Tag Archive | "Internet"

Digital Marketing News: The Visual Internet, Influencer Marketing Trends, Sneaky Ads

How to Keep Up With the Rise of the Visual Internet [Infographic]
Online media is increasingly visual — from personal photos to branded motion graphics, gif and videos. How can you keep up with the rising need for visual content? This infographic shares tips to help you stay on top of the trend and keep your viewers engaged. MarketingProfs

10 Million People Used Facebook Live on New Year’s Eve
It probably won’t come as a shock that, for most, the tradition of cozying up around an antennaed TV to watch the ball drop on NYE is behind us. Because in front of us — right in front of our faces — is Facebook Live. Ringing in 2018, Facebook Live topped their activity from the previous year’s NYE festivities, with people sharing 47% more live videos than last year.  Facebook Media

Google’s Rich Results Tool Allows for Testing of Structured Data
Google has a way of defining things (“Conversions” for instance) and now, they’ve defined Rich Results. “Rich Results” has been coined as a phrase to refer to rich snippets, rich cards and other “rich” additions to a website’s content. And Google’s new tool will test for all types of structured data that can be shown as rich results, pulling from sources including JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa. The tool currently works for recipes, jobs, movies and courses, and Google plans to expand to more data types. Search Engine Journal

Top Influencer Marketing Trends & Challenges of 2018
Of the influencer marketers surveyed by Linqia, 76% predict that their top challenge in 2018 will be determining the ROI of their influencer marketing programs. In addition, 52% of those same influencer marketers plan to adopt the trend of running influencer marketing programs that leverage multiple types of influencers, and 44% will use influencer content to improve the performance of other channels. MarketingProfs

What Millennials Are Killing Now, And 24 Other Insights We Can Glean by Analyzing Tweets
6,000 tweets are posted every second, and anybody who’s stayed up past bedtime scrolling through the Twitterverse can attest that, yes, it can all add up to a LOT of noise. But each tweet is also a piece of data. Brandwatch has analyzed billions of those tweets, which they refer to as “live human thought,” and answered some of our most burning questions: Who was the most talked about character in Game of Thrones Season 7? Does Starbucks spell my name wrong on purpose? Brandwatch

2018 Will Be the Year Chatbot Conversations Get Real
AT&T recently revealed plans to roll out a “mobile 5G” network in a dozen markets by the close of 2018. The company indicated that the network would bring 5G service to everything from mobile and VR to car AI and home TV. Not to be left out, Verizon, Sprint and T-mobile are all working towards 5G as well — all with nuanced approaches.  VentureBeat

On Facebook, Viral Reach for Branded-Content Ads Eclipses Standard Ads
New research from Shareablee shows that branded-content ads get twice as many organic or earned impressions as they do paid impressions on Facebook. Organic impressions for the average Facebook ad make up less that 10% of impressions from paid promotion. Creating shareable content that performs well organically — with a little help from paid promotion  is proving to be a winning combination. MarketingLand

One In Ten Publishers Say They’re Not Labeling Native Advertising
Two new studies from the Native Advertising Institute show that about 10% of news and magazine publishers aren’t properly labeling their online native advertising. These publishers largely cited “meeting budget demands” as their reason for doing so, even though 25% say this practice is one of the biggest threats they see to native advertising. MediaPost

Snapchat May Force Users To Watch Three Seconds Of Ads Before Skipping
To help increase their perceived value in the market, Snapchat is considering making their ads skippable only after the first three minutes. Currently, Snapchat users skip ads within the first second of viewing, where the industry standard for a successful ad lies around the two second mark. AdAge

Six Surprising Facts About the Way We Spend Our Time with Media
Believe it or not, in a world where we’re continually surrounded by media, some stats about its use can still surprise us. For example, U.S. adults spend more time listening to on-air radio than they do on social networks. eMarketer

2018 Will Be A Pivotal Year For Facebook’s Video Ambitions
Mark Zuckerberg has recently proclaimed that he sees video as a “megatrend.” True to form, this trend has caused Facebook to act by placing video first across the Facebook group of apps. The platform has upped their investment in video already, but it plans to invest an additional billion dollars in 2018. Digiday

On the Lighter Side:

The Real Story Behind Steak-umm’s Delightfully Weird Twitter Account – AdWeek

Sneaky Ads: In China, the Characters From the Show Appear in the Commercials, Too – Ad Age

TopRank Marketing In The News:

TopRank Marketing Blog – 109 Content Marketing Blogs to Watch in 2018 (Broken Down By Category) – SnapApp

Caitlin Burgess - The Trendiest Marketing Content of 2017 – LinkedIn

Lee Odden – The Most Impactful Tips from the Biggest Marketing Minds of 2017 – LeadMD

Amy Higgins – A Year of Great Content in Review: 19 Best Pieces by Prowly Magazine Contributors in 2017 – Prowly

Lee Odden – Lee Odden to Keynote Pubcon Florida 2018 – PubCon

What was the top digital marketing news story for you this week?

We’ll be back next week with more digital marketing news! Have something to share in the meantime? Tweet us @toprank or drop me a line @Tiffani_Allen.

The post Digital Marketing News: The Visual Internet, Influencer Marketing Trends, Sneaky Ads appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

More Articles

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

The Internet Is Not Your ATM

Maybe you have hopes and dreams about making a living online. Maybe you’ve envisioned a beautiful future where you work four hours a week, you never trade time for money, you sail through a life of ease because you’ve learned to “work smart” and figured out “one weird trick.” The internet doesn’t care. The internet
Read More…

The post The Internet Is Not Your ATM appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

More Articles

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Majestic to print the Internet in 3D in outer space

Majestic helps SEOs reach for the stars, literally by aiming to 3D print the Internet in space.

The post Majestic to print the Internet in 3D in outer space appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

More Articles

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Introducing Rainmaker: The Complete Solution for Content Marketers and Internet Entrepreneurs

Four years ago this month, Copyblogger Media was born.

Up until that point, I had launched several businesses off of Copyblogger, with several smart partners. Each of those individual businesses were killing it and had me involved, but those smart individuals weren’t collaborating with each other … because why would they?

The five of us convened in a Denver conference room – the first time the group had ever met in person. In just three hours, we worked through the seemingly impossible task of merging five companies into one new entity, with everyone’s equity interest and responsibilities in place.

How was that even possible? In short: shared vision.

We all agreed to come together to build something bigger than we could build separately. And just like that, we were a new venture of 15 people who had to quickly learn to work together if we were going to accomplish our goals.

Today – as a growing group of 42 – we’re revealing the result of our combined efforts. While four years may seem like forever in Internet time, it seems to have all worked out perfectly.

During those four years, we built the parts of our ultimate vision while we grew revenue. Because we’ve never taken venture capital, we had to operate like a real company – one that provides value to paying customers while patiently executing on a larger goal.

