Browsing "internet marketing"
There’s a lot to consider as a business owner when you begin to think of ways to promote yourself. There’s online, print, radio, tv, flyers.. the list and different and interesting ways you can brand yourself and make yourself known, are many.
Being that Fresh Traffic is Canada’s SEO experts, we’re in the business of online branding, or internet marketing if you prefer. From Wikipedia
Brand: A brand is the identity of a specific product, service, or business. A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan.
We all know the Pepsi logo, the Coke signature, the Walt Disney castle. All of these images can elicit ideas, memories, and thoughts just because of the brand that they’ve built for them selves. They’re multi-national symbols, recognizable worldwide. It’s always good to dream big..
As a fledgling business owner, your world consists primarily of your immediate location. And there are numerous ways in which you can reach out to your potential clientele. But if you limit yourself, and your business, to your immediate location, you will never gain the ability to grow beyond it. Think of a goldfish and the size of it’s bowl, it won’t out grow it’s means to survive. If you place yourself, and your business within a boundary, you lose the ability to break those boundaries.
Enter the internet, world wide web, the 24/7 marketplace. It does not sleep, does not have borders, and has billions of people snaking their way around it. It’s massive, largely untamed, and free range. And there’s room for you, and your future. Your brand. When you’re ready to leave the fishbowl, know that here at Fresh we’re ready to direct you. We’re the online branding and internet marketing experts. Contact us today, and help us, help you.
It’s not an unsual method of finding a service or product, you ask your friends and family for their opinions. It helps you form your own preliminary opinion, and with a few questions in mind you go for it. The trend however is shifting with the realization that word of mouth, has been changing more into world of mouth.
In a new Cone Inc. report indicates that consumers don’t take word of mouth as gospel when making their decisions. Eighty-one percent of respondents agreed with the statement,
“After getting a recommendation about a product or service I may want to purchase, I go online to do additional research about that product or service before deciding whether to purchase it.”
One of the surprising finds, was the disproval of the thought that bad news travels faster than good news. Online, the sway power of good reviews and news of a product or service was proven more potent than bad news and reviews. Only 68 percent of respondants admitted to changing their minds based on bad reviews, where as 80 percent agreed, positive reviews found online solidified their decisions of a recommended product or service.
These numbers in mind, it’s worth noting that while search engine optimization and search engine marketing are incredibly important to your business, it’s just as important to focus some of your attention to the social interaction of your client base. Whether it’s having a submitted question and answer form, a Twitter feed where client concerns can be addressed, or a Facebook page and wall, it’s worth the time to put in direct client interaction. Face time with your customers is still paramount in the digital world, and as the numbers from the Cone Inc. report shows, having a positive image online will help you immensely.
Google’s recently accounced it’s “build your own app” program for the everyday person who’d like customize their Android powered phone. For free. Apps that are developed with the platform can be listed in the android store with a nominal registration fee. Some have said this will lead to an influx of poorly designed apps, and others have used the argument that this opens up people to a new realm of spam.
Just to add to the mix, Windows has decided to toss their hat into the ring as well. On the expected arrival of the Windows Phone 7 platform, Microsoft has launched their own suite of developer tools.
A brief timeline from the Windows Phone Developer Blog:
Feb 2010 – Windows Phone 7 was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
Mar 2010 – The application platform was unveiled at MIX 10 in Las Vegas. With that, we had the first CTP of the Windows Phone Developer Tools.
Apr 2010 – The tools received an updated, and the CTP Refresh shipped.
Jun 2010 – Windows Phone Marketplace details unveiled at TechEd 2010.
July 2010 – Beta release of Windows Phone Developer Tools, and the preview developer phones start shipping to ISVs
The iPhone has their apps, with quality guidelines and store and what not. With an SDK which isn’t terribly difficult to learn, but made for the technically inclined. Versus, the newest Android developer software, which allows virtually anyone the ability to create their own custom apps for their Android powered phone. And now the Microsoft version, allowing further customization of the Windows Phone 7 powered handsets. To add a little cream to their offering, free classes on how to fully utilize the Microsoft software are available. The premise:
It will provide developers a jump start for developing Windows Phone 7 applications.
The dates for these course sessions are:
July 20 – 8am: Session One: Getting Started with Microsoft Windows Phone and Silverlight
July 20 – 1pm: Session Two: Programming Game Applications with XNA
July 22 – 8am: Session Three: Programming Applications with Silverlight
July 22 – 1pm: Session Four: Review and Wrap Up
This is a big milestone for everyone involved in Windows Phone 7 – inside and outside of Microsoft – and we hope you share in our excitement. With the Beta release of the tools, developers can build apps with a “ship it” mentality.
So now it’s turned into much more than just a handset battle, the software and apps powered by that software have entered the fray. With the power to be able to completely customize your cell phones functions and uses, to cater to your needs, the way of the paid app development may be on it’s way to the horizon. As an additional bonus, the marketing potential for a creative, lucrative small business owner is tremendous.
