The Science of Digital Marketing

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by Todd Bailey

“There is no law except the law that there is no law” (John Archibald Wheeler), could not be more true in the digital marketing industry.  Sure, there are guidelines, best practices and policies but that isn’t to say that the industry as a whole is, and will always be, a science.

What is more important than achieving more online visits, sales, leads and brand amplification?  How do you achieve these goals when a true theory has yet to be proved and to be followed?  With so many blogs, resources and even credited educational courses how will we look back at our profession?
Early on we were hackers and lowly linkers.  Paid Search gave us a vertical to establish credibility.  Social Media and Digital PR made us cool and put us on stage instead of behind the scenes.  And analytics put us in the board room.  
Well rounded digital marketers that achieve results usually aren’t evangelists, industry news reporters or anyone we have actually even heard of.  They are experts in thinking, trying and learning.  Across all mediums of digital marketing we experiment based off countless variables; history, trends, expectations and knowledge.  
Digital Marketing as a Science is experimenting and observing.  In organic, the major search engines are our physical and material world.  But what general laws have we concluded to date?  The mass reports of the SEO practice continue to be speculation, conspiracy related to patents and their implications, small test models and algorithm update publications.
Marketing Scientists don’t have sanctioned (and controlled) associations for publishing advancements in the field.  We are at the mercy of a top ten list of for profit publishing platforms.  
Even more alarming is the Paid Search space.  Once the golden child in digital marketing filled with transparency and data but now subject to enhanced campaign modifications, lost keyword data and a sheer layer of complication forged in an algorithm set in place by publishing giants.  Easily, Paid Search does allow for better experiments and production of tangible documentation.  But, still no sanctioned (and controlled) association for publishing advancements in the field.
While still young, Social Media and Digital PR are not in a point in their evolution (or may never be) to be able to set forth general laws.  And Analytics is merely a mechanism for observing all experiments.  But then again, “If your experiment requires statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.”  (Ernest Rutherford).
We may come to a point in the very near future where there are truths.  Where facts are published as laws.  But the art of marketing is still an evolution and to be evangelical about any of our practice is a business to itself.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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Weekly-Pulse-2014

Happy Halloweekend! Failed digital marketing strategies can be scary, lucky for you these articles are here to help. Take a look at our favorite articles from the past week below.

Three Things Every Retailer Needs to Know About Search Marketing

Clickthrough rate is just one metric that you need to keep track of in order to understand search. Learn which others are important and what else you need to learn in order to better understand your consumers here.

Getting Mobile Wrong Has Real Consequences For Sales, Brand

If you aren’t yet #gettingmobileright, you could be doing even more damage to your brand than you think. New data shows that mobile consumers are increasingly likely to turn to your competitors’ sites if they experienced usability-related frustrations on your mobile site. Read more here.

Lead Generation Metrics – Here’s How the Top Performers Do It

It’s often hard to compare B2B stats, but there certainly are champions in each industry. Learn which metrics you need to keep track of in order to stack up to them in this article.

How to Use Google Analytics Behavior Reports to Optimize Your Content

Do you know how to assess the performance of your content on your website? If you’re not using Google Analytics Behavior, you’re missing out on valuable intel. This article will teach you how to use the tool to optimize your content.

Big Data: Best Practices for Success

Are you using big data to your advantage? It can be incredibly helpful when done correctly, but without a well thought-out plan it can be daunting. Learn how to be successful in your big data project here.

November 2nd 2014 B2B, Mobile, News, sem, SEO

Breaking Down PPC: Search Engine Advertising (SEM) for Beginners

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PPC

Image from: PPC / Shutterstock

Search engine advertising can be extraordinarily effective when implemented correctly, but the road to understanding this seemingly convoluted strategy can be long-winded. That’s why we’ve outlined the process to get you started.

Why do you want to launch a PPC campaign?

The first thing you need to do is set your criteria. What’s your budget? And more fundamentally, what are your goals for your PPC campaign? Sales? Brand awareness? What’s the end game? Take Jerry, for example. Jerry owns a chain of costume shops, and with Halloween approaching, he has set aside funds to develop a PPC campaign to increase his costume sales. The way he goes about this campaign will be likely be different from someone whose goal is to bring attention to his brand or cause.

Figure out the structure

Within your campaign, you’ll want to create multiple ad groups. Each ad group pertains to different aspects of your brand. You’ll likely want to structure your ad groups to mirror your website. For Jerry, he might want to separate his “adult costumes” ad group from his “children’s costumes.” Keep in mind that you can develop as many ad groups as you would like, but they can all fall under the same campaign, and therefore draw from the same budget.

PPC Account Structure

Image from: Search Engine Watch

Determine what’s relevant

Now that you have the skeleton on your campaign, you need to identify the keywords that will target your ads to the right shoppers. What topics are most relevant to your business? Your industry? Which of these words are most likely to help you achieve conversions? There are keyword tools to guide you through this process: take a look at Google Keywords and Wordtracket. Figuring out which keywords will work for your business can be a learning process – it takes time. Alternatively, by using competitive tools like Compete PRO our clients are able to quickly identify which keywords their competitors are working for their competitors and which aren’t. Once you understand the search tactics that are working in your industry, you’ve got a much better starting point and a leg up on other businesses just getting started with search.

For each of your ad groups, you’ll want a different group of keywords to maximize the number of clicks on the copy ads that your selected keywords will trigger. For his “adult costumes” ad group, Jerry should chose keywords such as “women’s costumes,” “sexy costumes,” and “couples costumes” whereas for his “children’s costumes” ad group, he should use “girl’s costumes,” “tween costume” or “kids costumes.” He also might want to branch out to more specifics, “girl’s princess costume,” “infant pumpkin costume,” “inexpensive kids costume.” Keywords like “Halloween costumes” could fall into either ad group, but to maximize the number of clicks, he should elect to use it for only one.