  • First we worked to make StudioPress the go-to source for WordPress design.
  • Then we launched a premium WordPress hosting division called Synthesis to make sure we had the infrastructure aspect down cold.
  • Scribe has rapidly evolved from simple SEO copywriting software into the patent-pending suite of audience optimization tools it is today.
  • We created sophisticated “no-code” development tools that power our own membership areas, lead generation, and digital sales engines.
  • And then we did the hardest thing – created a website deployment system that allowed for amazing ease-of-use combined with maximum security and performance.

Everything we built was for our own use first, with WordPress at the core. We are, after all, doing the same work to build our business that our audience and customer base does – so it makes sense that we built tools good enough for our own use.

Since inception, our goal as a company was to take those parts and fuse them into a complete solution for content marketers and online entrepreneurs.

A solution that our own editorial team of poets and misfits could use to build anything they want … without worrying about technology.

Not because we needed something to sell. Instead, a solution we’ve used ourselves to build a $ 10 million-a-year company out of a simple blog, and by practicing what we preach.

Today, we’d like to invite you to check it out, free of charge.

Okay, great. So what’s the Rainmaker Platform anyway?

Great question. Let me give you the bullet points first.

With Rainmaker, you can:

  • Create powerful content-driven websites on your own domains.
  • Build membership sites and online training courses.
  • Sell digital products like software, ebooks, and more.
  • Perform sophisticated online lead generation.
  • Optimize your content for search engines and social networks.
  • Absorb cutting-edge tactics and strategy with included training.
  • Avoid a patchwork of plugins, themes, and complicated code.
  • Forget about upgrades, maintenance, security, and hosting headaches.
  • Take your content to WordPress at any time you choose.

It’s been battle-tested by over 1,000 tough customers over the last five months, and now it’s ready for you to test drive – at absolutely no charge.

What can I build with Rainmaker?

Another great question. Let me give you some concrete examples of sites you can build.

Copyblogger.com alone gets over 500,000 unique visitors a month without advertising. It’s essentially a static home page, a blog, a collection of landing pages, and a combination free/paid membership area, which includes a forum in addition to all sorts of scheduled and archived content.

You can build a site just like Copyblogger with Rainmaker.

Or, let’s look at StudioPress, which sells hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars in digital products every month. It’s essentially a collection of sales pages with a blog, a checkout process, and a protected area for delivery of the purchased products.

You can build a site just like StudioPress with Rainmaker.

Want to build an online training course, powered initially by a podcast, like at New Rainmaker? Whether for lead generation or as the product itself?

You guessed it … New Rainmaker is built on Rainmaker.

And if you want a custom design like any of those sites, you can do that as well on Rainmaker. But the $ 10,000 to $ 30,000 (or more) in development work some would charge you just to build the bones of the site is off the table, which is nice.

Plus, a full suite of podcasting features. Research, outreach, and optimization tools. 27 cutting-edge, future-proof HTML5 responsive designs. And much more.

In fact, Rainmaker does way more than I’ve mentioned here. But you need to experience that for yourself with the free 30-day trial.

So what’s the deal?

You’re on absolute fire with these questions.

The essence of the deal is simple – try Rainmaker for 30 days at no charge and see if it works for you. Cancel with the click of a big, easy-to-find button if you decide to move on.

But the deal is actually much sweeter than that.

As I mentioned, for the last five months we’ve been running a pilot program for Rainmaker. We offered the best deal you’ll ever see in exchange for feedback from real, paying customers.

For the next two weeks, we’re offering you the same special deal that the people in our Pilot Program got. Rainmaker is already at version 2.0 thanks to the feedback from these brave souls, which means you get the same incredible deal, but with a vastly improved initial experience. And even that will continue to get better.

What do you get, specifically?

  • All current Rainmaker features
  • Monthly billing option
  • Professional and prompt support
  • Customer-only affiliate program
  • Our best price, locked in for the life of your account

Plus, at no extra charge as they are released:

  • Additional reporting and analytics
  • Additional themes and landing pages
  • Social media posting and scheduling
  • Improved learning management system
  • Integrated RSS reader
  • Curation-to-content tools
  • Marketing automation

One catch – you’ve got to start your free trial before October 3rd to get this deal. After that, the advanced features will become part of a more expensive plan, and other benefits such as the length of the trial and the monthly billing option will go away.

I’ll write more about these upcoming features in the next week or so, because they’re really exciting. But go ahead and check out everything Rainmaker does right now at no charge.

About the author

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, and uncompromising evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on .

The post Introducing Rainmaker: The Complete Solution for Content Marketers and Internet Entrepreneurs appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

An Internet Marketing Education in 16 Ebooks and 20 Emails. No Charge.

image of Albert Einstein

Want to discover the smartest ways to mix social media, content marketing, and SEO for lead generation?

Want to convert those leads to customers and clients?

We’ve got you covered with Internet Marketing for Smart People. And there’s absolutely no charge.

These 16 high-impact ebooks plus our 20-installment email course deliver the techniques and strategies you need to know to become a much smarter marketer online.

Find out more and sign up (free) right here.

About the author

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, and uncompromising evangelist for New Rainmaker. Get more from Brian on .

The post An Internet Marketing Education in 16 Ebooks and 20 Emails. No Charge. appeared first on Copyblogger.

Related Stories

Copyblogger

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Take the SEO Expert Quiz and Rule the Internet

Posted by Cyrus-Shepard

You are master of the keyword.

You create 1,000 links with a single tweet. You rank for the word “rank.” Google engineers ask for your approval before updating their algorithm.

You, my friend, are an SEO expert.

Ready for fun? Here at Moz we gathered our wits (it didn’t take very long) and created a new quiz to test our SEO knowledge.

Based on a quiz that our co-founder Rand first published back in 2005, at the dawn of electronics and lighter-than-air travel, we now present to you the new and improved
SEO Expert Quiz.

The quiz contains
50 questions and takes about 15 minutes to complete. The questions are randomized so no two people will get the exact same quiz with the same order of questions.

Here’s what to expect.

1. The quiz is hard! 

Like, astronaut training hard. Very few people score 100%. The breakdown of performance looks like this:

  • 0-40% SEO Newbie: You rank on page 7, but are aiming to move up.
  • 41-60% SEO Novice: Young, but strong in the ways of the Force, you are.
  • 61-75% SEO Pro: The traffic is pouring in!
  • 76-90% SEO Expert and Formula One race car driver
  • 91-100% Lord of the Internet, Master of the SEO Realm

2. For fun only!

The Expert Quiz isn’t meant to be a rulebook of the Internet. You may even disagree with some of the answers—and you may be right!

We work in a constantly evolving field with lots of room for interpretation at the top levels. Discussion and debate between very smart people is how we learn and grow our expertise.

