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Why small business owners need Google Analytics

Do you care about your online storefront?

Sometimes your business website is the first thing potential customers will see.

Consumers may come to your website as part of their research, to decide if you are a credible business, to check your store hours and/or prices, and to learn more about your products and services. In fact, 70 percent of U.S. households now use the Internet when shopping locally for products and services, making your business website an important factor in potential customers’ purchasing decisions.

So, do you know if your current retail website is bringing in business? 

Track your marketing ROI with analytics

Gone are the days when you couldn’t measure if the increase in sales was due to your new website, newspaper ads or just good fortune. You no longer have to guess if your marketing strategy is working or if you are flushing money down the toilet.

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Topics: Local Search Engine Optimization, Analytics solutions, metric analytics, mobile optimization, website, Google Analytics

5 Big Business Ideas for Small Businesses

Small business owners, drive traffic to your business by doing what the big companies do and watch your bottom line grow!

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Topics: Small Business Marketing Advice, Small Business

Don’t Wait—Investigate: 10 Critical Questions to Ask Before Buying Into a Franchise

Don’t Wait—Investigate: 10 Critical Questions to Ask Before Buying Into a Franchise
by
Wendy Darrow

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Topics: Franchise

7 Digital Marketing Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Franchises

By now, you know what a successful business owner looks like. 

Whether it is on Forbes, BusinessWeek or the weekly business column of the local paper, we’ve all read articles about what makes a successful business owner.

Qualities like an ability to take calculated risks, leadership, understanding your customer and great management skills, seem to always make the list. 

Great leaders build great businesses

As a franchisee, you are the pillar that holds your business together, both at the store and behind the scenes. You have to supervise your employees, check inventory, update menus, and manage payroll and other utility bills, as well as a myriad of everyday tasks, like digital marketing, that require some attention.The most successful franchisees are those with the ability to recognize when they need help.

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Topics: Social media, digital marketing, Local Search Engine Optimization, email marketing, marketing strategy, mobile optimization, Google AdWords

Why your business needs Google AdWords

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The average American has an attention span shorter than a goldfish.

Over the past decade, our ability to concentrate has declined from 12 minutes in 2000 to a shocking 8 seconds in 2013. This decline in concentration coupled with modern technology has changed how people make purchasing decisions and ultimately what counts as effective advertising.

There was a time when TV or radio was the primary way that people learned about products and services. However, a recent study by Marketing Charts shows that we watch less live TV and listen to less radio. Instead, we are exceedingly using smartphones, and streaming shows online on Hulu, Netflix and other on-demand entertainment services. 

As a result, when thinking about how to advertise, businesses are not only concerned with peoples’ shorter attention span, but also that more than ever before people are in control of what they pay attention to.

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Topics: Google AdWords

5 Dos and Don’ts for Managing Online Reviews

We’ve all heard of the saying, your reputation precedes you. In the digital age, the success of a business, even one with a loyal customer base, is increasingly dependent on its online reputation.

Your business has control over some aspects of its online image, mainly, its website and social media pages. But you can’t control what customers say about you on review websites and social networking platforms.

But just because you can’t control what people say, doesn’t mean that you can’t manage what happens after.

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Topics: Social media

E-mail Marketing — Deploying the Queen Bee in your Marketing Arsenal

Nowadays, it’s scripture that every business needs a social media strategy. If all the digital marketing tactics like search engine optimization, social media, digital advertising were to have a prom, social media would win prom queen. 

But, does social media deserve all the attention it’s getting? Is it time we look for a new prom queen?

There is no disputing that Facebook and other social media platforms are critical tools for your business’s marketing plan. Consumers are increasingly tech-savvy and your business’s reputation greatly depends on your social media presence and engagement with them. 

However, It’s time to shine the popularity light on other marketing gems that can increase store traffic and sales, specifically, e-mail marketing.

Why, exactly?

E-mail is the key to capturing prospects and nurturing them into customers.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an e-mail marketing message. Moreover, e-mail marketing has an ROI of 4,300%.

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Topics: email marketing

Why Your Businesses and Franchisees Need to be on Social Media

Nowadays, it is common sense that a business should have some social media presence. 

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Topics: Social media

Five Elements to Include When Running a Competitor Analysis

It’s always good to keep a pulse on how the competition is doing. It can help you gauge how far ahead or behind your own sales and marketing efforts are. It can also tell you what you need to implement to keep up or even stay ahead of the pack.

Sales numbers are not the only telling factor; and besides, that information is pretty hard to come by. On the web, almost everything is an open book, including your competitors’ digital marketing performance.

Spying a little is healthy. Looking at your competitors can also open your mind up to new opportunities you may not have pursued before. To put it simply: it’s a great opportunity; with all the tools on the web that allow greater transparency, why shouldn’t you?

Here are our top six channels to look at when you want to run a competitor analysis and what to look out for in each.

Your competitor’s website

How up-to-date are the websites from the competition? Look at how user-friendly they are, how easy it is to look around, and if the websites use calls-to-actions effectively to encourage you or other visitors to share their email contact for marketing follow-up. It’s not only good to keep tabs on any new products or services they offer but also to see if they implement any new website designs or refreshes recently. While you’re at it, you can also sign up for their email lists to see what types of messages they send to their customers and prospective customers, or if they have implemented drip email marketing campaigns.

