Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Category: SEO Tips – Search Engine Optimization

Why organic SEO is a priority over PPC and other online ads

Organic search engine optimization (SEO) is considered a higher priority by most seasoned marketing pros when compared to pay-per-click (PPC) and other online ad programs, especially for branding campaigns. Here is one good reason why:

‘Heavy clickers’ distort online advertising 

The people clicking on your banner ads may not be the target audience you’re seeking, according to a new Starcom USA study. The study revealed that so-called “heavy clickers” are typically between the ages of 25 and 44, with a household income of under $40,000. They represent only 6% of the online population, but account for 50% of all display ad clicks.

Heavy clickers spend about four times more time online than non-heavy clickers….they aren’t necessarily brand loyal and often don’t even pay attention to the brand they are buying….

Source: BizReport.com, February 13, 2008 (Hat's off to the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce for including this piece in their email newsletter, "Business Intelligence Report," March 2008)

Assuming the above is correct, there is a tremendous amount of money being spent on 6% of the online population when you consider these recent reports published by Continue reading

AIM GeoTargeting Services

Now more than ever, when your prospects look for products and services locally they are turning to the web.

  • About 75% of US households use the web when seeking products or services locally.
  • 54% of search users no longer use the phone book.
  • Approx. 4 billion searches were conducted on Google in one month (July 2007)

These are qualified leads looking for the specific service or product you provide. What techniques can you use today to help them find you? This article here explains a few that will improve your local search results.

If you prefer to outsource this type of work, call AIM Custom Media – our GeoTargeting Services for local search let's them know you're in town.

What is AIM GeoTargeting? A program that drives local dollars to local businesses with an affordable internet marketing solution. One more thing, 78% more people are using the Internet to find a local business than they did just two years ago. Many small businesses have been slow to respond – don't wait until you lose market share. Get involved now and cherry pick ripe leads "looking" for, but not finding, you.

Contact us for details at 804-915-7379 or via email and we'll contact you.

Searching for Business Online

The results are more compelling now than ever. If you think a line item for online marketing in your 2008 budget is an option, consider this:

  • Odds are strong that your customers will read online content developed by your competition in 2008 (articles, testimonials, blog comments, e-newsletters, PR news, e-reports, etc.)
  • Your competition more than likely has a budget for search marketing (either paid or organic SEO) and they intend to place relevant ads in your client's conscious – a click away (display ads, rich media, video, classifieds, sponsorships, referrals, e-mail, etc.)

Forrester Research's "Get Serious with Search Marketing" (Aug. 2007) reports 65% of marketers surveyed are using search marketing tactics.

"Local" search is on the rise and eMarketer's "Local Online Advertising" report (Aug. 2007) projects an increase from $2.9 billion in 2007 to $4.6 billion in 2008 (U.S. total).

  • Your competition is working on their blogs, widgets, wikis and websites right now to capitalize on the red hot social networking trends. 

Frankly, you don't need me or anyone else to tell you online marketing is important and that every business owner should be paying more attention to it.  The majority of our clients tell us, "What we need is a better understanding of the tactics, costs and resources necessary to build long-term relationships with our existing clients, increase referral rates and capture new business using online strategies."  

Where do you start?

Start with a reality check. Do you have a written strategy for marketing online? Do you have the human resources and a budget to support your plan? For example, if you run a small business and you plan to use email marketing (basic strategy everyone should be using now), how much should you spend on generating quality content? How frequently do you plan to update your content?  And, most importantly, what marketing tools do you plan to use to deliver the content to your existing clients and your target market?

  • Monthly website updates (new testimonials, industry news, articles, press releases, etc.)
  • Dynamic blog content – subscriptions, weekly updates with RSS feeds and automated email delivery whenever new content is added (organic SEO)
  • Email newsletters with a summary of relevant industry news and articles important to your clients (link your newsletter to your email signature, website pages, and publish an archive on our website)
  • Participation in social networks that increase referral rates, etc.

A recent survey of thousands of marketing pros indicates that email is still considered one of the strongest marketing tactics (highest ROI) when compared to other marketing tools. (see our previous post here for more on this survey)

If you are a small business owner and your company generates more than $200,000 in gross revenue, consider budgeting at least $6,000 for online marketing in 2008. As a rule-of-thumb, your marketing budget should include a minimum of 2-3 percent of your projected 2008 gross revenue – varies by industry and your competitive strengths.

Are you producing static or dynamic content online? Are you providing your clients with a compelling reason to visit your site frequently or read your emails? Whether print or electronic media, "Content is King." If necessary, pay someone to design your newsletter (custom publication) and write professional articles in your name. Publish your newsletter content on your website and/or blog and publish the articles on external websites as well (article marketing).

