Friday, January 30, 2015

Onine Marketing: aka Data Sharing - FAQ

Onine Marketing: aka Data Sharing - FAQ
What follows are good questions I  received from readers on the Data Sharing post yesterday.  Thanks for taking the time to send 'em, intending my answers help you along your way in our digital world.

1.  Where is a good place to start with my online marketing?

I would start with the most popular - and most accepted - tools. Today those are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, PinIntrest, and Google+. And, those tools are going to change over time. In a month, six months, a year there will be new tools. For example, today Google+ is predicted to outpace Facebook as one of the hottest tools. A year ago G+ was almost invisible.

In previous posts I described how you can connect your blog to publish your posts to most of those free tools.  Also, different age groups use different social marketing sites. Depending on what age group you are targeting, you will use the appropriate site/tool. A video presence, youtube or vimeo, is a great marketing tool for any age group.

In a recent Forbes article they are saying that 92% of business owners (up from 86% in 2013) realize the importance of social marketing.

2.  I run my own business, what are free tools I can use, until I can hire someone like you?

 First and foremost, start blogging. Next, push that content to a couple of the tools mentioned above. That is the number one strategy I suggest to everyone. 

Next, I would take an hour every day and participate in social communities. Not to be selling every time you share or chat with someone, but to be educating and connecting with people. If you can't blog, get over it, or hire someone to do it. If you are not doing blogging then you are just kidding yourself about wanting to do social marketing.

As far as ROI, writing - or paying someone to write for you - is not a big outlay in time or expense, but the rewards are significant in terms of creating news about you that will become search engine content - driving people back to your blog and/or site. Blog sites are free. This effort only cost your time to write. 

About now, people usual tell me they don't like to write. and I always reply, I never used to write either. In life, we all just have to change our behavior(s) in order to evolve. Is that simple.

Lastly, there are many social marketing tools to assist you in the category of "support." For example, there are scheduling tools to automatically send tweets about you. This kinda support exists for the major tools. There are pros and cons about using them, but that is for another post. To learn more just google 'free social marketing tools'.

3.  I have a Facebook account with lots of likes and over 100 friends. How do you rate this in a social marketing plan?

On a scale of on to ten, with ten being that you are walking on the highway to guaranteed success in social marketing, you are at about a two. There are a number of articles out there about Facebook losing audience share, especially among younger people. 

IMHO, just doing facebook - or any other tool - is like sending information to only one major city in the USA. That kinda effort severely limits you and your resources.  Instead of divide your time to marketing in multiple tools. Per my analogy, marketing in multiple tools is akin to marketing in different cities around the globe.  Bottom line, I would not put all my energy, for me or a client, just in any one of the tools mentioned above.

4.  As a teacher, I want to incorporate more real life examples in my classes. What did you do to get this done when you were teaching?

This is a tough question without going into a long chat.....

In my classes, which were science, I used a lot of project learning lessons. The instructions would always have some measurement that used technology, technology related to what was happening in the news at the time. Also, my students were not thinking like a business owner, the technology they like was their phones and those apps. I had to make sure to tie my technology question to that scope.

Apps are a powerful medium for business marketing. IMHO, apps are a more powerful tool in education. In one project, I had the students design an app and they came up with some creative ideas. But, that class was filled with very creative students. My other classes would not have done so well with that assignment.

5. You mention that links are not worth doing anymore? Can you say more about this? From what I understand links used to be a good advantage if you did it correctly.

Links used to be a good strategy: relevant links and reciprocal links.  Relevant being related to your content or to your local community. Reciprocal was a relevant link that had a link to your site and you had a link to their site. But, I think the ability to "like" content pages, or just images, has pretty much replaced that old link strategy.

And, there was a lot of fraud by the spammers and such on that old linking strategy. Heck, if you put 100 links on one page. which were relevant and reciprocal, your site got an immense boost in the search engines - really Google. But, those days are over now with the new search engine software updates.

You will be better off doing blogging or going out to communities/groups and making posts now. Start small and work your way up the scale. You'd be amazed what you can accomplish in social marketing - just applying one hour a day.

Hope that information is useful to you. Always happy to answer your questions when I have time.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Onine Marketing, aka Data Sharing, 10 Proven Techniques

The phone books are a great analogy to use when talking about SEO, SEM, and discovery marketing.


For most of the last 30 years I have been working with small business owners. Even at IBM doing technology projects, I was teamed up with business owners, along with other stake holders.

