Archive for July, 2012

What Should SEO Cost?

Posted on: July 24th, 2012 by benegourmet
No Comments

Friends and clients often ask me how much they should pay for SEO.  

Though the conversation always starts here, there are many other questions you must consider.

SEO: Is Your SEO Firm Asking You ?

Here are some of the questions I go through with my clients:

  1. Are you looking to generate a sale or a lead…or are you doing “hope marketing?”
  2. Do you know that SEO is traffic?  If your site is not setup to “convert,” then traffic does not matter.
  3. Do you think of SEO as an expense or investment (ROI)?
  4. How much revenue does 1 average customer generate?
  5. How much profit does 1 average customer generate?
  6. How much are you willing to spend to acquire a customer?
  7. How many customers do you need to acquire to break-even on your SEO investment (example: 1 customer = $500 profit, so if you are spending $2k month on SEO, then you need to acquire 4 new customers per month to break-even on your investment).

If you are looking to generate a lead or a sale you should ask yourself these questions and calculate the value of a customer before you engage an SEO firm.

And if your SEO firm has not asked these questions, RUN! :)

++++++++++

Below are some articles that walk you through the “Cost of SEO” discussion.  

Enjoy!

The Cost of SEO: How Much Should You Pay?

As with most service-based industries, there aren’t any “guidelines” about what SEO should cost. It’s built on market demand, the competitive landscape and what makes sense for the individual business. And as a business, there are obviously different factors at play. A one-person organization based from home with an Internet connection and cell phone has a different cost structure than a large service-based agency. So the factors that go into the guidelines must account for the significant cost differentials.


Watch for the warning signs when shopping for quality SEO.

Add to that the fact that there is no set of agreed-upon “standards” for service and the measurement of performance. This becomes confusing to the potential client on what they are supposed to be buying.  I have seen a lot of sites that have a long list of deliverables without any quantifiable set of measurements.

“I will edit eight pages per month” is not ROI, and is obviously easy to perform. That said, there are many companies claiming to do SEO that simply punch down a list of tasks without any results other than that you paid for the tasks to be done.

If you’re in the research stage of shopping for SEO, this post is meant to give some insight into the cost of SEO, and what you’re buying when you pay for search engine optimization.

For the full article, CLICK HERE

More Reading

Facebook Mobile Ads – Are You Paying Attention?

Posted on: July 24th, 2012 by benegourmet
No Comments

Thought many consider Facebook's IPO to be a bust, Facebook is having growing success with their mobile ad network.

Check out this article from BizReport that discusses the benefits of Facebook mobile advertising.

Facebook mobile ads CTR 13x that of desktop and cheaper

In the first quarterly earnings reports since its public listing two months ago, social network Facebook is expected to post disappointing numbers. However, a new study by AdParlor reveals there could be better news ahead from Facebook's mobile ad offerings.

 

 

by Helen Leggatt

Ahead of the eagerly awaited quarterly earnings report,AdParlor has released findings from their analysis of over 200 million ad impressions across mobile and non-mobile placements on Facebook.

Results show that mobile advertising on the social network is cheaper and performs better than ads served to desktop.

Specifically, AdParlor found that click-through rates on mobile ads were 13x those on desktop ads and 15x higher on mobile ad campaigns than non-mobile ad campaigns.

“We believe that mobile advertising presents a powerful tool for advertisers and a huge revenue growth opportunity for Facebook,” said Hussein Fazal, CEO of AdParlor.

Ahead of the eagerly awaited quarterly earnings report,AdParlor has released findings from their analysis of over 200 million ad impressions across mobile and non-mobile placements on Facebook.

Results show that mobile advertising on the social network is cheaper and performs better than ads served to desktop.

Specifically, AdParlor found that click-through rates on mobile ads were 13x those on desktop ads and 15x higher on mobile ad campaigns than non-mobile ad campaigns.

“We believe that mobile advertising presents a powerful tool for advertisers and a huge revenue growth opportunity for Facebook,” said Hussein Fazal, CEO of AdParlor.

Other findings from the report include:

– Average CTR for mobile ads is 1.32% compared with 0.086% for non-mobile ads.

– Cost-per-click for mobile ads is approximately 30% cheaper than non-mobile ads – $0.42 compared with $0.60).

– For every 1,000 Fans AdParlor drove from mobile to a brand's page, that page received an average of 10.5 comments vs. 8.5 comments from Fans referred from a non-mobile ad.

– Android outperformed iPhone and Blackberry with a CTR of 1.23% compared to 0.76% apiece for the other two – a 62% increase.

More at Facebook mobile ads CTR 13x that of desktop and cheaper

More Reading

 

Does Facebook Own Your A$$?

Posted on: July 15th, 2012 by benegourmet
No Comments

Interesting article by Douglas Karr.  

Yes, Facebook is a huuuge advertising platform.  Got it!

But more than that, Facebook is a place where relationships are made; that cannot be discounted.

Enjoy the article!

++++++++++

You Are the Product of Facebook

Joel Helbling stopped by the office on Friday for a great lunch where we chatted on a number of topics. Joel quoted someone who said that, as a social media company, you have to decide what your product is… the people or the platform. Many people (myself included) look at the valuations of a platform like Facebook and think it’s the biggest bubble in history.

I still do… but it’s important to recognize that the value of Facebook doesn’t come from the software, it comes from having so many users. You are Facebook’s product, not the application. Facebook has developed your behavior, captured your data, and are now optimizing it to sell advertising. It’s not about the software, it’s about you. It’s not about selling services or products, it’s about selling you. 

