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Matt Umbro at PPC Hero has three reasons Why Website Redesigns Impact PPC More Than You Think. In many ways, redesigning a site is similar to a Rubik’s Cube, because changes made in one part will always affect other parts of the whole. It is common for SEO factors to be carefully considered when redesigning a site, and similar consideration should be given to PPC at the same time.

These three areas directly affect PPC:

  • Ineffective URL structure — one site-wide remarketing code makes PPC efficient
  • Lack of unique URL thank you pages — place the code on one thank you page and avoid having to customize solutions every time
  • Poorly written page titles — Dynamic Search Ads, target inclusions and inclusions rely on consistently written titles for results

Redesigning a web page is a good idea as long as the underlying structure is also included in the assessment and reconstruction being done. A web site is the persona of the business it represents and a valuable asset for that business if it is done right. If the redesign is done haphazardly and without consideration of things like PPC there will be complications.

Just like the famous Rubik’s Cube illustrates the way everything works together, a website design and all the internet marketing factors work together, too. Changes in one area affect all other areas to some extent and it takes attention to detail to solve the puzzle.

There’s a lot to learn about web design and you will find more insights at http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/web-design.php.

 

Site speed is important because people don’t like to wait long when they can click and switch to another site that loads faster. Albert Costill of Search Engine Journal(SEJ) looks at the issue in their ongoing series SEO 101: How Important is Site Speed in 2014? The answer to the rhetorical question is “yes, site speed is important,” and here is why:

  • Google’s algorithms take site speed into consideration when ranking results (and other search engines do, too)
  • People buy more if the site loads in two seconds or less (and leave if it doesn’t)

Many studies have been done on customer behavior and site speed, and most of the results are not surprising. People won’t stand in line to make a purchase unless they have no other alternative and online shopping provides many alternatives to the internet equivalent of standing in line.

Speed Things Up On Your Site

SEJ has some very practical advice for getting your web site out of the slow lane. Their first suggestion is making sure you have a host that is capable of providing the professional service you need for a business site. After that’s taken care of, there’s a checklist of possible problems that will slow down the load speed on a site:

  • unoptomized images
  • too many widgets/plugins
  • incompatibility issues
  • too many ads
  • bulky code
  • weighty design themes
  • external embedded media

There are many tools available to assess site speed and the article lists some of the ones considered most helpful. If your site is loading slow and you address some of the above issues there should be a pickup in speed that is immediate and measurable. Site speed continues to be important in 2014 and it will remain important as long as people dislike waiting in line.

For more insights into the effect web design has on site speed, visit http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/web-design.php.

 

Yelp has been around for ten years now, and they’ve got a decade’s worth of data compiled in the reviews and searches they are famous for. What have they done to celebrate? They’ve invited the world to their idea of a party, in the form of Yelp Trends. Why would this be a good thing for search engine optimization? To quote Yelp:

Our massive wealth of data and the high quality reviews contributed by the Yelp community are what allow us to surface consumer trends and behavior based on ten years of experiences shared by locals around the world.

Marketing is all about trends, and search engine optimization is essentially the art of figuring out the way to latch on to those trends and have the keywords and phrases that people are using to find what they want on the internet. If you could see what is trending, or has trended on Yelp, it could give insight into your own market. It’s interesting, too.

Plug in the words you are interested in and you can see a ten year graph of interest in those words in 98 cities (that’s 20 countries) all over the globe. It definitely can be a springboard for some brainstorming, and Yelp is right — it is fun. It’s also got the potential to be another insight into your local region’s search history if you are near one of the targeted areas.

What could you do with ten years of data? Probably a lot. For more information on search engine optimization and the ways it can affect your business, visit http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/search-engine-optimization.php.

 

Fraud lurks in shadows of changing digital advertising landscape warns a recent article in the Gulf News. It’s not new news, because there have always been criminals looking for ways to turn a dishonest profit in every money-making platform. It is a timely reminder, however, that honest advertisers must be vigilant about the quality of what they are buying. According to the article:

The uncomfortable truth about the $120 billion (Dh440.76 billion) digital advertising market is that the fastest-growing and most innovative part of the sector — open exchanges — is increasingly being exploited by criminals.

