Rat Race

Rat Race - Pathmaker Blog“The winner of the rat race is still a rat!”

There is no doubt about it, life is passing us by at breakneck speed and everyone is trying to get ahead of everyone else on a daily basis. To describe this phenomenon we came up with the phrase “rat race.” By definition, rat race is  “a way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive  struggle for wealth or power.” Our quote today is most explicit, forcing us to make a poignant determination – are we one of the rats?

You see, we often believe that if we win the rat race, all is well and good.  But, the validity of the statement, “the winner of the rat race is still a rat,” cannot escape us.  So, now we must ask another question: Do we want our families and employees to think of us as rats?

To avoid the idea of being a rat, we must realize that there is more to life, and even work, than just winning!  To deal properly, and effectively, with people, either at home or at work, we must be human, not a rodent – not even the King Rodent! As you pursue career goals and attempt to get ahead at work, remember that you are human, as are those you work with. So, make sure you are more concerned about the human race and less concerned about the rat race as you proceed through life!

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Search Engine Marketing – PHASE I – RESEARCH

Search Engine Marketing - PHASE I - RESEARCH - Pathmaker BlogPATHMAKER MARKETING AND SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING

It’s hard to believe. Established in 1960, the Internet has been around for over half a century! And there are two things that have always been associated with the Internet: Emailing and Searching. The question is, “Does your Search Engine Marketing Program perform as though it is as old as the Internet itself?? If you feel your Search Engine Marketing Program could serve you more effectively, you need to contact Pathmaker Marketing LLC right away!

“How”, you may ask, “do I know if my Search Engine Marketing Program is meeting my needs or not?”

The answer is in the search results. Where do you show up when someone searches for a term that applies to your company? If you’re not dominating page one, then you need to beef up your Search Engine Marketing efforts.

But it goes beyond that. This is vitally important: The fact that you show up on Page One when you search for your company name and the city in which you are located does not mean you have an effective Search Engine Marketing Program. You see, your Search Engine Marketing Program should be sending you new clients, not people who already know your company’s name and where you are located!

The challenge is to get Page One Rankings when people search for something they want and you offer. As you undoubtedly already know, when someone does an Internet Search and they get voluminous results, they tend to refine their search. For example, if you searched the Internet for “Trucks,” you will get a lot of results! This is when the refinement takes place. You may next go to “Trucks for Sale,” only to find that there is still a large number of listings! So, you keep refining it down until you get to “Chevy Pickups For Sale Between Five and Fifteen Years Old.” We recently worked with an Auto plex in Canada who discovered that there were over 50,000 term variations involved for their product offerings! Your goal is to show up on page one for as many Search Phrases as possible, and that is exactly what the experts at Pathmaker Marketing LLC are dedicated to doing for you!

With Search Engine Marketing you have two categories of terms/phrasesShort Tail and Long Tail. With Short Tail the term or phrase is two words or less. Long Tail is three words or more. The “Tail” gets longer each time you refine your search. Our talented staff can help you determine the Keywords you will want to concentrate on, and then incorporate them into your Search Engine Marketing Program.

At this point you may be wondering, “Why, exactly, do I want Page One Rankings?” The answer is simple: Page One Rankings will get qualified traffic to your Website! Simply speaking, people will click on your listing because they are looking for what you offer! That’s why we at Pathmaker Marketing LLC will concentrate on one thing and one thing only-creating your Search Engine Marketing Program so that it will diligently send you qualified leads.

Pathmaker Marketing LLC has three objectives while developing your Search Engine Marketing Program: 1) Get Page Rankings, specifically Page One; 2) Get Traffic to Your Website; 3) Convert Visitors to Customers. We meet those objectives first though comprehensive Keyword Research. Once we have discovered the Total Universe of Terms, we focus on the Winnable Terms by refining the list. Once we have identified the Winnable Terms, we approach your Search Engine Marketing Program with a five-pronged method of attack.

Our first area of concentration is Pay-Per-Click Advertising. As we refine your Keyword List en route to determining Winnable Terms, we seek those with a low enough Pay-Per-Click cost to make your quest for Page Rankings a viable undertaking. Next, we focus on Search Engine Optimization. This is a specialized undertaking that the Pathmaker Marketing LLC staff is most adept at, and has had excellent results with for many other clients!

Then we focus on Link Building. A science in itself, Link Building is one of those tasks that, while appearing to be tiresome, burdensome and even boring, is an important aspect in a Search Engine Marketing Program.

We follow Link Building with the development of Social Networking. Unbeknownst to many business people, Social Networking can be an integral part of their Search Engine Marketing Program, and not just a way to keep in touch with friends.

