Archives for June 2010

Keyword Searches

That’s more Words than in a Small Dictionary!

Jim was dumbfounded to the point of being speechless. He just sat there looking at me, trying to determine if I was telling him the truth or not. We were sharing a cola and some small talk, when he asked if I knew anything about Keyword Searches. He knew I did, but used the question to get us on the topic. Jim often sought my advice because of my relationship with Randall Mains, owner/director of PATHMAKER MARKETING. One of the services that PATHMAKER offers as part of their Small Business Marketing Strategies is Keyword Marketing. He offers it as an Online Marketing Tool, and helps clients accomplish that which they seek by using Pathmaker as their Search Engine Optimization Agency. SEO is, of course, a sound Internet Marketing Idea, and one that Jim, apparently, was hoping to incorporate in the Marketing Plan for his independent Sporting Goods Store.

Anyway, we had jawed about it for a while when he asked me how many keywords might be associated with his business, and nearly dropped his teeth when I told him it could be upwards of a 100,000 or more. That’s where we were now – – him trying to fathom what I had just told him.

“Floyder,” he finally began slowly, “you can’t possibly be serious, “ he was finally able to manage.

“Actually, Jim, I am. If you do this the right way you have to be totally comprehensive.    Let me share a specific example with you, and then we will apply the principle to your business. PATHMAKER recently had a client in Canada that runs a large car dealership. The process started with over 50,000 keywords. From there we narrowed it down to 1500 – – and then to 300 words. This allowed them to shoot to the top of the list when people did an Internet search.”

“You mean,” Jim began, again slowly, “that I should have more than just my name and the store’s name as keywords.”

And therein lies the problem, I thought. So many people are unaware of the fact that Search Engine Optimization is a science, and not just a crap shoot.

“You really think you could come up with that many words?” Jim asked, the gleam that was starting to form in his eye making the question almost a challenge.

“Jim,” how many types of fishing lures do you either have, or have access to – – this is to include every color of every type and any other variations on the theme.”

“Good Lord, Floyder, there’s thousands and thousands of them – – you know that!”

It began right at his hairline, and slowly worked its way down his entire countenance – – realization was starting to settle in on Jim! I knew I had better intervene before he became so over-whelmed by this concept that he suffered from apoplexy!

“It’s okay, Jim, you don’t have to actually include all of those in your list. What I would suggest is that you feature a few of the better ones for each type of fish – – trout, bass, and so on. And that brings up another point,” I added, hoping this new concept wouldn’t create a brain overload. “You may want to revamp your Keyword List for each Sporting Season as it occurs. I would do this,” I quickly added, keeping him as calm as I could, “by starting with the next upcoming season and then concentrating on each season as it comes along. That way, you won’t incur the cost for the total program all at one time.”

“How do I know what words to consider,” Jim asked, handling all of this better than I thought.

“Well, you hire Pathmaker and we do the research and legwork. You will have constant input, of course, but we would take care of the list building.”

For the first time in quite a while Jim’s face looked almost placid. Then, as I watched quietly, that gleam started to creep back in his eye.

 “Let’s try,” he exclaimed excitedly.

 “Try what?” I asked warily.

 “Listing 100,000 words. Come on, Floyder, we can do it!”

 I knew I was in for a long night – – either making the list or talking Jim out of trying!

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Scratch the Biggest Itch

It isn’t Caused by Poison Ivy!!

“Floyder,” Jim began with a look in his eye that told me while his body was present his mind was somewhere else. “I can’t decide, so I would like your opinion – – wood or plastic?”

It was obvious that Jim and I were about to have another one of our discussions where only he knows what we are talking about in the beginning. After a few well chosen and asked questions I can usually figure out what it is he is talking about, but sometimes he gets a little frustrated before I can get there! And, I have discovered, it isn’t just me – – pretty much everyone has this challenge with Jim! Anyway, I figured before I gave my opinion I probably should figure out what he was talking about.

“Wood or plastic what?” I asked.

“Why, back scratchers of course,” he replied, intimating by the tone of his voice that I should have known exactly what he was talking about.

“Do you mean which one do I like best?” I asked, still trying to figure out where this was going.

“Well, I guess. I mean, like you and Randall said at the seminar at the Rotary Club meeting, we should always try to scratch our clients biggest itch, so I thought I would send them a back scratcher since I can’t possibly be there to actually do the scratching myself.”

Obviously only Jim’s body was present at the seminar, too! What he was alluding to was the fact that Randall Mains, owner/operator of Pathmaker Marketing, had done a presentation on Internet Marketing Ideas and effective Online Marketing Tools. In his presentation he had mentioned that the most Effective Internet Marketing takes place when the business owner concentrates on his clients by “scratching their biggest itch,” Jim, who owns an independent sporting goods store, is always on the outlook for Small Business Marketing Strategies, but, as in this instance, he frequently gets his wires crossed in regard to what he is learning. Having more than a little success with the Internet Business Marketing Programs Randall and I have helped him with, he is always willing to follow our advice to the letter – – even when he has no idea what we were actually talking about.

“Jim, that was Randall’s way of saying you need to find your client’s biggest need and then fill it for them.”

He just looked at me like a kid who has discovered that a cow can’t really jump over the moon. As he shook his head back and forth a bit, I noticed that his eyes were back in focus, and that we probably were going to be getting somewhere now.

“So, you really don’t scratch their back or anything”

“No,” I assured him.

“Ohhhhhhh,” he replied contemplatively. “Well, how do I know what their biggest need is?

“Probably the best way to find out is to simply ask them,” I advised him truthfully.

“You mean I have to call up everyone on my list?” he asked, incredulity heavy in his voice.

“No. Since you have a pretty good size e-mail list, you can either use “Survey Monkey,” or put together a short questionnaire yourself.”

“Can Pathmaker help me with this, or do I have to do it all myself?” he asked, the panged look on his face non-verbally pleading that we help him.

“Sure, we can help.”

“Great! So all I have to do is run the questionnaire and I’ll know what kind of things to offer forever!” he exclaimed triumphantly.

“Well, that’s not quite true,” I informed him. Continuing before he could ask, I explained my comment. “Look, Jim, your business has several specific seasons that you deal with – – hunting, fishing, softball and so forth. And, in fishing that breaks down to summer and winter, as the needs for ice fishing are different. You should, I think, send out an e-mail at least every two months and see what people are looking for to make their sporting endeavors more enjoyable and productive.”

“Ahhhhhh,” Jim said, his nod indicating he understood what I was talking about. “Boy, the people whose business isn’t seasonal sure have it a lot easier, since they only have to survey their clients the one time,” he commented.

“That’s not quite right either,” I informed him. “With the number of paradigm shifts that are taking place in our society today, everyone needs to keep a finger on the pulse beat of their clients’ needs.”

 Jim again nodded in agreement, and prepared to change the topic. He did, however, have one more question.

“Floyder, what’s your biggest itch?”

I realized that Jim was right about one thing – – he would need Pathmaker’s help with his questionnaire!!

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