What they say: Even if you don’t actually sell products online, a website gives potential customers and investors the opportunity to find out more about you and your company. For a website to be effective and bring new customers and investors to your doors it needs to be seen. Search engine optimization can help position your website on the first few pages of the search engines which means it’s much more likely to receive visitors.
As well as ensuring the copywriting on your website is optimized with keywords, you need to make sure your web developers or designers have created an SEO friendly website.
With 65,000 new websites coming online every day, not including new pages and blog added to existing websites daily the chances of you ever seeing high traffic and rankings without a BIG cost is near on impossible. Nobody ever mentions the cost do they.
Fact: Investment for marketing the website from approx. $1500 – $20,000 per month depending on size and your competition.
Active social media channels
What they say: Having a profile set up on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (plus the numerous other social media networks) isn’t enough. For your social media campaign to be a success you need to continually interact with your network.
And to be honest who gives a crap what bus stop or pizza shop you’re at or what you have just eaten, Your top score on a farm game or flirting teens pretending while the parents are out. Get a life. Limited for business unless very local.
Fact: A full-time job to do it properly along with a full-time salary approx. $30,000 – $50,000 per annum.
An up to date blog
What they say: Blogging is one of the quickest and easiest ways to forge an identity for yourself online. Blogs allow you to share your expertise with your visitors and it encourages them to see you as a leading authority in your industry sector. As you build up your blog with opinion pieces, news stories and reviews you will create an online resource for your blog visitors.
Fact: Takes your time and money, time is money or employ someone to do it, another salary.
While there is a lot of information and help out there to get you started, do not be taken in by all the BS that people and company’s shovel out. Sure Google also has SEO guidelines which cover what you should and should not be doing in order to create a well optimized website. Check it out Rand at SEOMoz have a multitude of free blogs, videos and podcasts on their website to help people understand the basic (and more advanced) SEO techniques too, but the cold hard facts are it takes time, money and knowledge to be a real player. As I have said many times, pay peanuts and you will get monkey’s.
As a small business if you don’t have at least $20k a year to throw at marketing your online presence, forget it, you will never even scratch the surface, if some company gives you bullshit about the must have Facebook, twitter and rest accounts, run for the hills, these usually are the wannabe online marketers, with sharp tongues (usually forked) and snappy suits. You can get business from social, but it’s limited, search is and has been #1 from the start and will continue for a very long time.
Ask yourself what you do when you want something, whether on your phone, laptop or desktop, you search first.
The Manitoba Bold Initiative, What is it? Well from what I read it’s about being bold with your ideas for making Manitoba a better place.
As part of its efforts to inject some bold ideas into the economic policies during the current provincial election, Dave Angus, president of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and spokesman for Manitoba Bold, said the clean energy and technology sectors have the most potential for growth. I could agree with some of that.
I also watched streaming video coverage at the Winnipeg Free Press News Café on transportation, venture capital and Manitoba’s revenue model featuring CentrePort Canada CEO Diane Gray, Prairie Fire Growth Ventures CEO Harry Schulz, and Pitblado Law’s Brian Bowman. (By the way people Brian writes a great blog)
Now I can tell you that in my 4 years since I arrived in Manitoba I have been called Bold, also Arrogant, Blunt, Cocky, Candid and a pain in the ass plus a few more, but until this province and some of the so called business leaders in Manitoba get that the world has changed, the way people and business communicate has changed and have the courage to grab the bull by the horns to make us change, until then, these leaders in Manitoba will still be playing catch up with the rest of the world (and other provinces). You can only treat people so long like mushrooms by keeping them in the dark and feeding them bullshit.
I don’t profess to be a politician, nor will I ever be that way, but being bold in Manitoba, I can tell you from first-hand experience that the powers that be and so called decision makers don’t like it one bit.
I doesn’t matter if you’re proved right down the line, their egos won’t let them, they like you to toe the line, their line and it is exactly that small town mentality that holds Manitoba back and I think they like that way. They need to be BOLD and take the necessary steps to WIN if they want to.
When I arrived in 2007 we had Selling Winnipeg to the World, where did that go?, oh yes they used up all the money then went out to the public domain with begging bowl asking for more money, they got it too $6 million, it then got changed to Yes Winnipeg, Destination Winnipeg was changed back to Economic Development & Tourism after running short of money and getting another government handout, Winnipeg’s Inland Port got changed to Centreport Canada in 2008 with a big handout from the tax payers, over $200 million. We also had the the Human Rights Museum starting off.
So in 2007 up until today I have tried to be very bold, in fact I went to see all of the above entity’s and offered my help, why not?, after all I was let into Canada as a world expert in my field, even the BBC called me when I arrived, (come on that has to be impressive). I had worked with large organizations before, governments, celebrities and so on and was successful in all our workings, why not help Manitoba? I live here now.
