Is SEO Enough for Local Business?

I’ve provided Internet Marketing, eBusiness consulting and specifically SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services to small business clients since 1995. So I’m qualified to say that in my 15 years of practice, the number one problem my clients ask me to help them solve more than any other is “more traffic“.

Almost everyone struggles with driving enough traffic to their website. And quite often, my small business clients have already come to the conclusion that they need help with SEO to drive that traffic before we even meet.

So it’s not surprising that companies promoting SEO services to businesses large and small abound everywhere. Driving website traffic is a challenge and an elusive problem to solve. There is clearly a demand for good SEO consultants that actually know what they’re doing.

Unfortunately, I would say that finding a capable and reputable SEO consultant may be as difficult as figuring out how to do SEO yourself. At least that’s what the many clients I’ve worked with over the years tell me. The frustration with SEO is palpable!

All the challenges, struggles and issues with SEO aside, let me share this bit of truth … Continue reading Is SEO Enough for Local Business?


YouTube Extends Maximum Video Length To 15 Minutes

YouTube announced this week that they’ve increased the maximum length for user uploaded videos to 15 minutes.

The previous YouTube video limit of 10 minutes has been in place for some time. Interestingly, increasing this video limit has been the number one user requested feature.

Online Video is Increasingly Popular

There’s no question that producing and viewing videos online is enormously popular and demand is growing every day. Do you realize that over 24 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute! And that’s up from 6 hours of video content every minute just three years ago. A four-fold increase in just 3 short years.

YouTube admits that they’ve  been planning on increasing this video length limit for a while now, but have been preoccupied with other pressing projects.

Do People Really Watch Longer Videos?

The new extended 15 minute limit doesn’t quite tie with actual video viewing behavior. Even YouTube admits that 99% of all user uploaded videos are well under 10 minutes in length. And when YouTube measures the average user attention span, the vast majority of viewers watch videos under 3 minutes in length. In fact, many video marketing studies demonstrate that most users viewing online videos bolt in under 2 minutes.
Continue reading YouTube Extends Maximum Video Length To 15 Minutes


Facebook takes a break

Facebook’s growth actually slowed down considerably for the month of June according to recent data from Inside Facebook,  an independent service of Inside Network dedicated to tracking the Facebook platform.

A single month may not indicate a trend, but the downturn is dramatic. After coming in at a spectacular 7.8 million new U.S. users in May, Facebook only added 320,800 new U.S. users in June. That’s close to a 96 percent drop in new user registrations!

And this is on the heels of the recent news that Facebook visitor traffic exceeded that of Google in the U.S. for almost a solid week back in March of this year.

Facebook is now supporting an astounding 500+ million users worldwide. When you consider there are 1.8 billion users on the Internet worldwide as of Dec 2009, the Facebook user community represents more than 27% of the total user population on the Internet. Obviously, Facebook cannot sustain this growth rate indefinitely.

Continue reading Facebook takes a break


Local Search on Mobile Devices for Small Business

Local search from mobile devices continues to trend up. Compete, a Kantar Media company, released the results of its Q1 2010 Smartphone Intelligence survey today. The results of the survey suggest good marketing opportunities for local business.

The survey shows a pronounced uptake in the use of smartphones for local search, social networking and mobile gaming.
Continue reading Local Search on Mobile Devices for Small Business


Social Media Marketing – Be Careful About ROI

Businesses big and small are undertaking social media marketing campaigns in a significant way. And many of these same companies will also tell you they’re not sure whether their social marketing campaigns are paying off.

But the question whether social media marketing is profitable doesn’t seem to be slowing anyone down.

And here’s why …

First, let’s backup a bit. For any business, and especially a small business, if you want to maximize your marketing budget, you want to make sure you get the best return on investment possible for every marketing dollar you invest. We simply refer to this as your marketing ROI.

Basic Marketing Measurement and Return

In order to understand your marketing ROI, you have to track and measure your results. Many types of marketing campaigns are very measurable, especially online. For example, with tools and technology readily available today, you can track the necessary variables to calibrate and measure a PPC (pay per click) campaign or a typical banner advertising campaign, including traffic sources and volume, CPC – cost per click, conversions, and sales revenue that results directly from your marketing campaigns.

This makes it straightforward to determine whether you loose or make money for many of your specific marketing campaigns and activities. If you can achieve a 25% ROI, it simply means for every $1.00 that you invest in a particular marketing campaign, you see a $1.25 in return (or a $0.25 profit).

I don’t know about you, but if I can consistently see a 25% return on my money, I’ll fund a profitable engine like that all day long!

