Have Your Business Priorities Changed?

written by
Thursday, July 19, 2007

Have Your Business Priorities Changed?Changing with the times, with your client's needs, and with the latest product offerings is just smart business. However, what's not so well understood is that the decisions one makes today could very well have an unforeseen change in the way that person's company operates in the near future. Think about this the next time company policies or products are changed.

Have Your Business Priorities Changed?

So there I was walking into my local Target store when out of the blue it hit me... I was a changed man. At first I didn't know what to think. I was a little frightened, but eventually came to terms with the notion and continued onward deeper into the store. The cause for my revelation was quite simple. I had veered to the isle on the right after passing the "fork in the isle" just past the carts, and not my normal path which was to the left.

Now, before you readers out there start scratching your head like "what the hell is he blabbing on about", let me explain. I am a person who has a routine or game plan for almost every situation. That's just who I am. With that said, I even have a "normal" routine for when it comes to "just browsing" at my local retail stores. Normally, in this exact situation, I would have turned left at the junction and proceeded down the isle to the electronics department. There I would have scoped out the latest and greatest in TVs, movies, video games, and other guy-like toys before moving on to the automotive, sporting goods, and seasonal departments. However, on this day I unconsciously took the opposite path.

"Where in the hell was I going?" Well, I'll tell you. I was well on my way to the housewares department to see what Target offered in matching kitchenware, and then onto their grocery department to see if I could score some deals on frozen pizzas, condiments, and Gatorade. Somehow, and without me knowing it, my priorities had shifted. Instead of catching a great deal on a digital camera or a new Nintendo DS game, it was made apparent that I was more interested in a new toaster or Faberware spoons. It's quite sad really.

How could that be? How could my scope on shopping change so drastically and without notice? Well, it's quite simple really. Like with most things, change is reflected upon the decisions we make. A month or so ago, my girlfriend Jackie and I bought a house... I know I know... it's a big step, right? In any event, this decision to change my lifestyle caused an unforeseen change in how I now shop/browse stores (both online and offline), newspaper flyers, or anything else really. It's not a bad change by any means... it was just a shock is all.

This same kind of thing happens all the time in business.

To quote one of my all-time favorite movies: "If I can change... and you can change... then we all can change" - Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone) in Rocky 4 as he addresses the Russian people after his fight with Ivan Drago. As odd as it may sound, I find this statement to still hold true in today's ever changing world of search marketing, as well as business in general. It may not portray exactly how Rocky had intended it to, but both people and their companies do change, and with them their business responsibilities, perspectives on the industry, loyalties, and even priorities change too.

We all have an understanding of this... right? Changing with the times, with your client's needs, and with the latest product offerings is just smart business. However, what's not so well understood is that much like my Target example above, the decisions one makes today could very well have an unforeseen change in the way that person's company operates in the near future. Think about that the next time you, your boss, or the people in power make decisions that affect your company's policies, product or service offerings, staffing, or even employee benefits.

Take a look at your business. What recent decisions have you made? What recent changes have you implemented? The slightest change could start an uncontrollable, unforeseen chain reaction that could just end up to bite your company in the ass... well that, or make you all extremely rich.

Labels:


Search Engine Optimization: The Basics

written by
Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Search Engine Optimization: The BasicsSearch Engine Optimization is the process of getting one's website to rank highly among the search engine's free organic listings. To do so, search marketers will implement specific elements into a website's code, template structure, and content in hopes of creating a site that is not only "search engine friendly", but also one that is relevant for chosen keywords.

Search Engine Optimization: The Basics

Search Engine Optimization (often abbreviated as SEO) is the process of getting one's website to rank highly among the search engine's free organic listings. To do so, search marketers such as myself, will implement specific elements into a website's code, template structure, and content (in addition to a few off-site techniques and strategies) in hopes of creating a site that is not only "search engine friendly", but also one that appears relevant for the keywords chosen.

The ultimate goal behind search engine optimization is to rank the optimized website highly in the search results so that it may attain traffic from specifically those people interested in learning about or purchasing the products and services the site sells.

Now, without getting too in-depth and discussing the many strategies and techniques we search marketers utilize in our SEO efforts, I'll stick to the basic key ideas. When it comes to basic on-page SEO, there are 2 simplistic goals:

Goal #1: Get Found and Indexed

Providing every opportunity for search engines to find, crawl, and index your website's pages is important. This is the first part of any successful search engine optimization campaign... simply put, if the search engines can't locate or index your website's pages it can't display them in its results. Some general indexing techniques include:

  • Submitting to Search Engines
  • Setting up a Google Sitemap Account
  • Setting up Yahoo! SiteExplorer Account
  • Getting Links from other Relevant Websites
  • Making your Website's Navigation Search Friendly
  • Creating an Alternative Text-Link Navigation
  • Creating and Embedding a General Sitemap Page
  • Ensuring that your Robots.txt files are accessible

Goal #2: On-Page Optimization

Proving to the search engines that your web pages are really about what you say they are is important. This is probably the hardest part as search engines go to great lengths to ensure that their ranking system isn't gamed or tricked (spammed). However, once the search engines find your pages, never assume that they are going to be able to read, understand, and decipher it accordingly. Take a proactive effort and see to it that search engines tag/label and categorize your pages correctly in their index.

In order to convince the search engines to rank a web page according to the keywords that you've chosen for it, you must ensure that each of your page's keywords are accurately implemented throughout key areas of that page. Some general areas include:

  • Page Title
  • Page Meta-Description
  • Page Meta-Keywords
  • Headline Tags
  • Alt-Tags
  • Several Times throughout the Page's Content

Essentially what it comes down to is if you're claiming that a page is about say "ford mustangs" than you need to use the term "ford mustangs" on the page and where search engines can read it.

Labels:


Search Engines: The Basics

written by
Monday, July 09, 2007

What Google's Today, I wanted to take a few moments to address the question of "how search engines work". However, instead of diving deep into every segment of the search engine process, I've decided to highlight only the few key areas... doing so will better assist those of you readers whom are in fact clients, potential clients, or the DIY kind of folks.

What Google's

It's quite common for my clients to question how search engines work... and that's completely "ok" with me. This is our industry, not theirs, and they certainly don't have the time to put in the extra hours needed each week to learn a new trade. If they did... they certainly wouldn't need us now would they. