All posts by : Brett Morris

Lexington Kentucky ad agency advice for growing facebook following

Grow Your Facebook Following With Paid Ads

Let’s say you’ve already got your Facebook Business page set up. Already posting regularly, you’ve got some likes and shares. You’ve got a good idea of your niche and what kind of person likes your content. Sweet! But, your tech-savvy self knows that Facebook’s algorithms needs some sort of relationship to show your content to people. There’s a ton of people out there who will probably love your content, but you’ll have a pretty tough time reaching them organically. That’s where Facebook Paid Ads come into play.

Let’s start with the basics.


What is a Facebook paid ad?

According to Facebook, “With Facebook Ads, you can create targeted ads to reach different audiences and meet your business goals.”

Facebook Paid Ads are a straightforward and cost-efficient strategy to reach a specified demographic. You can create and promote custom ads and content, then send it out to reach an audience of your choosing. Additionally, you can collect data from the ads that will help you increase their efficiency so that the next round reaches even more people.


How to build an effective Facebook Paid Ad

When you’re building your ad, there are a few important factors to consider:

Your audience

When optimizing your ad, you must decide which demographics you want to target. It’s important to know what type of targeting will work for your business. A broad and general category may work for some businesses, but others will need a far more narrow and specific targeting approach. Most businesses will benefit from a narrowly targeted ad. For instance, if you’re selling t-shirts with video game inspired designs, you may want to target men and women between the ages of 16 and 40 who are also interested in video games and entertainment. Facebook can use those interests to extrapolate on your targeting, and help you optimize your audience. If you’ve chosen your audience well, you’ll reach people who will want to engage with your ad and follow your page to know more.

Your compelling message

Your Facebook Ad has limited space, so make sure you’re communicating your message clearly and directly. Are you offering a deal? Hosting an event? Showcasing new products? Make your message relevant to your audience. Make it obviously useful. Would you rather eat a mystery dessert hidden behind a box, or eat a slice of chocolate cake? Innumerable ads go un-clicked because the message is vague, trying to use slogans and wordplay to try to inspire curiosity toward a mystery instead of clearly communicating the offer.

Don’t forget to give it a call to action! Offering a button that says ‘Learn more’ or ‘Shop now’ lets them know that there’s more to your offer than is shown on the ad. It lets them indulge in curiosity, or follow through with the urge to buy your product.

Remember to add an image or video! Ads with visual elements are far more likely to attract attention and engagement than plain text.

Switch it up

Facebook Paid ads comparison example

Why make one ad when you can make two?

Creating more than one ad gives you multiple sets of analytics so you can determine which ads work and which ones don’t. You can test different text content, different images, different focus areas. Maybe close-up shots of the product will work better than action shots, or vice-versa.

Even if your ads are working well, it’s still important to switch them up every so often so the message doesn’t feel stale.

In this example, S&H Farm Supply Inc. created two different ads, both promoting their Kioti tractors. One ad focused on giving a general impression of high quality for low prices, while the other ad gave specific details about payments.

While both ads got similar engagement rates, the one with specific prices received more shares. When it comes to ads, clicks and shares are far more valuable than likes. It’s not a popularity contest, after all. You want folks taking action.

 


You’re all set to get started! Facebook Ads are a great way to get your products and services in front of potential customers. Facebook has some great resources to help you get started. Even a low ad budget each month can help you attract new customers and find new business.

Although Facebook advertising is extremely important, creating and running ad campaigns can be a time consuming project. Consider using our local ad agency’s Digital Advertising services. Our team of experienced ad managers is based out of Lexington, KY and can help build a targeted ad campaign with messaging to really pique your audience’s interest. With our reporting, you’ll be able to clearly see the ROI and what you’re getting for you $$.

 

Like these tips? Read some of our other free resources for local businesses!

Website Design Lexington

Breaking The Curse Of Ugly Website Design

Looking at local small businesses around Lexington and Central Kentucky, they’ve all made a wide variety of website design choices. Some of them were beautifully and skillfully crafted, and… some of them were not. But hey, there’s still hope!

In today’s digital age, having accessible online information is crucial for success. Just having a website isn’t enough, though. What matters is what’s on your website. How it looks, how easy it is to use, and how well it meets user expectations.

What Not To Do

Let’s take a look at what not to do when creating an appealing website, and I’ll show you what you should do instead along the way.

You’ve read this far for one of three reasons:

  • You want to learn how to optimize your website for the best consumer engagement and interaction
  • You’re worried that your website is ugly and came here for peace of mind that it isn’t
  • You had nothing better to do and the catchy title of this article gave you a few molecules of serotonin.

No matter the reason, you’re here for a solution, so let’s dive right in. Before we discuss any more, take a look at this website: http://thebiguglywebsite.com/. (Don’t worry, it’s safe for work!)

Are your eyes bleeding yet?

We know your website can’t possibly look this bad, and we also know that this website is TRYING to look bad. Now, what are the chances you scrolled down to see what was listed on this site? If they had a link that gave out a million dollars at the bottom, chances are that you wouldn’t have walked away with a penny.

Consumers don’t want to engage with unattractive content. Think of your own website content for a moment. If somebody looked at it and felt the same way you just felt, do you think they would stay and interact with it? Probably not.

