Google Analytics Results for SMB Websites – Jan to Feb 2011

February 4, 2011

Check out the latest Google Analytics traffic information from just a few of my clients:

Comparing back to November for 2011 looks even better! 🙂

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My Small Business internet marketing plan …errr I mean RANT…

January 31, 2010

So, I am sitting here at a local automobile inspection facility waiting for my turn ….

My C5 Corvette Pictures | Google Guru RacingWith my Droid phone…. and some free time on a cloudy Sunday afternoon.

I’m wondering, have you ever noticed that you don’t see these guys advertising much in traditional print yellow pages phone books.  I bet I know and can tell you why…. and do it without all that fancy technical jargon that creates so much darn confusion!

Location,

location,

location,

and necessity…..

You see, we must get our vehicles inspected in order to drive on Texas roads, just like the necessities of eating at restaurants and going to movie theatres to see the latest blockbuster.  When you use the phone book to find something near you, it by most parts, is far from easy and convenient to see the reviews, wait times, pricing, comments, news, and latest discounts from these local vendors.  A mobile application not only identifies what is nearest you via geo-location, it also answers all the questions you may have related to the current state of your environment and surroundings.  I recently read that just over 120 online mobile coupon apps exist on the iPhone Apple Store.  Mobile is growing. Mobile search and digital marketing will continue to impact traditional print yellow pages.  I believe that print media is just now being disrupted by online media.  2010 is the year that local catches up with national trends.

Penetration of Online Media Surpasses Traditional Media for First Time Among Small-Business Advertisers

Over the past few years, I have noticed that what you see in the marketplace does not often speak for what you see in trends. Trends are just that… TRENDS.  They are patterns and show movement.  Folks have asked me about “Social Media” marketing for local businesses. Social media should not be an effort. Social Media is more about protecting, promoting, and connecting with your brand than it is advertising. Great social media marketing efforts and communication complement your “advertising” efforts.

Social Media: Over the past few years, I have recommended to clients to create a company Facebook presence.  I also recommend that they consider “Facebook Ads” as a means of promoting company Facebook Fan Pages (what I call great corporate “news” rooms.)  Often the next question local business owners ask me is, “Do I need to be on Twitter?”  My response is often dependent on the companies unique needs, frequency of communications, style of communication, and number of messages the client wants/needs to inform prospects, customers, and friends (fans.) It costs around $500.00-$700.00 to create/setup a social media presence or improve an existing one. This is a one-time fee and you should own the work produced.

Next question, “What should I do about my website?” If your website was created prior to the middle of 2007, odds are you need a website update.  The reason most sites are outdated is because of the changes in web browsers, scripted language, social media content, and other trends in (what I like to call) Web 3.0 technologies.  I strongly recommend clients utilize a content management system.  A content management system (CMS) makes publishing content, updates, and sharing information on your site much easier and less costly.  A content management system also offers the flexibility of “website changes after you fired your web developer.”  A few of  the growing open-source web development platforms include Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, ModX, Zen Cart (ecommerce,) phpBB (forum) and many others.  The most popular website CMS’s are Joomla, WordPress (btw, I love http://www.CopyBlogger.com) and Drupal.  Not only does a CMS make it easy for any web novice to add text content, it also makes it easy to add videos and image content. Would you like to plug your YouTube channel into your site? How about your Twitter “Tweets?”  With a CMS it is very simple. Here are a  few other reasons why you need a new CMS:

  1. Own your website. Never allow someone other than yourself to control your online brand.
  2. Edit your website from anywhere, anytime and remove the hassle for content distribution.
  3. Access restrictions to your site can be set with assigned roles and permissions.
  4. Website design consistency.
  5. Stored content within the database.
  6. Updated for the latest browsers (IE6 Must Die!)
  7. Dynamic Content – cool plug-in stuff and widgets that do more cool stuff!
  8. Non-Technical author friendly…. anyone who can use Microsoft Word is capable of content publishing.
  9. Customizable banners and landing pages without the big expense! (this is a big one for PPC advertisers!)
  10. In the event you fire your web guy…… finding a new one in the “open-source” community is easy.

and the biggest reason: Forever Upgradeable……… never be left behind again!

