Category Archives: Internet Marketing

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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Inbound Marketing Doesn’t work

Inbound Marketing Doesn’t work…. for many small and medium businesses.

Had an interesting discussion with a business owner this week that I have known for over 15 years. He recently invested a bunch of energy and money into a new data center and is putting together his marketing/sales strategies. Having been in the industry for 20 years, it was a logical move, and he wanted to discuss SEO and other search engine marketing systems.

As with any new prospect I wanted to see how he was selling his services today, and to whom. During that piece of the discussion, he asked me is outside sales and cold calling, dead. (For some history… my sales experience started in outside sales, after a few months as a telemarketer, and at one point I managed a sales force of over 650 sales professional, and a few amateurs, and today my company manages outside sales programs for several businesses, so the question caught me a little off guard.

I can completely understand the question. Everything you hear today is about Inbound Marketing, Social Media, SEO, and anything Internet related.  Tom Hopkins and the gang of “sales trainers” that use to dominate the sales scene are either retired or selling books on the Internet.  Internet type marketing now dominates the small business thought process.

Inbound Marketing works!

But I am here to tell you, outside sales is alive and well, and very large successful companies still use out side sales as the foundation of the revenue generating process, but the out side sales process has changed in a few decades. Buyers are far more educated because of the internet, and in many cases more price aware because of the economy.

That’s why Inbound marketing can make a lot of sense. If your prospects are looking for your service on line, then … YES be an inbound marketing fanatic.


Inbound Marketing Doesn’t work!

Inbound Marketing Disclosed: Behind the Scenes

There are many type companies that their sales are relationship, and referral based, and their customers do not use the internet to find and purchase their offering. The fact that only about 5-7 companies per service type in a local area are really going to generate significant traffic from an Internet marketing program also is pretty much no brainier when it comes to how much revenue is actually provided by In bound marketing in an industry type. Inbound marketing is a very limited crowded over financed space.

Cold calling and out side sales does work!

Let me give you an example. A commercial contractor does not find customers on the Internet. They find new customers through face to face contact. We did research of buyers in the commercial construction industry and found the largest commonality for making a purchase from a new vendor (and we spoke to over 100 buyers in the market) was…. they had looked the company they bought from in the eye, and had a face to face meeting of one sort or another to start the process. Read that statement again, a face to face encounter to START the sales process.

Companies that had made a phone call to get on a bid list, or sent information had almost no chance. Companies that actively worked on getting in front of new prospects were the winners. That contact was overwhelmingly through an outside sales type tactic.

One of our clients is positioned number 1 – 3 for just about every keyword you can imagine a prospect would use in their city for commercial construction.  They bill over 4 million dollars a year. How much from the Internet in 2011? Nothing. Did they get bids from the Internet, yes, a few, did any close? No.

Second example.

We did sales coaching and  SEO for one of the largest residential paint contractors in the state. They have incredible rankings throughout the metro area for most house painting terms.  They do as much business through leads on the internet as many paint contractors do in 5 years. Is this their number one source of sales? Nope. There number one source of sales is the 50 outside direct door to door sales people they put on the street every year for 5 months or so.

The fact is Inbound marketing should be a piece of your marketing strategy, and maybe a large piece, if you have a service your prospects look for on the Internet. But out side sales and business development still may be the number one tactic your company should use. That’s why we provide both Inbound Marketing and Business development, because every business is different.

Call me if you want to discuss which is the better option for your marketing. http:www.salesjumpstart.net

 

 

 

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How To Link Build for SEO

How to Link build, and a List of Links for SEO.

Learn How To Become A Great Link Builder

Over the next few months you are going to learn how to become a great builder of back links, and we are going to not only teach you how we do it, but provide you with weekly opportunities we have found to help you see that our system of acquiring web visibility is white hat and powerful.

So how many times has a business owner  or anyone searched for, or wished for, a simple list of links that they can use to add their site url and magically watch their web site rankings move up in the organic search results?

225,000  searches

Google Chrome

Google Chrome (Photo credit: thms.nl)

According to my Google Ad Words Keyword tool, that term is searched about 22,000 times a month in the United States.  “How to link build” is around 65,000, add the associated terms and you are well above 225,000 searches a month.  For those of us in the Internet Marketing world, that doesn’t sound like a huge amount, but when you consider that a quarter of a million searches are completed looking for either a list of SEO links, or how to build back links, that’s a bunch of interest.

