Preparing SEO for the Shopping Season

What Should You Expect?

For most companies, the last business quarter proves to be the busiest and most profitable time of the year. Knowing this, it is important to get organized and prepared for the stress that is to come. There’s no need to fret, as having a plan will save you time and anxiety during the holiday season. Consumers aren’t afraid of splurging on deals on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, pre and post Christmas sales. Now more than ever, consumers are finding search engines results helpful and it is something that smart retailers will definitely take advantage of. Here are some tips to help you with your SEO preparations for the shopping season.

Focus on Organic SEO

The shopping season is a crucial time to focus on organic SEO efforts. Although there is no definitive answer, most experts agree that failing to keep up with promoting targeted keyword phrases is a bad move to make. In most cases, keyword traffic is likely to decline if your content is not actively being optimized. Having a brand name is not enough to guarantee you success if your company is not showing up with relevant keywords. It pays to be committed and patient when it comes to your organic SEO arrangement. Not only will this method bring in customers who are familiar with your brand, but make other potential consumers aware that you exist! For this reason, many turn to SEO as a cost effective way to bring in the holiday success.

Understanding and Attracting Customers

First, get blogging! Active blogs that are helpful and entertaining will be valuable to consumers. Resist the temptation to flood your blog with self-promoting materials. The blog arena is a place where you can retain loyal readers and even make useful contacts with your peers. Blogs are an informal medium and readers will appreciate reading material that they can relate to. Instead of just trying to sell yourself, think of creating a win-win situation for yourself and your readers. In the world of social media, you can reach out in other forms. Whether it is funny blurbs on Twitter or viral videos on Youtube, using social media is a great way to spread the holiday spirit around. Christmas and Hanukkah are the big ones, but don’t forget about Halloween. What about National Boss Day or Winter Solstice? Don’t be afraid to get inspired with your blogs, but remember that there is a difference between getting creative and going overboard!

Making the Old New Again: Marketing Tips for Your Business

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Many may struggle to find new ways to market their business. Although a cutting edge pay per click advertising campaign may help draw attention to your company, you can’t truly be successful without relying on the basic principles of marketing. Happy customers are crucial to the success of your company and a little can go a long way. Companies who work hard to maintain great consumer relationships will have much to benefit from for years to come. As it is known in the marketing world, a happy customer may tell one or two friends. But, an unhappy customer will tell everyone they know about their bad experience!

Strengthen your Reputation

– Guarantees for your products and services: Guarantees and warranties can increase the value of what you have to offer. In addition, these small improvements can easily enhance your credibility as a trustworthy business. Potential clients will enjoy the risk-free offer and you can gain more loyal regulars. Also remember, don’t make promises that you can’t keep!

– Outstanding customer support: Customers like to have their problems solved in a timely matter. The quicker a problem can be addressed, the happier bother parties will be. Devote time or designate someone to take care of customer queries and ensure that they are answered in a timely manner. Consumers will appreciate a reliable company that can help them in their time of need.

Innovative Ideas for Email

– Creative ways to collect email addresses: Customers appreciate being updated with useful information but may not always be willing to take the initiative to sign up for e-mail newsletters. Whether it is through using social media internet marketing or more traditional methods, it pays to find creative ways to collect emails. Offering free informative PDFs, sign ups for a birthday promotion, email only discounts, or creating other incentives will help you achieve this goal.

– Integrating videos in your email promotions: Using video in email is still in its early stages. Tutorials, informative, and testimonial videos are popular and early adapters are reaping the benefits. Embedded emails are played automatically when messages are opened. This can lead to problems down the road so many are finding it helpful to insert a photo of their video. This may spark customer curiosity and clicking on the image will lead them to the actual video.

Sometimes, you may find yourself in a creative marketing rut. It doesn’t hurt to take a break and review the fundamentals. Do you have any basic tips that you would like to share?

Using Twitter to Achieve a Higher Search Ranking

It can be difficult to fully recognize the potential of Twitter as a useful advertising tool. So, how do you know if you’re doing it right? Take e-commerce company Zappos, as a good example. Zappos effectively utilizes Twitter by establishing a microsite, twitter.Zappos.com. The site obviously also links to Zappos’ site, but more interestingly links to the CEO’s Twitter account and even features employee tweets.
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Many companies use Twitter, but what makes Zappos different? Their CEO, Tony Hsieh, tweets on a whole variety of topics. Ranging from business advice, occasionally promoting his business, and even humorous updates, such as “Calling a children’s word game “hangman” just seems plain wrong”. They should invent a more humane game, like “lethal injection””.  Sometimes, it is really refreshing to see a corporate Twitter account actually be social! Users are drawn to this because it shows that a CEO understands the use of Twitter as a social media utility and is not only using the account for the sole purpose of gaining sales. Zappos has gained followers, received positive publicity, and gained exposure by being featured on sites such as Twitter of the Day.

