Online Marketing

It’s much simpler and much harder than that: Your marketing has to be better.

This article was interesting, particularly when talked about the fact that it’s often easier to measure the metrics of online marketing, but that it’s not necessarily cheerful reading! It’s easy to get caught up in the lastest whiz bang social media fad, but if you don’t do it well, you might as well not bother. Check out the link to read more!

Google has reigned as King of Digital Marketing for a good five years now. But Facebook began to rival them in number of visits in the twilight of 2010. Online users spend more time on Facebook than any other website.

 

But online marketers and advertisers are reluctant to learn Facebook marketing for a number of reasons.

An interesting blog post which discusses the pros and cons of both Facebook and Adwords marketing. Worth a read if you’ve considered expanding your online advertising options.

An online business owner knows the significance of having a solid marketing plan in place guaranteed to draw in customers. Hiring an internet marketing manager is one of the most cost effective ways of propagating a marketing strategy. Internet marketing managers also handle several other aspects of the business, which may be difficult for the owner to address.

I’m sometimes asked why a business should use DWBH Consulting to manage their internet marketing. This article gives some of the answers!

In 60 Seconds on the internet…..

 

This graphic is for any business out there that still thinks the internet is a passing fad and has no relevance to their business…..

Thanks to http://www.go-gulf.com/ for this.

Nearly 2 billion people worldwide are online. When they want a product or service, they don’t pick up a phone book (if you still do, you might want to skip this article). They go to the Internet and search via search engines or social sites because these methods generally provide fast results and relevant information —generally.

Whether it’s information on a product, service, healthcare or current events, you name it, people are looking for it. In fact, in the USA during April 2011, we averaged 543 million searches per day, that’s 22.6 million per hour or 377,000 searches per minute!   But you know this already, right? I think it’s a good idea to revisit briefly the phenomenon of what’s really happening online because we tend to take for granted that the Internet is part of our culture now. And when we take this phenomenon for granted, we tend to miss two important things:

  1. The excitement that comes with being at the forefront of technology.
  2. The fact that this is still new to 90% of the people, and everyone is trying to figure it out as it changes daily.

An interesting look at the way the internet has changed our lives, and marketing strategies, over the last few years. Blogging and Social Media have completely transformed the way we interact in a very short space of time, that’s for sure.

Performance Marketing with Google Analytics

If you’re into crunching numbers and analysing your marketing performance, this book might well be for you!

When it comes to small business owners facing decisions, a movie quote that truly captures the feeling comes from Keanu Reeves as Neo in “The Matrix Reloaded,” when he confronts the Architect and says, “Choice. The problem is choice.”

Although Reeves’ statement was regarding the Matrix program in the movie series, most small business owners regard effective online marketing with similar feelings of revelation. “How do I know that my customers are responding to my banner ad offer?” you ponder. “Is it better to broad match one set of keywords than another? How do PPC, blogs, SEO and QR codes affect my bottom line?”

 

I’m very excited!  I’ve just finished checking the proof of my new book, 23 Ways to Market Your Business Online.  So hopefully I’ll have a complete proof copy very shortly, and it will be published not long after that.  Woohoo!!!

Many organizations would be satisfied with having their name used as a verb and a 65-percent market share in one sector of their industry.

Not Google.

 It appears their goal is to be the leader in every aspect related to the Internet, and beyond. 

However, in the area of social networking, it has a long way to go before it catches Facebook.

Google has released a number of social networking products that have, for the most part, met with mediocre results. That hasn’t stopped the search giant from trying new social strategies.

In April 2011, Google introduced their newest social offering, the +1 button. On the official +1 website (www.google.com/+1/button), Google describes the button as “shorthand for ‘this is pretty cool’ or ‘you should check this out’.”

A better way to describe it is to say that the +1 button is Google’s version of Facebook’s “Like” Button.

Similar to a Facebook “like,” the +1 button allows you to tag a website, or search result, so others can benefit from your recommendation. Google also provides a user the option of keeping their +1 vote private or public; either way, you need to have a Google account to use the feature.

In addition, website owners need to add code to their sites if they would like to include the button on their websites.

