fbpx

Posts Tagged ‘online marketing’

As business owners, we are intimately involved in the day-to-day machinations of our businesses, those things that make the business go. This makes perfect sense.

You may be a fantastic accountant, lawyer, plumber (fill-in-the-blank) who spends their day accounting, plumbing and lawyering, but if you (or someone you delegate) don’t make the time to grow your business, it will wither and die. To be sure, things change EVERY day. You may be working at capacity today, but you can be sure that will change. Without a plan to continue to grow your business, you may be caught off-guard with dire consequences.


I’ve put together a checklist of 10 ideas to help you grow your business. It it not an exhaustive list but it hits some major areas I believe need to be addressed if you plan to continue with your business.

Please download a pdf copy of this list and print it out. Keep a copy of it visible in your office to remind how important business development is to the longevity of your business.

1. Ensure that you do some Business Development EVERY DAY. Make NO excuses, NO exceptions- EVER!

2. Develop the mindset that Business Development is as important as any fee-earning or income-earning work or activity.
3. Create a plan. Determine what you want your future business to look like- and WHY. Do you want to dominate the field? The goal is to KNOW where you want to go, and then make a plan to get there.

4. Business Development is hard work. Explore techniques/methodologies that will help you keep your momentum. Consider working with an accountability partner- a friend or buddy to whom you communicate your progress.

5. Make more phone calls. Talk with clients- be sure to LISTEN. Email and text less.

6. Ensure that your communication with clients adds value and are not simply chasing business.

7. Work diligently to delight clients at every point of contact- never give them a reason to look elsewhere.

8. When cold calling, never be pushy or come across as desperate- believe in the value you bring to the relationship. Remain relaxed, calm, and be the expert.

9. Make sure that new customers/clients can find you. Much of future business is going to be found online. If you’re not there, that new business is going to find it elsewhere.

10. Your ultimate goal should be to build a business that can run without you. Learn to train and delegate. You DON’T really have to do it all. If you can’t take time off without fear that your business will fail, you own a job, not a business.


Download a pdf copy of my 10 Business Development Ideas checklist, print it out and keep a copy of it visible in your office.

Comments Off on 10 Business Development Ideas That’ll Grow Your Business

We Are Now Google AdWords Certified Specialists

posted by Frank Buddenbrock 4:01 PM
Thursday, September 24, 2015

It’s official!

Google AdWords Certified SpecialistWhile we’ve been working with clients for many years as their AdWords (PPC) specialists, we are now officially Google AdWords CERTIFIED Specialists. This means we manage ads visible on Google search results pages, display ads, remarketing ads, and video (YouTube) and mobile ads.

From Google:

“The Google AdWords certification is a professional accreditation that Google offers to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in basic and advanced aspects of AdWords. An AdWords certification allows individuals to demonstrate that Google recognizes them as an online advertising professional.”

Plus, if our AdWords clients spend more than $10,000 on AdWords campaigns in 90 days, we will obtain the highest award/acknowledgement from Google- that of Google AdWords PARTNER.

To earn the Partner badge, agencies need to have at least one of their affiliated members AdWords certified, in addition to business cards and marketing materials, which shows our agency is recognized as a trusted business partner by Google and by clients.

If you are looking for assistance in managing your current Google AdWords campaign, or are considering starting a new one, please give Frank a call at (818) 991-7135.

 

Comments Off on We Are Now Google AdWords Certified Specialists

Now that most of us have our footing back after Penguin 2.0, what’s ahead for SEO and social media marketing in the year to come? It’s clear that Google’s focus is on eliminating spam and enhancing the user experience through better content. Evidence has shown that both site quality and link relevancy are going to be big players in the next twelve months. But comments from Google and forecasting from a number of different SEO experts suggest that other changes are on the horizon.

Here’s my best guess of where we can expect SEO to go for the rest of 2013 and throughout 2014 – and my top tips on how to prepare. Just to add a standard disclaimer: prediction posts are at best guesses. I’ll be updating this post periodically as more information becomes available, and look forward to your thoughts and insights as well.

