So, two weeks ago you realized that your company was missing out completely on online business. You were struggling to make your minimum sales quotas month to month, and you certainly weren’t moving forward. For the past two to three years now you’ve watched your profit margins get slashed, your ROI drop precipitously, and your bottom line bottom out. You’ve been wracking your brain to figure out what to do, how to reinvigorate your struggling business.
Your kids were your first inspiration – day after day for several years you’ve come home weary from worry, to find them plunked in front of the family desktop, staring, laughing, and telling you to watch the latest video online. You always hated computers, even from the start of the personal computer revolution. You found them intimidating, confusing, and beyond comprehension, but as time has gone by you’ve gotten used to the notion that they seem to be here to stay. All your business associates, friends, family and neighbors seem to have embraced them with gusto, but you alone have held out. You felt yourself to be the last bastion of normalcy in a world aswim in electronics.
Ah, those kids… they drive you crazy, don’t they? You wonder, “How much time per week do those kids spend staring at that screen, while they might better use their time on more constructive things?” “What a waste of time,” you harp.
You’re bothered, annoyed, worried about your company, as well. “How can we get back on top of the market?” you wonder. You’re watching those teenage maniacs glibly speeding through their paces, page after page, photo after photo, clicking this and that. You stand amazed at the amount of attention and time they devote to this meaningless pursuit.
Suddenly, something caught your eye as you are peeking over young Courtney’s shoulder. There, in the right column of the page was a small advertisement for a company that offers self-publishing of books. Your jaw muscles clenched and then went slack. Your children heard a strange “clunk” as your jaw made contact with your collarbone. Drool began to stream from your pendulous, quivering lower lip as you stared incredulously at that little, “insignificant” ad.
“What,” you may ask, dear reader, “is the cause of the above graphic description?”
Our captain of industry had just had an epiphany regarding internet marketing platforms. Namely, that of finding that his main competitor is the source for the ad that he was gazing at right at that moment with incredulity. Our hero had just found the source of his frustrations, he’d finally realized how stuck in the mud and out of sync with the rest of the business world he truly was. As I mentioned before, he’d had an epiphany.
So, getting back to our hero… You met a man who owns a specialty fabrication company. He told you of how his company was on the rocks. He talked about how he and his partners were beside themselves, not knowing how to proceed or what to do to overcome the multifaceted impediments that were preventing them from prospering. Your new friend said he was about to throw in the towel when he heard from a business acquaintance about a certain marketing company. Your friend said that he made the decision, after hearing about the complete turnaround that occurred with his friend’s company, that he had nothing to lose and that he’d better give it a shot, or spend the next several weeks and months watching his business go down the tubes.
Your friend conveyed to you how, despite his misgivings, he watched in awe as, just a few weeks later the orders started to trickle, then flow, and finally to pour in. After awhile, it became clear to him that he needed to expand in order to handle all the business!
Convinced, mostly, you contacted the same marketing consultancy, looking for answers, solutions to the mire you found yourself trapped in.
Shift ahead one month. You hooked up with that marketing consultancy, a Cincinnati marketing firm, and watched things miraculously come together. The consultancy created a new logo that describes your company in a bright, new way. A website took shape, sporting the latest advances in technology. The next conversation you had with the marketing rep went as such, “We need to optimize your website for search engine marketing.” You blankly looked at him and said, “Okay.” He explained to you that SEO is an ongoing project, a moving target, but that it was totally necessary to commit to sticking with it, and even increasing the scope and breadth of the overall program into the future. That took you aback a bit. Your face betrayed the fact that you still had some doubts about the whole thing, “After all, this isn’t what we always did in the past,” you complained. “And look where that got you,” the marketing rep replied gently. He assured you, again, that the times have changed and there are many more options than in the old days. You no longer needed a dedicated bank of secretaries, operators, a back room full of high schoolers and college kids folding, stuffing, licking and stamping direct mail pieces, and more, to make your business hum. In fact, that route was a waste of money.
“What we’ve seen, using our four-step marketing method, is unprecedented growth, up to 300% for some clients,” the marketing rep continued. “We are making an SEO marketing plan that, if followed, will drastically grow the traffic of your small business. Being a marketing consultant, what I’m sharing with my clients isn’t theory. These suggestions are strategies that have proven to provide explosive growth for many small business client’s revenues, some 200% or 300% annually. A large part of our focus and work involves the marketing arsenal weapon, SEO, which directs prospects to your main website.”
