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Tony Adam

Entrepreneur, Marketer, Aspiring Polymath

SEO

SEO
SEO Gone Wrong: Best Practices That Need More Attention
July 22, 2015 at 9:12 am 0
  
     
iStock_000002651930Small A lot of companies tend to over-think or over-engineer their SEO efforts but they forget things like keeping the site up, site speed etc. After working with over 20 companies in the last year or so and having been in-house, I've seen a lot of these issues first hand.
Here are eight of the most common technical issues that I've seen or that companies regularly overlook:
1. Site Speed: A few years back Google announced they were including site speed as a ranking factor. On the many sites I've worked on, like Ranker, once we decreased the time it took a page to load, we saw and increase in pages crawled and indexed. You can get your site speed information in Google Webmaster Tools, but, they also have a PageSpeed Tool  as well. The page speed tool will give you a score out of 100, tell you what you'll save in terms of page size, and how to fix items.
2. Sitemaps: For large e-commerce sites or content sites, sitemaps can be extremely important to ensure all content is being crawled and indexed in a timely manner. Along with that  prioritizing important content and the crawling and indexing of that content. Make sure you set sitemap prioritization and crawl rates based on the importance of the content.
3. Crawl Efficiency: For similar reasons to sitemaps, finding out you have too many pages open to search engine robots can eat into your crawl budget. Meaning, search engines typically assign a budget to sites in terms of pages indexed, etc. An example of a fix to this is low value pages that are being crawled by search engines on a regular basis. You can remove those pages through either applying a <noindex> tag or disallowing the content via robots.txt
4. Javascipt/CSS issues: I've seen companies either make mistakes or forget to build progressive enhancement into their site architecture. What happens then is that things like filters, on results pages end up being text instead of links for search engines to crawl into deeper content. Here is a quick read on how to build with progressive enhancement in mind:
5. Duplicate Or Missing Meta Data (Titles Tag / Meta Description): I think with every client I have had, when we dug into their Google Webmaster Tools account, I've found missing or duplicate meta data. Many times, if the content is there, it doesn't truly describe the page they are on. For example, we had one client who had "credit cards" as the title tag for all of their credit card product pages rather than the name of the card. Once we switched to the name of the cards we ended up ranking top 10 for many of the card names within 30-90 days.
6. Capitals in URLs: Capitals in URLs can be tricky or lead to issues because they are seen as a different URLs and can lead to multiple pages being indexed for no reason. For example somedomain.com/SomePage.html would be seen as an entirely different page than somedomain.com/somepage.html and this could lead to a loss in crawl efficiency and also lead to duplicate content concerns.
7. Soft 404s: Another example of a status code issue is serving up a soft 404 that delivers a 200 OK status code when it should be delivering a 404 not found status code. You can find these in Google Webmaster Tools and address the problems on a case by case or sitewide basis pretty easily. Here is some more info from Google's webmaster blog:
8. Canonical Tags: After the canonical tag was released, a lot of websites implemented the canonical tag. The problem then became, countless sites actually implemented it incorrectly. They were implemented incorrectly on things like product pages, category pages, pagination, and so on. A quick template to think of would be <link rel="canonical" href="http://somecompany.com/product1/" /> and any variation with query strings, etc. would be directed to the original url.
What do you think are the most commonly overlooked SEO Best Practices? Leave a comment or let me know on twitter. Let Visible Factors help provide SEO Services & Consulting so you can build your SEO Program today!
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SEO
Save Time Guest Blogging, List Away
August 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm 0
  
     

If you are doing SEO of any form, you'll know one of the biggest and most important challenges is finding links. A quick and easy way that I recommend to companies that I work for or with is to guest blog on various sites. It's even better when you know about a site like Ranker, where it's extremely easy to create content and links that not only have an SEO benefit, but also, a traffic benefit to your site.

I've watched Ranker create a fun and easy platform for the creation of lists of all times, from The 10 wackiest lawsuits ever filed to Top Celebrity Homes on the Market in LA. It's been great watching it grow as a product and having used it, I know how quick and painless it is to create lists of all types that will not only create links to external sites but also generate referral traffic. Also, each post has a link to your twitter account, so, it's also a great way to get an increased following on social.

