Business owners nowadays understand the importance of working with an online marketing consultant or agency. Owners won’t need to learn the technical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), social media, web design, and other Internet marketing-related services. They can focus on the core business by employing the help of agencies. Now, the only problem is finding the right agency. But unfortunately, many business owners struggle in this aspect.
That’s why we came up with an infographic checklist that you can use to score and evaluate the agencies or consultants you are considering working with. Simply give your prospect agency partner one point for every question you answer with a “yes.” The more points, the better.
Years ago, businesses realized that their prospects are online and that if they want to reach their target market, they need to have a website. But today, due to tougher competition, smarter business owners are realizing that having a website and optimizing it for search engines is no longer enough. They now know that pure “organic” or free traffic won’t keep the cash register ringing. They need pay per click or PPC advertising.
Unlike SEO, you will need to directly spend for traffic to implement PPC, which is also known as paid search. But there’s a reason why the big players are investing heavily in this channel – they are earning from it. Indeed, PPC can complement “organic” online marketing efforts. When you want instant, targeted traffic, paid search is the way to go.
A survey by marketing research firm MarketingSherpa showed that PPC accounts for 25% of online marketers’ budgets. Safe to say, the biggest players in the online paid advertising industry are getting something out of pay per click. Otherwise, they would not be allocating a chunk of their budget to this channel. The same survey showed that marketers primarily use PPC advertising to:
From these figures, the benefits of PPC are apparent. Increasing a website’s traffic and leads are its main benefits. Much of this is due to PPC’s power to instantly display your ads on the first page of Google, making it an ideal choice for marketers who cannot wait for the results of search engine optimization or SEO to take effect. And because PPC’s return on investment (ROI) is measurable, it’s an attractive choice for businesses that need to track spending. It’s effective for businesses that have an online sales funnel ready.
Google is a company that is built on advertising, especially PPC. The search engine displays advertisements on its web properties like Gmail and YouTube, as well as via millions of affiliate websites, collectively known as the Display Network. It also displays PPC ads on search results.
According to the latest figures released by Google, its 2012 revenue from advertising stood at $43.6 billion – a whopping 300% growth from 2003.
Behind Google’s revenue rise is paid search’s massive growth through the years. A survey by Kissmetrics, Magna Global, and efrontier showed that as of 2011, paid search is already a $34.9 billion industry worldwide. It’s bigger than radio advertising ($29.5 billion), outdoor advertising ($23.6 billion), and cinema advertising ($2.9 billion). It’s also closing in on TV advertising, bringing down the gap in spending from 112% in 2006 to only 24% in 2011.
Separate figures released by ZenithOptimedia, meanwhile, forecast that paid search will hit $57.78 million this year in the United States alone. The Magna Global Advertising Forecast estimated paid search growth for 2014 at 13%. PPC is indeed an industry that is growing.
How much does the biggest PPC advertiser spend on paid search? WordStream estimates that in 2011, the IAC/InterActiveCorp spent $174.23 million on Google AdWords, making it the biggest PPC spender for that year. IAC owns a number of businesses, including popular websites Ask.com. Dictionary.com, and Vimeo. Retail giant Amazon.com is second with a budget of $118.50 million. Telecommunications provider AT&T completed the top three after spending $115.56 million.
Meanwhile, these industries spent the most on Google AdWords:
Under Finance & Insurance, the top three spenders are familiar brands: State Farm ($43.7 million), Progressive ($43.1 million), and Geico ($23.7 million). Familiar names also topped the Retailers & General Merchandise industry: Amazon.com ($55.2 million), ebay.com ($42.8 million), and Macy’s ($35.6 million).
Your marketing budget will be humbled by those of big dogs like Amazon, eBay, and State Farm. Does this mean small businesses cannot and should not try paid search? Is PPC an advertising platform where only the wealthiest can compete? What about small and medium-sized businesses like yours?
According to the Google Economic Impact Report, the use of Google search and advertising tools in 2012 resulted in $94 billion worth of economic activity for 1.9 million businesses across the U.S. This simply shows that the benefits of pay per click advertising are not limited to the big corporations. That “1.9 million” figure includes small business and massive enterprises. This means even smaller players can use PPC advertising to instantly land on the first page of Google and reach a targeted audience.
Google AdWords is still the best platform to advertise with. According to estimates by eMarketer, Google holds a 73.8% share of U.S. search ad revenues. That share is expected to grow to 74.4% this year and to 75.7% by 2015. Google also reports that AdWords advertisers typically gain a $2 revenue for every $1 they spend on the platform.
Your next best option would be Bing Ads, which has tie ups with Yahoo and other partners. Together, this group represents a total search engine market share of 30%, or 6 billion searches conducted every month, according to comScore. This network reaches 162 million unique searchers.
But here’s some advice before you proceed: while in general, PPC can be beneficial to businesses both small and huge, you should never easily entrust your marketing budget to any agency. Be sure to get to know the agency first, ideally through free consultation or meeting, to ensure that you get your money’s worth. Trust an agency that understands your needs and your business goals. That’s the only way to earn profits when spending on PPC.
We can help you get instant, targeted traffic via paid search. Call us now at (404) 954-2216 or send us an email so we can schedule your free in-depth consultation on PPC advertising.
Through the ages people have been blogging their thoughts and stories. The caveman used paint on walls to tell the story of his people. Tribes of every culture used symbols to tell a story. If people were not able to write or paint, they would tell stories called, legends, and pass them down from one generation to another. Any way you blog it, people have been documenting their story through one medium or another.
