What is Pay per Click and Google AdWords advertising?

pay per click online advertisingPay Per click advertising is a strategy that’s not for everyone. Those who do use it and use it well enjoy increases in both traffic and sales, with complete control of cost. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads have become popular pay per click or online advertising programs with simple to use tools that make setting up a campaign very straightforward.

This post will outline what pay per click is, how much it costs and will look at how using Google AdWords can help you establish your own successful pay per click campaign.

What is Pay per Click?

Pay per click (PPC) is the online advertising vehicle where the advertiser pays for every time their ad is clicked. The advertisement will appear whenever it matches search requirements, known as impressions. When the advertisement is clicked by the searcher, the advertiser is charged – this is called the cost per click (CPC). The amount the advertiser is charged can work on a bidding system, so you might be charged different amounts each time, or a flat rate, depending on the company you go through. The conversion of impressions to clicks is known as your click through rate (CTR).

Research says that 20% of people will click on paid search results. Although that number doesn’t seem huge, depending on your category, getting onto the first few pages of organic search results can be a long process and if your category is highly competitive with big players, it can be extremely difficult. PPC gives you the chance to get on the first few pages of search results with a daily budget that you set.

We have had clients get on the first page spending just $14 a week and getting 82 click throughs. Another client spends $21 a week and gets 957 click throughs (2.68% CTR) operating in a very popular category but carefully selecting niche keywords.

How much does it cost?

PPC allows you to set a daily budget with each click through becoming a credit charged against that budget. Once the budget is exhausted, your ads will no longer appear. With PPC as stated above, you only pay when your ad is clicked. Your ad could appear 100,000 times and if it is only clicked once, you will only pay for the one click.(Although that would give you a dismal CTR and you would want to reassess your ads and your keywords to find out why you are not getting clicks).

The bidding system for PPC is based on an auction model, where keywords are bid on and the resulting rank in the paid search area is determined by the bid. Each keyword will have a different CPC as the popularity is different, therefore the bids will be different. E.g. Sydney flowers may be $1.50 for the top position where as Dubbo flowers may be $0.65.

If you operate in an extremely competitive category expect to spend more on your CPC. If you work in a less competitive category or drill down on keywords that match your product or service more specifically than other businesses, you may be able to secure a lower CPC.

Think of the bidding system like a silent auction. You can either state your maximum bid per keyword or make a general rule e.g. if I set a maximum CPC for any keyword to $0.80, the system will then use this information along with bids from all advertisers to determine who gets returned in the results and in what rank. The winner is charged the highest bid, not necessarily their maximum CPC. Just like on eBay; you might set your bid limit on that handbag for $200 but have the winning bid at $175.

Why Choose Google AdWords

google adwords toolsSometimes it seems the world is Google mad. Call it effective branding, but I generally use the word Google as though I learnt it on a flashcard as a toddler. I always find it interesting when in a movie or TV show they use Bing as their search engine; I see it as futile attempt to shift what already is second nature to many.

Like with all assumptions, sometimes you can’t help but stop and ask “really?” I was so pleased when I came across this Experian Report that stated Google accounts for 65% of all search activity. With the Bing group accounting for 29%, meaning all the hundreds of other search engines share in the reaming 6%. This left me feeling very validated about always wanting to “Google it” and for favouring Google AdWords for our own and our clients PPC campaigns over Bing Paid Search.

With Google accounting for 65% of all search enquiries, using Google AdWords gives you the opportunity to get in front of 65% of searchers. Google AdWords tools make it easy to set up a campaign with tested Keywords (read our post on Mastering Keyword and Keyword phrases for SEO), estimate the traffic it will bring and manage your bids and daily budget – allowing you to set your campaign and for it to self-manage.

We recommend checking on your campaign every few days to:

  • Review your keywords; which are getting the most clicks? Are there similar words or phrases you could add? Are there words with lots of impressions and no clicks? Should you pause them or check your ads to make sure they are maximising your keywords in the copy.
  • Review your ads; which are getting the most clicks? Can you create any news ads by mixing words from your two ads with the highest CTR?
  • Check your page rank; are you average past page 5? Do you need to increase your CPC bid to ensure a better page rank?

