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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

Small Businesses with Big Online Marketing Dreams

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imageA new year is here and now that we’re already knee deep in the first quarter it’s time to set the goals for 2011. It seems the most popular change in small businesses this year is the plan to invest more into their marketing efforts. According to a survey done online in the past month 77% of small businesses plan to expand their business this year. Also, out of the people that wished to expand their business almost half of them wanted the focus on  marketing and sales to be their first priority. With businesses making marketing a major priority again, and with many businesses starting new ventures in online marketing it is safe to say that it will be a good year for advertising.

However, what makes this year different than other good marketing years in the past is the new desire for small businesses to invest more in online marketing avenues.  Now this may seem to many people as a little late for a online marketing boom considering that the internet has been around for a while now. Yet, the survey also revealed the sad fact that only 54% of businesses that took part in the survey had a company website. Shocking I know, but this explains why so many small companies see this as the year to get their company on the web. This push for internet marketing can also get small businesses noticed if the are located outside of a major city like New York or Philadelphia.

If your one of these small businesses looking to make 2011 your marketing year then call us for a free consultation at (877) 279-1055

Online Advertising Takes the Lead

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To quote Bob Dylan, “The times they are a changin’.” Now granted I imagine when he wrote that lyric he wasn’t thinking about marketing, but the world of marketing is changing in a big way. Recently online ads have pulled ahead of print newspaper ads for the first time. This is a huge shift and the digital marketing research firm believes it will only continue to rise. They estimate that the spending for online ads will reach $25.8 billion in the near future.

While this is big news it is not unexpected. Online advertising has been slowly overtaking print ads for years now. However, while it may not be surprising it still is a big step forward for digital marketing. More spending for online ads can mean more tracking of an ad’s success or failure through services like Google Analytics. It can also cause a demand for new online tools that can help reach customers more easily. Yep the times truly are a changin’.

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.

What To Do If Your Website Has a Google Penalty: Google Analytics

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Check your Google analytics (or your web stats program) to see when the problem first started occurring. You will quickly be able to see where the dip in web site traffic occurred and allow you to associate with what possible internet marketing efforts where conducted at that time for the problem to occur.

In conclusion, be sure you have covered all of these bases. Spend time learning search engine optimization best practices and Google’s webmaster guidelines as well

What To Do If Your Website Has a Google Penalty: New Website Changes

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If you have made any website development changes over the last 6 to 12 months, go through all those changes. Identify any new content that might have a bit too many keywords listed in it. If you have updated any links to any of your pages make sure you did not add too many links pointing to sites that Google does not like. Per Google guidelines a web page should not exceed fifty links. You don’t want to make too many changes backwards just yet. Make some and then wait and give it some time to see if that was the issue. Once you have a penalty it could take some time along with trial and error until your website development team finds the problem.

What To Do If Your Website Has a Google Penalty: Google Webmaster Tools

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If you don’t have Google webmaster tools installed on your website yet even without the penalty this should be the very first step you take. Google webmaster tools allows you to see what types of links are pointing directly to your site. This will be a very good and important starting point for your investigation. Once Google webmaster tools is installed take a step back and go through all your links. Make sure none are pointed to any spammy or irrelevant websites. If you have found any that might not be right for your website you will have to contact blog and website owners to remove the links. By installing Google webmaster tools on your site you also show the search engines that you have nothing to hide and you welcome them to look at your efforts.

What To Do If Your Website Has a Google Penalty

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These things happen to website owners and business owners from time to time. If you think that your website has been given some sort of Google penalty then the best thing you can do is stop any new online marketing and make a list of all your search engine optimization and internet marketing efforts that you have executed for the last year. Sometimes the problem could be one minor link sitting on a website or it can be a much deeper rooted issue that has been building up for some time. You might have been given a penalty at Google if your rankings suddenly dropped or visitors from Google dropped over time. In drastic situations, your website is unlisted from Google. There are places to start looking to solve the Google penalty problem, which we’ll talk about in the next few posts.

Email Blast Sample

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If you got our email (see below), then you know that our in-house art department can create the most visually stunning email blasts that draw attention to your business and end in online conversions.  This email blast, which was created by our in-house art department, was used for self-promotion.  Notice the eye-capturing visuals, simple copy, and clear and direct message.

Local Search is About to Boom!

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As cell phones with internet access increasingly become the norm, people remain connected to the online world 24/7.  As a result, B. Alan’s method of local search marketing, targeting specific geographies and localities, is about to boom.  Business owners need to jump on board in order to get maximum exposure to all potential customers.

