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Facebook vs Google Getting the Most Bang For Your Buck
Friday, June 29th, 2012 by Diane Craig

When it comes to Pay Per Click Advertising business owners wonder where should they place their ads, where will they get the most bang for their buck?

 I'd say it really depends upon what you're trying to accomplish.  If you check out this article and research by Wordstream http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/05/15/ipo-facebook-vs-google-display-advertising Google is clearly the winner with more overall reach across the internet, more ad formats, better metrics etc.

But after running campaigns on both, I'd look at some of the differences between the two and what you want to accomplish.

Branding - definately Google wins big with the display (aka content) network.  You can reach a larger audience with all sizes of graphic banner ads.  They're big, they show your logo, your message and your offer.  You can target by keywords that define your market and decide which available sites you'd like your ads to show on.  It's a little more work to setup the campaign but well worth it in terms of visibility for your target market.

Contests -  I'd say Facebook takes the trophy on this one.  People love contests and if you target your exact audience (women, who like wineries, wine tasting, wine/food events) with the right offer "Win a Trip For Two to Sonoma For Barrel Tasting Weekend", you will get a ton of new Fans (which you can remarket to through posts) and email addresses to add to your list if you ask for them.  The more clicks you get, the cheaper the cost per click so with the right offer, this is a winner.

Driving Traffic - Facebook Ads can be directed straight to a page on your website or be directed to your Facebook fan page with an opt-in for a free offer that it is on your website. Facebook Ads have great targeting metrics (age, interests, geographic area, people who "like" such and such fan page, so you can be sure to get your potential customer to your page.  If you want to build fans, this is the way to go.

Google Ads (even text ads) are very effective at driving people to your website if you're having trouble ranking for particular keywords through search.  Just make sure there is no confusion between the Ad Copy and the page they land on AND your offer is clear.  With Googles (almost) twice the reach over the internet and the correct keywords in the campaign, you can make a killing with targeted traffic.

Picture courtesy of Wordstream

Project Analysis - Extra cost or Cost savings?
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 by Diane

Can you imagine walking onto a car lot and asking the salesman "how much for a car?"  The salesman would naturally ask, "well what type of car, what is it that you want?   You tell him "just give me a ballpark?"  So the salesman says our used cars start as low as $500 and our high end cars for as much as $100,000.  Now you are not going to walk away with a clear idea of how much you're going to spend until you tell the salesman what type of car you want, approximately how much you're wanting to spend and if you're looking for a beater, an SUV, a luxury car or what.

When it comes to developing a web application or complex website, a 30 minute conversation about what you're trying to accomplish is not going to be enough information to get a quote.  If you insist on a price ie "We're meeting tommorrow and need to know how much this will be, just a ballpark", your account manager is going to have to ballpark extremely high to include the unknowns.  Your constituents might faint!

The point that I'm trying to make is that the more programming feature "unknowns" there are when you try and get a price, the more that project is ultimately going to cost AND you're going to end up paying for project analysis anyway.

Lets take a look at a better scenario.  Lets go ahead and hire the development firm to help us determine the project needs and then deliver both a blueprint of what the site will have and include, and a price quote for doing the work.  Much like building a house, isn't it?

The project manager and development team can help management address all the site needs in the most efficient and effective way.  Keep in mind, they do this everyday and can point out what is absolutely necessary, what can be added later, what might be an expensive add-on that's not absolutely needed or what can be substituted that's more efficient.  By the time you have a quote in your hands, everything has been fleshed out, you have your blueprint and you are paying according to a detailed outline.  In other words, you'll be paying for exactly what you're getting. 

A side benefit too, wouldn't you rather scrap the dev team (if you didn't have confidence in them) part way through analysis rather than part way through development.  Yikes!  I guarantee you, you will know once you're working on analysis if this team has what it takes to do your project. If you do get through analysis with this group, by golly you will have found your dev team and if you get the go ahead on the detailed site outline and costs you'll be confident, part of the project cost is already paid and you will be well on your way! 


Organic Leads the Old Fashioned Way
Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 by Diane Craig

Did you ever think about the old days of selling and compare that to selling with your website.   Many of us make the mistake of thinking that you can throw up a website and the people will come running.  That has happened in the early days of the web if you had something that folks couldn't find at a nearby store. With a simple search you could be easily found on Lycos.

