I was just reading this article from Search Engine Land about the topic above. While their “case study” method left a bit to be desired (why would you ever go from your own Facebook page to the yellow pages and put them in front of ALL of the competition make absolutely NO SENSE!), you do need to have multi-platform strategy to effectively keep your presense in a local marketplace.
You do need the local search methods, the directories, and your web content all to help you maintain your presence and potentially “own” the local listing, I just don’t see yellow pages being the answer. Social media would be more effective than that. I cannot tell you the last time I personally looked in a phone book. I also don’t go to online yellow pages unless there is something specific that I am not finding through Google/Bing/Yahoo. You can tell the writer definitely came from the Yellow Pages world.
As these mediums, try to revamp to become more relevant in an Internet driven world, there could be some value here, as web strategy is the “sum of all parts”. Local Search is something that needs a trained professional to help you with in order to maximize effectiveness and ensure you are getting your ROI. If you are interested, find someone (like Bevelwise) who understands it, can explain it, and has no reason to be bias to any one media – only to produce the results you desire.
Google sent us the email below stating that they will no longer support IE 6. So contact your IT staff and tell them you need to make sure you are upgraded. We suggest you get IE 8, Firefox 3.5, or Google Chrome 5 (the fastest browser) and for Mac users get Safari 4.0. You might a well upgrade to the latest version if you need to upgrade.
Dear Google Apps admin,
We plan to begin phasing out support of these older browsers on the Google Docs suite and the Google Sites editor on March 1, 2010. After that point, certain functionality within these applications may have higher latency and may not work correctly in these older browsers. Later in 2010, we will start to phase out support for these browsers for Google Mail and Google Calendar.
Google Apps will continue to support Internet Explorer 7.0 and above, Firefox 3.0 and above, Google Chrome 4.0 and above, and Safari 3.0 and above.
Starting this week, users on these older browsers will see a message in Google Docs and the Google Sites editor explaining this change and asking them to upgrade their browser. We will also alert you again closer to March 1 to remind you of this change.
In 2009, the Google Apps team delivered more than 100 improvements to enhance your product experience. We are aiming to beat that in 2010 and continue to deliver the best and most innovative collaboration products for businesses.
I was just going through a Search Engine Land discussion thread that was posted through their Linked In profile and it was all about “What passes for an SEO professional”. Needless to say it has 94 posts over a 4 month period – mostly about how people have paid for SEO and never realized results and trying to establish some sort of benchmark or certification to protect people from have a bad experience with Search Engine Optimization because anyone can call themselves an “expert”.
Really, almost anyone who builds websites would be an expert compared to the average business person. Part of finding a good source for your SEO partner is knowing what to ask for. Lots of web people can say a lot that sounds good to the average business person, and they probably do know what they are talking about. BUT…execution of strategy makes all the difference in the results you achieve.
I have had to explain to customers that they didn’t necessarily get “screwed” with their web site or SEO, but it is just because they didn’t know the questions to ask and the person they worked with just didn’t know how to follow best practices or execute to maximize results. There are over 200 factors that go into determining how a site will rank, and unless you have pretty deep pockets, you will have to rely on execution to get results with a focus on 10% of these factors.
It is about properly setting expectations and working to achieve those. You cannot guarantee someone everything they want unless you are using what is known as “black hat” techniques – but you measure you results and guarantee your work based on those properly set expectations. And black hat catches up with a site eventually.
Tips for successful SEO:
1. Be very specific with the keywords or phrase you want to get ranked
2. Understand that this is an ongoing process and you could check every hour of the day and see your own results vary probably up to 10 positions for the same keyword or phrase.
3. Ask for references and examples of work.
4. This is more of an ongoing relationship to be successful – doing it once and expecting it to last is going to be VERY temporary for results.
5. Don’t spend all your budget “up front” or for one time optimization. It should be a 6 month budget because then you have the money to adjust once you start to see results.
6. There are basics to effective SEO, but every client engagement should be based on what that client wants to accomplish so your “plan” should be based on your desired goals.
7. Algorithms change regularly – usually 1-2 major changes a year, so there is no long term solution other than to tweak your optimization and it takes some work in order to keep SEO “expertise” by your resource. If you are reading it in a book, it is already TOO OLD to really help.
