Let's talk!


Call Us Today! 1-702-987-1679

Search engine optimization

|Search engine optimization

AMHF 0039 – Five Common SEO Mistakes

As you know, ABCI encourages everyone from the CEO to the line personnel and reception desk to get involved in marketing.

But there are few things that are just not do-it-yourself projects anymore!

Search Engine Optimization, or the process of getting more traffic to your website from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo is no longer really one of them.

There are things you CAN do to get more traffic to your website, but here are five things that many people get wrong!

 

Transcript – How to Get Attention on the Web – What DOESN’T Work!

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying Episode 39. Today we are talking about SEO methods we don’t recommend. So I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: And I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams: And we are ABCI, and ABCI’s mission is.

John Williams: To help you folks out there sell more stuff in the aviation industry.

Paula Williams: Exactly. All right, so please do comment and join in our conversation we get our best ideas from our clients and also from our listeners. So you can use the hashtag #AvGeekMarketing and we will reply to every Tweet. You can also get in touch with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, all the usual places, right?

And also you can make leave comments on our website. We love that even more for reasons that we’ll explain later.

John Williams: Having to do with SEO of course. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Have to do with SEO exactly. Okay, so website basics. We talked about this in the last episode as well.

You have to have a website anyway, right? Because 78% of prospects will look you up online before agreeing to meet you, even if they found you some other way like a mailer or a trade show or something else.

John Williams: Now, wait a minute, I thought the last time you said 79%, why did it go down?

Paula Williams: Did it go down? It’s 78 point something, so-

John Williams: So you rounded up last time and this time you you rounded down.

Paula Williams: I rounded down. A lot more prospects will look you up, online before agreeing to meet with you even if they received a mailer, okay?

So if you have to have a website that might as well be as effective as possible. And how do we know if a website is effective?

John Williams: It better be ringing in qualified leads.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, leading to sales. Now you can’t expect a website to actually make sales in most of our businesses because we’re doing complex products and services in the aviation industry that requires some human interaction, that the website should be bringing you qualified leads, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay, fantastic, so here are the things that we don’t recommend, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Okay, SEO for the wrong key words and we’re going to go into a lot more detail about each of those things. SEO for the wrong locations, you’d be amazed how many people do this.

Or SEO for the world when you don’t sell worldwide.

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: Doing SEO yourself. We did this until this year.

John Williams: That’s right, and then we realized just how badly we were doing it.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly. Banner ads.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: It’s pretty much worthless.

Paula Williams: And pay-per-click which actually is useful for some very specific situations which we’ll talk about but people overuse it.

John Williams: Yeah, it’s way too expensive, it’s gone up double or more in the last six months, so.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. So to start in, the first one that we talked about, SEO for the wrong keywords.

So we have had situations where we have had clients want to optimize for a keyword that gets fewer than ten people visiting per month, right?

John Williams: I don’t remember why that was but they did.

Paula Williams: Right, well in that situation I kind of understand because it was kind of an arm wrestling thing between a guy and a competitor.

He wanted to be above this other guy on this particular keyword in the search engine results. But they were essentially spending a lot of time and money fighting over a keyword that fewer than ten people were typing into Google every month. So, if you have a keyword that is so specific like landing gear elbows or something that nobody actually uses.

And you want to rank first for that, that’s great but-

John Williams: You’re just spending money for no reason.

Paula Williams: That’s time and money that you could be spending on keywords that have a higher search volume or a better chance of getting you more qualifying prospects, right?

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Okay, and then another one is irrelevant or spamming keywords. And this is actually a example from a marketing textbook. Buy Orthopedic Justin Bieber Kanye West Kardashian Corrective Footwear.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Wonderful.

Paula Williams: So you can see what they were trying to do there. They know that a lot of people are looking on the web for Justin Bieber, Kanye West Kim Kardashian, da da da da da da da, but they have nothing to do with corrective footwear, right?

John Williams: Yeah, they do not bring you in qualified leads.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so you may get more 13 year olds who are interested in when the next Justin Bieber concert is going to be in your area. But they are not going to be buying orthopedic corrective footwear, most likely, right?

John Williams: Well, Google, I believe has been able to fix that nowadays, so that doesn’t even work anymore.

Paula Williams: Right, so if you were doing that, maybe in 2001, that would have worked, actually. It would have brought you more eyeballs and kind of the-

John Williams: Even 18 months ago I think it would have worked.

Paula Williams: The thinking behind it was if we get more people to our website, even if they’re completely irrelevant, then they know somebody or something. Just the law of averages is that we will end up with more people who may be interested in our product seeing our website. But the downside of that is that Google now penalizes that sort of behavior.

If you put keywords that are completely irrelevant to your product or service In your media tags try to optimize for that. And not to get too nerdy here, but if you see that your SEO specialist is doing something like this, you want to fire them immediately, if not sooner.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: And get somebody who knows what they’re doing because, if Google decides to penalize you, you may find yourself, like JC Penney did fairly recently, going from first for just about every category to the tenth page for just about every category. Because if Google doesn’t like what you’re doing, there’s no appeal, there’s no logic there’s no tricking Google.

They’re smarter than we are and they have nothing better to do than to figure out how to make the search engine work better and provide more relevant results for people, right?

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Okay, so you want to make sure that you’re searching for keywords that have a high search volume and you can find that out by looking at the Google AdWords Tool.

Once again we’re going to get into how to make this easy on yourself so that you don’t have to do all the hard work. But it’s fairly simple to find out for yourself by going to the Google ad words tool and looking at how many monthly searches there are for a particular keyword.

John Williams: And then when you outsource you just have to do it with a reputable firm.

Paula Williams: Yes exactly, that looks at that sort of thing. And then the second thing is you want to make sure that they are using relevant keywords. And that they are not using those red herrings to try and draw irrelevant traffic to your website just to boost your numbers and make themselves look good, right?

So they show you great reports showing you there’s a lot of people visiting your website. You want to ask yourself, how many of those are actually resulting in sales and if there’s not a correlation there it may be that they’re what they call key word stuffing is what that’s called.

Okay, so another thing that you don’t want to do is SEO for the wrong location. Now this is our Raven Works site which was a very old site that we put together just kind of for experimentation purposes. And one thing that we discovered here is that we have a huge number of people visiting from all over the world really.

Which is find because it’s an international site, but Brazil, of all places, they don’t even speak English in Brazil. [LAUGH] Right? We’d expect maybe from Australia or something like that, but here we’re getting a lot of traffic from Brazil. And what we found out was that there’s a university in Brazil that is linking to a lot of our content which is cool.

But we’re not trying to sell products with that website. So if we had somebody on our staff that we were paying to do search optimization for this site and we were actually trying to sell a product or service, we’d say, you know what? This is the wrong kinda traffic, you may be getting a lot of volume, but this is not what we’re after here.

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: So, we need to focus a little bit better on where we’re getting traffic from. And that is very doable these days, you can optimize for specific locations and do something called local SEO. And especially if your company sells something that is only relevant to maybe your neighboring states.

Maybe you do aircraft maintenance or something like that, and you want to be known on the east coast, or on the west coast, or in Texas, or whatever the situation is. You want to use local SEO to bring people to your site that are local to you, that are more likely to be your customers.

The internet is global but they’re trying to make it more local and they’d been really effective with that in the last couple of years, right?

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: Okay, so, next ad thing that we don’t want to do.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Right? Banner ads, and the reason is because of two phenomenons.

One is banner ad blindness, which isn’t really a visual affliction. It’s just something that has happened because of the predominance, I think, in the last few years of banner ads. And the fact that people have learned to avoid them and banner ad blockers which is software that people have on their computers.

And a lot of cases that doesn’t even let them see all the pop-ups and the banners and the weird things that go on on a website. There’s been a lot of abuse, I think, we’ve all been on news sites and other kinds of things where we’ve accidentally clicked on a banner ad.

And ended up in a site that was trying to sell us weight loss pills or some goofy herbal remedy for something that we never even knew existed or investment things, and other things that were not really relevant to the news story we were on, right, John?

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: That’s particularly annoying on a phone. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Well, I know, and we’ve got stuff in place to prevent that as well.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so 8% of users account for 85% of ad clicks on the Internet. So there’s 85% of the people out there who are seeing your banner ads that don’t want to have anything to do with them.

Either because they can’t see them because of their ad blocker software or because they won’t see them because of ad blindness. So, you simply tune out just like they do to commercials on TV. I know when John and I are watching TV, John will hit the mute button whenever a commercial comes on if we can’t just skip past it, because of our the way our TV is set up.

So there’s lots of ways to avoid those kinds of things. 18 to 34 year olds are really really savvy at identifying and ignoring advertisements as opposed to editorial material. And they’re even more aggressive at ignoring banner ads than they are at ignoring traditional TV, radio and newspaper ads.

54% of users don’t click banner ads because they don’t trust them and a whopping 33% of Internet users find them completely intolerable. So you don’t want to be seen as intolerable or distasteful. A lot of people have made those flashing and animated and even with sound. To make them more, make them stand out in this morass of advertising on the Internet, and it’s just made them more and more obnoxious, and the escalation has gotten out of hand.

John Williams: And the majority of bloggers, the majority of web browser-

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: Provide you the ability to stop that.

Paula Williams: Yep.

John Williams: Just as part of the toolbox.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so, using banner ads can be done credibly, especially in aviation, sometimes you can, you will be offered a banner ad in addition when you place a print ad.

A lot of the aviation magazines will make you a package deal and those aren’t too bad. If someone offers you one for free and you can do it in a tasteful sort of a way. I wouldn’t turn it down but-

John Williams: I’d take a look at if first to see what it’s going to look like and they can show you that.

Paula Williams: Exactly, but I certainly wouldn’t be investing a lot of money in banner ads.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: Okay. Pay per click ads. We had talked about how pay per click ads are actually helpful for some things like events. You have a hanger night or something like that where you want to get people to a specific event that’s happening next week or two weeks from now.

And you don’t really have time to do a print run and get things into the mail and do all of the things that we usually recommend. Sometimes we’ll recommend a pay-per-click ad because they are fast and they are effective. But they are incredibly expensive for what you get.

If you put the same amount of money into search engine optimization it would be a much better value for the money over a 90-day period than a pay per click ad would be.

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Right? Okay, and we showed this graph in our last podcast, where we talked about how organic SEO with this nice, curvy ups and downs that happen over time.

So if you stop doing organic SEO, it can be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten months before it really returns back to where it was before he started doing SEO.

John Williams: It depends on a number of things. It could even happen within a month and a half.

Paula Williams: That’s true, so past performance is no guarantee of future results. [LAUGH]

John Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly.

Paula Williams: But we can look at case studies where people have paid for three or six months of SEO, and had it last for three or six months or longer. So it really is a much better investment of time and money, than pay-per-click ads which are going to stop delivering traffic the very second you stop paying for them.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Right, okay. The other thing that happened is it used to be that when you did, bought ads from Google as an example, they had sponsored links in the top of the search engine results page and over on the right hand side of the search engine results page.

They have recently gotten rid of those results on the right hand side. So what they’ve done is they’ve basically cut their inventory in half. And you have the same number of people competing for half of the ad positions, right? And that happened in January of this year. So now you have to pay a lot more for those spots, because it’s a bid system, where you bid for this keyword, your competitor bids a penny more.

You have to bid more than that, and so on, so it really drives up the cost of those pay per click ads, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay, so paid versus organic search, a lot of people ask us about that. Our recommendation is almost always organic SEO unless, once again, you have an event or something like that where you just don’t have the time to do Organic SEO.

Okay, next terrible thing people do. Trying to do it themselves, and we did this terrible thing, until 2015, until this year.

John Williams: Sometime last year because it got so onerous.

Paula Williams: Yeah, we were doing it all ourselves for our own sites, and for all of our client sites that were paying us for SEO.

John and I and a very small team of people were doing all the search engine optimization including keyword research, and meta tags. And you may or may not know or care what any of these things are, other than the fact that it’s [LAUGH] a lot of work. So, we don’t do that anymore.

And it took a long time for me to be convinced that we don’t need to do that anymore. And one, we found a fantastic partner, but second I saw this graph.

John Williams: Well, and when she says we don’t need to do that anymore, we need to do that anymore, we personally don’t need to do that anymore.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: Stuff still needs to be done.

Paula Williams: Right, so we found a fantastic partner who could do it for us And the other thing is we saw this graph, which shows the number of Google algorithm changes per year. And up until 2011, there were fewer than 20, well actually fewer than 10.

Google Algorithm changes per year so that’s almost reasonable for a human being to keep track of and understand and adapt to and make all the changes to all of the websites.

John Williams: And those are major changes.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: They do minor changes, tweaking throughout the year.

Paula Williams: Right.

In 2012, they made more than 30 algorithm changes in 2012. And then 2013, 2014, 2015 they’ve made fewer than that. But what I’ve found is that they’re bundling a larger number into those changes. So those changes are bigger and have more impact, but they’re happening at more regular intervals so they’re almost doing a release theory.

How Microsoft started doing Office 20 whatever and then they will bundle all the changes into the next version and things like that. So Google has started bundling their algorithm changes but there’s still way too many of them for a human being who has any other kind of a job to keep track of and understand and implement, right?

John Williams: And even if you have understand a given change, when you go look at your website and realize that you’ve gotta go hit each and every page multiple time in different places in the code. It’s just very onerous.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly, so.

John Williams: Makes you tired to think about it.

