budget-managementTrying to manage your own PPC account without adequate knowledge or time is quite similar to a puppy trying to chase his own tail. By the time the puppy thinks he is close to getting his teeth around that tail, he bumps into the wall and falls over. Similarly, you can tweak ads and perform keyword research until you think your PPC campaign is almost perfect only to find that you have missed the smallest detail that will decrease the effectiveness of your entire campaign.

Just as the puppy eventually learns that he cannot catch his own tail, you may eventually come to realize that you cannot manage your own PPC campaign effectively without the help of professionals or the correct knowledge. There are some good reasons to outsource the development, management and optimization of your campaign.

PPC Costs – What Should You Expect?

When determining your PPC budget, you need to consider what you will pay a professional agency to manage your campaign as well as what you will end up paying to the search engines. The total cost of any campaign depends on the following factors:

1. Structure and focus of your campaign. The more your advertisements, keywords and outbound links coordinate, the more the search engines will trust your site. Google will assign your site a quality score based on how well your chosen keywords seem to correspond to the ads you are featuring and the other websites to which you lead your visitors. If Google decides these elements do not match up, then your quality score will lower and your campaign will become more expensive.

2. Long term performance for your campaign. Your click through rate (CTR) can raise or lower your cost per click. If the majority of searchers do not click on your ad, then Google knows that your ads are not convincing or appealing for one reason or another. This makes your site less valuable to Google, and your costs can go up.

3. Your goals and intentions. What do you want to achieve with this campaign? The better position you crave for your site, the more you may end up paying for that position.

4. What your competitors are willing to pay. The PPC market fluctuates depending on the highest bids offered. If you target highly-competitive keywords, there will be other people willing to pay a lot of money for the top spots in the search engines. Their bid will drive up your cost. Those willing to pay more than you will receive a better position and will likely receive more clicks. You pay to play in this market.

You also have to consider your maximum PPC budget, your expected return of investment and other factors. Determining realistic expected PPC costs is a matter of tweaking all of these elements to find the most affordable approach without sacrificing results.

Should You Outsource?

If your PPC budget allows for the assistance of professionals and you do not have an in-house marketing team to make this their priority, it does make sense to outsource this work. BMG can help you establish a winning campaign with reasonable PPC cost while ensuring your campaign is properly managed over the long term.

Why continue chasing your own tail and waiting for that knock up against the wall? If you don’t have the time to monitor changes within the online marketing field, analyze your PPC accounts and run test campaigns for new angles, you need someone who does have the time.

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Blog-Content-Writing-Solocube-Creative

Your business website needs content, so you sit down and spend an afternoon or two writing. It may seem like content writing is that simple, but the process is actually far more complicated. If you are like many business owners, you are more likely to spend an afternoon staring at a blank computer screen than writing high-quality content that impresses your readers and hits the mark with the search engines simultaneously.

Before you even start writing content, you need to determine the following:

1. Your Objective: What do you want this content to do for your business? What do you want readers to do after visiting your website? Specifically, what do you want those readers to do after reading each individual page of your site?

2. Your Audience: Who is your ideal customer? Who can benefit from your business? Who is most likely to read your website and take the action identified in your objective?

3. Your Voice: Is your business voice casual and approachable? Or are you more prestigious, professional or distinguished? What words best describe your brand?

All of these things make a difference when it comes to content writing for your business. Your voice will influence your choice of words and viewpoint, among other things. Your objective will determine how much content and what type of content you present. Your audience will dictate how interactive your site is, the language you use, and what questions you answer for your site visitors.

If you know who you are talking to and what problems your business can solve for them, writing for your business website becomes much easier. Writing content is not about typing out random information to fill up your website. It is about identifying the specific information your target market needs to know before they will take the action you want them to take. You must then present that valuable information in an attractive manner.

In addition to providing high-value content that drives your human visitors to action, you need to ensure your website content is optimized for the search engines so that members of your target market can actually find your site. The best way to do this is to allow the professionals at BMGcreative to create content that reaches your target market and the search engines simultaneously.

You can’t master the art of writing content for your business in an afternoon. You definitely can’t keep up with the trends of SEO in one afternoon. What you can do in one afternoon is find a professional who already has the knowledge and experience needed to write professional content for your business website.

