Are you still doubting the power of blogs, even for small businesses? Hubspot’s study of over 7000 businesses titled “Marketing Benchmarks for 7000+ Businesses”, shows just how powerful blogs are when it comes to increasing website traffic and generating leads. The study also analyzes number of content pages and social media use – you can download the report here.
Let’s take a look at a few graphs from Hubspot’s study:
The number of new leads greatly increases the more you blog. Look at how much of an increase you can get by just posting once a month!
Having more monthly blog posts benefits large companies the most. But even smaller companies with 1-10 employees can greatly increase the amount of inbound traffic they see.
No surprise here either, more blog posts per month means more inbound leads. This means more potential to convert these into sales!
You can see a sharp increase in inbound leads after 15 blogs a month. Is this enough motivation to get you to blog?
Some other notable findings:
– Companies that blog 15 or more times a month get 5 times more traffic than companies that don’t blog at all.
– Companies that blog 3-8 times a month almost double their leads
– B2B companies that blog only once or twice a month generate 70% more leads than those who don’t blog at all
Blogging can greatly increase your business’ success and it doesn’t take much. If you don’t have time or ideas, blogging a handful of times a month is better than nothing at all. This strategy can only benefit your company in the long run. So, don’t forget to download the study and take advantage of small business blogging today!
This year, retargeting is becoming one of the most sought after marketing tactics. Although it’s not a new concept, businesses are now applying it to their different marketing campaigns with much success. Let’s take a look at how retargeting can benefit your business:
Search Retargeting: In the simplest form, this is a way of rounding up potential customers. This tactic allows a business to find people who have searched for a term related to their business BUT haven’t visited their site yet. For example, a search of “red spike heels” might pull up ads from Zappos or Urban Outfitters at the top of your search results.
This can also go hand-in-hand with site retargeting, where visitors who have been on your site will see recurring ads for your business on other websites that they go. For example, if I visited a flower delivery site, I might see their ad when I’m reading through the Los Angeles Times online.
Social Media: This summer, Facebook introduced Facebook Exchange, which retargets ads based on users’ cookies. As TechCrunch recently reported, the initial run of retargeted ads on Facebook have proven to be successful. Findings show that these ads have an increased conversion rate and lower overall ad cost. What business owner wouldn’t like that?
Paid Search: Tracking ads has become more sophisticated so that you can track different ads at once and see which ones users are bouncing away from. In addition, you can have many options even when you send users to the same place. For example, all users may land on the same landing page, but depending on the section that they’re active on (services, products etc.), they’ll be retargeted with ads relevant to their search intent. For PPC, you can test the language to narrow down user-intent and effectively tailor your campaign to that need, whether it’s a need for more information or to convert sales.
The Bottom Line
Retargeting is a great way to raise brand awareness and remind potential customers about your business. Keeping interested is great but at the same time, it’s important to remember that people are very concerned with their privacy. Let’s say that you’re searching for a divorce lawyer on the family computer. No one would want their children or spouse to see retargeted ads as they browse the internet. On top of that, retargeted ads can be just plain annoying if you accidentally landed on a site that you don’t like or never intend to purchase from. Retargeting can be great for your business and owners have a lot of options to see what works best.
As exciting a new website launch sounds, it requires a lot of time, research and communication on your part! You don’t have to limit yourself to just 3 questions, or these 3 specifically, but it will help to have a list that you can look to when thinking about your new site.
Do I need to integrate seo web design? – Search optimization isn’t something that just comes later, after the design and building process. Make sure that you understand the SEO capability of your site as it’s being built so that all the necessary elements can be added during or immediately after the design aspect is completed. Think of SEO as an ongoing campaign and not something that just done at the beginning of the website building process, such as the design.
Do you know your customers and what they want? – Do you know your target demographic? Once you’re able to answer this question, you’ll get a better idea of what content will best suit their needs. Remember, there are many trends such as QR codes and even certain social media sites. Will your customers even use these functions? Just because it exists doesn’t mean that you should use it. Case in point: QR codes have been spotted on the BACK of moving buses. Talk about a quick response!
