SmartFinds Internet Marketing Logo

Contact Information

261 E. Maple Road
Birmingham, MI 48009

Phone: (866) 501-5758

SmartFinds is a web-marketing agency with over 20+ years experience in the Internet industry. As a full service, broad competency and experience agency we are able to become our client’s strategic partner managing all aspects of the digital presence, technologies and vendors.

Web Marketing Today publishes independent articles, videos, and webinars to help smaller online businesses. It was founded in 1995 by Dr. Ralph Wilson, who sold it to Confluence Publishers — owners of Practical Ecommerce — in 2012. The topics we address include search engine optimization, social media, email marketing, online advertising, conversion, design, and systems and platforms.

Web Marketing Today, now known as Practical Ecommerce, publishes independent articles and commentary to help businesses succeed online. Founded 2005. Practical eCommerce was launched in July 2005 by Kerry and Joy Murdock in Grand Junction, Colorado, U.S. Its mission from the start has been to provide down-to-earth articles and advice to help smaller businesses succeed online.

How Pandas, Penguins and Pigeons Are Affecting Your Business

You probably didn't realize that zoo animals would affect your website, your business or revenues, right? Google has been naming its algorithms based on zoo animals and the three having the biggest impact in the past three years is a bear and two birds! Google's algorithm changes are designed to provide quality websites while pushing down thin or low-quality websites in the search results. Google's efforts are certainly admirable as they are the most used search engine and over years the impact has been one for the better. What is harder to deal with is that we have a small group of people causing the majority of people a lot of hardship. This is affecting business revenues and expenses alike. Your revenues are affected because your web site's ranking is affected negatively. Your expenses are affected because you have to spend money to make corrections. Of course we could spend a lot of time fretting about these changes or we can cowboy up and push forward. Fretting about these things is an emotional response that will have not value other than to let off steam. Pressing forward to accept the changes and objectively making corrective decisions is probably a better [...]

By | 2017-01-01T11:27:02+00:00 October 7th, 2014|Articles, Internet Marketing, Local Store Marketing, Marketing, Practical Ecommerce, Search Engines, SEO, Smartfinds, Web Marketing Today, Website Marketability|Comments Off on How Pandas, Penguins and Pigeons Are Affecting Your Business

Google Introduces Adwords Express Mobile App For Local Advertising

Google Introduces Adwords Express Mobile App For Easy Management Of Your Local Advertising Campaign and Budgets. There is never a dull day when it comes to Internet technologies as things change. Sometimes these changes are great and other times it makes you want to pull your hair out. As I tell my clients... Expect Change Accept Change Adapt To The Change Adopt The Change All of this is code for some of your money you spent just went up in smoke. Since the industry will continue to keep going with our without you pulling your hair out, I suggest you get over it, press forward, and let's hope you can do this quickly. By the time the change has proven itself the industry has moved onto something else and you'll be left behind. It's about adopting the new technologies early, take advantage of the marketing tool and be competitive. So, let's not waste any time and get this new Adwords Express app from Google to manage our campaigns and budgets with ease! Local Advertising With Adwords Express We have discussed Adwords Express as a local advertising tool in two previous articles. I encourage you to take a closer look at [...]

Dynamic Sitelinks Improves Your Google Adwords Advertising Performance

Google has introduced a advertising option you won't want to miss! As part of Google's Adwords advertising platform features of ad extensions, Dynamic Sitelinks has been made available to all businesses at no additional charge. Sitelinks help people reach a web page on your site by clicking to the very page specific to what they are searching -- directly from your ad, with just a single click. I discussed ad extensions in March with the article, "Understanding Ad Extensions in Google AdWords" as a means to improve your advertising performance. Ad extensions are advertising features to visually improve your text ads to people searching on a specific topic related to your business. Using ad extensions you maximize your budget, get more clicks, and improve the click-through rate (CTR) of your ads. More clicks means more traffic to your website and improved ad performance means higher keyword quality scores. Better keyword quality scores means lower cost per click, which you can read more about at "High Quality Scores Mean Lower Pay-per-click Costs". Dynamic Sitelinks are automatically generated and appear below your Google ad and will connect potential customers to relevant pages on your website. This is another ad extension feature adding [...]

