December 18, 2012 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant
With the latest Google search algorithm updates over the past year or so, the efficacy of search engine optimization and SEO services as a strategy has been rightfully called into question. Many companies’ websites have gone through a significant adjustment in the Google search engine rankings due to these Google algo changes, losing significant revenue and traffic streams.
So the question begs…Is SEO Dead? Short answer: absolutely not. In fact, now SEO is back to its purest form. Let me explain.
Good SEO is About Relevant Content
You will see in my many posts about Internet Strategies when I discuss search engine optimization, I typically bring up quality and relevant content as the key SEO driver. These latest Google changes have the goal to realign SEO back to its intended purpose: providing web searchers quality search results that have relevant content to their particular search. Side Note: Now, whether Google is actually achieving this (quality search results), is another thing (and another separate conversation). Hopefully over time search relevancy will improve as Google dictates that pure white hat SEO is the only way to go.
SEO Companies Got Lazy
Unfortunately over the past several years, the emphasis for SEO companies has been less about quality content and more about back linking because Google’s search algo rewarded backlinks as a significant factor in ranking, particularly in competitive spaces. So SEO service companies gave a lot more emphasis to developing back links than to the core of SEO, which is content. Now clients of those SEO firms are stuck with poorly ranking websites and having to pay loads of money to try to recover their rankings.
Proper Search Engine Optimization
Onsite SEO Management
Google is now putting lots of weight toward on-page SEO factors. Those who have been adding quality content to their website steadily over time and not back linking the heck out of them (off site back linking) are the ones winning the ranking battle now. Also sites that have a solid interlinking structure and good navigation tied with quality and relevant content are particularly strong in the search results. This is the cornerstone of what proper search engine optimization is about. Spending time working on on-page SEO factors tied with quality content is well rewarded. Need to be cautious of over optimization. Do not overdo it.
Offsite SEO Strategies
So what can you do off-page / offsite wise to increase your rankings? Well, don’t waste your time back linking. Some limited back linking from some quality websites, directories and social sites are ok, but if you have all of that already, don’t do anymore. You will just get driven into the black hole of non-ranking websites even more by trying to back link your rankings back.
Good offsite SEO is just like good onsite SEO. That is, create websites that have quality content that rank on their own merits, solely based on their content value, their relevancy to search, their site structure, and on-page SEO factors. Then have a NO FOLLOW link that directs the web visitor to your main website, landing page, blog, etc.
We have been extremely successful with our SEO service that creates quality content websites which have excellent structure and on page SEO, along with good GEO targeting. Google loves combining keyword search with geo targets, as that makes for better quality search results. Then doing things like linking these separate websites together in a one way fashion to create more authority among them certainly helps to rank for those super competitive keyword phrases.
Also, widen your keyword research and include longer tail keywords along with your “money”, shorter type keywords (more exact match type keywords). Include related type keywords as well and also include branding of your company name and website URL. Google is looking for well-rounded SEO, not SEO that is going aggressively after all exact match keywords. Put some variance into your keywords and go for keywords that don’t get as many searches but return better conversions.
For instance, with our SEO services we research hundreds of keyword terms so that our clients can monetize not just the competitive terms (which actually can bring in less conversions, lower CTR and less profits), but also the keyword terms that are related and lengthy. The longer a keyword term, the more targeted, the hotter and more relevant the prospect, the better closing ratios, the better profitability on a per click basis. Go after the low hanging fruit…
Be Careful when Considering an SEO Services Firm
When you are considering hiring an SEO company, please take the time to learn how they perform their SEO both on your website and offsite. If the SEO company won’t share their SEO philosophy and techniques with you, then beware. Look for transparent SEO companies and analyze exactly what they propose doing for you. If quality SEO practices of on-page SEO and quality content are not being employed, walk away.
Look for SEO firms that aren’t lazy; that will take the time to really do the research and deploy a lengthy, consistent, transparent, accountable SEO strategy for you. Good SEO takes hours and hours of technical work. For that reason we perform all our SEO services on a 12 month basis because that is what it takes for SEO to be really successful, and most importantly, sustainable. Anyone can get quick results but will the rankings hold and improve over time? It is nothing for us to work hundreds of hours on any particular SEO project. Find an SEO firm that takes the time to do right.
