Archive for February, 2008

Keeping it Fresh

February 26, 2008

Today’s post I will answer a question, I received from one of our readers.

Warren J. Sonne of Sun State Investigative Services, Inc., asked, “Is it helpful to periodically change the content on webpages?”

Warren stated he has seen conflicting info on the subject..well Warren, I have seen that too. Over my years on-line, it seems everyone has an opinion on the search engines and what matters.  I pretty much have decided that experience is the best teacher. So my general answer to your question is YES. Google and the other engines definitely like fresh content. My blog posts are picked up very quickly (aftger writing them) by the engines and indexed. 

Google and the others do look at the date the pages were last updated. If you use a Google sitemap, it will look to see when the page(s) were last updated.

I found this article on the subject too.

I also asked my friend and associate, Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing for his opinion. This is what he said:

I would recommend adding content for the following reasons (in order of importance):
1. Improving the visitor experience:  Visitor usability and experience is the most important factor when it comes to content on a website. 
2. Search Engine Optimziation:  Adding relevant content to help with natural rankings is a good thing to do, only if it gives visitor useful information (articles, tips, etc)

I agree with Nick that your visitor experience is just as important as the search engines. Hope this helps.

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System Alert

February 22, 2008

Migration has been completed Successfully!

The Power of Online Advertising

February 18, 2008

There have been plenty of studies done to show the power of on-line marketing. I have written about this a couple of times on my blog LocalBizBits.

Yes numbers are good, but it isn’t until you experience it yourself or know someone who has, can you come to understand or appreciate the power the Internet has for your small business.

Last year, I found this very informative article: Marketing Case Study: Search Engine Marketing vs. Radio for Local Advertising by Tom Blue. Tom conducted a 3 month study comparing SEO and Google Adwords (Pay per click ads) vs regular radio advertising for a local small business.  Head over to his blog to read all of the specifics but the results were very,very interesting.

The radio ad budget was $13,000/mo. The adwords budget was $400-$700/mo and the SEO budget was $2000/mo. 

The Radio ads average cost per lead was $240 while the adwords and SEO cost per leads were $17.98 and $22.55 respectively. Not hard to do the math here!

Now with any study, these results only represent one business in one particular market. In general though, with on-line marketing you have the ability to truly target your market. You set the keywords, the location(s), length, and budget of your ads.  So you can start small and work your way up.

Right now most folks are researching product/service  information on-line and then going off-line to purchase. Take advantage of that today!

Good Help Is Hard to Find

February 11, 2008

Finding the right person or company to help small businesses with their search engine marketing (SEM) is also part  of the problem of small businesses getting on-line.  Now there are literally thousands of SEM  companies on-line–that is not the problem, the problem is many small business owners are not on-line to begin with.

If they are not on-line, where do they look–off-line, with companies that “know” and “trust”.  A logical place would be the advertising company that have been using for years. I read an interesting article last year, Ad Agencies Partnering with Search Marketing Firms (or Not), which talks about SEM marketing firms and the traditional ad agnecies and how the two can  or should work together.

Though it would make sense for these two types of companies to partner up, it is not that easy.  Amy Auerbach, former VP Group Director, Media Contacts  was quoted in the article, “..she believes that partnering with search experts is absolutely necessary. But, the bigger question is, will the ad agency bring the SEM firm into the project at the appropriate time…”

Small business need to read this article, to understand the dynamics that might be happening behind the scenes.  The articles points out there are can be creative disagreements and cultural differences between these types of companies which hinder the partnering process.

Search Mojo mentioned this topic on their blog and believe is important to partner with traditional ad agencies. They state, 21% of their revenue in 2006 was from such partnerships.

Small business do not have the time to waste or to be in the middle of a battle. Now I am not saying these partnerships do not exist but right now it would seem, the small business owner will need to work with 2 different companies when it comes to on-line and off-line advertising.

SEM companies should partner with the traditional ad agency (and vise versa) to provide a comprehensive solution for both company and client.  As the article concludes, the author states, “this [will work] best when all marketers involved realize that they each bring different skills to the table,  find synergistic ways to work together, and check their egos at the door.”