What do I want my customers to do? Remember that your website has to have a point. Do you want to push calls, newsletter signups or contact form submissions? Make it clear so that customers know how to complete the action, but don’t be so pushy that they feel overwhelmed and leave. A good example is Neil Patel’s Quick Sprout blog. If anyone is familiar with it, it used to just be a marketing blog about different topics. Now, a re-vamp as focused the calls-to-action and has made users more familiar with Neil’s services and his other companies.
What type of website do I need? This depends entirely on your industry and business model. If you’re selling goods, an ecommerce store is the way to go. For services, information is key. Feel free to browse competitor sites or even look at our portfolio to see what kind of website will best suit your business.
Whatever questions you decide to use for pre-launch, remember to take that list back out and evaluate it post-launch. There are always things you can use to improve the customer experience and these seemingly simple questions can be the basis of marking your progress!
Now that 2011 is almost over, it’s time to think about some online marketing resolutions. Do you have any good ones? If not, here are some ideas. Remember, social and local are going to play a bigger role!
1) Share your content in the right places – If you’re going to have new content, it helps to promote it in updates, press releases and social sharing. And we’re not just talking about Facebook and Twitter. Since infographics are so “hot” right now, you’ll be missing out if you don’t take the next step and share it on sites like Visual.ly Your new content will do you know good if it just sits there on your site.
2) Learn about your marketing company – A few days ago, we saw the fatal blunder from Ocean Marketing, the PR company behind the popular Avenger controller. Long story short, the owner of this PR company treated a customer very disrespectfully and the email went viral on Penny Arcade. As a result, the controller, which had about a 4 star rating on Amazon has now dropped to a 1 star rating. There are many search marketing firms out there, so make sure to do your research before you choose one to represent your brand. After some more digging, users have found that Ocean Marketing’s website has blatantly plagiarized content from other SEO firm websites!
3) Pay more attention to social media – If you haven’t heard, Google+ Status Updates Now Appearing in Organic Search Results. Social factors has always played a big role in better search engine rankings, but they are becoming more important as search engines view this customer engagement as trust and relevancy.
4) Act natural when it comes to organic optimization – This one holds true from link building, blogging to social networking! For example, take a look at link building – you need a good mix of do follow and no follow links across a variety of trustworthy and related domains. Anchor text that you use shouldn’t be what you want it to be, but what customers are actually searching. And your social media updates shouldn’t be completely automated, but carefully thought out with the right personality behind your brand.
Get ready for a happy new year! When it comes to organic online marketing, let us know what are you looking forward to in 2012!
Thinking of hiring a Los Angeles web design company? Here are 7 questions to think about before you hire a web designer for your small business:
1) Can you show me websites you’ve worked on? – Ask to see a portfolio and find out whether they use templates or build web sites from scratch. Make sure to be clear as you’re describing what you’re looking for to make sure that they can meet your needs.
2) Can I get a quote? – Will your designer give you a quote based on a list of everything you want? Or will a number just magically appear out of thin air? It’s important to get down in writing exactly what you want and to make sure that the designer can make it happen. For example, if you have special accommodations, such as an online store or different types of contact/subscription forms.
3) How long will it take to complete the project? – Tied into question 3, your web designer should give you a basic timeline of how long it will take to create a new website design. Ask them to prepare a basic outline of what will be done on a regular basis to ensure that your website is created in a timely manner.
4) Are you familiar with any other forms internet marketing? – Nowadays, many web designers are also proficient in SEO. Having a search friendly web design means that the designer will create code that is easy to index and crawl. Many web design companies also work with SEO to ensure that your site will get maximum visibility.
5) How and when can I contact you? – Is your web designer or company easily reached? Would you rather talk to them on the phone, via email or meet face to face to discuss timelines? Many companies and individuals work in different ways, so make sure that you know what you’re getting into.
