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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Marketing, Why the Slow Times are the Best Times

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Why 10 Leading Marketing and Business Experts Warn Against the All Too Common Mistake of Cutting Marketing Budgets in a Slow Economy

 

Imagine reading a newspaper that has one and only one advertisement.  You would notice that advertisement.  You might even marvel at it. Now imagine the same newspaper with 50 advertisements.  Would you still notice that one advertisement?  Not likely.

 

When all other advertisers cease their marketing efforts, the advertiser who stays in the media is the one who catches the readers’ and buyers’ attention. But don’t take our word for it: consider what the experts say.

 

“Successful companies do not abandon their marketing strategies in a recession; they adapt them.” The venerable Harvard Business Review instructs business owners in “How to Market in a Recession” to adapt marketing strategies rather than cut them. “Instead of cutting the market research budget, you need to know more than ever how consumers are redefining value and responding to the recession….This is not the time to cut advertising….Brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times.”

 

“Prospects are more likely to recall marketing messages delivered consistently during a fragile economy, even if they are smaller and less frequently delivered.” Jay Levison, veteran marketing consultant and author, warns in his book, Guerilla Marketing During Tough Times, that “…many companies have scrubbed or reduced their marketing budgets to combat tough times and that it will cost those firms three dollars for every dollar formerly spent to reach the same level of consumer recognition and share of mind they previously enjoyed.”

 

“Cutting your marketing spending is a sure way to give ground to competitors who may be more aggressive during the downturn.” An article published on business mogul Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek, “5 Don’ts for Marketing in Down Times,” offers that “just as the savviest investors view down markets as a time to buy when everybody else is selling, the savviest marketers know recessions are a great time to pick up market share. They understand that by maintaining their budgets (or even increasing them) they may not come out ahead during the down times, but they can pick up market share that will pay off in the long run.”

 

“Research shows that companies that consistently advertise even during recessions perform better in the long run.” A Wharton University article, “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Don’t Skimp on Their Ad Budgets,” urges business owners to continue advertising. “A McGraw-Hill Research study looking at 600 companies from 1980 to 1985 found that those businesses which chose to maintain or raise their level of advertising expenditures during the 1981 and 1982 recession had significantly higher sales after the economy recovered. Specifically, companies that advertised aggressively during the recession had sales 256% higher than those that did not continue to advertise.”

 

“Become proactive rather than reactive.” The book, How to Up Your Profit in a Down Economy, by author and advertising copywriter Robert Boduch, encourages business owners “to make it a habit to reach new prospects every week – better yet, every day….To generate new customers consistently, you need a continuous marketing action plan.”

 

“With the right advertising tactics, a downturn can actually provide opportunities for online marketers.” A Google Adwords acticle, “Top Tactics for Tough Times,” suggests that “Now more than ever, your customers are relying on the Internet to help them make the best purchase decisions during tight times.”

 

Online “communities and social networking sites are cost-effective and have a measurable impact on prospects’ decisions in the consideration stage, which will be important to companies under recessionary pressures.” Josh Bernoff, Sr. VP Idea Development for Forrester Research, one of the leading IT, marketing, and technology research and consulting companies, writes in “Strategies for Interactive Marketing in a Recession” that “interactive marketing programs are now fueled by measurable results.” Bernoff suggests that “interactive marketers should stop toe-dipping and invest only in programs that can deliver on measurable metrics.”

 

“What you have to think about is whether increased spending will give you an even greater return.” An article in the Search Engine Guide, “How to Get the Most Value From Your SEO Investment,” explains that “spending less would be nice, but you have to get out of that mindset. Target, Walmart, Pepsi and Coke all continue to spend, spend, spend on their marketing because they know it gets results. And the second they stop spending, they know they lose market share to their competition.”

 

“Today, as web browsing has become more and more pervasive, the way people shop has changed.” Google’s Jim Lecinski defines “What the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ Means for Marketers” and explains that “long before shoppers find products on a store shelf, they search for the best options online. By the time they make a purchase, they have read reviews, compared prices and fully evaluated their options, whether they are buying a pillow or a Porsche.”

