ITM Marketing Blog

Google Analytics In Real Time: How Can It Help You?

analytics real timeIf you use Google Analytics to monitor your website and traffic statistics, then you’ve seen all of the changes that Google has made to the service over the last few months. One of the changes that they made is integrating real time reporting. With real time reporting, website owners can see how many people are on their website at that given time. Website owners can also see where the visitors are from, how long they’re staying on the website and how they’re navigating the website. In addition, website owners can also view how the user got their website (the traffic source).

All of the data provided in real time reporting in Google Analytics is the same type of information that you can find under your regular reports, so why is real time reporting such a big deal? Think about it this way: If you operated a physical store location selling products or you operate a professional firm that provides services, you can tally information at the end of the day. You can see how many customers you had, where they came from, how much money they spent and other vital data that you need. However, it’s not as easy to track specific data patterns hours or even days later.

Using real time analytics allows you to analyze each user or set of users as they enter and leave your website. Do you get traffic from a partner site during the morning but not any other time of day? Do your website visitors find your website through your PPC ads in the evening, but afternoon traffic seems to come from organic results? Seeing this information unfold right before your eyes can give you a better look into your website’s users so that you can make changes and adjustments to your strategy if necessary. For example, if every Monday of the week, your website’s traffic is the highest between 9 and 10 in the morning, you know that if you have content to add, it’d be a good idea to add it before then. Continue reading

Posted on April 6th, 2012 by in Analytics, Internet Marketing, marketing tips, Search Engines, Small Business / Tagged , , , , , , / Leave a comment

Don’t Make Assumptions In Internet Marketing

assumptions in Internet marketingDuring a casual conversation with a business owner the other day, the subject matter of SEO came up. It’s pretty common for everyone to have their own opinion over search engine optimization, but in this instance, I walked away feeling a little puzzled. In regards to SEO, it was conveyed to me that this business owner didn’t care about being on page one of the search engine results because they didn’t feel as though their demographic of customer used the Internet to find their services. It was also conveyed that in the number of years that they were in business and had an online presence that they had not once been contacted by someone who claimed they found them online.

Before tackling the first statement, let’s go over the second statement for a moment. There’s a good chance that the reason why no one was ever mentioning to the company that they found them online was because there was no way to find them online. Sure, the company has a website, but they’ve admitted to completely disregarding SEO. Their website isn’t listed on page one in the search engines and they do no marketing. Essentially, they put their website up and then forgot about it. Then they figured that having a website simply doesn’t work since no one was calling them and telling them that they found their information on the Internet.

What if the situation was different? What if the company paid attention to SEO from the start? If they had, I am sure that the conversation would have also been different. This is the number one mistake that businesses make when it comes to marketing online; they toss up a website and then become frustrated when new customers don’t instantly appear. Think about it this way: If you have a box of business cards sitting on your desk, no one is ever going to call you if they stay on your desk and you never hand them out. It works the same way when you have a website and when you try to use the Internet to market. It’s not going to help you unless people have your business’s information in their hands- and the only way to get it into their hands is to be found on the first page of the search results (organically or through PPC ads). Continue reading

Posted on April 4th, 2012 by in Internet Marketing, marketing mistakes, Search Engines, SEO, Small Business / Tagged , , , , , , / Leave a comment

Top Internet Marketing Blogs: 2012 Edition

top internet marketing blogs 2012Here at The Internet Time Machine, our goal is to provide our readers with up to date and useful information on Internet marketing, social media marketing, PPC Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and SEO. However, there is a world of awesome information regarding Internet marketing and related subject matters out there that shouldn’t be missed. For that reason, we’ve developed our list of the top Internet marketing blogs: 2012 edition. If you tuned into 2010′s list, you may see some familiar faces or blogs that didn’t make the cut a couple of years ago.

In no particular order, here are the top Internet marketing blogs: 2012 edition.

Copyblogger: Copyblogger has been a huge name in the online marketing and blogging industry for several years and with good reason. Not only do they provide excellent information, but they cover several areas of Internet marketing, including content marketing, SEO, email marketing, keyword research and copywriting. Internet marketing doesn’t simply consist of one fact and Copyblogger understands that and covers all facets quite well.

Search Engine Land: Search Engine Land takes on all things search; search engine marketing and search engine issues. Also tossed in there is information and tips pertaining to social media. It’s a comprehensive blog and a must read if you want to find out the latest search engine news, want to know how to improve SEO or want to know the best way of going about marketing in the search engines. Continue reading

Posted on April 2nd, 2012 by in Blogging, Internet Marketing, marketing tips, Small Business / Tagged , , , , / Leave a comment

4 Ways Having A Social Media Marketing Plan Can Save Your Efforts From Failing

social media marketingThe social media marketing train is still moving as fast as ever. When Facebook and Twitter took off, there was quite a bit of speculation over whether or not the hype surrounding businesses using social media for marketing was going to hold strong. Years later, it’s easy to see that businesses are not only using social media for marketing more than ever, but there are also more social media platforms to market on. Pinterest anyone?

