Lots of businesses successfully leverage SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Compared to other marketing activities SEO is cost-effective and measurable. Attach Google Analytics or other analytics tool to the web site and you get a good understanding of how the marketing budget is spent. Visits, time on page, forms filled and products purchased, you can track it all and more. The value of an SEO campaign may already be determined based on these data. That’s what marketing managers or business owners should do. Additionally, and most importantly, you should compare to the competition to make sure that campaign is doing well. Luckily there is a way to do so by comparing ROI on SEO budgets with alternative ROI you can get on the same budgets potentially spent on PPC.
Some explanation for non-seo folks: PPC (Pay Per Click) allows you to immediately run ads displayed on selected keyword searches but lasts only while you pay. SEO is more of a long-term investment. You hire an SEO agency and invest for some time by paying their retainer fees unless the web site shows up high enough in search engines to cover SEO bills and ultimately bring solid ROI. There is always an option to invest $5,000/month in PPC and get 1,000 visitors to the site (figures vary depending on the cost per click) or hire a SEO agency for $2,000 and get same 1,000 visits half a year after they start working, or 10,000 visits or 100. That’s all about numbers (read economics).
The economics of SEO is very simple yet fundamental. Here is an example:
Say a client engaged an SEO agency to promote his/her web site. After 6 months of work on the site the SEO agency got to the point when it’s delivering 5,000 visits to the web site per month. The monthly bill from the agency is $2,000. Now check the cost of traffic for those particular industry keywords in Google AdWords. Say it is $5 per click. That means if you were to purchase those 5,000 visits you would be paying $25,000 per month. Granted $2,000 monthly bill from the agency is a very cost-effective marketing.
Change numbers a little bit and you will understand why so many SEO agencies don’t deliver or the contracts get terminated. Say the agency delivers 2,000 visits to the site monthly but the industry is not that competitive. Cost per click in Google AdWords is $0.5 for that particular industry. It means that client could purchase the same number of visits for $1,000, risk-free, no investment. But the $2,000 monthly bill becomes unreasonable.
As you see, this is a very simple yet effective method. Two cooperating parties may quickly determine if their cooperation is beneficial. In order to determine the efficiency of an individual SEO campaign, SEO agencies or their customers have to multiply the number of visits delivered from search engines to the site by the average cost-per-click, which is common for a particular industry. If the ROI on SEO is at least 2 fold more than that of a PPC campaign then everyone may be sure that this contract is mutually beneficial and will last long. Otherwise there is no point in SEO because the client could purchase traffic from Google avoiding making and investment and taking a risk.
Posted in SEO, internet marketing | 1 Comment »
Recently our company got a request from a prospect in the Netherlands. Everyone knows that when doing business globally references are one of the best ways to establish trust. So it was pretty usual for me when this potential customer asked to give him a couple of our references. Since most of our customers are in the USA our references are there as well. Hmm, did I forget to warn the prospect about something? Tada – time difference! Once again he was in Holland and reference in California, and that’s 10 hours of time lag. I only realized the damage this can make once the letter from a prospect came as quite a shock, albeit funny as hell:
I had a very unpleasant experience with your reference MYW Customer. I called him at 16:00 CET, but apparently it was 06:00 over there. Instead of kindly pointing out that it was very early, Mr. MYW Customer immediately starting calling me names and literally told me to ‘f**k off’.
I cannot understand that a president and CEO would behave this way. Therefore, we have decided to remove your organization from our short list.”