The only reward for finishing in first place is supreme bragging rights. If you win your office pool, you may get free lunch for the next month. Please participate and help our knowledge grow, but don’t take it too seriously.

3. MVP: next steps

We built this out of passion for testing our SEO knowledge. If you like the quiz, we’d love to build a more robust version that saves your score, and even gives you a badge to display on your user profile. Let us know what you think.

Ready to get started?

Take the SEO Expert Quiz

Don’t forget to show off your score when you finish. Let us know in the comments below! What surprised you, which question did you totally ace, and what should we ask next time?

Rock on, SEO Sensei.


Big thanks to Devin, Derric, Josh, Carin, Shelly and Rand for the hard work putting this together.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

How To Win In Local Internet Marketing: The Practical Guide For Small Businesses And Local Marketers

Once a training ground for novice SEOs, local search has evolved into a complex, unpredictable  ecosystem dominated by Google. Corporations and mom-and-pops shops alike are fighting for their place under the Sun. It’s everybody’s job to make best out of local Internet marketing because its importance will continue to grow.

This guide is geared towards helping you deepen your understanding of the local search ecosystem, as well as local Internet marketing in general.

I hope that, after you finish reading this guide, you will be able to make sense of local Internet marketing, use it to grow your business or help your clients do the same.

Objectives, Goals & Measurements Are Crucial

Websites exist to accomplish objectives. Regardless of company size, business models and market, your website needs to bring you closer to accomplishing one or more business objectives. These could be:

  1. Customer Acquisition
  2. Lead Generation
  3. Branding
  4. Lowering sales resistance
  5. etc.

Although not exciting, this is a crucial step in building a local Internet strategy. It will determine the way you set your goals, largely shape the functionality of your website, guide you in deciding what your budget should be and so on.

Getting Specific With Measurement

Objectives are too broad to work with. They exist on a higher level and are something company executives/leadership need to set.

This is why we need specific goals, KPIs and targets. Without getting into too many details, goals could be defined as specific strategies geared towards accomplishing an objective.

For example, if your objective is to “grow your law firm,” a good goal derived from that would be to “generate client inquiries”. Another one would be to use the website to get client referrals.

When you have all this defined, you need to set KPIs. They are simply metrics that help you understand how are you doing against your objectives.  For this imaginary law firm, a good KPI would be the number of potential client leads. After you set targets for your KPIs, you have completed your measurement framework. To learn more about measurement models, you can read this post by Avinash Kaushik.
These will be the numbers that you or your client should care about on a day to day basis.

Lifetime Customer Value And Cost Of Customer Acquisition

Regardless of size, every local business needs to know what is their average lifetime customer value and the cost of customer acquisition.

You need to know these numbers so you can set your marketing budget and be aware if you are on the path of going out of business despite acquiring lots of customers.

Lifetime customer value (LTV) is revenue you expect from a single customer during the lifetime of your business. If you are having trouble calculating this number for your or client’s business, use this neat calculator made by Harvard Business School.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is the amount of money you spent to acquire a single customer. The formula is simple. Divide the sum of total costs of sales, marketing, your overhead, with the number of customers you acquired in any given period.

LTV & CAC are the magic numbers.

You can use them to sell Internet marketing services, as well as to demonstrate the value of investing heavily in Internet marketing.

Understanding and using these metrics will put you and your clients ahead of most competitors.

Stop – It’s Budget Time

Now when you have your business objectives, customer acquisition costs and other KPIs defined, and their targets set, it’s time to talk budgets. Budgets will determine what kind of local Internet marketing campaign you can run and how far it can essentially go.

Most companies don’t have a separate Internet marketing budget. It’s usually just a part of their marketing budget which can be anywhere from 2% to 20% of sales depending on a lot of factors including, but not limited to:

  1. Business objectives
  2. Company size
  3. Profit margins
  4. Industry
  5. etc.

What does this mean to you?

If you are selling services, you will need to have as much of this data as possible.

Planning And Executing Your Campaign

Now when you know what business objectives your local Internet marketing campaign has to accomplish, your targets, and your budget – you can start developing a campaign. It’s easiest to think of this process if we break our campaign planning into small, but meaningful phases:

  1. laying the groundwork,
  2. building a website,
  3. taking care of your data in the local search ecosystem,
  4. citation building,
  5. creating a great website,
  6. building links,
  7. setting up a review management system,
  8. expanding on non-organic search channels
  9. and taking care of web analytics.

Laying The Groundwork


Local search is about data. It’s about aggregation and distribution of data across different platforms and technologies. It’s also about accuracy and consistency.

This is the reason why you need to start with a NAP audit.

NAP stands for name, address and phone number. It’s the anchor business data and should remain accurate, consistent and up to date everywhere. In order to make it consistent, you first need to identify inaccurate data.

This is easier than it sounds.

You can use Yext.com or Getlisted.org to easily and quickly check your data accuracy and consistency in the local search eco system.

Start With Data Aggregators

Data aggregators or compilers are companies that build and maintain large databases of business data. In the US, the ones you should keep an eye on are Neustar/Localeze , Infogroup (former InfoUSA) and Axciom.

Why are data aggregators important?
They are upstream data providers. This means that they provide baseline and sometimes enhanced data to search engines (including Google), local and industry directories. If your data is wrong in one of their databases, it will be wrong all over the place.

Usually, your business data goes bad for one or more of these reasons:

  1. You changed your phone number;
  2. You moved to another location;
  3. Used lots of tracking numbers
  4. Made lots of IYP advertising deals where you wanted to target multiple towns/cities
  5.  etc.

If you or your client have a data inconsistency problem, the fix will start with the aggregators:

Before you embark on a data correction campaign, have in mind that data aggregators take their data seriously. You will need to have access to the phone number on the listing you are trying to claim and verify, an email on the domain of the site associated with the business, and sometimes even scans of official documents.

Remember – after you fix your data inaccuracies with the aggregators, it’s still a smart idea to claim and verify listings in major IYPs as data moves slowly from upstream data providers to
numerous local search platforms your business is listed in.

Building Citations Is Important

Simply put, citations are mentions of your business’s name, address and phone number (full citation) or name and phone or address (partial citation).

Just like links in “general” organic search, citations are used to determine the relative importance or prominence of your business listing. If Google notices an abundance of consistent citations, it makes them think that your business is legitimate and important and you get rewarded with higher search visibility.

The more citations your business has, the more important it will be in Google’s eyes. Oh, there is also a little matter of citation quality as not all citations are created equal. There are also different types of citations besides full and partial.

Depending on the source, citations can come from:

  1. your website;
  2. IYPs like YellowPages.com;
  3. local business directories like Maine.com;
  4. industry websites like ThomasNet.com;
  5. event websites like Events.com;
  6. etc.