In the ole days there was one yellow pages book delivered to the house;   it was a monster big book. Of course, there was only the house phone, land line, in those days. Nowadays there are three or four yellow page books delivered to the door; they are all a lot smaller. Plus, there is no longer a land line in most homes today.

Pretty much every business owner understands the need for exposure in terms of marketing. Well, except for the occasional people I meet that are defiant and extremely proud to never have had a web site and/or never advertised. They make sure to tell me the number of years too - a real badge of courage for them I guess.  Kudos to those folks, but the rest of us need marketing to collect some people who want to use our products or services.

What Does Online Marketing Take

Today, there are (free yellow pages) Google and Bing. Yes, there is Yahoo, but it's pretty much a duplicate of Bing at this point. If you have any business savy at all, you know you want to be on the first page of search results for people seeking your the type(s) of products(s) or service(s) you offer. All research points to the fact that people don't go past the first page of search results.

Besides the SEO/SEM that we are used to reading about, there is this emerging trend of discovery marketing, which, IMHO, is already in full swing but not to the masses - yet.

In realistic terms, from someone who works in this market every day - me, the notion is deeply implemented now that having a web site and/or blog is just common sense .... when you want to accomplish any serious level of business marketing.  I thought we had passed that curve about five years ago but I really know we have today.

When I say web site and/or blog, I mean one of those, at a minimum, with your own domain name, which includes that it/they have some level of decent SEO, SEM built in.

IMHO, you can exclude any web site that is provided by a “free web site” provider. Why? Because 99% of those sites have zero SEO, SEM built into them, so they just fade into the billions of web pages already out there. Sadly, even most WordPress and BlogSpot sites are pretty useless in the search engines because the owner did a DIY job and just didn't build the content correctly for SEO or SEM.

The New Life Skill: Data Sharing

The bottom line is data sharing. Instead of marketing, call it data sharing. In this digital age, you must exercise some level of data sharing. Yes, it is all about you sharing your data with the world. Young people are much more adept at this because they are growing up with it. Older folks tend to be resistant, reluctant and full of excuses - instead of just doing it. They don't realize their inaction is a loss of beneficial exposure.


When you have decent SEO/SEM content then you naturally produce organic search results.


Organic search remains the leading way USA adults find online information and websites according to a
Forrester Research survey.

Back to my point, the vast majority of the business owners with a web presence (web site and/or blog) do want some marketing, data sharing, accomplished. How do you get that results? Here are my 10 suggestions from over 15 years of working in producing measurable and credible web presences ….

Ten Proven Online Marketing Techniques

#1 Qualify your web presence by monitoring your SEO and SEM strategy and updating it as needed. However, once you make the links on your front page (home page), keep in mind, the more you change them the less attention they receive from Google. The first link strategy is MOST IMPORTANT, which is why SEOing an existing web site proves to be very tricky.

#2  Every day, use at least one discovery marketing technique and social marketing.

#3  Create your baseline measurements and record updates at least once weekly.

#4  Center your web marketing, data sharing, efforts around organic results because they have longevity, lasting through each engine software (algorithm) modification. If you need a quick hit of business, do search engine PPC (pay per click) like Google AdWords, but remember - relying on PPC as a cornerstone of marketing proves expensive; it will not last without continued financing.

#5 Local marketing results in Google, aka Pigeon algorithm, will be changing as Google’s commitment to small business is growing. Make sure you have your site coded for your geographic area.

#6  Double check that your web site or blog is viewable on mobile devices (phones, ipads). Use a responsive* format for this. If a user has trouble navigating your site they will just move on to another one.

#7 The semantics of your content is top priority in building and formatting your site. Google is producing search results based on analyzing the intent of your site, which is a few steps above keyword and key phrase strategy.  This is a MAJOR reason most web presences fail to achieve first page placement in search results.  Semantics is not what they taught you in school about writing term papers.

#8 Use HTML5 tags to help Google understand what you are providing. Don't overdue 'em.

#9 Monitor the speed of your web site/blog. Google will penalize you if you have a slow response time.

#10 Forget about building links. More importantly, spend that energy and effort on social marketing.

Those ten steps are a gold standard for your web presence success. Don't say you never got anything for free because you just did.