 

“As Americans spend more time online for information and entertainment purposes, digital advertising and marketing has emerged as one of the most effective tools businesses have to attract and retain customers.” The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported “Internet Advertising Revenues Hit $7.3 Billion in Q1 ’11,”a 23 percent increase in the first quarter of 2011 over the same period in 2010. “This marks the highest first-quarter revenue level ever for the industry and a significant increase over last year’s first-quarter revenue level, which had been the highest on record to date,” stated the IAB. “The consistent and considerable year-over-year growth we’re seeing demonstrates that digital media is an increasingly popular destination for ad dollars, and for good reason,” said IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg.

 

“Now is exactly the time to take advantage of marketing, and to use it strategically, proactively and effectively,” counsels Allen Levine, a respected marketing consultant to the legal industry, in his article “Marketing in Tough Times.”

 

Ready to take advantage of this challenging economic period and make your business stand out from the competition? A professional online marketing team will give Phoenix small business owners the best ROI for their marketing dollars by developing an integrated campaign. The experts at seenBest Web Design, Phoenix, Arizona, are savvy in all areas of marketing on the internet and can tailor a campaign to effectively and affordably meet the small business owner’s budget and business goals. Call us today for a free consultation, (602) 456-0150!

 


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Website Design on Purpose

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

A website is today’s key marketing collateral piece. It’s your online brochure, providing your company profile and the benefits of your offerings. It offers useful information for your target audience and is an interactive communication vehicle between your visitors, the people they forward your link to, and you.

 

Your website creates people’s first impression of your business. Website visitors judge your business in less than 10 seconds. A professionally designed website uses the latest technology and tools to attract your target audience, get their attention quickly, keep them on your site longer and address their needs. This is how you achieve your main purpose for the site. So, what is the purpose of your website?

 

Every website should be designed with a purpose in mind.

For most small businesses, there are two primary purposes for a website:

  1. To make sales.
  2. To generate leads.

 

Consider also the many possible secondary purposes:

  1. Provide information.
  2. Promote offerings.
  3. Create brand awareness.
  4. Position yourself as an expert.
  5. Increase subscriptions.
  6. Receive applications.
  7. Reduce printing and direct mail expenses.
  8. Build trust.

 

To create a successful website, you must know the primary purpose of the website. All aspects of website design – layout, functionality, content, graphics, links, buttons, navigation, security, SEO, SEM – must contribute to the primary purpose. Incorporating content to achieve your secondary purposes will ultimately lead you to either increasing sales or generating leads. As you evaluate every aspect of your website, ask yourself: Does this contribute to making sales or generating leads? If it doesn’t, no matter how much you like it, you need to let it go. An irrelevant element only distracts your audience.

 

Create an effective user experience on your website.

The next step – ask yourself: What actions do you want your visitor to take when he views your site? What does your visitor want to achieve on your site? Designing your website based on the answers to these questions will create a much more positive and effective experience for the visitor or “user.” “Everything the user experiences should be the result of a conscious decision on your part,” explains Jesse James Garrett in his book, The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web. “The practice of creating engaging, efficient user experiences is called user-centered design. The concept of user-centered design is very simple: Every step of the way, take the user into account as you develop your product.”

 

A professional design team knows how to achieve your goals.

You should select a design team that has the ability to understand your needs and then reflect those needs in the design and functionality of the new site. A professional web design team will ask you a number of questions to learn and understand:

  • Your business
  • Your industry
  • Your target audience
  • Your business objectives
  • Your online marketing goals
  • Your reason for having a website

 

The team at seenBEST Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, will meet with you face-to-face to learn about your company and your goals. Our comprehensive web design services are performed by highly experienced web professionals who know the right questions to ask. We will develop a user-centered design process to target and attract potential customers to your website…and take your web marketing results to unparalleled levels of success. Call today, (602) 456-0150 to schedule a free consultation.