Ranker is a site about lists – all kinds of lists – that launched in August 2009 and now has well over 2 million monthly uniques. The best part is there is no one to reach out to at another website to sell them on being a guest author, it's completely UGC. Basically, just create an account, start posting, and start promoting the content. And, we all know how easy it is to create a top 10 list that's somewhat relevant to your site, anyone can do that, even my 1 year old nephew. :)

Obviously like anywhere and anything else having to do with content on the web, if you create a list that sucks, it's not going to get much play. But, create an awesome list like Top 10 Celebrities Who Have Had Weight Loss Surgery and next thing you know, you've got powerful pages linking back to your domain from an external site. Again, it's not just that, but, if it's an effing amazing list and the team notices it, you're likely going to get a good amount of referral traffic as well.

It's super easy to make a list. You name your list, have the option to choose a category (or you can do an open-ended list), and build your list using a Netflix-esque drag-and-drop-with-autosuggest interface. If your list is in a category (like People, or TV, or Companies), the items you add to your list will likely already be in Ranker's database with preloaded images.

Even if you have content that doesn't fit nicely into their existing categories that gets lost in the algorithmic shuffle, interesting lists and effing amazing lists usually do fine regardless. So, if you have something like 9 Most Requested Celebrity Noses, even if there isn't a "plastic surgery" category, you can do what this guy did and use the "people" category instead to give it that extra boost. ;)

The way you get back links

There is a "site:" field in Ranker's list editing screen where you can add a backlink with anchor text without even having to know any HTML. The link is high up enough on the page – right below the title of the post and to the right of your Ranker username. The links are dofollowed and are prominent enough that they can drive some traffic to your site, of course, you still need to have great content to get clicks. The other positive is if other viewers of the list have a site, tumblr, etc. it's possible to get second order effects of linking from them as well. aka more seo goodness.

Note that the "site:" link is somewhat hidden in Ranker's list edit platform – you can find it on the right side of the page to the right of the area where you describe your list. As an added bonus, you also get to put links on your Ranker profile page which is automatically generated - a good opportunity for either a slightly different anchor text term, or an entirely separate link (and if you have a Twitter or a Facebook fan page they have a link slot for that as well).

Spam gets filtered out

If you're worried about this becoming another shitty seo wasteland like squidoo used solely for backlinks, try throwing up a page with just a single link up and see if you can find it without going directly to the URL. Ranker has built some pretty intelligent algorithms that hide obviously-spam or clearly rushed content pretty quickly – while your post won't be removed, it also won't be linked to on many pages. Again, if you have shitty or no content, it's worthless, just like anything else on the web.

So if you take a few minutes, put together a decently interesting list, give it an intro with a few sentences (this is another area you can use for promotional copy), add tags so it appears in more places on Ranker, etc, your post could get thousands of views and be a strong addition to your social media arsenal. You can also add videos or images without having to wrestle with embed codes. Ranker has a direct search portal into YouTube and an image API. I also highly recommend posting your list in "Blog View" (this is not the default view) unless you make a really long list. And title your list something clickable.

If you create a decent piece of content, odds are it will get views and rise in Ranker's algorithmic content blocks, and perhaps Ranker's editors will tweet it or add it to their Facebook stream. The better it does, the more search juice the post will have, and thus pass back to your site

(Disclaimer: I am an advisor for Ranker, and, I've been sitting on this post for a while because the site was a lot clunkier about a year ago, and, the traffic has gone up more than 10x. Also, while it seems like agenda pushing of my own, how many other guest blogging opportunities come with 2+ million uniques on quantcast. I've used it myself and I know others that have done so successfully as well (see above links), if nothing else, for the traffic benefit alone.)

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SEO
An InHouse SEO's story of feeling beaten down but always moving forward
February 8, 2011 at 1:23 am 38
  
     

always moving forward
(more…)

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SEO
Presentation: SEO & Social Media for Communications Professionals
October 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm 2
  
     
Thanks to Erik Deutsch, I had the opportunity to speak to a great class at UCLA tonight about SEO and Social Media for Communications Professionals. (more…)
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SEO
Are Google’s real time and latest results REALLY based on relevance?
February 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm 3
  