Vie for attention

Next, bid on those key words. Remember that budget? Here’s where it comes into play. Sift through that list of potential keywords and determine which ones you’re going to set bids on. Take a look at Google’s bid simulator and Traffic Estimator tools to get a sense of how much you should set them to be, keeping in mind the value of your potential conversions. Search engines then weigh the amount of your bid against your click-through rate to determine winning advertisers. This infographic should help to explain that process, but essentially what you need to keep in mind is that the advertiser who bids the most will not necessarily be the winning bidder. Jerry’s competitor may set a higher bid on the keyword “funny male costume” than Jerry does, but if his competitor traditionally has a lower click-through rate, Jerry may win the keyword auction.

Make yourself attractive

Just as important as selecting your keywords is crafting your advertisement. If Jerry’s copy ad is blasé, it won’t much matter that he won his top keyword bids. Make your ads as appealing as possible. Capitalize The First Letter of Each Word. Mention your unique selling points. Include keywords in the URL field (they’ll become bold and draw attention to your ad). Make sure your landing page is relevant to their keyword search. Taking visitors simply to your homepage is inconvenient for them, and ineffective for you. Above all, don’t try to fool visitors. If consumers click on your ad to find something different than they had expected, not only are you subjecting yourself to negative publicity, but you just paid for a click that didn’t yield a conversion and Google will drop your ad’s quality score

Keep up with it

Once you’ve created your PPC campaign, you work is far from over. PPC requires upkeep to maximize your ROI. You’ll need to regularly change your search and placement bids, add new keywords, test new copy ads, and reassess your landing page. It’s a process that requires maintenance, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be well on your way to #gettingdigitalright.

To learn more about how you can optimize your search marketing and to jump start your campaigns, download our ebook.

October 4th 2014 Google, Keywords, PPC, Search, sem

4 Things To Get Right Before You Pay For Traffic

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If you’re thinking about starting to pay for traffic or expanding an existing program, there are four core concepts to get right before you start burning cash. Determine: What’s a visit worth? Design for Conversion Get Your Message Right Establish an Organic Strategy Determine:…



Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

July 8th 2014 Analytics, sem

20 Free Marketing eBooks You Need to Download Right Now

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Sssshhh!I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit of a sucker for free downloadable PDF eBooks and White Papers. Because they are usually organized into chapter form, they tend to be meatier and contain more valuable content than blog posts and articles. I’ve obtained an impressive collection of eBooks over the years and will often whip one out to share with a client or a Search Engine College student who might be struggling to understand a particular marketing or SEO concept.

So I thought I’d share with you my favorite free eBooks and White Papers, categorized by theme. Where possible, I’ve linked to the jump page from where you can access the PDF file, rather than linking to the PDF itself.

Top 5 Free Marketing Related eBooks

1) Definitive Guide to Marketing, Metrics and Analytics by Marketo – This chunky, 70 page eBook is a methodical guide for how to implement effective marketing measurement practices across your organization – big or small. It deals with that tricky subject of determining how your various marketing programs impact your revenue and profit so that you can decide which ones to focus on going forward.

2) The Email Marketing Showcase by Pollen Marketing – A recent discovery, this ROI-Driven email marketing guide by Natalie Giddings includes 50 published email examples compiled by experienced Internet marketers. It showcases stunning newsletter design elements, clever use of graphics and color and highly converting calls-to-action so you can learn from and implement them in your own email marketing programs. I read this in one sitting and then spent the weekend completely re-writing my follow up email series. I was so impressed, I contacted Natalie and offered her a tutor role at Search Engine College! (more about that soon).

3) A Guide to Marketing in 2014 by Vocus – How will you make the right choices for your 2014 digital marketing mix? This comprehensive guide will light the way for you. Written with a team of digital marketing’s foremost technologists and innovators, the guide explains 2014′s key marketing trends, what they will mean for you, and how to make them work with your brand’s strategy.

4) Take Your Business Online in 5 Hours for $26 by AWeber – You might be aware that I use AWeber for nearly all my online marketing activities. This includes email marketing campaigns, newsletter distribution and subscriber management needs. They just make it SO easy. So it makes sense for a company serving small and medium sized businesses to create a PDF guide to getting a biz online, fast. As they say in this guide, you can take your business online with just a basic website, an email series and some social network profiles. This step-by-step guide shows how to create an online presence for your business in only five hours for just $26.

5) The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Marketing by HubSpot – I just love Hubspot. They are very clever marketers and always seem to come up with a relevant eBook, right when I’m researching a particular marketing topic. This was one of the first eBooks I ever downloaded from Hubspot and I refer to it all the time. Whether you’re just getting started with internet marketing or you want to brush up on the basics, this ebook can serve as your essential guide to setting up and implementing a successful internet marketing strategy, step by step. Be sure to check out their free MS Excel-based Editorial Calendar as well.

Top 5 Free SEO Related eBooks

1) SEO Starter Guide by Google – First published in 2008, Google has recently updated their SEO Starter Guide and translated it into 40 different languages. The Guide was written in response to Google staff being inundated with the same question in various formats over many years: “What are some simple ways that I can improve my website’s performance in Google?” The result is a compact guide that lists best practices that webmasters can follow to improve their sites’ crawlability and indexing. The Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide covers a range of common site design and coding aspects that webmasters need to optimize, such as improving title and description meta tags, URL structure, site navigation, content creation, anchor text, and more. If you want to improve your rank in Google, downloading this eBook is a no-brainer.

2) Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz – Following on from Google’s SEO Guide, this Beginner’s Guide from Moz will fill in any gaps you may have in your SEO knowledge. Beautifully designed and divided into clear, logical sections, this Guide is an ideal starting point for webmasters who want to educate themselves about what makes a search compatible site. It’s viewable online or via downloadable PDF and because it is written in such an approachable format and regularly updated by the Moz team, I recommend this eBook to all my SEO students.

3) 17 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind by Hubspot – You’ll see Hubspot mentioned a few times in this article, for good reason. Their content is always timely and intuitive. Hubspot produced this eBook shortly after Google rolled out their confusing Panda algorithm update and webmasters were clambouring for some kind of guidance about how it would impact their SEO strategy. In the eBook, Hubspot debunk some of the most common SEO myths that still persist. After Google let loose their shiny new Hummingbird algorithm update, Hubspot cleverly updated this eBook to keep the advice fresh and relevant for the latest SEO methodologies.

