Posted by enetwal on Sep 27, 2010
I’ve just completed a new youtube video in my ongoing series teaching main street and other businesses how to more effective set up their web sites for marketing purposes.
For a site to be of value to any business it must of course be found by prospective customers. Ideally, you want to be number one on the free organic listings. If you are, you will get more people clicking on your listing than any other on the page, including those who are paying to have ads at the top of the page.
While every site is different, the most recent statistics suggest the top organic listing will get 43% of all the clicks on a search engine generated page compared to about 18% of the clicks that will go to one or another of the paid advertising ads.
The second highest organic site will get on average between 20-25% and the rest will go to those organic listings from positions 3-10.
For some reason, the 10th place listing does better than those ranked 3-9, presumable because some people like to start from the bottom up.
These numbers change from time to time, the most significant change appears to be that fewer people are clicking on the ads. It used to be that they claimed a full 25% of all the clicks. Some think that’s just a function of more people being aware of the difference between the paid ads and the organic research as more and more people gain computer literacy.
Now the first struggle is to get to page one. The second struggle is to get to the top of page one. But in the interim, what you have in your Description meta tag can help you wrestle a few more percentage points of clicks on your listing, wherever you are in the rankings from #1 to #10.
I hope you found this video and post useful. Please leave any comments, questions or suggestions in the comment section.
[tags]Meta tags, metatags, description tag, organic listings, seo, search engine rankings, page one ranking[/tags]
Posted by enetwal on Sep 22, 2010
I’ve been focused on main street marketing lately and will continue to be creating some more videos and pursuing other efforts as well. But I will definately be continuing my blogging.
I have had some recent success promoting the new street fighter program which is opening today. I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already.
But today I want to share a new free software tool I came across from Matt Callen called Affiliate Camo. It offers Link cloaking and conversion tracking as a plug in for wordpress blogs.
It is simple to set up and is a powerful tool that will protect you from commission thieves and provide you with great intelligence on which of your links are most effective.
There is a one time upgrade that I recommend you give serious thought to. I starts with a $7 day trial and has some significant viral advantages for early adapters.
[tags]affiliate camo, Matt Callen, Plug ins, Plugin, plug-ins, link cloaking, conversion tracking, street fighter, main street marketing, [/tags]
Posted by enetwal on Sep 21, 2010
The single easiest and quickest thing most local based businesses can do to positively impact the value of their web site is to change their title tags. This is particularly true for small businesses serving a local market.
The title tag is the text that appears in the uppermost left corner of your computer screen when you go to any page on your web site. This is the title of your page which was set up when your web page was first designed. It can be changed at any time. You should do so as soon as you finish reading this article if any of my suggestions apply to you and your business.
Your title tag is set up in the header code of your website in what are called the Meta Tags. There are several key things a business needs to know about meta tags, but we will focus in this article on the Title Tag.
Each page of your web site should have a different title tag. Many small business web sites have a home page and a handful of other pages. If you got a simple web site built for your business, your home page may well be called, “HOME.”
If this is the case you definitely want to change it.
Another common title tag many businesses use is their name. Such as “ABC Co.” This is almost always a poor choice.
A far better idea is to use the dominant term your customers are likely to use when doing a search to find you. Thus if you are primarily involved in installing replacement windows, you want our title tag to be “Replacement Windows.”
That tells the search engines that your web site and your business are about replacement windows. Then, when someone does a computer search for “replacement windows”, the search engines will consider your site as a possible result to display for them.
Since people from around the entire world wide web might be searching for replacement windows, they will want to narrow their search down a bit. If they live in Atlanta, Ga they probably want to find a contractor somewhere near Atlanta, no matter how superior the skills of your installers in Minneapolis may be. So while they may initially search for the term, once they see the millions of results, they will instinctively add a modifier to narrow their search to their local area.
Thus if your business serves the Atlanta area, you want to put “Replacement Windows Atlanta” as your title tag. In Minneapolis the same, “Replacement Windows, Minneapolis – St. Paul or something similar.
This geographical add on, is the secret weapon of Search Engine Optimizers the world over. As simple an idea as it is, there are tens of thousands of small business web sites that still have “Home” as their title tag, and it’s costing them lost business.
