Google PageRank is one of the methods used by Google to determine a web page relevance and importance. Google now uses hundreds of algorithms and is continually updating and adjusting, so it’s important to stay up to date with all things Google. Although it can often be a daunting task.
PageRank is only a small part of Google’s method of counting link votes and determining which pages are most important on the web based on the results. This is how Google presents us with a clean and uncluttered search result. Additionally, a page that is linked to by many pages with high PageRank receives a high rank itself. If there are no links to a web page, then there is no support for that page. Again, PageRank is only one method Google uses.
Why Google PageRank Is Important?
That’s simple. Important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results. It is a measure from 0 – 10 and is based on backlinks. The more quality backlinks the higher Google PageRank.
Remember, not all links are created equal. Don’t listen to the ‘bologna sauce’ out there that pushes hundreds of useless links. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. A quality link would be from a site that has at least a PageRank of 4.
To Google, a link from page A to page B is considered a vote, by page A, for page B. PageRank does not rank web sites as a whole, but is instead, as each page individually.
Here are the steps you should take to build and increase your Google PageRank:
Build Quality Links with Directory Listings
Local Directory Listings
Industry Directory Listings
Niche Directory Listing
Build Quality Links with Content and Commenting
Forums & Blogs
To increase the PageRank of your website, get back links from popular and relevant niche sites, but remember that the back links from high PR sites are the votes you need to increase higher Google PageRank.
Last night, Google started pushing out new PageRank data to the Google Toolbar users (if you can find any one using the toolbar anymore). The previous PageRank update was done in August 2012 and typically occurs ever few months or so.
Despite PageRank still being part of the algorithm, SEOs know that toolbar PageRank is often outdated and not that useful. In addition, there are many other factors part of the algorithm that may or may not be as important as PageRank.
Although there are valid arguments on both sides of this issue, I recommend you still at least pay attention to your Google PageRank, if not for anything more than analyzing and monitoring the qualify of the sites linking to your posts.
According to Wikipedia, “A call to action, or CTA, is a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click it and continue down a conversion funnel. …it actively strives to convert a user into a lead and later into a customer.”
Translation, It’s darn important!
Your Call to Action should enthusiastically move the reader into action. – Kenda
It’s important we understand the importance and implement the right strategies, techniques and words. Maggie Georgieva of HubSpot, warns that misleading CTAs are a common mistake made by marketers and advertisers alike. “Not long ago, we spent some time looking through ads on the New York Times and studying what happens after the click,” she explains. “Too often, we found a huge gap between the promise of the ad and where it actually took us.” Therein lies the first and foremost factor in a successful Call to Action, your promise.
Effective Call to Action Words and Phrases
A Sampling of my personal favorites
Add to Cart
Call for a Free Quote
Get a Free Quote
Get It Now
Get Started Today
Sign Up Today
Start Your Trial
Talk to an Expert
Eye Candy – Call to Action Infographics
Tasty Morsels of Call to Action Reminders
1Place your Call to Action ‘Above The Fold’. You’d be surprised how many of your website visitors never scroll to the bottom of your pages.
2Utilize Buttons. Using buttons in your Call to Action helps make it obvious where to click.
3Use Color. Again, color helps your Call to Action to stand out. I’d suggest using a different color than your general website colors – again for the ‘grab’!
4What’s in it for them? Make sure you are clearly stating the benefits on their taking action.
5Surround with a touch of white space. Just like in face to face sales, sometimes the best sales come when we stop talking! Give your Call to Action Button some space.
6Place On Every Page. It’s important for you to place a unique Call to Action on every page of your website.
Keep these delicious morsels of advise in mind throughout the holiday season and as you plan your 2013 marketing, and thanks for joining me on my Call to Action Buffet.
Referral marketing reduces your sales expenses and sales cycle. With less time calling cold prospects, your small business can focus on customers and their circle of influence. –About.com
A customer has greater trust in your business if it was recommended to them by one of their friends or family members.
Did you know that local referrals are the best and least expensive way for local small businesses to gain new customers? If not, now you do! Much like the human body needs water for survival, the local small business needs a steady stream of local referrals for survival.
