Marketing Moxie Blog

The Presence Audit

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Fri, Apr 21, 2017 @ 11:04 AM


Entrepreneurs and small business owners appreciate the benefits of marketing, particularly if they depend on website or blog readers to drive sales. It's not always possible to employ dedicated personnel to carry out marketing campaigns or increase brand awareness, however.

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As a business owner you know the basics of marketing, but may not have time or professional knowledge to keep on top of constant business marketing issues on a daily basis. That's where the Inbound Marketing techniques of More in Store and the objectivity of the Presence Audit marketing review allows you to take a step back and review the current state of your marketing program and recommends improvements to ensure your business remains competitive within traditional marketing methodologies as well as within the modern Internet marketplace.

Benefits of the Presence Audit for your Business

A Presence Audit gives you an accurate picture of your business presence, allowing greater streamlining and more efficient, targeted marketing. Our objective audit of marketing entails review of all your company's marketing, including:

  • in depth interview with a key member of your team
  • mystery shop/location investigation, if necessary
  • customer contact
  • analysis of your complete marketing methodology, including a review of your online reputation and research into competitor information

Your More in Store Presence Audit will focus upon the competitive landscape facing your business on a daily basis, your position within the marketplace, customer perceptions and comments about your business, your pricing strategies and the promotional activities conducted by your business. All aspects of your business marketing will be audited, whether traditionally conducted within retail outlets or with customers on a face-to-face basis or if they are associated with your Internet website or social media presence.

A Presence Audit of your business marketing activities will not involve you in protracted negotiations or take up too much of your valuable business hours. We have extensive experience within the arena of marketing audits and our audit produces results within 10 working days.

Once the Presence Audit is complete you will be provided with a summary report and a full presentation outlining our recommendations to enhance your business marketing and increase sales and profitability.

Engaging More in Store to review your marketing techniques gives you a broad based analysis, providing you with the insight to improve traditional and Internet marketing to keep your public profile and brand at the top of customer opinion and drive forward the sales and engagement you require to ensure continued success in business.

Contact More in Store for further information or to book an initial assessment. Free Inbound  Marketing Assessment

 

Tags: evaluating marketing

Pay per Click Budget Growing?

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, Jun 04, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

CPC (Cost per Click) advertising, such as Google Adwords, offers businesses an amazing opportunity to reach targeted groups of prospects and customers.  I love Google Adwords—when it’s done right, the potential to target and evaluate results is impressive. 

Having fallen in love with Google Adwords many years ago, I decided to master Google Adwords so I could use it to its full potential for my clients.  After taking several advanced Google Analytics and Google Adwords courses I put Google Adwords to work.  True to Google – there were always changes and enhancements to Google Adwords – more targeting options – enhanced ads and more. 

The other constant with my Google Adwords campaigns was the increasing budget!!  The more you spend on Google Adwords the more you can drive up the cost per click.  In my experience, when I would help a client with a Google Adword campaign they may lead their category in the short term, but it never took long before the competition followed suite.  

While it may be challenging to do Google Adwords well, it isn’t challenging to simply have a presence on Google Adwords.  Let me clarify—it is VERY easy to spend too much on Google Adwords.  If you aren’t targeting your ads, using custom landing pages and negative keywords (to name only a few spending traps) then you are probably spending too much on Google Adwords.  

Even if you are being very strategic with Google Adwords, chances are that your budget is likely to perpetually increase and there is a small chance that your conversion rate increases. 

If you are in a competitive industry (as  most of my clients are) you may lead in this space for a while, but as soon as a competitor jumps in and starts to bid on the same keywords the cost go up for both of you and the only winner is Google! 

There is a better way! 

What you spend on Google Adwords today is of no benefit tomorrow.  But if you focus your efforts on search engine optimization and simply enhancing your website for humans, the work you do is of benefit today, tomorrow and the next day.

Could your marketing efforts benefit from a free inbound marketing assessment?

Connect with Me!

