As I mentioned in my 2013 Local Link Building white paper, Link Building is widely known to play a significant role in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and could very well be the difference between a business being found on the first page and one that’s found on the 10th page. For years, the Bizible team has been testing different strategies and although sometimes hard to measure, we’ve managed to compile a list of 7 of our favorite easy and effective ways to increase your local link building impact. So, without further ado, let’s start the show.
Joining the conversation on blogs and forums
Create a profile or account with industry related blogs and forums and leave comments with links to your site. When contributing to articles and forums, it’s good practice to ask yourself, “Am I contributing to this article?” and “Am I writing something original?”. If the site allows you to create a profile, make sure that you take the opportunity to link to your sites. If you can control the anchor text (the words that carry the link), use your keywords like this (Anchor Text).
Picture based social sites like Pinterest
Actively “pinning” pictures from your website to Pinterest or other sites that allow you to have a backlink gives you many free linking opportunities that can spread all over the web. Make sure you pin from the web, not uploading them from your computer, though. Also, always double check your backlinks! Take the time to fill out your profile here as well, if you can put up a link to your website, do it. This can also be a great place to market your business as well. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media sites out there with a lot of sharing activity. If you have great photos of your product, upload them from your site to your Pinterest account.
Networking and business clubs
By establishing a presence or becoming a member of various business networking groups such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Business Networking International (BNI), and the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA),you may get an opportunity to place a link on their website. Also, I recommend you use your personal network with people in your city. Engage in a link exchange with friends and business partners. Many of you are already engaging in these clubs, so use them to your advantage. This is a great place to meet other local businesses that are likely interested in building their online presence as well, so link-exchanging is probably in the cards.
Social media accounts
Use personal and business Linkedin Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr accounts to your advantage! Linking your website from these sites not only helps with PageRank, but it also increases brand awareness and helps your business stay top-of-mind with current and potential customers. A great example of this is Linkedin. Within Linkedin, you can edit the anchor text of up to 3 personal/businesslinks to reflect a specific keyword or phrase you are targeting. For an example, you can take a look at our Linkedin page and see what we’ve done.
What we've done is link to our homepage as well as certain landing pages This will help with differentiating your links as well as allow you to work on other keywords.
Exchanging links for testimonials
Engage with your vendors, the people you hire for services, or venues you’ve rented out and ask them if you can write a review for them in exchange for a link on their site. They will get to post the testimonial about their service, and you get a link – Win-Win.
Creating a Wikipedia page - Citing sources on a Wikipedia article with your site
Creating a Wikipedia page can become a tough task to maintain, but if you can keep it up and accurate, this is a great Link Building tool. Wikipedia also frowns upon businesses creating your own Wikipedia pages, especially if it seems that your intent is based on ranking gain. If that’s not your style, consider citing information in industry-related Wikipedia articles using content from your website. Your link will show up at the bottom as a reference.
I know what some of you are thinking. “Isn’t that where pictures of funny cats come from?” The answer to that is “Yes, but there’s much more!” If you’re new to Reddit, the brief explanation of it goes like this: Reddit is the “front page of the internet” where users submit content of all types to various “subreddits” that are topic-specific. There is a marketing subreddit, an SEO subreddit, and yes, even a subreddit dedicated to cats. Content submitted is then either up-voted or down-voted by the community based on the quality of the submission. If your content is good enough, it just might get pushed to the “Front Page” of Reddit. There is more to this strategy than a link on a high PageRank site, however. Each subreddit shows how many subscribers there are and even how many people are on that certain subreddit at any given time. You’d be surprised to find out how many users there are on Reddit 24 hours a day. For example, there are currently 12,000 subscribers on the marketing subreddit who are actively engaging with content. This is a great site to link valuable and relatable blog posts to. Just be sure to carefully choose the subreddits you submit to and read the rules of the subreddits to make sure you are in compliance.
There are many ways to incorporate link building into your online strategy, and today, I’ve barely scratched the surface. Help me grow this list by sharing your favorite link building methods below.
Community management has taken a bit of a drift as of late with the influx of social automation. With auto-publishers and “recipes” available for free or very cheaply, marketers are able to hold a presence online that seems more like a medium of advertising and less like a community driven space. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to advertise via social media, but I think we ought to take a good hard look at what social automation is doing in terms of capturing and maintaining a delighted audience of customers.
Let’s name the players in the game before we get any further. Things that I’m referring to are software programs like Hootsuite, Buffer, and other CMS based social scheduling tools that allow you to create a week’s worth of tweet in a couple of hours, schedule them out over a week, and set it and, in most cases, forget it.
