Posted by seo_writer_kvn as Internet Marketing
There are millions of consumers using the internet everyday. The web is by far the largest pool of potential customers and clients ever seen, but how many of those users are good prospects for your business? A national advertising campaign is great for companies that sell nationally, but if you’re a hair stylist in Los Angeles you’ll be wasting your money promoting yourself in New York. Luckily, there is a way to narrow down the geographic area you target for new business. It’s called local internet marketing.
A good example of local internet marketing is Google Maps. Registering your physical location with Google will give you instant high page rank for your industry. In fact, if someone is looking for a stylist in your neighborhood, the map will show up before anything else. If there are others in the area who have registered with Google Maps, you may end up sharing the space, but that will still put you firmly on page one. It’s the type of first page placement you can’t pass up if you need local business.
Another form of local internet marketing is submitting to local search engines. Many business owners don’t even know that search engines outside of Google, Yahoo, and Bing exist, but there are dozens in each metropolitan area that target the customers you want to reach. We submit all of our clients to them and find high PR local directories that will bring in significant link juice. Our goal as an organic SEO firm is to get you on to the first page as soon as possible. Local search engines are a great way to do that.
Here at Webwise Media, we target local keywords and general keywords for our clients. The locals hit first because so few internet marketing companies actually pay attention to them. By posting articles and blog posts that contain these local keywords we increase your chances of getting local traffic. If your business needs exposure in your own community to be successful, we have an organic SEO plan that can work for you. Contact us any time to learn more.
Local internet marketing techniques are often limited to a few tried-and-true favorites. By and large, they map well directly onto the list of non-local internet marketing techniques; there are locale-specific variations of pay-per-click marketing, certain tricks that make sure your organic SEO strategies affect your rank in local listings, and so on.
There are also local internet marketing gurus that will tell you to do things like post ads on locale-specific classified ad sites (your local newspaper is probably a good example), or to join Facebook groups specific to your hometown and promote your business via social networks. These methods absolutely work — no bones about it. But they are only the beginning of the variations on local internet marketing that can be put to work for you.
One of the biggest routes to improving your foot traffic by changing things online involves getting changes made to your listings. Much like a traditional yellow pages ad, almost every directory of businesses offers an improved listing option. That option will cost a little bit of money, but the result — that surfers tend to see your ads first and might actually just miss a competitor’s ad altogether due to the difference in size and coloration — is worth almost any amount of money.
At the same time, many search engines and directory services rely on surfers to put in information about their local businesses — which means that you might not even be listed at all! Few SEO companies keep a decently comprehensive listing of local directories in order to make sure you’re on them — most will be content with making sure you show up on Google and Bing! and just leave it at that. Focusing on getting your name onto as many such sites as possible will improve your exposure dramatically for not that much effort.
One final rarely-used method of marketing your business locally is a mass Email. Very much akin to a physical mail-out, a mass mailing will usually require you to get a list of emails known to be local to your business and then, well, mail them! A single mass Emailing can bring significant business, and is almost never considered spam
Take full advantage of ALL of the local internet marketing services available to you — get in touch an expert organic SEO company and ask about it.
Mobile website design is the most cutting-edge tool that many businesses have for reaching a broader audience than even traditional Internet marketing will allow. One of the most often-stated benefits of marketing online is that the Internet is open 24/7/365, worldwide — but associated with that is the idea that the Internet is still locational insofar as you have to be at a computer in order to access it. Of course, anyone with a smartphone knows that that isn’t true anymore, but a lot of web based businesses just haven’t kept up with the times.
Mobile website design is your opportunity to make sure that you don’t fall behind. Back in 2002, Americans voted on the most important technology they used in their everyday lives, and cellphones came in at #4, behind television, landline phones, and Internet. Five short years later, the same pool in 2007 revealed that suddenly smartphones had become the number one technology Americans loves — and that 3 in 5 cellphone users take the phones to bed with them.
