The consensus from my focus group: SEO is highly overrated.

which direction to follow 300 clr 7933 The consensus from my focus group: SEO is highly overrated.I created a small focus group of colleagues to get their perspective on the current state of SEO and I was completely surprised by what I learned. The outcome of that entire experience can be literally summed up in this one statement; “Forget everything you thought you knew about SEO, most of it is long dead and there is so much misinformation and scammy marketing practices, being done that the experts do not want to even associate themselves with it anymore for fear their brands will be seen in a negative light.  SEO is a perfect example of a good idea gone bad for profit.

In truth I was told the chance of someone finding your small business website through a random keyword is about as close to winning the lottery as it gets. That is because if you search for a keyword such as soft drink and you expect to find anything other than the top name brands like Coca Cola or Pepsi on the top, you are  kidding yourself.

The fact is, SEO link building and article submission is ridiculously expensive and not really necessary if you create a better overall marketing strategy for your business.

You do not have to put tons of articles and comments all over the Internet on things that have no relevance to your website to be noticed.  In fact, this hurts your overall SEO and Social Media score because Google, Bing and all the other Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPS) are smarter than the average “PANDA,” and they know exactly what you are doing and your brand will be penalized.

Your brand is worth more.

Quality beats quantity in everything you do, always has.

A solid user friendly responsive website with a great mix of static and dynamic content along with a good overall marketing strategy that includes things like email marketing, advertising, on page SEO, blogging and social media is just as effective as any other so called expensive SEO backlink marketing strategy.   SEO does play an integral part in your website’s success however, in my opinion it is no longer as important as it is  being marketed.

A small or home based website is never going to rank for a high quality keyword. There is simply too much competition and they are generally reserved for the” big corporate guys,” who pay to play. If you are a small website, stop thinking too big and start thinking how your smaller business impacts the marketing and how you can use the Internet to your benefit your marketing.

Many people seem to think they can manipulate it. You can’t, you simply do not have the power or resources to do so unless your using very bad tactics.

Kozzi concept of seo 742x700 423x400 The consensus from my focus group: SEO is highly overrated.

One of the things that is highly overrated when it comes to SEO is excess link building.

Link building is only as effective as the site that is linking to you and determining whether a directory or website is worth signing up for is based solely on its ranking, trust factor and authority that it has in relation to your niche.

I get tons of sign ups each day on my website with garbled spammed comments, I delete them!  It is a waste of time for me and for the person paying for this. First off, what does my website have to do with cars? Why would you want to put a link back to your car website from my social media website?  This is what is being done with your money when you hire SEO companies to comment and place articles on websites, they put them on high ranking websites like mine.  Is it effective,  if your cat wants to learn marketing it might be.

If you want a permanent link from my site to your site and you deal in SEO or anything related to marketing, then it is worth the link or the comment. It is not what is being done that is wrong with SEO but rather how it is being done!

MOZ developed a few metrics that we can use to determine the level of authority and trust of a website to some extent, but even this is open to criticism and user interpretation.

However, we must begin somewhere and this is a great start. Before adding a link anywhere, you need to determine two things. (1) Whether or not the site is related to your niche and (2) if it has a real high rank page or a perceived one.

A real ranking is based on a site verification, a perceive one is based solely on someone’s else’s opinion. The only one that truly matters is the verified ones, remember, it is the job of a SEO marketer to convince you that the sites they are using, are all relevant and high ranking.  They might be high ranking, however they might not be trusted or have have any relevance to your niche.  You have to always verify a site’s authority before you put articles, comments or anything on sites that will do nothing other than waste your time and make certain that your SEO team is doing this on your behalf.

They need to make sure that the sites they use are NOT ONLY HIGH RANKING, but are trustworthy, verified sites in your niche.  This is the part they often neglect to mention.

How can I tell if a website is up to par?

Verify its domain authority which is the best prediction for how a website performs in search engine rankings. Domain Authority is used when comparing one site to another or tracking the “strength” of your own website.

Your websites rank represents a link popularity score. Pages earn ranking by the number and quality of other pages that link to them. The higher the quality of the incoming links, the higher the page will rank, not the number of them.

MozTrust: “MozTrust is Moz’s global link trust score. It is similar to MozRank, but rather than measuring link popularity, it measures link trust. Receiving links from sources with inherent trust—such as the homepages of major university websites or certain government web pages—is a strong trust endorsement.”

