YouTube Is Developing A New Version For Kids Under 10

YouTube Is Developing A New Version For Kids Under 10

One of the dilemmas parents face letting their kids use YouTube is that they can easily access content that’s not suited for them. YouTube has now come up with the brilliant (no sarcasm) idea to make a separate version of their website for kids 10 years and under. And they would also be encouraging content creators for content that fits the age group. Makes total sense because a lot of parents I know won’t let their kids go on YouTube. Now that could change. We all know that the kids movies make boku bucks at movie theaters. So kids content on YouTube could do just as well. For marketing, it presents a great opportunity to reach this age group on a massive scale.

Read More
Google Finally Unveils “Smart Watches” That Connect To Internet

Google Finally Unveils “Smart Watches” That Connect To Internet

They’re finally here!! Google finally has unveiled it’s much anticipated “smart watch”. Watches that little display screens that act like mini computers. Even smaller than cell phones! We’ve already seen how much smart phones have taken off. So it’d be a wise assumption that the US consumers will adopt the watches in the same way. So for us marketers, making sure our websites are “smart watch” compatible and show up properly on watches will become a new part of the job description. To me, the more devices there are out there that connect to the internet, the more website traffic and online marketing opportunities there will be : )

Read More
Is Native Advertising Worth The Premium Cost?

Is Native Advertising Worth The Premium Cost?

For those that have heard of “native advertising”, I’m not convinced of its effectiveness. And I’m not the only one. An ad is an ad is an ad is an ad. And just because you trick someone into reading your ad cause they think its a part of the content on the website they’re reading, doesnt mean that the ad is more valuable than a typical banner ad. I’m not saying native advertising doesn’t work at all. I’m just saying its not worth the premium price publishers are charging for it right now.

Read More
Content Gets You On Google’s 1st Page In Organic Section

Content Gets You On Google’s 1st Page In Organic Section

The search engine optimization (seo) people are funny. Years ago, I decided to stop being one of the SEO people that look for shortcuts to get on Google organically. I decided that if anyone was going to pay Customwave for SEO, we would focus on content. Because throughout all the years of existence, Google has always and will continue to always reward websites with superior content. But there are still people looking for flaws in Google’s algorithm to give them a shortcut. It’s a teachable moment because i think it says something about society in general. A lot of people would rather spend a whole bunch of money going from temporary shortcut to temporary shortcut having mixed results. Rather than putting out hard work that is tried and true that produces way better results. Usually the most successful people in business are those that work the hardest. Not those that are always looking for ways to work less.

Read More
Marketers Win By Interpreting Change

Marketers Win By Interpreting Change

Very thought provoking article on marketing: American Express CMO Jon Hayes explains that marketers win not by having best technology or knowing how to talk to consumers the best. He says marketers win when they’re able to best interpret changes in technology to figure out how best to use it. And interpreting changes in society to figure out how to tailor the message to consumers. Like its not about the ads themselves. It’s about figuring out the value of how to use the technology for marketing purposes. And how to custom fit the new process for each individual business. For instance, it’s key to understand with banner ads, the value is not in getting the clicks to produce immediate phone calls. The value is in branding in the area your potential customers are in.

Read More
By End of 2015, Half Of Google’s Search Advertising Money Will Come From Cell Phones

By End of 2015, Half Of Google’s Search Advertising Money Will Come From Cell Phones

By the end of 2015, half of Google’s search advertising money will come from clicks from smartphones. Soon after that, the majority of their money will come from smartphones. And everyday, I see some small business have a website that doesn’t show up properly on a cell phone. Let me make myself clear: how your website shows up for cell phones is more important than how it shows up on a desktop computer : O

Read More
US Teens Use XBOX ONE & PS4 More For Internet Than Video Games

US Teens Use XBOX ONE & PS4 More For Internet Than Video Games

When I read the headline from eMarketer, I was stunned. The retail price of an XBOX One is $500 and the Playstation 4 is $400. Yet, teenagers are using these video game consoles more for internet use on their TV more than the video games themselves.

What this tells me is that their is tremendous demand for internet usage on the consumer’s TV. And it presents a tremendous opportunity for internet marketers and small businesses alike.

Back in the early 2000’s not many small businesses had websites. So getting one was a big deal and gave the business with a website a big advantage over the competition. Then around 2006-2008, we were getting to a point where most small businesses had websites, but not many were actively advertising and marketing their websites to get website visitors.

Fast forward to 2014 and virtually every small business desires to be on Google’s search engine in an attempt to market their website and try and get more business. But making money off Google has become more difficult with increased competition and limited real estate on Google’s first page.

I believe the new frontier for small businesses is in local, geo-targeted, banner advertising on websites throughout the internet. Right now, not many small businesses are doing it, but soon they will be.

And not only is there great opportunity because the advertising is inexpensive. Or from the lack of competition.

The opportunity is great because of the coming explosion of website traffic from people using the internet on their TV’s.

In the next 5 years, internet traffic and eyeballs on websites will skyrocket not only from mobile devices like cell phones and tablets, but also from people using the internet to watch their TV content.

And the more traffic there is, the more the cost of the advertising will be driven down due to such a large inventory of eyeballs.

This study from eMarketer illustrates the coming boom of online display, banner advertising.

Read More
What Makes A Website “Good”? Might Not Be What You Think

What Makes A Website “Good”? Might Not Be What You Think

Back in 2003, Customwave originally started as a web design company where small businesses wanted us to design the nicest looking, fanciest websites. Why? Because the theory was back then that the nicer the website looks, the more likely the potential customer turns into a customer.

But in 2014, things have changed.

