Your Presence Online is the Key to New Business

In today’s market you will not be found without a strong online presence

Your presence online, whether it is in the form of a website page, a blog post, or a YouTube video, is a representation of your business that works for you 24/7 and 365 days per year.  Every piece of online content is essentially an abbreviated sales letter which gives you the opportunity to extend a welcoming presence and inform your ideal customer of exactly how your business could benefit them.presence online

What makes them your ideal customer?  The fact that they were searching online for something specific, and it is you that they found.  Think about that for a moment.

They were actively searching for more information, and found that information in your online content.

That serves another important purpose as well. Your relevant and timely answers to the questions they had, position you as an authority in their mind.  Therefore, the more pieces of online content with relevant timely answers to questions about your business, the more your business benefits.

We specialize in content marketing, content creation, blogging services, and in getting those pieces of content to the very first pages of Google, where they are sure to be seen.

We can get them on top either through a new website or an existing one.  Either way our goal is to cause your content to be found by people searching for information about what you do. We also encourage clients to work with us to help them to learn to take complete control of their own web presence and online content programs.

Our available individualized training teaches you the essentials of handling as much of your own website content management as you choose.  After all, you know your own customers better than anyone else could.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

We are specialists in the effective use of SEO techniques.  SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization, an important quality factor which determines your website’s effectiveness to connect those searching for your services with you.

SEO is a set of content factors and other behind the scenes factors which optimize the importance and appearance of your website in the eyes of search engines. There are numerous factors involved in search engine optimizing a website.

Exactly how SEO it is done depends upon the needs and type of business being promoted.  There is no set formula for ideal SEO.

The very first step in implementing an SEO approach is to determine what key words your ideal customer might type into a search engine.

The next most important step is to determine how many other people are also trying to get on the first page of Google for those terms. Sometimes reaching the top is easy and sometimes it is not.

There are two strains of SEO.  One strain is the obvious on-page content that is easy to evaluate because we all can see it.  The second strain of SEO is less visible.

Our SEO services begin with on-page work, and then go much deeper.  We have a strong grasp and command of the latest behind the scenes SEO techniques which go above and beyond mere on-page contents, formatting, and appearance.

Behind the scenes SEO factors are primarily driven by careful and effective management of backlinks – links to your website from websites which search engines consider significant.

 

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The Ethics of SEO | Challenging Google

An Editorial Opinion on the Ethics of  Black Hat and Grey Hat SEO

ethics of SEOIn answer to the question “Is it ethical to outsmart Google at their own game?”, an esteemed friend, colleague and SEO answered soundly,  “no”.

Perhaps we would be on more equal ground if I first better defined the term “black hat”. Maybe I mean “grey hat”  But the question itself contains no reference to black or grey.

So, I was inspired to say more in support of my own opposing answer to the same question.   This post is written with virtually no regard to on-page SEO rules.  I trust that Google’s new evaluation of on page quality will bring this to the attention of those who are interested in what I have to say, and of course it might be of no value at all to some.

Google’s noble motives

Anyway, I do not question Google’s noble motives to take down that which is truly of low quality. That actually needs to be done……somehow…..but how?

I’m not sure. When in that process of filtering out the scum, some number of legitimate hard working people are also impaired, is that really doing good for everyone? It’s sort of like agreeing with gun registration and thinking it is going to reduce criminal gun use (in my thought anyway).

What I call “black hat SEO” is in no way malicious or harmful to anyone.  Maybe I mean “grey hat SEO”

There are, indeed malicious schemes online which are designed to injure others.  We must all unite in opposition to malicious intent. But is ranking my high quality site well, because I have learned to understand Google’s set of randomly defined rules, injuring anyone?

Perhaps I am putting my self ahead of someone who is not willing to do the same thing.  But they may also choose to understand Google if they like, or they may choose to refrain from doing so under their own belief that they are carrying out their highest sense of  good. But is my act of responding intelligently for my own good a malicious act, resulting in damage or injury to someone? My purpose in life is to love and to injure no one.

In the same vain, is it unethical for me to be online and take advantage of the internet while a competitive business doesn’t take part in being online?  Is it then unethical because I am getting more business than he is, as a result of taking advantage of a system that was put in place for me to use? Of course, I understand you may see it differently, but I find challenging human authority to be a subject worthy of attention in today’s’ society.

Evil constantly tries to sneak its way into our lives, and it comes ALWAYS cloaked in the guise of goodness. And of course your definition of evil might be drawn across a different line in the sand than is mine. Recognition of ANY human authority before divine authority, I define as evil.

