Lead Generation

Simple SEO Tips To Help Your Rankings Skyrocket On Google!

So, let’s chat about some simple SEO tips to increase your rankings on Google. I get a lot of different reactions when it comes to explaining the premise behind search engine optimization – mostly a lot of blank stares, skepticism, and requests to repeat what I just said.

I’m sure you’ve heard all the buzz about the so-called Google algorithm. Codenamed after adorable animals like Panda, Penguin, and, most recently, Hummingbird, these algorithms have thrown the online community into a tizzy. While some experts believe the whole process of SEO has become even more complicated since these changes by Google have been made, I actually believe it’s gotten simpler and more intuitive. The rules for being online haven’t changed. Google is just being more obvious about what it wants.

Google’s Goals Have Always Remained The Same:

  1. To give users of its search engine the most relevant (ie. best) search results in the shortest amount of time possible and
  2. To weed out and rank only the best small business owners that are able to give Google and its users exactly what they’re asking for.

So, what exactly is Google asking for? Answer: Google is asking business owners to produce multimedia content that it can quickly and easily index for ranking purposes. This content also needs to be highly relevant and interesting to capture the attention of a viewer. Here are my top 3 picks what you can do online to finally get noticed – and ranked – by Google:

1.  Search Engine Optimize Your Website

You have to give Google a reason to want to index you. When they start crawling your site for tid bits on who you are and what your business does, be sure you leave them with as much detailed information as possible. You do this using your title tags, meta descriptions, keywords, graphics, website layout, to name a few.

2.  Start Creating Profiles in Major Online Directories

I always advise my clients to strive for maximum exposure with the least amount of work. Gone are the days when Google only looks at a website to gauge whether or not you deserve to rank on Page 1. When you create profiles on online directories, you benefit from having your name and contact information show up on multiple places online AND you also receive a legitimate link back from that directory to your website. By directing people back to your own online accounts, you are essentially forcing Google to pay more attention to you. Start this process with free online directories like Google+ and Google Places, Yelp, Foursquare, and more.

3.  Get Social and STAY Social

If there’s one thing that can be said for the most recent algorithm changes, it’s that

Google wants you to be more social. Plain and simple. Search engines are placing an increasing amount of importance on how social media conversations influence their views on brands and, ultimately, how their websites should rank. Business owners and brands can no longer rely on a well-optimized website to earn Google’s attention. A brand must be able to strike up a conversation, go where their people are going, and engaging them in a discussion that earns them brownie points in the form of a great reputation and better rankings online. Smart brands are using very specific – and simple – social media tactics to drive traffic to their websites and boost interest in their companies. I’ll share a few of those strategies with you in my next blog.

Now that you understand how Google works, be sure to apply these three basic steps to help you build a solid online foundation that nothing – not even Google’s famed and ever-changing – can ever shake. See you on my next blog where I’ll share with you how to leverage specific social media avenues to help you generate leads and traffic back to your site!

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Part 2: How To Drive Traffic To Your Blog AND Increase Readership

Part 2: How To Drive Traffic To Your Blog AND Increase Readership

Let’s be honest here: Every business owner wants to generate leads with the least amount of blood, sweat, tears. Your goal is to build a business where clients come to you and you want these potential clients to already want and need your product and service. We call this wonderful phenomenon pre-qualified traffic. So let’s examine some tried and true methods of driving this kind of qualified traffic to your blog and website:

Using Social Media To Drive Traffic To Your Blog And Website

Social media is a great way to drive more traffic back to your blog and website for several reasons. It shows Google that you’re active when it comes to community building and the addition of a blog URL helps build up the number of simple, organic links back to your site. Almost every business owner has Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – now would be a good time to use it. Post wisely, though. There are certain sweet spots when it comes to posting on social media especially when it comes to:

  • The number of times you need to post on each respective account
  • The time of day that you want to post
  • Be strategic with your accounts. Don’t post if you have nothing interesting or valuable to share with your followers and fans. The last thing you want to do is spam your potential and current customers.

