Articles in the Digital Marketing 101 – The Basics Category

Once you get the hang of it, digital marketing can seem like old hat. Before then, it’s important to learn the basics. In our Digital Marketing 101 blog posts, we offer an education into the ins and outs of the digital marketing landscape. Read these blog posts to learn digital marketing basics, such as creating campaigns, writing effective ad copy, and more.

October 13 2009

Holiday Tips for Your Site


Believe it or not, it won’t be long until the holidays are here.  To avoid last minute headaches, now is the time to start thinking, planning, and even implementing website changes to get ready for the holiday season.  Many of these changes will help to improve the overall user experience; however, some may also have benefits from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective.

  • If your site has internal pages that are of particular importance this season, create awareness of those pages by modifying how users can navigate to them.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to re-organize your entire site. Instead you could feature links or images on your homepage that lead to your popular holiday products, featured items, etc.
  • We all love things that are free.  Consider offering free shipping, free gift wrapping, or a free gift with purchase.  Feature these types of offerings on the site as well as in relevant title and description tags.  The title and description tags are typically the text that is used to populate the clickable link and snippet of text on the search engine results pages.  When incentives are included, you increase the likelihood that someone will click through to your site instead of a competitor’s site.
  • Make sure your contact information is prominent.  This sounds obvious, but it’s especially critical during the peak shopping season.  If someone has an issue during the checkout process, the last thing that you want them to do is leave the site frustrated. Make sure you prominently feature your contact information, especially a customer service number, so that you can help to make the shopping experience as easy as possible.
  • Don’t forget about gift certificates.  If you offer gift certificates, these can be a good item to feature on the homepage for those who are unsure of what to purchase as a gift.
  • It’s also important to think about the things that you can do off-site.  Participate where your audience is currently spending time on the Internet.  This may be Facebook, Twitter, or within the blogosphere. Comment on blogs, especially blogs that are well-known within your industry. This could open up opportunities to generate conversations about your products or services. It may also enable you to get in front of a new audience that you haven’t yet tapped into.  Social media channels can also be a great tool to monitor what people are saying about your products or brand.
  • Build additional pages to enable you to target popular search terms, such as keywords with the word “gifts”. The search volume for “gifts” alone spikes around the holiday season, so take advantage of this opportunity where possible.
October 5 2009

Autopilot is not an option!


I speak with a large number of clients on a daily basis and often hear that they are already running an AdWords, Yahoo Sponsored Search or Bing campaign on their own. In other words, they have that aspect of their Online Marketing initiatives covered and are engaging us to help with other components such as: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, Web Design, etc. In some cases, this is perfectly fine and can be a viable way to save the cost to outsource their Search Engine Marketing (SEM) efforts. HOWEVER (and I have bolded, capitalized, italicized and underlined the however in this circumstance, as I really want to get my point across) there must be consistent, ongoing maintenance and management if this effort is to be kept in house.

Basically, if any client (large, small, ecommerce, lead generation, what have you) is going to manage their own Cost Per Click (CPC) Campaign, it is imperative that the campaign be actually “managed”. By managed, I mean that autopilot is not an option! Sure, a campaign will run and generate impressions and/or clicks without anyone managing it. The big issue here is that it will not run well and your clicks will not be nearly as relevant as they could be if you invest the time it takes to effectively manage it.

Here are some tips:

  • Be sure to log into your account(s) on a frequent basis; daily if possible.
  • Be aware of performance. What is your CTR? How much have you spent? Do your bids need to be increased/decreased? Do keywords need to be added/removed?
  • Do not allow your keywords and/or ad copy to remain stagnant; optimize and tweak regularly.
  • Use rotating ad copy; a minimum of 3 versions is suggested. Google will eventually show the best performing ad.
  • Employ an analytics tool like Google Analytics. Invest the time to review your stats. This ensures that your advertising dollars are being spent as intelligently as possible.

Let’s face it. Every dollar and every click is important and if your campaign is on autopilot, then you are effectively shooting in the dark with a blindfold on. Not too smart, huh?

September 18 2009

The Holidays Will Be Here Before You Know It!


Yeah, I realize it’s only the third week in September, but before you know it, the holiday season will be upon is. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have plenty of time to get your online marketing campaigns into top shape for the upcoming holiday season! It is not too early to start strategizing.
Below are some ideas and tips to capitalize on holiday sales:


  • Bid more aggressively in an effort to appear in the top real estate of the engines.
  • Bid on your branded terms if you are not already doing so.
  • Do not let competitors snatch away your shoppers!
  • Do some investigating; what is your competition bidding on?
  • Shoppers love free shipping. Offer this perk whenever possible.
  • Send out a holiday blast to your existing database offering loyalty discounts.
  • A seamless return policy is critical, especially when it comes to gift giving.
  • Offer online only specials to entice shoppers to buy holiday gifts on your site.
  • A free gift with purchase makes an already good value even better!
  • Provide free gift wrap. What a convenient luxury for online shoppers!
  • Create compelling holiday ad copy, with clear calls to action: Buy Now, Free Shipping, Free Gift With Purchase, Free Gift Wrap, etc.
  • Guarantee delivery BEFORE the holidays, even if you charge more for this option. Last minute shoppers still exist in large numbers!
  • Ensure that your site is 100% secure. Shoppers want to feel safe and protected when giving their credit card information.

Happy strategizing!

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