Articles written in May, 2007

May 24 2007

More visibility is always a good idea


No matter how much technology and society may change, one basic principle of business will always hold:

Make it easy for your customers to find you.

1. Put up a sign.
2. Place an advertisement where your customers will see it.
3. List your business in a directory like, for example, the telephone book.

Of these three suggestions, the last one is probably the most important in that it reaches your customers at the moment when they are looking for you and customers who are looking for you are most likely to buy. But, what if this option isn’t available or worse, what if you come to depend on it and suddenly, it isn’t there?

This is what happened to a friend of mine in the mid-90s. She and her husband had a crystals shop and float center called Crystal Seas. Then, one year, the Yellow Pages forgot to list them in the phone book. It was a disaster. They ran around town putting up flyers, ran extra advertisements in places where their potential clients might be but, even with a loyal customer following, their business suffered badly.

Nowadays, the Yellow Pages are still important but showing up in search engine results pages (SERPs) has become increasingly critical and you can vanish from the SERPs at any time for any number of reasons. How can you protect yourself? Well, the solution is more visibility and inbound links are the answer, but not necessarily in the way you might think.

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May 18 2007

Say Goodbye to “In Your Face Ads!”


Last night, I was talking to my 16 year old daughter Crystal. We started off discussing music, as I had just seen an interesting webinar on social media marketing, I decided to ask her a few questions about where she was finding the music she was listening to, and the videos, deciding which pair of jeans was cool etc. The one important factor that I took away from our conversation was that kids today can get everything they need (meaning information about what’s “cool”) without having to see a “traditional” advertisement at all.

The days of blatant in your face marketing are coming to end. With today’s technology it really is as simple as finding something that interests you, and then finding a group, blog, forum etc., that talks about that topic. So how do we handle that from a marketing standpoint? The answer is simple, build communities. There is a growing distrust among the younger generations about being sold in the traditional manner. They do however trust the information they get from their social circles.Read More

May 9 2007

Beware the duplicate content filter!


Recently I came across an article that caught my attention. It was an interesting read on creating content, and there was some good advice on writing original text. For example, keeping the copy relevant to the service or product offered on your site and writing an FAQ page, making sure to insert your key phrases. This is good honest advice that will work for the long run.

There was one part, however, that made the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Here’s a quote, “Bear in mind, authorities and experts in a given field are often seeking collateral exposure, which you can provide them. The exercise is to find an article published online that contains content related to your industry and ask for permission to “reprint” it on your site.”

I must strongly disagree; reprinting articles from other sites can cause problems with duplicate content. When the search engines determine that the content on two different pages are duplicate, one will be chosen seemingly at random by the “duplicate content filter” in the algorithm and sent to the supplemental index (otherwise known as Google Hell). You are better off writing original content that refers to the article and providing a link to it.

If you are having trouble coming up with original content, you could consider implementing a blog on your site and discussing the issues that come up on a daily or weekly basis. You can also encourage you customers to comment on these blogs, which helps to create user generated content. If you’re still having trouble, consider contracting a professional copywriter who is trained in creating original text.

I will leave you with this thought, be very careful when seeking out advice about increasing the rankings and the traffic of your site. Although the advice you find may be well intentioned, it may inadvertently harm you. Always check and double check any information you find regarding SEO.

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