Tag Archives: online marketing

Improve product visibility with Google Base

Google Base is a free service from Google that allows you to submit information about your company’s products and services, along with keyword descriptions to help improve your online visibility.

The cool part is that you don’t necessarily need a website in order for Google Base to work for you. Anyone can list their products and services whether they’re sold online or offline.

Improve product visibility with Google Base

Improve product visibility with Google Base

The service functions just like a regular Google search. Depending on how relevant your product is to a person’s Google search, your product will either show up in “Google Product Search” or it will come up on the main search results page.

Google Base is easy to set up. First you need a Google account, which is free and takes minutes to create. Once you have your account, go to Google Base and login. You can either start adding your products and services one by one, or upload the information using a spreadsheet or XML file.

Similar to the way you optimize your web pages, there are ways to improve the chance of your products showing up at the top of Google Base results pages. Success mainly depends on your product descriptions and images.

Make sure that the titles and descriptions of each item are valid. Avoid using salesy descriptions or anything that sounds spammy, it will only hurt your rankings.

Upload a high-quality image for every item you list. Images increase the chance that people will click on your item to find out more information.

Google Base is an interesting tool that is definitely worth trying. Even if you don’t have a website, it’s a great way to boost your product visibility online.

Social media and B2B, more evidence it’s a good mix

Social media has pulled ahead of email as the most popular online activity, according to the latest research from Neilsen Online.

More than two-thirds (67%) of the world’s online population visits social networks and blogs, making participation in “member communities” the fourth most popular activity online.

Social media more popular that email

Social media more popular that email

Activity on social networks and blogs ranks fourth behind search, portals and PC software, but has moved higher than personal email use.

Social networking and blogging now account for nearly 10% of all time spent on the internet and have “become a fundamental part of the global online experience,” said John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen Online. “While two-thirds of the global online population already accesses member community sites, their vigorous adoption and the migration of time show no signs of slowing. Social networking will continue to alter not just the global online landscape, but the consumer experience at large. This study explains why.”

This isn’t evidence that email marketing has become ineffective, it depends on what works for your business. What the research does show is that whether your B2B or B2C, more of your customers are active in social networks and are reading blogs.

Your customers are using social media and so should you.

All you need is love. Link love, that is.

Have you found love on the Internet?

No, not the eHarmony, Match.com type of love. We’re talking about a different type of love – link love.

The kind of love that is critical to the performance of your business to business website.

Link love “is a term used in the fields of search engine optimization and blogging to describe the effect that web pages rank better when they have more and higher quality links pointing at them.”

So, why is link love so important? According to Rick Burnes at Hubspot:

  • Your business needs to get found.
  • Search engines are the place to get found.
  • Links get you found in search engines.

To better understand the process, Rick says to pretend search engines are like hiring managers:

“If you’re a job candidate, a hiring manager will interview you and check your resume, the same way a search engine will check a page’s keywords and title.

But the hiring manager doesn’t stop there. They want to make sure all the information on the resume is correct, and they want an impartial third-party opinion on your potential, so they check references. A search engine does the same thing by checking links. For search engines, links from big, trusted sites are a signal of quality.

Quality inbound links, just like recommendations, are hard to get, but critical to your success.”

Wondering how to get started on spreading the link love? I recently came across the “world’s greatest list of posts dedicated to the fine art of Link Love” in a post at Problogger. The post may be slightly dated, but the advice is still just as good.

Best B2B marketing strategies to boost sales today

B2B marketing strategies to increase sales

B2B marketing strategies to increase sales

Today I came across another great (and free) ebook, Five B2B MarCom Strategies to Increase Sales Now by Dianna Huff.

It’s completely free – no name, no email, no registration required. Even better, it’s full of five straightforward B2B marketing strategies to help get your sales moving today.

Here’s a clip from the introduction:

YouTube. Twitter. Blogs. Podcasts. White Papers. Search. Direct Mail. Trade shows. Webinars. Networking. TV commercials. Print ads. LinkedIn. Facebook. Digg.

Some days I want to scream, “STOP!”  To say that marketing today is fractured and fragmented is a total understatement. What works? What doesn’t? Where are people (our customers and prospects) congregating? Does it make sense to run ads in trade publications? No wait, maybe we should dump all our money into search.

But wait, some gurus are still advocating direct mail and white papers.

What’s a marketing professional to do?

It covers five proven B2B marketing communication strategies to help increase sales and leads, including:

  1. Understanding your target market
  2. Determining your campaign objectives before you start writing
  3. Integrating online and offline tactics
  4. Building your website around what buyers/prospects want
  5. Focusing on your customer not your company

Visit Dianna Huff’s B2B MarCom Writer Blog and download your copy of the Five B2B MarCom Strategies to Increase Sales Now ebook.

