Ecommerce has developed a lot in a couple of decades, growing from a system riddled with security problems to the most convenient way to sell and buy almost anything irrespective of time or place. Consider the role and growth of mobile ecommerce over the last few years, buying online has never been more convenient and simple.
If you were launching an internet marketing campaign, you would have surely heard of the terms ‘SEO’ and ‘SEM’. These two terms are the mantra for success in the field of internet marketing today.
However, it is odd how people are either pitting SEO against SEM or using both terms synonymously, because both concepts are incorrect. The truth is that both are complementary to each other. Of course, there are a few basic differences between the two, and you must know what they are before you opt for either of them to help build your business. read more
Yes it’s true that businesses have all but stop spending during the current recession however that does not mean that demand has stopped as well. In fact demand for any product or service remains the same during a recession. Sales are certainly down but demand never vanishes. Simply put, demand varnishes when there is no longer a need for a product or service. This has nothing to do with the economy and more to do with the product or service offered. Small businesses now more than ever need to focus their advertising and marketing dollars in order to stay alive. Unfortunately, too many business owners start saving by cutting their lifeline, their marketing budget. Effectively, business owners, managers and marketers hang up on customers by ending the conversation (so to speak). It’s important now more than ever to communicate with your current and prospective customers. They need to know you are still an option when planning their own budgets and purchases.
One key thing to remember is that by cutting your marketing budget now hurts your brand’s equity down the road. When the economy recovers, as we all know it will, businesses that cut their marketing will find themselves trailing their competitors and staggering to keep up.
3 Steps to take….. 1. Track and analyze your marketing every step of the way. In this digital world it is increasingly easier to track, measure and analyze your marketing effectiveness. From here you can easily determine what works and repeat, repeat, repeat!
2. Eliminate the “pie in the sky” marketing campaign and K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Silly). Go for what works. If the idea is to save money, now is not the time to take a chance on an idea your neighbor, the retired army general, gave you (we all live next to an army general don’t we?).
3. Beef up your websites and email campaigns. These are often forgotten features of your business that will yield great dividends and remind customers you are still available for them. Be sure your website is using the most up to date search practices.
Hopefully, your competitors are unwise and they choose to cut their marketing budgets, in a less-cluttered environment take the opportunity to stand out.
In this installment from our team we wanted to discuss how to generate more leads and lower your cost per lead with an effective PPC campaign. Most marketers setup an account with Google, grab some ad words and point all traffic to their site’s homepage. This will work perfectly if your homepage were the only page needed to be visited on your website. We cannot stress enough the value of research and homework prior to setting up your PPC campaign.
Here are some quick tips for generating more leads from your PPC campaigns:
1. Know Your Keywords Be in the know when it comes to the key words searched to arrive at your site. Be sure these words are included in your ad or used in the header.
2. Customized Landing Page Nothing is worse than searching for something, seeing an ad for it, clicking that ad and having to search the website you arrive at for the info or product. When users click an ad they want to arrive directly on the info they are seeking. Think about your own search habits.
3. Optimize Your Landing Page Your landing page should be optimized to deliver information quickly to the end user. You should have clear and bold headlines, images and keywords that work. There should be minimal navigation and an urgent call to action button.
4. No Registration Needed Resist the urge to force users to register in order to purchase or interact with your site. You can capture their information as they purchase.
5. Test, Test and Test Some More Every expert will find another way to make your PPC campaigns more effect. Our advise is simply this, test and measure each campaign effectively and make adjustments to the next one. Each user interacts with individual sites differently. Find out what your users are looking for as you test and measure.
So here at The Thinking Giant factory we’ve been working on optimizing a client’s site for the search engines. During this process we started jotting a floating to do list and realized that we should share about 10 simple things that site owners should be doing to gain better search results. Certainly there are tons of ideas out there, however, they didn’t come from our team. Here we’ll share some of what we have determined important while developing any site.
Below are 10 easy suggestions in no particular order of importance.
