Category Archives: Internet Marketing

How To Jump Start Your Sales In Five Steps Using the Internet

Most businesses need a sales boost now and then, the challenge is making that happen quickly.

If you are waiting for Referrals to call you, well that happens when that happens.

So how can a business find sales fast using the Internet?  You are going to need to advertise.  It’s the only quick way to find new prospects online, which isn’t a terrible thing, as long as you have a well thought out plan, and campaign.

Let’s use the number one method in the world for online advertising, Google Ad Words program.  That’s when you place an ad on the Google search results for the keywords that prospects use to find your business.  You can place your ad on just the Google search and partners sites, or on Google and all the Ad Sense partners they have (you know, when you see an ad for a business on a site you are viewing, not a Search engine?  Those ads are placed (in many cases) through the Google Ad Sense program.

Here is what a normal Google Ad Words ad looks like on a search result page for someone search for a Dentist in Denver.

dentists in denver   Google Search

Your ad is placed on the search result page according to three basic criteria. The amount you are willing to pay for someone to click on your ad compared to the other advertisers, the relevancy of the ad to the keyword search, and the relevancy of your ad to the page the search leads to on your site (called a landing page, this doesn’t need to be a home page).

Google is a very powerful lead generation source for many businesses.

So here are the steps to get started and have an ad showing in one day.

  1. Develop your budget.  For bigger ticket sales assume a 20% cost of sale based on your Gross Margin for the advertising if you have no other metric to use. So if you sell a $40,000 item, your gross is $6,000.  You should assume you will pay $1200.  for one sale. Yes, that may sound expensive, and its only a rule of thumb.  You may do significantly better, or if you can lose money on advertising if you are not careful.
  2. Develop a landing page where your prospects will “land” when they click on your ad.  There is a ton of information online about how to build a great landing page.  Sometimes you already have this page on your site and you won’t have to change a thing.  Or you can start with a home page as you build a better landing page. In a great ad words program you might end up with 10 or more landing pages designed for specific type searches, but for right now, lets get this program running!
  3. Build your Ad Words program.  You can do this on your own using Ad Words Express, where Google does all the work for you, or build it yourself.  Building it yourself, or using a company to do so is a better choice. You’ll have far better control and insight on how the program is performing. There are lots of little tactics you need to be aware of, but the big buckets are, Type of keyword match you use, the locations of where you want your ads run, the time of day and days you will be running your ads, daily budget, ad groups, campaigns, producing multiple ads for testing,and bid amounts you pay for each keyword. (  a good reason to use us to at least set up and monitor the program)
  4.  Have a plan on how you will respond to each inquire.  They may contact you through your contact form, or call. Be prepared to answer the call, or call then as soon as possible from a contact form inquire.  You may want to write a script for yourself or the person answering the calls with the qualifying questions you want to ask.  Have a calendar ready to schedule an appointment.
  5. Track all your results. With any advertising, you need to understand what is working, and what doesn’t.  You need to plan to spend some money on the learning process as you understand what keywords pay off, and which ones are a money pit. Good idea to   have Google analytics on your site.  And make sure you monitor your Ad Words program daily for the first 30 days.

Okay, it may sound overwhelming,  but many small businesses do this on there own.  If you are in a hurry, or just feel more comfortable letting an experience company manage this for you, please call us for a free assessment of how this would work for your business.

720-254-1234

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You Can Sell Online Without SEO and Social Media

There seems to be a general consensus that a business must use search engine optimization to generate  inbound leads and new revenue from the Internet. Some suggest that a business must be very active on Social Media as well.

Much of this discussion is based on the buzz and constant promotion you find online from those companies that sell SEO or Social Media services.

This is Important! >>>>>
This is Important! >>>>>

The truth is, a business may be better served using an old fashion approach to generating leads and new customers online: Advertising.

Prior to the Internet a business would have three primary ways to generate new customers.

  • Advertising
  • Promotion
  • Word of Mouth

So you would list your business in the major Yellow Pages, and directories for a price established by the size of ad and placement, and you might pay for advertising on T.V, Radio or Print.  In any case, you paid for the exposure.  Honestly, it was a far simpler way than it is today.

You can still use the same system, and skip all the complexities and expense of using SEO or spending hours a day on Social Media.

