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From all the data we have gathered from how businesses operate for increased revenues (and profits) – there is no doubt that a HUGE SHIFT has happened over the just the last 5 years (2007) in terms of marketing, and the shift to ONLINE advertising and marketing (SEO, PPC, PPV, Social Media, Contextual, Retargeting, Banners, etc).
A day doesn’t go by where I don’t hear somebody slamming the Yellowpages (print edition) and that it is expensive, old-school and “doesn’t work”. The word is out on the street.
It’s true that each market is unique, and I recommend verifying data and testing (budget depending) what works. However, there is no doubt that the shift to online has been going on for a while, and CEOs and Marketing VP’s are excited about the results & trends.
Still, there are many businesses who don’t have a website. Here’s an example of how Google teamed up with Intuit to get New York small businesses online: http://www.newyorkgetonline.com/ (and that’s not the only region, more are coming.)
Billions of dollars are made using offline marketing strategies: direct response techniques / strategies and professional copywriters are used to create direct mail pieces, post cards, plain envelope letters, tear sheets, brochures, sales letters, mag-a-logs, billboards, catalogs and lots more (including online).
And, copywriting training companies like American Writers & Artists (Awai Online) can teach and show you a new way to prosperity – by becoming a direct response copywriter and marketer.
What are some of the tools that can help build your offline marketing campaigns?
You. Mobile. Marketing.
In 2012 we enjoy a vast array of technologies (understatement of the year) that are “on” 24x7x365.
We can browse, send/receive messages, engage with applications, rich media and ‘talk’ to the world right from our light-weight, travelling devices.
Smartphones are more than smart…they follow you, and depending on settings, they’ll know where you are, and with a social following too.
And, it’s all there to help your prospects & customers get what they need, when they need it. When somebody searches for your business, a local pizza, dentist or hair-dresser for example — you’d better show up — either naturally (SEO), paid (Adwords & mobile pay networks). And, your web site or content should be mobile and ‘call’ ready. (click to call)
It only makes sense that businesses create, update and review strategies for mobile marketing. And yes, it’s another shiny object (literally) – but that does not mean you should not consider planning and thoughtful execution of those strategies. It’s not just “try it and forget it”. It is another marketing channel, another medium to test.
Here are some insights to consider for your new mobile marketing venture.
As search engines and the online user community advance and mature, a fun and important to-do, is watching how the web evolves. (Not sure who’s wagging who or what). But, it’s exciting to see the changes in terms of the content, multi-media, rich applications and user experiences now available. HTML5 is coming up fast, and Flash is taking a plunge into the dirt.
These changes are true across many devices, from web browsers to portable devices like smartphones and iPads. And, a prognosis by Morgan Stanley says that there will be more people using portable devices for the Internet in 5 years than there are desktop users.
When it comes to search engine optimization, the trade, markets & competitors change often. Google is still the leader in search, and announced they make (on average) some 500 changes to their core algorithm. The last 12 months have been brutal on many out there. It’s for a “good cause”. (Google makes more money!)
So, it’s not just about good market & technical understanding, architecture, design and content, but about ‘marketing 360′. And, do you study offline marketing and sales materials that come to your door step? (I do)
It’s no longer enough to analyze, understand and apply changes in tags.
The professional work is far beyond that (and has for a while). For example, spamming / stuffing keywords and cloaking is easily detected by search engines. And, professional SEOs know all this. They have applied themselves and evolved too. The ones that are lagging behind are catching up.
So have the search engines, and we’ll cover some recent findings and results on what you need to do in 2012 to stay current with your website optimization practices.
As an officially published author, (two books now), I’ve spoken to many folks in the last year about writing and author-ship. They ask how I did it. My books, they are not “just” an e-book series. I got a publishing deal with a trusted, successful, known outfit – Entrepreneur Press and via McGraw-Hill distribution. (The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization is my ultimate online marketing book, and has done very well.)
Then, the next question is – how many books did you sell, and how did you get paid (up front fees, royalties, kick-backs, etc). I don’t typically get into all the details, but tell them that YOU must write a book. It’s what separates the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.
The book has given me way more than money.
It’s connection, authority, leadership and trust (and mum loves it!).
Getting a real publishing deal and writing + finishing may be a long road for you.
It is for most.
But, you can shorten that path by first creating self-published works (e-books).
It will allow you to prove yourself to your market, potential future publishers, make money (immediately), and educate your audience about your philosophies and human insight for improved results and “feel good” emotion.
“It is hard to imagine today, but one of the greatest contributions of e-books may eventually be in improving literacy and education in less-developed countries. Today people in poor countries cannot afford to buy books and rarely have access to a library. But in a few years, as the cost of hardware continues to decline, it will be possible to set up “virtual” public libraries which will have access to the same content as the Library of Congress.” – Bill Gates, 1999
After the recent and multiple changes in Google’s algorithm, and the Panda updates this year – confusion has overtaken webmasters.
The most common question is “now, what do I do?”. “The article directories got devalued, paid links are frowned upon, directories don’t seem to matter anymore, blog commenting and forum postings are bogus, and social media is an unknown.” Plus, big brands and Google Adwords seems like the only way things work now. The entire screen real estate on Google is changing, and even Google instant is “forcing” people to select more lucrative keywords for the search giant.
They continue, “how can I build out my website so that Google gives me (back) the love that I once had? I need tons more of it!”.
Understandably so, it is complex now – and since nobody knows the absolute, definitive ways to get ranked, and therefore attain traffic – you must go by history, new discoveries, and test “best practices” to see what sticks. Then, you have to keep doing that, and stay on top of changes…just in case.
The Google ranking issue comes up a lot.
Because the owners of small businesses who base business & revenue from their online counterpart must be visible in Google, the biggest search engine on the planet.
They know this — and, that keywords are a core connection point to success.
“Use keywords on your site that users would search for, says Jon Rognerud, Los Angeles-based author of Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization” – Newsday Small Business
The message is profound. It’s very serious. And super profitable. But, only for the businesses that know how traffic really works on the “Inter-webs”.
We know that not all traffic is created equal. Right?
Think about it for a moment.
Let’s use an offline example:
If I have the most amazing recipe for blueberry muffins, well known for it, and I have an awesome, physical store that’s located just in the “right” location, and I have hoards of potential customers in the neighborhood, and – even some who have traveled far… but – to get the best strawberry muffins (it’s a connoisseur kinda’ thing), and they are in a “must have – or die” situation, I would be wise to match that requirement. Who wants to serve killer blueberry muffins to a legion of strawberry muffin diehards?
Right? And, it’s more than just matching an initial user (search) request.
This is a weird video. Dogs barking, cars racing & balloons popping.
But, it contains a serious and interesting message.
In fact, I would venture to say that 8 out of 10 online properties don’t use these strategies. And, for the ones that do – they are shooting themselves in the foot (pun not intended). There is a hurdle to overcome, and it’s not just technology (and, by the way, this is easy if you know where to look) – but it’s understanding the process, and implementation of the right things, at the right time.
I’m talking about some basic stuff here – but more powerful than you can imagine. It’s the biggest no-brainer in the history of mankind, but so few do it.
Click to watch the video, and be prepared to take your online marketing and customer relationships to the next level (i.e. make more money while providing excellent value & saving time)
Strange & aggressive headline, I know. But, read on before passing ‘judgement’…
Recognize that while there are many factors that Google (and other search engines) include for optimal performing websites and find-ability online, there is ONE THING that you may have missed in all the public news from the search & social giant. And, especially because of all the ‘noise’ recently.
Everybody is talking about, and discussing the impact of the various Panda updates this year, even the Caffeine infrastructure update last year – and the very recent “freshness” algo changes.
Allegedly, this recent November change impacts 35% of searches (websites). Fresher sites will be listed first. Side Note: This was already ‘going on’, so it’s more like a 17.5%, but that’s another story.
From big to small businesses — webmasters, site owners and executive staff are shaking their heads and worrying about the impact to their businesses and livelihoods. Every time these updates happen, I keep checking to see if it’s a 9.0 earthquake equivalent, or a 2.5% temblor. Most of the time, it’s already expected.
Either way, a small business should recognize what’s most important… and stop worrying.
Blogging… and running a blog has become so important (read: a must) for an online business today.
And, for small businesses specifically – the idea of sharing, engaging and becoming a trusted authority is key to long term success online. A blog will help set that in stone (if you do it right.)
Sure, you say – but I don’t need to blog, I don’t have time. And, I especially don’t need a blog when I can Tweet (twitter.com), Tumble (tumblr.com) or Facebook it (including paid advertising) with just a few minutes each day. All my potential customers are there too. Why blog and learn all that stuff?
Sorry – but that’s a short-sighted approach. This video explains more why blogging and owning/running a blog is so important (and easy).
(A bit redundant, but: This is the QR access for your iPhone, Android, etc – you can watch the video now):