Here Are 5 Tips To Building Local Referrals
1. Be specific.
When you ask for a local referral, be specific in your request. You are seeking more than random names. i.e. Families with young children; Realtors in Portland; etc. This may sound like a no-brainer, but all too often, being specific is overlooked. Don’t do that!
2. Pull out your list.
There is a goldmine of local referral potential in updating your past customer list. To get started, scan your list for 10 past customers. Then pick up the phone. Yep, that thing that makes a ring-dingy sound! A personal request requires well, a personal request! Another often-untapped resource is past testimonials. Review your received testimonials and make sure you have personally thanked each one. Again, pick up the phone! Get on it!
3. Cozy Up.
Build relationships with local community leaders and influencers. The more you build and connect, the more your local referral stream will grow. Your local Chamber of Commerce and Merchant’s Associations are priceless resources for any local small business. Consider becoming a member and being active in the abundance of local networking opportunities available. To find your local Chamber of Commerce, click here.
4. Welcome Wagon.
Be the first, and sadly quite often, the only local small business owner to personally visit new small business opening in your community. Talk about positive future local referral impact. Bam!
5. Be A Giver.
It’s been said, “A man who has friends must show himself to be friendly.” Offer a referral for local businesses you have a positive working relationship with. Prepare a list and post it on your website. Take it a big step further and prepare the list as a handout when you visit new local businesses.
There is no better time to begin your local referral marketing campaign than today.
Devising a marketing campaign geared at bringing in early bird shoppers can greatly increase the amount of traffic your store sees in the beginning of the holiday shopping season. In-fact, if you haven’t kicked off your holiday campaign by today, you are late!
Early bird shoppers are those that prefer to get out as soon as possible to score the best deals on many of the items they are looking for.
In order to attract these shoppers your marketing strategy should be designed to include items and prices that these shoppers are looking for. By becoming a competitive factor early on, you will be seen as a retailer who has exactly what shoppers are looking for at a price they are comfortable with.
Important Early Bird Dates
November 11-12 are likely to be the biggest online shopping days, this year
November 23 is Black Friday
November 24 is Small Business Saturday
November 26 is Cyber Monday
Learn more in my recent post, 2012 Key Holiday Retail Dates more »
Early bird shoppers are often willing to wait outside in the bitter cold for a store to open in the middle of the night or early morning. They do this because you have advertised items at a price they can’t find elsewhere. Offering early bird shoppers items at prices they feel they can’t find elsewhere is an excellent way to bring in foot traffic. And once early bird shoppers are in your store, it is up to you design and place items in areas where they are more likely to be seen. Getting them in the door with unbeatable prices is great, but keeping them there is up to you.
I’m reminded of the following Mervyn’s commercial from 1992. You remember the series. ‘Open, open, open.’
Consumers today, want what they want, right when they want it and for the price they are willing to pay. Period.
To be competitive in attracting early bird customers it seems that you need to start earlier and earlier each year. This includes running specials either online or in your brick and mortar store designed to get shoppers in the mood to start spending early. Many shoppers look forward to getting an early start on their list, but the prices need to competitive in order to convince them start spending before Black Friday. Many stores have reported seeing an increase in spending as early as October among those classified as early bird shoppers.
Many early bird shoppers prefer to get a head start on their shopping to avoid having to deal with the larger crowds later. Some early bird shoppers also state that they are typically done with their holiday shopping before Black Friday. While this may seem like an oddity to many of us, it is paramount to the success of your holiday shopping season to find ways to cater to these early bird shoppers. This may mean that you have to begin offering discounts in October to remain competitive among other retailers. Don’t wait for the arrival of Black Friday to mark the beginning of your holiday season, start early to meet the needs of shoppers who also begin their holiday season sooner rather than later.
Early bird shoppers are an important part of the holiday shopping season; it is this first wave of shoppers that can determine how successful and profitable your sales outlook will be. But don’t stop once the early bird shopping phase is over; it is important to the success of your holiday shopping season that you remain competitive throughout the entire spending season.
