Friday, December 30, 2011

All Hail the SEO

When it comes to effective marketing and advertising, the web is King.  In 2008 the Direct Marketing Association performed a study on the use of different marketing tactics.  Radio ads had fallen about 3%, telephone marketing down about 2%, and newspaper ads way down to almost 8%.  These campaigns dwindled with the ability to have search results at your fingertips within a flash.  If someone wants to find, compare, and research a product, they’re going to the internet.  The study in 2008 showed that search engine marketing had grown almost 20%.  Can you imagine what it is now? 
            Now there are two types of search engine marketing; paid and organic.  Paid ads are referred to as Pay-per-click (PPC).  There are dozens of online marketing firms who will set you up with paid per click advertising.  You can also do an AdWords campaign through Google.  Be careful though, this type of web advertising can quickly become expensive without ever generating good leads. In my opinion, it’s better to grow and enhance your organic search results also known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  Organic search results are created by how you manage your website manually.  There are plenty of easy things to set in place to help your website appear on that first page of search results. 
            One of the key factors is to think about what someone would type in their search engine to find a particular product or service.  You want to take those words and phrases and incorporate them into certain areas of your website.  If I want my website to show up on the first page of results when somebody types in “Peachtree accounting triad NC,” I’m going to do the following.  “Peachtree accounting” is going to be part of my web page title.  It will also be part of my page description, as well as incorporated into multiple bodies of text on my website.  The content provided on your page plays a huge helping hand in SEO.  If you talk about Peachtree accounting in multiple places as well as words like “traid NC,” search engines will find it and match it up.  Another factor that helps is fresh content.  Your page needs to be updated frequently.  You can still use the same key words and phrases in your text, just switch them around and find different ways of using them. 
            The content and foundation of the web page design can play a huge role in getting found on that Google search.  Keep posting fresh and unique content relative to what people are searching for and avoid spending money on short term clicks.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Impact of Social Media on your Business

We all know social media is a big part of today’s society.  Like us on facebook.  Follow us on twitter.  We see and hear this almost every day either on a printed ad or on the radio.  Whether it’s something you participate in or not, you’ve still become familiar with it.  Facebook now has more than 800 million users.  More than 50% are active users on a given day.  Twitter has over 300 million users.  You might think that social media is nothing but trending news topics and drama.  I’ve heard people say,” Well most of the people that I do business with are a part of an older generation and don’t use social media.”  Out of an average of 550 million social media users, you don’t think there’s room for new business?

Social media sites are virtually free advertising!  These sites are FREE to use.  Social media can have a huge impact on your public relations.  Having a page for your business on facebook helps get your image out there.  If your business is doing new and exciting things, you should let people know!  Get the buzz started and show people you actually exist!  Having a twitter account allows you to follow almost anything that interests you.  If your business is directly related with technology, then you know how important it is to stay up to date with product life cycles and rapidly changing developments.  The neat thing about facebook and twitter is its rapidly growing web of connections.  So many people become intertwined with one another.  When you post something new and exciting about your business you might have 30 to 50 people see it.  Out of those 30-50 people, 2-3 might really take interest in your post and repost it.  Now you have 30-50 new people viewing what’s going on with your business.  2-3 more people take interest in this and you can see where I’m going.
It’s easy to stay connected.  Once you’ve become established with social media stay active!  They call it “social” for a reason.  Stay engaged and actively use it at least once a week.  If you’re not posting comments, pictures or links, you won’t be involved with people might take interest in you.  Don’t create a page just for the sake of saying you’re a part of social media. 
 If you don’t take advantage of what social media can do for you then you’ll be left behind.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A professional touch is crucial: Email etiquette

So far we’ve given you tips and reminders on how to create good first impressions.  Now that you have the right tools to leave your initial mark, it’s time to follow up with appropriate actions.  When you’re communicating through email, you want to uphold the image you’ve created for yourself. 

Use a professional, easy to recognize email address with simply your name in it.  It might have been fun when you were 16 to have the email address  However, people probably won’t give your message the time of day and delete it right away thinking its junk mail. 

When beginning your email, proper salutation can sometimes be tricky.  If it’s an initial email, it is always best to play it safe and keep it formal.  Dear Mr., Mrs., Dr., Prof, etc.  One way get a feel for the formality is by paying attention to how they address themselves in any previous or response emails.  If they sign their name only by first name, then you’re safe to keep titles out of the message. 

 Make sure you keep your messages concise and to the point.  You can write a brief message that gets across what you want to say without losing the interest of your reader.  This can also be done while maintaining correct spelling and punctuation.  Leave confusing abbreviations such as “g2g aka got to go” out of it.       
            Another suggestion when writing your emails is to write your message first, and then go back to put in the recipient address last.  You don’t want to accidently send an email you wrote while you were blowing off steam, and then decided differently afterwards.  Or what if your email contains private information?  You don’t want to accidently send it to the wrong person.  The point is once you’ve sent it, accident or not, it’s sent and there’s no taking it back. 

            Last word of advice.  If you’re sending emails from a mobile device, make sure your message is sending from the right account.  Having multiple email accounts set up on your smart phone can make it easy to send your message from the wrong one.  It would be a shame if you accidently sent your business proposal from hollywoodhottie instead of Bridget Doe and never heard anything back.