Some have termed the the new Google update as ‘mobilegeddon’ and others see the value that the new mobile optimised search results bring to their websites. The potential for business is great! Either way, this month Google unveiled the update to support better results to mobile device users, Ben was interviewed in the Sky News Business segment by Carolyn Herbert about what to expect and some tips to help business survive and benefit from the change. Listen in on the new digital marketing development set by the search engine giant Google.

Today, so many business owners and entrepreneurs are incredibly hung up on writing for search engine optimisation,  that their website ends up a terrible user experience.  As with many other things, there is a good and a better way to do things, but writing for Google as opposed to writing for your desired user is not going to win you any fans, or any sales.

 If you can keep this in mind, first and foremost, here are some good pointers when creating your web content.

I would suggest you first start by getting a feel for exactly what type of words users looking for your business use when they search.

For example, if you are a plumber, it would be useful to know if your potential customers search for, plumbing or plumber. You can do this by making use of a magnificent tool called Google Insights for Search. Log on to http://www.google.com/insights/search/#  and enter the first keyword you want to research (plumbing). You should select what to search (Web search), then choose your country, state and time period you want the search to cover. You can also choose which categories you want to search or you could select all categories. Hit enter and you’ll see a graph showing you exactly the number of times plumber has been requested as a key word in a search. Then do the same for the word plumber and compare the two.

 Apart from the obvious, you’ll be able to see industry trends. For instance, whether the industry you’re interested in increasing in search results or not. You’ll also be able to view predictions for the period ahead. This is all very powerful stuff that wasn’t available until recently.

 When writing content for your website, understand that it must be all about your keywords. Your content must be dense with keywords. But there is a skill to this as you also need to ensure that it isn’t overly complex, as this will put readers off and turn them away. It must remain useful, informative and interesting, without smacking of heavy-handed marketing. That’s not what most people want to see. They want useful or relevant information and not hype.

 One of the secrets to writing good web content is to keep it short and to the point. You must resist the temptation to write in essay style. Dot points work well, so too does lots of white space. Short and sharp is the name of the game because most people don’t want to spend hours looking at a Web page –  they want to dive in, get the information they want and then move on, ideally to another part of your website but possibly to another site altogether if they haven’t found what they are looking for.

Have you noticed that you tend to read in a different way online to other forms of media? If so, you’re not alone. Most people seem to have Attention Deficit Disorder on the Internet. They tend to scan more than read, and this is particularly more so with women. This is something you need to take into account when writing your content. You need to provide bite-sized pieces of information rather than every chapter and verse. Understand that at best you’ll only have around 5 seconds to impress your reader enough for them to arrive at a decision. It is during this 5 seconds that they are viewing your page that they’ll typically decide whether to click back or carry on looking at your site.  That’s really not a lot of time.

 You also need to factor into your understanding that approximately 50% of visitors to your site will bounce. This means they will check in, have a quick look around and bounce back out and onto the next page that their search turned up. We refer to this as the bounce rate.

 Once again, remember that the writing on your website needs to appeal to your readers, get your message across and keep them there long enough to buy from you.

When we recently discovered that more businesses would prefer greater overall business and marketing strategy advice and education when it comes to internet marketing, including Google AdWords, we knew we needed to create a serious of events and products to assist. 

We are pleased to announce that the first event is taking place in Brisbane 19th October 5pm at Brisbane Technology Park, to provide detailed advice and education to local business owners on their internet marketing strategy, incorporating information on social media and Google AdWords. Its free to attend so we would love to see you there. Go to www.benbradshawevents.com.au to book.

This is where it started. A  customer survey we put out recently revealed that, rather than detailed performance reports on various keywords and ads, businesses understood their Google AdWords campaign was only a portion of their overall internet marketing strategy.

Sixty-six percent of participants indicated they asked for more business and marketing advice from their client manager, while 55 percent wanted further education on Google AdWords strategy. Only 22% indicated they opted for more detailed performance reports. AdWords on its own is not an effective marketing strategy. For example, a business may be receiving a number of clicks from a particular ad, but then what happens with that click? Do they navigate away from the page almost immediately? How long do they spend on your website and where do they go? Who is the person clicking on the ad anyway?