Look for results…When considering SEO consultants look at their client testimonials of tangible SEO results. Also look for SEO videos describing their SEO programs and the results derived from those SEO strategies. Transparency is the key to a good, effective SEO company.
SEO Provides Quality Prospects
So, now the question begs: Is SEO worth the investment of time and money? Answer: Absolutely!
You will find that web visitors who find you via the general (organic) search results are much better customers than those clicking on Pay Per Click ads. Why? Because the serious prospects look to the general search results because they are the most relevant and credible. The organic search results are the most trusted, hence, quality prospects come from that search more often than the sponsored results.
The more visibility and rankings you can obtain in the top 10 of Google, the better your results. So look for ways to appear multiple times in the search results, whether that be via websites, videos, images, social networks, etc. The more visibility, the more clicks. Look to combine your PPC campaigns with your SEO strategies. This will significantly lower your PPC costs, increase the profitability of your PPC campaigns, and improve cross platform branding. Imagine having 6 positions in the top 10 of Google general results, plus a PPC ad that is very cheap to show, all in one search? Powerful! And Profitable!
Posted in Business Internet Strategies and tagged content based seo, google algo changes, google seo, on page and off page seo, search engine optimization, seo, seo companies, seo consultants, seo firms, seo services, seo strategies, white hat seo.
April 16, 2012 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant
What is the best business besides a strong customer referral? It is when qualified prospects call you. It is inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is the most superior form of marketing, it can quickly grow business, and it is a refreshing approach to generating profitable new business.
You can try ads in magazines or TV advertisements, but they can quickly get very expensive and the ROI is often questionable.
What is your alternative? Internet marketing. But isn’t that expensive as well with a questionable ROI? Not if you do it right! Internet marketing can quickly generate an enormous amount of qualified prospects calling you to discuss your products and services. Here’s how to do it…
Search engine optimization is the key to getting found on the internet in the general search results. The key to SEO is good, relevant content. If the content is good, then others will notice and soon the search engines will follow. What is important is to make sure you are optimizing your content for the right keywords and getting your content noticed by the right people. I find that the best customers use the general search results. Ranking well in the general results gives you instant relevancy and credibility- two things any discerning customer wants and requires.
Optimized PPC Campaign
Pay Per Click can be very expensive and a big waste of money if not done correctly. We do PPC a little differently. We have the PPC campaign part and parcel to the SEO campaign and strategy. What does this do? It lowers the cost significantly and increases the ROI significantly. Having your SEO and PPC strategies working together in a seamless and cohesive comprehensive strategy will make sure the right internet visitors are clicking on your ads in the search engines.
Find a Good Internet Consultant
You can certainly do all the SEO and PPC I mentioned in this blog post, but it is a lot of work and a big learning curve if you have little experience in these areas. Learning curves can get expensive. Internet Marketing Consultants can minimize the learning curve, develop and test campaigns, and then optimize for best returns.
An experienced internet consultant can help you construct a successful inbound marketing campaign which will significantly reduce your advertising budget and exponentially increase your return on marketing dollars invested. You need to find a business consultant that can capture the strategic direction of your company, help you figure out what product and service offerings will work best, can tweak your website design and development, can develop great web content, can develop an excellent SEO and PPC campaign, and manage the two in a cohesive strategy. It takes years of business experience to bring this type of solution to the table and do it well- look for a business consultant that has been around a while, has a track record, and doesn’t take short cuts (i.e. skips white hat SEO methods).
This is Just the Beginning
Good SEO and PPC is just the beginning to a great inbound marketing campaign. Newsletters, Social Networks, Viral Marketing, Video Marketing, etc are all great avenues to expand the potential of your inbound marketing campaign. There is really no limit in what you can do, and you will find that inbound marketing customers are the most qualified customers you will find. And, they call you! What could be better than that?
What Kind of Results Can You Expect?
If an internet marketing campaign is done right, it is based upon results and high ROI. Don’t take my word for it…Here is an example of what one of my customers said about the results they experienced as a result of my SEO and PPC work…
“I have been working with Frank Goley of ABC Business Consulting for several months now. The results and benefits have been exceptional. We have been able to significantly grow our business through the business plan implementation, consulting recommendations, and web marketing strategies that Frank has worked closely with me in developing and implementing. Also, the opportunity to consult with Frank at anytime about any business issue or opportunity has been great- he has been a great asset to our business planning and decision making. As a result of Frank’s advice, our newly developed website, and the ongoing internet marketing and SEO campaign, we have seen great results, including: our energy monitor product sales have doubled, our solar system business is on track for a banner year with a three-fold increase, our targeted website visitors have increased 1,500%, and our Bounce Rate is an incredibly low 5%!” — Randy Velker, Owner, Simple Energy Works, www.SimpleEnergyWorks.com
Find a good internet consultant, the results will be worth it…
Internet Marketing Resources
For more tips on SEO, PPC and Internet Marketing see my blog section on Business Internet Strategies.
