Category : Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing PPC

7 Powerful PPC Advertising Secrets to Maximize Your ROI for Your Small Businesses

ppc for small businessesPay Per Click (PPC) Advertising is the quickest method of driving targeted traffic to your website. PPC has been proven to be effective if you do it right. If not, you could end up wasting lots of money really fast.

If you are doing online marketing for your small business you should know that every single of your advertising dollar must produce results for you. That’s why it’s critical to setup and manage your PPC campaign correctly and strategically! Follow these tips to ensure you run a successful PPC campaign.

PPC Secret #1 – Create Dedicated Adgroup for Each Group of Related Keywords

Perhaps the biggest mistake that most beginning PPC advertisers make is grouping a bunch of unrelated keywords in the same adgroup with the same ad copy. Doing so will guarantee that you get very low response rates.

Instead, you should create as many ad groups as necessary for the different theme of keywords that you have.  You should not have more than 10 keywords in each adgroup. Next, write relevant ad copy that target those group of related keywords.

For example, if you are running ads for your dental business, you should create separate adgroup and separate ad copy for the keywords “dental cleaning in San Jose” and “cosmetic dentists in San Jose.”

By having dedicated adgroup and ad copy for each related group of  keywords, your ad will attract more targeted and relevant searchers. This results in a lower cost per click and better response rates for you in the long run.

PPC Secret #2 – Use Match Types & Negative keywords

Google PPC allows you to bid for 3 different match types for your keywords – broad, phrase and exact match. Exact match produces the most relevant traffic. Broad match, on the other hand,  usually results in your ads being shown for lots of  irrelevant searches. Exact match usually gives you the best chance for sales and conversions.

Therefore, you should use exact match for all your keywords. You may also add phrase match and broad match for the same keyword to get more ad impressions. But you should bid lower for phrase match and broad match. In other words, for the same keyword, phrase match should have lower bid than exact match and broad match should have lower bid than phrase match. For example, if the keyword is “brown shoes”, a possible bid scenario is as follow:

  • [brown shoes] – $2.00
  • “brown shoes” – $1.80
  • brown shoes – $1.50

In addition, to prevent your ads from being shown for irrelevant searches, you must add these keywords as a negative match. Negative match can be done at both the campaign level and the adgroup level.

PPC Secret #3 – Split Test Your Ads

For each ad group, you should write at least 2 competing ads and let them run at the same time. Be sure to enable the ad rotation feature so that each ad get shown an equal amount of time.

The idea is to test different ad copies and continously optimize the click through rates and/or the conversion rates. Once you get enough data (usually around 50-100 clicks), keep the winning ad and write a new ad to compete against the winning ad.

You may use the ad split tester tool at www.splittester.com to help you select the winning ad. This tool will tell you whether you have enough data point to get a statistically valid result.

Here are some tips to follow to write winning ads:

  • Use clear and concise words that match what the searchers are looking for.
  • Convey compelling benefits about your business or services.
  • Use words and languages that appeal to people’s emotions.
  • Include a strong call to action, i.e. “Get this Now!” or “Download Free Trial Now!”
  • Test with different punctuation marks such as “!” vs “?”.

PPC Secret #4 – Send Ad Traffic to Dedicated Landing Pages

Another big mistake that I see lots of people make is sending all the PPC traffic to a homepage instead of dedicated landing pages. The home page is intended for a wide audience and has all kind of messages on there. By using landing pages, you’re able to customize the messages to match the copies on your ads. As a result, you’ll get much better responses.

Additionally, by using landing pages, you can do A/B tests as well as multivariate tests to optimize the responses. When doing A/B tests or multivariate tests, you can test different variations of headlines, layouts, images and their different combinations in order to find a version that produces the highest response rate.

Here are some tips for creating landing pages that yield the high response rates:

  • Your headline should contain the keywords that the searchers are searching for. Your headline should also offer a compelling promise.
  • Use relevant images to enhance your message.
  • Your message must be clear, concise, and highlight the key benefits of your products or services.
  • Your layout should be clean and simple with enough white spaces to avoid clutter.
  • Use lots of bullet points to summarize the benefits and features of your products or services.
  • Establish trust and credibility by showing off customer testimonials, customers’ logos, awards, or press mentions.
  • Have a Call to Action. Tell the visitors what exactly you want them to do after reading through message. Common “Call to Actions” include “contact us”, “call us”, “add to cart”, or “sign up for free trial.”

PPC Secret #5 – Track Conversions

In order to maximize your ROI, you must track everything. Conversion tracking helps you to find out which campaigns, ad copies, keywords, etc give you the best sales, signups, or responses.

PPC Secret #6 – Pause or Get Rid of non performing keywords

You should continuously monitor your keywords performance in order to ensure you get the best return for your PPC investment.

If a keyword has a low conversion rate or high bounce rate, then it usally indicates that the particular keyword is attracting the wrong audience to your website. You should either get rid of the keyword or put it on pause. Now, if a keyword has a low ad click through rate, then you should check to see if the ad copy is relevant to they keyword or not.

For example, if your keyword is “cat food” and your ad copy says “dog food….”, then it’s likely that you’re not going to see a high ad click through rate for that keyword. Perhaps, you should put that keyword in a separate adgroup and write a dedicated ad for it.

Additionally, if a keyword has a low quality score, you should put it on pause immediately. When you have time later, you can go back and find out why it has a low quality score. It’s most likely related to a low click through rate and a landing page that has no relevance to the keyword.

PPC Secret #7 – Separate Search and Content

One of the common mistake I see beginning adword players make is to activate both the content and search network for the same campaign. This is a BIG no no.

The behavior of the search audience and the content network audience is very different. The search audience are a lot more motivated and perhaps further along the buy cycle. They have a need and are actively looking for a solution. Hence, they use the search engines to search for solutions to their needs or problems.

The audience on the content network, on the other hand,  are there to read an article or to browse around a certain webpage. If your ad is showing up in the content network, you’re basically interupting them and distracting them. If your ad does a good job of attracting their attention, they may be curious enough to click on your ad and check out what your site has to offer.

At any rate, it is best to separate the two and optimize them individually.

PPC can quickly help you promote your business to new customers, but it could be a big waste of money if not managed properly. If you follow the above 5 tips, you will increase your chance of success significantly. Now, go and start optimizing your ppc campaigns!

Share Your PPC Tips By Commenting Below

If you have good experience with PPC and want to share additional tips, please comment below. You may also ask me any questions related to PPC by commenting below.

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Business Strategy Internet Marketing

Unlock This One Key to Explode Your Business Growth and Success!

keys to business successWhat do companies like Apple, Nordstrom, Zappos, and Ritz Carlton have in common other than being very successful?

Do you know what makes them successful and the reasons why they are the most admirable companies?

It could be argued that there are lots of things that go into making a successful company. But from my observation, the key to business success that are embodied by these great companies is their abilities to deliver amazing experiences to their clients.

The amazing experiences could come from one or a combination of factors, including great products and incredible customer services. No matter how you do it, if you can delight your customers with amazing experiences, you will undoubtedly have them as loyal customers for life!

Furthermore, these loyal customers can help your business grow to unimaginable level through their referrals. It is known that a happy customer will most likely tell their friends and family members about his/her great experience.

I have seen many businesses that exist for the sole purpose of just making money. Most often than not, these businesses either go out of business or struggle to survive.

I know of many restaurants that fall into the above category. The owner thinks that he/she could just open a restaurant and expect customers to be coming in every night. First of all, most restaurants that I’ve been to serve lousy food. I’ve had food that are worst than frozen dinner I bought at the super market. Secondly, the service is just horrible! The waiters and waitresses are rude and seldomly smile.

It’s no surprise that these restaurants go out of business within a few years.

How to Deliver Amazing Experiences and Have them coming back for More

If you want your business to have long term success, you must put your customers first. Your goal and focus should be on delivering amazing experiences to your customers. That’s the key to business success!

Nowadays, competition is quite fierce for every type of businesses. To be successful, you have to do things that separate yourself from the rest.

One of the best ways to make your business standout is to deliver amazing experiences to your customers. All it takes is some efforts and some creativities from you.

