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Google Ads or Social Media Ads – Which is Right for my Business?

It seems like there are so many different options in digital marketing, and for those in business sometimes the information just seems overwhelming and confusing. That doesn’t mean you should avoid digital marketing altogether, on the contrary, internet marketing can provide great exposure for your business at a cost that is generally more reasonable than traditional marketing—and what’s best it works.

What is Your Business & Who is Your Customer?

The very first step is to define your business and your potential client before you hone in on a strategy that will work for you. For instance, if you work in a service industry such as plumbing or appliance repairs, your strategy might look completely different from someone who is selling a specific good. Determine what you are selling and more importantly how your current or potential client come to purchase—then you will have a better idea of how to strategize moving forward.

Digital Advertising Options

While there are many options for digital advertising online, the majority of businesses usually participate in one (or both) of the two big options– Google and Facebook.

Google Advertising

Google is continually growing and changing, but what they always offer are robust options for those who are looking to market online. Even with all the options, most clients tend to rely on two main forms of Google ads.

Google Adwords – Search engine marketing is undeniably effective because it allows you the most important potential client targeting available. When your future consumer is looking for the goods or services you provide, their first stop is almost always Google. There are over 3.5 billion searches on Google each day—and that is activity that should not, and really cannot be ignored. Google Adwords allows you to capitalize on those searches and on that very moment when your potential customer is looking for your product or services by listing your business at the top their search engine result pages.

As a business, you only pay for the ad placement Google provides when someone clicks– which is why this strategy is aptly named “Pay-Per-Click.” Depending on the business you are in, there may be high competition for placement on search engines, which drives up the cost per click.

Google Display Ads – Display ads provide another avenue to advertise your business. You’ve all seen banner ads when browsing—and often you question “How did they know?”. And the while the long answers is complicated, the short answer is: Google. This type of display advertising is generally referred to as remarketing, and it allows marketers to send ads to you based on your search engine or browsing history. It’s sort of a way for a business to say, “Hey! Remember us! We’re still here, come check us out again!”

However, display advertising doesn’t end there. Google has a large family of advertisers, allowing marketers and business owners to place ads on specific websites that your customers are likely to visit. With the large network of advertising and both arms of a display campaign, your company can be everywhere your potential customer is and keep you front of mind at the most opportune times.

Facebook Ads

Social media advertising, specifically on Facebook and Instagram, is a different strategy altogether. Google enables you to introduce your company to a client base that needs your goods or services, however Facebook allows you to introduce your good or service, to someone who may not have realized they needed you in the first place– giving you access to a new potential clientele base that you may have not even known existed.

Unlike other traditional advertising, Facebook allows you to target, rather specifically, to the people who are your most likely customer. While geographical targeting is a feature of most forms of advertising, Facebook goes a step further. Looking to market to parents or mothers? No problem. Want to target to homeowners? Done. Have a product great for outdoorsy folks? Social media can cover that too. You can target so many different interests and determining factors that your ad, and your budget, will me far more effective and allow you a great return on your investment.

 

Which Advertising Platform is Right For Me?

First, they might both be beneficial to your marketing efforts, so take the time to determine your ultimate objective. If you’re in a service industry goal is getting more phones to ring, Google search engine ads is a great way to go. Plumber marketing, for instance, is a great example. When someone needs a plumber’s services, they generally need them immediately and go straight to Google—so a PPC campaign is a great strategy. A company selling a specific product, however, knows branding and loyalty are important, so utilizing social media advertising can help them stay relevant with their client base.

However, in most cases, companies often succeed using a combination of both strategies. It’s also important to consider your budget and competition– cost per click can go up depending on the competition in the field, so do your proper research, or rely on a digital marketing company, that can help you with the process.

Getting Started

Though we haven’t mentioned it just yet, no digital marketing is going to be effective if you don’t have a quality website in place. The website must be up to date and work well with different devices and operating systems. Your site should instill authority and give the potential client a feeling of trust. The website also needs to easily convey contact information—in varying formats, email, phone, contact forms, etc. Landing pages are also an important factor—if you are running an ad for a sale on a coffee mug, but the ad just dumps you on a main page, you’re going to navigate away from that product and never look back. Making sure your ads link to the right pages is of huge importance.

Once you have a webpage that will help encourage new business, then you can begin creating and running ads. A lot of businesses opt to hire professional marketing help to manage these ads, which can often save time and create a much stronger and more effective campaign.