The unfortunate side to social media marketing is that a lot of business’s don’t see results. One of the main reasons for a lack of results is due to simply not having a plan in place. When a business has a social media marketing plan, they have solid ground to begin from. Of course your plan can change as you find out what works and what doesn’t work, but that’s just common business sense.

To make the most of your social media marketing, a plan should be put into place. Here are 4 ways having a social media marketing plan can save your efforts from failing: Continue reading

Posted on March 31st, 2012 by in Facebook Marketing, Internet marketing in social media, Small Business, Social Media & Networking / Tagged , , , , , , / Leave a comment

Should You Manage Your Own PPC Ads?

ppc ad managementIn the world of Internet marketing, PPC ads are a desirable way to drive traffic to a website. When you can get your PPC ad on the first page of the search engine results, there’s a decent chance that it will be seen and clicked on. Of course this isn’t always the case, but we’ll cover more on that later on. The problem however is that when you use PPC ads to drive traffic to your website, you’re provided an interface to manage your ads that you may or may not be familiar with. If you’re not familiar with the interface used to manage PPC ads or you’ve never managed ads before, using PPC ads to market your website online can backfire on you. If you want to use PPC ads in the search engines to help with your online marketing, should you manage your own ads?

Before we look into whether or not you should manage your own PPC ads, let’s first explore what PPC ads are and how they can possibly help your online marketing efforts. A PPC ad stands for pay per click ad and while these types of ads are used in several different places online, the search engines are the most common place to use them. To keep things simple, we’re just going to relate to Google AdWords but the other major search engines also offer PPC ads as well.

The basic methodology around PPC ads is that you write ad copy and link to the website that you want people to visit. When search engine users click on your ad and go to your website, you’re charged for that click. You’re not charged if the user does not click on your ad. Where your ad ends up in the search engine results depends on how competitive the keyword or key phrases that you’re using in the ad are and what your advertising budget is.

The budget and cost per click factors are where most people run into issues when they’re managing their own PPC ads. How much money to do invest per day? Per Week? Per Month? Should you use competitive keywords or niche keywords that are cheaper but give you more of a shot at reaching targeted traffic?  Continue reading

Posted on March 29th, 2012 by in PPC Marketing, Search Engines / Tagged , , , , / Leave a comment

Is Your Business Ready For Timeline?

business timelineIn a couple of short days, your Facebook fan page is going to convert to timeline. Is your business ready for timeline? If you’ve already opted to switch over to the new format, you probably know what changes timeline brings and how to navigate those changes. For those of you who are waiting until the change is forced on your fan page however, let’s go over how timeline will affect your page so that you can determine if your business is ready for timeline.

The biggest or at least most noticeable change is the cover photo section. The cover photo is the image that stretches across the top of your Facebook fan page when using the timeline format. Before you get all excited about what you can toss up in that area, of course there are some forbidden items that you can’t include in your cover photo. And yes, most of the restrictions center around things that a business may want to do in order to help their marketing efforts on Facebook.

If you want to put a call to action in your Facebook cover photo that instructs the user to like your page, you’re out of luck. Also, if you want to put your website address or any contact information about your company, you’re also out of luck. It’s a photo but it’s meant to be just that- a photo. You’re not supposed to put any marketing information in your cover photo when you switch over to timeline.

While these restrictions definitely put a hamper on cover photo possibilities, it does at least give you a way to bring attention to your page. A great cover photo can still make users want to know more about your company and therefore they may explore your fan page more and find the information that you want them to find. Continue reading

Posted on March 27th, 2012 by in Facebook Marketing, Social Media & Networking / Tagged , , , , , / Leave a comment

Will Your Website Get Dinged For Being Over Optimized?

over optimizationJust when you thought that you had your website’s SEO figured out, Google goes and changes things again. For anyone who’s ever worked in SEO or has even done a little bit themselves on their website, you know it’s par for the course. So what’s this latest change and how will it affect website owners?

The latest change centers around websites that are over optimized and the change is being dubbed the “over optimization penalty.” Google has always had issues with websites that try and do things to manipulate their search engine rankings, which is why this change sort of comes as a shock in a way. True, Google is always doing things to help improve search, but there are already penalties in place for websites that take part in link spamming and keyword stuffing.  Continue reading

Posted on March 23rd, 2012 by in Search Engines, SEO / Tagged , , , , / Leave a comment

Why Some Marketers Are Scared Of Niche Marketing

scared of niche marketingIn Internet marketing, sometimes less is more. With that said, that logic doesn’t always make sense, which is why some marketers are scared of niche marketing. What does make sense on the surface is the logic that if more people see your website, your products, your services etc., the better of a chance you have at making conversions. What many fail to see though is that when you’re marketing to everyone, only a small fraction of the masses are going to be interested in your products or services. This leads to a huge waste of time and money for the marketer or for the company who is doing the marketing.

