Online marketing

Every business has a specific audience that they want to reach because they believe that those people are far more likely to become good, long-term paying customers than the general population – your demographic.

For years, real world marketers have sought out ways to help businesses pinpoint their individual demographic using a variety of methods to research and study consumers, but even their best efforts ended up causing companies to cast a wider net and hit lots of people who only partially fit the profile.

online marketingOnline marketing has changed all that by offering clearer and more detailed profiles than ever before, while creating a number of new kinds of targeted advertising that help businesses to reach people who are already searching for services like the ones they offer, as well as people likely to seek out their help in the future. A marketing consultant has the experience to develop a customer profile and set up online marketing campaigns to measure responses. Marketing small business online has never been so efficient.

How exactly can online marketing do this for you?

Niche sites. On the surface, advertising your company on niche site doesn’t seem much different than picking a particular newspaper or indie radio station to run an ad. There are a few big differences though. The first is that even the least expensive of “broadcast” mediums tend to cost a lot more than anything on the web. The second is that the internet is so vast that you can almost guarantee that there is a specific audience for what you’re selling, no matter how specific it is. Third, on a niche site you have the ability to create a brand image at a fraction of the cost of traditional media.

Lists and sign-ups. This isn’t a new idea, but rather an old one in a new form. Whereas many companies used to (and still do) ask customers to sign up for catalogues and newsletters and mailing lists, lots of people are getting fed up with all the paper junk mail they receive. Most studies show that we aren’t as annoyed by email advertisements that we sign up for, though, so hitting people up in their inboxes can be a great way to go. And once people have agreed to let you advertise to them, you know they are much more likely to be convinced to buy something.

Content Marketing. Wikipedia describes content strategy as “…the practice of planning the content creation, delivery, and governance. A repeatable system that defines the entire editorial content development process…”

When we think of Content Marketing we think of the customer, where they are at in the sales process, and delivering them the information they need, in all the places they are searching for it, across each stage of the buying process. This requires creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

SEO. Search engine optimization is a way to bring people to your website who are already searching for the specific types of services that you offer. With well-executed SEO, when people type “buy power tools” into a Google search, your power tool company will appear at the top of their results and they will be more likely to come to you. Obviously it’s not quite as simple as that, but with the right keyword strategy for your web pages and blogs, and utilizing other SEO methods like building backlinks, you can very successfully target the market that’s actively looking to purchase your services.

Location-based marketing. If you run a business that’s mostly local, or you’re primarily interested in getting more customers close to home, local search marketing is an offshoot of SEO that can help you corner your local market with just a few words. Let’s say your power tool business is in Bloomington, Indiana. Instead of “buy power tools,” you might want to use search terms like “buy power tools in Bloomington” or “Indiana power tools.”

By making your search terms more specific, you’re likely to find that fewer people are entering those searches, but you’ll also decrease the competition you face.  This audience is far more likely to choose your business because you’re even closer to what they’re looking for. It can also greatly help with brick and mortar foot traffic, because research has shown that the vast majority of people try an internet search first when looking for businesses close to home.

PPC. Pay-per-click marketing uses advertisements that can either appear on specific niche sites that you believe your target audience frequents or show up when people search for particular terms. The upside of this kind of marketing is in the name itself – you only pay the company creating the ads when people actually click on them and come to your site. After that, it’s up to you to finalize the sale.

These are just some of the methods to pinpoint your audience online and use your advertising dollars smarter so that you increase your return on investment. The best online marketing gurus know that the landscape is constantly changing, so you always have to know what’s over the horizon and be ready for it.

Posted: 3/5/2013 10:53:17 AM by Shep Morrow

Recently, the head of Google’s team that fights against web spam announced that they will be changing their search engine algorithm to “reduce low-quality ‘exact match’ domains” so that they don’t show up as highly in the results.

What does this mean? That search engine optimization is changing. Even if you sell books and own www.books.com (i.e. an exact match domain), your site will find itself tumbling down the Google search results if the content on the site is poor.

And this isn’t the first time that search engines have made crackdowns on sites that have low quality content. Just in the past two years, Google’s Panda started punishing sites that manufacture back links, Bing and Google acknowledged that they incorporate social media recommendations into their algorithms, and Google began preferencing content that is fresh and regularly updated.

