Why Keywords Should Be 1 of the 7 Deadly Sins

Posted by Stephen Krain

September 19, 2013 at 9:28 AM


"Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes."
---Bill Gates
 
Gee, thanks Google! Right when you thought things were going well, Google had to come out and ruffle our feathers once again. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google just announced last week that it would be encrypting all keyword searches until the end of time. Naturally many people start thinking, “Noooo!! This is going to hurt my business!”  Well, this isn’t good news, but it’s not too surprising that Google would pull this sort of stunt.  Google began blocking keyword results as far back as 2011, but on a smaller scale. In response to their recent announcement, Google had this to say.


"We added SSL encryption for our signed-in search users in 2011, as well as searches from the Chrome omnibox earlier this year. We’re now working to bring this extra protection to more users who are not signed in."
Extra protection? Explain. Well, when someone begins a search on Google, the search query used to be public knowledge. Now that it isn’t this adds an extra layer of privacy between what is being searched and the individual conducting the search. Basically, Google isn’t allowing you to be tracked. It sounds nice, but is there an ulterior motive behind Google’s actions? Although, increased privacy is always highly regarded, I tend to lean towards Google benefiting from the recent news.


Safety and security are most people’s main concern in general. However, as you well know, money is also quite the motivator. In light of Google’s news to encrypt keyword searches for the organic side of things, their paid sides of search queries, Google AdWords, advertisers still have full access to keywords on all ad clicks made on Google ads. This being said, Google stands to profit heavily in the process. Prior to recent news, Google posted revenue was up 19 percent over the second quarter of 2012 at $14.11 billion. Now with some analytics reporting “not provided” keywords in some cases are as high as 95% of search queries for some businesses, Google’s profit is looking to soar even higher. It must be nice to have $54.4 billion dollars of cash on hand, and that was before the news.

So what can businesses do to help combat the recent difficulty in the digital world?

Analyze Non Google Keywords- Event though it’s a small percentage of searches, it still offers a lot of value and insight to the searches being conducted.

Use Google AdWords- Those greedy punks. I guess if you can see what people are searching based off paid ads, it’s better than guessing, right?

Use Google Trends- this can possibly give you insight on what is trending that is bringing you traffic. It can help you if you're struggling to figure out what specifically is bringing in large amounts traffic and why. Thanks for the help, GT.

Look At Historical Data- It doesn’t provide much help for future change and innovation, but history does tend to repeat itself.

Creating Landing Pages for Targeted Keywords- Although it may not be quite as specific as a generated list of keywords, you can definitely get a little granular about how specific keywords are performing if your landing pages with those keywords rank well organically.

 

 

 

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0 Comments View/Read/Write    |    Topics: SEO, SEM

How Contractors Can Get The Most Out of Angie's List

Posted by Drew Himel

July 12, 2013 at 9:22 AM

For business owners in many industries, word of mouth is one of their strongest marketing tools. If you’re a contractor, you are certainly aware of this and probably receive calls from referrals on a regular basis. In fact, you can probably attest to the saying “Your best customer is your current customer.” And this is exactly why you can’t afford to ignore online marketing in the form of the review-based website Angie’s List.

If you aren’t familiar with the site, Angie’s List allows its members (your current and potential customers) to rate and find local professionals in home repair and renovation, auto repair, and healthcare. In the last year alone, Angie’s List membership has increased by 80% to 1.2 million subscribers in over 185 U.S. markets, and, because members pay for a subscription to the site, you can be sure that these people are committed to finding the right contractors to fill their needs.

While consumers pay to search the site, businesses can create profiles free of charge, and, unlike other sites and general Internet searches, businesses can’t pay for better ratings or more visibility. However, businesses that are rated at the A or B status can advertise and offer coupons and discounts to users.

Are you starting to see why, as an online marketing agency, we think that you should be using Angie’s List? Read on for tips that will optimize your presence on the site.

1. Optimize your business description.

Write a description that is succinct and to the point while making your business appear professional and helpful. Include information that emphasizes your products or services and highlights your industry experience.

2. Include photographs.

Angie’s List allows businesses to upload a few photos to their profiles. Include quality photos that showcase some of your best work. This will give potential clients a vivid idea of exactly what you do.

3. Provide all of the relevant information.

Providing as much pertinent information as possible not only provides valuable insight for the customer, but also indicates that you are thorough, reliable, and engaged. Some good information to include on profile would be your full service area, your full contact information, including your phone number, business address, and e-mail address, a link to your website, and links to your social media pages.

4. Ask your customers for reviews.

Your past customers probably won’t think to automatically go review your work on Angie’s List. However, there’s nothing wrong with sending an e-mail that politely asks for a review, along with the link to your review form. Of course, you will want to avoid sounding pushy, but you can also ask your customers to post the same reviews on Google, which also equals an SEM boost for you!

5. Respond to your reviewers.

Since reviews are the main component of Angie’s List, it’s important to appear attentive and engaged. Respond to reviews and comments quickly but thoughtfully, and comment back to positive reviews with a personal thank you and short note about that specific customer or project.

6. Turn negative reviews into positive reviews.

Even if your products and services are consistently high-quality, it’s hard to escape a negative review once in a while. Responding to these can put you in a sticky situation, but it’s important to respond in a way that is thoughtful and sensitive. First, take some time to consider the reviewer’s grievance, and then write back that you appreciate this feedback and will contact them to resolve the complaint. Next, investigate the situation and take the necessary steps to reach a resolution. After that, respond back to the review, listing all of the steps you took to rectify the complaint and the final outcome. According to Angie’s List, companies that earn the highest ratings are those that actively engage with their clients.

Of course, creating a profile on Angie’s List alone probably won’t triple your business, but, in this highly-competitive information age, it can serve as a valuable tool in your online marketing arsenal. Read more about other digital marketing tools, like Google+, and e-mail marketing.

By Drew Himel

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1 Comments View/Read/Write    |    Topics: Digital Marketing, Lead Generation, SEO, SEM

7 Reasons to Break Up with Yellow Pages

Posted by Drew Himel

June 28, 2013 at 10:48 AM

With usage in steady decline for nearly a decade and revenue continuing to plummet, Yellow Pages is just not what it used to be – plain and simple. While it can be tough to move away from the staple that you may have used to advertise your small business for years, the fact is that in the age of digital everything, quite frankly, you can do better. If you’re spending your company’s marketing budget with Yellow Pages, it’s probably time to give the book the “it’s-not-you-it’s-me” routine. It’s time to move on, and we heard that the Internet wants your e-mail address.

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Awful vs. All-Star Marketing Emails

Posted by Drew Himel

May 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

 

Email marketing has evolved tremendously from where it was 10 years ago, when the internet was still in its infancy and emails were first cool and hip. Now even 5 year old kids have email accounts and there is so much email traffic, that most of it is just treated as spam. While you make not think your marketing messages are junk, the fact remains that many people ignore emails they receive even from legitimate websites where they have a registered account, let alone uninvited messages from unknown servers.

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Inbound Marketing 101

Posted by Drew Himel

April 30, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Bringing Customers to You                               

Rather than focusing on finding customers via traditional outbound marketing practices, such as cold calling, print advertising and mail outs, an inbound marketing strategy reverses these techniques by drawing ideal clients directly to a business. By creating unique, quality content that potential customers want to see, inbound marketing practices reverse the previously outbound relationship and allow the customers to do the “finding” themselves. This shift from outbound to inbound makes for a more productive and effective marketing process.

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Importance of Quality Content on Your Website

Posted by Drew Himel

February 27, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Using Content to Drive Traffic to Your Site

In the world of online commerce, a website is a business’s virtual storefront. Most people understand how important a web presence is to a business’s online strategy, but even more important is that a website can’t just exist, it needs to perform. It needs to attract visitors, educate them and turn them into customers.

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