By RSA | November 7, 2013
Reserve a seat at an upcoming RSA web marketing webinar:
At RSA, we realize the importance of measurable goals, knowing your customer, and SEO when creating a successful business website. We would like to provide you with invaluable guidance and insights in order to increase your business’ online sales and help lead your business’ website down a path of success and profit. We will give you a list of the “8 Money Draining Mistakes” for FREE! At RSA, we can attest to the importance of these money drainers and we are here to help you every step of the way.
We would like to thank our long-time affiliate, Digital Marketing expert Stephen Woessner for sharing his knowledge.
1. Lack of Baselines and S.M.A.R.T Predictives
Measurable goals for traffic/unique visitors need to be set in order to track your business’ progress.
The goals need to be S.M.A.R.T.
- S = specific
- M = measurable
- A = attainable
- R = relevant
- T = time-sensitive
For example: Our goal is to go from X in 2012 to Y increase in 2013.
Robert Sharp & Associates can help you break down and define these important goals with you in order to create important baselines that will help your business grow.
2. Lack of Distinction
What exactly do you do? And for who? If you don’t convey this message properly on your website, how are your customers supposed to know?
Step 1: Create a “mastermind” session with the RSA team and complete this exercise:
We do X____________ (products and services)
For Y _______________ (customer services)
So they can Z____________ (result outcome)
Step 2: Feature the X-Y-Z message on the left side on your homepage, above the fold.
ROI is created when the customers know, like, and trust you. We will help you create a strategy so your targeted audience will respond positively to your message.
3. High Bounce Rate
The bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and “bounce” almost immediately without viewing any other pages on the site. A bounce rate of 30% should be your goal.
Your website has 1000 unique visitors per month. Let’s say the actual cash value of the product or service you are selling is $500, and that your website produces a 2% conversion rate.
- Current bounce rate of 60% = 600 bounces = 400 suspects x 2% conversion x $500 ACV = $4,000
- Target bounce rate of 30% = 300 bounces = 700 suspects x 2% conversion x $500 ACV = $7,000
Reducing bounce rate will increase revenue by 42%!
So how do you reduce the bounce rate?
Be distinctive with your X-Y-Z message.
Eliminate visual clutter on your website.
Create clear calls-to-action.
4. SEO Done Poorly
Search Engine Optimization is an important part of website content. If the content isn’t optimized according to the industry’s best practices, the website will not rate high in search engine searches.
To calculate your conversion rate, divide your number of leads with the number of unique site visitors on your website. The industry standard conversion rate between 2% – 4% should be one of your goals.
RSA has a talented SEO team that can help you to optimize your website content according to the industry’s best practices in order to increase your business’ conversion rate.
5. Not Knowing Your Customer
Knowing your customer is one of the most important things of marketing. Who are they? What things are challenging customers? What are their emotional fears, hopes, and dreams?
Build a customer avatar in your “mastermind” session with RSA in order to get to know your target customer and maximize profit on advertising and marketing efforts.
Reserve a seat at an upcoming RSA webinar, featuring more details about these mistakes and other important topics:
6. Poor Customer Experience
Reduce customers’ fears through credibility and trust indicators. Make it easy for the customer to contact you. For example, customers are less likely to fill out a contact form on your website that has a large number of fields. Lessen the effort!
7. Institution Speak
Talk like a person. You attract humans and make emotional connections when you act like a human being instead of a corporation.
8. Ambiguous Call-to-Action
“Call this number”, “Sign up for our newsletter”, “Fill out this contact form”, “Sign up to view a demonstration” can be confusing for the visitor if delivered on the same page.
What exactly is your call-to-action? Give your visitors a simple 1-2-3 to follow, and they will!
Contact Robert Sharp & Associates today to schedule a “mastermind” session and let us show you how we can make your business’ website more profitable by applying this model. Our skilled employees can help with everything from SEO to defining your marketing goals, while providing you with excellent expertise and customer service.
By RSA | November 25, 2013
Recently, Syncapse conducted a study titled ‘The Value of a Facebook Fan 2013: Revisiting Consumer Brand Currency in Social Media.’ The purpose of the study was to dig in, and associate an actual dollar value to a fan who ‘likes’ a business page on the social platform.