However, outsourcing is not an option for all businesses, and both Google and Facebook are aware of that. Both provide excellent training courses, customer support, and tutorials that can help people navigate the process.

In the end, no matter what strategy you adopt, the results you experience with effective digital marketing are hard to ignore. Analytics and tracking capabilities enable you to see results and utilize that data to reach your overall marketing goal. Don’t be overwhelmed, and don’t be afraid—and if you are, contact us today.

Three Tips for Creating a Great Online Reputation for Your Plumbing Business

In today’s digitally focused world, a business’s online reputation is of utmost importance. Before doing business with a company, almost every customer will go online to learn more about their rates, services and, yes, their customer reviews.

An online reputation is especially important in the plumbing industry. After all, people will be letting workers into their homes to repair vital and expensive pieces of equipment. They want to make sure that the workers are clean and respectful, and that work will be completed successfully and fairly.

There are several things you can do to maintain a good reputation in the plumbing industry. The first of these is to build a strong social media presence.

Social Media

Many people are on social media today. Being present on social media will help people to find your business. Establishing the right kind of profiles will also let your customers know you are trustworthy, credible and have good standing in the industry.

Start by using professional photos that feature your workers and the people behind your company. When people can attach a face to a product, it will make the brand seem more personable and relatable. A great company story can also increase engagement and allow consumers to make a personal connection.

Follow up by engaging in conversations with your customers. Ask for their opinions and respond to their questions and comments. This will show an extra level of customer care.

Post regularly to stay present in the public eye and show that your company is on top of things. Share pictures of jobs that have been completed successfully, and your workers interacting with customers. Post informative blogs on your website and share links on your social media accounts.

Managing Reviews

As much as we would all like to avoid bad reviews, they are likely to occur in any line of business. Sometimes mistakes are made or sometimes you are dealing with a customer that is just having a bad day. Either way, it’s important not to dwell on these mistakes, but to deal with them effectively.

Here are some tips on how to deal with a bad review:

Respond promptly: Never let a review go unanswered. Respond promptly. If you wait too long, your customer may get more upset and the issue could escalate.

Be Polite and Professional: When dealing with a bad review, it’s important not to take things personally. Stay polite and professional and avoid being defensive and insulting. If your communication escalates into an argument, it will look bad for everyone involved.

Take the Matter Offline: It is likely that, for customer complaints to resolve, action will eventually have to be taken offline. You may have to send your customer a coupon or exchange to make things right. If this is the case, be sure to mention that in your online communication so those following the thread will know things are being handled on another level.

Be sure to respond to good reviews as well! Let customers who take the time to write something positive about you know that they are appreciated.

Integrate Reviews on Your Website

You can also use your website to help build your online reputation. The best way to do this is to include customer testimonials in your content. You can also include links to 3rd party reviews that appear on sites like Yelp and Google in the footer of your website. Including these links and testimonials will benefit your business in the following ways:

Conversion Rate Optimization: Customers that see positive customer reviews will be more likely to use your business.

Ethical Link Building: Having quality embedded links on your site can help increase your search engine visibility. The links you include to third party sites on your page can work as quality links while showing your company in the best light.

Rich Snippet Generation: If you use structured data, your reviews will be displayed as part of your Google search results.

SEO: Well reviewed companies are likely to rank higher on search engines.

If you are a plumbing business owner, you know how much your business means to you. Reputation management is vital in helping your company to grow and continue to move forward.  Be sure to do what you can to show your business in the best light, so you can keep those pipes clear for years to come!

Digital Marketing Terms to Know

Library

Digital Marketing & Web Development Glossary

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge into digital marketing and immediately you are hit with words and concepts that may seem slightly foreign to you. Fear not, the tech world and the marketing world are working together more and more every day, and digital marketers, like Social Eyes Marketing, have the tools not only to help you succeed online, but to help you understand how you are doing it.

If you are totally new to digital marketing and website development this handy guide may serve to answer some questions and help you understand what those tech people are talking about.

 

A

A/B Testing –  For digital ad campaigns, an A/B test allows marketers to determine what will help an ad perform more efficiently. A traditional A/B test will run two ads simultaneously and measure their effectiveness and response from the audience to determine what method is better received with a specified target audience.

ALT Attribute/Tag – The ALT text will be displayed inside the image placeholder while the page is loading and it contributed to overall optimization of a site for search engines performance.