Here goes: 1. Blog Start a blog and add it to your site. This way you have content freshness. Do remember that the content needs to be valuable. www.blogger.com www.wordpress.com
2. User Remember the user when designing your site. Forget the bells and whistles you want and thing about being the customer. Would you buy from your site? Be sure you focus on the relative content.
3. Hidden Text Don’t do it! This is basically Spam. You never want your text to be the same color as the background text.
4. Site Maps Be sure your site has a site map for users and a file name sitemap.xml for search engines.
A website is your 24/7 Sales Executive. Dressing him up poorly, sending him into the world with no information and asking him to make money for your business is a clever way of being sarcastic. Consider this; The value that you place on your website to represent your business is a direct reflection of the value you place in your customers. A well created site with user friendly features, straightforward-quality information, attractive details, and well placed contact information shows your customer that you take their business seriously. It tells them who you are as a business.
A lacluster, overly-complicated site, with too many bell and whistles; or worse, outdated site - gives the impression that you are not successful. Your potential client may feel that you do not care about their business because you obviously do not care about your own website. A unique website has the potential to attract maximum prospective clients.
Make no mistake about it, a great site with updated information that is visually pleasing, gives a positive feeling to your site user. Consider your own browsing habits. When you feel good about a website that you have found you are more likely to reach out to do business rather than a site that is less appealing. Whether site users make a purchase through your e-commerce site, make a call to the number on your home page, or fill out the “contact us” form, you can be assured a great website will drive your conversion rates.
So be sure to go ahead and dress up your Sales Executive in the best suit he deserves.
Recently, I’ve sat in on a few meetings on Social Networking. Tons of information flying around the room about how to network online, how to effectively use twitter and linkedin and email marketing etc. Very lively, very engaging conversations and ideas came out of these meetings. However, and interestingly, there was always one or two business owners/ executives at each meeting who didn’t care for any of it. By any of it I mean twitter, linkedin, facebook and in some cases even the internet….yes! even the internet. Shocked? Well so was I. It’s hard to imagine that a business of any kind can’t find some measure of success online in this digital age. As someone said in one of the meetings “The Yellow Pages are dead…” To that I say “Long live yellowpages.com”
So I got to thinking, what is social networking in its simplest and most basic equation and how can a business make money from social networking? From where I sit, I think social networking is the grouping of individuals interested in a specific idea and the sharing of information about their ideas with each other. When put that way, targeting the right groups for a business seem like shooting fish in a barrel! Of course its more complicated than that and I’m glossing over some important actions in this very deep subject.
Think of a group of guys and gals who love to play soccer like my soccer group that meets on Sundays and Wednesdays in Jersey City (everyone’s welcome to our pickup games). We get together a couple times a week to play and relax and get to know each other. This is essentially a small community that vary in age, race, sex, cultural background and all the other labels under the sun. But we have one thing in common, the love of playing soccer. Now let’s imagine you were someone who sold athletic and sporting gear, this seems like an obvious group to target with information about your offerings, right? There would be tons of opportunities here for you if positioned correctly. Again, glossing……
But what if you were a Business Bankruptcy Lawyer? Although we sometimes let lawyers play ;-) it’s unlikely this social group is going to be beneficial to you financially. However, what if you found a group of people online who were interested in business growth, preventing failure in business, acquiring businesses and so on. A bankruptcy lawyer would be able to provide tons of insight, content and value to this group. Content like “Signs Your Business May Be in Trouble” “Acquire a Business to Spur Growth” “Picking a Lawyer vs Picking a Barber” (the last one is my favorite). Here you can position yourself as an authority and thought-leader. Your insight could be shared amongst this group and the groups extended network if it’s valuable enough.
There are millions of people online and they are all networking and looking for products and services to purchase. You’ve got to find a creative way to get into those networks and position yourself as a professional capable of adding value! Create content, post it on a blog and tweet it out to the world. Chances are, you are reading this because of twitter and linkedin…..See?