Category Archives: internet marketing

Bookseller pulling out of the Winnipeg airport

Plans that McNally Robinson had to open up in the new air terminal building at the James Richardson International Airport in Winnipeg are now off.

The Winnipeg bookseller entered bankruptcy protection earlier this week and announced the closing of two of its four stores.

The company cited the economic downturn and digital competition for closing their stores at Polo Park in Winnipeg and in Toronto.

I hope this might be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back in Manitoba regarding the new era of digital media and Internet Marketing as the so called business leaders in the province seem very reluctant to embrace it.

New Flyer. Global and now McNally Robinson have all succumb recently, enough talking Winnipeg, enough setting up committees to overlook other committees, enough provincial grants to pay salaries with no results, it’s time to move forward, it’s time to act.

If you require help in the new digital world speak with the premier Internet Marketing company in the province and get some Fresh Ideas.

Brands Should Increase PR in 2010

Reports are showing that the weekly use of the Internet is growing, figures from a recent study by Harris Poll says the average amount of time spent on the web has risen from seven hours in 1999 to 13 hours for the period between July and October in 2009.

“Hours online may have increased because of the recession,” Harris Polls was quoted as saying. “Going online is free; going out usually costs money.”

Website Marketing departments might also like to focus on targeting older generations, as the statistics showed that those aged between 30 and 39 registered an average 18 hours on the Internet, while 40 to 49-year-olds spent 17 hours surfing.

Brands should take note that a little more PR in 2010 may well help as it’s predicted that Internet advertising will grow in the next 12 months.

Need expert advice on Internet Marketing & Advertising? Call (1)204.942.4200

Google Caffeine Algorithm Update

So Google is getting ready to unleash the caffeine onto the world of search,sometime after the Holidays Google Caffeine, their newest Search Engine Algorithm, is going to be fully operational on all of their massive servers. For confirmation you can read a Blog entry (dated 11/10) by Google Engineer Matt Cutts:

“Caffeine will go live at one data center so that we can continue to collect data and improve the technology, but I don’t expect Caffeine to go live at additional data centers until after the holidays are over.”

Read entire Blog by Matt Cutts here:

The following partial list of concerns were discovered while randomly evaluating these SEO Internet Marketing practices:

Lack of emphasis on fresh and updated website content.
Downplaying importance of Social Media where applicable.
Not addressing issues with website page download times.
Ignoring poorly constructed Meta Title & Description Tags.
Advocating Link Farming and insisting on keyword stuffing.
Not emphasizing quality outbound links that are relevant to the websites theme.
Download speeds of website.

For updated detailed information on the anticipated impact of Caffeine on SEO Internet Marketing efforts visit: www.freshtraffic.ca

Are you, and your website, ready?

2009 is nearly finished, there’s only 10 days left in the year, even less so in a business sense. It’s in the middle of all the hustle and bustle, that leaves you spinning and almost out of control with the speed of trying to keep up to customers needs and demands. We are in the midst of some of the biggest consumer spending for the year, and there are some businesses out there which can make or break their year with the next few days of consumerism.

But what if you could have that kind of customer spending, for more than just a few days a year? If you truly have the best product, for the best price, why aren’t you rich beyond your wildest dreams? Or even comfortable? A quick checklist then, for the new year, and the resolution to proactively move forward and let the world in.

Do you have a website already? If you were to have a friend use your site, is it easy to read? To navigate? Is the customer experience pleasant, engaging, and informative? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the questions above, you have a good starting point for being noticed online.

It doesn’t matter if you own the goose that lays the golden egg, or if you have the greatest product ever discovered, if you can not be found online. Your brick and mortar store is only open for set amount of hours, you need to rest. But the internet does not rest, there is no sleep on the web. Having a website, and having a positive flow of visitors to your website are two, very different, and very distinct differences. A couple of interesting notes about online spending for consideration:

-On average, 49% of shoppers do their holiday gift buying online
-In 2008, Holiday Season Spending (Nov-Dec) $29,200 (millions)
-Predicted that US e-commerce will reach $156 billion in 2009

Search engine optimization (SEO) is quite possibly, the highest ROI (return on investment) form of advertising available to your business today. 2010 is the beginning of a new decade, it’s time for a Fresh start online, be found and claim your piece of the $156 billion dollar pie.