See why!

Some More Pay-Per-Click Mistakes Most People Make: Confusing Click-Through-Rate with Traffic Conversion Rate

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Online marketing services love to test PPC ads, but what should marketers look for when choosing which ads to keep and which to delete? Looking only at the click-through-rate is a false indication of a better performing ad. If you add the word “free” to your ad, you’ll see a jump in your click-through-rate but what good will it do if it doesn’t lead to online conversions?

More Pay-Per-Click Mistakes Most People Make: Paying for Negative Keywords

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Google and other search engines allow you to report keywords for which your ads should not be shown. If you’re paying for “broad match” keywords, you’ll see a lot of web site traffic from people who have typed your keyword with the word “free”, “stock”, or “jobs”. Do you want to pay money for visitors who’re looking to pay $0 for what you sell? Do you want to pay money for visitors who are researching stock info on what you sell? Be sure to use that “negative keyword folder” to get rid of these worthless clicks.

Pay-Per-Click Mistakes Most People Make: Lack of Tracking

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You must be able to track every visit to your site from PPC advertising by the exact keyword, campaign, and ad group used. To do so you can set variables or integrate your PPC campaigns with your website analytics software. This is the only way you can really calculate the effectiveness of every keyword you use to build website traffic.

Some More Common Pay-Per-Click No-Nos: Ignoring the Seasonal Copy

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Including a seasonal discount or a holiday special in your ad copy is a great way to increase your click-through-rate and online conversions. Furthermore, your ad will clearly stand out from the rest. Make it a Christmas special, Spring special, Summer blow out, or whatever the present time permits.

Common Pay-Per-Click No-Nos: A Lack of Affiliate Control

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The company name usually is the keyword that leads to the most web site traffic conversions. Your affiliates know this and advertise under your company’s name in paid search engine marketing. What happens is that not only do you now have to pay your affiliate for the sale they brought you, but you’ve already paid your due with your own advertising methods for that customer to know your name before the search. Be sure to prevent your affiliates advertising in paid search engine marketing for your company’s name. All they are doing is collecting the cash from your own internet marketing New Jersey advertising.

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.

Common PPC Mistakes: Being Boring

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Some marketers still go online, search for a keyword, look at the competitions’ ads and create ads that conform to the rest. Even though you may not want to conform, this is a crucial step in the internet marketing New Jersey process. Anytime you create a paid ad you MUST look at what is already being said by the competition. But, instead of just being a part of the crowd, you need to be creative and come up with something unique but relevant. If your ad conforms to the rest of them, it won’t catch the eye of the consumer. It’s a tough one but you have to identify what is unique about you and why people should buy from you. Just make sure that it’s what your target market wants and cares about.

Reputation Management Lessons to be Learned from Tiger Woods' Mistakes

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It can take years to build a brand, but minutes to destroy it. Brand spokespeople can be a brand’s own worst enemy by inadvertently inflicting wounds that could lead to the brand’s untimely demise. Luckily, the American public is quite forgiving. You just have to go about it the right way. This requires some reputation management expertise that, unfortunately, Tiger Woods doesn’t seem to have.

The first lesson in reputation management is to shift the public’s anger and resentment (or even hate in some cases) to the actual misconduct itself and away from the person/business that did the misconduct. This is because public sentiment depends on how you respond to rumors of misconduct rather than on the misconduct itself.

The second lesson in reputation management is to plan for crisis management. If you have both an operational and a communications response, you will hopefully maintain confidence in your brand among key stakeholders such as customers, employees, investors, and suppliers.

The third lesson in reputation management is to start early. Tiger waited way too long to comment on the media rumors about his indiscretions and the rumors blew way out of proportion. No comment or too little comment from you gives others permission to comment on your behalf, leaving more room for rumor and speculation. Commenting early will put you in control of the story.

And the final lesson in reputation management that is to be learned from Tiger Woods’ is to make sure there are no information leaks. You need to make sure your public relations teams or departments aren’t speaking with any outsiders or media. Word travels fast, so confidentiality is key.

Reputation management is a tough job because you need to keep in mind how people react to certain things. You need to understand human behavior at a sociological and psychological level. These few lessons will help you stay ahead of your game, but it’s probably in your best interest to hire an online agency that does reputation management. An online agency will not only have the know-how, but also the connections to properly perform some crisis management. And while they’re doing that, you can continue to focus on your business.