Posted in Business Internet Strategies, Business Marketing Strategies, Business Recession Tactics and tagged business consultant, inbound marketing, internet marketing, internet marketing consultant, pay per click, ppc, search engine optimization, seo.
February 27, 2012 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant
In my previous blog post (Great Website Design is Worthless without Great Web Development), I discussed the merits of strong website development and how website design is really nothing without the web development component. This being said, you can have strong website design and development, yet the website still lacks in effectiveness. How can this be? Well, if the website isn’t found on the internet, then how can it monetize for a company?
The Key to Successful Website Design and Development is SEO
The missing third component is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as SEO is what gets a website targeted visitors who want to spend money. Yes, you can do Pay Per Click (PPC), but that is quite expensive and really an extension of SEO (not a substitute) when done correctly. SEO is the best money spent to bring in targeted traffic to a website, and all the website design and development in the world doesn’t do that. Now, design and development are very important as they relate to the visitor experience and closing sales, but without targeted traffic, it is simply stuck.
SEO Should be an Integral Part of Website Design and Development
SEO should be part and parcel to website design and development. While a website is being designed and developed, it needs to have a well planned, tested and developed SEO strategy. The website needs to be optimized for both the search engines and for the visitor experience. SEO is very technical and transcends a number of areas. In fact, there are hundreds of SEO factors to address when designing and developing a website.
Onsite SEO First
The search engine optimization needs to First be done correctly on the website before any offsite SEO is done. With the onsite SEO done correctly, the website’s design and development can really do their job- they can help convert visitors as they a) find the website on the internet and b) navigate the website. Onsite SEO alone helps to bring targeted traffic to a website so it is a great investment. It also allows for a much better user experience, increasing conversions. Once the onsite SEO is done in congruence with the website’s design and development, then the website needs to indexed by the search engines and fresh content needs to be added consistently to keep the site indexed and getting rank.
Offsite SEO Second
With the onsite SEO fully implemented and the new or redone website live and indexed on the internet, it now time to execute an offsite SEO Strategy. Offsite SEO involves a lot of things, but basically it is getting offsite back links of anchor text keywords from other websites to the target website. Offsite SEO is long, hard, tedious work, and as a result, a lot of companies smartly opt for using the SEO Services of an SEO expert. Make sure the SEO consultant is using purely white hat strategies as poor web links that link back to your website can be more of a detriment than positive influence on your website’s rankings in the search engines.
Consider Search Engine Optimization Every Step of the Way…
So when you approach your next website design and development project, consider search engine optimization every step of the way. From the get-go to the end of the project…all the way through the life of the website. Otherwise, you may have a really pretty website that does absolutely nothing for you on the internet. Remember, a website must be found by targeted visitors using the correct keyword searches for a website to monetize successfully.
Posted in Business Internet Strategies.
December 19, 2011 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant
I tried out a website design and development company several months ago. The design capabilities and work output was great. However, their development team was inexperienced, took short cuts, created shoddy code- simply put, they almost screwed up the web project. I had to assign the development work to an independent developer that I know well. In a few days, he was able to untangle their mess and helped me develop a really solid website that looked, and most importantly, worked great.
Lesson Learned: A web design firm can put out excellent designs but that is really nothing without having excellent web development as its backbone. Poor web development can really ruin a website’s experience and effectiveness.
I have a lot of web design firms approach me to do work for us, but many of them have the same unfortunate ailment…quite capable website design, but shoddy web development. Finding a web firm who can do both design and development equally well is challenging- this is why I keep my design and development functions separate in our website design projects, giving my clients the best of both worlds. My designers can focus on what they do best: design, colors, flow, usability. My developers can focus on what they do best: code, performance, efficiency, workability.
So You May be Asking: What is Web Development?
In a word: Customization.
Why is Web Development Important?
Web development is crucial in a web project because it is the architecture behind the website’s design. A website can be designed for maximum user experience and ease of use, but without great web development, the site won’t work well and the designer’s work will go down the drain. In all actuality, web development is far more important than website design. Web design gets all the attention and lauding in a web project and is important, yet it is the web development which really makes the web project a success, or lack thereof.
Analyze Website Design & Web Development Separately When Assessing a Web Design Firm
If you have a web project for web companies to bid on, be sure to analyze their development skills, as much as, if not more, their design skills. Ask hard questions about how their web developers will approach and address your specific website requirements. Look very carefully at their web design projects. Does the website work well? What is the back end for the client like? Does it perform well? Does it load well? Don’t awed by a design firm’s design capability and overlook the most important component of a web project: development. If a website is not working well, it may not be a design flaw, it may be a poor backbone.
Consider Web Design & Development as a Whole
In the previous paragraph, I said assess design and development separately. But that is just for assessment of skill and capability. It is vitally important that both design and development are considered as a whole in a web project, and how each affects the other. Both design and development must be considered when developing a web project, and as a business consultant and web expert, this is why customers come to me for their web design projects. They come to me because they want a stunning website that works well and will generate business. This is a four pronged challenge: design, development, search engine optimization, internet marketing. Additionally, on a Global basis, clients come to me because they want their website to reflect their strategic plan and be part of their strategic planning process and marketing systems. This is what a good web project encompasses, and unfortunately, many web design firms can simply not provide what a client truly needs.
My Advice: Take the time to develop out what your website project really is, what it needs to accomplish, and its implementation steps…take the time to figure out how your company will support and maintain the project. Start with the big picture and nail it down to its elements, both your website design and development will benefit, and most importantly, your business will benefit with added revenue.
Web Design & Development is Nothing without Great SEO
This could be the title of another blog post (and may well be in the future)…
My point is simple: without great search engine optimization, and how a website is to be found and marketed, then all the design and development are for naught. Before a website project is initiated, its SEO and marketing must be defined, designed and tested. The SEO and marketing of the website must be integral to the website design and development. Otherwise, you have a pretty brochure on the web that may look good but does nothing for your company. A website is not a brochure…so many companies use them as brochures because they don’t really know how to effectively use a website per its intended and best use.
A website is not static like a brochure, it is dynamic. A website does not need fulfillment and follow up like a brochure needs. A website, when properly designed, developed, SEOed and marketed, is a sales and profit machine that will autonomously outwork and outperform the best sales people in the world (it is actually a sales person’s best friend). It never takes a day off and markets your company 24×7, 365 days a year. Maximize its best use!
Posted in Business Internet Strategies.
October 3, 2011 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant
There are a ton of web content management systems (CMS), and publishing, development and design platforms to choose from, both open source and paid. I have tried them all, and I find that WordPress is the superior choice. Here is why…
WordPress is a User Friendly CMS
WordPress when it is set up and customized correctly is very easy for any skill level person to handle content on a website once it is in initially developed by a professional. Changing and adding content is a cinch. Even changing and adding pictures and videos is easy. You can even add more navigation structure simply as well.
I find so many of the other content management systems out there to be very user un-friendly, complicated, and in many cases, don’t work well. Why fight with your CMS or screw up your clean website design, or mess up your nice search engine optimization when using a website publishing platform? You don’t have to and WordPress is simple to learn and quick to use.
Customization of WordPress is Key
To get the real benefit from WordPress, the publishing platform must be customized to the website project and the end users. This is why it is good to first start with a professional website design company that has a lot of expertise and proficiency in WordPress. WordPress is an open source platform that offers a “generic” web design, development and publishing platform, but for it to be effective and useful, it must be further customized.
There are a bunch of plugins for WordPress that cover a lot of the customization but there are also tweaks needed in the web development process itself that need to be done so you have a completely customized solution and a stunning website that doesn’t look like the regular WordPress themes that exist. You can achieve sophisticated website design and development customization and produce a stunning looking website (i.e. high design) that is very SEO friendly using WordPress. The trick is finding a web developer and designer that specializes in WordPress website design.
Recommended WordPress Plug Ins
Here is a list of the most common plug ins we use when customizing a WordPress Website and Blog for a client. This is a “standard” for us. We add more as needed to customize the website and blog for the client’s specific needs and issues. You need to understand how to manage and optimize the resources on WordPress very well when using so many plug ins; otherwise, your website and blog will be slow to load, and you will be frustrated as a CMS user in the back end use of WP. Plugins offer great customization, but they add resource load so you must manage and weigh both as you build out the website and blog.
Add to Any: Allows sharing your website content throughout the internet. Automatically adds the Add to Any button to your website pages and blog posts.
Admin Bar Removal: Removes excess code of the new Admin Bar in the WP platform, front and back end, so that the memory load is minimal on the user’s computer.
Akismet: Protect your blog from trackback and comment spam.
All in One SEO Pack: Makes your WordPress website completely SEO maximized. Recommend the Pro Version.
Anti Feed Scraper Message: Prevents your RSS feed from being scraped without attribution. Adds a customizable message with a link back to your website so that if a blog post is copied and pasted on another website/blog, you at least have a back link and some attribution.
Breadcrumb NavXT: Adds breadcrumb navigation links so the website visitor knows their navigation path at any time and can easily navigate a page intensive website. Also adds fantastic SEO value.
Contact Form 7: Great customizable contact form generator and manager. Very flexible.
Did You Pass Math?: Restricts comment spam by throwing the commenter an easy math question to solve.
Google XML Sitemap for Videos: Creates an XML sitemap for all the videos on your website or blog.
Google XML Sitemaps: Creates a sitemap so the search engines index and crawl your site.
Hyper Cache: Cache system that improves a WP website’s performance and saves resources. Pages will load quickly and cleanly for the web visitor. Adds SEO value.
MHR Custom Anti Copy: Prevents blatant copying of your valuable website and blog content. Can be customized so your forms and payment buttons still work correctly.
Newsletter Pro: Forget paying for an email service like Constant Contact. Build your newsletter delivery system seamlessly into your WP platform. Allows for customized design and high customization of email campaigns.
Permalink Editor: You can customize the WordPress link structure to allow the addition of prefixes or file extensions to your page URLs. For instance, your URL can appear as .html, instead of the typical WP link structure. You can customize site wide, or on a particular page or post.
Subscribe 2: Great email notifying system when you post new content on your website or blog.
WordPress Database Backup: On demand back up of your WP database. You can never be too careful.
WordPress Hashcash: Blocks spam robots.
WP Print: Displays a print version of your post or page.
WP reCAPTCHA: reCAPTCHA anti-spam solution.
Posted in Business Internet Strategies.
September 26, 2011 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant
There are so many search engine optimization experts, firms, gurus, contractors out there espousing all kinds of tactics to help your website get ranked organically in the search engines. The list of SEO services/tactics could involve: social bookmarks, forum posts and linking, blog comments, high PR back links, social media linking, EDU/GOV back links, link wheels, articles, blogging, directory submissions, and the list goes on and on…Some work, some don’t- most depend on effective implementation, which is lacking in the SEO services world.
The Key is Content
SEO is really only about relevant content- that is really what the search engines care about. Having tons of back links factors in some (as well as link diversity), but what really drives rank is contextual back links. These are back links containing your keywords and are placed in relevant content about the keyword subject. Contextual back links are important on your website and off your website. Other respected websites and blogs posting relevant content with your keywords linking back to the web page you are trying to get ranked is very important too.
Step 1 – Develop SEO Content on Your Website, Blog & Social Properties
Before any back linking from other websites and blogs are going to help you at all in your search engine optimization strategy, you need to have solid relevant content on all your targeted web pages and properties. Create this content first and keep it refreshed. Ensure you cross link key words throughout your sites so the search engines know what content you are offering.
Step 2 – Develop Contextual Back Links
Having your relevant content published by another website or blog containing your important keyword back links is crucial to ranking well in the organic search results. Personally, I do not like Article Directory sites. Why? The back links are of low quality, often found at the bottom of the article in the Article Resource area. What you need in your SEO strategy are contextual back links that are in the Body of relevant content featured on a blog or website, preferably one that is your industry/niche and one that is respected.
Consistency is Important
Consistently having your contextual keywords back linking to your key relevant content pages day in and day out is what gives you rank, and most importantly, helps to preserve your rank. There must be fresh content containing your keyword back links out on the internet on a daily basis. Sound like a tall task? It is- particularly if you are trying to rank for numerous and competitive keywords. This is why search engine optimization companies and SEO services have flourished in recent years as the work is intensive, exacting and time consuming.
The problem is, most SEO firms do not provide the quality contextual back links I have been writing about in this post. Rather, they offer sub-par linking strategies that are typically very poorly implemented, with lots of mistakes, and if they get you some ranking, it doesn’t last. Carefully examine how the SEO company goes about its SEO strategy, and if it is all about relevant content, both on and off your website, or about massive back linking and hoping for the best. SEO can be a game changing strategy for many companies, particularly in a tough recession driven market, but it needs to be done right and always have Content as the key strategy.
Posted in Business Internet Strategies, Business Marketing Strategies.
September 19, 2011 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant
Well, it is great to get back to blogging after a long absence. I have been waiting on our new website and blog to be done before getting back into regular blogging. And now they are done! Let me know what you think about the new look and content.
This recession has a lot of companies questioning their tactics and pricing. Question your marketing and tactics but not your pricing. All too often I see companies who are experiencing less business reduce their prices. This is often a fatal mistake. The answer is not price reduction!
In particular, I have seen construction industry companies slashing pricing, thinking that is what is needed to get business in this recession. All too often they find this makes it worse with no end in sight. If you have a good price for the value you offer for your product or service, either leave it alone, or even increase it. Yep, I said price increase in a Recession! (and I am not crazy)
Pricing is often just a part of a very complex picture of a company’s success. There are so many other factors to consider in relation to and outside of pricing. Things like efficiency, cash flow, profitability, employees, management, etc all have to be considered, and the business needs to be comprehensively analyzed as a whole (sum of its parts) to come up with a viable recession strategy. Just cutting pricing and thinking that will help you turn things around in a recession will fail 99% of the time.
So what is the Answer in this Recession?
Two part answer:
1) Do a full Business Analysis and get an accurate picture of the health of your business and how the sum of the working parts of the business are working well, or not well together. With the analysis complete, you know where you are as a business- it a point to work from. Make improvements where you can based upon the results of the analysis, and most importantly, track the results of your changes and improvements over time. Tracking and tweaking along the way is critical! Also, fully establish that your pricing is in alignment with the value you provide– if it isn’t, fix that upfront– yes, increase pricing if necessary!
2) Improve Your Marketing: The answer in a recession isn’t price reduction but better marketing to a target of your best customers. You need to define who are your best customers, and how to market to them. The smart and successful companies in a recession expand their marketing budgets, not reduce them.
Think of ways to package and combine products and services (and add ons) that offer substantial value to your customers, yet are highly profitable to you as a company. Then market behind those key product and service bundles/packages. Pricing strategy and marketing are one and them same– take each into careful consideration and devise a strategy that encourages maximum marketing ROI for “x” price component.
Two words: Internet Marketing. Two More Words: Inbound Marketing. You won’t find a lower cost marketing method (if done right) for a higher ROI anywhere. The bottom line with any marketing campaign is to have your phone ring and boost sales. Why have mostly outbound marketing? It is expensive and often not very effective (low ROI). Inbound marketing is superior. Here are the keys to good Internet Marketing:
- Do Your Research: This is a critical first step.
- Develop an Online Marketing Plan
- Website Overhaul: Your website needs to be a sales director, not a brochure! Good Website Design and Marketing are one and the same.
- SEO: onsite Search Engine Optimization and offsite SEO Strategy.
- PPC: Pay per Click is only effective and affordable if combined with a strong SEO strategy. Good SEO significantly reduces PPC costs and makes PPC much more effective.
- Video: Having video on your website and a YouTube Channel set up is critical. Get your videos professionally done– try to resist doing it yourself. Have a good SEO and Social Media strategy behind the videos.
- Offline / Traditional Marketing: Only use in conjunction and in support of your Online Marketing strategy, not the other way around. Online marketing reduces your traditional marketing costs and makes it more successful when done correctly.
- Track, Track, Track and Tweak, Tweak and Tweak: Online marketing is awesome with all the software you can use to track the success of your campaign. The software will guide you in changes to make to increase both conversions and ROI.