Running a Google AdWords campaign successfully requires constant monitoring and adjustment in response to the results you see. We loved this article by Melinda Samson on Copywritematters.com.au that takes the rules of online dating and applies them to your Google AdWords campagin.

My experience with Google AdWords and Facebook Ads

I was lucky enough to trial Google AdWords and Facebook Ads for free. I received a free $50 credit for Facebook Ads when I signed up for my website and Google AdWords has a $75 credit for all new accounts running (we have a Google AdWords package to help get you started).

I operate in a highly competitive category, dominated by big business; keywords I target include Small Business Advice and Marketing Consultants, each having bids up to $5. I found with my trial I needed a high daily budget, a high CPC bid and the results were average. On Facebook Ads however, I targeted interest groups and demographic information instead of keywords. I displayed my offer and not only got clicks, but got likes, resulting in a longer term relationship being established.

My advice is if you can find a niche avenue to explore, use Google AdWords. If you operate in broad categories, try Facebook Ads. If you are not sure which to try, go with Google AdWords, after all who can argue with $75 free advertising while you tread the water and test some results.

Until next week, P is for Pay Per Click and also Panic! It’s December 8 and I haven’t written my Christmas cards or started my Christmas shopping yet! Have you?

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au

Image 1 Source

Image 2 Source


Setting Goals and Objectives the SMART way

We have reflected many times through the ‘A-Z of Marketing’ on the fact that small business owners are time poor. When you are doing everything yourself, or with only a few people to help you use your time to get the job done, leaving not much time to plan.

Finding 10 minutes for setting goals and objectives can give a clear direction of where you are going and help keep the big picture clarified. This post will also discuss S.M.A.R.T goal setting, and give you a step by step approach to its implementation.

What are Goals and Objectives?

Goals and objectives are the desired outcomes or achievements for your business. They are formalised statements of everything you want (and need) your business to grow toward.

Goals provide a broad overall aim; they tend to be the long term, big picture. It is best to limit your goals to around 5 each year. You are unlikely to have the time or the resources to stretch further and the more you are trying to achieve, the less focus each goal receives.

Objectives are a specific aim or target that, when met, help achieve a goal. Several objectives may combine to achieve a goal.

Often a marketing objective is created to help achieve a financial goal e.g. A businesses goal is to ‘increase sales by 20% by end of 2012’, so a marketing objective is set to help achieve that goal; ‘grow mailing list to 10,000 subscribers by end 2012’ etc.

SMART Goals and Objectives

S.M.A.R.T is the acronym used in goal and objective setting; following is what it stands for and what it means to your planning:

Specific

When setting your goal or objective you need to be clear about what you want to achieve. Each goal or objective should have a single focus; that is, should only be concerned with one achievement.

What are you going to do? Grow, increase, decrease, develop, etc

Measureable

Goals and objectives are the road map for your business. If they are not measureable, it can be hard to determine if they have been achieved. A measurable goal is also easier to manage; we can check our progress and adjust our objectives to ensure we achieve our end goal.

The measurement needs to be quantifiable e.g. change in dollars, percentages, averages, counts etc.

Attainable

We all know how de-motivating unachievable goals can be, when the bar is set too high and there seems to be no possible way of reaching the goal, a majority of us will put it in the too hard basket and move on.

Set your goals and objectives so they can be achieved, but with a stretch, this will cement your commitment to the task.

Realistic

A realistic goal or objective is one that supports your businesses knowledge and skill base. It fits in to how your business works and it doesn’t require investment in time or money that is not available.

Often long term goals (3-5 year plans) are broken down into short term goals (annual plan) so that they become bite size pieces that are realistic. These short term goals are supported by objectives to give them day to day meaning.

E.g.

Long Term Goal

  • Be the #1 provider of business cards in Australia by 2015

Short Term Goal

  • Increase repeat sales by 20% by 30 June 2012

Marketing Objective

  • Increase customer loyalty by 25% by 30 June 2012 using a customer rewards program
  • Increase customer base by 15% by 30 June 2012 using a customer referral program
  • Send a promotional offer to every customer 4 times per year during the 2012 financial year
Timely

Giving your goal a deadline, draws a line in the sand. It gives you a definitive point where you have to stop and say “Did we make it?”

Whether it is weeks, months or years, a timeframe forces you to stay on track, it motivates you and for some of us last minute magicians, it’s the shove needed to get the job done.