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Search Engine Optimization is one of the ever changing industries in marketing. The techniques and tactics change regularly as Google, Yahoo and Bing try to make searches more relevant and return better results. You are at their mercy.

SEO JargonSearch Engine Optimization in South Florida is a competitive market. We recently had someone call ask what we would do for Search Engine Optimization services. We spelled out our services and explained what we do in layman’s terms to attain the results they were looking for. They called us back a few days later asking explain services outlined by another South Florida SEO Company in terms they could understand.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technical industry with technical terms. In our office we are just a bunch of caffeinated geeks who love to rank on the internet. Here are some simple translations to make a bit more sense of the SEO lingo, jargon and fluff some proposals contain:

Anchor Text – AHOY! As fun as this SEO term sounds, it has nothing to do with sailing. Anchor text is the actual text of a link to a web page. Search engines use anchor text to understand what the destination page is about.

CSS – One thing the internet is not lacking is acronyms. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is the part of your code that defines how different elements look on your site. The old school way of coding websites was to stick everything in a table, now we are designing in style.

The Fold – Since when did websites start folding? The fold is a print term that some carry over to the web world. It’s the point where your website gets cut off by a user’s monitor or browser window. A well-built site will have the important information and call to action points that users look for “above the fold” since that is the part people see first.

Javascript – We love this one because it reminds our team of coffee junkies. Search engines don’t really like this because they have difficulty reading the code that is inside the Javascript. Website Admins use it to apply various effects or changes to the content of the website as users continue to browse the website.

SERP – OH look another acronym! Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP) is the first page that would come up on Google after you type in your search.

Spider – We strongly believe that the person who came up with this computer program that browses the internet and collects information about websites was really into the Matrix. Why else would you name something after a creepy 8 legged BUG!

SEOJargon2There is a very different language in the marketing world that sounds like rocket science to some. I think that some Search Engine Optimization companies try to make it confusing and sound like rocket science on purpose. What we actually do is harder; it involves people with emotions, swayed by advertising, driven by buying habits and marketing trends. Mix all that up, and it’s easy to see why I think Search Engine Optimization is more difficult than rocket science.

The bottom line of current Search Engine Optimization is relevant real content that people want to read. Good, honest, frequent content that is helping others understand, learn or explain how to do something. Search Engines are so smart that they can spot duplicate content, fluffy keyword-stuffed paragraphs, too technical or irrelevant articles. Keep it real, relevant and authentic and you will start to see your content get read and draw in traffic to your website.

If you have questions trying to understand what Search Engine Optimization or SEO is, don’t feel bad. Once you start to get a grasp of it, the rules will change again!

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Panda-Penguin-HummingbirdGoogle seems to have an identity crisis these days, constantly changing the requirements they have for websites they list. Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird have so many different things you need to take into account, it can be maddening. But before you hire a Fort Lauderdale SEO marketing firm to help you to get your website in order, it can help to sit down and understand the differences among these changes.

The newest of the three Google changes is Hummingbird. This is a search algorithm that helps Google to better categorize pages. It is designed to bring the high quality pages with relevant content to the top of search engine results while leaving rubbish at the bottom of the stack. To rank high with Hummingbird, you need to focus on quality and make sure when a person searches a term and clicks on a link to your website, they are receiving quite a bit of information.

Unless you work for a marketing firm, you are probably left thinking that was what Panda and Penguin already did. However, that isn’t exactly the case. For example, Penguin was more directed to manipulative links and how they were handled, rather than making a change to the general algorithm the company used. Panda in turn changed the rank associated with low quality websites and those light on information for a particular niche.

Hummingbird has also helped transform the Google search engine into a conversational search engine that focused more on how people speak and less on defined keywords. That means the search engine would look beyond hard keywords and explore phrases to give internet users better results for their searches.

However, there are different requirements and elements you need to take into account to maximize the impact you have online. While some business owners understand Google and how the changes directly affect their results, others are finding that using the services of providers like Fort Lauderdale SEO companies is an effective choice as they can deliver original, high quality website content that won’t negatively be impacted in Google.

Of course, the entire process is one that continues to evolve and expand over time. Penguin, for example, is at 2.1 right now and is penalizing websites that ignore the guidelines and use fraudulent tactics to boost their ranking. Panda is at version 4.0 right now and has helped make vast improvements to search engine results with continuous improvements that are less noticeable than when it was first released.

So what are the best practices to help you to avoid problems with Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird?

  • Avoid duplicate content at all costs.
  • Ensure there is value to each post you place on your website.
  • Don’t pay for backlinks or use black hat exchange systems.
  • Increase the value of all low-quality content.
  • Improve the grammar, spelling and cohesiveness of the content on your website.
  • Make certain every post answers the questions internet users have based on a topic when they perform a Google search.
  • Avoid excessive advertising on your website, especially in text links.
  • Verify that keywords are an appropriate match for the website and not designed to deceive an audience.

If you have been affected by any of these changes in Google, don’t fret. A professional Fort Lauderdale SEO company can review your website and show you some of the changes you can make. With a little effort, the damage can be reversed so you can recover from the hit and give users a better version full of quality information they can count on.

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New Website Design: Moving On from Your Old Website

You invested your heart and soul into your old website, but it just doesn’t load as fast as it used to. You still have the vision that inspired the site in your mind, but it takes more searching to see that vision when you look at what your site has morphed into through the months or years. Visitors aren’t responding to the site as well as they once did, and you know that it is time to take action.

When the analytics for your site start to look far less impressive than you are willing to tolerate, you have two options. You can embrace the need for change and breathe new life into your site’s design, or you can abandon the site entirely and watch it decline into nothing of value. You have invested far too much time to let it go completely, which leaves you with the first option: revive the site through change.

A thorough analysis of your old website will help you decide what type of change you need. Here is a quick checklist to help you complete this analysis:

  • Identify features that are used most often by visitors and which hold visitors on the page longest.
  • Identify features that are no longer used or are quickly abandoned by users.
  • List all complaints that you have received from visitors.
  • Test your navigation system to make sure it is still efficient.
  • Identify outdated or irrelevant content that needs rewritten or eliminated.
  • Have friends or family members give you their opinion on your overall site design.

In most cases, you will find that a completely new site design is needed to bring the site back to life. You can work with a professional designer to tackle this project, which often turns into a balancing act. While you need to maintain the essence of the site so that your loyal followers do not lose the features they find useful, you also need to upgrade to something more eye-catching and appealing to a larger audience.

Decide What Features to Keep

Make a short list of the features or design elements that you know should remain on your new website design. This will help you feel better about moving on from your old website, since you get to keep the elements that make the site unique.

Any features or pages of content that your regular site visitors use frequently should make it onto this list. You may end up redesigning some elements of these features, but you know that they must remain on the site to appease your regular followers. You may also want to keep evergreen content that gets a lot of attention from search engines and human visitors. You may also identify pages that are struggling but which might thrive if you give them a makeover with fresher content and better SEO strategies.

The Excitement of Going Live

It can take several months, to completely overhaul your website design into something more appealing to today’s viewers. Get in touch with your market and view competing websites so that you see where your new website design can one-up your competitors.

When it is time to take your new website live, prepare for a period of analysis. Make sure to analyze the elements of your old website that were not working to ensure that they do work with the new website design.

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Attract-More-Visitors

You took the time to find a talented website designer and invested in a professional web design. You poured your soul into writing high-quality content ready to inspire, motivate, teach and entertain your website visitors. You looked all over for the perfect images to create the perfect look and feel for each page of your site. You are now proud of what you have created, but there is a big problem: no one else seems proud of your site.

This is a problem many website owners encounter, but there are creative actions you can take to bring more visitors to your site. If you haven’t already started a marketing plan, right now is the time to change that. If you have been marketing your website but haven’t received the results you wanted, the following tips will help you develop a more efficient, results-driven plan. Get ready to unveil your beautiful creation on the rest of the world.

Spill Your Heart in a Blog

Do you have a blog for your website? If not, your goal is to change that this year. If you do, your goal is to change the way you think about your blog. This is not a space for stuffy declarations of your worth or heavy advertisements. Blogs are not meant to be updated once a month or only when you have a new product to push. Your blog is your space to tell the world what makes you tick, why you are special, and how you see your industry and the world at large.