By | 2017-01-01T11:27:19+00:00 August 25th, 2014|Articles, Internet Advertising, Marketing, Practical Ecommerce, Smartfinds, Web Marketing Today|Comments Off on Dynamic Sitelinks Improves Your Google Adwords Advertising Performance

Improvements To Help Your Paid Search Advertising (PPC) Campaign Budget

Since when do readers want to be insulted or put in a position of feeling stupid? Probably never. As an industry author and owner of a web marketing agency I have to keep up with industry news. For this reason I look over quite a variety of editorials. What I found interesting during the first half of this year are articles titled along the lines of "mistakes you're making" concept. Try searching on any combination of words like "ppc", "paid search advertising", and the word "mistakes". The number of editorials being critical about the readers efforts is quite impressive. The pattern of these articles have been catching my attention. It seems completely unnecessary to put the reader in a position of feeling bad about the work they are currently executing. If the author is meaning to be helpful then it makes sense to educate the reader in a manner that emphasizes curiosity to promote learning. Let's take fresh approach by focusing on recommendations and enhancements based on education. The Complexities of Paid Search Advertising Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is an advertising platform in which you are spending money on clicks every minute of every hour. Your daily budget will generate the return [...]

By | 2017-01-01T11:27:23+00:00 August 11th, 2014|Articles, Education and Learning, Google Adwords Advertising, Internet Advertising, Marketing, Practical Ecommerce, Smartfinds, Web Marketing Today|Comments Off on Improvements To Help Your Paid Search Advertising (PPC) Campaign Budget

LinkedIn Marketing Series: Effectively Using Your LinkedIn Company Page

As we continue our LinkedIn Marketing series, we are going to learn and simplify the use of your company page. Before you can use the company page option in LinkedIn you need a personal profile, which you can learn more about in last week's article "LinkedIn Marketing Series: Managing Your Profile and Updates". Image Source: LinkedIn.com The relationship you have between your business and your customers has become more important than ever. How you present your company to you prospects, clients, and partners is equally important to development and maintain relationships. Brand marketing of your business is not about advertising tasks as much as it is about marketing process activities using engaging and informative information. This is about showing your authority and knowledge to your customers to earn their attention. Does this take more time and energy on your part? Absolutely. You're in this for the long haul. Besides buying ads, email lists, or hoping for a miracle is not what will pull quality people toward your company for long term success. This is about your sharing your knowledge, your website information, industry topics and more. The reality is people tune out promotional messages in favor of useful and engaging [...]

LinkedIn Marketing Series: Managing Your Profile and Updates

LinkedIn has become the world's largest business network with 300 million members in over 200 countries around the world. Officially launched in 2003, LinkedIn has successfully connected the world's professionals to each other and grown to include sections like your personal profile, company profiles, connections with other people from around the world, jobs, groups, education and LinkedIn's own publication called Pulse. Just as much as consumers local shopping habits have changed over the years, the same holds true in being a successful marketer of your business. This is less about being technology savvy as much as being savvy using social communities. Expecting change, adapting to the change and adopting the changes to your business marketing activities is the way to being competitive and meeting your marketing objectives in today's world. If you're thinking LinkedIn is only for business to business and that you won't get customers, you may want to consider the value of your LinkedIn personal and company profiles as they relate to validating you through Google search results to your customers. The value of maintaining your business presence through LinkedIn goes beyond the LinkedIn community. Using the sections of LinkedIn is probably more about understanding what they are [...]