Goal setting objective setting SMART

This infographic is great to print out and place somewhere in your work space to assist you in creating SMART goals and objectives.

To help get you into the swing of thinking SMART, here are some business goals rewritten as SMART goals

Goal SMART   Goal
Achieve   increased awareness by December 2011 Increase awareness by 5% by 30 December 2011
Grow sales to   $15k Grow sales to $15k by 30 June 2012
Increase the   market share we hold in key areas so that we are satisfied we are growing by   financial year end Grow market share a minimum of 10% in Sydney,   Melbourne and Brisbane by 30 June 2012
Increase our   profitability from $5k to $40k by December 2011 Increase our profitability by a minimum of $1k per year for the next   5 years; to be measured at each financial year end from 2012 – 2017
Get more   likers on Facebook and followers on twitter and readers on the blog Grow Facebook likers to 500 by 30 December 2011Grow Twitter follows to 300 by 30 December 2011Increase blog subscription by 20% by 30 December   2011

As 2012 approaches quickly, think of what you want to achieve. What goals and objectives will you set? Will they be SMART?

Until next week, O is for Objectives and also getting organised to grow your business in 2012.

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


New Products and your Marketing Strategy

New products are launched in droves every year and the simple reason is that nothing sells like ‘new’. New product development (NPD) should form a key part of your annual marketing strategy, with the need for new ideas and innovation to keep your business competitive.

This post will help you through the new product development process, to ensure you create new product that complements your current portfolio, fulfils a consumer needs and meets profitability expectations.

What is a New Product?

Well to start off cryptically, a new product doesn’t always have to be new at all. Further, there are few products that are truly ‘new’; most are a new version of something else that already exists. (I’m telling you that to take the pressure off a bit).

New products can be:

  • An existing product with a new feature or twist
    • E.g. GHD Hair straightener, now cordless
  • A product line extension
    • E.g. Cherry Ripe being extended into a Cherry Ripe Sundae
  • A redesign of an existing product
    • E.g. Mazda 6 2011 model vs 2009 model
  • (and least commonly) A new product
    • E.g. The rain triggered awning for your clothes line

Identifying a Need for New Products

In an ideal world, small business would have enough time to mimic its corporate sized comrades and spend a month every year, undertaking a complete review of marketing and promotions strategy and developing a marketing plan for the following year.

We know however that in small business, time is consumed doing business and not necessarily developing business. The likelihood of you sitting down to an annual review is slim (if you can find the time, check out our service plan in Get Competitive with your Competitors) so you may find that for your business, identifying new products happens on an ad hoc basis.

Reasons why you may need a new product can include:

New Product Development (NPD) Process

In my last corporate role, I spent three years as Brand Manager working 80% on NPD. It would take up to 18 months from initial idea to development to product to the product appearing in store. The problem with big business is that there are so many people who have to sign off, that things can move very slowly. The motivation here for you and your small business is that with a good idea, you can be quicker to market; and with less overheads, be more profitable too.

5 Steps for Small Business NPD

1.Identify the market need

  • It is not enough to want to launch a new product because competitors are closing you out of the market or because your current product is slowly declining. You need to identify a market need. What can your new product bring to the market that consumers want or need?

2.Develop a prototype and cost it

  • A prototype can be as simple as drawing a picture with measurements and specifications, or sewing up a sample, or mixing up a batch, to as complex as working with a factory and paying to have a sample produced.
  • Developing a prototype is usually the step that precedes costing; once the prototype reflects what the product needs to look and perform like, you are then able to compile the cost to produce it.
  • When costing up your product, if it something you plan to make yourself, make sure you include a labour cost into your calculation. You may not pay yourself for every batch of cupcakes you make, but one day you might expand and need to pay someone, in which case you want that built into your cost.

3.Analyse your profitability

  • Once you have developed your prototype and costed it, you now need to set a retail price and assess profitability
  • You will want to set a retail price that allows you to wholesale it profitably. Again at first it may not be your plan, but you want to make sure you can profitably take this path if the occasion arises. Have a look at How to Measure Your Success  for tips on how to calculate Gross Margin and Wholesale Price.
  • A tip is to calculate your Gross Margin using the Retail Price, to give you an idea of how much you will make when you sell direct and then calculate using the Whole Price to calculate how much you will make if you wholesale. You want to be profitable at both points. Generally you should make around 50% gross margin when you wholesale, although as a small business you may be prepared to accept less.

