Search Engine Marketing

Gone are the days when all you need to do to run an online business is to build a website, send it to the major Search Engines and wait for visitors to come. Today, you need to proactively drive highly qualified traffic to it and convert visitors into clients. 

Search Engine Marketing is not just presenting flashy website, people are no longer buying that. What you need today is to find a hungry niche and sell them your product or services. The question then is how to drive a great deal of hungry visitors into your website. Here is a five-tiered approach to accomplish that:

1. Search Engine Optimization - It is a fact in online marketing that people will mostly see your website through the Search Engines. It is therefore imperative that the major ones at least (Google, Yahoo and Bing), will find it so that they can feed it to those who are searching. This means that your website should be Search Engine Optimized so their robots can crawl and index your pages. This will greatly influence your ranking in the search results.

2. PPC advertising - Instead of waiting for months to see results from organic SEO strategies, pay-per-click or PPC will give you results within weeks. Through paid advertising, you can then identify which keywords are often search and thus, will be viable in your organic SEO. Although this means you have to spend a little bit of money, the returns are great and that is why you should not neglect this strategy as well.

3. Social networking - The success of websites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube has taken Internet marketing to new territories. No longer do we bring clients to our websites, we bring our websites to where they are gathered and from there, hope that things will take off. It is therefore the job of the online marketer to seize the opportunities presented by captured and possibly hungry niche because these websites have the power to bring huge awareness to your brand.

4. Link building - No website is an island and that is why you have to build bridges to yours. If you can build links to authority websites, this will make your more credible and authoritative. If a visitor finds a link to your site from Wikipedia for example, he will think that you are indeed genuine in your desire to help and will remove the stigma of selling in his mind.

5. Blogging with targeted keywords - The purpose of blogging with targeted keywords is two-fold; to drive traffic and to pre-sell visitors to the helpfulness of your product or service. If you don’t target keywords with your blog, visitors will not find it even if they want to. On the other hand, even if you can drive traffic to your website, but you are not able to convince them of the usability of your product or service, they will also not buy from you. Blogging with targeted keywords then requires the mixture of naturally incorporating keywords into your blog and be as convincing as possible without being too pushy with your prospects.

This five-tiered approach to Search Engine Marketing will ensure that you are able to drive a highly qualified traffic to your website, convert visitors into clients and increase your revenue. Often times they overlap, nevertheless, they work hand in hand to drive that much needed traffic so that your online marketing success is guaranteed.


Church Marketing

There is, without a doubt, nary a pastor or church in the country that doesn’t want to get more visitors to come to their church.  With a pure heart and a message to share, their intent is to provide for those visitors programs and services that will enhance and improve their life style.  As the 21st Century dawns it has become obvious to email marketing specialists that the Internet is a wonderful way for churches to evangelize and make themselves known to a lost world.  Randall Mains, Founder and CEO of PATH-MAKER  MARKETING LLC, one of the premier e-mail marketing professionals in the country, agrees that the following steps are an easy way to inform prospective visitors about your church and what it has to offer.

  1.  Launch Google Ad Words - - Target Geographically

  2. Get your CHURCH found on Google by claiming your Google Place.

  3. Get your members to give your positive reviews on Google Places.

  4. Claim your Bing Listing

  5. Claim your Yahoo Listing

  6. Launch Facebook Ads - Target Demographically

  7. O[pen a Facebook Page for your church.

  8. Get listed in the top 40 directories in your community.

  9. Get an account in Linkedin, the Top business directory.

  10. Get an account in the other top 9 business directories.

  11. Get a twitter account for your church.

  12. Get a flcker account.

  13. Open a channel in Youtube.

  14. Open a channel in Vimeo.

  15. Open up blog accounts in Blogspot, Typepad, Blogsome, Blogger, Etc.

    AND HERE ARE THREE BONUS STEPS!!!!

  16. Put out an email blast to a local email list.

  17. Put out a send out card.

  18. Take an AD in a local christian directory - Most have an Online Directory

As an email marketing company, PATHMAKER MARKETING, LLC knows that the above

suggestions will work, if given the time to develop.  If you need a professional e-mail marketing firm to help you accomplish the above, PATHMAKER and Randall Mains stand ready to assist you.  To learn more, go to Pathmaker Marketing


Digital Outreach

Understandably, the first question that might come to mind is, “Why should we add a Digital Outreach to our church?”  Well, there are a host of reasons you might want to pursue new ideas for outreach, and the reasons for Digital Outreach are indicated below:

  1. You will have the ability to reach out beyond the confines of your church to a greater, broader community.
  2. If your church currently ‘serves” those in a ten mile radius, your Digital Ministry can go nationwide, or even international 
  3. It will allow you to better fill the Great Commission, per Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”
  4. Allow you a way of ministering to a vast mission field!

After wondering “why” to go Digital, the next natural concern is “what to do” to go Digital. You may want to establish a Digital Outreach Team, which will coordinate with those in charge of creating other ideas for church outreach.  Together, they can create a plan to implement all your outreach ministry ideas.  Following are fifteen suggestions to help you create a Digital Ministry

1. Launch Prayer Walls - An excellent way to facilitate outreach to people’s needs can be added to the website or church Facebook page.  

2. Establish an E-Mail Campaign - That people can receive for free, like “40 Days to a  Happier Marriage”.

3. Set up a Facebook Page For your Church

4. Offer Free Downloads - White papers on various topics such as “Three Weeks to overcoming a Negative Thought Life” or “10 Biblical Steps to Getting your Financial House in Order.”

5. Offer Electronic Bible Studies - “How to Establish & Improve Your Prayer Life.”

6. Translate your Website into a Foreign Language - Preferably the predominant one in the area you serve.

7. Turn Pastor’s Sermon Series into e-books

8.  “Stream” your Services on your Website and/or upload videos to You Tube

9.  Place “Teaching Videos” on You Tube  - Pastor having a “conversational chat” on various topics via digi-cam.

10. Develop an “Articles Archive” - Written on a variety of topics, you are basically creating an “Online Library”.

11. Develop an “Online” Bookstore

12. Develop a “Bulletin Board Forum” to discuss various topics/issues

13. Establish an “e Learning Center” - Classes on virtually any topic:  Bible Studies

14. Create a “Christian Calendar” - Upcoming Events, Local & National

15. Have a Church Blog - Discuss current events and life today from a Biblical point of view (Movies, Political Issues).

AND HERE’S A “BONUS” STEP!!!

1. Create a Prayer Chain - “Text Message” Prayer Chain

Now that you know “why” and “what,” visit Pathmaker Marketing  to learn “how!”

 


animated emailsMake no mistake about it, we do live in an entertaining world!  And, whatever entertains us the most is going to get our attention.  That is why the talented e-mail marketing experts at Pathmaker Marketing LLC stand ready to help you design and employ a major technological breakthrough - - Animated E-Mails!

One of the main things that you need to know, and keep in mind, regarding Animated E-mails is the fact that the methods used to generate Animation on a Web page are restricted for an E-Mail.  For example, websites can use FLASH, JAVA and a variety of other technologies.  With E-Mails, however, the major technology is Animated Gifs.

Most professional email marketing services will tell you that Animated Gifs is “old school,” and has been around for quite some time.  Like most forms of technology, there are a number of people around who dabble in this particular medium without being really proficient in it.  That’s where Pathmaker Marketing LLC , an email marketing firm, comes in— as they are  qualified, experienced, and immensely prolific!

While Animated Gifs is “the way to go,” it is not without its restrictions.  For example, a Gif with a lot of frames creates a large file, which causes the E-Mail to load slowly.  In a day when two seconds seems like an eternity, a slow opening E-Mail runs the risk of immediate deletion.  Too, while most E-Mail Boxes will display Animated Gifs just fine, Outlook 7 is an exception.

