So you have a great website. How are you getting people there?
The best part of traditional online, e-mail and mobile ads is the ability for a user to click and jump to your site — there is no extra step like remembering a number or address like with traditional ads.
A recent study had online ad revenue up again — about 23 percent to $15 billion.
“The remarkably resilient performance of interactive advertising so far in 2011 demonstrates that more marketers are placing big bets on digital to tell their brand stories,” Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB, told BusinessWire. “This welcome news, in light of the weakness in a large part of the rest of the U.S. economy, confirms that the innovations happening in interactive marketing deliver great value to the industry and to the consumer.”
If your site doesn’t offer online advertising and you have the viewership to back it up, you might be thinking about offering some form of advertising on your own site.
Advertisers love the idea of hyper-specific sites with a high volume of traffic since they know the kind of people they’re reaching. Perhaps you’re interested in advertising on a local news or other hyper-local website for the same reason
Are you interested in monetizing your website or e-mail newsletters? Let the Albany web design experts at IntelliSites help!Filed under: Marketing Your Site
In the world of SEO, there are plenty of smart, trustworthy people. They keep up on the industry, watch for Google’s next move, and provide measured advice. These people look like this, this and this.
But there are also plenty of con artists out there. These are the people who build their sales pitches around buzzwords. Who assume that reading a Wikipedia page about social media or SEO makes them an expert. Who believe they can sell ice to Eskimos, and would do so at the drop of a hat.
These, my friends, are the SEO Quacks. Sometimes, they look like this. Other times though, they look just like you and me.
So how do you know if you’re talking to a quack or a legit expert? Here are some traits that the fakers have in common:
Remember Kriss Kross? The 90′s kid rappers whose gimmick was wearing their pants backwards? Check out about 20 seconds into this video if you need a reminder of how dumb this looked.
Sadly, there were some kids who didn’t understand that the rearranged trousers look was just music industry hype. As a result, I bet we all knew a kid who showed up at school with his pants in a holy mess, dumbfounded that his popularity didn’t blow through the roof.
Old media playing in SEO is like this. They’re amazed at how forward thinking they are. Actual SEOs are laughing.
Smart SEO is strategic and flexible. It doesn’t come in neatly wrapped packages. Smart SEO works from a custom strategy, bespoke to a client’s individual needs.
If you want guaranteed rankings, talk to Google directly. In theory, they could promise you rankings. They’re the only ones who can. And they’re not going to do it.
Google is a black box. You put a search in one end and results come out the other end. No one fully knows what happens in the middle. A good SEO has some educated guesses and research to support those guesses. But in the end, they can’t guarantee rankings.
Don’t fall for it. If you do fall for it, come talk to us next. We’re offering an incredible deal on some lovely beachfront property in the arctic circle. You’d be a great match.
A client of ours showed me some clickthrough reports from an ad campaign they bought from a local media source. It was a one page excel spreadsheet with no hint as to where it came from, how the numbers were calculated, or what the client might have gotten out of those clicks.
For all I know, these are propaganda stats. They came from a proprietary tracking system that I’ve never seen. Maybe they’re a good representation of the truth, but the client is powerless to challenge them.
Real tracking comes from robust analytics. If you’re sold an SEO package without access to something like Google Analytics, think twice. Heck, think four times. This will mean you are at the mercy of your vendor for success stats. And they’re able to show you any stats they like.
Google’s keyword tool is immensely helpful for figuring out what the best keywords are for a business to target. But if you don’t know anything about match types, you’re going to find yourself more optimistic than you should be.
I don’t want to nerd out here and talk too much about match types (this conversation pretty much covers it), but let me just say this: If a salesperson doesn’t use the correct keyword match type when they do their research, they’re going to show you numbers that are very misleading.
A word to the wise – take a few minutes to learn about match types. It could mean the difference between buying a smart SEO package and a lemon.
The fact that I keep hearing SEO salespeople talking about keyword meta tags in 2011 just flat out blows my mind. The short story is this: THEY DON’T MATTER.
Some metatags are still important, but most aren’t. For the non-nerd reader, keyword meta tags are little pieces of code that used to work like gangbusters to get your site ranked on Google.
The key phrase here is used to work. Google itself tells the world these don’t matter one bit anymore, and it doesn’t look like they’re making a comeback anytime soon.
If a salesperson tells you he’s going to update your keyword meta tags for you, smack him. Tell him 1996 called and it wants it’s silly web marketing tactic back. Then politely suggest he consider selling something else like used cars, pet rocks or snake oil.
I bet you’ve probably been approached already by someone selling SEO. If you haven’t, it’s coming. Hopefully it’s someone like us. Not to toot our own horns but we know a thing or two about it.
Sadly, it’s more likely that you’ll be cornered by a fast-talking schmo, eager to get as many buzzwords under your nose as possible.
Don’t play dead – he’ll only talk more. Instead, use your rapier-like wit and ask the following questions. If they induce stammering, sweating, or trouser-soiling, shuffle your newly flaccid friend out the door like so many recyclables.
