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Category: Internet Marketing

Article Writing and Distribution Is The First Step in Online Reputation Management

Article writing and distribution does a lot of good things for a website. It creates powerful backlinks, it drives mad traffic all by itself — and if you hire a spinner to multiply your articles, it’s a great form of affordable SEO. But one thing that many novice webmasters miss out on entirely is the ability of a solid set of articles to create an online reputation for an individual or a business.

Think about it — if you go to an article repository and you see three dozen articles by the same guy on several different aspects of the same detailed subject — let’s say it’s Italian art. Furthermore, each of these articles links to one of two pages on a website all about Italian art. You can scan these articles and find technical terms and details that clearly demonstrate that this guy knows a hell of a lot more than you do about Italian art. And, of course, the website he links to clearly indicated that he is the owner of the site and it’s attached business.

You walk away from that experience with the understanding that if you ever have a question about Italian art, that dude — and that website — are your go-to sources of information. You’ve just been hit by the online reputation building power of article writing and distribution.

On the other hand, the inverse is also entirely possible. If you submit a boatload of articles that are full of bad grammar, incorrect facts, and a childish tone of voice, you can utterly destroy your online credibility. It’s a double-edged sword. That means it’s worth a lot of time and energy to get your few articles done well — and also worth a little extra cash to hire a high-quality article spinner, and a top-tier distribution expert.

Some people have decided that the possibility of a negative impact is so great that they’d rather just skip out on the article marketing part of SEO altogether. On the other hand, if you love what you’re doing and you’re passionate enough to know the details, it should be easy for you to impress.

Using a Press Release Service to Get The Word Out

There are two distinct parts to getting a press release out there. First, you need to have someone who is very skilled in writing them — to write them. That’s because so many press releases hit the aggregation sites every day that any given one of them has to be exceptional in order to get any attention at all.

But equally importantly, you need a press release service to disseminate your press release to as many different outlets as possible. Not only is it slow, repetitive work to try to submit a press release to a dozen different sites, but chances are you don’t know as many relevant sites as a press release service does. The more sites a press release is passed along to, the better the chances that some journalist somewhere will pick it up and run with — and the more backlinks it will earn.

But that’s far from everything. Check out some of the other reasons why you should use a press release service:

  • A talented press release service will do basic SEO to your press release before they submit it, making sure it has the potential to rank well for business-relevant keywords.
  • Between the plethora of sites they’ll submit to and the chance that the release will rank well for some decently-searched keywords due to their organic SEO efforts, a press release service will dramatically improve the traffic driving power of any given press release.
  • Any decent press release service will make sure your story gets indexed on Google News, Yahoo News, Bing News, and so forth. That’s a very challenging task to accomplish on your own, and it’s worth it’s own small wave of traffic.
  • Such a service will also make sure to have an RSS-friendly version of your press release available, adding an entirely different substrata of news readers who stick entirely to RSS feeds available to you.
  • Finally, though this is admittedly a longshot, using a press release service dramatically enhances your chances of getting picked up and played by a major news source. It goes from “winning the lottery” to “being the seventh caller”. Still not terribly likely, but hey — every chance at that kind of exposure is one you want to take.

Three Simple Website Tricks To Take Advantage of Local Internet Marketing

Local internet marketing is a set of techniques that a website SEO guy can use to make sure that, when someone searches for something related to your business and puts in a place name local to your area, they see your website. It’s an amazing tool for getting real people inside your real brick-and-mortar store, because these days real people look up everything online before they drive into town to get stuff done.

There are several things you can do off-page to make sure that search engines correctly place your business geographically. But there are a few things you can do on your site to accomplish the same goal.

Put Your Address In Your Footer
Having your full address appear on every page of your website is a strong way to inform the search engine spiders of your business’ real world location. If you just stick it in as part of your site’s footer, it’ll show up automatically on every page without you having to remember an extra detail, and it will look natural to surfers at the same time. The same goes for your local phone number — 800 numbers are all wonderful and good, but they don’t tell the search engines where you live.