Now your business may have more than one main product or service. In that case you should have a separate page to your web site for each of these functions. Every page has a title tag, and so your page on “Vinyl Siding” should read “Vinyl Siding Minneapolis St. Paul.”
This change can be accomplished in mere seconds, by your computer person or even yourself if you have access to the c-panel of your web site. In some smaller markets, this alone may be enough to move you to the first page of results and help you generate new business. It is a powerful tool, but only one of several steps you need to take as part of your business marketing strategy in more competitive markets.
Far too many businesses have given up hope on their web sites. Mostly because they never see any real business as a result of them. Many small business web sites were originally set up people who knew how to do the graphics and such but did not understand how to effectively market the sites.
While title tags are an easy start, you want to find a knowledgeable search engine optimization resource who can help you transform your business’ web site into a marketing tool and not just an internet placeholder. The surprising news is that local businesses are the easiest to apply these business marketing strategies to. Now go and get your title tags fixed.
There are several other changes you may want to make to your Meta Tags and the actual pages of your web site. To learn more about these you may want to purchase my ebook on the topic, Main Street Rises to the Top of the Search Engines,
[tags]local based business,small business,marketing your business,business marketing strategy,local business marketing,business marketing online,title tags,SEO tips,meta tags,[/tags]
Posted by enetwal on Sep 20, 2010
I just created a new YouTube video in which I talk a bit about why local businesses should use article marketing as part of their business marketing strategy. This is part of my own strategy to promote myself as a Search Engine Consultant for businesses in my home town of Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Twin Cities area.
In addition to advocating the use of article marketing, I am promoting the use of Youtube and other videos. Youtube is the biggest and strongest resource for getting video backlinks to your page. You will note that the description I use on YouTube for this video points to the page on this blog promoting my Minneapolis St Paul SEO services.
This link, and the tags I used on the video help build this page’s ranking. Now SEO is a hard niche to break into. After all all my competitors have a head start on me and they know SEO. But I’m not about to let that deter me.
Posted by enetwal on Sep 13, 2010
If you spend more than 20 minutes a day on Facebook, Twitter and or linked In check this out. (free) social media blueprint
It’s part of a new social media promotion that’s currently underway. I have been promoting this to my list. The key point I want to get across today is that social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, FAcebook, etc are all powerful tools. Each and all of them probably belong in your daily routine.
The problem comes from spending too much time on them. I refer to it as the TIME Suck, and for a while I pretty much just didn’t go there. But that was a mistake.
I need to be there, and in all likelihood you do as well. The key is to develop a discipline that gets you there and then gets you away.
The best tool I had going for me in the past was Mike Paetzolds Twitter Time Saver which is still a great strategy to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Well worth the small investment.
The social media blueprint teaches an approach designed for marketers who want to use the major social sites without wasting a ton of time. They say you can get it done in less that 17 minutes a day. I take longer, but then I have 9 twitter accounts which is why I like Mike’s product. But I now get it all done in about 1/2 hour a day.
Since the average person in the US spends 55 minutes a day, you can see that it is a real time saver. I recommend you check it out. And then adapt it to your own circumstances. For me, I still spend a little more time, but I’m pleased to say I am getting a lot more done in a lot less time these days.
[tags]social media, twitter time saver, Mike Paetzold, isocial, isocial media, linkedin, twitter, facebook, youtube, social media bluebprint[/tags]
Posted by enetwal on Sep 9, 2010
I just completed the first in a series of studies I intend to do on local businesses in Minneapolis area.
In the study I look at the top 30 web sites on Google when searching for the term, “Plumbers Minneapolis.”
The objective for me is to develop clients for my SEO consulting services in the “real world” of day to day businesses. Each of the participants will get an email informing them that their web site was mentioned in the study and provided with a link to the study.
While the report focuses on their specific results, a lot of it is boiler plate that applies to the topic in general. Thus I expect to re-use the bulk of the report for additional industries.
It turns out that there are several pretty good web sites in the area, but most are shall we say “less than optimal.” Any experienced internet marketer should be able to assist any of those of page two or three of Google to win a first place showing.
Now of course that will vary keyword by keyword, but as the plumbing example seemed to show, the major term”plumbing” was better accounted for that was a second term I selected which had to do with one possible reason a person would call a plumber, ie Hot Water Heater Replacement Mineapolis.
