Many small businesses make the mistake of dismissing call analytics altogether as something they will not find necessary for their business. Call tracking and call analytics happen to be two of the most basic services… More
Smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of daily life, particularly for the younger set. Those of us who remember when cell phones first came out, roughly the size of a brick and just as heavy might be a bit bemused by the latest advances in technology. Nowadays, it seems as though the latest smartphones can do everything but physically make you dinner. There are definitely enough apps out there, however, to have the phone tell you how to make dinner, at the very least.
On that note, apps are another way to harness the power of mobile marketing. This is an especially good one for startups to consider, as app development and implementation is actually one of the best ways to get the most out of mobile marketing for your money. For those who arent exactly in the know, an app is short for the word application. Since smartphones are like mini computers but dont work in the exact same way, there are certain programs that companies have developed to help smartphones function more like a traditional computer. These programs are the apps.
Apps are extremely popular in todays day and age, particularly given the prevalence of smartphones. There are apps that specialize on everything from coupons to fashion to locating others in the area for potential dates. What does this mean for people who are interested in mobile marketing? Creating an app is a great way to get your message across to users and help enhance your overall marketing presence.
Companies can use apps to great advantage. Many larger companies either sell or give away apps to interested consumers, and then they pack those apps with either deals or great content to share with the consumers who have installed the apps on their phones. Having an app that centers around your business and products is a great way to keep your loyal customers up to date on what your company is doing and how they can serve the consumer better.
Not to mention, apps are definitely cutting-edge insofar as technology is concerned. If you are able to offer you consumers an app for their smartphones, youre signaling to the consumer that both you and your company are hip to the technological savvy of the populace. Youll be able to get your customers information on an as-needed basis. Apps can even help customers locate your stores or outlets if they should happen to be in an unfamiliar area and have a sudden Jones for your product.
So if you’re looking to break into the world of mobile marketing, you should most certainly give app development a second look. If you can get your idea into an app and onto the phones of your consumers, your consumers will most certainly be giving you a second look as well and a third, a fourth, a fifth, and as many more as fast as technology can travel.
The Pros and Cons of Mobile Marketing
Developing your site so that it enhances your visitors’ shopping experience and improves conversion rates does not automatically mean that you have a site that is friendly to the search engines. Similarly developing a site that is search engine friendly doesn’t automatically make it user-friendly. But these things are also not mutually exclusive. You can please both search engines and website visitors.
While search engines are important, keep in mind that your visitors are even more important. When making edits to your site always consider the implications on both your human visitors and the search engines as well. Every change you make will have either a positive, negative or neutral effect on your human visitors and the search engine spider. You need to know ahead of time the effect any particular change will have and use that as a basis for determining if its worthwhile or not.
For a look at some of the least desirable types of changes you can make to your website for improved conversions: Ultimately, if you have to decide between users and spiders err on the side of making your site better for people. Here are the final three paths that you may face with any site change you are looking to make. Of the nine paths, these are your best options overall.
Good for spiders, indifferent for people
Many, many valuable website changes have absolutely zero effect on your human visitors but they are necessary in order to enhance your site’s spiderability, search friendliness and overall ranking ability. Many say that you should only make website changes for visitors, not for search engines, but that’s just not good policy. While many website architectural issues can be justified as being beneficial for site visitors there are still some changes that are flat out necessary that really don’t have much to do with the visitor at all.
If a change is good for search engine spiders and you know it won’t have a negative effect on your visitors then it’s certainly a valuable change to consider. Ultimately, if you can enhance the experience for the spider you’ll be providing better opportunities for your site visitors. But again, just make sure any such change doesn’t have a negative site visitor impact.
Indifferent to spiders, Good for people
Almost universally, if you can make changes to your site that enhance your visitor’s experience while having no negative effect on the search engines you’re in good hands. Addressing things such as visitor usability and trust issues rarely effect the search engines directly but they can go a long way for improving how visitors interact with your site and the persuasion process that gets you the conversions you need.
One should always be looking for changes to make to their site that will improve visitor performance and conversions. The trick is to make sure you balance that with the net effect any change has with the spiders. If you can keep making changes that have little or no overall effect in spiderability and search engine friendliness then by all means, keep making them. Your site is only going to get better.
Good for spiders, good for people
Pleasing visitors should always be your first priority on your website. But when you can please both visitors and search engines simultaneously then you’re in a good spot. Making site changes that have a positive effect in both these areas is the ultimate path, goal and decision that you can make. If only every change that we make to our sites could bring improvement for both search spiders and human visitors. While that’s not always the case these are the types of changes that you should actively be seeking out.
Every change you make to your website has an effect. If possible, it’s best if that effect can be determined before the change is made. Knowing that information will give you an idea if you should move forward or not. But when it comes to predicting the effect of changes, especially those affecting the site visitor, we can’t always be right.
Don’t be afraid to make changes you may be unsure about. But it’s crucial to track what happens next. Even if you are fairly confident of a positive outcome tracking will either confirm what we already knew or point out where our logic was faulty. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact it’s better to try, err and correct than not make any improvements at all. The goal should be to develop a site that is as user friendly and search engine friendly as possible. That’s done through a long-term process of identifying issues, making edits and analyzing the results.