Start by thinking of all the things you’ve hated on websites you’ve visited in the past. Chances are, one or more of these was on your list. If they weren’t, they will be now.


1. Ugly domain

Do you find it easier to go back to a website with a simple domain like website.com (an example), or do you prefer to type in totallyradwebsite123.com/data0=184/net%/main%home%page

Lexington website design ugly url

Or would you rather just type totallyradwebsite.com?

Google Searches

You may be saying, “But hey, I just Google the name and click on the link!” Sure that might work for you, but would you be happy having to find your favorite and most visited websites by Googling them every single day? You’re better off having a website that people can remember if they choose to. A URL that people can type directly into their browser.

A consumer’s first impression of a website is largely design-related, which includes a neat and tidy domain. An easily-remembered domain name also means they can pass on your website through word of mouth – typing it to their friends, or saying it aloud for them to write down.

2. Long loading times

Lexington web design slow loading time

The loading wheel of death!

Consumers hate waiting. This is the digital age of instant information. It takes consumers only a split second to form an opinion about your website. That tiny amount of time shouldn’t be spent on a blank loading screen! Even worse than that, if there is a long loading time every time a consumer tries to interact with your website or navigate the different pages, they are going to get increasingly annoyed.

Here is the worst case scenario:

You have a consumer in Lexington who is ready to buy from your online shop, they start gathering up products into their cart, but your website design was so slow they get fed up with waiting and instead buy from your competitor. Want to avoid the tragedy?

Keep it fast!

3. Complicated or overwhelming interface

Does your website have too many buttons on it? Are people being bombarded with information? People are being trained to ignore huge amounts of website content due to websites crawling with ads. Keep it simple and focus on important topics or focal points that they can engage with. With plenty of consumers abandoning a site due to poor design, you can’t afford to hide your crucial information in text-garbage. Don’t lose consumers because they can’t find where you hid the crucial information on your jumbled page.

4. Automatic music or videos

Many people listen to music while they work or surf in their free time. If you’ve ever noticed a little speaker icon on the right side of your internet tabs, it means that sound is coming from that page. Many people’s first instinct is to kill that tab because it’s forcing disruptive sound onto their experience! Autoplaying audio or visual content can cause valuable consumers to leave your site.

If you have videos on your main page, great! Just make sure you let people click the play button on their own. At the very least, it will give consumers a chance to silence their other music and video sources before they listen.

Ale-8-One Website

5. Website doesn’t scale

Do you always look at a website on your computer, or do you sometimes use your phone or tablet? Don’t you hate it when you’re interacting with website content on your phone and you have to scroll all the way to the right to read the full line and then scroll all the way back for the next line?

It’s terrible!

Make sure your website bends and twists to fit every screen—this is called responsive web design, and it’s very important. If people don’t realize your website actually operates differently on their smaller screen, you’ve done something right.

6. Irrelevant Content

Website content needs to be geared toward making the consumer want to interact and engage with it. The topics, therefore, have to stay on-topic to what your website is generally about! This is both good for web design, and for general SEO purposes as well.

If you run a law firm out of Lexington, then your website design should focus on law-related topics, and Lexington-centric law topics if you have them! One mistake many new website creators make is posting anything that comes to mind, which makes the site more confusing for new visitors. If you want to talk about personal topics, or opinions about local news, have a different site for that.

 


Your website content is one of your most important marketing tools. Whether or not people engage can mean the difference between one dollar and one million dollars in revenue. Whether you live in Lexington, Lancaster, or a little lake town, it’s worth it to take the time to make your website design beautiful.

If you liked this article, check out our other articles on business tips for website design, marketing, advertising, and social media. You can also reach out to us here or on Facebook for questions or project ideas.

5 easy tips to climb search rankings

5 Easy Ways to Increase Your Search Ranking

Let’s dive into these easy ways that businesses can increase search ranking.

We aren’t saying that you’ll appear at the top of the search results in a couple days, but we do guarantee that using these tips will help a business climb search rankings on all major search engines over time. Persistence and patience are key factors in search engine optimization, and while it won’t happen overnight, keeping these best practices top of mind will help your content rank.


Tip 1: keyword planning

It all starts with keyword planning

Businesses with great content on their websites tend to appear at the top of the search results, and great content has a focus on keywords. Before a webpage is created, your business must first determine what word or words you want to rank for. Keyword planning is not simple, especially for businesses that don’t understand how to plan. Your business cannot simply pick a word, type it a bunch of times and cross your fingers to appear at the top of Google search rankings. Search engines are not fooled by this. Keyword density is important, but it’s not the only thing that the search algorithms consider when ranking pages in search results, especially with new progress with Google’s RankBrain. There are many factors that affect local search, and it’s important to dominate the ones you have control of.

Make target keywords niche, targeted and relevant

When keyword planning, be sure to use niche words, and target keywords that are relevant enough to get your business appearing in front of the right people online. If your local company wants to appear to the right local audience, you must be specific to your community. A local windshield repair company is going to have a hard time appearing for the keyword “windshield.” It’s not impossible, but it’s difficult for local companies to appear in the top few results for broad focused keywords. There is a much better chance to appear at the top of the search results if the keywords are narrowed down.