Google +, with 20 million subscribers already, also needs to form an important part of a business’ internet marketing strategy. Business owners have recognised that they need to be a cross all the platforms their customers are likely to be using, including social media. Google + is integrating social media and search into the same platform and this is very significant when it comes to preparing one’s internet marketing strategy.

The great news is that businesses are recognising the importance of integrating their internet marketing strategy so that it might include Google AdWords as well as facebook, Google +,  and blogging for example, rather than just looking at numbers on a page and making a judgement based on that.

An effective internet marketing strategy is all encompassing, and should also include general business protocols and procedures. For example,  one of our clients received a phenomenal amount of clicks on his online ad, but not one translated into a sale. We soon discovered the reason – his staff never answered the phone!

In response to client requests for more education and information, we have launched a number of initiatives for his clients and other business owners. Firstly, SponsoredLinX has introduced a new client dashboard that clients can access at any time to track their AdWord campaign results, as well as the eBusiness Magic series that is available for the general public – a comprehensive DIY guide to internet marketing.

Armed with a bit of know-how, there is absolutely no reason why any business needs to rely on an internet marketing company to look after their campaign for them, unless they prefer to out-source it. In this series, I am sharing what I learned myself though trial and error, but these tips and tricks nonetheless worked outstandingly for my business and those for whom I was contracted.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 19th October and hopefully answering all your social media and Google AdWords questions.

Go to www.benbradshawevents.com.au to book but we quick – we are almost at full capacity.

In this digital age, very few business industries and sectors are remaining unchanged.  Internet marketing is one area that is so constantly evolving, that trends are formed over the space of mere months, rather than years. As I have expressed previously, simply staying on top of these trends and new technologies and tools is more of an occupation than a hobby.

I will use this blog as a vehicle to express my views on current trends in internet marketing.  My viewpoints on trends come from observing international blogs and commentary in this area, as well as future directions of Google and my client base.  Here are a few distinct trends that I have noticed emerging since late 2010.

Social Media Communities

Online communities, including social media, are now literally everywhere there is access and common objectives. Even social networks, such as facebook, blogs, You Tube and Twitter, are interconnected themselves, pushing and pulling content across various channels. Social Media is now being worked into advertising campaigns as a standard means of advertising.

However, it’s important to note that we are now seeing a trend toward building attentive communities, rather than just frequency. So, while Google Adwords and advertising will always remain an important part of a marketing campaign, companies and individuals now prefer to achieve listings higher on organic search results, driven through relevant content. And then, once the audience is captured, there is a strong emphasis on keeping an attentive community beyond the initial click. This is where blogging and video blogging comes into play.

Internet TV

It is a fact that more searches are currently conducted via You Tube than Google, indicating an enormous increase in popularity and demand for Internet TV. Internet TV provides a fantastic means of interacting with an audience, so that your clients feel a personal connection to you, rather than simply a business identity. As the world grows more digitised, people are seeking to do business with people, rather than big businesses.

Company CEOs, entrepreneurs, and individuals of interest will create their own You Tube channels for regular broadcasting of notices, tips, information, and other content of interest to their communities.

Furthermore, this demand for internet TV will promote wide scale adoption of internet TV services across a multitude of devices including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smart phones. Users will be able to watch streaming video content on your TV while controlling it with a phone/tablet, contributing live to shows with layered contextual Tweeting, voting and interacting with TV Commercials.

Social Metrics

Along with the increase in social media will be an increasing need for measurement of what communication is working. This includes Click-through-rate on Google AdWords, open rates on enewsletters and response on blog posts.

However, it will also become important to learn the social habits and sphere of influence of your audience, and this is easily achieved nowadays thanks to social media. The goal is to discover your audience’s ‘from’ and ‘to’ path to your web properties.

The key points to measure are:

  • What your audience wants?
  • How much time or clicks does it take from your audience to go from your initial source (eg your blog) to the intended web properties (eg website, online shop, etc)?
  • Where does your audience come from and how much does it cost (eg from Google AdWords)?

In upcoming blogs, I will continue to explore and report on internet marketing trends. Please feel free to post your opinions and thoughts on those I have discussed in this post, or certainly others you have discovered.