The study included a wide range of popular brands such as Adidas, Starbucks, Walmart, Subway, and BMW to name a few. Factors included in the study’s calculation were product spending, loyalty, propensity to recommend, media value, acquisition cost, and brand affinity. The findings were quite interesting.
The average value per fan was determined to be $174.17. Brands with products having a smaller retail value were proportionately smaller, while brands with more expensive products (such as BMW) were higher. This figure may seem surprisingly high to some, but the findings suggest some compelling reasons why fans contain such value.
A few of these reasons are:
• Users of brands who also are Fans are more receptive to those brands versus users who are not Fans. By becoming a Fan, users are declaring a commitment to the brand.
• Brand Fans are super consumers. They are more likely to use social media to ask and share opinions and experiences with others.
• Fans spend more than non-Fans. The study found that on average, Fans spend $116 more per year than non-Fans.
• Fans advocate more. Study findings indicate that 85% of Fans are likely to recommend the brand.
• Fans tend to be brand users before they ‘Like’ a brand’s Facebook page. Most consumers will try a product first before becoming a Fan.
• Personal expression trumps coupons as reasons for Fanning brands. By becoming a Fan, consumers are making an emotional statement about themselves.
The findings of the study indicate that the value of a Fan, while representing a dollar amount, also represent a word of mouth advertiser for the brand. Not only are they engaging with the brand, but with social media representing ‘water cooler talk’ of the past, they are developing social chatter within their own groups of friends about brands they like, use, and interact with.
By developing a Facebook strategy involving a specific ROI behind just ‘getting likes,’ businesses can utilize their Facebook page for a much more focused goal associated with dollar amounts and conversions. Contact us today to learn how we can help build a successful social media strategy for your business!
/ Kim Flick, Social Media Strategist at Robert Sharp & Associates
By RSA | October 31, 2013
We have all had that moment in our lives. Whether at school, work, or at some other function where the person speaking sounds like the teacher talking on Charlie Brown, who never actually says anything – just makes a sound draining to the ears of anyone listening. No one likes to hear a “wah wah” public speaker or presenter, but something that can sometimes be forgotten is that no one likes to read a “wah wah” content.
What’s “wah wah” content you say? It is content that uses language in the blandest forms and as a reader you can’t remember a thing of what you just read. Content can include anything from blogs and Facebook posts, to Youtube or vine videos used to develop a brand or company. Just like speeches, content should move people to connect with what they read and in the realm of marketing move them to act for a certain product or service. Creative content and successful marketing, especially in the social realm, go hand in hand for several reasons and one without the other can lead to not only a bored audience, but one that becomes disengaged with the company or organization.
With the rise of social media, more businesses realize the importance of content and the development of worthy content that engages audiences. The proof of the growing importance for creative content is in the numbers. According to Content Marketing Institute, “Seventy percent say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company”. Strong content ties a company’s audience to their brand and creative content even pushes 60% people to be on the lookout for content from brands or organizations they like, according to the Content Marketing Association.
“So how do I develop creative content?”, one might ask. Well, the first thing to keep in mind is to simply not be boring. Think to yourself, would you want to spend time out of your day to read what you write, or would it be a waste of 10 minutes that you could never get back? You are aiming for the first option of the two (in case there were any confusion).
Something else to keep in mind when developing creative content for a company is simply that no one cares about the company- yes, you read that right. What they actually care about is (drummmmmmmmrollllllll, please): themselves. It is your job to know your brand’s audience and know what they find useful for themselves. Once they connect the creative content you write to what is relevant to them, they will read more, seek out further content from the company, and even share the content. The goal of creative content marketing is for that content to be shared and reach as many audience members as possible.
The last sound piece of advice for creating riveting, creative content is to not be afraid to fail. Edwin Land once said “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail”, and we could not agree more. If you are not willing to put yourself on the line or think outside of the box, how will you ever be able to cultivate new and exciting content for an audience? No one wants to read the same things or see the same content over and over again. It is the ideas that really may seem crazy at first that catch on and affect people, but you will have to sift through failed ideas to get to those gems. Believe us, those gems are worth all of your failed attempts.
