Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Slogans Matter

As the general election officially began, we set out to review the very basics - campaign slogans.

These short sound bites are designed, to sum up, the candidates’ overall positions and platforms in just a few easily repeatable words. The idea behind a campaign slogan is twofold: 1) convince voters to choose that candidate, and 2) create easy repeatability that can be chanted, repeated to friends, and maybe even go viral.

So how did the two major candidates do with their slogans? Without considering the issues, the candidates’ likeability, their platforms, or any other factor that will sway voters this November, let’s dissect just the actual slogans.

Hillary Clinton: We’re Stronger Together

With a lifetime of politics under her belt, including stints as First Lady, Secretary of State, and United States Senator, Hillary Clinton should be a master of campaign slogans, right? Yet an analysis shows that her slogan is not quite up to par. Here’s why:

1. Evoking Socialism: Hillary Clinton fought a fierce battle in the primaries against Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders. The fact that she beat him indicates that perhaps her party, nevermind America as a whole, rejected that particular ideal. Presumably, Clinton’s team is hoping to draw in Sanders’ fervent supporters, but the vaguely socialist connotation of the slogan’s word choice could be a risk in the national election.

 

2. Copycat Branding: Donald Trump has run his entire campaign on the idea that he is the strong, tough leader that America needs. No matter what you think of him, the bravado some might say is the total of what he is offering. While the Clinton campaign appears to be trying to differentiate its candidate by pointing out that no one person is as strong as an entire community working together, that idea is a bit high-minded for a slogan. Using the word “strong” enhances the appearance that Clinton is responding to Trump rather than defining the narrative herself.

 

3. Possible Alienation of Voters: Studies consistently show that the word “together” evokes the stereotypically feminine ideals of cooperation and empathy. Its use in a campaign slogan also implies that we should all aspire to work cooperatively with others. That message resonates with those who embrace those ideas, but what of those who embody the stereotypically male traits of independence, stoicism – the refusal to ask for directions? It will be a tough sell to convince these voters that they should suddenly reject individualism and embrace cooperation.

 

Donald Trump: Make America Great Again

Donald Trump’s brash, arrogant, dismissive manner has earned him rebukes and outright disdain from large segments of the voting public, and even key members of his own party. No matter what you think of him, the numbers show that he is a highly polarizing figure. Surely his campaign slogan is just as boorish and inflammatory, right? Surprisingly, he seems to have hit the mark with a slogan that will resonate with quite a few voters. Here’s how:

1. Aspirational Wording: Wherever your personal politics fall, and whatever your view of the issues, it is hard to deny that making America great is an excellent goal. The fact that the word “great” is so nebulous and non-specific makes this even stronger, as each person is free to project his or her unique vision of an ideal, ‘great’ America onto it.

 

2. American Identity: The inclusion of the word “America” suggests patriotism and national pride. We might all be wildly different from each other, but we all think of ourselves as Americans and are proud of that identity.

 

3. Loss and Hope: Notice that the slogan doesn’t tell us to make America great. It tells us to make America great *again*, suggesting that we were once great, but lost our way. However, the slogan assures us, we can make it right. Tapping into very primal emotions that acknowledge our individual and collective grief, and gives us hope for the future.

 

4. Nonthreatening and Inarguable Word Choices: While Clinton’s slogan uses a high-minded appeal to the power of collectivism, Trump’s slogan is intentionally so vague as to be all-inclusive. There is no direct way to disagree with the slogan’s content, it does not highlight any particular viewpoint, and it is simplistic enough to make an excellent soundbite.

Of course, elections are not decided by campaign slogans. Debates, press conferences, social media, and many other factors will play into the final results. Still, in a tightly contested race, every element matters. A slogan should provide a simple, tightly focused message in a compact package that is easy to remember and repeat. The power of a well-designed slogan should never be overlooked, as you never know when it might tip an undecided voter into one column or the other.

Disclaimer: Internal polling of First Source Interactive employees shows support for both candidates as well as neither. We will focus our election analysis on the branding and marketing aspects of the campaign and avoid political positions (which don’t matter anyway).

