Author Archives: dennisyu

About dennisyu

Co-founder and CTO at BlitzMetrics. Making tools for young leaders to help businesses drive results in online marketing. I also stand for what's right when the little guy gets stomped on by unethical (but still legal) business practices. I like to eat wings and play ultimate frisbee.

How to make your marketing chores IRRESISTIBLY fun!

video-game-controllerNot enough time, too difficult to learn, so many other things do to– these are all excuses for not getting your marketing done. You know your website needs some help, your customer email list could use some love, and you don’t have time for a proper Christmas card campaign. Yes, we’re only 10 weeks away.

Volkswagen has created the “Fun Theory“, showing how adding video game elements to daily chores can create massive change. Watch these 3 short videos– you won’t be disappointed:

Bottle Bank Arcade Machine

Piano Staircase

The World’s Deepest Bin

If video games are so addicting and pleasurable, even when you’re definitely not making money by playing, can we apply these same concepts to mundane tasks such as sending out greeting cards to clients, adding content regularly to our websites, getting listed in all the major web directories, and following up on patient emails?

Here are the elements to making work more fun:

  • Points: if you’re not keeping score, there’s no feedback loop. Awards points for various tasks.
  • Levels: as you achieve new levels, you “unlock” new things– think of a way you can reward yourself for completing items. Not technically savvy enough to build a game? Use a whiteboard and set rewards at different point levels.
  • Leaderboards: You should be keeping score against your other co-workers– games are meaningful when friends play and addictive when the scores are posted publicly. Then the ego is involved.
  • Randomization: Even simple games are fun when a bit of chance is added. Just look at Las Vegas. Consider winners being allowed to spin a wheel for a random prize versus just earning a prize. Or perhaps each day you do something (check your web stats), you’re allowed to roll the dice for a chance at ice cream. You have to roll higher than an 8 to earn the ice cream, for example.

TAF-HighScore

How can you make your life more fun, while also creating incentives that move your business forward? Love to hear your thoughts!

Targeting Potential Customers With the Google Content Network

David Wurtz

Have you ever been browsing the internet, maybe reading your favorite blog or news site, and come across a page with Google ads? They often say ‘Ads by Google’. Odds are you have, though maybe you didn’t realize it. Google puts these ads on any website that is a member of their content network (there are millions of said websites). These ads come in different shapes and flavors– sometimes a group of text ads, sometimes image or banner ads, and sometimes even video ads etc. Google determines what ads will show based on the content of the page.

Here are some examples…

If you aren’t taking advantage of the content network you are missing out on quality traffic to your site. By high quality traffic, I mean traffic that converts at a high rate. By specifying content ‘Placements’, combined with geographic and demographic targeting, you can tell Google to only show your ads on specific websites, for viewers in a specific region, that are of a specific age, and a specific gender. For example, I created an AdWords campaign for one of our clients that targets women who are over age 35 that live in the Denver area, and are interested in laser liposuction. This client is a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in light-based treatments.

How did I target people that are interested in laser liposuction?

The key to targeting interests is using ‘Managed Placements’ effectively. These placements are specific websites and webpages that you want Google to show your ads on. To do this effectively you need to think like one of your customers. What websites do they go to? What information might they look for prior to making a purchase? What do they like? Review sites, forums, and blogs are often a good place for this type of thing. I was fortunate enough to find a highly reputable, high traffic site that has multiple pages dedicated laser liposuction reviews, information, and frequently asked questions. What’s even better, is that these pages have a nice big 300×250 pixel block that is reserved for Google ads.

So what did I do? I created a campaign that only uses Content Placements that I specify. To do this you simply go to the campaign settings and under the ‘Networks, devices, and extensions’ section, disable the search network and choose ‘Relevant pages only on the placements I manage’ in the Content Network (This campaign settings page is also where you select your geographic and demographic targeting.) To specify your Placements, select the ‘Networks’ tab. You should now see a row called Managed placements. Click show details and then add the websites that you want. As you find more and more sites that you want to advertise on, simply ad them to the list. Just make sure the site already has Google ads, otherwise the placement is useless.

Once you have a well targeted campaign set up with adgroups and keywords, the next thing to do is create your ads; but thats blog post for another day. Tune in later this week for a follow up article on how to easily create quality image ads.

If you are a business owner and aren’t already advertising with Google, you should seriously take a minute to consider doing so. Hopefully you found this article convincing. No need to have a marketing degree or be technically savvy– there are numerous blogs and articles that offer detailed guides that can help you get started. If the task seems too overwhelming you can enlist a third party such as BlitzLocal to help you with your local online advertising.

You can take your local reach a step further by using sites like Judy’s Book to manage your reputation and engage with customers who review your business. An added perk to using these sites is that Google Maps attaches customer reviews to your local business profile, which makes you rank higher in local searches.

David Wurtz is a Marketing Manager at BlitzLocal, specializing in getting small businesses found on Google, and generating new phone calls and leads.