4.Refine your new product

  • Based on the profitability you may need to remove elements from your prototype, seek out cheaper materials or brainstorm new ways to produce your product to have a profitable new product.
  • You should test your new product idea, if you can, with your target market to ensure it does meet a need and the purchase price is accepted. This can be through your Facebook page or design a survey through Survey Monkey and incentivise competition e.g. Complete the survey for your chance to win a $20 voucher.

5.Plan your launch

  • Assess if you need to run any existing products out, before launching your new product
  • Create a plan to tell everyone about your new product. It is essential you shout about your new news; use your social media accounts, send an email to your subscriber list, feature it on your homepage, send out media releases.
  • Run a promotion that benefits all your products, using the new product to boost overall sales. E.g. 50% off any other product when you buy our new personalised coffee plunger

New product development is an important part of your marketing strategy. ‘New’ brings consumers back to your brand giving them something different to look at; it keeps you competitive and growing and most importantly, it can have a halo effect on existing products.

Are you planning any new products for 2012, how did they come about?

Until next week, N is for New and also for planning your New Year ahead

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


How to Measure Success

In my very first blog post (5 Steps to Host Your Own Census) I made this huge confession:

“Being a passionate and dedicated Marketer, over the years I have become near obsessed with measuring; measuring results, measuring profitability and of course measuring the target market.”

So as M drew closer in the ‘A-Z of Marketing’ series I was filled with excitement and jotted on copious post-it notes the measurables I wanted to share with you.

Measuring your performance, not just financially, but also your connection with your consumer gives you a reality check. It uncovers the true effectiveness of your strategies and guides you in how to improve your business and stay ahead of the competition.

5 KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) for your Business

1. ROI (Return On Investment)

In the marketing sense ROI is used to analyse the profit on a campaign you have run, to determine the percent return on investment.The formula is:

Return on Investment Formula

This result would mean we had a 62.5% return on our investment. You will need to get a benchmark of what is acceptable for your own business and work to improve over time. A negative ROI means that you have lost money and in that case you would need to question the appropriateness of your strategy.

2. Wholesale Margin

Use this formula to determine the margin you are giving a retailer. Often the wholesale expectation sits between 45-55% of retail depending on the outlet.

Set the RRP you believe the market will accept for your product and then use this formula to calculate the wholesale margin you are giving to your retailer.

wholesale price formula

GST TIPS: To remove GST divide by 1.1, to add GST multiply x 1.1, to work out the GST component divide by 11

 3. GM (Gross Margin)

Use this formula to determine how much money you will make from each item you sell. As this is Gross Margin, we are only concerned with the costs associated with making the goods or service.

This is the key way we measure if a wholesale price requirement will be profitable for our business. The formula is:

gross margin formula calculation

4. CTR (Click Through Rate)

The CTR tells us how many people are clicking through (clicks) our online advertisement as a percentage of the total times our ad was shown (impressions). We measure CTR on the banner and badge advertising we do on websites and also when we undertake pay per click campaigns E.g. Google AdWords, Facebook Ads. The formula is:

Click Through Rate Formula

The CTR benchmark is different by business and will differ based on whether you operate in a broad or niche category. The DoubleClick Benchmarks Report, published in 2010  lists 0.10% as the CTR benchmark on static online ads.

5. CPV (Cost Per View)

We recommend our clients estimate a CPV when approached with an advertising opportunity. We are all often wondering “Should I advertise in this publication?” and “Is this advertising opportunity worth it? Measuring the CPV helps you to break down the advertising costs and assess them at a leads level. If you could buy a mailing list for $1,000 and it gave you 1,000 names you would say it was a $1 per sales lead. Similarly CPV is calculated with the formula:

Cost Per View

You would then evaluate the CPV against how valuable the lead is. Further you may want to take the distribution and cut it down to what you believe is your target market, e.g. the distribution is 20,000 of which 5,000 are your target, say Elderly Couples on the Pension, you then would work out the CPV against just your target:

2,500
5,000

=$2

 Your CPV has increased greatly, but with few mediums that get in front of that target and the targets affinity with local newspapers, we would say it is a reasonable CPV.

