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  • Social Media Marketing Plan: 10 Steps, Tips & Simple Solutions
  • Social Media Marketing Plan: 10 Steps, Tips & Simple Solutions

    Bottom Line

    Social media marketers must have a planned purpose, intimately understand the social “rules of engagement” and their audience, measure results, and consistently deliver their message to the broadest qualified audience in the most socially acceptable, effective, and efficient manner possible.

    Define Why You Are Doing Social Media

    TipsWhat do you want to get from your social media efforts? More conversions? Ability to market to new group(s) of people? More sales leads? Business intelligence to fuel your overall marketing strategy? Deeper and broader brand awareness?

    Define How Success Will Be Measured

    TipsRemember, this is not traditional marketing or advertising and Return on Investment can not necessarily be measured in the same way. So how will you measure success (or failure)? Number of visits to your primary domain? Number of conversions? Number of views on specific pieces of social media content? Number of friends/followers? Number of comments? Number of subscribers?

    Build A Realistic Game Plan

    TipsWhich social media environments are you going to leverage and to what degree? Facebook? Twitter? Industry specific niche environments? How is Social Media going to integrate into your overall corporate marketing plan? Set measurable 3 month, 6 month and 1 year goals that you can realistically achieve.

    Make The Time

    Tips Don’t make the mistake of putting an existing employee with limited internet marketing skills and limited time in charge of your Social Media Marketing. Don’t think that “Social Media Marketing” can be done effectively by “doing it here and there when you have time.”

    Choose Your “Voice” Carefully

    TipsEmpower and appoint the right people. Some people are “social” by nature and others are not. Don’t make your “IT wizard” or your “print marketing guru” the voice of your company unless that person also has the necessary social marketing skillsets. Remember, this person is representing your company and your brand and everything they do will reflect on the reputation of the organization. The “voice” should be someone who is “social” by nature. The “voice” you choose, should also intimately understand how to effectively leverage and bring their “off-line” social nature and skill sets to fruition “on-line.” It makes sense to invest in a professional social media consultant to help coach, train, and even help your “voice.”

    Audit & Assess Your Content

    TipsContent is king. Actually a better way to say this is, “Quality Content Is King.” How much and what types of content do you have? There are really only four types of content: text, images, video, and audio. Analyze and assess your landscape of content. You should have equal amounts of value driven and sales driven quality content. Quality content in “social media” is not just about highly optimized product pages that are fine tuned to sell product. It is also about supplying your audience and “friends” and “followers” with value added content. This blog post that you are reading right now is a good example of value driven quality content. Yes, this content resides on a business domain that is clearly in the business of selling products/services related to social, search, and internet marketing. However, the content within this blog post is first and foremost created to provide value to our existing customer base and any person or company that is searching for a “simple solution” to implementing social media marketing. Getting a “sale” or “lead” or a “new customer” as a result of this piece of content would be a nice by-product, but it is definitely not the sole purpose for creating it. Notice, the lack of ‘hard selling’ and commercial intent within this content. The authenticity and objective of this blog post would dramatically change if we were to pollute this content (eg. Click here to hire Simple Solutions) with “hard selling” calls to action. Ultimately, producing quality, viral information for the purpose of social media marketing is often an exercise in being willing to give in order to receive.

    Define & Implement Consistent Processes

    TipsRight now, everyone is high on social media. It’s all the rage and all the buzz. It’s easy to get started with big plans and all sorts of enthusiasm. This is a good thing! In fact, it’s a must! However, it is important to balance that enthusiastic fire with reality. In two years, the things you implement today will be “work.” What happens when the enthusiasm and buzz dies off (and it will)? You need to have measurable and consistent processes in place (eg. How many Facebook posts per day/week? How many tweets per day/week? How many updates to our blog per day/week? Are we sill uploading all of our videos to youtube.com? etc.)

    Automate Tactfully & Carefully

    TipsIt’s human nature to always look for “the easy way.” But the reality of the situation is that there is no “easy” way. There is no robot, software, or magic widget that can replace the need for people, good quality content, and hard work. This is social media and the core value is interaction amongst people. Imagine walking into a party and on one side of the room a group of 5 people are talking, laughing, interacting, exchanging business cards, etc. On the other side of the room there are 5 kiosk type machines with a welcome screen that say “Joe could not make it to the party. Simply touch the screen to begin learning all about Joe and the things he is doing and selling.” Clearly, you would be drawn to the people. The same is true within social media environments and automation is acceptable in certain instances and totally unacceptable in others. Know when to use automated tools and when not to.

    Be Transparent & Bring Your “Friends” To The Party

    TipsSEO, Product Feed Marketing, Email Marketing, etc. don’t require a whole lot of transparency, at least not to the degree that social media marketing does. For example, optimizing a product page on an e-commerce domain for search marketing purposes is, for the most part, “behind the scenes” manipulation of code and content. Social Media is everything but that. Everyone asks, “How do we get more fans, followers, etc.?” Unless you’re Ashton Kutcher, you don’t get those things by simply “slapping up” a Twitter page or Facebook fan page and waiting for your hordes of “fans” to “follow” you. If you are a typical person with a typical business model, you build your network of friends and followers in the same way you do off-line.

    • Value each and every friend.
    • Don’t just talk, listen.
    • Say thank you, a lot.
    • Say please, a lot.
    • Don’t just tell people things, try asking questions.
    • Constantly “invite” everyone you already know to your “party.” Every friend you bring to the “party” is going to bring a few friends with them! Here are a couple of ideas to get you thinking of ways to “constantly be inviting” friends to your party:
      • Put links to Facebook/Twitter on every page of your site.
      • Put links on your Facebook fan page to your Twitter page.
      • Have employees include links to your Facebook and Twitter pages in their email signatures.
      • Market your Facebook/Twitter presence through your print mediums.
      • Provide incentives for “friends” that you don’t know (yet) to “come to the party” (have contests and offer real prizes like cash and valuable high profile products, etc.). The “big savings” and % based discounts on product are saturating the market and these incentives are OK for marketing to your existing fans/followers but not so effective for attracting new fans/followers.
      • Include links and a consistent message to “become a fan” or “follow us on Twitter” on virtually every form of outbound marketing and communication.

    “This Above All: To Thine Own Self Be True”

    TipsIt would be foolish to not understand, know, and track what your competitors are doing. However, don’t make the mistake of trying to be just like them. Be true to your organization’s brand. Social media aside, “you” already have lots of “friends” and “followers” and they value “you” for who “you” are and not who “you” try to be. The best thing “you” can be within the landscape of social media environments is “yourself.”