IFTTT is an interesting service that allows you to create and utilize “recipes” that should make your life a little easier. What’s happened is that you’re also able to set recipes like auto-sending a Direct Message to someone who follows you, thanking them for the follow, or even auto-following someone back who follows you. Everyone has seen the “truetwit” validation Direct Messages that you get when you follow someone and they want to make sure that you aren’t a spam twitter account. There are also applications that go ahead and favorite thousands of tweets every week based on a keyword list you provide in hopes that the favoriting of tweets will gain you followers.
These tools were created to help marketers navigate social media in a way that would also help them be more efficient, but are the very tools meant to help actually harming your social media efforts? Let’s find out.
It really depends on what your definition of Social Media Marketing is. Are you trying to generate leads who will eventually convert to customers via a tweet with a link to your blog? Or are you simply using social media because someone told you to? Either way, studies are showing that using some of these tools and products could actually hurt your social media efforts.
Using it for good
Social scheduling can be a good thing, but with scheduling comes a larger responsibility. Creating social messages and tweets in advance can save a lot of time for marketers that aren’t solely doing social. If you are generating content that is auto-published, you need to balance it out with engagement posts as well. That’s true for any social campaign. But with a larger amount of content, you need a proportionate amount of posts and engagement that are “live” and are connecting with customers. Andrew Heyward said that “Every company is a media company,” but you need to remember that you are also a company. You have people that are reading your content, but your customers or potential customers want to know that you are a human. Social Command Centers like Hootsuite are really great for marketers because you are able to get a snapshot of all of your social media sources (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Foursquare etc…) all at once. The key here is engaging with your community, and you can’t predict who and what people are going to say on Thursday when you’re typing the tweets or messages on Sunday night.
Using third party applications like Followgen or TweetAdder might help a business get a base of followers when they are getting started, but the practices have been viewed as “fishy” in the social media community. It’s a good way to figure out who you want to connect with online, but once you have a base or community, stop using those programs and gain followers and “likes” the natural way.
Here’s where it can hurt
There has been a long debated question of Facebook’s Edgerank taking 3rd Party Posted updates and punishing publishers for using such applications to reach their fan base. The punishment? Something like 1 in 6 fans will actually see your update. There is little hard evidence to support or deny that claim, but why take the risk? If you are using social media as a marketing tool, take the time to go to Facebook and update from the site itself. You can also do more there like tag people, update more enriched content, and format your posts better to fit a Facebook audience.
The biggest pain point with most publishing applications is that if you write for one network, that same message will get pushed to other networks with the same reserved characters from other social sites. For example: If you’re writing tweets and sending them to Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+, your hashtags and @ mentions show up in those other networks where they don’t do anything, and ultimately upset and discourage your fans on social media from taking your content as quality. There is a particular underlying message conveyed by posting out from one source that says “I don’t care to be in this community, but listen to what I have to say!”
The point of social media is to be “social” right? If you aren’t in conversation with your customers, you’re missing the point, and they can tell. I think there is a time and place for social automation, but be smart about it. Not every tool out there is for the betterment of your social campaign.
Simply put, "Salesforce for Google AdWords" or SFGA is a soon to be retiring (as of May 1st, 2013) Salesforce app that allows Google AdWords and Salesforce to communicate. SFGA connects the two tech giants by attaching individual AdWords data to each new lead that visited your site by way of Google AdWords campaign and subsequently filled out a "web-to-lead-form". Salesforce created SFGA as a means to conveniently deliver deeper insight on leads and opportunities for both sales and marketing users.
Google AdWords is used to create online advertisements specific to www.google.com. This means that if an ad is created using this system, it will only appear to users of Google. These advertisements are linked to a series of keywords that relate to a specific company or product. When users type these specific keywords into the search bar, the advertisement will be triggered to display in the ad section on the top of the Google search results. If someone clicks on an ad in Google, they will be most likely directed to a website or landing page. Landing pages are generally designed to capture information about potential customers. Well-executed landing pages often contain offers, which are exchanged for the visitors contact information through calls-to-action and web-to-lead forms. With the installation of the "Salesforce for Google AdWords" app, information generated from these forms is automatically translated into your Salesforce account along with specific Google AdWords data.