We could group citations by how structured they are. This means that a citation on YellowBook.com is structured, but a mention on your uncle’s blog is not. Google prefers the first type. The bulk of your citation building will be covered by simply making sure that your data in major data aggregators is accurate and up-to-date. However, there’s more to citations than that.

What Makes Citations Strong?

Conventional wisdom tells us that citation strength depends mostly on the algorithmic trust that Google has in the source of the your citation. For example, if you are a manufacturer of industrial coatings, a mention on ThomasNet.com would help you significantly more than a mention on a blog from some guy that has visited your facility once.

You also want your citations to be structured, relevant and to have a link to your website for maximum benefit.

How To Build Citations?

You already started by claiming and verifying your listings with major data aggregators. Since you are very serious about local search, you will make sure to claim and verify listings with major IYPs, too.

Start with the most important ones:

  1. Yellowpages.com;
  2. Yelp.com;
  3. local.yahoo.com;
  4. SuperPages.com;
  5. Citysearch.com;
  6. Insiderpages.com;
  7. Manta.com;
  8. Yellowbook.com;
  9. Yellowbot.com;
  10. Local.com;
  11. dexknows.com;
  12. MerchantCircle.com;
  13. Hotfrog.com;
  14. Mojopages.com;
  15. Foursquare.com;
  16. etc.

You shouldn’t forget business and industry associations such as bbb.org or your local chamber of commerce. Here’s where you can find your local chamber of commerce.

Industry Directories Are An Excellent Source Of Citations

Industry directories such as Avvo.com for lawyers or ThomasNet.com for manufacturers are not just an excelent source of citations, but are great for your organic search visibility in the Penguin Apocalipse.

How do you find those ?

You can use a couple of tools:

Want even more citations?

Then pay attention to daily deal and event sites. Don’t forget charity websites either. If you are one of those people that are obsessed with how everything about citations works, I recommend this (the one and only) book/guide about citations by Nyagoslav Zhekov.

Make Your Website Great

While it’s possible to achieve some success using just Google Places and other platforms to market a local business, it’s not possible to capture all the Web has to offer.

Your website is the only web property you will fully control. You have the freedom to track and measure anything you want, and the freedom to use your website to accomplish any business objective.

Marry Keyword And Market Research

There’s nothing more tragic nor costly than targeting the wrong keywords and trying to appeal to demographics that don’t need your services/products.

To run a successful local Internet marketing campaign, you cannot just rely on quantitative data (keywords), you need to conduct qualitative market research. This is very important as it will reduce your risks, as well as acquisition costs if done right.

Let’s start with keyword research.

Getting local keyword data has always been a challenge. Google’s recent decision to withhold organic keyword data hasn’t made it any easier. However, Google itself has provided us with tools to get relatively reliable keyword data for any local search campaign.

Coupled with data from SEOBook Keyword Tool, Ubersuggest, and Bing’s Keyword Tool, you will have plenty of data to work with.

Of course, you shouldn’t forsake the market research of the equation.

You and/or your client can survey their customers to discover how exactly they describe your business, your services/products or your geographic area. For example, you’ll learn if there are any geographical nuances that you should be aware of, such as:

  1. DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth)
  2. PDX (Portland)
  3. OBX (Outer Banks)

Use this data against keyword research tools. If you’re running AdWords, you can get an accurate idea of search volumes. To do that, click the Campaign tab, followed by the Keywords tab, then Details and then Search Terms. This data can be downloaded. The video below shows how you can get accurate search volume data if running AdWords.

Keep in mind that the quality of data using this method depends on your use of keyword matching options. This practically means that if you want to get exact match search volumes for a certain number of keywords, you have to make sure to have those keywords set as exact match.

If you’re not running AdWords, Google gives you a chance to get a good representation of your local search market using the Keyword Planning Tool as described in this post.

Content And Site Architecture

Largely, your content will depend on your business objectives, brand and the results of your keyword research. The time of local brochure type sites has long passed, at least for businesses that are serious about local Internet marketing.

Local websites are no different from corporate websites when it comes to technical aspects of SEO. Performance and crawlability are very important, as well as proper optimization of titles, headings, body text etc.

However, unlike corporate websites, local sites will have more benefit from:

  1. “localization” of testimonials – it’s not only important to get testimonials, but it’s crucial to make sure that your visitors know where those testimonials came from.
  2. “localization” of galleries, as well as “before and after” photos – similar to testimonials, you can leverage social proof the most if your website visitors can see how your services/products helped their neighbours.
  3. location pages – pages about a specific city/town where you or your client have an office or service area. Before you go on a rampage creating hundreds of these pages, don’t forget that they need to add value to the users, and not just be copy/pasted from Wikipedia. The way to add value is to make them completely unique and useful to your visitors. For example, location pages can show the specific directions to one of your offices or store-fronts. You don’t have the “big brand luxury”  of ranking local pages that have virtually all of their content behind a paid wall. 

  1. local blogging – use your blog to connect with local news organizations, charities and industry associations, as well as local bloggers. In addition, blog about your industry; this way, you will get the best of both worlds.
  2. adopting structured data – using schema markup, you can increase click-through rates from the SERPs and get a few other SEO benefits. You can use the Schema Creator to save time.
  3. adopting “mobile” – everyone knows that local search is increasingly mobile. Mobile websites are not a luxury but a necessity Luckily for you or your clients you don’t have to invest a lot of resources in developing a mobile site. You can use tools such as dudamobile.com or bmobilized.com to create a fully functional mobile website in hours.

Link Building For Brick And Mortar Businesses

Links are still important. They are still a foundation of high organic search visibility. They still demand your resources.

But a lot has changed – since Penguin. Building links has become a delicate endeavor even for local websites. But there is a way to triumph, all you need to do is change how you view local link building.

See link building as marketing campaigns that have links as a by-product.

What does that mean? It means that your are promoting your business as if Google doesn’t exist. Link and citation building overlap to a certain extent. They do so in a way that makes good links great citations, especially if they’re structured.

Join Business Associations

BBB.org has an enormus amount of algorithmic trust. It’s also an excellent citation. As a bonus – displaying the BBB badge prominently on your website you will likely receive a boost in conversion rates. Similar is true with your local chamber of commerce. Would you join those if Google was not around?

You probably would.

Join Industry Associations

Every industry has associations you or your client can join. You will get similar benefits to ones one can expect from BBB. However, being a member of  trade associations will add an additional layer of value to your business in form of education or certifications.

Charity work

Every business should give back.  Sometimes you will get a link sometimes you will not but you will always benefit from this type of community involvement.

Industry websites

There are plenty of industry websites and and directories in  almost every industry. Sometimes these websites can refer significant traffic to you but they almost always make for a good link and a solid citation.

