Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SEO: Two Updated Google Tools Are Very Useful

SEO: Two Updated Google Tools Are Very Useful
If you want to improve your search rankings, you have to keep up with the new tools and techniques.

One essential aspect of SEO, aka online marketing, is formulating your content to tell Google what services/products you are providing. These two new upgrades in Google business tools, which are free, help you improve your search rankings.

What Is The Upgrade In This Free Tool? 

How you build your content is the key to telling Google what your business provides to the world and local community. That is the beauty of content marketing.

Google Web Master, aka Search Console, has always helped web site owners manage their site, according to what Google needs to know, in order to fully index the site or blog content.

Google continues updating their web tools with improved methods that are derived from revised processes that drive search engine results.

The Structured Data section is the new addition to the Search Console.

Structured Data, also called a HTML 5 tag, is a piece of code you insert into your web page that tells Google, in Google language, what you are providing on your site.

Who Can Use This Updated Method?

Anyone can use structured data on their web site or blog.

The learning curve on implementing structured data is steep, but when you stick with it, you will see big payoffs in your search engine rankings over time.

What Does Structured Data Accomplish On Your Web Site?

This piece of code, which makes structured data specific to your web page, means it is faster and easier for Google to interpret your content.  That code uses key data that complies with and assembles perfectly into Google index files, which are then displayed as search engine results.

If you don't know already, Google is a set of top-notch databases, which, I think, are a form of artificial intelligence.

Using structured data, you make a piece of code that is referred to as a 'rich snippet' and it tells Google, in accepted code, how to place your content, into their files, using very specific key terms.

Call Steu Mann at (541) 200-5269 for detailed information about using structured data on your site.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Online Shopping: Amazon Has A Leading Business Reputation

Online Shopping: Amazon Has  A Leading Business Reputation
More than half of U.S. online consumers begin their product searches on Amazon.com Inc.’s website or mobile app, a survey found. That means that heading into the busy holiday season, the company is advancing its lead over major retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and search engines as the starting point for online shopping.  

Amazon built their business reputation, the same as every other company on the web must do to be successful. Read more - click here.  #onlinemarketing

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Online Business: 3 Steps Of Successful Content Marketing

Running a business on the web is morphing. Are you keeping up?

It wasn't too long ago that you could get a web site up and running with quality SEO, Search Engine Optimization, techniques and you were good to go.  That effort would insure you are going to appear as an organic listing on the first page of Google search results.

While that is important, and still very achievable, you are going to see your online inquires decline if you slack off on activity to build your business reputation.

There are a number of factors for this. The big one is that, while Google is the biggest search engine, there are other web sites people search to find a product or service they want.  Recents studies, by PEW, show that more than half of all internet users conduct research online before making a purchase.

A few of those heavily popular sites are Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vimeo, LinkedIn, and there are others.

In the old days your marketing plan was buying yellow page ads every year. The cool part of doing online content marketing with your business is you are sustaining your business because your content doesn't disappear.

But, having a web site, and then never publishing new content to it, is showing Google that your site is stale. And part of Google's effort is to keep the most relevant sites at the top of search engine results.

To successfully implement sustaining your online business, here are three simple steps:

1. Get your site optimized to be found in Google and Bing.

This is easy to accomplish as I mentioned before. Once you start a quality campaign on this your site will be visible, within six months or less, when someone is searching using terms that are relevant to your business.

The best way to achieve quality content is by getting into the habit of posting material about your products on a regular basis.

2. Begin a content creation effort to provide the public with material about your products and services - on a regular basis.

One easy place to do this is Facebook. Yes, Facebook is a big search engine and that is what their marketing teams are planting the seeds for today.

The first step is setting up a business page and then making sure it is verified.

To do that, while viewing your business page, select Settings in the top right corner.







On the new screen that appears click Edit next to Page Verification.





Today, the verification process, if you are doing it by paper takes about 4-6 weeks. Unfortunately, I have not had much luck with the phone verification process, maybe you will.

When your business page is verified you will appear more often in search results within Facebook. And, if you are doing advertising there,  or boosting your posts, I would do it after you verify your business page.

There are many places to post content about your business, but doing it, getting it done, seems to be the hardest piece of the equation. To get over that hurdle, just pick one place to get started posting your material. Do that until you are feeling some success with it.

Many older businesses have a mentality of yellow book advertising. Those folks are thinking, "I will put an ad out there and someone will find it." The flaw with that is there is no passion or drive in that approach. An ad in the yellow pages is stale and boring.

Conversely, publishing content posts in Facebook (other other social media) are your current material and, when done right, give people insight into how you can help them.

Readers want authentic information.  What problems are you solving for the reader with your products or services?

Providing quality content to build your business reputation is not as hard as baking good bread. It just takes a simple effort to get your content made (short story or video or pictures) and then post it.

 #3 Keep a handle on measuring your content success.

Google Analytics (GA) is a free tool that will keep you informed.

You can use this tool on your web site, blog, even with Facebook.

I would suggest using GA to measure your landing page campaigns.

One simple approach to putting an automated marketing machine in place is with the following:

#A Post your brief article with pictures or phone video in sites where users are congregating already like facebook, twitter, youtube, and so forth.

#B In that content include a link to the landing page on your site.

#C Build your landing page, on your site, with compelling content and include effective Call To Action opportunities. The thrust of a landing page is that when people read it, you want them to do something. That 'something' may be download information, subscribe, or make a purchase from you. This is an example of a landing page.

The point is, when people do something with you, with your business, they have more trust in you and your business. And, the first step in wanting to do business is having trust.

