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Tag Archives: audience

The Right Message May Not Be So Right for Your Audience

The number one key to your business growth is crafting a message that speaks to your audience. Having the right message builds up your strengths and helps you overcome any deficiencies you might have.Online Marketing Messages and Channels

McDonald’s doesn’t make the best hamburgers in the world, but they do have a great bit of messaging that speaks to their target audience. It’s that message, not the hamburgers, that makes Micky D’s the number one fast food restaurant in America.

While substance is important in order to have a great message, the message itself helps establish the perception of your substance. Much to my chagrin, my kids would rather go to McDonald’s over Burger King or Wendy’s. They don’t love the food as much as the box the food comes in, and not even close to as much as that toy inside the box.

McDonald’s has the right message for my kids. But I’m the wrong audience for that message, though I’m a sucker at giving my kids a fast-food treat of their choice! So, McDonald’s has a different message for me. Primarily, it’s a message to give my kids a fast-food treat of their choice!Continue Reading


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Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search & Social, Part 3: Background Research

Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search and Social

In the first two parts of this series, we looked first at how the online audience differs from the traditional off-line audience. There are several distinct characteristics one has to take into account before pushing content out onto the web that was designed for print.

Next, we looked at the goals of online PR in order to identify key things that online PR must do that are both similar and different from offline PR. Good writing is still good writing, whether you are on- or offline, but when writing online content, you have to treat each piece a bit differently.

Now let’s move on into the next phase of writing online PR.Continue Reading


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Why You Should Never Duplicate Your Competitor's SEO Strategies

Engaging in competitive research before and during your SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Link Building campaigns is smart business. As they say, “information is power.”

But, too much information can also cause a handicap. It’s not too difficult to be so inundated with info. that you get information overload or conflicting advice. That leads to decision paralysis. You don’t know the right course of action to take, or you can wind up using good information to make bad judgment calls.

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15 Questions That Will Change The Way You Think About SEO Forever (Q's 6-10)

Below is the second set of questions from an interview I had given late last year. If you started this series with the introduction, you already know that the answers here differ from the answers given in the interview. One of the reasons I like written interviews is that it gives you a better opportunity to provide a more thorough and thought-filled answer. While these may not be life-changing questions, I hope they are at least thought provoking for the small business owner who doesn’t know a lot about SEO.

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15 Questions That Will Change The Way You Think About SEO Forever

All right, I’ll admit, the title is somewhat over dramatic. But, when you don’t have much to offer, hype it up anyway! Kinda like the movies!

This post started from talking about How NOT To Do An Interview: The Basics. What was originally going to be an intro paragraph turned into a full post. When this happens, I just do what I often do… take one idea and make multiple posts out of it. Love it!

What follows are 15 questions I felt were important for a business audience to know about SEO. And, now that I know what I meant when I wrote them (see introduction), I can provide the answers I intended. :) Here are questions 1-5:Continue Reading


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PPC Advertiser News – 2/7/11

Here’s what’s new in the world of paid search advertising…

Google Changes Display of Top Position Ads

Apparently, Google is going to start putting Description Line 1 of a typical PPC ad in the headline of the Top 3 ads positions as long as the line ends with a punctuation mark.  If they roll this out, it’s likely that competition for top position ads will grow and it will also affect ad copy strategies.  It is not recommended that you merge the headline and description line as there will be a dash placed between the two in the first line of the ad.

Remember, while it may get more expensive to be in the Top 3 positions if this happens, we still only bid for position if it is advantageous to our overall marketing goals.  As for ad copy, we may be more readily willing to be creative with our headlines since you could now put them in your description text and still have them show up big and blue on the page.

Facebook Debuts User-Generated Ad Option

Facebook has a new ad type called “Sponsored Stories” ads.  Basically, when the conditions are right, Facebook will serve a user comment in place of the ad an advertiser has created.  The conditions of showing the ad are dependent on each user’s privacy settings.  If a user leaves a comment about your company, but their settings only have their wall posts showing to friends, then only friends can see their comment in place of the ad in their profile.  What is happening is you are able to pay to have things that users say about your product or service to other people that would be eligible to see it in their Newsfeed anyway.

Using Negative Keyword Lists

Allows you to not have to manage keywords for each of your campaigns individually.  You can compile themed lists of negative keywords that you create and apply them to specific campaigns; saving you the time of having to weed through negatives to copy and paste them to new campaigns.  This allows you to better organize negatives into groups so that you have more control of how you use them.  Also, it helps if things change in your business or on your site and certain keywords that were negatives become positives.

Google Testing Display Ads in Gmail

Gmail is a part of the “Google Display Network” which allows advertisers who use AdWords to show text, image, rich media or video ads on targeted content sites across the web where your target audience hangs out.  Google put a lot of effort into improving the effectiveness of this network in 2010 and it looks like the trend will continue.  Remember, SERPs (search results pages) only account for 5% of Internet pageviews, so learning how the GDN works and making it work for your business is a very wise investment.