    Case Examples: Regardless of whether your organization is a small niche business with 3 staff members or a global fortune 500 enterprise, these examples will help to validate the recommended steps and enable you to see some good social media marketing in action.

    Corporate Video: Home Depot
    Corporate Twitter: Whole Foods
    Corporate Facebook: The Orvis Company
    Corporate Blogging: Johnson & Johnson
    Corporate Forums: IBM
    Corporate Photo Sharing: Rubbermaid

  • SEO, URL Rewriting: Don’t Forget About The Robots!
  • SEO, URL Rewriting: Don’t Forget About The Robots!

    Introduction

    SEO is an exercise in creating quality and relative content. SEO is also technical by nature. It is important, in any SEO effort, to focus on both quality content and quality code. Search engines use robots that spider, crawl, and follow each link on the internet. When they arrive at your site, they scan the home page and “spider” each sub page linked from it. These robots are algorithmic and their existence is only for a few distinct objectives, one of which being to discover and crawl all of the pages contained within websites.

    These robots, while being quite technical, are primitive in the sense that they only do what they are told. This is important to know because if your website has multiple links to the same content or multiple URLs to the same content, the robots can and often get hung up on them. This is less of an issue today than in the past, but it remains an issue nonetheless. In this article, we’ll take a look at how and why this occurs, as well as present solutions to combat these issues.

    Examples of URL and Parameter Issues

    Let’s use the example of “printer friendly” pages. These pages are often linked to from a web page with content that the website owner thinks a user may deem print-worthy. Occasionally webmasters will simply add another parameter to the page URL to provide this functionality, such as “&print=yes”. To humans, this makes perfect sense, but robots see this as a whole new page on your website, and attempt to index it accordingly.

    Beyond the issue of printer friendly pages is the issue of pages accessible by multiple URL combinations. Take, for example, the following URL:

    http://www.domain.com/index.php?id=2&section=4&category=2&page=2

    The parameters in the above example are “id,” “section,” “category,” and “page.” This particular page could also be referenced by re-arranging the parameters, like this:

    http://www.domain.com/index.php?section=4&page=2category=2&id=2

    Because the two URLs above have the same parameters, they load the exact same content. However, to search engines these two pages are separate pages, even though they load the same exact content, because the query strings (the part of the URL beginning with index.php) are not identical. This is largely the cause of duplicate content issues on websites with dynamically loaded content.

    The Solution – Mod_Rewrite, Htaccess, and Apache

    So what do we do, now that we are aware of the issues? We need the dynamic nature of the website to remain intact, but the search engines are running in circles (and sometimes even ignoring) trying to discover all the pages on our website. For websites that run on Apache web servers, an extremely complex and exceptionally useful module has been developed called mod_rewrite.

    What is mod_rewrite? It is described as “the Swiss Army knife of URL manipulation.” A brief definition from Apache is this: “This module uses a rule-based rewriting engine (based on a regular-expression parser) to rewrite requested URLs on the fly.” The rules are written in “.htaccess” files in the actual folders of the web server.

    For our URL Rewriting purposes, we will only touch on a few of the directives available with the module: RewriteEngine, RewriteCond, and RewriteRule. The purpose of the directive RewriteEngine is simply to enable or disable the runtime rewriting engine. RewriteCond defines a condition under which rewriting will take place. And RewriteRule defines the rules for the rewriting engine. The real workhorse is RewriteRule. In the following section of this article, we’ll discuss how these directives are used and how to accomplish basic tasks related to search engine optimization.

    Rewrite Directives and Rules

    By default, RewriteEngine is off, so the below definition is required to make use of any other directives. To initialize the rewriting engine, the code required in the .htaccess file is as follows:

    RewriteEngine On

    Now that we have initialized the rewriting engine, we can begin creating rules using the RewriteRule or RewriteCond directives. The RewriteCond directive allows the use of server variables such as HTTP_USER_AGENT, HTTP_REFERER, REMOTE_HOST, REMOTE_ADDR, REQUEST_METHOD, THE_REQUEST, REQUEST_URI, and many more.

    The primary variables used are “THE_REQUEST” or “REQUEST_URI”. The former is the full HTTP request line sent by the browser to the server (i.e. “GET /index.html HTTP/1.1?). The latter is the resource requested in the HTTP request line (in the previous example, this would be “/index.html”).

    Both RewriteCond and RewriteRule employ the use of regular expressions. The syntax of regular expressions is very picky, but very precise. In the below examples, we will cover some examples of regular expressions and what specific characters indicate.

    RewriteCond is commonly used to rectify the issue of canonical hostnames. The goal of this rule is to force the use of a particular hostname, over other hostnames that can be used to reach the same site. For example, if you wish to force the use of www.example.com over example.com. Below is an example to accomplish this:

    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^domain.com [NC]

    RewriteRule (.*)mce_markernbsp; http://www.domain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

    Let’s go through the above example step by step. The first line is stating the condition that the HTTP_HOST begins with domain.com. The “” before the .com is interpreted as a literal period. This is called “escaping.” Special characters that need to be escaped in conditions include, but are not limited to the following: “.”, “?”, “*”, and “$”. The “[NC]” portion is specifying that the condition is not case sensitive, meanin that Domain.com, or DOMAIN.COM would still match this condition.

    The second line is the RewriteRule, which is only executed if the above condition is met. This line would read “store any number of any character to the end of the line and 301 redirect the request to http://www.domain.com/ with the stored value appended.” Let’s break it down piece by piece.

    Anything contained within parentheses “()” is used to group text as well as for backreferences. The period in the regular expression means “any single character” and because it is followed by an asterisk, which means 0 or N (where N > 0) occurrences of the preceding text, this means any number of any character. The “$” is the end-of-line anchor.

    The second segment of this rule is the destination. We are instructing that the request be permanently redirected with a 301 status code (R=301) to the URL http://www.domain.com/$1. In this case, the “$1? is actually a backreference for the text in the parentheses at the beginning of the rule. So we’re appending the value of “(.*)” to the end of the domain. The “L” at the end means that if this rule is executed, it is the last rule that needs to be checked against.