Creating A Digital Marketing Plan For 2016

As 2015 draws to a close, time to develop your digital marketing plan is quickly running out. Whether you are suffering from writer’s block or you simply cannot focus from drinking a bit too much eggnog, the following 4-step guide should help give you a kick start. However, before we look at the points, it is important to clear up a common misconception many people have about marketing by answering one question:

 Is your marketing plan trying to answer the wrong question?

I can bet that you and your marketing team are smart – probably even much smarter than I am. However, it makes no sense to be smart but use your skills and knowledge to answer the wrong question! Let me illustrate this point with an example: a couple of years ago, our company carried out a survey of more than 100 business owners, asking them one question:

“What is the #1 thing you would like to know about digital marketing?”

As is to be expected, the responses were varied, but most of them followed a common theme. Many of the business owners polled wanted to know, “Is there one marketing tactic that I can use to give me the best Return on Investment (ROI)?”

I am pretty confident that if we polled business owners again today, we would get the same question coming up because it is one that our clients keep asking us. Chances are you are also looking for the answer to this question too!

If you have asked yourself this question, then this article should make it clear that there is no single tactic or strategy that gives the best ROI. When developing your marketing plan, you should not look to find a single ‘holy grail’ trick. What your strategy should do instead is to combine multiple channels in order to come up with a unified way to improve your ROI.

Now that we have got that out of the way, we can now move to the 4 steps to creating a successful digital marketing plan.

Step 1: Define Your Goals For 2016

The most crucial step of planning your marketing strategy is defining your goals. However, you should not just have any goals; they should be SMART goals. This is a mnemonic which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Each of your strategy’s goals must meet each of those criteria.

Specific

It is common to hear business owners set vague goals like ‘we need more leads’ or ‘we should increase our sales.’ However, these are not real goals. How many more leads does the business need? How much growth is the business aiming for in 2016? If your goals are already set, be prepared to review them and make them as specific as possible.

Measurable

You must have measurable goals so that you know what progress you are making toward achieving them. When carrying out your digital marketing efforts, Google analytics can help you to measure how close or far you are from achieving your goals.

Achievable

Although it is a lot of fun to dream big and set your sights high, it is important that you give yourself targets that can be achieved within the next 12 months. The goals you set should not demoralize, but be a source of excitement and motivation.

Relevant

Does your goal matter in the bigger picture of your business’ success? Achieving your goal should have a direct impact on your bottom line. A #1 Google ranking for ‘New York pediatric surgeon’ is a goal that is specific, measurable and could be achievable, but does no good for the business of a doctor who does not deal with children.

Time-Bound

Because you are preparing your goals for 2016, the deadline for the achievement of your goals is December 31, 2016. Because some of your goals can (and should) be possible to achieve by then, set an appropriate completion date. Having deadlines for your goals is a great motivator to achieving them.

Step 2: Work Backwards When Defining Your Monthly Goals and KPIs

By this point, you should have set your goals. For example, your goal could be to generate sales of $1,000,000 in the next 12 months. This is a possible SMART goal if your business generated less than a million dollars in 2013.

Your next step is to figure out the future date you expect to hit this target and then work backwards. This is an important step as it allows you to identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you must track to eventually achieve your goal.

Although it may sound strange, a simple way to do this is to start by assuming it is December 31, 2016. Write down what the performance of your business looked like that month. Picturing what your future would look like is a simple mind game that is, however a critical part of planning for 2016.

This exercise will help you answer questions like: how many sales were necessary in December to hit your 2016 goal? To generate the $1 million mentioned above, it is necessary to generate $83,333 every month over 12 months. Of course, this is an oversimplified figure as you should plan to have growth month over month from January to December.

So, how many sales are necessary to generate $83,333 every month? If you have an average customer value of $500, you will need 167 sales every month. The next question is: To make 167 sales, how many leads do you require? If your lead conversion rate is 10%, you need to attract 1,670 leads. Looking at your website’s historical analytics figures, you may find that your visitor to lead conversion also stands at 10%. This means you need to have 16,700 visitors to your website every month in order to hit your sales target.