For this term, the competition was very limited. This points out a basic error of many main street web pages. To the extent they are set up to rank for a term, at least in this case they were ranked for the term they may have wanted to appear under in the Yellow pages: ie Plumbing and Plumber.
This old way of thinking reflects the Yellow page tradition and not today’s likely web search that is more likely to be based on the issue on the mind of the searcher, in this case hot water heater problems.
The report I prepared can be viewed at http://microbusinessspecialist.com/IndustryStudies/Plumbing_Minneapolis.html
I expect to refine the report, and hopefully find a way of condensing it as I do repeats of the effort in the coming weeks and months. If you happen to see any errors in the report or have other suggestions, particularly on making it clearer and more readable, please let me know.
I note that a new training program aimed at reaching out to Main Street Businesses is in the offing Called Street Fighter. It will go into pre-launch next week, and are actively looking for affiliates to join them in the launch. I’ve signed up and you may want to as well.
As this little study shows, there is a lot of room for improvement in main street business web sites. If you aren’t making as much money as you would like online now, or better yet, if the people on your list aren’t you may want to steer them into this course and opportunity. There are many wide open opportunities in your community. Street Fighter
[tags]industry report, Street Fighter, off line marketing, main street marketing, affiliate programs,SEO, search engine optimization,[/tags]
Posted by enetwal on Sep 2, 2010
Writing Effective Emails
Writing effective emails can make a significant difference in the results you get. A well written email can easily outperform an “average” email by 500% or more. If you want to maximize sales, you really want to spend a few extra minutes to create an effective email.
There are several key steps you need to take into account when you sit down to create an effective email marketing campaign.
The first is to be clear on your prospects “hot button” concerns. Not only do you need to understand what your prospect wants, you also need to deeply understand why they want it.
For example, say you are marketing a hot new stereo system for automobiles. You need to understand if your prospect is interested in your product because they are an audiophile and appreciate excellent sound quality. Or, perhaps your prospect is primarily motivated by getting the coolest neat equipment to impress his friends or prospective girlfriends.
The approach would clearly vary.
Once you have settled on just who you are trying to reach with your email and why you can begin to write.
Your initial objective is the get your prospect to actually open the email. If you have been doing a lot of mailing to your list, the first obstacle may be your own past emails. Were they all hype and sales? If so, the odds are that your prospective reader will be less likely to open your next one. So the takeaway here is that as part of any ongoing email campaign, you want to be sure to offer a good amount of good content, information etc, so the recipients are more likely to be willing to open your email.
That said, the key to getting your email opened is a strong and interesting title or subject line that grabs their attention and arouses their curiosity.
Generally these titles should be short. Ten words or less. They should not telegraph that you are selling something, but instead should be focused on the motivation behind the “hot button” as described above.
If your selling gold clubs to people who want to improve their golf score, a subject line like, “These Golf Clubs Will Shave 5 Strokes Off Your Score!”
A subject like that speaks directly to their hot button and their motivation. What is your prospect trying to accomplish? If you identified that as we suggested above, the writing of a compelling subject will come easily.
Once you get them to open the email, you need to make your case. But you case is not to get them to buy your Golf clubs, or stereo or what ever. The objective of the email is to get them to go to your sales page. That’s where you will do your actual sales.
People are busy. They do not want to read a ton of stuff. Most have more email than they can shake a stick at and pretty much just browse to see what appeals to them.
Thus you want to keep the body of your email short. Generally between 3-5 paragraphs.
In doing so, you first want to connect with them on a personal level. You know their hot button, and used it in your title, now you need to build on that. “When I was first getting started in golf, I was using an inherited set of clubs that weren’t right for me…”
Another key aspect of email marketing to a list is to always talk to individuals and not to your list. While people may understand that they are on a list, they really want to be addressed personally. So talk in terms of me to you, like you would in an email to your brother. Subconsciously, they will respond better.
Finally, tell them what you want them to do. Close with a call to action to click your link to take them to your sales page. Remember the goal of your email is not to sell them anything, other than to move to the page that will do the selling.
Follow these simple tips for writing effective emails and you will get significantly improved results.
Feel Free to Reprint this blog post on your blog or to link to it. Just be sure to leave in the link to the free ebook and to my blog.
[tags]effective email marketing, effective email, writing effective emails,[/tags]