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Posts Tagged ‘search engine marketing’

Effective Business Advertising: Four Obsolete Marketing Methods in the Digital Age

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Welcome to 2013! The internet and mobile revolution has brought on many changes to business marketing strategies. Advertising that once worked splendidly has lost impact due to the changes in the way consumers communicate and seek out information. Many people, for example, forgo a home phone and every member of the household has a cell phone. With the advance of computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones in virtually every aspect of our lives, people are reading more of their information from online sources than any other. This changed reality has resulted in an array of new and inexpensive advertising opportunities that allow you to reach your target audience any time day or night, no matter where they are or what they are doing, and in more personal and meaningful ways.

 

Online Advertising

Technology is everywhere: At home and work, when playing and shopping, sitting down and on the go.

 

Companies that are slow to embrace new technologies and continue to focus their advertising budgets on methods that worked decades ago are being quickly outpaced by more modern competitors. As a result, they are losing potential customers every day. A business with outdated advertising practices that wishes to remain competitive must modernize and optimize their advertising strategies to eliminate ineffective marketing methods. In most industries, increasing the effectiveness of marketing investments means embracing the digital era and moving their advertising efforts to the internet.

 

How can a business, currently entrenched in marketing methods that worked a decade ago, take advantage of the upgraded advertising opportunities available to them and get ahead digital era? This article is designed to detail four obsolete business marketing methods, why not to use them for your modern business, and how to replace them with more effective advertising technologies. Stop wasting your money on advertising that simply does not work. Abandoning these four obsolete methods of traditional business promotion can lead to an increased return on investment when they are switched to more cost-effective methods online.

 

 

Telemarketing

Cold CallingTelemarketing, or cold calling, was a popular form of marketing for many years. The concept works similar to door-to-door sales, only over the phone. Simply obtain a list of potential clients, call them at their home or business, and read a professionally written script. Ideally, the phone calls are made quickly with minimal talk time, with an attempt to talk to as many people as possible while minimizing rejections.

 

Why not?

This may sound like a great marketing strategy, however, there is a major downside. People generally have become annoyed with these types of calls. When the concept was fresh, people happily answered their phones and many of them would listen to what you had to say. In today’s world, people are used to communicating quickly and have access to a wealth of information digitally, eliminating the need to learn about products or services over a forced and disruptive telephone call.

 

In addition, call screening and gatekeepers have become common. Digital telephone systems exist that screen out calls from unwanted parties. With the increased use of smartphones, many people have downloaded apps specifically designed to identify and block telemarketing calls. Because of all these factors, it is unlikely that your target audience will be reachable by phone, making telemarketing obsolete.

 

What’s better?

Use social media to your advantage for a much improved, non-intrusive way of reaching potential customers. A professional marketing campaign on sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook can help your business target and reach out directly to people who have already expressed interest in or a need for your services. With the use of marketing content such as website landing pages, infographics, and videos, you are able to provide useful information and advertise your business to potential clients. In general, people are more receptive to companies they find via their favorite social websites, especially when they recognize one of their friends as having ‘liked’ or endorsed your business in the past. This form of promotion is inexpensive for the value and, when done correctly, can produce a much higher return on investment than telemarketing.

 

 

Direct Mail

Junk MailDirect mail is one of the oldest forms of promoting products or services. Businesses gather a mailing list of potential clients, usually tens of thousands, and put together a clever letter or post card. This method is most commonly used for coupons, store newsletters, or as a way to inform people about new products. The material is then mailed to the target client’s home or business address. Often times a single ad from one company is combined with dozens of ads from multiple companies, resulting in a single mailer of ads sent via bulk mail to the advertiser’s targeted list.

 

Why not?

Direct mail has another term associated with it: “junk mail.” These mailings often go directly into the trash can and are often not read. This creates an inconvenience to the client and is a waste to businesses. It can become expensive to print and distribute high color advertisements via mail, so it is important to see a high return when using them. Unfortunately, “Junk mail” does not usually result in a high sales return.