    Next we’ll take a look at a simpler example. Say we have an old page that has been updated, but it now has a new URL. We don’t want to lose the traffic that goes there from the rankings that page has already acquired. This is where a 301 redirect comes in handy. We can use the RewriteRule directive to instruct the server to redirect all requests for the old URL, to the new URL. By doing this, we’re even telling the search engines that the old page no longer exists, and that is has been permanently replaced with the destination URL. Here’s the RewriteRule to perform this action:

    RewriteRule ^oldpage.html newpage.html [R=301,L]

    Here, we don’t have a condition to be met other than that the request specifically begins with oldpage.html. If that is true, then the user (or search engine) will be redirect with a 301 status code to newpage.html and no other rules will be executed.

    Next we will examine a rule to rewrite URLs that have parameters. Consider this rule:

    RewriteRule ^info/([a-z0-9_]*)/content([0-9]*).html$ info/index.php?category=$1&id=$2 [NC]

    You have probably already figured out what some of this means from the previous examples, but let’s go through step by step once more. The rule requires that the request begins with “info/”, and we’re storing “any number of any letter between a and z, and any number between 0 and 9, as well as underscores” to the first backreference. Next, the request will have “/content” followed by “N amount of any number between 0 and 9,” which is stored into the second backreference. If the request URL follows that strict layout, then rewrite the content to the destination with the two backreferences, $1 and $2. Again, the [NC] means that the rule is no case sensitive. This would rewrite the request “info/How_to_write/content12.html” to “info/index.php?category=How_to_write&id=12?. If we removed the “_” from the regular expression [a-z0-9_] (i.e. [a-z0-9]), this request would not match because it contains underscores.

    That pretty much covers the basics of URL rewriting. Remember, rewrite rules should always be tested in a staging or sandbox area, because a mistake in the .htaccess file can render the website unusable, and cause it to return a 500 Internal Server error to all requests.

    Regular Expression Basic Cheat Sheet

    “.” This matches any character except a new line.

    “^” This matches the start of the string.

    “$” This matches the end of the string.

    “*” This matches 0 or more repetitions of the preceding regular expression, as many repetitions as are possible. ab* will match ‘a’, ‘ab’, or ‘a’ followed by any number of ‘b’s.

    “+” This matches 1 or more repetitions of the preceding regular expression. ab+ will match ‘a’ followed by any non-zero number of ‘b’s; it will not just match ‘a’.

    “?” This matches 0 or 1 of repetitions of the preceding regular expression. ab? will match either ‘a’ or ‘ab’.

    “(text)” Grouping of text, used to set borders or to make backreferences.

    “[]” Indicates a set of characters. Can be listed individually or as a range. Any character of the class ‘chars’. [akm$] will match any of the characters ‘a’, ‘k’, ‘m’, or ‘

    . [^akm$] will match any character except ‘a’, ‘k’, ‘m’, or ‘

    . In this instance, the carat is a “not” operator.

    “text1|text2? Either text1 or text2, not both.

    “[a-z]” This matches any lowercase letter.

    “[a-zA-Z0-9]” This matches any letter or digit.

  • SEO Guide: The “Simple” Art & Science Of SEO Copywriting
  • SEO Guide: The “Simple” Art & Science Of SEO Copywriting

    The simple purpose of this SEO Guide is to understand how to effectively manipulate META info and on page content to improve website traffic via natural search and to better serve your visitors with highly relative quality content.

    META Titles

    The META Title of your site is considered one of the most important factors in ranking your site. This is because there is very little room in a title to accurately convey the subject of your page content. Search engines use the titles on your site to “rank” you against other websites targeting similar or identical key terms. Many websites use primitive titles such as their domain or business name, and wonder why they are not performing in natural search for their industry specific key terms. It is important that each title of each page be unique across the site.

    How do I write META Titles? Writing META titles is an art, with literally endless possibilities and several correct approaches. Each word should be chosen carefully, and the title as a whole should read reasonably well. Though many titles you see on the Internet may appear to be just thrown together, they may very well be carefully crafted for search engine optimization. The trick is to capture as many variations of key terms as possible while still presenting a coherent title that peaks human interest and increases the likelihood of a click-through.

    Research has shown that the beginning words in the title are attributed the most weight. Therefore, try to include your most desired key phrase first. Titles should be written to be compelling and informative, but remain succinct and help branding where applicable. Avoid including sales pitches in titles. Keep this in mind when writing your titles: you know your business and the words you use to describe your services and products, but your customers do not. Consequently, you should optimize for the key words that people are using to search for the services or products you offer. There are several tools available to find out exactly what key words people are searching on. See Section IV: Keyword Research & Using Google Adwords: Keyword Tool for more details.

    Your titles are the very first thing a user sees in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). If a user searches for keywords that you have included in your title, and if your site appears in the results of the query, your title will be displayed with the keywords (and synonyms of the keywords) bold. For example, when searching for “clothes” in Google, one of the results is Wikipedia’s article about “Clothing.” The META Title for that particular result is “Clothing – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” The word Clothing is bold, even though we searched for clothes. The remainder of the title, “Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” is used for branding.

    Optimizing your titles to perform for search is only half the battle. The other half is once you have achieved your first page ranking, you need people to actually click on your link (After the click is a whole different topic, but it involves delivering on what the user was expecting, so they don’t click away or “bounce.”). Your CTR (Click Through Rate) is determined by the amount of people who click the link out of those who see it. This is why your titles need to clearly and creatively articulate the content that the user will see should they click your link.

    META Descriptions

    If your title has sparked interest in the user, they will most likely then read the description snippet of the result to see if your link is related to what it is they are searching for. This “description” appears beneath the title of each result on the SERPs. Words in your description will appear bold in the result if they match words used in the user’s search query. The description displayed is usually the META description, but it can also be derived from text that exists on the page of the result. Ideally, you want your META description to be displayed as the result description because you will have optimized it to capture and compel the user to click your link. It is important that your META descriptions validate and reinforce your META titles with coherent statements. They should also be unique across your site.

    How do I write META descriptions? If optimized correctly, META descriptions will be the reason many users will click on your result in their search queries. Some descriptions should be written to create a sense of urgency, using words like now, today, don’t wait, etc. Other descriptions should be written with action oriented statements that encourage the user to do something.

    Compare these two examples of META descriptions: “This web page provides information about how to score a touchdown.” and “Score more touchdowns! Learn football tips and techniques from professionals on scoring touchdowns.” The first, though it does describe what the content is about, is boring and passive. The second example jumps right out and tell the user what they will get and it appeals to the user’s inner desire to score more touchdowns like the pros.

