Using Google and all they offer

Posted by MikePaetzold on Dec 4, 2009

Mike Paetzold here for my last day as the guest poster as part of The Old Bald Guy’s Blog Tour. This week we have been discussing how to help offline businesses use the net effectively.

We have covered

Today we will discuss using what the 800 pound gorilla gives you. Yes, love them or hate them Google is the 800 pound gorilla online but there are some things they have that can help you immensely.

When we discussed protecting your reputation we mentioned one – Google Alerts. That is just one of many tools that Google provides that you can use.

Google Local Search

For offline businesses one of the often overlooked items is Google local search. Adding your profile there can be very helpful as the local search shows at the very top of the page.

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It sits above the regular listings but if you do not sign up and submit your site you probably will not show. Even if you had the number one listing there were 7 other choices first if you do not go and submit your information.

You can add your own description, some pictures and even coupons that you can offer directly from local search. Your customers can leave a review and if you are smart you will ask your happy customers to do just that.

Google Analytics

Google will track your visitors and give you a ton of great information so you can find out exactly how people find you, how long they stay, how many pages they view and much more. You can not improve what you haven’t measured.

Google Webmaster Tools

When you sign up at Google Webmaster Tools it will allow you to see your site the way Google does. You can see if your site map is working, how many pages they have indexed and a lot more.

The more you know about what is happening the easier it is to improve what you are doing. Google has made it easy to find these things out if you take the time to look.

Hope you have enjoyed my visit and you have learned a thing or two. It has been fun to be here but next week I will be off to another blog.

Remember though that knowledge without action is worthless so follow what Nike recommends and “Just Do It!”

About the author

 

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Mike Paetzold has been online since 2000 and runs numerous blogs and works with offline businesses through Coal Region Web Services. Currently you can find out what he is up to at Mike Paetzold Recommends.

You can also find out and keep current with WordPress at his blog WordPress Made Easy.

Follow Mike on Twitter


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4 Advantages To Using A Blog For Your Website

Posted by MikePaetzold on Dec 3, 2009

Mike Paetzold back again for day 4 of my visit here as part of The Old Bald Guy’s Blog Tour. This week our topic is “Helping Offline Businesses Use The Net Effectively. Yesterday we discussed the two major website mistakes. Today we will discuss what you should use as your web base.

Now I may be just a bit prejudiced but I like to use WordPress as the base for any site.

There are 4 major reasons…

  1. Proper infrastructure
  2. Easy to update
  3. Interactive
  4. Google loves them

Lets take them one reason at a time.

Proper infrastructure

With plugins a WordPress blog makes it very easy to use proper title tags on each page. Your interlinking is automated allowing you easy navigation and making it easy for the spiders to find your content.

The other things that I like is the built in RSS feed, the automation of your sitemap in a format the serps want and the ability to automatically ping various sites and let everyone know that you have added content.

All of these can be duplicated in other web site formats but it usually takes a lot more work and maintenance.

Easy to update

Once a WordPress blog is set up and tweaked out it is really easy to add new content without having to do a lot of HTML editing. Anyone that can use a Word Processing program has the skills to update a blog properly.

Interactivity

A blog makes it easy for you to get feedback from your visitors and still control the content through your approval process of comments. This also adds new content to your site that you did not have to generate.

Google loves them

Nuff said. No, not really but as Google draws about 65% of all the web searches having your content in a format that Google likes is a plus. Add in the ability to automatically notify Google through your site map and pinging gets you indexed quickly.

Now that is not a guarantee that you get the #1 ranking but it does make it easy to make sure you check all the on page SEO factors automatically.

Tomorrow we will talk a lot more about Google and what tools an offline business needs to be aware of and take advantage of.

 

About the author

 

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Mike Paetzold has been online since 2000 and runs numerous blogs and works with offline businesses through Coal Region Web Services. Currently you can find out what he is up to at Mike Paetzold Recommends.

You can also find out and keep current with WordPress at his blog WordPress Made Easy.

Follow Mike on Twitter


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Offline Business Mistakes When Using The Net

Posted by MikePaetzold on Dec 2, 2009

Mike Paetzold back again for day 3 of my visit here as part of The Old Bald Guy’s Blog Tour. This week our topic is “Helping Offline Businesses Use The Net Effectively. Today we will discuss website mistakes.

Probably the very biggest mistake I see when talking to new clients is what I call the “ME” website. I am sure you have seen these sites. They will tell you all about the company, how long they have been in business, who owns them, yada yada yada.

Now in a nut shell my response and the response of most people finding that site is who cares. All of that can be important because I want to deal with reputable complanies and knowing they are not fly by night but if I am searching for something I have a problem.

I only want to know one thing – WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME?

That is really all I need to know and once I know that then you can make me comfortable by having all of the stuff about you where I can locate it but if I am looking to get rid of bugs I want to know can you do it?

Target your site to the visitor and what is in it for them. Even though you as the business owner are paying to have the site it will make money for you when you can get a visitor to take an action.