Still, within these parameters creativity can abound.  Check out the addresses below to see some of the better Animated Gifs currently on the Internet:

                                    http://stylecampaign.com/blog/?p=72

                                    http://stylecampaign.com/blog/?p=96

Pathmaker Marketing LLC recently accepted the challenge of something totally spectacular - - including a countdown within a client’s E-Mails!  The process began by creating a countdown for their Website (for an example of a countdown on a Website go to http://www.flashxml.net/countdown.html).  With a visual style to work with we were able to develop animation for their E-Mails, and were able to dovetail it with their Website countdown (http://jerusalemprayerteam.org/email/archive/0818.asp). While it appears that the countdown is actually taking place in the E-Mail, this is an illusion that we created, giving only the impression of a countdown.  This was accomplished by using only fifty-three (53) frames, thus making it a manageable size. 

To learn how, exactly, you and your Company can benefit from an Animated E-Mail Program prepared by an email marketing specialist you need to contact Pathmaker Marketing LLC to schedule a private phone conversation as quickly as possible.  After all, you want to entertain everyone you send E-Mails to!


 

The bottom line to successful email fundraising & email marketing consists of the following four simple steps to help you stay on track:

4 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL EMAIL FUNDRAISING OR EMAIL MARKETING

Email FundraisingAn excellent way to communicate, email has become so efficient that it has the U.S. Postal Service trembling in its boots!  But seriously, if you're still doing direct mail only, you need to add email marketing to your mix of online fund raising tools. And to get the most out of your email fundraising or email marketing program you need to implement the following four strategic steps to success:

1)    Build Your Email House File - The most successful professional fundraisers are using email marketing programs to solicit their house files.  I know this may be a long process to develop these lists, but once you have a robust house file acquisition process in place, your email lists will grow and your efundraising or emarketing communications to those lists will deliver for you maximum results, way above any external list file rentals.

Typically, your house file consists of various sub lists like your customer file (first or two time buyers); your best customer file (regular, large or monthly donors, for example); and your prospecting file of requestors who have asked for call backs, downloaded white papers,  signed up for your newsletters, etc. 

In as much as your email success will mostly be measured in dollars raised, or as a conversion rate percent of the overall send, it stands to reason that a larger size internal file will deliver you a greater number of positive replies, once you've found ways to convert the list into sales or gifts.  In other words, make a commitment to building your house file, and then ensure that's an on-going part of your marketing efforts.

2)    Test, Test, Test - There are several ways to proceed in this realm.  First, you will want to conduct a basic Email Split Test.  This is where you send out two or three different versions of the same email to determine which one(s) give you the best results.  You can test different subject lines, different email creative or different landing pages. By determining which ones perform best, you can fix the underperforming ones and/or concentrate instead on the ones that were productive and successful.

A basic protocol we use as a basis for testing fundraising for non-profits is the following:
1. Short cause-centric email to longer cause-based landing page
2. Long cause-centric email to shorter cause-based landing page
3. Premium-centric version email to basic premium (i.e. product Offer) landing page

3)    Evaluate Your “Core Metrics” - Your "Core Metrics" are your central pieces of data that help you make primary decisions regarding your email sending.  There are three major ones, and numerous secondary ones. The majors we use are the following:

a.    Opens (How Many Emails Delivered Were Opened)—this metric is not completely accurate but as a guide it's good to help you determine the effectiveness of your Email Subject Lines. When your open rates are low concentrate on improving your subject lines.

b.    Clicks (How Many Opened Emails Clicked Through to Landing Pages) —this metric reflects the effectiveness of the email creative itself. If your click through rates is low concentrate on improving your email content (i.e. creative). Usually a good ESP will also provide data on which elements of your creative were clicked on, giving you insights into those things that drive click through for you.

c.    Conversions (How Many Clicks Became Sales or Gifts) —this metric reflects the effectiveness of your landing pages at converting the visitor into a buyer. If your conversion rates are low concentrate on improving your landing pages.

A sub-item to consider regarding conversions is the average amount of each sale or gift, which, will also affect your overall results and thus can help you determine the over-all value of your various Split Test groups and online fundraising efforts.

…And a Bonus Step to a Successful Email Fundraising program:

4)   Fuss Around to Optimize - I can't emphasize enough how important it is to continue tweaking your programs, looking for pockets of opportunity in the data, and searching for ways to optimize your efforts and their results.  Figure out what people are clicking on and accentuate the positives, then eliminate the negatives! Keep a document of lessons learned as well, so you can refer back to things you have gained over the years that you can build on in the future.

Email marketing is a proven and effective way to enhance your ephilanthropy, so use these four principles to accelerate your email marketing efforts, and call Pathmaker Marketing in Phoenix at 623-322-3334 if we can be of any assistance to you. Or read further about this topic on our blog about email fundraising.

 


Internet Marketing

There is no question that the Internet has become a major source of acquiring information, about topics and about people.  As a result, many pastors are discovering that it behooves them to have a sub-stantial presence on the Internet, a Five Star Footprint, if you would, that helps to further the church they serve and the ministry that it offers.  With that thought in mind, I have put pen to paper to help those individuals who do, in fact, want to accomplish this particular goal.

The first thing a pastor needs to do is decide is whether they want to be “covert” or “overt” when it comes to the Internet.  If, as you are reading this, you decide that your decision is to be “covert” you need not bother reading any further, as this article is being drafted for those individuals who want a higher profile when it comes to the Internet.  If you have not yet made this decision, a major determining factor is this:  If you believe that many people choose a church because of how they feel about the Senior Pastor, you will definitely want to develop an overt persona, to ensure that you are not a “mystery” to potential new members.

It must also be understood that, like it or not, the Internet will contain information about you. Understanding this basic fact is pastor and Church Marketing 101. The question is, if people check you out online what do you want them to find?  Do you want them discover a random jumbalaya that Google assembles, or a concentrated effort that you have orchestrated and put together?  If you opt for the latter, what you will be doing is developing your own online profile rather than relying on what Google might come up with.  The thing to remember is, if you leave it up to Google , what viewers see might be positive, benign, or adverse.  Google doesn’t filter the material, they just display it. But effective internet marketing doesn't leave these important matters to chance.

My contention is that if you are going to be “overt” you might as well be ubiquitous as well!  So, to create a Five Star Footprint you will want to begin with the Search Engines, of which there are three main ones: Google, Bing and Yahoo.  Google is the dominant engine, and in that channel there are several “Google Searches,” and you will want to make sure that you show up in all of them. 

1. Tackle the Search Engines, Google First - Your first step is to show up in a “general” Google Search, which displays everything on the Internet.  There is also an Image Search, a Video Search, a Local Search (known as “Maps”), a News Search and lesser searches such as Books, Blogs and so on.  As a result, your number one priority in establishing your Five Star Footprint is to “tackle” Google.  Once you have done that, you can then concentrate on Yahoo, Bing, and other places.

To begin the process, “Google” yourself and see what shows up.  In doing this, use every variation of your name as possible:  Rev. Bob Smith; Rev. Robert Smith; Rev. Robert E. Smith; Pastor Bob Smith; Pastor Robert Smith; Pastor Robert E. Smith and so forth.  Once you determine what shows up for you in these searches you need to identify the items you feel positive about.  For example, if GOOGLE displays your FACEBOOK page and you like your FACEBOOK page, this is a web property you need to concentrate on developing further.  You do this by adding content to that web property first, then finding ways to build backlinks to it. Make this your pattern: Concentrate on developing web properties that already show up in a Google, Yahoo or Bing search that you have control over. They are low-hanging fruit that you can more easily influence.

2. Take on the Social Networks - Other channels where you will want to make sure you position yourself by developing a presence include: creating a FACEBOOK Page and possibly a FACEBOOK Profile; make sure you have an account on LINKEDIN, that you have a personal website, a Twitter Account, are on YouTube and possibly Vimeo.  Once you have opened all of these Accounts and continue to add content to them they will most liekly show up as well on a GOOGLE search of your name.  If you don’t currently have any videos you need to start doing them - - on your sermons, or a “Scriptural Seconds” series.  Videos can get you listed in a both a general set of search results as well as Video Search resuls. 