Keyword planning example

For example, a windshield company in Buffalo, New York wants to appear in front of local customers who may have a crack or chip in their window. They’d be much more successful aiming to rank for “rock chip repair in Buffalo” rather than the word “windshield.”

keyphrase search rankings increase


Tip 2: strengthen meta descriptions

Meta descriptions should contain your keywords

A meta description is a small description of what your webpage contains, it’s basically a summary of your business’s webpage in ~160 characters. These too must have a focus on keywords, and for smaller businesses such as local windshield repair companies, it’s important to have the right keywords in the meta description.

Meta description example

keyword increase search rankings

To keep this example consistent, “rock chip repair in Buffalo” was set as the Google search terms to see which businesses appear in the search results. It’s always a good idea to look at the business that appears first, see how they are doing it, and try to better their meta description.

In this case, this local windshield repair company that clearly knows what they are doing! As you look above, you can see that the meta description contains most of the words that we searched for. This is a fantastic way to target the specific search query of “rock chip repair in Buffalo” and to get frantic drivers with broken windshields through a business’s front door.

Help guide customers from page to page

Proper meta descriptions not only help in search result rankings, but they also give your prospective customers a summary of exactly what they may be looking for. Customers want it easy, they don’t want to spend a long time browsing for repair shops—they want to find answers easily and the solutions fast.


Tip 3: be unique

Search engine bots search for unique content

Another easy way to increase your search rank is to make something new, that no one’s seen before! It’s tough for your business to be unique from the fifty other local companies that compete in your company’s industry. However, the content on your business’s website should aim to be unique and somewhat different from the rest in order to stand out in the search rankings. The reason being  that Google and other search engines search for original content when their bots are crawling sites. This means every site in a specific industry that has similar webpage copy will likely blend in, and the bots won’t declare those pages as original or unique. Don’t expect a local business page to appear high on the search rankings if it sounds exactly like every other local business page!


Tip 4: stay active everywhere online

The more online activity, the better

You business has to stay active online if you want to climb search rankings, make a name for yourself on places other than your company website. Your business can improve your local search by using data aggregators, or you can manually create listings on tons of directory sites.

Online mentions increase search engine influence

One thing many smaller businesses fail to understand is that business pages on reputable websites are so important! Social platforms like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn are an easy way for your business to index your name. They will help spread your brand across various sources on the web. Likewise, review sites are hugely important! The more your business is mentioned online, the greater the influence you will have on search rankings.


Tip 5: blog

Blogs help keep web content fresh

Blogs are not only fun to write, but also a way to continuously produce new website content. Google’s algorithm specifically calls for continuous web content. If your business wants to appear high on the search rankings, it needs to produce content. Google is pushing web developers and content writers to keep websites from getting irrelevant or outdated, making content marketing a healthy company strategy.

Blog with a strategy in mind

Your business should establish a blog plan, no matter the industry. If that same windshield repair company in Buffalo New York wanted to blog, maybe they’d write about the “Top 10 windshield crack horror stories.” Or, they might write “How a rock chip ruined this man’s day.” These types of articles are relevant to their industry, and are loaded with keywords about their business. Tools such as WordPressMedium and Ghost are all super useful in order to easily get started with blog publishing.

A blog presents a huge opportunity

It could be a funny blog, education on a topic, or serious industry stories. As long as the content that is being produced has a focus on their respective business industry. That’s just one example, but there are tons of opportunities for businesses in any specific industry. Don’t believe us that blogging is important? Here’s 58 reasons why businesses should run a blog. As long as your content is interesting, you’re golden.


Conclusion: content is key

Whether it’s keyword planning or great meta descriptions, it all involves the production of content. Remember to include writing original content and blogging as well!  Content is key when you want to increase your search ranking. Implement these strategies and monitor your rankings. There are a variety of SEO tools, both free and paid that your business can use to do so. While your rankings won’t shoot up overnight, your business has a huge opportunity to increase your search engine rankings.

When you want to increase your search rankings, focus on educating, entertaining, or offering a helpful resource.

 

 

Like these tips? Read some of our other free resources for local businesses!

Social Media copyright

Copyright Online and Fair Use in Social Media

With the online world being dominated by images, what do you need to know as a business owner when it comes to social media copyright laws?

Sharing Images on Social

Visuals are huge in the social media world, particularly for businesses. Here’s a quick run-down.

  1. On average, content with relevant images has 94% more total views than content without (Jeff Bullas)
  2. Compared to other types of content, visual content is 40x more likely to be shared on social media (Ethos3)
  3. Facebook posts with images can receive 2.3x more engagement than text posts (BuzzSumo)

A couple things can be seen here. First, using images in your social media communications is critical to its success. Second, social media is the driving force behind the huge amount of photos being shared online every second. The world is on track to share over 2.5 trillion photos online by the end of this year!

Social Media Copyright Risks

Because online culture evolves so quickly, the laws of the land are constantly shifting to the most recent trends in online activity.

