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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.

Posts Tagged ‘search engine marketing’

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 – 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 You Might Not Want to be Number One in Google

I was talking to a prospective client a while ago and she was fixated on being number one in Google for a highly competitive keyword. It’s not that I didn’t have the ability to help her accomplish this as I have obtained countless top 10 positions in Google over the past decade. Her problem was that she didn’t have the finances to have the work done in order to make it happen.

I tried to help her by crafting an affordable proposal that would get her website found on the search engines for lesser competitive (long tail), but equally effective terms. She seemed to still be fixated on her keyword of choice. I posed the question to her about how much business she thought she would get if she were at the #1 spot. Specifically, I asked her if she was prepared to handle the amount of inquiries and customers she would receive if she was #1 for a high level and highly searched term (knowing that she was not based on the size of her company vs. those in the top 10). Her reply was something to the effect of “that would be a great problem to have.” I agree it would be a problem, but I am not sure it would be a great problem for her.

We talked a bit about her plans to grow her business and she really did not have a plan in place, which I am sure would have sent her into panic if the need arose as quickly as it would have.

There are plenty of stories of companies that have grown too fast to their detriment. There are multitude of reasons, but they all revolve around not having the resources to serve the needs of a massive influx of customers all at once. This all has to do with business planning, which is the first point of failure for most small business owners. You’ve heard the saying I am sure; “people don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan“.

So my question is not “do you want to be #1 on Google” but rather “are you prepared for what it may look like?”

How Search Engine Marketing Can Save the Economy

I know this sounds like a tall order, but lets look at the facts. According to the recent SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization) survey, people are going to spend more and more on Internet Marketing services. If you are not marketing your business online, that means your competition is edging you out by being where the customers are. (and what in the world are you waiting for, a recession? :-))

On a larger scale, I know of companies that still spend over $100,000 in direct mail campaigns year after year. This is not speculation but based on a conversation with a business owner I met after speaking at the AFSA Marketing Forum this past March. This company paid very little to their online presence, and my bet is that if they invest a fraction of that direct mail money on:

a) Building a user-friendly, search-engine friendly (optimized) website.

b) Perform a simple link building campaign, starting with basic search engine directories and business directories.

c) Allocating a portion of their money for Paid Search which will give them live prospects, which in my opinion is far better than branding via direct mail and praying that someone wants or needs your service.

d) Implementing a solid system for follow up both online using email marketing and off line now that they are warm direct mail prospects, which is a huge difference than buying lists.

How will this save the economy?
Businesses will spend less to attract more targeted customers, which will make them more profitable, assuring that much needed raise – along with keeping the door open. If you work in the direct mail field, you might be saying “he’s trying to ruin our industry”. No, but I am showing you where marketing is headed so you should take this to heart and find a search marketing firm to partner with (shameless plug here) to help your customers maximize their spending. They’ll soon figure this out and you will lose them so you are better off looking like a hero in their eyes by presenting the facts to them.

If it doesn’t save the US economy, I can bet it will change your personal economy.


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