Category Archives: Internet Marketing

How to become a thought leader in the area of social media and content creation, or how to Blog like a rock star like Miley Cyrus

If you are going to become all of that you better understand what it means:

(Thanks to https://plus.google.com/u/0/110456355529414581848  Laurie Varga for getting this going,)  Follow her, she’s  a Rock Star super ninja!!

Thought leaders: These are people who have decided to lead through blogs and articles versus real life accomplishments or actions.

Portrait of Socrates. Marble, Roman artwork (1...

Influencers: These people need you to be under the influence of one substance or another to read or hear their 15 minutes presentation , and then sell you books from the back of the room.

Rock Stars:  Unless you sell out stadiums at $125.00 per ticket you are not one of these.

PHP Rock Stars

 

 

Ninja:  Narcissistic SEO practitioners who use vernacular to first sell results  and the to defend  them.

Semantic: It was the best of times it was the worst of times.  Please, who started this!

Content creation:  A title used on a blog to attract undue attention. As if its as important as having a baby. Seriously.  Just write good stuff, and please don’t write about content creation.

Work/life balance:  No such thing. Grow up, get a job.  Have fun.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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How A Blog Can Help Your Google Rankings, Or Not

How A Blog Can Help Your Google Rankings  (again, and again):

Blogging is a buzz word in the small and medium business community. Almost every client we talk with (or potential client) wants to know how to do a blog because they have “heard” it will help their search engine rankings. This falls into the tradition of small business owners being about 8 years behind on new marketing tactics. That’s not a criticism, it’s a reality. Most small business owners don’t have the hours in a day needed to stay on top of anything besides what they do.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

The Bad News.  Although there is clearly some truth left in that assumption that a blog will help your sites rankings, but, and it’s a big but, if  you are to see an increase in your sites popularity based on a blog, it must have valuable content that other sites and social media will pick up on and mention.  If your blog is just another 700 + words of regurgitated news, facts, rumors, or opinion  already published or blogged about on the Internet by 100 or 1000 other sites your chances of a web master or influential social media picking up on the blog are very low.  And if your Blog isn’t mentioned on other web sites, it gets no help in rankings.

Additional Value of a Blog bedside’s Rankings. Now, if your blog gives your prospective clients or current customers some unique insight into your business or industry, even if they are not going to mention it or link to it, it’s still of value, just not for your search engine visibility. It will help you become more of a trusted source for whatever it is you do.

Blog Machine

Blog Machine (Photo credit: digitalrob70)

Internet Marketers Are Blog Obsessed. That’s a problem, because many (and I mean many) Internet Marketers have had some success with getting their blog or content mentioned and linked to, (and all that SEO stuff), by writing a blog,. They write blogs about blogs that are based on another blog in the hopes that someone they don’t know, and who is trying to get followers on twitter will retweet their content to an audience that has little or no interest in what they are saying, and have already seen the information 5 times in other higher authority blogs or sites.

The reason they have any success is it’s far more likely to get Internet Marketing content linked or mentioned on the INTERNET because Internet Marketers spend half their life reading this stuff.  If you are a Plumber, or a Dentist, the likelihood of having your content picked up is very small. Plumbers and Dentists, and normal people don’t spend their life on-line reading every blog written, even when its content is the same as the last 5 they read.

It’s important for an Internet Marketer to be up to date on all the new stuff on the Interweb, if for no other reason, so they can sound really knowledgeable and use uncommon words when they speak to Plumbers and Dentists. I call it selling through a vernacular fear factor. More on that some other time.

Latte_Blog

Latte_Blog (Photo credit: digitalrob70)

Blogging For Visibility.  So how does a small business utilize a blog for better Internet visibility? It’s all about the subject and content.

 

  • Blog about a question a customer asked you.
  • Blog about a unique problem you solved.
  • Blog about how a person can prepare for your service.
  • Blog about your kids.
  • Blog about your employees.
  • Blog about your favorite customers

All of the above will at a minimum be unique, and unique is the first principle of good content.  Any content you write and publish should have these attributes.

