The Downfall of Google Ad Words

At one point in time, Google Ad Words was the method to use to generate traffic to your website. Nowadays though, this is no longer the case? Why is that and what is the replacement?

What happened?

Google Ad Words was the big kid on the block for businesses looking to get more traffic online. Everybody and their mom were paying for Google Ads, and it was working! However, with everybody using it, the market became saturated like crazy. Then, like a bubble, it burst. Google Ads stopped bringing in as many results. Why is that? Well, consumers started to notice that the first couple of results of their search were all ads. More often than not, these ads would try to sell them something, and consumers don’t like being sold to, generally. As a result, potential customers would just scroll past the ads, and go to the top of the non-ad search results. This brings us to the current way to guarantee traffic to your site.

Search Engine Optimization Baby!

Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your site will ensure that you get traffic. By appearing at the top of the organic search results, you’ll be getting all of the consumers who scrolled right past the Google Ads. Sure, Google Ad Words will still bring in some traffic, but it’s not a consistent thing. You may see an increase initially, but as time goes on your returns will diminish. On top of that, once you stop paying for ads, all that traffic stops entirely. With SEO, you don’t have to pay for ads every month to ensure that you get traffic. Once your site is optimized, you’re guaranteed a consistent stream of viewers to your page.

Interested in having SEO work done, Procept Marketing will work hard to ensure that you are appearing towards the top of the search results. No matter what, we’ll make sure people can find you.

Procept Marketing Going Into 2022

With the new year being literally around the corner, thoughts about businesses in the new year have crossed my mind. It’s been something of an office discussion. What kind of businesses sees a boom at the turn of a new year? Gyms make a ton from new year’s resolutions. Having previously worked at a gym, I can confidently say that lines of people show up to grab a membership. Overall though, most people don’t stick with it which ends up being a win-win for the gyms. You’re locked into a year contract that you’re paying for, and you’re not using the equipment so there’s less upkeep.

 

But what can we do?

Now we have ideas about a gym/waterpark, but until Elon Musk comes through with the buyout, we can’t capitalize on people’s want to get into shape. So the next question became, how do we (or any business) do something beneficial because of the new year?  The main thing we found was to take an honest evaluation of ourselves. Identify the successes and the failures of the last year, but in a very candid way. That is harder than it sounds, believe me. Taking a hard look at all the decisions that were made and acknowledging “I was wrong” or “I was right,” can be a rough process, especially if you were sure you were doing the right thing at the time.

I don’t mean to get deep or introspective, but acknowledging your shortcomings, both professionally and personally, is crucial in becoming more successful. I can’t speak for everyone at Procept, but I know that improvement is something everyone here strives for. On the business side of things, that means trying new ideas and if they fail, acknowledging what didn’t work and what did. That part we’ve had down for a while now, and I can only see us getting better from here on out. 

Should You Use Traditional Marketing?

Digital marketing is a somewhat new development in the world of Marketing. Even 50 years ago, the idea of a Youtube Ad Campaign or an Instagram takeover would have made no sense to the marketers of the time. Now, however, it’s a powerhouse that has left traditional marketing behind in a lot of ways. That being said, there are still some things that traditional marketing can do that digital marketing can’t. Let’s get into it. 

What are the downsides of Traditional Marketing?

Before we talk about the advantages of traditional marketing, let’s cover what exactly traditional marketing is. Traditional marketing means basically anything that’s not online. This encompasses things like billboards, brochures, TV commercials, radio ads, newspaper ads, and magazine ads. 

So what are some pros and cons? Well, traditional marketing tends to be more expensive across the board. Upkeep for billboards, paying for commercial slots, printing billboards, making shirts all typically cost more than running a Facebook ad or paying for OTT ads. God forbid you misspell a word on your T-shirt and need to get another 500 printed. Of course, if you want to crunch the numbers, some things may be cheaper here or there, but overall expect to pay more.

Additionally, a lot of traditional marketing avenues tend to have stricter guidelines when it comes to content. Want to make a brochure with specific colors? Well, you need to limit the number of colors you have, and where the colors are unless you want to spend a hefty amount to get them made. Maybe you want a commercial that plays during the news, better make sure that your content falls within FCC guidelines. Obviously, digital marketing also has its fair share of restrictions when it comes to content, but traditional marketing has it in spades. 

What are the Upsides?

As for the advantages, traditional marketing has its ways of reaching specific groups of people. Do you have a client base that’s scared of the internet? Get a radio ad sent their way. Maybe they actively avoid using social media? Buy a billboard on their way commute to work. Is there a large event happening with tons of attendees? Go print out some T-shirts or organize some kind of guerilla marketing setup going so your brand sticks in their mind (then you can post a video of the stunt on social, but we’ll talk more about that later.)

So How Can You Use Traditional Marketing?

