Archive for the ‘PPC’ Category

Check Out Who Is Eating Your Lunch

In PPC, SEO, Social Media, Strategy on October 5, 2009 at 2:47 am

Business is good for some of us. And awful for others. We can blame it on the economy or the changing market, but the fact is, we all have choices about what we do and how we conduct our business.

Those of us engaged in online marketing have repeatedly tried to show traditional marketers just how effective inbound marketing can be. And how inexpensive it is relative to the results you can produce with a good strategy. We are not talking about “using Twitter” or “being on Facebook”. It serves no one for your staff to be online without a sound strategy that integrates with the rest of your marketing. Yes – it is early in the game, but our experience to date indicates it will be a lot easier to defend a top 3 organic ranking for a relevant keyword than to try to take it from a competitor who is defending it effectively. Creativity and innovation will beat big time spending in this marketplace.

We are talking about engaging in an honest open conversation with the people you believe should buy your product. But obviously, as bad as things are, most traditional marketers are happy with the current SPEND (lots of advertising and promotional dollars), HUNT (go out looking for customers) and HOPE (they remember you when it comes time to buy) model that has been dictated by the mass media marketplace we have all grown up in. This model is more about selling people than letting them buy.

We have done our best to convince businesses that the average consumer (B2B or B2C) just Googles what they are looking for and even if they do not actually purchase online (although Marketing Sherpa reports that over 34% do), they do make their buying decision based on their online research. Sure they still talk to friends and get advice. Sure they still shop in retail stores. But the strongest influence by far is the combined results of their Google search.

So, bottom line: take a 10 minute break today and type in the keywords or search terms that you think people would use to find your product or service. Not your Company name – the product or service you sell. See if you can be found when your prospects are looking to buy. And pay special attention to the firms that do show up on page 1 of the search. They’re most likely the ones your potential buyers are buying from.


Is Cold Calling Dead?

In PPC, SEO, Social Media, Strategy on September 4, 2009 at 1:02 am

world-wide-web.jpgFor many years we in business have sharpened our skills and tactics for going out and finding customers. We work hard to impress them (embed our brand) so when they are ready to buy, they remember us and purchase our product or service. Most of us are pretty good at HUNTING for customers. But by the time we pay the gatekeepers (the Media Barons who control access to the highly sought eyeballs) and all of the costs to distribute materials, we end up investing a lot of dollars in the name of marketing. In a “Mass Media Market” that’s the best we have available to us. We SPEND, HUNT and HOPE (they remember us when it comes time to buy). No wonder the Finance guys hate marketing!

Things have changed in the past 2 years. So much so, those same Finance guys are going to love the new marketer. Web 2.0 has combined with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising) tactics to create a whole new marketing mindset. A new context if you will. Today, when a customer wants to buy, are they just as likely to Google words and phrases that suit what they are looking for? Are they open to suggestions from Social media sites and recommendations from their peers? In most cases they will find what they are looking for on the first page of the search results, or at least have their short list? How easily can you BE FOUND when your prospects are looking to buy? Are you making extra effort to BE HUNTED online? Have you adjusted your marketing thinking to suit the market? We call this eMarketing Management – a blend of strong, integrated strategy and aggressive online tactics. Most marketers are approaching emarketing from a mass media context and are left wondering why the online communities are not responding. For example, we think that placing banner ads on busy sites should bring results. That is merely an extension of mass marketing tactics. There are better ways to engage with the World Wide Web and the millions of INDIVIDUALS who are online.

We have also seen a rapid decline in response to telemarketing – no matter the tactics used. It seems that we used to accept some cold calls just in case we might need that service or product in the foreseeable future. We would take the call, ask questions, understand the key issues and file the information away so we could lay our hands on it when we need it. In 2007 Marketing Sherpa published a study that revealed that 83% of business purchases were found online. Not all purchased online, but sourced and researched. So now we know that whatever we want we can Google it and find everything we need to know quickly and relatively painlessly. There is no need to entertain cold calls that have nothing to do with the priorities that dominate us today. So cold calling dies. The only thing that kept it alive was it always produced just enough to justify the investment. Not any more.

It is far less expensive to set our products and services up to be easily found when our prospects are searching for them. But we have to make the mental shift from marketing in a mass media world and mastering our HUNTING skills, to interacting with millions of individuals and learning to BE HUNTED. Learning to make ourselves easy to be found. And make no mistake – it is a completely different context.

As consumers change their habits, we have to adjust our efforts to reach them effectively. There’s a great example of context shaping actions – from a mass marketing world that is exactly what we would do – REACH OUR CUSTOMER EFFECTIVELY. In this Internet based world, we want to listen, engage and have a conversation with people who are interested in what we produce. new context allows for new actions. New actions have the possibility of new results. And the early indications are impressive. We are working smarter instead of harder and producing unprecedented results using:
An eMarketing Planning Process
Competitive Online Research
In-depth Site Analysis / Audit
Pay Per Click Campaign Management
Search Engine Optimization
Link Building & Exchanges
Blog Marketing
Content Writing

Social Media Marketing
Code Restructuring
Bots / Texts / Sitemaps
E-Mail Marketing Campaigns
And More…

Bounce Rates: Why they are Important and What You Can Do.

