Coming Soon: SEO for Apps

Coming Soon: SEO for Apps

For the last 10 years, the most important job for internet marketing companies working with local small businesses has been getting them real estate on the search engines so they can get calls.

But I predict that in the next few years, as more small businesses develop apps, that search engine optimization in iTunes and Google Play where apps are discovered and found will be crucial.

Especially for limo companies and taxi companies trying to compete with Uber.

If someone is looking for a “town car service” app on their phone, it’d be valuable to get your company’s app listed next to Uber’s.

Read More
Is Your Website Slow To Load? Google Could Soon Punish You

Is Your Website Slow To Load? Google Could Soon Punish You

*This is only, currently for people accessing the internet with cell phones and other mobile devices.

Google is now testing putting a “slow to load” icon next to websites that will be slow to load on cell phones.

Obviously this would be bad for companies with slow websites, but you should be redesigning your websites so they’re responsive or mobile friendly anyway.

Over half of all people now access the internet from mobile devices. So really, it should be a no-brainer to make sure you have some sort of mobile website.

But now, if you don’t conform, Google is going to punish you for it.

Read More
Promoting Coupons Could Be A Difference Maker

Promoting Coupons Could Be A Difference Maker

After digging through lots of data and consumer studies I think I’m starting to see an opportunity for clients to help them make more money.

One of those studies recently put out by research firm Forrester shows that 68% of consumers say coupons make it more likely someone becomes a first time customer and is likely to become a repeat customer.

It’s no secret in this economy, people love deals.

As a business, no one likes to give anything away for free decreasing the profit margin.

But if you need a ride to the airport. And you have no clue who to call. You go on Google and see a whole bunch of companies you’ve never heard of before. Then you see one of the companies has a special deal going on.

I’m convinced doing something like this will not only make the business stand out in a crowded search engine, but also make it more likely the customer comes back and does business with you again.

This area of promoting deals on ads in Google and on websites I think is one of the biggest opportunities for businesses to make more money off their advertising dollars.

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
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

Mobile Internet Use Now Surpasses Computer Internet Use

Jumptap and comScore recently released data for the past month that said internet usage from a mobile device (cellphones, tablets, etc) was at 51% and internet usage from computers was at 49%. Meaning that when marketing on the internet, their should be a sea change in philosophy and strategy.

For instance, building a fancy, animated website won’t really do too much anymore considering that those types of websites have a hard time showing up on mobile devices.  The goal now should be to build ultra simple and easy to use websites that can be easily navigated on any mobile device.

Mobile devices are no longer the future of marketing on the internet. They are now the present.

Read More

Most Local Florists Are Leaving Money On The Table

It’s like this in almost every small business industry. There’s only so much supply of internet marketers and way too much demand of all the millions and millions of small businesses that need help in just the most basic internet marketing needs.

I read an infographic by vsplash that showed that despite the rough economy, valentine’s day brings in billions of dollars of business. But unfortunately the small business local florists are leaving money on the table by not being found on the first page of Google, making it difficult for potential customers looking for florists in the local area.

The research shows that 45% of florists websites don’t have an address on their website, an astounding 40% don’t have a local phone #, and a ghastly 90% don’t have at least one photo gallery showing on their flowers! Unbelievable!!

There are many, many more industries in the small business community hurting and really needing help marketing themselves online. This, along with people more and more using their TV with the internet, is why most Wall St. and business analysts predict that the internet marketing industry is going to be seeing rapid growth in the next 5-10 years.

Read More