You and I, have to have, some level of trust to take action with a business. Would you go to a restaurant where you didn't expect a good meal? Would you bank with a bank that you didn't think was on solid ground? 

Do you agree? Have you ever done business with someone or some establishment you don't trust? Tell me more.

The trust we have in a business, that we participate with, is based on the reputation of the business. More importantly, our perceptions can make or break the reputation of a business. The strategy of your providing current online content about your business, on a regular basis,  is to fortify your business reputation.

Steu Mann
Ez Web Company


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Marketing Local Business: using photos and smart phone

Marketing Local Business
This is a true, bonafide, example of a marketing a local business to boost community awareness of his services, a taxi company, just by using his smart phone, photos, and a Google Local Business listing.

One local business client did something amazing and fun - he took photos of his taxis at various local places and uploaded them to his local business listing in Google.

All done of this done from the comfort of using his smart phone.

And, my oh my, look at what Google is sending him ....

Marketing Local Business

This is proof positive of a simple, just about free, marketing method that any business can accomplish.

The next step in this effective marketing technique is taking it one step farther ....
to set up a link, in his business listing on Google, to a landing page, on his web site, to start converting some of his viewers to subscribers.

A great example of simple, successful smart phone marketing and the proof is in the pictures.

Steu Mann, Ez Web Company



Online Marketing Research: 5 statistics to help you plan

Online Marketing Research 2016This information is research on current trends to help you consider how to reach your target audience and where to reach them to accomplish effective online advertising.
In an online marketing campaign, while quality content remains the first objective, your business must also evoke a process that will produce leads from your content, as well as, have a process in place to convert them into a subscriber or buyer. 


Online Marketing Research 2016 From KPCB
#1 Internet advertising continues to grow in USA.
With an emphasis on advertising on mobile devices where there has been a 66% increase since last year.




#2 Google and Facebook continue to be largest advertising venues.
Google $30B (18% growth from 2014)and Facebook $9B (59% growth from 2014).

#3 Online advertising can be effective.
Google has demonstrated online advertising can work with $75B in 2015 revenue. But,  93% of users have said they considered ad blocking software, which speaks to the nature of advertising users are willing to accept.

#4 Online video marketing can be effective.
The majority of video advertising is ineffective: 81% of users mute videos and 62% of user dislike being force to see brand info before content.  What users want to see in a video is content that is authentic, entertaining, evoke emotion, personable, and works with the sound off. Vertical ads on mobile devices will get more viewership.

#5 Know your potential customers.
An effective marketing campaign is designed to reach a specific audience. Before designing ads or placing ads, taking the time to understand the habits and traits of your potential buyers. With that information you are equipped to design an inbound marketing program which can have several campaigns. Inbound marketing is not a technology or platform, it's a methodology.


The source of this information is the KPCB 2016 Internet trends report, PEW Research, and The New Rules Of PR & Marketing.

Steu Mann, Ez Web Company

Monday, August 29, 2016

Marketing: 3 reasons why inbound marketings grows a business

 3 reasons why inbound marketings grows a business
Inbound marketing is not a channel or a technology, it is a strategy.

There are several components that create the inbound marketing model. But, to be successful, there is more to it that just installing the components and waiting for the results. You, and your business, must make a commitment to the model. That is going to take to form of fine tuning those components and the overall inbound marketing processes you have implemented.

So far, the businesses having success with this are dedicated to it. You cannot just expect it to be a turnkey operation and then walk away.  This is not a "drive through" approach to resolving your marketing issues. The truth is simple, you will not see instantaneous results overnight.

To get started, most all business, have to review the culture of their marketing ideas and concepts. And, make some deep shifts to get started with inbound marketing.

Here are reasons why an effective inbound marketing will grow your business:

When you identify your niche market, with very specific steps, you reduce the costs of your advertising because you are focused on a smaller target audience. 

We are all bombarded by messages all day long - everywhere we go. Do intelligent marketing with your content by reaching a qualified client when they are ready to make a buy, very naturally making your content more potent and drawing them in.

3. Be customer-centric: resolve problems and issues.

Use your content to connect with your readers/viewers, that is the first step. The second step is solving their problems with your services and products. And, the third step is converting them into a subscriber or buyer.  Those three steps leverage your content into a right-timing solution: explaining and demonstrating how you can help your readers/viewers, combined with clear and beneficial Call To Action (CTA) opportunities.


Steu Mann, owner of EzWeb.company

Infographic: anatomy a better marketing strategy

Landings pages are the foundation of an inbound marketing program.

There are two types of landing pages: click through and lead generation.  To download this infographic click here.

Click Though Landing Page
This marketing objective with this type of page is to have the viewer/reader/visitor click a link and be passed to another web page or web site.

Lead Generation Landing Page
The marketing objective with this type is to have the viewer take an action that converts then into a subscriber or buyer. For example, the list below has different goals a viewer/reader/visitor can achieve:

- complete a form for more information
- download a eBook
- enter a contest
- obtain a consultation

Click here to see an example of a lead generation landing page.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Business Marketing: what is a marketing system designer?

build your business reputation with inbound marketing
In this digital age, with a revolution of new media and marketing techniques, a business with a marketing systems designer is expanding from the punch in their inbound marketing arsenal.

Who is a marketing system designer?

The typical skills for an effective, experienced marketing system designer would include the following:

  • Web site development
  • Blogging techniques
  • Podcast creation
  • Press release creating and distribution
  • Writing content
  • Designing and creating images - graphics, brochures, downloads
  • Creating videos from start to finish
  • SEO - Search Engine Optimization to build content marketing
  • SEM - Search Engine Marketing to do ads in search engines and social media
  • Building and monitoring marketing campaigns, including components such as landing pages and Call To Action triggers that combine effective conversion techniques
  • Automating work flow processes with inbound marketing projects
  • Methods and processes to identify and connect with niche markets


What does a marketing system designer do?