Paula Williams: It does [LAUGH] your time is better spent doing just about anything other than.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Doing search engine optimization.

John Williams: No joke.

Paula Williams: The main thing that really tipped the scale for me is I noticed that last year, our sales were actually down, because I was spending so dang much time working on search engine optimization and charts and graphs.

And tracking all of this stuff, and keeping track of everything and changing all the pages and doing everything that we needed to do. And part of that was probably subconscious just because it’s more comfortable for me to be messing with spreadsheets and doing all that stuff than it is for me to actually be getting on the phone and making sales calls.

John Williams: True, you like me to do the spreadsheets.

Paula Williams: That’s true, you do the spreadsheets.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Then it ends up being a lot of revising of web pages and other kinds of things, revising of metadata and things like that. So that kind of work is more comfortable, so I was finding more ways to avoid doing sales calls cuz I was just too busy, right?

Our sales numbers went down, which is disastrous, our main focus is to do sales, right? And the main focus of just about any sales and marketing organization within any company Is to make more sales. If you don’t make enough sales, there’s no reason for the company to exist.

John Williams: True.

Paula Williams: So if you’re not spending enough time selling because you’re monkeying with your search engine optimization like we were, it is time to do something different. And then the other thing is vacationing. We have gone on two vacations so far this summer. For more than four days at a time, and that was unthinkable last year.

If I left for four days I’d be going, my gosh, all of our sites are going to plummet through the floor-

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: With our search engine optimization cuz Google’s going to change something, I’m not going to know about it. I’m not going to be in time to make the adjustments, and everything is just going to plummet.

And nobody’s going to be getting any web traffic and the world’s going to end, right? [LAUGH]

John Williams: Well, at least it would be it could been disastrous, but we don’t do that anymore.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so outsourcing your search engine optimization was really a good decision for us. And we also are acting as a partner with a search engine organization that does the nerdy work for us.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: We do the intellectual stuff we make sure that it make sense from an aviation perspective. And the aviation vocabulary and everything else is still there. But we, [LAUGH] we don’t do the day to day maintaining of websites to make sure that they stay where they need to be.

John Williams: Nope, these guys are on the front lines.

Paula Williams: Exactly, okay, so things not to do, wrong keywords, right?

John Williams: Yeah, right.

Paula Williams: We talked about that. Wrong locations.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Yeah, putting your Mona Lisa in a closet somewhere, in the wrong place. Banner ads.

Paula Williams: Not good, because people have ad blindness and they also use ad blockers.

Pay per click.

John Williams: Expensive.

Paula Williams: Yep, too expensive for the long term, and just not a really great return on investment for long term business growth and the long term effort of getting more leads-

John Williams: If somebody tells you they have a good ROI on pay per click, tell them you want to see all of the real numbers.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: [LAUGH] And when they look at it, they’ll say wow, I thought we were doing better than that. Everyone we’ve talked to.

SEO Tip Sheet Ad - Square

Paula Williams: Yep, that is true. And the last thing, bad thing to be doing is doing all the SEO yourself. We don’t know anybody who can maintain a good SEO position-

John Williams: And do anything else.

Paula Williams: And do anything else really well, right? Okay, so download our SEO tip sheet from ABCI1.com/SEO and you may also want to see, if you already have enough people visiting your website. But you’re not capturing any of their lead information and you’re not making enough sales, you may want to look at Episode 12, about list building, capturing leads from your website, all right.

 

And if you need more qualified people visiting your website, you’re also going to want to see episode number 40 and 41 on website traffic, coming soon, all right? So go sell more stuff.

John Williams: Yep, America needs the business, so says Zig Ziglar.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.

Make sure you don’t miss anything, and please do leave us a review. Thanks for joining us.

John Williams: Ciao!

 

 

 

 

 

Impending Google Algorithm Change – Be Mobile Friendly by April 21

Several times a year, Google changes the algorithm that it uses to determine which sites to display first in search engine results.

This means that if you “optimize” your pages to adapt to the new changes, chances are more likely that your site will be shown first to people interested in your product or service that use a search engine to look for it.

Google marketing

Google Algorithm will Favor Sites that are “Mobile Friendly”

In its latest announcement, Google indicated that the next change, scheduled for April 21, 2015, will favor sites that are “mobile friendly,” meaning that they are formatted to look good and function properly on a smart phone or tablet.

Of course, search engines aside, this can have a significant impact for many companies.  Twenty to 55% of the traffic to our clients’ websites come from mobile devices!

Is your site ready?

ABCI is offering a limited number of free SEO and site design consultations to help aviation companies prepare for this change.

We’ll research your site, and then spend 30 minutes with you. During that time, we’ll briefly cover:

  • Does Google see your site as “mobile ready?”
  • How does your website score for the keywords you’re most interested in?
  • How can you get more traffic to your website?
  • How can you “convert” your website visitors into actionable leads or prospects, and ultimately into loyal customers?

Complete the form below today – we’ll do consultations on a first-come, first-served, time available basis.

Do you Reuse Content? We Ask Our Panel

In our panel discussion last week, we had a great conversation with some of the best content creators in the aviation industry. As you can see, the answer to the question, “Do you reuse content?” is not a black-and-white issue, so we thought we’d share the whole conversation with you. Video here, transcript below.

Video

 

 

Transcript:

__________________________

Paula Williams: Todd if you’d like to carry on with the next question: Do you reuse content?

Todd Lohenry: Oh, absolutely! As often as possible. And, you know, there’s an order of things you know on the internet. If you’re trying to send people to your website, think you need to be intentional about how you do that. So my favorite work flow right now is to post things to a WordPress, a self hosted WordPress website. Where I have full control over the search engine optimization.

And from there, I automatically post to my Google, page. And then, I’ll turn around and comment on that from my Google profile. And the reason why I’m doing it in that way is that it sends people back to the website where I can control the whole experience.

But I’m using the authority, the power of the Google page combined with the authority of my personal profile. To show up in search. After that,  I still continue to see it on my Facebook page, and my LinkedIn page, and my Twitter profile.

But you know, if I only could use three tools, those would be the tools and the order in which I use them. And it, okay to go back into your website and to grab things that haven’t been exposed. Just search via Google, and, and dig those up every once in awhile.

Paula Williams: Right. Excellent. Ludo?

Ludo Van Vooren:  I tend to, to reuse it in, in two forms. Most likely I will re-use it in a, in the current blog post. I will, post link to previous posts in terms of giving background or giving more emphasis to this story.

If people are interested in some of the background they can follow these links. And these links can be re-use of my own content or content from somebody else. I think that is also relevant. And then, I tend to write the articles that fall into two categories.

One the post falls into something that is current, maybe like a trade show or my review of a trade show or something. Which doesn’t have necessarily a long term value. But, other articles I write purposefully so that I know I could reuse them later on. And then, I would use them on my Twitter to maybe with someone.