This is especially true regarding copyright online and fair use on social media. Both of these have yet to become clearly defined for the digital age. Fortunately, even online, by sticking to the basic foundations of copyright law you will be protected in most cases

💡 This post focuses on copyright laws as they pertain to Canada and the United States.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is: “the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work).” Its purpose is to strike a balance between protecting the author of a work, and serving the public interest.

It offers the owner exclusive rights over their work. Copyright owners can:

  • Reproduce the copyrighted work
  • Create derivative works based on the copyrighted work
  • Distribute copies of the copyrighted work to the public by sale, transfer of ownership, rental, lease, or lending
  • Perform and/or display the copyrighted work publicly (copyright.gov)

Copyright is determined on a case-by-case basis, which makes it difficult to identify any clear-cut examples of infringement that could be applied to other cases seen in social media.

Creative Commons and Free Use

On the other end of the spectrum, “creative commons” work is always free to use. This dedication means that an author has dedicated their original work to the public domain, waiving all rights to their work worldwide under copyright law.

This work is free to “copy, modify, distribute and perform, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission” (Creative Commons). Sites like Pixabay or Flickr find photos that are released under Creative Commons! These photos require no attribution (credit to the author/source) and they are free to use. Large networks of people volunteer their photos to be put into sources like that, for the benefit of everyone.

Internet Memes and Copyright Online

There are so many kinds of memes that may or may not infringe copyright online. Lumping them all into one category and stamping them with “approved” or “rejected” ink just doesn’t work. If you are curious about the memes you’re sharing, and how they fall under copyright law, here is a quick guide.

Types of Memes

Memes can range from the popular “image macros,” to silly sentences repeated across the web. Obviously, catch phrases, hashtags and other word-based memes have no real copyright risk. It’s the visual and image macro memes that may pose a problem. Specifically, image macros that depict copyrighted characters and productions.

Pop Culture Memes

Let’s say, for simplicity’s sake, that most memes are fair use. I mean, no one is going to come after you for throwing a “damn, Daniel!” into one of your Facebook posts. The memes that may pose an issue are those that pull images from pop culture, like Futurama Fry or Boromir’s “one does not simply” meme. These character stills are pulled from pop culture media and turned into memes, yet the characters depicted are owned by a specific brand or company.

 

Could using a pop culture meme that depicts a copyrighted work or character result in a lawsuit? Yes.

copyright infringement meme

Is it likely to? No.

But when it comes to commercial use of memes, it’s good to err on the side of caution, and avoid posting pop culture memes that clearly depict copyrighted works.

 

Memes in Social Advertising

Using memes for social advertising is the surest way to cause problems with copyright when it comes to sharing memes. Posting a meme is relatively harmless, but using it in advertising is a whole different story.

Advertising is not protected by fair use, and so any direct promotion of your company/brand with the use of memes, or using memes for profit, can get you legal heat.

If you’re thinking “that’s silly, who would punish me for selling a t-shirt with a picture of a particularly grumpy cat?” I understand where you’re coming from, but Grumpy Cat has a company that’s ready to protect its property (which is, weirdly enough, a mean looking cat).

General Rule for Copyright Online

Just keep in mind that the rules of fair use and copyright online are often left up to interpretation. Still, assume that all images and videos found online are protected by copyright. Always check if the image is explicitly labeled as being free to use by the owner. Ultimately, it’s up to the author of the work to enforce copyright law if they find that their work is being used without permission.

The next time you decide to use any content that isn’t yours, ask yourself:

  1. Do I have permission to use this image (or is it free to use)?
  2. If not, does my usage fall under “fair use”?
  3. Is using this content worth the potential legal consequences?

Inevitably, copyright laws and content sharing practices will change with the evolution of social media trends.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it may cost you a lot more if used without permission.

7 Tactics for Social Media Marketing

A strong social media marketing plan is one of the best ways to be heard, and businesses are no exception to this rule. Forget the doorstep; there’s a whole world of potential customers and fans at your fingertips who are actively looking for brands that they can identify and engage with on a personal level.

However, social media skills have to be learned, and many businesses struggle to find an audience and connect with them online. If yours is one of them, what can you do to make the best use of social media and all its benefits? How can you create content that gets people to stop scrolling and start reading, liking and sharing?

These 7 social media strategies for marketing will help your business build a presence and a following in the most crowded rooms online by creating content that entertains, educates, inspires and engages.


1. Make a plan

Before you rethink your entire social strategy, ask the tough questions. What are your goals as a business, and how will a strong social media presence help you to achieve them? What actions are you going to take to build presence, and how will you measure your success? Establish achievable and quantifiable objectives that are informed by your marketing and business goals, and put a time-frame on how long they should take to achieve. Find the right KPIs and tools to evaluate your progress, and don’t be afraid to change your tactics if something isn’t working.

And remember: don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! If you’ve done something in the past that worked well, think about how and why it worked, and let it inform your strategy as you go forward. Similarly, look to past failures and learn from them: how have your past social efforts missed the mark, and how can you avoid these mistakes going forward?

With a roadmap to social success in place, your business can begin to make guided changes to its social strategy that work toward definite goals.


2. Know your audience

There are so many eyes and ears out there on the web, but do you know who is going to listen to your brand’s voice? Identifying and empathizing with your demographic and how they spend their time online makes a huge difference in making your voice heard. Picture your ideal customer. What interests them? Their passions? What do they read, watch, and talk about with their friends? Consider their goals, and how can the things you do help to achieve them?

The better an understanding you have of your ideal customer, the easier it will be to find people like them online and speak to them with your content while marketing a business.

Listen to your audience and their conversations online about your industry in general and your brand in particular. Find the keywords and phrases in these conversations, learn how they’re used, and put them into practice in your own content. These keywords, which can include anything from industry jargon to misspellings of your company’s name, make up the language that your customers speak – to walk the walk, your business needs to talk the talk.

Finally, knowing the social media influencers your audience follows and engaging with the things that interest them can put you straight into your audience’s line of sight. Learn from what influencers do to engage your audience, and put it into practice in your own social media strategy.


3. Tell your story

Just like every person, every business has a story; no two are alike. Use your social media channels to build a narrative around your business that shows how it got to where it is today. Invite your audience to think about where they enter into that narrative: how are your followers involved and invested in your success? How can the things your business does change a person’s day, or change the way they live their lives?

One way to nail a narrative is to find your niche and own it. If your service or product fits into a certain lifestyle, build a story around it, and highlight your place in it. You know the unique value of your business – tell the world about it, and appeal to an audience that will benefit from it.


4. Get conversational

Social media is a two-way street, and driving engagement with your brand means taking hold of the reins and engaging with your audience. Make your business part of the conversation online by asking and answering questions, making friends, and following back. Things don’t always have to be about sales: sharing holiday greetings, discussing local events, and starting a dialogue about current news stories are all ways a business can drive engagement from their audience and learn more about their demographic.

Most importantly, share with your audience and encourage them to share with you!

Ask your audience about what they want to see, take the feedback and deliver on it. If you see someone doing something cool with your product or sharing a success story, give a shout out! When your audience is engaged with your brand, you become a part of their network. Everyone in your network gets to see how your business fits into the lives of people just like them. This widens your audience and compounds your chances of generating engagement.


5. Go live!

Facebook Live has quickly become a powerhouse marketing tool for the biggest brands. Your followers are notified the moment you go live. They can join at any time to watch you broadcast the things that matter to the both of you.

Is your company reaching a milestone, or releasing a brand new product? Has your warehouse just received a long-awaited and much anticipated shipment? Go live, and share the moment with your fans! Hold a live Q&A session, give fans a sneak peek at exciting things in the works. You can also simply broadcast a day in the life of an employee.

When your fans see the real people behind your products or services, it lays the foundation for a fanbase that is engaged, loyal, and eager to see more!


6. Call to action

Make your statements short and sweet, and provide a way for your audience to follow up and learn more. Succinctness is a virtue and brevity is the soul of wit, especially in the fast-paced world of social media.

Many social media platforms have embraced this philosophy to the point of integrating it into the very nature of user interaction. Twitter’s 140-character limit is an obvious example. Snapchat’s ephemeral photos and videos and Instagram’s bite-sized Boomerang and Stories features are more recent examples.

These limitations allow you to create captivating copy and striking visuals that inspire interest and are digested at a glance. Once you have their attention, encourage users to follow up! Invite them to engage by clicking a link, signing up for a newsletter, or looking through a product line. Always let them get more of the content that hooked them!


7. Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

Finally, always be improving. Don’t focus on a single successful formula and stick to it. Variety is the spice of life. Keep an eye out for new trends, new conversations, and new mediums to get your message out there.

But, remember to be scientific about it. Keep your eyes on the KPIs. Put your strategies to the test by comparing their results and learn from your failures as well as your successes.  Keep evolving along with your audience and your social media networks as they grow.


To wrap things up

The world of social media is constantly evolving.

So, you should take stock of how far you’ve come. Set clear and measurable objectives that correspond to your business goals.

You should get to know your audience, tell them your story, and listen to what they have to say.

Go live, give your followers a taste of what you have to offer. Provide the means for them to learn more about what you can do for them. Always pay attention to what works, learn from what doesn’t, and test out new ideas to keep improving your reach.

Most importantly, remember the point of social media: to connect people! Use your social media channels as a platform to connect to and grow your audience. Don’t just use it as a megaphone to talk AT them.

Now go get out there and give the people something to talk about!


 

If you liked this article, check out our other articles on business tips for marketing, advertising, and social media. You can also reach out to us here or on Facebook for questions or project ideas.

An Introduction to Digital Advertising Metrics

Choosing the right digital advertising metrics to track and measure is crucial to your campaign’s success. If you aren’t tracking advertising efforts correctly, you’ll never know what’s working and what channels to focus your advertising dollars on.

Determining your core ROI goals means you’ll be able to measure data that tells the story of how your target audience interacted with your ads.

Here are a few of the key metrics to track that will help you measure success and determine ROI:

—-

CPA – Cost Per Acquisition

How much does it cost you to acquire a new lead on any given channel?

Knowing the cost to acquire a client for your business is the basis of your marketing budget, so it’s crucial data to add to your ROI analysis. Combined with other ad data, this will determine whether your business will make a profit.