/Whitnee Thorp, Interactive Content Developer at Robert Sharp & Associates
Creative content marketing is here to stay and will continue to boom in years to come. Robert Sharp & Associates strives to put forth only the most creative ideas that will help push your company or brand to new heights. Creative content marketing is an area that we value highly and continue to be searching for the newest ideas and techniques for your brand. Contact Robert Sharp & Associates today at 605. 341.5226 and open your company’s sails on ever-growing territory of creative content marketing.
By RSA | October 1, 2013
Long gone are the days of floppy discs, but what about USB flash drives and CD/DVD’s? Are they ancient relics already? Cloud storage is the new black among both businesses and individuals. Thinking about jumping on the bandwagon? Does the road seem a little cloudy? Don’t worry; we’ll give you the rundown.
Cloud storages are virtual storage pools where people and companies can lease storage for data and files they keep on their phones and computers. Generally, hosting companies operate large data centers which keep the data available to the customer from any device as long as it has internet access. The concept of cloud storage has been around since the 1960’s, but has just recently (well, late 1990’s) become available to the masses. Some of the most popular clouds used by individuals are Google Drive, Sky Drive by Microsoft, and iCloud for all you Apple users out there.
As with almost every technology, there are pros and cons.
Accessibility is definitely the most obvious advantage. By having access to your data from any other internet connected device you can avoid those unfortunate (yet common) mishaps that can occur, such as your computer catching a virus that requires you to format your hard drive, or that you lose your USB flash drive with that important PowerPoint presentation on it. A cloud storage solution could easily save you some frustration, sweat, and tears! Just log on to a different device, retrieve your files, and relax.
Another advantage of a storing data and files in a cloud is file sharing. By providing people with a link or direct access to your cloud, they can easily access, edit, and download files from your cloud storage. This eliminates the hassle of emailing documents back and forth when working on a project or sharing notes (listen up, college students!).
However, if your internet connection is working at a snail’s pace (i.e. your bandwidth is on the slow side), it could take you hours to download files from your storage. It isn’t advised to put too many large files in your cloud, regardless of your bandwidth, since storage space is usually limited. Also, if multiple people are accessing a file at the same time, they will have to share the download speed. Even if you have an ultra-super-duper speedy internet connection, you will experience extremely slow downloads if hundreds of users decide to download it at the same time.
If you are sharing files with multiple users, your device could contract malware by downloading files that have been infected by viruses on other devices. Always keep your computer’s anti-virus program up-to-date in order to avoid this, and don’t download files from unreliable sources. Another important thing to remember is that you lack control over the hardware that stores your data. A storage company could go out of business, perform maintenance, crash, etc. and your data could potentially be lost.
In conclusion, cloud storage is a smart idea that could make your life a little easier, but it depends on your purpose. As of right now, the cloud storage options aren’t great, but with the progress we have seen within the last five years, we might be able to donate those external hard drives, flash drives and DVD’s to our local museums in a not too distant future. What do you predict?
By RSA | September 23, 2013
I have no problem admitting I was oblivious to Pinterest until my friends started getting engaged and married. And then I was resistant. I saw it as another new social media outlet for people (especially engaged females) to spend time gushing over “rustic” wedding details. Now, as a 20-something, I’m receiving constant updates from friends and former classmates.
But, I’m not certain I mind. Stereotypes aside, the site continues to offer something that other social networking sites or businesses often miss—engagement. When a user pins, they’re offering up products, looks, and styles, which speak to them. Depending on the boards a user creates, they create a blueprint of themselves.
Any board created offers different facets of an individual’s style. It also enables businesses to do the same. With modern advertising and marketing requiring businesses to be adaptive to new markets, Pinterest has been a fun outlet to cultivate a brand identity.
Benefit Cosmetics is one of my favorite makeup brands. I follow them on Facebook and Twitter, so I see their long-form videos and fun tutorials from time to time, but on weekends when I have more free time I get to see their brand identity further through their Pinterest boards.
Benefit has over 14,000 followers of their 24 boards. Do you think all 24 boards point to their cosmetic products? Absolutely not. In lieu of a 100% hard-sell tactic, Benefit uses its space to give consumers a direct look at what inspires them. My favorite is the “women we love” board.