This example shows how working backwards makes it simple to identify KPIs for your business.

 Step 3: Get Real

The third step in developing an effective marketing plan for 2016 is to check your goals against the KPIs in step 2. Given your traffic statistics, is it possible for you to achieve visitor numbers of over 16,000 every month? Are the conversion rates you used attainable when measured against similar businesses or your own historical data?

Getting the answers to these questions requires a fair bit of research and probably some expert third-party advice. The key question is whether you generate enough traffic to help you achieve your goals. For instance, Google’s Keyword Planner may indicate that there are 100,000 searches every month for the product or service you offer; is it possible for your SEO and Google Adwords to deliver 16,000 visitors to your website?

Although 16% of all the searches for your keyword may not look like much, it is important to remember that – for most businesses – a 2% AdWords click through rate can be termed a successful campaign. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) expert to ensure that the goals you have set are achievable and realistic. If you discover that you have set unattainable goals, do not be ashamed to revise them. It is better to do this at the beginning than to spend 12 months chasing shadows.

Step 4: Assign Responsibilities

The last step of developing your strategy should be fairly straightforward. This step involves assigning a member of your team the responsibility for the implementation and measurement of monthly progress. If your plans for growth are big, you may need to hire someone specifically for this task, or outsource it to a different company.

Understanding Search Intent

Search intent’ is what lies behind every keyword used in internet search. In order to get a clearer picture of this concept, it is essential for you to look at the search process from the point of view of the person who is searching for the term you are considering for SEO. This will help you to better understand what the person is really looking for.

By carrying out this exercise, you will discover that most keywords can be put under one of two main search intent categories, namely:

  1. Research intent

  2. Buying intent

It goes without saying that the keywords categorized under research intent are those that people type into a search engine when their sole aim is looking to gain more knowledge on the particular keyword. For example, due to spending long hours seated at my desk, I started to experience episodes of back pain. I therefore searched Google for ‘back pain.’ The search resulted in several articles that outlined the causes and possible cures for back pain.

On the other hand, the keywords classified under buying intent are phrases that people type into search engines when they are looking to buy a product or service. In my case, it only took me a short while to realize that there are several products that have proven to be effective remedies for back pain such as anti-inflammatory drugs. I did not require any drugs, but if I did, I would likely have searched for a term like ‘anti-inflammatory chemists NYC.’ It is easy to see that this example keyword has much more buying intent than the initial search for ‘back pain.’

Now that you have a grasp of the concept of search intent, we will investigate how you can tailor your SEO strategy to take advantage of this knowledge.

Focus Your Efforts on Buying Intent Keywords

It can be easy to lose sight of the fact that SEO should aim to ultimately drive sales, not just help gain a higher Google ranking. Keeping this in mind, SEO efforts should be concentrated on buying intent keywords and phrases instead of research intent keywords.

If you fail to do this, you will end up wasting a lot of your time and investing a lot of money on keywords that boost your search rankings but do not drive any sales.

To be clear, focusing on buying intent does not mean completely ignoring research intent keywords; there is a lot of value to be found by ranking high for these types of keywords, but buying intent keywords should be your initial focus. In order for this to happen, your on-page optimization for the product or service should be relevant to buying intent.

Once your product or service pages have been fully optimized for buying intent keywords, you need to expand your focus to research intent keywords. However, this will need you to take a slightly different approach.

Using Research Intent Keywords to Widen Your Marketing Funnel

As I mentioned above, it is easy for you to target buying intent keywords because it is a matter of simply optimizing the relevant product pages on your website. In order to target keywords for research intent, it is likely that you will have to create new pages on your website. Often, the best way to do this is to create a completely new section of your website (for example, a Resource Center) which would contain pages that have information relevant to your industry and are optimized for the necessary research intent keywords. A blog also works as well as a Resource Center in this aspect.

Widening your marketing funnel in this way – through targeting of research intent keywords – ensures that you are able to capture prospective buyers much earlier within the sales cycle. For instance, I did not know anything about the various pain medications available when I was researching back pain.

