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American Recovery & Entrepreneurship Workshops - September 24, 2009

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Presentation on web marketing by EndGame PR's Steve Mullen at this SBDC workshop. Topics covered include search engine optimization (SEO), social networking, and social media.

Presentation on web marketing by EndGame PR's Steve Mullen at this SBDC workshop. Topics covered include search engine optimization (SEO), social networking, and social media.

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • Quick thank you.  Talking today about things YOU can do without help ... to promote your business.
  • Quick thank you.  Talking today about things YOU can do without help ... to promote your business.
  • Quick thank you.  Talking today about things YOU can do without help ... to promote your business.
  • Quick thank you.  Talking today about things YOU can do without help ... to promote your business.
  • Quick thank you.  Talking today about things YOU can do without help ... to promote your business.
  • Quick thank you.  Talking today about things YOU can do without help ... to promote your business.
  • I'm shocked at businesses these days that don't have websites.   What do you do if you need to look up a location or a phone number for a business?  If you're like a lot of people these days, you turn on the computer and Google it! Having at least a simple two or three page website that lists what you do and how to contact you ... is an absolute necessity.   If you don't have a site, there are a number of people out there (including me) who will build one for you.  Also, some of the businesses that sell domain names also have services that make it easy to build a very simple website.  If you can't afford to hire someone to build a site for you, this is an option. So ... once you have your site ... you have to be found.
  • There are a number of ways to market on the web.  I'm going to talk about some of them today.  First, we'll discuss SEO and SEO PR.  We'll also talk about how you can use social media ... and then we'll talk about how to use OTHER people's blogs to your benefit.
  • Improving your search rankings will obviously help your business, as more people will find you.  So .. how do you do it?   The first issue is making sure your site is build with SEO in mind ... things like making sure your keywords are inserted on your pages properly, and your page titles include your keywords. The second issue is link building.  Links are viewed as being like votes, and this time of year we know how important votes are.
  • So ... how do you get more links back to your site? The most effective strategy involves creating unique compelling content for your website ... and utilizing tools like news release distribution. Some people will start a campaign of asking other sites to link to them.  This is largely a waste of time.  The number of sites that will trade links with you is so small that it's not worth the time, and the sites that will help you probably aren't quality sites anyhow.
  • Two good link building tools involve distributing your content around the web, and including on that content a link back to your website. The first is news release distribution on sites like PR Newswire, BusinessWire, PRWeb, and even some free distribution sites.  Basically, you post your release on these sites *with* your link in the release ... and other sites pick up your release and publish it with your link intact.   Another tactic is similar to release distribution ... but it involves posting articles on any of the scores of sites that accept article submissions.  These sites are made up of nothing but articles submitted by users, and the assumption is that website owners will come to them looking for content.  It works, but you have to be careful about where you post ... some of these article sites are a little shady.
  • Let's talk now about the "unique content creation" portion of the equation. When thinking of linkable content, you need to think about everything you do on your site. You want to write compelling website copy... You want to have a good blog that's updated frequently with unique content.  More on this in a moment. You want to post news releases not only on PRWeb or other distribution sites, but also on your websites...   And, video and audio can be create content for your site.  More on that in a moment as well.
  • We've all heard the phrase "social media".  It's hard to have a conversation or read anything without something being said about it.  Unfortunately, it's extremely hard to define.  Some would tell you there is NO definition, but I'm going to try anyhow...
  • Some benefits of social media... Since you're creating the content, it establishes you as the expert on a topic. It also creates the unique content for link building that we talked about earlier. Also, through commenting, such as on a blog, you can create a community of potential customers for your goods or services. Finally, it makes your website "sticky" ... meaning it will pull the customer back to your site again and again ... which is exactly what you want.
  • Additional examples: Photos, slide presentations, webinars
  • Two years ago I might have had to explain blogging to you, but I think these days I probably don't have to do that.  What you might not know are the benefits of having a blog for your business.   A blog that is built properly and updated regularly with relevant content can drive your search rankings sky high.    (Tell clogged toilet story)
  • In the last slide I said the blog should be on YOUR site.  This is key.  In other words, the address of your blog is yoursite.com/blog.  That way all of the benefits of blogging are going to YOUR site. I recommend avoiding free blogging sites like Blogger, because any links you gather for a site there are actually benefitting Blogger ... not your business website.     I do recommend looking into blogging software like Wordpress.  It's installed on your web server, and there's a little bit of a learning curve.  But, once you have it figured out, Wordpress is incredible for SEO.  And ... it's free!     Don't get confused by WordPress.  They do offer a service similar to Blogger, where they give you a site at yoursite.wordpress.com.  Go to WordPress.org.     Some web hosts, like GoDaddy, offer one-click installation of Wordpress for free ... so that might be worth checking out.
