Category Archives: Online Marketing

6 Reasons Why SEO and Content Marketing Are Important for Your Business [2 Mini-Case Studies Included]

A solid search engine optimization plan can do wonders for a business that executes it well and consistently over time. Here are six reasons to make sure you don’t forget about SEO at your own company.

  1. SEO Enables People to Find Your Business
    Search engine optimization (SEO) is important because it helps your website be found on Google. Google is your major priority when it comes to search engine marketing because it controls 77.82% of the search engine market space on desktop computers of December 2016. Google absolutely dominates the competition in mobile search with a 93.76% market share.
  2. Ensures Your Business Shows for the Right Keywords
    By properly optimizing your website, Google can find your website and rank it for keyword terms that your prospective customers and clients are looking for every day.
  3. Potential for Consistent, Long-Term ROI
    Your company can see significant long-term ROI with search engine marketing because once you rank the traffic can be very consistent and plentiful.
  4. It’s Integral to the Way Modern Buyers Discover Products and Services
    Businesses that overlook SEO are leaving a major piece of the online visibility pie on the table. With so many people using their computers and smart phones to search Google, it is natural that you would want your website to be found via Google searches.
  5. The Fat Head vs. The Long Tail
    With SEO, you can rank for major keyword terms for your industry as well as longer phrases made up of 4-5+ keywords. An interesting and counter-intuitive concept is that you can potentially get more traffic from these multiple keyword phrases, despite each individual phrase getting little traffic on its own. In total, the low traffic keywords work together to bring you multiple sources of search engine traffic that are very targeted to what you have to offer. By getting traffic from very targeted searches, the person’s intent is more in line with what you have to offer and your chances of converting them into an email subscriber or customer are much higher.
  6. You Build a Foundation
    The reasons above are the foundation for why every business should take building a blog for their company website seriously. By building a blog with proper SEO tactics and quality content, your website naturally becomes a tool to help drive traffic to your business when combined with appropriate promotional strategies.

Real World Examples of SEO Fueling Client Business Growth

B2C eCommerce – The graphs below show what the combination of on-page keyword optimization and healthy online promotion achieved for one of Clicked Studios’ client.  Prior to this combo strategy, the client averaged 50% less in gross revenues from their eCommerce website than in the current year.  Over the course of their existence, the online store increased their online visibility by gaining back links from 150+ relevant websites.

Healthy Backlinks from Referring Domains Through Steady Online Promotion

As a result, revenue climbed steadily into the $20,000/mo. range, which is now double that of the previous year including the typical seasonal dip.

Doubled Revenues from Link Building and Promo

B2B Traffic Generation – In this next example, another client who is in early stages of search engine optimization and high-quality content creation doubled the amount of new incoming visitors to the website after only a modest couple months of work.  In the graph below, you can see that traffic increased by 193.59% for new sessions and 229.39% for new users from the year before and is expected to rise as efforts continue and build on previous month’s accomplishments.

High Quality Content Creation and Outreach Results

 

Will you be focusing on SEO and content marketing in 2015?

Let us know what your plans are for SEO and content marketing in 2015.  Are you currently working on it or just thinking about it?  Write a comment below and keep the discussion going.

A Website is Not Enough in Today’s Digital Economy

Presented originally at the 2016 Missouri Meetings and Events St. Louis Regional Expo.

Having a website is not enough in todays digital economy from clickedstudios

Presentation Transcript

1. A WEBSITE IS NOT ENOUGH IN TODAY’S DIGITAL ECONOMY Presented by Frank Spohr Clicked Studios, LLC © 2016 • All Rights Reserved • www.clickedstudios.com
2. CREATING A NEW WEBSITE OR REVAMPING AN OLD WEBSITE RARELY EQUALS INSTANT SUCCESS
3. MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, NEW WEBSITE LAUNCHES AND…
4. NOTHING HAPPENS
5. OR IT PERFORMS WORSE!
6. DUE TO THOSE UNFORTUNATE OUTCOMES, TODAY WE’RE GOING TO ADDRESS WHAT IT TAKES TO REALLY MOVE THE NEEDLE FORWARD IN ONLINE BUSINESS
7. A LITTLE ABOUT FRANK SPOHR
8. HELPING COMPANIES BUILD THEIR WEBSITES AND GROW THEIR BUSINESSES SINCE THE YEAR 2000
9. 2008 – FOUNDER AND CEO OF CLICKED STUDIOS TOP RANKED WEB DESIGN FIRM IN ST. LOUIS ON GOOGLE FOR NEARLY 5 YEARS RUNNING
10. TAKEN A DATA & ROI DRIVEN APPROACH WITH SEO, SEM, CONTENT MARKETING, UX, UI, DESIGN, PSYCHOLOGY, CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION, AND PPC TO HELP COMPANIES LARGE AND SMALL GROW THEIR TRAFFIC, GET MORE SALES, AND SELL MORE OFTEN
11. WHAT WILL YOU GET OUT OF THIS PRESENTATION?
12. 1. AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOW A WEBSITE TIES INTO A LARGER DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY
13. 2. DIFFERENT WAYS TO GENERATE WEBSITE TRAFFIC and what to expect from each…
14. 3. LEARN ABOUT A COMMON, BUT MAJOR MISTAKE MANY COMPANIES MAKE WITH THEIR WEBSITE THAT NEGLECTS LONG TERM GROWTH FOR SHORT-TERM SALES
15. 4. WHAT YOUR PRIORITIES SHOULD BE WHEN PEOPLE VISIT YOUR WEBSITE
16. SO WHY IS A WEBSITE ALONE NOT ENOUGH TODAY?
17. TOO MANY BUSINESSES PUBLISH AND PRAY HOPING A NEW DESIGN OR PAGE IS WHAT THEY NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL. THEY PUBLISH AND THEN…
18. TOO MANY FACTORS MAKING IT HARDER THAN EVER
19. 1. JUST HAVING A WEBSITE DOESN’T GET PEOPLE’S ATTENTION. EVERYONE HAS ONE THESE DAYS.
20. 2. EVERYONE IS BLASTED WITH COUNTLESS ADS & OFFERS EVERY DAY. YOU BETTER HAVE SOMETHING INTERESTING & UNIQUE BEFORE YOU EVEN BUILD YOUR WEBSITE.
21. 3. EVEN WHEN YOU DO GET PEOPLE TO VISIT YOUR WEBSITE, ON AVERAGE 98% ARE NOT READY BUY. COUNTLESS REASONS WHY, BUT THIS IS THE HARSH REALITY.
22. WE LIVE IN A BUSY WORLD!
23. HOW DO WE FIGHT THIS?
24. UNIQUE OFFER + PREDICTABLE WAY TO REACH CUSTOMERS + WEBSITE WITH SPECIAL CONTENT + MARKETING AUTOMATION + INTELLIGENT FOLLOW-UP
25. UNIQUE OFFER OFFER SOMETHING OF VALUE WITH YOUR OWN UNIQUE TWIST ON IT. CAN YOU OFFER SOMETHING FASTER, STRONGER, MORE DEPENDABLE, MORE USEFUL, OR BETTER DESIGNED?
26. PREDICTABLE WAY TO REACH CUSTOMERS NO MORE POSTING TO FACEBOOK OR WRITING A BLOG POST AND HOPING FOR THE BEST. WE’LL LOOK AT HOW PROFESSIONALS GET TRAFFIC ON SOCIAL NETWORKS AND SEARCH ENGINES PREDICTABLY.
27. WEBSITE WITH SPECIAL CONTENT MORE THAN A BROCHURE SITE. FOCUSED ON PROVIDED INFO AND VALUE. BUILDS RELATIONSHIPS
28. MARKETING AUTOMATION TOOLS TO HELP YOU BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE OTHER 98% OF WEBSITE VISITORS WHO WEREN’T READY TO BUY ON THEIR FIRST VISIT.
29. INTELLIGENT FOLLOW-UP USING MARKETING AUTOMATION STRATEGICALLY TO BUILD TRUST FIRST… AND THEN PROMOTING NEW OFFERS, EVENTS, PRODUCTS, SERVICES, ETC. OVER TIME.
30. HOW IS THIS ACTUALLY USED IN THE REAL WORLD?
31. FIRST, AN ASSUMPTION…
32. YOU HAVE A GOOD OFFER AND YOU’VE DIFFERENTIATED YOURSELF FROM THE COMPETITION
33. SKIP THIS STEP AND YOU’RE DEAD BEFORE YOU BEGIN
34. GOOD NEWS EASIER THAN EVER TO GET TRAFFIC IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO GO.
35. WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO THOUGH? SPEND TONS OF TIME FINDING ARTICLES AND LINKS TO POST TO THEIR FACEBOOK, TWITTER, LINKEDIN, ETC.
36. OK… STRATEGY BUT TAKES TONS OF TIME TO IMPLEMENT 3, 6, 12 MONTH WAIT FOR RESULTS RANDOM SPIKES IN TRAFFIC SOCIAL NETWORKS MAKING IT HARDER TO REACH YOUR AUDIENCE ORGANICALLY (ALGORITHM UPDATES)
37. ANOTHER POTENTIAL WAY SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING FAT HEAD = HARD LONG TAIL = EAS(IER) SOMETIMES
38. THE LONG TAIL SEARCH PHRASES WITH 4 – 5+ WORDS IN THEM THINK “home insurance reviews 2016” instead of a fat head term like “home insurance”
39. THE LONG TAIL IT ACCOUNTS FOR 89.4% OF ALL SEARCH ENGINE TRAFFIC