    Always consider WHY your customer will be searching for your keywords. Are they looking for information, are they trying to make a purchase, etc. Based on the keyword, try to optimize the description so that it fulfills the request of your customer’s search. Maybe your web page about scoring a touchdown is really a tactic to sell footballs and football apparel. A more fitting description in this sense may be, “Score more touchdowns! Get the football gear, apparel, and accessories you need to top the scoreboards.” Whenever possible, include how the customer will benefit from what it is you are offering – within the context of what they want.

    Your META descriptions should also reinforce your META titles. Try to include the same words and even synonyms of the key words that appear in your META title. Exclamation points can be used to instill enthusiasm. If you are answering questions or offering information, do not give away the answer or all the information in your description, otherwise there is little reason for your potential customer to click the link. Cover as much of the relevant content as possible. This will ensure that regardless of what your user may be searching for, they will have a reason to click your link. Each word that is “on-topic” reinforces and strengthens that particular page for that topic.

    However, it is absolutely possible to go too far. Terms such as keyword density and keyword proximity play a large role in this. Keyword density is how often your keyword appears within a specific set of text. An example of this is: “Score more football touchdowns! Get the football gear, football apparel, and football accessories you need to top the football scoreboards.” This particular example uses the word football too much, thus the keyword density is too high.

    Another option is to replace instances of the word football with closely related words, such as sports, gaming, etc. This is where keyword proximity comes into play. Keyword proximity is how close each word in your key phrase appears next to each other. You can replace some instances of football, but choosing which to replace depends on your preferred keyword. Do you want to acquire traffic from football gear or sports gear, football apparel or sports apparel, and so on? If your description contained “football gear and sports apparel,” football apparel and sports gear would certainly be considered for your page, but you are telling the search engines that your page is really more relevant to football gear and sports apparel.

    After all that is done, you must ensure that the content on the page, after the click, delivers what you offered. You will not satisfy everyone, but just know it will hurt you more than help if you do not take care in satisfying your visitors. Just as a quality restaurant aims to serve its patrons with the best food, the best service and the best experience – you must to do the same with your web content.

    META Keywords

    Once the ‘be all end all’ for search engine optimization, this META tag was exploited to the ‘nth degree upon the inception of SEO. Thus, it is now one of the lowest weight factors involved in ranking your site. Regardless of that fact, it is important nonetheless to properly tag each page with related keywords. Covering all the bases is the best way to ensure peak performance in search engine optimization.

    How do I write META keywords? Keywords are just that, words that are key points of your page’s content. Usually separated by commas and very rarely multiple words, it is simply a comma separated list of words and phrases specific to your content. Writing keywords for your web page content is very straight forward. The META keywords should correspond to the information in the META title, the META description, and the content that is on the page.

    For example, if you have a webpage about football in the United States for specific colleges, your keyword list may look something like this: “football, united states, america, college, foot ball, university, state, montana, florida, texas”. Depending on the content of the page, you may add more keywords as necessary. For example, if your page is about the footballs, and equipment someone might be interested in for football in the United States for those specific colleges, you should add gear, equipment, sports, shoulder pads, helmets, teeth guards, and so on until you have covered the content in your article.

    Keyword Research & Google Adwords: Keyword Tool

    Google Adwords: Keyword Tool

    This is Google Adwords’ Keyword Tool. The purpose of this tool is to provide a very good indication of the key phrases that people are actually typing in to Google. The results are broken down in a variety of methods and can be sorted by relevance, search volume, and many other ways.

    To use the tool, simply enter the key words or key phrases you want to look up. In general, you will want to ensure the “Use synonyms” box is checked. This means that the tool will look up words that are closely related to what you have entered. A good example is if you type in clothes, it will also consider terms related to your search that include clothing.

    An important setting is the location. Above the Keyword Variations tab, the default for those of us in the USA is, “Results are tailored to English, United States”. This setting can be modified if you are trying to get results from Canada, or any other demographic. For example purposes, I will leave it set to United States for this document.

    When you first arrive to the page, it will prompt you to enter the search phrases you want to look up as well as a series of characters to identify yourself as a human, and not a bot trying to automate queries against the tool. This is a one time step while you are using the tool. Note: If you have had the page open, but not used it for a period of time, your session will “expire.” If this happens, simply refresh the page and you can enter the characters again to resume working with the tool.

    Underneath where you enter the keywords, there is a “Filter my results” option that displays some filter options. The options presented here are primarily for more advanced queries. In general, you can ignore this until you are ready to start analyzing analytics and statistics to really refine the key terms you choose to target.

    How do I read the results? By default, the resulting keywords of your query are listed by relevance. This means that the list will begin with key phrases that are more relevant to what you have entered. By clicking on the “Approx Avg Search Volume” above this column, we can re-sort the keywords by search volume. This is helpful when the only results you wish to examine are those with a higher search volume.

    For example, I have entered football and clicked “Get keyword ideas” with “Use synonyms” checked. The first result in the list is “football tickets” as that is the most relevant to what we have entered. The next result is “football,” but its search volume is much greater than that of football tickets. Note: This tells us that Google considers “football tickets” to be highly relevant to football, and perhaps even more relevant than the word “football” itself. I find it extremely interesting that at the time of writing this, football tickets shows up before football in the list when sorted by relevance. This tells us that Google considers searches for “football” to be an indication that the user is “most likely” looking for tickets. Knowing what Google considers more relevant and less relevant is invaluable information. Be sure not to overlook the potential of that aspect of this tool.

    Still using football as an example, I am going to re-sort the results by Approx Avg Search Volume by clicking the column label. After doing this, we notice that football tickets is no longer at the top of the list, but rather football is. It is obvious to see that the volume for “football” is 30.4 million and therefore has secured its spot as #1 in search volume for this list of terms. This allows us to see the list of results from our query in order by the most search volume to the least.

    Let’s use a key phrase with a smaller result set. Using “football tickets” as our example now, the volume displayed is 301,000. Again, sorting by relevance shows that “lsu football tickets,” “usc football tickets,” and “football ticket” are the highest relevant key phrases to our query of “football tickets.” Sorting by average search volume tells us that the terms with the highest search volume are: football ticket, college football tickets, alabamafootball tickets, football season tickets, ohio state football tickets, and tickets for football.

    Below the “Keywords related to term(s) entered” section, occasionally there is another section labeled “Additional keywords to consider.” This is displayed as a more broad result set. With our example football tickets, some of the terms listed here are tickets, event tickets, ticket, tickets online, and several others along that line. These terms are less relevant to our search, and can have very little to do with the term or terms entered in the search query.

