Category Archives: Digital Marketing

World's Top Search Engines

The importance of proper SEO grows daily

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World's Top Search EnginesYellow pages? I am sure some people still use the yellow pages to find what they need. I just don’t know any of them. Like it or not, the relevance of yellow page directories has come and gone.

So where does a business spend their marketing dollar to get the best ROI?

Increasing their visibility for WHAT they do in search rankings at the World’s leading search engines.

This doesn’t mean trying to employ some strategy to trick Google, Yahoo! or Bing into putting their listing at the top. That will not work. Even worse, if it did work – it will only be for a matter of hours or a couple of days before the algorithm update – which will relegate the cheating strategy site to search oblivion.

Just two days ago I met a potential client who was imagining a strategy of using a lot of little sites in an effort to dominate Google’s rankings! I couldn’t believe that someone had suggested this to them! I wasted no time telling them to ABSOLUTELY AVOID any such strategy.

They were aghast at the news.

Which brings me to the topic of educating business owners about organic search engine optimization. A good portion of delivering quality SEO is educating the client on the right approach – and mindset of the approach – as well as working to ‘undo’ or delete whatever bad SEO strategies that have affected their rankings negatively.

It is amazing how many people don’t understand that they will be penalized for deceptive, shady strategies and/or duplicate content/duplicate listings.

Another common hurdle is trying to educate the business owner who wants to be ranked number one for their town, plus all other surrounding towns and areas in organic rankings. This simply does not work.

Here’s why:

  • The best search engines provide the best quality of search results.
  • Quality of search results depends on three things:
    1. accuracy,
    2. relevance,
    3. value.

So here’s the deal – here’s how to get and keep the best possible organic search rankings for your business:

  1. Accurately represent your business on the web,
  2. Provide value for site visitors.

Yes it is a good idea to be social and use social media to connect with people. Making your business accessible through the latest social media platforms says a few things about your business, namely that A) you are a vibrant and relevant business, and B) you are open to connecting with consumers on the Internet.

Having a well-defined presence at Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. also helps establish the accuracy and relevance of your company’s brand.

Rankings = Marketshare in 2012

What are some good guidelines to use when discerning the good strategies from the bad?

  1. Always strive for accuracy . . be WHO YOU ARE, and WHERE YOU ARE.
  2. Adopt the point of view of a search engine and then reflect on that before getting excited about some ‘special strategy’ that someone told you about.

RE: #2 above . . .

Yes, you need to look at things from Google’s point of view. Consider that Google is working every day to sift through a gargantuan amount of information from innumerable sites that is growing every day. In order to be THE BEST search engine in the World, Google has to sort through this mass and deliver the most accurate, relevant results that have the most value for their search engine users. So how does Google do this? Many ways, including:

  1. Continually updating the value of a complex, top-secret algorithm that ranks all web sites/pages/content to determine and deliver the highest-quality search results.
  2. Continually tweak methods for identifying ‘webspam’ and removing the offending webspam publishers from the indexes of their datacenters.
  3. Continually update the datacenters with fresh, relevant content that is being delivered ’round the clock’ by billions of spider bots that crawl and index the information available on the World’s servers.

In addition to those efforts, new efforts are being made by the Big Three (Google, Yahoo! and Bing) to improve the formatting of the web by integrating semantics through use of microdata and mutually agreed-upon protocols as in http://www.schema.org (see my blog post on The Semantic Web), which will dramatically increase the overall accuracy of information on the internet.

Quality SEO is not rocket science – but more common sense. With Google, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.

My advice?

Be part of the solution.

The job of a quality organic search engine optimization consultant is to:

  1. Quantify your company as it applies to search,
  2. Define the parameters of your company and how they should be represented online,
  3. Research whatever current presence your company already has online (which you may or may not be aware of) – and remove any negative elements,
  4. Assess the needs of your company’s Internet presence – including social media outlets, and necessary site elements,
  5. Develop a plan to showcase your company in the most accurate light and most accessible fashion,
  6. Implement this initial plan for your company’s Internet presence, and
  7. Work with you on a plan to remain vibrant and relevant to the online community (which may include social media, adwords campaigns, email marketing and blogging).

Q. Can you do these things for yourself?

A. Yes. In fact, an effective and winning strategy will most likely require your participation.

Q. Should you hire a professional SEO consultant to make sure that your company is optimally presented on the Internet?

A. ONLY if market-share is important to the success of your company, and the success of your company is important to you.

In 2012 – and the future – how important is the Internet to the success of your company and to garnering a respectable amount of market-share?

  • Consider that 2012 is the year when overall ad spend for digital marketing (Internet) eclipses the amount spent on television advertising and print advertising.
  • Consider that hiring a reputable SEO professional that can show you recent examples of their SEO results, and comes highly recommended is as important as choosing the right doctor, dentist or surgeon.

The doctor is in! We look forward to helping your company have success online. Please call 913-271-2955 or contact joe@joewooldridge.com for a free consultation and quote.

