What I’ve Learned In Six Years Of Internet Marketing

Internet MarketingI haven’t done a blog post on this site for a few months, so I thought it was about time to update this blog with some helpful information.

The reasons for me wanting to do that are simple, the more often I update the blog, the more likely I am to get traffic from this post, and also the rankings for this whole site will improve, as long as I continually update it with fresh, relevant content.

Google looks at many factors when determining what to show in their search results, but one of the main factors these days is that the information is up to date, in other words the page was created recently, and also that the site it was on gets updated regularly as a matter of course, or otherwise they might see it as an abandoned site.

The History of Google

There used to be literally billions of spam sites out there, created for no other reason than to make a back link to a site someone was trying to rank for a competitive phrase, as in the past, Google simply looked at the volume or quantity of back links, and not the quality.

These days, most back links are disregarded completely, and links made from sites that have been identified as content farms or link farms may actually damage your rankings.

Some people have even tried to use these new back link algorithms to do reverse SEO on their competitors! Not that I’m recommending you do that, (because it’s seen as cheating in a bad way), but here’s how you’d do it.

Let’s say there were five sites ahead of you in a search, you might pay some idiot who still has a Fiverr gig for a thousand back links for five dollars, to build links to each of those sites, and if they truly were punished sites that the back links came from, then the top ranking competitors on any given search should fall back to about the ninth page, which is what happened when one of my clients bought a bunch of spam links without my knowledge.

You can apparently fix bad links made to your site by disavowing them in the Google disavow tool, but I have never been able to return my client’s site to the first page again, since it got the slap from Google for the spam links. The damage is sometimes permanent.

The New Focus On Social Media Pages

Social Media Marketing TechniquesAnother change I’ve noticed with these new Google algorithms, (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, etc), is that social media pages tend to do a lot better in the rankings than they used to.

Particularly Google Plus local business pages, they’re almost always on the first page for job titles.

Facebook pages and You Tube videos are a great way to rank for worldwide phrases, and Twitter is probably more a way for people who already know who you are to keep up to date with your latest announcement, blog posts, etc.

It really is easier to rank a Facebook page on Google, and I heard somewhere that a You Tube video is about ten times more likely to rank on the first page of Google than any other type of web page.

Making A Website

I like blogging on sites like Blogger and even wordpress.com, Weebly, and other free site builders, although if I’m serious about making a site, I’ll buy a domain for it, and maybe also do a self-hosted WordPress installation.

To do that, you get a hosting package first, perhaps with Host Gator, they’re my favorite hosting company, you buy a domain name, either on Go Daddy, or through Host Gator as well, and you use an FTP client like Fantastico Deluxe to install WordPress software from WordPress.org, (as opposed to WordPress.com), and then you have your /wp-admin screen.

There are many plugins like the All In One SEO pack that you might want to install, for social buttons I use the Add This plugin. If you had made your site on WordPress.com you would not have the option of adding the same plugins. This blog is on wordpress.com and I have noticed that it doesn’t rank as well as my self-hosted sites.

Finding The Right Product

OK, so you have a site, I probably should have talked about something really important first, which is working out a product to sell.

My view is that you want to be able to make a profit from pay per click advertising. You want a high profit margin or average return billing amount, so that you can afford the cost per click of Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and perhaps other advertising companies like Yahoo and Bing, pof.com ads, Linked In Ads, etc.

It’s not hard to get yourself in front of the right type of person, for around a dollar give or take, and if you make a profit of fifty dollars and have a 10% conversion rate, then you make four dollars for every one you spend.

This is where a lot of people go wrong when thinking about something to sell. I recently started being an Amazon seller, as opposed to an Amazon affiliate, which I used to be.

I chose a product which wasn’t quite right, touch pens in a pack of 3 for $14.95, when there were other people selling the exact same pen for less than half the price.

You see, after all of the charges from Amazon, I only make about half of that amount, so seven dollars, and in order to make a profit from pay per click ads, I would have to have a conversion rate of 20%, or one in every five dollars I spent would have to turn into a sale, in order for me to make two dollars profit.