3. Populate the Web with Your Photos - Displaying photos of yourself is another good way to develop a Five Star Footprint.  If you don’t have a Flicker Account get one as soon as possible.  Upload your photos so that they are “optimized” to your name.  You accomplish this by entitling the files “PastorRyanSmith_DesMoinesIowa” rather than “img9356.jpg".  You can also get into FLICKER and write a Title and a short paragraph about each photo.  Remember, GOOGLE “interprets” text, not images, so once you upload your images, give it a proper file name, proper title (Pastor Smith Preaching in Pedusky), and description. Then, if someone searches “Pastor Smith,” GOOGLE will potentially bring up the photo in the display results.  You can also put photos on your Blog (make sure they are titled properly too!) and on your FACEBOOK Page.  Be sure to back link from Flicker, FACEBOOK, and your Blog to your website.  By posting and optimizing your videos and photos onto the web in these various places, like Facebook Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, etc, you are providing the internet with images that you want people see, rather than leaving matters to chance.

4. Move into Advanced Footprinting - Once you've begun to get your web properties, social networks, videos and images populating the web on searches for your name, you can move into advanced areas of branding and footprinting. These would include things like regular blogging using a ministry blog or  premier blogging service, Facebook posting, tweeting, article submissions, link buidling, social bookmarking, local listings, and so on. You might even graduate to targeting keywords beyond the variations of your name, or using online marketing tools like SEOMoz, aHREFs, SheerSEO and others. In many of these cases, you may even want to retain the professional services of a non profit consultant, like Pathmaker Marketing.

You may want to take a few moments and Google the following individuals to see how they have established their Five Star Footprint. Evaluate each person to see what is showing up. In some cases,  you might be able to replicate their paths to success. The first, Dr Michael D Evans, totally dominates “page one” rankings on Google Search, Google Images, and Google Video, which, obviously, is a very good position to be in! But others do too, and you can as well, with some time and effort taken to get yourself there.

Dr Michael D Evans

T D Jakes

Billy Graham

Bill Hybels

Luis Palau

The importance of establishing a Five Star Footprint, as we previously mentioned, is that it allows you to control what people find when they Google your name, rather than leaving what they discover to chance.  As people rely on the Internet more and more to help them make decisions of where to go and what to see, ensuring that you have a positive presence online is not only a good idea, it is a veritable must!

Disclaimer: The process above can go quickly and smoothly for some pastors who have uncommon or unusual names. For those with common names - ones that many other high profile people share - the process will be more protracted and results deferred. Don't get discouraged by this. Most of these results take time to developed, meaning 6-12 months or longer to get establish a pervasive, ubiquitous Five Start Footprint developed. If you want my personal assistance in this regard, call me at my office at 623-322-3334 or Skype me at Pathmaker.Marketing


Internet MarketingWhether you are a premier blogging service, non-profit consultant or a fundraising company, the bottom line is you need to generate revenues. Do you know how to make people buy from you? Well, they have to trust you. Do you know how to make them trust you? Basically, they have to believe that you know what you are talking about. In short you have to be viewed as the expert that they can count on in your field.

In this post, I will detail the things that you need to do in order to push your brand and be seen as an expert in your field. Once you have accomplished this, you can be sure that you can easily generate sales through your blog. Here’s how:

1. Write contents that they would be willing to share - The first thing that you should do is to write contents that are share worthy. This means that on top of the facts that you are going to present, it has to be an interesting read and helpful to the readers. If the content you wrote is share worthy, people will recommend it to their connections and this will increase your online exposure to a wide range of audience. This will bring awareness to who you are and the kind of knowledge that you bring.

2. Use multimedia - When I say contents, I don’t mean only written ones. You can also share your expertise using audio and video. You can for example upload  talks on Blog Talk Radio or create a podcast at Blubbery. All these can be automatically uploaded to iTunes for greater exposure. And you should not forget to start your own YouTube channel because the exposure that you will get here is simply awesome.

3. Use the features of the social media - Give links to your contents in Twitter, answer questions in LinkedIn Answers, interact on Facebook. In short, using the social media can be helpful.

4. Join groups that are looking for experts for media exposure - Facebook and LinkedIn have groups that are constantly looking for experts for media exposure. Look for these groups and join them and then answer queries related to your expertise. Profnet  from PR Newswire is also a good place to brush elbows with journalist and authors to further your exposure.

5. Interconnect your efforts - Your business marketing promotion online should be integrated so that you can exploit its power. You can interconnect your Internet business marketing promotion website and Ministry blogs with Facebook through its social plugins and use tools like Twitterfeed so that you can feed them to Tweeter as well. Aside from the exposure that you will get, you will also increase the PR of your website and blogs through these links.

Unless people see you as an expert, you cannot expect them to part with their money. By making enough credible noise, people will begin to see you as somebody who knows what you are talking about. Take note, you have to make credible noise and not just any noise. This means accountability on your part because the moment that you publish something erroneous, that would be the end of your online fund raising career. 


5 STEPS TO FACEBOOK MARKETING SUCCESS

The bottom line to successful facebook marketing for emerging businesses, churches or charities has to do with two basic objectives: 1) build your fan base, and 2) convert your fan base into customers.  Here are five steps you can use to Facebook successfully.

For the creative businessperson, the fact that Facebook now allows companies to have public pages presents a big opportunity for effective internet marketing and small business marketing strategies to emerge. 

Your task is to apply these steps below, and then stick with it overall. This is a bit of a long run play. While some companies may cash in quick, remember, by marketing in Facebook, you are choosing to market in the #1 SOCIAL NETWORK on the internet. Did you grasp that? It's the top social network.  With over 500 million users, most people are on FB to swap photos of their kids, talk about the movies, find old classmates, share cool experiences, and other social endeavors. Even so, there are certain aspects to Facebook that are highly attractive to marketers and certain online marketing tools that you can take to lead to success in this enormous online channel!

1)    Obtain a Facebook Page for Your Company

Acquiring your company Facebook Page allows you to lock of this important piece of real estate now, while you develop your strategic Facebook marketing plan after. Do this asap. Especially if your company name is common. Here's where you go to start that process. Otherwise, visit facebook.com and look near the bottom where it says Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business. Once someone else gets your name first, you could be stuck with the backup version, which is less ideal, and it may not be the one you prefer.  Realize that these pages are valuable becasue they are public, so you don’t have to be logged into the Facebook channel to find them or interact with them. That means Facebookers, non-Facebookers and the search engines can access your page online. That's where the internet marketing ideas begin...

2)    Develop Your Facebook Strategy

You have to determine what, exactly, you want to accomplish using your Facebook Page, which will help you determine what you are going to do.  If increasing your Fan Count is your initial goal, as it usually is, you could accomplish that by running a Contest or Sweepstakes or Giveaway.  These have been very successful on Facebook for companies of all sizes. To learn more about these, Google: Contests on Facebook, or go here. Of course, the best contests are heavily promoted wihtin FB and without FB, so recognize you have to use every asset you have in your arsenal to promote your contests in order to see them utilized and helping you to build your fan base.

One client Pathmaker has been honored to help in this regard is the New Living Translation fan page found here. In Feb of 2010 they had 500 fans on FB, but now after three contests / giveaways and ongoing organic growth they are running at a much stouter level of 24,500 fans plus, and growing.

What you may fail to realize is that when you run contests n Facebook, not only do you build your fan page "likes", but typically, when done right, you also build your email lists. So in the NLT case above, in addition to page fan growth, they have also enjoyed growing their email database by over 20,000 names.

Another strategy for Facebook is to integrate what you are promoting in your business in general to your Facebook page.  For example, if you are planning on stocking an entire section of your Sporting Goods Store with fishing equipment to correspond with the upcoming Fishing Season, you might run a Contest to name the area (Anglers Corner, Getting Hooked, Rod and Reel).  Also, part of the entry could include the entrant explaining why they think we need to pass the Love of Fishing to future generations.  Now your FB contest corresponds directly into what you are doing online and offline! Cross promotions can occur.