Websites cost around $1200.00-$5000.00…. which is a one-time fee.  This fee depends on the level of detail and amount of content you need to get started.

Video:….. YouTube is the #2 Search Engine on the Planet. In 2010 you want to show up in Image Search, Mobile Search, Google Search, Yahoo Search, Video Search, Yellow Pages Search, Map Search, Coupon Search, Bing Search, Reviews Search, and all the other tons of different types of search platforms in existence…. (such as Auto Search, News Search, Blog Search, Ebay Search, Wiki Search, Amazon Search, AOL Search, etc.)

Professional YouTube videos typically start about $1,000.00 each professionally edited, produced, and filmed on location. The videos are optimized for YouTube on the clients YouTube channel. The client owns the channel. The video shows up on YouTube searches.

Logo:…… $300-500 for the coolest options! Fresh logos! Too many folks skimp out on the appearance. Look bold. Look fresh. Get “fresher” clients (no recommended for Reverse Mortgage folks, lol.)

Local business listing packages….. create accounts on all the directory sites. Claim listings. Google Page Places/Maps etc. Bing Local, Yahoo Local etc. Fun stuff… tedious and time consuming, but necessary. Should cost about $300-500.00 one time fee for hours invested. You should own the accounts that are setup.

Google AdWords PPC: I do not recommend hiring the services of a “national” company or yellow pages publisher to manage your online paid search marketing programs. After personally working for a Yellow Pages Company who was horrible at servicing the sales and working with Yellow Pages sales consultants who are not accountable for making sure the ads are working (not blaming them, but the business model) since they are not educated or permitted the time to ensure proper fulfillment and management. Too many issues exist when you give complete control of your advertising budget to firms that use proprietary systems to place a large amount of ads into Google’s platform.

  • Management fees can not be discontinued during a contract with the Yellow Pages
  • Costs per Click and Keyword Reporting does not include distribution (content network vs search network etc)
  • Management fees are $500-1000 more than what they “SHOULD” charge for them. (over $300.00/hr!)
  • Landing Page Optimization is not offered or focused on.
  • Google Analytics is not offered.

Here is an example of an analytics account detail: (You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure)

Take a look at the traffic for this analytics account!

Notice what percent is organic.... this client spends big bucks on SUPERPAGES.com! But no traffic!

RSS (real simple syndication) Feeds……. yeah… those things! Great tools to utilize to create ideas for content!

Content Writing….. I would budget around $40.00 per article and do a minimum of 2 per month! Each one needs to focus on a different keyword phrase! Overtime the content you pay for will compliment the content you provide and you will become an authority on Google!

How many websites do you need? This is a tough question to answer… it really depends on your businesses products, services, and service area! The general rule of thumb is that the only folks that need one website are location based or referral only. If you value online search traffic, you really need more than one. This has been proven over and over!

Last but not least, SEO!.…… this is when the fun begins. SEO is voodoo magic. It is a big secret. It is scary. It ….. alright.. I am kidding. SEO is 80% common sense, and 20% effort! Once you learn the basics, from that point it is strategy, trial, testing, and experience. It becomes an effort to create great content, optimize and distribute that content, and then do a similar thing all over again. Content exists not just as words and text, but also as videos and images. Video Search Engine Optimization is just as important as Search Engine Optimization. SEO is about links. SEO is about keywords. SEO is about research. SEO is about ranking factors. SEO…… well, SEO is something that few internet marketing agencies with big huge profit margins can offer local small to medium-sized businesses. SEO is something that I can offer you! SEO is what I LOVE!

  • You be investing in organic search results the same as you do paid… just save on PPC and spend the $$ on SEO!
  • If folks can’t offer a holistic solution to search engine marketing…… they are just www.YellowCrooks.com!

Mobile Coupons………. Big Opportunity for 2010.

How should you plan for the future? You should educate yourself. This is technically FREE… but finding the right instructor to guide you is what you should invest in!

I am going to continue editing this post as new ideas and thoughts, as they enter my head…..

Let me know what else you would like to learn!

Cheers,

Mike Stewart

The Dallas SEO Guru

Creator of the Dallas Local Search Engine Marketing Agency dedicated to Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, SMB SEO.


