Email Marketing Tips For Small To Medium Business

Email Marketing Tips For Small To Medium Business

Email Marketing is one of the MOST PROFITABLE methods for online marketing, yet is one of the most under used strategies for small to medium businesses.

In today’s strategy session we cover the top 7 tips to grow your business through email marketing and show you the secrets of the BIG GUYS and how they succeed, even if you’re on a small budget.


Should I ‘Google Now’?

Whenever I ask a client or team member the number 1 way to perform research, they instantly say ‘Google It’.

Google have always played a strong part in the growth of the Internet and for over 13 years have been committed to the growth of their online community.

They have released and acquired (whilst invested Billions of Dollars) in a number of key products, designed to grow their core offering whilst sticking to the core principle of delivering the RIGHT information to their end user as fast as possible.

Google have really have become a part of our daily lives and in many ways they have earned our trust as the place to go when you’re looking for information.

Heck… they’re the number one site in the world (according to Alexa)

Google ranks number one in Alexa

In order to remain the market leader they understand the necessity need to innovate and integrate.

With their strong vested interest in Smart devices (like mobile and tablets) Google are slowly shifting their focus to think more about their mobile users, what they need and how they can make their lives easier (with that market leader focus)

Enter… Google Now

Google Now

What is Google Now?

Google Now is a simple way of proving mobile users with information they require on a day to day basis, especially when they’re on the go. Although it has been available for about 12 months now on Android, they recently launched an App for iPhone’s iOS, proving that Google are committed to the ongoing growth of this service.

How Does Google Now Work?

With the introduction of Google Now you’re able to access all of your favourite information in one source.

Google is taking all of the information they’ve gathered (about your search trends) and are integrating that information into one central source. It will remind you of appointments, flights, bookings, update you on news you’re interested in and even tell you how far away you are from work, offering alternative routes if the traffic is too heavy.

Here are just some of the areas that people will find:

  • Activity – Tells you how far you’ve walked. This takes data from your location.
  • Flights – Flight information based on booking confirmation sent to your Gmail. Don’t expect anything to pop up here if your booking confirmation didn’t go to Gmail.
  • Boarding Pass – QR code of your boarding pass. List of airlines are limited for now.
  • Hotel – Hotel information based on booking confirmation mailed to you. This is complemented by directions using Google Maps.
  • Public Transit – Shows public transport schedule whenever you are somewhere near a bus or train station.
  • Public Alerts – Important advisories covering your area.
  • News – News items related to the last one you read.
  • Weather – Weather information based on your location.
  • Packages – Gives you shipping details, estimated date of arrival and delivery update. Will be quite handy since you won’t have to check online every time.
  • Appointments – Pops up before the event. This is based on items on your Google Calendar
  • Places – Information on nearby businesses. Shows you restaurants, bars and other businesses in your area.
  • Real Estate – If Google detects you’re interested in real estate, this card will show you property listings.
  • Stocks – Information on stocks you’re tracking. Based on your Google Finance information.
  • Research Topics – Topics available based on your recent searches.
  • Sports – Live scores, recap and highlights of games your favourite team played.
  • Currency – Google Now detects you’re in another country so it gives you currency conversion information.
  • Translation – Translates words and phrases to help you in a foreign land.
  • Attractions – This card will give you information on tourist sites and interesting places in the new city you’re visiting.

It can also predict what you need to know and want to know… that’s the power of data.

How It Works

So how does Google do it? Google Now harnesses everything Google has learned from you, from the search terms you’ve put on the search bar, your flight confirmations, hotel bookings, and more importantly, your location. Google Now uses relevant information it gathers from your Gmail, Google Calendar, Google+, Location and your recent searches on Google.

The level of integration and how much you share is in your hands (and unlike another very popular social network they are pretty careful when making changes).

Google Lets You Hold All the Cards

Google Now provides a simple interface using cards for every interest you have. Let’s say you booked a flight and you got an email notification of your booking. At the time of your flight, you will get information on the status of your flight, driving directions to the airport, and if you checked in online, you’ll get the QR code for your boarding pass.

As mentioned earlier, it’s designed to bring it all together in one location.

 QR code of a boarding pass
You can choose the cards you want or need and turn off those that you don’t want to see.

Google Mobile Features

Google Now tries to be predictive but there will be times when it will make a mistake about your expectations. For instance, you could have searched about a certain movie and Google interpreted this as genuine interest in that movie, so it would give you a Movies card to tell you when the movie will be shown in your location.


What’s In It for Businesses?

So what’s in it for businesses? A lot, especially if you understand the importance in creating a solid online presence.