Or, I might re-use them in comments I use on LinkedIn, or on another platform. I’m going to put a link to an older post.  I don’t automatically use the content. I tend to try to make it something that is relevant to the current situation. So for example even if I have an old review, like when I did the review of the Farnborough event of this year, of 2014.

It was interesting because I was able to reference the post that I did in 2010. In terms of comparing some of the numbers that were in there.

Paula Williams: Excellent, and Jason?

Jason Wolf: We pretty much do the same thing, at NBAA we for every article that we post, we go through kinda packaging process.

Where we create the associated tweet,  Facebook post, LinkedIn post, and Google post. So when we post the article on the website we get it out on social media. We have a, a small blurb that appears in our weekly email newsletter. And we also, like Ludo does try to reference previous articles on the same topic.

And often this will show NBAA’s focus on a particular issue so that we reinforce that, yes, we’re on, we’re on this issue. But also sometimes to just give updates on, changes and airspace procedures, or whatever it is. We don’t tend to retweet things again and again and I’ve seen some people do that a lot. And I think there’s value in hitting the, the East Coast, West Coast people at different times. We haven’t tended to do that yet we, we were thinking about it I guess so I’d caution people from over doing that.

For those that follow you closely, can kind of  punish them.

Ludo Van Vooren: Jason, that’s a very interesting thing that you just mentioned because, that’s one of my pet peeves, there are people that treat Twitter like live TV.

When it’s gone it’s gone they think in sports, like if you missed a broadcast and I had to broadcast again for the West Coast because they would not see it. When I look at the tracking number on my blog for example, I’m always surprised when somebody’s reading an article.

And so, I might have written a post last week, and Tweeted about it, and so on. And then maybe four, five weeks later, suddenly there’s hits on that post because the somehow through the search engine, they’ve searched for that term and it came up. And so, it taught me  that Twitter is not like live TV.

It actually lives on forever, and you could see hits on some of the posts that you’ve done in the past.  So I try to resist the temptation to retweet multiple time in case somebody missed it.  I see a lot of people Googling and searching for things and they’re finding it and then the people that are really interested in what I’m saying are following me anyway or are following the hashtags in which I post.

Jason Wolf: And I think that the counter to that though is you have to know your audience.  Becasue there’s some Twitter users who are very casual. And for those people, if they’re only following a handful of companies they may focus every time they go in on the five, twelve companies that they actually follow. So those repeats will be more obvious. But for other people who have  larger interests who follow more people. They dip in and out of their Twitter stream all the time. They may not notice the duplication as much if they’re not really tuned into what you’re saying.

So  have to know who who your audience is, how tech savvy they are. And just listen.

Paula Williams: Right, watch the data!

___________________________________

Click here to read more about our all-star panelists.

We have great conversations each month with thought leaders in the Aviation industry.  Don’t have time to join the live sessions?   We send recordings and transcripts to our members.  Join now – You don’t want to miss out!

Social Media Survey of Aviation Professionals – Results and Recommendations

ABCI (Aviation Business Consultants International)  conducted a social media survey of aviation professionals, which concluded on July 11, 2014. The results confirmed some of our suspicions, and held a few surprises as well.

We advertised the survey on eight social media networks, as well as on our blog.  Survey respondents were compensated only with a report of the results.

Who responded to the survey?

The first two questions were designed to determine the segments of the aviation industry that respondents worked in, the companies they work for, and the positions they hold within those companies.

Social Media Survey of Aviation Professionals - Your Company

To divide this a different way, we can divide this into Business to Consumer (B2C) or Business to Business (B2B)

  • Business to Consumer can include FBOs, Aviation Training Organizations, Charter Organizations, Aviation Product Retailers (B2C) and Aviation Service Providers (B2C)
  • B to Business can also include FBOs, Aviation Training Organizations (career- oriented or those that sell to airlines, etc.) Charter Organizations, Airport Authorities, Aviation Consultants, Aviation Product Managers (B2B) and Aviation Service Managers (B2B)

Social Media Survey of Aviation Professionals - Your Role

  • Several years ago, social media users were younger, entry-level employees. Now C Level executives and founders were the largest group of our respondents!

Who Else Answered the Survey?

These are people that selected the option “other” and wrote in an response.

  • State aviation office
  • Uber driver – airport pickup/taxi service
  • Airline
  • Helicopter Pilot CFII
  • Aviation association
  • Full-service aviation company 
(FBO, Charter, MX, Management)
  • Aviation association

Social Media Survey of Aviation Professionals - Frequency

Which Social Networks do you use, and how often do you use them? (Personal Use)

Social Media Survey of Aviation Professionals - Personal use

Which Social Networks do you use, and how often do you use them (Marketing Use)

Social Media Survey of Aviation Professionals - Marketing use

There are two ways to use this data-

  • Look for opportunities where there are lots of companies advertising. If they’ve determined that it works for them, it may be a good opportunity to evaluate!
  • Look for opportunities where there are lots of users of a particular social media channel, with few companies that actually use it for advertising. (Lots of buyers + Few sellers = ideal market opportunity!)

Planned Changes in Social Media in the Coming Year

These were responses written in on the survey.  This question was optional.

  •  Increased use of Facebook and Twitter for business
  • Increased activity to send of company information instead of print media
  • Use more images
  • We want to do more with Linked In and will probably explore Google +
  • More Facebook activity with our employees
  • Increased use of Instagram
  • More customized and targeted advertising on social media sites.
  • Find more ways to use social media more effectively.
  • Increase
  • Many, but also see a return to more traditional marketing as it is now different!
  • Increasing
  • Increase with more relevant content
  • It will increase…but it will probably diversify, thus, diluting results…
  • Increased use of Google Plus, Instagram, reduced use of Facebook.
  • Increased use of all channels
  • Increased expectations for providing full-blown customer service via social media channels

You can probably detect a trend here- people use the term “increased” and “more” a LOT. No one in our survey indicated they intended to do LESS social media marketing in the coming year.

Key Takeaways:

  • LinkedIn is the primary social media used most by the most aviation professionals.
  • Aviation professionals are deeply divided about Facebook usage (people love or hate it, with very little middle ground)
  • Google Plus has gained significant usage among aviation professionals.
  • All respondents plan to increase social media usage for the coming year.
  • Pinterest and Instagram usage remains low, but there are small pockets of dedicated usage among specific groups. (Instagram for highly visual aviation products, and Instagram among aviation maintenance professionals, for example.)

Need help developing a social media strategy or seeing how your social media presence stands up to the competition, and seeing what opportunities you might be missing?

Order a Marketing Flight Plan Today!

Should you use Google+ to promote your aviation business?

Many of our clients have had success publishing advertising, acquiring leads, nurturing relationships with current and past customers, and acquiring referrals on social media.