Check your Web Stats to Monitor Web Traffic

If you have a website (is it even worth asking anymore?) you may feel uncertain at times as to whether anyone visits it, if it’s working as hard as it can for you and most importantly, is it converting browsers into customers.

Your web stats are measuring every interaction browsers are having on your website, all you need to do is logon and analyse them.

The two stats we pay the most attention to are both functions of time. When we undertake a Website Effectiveness Audit, firstly we look at the Bounce Rate. This is given as a percent and tells us how many people landed on our page and clicked off (bounced) straight away. A high bounce rate tells you that the majority of traffic to your site are arriving and deciding instantly you’re not the right fit. Work on decreasing your bounce rate by improving your home page appeal or direct traffic to the page most relevant to them e.g. product page, location page etc.

Dwell Time, is the other time based base measurement we encourage you to look at. Once we remove the people that ‘bounced’, we want to know how long the rest of our traffic stayed for. These are usually presented in bands of time e.g. 0-30 seconds, 31 – 2 minutes etc. Again we want our traffic to stay as long as possible, browse many pages and convert. If you have a very low dwell time, work on engagement with your traffic, add more images, a video, a blog, FAQs, any valuable content that will increase the time your potential consumer spends on your site, getting to know you.

We run a Website Effectiveness Audit for just $49.95 which includes a “Traffic Light Report” on how your website is performing, please get in contact if you would like to know more.

When you set out to measure success you need to remember that success looks different to everyone (and to every business). The key is to benchmark against realistic targets for your business.  Focus on how to be more profitable whilst exceeding your customer’s needs and your business will continue to grow.

Until next week M is for Measurement and also for Making it to the halfway Mark in the A-Z of Marketing!

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


Long Live your Product (with Life Cycle Management)

Countless products are launched every year, landing in the market with a reason to be, a well thought out way to connect with the consumer and hope that the investment will pay off for the brand owner. But what comes next?

Product Life Cycle Management is the key to ensuring your brand thrives year in and year out. This post will help you understand its importance to your marketing strategy and give you the tools you need to identify the different stages of your products life cycle and strategies to maximise growth throughout.

What is Product Life Cycle Management?

I love a good analogy as much as the next marketer and this one was just too hard to resist.

Think of your product like roses in your garden, it is not enough to simply plant (your new product in the market), water it (with promotions occasionally) and expect it to flower year after year. At some point, its vitality is going to dwindle and you need to either deadhead them or dig them up and start again.

The product life cycle (PLC) refers to the stages a product travels through from launch to eventual obsolescence. Managing the PLC is an important part of your marketing strategy and guides you in adapting your approach by product, to ensure you are promoting, developing and phasing out products at the right time.

Four Stages of the Product Life Cycle

Product Life Cycle Management

1.      Introduction

This is identified as the launch stage of your new product.  Sales are increasing slowly, as there is currently limited awareness. Costs are high with large amounts of advertising and promotion required as well as the product development and production costs having been incurred.

The introduction stage will see your business operating at a loss and so this is the most critical stage in your product lifecycle, ideally  you want to move through this stage quickly. Understandably this is where the  highest percentage of failure occurs.

Strategies for success during the introduction phase:

  • Clearly define your market so that at launch you  are effectively targeting the consumer most likely to become your customer
  • Build a dominant market position, stand out from  your competition, don’t just be a “me too” product, have a unique reason for consumers to connect with over the competition
  • Pioneer something; be the first to launch, a true new product is rare but valuable (See Ideas and Innovation).
2.      Growth

Once awareness has increased and with an appropriate distribution strategy, you will identify that your product is in growth, which will be when you first break even (this will be discussed in next week’s post on Measuring Success) and begin to make a profit.

When your product is in growth, the market has accepted your product and consumers are trialling it. This is the time to increase your distribution to make sure you are matching supply of your product with demand.

During growth, naturally, competitors will enter the market. Noticing a new popular product will motivate them to launch similar products in order to capture some of the market (see Get Competitive with your Competitors).

