A Guide to Internet Marketing in Kansas City
Internet marketing in Kansas City requires a thorough knowledge of the advertising platforms offered, the keywords you’re going to be targeting, and the landing pages you’ll need to design. This guide gives an in-depth look at how you can master these skills to generate the greatest ROI for your business.
If you’re looking into paid internet advertising, chances are you’re going to be dealing with Google AdWords. Luckily, they have resources to make sure their advertising platform is easy to use and understand, as well as an AdWords tool that helps you pinpoint keywords to target in your industry. Just because you see that a keyword is drawing in a lot of searches doesn’t mean that you should automatically target that keyword though. Broad (head) keywords are incredibly expensive and, in the long run, less effective. High traffic doesn’t always mean high conversion. Specified ads ensure the traffic you’re getting is from high-intent users. Long tail keywords are made up of more specified keywords, and are often location-based. For example, if you own a Volvo dealership in Phoenix, you might target ‘Volvo dealership Phoenix’ instead of ‘Volvo dealership’. This is an effective tactic if you want to bolster the sales in one specific location and don’t have an ecommerce site targeting a global audience. If you’re going to go through with internet marketing in Kansas City, be sure to include this location in your keywords.
Key takeaway: target a large number of lower-traffic terms instead of going after a few big fish.
Qualaroo for Analytics
One of the best ways to gather information about your website and the keywords you should be targeting is to utilize survey tools like Qualaroo. This program tells you what your customers are looking for and why they decided to do business with you. It gives you the qualitative data that other analytics tools, like Google Analytics, just can’t do. The tool claims to improve conversion rates, uncover the features on your site that are preventing conversions, and give you the ‘why’ behind your quantitative data. They accomplish this through exit surveys, web surveys that you can customize with your company logo and design style, and skip logic. Skip logic provides unique follow up questions based on the previous answer given. That way, you can really get to the root of their behavior and the issues they’re addressing. Qualaroo also allows you to target the right questions to the right visitors. You can “target website surveys and prompts by time on page, number of visits, referring search terms or your own internal data”.
With plans starting at $200/month billed annually, this program is an investment. It’s been utilized by companies like Groupon, Uber and Starbucks, so it may be worth it if you’re expecting large growth for your business. Plans go up to $2,250/month for extra features like in-house custom branding and design, a quarterly performance review, and customized best practice training. This type of plan wouldn’t be cost effective for internet marketing in Kansas City if you’re a mom-and-pop shop that hasn’t generated a global following yet.
Key takeaway: Qualaroo allows you to understand the ‘why’ behind your data through user surveys.
Types of Ads
It’s important to know the different types of ads before jumping into internet advertising. If you have a non-visual product or service (ie: marketing), you should probably go with text ads to get the biggest bang for your buck. These ads are seen on the primary Google search page and are typically less expensive than display ads. Make sure you have the right keywords included and utilize A/B testing before putting these types of ads out there. Display ads and banner ads are a little different—they stand out on the page (unlike text ads, which blend in with the results). However, they may targeting customers who are not actively looking for your service or product (ie: an ad to the side of a newspaper article). They can be purchased with pay-per-click or can be set to display for a certain length of time. Fun fact: Google rewards long-term AdWords customers with better quality scores.
Key takeaway: determine what you want your target audience to see and where you want them to see it.
Paid Advertising Options Outside Google
Google isn’t your only option for displaying ads though. Bing or Yahoo offer alternative ad platforms that combine display and text ads with targeted search terms. Even though they bring in less traffic, some brand have found that the ROI is better. Social advertising is also gaining ground, especially through LinkedIn and Facebook. You can incorporate text and display features according to user preferences, location and demographics. Facebook advertising is based off a bidding system, much like Google AdWords. LinkedIn is the same, operating on a PPC (pay-per-click) and PCM (pay-per-1,000 impressions) basis with set daily budget limits. Minimum to participate is a $10/day ad budget. StumbleUpon is another social network option and more affordable than the more mainstream sites. They also guarantee a ‘click through’ of some kind. StumbleUpon operate on a cost per visit basis, and the campaign creation tool recommends a price per visitor ranging from 5-10 cents. The price you choose to pay determines priority. The only downside is that you have to track your own actual conversions. The final option is to buy ad space directly from a website or blog for a fixed price. You’ll have more success with this if the site is related to your service or products (ie: health food store advertising on a health-related blog).
Key takeaway: there are options outside Google AdWords for paid internet advertising.
Designing a Landing Page
Landing pages are a more effective funnel for your ads than your website’s homepage. This is because it allows you to customize your message to the incoming visitors, continuing the conversation that you started in your ad. They also allow you to nudge your visitors in a certain direction, like filling out a contact form or joining an email list. What’s great about custom landing pages is that they allow you to track your visitors and determine whether you want to create a single landing page for an entire ad campaign or create a specific landing page for each of your keywords. Priority #1 is to get your customers to follow the call-to-action. Figure out what you want site visitors to do and design your page to make this the most likely outcome. If you’re wanting someone to fill out a form, fewer fields is always better. A name and email address should do the trick for newsletter signups! If you’re doing internet marketing in Kansas City and have an ad with location-related keywords, make sure to push location on your landing page.
Key takeaway: build landing pages with conversions in mind.
Hiding your Landing Page on the Site Map
Unless you use programs that tell you exactly where your traffic is coming from, you may need to create a custom landing page for your ads that can’t be found through organic searches. The way we design landing pages allows users to navigate through your website from the page but doesn’t include the page on your site map. If someone finds your website organically, they won’t be able to access that landing page, ensuring your stats are accurate. Another option is to block your custom landing pages from search engines. A simple edit to your robots.txt file is all it takes to ensure your tracking results are coming solely from paid ads.
Key takeaway: make sure your organic traffic data isn’t interfering with your paid advertising results by isolating the page.
A/B Testing and Analytics
A/B testing in conjunction with analytics is a great way to ensure that your pages are perfected before they go live and continue to drive business while they’re running. Essentially, you’re testing which methods are the most successful—one change at a time. Changing more than one variable at once messes up your data, so you don’t know which of the changes created the new results.
Checking your results every day can harm your campaign more than help it. It takes time for analytics to gather accurate trends and information, so don’t make any hasty decisions. It’s much easier to look at broad shifts when you analyze your data monthly rather than daily. These ‘broad shift’ metrics might be search engine rankings, social media engagement/ followers, and lead acquisition cost (money spent on advertising divided by leads generated). On a daily basis, you can check page views and leads, while call-to action performances and campaign metrics should be analyzed every week. An annual look at customer acquisition and total revenue lets you know which of your marketing initiatives resulted in the most profit for your business (search engine marketing, social media, display advertising, etc). Setting up a spreadsheet is a great way to keep track of your measurements, and there are even some templates that are specifically made for this purpose.
Key takeaway: make adjustments to your landing page and ads to see which combination results in the most conversion.
Check out this blog post for more information on internet marketing in Kansas City, including the perks to different social media advertising platforms and how the Google AdWords bidding process works. If you’re interested in learning more about the internet marketing services we offer, browse our internet marketing page. If you’ve done the research and decided that internet marketing is something that you’re interested in, contact us so we can get started on your campaign.