Ideally, you’ll want to get a sense for which mix of ad channels (Search, Facebook, Display) work best for your business. Then you’ll be able to better optimize your ad budget going forward.

Here’s the formula for CPA:

CPA is a simple but valuable formula. Knowing how much it costs to acquire a new lead is key to understanding your ad ROI.

However, we still don’t know the actual value of your client’s customers. The next thing we’ll discuss is LTV, which is essential for further ROI analysis.

—-

LTV – Lifetime Value

Do you know the lifetime value of your customers? You should!

Why? Because this will give you a number that represents an approximation of the revenue a new customer brings in, with all associated costs factored in.

If you know your LTV, you’ll be able to compare it directly to the cost of acquiring a new client through your digital ad campaign.

Here’s the formula you can use to determine your LTV.

—-

CR – Campaign Revenue

Now that we understand how to calculate and analyze the lifetime value of your customers, we’ll be able to track the revenue generated by your digital advertising campaign. As you can see below, you just need to multiply your campaign’s conversions by LTV and closing ratio (50% would be .5).

Why include closing ratio? Obviously, every new lead you generate isn’t going to become a customer, so you’ll need to factor in how often you are able to close new leads to estimate campaign revenue correctly.

—-

ROAS – Return on Advertising Spend

ROAS is an illuminating metric to use for ad campaigns, and a lot of marketers use it interchangeably with ROI itself. However, there are significant differences between the two. What is the difference between ROI and ROAS?

Tim Mayer, CMO of Trueffect explains:

“ROI measures the profit generated by ads relative to the cost of those ads. It’s a business-centric metric that is most effective at measuring how ads contribute to an organization’s bottom line. In contrast, ROAS measures gross revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. It is an advertiser-centric metric that gauges the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns.”

So advertising ROAS is much more focused on the results from specific campaigns, while ROI incorporates the bigger picture relative to the business. This means that it’s much easier for you to be tracking and analyzing advertising efforts with ROAS! You know the cost and you can calculate the revenue.

Setting your own benchmarks and campaign goals based on past performance is the best way to proceed with your advertising efforts.

Want to skip all this confusing jargon and let the experts handle your digital advertising? Contact us today!

You can also read more articles on our resources page.

How to Reach Your Audience With Digital Advertising.

The opportunities to reach your audience is more numerous than ever. Digital advertising comes in many different varieties, including display advertising (those web banners next to your favorite Youtube videos), sponsored ads (such as those on Google and Facebook), and of course, search ads—just to name a few!

So where do you start?

While there are so many online options to choose from, reaching your intended audience will still require a little bit of work. Luckily, using digital advertising to get your message across is easier than you think.


Pick the right Platform

In 2008, only 24 percent of the United States had a social media account. Today that number has skyrocketed to 81%. While traditional mediums such as television and newspapers still have their place, most companies are turning towards digital advertising for the majority of their needs—and who could blame them?

As of 2016, tech titans Google and Facebook together control over nearly 76% of total internet revenue growth. Furthermore, in the third quarter of the same year, Google and Facebook together controlled 99% of advertising growth, with this number projected to be on the rise). So why would you settle for anything but the best? Pick the right digital platforms and go where you’ll be seen.

Know your Audience

Knowing your target demographic is undoubtedly one of the most beneficial tools in your advertising toolbox. Why? First off, not only does it give you a leg up for reaching the most likely people to buy your product or service, but it also helps to pick the appropriate platform and technology to deliver your message. But be warned. Once you have their attention, there’s still plenty of work to do!

To push all the right buttons, advertisers need to know exactly what to say. Great content moves people—and in turn, products. It keeps audiences engaged, entertained and coming back for more!

Be Original

Did you know? The average clickthrough rate of display ads across all formats is a measly 0.06%. From the moment that first browser opens in the morning until that last cat video before bed, internet users are bombarded with dozens of digital advertisements. By the time they get to work they’ve seen so many digital ads that they’ll likely only remember one or two, if that.That’s why it is vital to have the most creative content on the web to achieve that long sought after CLICK.

When YouTube celebrities Rhett and Link rattled funny bones as the ‘Commercial Kings’ in the late 2000’s, they were an instant hit. Their witty (and often outrageous) videos generated millions of views for small businesses. How did they do it? By parodying cheesy retro-style TV ads. And while you don’t have to break out into 90’s jingles and fake mustaches, you can win over big crowds by being entertaining, and authentically you. So go against the grain and dare to be different!

Get Interactive

As the internet continues to advance, media is consumed differently. More and more people are getting their entertainment and news from streaming options such as Netflix, Roku, Hulu and YouTube. So what does this mean for digital advertising? Interaction! Interactive ads get a higher clickthrough rate of around 6 percent, whereas most digital ads remain at a fraction of one percent.

Good advertisements tell a story that engages the audience. If you’re a restaurant owner, enticing future customers with a snappy ad no longer cuts the mustard. But when you intrigue potential buyers with an eye catching video, a hilarious one-liner or a captivating call to action, you give them autonomy. Don’t tell customers what to think, but instead show them why buying your product is the best decision.

