The Goal: Increase social metrics (+1, Page Likes), social connections, and backlinks for on-page SEO.
The Offering: Something appealing to just about everyone ($100 in cash) to encourage participation.
Best Case Scenario: The sharing goes viral and results in viral growth due to participation/sharing.
Starting Monday we will begin the process of driving targeted traffic to the page.
Making it Work for You:
When done correctly, contests that use social media for distribution are a great way to increase visibility for your business. In our example, we have put together a website page and have used modern tools to blend together sharing on both Google+ and Facebook.
When done from within Social Media itself, your reach is limited. Hosting your content on an external website page allows you to blend together multiple social networks for a single contest.
Chart Your Business Course for 2012: Check the Economic Trends and Select Your Next Internet Marketing Move
Good news on the economic horizon means opportunities for small businesses to ride a prosperous wave in 2012. Review these recent reports and then consider whether (and how) you should adjust your Internet marketing presence.
2012 Business Trends at a Glance: Curving Upward
Jobs – Up: Available jobs are increasing, especially in Arizona. Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at Arizona State University, reported Arizona moved from No. 49 among the states for job creation in 2010 all the way up to a top 10 growth state in 2011. Nationwide, the hiring outlook overall for 2012 remains cautiously optimistic, with small business hiring notably expected to increase, according to CareerBuilder 2012 Hiring Forecast. The ABC News 2012 US Economy Forecast cited CEO Brian Hamilton of financial information firm Sageworks, who said, “The jobs numbers are getting better,” and Kiplinger agrees that job creation is picking up.
Retail Sales – Up: Not only were holiday retails strong in 2011, according to USA Today, but overall retail sales rose 4.5% year-over-year in 2011, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Retail Chain Store Sales Index (cited by CNN Money). For small businesses and especially those using refined Internet selling strategies, the news was very good. As Internet Retailer reported, the online holiday shopping season generated at least $35 billion in sales for web retailers according to comScore Inc. Many smaller niche web merchants also closed out the online Christmas shopping season with a nice boost to their fourth quarter sales by making constant updates to their marketing and merchandising plans. Internet businesses gained ground by concentrating on their best customers, using social media and offering highly targeted incentives.
Economists – Favorable: Arizona’s economic indicators have been improving, according to the University of Arizona – Arizona Economic Outlook 2012-13. The state’s personal income, wages, and employment are growing at increasingly faster rates. Spending is robust while unemployment, bankruptcies and residential foreclosures are happily declining. Nationally, the 2012 Goldman Sachs white paper, The Outlook for the US Economy, reports household debt burdens have continued to improve. Inflation is not expected to significantly increase. As USA Today reported, holiday retail sales strength, steady manufacturing performance steady and housing market resurgence all point to sustained corporate profitability in the coming year.
Business Metrics – Up: Kiplinger estimates the U.S. economy will grow about 2.3% in 2012, a bit faster than the 1.8% pace in 2011, and businesses appear willing to invest in new equipment to expand production after several years of slowed production. A Reuters report observed manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in six months in December, capping a late-year upswing, and a rise in new orders for manufactured goods suggested momentum going into 2012. Another report showed U.S. construction spending neared an 18-month high in November.
Consumers – Polling Optimistic: AnAssociated Press poll result suggests 62% of Americans are optimistic about the economy in coming year, while 78% are hopeful about the year their family will have in 2012. The public’s expectations for this year’s economy reached their highest point since last spring.
What Is Your Internet Marketing Agenda in 2012?
Being first to spot an oncoming tide is vital both to boaters and to business owners. Given these economic climate trends, now is the time for small business owners to re-evaluate and re-energize their online marketing campaign. Over the next four weeks, we’ll give you insights and tips for creating websites, SEO/SEM strategies, social media campaigns, and other tools to build your Internet marketing presence and success.