An Interview with the foremost Expert in Google Local Search – Mr. David Mihm by Shagun Vatsa

November 3, 2009

a great read on Local Search Interview With David Mihm the foremost Expert in Google Local Search http://ping.fm/y92dc

DavidMihmLocalSearchRankingFactors


Just because your Dallas business has the biggest ad in the yellow pages… you will never be on the first page of Google, why?

October 24, 2009

I challenge local Dallas – Fort Worth area business owners to take a moment and call the local sales offices for AT&T Yellow Pages, Idearc Media (Verizon Yellow Pages 972-719-3790), and Yellow Book. Find out what the cost is for the largest ad in the heading and see what it will take to be the first ad in the book. All it takes is the purchase of a Forced Tab (2-sided tab that is thick paper stock that is forced in the front of the heading). If I recall the price is typically in the 6k-12k per month range depending on the heading and the book.

I GUARANTEE that for the same 6k-12k per month I can get you twice the amount of “qualified leads”, track all calls, and have the ability to change the ad throughout the entire year if you invest a lesser amount towards effective internet marketing. You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Kinda like PROXY based local search engine marketing providers who do not offer analytics and do a piss poor job of conversion tracking.  (A local Criminal Attorney client of mine had a total of 10 calls to his advertisements with the SEM proxy provider, after looking at the detailed call reports we saw that only 6 calls were unique and the rest spam…. what did he spend? The answer is shocking: $2700.00 for 6 calls! The service provider attempted to argue that this was a “GOOD ROI” … LMAO!!)

Why?

Just because you can buy the first spot in the phone book and have the biggest ad does not mean you can be first on Google. If it were only money the folks with the biggest ad in the phone book would always be number one on Google’s page results. What it takes to be at the top of Google is the know how and the content. Only someone who understands Search Engine Optimization and Content Creation & Distribution can make this happen. It takes a great relationship between the client and the marketer. It requires a line of communication that you can not achieve by simply calling your  “sales rep” or local office. Is it worth more than that first ad in the book? Of course it is! Yellow Pages books are not used as much as they were in the past. Local Online Yellow Pages sites are losing traffic to Google Maps.

You see, what you get when you hire one of these companies to manage your online advertising is someone willing to work for $9/hour who has some sort of experience putting ads in the companies bidding platform or system, if this  is worth anything to you than more power to you. But, a lot of times, website owners and web design/web marketing companies looking for SEO help don’t have realistic expectations of what an SEO consultant is worth or what QUALITY SEO work actually costs. All they end up getting is a PPC campaign and promises of riches from a sales consultant who has zero responsibility for achieving your ROI goals.

You know you are getting bad advice when your site:

  • Does not have a video
  • Says FIGJAM all over it: ($%#*@! I AM GOOD, JUST ASK ME)
  • Instead of answering questions, your site talks about what you do
  • Looks great in IE-6 but like crap in FireFox.
  • The home page of your site is titled: “Welcome to XXXXXXXX”
  • Your website has not changed one bit in 3 months!
  • In order to change content on the site you have to call your “WEBmaster”
  • You believe adding information and content is 100% someone else’s job to do the work, but don’t want to pay for it
  • You feel that contributing information on why you are the authority is the job of WIKI

Companies like the one I used to work for choose to work with any business that is willing to pay a monthly fee to them.  I am going to be somewhat picky about who I will agree to work with. I plan to turn down just as many new client opportunities as I am going to accept. I am going to offer my services with an “Exclusivity Agreement” for my clients. Why would you want me also working for your competitor? If you happen to get turned down by me, it’s not a judgement or reflection of you.  I do not have the desire to become a cookie-cutter churn based Dallas Search Engine Marketing Firm. I want to customize my service to your business and industry in order to get high search engine rankings. The more you participate in the process the lower your fees. The more content you create for me to proof and distribute the less I have to pay my talented copywriter to do for you. My goal is to make you money and at the same time I make money. I am going to be accountable for your success and have no intentions of burning you. Search engine marketing is a deep passion of mine.  After many years in the industry I came to realize that large organizations are incapable of offering the level of “boutique-style” service local Dallas area business owners need to achieve natural rankings on the search engines.  If this is the level of personalized service you expect from your web marketing team, Give me a call! 972-998-0050.  I look forward to meeting you and sharing what I have learned over the years.

Keep in mind, just because you have the biggest ad in the phone book, doesn’t mean you can be first on Google.


Common SEO Questions Answered by AllExperts.com SEO Expert Mike Stewart

October 23, 2009

Mike Stewart is the local Google Guru of Dallas

Expertise

I am well versed in SEO strategies for local businesses. I have optimized hundreds of sites with both suggestions and implementation. I am Google Adwords sales certified and understand the important relevency factors and degree of importance of each component in the PageRank algorithm. I can answer specific questions regarding on-page search engine optimizaton, .meta properties, link popularity, and directory submission. I am able to discuss feeds and social media as well. More info @ http://www.DallasSEOGuru.com or http://www.smbseo.com

Experience in the area

10 years at Idearc Media as a New Business Strategist focusing on Search Engine Marketing…… Now I am working for myself as a local search engine marketing strategist, web developer, and advertising geek!

Organizations

Dallas Interactive Marketing and Dallas SEO Specialists DFWSEM

Publications

http://www.dallasgoogleguru.wordpress.com

Education/Credentials
  • Cisco Networking
  • DFWSEM Corporae Member
  • Google Adwords Seminar for Success
  • Google Reseller Certification Course
Awards and Honors

3 President’s Awards at Idearc Media

Past/Present Clients

http://www.teakelllaw.com http://www.jpimportz.org http://www.bailbondsdallastx.com http://www.atwbailbonds.com http://www.hammerle.com http://www.personalinjuryattorneydallastx.com http://www.handsonapproach.com  www.thetransmissionshop.com

What do you like about this subject?

Passion! I am passionate about helping businesses with getting ranked on search engines. I am passionate about “localized” product or service internet marketing. I do not believe SEO experts need to be fluent with Social Media expertise.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

Everything that Danny Sullivan, David Mihm, Chris Smith, Rand Fishkin, Stephan Spencer, David Wallace, etc etc…..

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

SEO has more factors than a roll of tissue paper has tissues!

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Some folks think SEO it is dead…… they are dead wrong!

Average Ratings

  • Knowledge 9.86
  • Clarity of Response 10.0
  • Timeliness 10.0
  • Politeness 10.0
  • Number of Questions (in Past 24 Hours) 1
  • Max Questions to be Asked (in 24 Hour Period) 5
  • Total Questions (since joining AllExperts) 18
  • Volunteer Since 2009-02-02
  • Prestige Points 270

Recent Reviews from Users

Read More Comments

K = Knowledge    C = Clarity    T = Timeliness    P = Politeness

User Date K C T P Comments
Joseph 09/10/09 10 10 10 10
David 08/15/09 10 10 10 10 Thanks, Mike. Your answer covers all the …..
Salah 08/05/09 9 10 10 10
henok 06/30/09 10 10 10 10 thanks for your honesty
Rebecca 05/01/09 10 10 10 10 I thank you for your comments, there …..

Recent Answers from Mike Stewart

2009-09-09 High Google Rank / No Hits:

I answered the first question just a moment ago. As far as the second one goes, I recommend you also consider Adwords with conversion tracking to make sure the visitors that are keyword targeted are

2009-09-07 SEO:

First step is to make sure you are using the proper tracking tools such as Google Analytics. The second this is you need to make sure your title and description have relevant and compelling information

2009-08-14 Risk of revising page titles and descriptions:

Good morning! I wouldn’t worry much at all about Google interpreting your changes as underhanded. If your title has you ranked on your target keyword phrases than you have little to be concerned with

2009-08-05 User Friendly URL:

Salah, I assume you are asking either about Dynamic and Static URL’s. Or what I and other call Search Engine Friendly URLs… or SEF URLs. Instead of giving you my interpretation, here is an answer

2009-06-29 seo tools and softwares:

I use: http://www.seocentro.com (choose the meta tag analyzer) http://www.seobook.com (take a look at the keyword selector tool and the FireFox extention) SeoMoz also has some good tools. and a list of more: