Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Search engines aren't important in our business"

You would think that nowadays, most busines owners understand the importance of search engines and the role that they should play in their marketing strategy. Yet, I frequently hear from potential clients that search engine optimization is not important to them, or their marketing strategy. Some comments I hear is "Oh, we don't get work that way", or "We get all our business via word of mouth".

All of that may be fine, but I must question the wisdom of building a site that ignores the fundamentals of search engine optimization, and ignoring the opportunity that lies in proper search engine marketing. We've taken so many clients online and marketed their site aggressively, and the results have completely changed the way in which their company does business.

Take for example, a recently redesigned site we just finished for a long time client, Suburban Seats (http://www.suburbanseats.com ) Their new site has been a lead-generating MACHINE! It's bringing in more leads than ever before. Why? Well #1 rankings for Truck Seats is surely one of the reasons.

So, when someone shows us a site with no search engine optimization - or a site built entirely in Flash - we question why a company would choose to purposely ignore the opportunity to generate business and leads online. We can only assume that they didn't know much about it, and trusted that their web designer would design a site to address those needs.

These same companies then become the ones spending thousands of dollars on paid Adwords campaign because their site won't ever rank high naturally, and their web designer doesn't know of any other way to actually get their site to rank naturally - for free. We we're recently hired to redesign a sign company's site who was spending $500 a month on Google Adwords. Why? Because their current site was built entirely in Flash. When we're done with it, we expect them to eventually rank naturally for most search terms. And when that happens - they save $500 a month. When you do the math, a properly optimized site will quickly pay for itself when comparing how much an Adwords campaign will cost.

Here's a sampling of some our search engine successes. http://graphicd-signs.com/html/port_seo_successes.htm

If you really want to know how ranking high on Google naturally has helped their business, just give them a call and ask them. You could also ask us too - we rank #1 for nearly every term related to our business. Google us for nj web design, nj logo design, nj graphic designer.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Marketing Strategy from Ad Salespeople?

Recently, a new client of ours asked us to build a new web site and sales brochures for their New Jersey-based service business. We discussed their budget for the project and, as we normally do, inquired about their other supplemental advertising expenditures.

It's really our job to look at what a client is spending on their advertising, especially as it relates to a percentage of their yearly total revenue. When we analyzed their advertising budget, it was clear that they needed help. Nearly 90% of their total budget was being directed towards the various yellow page books. Worse, was the fact that the ratio of sales to advertising was way out of line. The percentage we normally like to see our small business clients is no more than 5% of total revenue going towards their advertising and market budget line.

So what happened to this client? How did he get in over his head with his budget on yellow pages (which unfortunately, have you locked in 12 months at a time).

In a nutshell, he took all his marketing advice from an ad salesman instead of an marketing professional. His business was slow, or experiencing a slowdown - so, the yellow page sales rep says 'Well, then you need a bigger ad'. And so the client put more money into a medium that less and less people actually bother to use - especially in their particular sector. Had we been consulted prior to committing these funds we would have devised some different, less costly - yet more effective means to promote and market their services.

As an agency, our goal is to have you spend the least amount of money on your marketing and advertising - with the maximum amount of return. Had this client consulted with us prior, we would have saved them literally tens of thousands of dollars. And got them better results from other mediums.

I'm happy to report that our client's business is slowly coming around - their new web site and brochures are really working well - but they are still saddled with these huge payments to the phone book companies. Until they get out of these agreements, their business will remain somewhat hampered.

Bottom line - be careful who you take marketing advice from.

Monday, January 8, 2007

BrooklynPorkStore.com -- Another success story

What we really enjoy about our job is creating success stories for our clients with our work. Take BrooklynPorkStore.com as an example. Last year, we redesigned their web site and introduced a new brand identity for their online store. The results were astonishing. They went from about 40 order PER YEAR on their old site, to well over 4 THOUSAND orders last year. Even before they were featured on the Food Network - they we're averaging about 100 or more orders per month. Our email campaign for them has been hugely successful as well.

What's interesting, is that if it weren't for their new, redesigned site and brand identity - the Food Network wouldn't have even considered featuring them on their Road Tasted show. So, this is a great example of what it takes to propel your company to the next level - the vision to see the need for a company like us to help them, and the guts to put that plan into action.

Most business owners fail to ever take their businesses the next level. It's not that they don't want to - they just don't have the vision needed to make it happen - and don't know where to turn to to get them to the next level.

That's why our best clients are those who trust us, and our years of experience, to take them to next level. We're just as excited by their successes as they are. And that's usually when they realize that their marketing investment with us has paid for itself many of times over. Or in the case of BrooklynPorkStore, it actually paid for itself about 45 times over.

That's powerful stuff.