Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fresh Traffic Group Goes Public

We are pleased to announce that the Fresh Traffic Group (FRTG.OB) have gone public – the next step in our growth in bringing custom internet marketing strategies to businesses locally and abroad.

Leaders in Search Engine Optimization & Search Engine Marketing, Fresh have recently expanded our service offerings to include software development for iPads, iPhones & Web Development with the recent acquisition of Master of Code.  The addition brings 30 new web designers and software developers, providing full online marketing services in addition to our expertise in SEO & SEM.

In respect to social media, Fresh was the first in Canada to successfully bring a locally-targeted, social media platform online in regards to the growing trend of local search marketing – a beta testing platform that can be reproduced or licensed globally going forward.

We pride ourselves on our results, attaining Page 1 positions for all clients, driving them qualified traffic across all the major search engines.  These results, and the relationships we culture, are the reason we carry a 98% renewal rate with our long-term clients.

The web has become one of the most important components to any company’s marketing mix.  We are excited for our continued growth as more and more companies reallocate traditional marketing dollars to capitalize on the targeted, measurable results provided by our host of services.

I hope you view this announcement as a win for our business community, and use it as an invitation to think about your business and how the web can open new opportunities once unimagined.  “What if I was on page one of Google?”

Search Engine Optimization Tips – The Sweet Spot

They come in threes, it can be used to justify coincidence, good luck, bad luck, and random occurences in life. According to a new study by online ad network Chitika, the term can also be applicable to search data. Three – as in, three word searches drive the most traffic from search engines.

Chitika looked at a sample of 41,103,403 impressions of search traffic coming into their network, a total of 10,710,579 impressions. 26% of all search traffic – came from three-word searches. The next top word counts were two-word (19%), four-word (17%), and finally one-word (14%).

Long tail searches (five words and up) saw dramatically lower traffic in comparison, throwing into perspective just how fragmented traffic from long tail search really is. That doesn’t mean however, that long tail searches aren’t useful, Chitika found that the highest click through and conversion rates came from 5 word search results. Followed up by 6 word, and 4 word results.

What does this mean for for the experts out there? What it means, is that there is a definitive sweet spot when it comes to SEO. Aiming for that spot, between 3 and 5 words, will help you, and your clients with that biggest bang for the buck. High sitting on the SERPs, and strong click through and conversion rates.

Small Business – Search and Social Expertise

The web is almost a level playing field for competitors. Money of course helps in many avenues, but expertise, time, and diligence can all contribute much, much more to your growth as a business, and a brand, online.

The only real issue for small business owners is they’ve already devoted so much of their time to growing their physical business, and local brand, often their online presence gets set to the wayside; with often far reaching consequences.

With how fast the Net evolves, how often Google tweaks their search algorithms and how social trends fluctuate, how does a small business owner keep up? Here are just a few tips to follow.

Becoming vertical What’s changing in social media is similar to what happened in search: A “verticalization” of social sites is beginning to happen—not as an exclusive participation in one social site, but in several sites, since the demographics of each will dictate what your objective is in participating.

The benefit of participating in several sites is that you can typically cater to focused targeting, allowing your company to promote your business to the right audience. In addition, participation in these sites can eliminate cost over time.

First observe your competitors, customers and industry peers in their preferred online environments. Then, determine what you want to do with the various social solutions—for example, grow the visibility of your organization and thereby increase awareness; gain revenue share; demonstrate thought leadership, etc. Lastly, decide on the voice of the company.

Integrating local A small-business owner can update a listing that exists on a business-list site, or develop his own for his company on a site like LinkedIn, and make it accurate and up-to-date. He can enhance the data and have a much better chance of his company profile showing up for certain relevant keywords at the top of a search result lists.

Choose wisely Savvy small-business owners realize that there are various types of social media they need to participate in, since each one may cater to different users. While your customers might use general networks like Facebook, you may wish to connect with your industry peers on business listings sites or ones that cater to a specific industry.

Getting one-on-one Many very small businesses have disrupted large companies with their innovative business models or product offerings that are now available on the Internet in a “democratized fashion.” Small-business owners need to understand that today, the user knows best and is public about it. Users vote on which products they prefer. This is where a one-on-one relationship with a company levels the playing field.

The Internet Marketing Reality of TV

Internet marketing is one of the most utilized means of promoting a product, service, or idea to the masses today. Reality television is one of the most popular forms of programming today, so it’s no coincidence that these share characteristics in terms of their appeal.

Three key aspects of the formula at work that has led to the popularity of reality television stars that professionals can apply to Internet marketing.

• Get Social – The most popular reality stars, from Heidi of MTV’s “The Hills” fame to Kim Kardashian, can be found on practically any social networking site available and numerous blogs. Social networking gives reality stars access to their fanbase and vice versa long after a program’s airtime has passed. Continual status updates on sites like Facebook help keep fans wanting more. Professionals can draw the same attention to their offerings by giving prospective customers the same kind of outlet for fostering a deeper relationship.

• Change the Channel – Whether on MTV, VH1, or another station, reality stars do not limit their limelight to the space provided by the network on which their show is aired. They find multiple outlets to keep themselves in the spotlight. Professionals can use this same brand building tactic to improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

• Leave Moderation to the Diet – Regardless of how much some people say they’ve had enough of certain reality stars, the truth is the constant presence of some on television and online has created a situation where many people would feel something is amiss without their presence. Keeping up appearances, and becoming a part of the everyday worlds of their customers and clients can greatly improve brand recognition for companies, organizations, and professionals.

Clips from We Do Web Pages

Putting the 'social' in Winnipeg Social Media

Businesses have clearly turned the corner in their adoption of social platforms, but the rush to join the party indicates that they may be reverting to the mass-market mentality that social marketing explicitly rejects.

Online media have flipped this equation. Success is now defined by the ability to establish meaningful conversations about very specific topics.

Quality displaces quantity, and relationships replace messages.

A lot of marketers are having a hard time grasping this because they spent so many years doing the opposite. They see new channels as a way to build another mass audience for the same old messages. They wear their Twitter follower count as a badge of honor. They are missing the point.

Social media are called social for a reason. They are a means to create relationships between individuals.

Here in Winnipeg, the first city specific social media network website is in beta, official launch we are told is May 1st 2010. with Cash Prizes, iPhones and VIP Vegas Trips being given away. check it out

The new challenge for b-to-b marketers will be to exploit the potential of social media to create connections between all their employees and all their constituents.

This will present enormous governance issues as we begin to “media-train” entire companies instead of just a few individuals. That’s a topic for the future.

For now, the challenge is to discard the old economics of mass and embrace the value of one-to-one.

Cost vs Value

“Customers that are the happiest, are often the ones who pay the most.”

As strange as that may sound, it is 100% true. There is of course, a point to finding the best deal possible, or searching for that hidden gem within a pile of rubble, but you always get what you pay for. The customers that would hum and haw as to our contracts were always the first ones back complaining about the lack of quality in the product they purchased else where.

They bought something based entirely on cheapest price, not on its value. Value and price are totally separate entities, which is so hard to get through people’s minds. In this disposable world, it’s interesting that businesses still get themselves caught in the trap of wanting to have full service from an industry they know little about (SEO). Sometimes, a deal can be negotiated as nothing is set in stone until a contract is signed. However the singular point that should always be borne in mind:

You get what you pay for.

Search Tips – Linking Do Nots

In the wild west of the web, there is a rule set to follow, set in place by the “king” of the realm; Google. If you want to be found by the world, you follow their rules, or risk being removed from “the list”, the listing results pages. There are a hundred thing to do right on any given page, and a million things you can do wrong, I’m just going to mention a few points on linking in and around your site to help traffic flow.

1. You neglected the KISS rule. (Keep It Simple Silly)

It is amazing what people will do for a freebie. Extend a simple offer to your customer base and see how many link back to your site.

2. You neglected to do due diligence while link building.

The Google dance, the qualitative quick step, re-indexing, all of the aforementioned terms can scare website owners because one day they may be on top of their respective terms, and the next, no where to be found. Getting authority links is hard work, but worth it if you want to carry through re-indexing with strong rankings.

3. You’ve become link elitist.

Forums, blog comments, fully filled out profile links on social media sites, aren’t worthless. Proper linking has multiple effects, it not only provides your website with algorythmic standing with the search bots, it also helps to make your brand known online. A blog a day, a post a day in an active, relevant forum, building social media connections with like minded individuals all lend to your success.

4. You don’t use video or audio in your site.

YouTube is the second most used search engine on the ‘net. And with the availability of streaming media online, it would be a shame to spend no time in this corner of hte online arena. Podcasts, webinars, intro videos, etc are all valuable linking tools when creatively developed.

5. You cried “LINK ME!!” one too many times.

Save press releases for major announcements and create a tip sheet to highlight your products and services. Tip sheets are generally well received and will go a long way to making you top of mind with the media in your industry.

And an oldy but a goody, if you find yourself in link hell it just might be because…

6. You don’t have your own copy.

Good content is worth its weight in gold, without it we’d have no linkbait to push. You can fill out profiles, buy directory submissions and drop comment links all day and still never obtain the algorithmic and business authority you achieve from a well written piece of promoted content.

