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Promoting your Business on Facebook: The Basics

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Promoting your Business on F...
According to research, 1.86 billion active users are on Facebook. In other words, 1 out of 4 people on the planet has a Facebook account! On average, people spend 20 minutes a day on Facebook. No wonder Facebook is gaining ground as a platform for online advertising. Its ad revenue must be growing at a soaring rate.

I have to be honest, by the time this blog post is published, Facebook may have a totally different interface. They are constantly putting energy into building a very competitive and effective advertising platform for business. They update and upgrade their system frequently, so I will simply cover some basics instead of giving step-by-step instruction on how to set up your ad campaign.

Here are some ad promotions you can set up on Facebook:

1) Promote your Call Now button
2) Get more Website Visitors
3) Promote your Business
4) Promote your Page
5) Boost your Timeline Post

With each promotion, you can choose your “call to action” button such as book now, sign up, send message, learn more, call now and so on. This is a great opportunity for you to set goals and measure the success of your ad using Facebook “insights” on your business page to help you track the data.

Once you decide on your promotion type, you can also choose your audience. Unlike Google AdWords, Facebook, thru profiling, can provide you with very targeted audience options. The possible demographics you can customize include:

-Gender
-Age
-Location
-Interests

Facebook allows you to target people with specific business, hobby or lifestyle "interests" based on keywords or phrases you choose. Again by profiling, Facebook will place your ad in front of people who have clicked ads, or liked posts and pages that are relevant to the interests you chose for your ad. For example, PSPINC might run an ad on Facebook and choose keywords like "small business," "web development," and "websites" to target potential clients with these interests.

After customizing the target audience for your ad, you will set your daily budget and the duration of your campaign. When you choose the daily budget, it will also show you an estimated ad reach of how many people will see it.

Regardless of the media and method you choose, you must have goals in place and a strategy for your campaigns. Determine how you can tweak the next campaign if the last one didn’t give you the results you want. Try a new age range, new keywords, limited or broader location targeting, a more appealing graphic, or a different call to action. Test different campaigns on social media as you would on a search engine. Without being actively involved in your campaigns, tracking and adjusting as you go, you will not likely get a satisfactory return on your investment.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #Facebook

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Get Started with Online Ad Campaigns

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Get Started with Online Ad Ca...
Google AdWords is an easy, user-friendly platform with several options available for advertising your company. You can choose to use search ads, display ads, video ads, app ads, any or all of those, however, unless you’re a programmer or a company with a mobile app, don’t bother with app ads right now.

Search ads are text ads that get displayed in search engine results pages, and display ads are banner ads that get displayed on Google’s partner websites. You may have suspected this, but video ads will be displayed with YouTube (now owned by Google).

Google also has a tool called AdWords Express. It is a setup wizard where you simply answer some questions to get started advertising in the search engine. You’ll answer easy questions, write a basic ad, and Google will deliver it to your target customers. The steps to get started are easy to follow and setup takes about 15 minutes.

If you wish to have multiple campaigns testing a wider variety of key search phrases, ads, and demographics, you may want to consider using Google AdWords’ traditional dashboard. It gives you more controls for measuring and tracking conversions, choosing specific keywords, and targeting a specific demographic of people.

It was only 10 years ago when Google and Yahoo were dominant in the field of online advertising, with their main focus on search ads (text ads). But today, social media is getting a piece of the pie, with sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter offering their own sponsored ad space.

When you compare the two giants, Google and Facebook, you find that Google has a reach of 2.6 billion users while Facebook has 1.28 billion users. Facebook can target users’ interests and behaviors based on their likes and shares, whereas Google is more proficient at targeting by location and search terms. Though Facebook does not have a search engine feature for ads, it is gaining more ground with display ads throughout its network.

Whether using social media or search engines or both, you have a lot of easy tools to choose from for your online advertising campaigns. Have a strategy for your campaigns, set your goals, track your conversions and fine tune things as you go. You can only see success if you put some effort into tracking and making adjustments as you go.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #CostPerClick #PayPerClick #CPM #Adwords #Facebook

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What are Display Ads v. Search Ads?