Keep it short and sweet

Don’t say too much! Short messages that pack a wallop and avoid cliches go a long way in the digital advertising world. Hook readers in with a memorable joke, a one liner, or a quick play on words. If you have a lot to say, break it into smaller pieces.

Did you know novels with shorter chapters tend to have people read more of the book? Since each chapter break allows the person to pause and digest what they’ve read, it’s easier for them to understand what they’ve read and stay intrigued to learn more.

A series of fairly short, related articles that link to each other will generally do better than one massive article.

Tug at their heartstrings

When Coca Cola launched their Remove Labels campaign it gave audiences a friendly reminder not to judge someone by their looks, but by their words. And whether your message is sensitive or funny, at its core it should come across as authentic.

Today’s audiences are smart and expect more than basic pandering. They want engaging content that scratches beyond the surface of a product and relates to them on a meaningful level. That’s why today’s most memorable campaigns reject tradition in exchange for something more sincere.

While traditional word of mouth will always impact local business, the trick is to give them something positive to talk about. The most important thing about your digital advertising campaign should be about connecting with your audience. A little passion goes a long way.


Successful digital advertising plucks viewers’ heartstrings and entices with humor. It takes you on an emotional roller coaster by conjuring up feelings of forgotten memories and nostalgia. Most importantly, whatever your approach, be sure to make an emotional connection with your audience—leave them breathless and standing in awe, or contemplative with the warm fuzzies.

Make your digital ad memorable and appealing, and your brand will have those qualities as well.

 

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If you liked this article, check out our other articles on business tips for marketing, advertising, and social media. You can also reach out to us here or on Facebook for questions or project ideas.

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16 SEO Musts for a Higher Search Engine Ranking

Search Engines strive to create the best user experience possible, providing the most relevant, useful information based on the user’s search terms. If they didn’t, users would no longer rely on them for information. Search Engine Rankings are therefore incredibly important for your business’s success.

This is good news: the more relevant, informative and useful user experience you create, the better the chances that search engines will serve your pages. By practicing good search engine optimization (SEO) habits, you can continually work to increase your search engine results page (SERPs) position. Here are some top SEO practices for SERP success.


On page (your website) SEO practices:

1. Relevant keywords:

Using a keyword tool can help determine which words will help attract the most visitors based on popular search terms that are already related to the topics you’re talking about on your website. Pick the most relevant, popular keywords for your business and try to rank for different specific keywords on your web page.

2. Short, catchy and original title tags:

Title tags describe what your website is all about while attracting the user’s attention enough to (hopefully) click through to your pages. Limit the title tag description to 55 characters so it will display well on SERPs. Keep title tags descriptive yet short and sweet to help crawlers and users determine the relevancy of your page.

3. Keywords at the beginning of page title tags:

Google puts more weight on the start of the title tag, so try to keep the keywords at the beginning.

4. Keyword focused meta descriptions:

The meta description appears under the title tag on SERPs and gives users a chance to learn more about your company before clicking into your site. Aim for a meta-description length of 150-160 characters.

5. Proper sitemap:

Make sure your website’s structure is up-to-date and easy to navigate. The better the site structure, the easier search engine crawlers can find and index pages. Aim for a three-click rule—customers should find what they need on your site in three clicks or less.

6. Properly structured, SEO-friendly URLs:

URLs help crawlers to figure out page topic and relevancy. Creating short URLs with your keyword in it, using “-” instead of “_” between words as well as static words (rather than numbers) will help users and crawlers read URLs faster and easier. Also, try to use sub-directory root domains instead of sub-domains.

Examples of SEO-friendly urls include:

site.com/top-10-summer-recipes  for a blog entry about summer recipes.

site.com/clearance for the clearance section of an online shop

site.com/google-adwords-practice-test-questions  for quizzes that will help someone who wants to learn how to use google adwords.

UNFRIENDLY URLS would look like:

site.com/top10summerrecipes <— search engines will see this as one word, and not see it as related to real words.

site.com/cle <— while YOU may know that ‘cle’ stands for ‘Clearance’, search engines do not.

site.com/a2safbas8sb2p02b0 <— using an automatically-generated jumble of letters and numbers is not SEO-friendly.

7. Link internally with anchor text:

Linking internally to your other web pages adds keyword-rich internal links to every page. Internal linking helps search engines crawl and index your site, provides readers with more reading options and improves ranking for some of your keywords.

8. Outbound links:

Referencing and linking to reputable (authoritative) sources shows you are a helpful internet information steward that is willing to share pagerank. On the internet, helpful sharing is caring.

9. Website’s loading speed:

Search engines do not like slow pages as they know that users will not wait long for a website to load. Strive for lickity-split load times. This means paying attention to how big the files you embed in the pages are. If your file is super-huge, but still necessary, you may want to scale it down in size, or host it on another site like google drive or dropbox.

10. Really helpful content:

Create relevant content on your pages that is easy to read, unique, helpful, fresh, and grammatically flawless. Your content should be so helpful and relevant that your target audience will want to stay on your page and others will want to link to it.


Off-page SEO practices:

1. Search engine submission:

It can take a while for search engines to find and crawl your site. You can help to speed up the process by submitting your website to popular search engines.

You can do this on google by going through Google’s Search Console.