     
I've had a few colleagues and friends lately ask me about Google's real time search results since they launched real time search about two months ago. To some of you, this might be an obvious post, as Rae from Outspoken Media pointed out with her post about Google enabling real time spam. I was then alerted by a friend that apparently Google is filtering people based on relevance and followers and all that jazz. He pointed to an article talking about how Google ranks tweets. Which the author talks about hashtags, followers, relevance and all that jazz to get you to think that the real time results are actually influenced by these attributes in search. Being the investigative person that I am, I decided that I needed to see this for myself and figured that American Idol would be something that is somewhat trending, it would be the right opportunity to test out the real time spam that Google enabled. First, I did a search for American Idol and noticed some real time results. So, it was time for me to tweet away and see if I could get some results in there. Now, remember, I NEVER talk about Idol, I could care less about American Idol, and honestly, I know I'm entirely irrelevant to idol, but then I saw this rank: So that was just a test...now some of you might say, well, that was because it was just talking about American Idol and only relevant to American Idol. Fine, I thought through that and figured it might be interesting to see what would happen if I posted a link to the Kindle in Amazon to see if you could spam affiliate offers via the real time results: Done deal! Granted, I didn't get any clicks from Google to that link, but it just goes to show that you can pretty much game the real time results fairly easily at this point. The more people look at those results and the more intertwined they become to the search experience, the more you could figure out ways to game it. I could essentially create bots via twitter or hire overseas labor extremely cheap to go out there and just tweet all day with a bunch of affiliate links to trending topics and such with real time and maybe get some VERY minimal to no results. Then again, it makes me wonder if/when people will start clicking on those results that are relevant to the original searcher intent of their query? At that point, you've opened a flood gate of people that could do what I just mentioned above. Just something to think about. Again, like I said, for some of us, this is pretty obvious stuff, but, thought it would just be interesting to run the analysis and post about it. What are your thoughts about real time search results? Do you think they will be gamed and spammed more and more?
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SEO
Online Reputation Management DOES matter
April 23, 2009 at 8:24 am 32
  
     
So, I wake up this morning and see a post written by Darren Slatten completely dismissing the importance of Online Reputation Management. And, I found the post a little comedic at best, so, I'll give him a little bit of credit for that, but, one thing I won't give him credit for is researching the topic. Now, I am not going to attack Darren personally or professionally, because I haven't worked with him, nor do I know his abilities, and, it's just not my place to do so. This is just a post telling you why Online Reputation Management is EXTREMELY important.

Why Online Reputation Management is important

For companies and individuals alike, there is a major need for reputation management. It's the reason that conferences have panels specifically on the topic. That reason is that individuals and businesses alike can be affected by negative reputation. This isn't just an issue of popularity either, it's an issue of brand perception, an individuals brand perception, or even the ability to be hired/fired from a job. Having Online Reputation Management concerns can cause revenue losses and/or income. I really want to state that if you have not dealt with this or have no experience in understanding the Reputation Management space, then please, do not write about why it is not important.

Who are these people?!

Rather than continuing to tell you why ORM is so important, I'll answer the question you might ask: "who are the people or companies that care about online reputation management?" Lets run through a few of these right here to provide a better understanding of why ORM is important:

CEOs

An organization with a CEO that has negative perceptions in the press or social atmosphere can lead to the organization or the brand of that organization having negative sentiments or perceptions. I'm not just talking about the SERPs here, but, in terms of Social Mentions in blogs, microblogs, and/or news results that surround that individual. Did you know 87% of people believe a CEO's reputation reflects on the overall company's reputation?

Political Figures

Think about the number of times have you seen a political figure that gets tons of bad press and has led to the downfall of his/her campaign or election/re-election to office. Social Media is now playing a part in the political climate and because of that we saw now President Obama reach millions of people. But, to take this to the next level, lets look at an example that deals with President Obama. How many of you can say you know that he is a smoker? (Now, I am not judging him on this, but using it as a point of reference). This was downplayed a ton during the elections again because of the fact that his team did not want to create a negative perception of the candidate during the elections. This becoming an issue could have, hypothetically, led to the loss of many votes, especially from anti-cigarette and anti-smoking groups.

Companies and Brands

Companies and the brands of those companies alike experience the most pain when it comes to reputation management. Something that is a hard fact: Companies and Brands with negative search results tied to brand related queries will see a drop in revenue because a user/customer is likely to switch products/services based on that negative result. Even more interesting is that queries relative to corporate figures will also lead to a dip in revenue/sales. It's estimated that 58% of searchers will visit a competing website after seeing negative search results. An example of this is tied to PayPal and my experience working there. PayPal saw 4 of it's top 10 search results tied to the brand query "paypal" go to flame sites. Working internally, there was an estimated figure in net revenue losses per negative search result. That is where that 58% number above comes in...because of this negative reputation caused by search results, users were switching.