And many of our clients and prospects are asking about Google+  (Google Plus.)

googleplus

Our philosophy about any marketing tool is this:

“Does it help you perform any marketing task, better or more efficiently than the other options available to you?”

More specifically, our philosophy about using any specific social media platforms is yes, IF:

  • Most of your top ten most desired customers are active on this platform.
  • Most of your top ten competitors are active on this platform.

AND IF you have time and resources to devote to learning it or have a trusted partner to outsource it to, then by all means, do a 90-day evaluation.

Social Media Marketing Evaluation

Actively connect with friends, fans, and thought leaders in your industry for 90 days. Publish regular updates.

After of 90 days, evaluate the following:

  • Have you acquired any new leads directly from this platform?
  • Have you acquired traffic to your website from this platform (check Google Analytics or WebTrends for traffic source information.)
  • Have you had meaningful conversations with current, past or prospective customers using this platform?

If yes, then include Google+ part of your ongoing marketing strategy.

Why Google Plus is Worth Evaluating

Assuming that some of your customers and competitors are using Google+, we think it’s worth a try.  Here’s why:

  • It’s owned by Google, which controls the majority of the world’s search traffic.
  • Google also owns YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, and many other products your customers and partners are probably using.  The connections between these products are advantageous to people with active Google + profiles.
  • In our experience, Google+ is an experience in quality over quantity. We have more conversations and interactions on Facebook, but the conversations we have on Google+ are more substantial and more likely to lead to a sale.
  • There are fewer people on Google+, and the demographics skew older and more educated than other platforms.
  • Ease of use leaves something to be desired. Google+ has a slightly longer learning curve. (Anybody can use Facebook within a few minutes of logging in.  Google+ requires a bit of orientation, even for social-media savvy users.)
  Google+ Facebook Twitter Pinterest
Post size limit 100,000 characters 63,206 characters 140 characters 500 characters
Profile One profile photo,one to five picture photos area displayed at once, multiple text fields One large profile photo, one smaller inset profile photo, and multiple text fields One small profile photo and 160 characters One profile photo, 200 characters, multiple text fields.
Video conferencing Yes, ten people total, unlimited watch-and- listen only guests One-on-one only No No
Visibility of posts Any follower as well as the public “Edgerank” determines which friends and fans can see your posts. Any follower as well as the public Any follower as well as the public
After the fact editing of posts Yes Sometimes, if you edit within seconds of posting No Yes
After the fact editing of comments Yes Yes No Yes
Grouping posts with comments and responses Yes Yes Not really, unless you are willing to search through every @ mention Yes
Display of photos in posts Yes Yes, but smaller in size unless you choose to “feature” it. No, reader must click on a link Yes
Display photo albums in posts Yes Yes, but probably 80% as good as Google +s No No

Table from “What the Plus?  Google+ for the Rest of Us” By Guy Kawasaki

Aviation-Related Google+ People and Pages

If you’re just getting started on Google+ and looking for some industry pages to start your network-building, here are a few we recommend:

And of course,

Of course, there are thousands more pages we could include; we’re compiling a more complete list for a future article.  Send us your suggestions!

Need some assistance getting started with Google+ or any other social media platform? Wondering if it’s a good opportunity for you?  Have concerns?

We provide a competitive analysis with our Marketing Flight Plan that includes a social media evaluation of your competitors, and a detailed set of recommendations that you can follow with or without our ongoing involvement and assistance.

Or, you can simply find 30 minutes on our calendar for a quick discussion and we’d be happy to discuss the options with you.

The 21 Best Business Aviation Blogs

aviation marketing- 21 great blogs in the aviation industryWe haven’t run a “best of” list for awhile, (last one was in 2010!) and decided it was about time. Of course, creating any kind of “best business aviation blogs” list simply BEGS for someone to point out what we’ve left out, so feel free to let us know in the comments.

These blogs, news services and compilations are sites of interest to you, and sometimes more importantly, to your target market if you sell a business or general aviation product or service.

  1. Aviation Marketing by ABCI – Marketing strategy in the Aviation industry. You’re reading it now! http://www.AviationBusinessConsultants.com
  2. Aircraft Sales Insights – Advice on buying, selling, leasing, trading and flying business aircraft. http://www.aircraftsalesinsights.com
  3. Pilot Weather Training – Sign up for weekly weather tips to stay current & stay safe http://pilot-weather-training.com/
  4. Ask Bob – Great information for aircraft maintenance personnel. http://www.askbob.aero/
  5. Business Aviation Now – Aviation Week’s Business Aviation blog http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx
  6. iPad Pilot – By Sporty’s – great advice for pilots new to iPads, apps and other electronics. http://ipadpilotnews.com/
  7. Aviation EBrief – Subscribe for top news. http://www.smartbrief.com/industry/aviation
  8. Aviation Mentor – A gold seal flight instructor and former “freight dog” shares flying tips & techniques with an occasional bit of humor. http://aviationmentor.blogspot.com/
  9. EAA – The Experimental Aircraft Association – Emphasis on, you guessed it, experimental aircraft, and the EAA convention in Oshkosh. http://www.eaa.org/
  10. Bangalore Aviation – News, views, and analysis on aviation, airlines, airports, aircraft with an emphasis on India, the middle and far East. http://www.bangaloreaviation.com/
  11. JetWhine – Robert Mark of Commavia’s sometimes humorous but always insightful take on the airline industry, business aviation, air traffic control and the FAA. http://www.jetwhine.com
  12. My Flight Blog – The personal blog of a pilot  who shares his story with other aspiring pilots about training, career path, and so on. http://www.myflightblog.com/
  13. Airplane Geeks Podcast – Max Flight, the host of The Airplane Geeks Podcast, is an “engine guy” and creator of Thirty Thousand Feet, an online aviation directory. Max is often joined by Robert Mark,  Dan Webb,  David Vanderhoof and a special guest each week to discuss aviation news.   They also include a segment called the Airplane Geeks Down-Under Desk which discusses Australian news and commentary.  http://www.airplanegeeks.com
  14. AVWeb Podcast – More aviation news, but with more of a general aviation slant.  Includes Learn to Fly Day, AOPA updates, Aviation Consumer updates, and  other information.  Frequent contributors include Glenn Pew, Mary Grady, and Paul Bertorelli. http://www.avweb.com/podcast/podcast/index.html/
  15. AOPA Pilot Blog – Reporting Points – Includes updates from the editors of AOPA Pilot, including general aviation news and commentary. http://blog.aopa.org/blog/
  16. Ask a Flight Instructor – Great blog for student pilots, a forum for asking questions they don’t want to ask their own CFI. Paul, a CFII MEI and AGI from Dayton Ohio and a group of dedicated flight instructors answers questions from students, and provides flight training articles. http://www.askacfi.com
  17. Golf Hotel Whisky – Online magazine and airport guide for pilots by Matthew Stibbe. http://www.golfhotelwhiskey.com
  18. Air Facts Journal – By and for pilots about personal travel. http://airfactsjournal.com/
  19. Universal Weather & Aviation Blog – Great advice about weather, flight planning, and other topics by the folks at Universal Weather. http://www.universalweather.com/blog/
  20. Wayne Farley’s Aviation Blog – A blog written from the unique perspective of an ATC controller.  http://www.atc-blog.com/
  21. Business Aviation Network Blog – A social network built for aviation people. http://businessaviationnetwork.net/business-aviation-blog

Our advice?  Bookmark (or subscribe) to the most relevant ones, read them regularly, make note of them, comment when appropriate, and think of them as social clubs where your prospective customers hang out. Never make a direct pitch (just as you wouldn’t at any other social occasion or event) but share information, assistance and ideas.