 

Tags: inbound marketing, evaluating marketing, search engine marketing, online marketing

Is your website leaking?

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, May 28, 2014 @ 07:05 AM

stop loosing leads

Lead generation is one of the factors that matters the most in internet marketing, but is often overlooked. It could often be said that sites end up leaking visitors who would otherwise become customers. What is a savvy marketer to do if they want to make sure they retain all possible leads?

There are several elements that do make a difference. Effective sites need to have:

  • Calls to action that motivate visitors
  • Lead capture forms that enable easier data collection
  • Overall closed loop strategies

A Good Call to Action Makes the Difference

Anyone who has ever purchased a product or service because of a good sales page probably followed a call to action. Though calls to action are used on webpages, blog posts and other online media, many underestimate their importance. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that many visitors are attracted to a site because of the information provided, but it is crucial for them to know how to follow up on it. This is how visitors are converted into leads.

Capture Forms

Many website owners have yet to realize just how vital the lead capture form itself is. This is the one part of a site that effectively pulls together visitors, email contacts and current customers. One way in which the most successful business owners make an impact is by offering free content and other incentives, such as webinars or product trials. It is important to keep things as simple as possible, while instilling confidence in any prospects who might decide to sign up.  

The Closed Loop Difference

Lead capture forms are part of an overall strategy known as a closed loop marketing.  Closed loop marketing ensure your campaign addresses the needs of the prospect from their first site interaction to post purchase.  With closed loop marketing you’ll be  able to see a customer’s steps through the sales process and design the marketing pieces that facilitate the movement from prospect t customer to referring customer. 

Putting It Together

Lead generation is easily attainable when a good overall strategy is used. Internet-based business owners will always benefit the most from gaining a better understanding of exactly what their typical prospect is looking for. 

Are you ready to stop the lead in your website – and begin capturing every lead and put them in your marketing funnel. 

Contact us today to talk about how Inbound Marketing can help you turn all site visitors into prospects and paying customers. 

Connect with Me!

Tags: evaluating marketing, inbound marketing, website marketing, Marketing planning

Why I don’t do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) anymore...

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Mon, May 26, 2014 @ 07:05 AM

 

I am a strong believer in online and specifically inbound marketing, yet I don’t do SEO (Searchwhy I don't do seo Engine Optimization) anymore. 

There was a time when I spent a great deal of my efforts on optimizing sites for search optimization. I used all the expected tactics – meta tags, alt tags for images, inbound links, registering the site, keyword work on the site and in the backend too.  SEO was once the starting point with a new client and it represented a significant portion of the work I did. 

I recently took a call about doing SEO work for a new business.  I chose not to take on this project, despite having capacity, because I’ve decided not to do SEO anymore—not as a stand-alone job, anyhow – because SEO does not and cannot stand-alone.  Sure a new website should be well optimized by the developer and marketing strategist but that is only the beginning.  As Google continuously evolves the way they serve results SEO must be an ongoing focus of any business. 

Google’s most recent changes to the algorithm for search again placed an even stronger focus on user centric content.  That’s great news, as marketers we should be focusing our efforts on writing for the humans that interact with our site and deliver helpful, relevant, engaging content.  Your site simply cannot optimize for search and then move on.  You must continually enhance your website content for users and Google will reward you.  Blog regularly with keyword rich content, build inbound links, update your content and back end with relevant keywords and finally give users a place to contribute on your site.

Why not enhance your site today with a blog?  Did you know that sites with a blog generate 70% more leads?  Download my free Ebook Steps to Grow and Scale your Business Blog 

Click here to download the eBook!

 

 

 

Tags: evaluating marketing, search engine marketing, website marketing, keyword strategy

Marketing isn’t always sexy

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Tue, May 20, 2014 @ 10:05 AM

As a marketer, I ‘ve had the chance to do some pretty cool things that I call work.  Like when I worked in travel marketing and I visited exotic locales or when I get to mystery shop businesses and play customer at a spa or restaurant.  Marketing your own business can be fun – hosting events, doing photo shoots, video creation, networking, etc.  I even get a charge out of bringing a new website to life or finally seeing a collateral in print—but then again I am a bit of a marketing nerd.  