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Photo Credit: questechie.com Photo Credit: questechie.com
When it comes to advertising in search engines, you can choose between text ads (sometimes called search ads) and display ads. In a pay-per-click campaign, your text ad is shown in a search results page when someone types in a keyword or phrase you bid on. Next to the paid ads you may notice “Ad” or “Ads” in Yahoo and Google, but they look a lot like the organic search results (i.e. title, URL, and description). Thus, it’s easy to get confused between the paid ads and the organic search results.

Display ads are not the same.

Display ads are graphic images or banners that show up on popular websites that have leased ad space. The display ads will show up for people based on contextual targeting (keywords they’ve searched) or behavioral targeting (websites they’ve browsed).

For example, you have probably seen ads for something similar to what you’ve searched for in the recent past. If you’ve visited websites about cars, you’ve probably seen car-related ads while browsing sites like Facebook or YouTube. If you’ve searched online for "tax advice," don't be surprised if at some point you see a graphic ad pop up for a company like TurboTax or H&R Block.

Another popular form of advertising is called “remarketing.” Remarketing is when you pay to have a display ad appear in front of people who have already been to your website and seen your products or services. If you've recently viewed a product on Amazon.com, you might see a sponsored banner ad for that same product while viewing Instagram or Facebook. These remarketing ads generate quality leads from people who already have interest in your product or service.

People feel comfortable with brands they are familiar with so one way to build that brand awareness is through display ads. You can set your display ads to show over time so your potential customers will be reminded of your company periodically. Having said that, the effectiveness of your ad will largely be based on having a visually appealing graphic that tells the story of your brand. If you want the clicks, make sure your ad is professionally designed with the right messaging to attract your target demographic.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #SEM

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How to Track your Online Advertising Campaigns

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How to Track your Online Adv...
Advertising, online or offline, is only the starting point of your marketing campaign. You can’t reach your full potential for success without a mechanism to track and understand your campaign performance. Without tracking, you can’t measure your return on investment, nor will you know what’s working and what’s not working, or what adjustments you can make to do better. So, let’s go over the key things to know about analytics for your website:

Website Traffic

Most web hosting services, such as PSPINC in Bellevue, give their customers analytics data in order to view their web traffic sources. Our Dreamersi web hosting platforms come with analytics data built in. If you have a company website, I assume you also have analytics too, but if you don’t, you should stop everything and get it. First check with your web hosting company, but Google Analytics also has a free tool you can use. You will want to know if your traffic has increased or not after your ad campaign goes live.

Visitor Demographics

You will want analytics that can show the demographic of visitors coming to your site. It’s a good idea to compare your site visitors before the campaign went live and after to see if you’re bringing in your target market. With certain analytics in place you may be able to track where people live, ages, genders and more. And hopefully your campaigns are reaching the type of customers you want to target.

Click Through Rate

Click throughs are measured with CTR: Click Through Rate. The CTR is important to your online advertising because it tells you how many people were enticed to click on your ad per how many people saw it. If you do not have a good CTR, that means your ad campaign, your message, offer, or visual should be adjusted to attract potential customers.

Conversions

Conversions can be defined by your own goals. For those who click your ad links or banner ads, what is your main goal for them? Is it for them to call you? Is it for them to visit more than three pages of your site? Whatever you define as your goal for your campaigns, you will need to track that performance. So, of those visitors you brought through click throughs, how many of them took the action you wanted will help you determine your conversion rate.

Cost Performance

Take the numbers above, and divide the actual dollar amount you spent on your campaign. That will give you cost performance indicators. For example, if you got 1000 new visitors, costing you $1000, and 10 of them actually sign up for your inquiry forms, your cost performance is: $1 per visitor and $100 per lead. Now you can determine if $100 per lead was reasonable for your business.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #Analytics

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Defining CPM, CPC and CPE in Online Advertising

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Defining CPM, CPC and CPE in...
Unlike print or TV ads, where the price of an ad is based on its circulation, many online advertising costs are based on other measurements such as click, impression or other engagement. Generally, online advertising costs can be better monitored and controlled.