Here are the step to delivering amazing customer experiences:

  1. Examine everything your company does that affect the customers’ experience (products, customer service, return policy, etc).
  2. Could your products be made any better? If you are serving food or desserts, could use better and fresher ingredients? Did it pass your taste test?
  3. Is your staff properly trained on customer service? Do they smile and speak to customers in a friendly and engaging tone?
  4. What can you add with minimal costs that can enhance the customer experience? If you have a salon, how about buying a coffee machine and giving customers free coffee or tea while they’re waiting? Or how providing Nintendo Wii games?

If you can just do the little things and focus on enhancing the customers’ experience, I guarantee you that your business will not only grow, but it will thrive and prosper!

Please Share Your Experience

What have you done in your business lately that delighted or amazed your customers? Please share by commenting below! Don’t be shy!

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Internet Marketing Video Marketing

Follow these Video Marketing Tips to Generate Massive Traffic to Your Small Business Website

video marketingVideo has become the hottest trend in online marketing for small businesses.

Video injects life and stirs visitors’ emotions. As you know, people are visual and emotional. Video is great for captivating visitors’ attention and helps you to create a strong emotional connection for your offerings. As a result, you will get more calls, more clicks, and more customers that want to buy your products or visit your store.

Nowadays, you have lots of low cost tools to create videos. You can use a pocket video camera such as the ones from Kodak or you can even use your phone’s video camera. Don’t worry too much about making it look professional and perfect, although it’s important that the audio quality is too. Also, you should try be engaging and show your personality. And most importantly, just do it!

What Kind of Videos Should You Produce

Here are the different type of videos that you can make to post on your site as well as Video Sharing sites such as Youtube, Viddler, Vimeo, etc.

  • Welcome Video to give user a tour of your office/facility
  • Tell a story of how you get started in your business and what you are passionate about
  • Testimonials of happy clients
  • Product Demos to show customers the correct and best ways to use your products
  • Educational “how to” videos to teach and share your knowledge and experiences
  • Humorous and viral videos that is related to your business, products, or services.

How to use Videos

Video is great for introducing your customers to your products or store. You can use videos to give your visitors a tour of your storefront and your facility.

If you sell products or offer services, you can demonstrate how your products or services work in action. If your video is hypnotic, you have a better chance of compelling your prospects to buy your products or visit your stores.

An example of a successful video marketing campaign is Blendtec’s “will it blend” Youtube video. By creating a series of videos demonstrating whether the Blendtec blender can blend certain objects, these videos quickly gained attention and popularity among the Youtube visitors and members. Thanks to the viral effect of the videos, Blendtec has quickly gained exposure for their blender products.

How to Put Video On Your Website

To put the video on your website or blog, you can have your video hosted on Youtube and just embed the JavaScript code on your website.

Youtube is free, and the quality is good enough for typical uses. To learn more about uploading videos to Youtube, check out the help section on Google.

To display the Youtube video on your website, you would need to get the code and embed that code into your website. Just click on the “share” button and the click on the “Embed” button and copy the code. Then just insert this code into your website. You also have the option of customizing the width and height.

embedding youtube video

How to Produce a Video

You have myriad of tools to produce a video. The cheapest methods are to use your digital camera or mobile phone. If you want better quality video and sound, then I suggest you get a Kodak pocket video camera. Below are some popular models with high ratings on Amazon.

Kodak Zi8

Kodak Zx5

Kodak Zi6

To add special effects and edit your video, you can use a video editing program. You can use a free one such as Imovie (for Mac) or Window Moviemaker. However, if you want to produce high quality and more professional videos, you should use a professional video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Elements (Retail at $79).

If you don’t want to mess around with camera and software, then consider using Animoto. Animoto allows you to easily create amazing videos from your photos, video clips and music. They have a rich library of music for you to use.

Within 5-10 minutes, you could create a compelling slideshow video with music and nifty special effects.

Below is an example of a video made using Animoto.

SEO benefits of Video

Creating videos is a quick way for you to get found on Google. Google includes videos in the universal search results. Currently, there is little competition for videos.

So if you optimize your Youtube videos for Google Search, you have a good chance of getting your videos listed on Google universal search results when someone conduct a search related to the keyword phrase that you want to optimize for.

