10 Incredibile Mobile Marketing Insights

Check out this infographic by the Social Media Research Team at Convonix, which will sum up the importance of mobile internet as a marketing medium. What do you think?

If you would like discuss mobile marketing in greater detail, give me a call @ 208.995.9437 or send me an email so we can discuss how I can assist you and take advantage of my free 1-hour consultation. Have a great day and thank you for stopping by.

Make The Most Out Of Your Marketing Dollars

Is your company facing increased pressure to get their message to the right audience. Is there a way to take control of your company’s advertising and maximize your return on investment?

If the answer is yes, then now, more than ever, you need to make every marketing dollar count.

Getting the most out of your marketing dollars is especially important in today’s economy. A company’s decisions need to show a return on investment, and drive targeted traffic to their business. Chances are your company has a great website that they paid a lot of money to have built. But what good is a beautiful website if your target audience cannot find you anywhere online? With the power of the Web, companies have the opportunity to employ their website as a marketing vehicle to increase sales, acquire new clients, build rapport with current clients, and reach their target market.

I help companies get the most out of their marketing dollars.
Give me a call @ 208.995.9437 or send me an email so we can talk.

Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Right For Your Business?

With billions and billions of  people on the World Wide Web every day, it is safe to assume that a lot of people also use search engines. So how do they use them when they are looking for local products and services? Public data and studies indicate that as many as 80% of potential prospects turn to the Internet first when looking for a local product or service. When was the last time you picked up your phone book to find a vendor or to do research? Phone books are still used but are a thing of the past for most consumers, and the new yellow pages are local internet directories and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. I know it, the search engines knows it, and if you resist it, there is a good chance your business may a thing of the past too. But is PPC right for you and your business?

1. Highly Targeted – Unlike direct marketing and other forms of advertising your ad will only be served (appear) when a prospect is actively searching for your type of business (typed into your pre-selected “keywords”)

2. Tracking – There is an old marketing adage that says “I know I am wasting 50% of my marketing budget, but I don’t know which half.” You can’t improve what you can’t measure and PPC advertising is very easy to measure. With search engine marketing (SEM), you are able to track every aspect of your campaign.

3. Testing – You can quickly and easily run A/B testing for both ads (to drive leads) and different landing pages (to convert prospects).

4. Performance Based – It is the only advertising available that you only get charged if a prospect actually takes action (clicks on your ad). This actually is a second form of qualifying. The prospect not only is actively searching for your type of business, but actually liked your ad enough to click on it.

A word of caution before you run off and start pouring money into your PPC campaigns. Though, there is no denying that, when executed correctly, PPC can be a leading sales driver and profit builder, it can also drain your marketing budget if you aren’t careful. Read and study as much as you can about PPC and how it works. It is also recommend you start out small and learn what works and what doesn’t and then scale up your budget when you begin to get the hang of it.

If you need assistance or have questions about Pay-Per-Click advertising, please contact me at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.

A Lot of People Are Using Facebook

According to emarketer.com: Facebook usage has grown steadily in the past two years and will continue on a solid trajectory. eMarketer estimates that 132.5 million people in the US will be using the service this year; by 2013, that number will increase to 152.1 million. Read the rest of the story here …

Having an active presence on Facebook can have the potential to help you get found in the search engines. Setting up a Fan Page on Facebook therefore, should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact me at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.

Will Twitter Help Your Google Rankings?

Yes and no. How is that for an answer? Recently, Google started to display real-time results in addition to the regular top 10 pages on their search result pages. The real-time results are meant to offer web searchers access to brand new news items as fast as possible. The main element of Google’s real-time results are tweets. Tweets are the real-time messages that Twitter users post on Twitter.com.

Google’s PageRank algorithm looks at the link structure of a web page. The more websites link to a website and the more websites link to the linking websites the more relevant is the linked website. Tweets are not about links but about followers. On Twitter.com, people “follow” the comments of other Twitter users. The more followers a Twitter user has, the more reputable are the tweets of that user. If Twitter users that have many followers follow another Twitter user then these users will have a larger impact on the reputation of that user.