Join the conversation – visit relevant industry websites and/or blogs and leave comments (start now, your are welcome to leave a relevant comment on my blog). Let it be known that your company is an expert in your field and you are willing to help others.

As always, if you need assistance preparing your marketing plan or just a little advice on the budgeting process feel free to contact us. We'll be glad to answer your questions no charge – no strings attached.  

 

 

Mastering Website and Blog Content, Resources

For the majority of websites, you'd swear the content evolved from a pool of mud. So how do you become a supreme content guru? What resources are available for writers, PR professionals and marketing managers? What do the experts recommend? And, what are the benefits? It is well known that quality content delivers a significant return on investment (ROI), so where should you focus? Content can be considered in two categories: primary and secondary. Primary Content Vehicles

  1. Blogs: Without question, blogs are one of the best methods for adding frequent and fresh content to your website. Setting up a blog is relatively easy. Managing the content and marketing the blog is hard work that requires a talented blogger and management resources. A comprehensive management plan, which clearly outlines your goals, objectives, and available resources (labor), is highly recommended.
  2. Press Releases: Studies prove well designed and managed PR campaigns are very cost-effective, especially for those using Internet marketing channels. Our previous post here provides additional info.
  3. Articles: The frequent publication of articles has always been an effective means of promoting yourself, your company's services, and now your website. Articles published online should be less than 800-1,000 words. If you think your article needs to be longer, it doesn't – write two articles (i.e., Part I & II). One of many article publishing website services is ezinearticles.com
  4. Testimonials: Almost any testimonial is good, but testimonials that define the issue faced by your customer followed by how your service or product solved that problem are excellent.

Secondary Content Vehicles

  1. Expert Q & A Section: You know the questions, the answers are valuable content for several reasons: they attract new prospects, help your existing customers, and convey the message that your company employs the experts your customer seeks to fulfill their needs. Here's a sample Expert Q & A page for AVONEX (MS therapy).
  2. Product & Service Reviews: Using reviews works best when you add customer-to-customer content and/or quote customer feedback. Does anyone really care what the company's marketing department thinks about the product? Amazon.com was one of the first to include customer generated product reviews on their web pages – the rest is history.
  3. FAQs: Pay attention to the questions your customers are asking and provide the answers. Avoid the mundane as well as complex issues. FAQs should be short and sweet. Reserve the more complex issues for your Expert Q & A section.

Creating quality content is hard work. First and foremost, you need a keen understanding of your target audience. What do they need to know and what do they want to know? How can they benefit from the content you are providing? Consider the following:

  • Know your target audience, get customer feedback, conduct surveys. A free and easy site to use for basic surveys is Zoomerang.com
  • Segment your prospect lists and customer databases, prepare content for each target segment and avoid generalizing to be all things to everybody
  • Write multiple versions of your press releases highlighting different keywords in the title and body content; the customer controls the search and different people use different search terms to find the same solutions

All content you add to your website should be focused on increasing your reputation in your field. Time is required to establish a reputation, be patient and persistent. Once you establish a reputation for providing quality content, others will syndicate your work and your business will grow rapidly. Additional Resources TechCrunch, written by Michael Arrington is a classic example demonstrating the power of quality content, read Blogging for Dollars. Why Quality Content is Key for Search Engines is a special report from the Search Engine Strategies conference, Feb 28 – March 3, 2005, New York, NY. Gerry McGovern is a proponent of website content. He has written several books such as Content Critical and The Caring Economy. Visit netconcepts – Stephen Spencer Interview with Gerry McGovern for more. There are numerous other resources. Do you have one you recommend? If so, please leave a comment and we'll share it with our readers. Thanks!

WordPress Trackbacks – Plugin for Pages

Adding static “pages” to your WordPress blog increases your blog traffic. Well written content with long-term “staying power” is the key. A good page includes topics that are always fresh; the history of a subject, resources for beginners or researchers, etc.

As pointed out on Masterslate.org, the opportunity to include trackbacks on WordPress pages isn’t a default option. This WordPress plugin allows content creators to:

  • Send Trackbacks & pings from the Write Page & Manage Page interfaces.

You can download and install the plugin in literally minutes – it was one of the easiest plugins I ever installed.

[tags] WordPress plugins, trackbacks for pages, masterslate.org, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Crazy Egg Launched – Powerful New Blog Tool Tracks Visitors

Ever wonder what your website visitors are doing on your site? Where they click and how frequently? Now you can find out thanks to the release of Crazyegg.com Crazyegg is a new free tool that lets you analyse where visitors on your website click. The site features several tracking tools including a "Heat Map" overlay for your site. You bet this is a powerful tool that can be used to improve the layout and navigation on any website. They released a "free" service; however, a more robust tool can be purchased for a nominal fee. The site is well laided out (I'm sure they tested it) and the programming is top notch. I already created an account to track my AMG Mercedes-Benz Blog. Crazy Egg – Website Crazy Egg – Blog My guess is this service is here to stay and it will do well quickly. [tags] Crazyegg.com, visitor tracking, blog tools, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Are Corporate Blogs A Waste of Time for Upper Management?

Telling your boss he or she needs a blog could get you fired. A generic blog with generic comments by your CEO and/or your upper management team does not produce significant returns for the time invested. More to the point, it is likely a waste of their time. We all know it, but thousands of blogs like this exist. Why?

Corporate management has been told they need to blog to connect with customers, prospects, vendors and associates. This is good advice for CEOs and managers that are excellent bloggers with plenty of time on their hands. Slim chance you work for one of these people.

So how should corporations more effectively use a blog?

PR Blogging Machine
Add your blog as a link on your corporate website, but you don’t necessarily need to call it a blog. There is no need nor many compelling reasons to have a stand alone blog. Your blog should look and feel just like any other page on your website, except the content is now going to be fresh, relevant and informative to your target market. Use the “News” link on your website and turn that stale, outdated content into a well-oiled, PR blogging machine.

Limit the posting rights to your marketing/PR department. Publish at least 2-3 posts per week; not an overbearing workload. Write press releases and relevant industry news that includes quotes and comments from the CEO and upper management. This will minimize their time involved while maximizing their exposure both internally and externally – everybody wins.

Pros: it is easy for your IT Department to set up and little (if any) developer time is required to keep the “News” page updated. Search engines will love the fresh content and your website SEO results will improve. Also, your website visitors can comment, you can promote the site in your newsletters and marketing materials, and your customers have a compelling reason to bookmark your website.

Get Your Human Resources Department Involved
With little effort, your human resources department can post job openings on the “News” page after you convert it to a blog format. A separate HR page, or multiple pages for each job opening, can easily be included and updated by your HR Department. Consider creating an RSS feed so potential candidates can check your job openings from their desktop without the need to re-visit your website for updates.

Marketing Department Announcements
Again, with little effort you can also include an “Events” section on your “News” page once it is converted to a blog. Exhibiting at a trade show next month? Is your management team involved in any seminars, webinars, webcasts, or other marketing events? Using a blog to promote your corporate events is effective and the content improves your SEO results.

There are many ways to view blogs. When you realize blogs are software tools as much as anything else, their uses are practically endless.

PS: If you need help setting up blogging software to accomplish the recommendations above or if you have questions, contact eoecho.com. We can give you a hand.
[tags] Corporate blogs, blogging, PR, News Links, SEO results, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Ways to Immediately Increase Search Engine Traffic – SEO Tips

Nick Wilson provides an excellent discussion on increasing your SEO results. Also, he provided this “bonus tip” list of his favorite SEO blogs, which is:

Nick’s full post on SEO tips: 3 Ways to Immediately Increase Search Engine Traffic

[tags] SEO tips, Search engine optimization, best seo sites, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Increase Blog Traffic With Related Posts Plugin – WordPress

Related Posts WordPress Plugin

Like most WordPress plugins, this one is easy to install. Just upload the plugin to your blog and follow the simple instructions. What does the Related Posts plugin do?

The related posts plugin automatically adds internal links to your blog posts. The plugin searches your content for keywords and creates the links for you.

Internal Links Increase Blog Traffic

  • Increases your pageviews and the amount of time visitors spend on your blog
  • Increase your ad exposure to blog visitors (increase ad revenue for your blog)
  • Internal links improve your search engine rankings

More info on why you should use internal links can be found here.
Hat-tip to Yaro Starak at Small Business Branding blog for alerting us to this great plugin.

[tags] Related Posts, WP plugin, SEO optimization, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Placing Adsense Strategically Between Posts – Increase Traffic?

How to: Placing Adsense Strategically Between Posts: ProBlogger Blog Tips I'm not sure littering your blog with Google ads will do much for your traffic, but if you're going to do it try placing ads in only a few posts instead of all of them. A little thing called a loop counter in the index.php file does the trick for WordPress users. If you try this, leave a comment on this post and I'll visit your site, comment, and click on any relevant Google ads I encounter on your blog. I conduct a lot of research online and I often find ads relevant to my topic of interest. If you make a few bucks displaying the right ads – power to you. Thank Darren Rowse at ProBlogger for this one.

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