Targeted Email Marketing: Is It In The Past?
Networking is possible in two ways: Internet and word of mouth. Old school methods that do not use electronics are still extremely viable as a means of starting a business. If you want to have successful local Internet marketing then you need to start with word of mouth networking.
If no one knows you exist even locally then there is no reason for your website business to do well. It takes time for a website to get crawled by search engine bots. It takes time for consumers to find you and the people that do may not be in your area at all.
While targeting local keywords will help with local internet marketing, you need to let the local world know you exist. Newspaper write-ups, radio interviews, local cable interviews, as well as handing out cards to every person you meet is imperative.
Once you have a local base and have established your professionalism you will start to see a gain in popularity for your site.
You will also be working on Internet networking for local Internet marketing. It goes hand in hand. As you get your website prepared and launched, you will be marketing through social media sites, articles directories, blog postings, Pinterest, and other sites. The more you let people know you exist and use all the tools available to you the easier it will be for you to find consumers. With local Internet marketing it pays to have a keyword based campaign as well as a catchy tagline.
The Advantages of Targeted Email Marketing
If you are a modern company looking to attract the attention of new potential customers, you may want to consider using targeted email marketing. If you use targeted email lists, not only is this way both successful and cost-effective, but also extends the reach of your business and draws in new customers. The majority of organizations and companies that are beginning targeted email marketing campaigns not only face an increase in profitability, but also client database.
Targeted Email Database and Good Interaction
If you choose to combine targeted email marketing with several other activities, for instance drawing new visitors to your website, then it may be to your interest that owning a targeted email database means you will get a chance to know your audience members.
Is a Business Email List Quick and Easy?
If you create a campaign, you wish to send to individuals on your business email list, you will have to take some careful planning and thought, as making use of the targeted email database is a process that is both quick and easy. Due to the huge availability of email marketing software, you can easily deliver campaigns to the individuals on your email lists in a matter of minutes, which is a very important factor when you are in the middle of contacting recipients on a business email list who want information that is both rapid and relevant. This can also apply to an email database of customers, which allows you to open a dialogue with consumers instantly, which could take up to weeks or even months if you choose to use marketing methods that are more traditional, such as direct mail and advertising.
Targeted Emails are Measureable
As an owner of a business, you know the importance of tracking measure and evaluating any promotional campaign you choose to undertake. This is another reason to why sending out targeted campaigns is very valuable. As well as being easy to do, this is also very easy to measure. You can easily measure this approach by tracking the number of responses you receive from those on your email database. Even negative feedback can help you understand the needs of your consumers and give you valuable insight.
Targeted Email Marketing – What It Is And How It Benefits You
If you have a solid idea of how to do it in mind, email can be one of the most powerful tools for generating income or promoting yourself. Sure, it sounds a little silly – but think about it. Peek inside your spam folder. Spam isn’t sent out for free. It might seem like they’re just trying to get a rise out of you – but people make money doing that.
You probably know not many spammers really got replies from the emails they sent out – some people think that they got maybe one sale out of every twelve and a half million emails. That can’t be worth it, right?
There are a lot of spam emails. This is random email marketing, too – but if you send out enough emails to enough people, you might be making something along the lines of seven thousand dollars a day. That’s a lot of work, isn’t it? It is, but you can put this knowledge to good use.
Targeted Email Marketing
Think about if you sent those emails out legitimately. No spamming, no scamming – you’re sending out emails to sell a product or service and to make a product. Consider how many more people are actually going to click on the links you send them, how many can be looped in by a glance at your website or what you’re offering – this is the magic of targeted email marketing. Send out enough emails to the right people – not twelve and a half million per sale, but far fewer than that, because you aren’t a spammer – and you can see your traffic and sales boost.
Email is communication – and communication is powerful. You can reach people who are literally out of your reach, on the other side of the planet, the other side of the country – or even someone who lives in the same building as you but who you will never see over the course of a normal year. The opportunities are endless when it comes to targeted email marketing– but you have to be professional and legitimate about it!
Don’t try selling fake products or scamming people out of their money – go into it with the mindset of wanting to help them out and support yourself, and you might find a response which is far greater than you thought possible.
Can Targeted Email Marketing Help?
Using emails is the most effective way to succeed in a direct mail marketing campaign. Emails are sent directly to the potential clients. In this process, the market is categorized and those who are the most likely to become a client will be targeted. Many people fear that this marketing method is not effective. However, when this method is used properly and possible clients are picked correctly this is a great marketing tool and it can boost up your clientele and increase profit.
- Email Marketing: With each new and upcoming trend, businesses have to change and adapt. Targeted direct email marketing is one change in marketing the business owners should make. There are different types of software that help collect email leads, and compile and categorize targeted clients. There are also agencies that can help make this process much simpler by making emails that hold key information that is important to the targeted clients.
- News: E-Newsletters can be a great help in your campaign. They help to gain a network of loyal customers and can help to gain profit too. Companies have earned between 50 cents to $1 a month for every one person subscribed to the e-newsletters. The more subscribers there are, then the more profit.
- Articles: Working with copy writing firms can greatly help your business. Articles can be written for multiple reasons. They can be used to increase traffic to the website or they can specifically be written in order to be sent to potential clients through the targeted email marketing process.
- Brands and Logos: When using targeted email marketing it is a great opportunity to also spread the business logo and brand. Where the emails are sent to Individuals likely to become clients, the business logo or brand can be spread with each email and become more popular along with the business name.
- The Informed Customer: This form of marketing is also a very good way to make sure that customers know what is new and what is going on with the business. Things such as deals, new plans, and news can all be sent through this marketing method.
How to use Targeted Email Marketing the Right Way?
The idea of targeted traffic being sent straight to your website seems perfect but there are some things you need to be aware of or you can spend money for no real return. Let’s look at two types of targeted traffic and how they compare. They are targeted email marketing and pay per click campaigns.
Pay Per Click
The most well known pay per click company is the industry giant Google. They as well other search engines offer a bidding system that displays a targeted advert when a nominated popularly searched keyword is searched for. An example would be search engine optimization and Google would accept bids from companies that wished their ad to be seen with the highest bid being seen in the top position.
The pay per click refers to the way the advertising is charged. It is not paid every time it is displayed but every time that it is clicked onto. This sends high quality potential customers to the website but the cost on popular search terms is very high and you need a very high quality landing page to convert potential customers to sales at a high enough rate to justify the expense.
Targeted Email Marketing
The basis of targeted email marketing is creating a list of past and potential customers and giving them a reason to opt in to receiving emails from you. This can be done in a number of ways and it is a great way of salvaging potential customers that you did make a sale to.
The list is full of potential sales and if managed properly can only get larger over time giving you direct access to a rising group of returning customers and potential customers that you can tempt to purchase something from your business.
A great way to approach new additions to the list is to send a welcome email with a short introduction to the business and products and some sort of offer such as a discount or a tip about your niche area. Then follow up at regular intervals or if you have a special offer. This is a very low cost way of marketing and by offering value you can get an explosion of sales by being diligent.
How to Use Targeted Email Marketing
A common reason that many businesses avoid using targeted email marketing is that they are worried that users will find it annoying or mark it as spam. This is a misconception that many businesses have. When used correctly, targeted email marketing is effective at keeping your customers informed and up to date with the latest information that you have to offer. Continue reading to learn the correct methods for setting up an effective targeted email marketing campaign.
Targeted email marketing can be broken into three areas: sign up, content, and delivery. You first need to decide how to build your list of subscribers. The most common methods for doing this are using a newsletter sign up button on your website or providing a link to sign up for promotional materials in your emails. This allows customers to sign up for your emails, meaning that they are already asking for those emails and won’t be bothered by getting them in their inbox.
Next, decide on the content of your emails. Are you providing information about upcoming sales or offers? What about new services or products? No matter what information you are using, it needs to be useful to the people receiving the emails. Provide details and make your content as useful as possible. This is the same as using good website SEO when writing content for a website. This will keep subscribers from opting out of your mailing list.