Not on your nelly, this is the real problem with Manitoba, not just me, I know other people and companies who have had the same shuns. Manitobans don’t trust outsiders, it takes a while for them to warm to you, it also depends if you tow the line, they hate the idea of you making any money, god forbid they don’t get there share and they always know someone else who works out of a basement or small office who went to college or night school for 3 weeks who learned to be an expert. Old boys club.
Wake up you sad Muppets, put your ego’s aside, get your ass into gear, pay the money and go make this province what it can become, Great. You will need help though, truly, from an internet prospective you are light years behind, and this is where all the action is happening, I know and would be happy to call out every single so called internet marketing and social media agency in Winnipeg who do work here, why? Because I have spoken to most, helped most, have emails from most asking for help, or a job or to provide white label services for them before deciding to go off and sell their little knowledge to unqualified business buyers and the like.
BE BOLD, This year alone my company will have supplied over 15 million visitors to Manitoba websites, we also keep blogging and telling business to protect your brand, stop putting the cart before the horse, so when Manitoba business leaders start talking about Manitoba Clean Energy or Manitoba Entrepreneurship’s and Start up Nations and Transportation Hubs without protecting these wonderful ideas, it does make you wonder.
On closing, these are opinions of the writer only, please no more attorney letters, if the cap fits wear it. Be Bold and venture into a new world, we are waiting here for you and happy to help should you want it.
Some people & business owners are still not sure what social networking is all about and how it works. The guys over at commoncraft.com came up a few years ago with a really simple explanation by video. Enjoy.
If you are ready to attract more qualified traffic or if you have questions about social networking, please contact us for more details and a free quote.
Fresh Traffic is a Canadian-based, Internet marketing company that specializes in search engine optimization, paid search advertising, web analytics, social media marketing, email marketing, and web and interactive media development.
Since 1996, Fresh Traffic founder Jerry Booth has provided business solutions to local companies and national brands alike. With foundations in marketing & web development, Fresh owns both marketing and technical knowledge, allowing us to create comprehensive solutions and communicate with every member on your team.
Since it’s all over the news and has been talked about since word broke, here ‘s just another take on the J.C. Penney search gaff. The NYTimes did a piece titled “The dirty little secrets of search” and in it was outlined how J.C. Penney gamed Google into listing them for all sorts of terms, applicable to their stores, but always listing at the top irregardless of the search.
The chief way this occurred was through the value of backlinks coming into a site. When your search engine optimization expert does their work properly, the value of the backlinks coming into your site will be categorically relative to your site. J.C. Penney however had links for all sorts of things on what seemed like any kind of website. When it comes to broad analysis of buying links to link back to your site, Google frowns heavily on the practice and often the links are devalued, or even negatively valued, and your site can be negatively effected in such cases. Matt Cutts was questioned on the occurrence and admitted that although JCP.com was already dealt with three times previous, the most recent and wide reaching offence hadn’t been noted.
Some have said it’s because JCP spends so much money on AdWords, others have said it’s sloppy policing on Googles part. One thing that the NYTimes piece did however, was contact a black hat SEO marketer directly and asked their opinion on the matter, and I believe they hit it on the head the best. Think of search not as a one type tool (search) but as a dual purpose technology; informational and commercial. And while the black hat lauded the strength of Googles informational capabilities, he readily admitted that commercially the results were lack luster, a cess pool was the term used. The Google team has admitted fully that there’s a relevance problem as of late, which has become more pronounced with the advent of both Caffeine and Instant technologies into the Google search algorithm. It also needs to be noted however, that spammers didn’t all of a sudden triple their output, the right set of adjustments just haven’t been found yet to exclude them from the relevant results. Additionally since no one has thought to bring it up, the same (gamed) results would have shown up in Bing or Yahoo as well as they did in Google.
JCP is about to go through some growing pains, and will most likely learn a valuable lesson in search; always make a point to be aware of your hired SEOs track record . You may find yourself on the receiving end of a swat on the nose from the Google team.
In a bit of a change of pace, just a reminder that there are a few key points which need to be considered when working online whether as a new website owner just getting into the search marketing side of business. Or a long trusted brand both on and offline, that’s looking to stake a claim, or reinforce a position online.
K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly) – Keep your website simple in appearance, construction and use. That doesn’t mean like a printed sheet of paper, but flashy ads, a video clogged front page or fancy fly away graphical menus don’t help your position in the search world. All of the above technologies, without a lot of back work, can actually hurt your online marketing performance.
