With the office being closed for Independence Day, we were working ahead for our clients and didn’t have a chance to create a fun post for today. So, like a typical boss, I’m going to suck the fun right out of Friday and post something that’s purely informative, but hardly entertaining. Sorry I’m not sorry.
If you need a laugh before you can learn, maybe this will help:
This Week’s Web Marketing Tip:
The web is a real estate game. You want to cost-effectively maximize your real estate on the web.
No one has the money to advertise everywhere online or the time to set up a profile or company page on every new social media website (and doesn’t it seem like every day there’s a new social media site claiming to be the next big thing?). The key to your success is to prioritize. In this blog post, I’m going to give you some tips as to which sites are worth testing and investing in and which sites you can probably ignore.
You can’t manage what you fail to measure. Virtually everything online can—and should—be tracked (contrary to what your yellow page sales rep might tell you). Never spend money on an advertising or marketing campaign without setting goals, deciding what metrics will be used to measure success, and putting in place the proper analytics tools to accurately track and report the results.
Virtually any online marketing campaign can be tracked with Google Analytics and call tracking. At this point, most business owners have Google Analytics installed, but very few have made the necessary customizations to actually use it accurately/correctly. Don’t make the mistake of having your “web guy” install Google Analytics without customizing it to your business and the campaigns you wish to track. Also, remember that the tool alone is pretty worthless if you don’t regularly review and take action on the data.
If you need help customizing Google Analytics or getting started with call tracking, drop us a line.
A Foundational Web Presence
Whether or not you need to add your website to Yelp!, Four Square, or Pinterest depends a lot on the industry you’re in; however, a presence on some websites is required no matter what type of business you own.
Today, an absolute minimalpresence online means being on the following sites (or types of sites):
Google (first page presence for your top ~500 most relevant keywords)
Google+ Local (Google Places for Business, Google Maps, etc.)
Google AdWords (paid ads DO NOT significantly cannibalize clicks from the organic listings)
Bing & Yahoo (first page presence for your top keywords and paid ads)
Acxiom & Infogroup (add and/or make sure your information is correct in their database)
Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter (LinkedIn and Twitter are a waste for many businesses, but it’s good to be there to protect your brand)
Of all the sites on the list above, Acxiom and Infogroup are the ones most likely to have you saying, “huh?” The reason you should add your business to these sites, and/or make sure that they have your information listed correctly, is because these two companies license their data to hundreds (thousands?) of other websites.
You know when a web marketing or yellow page sales rep says that, by advertising with them, your business will be listed on hundreds of other websites? Did you think that they were going to do that manually (all for $199 per month)?? Negative. More often than not, all they’re doing is adding you to one of the major data syndication companies and that company is sharing your data with all the other websites.
While most of the sites that use data from one of these sources are very rarely visited, being listed can provide positive signals to Google, Bing, and Yahoo and help you rank higher in the organic search results—particularly the local search results.
Conclusion & Takeaways
At the highest level, web marketing success is about cost-effectively maximizing your real estate. If time and money were no object, you’d identify where your prospects spend their time online and be in every single one of those places. Since most business owners don’t have limitless amounts of time or money, you need to prioritize your efforts. If you were to increase your real estate in only one place, make it Google. At present, Google directs most of the traffic on the web and, perhaps even more importantly, the people using Google show their interest and intent with the search query they use (allowing you to target your prospects very precisely).
We spend a lot of time talking to prospects and writing about Google (AdWords, Local, Places, Plus, SEO, etc.), but it’s important that you don’t place all your web marketing eggs in one basket. My wife, her friends, and most of my friends (those NOT working in the web marketing industry) spend way more time on Facebook than they do on Google. I think Facebook recognizes this and, in the near future, they are going to start capitalizing on it. As a business owner, the last thing you want to do is get caught playing catch up.
For an expert assessment of your overall online marketing presence, enter your website below:
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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