Salesforce is a Customer Relationship Management system or CRM that allows businesses to manage leads and customers. Within Salesforce, customers and potential customers are divided into 4 categories: leads, opportunities, contacts, and accounts. Leads are potential customers that are not yet qualified. When a new visitor fills out a form on a website, they become a lead in Salesforce. Within Salesforce, you can see which form each new lead came from by referencing the “Lead Source” field. Going one step further, if SFGA is installed correctly and a lead fills out a form after clicking on a Google paid search ad, the “Lead Source” field will report which Google AdWords campaign they came from, as well as, the ad group, keyword, text ad, search term, and the URL associated with the web address that led that user to your website. SFGA allows Salesforce users to analyze their Google AdWords investment and determine if it is generating new customers and ultimately increasing return on investment or ROI.
As I mentioned earlier, SFGA will be retiring on May 1, 2013. Saleforce has decided to retire this app in order to focus more of their efforts on improving Salesforce CRM. For those who are currently using SFGA, come May 1st all-new lead reports for Google AdWords will stop, but historical data will remain. Some minor adjustments will be made, but nothing of significant importance. As a result, Salesforce has opened the job up to a variety of partners of which Bizible is a part. Through this partnership with Salesforce, Bizible offers a seamless replacement. Bizible was fortunate enough to gain valuable insight from the developers of SFGA and were able to improve on pain points while continuing with features that customers liked. With this new tool, Bizible has increased the realizable relationship between AdWords and Saleforce accounts. Bizible’s “Google AdWords Integration for Salesforce” directly connects the tracking information to the lead. This allows for easy understanding of how, why and where a lead came from. Learn more about our new product below!
Want to increase your web site traffic, but don’t know how? Google AdWords is a Google specific PPC, pay-per-click, campaign system. It is an effective online marketing tool used to attract potential customers to your web site. This can be especially beneficial to small businesses that don’t have heavy site traffic. PPC can be a great marketing tactic for those on a budget, as advertisers only pay when the ad is clicked. This allows small businesses to save money by only targeting potential new customers. There are a number of steps that can be taken to set up your PPC campaign and properly invest in online marketing.
1. Determine your budget.
It’s important that you set the proper budget for your online marketing endeavors. This can help prevent over-spending and under spending that can lead to unsuccessful ROI or return on investment. Google Adwords asks you to set a monthly budget, divides that by 30.4 (average days in a month) and tells you your average daily budget. As customer traffic can fluctuate from day to day, Google Adwords enables overdelivery. This means that Google will allow up to 20% more clicks, above your daily budget, on any given day. However, this system will monitor these fluctuations to make sure that you never go over your monthly budget. If, for some reason, Google was to overdeliver your ads too much, exceeding your budget, they will credit money back to your account to make up for the extra money spent. I would definitely recommend this budgeting plan as you can get the most out of your ads from day to day as traffic changes. Setting proper bid prices is an important budgeting decision and one that will mostly likely need adjustment as time permits. We will look more closely at that in the next section.
2. Define relevant keywords
Determining the right keywords for your AdWords campaign is an essential part in ensuring its success. Only keywords that describe your business, products and services will generate clicks, increase conversion rates and ROI. It’s important that the keywords cover exactly what your company does. Try to think about what someone, looking for your service, would type into a search engine. Following your budget, find keywords that you can bid on. You should focus on goal completion, what keywords are going to make you the most money? This can be hard to determine, but think about creating keywords that represent a connected theme, concentrating on an area that is profitable for you, and can easily be ranked in organic SEO, search engine optimization. Using max CPC, cost-per-click, tools in your campaign can help you monitor keywords that are working for you. Each keyword has a max. CPC or the maximum amount that you are willing to pay if your ad gets clicked on. Increasing your max. CPC amount will help your ad rank, thus increasing your ad position on Google search. If a keyword has a low average CPC, but has a high conversion rate then I would recommend increasing the maximum CPC. This will once again increase ad rank, position, and potential ROI. If a keyword has a high average CPC, but is not producing a high conversion rate from clicks then I would recommend reducing its maximum CPC. This will reduce this keywords position, clicks, and thus cost: saving you money and improving your ROI. As you gather more data on the success of keywords, it’s important to adjust your budget accordingly. This will help you save money on low-performing keywords and invest more in valuable ones.
Another important element to add to your campaign are negative keywords. Negative keywords are words that you don’t want to associate your ads with. Including these in your campaign will help narrow your target customer base, reduce overall costs, and increase return on investment. Negative keywords will prevent your ads from showing in relation with things that you don’t offer, and increase the potential for clicks when they do show up. When deciding which terms to select, I would recommend thinking about words that are similar to your current keywords, but signal that the customer is clearly searching for a different product. For example, if you were selling eyeglasses you would make your negative keywords something like, drinking glasses and wine glasses because those don’t correlate with what you are trying to sell.