40. GET SOME LONG TAIL IDEAS Www.wordstream.com/keywords Www.moz.com/keyword-explorer Www.keywordtool.io
41. USE THOSE TOOLS TO GET STARTED RIGHT NOW GENERATE A LIST OF 10 – 20 LONG TAIL KEYWORDS AND YOU CAN START WRITING ARTICLES WHERE YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO RANK. TIME TO SEE RESULTS: 2 WEEKS TO SEVERAL MONTHS
42. WHAT IF YOU CAN’T WAIT WEEKS OR MONTHS TO GET TRAFFIC? LONG TAIL SEO IS GREAT, BUT IT ISN’T THE BEST IF YOU’RE IN A TIME CRUNCH.
43. THE ANSWER PAY-PER-CLICK ADVERTISING WHEN DONE THE RIGHT WAY
44. WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY? REMEMBER HOW WE MENTIONED WEBSITES WITH SPECIAL CONTENT? THAT’S HOW!
45. SPECIAL CONTENT HOME PAGE VS. SERVICE PAGE VS. LANDING PAGE
46. HOME PAGE
47. SERVICE PAGE
48. LANDING PAGE
49. PROMOTING A HOME PAGE VS. A LANDING PAGE AN EXAMPLE OF A LOSER CAMPAIGN VS. A WINNING CAMPAIGN
50. A LOSING CAMPAIGN Sending Traffic Straight to Home Page Cost per click: $1.20 Number of clicks (people clicking to see website): 100 Cost of this traffic: $120.00 ——- Percentage who buy product at your website: 2% Number of customers (100 visitors X 2%) = 2 customers ——- Product Cost: $47.99 Revenue generated by campaign = $95.98 ——- Net Loss ($95.98 net rev. – $120 ad spend): -$24.02 98% of people do not buy and leave website never to return. Sales are made, but it is not enough to recoup ad costs. Advertiser must stop campaign or go broke.
51. A WINNING CAMPAIGN Sending Traffic to Landing Page to Get Emails First Cost per click: $1.20 Number of clicks (people clicking to see website): 100 Cost of this traffic: $120.00 ——- Offer a free guide, tip sheet, free trial, etc. this time. —— Opt-In Rate: 30% Total people who opt-in = 30 subscribers ——- Subscribers given freebie to deliver value and build trust in your brand. Additional emails sent to build relationship and FINALLY THE OFFER IS MADE. —— Purchase Percentage: 15% Total Purchases = 15% X 30 subscribers = 4.5 customers Product Price: $47.99 —– Revenue generated by campaign = $215.96 ——- NET PROFIT = $215.96 – $120.00 = $95.96 Actual ROI tends to be higher since you can keep emailing people over time and convert additional subscribers into purchases.
52. THE MOST IMPORTANT DETAIL PRIORITIZING THE EMAIL OVER THE SALE ALLOWS YOU TO KEEP SELLING TO THE SAME PERSON. INSTEAD OF THAT PERSON BEING WORTH A 1-TIME SALE OF $47.99 THE PERSON HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE WORTH HUNDREDS OR THOUSANDS OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP.
53. HOW DO OTHER COMPANIES USE THIS STRATEGY? SOFTWARE COMPANIES PLACE ADS ON SEARCH ENGINES TO GIVE AWAY FREE DEMO IN EXCHANGE FOR EMAIL.
54. HOW DO OTHER COMPANIES USE THIS STRATEGY? BUSINESS COACHES ON FACEBOOK INVITE YOU TO FREE WEBINAR OR GIVE AWAY FREE GUIDE IN EXCHANGE FOR EMAIL.
55. HOW DO OTHER COMPANIES USE THIS STRATEGY? RETAIL STORES OFFER INTERESTING GADGETS AT COST OR FREE + S&H TO BUILD LARGE LIST. EMAILS SENT ON BACK-END TO MAKE BULK OF PROFITS.
56. HOW DO OTHER COMPANIES USE THIS STRATEGY? SUBSCRIPTION COMPANIES GIVE AWAY FREE MONTH IN EXCHANGE FOR EMAIL TO PROMOTE SPECIAL DEALS TO PEOPLE WHO DO NOT BECOME PAYING CUSTOMERS AFTER TRIAL ENDS.
57. HOW DO OTHER COMPANIES USE THIS STRATEGY? RESTAURANTS GIVE AWAY COUPONS IN EXCHANGE FOR EMAIL.
58. 5 PRORITIES YOU CAN TAKE HOME
59. 1. IF YOU HAVE THE LUXURY OF TIME, LONG TAIL SEO IS A POTENTIALLY LOW-COST WAY TO GET PEOPLE TO YOUR WEBSITE.
60. 2. IF TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE, ROI CAN BE SEEN QUICKLY WITH PPC ON SEARCH ENGINES AND SOCIAL NETWORKS WHEN YOU STRUCURE YOUR CAMPAIGN CORRECTLY
61. 3. FOCUSING ON BUILDING YOUR LIST IS A PATH TOWARDS MORE LONG-TERM REVENEUE
62. 4. (EXTRA) WHEN DECIDING TO SPEND ENERGY BUILDING YOUR LIST VIA YOUR WEBSITE OR SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS, CHOOSE YOUR OWN LIST. DON’T BE A VICTIM TO CHANGING SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANY POLICIES.
63. 5. YOUR WEBSITE REALLY IS THE LAST PART OF THE PUZZLE. MAKE SURE YOUR OFFER AND PROMOTION STRATEGY ARE IN PLACE FIRST. A WEBSITE IS WORTHLESS WITHOUT THESE.
64. Q&A Find Me Online www.clickedstudios.com Follow Me on Twitter @frankspohr Like Us on Facebook www.facebook.com/clickedstudios