Another strategy is to provide an ongoing channel of open communication with your constituents. Use FB to talk with your fans and listen to what they have to say about your company and its products or services. Dialogue

3)    Talk to People About Your Exciting Things

When you communicate with your fans on Facebook, talk to them with passion and fervor.  Share your enthusiasm for your company and what you do. You can’t expect others to get excited about what you are doing unless you are!  Your goal is to transmit enthusiasm and the Facebook channel is an excellent way to do that!  In general, while the Best Practice rules for Facebook company page messaging are still emerging, it seems to be that a routine of 2-3 posts per week is currently acceptable. Make sure to monitor your posting for feedback and reactions and get into dialogues with your fans. The key here is to be engaged in a ongoing conversation with your fans and supporters. Be genuine. Be real. Be available. Be active and interactive.

4)    Build Your Fan Base to Larger Levels

As you undoubtedly know, when you post something on Facebook, it is spread onto your Fans News Feeds and to their Friends News Feeds and so on.  So, obviously, everything you can do to increase your Fan Base is going to greatly affect your outbound messaging impact. As you post more messages, more people are going to see you showing up in FB.

Some ways you can do this:

1. Socialize any email communication you do. See an example here of a client email template Pathmaker just updated to optimize the social networking aspect of their outbound communication. Since you may be already doing email, facilitate the sharing aspect of your messages on Facebook, and other social networks, with methods like these.
Notice the header and footer ingredients of this email template. This client is wanting their email recipients to "Like" them on Facebook and share their Newsletters with their friends and family. Since their email list is much larger currently than their Facebook fans, they are using email to push their FB fan page up.

2.  Promote your company Facebook page in the media. If you are a broadcast enterprise, promote you FB page on radio or TV. Or promote it in any print ads you place, or even on your company business cards. Think of all the old school methods you have within your power to cross promote your FB page, and you will see your fan growth improve.

3. Cross promote your FB page online, on your company wesite and blogs. See an example of this at our Pathmaker website where we promote FB up top and down at the bottom.

4. Take out Facebook Ads to promote your company Page within the Facebook community. To learn about that go here.

…And a Bonus Thought Regarding Facebook

5)    Provide Your Fans With Opportunities to Become Customers

You will notice that your Facebook Page is going to bring you success in a sequential manner:  You will first get Likes, and then Likes and email addresses and finally Likes, E-mail Addresses and Sales.  Remember, first you build your base, and then you endeavor to turn your fan base into customers.  It is that final step that will make your Facebook efforts a successful business channel, that's contributing to the bottom line for your company.

Ways to do this? Consider posting Facebook only special offers, coupons, discounts, deals or terms. Let your fans know you recognize their support and want to reward them for being good customers. In this way you slowly begin to convert your fans into customers, and enjoy the benefits of watching Facebook successfully contribute to your bottom line.

Randall Mains is the Co-Owner of Pathmaker Marketing, LLC - a Phoenix, Arizona internet marketing agency helping emerging businesses, churches and charities reach their online marketing goals and objectives.
 


The bottom line to successful search engine optimization services consists of the following six steps to effective internet marketing in search.

6 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING

    Since the inception of the Internet, one of its most popular uses has been Search.  As a result, Search Engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have became prevalent and Search Engine Marketing has become a viable way for businesses to market themselves online.  But due to fact that you usually have extensive competition when participating in Search Engine Marketing, the successful company needs to know, and adhere, to all of the following practical steps, in order to be successful in search and related internet marketing ideas.

1)    Conduct Comprehensive Keyword Research

Preparatory to undertaking your Search Engine Marketing Program you must devote the time, money and energy to conducting comprehensive Keyword Research. Start with the Google Keyword Tool which is free to utilize.  You may go through mulptiple rounds of research to really find all the terms that relate to your company, but don't worry.  A really good set of keyword research may turn up nearly 1500 search terms that work for you...maybe even more. One client we did Keyword Research for had nearly 50,000 applicable terms at the end of their keyword research project.  Once you have completed your Keyword Research, prioritize the search terms into winnable keywords for your company, meaning those you have a probable chance of winning a Page One ranking. 

Obviously, determining winnability is a vital step, so we use three strategic indicators to help us weed down our list into those that we might potentially win a page one ranking on in Google, Yahoo or Bing.  1st is any term under 2500 a month in Google Global Search Volume. 2nd is any term costing under $2.25 per Google PPC. And 3rd is any term ranking under 45% per the SEOmoz Difficulty Ranking.

2)    Search Engine Optimize Your Website

To enhance your chance for success in any organic page rankings, you need to optimize your website pages for two or three of the winnable terms you chose.  In general, figure that each page is going to be optimized for 2-3 terms. This process will increase your Page Rankings in Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL and Ask, thus bringing qualified potential visitors to your website site. There are multiple tools to help you SEO your website, so Google Top 10 SEO Software Tools or go here to start your SEO research project for online mareting tools.

3)    Launch Google Pay Per Click

Google PPC (aka AdWords) is a wonderful form of online marketing, as you only have to pay when someone actually clicks on your ad and goes to your site. What I like most about Pay Per Click is it allows you to run live tests on multiple search terms to discover which terms are getting you leads, sales or conversions!  Once you have ascertained this information, these are the terms you will want to pursue in the other four areas of search engine marketing: SEO, blogging, linking, and social networking.  

4)    Begin Keyword Blogging

As much as possible, you want to blog about the terms you are trying to win!  There are, typically, a wide number of variations on a keyword theme, which will allow you to write about the terms from slightly different perspectives.  The key here is to develop depth of content in your Keyword Marketing, so that when you are targeting keywords you are blogging in detail about your subjects, and developing your expertise on the subject.

5)    Start Social Media Marketing in Facebook, then Twitter

The first step here is to acquire your Company “Real Estate” as soon as possible.  Get your company acounts in Facebook and Twitter first. If you can, also Claim your company listings in Google, Yahoo and Bing.  Once that land grab is accomplished, the next step is to develop your social media strategy. Think of yourself as an ambassador for your company in Facebook and Twitter. You need to abide by the appropriate "rules" of the various channels you opt to concentrate on as you look for ways to represent your company to those markets.  

6)    Perform Ongoing Link Building

While concentrating on your Keyword Terms and Phrases, you need to approach Back Linking with a four-pronged attack:

a.    Develop Volume Links back to your company website.
b.    Develop Deep Links to subpages of your site.
c.    Pursue Authoritative Links if possible—If you are a Sporting Goods Store and get backlinks from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, FIELD & STREAM and DUCKS UNLIMITED you will have Authoritative Links!
d.    Establish Local Links within Local Niche and Business Directories

To validate the success of this link building undertaking, you will want to monitor results at least monthly if not weekly!  Links will bring you traffic to your site and improve your standings in the search engine results.  Be sure to alt-tag your terms whenever possible.

For other small business marketing strategies, visit my blog covering a variety of methods for business marketing and promotion online, or call my arizona internet marketing agency at 623-322-3334 for help by the phone.  Ask for Randall Mains


5 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL BLOGGING

Blogging is an excellent way to use the Internet to promote you and your business, church or charity.  As with any “tool,” however, to be most beneficial it has to be used properly.  Below are five basic thoughts you need to keep in mind when using blogging as a effective internet marketing tool.

 1)      Write About What You Know About—in Detail!

Blogging helps you establish yourself as an expert in your field.  As a result, you will want to concentrate on making sure your posts demonstrate your areas of expertise.  The key is to share in-depth on a particular topic rather than addressing a lot of topics without sharing any real information.  The catch phrase here is “Depth is more important than Breadth.” Be as articulate as you can, because for many prospective clients, your blog will be your first impression to them, and you want to demonstrate your areas of expertise.

If writing content is a real challenge for you, you may want to opt to have someone ghost write your posts, either someone on your staff with more flair for copywriting, or by retaining a professional. You could constent to be interviewed on your topics of expertise, so your specific thoughts come through in the final copy.

 2)      Be Genuine—Not Promotional!

This is not a time to “hype” yourself and/or your company.  Share real information regarding the topic you have chosen.  For example, if you are operating a sporting goods store and are blogging about the five best flies for trout fishing in June, elaborate on the various merits on the different flies, not on why everyone should come to your store to purchase them!  If your blog is a ministry blog, then make your outreach real, not just hype or hyperbole, If you share valuable and valid information in your posts, people will be drawn back to your blog and, eventually, to your website or online store, or even to the phone meet you in person and get more information—and, hopefully, the five flies too!