Writing - Seo-Social Media

How to make better ROI from social media advertising in a few simple steps.

By employing this simple method of social media advertising you can gain leads and increase sales, however it does require a small investment on the part of the brand or business owner.

Whether you want to believe it or not, the truth is – Social media is no longer free and you need to pay to play.

Like everything else that becomes popular, eventually there is someone figuring out a way to profit from it.  Facebook and Twitter have now jumped on the advertising profit band wagon and if you do not climb aboard your company or brand will be missing out on potential revenue.

I have noticed a significant increase in ads on my personal timeline and I expect this will only increase in the near future.

post 2 How to make better ROI from social media advertising in a few simple steps.

Social media marketers must change their focus to include more advertising in order to stay competitive.

This new pay to play system has created a small crisis for many social media providers because proposals and contracts offered to clients were often based upon the concept of a free market and this no longer applies.  It is difficult to suddenly ask clients to fork out more cash to create a new social media advertising strategy, but there is little choice in the matter.

If the fees you are charging to your clients are too low, you cannot expect to create effective and cheap social media campaigns if you have to take it out of your own profits.

The fact is, you need to get your clients on board and in order to do so, you must create a cost effective method of advertising with a good ROI. If you show them the benefits of paid advertising they will be more likely to consider it. If  after showing them the benefits and they still do not want to pay for any advertising, simply explain to them that you will not be providing them the best service you can, however, you put the choice in their hands. There is not much you can do other than continue providing services you already are.

Eventually they will come on board, they will have no choice.

With a simple method of understanding what and how to pay for each advertisement, you can provide your client with the best ROI.

An investment of ten dollars per day can be as effective as an investment of fifty if you know how to use the money more effectively.  In fact, I have gotten some great results from just 2/day on some of my own personal campaigns.

 It is not how much money you spend, it is how you spent it that counts.

 

advertising helps me decide 600x400 How to make better ROI from social media advertising in a few simple steps.

#1. Determine how much the client should pay for advertising on social media platforms.

In my opinion, you cannot really count impressions as valuable ROI, you must count a lead to make it worthwhile. A lead is not a sale, it is only a potential sale and an impression is only the “gateway” to a lead. However, a lead is at the very least worth the investment and to be frank, you cannot gain leads without CTA or impressions.

If you spent one thousand dollars and you received 1000 impressions and 500 clicks on your last Facebook campaign, it might have cost you only 1.00 per impression, but it really cost you 20.00 per lead.

This is based on a standard which goes something like this:

Most impressions have a 50% CTR (click through rate) that converts (CTA or landing page) at roughly a 10% conversion rate.

In the above example, if you have 1000 impressions, this will = 500 clicks which in turn ends up being about 50 leads.   If only half of those leads convert to sales, each person would have to purchase more than 20.00 on your website for you to make a profit.  If your product is only valued at 10.00 – this is not a really good strategy for your business no matter how many impressions you get.

When creating your advertisement, you have to calculate how much you can afford to spend per lead and this will act as your base guideline for your impression and CTA goals.

In this instance, if you get at least 51 + sales at 20.00 each, it was worth the investment because you made a small profit, got 1000 impressions and the possibility of 25 future sales.  Can you guarantee 51 sales with 1000 impressions with the landing page, offers and call to action you have?

#2. Get the real facts on impressions and leads from social media.

 A good conversion rate is anywhere between 5-12%. To make it easier to understand I used a conversion rate of 10% in the above example.

The impression rate is really the most difficult one  and the one that often confuses people into paying more than they need to for advertising.

At a confidence level of about 95% – meaning how well your landing pages converts:

If you manage to get 15000 impressions with a 50% click through rate that would equal 7500 clicks to your landing page and CTA.  At a conversion rate of 10% for your CTA, that would mean you have a potential for about 750 leads and or 325 sales.

If you want to get 1000 sales, you would need to have at least 2000 leads, or 20000 click through at an impression rate of 200,000.  If your impressions cost you a dollar for each one, you are talking huge amounts of money to invest.

#3. Learn proper methods for advertising with social media.

If you know what the baseline for what it will cost you  per lead and what people will have to purchase on your site in order for you to make a profit, you can begin to determine how much you need to pay per impression and if it is even worthwhile doing so.

In the above example a sale must be equal to at least 20.00 for the client to make a profit, however, if your product is way more valuable and sells for 100.00 you can use this flexibility to create a variety of ads to see which ones work better.