 


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Why Small Business Owners Should Be Taking Advantage of Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

This article is part of a series of twenty articles. Click to read: The Top 20 Web Marketing Concepts Your Next Website Design Company Should Know

 

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising undoubtedly ranks as the most effective form of paid advertising available to small business owners today. The results can be almost immediate, with new leads coming in the day the account is created, configured, and made live.

 

PPC is the price an advertiser pays each time a user clicks on an ad. Unlike most other types of advertising where you pay to have ads printed or distributed, with Pay Per Click you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. The power in this form of marketing is the assurance that you only pay when your marketing message is seen. PPC advertising puts your site at the top of search engine results for your product or service every time someone uses the keywords you chose for your ad. Using a number of advanced research tools to determine the best keywords and ad copy, you can generate qualified visitor traffic and increase the conversion rate of click-throughs to sales— guaranteeing a competitive, profitable PPC campaign.

 

The Benefits of Using PPC

 

1. Targeted marketing message. The reason PPC is so effective in generating sales? PPC reaches potential clients or consumers at the exact moment they are ready to buy. Unlike other forms of marketing that require you to convince the general public that they need your products or services, PPC ads deliver a targeted marketing message directly to targeted buyers at the instant they are searching for what you offer. It’s already in their mind that they need it … and then your ad appears in the top of the search results.

 

More than 300 million searches are conducted every day, and up to 80 percent of people use the Internet to find local products and services. The more often your ad appears at the top, the more credibility and trust your company will gain with consumers.

 

2. Cost effectiveness. A typical PPC investment is anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per month, depending on the client and their services. While a one-time full page ad in a magazine can run over $1,000 and bring in only a handful of leads (if any at all), that same $1,000 spent in PPC can bring in two or three new clients EVERY DAY over an extended period of time.

 

PPC can be extremely cost effective when using the right combination of complex configurations and campaign strategies. Without the right configurations and analysis mechanisms in place, PPC can be a budget drain producing few to no results. At best, you may have a lucky accident and see some short-term success. But for long-term success in this highly competitive market, you need to create the most efficient marketing campaign possible: optimize the PPC landing pages, use the right combination of filters, and manage your PPC campaigns across multiple search engines to make sure every dollar is working maximally to deliver the highest possible return on investment (ROI).

 

3. Flexible ad schedule. Because advertisers have a high level of control over their PPC ads, this can be the single most effective form of marketing available. Unlike many other types of ads, you can enable or disable PPC ads based on the daily changing needs of the business. Some advertisers may increase or decrease their ad budget, turn off the ads temporarily for health or staffing reasons, or run ads seasonally based on their business. There is even detailed control over the days or hours ads are displayed, and the schedule can be adjusted to exactly match the working hours of your office to ensure that someone is available to answer the phone when new inbound leads are generated.

 

PPC Tracking Gives Precise, Measureable ROI

How many people came to your website from the most recent print ad? How many sales did you make from the radio ad? PPC is the only form of advertising that allows you to find out exactly how many people actually saw your ad, how many of those people came to your store (website), and how many of the people who saw your ad bought your product. With PPC, there are a wide variety of tools to measure and track the effectiveness of your campaigns. Some of the metrics available include:

  • Click-through rate tells you how many people are clicking through from your ad to your site, which helps to determine if your ad text is effective.
  • Conversion rate tells you how often people are buying your product or service after clicking through to your site.
  • Cost per acquisition tells you the average cost per sale or lead and which keywords are most effective.
  • Return on Investment (ROI) tells you whether the profits from the campaign are meeting your financial goals.

 

The goal of PPC campaigns is to attract better qualified visitors to your website who are more likely to buy. Working with experienced PPC consultants can result in a significantly higher rate of return on your investment. The team online marketing experts at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, will relieve you from the time drain of learning how to create a PPC campaign…and will work with your goals and your budget to design a winning campaign. Call us today at (602) 456-0150 to schedule a free one hour consultation and let us demonstrate to you how we provide your Arizona business with the best online marketing solutions and greatest return on investment for your limited marketing budgets.


