Tag Archives: google

Loose Tracking Methods – #1 Reason for Business Failure

Small business owners don’t have money to waste on loose tracking methods, but they keep doing it. It’s the number one reason for business failure because it means you’re constantly bleeding cash into advertising that produces little or no result.
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Here are three effective, easy to do fixes for loose tracking methods.

Loose Tracking Methods Fix #1 – Continue reading

Small Business Marketing Gets A Boost

Several things have happened over the last year that are now resulting in great rewards for Small Business Marketing. And with those rewards come some risks.

The first is a service called ValuText. You can guess from the name that it lets you send text messages to people who have opted-in to receive them. And it does far more than just that.

ValuText allows you to be very targeted about who receives your message, and when. This gives you huge potential for creating events and promotions specific to your location, the day of the week, even a change in weather.

It also carries a significant risk for how you use it. Many retailers are going to be caught in a laziness trap. Be sure you rise above the crowd, and leave your competitors behind, by injecting personality and experience into your use of this very practical and profitable service.

Listen to this week’s episode of Social Media: Cheap and Easy for all the details.

Then we have a look at Square.

It’s an innocent looking, little device that makes payment processing simple and easy to use. Small businesses and charities across the country are using Square to process billions of dollars worth of transactions – and Square is little more than a year old.

Are you going to an event and need to do back-of-room sales? How about a community market down the street from your store? Or even a special promotion in the parking lot? Square gives you the versatility to turn any smart phone or tablet into a portable cash register.

Tune in to Social Media: Cheap and Easy to discover how it works.

And we wrap up this week’s show with a look at how the world of search engines is catering to small business marketing. Google, Bing and Yahoo are all jumping to milk their newest cash cow – small business.

The attention they’re paying to serving us is making it a lot easier to understand how Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising works. That’s because they’re putting a lot of effort into developing support tools for all of us who can use a computer, but we’re certainly not technology pros.

As good as the support tools are becoming, there is one in particular you want to avoid using.

The search giants are offering done-for-you services where their staff  handle creating your ads and setting your bids. Even if that seems a little vague, what you need to know about this type of service is crystal clear: Avoid Using This Service At All Costs!

Remember: They get paid based on how much you spend on PPC advertising.

It makes no sense to let them determine how much you pay per click. It makes even less sense to have their rank-and-file employees create the ad you’ll be spending money on.

And there’s an incredibly ironic point you definitely don’t want to miss. Google, Bing and Yahoo are foaming at the mouth to get you using their PPC services, but they’re using a completely different media to persuade you.

Listen to Social Media: Cheap and Easy to hear what it is, and why you should follow their example rather than their instructions.

A Google Challenger?

An Italian mathematician is launching his own search engine to challenge Google.

Massimo Marchiori claims to have developed a radical new view of what a search engine can be. He
has posted a cryptic video describing his vision at Volunia.com. You can also sign up as a beta tester
for his new search engine.

The twist in this story is that Massimo contributed to Google’s original search algorithm. So you could
say he has a little “inside” knowledge on how to improve it.

Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have always acknowledged the value of Massimo’s
contribution to the Google formula. So it will be interesting to see whether Google tries to acquire or
squash the new search engine.

The video Massimo has published doesn’t give a lot of detail about what his new search engine does.

That makes sense since he doesn’t want competitors to figure it out and beat him to the punch line.
But there are some interesting suggestions.

One scene indicates the search engine provides a much more accurate result. It’s described as a new
way to fish, and the way it’s presented is kind of funny.

When I watched the video, it occurred to me that this in one of the reasons that print yellow pages have
had a resurgence over the last couple of years. (Yes, the big, clunky book you use as a door stop is
being used more often by consumers.) Search engine results got so off target that people turned back
to the yellow pages because they know they can find what they’re looking for.

Google saw this happening to and did a lot to improve their local search results. For geeky types like
me, this makes it even more interesting to see what Massimo has come up with that he thinks is
radically different.