“Okay. Let’s talk about 6 key concepts that have the potential to greatly help your company grow,” says I.
SEO Tip #1
On-site Optimization – With going into great detail, by optimizing, or changing, the code, the content, your keyword density, as well as the linking structure of your website in certain ways, the top search engines will end up approving and promoting your site. We make sure that we fix your broken links, checking that the meta data is clean on the entire website. Eliminating duplicate content on your website is very important, as well. So basically, the first step is to make sure that your site has all the attributes that will make search engines like it”
SEO Tip #2
Micro-site Marketing – “This next technique might seem like I’m just saying this to make myself more money. Don’t believe it, my motives are pure, although I will make myself more money by doing this for you, and so will you…
Imagine the effect that having 60 small websites all selling exactly what your main site sells, but using different keywords, original content, and images. Now 60 is just a number that I grabbed out of the air. It could be any number, as there’s no magic number. The point is creating a whole bunch of exposure, right? By creating, let’s say, 60 small, even 1 page sites, you are weaving a web of notoriety for the advancement of your agenda – sales!
a. Use an SEO-friendly Platform – To get optimum results, we mostly use a certain well-known website platform. We typically create a custom theme, or customize an existing one, with SEO as the focus. Once that theme is completed, and signed off on by our client, we use the same theme, with some minor changes for each of the additional micro-sites, maintaining a uniform look throughout. Think of it as a unified campaign.
b. Make Sure Your Domain Name is SEO Friendly – Let’s say that we have a client come to us who owns an HVAC company. “Stan” says to me, “Frank, we are only five miles away from Kenwood and Montgomery, but we can’t seem to get any business in those two areas. They are, as you know, high-dollar areas, and it would be great to get a foothold in the region. What can you do for me?” “Stanley my friend, I think we can help. We’ll build some sites for you with keywords written into the domain name, the URL. So then, when people search those keywords, for those areas of Cincinnati, your company will come up at the top, they’ll call you, and you can close the sale! The keywords might look like this:
Keyword – Kenwood Ohio HVAC Company
Keyword – Montgomery Ohio HVAC Company
While your domain names might be:
Domains – www dot Kenwood hi HVAC dot com or www dot Montgomery Ohio HVAC dot com
Of course, we’re not talking about your main website! These would be microsites for SEO purposes only, for the generation of traffic in those areas. We could just make one site, and then clone it many times, changing the verbiage of each.
c. Ya Gotta Have Unique Content – Just as the maxim in real estate is “Location. Location. Location.”, the maxim when dealing with search engines, and especially the big one, is “Original. Original. Original.” – content, that is. The biggest search engines couldn’t care less about the number of sites a company has, they just want each one to be UNIQUE, text-wise. They can have the same theme, looking very similar, but they have to have unique content.
SEO Tip #3
Webpages which Convert – By fixing your on-site SEO, and working on creating multiple micro-sites, a small business can be fairly sure of good results. The thing to avoid is whipping out a bunch of low quality, schlock-type sites. Good quality content, useful information, good design, and a focus on closing the deal, tactfully, will give a good return on your marketing investment.
How do you know whether what you paid for is actually having the desired results? Measurement! Because you have multiple microsites, you are able to do much A/B testing. Change one aspect on one site to differentiate it from the next, and you’re on your way. Not only is such testing a good idea, but it is critical to your success.
a. Analyze – To quickly find out about traffic coming to your micro-sites and what they’re up to, we use analytics software from the major search engines, as well as other proprietary software. Imagine yourself receiving a report in your email on a set schedule that tells you your traffic is up 25% or 50% from the last month! Do you think you’d be jazzed about that?
b. Individual Phone Numbers – Lining up unique phone numbers for each micro-site is another method by which we can track who’s going where, how often, for how long, and what they look at. All those numbers just go on to the company’s principal phone number, of course, letting us inform the client further.
c. Opt-in Forms – We like to include an opt-in form on each page of your micro-sites to be sure to involve your prospects to the highest degree. Offering something for free, if it is worth your prospects taking the time and bother, makes a great impact on the eventual sale.
These things will help greatly to give you webpages which convert prospects into paying customers.
SEO Tip #4
Continue to build content – This could be accomplished through an individual website, the thing is it’s been proven to work vastly better through many microsites. The way to go about it is to load lots of new content each month, till by the end of one year you have many pages, or blog posts, and you no longer have 60 microsites, but 60 unique macrosites with very high rankings in searches.
Thankfully, we have some excellent writers on our team of experts, with experience writing for several fortune 500 companies. You have a very good chance of doubling your traffic by doubling your content. It’s not as simple as that, exactly, but it REALLY helps. It’s important to add fresh, interesting, helpful content each week to get things really moving.
SEO Tip #5
Glacial Link Building Campaigns – Do I love the big G? Yes… and no. Over the course of the last few years, our gigantic friend has sought to dominate the internet, with quite a bit of success, I might add. As a result of that success, the company has found that it has lots of influence in mandating protocol, methodology, and “rules”. It’s these rules against which I chafe. Link building was a standard part of the package of all internet marketers, and indeed it still is. But the ease with which we could use it has come to an end. The big G knows what has been happening, that it has been manipulated into assigning high page ranks through aggressive link building campaigns. The largest search engine has managed to write software code that is very intelligent, able to see when such activity is occurring and penalizing the perpetrator soundly. At present, the route of avoidance of retribution is to set your links to trickling out at a snails pace. If all your code is clean, your content unique and of high value, and you have many high PR pages with links pointing back at you, things should go well with you.
SEO Tip #6
Time For a Little Magic – Finally, I’d like to tell you a story about the value of creating multitudinous links (a link wheel) and social site usage. “What kind of wheel?” you say, “What is that, some kind of artifact that fell off a Conestoga wagon?” In a word, no. It is an awesome notion worth knowing about. In a sense, I’ve already spoken about them, just not by name. Imagine your main, money-making website hovering in a white expanse, alone. Kind of sad, isn’t it? You’re looking at that lonely place and thinking “Nothing’s happening, and I’m getting depressed.” Then, up pops an article site off to the right, which surprises you, but pleasantly. “Pop,” you hear as a blog page arrives on the scene. “Where did that come from?” you ask. “Pop,” you see the logo of one social media company, then another, and another, and another. Then a micro-site pops into view. It’s only 2 pages long and is focused on the same thing your main site promotes, but with different wording and pictures. It’s starting to sound like popcorn in here. You now have a cheerful, if confused, look on your face, and a thought is forming in your mind. You watch as one after another all the available spots surrounding your main website are filled in. You think to your self that it looks kind of like a wheel, and there you are – a link wheel. You see connecting lines from each of these parts of the hub, like the spokes on a bicycle. There are also lines and arrows extending from some of the hub sites to others around them. “Pop, pop, pop, pop.” You can almost taste the popcorn now. It goes on and on like this, ever faster, ever widening, and you wonder whether there is an end to it all. Stepping back a long way, because it’s getting hard to see the entire thing, you think to yourself that it looks more like a donut now. But it just keeps growing, expanding, and luckily, you can see that there is infinite space and this thing could never fill the entire cyber-sphere. You see connectors running out into seemingly nowhere, but when you gaze fixedly out, your eyes somehow are able to focus, and you see another, unfamiliar website with a similar shape. It goes on like this until finally you understand – the visibility of your site has increased exponentially, till it is very hard, or impossible to ignore. At that moment, you see a giant spider-bot thing crawling along a length of web from that website out in the distance. You’re amazed at the speed at which it advances and before you can even blink, it’s here. The thing glances over at you with a look that makes you think it isn’t really impressed and quickly looks away. At first you were intimidated and thought it was going to suck your brain dry, but then you realize it has absolutely no interest in you. “Whew,” you snort, relieved. The spider moves at a blinding speed, analyzing, assessing, considering, measuring, and then stops. Out of a panel in it’s lower abdomen proceeds a tube, or rod. This rod quickly enters a hole that you hadn’t noticed till now in the side of your main website. The spider shakes and jerks a few times and then back goes the tube, the panel in the thing’s abdomen closes and something catches your eye. Your website has now changed, shining, bright, pulsating. You wonder about this, a look of glee on your face. Then all of a sudden, you hear whooshing sounds coming from all sides. You have to duck to avoid getting hit by one or the other connector as they race toward your main site. Connections, they seem to be, from other sites. They are arriving by the dozen, by the hundreds, by the thousands. Then the vision is over.
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