It was a stunning surprise for me since MYW Customer is a well-known internet entrepreneur in the area and is always willing to provide as many information to anyone as needed. And despite Americans are much less formal than Europeans I simply could not see our customer swearing at someone for just calling early. So I contacted him on Skype. You will pretty much figure it all out from the Skype chat:
[5:36:19 PM] MYW Customer says: here is the full story
[5:36:27 PM] MYW Customer says: I get a call at 6am
[5:36:31 PM] MYW Customer says: it woke me up
[5:36:37 PM] MYW Customer says: but I did not answer
[5:36:45 PM] MYW Customer says: so I look at the number on my caller id
[5:36:51 PM] MYW Customer says: 6502351014
[5:37:04 PM] MYW Customer says: I googled the number since i did not recognize it
[5:37:14 PM] MYW Customer says: http://phoneowner.info/Number.aspx/6502351014
[5:37:18 PM] MYW Customer says: that was the top result
[5:37:25 PM] MYW Customer says: then the guy calls back
[5:37:44 PM] MYW Customer says: I assume he is an identity theive, or atleast a telemarketer
[5:37:55 PM] MYW Customer says: I told him to suck a c**k and f**k off
[5:38:02 PM] MYW Customer says: he said thank you
[5:38:07 PM] MYW Customer says: and I hung up
[5:38:31 PM] MYW Customer says: send him this skype conversation, tell him I said I am sorry, and tell him to feel free to call me
As you can see by visiting link the reaction was that harsh not as much because of the timing but because of the VoIP hop number. Obviously, our customer was in no mood to give away his social security number or apply for another credit card at 6 AM that morning. Foreign accent of the caller gave our customer a hint to only use simple four-letter words anyone with basic English could understand.
Having existing customer curse at a potential customer – one could probably spend a lifetime trying to arrange it on purpose. However, miss some important details when doing routine marketing work and see sales department’s nightmare come true.
Tags: marketing fun, references, sales confusion, sales fun, sales joke
Posted in general thoughts, internet marketing | 5 Comments »
As a small announcement: our folks from Game Development department are creating an office building in Second Life, the most popular virtual world out there. This will help our animation folks to have the real track of benefits which organization can achieve by having the presence in virtual world based on the results of using our own office there. Besides that, the main aims that drive the development of the office for our company are the following:
- We would like to give to our customers a visual understanding of our department structuring, roles that people play, their positions: all the office space will be broken down into the rooms simulating the departments that we have at MoveYourWeb;
- Held corporate and client meetings. We practice weekly corporate meetings which all employees attend, which is rather tricky, given the fact that MoveYourWeb has several production offices. We use broadcasting to wall screens but it might be nice to play with virtual world company meetings;
- Attract additional talent. Our HR dpt reports that a small percentage of our local developers have Second Life accounts and spend their time in that virtual world. By opening our presence there we would be the first local IT company to welcome them;
- Seminars. Given that we have several offices it might be convenient to held thematic internal seminars held in Second Life, because employees from different offices can attend.
We expect to deliver early October and that will be deffinetely featured on this blog.
Tags: game development, office in second life, second life
Posted in game development, internet marketing | No Comments »
As you might already know we invest substantial part of our marketing budget in SEO. We successfully provide Search Engine Optimization services to our customers and eat our cooking as well.
While looking thought our monthly performance in Search Engines I noticed some traffic with the following keyword: number 1 web development company. After checking it in Google I noticed that we naturally rank TOP5. WOW – what a funny surprise which we can be proud of (this keyword if of our typical promotion list of course).
Tags: engine optimization services, number 1, search engine optimization services
Posted in SEO, internet marketing | No Comments »
Whoever you are and whatever you do; it is not about how good you are and how good your songs, smiles, poems, door handles, decors, paintings, services and buns are.However, speaking about buns, you won’t gain much from the fact that they are known beyond your street and community. There is a chance that your buns will become a local attraction, so that every tourist will by all means drop in to taste them on the way to the art gallery. Still that tourist won’t be able to enjoy your buns for breakfast while at home.
If your activity is not very much dependant on time and location and you are not the sole service provider in the area, you certainly need advertising. If not advertising in its pure sense, then at least some efforts to make your business known beyond the circle of your actual clients, their friends and relatives.
There was a time when ads in the local newspaper would spread the word about you to everyone. Then came a time when you needed to bother about radio-coverage, publish a couple of leaflets, and, who knows, may be your city was big enough to have a TV channel.