But marketing isn’t always sexy. 

marketing consultant halifax

In fact some of the most effective marketing tactics are by far the most boring. 

Last month, I hit some all time record highs – the most website traffic ever on my site and my leads were also up 1200%+, so as I always do, I took time to reflect on the recent efforts—how I spent my time, what worked and what didn’t.

As I reviewed efforts and results what stood out was how unremarkably sexy any of the efforts that generate such impressive results were.  No new website, I have yet to launch the video I have been working on.  The month consisted of simply staying the course and rolling out what I know to be tried and true marketing efforts—like regular blogs, enewsletters, site optimization and a strong social presence.  Sometimes this can get a bit boring – but staying the course is often where the magic happens.

Lessons from the recent marketing success remind me of the book—Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.  Well worth the read if you need the motivation to work on your business instead of in the business. 

And as for your marketing – be sure to give those new tactics time to show their value.  Pay close attention to your marketing analytics and look for opportunities to create synergy among your pieces.  If a marketing tactic isn’t pulling it’s weight – take a long hard look at it before you give up. Did you give it a fair chance?

Need to give your marketing a critical review, why not start with my ebook – 10 Useless Things to Cut from Your Marketing

Click here to download the eBook!

Tags: evaluating marketing, evaluating media efforts, inbound marketing, website marketing, halifax marketing consultant, online marketing

Facebook not delivering like it used to?

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Mon, May 12, 2014 @ 11:05 AM

As a much-loved tool by individuals and businesses alike, Facebook has delivered a uniquefacebook engagement opportunity to reach and engage with fans online.  While FB started as a social network to connect with friends, Facebook Fanpages quickly became an excellent way for businesses to engage with fans.  In fact 52% of marketers have generated a lead from Facebook in 2013. 

For several years now Fanpages have afforded businesses a virtually free opportunity (other than the human capital costs) to connect with fans online.  Facebook also offers advertising opportunities but this post is focusing on the Facebook promotion with the use of Facebook Fanpages.  

Did you know Canada is THE country with the most active Facebook users?  Now that should be reason enough to pay attention to Facebook.  

Facebook Fanpages have evolved overtime – rolling out more and more features to Fanpages.  Insights are an excellent FB feature that shows you details about your fans and detailing how and what your fans engage with.  If you watch your page insights you may have noticed a decline in your user views and engagement. 

facebook impact down

About a year ago major brands began complaining that their engagement was down and Facebook denied this claim.  But earlier this year Facebook has changed their tune – admitting that major brands should consider paid distribution to maximize effectiveness of their message.

Facebook claims that because more people are sharing more content your organic reach doesn’t have the same impact, let’s look at the numbers.  April 23, 2012 Facebook stated that pages originally reach 16% of their fans on average. 

In December 2013 Facebook’s algorithm changed and average decline in reach was thought to be 44% for some brands, but other brands claimed as much as an 88% decline.  Say you had 500 fans, reaching only 16% of them seemed dismal enough, as it translates to reaching only 80 fans in 2012, but given recent changes you’d see that number fall to 45 people or on the low end a mere 18 people.  

So what to do if your Facebook reach and engagement are down?  Well let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.  You may still want to keep facebook as a part of your online marketing mix, but review your insights and understand what you are reaping for the efforts you are investing.  As the old adage says – don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  Ensure Facebook is a part of a well rounded online strategy. 

Ready to learn more about using Facebook for your marketing?  I have put together two free resouces.

This FREE & UP-TO-DATE 2014 GUIDE will give you over 20actionable items to enhance your Facebook Fanpage.  

Click here to download the eBook!

