SEO IS DEAD!

SEO IS DEAD!

If you’re still worrying about SEO’ing your website, stop.

Just STOP.

That is not and has never been a “good” marketing ploy.

Why?

Because you are (literally) optimizing it for a search engine.

You are NOT optimizing it for PEOPLE.

And there lies the PROBLEM.

Stop sacrificing your business to appease the Google Gods.

Instead, do things for your Ideal Customer.

If your ideal customer is happy, then Google will naturally be happy.

That said…

I can hear you asking “Well, that’s great and all, but how do I do that?”

That’s a great question

SO…

Here’s all you need to know about “SEO” in 5 easy steps (from someone who built 2 separate million dollar Digital Marketing agencies.)

Ready?

Here we go:

1. Have a website that’s mobile first

2. Create GOOD content that your Ideal Clients want to read, comment on, and share

3. Post that content on your website and Facebook, and (maybe) twitter

4. Pay to promote that content on Facebook to your ideal clients

5a. Set up remarketing to run GOOD Ads to the people who:
5b. click on your content
5c. click on your ads
5d. visit your website
5e. are email subscribers

RIP SEO!

PS – this is NOT all you should be doing to market your business to your Ideal Clients, but it is what you should be doing instead of paying SEO people to SEO your website for the SEO of it all.

PPS – if someone tries to sell you SEO and they are not doing the above 5 steps, RUN. THE. OTHER. WAY. FAST!

You can’t just pray, you have to play


There she was yet again, on her knees, beside the edge of the bed.

Her knees sore and bruised from night after night of this.

Her back sore and her body tense.

Her hands clenched tight, the blood rushing out of her knuckles..

Thinking to herself, “What did I do to  get here?”

The she let’s it out.

“Dear God….

“Dear God, please let me win the lottery!”

She slowly stands up as her bones creak, joints ache, and she slides under the covers and clicks off the light.

She knows it’s going to be yet another sleepless night, filled with tossing and turning.

How will she evet get her money problems figured out?

What will people think of her?

What is she going to do?

How will she fix this?

She awakes in the morning and feels even more exhausted than she did the day before.

Her day passes and night sets in again and she finds herself beside her bed praying,

“Dear God please let me win the lottery.”

And she settles in for another sleepless night filled with anxiety, worry, and dread.

This continues day after day, week after week until that one fateful evening.

She kneels next to her bed, hands clasped together tightly, tears in her eyes as she looks toward the heavens and pleads with God.

“Dear God, please let me win the lottery!”

When all of a sudden this booming voice shakes her entire being…

“If you want to win the lottery…

“If you really want to win…

“Buy a lottery ticket!”

The purpose of this story is not to say God will solve all your problems.

The purpose of this story is not to say gambling will fix your money issues.

No…

The purpose of this story…

The REAL purpose of this story is to say,

“If you want to win the game you have to be willing to play.”

So many people want to win without actually putting in all the effort of playing.

BECAUSE

Actually playing means they run the risk of losing too.

BUT here’s the deal…

No matter how much you beg, plead, pray, and cry, you can’t win what you’re not willing to play.

You have to put yourself out there.

You have to step on the court.

You have to be vulnerable.

If you really want to win at this game called life…

YOU HAVE TO PLAY.

Hire The Smile…

My first mentor had a great saying that they used when he was the President of Cold Stone Creamery. He said,

“Hire the smile and train the rest.”

What this means is that you want to hire someone that has a great attitude, is a team player, really wants to be part of your company…and then train them for the things they will need to do.

Most people take the opposite approach (and sites like oDesk UpWork help facilitate this wrong approach).

The owner will go to oDesk UpWork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, etc. search for a list of qualifications and then pick the first person that says “Yes” to their job for the assigned budget.

If you’re going to be successful at hiring freelancers, or even regular employees, you need to:

“Hire the smile”

Here are some of the questions you should ask to help you “Hire the smile”:

  • How is their attitude?
  • Are they excited to work for you?
  • How well do they communicate with you?
  • Are they on time?
  • Do they reach out to you for communication?
  • Are they friendly and respectful?
  • Are they a good culture fit in your business?

