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Archive for the ‘SEM Experts’ Category


New Jersey Database Marketing: Explained

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Databases are created when consumers give out their information, such as their name and address, in return for discounts and coupons. This consumer information is then stored in lists and databases throughout the world. As a result of the many different consumers with a variety of interests and information, there is also a multitude of databases in the world.

So what is Database marketing?

Database marketing is essentially the use of these databases. On one side of database marketing is the continued growth of these databases. To keep growing the databases, companies collect information through surveys, online questionnaires and other online forms. The other side of database marketing is using the databases to target potential customers. For example, in an automotive database, a business or advertising agency could target people that are three months away from their last monthly payment on a leased car. As a result, these people will be looking to lease another car and therefore, are good potential customers for car dealerships.

BullsEye Marketing offers regular database marketing and online database marketing to its clients. Database marketing is a cheap tool to ensure that the direct mail or E-blasts are effective. For more information regarding BullsEye Marketing’s database marketing, please visit http://bullseyenj.com/services/database-marketing/.

Contact Us: (888) 678-4890

Search Engine Marketing Right vs. Wrong

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WRONG: Not targeting the correct keywords

It’s easier and more effective to win your locale. Focus your keyword and business listing efforts towards winning the area directly surrounding you. It is often counterintuitive to try and dominate an entire state or even worse, a tri-state area. Take a look at your analytics and see where your target demographic is. If your business caters mainly to a 20-mile radius, focus your keywords on specific locales in that area.

For example, “NY Honda Dealer” is much more difficult to win and when you do, you can’t guarantee that those impressions are from people within your target demographic. Instead, try focusing your keywords to specific towns you want to target (ie, NYC or Manhattan). There’s a big demographic difference between Buffalo, NY and Midtown Manhattan.

WRONG: Forgetting to use negative keywords

When setting up a pay-per-click campaign, many people forget to include negative keywords. These are keywords that you don’t want your ad to show up for when they are searched. For example, if you’re a Honda car dealer you may want “Honda dealer” in your database, but you don’t want your ad to show up when someone looks for a Honda motorcycle dealer. Therefore, “motorcycle” should be in your negative keyword database.

Covering substantial ground with negative keywords ensures that your ad appears when you want it and you don’t waste valuable ad dollars.

WRONG: Not using a tracking number

Wouldn’t it be great if every person who called you because they saw your ad could be differentiated from everyone else? 800 tracking numbers are common when trying to assess the effectiveness of your ad. By using a unique 800 number on each ad source, you can see which investments have the most success in attracting calls and adjust your online marketing dollar deployment accordingly.

WRONG: Not A/B testing

The art of A/B testing is crucial to successful PPC campaigns. An A/B test is where you take your ads and change some of the copy, especially titles, to see which ad is more effective in attracting clickthroughs. Some ads focus on price, while others may focus on service, selection or buyer benefits. The market will click the ad that’s most relevant to what they want. Guess work isn’t necessary when you can test the market in real time. Don’t waste precious ad dollars on ineffective ads.

WRONG: Improperly tracking your clickthroughs

The best way to measure how effective your SEM efforts are is to properly record analytics. When linking to your website in a PPC ad, it is important to build a reference URL that can be tracked. Google offers a free URL building tool that can be found at: http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578

URL building lets you specify your campaign’s source, medium, term (if using paid keywords), content and name. So instead of simply linking to www.bullseyenj.com to find out how our ad performed, we can link to:

http://www.bullseyenj.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=email&utm_content=marketing%2Btips%2Bto%2Bavoid&utm_campaign=email%2Bblast

Your Google Analytics (a whole topic on its own) can identify these specialty links and will sort them by the signifiers specified (in this example, source, medium, content or campaign).

RIGHT: Measure everything

The most important part of analyzing your ad campaigns is to have the most data possible. By following the above methods, you’re guaranteed to use your ad budget more effectively. More importantly, you can hold yourself accountable.

10 Online Marketing Mistakes To Avoid (1 of 2)

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1. Keyword Spam

Most people think the fastest way to getting your website ranked is to fill each page with keyword relevant data. This is only partially correct. While filling your website with content that reflects the search terms you want to be found for, you must be careful not to overdo it.

Google and other major search engines have become hip to keyword padding and will treat your “keyword rich” content as spam. A very useful keyword density tool can be found at: http://www.webconfs.com/keyword-density-checker.php

A keyword density of 1-5% is a successful average. Anything abnormally over that total is subject to being treated as spam.