Common PPC Mistakes: Too Many Fraud Networks

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Every paid search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, has a network to which it distributes your ads. Unfortunately, however, many of these networks are fraudulent and do not refer quality web site traffic, thereby reducing your traffic conversions. You need to look into your web analytics and find the domain names that bring you web site traffic with a high bounce rate, usually around 90%. Google allows you to drop these domains into a “negative excluded sites” folder, while Yahoo and others make you call them to address the problem. Doing this will prevent you from paying for low quality traffic.

Common PPC Mistakes: Not Remaining Relevant on Landing Pages

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Whatever you say in your paid search engine online marketing ad you need to repeat on the landing page, or where you’re taking the visitor! If you are advertising a 60% sale in your internet marketing paid search ad, you can be certain that people are going to looking for it when they arrive at your landing page. All the SEM experts say that if people don’t see the 60% sale anywhere on the landing page, they’ll leave. Your landing page needs to reflect exactly what you promised or advertised in your PPC ad.

Common PPC Mistakes: #1 May Not Always Be A Good Thing

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Being the #1 ad in any paid search engine internet marketing results, such as automotive search engine marketing, is not always the best strategy, especially if you’re paying a lot per click and the keyword is too broad. One of the best ranks in paid search engine online marketing is #3. This is because most people do research before they buy online. As a result, being #1 could mean that you’ll attract visitors who might have not used the right keyword for their search or ones that are just starting their research. When they are ready to buy, you’ll be the last one they remember. As a result, you may have alot of web site traffic, but your traffic conversions will be low, and consequently so will you ROI.

Common PPC Mistakes: Broad Keywords

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In the next couple of posts we will talk about some of the most common PPC (paid search engine marketing) mistakes that people make in their online marketing campaigns that, if fixed, can earn any business an extra 70% of revenue or save thousands of dollars a month.

The first mistake people make is bidding on keywords that are too broad or general. Each industry has its giant keywords that bring in the most web site traffic. However, there are many more variations of those keywords that searchers are using. The more focus you put on the long tail keywords, the less your PPC campaign will cost. Also, your ads will be ranked higher if the keywords are more closely matched. Take your 100 keywords and make them into 200 by just looking at your own web statistics for exact keyword variations people use to search for your product.

Paid Search Engine Marketing NJ Can Help Test and Improve SEO NJ Organic Search

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Paid search engine marketing has an important place in testing and improving SEO NJ organic search. It’s great for immediately testing whether keywords and keyword phrases have a reasonably good traffic conversion rate to a lead or a sale.

This instant feedback can inform SEO NJ organic search content creation efforts and internal and external link strategies. Another often overlooked use for paid search engine marketing is to hone messages on SEO NJ organic landing pages in order to improve the traffic conversion rate when top SEO NJ organic listings are achieved.

You should always test the options using some form of on-off pulse testing along with a good analytics and campaign management platform.

With on-off testing, you can measure the shift away from the top ranked organic listing into the paid search listing. With this data set, you can calculate the true ROI of paid search engine marketing NJ. Subtract the cannibalized clicks from the paid click totals, and recalculate the CPC for the remaining clicks.

For example, the paid search ad gets 200 clicks at a $1 CPC, but you would have gotten half of those clicks anyway on your organic listing. Your true CPC, then, is $2 and can be used to calculate the ROI based on the online conversions through the paid listings.

Often the CPC traffic conversion rate is higher than the same clicks coming through the SEO NJ organic page because you’ve optimized the landing page. But you don’t get to pick the landing page that Google, Yahoo, or Bing select for a particular keyword or keyword phrase. If that keyword is your company name or brand, chances are the search engines are selecting your home page as the most relevant for your brand.

This means that home page web site traffic doesn’t convert as well as specific pages you’ve created for paid search engine marketing NJ. Paid search landing pages don’t need to follow the same guidelines as a page designed to rank well organically. Paid search landing pages can be more liberal with the use of Flash-embedded content or have shorter copy or leaner navigation.

Your paid search engine marketing New Jersey campaign can also be used to test changes to your well-ranked organic pages at little to no risk of losing that organic position. If you knew a different home page would convert better for brand web site traffic, in nearly every case you could make significant changes to your home page without losing your top ranking for your brand.

There may be inherent differences between the searchers who select the paid listings and those who choose the organic ones, so this experiment isn’t perfect. But it does control partially for that fact by including your current home page or keyword landing page in the mix as a control. Clone your current top-ranked page, rename it, and put it on your site with either a robots.txt exclusion or a “noindex” meta tag so if the search engines find the page they won’t think it’s duplicate content.