Last, but certainly not least, our talented staffers can help you develop a Blogging regimen that will anchor your Search Engine Marketing Program, as each post will work directly to strengthening your Page Ranking. Utilizing our knowledge and skills regarding Blogging. You can even retain us to actually write the Blog Posts for you.

We Can Help You DOMINATE Search Engine Real Estate!

entry level package

Ever hear the term: location, location location? It refers to where you want to buy real estate. It’s sage advice to not put your dream house in a run-down neighborhood if you expect it to gain in value. It’s better to have the small house in a good neighborhood than the big house in a bad neighborhood.

There’s a similar adage when it comes to marketing your website:

Dominate page one real estate in search engines if you expect to turn your website into a revenue powerhouse. When someone searches for a term, and all the listings on page one refer to your organization, you’ve effectively eliminated the competition on that search term! And Pathmaker Marketing can help you do it. We’ll help you use blogs, link building, social media, pay per click advertising, and search engine optimization to dominate search engine real estate, which will bring more visitors to your website. And we’ll help you convert those visitors into assets such as emails lists, sales leads, and sales!

Contact Us to Today See How We Can Help You
Turn Your Website Into a Revenue Powerhouse
623.322.3334

Through any of our Search Engine Marketing Packages, Pathmaker Marketing can help you employ appropriate strategies to dominate page one real estate for your organization.

entry level package

This package includes the basics you need to begin securing more real estate for your organization in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

  1. Strategic Keyword Research – We will put our powerful tools to work identifying up to 50 relevant keywords that people are using when they search for organizations like yours.
  2. Keyword Prioritization – We will run the keywords identified in Step 1 through our Keyword Difficulty Ranker, which is proprietary software that helps us pinpoint which of those keywords will be relatively easier than others to establish dominate positions for your organization in search engines.
  3. Traffic Conversion Ideas – We will provide 6 strategic suggestions to improve the traffic conversion process on your website. This will help you convert visitors to assets such as email lists, sales leads, and sales.
  4. Volume Link Building – There are various different kinds of inbound links that will help your website get higher rankings in search engines: Volume, Authoritative, Deep and Local. Search engines will see these links as improving your site’s “popularity”, making them valuable for increasing the site’s rankings. This process drives traffic to your site. For this package, we’ll work to develop Volume Links (100-300 inbound links to your home page).
  5. Pay Per Click Advertising – We will work with you to set up a Google Adwords account and launch Pay Per Click advertising. The cost for Pathmaker to set up and manage the campaign is included in this package. Advertising costs – the amount you are charged each time some clicks on your ad – will be paid by you directly to Google. We do not “mark up” or broker the exchange of money you pay to Google or other search engines for paid advertising. As a starting point, we request $100 in click through traffic each month for the six month period. (You can increase this Google ad spending amount if desired).
  6. Dedicated PPC Landing Pages – We will coordinate appropriate dedicated landing pages to which all advertising visitors go. This will help convert site visitors into lists, leads or sales for your organization.
  7. Google Conversion Code – We will install Google Conversion Code onto your website to help us identify and report to you which of your keywords are the most successful at driving traffic to your site.
  8. Social Networking – We will work with you to expand your search engine listings on your priority keywords through social networks such as Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Plaxo, etc.
  9. Accountability – We are accountable to you and will provide a regular Progress Report on our accomplishments on your behalf.

advanced package

This package includes everything in the Entry Level Package PLUS search engine optimization and most in-depth link building.

  1. Social Networking Growth – We will help you get friends and followers in your social networks and begin promoting your products, services and events through them.
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – We will identify the 6 most promising keywords for getting search engine traffic to your site and have tweaked your site to convert visitors to assets, then we will begin the process of optimizing various pages on your site to be found by search engines – using the keywords we identified. The goal of this step is to see your website get ranked in the Top 10 listings on Google on your priority keywords. To do this, we will make SEO improvements to your site copy, keyword density, page titles, meta tags, etc.
  3. Search Engine Submissions – We will submit your website up to 25 different search engines, including Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  4. Link Building – We will build upon the Volume Link Building performed in the Basic Package to add the following.
    1. Authoritative Link Building: We will work with you to identify outside sources that are considered experts in your industry and work to establish links from as many of these sources as possible.
    2. Deep Link Building: Each month, we will strive to secure inbound links to subpages on your website.
    3. Local Link Building: We will strive to secure links that show your business, along with other businesses in your area, when someone searches for your keyword in your location.

premium package

This package includes everything in the Advanced Package PLUS additional SEO and a powerful blog tool that can significantly increase your organization’s presence on the Internet.