A marketing designer is a focused and talented individual experienced in the craft of producing digital content,  and then putting that forth into the different search engine media; all in an effort to improve and enhance your inbound marketing. This effort includes establishing one or more marketing campaigns that have different components: landing pages, special offers, files to download, video creation, social media channels, web site design, graphics design, measurement of success techniques, along with ongoing monitoring processes.


When is  a marketing system designer useful to your organization?

Have you ever wondered how to tie your promotional material to the right audience and then figure out how to present it in your web site, social media, and search engines?

Or, maybe you are still coming to terms with your brand message and generating organic marketing results.

Not long ago, I was introduced to a fella who owned a manufacturing business. It turns out he is the biggest supplier of his products in the surrounding five counties. But, sales were lagging and his competition had a web site that was in Google. In fact, on more than one occasion, his suppliers ended up at his competition doorstep, with his delivery, because this fella had no web site. Let alone a brand message.

A marketing designer creates and defines your reputation by producing and establishing quality content. Don’t get me wrong because I am not talking about advertising.

I talk to people everyday about the most important part of my work - creating/writing superior content for their business.

And, everyday I get someone who wants to argue with me, and these are driven people like entrepreneurs and business owners. They see the investment in “content creation efforts” as a barrier or problem. Over the years, after I have completed my discussion with each of them, I've learned the vast majority of these decision makers are looking at content creation in the same way they look at other marketing expenses: advertising, yellow page ads, trade show booths, and printing.

When you think of your online content as just another marketing expense, you will always be led to underspend. When you spent $500 in one month in Google Ad Words and/or Facebook Promotions advertising campaigns, the only thing you bought were ads appearing in the search/page results and the resulting clicks from those ads.

Consider this, as soon as you stop paying, your advertising and clicks completely stop. Gone.

To me, that is a time-told-truth example of a marketing expense. You pay and you get something, but when you stop paying it immediately goes away.

On the other hand, creating content for your business, is an endeavor establishing a permanent asset and not temporary ad space. Do you see the difference?  Your content can be used to perform advertising, but its’ basis is building your authority - your business reputation.



How does a marketing system designer accomplish work?

Self Motivated Expertise
They have the professional knowledge that will build your business with proven inbound marketing techniques. They will set the tone and schedule.  Because of their experience, they know what must be accomplished and in what order.

Collaboration
A marketing system design will work closely with your company personal to develop content.


How is it possible to measure success of a marketing system designer?

Once you put a marketing designer on your team, how will you know there are successful?  One easy what is to break up the projects into phases and then watch to see what tasks they accomplish, based on their promises and your needs.

Phase 1 - Design
You are working to identify what you need. from your conversations and meetings, gather a list of items that will be deliver and when they will be accomplished. Some of those items might be a new web page, a brochure being designed, or social media channels setup.

Plus, in this phase you want to setup at least one marketing campaign idea. there may be others. But the end game is having specific marketing campaigns to connect with your niche market.


Phase 2 - Building
From the list you assembled in our previous phase, check the timing and production of each item. Does it meet the criteria you have discussed? Does it meet your satisfaction?

Are you seeing the establishment of your marketing campaign come together?


Phase 3 - Deployment
Once your item list is completed, how will they be published and when? That may vary depending on what your wanting to accomplish.

For example, in a typical marketing campaign your landing page(s) are published, specific ad content that including key word research and  material(video, brochure, eBook) is published.  Is the marketing process automated so no new labor is required, except speaking with your newly qualified prospects?

Phase 4 - Maintenance
Monitor the marketing campaign and make any adjustments as needed. Some adjustments may be changing material or revising your key word strategy.

I hope this helps invigorate the inbound marketing program at your business.

In Respect, Steu
Steu Mann, Owner
EzWeb.company

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Business Marketing: thought is the only real currency - true story (video)


Business Marketing: thought is the only real currency - true story (video)
Thought is the only real currency there is.

How many times have you left it up to a process or method or someone else to achieve your dream?
 


This gymnast from the olympics tells the Truth. Do you want the secret to success?

This fella found out about gymnastics from a comic book at a very young age. He saw a star in one comic doing gymnastics.

Next, he drew his own comic with the star doing gymnastics and winning. Today, he is the recognized winner, and leader in gymnastics ... besides being gold medal champ multiple times.

For those of us in business, this is a great example of how to motivate your own business growth!

http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/how-kohei-uchimura-discovered-gymnastics-comic-book (video)


Steu Mann
Ez Web Company

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How To Avoid 7 Common Marketing Mistakes - The New Rules

How To Avoid 7 Common Marketing Mistakes - The New Rules
Are you working your marketing plan with the new rules? That is, the rules of the digital marketing age?

Here are 7 very common mistakes made by marketing efforts in business, along with the solutions to avoid them.


#1 Not understanding the difference between marketing and advertising.
This one is easy. Advertising is buying ad space in a printed publication, TV, or the radio. Marketing is using your web site, including social media and the new radio - podcasting, to produce short term and long term awareness about your products and services to your desired audience.

#2 Misunderstanding about reaching your target (niche) market
Nowadays there are many influential sources that can distribute your news. Before the digital age, a few magazines and TV held all those cards. Not any more.  What is better, spending a lot of cash to push out generic ads, or building a network of resources that can deliver your crafted message to your niche market?