Get a couple Links a week

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

Image via Wikipedia

I want to start giving a couple of good linking opportunities a week here. That should help some of you who are in the do it yourself mode, and also provide some additional evidence, through your feedback, that these sites actually send traffic to your web site. Other local SEO’s may find this helpful as augmenting their SEO work for local clients.

But first I want you to understand our philosophy on search engine visibility. You should only take an action that you would take if Google and the rest of the search engines didn’t exist. Why? Because if you are adding your site to a directory, or commenting on  a blog, or buying URL’s and building mini sites, or writing a bunch of different blogs, or book marking your site on social book marking web sites, for the sole purpose of increasing your rankings, you are heading for big trouble.  That’s the stuff Google and Bing don’t like, and are continuing to develop tactics to identify these questionable links, and downgrade or penalize the sites. When they do that, your site loses trust, and can fall off the rankings chart.  Why work hard on a tactic that is eventually going to fail?

Not only will we be providing a few great sites you can add your site to, but, we also want to teach you how to find good opportunities to build your web visibility.

How do you get the link information, just subscribe to our news letter, and we will send you out the information weekly. Sign up here http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=kgftjqcab&p=oi&m=1102206047434

Just choose if you want just SEO tips, or want the Sales Tips as well. I look forward to your feedback!

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Google Local Search in Denver

The different types of Local Search

There are three different type search query types that a company needs to be aware of when it comes to local search. Those being, a search with a large city, that represents the entire metro area in the search term, a search with a logical suburb in the search, and a search with no local intent (city, zip,).

Let’s say I’m looking for a house painter for my Mom who lives about 25 miles south of my location. Her home is located in a small sub division by the name of Bowmar.  I live in a small city called Lafayette, and both are part of the Denver metro area. What are the most likely methods I will use to search?

First I am going to use the (what I call Facet city) Denver.  Denver in my mind is generic, and should bring up the best of the entire metro area?

 

As you can see I get the PPC ads, and then the top few companies that are large established Denver painting companies. Now, because we did the optimization for both, I know more about them then a stranger would. But either will service my Mom’s home, and both are good painters.

Note that the top two results are NOT Google places or maps listings. They are organic. Also note that Vivax shows up both as the top organic listing and as number 2 in maps.

Or:

I could use the larger suburb her home is in (Littleton).  So house painter Littleton looks like this:

Vivax is located in Littleton, so it shows up number one in maps,But what if I just look for the generic term no city or local intent, “house Painter”?  This is where Google try’s to figure out where you are located. And this is important!  Google thinks I am in Thornton Colorado.  Remember I am in Lafayette CO. Thornton is about 7 miles away, and in terms of local services, barely relevant to me. There are several large suburbs and cities closer to me (Boulder is next door, and Broomfield in the other direction).  But Google thinks I am in Thornton and will show Thornton results mixed with just national type results.  Here is what my Firefox shows as my auto detect location:

Here are the results:

As we did the optimization for Vivax and M and E it’s no surprise these guys show up.  But, we didn’t intentionally try and get results in Lafayette.  (remember that’s where I am searching from). These results are more of a hangover from these two exceptionally well promoted sites having great rankings and using the city term Thornton as part of their service areas.

So, the short story for a company trying to promote their site is this.  You need to check all three type search types in mind, and optimize for each. To accomplish this you must optimize both the Places listing and for the organic listings. In today’s local search, in my opinion, organic optimization or site promotion comes first. Look at the Denver search again, organic wins over maps.

But the most complicated issue is what location Google thinks you are searching from. When I try to find local services I am getting results for companies’ two suburbs away. So as a SEO firm, it’s important to complete local optimization based on a wide geographical area.

See… local is easy!  If we can help you with your Local visibility give us a call today. 303 500 3053 ext1

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SEO and Social Media

SEO and Social Media.

We all know that social media has to be taken into account when you are trying to promote your web site and brand. The question is, what social media really makes an impact on your sites ranking?  There are lots of studies about this, but the vast majority really don’t look at it through a local prospective.

Our Social Media Test (Facebook shares)

Social Media Cafe

So a few months ago we decided to try and improve a new clients ranking through using only the one social signal we feel is the most important for SEO, that being, Face Book shares. It should be noted the site did have some back links to the homepage, but there had been no new back links in months.

Share our Facebook comment will ya?

We asked lots of local friends who had face book pages to share a post or two from our client’s facebook page. That resulted in 29 different shares. Not much if you are Coca Cola, but a significant amount for a local company. The results were interesting.