Finally, determine your delivery schedule. How often do you plan on sending out emails? It is a good idea to have a consistent schedule, such as every Monday, allowing subscribers to know when to expect new emails. If you do not think that you will be able to keep up with the schedule, there are article writing and distribution services that can write your emails for a fee.
A good targeted email marketing campaign should provide subscribers with the information that they expect. If your website has a variety of categories, consider having different sign ups on different pages, creating mailing lists with specific interests.
Targeted Email Marketing: Because Return Customers Are The Best Customers
There’s a saying in the world of Internet marketing: ‘It’s a lot easier to get someone to pay you the second time.’ It’s true, too — once someone has opened up their wallet and given you money, they have several good reasons to do so again. For one thing, they’ve psychologically invested in you: if they choose not to buy from you again, they essentially have to admit that they wasted money the first time, and no one likes to think that they wasted money.
Regardless of the psychology, the fact is that return customers are probably going to spend more money the second time than they did the first time, and they’re probably going to come back again the future, too. That’s why many very successful marketers (and offline businesses, too!) use targeted email marketing to lure customers who have purchased once back to do so again.
It’s simple, really: you simply ask them to sign up for your emails when they purchase your product. Then they opt in again when they get home, and they’re on your list until they deliberately take action to get taken off of the list.
Once they’re on your list, you send them relevant, interesting emails every once in a while. And every once in a long while, you send them a relevant, interesting email that just also happens to mention your latest product or service. Most of the emails won’t get opened; most of the people who do open the email won’t respond to the call to action — but if you have a list of a hundred thousand people and only 1% of 1% of them reply to the call to action, that’s ten people who came back through your doors and bought a new product.
Like many things in the world of Internet marketing — most notably organic SEO — targeted email marketing is a slow-building tool that develops long-term success. Every person who signs up for your marketing list adds to the chance that someone will actually come back and spend more money when you send out that big marketing message — so sign up every single customer you get, and eventually the profits will roll.
Targeted Email Marketing With Videos: Build Interest, Build Conversions
Targeted email marketing is one of those games where you know it’s all about profit, but you want your customers to think it’s all about quality content — and to a degree, today’s consumers are starting to get sensitive enough that it’s hard to fool them. Our spamometers are getting to the point where even the most cleverly-crafted of headlines won’t keep us reading for more than a sentence if we catch a whiff of salesmanship in an email.
That’s why today many companies are turning to embedded videos. Videos are hard for people to turn away from — they engage more of the brain, and they tell the watcher exactly how long they’ll have to watch (5:41). It’s a funny fact of psychology that someone will watch a video that’s “only 4 minutes long”, but they won’t finish reading a page of text that would have only required 55 seconds to read.
In the past, videos have been pooh-poohed because of bandwidth considerations and because people were paranoid about opening a file from anyone they didn’t personally know — but those days are fading. Mobile devices might not have the bandwidth to handle a video, but we have the technology now to force the video to not show up if the device is mobile. Similarly, web security is robust enough these days that most people are willing to send and open videos. So this is prime territory.
The best part is that, when you make a video to put into a targeted email, you can just as easily put the same video up on YouTube and use it as a video-based form of organic SEO, put the same video up a week or two later on your blog, and so forth — videos aren’t subject to the Google duplicate content penalty because a spider can’t read the content of a video.
You will have to put your content marketing team on the task of creating relevant con-text-ual content for the video a few times over, taking a new spin on it each time, but compared to the effort of creating a video in the first place, making a few new words to go around it shouldn’t be at all difficult.
Targeted Email Marketing and the Power of Branded Social Profiles
These days the key to a successful marketing campaign run on the internet is the melding of different approaches. Frankly we have reached a stage now where more is required than a good quality website. Your website is just the start if what should be your overall online presence. You need a great branded blog site, well maintained social media pages, a high quality website, and perhaps most importantly, you need them all interacting with each other.