3. Attract customers
Your keywords will only go as far as your ads will allow. Your advertisements need to draw consumers in. This includes creative headlines that are eye-catching, CTA, Calls-To-Action and a promise of benefits. Your ad copy should encourage the consumer to take the next step in pursuing your product. Google AdWords allows you to test different ad copy to determine which will create the highest conversion rate. They allow you to create various versions of the ad copy and test their success. Sometimes you can also choose to use the best version for all your advertisements. This will save money and increase the success of your overall campaign. As I mentioned earlier, your ads are pointless unless they target the right customers. Google AdWords enables you to target specific geographic areas. If you were a company in the Pacific Northwest, for example, you might decide to target customers specifically in Seattle, Washington. One important side note to mention is that you should not mislead your customers by promising them something in your ad copy other than what you offer. This will create bad publicity for your web site as well as damage your goal conversion rate for the campaign.
4. Make the most of your PPC campaign
Do all you can to help increase the success of your campaign. Great importance must be placed on high conversion rates, so optimize your ad copy and landing pages on a regular basis. Make sure the ad copy are creating results and the landing pages are generating customers with the use of effective CTAs. The landing pages should be unique, display the products and easy to follow. This is a crucial step in campaign success.
As your campaign moves further on make sure you are checking up on keywords and their success, making adjustments as necessary. This is an exciting step for your company as you are working to increase website traffic and recognition. Working hard on this campaign will produce the results you are looking for. Hope this helps and good luck!
Learn more about our integration between Salesforce and Google AdWords here!
Guest post by Tom Bruce, CEO of Conversion Path.
Up to 11 ads are displayed for any given search query on the Google search engine results page. The top ad positions get the most traffic by far but how do you afford the bid prices to be at the top? You have to be the best at converting each click into a lead, then a sales opportunity, and then revenue for the search terms that matter to you. If your process creates a higher ROI, then you can bid higher and increase your share of the available market, at great reward.
This article demonstrates one way in which we use a Salesforce Adwords integration to gain a major competitive edge in lead intelligence.
An ecommerce software client used Google Adwords to drive the majority of their sales. They wanted to grow, but the market that they operated in was intensely competitive. We speculated that some competitors would spend well over a year’s revenue to acquire a new customer. Aggressive bidding had driven cost per click to well over $20 for many keywords. To thrive in this space required a significant competitive advantage. The Salesforce Adwords integration provided the edge we needed to grow sales by 132% with absolutely no increase in ad spend.
This firm’s prior Adwords managers had optimized ad-spend to acquire leads at the lowest cost per lead. Take this example at left. “Ecommerce software” and “online storefront” offer the lowest cost per lead, and were thus allocated the largest allocation of budget in order to maximize overall lead quantity. Is that the right thing to do? Let’s find out…
After we implemented a Salesforce Adwords integration, we were able to actually track the keywords (and other attributes) of these leads in Salesforce and see the actual outcomes and profitability for these different leads. Let’s take a look:
What did we learn?
- The Adwords manager was misguided when investing in the lower cost leads as they produced very low actual revenue for the client (relative to other leads)
- “.net ecommerce software” produced 51% of sales from just 11% of ad-spend
- “online storefront” produced only 1% of sales from 21% of ad-spend
Executing on these insights
With the visibility obtained by a Salesforce Adwords integration, we learned how the value of different keyword categories might vary for an ecommerce software company. Now we can instruct the Adwords manager on how to reallocate the ad investment in order to grow revenue for the company. Below is an illustration of how the same ad-spend can drive much greater sales for this firm.
- 132% increase in sales from the same ad investment
- Ability to raise bids in key areas to get better ad positions and displace competitors
- Increased knowledge about where to optimize efforts in the future to improve performance even further
Conversion Path specializes in Google Adwords lead generation and creates a competitive advantage through better company and product positioning, improved landing pages, conversion rate optimization, ever-improving lead intelligence, and rapid & effective sales follow-up procedures.
Looking to capitalize on the benefits of online marketing but don’t know where to begin? You’re not alone. Here’s my short but important list of must-have online marketing weapons that every business, from small and medium sized businesses to multi-client marketing agencies, should wield in the battle towards online domination.
1. SEOmoz – 30 Day Free Trial (Starts at $99/Month after that)
Rand Fishkin’s SEOmoz offers customers a complete suite of tools which are essential for monitoring everything from rank and on-page performance to competitive analysis and social campaigns. I recommend the pro subscription ($99/month), which isn’t just a must-have reporting tool but a virtually endless resource center with their 250k+ SEOmoz Community and expansive list of resources including webinars, white papers, forums and more.