Organize Events

Events are good for business. If you organize them you should make sure that it’s reflected on the web. There are plenty of websites you can submit your event to. Google is not likely  to start considering organizing offline events spam any time soon.

Find Local Directories

Every state has a few good ones. It’ likely that your town has an  online business directory you can join. These types of links can make good citations too. They are usually easy to acquire.

Local Blogs

It pays to a friend of your “local blogosphere”.  Try to include local bloggers in your community involvement, offer to contribute content or offer giveaways.

Truly Integrate Link Building Into Your Marketing Operations

Whenever possible, make sure your vendors link to you:

  1. If you’re offering discounts to any organization, make sure it’s reflected on their website.
  2. If you’re attending an industry show or an event, give a testimonial and get a link.
  3. If you get press, remind a report to link to your website.

Review Management

In local search, customer reviews are bigger than life. Consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations while majority (52%) says that positive online reviews make them more likely to choose a local business. Influence reviews have on your local business go well beyond social proof. Good reviews can boost your local search visibility, while bad reviews can destroy your business.

Reviews – The Big Picture

Every organization that strives to get better at what it does should use consumer reviews to improve its business operations. Customer reviews should be treated as one of the most valuable pieces of qualitative data. You should be surveying your customers daily and use their feedback to improve your services, products, customer service etc..

This holds true for corporations, as well as mom and pops shops. It’s not complicated to ask your customers about specific aspects of their experience with your business and record their answers. It’s not expensive, either.

The benefits of taking reviews seriously are enormous:

  1. More search visibility;
  2. Less potential for online reputation management issues;
  3. Increased Credibility;

 What can you do to win at review management?

Since you need to get high rating positive reviews on different websites in a way that doesn’t break any guidelines and keeps you out of jail, your best bet would be to use reviews as a customer service survey tools.

This means that you should seek customer feedback systematically in order to improve your or your client’s business. You can ask your most ecstatic customers to share their experiences with your services/products on major local search platforms. Remember that you cannot provide any type of incentive for this behavior.

To save time, you can use a tool such as GetfiveStarts.com. This tool will do everything described above.

Think Beyond Organic Search

Internet marketers tend to be blindly focused on organic search. It’s understandable – organic traffic is relatively cheap (in most markets) and seemingly unlimited.

It’s also a mistake.

Organic search channel is getting increasingly more unstable. And with that, more expensive to acquire. Since you’re aware of your customer acquisition cost and have a measurement framework, it’s easy to know how affordable traffic from other sources is for your business.

Paid Search Traffic

Paid search advertising works, especially if you did a good job gearing your site for conversion. You shouldn’t leave your PPC budget to Google, though. Bing/Yahoo! are a more affordable source of paid traffic with similar conversion rates.

If you’re planning to run a local paid campaign, don’t forget to:

  1. target geographically;
  2. use negative keywords and
  3. be fanatical about acquisition cost.

You can also read this post by PPC Hero on what you should keep in mind when running local search advertising campaigns. You can also check out this post on Search Engine Land about managing and measuring local PPC campaigns.

Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs) Sites

Sites like YellowPages.com or SuperPages.com don’t have the traffic Google or even Bing get, but they do have a significant amount of traffic. They also have traffic that’s at the very end of the buying cycle. This is the reason one should be serious about IYPs.

What does that mean?

It means that you should have most of the big IYP listings claimed, verified and optimized to the best of your ability. So use every element of your listing to sell your products/services. In a lot of markets, it’s wise to explore advertising opportunities, as well.

If you want to take an extra step, or simply lack the time, you can sign up with a service such as Yext.com and control the major IYP listings from a single dashboard.

Keep in mind, though, that Yext.com doesn’t come for free, and you will have to pay a few hundreds dollars for a year of service.

Another avenue to take would be to outsource this process. In this scenario, you will most likely pay a one-time fee for verification and optimization of a predetermined number of listings. However, if you would like to change some of your business information somewhere down the road (such as name and phone number), you will have to go through this process from the beginning.

Social Media

These days, social media means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Local businesses should use social media platforms to connect with customers that love them. Empowering these customers and giving them an incentive to recommend you to their family and friends.

You should automate as much of your social media efforts as possible. You can use tools like HooteSuite or SocialOomph.

Always try to add value in your interactions and never spam your follower base.

Classified Sites

It’s amazing how many businesses miss to build their presence on classified sites like Craigslist.org. Even though Craigslist audience the type of audience that is always on the lookout for a great deal, the buying intent is very strong.

If you’d like to get the most out of Craigslist and other classified sites, remember to make your ads count. You need:

  1. persuasive copy;
  2. targeted ads;
  3. special deals;
  4. etc.

Other sources of non-search traffic you should explore are local newspaper advertising, ads on big industry websites, local blogs and others.

Tracking And Web Analytics

If there’s only one thing local businesses should care about, it’s tracking. As we established in the beginning of this guide, everyone needs to know how much they can afford to spend in order to acquire a customer.

Proper tracking ensures that you don’t make a mistake of spending too much on customer acquisition or spending anything on acquiring a wrong type of customer.

You can use a number of free or low cost web analytics solutions, including Clicky, KissMetrics, Woopra and Google Analytics.

If you’re like most people and don’t care if Google has access to your data, you can use Google Analytics. Take advantage of custom reporting and advanced segmentation.

In order to make the most out the traffic you get, and to get more of the traffic that is right for your business, you should create custom reports. They will enable you to know how you’re doing against your targets.

To create a custom report, click the “Customization” tab in Analytics and then click the “New Custom Report” tab.

Pick your metrics first (I recommend a Unique Visitors and Conversion Rates and couple that with the geographic dimension)

Tracking Offline Conversions

This step is crucial for local businesses that want to measure performance. Fortunately, this is not as complicated as it sounds. Depending on the type of your campaign, you can use tracking phone numbers, web-only discount codes as well as campaign-specific URLs.

Avinash Kaushik has written extensively on best ways to track offline conversions. I highly recommend this post.

Tying It All Together

Focus on improving the quality of products you sell and/or services you provide. Remember that every Internet marketing campaign works better if you’re able to provide a remarkable experience for your customers.

Build your brand and make your customers fall in love with your business. That would make every aspect of your marketing, especially Internet marketing, work better.


Vedran Tomic is a member of SEOBook and founder of Local Ants LLC, a local internet marketing agency.

Categories: 

SEO Book

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

From Zero to a Million: 20 Lessons for Starting an Internet Marketing Agency

Posted by NiftyMarketing

Mike’s disclaimer: This is not a post about how awesome I am, or how there is only one way to build an internet marketing agency. It’s a combination of stories and thoughts about what I have gone through building Nifty Marketing.