With any form of advertising, the broader the reach of your ad may decrease the efficiency of your ad, meaning you may not get the quality leads you want for the big price tag you paid. Quantity over quality. The opposite is also true if your ad is too narrowly targeted; you may lose opportunities to reach the right people. Something to keep in mind as you try out various online advertising campaigns.

Here are some of the cost models you should understand when considering online advertising:

CPM - cost per mille, or cost per thousand

A per mille (in Latin) means per 1000, therefore CPM means cost per one thousand impressions. In other words, you pay per every thousand times your ad was shown to someone, regardless of whether it was clicked on or not. This model is mostly used in display ads such as banners, and is used for broader reach advertising purposes. The same term is also used in other traditional media. With a CPM model you truly have to have that larger audience to make your ad most effective.

CPC - cost per click

CPC is getting more popular and well-known thanks to Google AdWords. Cost per click means you simply bid on a search term (relevant to your business) so an ad for your company website will show up among the search results. If your ad gets clicked, you pay. For example, if someone searches on Google for “Seattle web hosting company” and our ad shows up as a sponsored link because we bid on that search term, we will be charged if they click into our site. In CPC, you can pay the highest bid price for the keyword to get your ad on the first page of Google, or you can choose to pay less per click to be lower on the page, or on the second or third page.

CPE - cost per engagement

Engagement-based pricing charges you on the activity your ad gets. An engagement can be playing a video or hovering over the ad for a certain amount of time. For Facebook ads, it may be filling out an inquiry form or making a phone call.

Whatever ad structure you choose for your budget, it’s important to find the right balance between distributing your ad within a healthy reach and to your target audience.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #CostPerClick #PayPerClick #CPM #Adwords #Facebook

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The Dramatic Shift to Online Advertising

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The Dramatic Shift to Online Ad...
The advertising scale has shifted its weight dramatically, with online ads soaring to popularity over print ads. According to eMarketer.com, spending for print ads decreased from $36 billion in 2011 to $32.3 billion in 2016, while online ad spending grew from $32 billion to $62 billion, with an estimated projection to reach $75 billion. TV ads make up a big portion of ad spending in our society -- $60 billion in 2011 and $72 billion in 2016, but those figures show digital ad spend is closing the gap.

Now the era of new TV technology has arrived -- with the introduction of Apple TV, Netflix, and Google Chrome TV, we can choose the media of our choice, and watch on-demand shows whenever we want. More and more people are cancelling their subscriptions to cable or satellite TV services. It will be interesting to see how advertising advances on those mediums.

The question now is how can we business owners deliver our message to the general public most effectively? The biggest return on your investment will probably come through online advertising. In general, there are different types to choose from:

- Pay-per-click (example Google’s AdWords)
- Banners
- Display ads
- Newsletter ads
- Affiliate marketing
- Social media advertising

The beauty of online advertising is now we can target specific demographics and refine the audience who sees our ads to get more quality leads. Google, Facebook and others are tracking to see what people are browsing, what sites they’ve visited, and all the information people provide via searches on computers and mobile devices. This is called “profiling.”

Because of profiling, you as a business owner can more effectively run ads on these sites. You can control your ads, how much to spend daily, who sees it per age range and gender, even localize it to a region, state or city. Sites like Facebook and Google will then show your ad to those whose profiles fit your specifications and have a search history that might be relevant to your business.

These advertising options aren’t just available to businesses with a multi-million dollar ad budget either. They’re actually great options for smaller, more cost-conscious businesses. And it empowers companies to reach an audience they never had access to before.