Should you find yourself without a a strategic holiday marketing plan at this late date, never fear, it’s not too late as long as you get on it now. If you need some assistance remember, I am here and I offer a Free 30 Minute Consultation to get you started.
The use of smartphones has greatly increased in the last few years if-fact, these days it’s hard to go anywhere without noticing someone checking their e-mail on their phone or posting something on a social media site. Smartphones have become such an important part of our everyday lives that we h
ave forgotten how we lived before we had them.
Smartphones Can See
Smartphones Can Hear
Smartphones Can Speak
Smartphones Can Translate
Smartphones Can Smell
…okay so maybe not smell, yet! This video of Eric Schmidt of Google at Mobile World Congress back in 2010 should motivate you into learning more about putting the smartphone to work for your small business.
A recent survey by Web.com and Lab42 of 500 small businesses showed that 84% reported an increase in new business. These were truly small businesses, as all of them have less than 100 employees.
A Few More Smartphone Facts
There are 91.4 million smartphones in the United States alone.
9 out of 10 smartphone users use their phone on a daily basis.
The most popular smartphone activity is texting, followed by internet browsing and playing games.
Android users consume the more data on a monthly basis (582MB) compared to users of other mobile operating systems.
iPhone users download more apps on a monthly basis (48) when compared to users of other mobile operating systems.
4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop
18 percent of consumers have redeemed a mobile coupon in the past 90 days
74% of U.S. consumers use location based services on their smartphone and 46% of mobile phone users use location based services
43 percent of smartphone owners have used their mobile device while in a store for a shopping purpose
Worldwide mobile payment transactions will surpass $171.5 billion in 2012, up 62% from $106 million last year
Mobile search will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search by 2016
By 2014, mobile internet is predicted to take over desktop internet usage
Smartphones can be both beneficial and hurtful to your bottom line, but if you are taking proactive steps to ensure that you are among the top choices provided to smartphone users you will begin to notice that you are losing fewer and fewer sales to your online competitors.
Check back often, as next week I begin to walk you through the process of taking your website mobile. I’ll walk you through each step as I build my own mobile presence and optimize it for optimum local results. I’ll even make it easy for you, click here for my RSS Feed.
Pintrest – If They Like It, They Will Put A Pin On It
There are plenty of reasons Pinterest is soaring where small business marketing is concerned. Since its inception, Pinterest has taken off and become one of the fastest growing websites ever. Below are the top ten compelling reasons to use Pinterest for your small business.
Pinterest converts many visitors to buyers. It is very unique compared to most social media sites in that the number of steps from discovery to conversion are reduced. This means business leads are converted to sales much quicker than through other similar sources.
Pinterest garners a lot of traffic. Pinterest has received ten million unique views. This is worth mentioning especially considering the newness of the site. You need traffic in order to obtain more leads, as this will also increase sales. Pinterest helps get links back to your website which, in turn, drives more traffic.
Pins will get you more inbound links. You want others to share your content and link back to you. One of the best features of Pinterest is that every pin contains a link that leads back to the source of the image. As Pinterest becomes more popular, these links could provide you with more inbound links.
User engagement is very high. It’s easy to share with others on Pinterest and the process is very simple. It isn’t so much about getting followers, but more about sharing with smaller groups. Those smaller groups can then grow into larger ones.
Pinterest integrates easily with your website, your Twitter account, and your Facebook profile. Pinterest, like all other social media sites, focuses on connectivity.
Pinterest is turning into the hottest social media site for business marketers in the coming year. The platform currently has the potential to offer more value than other sites because of the ability it has to aggregate and curate content naturally.
Pintrest makes it easy for your content to be found. Business-to-business communication tends to be heavy on content. Because of this, many people are searching for sites that may be scanned easily. The Pinterest platform organizes the images by category or theme, which means more people will find them in a shorter amount of time.
It’s all about speed. As audiences scan more, they strive to take in a greater amount of information at one time. This also means they potentially spend less time on any particular website. Still, it takes a lot longer to process text than in does an image. For example, the average person reads between 200 and 300 words a minute, but visually processes an image in only 1/20th of a second.
