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Browsing "internet marketing"

Search Engine Optimization and You – Driving Qualified Traffic

Feb 10, 2011   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet marketing, internet news, internet strategy, marketing, online, online marketing, optimized, search, search engine optimization, seo, SEO Expert  //  Comments Off

There’s a massive amount of information on the Internet on absolutely everything, the downside of this of course is the (seemingly) even larger amounts of mis-information. This holds true in any industry, but when it comes to the topic of search engine optimization, it often seems that it’s not so much the fact and fiction mixed up. It’s more akin to the information being tossed in a blender and spread in a mess.

The most antagonizing part of all of the information out there, is that people who partake of what makes the most sense to them, claims to make them experts in the field. It’s from these same sources that the newest experts don’t even learn how to properly 301 a website, or are unable to tell the difference between paid links and paid advertisements.  Some of the latest crop have seemed to be of the belief that building websites to rank for obscure long tail terms, is the same skill as being able to rank a client for their desired and preferred terms.

The whole idea about marketing your business is about driving qualified visitors to your website, where hopefully your SEO company has advised you on how to build your site to facilitate conversions. Whether it’s convincing visitors to sign up for your news letter, or to buy your product, or sign up for your discussion forums, the idea of pushing and marketing your site is to increase your bottom line, what ever it may be.  Say for example your business is in making shoes, and your website has a built in shopping cart so your customers can buy custom footwear direct. Along comes the newest ‘expert’ in SEO and builds your site around a long tail search along the lines of ‘custom designed walking equipment’. You may shake your head an scoff at the idea, but it happens, and happens far too often.

No, this doesn’t mean that long tail searches are dead in any way, there are users out there who don’t use the Google Instant feature, or simply type out their entire query. But the point of my description was to drive home the idea that search engine optimization isn’t about tricking the search engines, isn’t about spamming on blog comments and posts and it isn’t about tricking visitors into visiting your website. It’s about driving qualified traffic to your site with the decision to purchase your product, or sign up for your newsletter or become involved in your community. Real SEO performed by the real SEO experts drives measurable, qualified traffic to your website to make your bottom line better.

The Cost of Facebook Ads

Feb 1, 2011   //   by freshtraffic   //   adwords, ecommerce, facebook, internet advertising, internet marketing, marketing, online advertising, online marketing  //  Comments Off

Facebook has become the most visited site above Google and all others online. It’s not uncommon to find a story about Facebook versus Google/Bing/Yahoo or about how they’ve reached 500 million plus members. Millions upon millions of people communicate, play and flit away hours on the site, and the site is reportedly worth billions.

But at the end of the day, is it really a financially savvy move to advertise on Facebook? In 2009 it was, as the cost for a click was only 27 cents, but for a click through rate of only just over half of 0.1%. And as time goes on you’d expect things to get better, but in 2010 the cost per click actually nearly doubled in cost to 49 cents, and the click through rate dropped. With so many member accounts, it’s hard to believe that the advertising model has such a bleak factual bottom line.

With the benefits of advertising on Facebook being parlayed as being targetted via friends within the site, the numbers display the honest truth. While ads may last longer, and be presented more relevant on your Facebook pages, you’re less likely to use them than if you were to find them else where online. Even banner ads on websites performed better on the bottom line. Oh well, at least there’s Mafia Wars and Farmville right?

A Little Company that do BIG THINGS

Jan 28, 2011   //   by freshtraffic   //   adwords, branding, Google, internet advertising, internet marketing, online branding, online marketing, search engine optimization, seo  //  Comments Off

We heard this statement the other night from President Obama in his state of the union speech, it made me smile, why? because we are exactly that.

Since our inception on a coffee table back in the UK this is exactly how we have seen ourselves.

Over the years we’ve done big things with major brands like Sony, Sanyo & Best Buy, we’ve worked with celebrities & governments to making a small back street vendor a major player online across North America beating the likes of Sears & Costco, A little company that do big things.

What do we do? Well, everything to do with online search & branding, we have a team buying domain names daily, in fact we see opportunities before most others do, an example was the presidents quote of A little company that do big things, we bought that domain within 5 minutes of him mentioning it, a great slogan, we have done the same with others, company’s spend millions marketing there new project with traditional media, TV ads & Newspapers without first securing the web domains they will need to secure the brand first, how stupid is that at $10 a throw? then they complain when someone beats them to the punch and they have to pay Big Bucks to a little company for there ignorance, it’s just business.

