March 1, 2010
Times are tough. Tough times call for budget considerations and marketing methods that were once hailed as the most effective, are now not nearly as effective as newer methods.
Take for example direct mail. Ten years ago, direct mailer’s were ecstatic with a 3 – 5% return on investment (ROI). However, both printing and postage costs have increased significantly since those numbers were accurate.
Historically speaking, yellow page ads were probably the most effective. Leads were already qualified before they made the initial contact. They were ready to buy, the question was from who. Hence the reason limo companies chose the name “AAA Limo Service” so they could be first in the phone book listings. Despite being effective, phone books have geographical limitations and can be quite expensive to reach new markets.
Where can you get qualified leads with unlimited potential?
I have both bought and sold direct mail, email marketing and display ads in my 13 years as a marketer and the ROI for a well organized internet marketing campaign is the best I have ever seen.
It’s now undeniably a revolution, the internet that is. I still believe other marketing methods serve a purpose, but the internet is where the biggest ROI for your marketing dollar. Get in now, while it’s still relatively inexpensive. My projection is that it will get harder (more expensive) and extremely more competitive in the months and years to come.
This post is the first post in a series of articles on internet marketing. Please stay tuned and subscribe to our Feedburner account to receive future updates.
August 19, 2009
SEO is a great selling point for website design companies. It helps us distinguish ourselves from other’s when selling a website or even web related services. Is it overused? Absolutely! Consistently, I see the term listed to sell websites and web related products but then I look and see that the most primative SEO techniques haven’t been executed on their site.
A prime example of this overuse is yesterday I had a meeting with a real estate agent. I mentioned that I had found a cheaper alternative to VisualTour. He stated that part of the value of the product is their submission to the search engines and to the listing on Realtor.com. I knew right away it was a bunch of baloney:
- I SEOed his site.
- There hasn’t been one single click from Realtor.com
What can I do about this? I can educate and inform of key factors to look for when trying to choose an SEO company. Below please find a few triggers to help you make the best decision
- Anytime a company refers to “search engine submissions” – run away! This does nothing if the site isn’t optimized correctly. In fact, this is a key that either they don’t know what they are talking about or they are trying to sell you something that has no value whatsoever.
- If a web design company claims the site will be search engine optimized (SEO). Ask them if they have ever been paid for only SEO on past projects? If they haven’t, then the decision is clear: don’t hire them for SEO or you may want to reconsider the company for trying to sell you something they have no experience doing.
- This may be a nicer way to approach #2: ask for past rankings and even current rankings of websites they are optimizing.
- Google their company name, if they aren’t first, this is another sign that something is wrong.
- Never consider hiring an SEO company that contacts you, chances are they have no clue.
Google has written more about this topic here: SEO.
Unfortunately, there is no governing authority on SEO so for now, all I can do is educate you and help you make the right decision. If I see more triggers, then I will certainly update this post. Until then, if you need SEO turn to Ponder Consulting, we guarantee you won’t be let down.
June 2, 2009
On Sunday, while compiling search engine rankings, I noticed that when I went to Live.com (formerly MSN’s search engine), the URL forward me to Bing. Bing (formerly Microsoft Kumo) was announced last week at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital Conference.
How timely this article is since the last post ended with another Microsoft let down.
Don’t Leave Yet – Microsoft Might Be Onto Something
Right off the bat, I liked the speed, the relevancy and the ease of use. I also like some following features:
1.) Best Match – Provides useful links and information for definitive sites. Try typing in UPS (or click the link). It provides all of the information I could be looking for without having to enter the site! The customer service phone number and a tracking form.
2.) Deep Links – Deep Links enable users to see inside the site without having to click into it and learn a new site structure.
3.) Quick Preview – Summarizes a Web site at a glance, before the searcher clicks through to the site. Bing takes the captions you see beneath a search result a step further. Hovering over a search result gives you a better sense of whether a site contains the information you’re looking for without taking up valuable real estate on the search page.
4.) Instant Answers – A quick search for “weather” returns the local weather which is Traverse City, Michigan. I have been unimpressed with Google lately returning Madison, WI local information as I am in Northern Michigan.
4.) Virtual Earth – Virtual Earth is strikingly similar to Google Earth. Microsoft’s Virtual Earth seemed very smooth though with options to drop a pin on any location on Earth.
Competition is Good, but is Bing Good Enough?
Bing will definitely challenge Google to be thinking about their long term strategy here, that is what we all want. We want Google to get better and the only way that can happen is if they have to.
What about you? Have you tried Bing?
Feel free to post your feedback about the new search (decision) engine.