NOTE: Those are things that you can’t train.

Many of the elements of the job can be trained, but you can’t train someone to “smile”.

So what’s the best process to do this?

  1. Go to a site like oDesk
  2. Create a job listing and include the qualifications you’re looking for
  3. Find people with great feedback and invite them to your job
  4. Hire 2-4 people to complete this job for you and then look at:
    • How well did they communicate with you?
    • How fast were they to respond to you?
    • Were they friendly on Skype?
    • Were they eager to go above and beyond (or did they just do the bare minimum necessary)?
    • If there was a problem, did they take ownership of it and fix it for you?
    • Do they need additional training? If so, is it worth it for you to train them?

Grade the people you hired and then pick the best one for your next project.

I’d rather hire someone that was gung-ho to work with me and my team (even if I had to give them a little training), than hire someone that’s totally qualified, but won’t work well with me and my team.

The same exercise can be done if you’re hiring people in-house. I actually use an “Automated Hiring System” to help vet a lot of the “non-smilers” before I even have to talk with them.

I hope this article will inspire you to try outsourcing for the first time, or get you to try it again if your experience was less than positive the first time around.

Next week I’ll outline a few of my favorite places to outsource work to, so make sure you check back then.

SEO is DEAD, please let it die.

I’m shocked that I still read questions every day on the forums, LinkedIn groups, FaceBook walls, blog comments, etc. asking about SEO practices that are obviously not in Google’s good graces. What’s worse is that I still see people trying to sell shady SEO practices and services all over the web.

You know the questions that I’m talking about:

– Is this link a good link?

– How can I build more backlinks?

– What’s the best way to get .gov or .edu links?

– How can I get my website to show up higher in Google?

– What’s the best Press Release site to use?

– How can I rank for “XYZ”?

– What Are Google Panda & Penguin Safe SEO Backlinks

The list goes on and on.

First off let me start by saying “Google hasn’t changed their mind on SEO.” They have always been against people manipulating their rankings through the practice of:

– building links

– using unnatural anchor text in your links

– asking for links, buying links

– building blog networks

– paying for guest posting

– cramming press releases with anchor text

– etc.

What Google HAS started doing is enforcing all those rules that they told you about years ago. They always said “Don’t do this.” but it worked and they weren’t stopping anyone from doing it. Unless it was super black hat. So what did people do? They crossed the line and it worked. So they crossed it more and more and it worked better and better and there weren’t any ramifications.

The problem, however, is that they weren’t thinking about their business like a business. AND it was gone overnight. Google started enforcing the rules and a lot of people got caught with their hand(s) in the cookie jar. Google didn’t change the game. Google didn’t change SEO. Google just started enforcing what they told you all along.

So… Give up worrying about:

– building backlinks

– what the proper distribution of anchor text is

– if changing your title tag is going to help you

– what press release site is better for SEO

– what site is allowing guest posting

and start asking yourself: (are you ready for this?)

“How can I market my business?”

The keywords there are “market” and “business” Most people wouldn’t risk a “brick and mortar” business on some “fly by night” tactic they read on a forum. They use tried and true marketing methods to get their message out there and bring people in the front door.

Here’s how you can do that online:

– Create amazing content people actually want to read and share and tie it in to you, your community, your service, or your product. (Stop making every FB update, tweet, blog post, and press release about your product. People don’t care.)

– Build a community of people that have similar interests that revolve around your product or service or the pain that your product/service alleviates.

ex.

If you’re a plumber then your best clients are probably home owners. So it makes sense that home remodeling fits very nicely into your niche and could attract the attention of home owners that will eventually need your services.

– Use press releases to reach (wait for it) the PRESS. This will broaden your exposure naturally and get your the well deserved publicity that you are looking for. NOTE: I’ll be covering the right and wrong way to do PRs in the very near future.

– Remember that amazing content that I talked about a few bullet points up? Promote it through social channels using, what Marty Weintraub calls, “paid organic amplification.”

– Stop thinking/worrying about the link (in any way shape or form.) Ask yourself, “Would I be happy with this link if it was ‘no followed’ (because it probably should be) or if they just put my phone number instead?” If the answer is yes, then you’re golden.