We also run and manage Google Adwords accounts for clients, that’s easy considering I was consulting when the program was being built by Google, but what we really excel at is SEO, yes we know everyone can do this, if this is true then why don’t the company’s or individuals selling the service show up for themselves for major terms on the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, it’s a no brainer, if they cannot list themselves, how do they list you?

Like Obama said, The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an Internet connection.

Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution, Innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It’s how we make a living.

Call a little company that do big things today on 204.942.4200 it could change your life.

Online Marketing for 2011

And with the Happy New Year celebrations behind us all, it’s that time again where people make those resolutions to themselves to lose weight, be a happier person, exercise more etc. The very nature of resolutions is a noble one, but unfortunately most people shoot too high, disappoint themselves for not being able to perform or maintain and end up quitting all together. The best method, is baby steps of course.

Of course I can’t tell you if you need to exercise more, or eat better, but I can promise that if you take baby steps involved with your online marketing, you will see results, and results which will leave you very happy and in a very strong position for the next holiday shopping spree.

Your first baby step, should involve actually breaking down your current online agenda. Is your website up to date? Has your site been built with tons of active elements like Flash or Java menus? Is it easy to navigate your website? It’s hard, but try and imagine visiting your website for the first time as a new visitor, can you find information quickly and easily? It’s a small, but extremely important step in reprioritizing your online efforts in the new year. If you can realize what needs to be fixed after all, you can move forward with confidence.

Your next step, after having a good honest look at your website, should be a stark examination of your current online marketing efforts. Are you an AdWords afficionado? Does your web copy read naturally, or is it full of technical jargon about your product or services? It’s a fine line to sell yourself online to new clients, you need to be able to explain yourself as simply as possible, as accurate and concise as can be.

Now that you have a clear staging point from which to begin, it’s time to bring in the experts. SEO and online marketing experts at Fresh Traffic draw on over 25 years of experience in providing Search Engine Optimization & Internet marketing solutions. As specialists in Online Brand Development & Search Engine Optimization, Fresh Traffic makes the Internet an accessible & successful addition to all businesses, driving more unique visitors & brand impressions to websites. We’re the best at bringing you the traffic you desire to your site, start the new year right and let 2011 be your best online year yet.

Holiday Spending 2010

Dec 29, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   2010, internet advertising, internet marketing, mobile advertising, online advertising  //  Comments Off

The numbers for the past holiday season are starting to be tallied up, and we were a bunch of busy bodies. The question is, as a business owner, local or otherwise, does your earnings this season match up with the increased spending this year?

According to a MasterCard report, online holiday sales rose more than 15 percent, with consumers spending about $36 billion online. A 15 percent gain over last year is a great upswing in one of the busiest times of year and a great way to go into the new year. As a whole, the retail industry saw a 5.5 percent increase in sales for the season, the strongest performance in five years, with consumers spending $584 billion over the holidays.

Online sales increases this past year should be an even larger incentive for all business owners to improve their presence online in a big way. Some of the newer trends this season were mobile marketing, shopping via mobile phones. Intuitive marketers encouraged their businesses to harness the power in mobile technology, and leveraged services like Twitter to announce premium sales, issue coupons and offer very limited time flash sales with huge savings for customers.

Having a glance at the numbers for this holiday season, and having a read about some of the marketing tactics used, how did you fare this time around? Did you experience a 15% increase in sales? Did you leverage the power of local and mobile search to entice your customers into your location? With the power of the web, the world is your marketplace, but you should never forget where you are and those who are around you as well.

Local Online Brand Management for 2011

Dec 27, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   business, internet advertising, internet marketing, internet strategy, local search  //  Comments Off

In the past, the most natural way for a small business to grow was with a solid reputation within it’s community. Spending a little cash here and there for a mail stuffer, newspaper ad and the obligatory ad in the yellow pages. The hard work, strong ethics, positive attitude and positive customer relationships could make a good business into a great one.
Time has shifted a little bit since then, but the basics remain the same. Treat your customers right, and it will help you attract clients in the future. Think about how being out with a friend you ask their opinion on a restuarant you’re curious about trying. Or about the local mechanic who started in his garage and found he needed more room so he opened a shop locally. Local reputation is very important to small and/or new businesses.

In 2011. it is expected that local online advertising efforts will grow north of $20 billion. Definitely much more than just chump change, local business owners seemingly are starting to realize that the yellowpages print ad they’ve used just isn’t cutting it anymore. But as an aside, brand management, or online reputation management, has become increasingly important. Where word of mouth has been increasingly become ‘world of mouth’ being able to manage your own business online has become a more important affair, becoming much more than just taking care of your AdWords account. And active blog tied to your company can help push you up the SERPs, so long as it’s kept active. Allowing comments to be posted onto the blog as well can help boost your positions, but it’s a double edged sword. Diligent management of the comments section is very important, to ensure you’re not having your competitors posting links back to their site, and piggy backing your climb up the rankings.