Clearly, there are benefits to having your site highlighted in a search result based on a recommendation. Creating easy ways for people to share your brand with their network can only help increase positive brand awareness.

On the other hand, Google’s new +1 offering could lead to confusion for people that don’t understand what the +1 button does.

In addition, adding another icon to a web page makes me wonder if the average site visitor has the time, or interest, to try to figure out what these buttons are, no matter whether they “like,” “share,” “digg,” “tweet,” “follow,” “buzz,” “bookmark,” or “+1” something.

I guess that we will eventually find out.

In the meantime, it is probably a good idea to ask your favorite computer geek to add the +1 code to your site and ask your clients and friends to be sure to +1 your site. While it may not really be that exciting of a site enhancement, it will likely benefit your overall web marketing strategy.

Hmmmm still not convinced this is going to take off – and I do wonder how much opportunity there will be for this to be manipulated. A lot, just at a guess, at least initially.

This week, the internet marketing community saw a lot of buzz about new Google search (and social search) developments, as well as news about the value of social media marketing.

The week started on a strong note, with Google’s Inside Search event. Google announced a number of new developments that may impact the way consumers search on Google. As Brafton reported, Google is now offering Instant Pages, which download pages before users click to offer instant access to information. This feature rewards marketers for top SEO rankings, as it only pre-loads the top result.

The company also announced Voice Search and Search by Image for desktop users. Marketers might want to consider how these new features may change the way consumers search the web and plan SEO accordingly. They make it easier for consumers to enter longtail or complicated queries.

Another feature launched at the event that will make it easier to search for complex phrases is Google’s build-a-query tool for Android and iPhone users. In fact, the company unveiled a number of mobile search tools, catering to the idea that mobile search never stops because people can always easily access their devices.

Google wasn’t the only search engine getting in the mobile game this week. Yahoo unveiled a new App Search feature to help users find the apps that will be most relevant to them. Mobile marketers with branded apps may like this development, and all mobile marketers should take it as a sign of the growth of mobile internet access.

According to comScore, mobile search and social activity demonstrates significant year-over-year growth. The study reveals that mobile search (led by Google) has risen 32.1 percent, mobile social networking has grown a whopping 45.7 percent in the past year.

Growth of mobile social use mirrors growth of overall social networking. As Brafton reported, a Pew study indicates that 80 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 35 use social media. Additionally, nearly half of Americans over the age of 35 are accessible via social sites.

Not only are more consumers accessible via social sites, but they use social media more frequently. ComScore’s study, the Network Effect, indicates that social media now accounts for one in six online minutes.

As consumers are spending more time on social sites, they are increasingly looking up information on brands that impact purchase decisions. As Brafton reported, the 2011 Social Shopping Study reveals that one-third of consumers conduct shopping searches on social networks.

The role of Facebook in online shopping is strong, but analysts seem to have mixed reports this week on whether Facebook traffic is up or down. While comScore’s Network Effect suggests traffic is up, Inside Facebook says the site’s U.S. traffic decreased last month. Regardless, it wields real marketing power, and the industry was buzzing about prospective updates to Facebook Places. The updates would help marketers gain advocates by allowing users to write short recommendations on Place sidebars of local business Pages.

While Places developments could help brands find loyal fans, it seems Twitter followers are bigger brand loyalists. Brafton reported that social fans and followers are increasingly enthusiastic about brands they engage on social sites, and nearly half (46 percent) of Twitter users are loyal to brands they follow.

Still, marketer might want to keep their eye on LinkedIn. One social expert claims that the professional social site offers access to a highly convertible pool of users. Lewis Howes, author of Linked Working, says 45 percent of LinkedIn users are qualified, business decision makers. On Facebook, he says, just one-quarter of users can make B2B purchase decisions.

Facebook might have bigger competition on the horizon than LinkedIn, though, when it comes to marketing reach. Google made some aggressive moves on the social front this week. First, the company announced a “Me on the Web” feature that lets users manage what comes up about them in search results. The service requires them to create Google profiles, which means they would be able to +1 content. Should more people create Google profiles and start using the +1 button, the company might see widespread adoption of its social plugin – and marketers might see more social SERPs.