If you have 80.00 to negotiate with on every sale , you could easily pay more per impression to guarantee targeted sales or pay less per impression and try to reach as many people organically as you can.  In the case of a client who does not have a great deal to spend it is a much more practical idea to take ten dollars and spread it over 3 campaigns than to invest in only one because if you find a huge successful campaign that ends up only costing a dime per impression, you have found a gold mine for that client.   It is highly unlikely that an investment of ten dollars will amount to a sale, but it will provide visibility and this is worthwhile for small clients who have no other resources.

When you have decided how much to spend on each impression, use a variety of target advertisements to determine what is the best one to get the most out of your  impressions and when you see one target or campaign works better than another, simply increase that one and lesson one that isn’t working.   There is no better formula for success than split testing advertisements on a variety of platforms because what works for one client on Facebook may work better for another on Twitter.

Stayed tuned for part two of this article how to spread advertising dollars over a number of platforms coming soon!

Seo-socialmedia never stop sharing

5 Tips for a better #fanpagefriday experience.

What exactly is #fanpagefriday?

 5 Tips for a better #fanpagefriday experience.Fanpage Friday is a popular social media event that takes place each and every friday on Facebook and is very similar to the Follow Friday event that has been active on Twitter for a number of years. The main goal of #fanpagefriday is connect with other business owners on Facebook and help build each other’s fan page through commenting, liking, sharing and posting using your personal Facebook account. In return for engaging and sharing with others, you are encouraged to promote your own fan page (s) and hopefully gain some likes or comments.

In my experience, it is one of the best and most effective ways to increase your page’s popularity. Client’s of mine have been reporting at least 20 new likes per week along with record boosts in posts engagements making it a very worthwhile strategy.

According to recent suggestions, a facebook like is equal to $1.25.  When you add it all up, that is a savings of almost 120.00 per month. That money can be used to boosts posts and get even more likes to your page.

Facebook strategies are not difficult, you just have to understand them.

Here are some of my personal tips that I use to boost my #fanpagefriday experience and I hope they help to make yours better too!

  1. Try to encourage people to join your other social media platforms whenever possible.
  2. If you are hosting the event, try offering a giveaway or boosting the post so more people will want to comment on your page.
  3. The idea of the event is to get more page likes for your own business, however, if you have multiple client pages that you want to get page likes for, type what you want to say for each client on a wordpad or other easy to retrieve document.  If you find that a particular page would be more suited for a particular client of yours, simply like the page and then change the message to include the link that you want liked accordingly.  The truth is, a link might be more valuable to a client then to yourself and in the end that is valuable to you as well.
  4. Acknowledge people who have participated and liked your page in the past, because it will help boost their likes and they will see that you are engaging.
  5. Do not always post only on the popular hosting pages, chances are they will always have the same people posting each week who have already liked your page. Posting on a newbie page is a great way to gain new likes because they are excited and they have contacts you have not reached before.

Above all, have fun and remember if someone likes your page, always return the favor.

Speaking of #fanpagefriday, do not forget to join us each week, we always like back!

 5 Tips for a better #fanpagefriday experience.

 

 

woman writing internet marketing concept keywords

Ways to judge success of your social media from a more human standpoint.

It seems somewhat ironic that as professional social media marketers, our goal is to study and understand human behaviour in order to promote brand awareness, but we judge our success of it based on numbers and analytics from a computer algorithm rather than quantifiable human reactions to strategies.  Can we really afford to  do so? The truth is, using these metrics, social media will never measure up.

growing social media 600x300 Ways to judge success of your social media from a more human standpoint.

 We need to start judging web marketing success from a more human standpoint.

Consider these factors:

  1. How can a programmable metric measure how someone feels about content that makes them feel good, creates a smile or changes their life in some way?
  2. How do we define the amount of effort and time that is put into it and how much time is required to expect results? The truth is, it takes time to really get to know a client, a brand, it’s market and its product. There is always a testing phase time period that a social media marketers needs in order to gather information, analyze results and produce better and more effective content and strategies. Things are constantly changing and there is always an adjustment phase to see what each brand’s clients react to. This can not happen overnight because creativity plays a huge role here. How do you measure creativity?
  3. What happens once a marketer is able to determine the success or failure of a strategy?After a significant amount of time chances are the marketing team has made some progress and learned a few things about the brand, it’s market and its clients and what works for them. Every plan has faults, and not every post or contest or idea will go over well, good marketers acknowledge this and try to work on improving them, not dismissing them. Being able to admit failure and learn from it should be a positive metric, but it is rarely seen this way and is not measured.  How do we measure learning from mistakes or from prior successes?

i love internet  social media week milano  il festival della rete 266x400 Ways to judge success of your social media from a more human standpoint.Actions speak louder than words when it comes to social media.