3)      You need to be Consistent—and if possible, Prolific!

Blogging is often like exercise—we know we should do it, and have every intention of doing it—when we can get around to it!  Also like exercising, it is only truly beneficial when we do it consistently.  A minimum of one to two blog posts per week will give you the kind of content quantity you need, but if you can ramp up to three-four a week, that would be even better. In other words, be consistent first, then increase your volume over time. One rule of thumb to consider is that Google will start to notice your blog after about 50 posts, and then revisit you for updates. Once your blog is initially spydered and ranked, you can train Google to return more frequently, by posting new content consistently.

4)      Choose the Right Blogging Tool

There are two basic blog services you can use—fee-based tools like Compendium and free blog tools like WordPress.  While the latter has the upside of being free, the former may be far more beneficial for your needs.  Understand that a major goal of blogging is to win “Page Rankings” in Google, Yahoo, Bing (and lesser Search Engines) on your target terms.

It's important to remember that tools like WordPress, Blogger, Typepad may require you to manually search engine optimize your posts to puruse your page rankings, while a Premier Blogging Service like Compendium is engineered from the ground up to optimize your posts for targeting  keywords.  Based on return on investment in getting you search engine rankings results, Compendium is generally a better blogging tool than WordPress, even though it costs, because of the fact that it helps you search engine optimize your blog posts while writing in order to succeed at getting your desired page ranking results. In other words, a free blog tool is a great deal, only if you are getting ranked in the search engines, or you can generate readership independently. 

In truth, our company uses both, with Compendium being the premier blogging service tool we lean on most, and consider to the best blogging service out there, while WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, LiveJournal and others are also used frequently or judiciously, when budget or other reasons need to be carefully considered. See a side by side comparison I did recently on the topic recently.

5)      Pick the Right Terms to Blog About.

Using the right search terms by targeting keywords in your business or ministry blog posts will result in increased page rankings in the search engines.  This is accomplished by determining your winnable keywords via careful and comprehensive keyword research, and then incorporating those words and terms into the text as you write.  You can do this keyword research on your own, using the Google keyword research tool (Google: Google Keyword Tool), which is one of the best keyword research tools to start with. You can also retain a pro services company like Pathmaker, that is adept at the process, to ensure you get it done correctly. Once proper research is done, any company can usually identify a total potential keyword pool of about 1500 terms to pursue. Then you have to rank those terms by winnability: determining their potential for you to win a page one ranking on each of them. Some will be winnable. Others will not be winnable without an enromous budget.

And here's one final bonus step to Successful Blogging:

 
 6)  Protect Your Content

WordPress has a documented habit of just closing down blog sites if they determine that the user has violated their usage standards for one reason or another.  Unfortunately, bloggers often don really know what those “standards” are, nor do they give you the opportunity to change your content to adhere to their prerequisites, once your site is down.  This is one of the hidden little secrets to the free tools out there...you could lose all your content since it's hosted on their servers, not yours.

The best way to protect your content is to install a tool like WordPress on your own web server rather than on theirs.  Then blog away. Your content resides on your own servers, not theirs, and you can rest easier knowing that it's safer.  A simple task, this is truly a worthwhile endeavor as a precautionary measure to protect your content. Obviously, you should always have local PC backups too for all content posted on your company or church blog.

For more assistance with blogging, don't hesitate to call Pathmaker Marketing, LLC in Phoenix, Arizona at 1-623-322-3334, and we'll be happy to help you sort this out further.


            At the request of my Pastor I created a 20 Step program for Marketing our Church on the Internet. To make it as inclusive as possible, I recruited the assistance of Randall Mains, CEO of Pathmaker Marketing LLC. Realizing that the results of our efforts would be beneficial to a number of churches, charities or small companies, I decided to do a 20 part series and place it on the Internet so as many people as possible could benefit!

            I trust that as you read my posts regarding launching your blog, doing comprehensivek keyword research, and SEO-ing your website, that you have come to realize that the Internet really can work for not for profit organizations, and that the Internet is also a pretty good church outreach idea. A church blog is a major part of this, as it as it allows you to be targeting keywords

           The next thing I want to discuss with you is how link building serves well as a church, charity, or small business marketing strategy. After all, church marketing 101 teaches us that a church is, in fact, a small business and therefore the Internet business marketing promotions that work for companies work equally well for churches.


            Have you ever noticed that invariably some of the most important things we need to do are also the most time consuming and the most boring? That is exactly the situation with your website and link building! While an excellent way to strengthen your website's rankings in the search engines, the process of link building back links is often laborious at best. 

            “Why,” you may be wondering, “is link building relevant to our church, charity or small business?” 

Actually, there are two significant reasons that you should plan on making link building a part of your core Internet marketing plan. The first is somewhat obvious - - the more listings you have with backlinks to your website, the more opportunities exist for people to find your website in various locations online, thus bringing you qualified visitors. With a dynamite website, each time someone visits your website you have the chance of having them become a visitor to your church, charity or company.

            The second reason deals with the fact that a well-developed and properly implemented link building campaign will increase your page rankings within Google search results. This, of course, is clearly to your advantage, so link building should be an on-going part of your search engine marketing program (to be discussed in a subsequent post), thus allowing your website to be that much more available online.

Your next thought may very well be, “How do we develop a link building battle plan? Well, there are a number of techniques that you can use. First, get your company placed in as many relevant directories as possible - - national, local, and niche.” The purpose of this, of course, it to then have your listing in these communities, and get it linked back to your website, driving traffic in your direction from those sourcs.

            Work diligently to ensure that you get linked in relevant areasTo be listed in places just because they are available may be a waste of time and, in some cases, may even be counter-productive. As in any form of marketing, you need to identify your target market and pursue them with your link building efforts and dollars


            Next, establish links on relevant blogs, community sites, and forumsThese are excellent places to establish your church or charity as a leader in your community for providing services that individuals may be looking for, as you will have the opportunity to interact and dialogue with those individuals who visit the sites, thus making their arrival at your church that much easier. 

            With social media being the latest buzz, it shouldn’t surprise you that you should be incorporating links from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter into your link building rogram as wellIn as much as your Facebook account reaches out to untold thousands, the ability to link back from there to your website should prove to be a major hub in your Internet marketing program as well.

            You may have found that there is more to link building than you ever imagined! I trust that you have also discovered what a viable tool this is in your over-all Internet marketing strategy!

            At the request of my Pastor I created a 20 Step program for Marketing our Church on the Internet. To make it as inclusive as possible, I recruited the assistance of Randall Mains, CEO of Pathmaker Marketing LLC. Realizing that the results of our efforts would be beneficial to a number of churches, I decided to do a 20 part series and place it on the internet so as many people/churches as possible can be blessed by it!

            In the first installment I mentioned that it would be wise to launch a blogging process. In that, I alluded to the fact that you need to Target Keywords that are winnable, and explained how to do so. The next thing I think you need to concentrate on is doing keyword research.

            Knowing that comprehensive keyword research is the foundation of an effective search engine marketing program will allow you to understand that, basically, you need to “chase down” the people who need the services and programs that your church offers and lead them to your website. The whole idea is to ensure that your church comes up when people type in their search terms.

            You may think that there aren’t all that many words and/or terms, but actually quite the opposite is true. The typical comprehensive keyword search will yield a minimum of 1500 or more keyword variations! Through a variety of filters, you can narrow the number down that you will want to concentrate on regarding your website and your blog posts. The key, of course, is to find “winnable” words, and then prioritize them for your benefit.

            While I certainly can’t list 1500 words/terms here, I will give you an quick example of what I mean, using the top 20 terms found when using Chicago churches as our local example:

churches
bible study
catholic churches
orthodox church
youth ministry
church chicago
church in chicago
willow creek church
willowcreek church
chicago maps
churches chicago
churches in chicago
bill hybels
catholic churches in chicago
catholic churches chicago
baptist churches in chicago
catholic church in chicago
churches chicago il
churches in chicago il
church chicago il

Once you have your list composed, you will want to chose the terms that best describe your ministry, whether it be to teens, seniors, street people or other. These are the terms you want to concentrate on as your church Staff compose their blog posts, and as you “tweak” the copy and contents of your website!