Once this is all in place, you’re in a great position to have online success, but it still often takes a little more. Many companies turn towards targeted email marketing, which can work wonders if there’s something great to refer potential clients to. With a decent website that’s already well linked with your social media sites; you stand a far better chance of having a high level of success with your email marketing.
Of course, targeted email marketing works best when you are offering a real brand for someone to buy into, which is why your branded social profiles are so important. You can use these sites to boost your brand, and hopefully this will mean a better conversion when it comes to your targeted email marketing. Thankfully, decent SEO agencies will offer you a service where the number of responders will be guaranteed. You should be able to specify the number of people that you would like to open the mail out for a certain fee. This is a great measured way to try to increase interest in your site and brand and an increase in traffic or sales.
Finding the right SEO Company is key in all of this. You should be looking for a company who practices Organic SEO services but who can still get results. You should be looking to find a company that can help you to grow your brand as well as improve your placement in the search rankings. There’s so much to online marketing these days, and you really need an SEO company that has moved with the times and is able to deliver on all fronts.
Build Interest and Conversions By Mixing On-Site Video with Targeted Email Marketing
It is getting harder and harder to keep up with all of the Google SEO trends, but that is not to say that it is more difficult to convert visitors that do end up at your site. In fact, it is getting easier. The art of conversion has developed into an almost scientific process with new tools being added every year that make the whole job even easier.
As far as small business SEO goes, it should be left in the hands of a professional company that can get the job done quickly and affordably. A small business owner simply doesn’t have the time to commit to this type of project and needs to hire it out.
Website conversions can also be increased by using a business that specializes in this field. There are three things that any website has to do. It needs to keep customers on the site for as long as possible, convince visitors that the service or product offered is something they should buy, and finally offer reasons why their emotional decision to buy is correct. Once this is put into effect there will be more sales.
The best way to increase conversions on site is to use on-site videos along with targeted email marketing. Videos help to keep visitors on the site while email marketing can continue the conversations after the visitors have left.
There are a lot of visitors that will come to your website and won’t buy anything right away. A lot of people need time to think about a purchase, and if you don’t stay in touch with them you will lose the sale. By offering something for free now, and then following up with them through emails later, you’ll be able to catch these future sales.
Sometimes this can happen in a few days, sometimes months and in extreme cases it may take years before a customer ever decides to buy something from you. This is fine, however, because as you build up your base of subscribers your sales will increase regularly.
There is no better way to increase your bottom dollar than by using on-site videos along with email marketing. These two tools have proven themselves beyond doubt to be long-term moneymakers for any business.
Web Presenters and Targeted Email Marketing: Two Killer Conversion-Boosters
With all of the talk about SEO and the proper way to do it these days, less attention is being put on customer conversions. While SEO is important to get your site ranking, it won’t do you any good unless you can convert all of the extra visitors into customers. Conversions are just as important as SEO and need to be addressed in order to see increased sales.
There are two killer methods you can use to increase your revenues right now. The first is a web presenter. This is a video that you can put on your site that has an actor talking right to your visitors. You decide what you want the actor to say and the message you want to get across.
The reason why this video is so effective is there is a real person talking to the visitor at your site. It grabs the attention of a potential customer right away, and if the message is effective enough, the person will watch this video through to the end and then take action on your site. They may buy something or opt in to be a part of your email list.
Building up a list of emails is another vital strategy that any business needs to employ. Once you have a list of people that are interested in what you have to offer, you can send them emails promoting products and offering sound advice. Targeted email marketing is the best way to reach people that are interested in what you have to offer. This is how millionaires have been made and local businesses have thrived. If you haven’t yet added an auto responder to your website to collect emails from your visitors, you’re simply leaving money on the table.
Web presenters get the attention of your visitors and help to lead them towards making a purchase or signing up for your list. When you have a presenter and a targeted list of emails, you will definitely see an increase in your profits as long as your web presentation is done properly and the emails sent out are written with good copy.
