Push Notifications vs In-App Messages: When Should You Use Which?

Push Notifications vs In-App Messages: When Should You Use Which?

Mobile has changed the world as we know it. If you are someone who is looking to market your product, you have got to use mobile wisely to promote it. Of course, there are various tools and ways you can broadcast your message across your customers on their mobiles to engage, retain and convert them, but is there any crash course that tells you which marketing method works under various conditions? Yes, there is.

Let me talk about the two most popular features of app marketing: Push Notifications and In-App Messages. While the former is the most adorable child of current marketing world, the latter is on the verge of becoming the apple of every marketer’s eye. Let’s take a concise approach to see how exactly these two differ:


Push: Push Notifications or Push Messages are alerts that are delivered on a user’s device in the form of plain text, text along with images, and other rich media forms. They are only sent to users who are not using the app at that moment of time. They are great for engagement or re-engagement of the users to bring them back on the app.

In-App: In-App Messages are delivered on user’s device only when they are active on the app. They can be in the form of plain text, images, video, and other rich media forms. They have a very high chance of getting viewed as the users are already active when they receive the message. They mostly have a call-to-action button and appear as a pop up during activities on the app.


Push: Whenever there is a need to bring the user back on the app, Push is your go-to method. The user can ignore emails if there are hundreds of them, but hard to ignore when their phone rings/vibrates and there is literally very little chance that the alert would go unnoticed. Use wisely, app engagement gets boosted; use without planning, lose customers.

In-App: Based on the behavior of users and their app activities, In-App messages can be used to optimize users’ experience and flow or for in-app purchases, promotional offers, new feature/level/screen launch, or for direct sales. Because of the extended character limit along with rich media, people generally like to get more creative and have higher chance of retaining the customers for long term. Recently, guiding users with an app walkthrough onboarding has become very popular among app marketers for a very smooth user experience especially whenever there is a change in UI.


Push: There are many, literally. Allow me to explain them through use cases: suppose there are users who have neither uninstalled your app yet nor are using it—a well strategized push message can tempt them to come back on app; now suppose there is a special sale going on in an mCommerce company—sending the promo code or sale notification to the user can definitely engage them with their app. Studies have shown that push messages have up to 30% more chances of getting converted than email campaigns, of course, when used with deep linking you can send your user to any desired feature or screen of your app for maximum benefits.

In-App: Since In-App is delivered to only those users who are already interested and engaged in your app, you can make your user do literally anything you want from directing them to any particular screen or feature or letting them know about any recent updates. Unlike Push Notifications, that can turned off forever, In-App messages can be sent to all the active users.


Push: Deploy unplanned push notification to all the users irrespective of their behavior or time zone or attribute and see your users churn quickly. It is easy to let go of many bad emails but it gets very frustrating to receive irrelevant push messages continuously every time the phone rings/vibrates. If a user turns off push notification for your app, there is a good chance that you have lost them forever and it is very likely they are going to uninstall your app soon. Of course, there is character limit and you cannot really summarize everything in your message but making the users feel spammed is a bigger sin than not being able to explain your post correctly to the user.

In-App: The biggest drawback, of course, is that you can only send these to people who are already on your app so the conversion number is directly proportional to the active users. If your user base is small, you cannot expect the number to grow with In-App messages. As much as this is a great way to optimize your user’s experience, it can backfire dangerously if too many unplanned messages are delivered to your already active user—which can eventually lead to user not coming back or worse—your app getting uninstalled.

Best Practices

First and foremost, be it Push or In-App, you have got to have detailed analytics integrated into your app. The second step is to track each and every possible thing including user behavior and activities. Then you should create segments based on the analytics you get so that you can deploy campaigns to those groups on the basis of their behavior and other aspects. The copy of your In-App message or Push should really be compelling so that the user does not feel spammed and actually gets something very beneficial out of it, otherwise it does not do anything else except raising frustration levels. Use A/B Test whenever there is a confusion between different copies to figure out which of them works best. The need for optimization is at its peak when it comes to content.

