Which Marketing Channel Will Give You the Best Results? [Infographic]

This is a very interesting study performed by Conductor.  We often here people, even other marketers, touting that, “SEO is dead” or “Email is dead.” According to this study they are both alive and kicking!

The study examined four areas:

  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Paid ads (Paid Search and Paid Social Ads)
  • SEO

They also looked at metrics such as:

  • Which marketing channel gets the most visitors?
  • Which brings in the greatest amount of qualified leads?
  • Which channel gets the most customers?
  • Which sparks the best engagement?
  • Are there different effects on B2B and B2C companies?
  • Which channel has the highest ROI (Return On Investment)?

The results may not be the same for every industry or company, but you may be surprised at what was discovered.  View the results in the infographic below.

Best marketing channels in 2014Want to use the infographic for your blog? Get the original here: [Infographic] Which Marketing Channel Gets You the Most Bang for Your Click?

Google Partners is Getting Into the Spirit of World Cup Brazil

Google allstars world cup 2014

Google is getting into the World Cup spirit. We received our Google Partners package today!

The package includes a mini World Cup Brazil soccer ball and three Caxirola - The official musical instrument of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The best part our clients and potential clients get gifts too!

During the AllStar promotion if you sign up for a new Google AdWords account and a Paid Search Management plan with Blackbird e-Solutions, you’ll receive a free $100 to spend on your Google AdWords!

The promotion runs until July 13, 3104

Click on the image below to get started!

 

Google Adwords offer Get $100

Ever Wonder How Google Really Works?

Google seems to have a magical way of finding things online. I mean you just type something into Google and “boom!”, there’s your answer.

Well, they actually have a process. Our friends over at QuickSprout created a great infographic that explains how Google really works in simple terms. Check it out!

How Google Works
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Cyber Monday Deal – Get Your Free Website Audit

Cyber Monday business to business

Cyber Monday isn’t just for consumers! Your business can enjoy the spoils of the day too!

We’re offering businesses a free Website Audit today!

Why do a website audit? Most companies build their website and forget about them. A website audit will check the health of your website to see if it follows today’s SEO and webmaster guidelines. Search engines regularly update the way the view and rank your site. In fact in the last year or two, Google made some of the most drastic changes in its history.

Here are a few points that will be checked in the audit.

  • Does your site follow the latest webmaster guidelines from Google and Bing?
  • Have any changes the search engines made to the way they rank sites, hurt your site?
  • Are there “bad” or “low quality” sites linking to your website?

Read more about website audits check out our post: 5 Reasons Why a Regular SEO Audit is Important to Your Business

Want to see an example summary? Example Audit Summary

When was the last time you checked the health of your website? 

Here’s your chance! Just fill out he form below and we’ll run the the audit and get it out to you right away. 

Internet Marketers Did Not Invent Content Marketing

Did you know content marketing is not a new concept?

michelin guide

 

In 1900 Michelin created the Michelin Guide. This is an actual book of content that was used to inform and educate customers. They created a value to customers and potential customers, which in turn created trust. The books included ways to maintain your car as well as travel tips and help.

Jell-O Book of recipesJell-O had an earlier start with their book of recipes in 1906. This may have been recipes they created or recipes from their customers. The effort helped Jell-O push their sales to over $1 million, which was quite an accomplishment at that time.

 

So, what’s different about today’s “Content Marketing?”
  1. The scale of how many people you can reach and how fast.  The internet has made it easy to reach millions of people with out ever leaving your office. In the early 1900′s marketers were limited by distribution, how to get their books to the general public.
  2. The cost of producing content is much lower.  With the internet, there’s no printing cost, no shipping cost and no inventory to try to move. You can produce content yourself and the only cost is your time. Of course time is money, so if you don’t have the time you can pay someone like us to create great content at a fraction of the cost of a producing a book.
  3. Search brings your customers to you. With the invention of the search engine, it is now possible to get your product in front of people exactly when they are looking for it. The original guides and recipe books may have sat on shelves for months until someone found them or the right person walked past the shelf where they were.

The big question: Why should YOU use Content Marketing?

  • Content marketing is a great way to build trust with your customers and potential customers. Just thing about the Michelin Guides. If I’m an avid user of the guide books. I’ve seen that the tips they’ve given me about lodging, or the best tourist sites in Vancouver. Plus, I found great tips for taking care of my car during the long drive to get there. What company do you think will be top of mind when I need tires?
  • Plus, when you start creating great content around your products and services, the search engines will start showing your content to searchers when they are looking for services and products like yours. This gives you exposure and because you created useful interesting content people are more likely to read your content as well as share it. This will keep them coming back and build the trust that makes them think of your company when they are ready to buy.

Why a Regular SEO Audit is Important for Your Website

Regular SEO Audit CycleA website audit or SEO audit is very similar to taking your car to get an oil change. You know you need to do it and it will help extend the life of your car. Your mechanic will change the oil, check the fluids, check the air pressure and more, but sometimes it can be a hassle. After all taking your car to the shop means being without it for a period of time, and who wants that! But it is a necessary process that has benefits in the end.

There are also lots of excuses for why not to do regular a SEO audit; you need to close that sale you’re working, training new hires or staying on top of customer service, whatever the reason, often the website audit gets postponed. Plus, many companies subscribe to the “do it once and forget it” plan, but just like your car an SEO audit is important part of a long-term success plan.

