Is Your Business Website Struggling Without Search Engine Optimization?

Let’s first of all clarify what SEO services are all about – here is a definition from Wikipedia

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.

In general, the earlier (or higher on the page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.  SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a website web presence.”

SEO Search Engine OptimisationThis sounds like a foreign language if you have never ventured into the world of online marketing. If you are a business owner who is considering having a website built – read on…

You have thrown the idea around about getting a website for some time now and you’re a bit skeptical and possibly a little nervous about it.  However, you are reluctantly coming to the realisation that you need to have a website.  So you ask around and see what it will cost you.   Anything from $3,000 – $10,000 (and often more) is what you hear.  That’s a lot of money to invest!

Here’s what usually happens.

You contact a website development company and immediately enter a strange world where people speak a different language.  After much discussion with the website developer and a lot of “techie” talk that makes you feel uncomfortable and completely out of your depth, you take the plunge and commission your website and hope like hell that the developer knows what he or she is doing.  The $7,500 you have just spent seems ludicrous and irrational, but you tell yourself “I have to have it – all my competitors have – and it will really grow my sales!”.
[Read more…]

On Search Engine Optimization, Rogue Web Designers And Integrity

Following on from my recent post called “Guess What! Google Hates Your New Business Website And Will Never Rank It!” there have been some further developments to the story.

If you haven’t read it I expressed my dismay – no not dismay, disgust! – about a New Zealand web design company which approached me about the 2,000 plus websites they had developed for NZ businesses.

As a search engine optimization consultant I let them know what I thought about their pretty but useless for SEO  Flash based websites and their claim that for an extra $100 the business could have the top Google result for the keyword of their choice!

Totally dishonest claims and I let them know in a reply to their email.

Anyway I received a follow-up phone call a couple of days ago and I think you will be blown away by the sheer mind-boggling audacity of this company!

“Hi Mike, just checking to see if you had looked at our website designs and to see if you are interested in perhaps purchasing a new website…”

Wow!

I asked whether the caller had received my email reply and was told that the company director had probably got that one.

So I explained what I thought about a business which had built over 2,000 Flash based websites with the promise of being found in the top search results and how I considered this to be dishonest and misleading.

[Read more…]

10 Personality Types You Don’t Want Managing Your Social Media

It is absolutely essential that your social media business pages are managed by someone who understands your brand, your company philosophies and the goals of the social media campaign.

Too often we see the reins being passed to a junior staff member because they already have a Facebook page or are on Twitter! Or anyone who knows anything at all about Facebook or Twitter.

Prepare for the slow-motion train wreck that will inevitably follow.

Take careful note of the recent celebrity tweets that have landed the tweeter in hot water or the badly handled brand reputation crises that have gone viral and done irreparable damage to the company name.

This is an area that needs professional management…

But just for a bit of fun I have outed the personality types that you want absolutely nowhere near your social media marketing management!

1. The Reactive Type

You know this one! Every communication from another social media user which seems like it is in any way critical is replied with a serious put-down or an insult. Think of the stand-up comic delivering a witty one-liner to a heckler. Except in social media it isn’t humourous at all – it looks like your company is paranoid and has a bit of a nasty streak! And you will alienate not only those that the sarcasm is directed at but most other people who read it as well.

2. The non-listener

Yes, a very familiar beast this one. You know the people you are in the middle of a conversation with who can’t wait for you to finish what you are saying because they have something way more important to share. They are likely to talk over the top of you and glaze over as soon as you reply so they can think of the next momentous comment! Put these ones in charge of your social media pages and they will talk at people all day long but never engage in a real conversation by actually listening.

3. The Drunk Tweeter

Oh dear! It has been a fun night out hasn’t it? “I’m abshowludely fiiine… I might just share some really hilari… hilari… funny things on Twitter…” That’s not the company account you have just logged into is it? This is probably not the best time to make fun of the CEO of the company is it? And you may not think that photo you took on your iPhone at 1am is quite so funny in the cold sober light of day! D’oh!

[Read more…]

Wake-Up Call for Brick and Mortar Businesses – Social Media Marketing Does Work!

Brick and mortar businesses need a wake-up call – for their own sake!  Many are taking a long time to figure out that marketing has taken a giant leap into a completely new social arena which has not only transformed the way we live our lives but also the way we conduct our businesses.

And for those of you who think social media is just for the young ones, think again.

Social media for businessesUsers in the category “aged 55 and over” are increasingly connecting with companies through social media.

Agreed, it has taken mature web users a few years to embrace social networking, but they are now becoming the fastest growing segment of users on Facebook and Twitter.  The interesting fact is that they are also developing social media habits that have previously been the domain of younger adults and that is – connecting with brands.   Statistics show that in November 2010, the mature audience (over 50’s) had actually begun to close the gap – and by April 2011 up to nearly half of them were connecting with brands.
[Read more…]

Did Google’s Panda Update Smash Article Marketing?

There has been much wringing of hands and much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth about the latest and greatest Google algorithm update.

First of all if you were not aware of what the Panda Update was and what it was meant to do, here is a quick summary.

Panda update for SEOThe Panda update (sometimes called the Farmer Update) had a specific target in mind. When Matt Cutts (head of Google webspam) and his team of “spammer hunters and destroyers” formulated these changes they were going after some pretty common pests.