Think about it… Who would be upset in the NY Times posted a ‘no follow’ link to your site, or put your contact info to order from you directly? (You know, how they used to do things before we had websites.)

So, stop thinking about how you can manipulate Google rankings (or Bing and Yahoo) AND START to shift your focus to “How can I get more traffic, more business, and make more people happy with my product or service?”

Read that again: “Make more people happy with my product or service”

What that means is that you need to let go of gaming a computer and learn to solve people’s problems.

2010 called, they want their SEO back. Let it die!

Welcome to 2017 and beyond.

How To Make Your Marketing EASY

EASY-Marketing
If you are new to the entrepreneurship game or looking to revamp (or implement) a marketing strategy, there is a quick and EASY way to hit all of the most important aspects.


Effective

One of the easiest ways to optimize your marketing dollars is through targeted marketing. Reaching out to specific Psychographics and demographic within your niche allows you to create a cultivated message with a strong call-to-action. This is much more effective than a blanket message to “everybody” that connects with nobody.

Attributable

Without a “good” tracking system in place, it is impossible to measure which of your efforts are the most effective. For online marketing promotions, use tracking links and Google Analytics to measure your efforts. (tracking links can easily be set up using Google’s URL Builder. 

Promo codes work both online and offline by specifically linking your customer to a promotional effort. Remember to use different codes for each platform – even if you are offering the same deal. For example, you may run the same promotion in major newspapers, local newspapers and on social media; assigning a unique promo code to each of these platforms allows you to attribute sales to specific platforms and use the information to craft new campaigns.

The same approach can be used to track phone call drivers – use a unique phone number for each platform and you will have the information you need to quickly attribute traffic to the promotion. Some businesses are resistant to trade a branded phone number for marketing data; however, sacrificing measurement is never a good trade.

 

Scalable

The goal of your efforts is see new growth – so it is crucial that your campaigns easily transfer from smaller platforms to larger platforms. You may initially run a promotion in a small local paper and later move to a larger metro paper.

Developing campaigns that are too narrow or that are only effective on a specific platform is a common pitfall that leads businesses to quickly run out of target audiences and effective platforms. It is also important to remember that small-scale campaigns often lose effectivity when scaled up; the message becomes diluted and the audience is less targeted.

 

Year-Round

Creating a year-round marketing strategy allows you capitalize on holidays and trends throughout the year and to maintain steady growth during slow-season. Many businesses take their foot off the gas during busy-season; however, if you can afford to keep your efforts going without sacrificing service, it is well worth effort.

Take a strategic approach to your efforts as opposed to tactical – build an arsenal of effective campaigns to be sure that you always have the right one available. Don’t wait to kick-off your marketing efforts – waiting for perfection means that you are sacrificing exposure for an unknown benefit. The only way to truly improve your campaigns is to implement real feedback. Use this quick and EASY approach to evaluate your strategy and then implement as quickly as possible.

4 Promotions For Better Business Luck

4-leaf-clover
Effective promotions hit the right audience at the right time with an unbelievable deal. In this post, we will take a look at the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of four easy to implement promotions.

The Holiday Campaign

Who: Use this campaign to show appreciation for your existing customers and to help your customers show appreciation for their loved ones.

What: This one works because the relevancy factor is inherent. The entire promotion is built around an upcoming holiday.

When: Both National holidays, like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, as well as fun/silly holidays, such as National Cupcake Day, work for this promotion.

Where: Reach potential customers via direct mail, social media, AdWords and Facebook. Since this promotion is tied to something that applies to everyone, you can reach a large audience.

Why: Holiday campaigns are timely and relevant.

How: To make this one work for you, craft a story around the message and of course, provide an amazing deal.


The Birthday Campaign

Who: Use this campaign to target potential and existing customers with upcoming birthdays.

What: Send awesome deals to help them celebrate their special day. The goal here is to get them interested and in the door.

When: If using direct mail, send promotions twice a month if possible – once in the beginning and again in the middle.

Where: Reach out to your birthday boys and girls via direct mail and Facebook.