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What clients are saying ….
“Steu just recently redesigned our website and got us on the 1st page of Google, which we are very happy about :-) Our site has only been up and running a couple of weeks and it's already helped our business. Steu has been honest and easy to work with, we appreciate all the work he's done and would recommend him to others :-)"
~ Michele, Skye Roofing

"Steu Mann has been such a wonderfully reliable resource for our organization. He has put together a detailed, organized and easy-to-navigate web-page for Southern Oregon Soccer Academy. Not only is Steu technologically proficient, but he is also very easy to communicate with and is extremely responsive to our 'all too often' requests -which seems like a rarity within the Web/IT world. I would recommend Ez Web and Steu to all who need an intelligent, caring professional to create and manage your business website!"
~ Chris, Southern Oregon Soccer Academy

"I met Steu through some like minded friends a few years ago. I had no idea then how much his expertise and integrity would help me to succeed as a freelance writer ! He's been instrumental in setting my business up on the web, getting me great results from the search engines and has increased my site traffic and click throughs exponentially. He guarantees his work and gets you the results he promises. If you're out there trying to make your living on the web or just trying to get your business known on the web - you've got to give him a call ! In no time at all - you too could be showing up in the top 5 in GOOGLE !!"
~ Susan, Wood N Color

Wishing you the best, Steu

Steu Mann has over 35 years of professional experience and several careers in business and education, including a Masters in Curriculum & Instruction. His office is located in Ashland, Oregon where he works with business owners in SEO and online marketing consulting. He can be reached at

*Responsive web site is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

Monday, January 26, 2015

Online Marketing Trends: Discovery Marketing

Online Marketing Trends: Discovery Marketing
Put discovery marketing to work in your online marketing and keep pace with developing trends.

Web Site Design and Search Engine Optimization....

The marketing skills you have applied to your web site, or blog, quite literally will make or break your online reputation success.  It used to be that a web presence (site and/or blog) supplemented the promotion of your business. Not any more. Even if you only want to be recognized as a viable business, pretty much you need a web site. Last Friday, the Huffington Post reported that SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is the most sought after skill by all sized companies for their online marketing, second only to email marketing.

Successful SEO is more than icons on a page

A valid SEO strategy requires content that is built and maintained to meet specific marketing objectives. If you want to produce local geographic results your content is presented one way. To reach a national audience, or global audience, your content must be formatted differently. Plus, you need to know where to go and utilize online tools and communities to reach your target audience - maximize your online marketing.

The new buzz word, ‘discovery marketing,’ is slowly replacing the old buzz word of ‘search engine marketing.’ While search engines are still essential to any marketing strategy, there are a host of other social streams that will assist your online marketing.

The ways that consumers find websites, products, or answers have expanded from traditional search engines to include myriad social networks, content sites, and applications, among others. And the traditional search function is due to be even further disrupted by smart devices, machine learning, and context-aware content. Your SEO must take these new and developing trends into account - month by month.

To be successful, today, with your web presence you want to have a foundation of these three items:

1. a web presence that encompasses different channels where potential buyers can find you.
2. measurements in place, from the start, to report back what level of success you are accomplishing in 1) connecting to new potential buyers, along with 2) assessing your strategy.
3. method(s) to keep pace with developing trends in online marketing, so as to sustain your existing web presence or to expand it.

Hiring an experienced SEO expert

I am having my annual sale right now. This is the perfect time to boost your discovery marketing. It will last until 3 Feb., 2015. You will receive a 20% discount on design services, a 20% discount on SEO/SEM services, and FREE social marketing services. If you want to jump start or boost your online marketing, this is the best time to get started and save some money.

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Newly completed projects

Home business opportunity with GMO free and organic health products.

Life coaching and retreats in Mount Shasta for individuals or groups.

Used book store in Talent, Oregon with 2,000+ books in online inventory.

Authentic SEO results

When you search in Google you don't need to use the quotations marks.

Client: Bear Creek Placer LLC
“gold wash plants"
"placer mine consultants"

Client: Kwik Block
"universal pipe clamp"
"universal plastic pipe clamp"

Client: Pristine Detailing Services
"auto detailing southern oregon"
"professional auto detailing oregon"

Client: Ez Web Manifesting​
​"seo ashland" client:
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Client: Hill Top Landscaping​
​"medford landscaper"
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Client: Aztec Electrical
"medford electrician"
"electrical contractor medford”

Client: Dharma Cohen
"learn about orbs"
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What clients are saying

"Thanks for your work to redo our web site and get us to appear in the search engines. I appreciate your hard work."
~ Pat, Kwik Block

”When we first met, I could not find my web site even by searching on the company name. You solved that and put me on first page of Google results, just where I need to be. Thanks. “
~ Robert, Rogue River Roofing Co.

