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online marketing

Start with the customer to make your online marketing effective

By | Online Marketing, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

It might seem obvious the it is always the hardest conversation I have with small business owners is around their customers. Narrow your focus down to those ideal customers that your services is made for. This means not everyone with a pulse. Tom Fishburne cartoon is a common scenario I see when I chat with business owners. There is a tendency to want to attract everyone and by default, you attract no-body.

Everything becomes easier when you have focus. So many small businesses are now trying to grapple with online marketing. They ask me, “should I be doing adwords, social media, email marketing, Facebook” etc. It always comes back to who is your target customers and where do they hang out? Are they using social media? What words are they typing into google to find your services.

Online marketing can be very affordable and is a necessary part of your marketing. Let’s face it, we all use google to search online, we are all shopping online and we are all seeking out recommendations online before we buy. If your small business doesn’t have an online strategy then you are invisible. Talk to us about how we can support you with a digital marketing strategy today. One that suits your budget and gets results.

 

Quote from E-Myth

“If you have identity issues, if you, as the leader, don’t know who you are and what values you stand for, what do you think the likelihood is that your business will suffer from the same identity disorder?

Look at yourself. Do you want to be liked by everyone? Have you not taken the time to understand who you are as a leader and what values you represent? If this describes you, then root out the assumptions and beliefs at play here. Dive into yourself and discover the unique ‘you’ that has come into existence to bring value to the world. Now, do the same sort of inquiry for your business. Discover your true business identity, and then watch as the right customers are magnetically attracted to your clear brand promise. Don’t worry about alienating some. Focus on those who you can best serve, and see your business grow exponentially towards your dreams.”

Digital marketing is the new way to connect with your customers

By | Service Marketing | No Comments

At the heart of marketing is connecting with customers. We are now connecting digitally, online all the time. The tools to reach, connect and make sales is changing and we need to change our marketing to online to be effective.

At one stage it was okay to have a brochure style website but now it needs to be optimised to be found in google, capture leads and be socially mentionable.

Learn more about how we help you get your digital marketing strategy working for your small business today and help you harness the opportunity in every click, connection and conversation.

Does your website get found in online search?

By | Marketing Technology, Online Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Here is some great information from GrowthPanel on how to determine if your website content meets your potential customer needs

Search marketing is about gaining visibility on search engines when users search for terms that relate to your product/service/organization. For most companies, ranking highly in search results isn’t luck – it’s a result of solid effort in one or both categories of search marketing.

  • Organic Search:  When you enter a keyword or phrase into a search engine like Google or Yahoo!, the organic results are displayed in the main body of the page.When prospects search for information about your products and services, it’s important to rank high in search engine results. By “optimizing” your site, you can improve your ranking for important search terms and phrases (“keywords”). You can also improve your ranking by getting other important sites to link to yours.
  • Paid Search:  Paid search enables you to buy listings in the “sponsored” area of a search engine. There are a variety of paid search programs, but the most common is called pay-per-click (PPC), meaning you pay for a listing only when a user clicks your ad.

Search marketing in B2C is straightforward — searchers look for products/services to purchase or research prior to making a purchase decision.

For B2B, it’s a little trickier. Just like consumers, business buyers use search engines to find products and services. Studies show that most business people research problems, potential purchases, and prospective vendors online, and they use a search engine to facilitate the process. And the higher the price of the product or service, the earlier in the process they begin their search.  A search marketing firm, Enquiro Search Solutions, conducted a study among nearly 1,500 businesspeople and found that:

  • 93% research business purchases online and 89% of that group uses a search engine
  • 64% start the research process with a search engine
  • 83% of business users prefer Google

The higher the price of the product/service, the earlier the buyer uses a search engine for research. Business buyers also tended to use search early in the buying process:

 

  • In which of these buying phases were you when you used a search engine?
  • Percent
  • Very early in research, little knowledge of product or service
  • 46.2
  • Later in research phase, some idea but wanted comparisons
  • 30.2
  • Knew exactly, wanted reviews/articles
  • 11.3
  • Knew exactly, wanted to find best place to buy
  • 12.3

If you’re B2B, what does this mean for you? Below are some suggestions. When you understand users’ needs as they search for solutions, you can improve your site to meet their needs.

