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DISCLAIMER: The FTC requires me to let you know that I may be compensated for products or services recommended. In many cases I am recommending my own company's services, so it's kind of funny to have to spell this out, but I do get paid by some of the companies whose ads are on the site. I ONLY list ads for companies that I use and fully endorse.

Archive for the ‘search engine marketing’ Category

New Program Enhances Internal Internet Marketing Initiatives

I am happy to announce a new service being offered by my company AKA Internet Marketing. It’s called the Virtual Search Engine Marketing Director program and it’s geared towards companies that have a web marketing staff (or people that have been roped into it), but lack the budget to hire a veteran Search Engine Marketing Director.

The goal of the program is to help these companies improve the results they are getting from Internet Marketing by having an outside party take a look at the results and provide strategic direction. In many cases, a company might hire such a person, and then later have to let them go when looking for a higher than average salary to cut. A seasoned search engine marketing director can earn up to $120,000 or more.

To learn more, you can contact AKA Internet Marketing at 602.903.6223.

View our related press release.

Fueled Friday – Using Multiple Online Marketing Strategies

Today, I want to discuss the various types on online marketing strategies that you can use as an intro to the upcoming blog posts on the mechanics of each.

For many, the term online marketing brings to mind a host of different thoughts. Some immediately think of search engine optimization, others may think of paid search, and yet others may think of email marketing, blogging, or social media strategies. The fact remains, that they are all components of online marketing, and frankly should all be employed at some level. Some strategies will come more naturally to you, and others will seem to give you better results. Over the next several posts, I will cover each, but today, I will leave you with a simple list of online marketing strategies to consider. To get a head start on this series of posts, I recommend doing a search on this blog to see what you can find on the topic as well as a Google search to learn more about whichever segment of online marketing you are seeking to learn more about.

Here is my list of the various online marketing strategies that you can employ. If you feel something is missing, let me know my leaving a comment below:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This involves architecting your website to obtain natural rankings in the search engines. It is the most effective form of online marketing, and takes the most time to see results.

Paid Search / Pay Per Click (PPC) Search: This involves paying for each visitor that comes to your website. The upside is that you will see results immediately; the down side is that you can lose lots of money if you do this wrong.

– Blogging: You will learn several reasons why blogging is a highly effective form on online marketing. It is one of my favorite and I cannot wait to share more on this. You can also implement blogging without spending a penny, which make it a great option for those with limited budgets.

Email Marketing: There are two aspect of email marketing that I will share. The first is the most effective and involves emailing your clients and prospect. The second and less recommended form of email marketing it purchasing email lists (NOT spam lists) and marketing to cold prospects.

Viral Marketing: This is a form of marketing where you share valuable information for free (from your website) and allow others to share it for free. It is a great way to get the word out about your product, service, or business.

Social Media Marketing: Everyone is talking about Social Media these days, and it’s a great way to build a following for your brand and reach lots of prospects in a short period of time. Sadly, most don’t really understand how to implement it effectively.

Text / Mobile Marketing: As the name implies, this is a method of reaching people via cell phones and smart devices. It is a growing field that you should not ignore.

Affiliate Marketing: This is a powerful way to empower others to send you business. Of course, you will pay them for their successful referrals, but it essentially puts a commissioned sales force to work for you.

Online Press / Media Relations: This is an area that many businesses neglect and it can produce amazing results.

Online Advertising: This is closely related to PPC, yet it deserves its own category. I would recommend this only as a last resort or a supplement to a multi-channel online marketing program.

Local Search Marketing: Reaching your local audience is critical if you are a local business, but even if you are a national business you don’t want to neglect customers in your own backyard.

Well, I am sure that gives you lots to consider. Please take the time to do some research on any of these that are not familiar with you. This way, when we reach this part in the series, it won’t be totally new to you and you will be able to ask some great questions to help you implement or optimize a specific strategy.

I am off to Louisville, KY today where I hear it will be cold, so keep sending me warm thoughts. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Fueled Friday – Finding Your Online Market Potential

Online marketing is the most effective form of reaching a targeted audience. In this weeks Fueled Friday post, I want to show you how to find out how much online marketing potential exists for your business. This is critical because if you don’t realize what you are missing out on, you might never be motivated to go after it. I will tell you this as well; most of your competitors are not paying attention to this so it will be fairly easy for you to outrank them and get the customers you need. This holds true whether you are a local business or serve clients nationally or internationally.

The most critical factor in any organic or paid search marketing plan is having keywords that heave search volume. If no one is search for terms related to your business, then online marketing may not be the best form of outreach for you. It is rare, but there are definitely cases where it is not in a company’s best interest to invest in an SEO or Paid Search campaign.

So how do you find out what people are searching on? The simplest and most cost effective way is to use Google’s free keyword research tool. This will tell you what people are searching on and how many searches are being done in a given month. If there are lots of people searching, then that means you have a high online marketing potential. If the search volume is low, then you do not have a high of an online marketing potential, but this could also be a good sign if there are fewer competitors because most of the prospects searching would end up at your website. Below is a screen shot from a search I did for local accountants in my area.

