RitaJo Archive

Search Engine Optimization and Advertising

In today’s net-savvy world it has become common for any business to have a website, which they use mostly for advertising their products and services. With the advent of search engines, it has become even easier for customers to search for stuff online.

For a website to be successful, its link should land on the first three pages that the search engine generates, and the rank of the page should be high, which will drive many visitors to your site. This can be achieved by applying search engine optimization or more popularly known as SEO. This is a marketing strategy that increases the quality and quantity of traffic flow to a particular website via search engines.

Search Engine Process

SEO not only affects the search engine results, but also image search, video search and industry specific vertical search engines. It determines how a search algorithm functions and searches what is popular with the people.

When a website link is submitted to a search engine, a spider crawls through a page to gather links that lead to other pages and stores those pages on the server of the search engine. The information collected from these pages is sent to the indexer, whose job is to extract information from those pages such as the keywords and their weights, the location of the page and other links that are stored for the spider to crawl in the future.

Keywords and Meta Tags

In the beginning, the search engine optimizer algorithms were dependent on the keywords, meta tags, and index files provided by the webmaster. Meta tags provided information about a particular page, but using them for indexing the pages didn’t prove to be successful as some webmasters added irrelevant meta tags to increase the number of hits and earn huge ad revenue. They even changed the HTML of the web pages to achieve a good rank for the page. But this was a case of abuse as it fetched irrelevant pages.

Ranking Algorithm

Search engines then began utilizing complex ranking algorithm, which were difficult for the webmasters to manipulate so as to provide web surfers with genuine results. The rank of the web page was calculated mathematically by functions using strength and quantity of the inbound links. The higher the rank of the page the more chances it had to be viewed by a person.

Link Spamming

Later algorithms were developed which considered various other on-page factors such as rank and off-page factors such as hyperlink. Since the webmasters couldn’t manipulate the page rank, they began exchanging, selling and buying links, which lead to link spamming and even creation of numerous sites dedicated for this purpose.

Investing in SEO

Algorithms became more complex by every passing day and top search engines kept their algorithms a secret. As the cost of SEO increased, advertisers were roped in to paying for it, which in the end resulted in high quality web pages. Although investing in SEO is very fruitful, at the same time it is risky, because without any notice the algorithms being used are bound to change and the search engine will stop directing visitors to the page.

Page Ranking

Many consultants are available in the market that provides SEO services. They manipulate the HTML source code of the web site like menus, shopping carts and sometimes even the content of the website to draw more traffic.

Search engines like Yahoo has algorithms that extract pages not according to the page rank but according to the cost per click or set fee, that is, if you desire that the page containing your ad be displayed, you are expected to pay money for it.

However, this creates controversy, as only the big businesses are able to increase the number of hits of their page but not the small business who might have a better quality page.

Various Advertising Methods

Google Ad Words explores ads which have words typed in the search box by the surfer. The Million Dollar Homepage started the concept of Pixel advertising, which is a graphical kind of advertising. Depending on the pixels, the space is sold to the advertiser. Keyword advertising involves advertisers who buy URLs of a site and place their ads at that location. However, SEO is a market on its own that is yielding great results for businesses on the Internet.

Have you optimized your site for the search engines? If so, how has this impacted your ranking on search engines pages? Join the discussion below in our comment section.

As always, thanks for reading!
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RJ’s Internet Marketing Services, LLC
 

Advertising Using Power Words

Words not only influence the minds of people but can completely change their perception about a particular thing. Words have the persuasion power to entice and motivate. They are used by politicians, public relations personnel, and even by parents to pass on their message. These words are known as power words and they can do wonders when used in advertisement.

New and Improved

“New” or “improved” words create a sense of curiosity. The customers get the impression that the product is something that is different from others and he tries to get it before anyone else does so as to have the edge over others.

Laundry products have always been advertised as new and improved for years. It can be either a new or improved version of the existing product, but the power of both the words and the product reinforces each other’s strength.