Celebrities

Celebrities make the news all the time for the stupid things that they do. Whether it is someone driving drunk or who's sleeping with who, it is all things that affect their personal brand. And, in this case, their personal brand is like that of a business, their personal brand is the most important thing to their livelihood. Because I am all about examples, lets continue down that path and look at the sports figure that we all know I can't stand: Kobe Bryant. He was accused of raping a girl in a hotel room back in 2003/2004. Luckily for Bryant this was during a time when Social Media was not as prominent, but, unluckily for Bryant it still effected him financially. He lost endorsement deals from companies like Nike because of the negative press and negative reputation.

The Job Market

The economic climate is horrible at the moment. Unemployment is at astonishing highs and it's tough to find a job right now. Now, to add to that, recruiters and HR teams are getting saavier and understanding Search and Social Media extremely well. What does that mean for you? It means that Online Reputation Management is important to your personal brand. Because, not only are they looking, but 78% of recruiters research a candidate online and 35% actually reject a candidate based on this. Andy Beal even wrote a post on why your Google Reputation can hurt your career. Creating a personal brand is even more important as researchers and experts in the job market reference this all the time. I can't tell you how many times I'm watching CNN, (and let me tell you, I caught a lot of it while I only had a few channels the last couple months!), and these experts mention Facebook, Google, search, and your personal brand being EXTREMELY important, not just now during economic uncertainty, but, forever.

Don't be silly, Online Reputation Management does matter:

Again, this is another situation where we have someone that is creating a post that is possibly baiting for reactions or what not. Or, we have another person in the industry that is writing something without actually researching the topic. But, please please please people, if you have no experience or expertise on a topic, then stay away from writing it, it just makes you look like you haven't done your research. And, if you look at the stats above, then it's pretty obvious that ORM does matter. **Credit for ORM stats goes to Marketing Pilgrim and Oilman.
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SEO
Startup Mistakes: Just launched my site, now I need SEO
January 26, 2009 at 3:03 pm 25
  
     
I have been in SEO and Internet Marketing for some time now and I can't tell you how many sites I have worked with or seen that have come to me after launch and said "I need SEO now!" Heck, I was even victim to that when I was tasked with my first major web project. I worked on getting a site built, did all the research, but didn't think about SEO or Internet Marketing until after the fact, and it really was much more painful that way. The pain of launching a site and then worrying about Internet Marketing efforts is because of the affect on time, money, resources. Also, you take away from great opportunities that are out there for startups in the form of buzz. Building marketing strategies into your product is ever more critical in today's internet marketplace. (I'll stick to SEO on this post to keep a unified theme, but minor semantic tweeks would really speak to entire Internet Marketing strategies.) That said, understanding the mistakes that people like myself have made in regards to SEO will help you to learn and build strategies for obtaining search traffic when launching a new site. Time is money: You've just built your site, you've launched, and now you want to start thinking about SEO. The problem is, all that up front work like site architecture is going to have to be re-done, which puts you behind and could effect your bottom line. Time truly is money and in this case, it is a direct correlation. Engineering efforts and resources: Just as we mentioned in the last example, there are occasions where sites launch and the entire site now need to be re-architected to accomodate SEO. This basically means that you are stopping all your new product development and possibly monetization efforts in order to build in elemetns that should have been done from the get go. The pre-launch and launch buzz!: YOU JUST LAUNCHED your site and generated buzz (crosses fingers, hopefully!) to your startup through mentions in sites like Mashable, Techcrunch, etc. Also, news in the form of publicity and press releases are also an opportunity at gaining momentum on your SEO efforts. If you had your hands on keyword research, created a theme around your site, and had a strategy for external links from all these "news" outlets, you could have turned leveraged some "Buzz Marketing" and turned it into SEO (more specifically Link) Juice. When launching a site it is so easy to get caught up and not think through all the opportunity available to you with SEO. Don't let that happen to your site and think through how you can build SEO and Internet Marketing into your site launch. Save yourself time, money, and effort and use the new product buzz to your advantage by helping you acquire traffic through SEO.
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SEO
4 Main Reasons you should be linking in Blogs
November 25, 2008 at 12:16 pm 9
  
     
We create blogs with tons of great content and we base our content on Social Media that attracts a link or two. (Boy, isn't that the understatement of the year!) We rely on this content to create user engagement and get people to keep coming back. But something that is also just as important as creating great content, is knowing when to link to internal and external resources appropriately.

User Experiences and Topic Depth

Linking to external resources in blogs and articles creates that richer and more complete user experience. Doing so provides the user reading an article more depth and coverage on a topic or news item. Further expanding that, linking to external resources that cover multiple view points, opinions, etc. further validates the credibility of your blog. That is what you are going for, especially to first time readers. Establishing a sense of credibility and in-depth resources and/or content will create an authoritative presence for your blogs/articles.