Almost every major portal online has an advertising program.  You can buy advertising on:

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Almost any search engine
  • Linkedin.com
  • Yelp
  • Online yellow pages
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Content distribution companies

And then there are probably just as many opportunities to advertise online in your market niche or geographic area.  For the construction Industry and residential contractors,  sites like:

  • Home advisor
  • Angie’s List
  • Dave Logan (Denver area)

If you are selling to home builders Hanley Wood offers many great advertising opportunities.

The list for every business type to advertise on is extensive.  So , you can see how you can in fact reach your target markets without being ranked on the first page of Google.

1 + 1 = 2Think about it….  for every business that has a top 3 spot on the search engine results there are thousands that don’t, yet still can generate new business online.

One of the big advantages to utilizing advertising online is this simple fact. If  and when Google changes the algorithm  you won’t lose all of your traffic. Something that can happen when you rely primarily on search rankings for traffic.

Advertising has to be well thought out of course.  And it does help having someone who knows the “landscape” managing  the program, so it can be tracked and analyzed to maximize the investment.  But even the smallest of businesses can advertise on Facebook for $50 a month, or use co-op lead generation sites like Thumbtack to buy new leads.

With all that said, a great SEO and Social Media program can bring in a better return on investment over time, but you don’t have to wait, you can start advertising as soon as you like, while the other programs build.

Most of our long term clients, even after the search engine optimization has been successful, will continue to advertise to “fill in the gaps”.  The advertising budget certainly is much smaller, but still serves a purpose.

If we can help you with your Web Visibilty please call us at 720-254-1234 for a free 30 minute (ish) discussion.

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Web Visibility Should Be The Goal, Not SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of making sure your website ranks well in the search engine results.  Today, that’s only a piece of driving quality traffic to your site.

Here is a partial list of what areas a good web visibility program will take into consideration when developing a plan to increase your website visitors and the conversion of those visitors to customers. When we provide SEO services we are really providing much more to insure you get results.

  • Untitled designLocal SEO
  • Pay Per Click advertising. (we include this in the majority of our SEO – web visibility programs)
  • Social Media .
  • Should you be on every social network, posting and engaging every day? Probably not, but you should have a profile on all the major social platforms, just from a visibility standpoint
  • Content development and distribution.
  • You Tube channel with educational content.
  • Public Relations.  Yes, both digital and traditional P.R. can be a huge asset to your brand and visibilty.
  • Social Media advertising.
  • Customer reviews.
  • Other web sites. Lets face it, if a prospect searches for your type service and the first result is “yelp”  you should be on yelp.
  • Newsletters and Building an Email list
  • Site promotion on signs, and promotion materials.
  • Online testimonials for other businesses.

Web visibility should be the start of any Internet marketing program. Local search engine optimization is certainly important, but a great program will bring your site quality visitors even with out high individual rankings.  The fact is moving a site up in rankings can take time, so to maximize your investment getting traffic to your site adding and focusing on all of the above will bring in revenue faster.

If you would like a free 30 minute consultation on how visible your business is online, please call us today at

(720) 254-1234

Mike Bayes

 

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Why SEO Programs Fail So Often.

Why SEO Programs Fail So Often.

It’s math.  Really, think about the numbers for a minute.

Lets say you are an accountant that offers bookkeeping and tax preparation.  You want to get into one of the top 3 ranking spots on Google for “bookkeeping (in your city)”.

1 + 1 = 2

Why one of the top 3 spots ? Because those are the positions that will actually deliver traffic. The rest will at best bring in a dribble of visitors.

Okay, so how many businesses in your city offer bookkeeping (or whatever you do). ? Maybe 500 have web sites that google has indexed. So your odds start at 1 in 167 that you will be in one of the top spots. Based on that it’s not a bet you want to take.  And these numbers don’t even start weighing in the advantages many websites have over yours before you even get to the starting line, such as, the fact they have had a site indexed and well-respected by Google for maybe 10 years.  Huge advantage to the competitor here.

Now, how many of those other businesses have used an SEO or worked on their site to improve its ranking or traffic? I don’t have the answer to that, so lets just assume that all the other 499 business owners receive just as many emails and phone calls about Google rankings as you do every month, and that they, like you, eventually will give in to the constant buzz and give it a go.