Google Now incorporates Google Places and reviews. That means, you get better exposure for people looking for a business in your locality. That also means it’s important for you to be listed on Google Places or Google+ Local.

Google Places and Reviews on mobile and tablet computer

When users access the Places card, they’ll be shown businesses in the area. Having good reviews on your Google+ Local page will definitely boost your online presence and the more you interact the more likely your business is to appear as a recommended business.

What are the Down Sides?

It would be remiss to look at Google Now and not cover the downsides of this service.

It’s still pretty new, meaning it’s a work in progress.

If you’re using older versions of Android all of the features do not integrate as seamlessly as on newer versions (like having Google now on the phones lock screen. This doesn’t work on older versions of Android – older than 4.1).

It can use up a lot of battery power, voice recognition isn’t quite at the same standard as ‘Siri’ and there’s also issues with random crashes.

Also, let’s address the Elephant in the Room – Your Privacy

There is the question of your personal information… Do you want Google to know everything you’re doing?

Due to the nature of its set-up, the more you use it the more suggestive it will become… there are some super cool features in relation to traffic data, recommended places to dine and eat and more. But for some it may be stepping over the line and considered invasion of privacy. If you’re in that corner either customise what you share or wait a little longer to see how it evolves before you jump on board.

What do they collect and is this an invasion of your privacy?

If you’re still not sure, think of the Internet as a public forum. Anything you do, say or put out there is up for public scrutiny and knowledge. There are certain measures you can put in place but always be mindful that you’re always on show. If you want more information about the info Google use and gather, check out their privacy policy here –

Start of Something Great

Google Now is a new experience that’s both exciting and impressive that has a long way to go. At the end of the day you will get out of it what you put in.

Over time the Big G will no doubt evolve the offering as people use it.

Will I be using it?

I already am… I’m actually looking forward to better understanding how it will help ‘my everyday’, how they will continue to develop the service and how it will impact clients online business.


Why You Don’t Want a Picture That Tells a Thousand Words

Over 65% of the world’s population are visual learners. Whether it’s in a classroom or out in the big wide world we are bombarded with visual queues that stimulate our senses. If I mention your favourite colour or food, 65% of you are visualising it right now.

Where it gets interesting is how I visualise that food may be very different to how you visualise that exact same meal. Components of that meal may appeal to me and at the same time you may totally disregard them in preference to another part that draws your attention.

So this raises the question… if I wanted you to focus on the key elements of an image and to link those images to the message I’m trying to get across, what other supporting methods could I use?

Furthermore, if you’re looking at achieving this online what steps do you need to take to capture your visitors.

What animal do you see?

A Picture Can Tell a Thousand Words

Let’s be honest… most people seem to have attention deficit when they’re surfing the web. There are simply too many distractions and in the online world it’s easy to get hit with information overload.

Using images can help catch the attention of visitors, but when it comes to a website it’s important to focus on the type and use of those images. Your website is your representation on the web. Everything that you put on there must be representative of you whilst ensuring you’re not confusing and befuddling your visitor.

To better understand this we first need to look at the concept of above and below the fold.

Above the Fold Design

Steve Thompson coined the term ‘Above The Fold’ (in 2000) for web development, to refer to that portion of the webpage that you see without scrolling down. This portion changes from one screen resolution to the next with 90% of screens with a resolution higher than 1024 x 768 (as of 2013).

In earlier days of the internet, it has been suggested as a standard to put everything above the fold to save people from scrolling down. This still holds true today, with the average internet user clicking making their decisions based on the information instantly presented too them above the fold.

As this is the first thing that a first-time visitor sees it’s important to consider how a visitor to your site would react when they first visit your site and whether you present the most important points ‘above the fold’ to make it easy as possible for them to navigate your site.

Above and below the fold of a website

You Only Have One Chance To Make A First Impression

A common issue we come across (which is now improving – thank goodness) is the use of a massive image above the fold (this was very common in Real Estate). No explanation, just a dirty big image that shows a picture of local scenery. What does it mean? Who Knows?

Sure there are a few sites this idea works on (like photographers and clothing shopping carts) but on the whole it’s simply a waste of space and opportunity.

A Little Research

To gain a better understanding, I started doing a little of my own research by asking website owners their reason behind adding a big non-descriptive image that takes up most of their space above the fold.
I asked 27 business owners why they used big images with no real message attached to them and the most common response.

Not surprisingly, one of the most common answers I received is the ‘a picture tells a thousand words’.

It seems almost as if someone at the top passed this concept down and so many people not understanding how to fill the space effectively used the term ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ as they simply did not know how else to respond.

Let me share another example.