Compelling Studies Show Local Consumers Shopping Habits Have Changed To Reach Local Businesses

Consumers have been relying on Internet and digital resources to find businesses, products and services in their local area for a number of years. They are using social media, review websites, and mobile search to do their research before making their final purchase in the local store. These changing consumer habits have been evolving over a number of years and they tend to adopt new technologies much faster than businesses (large or small). When we talk about a local business we are referring to any size local business. This can be a small business operation a local store or a national multi-location company with local stores. The reality is all business is local regardless of the size of business you are and the consumers are validating this through a variety of studies, which have been conducted over the past years. Businesses may look at online marketing as too complex to tackle. This complexity has been created by multiple marketing and advertising channels and each of them seems to change every few months while new ones are being added. The environment is dynamic, fluid and seems to spin on all three axes simultaneously. Having access to the marketing expertise across all [...]

By | 2017-01-01T11:27:44+00:00 June 17th, 2014|Articles, Customer Ratings and Reviews, Geographic Marketing, Google Places for Business, Internet Marketing, Local Business Marketing, Local Marketing, Local Store Marketing, Marketing, Practical Ecommerce, Search Engines, Smartfinds, Web Marketing Today|Comments Off on Compelling Studies Show Local Consumers Shopping Habits Have Changed To Reach Local Businesses

Google Adwords Express 101: Hyperlocal Advertising To Reach Local Consumers

We recently discussed "Use Hyperlocal Advertising to Reach Nearby Consumers" in which we mentioned Google Adwords Express as one method of hyperlocal advertising. The response regarding this advertising tool certainly required a more in depth look at how to best use Google Adwords Express. Whether you are a national multi-location brand or a local small business you will need to use a multi-channel approach in trying to be visible to the local consumers. The primary multi-channel options would include would include desktop search, mobile searches, map searches for both organic rankings and to use advertising. Certainly everyone wants to be ranked in the free organic listings such as the websites, maps, videos and images, however, it is not always easy to get ranked. Patience is always a necessity and you never know from one day to the next if your ranking will stay in place. Google's algorithm changes or competitor efforts can always make organic rankings difficult to sustain. In a separate article are we did discuss "5 Reasons to Use PPC Ads for Local Marketing" in which a few things I outlined included: Targeting local consumers by geography Dominating the first page of Google search results Instantly showing up [...]

Lower Your Google Adwords Advertising Costs With Higher Quality Scores

Your Google Adwords advertising Quality Score is a weighted average from 0 - 10 based on how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person searching and engaging with your ad. The reality is that having a high Quality Score can lead to lower prices and better ad positions. Quality scores are measured per keyword and can be found in your Adwords campaign under keywords and displaying the column. The Quality Score of each keyword is calculated every time your keyword matches a search. The more relevant your ads and landing pages are to the person searching, the higher your Quality Score. Your keyword scores will affect your ad position on the page as well as your prices. Factors Determining Keyword Quality Score: Your expected click-through rate (CTR). The ad relevance of each keyword as it relates to the Ad Groups. The ad relevance as it relates to your text copy. Landing page where people are sent when they click on your ad. The quality, relevance and page experience. Your overall historical AdWords account performance. The keyword scores is evaluated depending on what network your ad appears, meaning that you have a different Quality Score on Search [...]

Understanding Hyperlocal Advertising For Local Store Marketing

"Hyperlocal" has become a term used to describe advertising which is targeted through a web publication towards a specific consumer audience, in a very small geographic area. By using hyperlocal ads, your business can promote products and services to a local audience that is more likely to be interested. Since 2008, the search results have been showing maps and map listings (aka Local Business Listings). Searching no longer requires someone to add a city and state as part of their search term. The search engines know the locale of the person searching and based on that locale, they will display local results first before national results. This not only applies towards the map listings, but it includes websites. Websites identifying themselves for a specific geography will be included in the local results. Something I have discussed in recent years is the concept of "All Business Is Local". Keep in mind this phrase is not only about physical brick and mortar stores, but applies to local results for websites as well. Consumers use the web to research and make a purchase. Depending upon what is being purchased, the purchase may occur on the web or the consumer will go to the [...]

By | 2017-01-01T11:28:21+00:00 March 31st, 2014|Articles, Google Adwords Advertising, Internet Advertising, Local Business Marketing, Local Store Marketing, Marketing, Practical Ecommerce, Web Marketing Today|Comments Off on Understanding Hyperlocal Advertising For Local Store Marketing