Pinterest has natural curation. This gives marketers the chance to capture deeper insights into the consumption habits of their audiences. Marketers may find their audiences organize and consume their content in Pinterest via categories. This shows how they intend to actually use the product, not how it will be purchased.
Pintrest offers targeted analysis. Individual pinning choices make it possible to analyze segments of people express an affinity for a particular product or specific category. If this information is available, it could give marketers the ability to create segmentation clusters based on common interests shared by audiences. This, in turn, could improve both messaging and targeting for small business owners.
If you haven’t jumped in on Pintrest, I highly suggest you give it a try!
If you’re looking for informative people to follow on Twitter for your small business, look no further. Below is a list of 13 Streams Of Small Business Twitter Delight, designed to help you grow your small business. You’ll learn plenty of tips and tricks by simply clicking follow.
1. Adam Toren
This co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com offers tweets pertaining to marketplace success.
2. Christine Perkett
This founder of Perkett PR serves as a great role model for how beneficial Twitter can be for any business owner.
3. Michael Michalowicz
He is best known as the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and has written a book and maintains a blog aptly titled. His tweets are centered around helping fellow entrepreneurs become successful.
4. Diane Hessen
She is CEO of Communispace, an organization specializing in managing online communities.
5. Andrew Ross Sorkin
This co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com offers tweets pertaining to marketplace success.
6. Norm Brodsky
Street Smarts columnist and senior contributing editor for Inc. Magazine. Best of all, he’s a Serial Entrepreneur.
7. Dan Schawbel
He is a leading personal branding expert with a lot of interesting information to share.
8. Becky McCray
Her tweets provides insights from the many years of business experience, especially for the small town, small business.
9. David Garland
He is the host of a television show and strives to empower entrepreneurs with a lot of great information.
10. Scott Stratten
His tweets are aimed at helping people engage more and market less.
11. Anita Campbell
She is the editor of the website Small Business Trends and provides advice and helpful links designed to help business owners.
12. Alyssa Gregory
Small Business Collaborator. Entrepreneur. Writer. Speaker. Founder of @ smallbizbonfire
Last but not least, me!
13. Kenda Morrison
I am a small business Twitter Tip fanatic. I’d love for you to join me and together, we’ll grow stronger and more profitable.
Who would you add to the list? Please share in the comments below.
The holiday shopping season is almost upon us! In fact, most big box stores and major department stores start setting up their Christmas displays and decorations before Halloween and definitely by the day after on November 1. Why are they so anxious? It’s because the holiday season is so profitable. They make more in two months than they more in four to five months the rest of the year. Guess what? This could be true for your business too, no matter the size or the type of business if you do the right kind of holiday marketing.
According to the National Retail Federation, one of the most well respected sources for consumer shopping statisitcs, 19 percent of all U.S. retail sales in 2010 occurred between November 1 and December 31. Other research studies of various industries show that holiday sales can account for as much as 40 percent of a company’s total annual profit.
The largest percentage of most shopper’s holiday spending budget goes toward gifts for their family members. Keep this in mind as you plan your holiday marketing strategy. If you can connect with the sentimental feelings people have around the holidays, you’ll do much better. No one is saying to fake it but do try your best to show your own holiday spirit so your customers can identify with it.
Below you will find 25 holiday marketing tips (in 140 characters or less tweetable format) to help increase your holiday profits. Some are a bit zany but having fun is also part of the Christmas spirit that you can tap into.
Here we go:
1. Start a ‘Give Yourself a Gift, You Deserve It’ Campaign to increase holiday sales. Include a suggestion list. via @KendaMorrison
2. Increase holiday sales – create geocaches w/ coupons & post at http://www.geocaching.com/ & other geocache directories. via @KendaMorrison
3. Boost holiday profits by selling gift cards! People spend more than $140 on them according to the National Retail Federation.
4. Become a food bank drop-off site to increase good will and foot traffic into your retail store. Place displays of your top selling items near the drop-off spot.