Blogging Etiquette and Links

The blogosphere and social media circles can run pretty tight, but also be wound pretty darn tight as well. So, by never linking out or linking out, but slapping "nofollow" all over the place can create quite a stir. There is a certain level of etiquette that is expected within blogs/articles. Giving the resource you have linked to credit plays an important role in the level of respect given to your content. The last thing you want to be seen as is yet another site "Hoarding Link Juice." Pro Blogger has a great resource for this called The Etiquette of Linking.

Linking Internally

Internal linking is probably one of the most overlooked factors in blogging, but, it is also my favorite topic of discussion lately. Linking internally is not only highly useful to the user, but extremely important to search engine relevance. Since it is important to provide additional resources in the blog post/article, as mentioned above, it is an added benefit if you can link to your own resources. This is something that can be achieved by creating pattern matching systems in larger organizations. It can even be as simple as educating bloggers, writers, and editors to take a minute to link to internal resources. Looking at an example, lets take a sports blog and an article that could be written about the recent injury to Kyle Orton on the Chicago Bears. Within that article you could link to the "Kyle Orton" bio page and the "Chicago Bears" team page. This is all kinds of SEO Hotness (yes, I just said that!) because you are creating relevance for search engines, since linking and the anchor text are important (if not the most important ranking factor). Internal Linking plays a major role in the overall Internal Link Architecture mix. But, to expand on that, this creates a wholistic user experience to resources that the reader could reference.

Getting Exposure

Finally, and most importantly, linking to external resources will get you more exposure because the blogosphere will notice when you link out, especially to their resources. If you are in a particular niche, you will notice that a lot of link love will be passed back and forth, once you start handing it out. The important thing to remember is that you want to be "top of mind" when bloggers/writers are looking for additional resources. Linking to external resources can do just that, because again, we track who links to us, at least I do. Now, I am not saying to have a free for all and just link to people in hopes that you'll make yourself known. But what this does mean is that it is okay to link externally, because it will be appreciated by those that you link to. You never know who might reciprocate the link love and dish it right back to you by linking back to our content as a result.

Summary: Link...Link...Link

Link to external content to provide relevance and deeper resources. Follow "Blogger Etiquette" by linking externally and not "nofollowing" your entire site. Flow the link equity to deep content and relevant internal pages. And, finally, remember that linking to external resources will get you more exposure and keep you top of mind. Need more information on linking for your business?! See my SEO Consulting Services page to get in touch with me about these services. Or, follow me on twitter to keep the conversation going!
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SEO
AJAX and Non-JavaScript Experiences for SEO friendly websites
August 27, 2008 at 10:12 am 8
  
     
With the "Web 2.0" world that we live in, companies are inclined to create "snazzy" new AJAX experiences for users. I have been dubbing this the AJAX Dilemma lately because organizations/companies/website owners are creating sites that are not accessible and SEO friendly. They are risking crippling their businesses in the areas of search traffic by not planning SEO into the lifecycle of the product. Ensuring there is a Non-Javascript experience for search engines and accessibility is not a new practice. Creating sites using "Progressive Enhancement" and using "Unobtrusive JavaScript" has been around for quite some time.By creating web standard code and using the methods above, you are not sacrificing SEO for User Experience. This is important to creating search friendly websites because ensurng search engines are able to crawl and index your content is necessary to acquiring search traffic and market share. By not embracing these approaches, you are leaving yourself in a handicap for SEO efforts and leaves you at a competitive disadvantage. In fact, it should not even just be designed on a project per project basis, but should be built into code that takes advantage of web standards and progressive enhancement.

The AJAX Dilemma for SEO

Show and Hide type interactions that are used in content areas throughout a site, like tabs or accordions, can create a crippling effect on the amount of content crawled by search engines, if they are not built correct. This content is typically built with poorly written JavaScript that does not take advantage of Web Standard code. The hidden content areas, when clicked on, will provide a string that follows the URL like, #somehiddencontent. Traditionally search engines ignore everything after the "#" (hash) tag. Here are some examples of these interactions that are poorly written and don't provide a graceful fail when JavaScript is turned off. Here is an example of tabs used on iFoods.tv with JavaScript on: Here is that same interaction, with JavaScript turned off: Notice something different? Of course you do, it is VERY blatently obvious that the entire content within the tabs is completely missing. This is a large opportunity that is missed by ifoodstv.com at getting content not only indexed, but great internal links to deep content. Now, taking a look at the way that iMedix does tabs is a little different, here it is with JavaScript on: Here it is with JavaScript Off, on a different tab: Do you notice a difference here at all? No?! Well, thats right, because there isn't one. Also, to add to that, iMedix is rewriting URLs so that there are no hash tags in the URLs: This is a fantastic job of ensuring that there is not only crawlable content, but crawlable URLs. This is very important, search engines tend to ignore things after hash tags (#) in URLs. This is especially impotant with AJAX since that is typically how urls are created. Jeremy Keith (JavaScript expert extraordinaire) has described some ways to get around the AJAX issues, including has tags, and has described it as Hijax.