2. Using Site Submission Tools With Impunity

There are many tools available online that claim to “submit” your website to thousands of search engines, blogs, social networking sites, etc. This is another nefarious practice that search engines have become aware of, consequently blocking most mass submissions made.

If you have a regularly updated website with genuine content, you will get indexed anyway. There needs to be less focus on a quick fix and more work towards building sustainable indexed content. You can no longer trick search engines into indexing your site with keyword overloaded text. The higher quality content you create and the more often you create it, is what gets your site indexed.

3. Using Backlink Services

One of the most important online marketing tactics for getting your site indexed is having other websites link back to yours. Again, there are many free and paid services that claim they will build links for you. These sites generate spam and the backlinks they create are unsustainable.

Here, quality content is again the king. Writing an interesting blog post about the state of your industry is much more likely to generate a quality backlink. The more readers your content receives, the higher chance someone shares your content. By providing value to your audience, you make an investment in yourself.

Check out how many backlinks you have using this free online utility:

http://www.online-utility.org/webmaster/backlink_domain_analyzer.jsp

4. Building A Website Entirely Out Of Flash

While having Flash components on your website can add some flair, be careful not to imbed important content like keyword rich text or pictures that you want indexed. When pictures or text are embedded, search engines do not index this data. Your Flash photo gallery may look pretty, but it’s useless if no one can find it when they search.

Flash has also just become available on the iPhone and the most recent Android OS phones, but the technology is not nearly up to par with personal computers. This results in Flash based websites being incredibly hard to use on mobile devices. If you are going to use flash, you should have a mobile version of the website.

Having an HTML alternative with code that recognizes if the user’s browser is Flash compatible will save your non-up-to-date customers from viewing a broken page.

5. Not Utilizing The <h1> Tags

An <h1> tag is the html code for the most important heading on your website. <h1>An important heading looks like this in the code.</h1> Whatever content is wrapped in that header tag is the first thing search engines look for when indexing your website. This is where your company name and tagline should go. It is also what is viewed at the top of the web browser window, so make sure it’s unique to your company. For example, having “The Best Agency Ever” is cute, but doesn’t tell me much about you. A better <h1> title would be, “My Company Name – This Is The Product We Give You”

These are just a few tips that will help you avoid the common pitfalls of online marketing. Stay tuned for part two of this article, where we cover five more common errors in online marketing.

More Common PPC Mistakes: Using Phone Numbers

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Having a phone number in your PPC ad is an eye catcher, but that’s pretty much all it is. Not too many people will pick up their phone and dial your number if they see it in your ad. The phone number, therefore, is just wasting space that can be used for a good message. SEM experts have proven this quite often by running tests. So instead of putting your phone number into the PPC ad, do what the SEM experts say and use that ad space for a relevant internet marketing message.

Horizontal Search Engine Marketing is the Way to Go

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Those new to SEO NJ have often been told to focus on one very niche topic. One narrow vertical. That has commonly been considered the way to gain credibility, readers, links, and ultimately build website traffic, which assuming the blog/site itself isn’t your primary source of income, could lead to online conversions. But is keeping it narrow really the best way to go?

Another way to go would be to cover as much ground as you possibly can. Throw a wide net out there and see what you catch. Once you see what you’ve caught, maybe you can catch more in the same area. The thinking is that the more ground you cover, the more people you are potentially exposing your work to. It’s going horizontal, rather than vertical.

The more resources you have, the better off you will be, of course. That is why big companies, like car dealerships, with deep pockets find the horizontal content angle so attractive. They can afford to pay to have a lot of people create content. In automotive search engine marketing, they can afford to bid on keywords across the board.

But just because it’s easier for a big company to go horizontal, that doesn’t mean the small SEM experts can’t keep the same principle in mind. Small businesses can find success in e-commerce, despite the fact that Amazon and Walmart are only a click away. The same goes for horizontal content sites.

If you’re going to go the route of trying to cover as much ground a possible, it doesn’t mean that quality should be sacrificed. It’s not about quantity over quality. Search engines like quality, and more importantly, so do users (who also like to share quality content via social networks). Search engines like Google want to deliver the highest quality results possible to the user, and they’re getting better and better at doing this as time progresses.