Ask Your Customers For Reviews
Every time a customer interacts with your webpage, they should get a nudge toward a review site. Avoid Yelp, because Yelp doesn’t post reviews that were solicited — but Bing, Yahoo, Google, Amazon, and other review sites certainly don’t mind. And even if you get the occasional bad review, that’s actually a good thing — it lends credibility to the good reviews. Part of the review process involves telling the review site where you live, which is another source the search engines will use to place you.

Have a Separate Landing Page for Each Branch of Your Store
If there’s a Jay’s Farm Stand in Aberdeen, Washington and another one in Olympia, Washington, there should be a landing page for the Aberdeen branch and another for the Olympia branch. Each should have it’s own address and local number listed, and each should have it’s own separate reviews. That will help the search engines establish which searches should be directed to which locales.

Local Internet Marketing Is Good Small Business SEO

In the vast world of small business SEO, there are some practices that are obvious, and some that are overlooked by many small businesses. For example, it’s commonplace for small businesses to have a website and for that website to feature a blog. That’s just good SEO. But one thing that many businesses seem to completely overlook is the power of local internet marketing.

Local internet marketing is essentially the art of convincing Google and the other search engines that your business exists at a specific location. The result is that when people in your area search for a keyword related to your business, they see your website in the rankings. The second result is that when people someone else search for a keyword related to your business alongside a keyword related to your locale, they’ll get results that include your website.

The reason why local internet marketing is good small business SEO is simple: it’s easier to be a small fish if you’re in a small pond. A florist in remote Forks, Washington can reach the top of the local rankings with about twenty minutes of concentrated effort — compare that to the 55 million results for “floral delivery” without the location in mind. Even if you live in a big city like Los Angeles, local internet marketing can cut your competition by as much as 90% compared to the generic form of your chosen keyword.

Local internet marketing also has a bigger benefit to your business than generic internet marketing does. That’s because local internet marketing sends people through your front door. Broad-keyword internet marketing sends people to your website. The conversion rate from visitor-to-buyer on a website is excellent at about 5%. The conversion rate for visitor-to-buyer in a brick and mortar store is appalling at 5%; it’s average around 40%. So local internet marketing is easier to rank with and converts better.

If you own a small business, you have every reason in the world to look into local internet marketing — but just in case you need one more, here goes: most SEO companies charge less for local internet marketing than they do for broad-spectrum SEO work. Check it out for yourself, and jump on the bandwagon before someone else in your town takes the number one spot all for themselves!

First Page Placement is Within Your Grasp

When you just start to get a website off the ground, the notion of getting your site first page placement for even a few keywords can sound like pie in the sky. Truth be told, however, it’s both easier — and harder — than you might think. That’s because there are multiple ways to get that first page placement, but none of them are entirely without complexity.

Organic SEO
The first route is your standard organic SEO magic: you build a vast array of backlinks. You make sure you present a natural backlink profile from a wide variety of websites, including directories, articles, blog comments, social bookmarks, web 2.0 properties, and more. The process takes an immense investment in time, not just in terms of man-hours, but in terms of allowing months to pass in order to convince the search engines that your site isn’t just a fad.

Organic SEO is complicated because there are a lot of ways to screw it up. You have to know the basic process of building backlinks, but that’s just the beginning. An artificial link profile (i.e. all of your links traceable to the same IP address; all of your links appearing around the same time of day/days of week; etc.) is a surefire way to get all of your work undone in a hurry, and it’s hardly the only one. With Google’s new Panda update, you have to worry about details like how your page looks to incoming visitors as well.

Pay Per Click Marketing
Pay per click marketing — also known euphemistically as ‘sponsored placement’ — are the ads you see at the top of each SERPs page that aren’t the natural results. Every search engine has them, and anyone willing to bid on the keywords can get their site listed in them. Of course, it’s not an easy process to wrap your mind around, much less explain in a few words.

The key to doing PPC correctly is to not do it at all. If you’re going to rely on PPC marketing to get your traffic flowing to your site, just bite the bullet and hire a qualified PPC management firm. These people know the pay-per-click game inside and out, and the fees they charge are nothing compared to the money you’ll lose if you try to get into the PPC game unaided.

In short, first page placement is right there for you to have — but be prepared to work with the experts to get there, plain and simple.