  1. Additional Search Engine Optimization We will optimize for an additional 6 keywords, and help you add additional content to accomplish this if necessary.
  2. Blog Marketing – This powerful tool will take you leaps ahead of other blog tools in terms of getting you ranked in search engines. We will:
    1. Design a header and buttons for your calls to action.
    2. Incorporate 15 of your strategic keywords into the blog, giving you one blog for each keyword. Each time you post content to one of the keyword blogs, that content will automatically flow to others of your keyword blogs as appropriate.
    3. Help you reach a critical level of 200 blog entries by offering our expert ghostwriting services to post 2 blog entries per week for each of the 6 months. Our research shows that 200 blog entries is the level at which you will begin to dominate page one real estate in search engines!
    4. We will autoflow the Blog onto the blogging networks (WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, Xanga, Vox, etc.

* Entry Level and Advanced Packages are for a 6-month contract, and and Premium Package is for a 1-year contract. All fees must be paid in advance each month by credit card or check.

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Life is like Football

Life is like Football“Life is like a football game – you need to make a few first downs before you score your touchdown!”

I have noticed in my lifetime that football has replaced baseball as America’s favorite spectator sport. And, since the 1930’s, when two of Notre Dame’s Four Horseman, Elmer Layden and Jim Crowley, made the long, low-probability “Hail Mary” pass a part of the team’s arsenal, we have been thrilled every time it pays off, And, those instances are burned indelibly into our brain, forever a part of football lore. However, what we don’t remember is all the times that it doesn’t work! The more productive course of action is a well thought-out game plan that incorporates a balance of running and passing plays, building up a series of first downs that eventually leads to a score! There is a lesson to be learned here in the business world, too!

Successful businesses, really successful businesses, are built over a period of time with a lot of creativity and hard work involved. You have to grind out success, taking chances when necessary, but not allowing every business decision to be a “Hail Mary” in nature. However, we have too many entrepreneurs going into the business world with the thought that they are going to get rich quick via the good ol’ “Hail Mary,” and are not prepared, nor willing, to grind out the first downs!

One of the reasons this may be true is that our entrepreneurs of today have not had the training to be successful, and don’t know where to go to get it. That’s why Pathmaker Marketing, LLC has dedicated itself to assisting companies, new and old, in this exploding world of technology that we live in. To see how Pathmaker Marketing can help you with Website Design, Search Engine Optimization, and Search Engine Marketing click here. One thing you can count on is that we won’t just throw up a “Hail Mary” on your behalf!

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“If you can’t be part of the solution at least don’t be part of the problem!”

“If you can’t be part of the solution at least don’t be part of the problem!”There are a plethora of “communities” that we are part of on an ongoing basis.  These include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Families
  • Companies
  • Churches
  • Clubs/Organizations
  • Networking Groups

And, in each and every one of these today’s Bumper Sticker Wisdom is pertainable.  As a result, we need to take a quick look at how we can avoid being part of a problem that may already exist.

There are, of course, several ways this can happen, including but not limited to:

  • You repeatedly complain about the problem at hand.
  • You discourage others who are trying to come up with solutions to the problem at hand.
  • You refuse to follow suggestions others give to resolve the problem at hand.
  • You distract other’s attention away from concentrating on the problem at hand.

It is understandable that not all of us can be problem solvers, but we all can refrain from perpetuating problems.

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“Birds of a feather flock together, making it very easy for hunters.”

“Birds of a feather flock together, making it very easy for hunters.”Do you know about the American Passenger Pigeon?  In 1871 it was estimated that there were over 136 million breeding adults in only one section of Wisconsin!  But, by  the 1890s they numbered only in the dozens  – in the whole country.  At one time considered a nuisance, they were hunted literally into extinction!

Now, you may wonder what any of this “bird talk” has to do with business?  The answer really is quite simple:  When you are at work it is important you choose who you spend your time with very carefully.  You see, whether you like the old adage, “Birds of a feather flock together” or not, it is pretty much true.  As a result, when you get a new job, you may want to consider the type of folks you will want to align yourself with.  Some of the characteristics they will exhibit include, but are not limited to:

  • They are virtually always busy, able to find something to do themselves without having to be told.
  • They make suggestions at meetings, even if those suggestions are not always followed up on.
  • They are positive and upbeat.

By the same token, there are some people you may want to spend less time with, and their characteristics include:

  • Seem to spend a lot of time at the water cooler, or other “social gathering” places.
  • Have a tendency to complain a lot, without ever offering any solutions to the issues they are complaining about.
  • Tend to be the last people to arrive and the first people to leave.
  • Never volunteer to help or mentor others.