"My husband and I could not be more delighted with the services Steu has provided us with so far.  Before We met Steu we had obtained website and SEO services through another company, Steu couldn't of come at better time as we were completely frustrated with our current website services.  Steu was 100% clear on the services he would offer through out of contract period and so far he has stood behind everything he said he would do.  I have and will continue to refer customers to Steu.  He has answered every email and phone call and has met every request based on our Companies needs.  If you are looking for a great website service and would like to see your business grow,  then I can confidently say you will want have Steu apart of your team..  Thanks for everything Steu!!!"
~ Lisa, Aztec Electric

May your SEO efforts bring you more business and more good times, Steu

Steu Mann has over 35 years of professional experience and several careers in business and education, including a Masters in Curriculum & Instruction. His office is located in Ashland, Oregon where he works with business owners in SEO and online marketing consulting.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

SEO Issue: G+ counts being reset to zero

SEO Issue: G+ counts being reset to zero

One significant feature of social marketing is distinguishing how many people like your content. The trend was started back with FaceBook with their iconic "thumbs up" image. Nowadays the ability to "like" something on any page, post, or article is standard fare.

This ability to "like" something is so much a part of viewing the web that is has, in a way, become a sort of reputation builder. Think about it, when you go to a page and see a lot of "likes" you probably enter a silent judgement ....  the content is interesting, at the every least and maybe even informative.

Plus, this business of "liking" is an easy way to engage viewers/readers, which is fundamental to defining a web presence. It may not be a reliable stat as to the value of the content, but it does show traffic and engagement, two important pieces of every web presence strategy.

Issue With G+ Likes Disappearing

On almost any page or post you visit, you will see an ability to easily like it in Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (G+), and Twitter. While I prefer G+ over Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn I cannot continue to use it for myself or clients while the "like" count is randomly set to zero.

As someone who has worked on countless blogs for clients, along with my own blogs, I have noticed a function in G+ that will harm, hamper, and maybe dislodge a web reputation: the number of G+ likes being reset to zero. 

For example, this last week, on one post, there were 179 likes on Thursday. Friday morning there were zero. There doesn't appear to be a fix and it's a random problem, as far as I can tell from my research.

I have seen entire blogs where the G+  likes are wiped backed to zero on every post, and I have seen it happen in more than one blog ... and it has happened repeatedly.

An Example ....

Here is an example of a post from this blog:

According to Stats counter there should be 22 G+ likes .....

A few days ago there were 22 likes on the screen below - for this specific blog post. But, as you can see on screen shot below, taken this morning,  the G+ count is now 1.....


I found a forum post where they Google is requesting you provide them with some research about your blog:!category-topic/blogger/something-is-broken/other/windows/chrome/ITcxrjML660

Other than that, there is no solution, which is why - right now - G+ is pretty iffy to trust as a social marketing tool - IMHO.

While I have only tracked this issue with blog posts, it may well be happening to web site pages too, I am just too busy to track down all the numbers and analyze 'em.

If notice the G+ likes disappearing, I suggest visiting that forum link above to add your name to the list. And, you are welcome to like this post in G+, but there is a 50-50 chance your vote is gonna get erased.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Blogging Tutorial: how to update google doc content to preserve file link

Blogging Tutorial: how to update google doc content to preserve file link
Several people have asked me about ways to get around creating new links to a doc they have posted, so here is the answer for that one.

Let's say you have a newsletter and want to use the same link to publish your monthly newsletter on your blog.  This avoids the tribulations of making your readers/students always get a new link to bookmark you as a favorite ... in the event you don't have a web site where you can post the doc.

This is how you can accomplish that very easily. By the way, this applies whether you are updating a doc, spreadsheet, or image.

#1 Review my first blogging tutorial.


With the file opened that you want to update, go to the FILE menu and select OPEN
Blogging Tutorial

 Displaying the screen below ......
Blogging Tutorial

Next, upload the file that will make the content update. Bingo, you are done. Your file is automatically saved. Double check to make sure that the file is still published to the web and published as a link.


 First, open your spreadsheet you want to  update.

Next, go to the FILE menu and select IMPORT.
Blogging Tutorial

 This displays the screen below where you will select IMPORT.....
Blogging Tutorial

After the file is uploaded, you see the screen below....
Blogging Tutorial

I think in most cases you will be selecting "Replace Current Sheet" but if the file you are updating has more content than one sheet, pick "Replace Spreadsheet."

If you choose "Create New Spreadsheet"  you will have to provide a new file link to your readers/viewers.