Another scene in the video seems to indicate that there’s a social component built into his search
engine. And this is where I started to lose interest.

The scene shows one person “connecting” with another person on the other side of the world. Well,
this is a big part of what’s wrong with social media right now. So I’m not sure we need more of the
same.

Silas, my dog, is a black lab and I think he’s great. This does not translate into me wanting to connect
with black lab owners at all, let alone in another country. Although I’d make an exception for a friend or
relative living in another country. And then we’d be connecting because of the relationship rather than
our pets.

So I’m interested to see what Massimo has in mind, but the last thing I need is another Facebook.

A big question is how this new search engine is going to make money. All the other search engines do
it by selling advertising space. If the new kid on the block gives much more accurate results, that could
mean a greater ability to match ads to search terms. Targeted advertising is always more successful,
so it would definitely be appealing to business owners.

The plan is to launch the new search engine this year, and to launch it in 12 languages. So they’re
pretty serious about developing a good product.

Click over to volunia.com and watch the video for yourself. Then answer me this: No matter how good it
is, do we need another search engine or social media site?

Social Media Politics, Agencies Admit Failure, Yahoo For Sale

Social media is used in Egypt to change the government, and in Mexico to keep people safe. But in the U.S. it’s being used by politicians to bicker and throw mud. Is it just me, or does this seem incredibly out of whack?

As politicians of all stripes follow Barack Obama’s precedent setting social media campaign from 2008,

I’m starting to wonder if they can really be this clueless. After all, what have they been doing for the last 4 years? They’ve had no particular use for social media since 2008, yet they expect us to engage with them now that they’re hopping on the bandwagon.

Listen to this week's show at www.SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com

Another social media flop is ad agencies. A new report from RSW/US and RSW/Agency (2011 New Business Report) found that while 95% of U.S. ad agencies are using social media to identify potential clients, less than 10% of their new clients are coming to them through social media.

Evidently they didn’t pay attention last year when the Nation’s Restaurant News published the results of their own industry survey. In that case, it was specifically for Facebook, and they discovered that while 65% of restaurants were using Facebook to market themselves only 3% of their customers were interested.

Naturally, the agencies blame social media for the poor results. Listen to this week’s show for the real reason why they’re getting no social traction.

And we wrap up the show this week with a look at Yahoo being on the bidding block. Google and Microsoft are interested in financing a purchase, although neither company wants to directly own Yahoo. Strange, but true.

More importantly, there’s a particular line in this story that really raised my ire. It ties everything together this week, and is a stinging indictment of all the profiteers and opportunists. This one piece is the best possible evidence for why we need to revive capitalism.

Real World Lessons For Why Less Is More

Sounds like a load of crap, doesn’t it? “Less is more…”

86 people paying $97/month equals $100,104 per year. Small number of people paying a fairly small sum.

Groupon says 80% of people actually redeem their daily deal coupon. And retailers hope that’s true because when that number goes up, they really start losing money. Now we have a lot of people getting a big discount and it’s driving business owners out of business.

This week, the whole show is focused on getting the real meaning of phrases such as “Go Big Or Go Home,” and “Bigger Is Better.” There are good uses for these phrases. The problem is that we’ve forgotten what they are.

Hear the solution on Social Media: Cheap and Easy.

From LinkedIn to Facebook to Google and Yahoo – everyone is enraptured with the idea of having access to a huge audience.

Open Networkers on LinkedIn think they’re making a value statement when they declare having thousands of first level contacts. The gurus and pundits declare there’s inherent value in advertising on Facebook and Google because of their massive audiences. But how many of those first level contacts do the open networkers actually have relationships with? And just how many people seeing your ad on Facebook or Google are going to do business with you?

The answers to these questions are clear in our first story. We look at specific reasons why people WON’T click on your ads, and just how much value is in someone having thousands of first level contacts on LinkedIn. These are real world lessons for why less is more.

In our second story, we look at the trend toward mobile computing. “Everyone” has a smartphone (actually, smartphones account for around 37% of cell phone usage), is getting a tablet, or has an Apple device, right?

