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Marketing Madness – Top Posts for August 2015

This is part of a regular series of PlusROI posts that provide a collection of links to useful marketing resources and actionable strategies to help you grow your business. Curated by Nevin Thompson (@NevinYYJ) and Rob Cooper (@robertecooper). Featured image is from this comic strip.

Google Has Just Changed How Some Local Businesses Show Up In Search Results

Writing for SEM Post, Victoria BC web marketer Jennifer Slegg gives a detailed report on big changes happening in the local space for Google local business listings. For example, fewer businesses show up pinned to the map and exact addresses have been removed.

Read more. 

How Google Plus May Become More Relevant for Marketing Your Business

While Google Plus has been described as a “failure” by many pundits, thanks to Google Plus Business Pages Google’s social network is still incredibly important to local businesses.

Over the course of a long, well-written article, well-known Google Plus cheerleader and online marketing guru Mark Traphagen explains in great detail the recent and sometimes confusing changes to Google Plus. He also provides some suggestions about how marketers can effectively leverage the “new” Google Plus to help their businesses grow.

Read more.

4 Businesses That Are Doing Content Marketing Like a Boss (and How You Can Do It Too)

You may be in a niche industry that is tiny, unsexy, and downright boring. You may have zero in-house talent and no budget.

So, the question is, can you still do content marketing like a boss? The answer of course is “yes.” Here are four businesses that will show you how it can be done.

Read more.

How Much Does Click-Through Rate Matter to Where You Show Up In Search?

Although Google won’t confirm it, it’s widely believed that the Google Search algorithm considers whether people are clicking on your link or not (i.e., the “click-through rate”, or CTR) when assigning search rankings.

To find out if CTR does affect your search ranking, two highly motivated online marketers conducted an awesomely detailed experiment.

Read more.

How to Write Amazing, Clickable Headlines Using Data-Proven Techniques [INFOGRAPHIC]

What drives people to click on headlines? Including a bracketed clarification like [Infographic] will increase your click through rate by 38%. Including the word “photo” will increase your CTR by 37%. The word “who” in a headline will increase CTR by 22%.

What words should you avoid?

Read more.

PlusROI Online Marketing Selected by Google for Elite “Priority Agency” Partnership

Google Elite Partner ProgramPerformance marketing agency PlusROI Online Marketing Inc has been selected as part of an elite group of Priority Agencies in Canada as part of Google’s improved partnership model. As a result, PlusROI now works directly with a full Agency Team at Google who provide personalized help with strategic planning, onboarding, training, strategic insights and support for optimizing Adwords clients’ account efficiency.

Google also gives PlusROI personalized assistance with advanced Analytics and measurement tools, as well as troubleshooting support for Google Analytics and all features of Google Adwords. This helps PlusROI’s clients achieve better results with valuable advertising budgets.

“It’s a real honour to have been selected as one of a handful of elite Canadian companies in Google’s new Priority Agency program,” says PlusROI President and founder Rob Cooper. “This builds on the existing Google Partner Program and offers some very significant value to our agency and our clients.”

PlusROI’s approach to online advertising is to focus on results and limit client risk.

This powerful new program can definitely help us provide our clients with a competitive advantage,” says Cooper.

No strangers to Adwords, PlusROI’s current and past clients managed through their Google Client Centre have generated almost 7 million paid advertising clicks, over 100,000 “conversions” (purchases, leads, signups, etc) and over CDN $4 million in advertising spend.

PlusROI President and founder Rob Cooper has been managing Adwords teams since his introduction to Adwords in the highly competitive downloadable software industry in 2005. Managing Partner Rian Bowden began his Adwords career in Shanghai in 2006, selling English language training programs internationally through Adwords and SEO.

PlusROI Online Marketing was even the recipient of the 2014 VIATeC Technology Awards Online Strategy of the Year Award for a successful highly targeted national advertising effort.

Clients such as Company Capital, which provides working capital financing to small businesses across Canada, also have great things to say about PlusROI’s Adwords services.

“We teamed up with PlusROI to help us grow our on-line leads by 50%,” says Company Capital VP of Marketing Bruce Marshall. “Among other things, PlusROI completely re-built our website and re-vamped and expanded our Adwords campaigns. The results have been exceptional – in just 6 months our website visits are up 150% and our on-line leads are up 170%. The most important results are we have increased our new customer counts by 125% over the same period last year.”

PlusROI also helps out on the non-profit front, offering advice and helping non-profit organizations like The Canadian Animal Assistance Team, Big Brothers and Sisters of Greater Victoria and the Victoria International Cycling Festival set up and run Adwords campaigns through the very generous Google Grant program.


PlusROI Online Marketing Inc was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in beautiful Victoria BC. PlusROI provides online advertising, search engine optimization, web marketing and website development services.

More information is available through or

SEO vs PPC – Which is Better?

Having inhabited this strange industry for a looong time now, I often hear comparisons between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing.

I always find it odd when I hear someone say one is “better” than the other. It’s kind of like declaring a pickup truck better than a sports car. They both have unique features and their value is in direct relationship to the job you want them to do.

Looking at Google in particular, the biggest thing SEO and PPC have in common is the venue they appear in.

Here’s a screen shot of a search results page for a search query (personal injury lawyer) that also triggers the “local deck” of Google+ Local Business Pages (the pins labelled A-G):


Here’s a screen shot of a search results page for a search query (CRM software) where location is not relevant and so does not show a “local deck”:


As you can see, the sponsored PPC ads are positioned at the top and down the side of the results in both cases. The results driven by website SEO appear in the main body of the results, although in the “local” query the website results are driven down on the page, below the Google+ “local deck” (which is driven by Google+ Local Business Pages).

For those new to SEO and PPC, the sponsored PPC ads are delivered through Google Adwords, where website owners bid to have their ads appear on the results pages for specific search queries and then pay each time someone clicks on their ads. The regular search results appear because Google looks at a variety of factors and then decides which pages are most relevant to the search query. Search Engine Optimization is the process of ensuring that Google sees your pages as being highly relevant for a range of different search queries and the keywords that go with them.

I often hear people say that SEO is “better” because you don’t have to pay money for the visits to your site. While it’s true that you don’t have to pay for clicks, those in competitive industries will have to invest dozens, hundreds or even thousands of hours to rank for certain keywords/search queries. Whether you are investing this time on your own or having a staff member do it, there is most definitely a cost to the results you will eventually receive.

As well, in the example results pages shown above:

  • A new personal injury law site would typically take 6 months to 2 years + hundreds of hours of work to earn first page Google rankings through SEO (depending on the size of your market and number of competitors)
  • A new CRM software company would likely have to spend literally thousands of hours over multiple years to earn first page rankings.

On the flip side, however, these keywords are also very expensive to “buy” through PPC. Personal injury law keywords typically cost $5-$10 per click for each visitor (more in some markets). Some of the CRM software keywords can actually cost $35 or more per click.

Rest assured that there are less expensive PPC keywords and less competitive SEO keywords, which will take you some time to discover.

From the above perspective, one of my favourite strategies is to use PPC to “test” different keywords. In this case, you spend a modest amount to drive clickers to your site for certain keywords (even if they are expensive) in order to find out if searchers on those keywords will engage on your site and become leads and/or customers.

Even if PPC is not in your long term plans, the above strategy is a fast way to identify your top keywords and search queries, which you can then confidently invest in targeting through SEO. As well, if you can identify PPC keywords you can bid on profitably, it makes a ton of sense to keep investing in them through PPC.

Summary points on SEO and PPC:

  • PPC is great if you need visitors to your site “right now.” You can sign up for Google Adwords today and literally have new traffic by tomorrow through PPC.
  • It’s critical to measure ROI properly on your PPC campaigns. If you can do this you can identify the profitable keywords and confidently pay to get visitors who are using them in search.
  • The downside of PPC is that it can be expensive and the moment you stop paying for it is the moment you stop getting traffic from it.
  • SEO is often the highest ROI activity you can undertake, but it can take months or years to bear fruit. Also, notably, if you quit before you achieve first page results then your investment up to that point will have been wasted.
  • SEO is great in that after you’ve succeeded in getting results from it, you keep getting visits month after month without having to spend more money.