 

In addition, the United States Postal Service has begun to limit its services, offering limited services on Saturday and no service on Sunday. In recent years, the mail industry has seen a seen a heavy decline is overall sales. Businesses are now limited to advertising via this method Monday through Friday, the busiest days of the week for most people and the days where they are least likely to have time to sift through disruptive advertisements. Plus, if addresses are written incorrectly or the client has moved, it is even less likely they will see the advisement. High cost, poor targeting availability, and low return on investment has made advertising by direct mail obsolete.

 

What’s better?

The better solution to reach tens of thousands of people in a cost-effective way is by building an internet marketing strategy using video and social media advertising campaigns on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. Advertising via social media allows your businesses to reach targets based on highly specialized criteria, narrowing down your targeting to people who are specifically interested in your message. This form of business promotion is far less limiting than a piece of paper, giving you the opportunity to present your potential client with videos, long pieces of information, images, or interactive content. This can be used to create an overall deeper relationship with the client, giving them a greater sense of loyalty to your brand. “Going Green” with your advertising will not only result in less wasted paper and an overall better outlook for the environment, it will also result in lower marketing cost with a much higher return. And, unlike sending “junk mail” with the USPS, there’s nothing to print, no postage to buy, and you can reach people any time day or night, seven days a week.

 

 

Yellow Pages

Phone Book AdsThe yellow pages within a phone book are a listing of all the businesses in a particular area organized by category and name. Businesses can buy ad space for their respected categories, up to a full page, in hopes they will catch the eye of the person seeking the type of service or product the company offers. Phone books with yellow pages are often dropped off at a telephone customer’s home or business address, usually in a bag on the ground near the door.

 

Why not?

People readily access most information online or on the go with a cell phone, making an advertisement in the phone book yellow pages rather ineffective. The printed copies of business directories often make their way into the trash bin immediately upon delivery. While many yellow page directory services have created online versions to go along with the printed book, these are equally as ineffective. No one uses business directories to locate information on products or services, preferring instead to directly search for information on a search engine such as Google or Bing, or via social search in Facebook. Due to the high cost of advertising in yellow page and directory services, and the dwindling number of people looking to them for answers, the Yellow Pages are obsolete when it comes to advertising your business.

 

What’s better?

People go directly to search engines to search for service providers in their area, and use search engine relating mapping services provided by Google or Bing to locate products or services nearby. Creating search engine listings and having a modern website listed in online search is vastly superior to yellow page advertising. With search marketing, instead of a small, single advertisement on a piece of paper, you are able to drive interested customers to a website full of robust pages of information, contact forms, interactive media, videos, and integrated social media components unique to your business. As a bonus, search engines are available on the go, so potential clients can find you while on the road and away from home. In addition, these searches are conducted using keywords typed in to a search box, allowing you to laser focus your advertising to only those people who are most likely to need your products or services. Search engine marketing provides your business with a quick, accurate, round-the-clock advertising method, helping you drive interested clients straight to your location or website.

 

 

Newspaper and Magazine Ads

Magazine AdsNewspapers and magazines are a common place for advertisements, especially for local products or services. Each newspaper or magazine is printed and distributed to thousands of client’s doorsteps on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The ads can be placed in a number of different sizes ranging from as little as one forty-eighth of a page to a two page ad, depending on the paper.

 

Why not?

Print newspapers and magazines are becoming less and less common. It’s a dying industry with rapidly shrinking readership. This is due to the ease of finding information, including news, online. Many traditional newspapers are no longer existent or have moved their operations online in the form of dedicated blogs or E-newspapers. Most magazines have replaced printing in favor of digital copies that incorporate video as well as images.

 

Traditional newspaper ads can also get quite costly depending on the size of the ad and the following the newspaper has. While small ads are often available at a reduced cost, they may be overlooked by readers depending on the placement. The traditional paper size is 15 by 22 and a half inches, and one forty-eighth of that amounts to a tiny ad space, a little over an inch. The fact that readership of printed magazines and newspapers has declined, and your tiny ad often blends in with the page and is seldom seen, makes advertising in paper newspapers and magazines obsolete.

 

What’s better?

Online display advertising allows you to publish high quality color advertising images and online videos to targeted websites at a fraction of the cost of a printed ad in a newspaper or magazine. Many of these websites are visited on a regular basis by your ideal customers, so a steady flow of potential clients will see your ad. In addition, online display ads can link those viewers directly to your website, putting them just a click away from a wealth of information about your products or services. Display advertising allows you to target readers with a particular focus, making it possible to specialize further and show your ad only to people who are likely interested in what you offer.

 

From a creative standpoint, this type of promotion is far less limiting. It is possible to have full color, beautiful ads for your business, where as a traditional newspaper will usually limit the ads to black and white or low-quality color ink. This means that not only are you targeting potential clients effectively, but you are creating more interactive ads that allow you to engage your target audience in meaningful ways. Display advertising ultimately provides a higher return on investment than printed newspapers and magazines, allowing you to provide more relative, higher performing ads for less.

 

 

In addition to all of the benefits outlined above, there are several additional reasons why digital advertising methods via search engines, websites, and social media far outpace telemarketing, direct mail, yellow pages, or newspapers and magazines:

 

  • Advertisement Performance Tracking and Analytics: Internet advertising provides the ability to measure advertising effectiveness. You can quickly compare cost vs. performance via mechanisms that track the number of times your ads were viewed and the number of times they were acted upon. Detailed performance tracking makes it easy to determine if your advertising is working or needs to be adjusted.
  • Advertising Campaign Scheduling: Online ads can be scheduled to run according to your precise needs. You can run ads at only certain times of the day, certain days of the week, or start and stop advertising as necessary based on the needs of your business.
  • Detailed Control Over Budget: With internet advertising, you are not trapped into a pre-determined set price for your ads. You can allocate the budget that’s right for your business at the time, and increase or decrease your advertising budget as your goals change.

 

This is the dawn of the digital age. Looking at your business advertising plan and reallocating it now is a wise decision. While finding the most effective marketing strategy for your business can be a difficult task, eliminating useless business advertising methods is a good first step towards that goal. If your business is investing in any one of the aforementioned methods, you are probably wasting your money that could be better invested online. Add up how much you are spending monthly and yearly on useless business advertisements and write that number down. That’s the amount of money you should be investing into high impact internet advertising instead.

 

It’s common sense to advertise where your potential clients are, and chances are good that most of them are online. Roughly 80% of Americans use the internet for an extended period of time on a daily basis, and that number continues to grow each year. Compare to the only 23% that read printed newspapers on a semi-frequent basis. Because internet advertising is significantly less expensive than traditional marketing methods, and most of your competitors haven’t yet figured this out, promoting your business digitally will yield higher results. Get started now to help establish your company early on and gain the competitive edge.

 

So, what’s the next best step after making the decision to replace outdated advertising with digital marketing? If you want quick and reliable results, find an expert internet marketing company in your area that is knowledgeable in the pros and cons of marketing your business online. These firms can help you create a new, custom marketing strategy based on a professional website, content marketing, display advertising, social media ads, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and interactive online videos. The right company can help your stand out from the competition, allowing you to grow in a modern and highly-effective way.

 

 

 



seenBEST Web Design

What is 64,000?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

 

Hi, I’m the Social Network Princess with seenBEST and today we’re going to answer the question:
What is… SIXTY-FOUR THOUSAND?

 

Sixty-four thousand is the number of monthly searches for Auto Mechanics in the Phoenix area. That’s a lot of people who are searching for someone to fix their car. If you own an auto repair shop, and you’re not marketing to those sixty four thousand searches per month, you’re losing potential customers to your competition.

 

This high volume of searches for local businesses happens in every industry. For example, each month in the Phoenix area:

  • 34,000 people are searching for Realtors
  • 52,000 people are searching for Dentists
  • 47,000 people are searching for Lawyers
  • and 5,400 people are searching for a Landscaper

 

Whatever your industry, thousands of people are searching for you every month. We can help you capture that business.