Money Back Guarantee

Take for instance the line “money back guarantee”. These power words help gain the trust of the customer. It is a must to print these words at the closing line of an advertisement. After this sentence, the methods of payment and how the money will be returned if the customer is not satisfied should be stated.

Insider Say That

Most of the successful advertisements have a little known secret that surely generates curiosity within the reader. People are knowledge thirsty, they want to know what others do not know. They think that there is some vital information they are missing.

Words “insider say that” is similar to “secret”. It gives out information from some expertise that is still unknown to the outside world and, only if the customer gives money, will the information be divulged to him.

Free

The word “free” in the headline of the message simply does wonders. The reader easily absorbs the message, unless and until something free is given to the customer in reality.

By any chance, if the company tricks the customer into paying money for something, which was supposed to be free, the trust of the customer is lost instantly.

Usually the word FREE is spelled as FR~E, for example, on websites as ISP filters blocks messages having the actual word considering it to be some kind of spam.

You

“You” is a very important word to be used in an advertisement. It directly points out the advantages to the customer, if he buys a particular product or service.

Step into the shoes of the customer and try to jot down the points which will be of benefit and what points will decrease the interest.

The advantages then should be referred to the customer by addressing them with “you”. The customer feels that he is being directly talked to.

Immediately

The word “immediately” rings in the emergency. It can be interpreted as “Don’t wait any longer, get it now!” This motivates the customer to take some necessary and quick action.

Power

“Power” in itself is a powerful word. Give that power to the consumer and see the magic. This gives the consumer a feeling that he can get possession of something that he lacked till now and this could make him achieve the impossible.

The basis of a successful advertisement is to understand the consumer’s needs and then design the advertisement accordingly.

Just stating the advantages of using the product or service of the company isn’t enough. Sentence should be so designed that the customer should see his advantage in the product.

For example, when advertising for a digital camera, just stating that the in-built memory of the camera is of 1 GB, won’t do the trick. Instead, the sentence should be changed to “enough memory to store 350 pictures or 50 videos.” The solution to the problem of the customer is reflected in this sentence.

Ideas can be taken from advertisements of other similar brands like how the sentences are written and placed in an advertisement. After the sentence framing, adding power words to spice up the advertisement will definitely make a winning ad campaign.

Have you used any of the above-mentioned “power” words in your ads? Did they generate successful results? We would love to hear about it in the comment section below.

As always, thanks for reading!

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RJ’s Internet Marketing Services, LLC
 

Photo: Courtesy of Google Images

 

Advertising on the Internet

Ever since the advent of the Internet, advertising on the World Wide Web has been very popular. Many corporations, companies and businesses have taken advantage of this, and you can see ads on any web page you visit. Consumers can go to any search engine and type the keyword relating to what they are looking for and hit search, and they will be provided with a huge list from which they can select. This is a very cost-effective and time-saving method of advertising.

Personalized Website

It has become really easy for any business to have a personalized website by which you can advertise, directly interact with your customer, and provide details about your product and services. Regular newsletters, offers, discounts can be pasted on your site to increase the interest of your website visitors.

Legal and Illegal Online Advertising

Since it’s easy to reach any kind of audience concerning any kind of business, the possibility of misuse is always there. Based on this, Internet advertising is classified into two kinds of advertisement, legal online advertising and illegal online advertising.

Legal online advertising includes online advertising directories, search engine advertising, e-mail advertising, and desktop advertising.

Illegal advertising is more commonly known as spamming. This is usually done by altering some system settings with the help of external applications after which pop-ups are sent to a particular network or computer. The external applications are known as adware or spyware. Some of these are really harmful, the most famous being Trojans, which are very hard to uninstall and remove from your system.

Technology-Based Ads

With the increase in technology, special effects are being used to make advertisement more interesting. Vivid colors, good page layout and lots of imagination is involved. Typically, Adobe Flash is used to design advertisements these days. Depending on the technology being used to design, advertisements can be classified into various categories.