How to find industry experts in social media

Yesterday we asked, “Is it ‘appropriate’ for business to business organizations to use social media techniques?

Our answer: It’s not just appropriate, it’s critical to the success of your B2B organization that you get involved in social media.

Even if you don’t have a company blog or a Facebook business page, there are still ways to connect with customers and experts in your industry through social media and networking.

The easiest way to get started is by reading blogs dedicated to topics that relate to your specific industry. Tools like Google Reader make it simple to keep track of interesting blogs and stay on top of the latest industry buzz.

Setting up Google Reader is simple, what’s tough is finding the blogs you should be following.

Here are some great places to start:

  • Google Blog Search. Google Blog Search narrows your Google search and only returns information published on blogs. It helps you find industry buzz on whatever subject you search for.
  • Alltop. Called the “online magazine rack” of the web, Alltop helps you find what’s happening in all the topics that interest you. The site collects headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs in each topic. Topics range from HR, science, politics, automobiles, careers, to hundreds of other subjects.
  • Blogrolls. When you find a blog you like, be sure to pay attention to their blogroll. A blogroll is usually found in the sidebar of a blog that lists other blogs the author follows. They usually cover similar topics, making it a simple way to find new blogs to read.
  • Google Alerts. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your topic of choice. You control the type of sources you want to monitor (news, blogs, etc.) and how often you would like to receive updates.

Social media is all about getting involved in the conversation. Find interesting blogs in your industry, make some comments and get the discussion going.

Does B2B have a place in social media?

Is it “appropriate” for business to business organizations to use social media techniques?

The question comes from another great post from PR Squared. (Yesterday, we talked about an awesome ebook they put together.) Today, I wanted to share the question with our readers to try and get a better inside perspective.

Some may say that social media does not have a place in business to business interactions, arguing that “we already know our customers,” or “we have a very technical, specialized product,” or even “our customers are very conventional.”

But many organizations can discover the answer by starting with another question, “are our customers online?”

Nine times out of 10, the answer to that one will be “yes.”

Whether your customers are doing business online or not, they’re there. Your customers are online – checking e-mail, using Google, researching topics for an upcoming presentation.

If our customers are there, we should also be there. B2B’s MUST have a place in social media.

Check back tomorrow for more information on how to find organizations involved in social media in your industry and how to stake your claim.

What do you think? Is it “appropriate” for business to business companies to use social media techniques? Why or why not?

How to save on PPC and get the best ROI

As we said in yesterday’s post, this year marketers will be moving dollars into more reliable ROI generators, including pay-per-click (PPC) search ads. Because of it’s precise targeting and easy measurement, paid search provides a great return for many businesses.

Whether you’re dealing with a $20 or $20K daily PPC budget, you want to know you’re saving money wherever you can. Especially if your PPC budget has been scaled back in 2009, it’s more important than ever to get the most bang for your buck.

Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, recently wrote an article featured at Blog Mango explaining how to make saving money on PPC a priority in 2009. Here are a few of Peter’s tips:

Assess your “broad match” campaigns. By default, Adwords campaigns are set as “broad match” campaigns. Peter’s example: “If WebsiteMagazine.com were to bid on the on the keyword “Website Magazine” on a broad match level, we’d receive a lot of unrelated traffic from queries related to “magazines” – which is not what we want. So if you have done the required keyword research and are confident with the effectiveness of a few keywords, use the “Phrase” or “Exact Match” instead of Broad Match.”

Take another look at negative keywords. “Negative keywords enable advertisers to ensure that they do not, under any circumstances, appear under certain keyword or key phrase combinations.” When used correctly, you can filter out keywords for which you don’t want your ads shown. For more information, go to Adwords Keyword Tool, enter a keyword and choose “Negative” in the drop down menu under “Match Type.” It will show you a slew of negative keywords that may fit your primary keyword.

Restructure your campaign to improve conversions. Peter explains that the most efficient PPC campaigns follow a similar process: “group similar keywords together in individual ad groups, develop sets of ads for those individual groups and point those keyword focused ad groups (and often times on a keyword level) to designated landing pages.” Restructuring your campaign this way will improve your click-through rate and improve conversions.

Schedule your ads. Control the days and times your AdWords campaigns appear by using Ad Scheduling. If you’re running a campaign on a certain day of the week, you can use Ad Scheduling to only show ads on that particular day. You can even schedule ads to run during a certain time of the day where you receive the most business. With a little trial and error, it could improve your conversion rates.

Read the full article at Blog Mango.

Any other advice out there on how to save money on PPC? We’d love to hear it!