Pinterest, which has always avoided advertising revenue, took its infancy to build their customer base and trust. A recent, cautious, blog post from CEO Ben Silbermann broke some large news to the Pinner community. Pinterest is now offering promoted pins!
As a Pinterest convert and regular user, I know they will make the transition to ad-based revenue seamlessly. Pinterest promises the promoted pins will be ”Tasteful. Transparent. Relevant. & Improved based on your feedback.” much like the site itself. Even in the announcement, Pinterest lets their users know they’re priority #1.
Silberman uses the example in his blog post that a promoted pin for a Darth Vader costume could display if you search for “Halloween.” It’s too soon to see everything in action as they move through their trial phase, so hopefully Pinterest can stay on track with their proposed promoted pin goals.
While they ease into this new transition, Pinterest continues to build their sense of community. They are a brand that continues to listen to its users while offering a solid foundation for small businesses to do the same.
/Mary Abbott, Account Executive at Robert Sharp & Associates
For an in depth discussion on Pinterest and social media management, our SEO department is always available. Contact RSA and let us help you make your business successful in the Pinterest-sphere!
By RSA | August 28, 2013
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Foursquare – how many social media platforms are we supposed to keep track of nowadays?! Well, in addition to the ones listed, Instagram is the new up-and-comer when it comes to effective PR and branding.
Instagram is a free online photo sharing social platform that allows you to take or upload pictures and edit them with filters, frames, and focus before sharing with your followers within the Instagram platform, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or Foursquare. Instagram has also recently added a video function, which allows you to record and instantly cut the video as you are filming it. Acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram is more than just an outlet for exhibitionist hipsters taking “selfies” and pictures of their food. Instagram can be used as a tool within your business’ marketing plan to help strengthen your brand and as a way to engage with your audience.
Here are a few useful tips on how to use Instagram effectively within your own marketing strategy:
1. Consistency. Try to use the same username across your social media platforms. It is important that your existing and potential customers can find you, and it also gives your business a cohesive feel.
2. Show your products. Upload pictures of some of the products you supply or equipment you use for your services. I.e. if you run a restaurant, you could take pictures of your favorite kitchen appliances. Your followers will also appreciate getting a glimpse into the design or manufacturing process. Remember, Instagram is about communication and sharing, not just selling.
3. Behind the scenes. As mentioned above, uploading photos of the manufacturing process is a great way to give your audience a sneak peek of how your products are made. “Behind the scenes” photos from your office are usually much appreciated if your business provides services instead of physical products. Introduce your employees to give them some recognition; your followers will enjoy seeing the faces behind your brand. Always keep a smartphone or simple digital camera handy around ad shoots, media interviews, and similar events. One of the great things about Instagram is that you can take and upload pictures and videos wherever you go!
4. Watch and learn. Connect with popular companies within your industry and see what they are doing right. What types of photos do they upload? Instead of seeing them as competition you should comment and like their posts. Not only will your business get more exposure by being active – viewing their pictures could work as inspiration for your own posts! Also make sure to interact with your target customers by following them and liking their posts.
5. Hashtag it. Using hashtags makes your photos easy to find and it is an effective way of tapping into existing audiences where people are looking for something specific. Create hashtags for your brand that allow other users to tag your products or services in their posts, and use already trending hashtags to gain exposure. Try to only use tags that are relevant for your specific post, it is easy to get carried away and over use hashtags, but this can actually distance you from your target audience (#and, #it’s #slightly #annoying). The key is to find a balance between relevance and popularity.
6. Track your stats. Use a third party app to monitor your growth and keep track of likes and followers. Running a business and simultaneously keeping up with social media can be time consuming and stressful, so this is an excellent way of making sure that your valuable time is being spent wisely.
With 100 million monthly active users, Instagram has become a driving force in the world of digital marketing. The number of businesses using the app is growing rapidly every day as they realize that a picture says more than a thousand words. Maybe the hipsters were onto something?
By RSA | August 13, 2013
We have had the pleasure of working with many great interns over the years and we are sad to see our summer intern Megan Cutler return back to school. Before taking off, Megan decided to share a few words of wisdom about her experience here at RSA and give some advice to future interns.