The Importance of Conversions And The Power of Targeted Email Marketing
Here’s a situation we see all too often in the SEO world: some guy has dumped a few hundred bucks a month into website SEO for the better part of a year, and he’s got himself up to a hundred hits a day. That’s a big milestone for an internet entrepreneur, and he should be incredibly happy to get there. But he has a problem. He’s not making any money.
For every hundred people who land on his website, 9 of them ‘bounce’ — that is to say, they click away within 10 seconds of landing there. 91 of them stick around and read a bit of the content — but then another 90 of them leave without buying anything. 9% is a totally acceptable bounce rate — surfers are fickle that way — but a 1% conversion rate is really hard to make any money with.
So how do you rescue a failing conversion rate? One very effective method is called targeted Email marketing: the art of ‘squeezing’ an email address out of a surfer who isn’t ready to buy and then emailing them more content later on in hopes that they’ll come around and purchase your product or service. It happens in four steps: the squeeze, the flow, the drop, and the score.
The squeeze is basically an exchange — you give them something they want, usually some free information, and they give you their email address and permission to email them with commercial materials down the road.
The flow is the part during which you Email them a few times with NON-commercial content. You get them used to the idea that your Emails are full of useful content without a lot of pressure.
The drop comes the first time you put a call-to-action in an Email. At that point, some people will immediately unsubscribe — that’s normal. The ones that don’t are considering your offer. The drop is usually somewhat subdued in tone. More drops generally happen after the score.
The score comes a few emails after the drop, and it’s a high-pressure sales email designed to elicit maximum response. More people will unsubscribe in response — that’s normal too. After this point, every month or so should have a new score.
Basically at this point, you’ll have three groups of people on your list: people who aren’t reading it but can’t figure out how to unsubscribe; people who are reading it and want to buy but can’t afford it (but will someday); and people who will buy — usually multiple times — as you suggest products. That last group is your bread and butter, and is a group that your website would never have gotten a single penny from without the power of targeted Email marketing.
Ultimate Conversions: Targeted Email Marketing From The Outside In
Targeted Email Marketing (TEM) is NOT typically part of the services offered by a website SEO company. That’s because it’s not actually SEO — there is nothing about TEM that will get your website ranked any higher for anything anywhere.
What TEM is, however, is a way of improving the effectiveness of any SEO you’ve already done. That’s because of a simple calculation:
Traffic * Conversion Rate = Sales
What that means is that if you have 200 visitors, and you convert 3% of them, you’ve just made 6 sales. You can improve your number of sales by getting more traffic, or you can do it by improving your conversion rate. SEO is designed to get you more traffic — but at some point, you’ll make more money by improving your conversion rate than you will by adding another 4 or 5 visitors per day.
So, Targeted Email Marketing. Have you ever seen a website that offers you something for free, but asks you to put in your name and Email address in order to get it? That’s TEM in action. If you’ve ever done this, you know that the next step is to receive an Email that says “hey, is it cool that you continue to receive Email from this website?”, and you have to say “yes” in order to get the free thing.
What you’ve just done is confirm via Email that any further Emails the webmaster of that site sends you aren’t spam and you accept his right to send them to you. From his perspective, he now has a ‘hook’ in you. He can send you an Email whenever he has a new sale, a new product, or even just because he wants to impress you with how knowledgeable and competent he is in his field.
As you can imagine, it’s a killer way to turn visitors into buyers, because you can remind them of your product and your offer every week…forever! You can keep trying different angles until you find one that sticks. Every time you throw an Email out to your TEM list, you get a bunch of them back on your website for another chance at that 3% conversion rate.
That’s the kind of tool that SEO companies typically overlook because they’re focused on traffic, but if you find an SEO company that offers TEM as a service, you know you’ve got someone who is focused on improving your profits from every possible angle — a great find.
Social Bookmarking Is a Sucker’s Game — Isn’t It?
