Small Business

Some Misconceptions About Pay Per Click Advertising

by Christi on November 27, 2012

Many business owners have misconceptions about Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising. The following is a list of a few misconceptions we have compiled from clients and potential clients.

  • PPC advertising (or increasing your PPC budget) will get you a higher organic ranking on that search engine. The search engines have never made this claim. In fact, they usually deny it. PPC advertising will have no impact on your organic ranking. If it did, the search engine would loose all credibility.
  • It is best to link your PPC ad to your homepage. In reality, you should link your PPC ad to a landing page specifically tailored to the keywords used for your ad. This page should also have a call to action, such as an offer for something free, that the visitor can receive by filling out a form or calling a special number. Answering this call to action converts the visitor into a lead.
  • The best measure of PPC success is the number of ads clicked on (click through rate). Usually, the best measure of success in a PPC campaign is the number of new leads/customers it generates (i.e. conversion rate).
  • Ad clickers become leads or customers on the same day they click on the ad. Not necessarily. It is not uncommon for half of your ad clickers to wait 10 or more days before filling out your conversion form and becoming a lead.

These are just four misconceptions about PPC advertising; there are many more.

If you need help with your PPC Advertising Campaign, give us a call at 504.450.6912.

{ 0 comments }

A good copywriter possesses the ability the put together exactly the right words to convey your company’s story to your target audience. Good copywriting is important to all forms of verbal communication from blogging to white papers to books. Good copywriting can be the difference in the success or failure of a content marketing campaign. To that end, we have been searching for a good copywriter to join our strategic partnerships.

Annie BleeckerToday, I would like to introduce you to our strategic partner for copywriting, Annie Bleecker. Annie is a copywriter and content strategist who specializes in helping businesses deliver key messages in a way that resonates with their target audiences. She has been writing and editing professionally for seven years, both in print and online mediums. Her passion is B2B web copywriting, and she particularly excels at explaining complicated processes in clear, compelling language.

“My most rewarding challenges are helping service providers clearly explain what they do and how exactly their services translate to results for their clients.”

In 2010, Annie began learning about content marketing and was instantly captivated by its potential. Shortly thereafter, she left her copywriting job at an in-house advertising department in order to go out on her own and help agile, forward-thinking businesses use content marketing to boost sales through increased web traffic and leads.

“Content marketing provides a real opportunity for businesses to build a loyal base of potential customers. People don’t want to be ‘sold’ to; they want valuable information from an authoritative source. The business that can design its content around its customers’ priorities will emerge as the market leader.”

Prior to starting her consulting business, Annie used her writing and editing expertise to drive sales for Laitram LLC, a global industrial equipment manufacturer; increase article acceptance rates for professors and fellows at Tulane Health Sciences Center; and oversee production of educational media for Pearson Education, a world-renowned textbook publisher.

Her career in language began in Santiago, Chile, where she spent two years teaching Business English to executives at companies such as Fluor Corporation, ABN Amro, and Scotiabank. She is bilingual (English/Spanish) and received a degree in International Affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

We are proud to be partnering with Annie and look forward to the vital role she will play in helping businesses connect with their target audiences. If you need help with your copywriting, contact us today at 504.450.6912 or fill out the contact form in the righthand column.

{ 0 comments }

Your Website Is Not A Yellow Page Ad!

by Joe B on August 20, 2012

Many businesses treat their websites as nothing more than Yellow Page ads. Remember the Yellow Pages… those yellow phonebooks you’d search through when you needed a plumber, auto mechanic or even a doctor (although doctors couldn’t have more than their name, address and phone number for the longest time). Businesses would buy the biggest ad they could afford. Some businesses even named their companies so they would so up first in the Yellow Pages (AAAA Insurance, for example).

Yellow Pages were very inefficient. They were only printed once a year. If your business started after the deadline for printing, you had to wait until next year. And a business could go out of business between the time they paid for an ad and when the Yellow Pages were printed. So, unlike websites, they could never quite be up to date.

Yellow Page ads are static and usually provide little more than a list of services or products the business offers, the address and phone number. Many businesses have websites that are nothing more than prettier versions of their Yellow Page ads. But websites can and should be much more.