After I had completed researching back pain, guess the product I would have bought if I felt I needed treatment for my back pain? You guessed right – I would be more inclined to purchase the product sold by the business that offered me the most useful information on the causes, symptoms and remedies for back pain. Put simply, publishing useful information that is optimized for people searching for research intent keywords helps you reach your prospective customers even before they know they require your product or service.

Of course, for this to be effective there is a catch…

A Lead Magnet Is Necessary

For effective conversion of traffic from research intent SEO to sales, it is vital to find a way to capture your visitors’ contact information and use it to follow up and pitch your product or service. Failing to do this will mean that you offer visitors to your website plenty of useful educational information, but they leave your website to purchase from a competitor.

A Lead Magnet is the most effective method of capturing visitor contact information. A lead magnet is valuable content that you offer to your website visitors for free, such as a checklist, guide, informational eBook or coupon in exchange for completing a form. Upon collecting the email address of your prospect, you will be able to do a follow-up message with more information regarding your product or service.

Your approach to SEO will mainly depend on the search intent of the phrases and keywords that you would like to rank for. The first step you should take is to optimize the pages that have details of your product or service for buying intent search phrases, and then optimize your general information pages for research intent keywords. You may then use a lead magnet, which is a tool to help convert researchers into buyers.

Google AdWords: Search vs. Display Networks

A major gripe for me and many other advertisers online is the way Google pushes advertisers to target both their Search results and Display networks whenever they set up their AdWords campaigns. According to Google, when an advertiser first sets up their AdWords campaign, targeting both networks provides an opportunity for them to reach more customers.

While, technically, this is true, it is not a very good idea. In this article, we will examine why targeting both networks in the same way is a bad idea so that you can avoid the trap of targeting these two very different networks with the same AdWords campaign.

Understanding the Search and Display Networks and Their Differences

When most people think of Google AdWords, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the ads that are displayed alongside search results on Google.com. These ads are run on the Search network. The beauty of the Search network is that it offers advertisers the chance to show prospects highly targeted advertising when they are looking for a particular product or service.

The Google Search network is very similar to the old Yellow Pages. This is because prospects would ‘search’ for a particular item in the Yellow Pages when they were ready to buy, which meant that businesses could advertise whatever products or services they were offering alongside the regular listings. Today, most people use Google.com to search for the products or services they need, with the Search network acting as the new Yellow Pages.

On the other hand, Google’s Display network works completely independently of the Google.com search. The Display network is powered by a service known as AdSense, which places ads on a variety of independent websites whose owners are looking to earn money when people view or click on the ads. Any website owner can sign up to AdSense and place the Display network ads on their website. Advertisers can then target these web pages. Google’s statistics indicate that there are more than 2 million websites which use AdSense today, giving you an idea of just how large the network is.

To understand the difference between the two networks, it is essential to understand that when you advertise on the Display network, your campaign is not targeting people who may be looking for your products or services. Instead, you are advertising to the people who are visiting any one of the websites on the Display network. This fact leads us to the first point you need to understand when advertising with Google:

#1. Your Ad Message Should Match the Relevant Network

Whenever someone visits Google.com and searches for a particular product or service, you are almost guaranteed that they have an immediate need. For example, if a prospect searches for a ‘locksmith in Denver,’ it is fairly obvious what the person wants. This person clearly has an immediate need for someone who fixes or repairs locks in Denver, or else they wouldn’t have taken the time to enter that particular search phrase in Google.

With this in mind, you can then tailor your Search network ad copy so that it is a precise match for the keywords the person searched for. This will ensure that you offer them the best option. Because your prospect typed the search phrase ‘locksmith in Denver,’ the ad you place on the Search network should make it clear that you are a locksmith who operates out of Denver and have a call-to-action to encourage the person to get in touch with you.