The way Amazon works, if I get a bunch of good reviews and a good conversion rate, and my title and tags are close to the searches people are doing, then I rank highly on those searches, so it is possible that I will get a whole bunch of free traffic as well as paid, because it might not be possible to get a 20% conversion rate.

The average conversion rate would be more like 5%, and it could even be a lot lower than that, depending on how well the product appeals to the visitors to the sales page.

The Importance of Keywords

KeywordsYou have to consider the titles for each page you make online, as though you were someone typing in a query into Google, trying to find the same product or information.

Same with the ads, the wording of the ads is very important, as you only want those people who are likely to buy to be clicking on your ad.

If you are really lucky, (or skilled), you might be able to make a page that is so funny, entertaining, bizarre, etc, that it goes viral through word of mouth, people sharing with their friends online.

I’ve never been one of the lucky ones myself with that, and I mostly stick to the tried and tested SEO, SMO, and PPC techniques that I’ve figured out work for me, (and my clients), over the last six years.

Get In Touch

If you need any help with what you’re doing, get in touch with me, as I offer all of the things talked about here and more, as services to my clients. Email me at rowancasey@bigpond.com if you want to learn more.

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Local SEO Techniques Every Small Business Should Use

local seo

Image source: Search Engine Journal

How To Get Local Traffic To Your Site

Local consumers are the bread and butter of every small business. After all, they’re the ones nearest to the company and are, therefore, easier to connect with and convert into paying customers.

To make sure your company gains visibility in your community, you’ll need to include the following techniques in your local SEO strategy:

1. Optimise your website info

The information found on your website will determine whether or not your company will rank in search engine results for certain keywords. Make sure your site’s domain name reflects the nature of your business as well as your location.

Place your company name, address and contact details not only on the homepage and Contact page, but also on all other pages of your website. It would also be a good idea to use relevant keywords in the page titles of your site.

When creating your About page, make it a point to specify what part of town your business is in. You might note the street name or number and the various landmarks near your office or shop. This will help add information that your customers will find useful and improve your site’s local search visibility.

2. Go mobile

Aside from optimising site content, it would also be beneficial to make your site more mobile-friendly. Various statistics have proven that consumers are more likely to search for local businesses using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

They’ve also found that mobile searches are most likely to result to higher conversions than desktop searches. Moreover, Google has been known to rank websites higher in SERPs if they are mobile-friendly.

Make sure your site’s transition to the mobile arena is smooth and successful by following Google’s tips and recommendations.

3. Secure business listings on local sites

One of the easiest and most effective ways to increase your local visibility is to join a business listing website in your community. Google, Bing, and other major search engines always go through these sites to get a deeper understanding of the local web and the businesses involved in it.

If your company isn’t listed, you’re not likely to rank well in SERPs. Make sure you choose a listing website that caters to your specific location.

4. Obtain citations

Every time a person mentions your company or products and services online, your authority slowly builds up. Google recognises these mentions – more popularly known as citations – and uses them to determine how relevant and active your business is in a certain location.

The more citations you get, the higher your search ranking is likely to be. Citations can be in the form of listings in online directories, mentions in a customer’s blog, product reviews, and social media comments.

5. Develop an appropriate link strategy

Links to and from your website are crucial to your business’ online visibility. They serve as online votes that show search engines how authentic and credible your company is. Make sure you only link to good quality websites that are relevant to your content as well as to your business.

Be consistent with sharing links to your website on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LikedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. Also, make sure your back links are of good quality to avoid spam penalties from search engines.

6. Reach out through social media

Social media not only allows you to promote your brand in a large scale, but also enables you to communicate directly with your customers in real time.

Take advantage of this opportunity by creating a profile in social media sites that your target consumers prefer. Post messages regularly and reply to any comments, tweets, or posts from your followers.

Of course, make sure your posts contain words and phrases that are relevant to your business as well as your location.

Although these tips are among the most effective ways to boost your local SEO results, they’re not the only techniques you can use. The trick is in finding the right strategies that will fit your company’s unique needs and goals.

Think outside the box and test out different SEO methods. Before you know it, you’ll be able to develop a strategy that’s perfect for your small business.