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SEO May Be the Best Investment for Your Small Business

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

For most businesses with a website, the foremost source of traffic to their website is user searches. Over 70% of users click only on the top 10 results from a search, and ignore the search results that fall further down on the page or beyond the first page. How do companies get the number one spot? Or one of the top 10? Or at least one in the top half of the first page? Answer: by recognizing the power of optimizing their websites for search engines. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., use complex algorithms to determine the order in which companies will appear in the search results. These algorithms include hundreds of ranking factors that determine the position a company website will appear when a user search is made.

 

SEO – search engine optimization – is one of the most important marketing tools a small business can invest in. SEO can produce an extraordinary return on investment (ROI) by increasing a website’s online visibility, thereby attracting visitors who convert into customers. Company listings displaying in the top half of page one search results capture 99% of consumers, which could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue per year. Most business owners miss out on the vast majority of internet traffic, and sales, that would otherwise be theirs if their website was optimized for search. Small business owners must not underestimate the value of SEO and its impact on the bottom line.

 

Online marketing success requires setting goals and developing a strategic plan to achieve those goals. Some of the elements of search engine marketing – SEM – strategy include:

  • creating an attractive website with rich, constantly updated content
  • developing a carefully researched and employed keyword list to use in headlines and copy
  • properly designing video, photos, graphics and other website features
  • having all of website code reviewed and optimized by an SEO expert
  • developing a strategy to acquire high quality inbound links to the website
  • using metrics to track traffic and rankings

 

A well executed SEM campaign assures your advertisement and website link appear immediately at the top section of page one in the search engines. How sure can you be that SEM will work? How long will the process take? As with other forms of marketing – newspaper, yellow pages, TV, radio, direct mail – there are no guarantees. However, unlike other forms of marketing, SEM allows the small business owner to track rankings, traffic and sales to see quantifiable results.

 

Let’s go on a short journey into cyberspace and review an example of what this might look like.

  • Let’s pretend you are a hair stylist.
  • You cater to the Phoenix, Arizona market.
  • Your business name is “Swank Salon.”
  • A Google search for “Swank Salon” lists you at Page 1, Rank 1.
  • Fantastic!

 

As the owner, you might be overjoyed that you rank well for that search term, but does a high ranking on your name profit you? Probably not! Searches on your company’s name will rank your company high in search engines. But searching on your business name only works when the user already knows it. Usually, new customers will not know the name of your business. They may only be searching for a company that can help them fulfill a need and will instead search for a keyword or phrase that describes what they are looking for in their own words. If your goal is to increase traffic to your site and attract new clients, you need more than high ranking on your name – you need to rank well for the right keywords.

 

Are you using the right keywords in your content for your local market and target audience? Let’s Google “hair salon phoenix” to find Swank Salon. Are you attracting the largest number of local visitors possible to your site with these keywords? At this point, comprehensive research is needed to determine the search terms your business should be ranking well for based on the amount of search engine traffic tied to those terms. This research draws upon specific information collected from the business owner about the top competition, target client, and the industry.

 

As we conduct deep research for Swank Salon in SEO for the hair stylist industry, we learn:

  • 2.8 million people search for “haircut salons” every month
  • 2.3 million people search for “haircuts” every month
  • 1.8 million people search for “hair salon” every month
  • Fewer than 100 people search for “swank salon” every month

 

From this research, the company that can gain the most business from online shoppers is optimized to rank well for “haircut salons.” Only a proper SEO review can ensure that your website is using the correct terms to rank well. If Swank Salon relied on the keywords “beauty salon haircut” for SEO or the keywords “swank salon”, they would get fewer than 300 searches per month. The salon would lose out on the 2.8 million other consumers interested in their services who are searching on “haircut salons.”