Rankings improved with Facebook Shares!

The rankings went from third page on Google for the major key word , to 9th position first page. Now, the keyword would be considered a mid level competitive keyword, so that type of progress isn’t mind blowing, but it is significant.

SEO + Social Media = The new P.R.

Just another case that demonstrates how SEO is becoming more related to P.R.  than ever. The fact is you don’t need social media to have a well ranked site (I am speaking local sites here), but it sure seems to help. No doubt that will continue and become stronger.

That is also one of the reasons we developed www.metasocialweb.com (as a partner). It allows business owners to help other businesses while they get more followers and shares.

Look for more of this

I predict we will see more and more of these type services in the next year as the SEO and Social Media communities start to realize they are very related, like it or not.

If we can help you with your sites rankings and P.R.  call me at 303 500 3053 ext 1.

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Local Search Ranking Factors 2012

Search Engine Optimisation. Search Engine Opti...

Image by Hobo! via Flickr

Local Search Ranking Factors 2012

I know we are a bit early here, but I wanted to make one prediction about the annual local search ranking factors report that is published each year on the excellent blog about local search, at http://www.davidmihm.com

Local SEO’s love this report, and will invest a large amount of time reading and assessing each area they rate. I have always enjoyed reading the opinions of the some of the largest and best SEO firms in the world and comparing their thoughts on how important certain things are to your sites local ranking (Maps, places) to what I have seen over the year.

Question: H0w Important are Citations to ranking?

citation needed

Traditional the consensus has always ranked “Citations” as one of the most important ranking factors.  Once you get past the obvious factors of the address, claiming a listing, and the categories you use, it’s the top dog!  And in 2009 I think that was true.

Answer: Citations just are not very important any more!

Here is my prediction, and the reason behind it. The number and quality of Citations ranking factor will drop from very important to just important, maybe as low as number 8 on the top 10 factors.  Now here is my opinion based on what I have seen and bloged about for a year.

Citations are close to meaningless for ranking factor.  And all of the local SEO companies who are still chasing citations are 14 months behind the curve.  All of this changed in October 2010 and has continued to change with all the panda updates through out 2010.   Today, your local rankings are based  98% on the same factors that you use in organic search Engine optimization, once you get past the already stated  factors of having a local listing, and making sure you fill it out correctly.

Chasing the wrong stuff for local SEO

In a nutshell, it’s not a citation that makes any difference, it’s the quality of the page that listing and link (if included) is on. A very well respected SEO blog (and deserving so) recently published the top 100 (I think, may have been 200) citation sites.  So today and next week, and next year local seo’s will be taking their clients money and using a bunch of these “Top 100”  to try and increase their clients ranking. What a waste.

In the vast majority of cases, Google only looks at the page the citation is on and that specific pages value, not the domain.  So when your site is listed on (Pick one of the top so named citation sites) if the page your site is on has no or low P.A. value (Page authority as published by SEOmoz) or any of the other page quality tools you want to use that look at number of inbound links, and number of out bound, SEO juice from the other pages, and all that) then you have wasted your time. The bad news is the vast majority of the “top Citation Sites” fall into a low or no PA value for the page you end up listing on, and right now, because the mainstream SEO’s have not caught up to this lot’s of businesses are wasting a portion of their dollars on tactics that have not worked since 2009.

So why would I publish this, when my competitor’s read this blog, and it can be a great help in their business?  Because I truly do believe that what helps one business helps all businesses, and that the small business clients they have will benefit through this information.

But then again, I could be wrong, as most everything in SEO is an opinion. I do feel confident in this information, as since we changed our strategies and tactics to reflect the new local search world, we have seen a 100% first page top 3 ranking for every client.

Help me, help you, help me, help you.


 

If we can help you as either a business seeking a better Internet strategy, or a small SEO looking for addional help or support, please contact me through our site, or call me directly at 303 500 3053 ext 1

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How Your Blog Helps Your Sites Ranking.

How Your Blog Helps Your Sites Ranking.

There is so much buzz on the internet about how writing a blog can help your sites ranking on search engines. All of this is true, but, I don’t see bloggers explaining really why a blog helps your sites traffic and ranking, and without that information, you will have limited results. In fact, you will probably end up, as so many bloggers do, with three of four months of twice a week blogs and then the great void. Nothing for months, notta, a silent voice in the mass structure of the digital word, speaking to no one, having no purpose, aimless and alone…

But be of good cheer! (Wow am I weird today) Must be the holiday thing…

Your blog may help bring traffic to your web site through these means.