Organic versus Social?

It’s a rather simple affair to click open your browser, and find a story or broadcast of Google versus Bing. Or, Facebook versus Twitter versus Myspace. It’s online, in print, on your tv, even on the radio occasionally. With the constant barrage of company versus company, it’s not hard to imagine or believe that when it comes to online marketing that uninitiated companies can be a little gun shy about stepping into the ring.

But to help let the dust settle, to try and alleviate some of the concerns out there, put aside the differences, and instead focus on the similarities in the platforms in front of you.

Google, Bing, and Yahoo (dwindling mind you), all adhere to the same basic principle, provide results when a user searches for their interest. They all follow some of the same fundamental basics, and they all provide a list of the results when your search has been completed. And just like different cars that you drive, some are faster, or stronger than the others. But in the end, they all do the same job. The king of the road in the realm of search of course, is Google, with Bing and Yahoo trailing behind.

Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace, all provide a social platform for your business to more directly interact with your customers. They all allow you to post company information, you can update your products and services information quickly and provide a more hands on feel for your customers and clients. Facebook is currently the most widely used of the three, with Twitter being the quickest and easiest to update via your cell phone and a few bits of text. Myspace, not to be outdone, has appearance customization on a higher level than the other two, but it’s features are dated and not as intuitive as it’s two younger rivals. Facebook, at the moment, is the king of the hill in social media.

And as a business owner, your needs are different than your competitors across the street. Your budget may be more, or less, your time may be more constrained and you personally cannot provide the attention to the social media aspect as well as tending to the organic and paid search side of the business.

Beware when an online branding expert tells you that Bing and Facebook are the bees knees, or that Google and Twitter are all that matter, as they’re shutting themselves, and your website, out from a global audience. It’s never the wrong time to begin your online branding and search marketing campaign, but sooner will always be better than later.

Yellow Pages Canada to Resell Google AdWords

I keep hearing the story of the Yellow Pages Canada having a partnership with Google, this is even coming from the YP themselves.

This could be very misleading to customers and not all together telling the whole truth from the Yellow Pages point of view.

In fact what they have is a strategic agreement with Google to resell AdWords (Google’s Paid Ads)to customers.

Call it desperation if you want from the Yellow Pages, they know people are now using the once should have book more as a door stop nowadays, their advertising revunues have dropped off dramaictly and people are finding better ways to spend the advertising dollar, usually the internet.

RESELLER says it all, customers who don’t know any better will get taken to the cleaners with this one, YOU can open a Google Adwords Account yourself for FREE and cut out the middle man (YP) by going direct to the source.

You can set your budget spend to what you can afford without paying a reseller fee.

What Yellow Pages does have is 425,000+ advertisers in Canada, now if they can manage to convert some of those to $500 per month to run ads with them on Google, then they may well survive.

1.They are not a true partner with Google, they have an strategic agreement, it’s a huge difference. Have you seen any Google Press Release on this PARTNERSHIP? NO.

2. Anyone can setup their own google AdWords account for FREE.

3. Yellow Pages Canada are supplying setup and consulting on Google AdWords campaigns, so do millions of other companies worldwide including ourselves.

4. They are not the only trained Google Adwords Company, in fact some staff have only been getting trained on the basics in the last 12 months, other company’s have had years of training.

5.You can also setup your company details on Google Maps, these results usually show up at the top of all searches on Google, it’s also FREE.

In ending, this is nothing new, they are not offering anything that you cannot find another company to do for you or that you cannot do yourself.

Is Winnipeg Afghanistan with Ice

I had the pleasure this week of talking with an old friend who just happens to be a marketing expert who works in the US & Europe with some of the largest brands on the planet along with superstars of Sport and Television.

They asked how I was doing here in Winnipeg after a couple of years – I could tell they had a great big smile on their face, so I asked “why are you all smiles?

With great laughter they said, “Listen Jerry… you work around the globe doing your Internet Media stuff and you end up in Winnipeg?”

I said “yes it’s great here. Business and marketing ideas are a little behind, but they will get there in the end.” They said, “Stop kidding yourself, Winnipeg is Afghanistan with ice!”

I must admit it did make me smile at first, then angry. You know they are right in lots of ways, we don’t quite have the poverty and the war, but they were referring to the third world thinking, the lack of using technology like the Internet, happy to be unknown, happy to be mediocre.

Simple people with simple ideas and simple lives, people with no fashion sense and hairstyles 10 years old, people happy to have a little summer cabin on the lake which most Europeans and Yanks would not put the dog in let alone live in, Yes Yes Yes, but this is home :-)