 

We build you the best website, enhance it with calls to action, optimize for search, and employ expert search engine marketing techniques that place you on top of the competition. Get found when customers search for your products or services, get seenBEST.

 

seenBEST provides comprehensive website design, web development, and internet marketing solutions. If you have any questions about how we can help you get your business found online, call us at (480) 256-9010 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Would you like to connect with me in Social Media? Visit The Social Network Princess website, +1 seenBEST on Google+ at plus.google.com/117422698423525327567/posts and Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/seenBEST.Web.Design. Thank you so much for watching, see you next time!

 



seenBEST Web Design

Business Marketing Tip: Focus on the Positive

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Focus on the PositiveHave you struggled to achieve satisfactory results from past business marketing efforts? You’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs waste lots of valuable time struggling to find effective advertising solutions. Trying to grow a business and spending a small fortune in the process, only to get back very little in return, is a painful and unpleasant experience. The failure to bring on new clients via effective advertising will keep you from becoming successful. This inability to generate leads is common in new businesses, and forces most one-time business owners to abandon their dreams, back to the safety of a 9 to 5.

 

Don’t let past marketing efforts that failed to produce new clients lead to a fear of failure, or convince you to abandon advertising completely. It takes money to make money, all successful business owners and managers embrace this fact. New clients are a necessity for any business to grow and remain strong, without them your business will fail. So, the question is not whether you should market your business, the question is how can you best market your business? Yes it takes money to make money, but that money needs to work smart to make an impact. You need to find out how to allocate the money you do have into advertising methods that guarantee higher margins of profitability, and invest your advertising budget in new lead generation techniques that result in a measurable increase in new clients.

 

How could a profitable advertising campaign help your business grow? Visualize the success you want, and then focus your resources on the positive to make it happen. A positive outlook could provide the spark you need to evaluate and learn from negative advertising experiences, and create a successful marketing plan from past failures. Here’s how:

  • Go back and make note of every advertising method you have ever tried in the past
  • Now examine and make note of all of the current ways you are spending money to advertise your business
  • List each marketing type above in a spreadsheet
  • For each method in the list, write down the total amount of money spent on that advertising method to date
  • You should also calculate in the cost of time allocated by staff members to the total amount spent for each
  • Now add up how much projected revenue you’ve gained from each of those methods to date
  • Including recurring revenue from clients who found you via that one method but used your services multiple times

 

Your list may resemble the following, an example marketing analysis data provided by a Phoenix area IT firm:

 

Marketing Methods Analysis

 

How can you take a list like this one, built with data from your own business, and focus on the positive to turn around negative advertising adventures? To start, look at your list as a framework to learn from and build upon. The first step is to identify which advertising methods work and discard all others. It’s important to avoid wasting marketing budget if you want your business to grow. See the following graphic, we went through our sample list and crossed out all forms of marketing that resulted in wasted budget:

 

 

The above methods, crossed out in red, cost a total of $142,112 but only resulted in a total of $12,224 in revenues. That’s a total loss of $129,888. The first step towards success in marketing is eliminating those methods that fail to generate more revenue than they expend. If you are losing money, consider another medium. Your most important resource as a business owner is time, so don’t wait forever to take action. Reallocate your budget immediately by eliminating every advertising method you’re spending money on that isn’t working (those items in red above). Once you free up this money, you can either move those funds to advertising methods on your list that are proven to be profitable, or try new marketing avenues that you haven’t yet explored.

 

Focus on the Positive to Improve Your Advertising

To improve on advertising methods that are not as profitable as they could be, the solution is to focus on the positive. The return for methods on your list that are close to break-even can usually be improved by making a few adjustments. In our example above, the question was how can we improve our video ads to make them more profitable? For your list, evaluate your products and services from the your customer’s point of view. What service or product are you currently providing that existing clients really like? Think about all the positive qualities of your product, service, and offer, and hone in on what your customers are looking for. Next, change up the message in your lower performing advertising methods to better deliver on the needs and wants of your ideal client. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating articles for content marketing or producing videos for social media sites. Pour your enthusiasm and pack value into what you’re doing, the main idea here is to focus on the positive. In our case, for a recent video content marketing campaign, we re-thought the entire campaign to come up with ways we could produce higher quality videos that were more engaging, entertaining, and useful for our target clients.

