Search Engine expert to speak Jan. 15

How can my company rank at the top of the search engines? This is a question asked more times than the number of stars in the sky. If you’re in Chicago Jan. 15 and you want to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you might want to go to the lecture by top SEO expert Bob Tripathi, Sears Holding Co. marketing manager. Bob will talk about doing SEO in-house, along with pay-per-click, and the various needs that should be met. Bob is one of the experts speaking at SES New York, the Leading Search & Social Marketing Event. To sign up for the Chicago event, go to the Chicago Search Engine Optimization Meetup...

Free SEO book helps Google ranking

There’s a free book released earlier this year that gives you 20 important tips that will help your website’s ranking in search engines. Provided by SEO Design Solutions, of Chicago, you can tell it’s written by geeks, because the title is, “Save Thousands on SEO with These 20 SEO Tips.” Other than that, it covers such diverse points such as the problem with broken links, and how sitemaps enable search engines discover all your pages. The book also sports attractive graphics that are sometimes hokey, such as a leaky bucket to illustrate the problem of too many outbound links. But that’s what makes it fun to read. Just go to SEO Design Solutions to download the...

Are you falling for this money-losing marketing assumption?

Just last night my six-year-old son walked up to me, grinning from ear to ear. The reason was as plain as day: he had finally lost another baby tooth, and the gap was as big as the Grand Canyon. OK…. Why is there is such joy over losing something in your mouth that you need every day? It’s one of the mysteries of childhood. Do you have a gap in your marketing plan? Recently I spoke to pet shop owner about building a website. “I can’t afford one right now,” she complained. However, she was paying for a Yellow-Page type of online business listing and maybe the printed version, too. But what was she getting? A brief online listing of her business, and oh, by the way, a listing with all her competitors. I checked, and this listing does not come up high on the search engines. I know that she must be paying at least $500 a month for getting kicked in the teeth, results-wise. I know a doctor, a frugal man, who has canceled all his Yellow-Page type ads, both printed and online. OK, I’ll admit it, he gets nearly all of his patients as referrals from other doctors, so he does not need to appeal to the general public for his patients. But his action shows that the direction of advertising has changed. The Yellow Pages and YellowBook were always the standby for businesses. “Oh, I have to have a listing there,” everyone thought. But how many people use the printed Yellow Pages any more, and how buried do you want to be on search engines...

Social media tops search engines in U.K.

As sure as the heat in a Chicago summer, there’s a real shift toward using social media over search engines. In the U.K., social media edged out search engine traffic in May, getting 11.88% of traffic, as compared to 11.33% for search engines, for the first time in history. The trend in the U.S. is going in the same direction. You might want to point your promotion compass to social media, as well as the old standby, search engine optimization. See the Aug. 2010 Website Magazine, “Social...

Get into the writing habit

You’ve seen it before: the new website goes up, and the company owner begins with a bold stride, writing an article every week. Then he’s writing every month, and before you know it, a year has lapsed since anything has been written. Good habits are hard to form, and whether it’s jogging or writing a blog, it’s sometimes like pulling teeth to motivate yourself to keep at it. And of course, you have to write helpful and interesting stuff, not what you ate this morning. Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with something to say. My dad, who taught college English for forty years, said that instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, write something — anything, even the word “anything.” Soon the words will flow like a river. And when you get into the habit of posting something every week, you’ll find yourself coming up with an idea while you’re brushing your teeth, or even walking the dog. You must have some expertise to offer others. After all, you know more about your business that your customers, right? Regular postings about the products or services of your website will attract the search engines. That’s called search engine optimization (SEO). Even potential customers will get used to your schedule and look forward to your next post. If you don’t have a gift for writing, hire a professional. The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.  ~Anaïs...