Strategies for success during the growth stage:

  • Monitor pricing to ensure you stay competitive against new competitive offers
  • Confirm your actual customer matches your forecasted target customer and adjust your message. For example we have a launched a building and construction product for children, but on researching sales we find out it is popular amongst teens. We therefore want to ensure our marketing and promotions do not exclude teens by being too “childish”
  • Look for new distribution channels – use your sales history to sell the product in and growth your market share
3.      Maturity

Your product can be identified as being in its maturity phase when sales volume slows down and beings to plateau, that is becomes “stuck” at a certain level, stops growing and may be just slightly declining. This is the sign that action is needed or your product will begin to rapidly decline.

Products reach maturity for various reasons including competition reaching saturation, price wars giving unpredictable volume (this week’s special gets the sale) and the initial excitement for the product settling. This leads of course to a decrease in profit, both from a decrease in sales but also from an increase in promotional expenditure.

Strategies for success during the maturity stage:

  • Apple is the first company that comes to mind that demonstrates innovative product lifecycle management. Realising most mobile phone users are on 18 – 24 month contracts, Apple releases a new modified iPhone around every 18-24 months, by addressing that the current model is reaching maturity and releasing an update they effectively refresh the product lifecycle back to introduction and growth every two years. The result is a loyal following that feels they are up to date with the latest technology and will not move to a competitive offer
  • The Apple example illustrates the strategy of modify or relaunch. Create new news and interest around your product. Survey your customers (See Market Research ) to find out what is missing from your product; monitor your competition (see Get Competitive with your Competitors) and find out your competitive gaps; re launch your product to recapture market share and return your product to growth
  • Look for new users or new uses for your existing product and develop strategies to communicate and increase awareness for your product with these groups
  • Create new promotions, competitions and offers to maximise sales of your product while it is in its maturity phase
4.      Decline

This phase is identified by both a decline in sales volume and tapering off of profits. Allowing the product to reach decline should be strategic, meaning you identified the product in maturity and planned that it would not be refreshed, but instead would be deleted at some point in the future.

The choice to let a product decline can be as there is a new product planned for launch which will replace the current product but is not going to be positioned as an update or refresh.

Strategies to minimise loss during decline:

  • Minimise spending promotionally rather than trying to stimulate sales with competitions and discounts, allow sales to taper off naturally
  • Decrease the number of SKUs over time, so delete the worst performing sizes or colours first so you have a tighter offering in the market, then gradually run out of the product

The most important advice for using PLC management in your marketing strategy is to regularly review your sales volume and profitability; this is where the flags will be going up that will help you identify what stage your product is in, allowing you to plan your products life more effectively.

What stage in product life cycle is your product in? What are you planning to do, to maximise that stage?

Until next week L is for the life cycle of your products and also for the lifecycle of the rose, which evidently go from maturity back to growth every year, if only we could bottle that ability!

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


Mastering Keyword and Keyword Phrases for SEO

Keyword strategies to increase SEO (See J is for Jargon to decipher) is a topic I talk to almost every client about. This post will get you up to speed on what keywords are and how they should form the very basis of every online communication you make.

I have been looking forward to writing this post for a few weeks, as K was a letter in the “A-Z of Marketing” that I could easily define, meaning I didn’t suffer the usual deliberating. I hope my enthusiasm for this topic gets you motivated too.

What is a Keyword?

We can all define a keyword in its traditional sense:

“A word or concept of great importance”

Thankfully the use of the word in the world of internet marketing is extremely similar:

“A word used by a search engine in its search for relevant Web pages” (Source)

So you see Keywords in this sense, are words with great importance to you, your target consumer and your overall online success.

When your target consumer performs a search, they enter a word or series of words into their chosen search engine, then that engine searches for matches. If your web page is deemed rich in those words, you will be returned as an answer to the search question.  These words are what are labelled keywords and keyword phrases.

Now it’s important to note here, it is unlikely you will be the only website rich on those keywords, so there are more complex processes at work to decide who ranks where – more on that in an upcoming post.

Defining your Keywords

Choosing the right Keywords for your business is more difficult than it may seem.

Firstly, you need to put on your target consumer hat. Start thinking about all the ways your target consumer would label your product or service. Think about the solutions you provide, then as your target consumer,
imagine you are searching for that solution. You may be aware of it by name, or you may just search on your need.  Brainstorming for different keyword and keyword phrase ideas is a good exercise to undertake (See I for Ideas)

SEO Google AdWords KeywordFor example, if you sell Sharpie Markers, your keywords to focus on may be Pen, Marker, Purple or Sharpie. Your keyword phrases may be “permanent marker”, “freezer proof marker”, “pen to write on plastic”, “pen for labelling DVD” and so on.