Small Business SEO Doesn’t Have To Be Small Time SEO

Small business SEO has a strange reputation among the SEO elite — a lot of the gurus out there seem to believe that if you can’t drop thousands of dollars on an overwhelming SEO campaign right out of the gates, you simply aren’t ever going to hit it big. Fortunately for small business owners everywhere, they are profoundly mistaken.

It’s true that if you can afford to spend a boatload of money on SEO, you will get results faster. But that hardly means that buying a long-term SEO campaign that only costs in the low triple digits each month is something to be scoffed at. In fact, there is an upper limit to how much SEO is actually helpful at once.

organic SEOThat’s because the search engines look for unnatural patterns in backlinking. If a newbie website suddenly sprouts a thousand backlinks overnight, it’s not likely that that website is legit — it’s more likely someone dropped a pile of cash into a backlinking campaign. That’s not what the search engines want to support — they want to support websites that are actually awesome. To that regard, you have to build backlinks slowly, at least at first, the way that any website that was just starting to get attention might naturally earn them.

Granted, there does eventually come a ‘tipping point’ at which it’s reasonable for a website to have gone viral and suddenly actually get thousands of backlinks, but that doesn’t come for a long time — during which there is really no such thing as ‘small time’ SEO. There is only good SEO, which takes time and laborious effort no matter how much money you have to spend on it.

If you happen to have a decent budget, you’re far better off starting out with a combination between organic SEO and managed pay-per-click advertising. The PPC will drive traffic and make a profit while the SEO will do what SEO does best — have long-term, high-yield dividends. But even then, you don’t have to have a mountain of cash in order to get that plan off the ground. There’s just no excuse for anyone to say that small business SEO is small time — it’s plain wrong.

PPC Management Is The Quickest Route to First Page Placement

When you’re just starting out online, you need one thing more than anything else: first page placement. As millions of failed Inter-preneurs can attest to, getting to the top of page 2 just doesn’t pay the bills — and when you’re just starting, you’re nowhere near even that laudable goal.

Enter the idea of pay-per-click marketing. This sounds like a dream come true for novice webmasters — you bid on some keywords, the search engines put your link up under the “Sponsored Placement” section whenever someone searches for those keywords, and they see your link! You pay a few cents, and one in every hundred or so people who searched for the keyword will actually follow your link to your site, and some of them will buy your product or service. Sounds simple enough.

The problem is that it’s not all that simple. There are dozens of potential pitfalls, most of them revolving around picking the right keywords, that can turn pay-per-click (PPC) into a black hole from which your money will never return. The PPC game is one that takes a very special skill set that most business owners quite simply don’t have time to learn. That’s why many SEO companies hire a few people who specialize in the vagaries of PPC — so that they can offer their clients a talented crew for PPC management.

PPC managementPPC managers add to the total cost of a PPC marketing campaign — but they virtually always add to the return as well. They’ve put in their ten thousand hours of PPC labor, and their expertise in their craft shows instantly in the results. They choose keywords that people use when they already want to buy something. They craft advertisements that show those people exactly how easy it is to buy what they’re looking for. They keep your cost-per-click low and your conversions high. All you have to do is make sure that your website converts as well as their advertisements do.

Given the relatively low cost of most PPC management today, it’s practically a no-brainer. PPC management equals instant first page placement — with results.

Going Viral with a Press Release Service

Let’s start by getting one thing very clear: not every use of a press release service results in a massive boost in traffic. Press releases can be insanely effective, but most of them are just backlinks like any other blog comment or one-off article submission. In fact, many experts will tell you not to put a lot of effort into your press releases — just hire a service and get one put out there about your latest product, service, or idea.

They’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

You see, a press release isn’t like an article you write and then put on a directory where someone might search for it and might read it. A press release goes out on a variety of websites that gather such releases, and the nation’s newspapers, news radio stations, televisions, and other press agencies actually comb through those looking for great stories. If they find one, they’ll take it to their editor, and if it’s approved, it gets printed (and/or airtime.)

organic SEOWhat’s more, if a news agency puts it out there, it’s likely to be picked up by one of the hundreds of secondary news blogs out there that are racing to get a few thousand hits by being on top of Google News for a few precious hours. That increases your potential audience by another order of magnitude — just about the most effective organic SEO you can imagine.

