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Well it’s June 5th 2013, the sun is out, and it’s been a while since my last post.
Seeing as how I just had to evacuate my building, I thought it would be a great time to post an update!
With any luck the building won’t burn down but two fire trucks out front and our concierge pushing us (over the speaker system) to flee the building motivated me to jump ship.
So here I sit, cappuccino in hand. Looking back at the first part of the year, it was a busy one so far.
Here’s a snapshot of what I got up to in no particular order:
Went to Belize, saw a shark
Took Perry Marshall and Mike Rhodes Google Display Network Bootcamp, learned a ton
Google released Enhanced Campaigns, foiled my attempts to segment by device type
Went to Scottsdale, went skeet shooting…and dune buggying
Finalized a project for a client to setup marketing automation and lead nurture system extraordinaire, InfusionSoft
Shot my first snowboarding mini movie using the GoPro Hero 3, felt like a Hero for a day
Re-tore my MCL, started physio
Bought a new domain name, started working on a rel-launch of my business
And I could go on but that would be boring right?
Marketing sin #1: being boring, so I’ll stop with the bullet points.
2013 is looking up. Businesses continue to accelerate their online advertising spend and things continue to get more interesting with mobile, social, and now we’re hearing more and more about “wearable” media.
I’ve come across too many interesting links lately to post them all so here are a couple of my recent favorites:
Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing continue to be the main sources of website traffic for most businesses but if your company is just starting out on the web, what should you focus on?
In this session, youâ€™ll learn the answer to that question as well as:
Why search is so powerful & how to take advantage of it
How to get started with SEO & PPC
And how to make money using search: a tried, tested, and true formula
Why Search is so Powerful
Search is a powerful tool for businesses because it gives you the ability to show up in front of your potential customers at exactly the point in time when they are looking for your products and services.
It is also powerful because huge numbers of people use search engines every day. In the end it has to do with timing, relevance, and numbers.
Each of us has multiple â€œinformation needsâ€ throughout the day. We have questions to problems, we have things we need to buy, and a million things we need to learn about. Typically we use search engines to satisfy these needs, to find answers to our questions, and to find products that satisfy our desires.
Because search engines like Google are very good at giving us what we want, and fast- weâ€™ve become accustomed to using them, almost to an extreme.
Getting back to why search is powerful to you as a business owner:
If you show up in front of people at the exact moment in time theyâ€™re looking for something AND what youâ€™re site is showing up for is targeted, timely, and relevant to what the user wants, you have an excellent chance at starting a relationship with that visitor, generating a sale or getting that visitor to take some type of meaningful action with your business.
Contrast that to traditional advertising:
In the past, weâ€™d have to hear about over and over again in order to know about it. Weâ€™d see it on TV or in a print publication multiple times.
By taking advantage of search engines, you put yourself in front of people only when they actually have an interest in what you have to offer and are actively looking for a solution to their problems. Thatâ€™s power!
How to take advantage of Search
So how do you take advantage of search?
It comes down to showing up in the right places.
What I mean by this is your website needs to show up when people do a search for your products and your services or information related to your business.
Step #1 Know Your target market
When it comes to any marketing you ever do, the most important thing you can do is understand your potential customerâ€™s needs, wants and desires. You need to get inside their heads and understand what problems they have, what their fears are, and what the itch is that your product or services will satisfy.
Step one then is market research or customer research. By doing this kind of research, youâ€™re going to begin addressing step 2 which is:
Step #2 Your keywords (actually your potential customerâ€™s keywords!) are key.
When it comes to search and paid search, everything starts with keywords.
Keywords or key phrases are the words and phrases people type into search engines like Google in order to search for a result. Every time we type a search query into a search engine, our hope is that we will quickly find the most relevant piece of information to what we are looking for.
So keywords are where you start when it comes to showing up in search engines. Keyword research is the process that you use to figure out what terms and phrases your website should be showing up for.
You can get started on keyword research by checking out Googleâ€™s free keyword research tool. Just Google the term: Google Keyword tool.
Step #3 SEO & PPC
Once you have a very good idea of who youâ€™re trying to reach and the terms and phrases they use when they think of your business, the next thing to do is look at getting your website to show up in the search engines of your choice for the terms and phrases your target market is looking for.