Why: There a lot of great reasons that birthday campaigns work. First, everyone likes to get something on their birthday. Second, giving a birthday gift is a great way to start building a relationship. Third, your celebrator is likely to bring at least a few, full-price paying friends.

How: To reach out using direct mail, obtain a list of people in the local area with upcoming birthdays. Facebook also has a great tool for targeting users with birthdays that fall within the upcoming week, click here for the video on how to access this tool.

The New Mover Campaign

Who: This campaign targets individuals and families that have recently moved into the area.

What: It works great for restaurants, grocery stores, doctors, dentists, mechanics, dry cleaners, gyms, flower shops, dog walkers and housekeepers; basically anyone that provides local goods and services.

When: If possible, send this promotion out every 3 to 4 weeks; the goal is to hit those that have recently arrived in the area before their new routines are established – you want your business to be a part of their new routines.

Where: Direct mail is a great option for the mover campaign; it is relatively easy to get a list of newly registered addresses. Facebook also has an awesome feature that allows you to take this campaign digital; click here for the video.

Why: On average, people move every seven years and every time they do they need to create a new routine and find new service providers. All of their habitual places- their favorite coffee shop, their go-to mechanic – must be replaced.

How: Craft the deal around the move and be explicit about your location. Click here for a video that will walk you through setting this up.
The Visitor Campaign

Who: Hit those that are on vacation, passing through or in-town on business.

What: The trick is to get them in the door while they are in the area by offering amazing deals targeted at immediate use.

When: The best time to offer the deal is largely dependent on the type of business. Restaurants could send deals for business lunches during the week while hotels could send out promotions on Friday nights.

Where: Reach out to potential customers within a 3 to 5 mile radius. In some cities, the target can be widened but be sure to consider potential commute times – most people will be unlikely to travel more than 30 minutes.

Why: Visitor campaigns work because the recipients are open to suggestions – they do not know the area or what is available.

How: Facebook allows you to target visitors to your area.

Wrap Up

The trick is to remember that with all four of these promotions the deal must provide amazing value. Do not cheap out on the offer or turn away expired coupons. The goal is to get the customer to use your service, or buy your product, one time and to be so blown away by the experience that they keep coming back. You want to build that relationship with them.

Setting up an epic campaign that yields great returns is easier than you think. So before you get your Uncle Al to dress up in a chicken suit and hand out coupons, give these four campaigns a test run.

Painting Your Business Bigger Picture

Bob_Ross

It’s Not About Making the Sale, It’s About Gaining a New Customer…

Too many businesses make the mistake of focusing on the cost of winning a single sale instead of looking at marketing as a long-term investment. For sustained business growth, it is best to emphasize relationship building – to turn your attention to the long-term potential profit that comes from repeat business.

How to Build Long-Term Customers

Long-term customer relationships are built on experiences, not on one-time sales or short-lived promotions. While a great promotion will bring someone in the door, an enthusiastic greeting and a warm, inviting atmosphere develops an emotional and physical connection. To build on this connection, construct detailed customer files so that you and your employees can be sure to ask about important events in your client’s lives. Understand the root of the reason they are seeking your service or product and use that information to make them feel nurtured.

If you are struggling to focus on the softer aspects of growing your business, it may help to think back to your motivation for starting in the first place. Most entrepreneurs started out with the expressed ambition of ministering to a specific community by providing an exceptional product or service. Re-focusing on serving your community is a great way to balance the strain created by handling the daily, sometimes less rewarding, aspects of running the business.

Why Should You Build Long-Term Customer Relationships

Building lifetime customers significantly increases margins and allows you to stay ahead of your competition. A greater initial investment is often answered with substantial returns when the each customer is approached from the aspect of building a relationship and not just acquiring a commodity. Long-term clients often become ambassadors for your business – people naturally want to share when they have found something great!

Many chiropractic offices excel in this area. There is a significant investment to meet the initial needs of a new client – the office will often provide a free consultation and layout a detailed treatment plan. When the client feels that the provider has exceeded their expectations and believes that the treatment plan will meet their needs, the decision to commit to several weeks or months of visits is much easier to make.

So the chiropractor can now afford to spend more money than the first visit might produce because their new client will be coming in regularly for the next few months. (It’s similar to the idea of a loss leader, if you know what that is.)

