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Posts Tagged ‘search engine’

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 A business with outdated advertising practices that wishes to remain competitive must modernize and optimize their advertising strategies to eliminate ineffective marketing methods.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 Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)?

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

 

Pay Per Click Advertising, otherwise known as PPC, is a modern internet advertising method used to drive targeted traffic to a website.

 

Businesses most commonly utilize PPC advertising to buy listings on Google and Bing. These paid ads then appear in the search engine alongside other non-paid search results. Since ads are sold at auction, your individual bid determines how high your listing appears on the page. The cost you pay per click varies greatly depending on your industry and other factors, such as the quality of your website and advertising copy.

 

Any time a potential customer clicks on your PPC ad while searching, they are sent to your website and arrive on what’s called a “landing page”. This is a page that is relevant to your visitor’s interests and helps convert those visitors into a lead or sale. Some of the many advantages of pay per click, when done correctly, are:

  • You can begin to generate new customers almost immediately
  • You have complete control over the days or hours your ads are displayed
  • You can use a vast array of media to market your business including videos, images, custom website pages, and online stores
  • It is possible to track the effectiveness of your ads in detail
  • PPC ads costs a fraction of what you’d pay with other forms of paid advertising
  • Since your marketing budget is delivered to a highly targeted group, your return on investment is much higher than with other forms of paid advertising

 

The goal of PPC campaigns is to attract better qualified visitors to your website who are more likely to buy. Through the use of keyword phrases, PPC campaigns limit the visibility of your ads to only those customers in your target market who are searching for your products or services.

 

Working with an experienced internet marketing firm to build your next pay per click campaign can maximize your return on investment and stretch your marketing budget further. When using the right combination of complex Google Adwords configurations, keyword strategies, advertising copy, and website design techniques, a PPC advertising campaign can be an extremely powerful and cost effective way to increase profits.

 



seenBEST Web Design

It Sure Looks Pretty, but… Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly?

Tuesday, June 19th, 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

 

How search engine friendly is your website? The term search engine friendly means that every aspect of your website has been optimized to make it as easy as possible for search engines to crawl and index your website data. The industry term for this process is Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO. The quality of your SEO not only impacts organic search, it is also a decisive factor for paid search engine marketing campaigns. It’s a question with huge importance since SEO has a direct impact on your ability to reach a large audience online. Search engine friendly websites rank higher above competitor websites so, if your goal is to attract more customers from the internet, having a search engine friendly website with better SEO than your industry competitors is crucial.

 

What Makes a Website Search Engine Friendly?

There are several factors that go into making a search engine friendly website. Some of the most important are:

 

Website Structure – Your website structure should be as simple as possible. The simpler your structure, the less code search engine crawlers have to move through in order to read your content. Websites built using excessive tables, code blocks, and complex scripts are tough for search engines to crawl through and can harm your rankings.

 

Coding Standards –For a search engine friendly website, it is advisable to keep complex scripts to a minimum, including Flash, and remove any unused code left as comments. The use of standard coding structures such as W3C standards will help a website outperform the competition.

 

Navigation – Navigation and ease of use is not only an important factor for website visitors, it is also very important when it comes to optimization for search engines. Navigation components that are vital for search engine friendliness are:

  1. Well designed menus linking to relevant pages
  2. Internal linking of key web pages
  3. No internal page should be more than three clicks away from any other page

 

According to standard web design practices, ideal navigation makes it easy for a visitor (and search engine) to quickly reach any corner of a website with just one click to return to the homepage.

 

Page Load Time – Google in particular is extremely concerned about the user experience. A slow loading website will often face penalties and rank poorly. Excessive use of heavy graphics, animation, and complex scripts make web pages heavy and increase its load time. It is imperative to analyze the on-page elements to minimize page load times. For more robust website platforms such as CMS systems and ecommerce sites, the use of object-oriented programming practices can help in reducing page load time.