The last and the most important thing to look out for is the timing. There are two kinds of Push Notifications, to be specific. First, that talk about transactions or successful completion of any funnel—those should be sent immediately to inform the users about successful transaction. Second, that focus on campaigns of engagement—these need to be timed very well based on the analytics. Let’s say, if a movie is released on Friday on a ticket booking app but a group of customers book the tickets only on Thursday because of low prices then it is imperative that a notification be sent on Thursday as a reminder. Similarly, if there is a massive sale on a global shopping app, the notification must be sent according to the time zones so that nobody receives at an odd time to feel disturbed. Timing, really, is the key. Of course, the same applies to In-App Messages where you have to avoid deploying pop ups when analytics clearly show the users are already aware of that message. Let’s say in a game if a user is stuck on a particular level, a message can be sent to help them out or let’s say if a user is searching for shoes in a shopping app and there is a discount on a particular brand, an In-App message can be sent to make them aware and direct them to that brand screen.

A wise app marketer is one who combines Push and In-App to get maximum out of their app. In a conversion funnel, a Push message can help to bring dropped off users to come back on that particular level and an In-App can smoothen out the user experience and flow to increase conversions. Of course, there many other ways of engaging and converting your users, feel free to check out our marketing automation tools to know more about them.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/push-notifications-vs-app-messages-use-01500396#h4Fmip8mAjh83Lp2.99

Domain Registration Warning

When you register your name with our registrar or any registrar, you may receive a renewal notice that offers to renew your domain name for a much higher rate. Disregard this notice, because it’s just a marketing attempt to get you to change where you initially setup your domain. We have our own registrar http://www.affordabledomains.ws partnered with GoDaddy for registering/renewing domains.

A sample of a letter you may receive is at http://www.affordablewebsites.net/IDNS.pdf

Posting Video Files From Your Phone or Computer

Video files are huge, those nice android and iPhone cameras takes some amazing videos. But, how do you let people see these files or send these files to your web page or designer to be included in your website?

If you just want to show someone your video

  1. The simplest and fastest way is to post that video to your Facebook page.

If you want to send to your designer to be included in your website

  1. The easy way is to post them to your YOUTUBE.COM account and give them the link to these files. If you have a gmail account, you have a youtube account.
  2. Another way is to TRANSFER that video file to your server and your designer will grab that video from your server and embed it into your web project.

These are the non technical ways. Of course there are technical ways that involve using your dropbox account and other online storage accounts.

HTTP vs. HTTPS: What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care?

HTTP vs. HTTPS: What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care?

The difference is that encrypted HTTPS is the basic price of security these days.

You may have heard people urging you to switch your website to the HTTPS security encryption. They cite Google’s announcement that HTTPS is a ranking signal and that failure to switch could mean your ranking will take a hit.

Related: 5 Growing Cyber-Security Epicenters Around the World

And that would mean less traffic and less business.

But, can a product that costs around $100 per year really make that much of a difference? And if so, how straightforward is it to make the switch?

Let’s face it, until recently, HTTPS was really used only by ecommerce sites for their payment pages. Things can get confusing, and the question many business owners face is whether or not the hassle of switching to HTTPS is worth it.

So, let’s look at the arguments for and against. But first of all, what exactly is HTTPS?

What is HTTPS, and why do you need it?

According to research performed by GlobalSign, more than 80 percent of respondents would abandon a purchase if there was no HTTPS in use.

That’s fine for ecommerce merchants, but does HTTPS improve conversion and trust for businesses which don’t take online payments? There is evidence that the use of security seals can improve lead generation by over 40 percent.

Not only do your visitors pay attention to your site’s security, but so does Google. Security is at the heart of what Google does these days. That’s why the company has listed HTTPS as a ranking factor.

So the biggest reason to switch to HTTPS is to future-proof your website. Sooner or later, you’re just going to have to bite the bullet, and make the switch.

The case against switching to HTTPS.
Recent research has shown that for smaller B2B websites, the uptake of HTTPS is low.

Reasons include a lack of awareness of the growing importance of SSL or the perceived complexity of switching to HTTPS, and in particular, the potential negative SEO impact.

And SEO is one of the most important considerations, especially for websites that have a good ranking. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

It’s easy to empathize with this point. In fact, research that we conducted on more than 540 UK B2B businesses showed that the uptake of switching to HTTPS was in the 2 to 3 percent range. There was not a strong correlation between using SSL and getting a higher ranking, though.

Other factors, such as on page optimization, number of Google reviews, total number of pages and the number of backlinks, had far more bearing on a high ranking than switching to HTTPS.

In short, we concluded that HTTPS as a ranking factor is of low importance right now.

My personal view is that if your website is not seeing any significant impact from not using HTTPS, then you will not experience any significant negatives if you do not switch now or in the immediate future.

However, this comes with an extreme health warning. Failure to make the switch could leave you open to a sudden algorithm change. A worst-case scenario would be to see your rankings disintegrate overnight.

Google’s notice of mobile friendliness gives some reassurance that this wouldn’t happen overnight.

A contingency would be to engage with a skilled developer to plan everything and document it so that you can move quickly in the event that Google were to start to give significantly more weight to HTTPS signals with short notice.

This is an especially good idea for larger sites. As mentioned above, the SEO changes required, such as updating internal links, are not trivial matters, and in the case of updating htaccess, these should not be performed by a non-technical person. If they were to be performed in a rush, or by a less skilled developer, you could experience a hit to your rankings.

Also bear in mind that in the unlikely event that there were to be an overnight algorithm update which penalized non-HTTPS sites, skilled developers would be in demand and would have the whip hand in terms of dictating the costs. Planning to switch now would be a prudent move regardless of whether you implement the change immediately or later.

But it’s worth reiterating that failure to switch is just postponing the inevitable.

HTTPS offers the base level of website security. Whether or not you should switch to HTTPS is a decision increasingly being driven by Google’s search algorithm.

Switching to HTTPS is fairly straightforward for smaller websites. For larger websites, it’s more complicated, from an SEO perspective and requires skilled technical staff to make the changes.

Related: Here’s How to Build a Strong Security Team to Keep Your Company Safe and Sound

However, the direction of travel is clear. Using HTTPS will increasingly be the norm rather than the exception, and you should plan to migrate sooner rather than later.

Windows 10 Home vs Windows 10 Pro:

What extra features do you get in Windows 10 Pro?

Microsoft is running a like-to-like upgrade scheme for Windows 10. Here we explain the differences between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro.

If most of these are meaningless to you, that’s no surprise: most people don’t need the extra features in Windows 10 Pro.

Windows 10 Home Vs Windows 10 Pro: What are the differences?

While Windows 10 Home is focused firmly on the consumer, Windows 10 Pro is more for power-users, and those running small to medium businesses. This can be seen in the advanced security features found in the Pro package.


BitLocker is encryption software which allows security conscious users to fully secure their drives from potential hackers. In Windows 10 Pro Microsoft has made some fine adjustments to the service.

‘With BitLocker,’ explains Joe Belfiore, the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, ‘the end user  faces an all or nothing decision for the entire drive to be encrypted, and it doesn’t provide for very much flexibility in the way files move around. We’re solving those problems.’

The new iteration of BitLocker allows users to encrypt individual files and keep them alongside unencrypted ones.  Plus they can now be used in the same way on USB sticks, improving the way in which files can be shared between those with the proper clearance to read them.

Remote Desktop Connection

Both Windows 10 Home and Pro can start Remote Desktop Connection sessions, but only PCs running Windows 10 Pro can be remotely controlled. Windows 10 Home machines can only be assisted remotely, and this is mainly for an expert to show a home user how to change settings, for example.

Windows Update for Business

In Windows 10 Pro you get the option to defer updates, but this option doesn’t really exist in Home. Microsoft forces patches and updates to Home machines automatically. You can stop them for a few hours, but that’s it.

It’s designed to prevent buggy updates from affecting business PCs, and updates can be put off for several months.


Virtualisation is another benefit of Windows 10 Pro, although few will want to use it. It’s like having a built-in VirtualBox, although you’ll still have to install Hyper-V on Windows 10 Pro manually. You’ll also need to have a CPU which supports virtualisation.

Business features

Group Policy Management and access to the Windows 10 Business Store are other features reserved for WIndows 10 Pro. Microsoft also lists the ability to join Azure Active Directory, with a single sign-on to cloud hosted apps.

Only Windows 10 Pro support joining (or creating) a domain, which allows PCs to be added to a corporate network. With Windows 10 Home, you can’t do this and you’re pushed to use a Microsoft account rather than a local user account.

Assigned Access lets a sysadmin restrict a Windows tablet to run only a certain app (a very specific benefit which will apply to only a few).

Windows 10 Home vs Windows 10 Pro: Which version am I entitled to?