You may not be an expert in everything. Who is? There are different ways to construct quality content in areas you are less familiar with. For one, obviously, you can get SEM experts to write content for you in any given niche. You can also perform thorough research before tackling a specific topic. The more you learn along the way, the more knowledgeable you will be anyway, and what is an expert if not someone that has a thorough understanding of a subject?

If you can cover more ground, you can attract a wider audience, which means more web site traffic, which means more eyeballs, which means more New Jersey advertising dollars.

Source:  Web Pro News

Retailers Spend More On Paid Search Engine Marketing

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U.S. retailers spent 7% more on paid search campaigns between October and mid-November 2009 across all major search engines — Google, Bing, Yahoo — compared with the same time last year, according to the SearchIgnite Mid Q4 2009 U.S. Search Marketing Report released Monday.

Consumers continue to buy online, but many are spending less on average per transaction. During the first half of the quarter, online conversions rates rose 17% year-on-year, but the average order value declined 27%.

People are buying online, according to Roger Barnette, SearchIgnite president. “We’re feeling pretty good about how the quarter will end up,” he says.

Retailers allocated a higher percentage of ad budgets to Bing this holiday season. U.S. retail advertising agencies dramatically increased their search spend on Bing — up 47% compared with MSN in the year-ago first half of the fourth quarter. Average order values on Bing are 21% higher than across all engines.

Despite retailers’ increased allocation of their paid search dollars to Bing, Google still captures the majority of retail paid search engine marketing campaigns with 75% of all budgets in the first half of the fourth quarter, compared with only 16% on Yahoo and 8% on Bing.

“Although the Monday after Thanksgiving is a big day for online retailers, there are several big days from now through mid-December,” Barnette says. “You can’t really compare it to 2008, because last year everything got thrown out the window. After Thanksgiving it all just fell off a cliff.”

Research from SearchIgnite may reveal a rise in online conversions and retail sales, but findings released Monday from CrownPeak suggests that companies are not making the most of online paid search engine marketing dollars. The study, “Holiday PPC Ad Strategies,” suggests that retailers could do better by improving the connection between paid search ads and Web site landing pages.

In fact, of the 66% of advertisers that did not connect holiday search ads to targeted landing pages, nearly 13% drove traffic to the advertiser’s home page. The remainder misdirected ads to general category pages, or ads that did not integrate the advertising copy. Only 34% of holiday-themed search ads analyzed in the study drove traffic to retail landing pages, but few had a call to action.

Half of product-specific advertisements linked either to a canned search or category page, or the retailers’ home page. Some advertisers — primarily content aggregators — directed ads to specific landing pages, which featured advertisements for other providers of the product.

As part of the two-week study, CrownPeak analyzed search engine marketing results across 10 different holiday-themed phrases, including holiday deals, holiday gifts, Nintendo Wii, Elmo Live, and Christmas decorations. Individual advertisements were analyzed from more than 100 online marketers, all of which leverage the Google AdWords pay-per-click advertising product to disseminate campaigns.

Source:  MediaPost News

Organic SEO NJ Listings and Paid Search Engine Marketing Work Best Together

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A recent study from 2 SEM experts, professors at NYU Stern, revealed that organic search results play a direct role in a paid listing getting clicked. The study showed that if your business has a paid result and an organic result appear simultaneously, your business has a better chance of your paid result getting clicked than if the organic result had not shown up.

Professors Anindya Ghose and Sha Yang have pointed out the following findings from their 52 page long research paper entitled “Analyzing the Relationship between Organic and Sponsored Search Advertising: Positive, Negative or Zero Interdependence?“:

  • On average, the impact of organic SEO NJ listings on paid search engine marketing is 3.5x stronger than vice-versa, because consumers trust organic SEO NJ listings more than paid search engine marketing ads.
  • The positive association between paid search engine marketing and organic SEO NJ listings increases advertisers’ profits by 6.15% when compared to profits with just paid listings or organic listings alone. The positive association is strongest when advertiser-specific keywords are used; it is the weakest when brand-specific and generic keywords are used.
  • CTRs, online conversions rates, and total revenues are higher when both paid search engine marketing and organic SEO NJ listings are present simultaneously rather than when paid search engine marketing ads are absent.
  • The combined CTRs are 5.1% higher when paid search engine marketing and organic SEO NJ listings are present simultaneously rather than when only the organic SEO NJ listings are present.
  • The combined traffic conversion rate goes up by 11.7% when paid search engine marketing and organic SEO NJ listings are present simultaneously rather than when organic SEO NJ listings appear alone.
  • Paid search engine marketing drives up 54% of total revenue growth.