If you are the exterminator that action is to call you or email you to get your service. Make sure that you are telling me how you can help me and not who you are because I don’t care about the latter.

Second big thing I see is most offline businesses when they come online do not take advantage of lead generation. Give your visitors a reason to let you stay in contact with them.

Here is an example- I receintly met with an auctioneer to redo his site, The first thing we talked about is creating 2 audios. One on how to get the best bargains at an auction and the second on 5 ways to use an auction to get more value when you are selling.

Both of these are easy topics for the auctioneer as he has a ton of experience. Offer the two audios in exchange for an email address to all of his visitors. They get to hear him and understand auctions from both sides. He has started to become someone they now know.

Follow that up with a regular newsletter and let people know about his latest auction for buyers and send out a latest pricing update to potential sellers.

Now he can continue to build the relationship and get more people to each of his auctions and make sure that potential sellers at least give him a chance when they are ready to sell items.

So there are two big mistales to avoid.

There are many more mistakes but those are two of the biggest and Earl has covered a lot of the technical ones previously and tomorrow we will talk more about them.

Talk to you then.

 

About the author

 

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Mike Paetzold has been online since 2000 and runs numerous blogs and works with offline businesses through Coal Region Web Services. Currently you can find out what he is up to at Mike Paetzold Recommends.

You can also find out and keep current with WordPress at his blog WordPress Made Easy.

Follow Mike on Twitter


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Protecting Your Reputation Online

Posted by MikePaetzold on Dec 1, 2009

Mike Paetzold back again for day 2 of my stop here as part of The Old Bald Guy’s Blog Tour. This week we are discussing helping off line businesses use the net effectively.

As Google or one of the other search engines becomes the first place that people look for a business instead of older sources like the Yellow Pages it is important for businesses to at least be found there.

Even more important than that is to know what others are saying about them. The advent of the Web 2.0 world has created a lot of sites where customers can rate the service of a variety of businesses. Most are interactive and will allow you to respond if you know the content is there.

As the search engines make this content easy for people that are looking for you to find it is important to know exactly what is being said about you.

Fortunately Google has made it quite easy to find out exactly what is being said about you. This gives you a chance to address problems.

The way Google does that is through a service called Google Alerts. It is easy to set up an alert on your business name, your own name, your product names or on any topic and they will send you an email telling you exactly what they have found as they find it.

First go to http://google.com/alerts and you will see a screen like below.

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Just add your topic, use comprehensive for your type, decide how often you want to hear, put in the email you want to receive the alerts at and click the create button.

Now each time Google finds that topic on any new web page of any type you will be notified. Now at the very least you will know if there is something being said that can hurt you or your business.

This will allow you to address any problems you may find quickly and not get surprised. If it is an interactive site like a forum or blog you will have the opportunity to address it in the same place that someone looking for you will find it.

It pays to be aware, have your own web presence and to be proactive in protecting your name online. Don’t be caught by surprise and go set up an alert today.

 

About the author

 

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Mike Paetzold has been online since 2000 and runs numerous blogs and works with offline businesses through Coal Region Web Services. Currently you can find out what he is up to at Mike Paetzold Recommends.

You can also find out and keep current with WordPress at his blog WordPress Made Easy.

Follow Mike on Twitter


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Helping Offline Businesses Use The Net Effectively

Posted by MikePaetzold on Nov 30, 2009

Let me take a minute to introduce my self. I am Mike Paetzold and will be visiting here this week as part of my Old Bald Guy’s Blog Tour. During this I am stopping at various blogs for a week at a time to guest blog.

This week I am really excited as after discussing list building, affiliate marketing and blogging the last 3 stops here we will talk about helping offline business use the internet to supplement their brick and mortar business.This is an area that can be a perfect win – win for the offline business owner and the person who can supply what they need to take advantage of the net.

Earl has written about this topic quite extensively and we will not look at it from an off line business perspective but from a consultant perspective as most internet marketers have skills that can be of considerable value to the offline business owner.

Most of my offline business customers do not have the time or the inclination to learn what is needed to effectively use the web for their business. They do understand the power but taking their time to go through the learning curve will hurt their current business model. This creates a huge opportunity for those that are interested in helping them.

Businesses are quickly learning that a lot of the old ways of generating customers like the Yellow Pages are becoming obsolete. When a customer is looking for something they are much more likely to start at Google then they are the Yellow Pages.

The increase in local rating sites for various service businesses has made it a necessity for a business to be following what is being said about them.

All of these things are opportunities if you can show an off line business how it can benefit their bottom line.

Over the next 4 days I will discuss the following here –

See you tomorrow.

About the author

align=left Mike Paetzold has been online since 2000 and runs numerous blogs and works with offline businesses through Coal Region Web Services. Currently you can find out what he is up to at Mike Paetzold Recommends.

You can also find out and keep current with WordPress at his blog WordPress Made Easy.

Follow Mike on Twitter


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