A business website should be a dynamic, interactive lead/customer generating machine. After all, the ultimate goal of a business website is to get customers. A business website can do this by interacting with website visitors, prompting them to download eBooks and White Papers, and providing them with up to date information through a blog. This is all part of the Inbound Marketing Process which uses a business’s web presence to move web visitors down the Sales Funnel into leads and customers.

You can find out more about the Inbound Marketing Process on this blog or you can attend one of our upcoming webinars.

{ 0 comments }

Inbound Marketing Is The Best SEO (part 2)

by Joe B on August 15, 2012

As we said in our previous post, Inbound Marketing consists of:

1) Content- serving up unique, helpful content
2) Distribution of that content thru:

  • social media
  • e-mail
  • blogging
  • website
  • search
  • others

3) Engagement with users to:

  • capture leads
  • convert leads to customers

Why isn’t the old way of doing SEO effective anymore? The answer is because Google changed their algorithm and indexing system. Google search is about solving problems. When you type something into the Google search bar, you are looking for an answer to something. Google wants to serve up the best answer to you.

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines says, “make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.” So Google is looking for quality, unique content. In February 2011, with the introduction of Panda, Google found a way to identify content that was not good. In the Summer of 2010, Google introduced its Caffeine Indexing System which began rewarding new/fresh content. In February 2011, Google caught and punished JC Penney, Overstock.com and others for black hat link building. In October 2011, Google began limiting Keyword Search Query Information making it more difficult to determine what keywords were used to find your site. And in 2010, both Google and Bing admitted to using Social Signals in their search results.

What does all of this mean?

1) Where you rank doesn’t matter- How many keywords drive traffic to your site does.

2) You must create lots of original, problem-solving, thought leader content and/or entertaining content

3) You must publish content frequently

4) Don’t buy links or use link building services

5) Search results and technical SEO ROI are harder to track

6) Distribute your content thru Social Media and be social

7) Embrace all of Inbound Marketing

Content creation is the new SEO. Make your content helpful, insightful and fresh are reap the rewards.

 

 

{ 0 comments }

Why Blogging Is The Best SEO Method

by Joe B on August 7, 2012

blogging SEOIt’s easy to see why blogging is the best SEO method. SEO or search engine optimization is all about getting found by the search engines. Search engines use two main criteria for returning search results (there are others, but these are important): 1) relevancy and 2) authority.

For relevancy, search engines try to match up search terms with terms on a website. To determine authority, search engines use the number of inbound links from other relevant websites. Blogging can improve both your website’s relevance and authority.

Every blog post is a page added to your website. With each blog post you can concentrate on a particular keyword or keyword phrase. More blog posts mean more opportunities to be relevant for more search terms. Each blog post is also link bait, meaning it gives you an opportunity to get another inbound link thus giving your site more authority.

In addition to relevancy and authority, search engines also reward freshness. And blogging gives you the opportunity to keep your site fresh with new information and new blog posts.

So you see with blogging, SEO is really a matter of arithmetic, specifically addition. By adding more posts (pages) to your website, you are adding more opportunities to get found and be linked to.

Don’t forget to register for the upcoming Blogging for Business 101 webinar coming up on August 15th at 2 p.m. central time.

This webinar will give you a plan for your blogging that will help you get found by people who need you, convert traffic into leads and customers and we will also go over what you need to analyze to keep you on track. You can sign up for the Blogging for Business 101 webinar here:

Blogging for Business 101 registration

Hope to see you on the 15th!

register-for-blogging-brfor-business-101



{ 0 comments }

A Big PPC Advertising Mistake To Avoid

by Joe B on July 26, 2012

pay-per-clickPPC advertisers often send users to their homepage. This is usually a big mistake. Have you ever been searching for something specific, say a diamond ring, and click on a PPC ad only to be taken to the homepage of a jewelry store? Then you have to search the store’s website for diamond rings. Why didn’t the PPC ad take you to the jewelry store’s page with diamond ring? Probably because the person setting up the ad did not know better or was too lazy to set it up.

When setting up PPC campaigns, always try to link your ad to the page on your website that most closely matches what the user is looking for. Don’t frustrate the user by making her start her search all over on your website. It takes more time on your part, but is well worth the effort.