SEO 2010 – Never say never

2010 is right around the corner, and are you poised to march into the new year with authority and your presence online?

New Years Resolutions, out with the old, in with the new.. change is good. If you’re an “old hat” in the biz world, you have had your methods which have worked to advertise (tv, radio, newspaper, etc). But the simple, honest truth is, those mediums have lost the majority of their impact on society. The world is online, gone digital, and in the realm of switches, code, and information exchange, the world never sleeps.

The 24/7 marketplace, the Internet, where you can sink or swim based upon your decisions as a business owner. Is your site easy to use? The information relevant to your product or services? Are you easy to find within the search engines; Google, Bing or Yahoo?

If you’ve not concentrated on your presence online, don’t fret as it’s never too late to get started. In the game of cat and mouse online however, you’re not just competing with the shop down the street, you need to contend with your competitors the next town over, or in the next state/province. The web moves and breathes with a life of it’s own, and having the real optimization experts on your side, is your first step towards taming the beast.

Halfway SEO, halfway results

Many local businesses look online to take advantage of SEO/SEM marketing tactics to “try it out”, and to see if it works. Newsflash! It works. But it doesn’t work if you’re just “trying it out”. You have to want to make it work, and that requires a level of seriousness and dedication, just like it does for the rest of your business.

Here’s an example of “trying it out”. Your local fire department shows up at a house fire with their gear to “see if it works”. How long do you think they need to keep their hoses on the fire before they decide it’s working? Five minutes? A half hour? Three hours, maybe? I’m no firefighter, but I know enough to know that every fire is different. Some fires can be put out in 30 minutes. Some can’t be put out with water! So how long should your fire department remain on the scene before they decide that firefighting works?

Search engine optimization isn’t anything like fighting fires, but it does require a commitment, and is much different than other forms of marketing and advertising. How long will you only go through the motions before you realize if you only go halfway, you only get half as much?

Canada’s SEO Marketplace

The SEO marketplace is getting flooded especially here in Canada with so called Internet marketing companies and seo experts.

I find it amazing how many of my competitors in Winnipeg come to my website on a regular basis, daily sometimes, checking out pages, keywords and blogs etc.

We know who they are because in today’s world with the software available it’s quite easy to track them:-)

It’s a good seo practice to check out your opposition, but the facts are only one company can be #1 for certain keywords, and that will be the company that is doing it better than the others.

Winnipeg SEO is a favorite for the local guys, one has have a 5 Step SEO Method they try and entice potential clients with, another likes the look of Canadian search engine optimization guru and is trying to market it.

Learning search engine good practices, reading seo blogs and forums is all very well and will give you a good insight into the marketplace and what needs doing to a website to help it list better, but you cannot read these tips and all of sudden be experts in the business, it takes years.

Trust me all the old boys and girls have had failures along the way, that is the way we learned, in today’s marketplace you don’t have that luxury, one foul move and your busted by the search engines.

I say it all the time, stick to what your good at, if your a web design company, try be the best web designers you can be, because screwing up in SEO is not worth it to your company or clients.

You would not call a plumber to fix your lights would you?

Bing or Google?

Following yesterday’s news that Microsoft’s Bing is gaining share on Google (its searches are up 7% for October), a look into their similaries and differences was in order.

Bing’s stance on SEO doesn’t appear to be all that different from Google’s, however, users get different results, which is how to two can coexist in the first place. The difference isn’t necissarily in how the results are found, it is in how the results are presented. Remember that Microsoft marketed Bing as the “decision engine”.

Bing and Google have separate, unique algorithms, but both like quality, relevant links and good content, as opposed to deception and spam. In a white paper for webmasters, Microsoft says:

“There have been no major changes to the MSNBot crawler during the upgrade to Bing. However, the Bing team is continuously refining and improving our crawling and indexing abilities.”

Bing separates results into categories, which has so far worried some in the SEO sector, but Microsoft says proper SEO will work just as well. Bing also has the explore pane, which corresponds with the categories in the SERPs. This is similar to Google’s recent addition of “search options.”

Doing a quick search for comparison between Bing and Google for the keyword “snowboards” yields the following results. Bing gives you categories like shopping, brands, buying guide, providers, accessories, images, videos, and local. Google returning the relevant websites from sales, to local, to forums.