There are two main ways to do this: SEO & PPC
SEO refers to search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the process of working on a website (a.k.a optimizing) to have it show up in a search engines search results for a given search term or a variety of search terms.
There are things you can do to a website to make them easier for search engines to â€œreadâ€ and find and there are also things you can do such off of a website that can help your rankings. These are known as on page and off page factors.
Title of your blog posts
Title of each web page
Content of your web pages
Meta Description tag
PPC refers to pay-per-click marketing. PPC is the process of showing ads along side the search results. Typically, in Google, Youtube, Yahoo and Bing, the top 4 search engines, ads show up on the right hand side of the page next to the search results. Sometimes they also show up at the very top or the very bottom of the page depending on how many advertisers there are and other factors.
The idea with Pay-per-click is that you can show your ads to as many people as are searching for the keywords youâ€™ve chosen but you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad. Because your ads only show when the keywords you choose are searched on, your ads have a much greater chance of being relevant to the person doing the search.
In the past impressions were what mattered most. Today, impressions are important but more important are clicks AND even more important are conversions. Clicks are when someone sees your ad and finds it relevant or interesting enough to click on it. Conversions are when they visit your website as a result and actually purchase something or fill out a contact form or take some other measurable action.
Clicks mean website traffic.
Conversions mean sales, leads or sign ups.
Both are important but ultimately itâ€™s conversions weâ€™re all after.
How to get started with SEO
Your goals: remember, itâ€™s important to always keep your target market, your customers in mind when optimizing a site.
What they are looking for is what you need to show up for.
The content of your website is important for two reasons. First, itâ€™s what your prospects and customers will be interacting with when they visit your site. Your content needs to answer their questions, solve their problems, make them feel good and build belief that your company, your products and your services will make them better off.
It also needs to persuade them to take action, for example: purchasing your products or completing a contact form.
The second reason content is important is that it can be read by search engines. Now, this is not a big deal on its own, remember, itâ€™s only important to us because millions of people use search engines every day and we want to get in front of a portion of those people.
So how do you get started on your content?
Open up MS Word and re-write your website to do a better job of answering your customers questions and prove to them that your company can scratch their itch! (aka: satisfy their needs, wants, desires-)
Then submit your updates to your webmaster or make them yourself if you manage your own site.
The other thing you can do is to add relevant content to your website regularly over time.
Links from other websites are important as they can bring you traffic from other websites and possibly improve your rankings in search engines. Typically, the more links you have from relevant websites (websites in your industry for example) the better. Search engines have long looked at links as a vote for your website- an indication that your site is important.
A way you can start building links is by talking to anyone you know in your industry, or in related industries who runs a blog or a website, to link to your site.
The code of a website can be optimized as well. Optimizing the code of a site is beyond the scope of todayâ€™s talk. However, there is a ton of information about this online.
If you want more information on optimizing the code of a website, please email me or message me on Twitter and Iâ€™ll send you a few links to great articles on the topic.
How to get started with Pay-per-click Advertising
Probably the simplest way to get started with PPC is to hire someone to create and manage a campaign for you.
The next best way, if you want to get your feet wet, would be to visit http://adwords.google.com and watch their introductory video and read their intro material and then go through the steps of opening a Google Adwords beginner account.
Adwords gives you the option of starting a simple, beginner style campaign when you first get going.
Note: before you start, itâ€™s best to invest time learning about how to do keyword research. Google has a free keyword research tool that will help you get started. Google the term â€œGoogle keyword toolâ€ to find it.
How to make money using search: a tried, tested, and true formula
Market research + Keyword research = Targeted Relevant Content*
Managing Pay-Per-Click campaigns is one of the services I provide to my clients. However, I also work with self employed professionals from time to time and internal staff who either want to manage their own PPC campaigns or just want a better understanding of how the process works.
For those of you who want to get your feet wet with PPC, specifically Google Adwords, then check out these new, free courses from Google:
Understanding Quality Score on February 17th at 11am PST
Quality Score affects the position of your ad and your cost-per-click (CPC). We explain some of the factors that are used to calculate your Quality Score, debunk common Quality Score misconceptions, and show you how to improve your Quality Score through optimization.Â Sign up!