 

Whatever you do, keep a positive mindset and don’t be afraid to invest in your business. Remember, it takes money to make money. While you should definitely try new things, you should also keep a watchful eye on your investments and tend to them on a regular basis to maximize results. Doing so will allow you to eliminate obstacles and negative investments, focus in on those things that are working well, and create powerful new marketing messages to attract new customers.

 

 



seenBEST Web Design

Ad and Website Copy Relevancy – Giving Visitors Exactly What They Are Looking For

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

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

 

It’s no secret, driving targeted traffic to a company website via Search Engine Marketing (SEM) will result in one of the highest marketing investment returns currently available. One critical step in the process to create a winning search engine marketing campaign is the writing of compelling ad copy. A perfectly written ad copy can enhance CTR (Click-Through-Rate) and will dramatically increase the amount of useful traffic to a website. However, even if an ad is perfectly written, if it is not relevant to your website it’s practically useless.

 

Ad and Website Relevancy, Why Does It Matter?

It is a fairly common to find SEM campaigns that fail to convert even though ads in the campaign have been clicked on at a high level. The number one reason for the lack of sales from a campaign with high click-through-rates is irrelevant ad copy. SEM ad copy and the copy on your website landing pages work hand in hand during the online lead generation process. While ad copy is the lure that draws potential customers in, the web copy and content is what converts those visitors to leads and sales. Ad copy that compels someone to click on your ad with a landing page that doesn’t mention what’s offered in your ad will almost always result in failure to convert.

 

Keeping a high level of relevancy between your landing page and ad copy ensures that visitors are not surprised when they visit your website. The way to maintain relevancy is to ensure that all keywords triggering your ads are found prominently on both the ad copy and the landing page itself. If you maintain a close relation between ad copies, keywords, and landing page your rankings will increase, the cost-per-click will go down, and your conversion rates will skyrocket.

 

Tips for well-written PPC campaign ad copy:

  1. Write several copies of ads, each targeting different important keywords
  2. Address the needs of different types of buyers separately
  3. Keep the psychology of your visitors (customers) in mind
  4. Be creative and include compelling calls to action
  5. Analyze performance of your past ad copies and make necessary amendments
  6. Always keep the contents of your landing pages in mind
  7. Perform variation testing of ad copy on a regular basis

 

Tips for landing pages that convert:

  1. Create one landing page for each distinct product or service being offered via ad copy
  2. Focus exclusively on the specific keywords related to the ads that drive your visitors
  3. Include appropriate content discussing the benefits of products or services being offered
  4. The landing page should contain a clear call to action

 

Well written ad copy, proper relevancy between your ad copy and search phrases, and website landing pages that contain matching sales copy will result in an extremely high return on investment. If you’re looking to create search engine marketing campaigns that convert, with compelling ad copy and relevant landing pages, consider hiring an expert, local internet marketing team to assist. Contact seenBEST to help you rapidly grow your business and bring on new clients from the internet. In addition to high conversion rates and increased sales, the added benefits of an expert internet marketing review are improved search rankings, a higher number of relevant visitors, reduced CPC, and customers who are satisfied by the usefulness of your website.

 

Thanks for visiting! We hope you enjoyed the article, please click the +1 and Like buttons at the top left of our website. If you would like to share this article with a friend, click on the + Share / Save tool below.

 



seenBEST Web Design

Stand Out from the Crowd with a Custom Website and Internet Marketing Strategy

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

It’s tough for any business to stand out from the crowd when almost every company in any given industry has some type of online presence. While several options exist with regards to marketing your business online, not all are created equal. While it is not impossible to gain a competitive advantage, to truly beat the rat race you need to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter means avoiding generic, non-descript internet marketing solutions, having a custom website, and working with an internet marketing expert to devise a working strategy.