With downsizing an ever present concern/consideration, making sure that you are “flocking” with the right “birds” may want to be one of your top priorities!!!!

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“You can’t spell ‘awesome’ without ‘me’”

“You can’t spell ‘awesome’ without ‘me’”On the surface that looks like a cute little sentiment.  However, more and more, members of our society believe that’s true.  As a society we are so self-centered and eco-centric that we believe not only are we awesome, but that, because we are awesome we are totally above reproach!

It used to be a joke when someone said, “I’m perfect, and if you don’t believe it all you have to do is ask me!”  Today, however, there is a vast majority of society that actually feels this way!  We are so self-impressed that we don’t care what others think or say – – – even when they are trying to give us constructive criticism!

Perhaps Mac Davis, with his song, IT’S HARD TO BE HUMBLE, summed up much of how contemporary society feels when he sang:

Oh, Lord, it’s hard to be humble
When you’re perfect in every way

And there in lies the crux of this problem – – way too few people in our society today seek humility!

As a challenge for the upcoming New Year, take a lingering inward look and do some serious introspection by asking yourself, “What do I do, or say, that might indicate that I am seeking humility?”  This is a difficult question, first to ask and then to answer truthfully.  You may find that, if you are serious about being humble, that you are going to have to find a mentor to help you achieve your goal.  If you find it too difficult to seek help, but do want to live a life of humility, consider the steps for becoming more humble, which include but are not limited to:

  • Admit when you don’t know the answer.
  • Appreciate other people’s strengths.
  • Ask other people their opinions.
  • Continue to learn as much as possible.
  • Know when to speak and when to listen.
  • Embrace your strengths, but admit your weaknesses.
  • Focus on giving, not receiving.

If you really want to be awesome, seek to live a more humble life, and enjoy the rewards that will follow!

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“If you DON’T live in a glass house is it okay to throw stones?”

If you DON’T live in a glass house is it okay to throw stones?I’m sure you all know the old adage, “He who lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones.”  The idea being, of course, unless you are totally above reproach and therefore “safe” from attack yourself, you shouldn’t say anything about others.  Slightly paraphrased from what Jesus tells us in THE NEW TESTAMENT, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,” this more or less pretty much gives us the idea that we need to “watch our tongue.”  Obviously good advice, why, then, do so many people ignore it?

I think one of the main reasons this is true is because in 21st Century America there are a multitude of people who don’t realize that they are not perfect!  We are so close to “situational ethics” that we have become drastically close to destruction because of everyone’s adherence to the Machiavellian concept, “the end justifies the means.”  With a dramatic push to ignore the morals reflected in the Bible, we teeter on the very edge of Moral Anarchy.  With all of this influencing us, we, as a society, have come to believe that we can verbally violate anyone we choose to without any fear of consequences.

What we need to realize is that words, often thrown out with little or no concern as to the effect they will have on people, can be devastating.  Like a gun shoots a bullet and can’t take it back, so often our tongues throw out a salvo of destructive claims and accusations that some poor soul can never recover from.  And, this can be especially destructive in a business environment.  All too often, when accusations are leveled at us we are “guilty until proven innocent.”  Lies, and even innuendos, can destroy our reputation and in many cases our careers.

What is the point of all of this?  Well, it is a less than subtle admonishment to remind readers that we need to “think before we speak.”  Now, unfortunately, we are never going to convince some people to be careful of what they say.  However, we can be careful of what we hear and, at the very least, be careful of what we repeat!  Gossip and negative innuendos are only as effective as those of us who hear them allow them to be!  Whether you live in a glass house or not, if someone is throwing stones at others the least you can do is not pick them up and throw them again!!!

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Even Scrooge Would have Hated the Grinch!

Even Scrooge Would have Hated  the Grinch!Watching Holiday Movies is a favorite pastime of just about everyone I know.  And, two “musts” is A Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Now, while Scrooge was “bah – humbugging” all over the place, he never once thought about actually stealing Christmas!  The reason the Grinch was so diabolical, however, is probably summed up by the fact that “his heart was two-sizes to small!”

While it might not be readily apparent, there is an interesting “Business Truth” to be learned by studying these two Christmas Villains – as bad as an employer or supervisor may be, there does come a point where they can “cross over the line” and become totally unreasonable.