Having worked with a number of different companies, from small and medium sized
businesses to large multi-nationals, I have come to accept that they all have one
thing in common – a misunderstanding of Google search and how it actually works.
Obviously you will occasionally get the odd person who is more clued up in this field
than the rest, but generally, what I find is that clients will have some idea, but this
very general knowledge only goes so far.

I don’t blame them for their confusion around the very new industry we know as
online marketing. I liken it to a sport that is evolving daily, where nobody has taken
it upon themselves to explain the rules from the very start. So what you have is a
team of people who are effectively playing different games, and because they are
not sure how to score, they don’t know how to measure their performance. All they
know is they are working very hard, sometimes spending a lot of money, but not
getting the desired results at the end of the day.

The purpose of this blog is to demystify an industry that should never really have
become so complicated in the first place. Like anything, the more acronyms and
online hype and controversy it receives, the more dubious we feel, and you get
a situation where nobody is really sure who to trust to take care of their online
marketing. So, they end up trying to do it themselves, with little success because
they don’t have the right know-how, and this experience then adds to their negative
view of the industry as a whole. I don’t believe it should have to be that way. As
a magician back in my early 20s, trying to get more exposure for my business and
therefore more bookings, untainted by the belief that it was overly complicated,
I figured out the mechanics of Google by myself. Before I knew it, I was getting
traffic and bookings like I had never experienced before, and my friends who owned
businesses were asking me to do the same for them. That’s when my Brisbane-based
business, Sponsored Links, was born.

Internet marketing shouldn’t ever have become so complicated and misunderstood,
because it’s really quite straight forward once you know a few basic formulas. In
this first blog, I want to discuss the difference and inter-connection between Google
Adwords and SEO (search engine optimisation) as this is one of the most commonly
asked questions.

Despite some popular belief, Google Adwords and SEO are not the same thing, but
need to be used together in an effective online marketing campaign.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of getting a website higher
visibility on the “organic” or natural search results on a search engine. This includes
image search, local search and Google Maps. If you were to type in, say, Brisbane
restaurants, a number of search results will appear based on those websites’
relevancy to your search words. This makes sense because, as someone wanting
to go out for a meal in Brisbane, it would be useless and frustrating for you if a
restaurant in Sydney or New York was the result of your search.

There are many aspects involved in successful SEO strategy. Content that is regularly
updated and contains the relevant search words is an important part of ensuring
your page is search engine optimised. It also gets quite technical and involved, and
includes things like Meta tags and descriptions, internal and external link building,
HTML coding and so on. I won’t go into any descriptions of these items and
strategies in this first blog. SEO can be very useful to some businesses as it means
they can generate leads that have little or no cost per acquisition, therefore giving a
much stronger return on their investment.

Google Adwords falls under a blanket category that those of us in the industry call
Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This term describes the process of getting a website
higher visibility on search engines through PPC (pay per click) advertising, such as
Google AdWords. It works like a bidding system for account holders, where they bid
on certain keyword phrases that they wish to display their ads.

Account holders determine how much they are willing to spend as a maximum per
click on a keyword phrase, and depending on the competitiveness of that keyword,
their spend per click is determined. In fact, various other aspects of SEM all play a
role in determining where your ads will appear on the PPC search results (the paid
listings that appear above the natural search results and to the left hand side). The
better your account has been set-up and maintained, the cheaper it is to appear
higher in the results.

Probably, the way I would suggest you consider SEO verses SEM is the difference
between editorial content and advertising content in a magazine. While they
appear in the same magazine and viewed by the same audience, they are managed
by entirely separate departments, are independent of one another, and their
effectiveness on the audience are dependent on other factors again. I will be
addressing these various elements in future blog posts, as well as case studies
of our own clients and the difference in their revenue and website traffic due to
an effective SEM campaign. For now, though, I would welcome any feedback,
comments or queries on SEO and SEM.

Feeling truly grateful for Winning Entrepreneur of The Year - Digital Disrupter 3 years in a row! #youngentrepreneur #entrepreneur #grateful pic.twitter.com/hgr11ax42n

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