Is your baby ugly? Live landing page advice on March 9th at 11am PST
You have 2-3 seconds to create the right first impression with your website. What decides whether a user stays or not? Recognized author and landing page optimization expertÂ Tim Ash will conduct mini-critiques of participants’ landing pages. For a chance to have your website evaluated during the presentation, submit it when you sign-up!Â Sign up!
Focus on Results: Basics of Tracking Your AdWords Return on Investment on March 24th at 11am PST
Are your clicks turning into customers? Learn how AdWords Conversion Tracking and Google Analytics can help you increase your online profits by tracking and understanding your results. We will show you how to get started, make informed bid decisions, learn where visitors to your website come from and identify areas for improvement.Â Sign up!
If on the other hand you want an outside specialist to do the heavy lifting for you, get in touch!
I’m a fan of Seth Godin, widely known author and marketing guru. Safe to say most marketers are because he often shares pearls of wisdom and marketing insight on his blog and through is many books.
Today however, a client sent me a link to Godin’s post on the Unclicking 84% that I have an issue with, so I thought I’d raise it here.
Here are my thoughts…
Godin lacks clarity in this article and is off track..easy to point out a research report like this but neither his post or the post he linked to tell us as readers anything concrete about what to do. I tend to discount this kind of post..I also think this advice is far off the mark for most small and medium sized business who can’t afford to waste money. For SME’s, it’s important to: invest money in advertising -> measure results -> get sales -> improve the process. It’s not about “brand building” in my opinion, it’s about sales.
The 80/20 rule is what’s being talked about
Not clear if by “display ads” they mean banner ads, text ads, or all forms of online ads. Godin says ALL ads, the post he links to talks about display ads. No clear distinction.
I agree that if people click but don’t buy then there’s no point in wasting money on online adsÂ unless you can get them to convert some other way like signing up for an email list or social media account so you can follow up with them
Google recently started measuring “View through click” stats which these two articles suggest are important. I think it’s an attempt to convince people to not to stop advertising during tough times and to continue wasting money on ads that just don’t work. Pretty hard to gauge whether they saw your ad and came back 20 or 30 days later and then converted despite what Google may say. How often does this happen in the real world?
Optimizing ads for clicks makes sense if you want to generate a lead or a sale.That doesn’t mean you are ignoring the “other 84%” of Internet users, it just means you have to reach them another way or that perhaps the 16% is the real group (aka the real someone) you are targeting.Â Also, this statement forgets the fact that direct response ads like Adwords, are meant primarily for buyers – if you’re paying for clicks, as an advertiser you want to see a return and you are after people looking to buy. You don’t want the 84% of people who are just looking for information to click on your ads. You want the 16% you can actually make a sale to. Fundamental flaw in the reasoning of Godin’s post and the post he references.
It’s not about getting 100% of people to your site. Just those who can and will buy.
I think the following lines, which Godin has bought into, are meant for big advertisers who are building brands and doing mass advertising aka they don’t have the need to drive direct sales and they are fine with wasting money:
Linda Anderson, comScore VP of marketing solutions and author of the study, concludes that “… marketers who attempt to optimize their advertising campaigns solely around the click are assigning no value to the 84% of Internet users who don’t click on an ad… ” – (this is BS, as stated in one of my points above. You don’t want the 84% just the 16% who can/will buy now.)
The results underscore the notion that, for most display ad campaigns, the click-through is not the most appropriate metric for evaluating campaign performance. Rather, advertisers should consider evaluating campaigns based on their view-through impact, says the report. (Again, hogwash. This is just meant to convince you to waste money on advertising dollars that have no direct correlation to sales.)
So what does this mean for you?
If you’re advertising using Google or other methods online and you’re working on getting the ads to be clicked on and the site converting those clicks into sales then bravo. That makes sense as long as you do it with eyes wide open: you’re not after 100% of the people out there.
If in a reasonable time frame say the next 2-3 months, you can’t get that to work, you should stop advertising and work on another angle. SEO for example or a blogger outreach program or purely focus on building relationships with affiliate marketers depending on what it is you’re selling and your market.
I don’t believe in “View through clicks”, despite what Google says is important or what Seth Godin has to say.
SME’s need to focus on: traffic + conversion = profits. Period.
Let’s get started on your project.
Contact me to start the conversation. This will be more fun than you think!