If you have a website, you should have at least one type of analytics software installed, and that analytics software ought to be Google Analytics. It is an incredibly full-featured web analytics solution, and best of all, it is completely free. In fact, it’s even better than most of the paid solutions out there. Google Analytics provides a wealth of data, and it is actually quite easy to use.
Whenever you perform a search on Google, you often see ads at the top and/or the right side of the search results. That advertising is done through the Google AdWords service, and anyone can create an account. When setting up the account, you must decide which keywords (search terms) you want to bid on, your maximum bid for CPC (cost per click, which is how much you pay Google each time your ad is clicked), and the geographical locations where you want your ad to appear.
Google uses a number of different factors to determine if your ad is shown and in which position to show it. You can influence this in some ways, but it is not as simple as the highest bidder receiving the highest position. If you have the highest bid for a given keyword, but no one is clicking on your ad, then Google is not making any money by putting your ad in the top position. Instead, Google may give more weight to other factors, such as the historical clickthrough performance of your ads, the historical clickthrough performance of your campaigns, and the relevance of your landing page (the page on your website that the visitor reaches after clicking your ad).
The main constraint of social media marketing is the time investment. You may have set up Facebook and Twitter pages for your business, but rarely update them. If so, there is not much point in having them at all. But if you already publish blog posts on your business website, you can update services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with the same information, without adding much more work.
If you have your own website, then you probably own a domain name for that website. But you should also consider owning additional, related domain names – especially if your website is for a business. The main reasons are:
- Protection from Competitors. A competitor could purchase a similar domain name and use it to steal potential traffic or slander your brand name.
- Protection from Squatters. A domain name squatter could purchase a similar domain name and try to sell it to you for a large sum of money. This is more common than you think. There are many people out there who do this for a living.
- Traffic Preservation. A potential visitor could mistype your URL in their web browser, get an error page, and never end up at your site.
The .com domain name extension is the most common. However, .net and .org are also fairly common, and .info is often seen as well. Those are the typical extensions for US-based businesses. There are other extensions, such as .us and .biz, but those are rarely used or seen for legitimate websites.