Online Marketing

One Important Factor in Generating Web Leads

The advantage of putting together a successful online marketing and search engine optimization campaign is that your business website can deliver new leads, sales, and inquiries to you every hour of the day, every day of the week.

There is a downside, however, beyond the investment of time and money it takes to get to that point: that your business website can deliver new leads, sales, and increased revenue every hour of the day, every day of the week.

What we are getting at here is that being “busy” isn’t always the same as being successful. There is a huge difference between getting a steady flow of high-quality leads from qualified and interested buyers versus being overwhelmed with people who are simply there for free advice, for rock-bottom prices, or to waste your time. In other words, it isn’t just about the amount of attention you’re getting, but who it’s coming from and where it leads.

Having too many visitors to your business website, even if they aren’t exactly the ones you’re looking for, might sound like a good problem to have, and in some ways it can be. But, since time is money, and there are actually certain types of online orders that can cost you more than they generate, it’s important to factor these considerations into your lead-generation campaign.

Here are three things to consider:

It’s a good idea to be selective. Most businesses aren’t built to handle orders and accounts from every type of buyer, so make sure that everything about your online marketing plan – and especially your keyword targeting and sales messages – are pointed at your best buyers.

Let buyers know what to expect. What happens when someone calls you, or signs up for your e-mail newsletter? Will they get an e-mail in return, be forwarded to one of your salespeople, or stay on your list for years to come? Let visitors to your website know what will happen when they take the next step, and you’ll find that more of them are prepared to follow up with you.

Track all levels of conversions. Turning a high percentage of visitors into call-in leads, for example, is a good first step. But until you know how many of those phone calls are turning into actual appointments or sales, you can’t make good decisions about your online marketing campaign or accurately figure your ROI. Track conversions at every level, and you’ll have the information you need.

It’s great to be popular online, but it’s also important to be sure that you’re attracting the right kinds of buyers, and that all of that traffic is ultimately profitable. Call or e-mail us today to set up a free consultation and find out how you can maximize the ROI from your Internet marketing plan.

Online Marketing Social Media

The Biggest Myth of Social Media Marketing

There are a lot of misconceptions around social media marketing. It isn’t unusual to find business owners and managers, for example, who think that setting up a Facebook profile is enough to double their online sales (it isn’t). Similarly, it isn’t unheard of to speak with new clients who think that having a few thousand followers on Twitter is enough to make them a millionaire (it’s not).

Probably the worst myth about social media, however, is that it doesn’t cost anything. This is one that’s so widespread that you often read it in business magazines and even well-known blogs. Signing up for Facebook or Twitter doesn’t require a fee, so using them must not involve any expense… right?

That’s wrong for at least three important reasons:

1. Even “free” online marketing tools cost time. Within most successful businesses, time is worth even more than money, and few of those at the top have it to waste. Considering that just keeping up with your social profiles, responding to invitations, and making a few new connections every week can easily burn a few hours, it would seem that the minutes required actually carry a fairly hefty bottom-line price.

2. You will probably want to hire a creative team for social media marketing sooner or later. Part of this has to do with the time factor mentioned above, but another part also has to do with the fact that it’s all about results. In other words, having a team of experts posting to your profile is the best way to turn those updates into actual sales. And so, even though you could manage social media marketing with little more than your own time, it tends to be counterproductive.

3. Like any other Internet marketing medium, it’s all about efficiency. When it comes down to it, you shouldn’t be worried about whether social media is free or not, or how much it costs you to have someone else write things like tweets and respond to others. What really matters is what you’re getting out for the investment you’re putting in. Whether it’s part of your calendar or part of your marketing budget, efficiency and ROI are the real keys.

So given that social media marketing isn’t really free, what’s the best way to manage it? The answer is treated the same way you would anything else: Set the direction yourself, hire someone who knows it to take away the day-to-day burden, and then set some measurable goals for the long term. Over time, that’s the best way to both figure out how much time and money to invest, and then to get the most out of that investment.

Content Search Engine Optimization

What’s Better Than Good SEO Content?

If there were an actual textbook on online marketing, one that we could all agree on and learn from, it’s likely that writing good search engine optimization content would fall within the first few chapters. After all, there aren’t many things as great as having a well-optimized page or post that’s indexed quickly and brings lots of interested buyers to your business website.

Having great, keyword-heavy content isn’t everything, though. In fact, there are a few types of content you can get that are even more valuable:

Almost anything related to your business that’s funny. Humor is the original form of viral content. Long before there was such a thing as the Internet, or even before mainstream publishing, people were passing jokes and quips among themselves for entertainment. That’s why anything that gets a chuckle out of your customers can be turned into something with marketing value that goes far beyond what you get in a few keywords.

An article, post, or idea that pushes a new viewpoint. The world is heavy on content, but lean on new ideas. In other words, so much of what we write, publish, and talk about has been discussed before… sometimes to death. So, if you can find a way to contribute something entirely new to an important discussion – or at least shed some light on an often-missed point – then you’ll have created something that customers will want to share with one another, regardless of how well you promote it.

Information that is timely. In the same way, being the first to report something, or understand, has a lot of value in our “everything right now” world. The public, and your customer base, are always looking for the next big thing. Sometimes, you can be the first to report on it; other times, you might simply have the best perspective to understand what’s actually going on in your industry. Either way, timely content might not always last as long, but it can generate a lot of traffic and interest while it’s hot.

What do each of these types of content have in common? Your customers and prospects will spread them among themselves – you don’t have to wait for them to come and find you. So, if you can make a habit of creating them, your business will keep growing. Even better yet, why not combine something funny, informative, or insightful with a few keyword-rich paragraphs to get things moving along?

Great content might be more important than offering something with high SEO value, but who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?