Part of building a mutually beneficial relationship with your customers is to reach out to them on a regular basis to thank them for their business by sending them cards, smaples, free gifts, or valuable coupons/deals. In addition to building reciprocity, continuing marketing efforts keeps your business at the forefront of their mind.

Building long-term customers is a valuable aspect of every business’ marketing plan; one that appreciably optimizes your marketing dollars.

Orange You Glad You Segmented Your List?

Orange-slices
When I was a little kid I loved spending time with my Grandma and Grandpa. I’d go stay with them and they’d spoil me rotten and why not, I was their only grandson. One of my fondest memories (besides going golfing with Grandpa) was sitting at the kitchen island with grandma, eating open-faced peanut butter sandwiches with cold mug of milk and an orange.

My grandma would help me peel the orange, but then I had the duty to separate all the slices. I loved to do this because then the scent of orange would linger on my fingers all day. I also like to try and get each and every slice I could, especially the really thin slices you could almost see through. I don’t know why, but I swear those slices tasted the best.

Why am I talking about oranges on a blog about marketing? Because slicing up your list into segments (just like the orange) can be the fastest and more rewarding way to increase your sales. You don’t need a niche product or to limit your total marketing outreach to a focused segment. The trick is appear highly targeted is to make your audience feel like your product was created specifically for them.

Relying on one, generalized message to meet all of your marketing needs creates a watered-down version of the very best aspects of your business or product. The result is that you become the guy at the party that talks to everyone yet, at the end of the night, no one remembers your name.

Creating targeted content is customizing the features and benefits of your product to meet the specific needs of a defined segment. This type of marketing demonstrates your expert knowledge of this group. They are more than just a passing acquaintance, the have achieved best friend status.

Your message speaks specifically to a segment and listens to their response. Creating this conversation is the cornerstone of a great customer relationship in which you continually demonstrate how well your product/business relates to their life. They will feel as if you are speaking directly to their needs, wants, troubles, and desires.

There are dozens of different ways you can segment out your desired customers. To get started we’ll focus on 6. Use what you already know about your current client base to create easily identifiable segments based on:

  1. Gender
  2. Age
  3. Income
  4. Home Owner/Renter
  5. Marital Status
  6. Children/No Children

With those segments in mind, develop messaging that meets each of your identified segments by relying on a few tried and true typecasts:

Category Segment Description Values
Gender Male Quick to make decisions; value logical, fact-based arguments, focused on the short-term impact Male-focused products throughout the yearGift items (for women) during specific seasons (Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day)
Female Makes decisions based on research, sees the big picture, focused on the long-term impact Female-focused products throughout the yearGift items (for men) during specific seasons (Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Father’s Day)
Age Young Desire for immediate satisfaction, defined by material status StatusTrends/AppearanceFun and Excitement
Older/Mature Long-term goals (retirement), defined by professional status StabilityReliabilityAbility to recapture some of the fun and excitement of youth
Income Low Has less disposable income and a greater desire to “prove” their success Status (cool factor)Payment arrangementsConfidence
Upper Has more disposable income and a desire to compete with friends/colleagues/peers to demonstrate wealth Upsells for prestige or additional features and/or servicesLong-term benefitsStatus
Home Owner/ Renter Home Owner Creating a permanent space, products for the home; less likely to move often FamilyStabilitySpending time at home/entertaining
Renter Creating a personalized space without permanent changes; more likely to move more frequently FreedomFlexibility
Marital Status Single Divorced, widowed, never married with or without children IndependenceSpontaneity
Married Spend time with other married people and are heavily influenced by one another DependabilitySecure future
Children/
No Children
Children Less free time, buying decisions are often influenced by children and are defined by the “pride of parenthood” Educational,Family-orientated and multi-purpose, time-saving products
No Children Spend time on self-exploration and improvement; focused on career; have more disposable income Aesthetically pleasing productsLong term value (investment) products

 

With these segments in mind, begin to investigate ways that you can stack the definitions and values to create a more defined segment to engage in your marketing efforts. If you take a few minutes to run through this you are one step closer to creating a fully-defined buyer persona! You’ll also see your advertising dollar go much further and your customer relationships grow as a result.

