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Inbound Marketing & Sales Development Inspiration

What Is Google Hummingbird?

Posted October 22, 2013
3 minute read
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, wait, it was a bird. Google Hummingbird to be exact, and it’s yet another new way for Google to rank the web.
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Topics Search engines, Google

Does Pay-per-Click Really Work?

Posted May 8, 2013
3 minute read
Pay-per-click marketing is synonymous to Sponsored Link marketing and we'll refer to it for now on as PPC. You know - those search results at the top of the page and along the right side of the page. Each time you click on one of those links, it costs the company advertising the link some money - hence "pay-per-click".
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Topics Advertising, Search engines, Google Adwords, Pay Per Click, Online Marketing, Digital Marketing

Can I have a Facebook Page instead of a website? ... Part 2

Posted October 8, 2012
3 minute read
The pro-using-a-Facebook-Page-instead argument: The nice thing about Facebook is that the "social" part is integrated already into it's system. Afterall the very reason we post content online is to get others to consume it. We have direct access to about 1 billion people right off the bat with the click of a post button our information is fed into the system. Similarly the larger players in the business world show us that they can harness their own sub sections of this billion. Coca Cola – 50 million FB fans Starbucks – 30 million FB fans Nike – 10 million FB fans Even Dora the Explorer has 1 million FB fans The fact is this enables companies to harness the power of an existing network and without much effort. Facebook is a website that is entirely FREE of hosting and server costs. With just 25 likes you can get a unique URL’s for individual landing pages. Although you will need a third party eCom setup you can upload your own product catalog with detailed descriptions and get feedback and interaction from fans. You can throw an event or show presentations. Run a contest or a survey. Host a blog of sorts. If you want you can buy targeted ads. FB is integrated with so many other services and technologies - I can manage my page for free from my phone. There is pre-existing app database to access. Finally there is some gratification from seeing my likes increase and watching others' interaction on my Page. However the fact remains that the best practice and ultimately what is most advisable is to integrate & optimize multiple online properties to gain a net affect. If you have the budget and are interested in utilizing both, having the website as the hub from which other spokes like Facebook radiate, is the best approach. Start using Facebook to drive traffic to your website. Drive traffic to the company blog(s) on the website by offering an excerpt of the first paragraph with a link to the article in Facebook update. Provide links to your other online properties on Facebook such as Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more. Capture emails on Facebook when fans come as well as on your website. Create a Facebook competition that requires finding information on your website. Tell your fans about a special offer for which they can find information on your website. Integrate e-mail marketing with social media by linking the Facebook Page on your newsletters. Use a Facebook eCom store that takes your users to your own eCommerce store. Don’t get caught up in the hype though and feel obliged to use Facebook or any other social tool for that matter. Social media is most definitely here to stay and is increasing in purpose and use but it is still simply another tool in your marketing arsenal. * * * And so we circle back around to the big question - can I just have a Facebook Page instead of a website? The answer is possibly both yes and no depending on your situation. To cut a long story short the likelihood is that Facebook Pages, more than likely are suitable for lower end, small businesses. Restaurants or coffee shops might decide they only want to display their address, phone number and menu. One-man realtors might feel their marketing budget is better focused on entry level PPC or optimizing their local Google offerings. If you have just written a book and want to get it out there to your public, perhaps a Facebook page is the way to do that. For companies with less to "say" or a smaller budget, the Facebook page might be a good option - perhaps leaving room for them to invest in other marketing methodologies. Sports stores, banking institutions, credit unions, eCommerce entities, law firms, companies with a need to more actively market themselves might feel somewhat limited by what a Facebook Page has to offer. As such creating their own freshly branded, content management system (CMS) enabled website to act as their primary hub might be more appropriate. Facebook certainly has opportunities. Adding a CMS, the ability to add and edit pages, introduce better blogging capabilities, easier widget creation, manipulation of layout and perhaps cloud storage not to mention better integration of SEO services and other marketing strategies all would give Facebook a big push in the right direction. It seems very possible that we will see companies like Facebook evolving and growing in this direction in the future to provide better offerings in this regard. Certainly there will be a greater synergy between mobile, social and marketing strategies that will pull the need for stand-alone websites and the Facebook Page closer together. It is more likely that this rift between the two or rather the question as to which we should choose will essentially disappear as they merge and become one.
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Topics Search engines, SEO

Don't read Wikipedia ... Listen and Watch!

Posted July 17, 2012
1 minute read
The beauty of the Internet is that not only does it provide a seemingly infinite fountain of knowledge, but it also provides and ever increasing number of way of digesting this information. Wikipedia is an extraordinarily useful tool for finding information on just about anything you can think of. It has fast become a respected source of information for Academics too. Although perhaps not peer reviewed, Wikipedia is more and more becoming an accepted, legitimate research source.
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Topics Search engines, Blogging

Keyword Research - Expanding the Mindset

Posted February 17, 2012
2 minute read
In performing keyword research for a number of SEO projects, I have found that one of the important factors is to quickly get beyond any preconceptions of what the targeted keywords should be for a particular client. It is all too easy to select the keyword phrases used by most of the client's competitors. If this happens, you find yourself spending a lot of time trying to rank against keywords where there are a huge number of competing pages in the search engine indices.
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Topics Search engines, SEO, Local SEO

Online Marketing – Display Exceeds Search in 2015

Posted June 19, 2011
2 minute read
Search engine marketing spend is about to become the "little brother" to display marketing in the next few years according to some industry experts. By 2015, these experts expect marketing spend on Display to be just shy of $22 billion while they predict search marketing spend that year will come in about $21.5 billion. Display marketing in this context includes online video, banner ads, rich media and the like. While I was surprised by this at first glance, when I think about the emergence of video, I become less surprised. After all, YouTube has become the third most popular website (after Google and Facebook) and is considered by many to be the second most popular search engine after Google.
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Topics Search engines, Internet Marketing, Online Marketing, Digital Marketing

Social, Search and Other 2011 Online Trend Predictions

Posted January 14, 2011
4 minute read
2010 was an exciting year in the world of online marketing. The Bing and Yahoo search alliance, Google Instant, new mobile devices and even a major motion picture about the rise of a social network. While it's hard to tell what the next year holds, I don't think anything is slowing down - in fact, I see momentum building even more and more.
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Topics Search engines, SEO, Local SEO, Mobile, Web Analytics, Social Media, Digital Marketing

Are You Taking Local Search Seriously?

Posted December 11, 2010
2 minute read
Over the past couple of months, Google has made it clear it's taking local search seriously. In essence, they have reconfigured the search result page and algorithm so organic and local listings become integrated. Studies suggest websites that implemented best practice SEO tactics weren't largely affected by this change, as local optimization was likely already a part of the overall optimization strategy. In fact, it's been shown that sites that already had strong organic and local optimization saw their overall positions increase. Conversely, sites without a local optimization campaign that implemented grey and black-hat techniques (in other words, simply gaming the Google algorithm based on the most recent exploits) have or will soon experience an overall decrease in visibility and ultimately traffic.
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Topics Search engines, SEO, Local SEO, Google Analytics, Web Analytics

Should I Buy My Competitors’ Domain Names?

Posted September 16, 2010
4 minute read
UPDATE: we've expanded the ideas in this post! Check out our more recent article on whether or not newly released domain extensions can help your SEO. An article published yesterday on RichmondBizSense.com generated a stir among Richmond business owners and online marketers. The article, 'The domains were available' is about how a Goochland area firm purchased variations of their competitors web addresses (domains) with different extensions (e.g. .biz instead of .com). The main focus of the article was on the ethics of such a strategy. Ethics aside, I think it's important for everyone to understand why this is a fruitless and potentially costly strategy (a point the author unfortunately omitted).
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Topics Search engines, SEO

Data Over Emotion – Apple’s Response To iPhone 4 Reports

Posted July 23, 2010
4 minute read
As a fan and user of Apple products, I closely followed the introduction and launch of the iPhone 4 as well as all the problems that ensued. These problems, which I'll get to in a second, became a PR mess for Apple. When Apple came around to respond, they made an argument based almost exclusively on data. Their approach to responding fit well into our philosophy of a company about being data-driven in as many decisions as possible. Likewise, the opposing argument made against Apple was representative of a much different approach. One based more on emotion and sensationalism than actual fact.
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Topics Search engines, Pay Per Click, SEO, Google Analytics, Website Development