2. Whitespark Local Citation Finder – Free Basic Use (Pro plans start at $20/Month)
Darren Shaw’s Whitespark offers both software and services to help you reach your online marketing goals. Such tools include one of my favorites, their Local Citation Finder. Citations should play a critical role in any search engine optimization strategy and Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder makes it easier than ever to identify citation opportunities for any business vertical on high ranking and influential sites. Identifying citation opportunities is hard and this service alone would make it on my list of must-haves but Whitespark takes it one step further by giving each user a unique dashboard, perfect for managing one or many businesses which literally changes the game in building citations for your small business or agency.
Some other great tools by Whitespark
3. Place Page Optimization:
Place pages are local business listings that include owner/customer submitted information about a business, including category, price, parking, hours of operation, etc. Most local place pages incorporate some kind of review or ranking element. Most place pages need to be confirmed by phone, text message, or snail mail.
Too often, businesses are misrepresented by outdated or incorrect information on their place pages. If you aren’t proactive about maintaining these pages, you’re gambling with your reputation as unclaimed place pages are, for the most part, created and maintained by your good/bad customers or worst case, your competitors.
See some best practices on Local Place Page Optimization
Yelp – Free (Yelp Advertising Starts at $300/Month)
Everybody has an opinion on Yelp and if it’s really worth investing in. When I say "investing", I’m not talking about a monetary investment. I’m talking about a time expenditure spent on cultivating positive reviews, following up on negative reviews, and implementing standard practices to maximize review opportunities. If you don’t think it’s worth it, read my post on Yelp ROI. What if a good Yelp ranking could literally mean a $100k+ boost to your online revenue?
Google+ Local – Free
Perhaps the most important place page to optimize is Google+ Local. The reason? Google is still the most widely used search engine, constituting about 80% of total search volume – Search Engine Land. Naturally, Google plays favorites by showcasing G+ and G+ Local page profiles above nonparticipating businesses. Still not convinced? Check out some more reasons to optimize yourGoogle+ Local Page.
Claim your G+ Local Page now
Bing Local – Free
You certainly don’t want to miss out on any search traffic coming from Bing. Here are 10 tips on how to optimize your Bing Local Page – Search Engine Land.
Claim your Bing Local page now
Yahoo Local – Free (Enhanced $9.95/Month)
Another base to cover. There are two options when signing up for Yahoo Local. You can choose between Basic (free) and Enhanced ($9.95/month). I’ve never used the enhanced version and unless you feel overly compelled to try it out, I think the basic version is just fine. With the enhanced listing you get these additional features:
- Business tagline
- Up to 10 photos
- Detailed business description
Claim your Yahoo Local Page now
4. Bizible – Free 30 Day Trial (Starts at $49/Month after that)
Thanks to Bizible, John Wanamaker, the father of modern advertising and early marketing trailblazer, can finally rest easy. You know him... he was the one who said, “I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted … I just don’t know which half.”
Tracking your online effort is just as, if not more, important than making any effort at all. Bizible is a brand new tool that tracks online success in revenue dollars or ROI. It doesn't matter if you close business offline via phone, walk-ins, or in-person meetings. Bizible's patent-pending technology tracks your customers back to the exact online source and keyword they used to find your business. Finally business owners and marketing agencies are empowered to understand exactly what's working in a way far more relevant than clicks, traffic, impressions, and rank.
Read more about Bizible for agencies
Read more about Bizible for small business
5. Podcasts & RSS
Staying current with the latest developments in the local SEO world has been critical to my success. Here’s a list of my favorite quick and digestible resources for relevant content. Add these to your RSS and podcast feeders.
- Andrew Shotland’s Blog on Local SEO Guide – Local SEO pioneer and expert persona
- Neil Patel’s Blog on QuickSprout – Web influencer and entrepreneur
- Search Engine Land – Almost too much great content. I suggest you skim for authors you like and subscribe accordingly
- Stitcher Internet Radio – A great resource for virtually anything. My personal tech favorites are SEO Rockstars and TWiT (This Week in Tech)
- e-Webstyle Podcast – Informative and entertaining podcast on everything SEO
Recently I found myself searching for a solution to track clients more effectively. Naturally I tried call tracking. In doing so I realized that, although call tracking may be a great for some, it just doesn’t make sense for small and medium sized businesses. Especially those business who are service based and targeting a local clientele. I realized that whenever I was asked about call tracking, I would generally hit on 5 major pitfalls for small business – I’ve decided to share them here:
1) The number:
One of the most common objections I hear from small business owners, when I approach them about call tracking, is the fact that the number will never be truly theirs. If, for some reason, they want to cancel, the number is immediately thrown into a pool of numbers up for grabs to the next highest bidder. The thought of potential customers storing a random phone number in their cell phone is scary to them and something I happen to completely sympathize with.