Want to see an example? We have one for you here: Download an SEO Audit summary example

5 Reasons Why a Regular SEO Audit is Important to Your Business

To put it simply an SEO Audit is a check-up for your website.  It means going through your current SEO strategies and measuring what has been successful and what has not. Then figuring out what needs to be fixed or improved.

Here are reasons why you need to complete an audit on a regular basis:

  • Webmaster Guidelines – These are constantly evolving and you need to make sure you are following their recommendations. If you are using webmaster tools from Bing of Google  thy will even tell you where there are issues.
  • Algorithm Changes – Search engines periodically update their algorithms to provide better search results. The algorithms are how search engines measure where your site will show up in search results, so you need to make sure you keep up with the latest changes to make sure you are ranking well. In fact Google made 14 updates this year alone!
  • Link Profile – One thing that search engines are still relying on heavily are incoming links to websites. That means other sites that are linking to your site. You need to check this regularly because it can change often and being associated with bad sites can really hurt your ranking.
  • Outdated Content and Website Errors – This is one that many people miss. Outdated content can hurt your site not only for ranking, but visitors will see it is outdated and question if your business is up to date. You’d also be surprised at how often links break. Maybe caused an update to the site or something else. If people are not going to or staying on a page.. Fix it or remove it!
  • Benchmarking – Regular SEO Audits will show you your progress and give you a track record for what works and doesn’t work. Plus, looking at this on a regular basis means it will be easier to go back and undo tactics that didn’t work. Trying to go back several years to when you initially built your website would be much more difficult.

How often is “regularly”? That depends somewhat on your site. If you have a very active site or you have a lot to fix, a monthly SEO Audit might be necessary. The internet and online marketing move fast so you should perform an audit at least every 6 months.

Want to see an example? We have one for you here: Download an SEO Audit summary example

A Little Weekend Fun, An SEO Expert Walks Into a Bar…

bartender cartoonAn SEO expert walks into a bar, bars, pubs, Irish pub, watering hole, tavern, place to buy beer, beer, alcohol, wine…

 

Close The Loop on Marketing and Sales With Marketing Automation

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” –John Wanamaker

Nearly half a century ago John Wanamaker made this comment. Sadly many businesses still feel this way. However with today’s technology including Marketing Automation and visitor tracking, online marketers have the tools to “close the loop” so they can effectively tie every lead and sale back to the dollar amount to the marketing initiative that produced them.

closed loop marketingAs I often say, “Your website should be the central hub of your online universe.” All your online marketing efforts should be driving traffic to your website: social media, search engine traffic, paid advertising, even your offline campaigns should send visitors to your site. You can see this in an our Online Marketing Flowchart. Once someone has come to your website you can give them a cookie which will track their activity on your site.

As each visitor browses your website you’ll be able to see from which avenue they came. You can see where they entered the site, what pages they viewed as well as where they exited the site. With this knowledge you can begin to shape visitor’s experience on your website, including taking actions to keep visitors engaged with your site.

The next step is to turn visitors into leads and start to close the loop. This is where you begin to monetize website traffic and send qualified leads to your sales team. One way to do this is to drive traffic to landing pages where you make an exchange. An exchange that can be in the form of a piece of your knowledge (a whitepaper, a case study or some other form of information) for more insights about the visitor (name, contact information, company, etc.).

So, not only will you know where your visitors are coming from and what they are doing on your site, but you’ll be able to tie this to actual people. Plus, you’ll be able to contact them!

The last step of the process is to track these leads to see who becomes a customer and how much they purchase. This will give you the ability to tie your sales all the way back to the individual marketing efforts. So now you’ll be able to determine which marketing channels contributed the most sales, which brought in the least and then make informed decisions for where to put your marketing dollars.

Getting Into Holiday Campaigns – Google Style #GooglePartnersPumpkins

#GooglePartnersPumpkins

Google sent us a pumpkin today.
Time to get our holiday campaign creative on!
Thanks Google Partners!

Are your online marketing campaigns ready for the holidays?

Do You Know What Keywords Your Target Audience REALLY Uses for Search?

I often have this conversation with clients and potential clients.

The client will usually say something like, ” We don’t want to target (insert keyword here), because that’s not what people in our industry use when they search.”

There are many reason’s why this person might say this. Sometimes it’s because they’re too close to their work. Maybe they are only thinking of how people “in the business” talk and not how people search for products like theirs.

A great example is a recent project we were working on for a staffing firm. The company was strongly against using the word “temp” or “staffing.” as keywords. They said we could get away with using “temporary”, but definitely not “temp”.  His reason was something along the lines of people aren’t looking for staffing anymore, they are looking for employment and employees. Not temp workers because “temp” has a bad connotation.

When this discussion came up, I went to my tool set to find out the truth about search. Here’s what I found.

temp vs agency vs staffing

This graph shows you the amount of times people have searched on the five terms on the left comparatively over time. Looking at the data, you can see they were definitely right about  ”employment agency.” People are definitely searching for this, but look a the trend and the two surprises: “staffing services” and “temp agency.” As “employment agency” has dropped off in the last few years “temp agency” has dropped then grown again from 2011 until now. “Staffing services” has held steady for almost the last 10 years. And look at “temporary agency.” It goes from bad to worse, well actually to the worst.

In the end we settled on using “employment agency” and “staffing services.” I wasn’t able to convince them to use “temp agency” on their home page, but we did use it on some lesser pages.

The lesson here is don’t let your preconceived idea of what you think people search for take away opportunities for keywords you can use to bring in traffic.