The third time’s the charm, the idiom basically dictating that the third attempt at something is likely to yield the results desired, apparently didn’t sit well with Google.
The algorithm change which happened April 28th – May 3rd, nicknamed Mayday, showed a shift in long tailed search results. It’s been hashed, and rehashed all over the web, but basically put, it was done on purpose, it was done for quality purposes, and it’s completely algorithmical; no human interaction at all.
Since the Mayday change, there have been 3 more seeming drastic shifts in the SERPs, with some seeing changes as little as 10% shift, to as much as an 80% drop in results. Reports of spam sites taking front page placements, poorly written, poorly constructed, and ad filled pages replacing formerly authoritive, professional sites. The shifts being discussed have all been around long tail returns, with the shorter queries having only slightly adjusted.
After all the ideas have been discussed, the tin foil hat theories disected, there emerges one common, agreed upon result: the first week of July will be a doozy.
Google, the king of the web, the go to guys in the realm of search, and the players holding all the cards, was put to their own test. Just some of the self imposed questions for Google:
How many of Google’s web pages use a descriptive title tag? Do we use description meta tags? Heading tags? While we always try to focus on the user, could our products use an SEO tune up?
So how did they do? The report was published on their own webmaster blog, but it will be just a couple of the more interesting points we’ll touch on. Google always works for the user, to improve the users experience. They don’t work for their own ends, on how to rank or be found online, Googling is a verb now, so it’s not hard to find them. Some of their fixes they found which were needed included 404s, broken links, URLs were confusing in some places, and better titles and description tags for their pages.
As described in their own SEO report card :
Google’s SEO Report Card aims to identify potential areas for improvement in Google’s product pages. If
implemented, these improvements could:
• help users find our pages more easily in search engines
• fix bugs that annoy visitors and hurt our pages’ performance in search engines
• serve as a good model for outside webmasters and companies
They took 100 pages of different Google products, and ranked them following common SEO strategies. They found interesting numbers such as, 33% of their products had descriptive meta tags. Only 1/3 of their pages had proper snippet text, terribly low number for the company who relies on that tag, in order to pass on the summary of a page to a user.
They found that only 10% of their pages had proper titles, in length and format. They have some confusing URLs which could be redirected for ease of use, and that nearly half of their images alt text needed improvement. 301s, 404,s and proper tags missing oh my!
The entire report is an insightful read, and it’s plain to see that even when you’re the king of search, you can still make mistakes from time to time.
You can read the report for yourself here I recommend the read.
To drive visitors who will likely engage more with your site, a good match from the incoming traffic, aligned with the webpage(s) in question is critical.
Let’s look at some ways we drive targeted traffic to your (growing) empire:
1.Add your website and/or call to action in the outgoing email. This is what’s called the “email signature”. Easy enough to do, right?
2.Say your domain out loud. Use every chance you can to market yourself. If introducing yourself in front of a crowd, for example, say “I’m Daniel with Winnipeggers.ca“. Nobody does this, just think about it. And, make sure it’s a domain and name you can pronounce easily, and so that folks don’t miss it. Hint: get a keyword-rich domain, easy to remember.
3.Business cards, voicemail, handouts, brochures. Make sure you include your contact information, domain names, and distribute. Do you have a “slogan”?
4.Google Maps. The aging Yellow-pages is there, but it easy to get started with the Google Local Business Center (now renamed to “Google Places”).
5.Article Submission. Create a 300-500 word article, get on a schedule, and submit to top article directories (example: ezinearticles.com, articlesbase.com, suite101.com, hubpages.com, buzzle.com). You can train a virtual assistant (VA) to help do this for a low cost. Note: Change the title of each article and introduction paragraphs, resources boxes for each article w/call to action statement and links)
6.Blog posting. If you don’t know how to set this up on your own server, create an account on blogger.com and direct visitors to your money site.
7.Twitter and Facebook status updates. Share information (no spamming), helpful tips and include links as appropriate. Short and descriptive is best.
8.PDF documents. Create a set of useful PDF’s (start with one!) and place links within the document to resources, including your own destinations. Submit to document directories like Free Ebooks, for example. These documents should be easy and quick to download, and let readers know they are free to share. Make sure to include links and landing pages to help them do exactly that. Send the document to your friends, and ask them for an opinion. They will tell you(!)
9.YouTube videos. Nuff said. Just make sure to include your domain at the beginning of the description, keywords in titles, and no long, boring videos.
10.Joint venture partners (JV’s). Strategic partnerships never go out of style. If you are a beginner, start by promoting others materials, and reach out with a friendly note that will help them first. Much like social media, and people in general, it’s a WIIFM (what’s in it for me) world.
Most companies see SEO (search engine optimization) as a black hole. It’s full of technical terms, and they don’t easily understand it. As a result, they treat SEO as a nice-to-have rather than a necessity, and as an IT project. The executives who control the purse strings can’t easily distinguish between paid and organic/natural search. So, it’s up to marketers to help them understand, because until they do, they won’t spend the money.