8. If you are starting from ZERO and don’t rank for much of anything but your name, anyone should be able to move the bar for your results. Understanding if you are getting maximum value for your money is much harder for you to quantify unless they help you quantify it. Ask them. Ask for today, and ask for 6 months from today.
9. Be prepared to have more content and pages than you EVER had and have your site grow in pages in order to have enough content to create the quality scores and keyword density you need.
There are many more things to effective SEO, but I don’t want to go on forever. If you want to have a discussion, just contact us at www.bevelwise.com and we will be glad to answer your questions and help further.
Both Google and Bing (with Yahoo SERP going to be powered by Bing they will really be one in the same) plan to begin indexing Twitter tweets in 2010. That will allow them to show the the tweets within the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). This will more than likely be the first test for real time, non-paid, content to be indexed and shown on SERPs. That means you should position your Brand for more in depth, relevant, and timely tweeting because you will be able to move the bar on the search engines more quickly.
This will also help move Twitter from the social space into the main stream for business purposes because this will make it relevant on so many levels. Effecting real time search results? That is power. I would see Blogs getting the real time priority next(especially those using Blogger if you are Google) as they already help immensely with index-able content on a site. One would have to think that Facebook posts would be on the short list as well to go real-time
I was just re-reading an Article from earlier this year in Advertising Age that talked about why emotional marketing messages beat the rational ones. They looked at 880 case studies, covering two recessions to see if there was any difference between the “good and bad times”. What was determined was emotional advertising was twice as likely to generate profit gains than the rational ones, with the campaigns that use both, splitting the difference right in between.
The biggest difference was the emotional marketing reduced price sensitivity, which helped companies to be able to hold more firm on their pricing (with a better economy, it would allow you to probably charge a premium). Emotional advertising allows one to create a sense of differentiation for your brand and helps it appear to be worth “more” to the customer. However, a person that would respond to more data driven advertising or rational messaging, is typically more analytical so it is expected that they are more price sensitive because they would be one that “does their homework” first.
Balancing this in the Internet age takes some effort because of how Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Websites, and everything can spread more quickly – especially through industry trade channels. If you combine that with the fact that 80%+ people research what they want to buy online (especially if it is not a standard consumable good) then you have to make sure your message reaches across all mediums.
If you ask most business owners, “Would you like to be able to keep 1% more through your price or increase your volume 1%?”, holding that price would be more to the bottom line that the equivalent increase in sales volume. Your marketing needs to help you achieve that.
1.Non-Business Name Searches: It’s great if people searching the internet are discovering your website without typing in the name of your business. Probably most of these visitors were previously unaware of your business. This signifies that your website is ranking well for phrase that describe its location and the type of products or services.
2. Specific Service or Product Searches: If your company offers a exclusive product or service you will definitely want to be found for it. These keywords will point to your website because you have a search engine friendly website well optimized even for its more unique services.
3. Searches by Zip, Street, & City: An important component of Local Business SEO if having your address in the footer or on every page of your website. Your company can even gather online traffic for searches by multiple zip codes across your region. This is also a result of having a well optimized map listing. For example, in your Google Local Business Listing, make use of targeted keyword phrases in your list of services or products.
4. Synonyms for Products or Services: If your website is well optimized, it will be able to draw traffic from multiple keywords describing its services. Optimize for multiple phrases to describe your business’s services and products on pages within your website.
There are several sites out there that people use for sharing information and more social media aspects that you should consider registering your name. Even if you don’t plan to use Facebook or Twitter, we would advise you at least lock up your name so someone else cannot steal it – which is known as “squatting”. Besides, just because you don’t plan to use either of them does not mean there isn’t the next hottest one around the corner that you should lock up.
This happened with domain names in the mid 90′s as websites were coming into popularity. Several Fortune 500 companies ended up in court trying to get their trademarked names back. There has not been any precedence set for Social Media and if and how companies can get control of their Brand once it has been registered by someone else who is not them. As reference, here is an article from Adage that shows you some of the big Brands that don’t own their Twitter identity.
You can see if anyone has squatted you out and potentially avoid that by visiting UserNameCheck.com. There are 68 different sites that someone could “squat” you on. Some of them you have never heard of, several are familiar and you can find all the different sites people could squat your identity on. You never know what might be the next big fad or emerge so it is best to lock them up and as new “fads” come out, register those as well, even if you don’t ever use them – you can at least know you are protecting your Brand when it comes to Internet & Web Marketing and Social Media.
Google’s take over of your internet connected devices is now becoming more clear. The are taking a multi-pronged approach targeting mobile, netbooks, tablets, laptops and PC’s.
Android 2.0 is now released on the largest cellular carrier (Verizon) in the US and I fully expect Android to take over the iPhone in just a few years. Why am I so confident that the number of Android supported cell phones will out number iPhones in a short period of time considering the current iPhone lead? The answer is openness and applications.
Google is making a smart move by making Android hardware agnostic and not limiting what devices may run the OS. Just like Windows, Android may run on a whole slew of devices produced by numerous manufacturers. Whereas Apple’s mobile OS only runs on a few selected devices (iPhone and iPod Touch). It was recently announced that several new devices will be running Google’s Android OS, including a tablet PC from Vega, a e-book readers to compete with Amazon’s Kindle and a netbook from Acer. Expect more and new types of devices to come in the future. I can imagine Android to show up in your TV, in your GPS, and in your car soon.
The slew of new Android devices will demand the attention of developers. Developers and creators of applications will gravitate towards the platform where their applications will be sold and used the most. Also, with Apple’s big brother attitude over applications, why would a developer risk their application being rejected? There is less risk writing applications for an open platform like Android. Just like the gaming console wars and the OS wars, the winner of a platform is the one that has the most popular applications.
Also, it is now unofficially released that the Google Chrome OS will be launching within a week. Google’s Chrome OS is initially intended for less powerful netbooks and laptops (in fact it may even compete with Android) and will be competing head-to-head with Microsoft. Of course netbooks and small laptops is currently the fast growing segment in the PC market.
I’m not convinced that the Chrome OS will have as big of an impact in the PC market as Android has in the mobile market. Microsoft will not let go of its grasp of PC’s very easily. However of all the options available to the netbooks, Google has the best shot of nudging Microsoft from its podium a little bit.
I believe that when people look back to find when the time was that Google started jump out of the internet into hardware, the answer will be in late 2009 into early 2010.
Marketing to Mobile Devices is here to stay and only going to increase. With the new droids and Blackberry Storm2 and the iPhone, this is only going to be more prevalent and more people move to these data savvy phones. These devices also require you to get a data plan so they are always connected to the Internet as long as they are in a service area – no “hot spot” needed.
Google has deep enough pockets to keep anyone at bay. The interesting part of this deal is it was an all stock transaction – but $750 MILLION worth of stock. The interesting part of this is their sales are $40 and most experts think ad networks should be worth 6 times sales – or in this case $240 million. They received TRIPLE that figure – will it pay off? I think so.
If you are in a consumer oriented market, you need to begin to think about this as part of your media mix. In a lot of ways this will be BIGGER than the social media craze…certainly more valuable and measurable than that.
For a good article about this acquisition of AdMob by Google, visitthis Adage Article
Use Google Analytics to optimize your Adwords Pay-Per-Click spending by monitoring your conversion rate, bounce rate, and ROI.
First, link your Adwords to Analytics. Tip, do it from your login account (same admin on both), not a My-Client-Account MCC. Make sure your “cost data” is applied to the correct adwords account number.
Once your accounts are linked, apply conversion tracking/goals. Do this even if you don’t have e-commerce. A goal could be a sign-up, contact request, newsletter request, purchase, key page view, etc.
Now, login to Analytics and analyze you data! Find your adwords data by going to Traffic Sources –> Adwords.
Check the bounce rate. Ideally, a lower percentage is better…especially because you are paying for these keywords. Bounce rate is a visit with only one page view on your site, then they “bounce off” aka leaves your site. If the bounce rate is high, the landing page may be wrong.
Check average time on site. Usually longer time is better. You may want to improve the look of landing pages with low time on site because it may mean that the searcher immediately doesn’t like what they see. Or maybe they can’t easily navigate around your site.
Find out what time of day you are getting highest amount of conversions. This can help enable “Day parting” if you would like to lower your budget (or increase impressions for times when people are more likely to buy.
Expand on keywords with high conversion rates. Bid aggressively on keywords that are giving you a good return-on-investment (ROI). Ditch the keywords that aren’t converting!
Please contact Bevelwise if you need someone to manage or straighten out all of this data!