Now, this particular blog isn’t being written for those who work for such an ogre as the Grinch, or even Scrooge.  Rather, it is written to those individuals who present themselves in such a negative manner that they garner virtually no respect, and certainly no loyalty.  If you sense that you do, in fact, present a demeanor that is harsh and uncomfortable, you may want to seriously consider setting a few New Year’s Resolutions to change!  These might include, but are not limited to:

  • Be more conscious of how people react when you enter the room.  Everything from a quick exit to cowering is a good indicator that folks may not like being in your presence.
  • If you truly want to change, find an employee you can trust, and who isn’t too afraid of you, and ask them which traits you need to change.
  • Once you have that list, prioritize it so you can determine which “issues” you need to start working on first.
  • Tell your employees, either jointly or individually, of your desire to change and make their work place a better environment.
  • START MAKING CHANGES!!!

If you are brave enough to actually do this, what you will undoubtedly discover is that Fezziwig got a whole more out of his staff that Scrooge could ever have hoped to get out of his!!  And, what you may also discover is that, like the Grinch, “your heart will grow three sizes that day!”

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Old Age is like Basketball, just because you Dribble a Little Doesn’t Mean the Game is Over

Old Age is like Basketball, just because you Dribble a Little Doesn’t Mean the Game is OverIf you are not already aware of this, Old Age comes with a lot of indignities.  However, while some of them are “real,” many more of them are assigned to those who are considered “seniors,” often by people who are still “wet behind the ears.”  Not only is this presumptuous on the part of those who make these unfounded assumptions, it can be really detrimental to the companies both groups work for!

Somewhere along the line, probably starting with the Baby Boomers, this nation got the askewed idea that “youth” is the key to success! Maybe it is because of this nation’s pre-occupation with sports, where once the body slows down people are moved aside to make room for the next young hero.  The thing is, when it comes to most businesses, physical prowess is of little consequence.

So, why is the western culture so quick to abandon the wisdom of everyone over fifty?   Why do we want to ignore their experience?  Why do we want to shun their ideas as old fashioned?  Why do we think that a newly graduated MBA has more to offer than someone who has been in the business for three or four decades?  Unfortunately, I’m not sure why.  However, I am sure of this – – we are voluntarily “throwing away” one of our greatest assets at our disposal – – our seasoned veterans of the business world.

There is another view, a much more cynical one, but one which, nonetheless, might garner a lot of support:  The business world we now exist in has discovered that you can hire young, inexperienced employees for far less than their mature, experienced counterparts.  While this is very exciting to the 25 year-old work force, it quickly backfires on them – – in about twenty years.  The thing is, when you are twenty-five, twenty years seems like an eternity away.  That explains why the “youth movement” has no problem with this arrangement, but what about those in charge of this practice?

The answer, I fear, is somewhat disheartening:  Corporate America has come to think that sacrificing long range success for an immediately improved “bottom line” is the way to go.  As a result, we end up with companies who promote “one way” loyalty, and don’t even bat an eye when it’s time to “axe” employees who have been with them for years and years and, quite frankly, have made them as successful as they are.

So, as you work with those who might be two, or even three, times your own age, remember that while they might be a little slower to the water fountain than you, they still might be able to help you understand the real keys to success, not only in the business world – – but in life!

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Have you ever wondered why you have one mouth and two ears?

Have you ever wondered why you have one mouth and two ears?Somewhere along the line, probably towards the end of the 20th Century, our society forgot that the key to communicating is NOT talking, but listening!  And, at about the same time, we forgot that there is more to listening than just not talking ourselves.  That brings us to the point at hand – – there IS a reason we only have one mouth and two ears!

Now, the obvious “take” on this fact is the point that we should listen twice as much as we talk.  And, there is no doubt about it, as a society we do need to listen more.  Further, as business people, we need to listen even more!!!  This is especially true if part of our duties include selling!

I have often thought about writing a book titled, SHUT UP AND SELL, and then discovered that Don Sheehan beat me to it.  In fact, his book came out in 1988, and, I must confess, I have never read it.  However, I have a few points that I want to share that would have been in my book.

  1. Listen to what the client needs/wants and concentrate on that, not on what you want to sell them – One of the least productive things we can do is go meet with a client with a pre-conceived notion of what they are going to buy!  Rather, we should always want to help them with whatever their needs may be.
  2. Needs can change from day to day, and certainly from visit to visit – Always have one of your first questions be, “What can I help you with today?”
  3. “When” can be as important as “what.” – In many instances, getting an item late is  worse than not getting it at all!  To serve your client best, make sure not only can you get them their item but that you can get it to them on time.
  4. In most instances, quality is more important than cost – Everyone wants “least expensive,” no on wants “cheap.”  Make sure you determine what the client is going to use the product for and that you sell them the “quality” that will best meet their needs.

While business isn’t the only place we should listen more than we talk (relationships is another big area!), it certainly is an important one.  Try it – – I’m sure your clients will appreciate it!

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