Where Are We Today? UMA Motorcoach EXPO 2010 Seminar Notes

Internet Marketing: Where Are We Today?

Las Vegas Convention Center

1.Search Engines In, Yellow Pages Out

Leading yellow page publishers R.H. Donelly Corp. and Idearc Inc. file for bankruptcy this year.
(Reuters December 14, 2009)

Meanwhile analysts continue to project that paid search marketing spend in the U.S. will grow from $13 billion in 2009 to $26 billion by the year 2014.
(Search Engine Land December 23, 2009)

2.Internet Growth Continues

Number of people who go online is increasing
80% of US and Canadians go online compared to 75% last year and 71% the year before.
(Harris Interactive Poll December 24, 2009)

Only 23% of the rest of the world go online

Hours People Spend Online is Increasing
13 hours per week compared to 14, 11, and 9 in years past.

3.Yellow Pages Will Pay Off Debt by Going Online

Yellowpages.com (AT&T) Reach: .14%
Superpages.com (Idearc) Reach: .11%
Dexknows.com (R.H. Donnelly) Reach: .03%

4.Yellow Page Sites v. Search Engines

Google reach 42.76%

5.Search Engine Market Share

65% to 70% of Daily Visitors use a Search Engine

Google 65.6%
Yahoo 17.5%
Bing (MSN) 10.1%
Ask 3.9%
AOL 2.9%
(Comscore December 16, 2009)

6.Knowing the Difference Between Paid and Organic Search Engine Results is Important

7.Paid Search is Becoming Crowded

The more advertisers, the more expensive the advertising since people are bidding for placement.

In 2004, 50 cents per click got you 1st place out of 5 advertisers
Today, over $3 per click puts you in 1st place out of 40 advertisers

As PPC rates increase, the trend is for advertisers to become more precise about targeting the best keywords.

8.The Trend is that Paid Ads are clicked less and less as Organic Listings are Clicked More

9.Exposure from Search Engine

More than 60% of people do not go past the 1st page of search results.
More than 90% don’t go past page 3.
(They end up refining their search instead)

Organic search accounts for 80 percent of search engine traffic, moving up in search results through organic efforts can take as long as a year. With paid search, the results are nearly instantaneous.
Paid search accounts for less than 20 percent of overall search engine traffic.
(Paid search results show up as “sponsored links” in Google.)
*Prairie Business Magazine December 7, 2009

10.There are 5 Essentials to Web Advertising

11.One, a search engine-friendly website with proper meta tags, labels, keywords

110 of 907 (12.1%) bus companies listed on BusRates.com do not have a website. (2 years ago it was 18%)
393 of 907 (43.3%) bus companies do not have professional email domains like john@smithcharters.com and still have emails like smithcharters@aol.com. (2 years ago it was 57%)

12.Two, free submission to Google Local/Google Maps (Yahoo, Bing also)

13.Three, build links to your website.

14.3 Great Tools for Assessing if a Website is a good place to advertise

Statbrain.com provides traffic estimates for websites
Alexa.com provides traffic reach and rank
The Google Tool bar provides a PageRank (PR) value from 0 to 10

15.Four, a search engine pay-per-click campaign

16.Five, a free tracking service with Google Analytics or other tracking service

17.Necessity of Tracking Services Like Google Analytics

Will monitor your traffic growth and tell you if you are making progress.

Will tell you where your best advertising dollars are spent
Example: busstation.net is sending you 50 visitors per month and you are paying $20, you can calculate that at 40 cents per click this is a better deal than yellowpages.com which may send you 200 visits for $150/mo (75 cents per click).

Will tell you which sites are sending you the highest-quality traffic.
The higher pages and time spent per visitor, the higher the quality. Example: If visitors from busstation.net spend on average 3-1/2 minutes and visit 5.5 pages, this is higher quality than a source that is sending you visitors that spend 30 seconds and an average 2 pages per visit.

Will track visitors that filled out your “request a quote” page.
Find out which sites are sending you the most conversions.

Will identify click-fraud
Services or websites sending visitors averaging 1 page per visit (a bounce) are click fraud or very low quality for some other reason.

18.Case Study with Cali Party Bus

Link-building strategy is huge for establishing their organic placement.

Uses the Google Toolbar to display page rank

Its all about keywords. “San Diego party bus” keyword sends them triple the traffic of their 2nd best keyword.

Use a tracking service like Google Analytics to identify that sites like our directory sent them 34 visitors, averaging 6.3 pages per visit with only a 17% bounce rate last month.

The old school of thought is that it’s all about corporate contacts, yellow pages and word of mouth, but it’s all about the internet today.
Receive 20% of their business from word of mouth, the other 80% directly from the internet.

19.Call Tracking Services: Call tracking services offer 866 numbers that count the calls forwarded to your main line.