With concern among its clients mounting, WPP, the world’s biggest ad agency, last month said it would stop buying ad slots through such exchanges. These technology platforms, operated by Google, Facebook, AOL and Yahoo, allow marketers to place ads on hundreds of thousands of sites across the internet. But in doing so they have left the industry vulnerable to fraudsters.

Other ad agencies and marketing experts disagree with WPP’s choice to stop using ad exchanges, comparing it to refusing to surf the internet for fear of catching a virus. What does this mean to the average company owner who would like to take advantage of the promise that digital advertising offers but is wary of fraudulent clicks?

The answer is very similar to the way we use the internet: wisely and carefully. There will always be someone trying to game the system, and there will always be honest business people working to prevent abuse. Consistent monitoring referring links and other traffic is part of a professional strategy to win the fight against click fraud.

For more insights on digital marketing and PPC management visit http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/pay-per-click.php.

 

Competitive Intelligence often seems like it belongs in one of the vintage “Spy vs Spy” comic strips from Mad Magazine with implied meanings and vague application. This isn’t true, because competitive intelligence actually can help you focus your strategies and learn from your competitors.

Bill Sebald’s post in the Moz Blog is a good look at Building Better Content By Improving Upon Your Competitors and the comments actually improve upon the original post by carrying the discussion further. The article “lifts the hood” on creating content with common SEO tools and an analysis of the topics a competitor’s website is targeting and figuring out their URL, Title Tag, Meta Description, H1, and Meta Keyword data. With Screaming Frog or similar tools it is possible to look at any site in many enlightening ways.

This is the launchpad of the brainstorming session, keeping track of all the rabbit trails and ideas that might be developed into something better. To quote Bill Sebald:

“At this point you should be taking notes, jotting down ideas, observations, potential content titles, and questions you want to research. Whether in a spreadsheet or the back of a napkin, you’re now brainstorming with light research. Let your brain-juice flow. You should also be looking for connections between the posts you are finding. Why were they written? How do they link together? What funnels are the calls-to-action suggesting? Take notes on everything, Sherlock!”

Utilizing the competition for inspiration is one thing, but moving your brainstorming to action that is effective takes inspiration into reality. Creating new funnels with fresh metrics, off-page content for SEO, or some focused emphasis content all are possibilities worth looking into. Figuring out how to focus your strategies by getting inspiration from the competition is one way that competitive intelligence can really pay off.

For more insight into competitive intelligence, visit http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/competitive-intelligence.php#2.

 

 

One of the biggest challenges when analyzing data is recognizing the difference between correlation and causation. According to the Merriem-Webster Dictionary, the differences occur when you answer the question “Why?”

  • correlation is “the relationship between things that happen or change together”
  • causation is “the act or process of causing something to happen or exist”

To say it like a statistician,  post hoc ergo propter hoc (after it and therefore because of it). 

The problem is, when a statistician says this, they are being sarcastic and pointing out a fallacy. Tyler Vigen has a popular website of Spurious Correlations full of charts showing the problems with connecting data that correlates for no apparent reason. One example shows the coincidental correlation between per capita consumption of mozzarella cheese and civil engineering doctorates awarded in the US.

Why Should We Always Ask Why?

It is very easy to look at correlations in data analysis and assume there is causation. But closer analysis may show a factor that changes the way you develop your strategy. For instance, when Google changes an algorithm it has an effect on your results, but you need to do more thoughtful research and analysis to figure out which factors are actually causing the dynamic.

The ability to filter out the spurious correlations and isolate the real cause takes experience and a human analysis. This is vital when dealing with the huge waves of data in PPC management. There are many correlations that show up, but deciding which ones are connected, how they connect, and why they happen takes an expert. Without expert analysis, you might end up wondering if eating mozzarella cheese will help your civil engineering career.

For more help on analysis and PPC management, visit reciprocalconsulting.com/pay-per-click.php.