  • Google likes fresh content. But this alone won’t do much for you.
  • Good content is picked up by other sites, giving you a link from their site. Google and search engines base a lot of your rankings on how many sites link back to your site. This is far more important than just adding fresh content. You can add fresh content (new blogs) until the proverbial cows come home, (proverbial cows sounds like a really odd name for a football team in India). But it won’t do much until other sites link to it or use it with a link.
  • (Sorry lost my train of thought as my 5 year old daughter just walked in and announced she had found the elf on a shelf this morning, you know, they magical move every night, and she gets really excited when she finds them)
  • You can tweet and add your blog to your social media. That’s a good link and good mention for the search engines! It also gives you something to say on your social media which is clearly a problem for many of us. I can hear the thought process as we all think, what should I post on facebook today? The weather? My recent IRS audit results? Another discount offer? Oh gawd how I HATE this. A blog is a great thing to post. And, it gives your web site a little love from the search engines.
  • Search engines seem to love word press. (That’s the platform many blogs are written on.)
  • I hate to sound all SEOie here, but really, use your important keywords in the title of the blog, and use the categories and all that stuff built into your blog. I don’t use any seo plug in, but I don’t think they hurt.
  • And finally… your blog will help your traffic and ranking only if your web site, and then blog, have a good SEO ranking, A blog will help you build some ranking, but having a domain that already has links to it is really important! Work on getting links to your main site.

So there you are.

    1. Write good content that others will link to (there are a million blogs and articles on how to write good content on line, clearly I haven’t read many)
    2. Post it on your social media pages
    3. Use word press
    4. Use keywords in your title
    5. Work on getting your domain ranked before your blog.

If we can help you with getting your site ranking moving the right direction, please call me. Our starter SEO program may be an affordable and great way to jump start your site visits and get your blog noticed. http://www.salesjumpstart.net/weboptimizersstarterSEO.html

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Top 3 Rankings Google In a month.

Always good to end the week with some good news. We had two new campaigns start less than a month ago with our Internet Marketing, including search engine optimization, and both are in a top three position for a important keyword search.

Blue Sky is already number one for basement finishing in their city, and now remodeling.

And American painting Specialist started a few weeks ago…

From nowhere on the first page to either number 1 or number 3.  Not all of our clients see this type of fast rankings growth, but they all do eventually. Watch for Pinnacle Structural Services in the first few SER’s over the next few weeks.

Search engine visabilty is important for most small business and it always feels great to see it working so well.  If you are working on your site’s visibility there are several key areas to pay attention to.

SEO TIP:

Although the term “meta title” may sound like an eighties rock band, it’s the most important on site piece of information Google and others look for. Not only is your home page title important, but every page on your site should have a unique meta title.  Google doesn’t rank your web site, Google ranks a page.  Don’t let your pages compete for the same keywords!  Make sure you choose one page you want to promote, and use your main keywords in that pages title, and then DO NOT use it in all the others.

Our starter SEO packages is also a great way to get your site more visible in search engines and it’s rankings moving up. You can read about it n our starter SEO page.

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How Much Does SEO Cost?

How Much Does SEO Cost?

If you look for an “SEO” (Search Engine Optimization) Company you may find pricing from $49.00 a month to $5000.00 a month and more. It’s no wonder many of the businesses I speak with are completely confused.  The truth is there is no correct answer to how much SEO services may cost, there are just too many factors that have to be taken into consideration before any professional SEO company can give you an idea what your investment might be.

It starts  with what your geographic target area is, the competition for your keywords (or services), and looking at your current optimization, both on your web site,  off site (commonly called back links) and social signals and mentions.  If your web site was built by a friend of a friend’s cousin who did it part time to get through college in 2003 and, you have no idea how to contact that person, well, as part of the SEO process you may have to build a completely new site.  Cost?  $1200 to $7500.00 for the basics.

If your site was built in the last couple of years (hopefully by a web design firm  and not a friend of a friend…)  then you may only need to make some basic changes to the site, and in many cases this may only take an hour of your web companies time. Cost $50 to $150.00

Then it all comes down to are you trying to target searches in a certain area of a metro area, the entire metro area,  a state or region, a country, or International.

