Heavyweight Matchup! Organic Versus Sponsored Traffic

Fahrenheit Marketing
Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

 

Get ready to rrruuummmbbbbllllleeee!

In this corner, weighing in with a reported 100 billion dollars annual earnings, Google’s massive pay-per-click behemoth Sponsored Traffic.

Facing off in this corner, comprising nearly 33% (per Net Marketshare), of all search engine traffic, with an admittedly superior click through rate and higher quality traffic, Organic SEO.

Ding. Ding. Ding. The bell rings and the smackdown to see how customers will locate your products and services is on. And the crowd (hopefully) goes wild.

Organic SEO and Sponsored SEM Traffic

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last decade or so, you have probably heard of Google. Google is, after all, the king of the mountain when it comes to searching the internet, handling roughly 80% of all search engine traffic on the web today.

While Bing, Yahoo, and Edge (Internet Explorer) do pull do down some internet search traffic, Google does most of the heavy lifting, handling around 5.5 billion searches per day. That breaks down to roughly 63,000 searches every second, according to Internet Live Stats, a team of researchers, analysts and developers who actively monitor the world wide web.  

What is the Difference Between SEM and SEO and Which is Better?

As the planet’s leading search engine, Google has chosen to divvy up the SERP (search engine response page) pie by slicing it into two main segments. These are known as SEO, or search engine optimization, and SEM, or search engine marketing.

The main difference between them is that SEO rankings are free (won only by the sweat of your digital brow and value/relevance of your carefully crafted content), and SEM is sponsored, or paid for ads which are located above organically indexed search results.

 

In organic rankings, relevance is determined by Google using complex algorithms based on 200 plus factors as being most useful to the user. This means to rank, you need to know what trending keywords the user is looking for. Relevance, popularity, and recognized authority are all factored into the indexing system which Google uses to assign rankings.

SEM, on the other hand, as mentioned previously, is literally bought and paid for. Sponsored traffic ads elevated and promoted to visibility. They do admittedly, generate a large amount of traffic. But is it profitable traffic? Just because they land on your page, does not mean they are going to buy anything. Getting them there is only half the battle. Your content and copy still has to convert those visitors into paying customers.

Bear in mind that most people buy goods and services because they trust the source. According to a 2018 study by Search Engine Watch, organic SEO driven content is more trusted by people who are searching the internet in order to make a purchase. Consider that 92% of all search engine traffic runs off first page results; and 33% of all organic traffic goes to the site in the number one ranked spot. Which is why, even though it takes a lot of effort to rise through the ranks organically, it can pay higher dividends in the long run.

Speed Versus Ka-Ching

The big drawback to building organic traffic is that it tends to move with all the speed of glacial rush hour traffic. On average, it takes 3-6 months to begin to see organic SEO driven traffic percolate to the top. Once you get there, you still have to remain relevant or you will slide right back down faster than an otter belly-flopping on a greased slide. Getting and staying on top is literally a slugfest.

Which is why many companies hedge their bets with sponsored ads to boost web traffic. Sponsored SEM traffic, is a lot like tipping the hostess at an upscale restaurant to score a better table away from the swinging kitchen doors.

If you grease Google’s digital palm enough, they place you above organically occurring SEO results. Of course, that is going to cost you.   

This is where it gets a little tricky. Purchasing your slot at the top of the page can pay off, if your conversion rate is high enough. Here is where understanding your click-through rate really matters. You also need to know which keywords are worth ranking on, and which are less effective. In other words, know your analytics. Simply having numbers is not enough. You need to understand them in a way that allows you to leverage them. Otherwise what’s the point?

If you create a pay-per-click campaign that takes you to the top of a hardly ever searched for keyword phrase, you can end up as the Grand High Poohbah of Jack Squat.

So, Which IS Better? Sponsored or Organic Traffic?

Like two bruisers who fight to a standstill with no clear winner, it may really come down to a draw because there is not likely to be a knock-out win on either side. Organic SEO driven traffic is more likely to provide high quality leads, but it really doesn’t hurt to add sponsored traffic too.