SEO is pointless if it’s not addressing your business’ goals. We small businesses don’t have huge marketing budgets, so we need to spend our money smartly. We’ve got to make sure we’re investing in ROI.Filed under: Marketing Your Site, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media
Some companies really get social media. If you’re one of these, you probably know who you are.
Some companies well… they don’t so much. Humorously, they often don’t know they’re clueless. Even more ridiculously, they think they ‘got it’ first.
Have you ever been to a playground where there’s that one parent who never smiles? You know. Their kids are running around laughing, screaming but that parent just sits on the bench with that “why did we decide to have one more” look. And they’re like that every time you see them?
Welcome to the playground that is social media.
Some companies are great at social media and others just try too hard.
Their Tweets are so dumbed down after layers upon layers of corporate red tape that their social media branding comes across as fake (understatement) and contrived.
It’s not even a battle of quality versus quantity. It’s more like that smile a husband gives his wife who puts on her wedding dress on their anniversary.
Or like mom when she tries to sing along to your favorite song.
Take a look at the photo above. Is it obvious to you which ones get it and which one doesn’t get it?
Note the word “social” in social media. Be real. Talk to your followers and fans like you would a friend. Not like a judge. Ask their opinions on things. Make yourself relatable. And actually respond if you ask a question (it’s called a Retweet, people). Don’t spam your followers with stupid sales and gimmicks. Funny photos are great – but not of your crotch.
Don’t just try to be social, actually be social. Otherwise, you become that guy who just stands over your desk at work until you acknowledge his arrival.
People (especially younger ones), current customers and potential clients are more electronically intuitive these days. They know when posts are lifeless.
Not sure where to start? If you’re talking about it in your office, talk about it online, too. The Internet is like one giant water cooler (our water cooler has a life of its own. Follow @intellicooler).
Are you taking in your surroundings every day and enjoying the ride? Do YOU get it?Filed under: Experiencing the Web, Marketing Your Site, Social Media, Uncategorized, Web Tips and How-tos
Everybody has email reading habits. There are compulsive email checkers who whip out their smartphones 30 times an hour, anti-technology folks who check email once a week, and every possibility in between those extremes. Society’s collective email reading habits become email reading trends, and understanding email reading trends can make or break your email marketing campaign.
Social media expert Dan Zarrella worked together with MailChimp to do some research on email trends, and after looking at stats from almost 10 billion emails, here are some of the neat factoids he discovered:
It’s mind blowing to think about thousands of people around the world clicking “Unsubscribe” simultaneously, but if it’s a Tuesday morning, it’s pretty likely that it’s happening. It’s probably a good idea to schedule your email blast accordingly, if you know what we mean.
Pretty crazy stuff, right?Filed under: Marketing Your Site
Anything that people spend a lot of time doing provides a great marketing opportunity. Nowadays, people spend a lot of time updating their statuses, chatting, spying on long-lost acquaintances, cultivating their Farmville crops, or otherwise interacting with that famous white screen…
Enter Facebook Ads.
Now that Facebook is everywhere, advertising on Facebook is a super way to reach out to the world. While folks are browsing their friends’ posts and profiles, they are simultaneously viewing advertisements that Facebook positions on the right side of their screens. These clickable ads make it easy for a user to jump over to the website or Facebook page of any company whose ad piques his interest.
But here’s the thing. Not only do Facebook ads provide clickable advertisements to a group of people who are most likely just killing time, but they also can provide these ads to people from very specific demographics. If you think about your Facebook profile, the information you share gives away a lot about you. Many people openly share their interests, their educational background, their employment history, their marital status, and more. This is information that marketing list maker types used to have to dig around to get, but these days many people are happy to broadcast it to the Facebook world. So without doing any snooping, Facebook can make sure that your ad pops up on the screens of people who are most likely to respond to it. This is target marketing at its most precise.
In the case studies tab on their advertising page, Facebook gives a pretty solid example of how this can benefit business owners. Since Facebook users often share their relationship status on their profiles, it’s easy to market specifically to people who are engaged. The page shows an example of a photography company who benefited tremendously from advertising on Facebook to women who had chosen “Engaged” as their relationship status.
We can’t tell you exactly how much it’s going to cost, but you can tell us. Like PPC campaigns through Google, the cost of advertising on Facebook varies based on your budget. Facebook offers a PPC-style option which allows people to pay only when a user clicks on the ad, and once you’ve reached your predetermined daily budget, Facebook stops displaying your ad for the rest of the day. Another option is to set up a Cost Per Thousand Impressions (“CPM”) campaign where you pay a flat rate every time your ad is displayed 1000 times. Either way, it’s up to you how much you want to spend, making it possible for businesses large and small to take advantage of Facebook ads.
So if you’re looking for a way to advertise your page to specific targets at a price you set yourself (AND to justify spending more time on Facebook at the same time), give Facebook ads a try.Filed under: Marketing Your Site, Social Media