Today, social media can be used with everyone from blogger to author. What started out as MySpace in August 2003 then came Facebook in February 2004 and then Twitter in July 2008 where we only invited our friends. As time passed, people started designing web pages for their blogging. In a sense, it is what we would call an online diary. What started out to be nothing more than a place to share our thoughts with friends evolved into a mass market of potential revenue. Social media, seemingly, has no boundaries of where it will go. It is a whole new world and if you are blogging your thoughts, then you know they are no longer secrets. Now we look at how many people visit our sites. Numbers or fans are what drive us to blog. We want our stuff to go viral.
Have you considered taking your blogging to the next level and write a book by moving from blogger to author? You may not be aware of it, but chances are, you have already written a book. You may be asking, where do I start for something like this? According to the, Social Media Examiner, there are five ways you can accomplish transitioning from a blogger to author.
It works much the same way as if you were writing clip notes or jotting down ideas for your book. If you want to write a book but do not have any ideas, check out your local bookstores for story ideas or get active on a community blog site such as Lets Be Honest and listen to what people are talking about. You can also gleam story ideas from your local newspaper. Story ideas are everywhere, just keep yourself open to possibilities and you will find those ideas.
Once you have your idea(s), organize your posts into bite-sized sections of 250-500 words. From there start working out a promotion plan using both the social networks and traditional mediums such as newspaper and radio to promote your blog site where your book is being promoted.
You will want to make regular posts (2-7 times per week) to your blog site to build a fan base. Help the reader by creating a table of contents on the side bar of your blog page, which will assist with moving from blogger to author.
If you are feeling apprehensive about going from blogger to author and blogging a book, start out small and do a series of short stories. These could be short children stories, recipes, something of particular interest to you. Be creative and have fun with this. The process works the same as mentioned in Step No. 1, above.
Now comes the time to write a full-length book. A lot of your work is done with your blog posts. Meaning, you take those posts and flesh them out in greater detail to come up with the meaningful content that is going to fill the pages. Be sure to include new content that was not posted in your blog. This will keep the reader interested without feeling like they are just re-reading your posts. From there, edit your manuscript before submitting to publisher.
At this point, you want to use an analytical tool such as Google Analytics and see what your traffic numbers are. If you did your promoting of your blog site well and your book idea is a marketable subject, the numbers will speak for themselves. The higher your numbers and fan base, the better the chances are that a publisher will pick up your book and offer you a book deal.
Publishers surf the blog sites looking for the ones that have high readership numbers in hopes of finding the next great author. That could be you!
If you do not land a traditional book deal, do not worry. You can still self-publish and your readers and fans will buy it. Your name will be on the cover and self-publishing is an accepted and respected form of publication. You will still be seen as a published writer.
Do not sell yourself short and tell yourself that you have nothing to say or write about. If you are blogging or if you are reading this, than chances are that you are a blogger and therefore, a writer. You do have something to say. Why not take what you love doing and turn it into a book? The only one stopping you is you. Now go out there and blog your way into a book. Get published! Get paid! Be the author of your book!
We, at GoogleJets, look forward to seeing your success from blogger to author. You can do it! Now go make it happen.
Social Media Examiner:
Amir, N. (2012, July 19). 5 Ways to go From Blogger to Published Book Author. Retrieved from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/blog-to-book-author/
Author-screenwriter, Diana Botsford “Creative Writing Workshop” at Timegate Con in Atlanta Georgia May 28, 2011. Diana’s theatrical credits include visual effects directing and supervision for a wide variety of films, including Nightmare of Elm Street VI, From Disk Til Dawn, Terminator 2 and many indie films. As the head of the Screenwriting Program at Missouri State University, her recently completed written work includes the SF novel,Critical Past, and the comic book series, The Fracture.
The workshop helps writers learn more about the writing process. Each year at Timegate Con Diana provides helpful critique to those who submit a one page proposal for a TV series, a film, novel, or web series online. For writing proposals, Diana recommends double spacing, use the courier new font, and write with a sense of pacing, pattern, and rhythm. She explains how writer’s should use a short and concise elevator pitch with an agent or others who might be interested in learning about the project. The written piece has three main sections, reaction, dilemma, and decision. One of the writing tricks is that 9 out of 10 times “had” isn’t needed. Stay focused on the purpose of each scene by showing the characters moving forward with each word. “Less is More” and implied writing is key. Every story needs two pinch points per act. During the critique, Diana asked four questions about the main characters. What is the best thing and the worst thing that can happen to the character and what internal and external dilemma is the character going through.
Diana recommended tools to assist writers include:
Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction (MFA) program, as one of the only programs in the country that teaches writers to create – and market – fiction that sells.
Write Way Pro Software is similar to Power Writer but simplified. On the left was the outlining interface, which was composed of Acts/Chapters/Scenes. For the writing purist it has a place for detailed character profiles, notecards, all that details to writing effectively. It’s a small program, and it starts and runs fairly quick.
The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers is a popular screenwriting textbook by writer Christopher Vogler, focusing on the theory that most stories can be boiled down to a series of narrative structures and character archetypes, described through mythological allegory.
Diana’s Cherry-Picked List of Screen Play Contests: winning screenplay competitions is a very positive boost to the ego, but in the end that takes second position to the primary purpose: the EXPOSURE you deserve for winning. If done right, the competition is judging you on your talent from a level playing field. There’s a ton of competitions out there – the trick is finding the right ones or, to be blunt, finding competitions which aren’t a scam. With that in mind, here’s a cherry-picked list I’ve built up over the past few years. While there’s certainly hundreds more out there, this Baker’s Dozen represents legitimate competitions with definite endgame value.