Some companies thrive with SEM driven traffic. Others focus almost exclusively on SEO driven organic traffic. Most do both. It all depends on your goals, brand, marketing strategy, and overall resources. Basically, it comes down to how deep your pockets are and how much time you must build your rankings.

Reaching the first page organically means creating and optimizing the heck out of your pages with high-value, readable content relevant to your ideal consumer. Sponsored traffic does not take as much time to generate and it allows you to carefully target your audience according to income, age, interests, education level, or other demographics.

Finding the balance is key. As the great boxer Muhammad Ali once said, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” The best plan then is to know your market, know your customers and cover your bases and knock out the competition with usable content and sponsored ads to generate traffic that wins hands down.   


Fahrenheit Marketing is in the Clutch 1000!

Fahrenheit Marketing
Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

 

The Fahrenheit team is thrilled to announce that we’ve been included in the Clutch 1000 – a list of top B2B service providers with the highest ability to deliver for 2018!

Clutch is a business to business ratings and reviews firm in Washington D.C., highlighting the leading service providers in a variety of areas like web designers and PR firms. Earlier this year, we were ranked in their list of the top 5 web design companies in Austin, and our five-star reviews keep us at the top of the ranks. We’re excited for Fahrenheit’s inclusion in Clutch’s Global Leaders Awards – they give us the chance to reach more people and show them what our business is about.

 

Without our wonderful clients, we would not have been able to be recognized this way. We really appreciate the time they took to talk on the phone with Clutch analysts, detailing the great work we did together.

 

Studies still show that just about everyone reads online reviews when looking to make a purchasing decision, and they trust those reviews just as much as personal recommendations from friends. The best web designers thus not only offer eye-catching, perfectly tailored designs, but they provide an unparalleled level of customer services. Our thorough, thoughtful reviews on Clutch are helping potential new clients learn about our offerings.

 

What our clients said about us:

 

“We greatly value when our vendors care about results, which is exactly the case with Fahrenheit Marketing.”

 

“The design is amazing… I would say cutting edge”

 

“The phrase ‘above and beyond’ would be apt to describe our level of service.”

 

We are also excited to be listed among the top 100 web design agencies in the world on The Manifest, Clutch’s sister site that publishes actionable business content and how-to guides.

 

We’re so grateful for our partnership with the Clutch team of analysts who have made these achievements possible. We hope our inclusion in the Clutch 1000 will open up new opportunities in 2019 for us to help local and global businesses achieve their goals through great web design!


Fahrenheit Marketing Ranked #1 on Clutch for Web Design!

Fahrenheit Marketing
Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

 

Our team is excited to announce that we have been named the top web design firm in Austin. We were able to rank so high amongst the other web designers in Austin due to our five 5-star reviews on Clutch. Clutch is a tech-research firm, based in Washington D.C, that reviews business to business firms and their ability to provide great service. Clutch’s platform provides business’ the ability to find the best possible partner for their project.

 

We have also been recognized in their prestigious annual report for being leaders on Clutch’s platform in the following industries: Web Design, PPC, WordPress Development, Full-Service Digital, Digital Design, Web Development, and Drupal Development. Companies are scored based on industry experience, client reviews, market presence, and the focus of their services.

What our Clients have said about us:

“They created visibility where there was none through various promotions and initiatives.”

“Their response time and interactivity with our team were outstanding.”

“I would recommend Fahrenheit Marketing to anyone in need of a dedicated partner.”

 

We have also been featured as one of the top web developers in Austin by The Manifest, Clutch’s sister website that releases business news. Our goal has always been to help small, local business’ as well as large fortune 500 companies increase their market presence and ultimately make them more successful. We promise to continue producing stellar results, in addition to making it a great experience for your company.

 

“These Austin companies have a track record of success with their clients, which is what matters the most. Each company we recognized should feel proud of their standout work and ability to satisfy local and national clients,” remarked Katie Wonders, a Business Analyst at Clutch.

 

According to the University of Surrey, 75% of user judgment about your business’s credibility is based on your website’s design. That is why you need a company with our credentials to help your business grow and flourish. Taking advantage of optimizing your internet platforms with us, will lead to a drastic improvement in your company’s web presence, and ultimately, its success. 