  • Unique
  • Interesting for your prospects
  • And if you can make it about the internet you’re really doing well.


 

By Mike Bayes, My One Call LLC, www.salesjumpstart.net

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Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Pay a Good SEO Company

Top 10 reasons Why You Should Pay a Good SEO Company

  1. Your prospects use the internet to find your services.
  1. Your Revenues come from one or two primary sources, and the Internet isn’t one of them.
  1. You have tried to get your site more visible on your own, but it’s not.
  1. You have tried Pay Per Click and it didn’t work.
  1. You have used a SEO company and never saw real results.
  1. You would like new prospects to call you every day.
  1. Your site was built by a friend of your sister who now has gone into real estate and doesn’t have time to make changes, but you think it’s a pretty good site.
  1. You don’t have 16 hours a week to keep up on the latest SEO news, research, and changes.
  1. You hate to work on a computer.
  1. Because you didn’t build your own house or car right?English: seo company 

Reasons your shouldn’t hire a SEO Company

  • They promise you first position rankings
  • They are very inexpensive
  • They sent you a very impressive email sales pitch
  • Your sisters company used them for “Locksmith for your home in Garden City” and they are now in the 5th position under that keyword.
  • Your prospects do not find your services on line.
  • They talk about really complicated Internet stuff and seem to understand the Interweb really well.
  • They know secret Google information because they worked there 5 years ago as an Intern.
  • They know secret SEO tricks they won’t tell you. (There are no SEO tricks BTW)
  • They have no references in your industry.
  • They can not produce 5 references from the last 12 months.
  • They won’t tell you who they have worked for based on client privacy. (Huh?)

What you are paying for when you hire an SEO.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 17: Chelsea Rising watches ...

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 17: and  Clear Vision into SEO (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)


  • Years of experience.
  • Constant research into changes in SEO.
  • A clear and proven understanding of White Hat SEO.
  • A long track record which recent success in generating revenue through the Internet.
  • Transparency and reporting.
  • A complete understanding of on site SEO, Social media as it relates to promoting your site, conversion tactics on your site, content generation, your link profile, and high authority site attraction.

What you shouldn’t pay for when you hire an SEO

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 17:  People attend  the 5th...

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 17: People attend the 5th annual Internet Week. Are you taking Notes?


  • Submitting your site to a bunch of directories every month.
  • Writing poorly written articles and spinning them on a bunch of Article sites.
  • A secret sauce.

Search Engine Optimization has changed more in the last year than in the history of the service. The proof that a SEO is worth its fee is if their clients have not suffered in the last year, and if it was local SEO, since April 2012.

Ask them for references from 3 similar industry clients who have used them for several years, and 3 that have started with them since April. Call those references and look for them on line.

Our company, My One Call llc provides internet visibility marketing for Attorneys, CPA’s, Residential Contractors, Home Improvement Companies, Publishing Company’s, On Line E Commerce sites, Professional services, and many more.  We often get called in after a business has spent far too much money on sub standard SEO services.  Using the above guidelines will save you money, and get you to the right Internet Marketing company quicker.

Call us if we can help. 303 500 3053.

 

 

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Click 2 Call Services

Click to Call Services and SEO.

Businesses use click to call services on a web site to increase their web traffic conversions. For the small and medium business community this is often the most overlooked area of their web site strategies. Bringing qualified traffic to your site is only the first step in building new clients and generating new leads.

Besides the much documented, and blogged about landing page tactics, there still remains a very difficult process of getting your prospects, (who are on your site), to contact you. The seemingly very simple steps of clicking on your contact page, and filling out a few pieces of information is full of opportunities to lose the prospect before they click on the submit button.