To optimize your video for search, follow these tips:

  • Include your keyword phrase in the title.
  • Include your keyword phrase again in the description field.
  • Don’t forget to tag your video. Try to come up as many related keywords as possible and tag your video with these keywords.
  • Build some links to the URL where your video is located on Youtube. Just like doing SEO for your web page, getting some high quality links to your video could give your video a boost in the search results.

In addition, to get the most out of your video, follow these best practice tips:

  • Include a link to your website at the beginning of the description field so that people can click on the link and get sent to your website after they finish watching your video.
  • Keep the duration of your video to less than 2 minutes. People’s interest seem to wane after 2 minutes.
  • Have a Call to Action at the end of your video. You might have something like, “Get your $20 off coupon for first time customer at www.YourBusiness.com”.
  • Ask all your friends, family, and customers to watch the video on Youtube and make comments and click on “like.” The more people interact with your
    video, the better the ranking for your video.
  • Try to keep it simple and really show your personality. Don’t worry too much about making it go viral.

Uploading and Distributing Your Videos

Upload and distribute your videos to as many video sharing sites as possible. Besides Youtube, there are sites such as Dailymotion.com, MySpace, Motionbox.com, Video.google.com, Video.Yahoo.com, Vimeo.com, etc.

Next, you should bookmark and link to the URL of your video using social bookmarking, web 2.0 properties, and blogs. The more links you get, the higher your video would rank on Google.

By promoting your videos across all these different channels, it helps your business to get huge exposure and drive hordes of traffic to your website.

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Email Marketing Internet Marketing

Email Marketing Tips to Build Loyal Customers For Your Small Business

Email marketing is a powerful way of building relationships with your customers and to send updates and special offers to your customers. This essential effort helps to drive your customers back to your business. Furthermore, email marketing helps you build up a network of contacts.

I am just surprised that not enough small businesses use email marketing. With a network or database of customers, you can continue to market to them and have them continuously refer their friends & family members to you.

As such, it is important for you to try to capture your customers and prospects’ contact information at every opportunity and touch point (on your website, at tradeshow, at point of sale in your store, surveys, at seminars, etc).

Once you have your prospect’s email, you have to make a genuine effort to build relationship and gain their trust. You have to establish yourself as the expert in your field so that they can count on you anytime they need help or their friends/family need help.

You can establish your credibility and expertise by providing them with useful and valuable information pertaining to your business and industry.

An email costs you almost nothing. By using an “autoresponder” email marketing service, you can send an email to your list of prospects and customers automatically. A good starter autoresponder service for small businesses that you can use is Aweber, probably the most popular one out there. It costs only $20 a month.

Since Aweber is an established email service company and is recognized among Google, Yahoo, AOL, your email messages will have higher delivery rate and not end up in the SPAM box.

Another good email marketing program to use is Vertical Response. With Vertical Response, you have the option of paying per email sent. If you don’t send email as often, you may prefer to use Vertical Response.

How to Motivate Your Prospects And Clients to Sign Up

You’d need to give your clients and prospects some incentives in order to get them to sign up and offer their emails to you. You can use incentives such as offering them free downloads, free whitepapers, coupons, discounts, immediate notice of new items arrival, or when you are offering specials.

Other incentives may include a special report or E-book that they can immediately download. Be sure to mention these incentives and encourage your prospects and customers to give you their emails on your website, brochure, at the cashier checkout, at tradeshows, or on any other marketing literatures and events.

For example, if you have a restaurant, you can instruct your waiter/waitress to ask for the customer’s email in exchange for a free dessert coupon on their next visit.

This is called “permission” email marketing. In other words, you only e-mail people that give you permission to e-mail them. It’s important that you never send mass, unsolicited emails to people. Doing so is ineffective and may lead to legal troubles for your business.

On your website, you can use an “auto responder” service like Aweber to create a sign up form. Aweber will give you a JavaScript code that you can insert on your website to get the Opt-in form.

