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Ranking #1 on Google

Local & SEO Websites w Brian Coryat

http://www.schoolforstartups.com/brian-coryat/

from my interview with Brian Coryat….

Brian Coryat“You have all the gorillas in the room. Google is 97% of search and 67% of local search. So Google, Yahoo, Bing, YP, Yelp, Superpages, Merchant Circle, and then of course there’s Facebook and Twitter. That should be dealt with by small businesses. Make them do it themselves; there’s no money needed at all. It takes time and it takes some patience. You need to gather up your descriptions and your pictures of your business and things like that. And then just visit these sites in turn and create accounts, and submit those accounts and monitor those accounts as well, so that you’re involved… Number one, you’re getting found on these local directories when people are searching on their cell phone or asking Siri, “Where’s the best sushi restaurant in town?” If you’re not in that list, you’re not in existence to the customer.

So you need to make sure your digital presence is present on all of these digital platforms. And I’d say for local businesses that’s really the most important thing, and then monitor Yelp, Google and Yahoo and the other publishers that have comments and reviews and make sure that you’re responding to those reviews and listening to those reviews, because there is a conversation going on about your business. And if you’re not part of it, then that’s just a shame. Now, so what I would recommend, and I’m going to put this out there for businesses that want to do this with no cost.

What I would recommend to do for this is, number one, have a website, have a clean website that makes sense. Make sure it can be visited on all platforms and devices. It needs to be good on mobile. Okay that’s step one. Step two, make sure that you’re findable, so in other words you have a correct listing and an enhanced listing, meaning photos and all of the data that they will look at on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and the other major directories. And number three, monitor conversation. One way to monitor the conversation is by using a free service online called Mention. And I use Mention.net I believe it is, and on Mention, you can put in the name of your business, and whenever that business is mentioned online, you get an email, and it tells you what was mentioned and how it was mentioned and then you can go and look at that.

And then as far as monitoring, when you open your account at Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yelp, they ask for your email address, and whenever there’s a comment about your business, they will email that to you. And then you can participate in the conversation.

So I think with those three steps, by building your presence, announcing your presence, and monitoring the conversation, is really at the core of whatever your local business should do, even before they start to look into any type of promotions on Facebook or Pinterest or any of these other exciting things, you need to have the basics. And the basics are those three steps. I don’t know if we are in some other bubble, but we’re certainly in the midst of a revolution, and a new evolution and revolution in the internet, because technology is moving so fast now that technology companies can become worth billions of dollars in a very short period of time because of this huge scale and mass that is out there that can be reached. Or, on the other flip side of that coin, it can be rendered irrelevant just as quickly because this technology is moving so fast, that it creates a lot of opportunity across all fronts.”
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Adam Hommey on Traffic vs Conversions

http://www.schoolforstartups.com/adam-hommey-on-traffic-vs-conversions/

from my interview with Adam Hommey…….

Adam Hommey“In the literature and in the advertising we see for services that help people grow their businesses online, we see so many different softwares, so many different products, so many different coaches promise you that they’re going to get you more traffic to your website. And I’m here to tell you that the very last thing you could ever possibly want is more traffic to your website. Here’s the reason why: when I think of the word “traffic”, I think of the reasons why I work out of the home.

Traffic is something you get stuck in. Traffic is something where you have people from five different directions all being forced into a very narrow area. They’re already running behind, they’re already debilitated, demoralized, and you’re sending a bunch of people all to the same place. They may or may not even know why they’re going there. That, to me, is traffic. When we talk about websites, we need to really define our terms. What do we mean by web site? A website can include the informational pages you described, it can have your about page, your services page, your coaching page, your media page, your speaking page, your contact page, your blog section. I mean, we can go on and on and on.

You can also have opt-in pages to your webinars and free reports, it can have sign up pages for your events. I mean, we can just keep piling on everything that a website can be. And not only can one website have all of these things, you can have separate websites, each of which are one of these things. Now what I tell people they need, is they need visitors to their webpages. Notice the semantic difference between traffic to your websites and visitors to your webpage? Because first of all, you want visitors that are pre-qualified, prepped, and pumped. Which means you’re speaking to the right people with the right message for the right reason. So you’re targeting the right context, so that’s pre-qualified.

You prep them by giving them an idea of what they’re going to arrive at once they click that link in your email or that button on your social media or what have you that says “click here to learn more” or “click here to visit the webpage” or “click here to sign up”. And you’ve got them pumped to the point where they’re so excited about what they’re about to receive, that it’s almost inevitable that they’re going to take the action. So if you’re driving them to sign up for their webinar, they’re already so excited about what they’re going to learn, they can’t wait to get on your page just so they can sign up.