Stay tuned to our blog this month as we discuss more about the options and advantages we have when it comes to modern-day advertising in business.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #AdWords #Google #SocialMedia

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Advancements in Artificial Intelligence and the Cloud

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Advancements in Artificial Intell...
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming the norm in these modern times. With cloud computing, AI is just as available to small business as it is to big enterprises. For example, IBM’s Watson commercial shows us technology that can understand, reason, learn, interact and work with humans to solve issues and create more efficient processes. Watson is not a future story, but rather, it’s available today.

With so much data and information around us these days, we surely need help analyzing it all. AI can make it easy for us.

Take social media, for instance. In the past, if you wanted to analyze your social media performance, you would have to upload data into the software and specify or modify the data accordingly. Today, some of the cloud-based AI can analyze what it receives intelligently and provide analysis for you automatically.

AI can formulate solutions by ‘learning’ from patterns of information coming in (input) and going out (output).

Google has something called Front End Processors (FEPs) that accommodate computer input to learn foreign languages by capturing the data from everyone who uses it. That data then becomes the learning ground for future input, by suggesting the translation even before users finish typing a word or sentence.

Voice recognition is another form of AI. Hearing your speech (input), machines gather more patterns to create possible solutions (output). The more information a computer pools, the higher the possibility of getting the correct output.

With cloud computing and internet, and the continuous input of information, the world is moving faster than ever to create more sophisticated Artificial Intelligence.
#PSPinc #Blog #CloudComputing #CloudTechnology #ArtificialIntelligence #AI #BusinessTips #SmallBusiness

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Beware of Security Breaches in the Cloud

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Beware of Security Breaches i...
The best way to keep your files secure in today’s internet age is to keep things offline, period. Unfortunately, that’s not possible with present technology. We can’t move backwards in business, but to keep moving forward with new conveniences such as cloud computing, we all need to be aware of new risks and challenges that may arise. Here’s what you should know when it comes to security breaches:

Data Breach:

You may have heard about celebrity photos being stolen from the cloud storage space. When we rely on cloud computing, we are all exposed to this same risk. Unless you have your data stored on your local computer, which is not online, we all face this risk anytime we are transmitting data online, email, in the cloud. Be aware of who has access to your files in the cloud, change the password to something memorable that has characters, numbers and capital letters in it, and keep changing it on a regular basis. (Definitely do NOT use something like “password” or “0000.”) Audit the status of your cloud access on a regular basis and make sure your team is following policies you’ve put in place for access, sharing and password changes.

Hijacking:

Browser hijacking occurs when scammers install malicious software (malware) to take control of your web browser. It can occur more often than you think. It can happen again with weak passwords, or with the security issues in the software itself. You need to make sure your software is up to date (most current version) and put in place strong password policies. Sometimes, hijacking can occur without you realizing it, and scammers can figure out deceptive ways to get your password or your account information. Do not use your password for a site that is not yours, and review your credit card and bank statement often.

Malicious Files:

Malicious files may be placed in your desktop from an innocent website which looks just fine. Hackers will inject malicious code into legitimate JavaScript hosted on a site – and the site’s owner may not even be aware their site is infected. Run an anti-virus, anti-spyware/malware software program on a regular basis to catch them before it’s too late.

DoS Attacks:

DoS stands for Denial of Service, and it is basically when an attacker tries to prevent a legitimate user from accessing information. According to US-CERT.gov: “The most common and obvious type of DoS attack occurs when an attacker "floods" a network with information. When you type a URL for a particular website into your browser, you are sending a request to that site's computer server to view the page. The server can only process a certain number of requests at once, so if an attacker overloads the server with requests, it can't process your request. This is a 'denial of service' because you can't access that site.” This type of attack can similarly happen over email and in the cloud. When this happens, contact your service provider.