1. If you don’t have a website, now is the time to get one. Truly, if you don’t have a viable website, then you are almost certainly missing tremendous business opportunities. If your website has not been redesigned in over three years, it might as well be an old phone book: outdated and not terribly practical. Rather than rush into new marketing channels, it makes sense to build a website that helps establish your brand and reputation while it produces leads and sales. With more online customers out there, you can’t afford to ignore them.
2. If you do have a website but don’t show up near the top of the search results page, now is the time to invest in strategic Internet marketing. More than just techie buzz words, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) help propel you to the all-important top spots in relevant searches for your products and services. What strategies will make the biggest impact on lead generation for your business? Pay per click advertising via search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) can be the most effective forms of marketing activities for your business in 2012.
Staying on top of the latest trends is not an easy task. While you focus on the day to day operations of your business, hiring the right SEO and internet marketing company can save you time, money, and increase the bottom line. Google is making more changes to their system in 2012. New website analytics are coming as well. Hiring experts to help update your website design and SEO will keep your business in front of potential customers under the current Google system and continuing as Google evolves.
At the same time, consumer Internet use patterns and preferences are favoring social media as well. Webmarketing’s report also showed 55% of companies closed deals from social media leads, and social media is expected to see the biggest increase in investment moving into 2012 as it impacts all facets of marketing strategy.
3. If you don’t have an ongoing relationship with your clients, now is the time to establish social media and email campaigns. Social media helps develop interlocking communities, building relationships with site owners, publishers, and bloggers, which in turn bring new link opportunities for SEO. The landscape is diverse, with many areas to focus on including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. A competent internet marketing firm with the experience to help tie all of these social networks together with your overall SEO and SEM plan will position your business for future success.
Experts agree that tapping into social media empowers small businesses with limited budgets (or low cost items) to market to a receptive audience and even create brand recognition and trust. Michael Brito of Social Business News suggests focusing “on building trust with the community first, then figuring out how to monetize (or get a lead).” A company with the right social media strategy can reach and out to customers like never before.
4. If you have some Internet marketing pieces but not all, it may be time to compliment what you’re doing with video marketing, PR campaigns, blogging and quality content. Which of these Internet features make sense for your business? Hiring the right internet marketing firm that has a solid understanding of what’s out there and how it can best help your business is key. The companies with the best internet marketing strategies, using the most cost effective marketing techniques that are custom to their business model will outpace the field by generating and converting more leads than the competition.
Wow! But Can I Do Any of These Great Things?
To learn how to ski or surf, your best bet is to get an expert skier or surfer to teach you. The expert sets you up with the right equipment, shows you the right moves and why, and stays with you as you learn. You may not need the expert forever, but the coaching prepares you to move forward on your own when you’re ready. And so it is with Internet marketing and website design. The experts at seenBEST Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, will help you create a successful online marketing campaign using the latest technologies in web design, search engine optimization, social media marketing, video marketing, and internet marketing. Call today (480) 256-9010 for a free consultation and catch the wave to prosperity in 2012!
A website is today’s key marketing collateral piece. It’s your online brochure, providing your company profile and the benefits of your offerings. It offers useful information for your target audience and is an interactive communication vehicle between your visitors, the people they forward your link to, and you.
Your website creates people’s first impression of your business. Website visitors judge your business in less than 10 seconds. A professionally designed website uses the latest technology and tools to attract your target audience, get their attention quickly, keep them on your site longer and address their needs. This is how you achieve your main purpose for the site. So, what is the purpose of your website?
Every website should be designed with a purpose in mind.
For most small businesses, there are two primary purposes for a website:
To make sales.
To generate leads.
Consider also the many possible secondary purposes:
Create brand awareness.
Position yourself as an expert.
Reduce printing and direct mail expenses.
To create a successful website, you must know the primary purpose of the website. All aspects of website design – layout, functionality, content, graphics, links, buttons, navigation, security, SEO, SEM – must contribute to the primary purpose. Incorporating content to achieve your secondary purposes will ultimately lead you to either increasing sales or generating leads. As you evaluate every aspect of your website, ask yourself: Does this contribute to making sales or generating leads? If it doesn’t, no matter how much you like it, you need to let it go. An irrelevant element only distracts your audience.
