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online marketing for small business

Cheapest Online Marketing Strategies for your Small Business

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As a small business trying to break into the online marketing sphere, it can be easy to feel disheartened, especially when you start comparing yourself to existing established brands such as Amazon and eBay.

Does your business even stand a chance against such steep competition?

YES, of course it does. Never doubt yourself or your business’ potential for success.

Remember that your business offers customers something that they will not find anywhere else. Whether that be in the form of unique and authentic products, exceptional customer service or the fact that you offer bespoke furniture – if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

When it comes to online marketing for small businesses, it is important to choose methods that will work best for your business but remain within your budget. And with such a wide variety of marketing channels available, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly which one will be your diamond in the rough.

To help you make a better decision for your business and your budget, we have included a list of the cheapest and most effective marketing strategies for small businesses:

 

Leverage Email Marketing

Engage with customers via email marketing. To get maximum potential from email marketing, make sure to integrate with other marketing campaigns. For example, if you decide to host a special offer for a limited time only, send customers an email reminder. This will be even more effective if you send out personalised emails. According to recent studies in the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns, emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Keep this in mind and try to implement such factors into your outgoing emails instead of sending every customer the same repeated message.

 

Blogging

People are often put off by “salesy” content and prefer to read more personal and entertaining content. Welcome to blogging. Providing customers with informative and interesting content can help to promote your own products, services and brand. Blogging is one of the best marketing strategies for small businesses because it can do wonders for your SEO efforts. By updating your website with fresh content on a regular basis (twice a week is recommended), you can improve your website’s visibility on search engines. Since your blog is constantly updated, your website stays above the radar and Google will notice it. Guest blogging is also advised. This will help to spread brand awareness and drive extra traffic back to your website.

 

Leverage Social Media Channels

Social media can double the number of marketing leads obtained by direct mail, telemarketing or trade shows, so it really shouldn’t be ignored. Once you’ve set up an account for your business, you need to start engaging with the community. Instagram for BusinessJoin discussions, share original content and update your followers regularly.

Facebook business pages and Facebook advertising can help spread word about your business. Encourage fans to share and engage with your content in order to reach a wider audience. Invest in Facebook advertising to have one of your own ads appear in the right hand side of the news feed. This is great for small businesses because it can help you reach your target audience as your ads appear to the right people (the same can be said for the likes of AdWords, for example.)

Don’t forget the more visual social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. These channels are ideal for business who sell incredibly visual products or services. Drive traffic to your site by using hashtags to build awareness and interest.

 

Utilise PPC Campaigns

Pay-per-Click campaigns can be a great way to broadcast your business online. Google AdWords allows you to fine tune your campaign to suit your business objectives. For example, if you want to target a local audience then you can implement location based factors to your PPC campaign. This also ensures that you don’t waste money with your PPC campaign. You will only pay when someone genuinely clicks on your ad. Focus on targeted keywords that are relevant to your business and consider branching out to other PPC advertising, not just on Google but on other search engines such as Bing.

All of these online marketing methods are useful for small businesses because they are affordable and direct. You may not see results immediately, but (if implemented correctly), you will begin to notice an improvement over time which will do wonders for your company’s presence online and it’s overall success.

If you are unsure and would like a professional’s opinion on the best online marketing strategies for small businesses, get in contact with RYCO today:

Our team of digital marketing experts and web design Belfast and web design Newry teams can help with any digital marketingadwordsvideo productionsocial mediaSEO BelfastMagento, PPC Agency Belfast or web design questions you may have.

Call Us: 028 9099 8106

 

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Google Confirms Changes to Ad Positions on Desktop Search Results

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Google has confirmed text ads will no longer appear on the right sidebar of desktop search results. The giant search engine broke the news of this drastic change on 19th February 2016. Rather than appearing at the top, bottom and right side of search results, ads will be positioned above and below them instead.

In addition to this, the number of text ads shown above organic listings will be increased to four, not three. This will occur for those considered to be “highly commercial queries”.