In PPC, SEO on August 29, 2009 at 5:46 pm

bouncing ball.JPG

Bounce rate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Bounce Rate)

Bounce rate (sometimes confused with exit rate)[1] is a term used in web site traffic analysis. It essentially represents the percentage of initial visitors to a site who “bounce” away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.

The formula used to calculate bounce rate is: Bounce Rate = Total Number of Visits Viewing One Page ÷ Total Number of Visits

Your website is at the very least an intelligent interactive brochure for your business, and at best, the center of your business development strategy. So your bounce rate is a very important statistic. We will explain.

Google Analytics is an effective tool to learn what’s happening with your website and gaining access to it is simple and easy. We are always amazed how many new clients are not even aware it exists. Good data allows for good decisions and a business lives or dies based on the decisions we make every day. Google Analytics removes the guesswork -with no cost!

Now lets examine why they bounce.

  1. Is your site content what they were looking for? Google looks for relevancy so is your site relevant to the visitor?
  2. Have you performed proper Search Engine Optimization? Are your keywords, Titles, meta tags & descriptions worded correctly? Do they represent the content of the page?
  3. Is the page well designed by a professional art director who understands how to guide a visitor through the page and communicate your message?
  4. Do your keywords and phrases match exactly with your Adword ads? The phrasing and words you use are extremely important. You have to accurately represent the content of the landing page (the page you link your Adword to) in just 95 characters. The keyword or phrase you are targeting must be in the headline of the ad.
  5. Is the quality of the content valuable and insightful? If the wisdom or message is weak, your bounce rate will be high. Visitors value their own time and they will not waste time reading stuff that makes no difference or that they can find on a host of different sites they have already been to. Quality content is critical. No blah, blah, blah. People tune it out – aka: bounce.

Google Analytics do not use length of time spent on the site to determine bounce rates. So, if a visitor stays on your Home page for 5 minutes and does not go to any other part of the site, Google considers that a bounce. Someone that might have come in and stayed on that page for 10 seconds and went to another page will not be categorized as a bounce.

You must closely examine why a bounce occurs, and evaluate it for every page based on every keyword and phrases used. That is a lot of combinations, but it is important. If a visitor arrived at your home page, you must entice them inside the site using links, sidebar titles or an incentive to click on another page. The other option is not to land them on your home page. Land them on the page where all the relevant content is. If they like that page, chances are good you can attract them to other pages within the site. Remember, they must visit more than 1 page on your site in order for Google to count them as not bounced.

We have weekly analytic meetings with every one of our clients. It provides our “marching orders” for future actions and helps us stay focussed on the original campaign objectives. After all, you cannot manage what you cannot measure.

3 Online Lead Killers

In PPC, Strategy on August 20, 2009 at 3:23 pm

“Sometimes when you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s hard to remember the original objective was to drain the swamp”. This applies to eMarketing Management as well.

The objective is not to get someone to click on something, or to capture another email address. That’s not a lead. When we trick them into giving us their email address, any further communication is at best SPAM Light. Our objective is to convert visitors into customers. Remember, we are doing all this work to increase sales. We must be sure that everything is relevant to the statement they clicked on.

So we must optimize our Sequence of Thoughts, not a landing page. Our landing page should always try to find the money.

When generating our great ideas and clever solutions, we must continually check our thinking against The 3 Lead Killers. This means we must always make our choices from our visitor’s point of view. The 3 things they are thinking about when they land on our landing page are:

1)  Where Am I? – if our visitor is looking for X, they are likely on a bit of a mission. It’s not really complex – they are looking for X. How we know that for sure, is they found us when they were looking for X. So if our landing page does not deliver on the promise we made to get them to click, they will likely bounce. We should just give them X on the landing page. We don’t have to give them the whole book, just the first paragraph. Info that is so good, they will want more.

2)  What Can I Do Here? – we have to make it clear and make it obvious what we want them to do next. Keep it simple. Make it clear.

3)  Why Should I Do It? – all 3 of these rules are lead-killers, but this one is the one we see broken most often. People only take action if there is a clear benefit. They arrived at where they are because we said something that made them think we have a solution to their problem. Ideally we should give them something that educates or informs, bringing them closer to that solution. The rules of engagement are simple – you value something from me (even my email address), give me something I value (more valuable information about why I visited you in the first place).

So much of this comes back to what we promised in the first place. Our headline and first sentence (all that appears in a Google search line) must perfectly match our landing page content.

Maybe be the best way to manage the 3 Online Lead Killers is to adopt a strict NO SURPRISE policy to your online communications.