Analytics – Statistics gathered about website users and how they interact with the website they are on. Analytics can reveal such information as how they got to your site, how many people are on your site, how long they browse, or any specific actions they may take on your website as well.

 

B

Browser –  The software that users implement to navigate the World Wide Web. Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox are all examples of browsers.

 

C

Call to Action (CTA) –  A call to actions is text or an image within an ad that encourages the user to take action, such as “Call Now,” “Learn More,” or “Sign Up Today.”

Clickthrough Rate (CTR) –  A percentage that relates to the amount of times an ad was seen (impression) and how often it was clicked on.

Content Management System (CMS) – An application that enables the building and on-going modification of website content with a simple to use interface that supports multiple users. WordPress is the CMS Social Eyes uses for all their clients’ sites.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) – CSS is the code that developers use to design the look and overall feel of your website. The CSS sets styles for fonts, images, menu, colors and other visual elements.

 

D

Domain – The web address that is entered in to a browser when a user wants to visit a specific site. Our domain is getsocialeyes.com.

Domain Authority – A number based on a 100 point scale that determine how much strength your website has which contributes to how well it will rank on search engine results pages. The higher the domain authority, the higher search engine will rank your site organically.

Display Advertising – In digital advertising, display ads are graphic ads that are shown on a webpage. They can be graphics or video and encourage the user to click on them to learn more.

 

F

Favicon – A small icon image, usually a logo or variation, that appears in the title bar or browser tab, as well as with bookmarks.

Frequency –  The amount of times an ad is shown to the same consumer during an ad campaign.

 

H

Hosting – Hosting refers to the web servers where your website files are stored and maintained in order to be on the World Wide Web.

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language is the code that is used to build web pages. It is more frequently used in conjunction with other code languages, such as CSS and JavaScript.

 

I

Impressions – The number of times an ad is shown to potential customers or clients.

 

K

Keyword –  Specific words and phrases that a consumer or client might be likely to use in searching for products or services. Keywords are specifically chosen by businesses and advertisers to enable their ad to show up in specific search engine results.

 

L

Landing Page –  The web page users “land” on after they click on a display ad or a paid search ad.

 

M

Meta Tag – An HTML tag that stores information about a web page. They provide information about a website and its content to sort websites and display the most relevant information on a search engine result page.

 

N

Navigation – Often navigation refers to simply the menu which contains the links within site, more broadly however it just denotes the way a user can “navigate” the page. Often navigation is also included at the bottom of a webpage as well.

 

O

Organic – Search results that are organic are ones that appear in search engine results naturally based on their determined relevance, as opposed to paid searches, which provide non-organic links via the placement of paid search engine results.

 

P

Page Authority – A number based on a 100 point scale that determine how much strength a page in your website has in relation to how it will rank on search engine results pages. Page authority refers to the specific page, while domain authority refers to the whole site under the domain.

Pay Per Click (PPC) –  Pay Per Click refers to the pricing model for digital advertising where advertisers pay based on the number of clicks a link or ad receives.

 

R

Reach –  The total amount of users who see your ad.

Remarketing –  Showing ads to people who have already visited your site, encouraging them to reconsider your products or services and revisit your page.

Responsive Design – A website with a responsive design will easily adjusts to the screen it is being viewed on no matter what the device the user is on. This is in contrast to adaptive design where there are several different designs to handle the change among devices.

Return on Investment (ROI) – ROI measures the amount of return, or profit, on an investment in relation to the cost of the investment.

 

S

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Search engine optimization is the process that helps search engine understand the information that is on your website in order to rank your site higher and more relevantly on search engine result pages. This is the process to getting you to the first page of search results and in a place more likely to be seen by potential customers and clients.

SERP – Search engine results page.

Slider – A “slide show” banner of images or videos that is usually placed on the homepage of a website.

Social Advertising – Running a paid ad campaign on a social media platform, such as Facebook or LinkedIn.

 

T

Targeting –  Targeting is a specific way to identify your most likely customer based on their various attributes.

Behavioral Targeting focuses their efforts on identifying consumers based on their previous online behavior, such as searches, websites visited and online purchases.

Geographic Targeting helps you select an audience for your ad campaign based on geographical identifiers like zip codes, regions, cities, states and countries.

Contextual Targeting is about selecting audiences based on the type of content they are viewing based on the text that is on the website they are visiting.

 

W

WordPress – Web-based, open-source content management system designed to make accessing the site easy for all users.