2) The price:
Although most call tracking services advertise a relatively low cost per number, in order to get real, meaningful data – I mean, KEYWORD level data, a minimum of 20 phone numbers is required (depending on site traffic). Basically, you will need an amount of phone numbers that match the number of possible simultaneous site visitors. If the goal in starting a call tracking campaign is to be forensic, the cost may be daunting.
3) No multiple attribution – only last click attribution:
The call tracking concept, although technically complex, is really quite understandable. It works by dynamically changing the phone number on your website based on the different ways visitors find your site or landing page i.e. Google search ads. Often times, companies taking advantage of paid search have more than one campaign running at once. When it comes to call tracking, the last ad a customer clicks on before they actually pick up the phone and call is technically responsible for that conversion, or last click attribution.
As evolved internet marketers, it shouldn’t be news that there are many steps in the journey from interest to decision-to-buy. A last click model just isn’t cutting it. Think about it... That’s like assuming paintbrushes alone were responsible for painting your house last summer, when in fact it was the painter, and probably not even just the one painter but the entire team painters, even the painter’s boss who was ultimately responsible for delivering the finished product.
4) The random dials, ghost rings, and pimps:
Call tracking numbers are like public bathrooms. Do I know people have used them before? Sure. But I like to pretend I’m the first. It was 8 months ago when I started a call tracking campaign with one of my most loyal customers, a local company serving the Seattle area. Much like myself, he was interested in going beyond clicks and impressions with a more conversion driven approach. Almost immediately after setting up call tracking he began to receive calls from potential customers. SUCCESS! Not quite. He was getting calls from potential customers from the last business that used the same number. Maybe even calls from the business before that, who knows. We ended up halting the campaign after two months. When I reviewed the data I examined a couple different variables.
- Lead phone numbers (which are entered into his CRM) to the call tracking data
- Length of tracked conversations
- Area codes of influence (area codes greater than 30 miles away from Seattle were considered illegitimate)
After all was said and done we came to the conclusion that approximately 30% of tracked calls were NOT legitimate.
For a lighter example, when we tested call tracking for our own agency, we received an undocumented amount of calls, late into the evening, from all sorts of “colorful” characters. We humorously concluded that someone had previously been using our call tracking number to track conversions for an escort service. Hence the title of this section.
5) The local SEO implications:
Local SEO isn’t as uncharted as it was a couple years ago. If you look, you can find a bunch of information out there on how to succeed in the space, what to do – what not to do, etc… And if your RSS inbox is as inundated as mine, you’ll notice some reoccurring themes. Some of which, directly contradict with what call tracking seems to do.
Consistency is KEY: It is very important that businesses be represented in multiple places on the web in an identical fashion in relation to their NAP (name, address, and phone number). With call tracking, businesses must have a multitude of different phone numbers thus breaking one of the golden rules.
You can’t track organic SEO: Call tracking works the best when measuring the effectiveness of paid search campaigns. This is done by directing potential customers to a unique landing page dependent on each ad campaign. But what if someone finds your website organically through search or a referral like Facebook or Yelp? There is no way to differentiate between those visitors.
It only works when they call: There is a variety of different scenarios where customers may choose to convert. If someone fills out a form or walks into the business, call tracking is rendered useless. In the grand scheme of things, a prospect calling a tracked number is a pretty small percentage of total leads and doesn’t represent real lead behavior accurately.
Call tracking can give businesses a more insightful look into their online marketing efforts, but at what cost? After all, I don't recall seeing a chapter on call tracking in Local Online Advertising For Dummies.
I’m very interested in your thoughts and stories. Please leave a comment below.
Bizible Marketing Analytics is FREE for a limited time!
To try Bizible’s Marketing Analytics for FREE, visit http://bizible.com and click “Get Started”. Or feel free to Request a Demo click here for agencies and here for business owers. Be sure to give me as much information as you can when scheduling. (Demos usually last between 10-15 minutes).
How does it work?
Salesforce is retiring their free homespun integration with Google Adwords. Here, we hope to provide a guide to the companies which offer a similar service or which directly replace Salesforce for Google Adwords.
