The Infographic Infographic

Need an infographic created? Need to get your infographic promoted for the best possible link bait? Need to promote your infographic via social channels? I can help with that.  🙂
David McBee

 

Planning Your Internet Marketing Budget

“What should my internet marketing budget be?”

This is a question I hear a lot. But it’s the wrong question to ask.

“Should I invest in Sponsored Links (Pay-Per-Click Advertising), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), or Social Media?”

Also not the right question.

The right question to ask might be, “How should I invest in internet marketing?”

The answer, of course, is different for everyone. But the big picture answer might look something like, “Invest in the channels that provide a positive return on investment.”

We’ve got to stop looking at the internet like it’s a single marketing channel. Newspaper, yellow pages, radio, television – these are the marketing channels we’re used to. So when the Internet came along we added it to that list. For awhile, we even increased our marketing budgets to include it. Then, as newspapers’ and yellow pages’ readerships went down, we started diverting money from those channels into the internet. But for the most part, we would buy one online marketing campaign. Maybe we started with an online yellow pages campaign. Then someone introduced us to pay per click, so we canceled online yellow pages. Then we learned about SEO, so we diverted our PPC money.

But this doesn’t make sense. If that $100/mo IYP (internet yellow pages) campaign is providing more than $100/mo in profit, why cancel it? Even if PPC is a better choice, keep that $100 invested in that media because it’s paying for itself and making you a profit. (“You wouldn’t cancel a stock that was profitable to invest in a new one, would you? If you believed in the new one, you would come up with additional money to invest!” – Joyce Bruno)

We’re looking at the internet like it’s a single marketing channel. It’s not. There are a ton of ways to advertise online that ALL have the potential to be profitable.

Let’s look at old media again. If you ever ran TV or radio commercials, did it make sense to only advertise on one channel? If you only chose one, you were missing a large portion of your audience. What if there are multiple yellow pages in your area? Maybe AT&T has 70% readership and Yellow Book has 30%. Do you really want to be invisible to 3 out of 10 potential customers? Most importantly, if your ad in one book is making your phone ring and the investment is profitable, why not advertise in another one? If you can trade $1 to make $2, wouldn’t you do that all day long?!

“David, stop rambling about yellow pages. Get back to my question about my internet marketing budget!”

Okay, sorry.

Here’s the bottom line. If PPC is working for you, keep doing it. Even if you have a goal to rank higher in the organic section of Google, using SEO, keep paying for those pay per click ads as long as they are resulting in sales. Because guess what will happen if you invest in SEO and do get your website to page one. You’ll reach a greater audience (This article talks about a 75%/25% split, but I don’t think it tells the whole story.*)  and you could even get more than DOUBLE the clicks! Research shows that when you appear in the sponsored links section of Google and the organic section of Google, your clicks will increase exponentially. Remember how that radio ads salesmen told you that your message had to be heard over and over to be effective? There may be some truth to that on Google too. Something happens when your ad is seen multiple times that gets users to click.

Take a look at some of these examples from companies that we can assume have serious online marketing budgets. We can also assume they do a lot of analysis on their results and wouldn’t keep investing in a marketing channel that wasn’t effective, right?

Dick’s is #1 and #2 in the organic for their big money phrase, “sporting goods”.  With an estimated value of $1.96/click and estimated traffic of 125 clicks/day, Dicks is paying somewhere around $3000/year to bid on that one keyword. And I think it’s fair to say that “sporting goods” is only one of many keywords they bid on. If they’re appearing in the organic section for this kw, why invest it it? Do they know something we don’t know?

How about Amazon and Barnes & Noble? Everyone knows they sell books already, right? Google certainly pegs them as the authority, ranking them in positions #1 and #3. (I’ll keep my opinion about how books.google.com snuck in there above amazon.com.)

So what do these major book retailers understand about the relationship between organic and PPC that we don’t?

Now here’s a case where you might argue that Zappos is only investing in PPC so they can show up ahead of Amazon.com. Isn’t organic position #2 good enough? Apparently not. Would you be happy with organic position #2? How would it make you feel to achieve that organic position through serious SEO and link building, only to be beat by your competition who set up an Adwords campaign in ten minutes and immediately outranked you?

And finally my favorite. Pretty much the king of toy retailers and one of the first things my kids learned to read: Toys “R” Us. #1 and #1.

Here’s the deal. PPC, SEO and even Social Media are all different ways you can advertise online and it could easily make sense to have a budget for EACH.

I’m currently working with a business owner who does PPC with great success. He told me that his phone calls increased significantly when he implemented PPC. But he also invests in SEO and links. He’s working hard to get to page one for some important keywords. He asked me if I thought he could cut back on his PPC when we got him to page one organically. Can you guess what I told him? (Yes, that conversation inspired this blog post.) I even told him that if he can handle the business, he should consider addition internet marketing channels like social media, infographics and video. Why stop at PPC and SEO?

What do you think? Have you had experiences with PPC and SEO that would support or negate my position? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks!

David McBee

Pay Per Click • Search Engine Optimization • Link Building • Internet Marketing

* I believe that it’s accurate to say that more clicks come from the organic section of Google, but I believe that’s because sponsored links are often trying to sell a product or service and we are most often not shopping when we are surfing. We are looking for information or entertainment. BUT – when we are shopping, if the sponsored link is the most relevant, we don’t care if it’s sponsored or not.  Google makes over 90% of their income on sponsored links and we know they’re doing okay, right? So someone is clicking on the sponsored links! More on that concept in my article:  Why am I Passionate About Sponsored Links?

