Archive for the ‘Small Business Internet Marketing’ Category
Monday, May 20th, 2013
USA Today reported today that Yahoo! has purchased Tumblr for $1.1 billion. The funny thing is they promise “not to screw it up.”
People who have followed Yahoo! around for the past decade understand that comment. They have a bad habit of buying up properties only to close them down or do nothing with them. It’s a running joke in Internet marketing circles.
Joke aside, however, is it possible that Yahoo! could renege on its promise? It’s possible, but I don’t think it’s likely to happen because there’s a new CEO at the helm. Marissa Mayer, a former Googler, understands the value of high profile acquisitions. By virtue of her place at Google for so many years, she knows a good thing when she sees it. Now is her time to prove it.
Something caught my eye in the USA Today article, though.
Tumblr is also ahead of Yahoo in chasing after customers who use smartphones to access their sites, Mayer said. More than half of Tumblr’s users are using the mobile app and conduct an average of seven sessions per day, Mayer said.
This could be an opportunity for Yahoo! to capture the smartphone market. If so many Tumblr users are tuned into their smartphones, then it could be the place where Yahoo! shines in terms of future revenue and market share. Yahoo!’s advertising model is way less expensive than Google’s. The question is, how will they capitalize in their differences in the coming decade?
Friday, May 17th, 2013
Twitter and Google got their very public divorce in 2011 after a brief flirtation period with realtime search. Since then, Google has deployed Google+ to mostly positive results. Twitter has been dating and looking for a replacement. Now, they’re in deep with Yahoo!
This is an interesting partnership for several reasons.
- First and foremost, Yahoo! is not a search giant. They enjoy only 5% of the search market. Still, that’s a big market when you think about it. Yahoo! is still one of the most trafficked websites on the Web.
- This deal looks to be better for Yahoo! than Twitter on the surface of things. I mean, what’s to be gained from this relationship for Twitter other than having additional capital to use for other things? Yahoo! is getting a big asset to beef up its SERPs.
- The announcement indicates that Yahoo! is planning to beef up its content with tweets in the following areas: “sports, entertainment, music, and more.” It’s unclear how it will benefit regular search marketers.
Nevertheless, I expect that there will be ways for the run-of-the-mill search engine marketer to capitalize on this relationship – particularly if you are in one of the above-mentioned niches.
What do you think? Is this a good deal for Yahoo!? How about Twitter?
Friday, May 10th, 2013
It doesn’t matter what kind of content you have, if it isn’t strong content, then your visitors will leave. Your content must do three things really well.
- First, it’s got to keep your site visitors informed about key information related to your niche.
- Secondly, it’s got to present you as a subject matter expert without making a sales pitch.
- And thirdly, it’s got to interest your audience in wanting to learn more about your business.
Content that does these three things is really strong content.
Before I went out and started producing all kinds of content that nobody is going to care about, I’d start with coming up with some content goals. Your goals should state what you want your content to accomplish. You should also discuss the types of content you want to produce and how much of each kind of content you want to produce. Finally, your content strategy should discuss specific accomplishments you want to occur by a deadline date.
Strong content is made stronger with a strong Web strategy. You have to set goals for your business and follow through. Failing to do this almost ensures that your content will be spotty and lack quality.
Before you can provide quality services for your clients, you have to attract those clients. The way you do that in the 21st century is with powerful content.
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
Small business owners often have difficulty understanding who they’re competing against online. It’s much easier off line. If you run a local restaurant, then your competition are other local restaurants trying to attract the same demographic of customers. Online, it’s a bit more tricky than that.
For instance, let’s say you sell widgets. Is every widget maker in the world your competitor? Probably not. If there is a widget maker across the street from you in your home town, they’re likely not your competition online. If they don’t have a website, then you aren’t competing with them. If they do have a website, you could be targeting different key phrases.
There’s the key. Your competition online is everyone who is targeting the same search queries that you’re targeting. Even if those businesses aren’t in the same niche as you.