Why you lose revenue using only a contact form and phone number:

  • They may become distracted at the desk
  • They may not feel comfortable giving you an email address or phone number your contact form may request.
  • They may want the information now.

You would think they would just call you if this was the case, but think for a moment of what your expectations are when you call a company on line.  First, an automated system giving you a bunch of options, and then a transfer to an “on hold” recording telling you they are serving other customers, but your call is important to them, so please hang on. If you just want a quick question answered, or some simple pricing, calling a company’s main number can be the last thing you want to do from a time management standpoint.

Click to Call Services increase your conversion rates.

Click 2 Call services increase your conversion rates by giving your web site visitor an option to contact someone at your company immediately and with one click. There are many call to click services on line, but www.teledini.com  has just introduced what appears to be the best in class click to call service available. (Full disclosure, one of the principles is a friend of mine and we may become a partner in selling and promoting the service.) Besides just connecting your prospect to your business with one click, the service also offers an impressive amount of additional features to the users, including the ability to see the city the prospect is in, the weather in that city, the web page they are on when they clicked, and the very cool ability to route the calls to any phone or phones that you like. So when a prospect clicks to call you, you can have it ring every sales person’s phone at the same time. The first person to pick up takes the call.

There are a ton of additional features available that you can see on their web site. And according to the senior management they will be rolling out additional services on the platform over the next 12 months that will make Teledini a must have for any Inbound sales force.

website ideas

website ideas (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

The service is currently free to set up click to call (or click 2 call) on your web site (just add a few lines of code after you customize the look and feel). The company charges you .10 a minute for anyone calling you on the service. Do the quick math.  If you get one more sale a day (or hour, or minute)  and it costs you 20 minutes of time, you’re paying $4.00 for the sale.  You would be crazy not to do it.

I’ll be adding the service to our sites over the next week and let you know our experience with the set up, and actually usage of it.  If you are not using Click to Call, and Live chat on your web site you are missing sales opportunities. SEO is more than getting people to your site; it’s about helping convert them to customers.

So here are the areas you need to pay attention to when working on SEO  for your site:

  • Getting qualified prospects to your site through a great promotion and SEO strategy
  • Getting prospects who are on your site to make contact with you.  This is about a good blended marketing message, a strong landing page, and a click to call opportunity, chat opportunity, and contact form opportunity.
  • Well trained In bound sales representatives who can close sales.
  • Great follow up systems with leads that have not yet converted.

Let me know if I can answer any questions for you about any of those steps.  When we are working on SEO we make sure all of the above are integrated.

 

Mike 303 500 3053 ext 1  ( Soon you can just click 2 call me)

 

 

 

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Add Pay Per Click to Your SEO Campaigns?

Time to Add Pay Per Click to Your Denver SEO Campaigns? The Answer is yes.

Google has done a masterful job of slowly, yet consistently diminishing the visibility of the local maps on search engine results over the last 18 months.

Let me give you an example.  Here are the results from a search for Mold Removal Denver about 2 years ago.

Here they are now (June 2012)

Here’s another example of Electrician Northglenn CO. from a few years ago.

Here are the results today:

For a great overview and infographic on this read and view the David Mihm web design and Local SEO blog at   http://www.davidmihm.com/blog/google/world/

It’s pretty clear… for great Internet visibility for your site, working on Google Maps (now Google Plus Local) is only part of the strategy. Not long ago it could provide the vast majority of your traffic. Today, it’s only a piece.

I have been involved very recently in two conversations where clients are under the impression that people don’t click on the Pay Per Click ads. This is very understandable from someone who knows something about how Google serves search results, because we all know someone just paid to be there. As I pointed out in each conversation, it is somewhat amazing to me how many Denver business owners are NOT aware that the top three results (in many cases) are in fact paid advertising.  And the more recent research seems to indicate that generically, about 15% of clicks are on Pay Per Click Ad’s. Hey… that’s as good as being in a top 3 position!