If you truly want to know how well your brand is doing, the best way to do that is to see what people are reacting to and not what Facebook, Twitter or any other social algorithm says is happening because they biased and cannot measure human emotions or social impact.

Social impact is just as important to marketing as anything else because people will more likely buy from brands they like, than brands they do not.  Pictures of pets, inspirational quotes, fun and cute things are improving lives and making the world a better place to live in. If nothing else, at least your brand is contributing to the social impact that this provides. Social media is not just about selling or marketing, it is about making your brand count for something and this cannot be quantified or measured by a computer algorithm.

 

 

Is your web marketing suffering from the “I read it somewhere” disease?

This disease affects a huge amount of small and medium sized business owners and it can and does have a huge impact on whether or not your business is successful online. For many marketing professionals it should signal the end of a promising or potential business relationship. Run very far, if you can!

Experience has taught me one thing ~ stay clear away from anyone with this undesirable affliction.

 Is your web marketing suffering from the I read it somewhere disease?

Business owners who suffer from this annoying but curable disease often tend to have an unrealistic view of the results they should expect to see from their web marketing and it is usually caused by the tendency for them to:

  • Read blogs, articles and posts from a number of different “top experts” and take their word as golden.
  • Read something and assume it applies to their business. 
  • Constantly play the “I am going to challenge you” game, even though I hired you as the expert.

Marketing professionals who are suffering from it usually have the tendency to:

  • Follow every strategy online to the letter and never develop their own.
  • Schedule everything in advance.
  • Work excessive hours, and never seem to get anywhere.
  • Lack imagination and creativity.
  • Wear a fake smile. (The “yes” man symptom)

The truth is even seosam2011 has fallen victim to this disease from time and time and it really does take its toll on your confidence, pocketbook and demeanor. It is truly exhausting trying to explain to clients, colleagues and new employees that what they read online is not necessarily the reality of the situation and that in fact in most cases its about 40% factual at best.

If you are a professional, you should already know this and if you don’t, then you should keep reading!

aaaarrrggghhh 600x389 Is your web marketing suffering from the I read it somewhere disease?


Most marketing professionals do not actually write their own material for blogs, articles or even webinars. When they are really big names, just like celebrities, they simply do not have the time to do so, especially with the amount of content that needs to be distributed on a constant basis. In the long run, who do you think pays for this? It is added to the cost of your monthly fees.

Content is written for one reason only, to build lists and sell products and services. Some professionals do not even care what is written, so long as it gets people to the website. Google guidelines state that it has to be written with quality and relevance, it doesn’t have to be true, important or even valuable.

Marketing professionals hire “ghost” writers to “make them sound good,” or re spin articles they like. They are merely actors in the online stage called the Internet.

Reality: Often the writers they employ have no prior knowledge of the industry, nor really have a grasp of what they are saying. A really good content writer like myself can write just about anything and make it sound good. How am I doing so far?

My personal advice, if you really want to read the “good stuff,” stop reading from the so called top blogs and start reading blogs from small home based real marketers who are “hands on.” They usually write their own material based on real life experiences. Their opinions, suggestions and ideas will offer better insights because they actually understand the concepts behind what they do.

They  will also tell you what you really need to know, not what they think you should know.

writers Is your web marketing suffering from the I read it somewhere disease?

Reality: Tips and advice from marketers are general guidelines that apply to a number of standard businesses, however each brand is different and what applies to one business may not apply to another.  Creating a unique voice for each brand and each client is the only way you will succeed in this business.

Here is a great example of this:

I have heard this social media phrase being uttered time and time again.”Selling on any social media platforms should be done only 20% of the time.”

For most businesses, this is a true fact.

What has not been stated is that some companies simply have no choice because selling is what they do and this statement does not apply to them. If you use a no sell model for an online shopping site, chances are they will not sell any merchandise.