Testing Your Keywords

When I work on Keywords for clients the first thing I do is open up the Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Firstly plug in your website and the tool will show you keyword suggestions based on your website content. If the keywords are aligned with what you do, fantastic – this means your website is already sending out the right message and may just need a tune up. If you the keyword suggestions seem largely irrelevant, you have a big hint as to why your traffic probably isn’t what it needs to be and you’ve got some work to do.

Then I pop in a few thoughts in the very top box for keywords and keyword phrases. The search results show your words grouped together and then show you lots of suggestions based on your words.

Look for keywords that return a strong volume of searches and medium to low competition, this is a mass marketing approach. Also look for keyword phrases that have low volumes of search and low competition. If 5,000 people search that keyword phrase a month and there is very low competition, you have  an opportunity to maximise your ranking against that keyword.

How to use Keywords for SEO

After you have defined and tested your keyword and keyword phrases, establish a top 3-5 list of keyword or keyword phrases you will focus  on. This list will form an important part of your SEO strategy.

On your Website

Ensure your website Title Tag, Meta Data and Meta Keywords (ask us about these if you’re new to this), are written within “the rules” of  length and use as many of your keyword and keyword phrases as possible.

On your homepage ensure you have at least one text box of information (text boxes are easily read by search engines, words in a picture are not). When you write this text use as many of your keyword and keyword
phrases as possible while still reflecting your brand’s tone and image (B is for Branding).

Using Google AdWords

If you decide to use a Google AdWords campaign make sure the keywords you target are linked back to the ads you write and are the same keyword and keyword phrases you have selected on your top 3-5 list.

On your Blog

Research keyword and keyword phrases relevant to every blog post you write and make sure you use them appropriately. This article http://www.propagandahouse.com.au/blog/seo-2/how-to-blog-for-seo-beginners-guide/ by Propaganda House helped me immensely and I am using Dan’s Blog Plan template as I type this.

So I can’t stress to you all how important keyword and keyword phrases are for SEO and for the success of your online presence. We are currently running a Wise Up to Search package to help small business with their keyword strategy and to trial Google AdWords (who are currently offering a $75 credit for new accounts). Please get in touch if you want to know more information about the package or about this post. I would also love to hear your Top 3 Keyword or Keyword Phrases.

Until next week K is for Keywords and also Key Lime Tart http://www.joyofbaking.com/KeyLimePie.html (why not?)

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au

P.s. A quick word on keyword stuffing before you go. Like all loop holes and quick fixes, some SEO companies a few years back recommended that people repeat their keyword and keyword phrases in large blocks at the bottom of every page on their website to “maximise SEO”. Unfortunately most search engines wised up to this and as result they wrote an algorithm that detects keyword stuffing (as it’s known) and will negatively rank sites that go down this path.


Business Jargon 101

Starting out in small business, we all find ourselves in conversations; whether they are about marketing strategies, sales strategies or just a ‘getting to know you’ networking chat, before you know it someone drops a 3 letter acronym and off your mind wanders trying to work out what on earth it means.

Welcome to Business Jargon!

This post will get you up to speed on the most common abbreviations and buzz words so you can drop your own J-bombs and feel nice and smug.

10 Useful Business and Acronyms

We marketers are by nature a talkative bunch, so it seems somewhat surprising that we want to shorten anything. However the temptation to create a three letter abbreviation gets the better of us. I remember starting at Revlon and being handed a glossary of terms for the business where they recognised they used so many acronyms that they had created a beginners guide!