 

Avoid Generic Marketing Services

You know the ones, they are the generic internet marketing services that SPAM you endlessly and promise you the world. Some examples: Yellow Pages, Yelp, DexOnline, MerchantCircle. These prime examples, combined with other cheap local business directories, are usually ineffective and offer little  to no help in the promotion of your business.

 

The trick to gaining leads from the internet is to stand out and distance your business from the competition. You must demonstrate to potential customers online that you provide whatever it is they are looking for, and that you do it in a way that is better than the competition. With a generic marketing service, what differentiates you from the other 10, 20, or 100 businesses in your category that provide similar services? For example, let’s take a look at these two Yelp listings for Dog Groomer in Phoenix.

 

First listing for Dog Groomer in Phoenix

 

Second listing for Dog Groomer in Phoenix

 

Both listings are 95% identical. Both listings appear listed alongside dozens of other local dog groomers who also have listings that look virtually identical. For hundreds, or sometimes thousands of dollars per month, your business becomes essentially just one more blip in an ever growing list of your competitors. There is no guarantee that you will ever stand out in any way from the crowd using this type of service.

 

A Custom Website – The First Step in a Successful Internet Marketing Campaign

How do you avoid the dilemma of getting stuck in the crowd through generic marketing services? The solution is to develop your own identity, enhance your online visibility and reach potential customers directly.

 

A custom website helps you create a unique online identity for your business. You will never have to share your presence with others on your own website with your own branding. Most importantly, your website will never exactly resemble that of your competition. Unlike a template website, where every business looks the same, a custom website allows you to represent your business in a unique way that reflects your specialty, service quality, and customer centric approach.

 

Beyond making you look good, a custom website provides several other unique advantages. When developed by an experienced internet marketing company, your custom website will include all of the necessary components to attract and interact with potential customers, such as:

  • Custom calls to action to encourage inquiries and leads from your customers
  • Contact forms that collect contact details from visitors
  • Customized feedback and client testimonial listings, with data that you control
  • Social media components for Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter,and YouTube
  • Interactive features such as feedback, comment, and chat boxes allowing you to engage with visitors
  • Fully functional shopping carts
  • Multiple embedded videos
  • Marketing and informational blogs
  • Plus dozens of additional marketing features –all completely under your control

 

A Custom Internet Marketing Strategy – With Your Custom Website at the Center

A custom website provides your business an impressive identity. A custom internet marketing strategy is the next step and can completely transform your bottom line. An intelligent internet marketing campaign not only helps you drive more traffic to your website, it places you far ahead of your competitors, helping you generate more leads and increase sales.

 

A well planned internet marketing strategy, specially developed according to your unique business needs, will help you reach your target audience faster and the cost incurred will be much less than the cost of traditional marketing mediums. With a custom strategy all of the most advanced online marketing tools are available to you, including the full power of social media. An internet marketing expert can help you blend together all available avenues and centralize them on your website, helping your business gain the largest possible advantage over the competition.

 

Cost Comparison – Custom Website and Marketing Strategy vs. Generic Marketing Services

Traditional advertising methods, like listings in a business advertising directory run by a national firm, can seem cost effective at first. The disadvantage to the low monthly fee, however, is a lack of desired results. $800 per month to generate zero new leads is an overhead of $9,600 per year – a wasted expense that few small businesses can afford.

 

The cost to develop a custom website with an affordable internet marketing firm is less than half of that $9,600 yearly fee. What’s more, this is a one-time investment! Once a custom website has been developed you do not need to spend a large amount of money each month. A good custom website for your business can cost as little as $3,000 and can last you up to five years. Compared to five years of generic marketing services at $800 per month, that’s an average savings of $45,000!