Square Ad - SEO 2

Aviation SEO – How Important is Search Engine Optimization?

SEO Tip Sheet Ad - SquareWhy do you spend so much time on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

In our four week startup process, we ask new clients to look at keyword spreadsheets and provide “human input” from their expertise at least twice before we come up with final keyword list(s) to optimize for search engine optimization.

In every monthly status meeting, we spend several minutes going over SEO results and changes.

There are many marketing tasks that our clients would rather spend their time (and money!) on than SEO – they’d rather talk about the colors on their home page. The placement of their logo on their stationery. The timing of a direct mail campaign. All of those things are also important. And much more visible. And probably much easier to talk about because we can SEE them.

Search engine marketing is harder to talk about and harder to quantify for two reasons:

1) It can get technical, and

2) There is often a delay between performance of SEO tasks and a visible or measurable result.

We insist on good optimization, sometimes over the protests of our clients, for one main reason.

For most businesses today, SEO is the highest ROI marketing effort. The benefits it provides exceed the value of other marketing approaches – direct mailing, broadcast advertising, online ads, etc.

Jayson DeMers – How Much Should You Pay for SEO Services?  Search Engine Watch

We disagree with Jayson – printed newsletters and a few direct mail campaigns have had equal or better return on investment for us than  SEO; although it’s hard to isolate costs since in the aviation industry people may find us through Google, receive a postcard, and finally respond to us when they see an email, as an example.  It’s difficult for us (and probably even for them) to say exactly which message prompted them to take action when they did.

In any case, being found on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines when prospective customers are looking for your particular product or service today is what having a great ad in a printed industry or local directory was ten years ago.

Most aviation decisions would be considered B2B (Business to Business)

  • 78% of B2B buyers start their research on search engines
  • 50% of B2B buyers turn to social media/peer reviews
  • 78% of B2B buyers go directly to vendors’ websites

The Data Behind How B2B Buyers Make Purchase Decisions

We will talk about what we do to optimize a site in a moment, but most importantly to most of our customers is the results they can expect.

Aviation SEO Results

One way that people judge an SEO company is by how well their own site performs against its competitors.  After all, if they tell you that search engine optimization is important and want to perform it for your website, you should see that they “practice what they preach!”

This table shows ABCI compared with our known competitors in aviation marketing. We also included a couple of our client sites for comparison, as well.

aviation seo

The sites highlighted in blue are ABCI client sites, shown here as examples of our work. We’ve bracketed the ranges of expected performance for our client sites: the service levels are as follows:

  • A    Business Jet Program
  • B     TurboProp Program
  • C    Light Aircraft Program

For comparative purposes, we have included our corporate site and a few of our clients that are engaged in the various service levels.

  • Traffic Rank is a ranking of the most popular websites on the Internet. (#1 gets the most traffic, highest number gets the least.)  This is determined by the Alexa system. (You can see the Alexa rank for your own site by entering your domain name in the search window on www.Alexa.com
  • Indexed Pages is the number of pages that the Google search engine “credits” to your site.  Google sends more traffic to sites it sees as “bigger” and more extensive.
  • Linking Domains are a measure that Google and other Search Engines use to determine how “important” a website might be. The more links to your site from others, the better.

So, how do we achieve these results?

We start by selecting appropriate keywords (sometimes more accurately called keyphrases.)

How do we know which keywords to use?  We base our keyword selection on three criteria.

  1. Relevance
  2. Popularity
  3. Competition.

Relevance can only be decided by humans, not by software. This is why we work with clients to prioritize our lists of keywords based on their experience of what words customers are likely to use. Years of experience working with customers can’t be replaced by any mechanical function, so our clients are left with the task of poring over spreadsheets once or twice a year.

Popularity and competition are only slightly less vital. It does very little good to optimize for keywords that are extremely relevant but that nobody uses.   As an example, “aviation copywriting” is an accurate (and very relevant) description one of the most important services we offer, but because few people in this industry are familiar with the term “copywriting” we generalize to “aviation marketing.” Sometimes a small difference in a keyword can make a big difference in results.

Here are the details of SEO tasks ABCI performs, based on your selected service level.

Number of keywords optimized “Landing gear” is one keyphrase, and “landing gear for King Air 350s” is another keyphrase.
Web Server Analysis Common errors include having Javascript files embedded incorrectly and poor navigational structure. We look at how your server is set-up and make changes as necessary.
Keyphrase Research Great keyphrase research is the solid foundation of any SEO campaign. We analyze keywords to determine what phrases will convert, which phrases will drive traffic, and which will do both.
Keyword Analysis We analyze your keywords an industry leading keyword research tool.
Meta Tags (Title & Description) Meta tags tell the search engines what your site is about. It also shows up to viewers when they do a search in Google. This must be written well from both a search engine and a user perspective. It is important these tags incorporate keywords but also compel users to click.
Creation of robots.txt The robots.txt file allows the search engine “robots” to know those folders that should not be included in their index (i.e. pages that are not for users to see).
Creation & registrations of sitemap.xml Shows the search engines every page on your site, the importance of these pages, and how often they’re updated.
Initial content asset links We research, write and distribute themed content assets to build trust and authority with the major search engines.
Content asset links Ongoing content asset links to keep your website ahead of your competitors’ and allows you to rank, over time, for highly competitive keywords.
Link building/link procurement With a variety of sources used – from social profiles to bookmarks and directories – your site will have valuable “votes” in the initial 2 month period.
Social signals In addition to links, search engines now look for social signals around a website′s use and popularity.
Google+ business profile setup/optimization The Google+ social network influences Google’s search results. Thus, we set up and/or enhance your Google+ business profile.
DMOZ submission DMOZ is the most trustworthy directory listing out there. We submit your site and create a profile.
Information architecture audit We make sure your navigational structure is SEO friendly and that your internal linking maximizes your SEO capabilities.
Google Analytics setup & analysis If you don’t have Google Analytics installed already, we’ll do this for you. We go over your results with you monthly, interpret and change our strategy based on results.
Local search optimization We create, claim and optimize your Google Places page so your local listing returns higher in the map results.
Setup of website sitemap A sitemap is visible to readers and is helpful with navigation. Google recommends each page on your site be within 2 clicks of the home page, a sitemap enables this possibility. This varies from the sitemap.xml file, which is for search engines to read.
Alternate text added to images Search engines can’t read images, they can only read text. We’ll add text to the image properties so Google gets a clear snapshot of what your site is about.
Link redirect audit We fix any links coming into your site on unknown pages and set up appropriate 301 (permanent) redirects.
Custom 404 error page setup A custom 404 error page will tell search engines and users where to go if they type in the wrong page.
Schema HTML tags Schema refers to an HTML tag that marks up the content on your pages in a mark up language recognized by major search providers, making it easier for search engines to understand the relevancy of your site to a specific search query.
SEO copywriting ABCI’s aviation copywriters craft your content to professionally market your business while incorporating keywords at the correct keyword density for the most successful search engine ranking results.
Shareable/linkable content Great content that people will naturally link to is one thing, actually getting the word out about that content is another. We promote your content so the links start coming in naturally.
Social media monitoring What are people saying about your brand? Log in and see at any time what visitors are saying in the social media world.
Competitor analysis report We’ll research those in your industry to gain link sources, produce unique content and strategize on how to gain the maximum visibility in your industry.