The Solution

The solution to creating AJAX that is SEO friendly is to ensure that you are building your site using Progressive Enhancement and Unobtrusive JavaScript. Along with that, url issues that could lead to canonicalization and duplicate content issues can be avoided using methods like Hijax. With the extremely competitive markets out there on the web, this is VERY important. It is possible to create rich user experiences with Ajax that are great for SEO. As an example of how to do this, you can build standard interactions on your site that are accessible and search friendly. (This is how we built any standard interaction at PayPal). Any standard show/hide type interaction can be built using standardized JavaScript APIs. Doing this will create Non-JavaScript versions of interactions that are accessible and search friendly, but along with that will drastically reduce the amount of code that you have to write and increase developer efficiency.

Resources to help with AJAX and SEO

Google Webmaster Central: A spiders view of Web 2.0 Dom Scripting: Hijax Progressive Enhancement with AJAX Follow me on Twitter for more info @tonyadam or subscribe to my feed to keep up to date!
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SEO
Positioning yourself using SEO and PPC for Customer Acquisition
July 7, 2008 at 1:39 pm 4
  
     
When I started learning about SEO and the role it can play for any business, whether small or large, there was one quote that put it all into perspective. It was a business meeting that I was having with the owner of our company at the time and he said to me: "We have to find a way to position ourselves so people find us and not us going out finding people." Well, those words really inspired me to search for the answers to this, which ended up being search marketing. (no pun intended on the search comment, I swear!). Businesses have spent years spending countless dollars on acquisition going outbound. This is a VERY time consuming and resource intensive venture. Can you imagine the dollars you would have to spend hiring Telemarketers, Mass Mailers, Account Executives, etc. Yes, these are still very effective channels and you can still target and acquire customers this way, but, why not do it, with less resources, less dollars, etc. Alright, I getit, I am preaching to the choir as fellow search marketers, you know this and understand it, intimately. But, as it turns out many small businesses are still relying on these traditional and old school outbound marketing tactics to acquire new customers. Any traditional channel that you can think of, SMBs are squeezing out every last drop. There is not only a lack of knowledge, but also of time and execution for an inbound style of customer acquisition. If we put a little perspective on this, we can gain a little more understanding about how the Customer Acquisition model is changing and how positioning yourself to be found is more effective. Imagine your a small business, put yourself in the shoes of an accounting firm. You have little to no understanding of marketing, sales and you are trying to target small business for accounting and bookkeeping services. What do you do? Well, there are a few options you can choose from:
  • Hire telemarketers to generate leads
  • Hire a Sales Executive to not only generate leads, but also close deals, etc.
  • Go to Hoovers or Dunn and Bradstreet and buy a list. After which you need to put together a mass direct mailer. Keep in mind you would still need to import this data into some sort of CRM package AND on top of that, follow up. (yawn. been there. done that.)
  • Buy tons of print media spots in magazines, newspapers, etc.
Think about all of the above strategies for a second and how much time, money or resources could be wasted with any and/or all of them. I have even seen and heard small business owners tell me that they are doing things like buying electronic signs in the thousands, to attract attention. While this is a fairly "inbound" technique, it is still very costly, for little to absolutely no gain. While, implementing PPC, this business could receive about as many visitors in one day for about ~$50. Even implementing some very simple Local SEO would help that business gain just as much traffic. All of these very costly activities coupled with the fact that Search Marketing is not only more targeted but also more measurable is leading to that shift. Not only is it hitting the small business market, but also larger organizational strategies are changing. Focusing acquisition on inbound techniques, hiring more and expanding inhouse search marketing teams, etc. Customer acquisition should really focus on the positioning of your organization to be found. Using SEO and PPC, this is VERY possible. Business on the web and in general is going to focus on this more and more in years to come. People SEARCH for products, services, etc. and any organization that does not adjust its customer acquisition strategy for this, is going to lose. Position yourself to be a winner.
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