Questions on PPC or SEO? Fire me a note through our Contact form. Also, you can find out more info on our Online Advertising and Search Engine Optimization pages.





Marketing Madness – Top Posts for July 2015

This is part of a regular series of PlusROI posts that provide a collection of links to useful marketing resources and actionable strategies to help you grow your business. Curated by Nevin Thompson (@NevinYYJ).

Case Study: How to Turn Autocomplete Ideas Into Traffic & Ranking Results With Only 5 Hours of Effort

You probably already know that Google Autocomplete can be a useful tool for identifying keyword opportunities. But did you know it is also an extremely powerful tool for turning your website into traffic-generating powerhouse?

MOZ contributor Jamie Press (@jamiepress) has written an excellent case study about how he turned Autocomplete ideas into traffic and ranking results with only 5 Hours of Effort.

Bonus link: How to Increase Your Website’s Traffic Without Any Marketing

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Google AdWords

According to Neil Patel, many customers with buying intent click on Google AdWords ads. Nearly two-thirds of searchers, Patel says, click on Google ads when they’re ready to buy a product online.

This means AdWords is an important discipline that entrepreneurs must master. If you have never run an AdWords campaign before, or if you’re looking for a refresher course, Neil Patel has written an article that will guide you through the process.

Read more.

12 Companies With Superior Content Marketing

Over the past year or so the concept of content marketing has grown from buzzword to a best practice all web marketers must embrace in order to succeed. However, just what exactly is content marketing? And does content marketing actually work for anyone?

To answer your questions and provide some useful tips for your business, Scott Gerber (@scottgerber, @YEC) has created a list of 12 companies that are currently rocking content marketing.

Read more.

Infographic: 21 Types of Content We Crave

What content universally resonates with readers? What kind content will your readers never get tired of? What kind of content will motivate your readers to share what they have read with others?

Scott Aughtmon (@rampbusinesses) and the Content Marketing Institute have created an infographic that provides an answer to these questions and more. Read more.

Bonus link: 5 Tips for Writing a Blog That People Actually Want to Read

Infographic: What Is the Ideal Length of Everything Online?

What’s the use of clicks if your audience doesn’t stay on the page for any longer than three seconds? This infographic created by SumAll and Buffer provides useful information about the ideal length of everything from headlines to Tweets to Slideshare presentations.

Read more.

15 Places You Should Be Sharing Your Blog Posts (Other Than Facebook And Twitter)

For more aspiring content marketers, the natural first step is to share their content on Facebook and Twitter – but after this, many writers are at a loss.

If all you’re doing is showcasing your blog posts on these sites, you’re missing out on the thousands of potential views that could come from sharing on other platforms. Read more.

The Top 20 Content Marketing Blogs to Read Every Day

If you want to stay on top of trends in content marketing and enjoy an advantage over your competitors, Michael Brenner (@BrennerMichael), former head of content marketing for SAP, has curated a list of his top 20 daily must-reads.

Read more.

What Is Growth Hacking? And What Does it Mean for Your Marketing?

The role of marketing is changing into a discipline that requires a technical background as well as a love of data, creativity, and curiosity. ‘Growth hackers’ are playing an increasingly strategic role to help grow their companies.

But what is growth hacking? To get you started, KISSMetric’s Zach Bulygo (@zachcb1) has compiled 35 resources to help you become a growth hacker.

Bonus link: Entrepreneur and master marketer Neil Patel has also created his own Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking.

Social Media ROI – Growing and Showing Your Results [Social Media Camp 2015]

The following was the topic of our presentation at Social Media Camp 2015 plus download links!

Thanks to everyone who attended for the great energy and the great participation!

Do you face challenges demonstrating the return on investment (ROI) of your Social Media efforts?

With tight budgets and an understandable focus on revenue in most organizations, this is a challenge that is not going away.