As high-quality pages link to another page on the Web, the quality of the linked-to page goes up. Likewise, in social media, as established users follow another user, the quality of the followed user goes up as well.”

The follower reputation rank is only one of Google’s methods to rank tweets:

1. Hashtags – Twitter users often use “hashtags” in their comments. Hashtags are symbols that start with a # followed by a popular topic, for example #earthquake. If such a hashtag is included in a tweet, the tweet will show up in the real-time results when other Twitter users click the hashtag’s topic word elsewhere on the site.

2. Spam – While hashtags can be useful to maximize the exposure of a tweet, they are also often abused for spamming. The wrong hashtags can serve as a red flag that triggers Google’s spam filters. Google modeled the hashtagging behavior in ways that tend to reduce the exposure of low-quality tweets.

3. The signal in the noise – There can be thousands of tweets that contain a very popular word such as “Obama”. To find the relevant tweets, Google looks for “signals in the noise”. Such a signal can be an increasing number of tweets that mention other words near mentions of “Obama”, for example “Cambridge police”. The tweets with the signals will be chosen for the real-time results.

The problem with Google’s real-time results is that they don’t last. The time and efforts that you have to invest in getting listed in Google’s real-time results is better spent on optimization for Google’s regular results.

Promoting Your Website

When you have a business, website promotion is essential to success. You want to get as many people looking at your website that you can. Without website traffic, it could lead to less customers and less sales. Websites are key to informing customers and non-customers about your company and product.

The first step in website promotion is to first get it listed on the main directories on the Internet. These directories include Yahoo and most importantly Google. The goal is to have your website be the first thing listed when someone searches for your product, something similar to your product or your company. Keywords play a big part, and if you pick the right keywords, it will rank higher on the search pages and be easier for customers to find the.

If this seems too risky, these directories also allow you to pay them so that your website will be guaranteed to be seen when using the selected keywords. However, it will be in a different part of the page then the search results. This is known as pay per click marketing, and you will have to pay the directory a fee every time someone clicks on that link.

You can also use current cutting edge methods to advertise your website. You can make podcasts and even YouTube videos. These essentially work like commercials, but are entirely free to put on the Internet.

Another step in website promotion is to actually tell people about it. Tell your friends, people you see on the street, anybody. This could have a chain effect and they could tell their friends which creates more traffic and hopefully more customers. Other ways to do this is visiting online communities and forums where your target customers visit and tell them about the website.

Having a website is essential to a business now, whether it’s a home business or a corporation. However, websites do not promote themselves, so you need to become aware of all the options available to you to create traffic. The more traffic you have, the more customers you will have.

There are also people like me that can do all of this for you. I can specifically focus on Internet marketing and know how to do everything that was mentioned in this article. You will have to pay people like me for these services, but it could be beneficial to deal with people who know what they are doing especially if you need to focus on your business or feel overwhelmed with promoting your website. If you have additional questions, please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.

Online Marketing Tips for your Press Release

When most people think of public relations, they understand it to be the act of relaying news to a media source via a press release. They believe once they submit a press release, that’s all they can do. They wait to see what the press release can do for them. Too many people submit a press release to a variety of news outlets-thinking they have a great story the media will pick up-but they hear nothing back.

Instead, they wait, and wait, and wait. Nothing happens. Ever since the first press release was published on October 30, 1906, public relations has been shaped and defined by more than a written release. Networking, relationship building, trustworthy practices, and brand presence are just a few additional elements that help define public relations.

Today, with a wide variety of news mediums to choose from, the public has spread itself across several channels. If you choose to convey your company message only through one medium, such print media, you may find the public is elsewhere and your efforts wasted.

If you’re not using online platforms to enhance your public relation efforts, then you’re missing an opportunity to expose your brand to the public, generate leads, increase sales, and boost credibility. Some of the most innovative and effective ways to reach your target market online include PR 2.0 and optimized press releases.