4) The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet by Moz – When I first started optimizing web sites for clients back in 1996, I actually wrote a similar Cheat Sheet of my own to give to web development staff to ensure they wouldn’t make any major SEO blunders and undo all my hard work. But Moz have taken the SEO Cheat Sheet concept to a whole new, beautiful level. Recently updated, all the geektastic SEO tips and shortcuts you’ll ever need while coding are in here, including metadata, sitemaps, pagination, authorship, user agents, robot syntax, canonicalization and much more. This one is permanently pinned to my office wall.

5) Microsoft Excel for SEOs by Distilled – This Guide is so much more than an eBook. Produced by London-based digital creative agency Distilled, Microsoft Excel for SEOs started life as a White Paper written up to help SEO professionals retrieve meaningful information from mountains of data, using MS Excel. It is now less of a White Paper and more of an extremely comprehensive mini course in how to use Microsoft Excel to revolutionize traditionally time-consuming Search Engine Optimization tasks. If your job involves data analysis of the marketing kind, give this Guide a look. It’s viewable online or via downloadable PDF and comes with an XLS Example Workbook to help cement your knowledge with practical examples.

Top 5 Free Social Media Related eBooks

1) The Marketer’s Guide to Social Media by Vocus – This guide is written for marketers to help them come to terms with where they should invest their time and money and what social media tactics will help them achieve the greatest ROI. The guide includes insights from social media butterflies Ekaterina Walter, Jason Falls and Michael Stelzner that will take you through the most pivotal social media marketing trends and show you how to leverage them to deploy winning campaigns.

2) The Definitive Guide to Social Marketing by Marketo – If you are looking for a comprehensive understanding of Social Media for business in under 100 pages, this visually splendid eBook won’t disappoint. Written from a strong business ROI perspective, this guide is the one eBook I recommend most often to all my Social Media Marketing workshop attendees.

3) How to Get 1000+ Followers on Twitter by Hubspot – If you’re a Twitter junkie like me, this snappy eBook will make light work of the problem of not having enough Twitter followers. The advice includes how to optimize your Twitter profile, how and when to follow people, how to use hash tags and what to retweet.

4) Do It Yourself Social Media Audit by JanetFous.com – Did you know that you should conduct a social media audit quarterly? Well apparently you should. According to Social Media expert Janet Fouts, it’s a good idea to conduct a social media audit every so often to step back and take a benchmark of your performance. This allows you to see yourself as others might see you and judge if you are delivering the message you think you’re sending. It’s also a good way to evaluate what networks are working for you, which aren’t and if you are using social media efficiently. This eBook shows you what you need to do in order to audit your own Social Media activities and set a benchmark for the future.

5) Building a Killer Content Strategy by Hubspot – Everyone knows that great content is the foundation of highly trafficked sites. But how do you define *great*? How should you implement a content creation and publication strategy? This guide will teach you how to do all these things by giving you actionable advice, including how to understand your audience, map content to the buying cycle and build an editorial calendar.

Top 5 Free Advertising Related eBooks

1) AdWords Step by Step by Google – It’s amazing the number of marketers who abandon AdWords as a channel following a string of failed campaigns. The truth is that AdWords is a complex and tricky beast and you really need to educate yourself in campaign set up and planning before any of your ads go live. This free eBook by Google is a great starting point for both new advertisers and experienced marketers.

2) Google AdWords: A Brave New World by Google – Andrew Goodman wrote the first eBook on AdWords, over 10 years ago now. As Andrew states in his book, the world of AdWords changes frequently, even though many of the fundamental principles do not. Andrew’s original eBook eventually morphed into a 400 page published book that quickly became everyone’s favorite AdWords reference and has been updated several times. This pocket guide is a 40-page mini version of Andrew’s book, that offers a faster read for marketers in a hurry to understand the complexity lurking in Google’s advertising system.

3) Open the Black Box – Maximizing Success in Bid Automation by OptiMine – Bid automation software is essential for companies with complex paid-search programs. However, when using bid automation software it’s hard to determine the “why” behind their paid-search performance. This whitepaper looks at why companies need to use bid automation software that gives them transparency and control of their paid-search programs.

4) Conversion Secrets of a Million Dollar Landing Page by Conversion Rate Experts – This case study really put Conversation Rate Experts on the map. During the process of building a highly converting landing page for SEOMoz.com (now re-branded as Moz.com), CRE obtained such phenomenal results, that they set a new conversion benchmark for the industry. This online case study (downloadable as a PDF) is another resource I refer my students to frequently. It contains invaluable advice on boosting your ad and landing page response rates and highlights all the key features of high-converting content.

and finally…

5) From Abandon to Conversion: Why Shoppers Abandon Carts and What Merchants Can Do About It by Bronto – Shopping cart abandonment is a major problem for online retailers, with rates averaging between 60-70 percent. Departing shoppers represent a significant amount of lost revenue and to reverse that trend, you need to understand customer motivations and reasons for abandonment. For this white paper, Bronto staff examined the carting experience and follow-up email strategies of 100 retailers to discover the reasons for abandonment and the top strategies for bringing those shoppers back.

Happy reading!

July 8th 2014 sem, SEO, Social Media, Tools

Why Usability Matters to Search Engine Marketing

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What came first, a website or a user friendly website?  If a website falls in the forest, does it make a sound?

Most people reading this have never seen what websites looked like in the early to mid-1990.  In those days, web pages were like black and white TV shows, devoid of color and flat as a cutting board.  The background colors were universally grey.  Images did not have transparent backgrounds, so if you placed an image on the page, that was how you got color on top of the grey background.  Reading black text against a grey background was difficult because of the poor color contrast.

