Google search results are starting to include local results

Google's including local results
Google's including local results

Just heard through the search marketing grapevine that Google is starting to include local results for search queries that they think you’d like to see local results. Try a search for “cars” and half way down you’ll see local results based on where you’re searching.  This is based off the IP of your computer where you’re searching from so if you’re surfing the net from your office and the network has a block of IPs from a provider out of state you will most likely receive results based off of where that IP is located.

So with this in mind it will become more important to make sure your business is listed in Google Local. Click here if you need to get listed in Google Local.

Is Your Website Really Online or just Out There?

The success of your online business is in part determined by the visibility of your website. If people are not actively exploring your website in droves, you can pretty much wish upon a star for an increased customer base and profit. Because driving traffic to your site is so important, you should consider various marketing tactics that will generate browers interest and direct them to your homepage.  You can increase traffic to your website through organic content management system. Organic CMS is an effective, and inexpensive way to drive people to your site. You can do organic CMS in a number of ways including search engine optimization and link building. In search engine optimization you are increasing your websites’ ranking on major search engines like Google and Yahoo. An essential element in successful search engine optimization is utilizing the right keywords. You want to first identify what keywords best describe your business and then embed them in the content of your website. In doing so, major search engines will pick up on your keywords and highlight your business when an individual searches for those terms. For instance if you are a catering company using keywords like “catering”, “special events”, and “cater weddings” is a way to do organic marketing. It is important that you use appropriate keywords to describe your service. This is actually a little more complicated than it sounds because you also want to make sure those terms are also being search by the customers you want to attract. As a result you should consider working with a keyword consultant to help generate a list of terms that will be most effective in search engine optimization.

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.

Have you started your free WordPress blog yet?

facebook google search resultsIt’s been a little while since my last post. I’ve been busy blogging on other blogs I manage. I was inspired to write this blog last night when I found a new blog that I started 7 days ago is already coming up in the Google search results. Now take in mind that I did nothing to promote this blog and it’s already coming up in Google. The search term I used was not the most competitive word but it does show the power of starting a free blog in wordpress. Click here to sign up today for a free wordpress blog. Start posting blogs related to your industry and services and you’ll start getting natural traffic.

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.

Great Example of a Catchy Blog Headline

Just read an interesting blog post that I thought I’d blog about. First of all I subscribe to about 20 blogs and they all get fed into my Google Reader which is great. I also just added a gadget to my iGoogle home page so the most recent blog posts are displayed. Now I’m not able to read all of these everyday but I do read headlines and this headline caught my eye today. The topic was something I’m interested in but it was also tied into a movie that I like which was a double whammy for me.  So of course I read the article. Here’s the headline and a link to the blog post:

What Jason Bourne Can Teach You About Social Media

With the amount of conent out there you have to figure out ways to get people to read your content and having a great topic is sometimes not enought. So try and figure out the double whammy for your niche and I’ll do the same.

How to work with a search marketing company or consultant

I thought this topic would be relavant to our customers as well as others out there that work with a search marketing company or consultant. I recently spoke to one of our paid search and search engine optimization (SEO) customers today and discovered some interesting data. The orginal intent of the call was to followup on a new 800 number to better track the calls coming through. The customer went on to discuss what keywords are most effective for their paid search and SEO campaigins. This customer surveys all potential customers to find out what search engine they found them on, what keyword was specifically used to find them, and what state they’re calling from. With these 3 pieces of data we were able to make adjustments in real time to their paid search campaign. The SEO campaign does not have this flexibility but when it’s time to renew thier SEO campaign we can add some of these words to their campagin. So make sure to keep your search marketing company up to date on what’s working for you. The more information you can provide, the better the company or consultant will be able to fine tune the search marketing campaign. This could be done through a weekly phone call or a weekly email. If you’re not already tracking this information, start today. It’s your money so you might as well get the best value out of your marketing spend.

Here’s a list of some helpful things you can do yourself to get the most out of your search marketing campaign:

  • Track site traffic through free Google Analytics
  • Use free Google Webmaster Tools (You might need some help from a webmaster to get this initially setup)
  • Track your data on a spread sheet (what search engines you were found on, what words, was it organic or a paid search ad?, etc.)
  • Stay in touch with your search marketing company on a weekly basis
  • Stay current with search marketing trends by reading blogs like ours and one or all of these: Search Engine Land, Search Engine Guide, or SEOMoz (I currently subscribe to these and 6 others through Google Reader which is a nice way to feed all of these sites into one reader.
  • Request your paid search log-ins for Google, Yahoo, and MSN and log-in yourself to see what’s working and what words are being advertised. Some search marketing companies will not give this information out and provide generic reports. At emarketed we give access to your accounts if you request this information. You can login and run all types of reports to find out what’s working and what’s not.

Well that’s it for now. I will post more tips to this post in the future so stay tuned. Please also feel free to comment if you have some ideas that can help.

Facebook Advertising Case Study

We just launched a Facebook advertising campaign today targeting a demographic that likes to drink alcohol and/or use drugs. It will be interesting to see how this campaign does. The campaign is for a drug rehabilitation center located in Orange County, California. The ad management page is below along with a copy of the ad and the demographics. It’s currently targeting close to two hundred and fifty thousand Facebook users with an ad spend set for $100 per day.  The cost per click (CPC) is set to 0.55 cents a click. Stay tuned for updates on this campaign.

facebook advertising ad
Facebook advertising ad
facebook advertising ad manager
Facebook advertising ad manager

Twitter Overloaded & Hacked

Well Twitter must be growing considerably in the last few weeks. I’ve gotten the below screen a few times in the last few days. It’s only up for a few seconds at this point and when I refresh my browser its working properly. I recently saw Twitter being used on CNN for a news program the other day where Tweets were being streamed in real time below the news anchor. I believe they must be screening what’s showing up on national TV though. The Twitter stream was actually for the CNN reporter. And of course McCain and Obama used Twitter in their campaigns. I believe Obama is still the number one user in Twitter with over 100k in followers. I actually just tried to pull the Twitter page for Barack Obama up and received another error which is also pasted below. Twitter must be experiencing some serious growth pains. I actually just found out that some hackers were able to hack into Barack Obama, Britney Spears, and Fox News personal Twitter accounts along with 33 other high profile people. Twitter has also had problems unrelated to this latest attack a few days ago with hackers sending out phishing tweets to get users to click links to enter in personal information to win free prizes. Click here to read the full article. I’m sure Twitter will continue to be tested as it grows in 2009. Stay tuned for more Twitter news!

Twitter Overload Error
Twitter Overload Error
Twitter Error for Barak Obama Page
Twitter Error for Barak Obama Page

List of Lists for 2009 Marketing Predictions

Just started to browse this list of lists for 2009 marketing predictions put together by Search Engine Land. You could spend a week going through these lists. If you’re in a hurry I’d focus on these:

That should be a fairly comprehensive list to get 2009 off to a great start and get you on track to bringing in new business through your marketing efforts. Stay tuned for emarketed’s 2009 prediction list.