What makes a website “good”, depends on the goal of the website. What you want the website to do. Let’s first look at the website where small business owners want to get more phone calls from potential customers.

The goal of the website would then be to get the highest conversion rate between website visitors to phone calls. So whatever changes and tweaks done on the website to increase that conversion rate from 10%-20% is what makes the website “good” in this case.

And a lot of times, the design and fanciness of the website have nothing to do with the conversion rate. I repeat, a nice looking website doesn’t necessarily mean the website converts well.

In my experience, 2 of the biggest factors in high conversion rates is that the website is super simple. Where the navigation is easy. Why is that so important? Because lots of older people, or people not computer savvy might know how to turn the computer on, they might know how to get to Google, but once people get to the website, they still have a hard time finding what they’re looking for. Thus, the more simple the site, the easier it is for everybody to find what they’re looking for. Especially the phone number!

The other most important aspect in 2014 is that the website is mobile friendly, meaning the website operates well on cell phones and tablets like the ipad. A lot of people aren’t aware that if the website isn’t mobile friendly, Google won’t even show it on it’s search engine.

A lot of the older websites, and when I say older I mean like 2008, 2012 that have flash elements, slider graphics, a lot of those don’t show up well on mobile devices. And that could make your conversion rate from mobile website visitors to phone calls really small. Which would make your website “not so good.”

With other websites like shopping carts, it’s all about the conversion rate between website visitors to actual sales. With other websites that just want you to fill out a form, it’s about the conversion rate between website visitors to form fill outs. Get the picture?

A website is only successful when it does what you want it to do. Not because it looks the way you want it to look.

Read More

Internet Marketing Secrets Revealed. This Is How You Can Make Clients Money.

Too many internet marketing firms want to have plausible deniability when it comes to a client’s sales. Whether it’s search engine optimization, paying Google per click, too many in our industry want no accountability for the actual results. I actually used to be the same way, back in 2005, 2006, 2007,  just learning the ropes.

Most of the time, when internet marketing companies don’t have proper tracking in place to know what types of results they’re getting, it’s because they’re not confident in their abilities to increase a client’s sales. Therefore, they stick their heads in the sand not wanting to know the actual results. Again, when i was younger, I used to be the same way.

The thing I’ve learned is that it’s not enough to just advertise someone on the internet, specifically on Google. It’s not enough to just get someone phone calls. To really succeed in this industry, you need to help your client’s make more money. At the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters.

Now someone might say, well, we can’t control whether a website visitor makes a decision to call the client. And that part is true. However, the thing you can control is the quality of the phone calls and email leads. Some months there will be a few more calls, some months there’ll be a few less, but as long as the quality of the calls are good,  the client should still be able to get new customers and make more money.

A lot of companies in our industry do a pretty good at client acquisition, landing new small business customers. But many of those same companies do a terrible job at client retention, keeping those small businesses for any longer than a year. The reason why companies like Reach Local and Go Daddy aren’t dominating even more than they are is because they constantly lose clients because they focus on advertising. They don’t focus on making the small business client money.

And how could they? This industry is so new and so young, there’s not enough people that know what they’re doing to take care of all the demand. Colleges are just getting around to starting to teach internet marketing, but because this industry is fluid and changes rapidly every year, their information is often times outdated and obsolete. Most small businesses that work with someone in a call center with limited experience, training, and knowledge have a bad experience. Therefore, the small business cancels after the contract is over.

So as internet marketers, what exactly can we do to help our clients make more money? How do we do that?

You have to focus on the quality of phone calls and sales leads. Decrease the junk leads as much as possible.

Every business is different. And for every business, they will want a specific type of customer. Find out what type of customer they want. Then get really specific on which keywords you target to make sure you get them the right type of call.

Find out the schedule of when they want to be advertised. If the client is getting clicks at 2am in the morning and doesn’t have anyone to pick up the phone at 2am, you don’t want to be advertising them at that time. Only advertise the client when they’re in a position to answer the phone or return email quickly.

Find out which devices they want to advertise on. Some businesses will find it more valuable to be advertised only on cell phones, versus all devices. Or only computers and not cell phones.

There’s a world of opportunity in our industry. The vast majority of internet marketers are not doing that great at their job because what we do is so brand new and we’re still trying to figure it out. But the people that will really succeed in the next 5-10 years will be the internet marketing companies that can RETAIN small business clients. KEEP them. Have them advertise with you for years and years. And the only way to do that is to help them make money from your work.

 

 

 

Read More

Review Websites Going Extinct?

Seems like the reviews industry could have some problems. Nielsen recently raised red flags with their annual “trust in advertising” survey.

The most startling thing in the data was that over 40% of people said they were skeptical of online reviews. Even on “trusted” review websites like Trip Advisor and Yelp.

Seems like people in the mainstream are catching on to the fake review problem that’s out there. Where business owners will sometimes leave positive reviews for themselves and sometimes competitors will leave negative ones.

To me, there’s no real quick fix solution here. Even with Yelp, who has a “review filter” that is supposed “filter and remove fake reviews”, most people would say it’s not effective. Small businesses have famously cited Yelp for sometimes even filtering and removing real reviews left by real customers, while publishing and keeping fake negative reviews.

I think as more and more people in the mainstream become aware of this, review websites will lose their value. That if people don’t know which reviews are real and which are fake, what’s the point of visiting the website.

There is a real danger that these review websites that have sprung up and had success in the last 5 years or so will find themselves in serious peril and danger of going the way of the dinosaurs. They need to figure out a solution that will do a much better job of figuring out which reviews are legitimate and which ones aren’t.

Read More