I recently spoke with a lawyer that had a massive stock image of a happy family on the homepage of his site. I always had a perception of a lawyer as someone professional, older, well-read, etc. Yet to the business owner this image represented freedom, a stress free environment, family, love and so on.

See how the gap could easily be formed?

What the business owner perceived or what they’re trying to project is not always what the user or the viewer will get.

David Hasselhoff - misunderstood?

Proper Use of Images

When designing a web page, it’s important to think about your user (the person that visits the site). Understand that you are dealing with different types of people, coming from different backgrounds and exposed to different experiences that are not the same as yours. It would be dangerous to assume that they think the same way you do.

If you are going to use images on your site, you need to remember some important points:

• Don’t let the image take over the site. Whilst your site may look fancy and pretty, make sure that it’s also functional. Avoid using extremely large images that takes all the attention of the user. Can you use large images on your website? Yes, as long as it’s a supportive image that displays a clear message about your products and services (like a gallery).

• Overlay text on your images. There is nothing wrong with using images, but make sure that your message is clear. You can do this by overlaying text on the image. This will direct the thought of the viewer.

• If the page, particularly the homepage, is carrying a big image, it has to be clear and direct to the point. Avoid using images that can confusing or send varying messages to the user. Also ensure that big image isn’t negatively affecting the load times of your site as your visitor could leave your page due to their lack of patience.

• Whilst you can add images with text overlay avoid replacing paragraphs of text with text in images. Remember, we have to consider the Search Engines too and they need text to understand your sites theme.

• Every image ‘above the fold’ should be an opportunity to lead a person through your sales funnel or to re-enforce your product or service. Make sure you use that space wisely as it’s your chance to show people that your business is all about.

• Your banner should clearly display the main method you would like people to use to get in contact with you. If it’s your phone number it would mean anyone visiting any page on your site could pick up the phone and immediately give you a call. This makes it as easy as possible for people to deal with you.

A scientist conducting an experiment

Creating a successful website involves real science combined with testing and measuring. By following a few simple elements within your images you can dramatically increase conversions from your site (and lead people down a funnel to whatever goal you would like to achieve).

Consider the most successful websites (for example Ebay or Amazon). Notice their pages are not dominated by huge images and every image contains a description as opposed to leaving it up to the end user to figure it out.

A picture tells a thousand words. Why not invest a little time to narrow it down from those thousand words to offer a clear, concise message that explains exactly what those images are all about?


SEO, SEM and Social

Over the last decade business owners have built a website with the idea of getting extra business, especially as they try to compete during tougher economic times.

There’s a growing trend of ‘Smart Business Owners’ that seek the help of online experts to make their websites perform well on the web, ensuring they are actually able to compete with millions of other websites trying to catch the attention of potential customers and clients.

Reality Tip #1 – ‘In today’s business world, without any online solution, a website will simply end up lying around the Internet without anyone ever noticing it.’

Is Search Engine Optimisation the Golden Key?

One of the more common online solutions is seen in search engine optimisation (SEO), whose main goals include ranking a site and attracting more traffic. But any skilled SEO company realise that these are 2 small parts of a bigger puzzle and the main objective is to use other elements of SEO.

Search engine marketing (SEM), and recently, social media are two solutions that contribute to SEO and the success of a business website.

Different Thrusts, Same Purpose

SEO, SEM, and SMM, Effective online marketing strategies

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) are usually treated as separate entities, but in reality, all these three are part of a solid overall online strategy.

Effective online marketing happens when you make use of all avenues to reach out to customers and turn site visitors into paying customers. SEO, SEM and SMM are some of the key avenues to take.

The trick for the online marketer is to understand ‘how to’ integrate all three of these different strategies, adjusting and fine-tuning the marketing move based on the type of business.


Simply put, SEM is paying for your site to be listed on search engine and online directories. You can easily identify them with the small ‘Ads by Google’ or on the search engines you’ll notice they’re a different colour.

 SEO and SEM as seen in Google's search results

The idea behind SEM is quite a contrast with SEO as it’s usually based on a ‘Paid Per Click’ model. You would normally set a daily budget and once it runs out your online presence disappears till the next day.

SEO on the other hand is ‘Earned’ in the respect that it usually takes longer to get to the top, but once you’re there, you stay there (with ongoing maintenance).

SEM and SEO are not conflicting entities. In fact, they should really be used hand-in-hand, each helping the other to improve the site’s online presence.

For instance, if there are keywords that are generating a lot of leads through paid search only, you may have to put more effort into optimising them for your organic search. The same goes for SEM.

If you are finding some keywords generating leads from organic search results, you can intensify your marketing by using those keywords for SEM. This will help you make sure that you’re not missing out on any potential revenues from SEM.

In summary, when used together they can turn your site into a money making machine

Reality Tip #2 – ‘Avoid placing all of your eggs in one basket…’

Making Social Platforms Work for Your SEO

Social media is really the in thing right now.

Statistics show more and more people are engaging in social networks, and as a result social media has (and will increasingly) become an integral part of online marketing and SEO. Google have officially announced that they use ‘Social Signals’’ as a part of their algorithm.

In Google’s own words:

‘Yes, we do use [Twitter] as a signal. It is used as a signal in our organic and news rankings. We also use it to enhance our news universal by marking how many people shared an article.’

And Also:

‘We treat links shared on Facebook fan pages the same as we treat tweeted links.’


Social Butterfly Dog

The Best Suited Social Strategy

The right social strategy will also ensure you are attracting visitors through social platforms, but it will also support your SEO activities.

Although Google are proving to pay special attention to Twitter and Google +, there is also no single winner in social media that you should be prioritising. Just because Facebook has the highest number of subscribers in the world, does not mean you should only be making your business social there or give in to the notion that Facebook is king.

Many online users prefer one social network for another. Some social networks are geared towards a certain group of people and for certain industries.

If you have very eye-candy products, decors, DIY related services and other picture-worthy products and services, you can be successful socialising on Pinterest and integrate that with Facebook and other social networks.

If your business is targeting professionals and businessmen, you can find them well-connected in LinkedIn. They could be on there looking for the exact services that you are offering.

Facebookers like checking in online, so your motel or hotel business could get extra leverage as users thumb up your services and product offerings.

Evaluate and plan your social media engagement first before you go invest time and money. 

Make sure that you are making the most of the social media platform and that they are positively contributing to your overall SEO strategy.

Holistic Makes All the Difference

When looking to improve your online presence, the most important criteria you will need to consider is if the expert you are hiring uses a holistic approach to SEO.

SEO is not only about making your website appear good on search engines. It also has to do with the overall performance of your site.

You could be doing well on search, but may be failing to translate that success into real revenues.

Is your site transforming visitors into customers? Does your site have the right prompt for potential customers to contact you? And does it have an aggressive and effective social presence to engage and encourage customers to talk about and avail of your products and services? All these can easily be regarded as separate thrusts, but in fact, they all should be conceptualised as parts of a whole.


Your SEO, SEM and SMM must be thought of as interactive parts of the plan.

SEO, SEM and SMM are all parts of the puzzle

It could well be that you are doing great on social platforms, but when visitors and customers go to your site, there are a lot of navigational hiccups that are discouraging users to continue doing business with you.

If you are putting all your money into SEM and ignoring your website, the paid search investments are useless.

 Reality Tip #3 – ‘Even your focus of your online presence to get the maximum return…’

Online strategies are also not the same for all businesses. They must be planned according to the business type, so there are no strict rules that you can follow.

Ensure your Online Strategy is measurable allowing you to eliminate ineffective methods and fill in the gaps when necessary.

If you take anything away from reading this understand a holistic approach is more important when getting the maximum return for your business online.

Finding a Good SEO Company for Your Website

So you have a company website and you are looking for SEO… because you’ve heard about it and you heard that it’s important and stuff. The fact that you are looking for an SEO service could mean you have little idea of how it’s done or how it works. Or perhaps you simply do not have the time to handle this rather time-consuming task. Another case: you’ve hired an SEO person before, and it didn’t do well, so now you have to save your site.

If you have little idea about SEO, then it could be troublesome looking around. It’s like hiring someone but you don’t know the qualifications to look for. All you know is that the SEO company has to make you do well on Google and other search engines.

What You Need to Know

Many people think of SEO as “making a website rank high on search engines.” Whilst there is an element of ranking involved, in the last few years it has really evolved to become more about traffic and engagement. This is where it can start to become confusing especially with many SEO services varying in the services they offer. So how do you hire someone and what should you be looking for?

you can't just magically rank your site

First, getting ranking in the search engines doesn’t simply happen as a result of waving a magic wand. You can’t say, “In a month or two, I want my website to be at the top of Google search result” and expect it to magically happen. SEO is a combination of specific consistent, continuous activities designed to show the search engines that your site is good enough to appear in their pages.

Think of hiring an SEO as consulting work. An SEO specialist is there to help you improve your sites overall image and to identify elements for improvement. When working with a consultant they should first of all identify potential improvements for your website.