Local Search Made Simple Continued

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In the last post, I wrote about optimizing your website to tell Google and your visitors where you are and what you do. But another important online place where it’s absolutely critical to clearly identify where you are and what you do is your local business profile on Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local.

Your Categories

In Google Maps, you can categorize your business in up to 5 categories. They may be standard categories that are provided by Google Maps or those that you can create yourself. Use 1-2 of the standard Google Maps categories that best fit your business, and then create 3-4 that contain your best keyword terms plus the geography terms for which you want to be found.

For example, as a New Jersey online marketing company, we classify ourselves in the already established categories of Advertising, and Internet. For our other four categories we use the top keyword phrases for which we want to be found, such as SEO NJ, Internet marketing, or automotive search engine marketing.

The categories you choose may be based on any criteria that are important to you. Some suggestions are your most profitable procedures or the categories in which your strongest competitors have categorized themselves. The categories may also be based on some other criteria known only to you.

Use geographic terms in your categories in order to make it completely clear to Google where you do business. Using the names of nearby areas may also help your site rank better for those searches. For example, our office is in Westfield, NJ, but most searchers use “New Jersey” or “NJ” in their queries, so we use New Jersey terms in our categories instead of Westfield terms.

However, Yahoo Local and Bing Local do not allow you to create your own categories. So you must choose as many categories as you are allowed, picking the most appropriate and most important first.

Your Descriptions

Also use geography terms within the description area of your profiles, where you have complete control of what is written. These descriptions are crawled and indexed by the local spiders, so make certain they find your most important geographic terms within them.

Your Attributes

Attributes (only in Google Maps) allow you to go crazy with terms to tell spiders and humans what you do and where you do it. You can, in essence, create and name a field whatever you want and then populate it with terms describing that property.

Almost every business pulls people from both its immediate location and surrounding areas. So, you could create a field named Locations Served and list the towns and neighborhoods near you and from which your business typically draws customers.

Some business, like plumbing, carpet cleaning, lawn care, and pet sitting go to the customer instead of customers coming to them. For a business like this, you could title a field Service Areas and list the places where you are willing to travel to provide your services.

You can also include attributes that allow you to use keyword terms that contain geographic modifiers. For example, if you have an online agency in New Jersey, you could create a field titled Online Services and populate it with terms like “New Jersey internet marketing”, “online marketing in NJ”, “SEO NJ”, “SEM experts NJ”, “NJ website development”, and “New jersey reputation management”. This is an effective way to help you rank for long-tail terms that apply to where you are and what you do.

Your Coupons

Although not every business type has been traditionally associated with coupons, creative entrepreneurs are finding ways to use them to their benefit. Nearly every business can offer some sort of discount or value-added coupon for its goods or services. For inspiration you can look around to see what your competitors are doing with coupons. Then, when you create your coupons, include your best keyword terms plus your location in the offers.

It’s highly likely that attributes from Google Maps Local Business Listings and coupons from all of the platforms are pushed out to other places on the Web, such as Google Base and coupon Web sites, so the impact can be very far-ranging.

Local business listings are designed to help searchers find businesses in particular geographic locations. Make it easy for Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local to tell where you are and what you do to increase the odds they will find your business when a relevant search is made.

What Do You Do and Where Do You Do It From? – Local Search Made Simple

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What and where? These are the two big questions that must be answered over and over again in local SEM.

Local searchers ask these questions implicitly and explicitly. In some cases, geo-terms are used and in other cases they aren’t. For example, search queries can be “SEM experts in NJ,” “SEO NJ” or simply “SEM experts” or “SEO.”

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo want to know the same things about your business that searchers want to know. Where is it and what products/services does it offer?

Are you answering these critical questions for your potential sales leads as well as the search engines?

Many times local businesses choose a website development firm based on the attractiveness of the websites they create without giving any thought to SEO. Even those website designers who know how to help with search rankings are rarely knowledgeable enough about the specifics of ranking for local search. As a result, the local business owner ends up with a beautiful website that never ranks for competitive keywords or attracts any new customers.

By following a few simple tips and tricks, you can prevent this from happening to your online marketing investment.