Hello future intern. You have been selected out of many applicants to work at the prestigious Robert Sharp & Associates. You have some big shoes to fill. I may have been one of the coolest interns, like ever, so here are some handy tips if you want to be an awesome intern. After rocking as the 2013 summer intern, I learned a few things that I figured I could pass on to you; a few words of wisdom.
Tips to save future intern’s life:
1. Just because there is free pop at your fingertips, it doesn’t mean you need to have one every hour. You will get a gut rut that will lead to excruciating pain. Not to mention those nasty caffeine withdraw headaches will be unbearably terrible.
2. Remember that you’re here to learn. You obviously don’t know everything because otherwise you wouldn’t be in this position. I remember the first article I wrote. I wanted it to be perfect. I thought “Oh hey, I hope they don’t regret hiring me as an intern if they don’t like my article!” If thoughts like this pop up, keep calm and remember that they saw something in you and they hired you as their intern for a reason.
3. Don’t be afraid to take on any project. Although I was an intern for the SEO and Account Services department, I also dabbled in projects from the Graphic Design department. This is a great way to broaden your skills and to meet other people in different departments. Who knows, you might actually like working in that department!
4. If you’re going to eat all of Kandi’s candy in the candy bowl, refill it. Everyone love’s Kandi’s candy. Everyone will get mad and start riots if there is no candy in Kandi’s candy bowl. You’ll look like that sneaky intern who ate all of the candy and no one will like you. In fact, the only time you’re allowed to eat the candy is when Kandi is away from her desk. Do you want that awkward “Hey Kandi, I’m just here only for your candy” conversation? I don’t think so. Actually, just don’t touch the candy. JUST DON’T.
5. Come to work a little early, otherwise you’ll have to park in the boonies. After one walk of shame to and from no-man’s land, you’ll never be late again.
I remember being was super anxious the first day. I was really excited about the opportunity, but scared and nervous about starting something new and unfamiliar. Before I knew it, I found my rhythm in the office and it felt like I’d been here for years.
This internship will be something that I will never forget. It was a great way to experience what life is like in a real agency like setting. Reading about strategies or case studies in a book is one thing, but living it is another. I am grateful to have had the chance to work in different departments and to see how each one played a vital role in getting the project finished. It taught me that even the smallest things can play a huge part in a project.
The biggest highlights of my summer here at RSA were when I got an opportunity to be in a commercial for a client and all I had to do was zip-line! Needless to say, it was the greatest. The other thing was being able to play a part in the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Working with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was a big eye opener for me. It was a great opportunity to be a part of one of the biggest events that South Dakota has to offer. Thousands of people from all over the world come to see what this event is all about. I’m so happy to say that I had the opportunity to work closely with this event by writing blogs and posting articles to the Official Website, working for the survey team, and helping with the Rally’s social media efforts.
I am so thankful for the opportunities that were given to me while I spent my summer here. I’ve learned so much valuable information here, more than what I could of in school. Besides the endless supply of free popcorn and pop, I’m really going to miss the relax atmosphere and, of course, the people. I’m leaving with a better sense of the advertising world as well as a few life lessons.
There you have it, my successor. I shared with you what I’ve done and some tips to help you along the way. Things may get overwhelming at times but the experience will be rewarding in the end. Get ready for a summer of a life-time.
By RSA | July 29, 2013
Growth and innovation have always been hallmarks of marketing; and as times change, we find ourselves in an era driven by social media, by second-to-second interactions, by the make-or-break results of a viral push campaign or Facebook presence. This new era is no doubt an exciting one, syncing business and consumer to almost the same level of interaction; indeed, on a daily basis, feedback flows back and forth with few barriers to muddle the message.
So, if you’re a business in this new era, it’s basically your game to lose.
The main challenge faced by businesses in nearly every market is not “how do we get customer feedback”, but rather “how do we respond to customer feedback”. Make no mistake- even if your consumers aren’t telling you anything explicitly, they’re talking. We have to tell them what they want.