Advertisers are dying to know how these sudden changes to ads on desktop search results will affect their own ad performance. Factors such as CPC (PPC), CTR and average position etc. are at the top of the growing list of concerns executed by online advertisers.

 

Here’s what Google has confirmed so far about the recent changes:

·         Text ads will no longer appear on the right side of desktop search results.

·         For “highly commercial queries”, four text ads will be served above search results instead of three.

·         A maximum of seven text ads will be displayed on a SERP.

·         No more than three text ads are to be shown below SERPs.

·         Relevant queries will display Knowledge Panels and Product Listing Ad Blocks on the right rail of SERPs.

·         All of these recent changes and updates will be implemented worldwide (regardless of language), on both Google.com and each of its search partners. These changes are permanent.

 

Should We Have Expected This Shift?

Back in 2010, when Google first began to test the notion of four ads shown directly above search results it appeared to be just that, a notion. However, those experiments continued for an additional several years. So, should we be kicking ourselves for not seeing these changes coming sooner?

No, not exactly.

Whilst slight changes were seen by users in the past, this was by no means expected to be permanent. In the beginning, Google experimented with simple mortgage queries. Users noticed that instead of having three ads on top of their organic results, there were four. In some instances, no ads appeared in the right sidebar whatsoever. This was perhaps the first clue that there were bigger changes to come.

So why didn’t any of us see it coming?

Google denied these changes were going to be permanent. As a result, people turned their attention elsewhere and desktop ad changes were put away in a tiny box at the back of our minds, never having to be dealt with. That is, until Friday 19th February happened.

 

More about Highly Commercial Queries

Highly Commercial Queries (aka, the ones where four ads will show instead of three) are seen by Google as being queries where the user is intent on making a purchase. For the time being, this is unlikely to affect ad tests in Knowledge Panels or Product Listings. Instead, Google will continue to run various experiments in Knowledge Panels and with Product Listing Ad layouts, despite the recent changes to the right rail of SERPs.

 

What Does all of this Mean for CPC?

Many are worried that the cost of CPC will rise as a result of there being less ad space available. However, there may not be as much interest to place ads at the bottom of organic search listings as there were for having ads on the right side of SERPs. Until more data is available on the subject, we can do nothing but speculate according to prior knowledge and the information that Google has currently provided us with.

We can guarantee, however, that advertisers running bid-to-position strategies are likely to need to make relevant updates. These updates may cause an auction fluctuation period. This will settle once advertisers become accustomed to Google’s changes to ad layout on desktop search results.

Keep an eye on our blog for more updates as this story unfolds.

 

Our team of digital marketing experts and web design Belfast and web design Newry teams can help with any digital marketing adwords video production social media SEO Belfast Magento PPC Agency Belfast or web design questions you may have.

 

 

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Tis the Season to Prepare your PPC Campaigns for Christmas!

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Tis the season to glaze your PPC Ad Campaigns with Christmas spirit to drive maximum sales and conversions. Search advertising drives over half of all online sales transactions that take place over Christmas, so it is important that e-commerce providers make the most out of this unique opportunity.

But how can you ensure that your PPC Ad Campaigns are ready for Christmas and the January Sales that follow?

 

Create Festive Landing Pages

Don’t forget to update your landing pages with some seasonal cheer! Make the most out of seasonal offers by including relevant images and promotions on your landing pages. Create a strong sense of urgency with phrases such as “Offer Ends…”, “Free Delivery Before…” and “For a Limited Time Only…” etc. to help drive conversions.

 

Seasonal Ad Copy

Use holiday focused phrases and keywords such as Gifts, Stocking Filler, Boxing Day etc. to reach your target audience. With one-quarter of Christmas spending taking place online, it is no surprise that online retailers experience their best sales over the festive Holiday period.

Your ad copy should contain descriptive holiday related promotions which will catch shopper’s attention. Although time consuming, it is worth creating new ads for each campaign in order to reach a more qualified audience, thus leading to high quality traffic.