5. Follow Google’s lead and theme up your logo with the holiday spirit for several days before and after Christmas. You can do this online and on your storefront logo.
6. To dramatically increase sales, start a “Has your dog or cat bought your spouse a gift yet?” campaign throughout your store or website… even make suggestions!
7. If you run an online business or have your retail business online, add video of your top-selling products. It will increase your sales 40% or more this holiday season.
8. Increase your holiday sales by giving out free gift idea lists such as “10 Great Gifts For Dad” or “Top 10 Gifts Kids Are Begging For This Christmas.”
9. To drive more traffic to your business website during the holidays, write your domain name in wet sand where it can be easily seen from a popular bluff or lookout.
10. Create an endearing or funny holiday related hashtag like #bigsantahug or #naughtyelf to add to your business tweets. If it catches on, you could win lots of traffic!
11. Increase your impulse buys at the check out stand by offering $10 – $20 attractive gifts that come already gift wrapped and ready to go. Include stocking stuffers too.
12. To generate more traffic into your business, fold dollar bills into origami bow ties and give these back as change during the holidays.
13. To get people to subliminally associate your business with Christmas, infuse your business cards with the smells of Christmas like cinnamon apple cider and pumpkin.
14. To increase Christmas sales, give away a free pack of Christmas cookie cut-outs or another small gift like a holiday apron with any purchase of $100 or greater.
15. Advertise your retail business through an Amazon backdoor! Sell items in popular categories and place a description of your business in the write-up and in a graphic.
16. To get more customers into your store earlier in the holiday season, do a reverse price cut. Instead of dropping prices closer to Xmas, start out low and increase it.
17. Start a “trade in last year’s toy” for a special coupon program to bring in more repeat customers. Donate the used toys that are still in great shape to needy children.
18. To motivate your customers to buy more this holiday, have a Xmas stocking “grab bag” giveaway for every order over $200. Make some of them real money and advertise that!
19. To increase customer loyalty and return shopping this holiday season, send out custom made holiday cards to all the top customers in your database. Maybe add a coupon.
20. The holidays can be a hectic time for parents! To get more parents to shop in your store, especially for toys, offer three hours of free in-store babysitting.
21. To foster Christmas loyalty with your customers for years to come, give away Xmas ornaments imprinted with a small tasteful reminder of your business name or logo.
22. To generate more walk in business for your store this holiday season, make a deal with your business neighbors to give away each other’s coupons and fliers.
23, Act like the BIG retailers; they know what they’re doing and it’s backed by industry research. They start their holiday marketing 69 days before Xmas on October 17.
24. To bring in more holiday business this year, sponsor a Christmas music sock hop in your store featuring holiday classics like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
25. To maximize profits this holiday season, try bundling your products together into packages to sell more like “Mom’s Health Care Basket” or “Dad’s Cool Tool Bundle.”
With the holiday season approaching so fast, it is serious crunch time if you want to make the most out of the profitable holiday season. Beyond the fun tips given above, there are many proven ways to increase holiday sales for almost any type of business.
While you know your business better than anyone else, sometimes it can be very helpful to consult with someone around the holidays who specializes in maximizing holiday profits. There are known strategies that can be tailored and customized to fit your particular business model and style.
I have helped many businesses increase their holiday profits and I can help more than 99 percent of all businesses in this capacity. Please feel free to contact me for a no obligation initial consultation. I can quickly access whether or not I can help you and I’ll be honest with you. Together, we can co-master a successful plan that will not only increase your holiday profits but also bolster customer loyalty and repeat business for many holiday seasons to come.
Recently, I am finding visitors to my website for ‘apple-touch-icon.png or apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png’. Curious as to what this was, I did a bit of investigating.
“If in your website reports you see hits to a nonexistent file named apple-touch-icon.png or apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png, don’t worry. It’s not a hack or an indicator that your website has been compromised (at least not because of this). It is actually a good sign. I saw this in my reports, so I got curious and snooped around the wonderful internet armed with Google and discovered the hidden meaning of this strange activity. In most cases this means that someone has put a shortcut to my website on their iPhone or tablet’s desktop.”