Author Bio

With over 25 years experience in the SEO industry, Localised Search knows exactly what it takes to make websites rank high in search engine results. The company offers a variety of local SEO services for businesses in the UK.

What Promotional Items Can Do for Your Brand and Bottom Line

Promotional Gear

Guest Post By Brianna Flierl

The use of promotional items, when identified, branded and distributed correctly, offers many excellent and notable benefits for brands and their bottom lines.

Create long term brand awareness

Quality promotional items are generally kept for long periods of time which creates long term brand awareness.

This is a reason in itself not to skimp on the quality of the promotional products you brand and distribute – not to mention select wisely – so that they are kept for long periods of time.

The longer a promotional item is kept the more brand awareness it generates.

Provide cost effective promotion

Advertising, even digital advertising, which although increasingly affordable, is simply not as cost effective as using promotional items.

By utilising well-selected, quality promotional items, small businesses are able to level the playing field with larger businesses and their larger advertising budgets.

Improve customer opinions of your brand

A common trend identified through research and surveys is that giving promotional items to customers improves their opinions of brands – everyone loves to get something for free.

This works on so many levels, including creating long term brand awareness and customer loyalty.

A wide selection of promotional items to consider

Businesses are spoiled for choice with regard to promotional items to brand and distribute to their customer base.

As that’s so, there’s no reason to brand and give out ‘ordinary’ promotional items, though having said that, branded promotional pens are still among the most effective promotional items it’s possible to give, so don’t turn your back on tradition just yet.

However, don’t be afraid to be creative with the promotional items you give out – a little creativity goes a long way and helps your brand and business to stand out.

Excellent cost per impression benefits

Promotional items can offer excellent ROI (Return on Investment) when compared to advertising, in part because of perceived brand endorsement and the creation of long term brand awareness, though this naturally requires the business to go about branding promotional items the right way.

This would involve researching their target audience so as to understand which promotional items would be most favourable to brand and distribute.

The opportunity to introduce new products to your market
Admittedly, this isn’t a promotional activity that all businesses can engage in, though if at all feasible, give out one of your new products to your loyal customer base with the intention of ascertaining their impression of the product.

This is a great way to gain invaluable insights into customer responses before releasing the product on the market.

Gain a competitive edge

If you do your research into your target audience so as to identify promotional items that will really appeal to your intended customer base then you’re well on the way to gaining a competitive edge over other businesses.

By giving out branded promotional items that really stand out and make an impression, you’re opening a direct line of communication with your intended audience and you’ll find that they’re more interested in your business and what you have to say.

Increase sales

The point to branding and distributing promotional items is to increase sales, and provided you do your homework and allocate an adequate budget so as to procure quality promotional items – poor quality items won’t further long term brand awareness and often have the effect of creating a negative impression of the business in the minds of both current and prospective customers – that’s precisely what you’ll do.

With such a wide array of benefits afforded to businesses that use promotional items effectively, what are you waiting for?

Author Bio:

Brianna Flierl is a freelance writer for Dynamic Gift, a reputable manufacturer of a large selection of promotional pens, notepads, glassware, and other products in Australia. A business aiming to give the lowest prices without compromising on quality.

Making Facebook Pages To Promote Your Posts

How To Make Facebook Pages

Note: this article was originally published about three or four years ago now on HubPages, and I’m using most of the text here as some extra content for this site.

If you want to find out how to make Facebook pages professionally, or hire someone to do it for you who has over five years of experience in internet marketing and social media marketing, check out the sidebar for details on how to get in contact with me.

The Original Article

First, you need to figure out a category of posts or pages from your site you want to advertise on a Facebook page.

The articles should be linked together by the keywords in the title or article body. For example, I have written many articles on writing articles, so I have made a few Facebook pages that advertise those.

I have made names for my Facebook pages like: Article writing, etc, and I paste onto the page the articles which most relate to the keywords in those titles.

Keywords are just as important in getting your Facebook pages on the first page of a Google search, as they are for the pages on your site.

If you just make one Facebook page, with all of your articles about different subjects on the one page, Google will not rate it very highly, because the keywords are all over the place.

How To Make Your Page On Facebook

 

To start with, you click on Advertising on the bottom right of the screen, and then click on pages, and make a page. You will want to pick a title that will get a lot of traffic on Google, and one that has an ability to compete with what is out there already.

Choose a category for your page, such as writer, or local business, and then you are ready to start constructing your page.

Choose a photo, and start posting the URLs for your articles on the wall. They will automatically display the meta description that Google show, or that your paid article writing site has given it, and you should delete the URL address, and either replace it with a keyword rich description of your article, or leave it blank.

Once you have a few articles that fit with the keywords of your title, you will want to put more keyword rich text in every part of the page, or make custom tabs with content.

Start with the info box, and write a long description of your page, using as many keywords, and complimentary keywords as you can.

Make a photo album, and fill the captions up with keyword rich text. You can also get more than one Facebook account, and fill up the fan section of the wall with keyword rich text as well.

Then there is the notes section, and links section, but I don’t use those. Just cover the page with as much keyword rich text as you can, and then, make another Facebook page, and do the same there, with a different title or keyword category.

Then you link the second one to the first one, by clicking on add to my page’s favorites, on the first page, and then you have an incoming link to boost the Google rating of the first page.

How Long Should You Spend Making Different Pages?

 

You will want to spend quite a long time on making Facebook pages, once you have a significant amount of articles that fall into individual keyword categories, as the link weight, and advertising potential of Facebook is quite substantial.

My Facebook pages are doing quite well in a search on their individual titles, and I believe that in the future, much of what appears in a Google search on any particular subject will be Facebook pages.

Facebook going public on Google was one of the biggest changes to happen online in the last few years, because it provided a quick and easy way for anyone to get on the first page of a Google search for most subjects.

Even big bands and companies are spending a lot of time on their Facebook pages these days, because they know that there is a lot of potential in them.

So keep writing articles, and post them on the Facebook pages that best reflect the keywords of the content and title. Make as many as you like, and try to get lots of friends on Facebook to become fans of your page.

Make lots of links to your Facebook pages, because the link weight will transfer to your articles, even though links from Facebook are no follow, as well as giving a better Google rating for your Facebook page.

This is in itself a great advertisement for your articles. Just keep working, as persistence is the only real way to make some money from writing online.

What You Need To Know About Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing Guest post by Tricia Borren

It is clear that social media is now huge, and it is here to stay. Hundreds of millions of people spend a large amount of time every day on Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, and other social sites.

Business sees the potential customers that can be reached by using social media, but at the same time does not know for sure how to approach a marketing campaign. More than half of businesses in the nation are now using social media in one or more ways, but most of these companies are not using social media correctly.

The companies that are benefiting the most from social media clearly have different methods and a different approach to marketing to their fans and followers.

So What Is The Right Approach To Social Media Marketing?

There is a right way and a wrong way for a business to approach social media, although it all depends on what the product is they’re trying to sell. A recent study of over 2,000 companies using social media showed that only 12 percent thought they were using it in an effective manner.

This clearly shows that not only do companies have a problem using social media correctly, but they have no idea what they are doing wrong. One of the biggest issues with business is the inability to quantify their results.

Figuring out a way to measure return on investment is near impossible. It is easy to calculate how much money is being spent on social media, but how much revenue is being generated from it is quite difficult to estimate.

How Do You Know If You Are Making A Return On Investment?

The companies that are benefiting from social media are definitely aware of their success. They may have difficulty in putting a specific revenue number on the influence of social media marketing, but they are succeeding. What are they doing different from other companies?

Marketing analysts say that it is the way they approach this new technology. Instead of advertising to a particular audience, they are using various types of social media to have a dialogue with their customers. This is a two-way conversation in which companies listen to their customers and give their opinions as well.

This had led to product improvement and innovation seldom seen in the past. Of course, customers love to be heard and companies build up goodwill as well as brand awareness. With sites like Facebook or Twitter, you can find almost anyone or any organization in the world, and send them a message, any time you want.

Another aspect of social media marketing is that customers have become mobile. They must be reached on devices such as smartphones or tablets. This new mobile marketing is important because messages to the consumer must be formatted in a way they can access with a mobile device, and the consumer must be able to respond to a message in order to begin a dialogue with a company.

About The Author

Tricia Borren is a mother and a blogger from Southern California, who’s also an expert in mobile marketing on the site she writes for: Orange Soda Marketing. 

How To Use Social Media To Rank On Google Easily

How To Use Social Media For SEOThere are two ways that social media can help your rankings:

One is that you can rank your website higher by having multiple links from social media pages and shares pointing at your site.

This has a small but noticeable effect, although the links from Facebook, You Tube and Twitter are no follow.

The other is the social media pages themselves can rank highly on google. There is no faster and easier way to rank for any keyword phrase than by using a Google Plus page, a Facebook page, or a You Tube video, and doing the right things to optimize it.

I wrote a really long and informative article on my other site about how to rank on Google easily with your Facebook pages and Google Plus pages, but I will also explain the same things here.

How To Rank Your Social Media Pages

How Easy Is It To Rank Your Social Pages On Google?

The huge authority of sites like Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, and now Google Plus makes it very easy to get high rankings with hardly any back links, so long as you have great content, and good internal linking within those sites.

The easiest way to get internal or cross links inside of those sites is to get real likes and followers, make other pages that link back to it, comment, get post shares and photo shares, etc.

It’s not a good idea to buy fake fans, but you can use a social swapping site to get cheap connections quickly, or you can run a Facebook Ads campaign, and choose countries like the Philippines to get a better price.

I can handle that for you if you want, right from the start. I do keyword research to find the right title, I design the page with an attractive cover photo, add apps, get likes or run an ad campaign, then I make other pages and link them together.

I can get post shares, photo shares, page shares, and comment using the @ symbol on relevant pages, and then I make high quality back links by writing articles and publishing them on sites like Ezine.

The results speak for themselves, I am ranking first on the first page for many phrases, such as affordable social media marketing services, as I explain in this press release on the SEO potential of social media.

I can make you a Google Plus page, although I usually prefer to just advise people on the making of Google Plus profiles and pages, because that site is fairly strict on everything being done according to the book, and I don’t like logging in and out of different Google Plus accounts.

These pages work the best for local searches, for example if you are teaching guitar lessons, you can make one of them, and rank for that phrase in the immediate local area, whenever someone types in that phrase.

They work so well locally, there is practically no other way to get to the top of those searches. If you are trying to beat dozens of competitors in your city, you can add followers, get people to post reviews, add lots of quality content, and maybe make back links as well if you need it.

The links coming from Google Plus are do follow, which means they have more SEO benefit in theory than a link from Facebook, Twitter, or You Tube, but then it’s not about the benefit it has to rank your site, it’s about ranking the Google Local page 100 times easier for the search.

Is It Still Worth Making A Website?

Social Media Versus Making A WebsiteYes, it’s still worth making your own website, but you don’t really need one if you’re a small business and you have a presence on social media sites.

You can set up a Facebook page with custom tabs that have Pay Pal buttons, or whatever you would have on your site.

I’m no longer ranking my site for affordable social media marketing services, even though it’s been around for years and has hundreds of links leading to it.

I post blog posts at least once a week, and I get traffic from random searches because of that, but I’m not ranking for any of the high competition keywords.

The reason is, it takes a lot more work or money to try to rank a website for those phrases than it does to rank the social media pages.

People feel comfortable with the look and user-friendly feel of their favourite sites, so it’s a great way to pre-sell them before they visit your site, or to do all the selling straight from Facebook.

Facebook has the most options, because you can add an app like Static HTML: iFrame Tabs, which allows you to add any sort of HTML elements to a tab, like a You Tube video, payment buttons, subscription forms, photos, or whatever you need.

If this all sounds like something you’d be interested in, I can do the whole thing for you, or parts of it like just page design or video production, or I can give you coaching so you know exactly how to do it all yourself.

My email is in the sidebar, or you can click on the first link in this post to read more about the subject, and get in contact with me through the contact form on the contact page on that site.