You cannot trade freedom for security

Some may say that you must give up some good in return for the gain of a greater good. I disagree and base my line of thinking on my interpretation of what was the Founding Father’s understanding of personal liberty.

Perhaps it is my libertarian philosophy shining through. I also interpret my libertarian philosophy to be based upon my full faith that there is only one legitimate authority, that He is not a human or a group of humans, and that my submission to the will of other human beings can only be a choice that I make as a fee-willed human being. 

That submission might be a good thing or it might be a bad thing, depending upon the objectives of the party with whom I am agreeing. And Google is not my authority.

Along a similar line of thinking, I also disagree that I must be subject to personal search to fly on an airplane. Who granted the TSA the authority to do that? It was not God, but a group of human beings. So, I question exactly who endowed Google with the most powerful authority on  earth to make a value judgment of my or your online contents.

God, not Google, is my authority

I do not believe it is God making the decision that Google is my one and only holy online quality authority.  It is merely a group of consenting human beings making that decision, and you and I have the free will to choose not to participate in submitting to it. God is my authority.  Are ethics of divine or of human origin? 

I do not recognize Google as an extension of divine authority, but as merely a group of human beings who are trying to implement their own highest conception of good. Even well meaning socialists do the same, but good human intention never equals goodness.

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Black Hat SEO Techniques and Your Business Ethics

black hat SEO

Are Black Hat SEO techniques really ethical?

It was said in eras past that God did not intend for man to fly, otherwise the Almighty would have granted wings to His creation, man.

Was it unethical, then, for the Wright Brothers, who well understood the science of physics, to design a device with theblack hat seo purpose of overcoming the influence of The Creator’s own law of gravity?

Was it a slap in God’s face that man discovered and made use of his own intelligence to overcome what was previously (and falsely) humanly perceived as an unquestionable absolute limitation –  namely, that man would never fly?

Who is Google?

Google is  a human group whose authority is sanctioned  by general human agreement. This post is not intended to be an anti-Google statement.  Google has a fine and noble purpose.

This post is merely a wake up call to those who may find themselves unintentionally marching to their beat, perhaps intimidated by the Panda updates of 2011 and/or the more recent Penguin algorithm updates.

If it is morally ethical for man to learn to mentally conquer and control the laws of physics, then what could be said about his rising above the mere human rulings invented by Google gurus?

black hat seo

Google is only a search tool and nothing more!

What is Google?

Is Google the god of the internet? Is Google not merely a group of human beings?  Google influenced public perception has advanced the belief that Google rightfully possesses some kind of ethical authority.  Google does not operate or control the internet.  It has no more rights to the internet and its control than you do!

How much less ethical is it, then, compared to inventing the airplane or going to the moon, to design influences intended to counter the intentions of mere mortal humans at Google?

Knowledge of the human “how Google does it now” drives success in SEO

SEO  ranks key words in a (primarily) Google designed search system. Consistent success in SEO depends upon knowing and understanding what the humanly designed search engine algorithms are doing now.

A handle on “How Google does it now” is the SEOs knowledge of the obstacles put in his way by the present and ever changing Google algorithms.

Google’s obstacles and hoops are in no way divine or holy.  They are simply humanly designed thought patterns to be learned and identified by the SEO, and consequently outsmarted whenever they stand in your way of advancing yourself in your quest for getting found high in search results.

Does that sound like a sin to you?

black hat seo

You own your own online authority!

Google exercises only the authority that we suppose and allow it to have!

Google possesses only humanly perceived internet authority.  They are not ethically or morally superior to you, nor must you atone for your SEO sins to the Google gods.

However, Google does make its own rules as to how it functions internally, and how it chooses to treat your online content, and it has just as much of a right to do so as you have a right to put your content online.

So, if we understand that Google is just a force with which we must learn to reckon, we are ahead of the game. If we fear its power, we subjugate our selves to it.  We can use Google either for or against our own progress.  We make that choice, but we are in no way obliged to bow to its perceived authority.  We have only to be aware of  the consequences of our actions in their presence based upon a thorough understanding of how they function.  Google’s authority is self-imposed, authorized and sanctioned only by public perception.  Google wants you to see them as the authority, but nothing obliges you to do behave in a subjugated fashion.  Take a pro-active stance!

Deal with what a search engine really does, or be subjugated to it!

Don’t be intimidated by what Google allies have dubbed “black hat techniques” I am quite sure that someone at Google coined that sinister sounding term.

black hat seo

The search engine runs FOR YOU!