You have the chance to be upgraded to a version of Windows that’s equivalent to the one you’re already running. So if you have a copy of Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, or Home Premium on your PC, then upgrading will give you Windows 10 Home. Those running Windows 8.1 will also move to Windows 10 Home. Windows 10 Pro replaces Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8.1 Pro, and Windows 8.1 Pro for Students.

For all packages Windows Media Centre will be removed, as Microsoft seems to see it as superfluous to the future of Windows, and you’ll also need to download third-party software if you want to watch DVDs on your machine. For a list of other features that will be retired in Windows 10 read our Worst Windows 10 Sacrifices guide.

Windows 10 Home vs Windows 10 Pro: What do they have in common?

For the majority of users the differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro will be negligible, as both provide pretty much everything they need for everyday computing. The main differences affect business users.

All versions of Windows 10 come with Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, that can make calendar entries, take dictation, open applications and local files, search the web, and give directions, all from voice commands on your PC. This feature could become quite key in the future, as Microsoft has recently announced the upcoming release of Cortana apps for Android and iOS phones, alongside the full integration it enjoys on Windows Phone. You can read here how to use Cortana in Windows 10.

The Microsoft Edge browser is also available on both versions. This break from Internet Explorer is an interesting one, and Edge certainly has enough features to make it a worthy adversary to Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. The new offering comes complete with a stripped down Reading Mode to declutter articles online, an Instapaper/Pocket style Reading List for saving articles you don’t have time to read there and then, plus the ability to annotate and share web pages. For more information check out our guide for how to use Edge browser in Windows 10

As Windows continues its voyage into a touch compatible future, Microsoft has made some significant adjustments to the user interface on both Home and Pro. Gone is the overbearing and oft confusing Windows 8 touch-first layout, replaced instead with a modern take on the  Windows 7 desktop. This doesn’t mean touch has been left behind; instead Windows can now detect the type of hardware you are using and offer the appropriate interface. This feature is called Continuum and should make the new Windows far more attractive to the majority of users, most of whom don’t own a touchscreen laptop or Windows tablet.

A welcome addition to Windows 10 is a fully integrated version of Virtual Desktops. This feature has been around in past iterations of Windows, but always required additional software to get it going. Now you’ll be able to create different workspaces on your PC very easily thanks to a new Task View option. You can also drag and drop open applications onto different desktops, making the whole process smooth, fast, and simple. To learn more about this helpful feature read our How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10 guide.

The other main upgrade to Windows that can be found of both Home and Pro is that of universal apps. This idea is a simple one, in which any universal app you buy from the Windows Store will work on any of your devices, be they PC, tablet, phone, or even the Xbox One. You can read our How to Use Universal App in Windows 10 for more details on how these new apps really work.


Windows 10 Home edition will suffice for the vast majority of users who just want to browse the web, do a little work, and manage their media files. There’s certainly a few benefits for the Pro version, with its focus on security and compatibility, but of course the value of these features will come down to whether you actually intend to use them or not, and most home users won’t.

info provided by http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk

Local SEO in 2017 and beyond: managed strategy vs. automation

There are many great software options for automating local search tasks, but columnist Andrew Beckman argues that a human-managed approach may still be necessary to see results.

Over the past five-plus years, the digital marketing world has seen an influx of Local Search SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platforms emerge with different value propositions for brands with physical store locations.

Generally speaking, these platforms allow companies to store business location data (Name, Address, Phone Number) in one central location, and then subsequently push that information out to various channels.

While SaaS platforms allow digital marketers to manage local business listings on social media and search engine channels, brands themselves are actually expecting greater visibility in organic search results in the process, which does not always occur.

Brand marketers are also realizing that using a SaaS platform requires that they must also budget the human resources to not only manage the platform on a day-to-day basis, but to also consider the various other organic ranking attributes that are needed for a successful SEO program.

While SaaS platforms are often presented as turnkey solutions that operate automatically with need for little else, the aforementioned internal resource expenses still need to be factored into an overall ROI in addition to the general SaaS subscriptions and fees.

While automation has some benefits, there are still many aspects of local SEO that need to be both monitored and managed by real human beings on an ongoing basis. These include:

  • Analysis of where individual business listings are appearing in Google, Bing, Apple, etc.
  • Data accuracy and ranking position.
  • Percentage of visible business listings for key search terms and phrases (mobile and desktop).
  • Content management and optimization for better user experience and SEO performance.
  • Analytics tracking, measurement and analysis to better inform key strategy adjustments.
  • Which channels are actually contributing to conversions.