Your Home Page

You need to make it clear to people who land on your page what you do and where you do it. Simply because everyone in New Jersey knows where Broad Street is, it doesn’t mean that everyone who sees a Broad Street address on your website will know that you’re in New Jersey. The searcher may be entirely new to the area or just passing through, which may be the reason why someone may be searching for your business in the first place.

So, if you’re a New Jersey advertising firm, don’t expect people to look around to find that information on your site. Say it clearly near the top of the page and do it in text form, that way it is unmistakable to the search engines as well as to the searchers. Don’t assume anything! It’s important to make this information so clear that it can’t possibly be misunderstood.

Your Page Title

This is the most important ranking factor for SEM. And if that isn’t enough of a reason, then think about it from the human point of view.

Google displays the page title as the headline in the listing that appears for your pages in the SERPs. If someone is for searching for “search engine marketing new jersey” and the headline they see in the search results says “THE SEM experts in NJ,” it’ll grab their attention much better than a headline that says “Search Marketers”.

Google will also bold the words that were in a search query in the title when it appears on the page. So, for example, if a searcher in Central NJ asks for “co-op advertising” and your page title says “The Co-Op Advertising Professionals in Central NJ”, then your title will look like this to the searcher: “The Co-Op Advertising Professionals in Central NJ”.

Your Meta Tags

Along with your page title, these are also displayed in the SERPs. Meta tags are like the ad copy that entices people to click on your listings and go to your website.

Much like the page title, if your meta tags have the terms used in the search query then Google will bold these words on the SERPs. If the tags don’t contain the keyword phrase that was used in the query, then Google will pull a snippet off the page that contains that phrase.

It’s important to use your best keyword terms in your meta tags because, even though they may not help your pages to rank, they will likely encourage searchers to click through to your site.

In my next post, I will give more tips and tricks on how to clearly tell the search engines and the searchers where you are and what you do.

Internet Marketing Revenue Falls for Second Consecutive Quarter for the First Time Since the Dot-Com Bust

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Online marketing slipped 5% in Q2 as the recession extended the first decline in online marketing since 2002.

This marked the second consecutive quarterly decline in online marketing since the dot-com bust at the start of the decade. That decline resulted in eight consecutive quarters of falling online ad sales.

In the first half of 2009, internet marketing totaled $10.9 billion, down 5% from the same period of 2008. Almost 50% of that money has been spent on search engine marketing with Google, making Google the controller of 2/3 of the U.S. search market. In fact, Google’s ad revenue for the first half of the year increased by 4%.

SEM experts predict that revenue will pick up as the U.S. economy recovers and advertisers increase their efforts to connect with consumers who are going to the Internet for information and entertainment.

The Internet’s advertising prices are also lower than those offered in traditional media. As a result, these advertising trends are the primary cause of traditional media suffering much steeper advertising declines than the Internet.

For example, print advertising has been falling for the past three years, including a 29% drop in Q2. Marketing analysts doubt that all the advertising dollars that have migrated away from traditional media will return, even after the economy recovers.

–Source:  The Associated Press 10/05/09

Geo-Target for Paid Search Engine Marketing

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Do you geo-target your paid search ads? If you only sell products to certain areas, then you most likely do. If you sell products nationally, you most like do not. But that may be a mistake.

Most people geo-target for two reasons: either to support the geographic areas their business supports, or for local promotions or events. While geo-targeting is perfect in those situations, sem experts agree that using geo-targeting in your regular campaigns can have some crucial advantages, even if you already have a successful paid search account.

So why should you geo-target your successful paid search engine marketing campaign? Well, geo-targeting provides an additional layer of data that is more profound than the keyword level. It complements the knowledge of which keyword is performing by adding information about which state a keyword is performing in. This enables your bidding decisions to be made with better data based on certain regional factors:

  • Competition: The number of advertisers is different for each region. So your CPCs will be very different.
  • Product price: New York advertising may cost more than New Jersey advertising. So, your CPA metrics should be different for each region, because revenue will vary based on location. This impacts your ROI and, consequently, your allowable CPC.
  • Online Conversions rate: Some locations are in better economic situations than others, and are more likely to purchase and get traffic conversions. In other cases, one location may have users that are more Internet savvy. Many factors can affect your online conversions rate, and these factors will vary by geography.
  • Brand awareness: Your brand may be stronger in some parts of the country. This might be based on the way various media is purchased, or store locations. This difference will impact your CTRs, and therefore your quality score.
  • Ad copy: It may be hot in Miami and cold in Buffalo. There are also geographical differences in what things are called, or ways things are talked about, i.e. sub vs. hoagie. The message in your ad copy could target these differences.