The success of Zappos’ Twitter site has resulted in their achievement of a higher search ranking. However, there is still argument on how you can really tell if the traffic driven is accurately measured as a direct result of the Twitter account. Nevertheless, studies have shown that you get the best results when both your paid and organic search works in unison. A recent study found that you can get up to a 20% increase in clicks on your natural listing if you have a paid ad near it. Not surprisingly, the study also showed that if you show up on paid and organic search, your number one ranking gets 20% more clicks. In the end, it is important to learn from Zappo’s social approach to gaining more clicks and to think about synergizing your paid and organic search efforts to get the best results.

Add Personality to Your Website

Does your website lack personality? If so you should invest some time into social media marketing, a process of personalizing your site to attract potential customers. You want your homepage to effectively illustrate who you are and the services you are offering. In order to create interest among internet browsers, with the average attention span of 3 seconds, you need to be original. Using multi media such as images, video, and blogs is important in sustaining a successful business online. It is also important to increase traffic to your site, creating higher visibility and creating a greater potential online customer base. Video marketing is an increasingly popular marketing tactic that has grown in favor because it is a succinct, entertaining way to connect with your customer. If you are concerned or intimidated about the idea of using video, you should consider starting a YouTube account. Starting a YouTube account is simple, free, and it will help get your website more visibility. Also if you post a video about your business on YouYube you can easily attach to your website. This is beneficial because it not only puts interesting video on your website, but it also exposes you to a much larger audience of people and communities networked through YouTube.

Advanced Business Blogging Webinar by Hubspot Review

bill gatesI attended a webinar today on advanced business blogging by Hubspot. Don’t let the advanced part in the title scare you away. Hubspot, an online marketing company similar to emarketed, does a great job on providing webinars. Today’s webinar focused on blogging and can be viewed here. A few notes about the actual webinar that really made this interesting. First they had a powerpoint of the webinar that can be accessed here through SlideShare and a live video feed of the presenter that was being pulled from Mogulus. You can view Hubspot’s channel here. Mogulus provides a free service and a paid version which removes the advertisements. There were no advertisements on the webinar but when I viewed the video on Mogulus there were advertisements. So I’m assuming that Hubspot is using the free version. They have over 800 viewers on the webinar today! You can view all of their shows on their Mogulus channel or here on their site. Hubspot also integrated their Twitter account into the presentation so you could ask questions through Twitter during the webinar. There were also links to Facebook and LinkedIn as well from the webinar page. These are all free tools that any one can use.  The use of these social media tools was very impressive and is definately something that we’re looking to integrate into our next version of our emarketed site. They were able to utlize these free services which can be used by anyone: Twitter, SlideShare, Facebook, & Mogulus

Ok, lets get into some of the key points from the webinar. A lot of the content which I’m proud to say has been discussed by emarketed in past blogs. Hubspot goes into why you should blog with 5 keys to a successful blogging:

1. Pick your target personas
2. Create a mix of posts
3. Write great posts
4. Sustain it
5. Spread it

One of the great take aways from this webinar is that your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts can start from your blog. You should write content that relates to your products and/or services. One thing to remember though is that SEO takes time and this is the same for writing blog posts. You will not see the direct results of your blog writing for several months. You also have to promote your blog once it’s up. It’s the same for your website which our clients are starting to understand. People will not just magically stumble across your blog when you write content. It must be promoted. Some of the methods Hubspot discussed were the following: post to twitter, comment on other blogs, post to facebook, start building a list of subscribers to your blog. They also had a great tip about using images through Flickr so I took their advice for this blog post. We do not always uses images in blog posts but I can see how it makes the blog easier to read with an image.

For more information regarding the webinar you’ll have to watch it at the following link.

Twitter Buzz!

Well I contine to here more about Twitter and have started to get caught up in the buzz myself. As of this writing we have 518 followers and are following 2,000.  In short, for you newbies out there that haven’t started tweeting, Twitter is a live way to follow other companies/individuals and also a way for yourself to update people following you with short blurbs (140 characters or less). We have actually hit a cap with the amount of companies/people we can follow. There’s nothing about this as far as I can tell on the Twitter site but after digging around online a bit I found that we have to increase our followers in order to follow more. I’m not sure exactly how many more followers we have to have but it’s a little frustrating at this point since I’m continuing to come across others I’d like to add to our company twitter profile. After reading a great article by Guy Kawasaki who we follow on Twitter, How To Use Twitter as Twool (a must read if you’re interested in Twitter), I was compelled to setup a twitter account for my name as well so I can start gathering a following and following others with my name, Matt Ramage (Click my name if you’d like to follow me!). This was just setup last night so no jokes on how I have no followers at the moment. Guy, in case you don’t know, is a successful author/blogger who has a huge following on Twitter! Over 41k following him at this moment. Guy also runs an online magazine I just discovered yesterday called Alltop which is basically a huge RSS feed of resources from various magazines.

Back to the Twitter buzz! Sites are now poping up to provide various services to enhance your Twitter experience. You can read about the main ones if you click the article that Guy wrote above. There are stand alone applications and also extensions you can add to your browser to help with notifications, managing multiple twitter profiles, reading twitts, and much more. emarketed has also setup a stand alone Twitter feed blog using WordPress and twitter feed so that every time we update twitter our blog gets posted to with fresh content for the search engines. We also have this same feed working off this blog so that everytime we post to our search marketing blog it will post on Twitter with a link to our new blog post. Well that’s it for now on Twitter. I’ll let Guy show you some other helpful Twitter Tips!

If you found this blog post helpful please start following us on Twitter by clicking here or inviting your friends to follow us if you’re already an emarketed follower.

Here’s one last resource that I believe I’ve posted before but it has over 140 different Twitter tools! Click here to view this resource.

Adding Facebook advertising to your search marketing campaign?

I just stumbled across this ebook on Facebook advertising by Matt Dickman. I’d suggest checking it out to get a better idea of how Facebook advertising works and to learn more about social media marketing. As Facebook and social networking sites continue to grow this will become more important. It’s literally changing the search marketing industry! The days of running search engine optimization and paid search campaigns alone to drive traffic to your site is becoming outdated. Reaching a broader audience through Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social sites is imperative to your search marketing campaign.

emarketed now offers this as a stand alone service or as an addon to current search engine optimization and paid search customers. Stay tuned for more social media updates as this emerging method of advertising expands. You can also follow us on twitter for short updates.

social media buzz by peta

Just came across PETA (People for the ethical treatment of animals) website last night through facebook. One of my facebook friends had an award PETA had won for a blog posted on her profile. So I checked out the blog and the various PETA web properties, one of which was their YouTube channel. They have over 3,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 200 videos. Some of these videos are commercials that have been banned from TV. They also have a sexy celebrity channel. I’m sure they get a ton of traffic from these sexy videos so of course I had to check some of them out. ;) I was doing some market research! They didn’t have the same volume of traffic as the blender YouTube channel we blogged about last week but some of their top videos were brining in over 100k views in a 90 day period. You can check this one out with Jenna Jameson below. Sex sells so PETA is using this to their advantage in promoting their message! Brillant job PETA!

Back to business here. I almost fell down the YouTube hole where one video leads to another and all of a sudden you’ve watched 20 short 2 minute videos. ;) I was very impressed with PETA’s use of social media buzz on their site. They do a good job of highlighting their different social media properties through links to Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube. They also have PETA TV where they promote these videos directly on their site. Another site the promote is peta2.com where you can find tools for helping animals, class projects, online activism and much more. Another site they highlight is the petakids.com website where they have games and contests for kids. All of this is creating social media buzz for their mission.  They seem to have content for all ages and demographics from sexy ads to games for kids.

Take some time to go through a few of the PETA web properties to get some ideas on how to market your business through social media buzz. I’d love to find out how emarketed can start promoting some sexy models on YouTube to drive traffic for our business. But in the end it comes down to conversions and would this traffic really be ideal for emarketed? It would be fun and exciting to do but would be very expensive and not generate the type of traffic that would lead to conversions.

PETA gets an A+ in our book for creating social media buzz!

You can’t ignore social media!

I just finished a webinar by ClickZ titled “Conversational Marketing: How to Develop a Successfull Social Media Strategy” presented by Dave Evans, author of Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day. The webinar should be available later today or tomorrow to watch. Dave Evans is a social media guru and was able to do a good job in the limited time he had to discuss this subject.

One of the key takeaways for me was that you can’t ignore social media. It’s here to stay and he gave a great example of a user that created a fake ExxonMobil twitter account and amassed a huge following while ExxonMobil was not aware of this. They finally found out and shut down the twitter account. Click here to see this shut down account. Mr. Evans thought that the better use of this twitter account with the following it had amassed would of been for the company to actually take it over and start using the twitter account for PR. I agree.

The webinar also talked about how social media is just one function of your overall marketing campaign and how this should be integrated in with your print, tv, and any other advertising campaign you’re running.

Social media involves participating with your potential customer or existing customers. Social media inlcudes some of the following mediums: blogs, microblogs (twitter), photos, audio, and videos

Get started today! emarketed currently is ramping up as well with social media and is offering this as a service to enhance your search marketing campaign. Sign up for a Twitter account today and start following us on Twitter and follow other companies in your related industry to see what they are doing in the social media space. Also start a blog with a free account through WordPress and follow other bloggers in your space.  Also signup to YouTube as well if you have some videos or presentations to share with others. We’ve been using YouTube more agressively over the last few months and have found it beneficial to our business. You can preview our channel to see some of the videos we’ve created for our clients which has been part of a social media campaign for our clients which involved website video marketing. And lastly also sign up for a Facebook account and start using facebook even if you don’t plan on using it for your business right away. It’s imperative that you start using Facebook so you can see how people are using it and how adverters are starting to target their demographics.