Google AdWords Offers a Tool for Making Image Ads

David Wurtz
Greetings business owners! Here is a continuation of my article from a couple days ago. If you recall I was talking about how to target potential customers with the Google Content Network, using one of my clients as an example. Here’s how I was able to make ads like a pro…
After getting my client’s AdWords campaign properly configured and adding keywords, I used Google’s Display Ad Builder to create some cool ads. No not some plain text ads, but rather some colorful image ads that have fancy loading animations. I also created variations for each of the different sizes that Google uses on their content network. And guess what, I’m not a graphic designer or a programmer, and it didn’t even take me an hour.
This is an amazing opportunity for business owners. In the past you had to spend $500 or more to hire a professional designer to make your ads, but now Google helps you do it for free! Here’s a screen shot of one of them…
David Wurtz
Greetings business owners! Here is a continuation of my article from a couple days ago. If you recall I was talking about how to target potential customers with the Google Content Network, using one of my clients as an example. Here’s how I was able to make ads like a pro…

After getting my client’s AdWords campaign properly configured and adding keywords, I used Google’s Display Ad Builder to create some cool ads. No not some plain text ads, but rather some colorful image ads that have fancy loading animations. I also created variations for each of the different sizes that Google uses on their content network. And guess what, I’m not a graphic designer or a programmer, and it didn’t even take me an hour.

This is an amazing opportunity for business owners. In the past you had to spend $500 or more to hire a professional designer to make your ads, but now Google helps you do it for free! Here’s a screen shot of one of them…

Google makes creating these ads really easy, no design or programming skills are required. To create them, start making an ad like you normally would, but instead of choosing ‘Text ad’, choose ‘Display ad builder’ (you need to use the web version of the AdWords interface to access this).

As you will see, there are over one hundred pre-made ad templates, most of which allow you to customize different text and background color/font combinations. Sure, they may not be quite as attractive as a professionally designed ad, but being able to generate a variation for each of the sizes that Google allows is worth the trade off. Besides, any one of these image ads are going to be far more eye catching than a simple text ad.

One of the drawbacks to these ads is that they don’t offer a lot of space for text– about as much as a text ad, but it varies from template to template. A way to get around this issue is to upload an image that contains text instead of your logo. The ‘Get Your Free Guide To Laser Surgery’ part of the ad above is actually an image.

When making your ads, be sure you preview the different variations. Sometimes your text will get chopped off with the smaller sized ads. If this only happens to a couple variations you can just exclude them. Adwords gives no indication of how many characters will fit in a text area so you will need experiment.

Overall the display ad builder is a great tool, especially since its free. It allows anyone to create professional quality ads with minimal time and effort. Generating the different size and layout variations is also a huge plus. And quality image ads placed on sites that are relevant to your customers’ interests, combined with demographic and geographic targeting is a sure way to drive quality traffic to your site.

If you are interested in learning more about paid advertising check out the BlitzLocal Blog. You will find some great articles on Facebook advertising, geographic targeting, Google Maps, and more. If you haven’t already, you should claim your business listing on Judy’s Book and reach out to people who are reviewing your business.

David Wurtz is a Marketing Manager at BlitzLocal, specializing in getting small businesses found on Google, and generating new phone calls and leads.

Why guest posting is a simple way to get your small biz site trusted by Google

If you’re a local business, you want to show up on Google when people type in your business’ name or any of the services that you provide. For example, “Denver liposuction” or perhaps “Massage Therapist Boulder“. But there are a lot of spammers out there making fake sites. So consider Google’s challenge– to distinguish you from all the spammers out there– arguably over 95% of the web.

huge.67.338188The key is trust– to be endorsed by other existing high trust sites. That trust is measured by links and citations. It’s going to be hard for spammers to get a link from the New York Times, your local newspaper, or any other site that is popular with users. You get a few of these links and you get a one-way ticket to the top of the search results for your local service. It really is that simple.

To get these links, you either need a story that local media can pick up on– hard to do– or you can just guest blog post. In other words, you write an article for someone else. They get a free article that is helpful to their users and you get the benefit of a link. Win win!

Some tips on guest posting:

  • It doesn’t have to be on a newspaper site or even a site about your practice. It just has to be a site that has significant trust with Google, evidenced by having a Google PageRank of at least 3. Install the Google Toolbar if you haven’t already so you can see the Google PageRank as you browse.
  • Do not self-promote. That’s a bad user experience and will cause the site owner to not want to invite you back again. When you write a guest blog post, consider the audience you are speaking to and what they are interested in. Provided it’s interesting and helpful, people will naturally want to know more about the author. Then they can click on your tagline or whatever reference saying “This is a guest post by so-and-so, who is a Palo Alto dentist”– or something like that.
  • Make it at least 200 words. That’s a good rule of thumb to have sufficient content for a page. Longer is better, but there is no perfect number to hit. Write as long as necesary to get the point across.
  • If you don’t have a website, get that up first. What point is there to guest post if you aren’t linking to your site. Do not set up a free site at blogger.com or any of those sites, since you’re just creating trust for someone else’s domain. You want to be building trust to your own site. There are a ton of tutorials for non-technical people at wordpress.org and you can get going quickly– $8 to buy a domain and perhaps $10 a month.
  • Use relevant anchor text: Anchor text is the blue underline that you see for links. For example, facebook advertising agency is 3 words and helps us rank on those keywords. So make sure you’re telling the search engines what you want to rank on– most likely your city and primary service (san diego chiropractor, for example).

shaking_handsIn summary, guest posting is a way to tell search engines you are a trusted site– not a spammer. How many links do you need? More than whoever is showing up #1 for your search term. Having a complete listing at JudysBook.com will also help increase trust– when you have references from JudysBook.com and other directories, it tells the search engines that you’re a legitimate business. Don’t use an automated listings service either– that will make you look like a spammer. Writing real articles yourself and submitting quality information yourself to directories does take time, but it’s worth it.

Hope this helps your business get more Google love! As a bonus, have this template of 10 ‘submit guest post’ buttons to use on your blog – thanks for reading.
blitzlocal_submit_guest_post