Twitter ROI by click-finders.comIf you are involved in SEO, Social Media Marketing or any form of Internet (or traditional) Marketing whatsoever, you are probably always trying to calculate the Return on Investment for your efforts and expenses.  In fact there are many sources out there like Computer World, Blog Tyrant, and Hubspot (just to name a few) that have attempted to do just that for Social Media and for the most part, they do a great job.  This article however is simply going to talk about Twitter and what we have seen before, during and after 10,000 Tweets.  Is it an actual ROI…you decide!

So how did we do that?  10,000 Tweets.  Well it certainly did not happen overnight and it certainly was not consistent.  We had good months on Twitter and bad months on Twitter.  Just like anything else.  Here is a small sampling of how we tweeted over the past 18 months:
 
Twitter Stats Graph - click-finders.com
So what kind of ROI (Return on Investment) have we had on our Twitter account?  Great question.  Here just a few stats:

  • 46.63% of all Tweets were RT’s or @ Replies – Not as good as we would have liked…but hey, we’re still learning!
  • 30 confirmed sales leads came in from Twitter – I don’t care who you…that’s GOOD !
  • At least 5 new business relationships that have benefited click-finders have been developed, nurtured and cultivated 100% on Twitter. – Again, I don’t care who you are…that’s GOOD !
  • Our home page has been RT’d over 7K times! – Gotta love the exposure on this stat!
  • One of our blog posts has been RT’d over 100K times! – Still wonderfully surprised and astounded by this stat!  It was a guest post by our good friend and colleague Mr. Scott Kindred of Safehouseweb.  See how #3 above works?

What else has Twitter done for us?

Added real value and measureable attributes to our Social Media presence and marketing strategy.  Everyone knows by now (or least they should) that ALL of the major search engines are using social media signals (likes, +’s and yes…TWEETS) as ranking factors.  If you are not active on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, you are most likely losing ground in the SERP’s.  The Hubspot chart below shows a marketing score of 90 for our website, and look at what one of the ranking factors are…that’s right, our Twitter presence!

Twitter ROI for click-finders.com

Twitter has also helped build our visibility in ways we NEVER thought were possible!

Twitter visibility example click-finders.com

This mention on the Home Page of Socialstage is not only very much unexpected, it’s greatly appreciated.  It’s one of the little hidden benefits of Twitter and other Social Media outlets.  They did this mention without me even knowing about it, yet it was out of appreciation for my tweet regarding there Blog post.  Hey, it was great content and we love to share great content!

A final word about this accomplishment, blog post and Twitter overall.  We don’t do Twitter as well as could.  We are still learning.  The point of this post is show the average small business owner that anyone can positively impact their business with Twitter.  It just takes a little elbow grease, a little ingenuity and creative thinking and you can make a difference to your business as well.

If you found this article helpful and you enjoyed it, please take a minute and share it through any of the social media share buttons located throughout the site.  We love our social media friends and the shares we get and we certainly will return the favor when and where possible.  You can also comment in the comments section below and regular commenters receive “Do-Follow” link status to help you with your SEO program!

click-finders.com offers a full range of Internet Marketing services including Affordable SEO Services, PPC Management, Social Media, Inbound Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and more. Contact us through www.click-finders.com, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and our Organic SEO Blog to learn more about Organic Search Engine Optimization and even request a FREE SEO Website Analysis.

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Blogging for business - 7 easy steps

How to blog for business!

If you follow this blog (or even if you are a first time reader) it doesn’t take much to realize that we believe in and encourage all businesses to blog.  Blogging is the most cost effective, efficient and least technical solution a business can implement to add fresh, unique content to your web site on a regular basis.  Content, by its very definition, is simply some form of substantive information, usually in the form of text or the written word, that explains more about your web site, your products or your services.  Adding fresh content is important for SEO because the search engines love fresh, unique content.  The more content that you provide, the more value the search engines place on your site and the more frequently your site will be crawled and indexed.  So if you want your site crawled often and indexed fast when you post a new product or service, you need to be adding fresh content as often as possible.  Okay, so now that you are ready to add content, let’s make sure it’s added the best way possible, so that the search engines can easily find and index it. 

“Setting up and running a business blog is paramount for success in today’s online marketing and search engine world.  Not having one is akin to not having a FAX machine in the 1980’s.”

