Internet marketing enables you to build relations with customers and prospects through regular, low-cost personalized communication, reflecting the move away from mass marketing. Here are some benefits you can consider.
Pathmaker provides a wide range of digital services to help you grow your business online. Visit our website www.pathmakermarketing.com for more information.
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 jump start 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
Blogging is a wonderful way to impart pertinent information to the rest of the world. And, as a result, many people are taking advantage of this avenue of expression. If you are in business, however, and you want to let your blog “work” for you, you probably need to adhere to a different set of “rules” than the individual who is simply blogging as a hobby, to vent frustration, or to seek an audience to pontificate to. For the sake of this article, let’s refer to the business blogger as a “Professional Blogger,” and the casual blogger as a “Social Blogger.”
The Social Blogger, typically, is mostly blogging for fun. As a result, they blog when they have a few extra minutes or when they get around to it, and they blog about a myriad of topics. One day they may write about the wonderful new restaurant they ate at the night before, and three days later they might vent about how poorly their favorite baseball team is doing. They will discuss the high price of gas, or how they have begun their Christmas shopping earlier this year. While their thoughts and approach might be very focused, even profound, in each individual blog, they tend to take a “shotgun” approach where their choice of topics is concerned – – spreading a wide range of thoughts to their reading public.
The Professional Blogger, on the other hand, can’t pursue such a haphazard approach to their blogging – – or at least they shouldn’t. Rather, the Professional Blogger needs to be blogging with a specific purpose in mind, always mindful of the fact that their blog site should strive for a depth of content in what they write. Their blogging has to be intentionally focused on areas of expertise – – they must also purpose to provide a steady flow of content posts per week. They must continually be adding quality content to their blog site, always bringing readers back for more. They must not be lackadaisical about this – – they are using this as a major part of their marketing plan and therefore must attend to it religiously!
The Professional Blogger needs to be targeting keywords that they want to win a Page One ranking on in Google, Yahoo or Bing. Once these target terms are determined, they pursue these top page rankings by creating best in class content surrounding those keywords, and, as a result, they also establish themselves as an expert in their field.
While it may seem easy to identify keywords you want to write about, the real trick is to isolate the “winnable” words or phrases, since what’s most important is picking terms to blog about that both relate to your expertise, and have some capacity to win you a Page One Ranking. Page One rankings will get your blog qualified visitors, who may convert into names to your email list, qualified leads, product or service buyers, donors, etc.
The subtlety of finding Internet success though, can find you, like the old TV character Maxwell Smart, “missing it by just that much.” Let me give you an example.
Suppose you want to win a page one ranking for “e-mail fund raising,” You already have a wealth of knowledge on the subject, and have been most successful in helping clients with the endeavor. You now, however, want to use the Internet to “recruit” new clients, and decide that blogging is the route to go. So, you diligently begin adding appropriate keyword content to your blog and, lo and behold, nobody is beating down your door to have you help them. The reason? People are not searching on line for “e-mail fundraising,” they are searching for “ephilanthropy” – – by the millions!
Obviously, this scenario could be frustrating to the point of devastation! To determine the keyword marketing terms to pursue, you can either hire a Premier Blogging Service firm such as Randall Mains company Pathmaker Marketing, or you need to invest hours, days, or possibly weeks to research them yourself, using Google’s Keyword Tool or something similar (To learn more about this, read my upcoming blog, How to do Strategic Keyword Marketing Research for Your Blog).
Determining your area of expertise should, at least theoretically, be a little easier. However, you may want to take a broad term and “narrow down” your area of expertise. Let’s use our example of “e-mail fundraising.” Fundraising, obviously, is a term used by non-profit organizations. Now, you may want to concentrate on e-mail fundraising for churches. To be more specific, you may want to be an expert on e-mail fundraising for churches with under 500 members. Once you make the determination of what you want your “niche” to be and you have accurately identified the marketing keywords you want to win pages for, you can begin to employ your blogs as a valuable sales tool! (Don’t miss my next blog, 5 Critical Steps to a Successful Blogging Initiative!)
The bottom line is this: when blogging, be targeting keywords that you’ve thoroughly researched so that you know you can win page one rankings that will get you readers. That process is called Keyword Marketing, and it can pay off in spades for you.
In this fifth of five blog posts, I’m providing you with 10 Internet Marketing Ideas that will help you be successful online. Some are practical, some are philosophical, but they are all intended to help you be more successful with your small business marketing strategies. Here are numbers nine and ten, plus a bonus eleventh key to effective internet marketing:
9. TIMING CAN BE EVERYTHING – To effectively Market certain products we need to have a real grasp of our Target Market. You will, for example, be able to sell Christmas Program Packages to Pastors – but not in January!! Typically, they begin their search for Christmas materials shortly after the Fourth of July. Proper “timing” may also help determine what gives you the greatest sales success at any given time may be. If you are not familiar with the seasonality factors in your products or business, then determine them. Proper timing for your offers can bring in substantial results!