When I started in 2009 there was very little information online about starting, running, or growing an Internet Marketing Agency. The ones that did exist were from superstars that charged a billion dollars an hour. I am not a superstar. My company started in Burley, Idaho. Here’s a rap about my town I wrote.

My hope with this post is that a few of you who are out there hustling will benefit from doing some of the things that I did, and most of the things that I didn’t.

Start smart

I was in my final semester at BYU-Idaho and had accepted a job to be the chief marketing officer of Rove Pest Control after spending my summers during college as a door-to-door salesman for them. I thought my future was set. But, due to some changes at Rove I knew that I was going to have to have to find a different career. My wife was pregnant, we had just started building a house in Burley, and I had a full load of credits. My two favorite classes were a basic HTML class (that used Don’t Make Me Think as the textbook) and a web business class for which we had to start an online business and make/lose money. Naturally, as any true Idahoan would do, I started HugeIdahoPotato.com and sold potatoes bigger than heads to people across the country. The website sucks; I’m pretty sure I got it penalized within a year of creating it. But I fell in love with internet marketing in the process of building that site, and I keep it up as a remembrance of where I started.

Lesson 1: Start with a reason that’s more than money

After making around $ 100 on the site I knew that I had found my career choice. I also knew that I was going to live in Burley, Idaho, and that I wanted to bring non-agricultural jobs to the town. I can’t tell you how sad it is for many of my friends who grew up in a town they knew they couldn’t move back to if they wanted to make a decent living. I wanted to change that. I still do. It’s one of the main driving points for me. Of course you need to make money, but if that is the only thing you are looking for as a business owner then eventually you will fail. You will make decisions that aren’t for your clients, or for your staff, or for the community; you will get short-term gains and create a long term failure.

Lesson 2: Start by interning/working at an agency

This is possibly my biggest regret of my career. I started Nifty Marketing with literally no experience at all. I had no friends in the industry, I had no idea what I was doing, how SEO companies were structured, or even how to do anything beyond what I had learned in college. I dove into blogs, but at that time I didn’t know who to trust and read some really awful advice. I was not a good SEO. I was not a good PPC advertiser. I could have saved myself at least two years if I had worked for someone who could have pointed me in the right direction first.

Lesson 3: Focus on something specific

Business wasn’t going very well. I had a few clients, and I decided I needed some help, so I signed up for SEOBook. There was a feedback forum, so I posted my super-awful website for Nifty Marketing. I didn’t even own the domain at the time. (I had TheNiftyWay.com, and it wasn’t until later—by some good grace of the heavens—that the person who owned NiftyMarketing.com let it go, and I bought it for $ 7.99 with a GoDaddy code.) When I posted my site on SEOBook, I got brutal feedback. People told me it sucked. But someone in the forum said something that changed my life forever.

He said something like:

“You offer SEO, Web Design, and PPC. That is exactly the same as 100,000s of companies around the world, who by the looks of things are better than you at it. What can you be the best at? What can you become known for?”

The comment hit me like a ton of bricks. The few clients I had at the time were really small businesses in Idaho, and I had been spending a lot of time in Google Maps. I realized that I enjoyed that aspect of marketing, and was getting clients ranked. So, I redesigned my site, changed my messaging, and decided to focus. I became a local SEO.

Lesson 4: Start with networking, not cold calls

I remember quite vividly trying to use my door-to-door sales skills to try and cold call businesses to get work. I grabbed a phone book and called people with big ads and no websites because I figured that they had budget. What I found was that I was caller #5 for that week offering the same thing as everyone else. Worst of all, everyone “knew a guy who knows a guy who could do it” for them. So, I put away the phonebook and started talking to my friends and asking if they knew people who needed websites and marketing. That’s when leads started coming in. Then, I wrote an email to David Mihm on August 7, 2009, and asked him how I could become an expert in the local search field. This was his response:

The best advice I can give you is to optimize the local listings of a bunch of clients. The more you “play” in the space, the better you’ll get at teasing out the parts of the algorithm that really matter.

Beyond that, subscribe to these blogs:

http://www.blumenthals.com/blog
http://www.localsearchnews.net
http://gesterling.wordpress.com
http://www.searchinfluence.com/blog
http://solaswebdesign.net/wordpress
http://www.smallbusinesssem.com
http://www.hyperlocalblogger.com
http://www.sixthmanmarketing.com/blog
http://www.expand2web.com/blog
http://www.devbasu.com
http://www.martijnbeijk.com
http://www.seoverflow.com/blog

I immediately dove into every one of these sites and learned everything I possibly could about local search. I took notes, and then I started testing and haven’t ever stopped.

While doing that, I realized the most valuable networking lesson I ever learned was to simply share. I started blogging, which led to guest posts on SEJ, and I attended a few small conferences, one of which was the first ever LocalU. I offered to help any way that I could. Fast forward to 2013, and I am a LocalU Faculty Member and speak at conferences year-round. It isn’t because I am special. It’s because I am passionate about the space and I am willing to share information and help as much as I can. Almost every client we have at Nifty Marketing comes as a referral from clients, friends, blog posts, webinars, and conferences. Not one client came from a cold call. I will forever be in debt to David Mihm and the rest of the local search community for teaching me such a valuable lesson.

Lesson 5: It’s good to have funding, it’s better to have partners, and it’s best to bootstrap alone

From the first year of my business until now I have had opportunities to get funding and take on partners. I have never done it. I am not saying that it’s bad to do either of these things, but if you take a close look at our industry you will see that a lot of funded companies and partnerships don’t make it.

I remember very clearly going to dinner with some guys from Blueglass in my first year and thinking, “Man, I wish I could be part of that company.” And while I respect the founders a great deal they took a massive risk and it didn’t workout. Many of them had successful businesses before then, and while the idea of a Mega Company that can make tens or hundreds of millions is alluring, the chance of you being successful and earning more on your own is better. Sure, extremely fast growth and funding means you come to market quicker. But by growing at the slow rate of 2x per year (which isn’t that slow), I have been able to continually innovate and offer better services without taking do-or-die risks.

I am very glad I bootstrapped. I own 100% of my company. I can make 100% of the decisions about its future. I don’t have to pay a silent partner a large chunk that makes cash flow an issue. I don’t have to make short-term decisions for a board that hurts the long-term vision I have. And I make enough that I stopped caring about the money around year three; slow and steady wins the prize.

I know that there are many successful companies that haven’t gone the way of solo bootstrapping. At the top of the partnership list for me is Avalaunch Media. But in order to do what they have done you have get big enough to support multiple owners and find amazing partners that can all pull in the same direction. With around 50% of marriages failing, how many partnerships in business actually work out? They are definitely not the norm, and I respect them immensely for it.

