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Archive for the ‘web marketing’ Category

52 Fueled Fridays

Happy New Year! For those that follow my blog, I am sorry that life has been so busy that I was not been able to post constantly in 2009. This is something that I am going to improve this year. Notice, I did not say “something I am going to try to do” because “trying” does not exist. You can do or not do and I am committed to do.

One way to make sure that I post at least weekly, is by starting a weekly blog series. I have decided to call this series “52 Fueled Fridays” with the purpose of providing an online marketing tip for you to employ. For some, implementing the tips will be easier than others and many of these tips will be able to be implemented by anyone who can type on a computer. For many, Friday represents an office day, personal development day, catch up day, or marketing day. It also give you the weekend to work on it if you need to.

I am going to cheat by making this the first post, but I do have a schedule and next week I will kick of the practical stuff by discussing how to have an effective online marketing plan for 2010.

To make sure you are notified of each new post, please subscribe using one of the RSS feeds on the right or the email subscription.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the rest of your Fueled Friday!

~ Anthony

Why is SEO so Expensive? (and how to make it more affordable)

Many people complain about the high cost of Search Engine Optimization. It is true that in very competitive fields, it can be very costly to compete, but no one can change that – at least not for now. Paid Search (pay per click) often does not offer to get the job done much more affordably than SEO does and the competition factor also plays a huge role there as well. So what is a business owner to do?

First, I would say become a student of web marketing and search engine optimization. I don’t mean to try and be an expert, but I mean try to see what you can actually do on your own. I speak to people nearly every day that are looking to improve their online rankings and get more customers, and for rmany it is overwhelming because they have not taken the time to learn “something” about SEO. It is no different than if a CEO had no knowledge of finance or the production side of his or her business. It is no longer an optional form of marketing, given that people turn to the web more often than not for solutions.

Second, I would say “do something rather than nothing”. When I prepare a proposal for a client, I always try to walk them through it before sending it so they know what to expect. If I get a reaction over the price, I don’t just say “that’s the price… take it or leave it”, I try to find out how what has been proposed differs from their expectations. More than that, I try to help them understand the value of doing something as opposed to nothing which will make the next phase that much lesss costly, and hopefully they will see some results from the introductory level service. When people have “sticker shock” over a proposal, it still often boils down to a lack of education. I apprecaite when a prospect is up front and just says “we’ve never considered this so we had no idea what the costs were”. At least I know I am dealing with someone who is honest and realistic (as opposed to the insecure executive who thinks he or she needs to appear to know everything).

Last year, I wrote a book for the people that I just decribed. I realized that I had the same conversation with people time and time again and it always boiled down to not having any idea about the basics, and sometimes having mis-information (which is worse). I basically told my story of how I learned all that I learned (before they had classes in this stuff), which lead me to build several successful companies and websites. I spell out the A to Z’s so that not only will a conversation with a web marketing specialist not be confusing, but you will be able to implement many of the services yourself, saving thousands of dollars.

I am now at a point of (finally) getting that book in print – which has been a journey. Depending on the terms of the publishing agreement, I may not be able to offer it as an ebook (which I currently do), so I am making an offer to get it into the hands of those that truly need it. I am making the next 500 copies available for just $5 (it is currently priced at $29). For the first 100 to purchase, I am offering a FREE SEO Website Analysis and consultation (valued at $500), and giving everyone the opportunity to get some free exposure in the print book. For more details or to get your copy of my “tell-all” book, visit: http://www.anthonykirlew.com/

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

Why You Should NOT Spend Money on Your Website

If your website is costing you money, you’re most likely doing something wrong. A website isn’t just something that you put up to say you have one. It should be a revenue center for your business. It might cost you some money in terms of an initial investment, but over the long haul, it should make you more money than it costs you.

Here are the two main reasons that people fail to profit from their websites:

1. They spend too much money up front. Having a website rank well is far more critical than having it look pretty. Although you will have a higher success rate with a more professional looking site, I have personally made money from many “ugly” websites over the past decade. Keep in mind that people are searching the web, not to be sold, but for solutions to problems. While a professional look and feel will increase the likelihood of someone contact you for the answer to their problems, it isn’t always the “pretty” websites that win.

Don’t hear what I am not saying however. I am not saying to build an ugly site and expect to make money. I am saying don’t spend thousands for your first website when you could spend hundred. I know of a business owner right now who doesn’t have a website and is nearly broke because she cannot afford a website that looks like she wants it too. She is VERY gifted at what she does, but would not take my advice. Currently, she is working two jobs to make ends meet, and not even pursuing her business.

I also once worked as a contractor for a company that spent over $3 Million dollars of investors money building the “best of the best” in ecommerce. I was asked to shut the site down due to a lack of funding within a week of launching the website.

Don’t make either of these fatal errors.

2. They don’t realize that a website without website marketing is an expense, but not the way it is supposed to be. The bottom line here is that if you don’t market your website, no one will ever find it. There is no magic to having people find your website and the absolute worst thing you can do with your advertising dollars is to spend money to print your web address on all of your company literature and expect that to cover it. If someone knows your business name, they can find you. It’s the people that don’t know your name that you want to find you – and that is why Search Engine Marketing is the most effective way to spend your money to promote your business.

The combination of an affordable website with Internet Marketing (a.k.a. Search Engine Marketing), can results in an amazing return on investment. Imagine taking phone calls from people looking for your product or service rather than writing ads and praying that the right person sees it. Truly, you’d be better off in many cases just buying a lottery ticket for the money spend on ads – especially if you are not a skilled copywriter.

Every business owner or marketer has 3 choices when it comes to Search Engine Marketing.

1. Do Nothing. This is what 90% of small business owners do – and that is good news for you. If you do nothing, you will get nothing in return. And you will also foolishly conclude that Internet Marketing doesn’t work while your competitors get all of the customers in your market space.

2. Try Something. This is how nearly every “expert” became an expert. If you read my book, you will see that in 1999 I had a website that sold products and I needed to find a way to get people to notice it without spending a fortune. That site (a very ugly site), went on to earn between $300 and over a$1,000 per month for years without me ever speaking to a single customer until the provider foolishly went out of business. You will also learn the A to Z’s of Search Engine Marketing in that book which can put you at the top of the search engines and make your website profitable.

3. Hire a Professional. If you work with a Search Marketing professional that can look at your business as a whole and not just look at getting you to sign a contract, you should clearly be able to see where the return on investment is for your Search Marketing campaign.

If you would like a free website analysis, give me a call at 800-453-9290 or send an email to FREESEM@oldschoolseo.com

Happy Friday!

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