“The bulk of online video advertising today is simply repurposed television spots, yet the devices where consumers spend the most time are completely interactive with just a swipe or tap,” said Doron Wesly, Head of Market Strategy at Tremor Video. “We want to help marketers realize the opportunity in front of them: the potential for a consumer to spend nearly a minute with a 15 second ad.”

A recent study of mobile video advertising has identified areas that can definitely be improved in this growing field. “Crème de la Crème: A Guide to Creating Successful Mobile Video Advertising Units” takes a look at over 300 interactive video campaigns, examines the results of 20 outliers and identifies trends. Here is a quick look at the foundational suggestions researchers have made:

  1. Entice and Intrigue by giving a taste of your brand and encouraging interaction to get more.
  2. Bring Them In with visual appeal that aligns design, technology, and medium instead of encouraging “tap-out”.
  3. Symphony Not Noise means the ad should sing and flow like a story, simple to follow and consistent.
  4. Make Them Feel _______ enhance the emotional connections already present with mobile devices.
  5. Catch the Moment reminds marketers that mobile is a first-screen experience for most users so plan for it.

The overall message is that video and mobile devices blend in a far more interactive way than television ads ever could. This potential has not been fully explored and savvy marketers are already looking for ways to create video that builds on these five suggestions and open up new frontiers.

For more information on video production, see http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/video-production.php.

Twitter just issued another report on the way key US audiences connect on the platform. This segment, Four insights about millennials on Twitter, looks at weekly users who are 18 to 34 years old. It is always interesting to see how social media changes the way relationships work–and relationships between business & customer are included in the mindset of most millennials. The fuzzy line between social and business interactions generally is located at the point of money exchange, so tweets that don’t feel like ads can encourage connection without crossing that line. Twitter’s insights each include a tip for applying that information in your business.

Millennials Check Twitter To Stay In The Loop

The majority (80%) of millennial users use a mobile device to check Twitter and keep track of celebrities, friends, and fads. 81% check once a day at least, and 15% check more than ten times a day. 60% will tweet at least one time during the day to join a conversation.

It’s suggested that businesses tweet at least once a day with information that engages the user, and experimenting with formats like a GIF, for instance, can boost interest in the topic.

Millennials Use Twitter To Have Fun

60% are “more entertained” by Twitter, with nearly half (47%) equating it to “laughing” or “a cure for boredom.” This really shows up in the fact that 82% will share a tweet if they think it is funny.

The need to know your audience is really important when it comes to humor. Funny tweets are good, but offensive tweets are like time bombs. The line between funny and offensive is easily crossed if you don’t recognize the difference.

Millennials Think Twitter Makes Live Events Better

Most millennials will tweet during an event to be part of a running commentary on the experience. 71% think it makes it more fun, 70% enjoy reading tweets while watching an event on TV, and 67% would follow and contribute to a hashtag created for that event.

Businesses should utilize this ready-made engagement potential by having a trusted representative covering their handle during the event, tweeting and responding to tweets in real time. It’s a good idea to keep track of upcoming live events that your customers will be tweeting about and join in.

Millennials Want Twitter To Tell Their Own Story

Over half of millennials (56%) want to use Twitter to document what is going on in their lives in real time. Most will tweet random thoughts (67%), but 57% tweet about fun activities. 53% share about current events, 46% pass on jokes or funny stuff, and 42% use Twitter to share photos.

If you can figure out how to combine your brand with a way to personalize a tweet, you stand a good chance of getting a millennial to take the opportunity to share.

Twitter and other social media are good ways to connect with your customer. For more information on the subject, visit http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/social-media-optimization-SMO.php

 

When it comes to online reputation management, some businesses will ignore the whole issue. This is the strategy that a once-popular restaurant embraced in Wired’s article, How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy A Business At Will. The restaurant owner had no interest in computers or the internet because he was busy running his restaurant.

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

In early 2012, business suddenly dropped off — 75% of the weekend traffic was no longer there. Eventually, one of his customers asked why he was closed on weekends, and it was discovered that someone had changed the local listing on Google Maps to “closed on weekends.” By the time a web consultant was brought in to fix it, the restaurant couldn’t recover, and now the owner is attempting to sue Google for letting its crowd-sourced site post inaccurate information.

