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.


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


interenet business marketing promotion

Email fundraising is not something that only the professional fundraisers can do to raise funds. Even a newbie fundraiser can do such if he/she knows the secrets of this campaign. Just like any Internet business marketing promotion, targeting a hungry niche is of topmost importance otherwise, you will be wasting your time because all your mails will be instantly deleted. Here are some tips:

 1. Customize your email  - Do not send a “one-size-fits-all” email to all your targets. This is an instant turn off because people will just know it when the mail is not really for them. Take your time to create a customized email for the specific niche that you are sending it to. Generic email is a sign that you are being lazy and believe me, people can sense it.

 2. List quality is very important - It is common knowledge among professional fundraisers that paid addresses will always perform less than those gathered organically (e.g., if the donor gave you’re their email address). Although it’s not a totally bad idea to have paid addresses, you should make it your aim to have more organic addresses than paid ones.

 3. Don’t overlook your landing page - It is often said in SEO communities that you have to treat all parts of your website as a landing page because you don’t know where a prospect will land when following a link. You can bring a visitor to your site but if it is not optimized to convert them to donate, you will be missing a lot of opportunities there.

 4. Don’t just ask for money - Again this is an automatic turn off. People will not just give their money without knowing the value of what you are trying to do. Before you send a solicitation email, make sure that you already have sent at least two that tells a compelling success story, something that recognizes the donors and volunteers and similar things.

 5. Personalize your email - With all the information available online, there is no reason that your donor should receive a “Dear Donor” type of mail. Generic or a one-size-fits-all kind of mail will easily find its way to the recycle bin and that is why you need to personalize it. Put the name of the donor in your opening remarks and it is even better if you can tailor the asked amounts based on the giving history of each of your donor.

 If you are trying to win a non-supporter, send a customized email designed to welcome them to your cause and to introduce them to your core programs. This can be accomplished through compelling story contents which will convert them to donors in no time.

 Email fundraising has its own downside but following the tips provided above will greatly improve your batting average and of course, donations will increase too. Although email fundraising is not rocket science, you don’t have to take it lightly to the point that nobody believes you at all.


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


If you attended the pre-mixer workshop at the CBN mixer in Phoenix this April, you heard me present "The Bottom Line for Success Online."  If you weren't at the workshop, feel free to download that helpful 10-page White Paper from my website

Since the internet is my area of expertise, I'll affirm this fact: You must start planting seeds on the web today if you want to enjoy success for your company online tomorrow. Professional fundraisers know this fundamentally, but many small business owners have yet to grasp its significance.

I consider this so important for local businesses, churches, and charities, that I want to offer your company two very practical steps to jumpstart your efforts in this regard.

First, at no charge to you (meaning for free), Pathmaker Marketing will set up your personal and company profiles in Google -- a great initial step for local search engine marketing strategies -- and establish Google Analytics on your company website, so you'll get valuable weekly traffic stats for targeting keywords.

Second, I'm offering you a 50% discount off our Top 100 Local Directory Placements, designed to get your company listed in the Top 100 local, business, blog, video and map directories. That normally costs $995 ($10 a listing) but it's yours now at 50% off for just $495 ($5 per listing)! This effective internet marketing step is a fundamental building block  to establishing a proper Internet foundation.

Or you can get our Top 40 Local Directory Placements on sale for just $195 ($5 a listing).  At this low price, you can jump start your local business or church marketing 101 for cheap.

Either way, I'm going to extend these two special offers to you until 6pm, Friday, May 6th.  (If the deadline has passed when you read this post, call me up, and ask if I'll honor the deal anyway over the phone).  

I'm willing to help you plant your seeds today for effective internet marketing, so you'll reap the rewards tomorrow.

Call me today to get started: 623.322.3334
Or Skype me at pathmaker.marketing
Randall Mains, Co-Owner


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!

Search Engine Optimize Your Website      
                        
            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 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!