6) How is a new design layout going to help my small business? – Lastly, an effective web designer should be goal-oriented in helping your business succeed. What do you want from your new website? Here are a few things you might consider: increase web site traffic, reduce bounce rates, increase phone calls, increase sales, increase in inquiries or subscriptions.
Hiring someone or a company to create a new site for your business consists of more than just pretty graphics. This doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process, but make sure to have these questions (and more) ready as you find the answers you’re looking for.
Yesterday, Google + business profiles have finally arrived. A short clip about new “branded” pages shows that a business owner cares about customer loyalty and personal interaction with different types of people.
And that’s what I’m seeing showcased more in social media services for small business solutions. The promo ends with this tagline, “Business don’t make people happy. People do.” Social media can help businesses hone that human side and showcase an inviting persona. After all, clicks, Likes and +1’s if businesses don’t see the end result with real people after all their efforts.
Here are some questions that you should really think about investing time and resources on yet another social networking site:
Are my customers (or customers within the industry) actively using Google +?
What is the point of the company profile and what message do we want to convey?
Why would customers be interested in connecting with my company/brand?
How else will I promote my content on Google+ and off?
How will I integrate this campaign with my other online marketing efforts?
After you answer these questions, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself the final question: are you ready to create unique and relevant content for your Google+ profile? After all, that is the goal of an effective profile. Check out these popular profiles for more examples of how they’re being used: Toyota, Angry Birds, NPR and Macy’s,
We’ll take a quick overview of marketing spending, display ads, mobile ads, and video in terms of small business use. The overall focus throughout the day was on small business (SMB) growth. Makes sense, doesn’t it? The small business segment is a promising category with big opportunities. Here are some key points that we learned:
SMB Spending and Growth
Total SMB digital ad spend is growing at 25% YoY (year on year)
Growth is happening within Google local services and beyond on platforms like: Facebook, Groupon and LivingSocial
According to Google’s (see graph), total US SMB marketing spending is expected to almost double by 2015. This is a self-proclaimed “conservative” forecast, so we could see numbers even higher than that!
With over 2 million sites, Google now has the largest ad network . What does this mean for the potential of display ads? The emphasis here was on the concept of remarketing. Remarketing allows you to target and show ads to users who have already visited your website. This is helpful to help them recall your products and services, something that they’ve obviously been interested in since they have already been to your site. This is an innovative new way to match the right customers to your message.
Mobile Ads and Video
Mobile ads are evolving and should be a different and more helpful experience for mobile users. There is less space on a mobile screen, which means that functions like “Store Locator” take priority over plain old text. People searching on their phone aren’t going to have the time or space to read text. Learn how you can build a basic mobile site with this free Google tool.
As for video, the big push is for small businesses to come on board, given the massive potential and size of YouTube. Small businesses could utilize video marketing by using banners, pre-roll commercials and even encourage user created content. With so much up and coming news, you can always stay updated with Google’s latest ad products here.
At the end of the day, it’s clear that Google is trying to make things easier for everyone – small business owners and their customers. This is why Google is so intent on integration and working closely with with agencies like Emarketed… so that we can help our customers!
It looks like there’s a lot in store in the future for small businesses. As a small business owner, it’s important to stay informed so that you don’t get left behind. Here’s a list of some helpful information on topics related to what we just talked about:
If you use Facebook, you’ll know that there are constant updates and policy changes. For businesses, these changes can have a big impact on the way you use Facebook as a platform.
Companies Leave Facebook
Recently, Facebook denied drug companies the option to disable public comments on their Wall. As a result, companies such as Bayer and Purdue Pharma have removed affiliated Pages from Facebook. Public comments can make small businesses feel uneasy but is it best to run and hide? In the case of these pharmaceutical companies, the situation is more complicated than what a local business will normally encounter. The actions depend on the situation and the outcome is a strong reflection of the brand.
Are Fans Ignoring Your Page?