Still not a believer that social media can be a powerful traffic generation tool? Then maybe this statistic will help: 26% of B2C marketers say that Facebook is the leading source of referred social media traffic back to their respective websites. Now that’s impressive.

Do Email Newsletters Work For Lead Generation?

A gentle word of caution to those that do email newsletters: Make sure you have a really STELLAR headline as the subject of your email. Your goal is to grab the attention of your readers – and potential clients – and to make them want more. You want them to be interested and, ultimately, invested in whatever it is you have to say. Remember that it’s so much easier to convert someone who already likes you. Sometimes all it takes is a delicate nudge to make a casual web visitor into a committed buyer.

Guest Blogging For Lead Generation

Yes, I am a huge fan of guest blogging. The reasoning is simple: By guest blogging, I am now able to put myself in front of a large audience that I a) possibly never would have been exposed to otherwise or b) while I might be able to get exposure to this same group through other means, reaching them all at once is a time saver. Guest blogging for sites that already have great traction means new eye balls on my content and quality links that mean a great deal to Google and other major search engines.

And, last but not least: Have you ever considered doing a Google AdWords or a Facebook Ads campaign to drive traffic back to your blog? Learn more in my next blog.

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Part 1: How To Blog For Lead Generation — The Straight Goods

Part 1: How To Blog For Lead Generation: The Straight Goods 

My good friend recently celebrated her betrothal to her now fiancé and the only people that showed up to toast the newly engaged couple with a frothy flute of champagne were their closest friends and immediate family. There were 10 of us in total. That’s it. Why, you ask? Because they didn’t want anyone else to show up. Let me explain…

This kind of a turnout is totally fine for a private family event. But, when it comes to your business, the rules completely change. Who in their right mind would want to write a blog if readers aren’t coming by for a visit? Blogs must be well-written, well-researched, and, in my honest opinion, fascinating enough to retain the interest of even the most lazy readers. These kinds of blogs take time to write – I know some business associates who spend hours, days, and weeks lamenting and perfecting their blogs. Does this sound like you?

65% of Blogs Lay Dormant

More than 65% of blogs lay dormant where the only readers are the author (yay!) and possibly some overseas spammers for cheap diet pills (nay!). In other words, these blogs see no traffic, “enjoy” a sparse readership and, sadly, don’t convert at all. So, what’s happening here? If you’re experiencing this problem, the first question to ask yourself is: Did you send out any invitations? Or, are you like my newly engaged friend who didn’t send out any invites at all save for one created on Facebook?

I think it’s safe to say that people can only really visit your blog and website if they’re invited. There are a number of ways to invite people into your blogosphere:

  • Shared links with other high profile blogs and websites
  • Social media plugs from yourself and other businesses
  • Contests and giveaways (use sparingly)
  • Email newsletters (keep ‘em short and sweet)
  • Good ol’ SEO tactics to entice Google to rank you higher

Entice Google Into Ranking You Higher Using SEO

I use the word “entice” here because not only do you need to make your readers like what you write, you must also make Google value your content. Your job is to always be able to strike a fine balance between the creative (ideas and pitch) and the technical (search engine optimization). Grabbing your reader’s attention and giving them what they want — while also appealing to Google’s savvy search bots — should be right at the top of your priority list when creating blogs.

I’ve said this to my students and clients before: Just because you build it, does NOT mean they will come. So… how are YOU going to get your blog posts read? Actually, the better question here is: How are you going to use your blog for lead generation? Stay tuned for my next instalment where I’ll be sharing with you some of my tried and true ways of driving more traffic — AND increasing readership — to your blog.

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Website and Internet Usage Statistics – Part 8

The droids we're googling for Stéfan via Compfight

Website Fact: First Impressions Are Everything

Did you know that the number of internet users in the U.S. expanded to approximately 239 million? That represents 75.6% of the total population. In other words, more than 3/4 of the total population is online as of 2012. Staggering…but, not surprising at all.