With Bing, it’s not so much about getting to the top of the results, it’s about getting to the top of the right set of results. And still, as always, having quality and relevant content is the best thing you can do. Incidentally, this will help your cause in Google (and other search engines) at the same time.

Curious About What Bing Looks for in Links?

Rick DeJarnette of Bing Webmaster Center recently posted a pair of blogTo try and help determine the good, and the bad:

- If you can’t endorse the quality of the content at another site, you shouldn’t be linking to them.

- Don’t seek links from sites whose content isn’t link worthy.

- Links to and from your site should be relevant to your site or the page you’re linking to.

- Quality > quantity.

- Avoid hidden text

Black or White?

When dealing with website promotion, there are lots of different SEO techniques. There are two nicehs however, where these techniques can fit into. One is the squeaky-clean, good guy, White Hat approach, and the other is the diabolical bad guy Black Hat approach. Think of it just like in old western movies when the good guys wore white and, well, the bad guys wore black. In westerns there is one thing you can be certain of – good always prevails over bad, just like White Hat SEO will always prevail over Black Hat SEO.

There are several Black Hat SEO techniques to look out for, and if your current SEO comapny mentions any of them, look else where. These will get you penalized or even banned in Google, creating the complete opposite outcome from which you had anticipated. Take note if your SEO company mentions any of the following:

1. Keyword Stuffing – When keywords in content are glaringly obvious to the visitor, you can guarantee you have a keyword stuffing problem. Website copy should never appear spammy, meaning it should never have the same phrase appear again and again to the point where the content reads awkwardly.

2. Using Hidden Text – This refers to text that is viewable by search engines but not actual visitors. Examples of hidden text include text color matching the background and text that is too small for human eyes to read.

3. Cloaked/hidden pages – When a website presents one version of a page to the search engines and a completely different one to visitors, it is referred to as cloaking. A cloaked page shown to the engines will contain numerous keywords that the site wants to be ranked for.

4. Duplicate Content – It is never okay to have the same content repeated throughout your site or appear on any other websites. Even if you wrote the content and another site stole your work, it is best to change what you have on your site to guarantee your website and its content is deemed trustworthy by the engines. You lose credibility with the search engines.

5. Link Farms – When a group of websites interlink for the sheer purpose of gaining link popularity in the search engines, the practice is referred to as a link farm. This approach to link building is actually a poor choice. Instead you should seek out unique sites with relevancy.

Internet Marketing works for you!

There’s a great deal of misconception out there in regards to internet marketing it seems. It’s touted as the holy grail of advertising one day, and the bearer of ill will as your website and host get bombarded with visitors to your site, both customer and exploiter combined. But the advantages of using internet marketing techniques, are very plain to see.

The internet as your marketplace is priceless in that it’s worldwide. You don’t face the restrictions of a brick and mortar shop and being tied to a sole location. Customers can be attended to from Boston to Bangalore and you can do it 24/7. Millions of people search for products and services on the web every day, so you have unlimited potential for growing your customer base.

It is much more cost effective for small businesses when you compare it with traditional advertising techniques that employ such things as a sales staff, t.v or radio advertisements or printed page. Placing your products and service information on a website is convenient for your customers and saves you time and money. Another advantage of internet marketing is the ability to see which advertisements are working the best so in the end you will come out ahead despite your initial investment.

A key difference between internet marketing and say newspaper advertisements, for example, you are able to reach your target audience effectively. Interested consumers can find your website by searching for the specific product or service that you offer. You can also place your adverts on niche websites which will be visited by your target consumers. By using email marketing to promote new products or services, either by buying email addresses of potential customers or by following up on visitors to your own website, you are able to target thousands of people at once, whether they live across the street or across the world.

Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that the success of internet marketing campaigns are easily measurable. It is impossible to determine how many customers respond to advertisements placed in newspapers or screened on television. However, by using web analytic software, internet advertisers can establish not only the number of people who see their adverts, the number of repeat visitors and how many visits their website receives as a result of the click through rate (CTR) from any specific advertisement, but also the amount spent by individual customers and, if required, the demographic profile of the customers. As a result, advertisers can evaluate the effectiveness of the different marketing strategies they are using and modify them accordingly.