    What’s the purpose of all this? The purpose is to provide words that we want to include in our titles and optimization of content to capture the audience that is typing in these search terms. We can clearly see what it is people are looking for, and it is our job to make sure that they get what they want when they look for it. Just including the words that are listed from this tool is not enough. The content should deliver on what the user was actually looking for. This draws in a slew of dynamics, some of which are explained in other sections of this document, but the general concept is to ensure your content is in line with what you are optimizing it for.

  • Link Building: When All Else Fails, Try Building Good Content!
  • Link Building: When All Else Fails, Try Building Good Content!

    My dad has always said, “When all else fails, read the directions.” This advise always came at the peak of my frustration – usually after trying in vane to build a model airplane, electric car racing track, etc. on my own. With hundreds of pieces scattered all over the floor and some things working and other things not, it was always obvious that before diving into anything I should have “read the directions” first. Are we, as human beings, ever capable of heeding this advice 100% of the time? I think not.

    On Christmas morning, I take great pride in proving to my wife and 2 boys that I am above “directions.” I puff out my chest, take a sip of my coffee, and usually say something like, “everyone step aside and let me put that tricycle together.” Then, after about a half hour and trying to jam a bolt into a hole that’s too small with 2 kids screaming in my ear, my wife delicately says to me, “Do you want the directions?” I then blame it on the manufacturer and say something like, “what kind of idiots designed this thing?” I then reluctantly grab the directions from my wife and proceed to start flipping through the pages of the instruction manual. Of course, I don’t start from page 1 (as I am far too smart for such ridiculously obvious instructions), so I choose to start from the last page of the directions manual and work backwards. This results in the tricycle getting done sometime in June or never.

    How does this analogy relate to link building for SEO? Let me try to demonstrate in simple list form, here goes:

    1. Nobody but Google truly knows the exact contingencies that the Google algorithm uses to rank any 1 domain for any 1 term.
    2. The magnitude of contingencies that are programmed into the Google algorithm are more than any 1 human being can possibly comprehend.
    3. Exactly how much weight the Google algorithm places on any 1 contingency is always changing and ultimately up to Google.
    4. Google defines the rules – not us.
    5. Teams of Google’s very bright developers instruct the algorithm – not us.
    6. Google owns Google.com and the Google algorithm – not us.
    7. Google developers can change the algorithm whenever they want – we can’t.
    8. Google’s #1 objective is to provide it’s users with the best and most relevant search results possible for any 1 search term.
    9. We need Google because it is the medium that people use to find “us,” and Google needs “us” because we provide the content.
    10. It’s important to recognize that there are so many ranking contingencies that we will never know about.
    11. It’s equally important to recognize that there are contingencies that will always be TRUE.
    12. In very simple terms, Google’s primary objective is to find the best content for any 1 search term and rank the content in order of “best.”
    13. So, it is logical to assume that if we focus on building GOOD/QUALITY content – Google needs to and wants to find it and rank it well.
    14. So, let’s look at just 1 of the universally agreed upon contingencies that ‘everyone’ seems to agree upon as being an important contingency that Google uses to determine what content is good, quality, relevant, and worth ranking high in its search engine results. INBOUND LINKS.
    15. The assumption (in simplest form) is this. If any 1 piece of content (website, web page, picture, video, blog post, etc..) has a lot of links from other domains pointing to it – it must be good/quality content. And if any 1 domain has a lot of INBOUND links, it must be good/quality content that people like – so rank this domain WELL for the all of the terms and phrases that this domain is targeting.
    16. Think about it in this simple form; it makes perfect sense. Google must provide its users (searchers) with the best and most relevant results possible, otherwise people will stop using Google and use another search engine. Google WANTS to find and rank content from trusted sources on the web who are authorities on the subject matter at hand (search term). So, it is a safe bet for the Google algorithm to CHECK to see how many LINKS point to any 1 domain as means of determining authenticity, trust, and popularity. To some degree, popularity = people like it, and Google wants to provide its users with what they will like most.
    17. Now it’s probably starting to make sense why you have gotten so many emails from all sorts of companies that say something along the lines of “We will get you 10 gazillion links for $9.99.” The “logic” behind this is simply: Google = Values Lot’s Of Links + You Want To Rank For Search Terms + Get Lot’s Of Links = You Rank Well.
    18. That “logic” worked well for a long time, but don’t forget – Google owns the Google algorithm and can change the game any time. And, the Google algorithm is not stupid. If it were, there would be another Google. Someday there might be, but right now Google owns the smartest search engine algorithm available on the market.
    19. So, as the Google algorithm continues to get smarter, it can better evaluate the nature and quality of the LINKS that point to your content. And, the Google algorithm can and does measure if and to what degree its users are satisfied when clicking on your content from Google.com search results.
    20. So, one of the “easiest” and most logical things you can do in regards to “link building” is build good, quality content that people like. Ready for this? … If you focus on building value added, quality content that people like, other websites, blogs, etc. will WANT to link to your content. Google will find it automatically, evaluate it accordingly, and you don’t have to worry about all sorts of ways to “trick” Google and acquire manufactured links from other websites, blogs, etc.
  • Measuring & Valuing Your Website: It’s As Simple As “Pie
  • Measuring & Valuing Your Website: It’s As Simple As “Pie”

    TipsAre you like many mid-size or small business owners I know? Have you spent a ton of money on your website but have a hard time understanding the ROI? Let me guess, you are on your second, third or even fourth version of your website. You have spent countless hours listening to your graphic design company about color combinations and the newest flash animation that is going to engage your customers. You continue to dump cash into your web presence because you know the value is there, but value is similar to radio, print or television advertising. You know that marketing and advertising is a “must do” for your business and that is why you have an annual budget for marketing and advertising investments. But, everything is as vague as it ever was and you are as frustrated as you have always been because just like television advertising, radio advertising or print advertising – your internet investments are tough to truly measure. You think the radio, tv and newspaper ad worked, but you can’t say for sure.

    The web is inherently different. Everything is measurable. I know what you are thinking, “Yah, yah … I’ve seen those big reports that get emailed to me every quarter from my web development company that basically show big numbers in an effort to cut them bigger checks.” I understand and appreciate that mentality. Why? Because you are busy selling cars, shoes, clothes, fishing trips, lodging, real estate properties, stuffed animals, bicycles, engineering services, construction services, IT services, software, tutoring services, dog food, etc… You are too busy doing what you do best and it’s easier to do what you do with other advertising and marketing channels – just put a budget aside every year, pay someone to manage it and hope for the best. After all, you don’t have time to understand the difference between hits, visits, page views, keywords, referrer, and all that stuff.