I have also compiled a social media cheat sheet provding all the details you need to size cover images for: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+

Click here to download

Tags: evaluating marketing, inbound marketing, facebook marketing tips, website marketing

Spring Cleaning for your Marketing

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Fri, May 09, 2014 @ 07:05 AM

hubspot provider halifax

 

Spring has been terribly late coming to Nova Scotia.  That’s if it’s here at all.  So perhaps you’re justified if you haven’t started your spring-cleaning yet. Spring cleaning isn’t just for the home – your marketing could likely use a little spring cleaning too!

Just like spring cleaning around the house – the list of things you could do to tidy up your marketing is … well, endless.  But I am not going to suggest you wash down every wall and baseboard, rather here are my top 7 tasks to freshen up your marketing this spring.

1.             Review your goals and results. 

We are ¼ of the way through 2014—you still have lots of time to achieve your goals (if you wrote some).  If you didn't write any – it is not too late.  Create goals that can be achieved in the next 8 months or review your goals and evaluate your efforts to date.  

2.             Clean up your lists

When was the last time you cleaned up your list (from your lead management tool or your email marketing tool?)  Hard and soft bounces are costing you (hard dollars if you pay per contact) and they may also be causing you deliverability issues as bounces are held against you by many email providers.  Did you know the age of a lead is a significant factor in the likelihood of conversion?  More leads aren’t always better—old inactive leads should be cleaned out.  Just like you take the garbage out now and again, it’s time to review contacts—clean out bounces, segment your lists and tidy them up.

3.            Dust off and Repurpose the Good Stuff

Content is king-–well-crafted content is valuable stuff.  Google loves it (which helps you come up higher in search and your prospects love it too).  Of course the well-crafted part of that is essential.  If you have an ebook, guide, webinar, newsletter or blog that your clients appreciated at one point – there is a good chance you could repurpose it by freshening it up and putting it to work for you.

4.             Throw out the unused tools and programsmarketing spring cleaning

Sometimes spring cleaning can be profitable if you have a garage sale with the finds.  Marketing spring-cleaning can also result in savings.  Review the programs and tools you’ve signed up for and cancel or unsubscribe from what you are no longer using. 

5.             Have a quick walk through your entire website

When was the last time you had a quick walk through your website – checking on each and every page for broken links, missing alt tags, page titles that could use a little cleaning up?  Use a tool to make this tedious but important task beneficial.  I use Hubspot Page Performance tool to see all my webpages in one snapshot.  It highlights and prioritizes what needs my attention.

6.             See who is supporting you and say thanks

Nothing speeds up spring cleaning more than team work – whether it’s the neighbor that helped rake up last year’s leaves or shared a load of garden mulch. In the world of online marketing help from other organizations often comes in the form of inbound links.  Have you had a look lately to see who is sending traffic to your site? You may be surprised to see who supports you.  Review your incoming links and take the time to say thanks to those who support you with a link.

7.             Set priorities and focus for the coming months

Are the lazy hazy days of summer right around the corner?  I am not so sure, and in my business (and likely yours too) there will still be lots to do).  It’s time to set priorities and refocus to make the most of the next 8 months of 2014.

Do you think your marketing could be more effective?  If so contact me today for a free inbound marketing assessment.

Connect with Me!

Tags: evaluating marketing, evaluating media efforts, inbound marketing, internet marketing, website marketing, lead generation, online marketing, Marketing planning

Understanding Google's Algorithm

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, May 07, 2014 @ 16:05 PM

In a typical search engine query, there are thousands, even millions, of web pages containing helpful information. The algorithms that provide these results are the computer formulas and processes that takes users’ questions and converts them into answers. Today's Google algorithms depend on over 200 unique signals or clues that allow it to guess what users are searching for. These signals

A September 2012 presentation from the Google Engage Conference in Vancouver showed that 4.8 billion Canadian Google searches are performed each month alone.

