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July 16, 2011 / Dan

What is SEO?

SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is a large topic that could have a whole blog explaining it. I will go over the basics here and explain what is involved to answer the question: what is SEO?

The objective behind SEO is to optimize your website in order to allow your website to appear higher in the search results. This is an important marketing technique since a large amount of people look for new products or services online and primarily use a search engine to find these.

There are two types of SEO, which are onsite SEO and offsite SEO. Onsite SEO is all about doing keyword research to find the best keywords related to your site so potential customers can find your site when they type keywords in the search engines. Once the best keywords are chosen for your site, the next step in SEO is to optimize these keywords in the sites content.

In order to optimize keywords on the site you can add the keywords to the headings and alt tags for the images. These keywords need to make sense since Google will blocked sites that do keyword stuffing. A great way to keep keywords appearing in your content is to create a blog and use these words in your log posts.

Offsite SEO is mainly link building to raise your Page Rank. This is important because the more links you have linking to your site the better your site looks to Google. Although it is better to have high Page Rank sites linking to our site as this will rank yours better. As your Page Rank raises your site will appear higher in the search results for those keywords you optimized in your onsite SEO.

This is a very basic outline of what SEO is and what it is used for. I will post more detailed posts about SEO but it can become a very complicated topic. Are you uses these SEO techniques for your site?

July 14, 2011 / Dan

Is a Blog important for Marketing?

iPhone for BloggingI have seen all over internet, as I read some different marketing blogs, the same question over and over: Is a blog important for a marketing plan?  The quick answer is YES.  I will go over a few of the different marketing techniques a blog can be used for and why a blog can be a great ROI (Return on Investment) for your marketing plan.

Blogging is not only important because of the large amount of new ones being made daily but they are also important to learn about other companies.  Through blogging you can reach a whole different part of your market than offline marketing techniques.  This seems obvious but some people do not think of a blog this way.  People are reading more and more blogs than before in order to get their news and to read about companies before they buy a new product or service.  It is important to remember as you start blogging that people do not want to read posts only about your products and company.  You need to create great content in every blog post that helps people and makes them trust your company and have them want to check back and subscribe to your blog.

Blogging is also great for your marketing plan in the market research area.  As I have said in earlier posts, you can use a blog to read what people are saying about your company and your competition as well as what your competition is blogging about.  This is a marketers dream, to be able to know what both customers and your competition is saying.

A large reason why blogs are a great ROI for any marketing plan is that they are free to start and only require your time to create some content.  What other type of offline marketing technique is free and can reach such a large market?  Not many if any other marketing techniques.  So if your company does not have a blog you should really consider taking the few hours a week in order to start one and to post great content to it.  You can even post to your blog on your iPhone while you are away from your computer!

 

Photo credit: BasBoerman on Flickr Creative Commons

July 12, 2011 / Dan

Blogging to watch competition

Blogging is not only a great marketing technique in order to get your business name out their with great content, but blogging is also a great way to watch the competition and your market in general.

By putting quotes around your company’s name or products in a blog search engine you can see all of the blog that are written about your company and products.  This is a great marketing tool in order to conduct some market research and see what people are saying.  Also I good marketing technique would be to comment in on some of these blogs that mention your business.  This shows people that you care what is being said and that you do read other people’s blogs as well.

Another way you can use blogs to help your marketing technique is to watch your competition.  You can do this by seeing what they are writing about in their blog and if people like to read it.  It may be a good idea to run their blog through the website grader along with running yours through as well to compare.  You can also puts quotes around your competitions name in blog search engines to see what people are saying about your competition in your market.

Blogs are a great tool to conduct some market research to see what people are saying about your business and to see what your competition is saying.

July 9, 2011 / Dan

Using Digg for you Business

Another new marketing technique that fits in the social media marketing area is using Digg to get your great content found by many different people.  Digg is a great way to find interesting and useful content from all over the Internet.  If your article ends up getting on the first page of Digg your site will see a large increase in traffic.

Digg Marketing TechniquePhoto credit: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid, laughingsquid.com

I do not recommend submitting only your articles to Digg though.  Find other great articles and submit them since the idea is to help your customers solve a problem they may have and build a relationship with your company.  Once you have submitted a number of other articles you can submit one of your greatest articles to start to get found on Digg.  At this point other people may have already submitted some of your content for you, if you have been creating great content and have a Digg button on your blog.

July 6, 2011 / Dan

Facebook announces Video Chat: Catch up Technique?

Facebook just announce a new feature within Facebook called Facebook Video Chat.  This is interesting since Google+, the new social networking site, has a Hangout feature where you can video chat with more people.  Since Google+ is receiving more and more people liking the site and using it, it seems that Facebook is trying to catch up in the video side.

Facebook Video allows you to video chat with any of your friends who have a web cam for their computer.  This is similar to a few other websites that allow video chat such as Skype and now Google+.  I like the idea behind Facebook’s new feature but think it is going to be seen as a catch up to these other sites that have already been using a video chat feature.

Facebook's CEO Mark ZuckerbergThis new feature was made today by Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s office in Palo Alto, California.  To the left is a picture of Mark Zuckerberg by JD Lasica, socialmedia.biz.

 

 

July 6, 2011 / Dan

New Marketing Techniques vs Old

I am going to start off by saying that the old marketing and public relations methods still may work for some businesses but there are newer and more effective techniques now.

The older marketing techniques such as commercials, print ads in magazines, direct mail, cold calls are all seen as some form of interruption.  This is because in one way or another they are interrupting the person they are sent for.  Commercials interrupt watching a TV show, ads in magazines interrupt articles, direct mail is considered junk mail by many, cold calls sometimes interrupt dinner.  People are getting better and better at avoiding these interrupts all together so it is time to try new marketing techniques that are not an interrupt but help the people instead.

This is where the new marketing techniques now are very important and businesses are starting to see that.  By using things like social media marketing, you can create helpful and interesting content that the readers are looking for instead of interrupting with an ad.  Since people find your website through search engines using certain keywords they are not being interrupted by seeing your website and other online marketing techniques since they are searching for it at the time.

The public relations techniques are also changing as in the past only the journalists saw your press releases, but now everyone can see you news releases.

The other great thing about using these online marketing techniques is that they can all be tracked and you can decide after a few months of testing each which ones are working.  Another bonus is that most are few and only require your time to create content unlike the big dollars spend on TV ads.

Comment and tell me what new techniques you think are working the best.

July 4, 2011 / Dan

Marketing Technique: Using Facebook to reach a niche market

FacebookFacebook is a great marketing tool that your company could use to reach your niche market.  The reason that Facebook is such a great tool is that so many people use the site and many more are registering every day.  If your business is not yet using Facebook, it is time to think about setting up a page for your business.

The first step is to set up a profile for your self first as it is against Facebook’s terms of use to set up a profile that is not a person.  After setting up your own profile you can then add what Facebook calls a “Fan Page.”  It is important to fill out your business’s “Fan Page” with a detailed profile linking to your main site so that people can go to your site to find out more and hopefully convert to a customer down the road.

Now you may be overwhelmed and not know how to use Facebook to your advantage.  This is normal if you are new to Facebook and a reason many companies do not use Facebook correctly and lose “Fans.”  Instead of just posting content about your products and services, instead post great content that starts conversations with your fans.  This is what people want to see on your profile instead of a constant advertisement.  The most important thing to do is to participate in these conversations on Facebook and get your company’s name out there.  This shows people that you care about your customers and not get your advertising goals.

Facebook is a great new strategy for marketing as long as it is used correctly and not just a constant advertisement.  Create your Facebook profile and your company’s “Fan Page” and start creating content that your market would like to read about.  Most importantly have fun while participating in these conversations that you start on Facebook.

Let me know what you think of using Facebook as a marketing tool and how you think companies can use it best.  Comment below.

Photo credit: Flickr from pshab