Managing a Facebook Page takes a special balance of skills. Patience, creativity and common sense will come in handy, but what happens when customers are ignoring your status updates or not interacting as much? If this is the case, they most likely aren’t interested in your updates. A customer can like your brand but keep scrolling past updates that they can’t relate to. For example on the Emarketed Facebook Page, we don’t just update about SEO. We like to post about all the different aspects of internet marketing.
Another reason why fans might not be interacting with your Page is that your posts will disappear from their default News Feed if they continuously pass your posts by! I noticed this when certain Pages I Like and Friends’ posts weren’t showing up in my Feed. Here’s how to fix the problem:
Login and as you look at your News Feed click the Most Recent dropdown.
Click Edit Options (at the very bottom) and then in the Show posts from area, click: ‘All of your friends and pages’.
The default option is ‘Show posts from: Friends and pages you interact with most’.
Need Help with Social Media Marketing?
A crucial part of marketing on Facebook is analyzing your improvement and adapt whenever and wherever necessary. We know what it takes to invest time and effort to keep up with all the constant changes. If you’re interested in social media marketing for your small business but don’t know where to start, we are here to help – contact us today!
Of all the popular social media marketing sites, Ning may not be as well known but things look like they’re quickly changing.
Ning is a social networking site with an appealing slogan – “Create your own social network for anything.” If I were to describe it, I would say that it’s a mish-mash of a blog, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and maybe even MySpace, all rolled into one.
Unlike other “free” services like Facebook, Ning has a different (paid) business model. This means that you’re more likely to see corporate and professional pages. Many people don’t like the idea of a paid service but I see that it has many advantages. For one, there’s not diluted with spambots and other bugs. Discussion and engagement seems more natural and enthusiastic.
Maybe that’s why it comes as no surprise that non-profits and other worthy causes have chosen Ning as its primary platform. Check out Martha Stewart’s Dreamers Into Doers and Amanda de Cadenet’s page dedicated to body image and other women’s issues. I see that these sites are strong examples of what Ning excels in. As for businesses, (especially small businesses), I’m not entirely sure the potential is all there yet, especially since it’s a paid service. But that is the point that Ning is trying to make as it’s straying away from being grouped as another Facebook or Twitter wannabe.
Ning has differentiated itself from competitors and in a major way. Revenue is reportedly up a whopping 400% from last year. Let’s see if Ning can continue to keep its thing going on and if it will catch on with more businesses.
When you think about the purpose of social media, what first comes to your mind? Nowadays, I don’t think there’s one “right” answer because social media is useful in so many ways. Let’s take a look at the different faces of social media:
The microblogger – When Twitter first came out, it was all about microblogging this and microblogging that. Today, Facebook, Tumblr, and LinkedIn are amongst the many that have their very own microblogging service. If you don’t have enough time devoted to blogging, this is an excellent alternative.
The customer service representative – Another great thing about social media is that you can keep tabs on what customers are saying about your brand and respond quickly. Did you know that customers can skip the waiting (and awful hold music) by tweeting their problems? Time Warner Cable, for example, has a team of staff members solely for this purpose.
The salesperson – The immediacy and wide audience of social media sites give you the ability to promote your business 24/7. Sort of like a salesperson who never sleeps and isn’t as annoying. Well, maybe. Even though social media sites give you the opportunity to self promote, it doesn’t mean that you should overuse and abuse it.
The promotion team – Customers love to be appreciated as much as they like good deals. This is where your social media strategy can focus on promotions. From coupons to contests, this is the best way to drum up some good publicity and create customer interest in your brand.
The social butterfly – Sometimes, social media is just that – social. Have you ever wondered why trending topics on Twitter seem so random? It’s because it’s a result of some tedious, strategic marketing plan but rather, an organic outcome of what happens when people communicate together online. Savvy businesses are the ones who use this to their advantage and join in the most-talked about conversations.
In the end, social media doesn’t necessarily have to play all these roles for your business. There’s a lot of room for flexibility and growth so that you can find out which suits you best. Which one do you think is most important and why?