 

So how does Swank Salon rank in “haircut salons phoenix”? Doing a Google search places them near the top of the list. But they are not the top. The sites at the very top are pulling in 70% more traffic from these 2.8 million consumers. Swank could use an SEM and SEO campaign to get the number one spot. Is search engine optimization all you need to bring in business? Not quite…

 

What happens when you click on the link to the Swank Salon website? Ugh! The poorly designed website will cause most of those 2.8 million visitors to back out of the page and find a salon with an attractive website that is easy to use. For a small business to achieve a high return on their SEO efforts, visitors must both (a) see the site listed near the top of search results and (b) like what they see so they stay on the site long enough to make a purchase. For example, take Cloud 9 Spa, a competitor to Swank Salon. While Cloud 9 Spa has a superior website design that appeals to their target client, their ranking is horrible. By appearing on page 2 for most relevant searches, they are getting very little of the total traffic available. Their website may be superior, but they suffer from low visibility. They could benefit from increased SEO and SEM that would place them above Swan Salon. Their superior website design would then capture thousands of dollars in increased revenue as a result.

 

SEO is one of the most successful marketing tools today. To take advantage of the tremendous online opportunity to grow your small business, you have to invest either money or time. As a small business owner, do you have time to become an SEO expert? SEO success takes a lot of work and time to achieve, even with the most sophisticated SEO techniques and skills. You may be able to learn the basics, but your business will grow much faster and you’ll see a greater ROI much sooner by using an online marketing firm experienced in web design, SEO, and content writing. You will also save a lot of money, by investing your marketing budget into the proper areas immediately via the expert strategy and guidance your SEO team provides.

 

In addition to expert search engine optimization, you should find a firm that will do more than promise to drive traffic to your website. As demonstrated in the example above, money spent to drive traffic to a poorly designed website will most likely result in lost sales. The professional team at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, provide you with comprehensive online marketing services at affordable rates. We provide you a complete team of experts in the fields of online marketing, content writing, web design, SEO, SEM, programming, and social media. We will design the best website for your business. Then we will drive traffic to your website, and get your website ranked above all of your competitors.

 

Can you afford to let your competitors capture the bulk of the sales from your target market? Give us a call and let us design the best website for your company, and then put expert online marketing strategies in place to get your website seen first, before the competition. We offer a free one hour consultation and will sit down with you to learn about your business and provide a custom plan tailored for your needs, call (602) 456-0150 to learn more.

 

 


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Strategy, More than Just an Eight Letter Word

Monday, September 20th, 2010

What a mess we’re in.

The online marketing industry right now is saturated with poorly trained freelancers, scam artists, and under-skilled web design companies that know little, promise much, and eventually wind up under-performing. When a business owner responds to a piece of spam that promises him SEO that will deliver 3,000 new leads per day for $20 a month, buys it, and gets nothing in return it really hurts the perception he has towards this industry. In his mind, SEO doesn’t work, and it’s very difficult from that moment forward to change his opinion. So many people have been burned this way and they are hesitant to participate again, even after they come in contact with a firm that really can deliver proven online marketing results.

Adding to the problem is the fact that online marketing methods have become confusing and difficult to follow for many business owners. SEM, SEO, PPC, Keywords, Blog, Social Media, PR, Linking, Meta Tags. Most people just scratch their heads and turn away. They don’t have time to figure this out, and most people don’t purchase services they can’t fully understand. Why should they? It’s hard to see real value in any service if you don’t first understand how it works.

Marketing StrategyAdding even FURTHER to the problem is the basic fact that strategy is more than just an eight letter word. Sure, you could go out and hire a self-proclaimed “Social Media Guru”, but what good is that going to do you when those efforts are not intelligently linked to your overall marketing efforts? Very little unfortunately and therein lays the dilemma. Business owners who have been burned in the past, do not understand the industry, but are willing to give it another try often end up trying some type of piecemeal approach where they hire several different people or companies. They may have a web design person, a social media person, an SEO person, some company in another state handling search engine marketing. Usually most of these organizations never sit down or meet with the business owner. This is a recipe for failure. These strangers, each handling some different aspect of your business presence, do not care whether or not your business generates new leads. They will be more than happy to take your money, however, and as a result you will end up with poor results and the attitude once again that online marketing does not work for you. Wash, rinse, repeat. The cycle continues.