The point being, a bunch of your competitors have already made the original journey down the SEO path, and in maybe 200 of 203 cases are NOT in the top three.  Also add in the reasonable assumption that the businesses currently on the first page, and especially in the top positions, have a good SEO firm they have been working with for years.

One of those 200 is most likely the one I will here from to get help. Why?  Because I rarely work with a business who hasn’t tried SEO, and realized all the unfulfilled promises. They’ve spent  $350 to $500 or more for a year with the constant hope that traffic and sales will start coming, and yet, very little has. Why?  Because of the numbers I just mentioned (the odds), the inherent disadvantages their site had to start and needed to overcome, and possible a SEO firm that was overly optimistic based on 1 or 2 success stories they are part of in an unrelated Industry to yours a few years ago.

Hey…  if you track rankings like we do, you will notice something incredible important.  Rankings don’t change much, or quickly for the top ranked sites under competitive keywords (and this seems to hold even more true for “local” sites).

So, now you have a sense for why most SEO programs fail to delivery the anticipated results. My intent here believe it or not, isn’t

 

to dissuade you from engaging in a SEO program, it is to simply educate you on the odds of success.  There truly are real opportunities to leverage your web site as a lead generating and prospect conversion tool using SEO and other marketing programs, you just need to understand the odds, and be prepared to face those odds with an experience partner, who has proven results as well as utilizing other forms of traffic generation for your site, of which there are many, and some that you may find a far better investment in the beginning as you build a long-term SEO program.


 


Mike Bayes

 

 

 

Is Local SEO The Right Tactic? Only When You Do Ready Right.

Ready Aim Fire. If you do ready right, the rest will fall into place.

I’ve worked with 100’s of businesses on marketing and sales campaigns, and I have time and time again found that mid market and small business owners have a tendency to approach new sales and marketing campaigns based on what marketing companies, or other business owners suggest or steer them to. This of course can be a disaster. Here’s why.

Add text

Lets say Jim owns a Auto supply company, and is in the same networking group as Mark, who owns a semi truck mobile repair business. They get along well, and one day Jim mentions that his local SEO campaign has brought in a ton of business, and Mark likes what he hears.

 

So, Mark calls Jims local SEO company to find out more.  The sales representative does a fine job of using all the current Internet vernacular and quotes the normal research on how “people” use the Internet to buy stuff, and that Jim is not taking advantage of this gold mine. Well, heck, it worked for Jim,  maybe it is a good idea.

You see all the issues already I am sure, but I am telling you almost half of the business owners I speak with found me through this type path, and would be an easy sell, if I ddidn’treally have their best interest at heart, or was just so inexperienced that I thought one tactic fits all.

The truth is you have to have a prospect that is online and searching for your service for any SEO to make sense.  So in Mark’s case, I would ask this question first, and if he didn’t have the answer I would say – let’s figure that out before we waste a lot of time and money.

The question is, where do your prospects find services like yours?  Now, having worked with a mobile semi truck repair business, I have pretty good insight into this, and it’s NOT through internet searches. I won’t go on how that buyer finds those services, because every industry and business is different.  It’s the question and answer for your business that counts.

So,  Mark was using the AIM FIRE approach.  The problem is he would be aiming in the wrong direction, because he wasn’t ready. Ready means doing enough research and analysis to understand where you need to be to be found by a prospect.

Abe Lincoln was quoted as saying if he had 8 hours to cut down a tree, he would spend 7 hours sharpening the blade.

If you do ready right, the rest will fall into place.

So you may asked, why don’t marketers and salespeople suggest more “ready” solutions, like research, before they make a suggestion. I assume its one of several things.  They don’t have a ready solution to sell, or they make their money selling what they sell so a ready solution would kill the sale because they are afraid that the research of thought process will end up pointing a different direction than what they offer. Or..

young sales professionals often just don’t have the experience to understand this. Their trained to sell a product, not assess its value.

Take your budget for the next month or two, and spend it on research and analysis just like the really large companies do. They do it for a reason, it just makes sense.

I’ll go into more detail on how and what research and thought process you can use to get ready, and have a successful campaign in the next few blogs.  Until then, don’t FIRE until you are ready.

Mike Bayes

 

Google Hang Outs Now Available From Your Web Site

This is Important! >>>>>
This is Important! >>>>>
Google disrupts customer service industry

Did Google just disrupt the disruptors?  The
 tech giant recently announced that it is 
offering the technology for a button that will launch a Google hangout directly from a 
company website.  