While SaaS platforms can help streamline portions of your local SEO strategy to be more effective, a managed service approach that utilizes both technology and actual digital marketing experts can provide even greater dividends. Let’s break down the benefits of each approach and highlight some differences as well:

Using SaaS platforms for SEO

A large number of SaaS platforms allow brand marketers to centralize, authenticate and distribute business data and information across directories and networks. The syndication of data goes directly to various search engines, social media networks and other directories, which helps brands scale location data in order to rank organically.

It’s important to note that many SaaS platforms have revenue sharing agreements in place, and as a result provide paid inclusion programs that help update your listings faster and with additional enhanced content fields (for a price). However, paid inclusion programs can only be leveraged to improve ranking in local business directories, such as Yelp, 411.com, Local.com, etc. Major search engines and organizations like Google, Bing, and Apple do not allow these types of paid programs to influence organic ranking.

Here are some benefits to using a SaaS platform:

  • Ensuring business listings are updated with appropriate content.
  • Social content publishing.
  • Citation distribution to hundreds of directories.
  • Pin verification (giving you the exact latitude and longitude of a location).
  • Citation analysis (making sure NAP is relevant on all directory locations).
  • Compiling reviews from various sources.

In addition to pushing data to channels directly, you also have the ability to use database aggregators to distribute the location data to numerous directories that assist with citation building.  The main companies who have a list of channels they push data to include Factual, Acxiom, Infogroup and Neustar.

At the end of the day, SaaS helps automate aspects of your local SEO campaign, but automation can only take you so far.

Managed services + technology platforms (the agency model)

Technology obviously makes digital marketing much easier in many ways, but managing a proper local business listing and local SEO program requires actual human resources to dig into the data, channels, performance and strategy in order to better optimize for improved ROI.

Web analytics, Google Search Console and paid search data must truly be analyzed and interpreted in order for the right actions to be taken. Content needs to be created, distributed and optimized. Citations must be routinely monitored. Backlinks pointing to the primary brand domain must not only be in place, but continually evaluated for authority and ranking value.

After the Google Venice and Google Pigeon algorithm updates, there has been an ongoing integration of traditional organic ranking factors into local search results. It is wise to expect there will be more changes coming as the local search ecosystem continually evolves; and since Google has a significant investment in crawling and ranking the web, brands can be better prepared for those changes by focusing more on what lies at the heart of SEO: site structure, content, and links.

Although some of the automation platforms available on the market today can provide for a centralized repository for your brand data, it’s what happens to that data after you have it centralized that is the most important element to your local listings strategy. No automation technology or SaaS platform by itself can tackle the primary SEO elements that actually impact ranking — it’s simply not possible. Brands need to employ a comprehensive strategy that includes:

  • High-touch strategic analysis and execution for increasing exposure of your local assets and for assessing an ROI relative to a successful local listing management program.
  • Constant analysis of paid search performance data through web analytics, thus providing actionable analysis for an agency to make the beneficial changes.
  • Site structure, content and link analysis are the pillars of SEO and need to be managed and evaluated on an ongoing basis to maximize organic traffic opportunities.

As local listing management becomes more complex, the need for organic optimization is becoming even more important than ever for achieving higher rankings. Having a SaaS platform run your program ultimately becomes a challenge; other SEO factors are playing a part in impacting higher rankings, and by only using software, you’re essentially leveraging a single arrow out of the entire quiver of that is a comprehensive local SEO strategy.

Having actual human beings constantly managing the complexities of a sound local SEO strategy is always going to be much more effective in the long-term approach that is inherent to SEO itself, and simply checking a box by deploying SaaS tools is no longer going to pass as having a strong SEO strategy. While a SaaS platform gives you the ability to make some updates to your local listings, you still need to apply human resources that are responsible for actually getting involved in the day-to-day activity of optimizing the program in order to ensure the best possible organic ranking.

Furthermore, someone needs to be held accountable for performance and analysis, and SaaS platforms aren’t in a position to provide those details — their responsibility and accountability often ends at execution of the campaign.


In conclusion, the fact remains that legitimate SEO strategies cannot be automated, and taking shortcuts by using nothing more than automated tools will result in less-than-satisfactory performance. Furthermore, when you discontinue using a SaaS platform, your organic ranking authority diminishes because rich listing content like local images often get removed, while NAP info becomes increasingly vulnerable to changes (or lack thereof).