Will tell you which ads deliver you the most calls
Provides caller ID information
Records your inbound calls for sales training

Kall8.com offers numbers for $2/mo and 7 cents per minute

20.How Marketing Can Solve Two Issues in the Bus Industry

What if there was a way for all bus companies to charge more for their service?

What if there were a way to reduce the presence of online brokers on the internet?

21.Survey Results: “What things do you look for in a bus company when trying to determine if you will use them?”

1.Good Customer Service 30 (Makes an Effort/Quick Response/Flexible/Accommodating/Knowledgeable)
2.Competitive Pricing 19
3.Updated Buses that have all the Amenities 16
4.Reputation for Being Reliable 9
5.Positive Reviews 8
6.Confidence they will Receive a Good Driver 5
7.DOT and Insurance are in Order 4
8.They had the right size bus for our group (35 pax) 4
9.Large Company Size with Facility 3
10.Location 3
11.References 2
12.BBB 2
13.Fair Policies for Cancellation 2
14.Lack of Extra Costs 1
15.Confidence the Bus is Mechanically Sound 1
16.Affiliation with Association Memberships 1

*40 Customers Provided 110 things they look for in a bus company.

22.Survey Results: “What things have you seen that have dissuaded you from using a particular service?”

1.Older Buses 8
2.Poor Customer Service/Slow Response 7
3.Price too High 7
4.Negative Reviews 5
5.Lack of Information 4
6.Believe they will not get a Good Driver 3
7.Small Company Size 2
8.Lack of Pricing on the Website 2
9.Poor company image from website 2
10.Hidden Add-on Costs 1
11.Lack of School District Pre-Approval 1
12.No Affiliations 1
13.Appears to be fly-by-night 1
14.Did not honor request to contact me by email 1

*40 Customers provided 45things that dissuade them from using a particular company

23.Feedback from Pella Windows

“We were looking to take our contractors to an industry expo… Most importantly, I wish it was easier to separate those companies that offer corporate service from those who offer low-end service. How a company answers the phone; if they are professional; if they provide an outlined quote with specifics, options, and done with prestige and care goes a long way. We ruled out bus companies that answered the phone unprofessionally or were driving their bus while on the phone with us. The years of the buses are important, prior reviews from customers, a website that is well put together and any signs that show they are in it for the long haul, not just trying to make a buck are what we look for.”

24.Feedback from Boardwalk Pipelines of Kentucky

“I basically went for the company that gave me the lowest price and was willing to negotiate. I am only needing transportation from a downtown hotel to the racetrack and back, so little things don’t seem to matter as much.”

25.Adopting a New Approach

Don’t automatically assume all your customers are the type seeking the lowest price

Try one of two approaches:
Assume all customers are the type looking for higher quality professional service
Or qualify them by asking at the start if they are interested in higher quality or the lowest price

Posting rates appears to help customers more quickly find the companies that offer the right level of service for them

26.How Quickly do Bus Companies Respond to Quote Requests?

We Sent out a Test Quote Request to 105 Bus Companies

Companies that replied:

The same Day: 45 (43%)
Within 1 Day: 14 (13%)
Within 2 Days: 1
Within 3 Days: 6 (Within 3 days: 63%)
Within 4 Days: 0
Within 5 Days: 2
Within 6 Days: 1
Within 7 Days: 1

Total that replied: 70 (67%)

Companies that Never Replied: 35 (33%)

27.How Many Bus Companies Followed Up After the First Email?

Of the 70 Companies that Responded 6 companies sent a follow up email

Sent one follow up email: 2
Sent two follow up emails: 2
Sent three follow up emails: 2

28.How Do Bus Companies Respond to Quote Requests?

Companies of the 70 that replied with:

Two sentences or less and a price: 29 (41%)
A few paragraphs and a price: 15 (21%)
An attached picture: 19 (27%)
An attached quotation form: 14 (20%)
An attached terms and conditions: 3 (4%)
An attached a flyer or brochure: 3 (4%)
An attached CC Auth form: 1 (1.4%)
Attached all of the above: 1 (1.4%)

29.Closing percentage of the 1 company that attached all of the above: 90%

30.Benefits of Improving Customer Service

Builds More Value so You Can Charge Higher Rates

Fewer Customers will Resort to Using One of the Online National Brokers

31.A Tool for Improving Sales by Phone

Many online services enable you to record sales calls for training.

Enable your salesperson or manager to listen to the call afterward to see what he or she could have done better.

Successful calls can be saved as a file and used to train new staff.

Cogi.com offers this service for $30/mo

32.Tips for Avoiding Online Advertising Pitfalls

Advertise Directly with the Website You Are Interested in, not Through a Broker

Make sure a Click is Defined as an Actual Visit to your Website, not to their Internal Page

Avoid Advertising Networks