5 Ways to Approach Design Feedback

Fahrenheit Marketing
Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

It’s hard not to take design feedback personally, especially when someone is telling you what they don’t like about your design. That is why I like to keep five simple rules in mind when seeking feedback from a client, team, or boss.

 

1) Think of Yourself as Part of a Team

Design is a collaborative effort. A client or boss will typically ask you to bring a certain vision to life. However, people rarely have the same taste or idea when it comes to design. The picture in their head and yours may not completely sync up with what you initially produced. Accepting their notes and feedback, when appropriate, is part of the creative process – and human process. When your client/boss sees their ideas implemented in the design then they become more invested in the work and are more willing to help defend and publish the design. Remember, everybody wants what’s best for the project.

design team

 

2) Keep the Conversation About Design Goals

You should have specific goals in mind when creating your design; therefore, never open up a critique of your work with silence or ask, “what do you think?” Instead, start the discussion around the goals of the site (as an example). Explain how your design achieves those goals and seek feedback on areas where the design could be improved – with those goals in mind. You can use data, prior research, and experience to back up your decisions too. Be mindful that you and your team, or client, don’t forget the macro and micro goals you are trying to achieve with the design. Otherwise, your design will be judged by its aesthetics only which will lead to misdirection when it comes to edits.

design goal

 

3) Don’t be Afraid to Ask “Why?”

“Why” is not a bad word. Unclear feedback leaves everybody frustrated. The art of asking “Why?” actually helps you, and your client, understand the underlying reason why a certain design choice is not resonating with them or other audiences. People often have a problem trying to express their wants and needs so it may take a while to find the right questions to ask; but this will save a lot of time in the grand scheme of the project, and prevent more stressful moments later on. Typically asking why five times will help you find the right answer to an issue.

Ask Why?

 

4) Magic Answers Do Not Exist

There is not a magic answer to make your design better. Most good solutions take some trial and error. Allow yourself some wiggle room to experiment with various solutions. Don’t get mad at yourself if an experiment does not work out, simply use the data and feedback to discover what is working and what is not – remember ask “why?” Ideally, you’ll want to walk away with several solutions to test.

no magic answers

 

5) Remember, Nothing is Personal

You are not your work. You are not your work. Repeat after me, “I am not my work.” As designers, we tend to bring our own style and pour a bit of ourselves into our work. Nevertheless, any critique on your design or work does not reflect back on you as a person. There is always room for improvement. Save yourself some heartache and do not walk into a critique expecting only high-fives. The goal is to grow. Accept the positive feedback on what you are strong in, and learn from the feedback you are given to improve other areas of your design skills. You are here to get better.

personal growth


PXL Review: A Behance Portfolio Review Week Event

Fahrenheit Marketing
Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

Fahrenheit Marketing along with Behance is hosting a portfolio review event as part of Portfolio Review Week in Austin!

PXL Review Event Details

On Tuesday the 24th of October from 5 pm to 9 pm, Fahrenheit Marketing will be welcoming newly employed designers and graduating design school students from various local programs to PXL Review, sponsored by Fahrenheit and Behance. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit their portfolio of works online and on the day of the event to have their designs reviewed by a panel of experts. They’ll also get a one on one session with an industry professional who will provide valuable and actionable feedback.

 

“This is a great opportunity for students to gather some insight from industry leaders. A fresh look into their work apart from their professors and peers,” says Ricardo Casas, Fahrenheit’s CEO.

 

Chris Ollier, a design veteran and CEO of TheGKWco, will be the keynote speaker at the event. Fahrenheit will also be hosting three webinars the rest of the week that will provide attendees useful insight into designing a portfolio to land a job, using code to bring your designs to life, and how to defend your designs with data.

 

The event will be held at Fahrenheit’s headquarters in South Austin. Drinks, snacks and pizza will be provided to attendees. The event is free of charge though space is limited. If you wish to participate, please RSVP while spots are available.

 

We hope to see you here!

 

Download the Event Flyer to share on social media and with your school or work.