Category Archives: Search Engine Optimization

Business blogging: It’s a marathon, not a 100M dash

Meet Up logo

I had an opportunity Tuesday evening to meet a group of Twin Cities bloggers at a Biz Bloggers Meetup, organized by blogger Caroline Melberg.  It was chance to meet other bloggers from around the Twin Cities.  Some were newbies, some relatively new to blogging, and some very experienced.  The purpose – to share ideas and topics about blogging.  15 heads are better than one…an exchange of blogging ideas is always great.

Here are a couple of things I learned from my fellow bloggers between bites of my pizza

One discussion I had with blogger Aaron Weiche from Five Technology was about what Weiche called the “tipping point” in any blog.   This tipping point is the moment when a blog “catches hold” of Google search engines, gains a respectable amount of subscribers, and starts to get the attention of the relevent blogging community.  When this happens, your blog can become a marketing tactic in your marketing plan.

I liken blogging to a race

However, I’d call this race a marathon, and not a 100M dash.  In other words, if you’re looking for a quick fix or silver bullet to boost your website traffic, blogging isn’t the ticket. Why?  Because business blogging takes time to reach that aforementioned tipping point…including lots and lots of content focussed on your topic.  Time must be invested in your blog, if you’re going to make it a serious marketing tool for your business.  That’s just the way it is.

Relevance is one of the keys

Another thing that I learned, according to Melberg, it that your business blog must always be relevent to the audience you’re writing for.  This is important.  Keyword relevance helps a blog get that Google Juice we’re all seeking.  Blog topics must stay focussed.  Melberg should know…she consults about blogging to quite a number of clients.

I enjoyed the meeting.  If you’re in the Twin Cities area, are blogging, or even just thinking about it, join the group and see what it’s all about.  The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 28th in Plymouth.

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Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency in Elk River, Minnesota. He plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. Mitchell is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

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Got Google Juice? The good, the bad, and the ugly factors.

google juice

Every business website needs traffic.

You need Google Juice. Why? Because Google is king, representing 70% of all traffic driven to your website.

It is theorized that there are probably more than 200 factors that account for how a website is ranked by Google. Search engine optimization experts don’t have the answer yet. However, here is a list of the good – and the bad – factors that will affect your Google Juice:

Ten Good Google Juice Factors

  • Keyword in URL (resource for key word search: Google Ad Words)
  • Keyword in domain name
  • Keyword in title tag
  • Keyword density in body text
  • Keyword in H1, H2, and H3
  • Links to internal pages
  • Internal Link validity (resource for checking this: free link checker)
  • Freshness of pages
  • Page Rank
  • Quantity and quality of Backlinks

Seven Bad Google Juice Factors

  • Server is often inaccessible
  • Text presented in graphics only form
  • Link farms
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Traffic buying
  • Link buying
  • No links to you (Here’s what I use: Backlink checker)

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. But as a business owner you should start here if you want to get a little more Google Juice.

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Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency in Elk River, Minnesota. He plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. Mitchell is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

website: http://www.258marketing.com
email: chris@258marketing.com

Website BC: What to do Before Construction starts on your website – A 9-point checklist

website checklist

Use this checklist before starting your website

A lot of time and effort can be saved if you organize yourself before putting together a business website. Here’s a handy checklist of the things you need to gather before construction begins:

  1. Company logo. If you have a high resolution logo (300 dpi), that’s perfect. Most logos will be converted to gifs around 100KB or less, however, higher resolution is better to start.
  2. Pictures. Start a file on your computer with pictures you are going to use on your website. If you don’t have pictures, or are limited, there are several sites where you can buy stock photos for a few bucks each. I use most www.istockphoto.com most often for projects. Good selection for under 5-bucks per image. Another one I frequent is www.dreamstime.com and find plenty of high resolution images for under 5-bucks each.
  3. Keywords. This is important. Good web SEO is based upon keywords being used in your html, content, and alt tags. So make a list of 20 keywords that you want your potential customer to be able to search by to find you. This aids the designer, content writer in the early phases of the web project.
  4. Your goals. What is the purpose of your internet site? Write this down. Maybe it’s to secure leads. Maybe it’s to save money on printing. Maybe it’s to interact with the customer. Maybe it’s to position you as an industry expert. When you have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish, a web designer and writer can better help you with the construction of your website.
  5. Your target market. Who are your customers? Know the age, location, income, and other demographic and phsychographic characteristics of your target audience.
  6. Content. You need to have a plan for how many pages your website will be. Your front page directs viewers to inside pages. What will those inside pages contain? You don’t need to write the content yet, but it will really help to get a site map developed for your website if you know what you want the viewer to learn about your business.
  7. How often will you update the site? If you want to update the site (and I strongly recommend you do update regularly)…how will you do it? Do you want to hire someone for this, or can you do it yourself? Which areas will you update? Can you have a Latest News section, or a blog, or a newsletter? Another important reason for updates is that the Google bots look for new content. It will help your page ranking and searches to have updates.
  8. Deadline. Do you have a season or special event that you need to have this done by?
  9. Budget. I get asked this all the time. You have three options.
  • Cheap: self publish it, or use a template, or get someone “hungry” to do it for you for under $1000.
  • Average: Prepare to spend $3500-$4000 and you can get a very nice website. Good companies with good reputations are in this price range.
  • Above Average: In my opinion, anything over $5000 is considered more than the norm. I know, it’s done all the time, and website development of 10K-25K is not uncommon. With those projects, there are special features, interactivity, and other bells and whistles that are jacking up the cost. Sometimes it’s worth it…you be the judge.

Having these nine items nailed down will help your web developer, and these can all be done prior to the first meeting.

    -30-Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency that plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. He is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

    website: http://www.258marketing.com
    email: chris@258marketing.com

    Suspicious Minds: No street address on your business website

    A business website without a street address is a mistake

    Elvis fans know this song:

    We can’t go on together
    With suspicious minds
    And we can’t build our dreams
    On suspicious minds

    Do you ever go to a business website and can’t find their street address? How do you feel? What are they hiding? Are they going to rip me off? Doesn’t it make you suspicious? I know it does for me.

    It’s not a just my pet peeve either

    TMA E-Marketing, a Minnetonka, Minnesota based Internet marketing services company, is one of the leading Internet marketing companies in the upper Midwest. When I refer my clients to these guys, I am 100% confident that the client will be delighted with the result. I asked Director of Operations at TMA E-Marketing, Christian DelMonte, how he felt about putting a street address on a business website.

    DelMonte explained it to me this way. “First, adding an address to a website not only makes sense to show people that you are ‘real,’ but also provides search engines your city and state location.”

    DelMonte continued. “Having this information on your website will increase your chances to have your website show up (and rank better) when people do local searches on their favorite search engines.”

    “In addition, Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and other local aggregators use this data in their ranking formula to position your company versus your competitors. So in any regards, you could say that I’m an advocate of local addresses on websites.”

    After hearing this, I’m convinced. Add your street address to your business website, or the customers and the SEO gods will shun you.

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    Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency that plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. He is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.

    website: http://www.258marketing.com
    email: chris@258marketing.com