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2012 is the Year of Opportunity for Your Business

Monday, January 9th, 2012

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: An Associated 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!


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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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SEO May Be the Best Investment for Your Small Business

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 


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seenBEST Web Design

seenBEST Web Design, the Best Web Design and Internet Marketing Strategies For Your Phoenix or Scottsdale Area Business.

seenbest web design and online marketing


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