If you sell books, Amazon is your competition. If you sell computer peripherals, Amazon is your competition. And so is eBay. So is Wal-Mart. It is likely that those three top businesses are targeting some of the same product keyword phrases that you are targeting. If they rank higher than you in the search engines, then you have some work to do.
Online competition is all about rankings. There’s a good chance that you have competitors you’ve never heard of. Do your research. Find out who’s targeting the same key phrases you are. How do they rank? It’s your job to beat them.
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
The reason you decided to outsource your online marketing is because you don’t have the expertise to make it successful. Or, it could be that you don’t have to the time. Either way, you still need to be involved in the process.
Your Internet marketing consulting firm is going to rely on you for certain information. And they may rely on you to implement certain key aspects of your online strategy. You shouldn’t let them down.
Here are 5 specific ways some companies sabotage their own online marketing efforts.
- They aren’t involved in the process – Don’t just hire an Internet marketing firm and never communicate with them. Instead, be a part of the process. Create an ongoing dialogue with your company and learn how the process works. The more you know about what they’re doing, the less likely you are to get into trouble that could cost you more in the long run.
- They aren’t fully committed – Are you committed to the SEO, social media, or other marketing program your firm recommended? If not, let them know. Nothing can kill a campaign faster than the client not being fully committed.
- They don’t review their keyword lists – If you don’t review your keyword lists, you’ll end up targeting keywords that won’t help your business. You’ll get the wrong kind of traffic and see fewer conversions. That will cost your business money and lower your ROI.
- They don’t do what they say they’re going to do – If you promise your online marketing consultant that you’ll do something, follow through. They could be waiting on you before moving to the next stage. You’d expect the same from them, right?
- They are slow to respond to requests – If your Internet marketing consultant requests something from your staff, there’s a reason for it. Don’t blow them off. Your input is a valuable part of the overall process.
Internet marketing is not a “set and forget” process. You have to be involved in every stage of the program. That doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your time looking over your consultant’s shoulder, but the more input you provide the more likely you’ll see positive results.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Content marketing is more than just creating content and spraying on the wall of the Internet in hopes that something will stick. You have to have a plan. But which plan is the best plan?
The best content marketing plan is the plan that works for you, but one plan to consider is what I call the “Hub and Spoke” content model.
With this plan, what you do is establish your home base – your hub. That should be your website with a blog. You want a blog because it’s the easiest and most effective way to keep your website up-to-date with fresh and unique content. But if you stop at the hub, then you’ll miss out on opportunities to connect with your audience and drive them back to your home base.
That’s why you need the spokes.
The spokes are your outlying bases. These are the posts you set up in social media circles, other blogs, forums, and where ever your target audience can be found. Don’t spread yourself too thin, but pick as many spokes as you can manage effectively. That could be three or four or it could be a dozen. It depends on your strengths, your budget in money and time, and what’s available in your niche.
You should plan to post something to each of your spokes at least once a day. Ideally, you’d stick around and interact with your audience in those outlying bases. Build your audience, engage with your audience, then send your audience back to your hub where you’ll take your relationship deeper.
This is a simple online content model, but it works. Give it a try.
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
It doesn’t matter if you operate a local business trying to market yourself online or if your audience is global, online surveys can be a resourceful way to get feedback on your products and services, help you improve your delivery, and grow your business.
The first, and natural, benefit you get from online surveys is realtime reporting. You can see results as soon as they are available. Realtime metrics makes this possible, and if you need data fast to make a quick decision, then an online survey can be your rescue team.
A second benefit is you can often mine great data from your customers. Provide a couple of open-ended questions on your survey and see what people come up with.
If you want to roll out a new product or service and have several options to choose from, ask your customers or website visitors. There’s nothing worse than rolling out a new product that no one is interested in because you didn’t ask for their feedback before putting out the cost. Instead, present a survey and ask which product or service respondents are most interested in. Ask the right questions and you can get invaluable feedback before you spend the money.
Don’t forget to thank your survey respondents. The best “thank you” is a valuable freebie or discount. If you offer an incentive for taking your survey, you are more likely to get the feedback you desire.