 

Website Content – Search engines implement intelligent algorithms to crawl through the contents of a website. They are looking for keyword relevancy to the search term, utilization of keywords in anchor text, H1 tags, and the density of terms in the content of the page body. Following a scientific method of writing good copy based on SEO analysis enhances search engine friendliness and improves website rankings.

 

Can’t Anyone Develop a Search Engine Friendly Website?

Without prior experience in web development, creating a search engine friendly website is a nearly impossible task. It takes a well-defined technical skill set and knowledge of the latest SEO trends. Your ideal team will include an expert web designer, skilled web developer, internet marketing expert, and content writer with an advanced knowledge of SEO. Together they can help you transform your vision of a great lead generating, search engine friendly website with high rankings into reality.

 

Whatever you do, shy away from any person who is limited to one particular area. A person focused on website design does not usually know enough about internet marketing to do the best job for you. A person focused on social media often lacks the necessary knowledge of internet lead generation to paint a complete picture. If you are a small business owner or budding entrepreneur, the cost is to acquire a full time internet marketing team with the necessary skillset is astronomical compared to available budget. Consider hiring a reputable web design and internet marketing company at a fraction of what it would cost you in time and money to acquire and manage the entire team yourself.  You’ll be glad you did.



seenBEST Web Design

Why Small Business Owners Need to Take Blogging More Seriously

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Do you wish you had:

  • more traffic coming to your website?
  • better search engine ranking?
  • a name recognized and trusted as an industry expert?

 

You can achieve all of these with a blog. Blogging is one of the easiest, least expensive, and most effective social network marketing tools for a small business. According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2011 report, 13% of all bloggers are entrepreneurs – small business owners – who blog to share expertise (76%), gain professional recognition (70%) and attract new clients (68%).

 

Why should you blog?

 

To increase traffic. You and your competition are in a constant battle to get to the top of search engine rankings, which is critical to get more traffic coming to your site. One of the best ways to attract search engines is to provide fresh, relevant, keyword-rich content about your business or industry on your website. To keep a steady flow of increased traffic coming to your website, you need to keep adding content. Blogging is the answer.

 

To earn high search engine rankings. The more consistent you are in adding content about relevant topics to your website, the more search engines will determine that your site is valuable and give you higher rankings. And once prospects begin to see valuable information on your  website,  they’ll comment on your blogs and add links to your blogs on their sites, both of which will boost your rankings even higher.

 

To establish an Internet presence.  With limited time and money for marketing, small businesses need to take advantage of the low-cost opportunities available on the Internet to share expertise, build community, and establish relationships with a much larger audience. Your name can quickly be seen by hundreds or thousands of visitors who are looking for the information you provided in your post, and those visitors will tell their friends. They may even put a link to your blog on their Facebook, LinkedIn or other social networking site. In essence, they’re marketing for you.

 

To keep up with – or stay ahead of – your competition. Do you want to take the early lead or play catch up with your competitors? When you blog about your business and industry at least once or twice a week, the Internet audience will become familiar with your name, and when they’re ready to buy, they’ll come to the name they’ve learned to trust – yours.

 

Studies have shown that blogging can bring small businesses twice as many visitors as their competitors who don’t blog. And more visitors = more potential clients = more sales!

 

Blogging is one of the most cost effective marketing tools for a small business. But once you start blogging, you need to be consistent – at least once or twice a week. If you’re not sure you can make this commitment, but you want to realize the amazing benefits of blogging for small businesses, call seenBEST Web Design in Phoenix, AZ. The professionals at seenBEST can help you develop a plan. They can help you:

  • Create a new website with a blog
  • Add a blog to an existing website
  • Perform advanced SEO research that will help guide your blogging efforts
  • Provide blog training (to individuals and groups)
  • Provide a seasoned blog writer to help you achieve industry credibility and attract new customers
  • Build a solid social media marketing program for your business that ties into your blogging efforts

Start blogging today! Call us at (480) 256-9010 to schedule your free consultation, and meet with our internet marketing experts to discuss ways we can help your business achieve marketing success on the internet.

 

 


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seenBEST Web Design

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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