Online Marketing Myths and Scams

Is your business considering whether to give online marketing “a try”?
Or are you currently paying an “expert” to run your online marketing campaign? 

If so,one piece of advice; please be careful. 

With online marketing there are NO QUICK FIXES and no sure fire tools and/or software to make your website super successful on the web.  And if anyone should ever tell you that, run!  Too often I hear of clients (or potential clients) that are investing exorbitant  amounts of time and money into online services that are sketchy, at best.

Is online marketing needed these days?  Yes, to stay competitive in today’s business  environment, you don’t just need a professional  looking website, you need to apply some on-going marketing efforts to insure people can find your website. But the amount and the levels of that investment vary widely.

If you are interested to chat about a current program you are using or don’t know where to start when it comes to online marketing, then give us a call, 856-428-8038 or contact us via our website,  We can offer you the guidance you need.

Can you trust an online review?

Are you looking to buy a new TV?  Or maybe looking to try a new restaurant?  So many of us (myself included) jump right to online reviews (Yelp, Amazon, Angie’s List, etc…) to find out the real scoop about a product, a restaurant, hotel, business, etc…

Unfortunately what you read can’t always be trusted, as the State of New York is pointing out.  The state’s attorney general just announced details about a year long sting focused on companies that posted “fake” reviews of products and services, for a marketing fee.

(Reuters) – Nineteen companies caught writing fake reviews on websites such as Yelp, Google Local and CitySearch have been snared in a year-long sting operation by the New York Attorney General, and will pay $350,000 in penalties.

But before you lose faith in online reviews, let me offer you three ways to help determine if a product or service is worth your time and money:

  1. First, be a little cautious of products/services/companies that may only have a few reviews appearing online (AND even more so if all of those reviews are incredibly positive.)
  2. Second, websites like Amazon will often note right next to the review if the reviewer actually bought the product (Amazon labels the review “Amazon Verified Purchase”), which means there is a higher chance that this reviewer actually bought the product.
  3. Lastly, remember when you were in school and some teachers graded your tests using a simple bell curve?  Try the same thing with online reviews; take a step back and look at all the reviews and determine if they are leaning in one direction or the other. Then try ignoring the most positive and the most negative reviews, to see what is left.

Of course just like in “real” life, on the web it will always be “buyer beware”.  For our clients and other businesses we recommend making it “company beware” as well – it might make sense to pay “Online SEO Consultants” to boost your SEO rankings and scores using tactics such as fake reviews.  But just like in life, over time you will most likely be found out.  And unfortunately the “web” is a lot less forgiving than people are, so if you get caught “cheating” it might cause a LOT more damage to your business than what its worth.

If something is ever too good to be true… well… you know….

Your Secret To SEO and Online Marketing

Back in college, one class that seemed to inspire an instant feeling of dread was Statistics 101. Simply mentioning the class would bring the strongest business students to their knees! Not to mention after the first few exams, the phrase “why do we need this {expletive} class anyway, no one uses this stuff in the real world?” could be heard  throughout the business department.

Fast forward a few years and guess what? Statistics is not only back, it is back with a vengeance. And the phrase “no one uses this stuff in the real world” has for once been proven wrong. Now statistics is (should be) the most important element in a company’s online marketing efforts. Too many companies throw thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours down the drain as they search for ways to drive traffic to their websites. What they so often forget to do though, is “track” their efforts. Without performance tracking of what’s working and what’s not, you have no way to truly know what your ROI (return on investment) is on your time and money.

And that tracking is done using, what else, statistics.

Statistical packages (specialized software) are a way to view who is coming to your website, where they are coming from and how long they are staying on the pages of your site. Every website should have a statistical package installed and running behind the scenes. That would be Step 1. Step 2 is to make it a priority to create statistical reports on a routine basis of your website’s performance. And finally Step 3 is to use those reports to make informed decisions on how to continue to invest your time, energy and money into your online marketing efforts (similar to Stephen Covey’s “Sharpen the Saw” habit).

Too often companies (especially smaller ones) completely ignore performance tracking with their online marketing and SEO / SEM (Search Engine Optimization / Search Engine Marketing) efforts, and they end up wasting thousands of dollars in the process.

If statistics was never your strong point, and if you are too busy handling the day-to-day operations of your business, then look to someone who has the knowledge that can help give your company advice and make recommendations on how to best apply your online marketing. Performance tracking not only increases your website results, it often saves you time and money.

PS: Did we mention that Emaxed has been known to handle such services
(“Nudge, nudge. Wink wink. Say no more”)

Ponzios takes Take-Out to a whole new level!

For all of those who grumble at the thought of cooking for all your holiday guests, Ponzios Restaurant (Cherry Hill, NJ) has come up with a way to help!  This year marks a first for their new online take-out system.  With a focus on ease of use, Emaxed helped them build a system that streamlines the process of getting a holiday meal ordered and ready for pickup, with minimal effort.

To see the system in use, OR if you are in need of some last minute food for the holidays, click here.

e-Etiquette Quick Tip #1

Have you ever expressed interest in buying something online and sent a quick email for more information, then never heard back from that company? Or maybe you attempted to make a reservation at a restaurant’s website (because they offered that service), but again got no response from them?

Sadly those experiences are often the norm, not the exceptions…

How fast do you respond back to your customers, clients, and prospects? Within a day? A week? Ever? I can recall at least a half dozen times where a prospect emailed us a question through our website, I received their message, and personally responded back to them within 5 minutes… Amazingly each of those prospects became clients (they all commented either about how they never heard back from other companies or how they never received such a prompt reply “in their life”). And “no” we don’t sit and watch our in-boxes minute by minute! :)

So here is our quick tip…
When you get a business email from a client, customer, vendor or prospect, write them back as soon as possible; even if it is just an acknowledgement that you received their message. No, you don’t need to be checking your emails every 2 minutes and stopping your day to respond to each email, but can’t you make it a habit to check for new messages once an hour? And while auto-replies help to at least acknowledge you received their message, you can do a LOT better than that. I promise you will be amazed at the responses you get!

The pen is mightier than the sword!

True, This! –
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! – itself a nothing! –
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Caesars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! – Take away the sword –
States can be saved without it!
(Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton)

When was the last time you went back and read through the writing on your website? Are the words still applicable to your company, its products and its services? More importantly was the copy written specifically for the web or was it “borrowed” from some of your other marketing materials? Too many companies invest good money to have a website built, then fall short with the wording that is added to that site.

Writing for the web is where art meets science. The art exists in the usage of words that persuade, influence, and inform your visitors. The science exists in using words that directly effect how search engines catalog and rank your website in search results.

Too many times organizations treat the wording on their website as an afterthought. We suggest turning things around one hundred and eighty degrees and focusing “first” on the wording, before the design work even begins. The pen is, and always will be, mightier than the sword; use words wisely on your website and watch your traffic and customer conversions grow exponentially!