Google Labeling websites without SSL "UNSAFE"
December 7th, 2016
Google has announced that it has started considering SSL protected websites (https) as a measure of deciding page rank for websites in search results.
Awesome PDF Compressor
May 18th, 2016
A great tool for compressing PDF documents for faster loading on your website
3 Reasons why Wordpress is not a good choice for your web platform
March 9th, 2016
From ground up, WordPress was designed for blogging. So on a basic installation of WordPress, all you can do is add posts, create static pages and...
December 4th, 2015
We get a lot of calls and emails asking about SEO. Here are a couple of tips and tricks to help you with your site and getting more hits!
5 Key Considerations when buidling a Mobile Website
July 8th, 2015
The web has gone mobile and so has internet commerce. Studies show that mobile-based shopping and even purchasing is expected to increase by 200% by 2017.
April 21st, Google will be penalizing websites that are not mobile
April 9th, 2015
This means your mobile search traffic could take a drastic dive, limiting the number of customers who can find your website.
Avoid SEO Hype ~ Focus on ROI
As always, there are contradicting viewpoints on small business SEO and the guidance from Google is, well, confusing at best. Small business owners don't have the luxury of being wrong. They operate as lean as they can, and rainy-day financing is hard to come by.
For these reasons, small businesses need to be guided by statistics and analytics. They need to avoid wasting time and money in controversial discussions that have no end.
What Channels are Most Effective for Lead Generation
BrightLocal recently surveyed 20,000 small businesses to assess sources of leads and found respondents indicated the following:
- Word of mouth: 26 percent
- SEO: 19 percent
- Online local directories: 15 percent
- PPC: 3 percent
- Local TV advertising: 1 percent
- Local radio advertising: 2 percent
- Online marketing as a whole: 54 percent (Website Design - wink, wink)
These statistics confirm why many small businesses ask for SEO as their first online marketing product, they know this technique has worked for others, plus they want to do what they can to help further exploit their singular marketing superpower, their website. However, SEO is the worst place for a small business that is moving from word-of-mouth marketing to online marketing due to uncertainty, ROI time frame, and complexity.
PPC (Pay Per Click) is the Best Starting Point for Small Business
Small businesses that are just starting online marketing distrust the newness and complexity of the Internet. They are likely coming from the Yellow Pages and local networking. While they don't like the Yellow Pages, they understand how it works (or used to work).
Agencies should steer inexperienced customers into PPC first because it is most similar to Yellow Page advertising. Furthermore, 72 percent of marketers that use PPC plan to increase their PPC budgets in 2014, which demonstrates it is generally successful.
PPC allows customers to secure new business rapidly. Trust will develop over time, and new products can then be proposed.
SEO for the Advanced Customer
As the cost-per-lead of PPC advertising becomes too high, the agency should introduce the discussion of long-term SEO and content marketing. SEO is a very popular migration path from PPC, and 93 percent of marketers plan to use content marketing in 2014.
It is optimal to run both strategies simultaneously as algorithm changes can be highly disruptive to SEO progress. But for the patient customer, SEO will have rich rewards as the cost-per-lead is widely recognized as the best available.
Whereas SEO used to mean link building, it does not anymore. 92 percent of marketers believe that content creation is the single most effective innitiative for SEO in 2014.
Social media has had a more difficult time proving direct ROI and Google's recent announcement affirms that Twitter and Facebook do NOT get special treatment in the algorithm. While social media quickly merges with PR and customer service, 46 percent of marketers believe it is crucial to their business. In a recent newspaper interview, I described Social Media as the yeast in the bread. It helps make the recipe work, but is not generally something you can taste directly.
Where is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is old, and therefore not interesting to small business. However, overlooking email is a grave mistake.
By some estimates, the average ROI for email marketing is $44 for every $1 spent, when executed correctly. Email marketing amplifies all other activities as users are brought back after an email address is captured via PPC, SEO or social media.
Email marketing technology is inexpensive. Any small business that isn't actively maintaining and growing at least two email lists (prospects and existing customers) doesn't have their house in order.
It's easy to be swept up in the hype of controversy about which linking strategy but data shows that the migration to online marketing generally starts with the wrong product (i.e., SEO). Furthermore, integrated strategies work much better than stand-alone initiatives, but small business budgets are prohibitive.
Finally, the oldest tool in the drawer (e.g., email marketing) and just having a great, GREAT Website Design is often overlooked.
Small businesses should be guided by statistics, which clearly suggest starting with PPC advertising, because it works. As trust with the Internet develops, they will naturally seek a lower cost-per-lead. At this point, they can migrate into content marketing – launching social media and email marketing simultaneously to build an integrated online marketing strategy for the decade.