On the other hand, let us consider a person who is surfing the internet and reading an article that explains how a deadbolt lock is installed. While it is clear that this person would like to know how locks are installed, you cannot be certain that they actually want or need a locksmith. Unlike the prospect who visits Google.com and types in a search phrase, there is no way to know if this individual has an immediate need – therein lies the difference! In this particular case, the ad campaign you place on the display network should be aimed at convincing the person that getting a locksmith is their best option if they would like to install a deadbolt correctly.

It is fairly obvious from the two examples above that the ad copy you choose for the Search network has to be different from that which you use to advertise on the Display network. It would therefore be impossible for you to effectively match your ad message to the network. As a result, it is therefore a bad idea to use a single campaign to target both advertising networks.

After we understand the importance of matching the ad copy to the relevant network, we can then move the concept to the next level:

#2. Ensure That Ads Match Contextually and Behaviorally

When we looked at the example of the Display network ad above, we were working on the assumption that the ad campaign had been targeted at a contextually relevant webpage that talked about how to install a deadbolt lock. This is the simplest form of targeting available when using Google’s Display network to match the keywords within your ad to relevant web pages on the more than 2 million websites that use AdSense.

Another option available to advertisers who use Google ads is behavioral targeting. This works by showing your ads to individuals whose internet browsing history indicates that they may be interested in purchasing your product or service. For example, if I visit many home décor and home improvement websites, with time, the Google search engine figures that I am interested in this particular area and will put me within an audience group that may be called ‘home improvement.’ Behavioral targeting allows advertisers like interior decorators, painters, plumbers or locksmiths to easily select an audience of people that will be more likely to be interested in the products or services they have to offer.

Now that you are suitably armed with knowledge of how contextual and behavioral targeting works, all you need to do to ensure that your campaigns are more effective is to ensure that your ad copy matches your targeting options. The better you get at matching your copy to your targeting options, the higher the number of clicks your ads will generate.

The 4-Step Guide Toward Success in Digital Marketing

When I was a kid, I loved to solve puzzles. In fact, I still keep plenty of puzzles from my days in elementary school all over my apartment. However, it is not just about puzzles; what I love is getting to understand how many different pieces fit together to provide a solution to a problem. This was a major factor in my decision to take up an engineering course in college.

Even as an adult, I still love to solve puzzles, though it has been a while since I solved a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

Instead, I now spend a large part of my time and most of my energy solving the different pieces that come together to create successful digital marketing. When you look at the process of creating a digital marketing campaign as a big puzzle that needs to be assembled, it is easier to get your head round the entire process.

However, when compared with a jigsaw puzzle, digital marketing has one big and important difference: You do not have a box with the completed picture to offer a guide on how the pieces fit together. This certainly makes the process of digital marketing significantly more difficult.

The point of this article is to try to give digital marketers a glimpse of the finished picture. It contains a detailed walkthrough of a tried, tested and proven digital marketing framework in four simple steps which are the essential pieces that form a successful digital marketing plan.

The Foundation

Before looking at the components of the marketing framework, it is important to analyze the workings of digital marketing. When broken down into its most basic components, any successful digital marketing strategy follows the same basic formula:

(Marketing Revenue) = (Conversion Rate) x (Traffic) x (Customer Value)

What this formula means is that the revenue you earn from digital marketing is a function of how many visitors you get to your website, how many of these visitors you are able to convert into paying customers and the value that these customers offer to your business.

Another way to look at it is that there are three distinct ways to increase the revenue you earn from digital marketing: Increase the traffic you get to your website, raise the rate at which you convert the traffic and increase the value that you offer to your customers.

A vital point to remember is that the revenue you earn from your website will be nil if any of the three important digital marketing aspects is zero. It is basic math; even if you are able to drive millions of unique visitors to your website but cannot convert them into paying customers, your revenue will still be zero!

Once you have an understanding of this marketing formula, you can now move up to the details of the framework, which we will call ‘The 4-Step Guide toward Digital Marketing Success.’ These 4 important steps are what every business with an online presence must work on continuously to ensure they remain competitive online.

1. Website Traffic

The first of these steps is building up enough website traffic. Clearly, if you are unable to get enough people to visit your website, you are unlikely to find any success with digital marketing. This should be your main area of focus when you get started with digital marketing.

