Google Adwords Losing Business

Google Adwords is losing business if the trends I’m seeing are any indication. Small business is seeing adwords revenue go flat while costs go up. And they are asking for organic SEO campaigns to replace Google.

google adwords logoGoogle Adwords is losing business…at least in my world. I’ve been contacted by several new clients in the last year who all told me the same thing. Google Adwords is getting more expensive and their results have either been flat or gone down.

Every one of them have asked me to put together an organic search engine optimization program for them to replace their Google Adwords.

Obviously, this is very circumstancial evidence. However, I believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. If I’m seeing this, there must be other SEO firms that are seeing the same thing.

I’d be curious to hear if anyone else is seeing the same trend. I’d also think seriously about selling your Google stock.

Great NY Times article on using Twitter for small business

Twitter for small business marketing by the NY Times should be mandatory reading for any small business. Found it on Jean Holewa’s, The Trade Show Diva, FaceBook page…

Twitter for Small Business - NY Times articleThe NY Times has a great article on using Twitter for small business marketing. It was especially written about small businesses who have a small store or street vending cart and may not even have a website.

However, don’t just think, “Well, I don’t have a small store or street cart so this doesn’t apply to me.” Ideas on how to use Twitter to build your small business will be jumping like popcorn after you read this great article.

Kudos to the NY Times for the information and many “thank yous” to Jean Holewa, the Trade Show Diva, for posting a link to this article on her Facebook page. Here’s the Twitter for Small Business article

Referrals – least expensive, lowest risk, highest potential return for getting new customers or clients

passing the baton is a great referral analogy As you may know, I’m a big fan of Jay Abraham. So when I’m looking for a new marketing idea, I often turn to his “Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got” book.

Today, I was reading up on referrals. If you really are focused on customer or client satisfaction, this is a great way to leverage that relationship.

If you’re that kind of business person, sometimes it’s difficult to see the Return On Investment (ROI) from all that great service. Other than the customer or client coming back to you for more business. A formal referral system leverages or multiplies the essence of all that extra work you put into every customer of client.

While it would take a huge amount of space to put Jay’s entire referral system in here, here are some of the essential basics:

  1. Know who your ideal prospect is before you start asking for referrals. That way you can tell your prospectees who to look out for.
  2. Really get down and dirty and formalize who your ideal prospect would be. Write it down in great detail. We’re talking demographics here, Just as you should do in any formal marketing plan.
  3. Make a formal list of who you could get referrals from such as vendors, clients, employees, competitors, former competitors, your banker, relatives, church members, association members, etc.
  4. Make certain you stand out from your competitors in some way so it’s easy for people to refer you to others. That will also make it easier for them to point out why they recommend you other than just the job you did for them.
  5. Offer a reward system for referrals. If you’re in a profession that would not allow monetary recompense, offer to help them with their business or to donate to their favorite charity.
  6. Offer the referral a special incentive such as a special discount, a money-back guarantee, a free additional service, etc.
  7. I love this idea. Do something special IN ADVANCE for the person you want to get referrals from. Take them out to lunch, give THEM a referral first, or give them a special report or book with high perceived value.

Leveraging referrals from anyone, not just your customers or clients, is a great way to build your business. Just don’t treat it as a casual thing. Formalize it as a part of your marketing plan and exercise it on a regular basis. Consistency and regularity are key to any successful marketing initiative.

You’ll find a more thorough plan for referrals in the book “Getting Everything YOu Can Out Of All You’ve Got” by Jay Abraham.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Websites

I was watching the wind blowing the leaves around in my yard this morning and a thought percolated up out of the depths of my coffee-stimulated mind.

“What have you done for the SEO on your website, lately?”

No home run in Search Engine Optimization

I have a number of articles on my website on search engine optimization. And one of the points I try to make as often as I can is that SEO is not a one shot deal. You can’t just SEO a site and be done with it. It is an incremental process over time.

And the other point I try to make is that there is no “home run” with search engine optimization. It is the cumulative effect of lots of small changes to your site. So I was thinking, what can I do to add another piece to the puzzle.

Swapping links

Do you have business associates that you trust? People you do business regularly with because you know them and they always do right by you? Are they listed on your website under Trusted Partners or Favorite Resources? Why not?

