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Tag: Search engine optimization

April 27th, 2012

Six Signs That It’s Time For A New Website

The Internet is now the main way people search for businesses. So if your website isn’t performing, you could be turning away customers.

Sure, your website may look attractive enough. And you don’t have any dead links or cheesy under-construction animations. But is your website really doing its job? Or is it hopelessly out of date? Here are six easy ways to tell if it’s time for a redo. Continue reading “Six Signs That It’s Time For A New Website” »

December 28th, 2011

Is It Time For a Website Update?

Unless you’re a start-up, chances are you already have a website. But is your website really doing enough to market your company?

Here are some things to think about:

  • Is your website current? Considering how fast Internet technology is advancing, five years is like an eternity. Are the pictures small and fuzzy? Are your product descriptions still accurate? Do you have pages missing? Do you have a “coming soon” notice that has been in place since your website launched? Or, worse yet, are there typos and inaccurate information?
  • Can you update your website yourself? Several years ago, content management systems required a lot more technical expertise. So simple website updates were often left to the experts – at a fee of $100 or so a pop. Those days are over. Content management systems are now much easier to use, and simple updates can be made easily.
  • Is your website mobile friendly? Having a mobile website is a good idea. But, at the very least, your website should use mobile friendly technology (i.e. not Flash).
  • Can search engines find you? Sure, your company pops up on Google when you enter your company name (eg: Bob’s Diner). But does your name show up for non-branded searches (eg: Jackson, Mississippi restaurants)? Do your competitors show up higher on the search results page?
  • Is your website easy to navigate? It may seem easy to you. But test your website on a few people who don’t know your business as well as you do. Can they find information easily? Or is it more of a chore?
  • Do you have access to your website’s analytics? It’s your website. Shouldn’t you know how many people are visiting it? How about these questions: What search keywords brought them to your website? How many pages did they check out? Where in the world did your visitors come from? Here’s the answer: You can get very comprehensive reporting with a quick, free installation of Google Analytics. It’s a must have. After all, not have access to analytics is like not being able to tell how many people walked through the front door of your brick-and-mortar business.

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make updating your website a priority.

June 17th, 2011

What the Heck are SEO, SEM, PPC, CPC, and CPM?

Improving your understanding of common Internet marketing terms is essential knowledge for modern marketing campaigns.

When you’re using the web to market your business, it’s easy to get confused with the alphabet soup of different acronyms and other jargon.

Search Engine Strategies

You want to make it easy for potential customers to find your website using search engines like Google and Bing. The key to search engine success is effective SEO, SEM, and a flurry of other abbreviations.

Here’s a quick overview of the key terms and concepts to help you gain an understanding of the various options available, and give you a head start in determining which strategies will work best for your practice:

SEO (search engine optimization) – Techniques used to improve a website’s performance in search results. SEO focuses on organic or natural search, as opposed to paid ads.

SEM (search engine marketing) – Paid advertising on search engines. SEM usually refers to the pay-per-click text ads that appear on the search results pages of Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

Pricing Models

Online campaign pricing is usually based on either the number of clicks your ads get or the number of times it is seen.

PPC (pay per click) – Your cost is based upon the number of clicks each ad gets, not the actual number of times the ad appears. Also called PPC (pay-per-click).

CPM (cost per thousand) – The cost is based on the number of times your ad is seen, defined as a set price per 1,000 impressions.

Typically, search engine ads are PPC while display ads are CPM. However, there are some exceptions.

Metrics

Online ad campaign performance is evaluated using a number of different metrics. Some, such as impressions and clicks are pretty self-explanatory. Others need some explanation:

CTR (click through rate) – The average number of click-throughs (website visits due to clicking on an ad) per hundred ad impressions.

CPC (cost per click) – The amount paid to a search engine or web publisher each time one of your ads is clicked. The cost is given as an average CPC when the price per click-through is variable, as is often the case with search ads.

CPA (cost per action) – The cost an advertiser pays when a person completes a desired action, such as buying a product or filling out a contact form. Like CPC, the CPA is often an average cost over a given time period.

That covers the basics. But, of course, there’s a lot more to learn. Here’s a great online dictionary of Internet marketing terms that goes into much greater depth.

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