#3 Forgetting that great content is the first  reason people make purchases and return to visit a site. 
Make your content the primary reason people visit you. Forget the flashy graphics and exciting banners. But, not to the extent of just having a text page. Deliver appealing content that educates the mind of a consumer. Think of questions a potential buyer will have and answer them in your content. Build connections with your content by allowing people the opportunity to comment - a demonstration that people use you and are engaged.

#4 Losing the natural power of content sharing.
The world gets smaller as social media and other content sharing methods increase. Throwing up a web site will not produce the returns  you want unless people can connect to their family and friends about liking your content. And, you want to be able to easily share your updated content into social media channels that become inbound links to your site. High quality inbound links are an asset in traffic building and extending your web reputation.

#5 Content is not scaled to achieve specific marketing goals. 
The two main functions of a web site visitor are browse and search.  Is your site easy to search? Have you laid out the architecture so that a search enhances your key words and exemplifies SEO targets?

#6 Brand message is not clear and/or compelling. 
When you visit a web site, see if you can spot the brand message. Most sites do not have one, or it is hidden. A good brand message is on your Home page, displayed on the the top half of the page - above the fold. It is clear and contains your key words that emphasize the benefits you offer.

#7 No plan in place to produce and publish momentum content.
What is your goal with your site in the next 6 months ... two years ... or five years?  Your content is a natural stepping stone to produce the means by your reputation is built. I have clients who were successful when they had no web site or a minimal web site; one that had no current updates published for a long time. Once they hired me to produce current content from their projects, they received exponential attention from new potential clients. Today,  they now have more active projects - and more new clients.

Good luck with your marketing efforts. Every piece you do helps to build the momentum of your success and fortify your web reputation.

Steu Mann, Owner
Ez Web Company


Monday, August 8, 2016

Online Marketing - Three Important Rules To Boost Your Marketing

 Three Important  Rules To Boost Your Marketing
In this digital world there are new rules for marketing. If you choose not to follow them then you will strangle your advertising efforts. These are simple and to the point, you don't need a college degree to figure 'em out. To be successful with the new rules means applying some sweat equity; this will not cost you an arm or a leg.

#1 Develop relationships directly with consumers.
That is right. In the old days you had to spend bundles of money on media purchases to get your message out to the entire public. Nowadays, you can use the web to target your specific audience without having to purchase any media ads. For example, you can target your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy with content that focuses on a specific theme or product, by simply writing the content on your pages to accomplish "content marketing" which is, in essence, publishing content to inform the search engine spiders about how, where and why your products are fitting that specific theme or product niche you are targeting.

Write this content easily and don't pack it with key words. Allow the content to flow naturally like you are having a conversation with a friend - just stating the facts: benefits, features, and why your product is so interesting to consumers who might buy it when they are looking for it.


#2 Use Current Marketing Strategy
In the old days your advertising material worked in one way - from the company to the consumer. There was an emphasis on creativity as being the most important component. Nowadays, the shift has erased that entire stream.

With social media you can engage potential clients and existing clients - on the spot. They can "like" your content, or "follow" you, or put you in their "circle" which is all good because anyone of of those means you are now going to appear in their network - aka free exposure about your products and services.  One of those just about amounts to a testimonial of your "business goodness"  ... which is all possible thanks to this digital world we live in.

There are many available digital channels that, even with a home based business, you can appear to be a giant company - just by the way you deliver your product content. For example, a blog or social media channel are two excellent marketing methods that level the playing field for all businesses. When you make the effort to get started on Facebook, G+, or Twitter you exercise the same power as a Fortune 100 company. All it takes is the time and energy to acquaint yourself with the process to emphasis your content in those methods.


#3 Tell Your Own Story
Before the web, the main marketing technique was using a Press Release (PR) and there were techniques to get it "right."   A PR was the recognized channel for a company to communicate with the press or media. Today, the structure of the web means you can tell your own story and proliferate it as you wish. While a PR is still useful, it is not the only way to communicate and distribute your story.

Develop your band message. Develop your elevator talk. Assemble a 250 word article on your products that emphasizes the benefits and features. And, create two or three short (30 - 60 second) videos; even using you smart phone will be perfect for this. Publish this content.

You now have a basis to build your social media channels and start a blog. Remember, a blog can be as easy as a conversation. One big blunder a business makes is over thinking a blog. Keep it simple and use pictures. You don't have to contribute a new idea to the Law Of Relativity with every post you publish. A simple update covering your business activities will suffice. One helpful technique that you can include in your content is the use of hashtags.

Here are some hashtags for this article: #knowledgeispower #onlinemarketing #workathome #contentmarketing

Steu Mann, Owner
Ez Web Company
EzWeb.company


Friday, July 15, 2016

SEO: Local & National? Tips on Social Marketing


SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is also known as search engine marketing, has two distinct flavors. And, both are based on organic search results - not paid ads.

Gear your content with a "local" strategy and you are telling Google to display your wares when searches are made in your local area or about your local area.

Configure your content with a "national" strategy to have your wares displayed when someone searches anywhere in USA, or globally, using terms relevant to your products/services.

For example, if you are offering services such as construction or a restaurant, you probably don't need to attract a national audience.  On the other hand, when selling books, consulting, or jewelry you can deal with potential customers located in broader geographic locations.


Two tips. To succeed with local SEO, make sure you placed your business in the FREE Google and BING local business directories. But, when seeking national/global SEO results, be sure to adjust your web site audience distribution in Google and code your web pages for specific SEO targets.
“In a way, the Web is like your agent: It speaks for you whenever you’re not around to comment.”
~ Chris Brogan & Julien Smith


Improve Your SEO

Check out your competition that is beating you in the search engine results - as an organic listing.
  • What are the descriptions they are using on each page?
  • When are they making social media postings?
  • Where are the links for sharing pages in social media?
  • Is the content focused  locally or nationally?
  • Do they have their street address listed on the web pages?