In order to implement this strategy, you can replicate any given campaign exactly as it is. For example, if you have a campaign called “marketing,” copy it and call it “marketing NJ” or “marketing New Jersey” for targeting New Jersey (or whatever region you like).

In regards to the original “marketing” campaign, you can either remove New Jersey or keep it national. I suggest you keep it national, so that those prospects who can’t be identified geographically are still able to see your ad. This is especially important if that campaign is already working well, and allows your campaigns to maintain current web site traffic levels.

The only downside to this is the duplication of your keyword list. If you were managing 200 keywords in your “marketing” campaign, you will now be managing 400 keywords across both campaigns. This will add work to your bid management and reporting duties. But the impact this will have to your campaign metrics will more than justify the slight workload increase.

Think about the states or locations that will get you the most online conversions. In order for this strategy to work, you don’t have to select a single state, though that would make it much easier for reporting the data. It can be a collection of states, locations, cities, etc.

The idea is to go deeper than your keyword level, gain profound insights into how your campaigns are performing, and optimize against that data.

Integration Online Marketing

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So what is integration marketing, you ask?  Well, it’s a process of integrating your product offer into someone else’s sales funnel.

A good example of this is Coke. Coke is one of the largest brands in the world. They sell millions of products every year and have a pretty good relationship with their customer base. But if you notice, Coke doesn’t sell any of their products from dedicated Coke stores.

So how do they sell their product? We all know but probably never thought about it fully. What both Coke does is use integration marketing. They use other people’s sales funnel to get their product sold and give the seller a commission, all while making a profit.  Coke gets other people to do all the marketing work for them, all they do is supply the seller with a quality product that the customer wants and gives a commission.

For our purposes as sem experts, or online marketing services, we will be placing our product/services into other people’s sales funnel. More specifically we need to place our product/service offer in two places:

  1. Another business’s product “thank you page”
  2. Another business’s newsletter signup “thank you page”

Both places are almost always unused real estate and they get extremely targeted traffic directly to your product/service.

This strategy is a complete win/win for both you and the other business on whom’s “thank you page” you will be placing the ad on. Once the ad is up it runs completely on auto-pilot. After the owner sets it up they don’t have to do anything except watch the commissions roll in. There is no need for them to sign-up for anything on their own nor do they have to pay for anything. You would supply them with an html affiliate link and let it work on its own.

Your perks include an unlimited number of “thank you pages”, a completely automated system, and letting others do the work for you.

Experience is Key for Any Online Agency

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By now, all you small businesses must know that having an internet presence is necessary for your business to succeed.  It’s certainly not enough to just have a website.  You need an entire comprehensive internet marketing strategy.  A good online agency will offer a greatly scalable website, SEO capabilities, an SEM campaign, and e-commerce solutions, all tied together with trackability.  But how do you know which agency you should go with?

The first thing that comes to mind is experience.  Has the agency that you are considering had enough experience in the marketplace?  Is it capable of innovation when it comes to new and exciting marketing ideas.  Agencies with experience have had the time to develop strategies to keep up with the pace of the marketplace.  These are usually the agencies that are leaders in their areas of business.

The second thing is, of course, the online marketing services that the agency offers.  Does it just offer website hosting, or just website development?  Does it offer an entire comprehensive package of marketing tools?  It would be best for you if you can consolidate your marketing strategy into one agency and not have to go to a number of separate agencies for each service.  For example, if you are a car dealer, it is not enough for your agency to just offer automotive search engine marketing.  It should offer search engine marketing, along with organic search engine optimization, website development, website hosting, database marketing, etc.  Again, larger companies with more experience will most likely fit this bill.

Finally, the agency’s reputation for increasing not only web site traffic, but also traffic conversions should be the deciding factor if you’re still on the fence.  Being able to carry out a comprehensive internet marketing strategy is all well and good, but if it doesn’t increase your traffic conversions then what are you really paying for?  The ability to increase online conversions should always be the bottom line for any online agency.

Finding the Best Online Marketing Company

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Finding an online marketing company with good SEM experts is a lot like shopping for a car.  You definitely don’t buy the first car that you see.  You shop around, look for the best deal, the best prices, and the best product.  Well, you should go through that same process for hiring the best online agency as well.