Once you find the ad copy and landing pages that outperform the original home page, you can decide how to adapt the organic user experience to reflect the optimal page from your paid experiment.

eBay Black Friday

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This is a map of the U.S. with eBay’s sales numbers from Black Friday.

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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

PPC is the Best Internet Marketing New Jersey Advertising Strategy

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If you plan to begin a pay-per-click search engine marketing NJ campaign, you need information. Some critical information to run a proper campaign is where to publicize and how much to promote.

PPC, or pay-per-click, is a great way to advertise a website, service, or product. By placing pay-per-click advertisements on search engine results pages, you are encouraging potential customers to gain knowledge of your product through their search queries. Like all New Jersey advertising, it only works if it is directed at the right people, at the right time, and in the right way. However, as a result of millions of people searching for any single thing at any given time, you can surely count on getting to the right people. With the amount of people on the Internet using any search engine at any given time, you can be sure that you will build website traffic; and given that your website development team has set up your website properly, you can be sure that your online conversions will increase dramatically.

The larger the search engine is, the higher the price will be per click. Additionally, the keywords used will also effect the price per click. Each time a searcher clicks on your ad, you will have to pay that price. So you must make sure that you make every click count by making the buying process on your website simple.

Back to Basics of Internet Marketing NJ

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Many businesses are joining the world of internet marketing, especially in New Jersey. Online marketing can be categorized into three categories: market analysis, search engines, and e-zine advertising.

Internet marketing research is figuring out how your investment can fit into your online marketing campaign as a whole, determining the people, places, and which of your products you should focus your investment on. This analysis is the foundation of any internet marketing New Jersey campaign. Investing the right amount of money to the right groups is essential in internet marketing NJ research and online marketing in general. Proper research can eventually determine the outcome of your entire online marketing campaign.

Search engines are a very common type of internet marketing New Jersey. Search engines are divided into two sections: search engines and directories, and pay per click engines. While the most favored and effective type of online marketing New Jersey, this category is also the most time consuming and requires the most amount of investment. For example, automotive search engine marketing NJ requires a few months to be truly effective, so it is best if that type of work is left to a knowledgeable expert.

Another effective form of internet marketing NJ is e-zine advertising. Using the data collected from your internet marketing research, you ought to be well tuned in to what your audience wants. Find out what kinds of on-line publications or newsletters your customers are inquisitive about, and purchase advertising from these sources. Ads typically are on the market in three basic sorts: solo ads, top-line ads, and classified ads. Solo ads are the best ads since they are sent to the entire publication list. These ads also are helpful for online marketing because they contain solely your ad. But, solo ads are the most expensive. While classified ads could be a cost-effective alternative, they will not be enough for your online marketing campaign to return a positive ROI. This is because they are tiny advertisements that are positioned at the tip of the newsletter, and are sometimes overlooked by the bulk of readers.

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

Bing Offers Paid Search Engine Marketing for News

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Microsoft thinks it has found a way around Google’s dominance of search engine marketing, a way to make its Bing search engine a winner.

Money.

Microsoft has suggested to high web site traffic news sites that they get unlisted from Google, by writing robots.txt files that keep them out of Google’s index, in exchange for Microsoft cash and placement on its Bing search engine.

If Microsoft is ready to take the next step, and build something like Google News for those sites it’s paying for placement, with enough online advertising to make up its costs from paying for links, then the search competition has a new front.

Bing may finally have a chance.

Let’s say a news site makes enough from a page view that they can pay their employees. The more page views the employees’ content generates, the more money they make, and the more money the website makes.

Now what if that news site decided to take Microsoft up on its offer, and the employees’ stories disappeared from the Google?

The news site would take a short-term hit to their web site traffic, and they would lose money.

But Microsoft might use co-op advertising to try and bring this web site traffic back to the news site, running ads reading, say, “read so-and-so’s article, only through Bing,” maybe with that employee’s picture. Some of these ads would run on the news site, so in addition to the link payment there’s online ad revenue coming in to the publisher.

Now let’s assume that, instead of compensating the employees based on page views, the news site just paid them a straight salary, and divorced them from its business model. Now its search deal with Microsoft becomes none of the employees’ business, just as its relationships with the advertisers on their page are none of their business.

Maybe the employees will get a raise, but that decision won’t ride on their web site traffic but the news site’s view on the employees’ writing, on their editorial contribution, and on how they help make the site look good.

