Call Tracking – The Next Step in Analytics

Call tracking is not new. People have been using local and toll-free numbers to track TV ads and yellow page ads for years. However, call tracking with online sources is rather new, easy-to-implement technology that can help you determine which landing pages and advertisements are driving traffic and in-bound calls. How does call tracking work? Basically, call tracking provides unique, pass-through phone numbers to visitors that come from distinct sources (e.g. a different phone number for people clicking through from Yahoo vs. Google vs. Facebook vs. MerchantCircle, etc.).  Then, the backend system documents the number of calls, the length of each call, the conversation and many other statistics enabling you to easily determine which ads are generating in-bound calls, and the quality of those calls based on comprehensive data. Pricing Call tracking is affordable, too. Rates range from $10-$20 per month per phone number. While there are minimum monthly spending requirements ($50-$100 per month) that can hold small companies back, agencies will often meet the spending requirements because they deploy call tracking for many small and medium-sized companies. There are also costs per minute on the telephone lines, but these costs are rather low ( ~ $0.03 – $0.10 per minute), and get lower as the agency adds more lines for customers.   Call-Tracking Vendors Below are a few companies that offer call-tracking services. Marchex IfByPhone Dial800 This article was originally featured in Relevante Marketing's internet marketing newsletter. You can subscribe...

Get Started

As many of you know, I haven't written a post in a while. I apologize. Rather than make excuses for my inaction, I would like to challenge you to do something. Anything. In the next 30 days, start something or start working toward something. It starts with an assumption. If I start learning how to trade stocks, maybe I can supplement my income in the future. If I start a blog, maybe I can publish a book in the future. If I start volunteering, maybe I'll meet some new people that can help me find a job. Whatever it is, get started. There is no better time than now. Take the excuses off the table. Most things worth doing don't require a whole lot of actual time or money. We, humans, tend to use those things as excuses. The legend has it that took Da Vinci 16 years to start, pause and ultimately finish the Mona Lisa. So, find your Mona Lisa, and get started painting it. And, if you don't hear from me, assume that I am working on things I care about more than blogging at the moment. Over the past 6-7 weeks, this lecture has motivated me. I hope it has the same effect on you. Video Credit: Laughing Squid and Clay...

How to Consistently Win New Business

While there is not a magic bullet that applies to every business, the best way I've found to win new business is to: 1. Convert strangers to friends 2. Convert friends into fans 3. Get your fans to talk about you to their friends (who are strangers to you before that conversation) 4. Rinse and repeat You can replace the word stranger with prospect and friend with customer, if you must, but I wouldn't recommend using that language as it will affect the way you treat...

65 Ways to Improve Your Internet Marketing for Under $65

When first venturing into the world of internet marketing, with the overwhelming jargon and rapid speed of change, many people just need a bit of direction and a helpful push to try something new. That's why I've created a list of 65 things you can do to improve your online marketing for under $65. They don't require a ton of time, talent or capital. Most of them are free, and anyone in a company can do them. Not just the marketing, PR, advertising types. Note: You don't have to do them all….today. Pick 2 or 3, and get started. It's About Creating a System It's the sum of all these parts that make up an internet marketing system that will help you be successful using the internet for business. Being relevant never hurt either. Future Plans for This List I plan to add links to related resources, but I wanted to get the list live, first. You can always Google anything you don't already know about. The List Research and listen to your customers Conduct a survey of past customers Ask your customers to review your products or services on popular web sites Ask a customer for a testimonial Figure out a new customer is worth. Use SpyFu to check on your competitors Do keyword research with Google Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator Improve your Web site's Page Titles Improve your Web site's Meta Descriptions Add more lists to your Web site. Get rid of the slow-loading Flash intro and “Enter Site” on your home page Add a form to your Web site. (free trial, request a quote, request...

Google’s Own SEO Report Card

Ever wonder what factors Google takes into account to rank a web page? Well, the Google Webmaster Blog just released a blog post with their own internal SEO report card for their own products. Check it out, and use the factors they evaluated to better your Web site's rankings.  If you're looking a Web site SEO Evaluation, email me at (craigrentmeester at gmail dot com) or click the link and fill out the form. They're free and full of...

Consultants Need to Know Your Constraints

There comes a time when you need to work with a consultant, or even just a specialist. Whether she's a doctor, a salesperson, or a web designer, I've found that the best approach is to give them constraints. Often consultants will ask you to tell them about your situation. This is where you'll often want to describe the problems you have that you think they might be able to solve. On the consultant's side, they're listening to what you're saying, but also playing Choose Your Own Adventure at the same time. The Consultant is thinking…. If this, then Solution A is an option. If this, but also that, then maybe Solution B will work.  Essentially, a consultant knows which strategic bucket to drop you into based on how you describe your problem to them. My Advice, and an Example I've found the best way to have a productive first meeting with a consultant is to determine ahead of time what my constraints are, and make sure to provide that information at the first meeting. It may be something like: My budget is endless as long as each lead generated costs less than $25. Or… My budget is $10,000 and my expectations are to generate 400 leads.  Other Constraints to Consider Sharing Amount of Time or People You Can Dedicate to their Plan Timeline for Implementation Capital Allocated for the Project Competitive Information Successes or Failures in the Past Gatekeeper's Likes and Dislikes Consultants don't come cheap, so figuring out this information prior to engaging them is often worth your time. It will also help you refine your thinking and...

Cool tools for Internet Marketing

My company, Relevante Marketing, recently released a few tools for small business owners. The tools are free. They are intended to help you forecast ROI for Pay-Per-Click Advertising or Internet Marketing as a whole.  Give them a try. Any feedback you have is much appreciated. Pay-Per-Click ROI Calculator Internet Marketing ROI Calculator Want more tools like this? Subscribe to our Internet Marketing Newsletter to get more frequent updates on these types of tools, as well as other articles and...