So we’ve talked about some of the downsides and the upsides of traditional marketing, but how can you use it? The simple answer is, in tandem with digital marketing. Digital marketing is king right now and ignoring it completely means leaving a lot on the table. With that being said, traditional marketing isn’t something you should ignore either. Both spheres of marketing have their uses and both should be utilized depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Like we mentioned earlier, traditional marketing is often the only way to reach those people that aren’t tech-centric. 

Let’s take the public event example from before. If your brand has people out and about selling shirts, helping with the event, that is excellent social media content you can post. On the flip side, let’s say you devise some kind of elaborate guerilla marketing stunt that will impress people on the street, you can take a video of that and use it for your website. There are limitless ways for you to market your business, so why restrict yourself to a handful of options. 

The tl:dr of all this is don’t forget about traditional marketing. It’s not something that should be used all, or even most of the time. However, it still has its uses and is something you should always keep in the back of your mind when you think about how to market your brand. 

Why You Should Learn About Digital Marketing

Everyone should know at least a little bit about digital marketing. Okay, sure, you may have bigger things to worry about and you don’t have time to learn about Facebook Ads. However, hear me out. I’m going to list some reasons why you just might want to read a handful of articles online. 

You Should Know What You're Paying For

It may be tempting to just grab any person off of Fiverr to do your digital marketing for you, but do you know what you’re getting? They may say things like “SEO Optimization,” “Social Media Management,” and a variety of other buzzwords that sound good on paper. But without knowing what these things mean, or how this stuff works, there’s almost no way to see what benefits you’re actually getting. Of course, if you see a boost in sales that may be because of your marketing, or it may be because your buddy down the street told people to stop by. Now if you knew a little about how to market on social media, you’d be able to take out the guesswork of whether or not what’s being done is effective.

There Are Some Things That You Can Do On Your Own

I’m not going to tell you that digital marketing as a whole is something you can do overnight. There’s a lot that goes into it and it usually takes a while for everything to work the way that it should. With that being said, there are things that you can do here and there that will save you some money. Eventually, you will have to hire a marketer to work for you, that’s just reality. But doing some things yourself will allow you to save some money on the services you hire someone else to do.

When You Do Hire, You'll Be Able To Get Exactly What You Want

When you know the basics of digital marketing, you can have more certainty that you’re getting what you need for your business. It’s almost like when you go to get your oil changed, and the mechanic tells you that you need hundreds of dollars in repairs. Sure, you may actually need those repairs, but wouldn’t you like to know for sure that you do before you dig out the credit card?

This is all to say, hiring a professional to do your marketing for you is a matter of when, not if. In the meantime, before you reach that point in your business, having some knowledge in your back pocket certainly has it’s advantages. 

What Is A Standard Marketing Budget?

Marketing is a vital part of any business. Most times, it’s actually what determines if a business sinks or swims. But how much time and effort, or more importantly money, should you put into it? These are questions a lot of businesses struggle to answer, especially when a business is new, and these things are in short supply. So what is a standard marketing budget?

In regards to the money aspect of things, experts tend to recommend is that B2B companies should spend between 2 and 5% of their revenue on marketing. Whereas for B2C, the proportion is often higher—between 5 and 10%.  

With that being said, every business is different and every industry might call for more or less of a budget. Researching your competitors to figure out how much they spend on marketing will help you get a better idea of how much you should be spending. 

Why is Mobile Website Optimization Important?

Why is mobile site optimization important? I mean, the real magic happens on the desktop site, right? While the same spark of a website is more difficult to get on a small mobile screen, mobile optimization is very vital to SEO.

Why Should You Care If Your Website Is Mobile-Optimized?

Well, about 60% of website visits come from mobile users. So by not having a mobile version of your site, you’re giving over half of your traffic an inferior version of your business presentation. I say “inferior version” because your website may be mobile-friendly, but not mobile-optimized. Let me break it down, if your site appears on mobile as a shrunk version of your desktop website then that’s classified as mobile-friendly. It may look okay, and people can still navigate your website, but it doesn’t have any pazazz that the desktop version has. A mobile-optimized website will have a version of the site specifically designed for phones, complete with resized buttons, photos, videos, etc. 

So How Does All of That Affect SEO?

Well back in June of 2021, Google picked up on the fact that the majority of users surf the web on their phones rather than a desktop. Because of this, if you’re website is not mobile-optimized, you will come up lower in the search rankings, regardless of whether or not the search is happening on a phone or a computer. So while it may be a pain to go through the process of optimizing your website for mobile, if you want to see results come in from your SEO bucks, it’s an important thing to get right. So why is mobile website optimization important? It not only affects your SEO rankings, but on average, the majority of your traffic will be from mobile users. 

Why Is Having A Professional Website Important?

Having a professional website is a luxury, but is it one that you can afford to live without? Mayyyyyyybe, but it’s more than likely something that will help you out more than you realize.

It gives the impression that you know what you’re doing

This one is somewhat of a no-brainer. If someone were to visit your website to find a landing page with a phone number and a “Call Now” title in Arial font, they would probably assume you’re either very new or not a legitimate business. Having a professionally designed website tells everyone that you’re established enough to afford such an expense. 