In the beginning

The earliest days of Google weren't that long ago either, only stemming back to the late 1990s to 2000s. Google and its search engine counterparts mainly worked as machines that matched keywords and counted links. Back then, a website could receive a high ranking by a simple Google and SEO two-step process that went like this:

  • Include keywords or keyword phrases into every web page or website as many times as possible
  • Get as many inbound links as humanly possible

The beat goes on

However, the "fun" wouldn't last as Google discovered weaknesses that required attention, and when addressed would provide higher quality results for its users. In 2003, the search engine began introducing various changes to its algorithms, some quite minor, but others with major changes. With the past earthshaking algorithms like Panda and Penguin, Google was responsible for considerable crackdowns in practices such as keyword stuffing, content farms, thin content, high ad-to-content ratios, and numerous other black hat tactics. These algorithms also had a direct effect on greatly reducing search engine rankings for article directories, and gaming and porn websites.

The next step

Then, with the February 2013 introduction of the highly overhauled "Hummingbird" algorithm, Google and SEO practices have provided users with dramatically increased. Google began to recognize full question queries with high emphasis on quality content. Hummingbird is thought to have affected around 90 percent of all queries, not to mention change how Google processes its user requests. It does still maintain the traditional factors like PageRank but includes more complex methods to reach its results.

For example, someone may search for "Where can you buy vintage Michael Jordan sneakers?" The updated Hummingbird algorithm will present the user with results that direct them to e-commerce sites that carry the sneakers, shops that carry vintage sporting goods, or other places that would carry the item. The search engine should hopefully understand the query and provide the various results rather than the previous keywords of only "buy sneakers."

The infographic below provides the full Google algorithm changes history:

Visual History of Google Algorithm Changes

Mobile searches

Among the new improvements in Hummingbird is the mobile search. According to the Vancouver Google conference, it was shown that mobile searches have local Canadian attention. Smartphone usage is growing based on the proximity of the searcher to e-commerce places. For example, overall Canadian usage shows that:

  • 60-70 percent of Canadians are on mobile
  • 80 percent are on a smartphone
  • 83 percent use mobile on the go
  • 72 percent use mobile in restaurants
  • 77 percent use mobile in stores
  • 86 percent of smartphone users notice mobile ads

How does this relate to marketing?

The latest Google algorithm also strongly encourages:

  • keeping a close eye on link profiles
  • maintaing good content strategies through regular, helpful content targeted at the targeted audience
  • staying active on social media related to one's industry

As today's businesses move into the latest Google algorithm, the most successful ones will gather their Google and SEO data by providing their audiences with pure information as well as differentiating their products or services from their competitors. This in turn will give consumers greater choices.

While it is important to design and write websites for Google.  It is still most important to write your website for your customers.  Your website is mostly likely going to be a prospects first interaction with your company. 

Is your website as hard working as you are?  If you think your website could be doing more for you consider a strategic Inbound Marketing program to convert more site visitors to paying customers, learn more here...

Free Inbound  Marketing Assessment

 

Tags: selling online, marketing roi, evaluating marketing, inbound marketing, search engine marketing, website marketing, lead generation, online marketing, hubspot

Build your website not somebody else's

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Tue, Apr 08, 2014 @ 10:04 AM

With Google introducing Panda and Penguin, it has become even more important to focus onbuild website right your online marketing strategy, and SEO should be a part of these strategies. Many small- and medium-sized business owners are under the impression SEO is no longer an important part of digital marketing. On the contrary, it is. So, don’t be fooled by SEO service providers who promise you the world, but cannot guarantee results.

No, SEO is Better than Terrible SEO

There are some companies that have flawed SEO (search engine optimization) strategies, but sell it quite promisingly as a part of their online marketing services. For instance, they promise impressive SEO, but what you get is a small site that is search engine optimized and it operates concurrently to your actual business website. If you opt for such a solution, you will be paying the service provider to drive traffic to their small website and not yours. Is that what you want?