The danger with a “lowering the price strategy” is you cheapen your brand and value, only making the hemorrhaging of cash and profits greater in the long run. Even worse, you may start a pricing war which often ends in disaster. Get the health of your overall business right, ensure your pricing matches the value you offer, develop out of the box pricing packages/bundles, and most importantly, spend your money and time on Internet Marketing, not traditional marketing. Does this sound like a tall order? It can be if not done right. Consider hiring an experienced business consultant to help with the business analysis, business recommendations, business changes, pricing strategy, and marketing strategy. If the business consultant is worth his or her salt, it is money well spent and vey easily recouped. Find a consultant that is results based!
Posted in Business Internet Strategies, Business Marketing Strategies, Business Recession Tactics.
February 1, 2011 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves primarily:
1) Optimizing a website / web property for relevant content
2) Optimizing a website / web property for its title, heading, keyword, description, image and video tags, among other on page factors, such as, coding and website navigation / organization.
3) Offsite optimization via back linking
I find that customers who find us through the general search engine results via our SEO strategies are the most qualified for our services and are better customers for us as compared to Pay Per Click. While we use both Pay Per Click (PPC) and SEO in our inbound marketing strategy, we certainly see the advantage of SEO from not just a cost standpoint but a quality customer standpoint too. Combining a good SEO strategy with a PPC Strategy really is a highly effective strategy with one feeding off the other- a great complimentary pair whose synergistic relationship increases the effectiveness of both strategies while minimizing customer acquisition costs. Hence our emphasis on good SEO and the reason for this blog post. In a later blog post, I will get more into PPC.
In today’s blog, I am going to concentrate on item #1, Relevant Content. I will cover items # 2 and 3 in subsequent blogs. Before any SEO strategy can be effective it is absolutely essential to have relevant content on your website. Relevant content is the number one determinant of ranking in the search engines, and your SEO back linking strategies will be minimally effective until you have adequately addressed the relevant content on your website for the keywords you want to rank for.
Relevant Content is the Number One Ranking Factor
Search Engine Optimization revolves around the fact that when someone enters a keyword into a search engine, the most relevant websites appear at the top of the natural, general, organic search results. Search engines are built with the goal of providing relevant content to keyword searches. You can have all the back links in the world, but without good, relevant content on your website, particularly for a competitive keyword, you won’t get the top ranking, nor hold a top position on the search engines.
Home Page Content
The content on the home page should characterize all that is offered on the website and be optimized for the keywords you want to rank for. Just listing keywords and linking them throughout your website isn’t enough. The keywords have to be incorporated in the relevant content of a website, with the home page being the entree to all the great content held on the site. Also remember that search engines look for natural and useful content- having a ton of keywords spammed all over the home page will not be seriously considered for top ranking.
Inner Page Content
Each of your inner pages for ranking purposes should contain relevant content on a particular subject area and contain optimized keywords within that content that relate to the overall content of the page. This content can be in the form of a blog, article, white paper and the like. Typically this content is not reserved for your products and services pages but can certainly link to them and give them sales flow and SEO credence. You can also optimize your products and services web pages as well but watch getting too wordy for it can distract from the sales process.
Example of Inner Page Relevant Content
An example is worth a thousand words…For instance, I am a “business consultant” and want to rank well for the term. I wrote an article titled, “What Does a Good Business Consultant Do?”. This article is on an inner web page, and it is referenced from the home page in a simple paragraph about business consulting. If you type in “business consultant” on Google (as of the date of this blog post), you will find our website holding the number one and two positions. The first page listed is my article written about business consultants and the second listing is our home page. I have concentrated our SEO strategy on the article page, but Google has also given our home page a ranking since it is well optimized for the keyword and has valuable relevant content. The keyword “business consultant” is highly competitive and Google in this instance recognizes my article and home page content as quite relevant for the keyword phrase. By having this good content our ranking stays pretty consistent, allowing us to effectively compete for this keyword phrase.
Get Your Content Developed and Published FIRST
If you are serious about top 5 ranking on the search engines for a competitive keyword term, then it is an absolute must to get your relevant content developed first before rolling out any SEO Strategy. If you get your content right from the beginning, all your other SEO efforts will be well rewarded.
Stay tuned…in my next blog post, I will talk about on page SEO factors that are important.
Posted in Business Internet Strategies.
January 19, 2011 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant
It is great to be back blogging again. We were so busy in December and now in January that I just didn’t have much of a chance to blog. This is a good problem to have in business, yet to blog more is on my new year resolution list for 2011. So I hope you will tune back in more often!
The number one success key for businesses in 2011 will definitely be mastering the art and science of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing = internet marketing, specifically Search Engine Optimization marketing and Pay Per Click marketing.
