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Beyond Google?

Is there a place on the Internet beyond Google?  Facebook, having recently signed up their billionth user, is making a run at them, but Google is still numero uno for page visits around the globe.  Google claims that if you add up all the services they provide (YouTube, Gmail, Google News, etc.) they have way more than a billion users.  Of course, they still dominate search.  In both in numbers and revenue, they win, and the numbers for each are increasing every day, week and year.  So to forthrightly answer the question I posed in the first place, well, no.  But is that the right question?  A better question might be: How do you compete? Asking how many websites there are is like asking how many human beings there are. New websites are proliferating, and the big sites have time, resources and expertise on their side.  So how do you compete?  Think local. There’s search, and then there is local search. Most users know that if you type a town or neighborhood or even a zip code into a search for a type of business on a computer, or if you search on a smart phone, Google will take you to a Google Map (as long as you don’t have an iPhone 5) to show you what businesses are in your area.  If you’re selling engagement rings in Peoria to someone who wants to look at and try on what they might buy, you don’t have to beat Tiffany’s, just the other local jewelers. So how do you win in local search?  A good first step is to claim...
One More Reason to Join Google Plus

One More Reason to Join Google Plus

Google is on a mission.  They keep improving the formula they use to rank almost everything on the Internet.  This is good news for true marketers like you.  The better Google gets at weeding out the spambots and automarketers, the better their search results, and the easier it will be to find real people and real businesses like you and yours. Author Rank is Coming! Without getting too technical about it, Google is about to launch Author Rank, a new wrinkle in the super-secret, mega-powerful and ridiculously profitable PageRank algorithm for producing the search results we have all come to know and love/hate.  AuthorRank will use Google Plus to help the girls and boys at the Googleplex attribute content to an author and rank it, based on a variety (they’ll never tell) of factors to rate both the content and the author.  The better the content (clear, well-written, original) the better the ranking for both it and the author.  The better the author (as represented by his or her Author Rank) the better the ranking for the content.  Confused?  Me too, but suffice it to say that Google will advance their long-term agenda of selflessly producing better search results and selfishly reaping greater search market share and profits.  I’d count that as a win for all involved.  Except Bing. So if you are already writing content for your business’s website or blog, make sure you sign up for Google Plus today so Google can start compiling an Author Rank for you and your content.  Remember, better search results means more clicks, more sales and bigger profits....

3 MUST HAVES for Your SMS Text Messages

Mobile phones offer the best new product promotion tool since the advent of television.  Everyone has a phone, almost always with them, and they use it all day, every day.  The cost-effectiveness of mobile marketing is compelling, and if you are not taking advantage of all of the new marketing tools available, you are missing out on additional income and profits. Text message marketing is an integral part of any mobile marketing effort, and just like all of your marketing efforts, proper planning and thoughtful execution will go a long way in helping consumers grasp what it is you are trying to sell them. Text messages are officially known as SMS, which stands for Short Message Service.  The limit for most text messages is 160 characters, so a concise, precise message is essential.  The key is to get all of the important, effective, and PROFITABLE components of the text message into a limited space. Here are a few things all of your text messages should include: 3 Essential Elements of a Great Marketing Text Message 1.      Mention Your Business Name You would be surprised at how many text message marketing campaigns leave out this seemingly obvious point, but they do.  Display the name of your business in every message so people know who is texting them.  You can do this in two ways: - Have your company name displayed as the sender.  No question who is texting, but the drawback is the lack of a phone number to reply with questions. -  Provide the business number as the sender.  Be sure to include your business name in the body...

4 Powerful Ways to Use QR Codes

Business is not for the weak.  Competition for customers is getting tougher every day and you need to do everything you can to keep your business in business.  In this post, I will share with you a relatively new tool for enhancing your promotion and advertising strategy, the Quick Response or QR code. QR codes are popping up everywhere! QR codes are small square symbols that can be read by QR readers on mobile devices.  QR codes can launch your website or contain text about your business.  It provides INSTANT information about your service, product or special offer, so mobile users can immediately act on that information.  Delayed gratification is no longer part of the marketing equation, for you or your customer. Here are 4 ways you can use QR codes to boost your bottom line: 1.      Social Platforms –          Social media is the powerful new venue businesses are exploring to attract new customers.  QR codes can be attached to your website or social media profiles such as Facebook or Google Plus to directly communicate the information you want your customers to have. 2.      Business Cards –          With a QR code on your business card, customers and prospects can easily go directly to your website or promotional offer. 3.      Packaging Products –          You can use QR codes on product packaging to direct customers to online guides and presentations about your product.  User manuals can also be distributed using QR codes, saving on printing costs and always having product information up to date.  4.      Include on All Printed Advertisements –          QR codes are perfect for branding your business and smoothing...

How to Choose the Right Categories for Your Google Plus Local Listing

Claiming your Google Plus Local page is a great way to expand your marketing reach.  It is not, however, as simple as plugging in your information and launching your page.  Time and effort have to be invested in optimizing your listing for search engines.  Put some thought into important items such as keywords and categories.  Google lets you choose any number of business categories to associate with your listing, and while you may be tempted to pick one that seems to fit best, understand that the categories you choose have a huge impact on how many visitors are attracted to your Google Plus Local page.  The following guide will help you choose the right categories for your listing: Selecting Google Plus Local Categories Going with Google’s categories versus creating your own.  Although Google will let you create your own business category, and although I’m sure your business is totally unique and deserves a category all its own, don’t.  Google’s category list is keyword rich and proven effective with Google’s (duh!) search engine rankings. List your possible choices.  Start with Google’s list of categories from your Google Plus Local Account link.  Be thorough – the time you invest up front will pay off in the end.  Make a list of every conceivable category under which your business may fall, even if it seems too much.  Imagine all the ways potential customers can need your products or services and come at it from many different angles. Research and analyze your list of possible categories.  Choose the strongest, most relevant categories (using keyword tools like Google’s free Adwords tool) to narrow down...