Author Archive for Mark Stone

Are Local Listings Becoming Pay to Play?

Pay to Play in Local ListingsLocal listings, the new frontier! That is what every marketing expert is screaming at the top of their lungs. If you don’t have a local presence online you are going to be left behind and quickly. And those statements do hold true. With mobile use now passing desktop and only headed towards complete domination of the online device market it is vital your business have a local presence. So why would it be a surprise if the ability to have a local presence costs you?

It shouldn’t! I mean search engines and social networks are in the business to make money, right? As such they have been making money by allowing you to buy ads on their search engine or network so why wouldn’t they begin charging to have your local listing appear at the top of results? They would and they will sooner rather than later.

Let’s take a look at Yahoo Local. They made the switch to Yext to supply local business results in December 2015. What we have already seen is clients that had a local listing created can now no longer manage that listing without paying Yext. And you have pay to play. So Google is fine, right? Well they switched from showing 7 listings to showing 3 earlier in 2015. The listing is still free but changes out of Mountain View suggest pay to play is around the corner. Tell me Facebook will not charge me to market to my business “friends”. Wrong! Of course they do if you want your posts to be seen by more than 8% of your “friends”. Facebooks algorithm limits the number of “friends” that get your post in their feed to about 8% (if I’m off by a few precentage points the point is still the same). The only way to get exposure to all of your “friends” is to pay for it. Again, pay to play.

Don’t fret, there will always be “free” traffic but the real traffic generating avenues will require business to pay to play and that’s not a bad thing if you know what you’re doing.

Merry Christmas Everyone

Do Landing Pages Make a Difference in Pay Per Click?

Question: Do landing pages make a difference in pay per click? The overwhelming answer is YES!

test-landing-pagesOne question a lot of potential clients don’t ask when discussing pay per click is where the visitor will be sent to once they click on an ad.  At some point during the initial discussion with a prospect we will ask the question where would you send the visitors your ppc campaign is going to generate.  Usually a blank look comes over their face or worse they light up and say our homepage!  The truth is a good landing page can be the difference between success and failure.

While sending visitors to your homepage might make sense to some the fact is targeting keywords to ads to landing page is the simple formula one should use.  Using this easy method should make one figure out quickly that a homepage is typically not targeted to one keyword group but instead an inner page or even better a custom landing page makes more sense.

Recently we took on a client who had used pay per click as the primary source to drive leads for his company that sells leads to real estate agents.  While he was happy with his ROI, something told him he could do better and after reviewing his account we agreed.

Once our initial review was complete the client actually graded out pretty high for properly using most of the tools and best practices in his campaigns however we found he was sending his traffic to pages that although they were location specific (a Dallas page, a Plano page, etc.) they really didn’t focus the visitor to complete an action and overall were too cluttered with text and navigation choices.

Once we made a few changes to the campaigns themselves (shoring up some bidding options, match types and extensions) we developed a landing page that was dynamically keyword targeted and focused the visitor on conversion options.  While the client was very hesitant upon first viewing the new landing page as it didn’t “look” like his site after 30 days once he saw his results he became a customer for life!

Here are the results compared to the last full month using his old landing pages.

Campaign report (Nov 1, 2015-Nov 30, 2015. Compare to: Sep 1, 2015-Sep 30, 2015.)

Nov 1,089.77
Sept 2,268.13
Cost (Change) -51.95%
Avg. CPC
Nov 1.75
Sept 1.81
Avg. CPC (Change %) -3.13%
Click conversion rate
Nov 4.98%
Sept 3.83%
Click conversion rate (Change %) 30.10%
Cost / all conv.
Nov 27.94
Sept 41.22
Cost / all conv. (Change %) -32.21%

If you would like to save money and increase conversions contact us today!

Happy Thanksgiving (Fail)

We wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and if your dinner doesn’t quite turn out the way you want don’t fret you could have had a turkey dinner fail like the ones in the video below.  Laugh a little and be thankful for what you have.

Boost Your SEO with Good Social Media BUT We’re Not Sure How

socialmediaseoA lot has been made of the impact of social media and how that impacts SEO and eventually organic search rankings.  The truth is they do go hand in hand it’s just that nobody understands exactly how.  If they say they do they are probably willing to sell you some swamp land in New Jersey.  This article takes a look at some things to consider when using social media and seo to market your company.

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