Don’t let anyone convince you that what were once effective SEO backlinking techniques have been defeated by the adoption of Penguin 2.1 algorithms. The pseudo-science of SEO is still alive and well.  The rules have changed some, but the game is still on!  We are proving that day by day.

And don’t fall for the temptation to believe that you are committing some kind of an undefined sin just because you discovered a way to outsmart the Google gurus.  That’s just what they want you to believe!

Free Training!

Watch some more of my videos on the blog, and don’t miss all the details Kristen outlines in the free video training series on SEO and brand building.  Just go to the top of the right sidebar and register.  We’ll send you a link to the series.

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Tracking Search Patterns on Key Words

Tracking search patterns and analyzing them

To be able to gauge your progress in traffic driving potential to your website, you need to create a method of tracking search patterns.  In order to decide where you’re going next, you need a record of the key words you have used in a list associated with their search success rates.

This is a basic and elementary summary of how you need to track search patterns in order  to optimize the search results you’re shooting for.

Where should I be?

Is your blog post coming up in the top three slots of Google and/or You Tube?  That’s your objective.  If it’s not, you have work to do.  Checking the ranking of each of your key words on a regular basis provides you a basis from which to decide what to do with that key word or the post or video associated with it.

Potential difficulties are revealed by analyzing search patterns

For instance, if you are not showing up in the first 5 pages of results for a given key word, is your key word phrase too broad and general?  Short key word phrases are very competitive.  You might consider making the key word phrase just a little more specific by adding a word or two, just to decrease the competition.

tracking search patterns

Search, and ye shall find!

Here’s a for instance on refinement:  I wrote a blog post made a video about SEO strategy a while back.  It wasn’t ranking at all, that is, I didn’t find it in the first 5 pages of results.  I use the 5 page rule.  If I don’t find something of mine within the first 5 pages of search results, I have to change something significant.

So I looked at what I had written, and decided that what I had really written about was an SEO strategy template.  And in fact, if I used SEO strategy template as a key word, I would be attracting an audience closer  to the theme of the post anyway.  After rewording the post and the accompanying video description, boom!  There I was at number 1 in Google and Number four in Google.

Tracking the success of your key words becomes increasingly important and meaningful as the number of posts and subjects on your blog begins to increase.

Naturally there are  factors other than key word phrase refinement which have to do with your ranking results, some of them being much more complex.  Suffice it to say that unless you are tracking  search patterns, you have no information by which to measure your success or failure.

No sophistication needed

Unless you are tracking a blog of extraordinary size, the information in an ordinary spreadsheet is easiest for most of us to comprehend.   I like Google

tracking search patterns

No sophistication needed!

Spreadsheet mostly because of the online storage and instant save features.  Because we access it through Google Drive, we can make changes and updates to it independently without needing to consult with each other.

In the embedded video I outline a very crude and simple way of tracking search patterns using Google Spreadsheet.   There I speak to this task from the perspective of tracking blog posts and videos on the two primary search engines, Google and YouTube.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

And watch the rest of our free video training while you’re at it!

There’s nothing to lose by signing up to watch Kristen’s free video training focusing on all you need to do to get started managing your own content and SEO.  Give it a watch and then give us a review.  We want to hear from you!  Thanks, I’ll talk to you in a day or two again.

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Content Marketing Stimulates Business Beyond City Limits

content marketing stimulates business

Our Court House Square 100 Years Ago

Content marketing stimulates business past geographical boundaries

Let’s start out with three questions that have to do with how content marketing stimulates business in general.  Every business person needs to be asking themselves these questions all the time:

  1.  Are you satisfied with your present level of business?
  2. Are you satisfied with your present level of revenue?
  3. Are you satisfied with the level of recognition and authority that you and your business receive?

Most business persons, especially owners of younger businesses that are still struggling to get established, would answer “yes” to all three questions.  You might be in some transition stage where you have more business now than you can possibly handle, but at some point in the future there is no doubt that you are going to want to do more business, and as a result earn more money, and enjoy more authority as the provider of what you do.So, if “yes” is ultimately the answer to all three of these questions, content marketing is going to steer you to finding a way to accomplish all three of those goals with one approach.

Where is your customer base? Is it local?

content marketing stimulates business

Small Town, USA

Do you offer products or services that could be sold outside of your present customer base?  If you live in a small town, the market may be already saturated.  Where could you go to get even more customers than you have now? Now we can address what the term content marketing actually means, because it’s an answer to all of these questions.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is putting content, information, on the internet about your products and services.  Have you ever gone to a search engine to find out more information about a topic? Of course!  Then you know how you have used the internet to find content.  And everybody is doing it, not just you! Make your information front and center for everybody!  Write and publish written content, and video content, about your business.  And then make sure that your content  is the content people are seeing when they search for information.

content marketing stimulates businessBlogs

The blog is the place where you put all of your content – everything you write and everything you make videos about.  You can attach a blog right to your website. If you’re making good content, people are going to start finding it and reading about it.  Every time they search, there you are.  And there they are, on your website again.

Targeted customer lists

Whenever people find you because in your blog you’ve given them something good to find out about your business, you can make them want to be on your list.  People who sign up to be on your list want new information from you. Use that targeted list to send them other promotional offers.  They’ll love it!  This kind of marketing makes you look good while increasing your level of business and revenue. All 3 of our opening questions are now answered!

Everyone Benefits. Cold calling, anyone?  No, thanks.

content marketing stimulates busiiness

Cold calling can be….well…cold….and it can turn into a battle!

Business owners with or without a website can use these strategies to grow their business.  The greatest thing about it is that your potential customers identify themselves to you.  Not the other way around!  Stop that! Does anybody like cold calling?  I have a friend who claims he does.  I know that I don’t! It’s  also interesting to note that many people develop a significant income by using online content marketing, whether they have a traditional “brick and mortar” business that sells physical products, or a less tangible product or service.

Free Video Series on SEO and Brand Building!

Without a doubt you want to learn more about this!  Please sign up to get access to our free video training series that gives you mound of information about building your business authority through blogging with effective SEO.  The sign up is at the top of the right sidebar. Please go there and watch, and come back with some commentary or criticism.  We want to be graded!  Contact us anytime!  Thanks for making it to the end again!

 

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The Elevator Speech on Content Marketing

Content Marketing Elevator Speech from an Ex-Engineer’s Perspective

I didn’t really intend to write about an elevator speech but this post turned into that. This post is the result of some hand written notes which I first used as an outline content for an introductory video on content marketing.

But after watching my video we decided it was too indicative of my engineering background, and that it might not appeal to everyone.  So, read on for a bit and decide for yourself if you like my writing  or watching my video.   If you don’t like this post or my video, don’t worry.  Watch Kristen instead.  I won’t be offended.  (It’s not embedded yet anyway….it was so damned long that I had to cancel the upload so we could go home last night.)

Video Interview on Content Marketing

We did Kristen’s video like an interview, very candid and informal.  I’m going to embed them both in this post but for now it’s just her.  If you like watching her better, I don’t blame you.  So do I.

In fact, the title for this post already no longer matches the contents.  I got rid of the nerdy stuff that’s in the video.   I’m going to continue on, and later I’m going to attach my video that you might find less than interesting to listen to anyway, anyway.

What do you think so far?  I’m glad you haven’t left yet!

The Elevator Speech

elevator speech

Always have an elevator speech ready!

I’ve been working on an elevator speech.  I came up with a good one on the spur of the moment when I was chatting with an old friend from high school who asked me to describe what my business is all about.  And in just a few seconds I came up with the best answer ever.  I told you I was pretty clever!

Here it is:

“Content Marketing is about helping people get more business from their website by teaching them how to become recognized authorities online in whatever they do.”

That could be followed up by this:

“ – thus resulting in an increased bottom line”.

Content marketing is about making more money because you bothered to wave the flag about your ability and knowledge, and that translates to business authority.

Who thinks they don’t need to do this?  Experience indicates that apparently a lot of people take the recognition of their authority for granted.

The fact is, if you are already doing a good amount of business because you really ARE good at what you do, and people know it, then whatever it is you do that makes people respect you, IS content marketing!  If you don’t realize that, you’re taking your own authority for granted!

Most People Enjoy Respect

As Mel Brooks said as King Louis XVI in History of the World,  “It’s good to be the King!”

elevator speech

Well, some people do anyway, but “It’s good to be the KIng!”

If you are an authority, you might as well take advantage of that fact and broadcast it to the world.  That’s what the most financially successful business people do!

What happens when you do?  What happened to Steve Jobs when he started tooting his own horn about his own work?  Apple was born.  Where is it today?

What happens when you don’t?  Essentially, nothing special happens when you don’t toot your own horn.  The people who do toot their horns come out ahead of those who don’t.  It’s okay to be satisfied with mediocrity in business.  But if you ask just about anyone, they will tell you they don’t want to be mediocre.  Do You?

Noble Intentions

We have entered into this business with the noblest of intentions, and we intend to stay on that course.  There is virtue in helping others to help themselves, and that is our bottom line objective.

Yes, we intend to make money in the process.  We believe we will benefit ourselves in proportion as we benefit others. Our objective is to help you learn to take control of your own self promotion and web presence.

In the long run you will benefit the most by improving yourself, while at the same time we, as the source of that help,  will benefit by gaining recognition as competent marketing managers and mentors.

Learn for Free!

Want to learn more about content marketing and pay nothing for it at all?  Sign up for Kristen’s cost free video training series.  There is a sign up box at the top of the right sidebar on this post.  Watch them with no obligations at all, and then let us know how we are doing. Drop us an email.  We look forward to talking to you!  And we mean it!

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Yahoo Answers: Stirling’s Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions

Using Yahoo Answers for Article Title Searches

I sometimes use Yahoo Answers in my search for an effective title for my blog posts.  When you use an appropriate title that includes key words which describe the topic you have written about, that title plays an important role in helping the search engines to rank your post.   More about how to spread out those key words in your post comes later in the article.

But first, let’s be entertained by Yahoo Answers!

In seeking the title of a post, which I actually saved for another post, I got sidetracked looking at the questions that people actually ask in Yahoo Answers.  To use Yahoo Answers as an aid in finding an article title, all you have to do is to start typing in a question just as you would ask it.  As you type, Yahoo Answers fills in the space below your query with other questions that have been asked, which begin with the word combination you have used so far. So, in response to several phrases which form the beginning of a multitude of common questions, here are a few rhetorical questions that have actually been asked in Yahoo Answers .

Stirling’s Snappy Answers to  some Stupid Questions asked in Yahoo Answers

Here are a few  questions that people actually have asked Yahoo to answer.

QWhy do my cats throw up when they eat dry cat food?” A:    Dry cat food is disgusting.  Have you ever tried it?

Q:  “Why is Canada’s population so small for its size? A:   It’s damned cold up there.

Q:  “Why is Canada’s population decreasing? A:   It’s damned cold up there.

Q:  “Why is Canada so boring?” A:   It’s damned cold up there and people have to stay inside all day long.

Q:  “Why is my dog getting so fat?” A:   You’re feeding it too much, and/or it does not exercise enough. Understandable in Canada.

Q:  “Why am I getting so fat?” A:   You’re eating too much, and/or you don’t get out of the house. Understandable in Canada.

Q:  “Why am I still a virgin?” A:   Because you have never had sex with anyone yet.  Get a girl friend and try moving to Canada with her where you will be inside together all the time.

Q:  “Why am I breaking out?” A:   Either (a.) Either you eat too much junk food, or (b.) you are just sick of jail.

Q:  “Why do women expect that the majority of men will cheat?” A:   Because usually, they will.

Yahoo Answers Gave me the Question I was Looking For!

Yahoo Answers helped me find the title I chose for my blog.  It is “Blogging as a Marketing Tool”.  I saved that title and ended up writing this one about Yahoo Answers instead.  Anyway, by virtue of the fact that the question appeared in the list when I typed “Blogging as ….”, I know that this is a question that people are asking using this phraseology.

yahoo answers

Yahoo Answers cannot answer EVERY question for you!!

Exploiting the Perfect Blog Post Title

Once you find the perfect title which contains the key word(s)  that describe(s) the content of your article, your article will begin to appear, sometimes quickly and sometimes over some time, at the top of search results on that term.  That’s only going to happen when you sprinkle those key words carefully through your article. The sprinkling must be done in a way which search engine algorithms recognize.  What are those ways? In a 500 to 700 word article, use that key word phrase in the title, in several subheadings, in the URL slug itself, and whenever you can in the first sentence of the first paragraph under each subheading.

My Keyword was Yahoo Answers

For example, my key word for this article was “Yahoo Answers”.  Can you tell?  Go through my article and see how I have sprinkled that phrase around. If you could get into my WordPress dashboard you would also see how I also have inserted that key word in the “alt text”  and in the title in both of the photographs in this article.  If you go into YouTube to view my video you will also see that I made the title of the embedded YouTube video match the name of this article.  I also included backlinks to here inside that video description, as well as another call to action for readers to sign  up for our free video  training series. Search engines recognize all of this strategic placement of keywords.  They even recognize synonyms of your key word within your text.  Understanding that, you can write an appealing, easy to read article which naturally ranks high in SEO factors while  at the same time giving the reader something of value.

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To learn more about improving your online presence and SEO, local or national. please go to the subscription buttons at the top of the right sidebar.  And contact us!  We look forward to hearing from you!   photo credit: veganbilly via photopin cc photo credit: rick via photopin cc