One of the best ways to grow your following and increase engagement on social media is to be there consistently

The first step is to put the right systems in place to keep your posts relevant, interesting and valuable for your audience.

Visual content can act as a “gateway” to more valuable content.

When planning visual content to post on social platforms, think in terms of how it can drive traffic back to your website, products and services.
If you want to be successful with your social media plan, stop random acts of hashtagging and use a good hashtag to tie all of the pieces of your campaign together.

Friday, May 13, 2016

SEO: Three tips for your online marketing

Three Lethal Myths Of Web Sites

There are three crucial languages of every web site. Without an understanding of those you won't grasp the three lethal myths.

Protocols
There are certain practices that must be followed in order to exhibit your wares on the web and in online marketing channels - such as Facebook and Google+. These protocols are not complicated, they are as simple as learning the rules and regulations about driving.

Education
Quality content is #1 in the online world. Content that is informative, more than just a sales pitch, is proven to have deeply-rooted endurance to readers and search engines.

Marketing
Building a reputation for your products and services is more than glitzy graphics, responsive designs, and/or product features/benefits. For example, correct web site architecture will enhance how marketing channels can recognize and distribute your content - creating a sphere of influence.
___________________________
Did You Know?
In 2014 Google announced it would begin using web page encryption as a signal for SEO (search engine optimization). Research has begun to display an increasing benefit of this in 2015. Encrypting a web page means moving from "http" to "https" which improves your site Trust matrix. 
___________________________

Sweat Equity

There are billions of web sites and billions more users around the globe. Once you have a professional web site, you want to craft an audience by discussing what you are passionate about and then spreading that news where web traffic is already taking place - like social media. How do you describe the passion of your business product/services?

SEO Percolates

SEO never gets old. The first targeted result of your SEO efforts is achieving an organic listing displayed on the first page of search results using relevant key word searches. Those results are from your primary key word campaign. Next, cultivate weighted, comprehensive search results by using a list of secondary key words and phrases. 

Building Trust

The Knowledge Vault (KV), is Google's tool to store facts and figures on internet material. Today, the KV does influence (+/-) your web site in search results. I think that influence will become significant as the Vault matures. There are several methods to improving your Trust factors, which you can accomplish with service oriented marketing.

___________________________
Something To Consider ......
Recognized brand names show up higher in search results; either brand name or brand name plus key word. This is a direct result of the Google Knowledge Vault.  What strategy do you have, or are you building, to establishing your brand?
___________________________

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

SEO: Keeping Pace With Consumer Shopping Habits

Online Marketing Ideas

Keeping Pace With Consumer Shopping Habits

When you stop to think about it, the internet has revolutionized how and where consumers shop. One reason you need to care about your SEO (Search Engine Marketing) is this; search engines play a major role in the  purchase of products or services. 
If you are not sure how to structure your SEO strategy, then I suggest thinking like someone shopping for your services. What phrase will they use in Google to find what they need which connects them to your business?

A common mistake is to configure SEO equity based on a business name. With the free business listings in Google and Bing, automatically search engines algorithms will connect your business name with your services. But, if you have a brand name you want to solder into search engines, that requires a different type of SEO strategy.

"Just about 60% of all organic clicks go to the organic top 3 search results."
~ Hubspot.com

SEO tips
Siri & SEO
Siri (Speech Interpretation andRecognition Interface) is a computer program that works as an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator. And, Siri is part of the current Apple operating systems.

For the most part, everything you do on the internet is tracked by various cookies. Cookies are a nickname for software that records data. They can be avoided, but that is another article. Advertisers and web sites put cookies in your browser as you visit sites and cruise the web. The cookies record your activity which is turned into marketing data.

One marketing goal of conglomerates like Google and Facebook is to quickly adapt automatic offers to you of products and services based on your location and/or preferences. Location is GPS from your device and preferences are that cookie data accumulated about you. How does Siri play into this conversation?

Siri is voice activate searching. Until now, we interpreted SEO work being accomplished using a keyboard. Want to take your SEO strategy to the next level? Pump a few questions into Siri, like you are shopping for your products and see if you are one of the results provided.

"In search results, 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results"
~ Imforza.com


Currently, Siri is narrowly focused and limited to retail type of questions. For example, find a plumber or an electrician. Or, where is the nearest coffee store. Another example is searching for one type of food or restaurant. Keep a finger on the pulse of Siri. You can bet it will achieve refinement in the ongoing quest to enhance how search engines are culled for results. Why not define your Siri results today, and use that to begin molding your future  SEO campaigns?

Lastly, if you want to stop or reduce that pesky tracking of your internet actions while you browse, I suggest putting this handy, simple app to work: STANDS which is an extension in Chrome - standsapp.org.

Marketing Tips
Four Tips - Tune Up Marketing

1. Automate Your Marketing
Marketing automation will reduce marketing expenses, increase conversion rates, boost average order values, and, in some cases, even improve shopper experience.

To get started, simply automate the process of how people can receive information on your products from your web site. Then, use a free and easy program like Mailchimp.com to distribute professional newsletters or updates.

2. Provide Real Time Info
When someone visits your site, make sure it's offering current information. Use visual displays that are quick reads to enable readers an easy digestion of your core facts and figures.

3. Enhance Your Marketing Knowledge
Improve your business intelligence. One easy step is a better understanding of what visitors do on your site. Where are they arriving and departing? What are your most popular pages? How many times does your content offer opportunities to visitors to receive something? Or, exchange their email for an educational piece? Can they exchange their email for a special offer from you?