 

Visitor Stage % Ideas for Improving Your Website
Very early in research; has little knowledge of product or service 46.2 Focus on creating trust and educating your prospects. Prospects at this stage aren’t ready to buy, so make them comfortable that you’re a resource. If you try to close the prospect now, you’ll fail.Make sure your website offers valuable, unbiased and general information. Prospects aren’t ready for detail at this phase; they need basic information about the solution and how it’s relevant to them.

Create content that shows how your solution generally differs from other broad options.

Create a white paper that prospects can download by providing some basic information so you can follow up when the time is right.

Encourage visitors to call (or allow you to call) to provide information.

Later in research phase; has some idea but wants comparisons 30.2 Encourage visitors to call and speak with a rep.Provide comparisons to enable them to easily see how your solution compares with your competition.

Offer a quote or more detailed information if they provide very basic information so you can follow up.

Late in process; knows what s/he wants; needs reviews/articles to choose a specific solution 11.3 Offer case studies and articles that are easily accessed from the homepage – these prospects are closer to buying and know what they want.Encourage visitors to contact you for a detailed quote or to purchase.

Provide comparisons to enable them to easily see how your solution compares with that of your competition.

Use testimonials and endorsements to provide social proof.

Knows exactly what s/he wants and is ready to buy; wants to find best place to buy 12.3 Make it very easy to buy the exact product/service they need – they should be able to easily find it from the homepage.Make sure you deliver the product info they want in the fewest number of clicks possible. The more they have to hunt for information, the more likely they are to leave.

Make sure the checkout process is simple with all information (like shipping) disclosed early.

Make sure your return policies, warranty information, and other details are simple and logical to find.

Evaluate Search Marketing Options

There are two basic categories of search marketing: organic search (referred to as “SEO” for search engine optimization) and paid search (referred to as “SEM” for search engine marketing).

Category How It Works How You Do It
Organic Search (SEO) When you enter a keyword or phrase into a search engine like Google or Yahoo!, the “organic” search results are displayed in the main body of the page. If you don’t find what you want on the first page, you may click several pages deep, then try another term if you’re unsuccessful.Search engines “spiders” or “bots” visit websites, grab information and calculate the site’s subject matter.

The engines return sites that the database believes are most relevant to your search.

If a user is searching specifically for your company/product/service, you may show up on the first or second pages without doing anything special to your website.However, if you want your site to show up when a prospect is looking for broader information, you should “optimize” your site to show up for different search terms.

“Search engine optimization,” or “SEO,” can be a complex topic. Yet there are simple things you can do to greatly improve your rankings and generate free traffic to your site.

For some businesses, generating only a handful of additional serious prospects can make a substantial difference in revenue. Using SEO may easily produce these additional prospects.

Paid Search (SEM) Marketers bid for placement for selected keywords or phrases. There are different types of programs including the most popular “pay per click” (or PPC) option – a marketer only pays for the listing if the user actually clicks the listing.PPC is a true pay-for-performance program, can generate very targeted traffic and it is instantly measurable.

Paid listings are displayed differently than organic listings. They may be displayed at the top, side and/or bottom of the page (varies by search engine).

Google and other content networks also allow you to pay to place text, display and video ads on other sites, triggered by content that is relevant to your selected keywords. This is covered in 21 – Online Advertising, since these ads don’t display on search engines.

 

To generate traffic through paid search, you create an account with one or more paid search networks. You then choose your program, your keywords and phrases, and enter bids for placement.When your program goes live, the network bills your account for the traffic you receive. For example, if you’re running a PPC campaign, you’ll be billed for each click on your listing.

You’ll need to designate a “landing page” for these campaigns, and you’ll want to make sure your landing page is designed to convert your visitors so that they continue to click deeper into your site. For example, if you used your existing home page, it might not be specific enough for your visitor, and you may loose them.

A good paid search program involves continuous keyword research, careful monitoring of your bids, and strong focus on converting your click-throughs into active prospects for your company.

Here you can evaluate your marketing goals to determine if SEO, SEM or both are right for you.

