go to a competitor’s PPC ad, not your organic listing. When you look at the results of a Google study for sites ranking in the positions two through five and below, the numbers are even more staggering. “On average, the incremental ad clicks percentage across verticals is 89 percent. This means that a full 89 percent of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused,” according to the study. The increased benefits of SEO and

PPC working simultaneously to drive rel- evant traffic don’t stop there. At Search Marketing Expo in 2013, SEO expert Mark Munroe and PPC specialist Evan Waters presented data showing a 66 percent higher CTR (click-through-rate) on PPC ads when an organic listing was also present, and a 92 percent higher CTR on organic listings when a PPC ad was also present. Maximizing digital marketing effec-

tiveness requires SEO and PPC working together, particularly in markets with many competitors and where lead ag- gregators are present.

Dave Beltramini is VP of digital performance at G5.

Member Corner

Safety in the Kitchen One in six Americans contract foodborne ill- nesses each year, often due to cross-contamina- tion. While kitchen staff are often trained in how to avoid cross-contamination during food prep, they may be less aware of the risks involved in all stages of food handling. Here are some tips:

Delivery • Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood separated from other foods.

• Store meat in plastic bags to prevent juices from dripping or leaking.

Storage and Refrigeration • To avoid the rapid growth of harmful patho- gens, refrigerate or freeze perishables right away.

• Properly clean and sanitize all storage areas. • Label and date all storage containers. • When stocking refrigerator shelves, place foods that require lower cooking temperatures on the higher shelves.

• Keep washed and unwashed fruits and veg- etables separate and clearly labeled. • Do not overload refrigerators.

Preparation and Serving • Wash and dry hands. Use disposable paper towels and hand dryers, not uniforms or aprons.

• Change out gloves, knives, and utensils between tasks, and clean and sanitize work surfaces and equipment.

• Thaw and marinate foods in the refrigerator— never in the sink or on countertops.

• Use different cutting boards to prepare fresh produce and uncooked meat, poultry, and seafood. Consider using color-coded cutting boards and utensils for different ingredients.

Cleanup and Disposal • If food has been contaminated by accident, promptly dispose of it to prevent inadvertent service.

• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours.

• Clean and sanitize refrigerator and freezer handles on a regular basis.

• Dispose of expired food and set garbage area away from food storage and preparation areas.

—Contributed by Ecolab, which helps ensure clean, safe, and comfortable environments. Visit


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