But how do we accomplish this? Basically, there are overarching themes present among new-era marketing theories:
Viral: More of a meta-category than a specific one, viral marketing means cleverly pushing a product, mascot, etc into the hands of the public, who then basically does your marketing for you. A good example is LiveStrong, who took a positive vision and message and drove it straight to the people (think “yellow wristbands”). Obviously, this specific version worked so well because the brand image carries with it much integrity and underdog-esque tones. Also, and this is important, the brand image makes people feel the following:
1.) Connected to each other
2.) Their opinion matters
3.) They’re making a difference
4.) They can make a statement
5.) They can personalize their aesthetics
When something you’re trying to market hits most or all of these points, it has a good chance of going viral; mainly because it makes people feel good. It also diverts attention away from the company, which is usually a good thing. In most mass-market consumer industries, brand success no longer rests solely on integrity of the company name; instead, it rests more on integrity of consumer and community experience and memory. Tapping into this fact is what currently generates ROI in more volatile markets; and not simply pushing a mascot’s face and hoping people will recognize it.
Basically, a viral campaign is analogous to a rainstorm: moisture (buzz) builds up, and rain falls over an expanding area as the storm builds. And you want as many raindrops to hit as many people as possible; this could be defined broadly as reach (or presence). When something goes truly viral, however, it’s analogous to a thunderstorm. A thunderstorm campaign would ideally meld repeat, varied, and intense lightning strikes of organic social interaction with the softer, widespread reach of rain; this could be defined broadly as intensity.
Tease: Much like a teaser trailer for a movie, teasing involves a short-length, concise, sexy, intriguing, and perhaps ominous message while revealing little or no information about the actual identity of the product. A good example would be a certain telecom company’s launch of their XStream internet service, wherein they bombarded LED billboards, interstitial web spots, and print media with the slick and attention-getting “X Is Next” message, without branding themselves in the advertisements. Soon, everyone in the area was talking about it, if only briefly at the water cooler. The important thing is just that, though: everyone was talking about it.
Aesthetic: Everything from the logo, to packaging, to ad design is contained in this category. The message you’re trying to convey relies just as much, if not more so, on how the eye takes in and translates the look and feel of an advertisement. If trends point to the need for an imminent logo update, or something similar, consider how to incorporate the classic look and feel of the old logo into the new one. Nothing tests better than a new logo that’s clean, bold, fresh, and classic at the same time. The trick is to combine recognizability with attractiveness.
Story: This ties directly into the presence of a viral campaign. Whether it’s creating characters/backstory/challenges to humanize a product, or posting bios and interviews of diverse groups of customers and contest winners, giving the product(s) a story works wonders in terms of generating social interest and conversation. The challenge with giving a product a story, however, is avoiding the transparent “tacked-on” feeling most product stories inadvertently generate.
Linkage: From Facebook, to Twitter, to app stores, linkage is the strategy of tying together all possible facets of online interaction that a product can generate. Where new-era tech is concerned, it would make sense to develop an app that incorporates everything customers love about the product, and combine that with connectivity and customization. If a customer just downloaded the app, after some (hopefully) flashy and unique graphics, they would have the option to link the app to their Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. They would then be able to set up their own profile, customize the user interface, rank their favorite products, and post to Facebook or Twitter directly. Monthly contests could be made available exclusively to app users, giving them opportunities to win branded apparel and accessories. The obvious benefit to the company is targeted marketing opportunities, enhanced demographic research, and better customer service. The customer benefits as well, since linkage is the easiest way to hit the 5 points of a viral marketing campaign in consumer industries.
It’s important to note, however, that this mixed, socially-driven reality creates the persistent impression of youth across all demographics; and so when you’re marketing to the 18-35 crowd you are, in fact, marketing to the 35-50 crowd; and to the 50-65 crowd. Without utilizing specific youth stereotypes in this marketing, and instead focusing on social media styles, you’re only widening the net.
This reality, coupled with the aging of the Boomer generation and the mass proliferation and presence of the 18-35 demographic, means that growth equals youth. Not stability; growth.
And as people drive from home to work to the store and back, absorbing thousands of advertising data per day, you may find yourself wondering, “does this product really need a Twitter account?”
You bet your ROI it does.