These areas may include:

  • The site’s design and structure
  • The use of content on your site
  • How the search engines see your website
  • How visitors are engaged by your website

SEO is not about getting spikes in site visits; it has more to do with giving your readers, customers and potential customers the right web experience. The better your site improves in this aspect, the better you will do in search. And good SEO can help you achieve this.

Before searching for an SEO company, it would do you good to research a little about search engine optimisation so you will know what to look for.

As you can see by this video from Matt Cutts, Google actually wants to work with SEO companies.

Do You Need to Hire an SEO Expert, Really?

If you are not a technical guy, then yes, you’ll need to hire an SEO expert. You might not know if there are errors on your site, if your hosting is secure, if there are broken links or redirects, if the site is loading too slow or if it is being crawled by the search engines in the first place.

Another important element of SEO is how others connect (or link) to your website. With the growth of Google the number of people trying to find a ‘Quick Fix’ has also increased causing a lot of negative techniques that have caused many sites to be penalised.

More than ever, it’s critical to ensure any SEO company is focussed on a ‘Clean Online Footprint’. A good SEO company will have specific strategies that will target this.

It is possible to learn these things, just like anyone can learn plumbing, but it would take a lot of work, experimentation which may not end well, especially if you are inexperienced.

Beware of the Bad Guys

The trouble with finding an SEO expert is that the industry is filled with guys that cut corners promising amazing results. Beware of amazing promises of amazing results done in lightning speed that are too cheap. Treat it just like a financial investment. The adage “If the promise is too good to be true, then it probably is” applies here. If you are promised #1 ranking in Google search, that you be a warning sign to you.

beware of guarantees

As time goes on and the search engines get smarter, old school techniques do not work as effectively as they used to. If you use an SEO company that is using the same ‘short cut’ methodology as 2 years ago then there’s a good chance you’ll get your site penalised and might even be taken out of Google’s index.

SEO old trick – keyword stuffing doesn’t work anymore

Google Makes the Rules

One thing that makes Google successful online is the ethics they try to inject into the industry, making them more trustworthy. For quite some time, it has been a battle between Google and the corner cutting SEO’s, with Google policing the SEOs and the SEOs always seeking to trick the search engine.

A good SEO for your website will abide by search engine’s rules and not go around them for the easy win. Google is constantly improving its algorithm to improve search results so your SEO company of choice should always be updated with such changes.

Where to Look

Google an SEO company and see how they rank. If they are any good then they should appear in good positions within their own serviceable area. For example, you may want a company within your area so you can easily contact them.

You want a business that you can call or email and expect a timely response during your business hours.

Another good way to look is through your network. Find good recommendations from people who have hired an SEO in the past. If you are in business-oriented social networks like LinkedIn, you can ask for recommendations from your contacts. Make a shortlist of the SEO companies you’re interested in and start investigating.

Questions to Ask

It would be good if you can do a bit of research on SEO before hiring someone. That way, you will have a background about the kind of service you wish to hire.

questions to askHere are some of the important things you can ask your shortlisted SEO candidates:

  • What are their strategies for SEO?
  • What is their experience with businesses like the one you are running? Ask which companies they have worked with.
  • How will they be reporting to you for you to know how your site is doing?
  • What are their marketing techniques that can help your business grow?
  • Ask for a timeline of tasks

Ask Their Clients

One good way to assess how good the SEO Company is by asking their clients and looking for real video testimonials. Are their clients happy with their service?

What is the average time frame they have worked with their clients?

What sort of results have they achieved? It should be about more then simply getting a site ranked. What other areas have they helped clients with?

In reality they may not be able to make everyone happy, but they should have a good list of happy clients.

Choose Wisely

Don’t go with an SEO specialist simply because of their low price.

In many instances a cheap SEO company should wave in front of your face like a red flag! There are many scammers around and you could become a victim if you are not careful.

It’s easier to get a site ranked the right way than it is to fix a site that has been heavily penalised due to corner cutting SEO.

Make sure you do your research and ask the questions listed above. This will be the difference between establishing a solid long term online presence and potentially getting banned.

SEO Techniques and Trends

MarketingSherpa have just released their 2012 Search Marketing – SEO Edition report, outlining past and future trends in SEO.

As a teaser to the report, they have also released an excerpt, highlighting several key SEO findings within over 1500 organisations.

Main reasons people Engage in SEO

The top reason people are investing in SEO is to increase traffic, which in a way is what you would consider to be the most important element of a website. In reality the most important reason to engage an SEO firm is to increase the leads and conversions through your website.

Even if your site is only attracting a few 100 visitors per month, if your campaign is highly targeted within your industry and you’re getting business through your website, then I would call that a success.