  • In the last slide I said the blog should be on YOUR site.  This is key.  In other words, the address of your blog is yoursite.com/blog.  That way all of the benefits of blogging are going to YOUR site. I recommend avoiding free blogging sites like Blogger, because any links you gather for a site there are actually benefitting Blogger ... not your business website.     I do recommend looking into blogging software like Wordpress.  It's installed on your web server, and there's a little bit of a learning curve.  But, once you have it figured out, Wordpress is incredible for SEO.  And ... it's free!     Don't get confused by WordPress.  They do offer a service similar to Blogger, where they give you a site at yoursite.wordpress.com.  Go to WordPress.org.     Some web hosts, like GoDaddy, offer one-click installation of Wordpress for free ... so that might be worth checking out.
  • When writing on your blog, here's the formula -- 50-25-25. You want to have 50-percent of your posts about your industry.   25-percent of the posts can be about your business itself ... new offers, new locations, etc. 25-percent of the posts should be about YOU.  This is an opportunity for your potential customers to get to know you before they even meet you. 
  • Web videos are pretty simple to explain.  Thing of TV .. on your computer.  As you can see from this stat, web videos are becoming more and more mainstream.  I predict that in just a few years, there will be large numbers of people who are ONLY watching video delivered through the web ... but they'll be watching it on their TVs.
  • Some examples of simple web videos you could shoot and post on your website or blog. While I'm talking about topics ... let's talk a little about HOW to shoot these videos.  If you're a novice and want to get started, I recommend a handheld camera called the Flip Video camera.  It's small and inexpensive, and is designed for people who want to shoot simple videos.
  • Podcasting usage is also growing rapidly, although perhaps not as rapidly as a lot of people expected a couple of years ago.  I think that's because of the rise of web videos.
  • I'm not going to get too far into explaining an RSS feed today.  The important thing you need to know is that these RSS feeds are used by web-based directories that list podcasts, and they're also used by iTunes.  So ... without one you're limited to posting your podcast series on just your website. iTunes, by the way, is the dominant way of delivering podcasts.  Generally about 80% of my listeners subscribe through the service.
  • Some benefits of podcasting... Podcasting equipment is cheaper to buy, and it's also cheaper to hire someone to create your show for you.
  • There are upwards of 500 social networking sites out there today, believe it or not.
  • Since we don't have the time to talk about 500 sites, I'm going to address these six:  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, and YouTube.
  • Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla.  As many as 70-thousand new users sign up every day.  If you're using a social media strategy, it pretty much MUST include Facebook. If you have a sole proprietorship where you ARE the business, it will be easier to network with people using an individual account.  This presents problems, however, as many people don't want to network on Facebook with people they don't know. If you have a larger business or a loyal customer base, you might consider setting up a Facebook Fan Page, which essentially sets up your business as if it's an individual on Facebook.
  • The biggest problem with LinkedIn is that it's not much fun.
  • Twitter is one of those things you have to experience to fully understand.  It's like the old style message boards, except so much better.       Start by following a handful of people in your industry, and seeing how they do it.  Post articles and observations about your life and your industry.  Don't go overboard with talking about your business, however, as it will be seen as spam.   Run some searches on Twitter and find the top users in your area.  Find out who they are.   There are services out there that will promise you thousands of followers in a matter of a few days.  Don't fall into this trap.  The people who are following you in that case don't really care what you have to say.  Better to have 100 interested followers than 1000 uninterested ones. ...Tell "Dead and Dying PR Tactics" story...
  • The only possible way I'd recommend MySpace is if you're targeting teenagers.  Even then, I'm not sure I'd bother with MySpace unless you're a bar or a band.
  • There's no avoiding YouTube.  I don't really even like the site, to be honest, but they have so many users that it's absurd not to post your videos there.   YouTube gathers stats about how many times your video has been viewed.  The ones that have been viewed more rank higher in relevant searches. The best strategy is to upload your video to YouTube, and then use their embed codes to post it on your website.  That way the views from your website count toward the total numbers on YouTube as well.  It's also just an easy way to post a video on your site. If you have a LOT of videos ... more than just a couple  ... you can create a YouTube channel, where all of your videos will be displayed.