Webinar Wednesday – Working with the Press!

Working with the Press –

Working with the PressHave you ever felt that your press releases were being dumped into a black hole?

You’re probably right!

You can spend hundreds of dollars posting a press release using services like PRWeb, Business Wire, iNewsWire, Online PR Media, Market Wire, and PR Newswire and NEVER have your news item “picked up” by any of the aviation-related publications.

In this month’s Marketing Master Class, we’re talking about publicity, where it fits in a performance-based marketing plan, and how to work with reporters to get your product, service, or company mentioned.

Join us for an hour on your computer. Bring your lunch. We don’t mind.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Using Google Alerts to let you know who’s writing what
  • How to get a comprehensive aviation industry editorial calendar each year
  • How to connect with reporters
  • The seven things you should NEVER say to a reporter
  • How to find out which publications you should concentrate on
  • How to tell great stories that reporters will love
  • How (and why) to write a “tip sheet” on your product or service
  • How to write newsworthy headlines
  • What to include in an online or physical “media kit”
  • How to pitch your story so that it gets noticed

Wednesday, August 21 2013 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm

GoToMeeting information included.

Check your email, Facebook or Google+ for your invitation.

Didn’t get one?  Email Paula at 702-987-1679

Why Aviation Companies Need to Tell Great Stories

Nobody cares about your sales and  marketing objectives, but everyone loves great stories!

Nobody cares about your sales and marketing objectives, but everyone loves a great story!

Will Rogers once said something like this –  “It’s hard not to like a man once you know his story.”

Frankly, nobody cares about your marketing goals, and very few people are probably passionate about the product or service you offer.  But everybody loves a great story.

Businesses that tell great stories get great press, get people talking about them, and make more sales. When you think about companies with great stories, you might think about Harley Davidson, Wells Fargo, and Franklin Covey.

Harley Davidson has consumers so passionate they have the Harley logo tattoos. People strongly identify with its comeback story, and its cultural message and they want to be part of the “tribe.”  Wells Fargo sends its stagecoach to parades and events to remind people of its long history of supporting Westward Expansion and the gold rush with its commitment to customer service and the security of its customers’ assets.

Speaking of great stories, do you know where the term “riding shotgun” came from?

When my brother and I were kids, we each hurried to call “shotgun” to claim our turn in the front seat of the car.

Neither of us knew at the time (but I later learned when I worked for Wells Fargo)  that the term came from the “shotgun messenger” who sat next to the driver in the front of a Wells Fargo Stagecoach. The “shotgun messenger” was responsible for quick pickups and deliveries, as well as security of the stagecoach while it was on the road.  Needless to say, a loaded shotgun was necessary equipment in the Wild West.

Anyone who has ever carried a Franklin Planner (and there are lots of us out there, though most of us have switched to iPads) has doubtless heard the story of Benjamin Franklin’s obsessive use of little notebooks in a quest for personal effectiveness and self-improvement.

Southwest Airlines even turned its origin story into a children’s book:

Some of the incumbent airlines of the time (Braniff, Aloha Airlines, United Airlines, Trans-Texas, and Continental Airlines) initiated legal action, and thus began a three-year legal battle to keep Air Southwest on the ground. Air Southwest eventually prevailed in the Texas Supreme Court, which ultimately upheld Air Southwest’s right to fly in Texas. The decision became final on December 7, 1970, when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case without comment.

The story of Southwest’s legal fight was turned into a children’s book, Gumwrappers and Goggles by Winifred Barnum in 1983. In the story, TJ Love, a small jet, is taken to court by two larger jets to keep him from their hangar, and then to try and stop him from flying at all. Taken to court, TJ Love’s right to fly is upheld after an impassioned plea from The Lawyer. While no company names are mentioned in the book, TJ Love’s colors are those of Southwest Airlines, and the two other jets are colored in Braniff and Continental’s colors. The Lawyer is designed to resemble Herb Kelleher. The book was adapted into a stage musical, Show Your Spirit, sponsored by Southwest Airlines, and played only in towns serviced by the airline.

The History of Southwest Airlines, AvStop.com

At ABCI, our mission is to improve the profitability of the business aviation industry one company at a time. 

Great storytelling is a big part of that mission.

Here’s a negative example of how powerful a story can be:

Part of the reason private aviation has been so vilified in the press is because “the other side” has done a better job of storytelling.  Brian Ross’ 2008 story on ABC News’ Good Morning America about  the Big Three automakers arriving in separate private jets  (plus the spin from other news outlets and even lawmakers) did so much damage to the image of private aviation that five years later businesses are still feeling the need to justify their use of private aviation as a business tool.

NBAA, to its great credit, has taken on the challenge of telling the stories of business aviation customers and operators in part with its No Plane No Gain initiative, but it’s really up to each individual company to tell its own story.

There is understandable resistance to this idea – it takes a lot of courage to speak out in a traditionally conservative industry. Many of our clients and their clients are reluctant to reveal much about themselves in a sometimes hostile media environment.  But it’s up to CEOs and business owners to tell the stories of their businesses, products, services and people with passion,  authority and courage.

Here are some great examples of success stories from the business aviation field:

Eaton’s Aerospace Group Wins, Supports and Wins Again  – This Story about Eaton’s development of a HPGS (Hydraulic Power Generation System) for the  LearJet 85.  We like the way this story is told and structured – Background, Challenges, Solution, and Result – this is a great structure for any case study or story.