You should think of your website traffic like fuel for your business.  Your business needs a consistent supply of this ‘fuel’ to ensure that your marketing efforts have a base to build upon.

2. Website Conversions

As we mentioned earlier in this article, it does not matter if you are able to get all the traffic in the world coming to your website if you are not capable of converting the traffic into leads and sales. If you already have an established business and your website has a continuous stream of heavy traffic, the conversion of your visitors is likely to be the key to increasing your sales.

Let us examine an example that explains this point. Let us say you are able to get 1,000 people to visit your website every month and are subsequently able to convert 5 of these visitors into sales. Your conversion rate is then 0.5%. What would happen if you find a way to increase the rate of conversions to 1%? You would, in effect, double your sales figures while having the exact number of people visiting your website! This doubling of your sales would happen without necessarily having to increase your investment in traffic building through SEO, social media or advertising.

3. Customer Value

Although there are many businesses that ignore it, customer value is considered the X-factor that can make or break a digital marketing campaign. Once again, I will use an example to show how offering value to your customers could play an essential role in the success of your marketing effort.

Let’s say that you have a conversion rate of 0.5% and the average value per customer is $100. What this means is that, generally speaking, every visitor that views your website is worth $0.50 to you. By this calculation, it makes no sense to spend more than $0.50 to market your website to each visitor, since it would mean that you are losing money.

However, what happens if you have your main competitor with a similar conversion rate, but with a higher value per customer of $150? Your competitor will be able to afford to spend up to $0.75 per visitor, which means they can attract much higher traffic than you do. Even though they may offer the same product or service, have a similar website and convert visitors into customers at the same rate, their higher customer value means that your competition will dominate your market.

4. Tracking

The final thing you need to consider is tracking. If you do not implement a proper tracking system for your website, you will have very little data to refer to when trying to improve on the three other steps.

When carrying out digital marketing, you should think of visitor tracking and statistics as you would the dashboard of your car. Driving would not be the same if you did not have a fuel gauge or speedometer. It would be harrowing to drive without knowing whether you should slow down or accelerate. Also, without the warning signals that your fuel gauge gives you, it is likely that you would suddenly run out of fuel.

Implementing a proper tracking system will help you to make better decisions since you will know where to place your focus.

In the same way that you would need to complete a puzzle in order to see the final picture, following through each of these 4 steps will assist you in creating a complete plan of action in achieving digital marketing success.

Online Video – The Diamond of Digital Marketing

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is a phrase credited to Frederick R. Barnard commenting on the addition of graphics to advertising in 1921. The concept of a picture giving the viewer an image in a second that might take any length of time to describe in writing, is even more applicable to the modern internet age lifestyle. An image remains in the mind for much longer than the spoken word, while very few people have the time or inclination to read written advertisement in today’s rushed world.

Moving pictures have been around since 1890 when the first films were made which lasted for a minute or even less. The motion picture industry has gone through amazing changes and developments since then, all the way from the big reels to the CD and DVD concept. The computer and internet revolution has turned every computing device, from the smallest mobile phone upwards, into a receiving and viewing device and subsequently, into a shop window.

The use of this online video technology as an advertising medium makes it possible for the smallest business enterprise to reach a previously unheard of number of potential customers. Using the new technology in combination with Google, the world’s most popular search engine, you can have exposure to over a billion viewers monthly according to the eBizMBA ranking on 1st June 2015. The second most popular search engine is YouTube, owned by Google, which processes over 3 billion searches every month.

Putting Google and YouTube together and then factoring in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) criteria employed by Google, the exposure your brand or advertisement receives can be mind boggling. We will take a look at some the factors around Google and YouTube to try and make you aware of the virtually unlimited advertising mileage and exposure you get by making use of YouTube.