Various Advertising Categories

Banner ads are animations displayed on your website usually created in HTML or Eudora. There is a range of type and sizes of the ads. Trick banner ads are banner ads that have an extra functionality of dialog boxes and buttons and are displayed as an alert or error message.

A pop-up is an advertisement displayed in a new window that covers up the active web page. A pop-under advertisement opens in another window that is under the active web page and can be seen after the present window is either closed or minimized.

Interstitial ads are those that are displayed before directing over to the desired page.

Wallpaper ads form the background of your web page.

The ads that float on your screen are known as a floating ad.

Polite ads download at a slow pace without interrupting the normal functioning of your website.

An ad that enlarges and changes the contents of the page being displayed is known as expanding ad.

Advertisements which are displayed in a video form on a website is known as a video ad.

Paid Advertising

There are many ways by which advertising slots can be purchased on the Internet like CPM, CPV, CPC, CPA, CPL and CPO.

CPM or cost per mil means that you as the advertiser is meant to pay for a particular number of people to whom the advertisement will be exposed.

CPV or cost per visitor means that you are meant to pay for the people to whom the advertisement was delivered.

CPC or cost per click means paying for the number of clicks made on your advertisement by your visitors. Although the advertisement is put up on your website, the amount is paid only after the visitor clicks on the URL of your advertisement.

CPA or cost per action means that you pay all the charges of advertisement, but you get paid only if the visitor clicks on your advertisement and purchases a product or signs-up for a service.

CPL or cost per lead is similar to CPA, only that the visitor doesn’t have to necessarily buy anything; he or she can simply sign up to get regular newsletters and special offers.

CPO or cost per order is where you pay each time an order is placed.

Online advertisements are not only for promoting a product or service but, in fact, they can be used for purposes like advertising charity and spreading education.

Are you implementing any of these categories of advertising to advertise your products or services and are they effective? We would love to hear from you. Leave your comments below!

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RJ’s Internet Marketing Services, LLC
 

Advertising for Free

Although Internet marketing costs less than traditional advertising, there are some methods of advertising that are free. Advertising for free seems like an impossible thing when you hear about it. But there are several ways by which the cost of advertisement can be maintained with the help of some imagination and creativity.

Write Articles

If you are a business wanting to advertise, you can write articles related to your field of expertise, which can be submitted to media and publications having interest in your particular field. The advertising article can have information about your company and possible dealership or franchise opportunities. Due to the rise in Internet users and websites, new websites have sprung up, which offer free services. Articles can be written for these websites and they can be broadcasted for free, which will be viewed by hundreds of people everyday.

Interviews

Once your business has gained some recognition, within no time it will gain popularity also among the crowds. This popularity can lead to you being invited on radio and television talk shows and even to interviews. These kind of opportunities shouldn’t be missed as they provide a chance for free promotion. If it is taking a long time to get a break, the producer can be addressed with a letter that can be followed up with a telephone call or in-person visit. During your visit, the nature of your expertise can be discussed about your business, which will be of interest to the viewers of the particular channel. Once you gain the status of being public-friendly, more offers start pouring in.

Bulletin Boards

Free bulletin boards located in your neighborhood, like in grocery stores, libraries, and salons, are another good idea. Advertising circulars can be posted on such boards for free. Circulars for mass distribution can be handed out at the mall, shopping center, bus stops, particularly on weekends when there is a big rush. Students can be hired on part-time basis for this purpose.

Promotional Advertising

Promotional advertisement can be printed on the envelopes used by your business firm. Both you and the receiver can see this advertisement. Promotional offers can be sent to customers by postcards, which should be utilized to its fullest, leaving only the place for writing the address.

Publications

Some of the new mail order publications offer free first time and seasonal deductions for advertisers. Other publications offer pay per inquiry space. Inquiries can be made about stand-by space, which means that the publication holds the submission of your advertisement until the space is not sold and in that case, thirty-three percent savings can be achieved. Usually local newspapers provide these kinds of offers.