1. Content continues to be important, but requires more depth and detail

The days when you could publish 500-word pieces on your blog a couple times a week and achieve authority status are fading away. While high quality, shorter pieces still have value, I predict we’ll see a migration toward “super articles.” Longer pieces that are a minimum of 1,000 words and more likely upwards of 2,000 will become increasingly valuable.

It’s what Neil Patel has called “epic content.” There’s several ways to approach this. If the best articles in your niche offer 50 ideas, your round-ups could offer 100. You could get access to experts, develop detailed tutorials, or supplement your content with high quality videos or images. The key is going to be to follow an approach that sets you apart from the most basic content in your space, and grabs people’s interest for the long-term. The focus is on depth, quality, and ultimate value to the reader.

2. Different kinds of content help you get traction

Whether you’re looking at creating video, developing infographics, or launching interactive quizzes, thinking beyond blog posts and free reports will give you a distinct advantage. As buzzwords like guest posting and content strategy become more and more ubiquitous, it’s important that you do whatever you can to rise above the noise. In addition to committing to do what it takes to write sticky, authoritative content, another strategy will be diversifying the type of content that you publish.

Of course, this connects to your ability to disseminate content in creative ways. There’s only so many ways to share a blog post. But a video can be syndicated to dozens of different sites, added to a branded channel on YouTube, embedded on Pinterest, and more.

Another important factor is your ability to appear in different verticals of search — for example, videos or images — as overall search architecture moves in that direction. A more diverse content base will help you rank more effectively for your target terms.

3. Author authority matters

It’s not just the quality of a single piece of content that matters, but rather your entire body of work. By using Google Authorship and other behind-the-scenes techniques, Google is developing better mechanisms for learning about everything you write. This develops an overall picture of what you’ve accomplished, and what subjects you’re qualified to speak on.

The overall number of social signals your content is generating, how frequently you’re posting, and the quality of sites you’re connected to, this will impact the rankings of the content that you post going forward. To establish your authority, make sure you’re leveraging Google Authorship not only with your regular core content, but also with guest posts that you contribute to other sites in your industry.

4. Links remain critical, but the bar for quality keeps going up

In a video in May, Matt Cutts suggested that Google’s continuing to develop more sophisticated adjustments to the algorithm to measure link quality and thwart link spammers. This evokes the idea of link wheels – creating networks of hub and spoke sites, along with many levels of intermediary sites, in order to build links. The idea is that if they’re dispersed and deep enough, that the connections between them will be masked. It a nutshell, these approaches aren’t effective anymore and will become less so moving forward.

While Google’s already focused on this, ever more sophisticated versions of this approach – from paid advertorials to private blog networks – will continue to be important targets in the war of spam. Not only will we all be taking a retrospective look at our link profiles, but strategizing how to build links in the future will require more ingenuity and planning. Link building is moving in the direction of a relationship-based process.

5. Diversifying link text is ongoing

One of the areas t hit by Penguin 2.0 was sites where anchor text was too optimized. Experts estimated that if more than 30% of your anchor text was identical, it was easy to see that you were actively building links in a way that might be manipulative. Instead, now and going forward, it’s more important to think about linking from an organic perspective.

For example, say your site is currently focused on the topic of Twitter marketing. People discussing your site and linking to it are likely to use a variety of terms: Twitter marketing, marketing on Twitter, Twitter for business, social media marketing on Twitter, and more. There are a number of terms that are all within the realm of a reasonable anchor text choice.

It’s important to develop campaigns that help you post links with a range of different anchor text. Diversifying your link text takes time, especially if you have a significant body of links to your site. I anticipate that we’ll see many website owners working on this in the year ahead.  For an overview on proper anchor text strategy in a post-Penguin 2.0 environment, see my article “How to Properly Include Links and Penguin-Safe Anchor Text in Your Guest Blogs.”

6. Great design matters

Great design is a key piece of the user experience. Top-quality design helps overcome the trust barrier that comes up when people first visit your site. If your site looks professional, they’re more likely to believe that your business is legitimate and give you the time and money you’re working hard to earn. Another key factor is driving conversions. Good design helps drive users in whatever direction you want them to go – signing up for your email list, buying your products, or reading and sharing your content.

Design is also a very effective tool for helping build both your authority and your epic content backlog. Is your picture on your website? Do people associate your name and face with high quality content? If so, you’re on the right track. Is design supporting the quality of your tutorials? You can instantly upgrade people’s perceptions of your work by integrating screen shots, videos, and more. It’s a simple way to increase the value of your content.

7. Guest posting comes under increasing scrutiny

One of the most popular means of building links right now is guest posting. It’s a great way to build links, cultivate relationships with other thinkers in your field, and get your material in front of new audiences. The challenge with guest posting is when it’s treated as the “new method of article marketing.” I think we can expect increasing scrutiny from Google on guest posts.

What this means for writers and website owners is that it’s important to pay attention to the quality of the sites where you post. PageRank and Domain authority are two metrics to measure quality. Another is to look and see if these sites have the kind of human signals that make a reputable site – an engaged audience, social shares, and links from other high quality sites. When you do guest post, it’ll be important to put an extra emphasis on developing valuable contributions that really resonate with the target audience.

8. Social continues to exert a powerful influence

Social media isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s gaining a great deal of traction. With the introduction of Google Plus two years ago, it was easy to see that social signals were becoming more important to search. As one expert said, “human rank is hard to game.” By increasing the influence of social media signals, the search engines are essentially outsourcing the manual evaluation process of content to a large extent.

For companies working to rank their content, it’ll be important to ensure they have branded accounts for their sites. Plugins or other mechanisms need to be used in order to make content easily sharable, and to measure social shares. Social media promotion needs to be a front-line priority in your individual content promotion plans, and overall innovative approaches (for example, experimenting with exclusive social content or competitions) used to increase your social reach and influence.

9. Mobile performance and compatibility matter

During an interview with Search Engine Journal, Matt Cutts noted the importance of having a lean mobile site that loaded quickly. Building on that, mobile is no longer optional. Half of all people in the U.S. own a smartphone; one third of internet users own a tablet. Soon, more people will routinely access the Internet via a mobile device than the number of people who do so via a desktop computer.

Having a mobile compatible site is the new minimum threshold. Important aspects include cross-device compatibility and optimizing your designs for mobile conversions. Thinking about mobile productively requires a mindset shift. Mobile isn’t just about making sales. Instead, it’s about a broader set of potential conversions – visits, gathering information for in-store visits, signing up for more information – that require you to focus on the mobile channel.

Besides mobile-ready design, website speed is becoming more important. As the average internet user expects faster speeds, they have less patience. Frustration over slow-loading websites leads to a poorer user experience, which is why website load speed is one of the growing factors in Google’s ranking algorithm. Cloud CDN (content delivery network) hosting solutions are seeing a rise in popularity due to this trend, and for good reason.

10. SEO is less tactics, more strategy

It’s fair to say that this has been the direction of SEO for a long time now, but it’s becoming increasingly true. Tactics – specific ways to build links or to write code – are becoming less and less valuable. Instead, the focus is shifting to your long-term strategy. What’s your content strategy? What’s your link building strategy? What’s your authority strategy? What’s your social strategy? These individual pieces all link together to create the foundation a successful site presence is built on.

It doesn’t mean that tactics don’t matter. After all, tactical moves are how you implement a strategy. Your choices between different kinds of tactics, such as white hat link building or black hat link building, can make all the difference. But if tactics aren’t driven by an overall strategy that’s implementing multiple approaches at the same time, they’re less likely to work. Approaches to SEO need to be cohesive.

Conclusion

I’m sure that there are critical trends that I’ve missed. I’d love to hear from you. What’s working for you right now, and where are you focusing your efforts in the next year? Let me know in the comments below!

by 

———————

For the original article click here: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/10-seo-industry-trends-a-look-at-whats-ahead-for-seo-in-2013-2014/65157/

In a recently published video, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, listed off the top five SEO mistakes webmasters make.

Matt said these are not the most devastating mistakes, but rather, the most common mistakes.

(1) Not having a website or having a website that is not crawlable is the biggest mistake he sees.

(2) Not including the right words on the page. The example Matt gave is: don’t just write, “Mt. Everest Height” but write, “How high is Mt. Everest?” because that is how people search.

(3) Don’t think about link building, think about compelling content and marketing.

(4) Don’t forget to think about the title and description of your most important pages.