Gulfstream IV SP Aircraft Renovation – Before and After  – This is the story of a problem solved by Dallas Jet International (DJI) founder and CEO Brad Harris in which an airplane given a new life with out-of-the-box thinking and great partnerships.  This story includes before and after photographs – a dramatic transformation is always a powerful element in great storytelling. (Think of all the rags-to-riches stories you’ve heard!)

Passing it On – This is a story written by Special Service Corporation (SSC) Chief Pilot Eric Groves about his experience watching his son grow up and follow in his footsteps, leading up to Jonathan Groves’ first solo at the age of 16.  This has all of the elements of great storytelling – the story and pictures make us identify strongly as pilots worried about the future of the industry, and as parents who care deeply about our kids.

Disclaimer – SSC and DJI are  ABCI clients.  Of course we have an interest in promoting their stories!

Here are three questions that will help with writing, improving, and communicating great stories about your business:

  1. What is your “origin story?” Why was your company founded? What was the need they filled?  What is your own “origin story” with your current business?  What attracted you to your current position and what did you hope to achieve?
  2. What problems have you solved for customers? Who are your company’s oldest customers? How has their business improved in the time they’ve been associated with you?
  3. What is the key difference between your company and your competitors?  Why do you do things differently? How has that made a difference for a customer?

In any political campaign it becomes obvious that the party that “controls the narrative” (tells their side of the story best) wins.  The same is often true of companies competing for business.  All other things being equal, (and sometimes not even close to equal) we spend our money, our time, and want to be associated with the companies that tell the best stories.

There is a Native American proverb that says “Those who tell the stories rule the world.”

Need some assistance getting your stories told?  Find some time on my calendar and let’s talk about your objectives and how ABCI can help!

More resources on becoming a better storyteller:

storyteller

Image credit – http://occupations.phillipmartin.info/occupations_story_teller.htm

Links to Visit

Storytelling in the boardroom http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint-help/storytelling-in-the-boardroom-introduction-HA102516811.aspx
Juice Analytics Data Storytelling http://www.juiceanalytics.com/writing/30-days-to-data-storytelling
Pixar’s 22 rules to phenomenal storytelling http://www.slideshare.net/powerfulpoint/pixar-22rulestophenomenalstorytellingpowerfulpointslideshare
Powerpointninja.com http://www.powerpointninja.com/
visual.ly http://visual.ly
flowingdata.com http://flowingdata.com

 

Books to Read

Made to Stick (Chip & Dan Heath)

Resonate (Nancy Duarte)

WSJ Guide to Information Graphics (Dona Wong)

Show Me the Numbers

PResentation Zen Design (Garr Reynolds)

Brain Rules (John Medina)

The Back of the Napkin (Dan Roam)

 

Videos to watch

Telling Compelling stories with Numbers: Data Visualization (Stephen Few)
http://www.perceptualedge.com/articles/visual_business_intelligence/statistical_narrative.pdf

The Joy of Statistics (BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wgq0l

Persuasion and the Power of Story (Jennifer Aaker)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL-PAzrpqUQ&feature=kp

Digital Marketing Analytics (Adobe Systems)
http://success.adobe.com/en/na/programs/products/digitalmarketing/analytics/1405-50811-data-storytelling-nike.html

 

Should I Pay for Search Engine Position?

“Is it better to use paid ads on Google, or to try to get a better rank using some other method, like SEO software or writing content?”

Like most marketing questions, the answer depends on your situation and objectives, but this is a question we hear a lot.

Search Engine Marketing - Which is better? Paid Search or Organic Search?

Which is better – paid ads or “organic” search results? It depends on your timeframe and objectives.

To provide a useful answer, we have to ask a few questions of our own.

  • Are you advertising an event or a limited-time opportunity?
  • Have you done research to know if you’re using the terms your prospective customers type into Google and other search engines most often?
  • Do you have a mechanism on your site to capture visitor information?

If the answer to all of the questions above is “Yes,” then paid ads are a great opportunity to get traffic to your site quickly.

If the answer to any of the above questions is “No,” then we advise against paying Google or anybody else for “paid placement,” “sponsored ads,” or “pay per click,”  “PPC” or any of the other names used by SEO “experts” who sell such services.

Here’s the rundown on the advantages and disadvantages of paid search engine placement.

The Pay Per Click Opportunity – Best for Events and Limited-Time Offers

Most of the search engines offer some form of paid placement.  The most famous of these methods is Google AdWords. Since Google is the dominant search engine (More than 70% of online searches originate on Google) it’s a great example to use for illustration, and most search engines model their paid listings in a similar way.

Google has a number of tools that allow an advertiser to create an ad and publish it within minutes, making it an ideal advertising medium if you have an event or training session next week and have extra seats to fill, as an example.  It is probably the very fastest way we know of to get the word out about your event or offer.

The ad will appear when the person searching types in the words the ad is listed under.  Just as it’s important to ensure that your ad appears in the correct section of the phone book, it’s important to have your listing (paid or not!) appear using words you selected.

One very common mistake is to have visitors who click on your paid ad routed to your web site’s home page.  Since paid ads are best for a specific event or offer, visitors should be directed immediately to information about that event or offer.  You’ve paid for the clicks, now it’s your job to ensure that visitors aren’t lost to confusion about where to go or what to do. It’s best to assume that people are too busy and impatient to solve puzzles – you’ve purchased their attention for a few seconds, now you need to make the most of it with your event or offer.

Drawbacks to Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Paid listings have the following drawbacks:

  • They can be prohibitively expensive
  • They stop working the instant you stop paying for them.
  • They are subject to “click fraud.”  Despite the search engines efforts at security, it is difficult to determine whether a click is from a legitimate customer or from a hacker or competitor attempting to drain your budget. (When funds allocated in your Google PPC account run out, the ad will “disappear” until the next billing period.)

The Advantages of Great Content

For most purposes, we recommend that our clients use “natural search,” “organic search,” or “content marketing” techniques, or a combination of the two that leans heavily toward content marketing, because great content is a better long-term investment in your company’s complete marketing system.

Investing in great content for your website is a smart long-term business decision because a well-written article that includes the key concepts for your business has the following benefits:

  • Great content will be ranked well in the search engines.  Google engineers work hard to ensure their search engines direct web visitors to the best quality content available on a particular topic. Their algorithms change over time, but the intention is always the same.
  • Great content lasts forever. Well, forever may be a bit of an exaggeration, but one article we published in 2004 still receives between 300 and 400 visits per month. By contrast, paid advertising stops drawing traffic to your site the instant you stop paying for clicks.
  • Great content is compelling. The content on your site should be part of your sales process. It should inform and educate the visitor about your product or service, and why it is the best choice.  Great content can also provide information about your company or industry that positions you as the subject matter expert. No amount of paid advertising can be as effective if it doesn’t include well-written information.

Have questions about using search engines in your marketing? We’re here to help!  Call 480-225-4233 or write to paula@AviationBusinessConsultants.com for more details.

Load More Posts