You start to see how this works. But it starts with Microsoft getting its investment back. Can it generate enough online ad revenue from general news searchers at Bing to make up for whatever it pays News Corp., ZDNet, or any other content provider?

And how might Google then respond? Will it add video ads to Google News, and share that revenue with the sites who link to it? Will we then have to use two news search engines in order to find out what’s going on in the world? Only time will tell.

Marketing Solutions Company the Wave of the Future

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The New Jersey advertising agency of the future will have to adapt to the changing ways of the business world.  Instead of distinguishing themselves between specific disciplines, such as just a reputation management company, or just a database marketing company, or just a website development company, or just a mobile marketing company, New Jersey advertising agencies of the future will have to broaden their horizons. They will have to become full on all-solutions marketing companies. A recent post on a great blog called Actionable Insights by Covario explains in full detail why a simple advertising agency may be a thing of the past. In the future, a marketing solutions company will be the answer to a business’s problems.

You can read the full blog entry here.

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.

Being on Google's First Page Isn't Always Good

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What do you want your online marketing campaign to accomplish for you? Are there any reasons why you would not want your pages to be found for your targeted keyword phrases on page 1?

Here are 3 reasons as to why that may be the case.

Is there intent for actual commerce?

Let’s say you are the first result.

You should be asking yourself, what is the intent of this keyword phrase? Do the words contained in the keyword phrase give any indication of someone getting ready to spend money on a product/service that you offer?

For example, compare these keyword phrases: SEO NJ, automotive search engine marketing, and online press release service. The latter 2 phrases give an indication of someone who is getting ready to spend money.

If you are targeting a keyword phrase that has questionable intention, there really shouldn’t be any reason to be found on page 1. It would be better to target more appropriate phrases instead.

If there’s no intent for actual commerce then that keyword phrase isn’t helping your online marketing efforts.

Traffic Really Matters

If you can have a first page result in position 4, or a second page result in position 12, which would you choose? Is this an obvious choice?

What if the first page choice has 3,300 monthly search queries for its keyword, but the second page choice has 22,200 monthly search queries for its keyword.

Would you still believe that the best choice in this example is the first page result?

According to numbers from Aaron Wall’s site, approximately 6% of search users will click on the number 4 result in Google. That’s 198 visitors in a month.

And over 1% will click on the number 12 search result. That’s 222 visitors per month.

The second choice is now the obvious choice. The higher traffic volume will result in a higher percentage of online conversions.

Smart Searchers Bring Value

The people that click the first result in the SERPs are more often that not less serious than people who go through the first few results or who continue searching onto the second page.

There is something to be said about avoiding people who almost randomly click the first result and who may have impulse control issues.

These may not be the best potential clients for your products/services. For an online agency like us, we like our clients to be a bit more informed so we can be on the same page when it comes to performance. The searchers who don’t just click on the first result but read through a few are usually the more informed people.

A second page result could bring you more serious potential customers, people who are more likely to actually read your website content, understand your products/services better, and be more likely to become a traffic conversion.

Google Caffeine Set to Go Live

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Google Caffeine is being rolled out and there are going to be changes in the search results.

There’s no need to panic if your rankings change for the worse with the new architecture. Just keep on doing good SEO NJ. That will surely will help you restore your rankings in the new Google.

If your web site traffic is wholly dependent on Google rankings, then there are ways to safeguard yourself from a drastic traffic drop. Go to your Google Analytics account and export all the major keywords that drive your traffic. Check your rank on multiple keywords and keep an eye on your rankings fluctuations. This way you’ll be able to spot ranking drops as soon as they occur and try to fix the problem, preventing traffic drops. If you see your rank for your major selling keyword drop, then a PPC campaign can be a quick fix for the time your SEO efforts take effect.

Use Your Ad Dollars Wisely in a Growing Economy: Email Advertising and Direct Mail

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This time I will talk about email database marketing and direct mail.

Email database marketing has increased in the past few years, but there still are limitations. Double opt-ins these days are the norm. Yet still, most click-through rates still average less than 0.5%.

This means that you can leverage your ad budget using a form of traditional media, namely direct mail. There are great advantages to a targeted direct mail program. First, due to higher rates for paper and postage, a lot of the competition has gone away. Direct mail is also one of the best performers when it comes to ROI, especially if you have a great offer and a great database marketing list. A great database marketing list is essential, so you must assemble your list with all the care in the world. If this is done properly, your database marketing list will be your business’s most valuable asset.