  1. YouTube processes more than 3 billion searches every month with the number   growing steadily. Statistics show that YouTube is the fastest growing video sharing website in the world.
  2. With one out of every two internet users on YouTube, there are 1 billion unique visitors viewing 6 billion hours of video every month. In addition to this, 100 hours of new videos are uploaded every minute.
  3. Mobile YouTube viewers make up 25% of the global time that YouTube is being watched with more than 1 billion daily viewers. Your shop window is even open to viewers on the move in today’s non-stop world environment.
  4. In the same way that your website content and format determines your Google ranking, there are similar factors that rank your YouTube advertising video. Some of the factors that can affect the ranking are the number of views, the video title and description as well as the viewer ratings feedback that YouTube receives.
  5. E-marketing is the sales tool of the future with an almost unlimited number of potential clients out there waiting for you to connect with them. YouTube is the most cost effective advertising medium you will find.

The entire business community is continually searching for ways to increase market share and sales. The old days of putting your merchandise in the shop window or advertising your services on billboards and waiting for customers are long gone. Utilizing the internet and the modern online video and YouTube approach for business and service advertising, can have tens of thousands of potential clients passing your ‘shop window’ every single day. The vast numbers reduce the ratio of the cost of advertising to sales dramatically. To look into the future of advertising, all you need to do is to look into online videos.

 

Retargeting: The Advertising Pros and Cons

Ever heard of retargeting? If not, get this: we’re pretty sure that your online activities are being retargeted right now by advertisers. This is more accurately called “behavioral advertising.” Simply put, display ads take previous behavior from your browser cookies and re-targets you in the future with ads.

Think of how this can positively impact your customers. You can send them similar pitches regarding your service or product. However, there are two potential downsides to this.

1. Retargeted display ads have a diminishing return - Think about when you get hit with the same messages on a consistent basis. Over time, you begin to ignore them. This is no different with retargeting.

2. The ads only target people who have expressed interest - Your initial ads target new people constantly, but retargeted won’t follow anyone who hasn’t clicked on the initial ad. As a result, they have a lower cost per lead when compared to other forms of ads.

Nonetheless, there are also a couple of important upsides to retargeting. Here are the positive effects:

a. Find relevant customers.

Retargeted ads have the potential to take you to other relevant websites. Customers you’ve retargeted are potentially searching for other keywords and going on new websites. If you research the activity of your prospects, you’ll soon find new niches to include in your advertising.

b. Increase the probability of a sell.

Also repeated messaging can turn off customers, there are certain buyers who simply need more exposure. Retargeted does this to great effect, allowing you to increase conversions with certain products. As is always key in sell, following up is important.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this short primer on retargeting! Take the pros and cons into consideration when testing out this form of advertising.

The Ultimate 10 Reasons You Aren’t Optimized for Local SEO

Mobile is growing faster than ever and shows no signs of slowing down. That’s why it is important for you to invest in local visibility. Your customers are consistently on the go, looking for the most approachable and mobile local offerings around. If your website is searchable by local standards, you’ve already won the battle of getting exposure.

However, some businesses remain unaware of local search benefits to their sites. This guide we’ve written out teaches you about the top 10 reasons you aren’t getting as much local traffic as you should.

1. You have duplicate listings online.

Make sure you don’t have content spread across the web that is word-for-word of a similar piece of content. Originality (even in repurposing) is infinitely better than duplication.

2. You don’t have a Google Plus Local Profile.

If this is the case with your website, create one as soon as possible. You can’t get around much as a local business without a Local Profile in place.

3. Your contact info isn’t complete.

Make sure you include your complete name, address, and phone number are included on all citations, both on and offline.

4. Your name, address, and phone number aren’t accurate.

Nothing is worse than confusing customers as to your whereabouts. Be careful in making this information consistent across the board.

5. Your business isn’t tagged with the appropriate categories.

This is especially important in SEO. If you are in the marketing industry, find categories as closely related to marketing as you can. Just be sure your website is tagged, whether in a directory or by simply using keywords.

6. You need more content.

A site with little content can still do well, but the more you have, the higher the chance you’ll get traffic.

7. Your links aren’t high quality.

The solution to this is simple: get higher quality links from people in your industry. Share their content and ask them to share yours.