Grow smarter

Lesson 6: You are in the business of providing a service, not SEO

I remember becoming a good SEO. I also remember getting amazing results for clients and still getting complaints from them. I thought they were the problem. Then I realized I was. I thought back to the days of pest control and remember the company training techs to take their time at customers’ houses. You see, you could service a house in 15 minutes or even less if you hustled. But if you did that, customers would complain that the work was sloppy and it shouldn’t cost so much. Instead, you should take your time, get down on your hands and knees, and look around. Take notes and pace yourself. Then, customers felt like the service was worth it. They weren’t paying for the product. They could buy the product at Home Depot. They were paying for the service.

Comparing this to Internet marketing, I knew I had done a great job gaining more traffic, but the clients had no idea what was being done. They didn’t understand what they were paying for and subsequently thought that I was unnecessary. Most small businesses don’t care or understand what a title tag, meta description, an exact match, a naked URL, duplicate content, etc is. So telling them you changed/created these in a report without actually showing them physical pictures is pointless.

We started creating custom reports with tons of arrows and screenshots explaining the work that we were doing. We starting giving them a complete list of the links and citations we were building. We stopped sending over a raw list of traffic counts and started providing analysis of the traffic that websites were getting, and our clients stopped complaining that they didn’t know what we were doing. Clear communication is what the business of service is all about.

Lesson 7: Read The E-myth

I was doing everything myself. Everything. Then, I tried to have some people on oDesk help me. My wife even did some of the citation work. The only problem was all the information was in my head. I had very little of the processes and information organized, and I didn’t have time to focus on organization when I had so much client work, sales, and bookkeeping to do. That is what The E-myth is about. It talks about the difference between being a technician and being a business owner. It talks about the need to build your business like a franchise with training manuals, easy to follow processes, and the need to not burn yourself or your first few employees out.

When I read this book, I changed my business, and I have never looked back. We were able to start hiring people locally instead of having contractors on oDesk, and we centralized information and grew. While we aren’t perfect at systems and delegation, we could have never grown without improvement in those areas. It’s still the case.

Lesson 8: Raise your prices; raise your minimums

When I was the only employee in my company, doing everything myself, I could still make good margins and be the lowest price around. I took clients at $ 200-$ 500 per month, built some websites, and put tons of hours in, and as long as I could get to where I had $ 40-50k per year in revenue, I had a decent wage for Burley. That was my first goal. I could be flexible with what I made and could literally have no cost other than a couple of tools and my personal time. Employees, though, cost more than time. Employees cost money. And regardless of how much money you bring in, an employee’s wage is constant. If I wanted employees that were good, there way no way I could maintain my pricing and minimums, providing the level of service that was needed. We had to raise prices. We changed our minimum to $ 1,500 and determined that we would do work for no less than $ 100 per hour. The types of clients got better, and we had enough revenue to bring in talented people who increased the quality of our work. I know that many SEO firms/companies can charge a lot more than $ 100 per hour, and we do as well, depending on the type of project—but for the average small/medium business this is a price that they can afford and you can do good work for.

Lesson 9: Learn when to pass on bad clients

When I was hungry I took whatever client walked through the door. I took abuse. Emails that called me names, clients who would not listen to my advice and would then blame me when things went wrong. Clients that paid three or four months late but would complain when I didn’t answer my phone on the first ring.

I kept them because I felt like I had to have the revenue. What I didn’t realize is that if I had taken the time I was putting into their project and put it elsewhere, I could have replaced the revenue plus a lot more and had a much better quality of life.

If you are not happy, then no amount of money will make up for it, so fire your bad clients, pass on the red flags, and figure something else out. Remember Lesson 1.

Retain

Lesson 10: Be trustworthy

The fastest way to lose clients and employees is to lie to them. If you want both to stick with you through thick and thin, then there has to be 100% trust. I personally think that the more transparent you can be all around the more you will be trusted.

One of our core values at Nifty is to be “willingly naked.” Not literally, but figuratively. We have to be willing to share what we learn, take feedback, tell our clients the brutal truth even if we know they don’t want to hear it. But you have to be willing to take feedback yourself.

Lesson 11: Reward your team

I am not going to pretend to be good at this. I know I should say “thank you” about a thousand times more than I do. Instead, I find myself more apt to criticize when things go poorly. It’s something I am hoping to constantly get better at. The team at Nifty is amazing and they take a ton of stress, responsibility, and problems on themselves and do an awesome job.

Here’s a few things that I have done at times:

  • Thank-you gift cards
  • Revenue sharing
  • Company lunches
  • Pop-Tarts (long story)
  • Big Christmas parties
  • The best office in Burley, Idaho (complete with a moose, a monster, bricks, and staked firewood)

Lesson 12: Auto-renew your contracts

When it comes to smaller businesses, I have found that month-to-month contracts that auto-renew and are paid by automatic credit card last longer than contracts that are 3, 6, or 12 months with renegotiations required. Bottom line, people don’t like re-signing up for a committed amount of time. Especially small business owners who believe the word “contract” is a cuss word.

Change

Lesson 13: Never stop learning new things

There are many search companies that fall behind. It’s because they don’t change. They keep blasting away at the same spammy links, the same old school designs, and the same tactics from 5-10 years ago, and they wonder why a massive amount of their client portfolio drops in rankings.

I personally start every morning by reading blogs, and I have for years. The staff spends the first part of every day doing the same thing, and we pass around articles that make an impression. It keeps us constantly thinking about innovation and learning from our great community. Another way to keep up is to constantly pitch to speak at conferences. You have deadlines around which you can build tests and case studies, and you will do everything you possibly can to be up on the latest news in the industry because you never know what questions the attendees might ask you.

Lesson 14: Request feedback

The best way to find issues in your organization is to request feedback from your staff and clients. The other day, we had a client that paused his account. This is usually a soft way to end the relationship. But, upon asking for his feedback, he said he loved working with his project manager and the work we had done, saying he would be back on track in 2 months. Then he mentioned he was hoping for faster results on a side project we were doing for him. Whose fault was it that he felt that way? It was ours. I took the opportunity to clear up the miscommunication and he was very grateful for it. If we hadn’t asked for the feedback, we might not have ever heard from him again and he definitely would have had the issue on his mind.

Lesson 15: Be pleased, but never satisfied

Nobody is perfect. Which means there is always room for improvement. There is always more than can be done, and there is always a better way. The day you stop growing and say that “it’s good enough” is the day that a competitor is going to come in and do more that you are willing to.

We have redone our proposal process multiple times. We haven’t ever been bad at it, but every time we go back to the drawing boards there is something more that we find that helps to bring in better clients. Right now we are testing out a live walk-through of the proposal, as compared to just sending over a PDF and asking for questions.

SAVE

Lesson 16: Content isn’t king, cash is

If you want to run a successful business of any type, then ensure that you aren’t running cash-poor. I have followed Dave Ramsey’s personal financial guidelines for my business and find that it’s very conservative. While it might limit the speed at which we grow, it eliminates a massive amount of risk.