The good news is that it’s definitely surmountable and, in fact, can be turned into a strong point. In this presentation we’ll explore:

  • Where Social should be measured
  • How to compare Social to traditional activities like PR, print ads, radio and trade shows
  • Showing Social’s critical value as it compares and contributes to online advertising, email marketing, SEO and your entire content marketing mix
  • The transition between Social and sales
  • Actionably measuring, testing and improving your Social efforts.

Here’s download link for the slides.

Here’s the download link for the quick guide to solutions.

Google Mobile Update

Mobilegeddon: Is Your Site Ready for Google’s Biggest Update Ever?

Mobilegeddon Defined

Google recently announced that on April 21 of this year they will start to label your site as “mobile friendly” (or not) and use the information to help determine where your site should rank in search.

This in itself is not particularly scary as your mobile accessibility has been a factor for some time now. What is scary is how significant this update might be. A Google Webmaster Trends team member was quoted recently as saying that this update will have more of an impact on search results than Panda or Penguin (Google’s two largest updates to date).


No Panic Required (most likely)!

There are a couple of things to help you rest a bit easier if your site is not optimized for mobile:

  1. You can fix your site after the deadline. With less than a month to go, there may not be time to properly update your site by the April 21st deadline. While you may take a short term hit, Google will recognize and reward you for your mobile upgrades when you do eventually fix your site.
  2. You NEED to do these upgrades anyhow! Traffic across all types of sites is rapidly growing on mobile platforms. If you’ve been ignoring this trend, consider this a nice kick in the ass to get going on these overdue upgrades!
  3. The impacts should only be felt in Mobile search, so if your site doesn’t yet get a ton of mobile search traffic you can rest easy that your desktop/laptop traffic should not be affected.


Why Do I Need to Worry About This?

We’ve seen mobile traffic increase between 100% and 500% over the last few years. Using data for sites PlusROI has been monitoring between 2012 and 2015, we’ve seen:

  • Mobile traffic on small business sites go from 11% to 28% of all traffic
  • Mobile traffic on B2B professional services sites grow from 6% to 12% of all traffic
  • Mobile traffic on tourism-related sites grow from 13% to 33% of all traffic
  • Mobile traffic on healthcare sites grow from 10% to 47% of all traffic.

Looking at these examples, if you’re the B2B professional services industry you can take some time to get your act together, whereas if you’re in healthcare you probably want to get started right now!


What Does It Mean to Be Mobile Friendly

To be mobile friendly, your site must be able to “respond” to the different screen sizes it is displayed on in order that it’s easily readable and navigable on desktops/laptops, tablets and phones. This is known as responsive design.

Options for becoming responsive include:

  • Using a responsive theme on a platform like WordPress
  • Coding your site so that it “responds” at different screen sizes. This option is not for the faint of heart as it requires a ton of coding and significant troubleshooting and testing on different devices, OS’s and browsers.


Resources for Mobile Friendly Sites


Some Advice

While the update is expected on April 21st, we would urge site owners to avoid knee jerk reactions. Consider this a great time to look at your overall strategy and put some well thought out changes and mobile upgrades in place on your site.

For instance, take a moment to think about how visitors will use your site on a mobile device and what your business goals are before you rush to “fix” your site. A responsive site that is frustrating to use may get more search traffic but could ultimately hurt your business.

Doing a good job of improving your site will create much more benefit for your business than doing a rush job trying to get things fixed by April 21st.


Getting A Professional Opinion

Want to know if your site has any obvious issues and what you need to do to become mobile friendly? Simply contact us and we’ll be glad to have a look at your site and let you know where you stand.

There’s no charge for this and we pride ourselves on providing informative responses to your queries.

target customers

Target Customers and Your Website

Not a lot of companies to a good job online at understanding and catering to their target customers.

“Target customers” is actually kind of a funny term as it makes it sound like you might be planning on shooting them. That said, everyone understands the term so we’ll keep using it.

Rather than explain the theory behind customer targeting and how it affects your website and marketing, it might be easier to just look at a practical example…

We’ve worked for some years with a company called WildPlay. They’re a multi-location outdoor adventure park, with things like Zip Lines and some amazing aerial obstacle courses through the treetops. Simply put, they are an exhilarating and empowering natural experience.

Let’s think about their target customer for a second. You might think that their target is anyone who likes outdoor adventures.

You’d be right but you’d also be wrong. Let’s have a look a bit deeper. Their market might include:

  • Outdoors sports enthusiasts (hikers, climbers).
  • Teenage thrill seekers.
  • Local parents planning parties (they are a very popular birthday party location).
  • Tourists visiting the cities their parks are in (huge in the summer).
  • Corporate HR people looking to book off-site teambuilding activities.

So, while all of those potential targets might love the outdoors, they have dramatically different needs that you’re going to need to address on your site. A great example of different needs from these groups is that of local parents versus teenage thrill seekers. While the thrill seekers are going to be looking for maximum adrenaline, the parents are probably primarily concerned with the safety of the locations.

Obviously, you need to put some serious thought into how to address these different targets on your site.  There’s much more of a science to this than we have room to go into here, but if you’re interested in “doing it right” I’d suggest checking our Buyer Legends by the Eisenberg brothers. These guys are the real deal and I first met them when I took their web marketing course way back in 2003 at the Wizard Academy in Austin Texas.

In the next sessions we’ll look at prioritizing our target groups and setting up for “self segmentation.” Moving forwards, we’ll also look at how to write great copy for your targets and how to optimize your site for “conversion.”

Next Lesson Coming Shortly!>>

web marketing fundamentals

Web Marketing Fundamentals Series

Confused and perplexed by the Web Marketing industry? So are we!

Businesspeople looking for marketing support on the web must navigate their way through:

  • High pressure sales for web services.
  • Search technologies which change weekly.
  • Web technology platforms that may or may not be right for your business.
  • An unregulated industry with some vendors offering worthless (or even damaging) services.
  • Millions of pages of marketing-related posts with no clear way of identifying the good stuff.

At PlusROI we believe the best way to improve our industry and help differentiate responsible vendors is to educate the market.

Companies who are educated about web marketing are able to make better decisions and, ultimately, get better results.

The good news is that despite the technologies involved, making smart decisions about web marketing is more about common sense than about technology.

With this in mind, we’re launching the Web Marketing Fundamentals Series.

On a weekly basis, we’ll add a educational post created to inform and empower you. Starting with some of the basics, we’ll work our way though to some more advanced concepts and keep adding as we go.

Our goal is that:

  • People wanting to “do it themselves” will find inspiration and direction that helps them in their learning process.
  • People wanting to get support with their web marketing can learn about the different marketing channels and make smart decisions.

Of course, we also hope that if you like the information we share you might consider us the next time you need a new website or need some help with your marketing!

If you’ve got feedback or have topics you want to see addressed, please send us a note through our contact form.


The first post in our series is on different kinds of websites and Achievable Goals for Your Site>>

webucation week

Webucation Week 2014 – Online Marketing Education

7 Critical Keys for Website Success

Creating an effective website experience is a complex matter, but very few people take the time to understand the basic fundamentals they need to success

Making matters more challenging is the fact that many designers and developers aren’t experts at business strategy, so have a hard time adapting your goals into a web strategy that’s applied to your site.

Join us for this high energy one hour presentation where we cover 7 key areas you need to be aware of to succeed with your website. We’ll touch on:

  • Realistic site goals.
  • Targeting and prioritization.
  • Branding
  • Search Engine Optimization.
  • Persuasive messaging.
  • Converting visitors to customers.
  • Measuring and improving performance.

You’ll leave this hour feeling much more confident about being able to make smart decisions for your website. There will also be plenty of time for questions and discussion following the presentation.

Who: Presented by Robert Cooper
When: Monday, November 24th at 4:00 p.m.
Where: 777 Fort Street (Fort Tectoria)
Cost: $0

RSVP required.

How To Generate High Quality Web Traffic

Launching a great website is only half the battle –  you need to take meaningful action to get visitors.getting web traffic

In short, you need to get really smart at “buying” traffic through web advertising or you need to learn how to create and promote great content so you can “earn” traffic. Or, of course, you can do both!

In this one hour session we’ll explore:

  • Advertising Strategies
  • Content & Social Strategies
  • Holistic Search Engine Optimization

Possibly the most important thing we’ll look at is how these multiple areas can work together to drive dramatically better results.