Not every path is a winner and steer clear of those that have a net negative effect. But everything must be weighed. Even within the these tips there are several shades of gray and the overall gain/loss must be considered carefully. Even the smallest gains are often beneficial if they outweigh the negatives. As much as possible, though, keep on the paths that provide the best results and you’ll be on the path to business success.
Read More Here: Balancing SEO With Website Usability
A better questions is: What do you need? You can’t begin to address a budget for online marketing until the business requirements are established. Like offline marketing, the cost of advertising, promotion and public relations depend on the amount and type of work planned to achieve the results that your business is looking for. You must identify certain goals.
What are you hoping to achieve?
Think beyond just more leads and sales. Really break it down into traceable goals segmented by marketing channel, and you’ll end up with a list that includes goals like:
- Number of unique visitors / duration of visit / pages visited
- Form submissions / newsletter signups
- Info requests / sales appointments
- Trial signups / online sales
At some point, hopefully earlier in the campaign, you’ll want a plan that details your marketing channels, as well as specific goals for each channel. For instance, one line may read:
Facebook Ads Monthly Goals: 500 visits, 50 form submissions, 5 sales.
How do you come up with the numbers?
That’s easy – here we use expert research. We study the market, competitors, keywords, costs, opportunities, and expected results, and come up with sturdy tools leading to an action plan that leaves the guesswork behind.
The bottom line: If you want to build a platform of better results, you need to begin with better tools:
- Market Assessment
- Brand Audit
- Competitive Research
- Keyword Research
- Organic Rankings Report
- MARKETING PLAN
Can you determine a cost before developing a marketing plan? The most accurate answer here is: no. What we can do instead is help you build a plan to achieve important results using the tactics that best suit your current situation and budget.
There are always opportunities to grow your business online, at any budget. A good starting question is: What’s the best approach for MY business?
Read More Here: How Much Does Online Marketing Cost? Wrong Question!
Online marketing can be a mystery to many small business owners and it’s even more difficult when so called “experts” are giving them conflicting information. Who should they believe? How do they know which strategy is the right one for their business?
My heart goes out to so many small business owners who struggle to wrap their arms around the online marketing game. It is constantly changing and as the old saying goes, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”. So it isn’t surprising that they can talk to three different marketing agencies and come back with three different strategies.
It’s no wonder some small businesses struggle with their online marketing strategy. We’ve compiled a list of ways that local small businesses fail with their online marketing and how they can avoid these mistakes.
1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – Don’t focus exclusively on internet marketing. Given that this article is about internet marketing, this item may seem out of place. But it is important to note that although the internet is a powerful source for driving new business and building your brand, it shouldn’t be the only marketing strategy in your arsenal.
2. Marketing budget is too low – If you consider the national average for businesses of all sizes, the average marketing budget is about 10% of the entire budget. Now if you compare that to the local small business owner, 56% spend less than 3% of their total budget on all of their marketing. Unless you or someone in your business has the skills needed to develop a strong online marketing program, you should be investing in your online strategy.
3. Outdated or poorly optimized website – When it comes to marketing online your website becomes your central point for sales. All your social platforms, online ads and videos should lead consumers back to your website. Having a website that make a strong first impression is important. Make sure contact information stands out and that the site is easy to navigate. Your visitors should be able to easily find the information they are looking for.
4. Don’t forget about the power of email marketing – We recently sat down with one of our landscaping clients who was getting ready for their busy season. Instead of spending marketing dollars on ads for sprinkler startup and aeration, we suggested they create an email campaign to reach out to previous customers who used these services in the past. It doesn’t cost anything but a few hours of their time and will get them off to a fast start this season.
5. Capture the low hanging fruit – Leverage local search to be found by consumers who are ready to buy right now. Smart phones are everywhere and the number of mobile searches for local intent has surpassed desktop searches. Consumers searching via a mobile device will make a purchase within 3 days more than 50% of the time. Mobile users search for everything from shopping and restaurants to home services.
6. Don’t try to do it all by yourself – Marketing online is complex and ever changing so unless you have an in house specialist, it will too challenging to keep up with. It’s true that some online marketing can be expensive but you don’t have to do it all at once. Figure out what your budget is and start with something small. As sales increase your marketing budget should follow.
“Business success is all about finding the right outside service providers and using them wisely. You can’t do it all yourself.” ~ Anita Campbell, Founder of Small Business Trends.
7. Hire the “right” marketing agency – Small business owners are experts in their business but they don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to marketing online. This becomes a Catch 22 – how do you hire a good agency when you don’t know what to look for. Part of this will be following your gut but it should also include asking a lot of questions and asking for referrals. Also, if you’re unsure about an agency start off with a smaller project that doesn’t take too long. This way you can see how the agency works and if they follow through with your expectations.
Last but not least….
Do something! Procrastinating and waiting for the right moment is a sure fire way to fail. Put together your online marketing strategy with timeframes and budget. Having something in writing will give you a blueprint for success. Make changes to your blueprint as things change.
If you would like help with your marketing strategy, schedule a free no-obligation 30 minute consultation.
Read More Here: Why Local Businesses Fail With Online Marketing
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