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Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Quick Blog About . . . well. . . Blogging!

Blogging doesn't have to be a mind bender.
If you still haven't started blogging (or you have a blog and fail to use it) then this post is for you!

The main reason people (business owners) don't blog is that they don't understand why it's a necessary part of any business website and, quite often, they don't even know how to begin.

Well despite the great value a blog adds to a site in terms of keyword rich content, blogs also reveal the personality of the owner and the culture of the company making it easy for people to want to do business with you. Using an out-of-the-box blogging program like blogger makes it easy for the "blogosphere" to pick up your content and leads to more site traffic. 
In addition, blogs are great for promoting your business via social media. 

Like everything in life, blogging starts with a first post. Some people get real hung up on creating long, thoughtful, informative posts. Don't. Blog posts don't need to be anything more than a paragraph or two on something that is meaningful to you! Here are a few ideas:

  • Have an idea? Put it out there and see what your readers think.
  • See something interesting on your way to the office? Write about it. . .
  • Did something funny happen? Tell the story. . .
  • Going on a business trip or vacation? Tell the audience . . .
The point is, your blog doesn't have to be always about your business. Be transparent by making it about your whole business & your life. Tell people when the company makes a mistake - and how you've learned from it. Share the comments you've received from customers (good & bad) and talk about how the company is addressing them. Talk about the outcomes of your latest business meetings, the experience of your flight in to a strange city on a small airline.  

And include photos! These are more important than ever when you are linking your blog to Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

If you want to get a better idea of how to blog - read blogs. Just get on Google and search the blog content for topics in which you are interested. Add comments when you are inspired by something you read, and feel free to adapt your style to blogs that you find interesting.
Remember, don't use hype or try to sell something. The point is, your blog doesn't have to be a dissertation - have fun with it! Just be yourself.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Quick SEO Tips

Many thanks to Alyice Edrich for putting my tips on her blog. She's a freelance writer and asked for suggestions. So, instead of re-inventing the wheel, I'm going to repost the tips here:

  • "Don't brag about your company on the first page. By doing so you loose the natural language that would feed the search engines more effectively (relevancy) and encourage further conversions."

  • "Remember that SEO is never "complete" because technology, language, adoption of products / services all play a part in making high rankings a moving target."

  • "Use the title and description tags correctly. Do not use them as a place to dump a bunch of keywords. By aptly naming each page and putting in a valid description the natural voice will help you achieve better rankings and make search engines happy because they use these two tags."

  • "If you have flash as your first page, dump it. When you have that on the page it is not only difficult for search engines to translate to something with meaning, it's also like barring the department store doors on the day of the big sale.

Reprint by permission only. © Alyice Edrich on Thursday, February 12,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Want a different answer? Ask a different girl.

I can't be your "yes" girl.
Everyday I am asked for my advice on a variety of internet marketing topics. I give this advice freely but, for many people, they just want me to tell them what they want to hear. And I am really bad about not being a "yes" woman.

There are many "SEO" companies that will promise page one results for your company. You want to be on top for "fashion jewlry"? No problem they say and then they take your money, do some unidentifiable work, and you get no results. Of course they were just telling you what you wanted to hear.

Even the best search marketing company cannot perform such magic. There is no way to wave a wand and produce top of search results especially in light of the millions of website owners that want to be on top for the exact same term. Someone has to be second, third, fourth . . .

Almost every time I review a website through my free request service, I see many, many ways the site can be improved in general so it will work well for visitors (usability) and search engines. Most people are so focused on what they perceive to be the money making phrases and hype that they forget about the real human behind the computer who is already primed to consider doing business with you, if you would just tell them how and make it easy.

True search marketing is more than just trying to get high rankings for key phrases, it's also about delivering on the promise and meeting expectations of your visitors.

If you don't have high rankings for a certain word or phrase, don't call or email me. Instead, look at your goals. Do you want to have one word perched at the top of the search results or do you want to do business and make money?

When you are ready to forget about what you think you want, and learn more about what you really need you'll get the results you desire. Sometimes hearing what you really need and not hearing what you want to hear is painful. My philosophy is to tell people the truth so that purposeful goals and solid expectations can be established in the beginning.

In the words of
Tess McGill: "If you want another answer, ask another girl" (Search marketing girl that is...)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Say it isn't so

Every once in awhile an expert of some sort says something I disagree with strongly enough that I think they are misleading the public. This morning I had that experience while watching CNN and Clark Howard speaking so positively of the free dating sites. All I could think was that he must not be single because if he was, he would know that those sites are nothing but trouble in a box.

But that's not what this post is about. I read a post on twitter (yes it's my favorite social media outlet) from the owner of (Kevin Warren) who, IMHO, misunderstood what he read in an article on
Practical E-commerce . Kevin stated,"Paid search is all about keywords. The more targeted keywords you have in your accounts, the more sales you are . . . going to have." While I do agree that having a variety of key terms including obscure phrases that people actually use, I don't agree that you have to have as many as possible.

I think that article was focusing, instead, on the quality of the terms you choose and the importance of targeting the right terms. When I read blanket phrases like the one above, I know there will be many people who read it and go out and suddenly put a bunch of key words in their adwords campaign expecting better click throughs.

Unfortunately, unless you have a good quality score for those terms and a plan of action for the clicks to the landing page the results will not be good at all. The words with low quality score won't even show up in searches so that's time and effort wasted.

If the landing pages for the campaign don't have a clear, direct action for the visitor, then people end up paying for clicks that don't produce.

Choose key terms wisely, be sure they will get you a good quality score, and have a plan for each click to your site. Then your key words will pay off and you'll see results.
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