 Hangouts is Google's name for its 
videoconferencing service that allow several 
people to join the same video chat from multiple devices, including smartphones. 

  A related service, Hangouts on Air, allows a video conference to be recorded directly to 
Youtube.   Originally a part of its Google+ 
social network, it has since spun off into a standalone service.  

The service was announced on the official 
enterprise blog for Google posted by Stephen 
Cho, Head of Google Apps and Hangouts Technology Partnerships  "With this new Hangouts 
button, apps everywhere will let colleagues, 
partners, and customers meet face-to-face
 anytime, anywhere, and work more effectively together with just one click" Cho explained, "A number of our early partners have already 
enriched their applications with Hangouts".   He specifically mentioned several of their 
partners in the sales and customer service space, "Sales reps working in Salesforce.com can automatically kick off a Hangout with their 
account team through Esna; in myERP, a sales 
rep can start a video meeting with any 
customer prospect.    Zendesk helps support
 agents start a Hangout to consult with other agents and internal staff, while Freshdesk lets a customer service agent Hangout with a customer to quickly resolve support issues".

The hangout start button can be configured by any moderately skilled developer and let you 
specify if it starts up a text chat, a video 
call, a video conference or a recorded on Hangout on Air.   Since the customer has control
 of their own camera settings, this 
essentially allows for deployment of an Amazon Mayday- like customer service button on any 
website or app allowing customers to see and 
communicate with the representative, whether they are using their video camera or not.

It seems that Google has once again put a 
disruptive game-changer on the market.   
As described by the CITEworld blog  
http://goo.gl/KlurVp "Pretty much everybody 
has access to Google Hangouts, and Google is
 letting anybody embed the button. Obviously, you lose some of the really deep functionality for customer service agents to go hands-on 
with customers that Salesforce offers, but 
it's definitely more lightweight and almost 
certainly easier to deploy in an application. 

  There's a move towards using collaboration 
and chat technology for better customer 
service. It's going to be really interesting 
to see if Google Hangouts gets further built
 out as an enterprise offering with that kind of service as the focus".

What will this free application do to the 
large number of startups and small software 
companies have developed similar fee-based 
applications?   No one really knows, but the 
news can't be good.   They will likely either have to either adjust and offer more value
 added services, or incorporate the technology into their own offering.   Clearly this is a development in the customer service technology industry that cannot be ignored.

Companies like www.teledini.com, a client of 
ours seem to like the news.  It will bring 
further viability to WebRTC  and Video applications.

Ecommerce for Solopreneurs

Ecommerce for Solopreneurs

By Rob Gordin. 

Suppose you want to start selling online, but you are a one man (or one woman) show.  What solution fits your needs the best?   How much work will it be to get up and going?   How much will it cost?  Is it flexible and easy to maintain?  Does it provide a growth path for the future?

These aren’t easy questions to answer, and there are a mind numbing number of options, but this article will give you a few things to consider in making a rational decision on the best eCommerce system for you.  This is not intended to give you every possible option in selecting a platform for your  business  – that would be all but impossible.   Rather, we would like to provide a “framework” for ways you can think about it so you can make rational decisions on the eCommerce approach that is best for you.

There are two things that Solopreneurs generally don’t have in great abundance – the first is time, and the second is of course, money, so those will generally be the primary consideration, but there are many others.   Let’s take a look at the possible options, and note that there is a great deal of overlap with each of these approaches.

1.   Use an open source platform.   Many solopreneurs are into DYI (do it yourself) approaches, so these are always popular.  Basically this just means you select one of the many solutions that have been developed by the open source community, then configure and modify it to fit your needs and then host it on your own server and domain.  A few of the more common examples in this genre:

  • Zencart

  • Magnito

  • OpenCart:

  • osCommerce:

  • Miva

  • PrestaShop

The Upside:  For all intents and purposes, you will “own” this system and can do what you want.   There will be no monthly service fees beyond what you pay for hosting, and no transaction fees beyond what you pay to your credit card payment provider.  There will also be a great deal of flexibility in development – with some effort, you should be able to get the exact “look and feel” that you want.