There’s a problem inherent in that business plan, though, and that’s that people aren’t something that you can control. People are fickle. People are independent in someways and followers in other ways. As quickly as Facebook grew to 800 million users, they could easily leave Facebook for the next platform.

More at You Are the Product of Facebook | Social Media Today

More Reading

 

Old School Sales – Yeah Baby!

Posted on: July 12th, 2012 by benegourmet
No Comments

 

 

Marketing Sherpa is one of my “go to” resources for online lead gen/demand gen info.

This discusses the 20 year old lead and sales strategies still be used by many companies today.

If you are “old school,” it's time to wake up!

++++++++++

Lead Generation Strategy: 5 signs you’re selling like it’s 1992

By Brian Caroll

Back in 1992, if you wanted to find information about a company or its products, you had two choices:

  1. Spend hours at the library poring over periodicals, annual and industry reports, and magazine and newspaper clippings. (Do you remember microfiche?)
  2. Meet with a salesperson.

Life was simpler then: You could reach quota by sending some direct mail, making a few phone calls, and scheduling a few meetings. After all, the customer had very few alternatives to inform themselves. You could succeed without a solid strategy; all that really mattered was the size of your Rolodex. Lead generation as we know it today didn’t exist. Frankly, it really didn’t have to.

Those days are long gone, yet too many organizations are still selling like it’s 1992.

How do I know?

All it takes is a quick review of MarketingSherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report (free excerpt at that link). Of the 1,745 B2B organizations that participated, 61%  still have that big-Rolodex mindset – they send any lead that responds to a marketing campaign directly to sales. Furthermore, check out the chart at the right: The vast majority has not applied strategy to any aspect of lead generation.

These statistics are just a reflection of the day-to-day behaviors and attitudes that keep sales and marketing organizations stuck in a time warp. Here are five of them:

 

1.  Sales is the chief cook and bottlewasher

At some companies, reps are expected to find opportunities, qualify and close them, and even provide customer service support long after the deal is done!

When Sales was the sole source of information, it was far easier to be a lone ranger. Today, when customers can do a competitive analysis on their own with a few clicks of a mouse, making Sales do it all is a surefire way to set them up for burnout at best and failure at worst.

Furthermore, it’s almost impossible to measure and optimize lead generation when each salesperson executes his own process.

Strategic companies focus on ensuring sales representatives maximize their effective selling time doing what they do best – sell – while the following also occurs:

  • Marketing generates and scores leads
  • A teleprospecting team provides the human touch to determine if leads:

    • Are sales-ready
    • Are transactional sales and should be handled by an inside sales rep
    • Are a complex sale and should be handled by outside sales (and only then do the sales reps get involved)
  • Customer service provides post-sale support

This makes the best use of increasingly limited time and resources, and makes it easier to analyze results and optimize the lead generation process.

 

 2.  Sales spends at least an hour a day cold calling

There has never been more ways to gather leads. However, that also means Sales could spend far too much time pursuing leads that are not ready to buy yet.  Highly compensated sales professionals should spend 100% of their time closing sales-ready leads – those who are ready to buy right now. In contacting even supposedly “qualified” leads for hundreds of leading B2B organizations over the years, I have found that only 5 to 40% are ready to buy right now.

If you don’t know what defines a sales-ready lead, look at this article: “Universal Lead Definition: Why 61% of B2B marketers are wasting resources and how they can stop.” Then, make defining it your highest priority. There’s no lead generation strategy without it.

 

3.  No one takes responsibility for customer data

The customer relationship management (CRM) database is filled with duplicates, outdated information and inaccuracies.

Again, the days of the individual Rolodex are long over; don’t allow your CRM to turn into just an overpriced version of it! Information must be unified, accurate, easy-to-access and shareable. This will enable you to execute the lead nurturing campaigns that generate leads, and analyze past sales performance to better take advantage of future sales opportunities.

Consider step 3 in this article: “B2B Sales Cycle: 4 steps to avoid the wasteful ‘no decision.’

 

4.  Marketing and Sales snipe at each other

Sales complains that Marketing doesn’t know how to generate leads; Marketing complains that Sales is nothing but a bunch of prima donnas. They don’t understand how they can benefit each other. Collaboration and alignment are nonexistent. When this happens, Sales often appoints themselves chief cook and bottlewasher.

In today’s economic environment, every resource must work together toward a common goal: providing service both inside and outside the company that increases revenue. Marketing and Sales must view and serve each other as customers.

Twenty years ago, it was easier to work in silos. Marketing could focus on creating and controlling corporate image. Today, thanks to social media, customers decide what the brand is. If what your company is doing doesn’t align with what it’s saying, you’ll decimate credibility and market share.  Marketing and Sales must collaborate to ensure they’re both in touch with marketplace reality, and are projecting a consistent, credible image.

Check out this article for real-world direction on how to break down silos:  “How ECI Telecom Discovered the Surefire Sign that Sales and Marketing Are Aligned.”

 

5.  Sales ignores Marketing materials and makes their own

A sales professional can easily spend hours on marketing activities, like developing or reworking PowerPoint presentations, and writing or rewriting email templates and sales letters.

Multiply this across an entire sales organization and the time and money add up at light speed. Sales may be unaware of the material already available, or they simply may not like what Marketing produces.

Either way, this is a surefire sign that Sales and Marketing aren’t collaborating to optimize lead generation efforts. Again, if what Marketing and Sales is doing and saying is inconsistent, the marketplace is going to immediately notice that and respond negatively.

Multiply this across an entire sales organization and the time and money add up at light speed. Sales may be unaware of the material already available, or they simply may not like what Marketing produces….

More at Lead Generation Strategy: 5 signs you're selling like it's 1992

More Reading