            To date we have discussed launching a blogging process and doing keyword research. Today, I want to discuss search engine optimization - both what it is and why it is important to you as part of your church marketing program. As we discussed last time, the paradigm shifts in our society mandates that churches utilize small business marketing strategies, and an effective website is an excellent church outreach Idea!

            In a nutshell, SEO is used to receive Page One rankings on Google, Bing and Yahoo which facilitates more people to “click through” and find your website and all that you have to offer. As many people think they know a lot about SEO, there are three myths that I would like to dispel at this point in regard to the topic:

            MYTH #1: As long as you Google your Church Name and come up “#1” you are in fact, search engine optimized.

            The reality is that the major search engines treat your church name as a  "gimme.” As a result, this means that in the realm of search engine optimization, this gives you virtually zero clout! In fact, if you don’t get page one ranking when you type in your church name you have a real problem!

            MYTH #2: Search engine optimization can be achieved quickly!!!

            Actually, nothing could be further from the truth!! It is a long, slow, and sometimes tedious task that leads you to the finish line in this race! There are, as you will learn, several steps involved, each time consuming in their own right. BUT the results are well worth the effort! As you schedule your SEO Program, you will want to allot at least six months to accomplish the task!

            MYTH #3: You can accomplish SEO for Free!

            The confusion in this realm is the fact that visitors come to your site for free, but the competitive nature of SEO mandates that you either hire professionals to achieve the rankings you desire, or that you plan on investing huge amounts of time and energy to accomplish SEO to your satisfaction!

            The myths aside, SEO can be a tremendous boon to the success of your church. If you, through your SEO efforts, you can attain a #1 ranking on a Google search you will get a lot of click through traffic! This may lead to visitors  who will, of course, greatly “enhance the chance” of your church growing!

           Understanding that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of words related to a church, your goal is to make sure that yours shows up for as many of these words as possible when a potential parishioner is searching them, and that is where your keyword research that we discussed in Part II comes into play!

           While the Internet is evolving daily, SEARCH ENGINES is one of the two items that tends to remain constant. Being well positioned allows people to discover exactly what it is that your church has to offer. To better understand this concept, consider the Internet a Super Highway with millions of people zooming along it every day. Your SEO program serves as a  billboard, advising them of what awaits if they will take the “proper exit” and wind up at your place! Unless they can find you, however, they will always be “potential parishioners ” and never “your parishioners!” If you aren’t showing up in searches, you don’t have a Billboard!  The first step is to conduct a keyword research project, which will allow you to find the rigth terms in order to have a website that is optimized!

           As you can see, targeting keywords can lead to more visitors, which strengthens your church outreach. I know this may all seem overwhelming, and would suggest that if you have any questions that you e-mail Randall Mains at randall@pathmakermarketing.net, as he is more of an expert in this realm than even I am.

            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!


THAT’S MORE WORDS THAN IN A SMALL DICTIONARY!

            Jim was dumbfounded to the point of being speechless. He just sat there looking at me, trying to determine if I was telling him the truth or not. We were sharing a cola and some small talk, when he asked if I knew anything about keyword marketing. He knew I did, but used the question to get us on the topic. Jim often sought my advice because of my relationship with Randall Mains of PATHMAKER MARKETING. One of the services that Pathmaker offers as part of their small business marketing strategies is Keyword Marketing. He offers it as an online marketing tool, and helps clients accomplish that which they seek by using Pathmaker as their search engine optimization agency. SEO is, of course, a sound search engine marketing idea, and one that Jim, apparently, was hoping to incorporate in the marketing plan for his independent Sporting Goods Store.

            Anyway, we had jawed about it for a while when he asked me how many keywords might be associated with his business, and nearly dropped his teeth when I told him it could be upwards of a 10,000 or more. That’s where we were now - - him trying to fathom what I had just told him.

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

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

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

            And therein lies the problem, I thought. So many people are unaware of the fact that search engine optimization is a science, and not just a crapshoot. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            “Let’s try,” he exclaimed excitedly. 

            “Try what?” I asked warily.

            “Listing 10,000 words. Come on, Floyder, we can do it!!”

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


     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!



