It’s Time to Get Personal

Posted by on Sep 10, 2009 in General | Comments Off on It’s Time to Get Personal

Your business and website should have a visible personality. Given that fact, what more natural personality to have than your own? Think of all the antiseptic business websites out there. You see the words on those sites but do you see who wrote them? Can you say anything about who they are, what motivates them, or if they are even a legitimate business? If your website is there to promote a small, relatively unknown business, you may have a problem reaching new customers. As I mentioned before, the Web is absolutely saturated with people trying to make a quick buck. To be noticed among them, you need a well-established reputation. If you don’t have one yet, it’s time to get personal on your website. Mentioning yourself by name is a good start. If your website represents a corporation, you may not feel comfortable talking about every employee by name. But it’s important to have a spokesperson of sorts. Who best represents your company and is the proverbial backbone? This could be just the person you need to act as your public face. Pictures are good, too. Although it doesn’t really have much to do with business, people like to know there are human beings on the other side of the screen. Again, you may not want every employee or partner’s picture on your site, but there should be a few so that customers can match a face with the words. Do you have an office-front or even just a room devoted to your business? If you do (or even if you can fake it), pictures of your work area bring a subconscious air of credibility. For an especially small or new business, you may want to get even more personal than that. Do you have a blog? If so, consider moving it to your business website. The more your website establishes you as a real human being with a family, ambitions, and character, the more comfortable people will feel contacting you for the first time. Not to mention, the less likely they will be to treat you with disrespect. Even if your business exists solely on the Web, don’t be tempted to live and die by automated forms and email. You may not expect to do much business over the phone or via postal mail, but having a number and physical address will again make you seem more real and trustworthy. After all, if you don’t make all this public,  customers might well  think that you are...

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We Discuss Internet Marketing With Stephen Newton Of Google

Posted by on Sep 9, 2009 in Articles, Online Marketing | 2 comments

ZA Group in association with Google South Africa hosted a business breakfast on the 4th of September 2009. Presenting was Google South Africa country manager, Stephen Newton.  Newton is the former Google head of analytics & commerce for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Before joining Google, he was Vice President of Double Click’s Ad Exchange and General Manager of Hitwise UK. His talk covered the following; Google Maps – Streetview Street View is a popular feature of Google Maps that allows users to explore and navigate areas through panoramic street-level images. Stephen mentioned that South African businesses could benefit from the Street View technology by embedding Google Maps directly into their websites for free, helping them to promote their businesses and raise awareness. It was also mentioned that this feature would be beneficial to tourists coming to South Africa for the FIFA 2010 World cup as it would help them navigate easily. It was also noted that the process of collecting and processing the images would take several months and would be made available at a later date in Street View on Google Maps for South Africa. Google Adwords Stephen talked about the flexibility of Adwords mentioning how advertisers can spend as little or as much money they want, all depending on their advertising budget available. Newton also explained how AdWords allows advertisers to set up their targeted national regions, targeted language and country. Adwords distribution is one topic in which a bit of time was spent on explaining how ads are shown on the content and search networks. In conclusion Stephen Newton explained how Google remains committed and excited about improving access to information for local South African...

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Join the World’s #1 Rated Internet and Technology Franchise

Posted by on Sep 9, 2009 in Business Opportunity | 1 comment

WSI is the world’s leading Internet Services Franchise providing affordable Internet solutions to small and medium size business. WSI is ranked the #1 Internet and Technology Services Franchise and ranked among the Top 50 Franchises in the world. “WSI is without question a real franchising success story, they have continued to grow dramatically as a global leader in the Internet Industry. Entrepreneur Magazine (January 2008) has recognized WSI as the #1 Internet and Technology Franchise for 7 consecutive years and an independent assessment of the Franchise 500 reveals that WSI is also the #1 Canadian Franchise overall.” – Entrepreneur Magazine WSI is currently accepting applications from motivated, entrepreneurial-minded individuals for new franchise openings in high-growth markets.  Apply Now! Our Proven Business Model Often referred to as the “White Collar Franchise,” WSI Consultants deliver Internet Marketing Solutions to small and medium–sized businesses (SMEs) worldwide by leveraging our exclusive, patent-pending Lifecycle system – our blueprint for developing effective Solutions. Become a Professional Consultant Whether your background is in general business or sales and marketing, if you follow WSI’s proven system you will build and expand your client base and achieve recurring revenue streams. WSI’s successful business, marketing and Internet solutions are driven by proprietary tools, methodologies, products and comprehensive operational and marketing support. WSI’s Limitless Opportunity As an Internet Marketing Consultant within WSI’s global network, you will have the personal and professional independence, freedom and control that you want and deserve. You will build a scalable, flexible and profitable business connected back through to our proprietary e-Marketplace, using a proven business model and a definitive formula for success. You will secure long-term business growth and successful client relationships by identifying and delivering the right Internet solutions, driving qualified traffic to your clients’ websites and converting visitors into paying customers. The resulting predictable, scalable income will enable you to accomplish the lifestyle you want, for yourself and your family. Unique Benefits For your all-inclusive franchise fee you will receive world-class on-site training; ongoing operational and marketing support; your own customized presence on our company’s domain; and a lucrative position within WSI’s ever-evolving e-Marketplace. Become a part of the network of over 1500 men and women of all backgrounds who have taken their entrepreneurial spirit, managerial skills and business development capabilities to a place of amazing profit, professional freedom and personal...

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Word of Mouth… Even Online

Posted by on Sep 9, 2009 in General | Comments Off on Word of Mouth… Even Online

As computers and the Internet have taken more important roles in the business world, those who came before have largely lamented the presence of technology. They will claim that it strives to remove the relationships between you and the customer and that it makes business even less personal than ever. I, however, argue that this is only because so many are not using these powerful tools correctly which is why 70% of all CRM projects fail. There is no excuse for a web-based business to be considered cold and impersonal. Your business is living in an epic, border-less world economy where customers are not hindered by geography and time zones or even out of stock situations. Blogs such as this one, message boards and other forms of online communities including the proliferation of popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Squidoo and YouTube allow you to interact with customers from anywhere in the world at any time. Even when you aren’t there, your presence is felt thanks to your ‘hopefully’ interactive website providing the ability to communicate or obtain information as well as old posts and replies that help to sell your business even while you sleep. More importantly, customers can interact freely on an online community. Unlike many conventional businesses, customers aren’t influenced by location and the odds of a potential customer and a previous customer ever crossing paths is quite slim. Your interactions with customers on your website are there for the world to see. When you are helpful and receive customer thanks and praise, visitors notice it. It is important to allow customers to post testimonials and you should be constantly asking for feedback on your products or services. Every time someone sees these interactions or gets responses directly from other customers, you’ve helped to win over new customers without having to spend a cent on advertising. Another way to cultivate word of mouth is to make use of ‘customer get customer offers available to your current customers. The way these work is usually that for every new customer that someone brings in, he or she would then receive a discount or a share of the profits from that new customer. This sort of program could be applied to just about any goods or services delivered in an automated fashion and provide you with quality word of mouth advertising at minimal costs – especially since you don’t pay anything out until you’ve already turned a...

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Video: The power of the internet and internet marketing

Posted by on Sep 8, 2009 in Online Marketing | Comments Off on Video: The power of the internet and internet marketing

This video answers some poignant questions, on the power of the internet and internet marketing. Charting the phenomenal progress of society and technology in recent years. This video is a must for anyone wondering what the values of web marketing and search engine optimisation are. [youtube]K7Dhmg6vcXQ[/youtube]

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Your RSS feed is much more important than you think

Posted by on Sep 8, 2009 in Blogging | Comments Off on Your RSS feed is much more important than you think

RSS feeds (real simple syndication) is the easiest method to get your content broadcasted to the right audiences.  A blog is another form of social media and with one you can publish and share your content instantly.  When you have created a new post on your blog, your blog will notify the web that new content is available for users to explore.  All this is accomplished by the RSS feed linked to your blog. Once you create a new article or post on your blog, you can select to make it public by publishing what you wrote. This is what happens when you publish new content: Your blog automatically creates an RSS file that is easily read by search engines and blog aggregators like Technorati and Afrigator. Please note: You will need to register on most of the popular RSS aggregators before they will accept your RSS feed. Your article and post becomes instantly visible to your blog visitors that is subscribed to your RSS feed. A ping is sent to RSS aggregator websites to notify them that you have something new on your blog. This invites blog engines and subscribers to look at your new content. The blog ping your blog sends out is a small XML file containing only the blog title, url and a short description on the new content that can be found.  Once the aggregators receives your pings of new content, they notify all the top search engines that you have new content available.   This method makes it easy for your blog to be indexed and is faster than a normal website.  You don’t have to wait for the search engines to index your pages anymore.  They will find you. Sometimes the aggregators and search engines will either display the RSS feed  comprising of XML or they will send their own spiders to gather all the information regarding your new content.  Think of it as a notification service that your blog sends out automatically to the world.  Once they have received your notification, your content will be available on the internet within minutes of publishing.  This is a similar process to the way news stories are released on the Internet. Users that subscribes to your RSS feed can either be notified automatically via this ping service, or their feed readers update their service regularly.  When the rss feed reader finds updates, it makes the content immediately available to the recipient. There are lots of other ways how you can utilize the RSS feed found on your blog, and will be explained in a follow-up post regarding...