 

That amount of money can then be invested into internet marketing solutions that actually work. Solutions that are tied to your custom website, allow you to stand out from the crowd, and help you gain maximum exposure. We’re talking about search engine marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and email marketing. These methods can be tracked and analyzed and, more importantly, can be turned on and off depending on the needs of your business. When comparing the returns offered by a well thought out internet marketing strategy, the investment is less than a generic marketing service and the returns are far greater.

 

How to Develop a Custom Website and Internet Marketing Strategy

It’s no secret that the ROI from an old fashioned business listing compared to an expert online marketing strategy doesn’t stack up. That leaves just one question: “How do I develop my strategy?” The solution is to find a one stop service provider that understands how all of the various pieces work together. You should never have to chase different people in different organizations around for updates related to your website and SEO activities. A comprehensive service provider that understands the intricacies of web design, web development, and internet marketing will help eliminate the stress of:

  • Managing contact information for multiple organizations
  • Trying to get different companies to work together
  • Dealing with the issues that arise when one person (web designer) doesn’t know what the other is doing (social media manager, SEO guru, etc.)
  • Managing the waste that occurs when multiple people are working towards a singular goal all unaware of what others have already accomplished

 

Do you own a business and still rely on traditional print listings, cookie-cutter online business listings, or nothing more than a low-cost template website to advertise online? In this digital age, it may be time for you to venture into a whole new world of opportunity created by a custom website and online marketing plan specially developed for you. The results will amaze you.



seenBEST Web Design

Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing – What Works Best for Small Business?

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Effective marketing is the key to business success. In order to maximize sales, you need to identify potential customers and maximize the buzz for your products and services. There are numerous methods to market a business, but not all of them are cost-effective enough to generate leads. Let’s analyze some of the differences between outbound and inbound marketing.

 

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing, the traditional mode of marketing a business, was the primary way to advertise a business over a decade ago. Companies relied on interruption based methods of promotion using print ads (newspaper and magazine), electronic ads (television and radio commercials), and direct reach (postcards, mailers leaflets, telemarketing).These forms of marketing were accepted and effective prior to the widespread adoption of the internet.

 

Today’s generation of advanced consumers, however, have learned to ignore and tune out these methods of marketing. Ask yourself, “Do you enjoy watching commercials during your favorite television programs?” The common answer is “NO”. “Do you enjoy having your day interrupted by pushy sales representatives who cold call you in the middle of a busy day of work?” Again, the answer is a resounding “NO”. Most people hold similar feelings with regard to most forms of outbound advertising.

 

Due to the negative feelings held by many, outbound marketing methods have become very expensive.  It is often necessary to distribute tens or hundreds of thousands of messages to generate even a handful of warm leads. Consumers are masters of avoiding outbound marketing interruptions. They have caller id on their phones to prevent unsolicited telephone calls, integrated spam/junk email filters to weed out unwanted emails, and DVR boxes to skip past TV commercials.

 

Newspapers and magazines have also seen drastic decreases in readership. The internet at home, in the office, and now in the pocket of almost every American has made it possible for consumers to find the information they need online – anytime, anywhere.

 

For small business owners, the excessive costs required to design, print, and distribute 10,000 fliers or a small group of television ads is impossible to justify. The expense, coupled with the minimal conversion rate of outbound marketing just doesn’t make good economic sense.

 

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing focuses on preparing your marketing message in a way that makes your business easily found when consumer search. The goal is to engage with people rather than interrupt them. Some examples of inbound marketing techniques that attract new customers:

 

  1. Online Content Distribution – A small business owner can get the message out using online blogs and social media tools. Users who search for information about virtually any topic find information posted to these resources, learn more, and subscribe for real time updates related to the products and services being offered.
  2. Organic Online Placement – Millions of people every day search for product and services to purchase on Google and other search engines. To remain competitive, businesses reach these potential customers using organic SEO to obtain good placements for their website and social media properties.
  3. Paid Search Ads – In addition to organic placement and content creation, businesses purchase advertisements that display their products and services in search. When these search engine marketing ads are linked to a well-designed marketing website the results can be spectacular.
  4. Video Production and Optimization – In addition to blogs and websites, small businesses are producing internet videos combined with video SEO to get in front of prospective customers who are looking for information online.