If your business is involved in ad sheet or catalog publishing, other publishers can be contacted for the purpose of bartering an advertising exchange. They can place your advertisement in their publication, in return for placing their advertisement in your business’s publication.

Free Offers

Free offers can be provided to your customers. This can be done by emailing or printing newsletters about information regarding the area of interest of your targeted customers and can be made popular by using tag lines. Attach a free coupon with it, which the customers can use for shopping, if a criterion is met like minimum purchase of $50, for example. By this, the response will be huge and most of them will purchase something in order to take advantage of the free offer.

The basic ingredient for advertising for free is imagination and research. Opportunities should be searched and a strong working force should be applied to increase the sales.

Which methods of free advertising do you use for your business, and is it effective? We would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.

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RJ’s Internet Marketing Services, LLC

 

Photo: Courtesy of Google Images

 

Search Engine Marketing or SEO

SEO keyword

Search engine marketing is a form of Internet marketing that uses paid ads, which are more commonly known as pay-per-click ads. We’re going to take a look at pay-per-click ads and search engine optimization, as well as which strategy you should use in order to drive traffic to your site.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. “Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines” (Webopedia).

PPC is short for pay per click. “PPC is a type of sponsored online advertising that is used on a wide range of websites, including search engines, where the advertiser only pays if a web user clicks on their ad” (Brick Marketing).

SEO three advantages over PPC include (Huffington Post):

  • Natural exposure and credibility – marketers will hold the top spot on the search engine result page resulting from an organic (free) search. These results are viewed by consumers as being more credible because they are not paid ads.
  • Large ROI potential – The organic search can result in more conversions and revenue because of more clicks that organic search typically generates.
  • Exposure on several search engines – If SEO is performed correctly, a small business can receive exposure on the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, and AOL).

PPC three advantages over SEO are (Huffington Post):

  • Instant traffic to the marketer’s site – Ads show up at the top of the search engine results almost immediately after the PPC campaign is implemented.
  • No worrying about algorithm updates – Whenever search engines updates its algorithm, PPC ads are not affected like the organic search results.
  • Laser target your audience – PPC gives a marketer the ability to target their ideal customer by choosing which geographical area will see their ads. This allows small businesses to target local clients.

A small business needs a combination of search engine optimization and pay-per-click elements in their marketing campaign. It depends on the budget and goals of the marketer. Search engine optimization can result in a solid return in the long run; however, it takes time to do it correctly (Huffington Post). Pay-per-click provides immediate results, but it can be expensive. Also, customers tend to read past the paid ads. All-in-all, if the budget doesn’t allow it, search engine optimization is a better method of internet marketing.

PPC Ads vs. Organic Search

According to a research from GroupM UK and Nielsen, search engine users overwhelmingly clicked on organic search results on Google and Bing by a margin of 94 percent (“ZOG Digital”). Search engine users clicked on pay-per-click ads by a margin of six percent. The six percent that clicked on PPC ads were 53 percent women compared to 47 percent that were men. Thirty-five percent of those who clicked on PPC ads are 34 years old and younger. Interestingly the older the search engine users are, the percentage of PPC ads clicked goes up. For example, the search engine users who are 35 years and older, clicked on PPC ads 65 percent of the time.

On the other hand, if the PPC ads contain keywords with high commercial intent in the United States, these ads beat out organic search results by nearly a 2:1 margin. “In other words, 64.6 percent of people click on Google Ads when they are looking to buy an item online!” (The WordStream Blog) Overall, organic search results still get the most clicks; however, not in the case of pay-per-click ads with keywords for high commercial intent.

The location of the ads makes a big difference also. On SERP (search engine result page), 24 percent of the ads are at the top and account for 85 percent of clicks. Sixty one percent are on the right side of the search engine result page receiving 13 percent of clicks. Fifteen percent of the ads appear at the bottom. Search engine users click on these ads two percent of the time. According to the ZOG Digital article, there is conclusive evidence that a marketer online performance improved when running an integrated organic and paid search campaign.