About three minutes later, in web design-time, HTML improved to include background colors, about four font choices and tables to help place content.  Images could be hyperlinked to pages by creating image maps.  Designs could be more creative as designers experimented with tables and nested tables for placement of images and text.  The distance between objects was created by cell padding and cell spacing.  Something as simple as adding a border was a 123 step combination ordeal of tables, nested tables, cell spacing and color choices.

First Came the Web Page

Old Amazon siteIt was about all any of us could do to make one web page.  For starters, in those days, the very act of sending a file from your computer to a server took anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour, depending on your modem, where you lived, where the server was located and what the weather was like outside.

You think I’m kidding.

In the 1980’s, like 1984 to be exact, I worked in state’s Capitol for a consulting firm.  One of my jobs was to come in at night, place the phone into the phone modem, and send the day’s new Articles, Amendments and Bills to a database in Philadelphia.  If there was a thunderstorm between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, what was sent looked like this:

To !$Q@H be or NQ$^ to _&){T&NBVEQRE and heretofore and therefore R%YHWN HNB.

To me, in 1995, a webpage with a gray background that had content I could see and that made sense after I sent it to a server was a true miracle.

By 1997 I was into animation and creating 3D graphics for the websites I was making for my employer and freelancing.  There was no discussion, ever, about usability or the user experience.  The entire point of having a website was to prove your company was groovy and smarter than everybody else.  Now, in the year 2014, this is still largely true for most website owners.  Having a website is like having the best lawn on your street, or the largest RV in the entire campground, or having lost 60 pounds in a year.  It is something to show off.  It lets you boast your existence and helps you stand out from the crowd.

Next Came Search Engines

Old Yahoo Site
Search engines appeared almost immediately as soon as web pages were born.  Before search engines, there were chat rooms and email distribution lists that people on the Internet used to find information.  Everything was referral based.

I repeat. The way to find information at the dawn of the Internet was by recommendations and referrals by people who read the information first.

If you are a search engine marketer, this should send a secret signal to your cells and entire Being because it is the basic core algorithm for all search engines that still exists today.  It is why I keep saying that search engines want to know what people like.

People do not like badly made web sites with poorly presented, inaccurate information.  They will not refer them. People do not like web pages that present a merry-go-round of obstacles and distractions that prevent them from doing that thing they came to do. They don’t recommend bad user experiences to their friends.

If a website falls in the forest, does it make a sound?  The answer is yes, if it is loved by people and has ranked well in search engines because of this loyalty.  If Amazon were to suddenly call it quits, the forest would be squealing with each line of evaporating code.

Search engines changed the way web sites were designed because suddenly people were looking for them in ways outside AOL groups, Deja News and Usenet.  From the 1990’s to around 2010, there was competition between how web pages were coded too.  For a time, the babe was Cold Fusion, and for a time it was .asp.  I spent years working on MIVA developed applications when nobody had heard of MIVA.  When server side includes were invented, it was real relief until suddenly .PHP was simply how all design was done.  Tables were buried and replaced with CSS and CSS3. HTML advanced to HTML5. Animation, meanwhile, and 3D graphics, which I had loved to make, were tossed aside because they took too long to load and this crazy thing called usability became important.

Usability and User Experience Design Are Cousins

The past 20 years have been a crazy ride for anyone who makes websites.  Add to this programmers who make software applications like shopping carts, forms, surveys and creative ways to automate stuff we do on the Web, and you have an entire new area of technology, with careers and jobs.  As the hardware improves, we all must adjust to things like smaller screens and voice activation.

What does this mean to you?  It means you must understand what people do on websites from all the devices they use to access them.

Some of this knowledge has been gathered up into what is referred to as usability heuristics.  There are now several thousand usability heuristics, of which most companies heed about 20 total.  When a website performs poorly, they may hire a usability expert to figure out what happened to other 1980 web design actions they were supposed to take to make their website work for everyone.

User experience is always the very last possible item on anyone’s mind because it is something that requires information they don’t have or are willing to get.  When was the last time you saw a website that has a user feedback form for people to use if they have an issue with a website?  In the 1990′s, most web sites had a form link in their footer to contact the webmaster in case there was an issue with the site.

User experience means knowing who your visitors are, what they want, how they want it, why they want it, and where they want it.  It means building a web site that meets their expectations.  Usability is the way shower for how to improve web site user experience.  The data collected by the usability and human factors industry is based on user testing, neuroscience, information architecture research, search query behavior, eye tracking studies, click through data, cognitive walkthrough and other testing including functional and case studies.

Why Usability Matters to Internet Marketing

I recently read an article about landing pages and conversions lift and I could not get through the article because it was written in the format of a sales pitch.  This meant the article had very large headings, small chunks of content with videos and images nestled in them that required me to stop reading to look at them, followed by teaser, big headings, more images, more content about nothing and I gave up trying to find the part where they could prove there was a conversions lift.

I am an impatient user. I do not want to think.

Old Linkedin SiteEvery conversions lift claim is unique and has to be tested again by your specific set of user personas, customer needs, and target visitor requirements.  If you choose a design based on how a competitor’s web site looks and you create an entire Internet marketing strategy based on that other site’s content and layout, you are ignoring your specific site requirements, demographics, and user preferences.

I recently posted on Facebook my refusal to share an article from Forbes that a friend recommended becasue when I went to see why it was recommended, first I had to “skip the ad” or watch the video ad on the first page, and next, click off two additional banner ads covering up the content of the article. Clearly, Forbes does not want anybody to see or read their content. They do, however, want ad clicks. And for that, I refused to share their article.

Web design and the technology behind it will continue to change, and quickly.  Not every change is accepted by your web site visitors.  They will not return to your website, or recommend it, if you ignore them and their needs.

It is that simple.


Special thanks to Web Originals and their other page with more old time screen shots here.