If you own a business and want to become wildly successful you absolutely must establish a successful online marketing strategy. That strategy cannot consist of a piecemeal approach. The game has become very complex and, much like football, it is going to take a trained, well-coordinated team effort to win. Imagine if the owner of the Arizona Cardinals walked outside, pulled 11 complete strangers together that have never met before into the stadium, and had them play a quick pickup game against his team without any prior practice. What would happen? Those poor guys would get crushed. In similar fashion, your business will get crushed by your competition if you don’t hire a complete team that knows the game and has a solid game plan.

seenBEST Web Design knows the detailed methods of online marketing, how to make them work for you, and more importantly how critical it is for all of them to work together in order to bring success to your business. Our team will sit down with you, determine exactly what your business goals are, and then explain to you point by point the online marketing methods that are most cost effective for you to achieve results. We will not suggest driving traffic to your website, for example, without first making sure that your website is adequately designed to convert those visitors into leads. We will not suggest that you build a killer new website without first giving you pointers on ways to design it that will make it easier to market it once it’s complete.

We do these things at no additional cost, first because we understand the industry and we can, and second because the success of our clients is very important to us. SEO, SEM, Social Media, Email Marketing, Blogging, and Web Design are all interlinked with each other. You need to think outside of the box to target, plan for, and achieve business success. The way to do this is through an expert team that will communicate with you, educate you, and work together with your company to bring in real profits! Break the cycle, pull your online marketing team together, and let’s start generating new sales.



seenBEST Web Design

SEO – The Fast Track to Business Profits

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Of all forms of marketing available to your business, effective SEO is the MOST effective and least costly method to keep you moving towards further growth, success, and profits. So many companies have struggled with growth in this economy. Yet, I have personally watched businesses reach record profits, even through a recession. The secret has been the same for all, strong online presence. It’s true that if you supply effective SEO your business website you will grow. The reason is simple. Most businesses, your competitors, do not yet grasp the importance of the internet on the mind and purchasing habits of their target clients. That makes it easy for the few that ‘get it’ to rake in record profits.

Linking your business sites to relevant areas where customers will be searching for your services is a difficult task. There are many factors involved, and an entire industry of specialists has been formed to make sure that your website beats out the competition. If growth is your goal, you should immediately seek out these experts and ask them to start marketing your business to your clients today. But the secret to selling online goes beyond just knowing where the customers are searching. Your website must become a digital handshake between you and your client. You need a compact, easy to use website that has been optimized for your target client and marketed to the right people.

So many website providers today focus on only one element of the process. They either design a website, or they market your website. Rarely do you find a company that does both, and does them both well. However, that’s exactly what you’ll need to be a success. It does little good if people find your website only to turn away because they aren’t getting the information they need from your pages. It also does little good if your website is perfect, but can’t be found by your customers.

It’s time to upgrade the techniques of your outsourced web team. Look for companies that utilize cutting-edge online marketing strategies, combined with effective page design, and are willing to sit down with you to understand your business and goals. These elements are crucial to making your efforts count. Year by year I have observed new trends in the website industry. Your website solutions provider must stay on top of the latest and greatest methods and incorporate new ideas when promoting your business.

Website Marketing and Design

Web Marketing Elements

After all, this is the future of your business on the line! If your website company cannot explain to you the benefits of SEO, blogging, tweets, social media, landing pages, click tracking, page speed, custom search, Google caffeine, article distribution, video linking, or PPC, it’s time to find another company. Further, if they can’t demonstrate to you effective past performance, you also need to move on. In today’s economy, time is too short and the risks are too large to play games with your ROI.

Once you find that company that is willing to sit down with you, work with your business, and knows all elements of the industry – both online marketing and page design, keep them. They will keep your business on the fast track to profits.



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