In terms of getting real business from your mobile-friendly website, think about this: in 2009, Google got 113 billion total searches — 1 billion from smartphones. In 2010, there were 127 billion total searches on Google, an increase of 13% — but there were 1.5 billion searches from smartphones, an increase of 50%. That growth rate is predicted to continue for at least the next couple of years, to a whopping 3.5 billion total searches in 2012. This is a quickly-expanding demographic that businesses can’t afford to ignore.
Furthermore, the searches that people make from their smartphones are increasingly local searches, making mobile website design even more critical for offline businesses. Mike Steib, Google’s Director of Emerging Platforms, said “Google has seen a 500% growth in local mobile search from 2008 to 2010 and a 67% increase in mobile queries in the last quarter alone.”
If you have a small brick-and-mortar business and your website won’t show up on an iPhone, you’re already losing money. Get yourself a mobile-friendly website, to a little bit of local internet marketing, and get in the game!
There should be only one goal in SEO: first page placement. If you can’t get on the first page — and, realistically, in the top 4 entries of the first page — for a particular keyword, you might as well not be ranked at all. That’s because, as far as surfers are concerned, the farther down the page you are, the less important and less relevant you get. According to a study done at Cornell University, the amount of clicks and time spent on a particular link is directly impacted by how far down the page you get:
That’s right — the first link gets more than half of all clicks, and the second gets less than fifteen percent of all clicks. Working backwards, that means that if you’re looking at competing for two keywords — we’ll say “website SEO” and “organic SEO” as random examples — things might not be as intuitive as they seem.
If “website SEO” gets only 60 searches/day and “organic SEO” gets 200 searches/day, you’d think that ranking for “organic SEO” would be much better for your business. On the other hand, if a little research into your competition reveals that you could potentially knock the current top-ranked “website SEO” site off of it’s perch, but you’ll have a much harder time ranking for “organic SEO” and you’ll have to be content with 2nd place on that results page — well, you’re choosing between 53% of 60 (31 clicks per day) or 13% percent of 200 (30 clicks per day). If you can’t even get to 2nd place for “organic SEO”, well, you’re even worse off.
The top of page 2, for the record, only gets about 1% of the clicks, so quite literally, if you’re not getting first page placement for your targeted keyword, your SEO isn’t doing its job.
Now, there is a huge caveat to be thrown in here, and that is that SEO is a process, not a goal. You can work your butt off focusing on a killer keyword for months and only get to the top of Page 2 — and then have something like a PageRank update hit or some other event abruptly drive you into the top 3 of that keyword overnight. Just because you haven’t gotten there yet doesn’t mean you won’t at all. The important part is knowing exactly what prize to keep your eyes on, and not stopping until you’ve achieved it.
No ifs, ands, or buts — if you own a web-based small business, SEO is the single most important thing you can invest your early returns into. SEO is very distinct from marketing, though the two have similar effects on your business in the end. The goal of both is to get digital customers through your virtual door — or, more accurately, to get web surfers to spend a while looking at your site.
The difference is that marketing — at least, in the traditional sense of advertisements — tends to be a one-time, hit-or-miss campaign. You put out an ad, and either everyone loves it and you see some significant boost in traffic, or everyone hates it and you don’t. There’s not much gray area, and there’s also not much by way of lingering effects.
SEO, on the other hand, is just the opposite. It’s not a one-time investment — well, some parts of it are, but there is never any end to the off-page SEO work that can and should be done. But unlike an advertising campaign, website SEO is cumulative. So while the first month of even year of SEO might not be as effective in the short term as a solid advertising campaign, it builds — and it keeps building.
Solid SEO will drive customers to your website forever, and passively. Well, semi-passively — you don’t ever get to call it done and just sit back and watch the customers keep trickling in indefinitely. Eventually, if you stop getting backlinks and attention from other sites, you will end up falling off the rankings, and your customer flood will turn into a trickle. But it is passive in that the customers themselves don’t need any of your attention to get to your website — because they’ll find it on the search engine results pages whenever they search for a relevant keyword.
It might not have the impressive returns of a successful traditional advertising campaign, but search engine optimization is the key to long-term, ever-increasing traffic — and that’s what every small online business needs more than anything else.