Don't fear asking questions. Questions will juice your creativity to identify solutions that expand your abilities.

4. Anticipate, and Act On, Customer Needs
Customer engagement, when done right, separates the successful web sites from the herd.  You must present multiple opportunities in a small period of time. What is the average amount of time a visitor spends on your web page?

Web Site visitors have fleeting attention spans. Be sure your material is constructed to convert them, at least, into a subscriber. The more they see your products, the more recognition they build. Customers need to trust you first, then they will make a purchase. Building recognition is a significant step to building trust with your visitors.

"86% of consumers stated that using a search engine allowed them to learn something new or important that helped him/her increase his/her knowledge."
~ Pew Research Center, Search Engine Use 2012 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

How To Use Google Ad Words To View Paid Ads & Organic Search Results

There are millions of pages for your potential customers to choose from, what makes them show up on your web site or blog page?  Research tells us that the three main sources of web site traffic are …..
  1. As a result from a search in a search engine
  2. A link from another web site, including social media
  3. A friend or associate gave them you link or business name
Because the internet is constantly changing, what worked yesterday may not work today, with the exception of SEO (search engine optimization).  Quality SEO means you are producing organic search results in the search engines. And, you always want to be on the first page of search results, studies show most people don’t go past that page before clicking a link.

Organic search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being advertisements. In contrast, non-organic search results may include pay per click advertising from services like Google Ad Words or Bing Ad Words.

Now there is a way to compare your paid Ad Word campaigns with your organic search display listings - and it’s easily accomplished with a free tool.

Many businesses like to use paid ads to boost their appearance in search engines. Google Ad Words has a neat trick you can use for your web site(s) that allows you to view and compare the number clicks from paid ads against clicks from organic search results.

With this combined reporting of paid ads and organic listings you receive an entire view of your online marketing that includes discovering potential new key words and identifying new strategies in terms of who is viewing your content and what is being liked or not clicked.

Here are the steps to accomplish this powerful and comprehensive research on your business marketing.

In order to use the paid & organic report, you’ll need to have a Search Console (aka google Web Masters) account for your website, Once you have that, then you can link it with your AdWords account. While Search Console is a free Google tool, it provides quality data and tips to assist you with improving your visitor traffic from Google searches.  Once you link your accounts, you’ll be able to view your organic search results alongside performance statistics for text ads in your Ad Words campaigns.

Link you Search Console & Ad Words Accounts
  • Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com
  • Click the gear menu in top right hand corner of screen and choose Account Settings
  • On new screen that displays click Linked Accounts in left hand side of page
  • On right hand side of page is a section title Search Console, click"View details
  • In the text box, type the URL for the website you want to link, which may require a verification process by editing meta tag or uploading a file
  • Once that is done, when your verification is a success, you will see a Verified status appear

Be sure to verify (link) both versions of your site: www.yoursite.com and yoursite.com.

Index Your Site

Also, make sure you index both versions of your site: www.yoursite.com and yoursite.com.

It goes without saying, so let me cover it to make sure you have it completed. Be sure to index your site at Google Web Master Tools,  https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools which is also referred to as the Search Console we discussed above.

Choose Sitemap in the left hand column to submit your sitemap. Click submit new sitemap on top right page, be sure to type in the name of your sitemap.


Next, Choose Fetch and make one section from the drop down box (see image below). When prompted, be sure to click the Submit To Index buttons.



Do this process four times, making one section each time. Each time you do this Fetch calls the google spiders over to read your site and store that data in the Google mother lode of data.

This is a short Glossary to understand the terms that appear in the Ad Words reporting:

Ad Clicks     

The number of times someone clicked your text ad when it showed for a particular query.

Ad Impressions     

How many times your text ad has appeared on a search results page or website on the Google Network.

Ad CTR     

How often people who see your text ad end up clicking it. CTR can be used to gauge how well your keywords and ads are performing.

Ad Avg. CPC     

The average amount you pay each time someone clicks your text ad. Average CPC is determined by totalling the cost of all clicks and dividing it by the number of clicks.

Ad Avg Position    
Helps explain where your text ads rank, on average, on the search results page.

Organic    

Organic Clicks     
The number of times someone clicked your site's listing in the unpaid results for a particular query.

Organic Queries     

A web search. This column indicates the total number of searches that returned pages from your site over the given period.

Organic Clicks/Query     

The number of clicks you’ve received on your organic search listings divided by the total number searches that returned pages from your site.

Organic Listings/query     

A listing is when a page of your site is returned as a search result. This column indicates the average number of times a page from your site was listed per query.

Organic Avg Position    
Average position is calculated by taking the average top position of your listing (or multiple listings) for each query.

Combined ads and organic
   
Ads and Organic Clicks
This column represents the number of times a person clicked either:
- one of your text ads
- one of your organic search listings

Ads and Organic Queries     

A query is a web search. This column indicates the total number of searches that returned pages from your site in the organic search results or triggered one of your text ads.

Ads and Organic Clicks/Query     

The number of clicks you’ve received on your text ads or organic listings divided by the total number queries that either:

- returned a page from your site
- triggered one of your text ads

There are three important elements to keep in mind on the paid ads versus the organic search listings:

1. What ever level of money you put into paid ads has no bearing on organic search listings. The two are not linked in any way. Don’t think if you buy more ads that somehow your organic listings will have a better chance of being increased.

2. Organic search results have no limitations in terms of geographic locations or language. However, your paid ad campaign is constrained by the settings you choose in your specific campaign(s).  As a result, the organic impressions may be significantly higher than paid impressions because organic results have a wider audience.

3. Your organic data is collected starting from the time you import it by linking it with your Ad Words account using the process described earlier.