 

The post Why Usability Matters to Search Engine Marketing appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

June 28th 2014 sem, SEO

Für KMUs ist jetzt der Zeitpunkt für den Einstieg in die Suchmaschinenwerbung

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Noch vor einigen Jahren konnte sich der Inhaber eines kleinen oder lokalen Unternehmens mit Fug und Recht fragen: „Weshalb sollte ich Suchanzeigen kaufen?“ Schließlich wäre er zuerst einmal damit konfrontiert, eine Anzeigenkampagne auf einer relativ fremden Plattform einrichten zu müssen, damit dann Internetbesucher möglicherweise darauf klickten – vorausgesetzt, die Anzeigen würden geschaltet. Doch welche Vorteile konnte der Werbekunde – unter Berücksichtigung der entstehenden Kosten – wirklich erzielen?

Wenn es sich bei dem Unternehmen nicht um ein Onlinegeschäft handelte, wie konnte er einen Klick in etwas übertragen, das für ein kleineres oder mittleres Unternehmen relevant war – und dies bewerten? Das alles war einfach unmöglich vorherzusehen. Und wer wollte ihm das zum Vorwurf machen? Laut unserer Studie besteht das oberste Ziel lokaler Werbekunden, insbesondere aus dem Bereich der kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen, darin, Rendite zu erzielen.

Seit dieser Zeit haben die Entwicklungen im Bereich Suchmaschinenwerbung jedoch einen Wendepunkt herbeigeführt. Die Branche für Suchmaschinenwerbung verfügt heutzutage über Produkte und Funktionen, die die Suchmaschinenwerbung einfach in der Nutzung, kostengünstig und auch für kleine und lokale Unternehmen relevant machen – unabhängig von Standort, Geschäftsmodell, Anzahl der Standorte oder Filialisierungsgrad oder der digitalen Erfahrung der Mitarbeiter.

Und zudem sind Plattformen und Tools für die Suchmaschinenwerbung heute transparent und differenziert genug, um klare Erkenntnisse darüber zuzulassen, in welcher Beziehung Werbekosten zu anderen – für den Nutzer verständlichen – Messwerten stehen.

Machen Sie auf sich aufmerksam

Lokale Unternehmen lassen ihr Potenzial ungenutzt, wenn sie nicht die Vorteile der kostenlosen Listungsdienste bei Bing und Google nutzen. Bei diesen Diensten können Unternehmen ihre lokalen Geschäftsdaten eintragen und Bilder hochladen sowie Einzelheiten zu Alleinstellungsmerkmalen und Dienstleistungen angeben.

Diese Listungen befeuern zudem als Input zahlreiche weitere Produkte und Dienste von Google und Bing – so fördern sie etwa die Position auf der Suchergebnisseite der Suchmaschine und die Darstellung in Kartentools, die pro Monat von Hunderten Millionen von Kunden genutzt werden. Einfach ausgedrückt: Lokale Unternehmen verpassen Impressionen, Klicks und damit mögliche Leads, wenn sie diese Technologien nicht für sich nutzen.

Die Suche wird mobil

Es lohnt sich, zu verstehen, wie sich die Welt der bezahlten Onlinesuchanzeigen entwickelt hat und welche Trends es gibt. Bis vor einigen Jahren war die Suche eine PC-basierte Funktion: Ein Nutzer saß zu Hause oder im Büro an der Tastatur und gab eine Suchabfrage [Seattle italienisches Restaurant] oder [Schuhläden in Santa Monica] ein.

Dieser Trend ändert sich – und zwar im Rekordtempo. Eine Anfang des Jahres veröffentlichte IDC-Studie verdeutlicht, dass Smartphones inzwischen weltweit höhere Verkaufszahlen ausweisen als Feature-Phones – im ersten Quartal 2013 wurden insgesamt 216 Millionen Smartphones verkauft. Im selben Quartal stiegen auch die Verkaufszahlen von Tablet-PCs – mit mehr als 49 Millionen verkauften Stückzahlen hatten sie ein Wachstum von 142 Prozent zu verzeichnen. Damit handelt es sich beim Tablet-PC um das wachstumsstärkste technische Gerät überhaupt.

Was bedeutet dies für kleine Unternehmen? Es bedeutet, dass Ihre potenziellen Kunden jetzt mit dem Internet verbunden sind, und zwar unabhängig von ihrem Standort. Diese potenziellen Kunden könnten sich in einem Fahrzeug einen Kilometer entfernt von Ihrem Unternehmen befinden oder zu Fuß in der Nähe Ihres Geschäfts unterwegs sein, wenn sie nach Diensten oder Produkten suchen, die Sie liefern können. Laut einer Analyse von comScore nutzten im letzten Jahr 86 Millionen Menschen ein mobiles Gerät, um nach lokalen Unternehmen zu suchen. Inzwischen bieten Plattformen für Suchmaschinenwerbung wie Bing Ads und Google AdWords Tools an, die kleine und lokale Unternehmen dabei unterstützen, solche „Unterwegs“-Kunden noch effektiver zu erreichen. So bieten beispielsweise beide Plattformen eine Funktion zur Anruferweiterung, mit der den Suchmaschinennutzern Ihre Telefonnummer in der Anzeige präsentiert wird. Bei Google können Nutzer mit Mobilgeräten, die Telefonanrufe unterstützen, einfach auf diese Nummer tippen, um Sie anzurufen. Die Anruferweiterungen bei Bing werden über Skype bereitgestellt. Damit können Nutzer von einem beliebigen Gerät aus Ihr Unternehmen kontaktieren.

Diese Anzeigenprodukte sind nur dann kostenpflichtig, wenn ein Anruf durchgeführt wird. Darüber hinaus erhalten Sie Berichte, mit denen Sie die Anzeigenleistung erfassen und verwalten können. Dies ist eine Performance-Kennzahl (KPI), die auch für kleine Unternehmen nachvollziehbar ist: Ich zahle, wenn mein Telefon klingelt. Diese Funktionalität ist insbesondere vor dem Hintergrund bedeutsam, dass die Suchmaschinennutzer bis 2016 laut Prognosen schätzungsweise 70 Milliarden Telefonanrufe aus Suchergebnissen heraus tätigen werden (und zwar mithilfe von mobilen Geräten oder PCs).