  1. SEO Search Engine Optimisation – making improvements to your website so that it indexes high in search results
  2. SOH Stock on Hand – how much of your product or product components you currently have in stock
  3. WAHM / WAHP Work At Home Mum / Work At Home Parent – the extremely talented and overstretched business owners who run their business whilst wrangling toddlers, calming babies and making school lunches
  4. PPC Pay Per Click – online advertising where you are only charged when a user clicks on your advert. The ad will appear in the advertising network for free.
  5. CRM Customer Relationship (or Retention) Management – your marketing strategies concerned around getting repeat business. Think of FlyBuys as a classic CRM program.
  6. CMS Content Management System – a tool that lets us non-technical people create & update web pages without knowing HTML
  7. B2C / B2B Business To Consumer / Business To Business – used to classify your business type by who your end user is
  8. ATL / BTLAbove the Line Below the Line Marketing Above The Line / Below The Line – seen most often in job advertisements for marketers! The theoretical line separates the communication types. Traditionally ATL is mass media promotion such as TV and Print, BTL is more targeted promotions such as direct mail and in store promotions.
  9. eDM Electronic Direct Mail – preceding this we always talked about DM (Direct Mail), so cleverly a lower case e was placed in front, to play on eMail. eDM is when we email out promotional offers to our customers and potential customers
  10. UGC User Generated Content (which I would also class as a Buzz Word) – is all about interacting with your target market and letting them take (some) control of your brand and its activities. UGC can take the form of customer’s blogging on your behalf or customers uploading photos and videos to your social media spaces

10 Business and Marketing Buzz Word Definitions

Once you manage to navigate the acronym mine field, the next biggest jargon challenge you face are buzz words. These words change from year to year, but once a buzz word is deployed it seems to reach celebrity status with everyone finding an excuse to cram as many as possible into one sentence.

business marketing jargonWorking on a Brand Strategy document with a group of co workers last year we did our best to come up with the most powerful sentence possible. It went something like “We need to think outside of the square to leverage any white space opportunities, whilst fully capitalising on any low hanging fruit”. Understandably this was after days of workshopping and being fairly over it. I just came across this game from Malcom Auld which could have helped us get through. Click here to play along.

  1. Low Hanging Fruit – I believe I was exposed to this phrase in 2009. Unfortunately the person who used it paired it with a squeezing two imaginary pieces of fruit hand gesture, making it hard to keep a straight face
    when later repeating it. Low hanging fruit are the easy wins – the opportunities that will take minimal effort for you to action.
  2. White Space – Arriving in 2010 to replace low hanging fruit as the ‘must drop in a sentence’ buzz word in the office. White space (which I liked to whisper for dramatic intent) is the gap in the market; it’s something that no one else is doing and gives you chance to grow the market in both size and your share.
  3. Think outside the Square – We all know what this one means but it doesn’t stop it from being used, almost redundantly to suggest we need to be creative to solve our current problem. We need to come up with a solution that everyone else isn’t doing.
  4. Mind Shift  – Whether it is our organisation or our consumers, we often talk about needing a mind shift. A mind shift needs a different approach to thinking inside our business or it’s about our consumers being educated about a new way to meet their needs which will become their new norm.
  5. Blogosphere – Is the realm where all blogs exist on the internet. It sounds more impressive than straight out saying that.
  6. Reputation Management – Tracking what people are saying about you online and proactively responding to feedback, to ensure your online reputation is positive and reflective of your brand.
  7. Exit Strategy – This is the plan of what to do with product in the retail environment if it doesn’t sell. A new retailer may want to know if there is an exit strategy as part of their trading terms. The economic downturn really brought out exit strategy as a buzz word in sales meetings.
  8. Customer-Centric. We talk about creating a Customer-Centric business, meaning we want to focus on our customer, be the solution to their problems and put their needs as the objectives we need to meet.
  9. Webinar – Ok so this is a little less buzz word and a little more of a buzz strategy. A webinar is a seminar or presentation held on the web. Think of it as a mass video conference. People can watch from anywhere and it is usually available for viewing after the live event.
  10. Viral Marketing – Creating and executing a promotional element that is so exciting that it is sent out by consumers through their networks (In
    other words spreading like a virus!)

Buzz Words are always evolving and today’s hot ticket quickly becomes passé, so if you want to talk the talk be sure to keep up to date on the latest buzz words.

Now that you are up to speed on what’s what, we would love to help grow your business with our Wise Up and Grow report, where you fill out a BAT (that’s our Business Analysis Tool) and we give you some great advice on your SEO, help you identify your Low Hanging Fruit and think outside the square to ensure your CRM is on track.

Let me know if you have any great buzz words or need a 3 letter acronym demystified.

Until next week J is for Jargon (thanks Melanie) and also for the Jigsaw puzzle (thanks Katrina) we are all putting together as we Journey through the A-Z of Marketing

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


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