We’ll leave you with this analogy to clarify it even further: a SaaS platform is like a rented apartment, whereas a managed approach to SEO is like owning a mortgage on a home. At the end of the day, the apartment may be satisfactory, but you don’t actually own the equity you’ve worked so hard to build up.

When you take a strategic, hands-on approach that requires human beings doing the real work, the dividends pay off in both the short term and the long term. Brands should no longer be satisfied with minimal short term lift provided by SaaS platforms, but instead should be demanding tangible, long-term performance and results that can only be provided by implementing a managed approach to SEO.

Is SEO right for your business?

Search engine optimization (SEO) can deliver strong results for every client, but columnist Marcus Miller explains why it may not be right for every business or every situation.

This may seem strange coming from an SEO guy, but there are many situations where organic search may not be the best option for a given marketing challenge.

In fact, there are times when SEO is just simply not a good fit. In this article, I am going to look at a few common scenarios we see at my agency where we have been contacted for SEO and have fed back that we believe that SEO is either not aligned with their requirements or there is some other form of mismatch (speed, budget, etc.).

1. Budget

This is the first and most common issue we see. The business wants to rank for a given term within a fixed time period for a set budget. Ultimately, you have to survey the landscape; and whether you are a local business or a national business, you must be realistic about what your spend needs to be to effectively move you to where you want to be.

Estimating the cost of SEO projects is often difficult in itself. There are a lot of variables, but, in most cases, by using tools like Majestic and Ahrefs you can get a handle on what the competition looks like and what a ballpark approach to moving forward will look like.

Of course, even when attained, work must be done to maintain your highly desirable organic placement, and whilst this is typically less than the cost to aggressively move forward, you will have to factor this into your marketing budgets.

The availability of budget can also lead people towards the SEO dark side. There will always be someone willing to play fast and loose with Google’s guidelines to show short-term improvement and relieve you of your marketing budget — whilst likely doing more harm than good over the long term.

2. Timeframe

The timeframe issue usually crops up along with budget, and there is commonly a desire to be top three within a given time period. Again, you can’t simply dictate how long this will take.

For one, SEO can be and usually is a moving target. Furthermore, if you are on page three and want to rank in the top three listings on page one, then we have to do some work and get a handle on how quickly you can move forward. Typically, as we get closer and closer to the top of the first page, then the improvements can slow down and results can jump around a little.

As with determining a budget, you should be able to get a handle on the digital mountain you have to climb and be able to approximate a timeframe that factors in the available budget. We can be informed here by the project management triangle that teaches us that SEO projects can never be good, fast and cheap, and at best it will only ever hit two of these criteria — the work could be good and fast, but it certainly won’t be cheap.

3. Ad competition

Whilst there is much fuss and bluster regarding Penguin and Panda and other components of the algorithm that aggressively target low-quality content or attempts to manipulate the results, the real war on spam is fought by the page layout team.

Google’s recent moves to show four ads at the top of the search results page for some queries, and then to make these ads even bigger, has pushed organic content further than ever down the page. Factor in site links and ad extensions in paid results, and you could have more than 20 links above the first organic listing. Blend in some local results, image results, news, or other content into that first page, and organic listings for highly commercial terms can look like a poor relative of the big booming ads.

Competition in the ad space is fierce as well. Advertisers have a close eye on what keywords are driving results and can sculpt perfect landing pages and ad creative to ensure the organic listings around commercial terms are seeing fewer and fewer clicks. Organic may get more clicks overall; however, when we look at purely commercial terms, the paid results were seeing two clicks for every one organic click, and just think how Google has bullied commercial organic since then!

4. The wrong keywords

We see this often, and it is usually the case that some keywords are unlikely to deliver the goods while others don’t work because there’s no strategy in place to turn those clicks into customers. The best example here would be where informational keyword searches are targeted but the user is dropped onto a specific commercial page; for example, “best LCD TVs” drops the user on a page listing LCD TVs rather than some editorials or reviews to help that user make a purchase decision.

Often it is not clear how a given set of terms will perform, and as such, we like to conduct some basic testing using PPC to better determine the value of those keywords. Buying 1000 clicks and demonstrating results with some simple sums to determine metrics can help you dodge an SEO bullet.

