Tag Archives: marketing

Getting Google to Know You

Jennifer Tanzi

Jennifer Tanzi

Here is a helpful article for novice small business operators looking to understand the impact of SEO on their sales as written by my guest, Jennifer Tanzi of Buydomains.com:

Using SEO to Court Search Engines

Ever since Google became a verb, small business owners have wondered about guaranteeing prime placement when prospective clients go a-typing in their search engines. Times have changed since you simply added “AAA” to your business name and scored first place in the yellow page listings. Marketing yourself is more complicated in the digital age, but with a little bit of insight and a few simple steps, you can catch the eyes of those search engines, and propel your businesses name up those prospective clients’ lists of results.

You know how people use name repetition (sometimes relentlessly) to remember yours? (“Hi, Sandra, so good to meet you, Sandra. Can I get you a beverage, Sandra? Sandra, let me take your coat.”) Search Engine Optimization — SEO — works kind of the same way. Repeating key phrases in your domain name and throughout your website pages makes your business more appealing to the search engines. Once they find you, so will all those new clients. You just need to put some thought into choosing the right keywords, and some craft into your copy so your message sounds fresh, and not repetitive.

First, figure out your key keywords. Let’s say you sell organic lavender, tended and harvested on your own pristine acres of New England farmland. You’ve done your homework on choosing domain names that attract type-in traffic and landed one that screams “organic lavender” right there in the URL. Now, how can you ensure that every person looking for your product sees your business name in lights when they go Metacrawling?

Perhaps your website boasts glorious photos of lavender plants so vivid you can smell them through the screen, and describes memorably the many attributes of your farm — the perfectly tended soil, the soothing scents of the lavender as you coax the shoots from the earth. But when Elinor the Florist needs a supplier for her tremendously successful hand-tied organic bouquets, what words will she type into her search engine? Organic lavender. And, since she wants to go local, maybe also, “New England.”

So there you have ‘em. New England. Organic. Lavender.

Your new SEO keywords, New England organic lavender, should appear five or six times on each page of 500 – 600 words of copy. So your site needs to describe the perfectly tended soil of your New England organic lavender farm, the soothing scents of your New England organic lavender plants as you coax the shoots from the soil. Placement of the keywords is critical, too. You should include them in <H1> header tags, in your first paragraph and in links throughout the site.

As you master SEO, there are a few pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. Vary the titles and meta data of your pages, so that if several different pages of your site pop up in the search results, customers see difference slices of information about your business from your site.
When you’ve mastered the SEO strategies, test your efforts. Cruise the web yourself to see which sites your keywords bring up, and what your competitors are doing differently to place high in the results. And be sure to use web analytics on your site so you know exactly how your visitors are finding you.

To small business owners, those search engines might at first seem a fickle bunch. But once they get to know you — through SEO — they are really going to love you.

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Filed under SEO, Small Business Marketing

Should Companies Embrace Facebook?

bivI was interviewed for a cover article that appeared in this week’s edition of Business In Vancouver. The story reads “Surge in Social Networking Rings Corporate Security Alarms” and talks about the rising use of platforms such as Facebook and the potential negative affects it could have on the workplace. Privacy and security are increasing concerns as more people congregate, share and communicate online. I don’t disagree, particularly when it’s employees of companies disclosing corporate information not intended for the public on a ‘company Facebook page’. This is particularly true with publicly traded companies. The same careful administration bestowed to a company website, should also be taken with a Facebook page or Ning community site or Myspace space.

But this shouldn’t stop your company from embracing these social media tools and platforms, which allow you to reach prospects and customers in a meaningful and massive way like no other. First, you’re reaching them where they go and on their terms. At Facebook, a user will only get updates on your company if they opt-in by becoming a fan. At Twitter, a user will only receive your messages if they become a follower. They also have the power to share it with their friends, fans and followers instantly, giving you some viral love in return.