We’ll also save time for Q&A and discussion after the formal presentation.

From this session you’ll get a great sense of what you need to do to succeed in the different areas and be able to figure out which areas make sense for your business.

Who: Presented by Robert Cooper
When: Tuesday, November 25th at 4:00 p.m.
Where: 777 Fort Street (Fort Tectoria)
Cost: $0

RSVP required.


What Works On The Web – Successful Industry Approaches + Expert Q&A

Curious what really works on the web?what works

This presentation has been adapted from a very popular seminar we ran earlier this year and outlines tactics we’ve seen work with our own eyes over the year.

We’ll present “mini case studies” on successful topics like:

  • Selling your professional services.
  • Selling big ticket items.
  • Selling B2B products with long sales cycles.
  • Developing your personal reputation.
  • Developing thought leadership in an industry.
  • Selling your retail or ecommerce items.
  • Boosting your prominence in local search.
  • “Aspirational” Social Media.
  • Online branding.
  • Maximizing sales per customer.

This one hour session will be followed by an informal Q&A session with leading local web marketing experts as well as our strategic partners with expertise in social media, graphic designer, videography, and photography.

Who: Presented by the PlusROI team and Strategic Partners
When: Friday, November 28th at 4:00 p.m.
Where: 777 Fort Street (Fort Tectoria)
Cost: $0

RSVP required.

setting website goals

Achievable Goals for Your Website

If you want to succeed on the web you need to do more than throw up a website and hope for the best! While any site is better than no site, it requires some attention, education and intent for you to manage a successful website.

As a start, let’s look at some different types of sites and what kind of goals you can expect to achieve with them. While websites won’t all fall into these strict categories, it’s important to understand the different site elements at play and what goals you can accomplish with them.

Contact Info Site

We see a lot of sites tossed online because a site is “needed” but without much thought about Branding or strategy.

At this level your site will, at a minimum, serve to provide basic contact and address information for people who already know about you. This kind of site won’t be found by anyone who does not know already know about your business. It’s likely the only time it will show up in Google is if someone types in your business name.

You can buy ads or spend time promoting this type of site through Social Media, but it may not be wise to spend resources this way as this type of site is typically put together without giving a lot of thought to what it will take to build credibility and earn the business of new visitors.

If your goal is simply to provide contact info and/or directions to your business, you can succeed with a basic site like this.

Branded Site

At this level, someone has taken the time to present your business in an attractive manner through the website. This type of site will serve to establish credibility for people who have been referred to you by other customers, but is not likely persuasive enough to earn business from folks who haven’t heard about you before.

You can promote this kind of site, but will not likely have significant success in “converting” new visitors who don’t know about you into customers.

Persuasive Site

This type of site is well-branded and you will have identified your target customer groups and done a great job of creating “benefit-driven” copy that illustrates meaningfully how you will make your visitors’ life better if they become a customer. This type of site will also be good from a “conversion” perspective and present clear calls to action and next steps for your visitors, which will make it easy for them to “convert” from site visitors to customers.

With this type of site you can confidently spend time and money promoting and advertising the site to your target customer groups as you stand a great chance of actually earning their business through your website.

Attraction Site

With all the other elements addressed, it becomes well worth your time and effort to invest in a content and Search Engine Optimization strategy that has the goal of generating its own traffic. You’ll need to engage in ongoing efforts to make this happen, but if you keep at it the rewards are significant.

This kind of site can generate traffic through social media, referrals from other sites and word of mouth. The activities you need to undertake include making sure your site is optimized for Google, creating relevant new content that will attract your visitors, and promoting this content to gain links from relevant sites and social media connections.

A well thought out Attraction site is often complemented by an email sign-up strategy whereby you gain permission to contact those visitors who are not currently in the market to buy, but will be at some point in the future. Tools to build your opt-in email address list include great newsletters, downloadable guides, and exclusive web pricing.

Obviously, there are some complexities around all these different areas and we will get to them in future lessons!

See the next lesson on Target Customers on Your Website>>

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