There’s been a lot of changes to the social bookmarking game in the past few years. Even as far back as Google’s addition of the nofollow tag, social bookmarking pages have been declared ‘dead’ over and over again by various SEO gurus. Yet somehow, it keeps coming back like a zombie in a B-grade horror movie. The fact is that social bookmarking might not be the utterly amazing backlink that it was when Digg and del.ici.ous first invented the term, but they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
The reasons why are several, but the big ones are very big.
A social bookmark gives you control over two things that are very important: the context around your link (what many organic SEO experts like to call “Latent Semantic Indexing” or “LSI”), and the actual anchor text of the link itself. Every time you get a link to your site, Google looks at the anchor text and the LSI to determine how relevant the linking page is to your website, and modified the link’s strength based on the relevance. That makes controllable links much stronger than uncontrollable ones.
There’s nothing like investing a few thousand dollars in a massive and complex link building campaign and then discovering six months later than half of the sites you linked from have either disappeared or at least eliminated your links. That’s a lot of money and time down the drain. Mercifully, social bookmarking sites don’t do that. They are persistent, which means every well-controlled link you build on a social bookmarking site is here to stay.
Yes, I said Panda. Panda is the latest Google toy, and it’s designed to make sites more ‘user-friendly’. One of the things that the Goog decided when they built Panda was that social bookmarking buttons are totally cool to have featured prominently on a website (as opposed to, say, AdWords blocks or banner ads.) That means that, as the Web adapts to the latest twist Google has for us, social bookmarking is only going to get more and more used, which means social bookmarks will get more authority. What more do you need to know?
Who Else Should Be Looking Into Custom Blog Creation?
Custom blog creation is the name of a service that SEO companies have been selling to small businesses for years. It’s a very dependable way to improve a website’s rankings for particular keywords, which is exactly why it’s used — but it’s also relatively easy and inexpensive, which is why it’s marketed as a regular component of small business SEO.
A customized blog allows you to have content pages (which attract surfers) that then link back to your main site with controllable context and controllable anchor text. That, in turn, makes the site more likely to rank for the keywords that you use as anchor text. Thus, blogs serve as both an SEO tool and as part of your sales funnel — exactly the kind of multipurpose power that small businesses need in their tools. But there are other entities who should be looking into custom blog creation as well.
If you’re a freelancer looking to make a name for yourself, one of the biggest steps you can take on the road to stable success is to build yourself a website. People who want to learn about you — to decide whether to hire you — are going to Google you; that’s just a fact of life. You can let them find your Facebook page with your drunken college pictures, or you can present them a professional face.
Having a blog attached to that professional face is a great way to show your potential employers that you know your game. Write about what you do, about your challenges and your victories, and about the details of whatever skill you apply on a regular basis. As before, not only do you get to show off, but you can optimize your website for killer keywords at the same time.
It’s one thing to be in business, but the public sector is another area entirely. One thing that both groups seem to consistently need, however, is more attention. If you happen to be a hospital director, a college principal, or the head of any other public institution, you might not be aware of just how easy it is to focus the right eyes on your Web presence: all you need is a blog. Everything said above applies just as well to an .edu or an .org than it does to a .com — don’t hesitate!
When and Why To Put All You’ve Got into Article Writing and Submission
There is ample evidence for anyone out there looking that article writing and submission is a killer SEO tactic. The reasons are pretty simple: content is king, control is key, and article directories are heavyweights.
Content is King
Google loves content. If you write an article that talks intelligently about facts that aren’t already discussed to death elsewhere on the Internet, Google will love you. You’ll rank well for quite a few keywords, and people will see your words. Put a decent call to action at the bottom with a link to your site, and you’re likely to get quite a few clickthroughs.
Control is Key
When you create a backlink to your site, Google uses it to decide what your site is about. Having a backlink to a site about golf from a site about pit bulls confuses Google. When you write an article, you control the context of your backlink perfectly, giving Google a strong signal about what your site is about. Strong signals mean better ranking.
Article Directories are Heavyweights
Article directories are classic examples of what Google called “authority sites” — their pages are considered pretty trustworthy. What that means is that every link you get from a respected article directory gives your site a lot of ‘juice’.