You may see some resistance against this approach, but a one-month PPC campaign that generates no results is better than a six month SEO campaign that ranks the terms without the results.

Ultimately, Google is so smart now that ranking for specific terms absolutely requires the best content for that search term. So again, if you are not able or are unwilling to create that content, this may not be the best SEO strategy for you.

The lines blur somewhat between content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO once we get into the informational end of the keyword spectrum, so ensure your strategy allows for this.

There are lots of ways in which keywords may not be the best fit, from ad competition to just being strategically off by a few degrees. Ensure your keywords perform before you commit to a long-term campaign.

5. New businesses 

Organic search can take time and effort, so if you are setting up in an existing and highly competitive industry and absolutely require fast results, then SEO may not be right for you. Even in the local business space, we can see campaigns take six months or longer to really deliver the goods.

If speed is important to you, you may want to focus on a marketing tactic that can deliver the goods quickly. Then, look at slowly building up your organic traffic in the background whilst carefully measuring the results from your organic campaign.

6. New product or service

If there is not much awareness around the product or service you are launching, then SEO may not be the best option. If no one is searching for you or what you do, then no one will find you.

In this instance, you need to focus on the pain points of your customers so you can target them with ads or content that raises awareness of your product or service. You’ll want a more typical funnelled approach that makes the prospect aware of you and then educates them as to how your product is going to make their life easier, make them money, and/or save them time.

7. Only prepared to settle for first place

SEO is a zero-sum game, so if you’re targeting highly commercial terms through organic search, then it there is always going to be competition. There is no magic formula here, and if you take a bite out of someone else’s digital apple they will likely want to bite you back.

Instead of focusing on rankings, which are flaky and variable due to any number of algorithmic factors like location and personalization, look at return on investment for organic in relation to other channels, and consider what you can do to ensure you maximize profit from organic search.

8. Too much brand competition

Sadly, we are now seeing certain sectors where there is just too much brand competition. Now, I am a firm believer in the idea that even when the top slots are occupied by big brands, these are often generalist sites.

So if you focus on being the expert and the very best result, you can worm your way in without having to duplicate Amazon’s link profile or some such. Again, you have to be careful.

9. Multiple countries

Targeting multiple countries is completely doable. It can also be expensive and complicated to do well in organic search. Again, we come back to the budget and timeframe issues, so by utilising platforms like AdWords, you can quickly and easily target multiple locations with laser precision.

At the very least, test the water by using a paid search campaign and a country- specific landing page so you can determine that your strategy has merit before you roll out an expensive international search campaign.

10. Multiple languages

This is an extension of the multiple countries issue, and when you have to target multiple languages across multiple locations, this can get hugely complicated very quickly. If you look at somewhere like Switzerland where there are four languages commonly spoken (German, French, Italian and Rumantsch), you are going to need four language versions of your content for this location alone.

Ensuring your sparkly sales copy translates well to the target audience can be an issue itself, so again, ensure you know what you are getting yourself into.


SEO and digital marketing have grown up over the last fifteen years or so. There is a still a touch of the Wild West spirit to marketing online, but you must be realistic about what can be achieved in a given timeframe, especially when entering competitive markets and/or competing with established brands.

That is not to say SEO won’t work for a given business, but can you get where you need to be with the resources you have available? Much like all marketing, you must be prepared to invest in your campaign, and you absolutely must be consistent to see results. Those that spend without much planning or have never stopped to consider how achievable their goals are within organic search often get burned in the SEO services wasteland.

It’s also important to distinguish SEO jobs like chasing big commercial keywords and how your business is presented in search results when a customer Googles your name. You may not want to go after the big terms, but you will most definitely want to ensure your digital shop window on Google looks the part — so be clear on the many kinds of SEO and in particular how you are presented on a search engine.

What we typically see at my agency is that SEO works best as part of an integrated digital marketing campaign that is aligned within a single strategic plan. SEO, PPC, content marketing and social media typically form the backbone of this plan, along with time-proven marketing principles like commitment, investment and consistency. Get all of these elements working together, and consider all the angles from reputation management to branding, and your campaign will deliver far more than the sum of its parts.

Have you been in a situation when SEO has failed to deliver or where the odds were just insurmountable? I would love to hear your tales of woe (and success of course) over on Twitter or LinkedIn.