In this case, ignoring what was happening to his business information online led to bigger problems, not the mythical “bliss.” The business owner simply did not appreciate the value of what was being said online. His lawsuit will probably not lead to any satisfactory conclusion because there are too many variables in the case.

Attention Leads To Action

Later on in the article, a couple of examples of businesses with a different strategy are mentioned. In one, a rival jeweler tried to take out the local competition by changing listings to “permanently closed” and spamming negative reviews. In the other, a small interior designer’s business number was changed by a competitor. In both cases, inaccurate information on Google’s sites was noted and addressed immediately with corrective action. The nature of the internet is real-time fluctuations, so comments and crowd-sourcing issues have to be monitored before problems escalate.

Whether the false information is from malicious intent or ignorant mistake, the longer that false information is allowed to be presented as the truth it will be seen by an increasing number of people and probably passed on.

Online reputation management is an important strategy to cultivate. You will find more information at http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/online-reputation-management.php#4.

There’s been a growing emphasis on the mobile market since the late 90s and many business people have been ignoring the trend as a fad rather than a change in marketing. Those people are changing their minds, and Dr. Peter J. Meyers was one of the skeptics who has now decided that there’s a reason Why Mobile Matters – Now. His article on Moz looks at the factors that seem to have influenced Google and examines some findings in Mary Meeker’s annual state of the internet report.

Do Your Customers Use Mobile?

According to the findings, more are using mobile devices to access the internet now than ever before. There really doesn’t seem to be a trend away from mobile, the movement is clearly more than a fad. But it has serious implications for marketing to that increasing segment of your business audience who look for information on a smaller screen.

According to Dr. Meyers, “Google is designing a SERP that’s not only “mobile first”, but can be broken into fragments (like answer boxes and Google Now “cards”) that can be mixed-and-matched across any device or screen-size. Search volume across non-desktop devices will increase, and mobile in all its forms may become the first stop for the majority of consumer searches.” This means a change in the way we design web pages and optimize search results or those potential customers will not even see what we have to offer.

Mobile Matters Because People Are Using It

The challenge of marketing is always catching the attention and engaging the customer with the goal of a tangible result. Mobile marketing and the change it makes in the underlying structure of our internet offerings are just the latest in the ongoing challenge we face. As long as technology keeps changing, marketing tools will change, but the people we are targeting are still people. The customer is still the gauge by which all our efforts should be measured.

For information on marketing, web design and more, visit http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/web-design.php.

Recently, the YouMoz Blog had a post called Seven Videos To Kickstart Your Video Strategy. Their seven examples are grouped into three categories of intent: conversion, authority & social proof, and acquisition. It’s a good idea to look at your intent when making videos, because the purpose of a video may determine the best production formats for that clip.

Conversion

Is the purpose of the video to motivate an immediate response, like clicking on a link or buying a product?

Explain exactly what the benefits are with a video showing a product’s attributes, or how to use it to accomplish a benefit.

Short product demos, answering common questions, can be hugely effective in convincing a viewer that this is the product they are looking for. A well-made video that clearly answers questions is like an expert salesman always on call.

Authority & Social Proof

Both authority and social proof are commonly needed for respect in our society. Videos that showcase a company profile, for instance, build authority for your company by providing the background information that show why you have experience and knowledge in an area.

Social proof, in the form of testimonials, are witnesses to the authority you are claiming. In both cases, a well-made video will communicate without distractions from your message.

Acquisition

The information you have gathered to present on your site or online are representative of your message. Videos that are helpful to your customers, interviews with experts on related subjects, and ads placed elsewhere to link back to your site all come under this category.

Much of the population prefers getting their information from a short, clear video. Take advantage of the fact and enhance your site with this form of communication, and watch what happens. It’s important that the words are easy to understand and that the quality of your videos be high so that your message is not hindered by distractions like awkward pauses, static, or camera angles.

