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Articles in The 'company' Tag


January 24 2011

Search Engine Marketing In a Whole New Country

by Katherine Bennett

Companies are always looking for ways to expand their business and reach new customers. One way to reach new customers via search engine marketing is to expand your search engine marketing campaigns to other countries. However, it is imperative to do your homework in order to be successful.

The first step is to find out which countries are currently benefitting your company. Google analytics is a helpful tool that can show which countries to potentially geo-target. Although your current campaign may only be geo-targeted nationally, Google analytics will show your company where good organic leads and orders are coming from internationally. Once it has been determined which countries make sense, you should add them to your campaigns.

It’s not enough to add a new country to your geo-target settings and forget it. It’s wise to know several basic items about that country.  First, know the seasons of that country. Although it may be winter in your home country it may be summer time elsewhere. It’s imperative that your ad copy, keywords and website portray the correct message. Either keep them neutral or make the necessary adjustments to target them correctly.

Next, know the language. Make sure to change your language settings to include the main language of that country. With today’s technology, many people can use a tool to translate your company’s website into their own language. Therefore, it’s important to include their language in the language setting of your search engine marketing campaign. 

 Next, understand payment methods. It is good to use a third party payment site like Google Checkout if your company isn’t setup to handle currency conversions.  Your company can have a real mess on its hands if you aren’t equipped to handle currency conversions, not to mention this could present a potential negative image with the new customers you are trying to establish a relationship with.

A company who is looking to grow their business and reach out to new customers should look into adding more countries into their geo-target settings. However, please remember it’s not as simple as clicking a button. Research should always be done to determine the best strategy for reaching new customers in new countries.

November 15 2010

Missing a Key Ingredient

by Katherine Bennett

Imagine seeing an ad for a gorgeous high end restaurant, which compels a visit on your part. Upon arrival, the hostess is friendly, the dining room décor is exquisite and the ambiance is perfect. Everything seems great and then the food comes. As you take a bite expecting an angel choir, you’re abruptly hit with a taste that mimics the scratching of nails across a chalkboard. It’s no wonder that this restaurant is quickly crossed off your list, and friends and family are warned to never step foot in this deceiving place.  It’s sad, but it happens all the time across the web. Many companies are missing the key ingredient of good service which affects their cost per click campaign.

Good service is the key to maintaining an effective cost per click campaign because it causes people to return to your site and share kind words with friends and others. When people are satisfied with your product or service they’ll come back. Many companies try to go after the new customer, but there’s a lot to be said for a business that keeps their current customers happy. Happy customers actually help to improve the success of cost per click campaigns.

Within a cost per click campaign, branding is normally one of, if not the most successful campaign. Why? People trust the name and want to do business with that company. In fact, they’ll even tell complete strangers that Company A provided them with a great product or service. Then that stranger will go look for Company A to provide them with the same product or service.  Analytics backs this theory. Many companies who are running a cost per click campaign receive a good deal of revenue and return visitors through searches on their name. Here’s an example. A company may sell cup holders, and their campaign for cup holders does well. Now, add the company name before cup holders, such as “company A’s” cup holders and the success of the campaign doubles or possibly triples. Many companies like cost per click campaigns because they get some of their best ROI, from their name, especially if there reputable. Now let’s look at the flip side.

In the opening paragraph, the high end restaurant had everything going for it until the food came. It is imperative for companies to effectively deliver on the product or service that was promised. In fact, not following through can hurt a cost per click campaign. Some businesses think they can treat a customer any kind of way and still be successful because there’s always new customers out there. However, that’s not the case. Your business can start out with a strong cost per click campaign, but if the service or product isn’t up to par, the cost per click campaign will falter. It’s not because the campaign isn’t good, it’s because eventually people catch on and stop coming back. In fact, they’ll even warn others not to visit your site.  This can hurt a campaign in the short or long term. If your cost per click campaign isn’t producing like it used too and all of the metrics and competitors didn’t change, check your service.

Good service is the key ingredient to a successful business and also to a cost per click campaign. The best cost per click campaign in the world can drive millions of visitors to your site, but if your company fails to deliver, that campaign will be of no avail. Any way you slice it, good service helps to propel a quality cost per click campaign to new heights, which benefits your business.

April 28 2010

Don’t Blindly Follow Lemurs

by Katherine Bennett

Remember hearing the story about lemurs? Every year around a certain time they jump off a cliff. However, one would think that at least one lemur would look over the cliff and say, “Hmm, I don’t think I’m going to follow the crowd in jumping off the cliff.” It seems like it would be common sense, yet it happens in the world of online marketing time after time. The rule of thumb to remember when marketing online is that following the crowd isn’t always the best option, especially when it comes to keywords and websites.

If it’s been said once, then it’s probably been said a thousand times, “I saw my competitor doing it.” This seems to be the classic answer that companies use to justify their marketing strategy or what they think is a marketing strategy. Let’s look at an example. Say Company A is a leader in providing offshore outsourcing to software companies and they are bidding on the keyword “offshore.” Company B, who wants to gain in market share and be a leading provider of offshore outsourcing to software companies, see’s that Companies A’s ad is coming up for searches on the keyword, “offshore” and  Company B decides they also should be bidding on that keyword.  Company B is assuming that Company A is bidding on the right keyword, but they aren’t. The keyword “offshore” covers a myriad of topics like offshore drilling, offshore banking, offshore racing, and offshore boating to name a few. The keyword “offshore” is too broad for the niche service of offshore outsourcing to software companies. Both Company A and Company B will be losing money on the keyword “offshore.”  Like a popular proverb says, “If the blind lead the blind they’ll both fall in the ditch.”

Another area where companies blindly follow a competitor is in website design and content. Many times a company will see what a competitor is doing on their website and mimic it as closely as possible without plagiarizing. Here’s the deal. Many times the competitor’s website isn’t good. They don’t have good keyword density, the site isn’t user friendly, and the url’s don’t have a good naming convention. In some cases, the competitor is using black hat tactics that could get them banned by the search engines. Yet, another company will look at a competitor’s site and say, “we want to be like them.” 
In some cases, the company that copies ends up losing clients, while the competitor makes adjustments to the site that others are copying.

It’s good to track and watch competitors, but to blindly follow and copy them is not recommended. Many times competitors are bidding on the wrong keywords, wasting money, and are clueless on how to run a successful paid marketing campaign. On top of that, they may think their website is great or they may realize it needs help and they are working with someone to get it changed (while your company is copying their old mistakes). In the world of online marketing it’s better to research and ask questions. Then decide if what your competitor is doing will work for your company. It’s good to be cautious when following a competitor; otherwise you could be following them over a cliff.

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