THAT’S MORE WORDS THAN IN A SMALL DICTIONARY!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            “Let’s try,” he exclaimed excitedly.
 

            “Try what?” I asked warily.
 

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

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

 


     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.
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      I marvel at how often clients come to us at Pathmaker Marketing and do not have a firm grasp of exactly what they want us to accomplish for them.  This seems to be as true for those companies who are seeking a small business marketing strategy as those charities who are interested in non-profit fund raising. 
     For whether they are looking for an online marketing tool, church outreach ideas or search engine optimization services, their goals are often murky and poorly defined.  An example would be those who put together an internet ad without having defined how to evaluate the results of the advertisement, or measure its success.
     First, as you develop your online ad you need to know what, exactly, you are expecting it to accomplish for you. 
     There are basically a few strategic things that you can hope to receive from your internet marketing endeavor - - a list addition, a lead or a sale.  Typically, your product or service will determine which you should expect.  For example, if you are selling your services as an Architect for Church Expansion, you will undoubtedly pursue leads, not sales. 
     On the other hand, if you are selling a $49.95 product titled “6 Steps to 1,000 Perfect Sermons,” the end result is more apt to be a sale than a lead. 
     Once you fully understand your objective you can better measure the results. Making this determination will allow you to decide whether or not your advertising program was a success.
     Second, as you determine your objectives you will find that they may be different depending on whether you are prospecting for new customers or selling to your current ones.  Example: is the list email you are using an “internal” or “external” list.  For an internal list, one where you are contacting current/past customers, you may decide that for a thousand dollar investment you will want to realize $10,000 worth of sales.  It might be more, it might be less - - you should be able to determine this because you will already have a track record with those individuals. 
     However, with an “external” list, a list of potentially new clients, you may be pleased even if you don’t break even!  For the same thousand dollar investment, a return of only $750.00 might be acceptable because you are acquiring new names/clients for future upselling to your internal list.  These individuals will have ongoing upsell potential and a “life time value,” which may be very significant.
     It is vitally imperative that you define your objectives, for without doing so you cannot determine if your campaign was successful or not!  Too, you may want to set up a “scale” of probably/possible success.  If your “goal” is to glean $10,000 on a $1,000 investment, and you only glean $8,500, you might decide that the program was, albeit short of your expectations, still a success.  As with any goal, not reaching the ultimate goal does not mean you failed.
     It is possible that you may need help in defining and refining your objective, and we at Pathmaker would be more than happy to assist you in this.  However, before you invest in an internet advertising be sure you know what you expect it to do for you!
     Give us a call if you need more help to find ways to win on the web.


           As usual, Jim’s loud proclamation got everyone’s attention. I had just raised my glass of cola to my lips when Jim burst through the door - - literally!, and laid his statement on me. I was mighty parched, but knew that Jim’s need was obviously greater than mine, so I put my glass down and swiveled to face him. 

            He looked awful. He was perspiring profusely, though it wasn’t all that warm out. The rivulets of perspiration that had flowed from his forehead to his chin had left little trails of grime, and his eyes were as large as saucers. I noticed it had become as quiet as an abandoned mortuary, as everyone in the room strained their ears to see what Jim was going to say next. 

            “Jim, let’s go over to a booth and discuss this.”

            He started moving with me, but he didn’t wait until we got there to continue. And, he didn’t tone it down any, either.

            “Floyder, I swear to God I've never removed my clothes in public. I mean, I’m considered one of the pillars of the community! Good Lord, what is Martha going to think if she reads this.”

            “Jim . . . JIM!!, “ I fairly shouted, until I got a look that reassured me he was finally back with me. “Jim,” I began more calmly, “what the smash are you talking about?”

            “You gotta help me, Floyder. There must be something you and Randall can do."

            Jim was alluding to Randall Mains, co-owner of PATHMAKER MARKETING, a firm that specializes in Internet Marketing and Premier Blogging Services, as well as other Internet projects ranging from Online Fund Raising for Non-Profit Marketers to Search Engine Optimization Services. For the life of me, though, I couldn’t connect Jim’s nudity proclamation with Pathmaker Marketing!