First, you have to select a blogging platform.  There are many to choose from and yes…they are each different and have their pros and cons.  I personally use the WordPress platform.  I find it gives me the flexibility and control that the other platforms do not.  I also like the plug-ins.  Things like SEO plug-ins, social media plug-ins, scalability, database management and back-up and many, many more!  The choice is yours though so make sure you choose wisely.  It is after all, the platform you will be presenting your company to the world with [no pressure though…haha].  Okay so you have a good platform, have it installed on your domain and you’re ready to go….now what?  Now is the hard part!  The content creation.  Here are some basic tips to help you get started;

  • Be Conversational in your blogging – Yes you may very well have the technical solution to the replacement space craft for the space shuttle, you have all the documents, drawings, slide-rules and calculations, however….who on earth wants to read just that?  Do your best to take that technical data and turn it into a conversation that engages and enlightens your target audience.  Keep it as conversational and light possible.  I try to do this by bringing personal experiences into my writing.  It does not always work 100% of time, but when it does, it works like magic! 
  • Share your knowledge – Without stepping into the realm of being overly technical (see item #1), be sure to bring something to the table that people (your target audience) are actually interested in and want to learn more about.  Don’t be shy either, share your best stuff always.  People like, share and refer friends to AWESOME resources online.  Make sure your blog is full of awesome information written in an awesome format, surrounded by some awesome graphics and others will link to it (great for SEO!) and share it all over the internet.  Write mediocre material and share miniscule tidbits of information and people will not share that.  In fact, they won’t even come back to see what’s new.  Bottom line…write and share AWESOME material and it will get shared.
  • Be the expert – No matter what you do, please make sure you post information that is valid.  This is especially true if you are writing a highly technical blog.  Remember, your credibility is on the line.  If you lose that, you have nothing left to build on.  So do whatever you have to do in order to make sure the information you are putting out is valid.  Read other well respected and followed bloggers, authors and industry experts to gain insight and inspiration.  Do not however, plagiarize anything.  It could cost you all of your credibility and actually hurt you in the search engine rankings.
  • Be organized – Before you write your first article, sit down and write a list of 100 topics that you can or want to blog about (update this list often).  Pick an idea from that list and then jot down some notes about.  List 5-10 bullet points you want to cover or expand on.  Jot some notes down that tie it all together and wraps it up nicely in your conclusion.  The more you practice this, the easier it becomes.  Writing every month, every week or lord forbid….every day is not easy.  Being organized and structured helps the creative juices to flow because you already have a content generation formula, all you need is the idea!
  • Select relevant topics – This should be a no brainer for most, but I guess its worth a mention.  Make sure you pick topics that are of interest to your target audience.  For example, if you are writing a blog about Shipboard Navigation Technological Advances, you probably want to stay away from writing about your 2 year olds birthday party last Saturday.  Unless of course her birthday party was held on the bridge of a brand new U.S. Navy Air Craft Carrier while getting underway and leaving her home port for the first time ever.
  • Promote your blog – by all means you need to promote your blog!  Writing a blog and then not promoting it is about as effective as putting up a web site and not marketing it.  Its fine if you never want visitors.  But if you do want traffic, comments, engaging interaction and possible conversions (into $ALE$), then you absolutely, positively, 100% have to promote your blog.  No one else is going to do it for you!  There are two previous articles I have written that can help you promote your blog if you are not sure where to begin.  They are 8.5 More Ways to promote Your Blog and 12.5 Ways to Promote Your Blog
  • Measure your results – Always measure your promotions and responses.  Do it however you want, but measuring response and making course corrections is essential to your blogging  success.  I gauge post success by the feedback I get in emails, text messages, PM’s, IM’s, ReTweets and blog comments.  I categorize each one and tally them in the end and track trends, surges, topics and responses.  It was amazing to see the changes in my writing style, frequency, performance and responses when I started tracking the information to this level.  I highly encourage every blogger to do the same!

So there it is…7 easy steps to successful blogging for business.  I hope you enjoyed this information, got something out of it and please, feel free to add anything else you may want to contribute in the comments below.  Have any of these worked for you?  Worked against you?  Have you used other techniques?  If so what?


 

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Return On Investment for SEO

What is the ROI for SEO?

What will be my “Return On Investment” (ROI) if I pay someone to provide or manage SEO Services?  Now that can be a tough question to quantify.  Why you ask?  Because the search engine industry is very subjective.  In other words, ten different people can look at things ten different ways and still, all of them can be correct.  However, in the spirit of simplifying terms, let’s take a stab at it shall we?  For people who are new to the World Wide Web, this should be one of their first questions.  For SEO’s, this is a question that has been asked over and over by clients since the beginning of the search engine era.  It’s an important one.  If there is no benefit to ranking well on the search engines then why bother going to the trouble of ranking well on them?  So in order to see if there is any true benefit in ranking well on Google, let’s perform a small case study and see if we can estimate some traffic and some ROI for a specific keyword.

“There are no secret sauces in Search Engine Optimization.  Only work.  If you know what to work on then you can optimize a web site to perform well in the search engine results pages.”

Keyword Research – Arguably the most important part of any successful SEO campaign.  If you optimize a web site for the wrong keywords, you will either get NO traffic (because you are flagged as a spammer by Google) or you will get a TON of traffic and your Bounce rate will be through the roof because the content of your site was not relevant to the key word someone searched for and then clicked through to see your site.  So let’s start there.  I am not going to go into a whole long process of Keyword research, let’s just pick a keyword with some good traffic potential and use the numbers from there to help us estimate some traffic.

“Please remember that all of these numbers (even the ones provided by Google) are simply ‘estimates’.  No one in the search engine world is going to give you firm search result numbers!”

So for the purpose of this exercise, I selected the Keyword Phrase [iPhone Accessories].  Note the graphic shown here:

iPhone Accessories Keyword Research

Note the total Global, Monthly Searches and the Competition

This graphic indicates a couple of things.  First, that there are over 201,000 monthly, global searches in Google for this search term.  Second, it is a highly competitive keyword.  Just imagine how many web sites are out there trying to sell iPhone Accessories.  So assuming we can get it to rank well, what kind of traffic can we expect?

“How would you like a large percentage of the Global Search traffic visiting your site monthly?  And visiting just for your preferred keyword?  Not a bad way to start the day I’m guessing!”

So, to be honest, there is not much out there in the form of statistics for this data.  I had to dig really deep and even then I only found a few useful tidbits of information on the subject.  The most well known study on the subject was an “eye movement” study by Cornell University. 

 Cornell University Click Through Data

Here is link to the original study and results:  Cornell University Click Through Study

Since this is an “eye movement” study and not actual click through data, it has come under fire from the SEO community and the search engines themselves.  So several other resources and “studies” (I use that term loosely) have also surfaced in recent years.  The following chart is more of a compilation of the all of the resources I have found and then averaged out across all of them.  Nonetheless, it should give you an idea of the general consensus by the search engine community as to what are acceptable numbers for this particular discussion.

 Search Engine Click Through Data

So, what does all of this mean to someone trying to sell iPhone accessories?  Let’s take a look.

Assuming a modest profit margin of 47%, the following is a rough estimate of the return on investment for SEO (assuming you actually get to #1):

Google’s Estimated Traffic – 201,000 Global Searches per month

If you are ranked #1 for the keyword “iphone accessories” you can expect about 85,405 visitors per month.

Assuming a conversion rate 3% (average being 3-6% with some sites much higher), you can expect 2, 562 sales.  If the average sale is $25.00 (or $64.050 in revenue) at 47% profit, you can expect to net $33,946.50 in profit, from this one keyword, per month.  Subtract the cost of your SEO program managment and/or consultant and you then have your true ROI.

Disclaimer – There are a LOT of broad terms and numbers shown above.  Please try to remember the following; That Google’s traffic estimates are not always accurate, that this study assumes several things (conversion rate, selling price and profit margin), that the site selling this item is an authoritative site and has not only a lot of content, but quality content and that the owner of the site either performed the search engine optimization or hired an SEO firm to help them rank #1 for that keyword.  The keyword used is a highly competitive keyword and it may take 9-12 months (or longer) to rank high on the SERP’s.

“Now do you see why some people have the ‘Gold Rush’ mentality when it comes to Google and trying to rank number one for a particular keyword?  It’s no wonder why ‘black hat’ techniques and ‘Counter SEO’ techniques are still viable practices going on every day.  There is a lot of money at stake here folks.”

Being at the top of the natural search results is every internet marketer and retailers dream.  It promises fame and fortune, recognition and validation that you have succeeded in the world of online marketing.  The work is hard, the road is sometimes long, but the payoff can also be life changing for a small company or web site.  The key is selecting the correct keyword and then optimizing your site and then marketing and growing your site.  It does take time, energy, resources and most importantly….patience.  But if you have the resolve, you too can reach the top and then you get to see what’s there waiting for you!

For the record, and as stated above, there are many ways to calculate return on investment for any venture.  This is just one and yes, it is a simplified measure.  But if you start thinking along these lines, you will definetly be headed in the right direction.

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