    Trust me, you can understand this stuff and as a business owner you need to understand this stuff. Do you need to understand it to the degree that I do? Maybe, maybe not. That’s up to you. But, just like your bank accounts, credit lines or retirement investments – you need to and can easily understand the fundamental measurements. Imagine not knowing your current interest rates on lines of credit, how many employees you have, the current status of your 401k, or how this years sales numbers compared to last years. You can’t imagine that, because you need to and want to understand those things – at least to the degree that you can make wise, well informed, and business critical decisions. Do you have to understand the infinite complexities of the stock market and understand the stock market to the degree that your financial advisor does? No. That is why you pay him/her. Do you want to and need to know how much you are investing, where you are investing it, and your return on investments. Absolutely.

    So, let me show you a very base level and simple measurement that you can and need to understand. The goal of this demonstration is to make you say to yourself, “I get it. I wonder what my website ‘pie’ looks like?” If this blog gives you the inertia to want to find the answer to that question and the answer to that question becomes the incentive for you to want to better understand how to value your web assets, then the goal has been achieved. So, ready for how simple this pie chart is to understand? Here it goes:

    There are only 3 possible ways people can get to your website. Yup, that’s it.

    1. Search Engines: Traffic that comes to your website as a result of a search engine user typing your brand name or key words or phrases that relate to your business products and services into a search engine. This pie chart clearly shows that search engines are the most valuable traffic driver to the xyz.com website. 60.86% (10,616 visits) of the total traffic (17,443 visits) within a 1 month time frame comes to xyz.com from search engines. The name of the actual website has been excluded for anonymity purposes.
    2. Direct Traffic: Traffic that comes to your website as a result of users typing your domain name directly into their web browser. This pie chart clearly shows that direct traffic is the second most valuable traffic driver to the xyz.com website. 22.23% (3,877 visits) of the total traffic (17,443 visits) within a 1 month time frame comes to xyz.com from direct traffic. The name of the actual website has been excluded for anonymity purposes.
    3. Referring Sites: Traffic that comes to your website via a link from any other website. This is traffic that comes to xyz.com from blogs, forums, or websites where advertising dollars are spent to promote xyz.com. It is important to note that it is very easy to measure the exact amount of visits that each referrer sent to xyz.com. This pie chart clearly shows that referral traffic is the third most valuable traffic driver to the xyz.com website. 16.91% (2,950 visits) of the total traffic (17,443 visits) within a 1 month time frame comes to xyz.com from referral traffic. The name of the actual website has been excluded for anonymity purposes.
  • Social Media Optimization: It’s All About “WE”
  • Social Media Optimization: It’s All About “WE”

    1. Social Media seems to be the big buzz right now and it’s no wonder why.
    2. Some of the technology and applications that have and continue to be developed are humbling, exciting, and awe inspiring. It seems that the web has changed forever, right before our eyes (wouldn’t be the first time and won’t be the last). Let’s face it – facebook.com and similar social media is what people want and we want it everywhere all of the time! We want it as our home page on our laptops and desktop, as email notifications, integrated into the blogs and websites we visit, on our cell phones etc.
    3. At a macro level, the web has always been a social mechanism. Let’s look at a very simplified example. A user interacts with Google and types what they want into the search bar. Your stuff and everyone else’s stuff appear as the results. The user chooses if and how long he/she wants to interact with you. Make sense? If not, let me use the next couple bullet points to demonstrate further.
    4. Let’s go back in time to the days of AOL (America Online). Highly interactive social media such as Instant Messaging was popular back in 1997 and still is today. Still don’t get it? Ok, this next one will do the trick.
    5. Email is social media. You use email. You certainly don’t email yourself all the time. Of course not, you initiate emails to and respond to emails from your friends or business relationships and all sorts of people that matter to you. Sometimes, the communication is between just you and 1 other person. Other times, 1 email thread is between you and several other people.
    6. Ok, I am on a roll here. One more really simple example to drive the point home. You have a cell phone, right? Sure, the features, buttons, ringtones, and all of the “bells and whistles” are valuable to you and your phone is almost as important as your wallet or purse. Does the average user really care about all of the amazing technology that makes cellular telephony possible? Probably not. The core value to us is the ability for us to communicate. Would you buy a cell phone and pay the monthly service fee if your cell phone provider said, “You are not going to be able to talk with or text anyone anymore but we are releasing some new exciting games and calendar features?” No, you wouldn’t. Because, ultimately, using your cell phone as a social technology tool is the only value.
    7. Like ‘everyone’ else, I constantly get caught up in the technology value of everything. How could we not? The newest facebook.com features, HD, cell phone integration features, digital camera features, smart phones, coding/development (API) possibilities, touch screen technology, etc.. I love it all! Its fun and part of the ‘buzz’ to use and get caught up in all of the newest interactive gadgets and social media hype, and be part of the digital revolution! But, make no doubt, interactive social media is not just a big party, all “fun and games,” and a lot of “hype.”
    8. So, should you as a CEO, CIO, E-Marketing/E-Com Director, Brand Manager, etc., do Social Media? You already are and always have been “doing” social media. Eliminate the “social” elements of any business and it is bound to fail. Imagine a business without email, the web, or cell phones. Imagine a business with sales reps that don’t interact with your customers, call centers that never answer the phone, retail stores without clerks, restaurants without hosts and waiters, e-commerce without a telephone number, SEO, live chat, reviews, etc. Wouldn’t be much of a business, would it?
    9. So, how do you do social media in the case of facebook.com, youtube.com, google.com and niche social media sites that relate to your business/products. First, recognize that this is where your customers are and this is where your customers like to spend their time. These environments are not yours and you do not own them, but if your business relies on customers (show me a business that doesn’t) … This is where your customer is. Look at it like this. Home Depot does not put a store in a location where there are no people. Home Depot embeds a store into a meaningful (not necessarily massive) community. Home Depot owns its store, everything in the store and that store’s real estate property. Home depot does not own the street, town, city or state. So, it is universally agreed upon that Home Depot can do whatever it wants (within the context of the law) in its store or on its property. Home Depot can not spray paint its name on town buildings, tear up roads, divert street traffic to its store, or go to the community park and set up product demonstration booths. But, it is a fact that the Home Depot store needs that community and the community needs Home Depot.
    10. The web is no different than the Home Depot analogy. You own your .com(s) and can do whatever you want on your property. You ‘own‘ your SPACE on the major social media platforms such as youtube.com and facebook.com. You also might decide to ‘own‘ space on popular niche social media environments. Niche social media environments/communities can be a very powerful means of reaching and socializing with your core customers. Depending on the quantity and quality of total unique visits, number of registered members, diversity, authenticity, member loyalty, and the relevance of the community to your products and services.

