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Getting to Know Pay-Per-Click Advertising

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Getting to Know Pay-Per-Click...
Once you determine the keywords your target audience would search to find your type of business online, what next? Now, you need to understand the two ways your keywords will get your business found – via SEO or PPC.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means growing your page rank and popularity in search results organically, meaning you don’t pay anything to earn your position on a search results page. Pay-per-click (PPC), on the other hand, is where you pay to have your links displayed in search results by bidding on keywords.

Let’s cover the easier one first: PPC

Google is by far the most popular search engine for PPC, and its program is called AdWords. You pay per each time someone clicks into your link in the search results pages, after they’ve typed in a search term (keyword or phrase) you bid on. The keywords are auctioned off, and you bid for position to outrank others also wanting to show up for that keyword. Keyword prices vary greatly depending on their popularity, anywhere from a few cents to $50.

If you want that very first spot on the first page of the search results, you will be paying more per click than the advertisers below you, or those on the second and third pages of the search results.

The handy thing is you can control your budget and set parameters so you won’t spend over a certain amount per day, or week, or month.Let’s say you want to bid on a very popular, expensive keyword and show up high in the search results for one day, but your budget is $100. You can set it up in the admin tools to stop showing your ads once you’ve met that amount. You get to control your budget and the length of your ad campaigns so spending doesn’t get out of control.

We suggest that business owners with a new website or domain spend $100 to $200 on PPC to boost the new URLs. We’ve seen that getting started with PPC actually helps the website’s organic SEO rankings.

We also suggest the A/B test method – basically you run two different campaigns for PPC and compare the results. Comparing the two after a few weeks should tell you if one or the other brought you not only more traffic, but more quality leads. Are a certain set of keywords in one campaign converting to sales? Maybe the other campaign isn’t producing any leads at all. If the results for one campaign are not to your expectations, drop it and try another.

And just for fun, check out the most expensive keywords in Google AdWords: “insurance,” “loan,” “mortgage,” “attorney,” and “credit,” priced somewhere in the $40s - $50s per click!
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #GoogleAdwords #SERP #Keywords #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #PPC #Payperclick

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Fine-Tuning Keyword Choices for your Business

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
When thinking about the keywords that apply to your business, it might benefit you (and your budget) to take the “big fish in a little pond” versus the "little fish in a big pond” approach. What I mean by that is some keywords like “electric bike” are going to be more generic and generate a lot more results than a more specific version of the keyword, like “reliable electric bike.” Fine-tuning your keywords to include an adjective or a location may help reduce your competition in the search results pages. It creates a smaller pond of search results where you could end up getting noticed more easily – like that big fish.

Sticking with our “electric bike” example, what are some other ways to narrow the search term so we reduce the size of our pond? What are some good adjectives? I’ve already done a little research for you, and here are the search results:

electric bike- 23.5 million
best electric bike- 8.76 million
best electric bicycle- 6.35 million
cheap electric bike- 5.21 million
reliable electric bike- 2.17 million
affordable electric bike- 2.78 million

Now you see the drastic difference between searching “electric bike” and “reliable electric bike.” “What is the best electric bike brand” is a keyword phrase that gives 13.2 million results, showing up somewhere in the middle. But you can see even though the keyword itself is a several-word phrase, it’s popular enough to be searched by many people.

You can always research Google to figure out the best phrase combinations for your keywords, but you want to make sure those keywords fit your ideal customer base. As stated in my previous blog, if you choose the word “cheap electric bike,” you are not going to sell your bikes if they sell at a higher price than your competitors. People may click to your site, but they will bounce out just as fast if they were expecting another price point. You might leave them with an untrustworthy taste in their mouth too, which is never a good reputation to have in business.

Choose your keywords wisely – ones that are genuine and give an honest representation of who you are, what you sell, or what you do.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #GoogleAdwords #SERP #Keywords #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing

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How to avoid one of the biggest headaches of small business.

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How to avoid one of the bigges...
“Hanging out the proverbial shingle.” “Starting your own thing.”

Whatever you call it, a small business is one of the great American dreams. Who doesn’t love being their own boss, setting their own schedule and building something with your name on the door?

Sure, there’s risk involved, but let’s face it. Crossing the street is a risk. Venturing outside during flu season is a risk. Life is basically a never-ending game of risk-reward. And one of the biggest rewards of starting a company is the ability to turn your passion into your job. Why be an accountant with a passion for gardening, when you can start a landscaping business, right?

If only it was that simple. Building a business takes passion, but it also takes other things. Like web sites, web hosting, email marketing and that little thing called social media. And for a person who loves petunias but fears pixels, it can be well, paralyzing.

But fear not, great-American-small-business-dream-chaser. The best thing you can do for your company’s digital presence…is to not do it alone. Every hour you spend learning how to code a web site or dealing with domain registration is an hour you could be spending mastering your passion. Which is where your company’s potential truly lies. So focus on what you do best, and hand off the reigns of your digital presence to people who do it best. Even better, find a partner who sees the digital world as their passion. See how that works?

A true digital partner will not only get your business online, but they will help it thrive. So here are a few things to consider when picking a partner to manage your company’s digital ecosystem:

HOLISTIC DIGITAL SERVICES

A great web site is just the first step. After all, fancy design and a catchy URL won’t do much if it’s not seamlessly connected to your entire business, including billing, scheduling, customer retention and more. Make sure your partner has the capability to not only build and host your site, but to build in the connectivity your site will need to fuel your company’s growth.