Here are some best practice advices to follow to maximize your email marketing success:

  • At the beginning of your email relationship, focus on providing useful and helpful content and information.  You can offer a “how to” articles or reviews of certain products, or results of some surveys/polls. Don’t try to sell too much. What you try to do is to establish your credibility and gain their trust.
  • Segment your customers using a database system and send customized marketing messages to each target group. You may segment your customers based on behavior  or demographics information.For behavior segmenting, the key information you want to pay attention to are the frequency (how often the customer buy or visit your business) and recency of purchase (the date of their most recent purchase or visit).The customers that buy frequently from you and most recently are obviously the most valuable customers. You would want to spend more of your marketing resources on these group of customers and ensure that they remain loyal customers. For customers that do not respond to your offers or rarely open your emails, you may want to reengage the:
  • Write a compelling subject line – As you know, most people get bombarded with all kind of emails everyday. How do you make your email stand out from the rest? They key is having a compelling subject line. You should limit the subject line to around 50 characters and make it compelling.
  • You can also split test your subject line on a sample first and pick the best one to blast out to the rest. For example, if you have a big enough database, you can randomly select 100 subscribers and divide them into group A and group B. Send half of the emails with subject line A to group A and half of the emails with subject line B to group B.
  • What you’re trying to measure is the open rate (most email service providers provide this statistic). Between the two subject lines, you would then select the highest performing one and use that to send your email message to the rest of the list in your database.
  • Place the opt-in box in a prominent location of your website. The opt-in box should be on every page and it should be in a visible location of your website, usually the upper left or upper right.
  • Ask for feedback – Feedback from your customers can help you serve them better. Ask them for ideas on content, whether they’re happy with the content, and areas of improvement.
  • Ask for referrals – If you have customers that are happy with your services, ask them to refer you to their friends/family.

Lastly, you need to make your privacy policy very clear. Your prospects and customers must trust that you would never sell or give away their email addresses to any third parties before they feel comfortable to give up their emails to you. As you know, everyone hates to be spammed!

To learn more about email marketing, you can visit the Aweber website. They have many great articles on email marketing best practices.

Chapter 8: Unleash the Power of E-Mail Marketing

Collecting emails from your customers and prospects is a powerful way of building relationships, sending them updates and special offers, and driving them back to your stores! Also as important is the ability to build up a network of contacts.

I am just surprised that not enough businesses use email marketing. With a network or database of customers, you can continue to market to them and have them refer their friends/family to you.

As such, it is important for you to try to capture your customers and prospects’ contact information at every opportunity and touch point (on your your website, at tradeshow, at point of sale in your store, surveys, at seminars, etc).

Once you have your prospect’s email, you have to make a real effort to build relationship and gain their trust. You have to establish yourself as the expert in your field so that they can count on you anytime they need help or their friends/family need help.

You can establish your credibility and expertise by providing them with useful and valuable information pertaining to your business and industry.


An email costs you almost nothing. By using an “autoresponder” service, you can send an email to your list of prospects and customers automatically. A good starter autoresponder service for small businesses that you can use is Aweber, probably the most popular one out there. It costs only $20 a month.

Since Aweber is an established email service company and is recognized among Google, Yahoo, AOL, your email messages will have higher delivery rate and not end up in the SPAM box.


Another good email marketing program to use is Vertical Response. With Vertical Response, you have the option of paying per email sent. If you don’t send email as often, you may prefer to use Vertical Response.


How to Motivate Your Prospects And Clients to Sign Up

You’d need to give your clients and prospects some incentives in order to get them to sign up and offer their emails to you. You can use incentives such as offering them free downloads, free whitepapers, coupons, discounts, immediate notice of new items arrival, or when you are offering specials.

Other incentives may include a special report or E-book that they can immediately download. Be sure to mention these incentives and encourage your prospects and customers to give you their emails on your website, brochure, at the cashier checkout, at tradeshows, or on any other marketing literatures and events.

For example, if you have a restaurant, you can instruct your waiter/waitress to ask for the customer’s email in exchange for a free dessert coupon on their next visit.

This is called “permission” email marketing. In other words, you only e-mail people that give you permission to e-mail them. It’s important that you never send mass, unsolicited emails to people. Doing so is ineffective and may lead to legal troubles for your business.