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Web Analytics: On-Site Analytics In A Nutshell

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Web Analytics - On-SiteIt starts with data. Internet data. Get it, measure it, analyze it . . . and report it.

Why?

Well, to be better, My Dear Watson. More specifically, make your website and product/company better.

Part of that improvement lies in helping to measure traditional advertising campaigns and to hone your digital marketing campaigns for optimum effectiveness.

*business research and market research*

By properly implementing Web Analytics you will have access to valuable info:

  • # of visitors
  • # of page views
  • # length of visit
  • # traffic flow
  • # most popular links
  • # geo location of visitors

Off-Site versus On-Site Web Analytics.

Off-Site Analytics measures potential audience (I.e. your site’s opportunity, visibility and ‘buzz’) on the Internet overall (and Off-Site Analytics is not today’s main topical focus).

Effective Use of On-Site Analytics

On-Site Analytics track and measure the site visitor’s journey from the moment they reach your website. With On-Site Analytics, you can see what works – and how well (measure ‘drivers’ and ‘conversions’);

  1. Define what is important to your organization.
  2. Set goals.
  3. Develop a digital marketing strategy to achieve goals. *Note: unless your organization has an endless supply of money, you will want to measure the Return On Investment (ROI) from investing in the following digital marketing channels (I will address Digital Marketing ROI in another post):
  4. Implement On-Site Web Analytics:
    • Decide what you want to measure and how you want to measure it.
    • Configure Google Analytics (or other) to track all relevant assets (pages, files, pdfs, podcasts, videos, links, contact forms, etc.).
  5. Start a digital marketing campaign(s) (I.e. Email blast, Adwords Ads, Banner Ads, Pop-Up Ads).
  6. See what assets or landing pages are driving the sale – or phone call/email that leads to the sale.
  7. Compare this info with key performance indicators (jargon for performance measurement).
  8. Take the information gathered from your efforts, interpret it, adjust your organization’s digital marketing strategy accordingly.

How can your organization best apply On-Site Analytics? /UGLY BABY ALERT!/

Be prepared to learn that you have an ‘ugly baby’ for a website (and possibly an ‘ugly baby’ for a digital marketing campaign as well!). That’s okay. The whole idea here is to reach your organization’s goals. The improvement of certain aspects of your website and your digital marketing campaign will move your organization further along the path to reaching its defined goals.

Now that you have gathered Internet data on your digital marketing efforts:

  1. Verify the accuracy of the data. (I.e. Compare your website’s data as shown through Google Analytics, to direct analysis of the raw server logs). What is it they say? Trust, but verify.
  2. Ensure the validity of the reporting (ideally two reports; the first being a snapshot of data relevant to focus; the second being an overall site metrics. The combination of these two allows context and perspective).
  3. Interpret the data.
  4. LEARN from the data. (What worked? What did NOT work?)
  5. Identify issues, roadblocks, challenges.
  6. Adapt (improve strategy).
  7. IMPROVISE/INNOVATE (improve, change, create or eliminate) your:
    1. tactics,
    2. functionality,
    3. products,
    4. services.
  8. OVERCOME CHALLENGES. If you don’t fail, you can’t learn. Remember that every digital marketing campaign fails to a certain degree. Embrace the experience, dissect the elements that are lacking, and pay attention to what your audience is telling you.
  9. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Evolution of Web Analytics.

The definition of Web Analytics and On-Site Analytics continues to evolve, and the methods and tools used for Web Analytics continually evolve. To ensure optimum accuracy and effectiveness, your organization needs a resource (person) to be continually integrating new techniques, tools and functionality of existing tools.

Dynamic Evolution: Digital marketing continues to evolve, as does traditional advertising, the mobile web, competing platforms, emerging technology, how people connect/share and overall consumer habits. Effectively utilizing Web Analytics to measure your organization’s performance will require insight, peripheral vision within your org’s industry, anticipation of future tech, recognition of emerging trends, impact assessment and adaptability. Change is the only constant.

Joe Wooldridge is a Digital Marketing Generalist, currently working on MyJoeCard.Com in Kansas City.

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Web 3.0 – Preparing for and building the Semantic Web

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Web 3.0 – Preparing for and building the Semantic Web

Ready to help manifest the future of web? Get ready for Web 3.0 – The Semantic Web

In web 3.0 you will need to build your site and web applications to deliver content in a semantic, organized format. We’re seeing this progress as Google, Bing and Yahoo! have embraced the microdata formats from schema.org.

This is the future of being found on the internet for what you do. It is time to build your site for web 3.0 (the semantic web). Start now by using schema.org’s microdata wherever and whenever possible.

Kate Ray provides this great video re: web 3.0 w/ transcript, interview bios, etc. Need info on building a site or incorporating semantic web elements into your organic SEO strategies? Contact Joe Wooldridge at joe@joewooldridge.com and stay tuned to www.joewooldridge.com.

Web 3.0 Interviews with:

  1. Tim Berners-Lee
  2. Clay Shirky
  3. Chris Dixon
  4. David Weinberger
  5. Nova Spivack
  6. Jason Shellen
  7. Lee Feigenbaum
  8. John Hebeler
  9. Alon Halevy
  10. David Karger
  11. Abraham Bernstein

Joe Wooldridge is a digital marketing generalist, currently working on www.myjoecard.com.

via Web 3.0 on Vimeo.

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Mention this Blog Post, Save Twenty Bucks (Keyword “Smoothride”)

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ON THE IMPORTANCE OF RELATIONSHIPS: I have learned many things since starting up the MyJoeCard network in 2003. Perhaps more than anything, I have learned to appreciate small business owners in America. My success as a small business owner depends on their success – and the lackluster economy has not been helpful or kind to small businesses across the board. Indeed the marketing and advertising industries have been in an accelerating pace of constant flux.  How people get their news and information is continually morphing – as are the ways in which small businesses are able to reach the consumer.  One of my main goals in starting MyJoeCard.Com back then was to build a network where consumers can easily shop for the things they want and need – in a ‘Go Green’ and ‘Shop Local’ format that would allow businesses to be found easily. I figured that if I can help enough people get where they are going, then I can get where I am going.

It follows that I have developed many strong, long-term relationships with Kansas City area small business owners as a consumer as well. In a world that has scores of ‘Daily Deals’, limited-time specials and coupon mailers impacting B2C industries, I have been lucky enough to have developed a relationship with an auto repair shop – and more importantly – my CAR developed a relationship with them as well.

Today’s blog post highlights the importance of finding a quality automotive repair shop (in this case, Smith Specialty Automotive) and developing a relationship with them. Instead of browsing for automotive deals at a myriad of different repair shops, I started getting to know Dave, Keith, Tom, Kellee and the rest of the crew at Smith Specialty.

I am proud to drive an older (paid for) car and I have been fortunate to realize the long-term savings and cost-benefits of having a consistently-serviced and maintained auto. Without that relationship, I think my car would have died a few years ago. These guys have taken great care of my car, have been consistent in maintaining it – and there is no doubt in my mind that quality service and maintenance by a quality auto repair shop has saved me a bundle AND extended the life of my car.  BOO-YAH!

So Dave, this post goes out to you (and Smith Specialty Automotive).

Dear reader, if you are interested in experiencing quality automotive repair on a consistent basis by highly trained and experienced professionals (and the overall cost benefits and extended life of your car), then I recommend calling Dave Smith at Smith Specialty Automotive.  His phone number is (913) 393-0700, or contact him by email: smithspecialty@sbcglobal.net.

If you mention this blog post when you take your car in for service and repair at Smith Specialty Automotive, Dave will give you a $20 ‘repeat customer’ coupon that you can use on your car’s second visit.  After two visits to Smith Specialty Automotive, I believe you will find a ‘home’ for your car – and take the mystery and guessing out of maintaining your car.

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Get A Google Voice Phone Number

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Get A Google Voice Phone Number . . . Isn’t it time?

Get Google Voice! It's Powerful, Cool, and Free.
Google Voice Rocks

This morning I set out to slay a tech dragon, in this case to ‘figure out’ how to sign up for Google Voice and set it up in an optimal way for my needs.

Hooray! It was quite simple.

  1. Google Voice is free (and awesome).
  2. You may choose a new phone number in the area code of your choice.
  3. You can set up your ‘Google Voice’ telephone number to ‘auto’ forward to any (or all) of your phones.
  4. Also, Google Voice can ring up to six total phone numbers (land lines or cell phones) simultaneously.

To use Google Voice, and get a Google Voice telephone number, first you have to setup and activate your new Google Voice account.

Here’s How To Get Set Up:

  1. Go to the Google Voice homepage (here)
  2. Login with your email address & password (click “Sign In”). NOTE: If you do not have a Google account yet, then get one! Select “create an account” enter the required info to open your free Google account.
  3. Click on the “I want a new number” button to get setup with a Google Voice phone number.
  4. Enter your area code you want and then click “Search Numbers”. NOTE: You can search for numbers by zip code as well.
  5. Pick your new Google Voice telephone number from the list, then click “continue”.
    Enter (and confirm) a four-digit PIN code (used to access your Google Voice account). Click the “I Agree” box for terms of service and click “Continue”.
  6. Enter the phone number (your home? cell? work?) that you want your Google Voice number to be forwarded to. Click “Continue”.
  7. Click on “call me now”. Google Voice will call you at your number. You’ll need to answer that phone and enter the two-digit security code that is displayed (This allows Google Voice to confirm that you owner the forwarded phone number). Click on “Done”.
  8. Congrats! You’re in business! You have a new Google Voice number and have successfully completed setting up your new Google Voice account.
Get A Google Voice Number Today!
Get A Google Voice Number Today!

Hope this all helps.

Peace Out!

Joe

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