And of course, the converse, if you see a negative 30% return, it means for every $1.00 that you invest, you lose $0.30. Worse yet, the more you spend on a losing marketing campaign, the more you lose. Again, I don’t know what’s more heartbreaking. Throwing money down the hole at a marketing campaign that you know is losing money, or squandering your precious resources on a marketing campaign that you don’t even realize is losing money.

Hard to believe, but we see this more often than you might realize.
Continue reading Social Media Marketing – Be Careful About ROI


Catch The Local Search Marketing Wave

One of the great joys of living here in Southern California is our close proximity to the ocean. Whether it’s a drive up the coast taking in the beautiful expansive view of the Pacific ocean, a relaxing day at the beach soaking up some rays, or an exhilarating swim riding the waves, just knowing the water is there gives me an open sense of freedom, serenity and comfort.

Speaking of waves, have you ever watched surfers try and catch a wave?

I actually don’t board surf  (maybe one of the few Californians that doesn’t), but I can relate to body surfing (riding the waves without a surf board).

Catch The Wave

Learning how to catch the next wave and enjoy the great ride has a lot to do with good timing. It’s almost impossible to chase a wave that’s already passed you by. And if you get too far out in front of a breaking wave, it will just crash down on top of you.

Continue reading Catch The Local Search Marketing Wave


Location Based Social Networking With Foursquare

There’s no shortage of new social networking website ideas that seem to spring up every day. Most never catch on. And some are worth paying some attention.

A little over a year ago, Foursquare sprang forth offering an interesting new twist on location-based social networking. Of course, whenever you hear “location-based”, there’s probably something beneficial for local business in the mix.

A year later, there are over one million users registered at Foursquare. Some of these users  may very likely be visiting a local business near you sometime soon.

Foursquare does present a marketing opportunity for local business. Location based social networking makes more sense for retail based establishments such as restaurants, coffee houses, day spas, hair salons, clothing stores, etc. And may not be as useful a marketing tool for service oriented local businesses such as house painters, plumbers and electricians.

So how does Foursquare work? Continue reading Location Based Social Networking With Foursquare


Users Connect With Companies and Brands on Facebook and Twitter

It may come as a surprise just how much discussion of a commercial nature takes place on Facebook and Twitter.  Many of the big consumer companies have been pursuing brand marketing through the social media channels for some time.

Rather than simply purchase advertising at web properties like Twitter (Twitter is only just now introducing an advertising model for the first time) and Facebook, consumer companies actually setup residence on both Twitter and Facebook with Twitter accounts and Facebook pages to market their brands and engage with consumers.

What may have started out as marketing experiments a few years ago have emerged as fully funded mainstream marketing activities at these businesses. Companies like Coca-Cola have hundreds of employees in their marketing departments dedicated full time to just social media marketing. Continue reading Users Connect With Companies and Brands on Facebook and Twit...


Have You Seen Grandpa on Facebook?

A common misconception I see every day with many of our small business clients is the notion that social media and social networking is a frivolous online waste of time that’s just for the younger generation.

If you operate a small or local business, don’t make the mistake of dismissing social media this easily. In all fairness, it’s natural to brush off something we don’t understand. So let’s shed a little light on the matter …

We’re social creatures by nature. By and large, we like to congregate in groups and we tend to trust the notion that there’s safety in numbers. Social media is simply a manifestation of these basic human behaviors and has been transforming the Internet into a modern day medium that allows us to assert our social nature online.

The social media underpinnings smack of all that group behavior stuff we learned about back in college psychology 101. Whether we’re talking about social bookmarking, social networking, microblogging as in Twitter, photo and video sharing sites, etc., we’re essentially looking for some form of social proof or reassurance. Continue reading Have You Seen Grandpa on Facebook?


What Does Google Page One Domination Look Like?

Page one domination on Google is not a fluke or a parlor tick. With our Main Street Marketing Power strategy for local business, we’re able to achieve these kind of results for our local business clients by design.

And as far as SEO technique, our Main Street Marketing Power strategy is completely white-hat, ethical, and on the up and up.

We’re not saying that we can absolutely guarantee page one domination results like this for every business in every market in every case. No one can make that claim. There are too many variables and factors out of our control to be able to guarantee 100% results. And don’t believe anyone that suggests they can!

But with our hyper-tuned Main Street Marketing Power formula, we can definitely put the edge in your favor!

The following example is a snapshot of page one results on Google for the search term “moorpark video marketing”. This returns a page one SERP with no less than 12 listings all pointing to our NewCorridor business (yours truly). Starting with a Google Places one-box listing, followed by a series of listing references all the way down the page. Continue reading What Does Google Page One Domination Look Like?