Relevant Content – Keep your copy relevant and consistent to what you want to be known for. If you’re a plumber, write about plumbing trends, technologies and concerns. If you’re a tailor, writing about style trends, materials and new patterns is helpful. As a carpenter you wouldn’t want to write about small engine repair or microwave ovens, it’s simply not pertinent to your business or your website.
Budget – Ahh money, the one aspect of the business that always seems to surprise people. The thing about advertising, is that advertising in earnest, with the idea to make contact with your customers or clients to earn a living, will cost you money. In North America, Canada especially, online marketing budgets are significantly below what they need to be to see the real rewards capable from high quality, skilled search optimization. It still makes no business sense how a company can have no problem throwing away thousands of dollars per month on a marketing metric which is untrackable (newspapers/radio), versus a significantly lower cost for a completely trackable one (SEO).
A Call to Action – Often the missed point of a newer website owner, a call to action for your visitors is a required point of your website. A qualified and capable search engine optimization expert can bring you traffic, but if your website doesn’t direct your visitors what to do, they will leave until they find a site that does. If the point of your website is to sell, ensure you have a way to sell to your visitors with a Buy Now button, or a catalogue to order. If your desire is to attract people to sign up for your newsletter, make sure it’s prominently displayed as such.
Time – One of the most important requirements for SEO is time. Time for your website to be crawled and indexed, time for Google, Bing and Yahoo to place you within their index and the time it takes to balance your website versus the millions upon millions of pages also within your sector. It all takes time in the end, and if you try to circumvent the time component and go quick and dirty like J.C. Penney did? You’ll get caught, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but you’ll be caught.
Appearance, usage, accessibility and speed. Four qualities which should be incredibly important to any website owner and doubly so for users. If a site isn’t appealing to the eye, easy to use, have intuitive navigation and is slow to browse, it’s almost certain to be skipped over by users first and search engines later.
The qualitites came to mind over a conversation with a friend, they’d lamented that the coroporate side had changed the website and made it unfriendly to use. Previously their site was css based, very little code written on page, and had a good deal of content to be indexed relevant to their rather competitive niche. The new look and layout for their site, abandoned CSS in favor of Java, Ajax and active scroll over elements on the page.
The new site is visually more appealing than the old one, the effects that were added with all of the new coding however, was unecessary. Dropping indexable, search engine friend CSS for Java and Ajax was a half step backwards though in the search wars. While the coding offers a great deal of flexibility in what your website can look like and do, it’s basically entirely skipped over by search engines. The website in question has been running a brief survey on the new look and feel, and so far the consistent response has been that past consistent users, have begun to use other portals to meet their needs. Their new site, while more appealing to look at, was too slow, difficult to navigate and wasn’t easy to understand at all.
It’s a good example of the addage, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”
It should be safe to assume that SEOs don’t know a thing about your industry. Ergo, We can also assume that most client’s don’t know anything about proper online marketing. Most clients think their audience is just like them, if they like technical details then that must be what the audience wants. If they like fluff then that’s what you have to provide because nobody looks at the technical stuff.
Nothing could be further from the truth, the target audience isn’t all like us. They search differently, they expect different things, and they respond differently. All of these differences aside howerver, there is one thing that all searchers have in common. They all want to know they landed on the right website. And if you don’t show them that with your content, they’re going to hit that back button.
Searchers don’t have time to figure out if you are going to meet their needs. Only once they know you do will they stay and read more or dig deeper. You only have a couple of seconds to grab their interest or they move off. If at first glance they don’t see their search results on the page, they are gone.
SEOs and clients can learn a lot from each other, but it takes a genuine collaborative effort. Knowing your stuff isn’t enough. Because you don’t know anything about SEO. How do I know?
One of the things we go over with clients when getting them involved in the SEO process is that they know their business better than we do. The argument can be made that as soon as they become clients we need to learn as much as possible about their industry to market it properly. But no matter what, they hired the experts in SEO and that takes enough time as it is.
And this is why clients need to be actively involved. Keyword research is our domain, we weed out the junk, and help organize them into strongly optimized groups. But we still need the client’s help with what fits and what won’t.
It would be foolish to barrel through an SEO campaign without seeking the client’s guidance along the way. We have to rely pretty heavily on the client’s expertise in many of the marketing tasks before us. Are these keywords targeted? Is this content correct? These are all common questions we pose to the clients before moving on to the next task.
Sometimes, we find that the client isn’t always the expert they think they are. So often we provide them keyword research and they just barrel through it and say, “yup, these look good.” So we run with it only to have them remove those very same keywords from the text we had developed. Or we send content for them to approve and they say, “looks good,” only to come back months later remarking that don’t like how it’s written. Fair enough, it deserves to be right, but couldn’t they have mentioned that earlier?
These things happen and it does no good to get bent out of shape about it. Everybody makes mistakes, gets things wrong or is caught not paying close enough attention. But sometimes clients think they know more than they really do.