It’s more important than ever before in local internet marketing to create unique, high-quality SEO content in order to ensure that your site stays near the top of the search rankings. If people don’t like it and recommend it, search engines will quickly let you drop from page one to page two – or worse.

Say Goodbye to Stuffing and Spinners
What this translates to is a long overdue goodbye to those websites who employ less-than-savory internet marketing tactics to keep their pages near the top of the rankings. Sites that simply stuff their pages with high-ranking SEO words and provide little in the way of valuable content are falling by the wayside. So, too, is the use of “spun” articles – writing content in such a way so that it passes things like Copyscape to make it “unique,” but really just uses slightly different words to say the exact same thing.

Instead, site owners need truly unique content created by people who know how to write, and that content needs to find social approval in the form of Likes, +1s, and so on in order to be seen as relevant. Not something that typically would happen for those sites that employed “cheats” to attain their high ranks.

Strategies for Optimizing Your Content
First and foremost, what this new world order means is that you need good content, so your initial job is to locate an expert in internet marketing consulting who can produce that. Once you feel that you’ve got that person, you have to make sure that you are sharing your content in as many ways as possible – that means getting Likes and shares from Facebook, tweets and retweets from Twitter, repins on Pinterest, and any other social media services that you find valuable.

In order to stay relevant and fresh, you need to create new blog posts, press releases, case studies, and more on a regular basis. On top of that, you have to make sure to include backlinks that point to your site or a conversion page while continuing to promote the content via social media.

All of this, as you might imagine, can be a little time consuming. Worse, it’s something that is constantly in flux as Google and others continue to refine their approach. That’s why it is so valuable to work with an expert in internet marketing consulting as you try to grow your brand.

Posted: 10/4/2012 1:57:14 PM by Shep Morrow

Local Internet Marketing for Real Estate Offices

There’s no doubt about it: the process of buying and selling real estate is becoming increasingly digital.

The facts and figures speak for themselves.

  • Over 85% of real estate transactions start online.
  • 92% of homebuyers used the Internet as an information source
  • 75% of Internet homebuyers drove by or viewed a home they saw online
  • 43% of buyers first found their home on the Internet
  • 50% of For Sale By Owners used the Internet to help sell their home
The question is: are you keeping pace with the changes? It’s more important than ever before to ensure your real estate office is highly visible on the internet.

Potential buyers search for information on neighborhoods and available properties long before they enlist the help of an agent, and you’re more likely to sign their business if you’re prominent in those local search results.

And potential sellers expect that you’ll leverage the latest technologies to get seen by these buyers. If your own internet presence is subpar, they’ll move on to someone who is more tech-savvy.

So where do you start?

Develop a Strong Internet Marketing Strategy for Your Real Estate Office

When searching for an internet marketing expert, you want to look for someone who has specific experience with not just search engine optimization – but local search engine optimization.

While some of the strategies are the same, the approach is different. You don’t just want anyone who is looking to buy or sell real estate; you want people who are looking to buy or sell real estate in your local area.

A hyper local search engine optimization strategy takes this one step further. It focuses on even more specific locations to ensure you’re actually seen, and not being lost in a more crowded market. For instance, instead of a focus on “Los Angeles Real Estate,” a hyper local strategy would focus on specific cities and neighborhoods in the area, such as “Burbank Los Angeles Real Estate” and “Culver City Los Angeles Real Estate.”

Both local and hyper local internet marketing strategies should aim to get you on the first page for relevant search terms related to your location as well as a wide range of map and directory sites where people are searching for real estate agents. A focus on building your local presence produces results.
In fact, you can often see those results in just a very short time.

  • One real estate company saw a 39% year-on-year monthly increase in New Visitors in the first 45 days.
  • A single real estate office location saw 700 page views after optimizing just two pages on an existing website.
But that’s just the start. Real estate offices can leverage a wide variety of online marketing strategies to connect with more buyers and sellers, including:
  • Pay-Per-Click Management
  • Link Building
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Blog Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Reputation Management
  • Email Marketing
When optimized and properly managed, these internet marketing tools can be a lead generation machine for you, regularly providing you with potential buyers and sellers to turn into satisfied clients.  
Posted: 6/24/2014 10:50:32 AM by Shep Morrow