We recently started SEO’ing a site that attracts over 50,000 visitors a month, but the conversion to lead or customer was very low. By implementing a few on-page conversion strategies, we are slowly converting their traffic to leads to customers.

SEO Tactics to Rank

If you are new to SEO or you are considering DIY SEO this will give you an insight and may help you to understand why you should outsource this service. The graph below indicates the SEO methods in use and the level of difficulty through the use of each technique.

Keyword research is the second most commonly used tactic and rightfully so. Your keyword research will determine the success of your overall strategy.

A point of interest is that content creation is the most commonly used strategy and considered to be the most difficult strategy. This really does hit home that ‘content is king’, especially in light of the recent Google Panda updates.

SEO growth over the next 12 months

The following graph is broken down into 3 different sections; Trial, Transition and Strategic. It shows the level of investment expected in SEO over the next 12 months. Businesses within the Trial phase using SEO are generally run in-house, spending money on wages and staff salaries, with Transition and Strategic outsourcing either all or components of their SEO.

Further more, Transition and Strategic companies are continuing to increase their SEO budget, understanding the solid Return On Investment (ROI) in relation to dollars spent.

This also rings true with a number of our clients either previously performing the SEO tasks themselves or assigning the task to one of the members of their staff. Due to the nature of SEO, many of these tasks can be performed on a larger scale and with more consistency at a lower dollar investment.

ROI for SEO – Do the Maths

Really think about this last point and do the maths. Consider assigning an admin person with 10 hours a week of consistently performing SEO tasks (article writing, link building etc). If you are paying this person $45,000 per annum based on a  40 hour week, then you’re essentially investing just under $12,000 a year on SEO.

For a similar (or lower in many cases) level of investment you’re able to outsource this service, and have a dedicated team of people working on the strategic direction of your site working close to double that amount. They are also specialised in the art of SEO and have their finger on the pulse of all current and future trends. Hmmm… A No brainer?

As you would expect, a large number of our long term clients sit within the Strategic section and are constantly looking at increasing their ROI through other mediums like email marketing campaigns and social media.

SEO and the Wild West

This report shows that SEO is still in it’s infancy, with a lot of opportunity and growth available for many small to large business. It’s still the ‘wild west’ online and this report shows SEO’ers are taking positive steps towards standardisation.

The investment for the report is $397 for the .pdf version and is a good read for anyone that has an interest in SEO trends.

To download the report for a $100 discount, download the excerpt and fill out the form on the last page. You can download the excerpt from here –

Profiting From Your Internet Marketing Campaign

Starting an Internet Marketing Campaign is only the first step in the battle. Sure it’s a great idea to start an Internet Marketing campaign if members of your target audience are likely to use the Internet to research or purchase the products you sell or the services you offer but these marketing efforts may turn out to be a complete waste of time if you are not diligent about evaluating the response to your marketing.

This means each time you implement a change to your Internet marketing campaign you should evaluate the results of the change to determine whether or not it generated a greater profit for you. Just by doing this 1 step you can maximize the impact from your marketing efforts.

Evaluating the response of your Internet Marketing can be done in a number of different ways. Two of the most popular are customer surveys and embedded HTML code. Customer surveys can be as simple or as complex as you like depending on the amount of feedback you would like to receive. However, one of the most effective ways to find out how well your different marketing tactics are working is to include a question asking your customers where they originally heard about your products or services.

Embedding code into your advertisements for the purpose of receiving feedback is also a popular method of evaluating the response to your Internet marketing strategies. Advertisements can be coded so the business owner receives feedback each time an Internet user clicks through a particular advertisement.

This is useful for letting the business owner know which of his advertisements are attracting the most attention. If the business owner is using two different designs for his advertisements he may discover one design is attracting more attention than others and may make the decision to convert all of the advertisements to a more effective style.

Finally, the response to an Internet marketing campaign can be evaluated by reviewing website traffic statistics. This information is useful because an unusual spike in the amount of website traffic immediately after implementing a stage of the marketing campaign can provide positive feedback that the change was well received by potential customers.

While this method of evaluating the response to an Internet marketing campaign can be effective it is important to note implementing multiple changes at once will make it difficult to determine which changes were the most effective. Therefore if you plan to use website traffic as feedback for how well your marketing strategy is working it is important to only implement one major change at a time so they can each be properly tested and measured.

Make Your Marketing Juice Worth the Squeeze

If you’ve had a website for a while and have been trying to get more business from it, then you are probably acutely aware of how difficult this can be to achieve. Your existing customers know about you, and can probably find you using a Google search if they type in your business name, but why aren’t new customers finding you more often? If you are asking yourself this question, the most likely answer is that your website is not showing up on the front page of Google.