That's all you need to do. Google automatically saves your content.


Was this update useful? If so, click the G+ button in the right hand column of this blog to be notified about future posts. If you have a question or idea on your project, send me an email.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

SEO: the most common mistake (video) by Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts joined Google as a software engineer in the very beginning of Google. He is currently the head of the Google webspam team.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

SEO: is your online presence sputtering?

SEO: is your online presence sputtering?If your online presence is in need to a boost, review these three focus areas.

Most Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts will tell you that SEO is not an exact science. And, those who have been doing this trade for a few years have the results to back up their claims: there are specific, proven, practices that will boost your online presence. 
With the right practices, anyone can see improvements in their web site reputations within 90 days. Here are three easy steps that you can implement, with some sweat equity, to boost your SEO - starting right now.

1. Research Key Words

These words and phrases are going to describe characteristics of your business products and services. In other words, this will be how people find you. Make sure your phrases are not attached to your business name since 1) potential new customers probably don't know your name anyways, 2) by default a decent SEO effort will naturally promote your business name, and 3) the goal of SEO is based on trending words being used in searches by users - NOW.

Use Google Trends or Good Analytics or Google Key Word Research or Bing Key Word Research to analyze your key word strategy. These are all free SEO tools.

As an example, a phase one of your SEO strategy would be to use your existing marketing slogans. After you are getting some visibility on those switch to using a more descriptive driven phrase approach. For example, let's say you sell health related products. Some of the characteristics of that business would be more energy/vitality, improved health, weight loss, and so forth.

2. Implement Key Words (but not over emphasize)

Use your key phrases in your content and in your meta tags. One workable strategy is using one phrase to start a paragraph. then filling in the remaining paragraph with support material and a summary sentence. My oh my, my English teacher would be proud of me here - so make yours proud too. After all, this is a basic paragraph structure that is super sized for SEO.

When possible make a hyper link from those key phrases to another blog post or page on your site. It's important that when you make links to your site from another site ..... use one of your researched key phrases to receive positive traction in the search engines.

3. Develop and implement your “Out Reach” strategy

To grow your web presence is to create a circle of influence. This is easily accomplished by enhancing your web reputation using free tools and proven strategies. One method is publishing educational articles at places like about your services and products. Another is finding web sites or blogs that have similar interests to your biz and doing reciprocal links with them: you link to their site and they link to yours. The third, definitely the most important, is blogging. Sure you can pay someone to do it, but where is the fun in that?  
The easiest way to receive more attention in search engines is blogging daily. Insure that your posts contain rich content that is educational, has pictures, and uses your key phrases/words as labels.

If you want some help or ideas, send me an email, or join my Google circles, on right column of this blog, to automatically receive future posts.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Blogging Tutorial: how to use Google Docs to post your documents

Blogging Tutorial: how to use Google Docs
Blogging is a great communication tool that's easy and FREE. In this data age, it's an invaluable data device for educators and businesses. Have you ever wanted to post a document with your blog, maybe a sign up form, a set of instructions, or a file that you want viewers to be able to print when they read your post?

Google docs is a perfect solution.  It works with and will accept Microsoft docs, Open Office docs, an image file (jpg or png), and pdf files too. That about covers any type of file format an educator or business could possible have.

Three simple steps to get this accomplished.

#1 Sign in to Google Docs

#2 Upload Your File

Blogging Tutorial: google docs
  A. Click the + icon to create a new document.

B. Open a new document: FILE > OPEN

Blogging Tutorial: google docs

Blogging Tutorial: google docs
C.  In the "Open a File" window select "Upload" to find the file you want to share in your blog post.

#3 Save Your File and Get the Link

In the new window that is displayed look at the to of the screen to find these icons:
Blogging Tutorial: google docs
Now, pick the icon of a person with + symbol that displays the screen below.
Blogging Tutorial: google docs
Next, click the gray icon with a chain link in the top right corner of that screen, displaying the screen below.
Blogging Tutorial: google docs
The last step, copy [CONTROL +C windows,  COMMAND C mac]  that highlighted link and paste it where ever you want to allow access to this document. Where ever you paste that link, is where people can access the file you just created in google docs.

Examples .......
Here is the web site:

Blogging Tutorial: google docs
Both the "Newsletter tab and the Instructor List tab are links to google docs. The newsletter is a pdf file that was uploaded. The Instructor List is a jpg file.

Hope this was helpful. If you want more updates, click my circles on the right hand side of the screen to receive notices when these posts are published.

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