Social Media Accounts

Are your competitors active on social media? This presents another great opportunity to spy on them. Tracking the competition on social media is not just about checking to see how many likes or followers they have. It’s a good opportunity to gauge how interesting they are. Look at their posts and try and see what types of messages get the most engagement. Check to see what social networks get them the most engagement and the hours that your competitors are posting. It could help you to come up with different ways to connect with your own followers.

Content marketing efforts

What platforms or channels do your competitors favor for their content marketing efforts? Do they do video? Blog posts? Or email marketing? Are their posts educational, informational or just bland? If your competitors are doing a great job at content creation and distribution, this will give you a quick glimpse at what tactics you can borrow and add to your own. If there is a noticeable gap in how much content they create, it can be a great opportunity for you to start filling in the missing gaps.

Digital Ads

You won’t be able to tell exactly how much your competitors are spending on their campaigns, but nowadays, with tools like SEMRush, you can come fairly close. If your competitors run online ad campaigns, you can find out what keywords and ad text they are using, and guesstimate how much of their traffic is from AdWords versus organic (non-paid for) rankings. Maybe you are currently running ad campaigns and are missing out on some great keywords you can target, or you are considering trying out a campaign this year, running a competitive analysis on their advertising campaign will give you insights either way.

Search Engine Rankings

Search engine rankings are fairly easy to find using a whole suite of tools, some of which were mentioned in our previous post on four tools to track your competition. Check not only how well their website’s credibility stacks up against yours, but also their backlinks. How many times and from where people are linking to their website on the web? What types of content gets them the most links, or which major websites are sending some traffic their way? If you have not been taking your backlink efforts seriously this could be an eye-opener.

Local Search Rankings

How complete are their store profiles on the web? Do they have more or less reviews in comparison? Local search is increasingly becoming more and more important as smartphone use becomes ubiquitous to your customers’ daily lives. Local search rankings are just one of the ways you can make your potential customers find you first versus the competition.

Online, you can find out almost anything about your competitors

That’s a good thing. It can help you gauge how you are performing and show you gaps in your current efforts. But make sure that if they search your business, they don’t find gaps they can take advantage of as well.

PureDriven currently offers a free competitor analysis as part of the Complimentary Web Overview.

Click here to learn more about getting your free website analysis.

 

Image credit: Casey Flesser

 

 

Daisy Quaker is a Digital Marketing Manager at PureDriven. She is passionate about inbound marketing and marketing automation. Connect with her on Twitter (@daisyquaker), or LinkedIn.

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Topics: Internet marketing

How to Partner Successfully with a Digital Marketing Agency in 2015

It’s a time for resolutions.

Are you setting SMART goals for the new year?

Digital marketing is playing an increasingly bigger role in helping businesses reach their prospects and customers. Partnering with a digital agency can strengthen your web presence and bring a fresh set of ideas and perspectives to boost your marketing power.

But working with a digital marketing agency can pose its own set of challenges. Here’s how you can make the partnership work.

Outline your goals clearly

Everyone wants growth and increased revenue, but what does that look like for you? It’s not enough to say I want more clients, or I want more website visits. You need to use hard numbers to gauge how you performed last year and how much you need to improve this year.

Setting SMART (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timely) goals will guide your digital agency in constructing a strategy, including a timeline of checkpoints, that will achieve results.

Download our free SMART Goal-Setting worksheet to get the process started.

 

Spend time educating yourself and your team members

You don’t have to know everything about digital marketing, but a basic understanding of how digital tools work and what functions and benefits each tactic offers  has huge benefits. Ease friction and frustration down the road for both you and your agency by being able to clearly articulate your needs.

To learn about how digital marketing works, and how each component fits in, sign up for our inbound fishing course.

Know your budget

When it comes to digital advertising, you get what you pay for. Understand the differences in cost between service tiers and what you can expect to receive with X amount versus Y amount. Inquire how your agency intends to spend your budget and what initiatives will yield the best return for your business or organization.

Communicate often

Keeping a steady line of communication is critical. Touch base often; hiccups can be caught and resolved efficiently when you are in frequent contact with your digital agency. Most agencies will provide a client relationship manager who is your main point of contact (POC). At PureDriven, included with your POC are monthly review calls where we evaluate progress and results. You stay abreast of initiatives we are taking on your account and share any upcoming events, promotions or announcements that we can incorporate into your digital marketing efforts.

Understand trends and how they may affect your business

What trends does your digital agency see and how do they affect your business? In 2014, for example, mobile searches exceeded desktop searches for the first time in history. This has significant implications for local search and website optimization. If you’re planning a website redesign, you’ll need to incorporate a mobile-friendly website into the design or make your website responsive. If you’re looking to increase the amount of drop-ins to your location, you need to consider running mobile specific Google Ads.

Understanding how customer behavior is changing and the role technology plays in how people shop or search for services keeps you ahead of the curve. Be proactive: fulfill the needs of your customers or anticipate changes that you will need and budget for them.

Making 2015 your best year yet

The start of a new year is notorious for making resolutions that fizzle out midyear. Let this year be different: partner with a digital agency to assure you set SMART marketing goals, stay on track and achieve your goals by the end of the year.

 

Let's talk about getting more leads

 

Image credit: James Jordan

 

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Topics: Accelerated Lead Growth Program

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