There are many factors involved in making this happen for your business, but here are a few of the simpler processes;

Informative Articles

Articles are a fantastic platform for educating an audience about your products, service or industry. You can discuss things based on your expert opinion, your interpretation of facts & figures or even your personal ideas about a topic. One of the greatest positives about articles is that you can publish them for free on many sites on the internet so this process is free save your own time and writing savvy. You should always include links back to your website, at least from the “bio” boxes the article houses allow you to include with your article upon publication.

Press Releases

Writing press releases is one of the best ways to improve your position in Google while at the same time promoting your special events, offers, and company information. They are a very clear marketing tool and should be used to promote and improve your branding, create “relationship” positions with potential customers and let readers know who you are. Ensure you include links back to your website from keywords within your text. This will strengthen your internet position.


Creating a blog and submitting regular interesting posts is another great method of increasing your brand awareness on the net. Each post should be about a topic directly related to your business or can tie into your business in a relevant way.

Social Media

Facebook and Twitter are the most well known platforms for social media marketing and it’s free to setup an account, so take the time to do this.  Most businesses these days are making use of this mode of marketing and many consumers use these platforms to find products and services for themselves. Social media can be great for business branding so make sure people “like” you on Facebook and you develop a list of people to market to.

These activities are just a few of the things you could be doing to improve your position on the internet and with Google. We know that this can sometimes seem like a daunting activity to undertake (and it is!) which is why we recommend that this isn’t taken on lightly. Just as each individual business owner is an expert in their own field of work, Online Specialists are the experts in our own field of Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation. Online Specialists include all of the aforementioned activities and many more intricate functions within our programs. This gives our clients the highest possibility of get to the front page of Google, plus we GUARANTEE to make this happen. Contact us today for a free overview on what can be done to improve your websites position in Google.

How Are You Spending Your Marketing Dollars?

As a SEO professional, quite often I am approached by businesses wanting to know which marketing mediums can provide them with the best return on their investment. This is a very good question and in all honesty, there is no simple answer.

There are many reasons why marketing strategies vary in their levels of effectiveness. This can depend on the businesses geographical location, the target market, type of business and so on.

My Journey To Finding Art Classes

Let me give you an example. I like to draw and paint. In actual fact, I think that I am pretty good at it however; I haven’t picked up a paintbrush since I left uni (and without revealing my age, that was quite a number of years ago). A few months ago I decided that perhaps I should find a hobby which would allow me to relax a bit away from the business and the family so I decided to take up art classes.

I was however quite disappointed as I could not find any local art classes in Google, so as many people would do, I put that idea into the back of my head and eventually forgot all about it. Interestingly though, a few weeks later I was throwing out junk mail out of my letterbox when I noticed a small leaflet advertising local art classes.  As this leaflet literally fell into my lap, I thought that it was meant to be and joined up.

The Cost Of A Customer

When I arrived at my first session, the instructor (aka business owner) was telling us proudly about the success of the letterbox drop. In all honesty, I thought that it was purely a coincidence that I had actually picked my up so I started asking him more questions about its effectiveness. It turns out; he paid $3500 for the drop. The interesting thing is that he filled six classes with an average of seven students per class. This worked out to be an average acquisition cost of $73 per student. Considering that most students paid around $300 for the course, this drastically reduced the amount of profit made.

The interesting thing is that the business owner never considered online marketing. If it weren’t for the accidental leaflet, I would have never found his business. Considering how few people read junk mail nowadays, I wonder how many others also missed out.

So this brings me back to the point of the effectiveness of various marketing strategies. As I mentioned above, these can vary depending on the type of business you may have, your geographical location, the target market you are attempting to capture and so on. Although there is no set rule, one simple principle applies and that is, to test and measure whatever method you are using.

Effectiveness of Test and Measuring

Testing the effectiveness of a marketing campaign is something that can be very easily introduced into just about any type of business. All that is required is one simple question ‘How did you hear about us?’ This simple question can be asked at any point of the customer interaction.

Whether it’s over the phone, during a physical face-to-face transaction or during an online purchase.  The type of information gathered can also be extremely beneficial for example; some businesses may want to capture their client’s postcodes. They may have only targeted certain regions with a marketing campaign so capturing postcodes will easily provide them with a snapshot of the campaigns effectiveness.  Other businesses simply ask the question ‘how did you hear about us’. This may help them to understand how much or how little business they are receiving through their phonebook advertising, their website, or any other medium used such as newsletter drops, radio or event TV.