Use Google’s Keyword Planner to carry out keyword research and analysis. This will enable you to add high search volume keywords to your PPC Campaigns, helping you to gain additional traffic and to see a steady boost in conversions during this festive season and beyond!

 

Take a Second Look at your Budget

You may need to consider increasing your PPC ad budget to make the most out of the holiday season. Christmas is the most profitable time of the year and online retailers are competing for customer’s attention, so you need to make sure that your ads will spark interest and encourage those all-important clicks!

Increasing spend on PPC can lead to an even bigger ROI this Christmas. Google AdWords can put your business in front of the right people. With such a large audience potential, you may have to spend a bit more on your ad campaigns than you did in previous months.

 

Take Advantage of Seasonal Sales

It is worth remembering that right after Christmas comes the huge sales. Boxing Day sales are a huge deal in the UK with thousands of shoppers hitting the high street and their favourite online ecommerce stores in search for great bargains and deals. According to a recent study, online shoppers spent a massive £519.000 each minute on Boxing Day 2014, estimating a total of £784 million spent in total.

 

Contact us today on 028 3026 1861 to begin preparing your PPC Campaigns for Christmas, Boxing Day and the New Year!

 

Pay Per Click PPC

Improve Online Sales with an Effective PPC Campaign

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Pay-per-Click (PPC) is a crucial part of a company’s digital marketing strategy in which the advertiser pays a set fee each time a user clicks on one of their ads. Search engine advertising is one of the most effective types of PPC with AdWords being the most popular online advertising platform. On average, businesses using AdWords make £2 in revenue for each £1 spent on PPC ads.

The core essence of PPC is fairly straightforward. You know exactly where your money is going and you only pay a fee when your ad generates genuine clicks. With AdWords, you are in control of your budget. It is up to you to decide how much those all-powerful clicks are worth to you and how much you are willing to spend. You can choose your budget on a monthly basis, daily basis or on a per ad basis.

AdWords enables you to SHOW your ads to the people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.

You can target these fine-tuned ads to reach audiences with specific interests that are directly linked to your products and services. Your PPC ads are targeted using keywords, ad placement, age, location, language, days, times and frequency.

Unlike traditional advertising methods where there is no clear way to determine whether or not your ad actually reaches your target audience, PPC advertising enables you to accurately measure your success.

When someone clicks on your ad, you will know about it. You can also track when a visitor carries out a valuable action on your website such as downloading your app, making an enquiry or purchasing a product. Being able to measure success allows you to see exactly where to invest in your campaign which can increase your ROI.

Placing your business ad on Google search results ensures that your brand is gaining relevant exposure and visibility. If your site struggles to reach top rankings on Google, PPC advertising gives you that all important stepping stone to soar your website to the very top of search results.

If your business objective is to attract customers locally, you can target your ads and carefully craft your campaigns which will enable you to drive the right people to your website. You can even reach people on the go with PPC by targeting mobiles!

PPC ads are launched quite quickly which can help to bring in qualified leads to your business site. The quality of this traffic is likely to be extremely high because PPC adverts can be assigned for specific demographics and keywords – increasing the relevancy of high targeted traffic groups.

Using various methods of testing, you will be able to determine which aspects are working the best for your business and which ones are not delivering results. For example, poor performing keywords can be done away with whilst the highest performing ones can be honed and improved on even further.

Before launching a PPC campaign, it is wise to establish clear business goals.

What is your main objective with regards to your campaign? Do you want to improve your brands visibility and get your name out there? Then you will want to use CPM bidding. If you want to increase website views then CPC is the way to go. If you are confused about PPC campaigns, methods of bidding and other aspects then it may be worth seeking out professional help from a Google Certified digital marketing agency who will be able to guide and design specific campaigns that exceed your objectives, improve your ROI and most importantly – ensure that your business gets the most out of its PPC advertising campaigns.