Create an effective user experience on your website.
The next step – ask yourself: What actions do you want your visitor to take when he views your site? What does your visitor want to achieve on your site? Designing your website based on the answers to these questions will create a much more positive and effective experience for the visitor or “user.” “Everything the user experiences should be the result of a conscious decision on your part,” explains Jesse James Garrett in his book, The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web. “The practice of creating engaging, efficient user experiences is called user-centered design. The concept of user-centered design is very simple: Every step of the way, take the user into account as you develop your product.”
A professional design team knows how to achieve your goals.
You should select a design team that has the ability to understand your needs and then reflect those needs in the design and functionality of the new site. A professional web design team will ask you a number of questions to learn and understand:
Your target audience
Your business objectives
Your online marketing goals
Your reason for having a website
The team at seenBEST Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, will meet with you face-to-face to learn about your company and your goals. Our comprehensive web design services are performed by highly experienced web professionals who know the right questions to ask. We will develop a user-centered design process to target and attract potential customers to your website…and take your web marketing results to unparalleled levels of success. Call today, (602) 456-0150 to schedule a free consultation.
I recently spoke with a small business owner in Ahwatukee who called with some questions about Internet marketing. He was spending over $1,000 a month on magazine and yellow page ads, but heard that Internet marketing was more affordable and could be more effective than other types of advertising. Like many small businesses today, his operating budgets are tight and marketing expenses are often the first to be cut.
When a new client comes to me and is considering Internet marketing for the first time, I usually ask if the business has some kind of method in place to track the effectiveness of current marketing expenditures. How does your business track the source of inbound leads? Many companies don’t have even basic leads tracking systems in place, such as asking new callers how they heard about the company and recording their responses. Owners often don’t know:
How prospects find them.
How to track results to determine which marketing programs are working effectively.
How much money they’re spending on ineffective marketing programs.
The owner followed my suggestion and began asking all new customers “how did you hear about us” when they contacted his company. He trained his staff to ask the same question when answering any new inbound call and had everyone record the answers. He was shocked to learn that over a 30-day period, not a single new inbound lead came from those magazine or yellow page ads. The end result? We learned that he was wasting a lot of money on advertising that did not work.
If your traditional marketing programs aren’t producing a reasonable return on investment (ROI), consider redirecting those dollars to a more effective method, such as Internet marketing.
Be Where Your Audience Is Looking
Consider the stats: 78% of U.S. adults use the Internet and 78% of those search for information about a product or service they’re considering buying (Pew Internet and American Life Project Tracking surveys). Given the sheer numbers of potential buyers online, business owners can no longer ignore the power of the Internet for marketing.
People today access information any time they want it via Internet marketing (websites, social media sites, blogs). People increasingly control how, when and where they receive information. They are also finding more ways to ignore unsolicited information coming via traditional marketing (TV, radio, print ads, direct mail). Consider this:
Television ads are often avoided through the use of TV capture devices such as TiVo
Radio ads are often avoided through the use of Pandora and/or advertisement free satellite radio stations
Many magazine and newspaper companies have gone out of business – the same information that was once printed can now be obtained for less cost online
The internet has made it possible for people to obtain the information they need at the exact moment they want to find it. That driving force can lead to overwhelming success for your business. Web marketing allows your business to display advertisements only when an interested person is searching for your products or services, or is reading information that is relevant to your business. With Internet marketing, your marketing is delivered with laser-like focus to a highly targeted crowd of interested buyers.
In order to increase ROI through effective Internet marketing, you need to know:
Who your target audience is.
What they may be thinking about when they need your product or service.
Who your competition is and what is their message.
Which of the many Internet marketing technologies are best suited to produce results for your business.
The answers to these questions build the base upon which an Internet marketing campaign is created. An experienced internet marketing firm can help you achieve success by:
Developing effective branding for your products and services.