2. Local directory submission:

Submitting your business listing information to top or niche directories creates more places where users can find you. This also lets crawlers confirm your business information. Be sure to submit NAP (name, address, phone number). And, if possible, website and category. A high percentage of searches are by keyword rather than business name, so strive to use category information wherever possible.

3. Social media marketing:

Be present on all relevant social channels and manage your online reputation. Strive to get likes, shares and links by being 80% helpful and 20% promotional.

Remember to keep a queue of content coming – it’s much better to be regular with two posts a month, rather than dump-and-run with 20 posts in the span of a few days, then nothing for a year.

Regular, less-frequent content gives people the expectation to be patient, while dump-and-run gives the impression that you USED to be active, but might have since died.

4. Video marketing:

Help users find out about your business by sharing your relevant and helpful videos on sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, etc.

5. Backlink outreach:

Earn backlinks by conducting content PR to get others to read your pages and possibly link to you. The more quality backlinks your web page has, the more authority it has. And the more search engines will deem the page as relevant and useful. Basically, if they’re sharing links to your site with their own audience, SEO’s see that humans have already judged your content as worthwhile, and will bump you higher in relevance and authority.

6. Forums and communities:

Answering questions in forums and communities can help to build your reputation as an industry expert. This can provide a possible opportunity to include your website or blog link if it is relevant to the answer.

 


If you liked this article, check out our other articles on business tips for marketing, advertising, and social media. You can also reach out to us here or on Facebook for questions or project ideas.

The Basics of Online Advertising

How does online advertising help a local business grow?

Digital advertising increases awareness—it’s that simple. Digital advertising consists of a range of services, all of which work to promote a business online. All manner of businesses can and should use digital advertising, from the largest corporations to the smallest local businesses.

More and more businesses are increasing the amount that they spend on digital advertising, and experts like Jamie Turner suggest digital advertising on social platforms is well worth the spend.

If I were to provide one tip to people who are using social media, it would be this — don’t be afraid of paying for social media reach and clicks.” – Jamie Turner, 60secondmarketer.com

The best part about digital advertising is that results can be easily monitored and ROI can be easily tracked. You probably don’t want to be spending lotsa money without some proof of performance right?

With traditional media channels, there is sometimes no way of tracking how well an advertisement is doing. There’s not much in terms of advanced data analytics. With digital advertising, companies like Google and Facebook allow users to access advanced analytics as a default feature. Local businesses know that their money is being well spent and that the digital advertisements are positively impacting their storefront.

When determining the success of an ad, the important factors will differ case by case. For the most part, the success of an ad lies in the indicators listed below.

ROI indicators/measures of a successful campaign:

  • Impressions: the actual # of views on an advertisement
  • Clicks: the actual # of direct clicks on the advertisement
  • Engagements: Social & landing page clicks
  • Results: In most cases, results come in the form of a phone call or a store visit.

The Best Places to Advertise

Through our team’s extensive work in the digital advertising space, we have come to the same conclusion as pretty much every digital advertising company. The best places to spend money on digital advertising are Google & Facebook.

With digital advertising, not only is a local business visible online, but they are visible to the right people online. Platforms like Facebook and Google allow for advanced targeting, which puts a local business in front of consumers who are more likely to convert into a sale.

Plus, Google and Facebook accounted for roughly 60 percent of ad spend in 2017!

Why advertise on Google?

Reach: Google is the largest search network in the world, and consumers are using Google every single day to search for local businesses. Utilizing Google’s massive network, digital advertisers are able to find ideal prospects and get in front of users looking for their products and services.

In the age of digital, people are not looking at TV commercials or listening to radio ads to find a local business. They are searching for a service and then locating your business online.

With 3.5 Billion Google searches conducted every single day, customers are looking for local businesses and businesses should want to be on Google.

Flexibility: Google allows the local advertiser to spend whatever they want, whenever they want. With flexible options for ad spend, advertisers are able to test what works and what doesn’t work for a business. Spend a bit, wait to see how the campaign performs, and then reinvest in larger budgets for greater prospect reach.

Why advertise on Facebook?

AudienceThe audience on Facebook includes 1.32 billion daily active users on average, at an increase of 17% year-over-year. As a local business, you cannot ignore the fact that Facebook is one of the top places find potential customers.

Let’s talk about how often social media is being used.

The average person spends nearly 35 minutes everyday JUST on Facebook, according to a recent study by Mediakix.

If there is one thing to take away it is that the audience on Facebook is MASSIVE, and they are on Facebook a LOT.

Targeting: Facebook Ad targeting is a marketer’s dream. Facebook allows the ability to focus on users so precisely that you can basically become a bit of a digital stalker (in a good way?). Target users by their interests, behaviors, age, gender, location, and anything that their Facebook profile may reveal about them. Even job title!

The Facebook algorithm has brought about changes to the local advertising landscape, but it remains one of the best environments for local businesses to get the word out about themselves.

Conclusion

By leveraging these two platforms, every local business can easily take their advertising game to the next level. You’ll begin to rake in new revenue—with the data to back their investment.

If you liked this article, check out our other articles on business tips for marketing, advertising, and social media. You can also reach out to us here or on Facebook for questions or project ideas.