For help with video production, visit http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/video-production.php.

Your brand, if you are a business, is probably the result of some very intensive research, many discussions, careful design, and a lot of your money. It’s worth every dollar and hour of development because your brand becomes your business identity and affects every aspect of your future success.

Your brand reflects your business from all the angles of logo, color, design, wording, etc. on every surface you put that brand across. It is the message that reminds people who you are and what you do as a business. Every person who is connected with your brand is a representative, too — because people do see boss and employees as extensions of your business philosophy. There are a lot of facets to a business, and every facet is like the angled surface of a diamond that either reflects the light or dulls it.

Search Engine Journal’s John Rampton is the author of a recent post titled “How To Protect Your Brand’s Identity.” It is a good overview of the main ways a business can monitor their reputation and protect that all-important brand. There are static tactics like purchasing a domain name and patents, copyrights, and trademarks. There are active tactics like maintaining legal advice, monitoring your brand’s online reputation, and making sure everyone associated with your brand is on the same page with things like social media and/or your brand’s values.

Protecting your brand is one of the important things you must do to keep your business on track. Your brand has an identity in the minds of the rest of the world. Make sure that identity is accurate and positive. For more insights on online reputation management, go to http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/online-reputation-management.php#3.

Google penalizes web sites that have “thin” content, low-quality pages that are merely designed to build traffic by having keywords, duplicate content, lots of images or links, and other space-filling methods. They’ve been trying to weed out sites that are identified as thin sites, but sometimes a legitimate site (like yours?) has some pages that get caught in the effort and penalized.

Adrienne Erin has a good overview of How To Avoid Google Thin Content Penalties on SiteProNews. It starts with a clear definition of what is considered undesirable, then has some practical suggestions for screening your site to see if there is content that needs attention. Then she suggests you become ruthless and either improve it or eliminate it. Her tips for improving thin content are pretty straightforward:

  • rewrite it — go into greater detail about what makes this thing unique
  • merge some pages — take two or more “thin” pages and make them one good one
  • add interactive content — quizzes, surveys, imbedded maps, etc.
  • decrease internal links — a page full of useful information might just be too full of links, so unlink some things
  • go into greater detail to highlight differences in similar pages — regional offerings may have a lot of the same information that looks like duplicate content. Adding more detail improves SEO, too.

The less “filler” content on your site, the more legitimate it will be in the eyes of the search engines. What’s more important, it also will have more authority for your readers. For more information on quality web design, visit http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/web-design.php.

 

In AdWords, your Quality Score is like a warning light, according to a quote in “Google: Stop Losing the  Forest for the…Quality Score” at PPC Hero. It shows how healthy your ads and keywords are, but it isn’t anything more than an indication to look further if it’s low. The warning light is a good illustration, because when it comes on you aren’t supposed to be examining the light itself but the system it is connected to.

This look at Google’s whitepaper on Settling the (Quality) Score (pdf) includes a nice chart on things that matter, and things that don’t. These things make a difference in your Quality Score:

  • user device matters, so think about mobile targeting and landing page experience
  • performance on related keywords matters when launching new keywords, so invest in relevant searches
  • relevance to user intention matters, so make sure ads and landing pages match what they want

However, in terms of that Quality Score, keep this in mind:

  • It doesn’t matter how you structure your account, so do what works best for you
  • It doesn’t matter which networks you target, so feel free to test new networks
  • It doesn’t matter where the ad is on the page, so don’t bid up higher positions to get a higher score–think about user experience instead

The warning light is a valuable tool when it’s used the right way, as a signal that you need to look further into the system it monitors. With the Quality Score, Google is reminding us that it is a tool, not a grade.

You’ll find more insights on PPC Management at http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/pay-per-click.php.