The Salesforce for Google Adwords app allows users to see which ads attracted leads, by attaching adwords data to lead and opportunity records within Salesforce. Users can then use sale amounts to asses the ROI of their Adwords and marketing campaigns.
The app attempted to solve one of the biggest problems facing marketers today: Which marketing efforts are paying off? The app reported detailed information on Adwords campaigns, as well as general information on ohter marketing channels, such as organic search, review sites, and social sites. When marketers have access to revenue data from their efforts per online channel, they can focus, optimize and budget with laser accuracy.
5 Great Companies Offering a Salesforce Adwords integration:
"Pardot helps sales and marketing departments team up to maximize efficiency and increase revenue. With Pardot's easy-to-use marketing automation suite, you can automatically track, score, and nurture prospects throughout the sales cycle."
"Marketo Marketing & Lead Management solution is unlike any marketing automation or email marketing tool you’ve seen. It provides rich functionality marketers need to automate & measure demand generation campaigns that generate more high-quality leads."
"Execute, measure and automate multi-channel marketing campaigns integrated with real-time website prospect tracking and segmentation. Automatically produce a continuous flow of qualified leads for your sales force to view directly from Salesforce."
"Transform your marketing into something people love. Attract piles of high-quality leads with blogs, social media and search. Nurture sales prospects with the right content at the right time. Measure it all. HubSpot makes it possible with one platform."
|Bizible Marketing Analytics
Track your Adwords data straight inside Salesforce with Bizible Marketing Analytics. With 1-click Adwords integration, 20 pre-built reports, multi-channel tracking, and unlimited users, your marketing team will have the revenue data they need to produce more of your favorite clients.
Features + Pricing
Depending on your marketing needs, the size of your company and your budget, these companies can help you integrate Adwords with Salesforce.
*Descriptions from the Salesforce AppExchange
You may have heard that a good link building campaign is good for SEO, but how exactly does it benefit your SEO efforts? Let’s talk about why link building is important.
The short answer to why local link building is important is easy; getting links to your site on other websites is good for SEO. But the more in-depth answer is a bit more complex. Part of Google’s algorithm takes into account PageRank, a system of points awarded to links on websites that link back to your site. Every webpage indexed by Google is given a score from 0-10, based on their authority. A great place to find the PageRank score for any given web page is PRchecker.info. For example, big news websites like CNN.com has a PageRank worth of 9/10, so getting a link on the CNN.com homepage would be really good for the search algorithm of your site. Deeper pages in a website will have different PageRank based on the popularity of the page. Some subpages have pretty good PageRank scores. For example, in social media; my Twitter page has a PageRank of 3/10, which is actually pretty good for a page that one person controls. I also get access to putting my own link on that page, permanently. Linkedin profile pages, have a history of having pretty good PageRank scores, if they are viewed often. And with Linkedin, you have the opportunity for 3 links with a controllable anchor text. Below is a screen shot of what PRchecker.info looks like.
What is a good link for SEO? That’s tricky, as Google claims that different links have different point attribution. There are two types of links, “nofollow” and “dofollow”. Apparently, “nofollow” links are not as good for SEO, but good for marketing in spreading brand awareness and site traffic. The nofollow-dofollow distinction occurs in the HTML of links that are on websites. In the rel= ‘_’ section of the HTML, sites either include rel=nofollow, rel=dofollow, or they don’t include anything (which is the same as “rel=dofollow”). Nofollow links are not ‘followed’ by Google, meaning that they are not indexed, and therefore don’t have as much of a point value associated with them. It’s still not known for sure how Google actually treats nofollow links, but they do offer some benefit to SEO as well as offer larger non-SEO benefits such as brand awareness, site traffic, and general marketing.
Basically, link building is a process of networking with the rest of the internet. For SEO, you want to get as many dofollow links as you can, with a mix of nofollow’s in there just to be safe. This will in turn increase your value in Google’s search algorithm, increasing your ranking in search results, and ultimately leading to more business from web traffic. There are many ways you can get these links, from guest blogging to link exchange.
If you’re interested in learning more about link building for local businesses, download our whitepaper “Local Link Building” below!
If you’re a small business, startup or even a freelancer, one of the first things you’ll realize you need are ways to organize your day and help you stay on top of your contacts, projects, and tasks. Many business owners also tend to manage their own accounting processes, and so, handling invoices, time tracking, billing, etc., can be a pain if you don’t have the proper small business tools or know where to look for them. That’s where BestVendor comes in.