Typical direct mail response rates range from 1% to 2% for general lists. But a mailing with a great offer to a targeted list in a specific industry can increase these rates many times over.

That’s the last bit of advice on getting the most money out of your marketing NJ dollars. Make sure that you test, measure, and track all of your ads so you can tell how many leads they generate, and how much your ROI is. Always know what you are buying.

Use Your Ad Dollars Wisely in a Growing Economy: Reputation Management by Being a Contrarian

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This time I will talk about running a reputation management campaign by being a contrarian.

These days it’s great to go against what everyone else is doing, such as being optimistic when everyone else is pessimistic, or starting a business when everyone else is getting laid off.

You can use your story to your advantage by including it in your pitch to any traditional media or your online press releases. This way, you have more of a chance of being mentioned, especially if your business is unique or operating in an interesting niche.

Great stories are always in demand by media outlets that are looking for points of view that oppose the general media narrative of the day. At this point, the narrative in the U.S. is doom and gloom, but if you are the bright point of light, you can enjoy reputation management rewards now and for years to come.

Next time, I will talk about email database marketing and direct mail.

Use Your Ad Dollars Wisely in a Growing Economy: Leveraging for Better Ads

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This time I will talk about negotiating in a buyer’s market and leveraging your business to get the most out of your New Jersey advertising dollars.

Since we are in a buyer’s market right now, your business is in a great position to add as much value as possible. For television advertising this can mean that your business is mentioned more in intros and outros to commercial breaks. For radio advertising, this means a higher frequency of mentioning your business’s name, or co-op advertising of a local event. For print advertising, this means bigger ads and more ad placement.

Finally, you should try to leverage any online marketing package that is presented to you in order to get as many leads as possible.

Next time, I will talk about establishing a reputation management campaign by being a contrarian.

Mobile Marketing to Increase Dramatically in 2010

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According to a new study, mobile marketing budgets are going to increase dramatically over the next year. 31% of New Jersey advertising agencies anticipate a budget between $100,000 and $250,000 on mobile marketing in 2010, compared to only 22% of New Jersey advertising agencies a year ago.

About 13% of New Jersey’s online marketing companies plan to spend from $250,000 to $500,000, up from 4% of New Jersey’s online marketing companies in 2009. More than 15% will have a budget of more than $1 million for mobile marketing campaigns, compared to only 11% a year earlier. 23% are budgeting less than $100,000 and 10% don’t even know how much they are going to spend on mobile marketing.

The study also showed that 60% of marketing NJ firms that aren’t doing mobile marketing yet plan on buying mobile marketing in 2010.

30% of marketing New Jersey firms say that mobile marketing has become an integral part of the advertising media mix. Among New Jersey advertising agencies that have run mobile marketing campaigns, 78% said that they met campaign goals, while 80% said that they developed internal resources to support mobile efforts.

The proliferation of Google Android-based devices, such as smartphones, should help an online agency more easily run campaigns across different smartphones.

Email Database Marketing is Becoming Difficult

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For many online marketing New Jersey advertising companies, traffic conversion rates are alot less than what they used to be. But simultaneously there are also some online marketing services that have experienced no significant drop in online conversions. This is because they have built exceptional subscriber loyalty over some years.

For many online marketing New Jersey advertising companies, the biggest problem is email database marketing deliverability. Email database marketing is being filtered so heavily today that often less than 20% of a large mailing list gets delivered.

However, there are a few ways you can improve your email deliverability. One such way is to run it through a spam checker before sending it out. The best email database marketing programs have built in systems that give you spam scores before sending your email out. So, for example, let’s your email scores higher than a 1 on a 5 point scale, you should probably revise your email.

Also, a business totally dependent upon email database marketing is not a very solid business. Businesses need a database that has not only names and email addresses, but physical mailing addresses as well. That way, if something apocalyptic ever happened in the world of email or the internet, they could just start using direct mail and still be in business.

Many ISP’s now monitor email delivery rates, bounce rates, and even open rates. They use readily available data, and if a given ISP or third party list host has a dismal record, they may block all emails from that source.  If ISPs are blocking sources that send out alot of emails that have very poor open rates, some online agencies may have to move to a different outlet.

For example, a business could start marketing through various social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace, and even build a larger email database. Businesses could use these social networking sites in much the same way that email is used. They can send direct communication messages with product/service offers, discounts, value deals, etc. They can also distribute online press releases through their social networks by greating interest groups or fan pages. Social networking sites are also a free and easy way to perform reputation management. And, since social networking sites are free to use, businesses will save money.