Archive for Dave Murrow

What Do Personalized Pin Recommendations Mean for Your Business?

Posted by Dave Murrow on February 4th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Pinterest has established itself as a major player in the social media game, and 2014 marks an important year of growth for the photo-driven site. Pinterest's latest update introduces personalized pin recommendations and a new topic board designed to give users a more personalized experience. Users can identity their specific interests and Pinterest will consider these settings as it pushes pin recommendations.
This feature is leading toward the inevitable future — paid pin recommendations. Right now, businesses can't pay for pin recommendations, but in order to turn a profit, Pinterest will have to open up its boards to businesses. Businesses looking forward to the future of paid pins can explore the new recommendations feature and align themselves with various categories.
The New Tool
The personalized pin recommendations feature offers an unintended benefit for businesses. If you're looking for a better footing on Pinterest, this tool is a cheat sheet for the most popular categories. Around 80 percent of Pinterest users are women, and the breakdown reflects popular womens' interests. For example, the new dashboard features a home decor category but not a home improvement category. By browsing this section, a DIY retailer like Lowe's will learn to tailor its pins more toward decor... Read more

Small Business Setup: How Much Do You Know (Quiz)

Posted by Dave Murrow on November 14th, 2013 at 10:58 am

The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that of the 600,000 new businesses that start every year in the United States, only half survive for five or more years. Why? The SBA cites lack of experience and financial reasons for small business failure. Take the following quiz to see how much you know about setting up and running a small business.
Which is a deductible business expense?
A. Employee compensation
B. Home office
C. Advertising costs
D. Travel and meals
E. All of the above
The answer is E, all of the above. All of the above expenses are deductible with carefully documented records of the expenses. For home offices, the income generated by the business is the maximum deductible, and you can deduct only half of the cost of any meals or entertainment bills related to business meetings.
True or false: Small businesses must be incorporated
False. While there are numerous benefits to declaring yourself an LLC, it is not required. LLCs provide owners with limited protections against debt and liability, as well as a sense of credibility that sole proprietorships lack. BizFlings notes LLCs generally don't report business taxes, as most income and loss is passed on to the LLC's owners as personal gain or loss on their... Read more

(Not Provided) Changes the SEO Landscape

Posted by Dave Murrow on October 24th, 2013 at 9:40 am

Some 87 percent of Google's organic traffic going to the Web's largest news sites is encrypted and showing up in reports as (not provided), according to data from Parse.ly. It's a stunning shutdown of keyword data via Google Analytics. Essentially, Google is no longer allowing webmasters to see what organic keyword searches are bringing users to their sites.
To dedicated SEO strategists, this has not been a surprise hack. In fact, Google started encrypting keyword data back in Oct. 2011, according to eConsultancy. In the image below, you can see that the top referring link at that time coming back to the firm was a (not provided).

Put another way, when users perform searches while logged into a Google service, Google blocks all data from the incoming organic keyword referrer. Various analytic tools showed that Google was blocking about half of this data throughout 2012 and into 2013, simply reporting it as (not provided). Search marketers were stymied with this change. Google claimed it was to protect user privacy, but others opined that it had more to do with elevating revenues for Google AdWords. After all, AdWords users still saw the keyword referrals, putting Google's motives under suspicion.
But now, Google has encrypted... Read more

Mobile Apps, Guerilla Marketing Driving Retail Buying Decisions

Posted by Dave Murrow on September 19th, 2013 at 1:39 pm

The holiday shopping season is about to start and it's likely shoppers will doing a fair amount of price comparisons on mobile devices in the aisles of big box retailers from October-December. Smartphone use in retail shopping is definitely changing the retailing landscape. More than half of U.S. adults own a smartphone and use its search tools and online apps to shop and compare pricing and features. According to a May 2013 Google shopping study, nearly 85 percent of smartphone shoppers checked their phones while browsing or buying in a physical store.
Our phones help us search for products we're interested in, checking for lower prices, extra bonus gifts, or maybe added points with a preferred retailer. In 2012, ForeSee found that 62 percent of shoppers accessed a store’s site or app during the holiday shopping season in 2012.
This year, big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Home Depot and others hope to motivate shoppers to use their own mobile apps or other marketing tactics to drive increased store purchases.
Big Box Mobile
How are major retailers leveraging smartphone technology to improve the in-store shopping experience? Among the key ways, according to a retailing executive David Moth, is to use key identifiers... Read more

New Tools for Your Online Marketing Toolbox

Posted by Dave Murrow on August 26th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Effective and purposeful marketing can make or break your business. Take, for example, the cautionary tale of McDonald’s “I’d hit it” banner campaign, designed to attract a younger audience by using contemporary slang. The ad featured a young man ogling a double cheeseburger as he exclaimed, “I’d hit it. I’m a dollar menu guy.” As you might imagine, viewers did not take to the sexual innuendo, and the ad was pulled. What went wrong with this campaign is exactly what you want to avoid when marketing your product. Of course, McDonald’s, a multimillion dollar corporation, was able to recover from this gaffe, but you might not be so fortunate. Picking the right strategies is critical when marketing your product online.
Marketing Success with GoDaddy.com
In stark contrast to the McDonald’s faux pas mentioned above, GoDaddy.com is an example of a company that is doing everything right. The site is provocative in just the right ways, and directs a large consumer base to its site because of phenomenal ads and branding. The site was relatively unknown until bombshell TV commercials set the stage for outrageous success. Aired during the Super Bowl, millions of viewers raced to GoDaddy.com after watching a Janet Jackson-style wardrobe... Read more