Take this opportunity to contact your favorite business associates. Are you in a Grapevine or BNI or Genie or other networking group? Ask to swap links with them. In other words, they link to your site and you link to theirs.

This accomplishes two things. For one, when other people link to you, it adds just a little bit of strength to your site with the search engines. Swapping links isn’t as powerful as a one way link to you. However, it helps all of you who are linked together a little bit. And like I said, SEO is cumulative.

We’re all in this together

The other thing it accomplishes is the same as the reason you joined a networking group. It’s a form of giving a referral. Every time someone comes to your site and follows the link to someone else’s site, that’s a referral.

It may not have your name on it, the other person may not find out how the new visitor found them, but every time something like that happens and someone in your group gets new business, it helps everyone in your group. The more prosperous they become, the more business they have to pass around. And that’s what these groups are all about.

Boost Sales in a Recession Using Local Celebrities

Celebrity marketing for local businessBoosting sales in a recession using local celebrities probably sounds like an expensive option to most small to mid-size businesses. But when everyone is in the same boat, everything is negotiable.

However, right now, you need to be thinking outside the box. Or at least, your marketing team should be thinking outside the box. So let’s take a minute and see if we can come up with some outside the box ideas to stimulate business using a local celebrity.

First of all, let’s eliminate the idea of creating TV commercials like the Buick commercials using Tiger Woods. That’s out of the question for any small to mid-size business.

However, a celebrity is like any other commodity. The price is negotiable. So first, let’s try to pare down the cost of using a celebrity for promotion.

First of all, a local celebrity is much cheaper than a worldwide celebrity like Tiger Woods. TV commercials are the most expensive way to use a celebrity. Next down is radio. Cheaper still would be using the celebrity’s image only.

So, how can we use a local celebrity’s image most effectively?

As many of you may already know, I think TV and radio advertising are completely useless for small to mid-size businsses. It makes sense for huge corporations like McDonalds or Coca-Cola to use it because they are international brands that almost everyone uses or would consider using.

But SMBs need to target their advertising. That’s why I love Online Marketing. You can Dominate The ‘Net for your target audience for a heck of a lot less than using “old school” advertising.

Alright, we’ve pared down the cost of using a local celebrity. So how best to use their image and name?

What do people go on the Internet for? Usually it’s for one of two things.

  • Either they are looking for information before they purchase
  • or they already know what they want and are looking for the cheapest price

Unless you’re marketing a common commodity and you are the low price leader, we aren’t interested in the price shopper. So how do you get the attention of the “information searcher?”

By dominating the online information segment of your market.

Let’s say you’re a brick and mortar store selling appliances. People definitely search the Internet for information about appliances before they buy. That’s a given.

So you contract with a local, well known talk show host named Cindy Knowll to use her name and likeness in association with an informational website on appliances called: Minneapolis Appliance Information Resource with Cindy Knowll.

DO NOT ASSOCIATE THIS SITE WITH YOUR STORE! Don’t put the name of your store on it, don’t advertise on it, don’t mention your store. Do not put anything promotional on it. This has to be viewed as a legitimate information site. Otherwise, people will just see it as a marketing ploy and you’ll get no business from it.

make the Home page as simple as possible. Put a search function right in the center of the Home page of the website that only searches on your site. You can do this for free with Google if you wish. (Or your website designer can add this function). And on the Home page, just tell people how to search for what they want. No other information.

Give them examples. Tell them they should type in “cheapest washing machine,” or “ceramic-top stove” or “gas dryer.” And tell them how to narrow the search. No sales pitches, and no marketing. Also have a listing of articles on appliance maintenance and care, how to get the most “bang for your buck” when searching for appliances.

And the only appliances listed in the website are sold at your store.

What you’ve created is a local resource (that everyone will tell their friends about), endorsed by a local celebrity, that only lists your appliances. And every page has an informational phone number people can call to speak to someone (at your store) about the appliance they are interested in. Plus a “get directions” map (to your store) on every page. Right on the upper right-hand corner where people can easily find it.

If you really wanted to Dominate The ‘Net locally, you could make deals with other appliance sellers to list their appliances also. They can either pay you a fee to have their appliances listed or pay only for leads. Then you not only make money off of your sales, but you also make money off of your compeititors’ appliance sales.

can you see how this could be applied to your business? Now that’s what I call having your cake and eating it too!