Creating clear and concise marketing messages.
Clearly communicating value to your potential clients.
Evaluating your marketing budget to employ the technologies that are most effective within that range to accomplish your goals.
Your campaign may be comprised of a mixture of various technologies, including websites, social media, SEO, online promotions, content, blogs, email marketing, and PR. They can all blend together seamlessly as part of a well-defined strategy. However, once you create your ideal online marketing platform, the work isn’t finished. These digital tools allow you to go further than ever before with your marketing, and give you the resources to constantly analyze online marketing effectiveness to make changes as needed that will help you maintain a competitive edge.
Measuring Internet Marketing Results
So, how will you know if your internet marketing campaign is providing you the results your business needs to succeed? How can you know what changes need to be made and when to make them? Have you seen an increase in:
Number of subscribers?
The ability to track every aspect of your marketing campaign is one of the most powerful results of marketing on the internet. Virtually every statistic can be measured and, more importantly, adjusted in real time to increase results in specific areas. A well-planned Internet marketing campaign will start off with advanced configurations, and grow and shift over time as the needs of your business also change. Online marketing is flexible, allowing you to modify, in real-time, factors such as ad scheduling, ad copy, your budget, geographic targeting and more.
The ability to modify your campaign in real-time, monitor it, and improve it will allow your business to create awareness, build trust, and develop more leads than ever before, resulting in increased sales and repeat business.
If you could increase visibility, leads and sales while decreasing marketing costs, how long would you wait to start? Investing in a marketing campaign designed by Internet marketing experts like seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, will cost no more than a few traditional ads, but can produce greater long-term results. Contact seenBest Web Design today at (602) 456-0150 to schedule a free consultation and find out just how successful an effective Internet marketing campaign can be.
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.
If you think social media marketing is not worth doing, your competitors on Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, and Linked In will thank you for all the new business you let them get because you’re not there.
Today’s small business (SMB) owners recognize the need for an online presence: over 90% have a website. But with thousands of businesses online, the companies getting the most exposure are those that have websites AND social media sites. This powerhouse combination gives SMB owners a chance to reach hundreds or thousands of new prospects every day!
“But isn’t word-of-mouth the best source of business growth?” It certainly is – and social media marketing (SMM) is the 21st century word-of-mouth. Instead of face-to-face or telephone contact, many people now talk online. Give your company a voice in the the online conversation by having a social media presence professionally created and branded. Then leverage the power of social media to begin forging a relationship with past, current, and future clients. Every person you connect with pushes your visibility out to their connections, which increases your exposure exponentially!
What are the advantages for small businesses of having an SMM strategy?
•Positive brand recognition
•Broader business base
•Increased traffic to website
•Much lower costs than traditional advertising
•Higher search engine rankings
•Continuous lead generation
For a small business on a tight advertising budget, there is no better way to reach thousands of prospects at no cost. It does, however require strategy. Here are some tips for maximizing your SMM plan:
1.Set up profiles on the top-ranked sites. The most popular social media sites are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. For a small business looking to remain competitive in a rapidly changing age of digital marketing, it is important to be familiar with and utilize all of these tools as part of your overall marketing plan.
2.Keep content current. Create valuable content, provide frequent new offerings, and target your content to the audience on each site.
3.Monitor your ROI. Consumers are talking about your company in online conversations, and you need to know what they’re saying to protect your brand reputation. There are a number of tools to help you track where your customers are coming from, which sites are giving you the highest conversion rates, and many other useful metrics.
4.Cross market your sites. List all of your social media links on all of your social media profiles. The more ways consumers have to find your company, the faster your social media reputation will grow. Additionally, adding the power of SEO to your social properties will allow each social media account to achieve higher visibility in search.
5.Maximize your SMM time. Invest time by visiting, commenting and interacting on other social media accounts to increase your visibility.