Amazon Product Ads

Amazon has entered the PPC marketplace with what they are branding “Product Ads.”  It’s sort of like a combination of PPC and comparison shopping, since people are looking to purchase anyway.  The categories are initially limited.  Right now there is only Baby, Computers, Consumer Electronics, Health and Personal Care, Home and Garden, Office, Sports and Outdoors, Tools, Home Improvement and Toys.  Your product ads are discovered in a variety of ways including search, browse and on product detail pages.  Products that only you sell will be viewable by using search and browse.  Products that are similar or the same as an existing product will be targeted to customers looking for products like yours.


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Dropping In To See What Condition Your Condition Is In – Part I

Back in 2002, Stanford published their Top 10 Guidelines To Establishing Web Credibility. Amazingly, these conditions for creating a credible website are just as relevant today as they were back then. Isn’t it funny how, with all of the advancements in site development and marketing, it all still comes back to the basics?

Below are the first five guidelines. I’ve provided some of my own additional thoughts and commentary and would be interested in hearing yours as well.

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Everything I Know About SEO I Learned in the 80’s

There was no commercial internet in the 80’s, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t reach into the recesses of our past to see that, everything we know now about SEO, we already knew back then. How? From the greatest, most magical music of all time: 80’s hair band glam rock!

They just don’t make music like this anymore, and it’s a shame. The sweet sound of rock’n’roll has never tasted better. All it takes is a reflective look at some of these song titles to realize that these guys knew their online marketing! (Though I’m sure they were all too wasted to even know it!)

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Everything I Know About SEO I Learned in the 80's

There was no commercial internet in the 80’s, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t reach into the recesses of our past to see that, everything we know now about SEO, we already knew back then. How? From the greatest, most magical music of all time: 80’s hair band glam rock!

They just don’t make music like this anymore, and it’s a shame. The sweet sound of rock’n’roll has never tasted better. All it takes is a reflective look at some of these song titles to realize that these guys knew their online marketing! (Though I’m sure they were all too wasted to even know it!)

Continue Reading


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....

What Does Your Competition Know That You Don't?

Your competition should play an important role in your research before you move forward with any SEO, PPC, or online marketing campaign. In fact, it’s generally a good idea to do a fair amount of competitive research before you build a website or even decide what industry or niche to focus your efforts on.

Competitor knowledge isn’t the most important aspect of building a successful online business. You still have to be a good manager, know your product or service, and be able to sell, sell, sell! But, gaining competitive knowledge early on can help you guide your online marketing efforts into the most effective direction.

Do You Know What I Know?

Knowing about your competition isn’t as valuable as knowing what they know that you don’t. But, not everything your competitors know is truth or fact, so you have to be able to discern whether what they know is right or not, and then discard the information accordingly.

When it comes to on-page optimization, you can learn a lot from your competitors by looking at their websites. How they organize their navigation (their categories and sub-categories) can tell you a great deal about your audience. Or… it can lead you down the wrong path. This is where it is important not to look at one competitor only, but to look at as many as possible.

Be careful that you don’t jump on just any bandwagon. Just because a competitor or two may be doing things one way, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best way. For all you know they are copying off of each other, and creating and endless spiral of poor audience targeting. Talk about an opportunity for you to do things right!

Each competitor can teach you something new. Things like: what keywords are being targeted, the best way to provide content to your customers, and what kind of user experience is expected or has the best conversion rates.

There may not be one single answer, but enough research will give you some good ideas on how to move forward on your own site. Take the best from each one, and ditch the rest.

Early Research is Smart Research

Changing the course of your online marketing efforts mid-stream isn’t always as easy as it may seem. And, the consequences of such a change (though often a necessary change for long-term growth) can cause temporary loss of much needed momentum.

What has been propelling your marketing efforts forward can come to a sudden standstill, which will become obvious in loss of traffic, rankings, and likely in sales as well. This scenario is often devastating on a short term basis, since you are forced to start from the ground up all over again.

On the plus side, the effect may be very short lived. Depending on how well your site was built, optimized, and linked, and how drastic of a change is occurring, you may find some of the past efforts carry over to the new efforts. If a change is needed, it has to be done, even if there’s short term pain that must be endured. This is why it’s best to do your research up front, so you don’t have to change course later and suffer the consequences.

Your diligence in competitive research will give you a good idea of who they are, where they are, what they are doing, what’s right or wrong about their campaign, and what is or isn’t effective. This information will be invaluable to you as you develop your website, business, and online marketing campaigns.

With good research it is not so much about what your competition knows that you don’t… it’s about what you know that they don’t, and how you can use that information to gain a strategic advantage.


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