Life is like Football

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

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

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

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

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5 Proven Search Engine Marketing Ways to Bring Qualified Traffic to Your Website

search engine marketingGone 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.

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The Bottom Line to Successful Search Engine Marketing

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 multiple 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 marketing 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 accounts 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:

  • Develop Volume Links back to your company website.
  • Develop Deep Links to subpages of your site.
  • 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!
  • 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.

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20 Ways to Maket Your Church Online – Keyword Research

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!

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Finding Strategic Terms for Keyword Marketing

That’s more than Words than is 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 crap shoot.

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

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

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

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

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

“How do I 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!

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Internet Savvy Fundraising Companies

If you’re a non profit or church who raises funds, then you need to include online fundraising in your marketing tool kit. And when you start doing that, you’ll want to consider the advantages of working with various fundraising companies. Just because you work with someone who has been managing your direct mail for the last several years doesn’t mean they’re the right choice for your email fundraising or search engine marketing efforts. You’ll want to look for Internet savvy fundraising companies for that.

When interviewing fundraising companies, here are some helpful questions you’ll want to ask.

What is your experience raising funds online? You’ll want to make sure they have several years of experience, but also be sure that they deliver good return on investment for their clients. Ask them for specific examples, and look for at least a 4:1 ROI for their current or past clients (not just a promise that they can do that for you).

What is your strategy for raising funds online? While strategies for individual tactics may vary, there is a general philosophy for fundraising that need to understand before choosing from your list of fundraising companies. How do they come up with each eAppeal strategy? How will you be involved? What is their eAppeal blasting schedule and strategy? How will they avoid colliding with direct mail strategies? How they make sure you’ll be able to see results from all online strategies? Make sure their strategies agree with your philosophies.

What is your experience in my industry? People surely can learn your industry, but it helps if they already offer experience specific to your industry. If you’re a Christian organization, it helps a lot for them to understand Christianity and the way Christians communicate.

What is your billing schedule and terms? Be sure you can afford their services and thoroughly understand the services you’ll get.

How do you resolve conflicts and disagreements? You don’t plan it, but disagreements occur. Go into it knowing how you’ll deal with them.

These basic questions may launch you into other discussions, but these will help you springboard into a thorough understanding of how various fundraising companies stack up against one another.

Pathmaker Marketing LLC is ready to help you raise funds online and would love to talk to you about how our strategies and experience fit with your organization. Visit our website or call us at 623-322-3334.

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Incorporating Article Marketing into Your Non Profit Online Fund Raising

Article Marketing is nothing new. Ever since there was a printing press, businesses have been writing articles pertinent to their niche and trying to convince publications to distribute them. It helps increase awareness of your business and creates an image of expertise on the author’s part. It helps the publication by giving them good content for less investment than having staff do do the writing, and the publication can charge other businesses for the right of advertising on those pages.

What has changed is how people are using Article Marketing in non profit online fund raising. Most good content sites won’t pay for your article. You still get the good exposure (what amounts to free advertising), and they still get the chance to charge others to pay for that page of your content. But online Article Marketing can turbo charge your non profit online fund raising efforts!

You can use your articles of search engine optimization, for example. Write well-researched articles that fill the needs and concerns of readers of a certain niche of people. Use keywords appropriately, so search engines will find your articles. Be sure to include language that tactfully persuades readers to click to your website. Find websites that cater to that niche, and then dole out your articles to a variety of content publishers. The link back to your website increases your site traffic, and if the publishing site distributes your articles via RSS feeds, the number of exposures to your article—and the people clicking on links to your site—greatly increases.

Another advantage of links to your website from within a widely-distributed article is that search engines rank sites higher in search results when you have more links to your site. This gives you even more exposure than just the article creates.

You’ll need to be sure to link back to pages that convert the visitors to assets (email lists, sales, donations, etc.) Pathmaker Marketing LLC can help you devise a traffic conversion strategy that complements your non profit online fund raising efforts.

Questions to help you be more strategic when incorporating Article Marketing into your non profit online fund raising include:

  • Will you be promoting the business, the website or yourself? Tailor your articles to focus on the one you’re trying to promote.
  • Are you a good enough writer? People won’t read your articles if they aren’t interesting and well crafted.
  • What are you going to write about? Don’t go down any other path, no matter how tempting it is to overcome writer’s block by writing about what’s on your mind on a particular day. Remember that your goal is to appeal to a niche and secure relevant links to your site.
  • Where will you send your articles? Find as many relevant article directories as possible, and make sure they have good traffic. Don’t duplicate the articles on your own site because content sites won’t want to use content that is used in too many places. It could also hurt your own site’s search engine rankings.
  • How much are you going to write? As long as you keep having good ideas for articles in a specific niche want to read, keep writing. When you run dry, don’t write. It will hurt the quality of the content along with your overall Article Marketing strategy. In terms of article length, keep to the 500 to 800 word range.

As experts in Search Engine Marketing, Pathmaker Marketing LLC, wants to help you create as many good paths to your site as possible, and Article Marketing is one of many. Contact us for a free analysis of your Search Engine Marketing efforts.

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