Of all of the sales strategies that internet marketers put to good use, none is as accurate, as subtle, or as effective as targeted email marketing. Like a shuriken, a targeted email will come out of the night, score an indelible line across the mind of the reader, and cause him to bleed…bleed money!
The key to targeted email marketing is the targeting. The process of building the list that you’ll send emails to is the key behind that accuracy. If you collect emails from anywhere — you could rent a list, for example, or use malware to collect millions of addresses — you’ll end up hemorrhaging money. But if you set up a specific, relevant, and attractive offer — say, you offer people a free guide to eliminating the annoying zits they get on their back as a prelude to selling them a book on how to eliminate zits on their face — you end up with a much smaller list, but the people on it will actually READ your emails much more often.
That does mean that you have to have a site, drive traffic to it, and of course create the offer in the first place. How you do it isn’t actually all that relevant — pay-per-click works just as well for this purpose as honest organic SEO does. All we care about at this point is that people understand what you’re offering ahead of time, and they sign up with that knowledge in mind.
Once you’ve got them reading your emails, your next goal is to build credibility. Send them a dozen emails about your topic that share minor insights, all without asking anything of them. You want them to think of you as someone who is generously helping them, not as a salesman who is waiting to pounce. Then, you pounce.
There is no group of people more likely to buy from you than the group of people who have already bought from you — but the second most likely group are the ones who have been religiously reading your insights for weeks on end. Give them a good reason to think highly of you, don’t make your offer sound cheesy or desperate, and the conversions will roll in. Then, you can start a second, ‘elite’ list for the people who buy your first product — and start working on your second, knowing you’ve got several dozen customers already lined up.
Many website owners are a little worried about companies that claim to provide affordable SEO. They believe — many because of prior experience — that the only SEO that works is the SEO that costs a significant amount. Fortunately for the rest of us, they’re wrong.
Now, there is a single inescapable fact about SEO that makes the ‘expensive = better’ concept seem quite reasonable: when it comes to building backlinks and other off-page SEO, the more man-hours you put in, the better off you are. But there’s a corollary to that — if you put in too many man-hours at once, you can sabotage your own efforts.
This is because the search engines are quite sensitive to how ‘naturally popular’ websites grow: they get linked to a few times each day from a variety of sources, then as they start to gain momentum they’ll see several dozen links each day from similar sources (usually because of a press release or a similar syndicated article). Finally, as they become mainstream, they’ll start getting hundreds of backlinks from every conceivable source every day.
The hitch here is that, during those early stages, there are many ways in which having too many man-hours put into the backlinking process can result in your site getting sandboxed — in other words, the search engines will assume that you’re gaming the system, and simply refuse to list your site at all. For that reason, there’s a simple upper limit to the amount that it’s reasonable to charge for SEO services. If what you’re looking at for your website isn’t affordable, you have to ask yourself why. It’s not because they’re working any harder — they can’t, or they’ll get your site tanked.
Is it really all that likely that they have secret proprietary SEO knowledge that no one else has, and they’re going to put it to work for you? The answer is no — if they had that kind of understanding, they’d be working for companies much larger than yours. No, the reason some website SEO companies are less affordable is simply because they know that they can get away with charging more. There’s a sucker born every minute, or so the saying goes.
First page placement is the holy grail of web business – and anyone can achieve it if they put strong organic SEO practices into play early and constantly. In the last article, we talked about how pay-per-click management is a great way to give a new web business a very fast start — but what about the rest of the race? That’s where you need to optimize your page for the search engines while keeping it natural enough that humans can intuitively use it without hiccups.
That optimization falls into two categories — on-page and off-page SEO. The number of detailed rules to follow in each category is far to great to meaningfully condense into a single blog post, but the basics are generally quite sensible.
On-page SEO consists mostly of making sure that your page is arranged in a layout that the search engine’s spiders will understand, having a clearly accessible site map, and emphasizing the most important part of your content. There are other rules regarding meta tags, outgoing links, and various other tiny little tricks like putting keywords into the alt and title tags of your graphics, but they start to get very minor very quickly. The big impact comes from what you choose to put first and last on the page. The search engines generally assume that, like a college essay, your point comes first, and then is repeated at the end — so those two areas have the most impact on what Google thinks your web page is about.