By RSA | July 10, 2013
Last week the team here at Robert Sharp & Associates was fortunate to have guest speaker, Stephen Woessner, stop in for a two day intensive training and one-on-one session for the advancement of digital marketing strategies. Stephen is an authority on search engine optimization and a best-selling author of two books, The Small Business Owners Guide to Search Engine Optimization and Increase Sales through Viral Social Networking. Stephen is a former employee of Robert Sharp and Associates and has continued on his career path lighting the way for businesses to use the internet to gain greater success.
Successful business know-how is in Stephen’s blood and with his knowledge on marketing, social networking, and search engine optimization Stephen has taken his own businesses to new heights. By the time Stephen was 28 years old he was a multi-millionaire through his dot-com business. He also has owned three other prosperous businesses. Eventually Stephen left the private sector and began work for University of Wisconsin- La Crosse Small Business Development Center where his sole purpose is to help over 1000 small business across America create and expand. Stephen also uses his time to teach classes at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse and research search engine optimization and viral social networking aiding to his discoveries of innovative models of marketing. Stephen has honed into his own skill catalog, realizing his personal ability to dissect how a system works and implement problem-solving tactics quickly to make the system work without a glitch and to its fullest abilities.
Stephen Woessner brought visionary ideas on the future of marketing to the RSA team. He took his time to answer questions and stressed his personal motto, “work smarter not harder”. Stephen is a firm believer that success is linked to maximizing efficiency and effectiveness. The emphasis on Stephen’s teachings included how to generate leads to improve sales, developing long term and short term goals with the end product in mind, how to avoid money draining mistakes, and how to create ingenious web-based marketing components to help customers. Stephen stressed the importance of excellent web content in the ability to maintain top of the line results for our clients and their customers. By taking Stephen’s unique approaches to SEO and social networking, RSA is excited to open many new doors for our clients.
Stephen has helped add tools to our marketing and SEO toolbox that will now be readily available to each of our clients. RSA looks forward to working more with Stephen for future endeavors and taking his time and money tested marketing models and using them to the blossom business prosperity for our clients.
By Rob Stiehl | March 29, 2013
In the seemingly endless world of online content and web pages, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) plays a critical role when it comes to getting found online. Let’s think about Google for a second; Google handles over a billion searches every day for information that is indexed across more than a trillion (yes, trillion with a “t”) pages, that’s a lot of content to get lost in! Without SEM, your website is merely a miniscule needle in a gargantuan haystack, but when used properly, SEM can put your site front and center in front of the eyes of potential clients.
SEM really consists of two different principles, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Search (or Pay-Per-Click), both of which can provide dramatic results when it comes to improving your online marketing strategy. Since we have covered SEO and its role as a long term strategy in a few of our previous blogs, for now we will focus on the benefits of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. As the name suggests, Pay-Per-Click advertising involves a fee structure that allows you to setup “bids” (the amount you will pay per click) for keywords that you would like to trigger your ad. The actual price of keywords will vary depending on the level demand or competition, but daily budgets allow you to set limits to prevent you from going overboard.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of PPC over SEO is the amount of time it takes to begin seeing results. Although SEO is very important as a long term strategy, the gradual nature of SEO and the fact that it can take weeks and even months to begin seeing results can be quite a setback. PPC on the other hand is an excellent tool for producing immediate results which also makes PPC a great option for jump starting a new online strategy or as a boost for an existing strategy.
When a new website is launched, search engines such as Google have to go through the entire website to analyze and index all of the information stored within the site pages, and depending on the depth of your website and the amount of content that needs to be indexed, it could be awhile before you start to see any organic search traffic come your way. Now, you could sit around and patiently wait for the traffic to show up, or you could take a more proactive approach and bring the traffic in yourself with a PPC campaign centered around the keywords that you have optimized your new site for.
Aside from being a great way to generate traffic and leads for a new website, PPC is also a great way to target specific segments or demographics to help put your site in front of qualified, potential customers. With the help of properly selected keywords, you can ensure that your ads are being seen by the right people online and you take this opportunity to drive this traffic to a specific page within your site that is relevant to the user. This is great for highlighting a specific service that you may offer or to generate leads for a promotion or event that may be coming up.
If you are planning to change up your current web strategy or maybe just looking to improve it, SEM and more specifically PPC may be just the boost that you need to start seeing improved results fast. When implemented correctly, the results are fast, measurable and in most instances sustainable!