To help businesses integrate the social plugin on their sites, Google will be hosting a +1 implementation webinar next week, offering technical guidance and tips for best practices.

Marketers will want to monitor this social search development, as it might make social advocacy key to Google SEO. (And Brafton reported this week that research from the Local Search Association says people turn to search engines more than traditional social networks when conducting business research.)

Of course, getting content “+1′ed” means marketers must invest in high-quality copy and articles. Content marketing was a key part of the conversation at the recent Business Marketing Association conference. Short-form articles were cited as an especially useful means of engaging audiences and attracting repeat visitors.

Marketers looking for tips on content marketing and SEO in the post-Panda (and increasingly social) search landscape should check out Brafton’s blog about SEO tips from SMX Advanced expert attendees.

Always something new happening!

Many people tend to view Internet marketing as a project. We talk about marketing campaigns, which by definition, have a start, and, at some point, an end. In fact, Internet marketing is an ongoing cycle. The parts of the Internet marketing process that people tend to leave out are “analysis” and “refinement“.

It is absolutely critical that you closely measure the results of any marketing efforts you undertake, and see exactly how your blog or site performed. You might, for example, be successful in driving lots of traffic, but unsuccessful at converting or monetizing it. This is a good indication that your site is not optimized to convert.

By understanding where visitors come from and what they did on your site, you can refine your marketing efforts before repeating the whole process. Each time you refine and repeat you should be able to squeeze a bit more traffic from your content, and up your conversion rate slightly. The cumulative effect of these marketing iterations will eventually bring you revenue and profit.

By way of example I thought I would give one sneaky example of how analysis and refinement can be used to help drive additional traffic to your blog or site. I call it keyword consolidation.

Keyword consolidation

In order to be able to consolidate important keywords and key-phrases, you will need access to Google webmaster tools, or something similar. Webmaster tools helps track which keywords on your site are the most common and which search terms return pages from your site.

Keyword analysis

Google webmaster tools will give you a good idea of how much search traffic comes through to your website and the search terms for which Google returned a page impression. Now, the important thing here is that while a visitor may not have seen your page returned on the first page, Google still lets you know that one of your pages ranked say, 110 in its results.

This information is extremely useful because Google is telling you that it knows you have important content relating to that search term, but you aren’t important enough to outrank almost everyone else and appear on the first page.

Armed with this information, you can now undertake some targeted and responsive refinement to help lift your site and individual pages up the rankings for that term.

SEO refinement

With the analytical part of our keyword consolidation technique out of the way you can now put together a strategy to enhance your site’s authority and visibility for that particular keyword or phrase – in other words, we are going to use SEO techniques to lift the page that is currently floundering at 10 or 11 in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

To do this you need to create more high quality, relevant and focused content that can reference the page in question. It doesn’t matter if you only add the content to your own site – it will still help. If Google sees that you have, say, 20 internal links (an internal link is one from one page on your own site to another page on your own site) from different pages to one page in particular, it will automatically assume that the target page is more important than other pages with less internal links.

Don’t go overboard! Google will smell a rat if you add internal links from every page to that single page. It needs to be done only where it is appropriate and meaningful to do so.

In addition, you want to ensure that the actual links that point to the target page contain the keywords and phrases for which you want that page to move up the rankings. This is to help Google understand the content of that page.

Finally, it is first prize to get external links back to that page, containing the keywords and phrases for which you want the page to rank highly. To do this, write expert articles, guest blog posts, forum posts, social media posts and anything else you can think of that will encourage people to post your content and thereby link back to the target page.

Repeat

Give Google some time to index all the new content and make its mind up about what goes where (i.e. update its index), and then go back and see how much improvement there has been on Google webmaster tools.

By constantly monitoring your analytical data you are able to use any number of powerful techniques (not only the one highlighted in this post) to make your Internet marketing more intelligent and responsive.

Analysis is easy to skip over because unless you’re that way inclined, it can seem pretty boring! But without it you’re basically wasting your time.