8. You aren’t optimized for mobile.

Invest the time and money to make this a possibility. Google is heavily favoring sites that are mobile-optimized.

9. You need more reviews.

Ask your local customers for more reviews. In exchange for reviews, search engines increase your relevance for local terms.

10. You aren’t participating in social media.

Start with one social media account and try interacting with users in communities related to your website. You’ll find that it’s a great source of referral traffic to your website.

Any other reasons you aren’t getting local search traffic? Let us know in the comments below.

3 Signs You Need to Check on Your AdWords Campaign

Need a tune up on your Adwords campaign? A better question is, how do you know when you need to fix your campaign settings? Often times, notifications that raise awareness to errors in our campaigns give us the opportunity to optimize them better next time.

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t come with this feature. Rather, when something breaks down in your campaign, you’ll receive the full brunt of your error. Only after that will you get the chance to fix your mistakes.

Not ideal, huh?

To help you proactively prevent Adwords campaign mistakes, we’ve put together four potential errors that can come about in your platform. Take note of how your campaign operates as you go through the list!

Potential Error #1 Check Your Keywords

This error tends to come up when you stick strictly to Broad match keywords, without a clear inclusion of Exact match and phrase keywords.

  • Be sure use Negative keywords in your list of keywords.

  • Lastly, segment your keywords in different ad groups.

Doing this, you tend to waste most of your clicks, while eating up money on bad searches.

Potential Error #2 Check Your Ad Landing Page

These next few problems come from landing page screwups. For example, if your copy is inconsistent on either your landing pages or your ads, you’ll get this error.

  • Don’t let your landing page detract from the product being advertised.

Together, these end up in a sharp decrease in conversions for your agency.

Potential Error #3 Check Your Tracking Code

This error is one of the most important ones to watch out for. Be sure to set up your tracking code for shopping carts. You’ll be able to capture revenue data once this is in place.

  • If you don’t do this, you can’t optimize your bids and sales.

Be sure to make sure all of these are in place so that you can optimize the returns on your advertisements. Let us know if you have any questions!

Top 4 Things You Need to Rank in Google

Picture this – you’ve got your website up-and-running, you’ve put up some preliminary content to entice new customers, and you’ve gone through the site design. You hit “Publish” on your blog, releasing your latest post. You’re excited!

But days go by… and then weeks. Your blog gets maybe ten visitors maximum the entire time. Understandably, you don’t get it. Why isn’t your site getting more traffic at this point?

Isn’t two or more weeks enough time to make an impact and get traffic from the search engines? Well, the truth is, it’s not (especially if you want to stay there for a long time!).

SEO is a long-term game, and should be treated as such. The most authoritative websites have both a long existence and an optimized website.

In order to rank well and build your website optimization, there are four aspects that you need to keep in mind. You’ll be surprised by how simple it really is to grow your search traffic, once you focus on the right things.

1. Use semantic search to your advantage by answering questions from search.

People ask questions all the time to their search engines. Spend time to write blog posts and create dedicated pages that provide value by answering reader questions. This often results in you showing up for these search queries and bringing you more targeted traffic.

2. The level of your content is key, key, key!

If you have great content, your traffic possibilities are only limited by your market. Spend time writing a lot of focused content backed up by research and testimonials. Invest in whitepapers, sharp email campaigns, social media and more. The higher quality your content is, the more search traffic you’ll end up getting.

3. Have your website active across all devices.

Google has recently stepped up their game in terms of determining which sites are compatible with a high range of devices. The easier you can make it for visitors to get to your website, the more trust Google puts in your domain.

Furthermore, the mobile era is here. More people are using mobile devices for Internet than desktop computers. There is a lot of traffic left on the table if you don’t have a universally compatible URL.

4. Make your website easy to use.

Lastly, usability is paramount to strong SEO. Google ranks down websites that are difficult to use as a consequence of low speed, slow download times, and just plain clunky user interface.

Design your site for ease of use, and watch the search traffic roll in!

Take into consideration these key aspects of your website, and you’re as good as golden.