Online brand management has become more and more important as the world comes more to the online store to conduct business. The danger in improperly managing yourself online can drive your business to the ground if false company reviews are made to climb higher in the rankings than you rank organically.

SEO in 2011 – Are you ready?

Dec 21, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet marketing  //  Comments Off

There are a number of checks and balances online when it comes to SEO. And the more finely tuned you can make those points, the faster and more precise you can be in your climb to first place on the SERPs. With the year about to end, and being on the cusp of the next, here’s a quick checklist to see if you are ready to tackle 2011 online.

Website URL: When you’re looking at your websites url/address, it’s easy to forget that it is, or should be, second nature to you. Try to imagine you’re seeing it for the first time as a consumer. Is it easy to remember? Is it a complicated acronym of letters? Keep it simple and you’ll be further ahead from the get go. Another good rule of thumb, if it’s not memorable, it should be easily searchable.

Website Logo: Do you have an easily recognizable logo? Or is it plain, greyscale print on a white and black background. Think of your websites face, the brand image you’d like to project to the online world.

Website: Now this is a can of worms. Everything can affect both your search/SEO prospects, and your visitor prospects. Everything from color scheme, to layout, from menu placement to text placement affects your site. Try and remember what MySpace looked like 10 years ago with pixel graphics and sounds playing upon entering, does your website have any of those problems? If they do, it’s time to seek professional help.

Website Coding: The non visible portion of your website, is also what determines everything I mentioned in the general website rules. Embedded java, flash elements, active java elements working on your website all cause issue with both search, and can affect user experience as well.

These are just some very basic ideas on what to examine on your website with the pending holidays. If at the end of going through the preliminary list you find yourself making notes relating to improvements on your website, you know which is the kick off point for your online campaign in the New Year.

November Search Share

Dec 17, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet marketing  //  Comments Off

To anyone who uses the web on even a casual basis for any kind of usage, the search engine numbers released by Experian Hitwise should be no surprise. As of Nov 27, Google was (is) the top of the mountain of search with over 70% of search traffic, with Bing powered search, including searchers using Yahoo, accounted for only 25% of the total. To break the 25% down however, Yahoo! still leads Bing by 15% to 10% of the user market share.
November Search Share
Contributing some to this factor, may be the length of the average search for the past month. The average search was comprised primarily of 2 words, perhaps lending strength to the introduction of Google Instant a month or so back into the algorithm. Longer than 5 words didn’t experience any change in use and a single word is rarely used as a ranking metric.
November Search Length
An experienced, professional SEO expert will work with you to identify your key terms you wish to rank for and raise your site above your competitors quickly and ethically, granting you the security of your position.

Web & SEO Predictions for 2011

Dec 16, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet marketing  //  Comments Off

Well we got most right for 2010 including Real Time Search, Local Results, Social Marketing and Personalised Search Results.

I asked around a few in the know and added our thoughts, after all we have been around the web 15 years now and still managing to make a living :-) Here are all the predictions for 2011.

Top 5 SEO Factors for 2011
- Bing & Facebook v Google & Twitter
– Google Instant
– Google Local
– Video Optimization
– Social Media Optimization – SMO – (watch out for LinkedIn)

Top 5 Web Factors for 2011
- Conversion Rate Optimization – CRO
– Video (again!)
– Social Media Integration
– 5′s (speak, sell, serve, save, and sizzle)
– Simplicity

Here are ineed hits thoughts:

  • Online Marketing Will Get an Even Bigger Chunk of Marketing Budgets

Customers and prospects are increasingly going online early in the buying cycle to gather information, form relationships, and make decisions about how they will buy. As a result, businesses must move marketing budgets to where the customers and prospects are – online.

  • 2011 Will be the Coming of Age Year for Social Media Marketing

While the past few years has seen many marketers experimenting with social media tactics, in 2011, businesses will be executing social tactics that are fully integrated into the overall marketing strategy. So if you’re business isn’t on Facebook or Twitter – then in 2011 you will definitely be behind the eight ball.

  • Mobile Marketing Set To Take Off

Interest in mobile marketing has exploded in recent years due to the introduction and success of the iPhone. As the adoption of such Smart phones grows, mobile marketing will expand beyond mobile messaging to make mobile email, mobile websites and mobile applications the new ways to market to the masses.

