A successful web presence that attracts your ideal client and makes a great first impression is now much more complex, incorporating not only your website and blog, but also your social media profiles, business directories and review sites. It’s no longer enough to just have a website. Your website is just one component of a complex network of information about your business that projects your brand and expertise to those in search of a product or solution.
There are many people who offer online marketing services. There are also many people who call themselves online marketing experts because they know how to: Build a WordPress website, implement search engine optimization (SEO), set up your Google Places page and other local business listings, develop an AdWords campaign, send out an email marketing campaign or create a Facebook Business Page with the new iFrames landing tabs. All good stuff and important. But do these experts know marketing?
Any small business that is not developing an expansive Web presence as part of your online marketing activities is missing an opportunity to gain visibility and develop an expert reputation. Think of your online presence as one entity with many customer touch points. Each of those touch points must effectively convey your brand and your message in order to help your target audience continue their effort to get to know you. A Web presence analysis is an exercise that helps you determine how your business is perceived when someone searches for your area of expertise. Important to your online marketing strategy, this analysis answers questions such as: How well can your business be found when someone searches? Is your brand […]
Here are my top 10 marketing tips for small businesses that will help you gain more visibility with your target customer. Create a vision and set realistic goals for your business. What’s that have to do with marketing, you ask? Knowing your vision will help you make decisions on what types of activities you will need to get where you’d like to go. Goals break the process into smaller pieces to allow you to get there one step at a time. Without a vision and a set of goals, you may make some decisions that lead you nowhere. Know what makes you different and make sure you are able to communicate it clearly. Most of the time, it’s not something […]
As I reviewed the information in the Google Webmaster Tools for one of my clients today, I noticed something different in the information being presented in the Top Search Queries report – it has expanded and now contains a lot of great information on how your site appears in the search results for various keywords. It just so happens that Google reported this new feature update in their blog just today: More Data & Charts in Top Search Queries. I love stumbling into something new! Not only have they improved this report by giving you a significantly larger number of queries in the report, they have also provided detail that can help you determine how to improve your site’s ranking. […]
Another week and another client calls me to ask about yet another company claiming they can optimize his website and guarantee first page placement on Google. After doing my usual research, I find a Ripoff Report by an unhappy customer who felt they were taken for a lot of money. One unhappy customer does not make the company bad. But this exercise got me wondering about why so many of these SEO and PPC companies have so many complaints posted all over the Web? SEO and PPC are Not Commodity Products These companies that call small business owners trying to sell them their software to manage their SEO and PPC activities are trying to treat Search Engine Marketing as a […]
I got a call from a small business owner yesterday that reminds me why I focus on helping small business owners market their businesses. It disheartens me when someone spends a substantial amount of money with a company for pay-per-click or SEO services that do not get them any results. These companies charge $500 – $3000 per month for these services of which only a percentage of it is applied to your actual campaign. The rest goes into their pockets. They also redirect your website to a copy that they maintain, replace your phone number with one of theirs (to measure phone calls from their services along with clicks) and basically eliminate any ranking you may have in the search […]
Striving for perfection is a nice goal, but sometimes waiting for perfection can hold you back. Don’t Wait For Perfection[/caption]The beauty of marketing on the Internet is that, in most cases, you can test, change, modify and update your campaigns once they go live. Having everything completely perfect prior to getting out there and being seen is no longer a necessity. It is more important to take action and become visible, even if it’s not perfect, than sit around and wait. Recently, I’ve noticed this trend of waiting for perfection with some small business owners. The problem with this strategy is: The longer you wait, the more chance you give your competition to be found before you, potentially stealing the thunder […]
Eight down and one to go in the year end marketing review series to help small business owners get ready for a wonderful new year. Before we plan our marketing activities for the new year, we have one more review – do you and your business exist online? As a small business owner, how you are perceived when people search and find your information will determine whether they contact you about your products and services. So as hard as it may be to know the truth, we must understand whether: We have an online presence or not; Our online presence consistently projects how we want to be perceived. Do You Exist? This may be the easier issue to deal with as you […]
I got a call from yet another SEO company trying to sell one of my clients services that will get them first page rankings in Google. Now, I’ll never call myself an expert, but I do know a thing or two about SEO. But the first rule is that there are no guarantees that anyone, regardless of how “expert” they are, can get your site on the first page of Google. There are too many factors, many of which are unknown except to Google themselves. Plus it also depends on how competitive your industry is, how long your site has been around and the quality of the inbound links you have to your site. I won’t bore you with all […]