We know SEO has been packaged and sold to every online spammer and frantic marketing zealot out there –

“No wait, don’t leave this page! You can now get the front page of Google in 27 seconds for… no, not $697, not even $67, yes – you have just 14 seconds to buy at an amazing $27…

…oh, and a monthly fee of just $99… and in 14 seconds we will be taking down this offer foreeevvveeerrr!!!”

Yes, we have seen these so many times!
[Read more…]

10 Facebook Mistakes That Will Get You Unliked, Unfriended, Blocked, Reported And Even Banned!

Everyone is on Facebook, right?

Now over half a billion users are on Facebook which means that if Facebook was a country it would be the third largest country in the world…

Impressive isn’t it!

And everyone knows that Facebook is an endless source of leads, traffic, and anything else you could possibly want.

This is the main problem – so many people throw themselves at Facebook with a frenzied “market at everything that moves” approach which is doomed to failure.

Social Media MistakesSo here I have compiled 10 Facebook mistakes which will not only annoy many, many Facebook users but will no doubt get your butt kicked off the platform if you persist!

Facebook Mistake #One

When you accept a friend request follow up by posting a link to your “get rich quick” business opportunity on the new friend’s wall! This is a classic and it happens over and over again. Why would you even think someone would be happy to have you post a great big fat advertisement on a wall which most people try to make reflect who they are and what they do…

Facebook Mistake #Two

Comment on a thread where people are having a conversation by adding something that is completely unrelated followed by a link to your iPad giveaway, business opportunity or whatever. Now everyone will of course appreciate you doing this… Think of it like being at a party having a really interesting conversation with someone and a complete stranger walks up and interrupts with “I made $17,341 in just three days last week! Find out how you can too!” Hmmmm….
[Read more…]

Social Search! What Is It And How Does It Affect Twitter Business Use?

Using Twitter Or Facebook For Business?

Well, they have been working on the concept of Social Search for some time now (they being both Google and Bing)!

And, now, finally it is here…

And the repercussions for online marketing are massive.

The advent of Social Search has blasted the importance of Facebook and Twitter into the stratosphere!

Take a look at this video from Google to see how this works: Google’s New Social Search Video Here

I have been banging on for a long time now about how important marketing with social media is for any business and I have also been quite clear on a couple of very important points.

Is your business ready?

Numbers in social media are important!

It is not all about ego either – the more potential people you can communicate with and send information to the more potential customers and business people you can build relationships with.

Let’s not forget though that social media marketing is not about pitching the whole time. It is about sharing quality content with in-depth analysis, opinions, researched articles as well as sharing things that interest you in order to build a full picture of who you are and what you are about.

It is about being grateful when some other social media user shares your content with their friends or followers.

And it is about knowing how often to speak – does the thought of following someone who has tweeted 60,000 times terrify you too? Unfollow quickly!
[Read more…]

Small Business Internet Marketing | Google Maps SEO Power

Google Maps To Accelerate Small Business Internet Marketing

If you have a business which may benefit from leverage in Google Places (maps) and Local Listing websites there are a number of major benefits to getting this technique right – first time.

The sort of businesses which will reap the rewards from this type of campaign are typically retail or service oriented. If you have a retail store or you are in any business which involves the need for customers to be somewhere relatively close to you : Doctors, mechanics, plumbers, therapists, lawyers, accountants, retailers, fitness centres, restaurants and so on.

No use trying to book an appointment with some business in another city or even country. So if you are in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or you are searched on the Internet by a customer from your own suburb in New Zealand by using these strategies you will show up for keywords above some pretty heavy duty SEO optimized sites even if your website has minimal page rank.

And it doesn’t matter which country you use this technique in – your local searchers will find you!

This is why Google has created this very powerful option.
[Read more…]

Social Media Is A Powerful Add-On To SEO Strategies

What is Social Media and how can it benefit an online marketing campaign?

Why would you waste your time messing around with Facebook or Twitter?

Isn’t that the site that the kids use to talk to their friends and to post pictures?

Wrong!

There is an assumption that is prevalent – particularly here in New Zealand – that LinkdIn is the only social networking site “professionals” would use. The other sites are spammy or for following celebrities or just plain juvenile.

Wrong again!

And this is in no way bagging LinkdIn. It is a very effective platform for networking and creating connections that could lead to business opportunities.

But… and I will go out on a limb here… the real business growth comes from three massive social media platforms!

What are they?
[Read more…]

Finding Keywords – Great Keywords! – Why This Is So Crucial To Your SEO Campaign!

Keywords!

What are they exactly?

Why are so many marketers getting this part of the search engine marketing package so very wrong?

Time and time again I come across websites and content which have vague, generic keywords. The upshot of this is that all of the hard work creating content, optimizing sites is absolutely pointless.

If you are targeting keywords which are over competitive and which have front page domination by Government and authority sites, your business will be relegated to the also-rans on pages 2 or 3 or worse.

Result? Minimal traffic. Minimal sales. Under-performing website!

OK! Lets give a brief outline of what you should be looking for in keyword phrases.

Firstly – keywords are the phrases which people are typing in to the various search bars (mainly Google at about 70% of searches) when they are looking for an answer, a product, a solution to a problem or a service.

There are many different tools which aid the experienced marketer to uncover the most searched phrases online (we use several of these). By using these tools we can find phrases which are already getting high traffic on a monthly basis and we are able to dig deeper depending on whether we are looking at a global or a local search – obviously there is no point in a plumber being found in search results in another country. Having a top SEO consultant is essential here.

But, here is the important part.
[Read more…]