So the question is When and Why to put your effort into writing articles (as opposed to building backlinks by doing some other form of website SEO)? The answer isn’t what you might think. The thing about article writing and distribution is that it takes a lot of time and effort per article. Articles should be high on your priority list if and when your ‘SEO basics’ are already taken care of. Before you get heavy into articles, make sure you’ve got a natural link profile consisting of:
- Social bookmarks
- Forum posts
- Blog posts
- Blog comments
- Web 2.0 properties
- Directory entries
- RSS aggregations
- Link exchanges
- and Videos
Once your backlink structure has the low-effort, high-rankings-impact backlinks above built, then and only then should you invest significant money into getting articles written and submitted Getting there might take a month or three, but the effect of good articles backed up by a solid link profile is pure gold.
First Page Placement Doesn’t Mean Automatic Success
There’s a lot of emphasis put on first page placement by SEO companies. Like many industries, they have a strong motivation to sell you on the idea that they can solve all of your problems. In the Web Wide World, “all your problems” seem to spring from a single source: not enough traffic.
So long as X% of visitors convert into sales, then more traffic equals more money. It seems pretty simple. If only it really were. But it’s easily possible — in the case of someone unfamiliar with the basics of marketing, even downright probable — that you can get a site listed on the first page of a decent keyword and get nothing for it.
There are a few ways that can happen. The first is if you go the ‘sponsored placement’ route. That is, pay-per-click (or PPC) marketing. With PPC, every time a surfer clicks on your advertisement, you pay a few cents. They end up on your page. But if they don’t buy anything from your page, you lose those few cents. Over hundreds of clicks per day, that can add up pretty fast.
That’s why, if you’re going to go the PPC route, it makes sense to hire a PPC management team that knows their stuff. They can keep costs down and traffic high at the same time — something that’s virtually impossible for a webmaster working alone.
Another way that you can waste a valuable first page placement is by having a page that simply doesn’t convert well. If you manage to do enough organic SEO to get real regular search traffic to your site on a regular basis (virtually the only functional alternative to PPC), you still need them to buy stuff.
There are a lot of ways to encourage them to convert. Learning sales language and call-to-action prompts are good. Belcher buttons (look up) are virtually mandatory. Using a gimmick like a web presenter or a focus video can work well in the right fields. Regardless of how you do it, you have to pay attention to conversions as well as traffic. Only then will your first page placement really mean what the marketers want you to believe it will.
Go Local! Internet Marketing for Brick and Mortar Businesses
Local internet marketing isn’t a new phenomenon if you’re familiar with online marketing in general — but if you’re a brick and mortar business just starting to build your online presence, you might be curious what the hoopla is about. There’s a lot of people out there talking in a lot of very excited voices about online marketing; this is the straight scoop.
“Reach audiences worldwide! Have an online storefront open 24/7/265!”
You’ll hear this one a lot. The truth couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, a website could potentially get hits from Pak Gwak Kai or Orniok, but the fact is that Google knows where you live. Google isn’t going to show your trading-card store to someone searching for rookie Chesbro if that person is searching from Latvia. They’re going to show that guy a store in Latvia. Google isn’t dumb.
On the other hand, if you deliberately include your location in all of your marketing strategies — what we call local internet marketing — you’ll end up showing up high on the results pages whenever anyone searches for “trading cards in Los Angeles”. SEO gets a lot easier when you keep it local.
“All you need to make money is a website and some traffic! It just runs itself!”
Yeah. That’s kind of like saying all you need to run the United States is an Oval Office and the title of President. It’s easy to say, but actually getting those things isn’t terribly easy. I mean, putting up a website is pretty easy, but then you also have to have a website that people will buy stuff from. That’s harder.
Also, getting traffic to come to that site isn’t all that easy, either. The best way to go about it is to get your site ranked on various relevant Google searches, but that means paying for someone to optimize your site for those keywords. Because local keywords are much lower competition than broad keywords, they’re much quicker and much cheaper to rank for — making local internet marketing a much smarter option.
