Why Your Local Business Web Site is Driving Customers Away

local searchLocal search has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Even after releasing my book “The Definitive Guide To Local Search“, local search continues to evolve and thrive. It’s just not enough to just show up where customers are searching – you need to convert.

A great looking site is just a part of a bigger overall picture. Many times a site’s structure is driven by the business owner, which may not always be the best idea. Small business owners tend to show consumers what they, the owner feels is important.

However, what is important to them may not be what’s important to the consumer. If you are a local contractor I’m not going to care what your office building looks like or who your famous clients are. (more…)

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Joe Balestrino July 24, 2013 0 Comments

Why Paid Search Doesn’t Work For You

no-salePaid search can be a tough beast to tame. Especially, when you are first starting out – as you will spend money just to discover not only what works for you, but also what doesn’t. It can be a stressful and expensive process. What do you do if you have a product or service that no matter what you do, you can’t make a profit on paid search?

Have you gone through all the usual suspects?

  • Added negative terms
  • Day parting
  • Segmentation
  • Testing calls to action
  • Ad testing
  • Landing page testing
  • Tested different search platforms

After all of this you still can’t sell? You know people would love your product/service but no matter what you do you can’t make a sale or a sale that keeps you in the black?

Sure you could do re-marketing but if the user is in the same mind set or situation, like work. They still may not have the time. Or, they may be on another device and therefore won’t see re-marketing ads.

Is your product or service just not one that people will buy at first glance? Some purchases require due diligence and a visitor may not be able to make a decision at that particular moment.

Or,  maybe your landing page has a lengthy video that is 2 minutes or more in length? Users may not have the time to sit through it to understand what you can do for them. This will cause them to abandon your site and maybe search for you when they do have time. However, it may be through paid search again at another computer and that will cost you. Or worse yet, they go to your competitor.

It may be time to change your business model. Instead of trying to close a sale on the first visit, you should start capturing the visitors information.

A short form asking for just an email and name should be easy enough to get from a visitor if they are interested in your product/service. Visitors are use to giving up and email address to access information. Send that PDF or lengthy video to their email. Building trust with the visitor isn’t a bad things. Plus, it gives you a way to reach out to them and test different price points. Maybe, your costs was to high? Heck, maybe it’s too low – at least with email you have a list and you may be able to get them at a fraction of  the cost. Once you have an email you can trying anything you want, except spam of course.

You can still keep the “buy now” call to action for those ready to buy. No need to lose the “easy” sale.

You have to study all the ways a user  interact with your product and the times of days that they do. If you make most of your sales after business hours but most of your traffic comes in during the day emailing users after hours to complete the sale would be the way to go.

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Joe Balestrino July 17, 2013 0 Comments

Why Understanding Trends Is Important For SEO And Paid Search

seo_trends_2013I look at a lot of SEO and PPC campaigns. They could be campaigns set up by a client or an agency. In either case all of them have the same hurtles to over come. That includes being able to sustain or grow the success of the campaign. Its just the nature of marketing nothing stays the same for long.

When I ask the mangers of these campaigns if they noticed any trends the answer is almost always no. I know this is probably something a bit more advanced, but it still should be something all online marketers should be aware of.

Campaigns over time tend to decline and this could be for a number of reasons. Competition causes costs to rise, landing  pages become dated or, maybe the offer is no longer a good one. What ever the case may be you need to identify why your SEO and PPC campaigns are under-performing. You need to be able to identify if the problem is keyword driven or is a part of a bigger issue. It could even be a combination of a few things.  (more…)

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Joe Balestrino July 16, 2013 0 Comments

How To Be A Great Manager That Employees Will Look Up To

Great ManagerWe are all managers and we are all (in most cases) being managed by someone. It could be directly or indirectly. I personally have been a manager for decades – I’ve also been a consultant and a CEO of a small SEO firm, So I know a little about management.

Since re-joining the corporate world after running my own business for 5 years I’ve seen a lot of great and not so great managers. You can tell when you come across a great manager because their employees are happy, respect their manager and are very productive.


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Joe Balestrino July 13, 2013 0 Comments

Three Common Mistakes That Could Kill Your Paid Search Success

MistakesWhenever I look at a paid search new campaign I always come across different styles of PPC set-up. Not all are bad and some actually do surprisingly well.  There are some common things that if over looked could easily hurt your campaigns performance.

1. Too many broad terms…. Broad terms tend to drive down quality score.

If you didn’t already know, broad terms that don’t convert well will drive your quality score down. The other issue with using broad terms especially with broad modifiers is that you need to be on top of your negative terms.  A search terms such as “security guard” using broad modifiers will allow your ad to show for terms such as; security guard jobs, security card, and security weapons etc. Recently, I revamped a campaign that had nothing but broad modifiers and I can’t tell you the amount of irrelevant traffic it brought in.

Broad terms have their place, but if you aren’t careful, you can go through a lot of spend with a lot of irrelevant terms. (more…)

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Joe Balestrino July 8, 2013 0 Comments

Why Should You Care What Comes Up When Someone Google’s You?

71058_384107292467_5034952_nIn many cases Google is a person first impression of you. Who will Google you? Why would some  want to Google you? People will turn to the Google to see what the web has on you. It’s an instant background check for many people. It’s important that positive results show for your name, in fact no results are almost as bad as negative results. This is especially important when it comes to looking for work. Search results for your name is an easy way to impress anyone. It shows your not just a regular Joe.

We all know people have been fired based on what’s been found on the net. It could be a compromising photo on Facebook or a racial joke on  on Twitter. Whatever the subject matter is –  no matter how harmless it may seem reflects negatively on you.


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Joe Balestrino July 2, 2013 0 Comments

10 Tips That Will Help You Evaluate Your Site’s Overall Performance

Websites are constantly evolving. If they didn’t, sites would look exactly like as they did in 1990.  New technologies and designs emerge regularly and as the internet changes so should your site. Users are accustom to these changes and these start to become “industry standards” or “best practices”.

The more in-line with how the majority of sites are designed and function – the more receptive your site will be in the eyes of the visitor. Outside of performance – design and functionality of a site is crucial to a websites success. Once of course you’ve brought visitors there with your optimized content, social and/or media buys.


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Joe Balestrino June 30, 2013 0 Comments

Ten Types Of Blogs Every Online Marketer Should Be Reading

Internet-MarketingWhat makes today’s marketing so exciting is how quickly it evolves. What’s been evident to me as far back as 2008 was how online marketing channels were starting to integrate with each other. It’s not enough today to just be an SEO person or just a paid search expert. I mean you can be, but your knowledge needs to encompass more of an overall approach by gathering  knowledge from other marketing channels. Understanding how each component interacts or helps the other is key to being a successful marketer.

If you’re an SEO – you not only need to know how to optimize pages to rank, but having knowledge of landing page best practices is important,  not only for the success of the organic conversion, but also for the paid search campaigns.

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Joe Balestrino June 27, 2013 0 Comments

Why Your Content Strategy Is Killing Your Brand

no-killing_designIf you read as much as I do, you know that you come across at least a few pieces of content that are just a waste of your time. How many times have your read ” The top ten things of this” or the “5 things you need to know about that” and it’s all stuff you already know.

So why does your content stink? Is it because you don’t know what to write about? Are you paying someone in another country to write content just for the sake of writing content? Or is your agency telling you what other types of content have made it big on social media and encourage you to write something similar? (more…)

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Joe Balestrino June 25, 2013 0 Comments