That brings me to my next point - - once you complete your keyword research and acquire your final winnable keyword list the real task has just begun! It will take months - probably six or more - to get you to a point that when an individual types in a term/phrase on your list that your church will come up. Remember I said that this list is the “foundation” of an effective search engine marketing program? While the list is the foundation, the “structure” you will build on it will be all the blog posts that you and your staff write! It is those Church Blogs that will help you acquire page rankings from Google, Yahoo and Bing, and that is what will drive people to your website and eventually your church, making the internet an effective church outreach tool for you! 
                While it may rankle us to have to admit it, “Church Marketing 101” is one of those paradigm shifts that we just need to learn to live with, and Targeting Keywords is one of those internet marketing ideas that will, in fact, allow this to be a viable church outreach idea.

            In closing, I would suggest that you read Part III, as we will deal with SEO - search engine optimization - and how to ensure that your website will, in fact, get Google, Yahoo and Bing page rankings!


            The look on his face assured me that Jim was more than just surprised, he was mortified! Everyone in the place was giving us their undivided attention - - many of their faces reflecting sympathy; most reflecting curiosity, and at least one was reflecting empathy! Jim, a good friend who runs an independent Sporting Goods store, had become somewhat of a protégé of mine regarding internet marketing ideas. Affiliated with Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing, I have had an opportunity to acquire a fair amount of knowledge regarding small business marketing strategies and internet business marketing promotion online and have shared this with Jim on several occasions. Every once in a while Jim runs into a snafu, and, of course, immediately searches me out for an explanation or assistance in the matter.

            “Well, Jim, tell me what happened,” I opened.

            Settling onto the stool next to mine, and indicating to the counterman that he needed a cold soda right away, he paused for a minute as he organized his thoughts. Typically we would move to a booth, but interest was running so high on this one I decided we should stay put and let as many people as possible, or wanted to at least, gather around and listen to our discussion.   Taking a long pull on his beverage, Jim began his report.

            “Well, remember how you convinced me to let Annie help the rest of the employees establish blogs and add a post or two a week?”

            Nodding affirmatively, I reflected back on that conversation. Annie is Jim’s teenage daughter, and when she recommended the blogging program I advised him that blogging is, in fact, an effective internet marketing tool. I explained that Pathmaker actually has clients who use us as a blogging aervice, developing their blogs and ghostwriting their various posts. It took a while to convince him that businesses should actually allow their employees an opportunity to blog “on the clock,” as long as it is “business related,” but he was enjoying a fair amount of success as he had made several large sales based on the fact that his employees have a tremendous amount of expertise in what they sell and share that expertise in their posts. 

            “Well, we have been doing that, and then this morning I got a notice form WordPress that they had shut down my site!”

            “Did they tell you why?” an interested party to the left of me asked.

            “All they said was that I was in violation of Terms of Service. Floyder, can they do that?

            Jim had, like so many others, found out about WordPress’ dark side the hard way. Unfortunately, they typically don’t tell you what, exactly, the violation is/was, nor do they give you an opportunity to rectify the problem. 

            “Well, Jim, obviously they can do it because they did,” I advised him as gently as I could.

            “Do you have any idea why they would shut me down,” he asked, the confusion in his eyes making him almost pathetic looking.

            “Well, actually there are a number of reasons that they might take action against someone. For example they can shut you down over RSS fed content, or content they don’t approve of. And, …

            “Wait,” Jim said, interrupting me. “What is ‘RSS content’?”

            “RSS - Really Simple Syndication. It is usually a situation where blog content is fed to Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social networking.”

            Jim pondered that for a minute, and then reminded me I was about to add something else.

            “If you read their information on the internet,” I began again, speaking slowly so everyone gathered around us could follow, “there is a paragraph that says ‘we kill spam dead.’ It discusses the fact that it will keep spammers from leaving comments on your blog, and that it will shut down ‘spam blogs’ that might try to sneak onto WordPress.com. Perhaps they considered yours a “spam blog.”

            Jim sat there, slowly shaking his head back and forth. Heaving a couple of huge sighs, he looked at me and asked the inevitable question,

            “Now what do I do?”

            “I would suggest that you go onto another Host Server, one where you pay like GoDaddy or MyDomain. The cost is minimal, and you won’t have to worry about this happening again. What you do,” I went on, “is simply install WordPress on your own server, and then you can't get your content removed by WordPress any longer.”

            “What if you haven’t already been shut down, any way you can avoid it from happening to you?” the same voice from my left asked.

            “Sure,” I assured him, “transfer your account to a pay server before they get the chance to shut you down. You can migrate your material from one to the other, so it won’t be too much of a hassle at all.

            Jim was now shaking his head - first up and down, then side to side, then up and down and then side to side and so on. I watched for a moment, wondering just how long he was going to keep it up. Finally, realizing that he was, apparently, “locked in” I broke the silence and stopped his head bobbing routine!

            “What’s wrong, Jim?”

            “Floyder,” he said with somewhat of a sheepish grin, “what I can’t figure out is how they would even know that we had fried Spam for dinner the other night.”

            Jim is, without a doubt, precious!


     For those whose intentions are to use their blogging efforts in a productive manner to gain themselves significant page rankings in Google, Yahoo or Bing, and thereby make their blogging a viable marketing tool, serious consideration needs to be given to Compendium.  While it is not the only blogging system available today, it is, by far and away, in my opinion, the best blogging system available for “bloggers” who want to be serious marketers.

     To make such a bold statement one needs to be able to support it, and there are three major benefits that give credulity to my claim.  First, and perhaps foremost, Compendium helps me target winnable keywords. 

     To explain this, let me use the illustration of the lemon tree in my backyard.  Typically, my large lemon tree has three “levels” of fruit:  Those which are on the low hanging branches and are easily picked; those on the middle branches, which I might be able to attain but it will take some more effort; and those on the very top branches which are, for all intent and purposes, unattainable.  Applying this to winnable keywords, we find that some terms are going to be easy to win; some are, perhaps, winnable with more effort, and some you probably will never be able to win.  Compendium helps you to determine which keywords are easy picking, so your blog postings revolve around terms that will get you page one rankings and top 50 rankings, both on your target terms and long-tail variations of those terms.

     To punctuate this point, recognize that Google is preferential to ranking terms based on depth of content, so you need to choose those keyword phrases that have not already had an “encyclopedia” written about them.  A good example of this might be “email fundraising” vs. “ephilanthropy.”  While you might prefer to use the more common of the terms, so does everyone else.  Therefore, the former might be unattainable where the latter is readily within your reach and grasp.  Whe you are targeting keywords. pursue the winnable terms first.

     From the blog posting side of this coin, since depth of content is a paramount concern to the search engines, you should be prepared in the long run to write 50 – 200 posts on the terms for which you are targeting keywords. 

      Secondly, Compendium gets me page rankings on my search terms.  A major goal of any business is to have a prospective client go on the internet, run a keyword search (on something other than your company name), and have the name of your business pop up, preferably in the number one slot, but at least somewhere on the first page.  Getting these page one rankings is what will drive those prospective clients to you, and allow you to convert them from “prospective” to “first time” client. 

    
The Compendium system excels at this by automatically search engine optimizing each blog post domain and page construction, and guiding you in real time to optimize your post content too. You won’t get that advantage from any free blogging service out there. This auto SEO step equips your blog to be truly optimal before Google, Yahoo and Bing, so that you get you the page rankings you so eagerly want to achieve. To do this in another blogging service, you would have to manually SEO each post, or hire an SEO specialist to do that for you.

     In our current economic environment, you want a system that will save you both time and money in your quest for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  These are additional advantages that Compendium offers.  Compendium has a tool that will help you optimize every blog post before it goes live.

     When looking for competitive blog services to Compendium, the one most often mentioned is WordPress, a system that can be accessed and utilized at no expense to the user.  The fact that WordPress is free can be a little misleading.  If your intent is to use your blog for internet marketing purposes, WordPress can cost you far more to Search Engine Optimize your posts to get the page rankings, than the expense of using Compendium. All things considered, Compendium saves me time and money over other options.