            Jim’s facial expression could now only be described as pleading, so I knew I was going to have to get down to the bottom of what was going on.

            “Jim,” I began succinctly, “tell me exactly what happened.”

            “Well, “ he began, “remember last night when you told me the importance of Search Engine Optimization, and how that both me and my Sporting Goods store should have a presence on the Internet?’

            “Yes,” I assured him.

            “Well, I had a few minutes this morning so I typed my own name into a Google search and it popped up right there on my computer screen that I am a Nudist. And, Floyder, it even had pictures!”

            “You saw a nude picture of yourself?” I asked, my voice almost as excited as his.

            “Of course not! Floyder, I already told you, I ain’t no nudist!”

            More than a little confused, I whipped out my laptop and set it up. By the time I had logged in and started my search, we had quite a crowd forming a half circle around the table. Everyone was so interested I didn’t have the heart to ask them to leave, and, apparently, Jim didn’t have the inclination to. Finally the link popped up, and when I clicked on it sure enough, there was a photo. Only it wasn’t Jim, and he wasn’t nude.

            “See, see what I mean. That’s not me,” Jim proclaimed.

            I took a moment and read the brief bio. The gentleman pictured had the same name as Jim, of course, but was nearly forty years his senior and lived in Pensacola, Florida. Everyone drifted away, apparently disappointed the man was adorned in a bathing suit and beach robe rather than being au natural, and Jim and I were again alone.

            “Floyder, what am I going to do?”

            “Well, Jim, you have discovered what a number of other people are learning. It is important that you protect your personal branding online - - both of your personal name and your business. What you need to do is spend either the time, or money, to make sure that when your name, and your company’s name, is typed in for a Google Search, the Jim they find is the one they are looking for.”

            “Can Pathmaker do that?” Jim asked.

            “Yes, we can, and very effectively I might add.”

            “Good! I’m going to call Randall right now and set up an appointment. But before I do, will you do me a favor?’

            “What’s that?”

            “Will you call Martha and tell her I ain’t never been a nudist?’

            The plea in his eyes was greater than the one in his voice, and there was no way I could say “no” to either!

Get Pathmaker Marketing to evaluate your personal brand on Google, Yahoo, Bing and AOL, and determine what you can do to displace any adverse listings that might appear.  Contact us at 1-623-322-3334 for a free consultation.


            “Floyder, I am ready!!!”

            Not only did Jim’s proclamation get my attention, it got the attention of everyone in the place. And, like me, they could all see that Jim was, in fact, ready. The question was - - ready for what? He was attired in some of the most unique garb I have ever seen anyone wear. His outfit looked like a cross between a Haz-Mat suit and something retrieved from the prop storage unit of a really bad Science Fiction movie. Where he actually did acquire all of the various parts of his outfit was a mystery, but not as confusing as why he had chosen to dress that way - - and then announce to me that he was ready. By now everyone had actually gathered around us, and I figured we should find out what was going on.

            “Jim,” I asked, “what are you prepared for?

            “The contest. I heard you and Randall talking about a contest where you have to sweep steaks. I have been around enough raw meat to know that it can get more than a little nasty, so I thought I had better get an outfit that would protect me from all the yuckiness.”

            If you have read many of my other blogs you already know about Jim. Owner of an independent Sporting Goods Store, he is, to the best of his ability, trying to go “Hi Tech” with his Marketing. And, as a result, he sometimes gets his wires crossed in regard to the different programs being offered. That, obviously, is what had happened this time. Jim had joined Randall Mains, Director of Pathmaker Marketing, and I the other day late in a conversation we were having regarding the various aspects of a project we are working on for a client. Pathmaker’s area of expertise is coming up with Internet Marketing Ideas, which ranges from Keyword Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Services to Premier Blogging Services and everything in between. For this particular client, the “contest program” that we are employing includes the base contest, a sweepstakes, and a giveaway. Jim, having heard only bits and pieces of what was being said, surmised that there was a contest where the winner would be the one who could best sweep steaks. I smiled at Jim as I explained to him, and all of those present, what Randall and I had actually been talking about.

            The loud groan from the crowd indicated that everyone present was hoping to watch the steak sweeping actually take place. Everyone but Jim drifted away, and once we were alone he just gave me a somewhat sheepish grin. I smiled back, knowing that to him a steak-sweeping contest might actually be a valid Small Business Marketing Strategy. As I thought about it, I could almost accept that it could be an Internet Business Marketing Promotion if you reached the right Target Market with an E-mail blast. 

            “Floyder,” Jim said, breaking my train of thought, “is the contest program working?”

            I assured him that it was. So well, in fact, that this was actually the second contest we are doing for the client. That seemed to satisfy him, and, bidding me adieu, he sauntered out of the restaurant to parts unknown. I, on the other hand, could only wonder if he would have, in fact, won the steak-sweeping contest!

To preview our real NLT Facebook Sweepstakes, Bible Contest and Giveaway, visit the linked copy in this string of text through April 30, 2010. You could enter to win one of our daily NLT Bibles or the Grand Prize of a trip to Hawaii.


            It’s a good thing that my friend Jim is my friend, or we would probably come to fisticuffs every time we talk about the Internet. I have been working with Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing for some time now, and as a result Jim seems to have taken it upon himself to stay abreast of my new industry. Since we discussed his endeavors with his Blog on fishing, he has begun to use it as an Online Marketing Tool, and he has actually had some success with it. He has another friend, apparently, who is also sharing Small Business Marketing Strategies with him, and either Jim isn’t listening closely enough to what is being said, or the other person doesn’t really understand what they are talking about, as Jim frequently comes to me with his facts slightly askew. Let me give you another example.

            Jim called me on the phone the other night and asked if we could get together and talk about this great Internet Marketing idea he had regarding the Search Engine Optimization Services that Pathmaker offers. The excitement was so evident in his voice that I agreed to meet with him the very next morning. I had no more than sat down and ordered a glass of OJ than he fairly flew into the restaurant and proclaimed,

“I am going to get 4200 leads this time, Floyder!”

            Everyone in the place was enjoying his enthusiasm, so rather than trying to thwart it I steered him over to a booth that was at least somewhat isolated so we wouldn’t interrupt too many people, and listened to what he had to say. He repeated, even more excitedly than the night before, that he was going to be getting 4200 leads with his next venture excursion into Online Marketing. When I asked him how he knew he would be getting 4200 he simply said, “Well, that’s how many were in a Roman Legion.”

            It stopped me, I’ll have to admit. Even knowing Jim the way I do, I couldn’t quite bridge the gap between Small Business Marketing on the Internet and the Roman Army. Sensing my perplexity, Jim quickly said,

“Floyder, I’m setting up a Legion program, and since there were 4200 soldiers in a legion I figured I will get 4200 leads.” 
            I couldn’t help it - - I was still baffled. Heaving a big sigh, I confessed my ignorance of his latest endeavor and asked him what a “Legion Program’ is.  Now it was his turn to heave a big sigh. He shared with me that this is where you proceed by Targeting Keywords to send people to your Landing Page, and then those people can contact you about your product. See, he finished up, it’s a legion program.  I shook my head slowly back and forth, as it dawned on me that he was referring to a “lead gen,” or lead generating, program. Now, this is an excellent way to use Internet Marketing, and many of Pathmaker Marketing’s clients use such a program to glean leads as often as they try to actually make a sale. Nodding that I now understand what he meant, I corrected Jim’s conception of what he was embarking on.

            He wasn’t devastated, but he did become a little glum. It was apparent that he had his heart set on those 4200 leads, and the fact that it wasn’t as guaranteed as he thought it was took a lot of the air out of his sails! H perked up, though, when I assured him that it was possible he would still get the 4200 leads, and maybe even more. Almost back to his earlier jovial self, Jim headed to his shop and I decided to tell you all about his “Legion Program!”

 

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