Of course, all of this depends strictly on having a press release writer who can craft something that doesn’t vanish into the massive pile of press releases that come out every day announcing thousands of new businesses’ concepts and products. To that end, you might want to consider asking whomever you hire as your press release service what their track record is. You might even consider offering to pay a little extra to get their best man on the job.

Again, it’s a gamble — but the sheer power of getting literally hundreds of permanent backlinks from all of the secondary (and a few primary) websites is so enormous, especially for a new business, that the extra cost is essentially like a lottery ticket that you’re much more likely to win from.

Good Forum Posting Habits Take Time To Develop

When you start down the path of forum posting, there are distinctly two different paths you can take toward success. You can go for the short-term, high-volume approach, or you can take a longer-term perspective that will result in the same high volumes that continue to flow each day, indefinitely. Too many erstwhile SEO experts who advocate the forum posting and, to a lesser degree, the blog posting tactics — blog comments, that is, not creating an actual blog — take the short-term perspective, and it ruins the real value inherent in these highly effective techniques.

That value is obvious when you stop to think about it — a forum is a very powerful thing. A large community of more-or-less dedicated readers will naturally build up quite an authority in the eyes of the websites as time goes on. Equally importantly, someone that has respect within that community — even if they’re not a pillar of it, but just someone that’s known for making meaningful contributions — will get his posts and thoughts read by scores if not hundreds of people.

blog postingOn the opposite note, someone that’s a complete newbie to the forum might get his posts read if he’s inflammatory or provocative enough, but the chances are good that the denizens will simply ignore him. Or worse, that the forum moderator will detect that he has a backlinking agenda, and simply delete his account and all of his posts along with it.

Either way, the net effect of all of his effort is squandered in whole or in part. But it’s easy to register for a forum, throw away a lame post or two, and then vanish never to be seen again — that’s why most people do it.

The other end of the spectrum involves time. Time to find a forum relevant to your subject matter, that doesn’t disallow personal links, that also happens to be big enough to be worth your attention. Time to learn the rules, time to post meaningful contributions that bring value to the community. But if you DO put in the time, the results speak for themselves: high-value backlinks coupled with an instant customer base for whatever relevant product or service you happen to be releasing. It’s golden — if you take the time.

Local Internet Marketing And Receipt Tape: A Powerful Combination

Sometimes, success in local internet marketing has more to do with tiny, subtle details than it does the broad strokes. Don’t get me wrong — if you don’t do the broad strokes right (like getting your Los Angeles SEO company listed first for the keyword “LA SEO”), the other parts won’t ever fall into place. But there are times when you can take the success of a great local internet marketing campaign to an entirely new level by doing something so minor — and weird — that you’d probably never consider it.

Without revealing the name of the business or its owner, let me tell you a quick story about a client. EliteSEOMarketing.com had just finished getting her floral business on the top of the local listings for her hometown, and she could tell — her foot traffic was up just under ten percent, and sales were improving accordingly. Then, she had a long discussion with one of the salesmen that comes to every small business trying to sell those credit card swiping machines.

first page placementHe told her about a trick that not many business owners take advantage of: the ability of almost all receipt-printing devices to add a bit of customized text at the bottom of their receipts. Immediately, she wondered how she could use that to drive traffic. After a quick call to us, we put together a plan.

The florist added a large and very visible footer on her receipt. It simply said “For 15% off your next visit, go to and print off a free coupon.” The twist — on her website, in order to print off a free coupon, you had to Email an identical coupon to a friend.

The sales funnel created by her first page placement instantly doubled in it’s effectiveness. People looked for a florist online, found her, came in, loved the product, and in a burst of enlightened self-interest, they told their friends. The friends went to the website, saw the quality page she had put up online, printed off the coupon, came into the store, saw the product for the awesome stuff it was, and went to print off more coupons (and tell more friends!)

That’s the power of a clever entrepreneur that isn’t afraid to mix local internet marketing with offline business tactics — and it’s beautiful to behold.