Pay-Per-Click Ad Campaign vs. SEO Campaign

Pay-per-click ad campaigns can be very expensive if it is not set up correctly. It is not a matter of setting up the campaign and forgetting about it. The campaign has to be constantly optimized and fine-tuned in order to keep the ads performing and producing a ROI. PPC ads requires a lot of experience and testing, which is why small businesses hire digital firms to handle their PPC ad campaigns (Huffington Post).

On the other hand, a quality SEO campaign takes several months to notice results. However, if done correctly, it can drive constant traffic to the marketer’s website, as well as generate a nice ROI. As mentioned earlier, the best results are produced when elements of both PPC and SEO are used in the marketing campaign. However, if the budget doesn’t allow it, search engine optimization is the most cost effective method of advertising.

Are you currently marketing your online business with search engine marketing or search engine optimization or do you use a combination of both? We would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.

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RJ’s Internet Marketing Services, LLC

 

Blogging an Internet Marketing Strategy

bloggingBenefits of a Blog

A blog gives customers a chance to connect with companies in that they are able to make comments, as well as rate and/or review the companies’ products or services. Customers are able to do this in the comment section of blogs. Blogs are an inbound method of marketing versus the traditional marketing of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, etc. Customers are not able to connect with companies through these traditional channels. Blogging gives customers the ability to interact with the company. Conversing with potential customers builds trust over time; therefore, when the marketer does talk to them about their product and service offerings, the customers will be ready for the offering (“Get Found in the Blogosphere”).

The Architect of a Company’s Blog

Quality blogs should have a comment section; so, that customers can connect with the companies through their comments, as well as the company connecting with the potential customers by responding to their comments. Blogs should also have a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed. RSS feeds allow the readers of the blogs to subscribe to the blogs. What the subscription does is it will let the readers know when the author of the blog has published a new post without the reader having to visit the blog to check for new blog posts. Blogs should also have social media sharing icons, so, the readers can share the posts on their favorite social networking sites with their followers and friends which, in turn, will drive traffic to the marketer’s website.

Blogging for Marketing

Blogging for marketing has influenced marketing strategies in numerous ways. A marketer’s blog can change their website from being an online brochure to a hub for their marketplace (“Get Found in the Blogosphere”). It can dramatically improve search engine rankings because of the inbound links.

As mentioned earlier, if a blog has the social media icons located on it, site visitors are able to share the blog posts to various social media networks generating more exposure leading to more traffic. In addition, users on social bookmarking sites, for example, Digg, Delicious, and StumbleUpon, can vote for and share the posts with their followers.

Guest Blogger

Another blogging for marketing strategy is to invite guest bloggers to write a guest post for the marketer’s blog. The guest blogger adds the link to their article, which is on the marketer’s site, on their website and, in turn, the guest’s blog readers will follow the link back to the marketer’s blog generating even more traffic.

Overall, blogging is a form of inbound marketing. If implemented correctly, the marketer does not have to blast the potential customers with their marketing messages. The customers will find the marketer through using specific keywords as search terms or perhaps through social media networks. If the content is remarkable, the potential customers will subscribe to the blog using RSS feeds in order to be informed when a new blog post is published.

Works Cited

Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah. “Get Found in the Blogosphere.” Inbound Marketing – Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010. Web. 20 September 2014.

 

Pull Marketing vs Push Marketing

advertisingIn advertising, there are two methods of marketing. They are push and pull marketing. Push marketing is similar to outbound marketing. This type of marketing is the traditional style of advertising. On the other hand, pull marketing is the same concept as what is known today as inbound marketing. This technique utilizes social media and search engine marketing. We’ll take a look at what factors determine which style of marketing advertisers should implement.

What factors would push an advertiser toward one approach or the other?