Erleichtern Sie Kunden das Auffinden Ihres Unternehmens

Ein weiterer Vorteil bei der Suchmaschinenwerbung für lokale Unternehmen besteht darin, dass Kunden direkt zu Ihrem Geschäft geführt werden können. Tatsächlich nutzen 85 % der Verbraucher das Internet zum Auffinden lokaler Unternehmen. Ähnlich wie die Anruferweiterung bieten AdWords und Bing Ads Anzeigen mit einer sogenannten Standorterweiterung, über die Suchmaschinennutzer die Adresse, die Telefonnummer sowie einen Link mit Wegbeschreibung zu einem Unternehmen erhalten.

Ortsinformationen sind weiterhin das wichtigste Kriterium für Kunden. Durch das Anklicken der Wegbeschreibung finden die Kunden problemlos zu Ihrem Geschäft, ganz gleich, ob sie sich zu Hause befinden oder unterwegs sind. Ebenso wie bei Anruferweiterungen zahlen Werbekunden nur, wenn die Suchmaschinennutzer auf die Wegbeschreibung klicken – ein weiterer Vorgang, den lokale Unternehmen nachvollziehen können und als wertvoll ansehen.

Sprechen Sie Kunden innerhalb eines bestimmten Radius um Ihr Geschäft an

Sowohl Bing Ads als auch AdWords bieten eine Vielzahl von Optionen in Bezug auf die Zielgruppenadressierung – Tageszeit oder Wochentag, Alter und Geschlecht und vieles mehr. Lokale Unternehmen können von all diesen Optionen profitieren, indem sie die Vorteile des Standort-Targetings nutzen, um zu gewährleisten, dass ihre Anzeige auf die richtige Zielgruppe trifft und Ihre Werbeinvestitionen optimal eingesetzt werden.

Sie können sogar die Größe des Radius um Ihren Geschäftsstandort angeben, in dem Ihre Anzeige sichtbar sein soll. Wenn Sie beispielsweise mit Ihrer Anzeige nur Suchmaschinennutzer im Umkreis von fünf Kilometern erreichen wollen, so ist dies problemlos möglich. Diese Art von „Geo-Targeting“ war vor einigen Jahren einfach nicht denkbar – sie eignet sich jedoch optimal für kleine Unternehmen. Das Einblenden von Anzeigen für Ihre Wunschkunden – das ist der Wert, den Sie mit Targeting erzielen können.

Die Suche war noch nie so einfach

Suchanbieter wissen, dass kleine Unternehmen nicht die erforderliche Zeit oder die nötigen Ressourcen haben, um Komplikationen beim Erstellen von Suchmaschinenwerbekampagnen in Kauf zu nehmen. Aus diesem Grund stellen sowohl Bing als auch Google Tools zur Verfügung, mit denen die Erstellung von Kampagnen erleichtert wird. Diese Tools reduzieren auch die Komplexität von Vorgängen wie der Verwendung von Keyword-Modifizierern.

Einblicke in Ihre Werbeausgaben

Der letzte Punkt bezieht sich auf den zu Beginn des Dokuments genannten Aspekt: Für Inhaber kleiner Unternehmen war es bisher schwierig, die Rendite zu erkennen, die ihnen die Suchmaschinenwerbung bietet.

Heute nehmen entsprechende Funktionen von Bing und Google diesen Prozessen einen großen Teil ihres Rätselhaften, indem sie es Ihnen ermöglichen, Ihre Werbeausgaben mithilfe von Analysetools klar nachzuvollziehen und anhand der Anzeigenprodukte selbst mitzuverfolgen, wie Ihre Werbegelder für Sie arbeiten (wie sie beispielsweise Anrufe herbeiführen und potenzielle Kunden dabei unterstützen, Ihr Geschäft zu finden). Und das ist nur der Anfang: Beide Unternehmen tätigen enorme Investitionen in die Weiterentwicklung ihrer Plattformen, um eine noch bessere Anpassung an die spezifischen Bedürfnisse von traditionellen kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen zu ermöglichen.

Mit all den Vorteilen, die die Suchmaschinenwerbung kleinen Unternehmen heutzutage bietet, ist es offensichtlich, dass der Zeitpunkt nie zuvor so günstig war, den nächsten Schritt zu tun und Ihr Unternehmen weiter voranzubringen. Auch für kleine Unternehmen ist Suchmaschinenwerbung nicht länger ein Luxusmerkmal – sie ist schlicht unverzichtbar für den Unternehmenserfolg.


 

 

June 24th 2014 Marketing, PPC, sem

Ha llegado el momento para las PyMEs de adoptar la publicidad de búsqueda

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Hace tan solo unos pocos años, el propietario de una empresa pequeña o local podía preguntarse legítimamente por qué debería comprar anuncios de búsqueda si eso le iba a suponer la molestia de configurar una campaña publicitaria en una plataforma en otro idioma para que las personas hicieran clic en sus anuncios, suponiendo que estos llegaran a publicarse. A ese coste ¿qué beneficio recibiría el anunciante?

‘Ha llegado el momento para las PyMEs de adoptar la publicidad de búsqueda’

Si no se tiene un negocio online, ¿cómo convertir un clic en algo que una PyME pueda entender y que suponga un valor añadido? Era algo imposible de saber. ¿Y a quién culpar de ello? De acuerdo con nuestros estudios, proporcionar un retorno de la inversión es el principal requisito para los anunciantes locales, especialmente para las pequeñas empresas.

Desde ese momento, sin embargo, la publicidad de búsqueda ha llegado a un punto crítico. Hoy en día, el sector de la publicidad de búsqueda tiene productos y características que lo convierten en algo fácil de usar, asequible y relevante para las empresas pequeñas y locales, independientemente de su ubicación, modelo de negocio, número de establecimientos o grado de sofisticación digital de sus empleados.

Además, las plataformas y herramientas de publicidad de búsqueda proporcionan ahora información clara sobre la rentabilidad del dinero invertido en publicidad comparada con métricas fáciles de entender.