By now you might have seen the Gallup Poll report on The Myth of Social Media that’s just been published. With 72% of adults in the US on some form of social media, it makes sense that they’d be doing the surveys to assess what is going on. Here are some interesting numbers from their survey:

  • 94% of social media users are connecting with friends and family
  • 20% are reviewing a product or commenting on it
  • 5% of those surveyed say social media affects their purchase decisions
  • 62% say it has no influence at all

These numbers are a bit scary to the companies who are investing in social media marketing strategies. According to BIA/Kelsey, that investment was $5.1 billion in the US during the past year. By 2018, the combined expenditure on social media advertising is expected to get close to $15 billion. That’s a lot of ads to be ignored on Facebook.

Why Do We Invest In Social Media If People Ignore The Ads?

The report ends in this statement by Gallup:

“The potential of social media is still being debated. Companies are going to have to experiment to figure out what works best with their customers. The process may involve a lot of trial and error, but there is potential in social media that is not directly related to sales revenue. Companies have an opportunity to build communities with their customers in ways they could not before. But to get there, they must first engage their customers through other channels. Regardless of the hype surrounding social media, consumers are still most affected by their offline experiences.”

Basically, the strength of social media platforms is the conversation and engagement. This is not as easy to measure as a click-through rate, but it is much stronger because it is relationship. Social media provides a way to interact with your customers, providing content they share because it is helpful or interesting. As they share, more people are introduced to your company. It’s the word-of-mouth marketing campaign amplified with technology, and it has always been the best way for a business to be known.

Your social media marketing is part of the entire package you offer your customers, and that’s not a myth. It’s reality.

You’ll find more about social media optimization at http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/social-media-optimization-SMO.php.

Competitive Intelligence is a fairly recent term, but the idea has actually been around for a long time. High school football teams, for instance, used to spend the week before the big game watching choppy footage from previous games in an attempt to figure out what the opposing team’s strategies were going to be. The coach and the quarterback would go over different plays and analyze as much as they could so a winning strategy would be in place.

Familiarity Breeds Competitive Strategies

The more times football teams play each other, the easier it is to figure out ways to win. In business, you aren’t playing for points on a scoreboard, but you are playing to win something. Businesses compete for customers, sales, search engine rankings, and a host of other contests that depend on the industry. So how do you decide what you need to know?

The more familiar you are with your industry and competitors, the bigger your perspective is on how your business fits into the picture. Analyzing the top competitors in your field will reveal things to emulate, but it will also reveal things that you can differ in so you stand out in contrast.

For instance, keywords are a huge part of search engine optimization, but you don’t have to copy the same keywords that everybody else in the industry uses. A move from the short-tail keywords to longer phrases that are specific to your business just might be what pushes your ranking past the other guys. But you need to know what they are focusing on so you can do something different.

As Sun Tzu famously said, “If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

Competitive intelligence is an essential business tool. Learn more about it at http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/competitive-intelligence.php#2

The different names Google has for algorithms gives a persona to an enigma. In “Feeding the Hummingbird: Structured Markup Isn’t The Only Way To Talk To Google“, Moz Blog contributor Cyrus Shepard says,

“Ever wonder why Google named certain algorithms after black and white animals (i.e. black hat vs. white hat?) Hummingbird is a broader algorithm altogether, and Hummingbirds can be any color of the rainbow.”

Panda and Penguin were going after webspam. Hummingbird is designed to optimize entity-based search. That means the Hummingbird algorithm is looking at what is said, how the keywords are placed, etc. Since Google uses over 500 algorithms and each one is going after different information, the exact “secret formula” for SEO is always going to be a secret. In fact, since those algorithms are constantly adjusted in an attempt to improve search, the secret formula keeps changing.

The nice thing that is pointed out, though, is that Hummingbird looks at more than the SEO savvy markup and can figure out relationship without it. This is natural search results instead of formulas.

Feeding the Hummingbird

Here’s a quick list of what is important to this algorithm:

  1. keywords (subject-predicate-object triples)
  2. tables & HTML elements
  3. entities & synonyms
  4. anchor text & links
  5. Google Local
  6. Google Structured Data Highlighter
  7. Plugins

All of the elements are balanced and weighted to figure out how to do Hummingbird’s part of the whole secret zoo at Google. Each one of the algorithms plays a role in where your data comes up on the page. Interesting, isn’t it? The thing to remember is that there’s a big difference between trying to play the system and trying to get quality content available for your audience. Google is always going after the players because they want to stay relevant to the rest of us.

