Is it just me or are SEOs getting a little big for their britches? Specifically, why do so many of them tell business owners that they must optimize their website for hundreds of keywords? Uh, what?Last time I checked, the majority of businesses in North America were small ones. You know, the kind with itty-bitty "brochure" sites that have overly complicated contact forms, say "Welcome to Our Website" on the homepage, and contain barely enough content to fill a real brochure of the paper variety. Now, when the owner of one of these little charmers approaches me for Internet marketing help, I'm not going to tell him that we must optimize his site for hundreds of keywords. Nor am I going to tell him that we need to create a 100 more pages of content to add to their existing 10 to support such a campaign. This is not to say that small websites can't achieve search visibility on the web. But the path they take to get there is going to be a little different than that of their big budget … [Read more...] about Small Website? Small Budget? Why Not a Little SEO Lite?
There are times where it can be difficult for small business to compete in the paid search environment. As the cost of targeting keywords on venues such as Google AdWords continues to increase, many small businesses are finding it difficult to keep pace. They either have to accept the fact that they can afford only a very small slice of the pie or abandon paid search marketing altogether. We recently encountered a scenario like this with a client's Google AdWords campaign. The main keyword phrases they needed to target had become so expensive that not only were they only realizing a very small portion of actual traffic that could be had, they were paying exorbitant prices for each visitor. We encouraged them to increase their overall AdWords budget, however that was something they could not afford to do at the time. So how could they continue to get the best value out of their AdWords campaign while maintaining a small budget? While I cannot mention the company by name, I will … [Read more...] about How Can Small Business Compete in a Highly Competitive Paid Search (PPC) Market?
Every day thousands of retailers and consumers find what they're looking for online: each other. Meeting your perfect match on a small budget is a challenge but by no means impossible. Although more and more big name brands are snapping up bundles of cyber real estate each day, a well-ordered and concise pay per click campaign is actually an ideal marketing solution for businesses operating with modest financial resources because costs are strictly controlled and adverts precisely targeted. Even dedicating as little as 3 pounds per day to search engine marketing will open up a whole new world of sales possibilities. Setting up a pay per click campaign is as easy as registering with a search portal. Once registered, you're invited to create adverts and choose keywords or phrases which are relevant to your business. Are You A Key Holder? As a niche or small enterprise, a tightly integrated campaign using only terms particularly relevant to your product will yield the best results. … [Read more...] about Tips from the Top: Search Engine Marketing On A Small Budget
Last week at the ExactTarget Connections Conference, I had that the opportunity to meet Forrester analyst Shar vanBoskirk. Like most in our industry, I was interested in her point of view on a question I often ponder, so I approached after her presentation and asked for it: “If email consistently has the highest conversion rate of all channels (search, social, etc.) why does it consistently receive the least amount of budget?” We see this with our clients, and it’s something that Forrester Research reported on in their US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 to 2016 that was recently featured in the State of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing & Merchandising. Her opinion: Because email is so inexpensive, executives will pay less attention to it. That also often results in a less sophisticated associate being responsible for it. If something has a more significant budget assigned to it, then it will necessarily garner more attention and have higher level associates … [Read more...] about Budgeting For Email Marketing: How To Invest In The
Let’s get this out of the way right now: Hands-on SEO and SEM for small businesses is no different than it is for large corporations. Small businesses need to develop great content around targeted keywords and get quality inbound links… just as any other business does. On the PPC front, small businesses need to write great ads, target the right keywords, and have great landing pages… just as any other business does. This begs an obvious question: If it’s all the same, why is Search Engine Land starting a new column dedicated to small business search marketing? You’d have to ask Danny, Chris and the rest of the Search Engine Land team to be sure, but here’s my take: Small is the Now: Based on its most recent figures (2005), the U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that 99.9% of the country’s businesses are small businesses. The U.S. Census Bureau says small businesses employ slightly more than 50% of the workforce. Small is the Future: … [Read more...] about What’s So Different About Being Small?
Since “how much would it take me to get started?” is a common question that potential clients ask me, I thought I’d expand a bit on my original answer to Debra Mastaler’s forum questions. I love the idea of only having $100 to get started because many times, having less money means you have to get more creative. So, since I’ve spent my theoretical $100 already (in the post above), everything else I’d advise is free. So far we’ve set up social media accounts, used a few free tools in order to find more Twitter followers, analyze our Twitter work, and keep abreast of all of our online mentions. Advertise Your Business The Old-School Way If you don’t already have business cards, use some software to print some out or call in a favor to your friend down the block who works in a printing shop. You don’t have to get fancy here, as my goal is simple: I want you to be able to show someone your URL. Put these cards up on bulletin boards at … [Read more...] about Creative Tips For Link Building On A Shoestring Budget
For a long time, I thought utilizing a strong Landing Page Optimization program was only available to large companies with large budgets. The software to create landing pages on the fly by keyword is pricey, and the learning curve is significant. If you have the time, budget and manpower to utilize a design team and software that builds a landing page for every paid, organic, social and email marketing keyword or blast you send — Awesome! The reality is, most of us do have time and budget limitations. Getting permission to spend thousands on software isn’t likely, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea. Think a bit deeper and build your landing pages for multiple purposes. In the past, we would build a website, and send clicks to the homepage of that site. Then we got smart, and sent those same clicks to more relevant pages on the site. Then Landing Page Optimization was invented and we started hearing we needed a new page for every keyword, and the … [Read more...] about How To Build Multi-Purpose Landing Pages For Small Budget Advertising
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You need to spend money to make money.” But for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), this is a particularly challenging mandate to follow when thinking about annual budgets every year. Now is the time they must take a hard look at their finances to determine how to spend less and make more. So the million-dollar question is: With 2017 looming and budgeting priorities across the board, where will SMBs be putting their marketing dollars next year? As a small business owner myself, I know all too well how essential it is to make a detailed plan that will tightly control my company’s financial performance. In my experience running an online marketing business, creating a process for budgeting is the single most effective means of keeping your business’s finances on the right track. But even when times get tough, it’s imperative to remember how important the marketing portion of your budget is for survival. … [Read more...] about Why SMBs should spend more of their budget on online marketing in 2017
Running a blog often sounds very appealing. You’ll have a place to share your thoughts, build a community, and also generate some much-needed cash. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, the reality is it’s not as easy to achieve this as a lot of people make out. I hear the same old things time after time: “Just create awesome content” or “Build a social media following so that you can drive traffic back to your blog.” It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? That’s because it is obvious. Who in their right mind would start a blog with the intention of producing crap content and completely neglecting social media? Morons, that’s who. The reality is you could be producing the most awesome content in the world, but if nobody gets their eyeballs on it then it all goes to waste. I’ve been blogging for a fair amount of time now and have learnt a lot of tough lessons along the way. During my early days of blogging, the thing that I really … [Read more...] about Blogging 101: Traffic Generation for Blogs on a Budget
It’s so easy. Just create amazing content consistently and you’ll be rolling in traffic. I’m kidding. Even if you know what you’re doing, content marketing takes a lot of work. But it can pay off in a big way. For example, Kraft’s ROI from content marketing is four times better than any other form of advertising. Look around online, and you’ll quickly discover that they are not alone. You don’t even have to go further than here. I’ve used content marketing to grow KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and now Quick Sprout to well over 7-figure (annually) businesses. I typically get around 100 comments on posts and over 1,000 social shares within days on just Twitter and Facebook alone. Now, it’s taken me years to get here because content marketing takes patience and consistency. But another thing it takes is a budget. If you’re doing content marketing effectively, you’re creating some really valuable next-level content. And if … [Read more...] about How to Make Content Marketing Work for Small Budgets