I’m reading a new book that is helping me put words to my own experience as a search engine marketing expert and I’m excited about sharing the information with you. The book is titled: The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, 2nd Edition. I picked this book up because I already “know” what he means and am familiar with the information he is sharing but I’ve been struggling with how to communicate this knowledge to you.
So far my favorite phrase is “interruption advertising”. That is his term for those awful, loud, obnoxious TV ads that we have all grown to hate so much. He talks about how those big companies (and the PR companies they are paying the big bucks to) are trying to stick with those old rules of advertising in this new world of web marketing and why it doesn’t work!
I agree 100% !- Interruption ads are those God awful ads you get on your Yahoo Mail and Facebook – you’re not there to buy anything but the big companies with bottomless budgets are there SHOUTING at you – “Buy Me and you will be special!”
This is the first time in history that the little guy (you and I) get to thumb our noses at the Madison Avenue crowd and win by doing what is right instead of what is expensive. Wahoo! I’m in are you ready to come along?
If so, watch this blog for more tidbits and guidelines.
There are still a few more things to add to both of our websites http://www.coburnenterprises.com and http://www.sitebuildernow.net (which will soon be found at http://www.betterwebsitebuilders.com) but it’s official, we are now operating as Coburn Enterprises.
I’m excited about our re-launch and the upcoming announcements about our new Search Engine Optimization and Marketing products. For years we have helped our clients get first page listings. However, it was a lot easier when we started in 2001 than it is in today’s competitive web space.
For a long time we didn’t think we wanted to jump on the “search engine optimization and marketing for a fee” bandwagon, but as more and more clients asked us to review the bombardment of sales pitches from companies all over the world promising to get their websites on the first page …. for a fee… we found ourselves more and more involved in this aspect of each client’s business. After extensive research I came to realize that I am a search engine optimization expert – and I can do a better job for my clients than some company out of India – and, based on what my clients tell me, – for a fair price.
True first page (non-paid) listings are gained by doing the right things. There is no magic pill, no magic list you can get your site listed on. The only way to come up on page one for your chosen keyword phrases is to create and maintain a website that is truly beneficial to the person searching for those key words, do good business and get links to your site from other sites that share similar interests and clients. This is only done by investing the time it takes to do it.
As always, although I love making money doing what I love, I want to always hold true to my core values. I started this business with the goal of empowering other small businesses by helping them navigate the (sometimes overwhelming) information highway and find their place on the World Wide Web. Yes, I sell the services to do this for you – but I try very hard not to offer a service without reminding you that you can do what I do for yourself if you are willing to. So I generally don’t announce a new product or service without first putting together a “how to do this for yourself list”. So, here is my answer to the latest trend in search engine marketing (we have branded this Search Engine Dominance):
Too tired or too busy actually running your business to do all of this – no problem, we can do it for you :-). Learn how Coburn Enterprises helps customers win the Search Engine Dominance challenge!.
A hundred years ago, when I first decided to make my “profession” sales, I took a Dale Carnegie class. One of the things I carry with me to this day is that statement. The point the instructor was making was – don’t go into the sales presentation so excited to tell the customer all the reasons YOU think your product is great. Instead, give them just enough information to make them beg you to make the sale.
Years later, I applied this same principle in resume writing and job search coaching. I helped my clients sort out their skills and capabilities and decide which ones would make it so the person reading the resume couldn’t stand it – they just HAD to meet you! I would remind them that the resume was not supposed to get you the job – it was supposed to get you the interview. The ones that “got” this did extremely well.
I have found this theory applies to websites too. The goal with (most) websites is not to close the sale. The goal is to encourage the visitor to want to do business with you. Of course, if your intent is to sell products on line you might think this isn’t really the case… but it still is – they may come to your site looking for one thing but why not make them interested in learning about the rest of what you have to offer?
Don’t try to be all things to all people on your home page. Instead, provide “grabbers” and insights that will interest the variety of customers you may have and make it easy for them to drill down into the meat of what they are looking for – on ecommerce sites this is pretty easy – you can use product categories as a navigation system – but that idea can cross over to any website. In fact, this is one of the reasons blogs are so popular – it’s easy for the blogger to create navigation tools for their visitors. For example, the title of this post is Don’t spill all of your jellie beans in the lobby – but I gave it tags like “Getting people to your website is only the first step”, “How do customers find my product or service”, “Design Vs. Function” etc etc. This is becaues different people look for answers in different ways.
What do we need to tell our customers right way?
How do we support our the claims we make about the products or services we deliver?
Create a call to action….
This is an old saying but still a true statement. When considering where to go with your website development plan it’s a critical consideration. It’s easy to get sucked into the “glamour” of a beautiful website – but will it keep your potential customer’s interest? One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is to spend money “foolishly” on their first website. I’ve been in this business for more than 10 years now – I’ve seen a lot of really ugly websites – but in all honesty some of the ugliest websites are getting the BEST results! Why? because they carry the CONTENT that the site visitor is seeking and it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. Content aside though, you want your first time visitors to feel good about taking time to look around. I encourage my clients to consider these 3 points:
1. Content will bring them in.
2. Design will get them to stop for a minute
3. Usability will encourage them to hang around and learn why they should choose YOUR company to meet their needs.
Even I forget the importance of easy navigation some times. If, like me, a person spends much time browsing the web getting around websites becomes second nature but if your target market might (and most do) include people that view the web as a tool and not a passtime, beware – if you make it hard to get around the most beautiful graphics in the world will not keep them there.
To make a good first impression – combine the best of the best:
Make sure your site provides enough information to make them glad they clicked the link to get there.
Make sure your design – color and graphics theme – is appealing to your target market – if you have a broad range of demographics it’s always better to go for “understated elegance” than totally now graphics – it’s just like a job interview – better to have your outfit unnoticed than noticed for all the wrong reasons!
Make it easy to do more than walk in the front door. Don’t try to break out of the box – people are used to some basic navigation tools – if you don’t provide them they might find someone that will. Think about it – no matter how GREAT a restaurant might be – if it’s hard to get there you won’t go nearly as often as you would if it were just around the corner and had plenty of free parking.