RELIABILITY

If your site goes down, your business goes down with it. Make sure your site is built rock-solid for increased traffic, and hosted by reputable partners so that you never have to turn away customers. Because when customers have a bad experience, they usually become former customers.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Most importantly, look for a digital partner that will have your back when it counts. Who do you call when you need help? When are they available? If you have to call some other country only to deal with someone reading off a script who then shuffles you off into customer service no-man’s land, that’s not good enough. Your small business will be built on a foundation of personal connections and reputation, so demand the same from your digital partner. You need a digital concierge, not just an “IT guy.” They should know your name, and what keeps you up at night. If they don’t, find a partner who does.

If you are starting a small business, I applaud you, because you are truly the engine that drives this country. Of course, you will no doubt feel overwhelmed at times with all the hats you have to wear, so do yourself a favor. Hand off that big, shiny digital hat to a trusted partner who will look after your digital ecosystem. That way, you can focus on turning that passion into a thriving, rewarding business.

Mayumi Nakamura is President and CEO of Dreamersi, a full-service firm who builds and maintains stress-free digital ecosystems for small businesses.

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Defining your Audience, Refining your Keywords for Search Engine Ads

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
It’s more and more obvious that search engines are trying to show the most useful and relevant information to us, according to our online behavior. As I stated in my last article, when I searched “electric bike” on Google, I ended up getting 23.5 million results from it. But when I looked closely, I realized Google map displayed shops with reviews near my physical location, tailoring the search to me specifically.

Google can tell my location from an IP address (Internet Protocol address) – sort of like a telephone number for your computer’s internet connection. Every internet connection has an IP address consisting of four blocks of numbers ranging from 0 to 255. So, for example: 012.23.234.45.

The point is, it’s impossible for us to do a search that doesn’t take into account our location data – whether using your PC, smart phone or tablet. My search results will always be somewhat different than yours based on our IP address and past searches.

Now that you know how search engines work for individuals, let’s take a moment to figure out your potential customers. The combination of understanding both will help you pick out the right keywords for your online ads.

If you are an electric bike manufacturer, let’s start with your price point. If you have high-end bikes, your target audience must be able to afford your prices. On my own Google search, I see prices ranging from $300 to $7000! If you make and sell expensive bikes, most likely you don’t want to use the word “cheap” or “inexpensive” within your keywords because you won’t be attracting the right customers and you won’t see the return on your ad investment.

By this process of elimination, you’ve just begun “defining” your audience and “refining” your keywords. As we discussed in a previous article, knowing your target audience will really help you refine those keywords yet to come. In the next article, we’ll dig deeper into getting more specific with your keywords.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #GoogleAdwords #SERP #Keywords #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing

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Understanding the Behavior of Search Engine Result Pages

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
Before you can go to work picking out your keywords, first you need to understand that a specific keyword search may produce different results for different people.

Search engines have gotten very smart. They know our location, interests based on previous searches, purchases, and a lot more about us based on our online behavior over time. What does that mean to us? It means the example I’m going to use may give you different search results than it gives me.

For this example, I’ll use the keyword “electric bike.” To make things a bit less bias, I’m going to log out of my Gmail account and type for you what I’m seeing in real time:

So here I am on google.com, typing the word “electric bike” and Google tries to autofill other possible popular keywords as I type, like “electric bike reviews.” I stick with “electric bike” and get about 23.5 million results from those two words. That is a huge number. How can a business expect to be found even once by someone in such a big pool of results!

The search result page before me shows sponsored online shops selling electric bikes (so paid-for ads), as well as the wikipedia.org definition of electric bicycle on the side. And just below some top story news, I finally reach some “organic” search results, along with the Google map of local shops that sell electric bikes. If you search for “electric bike” you may see something similar with slight variations to something very different.

Now, if you’re in the business of selling electric bikes, what can you do to be found among all those results? We’ll start discussing that in the following articles…
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #GoogleAdwords #SERP #Keywords #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds

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Before your Business Goes Virtual, Know your Target Audience

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
People search the internet for information almost every single day. Equally important is the fact that small business owners use the internet to get in front of potential clients on a daily basis. More than ever, consumers and companies are being connected over the internet through virtual searches. So how, as small business owners, can you get in front of potential clients successfully? We’ll explore some ideas in November.

First thing’s first: the assessment period. Before you go virtual and buy ad space using keyword terms, you need to figure out the audience to whom you want to market your business. Being found online is a good thing, but not if you’re being found by a demographic of people that don't fit your target customer base. That only costs you money. So, ask yourself these questions to help pinpoint your ideal customer base…

1) If you are a new business owner, what was your motivation to start your business?
2) Why should people choose you?
3) Where should people find you?
4) If you are an existing business owner, who are your satisfied customers?
5) What are the demographics of your customers and repeat buyers?
6) How did they find you the first time?
7) What is your competition doing?

With social media at your fingertips, you may also learn more about your customer base simply by looking at the type of people who like or follow your page(s). As you answer the questions above and try to understand your customer base, here are some characteristics to consider:

- Age
- Location
- Gender
- Income
- Education level
- Marital status
- Ethnicity

You may have a broad range of customers within some of these characteristics and a very specific type of customer in others. Let's say you sell cosmetics --the gender of your customers is most likely women, but you may sell to a wide age range. If you sell high-end skin care products, the income level of your customers may reflect that. These are things to consider when pinning down your customer base. Once you have completed your target audience assessment, then you can move onto tuning up your keyword searches.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #VirtualBusiness #TargetAudience #Customers #Clients

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