Social Engineering:

Of all the technology we have in this new age, humans are still the cause of major scams using a technique called Social Engineering. This occurs when they call or email your office, pretending to be your staff, or your bank, or someone familiar, and try to get sensitive information such as your passwords, social security numbers and such. Again, you will need to have a policy and procedure for recognizing and handling these types of phony calls or emails to prevent any type of fraud.
#PSPinc #Blog #CloudComputing #CloudTechnology #Malware #Hackers #BusinessTips #SmallBusiness

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Collaboration in the Cloud

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Collaboration in the Cloud
One of the benefits of cloud technology is collaboration. It is a new way to share and work together through cloud computing and shared storage of documents, SaaS (Software as a Service) and more. Because our devices can also connect to the cloud, our physical location in the world becomes less important. No matter where we are, the cloud enables us to work together virtually.

Here are some popular cloud technologies to consider:

Online Storage:

The most commonly used cloud collaboration tool today is online storage. Instead of sending files as email attachments, you can create a folder with shared access in the cloud so you and others can share documents with each other there. You can go beyond that with tools that allow multiple people to access a file at the same time, but first you should have a policy in place to make sure the authority and ownership of certain files are clear in order to successfully and effectively work together.

Remote Telephones:

You may have heard the term “Hosted PBX.” For those who do not know what PBX is, it is an abbreviation of Private Branch Exchange which is basically a telephone system to manage multiple lines with multiple phones for an organization. In the good old days, you had PBX in your office, which then handled incoming and outgoing calls for your offices, but now with a virtual hosted PBX, you are not tied to your physical office location. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need a phone to work with virtual PBX. You can literally have a “soft” phone on your computer, answering your office extension from your home computer using a headset.

Virtual Conferencing:

Now there are programs available for video conferencing and screen-sharing via the cloud such as WebEx, Microsoft, and Adobe. In every case, you will need to have a supported device with an internet connection. Depending on your connection speed, you may find this kind of collaboration more difficult to do in the cloud.
#PSPinc #Blog #CloudComputing #CloudTechnology #CloudCollaboration #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips

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What to Know about Internet Speed

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What to Know about Internet S...
One thing to consider when moving to the cloud is the speed of your internet – which is where the cloud lives. When researching different internet service providers (ISPs), you hear different terms that describe what you are getting. You need to be “in the know” when selecting your type of connectivity because it will affect your team’s productivity once you move to the cloud. Here are some key things to consider:

Speed:

Yes, “the bigger, the better” rule does apply to internet speed. Did you notice we use lowercase b instead of uppercase B when describing internet speed?

Usually your connection speed is described with a unit called Mbps (Mega bits per second). It’s measured in terms of “bits” rather than “Bytes,” hence, the lowercase b reference. And how many bits can move per second is commonly used to measure the speed of internet. 1 Byte consists of 8 bits. So, if you are thinking 10Mbps is the same as 10BM (Megabytes), you are mistaken. In actuality, 10Mbps = 10,000Kbps / 8 = 1,250K Bytes (or 1.25MB).

You might want to review your internet connection by speed testing it in your browser. You can type “speed test” in Google search and find a program to run a test of your computer’s connectivity.

ISPs tend to give you faster download speed instead of upload speed. They generally offer options where you can get the same speed for uploads or downloads, but the price may be higher than your regular connection.

Types of Connections:

There are different types of connections: DSL, Cable, Ethernet, and Fiber. In certain areas, you may have radio and satellite connections.

Most of us are familiar with DSL, Cable and Ethernet. They all transmit over copper cables. Although the delivery methods are different, the speed is not affected by the distance from the ISP's Point of Presence (POP) to your office, however, the signals do get weaker as you get further away. Also, be aware that your internet speed may be slower than what the ISP tells you on paper.

Fiber relies on light instead of electricity to transmit data, which makes it faster, and it does not wear off like the signals over copper do. Unfortunately, Fiber installations are not yet available in all cities and streets so check with your providers to see if they can deliver it for you.

Research your choices for internet connectivity and speed before you purchase. Don't be deceived by how fast technology works on television. You need to ask questions about your connectivity options, especially when it comes to your business.
#PSPinc #Blog #CloudTechnology #CloudComputing #InternetSpeed #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #Connectivity

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