On your website, you can use an “auto responder” service like Aweber to create a sign up form (see figure 3 below for an example). Aweber will give you a JavaScript code that you can insert on your website to get the Opt-in form similar to the one below:

 

 

Here are some best practice advices to follow to maximize your email marketing success:

  • You need to make your privacy policy very clear. Your prospects and customers must trust that you would never sell or give away their email addresses to any third parties before they feel comfortable to give up their emails to you. As you know, everyone hates to be spammed!

  • At the beginning of your email relationship, focus on providing useful and helpful content and information. You can offer a “how to” articles or reviews of certain products, or results of some surveys/polls. Don’t try to sell too much. What you try to do is to establish your credibility and gain their trust.

  • Segment your customers using a database system and send customized marketing messages to each target group. You may segment your customers based on behavior or demographics information.

    For behavior segmenting, the key information you want to pay attention to are the frequency (how often the customer buy or visit your business) and recency of purchase (the date of their most recent purchase or visit).

    The customers that buy frequently from you and most recently are obviously the most valuable customers. You would want to spend more of your marketing resources on these group of customers and ensure that they remain loyal customers.

    For customers that do not respond to your offers or rarely open your emails, you may want to reengage them

  • Write a compelling subject line – As you know, most people get bombarded with all kind of emails everyday. How do you make your email stand out from the rest? They key is having a compelling subject line. You should limit the subject line to around 50 characters and make it compelling.

    You can also split test your subject line on a sample first and pick the best one to blast out to the rest. For example, if you have a big enough database, you can randomly select 100 subscribers and divide them into group A and group B. Send half of the emails with subject line A to group A and half of the emails with subject line B to group B.

    What you’re trying to measure is the open rate (most email service providers provide this statistic). Between the two subject lines, you would then select the highest performing one and use that to send your email message to the rest of the list in your database.

  • Place the opt-in box in a prominent location of your website. The opt-in box should be on every page and it should be in a visible location of your website, usually the upper left or upper right.

  • Ask for feedback – Feedback from your customers can help you serve them better. Ask them for ideas on content, whether they’re happy with the content, and areas of improvement.

  • Ask for referrals – If you have customers that are happy with your services, ask them to refer you to their friends/family.


To learn more about email marketing, you can visit the Lyris website. They have many great articles on email marketing best practices.

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Internet Marketing

Why Small Businesses Must Implement Internet Marketing Now

With the proliferation of high speed Internet access and smart phones, more and more consumers are using the Internet to search for local and small businesses.

Consider these stats:

  • 90 million people spend time on the Internet every day.
  • Over 60% of consumers use the Internet to search for local businesses.

Thus, if your business is not represented on the Internet, your prospects will just click and check out your competitors’ business instead. Your competitors would then have great opportunities to promote to local consumers in your market. Eventually, your competitors will take away all your customers and your business will crumble to ground!

And if you are still relying on traditional methods of advertising such as advertising in the yellow books, TV, Radio, newspaper, I got bad news for you. The traditional methods of marketing are costly as well as ineffective!

Advantages of Internet Marketing Methods

Here are some compelling reasons why you must implement Internet Marketing for your business now:

  • Internet Marketing Methods are either FREE or cost very little.
  • Internet Marketing has a wide reach – You can reach many consumers efficiently.
  • Internet Marketing levels the playing field for everyone. You don’t have to be a big corporate or have big budget to be successful.
  • Internet Marketing tools allow you to tap into your creativity and communication skills. It’s fun!
  • Internet Marketing methods are trackable. You can quickly find out which methods are yield results and which are a dud.

What are the different Internet Marketing Tools & Methods

The number of Internet Marketing tools and methods can be overwhelming. How and where to start? Below, I list some of the main tools and methods that are most effective for small businesses:

  • Create a website and perform some basic SEO so that your site can be found by the Search Engines for keywords related to your business, products, services.
  • List your business information on Google, Yahoo, MSN maps as well as local directories and local review sites
  • Create profiles on Social Network Sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • Set up a blog and start blogging
  • Produce videos and submit to video sites (Youtube)
  • Pay Per Click advertising

Now, some of you may think that the Internet is just too complicated. Well, you just need to break them into smaller steps and do one thing at a time. If you still find it complicated or don’t have the time, then you should get the right training or hire the professionals.

Regardless of how you go about it, it’s critical that you take actions NOW to implement the latest Internet Marketing methods to grow your business!

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