11 Outside the Box Uses for Facebook Ads That Will Blow Your Mind

I’m about to reveal to you 11 tactics for your facebook ad campaigns that will help you drive more sales, stand head and shoulders above your competition, and improve every other facet of your marketing campaign. But first…

Facebook ads have been receiving tremendous praise the last few years. Sure there are some skeptics and “conspiracy theory” videos making the rounds, but if you know what you’re doing you’ll see through the hype of those bogus articles. If you’ve fallen prey to those videos and given up on facebook ads I hope I can sway you to come back and play with the rest of us that are crushing it with their ad platform.

Facebook makes billions with their ad platform so they must be doing something right, right? You’re correct. Their ability to target is unparalleled online and it’s amazing. BUT the problem arrises when your targeting is off, or when you don’t have a clear and concise KPI (Key Performance Indicator.)

Some KPIs might be to:

– get more Likes on your fan page
– increase brand awareness
– drive people into your website and make a sale
– get people to download your app
– etc.

and those are good KPIs. But they are very much “inside the box” thinking. In the below infographic you’re about to twist your brain around the other amazing ways you can put facebook ads to work for you. Get started now and you’ll be light-years ahead of your competition.

If you have any questions or if you have any other cool “outside the box” tactics for using facebook ads, let me know in the comments section below.

Oh, and if you like the infographic feel free to share it on your blog by grabbing the embed code below.

Let’s jump into it, shall we?

11-Facebook-Ideas-Graphic

Download this infographic.

Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!

Does Your Content Have a GOAL?

Target
In the wake of the “Content is King” revolution, too many businesses have fallen into the trap of creating content whose only purpose is to be content. This digital clutter does not develop thought leadership status, establish authority or build a community. Instead, it only serves to dilute your brand and your product. After all, if your content fails to provide value, what hope is there for your product? This is true for all types of content, not just blog posts. Podcasts, videos and social media posts must be created with a specific GOAL in mind.

Evaluate your content before you publish using the GOAL method.

1. Is Your Content Great?

Great content enters the conversation in the marketplace and takes a stance. It is based on real interactions and addresses specific events, ideas and concerns. It is not watered-down and neutral. Instead, it clearly takes a position, defends it and in doing so, begins to build a relationship with the reader/viewer/listener.

Great content is not 100% focused on your product.

2. Is Your Content Original?

If you’re creating Great content, originality is a by-product. Even if your opinion mirrors that of another content producer, be sure to express your ideas using your own words. The main ideas of your content must be unique. Supplement with quotes from famous and relevant experts to support your claims and grab attention as long as those quotes don’t make up the majority of your message.
3. Does Your Content Activate?

Before you write or record the first word, decide precisely what action you want the consumer to take. What is your Call to Action (CTA)? Do you want him/her to download a report? Call for more information? Come into the store? Join an email list?

With a clear action in mind, create content that naturally leads the consumer in that direction. Strong CTAs are not pushy – they are strategically placed within well-developed content to drive the readers/viewers/listeners in a specific direction.

It should also be noted that a very reasonable CTA would be to have the consumer interact with your content. You don’t always have to have them “buy something.” It’s perfectly fine to have them: “like” it, share it, comment on it, or desire the next installment.
4. Does Your Content Have Legs?

Content that has legs reaches past its original medium. It touches a larger audience through Likes, Shares, Comments, and Links; verifiable proof that your audience is interacting with the content. This sort of interaction lasts longer than a few days and allows you to see how your message travels through the community.

GOAL-based content educates, informs and entertains. It ensures that your community associates your brand and your voice with quality and value and leads them to take action.

The easiest way for you to start creating GOAL-oriented content is to survey your list of prospects/customers on what they are interested in or what their questions are. This will likely give you a dozens of ideas on what you can write about that directly relates to your customers.

If you’re looking to run a survey to your list I suggest you set up an account with Survey Monkey at Surveymonkey.com their free account will allow you to ask up to 10 questions and receive up to 100 responses. So what are you waiting for? Go set up your first survey and start creating content with a GOAL today.