BestVendor is a community of people who are passionate about some of the tools they use to conduct their day-to-day business routines. It’s like Yelp but for apps. It’s free to join and you can quickly find what you’re looking for through categories or objective-based searches. Perhaps the most popular feature of BestVendor are lists. These are collections of apps created and curated by community members. They’re grouped in ways that focus on a particular workflow, industry, or objective.
Here are the top 8 essential productivity apps found on BestVendor:
Google Apps for Business
- Category: Collaboration
- Platform: Web app
- Cost: Starts at $5/user/month
- Website: http://www.google.com/apps/index1.html
Okay, so this isn’t really just an app. It’s a suite of apps. Still, it tops the list because, well, it’s dead simple to use and there’s nothing to install (note: you can optionally install the Google Drive app for accessing files offline). While the individual apps themselves are not nearly as robust as a desktop solution, they get the job done and it’s seamless with Gmail for sharing with just about anyone. If you get your team on board, collaboration is especially efficient because you don’t have to worry about doing any installation, upgrades or backups. Everything is cloud-based and so all you have to focus on your work, not maintaining software. And because it’s web-based, you can access Google Apps from any computer with a browser and an Internet connection.
- Category: Note taking
- Platform: iOS, Android, Windows 8, Windows Desktop, Web
- Cost: Free and Premium plans available
- Website: http://evernote.com/
Ever think of a great idea at the most random moment or place where you can’t easily write something down or type on your computer? You think you’ll remember later when you’re not busy with what you’re currently doing, but then you forget. It happens. Well, that’s where Evernote comes in. With Evernote, you can capture anything you want to remember for later. You can even share it with others for collaborating and spitballing. Best feature? If you use their smartphone apps, with a tap of a button, just record your thoughts using your voice—no typing!
- Category: Project management
- Platform: iPhone, Windows 8, Web
- Cost: Free forever
- Website: https://trello.com/tour
Trello, hands down, is the dead simplest task management system that organizes projects around boards. In one glance, you can see what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. Its drag-n-drop interface makes changes painless. You can make boards public, semi-private or completely private and have as many as you like.
- Category: Planning
- Platform: Mobile Web app, Web, iPhone
- Cost: Free and premium plans available
- Website: https://www.cueup.com/
Some of the apps I’ve mentioned can be linked to another app called, Cue, which turns the accounts you depend on, like email, contacts and calendar, into an intelligent snapshot of your day. Keep up with work, life, and the daily events you care about. Cue surfaces the right details at the right time, so you’ll always be one step ahead. It also acts as a search engine for your life. With just a few search terms, you can quickly find an email, file, contact, articles, events and status updates on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
- Category: File storage
- Platform: Blackberry, Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Mac, PC, Web app
- Cost: Free and paid plans available
- Website: http://dropbox.com/
Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website. Dropbox also makes it super easy to share with others, too. So even if you’re computer stops working, relax, you’re files are safely stored in Dropbox.
- Category: Contact management
- Platform: Yahoo! Mail, Gmail/Outlook plugins, Android, iPhone, iCloud
- Cost: Free
- Website: http://xobni.com/
Using all your emails from Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Outlook for Windows, Smartr creates your automatic address book. It's also integrated with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn - so you're always up to date. The search feature is very responsive using auto suggest capabilities to bubble up the right contact you’re looking for effortlessly. Once you select a contact, Smartr even gives you a timeline of your communication with that person including messages, who introduced you, how many times you’ve made contact, and a list of contacts you may have in common.
- Category: Bookmarking
- Platform: Web, Mac, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire
- Cost: Free
- Website: http://getpocket.com/
Kind of like Evernote, Pocket lets you save articles and videos for viewing later even without an Internet connection. In fact, Pocket works with Evernote! You can selectively and easily clip articles and web pages you've captured using Pocket to your Evernote account, where you can access whenever you need it, from any computer or device where you have Evernote installed.
- Category: Time tracking
- Platform: Web, Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android
- Cost: Free (for teams up to 5), $5/user/month
- Website: http://toggl.com/
Dubbed as being “insanely simple time tracking” and a timesheet killer, Toggle makes keeping track of your time lean and mean. Just enter what you’re working on and click a button to start time tracking. You can go back and add tags to better organize your time spent working on tasks. It has an API that integrates with some of today’s leading names in accounting software like QuickBooks and FreshBooks.
Tell me what should be included in this list in the comments! What apps do you think are essential to boosting your productivity?
BONUS: I've created a list on BestVendor that features all of these apps in one easy-to-find location. Check it out!