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 Market Your Church on the Internet – SEO

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 right 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. 

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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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A Keyword Marketing Tool in the Form of a Blog

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.  When 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.

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Keyword Searches

That’s more Words than in a Small Dictionary!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 “Let’s try,” he exclaimed excitedly.

 “Try what?” I asked warily.

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

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

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Premier Blog Service Gets Client Major Listings

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.

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10 Tips for Using Google Image Search in Search Engine Optimization

Be sure to include images in your search engine optimization efforts. You can get even more visitors to your website by properly preparing and coding your images. The reason is that properly prepared and coded images will be found and indexed by search engines, thereby increasing your search engine rankings. Here are some tips.

1. Use high quality images that are optimized for the web.
If your images get picked up by Google Images, more webmasters will link to crisp, clear photos, resulting in more people click on your photos and ultimately to your website. Also specify a width and height in the HTML to help speed up the length of time it takes your page to load into a browser. Pathmaker Marketing‘s professional search engine optimization services take into account the user experience, which ultimately results in more visitors and more conversions of visitors to business assets.

2. Give all images a descriptive title using your keywords.
rose.jpg is much more descriptive than img010609.jpg, and if “rose” is one of the strategic keywords you use for search engine optimization, you’ve increased the incidence of that keyword on your page. If you’re a florist who sells roses, daisies, carnations, etc., people doing a search for roses might be more likely to find your site if you use a more descriptive image name that uses your keywords. In its search engine optimization services, Pathmaker Marketing will help you research keywords that not only are strategic but are more likely to help you increase your page rankings.

3. Always use descriptive <ALT> tags, preferably using your keywords.
ALT stands for alternate text. If your link to the image breaks, or if people have images turned off in the browser or email client, they can still see a description of what you wanted them to see. But an additional useful feature of the <ALT> tag is that you can benefit from them in search engine optimization. Search engines will “see” what’s in your photos because of your <ALT> tags. If your photo is rose.jpg, and Rose is not a flower but a person who owns a bicycle shop named Guthrie’s Bicycle Shop (which is also a keyword), the <ALT> tag might be <ALT=”Rose at Guthrie’s Bicycle Shop”>. Google warns against “stuffing” the <ALT> tag with keywords. Avoid something like: <ALT=”schwin shimano Windsor mountain bike”>. Sure, these might be the types of bicycles Rose sells, but none of them are in the photo. If she’s sitting on a Windsor mountain bike you could put that in the <ALT> tag: <ALT=”Rose at Guthrie’s Bicycle Shop sitting on a Window mountain bike”>. Just be sure everything is in context.

4. Never put captions inside the image.
Sure, it makes it easier to keep your caption where you want it if you include it in the image itself, but it’s a really bad practice for search engine optimization. Put copyright info inside the image if you want, but not your descriptive keywords. Keep those in the HTML.

5. Opt toward JPG images when appropriate.
There are various types of image files, including GIF, PNG and JPG. Some older browsers don’t read PNG images well yet, and some search engines default to looking for JPG rather than the other two mentioned. That means the search engine is more likely to recognize your photo as a photo if you use the JPG format.

6. Put your images as close to the <TITLE> tag as possible.
If the title of your page is <TITLE=”Rose at Guthrie’s Bicycle Shop in Podunk”>, and someone is searching for “bicycle podunk”, your page could get picked up. If your <IMG> tag says <IMG src=”www.someplace.com/images/rose.jpg” ALT=”Rose at Guthrie’s Bicycle Shop in Podunk”>, and it is close to the <TITLE> tag (at the top of the page), the <IMG> tag reinforces the <TITLE> tag to help improve your page rankings. 

7. Use strategic keywords in all links to the photo.
“Click here” is a good action phrase that people are used to seeing and therefore know what to do when they see it. But “See a picture of Rose at Guthrie’s Bicycle Shop” uses your strategic keywords while also using an action phrase that people can quickly figure out what to do with.

8. Register your webpage at Google Webmaster Tools and tag them with Google Image Labeler.
Google Webmaster Tools is a free service that allows webmasters to optimize and check the indexing status of their sites. It’s located here: http://code.google.com/apis/webmastertools/. Google Image Labeler is located here: http://images.google.com/imagelabeler/. 

9. Provide context and relevance.
If your photo and everything that describes it is of Rose sitting on a Windsor mountain bike at Guthrie’s Bicycle Shop in Podunk, it won’t help if the page content is about studying Japanese in Los Angeles. This will just send a confused message to search engines, and it could do more harm to your rankings rather than good.

10. Protect your images in a way this is friendly to search engine optimization.
You can put copyright info in the image, and some people also include a watermark. Most people don’t mind the copyright info, but watermarks could result in webmasters not linking to your photos. Google also recommends providing a snippet of HTML for people to use to give you attribution when embedding your image on their page. Be sure to include a link to your page on that snippet. This will increase visits to your site also.

Pathmaker Marketing offers search engine optimization services along with non profit fundraising services, Internet business marketing promotion and more. See how Pathmaker can help you, whether you’re looking for a non profit consultant or other Internet business marketing promotion. Click or give us a call at 623-322-3334.

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