Ponte en el mapa

En primer lugar, las empresas locales que no aprovechen los servicios de listado gratuitos de Bing y Google estarán fuera del mapa. Estos servicios permiten a las empresas registrar información de los establecimientos locales e incluso cargar fotografías e indicar sus especialidades y servicios.

Estos listados alimentan muchos de los productos y servicios de Google y Bing, incluidas las páginas de resultados de los motores de búsqueda y las herramientas de mapas, usados por cientos de millones de consumidores cada mes. Dicho de manera sencilla: las empresas pierden impresiones, clics y posibles oportunidades comerciales al no participar en estos servicios.

La búsqueda se realiza cada vez más en dispositivos móviles

Merece la pena saber cómo está evolucionando el mundo de la búsqueda. Hace unos años, la búsqueda era una función que se realizaba mayoritariamente en un PC: alguien sentado al lado de un teclado en su casa o en la oficina buscaba [restaurante italiano en Sevilla] o [zapaterías en Zaragoza].

Esto está cambiando rápidamente. Un estudio de IDC realizado a principios de este año constató que los smartphones superan ahora a los teléfonos básicos en todo el mundo, con 216 millones de smartphones vendidos en el primer trimestre de 2013. En el mismo trimestre, las ventas de tabletas también aumentaron, con un crecimiento de un 142 por ciento y más de 49 millones de unidades vendidas. De hecho, las tabletas son el dispositivo tecnológico con el mayor crecimiento nunca visto.

¿Qué significa eso para las pequeñas empresas? Significa que tus clientes potenciales ahora están conectados se encuentren donde se encuentren. Pueden estar en un coche a varios kilómetros de distancia o en la calle de al lado cuando buscan un servicio o producto que tal vez estés en disposición de proporcionar. Según comScore, 86 millones de personas usaron un dispositivo móvil para buscar empresas locales el año pasado.

Ahora, las plataformas de publicidad de búsqueda como Bing Ads y Google AdWords ofrecen herramientas que pueden ayudar a las empresas pequeñas y locales a llegar más eficazmente a esos clientes itinerantes. Por ejemplo, ambas plataformas tienen una característica de extensiones de llamada, que muestra a los usuarios tu número de teléfono dentro del anuncio. En Google, los usuarios con dispositivos móviles que admiten llamadas de teléfonos simplemente tienen que pulsar en el número para llamarte. Las extensiones de llamada de Bing usan la tecnología de Skype, que permite a los usuarios llamar a tu negocio desde cualquier dispositivo.

Por estos productos publicitarios solo se cobra cuando se realiza una llamada, e incluyen informes que te ayudan a investigar y administrar el rendimiento de estos anuncios. Este es un indicador clave de rendimiento que las PyMEs deben conocer: Pago cada vez que suena mi teléfono. Esto es extremadamente eficaz, ya que se calcula que los usuarios realicen 70.000 millones de llamadas de teléfono a partir de los resultados de búsqueda (usando dispositivos móviles o PCs) en 2016.

Consigue que los clientes te encuentren más fácilmente

Otra ventaja de la publicidad de búsqueda para las empresas locales es la capacidad de enviar a los clientes directamente a la puerta de tu establecimiento. De hecho, el 85 % de los clientes usa Internet para buscar empresas locales. Además de extensiones de llamada, AdWords y Bing Ads ofrecen anuncios denominados Extensiones de ubicación, que proporcionan a los usuarios una dirección, un número de teléfono y un vínculo con indicaciones sobre cómo llegar.

Lo primero que busca un cliente sigue siendo la información local y poder hacer clic en las indicaciones facilita enormemente llegar físicamente hasta tu negocio tanto si estás en casa como si te estás desplazando. Al igual que con las extensiones de llamada, los anunciantes solo pagan cuando los clientes hacen clic para conocer las indicaciones sobre cómo llegar: otra acción que las empresas locales no solo entenderán sino que también apreciarán.

Dirígete a los clientes cercanos

Tanto Bing Ads como AdWords proporcionan muchas opciones de segmentación: hora del día semana, edad, sexo, etc. De todas estas opciones, las empresas locales pueden beneficiarse aprovechando la segmentación por ubicación, que garantiza que tus anuncios lleguen a los clientes adecuados, lo que permite usar de manera óptima el dinero invertido en publicidad al reducir el derroche.

Incluso puedes especificar el tamaño del radio de ubicación donde quieres que se publique tu anuncio. Así, puedes conseguir, por ejemplo, que tu anuncio se vea en un radio de ocho kilómetros. Este tipo de “segmentación geográfica” no existía hace unos años, y es perfecto para las pequeñas empresas. Presentar tu anuncio a las personas adecuadas: esta es la ventaja de la segmentación.

Buscar es más fácil que nunca

Los proveedores de búsqueda saben que las pequeñas empresas no tienen tiempo ni recursos para hacer frente a las complicaciones que supone crear campañas de publicidad de búsqueda. Por ese motivo, Bing y Google proporcionan herramientas que permiten crear campañas más fácilmente, eliminando la complejidad de cosas como adivinar qué modificadores de palabras clave se deben usar.

Lo primero que tienes que hacer es proporcionarnos información sobre tu empresa: nombre, dirección, número de teléfono, tipo de negocio, etc. A continuación, creas un anuncio basado en plantillas listas para publicar. Por último, tendrás que definir el presupuesto y la distancia desde tu ubicación a la que quieres llegar a los usuarios con Bing Ads.

A continuación, Bing Ads Express utiliza toda la funcionalidad de Bing Ads para crear un anuncio eficaz para tu empresa. Puedes comprobar siempre que quieras cómo va tu anuncio y quién está respondiendo a él.

Conoce tu gasto en publicidad

Mi última observación tiene que ver con lo que indiqué al principio: anteriormente, era complicado para el propietario de una pequeña empresa conocer el retorno de la inversión de la publicidad de búsqueda.

