Google Alerts

How to Use Google Alerts to Drive Business

Google alerts are an extremely useful resource for promoting your business online. First of all, if you aren’t using Google Alerts to track your business, you’re missing a seriously useful hack. They are particularly handy for staying up to date with relevant and timely information regarding your business, so you can react immediately to any publicity or news as soon as it happens.

But that’s not all Google Alerts are good for…

Google Alerts can also be used via RSS as a news aggregator on your website or blog! This is particularly useful for showing your visitors you know what is happening around you as well as demonstrating a position of authority with regards to your particular topic. Displaying the latest, relevant news results provides a great reason for your fans to continue returning to your site. Tailored, niche content is much easier to digest when it is a subject aligned with your own browsing interests. It may even help increase the likelihood of your visitors purchasing from you!

The best part about this is it can be totally automated, so you don’t have to spend time curating material. But make sure you have tested and refined your alert keywords in order to get the best results. Or, be sure to check the results from time to time in order to filter out anything that doesn’t fit with your brand.

We will be putting together a guide explaining how to get Google Alerts displaying as an RSS feed on your website shortly…

The next application for Google Alerts is a little more intricate: With a bit of research and a thorough understanding of your target market, you can even use Google Alerts to find new business!

Example: How to use Google Alerts to Generate Leads

Our client provides storage equipment solutions to the global rowing community. Although they can retro-fit single pieces of equipment inside an existing boathouse, their biggest projects come from clubs and organisations who have or are building brand new facilities. These new facilities obviously require a complete fit out of storage equipment and therefore, are our client’s ideal market. So how do you know when a new facility is built and looking for storage equipment? Timing is everything – if you find them too late, they may have already sourced a supplier and you’ll have missed the boat. Google Alerts provides the answer!

By setting up alerts with keywords such as “new rowing boathouse”, “rowing building new boathouse” and “new rowing club” for example, you get a nice summary of boathouse developments happening around the world.

Of course you have to continue your research beyond the alert itself to determine the lead’s value. Sometimes, results are completely irrelevant, and sometimes they are duplicates of material you have already covered. However, on the whole, they are incredibly useful at identifying future projects, as they are often newsworthy topics in their local area.

google alerts example creative agency secretsgoogle alerts example creative agency secrets

The next step is to track all your leads in a spreadsheet. Information such as who to contact and where they are located is particularly important. Additional research on the lead’s website often provides the necessary information to point you in the right direction.

In our client’s case, we were interested in contacting the architects of the boathouse, so that we could get involved with the club and their design process, as early as possible.

We have experienced great success building up a database of quality leads for our client in recent months. It is then up to our client to continue the dialogue with the prospective club and come to an arrangement. We have had a great deal of success converting these previously unknown prospects into happy customers, and have done so without investing hugely in advertising, outbound mailing campaigns or other conventional outbound marketing activities!

We have been able to minimise the time taken to research new sources of business through alerts and have increased the prevalence of new business, while making it easy to filter out results of no value. And as it updates you each time a new boathouse is being developed, you don’t waste time searching for them manually. A weekly check of your alerts inbox provides you with enough

Regardless of your industry or business, there’s bound to be a positive application to use Google Alerts for. Whether it is direct lead generation, building a database of bloggers and journalists to share content between, or even researching a network of businesses whose interests align neatly with your own, the uses for it go on and on.

Learn How to Growth Hack your Website in May

Learn How to Growth Hack your Website in May

What it means to Growth Hack.

Growth Hacking is a new phrase meaning to aggressively make a step-change in business success.  It’s not just a cute phrase, there are specific techniques which can make significant improvements to website success.

You define success and we’ll teach you how to make it happen.

What is your #1 marketing and sales problem?

Get the answers about how you can growth hack your web success with USA experts Dan Morris and Rachel Martin during May 2016.

Face to face consult or small group workshops.

Email [email protected] with your #1 marketing and sales problem.

Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert

Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert

 

 

Know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

Know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

How well do you really know your audience?

Do you know what their interests are, what they want and need? Sure, we’d like to think it’s all about us and our brand. But there are strategies to reach your audience in a way that will get them engaged in you and your brand that goes beyond the surface of what you think they want from you. There are tried and true ways for you to know your audience better.

What’s your common denominator?

Find out what you have in common with your audience so you can be the brand that they trust. Engage them to keep them coming back to you. If you’re a marketing communication manager, in public relations, an agency marketer or have done the Audience Industries Sequoia curriculum, you should understand what to do, how and when you need to to make sure your audience comes back to you… every time.

Get to know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

Audience Industries is coming to a town near you in May and are bringing Circles with them. Really good news for you. The course is broken up into 7 modules that will help you to really get to know your audience. Audience Industries wants to show you how to bring your audience to you, over and over again. Keep them coming back by speaking their language, learning their paths and optimize your ads to deliver maximum value for your site. Because we know, it’s all about the money.

Here’s what’s in store for you if you sign up for Circles:

  • Module 1: Learn what your audience has in common with you
  • Module 2: Be the brand/business that your audience trusts
  • Module 3: Find out what your audience wants and needs
  • Module 4: Break down the elements of compelling stories and apply them to YOUR story
  • Module 5: Understand what makes your audience take actions on your site and use the information for good
  • Module 6: Get the strategies that create likes, clicks, shares… real engagement on your social media channels
  • Module 7: What you should know before you optimize your ads

Sound like something your business needs?

We thought it might. That’s why founders Dan Morris and Rachel Martin are bringing Audience Industries to New Zealand for the second time. The Circles curriculum is coming to these big NZ cities this May, so book your tickets now while there’s still time:

It’s not just the Circles curriculum that’s coming to town.

If you think the Circles curriculum is good… you’re right! But Audience Industries has 3 other curricula that we think you should take a look at, too, to help you grow your business in an online world. Read more about the Audience Industries NZ Tour from Creative Agency Secrets to see just what else you can learn from Dan and Rachel. Don’t waste any more time wondering how to grow you business revenue online! Book your tickets for a city near you now.

From attraction to traction: build your list with Unbounce landing pages

Landing pages are important to drive valuable conversions for your business as we wrote before, whether from current customers or new prospects. But designing the perfect landing page can take several weeks to accomplish.

Well, at least, it used to.

Enter Unbounce, a tool we are using to create beautifully designed landing pages, built to deliver easily measurable outcomes.

Yes, we know: there’s a ton of groundbreaking offers popping around on the internet every day, promising to be the Holy Grail of marketing. Luckily you have us to filter the noise and point you in the right direction! 🙂

Why we chose Unbounce Pages

This complete add-on tool has the advantage of offering quick creation and editing, cutting a lot of time from the development stage of the landing page strategy for our clients. Unbounce delivers agile results, not neglecting the “best practices” learned by the developers with intense market research. Every Unbounce landing page is completely mobile responsive, which means extra points for you in Google’s eyes.

Having a successful business on the internet is a tricky thing if you don’t focus on driving results with the right strategy. Among lots of features, Unbounce offers A/B tests and Google Analytics tracking that are amazing at collecting data and eliminating doubts in the decision-making process. It can all be integrated seamlessly into WordPress, Joomla and other CMS platforms, so the landing page doesn’t feel disconnected from the rest of your website. When a visitor gives you their e-mail address, it can automatically go to your new MailChimp highly-focused list for future prospects. Simple as that.  Check out all the Unbounce integrations.

Build your mailing list

Do you feel like building a highly-focused list of contacts is what’s missing from your digital marketing strategy? Contact us right away.

creative agency secrets new landing pages

The Landing Page: Is Yours Performing?

Landing pages are undoubtedly one of the most powerful features of your entire website. We’re willing to bet that, regardless of the purpose of your website, you have at least one landing page to filter your web traffic towards a purchase decision or other desired action. You don’t want to let your prospective customers slip away because your landing pages are ineffective, do you?

This got us thinking, “How effective are our own landing pages at driving action?” Further exploration of this question revealed our landing pages could, indeed, be better.

What makes an effective landing page?

Each landing page only serves a single purpose.

It should be stripped of the full range of information available on the rest of the website in order to focus the visitor. Having additional content on the page only distracts the visitor from the reason they arrived there and, thus, decreases the likelihood of a successful conversion.

Your landing page should also be able to accurately measure where your traffic is coming from and where they go next. Having too many variables on the page creates unnecessary complications in your analytics and reduces the effectiveness of the page.

Our old landing pages were visually outdated and cluttered with a stack of information that did not show clear actions.

How did we improve them?

The solution came in the form of Unbounce, a tool that specifically builds quality landing pages which drive results. We have dedicated an entire blog post to explaining the advantages of Unbounce – subscribe to our blog to catch future posts and to stay up to date on other marketing tips for business.

We redesigned the landing pages for our 3 core offerings as a business – Marketing Services, Training and Free Marketing Advice.

Aside from an enhanced aesthetic make-over, which fits in perfectly with our branding and design, the pages now have a much clearer and appealing interface, outline the purpose of the page and make it even easier for visitors to find exactly what they need to take further action.

We compare the old and new versions of the same page:

Old vs. New Landing Page Designs

Marketing Advice

free-marketing-advice BEFORE

OLD 

Free marketing advice landing page

NEW 

 

Marketing Training

marketing-training BEFORE

OLD 

Marketing Training landing page

NEW 

 

Marketing Services

marketing-services BEFORE

OLD 

Marketing Services landing page

NEW 

Which looks more appealing to you?

Do you need help improving your landing pages?

Get in touch!

Business Relaunch

Business not working effectively? Have you considered a business relaunch?

If your business isn’t working as effectively as it once was, a business relaunch might be for you. Relaunching a business is a proactive decision taken to ensure that your business stays relevant and engaging in this new fast-paced, dog eat dog world. If a business is relaunched successfully, it can shed its old, ineffective face – and usher in it’s new, more successful era. Here are our tips for business relaunch, to make sure you nail it.

Our Tips for a Successful Business Relaunch

Do Your Homework

The first step of any major change is to work out what isn’t working. Analyse your business, and work out what was effective, and what wasn’t. Recruit someone to give you a hand with this; preferably someone unbiased who won’t sugar coat the truth. From here, go deeper and work out why your business wasn’t working; have your customers changed? Has your market changed? Is your product still what it once was? This is the defining moment of a relaunch decision – carry it out accordingly! Having extensive knowledge of both your own business and the wider market is key to a successful relaunch.

Learn from your Mistakes

Now that you know what wasn’t working and why, it is time to make some changes. In front of you there are two ‘piles’: the good things and the bad. Keep the good things – be it your software, product, or even your business cards, and take the lessons from the bad things. These lessons are the most important part of a relaunch – learn from, and don’t forget them. Make positive decisions based on what you learned – this is where your business has its grand rebirth – it is a landmark moment. You have an effective business again – go you.

Spread the Good Word

Now you effectively have a new business – but no one knows about it. This is your time to share your business with the world (again). If you can signal the relaunch of your business with an event, and promote it in such way as to get people talking about it, you’ll put yourself in a strong position to start well. Your main aim here is not only to promote your business, but also to differentiate it and shed the image of the old one. If you can express the fact that your business is leaner, meaner, (maybe cleaner and greener), and here to stay – then you might be onto a winner.

Want to read more?

This article focuses on business relaunch options, and introduces the concept of pivoting your business
While slightly older, this article shares some fantastic war stories of businesses that have relaunched.
Look here for a quick relaunching guide from Marketing Donut.

Good copywriting for membership websites

This month we’re working on two clients both with membership businesses.  They need strong copywriting on both their home page and the landing / squeeze page where the pitch for members is made.

We got out and tried to find some good examples of membership sites where a really compelling landing page lays out the offer and the benefits.

It was surprisingly hard.

I had hoped that Copyblogger would be good – but despite moving much of their content behind an email registration wall, the old landing page is no longer there – maybe they’re so well known that the benefits are no longer needed.

We did find some….

Blogging Concentrated Prime

A subscription service for monthly coaching and education on all aspects of blogging for profit – this page really lays out the details of what a member gets and shows archive material which is also available to each new joiner.  The video welcome is a nice touch.

Blogging Concentrated Prime membership area

Blogging Concentrated Prime membership area

Tom Poland’s 8020 Center

A totally different approach is used by expert business coach, Tom Poland.  He uses a letter form to make a strong offer in the headline and a personal offer – with a guarantee.

Tom Poland's 8020 Center offer

Tom Poland’s 8020 Center offer copywriting

EConsultancy and Digital Marketer

Both offering education services to modern marketers, these sites have a near-identical page layout and copy style.  Interestingly, the DM list of advisory courses look like individual tiles, but they all go to a letter-style long copy landing page from the founder, Ryan Deiss.

Econsultancy landing page copywriting example

Econsultancy landing page copywriting example

Digital Marketer landing page copywriting example

Digital Marketer landing page copywriting example

 

Got any other examples?

Improve The Way Your Website Appears On Google

We’re often asked by clients when we begin working with them to increase their Google presence. So what’s the easiest way to do this?

Simply put – you need to help Google to help you.

Follow the steps below to increase the size of your “Online Real Estate”.

Map/Contact Details (The Red Boxes)

The easiest thing to do add to your “property portfolio” is create a Google+ Page for your business. Go to http://www.google.co.nz/business/ and register your business.  Chances are, Google has already added your site to their index and simply wants you to verify the information before it displays it as it does in the red boxes.

After locating your business (and verifying if need be) you’ll be greeted with your Business Google+ Dashboard. It’s here you can add phone numbers, office hours, address and map location.

Google_Meta_Descriptions

Sitelinks (The Yellow Box)

Most sites don’t have what is known as “Sitelinks” when you search for their business. These are drawn from Google’s index of your website and are based on what Google thinks are the most important pages on your site.  Sometimes you and Google disagree on this!

Getting The Sitelinks

Enabling Google to index your site and enable Sitelinks is simple – submit an effective Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools and ensuring your robots.txt file isn’t blocking the pages you want as Sitelinks.

These steps assume you’ve already verified your site on Google Webmaster Tools (click here if you haven’t)

  1. Generate a sitemap.xml file (using either a sitemap plugin or a generator such as http://www.web-site-map.com/).
  2. Upload your sitemap to your site’s root folder (the URL will most likely be www.yourcompanyname.com/sitemap.xml).
  3. On your Webmaster Tools home page, select your site.
  4. In the left sidebar, click Crawl and then Sitemaps.
  5. Click the Add/Test Sitemap button in the top right.
  6. Complete your sitemap.xml URL into the text box that appears.
  7. Click Submit Sitemap.

Checking Your Robots.Txt File

  1. Still in Webmaster tools, under Crawl, click robots.txt Tester.
  2. At the bottom of the page, enter the URLs you want to be sitelinks and ensure Googlebot is “Allowed” to index them.

Choose Which Pages Are Linked

Although most of your site hierarchy is decided in the Sitemap (Google “page priority levels” if you’re not sure), how Google deals with multiple pages with the same Priority Level is purely random.

Therefore to make sure the ones you want to appear appear you have to “demote” certain pages from appearing. On the left menu under “Search Appearance” you’ll find “Sitelinks”. On this page you’ll be able to enter in the URLs of the pages you don’t want to be used as Sitelinks on your Google search results.

*Don’t forget to shorten the metadata description on the pages that are Sitelinks – most SEO guides suggest 160 characters or fewer – however for best results we try to use 90 (that way Google won’t shorten your description, cutting out important information).

Of course, if you’ve got any questions about setting these up or other best practices do please leave us a comment or Contact Us – we’re always happy to help!

Writing a price change email for Event Marketing

Occasionally I receive the PERFECT message – well-written, timely and full of lessons to copy and adapt.  Copyblogger Media is running an event and…. well you work out why you think they needed to write this message.

Use the same paragraph topics if you need to use a similar tactic to fill your event with paying punters.

Subject line: Authority Rainmaker price drop!

We’ve dropped the price of Authority Rainmaker registration from $1,295 to $795 for a limited time. Head over now and grab your spot:http://authorityrainmaker.com

Still here?

Then perhaps you want to know why …Last year we sold out the event months in advance because we were limited to 400 people. We also had to make the ticket price somewhat expensive, because we didn’t want to skimp on anything – food, parties, the audio/visual experience, and so on.

This year things are different in two key ways.

And this is allowing us to lower our ticket prices and get this party truly rocking.

First of all, this year we sold sponsorships. Thanks to the generosity of cool companies like Moz, AWeber, Feedblitz, TopRank Online Marketing, and our Legend Sponsor, Spears Marketing, expenses have been drastically reduced. We had no idea that we would get such an enthusiastic response from our friends in the digital marketing community!

Secondly, we’re in a much larger venue that is turning out to cost us less than the 400-seat venue we had last year. Working with the team at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House has been amazing, and it’s a real treat to have such a magnificent venue without being charged an arm and a leg.

In short, if we would have known earlier how well things would go on the expenses front, we would have sold tickets at a much lower rate so no one was excluded by the high ticket price. We don’t produce this event to maximize profit … we do it to enhance the strength of our community.But it’s not too late to adjust. So we’ve lowered the registration rate to $795. We even issued partial refunds to anyone who paid more than $795!

Cool, right? The event is shaping up to be even better than our high expectations. And now it costs you less to experience it. Check out the details, but remember, the price won’t stay this low forever:http://authorityrainmaker.com

See you soon …

Brian Clark

Founder and CEO

Copyblogger Media