Dave recommends having a personal emergency fund (and in this case business fund) of 3-6 months of expenses on hand at all times. That means that if you are going to pay yourself (your only start-up expense) $ 3,000 per month, then you should have between $ 9,000-$ 18,000 in cash before starting up. At $ 65,000 per month of expenses, you should have between $ 195,000-$ 390,000 in reserves. That’s a lot of cash on hand for a small business, but if clients unexpectedly drop, or major industry changes necessitate a completely new model, you will have the cash to make good decisions and not desperate ones. I started out around the six-month reserve when I was smaller, and as time has gone by and we have a more diversified revenue stream, I am comfortable between 3-4 months of cash on hand.

Lesson 17: Pay yourself modestly, and get out of personal debt

I pay myself $ 4,000 per month. The rest goes to growing the business, savings, and other ventures. Now, you need to realize that I live in Burley, Idaho, and it’s literally hard to spend money here. I could pay myself $ 2,000 if it wasn’t for Amazon Prime. But, at a very young age, my wife and I decided that we would have no personal debt and worked really hard to pay off our house and buy cars with cash.

I know many financial experts will tell you that leveraging your home is the best financing you have but let me tell you that the freedom of owning your house outright means that you can make better business decisions over the course of your life. You wont have the “what if I lose my family’s home” question circling around in the back of your mind and you can actually take bigger risks, and never make business financial decisions based off of your personal financial needs.

Lesson 18: Don’t sign up for every Internet marketing tool under the sun

Tool subscriptions are reoccurring costs. It’s very easy to spend thousands of dollars a month on different tools you don’t have the cash to do that when you start up. When I first started, I only used Raven Tools, but quickly added a list of 10 to 15 tools like Moz. Occasionally, we have to go through the list of tools and find out what we are actually using and get rid of the rest. I’m not going to pretend there is one tool to rule them all, because everyone has very different needs. The key is to quickly identify which tools work for you and which don’t, and to stop paying monthly for the ones that don’t.

Lesson 19: Diversify

If you get to where you own a successful guest-blogging company, or a successful SEO company, or a successful content-marketing company, or whatever niche you decide to work in, then realize the problem with a niche is that you are putting all of your eggs in one basket. If that basket disappears, you’re screwed.

Try going after more than one niche. We opened a division focused on SEO and website development for lawyers called NiftyLaw.com. I also owned a newspaper in my home town, and am working on some new projects so that I am not 100% reliant on Internet marketing revenue.

Lesson 20: Find a few things to help save yourself

Owning a business is hard work. It’s mentally draining, and it’s very hard to shut down your mind after constantly thinking. There will be times where you need to save yourself from burning out, so ensure that you have hobbies that can get your mind completely off of work. I golf, mountain bike, and travel with my family. I also don’t do any work on Sundays at all.

Overall

I have loved starting an Internet marketing company. It’s been hard; I’m going gray and I’m only 29.

I know that you might not agree with certain things I think are important, and that’s fine. The best part about business is that it’s a “choose your own adventure” storybook with no “right” answers.

Please add your own questions and advice in the comments. I hope that this is a post that can have more insight in the comments than the article itself, and I look forward to learning from all of you!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

The Super-Secret and Incredibly Complicated Master Key to Internet Marketing

Image of MyCopyblogger Internet Marketing Icon

When I meet new folks, whether online or face-to-face, I often get a variation on the same question.

What will it take to make my business really successful?

What needs to go into it? What sacrifices do we need to make? What’s the magical secret ingredient?

I know you think I’m going to say, “There is no magical secret ingredient.”

But there is.

If you want to have a fantastic business — the kind that makes plenty of money, has really cool customers, and makes your life better instead of worse — you need my special secret.

You need to give it some G.A.S.

What’s G.A.S.?

It stands for (I hope you will forgive the plain language) Give A Shit.

To have a great business, you have to care. A whole lot.

You have to care about quality. You have to care about your audience. You have to care about what you do and how you do it. You have to care about your employees and vendors.

If you have a little G.A.S., you’ll have an okay business.

If you have a lot of G.A.S., you’ll have an awesome business. Because you’ll be able to take everything you learn about marketing, business operations, efficiency, productivity — and turbocharge it all with G.A.S.

G.A.S.-enhanced marketing education

When I sit down to teach people (like you) how they can find more customers online, I make sure I have plenty of G.A.S. in the tank.

Because the part that’s fun for me is when you knock it out of the park.

I know that marketing isn’t some kind of special talent you’re born with. It’s a collection of principles you can learn. I learned them, and you can, too.

I’m putting some of my favorite G.A.S.-friendly observations into a completely revised 20-part course we call Internet Marketing for Smart People.

(We call it that because Internet Marketing for Smart, Ethical, Cool, Passionate People We Love to Hang Out With gets a little unwieldy.)

You can get the course for free by dropping your name and email address here: Get started with Internet Marketing for Smart People.

So what’s in the course?

Well, I’m glad you asked. :) The course is about the most important things we need to know in order to find customers on the web.

  • The #1 simple headline “trick” that will get you more traffic
  • What we mean, exactly, by “high quality content” — and how to make some
  • How to make sure your site delivers a fantastic first impression
  • How to use a “content net” to boost your conversions and make more money
  • How to master SEO without turning into a creep

And 15 more lessons. These are the essentials that every online business needs to start working better — lessons you can implement right now, not months or years from now.

But wait, there’s more …

Yep, this sucker is better than a Sham-Wow super pack.

Internet Marketing for Smart People is delivered over time, to let you absorb the material and incorporate it consistently.

But we also know that you have pressing business and marketing issues you want to resolve now. So you get instant access to 14 meaty content marketing ebooks, on virtually any mission-critical topic you can think of, from landing pages to email marketing to SEO copywriting.

We’ve pulled the course and the library into something we call MyCopyblogger. It’s very cool (if I do say so myself), it’s very focused, and it’s totally free.

So go get it. Drop your email address here and you can get started right away.

You got this. We can help. And don’t forget to give it some G.A.S.

Free Registration

About the Author: Sonia Simone is co-founder and CMO of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on Twitter and .

Related Stories

Copyblogger

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

An Internet Marketing Education in 20 Emails. No Charge.

image of Albert Einstein

Want to discover the smartest ways to mix social media, content marketing, and SEO for lead generation?

Want to convert those leads to customers and clients?

We’ve got you covered with Internet Marketing for Smart People. And there’s absolutely no charge.

This 20-installment email course and newsletter delivers the techniques and strategies you need to know to become a much smarter marketer online.

Find out more and sign up (free) right here.

About the Author: Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger and CEO of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Brian on .

Related Stories

Copyblogger

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Advert