Let’s take a look at niche marketing more in-depth to explore why some marketers are scared of it and why it really should be considered as a strategy.

Let’s say you set up a website and your marketing revolves around a broad based (general) keyword that’s very competitive. For this example, let’s use the niche of dating to drive home why mass marketing isn’t always the best idea. Your website’s copy (the content) is written around the word “dating” and you’ve went ahead and set up a PPC campaign around the word “dating.” Before you know it, traffic starts pouring into your website and you think that you’ve hit the jackpot. Only after a little bit of time has gone by, you realize that your website is getting a ton of traffic but there’s only been a few conversions. Continue reading

Posted on March 20th, 2012 by in Internet Marketing, marketing tips, Niche Marketing / Tagged , , / Leave a comment

Yes, You Really Can Be Terrible At Social Media

terrible at social mediaA few days ago, we made a post about whether or not social media (or the people using social media) need anger management. There are of course two sides to every story and today, we’re going to explore the other side of why some people and businesses are terrible at social media. While part of the reason could be because people feel more confident showing anger while they’re sitting behind a computer screen, another reason is that some people and business owners are simply bad at being good at social media.

Is your business terrible at social media? Let’s look at some of the most common ways that business’s are terrible at social media to find out.

 

You Make Your Business Look Better By Trash Talking Other Businesses

Even though trash talking another business to make your business look better in one way or another has long been a practice that most marketers and online business owners disagree with, social media patrons still continue to use this strategy. Another thing to note that is sometimes business owners who use social media feel that if they don’t mention a specific business, it’s no big deal.

The problem is that even if you don’t mention another business’s name, if you say anything negative, it can be seen as a lack of confidence and a plea of desperation. The other day, I saw a status update on Facebook where one business was ranting about how people should never trust a business that offers the same service that this company offers if the price of the service isn’t at least “x” amount. Of course the main issue is that spending more doesn’t always get the consumer the best product or service, but the underlying issue is why did this business feel the need to trash talk other businesses that do offer a lower price point? Without knowing for sure, it’s possible to make the assumption that they were upset that their customers were using other business’s who didn’t charge as much as them. Continue reading

Posted on March 19th, 2012 by in Facebook Marketing, Internet marketing in social media, marketing mistakes, Social Media & Networking / Tagged , , , , / Leave a comment

Does Your Story Connect With Consumers?

story connect with consumersIn the old days, customers used to be able to walk into their favorite local stores to pick up the products they needed or they used to be able to walk into a local business to talk about services that the business provided. When a consumer did most of their purchasing previous to the Internet, they were able to talk to the business owner and the business’s employees in person. This created some level of personal relationship between the consumer and the business owner. When these personal relationships were formed, stories were often told between the business owner and the consumers. Stories of how business is going, how the business was started are just a couple of the stories that were told. While some level of this interaction still takes place on the local business level, it’s harder to form that same type of relationship with consumers who do business with you online. Does your story connect with consumers? If it does, it can help your online marketing and branding efforts.

Even though the times have changed and many consumers turn to the Internet when they need a product or service, your business’s story still needs to connect with people. Only due to the lack of face to face interaction, your story may not always connect with consumers in the way that consumers are looking for it to. This can be one of the biggest influences on whether or not a business succeeds online. While the personal connection between a business and a consumer may be lost on the business, it’s not something that consumers easily overlook.

How can you make your business’s story connect with consumers? This is where most online business owners and marketers struggle. You know that you need to be transparent so that consumers will trust your business and so that they can make a connection with your business, but the process doesn’t always come naturally to business owners and marketers. Let’s take a look at things that you can do to get your story to connect with consumers.

Don’t Make It All About Business

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses and marketers make when they’re using social media is that they only post updates about business related matters. Of course you’re using social media to market, but social media can also be used as a tool to help make a connection with consumers.

Say you sell a dog training product and that’s what your business centers around. You have an e-commerce store, a blog, your social media accounts and maybe you toss your product up on Amazon as well to help give it a little more exposure. You take to social media to market your product but the only information you share relates to selling your dog training product. You post links to your e-commerce website, you post links to your product listing on Amazon and maybe from time to time you post links back to your blog posts which do nothing but talk about your product. Sounds pretty solid in regards to pushing your products, but that’s all you’re doing; pushing your products. Continue reading

Posted on March 15th, 2012 by in Company Branding, Internet Marketing, marketing mistakes, marketing tips, Small Business / Tagged , , , , , , / Leave a comment