(5) Not using webmaster resources and learning about how Google works and what SEO is about.

So, those are Matt’s top five SEO mistakes. Here’s his video:

By 

———————

For the original article click here: http://searchengineland.com/the-top-five-seo-mistakes-according-to-googles-matt-cutts-157574

10 Things Most SEO Consultants Hate

posted by Frank Buddenbrock 12:09 PM
Friday, March 15, 2013

Having spent over ten years as an SEO consultant, I’ve gathered a list of “top ten challenges” (or, as I think of them, my pet peeves) about the industry and our clients.

I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences to share with our community. I’ll go first, and list out 10 things that challenge and push SEO consultants to come up with their very best efforts.

1. Fascination With Quick Fixes
Our clients, normally savvy business owners, are strangely driven by the urge for “quick fixes” in their SEO. Even though they understand the complexity of SEO and the potential benefits from getting it right, many just want a quick win.

My clients are evaluated on their quarterly or annual results. Even though my convincing pitch with fact-based reasoning demonstrates that they will double revenue from organic search by taking a long-term approach and working on a 24- to 36-month timetable, I still see resistance. They don’t like this. They want faster results. They prefer 12 month horizons.

Often, I’ll get anxious client emails before board meetings. They’ll break down our organic traffic goal into a 12-monthly figure, get pretty graphs drawn, and then discover (to their dismay) that the traffic we’re receiving is nowhere near what we “agreed upon at our initial discussion.”

Businesses should understand that organic search is important, and it cannot be rushed. Quick fixes may deliver quick wins, but it is unreal to expect them to be sustained and long-lasting.

2. ”But My Competition Does…”
One of the toughest questions I’ve had to field begins with, “My competitors are doing _____ , so why can’t I?”

Many sites ignore Google’s guidelines and exploit loopholes in the search giant’s algorithms. They indulge in practices like shady link-building, exact match domains, ranking on duplicate content, and so on. In the near term, sometimes, these techniques help them outrank other businesses.

As an SEO consultant, I get frustrated at hearing Google’s never-ending string of (rarely implemented) rosy promises and dire threats to discourage webmasters against such practices.

In Norway, we have 5 million citizens. That isn’t many. But when I’m responsible for SEO strategy at some of the biggest, highest-traffic sites in the country, I am frequently left red-faced at Google’s lack of effective responses to such under-handed and crooked tricks to game search rankings. My personal opinion is that Google isn’t quite good at filtering out low-quality content in Norway. Even when I report poor-quality sites, nothing happens.

There are times when I even feel sorry for my clients. Their competitors have been using tricky techniques for years, and yet nobody stops them or penalizes them for such actions. They make a lot of money through their shenanigans. On the other hand, my clients are practicing ethical and white-hat SEO, adopting best practices and respecting guidelines, only to find themselves outranked by low-quality sites. It’s frustrating for SEO consultants. Have you ever felt the same, or had similar experiences?

3. The Conundrum of “Hourly Rates”
So, I’m called to bid on an SEO consulting project. I make a presentation, hand over my proposal… and a few days or weeks later, my prospective client will call to complain that my hourly rate is too high. They love everything else about my proposal, but try to negotiate a lesser rate, saying that my competitors claim they can do it at a lower price.

Well, that’s true. They can. And it’s because they have a different approach and attitude toward SEO. Instead, wouldn’t it be nice when clients look at how much more money I’m going to add to their bottom-line? At how quickly I can help them achieve their financial goals and targets? At how effectively I can help them grow their business?

Look, a good SEO consultant is so much more than just a technical specialist. A great SEO consultant is excellent with analytics. Armed with access to valuable data, a consultant can help with your business development needs, guiding you grow your business in new ways. It is meaningless to evaluate such value by “hourly rates,” yet we see it all the time. How do you deal with it?

4. SEO Cannot Compensate For A Poor Product
SEO can’t fix everything. I know that’s contrary to industry-driven myths, but hey! If your product, service or customer care are mediocre or just not “awesome,” you should fix that first before you call in the SEO guy (or gal) to get you more traffic.

SEO can amplify your business results. If you have a great offer which adds value to people, SEO will help you expand your reach and help many more people while making a bigger profit.

