Thursday, 19 April 2012

Using Google AdWords To Increase Sales

Google AdWords or pay-per-click advertising is now one of the most popular forms of online marketing. It can provide a great boost to your sales if used correctly, but bear in mind that it pays to really understand how it works before you start using it: if you jump straight in at the deep end you could just be throwing money away to no purpose.

So how can Google Adwords benefit your company? To begin with, it is a relatively cheap way of getting your company’s adverts displayed on search lists and relevant sites and can help drive a lot of new traffic to your website in a short time, compared to other marketing methods which are more slow-burning.

Google AdWords is fairly cost-effective because you only pay each time somebody clicks on your ad, meaning you can be sure that for each payment you will at least have one new visitor to your website. Also, because it is quite a targeted form of advertising (the ads tend to be displayed on relevant websites) these visitors are more likely to be converted to paying customers because they are probably already interested in the kinds of products or services you offer.

Of course, there are a lot of potential pitfalls to using Google Adwords and if you don’t know what you are doing you may be paying out for each click and getting little back in the way of conversion rates. Because of this, many companies choose to hire a Google AdWords consultant to help them get to grips with how it works and implement an effective strategy.

Some companies think it is easy to learn about pay-per-click online and then dive right into it, but learning the theory of how something should work and actually putting it into practice are two very different things. A Google AdWords consultant has to keep up with all the latest trends and strategies in this area – it’s their livelihood – whereas you as a business owner or sales manager will have many other different things to think about and will never have the time to follow every single development in what is very rapidly changing world.

A good consultant will provide essential services such as researching the market and identifying the right keywords for your ads, finding out what methods your key competitors are using and showing you exactly how to manage your AdWords account so that you know how to review your progress, analyse conversion rates and generally ensure that your advertising is working for you rather than sapping your marketing budget and giving you little in return.

Why Hire An Interim Marketing Director?

Marketing is an absolutely crucial part of any company’s activities, so if you are running a business you need to have somebody in place who understands how the world of marketing works. If your marketing director leaves, you are a start-up company with a limited budget or you simply want to boost flagging sales, one option for you is to consider hiring an interim marketing director to keep your marketing efforts on track and even bring in some fresh ideas.

Often companies simply hire in temporary marketing directors while they are looking for someone more permanent, but in fact one of the biggest advantages of hiring someone in is the fresh perspective they are able to bring to your company. They will be aware of the latest trends and will be able to train your sales and marketing team in the most effective ways to implement these. Therefore, even if you are not looking to hire a marketing manager full time, you may still want to consider bringing someone in on a temporary basis.

There are other good reasons for hiring outside your company: If you are having trouble generating new sales leads and decide to hire an internal employee to fill the role of marketing director, they may not have enough knowledge of the wider market context or awareness of what your competitors are doing. Sometimes what you need is an entirely new approach and somebody who has been immersed in your particular company culture for a long time, however capable they are, may not be able to provide this.

Hiring an interim marketing director is also much quicker if you need to fill the role in a hurry. For example, what if your current marketing director resigns suddenly and you have a very important promotion or event coming up? Going through the process of interviews to fill such an important role can take a long time as it’s crucial to get the right person. The great thing about interims is that they are used to working in a different way – they don’t need to take time to settle into a role so instead can grasp what needs to be done quickly and get things moving.

Lastly, when it comes to the end of their time with you, your interim director can be invaluable in helping your hire a more permanent head of marketing to carry their work further. They will be able to comment on a candidate’s experience and qualifications and will know the right questions to ask in interviews in order to measure their suitability for the role. Also, because somebody who specialises in fulfilling interim marketing positions will have no interest in the full-time role themselves, they can be completely impartial and offer you solid, objective advice.

How To Market Your Online Business

The world of e-commerce is moving so fast these days that if you don’t have a strong e-commerce marketing strategy your company not be able to keep up with the many competitors out there. In the days before the internet, it used to be much simpler to market your company, but now there are so many option open to you online it can be confusing. Here are just some of the online marketing strategies you can use to get your e-commerce business noticed and increase your sales:

Email Marketing: Make sure your website includes an email registration form where visitors can sign up for product information or special promotions, for example. Ensure the form asks for relevant information so you can categorise your clients according to their priorities and preferences. Then, when it comes to sending them marketing emails you can employ a targeted approach rather than sending the same emails to everyone on your list.

Blogging: Blogging on your website is a very cheap and easy way to promote your business online, as long as you are providing the reader with relevant and useful information. If you do this, you can become established as an authority on your market sector and, hence, a reliable supplier.

Pay-Per-Click: Pay-per-click advertising services, such as Google AdWords, are rapidly becoming one of the most popular forms of e-commerce marketing. You pay each time somebody clicks on your advert and is directed to your website, so it can be a very quick way to drum up some new business. There are other equally effective marketing methods which are more slow-burning, but if you are in a hurry – say, for example you have a limited product promotion – this could be for you.

Use Social Media: The majority of online companies also now recognise the benefits of using social media such as Facebook or Twitter to draw attention to their activities. The trick when doing this is not to advertise your products too belligerently – social media is about taking part in discussions and forums, and building up an online presence in a more gradual way. You can also use your posts on these forums to build back links.

Use SEO: Search engine optimisation is important for improving your search engine rankings. You need to use the correct keywords in your headers, categories, meta descriptions etc. to boost your online presence and increase traffic to your website. It may even be worth hiring in a specialised SEO consultant to do this job for you because it’s quite a skill but it’s a key part of your online marketing strategy.