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Using Google Pay Per Click Program To Market Your Website

Posted by on Sep 7, 2009 in Online Marketing | Comments Off on Using Google Pay Per Click Program To Market Your Website

In simple terms, Google’s pay per click program allows you to acquire a position on the search engines by choosing a bid price you are willing to pay for each visitor you receive on your website. Pay per click is one of the most effective channels which one can use to advertise, this is because an advertiser only pays Google once their advert is clicked on. Pay-per-click ads are very useful in driving targeted traffic to your website quickly. Here are some of the benefits of using PPC Budget flexibility – With Google’s PPC you will be able to set a daily budget and this can be adjusted accordingly. Google will never charge you more than your budget. Instant Results – In most cases PPC will result in an instant increase of traffic to your website. Unlike SEO that requires a bit of time before it starts sending traffic to your website, PPC is instant. When set up and managed correctly a PPC campaign can produce results in a short period of time. Campaign Flexibility – Google’s PPC campaigns are so easy to work with. Google will even make suggestions to you, for instance it tells you if a keyword is not performing or if your ads are being limited by your budget. Measurable Results – With Google’s PPC you will be able to measure your return on investment. You will be presented with metrics such as cost per click, click through rate and overall monthly costs. Having such information at hand can assist in measuring the performance of your campaigns. Brand Building and Awareness – PPC can be used as an effective way for brand building and increasing brand awareness, this is because your ads will be presented to searchers every time they search for the keywords you are targeting regardless of whether they click  your ads or...

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Increase your search engine rankings

Posted by on Sep 5, 2009 in Digital Media Marketing | 2 comments

By taking full advantage of Search Engine and Social Media Optimization you are able to reinforce your website or brand presence on popular search engines without paying extra for it. Here are some steps you can take to optimize your website organically: Content Marketing A resource website should have articles related to the product or service that you are offering. Websites that contain 100 pages of content or more are likely to achieve higher rankings in search engines and increase your website’s ability to be found for long-tail keyword searches. Create Incoming Links Link building and link popularity is important for all websites. Link popularity refers to the amount of text links that lead to your website from other sites and is the single most important factor that a search engine algorithm considers when ranking a web page. Effective link building is achieved by blogging on a regular basis, submitting your websites to online classifieds/directories and by taking advantage of the many social media platforms that are available – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Combine SEO with SMO Brand your name with social media marketing. Websites like Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and Twitter can be leveraged effectively to grow your business. By spreading your content over social media channels your website will gain many more search engine positions. Source: Make sure your company is visible on Google with Search Engine...

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Video: Submit a Google Reconsideration Request

Posted by on Sep 4, 2009 in General | Comments Off on Video: Submit a Google Reconsideration Request

If your website suddenly lost all rankings on Google it was once listed for, you might have been blacklisted (sandboxed) as a spammer by Google.  Not to worry and panic.  There are steps you can follow to get your website restored.  Google and other search engines usually penalizes websites that follow black hat SEO techniques.  Black hat SEO usually includes link farms, paid links and selling text ads.  If you fix all the problems on your website (removing all the black hat SEO stuff), chances are good that you can submit a Google Reconsideration Request through to them to get your website listed again. View below a YouTube video by Google  where they explain the steps for “requesting reconsideration using Google webmaster tools”. [youtube]ntJhrM7CU5I[/youtube] Check for access issues On the overview page once you have logged into Google Webmaster Tools and selected a domain,  you can view the last date that the Googlebot successfully spidered your website.  On this page you can also view any crawling errors that the bot encountered while crawling the selected domain.  These errors usually include pages not found, unreachable URL’s, timed out errors, URL restrictictions, xml sitemap errors, restrictions by the robots.txt file and HTTP errors. Check for messages Check on the message center of your Google Webmaster Tools account for any messages Google has sent you regarding the errors of your website. Google Webmasters Guidelines If there’s no messages regarding your website and no errors on the overview page, have a look at the Webmaster Guidelines by Google to see if your site is or has at some point been in violation with their guidelines. Fix your website If your website is in violation with their guidelines as explained above, make the necessary fixes on your website so that it falls within their Webmaster Guidelines. Submit a reconsideration request Once logged in to your Webmaster Tools account click on tools, “Request Consideration”.  Explain what you think was wrong with your site and what steps you have taken to fix it. You will receive a message in the Message Center confirming that Google received your...

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Relevant quality content for your website

Posted by on Sep 4, 2009 in Digital Media Marketing | Comments Off on Relevant quality content for your website

If you have good quality content on your website, your search rankings will increase with the correct optimization.  To get quality content is to think creatively about the types of content you should upload to your website. One of the best ways to come up with content ideas is to do some research and identify other keywords that would help you with writing relevant content.  A great way is searching for similar content on blogs, forums and various social networks. The websites that is ranked at the top by Google have one thing clearly in common:  relevant quality content.  Whatever the technical mechanism, Google is doing a pretty good job of identifying websites with good content and rewarding them with high rankings. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes into its own. It is used to increase your website’s search engine rankings so users can find your products or services easily. With the addition of Social Media Optimization you can dramatically increase the number of search engine rankings you list in, which in turn will drive more targeted traffic to your website. Source: Make sure your company is visible on Google with Search Engine...

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