A company that is fairly new will use the push method of marketing. Advertisers will use push marketing to put advertisements in front of people who are not necessarily familiar with the advertiser’s company (“Brick Marketing Blog”). It involves taking the product to the consumer by any means necessary (“Marketing Made Simple”). It places the product in front of the customer to ensure they become aware of its existence (“Boundless”). This strategy can work with impulse purchase-type of products, low-value items or with products where the customer has an established relationship with the manufacturer (“Boundless”).

Large companies that rely on mass market penetration to hit the numbers they need to sell their products also use push marketing (“imFORZA”).

The push marketing strategies include cold calling, advertising banners, or generating referrals. Other push marketing strategies involve speaking at (instead of with) prospects and customers, sending out messages to unwilling, unreceptive people, and creating campaigns or experiences that ignore user wants and needs (“inFORZA”). Examples of more push tactics are (“Marketing Made Simple”):

  • Trade show promotions to encourage retailer demand
  • Direct selling to customers in showrooms or face to face
  • Negotiation with retailers to stock your product
  • Efficient supply chain allowing retailers an efficient supply
  • Packaging design to encourage purchase
  • Point of sale displays

On the other hand, pull marketing is an advertising strategy used by advertisers to get consumers to find the company on their own (“Brick Marketing Blog”). Pull marketing is the same concept as inbound marketing. If branding is done correctly, consumers will seek out the company rather than the company taking the product to the customer. Pull marketing takes less energy and effort and is less expensive; therefore, unless the corporation is large and can afford to throw resources at push marketing campaigns, then pull marketing is the best method to use (“imFORZA”).

Pull marketing takes advantage of social media marketing and search engine marketing. It motivates customers to actively seek out a brand. Pull marketing is also recommended to use for new products. Examples of pull marketing are: blogging, social media marketing, speaking engagements, and e-mail campaigns.

What are some ways marketers can assess the effectiveness of the message?

Determining the success and effectiveness of a message can be analyzed using several metrics. These include (“Campaign Success”):

  • ROI (Return on investment) – Divide total spent by total return (“Common Online Marketing Terms”)
  • Click-through rate – Divide the number of people who viewed the message by those who actually click it.
  • Open rate – Divide the number of people who view an e-mail campaign by those who opened the e-mail.
  • Impressions – The number of people who viewed a message.
  • Bounce rate – The number of people who visits a website, but exits without navigating the site.
  • Conversion rate – Divide the number of conversions by number of total visitors.

A marketer will also have to take into account cost per lead and cost per acquisition metrics. Cost per lead measures how many people are interested in what the company has to offer. Cost per acquisition determines what it costs to acquire a client. The cost has to be lower than the value of the customer (“Campaign Success”). It is difficult to calculate the costs to convert a potential customer. It would require dividing all expenses dedicated to acquisition by the number of new customers acquired over the same period (“Optimove Learning Center”).

Marketing activity is easy to see and measure (costs going out the door), but marketing results are hard to measure (“Marketing Metrics & Analytics”). ROI is easier to calculate if the activities are quantifiable.

It is also difficult to determine the ROI on intangible benefits, for example, building a brand, because it is difficult to measure brand awareness (“The E-Marketing Plan”).

Overall, companies tend to use a little of both the push and pull marketing strategies. If a company is new or the product is an impulse-purchase or low-value, then push marketing strategy is used. For branding purposes, pull marketing strategy is used. Pull marketing will cause the consumer to seek out the company. Push marketing seeks out the customer.

References

Barbera, Vinny La. Pull Marketing vs Push Marketing: imFORZA. n.d. Web. 9 September 2014. <http://www.imforza.com/blog/pull-marketing-vs-push-marketing/>.

Campaign Success. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division [AIPOD]. 2011. Web. 9 September 2014.

Customer Acquisition vs. Retention Costs: Optimove Learning Center. 10 December 2013. Web. 9 September 2014. <http://www.optimove.com/resources/customer-acquisition-vs-retention-costs>.