Is the client always right? Well, yes. Ultimately the client always gets what they want, even if it works against their best interests. You can only make your point so many times before you just have to say, “Okay, we’ll do it just how you want it.” Even with knowing full well that they won’t like the results and will likely come back and blame you for it. Thank god for paper trails! After a few more rounds of trying to share knowledge of online marketing, “I really think we just have to focus on technical stuff. I don’t need help with marketing.”
Ok, but will they believe when the technical stuff isn’t enough to get their site ranked for their keywords? Or if by the off chance we are able to get their keywords ranked without any on-page optimization and they don’t see any improvement in conversions? Just as SEM (Search Engine Marketing) relys heavily on client guidance of industry specific knowledge, clients must also rely on their SEOs expertise.
Your website goes lives and everyone in the office is excited about having a new website.
Eventually the excitement wears off and everyone ask’s: What is the purpose of our website? Where are the calls?
Suddenly the clouds open up!
At Winnipeg Website Design part of the Fresh Traffic Group we are different.
We evaluate the company website built by either a computer program or a graphic designer.
The evaluation shows a website that can never be found by a search engine spiders because of “bad coding” , poor content, and very few pages.
We propose linking you up with an online sales person that starts with a strategy which includes content, linking, and W3 Standard coding with a site map.
People come in two groups. 1. People who make money using the internet 2. People who don’t
What makes a perfect client? Someone who is dedicated to being an expert in their field and hiring other experts to do the things they do not do.
At Winnipeg Web Design we are experts in building websites, and Fresh Traffic are experts at SEO. (Search Engine Optimization)
If you are serious about making money online, then contact us and we will be thrilled to talk about building your business and not just a website.
One more thing before I go. Not everyone can be on top! Only the people who commit and make the sacrifice and investment can be on the top. If that is you and you decide to use us as your search engine marketing company then “We will see you at the top”.
What you need to know about investing into search engine optimization
Search engines are the dominant mechanism for almost all Internet users.
Almost 90% of online shoppers begin with search engines or directories to look for products and services and 96% of searchers do not go beyond the 2nd page of results.
Ranking highly in the search engines is more effective than most advertising because your audience is looking for you. Even right now they are searching you out. Amazing isn’t it. All that business just passing right by you.
All other forms of media, your audience is looking at something else and your ad is a distraction.
You probably shouldn’t be charged for a couple things that many “back alley” or “strip mall” Web SEO companies and consultants still offer. In some cases, even larger marketing organizations are trying to push value into some tactics that are outdated or simply don’t work to help rankings.
No two sites on the Internet are identical. In rare instances, some of the below tactics may work. But most of the time, if your SEO company is pushing these services on you, take a good hard look at what you’re paying for.
1. Submitting Sites to Search Engines: There’s a big difference between submitting your site to the search engines and submitting your site to directories. Directory submission is a very important part of link building, and has continually proven to be valuable.
Submitting your sites to the search engines isn’t valuable to SEO. This simply offers another way for the search engines to find your site. If all you do is submit it to the search engines and sit back and wait, you likely won’t see any rankings, other than potentially for your brand name.
2. SEO Landing Pages: Another outdated tactic is building landing pages just for SEO, although this is a temporary solution that e-commerce companies sometimes choose to take rather than spending the time fixing the actual site and navigation. In most cases, if you want long-term results without sacrificing user experience consistency, you should optimize your actual content versus trying to create circa 2001 “doorway pages.”
3. Reciprocal Linking: The last outdated tactic is using reciprocal linking as a primary link building tactic. If your SEO company or consultants requires that you place an outbound link to every site that is linking to you, then you should run away. Some reciprocal links aren’t bad, especially ones that occur naturally — just be worried if this is the only link building tactic presented.
It seems like a long time since Internet startups thought they could offer a free product and make a living selling ads. That would be in 2004, during the birth of Web 2.0.
Suggested is the incredible pace of change in the Internet’s evolution. In its own historical scale, that moment would be equivalent to the Renaissance: the Dark Ages of the dot-com bubble was past, but superstition still at times superseded reason.
To wit, the mantra was: “Build a community of users first, monetize later.” How far we’ve come.
“This is very clear now. It wasn’t clear until a while ago.” Though the Web is filled with free tools that let people talk, share content, and offer advice, few of them make money. Twitter, the social network where people communicate in 140-character bursts, is the most famous among them. Though it boasts millions of users and continues to grow at a cheek-rippling rate, it has yet to make a dime.
Its leaders said they won’t display ads on the service, and they won’t ask its users to start paying for it.
But they’ve hinted at a revenue model that is becoming increasingly popular with new startups in social media: Charge the companies that use it as a marketing tool.