Q&A: How Do I Get More Unique People to My Website?

We received an email asking the question, “how do I get more unique people to my website?” Since this is a pretty hot topic these days, we figured we’d share our response to help everyone get a better understanding of the broad digital strategies one can use to generate awareness for their website.

To generate awareness for your website you have a couple broad options.

  1. Digital Media Purchases – This would include things like purchasing CPC or CPM banner ads with re-targeting (not to be confused with re-marketing) on niche websites, Google Adwords, and targeted Facebook ads.
  2. Content marketing – Essentially, building valuable content on your company blog and then promoting it to the right websites and social media influencers to gain new traffic sources and the added benefit of search engine rankings for a second source of traffic.
  3. Guest Posting – Similar to content marketing, but the difference is that you reach out to authoritative blogs within your industry to write content on their website so you can leverage their audience in exchange for your knowledge and insight.
  4. Social media marketing in the context of joining conversations online where people are talking about issues within your industry. In a broad sense, these conversations are happening on the typical social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn plus forums, Q&A websites, video sites, etc.

The Biggest Mistake We See Brands Making on Social Media

Pros and Cons

As I’m sure you guessed, each of these 3 strategies have their pros and cons depending on your offer and brand.  Each one has different long-term and short-term costs along with timelines for how quickly they start generating traffic.

SEO – Risky Business for Small Businesses

A new article of ours has been published over at Website Magazine titled, “SEO – Risky Business for Small Businesses” shedding light on risky practices that big businesses are just now getting penalized for by Google. These same strategies and tactics would destroy a small businesses’s chances of ranking well in the search engine. You can check out the full-length SEO article at Website Magazine.

What is an Email Autoresponder?

Autoresponder

An email autoresponder is possibly one of the most important elements in your online marketing strategy.  It is a piece of software that enables you to automatically send emails to people. The number of people does not matter. An autoresponder can send messages to hundreds or thousands of people.  It is a very powerful marketing tool because it allows you to stay “top of mind” with your target audience even when you are not actively engaging with them yourself.  An autoresponder is like an automated sales person for your business that works 24 hours a day, 365 days per year for your business.

