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3 Great Book Recommendations for Small Business Owners, Entrepreneurs and Those of us Just Seeking Personal Growth (but not ‘self-help’)

My book club is ready to give me the boot. Actually they have been very patient with me these past few months when I recently announced that due to “income, time and duty” demands I could no longer justify reading the fiction choices we’ve tended to gravitate towards, at least for the immediate future. Possibly ’til the end of time as we know it. It was a sad day when that announcement had to be made. I’d practiced it a few times in the car on my way over to our March book club gathering in the hopes that it would either sound pathetic enough to illicit the response I needed, which was basically that they would all understood that any book I was reading for the next six to 9 months, or possibly for the rest of my life had to contain either 2.0 or Guerilla somewhere in the title.

They understood, and did not give me the boot, especially when I volunteered to be the entertainment at all future meetings. Whatever that meant. They’re good, if not curious people. [Read more...]

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?
[Read more...]

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

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