Hopefully this article will help you get a better handle on your online marketing. Ad Words has been a powerful marketing tool for researching key terms and phrases. Now, combining it with your organic search results. it becomes even more comprehensive in measuring traffic statistics and drilling down to fine tune your online marketing.

Steu Mann has over 15 years of consulting with business owners and educators to learn more effective ways to use web technology. He can be reached at (541) 200-5269.

Buiild & Sustain Your Online Marketing - 3 Steps

“Over Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend over $14.7 billion in online sales took place, over half of those on mobile devices.”
~ Market Watch

We live in the age of digital marketing, like it or not. Without a web site touting your wares, you will be dropped from the map that the hordes of shoppers peruse.

Obviously, the first step to be a marketer in the 21st century: get a web site in place with your own domain - one that you own. With that accomplished, you must determine what degree you want to participate in the evolving, and essential, three segments of a professional digital marketing plan: content development, web site development, and marketing campaigns.  Let’s take a closer look at each of these so understand if you are making the best steps to advance your cause.

Content Development

Having quality content is the core of any successful web site - across all business markets and industry categories. Typical this happens in phases for a small or medium size business. In a large business there is usually a web developer on staff. Meaning, with a full time resource, that kinda commitment produces an automatic content creator will churn out content constantly. 

“Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.”  ~ Google Web Master

Small and medium size businesses, in my experience, hire a local resource to produce their web content. I have to add, that most businesses I work with get bombarded with calls offering SEO services, the majority of which are people saying they represent Google, and using high pressure tactics to sell content development services. Consider yourself warned; they are a fraud.  Smart business owners want a face to see and hand to shake to do business, especially since they rarely understand the complexity of online marketing and need someone they can depend on to accomplish that for them.

Quality Pages

According to the buzz at this writing, a quality page, according to Google Search Standards, is at least 1,00 words and 2,000 is better. The content on that page is unique and relevant to the topic that relates to the web site. For example, if your web site is a bakery, then maybe your home pages discusses your services in general with specific links to each section of your site. One section is catering services. Another section is breads and pasties. One more section could be cakes. Still another section is your cafe.  How to make the page links to unique sections is covered in Site Architecture below.

When considering the effort tout into your site content, a base rule is 50 pages. When you have 50 pages or more online in your site, you have reached a real milestone. This level of content tells Google and Bing that this web site is here to stay and, more importantly, has something to say.

Producing that is a significant expense in terms of time and labor. But, remember, once you have achieved a first page search result in your SEO status, using organic search results, it cannot be taken away unless your competitor does better content than you. Investing is quality content production will pay off dividends in search engine marketing unless you let it stagnate.

Visitor Traffic

Beyond the obvious goal of increasing web site visitor traffic to your pages, you have to think about conversion and engagement.  When a visitor lands on your home page, you have about a minute, or less, to get them to take some action.

Build your home page content so it is interesting from a customer point of view.

What benefits do your wares offer to customers?

How will your wares help customers solve an issue?

Those three questions will help you build an engagement strategy.  a simple engagement strategy is using a call to action. You see them today as a pop up window on many sites. The window asks you do to something. In fact, you have to do something, even if it’s clicking the ‘X’ to close the window.

Another, more subtle, engagement strategy is using a subscribe button to collect email addresses.

The conversion rate measures the number of people who complete a call to action you created, EX become a subscriber, out of the total number of visitors. More about that in the Marketing Campaign information below.


Web Site Development

There are three main components to web development. Before we cover those, here are some quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.
  • Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
  • Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the ALT attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
  • Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
  • Check for broken links and correct HTML.
  • If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a "?" character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.

Site Architecture

Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.  Site architecture is important since it’s the map to of your business, in the eyes and ears of the search engine spiders. Each section should be it’s own directory. And each page of a directory should be the index.html or index.php, or index.htm page.

In our example above, here is a listing of the site architecture of the bakery.com site:

Link                                 
http://www.bakery.com/index.html           
http://www.bakery.com/Catering/index.html       
http://www.bakery.com/Breads/index.html             
http://www.bakery.com/Cakes/index.html       
http://www.bakery.com/Cafe/index.html       

Ideally, on the Home page you have text and pictures that link to each of the section pages.

When you have pages within a section, be sure to make the link descriptive since that will enhance your SEO credibility.

For example, you produce birthday cakes and customized cakes and wedding cakes. Why not make a page for each one?

http://www.bakery.com/Cakes/birthday-cakes.html
http://www.bakery.com/Cakes/custom-cake-making.html
http://www.bakery.com/Cakes/wedding-cakes.html

Meta Tags
 
For every page on your site be sure to use descriptive and unique meta tags for the page Title and page Description. Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page's content; the meta tags don't appear on the page itself, but only in the page's code. We all know tags (labels) from blogging, and meta tags are more or less the same thing, little content descriptors that help tell search engines what a web page is about.

A new meta tag to arrive is Open Graph (OG). It’s not so much about SEO but has more to do with sharing your site in social media. Facebook introduced OG in 2010 to help it assimilate content data into an existing Facebook Standard.

Nowadays, other social media sites also are taking advantage of social meta tags. All of the other major platforms, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, recognize Open Graph tags. Twitter actually has its own meta tags for Twitter Cards, but if Twitter robots cannot find any, Twitter uses Open Graph tags instead.

Marketing Campaigns

Marketing really involves your content development and your web development. Without a solid approach to those two, you will minimize your search engine traction. SEO weaves it’s self into all three segments covered in this article. Publishing your site is, in its self, a marketing endeavor.  For many web site owners that is their marketing  strategy.