“But how do I find time to learn and do all this?” You don’t have to struggle alone. Locate social media experts who can cost effectively launch and maintain your SMM outreach.
It doesn’t cost a dime to call or email us at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona. Find out how we can save you time by creating your social media presence and helping you maximize your online exposure. Our cutting edge internet marketing strategies and talented social media team are already energizing other SMBs, so let’s talk about how they can work for your business today.
The economy may not be getting better, so your marketing tools have to be. Contact us at seenBest Web Design – and yes, we have a social media marketing presence, too!
For a couple of years now I have watched beautiful things happen to a business that has put together an effective web design, coupled with a solid SEO and online marketing plan. There are tools that we use in the industry to track traffic, and you can literally watch traffic climb higher and higher with every passing day. Comparing the traffic reports of company websites, before they began focusing on going after online business, and after, is a real eye opener. If you haven’t already seen it for yourself you would be amazed at the difference in traffic between a top ranked page and one that falls further down the list, several pages deep.
Guess what all of this traffic results in? More sales, more phone calls, more opportunities. I shudder when I find a client that tells me they can’t afford to spend as little as $80 promoting their website. First, because it’s not really spending. You are investing in your business – the goal is to recover those costs, and a whole lot more, via increased business. Second, because it’s so affordable. I’ve seen clients waste thousands of dollars on marketing that doesn’t work – like yellow page ads, printing up fliers, etc. then turn around and tell me that they can’t afford an $80 online marketing plan. It’s nuts!
I’m not saying that people don’t have valid reasons for not wanting to spend money. There are so many people out to scam businesses in our industry. You see spam email every day of SEO providers that promise results. Some people have come to us after being taken by these companies and tell us – well, I’ve done that, it didn’t work. Guess what? It didn’t work because the people took your money and didn’t deliver! That’s the toughest thing about working in this industry, there’s a constant need to prove your worth, prove that you can deliver what you say you can, because other people have placed doubt into the minds of many. In this regards, online marketing and SEO is a lot like automobile repair. Sure, there are a lot of people out to rip you off – they take advantage of the fact that you don’t really know the details of what they are selling you, so you can’t verify that you’re getting anything in return. But the flip side to that is, every once in a while, you find an honest mechanic. Just like auto repair, there are honest companies out there that can and will work wonders for your traffic and sales.
(PS, if you live in the Phoenix area and you need an honest mechanic that does great work, let me know. My friend owns a business called Mile Auto Repair in Tempe. Always honest service!)
Anyways, back to the point. Investing (not spending) a little extra money to build your business base through SEO and online marketing is worth it in every way. Simply adding your business link to a few online directories and making a Facebook page is not enough to expect results. You need to engage in a serious effort to get found, with strategy and planning that will put your products and services in front of the people that are ready to buy from you. It all starts with a keyword analysis and a consultation to determine exactly who your ideal target client is, and the best ways to reach them. There are multiple tools that get called into play to help do research and isolate important keyword phrases that will help your website perform its best. At the end of the day, your website shows up and the competition does not.
Soon you will see more people asking you for business. If you’re not doing this right now, you’re being beaten by companies who are. If you’re trying and you’re not seeing results, you’re being beaten by competition who is. Building your website for higher traffic and positions is like leaving your competition in the dust. The higher your ranking, the better response from new customers, and the further behind your competitors will fall to your trail. Remember, it’s called the information SUPER highway for a reason. Online search is the future of all business transacted and if you’re driving along in an old, beat-up pinto – sooner or later you’re going to break down.
Phoenix / Ahwatukee Arizona: 15815 S. 46th St., Suite 116, Phoenix, AZ 85048 Chandler Arizona: 281 N. Roosevelt Ave. Suite #1, Chandler, AZ 85226 Phone: (480) 256-9010 | Email:email@example.com
Specializing in website design and internet marketing services for these Arizona cities: Apache Junction, Ahwatukee, Carefree, Cave Creek, Chandler, Chandler Heights, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Glendale, Higley, Laveen, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe