Archive for the ‘small business’ Category

How to Build a Keyword Glossary

Monday, May 20th, 2013

This is an excerpt from my new eBook “SEO Principles 2013″. The following is Chapter 3, Building a Keyword Glossary:

To build a keyword glossary start with writing down 5 to 10 keywords or phrases that you think people will search on to find your site. Don’t worry about being wrong this is just as starting point.

Next go to Google’s keyword tool at https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool.

The Google Keyword Tool will help you to identify how often keywords are searched on a monthly basis (globally and locally), what the competition level is for these phrases, and help you to identify other opportunities.

Next, type your 5 to 10 keywords into the “word or phrase” text box and click on the search button.

keyword glossary example 1

In our example we identified the following keywords: men’s shoes, men’s casual shoes, work out shoes for men, and men’s work shoes.

You can see what Google returned for this search:

keyword glossary example 2

As you can see this is fantastic information to have access to. Before we didn’t know how often people were searching for specific keywords. Now we’ve taken the guesswork out and can optimize for the keywords that people are actually searching on.

You will also notice that Google returns keyword ideas. You will want to scan through these ideas for additional keywords to add to your glossary.

keyword glossary example 3

You should end up with about 10 to 30 keywords in your glossary depending on the topic and size of your site. If your site doesn’t have a lot of pages yet, then feel free to start small – 5 to 10 keywords is fine. Once you feel comfortable with optimizing for these keywords, add new ones to your glossary every few months. At the same time, create new pages to go with these keywords to ensure the depth and breadth of your site increases. Building new pages and content will signal to search engines that you’re serious about your site and the content you write. Stagnant sites that don’t grow or aren’t updated will not be crawled as frequently by search engines.

When you scan through the list of keyword ideas, look for keywords that have a large amount of search volume. At the same time, make sure they are specific to what your site is about. If you just go for large volume keywords, the terms may be too broad (“shoes”) or have different meaning depending on the industry or service (acronyms can have different meanings in different industries) you provide. Keywords with large search volume are also going to have more competition making them more difficult to rank on.

When selecting keywords you want to make sure you find a good balance between volume and competition. It’s all right to have a few stretch words that you may never rank on. Just make sure that you have other more “realistic” keywords to provide balance.

Once you’ve selected your 10 to 30 keywords, complete the rest of your glossary by adding the search volume, level of importance, and the page on your site you want to optimize. You can even do a Google search to see if your site ranks in the top 3 search result pages. If it does, you may want to track this ranking in your glossary to see how it changes over time.

TIP: When using Google or other search engines to track your site ranking, make sure you are NOT logged in. Being logged in will bias your search results and potentially show your site ranked higher than what it would show for other users.

TIP: Track to see if your site shows in the top 3 pages (first 30 results). Listings beyond page 3 receive so few clicks that ranking there is not going to provide much traffic.

For more detailed information on optimizing your web site for SEO, please visit Amazon, “SEO Principles 2013″ is now available for $2.99.

SEO Principles 2013 eBook for Individual and Small Businesses

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

I recently launched my new eBook on Amazon called “SEO Principles 2013″. I wrote this book for individuals and small businesses that don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to having a fulltime SEO expert working on their site.

Over the past 9 years of optimizing sites for search engines, I’ve found consistent and proven  principles that haven’t changed regardless of updates and algorithm changes made by major search engines.

“SEO Principles 2013″ starts by taking you through SEO strategies, details how to build a keyword glossary, and explains each of the principles and what you need to do to make your pages ready for search engine crawlers. You will also learn what it takes to make your pages stand out in search results – ranking well is the first battle but you need people to click on your search result for it to be effective. Optimizing search results is an important tactic that is often overlooked.

“SEO Principles 2013″ is just $2.99 on Amazon. Download your copy today and start building your SEO strategy in no time at all.

Overcoming Internet Marketing Overload

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

It is very easy to become overwhelmed by Internet marketing. After all, it is made of so many different disciplines, each of which could easily be a full-time job on their own. So how do you avoid Internet marketing overload?

Stay Focused

The first discipline to learn is web analytics. If you aren’t tracking your site statistics, you need to start now. Web analytics is a great place to start because all of your other Internet marketing programs can build off of it. Unless you know what is happening on your web site, you won’t know if the work you put into SEO, paid advertising, email marketing, etc. are worth the time, money, and effort you put in.

To get started you will want to track some core statistics. You can measure any statistics that you’d like but you will want to keep it simple to start with. Tracking visitors, visits, page views, and conversions would be a good start. Tracking these statistics weekly or monthly will help you determine how well your site is doing over time.

Expand Your Knowledge

Once you become comfortable tracking and understanding your web site statistics you will want to explore other areas of Internet marketing. This could involve search engine optimization, building a marketing campaign, or setting up Google ads. The option is up to you but stay focused on one discipline at a time and refer back to your statistics so you know what you’re doing is working. At this point you may want to add more tracking information to your weekly/monthly report to track your new projects. For example, tracking referring sites will help you recognize whether the time and effort you spent on SEO is working. You would see more people coming to your site from Google and Bing.

Just Keep Tracking

Tracking your statistics is the key to Internet marketing success. It is very easy to spend hours and hours of your time and never receive any results. Whenever you create a new Internet marketing campaign, make sure you have a way to track it in your report. This will save you a lot of time, effort, and money and allow you to focus on what works and retire what doesn’t.

Know the ROI of Your Small Business Web Site

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Launching Your Web Site is the Beginning Not the End

Many small business owners think that putting up a web site is all they need to do to establish an online presence. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning and the hard work hasn’t even begun. Worse, not continuing to focus on your web site beyond its launch, ensures the time and money spent building the site will be wasted and its effectiveness lost.

Internet marketing begins when your site launches and it ends, well…never. It’s made up of different disciplines such as search engine optimization, advertising, and analytics, each with their own set of rules, goals, and learning curves. Learning Internet marketing overwhelms many, especially small business owners who have limited time and many tasks to focus on which is why we’ve created Marketing for Mavens. We want to help you understand what is going on with your web site and feel confident that the resources you invest in your web site are returned to you through more sales and visitor interest.

Build Your Site with Confidence

Our application simplifies Internet marketing by allowing you to manage your campaigns, track your goals, dynamically display your call to actions and promotions, and view important statistics.

We understand that you’re not a web designer, developer, or Internet marketer, and even if you are, you will find a lot of value in Marketing for Mavens. We are Internet marketers and we use our own product because it simplifies our lives as well. Our application will help you understand if the campaign you just launched is working or if the conversion rate for your forms is increasing over time. If not, you can quickly try something else, but you will always know what is occurring on our web site and be able to respond to in real-time.

Joining the Beta and Understand Your Site ROI

You can try Marketing for Mavens for as long as you want. It will take just a couple of minutes to setup your account and for you to add a couple of lines of JavaScript code to you web site. Don’t worry if this sounds intimidating, we can walk you through the process.

Once the code is added to your site, you will see people visiting your site in real-time. See where they’re going, what they’re looking for, and how they got to your site. It’s amazing how fun it can be to see your web citizens make their way through your site, learning about your products and services, and hopefully, if all goes well, they will make a purchase, fill out a form, or inquiry about your business. Good luck!

Internet Marketing Tools for Small Business

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

As a small business owner you want to minimize the number tools so you can focus on what is necessary and nothing more. This list isn’t intended to be the end-all-be-all list of Internet marketing tools. Instead, it will help you focus your attention on the tools that will help you get started with the goal of increasing your online presence.

Analytics: What are people doing on your web site?

  • Google Analytics: Free web site analytics tool that gives you all the web site statistics you could want and more. It doesn’t have as many features as some of the paid analytics tools but it provides most of what you need at a price that can’t be beat. If you want to understand the data provided by Google Analytics beyond the basics, you should check out the book Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik.

Email Marketing: Keep people informed of your business.

  • VerticalResponse: There are a lot of great email marketing applications available. This is the one that I use and would recommend as a good starting point. Their pricing is great and they offer a free trial period which will help you to determine if this is the right tool for you.

Paid Advertising: Get noticed when people search for terms related to your business.

  • Google Adwords: When people search Google they are usually presented with paid results at the top and right side of the results page. You can position your ads in these locations by using Google Adwords. Adwords allows you to select the keywords you want to advertise for, determine how much you want to spend, and create your ad copy. There are hundreds of articles on how to setup and use Google Adwords. A great place to start is with own Adwords page.

Resources: What else is available?

  • Web Marketing Tribe: A collection of the web marketing stories, articles, blog posts, and news submitted and voted on by site members.
  • Google Webmaster Tools: Tools to help you find problem areas with your web site. Find broken links, submit your sitemap, and see how people are getting to your web site.

Search Engine Optimization: Optimize your site for listing in search engines.

  • Site Mapping: Site mapping tools are a great way to ensure that Google and other search engines find all of the pages on your web site. There are several site mapping tools available. I’ve had good success with XML-Sitemaps.com, a free tool that crawls your web site, sets page priority and frequency change, and outputs a sitemap.xml file for you to add to your site and submit to Google using Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Google Local: Add your business listing to Google so people searching in your local business area can find you.

Social Media: Share and contribute to the community you serve.

  • Twitter: A micro-blogging tool that you can use to keep your followers informed about your company, products, services, events, etc. Posts or “Tweets” are limited to 140 characters which keeps the information concise. Stand alone applications such TweetDeck and Twirl are highly recommended.
  • Facebook: Facebook’s popularity is at an all time high. You can use Facebook to start a group focused on your company and you can also participate in other groups related to your service/product to assist people and gain recognition in your field.
  • Linked-in: Similar to Facebook, Linked-in also provides groups you can start and/or join to help people in your field of interests.

Finally, here’s the self promotion plug, at Marketing for Mavens, we’re building an application that helps pull all these pieces together. Internet marketing requires a lot of different tools in many areas of expertise. It doesn’t take long before you can become overwhelmed.

This is why we’re building an application that helps you to track your visitors and what they’re doing on your web site, create targeted promotions and calls-to-action that are automatically matched to your visitors, manage all of your marketing campaigns in one location, and monitor in real-time what is happening on your web site using a simple dashboard page and reports. Marketing for Mavens is currently in beta. Sign up today and join the community.

Internet Marketing for Small Business

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

As a small business owner you are constantly getting pulled in different directions. Whether it’s sales, marketing, client support, or finances you always have something or someone who needs your attention. One of the areas that can consume a significant amount of this attention is Internet marketing.

Internet marketing is what every business needs to do after their web site goes live. It is made up of several areas including, search engine optimization, email marketing, paid advertising, social media, web design and development, and analytics. Each of these areas can be incredibly complex but they are all necessary to certain degree to help you build your business. The problem is that there is so much to do that it can be very overwhelming. Often, people get so overwhelmed that they become paralyzed and never do anything or they go to the other extreme and spend a significant amount of their budget in areas that return few results. This is where Marketing for Mavens can help.

Marketing for Mavens helps small business owner grasp what is going on with their web site. A daily dashboard pages shows visitor trends, popular web pages, the current days’ visitors, and most importantly, how well your online marketing campaigns are performing. With Marketing for Mavens, you can track your Twitter campaign, your blog, and your email campaigns. You will know exactly how many people responded to these campaigns and what assets and pages they viewed on your site. You will instantly know whether the time you spent on your blog or the money you spent on your latest email campaign was worth the effort or expense. This will help you to further focus your time, money, and attention on the tasks that need it most.

In addition to the daily dashboard and marketing campaign tracking, Marketing for Mavens also helps you to create calls-to-action and promotions on your web site which can be targeted to individual visitors. This helps you to easily customize your site to each visitor automatically without having to constantly monitor user activity. And best of all, targeted content is more likely to grab the users attention, leading to more email list subscribers and sales leads.

Finally, we’ve included a report page to show you the progress your site has made over the previous six months. It’s our goal to only provide the site analytics you need to make solid business decisions. The six month report shows visitor history, site conversions, and promotion activity. You will see trends in this activity and be able to make tweaks to your web site improve the user experience.

We’ve built Marketing for Mavens as a tool for small business owners and Internet marketing managers alike to assist them in their daily tasks. We’re here to help you free up your attention so you can focus on your business. Let us help you gain back your time and feel confident that your budget is being spent most effectively. Sign up for the free beta today.