Off-page SEO is a far more robust and interesting topic than on-page SEO under most circumstances. While there are only so many things you can do to your website, there are a virtually infinite number of things you can do on OTHER websites that have an impact on your website. Some people who know a little bit about SEO are content to think of off-page SEO as various versions of ‘making backlinks’, but that’s much akin to saying that engineering a bridge is one version of ‘building stuff’.
By applying the precepts of on-page SEO while you first build a website, and then continuously using the power of off-page SEO to create an ever-increasing network of support for your website, you will eventually rank well for a wide variety of keywords relevant to your niche — and that’s how you win a marathon.
PPC Management is a love-it-or-hate-it deal. Either you’ve had a bad experience where you lost money, or you’ve heard other people tell you it’s complicated and scary and you don’t want to get involved — or you’ve tried it and made money doing it, and you want to do it more (and better!). Most business owners who fall into that last category realize quickly that ‘more and better’ both come in the same package — a PPC management company. There’s just too much to do it all yourself, at least if you plan to make any really serious money with it.
Pay per click marketing is kind of like a rocket trying to escape gravity. You put money in (fuel), and you pick your keywords carefully (aligning your booster), and you click ‘go’. If you’ve done it right, the traffic will come in (rocket goes up), and the money you make (thrust) will exceed the money you spend (gravity). If you’ve done it wrong, your rocket comes sputtering back to earth, crashes, and leaves you staring at the burning wreckage and wondering what went wrong (and how you’ll pay for it all).
But that’s an incomplete analogy, because unlike a rocket, the website never reaches orbit. So long as you’re using pay-per-click marketing, you’re going to have to pay for more fuel constantly. Any sane businessman is going to want to get off of PPC management eventually (and on to some serious organic SEO if all goes well.)
So here’s a different analogy that may be more accurate: Organic SEO, with its backlinks and blogs and articles and SERPS, is like a marathon. Everyone has the same goal: to reach the end, where they can sit back and relax and watch their magnificent SEO cause floods of organic traffic that convert into sales and fill the bank account. Everyone might eventually get there, but PPC management is essentially like some special shoes that allow you to get a running start, getting serious money flowing long before you get near the end of the marathon, and essentially shortening the race by putting you a few miles in by the time the other runners are just slipping into their pace.
Ten words or less: PPC management is the head start you need to win.
How do you check your email? How do you browse when you want to find something on the web? Do you wait until you go home and fire up the desktop or do you maybe go to the nearest WiFi hotspot and log on with your laptop? Chances are you do none of the above. If you’re like most people on the go today, you do your browsing and emailing from your mobile device. That’s why mobile website design has become a necessity for businesses that rely on internet traffic. It’s no longer optional.
If you’re new to this type of thing and don’t know what mobile website design is, browse your favorite site on your regular computer and then try it again on your mobile device. You will either not be able to see it or you’ll see an entirely different, trimmed down version of it designed specifically for mobile devices. This is a modification that is made by the company you’re browsing if they choose to do it. If they don’t, they will lose mobile traffic to one of their competitors. Get the picture?
Webwise Media, known primarily for our effective and affordable SEO, recommends that you take advantage of our mobile web design service to make sure that you capture all of the traffic you possibly can. This is particularly important if you have a product or service you’re trying to market to younger people or busy professionals. You cannot afford to not be visible on a mobile device. The technology is improving and it’s now possible to view most graphics on newer devices, but what about all those folks out there who still have phones and PDA’s which can’t display complex graphics? They will never even see what you have to offer, never mind have the option of buying it.
The world of the internet and internet marketing changes rapidly. In the past ten years we’ve already seen developments that were regarded as science fiction or fantasy a few decades back. Remember the hand held devices on the old Star Trek TV series? You’re holding one in your hand right now. Can you view your own website with it? Give us a few hours to design you a mobile site and you’ll be able to.