Boost Your Social Media Presence

It’s not enough to just have a social media account – you must make a presence on the various platforms. What’s the point of having a Facebook page if you aren’t going to use it. Social media has made it easier than ever to communicate with customers around the world. Businesses can share deals, sales and general information where customers and clients can communicate back and fully share their experience by writing a review.  Below are six ways to boost your social media presence.

Look for Opportunities for Discussion

By engaging with your customers you’re showing that you are a real human. Everybody is sick of automated voice calls or talking to someone overseas. By discussing trending topics, you show your audience that you are aware of the latest buzz and ready to get on board with that conversation. Everybody has an opinion. And it seems at this day in age, that everybody loves to express their opinion on social media sites. Look for those opportunities and grab them.

Communication

Communication is key in any relationship. Listen to your audience and understand their needs. Social media is not a way one form of communication. You’re not meant to talk at your audience, but with them.

Produce Good Content

Your audience won’t pay attention to your social media profiles unless you’re producing good, interesting content that pertains to them in some way or another. Experiment to find out what exactly your target audience likes: stories, information, images, video. Besides breaking news topics, keep your content related to your business. Your audience has liked and followed your pages because you have a product or service that they want or need and they are specifically interested in that product. The fasted way to lose followers is by producing content that don’t want or need to see.

Engage with Everyone

It’s as simple as that. Engage with the customers who leave reviews. Engage with the customers who ask questions on your wall. Engage with the customers who tweet about you. Engage with the customers who send you a private message. Engage with everyone and they will communicate back.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags have proven to bring more engagement to tweets and posts. Look for trending hashtags and strike up a discussion on your wall. Create your own brand hashtag and use it consistently.

Give Them a Reason

Give your audience a reason to engage with your business. Provide a benefit so they want to follow you and continue to support your business and social media presence.

Content is King

Content marketing is one of the most important trends this year. With content marketing you are able portray the exact reason why your customers need your product or service, without being in their face about it. In order to get sales and grow your business, you need to be advertising where your customers are. They are online, reading content their friends posted on Facebook or retweeted on Twitter.

We’ve all heard it before, word of mouth is, ideally, the best form of advertising. It’s cheap, and society tends to trust their friends. If your mom or brother uses a product and swears by it, wouldn’t you want to try it out? Content marketing is essentially the online version of word of mouth advertising when your content is being shared by customers.

Since content is king is the online world, I’ve compiled a list of popular royalty to help you understand exactly why content is important and needs to be a part of your marketing strategy.

1. Content marketing is there to tell your customers why they need your product or service. How will it benefit your customer? Without selling your product or service, your content marketing needs to be truthful, straightforward, and tell it how it really is. Princess Mia Thermopolis Renaldi (The Princess Diaries) is just a normal teenager trying to make her way in the world. Without being in-your-face, Mia subtly shows Genovia why she would be a make a good Princess for their country.

2. Your content will bring in traffic to your site. With links, your article can direct users to other areas of your website, allowing potential customers to see what other products and services you offer. Those links can also connect users to other blog posts that are relevant to the ones they are currently reading, allowing those posts to get more views and your information to continue getting shared and liked. King Joffrey (Game of Thrones) might be selfish, hated by viewers and a total brat, but he does get a lot of attention, which is exactly what you want your content marketing to get.

3. Content marketing is a great way to engage with both new and existing customers. Great content will keep customers coming back and will keep your customers loyal to your brand. Simba (The Lion King) left his pride at a young age but when he returned years later, his pride was waiting for him and ready for Simba to be their king.

 

8 Ways to Get Your First 100 Twitter Followers

The average business has 14,709 Twitter followers.  Of course, they didn’t receive thousands and thousands of followers overnight.  It’s important to gain a following for your business. 91% of 18-34 year olds using social media are talking about brands. And 64% of consumers have made a purchase decision based on social content.

So, where do you start?

Here are 8 tips on getting your first 100 Twitter followers.  100 followers may not seem like a lot, but everybody has to start somewhere.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is a critical part of any online marketing strategy. The ties between search engines, technical aspects and content development make it complicated and difficult for people to understand.

So what exactly is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or “organic” search results.

What does that mean?

Major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, have primary search results where web pages are displayed and ranked in order of relevancy. The ranking depends on the content that is published and the quality of the HTML code of the website.