Today, however, the issue of spreading information is not that simple. The thing is that the pool of information is bottomless. If you want to get your message through to me, for instance, it’s no use trying to do it with conventional advertising techniques. It was 1.5 years ago that I last saw a newspaper; I only occasionally come across a radio broadcast once in a couple of weeks; as for the television, I don’t watch it at all. And it’s not that I’m a snob who doesn’t care about the world around. The thing is that I don’t have time to follow all the information sources. And even if I did watch TV, how could one guess which of the dozens of channels I would pick that day. When there used to be only 3 TV channels, the term “information space” made some sense. But since their number saw an incredible increase, there have appeared numerous, practically isolated information spaces.
Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: adwords, facebook, general thoughts, google, MySpace, orkut, search engine optimization, SEM, SEO, SMO, web 2.0
Posted in SEO, general thoughts, web 2.0 | 1 Comment »
If you are an owner or a marketing peer of small or medium business you definitely should spend 15 mins of your time for making first step in Facebook marketing.
For those of you who are still not familiar with Facebook the following facts are listed:
- The total count of active Facebook users is 55M+;
- 250.000 users join the network daily;
- 35% (and growing) users of Facebook are professionals, in 2006 Facebook shifted the focus away from being a students social network;
- Because of the focus shift the fastest growing age category is 25+ years.
- 1000+ developers start using Facebook API daily to develop applications covering every aspect of life.
The above mentioned means that Facebook is the perfect marketing opportunity for B2C businesses and the first steps toward marketing of Facebook will be creation of a corporate page there.
The following guide explains the corp page setup process step by step:
1. On the profile setup page select the industry relevant to your business;
2. Enter all the necessary descriptions about your business (overview, mission, product – the more the better) and upload corporate logo so the visitors can recognize the business.
3. Click on your business name hyper link and then click ‘Publish this page’
4. Become ‘fan’ of your business. And here is where the magic begins. As soon as you became ‘fan’ of your business your Facebook ‘friends’ will get the notification similar to the following one: Peter Melnikov became fan of MoveYourWeb. Assuming that the big part of your ‘friends’ would be your customers part of them most likely become ‘fan’ of your business to and ‘friends’ of ‘friends’ will see it too…
5. Optional. Might be number 1 if you played with Facebook arleady – before creating a corporate page add a lot of new ‘friends’ to your account by converting the database of your customers to facebook friends (many are likely have a Facebook account already). That will increase the results of this small marketing campaign proportionally.
Want to see a sample corporate page? Check out MoveYourWeb on Facebook and feel free to try becoming ‘fan’ of our business. Questions? leave those in comments and our Facebook developers or marketers will reply asap!
Tags: internet marketing, web 2.0
Posted in internet marketing, web 2.0 | 4 Comments »
As a Director of Marketing here at MoveYourWeb it falls under my radar to update and maintain our own corporate web site. The shame thing is that our portfolio section was really outdated (yeah in bold). We do have the set of customers that we work with for many years so they are perfectly aware of our technology expertise as well as solutions that we’ve created. We also have enough management at different levels who are always ready to suggest on the work in specific technology or industry that we’ve accomplished. A big percentage are contacting us thru WOMM so a lot of our new prospects are already educated about our company’s services and past work.
Anyway there is a still put of prospects coming from sources other than WOMM and it takes our Sales Dpt additional time to compile the list of projects accomplished for specific industry, especially when the same work should be done again and again on a daily basis. So here I go – researching the ways to organize and structure Case Studies section for offshore outsourcing company. 30 companies located in TOP50 Google under a relevant search quarries were reviewed. Find the results of the research below:
1. Downloadable Case Studies – a prospect is able to select the case study of interest and download the pdf by filling out a short form. Service Provider can use this data for further promotions, prospect education by sending relevant promo info to the subscribers thus trying to convert the prospect into a customer with time. The negative aspect of this model is that it takes time to fill the form/check email/open the pdf. The other negative thing is that the Case Studies published are generally presented in a A-Z list rather being structured by industry/technology/etc.