    Bottom Line

    Social media marketing on the web is not really tough to understand. The key word is SOCIAL. Conduct yourself and ensure that all of your employees represent themselves and your business in the same way they would in the off-line world. It is important to actively engage with various online communities for the same reasons that it’s important for your business to be an active and trusted member of various off-line communities. And, the right way to do social media is really nothing more than common sense. Conduct yourself as you would at any off-line party or social gathering that involved you, your business, and the people within the community of which you conduct business. You wouldn’t show up to a social gathering and start handing out business cards, yelling “look at me and my business” with a bull horn or spray paint your business logo on the walls. You wouldn’t sit in a corner and be anti-social. You would engage in the type of conversations that people enjoy. You would listen and talk. You would not pull out a shoe box of photos and show each and every person every single photo. You certainly wouldn’t make fun of someone else’s business or strive to be the loudest, most obnoxious person in the room. First, you would want to know the rules of the party. It would be important to know if it was a free party you were attending with an open bar, or an invite only party with a cover charge at the door and a pay-per-drink bar. Then, even if you were attending the party for business networking purposes, you would act in a casual manner. You would introduce yourself and engage in mutually meaningful conversation. You wouldn’t walk right up to someone, invade their personal space, and start unloading every sales pitch for every product that you sell. Of course you wouldn’t. You would try to make friends and build new relationships. In fact, what you do for work and the products and services you sell, might be considered politically incorrect and socially unacceptable within the early stages of the conversation. You would socialize, mingle, laugh, share stories, listen to stories, ask people questions, and sincerely try to relate to people and find common threads of understanding. Then, if and when the time was right, you would introduce “work.” And, as is often the case in the off-line world … a new acquantaince or friend could also become a quality life-long customer. You would conduct yourself in a very diplomatic way, not drawing too much attention to yourself but at the same time not being a wall flower. As the old saying goes, “in order to have good friends, you have to be a good friend.” In the case of social media technology and marketing, it’s not all about you, it’s not all about me … it is all about “We.”

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): “When Will I Be #1 On Google?”
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): “When Will I Be #1 On Google?”

    This blog post stems from an email and question I received from a customer this morning. If you knew this customer, you would understand that it is a completely valid question. This customer has very little internet marketing experience and has been recently exposed to Google Analytics as a measurement tool for a web site that we have managed for him for a number of years. Now, he clearly sees the value of search engines as a traffic driver because search is the #1 source of traffic to his site – accounting for 52% of the total traffic to his site. Anyway, we just rolled out a second domain (that I will refer to as XYZ.com) that aims to provide quality content that is not directly related to his primary domain and business. XYZ.com is highly relative to where his business is geographically located and his primary service business, but aims to acquire visitors that are looking for his services but may not know it.

    So, first and foremost, this customer is an authority on the topic of xyz.com and more than qualified to produce quality and value added content on the core subject matter. We have done a good job of ensuring an optimized coding/URL environment that makes it “simple” for search engine robots to crawl, read and index xyz.com. We have crafted the home page meta title, meta description and keywords sets and trained him how to write meta titles in a manner that includes a reasonable amount of key-word/phrase targeting AND human interest. I have impressed upon him that “Ranking, is only half the battle and you have to have titles and content that entice users to click and want to consume your content!” Of course, Google Analytics is installed on this domain and now he has 2 sites that he can monitor through Google Analytics. On his primary domain, he can now validate and justify his advertising spending by measuring how much traffic each referrer is bringing. So, for the first time ever, he can see and evaluate his ROI for online advertising spending. He can see the power of search engines (52% of total traffic) and see exactly what search terms are working for him. He can see (via average time on page for each search term) what content his visitors like and don’t like. He can see where visitors are coming from and make geo-targeted advertising decisions based on fact. He is, infact, in the #1 ranking position on Google for many terms that his primary site targets – and if not #1 – he is somewhere close in the running.

    Now, just last week we rolled out this new domain with new quality and fresh content. It is not even linked to from any other relevant and trusted domains, yet, including his primary domain. He is able to produce good quality and relative content on his own and he is eager and as ambitious as an authentic SEO professional to do the hard work to get good quality, relative and meaning results (traffic.) So, he’s off and running and 2 or 3 days pass and I get an email that says “When will I be #1 on Google?” Again, this is a man and a customer whom I respect and admire and look up to in so many ways. This is not an IT marketing professional who understands the infinite complexities of SEO, and in his case, the question makes perfect sense. But, it is a question that, to some degree, is always asked – even if it unsaid.

    So, rather than respond to his email with a long winded discussion and examples and demonstrations as I have done many times – I decided to do it once and for all and turn his question into a blog topic that I can send to all of my existing and future customers. Here is what I have learned, believe to be true and say to existing and new customers. In some cases I am speaking in hyperbole.