Then who’s to blame for your company’s marketing failures? And who gets credit for its marketing successes? The answer should be Search Engine Optimization, along with PPC (pay per click) and every other facet of your marketing programs. It must be held accountable if it wants a seat at the table with the big boys.
Natural search is the most under-spent channel in internet marketing. Even though most site traffic comes through search, it only gets about 10 percent of the budget because natural search is difficult to put a price tag on. Companies tend to just direct their spending to paid (PPC) search.
It’s also important to put a long term plan in place. Rather than work toward a single, final goal, set up milestones which allow you to measure your progress to get you there. This will keep you on the path to success. All kinds of measures will work well – number of keywords, traffic flow, number of indexed backlinks, search engine rankings. Using an easy to follow metric to track your SEO success, and where you need to make improvements will only improve your internet marketing strategy as a whole.
Everyone it seems is a search engine optimization expert these days. Blogs, forums, webinars, seminars, videos, and pretty much every other method of teaching seems to have a tinge of SEO flavour to it. While SEO itself isn’t a terribly difficult concept, in practice, it’s an art.
Most anyone can “brute force” their way with optimization, just following good practices can get you a long ways on the SERPs. Constructive relevant text, a friendly and engaging user experience, and don’t clutter your site with flash animations, and videos (hint: search engines don’t have eyes). Really basic search engine optimization can be broken down into three basic principles really:
Keep it simple
Keep it clean
Keep it interesting
More often than not, when speaking with a prospective client about their website and their honest chances at landing a position for their desired terms, it’s a somewhat uphill struggle when telling them that the oodles of cash they’ve spent on their dynamically interactive and splashy website, is invisible to the search engines. It’s an even longer fight, when you have to tell them that the company they initially hired to optimize their site, and charged them hundreds if not thousands of dollars, did nothing for them.
Search engine optimization is not flash in the pan, it is not search engine marketing (like AdWords), it is not submitting your website to hundreds of search engines. There are three that matter, Google, Bing and Yahoo; and of the three.. the world knows which is king.
Follow the priniciples, don’t get discouraged, and if you’re getting traffic but not making sales, check your premise first, before blaming the vehicle. And don’t be handily fooled by those saying they know the “secrets to SEO” and will share (for only $49!!). SEO is as much an art, as it is a science, and the differences between the artists and the weekenders, is fully evident on the SERPs.
In the last 3 years I have been told the Internet is a Fad and recently Social Media is no better, I think the following video says it all. Here at Fresh Traffic we can help you, not only with social media marketing, but with online branding, SEO and Internet Marketing Solutions.
We are the leading company in Winnipeg, Manitoba supplying these services.
There’s a number of facets to successful online marketing. Being able to recognize those which are worth the time and effort and which are best left on the wayside can mean the difference of long term financial freedom, or scraping the insides of your food tins.
Ok, perhaps I went a little dramatic with the variance, but to expand on the metaphor, online advertising techniques range from as complex and involved as organic search engine optimization (SEO), to the relentless upkeep of social media marketing, and the immediate exposure capability of pay per click SEM (search engine marketing) campaigns.
The following excerpt is old news::
“Yellow Pages Group has entered into a new strategic agreement with Google to become the first Canadian based reseller of Google AdWords. Under the agreement, Yellow Pages Group will be able to provide its 425,000+ advertisers with setup and consulting on Google AdWords campaigns.” 10/2007
but I mention it because of some of the points made within the statement, that while aren’t untrue, aren’t entirely transparent in meaning.
To summarize the paragraph, what’s being said is basically Yellow Pages Group set up an agreement with Google, to sell Adwords ads. That’s it. Nothing fancy about it, no consultancy with Google, apart from their own staff writers at Yellow Pages, no partnerships with Google or the like. The way it would work is fairly basic, you call Yellow Pages, tell them the adwords you would like to target, and they tell you the cost per click (CPC); say $5 for example. If your ad copy is better than the others, and someone clicks your ad, you pay $5 for that click through. Ideally of course, at that point the visitor buys what ever product they’ve clicked through to see, and you can recoup your CPC. If they don’t buy, well you need to break some eggs to make an omelette right?
Adwords programs are fairly easy to setup, but require consistant upkeep. CPC can fluctuate day to day, depending on the news, product availability, or niche marketing just for example. Resellers are in the business of making money at what they’re selling. That $5 Yellow Pages Ad they may have only paid $2 for to Google as an example.
There are banners, web page logos, designs, etc which some have used to try and label themselves as Google partners. To be very clear, if Google likes what you can do, they won’t partner with you. Sorry to burst the bubble, but if you’re that good at what you do, and you spark Googles interest, odds are high that you’re going to be having a nice, long, paid vacation.
Pay per click advertising is a quick way to brand a new website, provided you have a competant person at the helm to maintain your account. The force behind Freshtraffic, had his hand in developing the PPC/Adwords system, if ever there was a time to use the term Google Partner, this would be the closest instance to which it would apply.