Write tightly-focused blog posts that drill home one central idea in a personal manner. Speak directly to your readers so that they see you as a person to whom they can relate. Ask questions and take the time to read the comments when they start coming in. This is hard because you are revealing your true self in a vulnerable manner. Go there, and you will be rewarded.

Give Your Heart Away

Do you have an eBook, long report or other digital product that you know would help millions of people if they gave it a chance? Instead of pedaling it for what it is worth, give part or all of it away for free. This may make you squirm a little, but that only tells you that it is something of value that will work. The goal is to have other products to offer when people realize the value of your freebie and come back for more.

You can also write brilliant blog posts and give them to other bloggers. Why would you do that when you are starting your own blog? You do it because giving away that top-notch post allows you to tap into the audience already secured by other bloggers.

You will need to make updates to your website to make these ideas work. You may need to add an opt-in for visitors to receive your freebie in exchange for their name and email address, and the blog will take some time to setup. It will be worth it in the end as you get more for your marketing time and dollars.

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Pay-per-click-advertisingYour pay per click campaign will fail if you don’t have an effective, well-written ad. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend researching keywords or how little competition you have in your niche. Your PPC ads must speak to searchers or they are going to scroll down the page rather than clicking your link.

You can find a lot of information about writing the perfect PPC ads online and in some books, but you probably don’t have the time to search out those resources and give them the attention they deserve. Bypass the work and pay attention to these five simple tips guaranteed to make your ad more effective.

1. Don’t use overly complicated words.

Stick with simple terms that most people will understand without too much thought. You want them to process what you have to say quickly and click without pondering the message in detail. Your content can fill them in on all the details and give them the technical terms if they are important, but you want your ad to be easily understood regardless of the education level or intelligence of the reader. You want to reach everyone within your market.

2. Use words that will appeal to the emotional side of your readers.

Put your personal touch on your ads so that your readers feel you are speaking right to them. Let them know that you understand their problem or know what information they need. Feeling words will help them make that decision to click your link. If your words just seem like words on a screen directed at nobody in particular, searchers will likely scroll past for an ad they relate to more.

3. Use your keywords in the proper context and focus on their deeper meaning. What is the message behind your keywords? Why are they important?

4. Tell searchers what you want them to do.

Let searchers know what your site has to offer, and then deliver a concise call to action. Someone reading the ad should not have to guess at what you need them to do. If you ask, you are far more likely to receive.

5. Keep abbreviations and punctuation to a minimum.

If you don’t need to cut words short, don’t do it. For example, you might spell out search engine optimization rather than using SEO. You may state that you sell Xbox 360 games rather than just stating that you sell games. The more specific and detailed you are, the more likely a reader is to quickly understand your point and take action.

Once you start applying these writing tips to your PPC ads, you will see what a difference they make in your campaigns. They can easily triple your click through rate if you successfully apply them all in every ad you write. Find an ad that is struggling right now and rewrite it according to these tips. You should see a dramatic difference in results.

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Delray-Beach-Internet-Marketing“Should I use PPC for my business marketing plan?”While it is faster to get an ad listed in the search engine results through PPC then it is to get a link listed in the same search engine results through SEO, not every business will benefit from a PPC campaign.

You must ask yourself seven important questions before investing in PPC:

1. Is there an online market searching for my products and/or services?

This question will help you determine the relevancy of your business to what people are searching for online. PPC marketing only allows you to reach people who are actively searching for information, products or services through the search engines. If you cannot find heavily-searched keywords that relate directly to your business, then there is a chance that the online market just isn’t there at this time.

2. Do you need to boost traffic to your site as quickly as possible?

If you are in no hurry to build traffic to your site, then you can stick with SEO and social media marketing while spending less money. If you do want to get your website or online store off the ground as quickly as possible, then PPC is the fastest way to get the clicks coming in.

3. Do you want to attract local customers?

PPC allows you to target consumers within a particular geographical location or consumers that fit a variety of other demographics. If you want to attract locals from a particular region or consumers of a particular gender, PPC may work for your business.