    1. Nothing is guaranteed
    2. Everyone, in every industry thinks that they deserve to be #1 for each and every search term in natural search
    3. If we work smart and focus on the fundamentals of quality technology and producing quality and meaningful content in the context of the manner people are searching on it, we should do better than we are doing now.
    4. The proof of concept and proof of results is seen in the work I have already done for you and for many others. (look at 52% of total traffic from search engines on your other domain. Without good/quality SEO that would still be somewhere between 9-15%)
    5. You will never be #1 for “everything.” If you were – that would be a lie and I wouldn’t even value a search engine that presented “you” as #1 for everything
    6. Nobody knows exactly what Google will do, but Google
    7. First make sure your code is structured well, so that Google can find your content and read your content. Because if you have the best content in the world, but the code of the web site is not optimized – than its possible that Google won’t be able to find it, read it and rank it.
    8. Google tells us exactly what to do in terms of optimizing code and producing QUALITY content!
    9. But we didn’t really need Google to tell us about good content, we know what good content is because we are also consumers of content
    10. When you do a search for something, you evaluate content without even knowing it. If you click on a result and then immediately click the back button – you weren’t happy with that result. If you click on a result and stay on that website and enjoy and consume that content for a long time, you were happy with that content.
    11. Google (the Google robot) is at work 24/7/365 measuring all of this activity on your domain.
    12. So, getting the code in order and knowing how to properly tag and title content is “simple.” And that is really nothing more than necessary and preliminary work.
    13. The real work is producing quality content that people like, in the context of the search terms they used to get to your content. So, if you try to “trick” them by targeting key words and phrases and don’t deliver on your promise – they will immediately leave your site – Google is measuring that activity and you will not rank well – nor do you deserve to.
    14. The Google robot is very smart. After all the algorithm that they own is ultimately all they have and one could argue that it is responsible for the 30 billion dollars (estimate) of business Google does annually. Google does not put the heart and soul of their business (their algorithm) in the hands of just anyone. Some of the smartest mathematicians, coders and developers in the world build and maintain the algorithm and instruct the Google Robot.
    15. The list of things that the Google Bot uses evaluate any domain and every single piece of content on that domain is almost incomprehensible. How long has the domain been on the web, total number of pages, total number of links pointing to this domain from other quality and relevant websites, average time on site etc.
    16. The one fundamental and simple truth is this. Google wants to find good, quality content. Infact it has to! After all, how valuable would Google be without any content? Not very valuable at all. So, if you are a quality content producer than you need Google and Google needs you! Because, like any other service or product, Google wants to produce the best possible results to its users who are relying on their product (the search engine) to present them with the best content
    17. The best thing you can do is continue to produce quality and meaningful content and focusing on serving your visitors and potential visitors. Align yourself with quality and relevant websites and partners in your industry and get links to your website from theirs. But ready for this, if you produce absolutely amazing quality content that adds value, you won’t have to ask anyone for anything – because other websites and blogs will want to link to you!
    18. The best example I can give is this blog post. Is it tagged right with a truthful meta title? I like to think so. Does the title include keywords + human interest? I like to think so. Does the content within this article speak directly towards the topic of the title in the context of which I presented? I like to think so. Is everything absolutely perfect in terms of spelling and grammar, etc.? Probably not, but I tried my best. Does this article aim to provide ultimate value to the reader, by helping to further and better understand SEO? I like to think so. Is this article the “end-all-be-all” on the topic of SEO? No way! Do I deserve to rank #1 or even appear in Google for the term “SEO Search Engine Optimization?” Maybe, maybe not. That is ultimately up to YOU, the reader, and Google who is measuring YOU right now to see if you do in fact like this article in comparison to the 100’s of millions of other people who would like to rank 1-30 on Google for this term. Did I put my heart and soul into this article and take 4 hours of my time to write it? Yes! So, from my perspective is it “the best” content on this topic? It is “the best” I can do and that’s all I can do. After that it is up to Google and You to determine ranking and all of that stuff. And rather than try to tweak the title of this article and make it more than it is and worry about if it will rank and where it will rank; I would rather spend my time and energy writing a new article that aims at providing ultimate value to my customers and readers, in the best way I can do that. Because In the case of answering the question that I was initially asked, “When will I be #1 on Google?” – I think I have done a good job within the context it was asked and I have added value to my customer by bettering his understanding of SEO. And, if this article results in him doing a better job of producing good, truthful, helpful, meaningful and relevant content than he will be better serving his search engine visitors and if he focuses on doing that – I don’t have to worry about telling him he will or won’t rank – it will be Google’s job to recognize that xyz.com domain is a source of good quality content. I have no doubt that Google will be able to find it and make that decision on its own – because as I said before, Google wants to find the best, most meaningful and relevant content!
  • Website/e-Commerce Measurement: The Value Of “0?
  • Website/e-Commerce Measurement: The Value Of “0?

    Having installed and continuing to install Google Analytics and other statistical/measurement tools on all sorts of domains in all sort of industries, I am constantly amazed by the power of measurement. I have helped many small business customers go from not being able to measure anything, to being able to measure everything.

    “Measuring everything” is nothing new to global enterprises and Fortune 500 Companies, they have been tracking referral data, competitor data, conversion data and all sorts of complex customer/visitor scenerios since the dawn of internet days. I learned the power of data, usability and measurement when working as a Digital Product analyst for my cousin Anthony Bradley at META Group (now Gartner Group.)

    I was on the phone last night with another cousin of mine, Brendan Kelly, who is the business development manager for Hitwise. We were doing what we always do and passionately discussing the amazing advances in competitor tracking technologies and the competitive advantage that results from intelligently and strategically using measurement and stastics wisely. Then, like most conversations these days with clients, co-workers and industry peers, the conversation moved to the topic of the economy. And, for the most part, all of my best clients, friends and peers are saying the same thing, ”We are focusing on providing ultimate value to our customers, doing whatever it takes and re-positioning our products and services to help our customers weather this economic storm.”

    As an entrepreneur and small business owner myself I can completely relate to the spirit of this strategy, as it is exactly what I must do to keep The Simple Solutions ship afloat and my amazingly talented and loyal staff employed. In fact, I had been talking with a valuable client and passionate and entrepreneur, Scott Farber, about implementing this very same strategic vision.

    So, how does this relate to “Measurement and The Value 0?” Here is how. For the last several years, sales and conversions were at record levels. My small-mid size customers were buying and leveraging all sorts of software to measure their successes and stay one step ahead of their competition. Everyone was and still is swimming in a sea of infinate data. When times were good and sales were up and conversions were high, it made sense to only focus on the top perfoming statistics. Why focus any effort at all on things that are not converting or selling when we could be spending time focusing all of our efforts on the things that sell the most and convert the most?

    Made sense then, still makes sense now to some degree … but there is a very meaningful statistic that is analageous to the 100 pound gorilla in the room. What about all of the search terms, and products and marketing initiatives that failed? What about all of those visists that came from XYZ search terms but didn’t convert? We know those 10’s of thousands or 100’s of thousands or even 10’s of millions of visitors came to your domain via XYZ search term and 100’s of thousands of others, why didn’t they convert? Did they not like your products? Did they not like your brand? Were and are you still targeting terms and traffic that didn’t really align with your products and services? Why was that 1 product such a dud and what could be done to bring that conversion rate from “0? to 2% or 3% or 9%?

    Now that “everything” is having a harder time converting it makes sense to look at the big traffic generators of the past and present that you ignored for so many years and continue to ignore. Perhaps, its time to measure and realize “The Value Of “0.” Now, I have to go finish reading an article that my other cousin, Ryan Kelly (Brendan’s brother), recommended as a good read.