10. TALK WITH YOUR AD VENDOR – Your vendor may not know your line of business as well as you do, but they are seeing advertising results across many clients and industries that you do not have access to, and they will be able to identify trends that are working and universal strategies or tactics that are being effective for other clients of theirs. Talk with them. Pick their brains. Get the input and feedback on your campaign. Ask questions. They may be able to give you those extra tidbits of helpful advice that gets your campaign over the top.
11. DON’T BE A JOHNNY COME LATELY – Avoid last minute stuff. Many mistakes get made because you are rushing to meet a deadline and everything is coming together at the very last possible moment. Avoid that pattern. It leads to errors and oversights. You need to get your strategies ironed out in advance, and then develop your designs, then budget time for reflection. Give yourself a day or two in the schedule to reflect on what you’ve done and how it could be improved. Sometimes we’re so caught up in the details we can’t keep a perspective on the big picture. You prevent this tunnel vision by ensuring you have that one extra day or two to reflect on your work and make sure it really hits the mark, and has all the components it needs to be a successful online advertising campaign for your company.
For further internet marketing ideas, or tips for fundraising professionals, visit Pathmaker Marketing, or call Randall Mains direct at 623-322-3334.
Search Engine Optimization is a specialized field that helps your website get higher rankings in search engines. Your goal in search engine optimization is to capture as much of the page 1 real estate in searches relevant to your business. Whether you’re developing a new website or updating an existing site, you should keep the following guidelines in mind as new content is developed and coded.
1. Structure your site appropriately to be found by search engines.
Google webmaster guidelines say that your site should have a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
2. Make navigation easy and clear.
Google recommends a site map with links that point to the important parts of your site.
3. Remember that “content is king.”
It’s easy to get bogged down in attempt to make the site look great and forget that search engines are looking for content, not looks. Google recommends that you create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
4. Think Through and Liberally Use Appropriate Keywords.
Google recommends that you think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it. Pathmaker Marketing can help you carefully research keywords; we regularly uncover keywords for our clients that they may not have thought of and that have a higher likelihood of being found in search engines. Call us at 623-322-3334 to see if we can help you do a more thorough job of researching appropriate keywords for your business.
Designers love to create headlines in fonts that aren’t available in HTML. They do it by making your headlines images, and this is one sure way to harm yourself when it comes to search engine rankings. Google recommends that you use text instead or at least use the <ALT> tag to include a few descriptive words of the image.
5. Make sure <TITLE> and <META> tags are used appropriately.
These are HTML codes that search engines look for when ranking sites. The <TITLE> tag should not be the same for every page of your site (for example, merely the name of your company). It should contain keywords that have been carefully researched. <META> tags contain specific information that search engines look for when deciding what each page of your site is all about. There is a <META> tag for description, and you should supply your coder with a short paragraph to describe why someone would want to visit this page of your site – it may not be used in ranking, but it could be displayed under the title of the page to help potential visitors decide if they want to click on your listing. These should contain words that actually describe the page content to avoid being penalized by search engines.
6. Check for broken links and correct HTML.
Your will severely hurt your rankings in search engines if you have broken links in your site or if your HTML cannot be read by search engines. Your coders need to be sure to check all code and clean up any extraneous codes left by edits or inserted by HTML generators. Several people should click on every single link in the site to make sure there are no broken links, and it should be re-done every time the site is edited. Also, Google recommends keeping down the number of links on any given page to fewer than 100.
7. Keep parameters short on dynamically-generated pages.
These are pages that are automatically generated from a database. The URL of this type of page will have a “?” in it. Google warns that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages and recommends that the parameters be short and few.
8. Be straightforward in your site structure.
Some sites create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content thinking they’ll trick search engines into believing there is more content on the site than there is. You’ll get found out of you do this – so the best advice is to avoid it. Google recommends that you avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content. If you site participates in an affiliate program, you need to develop your own content that adds value and gives potential users a reason to visit your site rather than the hundreds of others who also participate in the same affiliate program.
9. Make your photo captions text rather than embedding inside an image.
Search engines can’t read text that is part of an image. There rarely is a case when you need to make a photo caption part of the photo, and you’ll benefit in search engine rankings if you keep the captions to HTML text.
10. Use <ALT> tags and descriptive names for all photos and images.
This was briefly discussed with the tip about headlines. All images should have an <ALT> description so search engines will consider the images when ranking your site. These tags need to contain useful information about the subject matter of the image. You also need to use photo names that describe the content. Google states, “my-new-black-kitten.jpg is a lot more informative than IMG00023.JPG.”
Pathmaker Marketing offers a full range of website design, search engine optimization services, fundraising services, Internet business marketing promotion, Christian marketing, non profit fundraising and more. We would be happy to discuss with you how we might be able to help you get the highest rankings in search engines or any other topic about your fundraising needs. Give us a call at 623-322-3334.