The Downside:  This is not for the faint of heart.   Even if you are technically skilled, this is often a “trip into the weeds”.   You very will may find yourself working far more on your technology, then you are on selling and marketing your products and services.   The maintenance and upkeep of these systems can be daunting, and technical support can be spotty at best.   In the case where the open source software company also has a paid version, there will usually be less functionality and the free version is mostly meant to eventually get you to upgrade to the paid version.

2.   Use a Content Management System.   This is somewhat similar to using open source software, except in this case software that is designed for managing content on websites is used, and a plugin of some kind is used to provide the eCommerce functions.   Depending on the technology selected, this can be either easier or more difficult than using open source software designed specifically for this purpose.  A few of the common examples in this genre:

  • Joomla with VirtueMart Plugin

  • Drupal with Ubercart Plugin

  • WordPress with WP e-Commerce (and others)

The Upside:  Most solopreneurs who use this approach are already using it to manage their website so it has the advantage of being well integrated with what is already in place.  It can often be a superior way to showcase products, as not everything is oriented to :”selling” so product displays can be mixed with other content.

The Downside:  This is usually not quite as flexible as using an open source system specifically designed for eCommerce.  Technical support is usually through online forums and can be frustrating and time consuming.

3.   Use Commercial Software.   This is also similar to the “free open source” approach, but in this case solopreneurs elect to pay for their software solution – either through a one time or ongoing licensing fee.  Note that “open source” and “free” are not exactly the same thing.,  Software can be open source – meaning you have full access to the source code and can modify it if you wish, but it still requires a licence fee.   Also, some commercial ecommerce software does have free versions with less functionality.   A few of the common examples in this genre:

  • Magnito (also has free version)

  • CS-Cart Shopping Cart Software

  • X-Cart Shopping Cart Software

  • Pinnacle Cart

The Upside:   Purchased ecommerce store software is generally has a higher initial cost but there is only a single payment and then you own the software or have a permanent licence.  Support is generally superior and you have an accountable party and “someone to talk to” if something goes wrong.   Purchased software is also usually more flexible and can be modified to suit your needs.

The Downside:   Primarily the up front fee, and also the danger of being “locked in” with a single vendor.   It is not unheard of for these companies to go out of business which will leave you with no growth path.

4.   Use a Hosted Platform.   This is an approach where you do not host the ecommerces software at all, but rather use a host to provide this service.  Typically you will “embed” the shopping cart into one or more of your website pages, but is is also possible to use many of these as standalone platforms – even while retaining your domain name.  Be aware that there is a wide range of functionality with these platforms.  Some hosted platforms provide no more than an “add-on” cart which is deployed on an existing website by copying a few lines of HTML, while others provide a complete stand-alone website builder can be added onto an existing site or used independently as your entire website.   A few of the many examples in this genre:

  • Yahoo Stores

  • Intuit Ecommerce

  • Shopify

  • Paypal Shopping Cart

The Upside:  This is a great solution for beginners because the hosting is included and there is usually no technical setup required.   There are some great deals out there especially if you don’t have a ton of different items to sell.   In general, the will support multiple payment providers so that is one less thing to worry about.

The Downside:  There is usually a monthly fee and often transaction charges.   Many of the deals out there are “loss leaders” and If your store is successful there could be some hefty fees and service charges as you grow.  When the platform is provided without charge, some companies put advertisements on your store which can be a turnoff to your customers. It can also be extremely difficult to migrate to another platform once you have selected one of these services.  

5.  Get in Bed with a Giant.  This is an approach where you use the solutions provided by one of the major players in the ecommerce industry.  At the moment, there are really only two “giants” to consider – Amazon and eBay, but we can expect all the major social networks – Facebook, Google+. Twitter and Pinterest to have offerings in this area.   The two major examples in this genre:

  • Amazon Webstore

  • ProStores Store (An Ebay Company)

The Upside:   These sites know how to sell, and there may be some advantages to their dominant market position.   If you are selling on Amazon or eBay anyway, this is something you probably want to consider.   There are generally multiple payment options and since these sites are highly “trusted” you may get more sales by associating with them.

The Downside:   Since these services are associated with these giant companies, your branding may become overwhelmed by the larger company.   The solutions are often more “canned” and less flexible than other approaches.