  • Some examples of simple web videos you could shoot and post on your website or blog. While I'm talking about topics ... let's talk a little about HOW to shoot these videos.  If you're a novice and want to get started, I recommend a handheld camera called the Flip Video camera.  It's small and inexpensive, and is designed for people who want to shoot simple videos.
  • One final note about bloggers: You are playing with fire when you're dealing with them.  They are not tied to rules like print and broadcast reporters.  It is NOT unusual for bloggers to write an inflammatory or even rude post about someone they don't like.   So ... I must caution you to treat them like you would a loaded gun.  MOST of them are good people who aren't out to slam anyone, but when you're doing your reading if you get the feeling the blogger likes to cause trouble ... just take that site off your list.
  • Transcript

    • 1.   Web Marketing for Small Businesses
    • 2. Why should you market your business on the web?
    • 3. It's where the people are... Facebook: 300 Million Twitter: 12-13 Million (est.)
    • 4. To put it another way:  If Facebook was a country...
    • 5.
      • ...it would be the 4th largest in the world.
        • China: 1,332,060,000
        • India: 1,166,900,000
        • United States: 307,010,000
        • Facebook: 300,000,000
    • 6. Advertising and traditional media relations are not enough anymore.
    • 7. Web Marketing   Won't work without a website...      
    • 8.
      • Web Marketing
        • SEO
        • Social Media
        • Social Networking
      •  
      •  
      •  
    • 9.
      • Search Engine Optimization
      •  
        • "On site" SEO
        • Backlinks
      •  
      •  
      •  
    • 10. Link Gathering   Utilize available tools and create unique content for your website      
    • 11.
      • Online News Release Distribution
      •  
        • The Best Link Building Tool
        • PRWeb.com, BusinessWire.com, PRNewswire.com, OnlinePRNews.com
      •  
      •  
    • 12.
      • Unique Content Creation
        • Website copywriting
        • Blog writing
        • News release writing and distribution
        • Web videos and podcasts
      •  
      •  
    • 13. Social Media Free web content that includes a social aspect such as commenting      
    • 14.
      • Social Media Benefits
        • Establishes you as an expert
        • Unique content for link building
        • Creates a community
        • Makes your website "sticky"
      •  
      •  
    • 15.
      • Types of Social Media
        • Blogs
        • Web Videos
        • Podcasts
        • Anything else that can be shared and commented upon
      •  
      •  
    • 16. Business Blogging Blogging once per week on a blog set up on your site can dramatically affect your search rankings and build a community of readers.      
    • 17.   Integrate Your Blog   Have the blog installed on your site for maximum SEO benefit.   WordPress: WordPress.org    
    • 18. Blog Frequency   At least one post per week or  four per month.    
    • 19. What Should I Blog About?      
    • 20. Web Videos About 27% of us watched some type of web video in the past week - up from 18% last year.*       *Edison Research, "The Infinite Dial, 2009
    • 21.
      • Simple Web Video Ideas
        • Customer testimonials
        • Tour of your facility
        • "Meet the crew"
      •  
      •  
      •  
    • 22. Podcasting In the past year, podcast awareness has grown by 6% and listenership has grown by 4%       *Edison Research, "The Infinite Dial, 2009
    • 23. What's a Podcast? An Internet audio presentation made available for subscription via RSS    
    • 24.
      • Podcasting Benefits
        • Cheaper than video
        • Easier than video
        • Allows you to talk directly to your customer
      •  
      •  
      •  
    • 25. Social Networking Social Networks help you find and connect with your audience      
    • 26. Today We'll Talk About...      
    • 27.
        • 300 million registered users (!)
        • Post links, images, videos
        • Make "friends"
        • Don't network with your individual account, use a "Fan Page" instead
    • 28.  
    • 29.
        • The opposite of Facebook
        • The top networking site designed for business
        • Great for contractors, freelancers, and job seekers
    • 30.  
    • 31.
        • One of the fastest-growing networking sites
        • Micro-blog with a 140-character limit
        • Gain "followers"
        • Outstanding place to promote yourself and your unique content
    • 32.  
    • 33.
        • Founded in 2003
        • Still a top social networking site
        • Not a place for businesses, unless they're bars or bands
    • 34.  
    • 35.
        • The top video sharing site, and no one else is even close
        • Post on YouTube and embed on your site
        • Create a YouTube Channel
    • 36.  
    • 37.
      • Promoting Your Social Network
      •  
        • Badges on your website
        • Tell your friends (online and offline)
        • Email signature
      •  
      •  
      •  
    • 38.   One final note: Expect Feedback      
    • 39. Any Questions?
    • 40. Thank You