Allows you to show off the unique style and vibe of your business

Do you want to communicate that your business is a fun and easy-going place? Or perhaps you would like to show how sophisticated and professional your operation is? Having a website done professionally opens the door for all kinds of creative ways to display your business how you would like. You’ll at least have more options than the templates Wix or WordPress gives you.

A whole load of features and additions are now available to you

It’s not just a matter of appearance or vibe, having it professionally done opens up avenues for different website functionality. Do you need employee training materials on your website to help with new hires? What about an online store to sell your products digitally? Or mayhaps a video library of testimonials from clients who love you? All of this can be done on a professionally made website, and add credibility as I mentioned earlier.

Now, of course, businesses have succeeded before without websites, professionally done or not. But in the age of digital storefronts and pandemics, having an online presence is more vital than ever to a business’s ability to thrive. Not to mention, your competition likely already has a professional site that’s doing wonders for them. So my true and honest recommendation? Save up some money to invest in a professional website, and with the right people creating it, I promise you won’t regret it.

So What Is An OTT Ad

So what is an OTT ad? 

 

In short, it’s the ads you see pop up when you’re watching Hulu and a character is in the middle of a dramatic speech. It’s the replacement for commercials on something like Netflix, Vudu, Roku, etc.

 

The acronym stands for “Over The Top” ad. This is because by using these ads, you’re “going over” the traditional networks that control ad space on television. OTT ads are a good thing (aside from interrupting your favorite show, I need to know what happens to Jax and Tara get outta here!), as it allows for smaller advertisers to reach their audience without paying large amounts to get on TV. 

 

Now the actual process of putting up OTT ads is fairly complicated. While it seems simple on the surface, there’s a variety of different platforms the involve online streaming and as such, each has its way of doing ads. However, there has been a push from both major and minor advertisers to the medium. Additionally, TV networks are releasing new streaming platforms every other day, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see OTT become the next big thing when it comes to digital advertising.

Facebook Ads Have Switched Up

Facebook has changed. More specifically, Facebook Ads are much different today than they were a few months ago. With the iOS 14 update, iPhone users are now able to opt out of sharing their personal information with apps that they use. As a result of the update, people’s private information is more secure (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong), but it also means that advertising your business to the right people is much more difficult. 

Previously, you would be able to see all kinds of data about who viewed and interacted with your ads, but this is no longer the case. The Facebook Pixel has also received a change with the update. Now there is a max of 8 events set per pixel, meaning that you have to be selective about which events you track. What these changes mean for the future of Facebook marketing and how it will change is uncertain, but it’s almost guaranteed that a change will come. 

5 Tips for Starting a Successful Business

5 Tips to Start a Successful Business

Starting a business is a complicated thing to do. For one, there are many things to get in order. What should the name be? Should I hire workers? What type of business should I file for? How do I file? Etc. This all is why this list exists, to give you some tips for when you’re just starting your business. Let’s start with:

#1 Figure Out What Problem You’re Solving

It’s easy to get lost in what you’re making. How it works, what it looks like, how expensive it is to make, etc. But it’s important to not look over the reason the product or service exists in the first place. Focus on the issue that you can solve. Having your business be centric on problem-solving can help you see gaps or niches in a market that you can target. This also allows you to build a brand early as the “X fixer,” which will pay off in the long run.

#2 Be Aware Of Your Limitations

Now, it seems like a fairly basic idea, but so many businesses fail because they try to act outside of their scope too early. Start small and simple. Have a good idea that costs more than you can comfortably afford? Wait until you have the funds for this endeavor. Your financial situation isn’t the only limitation you need to be conscious of. Starting a business means that you are counted on for a lot of things. Take a moment to seriously consider if this is something you are motivated and driven enough to undertake. Putting time and money into something only to realize it isn’t for you is a large sink of resources for likely no returns.

#3 Work While You Make Your Business

Again, pretty basic. Regardless, it still bears mentioning. While being passionate about your idea is a good thing; you don’t want to throw everything you have into something that might fail. Keep your day job to pay the bills and save money for your business. Spend your time on the weekends working on your business.

#4 Learn What You Can About Digital Marketing

The average person is exposed to 6,000 to 10,000 ads per day. As things are, there isn’t a ton of room for you to get your business out there. This is why it’s vital to know as much as you can about how to market your business online. Traditional marketing like billboards and commercial spots still have their uses, but they are usually expensive and won’t be as effective as digital marketing is for free. Read some articles online, watch some videos, talk to other business owners about how they market their business to get started. From there, pay attention to what gets attention online and pivot to do what you see.

#5 Make Friends With Other Business Owners

Starting solely on your own is a hard path to follow, especially if you don’t have experience starting a business. This is why friends with their own businesses are a valuable asset to have. They are excellent fonts of information you can pull from, or maybe even another way to market your business by word of mouth through them. If you don’t know any business owner friends, look into small business development programs that can help you network.