Two Good Reasons to Use Google+

Google+ LogoGoogle is taking on Facebook with Google+. And for the most part, they’re doing pretty well. What did they get, like a million users in five minutes or something like that? The problem is, a lot of folks are signing up for the obligatory account and then not really taking advantage of it. And why should they? Except for CIRCLES, it’s pretty much the same thing as Facebook (to the average user, at least.) I would argue that if all your friends weren’t already on Facebook, and comfortable with its platform, Google+ would probably be a much bigger hit.

The main thing I hear from the average user is this: “I don’t need another social network. I have LinkedIn for business, Twitter for my celebrities and special offers, and Facebook for friends. Why do I need Google+?” Of course, anyone who effectively leverages social media effectively knows that’s an oversimplification. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can be used for so much more.

But if that is truly the perception of Google+, I’d like to share two very solid reasons that one might want to make use of Google+. These reasons are mostly for business owners, bloggers and content writers, BTW.

1) Google+ results are integrated into Google search in a way that Facebook and Twitter aren’t. As an example, everything I write on my blog is posted to my “Professional Facebook” and always has been since starting it. While it’s a public page with a lot of content, it doesn’t rank as well as my Google+ Page. In fact, when my Google+ page had ONLY FOUR posts on it, it was ranking better than my Facebook and even my blog. Everything I know about SEO says that shouldn’t be the case. But Google is clearly giving Google+ profiles a little extra bump, so I would recommend you take advantage of that in order to get better rankings.

2) Duplicate content is a big issue. If Google sees duplicate content on two web pages, they’ll only rank one of them for that content. So if you’re a writer, or if you want credit for the fresh content that you just added to your website, how do you prove to Google that you’re the original author? Simple. As soon as you write it, post it on Google+. Google crawls their own Google+ feed religiously and will then have a record of your content in their index at an earlier date than anyone who may scrape and steal your content later. In other words, if you write it, plus it to protect it.

There are certainly more reasons to use G+, but I wanted to share those with you for now. I gotta run so I can post this on my G+ before anyone else takes credit for it.  🙂

One more thing: Social Media Examiner has written an excellent step by step instructions to setting up Google+ for business.

David McBee

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UPDATE

So immediately after publishing this post, I did, in fact, post the link to the article on my Google+ page. I then opened another browser (one where I was NOT logged into Google) and searched for “Two Good Reasons to Use Google+”. As expected, there were no results related to my article.

The next thing I did was to set a timer for 30 minutes. When the timer went off, I searched again. Take a look at what Google had already found and indexed:

Need I say more?

-David

 

Internet Marketing Kansas City • Social Media Strategies Kansas City

All About Anchor Text: Whiteboard Friday

Normally I would just tweet the link to a good article about SEO or link building, but this one is so in line with what I teach about ANCHOR TEXT, I felt it was worth putting here on the blog.  I’ve linked to the original article so that you can view the full transcript of the video.

 

Why Do My Competitors’ Sites Rank Higher Than Mine?

It’s the million dollar question – why are your competitors’ sites ranking better on the search engines? The answer is nearly always one of the following:

1) Their website is more relevant.

They have more content on their site about the given keyword for which they are beating you on the SERP. Or maybe their content is fresher than yours.

How to beat the competition: Add lots of your own fresh, relevant, quality content. Consider blogging or updating your news and events at least once a week.

2) Their website is more popular or authoritative.

Google determines who is the most popular or authoritative based on the links pointing to a website from other websites. If your competitors have either more links or better links, then it’s pretty likely that their going to outrank your site. Period.

How to beat the competition: Generate content worth linking to and actively engage in growing your backlinks. [Learn more about link building for better ranking.]

3) Their website is more reputable.

Online reputation is more important than ever. Reviews and social signals tell the search engines who is being talked about online.

How to best the competition: Pay attention to your online reviews (on sites like Google Maps and Yelp). Monitor and participate in conversations about your busieness on sites like facebook and twitter. 

4) Your competitor is manipulating their backlink portfolio better.

In other words, they are actively building links on relevant, quality sites. They are mixing up their anchor text and they are drawing upon a variety of sources for their links. If you’re just sitting back and hoping that other websites choose to link to your site, you’re missing out on anchor text strategies that will help you rank better for certain keywords.

How to beat the competition: Build links on web 2.0 sites, in directories, on blogs and in forums. Use an infographic as link bait. Look for linking opportunities in social media. Pay attention to your backlink portfolio and work on your backlink anchor text.

5) Your competitor is using black hat SEO strategies or spam.

It may not be fair, but some websites take advantage of black hat strategies that fool search engines into seeing their sites as more popular than they really are.

How to beat the competition: It may be hard to win the race if you’re unwilling to exceed the speed limit a little. But the combination of good onsite SEO, fresh, relevant content and good quality (and quantity of) links can beat black hat strategies.

The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. If you’re looking at your competitors and you don’t believe they should outrank you just because you think you’re better than they are, remember that you have to play by the search engines’ rules.