First of all, you should find out whether the online agency actually does search engine optimization, or if they just claim to do so but do something else in reality.  I know that some SEO NJ firms claim to perform SEO services, but instead they just buy the sponsored links at the top of the search results page.  Anyone can do that, you don’t need an SEO consultation firm to do that for you.  The whole point of SEO is improving organic search results, that is to say, all the search results that come underneath the sponsored links.  Improving organic search results has nothing to do with buying sponsored links from Google or Yahoo.

Secondly, you’ll want to find out if the online agency only offers SEO services, or if they also offer all other types of online marketing services.  The other types of online marketing are SEM – search engine marketing (that’s where the buying of sponsored links comes in), email  or database marketing, website design, website development, and pay-per-click (PPC, sometimes referred to as CPC, or cost-per-click).  The best online agencies even do their own website hosting.  A great internet marketing campaign will utilize all aspects of internet marketing, not just one.

Your website will probably be the most important and powerful marketing tool that you’ll have, so make sure that your online agency is on the same page as you when it comes to long term success.  And as when dealing with any salesperson, pay attention to how your questions are being answered (are they actually answering your questions or just beating around the bush), ask for references, and most of all, trust your gut (human intuition exists for a reason).

Blogging for SEO to Get Online Conversions

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Blogging is not just for running public relations/reputation management campaigns.  It can and should also be used for SEO, or search engine optimization.

Search engine optimization is a way to get your business at the top of a Google or Yahoo search results page. This is the most effective form of search engine marketing, or online marketing. If you use Google to search for the service/product that your business provides, does your business show up on the first page of results? How about the second page? Maybe the third page? Does it show up at all? Chances are that your business is nowhere to be found.

Most people these days use search engines to perform product/service research before they buy anything. And more than half of the activity on the Internet is on search engines. So what does this mean for your business? You need to get indexed on search engines so people can see your business when they are searching for a product/service that they need. If you do get indexed, then you will probably have an almost exponential increase in business since the marketing potential of the Internet is unlimited.  You’ll increase your web site traffic and get more online conversions (which can be anything from form sign-ups to actual sales).

So how do you get indexed? Well, that’s where blogging comes in. But first you must understand how search engines work. Suppose you go to Google and search for “New Jersey advertising”.  Without getting into the technical aspect of it, especially since that would take up a couple of blog entries itself, simply put Google will run through the entire World Wide Web and find the sites with the most occurrences of the phrase “New Jersey advertising”. “New Jersey advertising” here is a keyword.

If you blog for your company, then you can utilize relevant keywords so when people search for the service that you provide, your business will come up. So the point of blogging is to win those specific keywords that are relevant to your business. And since blogging is very frequent, it is easy to win keywords since you can use them over and over and over again.  Industry experts, like these guys, agree that blogging may be the most effective form of search engine optimization.

But getting indexed on that first page of Google isn’t the last step.  After you’ve run a successful blogging campaign, which can take a while, your website needs to be able to get traffic conversions.  Let’s say your an online marketing company in New Jersey, like us.  Once you’ve been indexed on Google and someone searching for “SEO NJ” clicks on your site, your site needs to be able to make the sale or get that person’s information.  To get the maximum amount of online conversions, you can have people fill out submission forms for email newsletters, videos, and other things of that nature.  Then you can simply follow up on all your leads.  But that’s a story for another day.

Build Website Traffic by Keeping Your Website Updated

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The internet is a great forum to cultivate A.D.D. habits. Most people using it get bored very quickly. A big reason why a lot of websites start out good but then fall off the radar is that they are not updated. Any online marketing company can tell you that your website’s structure, layout, and content plays a big role in your online marketing efforts (that is why website development should be a part of your internet marketing strategy).  As a result, your website needs to be updated regularly. That doesn’t mean that you need to constantly add new content every second. But it does mean that it heavily depends on your industry.

Let’s say that you are a car dealer.  Automotive search engine marketing, or more specifically SEO, is almost necessary to build website traffic.  You need to keep your website updated with new car models, new deals, or even future concept cars from the manufacturer.  Your website’s job is to keep the audience interested and entertained.  Imagine if all the car enthusiasts in your area went to your website.  Even if they go there to just be entertained (by any interactive media you may have on the website, or just videos) chances are that they will buy from you when looking for their next car.  In other words, the more you keep your website updated, the more traffic conversions you will get.