Pick Your Poison: The Two Types of Autoresponders

There are two types of autoresponders you can use for your business. The first type can be installed on your own server.  This type of autoresponder was popular in the late 2000’s, offered freedom and flexibility.  The downside is that with full control came the responsibility and annoyance of dealing with email deliverability and making sure emails didn’t automatically land in people’s spam folders.  This reality paved the way for the most popular type of autoresponder today – the software-as-a-service (SaaS) autoresponder.    This second type of email autoresponder is where you a pay a company who hosts the email autoresponder on their own server for a monthly fee.  In return the company worries about managing the email autoresponder, ensuring high performance and deliverability, and security.  Popular email autoresponders today are Aweber, GetResponse, and MailChimp.  Some offer free plans for the early stage entrepreneur and monthly plans from $10 – $15 per month for small businesses.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Getting Back Links

backlinks-feature

Everybody wants back links these days. Back links are important because they are a major way that Google can tell that your website is important and worthy of a high ranking within their search results pages.

Some back links are good. Some back links are bad.

Good back links generally come from other websites that talk about the same topics as your own website, have some exposure of their own, and provide quality content.

Bad back links generally come from off-topic websites, free for all directories, spam websites, adult websites, etc.

How do you get them?

Back links are all about getting other websites to link back to you, so the most basic way is to call, email, or tweet the owner of the website you think would be a good back link to your website. Another great way is to contribute content to a website like St. Louis video producer, Video Solutions, Inc., did with SproutVideo’s video marketing blog. Companies like Clicked Studios that handle SEO at the professional level use a variety of tools to scale and accelerate this process dramatically when compared to doing it by hand yourself.

The competitiveness of your niche will determine how aggressive and how many people you’ll need to reach out to see results in the search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) from your back link building efforts.

If you wanted to rank for a keyword like “insurance quotes”, you might need to get back links from several hundreds or thousands of other web sites. This process could take anywhere from one to two years if your website is brand new (or you get lucky with an early viral hit).

If you wanted to rank for a keyword targeting a very small town like, “dog walker in caseyveille, il” you might only need a handful of back links and could be ranking in a couple months or less. You can get a good feel for what your competition looks like by using tools like ahrefs.com and Moz.com.

In general, realize that any lucrative keyword phrase out there sending thousands of quality people to your website will take hard work and dedication to build enough quality back links to make your website rank well.

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The State of Online Marketing in 2014 – Presentation

Here is our presentation given at the Missouri Meetings & Events’ 2014 St. Louis Regional Expo
on May 19 – 20, 2014. In this presentation you’ll learn the foundations of what creates an effective, attention grabbing message and what ways you can start promoting your product or service online.

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5 Principles To Get The Most Out of Social Media

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Photo by acaben.

Everyone knows social media is powerful. With around 1.15 billion users on Facebook, 1 billion users on Google+, 554.7 million users on Twitter, and 277 million LinkedIn users, you cannot deny the potential reach your company can harness with a good social media strategy.

So, why is it so many people get on these social networks and don’t find success? They have access to billions of people. It would seem there is no way one could fail. Most people, however, do fail and it is because they go about using social media the wrong way.

Here’s a common scenario. Maybe it will sound familiar. You find out about the latest new social network, so you sign up. Then you add your friends from real life. After a while, the network may suggest a few other people you know so you add them too. Then you hear that content is king for marketing online so you start adding status updates here and there. Every once in a while you find a good article so you link out to that as well. Some time goes by and you start to realize nothing is really happening on your social network. Maybe you got a lead or two… but you definitely did not get that wave of leads crashing into your business that you thought social media could provide. It is at this point many people write off social media as a fad and ineffective. The truth is social media can be very effective, but it has to be used in the right way.

We’ll explore some general principles now to get you started on social media the right way.

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Infographic Spotlight – Diabetes: How Big Is the Problem?

Here’s a new infographic we created for a client’s pitch deck called Diabetes: How Big Is the Problem? As you can see, we chunked up the data as much as possible and created visual cues to help lead the eye from one relevant point to the next. We had fun with the “other complications” portion and went for a distressed artistic style in order to drive home how bad they were.

diabetes-infographic

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eBay’s Jordan Koene On The Importance of External Linking

Here’s a short video from my friend Jordan Koene, one of eBay’s SEO team members, on the importance of external linking. Jordan offers unique insight on external linking as an eBay insider and how it can be applied to other businesses as well. In this video you’ll learn about the different types of links you can get for your website and where some of the best places are to acquire them.

You can learn more about Jordan Koene at his website – www.jordankoene.com.