But today, it's not quite as simple.  There are enough websites to serve 1.7 billion internet users worldwide and still growing.  Marketing and selling on the internet has become similar to marketing and selling in general. One way to be effective on the web is to just revert back to basic, tried and true traditional selling methods from the past. We're referring to simple methods that have worked and supported families for many generations and made others enormously rich.

Lets go back to the old (non internet) days and think about how you would start your business in a small town in a tough market of competitors. Also, pre-internet how you would expand your business geographically?  Then let's explore  how we could apply those methods  today on the internet with a website.

This little exercise is to organize my own thoughts too.  Like I said, my industry (on the internet) is very crowded, our desired keywords run about $45 per click.  We compete with "off shore” programmers in India and Russia (with US based sales offices), "laid off" US programmers who are freelancing or starting their own companies, and other web development and design firms.

Traditionally, in a crowded market you would do a few things to make your business stand out.

1. Find a niche or particular market to server.

2. Be better than your competition

3. Build relationships - join clubs, voluteer, etc.

4. Take great care of your customers and build word of mouth

5. Advertise

The owner would be an expert at what he does so would talke to everyone he sees and meets, showing how his "product" can solve their problems.  He would be outgoing, building relationships with everyone.  He'd ask for referrals, he's go to the n'th degree to take care of his customer.  My dad was like this, starting a business late in his career and going home each night to a family of eight kids.  He was always an optimist, happy with the growth in business he created each day.

We are going to use Social Media and Networking to do this same thing online and build and think of the “website” as a business in and of itself.

Our step by step plan includes:

Setting up Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.  Finding many "fans" and friends, delivering great content.  We've set these up but our content needs work.

Setting up Linkedin, completing the profile in detail and ask for referrals.

Post to our blog

Create Press Releases

Write and publish Whitepapers

Look for niche keywords for PPC campaign

Optimize our SEO

We’re hoping this online effort will help us generate leads for what we do from sources we wouldn’t typically have.

After the Holidays we’ll delve into the list and apply it in more detail.

In the meantime, enjoy the holidays and be ready to get to work on this in 2010!



Website Lead Generation
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 by Diane Craig

Who doesn't want a steady source of qualified leads from their website?  It can open up markets that wouldn't be there and expand any business by leaps and bounds. I mean hey, some folks are sitting in their arm chair while the leads literally "roll" in from their website.  Whether these leads are paid for or acquired, we'd all agree, they're nice to have...especially now. 

Even with know how, it can be a daunting task.  We offer services for others with success but our industry and keywords are very crowded on the internet (more on that later) and as such, a tuff nut to crack. 

We would like to invite you to follow us along as we use our expertise and whatever resources we can in this complicated challenge to generate qualified leads in a highly competitive market on the net.  You may get ideas that can be applied to your own web marketing and we may learn something from you but together we're hoping to "crack the code" and come up with a real strategy for generating quality leads in any internet category.  First let's look at the difference between buying leads and building leads.  There are merits to both but let's look at the difference.

Organic vs Paid Leads

Don't get me wrong, paid leads (Google Adwords) are a great way to start and for many, can produce an ongoing source of sales at a phenominal cost.  The ad campaign needs to be done properly and tweeked until finding a "sweet spot" that really works.  I actual get a little jealous when I can help my customers get there.  But the downside is that the more crowded your industry is for keywords, the harder the adword process becomes - keywords get very expensive and shoppers get harder to entice. Our own "pay per click" campaign is going to take some muscle but we'll talk about that another day.

The difference between Organic leads and Paid leads have been likened to the difference between a commitment to exercise and liposuction as a weight loss solution.  They both  produce the desired result (a great body) but of course the exercise is less expensive and a more long term solution. Organic leads are also a better long term solution.  They are produced more slowly by spending time building traffic to your website, branding yourself, building relationships online and becoming somewhat of an expert in your field.  In other words, getting yourself out there.  That is going to be the focus of this blog for awhile and I hope others will follow and weigh in.  We're going to be a "case study" and hope to use some of the methods I've researched that are supposed to be the ticket for those of us that typically get our business through face to face interaction and word of mouth.  Anyway, next post we'll talk about the challenges and the proposed methods.


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