 

The key components of inbound marketing are Websites, Graphic Design, Content Creation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Paid Search (SEM), Social Media, and Video. Together these methods can create an extremely potent lead generation system for any small business, and a marketing machine that is cost-effective for a business of any size.

 

This method is highly effective because of the mindset of the consumer at the time they interact with your business message. In almost every instance the consumer has come to information about your company only after searching or clicking on a link. As a result, you are marketing only to people who are already interested in and ready to read about the service you have to offer. The consumer is back in control and they are not tuning out your marketing dollar, just the opposite. They have sought it out.

 

However, doing this right requires significant expertise in inbound marketing and search engine optimization. Many companies make the mistake of hiring the wrong person to help and wind up paying too much for a marketing platform that doesn’t work. If you’ve made the wise decision to market your business online using effective inbound marketing techniques, it’s best to consult with an expert. Someone with proven experience in all the right areas who can help you increase inbound sales leads while minimizing your overall marketing expense.



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Search Engine Marketing AND Social Media Marketing, A Powerful Strategy for Small Business

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Online marketing has become an integral part of the small business marketing strategy. Two key pieces of the strategy are Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and both will drive targeted traffic to your website, one of the primary goals of online marketing. Customers should be able to find your company just as easily on Facebook as they can on Google. By leveraging the strengths of both, you can boost your search rankings while building trust with your target audience.

 

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

SEM refers to using search engines to increase visibility and drive visitors to your website. By effectively combining search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC), you can boost your search engine rankings, resulting in more click-throughs and increased conversion rates.

 

What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

SMM refers to using various social networking sites to increase traffic and visibility. The importance of marketing on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and Twitter is that they provide a platform for advertisers, customers and colleagues to have more personalized interaction. In today’s market, having conversations and providing quality content is increasingly important to customers.

 

The Benefits of SEM

  • Best source of targeted traffic to your website. A Pew Research Center study found that 58 percent of Americans search online for information about products or services they’re interested in buying. With SEM, you reach your target audience at the moment they’re ready to buy.
  • Tools to determine what people are searching for. You can refine your keywords to improve your chances of people finding you by employing any of several great tools, such as Google AdWords Keyword Tool.
  • Top ranking immediately with pay-per-click. It takes 3-18 months or sometimes longer to reach the top of the rankings with SEO. But PPC puts you at the top in the sponsored link section right away.

 

The Benefits of SMM

  • Peer recommendations to increase connections. Over 46 million Americans are on social media sites every day, according to a 2011 Edison Research study, using recommendations to make buying decisions. Every time someone recommends you, you are visible to their other connections.
  • Brand loyalty. Interacting on a personal level on social media sites is one of the most effective marketing strategies. The more interaction you can have with people, the more they will trust you…and ultimately buy from you.
  • The most popular online activity. With 1 in every 5 minutes of online time spent on social media sites, having a social media presence gives a substantial boost to your online audience and visibility.

 

SEM and SMM Complement Each Other

Consumers use search engines far more often than social media sites to find products and services they want to buy. Effective search engine marketing leverages SEO and PPC to get your name at the top of the search results. But how do you stay in the consumer’s mind for future purchases? Expand your presence in social media sites to keep your brand visible by (1) building the number of fans, friends, likes, recommendations, and links, and (2) creating quality content that goes viral.

 

Search engine marketing has been king for a long time, but social media marketing is quickly catching up in terms of raw effectiveness at driving leads. Leveraging both SEM and SMM covers all the bases as each one has its own benefits and advantages. Both strategies take time to develop, but the results can be phenomenal.

 

Get Seen Everywhere! Consult with our expert internet marketing team, we bring to the table proven strategies that will help your business maximize visibility everywhere on the internet. In this digital age, potential new customers are looking for you online. Let us give your business the competitive edge on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Email, and elsewhere. Call us at (602) 456-0150 for a free consultation.


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