BlogSEO

Imagine you’re searching online for a couch. You go to Google and type in “furniture places in Boise”. Mor Furniture for Less appears on the top spot with other furniture stores following behind. Google ranked these websites based on the content they provided and the quality of the HTML code, believing they would be relevant for you.

Oh, that’s search engine optimization!

All search engine optimization really is, is a fancy way of saying “Getting to the top of a search engine.” Which is important, considering 90% of Internet users click on the first search result when using Google, Yahoo and Bing. And 75% of users never scroll past the first page, so if a website is not high up on the first page of search results, it isn’t being seen.

BlogSEO2

The Year to be Mobile Friendly!

Since 1907, millions of people have watched the ball drop in New York City’s Times Square, starting the New Year’s resolutions. Gyms will be packed for another week before the resolutions slowly stop and bad eating habits come back.

January is here. It’s the time for new beginnings with a new year ahead of you. Now that your resolutions have begun – and maybe ended – take time to look at your business and see where it’s at and where you want it to be at the end of 2015.

Here’s a simple resolution that can help build your business throughout the new year: be mobile friendly!

It’s a small way to make a huge impact. 1 billion Facebook users are mobile users. That’s a lot of people using their smart phones to be on Facebook. Don’t you think they are looking at your site too? Only 26% of small businesses have a mobile website. Now is the time to make your website mobile friendly.

The survey, “What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today,” was conducted for Google by independent market research firms Sterling Research and SmithGeiger. Let’s see what they had to say.

mobilefriendly

Is Podcasting an Effective Marketing Platform?

So, what is podcasting? It is simply a form of digital broadcasting. These podcasts are downloaded from the internet so that they can be listened to. The thing that makes a podcast great is that people can subscribe to them so that when a new podcast is available for download.
How can this play in to a marketing plan? It is true that podcasting is not right for every business, but if it will work for the product or services that you provide, I would highly recommend it. Podcast usually come as a series of related topics, but you do not have to stick to this method for your marketing plan. Podcasts can be used to describe new products or services, or it can be used to market your company in general. One other reason that I will recommend podcasting as a marketing tool is because of statistics. On average, a person will stay on a website for about 2-3 minutes, while people who listen to a podcast stay engaged for around 20 minutes (depending on the length of the podcast). This creates a great opportunity to sale your business and your products.

The Pros:

  • Podcasts do not just have to be audio…they can also include video.
  • The technology allows for use on mobile devices, so you can reach a greater number of individuals.
  • Consumers can subscribe to the podcasts.
  • Podcasts can easily be intertwined with your website and social media accounts.
  • Podcasts allow you to connect with your customers on a more personal level. By being able to hear the emotion behind the voice is more effective than words on a page.

The Cons:

  • Podcasts are not right for every type of business.
  • The bandwidth needed to run a podcast series can be costly if you do not already have access to it.
  • You must continually create new and interesting content to keep your listeners engaged.
  • Podcasts are not seen as usual marketing platform, so gaining interest may be difficult to begin with.
  • The person who is making the recordings must have the passion for your product or service that you want your customers to have.

What it comes down to is brand awareness. You are not just selling a product or service, but your business in general, and this is great way to do it; as long as you have the resources and the desire to step outside of the box when it comes to your marketing plan.

Website and Marketing Evolution: Why You Should Remain Proactive

We all know what evolution is, but how does it apply to websites and marketing? The answer is simple. At some point, your target audience is going to change. Whether it is, their personal tastes or you are targeting a different group all together. It all comes down to change. If you develop a website and marketing campaign, and never change it, you will lose the interest of your audience.
Look at social media marketing, it is constantly changing and evolving into something different on a daily basis. This change keeps the content and design fresh and up to date. I am not saying that you need to evolve your website and marketing campaigns on a daily basis, but it is something that needs to be done routinely. By evolving your content, you will be able to stay current with themes in your area of business. Other than updating special offers, you need to update the text on your website. For instance, maybe one of your products or services has changed; if you do not update the information for this, you will be misleading your customers. Another thing to consider is that in any field of business, there are always changes in terminology or acronyms used to abbreviate certain names/titles. If you do not stay current with this change in terminology, you have the chance of missing potential customers, because your site does not contain this new keyword. As I mentioned earlier in this series, it is critical to have these keywords, so that search engines can return your website as a possible fit to someone’s search.
Website and marketing evolution is not as hard as you may think, but if you have questions regarding what should be done; contact us…and let us maintain and evolve your website and marketing platforms.