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.
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 A business with outdated advertising practices that wishes to remain competitive must modernize and optimize their advertising strategies to eliminate ineffective marketing methods.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, 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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
Newspapers 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
plus.google.com (Google+) is the fastest growing website in history, according to analytics firm comScore. As of July 24, less than one month after the Google plus test site was launched, 25 million invitation-only users are organizing, sharing, and communicating with people through Google’s Circle technology.
Social networks are only as interesting as the content they provide to the user, that content coming in the way of status updates and posts from users in your network. Google+ has quickly become a major social network, and users are looking for more ways to search for and connect with other Google Plus users. Would you like to find more users to interact with on Google+, increase the usefulness of your network, and fill your stream with news and information that closely matches your own interests? Check out the following Google+ Directories. At the end of this post you’ll have the ability to post your own Google+ profile, where others can find your profile and circle you!
1. Find People On Plus. This Google Plus directory was introduced by Google to make searching on specific Google Plus profiles much easier. You can search not only on names but on all specific profile fields provided on Google Plus. As of August 4, nearly 10 million Google Plus users have been indexed on this site.
You’ll find an indexed list of the most popular Google Plus users on the FindPeopleOnPlus.com home page. On the left sidebar, choose filter parameters in categories such as Relationship, Looking for, Gender, Occupation, and City from the category shortcuts. Click on the People Directory link to surf profiles and track people.
Twitter users can also find out which of their followers and friends are on Google Plus. Go to www.findpeopleonplus.com/twitter2plus/ and type in your Twitter name.
2. GPEEP. GPEEP is a Google Plus search engine where you can search for people on Google Plus. Just type the person’s profile name or other search term in the Find People on G Plus box at the top of the home page. You can circle the profiles you’re interested in, and read, comment on, and share their posts. Or just for fun, click on Google’s famous I Feel Lucky button in the left sidebar and see who you meet!
Make it easy for people to find you, too. Click Add Yourself Now in the upper left hand corner of the page and provide the simple information requested. Be sure to tag yourself with as many search criteria as you can think of. Your profile can be found immediately on GPEEP. You can even let people know what type of product or service or job qualifications you offer by clicking on Add a Pitch or a Deal near the top right of the home page.
3. Google. An easy way to find Google+ users is just to use Google itself. Enter this search term – site:plus.google.com – and any parameter, such as a profession, town, type of business, or even a name. Users who have created public profiles are searchable, as are their updates and posts. Privacy options may protect some user profile information from search results, but most of the data provided on the Google Plus About page and in the profile fields is currently public.
An additional way to use Google+ to connect with other similar minded potential friends is the “Find People” link, located within the Circles tab of Google+. To use this feature, click the “Circles” tab at the top of your Google+ profile. From there, click on the “Find People” link. You will be presented with a list of suggested users, allowing you to drag and drop them into any of your circles, or create a new circle out of recommended users only. Google closely matches the suggested users with interests you’ve listed in your profile, and Sparks, so be sure to fill out your profile and select topics of interests from the Sparks tab in order to benefit the most from this feature.
4. Women of G Plus. The WoG Plus site started as a way for Google Plus women users to connect and share their ideas. Although the designer insists “this is not a women vs. men thing,” it is primarily a networking resource for Google Plus women, who currently comprise 33 percent of Google Plus users. The site provides articles and blogs from Featured Women of Google Plus, and offers tips to “Optimize Your Google Plus Profile” and other Google Plus tutorials and how-tos. If you want to contribute, click on the Want to Be Featured? tab at the top of the page.
Want to read more? Connect with these Google+ profiles for more interesting information in your stream:
Google has just released a notice to Adwords account managers that the Google +1 (plus one) button will soon be integrated with all Adwords ads. The news from Google states the following:
“In the coming weeks, your search results and ads on Google will include a +1 button, which users can click to recommend your ads. You don’t need to make any changes to your account in order to take advantage of them. The final landing page URL of your ads can also appear on the Google profile of any user who +1’s your ad.”
Google has declared that the +1 integration with Adwords will modify the way other users see the ads displayed while searching. In their own words, “Think of the +1 button as a way for fans of your business to recommend what you offer, for all their friends and contacts to see.” As you imagine, this will have major ramifications for advertisers on Google.
Search engine optimization services are booming, and for good reason. With Search engine optimization experts guiding your website, your business can extend marketing reach to a maximum number of customers and increase sales at a staggering rate. With practically everyone using the internet now to search for products and services, it’s important to put your website in front of them as often as possible. In most cases, if you wish to grow and increase business, search engine optimization services are one of the very few ways for you to be successful.
SEO is a complex field that is changing every single day. Search engines are constantly updating their ranking techniques while competitors are constantly trying to beat your website and are employing new methods regularly. To pull in maximum traffic for your website, it is essential to hire a specialist that stays on top of these new developments and implements the effective ones for your site. Search engine optimization is about understanding everything about your website, from page content, to blogs, natural traffic, back links, keywords, meta tags, pay per click links and more. Hiring an expert that is familiar with these terms will win you new projects if applied and put to practice properly.
Irrespective of any site promotion techniques you apply, one thing is sure. Content is king. That is the most important concept to keep in mind if your goal is to leave your competition in the dust. Adding business related content that applies pre-determined keywords in articles, page content, and blogs is very important. Customers naturally search by using keywords and key phrases, so it’s imperative to correctly identify what those are and how to best target them.
For information about expert SEO services for your business, visit seenBEST Web Design. Our Phoenix, Arizona company will get your business seen online and increase sales for your company. We offer professional web design, SEO, and online marketing services.
Google announced today major changes to the user interface of the popular Google search engine. For over a month, beta testers have been testing a new instant results search feature that displays search results instantly on the page as they are typed into the search box. Rather than displaying a list of terms, the entire page itself changes to reveal all results that match your term the moment a new key is pressed.
Individual reviews of this new feature have been mixed. Some found value in the new feature, others found it annoying, some didn’t care either way.
It will be interesting to watch, over time, the progression this feature will have on search as we know it. Will users continue to formulate search phrases in their minds, typing them into the search box to find what they’re after before looking at the results? Or will they simply enter a single word for a term, then let the search itself guide them to the complete phrase? Whatever the outcome, this change will have some impact on online marketing and SEO, especially page impressions. Expect the number of impressions to skyrocket for high ranking pages of basic terms, but click through rates to plummet as searches plow right past those initial pages for more specific searches.
The technology behind this feature is an absolute beast. The volume of data processed through the previous method of search was astounding! Now Google has transformed each key press into a ‘search’ button click. The ability of their systems to process this type of intense data processing demonstrates two things: One, Google likes to show off, and two, they can because they are miles ahead of the competition.
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