4. Once you start your PPC campaign, what do the analytical tools tell you?

There are simple tools available to help you determine how well searchers are responding to your advertisements. If you aren’t getting the clicks that you know you deserve and/or visitors are not staying on your site very long, then you know there is a problem with the ad, the keywords, or the campaign in general.

5. Are you nervous about investing in SEO without testing your keywords?

PPC is a great way to test keywords without waiting months for your SEO campaign to deliver results (or not). If you want to use SEO but don’t want to waste your time, test with PPC first.

6. Do you know enough about PPC to manage a campaign successfully?

If not, it doesn’t mean your business is not suitable for PPC. It simply means you may need to hire professionals to look after your PPC campaign to ensure the best results possible. The other alternative is to learn more about this form of marketing, but that is more time-consuming than most business owners can afford.

7. Will your marketing budget accommodate the expense of PPC marketing?

Some PPC campaigns are more affordable than others, but you will never know what your expenses may run until you do a bit of keyword research. If you find that there is heavy competition for the keywords you need to target, then you will need a more sizable marketing budget.

This question was placed last because you have to think about your budget in terms of the other six factors. Considering your answers to all of those other questions, think about your chances of getting a great ROI from a PPC campaign. If there are enough people searching for your keywords yet your niche is not overly competitive, then you may find that PPC is your fastest and most affordable strategy for marketing online.

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While Google isn’t totally transparent with how websites are ranked on their SERPS, Matt Cutts has at some point in the past told the public on multiple blogs that a website’s load time and speed does have some bearing on rank. Why is this? Matt Cutts tells us that it is due to the fact that fast websites makes online searchers happy. It is very cut and dry. top 10 search engine rankings

Moz did a recent study,  which was carried out by Matt Peters and Zoompf which examined the connection between the load times and speed of websites site speed along with their rankings on Google. Their results confirmed that site speed truly does matter as it pertains to rank, and of course, if you want to know if top 10 search engine ranking is important, just ask all the companies who are vying for page 1 position and paying hundreds of dollars a month to get there.

When building a business website, it is important to find a good balance between user friendly and search engine friendly. The site has to be easy to navigate with great content, but it also needs to be coded properly to performs well on search engines for optimal rankings.

SEO and usability of a website are both important. Top 10 search engine rankings are important for your most searched keywords – hands down. The profitable keywords that will convert visitors to customers need to be found on the first page of search engines but when those users get to your website, it needs to be fast and function well. When your site is done correctly and with the best intentions, SEO and usability will work together to have a great end result.

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BMGcreative acquires local Search Engine Optimization company Rankster

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, August 1, 2013

Rankster-Fort-Lauderdale-Marketing-FirmsBMGcreative (BMG) announced today the acquisition of South Florida digital agency Rankster.  “Its a strategic move on our part.  We’ve had our eyes on several local Fort Lauderdale marketing firms that would broaden our talent base and bring us entry into defined markets” says Grif Blackstone, President of BMGcreative. Rankster focuses on Online marketing, Social Media Marketing, eCommerce conversions & lead generation campaigns.

Rankster is a 9-year-old digital agency that had grown out of the print and publishing worlds to bring digital and other web-based solutions to regional businesses.  Established in 2004 by Mike Giambattista and a team of award-winning creatives, Rankster grew its client base to include national entertainment chains & food-services, and regional financial, healthcare and service businesses. According to Giambattista, who will step into BMGcreative as new Vice President of Marketing Services, “We couldn’t be happier about the acquisition.  We’ve had a solid working relationship with Grif and his team for almost 10 years and this makes synergistic sense; our businesses and expertise complement each perfectly.”

“We are excited to bring Rankster into our team and broaden our footprint in the South Florida market. We believe in the vitality of the business of our community, and as we continue to grow, our customers can expect big things from BMGcreative,” notes BMGcreative of the acquisition.

BMGcreative is a full service Fort Lauderdale web design and marketing firm which specializes in custom web design, branding, search engine optimization, print marketing and more. They were recently ranked one of the top 25 Web Design & Development firms in South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal and are the Strategic Marketing Partners for the Broward County Chamber of Commerce. For additional information about the company, call 954-229-2256 or visit www.BMGcreative.com.

954-229-2256

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