To build a more complex marketing effort, here are a few points to consider.

#1 Think about the words users would type to find your pages and include those words on your site.  Research what terms are being used to find your wares in Google Ad Words. Use a limited number of those phrases on your pages. Even better, use them as text links to other pages on your site.

#2 Links play an important role in SEO. They help search engine crawlers find your site and can give your site greater visibility in our search results. When returning results for a search, Google uses sophisticated text-matching techniques to display pages that are both important and relevant to each search. Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote by page A for page B. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important."

#3 Another method to build your SEO is creating inbound links to your site from high traffic, media rich, web sites. For example, produce short videos about your products and place them in YouTube and Vimeo, include your web site link in the description of the video. And, be sure to embed keywords into your video.

Social media is a great place to create an inbound link to your site. Be sure to use a natural link and not a shortened link.

#4 Use Google Analytics to measure general and specific visitor traffic. General traffic is the day-to-day traffic. Specific traffic is measuring the engagement strategies we discussed above in this article. Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. According to Wikipedia,  Google Analytics (GA) is now the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet.

Maybe you have a call to action where you want people to view a video on a specific age. Or, you want to track what page visitors come from on your site to view a subscription offer or discount product special. You can track all of those metrics, and more, in the free version of GA. If you have any questions, let me know.

#5 Automate your marketing processes whenever possible and maximize cloud storage. There are so many free and cost effective tools today, plus more are created every month. Keep your pulse on ways to 1) store your marketing data freely online, 2) build or use existing tools, that automate your conversion processes - most can be done with free online tools, 3)  to process web site visitor



Steu Mann has over 15 years of consulting with business owners and educators to learn more effective ways to use web technology. He can be reached at (541) 200-5269.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Six Signs Your Business Marketing Is Unraveling

Six Signs Your Business Marketing Is Unraveling
Web Sites, Blogs, and Social Media have changed the face of advertising. Why? Because they are not dependent on the ole print world - they gather life, morphing to ignite and be the flames of the digital world.

“As of January 2014, 87% of American adults use the internet.”
~ PEW Research

What are some signs that your business is in trouble? By that I mean, not engaging technology to promote and sustain your business reputation.

#1. No budget for online marketing
To get started does not take a boat load of money. If you want professional help for design and SEO (search engine optimization), then you are going to have to hire it. Here is a guide to help explain that information in more detail.

#2. Deep content is missing
Having a blog or web site without well developed content can do more harm than good. Keep your content simple and to the point. Stick to the benefits and features of what you provide. Help the reader understand how you are solving their issue(s).

With online content you can develop an image of being a leader in your industry. It is all about positioning yourself with pictures and news about what you are providing. How are your helping your customers?

Get in the good habit of telling helpful news about your business.

#3. SEO is just a concept
Many businesses have content but the search engines cannot decipher it. It’s like you are making the best apple pie in the world, but no one knows because you aren’t using the proper communication techniques to broadcast your message.

Back in old days when the yellow page book dominated advertising, it was all about a print image. Nowadays getting your information distributed is about using a digital message. That is the system of effective SEO - using the proper techniques. You get what you pay for. Put SEO on your team with someone that has proven SEO results on a local and national basis. Start receiving more traction in the search engines.

#4. Where are you in search results?
How easy is it to get your product or something similar from your competitor? Your competitors can be in Hong Kong, New York or London. In the digital world it is about search results, not your geographic location. If you are not an organic search result on the first page of search results - forget about more people finding your business.

Gear your content strategy and SEO so that you are on the first page of search results for terms relevant to your business period.

#5. Not applying continuous learning
So you have been to university or college. Your business education is done. You can sit back and bask in the glow of the framed degree on the wall. Many white collar folks pride their business on that foundation - I see it all the time.

“Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less.”
~ January 2015 (CMO Council)

A fast changing world means yesterday’s degree is just a piece of paper. How much do you know about online marketing and the current trends?

#6. Passion and creativity is missing
Phones are a mainstay. The house phone days are over. Now, each house has more than one cell phone. Is your business available to the cell phone audience?

If you want to build your brand then you MUST include the younger audience - this is just common sense. The most popular activity with younger mobile phone users is social media.

“As of January 2014, 74% of internet users use social networking sites.”
~ PEW Reseach

Libraries are reinventing their product line to accommodate changes in readership interest. What are you doing to adjust your social marketing to reach that audience?

#7. Content is rigid or invisible in search engines
Ever bought an product on Amazon. It is so easy with one click. How easy is it to buy your stuff online? Are you making obstacles to online shoppers or making money?

According to Ev Williams, the founder of Blogger and Twitter.
“Here’s the formula if you want to build a billion-dollar internet company. Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.”

Finding information, checking the weather is no longer something one does in a newspaper.

The trend of buying products from paper catalogues is being replaced with online shopping.

Reading emails and making purchases are done on the bus, the beach and in the cafe.

Companies that are ignoring the smartphone revolution need to design their business and technologies for a mobile world.



Read More: http://ezweb.company/Blog/Blog/2015-business-marketing.php

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Five Online Marketing Statistics (research)

Five Online Marketing Statistics  (research)
#1 Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less. January 2015

#2 95% of brands tweet. 82% of brands tweet 1-6 time per day. 48% of brands replied to at least one tweet per day.  January 2014

#3 71% of internet users are more likely to purchase from a brand that they are following on a social networking site such as Twitter or Facebook. November 2014

#4 About 60 percent of all Internet activity in the U.S. originates from mobile devices, and about half of total Internet traffic flows through mobile apps. July 2014   

#5 83% of consumers reported that they have had a "bad experience with social media marketing."  February 2015

All information is provided at the CMO Council web site.