The truth is, you can sell products, it is how you go about selling them that truly matters. If you do not understand this concept, you really do not have a clue how to do your job and you are simply following the social media business in a box model. This box model is only a guideline and is not the way to run a successful business. As harsh as it sounds, the sooner you learn this, the faster you will get your business in gear.

If social media didn’t eventually lead to selling products and services, somewhere down the line, there would be little need for it. The truth is, all forms of marketing lead to sales in one form or another and all of it is “selling or promotion.” Social media is where it begins, but it certainly does not end here and no matter how good you are at social media, without proper marketing and corporate brand strategies behind you, it will not succeed. Social media gets the brand noticed, but if the brand fails to meet all its other marketing goals, it is virtually useless. It didn’t say this anywhere when they sold you that business in a box did it?

If you use fun, interactive and low sell tactics, you can sell on every post, blog and tweet you have.

There is no rule for this, only a standard. If you want to be effective at doing it, you just have to be creative and make it appear like you are NOT selling. Marketing principles have not changed since the 1900′s, it is just the medium in which to do so that has. If you do not understand the basic principles behind marketing, you are ultimately going to fail. 

If your social media team is unwilling or does not understand how important the marketing is behind what they do, chances are it is because they suffer from another marketing syndrome known as,”They do everything the social media experts say, follow everyone and cannot think outside the box model they were given when they decided to become social media professionals.”  

confused 600x400 Is your web marketing suffering from the I read it somewhere disease?

Cure for Business owners:  Remember, stop and think!

  1. Remember, almost all strategies, tips and advice that are provided on the Internet are created to drive traffic to a website or for list building purposes with the intention to sell products or services.
  2. Stop believing everything you read and ask the person you hired to do the job, they deserve to be trusted and acknowledged for their expertise.
  3. Think of it this way, while you may know how to change the oil or a tire on your car, you are not a mechanic and you would not tell them how to fix the brakes on your car. While some people are actually capable of doing it, not everyone is and even those who are capable may not know what to do when disaster strikes as a result of it. Fixing a tire or brake is one thing, fixing the leak you caused in the engine as a result, is something entirely different.

Fact:Marketing experts have been trained, have experience, know what books to read, what webinars to attend and know where and how to get factual information on the subject. You may in fact have a basic knowledge of what needs to be done, but you do not truly understand what is involved in doing so. Not everyone can run a business and not everyone can be a marketer.

This is what suffering from the disease causes ~ it makes business owners believe they are expert marketers, when in fact they are just promoting their business. These are two different things.

Business owners get taken in by promises of instant success and it just doesn’t happen. The old adage applies, “If it sounds to good to be true, it is!” If you are not sure and have no one to ask, seosam2011 is always ready to provide an honest opinion, and if I can’t answer I will go to my other social media friends and ask them.

kozzi planet as symbol of social networking 451x287 Is your web marketing suffering from the I read it somewhere disease?

Cure for marketers:  Remember, stop and think!

  1. Remember, journalism is the art of reporting news and is based on fact and research, blogs and other articles are simply opinions. Unless you are reading a well researched book or take articles from real magazines or newspapers, chances are the information is flawed at best and should never be taken seriously. The same can be said for a webinar, unless it is being created by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google themselves, it’s being created to sell you something, promote someone or build lists. It is not being held because they want to help you succeed. If you succeed, they will go out of business because they won’t be able to sell you the next thing you need.
  2. Stop doing what everyone else does! While a great deal of the information might be useful, they are only telling you what they want you to know, not what you need to know and if you do everything exactly the same as them, how do you stand out?
  3. Think of it like this, I can tell you that you need an oil change and that all you have to do is remove the oil filter and pan from your car. I can even show you where it is but that does not mean you will know exactly how to do it, because there are a number of things that I left out on purpose such as you need a funnel and a pan for the oil, you need to make sure the car is off, etc. Things are left out on purpose, so you will need help. If you are doing everything right, you should be making a fortune. Honestly, how is your wallet stacking up? Not so much as you imagined is it?

The very fact that I have written this article goes against most “rules” and ‘standards” of writing blogs and doing social media because it has a somewhat negative tone to it.  Truth is ugly, but that is what makes me different. Honesty is all I really have to offer and what my business is based upon. Real marketing vision, real answers and real talk.

I think we need to start being more honest about web marketing, more socially responsible when it comes to social media and we need to stop bilking thousands upon thousands of dollars out of small unsuspecting business owners who cannot afford it. This is not sociable, this is just plain mean!