Monthly Archives: November 2012

11 So You Want To Go Online With a Business

Today’s article is by guest blogger:

Kaye Dennan of Home Business Success Ideas

If you are an internet surfer you go online and within minutes you find answers to your search. The first ten listings for your search term come on the front page of Google (although I appreciate there are other search engines you may use) and the sites on the first page are not necessarily the best, but they are the best ones recognized by the search engines. If you look at the top of the Google page you will see that there can literally be millions of pages covering the search term that you have used.

So what you have to do to get your site recognized is find keywords (search terms your customers will use) that are not so common so that your site will be easily found on the web.

Let me assure you that there are plenty of clients out there for everybody and if you try to get page ranking with the more popular keywords it will be years before you get to the front page. But if you use the less common search terms you will be found by more than enough customers to keep you busy.

In saying that, you will have to be patient. The internet has billions of written, videos and graphic items being posted every single day so it may take up to 3 months before you will get to the front page for your chosen keyword.

Getting to the front page is not just about using the right keywords but also marketing your site using that keyword.

 How Does This Affect You

It affects you in the way that when you build a website you need to be able to get your pages up into the first 10 search terms so that you will get the clicks from potential clients.

Without optimizing your website with keywords to take advantage of the search terms you are really wasting your time building a website in the first place. If page placement is not important to you then this exercise is not so critical.

So let me tell you how to make sure that your website or at least some of its pages are going to get front page ranking.

 Pretty Is Not Always Best

I know many people who have paid thousands of dollars to have the ‘prettiest’ website made by skilled technical people, but there has been no keyword research and these website owners are wondering why their website which they paid thousands of dollars for is not being found on the internet.

Google and other search engines do not care about ‘pretty’ they care about content.

The Very First Steps To Building A Successful Website

Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the importance of doing your keyword search first. It is absolutely critical to the success of your website and your business, even when deciding on your business name.

Keyword research will ensure that you find the best keywords for your business, not only for online marketing but offline as well.  These words should be the focus when you are deciding on a business name and also on a domain name (the name of your website, e.g. http://julianeiman.com   In Julia’s case she is well recognized in her industry so she can get away with using her own name for her website.

But if you do not personally have a well recognized name in the field that you wish to pursue then you need to choose a name which will find bring you clients when people use these search terms.

So How Do You Find Quality Keywords

One of the simplest ways is to go into the Google keyword tool.

Here is how to fill this form out:

    • Go to the ‘word or phrase’ box and type in the best word that describes your business
    • In the left-hand column tick the ‘broad match’ box
    • Make sure the locations box (in gray) says ‘All’
    • Then fill in the captcha word box.  (In the screen shot below I have already filled in the captcha word box and been taken through to the next step.)
    • Scroll down and you will see a list of keywords of which some of them will be suitable to use for your business.
    • You can download these keywords in a csv file to your computer.

At this point you are looking for keywords that have a quality score.

Find keywords that have a Global Monthly Search of 500+ preferably over 1000. Then go into Google search and see if the pages come up to under 30,000.

It is tempting to go for the higher number in search terms but if you do you have so much competition that you will find that your website just does not get ranked and your potential customers just do not find you.

Here is an example of two keywords. The first you might think of is “tomato blight” but when you do your searches you will come up with over 120,000 pages but if you use the keyword “tomato blight treatment”, which is a much more defined keyword you still have a good monthly search volume of 1,600 and only 30,800 competitive pages. So by defining your main keyword “tomato blight” even further you will get quicker and better rankings in the search engines.

So if you were going to have a website about tomato blight you could if it was available have tomatoblighttreatment.com (I don’t know if this is a domain name or not) with your the tag line saying “Stop Tomato Blight From Ruining Your Tomato Crop”

Another Consideration

One point that I have not brought up is the fact that you may only be interested in local contacts. Say for example, your business is to visit people in their homes and eradicate tomato blight then might use your local town, area or county as part of the name and this will definitely help in that instance.

Finally

Put the time into your keyword research as it is the most important part of a successful website. Don’t rush in to setting up your website or choosing your business name and domain name until you have done this keyword research because it is such an important part of your business success.

Make sure you follow the links on this page because it was not possible to cover all the information you need in this one article. Good luck.

Kaye Dennan is an author of many ebooks but her passion is helping people set up and market home businesses.  For this specific purpose Kaye has set up http://homebusinesssuccessideas.com and has shared tips for people wishing to start all types of home businesses and who want to market online and offline.

 

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6 Building Brands for the Connected World

Today’s post is based on a report – Building Brands For The Connected World, A Social Business Blueprint by Facebook based on a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting, February 2012.  This is just a summary of the 16 page PDF I downloaded and stored in my resource folder.  You can find this PDF here http://fbrep.com/wp/building_brands.pdf.

In a previous post I talked about product funnels.  Today I’m going to tell you that the funnel is an outdated model that inaccurately reflects the reality of today’s consumer journey in three significant ways:

1.  Most importantly, the journey must be described from the consumer’s point of view, not the marketer’s.

2.  The journey to customer loyalty is not linear, but rather is a continuous process of exploration and interaction.

3.  The journey is not isolated to just one person at a time — the entire connected world influences it.

The new process looks like a circular motion (see the graphic above) of learning, investigating, purchasing, and interacting.  The product funnel can still be useful for planning products and services, however, it is no longer relevant as a marketing plan.

The process is completely influenced by social media.  Consumers hear about new brands and investigate via social media.  When it comes time to buy something, consumers increasingly consult their friends via social media. Then, they expect to be able to interact with the brands through social media after the purchase.

What this study concludes is that in order “to succeed in the connected world, marketers must create connected brands:

Brands that continuously engage with people when they want, where they want, and how they want — particularly through social media.  To do so, they must first reconcile the gap between modern consumer behavior and outmoded marketing tactics. Then they will take the six steps outlined in this report to incorporate social marketing into their brand-building strategies.”

To win in the connected world, marketers must:

1.  Articulate the brand’s social identity so the brand communicates with a unique, compelling, and authentic voice.

2.  Connect with your best and most likely customers by giving them a reason to like or follow the brand in social channels.

3.  Engage people by making brand communications more participative and personally relevant.

4.   Influence people by inspiring and enabling people to share messages about your brand with their networks.

5.   Integrate social into the brand and product experience to make it more cohesive and useful.

6.   Rejuvenate the brand by using insights from social channels to monitor the brand’s health and improve the brand experience.

To begin building a connected brand you must have a vision for what it means to become a connected brand.  Ultimately, you must ask how you can gain a competitive advantage by becoming a connected brand.  It will also require you to reassess how your company allocates resources, develops strategy, and formulates budgets.  To jump-start your journey, use the questions below, provided by Forrester in the study for Facebook to identify opportunities to build a connected brand.

Answer the follow questions to identify the gaps that need to be filled in all six steps in order to build a connected brand:

Articulate:

•  What about your brand is inherently social?

•  Why do people engage with your brand and talk about it with friends in the real world?

•  How could social media help you fulfill your brand promise?

Connect:

•  Have you created a hub for your social identity that expresses your unique brand personality?

•  Where are you currently reaching people that could be leveraged to form a connection (i.e., your website, email newsletters, mobile experience, in-store experience, etc.)?

•  What are you doing to motivate people to connect and how are you offering them a better experience once they connect?

Engage:

•  Are you creating content and communications that are highly relevant to your audience and aligned with your brand?

•  Do you build content and communications that encourage participation and sharing?

•  Do you respond to and communicate with your community?

Influence:

•  Do you motivate people to participate in content and generate stories about their experience with your brand?

•  Do you encourage people to share their stories with friends through actions, recommendations and reviews throughout the customer life cycle?

•  Do you use paid media to ensure that content gets distributed to the friends of your connections?

Integrate:

•  How could you leverage the information people share with you in social channels about their preferences and friends to create more personal, relevant, valuable and engaging product and marketing experiences for your customers?

•  Are you building programs and experiences across the customer life cycle to be social from the beginning, rather than adding social on at the end?

•  Are you using social to create a more cohesive experience for your customers that can plug into your CRM and customer service programs?

Rejuvenate:

•  Do you have a process for surfacing and sharing the consumer insights and learning from social channels back through your organization?

•  Do you use social media to monitor brand health and customer satisfaction?

•  Do you use social media to identify new product or marketing opportunities?

The report says that 51% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or brand after liking them on Facebook.  How active are you for your business on Facebook and other social media?  After seeing this report and considering the questions above, have you identified any gaps that you can fill to better build a connected brand?

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