• PR 2.0: By definition, PR 2.0 is a social media press release. This newly developed public relations tool was born from the rise in social media popularity. As more and more people use flickr, del.icio.us, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Digg, they are more desensitized to newspapers and traditional media outlets. Because of this shift, using modern media forms, in addition to traditional forms, is the most effective way to get across time-sensitive news items related to your business. PR 2.0 incorporates a variety of interactive social media elements including video, Twitter pitches, share options, bookmarking capabilities, photos, slideshows, bulleted information, links to your website, blog, and social media sites, and contact options. Because social media press releases are viral, the audience base you can reach with it is infinite.

• Optimized Press Release: Also known as search engine optimization (SEO) PR, an optimized press release is search engine optimized to ensure it pulls up on search engine result pages. In other words, the optimized press release is written to incorporate important keywords that prospects may be using as search terms. One of the most popular places the public and even the media go for their daily news dish is the Internet. Google News, Yahoo! News, and Bing, to name a few.

If you post an optimized pr in popular search engines, you can be sure to get some hits off of it. Similar to a social media release, an optimized pr is viral and has the ability to reach a countless number of prospects.

It’s obvious the public relations model has shifted over the years, but public relations still, without a doubt, embodies the same principles it did over 100 years ago: provide the people and the press with truthful, accurate information that is both newsworthy and valuable.

If you have additional questions about how I can help your press release generate more leads and how important it is to helping your company receive more exposure online please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.

Dos and Dont’s about Link Building

Bing recently published a document about link building. Although it focuses on how Bing deals with inbound links, it can also help you to get better links for Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. The most important points of Bing’s document can be found in this article.

The importance of link building

The Bing engineers know that link building is important and they describe link building as follows:

“Link building is a very important form of self-promotion on the Web. You contact webmasters of other, related websites and let them know your site exists. If the value that you have worked so hard to instill in your site is evident to them, they will assist their own customers by linking back to your site. That, my friend, is the essence of link building.”

In other words, reciprocal linking is fine. They also remind webmasters that link building is an ongoing process:

“Think of link building as your chance to build your reputation on the Web. As your website is likely one of your business’ most valuable assets, consider link building to be a primary business-building exercise. Just don’t make the mistake of believing it will result in instant gratification. Successful link building efforts require a long-term commitment, not an overnight or turnkey solution. You need to continually invest in link building efforts with creativity and time. Good things come to those who wait (and work smartly!).”

Things that you can do to get good links to your website

Here are the things that Bing recommends:

  • You should develop your website as a brand and brand it consistently. People like to link to high quality websites.
  • You should find relevant bloggers, industry websites and product reviewers and make them aware of your website.
  • You can publish concise and informative press releases online.
  • You can publish expert articles in article directories.
  • You can participate in relevant conversations on blogs and forums and add a link to your website when applicable.
  • You can use social networks to connect to industry influencers. Your profiles should contain links to your website.
  • You can use email newsletters to notify people about new content on your website.
  • You can launch a blog or a forum on your website.
  • You can participate in relevant industry associations and their online forums.
  • You should strive to become a trusted expert voice for your industry while promoting your website.

Warning: the following things will get your website in trouble

Just like Google and other major search engines, Bing doesn’t like to be cheated. If they detect unnatural linking patterns, your website might be penalized. The following things can trigger search engine filters:

  • Your website get a lot of additional inbound links a very short time.
  • Many links that point to your website are from unrelated websites or blog comments.
  • Your web pages contain hidden links.
  • You get links from links farms or automated link exchange systems.
  • Paid links point to your website.
  • Known spammers link to your website.
  • Your website links to known spammers.

Here’s what Bing does when they find suspicious data that is related to your website:

“When probable manipulation is detected, a spam rank factor is applied to a site, depending upon the type and severity of the infraction. If the spam rating is high, a site can be penalized with a lowered rank. If the violations are egregious, a site can be temporarily or even permanently purged from the index.”

Getting inbound links requires some work. The Bing engineers are very clear about this fact: “Make no mistake: getting legitimate and highly valuable, inbound links is not a couch-potato task.”

If you have additional questions about getting more links for your website  and how important these links are to helping your company get more exposure online please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.