Understanding search engines and SEO

In the early days of the Internet there were so few websites available online that rivalry was comparatively negligible. In order to access the website a visitor simply had to type in the website address, or click a link that was included on a related site. Today however that is fairly unimaginable, just because of the fact that there are loads of millions, if not billions of websites available on-line. There are so many websites available online, that nobody really knows exactly how many there are at any one time, particularly since several hundred new websites appear each day.

While this is wonderful news for people reading sites, it becomes a difficulty for website owners and publishers. After all of the ambition, time and expense planning an on-line business, designing a website and uploading it to the WWW, it can be a disappointing thought to think that website is merely a single drop in a ocean so huge that it would be impossible to count the number of other drops.

One of the most fundamental parts of cyberspace technology are the search engines. There is just too much information and too many websites for any one person to have any hope of locating data which is material and useful. There are lots of search engines available to use but most people use Google, yahoo and MSN.

But the question is still there, in that how do the search engines decide which sites to put at the front of search results and which sites should be kept at the back? First versions of these search engines were little more than directories, categorised sections into which recommended links to suitable websites were placed. This meant a lot of work for the search engines which had to manually approve every site.

Instead, lets fast forward to how the search engines have became advanced. These days they use algorithms to decide which sites come first in search results. Algorithms involve taking the content of a website and identifying its subjects by keywords and content. Additionally, these algorithms take into account the popularity of each website. You can use various techniques to gain popularity in the search engines. One of the better methods is increasing your brand awareness using Bluseo social boost. That will allow the search engines to recognize your brand name much better creating multiple ranking results in search index.

The reason that popularity is considered to be so important is because it works a little like a voting system. The more people who visit a website, the more likely it is that that website is considered to be useful and relevant. In the same way, the more websites which link to this website, the more likely it is that it can be considered to be a reliable and trustworthy source of information.

Knowing the regular ways in which the search engines analyze the content, context and popularity of websites, owners and publishers of websites are obviously very keen to guarantee that they maximise the chances of their site being considered relevant and helpful by a search engine. Achieving this is likely to assure the website appears near the top of the search engines results pages, creating a higher chance of extra visitors and promising customers seeing it.

This is what is known as search engine optimisation or SEO. Search engine optimisation is the engagement of methods and tactics which are likely to make sure the site not only comes to the notice of the search engines, but achieves a high ranking position as well. Clear-cut SEO is likely to mean further customers, and is therefore an all-important part of making any online business successful.

Small business marketing tips

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you seeing the results you want to see in your business?Are you making the kind of money you want to make? Do you have the quality and quantity of clients you want to have?Is your business truly different? Do you want your business to be different?

Now, let’s look in the mirror.

Do you continue to make the same choices you’ve always made, which got you the results you’re seeing right now? Do you take the same Daily Actions you’ve always taken?

Now, if you answered “No” to the first set of questions, and “Yes” to the second…

Chances are the Choices and Actions include NOT to DO much Marketing.

Here’s the thing…

If you want Results…If you want More Money…If you want More Clients…If you want Better Clients…If you want you business to be Different… You MUST make Marketing a Top Priority.

It’s that simple.

There is no magic marketing medicine. No secret client magnet website that will solve all your problems.

Over the past twenty-eight years, I’ve worked with thousands of small business owners, as a financial advisor and marketing strategist. This has provided me with a unique perspective of getting to know some top, very smart, and savvy entrepreneurs, and getting the opportunity to work with them very closely. I’ve gotten an inside look at how they structure their businesses and what they DO to build and maintain success.

And here’s what it boils down to:

The Basics.

Consistently Marketing, day in and day out.

Nothing sexy, nothing CNN News-breaking.

Simply a relentless focus on marketing on a regular basis, whether you feel like it or not.

How to setup gurrrburtaki

Now that you have gathered all the information about your client, it is time to setup the face to face meeting. When you schedule the appointment, make sure you get at least two hours of uninterrupted time with the decision maker. If they can’t give you that kind of time, then they won’t be a good fit for your services. It is better to move on to your next prospect than put up with the future hassles of the client. Let the client know that this is a consulting meeting and that there will be no sales pitch. You are here to gather all the information necessary to create a business plan for your services.

The first part of the questionnaire will be the basic information about the company including, name, year founded, location, address, owner name, etc. This is where you will find out if it is a family run business and who all the decision makers are. Don’t forget to document the time and place of the meeting as well.

The next part of the questionnaire will focus on the business itself. First ask them why they got into that particular business. Then you can find out what type of condition the business is in. Inquire about whether sales are down or not. This is where you can help the most and where you will close the most deals. Ask them how much more growth they would like. It is important to get a percentage and an overall dollar figure. This will help when you price your services. Who wouldn’t spend $20k to improve sales by $200k?

Now find out if they have a unique sales proposition or USP. This can be anything from staff knowledge, low prices, customer service or unique products. Find out what message they want the public to know and why they should do business with them. Then you can find out if this message is communicated to all the staff, prospects, vendors and customers. Sometimes the business owner has a great vision, but fails to pass that vision on down the line. Also ask whether the USP is integrated with all other marketing efforts.

Next you can go over the current marketing process. Ask how they turn a prospect into a sale and what their closing percentage is. Do they have a follow up process in place for their leads and is it followed consistently? This is a good place to look for sales leaks that can occur when there is no customer resource management system in place. Then you will be able to tell whether they have calculated their average sale per customer and the lifetime value of a customer. After that, find out what the demographics are for their customers. This will be important for determining and joint venture or cross marketing deals.

Finally you will quiz them on their current advertising methods and budget. Zero in on where they get the bulk of their customers and how much they spend on each lead. It is very important to find out if they have a website and how much of their business is derived from it. You can also ask if they currently use an advertising agency or not.

When you are done with the questionnaire, ask them what their expectations are if they hire you. You will now have all the information available to decide whether you can help the client or not. Let them know the price for your services and close the deal!

Building a huge Twitter list for marketing

Twitter has evolved into an excellent social media tool with lots of potential. It is useful for a range of activities including: driving website traffic, reading news, professional networking, sales, hiring, and making friends. Regardless of why you are using Twitter, your success is 100% dependent on building an effective Twitter List. The Twitter List is your online social network of people (‘tweeps’ in Twitter slang).

So what are the most effective ways to build a Twitter List? What are some major pitfalls to avoid?

1) Quality Over Quantity

I would rather have a Twitter List of 100 highly relevant, targeted followers than a list of 3000 random followers. You should too. Relevant followers will convert better, provide more useful tweets, and offer a much better networking opportunity than others.

What do I mean by relevant, targeted followers? Here are some criteria I use to assess whether or not to follow someone:

Are they a real person, or a robot?
Their description and profile content
What their website about? Is it high quality?
Who do they follow? Who follows them?
How often do they tweet? How many updates do they have?
Do they use an automated Twitter Program?

Ask these questions before following anyone on Twitter, resist the urge to follow everyone you can. A high quality Twitterer to follow should be a real person, with a similar profile and niche as yours, and provide timely useful tweets.

2) DO NOT Use Automated Twitter Programs

I’ve debated using some of the automated Twitter programs whose numbers are multiplying like rabbits. You know, the ones that go something like ‘Gain 3,000 followers / How I made $30,000 in 3 months!’

I’ve ultimately decided that I will never use one of these programs, as they will hurt my objectives on Twitter. And I believe you too will be better off without them. The reasons for this are:

They stress quantity over quality
Far from personal, they ‘robotize’ your profile
Can be as annoying as hell for the recipient
Use a simplistic formula to find followers (ie: keywords in profile, tweets)
Pass your Twitter name and password through a 3rd party server that probably is not as secure as Twitter’s.

The bottom line is you can do a much better job finding relevant followers than an automated program. Yes it will take more time and effort. But is your main goal on Twitter simply to get as many followers as you can at any cost? Or is it to maximize your followers and create a highly valuable social network for your objectives? I hope it is the latter. If not an automated Twitter program would be GREAT for you! I like to use Twitter Search to find users as well as Twitter itself.

3) Create A Highly Targeted Profile

Choose a specific niche you would like to build a network of friends in. The narrower your focus, the better. A targeted profile lets potential followers quickly understand what you are about, and gain a higher number of followers in that field than a general one.

You will save time by not having to read through countless irrelevant tweets, and convert more visitors to visit your website and other goals.

My targeted Twitter profile is in online marketing, specifically SEO, Social Media, Web Analytics, and Web Design. I will only follow people whose profile includes those fields, and I now have a network of over 400 highly relevant followers after two weeks.

If you have another interest or field you would like to tweet about not related to your current profile, simply create a new Twitter account for it.

4) Be Patient

Networking in person takes time, same thing online. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen in 2 months. It’s an ongoing process. The results from building a high quality and relevant network of individuals are much more rewarding than building a network of a gazillion followers interested in everything under the sun. That’s why I discourage using automated programs to build up followers fast, there is no shortcut!

There is no ‘get rich quick’ scheme, except for hard work, persistence, and an efficient use of time. Do not sacrifice quality for quantity or you won’t get too far in your objectives.

5) Establish Clear Goals

What are your objectives on Twitter? Your success is dependent on your Twitter List, so assign some goals to it. For example, gaining 100 targeted followers per month. Set goals, and work towards them. You must have a clearly defined path to follow.

6) Follow A Schedule

Twitter has the potential being a very efficient use of your time . It can also be to be a huge waste of time. Set aside X hours per day, or a goal of Y people to follow per day. Following a regular schedule with clearly defined objectives will ensure the most productive use of your time. Personally, I aim to provide at least 3 daily updates and follow at least 50 new targeted people per day. I currently have 413 highly targeted followers on my list, and I started two weeks ago.