For more information on optimizing your site for natural search results, visit  http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/search-engine-optimization.php.

It’s the mid-year mark, and this is a good time to look at the goals you have set for your business and evaluate how far you have come in meeting those goals. Liane Dietrich of Marketing Land walks us through some of the basics in “Time For A Check-Up: Marketing Strategies For A Successful Second Half.

Six Things To Check

The Marketing Land article suggests an evaluation of these areas:

  1. Marketing goals
  2. Attribution models
  3. Performance marketing programs
  4. Joint marketing opportunities
  5. Analytics data
  6. Improve your bottom line

Each one of these aspects of your business should have had some goals set in place for the business year and could be evaluated accordingly. But this is not the only place your business check-up should be looking at.

Other Areas To Consider

Everything your marketing department does should be integrated into the entire enterprise so that the real organization reflects who you say you are. If your ad campaigns are eco-minded, for instance, it is wise to be able to show how your daily operations are also eco-minded.

Having set goals for recycling and being able to show improvement gives things to talk about in social media if you are a company that prides itself on being “green.” A tweet or post about a 25% increase in recycling goals  or developing a recycling program for the community adds authority to your brand.

These types of goals vary according to the organization, but they are definitely things to evaluate periodically. With the ability for the average smartphone user to look you up online in depth, it’s pretty important that your practices and your marketing line up because discrepancies are easy to find. Being able to use data from regular progress evaluations might come in handy.

For more insight on internet marketing, visit reciprocalconsulting.com/internet-marketing-services.php

The majority of the 600 or so very small businesses that responded to a recent survey by Endurance don’t have a strategy for their social media practices. Chris Crum has a nice infographic that breaks it down for us on WebProNews. Here’s a few of the results:

  • 90% of very small businesses are on social media
  • 71% don’t have an established social media strategy
  • If managed internally, 80% of posts are by the company head when they feel like it.
  • About a third don’t have defined brands or profiles and aren’t sure how social media should work for marketing.

Of course there’s more information from the study, but these numbers should give business owners pause. A very small business won’t grow if the social media policy is hit and miss because most of your customers get their information on some form of social media.

There’s a lot of information on developing social media strategies, and business owners certainly should be keeping their finger on the pulse of what is happening. But just like you have to delegate other areas as a business grows, this is a place you can delegate with proper training.

Of course, that training means a focused strategy must be developed, but most very small businesses are realizing that. To quote the study’s conclusions,

“over half of those we surveyed expressed an interest in learning best practices – so it’s not that they don’t want to, they just don’t know how.”

If you are interested in learning more about social media marketing, visit http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/social-media-optimization-SMO.php

PPC Hero has just come out with Excel PPC Heat Mapping 101, and it offers a way to look at your spreadsheets to see what is going on in one glance. Most of us are visual in the way we process information, so this helpful guide just may be of use to you in more ways than analyzing your PPC campaigns.

Conditional Formatting

Basically, this guide opens your eyes to the way that Excel’s conditional formatting can be used to adjust the cell color and reflect the data in that cell. You can springboard from that basic concept to many other ways to use conditional formatting for PPC analysis.

By individually highlighting each column and assigning color scales based on the numbers you are interested in, you will end up with a heat map that shows exactly what is happening with your data. It’s a lot easier than processing the numbers, because you can see immediately what is getting “warmer” or “cooler” in a big picture.

See Your Data The Way You See

People process information in different ways. Some of us need words, some need numbers, others need charts or visuals. Every way is a valid way to obtain data as long as the data is accurate. What matters is being able to use that data effectively.

The need to analyze data is part of a successful PPC campaign, and good managers are looking at that data all the time. It makes sense to set up your information feed in a way that will be easy to process, because the value is in analysis. Once you set it up, this heat mapping idea is a genius way to keep an eye on your PPC campaigns, and more.

You can learn more about PPC management at http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/pay-per-click.php