5. Learn To Say “No” More Often
I should follow my own advice! Sometimes I get a bad feeling when a prospective client calls for a meeting. Maybe he wants to switch agencies for the 3rd time in 2 years. He isn’t happy with his present SEO vendor, or recently had a confrontation, and so, wants to change consultants.

I’ve often found that these clients are impatient, frustrated, and difficult to work with. Any trivial thing can affect their behavior and attitude toward their SEO consultant. A sleepless night, a bad quarter, a rough review by their boss, and they’ll impulsively leap to random conclusions, second-guessing your judgment, and blaming everyone but themselves.

It’s a bad situation to be in, as a consultant. Such a client’s attitude can drain your motivation and mess up your mood. You have to promptly break off these relationships. Say “No” when you see it coming. Cry “Stop” when it begins with an existing client.

Yes, you may lose an account. But it’s still the right decision. Keeping on “energy vampires” as clients can have devastating consequences on the rest of your consulting business.

6. An Obsession Over Hit-Counters
People love “hit counters.” Ok, maybe hit counters isn’t the right way to describe this. But, many clients still place disproportionate emphasis on page views, search rankings and other such low-quality KPIs (key performance indicators).

None of these correctly reflect your business’ performance. You need to focus on the right KPIs. Ones that are actionable, and which contribute directly to bottom-line profitability. Those are the ones you seek to improve through your SEO strategy.

In many clients’ eyes, ranking is still king. But, SEO consultants understand that a site’s placement in the SERPs is only a rung in the ladder to business success. Without an acceptable conversion rate, more sales and higher profit as a consequence, even a #1 ranking on Google will be worthless.

7. SEO Is Still Icing On The Cake
A few business owners cherish a naive belief in the ability of SEO to transform everything and magically create results. So, they put off consulting an SEO expert until everything else is ready with their website development.

Unfortunately, when this poorly planned and constructed site generates sub-optimal results, fixing it will need expensive changes. It’s far better to involve an SEO consultant right from the planning phase so that all aspects of your commercial website will work in harmony and synchronize with other elements to deliver stellar results.

8. IT Consultants Can Fix Everything
It still amazes me that my family will call whenever they have trouble with their printer, PC, mobile phone, scanner, or have a virus problem — just because I’m an “IT Consultant.” Sometimes, they’ll even call for help with their TV, cable connection, or satellite dish!

It’s the same story at work, too. Clients don’t see a difference between a Web designer, Web developer, paid search expert, or SEO consultant. They figure that “If you’re an IT manager, you should be able to fix everything that runs on electricity.” Well, that’s not how it works!

9. ”Content Is Easy”
Sorry, it’s not. Unless all you need is to fill in some white space with text and stuff it with keywords.

Time and again, I hear clients saying they can handle content by themselves. I no longer go into raptures of delight when clients say they have a “good copywriter or writer on their staff.” Rarely, if ever, do those writers have a good understanding of SEO.

Whenever I’ve relied on these “inside experts,” I’ve been disappointed and ended up having to teach them how to do what’s needed. That also cuts into my SEO budget, wasting time that’s better spent on other SEO tasks. Does this sound familiar?

10. Getting Paid Per Link
When the SEO discussion turns to link building, the issue of buying links crops up. In the aftermath of Google’s Penguin update, it’s weird to even hear that businesses dare buy links from people offering “pay per link” deals.

This is risky, and I always turn down such requests from clients. But, some still go ahead with shady or black-hat link building techniques, and then blame SEO consultants when the ax falls on their business’ head.

So there. These are my pet peeves about being an SEO consultant. I’m sure there are many others you’ve faced in your career. Please go on and share them in the comments below. Let’s get some discussion going on these vexing problems and talk about how to solve them.

By 

——————–

For the original article click here: http://searchengineland.com/10-things-most-seo-consultants-hate-151070

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING EXPERTS | TOP 10 PROFESSIONAL SEO COMPANIES IN LOS ANGELES
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION | INTERNET MARKETING STRATEGIES COMPANIES
SEO CONSULTANT SERVICES | PAY PER CLICK | PPC MANAGEMENT

818.991.7135

Privacy Policy | Terms Of Use | Sitemap
Entries (RSS) | Login