Hoy en día, Bing y Google desvelan buena parte del misterio subyacente al gasto en publicidad de búsqueda con herramientas de análisis y productos que te indican claramente cómo se está empleando tu dinero, por ejemplo, en llamadas de teléfono o en ayudar a las personas a encontrar tu establecimiento. Y este solo es el principio, ya que ambas empresas están realizando inversiones importantes en mejorar sus plataformas para satisfacer las necesidades únicas de las PyMEs tradicionales.

Con todo lo que la publicidad de búsqueda ofrece en la actualidad a las pequeñas empresas, queda claro que no hay mejor momento para dar el siguiente paso en la consecución de nuevos beneficios para tu empresa. Para las pequeñas empresas, la publicidad de búsqueda ya no es un lujo: es una necesidad primordial.

 

June 24th 2014 PPC, sem

El informe de términos de búsqueda de Bing Ads ya está disponible con información adicional por solicitud

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El informe de términos de búsqueda (denominado anteriormente informe de consulta de búsqueda) ya está disponible en la interfaz de usuario de Bing Ads, en todos los mercados.

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El informe de términos de búsqueda es uno de los informes más importantes que pueden usar los anunciantes para asegurarse de que sus campañas están optimizadas en cuanto a visibilidad y clics. Los anunciantes usan este informe para recopilar palabras clave y palabras clave negativas candidatas. Para obtener más información sobre cómo usar el informe de términos de búsqueda y otros informes de rendimiento de Bing Ads, consulta este artículo.

Información ampliada por solicitud

En esta versión, el informe de términos de búsqueda incluye ahora todos los términos con 0 clics, es decir, información ampliada de aquellas palabras claves que pueden ser añadidas como negativas. Los anunciantes indicaron lo importante que era esta información y nos pidieron que la incluyéramos en esta versión. Y lo hemos hecho.

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Mediante las nuevas palabras clave negativas candidatas detectadas, los anunciantes pueden mejorar al instante su CTR y QS, lo que les permite reducir los costes y obtener un mayor retorno de la inversión en publicidad.

Merece la pena indicar que este cambio mejorará también la calidad de los datos de los términos de búsqueda. Con la inclusión de términos de búsqueda con 0 clics, el problema de la subestimación de las impresiones y de la sobrestimación del CTR se ha solucionado por completo. Los anunciantes ahora tienen una visión completa de los términos de búsqueda para realizar evaluaciones más precisas.

El informe de términos de búsqueda, sensible al volumen de datos, ahora recopila aproximadamente de 20 a 40 veces más términosque anteriormente, y el equipo de ingeniería de Bing Ads fue capaz de conseguirlo sin sacrificar el rendimiento.

¿Dónde puede verse este cambio?

Este cambio se manifiesta en el informe de términos de búsqueda en la pestaña Informes y en la pestaña Campañas bajo el apartado Dimensiones y Palabras clave(véanse las capturas de pantalla a continuación).

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El informe de términos de búsqueda mostrará el 100 % de los términos de búsqueda, mientras que los términos de búsqueda de la pestaña Dimensiones estarán filtrados para que solo aparezcan los aquellos con al menos un clic, con el fin de garantizar el SLA de página en la interfaz de usuario. Sin embargo, este filtro de la pestaña Dimensiones en realidad solo reducirá el número de términos devueltos en la interfaz de usuario, pero no pondrá en peligro la calidad de los datos en lo que se refiere a impresiones y CTR.

June 16th 2014 sem

Fast Five in Search – Week 23, 2014

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fast-five

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit of a sucker for free downloadable PDF eBooks and White Papers.  Because they are usually organized into chapter form, they tend to be meatier and contain more valuable content than blog posts and articles. I’ve obtained an impressive collection of eBooks over the years and will often whip one out to share with a client or a Search Engine College student who might be struggling to understand a particular marketing or SEO concept.

So for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to dedicate Fast Five posts to the joys of free eBooks. Starting with my Top 5 Free Marketing Related eBooks.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Definitive Guide to Marketing, Metrics and Analytics by Marketo – This chunky, 70 page eBook is a methodical guide for how to implement effective marketing measurement practices across your organization – big or small. It deals with that tricky subject of determining how your various marketing programs impact your revenue and profit so that you can decide which ones to focus on going forward.

2) The Email Marketing Showcase by Pollen Marketing – A recent discovery, this ROI-Driven email marketing guide by Natalie Giddings includes 50 published email examples compiled by experienced Internet marketers. It showcases stunning newsletter design elements, clever use of graphics and color and highly converting calls-to-action so you can learn from and implement them in your own email marketing programs. I read this in one sitting and then spent the weekend completely re-writing my follow up email series. I was so impressed, I contacted Natalie and offered her a tutor role at Search Engine College! (more about that soon).

3) 2014 Creative and Marketing Salary Guide by The Creative Group – If you’re in a creative or marketing role within the tech industry, you’ll want to know how your salary stacks up against others in the same industry and/or city right? Look no further than this annual Salary Guide, which highlights hiring trends, job descriptions and salary ranges for creative and marketing roles in 2014. Although the guide concentrates on the US and Canada, the content is still applicable on a global scale.

4) Take Your Business Online in 5 Hours for $26 by AWeber – You might be aware that I use AWeber for nearly all my online marketing activities. This includes email marketing campaigns, newsletter distribution and subscriber management needs. They just make it SO easy. So it makes sense for a company serving small and medium sized businesses to create a PDF guide to getting a biz online, fast. As they say in this guide, you can take your business online with just a basic website, an email series and some social network profiles. This step-by-step guide shows how to create an online presence for your business in only five hours for just $26.

and finally…

5) The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Marketing by HubSpot – I just love Hubspot. They are very clever marketers and always seem to come up with a relevant eBook, right when I’m researching a particular marketing topic. This was one of the first eBooks I ever downloaded from Hubspot and I refer to it all the time. Whether you’re just getting started with internet marketing or you want to brush up on the basics, this ebook can serve as your essential guide to setting up and implementing a successful internet marketing strategy, step by step. Be sure to check out their free MS Excel-based Editorial Calendar as well.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Need to learn Online Marketing but not sure where to start? Access your Free Lessons. No catch!

 

June 2nd 2014 sem, Tools