Now, this whole thing about whether we can have a webpage do just one thing or whether we can have all the buttons to do all the other things, we have to think about where that visitor is in terms of your website conversion conversation with them. What I mean by website conversion conversation, I know I’m throwing out a lot of different buzzwords here, but website conversion conversation is that whole process of helping your visitors and prospects get to know you so they find their own reasons to like you and make the decision to trust you enough to give you money or investing their time in getting to know you further. So when you take all these things together, it kind of starts to help things make sense. Because depending on where people are within that website conversion conversation, are we at the point where we’re very early in the conversation and we just want to get them on the list so that we can start to have regular contact with them and give them regular guidance in the form of ezines and podcasts like the one that you have here and everything else?

Or is this somebody that you who you contacted with you on LinkedIn who’s already pretty much convinced that they’re ready to do business with you as their poster component, just need to research you a little bit. And so they need to go to an informational webpage, need to find out what you’re all about, exactly what type of services are there, see what other people are saying, see examples from your blog or things like that. So before we say that it’s either right or wrong to have a whole bunch of buttons on this thing we call a webpage or a website, we need to think about why are we inviting that visitor there.”

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Corey Perlman & Social Media Overload

http://www.schoolforstartups.com/corey-perlman-social-media-overload/

from my interview with Corey Perlman…..

Corey Perlman“I am steadfastly against buying followers. I said numbers are important, but I don’t think they’re important enough to buy them. What it is going to do is dilute your audience. Especially on LinkedIn, there are so many opportunities for you to create new relationships. It is not just your network on LinkedIn, but it is your network’s network. It is not the people that you know, but the people that they know. If you dilute it with strangers then that whole process does not work.

I have no problem with social media growing organically. If you start a blog for example, or a Pinterest page or any social media, unless you shove it down peoples’ throats, it will not grow organically. Let’s be honest. You need to push this thing full force up the hill, getting it out to every single human being that you know in order for you to gain any traction whatsoever. Just putting it out there and they will come is a myth. Don’t be fooled by that. It takes a lot of work to get these things up the hill, and eventually the organic process can take place once you have done the work.

From a pure social networking site, I rank Google Plus very low. In fact, we may be talking two years from now and the social network part of Google Plus may be extinct. I don’t think that they are gaining traffic or market share over Facebook. If you asked people if they are utilizing Google Plus from a purely social networking space, they are not.

With that said, there are two other areas of Google Plus that are important. Content marketing, if you let Google know or if you publish your content under your Google Plus persona, will help you get better SEO bang for your buck. 100% without a doubt.

Another thing not to forget is the Google Plus Local page. If somebody types in landscaper in Detroit Michigan, or photographer in Seattle, 9 of out 10 times those local listings show up. Those are Google Plus profiles, business profiles. They need to be taken very seriously. Those are not going away, there actually increasing in exposure. Google is doing a lot with those. If you’re a local business, I would go out and search for your business and find your unique Google Plus local page, make sure it is managed, make sure it is updated, and make sure it has good positive reviews.”

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Negative Adwords w Dale Tweedy

http://www.schoolforstartups.com/negative-adwords-w-dale-tweedy/

from my interview with Dale Tweedy …..

negative keywords“The thing that really made Google Adwords profitable was understanding a couple of things. One is negative keywords. You have a lot of people out there doing searches and searches and are coming in for fishing nets, baseball nets, or something like that. And they are taking up clicks. They might see your ad and click on it because they are curious. If you go through and analyze where your customers are coming in, you want to see what their search terms were.

Once you find that you can put negative keywords into your system saying I no longer want anybody for my ads to pop up if they are looking for a hockey net. It allows you to get down to very, very specific search terms which allows you to say I have just tripled the effectiveness of this ad, because I know it is only showing for people who are searching for lacrosse nets, lacrosse replacement nets, and things that are very specific to my ad words.

I did hire an ad words agency for a very minimal amount of money for three months just to show me how to put the parts of the ad work program together. That paid for itself time and again in the first 30 days. They were able to go in make it so your ad follows you to other sites. The next day they might be surfing on something, and all of a sudden they will see my ad pop up, because they were interested in lacrosse nets the day before, and now this is following them along. This was another big jump that we had with our Google ad words program.”

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Geoff Talbot on SEO, Social Media & Google

http://www.schoolforstartups.com/geoff-talbot-on-seo-social-media-google/

from my interview with Geoff Talbot….