  • Personalized Marketing to Jump to the Next Level

Expect more personalization capability to be embedded in websites in 2011. For example, regular visitors to a website will see a page based on all the information collected from previous visits. We also expect that personalized marketing will be extended beyond the website to other marketing channels such as social media, mobile and email marketing.

  • SEO Will Become Even More Complex

With Google facing strong competition from Bing, Baidu and Yandex and social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn the task of getting your business on the first page of search results has become much more complex. Also, with mobile search and geo-location search playing such a big role in 2010, the 2011 year is sure to be full of challenges and surprises for search engine optimizers.

Small Business Internet Marketing thoughts

95% of Small and local businesses fail to acquire top position in search engines. This is mainly due to failing at the fundamentals of SEO and internet marketing. In 2011 there will be a push for diverse content in a way unseen in recent times.

Previously, getting listed in directories was the only goal for a webmaster. Now, with the advent of Google, the web has changed. Web 2.0 and Social media have dominated the scene. In 2011, two critical factors will benefit companies with websites.

1. Diverse Content – Never before has there been a demand for a company to market in such a way that articles, blogs, videos, social media, RSS, and podcasts are the norm. A local business owner who is not adept at each of the Internet Marketing Services doesn’t stand a chance against a competitor that is either a seasoned internet marketer or one who has employed a Local SEO specialist. The ability to obtain diverse content across the web is an art and science that will rule the school in 2011.

2. Direct Response Website – Business card websites are outdated, but still around. Local companies are failing to take advantage of social media, opt-in, auto responder, and other technologies that allow them to continually market to a target audience, vs. simply a hit on a web page. Industry experts agree that by utilizing direct response websites, conversion rates move from a 2-3% average to a 10-20% average!

3. Social Media – Social Media will still be king in 2011. Companies will learn more about at least having profiles at Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In. Although in 2011, social media will still be a younger crowds game, more and more businesses will follow the example of the Business Giants, and catch up sadly…..and tweet they will.

So there you have it, please add your own thoughts if you have any, and dont forget should you require any expert help getting your business listed, call us, we would be happy to help.

How To Compare Search Results – Ensure Proper Context First

Dec 4, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   fresh traffic, Google, internet marketing, internet news  //  Comments Off

There’s been some talk lately about a story that the New York Times did recently about how Googles ranking algorithm didn’t work right, or isn’t, when it allowed an unscupulous business to list highly in the SERPs for multiple terms. As a bone of contention, I’ll first toss in the black hat argument, that any search can be “gamed” if the long term is unimportant. But secondly, the “SEO experts” commenting on this story are frustrating to in the way their articles have been written.

First off, SEO is not an exact science. There’s no specific do this and you get number 1 formula, as each search, each niche, each query is different for each person using Google/Bing/Yahoo etc. There is the best practices of course, which the search engines have available on their sites for your reading pleasure, but there was a string of, ‘evidence’ I’ll call it, by one of the SEOs that I need to rant about.

Search, for it’s simplicity, is a complicated beast. With Google continually tinkering with their algorithm, Bing doing their own changes and manipulations and who knows what else going on around the globe, it can seem like you’re using a firehose to put out birthday candles sometimes. And the article that irked me the most, used a string of searches to ‘prove’ their point. Using screenshots, arrows and breaking down the results page each time to prove that if only Google did it their way, search would be better for the shopping inclined. My issue with the article comes from the searches performed that were used as proof. In one shot for example they were looking for ‘mechanics in winnipeg’ and in the second they looked for ‘mechanics winnipeg’, after which you can include arrows and screenshots to show “See now if you only did it my way..” The issue is, those are two very different searches that were performed. Those weren’t the searches used of course, but being that Fresh Traffic is located in Winnipeg, I took some liberty, just as they did, to prove my point. Those two searches, return two different SERPs, and two different amount of results numbering in the thousands. When you add the ‘in’ operator to a Google search, the engine defers to it’s newer Google Places product, and tries to give results more akin to a shopping or services directory. with reviews, phone numbers, addresses and Maps pinpoints. Performing the search without the ‘in’ operator gives you a mix of organic results and Places results mixed in, more of a thrown together guess from Google of what you’re looking for.

So as for being creative on how you tried to prove your point, I guess kudos for displaying a poor SEO skillset to those who don’t know any better. But there are those of us in the industry who know better, and despite all intents and purposes your hat is a shade darker today.