Often we encounter clients looking for ways to increase their bottom line and their exposure without putting a dent in their wallet. One of the most effective tools that can be used, when done correctly, is online marketing. Online marketing encompasses PPC ads, social media marketing, email marketing and all the other great things you can do on the internet to brand and market your business (and usually for a much lower cost than traditional marketing).
The key to online marketing is to use it the right way. Done correctly, it will be quick, effective and inexpensive. When it is done incorrectly it can be a serious waste of resources.
Before you start your online marketing campaigns- be it Facebook, Twitter, Adwords, etc., you need to track and analyze the metrics for all that work you are doing online. Generally these metrics are going to include measuring traffic and visitors to your blog, social networks, social media, and any ad campaigns you are running. The reason metrics are important is because they will give you that needed insight into whether or not what you are doing is working, and how you need to adjust and tweak your campaigns.
Items such as inconsistent search phrases or flawed audience can cost you money. And of course, the metrics will also tell you what you are doing correctly!
Over our next few blogs, we’ll be going over some of the ways you can measure your online marketing effectiveness.
One of the more popular ways our clients choose to market online is through Google Adwords.
Should you use pay-per-click or site targeted advertising (banner ads, rich media ads and text) then it is important that you pay attention to these 5 things:
- Click Thru Rate (CTR) – this would be the percentage of people that clicked on your ad. If you have a 10% CTR that means that for every 100 people that saw it your ad, 10 clicked on it.
- Average position – this lets you know where the placement of your ad is in search results. Generally the most success if found in positions 3 thru 5.
- Impression share – this is the number of times your ad is displayed per number of searches of a particular keyword phrase. If your impression rate is 50% that means that every time that phrase is searched your ad pops up half the time. A strong impression rate is considered 80% or higher.
- Bounce rate –this is the rate (percentage) of people that clicked on your ad, went to the landing page and left. In other words they did not follow your call to action. A bounce rate of 30 means that 3 out of every 10 people that clicked the ad, left once they got to the landing page.
- Conversion rate – this is the good one, this is the rate that visitors become customers.
- Landing page- You also need to make sure you have effective, measurable landing pages for your ads. Your visitors who you are paying to click through on your ads need to “land” on the right kind of webpage. For example, if you just take them to your homepage, they might not be seeing what it is they are looking for and they’ll be more likely to leave (increasing your bounce rates!). The most effective landing pages will speak to your visitors, address why they clicked on your ads in the first place, and encourage a conversion through a form, click through or other option. Your landing pages can make or break your Adwords campaign.
In our next blog post, we’ll be going over email marketing and website analytics. Stay tuned!
We get people all the time who come to us saying- we need help with SEO but can’t afford to hire someone! Working with Small Businesses, we understand how budgets can be tight. Building your traffic organically can be time consuming, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot. We have a few tips you can use to help boost your site’s search engine rankings all on your own.
1. Images– Your images should be saved properly. One of the easiest things you can do is save the images on your website and include keywords to help describe the image. Since search engine spiders can’t tell what an image is, this helps to tell them what the picture is about and how it relates to your site. Try saving that image of your storefront titled: “img01.jpg” to “chicago-pet-food-store.jpg” instead. Try to use your keywords in the title, but make sure you’re still accurately describing the picture.
2. Links– One of the most important factors Google and other search engines take into consideration is the links that point back to your site. These links should be of high quality and be from websites that are related to your business. So ask your colleagues to give you a link to your website from theirs- and you can return the favor if you’d like.
3. BLOG!– We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it. Your site needs a blog. The more you blog, the more fresh content you are putting on your website. We can help you get a blog installed on your website and even teach you how to use it most effectively for SEO. It’s not that hard, and is well worth the little amount of time it takes.
4. Socialize– Twitter, Google +, Facebook and other social media sites like Pinterest are really important to search engines. Having active social networking accounts can help show you put the effort in to help promote your company- and search engines like to see that! Plus setting these up are all FREE!
5. Update your site– The more you update the content on your site, the better. Websites with fresh content that are updated frequently tend to rank higher in search engines than those that aren’t. So in addition to your blogging, don’t forget to update the rest of your website!
There’s a lot to a successful SEO campaign, but little things like these can make a real difference when it comes to how your site gets indexed by search engines. The most important thing to keep in mind is to remember that SEO takes time, and a lot of effort, so take the time to network, blog and socialize and your website will be rewarded for it in the long run.
How does your site rank on Google? What have you done to improve it? Your website content has so much to do with how Google, Yahoo and Bing index it and display it in search results. Your content should contain your top keywords as well as links to various parts of your site. It’s also important to make sure each page has the appropriate keywords, titles and descriptions. While your visitors won’t usually notice things like this, a search engine will.
Aside from On-Page Optimization, your site needs to have the right links coming back to it. Quality over quantity is very important here. Remember to gain links from higher PR sites. Getting vendors and clients to link back to your website is always a good tool when done properly.
How do your potential clients identify with your brand? Does your logo identify with your core business practice? It’s important to carry your themes, colors and logos across all your marketing material from your website to your business cards to your brochures. Proper brand identity can help your products and services sell themselves. If you offer more than one product or service, properly identifying your brand can help one service or product sell another.
We’ve seen many companies fail at branding. Using different logos for the same products, different colors to identify the same services, and it only leads to confusion by the potential customer. It’s important to keep your logos, schemes and themes the same across your website, social media and print material. Your customers will be better able to identify you and your products and it makes it easier to recommend a product or service to a friend. With the influx of social sharing, this can be crucial to a businesses success.