2. Client List – list of customers is published on the web site with additional description of their business. This model is relevant for companies handling small projects (their prospect is luckily to see similar company at the Client List and sign up).
3. Portfolio – list of finished projects, normally provided with the screenshots. The services providers should really choose this model if they are in creative business only. So web design studios and companies should choose it because it allows to reflect the style of the finished work, not the technical details which is critical for complicated projects focused on back-end rather the UI.
4. Case Studies grouped by Services – e.g. web development, software development, emended programming. The prospect is able to quickly find the relevant projects finished by a service provider and estimate the level of vendor’s proficiency. The question that arises is why service providers put Offshore Dedicated Center as a separate service. One customer may hire a team of web developers and another of software guys, the third will be hiring SEO Consultants. Shouldn’t that fall into the Service grouping directly? I think so. Ask me what to do with the Case Studies for Offshore Dedicated Center – don’t include this ‘service’ in a case studies structure at all! From a sales/marketing prospective Offshore Dedicated Center is an engagement model not a standalone service (well unless an ODC is of 20+ full-time people or ‘Build Operate Transfer’ model which is a different story).
5. Case Studies structured by Industry – e.g. banking, real estate, financial. No comments on that – clear for everyone
6. Case Studies by Solution – e.g. CMS, ERP, ecommerce.
7. Case Studies by Platform – e.g. .net, java enterprise. That one speaks for itself as well.
Our choice is to show case studies sorted by 1. Services (the most important and demanded), 2. Industry, 3. Platform and 4. Solution. The ‘Portfolio’ section that we’ve used before will fall under ‘web site design’ and ‘web site development’ services. Coming to production and will be reflected on the web site soon!
Tags: internet marketing, management
Posted in internet marketing, management, outsourcing | No Comments »
Imagine that your company wants to start a business blog – a blog, which will be a part of the company’s image, and a benefit to your company’s search engine optimization and internet marketing campaign. The first important question that you should answer before launching a blog is: “Who will actually write the contents?” A blog is useless without regularly updated posts… A blog has to be dynamic, brisk and informative; it has to be posted with catching, well-structured, and informative articles. Along with writing the contents, blogging also includes answering comments and building the community, not mentioning the technical aspects of blogging. So before launching a blog, think if you really have a person in your office to do all the things mentioned. Does this person write well? Can he or she find new ideas for regular posts? Can he or she take care of the blog’s templates and plug-ins?…
Instead of appointing a person from the office who has never been involved in blogging professionally, it might be wise to hire a professional blogger.
But who is a professional blogger?
A professional blogger is a person who gets paid for writing consistent posts for your blog. This is a person who has already written hundreds of posts before; a person with vivid imagination and inexhaustible ideas; a person with a perfect command of the language and sense of the language; a person able to play with words, build sentences that flow nice and make lots of sense.
Contracting a professional blogger is truly a win-win situation for everyone involved. If you are still not sure that your company’s estimate should include blogging services, remind yourself of the additional financial revenues that your company will gain through a business blog over time.
Besides, if you are far-sighted enough and buy professional blogging services from an offshore outsourcing company, i.e. MoveYourWeb Offshore Web Development Company, you will benefit twice. You can use great imbalance in global economy to your advantage if you send your outsourced work abroad. It makes sense as it will allow you hire a professional blogger for a more affordable price than in your own country. You see the point? The fees charges by the blogging professional will turn out to be much less than the added revenue or the cost of hiring an additional staff member for blogging.
Having a strong company background, which has been formed for many years, MoveYourWeb has a cohesive team of professional copywriters and bloggers to make your business prosper. Our extensive experience in the sphere of Copywriting, Internet Marketing and Search Engine Marketing helps us create high-quality informative content for various types of businesses from mortgage and real estate to sports and tourism. Our excellent knowledge of the language and language skills along with innovative attitude to everything we do helps us create well-structured sensible and interesting texts as well as be on top of the things happening on the net. Having played with blogs a lot, our professional bloggers will also relieve you from the technical aspects of blogging, or train your staff to maintain the blog.