DiSilvestro, Amanda. Push versus Pull Marketing: Is Your Company Using Both Strategies?: Brick Marketing Blog. n.d. Web. 9 September 2014. <http://www.brickmarketing.com/blog/push-pull-marketing.htm>.

Push and Pull Strategies: Boundless. n.d. Web. 9 September 2014. <https://www.boundless.com/marketing/textbooks/boundless-marketing-textbook/integrated-marketing-communication-12/selecting-the-promotion-mix-for-a-particular-product-84/push-and-pull-strategies-425-4128/>.

Push and Pull Marketing Strategies: Marketing Made Simple. n.d. Web. 9 September 2014. <http://www.marketing-made-simple.com/articles/push-pull-strategy.htm#.VA-dhjxkSSp>.

Barbera, Vinny La. Pull Marketing vs Push Marketing: imFORZA. n.d. Web. 9 September 2014. <http://www.imforza.com/blog/pull-marketing-vs-push-marketing/>.

Campaign Success. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division [AIPOD]. 2011. Web. 9 September 2014

Common Online Marketing Terms. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division [AIPOD]. 2011. Web. 9 September 2014

Customer Acquisition vs. Retention Costs: Optimove Learning Center. 10 December 2013. Web. 9 September 2014. <http://www.optimove.com/resources/customer-acquisition-vs-retention-costs>.

DiSilvestro, Amanda. Push versus Pull Marketing: Is Your Company Using Both Strategies?: Brick Marketing Blog. n.d. Web. 9 September 2014. <http://www.brickmarketing.com/blog/push-pull-marketing.htm>.

Judy Strauss, Raymond Frost. “The E-Marketing Plan.” E-Marketing. 5th. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. Web. 9 September 2014.

Push and Pull Marketing Strategies: Marketing Made Simple. n.d. Web. 9 September 2014. <http://www.marketing-made-simple.com/articles/push-pull-strategy.htm#.VA-dhjxkSSp>.

Push and Pull Strategies: Boundless. n.d. Web. 9 September 2014. <https://www.boundless.com/marketing/textbooks/boundless-marketing-textbook/integrated-marketing-communication-12/selecting-the-promotion-mix-for-a-particular-product-84/push-and-pull-strategies-425-4128/>.

The Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Marketing Analytics. n.d. Web. 9 September 2014. <http://www.marketo.com/definitive-guides/marketing-metrics-and-marketing-analytics/>.

 

Strategic Planning for Your Small Business

strategic planningMostly everything you do requires a plan. It doesn’t matter if you are going on a trip, going shopping, picking the kids up from school or operating a small business, it requires a strategic plan.

Forbes has an article on “Five Steps to a Strategic Plan” by Aileron. He states, “A strategic plan looks at all the things your small business could do and narrows it down to the things it is actually good at doing.” Aileron also says that business leaders are able to determine where to spend time, human capital, and money with a strategic plan.

Aileron outlines five steps in the process of developing a strategic plan. They are:

  1. Determine where you are. To determine where your business is, conduct external and internal assessments to get a clear understanding of the marketplace and competition.
  2. Identify what’s important. Where do you want to take the organization over time? This will determine the long-term goals of your small business, as well as the mission and vision. How do you see you company in the future?
  3. Define what you must achieve. What are the objectives your business must achieve to address the priority issues?
  4. Determine who is accountable. This is how you get to where you’re going. The strategies, action plans, and budgets are all steps of the process, which will help determine how to allocate time, human capital, and money to help achieve the objectives.
  5. Review, review, review. Regularly schedule formal reviews of the plan to refine as necessary. This will ensure the plan works as you planned.