I encourage you to read further as Zarko Njakara uncovers how ‘apple-touch-icon.png or apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png’, ‘Android’ and your website are involved. deputycio.com
The holiday’s are coming, the holiday’s are coming
Is your small business prepared?
The following are the important retail dates both online and offline businesses need to be aware of and put to use for successful marketing campaigns that yield serious holiday sales.
First prominent spike in holiday shopping related search queries. Your Holiday Marketing Plan should kick off by this date.
If you haven’t already begun, it’s time to get busy building your 2012 Holiday Marketing Plan. Make a point to set aside some time to focus on your goals and build an aggressive plan to capture your portion of the holiday consumer spend.
November 11-12 are likely to be the biggest online shopping days, this year. Limited Time promos are very effective in driving sales.
Happy Hour Ho-Ho-Ho
… you get the point!
Wow! On this date, there are only 31 days remaining until Christmas. Families and friends across the nation will be heading out seeking great deals. Many start early – so make sure you capture this shopper as well. Open early and stay open late.
A little background:
“Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days in the USA. There are two popular theories as to why the day after Thanksgiving Day is called Black Friday. One theory is that the wheels of vehicles in heavy traffic on the day after Thanksgiving Day left many black markings on the road surface, leading to the term Black Friday.
The other theory is that the term Black Friday comes from an old way of recording business accounts. Losses were recorded in red ink and profits in black ink. Many businesses, particularly small businesses, started making profits prior to Christmas. Many hoped to start showing a profit, marked in black ink, on the day after Thanksgiving Day.” via TimeandDate
Small Business Saturday
The brain child of American Express, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting Small Business and Shop Small.
Get involved. Get your community involved. Connect with Small Business Saturday: Facebook
According to Wikipedia, Cyber Monday was born as a marketing tactic to garner post holiday online sales. Even brick and mortar businesses can put Cyber Monday Deals in action while driving online traffic through your door.
The last Saturday before Christmas, this has traditionally marked the end of the retail season and is characterized by many one-day sales targeted at last-minute shoppers.
Capitalize on this and encourage customer viral marketing by including a ‘Share With A Friend’ Link or ‘Tweet For Coupon Code’ into your social media marketing, emails and even landing pages.
Make a decision on which products and services you are going to promote this holiday season
Retailers ensure you have plenty of each item in stock
Brick and Mortar small business need to ensure you have plenty of product or service brochures and collateral prepared for both hand out and online download.
If you need any special product photography, get it done now.
Begin teasing consumers about your upcoming holiday products and services.
Start planning specific promotions and sales.
I hope your mind is spinning with thoughts and ideas for your holiday marketing campaigns while utilizing these important retail shopping dates.
Stay tuned for a series of holiday marketing posts to position your small business on the road to holiday sales success. I’ll be offering free templates throughout the season to assist you in making 2012 a successful holiday sales season. ‘Like’ now so you won’t miss out! Your Small Business Success
Words have power to excite, amuse, entice and even indulge.
As small business owners, it’s mandatory we have a working list of sales driven power words for use in advertising, marketing and yes, even face-to-face sales calls.
Here are 10 frequently used and quite effective, power sales words:
Free – Drives immediate response, but don’t overuse it!
You – Answers the question, ‘What’s in it for me?
Results - Paints a visual image of what to expect
Guarantee – Offers assurance
Discover – Expresses something exciting and new
Proven – Eases the fear of the unknown
Safety – Appeals to basic human needs
Limited – Creates a sense of urgency
New – Entices curiosity
Bargain – Chumps ‘Sale’ every time
As you read through the remainder of this huge list, take a moment to actually think about each word and it’s potential as a sales driven power word for your unique small business. Ask yourself how you can incorporate these words into my advertising, marketing, headlines and sales pitches.
the truth about
Once you’ve compiled your own list of power words, make sure you keep fine-tuning and refining.
Did you discover a new sales driven power word to incorporate in your message? I’d love for you to share in the comments below.