Mark McDaniel introduced Richard Kinney: someone who is not only absolutely outstanding with what he does and has a very no-nonsense approach, but is also very approachable. If you have not heard how Richard got into his business, it is a fascinating story that you should hear!
Richard has started doing educational presentations for groups around the Metroplex as a marketing technique and wanted to share part of that presentation with the DEA. Richard is the Head Web Guy with Your Web Guys. He has been in the online marketing industry since 1998; you can schedule a one-on-one with him to hear the story of the path he took to get here.
Only Suckers Pay for Website Traffic. Most small businesses have more time than money, especially with the learning curve when it comes to driving website traffic. (He did give the caveat that for rare, rich guys, it may make sense for them to pay for website traffic.)
Think of your website as a funnel, where you take in all of your methods of marketing (printed media, social media, search engine traffic, word of mouth, etc.), process them through your funnel with the goal of getting money! The two marketing methods discussed today were search engine traffic and social media; however, neither one of those is any good if your funnel (website) is messed up. You have to focus on the website; it must be functional and effective. Your website must be online and loading quickly, easy to navigate, and not be clogged (it should lead the prospect to action). Your website must also be mobile optimized and look good on every device through responsive technology. Finally, it must have correct and current information, unless it is dated information in archive.
What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your website. It can be complex. The good news is that really, the most important thing you need to focus on is good content! If you can write new content and add it to your website on an ongoing basis, you will get search engine traffic. Why? We are all looking for content, but Google has none. Google only shows you where the content you want is. The trick is to convince Google that your website is better than the 10,000 other websites with similar content. That is where you start getting into SEO’s, but Google needs the content, first. Get in a marketing cadence where you are writing articles on a weekly basis (monthly would be a bare minimum).
What is Social Media Marketing? It is word of mouth on a huge scale. When it comes to social media marketing, you have to be social! Communicate with other people: re-tweet, like posts, be engaged. Humanize your company – people do business with people, not companies. You can write articles about your company, your industry, new products or techniques, but also articles about your kids or employees and their families or Grandma’s cookie recipe. The articles about your kids won’t drive search engine traffic, but when people do find you from other, industry-specific articles you have written, they will see the human side and realize you are the kind of people they want to do business with. You don’t have to be a nameless, faceless company.
Update often and share good content! Content curation is where you share articles from someone else in your industry or business. You didn’t create the article, but your name is next to it because you are sharing it. It is a good way to increase the number of impressions you get from potential customers.
Your social media is now imperative to your SEO! Google bot is using social media interactions to form its opinions about what information is “compelling content”. Search engines list by pages not websites; so every web page, link, or article is another chance for a Top-10 search result. Google drives traffic to website pages, not Facebook. The more interactions, the more “compelling” the content, Google will send more traffic to your website. Social Media Marketing is not social media, it is online marketing; it is no longer optional.
Keyword research is about what words to use and when to use them. There is a lot of competition, so research is essential. Keywords should be commercial, relevant, high-volume and low-competition. Google AdWords will show you all kinds of research on keywords, even by zip code, and will suggest better keywords! It can give you ideas about what kinds of articles to write.
Coach Mike recommended a book entitled Duct Tape Marketing, an excellent book which has a whole chapter on SEO. The most important thing to a search engine is your domain name; try to get your industry in your domain name. If you have an established website with a domain name that does not have your industry in it, you can get a domain alias, which can redirect to your established site. For each page you have there is a Title Tag (headline), which is a great place for keywords for what you are focusing on for that specific page. Pages are read top-down, so the top is the most important part of the page. Google likes repetition, but it hates copy and pasting. So, use the keywords again, but rearrange them a little. The next tag is the Description, which is a sentence with the keywords in it, rearranged. The Keywords tag is not currently used by Bing, Yahoo, or Google, but they could start using it, so it is not a bad idea to fill it in. On your page, you need to have an H1 tag, the most important heading on a page. Keyword density is important. Your audience is both a robot and humans. Block quote tags, a paragraph description using your keywords; they are rarely used, but loved by search engines. Then you write the article; it doesn’t have to be long.
This recipe is search engine gold: the most effective way to make sure your page gets the attention you want.
For articles you write, post them on your website and share them on social media to drive people to your website. You have control of your website; you don’t know what Facebook might change.