And, it’s not all that different than the days when consumer’s used the yellow pages to find local services. The biggest ads where (and are) listed first, and they receive the vast majority of the calls. People understand that they were paid advertising, and didn’t page back to find the smaller or line ads, because the company didn’t pay for that listing.

So a complete SEO program needs to take in to account three different areas, those being, organic search, local results , and Pay per Click advertising. And it should be designed to take into account the four different methods a person may use to conduct a local search:

Keyword + Suburb

Keyword

Keyword+ Major City

Keyword + zip

Each serves up different results.

Another big advantage of using the Google Ad words program is you can see great traffic statistics for key words that have become unavailable since Google stopped providing this information on many searches.

So to answer the original question, should you be using Pay Per Click?  Yes, but,  Ad words has become increasing difficult for a novice to navigate. It’s easy to waste a lot of money if you are not trained and familiar with keyword types (exact match, Phrase match, Broad Match, Negative match and others) as well as the location targeted, quality scores and types of bidding available.

Our suggestion is at least have a Internet Marketing firm who has experience in PPC set up and monitor your ad words (and any other PPC services) for you.  We have lot’s of clients getting strong return on investment using PPC.

Please feel free to call me at 303-500-3053 ext 1 if you want some help.  I may not pick up, as I get several calls a day from this blog, and have lots of other phone calls and meetings to be on or in, but I will call you back! Or feel free to email me as well at mike@myonecall.com

 

 

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Search Engine and Social Media Marketing in Denver

SEO and Social Media in Denver

Social Media is hard for many small businesses to understand. I’m not talking about how it works, or what it is, I am talking about its value as a business tool. Search Engine Optimization on the other hand, is pretty straight forward. If your site is ranked higher on Google, more people will call you.

White hat seo symbolizes good ethic techniques...

White hat seo symbolizes good ethic techniques in search engine marketing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The reason we have a love hate relationship with social media is it’s not advertising, and we are use to thinking in terms of return on investment when we promote our services. I would use the term branding when it comes to using social media, and branding, up until recently has been the domain of the largest of large companies.  Branding also has traditional had a very high price tag.

I recently was reading a research study on how new prospects actually found a business. The premise was very few new customers just make a keyword search, click on your site and call.  The vast majority of people had  contact or visibility into the company they ultimately bought from in 3 or more places.  The search was just the last place.

It’s nothing new. Marketing your business is not done through one path. The most successful small and medium businesses understand this, and use every option available for there budget. Social media, with out a question falls into this.  It’s not expensive, and you can laser target your prospects. You want a  potential customer to see you every where they look!

One of our clients is currently one of the fastest growing B2C services in the state, if not country.  We never use one path, we use a minimum of four at all times.

So what ‘Paths” should you use to reach new clients or customers?

Here is a list. What you pick depends on your industry, but first, always start with a very well thought out targeted prospect list!  Who are your prospects, where are your prospects, how do they find companies like yours?

  • Search Engine Marketing (Includes SEO, Local SEO, and PPC programs)
  • Customer referral programs
  • Direct mail ( To very specific targeted prospects)
  • Radio and TV
  • Trade Shows

    First page of a 1928 direct mail marketing adv...

    First page of a 1928 direct mail marketing advertisement for seafood products from Frank E. Davis Fish Company. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Cross selling
  • Yard and truck signs (B2C)
  • Networking (B2B)
  • Awards
  • Print advertising

And many more. I assume some of you are saying and thinking you have tried many of these and they “don’t work”. Well, you’re right, unless they have been exceptionally well thought out, and targeted, then they probably won’t work.  A branding campaign needs a great deal of thought, experience and great execution, and nothing replaces experience, nothing.  That’s one of the reasons we constantly survey and review what advertising and promotion does work for our clients and other businesses across the country.

If you need help with your companies branding, we have the experience to safely navigate the way.  Call us for a free consultation at 303 500 3053 Ext 1.

 

 

 

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