Marketing Goal SEO SEM
Need to generate traffic very quickly X
Need to generate more traffic and have time to research, rewrite and potentially redesign your site to capture more qualified traffic X X
Need to generate as much traffic as possible to your site X X
Want to generate traffic to very specific subject areas on the site X X
Want to invest in a long-term search marketing program X
Want to generate traffic for a wide variety of keywords X
Want to launch time-sensitive campaigns that focus on very specific topics or offers X
Want to build more brand awareness through publicity X  X
Need to establish a stronger brand presence on the web X  X
Have a very small marketing budget and are looking for measurable, repeatable programs to generate leads X X

In SEO, your ultimate goal is to get your site listed in the top 10 Google results (the first page) for a few targeted search terms that your prospects are using. Most keywords have a great deal of competition so the task is challenging, but you should still try to rank for very targeted terms. At the very least, your prospects need to find you in the top 10 when they enter your company’s name in the search bar. To optimize your site, you’ll need to make sure its content, design and underlying coding are attractive to search engine spiders, the programs that crawl the web, decide what each page is about and rank pages against other.

What to do next?

If you would like some help setting up your SEO visit our Digital Marketing Services Page.

Are you lost about how to market your business online?

By | Business marketing, Facebook Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Technology, Mobile Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Is marketing online in the too hard basket? Well these days if you aren’t online your business may as well be invisible.

At MacInnis Marketing we have become Digital marketing gurus. We didn’t start that way but over the past 5 years we have honed our skills because of the dramatic change in customer interactions online. With this revolution has come a whole new way to market and thus Digital marketing services are now a big part of a small business marketing kit-bag.

There is only one problem. Most small businesses still don’t have the time to understand it and so can be paying for a service without really understanding its value. It is understandable as the terminology let alone the technology is confusing.

We help educate you to be able to make informed decisions and ensure that you receive a report and measurement of everything we do online. We match your marketing goals with the technology and ensure your budget serves you best.

 

Ready to learn more Click here.

Are you using a content strategy?

By | Business marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Most of you will have discovered by now that there is a real advantage in creating valuable content to increase your organic search results in Google. However, is it all about being found or is it being found by the right customers? If the latter is true, then your content should really be focused on giving customers information that they can actually use.
Here are my top 5 tips when creating content that results in lead generation.

1. Start with the concept that your customer couldn’t care less about your product or service. Most of us assume that prospects are interested in what we have to offer. We are kidding ourselves. They are interested in their problems, their concerns and issues. Create content that addresses their concerns. When you start from their mindset of ” of couldn’t care less” you are more likely to create customer centric content.

2.Begin where the customer is in the buyer journey. I see so many e-books, downloads and case studies that have been created with a “push” approach. It is important to understand that many times the potential customer has no relationship with you and so providing the appropriate information at the right stage of the sales process is critical.  If you have a service based business describe your process and how it might solve their problems. Checklists, cheat sheets, FAQs and tips are good examples of how you can provide education without trying to “sell” before the prospect has had a chance to learn about how you could help them with their problem.

3. You don’t have to create it but curate it. The content does not have to be yours to be great but it does have to be credible. Often I pull together resources and add them to my blog because it saves you searching for information. Being a good curator is a skill and it is valuable and saves you (the reader) time.

4.Associate with something topical. By talking about what your customers are thinking about you will grab their attention. If you are a financial planner and it is June then the end of the tax year is probably a good topic. If you are a beauty business and it is February then Valentine’s Day is appropriate. By piggybacking on current issues or topics you can give your prospects timely and useful information.

5. Don’t always make me sign up to get the information. I use to do this. Always have a form with an email address and name before you could download information. These days I hardly ever do this. I figure that my best customers are those that are educated about marketing and understand how I approach it. To do this effectively I make my content and how too’s freely available. Actually, it is a big point of difference between me and other online marketers. So think about your strategy before you put your content behind a form. Sometimes it is worth just giving it away.

 

100 content ideas from hubspot

 

Build a web presence, or be invisible

By | Online Marketing, SEO, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

You have a choice to either create a web presence or be invisible. It is all about being online but more importantly being active and engaging customers. To do this effectively to need to manage your web presence.

1. You need to have a web presence that is easily found. This means knowing your target audience and understanding how they would search for your product or service. Once you know this (through some research) you can then put together some directory listings.

2. Directory listings on Google Places, Yellow Pages online and True Local will help you get found when your customers are searching online. However if you optimise your listing with key words and offers you can stand out from the pack!

3.Using social media to engage your customers and prospects is a must. Go where they are. Posting great information, resources, competitions and offers can all assist you build a loyal following.

4. Have an marketing strategy that uses your website, email and mobile to build a list to nurture is a very important objective. You can only build a relationship if people, know, like and trust you. It is all about pulling them to your service with great value.

To learn more about building a web presence visit our digital marketing page.

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