And second, these tools aren’t trendy, they’re cultural. More and more people find these tools to be just way too simple and powerful to ignore. And the price is right. Our raw and primitive need to communicate and connect will never change. How we do, does and will. And technology leads the way in helping us serve that need cheaper, faster and easier. These tools and platforms are revolutionizing the way we communicate and connect, and businesses may as well learn how to use them to their benefit, and not their detriment. Below is an excerpt from the article:

While a company may not be able to control negative comments that are posted on the Internet, the web’s interactivity allows companies to respond to them. “There’s a whole etiquette to social networking that not everybody gets,” said Rajan Sodhi, vice-president of marketing at PEER 1 Network Enterprises Inc. (TSX: PIX). One consistent rule is to communicate openly, honestly and often.

Vancouver-based PEER 1 uses a number of social networking tools and has an employee whose sole role is to cultivate the company’s online presence. PEER 1 also monitors the Internet for content that mentions the company. “It can be positive or negative,” said Sodhi. “If it’s something [about PEER 1] they aren’t happy with, we acknowledge them right then and there.” As well as reacting publicly on a blog or network on which a negative comment was posted, PEER 1 will usually follow-up with a phone call.

“We’re a real believer that these social media tools and platforms are here to stay,” said Sodhi, who is the administrator of PEER 1’s Facebook site. “You can be fearful of it and not embrace it, but I think you’re going to lose one of the best tools for communicating and reaching your market.”

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Filed under Business, Communications, Facebook, Internet, marketing, MySpace, Ning, Online marketing tactics, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral

Poll on Marketing Spend

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Communications, Internet, marketing, Selling, Small Business Marketing

Full Colour Intel Ad Looks Awful in Black and White

Intel ad creative that wasn’t quite thought out completely. Yet another example that a big ad budget can buy you lots of ad space, but not a collective brain. Here is an excerpt from the the original post in Fortune:

To promote the speed of its Core 2 Duo Processor, Intel releases a print ad featuring six bare-shouldered black sprinters crouched in their starting positions beneath a white guy dressed for the office. “We made a bad mistake,” says Don MacDonald, the company’s director of global marketing. “I know why and how, but that doesn’t make it better.”

read more | digg story

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Communications, marketing, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Word-of-Mouth

Internet Marketing Key to Obama Win

Barack Obama wins Democratic nominationParticularly interesting post on the Wired blog that illustrates how Barack Obama’s branding and marketing campaign usage of the Internet played a key role in propelling him victory of the Democrat nomination. Below is an excerpt with a link to the original post:

“It’s impossible to imagine Barack Obama’s rise without the modern methods that his campaign used to organize itself, particularly around the internet,” says Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of the nonprofit think tank the New Democratic Network. “This really was the most successful campaign of the 21st century.”

“This is what happens when you have a charismatic candidate, and you organize on a scale not seen before,” he adds. “Literally, the size and scale of this is unprecedented in American political history, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the money, and passion, and support of millions of American people.”

The campaign came up with a number of innovations on the internet. It used wikis — online collaborative software — to coordinate and churn out precinct captains in both California and Texas. And it created a counter-viral e-mail campaign to combat the anonymous e-mail smears that question his religious faith and patriotism. It set up policy pages that solicited ideas from supporters, and at one point, the campaign solicited letters from supporters over the internet to lobby the undecided superdelegates.

And Obama’s campaign constantly updated its YouTube channel to keep its supporters around the country up to speed on his latest speeches.

Read full story

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Filed under advertising, Barack Obama, Blogging, Branding, Communications, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Public Relations, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral, Web 2.0, Web Sites, Word-of-Mouth, youtube

Telly Awards for Our Online Videos

PEER 1 Receives Four Telly AwardsIn past posts, I’ve profiled some of the online video work we’ve been doing at PEER 1 to promote the company’s web hosting services. A press release went out yesterday to announce that two of our videos, Growing Pains and Plentyoffish.com Customer Story received four Telly Awards for originality and creativity. We’ve had a lot of fun putting these videos together and it’s nice to see them get some recognition. Special thanks go out to Talkie21 Studios and OnDemand Production for their excellent work on these projects.

Videos Below:

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Brian Adler, Business, Co-location, Communications, data center, Dating, Hosting, Humor, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, Markus Frind, Online marketing tactics, PEER 1, Plentyoffish.com, ServerBeach, servers, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, video, Viral