6.  Get Social.   This is an approach where you sell primarily socially – either through an existing social network or through sites that have been specifically set up for this purpose.  This is an emerging genre and we can expect to see more players in this area, including all the major social media companies.  A  few examples in this genre:

  • Etsy  (mostly for art and handcrafted items).

  • Envato (for digital goods)

  • Threadflip (clothing)

  • FriendShopper

  • Vendio Ecommerce (for Facebook stores)

The Upside:  This sites often specialize in niche areas, and come with a built in community of prospective buyers – a big plus for the solopreneur.

 

The Downside:  As with hosted services, the growth path is uncertain and you may find yourself needing to do a migration at some point – which can be even more difficult since you may have active buyers and prospects in the community.  Also, since the genre is new, no one really know what will happen.  New players will almost certainly emerge, and there may be a shakeup with some of the existing companies.

7,  Go Mobile.    More and more people are buying off their mobile devices – smart phones and tablet computers.   While this genre overlaps somewhat with the others, it is worth considering in its own right.   A few examples in this genre:

  • Square

  • Venda

  • Shopgate

The Upside:  This, along with social commerce, is likely to be “the wave of the future”.  Most ecommerce providers will be designing support into their platforms if they haven’t already

The Downside:   Many new and smaller players that may not provide support for more traditional methods.   Some “trendy features” may not stand the test of time, and not all products are ideal for being sold on mobile devices.

***

At best, a report like this can just scratch the surface on an industry as broad and multidimensional as ecommerce.   For all intents and purposes, you can expect just about every Internet technology company to try to get a “piece of the action” this, for the simple reason that it is “where the money is”.   Most players in this industry will be integrating different approaches so it shouldn’t be to difficult to find the provider that is best for you.

For most solopreneurs, however, the best solution will likely be to use one of the hosted platforms.  These will allow you to get up and selling almost immediately, which you can’t do with either open source, content management or commercial software.

Regardless of ths solution you select, do your homework.   Select the approach you think works best for you and write up some specifications for your needs before you even look at the prices and feature sets of the different systems.   Avoid any services  require you to pay a percentage of your sales and “free trials” are all but useless.  Even with hosted platforms, there will be some effort in setting this up so you want to select the system that best matches your needs.

 One more thing – don’t delay.  If you have products to sell, you can be making money sooner than you think.

About the Author. Introduction. Rob is the founder and owner of one of the largest business communities on Google Plus.  You can find his information on his G+ profile. Because he interfaces with over 25,000 small business owners he has a unique knowlege of that market. He also is the founder of http://world-startups.com/


 

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The Modern Tool Kit For SEO and Digital Marketing

The Modern Tool Kit For SEO and Digital Marketing

Just in case you are thinking of offering SEO and digital marketing, I wanted to make a quick list of the resources and tools you’ll need to be successful.  A professional digital marketing company or consultant will have access to, or own most of the following.  Some of these are simple resources, like time, and some are web properties like social media accounts and web sites.

Mike closing2Minimum Tools You Need To Do Internet Marketing (specific to Local SEO and Organic SEO)

  • A decent and active facebook page. To Share your content  and engage others.

  • A decent authority and active Twitter page to share your content, engage  and build relationships.

  • A decent authority and active Google Plus page. Same as above – share and engage.

  • A Blog(s) with some authority, updated several times a month with original and interesting content

  • If you are a local company, you will need to be listed and verified in the major local directories.  Starting with Google + for business, but only after you have submitted your exact and correct information the main national “source” directories.  An understanding of how the Local Directory systems work is essential.

  • Relationships with web masters from other related industry sites. You can’t get in to the good parties without knowing someone. (unless you’re famous)

  • Being famous really helps

  • Relationships with Social media firms.

  • A working knowledge of on site SEO

  • Time or money to research online opportunities.

  • Time or dollars, to engage others online through blogs, Social sites, forums, and email.

  • A private network of authority white hat sites is very valuable.

  • A working understanding of white hat SEO  and linking practices for off site work.

  • Patience

  • A Google Analytics and Webmaster account

  • The ability to add pages and make changes to your site on a regular basis

  • Accounts with one of the major SEO software providers.  Moz, Majestic or a handful of others.

  • A passion and willingness to write great content, or the ability to hire someone who can write great content.

  • A basic understanding of P.R. in the digital world

  • Professional relationships with other respected SEO’s

 

Why all of these?  Well, today SEO is still about links and mentions just like it always has been. The difference is what we call a link or mention, and how we earn them.  Note the word earn.

SEO Is Just Good Old Fashion P.R.

Because most of the easy and cheap tactics to get a site highly ranked are long gone. Today you have to earn them through good content development. intelligent and valuable engagement on social sites and forums and any where. Although old fashion link building still is utilized (and in some cases effective) the long term process of “SEO” is now much closer related to the old fashion P.R. world.

In that world, you create an event, that would draw attention from your market through the news media. Today, you create content that will draw attention through the Internet, and the “authority” or at least popular sites your market will visit. Same stuff..  different media.

By Mike Bayes


 

Twitter and Local SEO

A fellow SEO just noticed some major keywords are showing up on the first page of Google.  I wonder if you use a hashtags on your tweets for your company or a local brand (company name) of it would do the same thing?

Here are two quick examples of Twitter Hashtags showing up from searches in Denver:  Searched : Earthquake

twitter forst page earth QScreenshot_1

Here is a search for Denver

twitter on First page ColoradoScreenshot_1

I think I will start Tweeting with the Company as a hashtag and see what happens. I will use #Myonecall.

Any one else want to help just to see if it shows up?

 

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2013 Local SEO Predictions. Content Marketing Is Phooey

2013 Local SEO Predictions. Content Marketing is Phooey.

I am going against the general concord in SEO circles this year (what a shock right?) on what will work for SEO firms in 2013, and make a big statement.  Links matter more than ever, and are in fact (after your on site work) the absolute most important aspect to any successful SEO program.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

There is a ton of content marketing, and social signal pundits in SEO since Panda and Penguin marched into town burning and destroying all search rankings developed with sophomoric and thoughtless tactics, that will tell you the only path to high Internet traffic is through a massive content marketing strategy.  The mass hysteria that  followed has been epic.

I have read a great volume of blogs’ and posts on “how to “implement SEO now that every thing has changed. The truth is, very few “things” have changed, and authors are simple feeding a hungry and worried Internet Marketeering community.

I recently posted on a very popular blog (about local SEO issues) that the loss of keyword information from Google was not a really big deal for local services. I mean, if you need a keyword tool to tell you how people find a local Plumber, you may want to get another gig. SEO is not for you in 2013. Most will use the word Plumber. Maybe add service, company, a city, I mean there just are not all that many combo’s to figure out. In my experience, what is important in local internet visibility is not the combination of keywords a prospect uses, but how they use those combinations in search. Most SEO firms won’t even report (because there is no automated tool to do so) how a site ranks in important local zip codes with no local intent term used. And this is becoming the MAJOR search type for local services.

 

English: White hat seo symbolizes good ethic t...

This race to content now being promoted as the SEO tactic de jour may be exactly what we think it is when it comes to non local sites.  For local sites, and local SEO, which is where the vast majority of us plow the ground, it is in many cases complete phooey. Not that great content is phooey, just that this obsession with great content as the number one all in one SEO device is phooey. Google wants a site to communicate the information a person goes to that site for (I am guessing). A local plumber doesn’t need to be the Robert Frost of the copper pipe crowd, to rank well.  They just need to have a well designed 4 or 5 page site, giving people what they want to read and see when they get there.

Example: In the last 4 months we have ranked a site with one page of actually content (two pages total) for a local intent keyword, by adding a few local back links, using an emd, and ummm that was it. Does it have much competition?  Yes, some.  Would it ever have a chance of ranking on a national search? No. And that’s the point; Local SEO is to National SEO what Physics is to the M theory.  They both deal with universe in completely different ways.

So for Local SEO in 2013:

  • Backlinks to your site will continue to be the number one (off site) ranking factor.
  • On Site SEO will continue to be important.

That’s it.

PS  A backlink doesn’t mean a listing on a horrible directory that no one ever visits. It means a mention of your site on a site that real people who might be interested in your service visit, and may actually click through to your site based on that visit. It may also mean an advertisement on a highly promoted site, or a mention on a popular face book or linked in page.   This hasn’t change in the last 2 years. Spammy directories and link wheels where never good for SEO. If you were using those and keyword stuffing and all of that, then I will agree with you, your SEO has changed a lot.

 

By Mike Bayes


 

 

 

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