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From this you can see what the search potential is for just two terms specific to “accounting in phoenix.” Let’s assume for a minute that you are going to target these two terms here which represents roughly 35,200 monthly searches. Now keep in mind that the percentage of these searchers that come to your website will be relative to where you rank for these terms. You really will need to get ranked on page 1 for to see any reasonable percentage of these searchers. Let’s say you get to position 2 and you generate roughly 8% of this traffic. That would give you roughly 2,800 visitors to your website, of which a smaller percentage will engage. We can conservatively use 3% which would give you about 84 visitors for the month. What percentage of those that contact you looking for your help do you think you can close? If we assume it’s just 20%, that would net you 16 new clients that months. Now let’s assume they are small business clients with an ongoing monthly retainer of $1,000. This would generate about $16,000 in additional monthly revenue for your business.

So now you have the formula to find out your online marketing potential. I encourage you to do your own search and plug in your numbers to see what the specific potential is for your business.

The exact formula is: “total number of searches” x “percentage of those that you can attract via paid, local, and organic search” (use 3-10% if you are on page one and zero if you are not) x “the percentage of people that land on your website then contact you (you can use 3% as an estimate) x the percentage of people that you close (use 20% but do track and find your actual closing ratio).

If your average cost per client is low, then you have to be a bit more cautious to how much you spend to generate leads online. If your average cost per customer is much higher, then you may need fewer clients to see a very strong return on investment.

I know you may be thinking that there is no way you can afford to get to the top of the search engines, but I have to tell you that it certainly is possible. Does it have to be expensive? No. In fact, there are plenty of low cost or no cost strategies that you can use to attract people to your website (mainly blogging and social media which I did not include in the calculations).

I’d love to hear your success stories, so feel free to email me and let me know what you came up with in terms of your market potential. If this is a bit overwhelming, then feel free to contact me and I will provide a free online marketing assessment and this way you will know where you stand in terms of what it would take to get you to the top of the search engines.

Now that you have some work to do for the weekend, enjoy your Friday!

Is Your Staff Sabotaging Your SEO Efforts?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the best ways to connect with hot prospects for your business. If you are reading this, you most likely agree and have some understanding of the process. What many fail to realize is that like any other marketing strategy, SEO is not the end all, but rather a prospect generating strategy. It will allow those looking for your products or services to find you, but here is what is doesn’t do:

    Answer your telephone promptly and professionally.
    Greet your customers with a smile.
    Give outstanding customer service to your customers.
    Take messages for you when you are away.

I think you get the picture. Once you have invested in an effective SEO campaign, make sure that you have the right people to turn that prospect (or suspect) into customer, and then a brand advocate.

Yesterday, I went to a store to buy something… I can’t say what because I am in a weight loss competition and my wife will read my blog. Granted, I did not find this store via the web, but anyone who did might have had this same experience. I walked into the store and there was no one to help me. I could see someone in the back obviously doing something more important that taking money from a paying customer. I understand that people have other things to do than wait for me to walk in, but I said “hello” and was not even acknowledged. I then waited for about a minute and thought to myself “they just don’t deserve the business”, so I went to a local competitor and got what I was craving. The real good news is that when I stepped on the scale it did not have any impact. :-)

The moral of the story; bad customer service will end up costing you more in your online marketing campaign because you will need to generate far more prospects if you aren’t taking care of them. Not only are you missing out on new business, but you are losing potential referral customers from those that get bad service and tell people (as I did).

Why Pay Per Click Search is Like Poker

Yesterday, I had a chat with someone who was asking me how my company aligned our goals with that of our clients with regard to Pay Per Click (PPC) Search Marketing. The first step is to establish what those goals are specifically and make sure that the client has at least a basic understanding of PPC metrics. Most people would assume that the clients goal is just to make more money. While this is usually the case, the road to profitability comes with establishing some benchmarks along the way. As these improve, the campaign will see profitability.

Here are three primary benchmarks to keep in mind.

1. Profitability. If it will cost $100 to get a customer and that customer makes a $25.00 purchase with no upside potential, then PPC is not going to work well for this client.

Research needs to be done in order that the client understands the cost of acquiring a client vs. the lifetime value of the customer.

Also, effective keyword research can help to discover lower cost keywords that might make an otherwise unworkable PPC campaign affordable.

2. Conversions. In relation to profitability, the challenge of increasing the conversions needs to be closely looked at. Anyone can set up a Pay Per Click account (like Google AdWords) and spend lots of money, but it takes an expert to effectively implement PPC and get high conversion rates that attract targeted customers that make buying decisions. This is where PPC is like Poker. It has been said that poker “takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.” Maybe a lifetime is a stretch for PPC, but if you have no successful track record with managing PPC, why would you think it made sense to gamble your hard earned money on it. Many companies (including our clients) have seen huge improvements in PPC profitability by hiring a professional to manage their PPC Search Marketing.

3. Tracking. Again, this might seem basic, but there are lots of methods to track the effectiveness of a Paid Search Campaign. For one, Google Analytics does a great job of allowing you to track clicks from your ad to a target destination on your web site such as a completed sales page. For those that have larger PPC budgets (in excess of $10,000 per month), it might make sense to employ another tracking tool in conjunction with Google Analytics to get more granular data.

The more closely you can track your sales to your PPC spending, the more accurately you can determine the return on investment (ROI) of your PPC campaign.

If you are considering running a PPC campaign and would like a complementary analysis, or if you are currently running a PPC campaign and want to see if there are any opportunities to improve your ROI, you can contact me at anthony(@)anthonykirlew.com or 800-453-9290 to discuss how my team and I can help you accomplish your business goals. We have a solid PPC practice group, a 12 year track record with PPC, and currently serve clients spending from $300 per month to over $50,000 per month.

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