{ 0 comments }

Clients often ask if they should use pay per click (PPC) advertising. And our answer always depends upon the client and her website.

We have all seen the studies that show some 70% of search engine users don’t click on PPC ads. So, why would someone use PPC ads? Well, that leaves 30% of search engine users who will click on PPC ads, and that is significantly more than 0%.

There are a few times when PPC advertising can be very effective:

  • a keyword phrase that is of vital importance, but so competitive it is impossible to get on the first page of search results.
  • a new website that hasn’t been around long enough to establish credibility in search engine rankings.
  • a website redesign where the original website had poor SEO and never established credibility in search engine rankings.
  • the introduction of a new product or service where the webpage is new and has yet to establish search engine credibility.

We all know that, if your website is not on the first two pages (higher in most cases) of search results, it is invisible to most searchers. So having a PPC ad, which 70% of the viewers will never click and only 30% may click, is far superior to being invisible.

PPC advertising can be an effective part of your internet marketing strategy. But use it judiciously, and don’t use it for terms where you already rank in the top 3 or 4 of search engine results.

{ 0 comments }

Why Use A Content Management System (CMS)

by Joe B on July 17, 2012

Content Management Systems vs. Static Websites

In the old days, most, if not all, websites were static and were created using HTML, Javascript and/or Flash. You could not edit these websites unless you understood the code or had special software. This made it expensive to maintain these websites.

Content Management Systems (CMS) were created to solve this problem. A CMS allows a person, who doesn’t possess programming skills, to update a website (i.e. create pages and make changes to pages). This can greatly reduce the cost of maintaining a website.

Some of the benefits of using a CMS are:

  • If your CMS is open source (WordPress, Drupal or other), you are not stuck with your web developer, there are thousands of other developer familiar with these CMSs ready to help you.
  • Ability to update your website from any computer using a browser without using your web developer.
  • Built-in search capability.
  • Plugins or add-ons for adding photo galleries, calendars, tables, forums, membership only sections, selling items, etc.

So if you’re tired of paying your web designer every time you want to make a small change to your website, you should look into converting your site to a CMS. Many CMS website designers can keep the look and feel of your current website if that’s what you like.




download-7-steps-to-website-redes



{ 0 comments }

Many websites have bad navigation (menu) systems. How many times have you found a site on google, clicked on the link and been taken to a beautiful website, only to discover that you can’t find anything on it? Some websites look like their menu system was an afterthought with no rhyme  or reason. A beautiful website with good SEO is wasted if visitors to the website can’t find what they are looking for.

Website navigation has become so important that it is now an area of specialization called “Information Architecture”. While many small businesses don’t have either a website or budget large enough to warrant the hiring of one of these specialist, their website designer should be aware of the navigation system’s importance. At the very least, you should ask a few people to look at your website and try to find something. If they have trouble, you should probably rethink your navigation system.

Your website’s ease of navigation is extremely important. If visitors to your website can’t easily find what they are looking for, they will go to your competitor. So don’t let your navigation system be an afterthought.




download-7-steps-to-website-redes



 

{ 0 comments }

Does Your Website Perform?

by Christi on July 12, 2012

1&1 Internet recently reported that up to 40% of small and medium size businesses still don’t have a website. That is shocking news. Social media has, in many cases, taken the place of the business website; but business owners need to understand that social media, while very important, is a tool in an overall marketing strategy. A business website is also a very important tool, but it must be a website that performs.

In the past, a business could just put up a static site and call it a day. Today, your website must attract visitors, educate them and convert them into customers. That is a lot to ask of a website, but when done right, it can bring a significant return on your investment. Businesses must integrate social media, content, blogging and more to meet the demands of today’s consumers.

Consumers now want to be educated, they want to be informed more than “sold.” This is a fundamental shift in consumer behavior.

website performance

What are you doing to inform consumers about your products and services? When a visitor comes to your site, are they getting information that will help them make a buying decision? Can they find it easily? Realizing the power of information is a great first step in making your website an inbound marketing machine that performs like a champion.




get-a-free-website-analysis



{ 0 comments }