Larry Downes discussed in his article, “Why Best Buy is Going out of Business Gradually,” that Best Buy is a company that has waited too long to take advantage of the Internet as a technology. Big box retailers like Best Buy are going the way of the dinosaur. Online giants, notably Amazon, are the future. Although Best Buy has a website where a shopper can order online, they have to pick the item(s) up at one of Best Buy’s stores. Apparently, there was no strategic planning to prepare the company for this new channel nor any tactics in place to compete with Amazon. Best Buy’s strategy focuses on protecting the market share, while Amazon’s core objectives are customer satisfaction and lower prices.

Overall, no matter which strategic planning process a business chooses to implement, strategic planning is vital to the success of a company.

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RJ’s Internet Marketing Services, LLC
 

Photo: Courtesy of Google Images

 

When Hiring a Social Media Expert Makes Sense

A social media professional can assist you in creating a targeted plan that will help you best connect with your target audience, giving you the best possible impact socially.

I hope this video has been helpful. If you’ve been struggling with the social media side of your strategy, it may be time to consult with a professional. Contact us today for a free consultation at 866-651-3073.

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RJ’s Internet Marketing Services, LLC

 

7 Internet Lead Generation Tips for Your Business

internet lead generationLead generation is the toughest part of running a business. You are passionate about what you do but getting people to see your true value can seem impossible. Having the right plan and being consistent will keep your sales funnel flowing. Here are 7 tips to help you get started in generating more internet leads for your business.

Tip #1: SEO

Search Engine Optimization is extremely important for generating leads because it will help you get better placement on search engines like Google and Bing. The first step to generating a lead is to get visitors to your site. Studies show that most searchers click on links that are on the first page. Strategies that can help you achieve good ranking include:

  • Publishing relevant content on your website
  • Keeping your website content updated regularly
  • Using keywords that your prospects are using to find the type of solutions your business offers

Tip #2: Educate and Entertain

When people visit your site, what do they see? Does your site speak to your buyer persona and make them want to spend time there? Are you making it easy for them to see that you have what they need and want? Visitors want to instantly know if you have something on your site that will bring value to their lives. You can help your prospects make the decision to move forward in working with you by blogging or even offering a free video or e-book download that showcases what you do best.

Tip#3: Social Media

It’s no shocker that people love social media. Studies show that Facebook has over 1 billion users and there are 4.5 billion likes generated daily. Other platforms such as Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn have millions of users as well and are particularly popular with business owners. Social media allows you to have a presence where people hang out online. It gives you a different medium to educate and entertain visitors aside from your website. Do you have a social media profile? Are you connecting with people? Are you delivering helpful information?

Tip #4: Blogging

Keeping with the theme of educating and entertaining, blogging is a great way to showcase your expertise and cement yourself as an expert in your industry. As visitors search the web, blog entries are indexed pages that lead readers back to your website.

Tip #5: Landing Pages

Landing pages are sometimes referred to as virtual sales pages. Landing pages add value to your site because it allows you to hone in on specific products or services that may interest specific buyers. Having relevant landing pages improve your chances of getting a qualified lead.

Tip #6: Online Ads

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement is another great way to generate leads. Your ads pop up when searchers are looking for something related to your business but you only have to pay if your ad is clicked. PPC advertisement gives you the freedom to be as aggressive as you like and the flexibility to make changes to your account at any time. Advertisers are able to add extensions; such as their Phone number, URL and social links to make the process more inviting for visitors.

Tip #7: Simplicity

Anytime you’re asking prospects for information, less is more. Make sure that your call to action is visible without having to scroll and don’t try to get too much information too soon. Since they are in the early stages of the buying process, just get enough information to begin the nurturing process like their first name and email address.

Conclusion

Lead generating is much tougher than it used to be because everyone has their guard up so you have to make sure you’re properly nurturing every opportunity. While every prospect or visitor may not be a buyer, you can use each situation as a learning experience that will help you get further clarity on who your real customers are and how to best connect with them.

Is there something you want to add or maybe you have a question? We’d love for you to share your comments below. Are you a business coach, author or consultant struggling to consistently get high quality leads? Contact RJ’s Internet Marketing Services, LLC for a free consultation today at 866-651-3073.

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