Business owners: If you’re not online, we suggest you make building a website a priority for 2013. If you ARE online but your presence is not building your brand equity or making you money, we also suggest you think about re-visiting your marketing strategy.

A well-designed, functional website gives off the impression that your company professional, established, successful, and technically-savvy.

Look Professional And Credible

Having a website is as important today as having an office and a Yellow Pages listing was 30 years ago – in fact, you could potentially argue that a website is more important because the stakes are higher and the competition is that much more fierce. Having a good website is no longer just a need for your business – it is a necessity. This is a factor that can easily affect whether your business grows or goes bust in fast-paced — and highly competitive — global market.

So, only one question remains: Are you leveraging your best sales asset?

Turn your website into a lead generating tool by contacting us today for a free web evaluation! You’ll be glad you did.

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Tips To Streamline Your Business Operations – Part 6

When you make a conscious effort to super charge your online presence, you are opening yourself and your business up to a whole host of opportunities that you can’t get from simply being a brick and mortar establishment.

 

Let’s examine the concept of online shopping. It’s fast and hassle free — people no longer have to travel long distances to your store to buy something, and they can easily compare prices and brands online before they buy. Many service-based companies like physiotherapists, salons, and restaurants are now taking bookings online too. What does this all mean for you? You’re now able to:

 

  1. Process a lot more customers in a given time
  2. Reduce your operating costs and overhead
  3. Sell to people from around the globe.

 

Businesses that were once local can now open their doors to a GLOBAL clientele. No longer are you restricted by geographical boundaries.

 

The Importance Of Websites In Relationship Building

 

Having a website allows you to builds relationships with your clients by enabling two-way communication. Every page and element of your website should be designed to both encourage action (through email opt-ins and buy now buttons) and educate your visitors.

 

Create An Informative FAQ Section:

 

You can answer many of your customer’s initial questions by providing them with a good FAQ section. Not only does this add value to the customer since they are getting answers to their queries right away, it’s also a great way to show your visitors you’re prepared, professional, and ready to do business. My favorite part of an FAQ section is that it lets me do UNINTERRUPTED research on a company and its products.

 

The Power Of Contact & Quote Submission Forms

 

When you ask a question, you naturally expect a timely, informative answer. When a customer submits their information through a contact form or sends in a request for a quote, they are giving you the green light to pursue them. And, this is the goal of any business owner:  To have client’s come to YOU.

 

Listening To Your Customers

 

Happy customers let you know you’re doing your job well. Unhappy customers let you know where you can improve. The ability for others to see the testimonials of satisfied clients as well as how you deal with mistakes, is great way to show the public that you value their patronage and are ready, willing, and able to improve operations all the time.

 

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The Benefits Of Having A Monetized Website – Part 3

Unlike your store or office, your website is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This makes it extremely convenient for all your potential and existing customers to find out information about your products and services anytime – no matter where they are in the world.

Unlike a brick and mortar store, you’re not bound by time or location. You now have a secondary sales person that works for you all day long – and won’t charge you for overtime.

The Economics Of Being Online

It really is quite simple, folks. When you start selling online, you start SAVING MONEY. When you’re online, you have the ability to not only sell your products and services, you also get to sell yourself and your brand. Our best advice to you is to be as involved as possible in the information and sales process on your website. Through a variety of free online tools, you can use your website to see:

  1. How your customers are interacting with your products and services depending on what pages they visit.
  2. What your clients are like in terms of gender, purchase behaviour, country of origin, and the kind of device they are using to view your site.
  3. How well your site is performing and insight into how you can improve the user experience.

 
You want to be able to optimize your site in terms of design and content to ensure you’re converting your visitors into paying customers. This is how you can use your website to adjust your online marketing strategy in real-time. This is how you can consistently stay interesting and relevant to your customers. And, this is how you turn your website into a secondary source of lead generation.

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