What’s the Best Way to Promote Your Business Online in 2014?

Digital Marketing 101 Series

This is the first in a five-part Digital Marketing 101 series, specifically geared towards SMBs.  Once a week, we’ll cover one of the five Internet marketing methods and discuss benefits & limitations.

Five Ways to Promote Your Small – Medium Sized Business (SMB) Online in 2014

  1. Paid Search Advertising – Pay-Per-Click or PPC
  2. Search engine optimization (SEO) – art of making changes to your website to increase  chances of showing up on the 1st page of Google’s organic listings for specific keyword phrases (red shoes, blue shoes, leather shoes, Nike shoes)
  3. Blog, Video  & Content Marketing- Create content through websites, blogs, articles, & videos, then promote using social media, content sharing & PR
  4. Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus (G+), Instagram
  5. E-mail Marketing

67% of online users turn to Google to find something online, with 18% using Bing and 10% using Yahoo according to comScore’s February 2014 Search Engine Rankings Report.  Once online users find what they’re looking for, they login to Facebook and Twitter and ask their friends and colleagues what they know about that company and/or their products.  They might further check reviews on a website like Yelp. They might search for the educational video on YouTube. Eventually, they convert via the website or by calling the business, or visiting the place of business.

What devices are people using to search online? They use desktop computers & laptops, but significant growth has been noted in the use of smartphones & tablets for online research.  Not all mobile users are ready to use their smartphones to buy, but that trend is changing.  One in five online sales came from a smartphone this past Christmas season.  People are more comfortable using their tablet to purchase online.  In response, advertisers are ramping up on mobile search advertising.  In fact, mobile advertising is up 122%. Source: eMarketer.

Your SMB needs leads & online orders.  It needs new customers.  What’s the fastest method to acquire new leads or business?

Paid search advertising or Pay Per Click is the fastest way to acquire new leads or customers.  Within 8 minutes of creating a new campaign in Google Adwords, your website can show up at the top of the page for your desired keyword phrases.  In fact, by the time you’re done reading this article, you could have created a basic Google Ad campaign and shown up in Google.

How much will it cost you to advertise? How much will it cost your business if you’re NOT showing up in Google?

Let’s say you sell cheesecakes, with nationwide UPS delivery services, only you’re a smaller business than that other retailer establishment in every major city.

  • 11,000 searches –  Cheesecake
  • 8,000 searches – pumpkin cheesecake
  • 700 searches – strawberry cheesecake
  • <100 searches – send cheesecake
  • <100 searches – buy cheesecake
  • <100 searches – cheesecake delivery

If you sell pumpkin & strawberry cheesecakes, deliver via mail order or online delivery, and you get 5% of the online marketshare, you could be delivering 400 pumpkin & 35 strawberry cheesecakes.  If your average order was $50 for a cheesecake mail order delivery, you could be ringing up $21,750 at the register just for showing up for those two keyword phrases.

Even at a 2% conversion rate, you could have $8,700 in online orders for pumpkin & strawberry cheesecakes.

Once you know which keywords convert, you can begin to measure:

  • What does it cost you to acquire a new customer?
    $10 –  $50?
  • What are you willing to spend to acquire them?
  • What’s their first-time online order vs lifetime value?
  • Cost of acquisition (COA) or cost of conversion by keyword

If you’ve watched ABC’s Shark Tank, you’ve heard Mark Cuban ask “What’s your cost of acquiring each new customer?”  Bizwatch can help you assess your advertising, cost of new customer acquisition & how to improve ROI.

Benefits of paid search advertising:

  • Quick way to show up in Google for your company name, brand name, products & related keyword phrases
  • Ability to track & trend keyword phrase to conversion using Google’s Analytics, Adwords & Bizwatch software
  • Ability to know which keywords get more searches, clicks, leads/orders
  • Ability to know which keywords cost more than they convert to revenue
  • Ability to easily test different ads, landing pages & keyword strategies
  • Ability to out-rank your competitor
  • Ability to lead your industry for related keyword phrases
  • Ability to target locations
  • Ability to promote on specific devices

Limitations of paid search advertising:

  • If you set up paid search advertising campaigns incorrectly, you could spend money very quickly with little return  (Watch our YouTube video on How to Set Up Adwords)
  • If you don’t have conversion tracking in place, you could fail to track which keywords convert.
  • If you leave your ad campaigns on auto-pilot, bad things can happen.  Get a free PPC & SEO Audit from Bizwatch, and make sure your PPC campaigns don’t go into the red.
  • Paid search advertising needs optimization 1-2 days a week, and a monthly trend report.

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Bizwatch helps small-medium sized businesses (SMBs) to determine what are the best keywords to drive new business to their website from Google & Bing.  Companies can get their free PPC & SEO Audit at Bizwatchsearchanalytics.com/signup.

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