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DISCLAIMER: The FTC requires me to let you know that I may be compensated for products or services recommended. In many cases I am recommending my own company's services, so it's kind of funny to have to spell this out, but I do get paid by some of the companies whose ads are on the site. I ONLY list ads for companies that I use and fully endorse.

Archive for the ‘google’ Category

How to Leverage Current Events to Promote Your Brand

Do you ever find yourself at a loss for blog content? One thing to keep in mind is that Google gives preference to content related to current events. All you need to do is ask yourself what is going on in the news or what holidays are coming up and then write a blog post about the event or holiday.

There are two approaches to making this work. The first method is to tie it in to your business by either adding a marketing message or showing that your company offers a solution to a problem being mentioned in the news. The second method is to simply put out the related content for brand exposure. Like every other marketing strategy, I recommend testing to see what works best for you.

After you have written your blog post, you will want to share it across your social media networks as this will help to “give it some legs.” A great one to use in this case is Twitter because you will also be able to leverage #hashtags which are basically keywords used to search on Twitter. Twitter monitors the top #hashtags which is an indication of what people are sharing or searching about. Tying your blog post into a #hashtag will help increase exposure to your blog post by leverage the event or holiday related activity on Twitter.

Last week I heard some interesting statistics about the Super Bowl and I decided to do a Super Bowl blog post on Sunday. I went the route of branding and made no mention of my company or what I did. It was a success; and is now the most visited blog post of the year. The real proof that Google listens came from viewing my analytics to see where the visitors came from. Most of the visits on Super Bowl Sunday and the two days following came through Google search (as indicated by Super Bowl search queries) and not just from the social media networks I submitted it to.

The moral of the story is that Google listens when you know how to speak their language.

Were You Affected by Google’s Most Recent Changes?

If you had not noticed, Google has changed how they display the local search listings. Formerly, the listings were displayed at the top of the page with a map and the listings to the right of it (as displayed below):

google-local-old

With the most recent change, the map image is listed in the right column of the page and the actual listings from the top 7 or top 10 local businesses in the map, now occupy the main section of the search results page.

What does this mean for business owners? Well, first, some have reported changes in how their business is listed. Perhaps there was an algorithm shuffle, so some business have seemed to have fallen from the coveted map based search results, and others may now have better positioning.

Secondly, it may mean that business owners want to pay more attention to Google AdWords. I imagine some will speculate that Google did this for the sole purpose of boosting AdWords revenue. I am not sure, but I do know that I preferred the old format.

Let me know your thoughts on the changes, and of course if you need help getting found on the new platform let me know.

Unbelievable! Google has Offered to Purchase My New Company!

I knew things were going well, but when I got a call from Google less than a month after starting my new Internet marketing company I was ecstatic. After all, isn’t that a small business owners dream? I know it might seem odd they they would want to acquire another online marketing company, but it turns out, I do have some connections they they don’t and what better way for them to acquire them (sorry friends and clients for selling you out).

The terms haven’t been fully disclosed, but my response to the whole thing was “heck, if I can just put it in my bio that Google pursued me and bought my company… that’s worth it all.” Perhaps I spoke to soon? The other part of the deal had to do with me becoming a VP and a Director there… but I like the scorching heat of Phoenix as opposed to being close to the beach, so I just told them I appreciated the offer, but I would just work on another company for them to buy down the road. Perhaps they will be ready by next APRIL FOOLS DAY!

Social Media is Now More Critical with Google’s New Real Time Search Feature

Yesterday Google announced that it will be featuring more “real time” search results which includes content from blogs and social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Just for fun, I have provided a link to the Yahoo News story on this. :-)

As if we didn’t already know that being involved in social media was important to a business, this latest move by Google further emphasizes this. So what does this mean for those that are actively trying to generate business online? First of all, don’t by any means abandon what you are doing. Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search are still the foundation of a solid online marketing campaign, so you want to make sure you are continuing to make strides there. But, if you have not ventured out into the world of social media, you might want to take a look at it now. Here are some suggestions:

1. If you don’t have a blog, start one. Ideally, your blog should be a part of your website (i.e yoursite.com/blog) as opposed to a separate stand along blog, so your domain can capitalize on the inbound links to the blog.

2. If you don’t have a Facebook Fan page, start one. It does not cost anything to set it up, and it’s really not that difficult. Here is a link to the first of a “how to” series I wrote on creating a Facebook page.

3. If you aren’t on Twitter, join. Early on, I was not a big fan of Twitter but as I have seen more value from it, I am encouraging people to join. Here is the key to being successful on Twitter; you have to learn how it works and stay active, otherwise you will deem it a waste of time. A great feature to learn on Twitter, is the “local search” feature where you can do a search based on your region. I actually used this just yesterday and found a partner prospect for my company.

As we go into 2010, I hope this gives you some insights into how you can improve your online positioning by staying ahead of your competition. If you need help implementing any online strategy, don’t hesitate to contact me.


How Many Ways Can You Get Traffic From Google?

Often when I am speaking with a prospective client, I mention channels within Google that they were not aware of, which means they are not targeting them for new customers. I decided to spell them out and discuss how you can leverage each of them:

1. Google Organic Search Results. This is Google’s main area of search results, and the area that most beleive they want to target for new customers. For most companies, I would agree that it makes sense to have an effective on page and off page search engine optimization strategy geared towards having a top rankning. For locally based businesses, there is a very critical and affordable channel of Google to target; Google Local.

2. Google Local (a.k.a Google Maps). If you are a business targeting local customers, then you need to be listed in Google Local. This is where local business are listed along side of the Google Map showing specific business locations. There are billions of local searches done daily, which is why it is critical to get listed here.

3. Google News. Making the news is critical for many reasons, but one of which is to leverage another one of Google’s channels; Google News. Google News often picks up press releases and serves the links to the articles through the universal search results. There is also an option to search the news directly.

4. Google AdWords. This is Google’s Pay Per Click (PPC) channel. The ads for Google AdWords are displayed at the top of the page and on the right column. If you don’t know what you are doing here, you can lose a fortune and not see any results, so be very cautious.

5. Google Video. Currently, Google Video has disabled new uploads, but Google does spider other video sites (such as YouTube which is owns), and presents videos in the search results. If you are not currently using Video’s in your marketing efforts, you are missing out on a great opportunity.

6. Blogger. This is Google’s free blogging platform and while I normally recommend having a blog hosted on your website, this is another channel that can be leveraged within Google. Truly, I don’t see it as a major source of traffic, but there is a blog search function within the blogger network which can bring traffic to blogs on the Blogger platform.

7. Google Shopping (a.k.a. Google Products) . If you sell products, you should definately be leveraging Google Shopping, which is currently free. Google shopping lists products you submit, whether or not you use Google Checkout as a means of payment.

8. Google Book Search. If you are a published author, you can submit your book to this channel through the Google Books Parter Program and be listed in the Google Book Search results based on your topic.

9. Google Image Search. If you have a visually based business, such as graphics, logos, or photography, you might be able to connect with those using image search.

Hopefully this has helped you see a new potential source of web traffic from Google. If you need any assistance with your online marketing campagn, contact Anthony at 800-453-9290 or anthony(@)anthonykirlew.com

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