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Why Do I Need a Search Engine Optimized Website?

It is not a given that just because you have a website your site is being found on the leading search engines. Verizon and hundreds of other companies out there are now offering free or next to free websites for their customers. Heck, you can even design a great looking one on your Mac. However, if you are a business and if the purpose of your website is to draw traffic to your site and increase your revenue, you are going to need to have a search engine optimized site that will be ranked prominently on the major search engines, not an online business card.

Studies have shown that only 1 out of 5 people will click to page 2 of a search engine to find what they are looking for. 80% will not leave page one. Forget page 6. So how do you ensure ranking high in what is known as the “organic” or FREE middle section of a search engine page?
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Will SEO Alone Do the Trick?

A friend forwarded me a great article that I haveto share, as lately I’ve been adopting this strategy more and more:

The issue of how to strike a good balance between traditional, time honored marketing methods versus shiny toys like SEO is an ongoing debate and topic of discussion from many of us in the biz, as we struggle to position ourselves to do the best job possible for our clients in making their voice count, ensuring great ROI as well as making sure their visibility is front and center. In short, doing our jobs to best promote their business in front of the widest audience, ethically, affordably and well.

Will SEO alone do the trick? Like anything else, SEO if implemented professionally, should be a component, a crucial component for sure, but still, a component of a broader, integrated marketing strategy. Anyone that tells you that SEO in and of itself is the “magic pill” that will turn their business profits around is either not telling you the truth or implementing some pretty unsavory SEO tactics in oder to get you high rankings in the search engines. Buyer Beware, and remember the old addage: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Make sure your marketing plan contains at least 3 of the following components and that they are well integrated in order to obtain a good bang for your buck:

  • A well designed, unique, search engine friendly website
  • Inclusion in as many general, industry specific and geo targeted directories
  • Inclusion in all the major search engines, including Google, Yahoo and Bing
  • A warm lead generated opt-in , professional email campaign (no spamming)
  • Social Media, Social Media, Social Media
  • A blog or newsletter campaign
  • Targeted Pay-Per-Click advertising
  • Aggressive email (opt-in only!) capture strategy
  • Occasional specials, incentives, discounts offerings
  • An analytical tool to gauge just what is effective and what can be discarded

Most important, however you choose to spend your marketing money, is to make sure that your campaign is well branded and being delivered consistently and in a timely fashion. People need to get used to seeing your presence in order to expect your presence.

SEO alone does not a marketing plan make. My goal, as always, is yours: business walking through the door, orders flowing in, phones-a-ringing, trackable increases in dollars, and happy, smiley, business owners.

3 Reasons Why Your Business Should Have a Facebook Page

I know, I know…it’s not your cup of tea; it’s for socializing; it’s for looking to see how bald your ex is now; businesses don’t take it seriously, it will mean I have to be on it all the time and I don’t have the time to do that; I’m trying to run my business!!

Stop right there. I’ve heard it all before, and let me just say, respectfully, that you need to get over it and just do it. Build a Facebook business page. Like it otr not, it has become a marketing tool you can no longer ignore. Here are three good reasons why:

1) With almost 600 million users and almost 50% of them on Facebook daily….stop….think about it….., and over 40% of existing businesses already up and running on it, you want your business to be where your customers, and your potential customers are going, right? If you knew that your customers were passing by one of the huge billboards in Times Square every day and those billboards didn’t cost millions per month to be advertising there, you would want to be up there…wouldn’t you?
So think of it that way: a Facebook business page is like that billboard except for the fact that it’s free. Your customers are there, their friends are there. And you can say a heck of a lot more on a FB page than you can on a billboard.

2) The search engines love a Facebook Biz Page and index them. Because a business page is a public URL and not a private one, your site will have a much easier time making it to the top of a Google search than your website, unless you’ve invested a lot of $ into SEO (not that there’s anything wrong with that- call me). Plus you can customize it to be much more interactive than your website, change it as often as you’d like, run “specials” on it, in short: treat it like your free customizable website.

3) As mentioned earlier, most of your competition already has one, and not because they want to share about their favorite rice and beans recipe. The “like” button has become the new “link”. Many online marketers, myself included, believe that the Facebook “like” button is becoming just as significant as backlinks are to a website. In other words, the more “likes” your page has, the greater the chance of it ranking high in the search engines for your specific keywords. So think of it as a link and encourage your customers to press it. Every time you update something on your page these customers will now see it because they have been “linked” to it.

There are so many good reasons to create one of these pages I could blather on and on about them, but will save that for chapter 2. In the meantime, remember that a Facebook business page carries good “link juice”, and therefore provides valuable SEO without having to pay for it.

So think about the math. The average Facebook page has 140 friends. When you post to Facebook, your ‘friends’ and all their ‘friends’ will view your post. Can you spell V-I-R-A-L? As insane as it might sound, there’s a reason why Shoprite wants you to “like” them on Facebook.

By the way, when we’re done here, and for more tips?

Omaginarium on Facebook

It’s a New Dawn: Protect Your Online Reputation

Protect your online reputation

A few months ago, The New York Times published an article on the growing services that manage clients reputations and information on the internet. Thank you Charlie Sheen for boosting an already growing field and creating jobs for thousands.

In working with doctors this issue has become the big pink elephant in the room. Recently I had an experience that brought this all to light: In searching for clients, I’ll often plug their name into a Google search just to see what comes up. On this particular day I was targeting a few Ob-Gyn practices in my area ,  doctors that I’ve known for years who I’d worked with in my last incarnation. In the medical field in particular, online review sites have become fast, furious and powerful. They overshadow and outrank even the most sophisticated of medical practice websites, and often one will have to sift through 12 or 13 before getting to a website, if in fact there is a website at all. (Another story for another day). This doctor was a pioneer in his field; was known for his cutting edge Vitamin D testing long before Vitamin D deficiencies became a buzzword, and for years had a great reputation and was very difficult to get an appointment with because he was so in demand. No more. One look at the organic search engine results and it was clear that the online review sites had this doctor by the jugular. The very top of the search engine’s review did not even need clicking into; it was on the face as clear as day, calling out to all who might be searching for a good Ob-Gyn in their area, or who may have been referred to this particular doctor and just needed to check her out online first. Not good. Not anywhere close to good. As the adage goes: one bad review can skew 100 great ones. This doctor needed damage control in a big way.
Make sure you are aware of the review sites in your particular field, both B to B and B to C. Protecting your reputation has never been more important. Also, Google Alerts is an easy way to track what the internet is saying about you or your company. Best of all its super easy and its free! All you have to do is go to Google and search news. So let’s say we wanted to track each time somebody posted something on the internet about “Reputation Management Omaginarium” or “Omagine Health Reputation Management”.  All we would need to do is add this to our Google Alerts. Each time this phrase was listed on a website, news, video or blog, Google would send you an email and let you know where the term about “Reputation Management Omaginarium” or “Omagine Health Reputation Management” was listed. And while you’re at it, google yourself every now and then. It’s just as important as running a credit check on yourself!

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