In a nutshell, outsourcing professional blogging services from a reputable offshore company is certainly a wise solution from all points of view. However, before hiring a professional blogger, make sure you specify some things about the services they offer.
Tags: blogging, blogging services, copywriting, internet marketing, offshore blogging services, offshore company, professional blogger, web copywriting
Posted in copywriting, internet marketing, outsourcing | 1 Comment »
A blogger and copywriter myself, I tried to put myself in my employer’s shoes and create this list of recommendations: What would I be concerned about if I were a blog owner? What posts do I want to see on my blog? How often? What will be the style of my posts?… Below is the list of questions that you should specify before contracting a professional blogger.
1) Have the blogger ever written posts on my topic or on the topic similar to mine?
This is important because the web copywriter should understand the business, and should be able to use the language of your industry. If your industry is that rare, that a blogger with such knowledge can hardly be found, ask your future blogger to carry out a thorough research of the business before writing any posts.
2) Will the posts be optimized for my prime keywords?
Search engine optimization is important for your blog, because being an Internet marketing tool, your blog will help you promote the website of your business. Therefore, ask your blogger to optimize your posts and provide them with up to 7 prime key words or phrases you would like to be searched by.
3) What is the minimum word count per post?
The information you get from different bloggers may vary. Most bloggers write posts no shorter than 250 words. Overall, the optimal text length, which will ensure that your text is informative, well structured, and unobtrusive, is 350-500 words.
4) What type of posts will these be?
Normally, you can distinguish between personal posts, adjunct posts and ghost posts. Personal posts are posts that you write yourself. Adjunct posts are posts that are authored by someone else, and the name of the author will appear under the post. However, your name will be attached to the post. Having such posts on your blog will show the reader that you are getting somebody else’s help in keeping the content fresh. And, finally, the last type of posts is ghost posts. When dealing with ghost posts, you pay somebody to write for you but still have your name under the post. This is the most preferable type of posts from the point of view of a blog owner. You don’t have to write anything, or ask anybody authoritative to place a post on your blog – you just pay the money and get the high-quality post which is to the point and makes sense, and has your name under it showing you as an expert in your field. We are not deepening into moral issues here, it is not our aim now to discuss what is honest and what is not. We are here to make our blog a powerful marketing tool and we are looking at this issue from the point of view of our business. In the business world such type of writing is quite acceptable.
5) Can I review the posts before you post them? And, if I dislike something, will you revise?
This is a very important question to specify with your offshore copywriting company. To make your cooperation solid and effective, you need to discuss such issues in advance. As a rule, companies offering copywriting and blogging services welcome you to make comments and give ideas. You won’t have time to read the posts all the time of course. However, please, draw special attention to the first five posts written for you. You need to adjust the style, to choose the right “voice” of the post, to let the blogger feel what you need. Once you are comfortable with the quality of the posts, you don’t have to review their writing as closely or as frequently.
Besides, you can also provide the blogger with specific links, interesting posts or articles that you may come across on the net and might want your blogger to use for your blog.
6) How often should new posts appear on my blog?
My experience shows that the ideal number of posts per week is five. You have 5 working days in a week – and each day you must say something new. Though you may stop on 3 posts per week. It will be quite okay, too. Keep in mind that you don’t need more than 5 posts per week.
7) Will the professional blogger also take care of comments coming to my blog and handle technical things when necessary?
Very important question. As a rule, blogging companies include this in their blogging services. However, it is always better to clarify.
Above I tried to summarize the main recommendations to a blog owner who has never dealt with bloggers and blogs and who might need some education in this new and exciting sphere. As a blogger myself I know what questions I can expect from the clients and can help the people who are unaware of blogging but who want to get involved in it.
Tags: blog, blogging, blogging services, copywriting, internet marketing, offshore blogging services, offshore copywriting services, web copywriting
Posted in copywriting, internet marketing, outsourcing | No Comments »