A small locally target SEO campaign for a suburb or two in a mid level competitive industry may cost as little as $600.00 total.  A city wide SEO campaign in a city the size of Denver will probably run at least $2700.00 or a $500.00 per month program for 6 months.  A national program will run between $750 and $2000 a month and you can count on working with an SEO for at least a year before you start seeing results and frankly you will probably end up doing SEO for years (as long as you are seeing a return)

But what about those $49.00 and $99.00 guaranteed programs, you may ask. Well, they don’t work.  Don’t trust me, just ask the company for three LOCAL RECENT references for the program.  If they can provide them, use the service!  If not, call us, or another real SEO firm. If any one reading this blog can show me an actually example of a SEO program (not PPC) working for under $175.00 a month. Please contact me. I am begging!  I have had so many clients come to me after wasting time and money on these; I would love to hear of one, just one, actual success story.

SEO, in my opinion is a great value even today.  The market is pushing pricing down. At the same time the number of businesses using SEO services is rapidly increasing. Remember, in every category there are only so many first page rankings and only 3 top 3.  SEO is never going to cost less. It’s just too competitive, and in a year or two, because of the competition, it may start costing more than it’s worth in many segments.

Now’s a good time to look at SEO, and what it might cost.

Call us for a free assessment and investment pricing. 303 500 3053 ext1

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Google Ad Words Pay Per Click Problems

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

It seems like I get a call a month from a client or prospect that have been running pay per click on Google and getting terrible results. Once I look at the campaigns I consistently see the following three BIG problems.

First. So far this year with only one exception, the campaign is set up using broad match keywords.

Google gives you 4 options of the way you can run your keywords.  Here is their explanation:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can set each search-targeted keyword to have one of those four settings. To use a keyword matching option, just add the appropriate punctuation to your keyword:

  1. Broad match: keyword
    Allows your ad to show on similar phrases and relevant variations
    (The broad match modifier may also be used to further refine your broad keyword matches: +keyword.)
  1. Phrase match: “keyword”
    Allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase
  1. Exact match: [keyword]
    Allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase exclusively
  1. Negative match: -keyword
    Ensures your ad doesn’t show for any search that includes that term

With some options, you’ll enjoy more ad impressions, clicks, and conversions; with others, you’ll get fewer impressions and more narrow targeting. By applying the appropriate matching options to your keywords, you can best meet your ROI goals.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So as an example, I have seen a House painter show up in the search Basement Finishing. Why?  Because they are using Broad Match, and when someone searches Basement Painting, they have “painting” as a broad match keyword.  You can imagine how many searches the ad shows up for that have little or no relevance to house painting.

The natural thought is, so what, if no one clicks on the ad under a non relevant keyword, it doesn’t cost you a thing. Well…. Wrong.  Your keywords quality score, which I will blog on latter, is lowered when your ads click through rate (number of times the ad is cliced on divided by the number of times the ad is served)  and the lower your quality score, the more your bid will need to be to get higher placement.

So… use phrase and exact match!

Two. I also see the client or prospect has added all of their keywords under on ad group and possible one ad.

Your keywords should be divided into very specific groups, where the keyword matches the ad you use for that ad group.

Using house painting again,  here is  a brief example.  You should have diiferent ads for each of these and the ads should use the exact keywords in it.

House painting

House painter

Exterior House painting

Painting contractor

In a perfect world you might see a new ad group and ad for each keyword.  Lot’s of work, but well worth it. Your cost will be lower and your conversion rate will be higher.

Three: Scheduling.  Your product or Service has peak days and times that prospects will look for it on the Internet. You know what these are, just track back to when prospects call you the most.  When was that last time someone called you on a Saturday?  For home improvement companies, Mondays and Tuesdays are peak, and Friday and Saturday (generally) are dead.  Why show your ad on day’s no one is really looking?  Instead, up your bids on the peak days and lower your bids on off days and hours.

And I do need to mention a 4th. Geo Targeting!  Google has great options for you to serve your ad just in the cites you want, or a specific radius around your business.  Don’t advertise across n entire metro area, if in reality you are not going to get sales more than 15 miles (or 7 or whatever) from your business.  The natural tendency of customers is to have a preference for a company closer to them, no matter what you sell.

I will go into some other areas and more detail on future blogs.  Pay attention to these 4 areas in an account when you set up an Ad Words campaign.  We do offer very affordable PPC management and set up, so if you just don’t want to go through the learning curve, and need to see better results, call us!

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