SEO Perfect Company“Since the advent of the Internet and social media, there has been an incredible opportunity for small business owners. Typically in the past, a small business owner or business owner would have to spend huge amounts of money investing in advertising, radio, or television just to get their brand into the minds of possible consumers or clients. What’s fascinating is that the Internet and social media gets you into the living room of potential clients and customers on a pretty permanent basis. You can actually have a conversation, which you could never do if it was a commercial play. What’s really fascinating and great is that small business owners can actually have a conversation with people all around the world via the Internet. This is a massive opportunity for small business owners. It is fascinating, but we are also seeing some really interesting things. Despite this opportunity, a lot of small business owners are not getting results at all.

The average small business, meaning out under 100 people, spends between $23,000 and $60,000 a year on website and online marketing. According to Forbes last year, 60% of those businesses did not see any return on their investment. In my mind, there are a couple of things that are happening. In the past, the job of marketing your business was done by a marketing firm and PR was done by a PR firm. But now we have the potential for the business owner to save a huge amount of money by doing it themselves and by building relationships with their clients and customers. There’s so much information out there and there are so many people creating what we call white noise, that people find it really difficult to be heard above all of that noise.

We need to think about how we are behaving using social media. We need to put it back in real life and ask, “would this be beneficial, building relationships,” and if it isn’t, we need to remember that God gave us two ears and one mouth and maybe we need to do more listening. We will often say go slower in social media and just ask someone how their day is going. It takes a little bit of time but the results are much better. There is no point in having 100,000 Twitter followers if none of them are talking back to you, it means nothing. You would be better off to have 100 really engaged potential clients or people that you really enjoy partnering with than a huge number. So we are asking what are the strategies to build relationships online and to get a return on investment on your time and energy. The goal is to find people you really enjoy working with.

Search engine optimization is about getting your business ranked highly on search engines like Google so people can find you. What we have found is that Google in an effort to be increasingly accurate and give you a result that you really want, so one of the trends that we are seeing is that they are incorporating social media into search. They want to give you a result based on location also. They are becoming very localized.

The Internet is becoming increasingly video centric. Your screen, your phone, your laptop, is becoming a little bit more like your television screen. People don’t like to read quite a lot of text. They are watching a lot more videos, so a video for example is 53 times more likely to rank on the front page of Google than an ordinary webpage. If you have a website and you want to sell a product, it’s not a bad idea to create a video about that product. We help people optimize their videos for the right search terms so they can get traffic.”

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Google SEO Advice from Banner OS Mark Cenicola

http://www.schoolforstartups.com/banneros/

from my interview with Mark Cenicola……

socialsignals“We started our company in 1999, so we have been in business nearly 15 years now. Our original concept was one that quite frankly was a failure. The failure came from not planning properly for some of the regulations that were required to get into the business. The business we were going to start was kind of an Antiques Roadshow for the Internet. My buddy and I went out and were buying stuff at yard sales and we would buy these old books and photos and try to take it photo that we bought for $10 that was really worth $1,000 and turn around and sell it through a website.

One of the challenges we ran into was that since we wanted to maintain the inventory and do all of the purchasing ourselves, we ran up against regulations that applied to pawn shops. The local government wanted us to go through extensive background checks and at the time we are only 19 years old and we did not have a background, so we were not worried about that. But there was one thing that they required that really put the nail in the coffin for us. To try to track any goods that were stolen, they wanted us, like a pawn shop, to have a copy of a person’s ID when we bought the product from them. So can you imagine a couple of 19-year-old kids going up to a yard sale and trying to buy an old painting for three dollars and asking for a copy of their driver’s license?

We decided to let other people post their items for sale and we would compete with eBay. We thought we could do fixed price listing so it was really a classified ad site. Well, we couldn’t get any funding for it. It was that during the bust in early 2000, so our timing was terrible. One thing that we learned during this process is that we were not bad at developing technology and websites. We decided to try it as a service, and we picked up a few customers and long story short, over the next 10 or 15 years, we really built out our business helping other companies do business on the Internet.

Google has tried to make it more difficult to use automated methods to essentially game the algorithm and get to the top of Google listings. I won’t say it’s not impossible, but usually the companies that are doing that are starting to get found out and they have the disastrous situation of getting filtered or blacklisted by the search engines. Essentially you are invisible if that happens. We’re starting to see more of unscrupulous sites getting filtered out. We are also seeing an increase in social signals. The search engines are starting to use social signals to see what content is being shared. Is it being shared among high value users with respect in the community? So they are using these different signasl to determine how important the content is. So not only do you need great content, but people need to be talking about it.”

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SEO w Shark Tank Winner Nikki Pope

http://www.schoolforstartups.com/nikki-pope_shark_tank_seo/

From my interview with Nikki Pope….