Why is Inbound Marketing so Powerful?
Customers have fundamentally changed as the result of this three year recession we are experiencing. Customers want a good deal for the very best service, and they will take the time to really research and seek out the provider. This is where the internet becomes so powerful. The number one place customers go to research for products and services is no longer the yellow pages, it is the internet. They find a website in the general search engine results or in a sponsored ads, and determine through that web platform whether the service or product is for them. Your website becomes 1) a resource and 2) a qualifier. You know what type of customer you want, and what your products and services do and don’t offer, so be sure to include that in your website’s navigation, content and sales experience.
You Speak with Prospects that are Qualified
When a prospect finds you on the internet, whether as a result of good SEO or PPC, then you know they are actively seeking information and perhaps a service or product. This is the key: they are ACTIVE. Inbound marketing when done properly captures actively searching, wanting and needing prospects. No longer do you have to cold call a prospect, get them to understand your product/service need, answer objections and try to close the sale. Or worse yet, send a direct mail piece that is quickly ignored and needing thousands to bring a measly return.
Your website becomes your champion of qualifying. If written well with a certain sales and qualifying process in mind, your website will determine if the visitor is just an information gatherer (i.e. looking for research) or someone who is actively seeking to purchase. Then once the prospect contacts you via online chat, a website feedback form or the phone, you can quickly help the prospect to make an educated decision about your product or service offerings. Better yet, the prospect may purchase your offering through the website prior to contacting you. This is the basis of Online Marketing, and why it is so highly effective for very little cost per customer acquisition.
How to get Found on the Internet
Getting found on the internet is the lynchpin for inbound marketing to really work well. There are a multitude of ways to be found on the internet, but I find that two main ways are most effective to start (you can build in the others down the line): SEO and PPC. SEO and PPC should be part of any company’s Business Plan. In a series of future blogs I will explain the ins and outs of SEO and PPC, and how to effectively implement these strategies for big success with inbound marketing. We as a company use the internet as a primary tool for our customers to find us. It is a powerful sales platform, and once mastered, can bring sustained success and high profits for little outlay. Stay tuned…
Posted in Business Internet Strategies, Business Marketing Strategies.
October 7, 2010 by Frank Goley, Business Consultant
RSS Feed stands for Really Simple Syndication. Simply put, it is a web feed format used to publish frequently updated work, such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video. RSS feeds are a powerful weapon in a company’s arsenal to keep in contact with current customers, find new prospects, effectively use for SEO efforts, and a host of different applications. As a Business Consultant, I strongly recommend you start developing and using RSS Feed Strategies aggressively in your company’s Business Plan and Marketing Plan. Here are some methods to apply using RSS Feeds in your business to profit from this nifty technology.
Keep In Touch With Your Customers
The cheapest acquisition cost is repeat business, verses selling new customers. To sell more products and services to your existing customers, you need to be in front of them. A Newsletter is one good method of staying in contact with existing customers, but the RSS Feed in my opinion, is superior. I use RSS Feeds in two main areas with our existing customers that works really well…
v To Subscribe to Our Business Success Blog: Every time I make a new post, the RSS Feed sends that post to our customers computers.
v To Send Out Company Updates: Things like specials, discounts, announcements, achievements- everything our customers would be interested in hearing about us.
Find New Customers
I send out the RSS Feed for our website and blog to RSS Directories, Search Engines, Blog Directories, and RSS Feed Sites. This in turn shows up throughout many hundred directories through out the internet and in the search results. When web visitors search the internet, they find our listings and posts which are continuously updated by our RSS Feeds. Pretty nifty! This is an extremely powerful way to keep Fresh content in front of targeted prospects.
Awesome Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Application
One chief ranking factor in the Search Engines is fresh, relevant content. We use our RSS Feeds to tell the search engines on a daily basis where we have fresh content for relevant searches. I can get a top 10 search engine result very often on the same day the content is fed out. Search on Google has turned to Real Time Search and has converged with Social Media results. We use our RSS Feed with not just search engines but through out our Social Media networks to quickly get new content immediately indexed and well ranked. RSS Feeds play into Google’s real time search results extremely well.
Put RSS Feeds to work for your business today!
For help in effectively using RSS Feeds, you may want to consider our SEO Package.
Posted in Business Internet Strategies.