Over the past few months I have recommended capturing this type of data to a few of my clients as I noticed though their website reporting that they were receiving very few hits from a well-known, yet expensive advertising medium. After a couple of months of testing and measuring their marketing dollars, the business owners were extremely surprised with their findings. A few of them realised that the cost of acquisition actually made the strategy unprofitable instead of increasing the businesses bottom line. A number of these businesses dropped this well-known advertising medium and reinvested their funds into more profitable mediums – that predominately being online advertising.

Test And Measure In Everyday Business

So going back to my little experience of art classes… Although using a letterbox drop was overall a profitable experience for the business, highlighting the importance of testing and measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign made the business owner rethink his future marketing.

When the instructor asked the class, the majority initially tried to find local classes online without success.  Although moving forward he will still continue to use letterbox drops (as it did actually work) he is also going to invest the time in making sure that his website is up to date, that it clearly demonstrates what the business is about and to ensure that it can be easily found online.

The Attractiveness Of Online Marketing

Unlike traditional methods of offline marketing, online marketing allows businesses to track the trends of their potential clients. Using tools such as Google Analytics, businesses are easily able to determine where the potential clients are located, how they are finding your site, what time they are accessing it, which pages they are looking at and for how long and other essential buying patterns. This is why, when tailored correctly, online marketing far outperforms any form of offline marketing.

The bottom line is, whether you chose to use online marketing, offline marketing or a combination of the two, in case you should use every tool available to you to measure its effectiveness.

To get a free SEO and Google Places Analysis for your website and find out where your site is currently positioned in Google then…

click here now and simply fill in the short form at the top of the page.

Internet Marketing Tips For Local Business

Internet marketing Tips

The Internet has now become an important medium for showcasing product and services. Almost every company that can afford print, radio and TV advertisements have also ventured into using the Internet as one of the main marketing strategy’s to drive business growth.

But with thousands of websites out there being visited by thousands of local browsers each month, how can you make sure that your website can be found by your target customers? Here are a few Internet Marketing Tips.

1. Make sure your website is optimized for visitors and search engines. The process that is most commonly known to achieve this is called SEO (Search engine Optimization). The fact is that unless you know how to make your website highly popular on the internet it will float around in cyber-space, not being seen or visited by anyone, except for a few die-hard browsers who like to do hours of research on a product or service. However, 90% of people won’t look past the first page of Google and out of those 90% on average they’ll only look at 3 websites before making a decision. That’s way it’s SO important to get found fast and frequently on the internet and SEO is the best way to make that happen.

2. Claim your Google Places listing. Google Places is another way to get your website found on the front-page of Google by local visitors. It’s free, anyone can claim one and will help drive a truck-load of targeted free traffic to your website. The other option is to get an Internet marketing company to help you with setting it up. The reason being that if you don’t do it the right way, it may not appear in Google for months, whereas an Online Marketing Specialists will make sure it get’s set-up properly.

3. Pay-per-click (PPC) is also a good method in Internet Marketing. You will only need to pay for the ad if the link is clicked. If you prefer this method of advertisement, make sure that you are using services that set limits on daily expenses. There are also services that help you determine effective keywords and monitor the PPC results.

4. Choose your domain name wisely. It is still being debated if domain names matter when it comes to search engine placement. Whether it does or not, having product related domain names help consumers remember your domain, that they can go back to your site even without the links.

5. Make sure you have useful content on your sites. While keyword density is important in search engine placement, having useless information or annoying repetition of keywords will not increase your customer’s confidence in your site. It may even affect your sites traffic and can get your site removed from search engines. So make sure that keywords are used strategically.

6. When thinking of keywords, think like your target customers. What do you think are they going to search so they can get to your site? Also, use specific keywords or key phrases. Submitting a single word or a very general phrase to a search engine will not get you to the top of the search results compared to submitting specific keywords that describe your product and services perfectly.

One final tip on marketing products and services is to sell the benefits.

It will help your marketing strategies a lot if you highlight the benefits of choosing your products and services instead of merely discussing the product specifications. Product specifications may not mean much to customers, unless they know what these stand for (how these specifications affect the quality of the product or service).

Many people say getting to the top of search engine results is difficult since millions of websites exist, which can be using the same keywords. While this is true, this doesn’t mean that your website has to stacked under your competitors’ websites when presenting search engine results. Just by using the strategies above your website can dominate the search results, leave your competitors in the dust and build a solid source of highly target leads day-after-day to your business.

These are just a few of the key internet marketing tips that will help your business to be more successful on the Internet.

To get a free SEO and Google Places Analysis for your website and find out where your site is currently positioned in Google then…
click here now and simply fill in the short form at the top of the page.