Then there are sites that promise SEO through listings. This is another example of terrible SEO. Here, the so-called SEO is done on a customized page or your listing. The optimization does not occur on your website. So the whole exercise is futile, as your business website does not rise in search engine rankings nor will prospective customers find it in search engine result pages (SERPs).

What’s more is you can confuse prospects and customers with both of the mini site creation and listing solution.  If these solutions are well optimized as the provider promises, you can have a prospect or customer landing on these pages one day and your website another day.  They’ll find different visual presentation, and navigation; the experience will be less than optimal and may even turn off a prospective customer. 

Effectively with both these solutions you are helping others to build their site because the mini site and listing site live on the providers URL not your own. 

What Option Do You Have?

When you are running a business you need a comprehensive online marketing strategy. It is not just about optimizing your website for search engines, but also about using a multi-pronged approach that drives targeted traffic to your website and also improves your website’s search engine ranking. This multi-pronged approach will help build your online brand and make your website reputable and reliable in the eyes of prospective customers. Basically, you need a customized and tailor made strategic marketing plan.

That is why you need to partner with More In Store for your digital marketing needs. Located in Halifax, More In Store can assist your business carve a niche for itself by using clear-cut and extremely effective online marketing strategy.

Contact me today  for a free, no-obligation inbound marketing assessment. This will give you a clear picture on your digital marketing strategies and also provide you a roadmap for remedial measures, so that you can develop a customized online marketing strategy. As the name suggests, More In Store has a lot to offer your business, so why not make use of this expertise?

Free Inbound  Marketing Assessment

Tags: evaluating marketing, search engine marketing, website marketing, keyword strategy

Inbound marketing efforts reporting made easy

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Fri, Apr 04, 2014 @ 11:04 AM

eBook CoverIn the world of digital and online marketing there are so many ways to reach prospects. From traditional to Internet marketing, a lot of things have changed in terms of the way it’s done.

With Internet marketing, discovering how far your marketing efforts go and how well they work is easier than ever to analyze, however many companies and organizations don’t take advantage of such analytics. A lot of money goes into marketing and it’s best to make sure that you’re getting the best returns on your investments.

To ensure efficient and effective online marketing, I use HubSpot, which provides an abundance of analytics and reporting tools all under one platform. While HubSpot offers a ton of data in their portal, reviewing and customizing data usually provides valuable insights, and is an excellent practice. These tools are super effective, and will help you track how your marketing campaigns and strategies are performing. By creating these reports every 30 days, you’ll be able to have accurate and consistent data.

Never heard of HubSpot? In a nutshell, HubSpot is an inbound marketing platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customersClick here for a high-level overview of HubSpot, and even request a free demonstration!

From a marketing agency perspective, it’s a good idea to make report creation and review a regular practice. If you’re using the HubSpot platform, this is a great way to analyze your inbound marketing progress. By doing these reports monthly, you’ll always have accurate and consistent data to show you where your marketing dollars are going.

Because I believe this is a good practice to get into and to keep up regularly, I’ve created an easy-to-follow monthly marketing report guide to help you keep up with marketing reporting. In this guide you’ll find 10 steps to creating a monthly marketing report with HubSpot. You’ll learn how to generate reports for leads generated from keywords, referring sites and social media. You’ll also see how to find out your landing page conversion rates and much more!

To go alongside this marketing report guide, I’ve created a 12-month marketing report worksheet that will allow you to record all the data in one simple, easy to read document. Not on HubSpot? No problem! This report template is valuable for any marketer. You can add and delete columns to meet your marketing needs. Then, when you’re going over and analyzing the data, you’ll be able to see all in one spot how your marketing efforts are doing.

I encourage you to download these two documents and customize them as you need to, to fit your company(ies) or organization(s). If you’re interested, please click the link below to take you to the download page! It’s a FREE download, and there’s no strings attached, so don’t worry!

Download Now!

Best,

Melanie

Tags: marketing roi, evaluating marketing, inbound marketing, internet marketing, halifax marketing consultant, online marketing, HubSpot Tips, hubspot