     The best way to compare Compendium and WordPress is, perhaps, in the form of a chart.  Below I have constructed a table that will allow us to do just that:

COMPARISON ITEMS

Compendium

WordPress

Optimizes Your Blog Post Domains.

Yes

Yes

Optimizes Your Blog Page Construction

Yes

Yes

Automatically Optimizes Your Blog Post Content

Yes

No

Automatically Compends Your Blog Post Content into Keyword Blogs

 

Yes

 

No

Organizes Your Post Content by Keyword

Yes

No

Allows for Unlimited User Blogs

Yes

No

Allows for Dynamic Calls to Action Headers, Ads

Yes

No

Provides Weekly Metrics

Yes

Yes

RSS Feeds into Your Social Networks

Yes

Yes

Provides Strategic Research to Identify Winnable Keywords

Yes

No

      As you can see, Compendium is superior to WordPress in a plethora of ways - - all of which are important to the dedicated internet marketer.  Compendium is, after all, a premier blogging service that is guided, directed, blogging for the purpose of winning page rankings on your keywords! For more intel, call Randall Mains at Pathmaker Marketing.

 


           Floyder - - Even People YOUR Age Are Using Social Media!

           Jim’s comment raised a few eyebrows, and even got a few guffaws from the crowd. Good friends, Jim and I have an easy relationship, with each respecting the other.
That’s why I was surprised that he had alluded to the double decade difference in our age with his opening comment. Sporting a wry grin, I ordered us each a cola and then we made our way to a booth.

            “What,” I asked, with a smile on my face and in my voice, “is that supposed to mean?”

            “Oh, not that!,” he responded immediately, realizing the connotation that could have been made. “What I mean is, maybe I can use Social Media as part of my Internet Business Marketing Promotion after all. Remember, we were discussing the fact that Facebook and Twitter might not be appropriate as the majority of the people using it really aren’t part of my Target Market? Well, apparently that isn’t as true as we had first thought.”

            Jim and I have, in the recent past, had a quite a few discussions regarding Internet Marketing Ideas. He is trying to make his way into the 21st Century as best he can, and, as a result, has high hopes and aspirations of using the Internet effectively to promote his independent sporting goods store. For the most part he is doing pretty well, though occasionally he gets his facts a little askew. This time, however, it appeared he knew what he was talking about.”

            “How,” he asked, almost philosophically, “does Twitter and Facebook compare to Blogging as a Marketing Tool?”

            “Well,” I began, taking a sip of my beverage, “let’s look at the immediate differences. Your Blog can be several paragraphs long, where a Twitter is limited to 140 characters or so. I would think that Search Engine Optimization is probably a possibility with Twitter and your blog, but probably not for Facebook.”

            “Randall would know for sure on that, wouldn’t he?” Jim asked.

            He was referring to Randall Mains of Pathmaker Marketing, which offers both Search Engine Optimization Services and a Premier Blogging Service as well LEARN MORE > >. Randall and I have worked on several projects together, and Jim more or less uses me as a conduit to glean needed information from him.

            “Yes,” I assured him, “I’m sure he would.”

            “You know, since I have to be concerned about Targeting Keywords, I can pretty much write anything I want to on my chosen terms, right? Floyder,” he went on, not waiting for a reply, “How, exactly would you use them if you were me?”

            “Well, you might Tweet that you are offering a special sale for the beginning of a season, and drive people to a dedicated landing page that features the offer. Or, on your Facebook page you might promote the fact that you have a Sweepstakes running with significant prizes from a particular vendor.  In your blog, you might write a Case Study about a customer who's had some succesd using your business expertise.”

            Jim took a draw on his drink, and sat there looking very contemplative. I checked my watch and realized I needed to leave for an appointment. I had made my way almost to the counter when I was interrupted.

            “Hey, Floyder,” Jim declared, “thanks for the soda and the advice. You know,” he went on, his voice taking on a tone of impish frivolity, “you’re still pretty sharp for someone your age.”

            Not bothering to turn around, I just waved a good-bye and grinned as I walked out, feigning disgust as best I could!


          Floyder - - I don't even know what a bloghead is!

          Jim looked pretty pathetic, to say the very least. Somewhat loud, though never obnoxious!, Jim is truly a sensitive soul and that is why the comment that had been leveled at him had been so devastating. It seems that last Sunday, in front of a whole group of people, his pastor slapped him on the back and exclaimed, “Well, Jim, why don’t you head up the committee for Internet presence. After all, you’re the biggest Bloghead in the congregation.”

            “Floyder, will you call Pastor and ask him why he would say something like that about me?”

            His puppy-dog brown eyes made it impossible to say “no,” so I gave Pastor a call. I surmised, and verified, that all Pastor meant was that Jim used Blogging as an Internet Marketing Tool for his business more than anyone else. The fact that “Bloghead” sounds suspiciously like “Blockhead” had made Jim feel like he was being ridiculed, which, of course, was not the case. Finishing up with the call, I explained it to Jim.

            A visual sigh of relief crept across Jim’s face, making it as placid as a crystal clear lake. As I watched, however, the metamorphosis continued, and the placidity was replaced with a look of total confusion. I waited, as I knew another question/ request would be forthcoming.

            “Floyder, is there such a thing as a Church Blog?” indicating by the question that he was accepting Pastor’s offer to head the committee.

            “Certainly, Jim,” I assured him.

            “Well, what does a church Blog about?”

            “Oh,” I explained easily, “there are several ways a church can use a Blog as an outreach tool. They might want to simply employ Christian Blogging to post content that is relevant to members of their congregation. Or they might want to develop their blog into an outreach tool, so that in that case it actually becomes a Ministry Blog.”

            “How would that work?”

            “Well, it could actually take several forms. For example, they might use the Blog as a discussion forum to facilitate small groups discussions on the pastor's weekend sermons.

            “They might also use the blog to feature and highlight the special ministries a church offers their community, such as children's activities, helping the homeless or their outreach to military families.”

            "Or they could use the blog as a vehicle for outreach, discussing subjects that matter the public at large, with a biblical point of view.

            Jim cogitated on what I had said for a while, and then asked,

            “Floyder, should I seek Pathmaker’s help?

            Jim was referring to Pathmaker Marketing, which promotes a Premier Blogging Service for churches (LEARN MORE >>). Jim and I have discussed numerous aspects of Internet Marketing, and, on several occasions, he retained Randall to help him with suggestions.

            “Well, it wouldn’t hurt.”

            Jim smiled and went to a world of his own where he was contemplating his course of action. Me, I was just glad he no longer looked pathetic!


Floyder - - It Don’t Get No Better Than Free!

            We had been having a pretty decent conversation, Jim and I, when I told him that the free blog posting system he was using might not be the most beneficial for his Internet Marketing Program.

            Jim, who owns an independent Sporting Goods store, is constantly rushing headlong into the 21st Century, somewhat helter skelter where Internet Technology is concerned. Because of my affiliation with Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing he typically runs his somewhat skewed views by me in an attempt to either verify or clarify his situation. Occasionally, however, he challenges my professional view with his stubbornly supported opinion. That was the case today.

             “What do you mean?” he asked, disgust and incredulity mixed freely and dripping form his voice.

            “Well, you have to understand - - if you’re just blogging for fun it doesn’t matter what blog services you’re using. But if you are using blogging as a serious Internet Marketing play, then you need to be a little more careful about which system you use.”

            “Why?” he asked, his voice indicating that he was a little more curious and a lot less critical this time.

            “What you want, to the point of needing, is a system that will help you with strategic keyword research. Your goal is to have your blog contain as many winnable keywords and phrases as possible. When you do, you have an excellent chance of positioning your blog to achieve page rankings in Google searches. You need a Premier Blogging Service that that helps you Keyword Marketing."

            “A ha!” Jim exclaimed excitedly, “I already have a number one ranking!”