Well why should that matter to you and your business? It’s corny, I know, but just like our mom’s always said: Just because your friends jump off a bridge, does that mean you jump, too?

There are a lot of folks screaming about one of the many new and shiny objects. They’ll tell you each one means the difference between life and death for your business. Right. That’s pure poppycock.

Get the straight story now on Social Media: Cheap and Easy.

I have said from the beginning that business have survived quite nicely without the internet and social media, and they can go on surviving without using them. Can these things bring in new customers, create new sales, and make for a better customer experience? Yes, they can. And I agree that you should give serious thought to using them. But they are a long way from determining the success or failure of your business.

Listen in and hear what the trends are with mobile computing among consumers. More importantly, hear just how simple it is to tune in to these trends and benefit your business.

Then we wrap up the show with some resources you can use – online resources – to get inexpensive office space, book events and even sell physical products.

And most importantly, we close this week’s show with a few choice words about what “bigger is better” really means. And you hear how you really should “go big or go home.” It all revolves around the Value Of One.

Hear it all in one place: Social Media: Cheap and Easy. Then start the conversation here with your viewpoint, agreement, criticism or comment.

Facebook Killing Music Sharing

Is Facebook killing music sharing because they're profiteers or just ignorant?

Facebook is talking about bringing music sharing services such as Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, MOG and Deezer onto their site. The idea is to make your profile an entertainment hub. But how much of a hub will it be if it drives these businesses out of business?

Very few online music services are profitable, and they have a model that causes them to lose money every time a free subscriber joins. After all, even “free” music requires a royalty paid to the record companies.

Pandora, which had a successful IPO, has yet to make a profit. Martin Scott from Analysys Mason estimates Spotify had a $6 or $7 million dollar profit in 2010, and Rhapsody’s president Continue reading

E-Books – Keywords Determine Market Size

You have a topic, and you know there must be some interest in it. After all, you can’t be the only person interested in your favourite pastime, can you?

 

That’s what keywords will allow you to discover.

 

A keyword is a term or phrase that captures the essence of your topic. For example, “model airplane” is a good keyword phrase. To focus more clearly on your interest, “radio controlled airplane” might be more helpful.

 

To start using keywords for determining the size of your market, make a list of six words that spring to mind when you think of your topic. This is a large enough list to get you started.

 

Whichever keyword research tool you choose to use, what you’re looking for is a particular volume of monthly searches for each keyword or phrase. Every tool will also help you develop a longer keyword list. (I’ll give you three free tools to choose from later in the article.)

 

The search volume you’re looking for is between 4,000 and 40,000 searches per month. Of course, that’s a broad range and there are things to consider about being at either end.

 

Being at – or over – 40,000 monthly searches means the market is huge. Getting into that market with the keywords you’re using means you risk being just one more voice in the crowd. You can probably get better keywords by being more specific about your topic.

 

From the model airplane example, “model airplane” has a monthly search volume of 135,000 and “radio controlled airplane” has a monthly volume of 6,600.

 

The lower the monthly search volume the more tightly niched you are in a market. Getting below 4,000 searches per month means your moving into a market that just doesn’t have enough volume to be truly profitable.

 

The next step is to choose a keyword research tool. There are lots available, but there are three free ones I’d like to bring to your attention. One is from Google, another is from WordTracker and the third is supplied by Howie Jacobson (author of Adwords for Dummies, 2008).

 

You can find the Google keyword research tool at http://adwords.google.com. It’s easiest to use when you sign in to your Google account and open an Adwords account. The account is free to open – you don’t pay anything unless you run an adwords ad.

 

You can find the free Wordtracker keyword tool at http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com.

 

The tool from Howie Jacobson is at http://www.askhowie.com/freewords.

 

As you research those six keywords you started with, be sure to keep track of other keywords that come up with good search volumes. You’ll want a few hundred keywords when you’re ready to promote your e-book. Plus, each keyword you add starts to build a chain – a.k.a. the long-tail keywords.