Former owner and partner of web firm Jenesis Technologies, John is currently Director of Digital Strategy at Haines Local Search, a company providing local search marketing solutions to SMBs, including print and Internet Yellow Pages, web design, and local SEO. When not working or spending time with his family, John offers great sales and marketing advice on his blog, Small Business Marketing Sucks.

John's articles

  1. How to Create Ads People Want to Click

    If you’ve been in the web industry less than 10 years, you don’t realize you’ve been standing on the shoulders of giants.

    It’s commonplace for those in digital media to disparage print advertising like Yellow Pages. But were it not for countless media studies conducted over the years, we’d have no clue how to make an effective ad.

  2. Search, Display and Retargeting: The Holy Trinity of Online Advertising

    It’s difficult to convince budget-conscious small business owners that they need to invest their marketing dollars into multiple channels. Many are hoping to find the one “silver bullet” that will release a floodgate of hungry buyers. But advertising and marketing work more like a team than a shotgun. It’s best to place your marketing eggs in many baskets, rather than just one.

    Combining advertising channels can have an exponential effect on overall response rate. For instance, direct mail has a response rate of .5 to 1 percent, and telemarketing gets around 2 percent. But when a software company combined their direct mail and telemarketing campaigns, they saw an overall response rate of 13.5 percent, resulting in 10 new contracts.

    These results are by no means unique.

    Likewise, real-world ads like the Yellow Pages can extend the reach of other advertising. If a commuter sees your billboard or hears your radio commercial, they might use the Yellow Page directory to find your phone number once they get home. And if they don’t see your ad, they’ll choose a competitor instead.

    This dynamic has extended to the online world because, although media may change, buying behavior doesn’t. While offline advertising continues to drive search, a combination of search, display and retargeting is a trio that’s hard to beat. Display advertising can help create demand, search can help capture that demand, and retargeting can re-engage lost demand.

    First, a refresher course on the different kinds of online advertising:

  3. Beyond Tracking: How to Improve Your Web Metrics

    Last week, in Which Metrics Should Your Web Business Track?, I said that your website is your sales person, and you ought to treat it as such. A sales manager who manages a sales team ultimately cares about one thing: the bottom line. How much did each person on their team sell, and did they […]

  4. Which Metrics Should Your Web Business Track?

    Knowing your numbers is critical to the success of any web business. After all, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it isn’t just a weight-loss mantra: it also applies to web metrics. But knowing which metrics not to track is equally important. After all, if you can’t manage it, why measure it? The […]

  5. What Should You Expect from your SEO Consultant? Part 2

    Last week, in Part 1, I explained that, first and foremost, your SEO firm ought to set realistic expectations. The two most important ones to establish are: SEO takes time It’s like word-of-mouth: it doesn’t happen overnight. SEO is not guaranteed to work SEO is marketing — and no marketing company can guarantee with absolute […]

  6. So You Hired an SEO Consultant: What Should You Expect?

    Early in my career as a web designer, I had an epiphany. I realized clients don’t want pretty websites — they want customers. Oh sure, a website ought to be professional-looking and easy-to-use. But without some type of marketing, no one will find it. As Digital Strategy Director for a company that provides web marketing […]

  7. 12.5 Useful Activities When Business is Slow

    If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced predictable slow periods, like summertime or year-end. Business can also slow down due to economic uncertainty, such as the months proceeding a national election. So what’s a freelancer to do? If you find yourself in a slump, first determine the cause. If […]

  8. Sell Like a Yellow Pages Rep, Part 2

    This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Sell Like a Yellow Pages Rep

    This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Sell Like a Yellow Pages RepLast week, I gave you the first four steps to selling like a Yellow Pages rep. Why would you want to do such a thing? Because Yellow Page reps are among the best sales people. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and […]

  9. Sell Like a Yellow Pages Rep, Part 1

    This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Sell Like a Yellow Pages Rep

    This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Sell Like a Yellow Pages RepLast week, I wrote about how web designers can transition to print. Here’s how to sell digital media like a print rep. Selling Yellow Pages is challenging. Those who don’t leave for greener pastures eventually “bleed yellow”—meaning, once it’s in […]

  10. Should Web Designers Take on Print Work?

    When you live and breathe digital marketing, it’s easy to overlook the fact that traditional offline marketing was a $93.6 billion industry in 2012. Whereas the digital marketing industry trails slightly behind at $63 billion. In case you think all those advertisers are foolishly wasting their money, consider this: direct marketing alone—which includes mailed postcards, […]