            It was obvious that Jim thought he had me. I was pretty sure I knew what he was talking about, so I opened up my laptop and Googled the name of Jim’s store for Phoenix. Sure enough, he popped up right at the top of the list. I gave him a glance that allowed him to give me the “I told you so wink” that we often use on each other. Returning to the search box, I typed in “Fishing Flies” and hit search - this time his name didn’t show up at all, not on any of the first five pages. I did the same thing with Shotguns, Fishing Rafts, Softball & Baseball Gear and even Basketball Shoes. Nothing. Every time.

He just sat there stunned for a minute, then, in his “please help me” voice, he asked,

            “Floyder, what can I do?

            “Well, Jim, if you are serious about using blogging for marketing purposes, I would suggest that you get in touch with Randall at Pathmaker and have him set you up with Compendium.”

            “Compendium?”

            “Right. It is the blog posting system that Pathmaker Marketing promotes. It's a Premier Bogging Service, recommends to all of their clients, and it is, without a doubt, the best system on the market.”

            “What makes it so good?”

            “Well, there are a multitude of reasons actually. A few of the more important ones, where you’re concerned at least, include the fact that it automatically optimizes your blog post content, systematically organizes your post content by keyword, allows for unlimited users and dynamic calls to action. Not to mention the comprehensive keyword research you also receive to help you identify your winnable terms so you can begin targeting keywords.”

            “So all I have to do is sign up with Compendium and I’ll win keywords and page rankings?” Jim asked hopefully, realizing that probably wasn’t the case.

            “No, not quite. Google tends to prefer to give rankings based on depth of content, so you need to spend lots of time posting blogs for the next few months.”

            “How do I know what to blog on?”

            “Compendium will help you find your winnable keywords, and that’s what you need to concentrate on.”

            Jim was satisfied, I could tell, and I knew he would soon be giving Randall a call. Even though Compendium isn’t free, it gets results for its bloggers.

      Blogging is a wonderful way to impart pertinent information to the rest of the world.  And, as a result, many people are taking advantage of this avenue of expression.  If you are in business, however, and you want to let your blog “work” for you, you probably need to adhere to a different set of “rules” than the individual who is simply blogging as a hobby, to vent frustration,  or to seek an audience to pontificate to.  For the sake of this article, let’s refer to the business blogger as a “Professional Blogger,” and the casual blogger as a “Social Blogger.”

    The Social Blogger, typically, is mostly blogging for fun.  As a result, they blog when they have a few extra minutes or when they get around to it, and they blog about a myriad of topics.  One day they may write about the wonderful new restaurant they ate at the night before, and three days later they might vent about how poorly their favorite baseball team is doing.  They will discuss the high price of gas, or how they have begun their Christmas shopping earlier this year.  While their thoughts and approach might be very focused, even profound,  in each individual blog, they tend to take a “shotgun” approach where their choice of topics is concerned - - spreading a wide range of thoughts to their reading public.

    The Professional Blogger, on the other hand, can’t pursue such a haphazard approach to their blogging - - or at least they shouldn’t.  Rather, the Professional Blogger needs to be blogging with a specific purpose in mind, always mindful of the fact that their blog site should strive for a depth of content in what they write.  Their blogging has to be intentionally focused on areas of expertise - - they must also purpose to provide a steady flow of content posts per week.  They must continually be adding quality content to their blog site, always bringing readers back for more.  They must not be lackadaisical about this - - they are using this as a major part of their marketing plan and therefore must attend to it religiously!

     The Professional Blogger needs to be targeting keywords that they want to win a Page One ranking on in Google, Yahoo or Bing.  Once these target terms are determined, they pursue these top page rankings by creating best in class content surrounding those keywords, and, as a result, they also establish themselves as an expert in their field.

     While it may seem easy to identify keywords you want to write about, the real trick is to isolate the “winnable” words or phrases, since what's most important is picking terms to blog about that both relate to your expertise, and have some capacity to win you a Page One Ranking. Page One rankings will get your blog qualified visitors, who may convert into names to your email list, qualified leads, product or service buyers, donors, etc.

     The subtlety of finding Internet success though, can find you, like the old TV character Maxwell Smart, “missing it by just that much.”  Let me give you an example.  

     Suppose you want to win a page one ranking for “e-mail fund raising,” You already have a wealth of knowledge on the subject, and have been most successful in helping clients with the endeavor.  You now, however, want to use the Internet to “recruit” new clients, and decide that blogging is the route to go.  So, you diligently begin adding appropriate keyword content to your blog and, lo and behold, nobody is beating down your door to have you help them.  The reason?   People are not searching on line for “e-mail fundraising,” they are searching for “ephilanthropy” - - by the millions!  

     Obviously, this scenario could be frustrating to the point of devastation!  To determine the keyword marketing terms to pursue, you can either hire a Premier Blogging Service firm such as Randall Mains company Pathmaker Marketing, or you need to invest hours, days, or possibly weeks to research them yourself, using Google’s Keyword Tool or something similar (To learn more about this, read my upcoming blog, How to do Strategic Keyword Marketing Research for Your Blog).  

    Determining your area of expertise should, at least theoretically, be a little easier.  However, you may want to take a broad term and “narrow down” your area of expertise.  Let’s use our example of “e-mail fundraising.”  Fundraising, obviously, is a term used by non-profit organizations.  Now, you may want to concentrate on e-mail fundraising for churches.  To be more specific, you may want to be an expert on e-mail fundraising for churches with under 500 members.  Once you make the determination of what you want your “niche” to be and you have accurately identified the marketing keywords you want to win pages for, you can begin to employ your blogs as a valuable sales tool! (Don’t miss my next blog, 5 Critical Steps to a Successful Blogging Initiative!)

     The bottom line is this: when blogging, be targeting keywords that you've thoroughly researched so that you know you can win page one rankings that will get you readers.  That process is called Keyword Marketing, and it can pay off in spades for you.

     I filed a recent client report showing the Page Ranking results for their 15 Keyword premier blogging service.  To produce this report, 22 targeted keywords and 2 URLs were checked on 5 search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask and AOL. The first 50 listings of each search engine were evaluated to get the client's current results.

     On May 25th they had 115 total Top 50 Page Rankings:
45 Top 10, plus
30 Top 20, plus
14 Top 30, plus
26 top 50.

     The Page Ranking report showed them receiving an overall 19 fold increase in Blog Listing Results vs. January 20, when they had 6 Top 50 Page Rankings (2 Top 20 and 4 Top 30). The premier blogging service we are using on their behalf is really delivering to them substantial results, and we're glad to to have it be a part of their core blog search engine optimization services.  What's nice about the system is how it automatically optimizes their blog posts for the search engines, saving them a lot of time and effort performing manual SEO.

     If you'd like to consider a substantive tool for your company or church blog, or Christian blogging efforts, then check out Compendium Blogware and then give me (Randall Mains) a call at 623-323-3334 to discuss how this substantial tool could reward your company with more leads, sales and name acquisitions, along with the ability to use the blogging process to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
 


     I've been asked recently to defend the use of my Compendium Premier Blogging Service, because so many other blogging tools are available for free on the internet.  Well, let me say this in my defense.  For anyone wanting a church blog, or wanting to use Christian blogging to get page Rankings in the search engines, I think my system is superior.
     There are three things that is does really well for me, automatically:
1. It optimizes my blog urls
2. It optimizes my page construction
3. It optimizes my page content
     My compended blog system creates keyword blogs from my posts that are optimal for my target keywords.  Those three things tend to get me noticed in Google, Yahoo and Bing, and I get really good Page Rankings as a result.  Plus, with my system, I leverage my blog posts into WordPress, Blogger, Xanga, LiveJournal, and Vox, so I get the benefit of using those free blog services too, but without having to worry about multiple accounts to upkeep.  My central blogging happens here, and the power of the internet flow it elsewhere.
    Until someone tells me otherwise, I'm asserting the fact that using any other blog system would require me to manually search engine optimize my individual blog posts, and since I do that for a living on client websites, I know how tedious and complicated that process can be to get decent page ranking results.
     Plus, my system allows you to have unlimited user blogs, which is a very hard to beat feature and benefit.
     If you want a demo of the high-powered premier blogging service we use to get stellar page ranking results for our clients, give me a holler at 623-322-3334, and ask me to show you the system we use.
 

 

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