What It Mean to Be Affordable? SEO and Cashflow Economics
Let’s just get one thing clear: the economy ain’t recovering. It’s not a matter of time, it doesn’t matter who’s in office — the economy isn’t going to recover for decades. That means that every single entrepreneur who tries to get started online is looking for the same thing: affordable SEO.
But what is affordable SEO? Affordable means a lot of things to a lot of different people. If you’ve got a J.O.B., affordable means it’s within your monthly budget. If you’re rich, affordable means it’s purchasable. If you’re an entrepreneur, however, affordable means it fits within your cashflow.
That’s because an entrepreneur has to deal with invoices — both incoming and outgoing –that are much less reliable than a paycheck. Sometimes, all of an entrepreneur’s money comes in at once; sometimes, it trickles in bit by bit every day. The question for an entrepreneur isn’t whether something is affordable overall; it’s whether the payment can be spread over a long enough time that there’s never a cashflow issue generated when the payment comes due.
In that way, most forms of organic SEO are still affordable to most entrepreneurs. Sure, there are always SEO companies who want you to pay three large on the first of every month to get their ultra-platinum superservice, but they’re dying if not dead. Real SEO companies have options.
Of course, you still need to have a bit of an idea what your cashflow needs will be — but the beauty of SEO is that it’s cumulative. From a cashflow perspective, that means you can get a little bit done when you have a little money, or if you catch a lucky break, you can buy a better service for a month or two. SEO isn’t a startup cost, that must be paid all at once — it’s not even like a bill that has to be paid every month.
What SEO is is a marketing expense — and any business guru will tell you what when money is tight, the best place to put your money is in advertising. How else are you supposed to start bringing money in? Especially online, SEO is the key to traffic which is the key to sales.
In the end, then, SEO is affordable when it doesn’t ruin your cashflow, and that’s the only consideration, because every ‘unit’ of SEO you purchase promises future income. The ‘right’ move, then, is to buy what you can afford when you can afford it, consistently.
Google’s Games: Is Organic SEO Still Viable?
I just heard the worst words an SEO guy could ever hope to hear: a client told me on the phone that “organic SEO just isn’t working anymore.” He was talking, as you might have guessed from the title, about Panda.
If you’ve never heard of Panda, here’s the story. A Google software engineer named SomethingLongAndIndian Panda came up with a learning algorithm that keys off of the “user-friendliness” of a webpage. The Goog did a bunch of research into what pisses users off about websites, and turned it into a bunch of “do-nots”, taught the Panda algorithm about them, and then let Panda inform the Google main algorithm about website rankings.
The end result? If your webpage isn’t easy to use — and that means easy on the eyes, not just easy to find the “buy now” button — it won’t rank well, period. There are a few things that Panda takes a look at that aren’t on the traditional list of website SEO rules:
In other words, is your content interrupted by crap? Adwords, banners, even poorly-located navigation bars are considered ‘no-go’ by Panda. If you want an example of a website that reoptimized to Panda’s standards, go look at any article on EZineArticles.com. There’s an author pic, an unobtrusive info panel with social buttons, and that’s it until after all of the content. All of the crap that the reader might consider unimportant comes at the bottom.
It used to be that a 200 word article was adequate for SEO purposes — not anymore. Panda hates thin content. You’d better have at least 400-600 words on a webpage if you expect Panda to consider it quality enough to get a decent ranking, straight up.
Panda also knows your sister. Or rather, your webpage’s sister. While Panda gives a quality score to every page, it also gives a quality score to an entire site, and the two modify each other. So if you have one Panda-perfect page on an otherwise horrible site, you can’t expect it to rank. Quality has to be across all pages.
In the end, I told that client of mine that he had no idea what he was talking about. The truth of the matter is this: Panda isn’t a whole new set of rules — all of the old rules are still there, and they still work. We just have a few more points to take into consideration, that’s all.
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