If you regularly update your website with new content relevant to your industry, you can seem like THE industry expert.  Most people don’t want to be sold, especially by any random schmoe who doesn’t know about the product/service itself, but rather knows only how to sell the product/service.  Most people want to know that they are getting solid, factual information from people who know what they are talking about.  By keeping your website updated regularly, you can be that person/business.  Your website can be THE place that people go to for information regarding your industry.  Take us for example.  We are an online marketing company that specializes in co-op advertising, database marketing, mobile marketing, automotive search engine marketing, reputation management, and website development.  We consider ourselves to be SEM experts.  As an internet marketing best practice, we keep our main website, which is other our blog site, constantly updated.  We blog about online marketing techniques, online marketing services, and current events in the world of online marketing.  Even though we really just got the ball rolling, by updating regularly we will soon have enough content on our site to be considered scholars or experts in the industry.  Once we’ve accomplished that goal, once we’ve established ourselves as industry experts, getting traffic conversions will be much easier.  When people think that you are an expert in your industry, they rightly assume that you know what you are doing.  You will no longer have to go out of your way to sell, as your expertise will sell itself.

So, depending on whatever industry your business is a part of, you’ll need to update your website daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever consumers of your industry demand (aren’t we all at the mercy of our customers). But beware, once you start updating your content more quickly, your site visitors will expect the content to be updated in that same frequency for the rest of your site’s lifespan. So be like the tortoise, start out slow and pace yourself. You can regularly update your site with new content such as pics, videos, or even text. That way, your regular visitors won’t abandon your site completely.

Have an Online Marketing Presence to Stay Alive in the 21st Century

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Let’s face it.  The economy is still not that great.  But there’s an upside to any recession.  Businesses now have the opportunity to position themselves for when the market turns around.  If you’re in the right position, your business will boom once the recession is over.  And even though the economy is down, people still need products/services.  So how do you position yourself properly?…DEALS!

“People need deals and deals need people.”  You remember that scene in “A Beautiful Mind” when Russell Crowe, er, I mean John Nash, says the best option is the one that benefits both the individuals involved but also the group as a whole?  In other words, you need to create deals for your product/service that are mutually beneficial for both the consumer and for you.  The economy will stabilize once we’ve reached equilibrium.

And how do we reach that equilibrium, you ask?  The WEB!  The INTERNET!  The entire ONLINE ARENA!  Online marekting is the wave of the new century.  And now is the best time, if any, to get your business into the 21st century.  If you do, you’ll be in the best position when people start buying again.  Why?  Because there are a lot more people using the internet right now than you think.  In fact, the internet is very quickly becoming the hub of all media.  The internet allows you to watch TV and movies, listen to the radio, or just download music, talk with friends (and even people you thought you would never see again thanks to a little something called social networking, i.e. Facebook, MySpace), buy pretty much anything you want, pay bills, do all your banking, and even get medical advice.  The virtual world is slowly replacing the real one.

Of course that is not to say that traditional media advertising has no place in your marketing strategy.  Traditional media, such as print advertising, television advertising, outdoor advertising, or direct mail, still serves the same function it has for years.  But the market is rapidly becoming fully virtual.  Instead of advertising your big savings deal in any traditional media, you can do it for alot cheaper through online marketing, such as by submitting an online press release, for example.  You can market your deals on your own website, on your competitor’s websites, on any search engine, or any industry experts’ websites in order to build web site traffic.  And the precision of internet marketing will maximize your ROI since potential leads will all be those that are already interested in your product/service.

In order to fully corner the market, I suggest that you invest in all media, both traditional and online.  However, the current economy may force you to be a bit more frugal with your capital.  If that is the case, then you should certainly focus more on your online marketing.

So when people start buying again, you better be prepared to meet them half-way.  And when people start buying again and go online to do so, if your business isn’t online it probably won’t survive.  In order to stay in business and meet the demands of the new century, you’ll have to have a basic web foundation.

Here’s a quick overview of how you can have a successful web foundation:

In the next couple of posts, I’ll give you some tips on how to get your money’s worth from the world of the Internet and online marketing.  We’ll go over what you’ll need in order to have a comprehensive web foundation, including a website, an email  database marketing campaign, a social networking campaign, a blogging campaign (for SEO and reputation management), and search engine marketing.  It’ll definitely be worth your investment.