Nikki Pope

Nikki Pope

“Probably anyone who owns a business, website, or has a business phone will receive three or four sometimes calls a week from SEO companies, or it will be an automated call saying, ‘hey this is Google we want to check on your listing.’ And it is not Google. Google does not call people. We want to make sure that the SEO that we provide for people is white hat SEO. We came across this working for a different company that mostly did black hat techniques. While they gave all of their clients really fast results, when Google made an update like the Penguin update, all of those websites lost their rankings. Some of them were getting all business from that. We did not like being part of so we took all of our knowledge and left.

Stay away from pay per click advertising, because it is a money vacuum and we focus on getting our clients ranked. It is not a fast process, it can take four, five, or six months to get someone on the first page of Google depending on what they’re trying to go for.

If you have a keyword that is going to be difficult to get on the front page of Google, we also throw in some longtail keywords because they generally rank faster. If you are a printing company and want people to come to you for business cards, ‘business cards’ would be a short tail keyword. Not just because it is two words, but it is the biggest keyword that people will search for on Google. So there is more competition for that. A long tail keyword would be like ‘custom design business card.’ It’s a little bit more specific. Business card gets 4.2 million hits a month, and of course you want that traffic, but it will take a long time to get your business up there. The other only gets 600,000 hits a month and will be easier to get you ranked, and you will start to get you some traffic. If we do that over time, Google is going to say, ‘ they would probably be a good fit for business cards also.’

You always need to be updating content. What you need to do is keep in mind how people might find you online. Whatever word you think they like typing on Google to find what you do, the content that you create to your site should use those words.”

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Radio Highlight: David Amerland on Semantic Search

http://www.schoolforstartups.com/david-amerland-semantic-search/

David Amerland on Semantic Search – a highlight from my interview on School for Startups Radio

David Amerland

David Amerland

“The predicament that you are in right now is based by pretty much every business on the planet. I’ve done a lot of corporate speaking, helping global businesses or global corporations get up to speed on semantic search and although their budgets are huge, were talking 10 million a year, it’s not enough for what they really need to do. So they’re in the same boat as the small operator or medium enterprise. The good news is that gradually we are going to get to a state of affairs that if the business markets itself properly and transparently, and in a way that it helps clarify what it does, the reliance on paid search and marketing will be less and less.

So semantic search, what is what my book is about, is how you can actually achieve that at a minimal cost in terms of the money that you outlay, but obviously there is always a hidden cost. Time, effort that you invest. The good news is that we are in a position now where he can take advantage of this without a huge outlay of money and get a level playing field. It pretty much puts the smaller operator in exactly the same boat as the large operator. Which I think is great news.

You’re absolutely right, essentially if we look at traditional search, Boolean search, any type word any kind of word and  the search didn’t really understand it. The search was a series of numbers. What it came down to was that, but when you try to match that statistically with text, the search didn’t really understand. Semantic search actually understands the word, so if you type in a specific word, for instance, it understands the word and understands which words go together. And that is radical.”

See more from David here….

Radio Highlight: Getting 1.5 Million Friends on Google Plus w Lynette Young

http://www.schoolforstartups.com/lynette-young/

from my interview with Lynette Young 

Lynette Young

Lynette Young

“Small business owners do not have time to add more work. This is exactly why I wrote professionally, I probably have had 14 or 15 years of experience with small and medium-size businesses, because I am one. Before that, I spent a decade and a half in corporate enterprise, so I made a switch, right. Experience that I had going, having the tools available to me in the enterprise setting, and coming out on the other side and being a small business myself, and working almost predominantly with small businesses, it gave me a really good edge on writing this book Google + for Small Businesses.

Because I know we don’t have enough time, small business owners are wearing a lot of hats, we have a lot of things to deal with, and we are also the ones that have to do all the marketing, the sales, scrub the toilets, restock the shelves. These are all on us. Which personally for myself was a huge shift, coming from a corporate environment realizing that it was now my responsibility to do all of these things. So what I did in the book, was it gives you a primer on why you must use Google Plus and other social media in general, so anyone that hasn’t had an experience using digital media platform such as Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn, are you new to all these crazy things that are out there? You can get some background on social media, then I just talk about the things you need to get started. Not all the bells and whistles of Google Plus because there is tons of content in that, it is a very feature rich platform, with a lot of benefits. And then at the end of the book I actually gave you a time breakdown how you can squeeze in social media for 10, 15, 20 minutes in a week. And that is it.”

Learn more from Lynette here…

Google Page Rank Today

http://www.schoolforstartups.com/google-page-rank-today/

Are you curious about the importance of Google’s Page Rank? I came across a great post about where Google Page Rank stands today amidst the 200+ features Google considers when cataloging your page. You can read the article here.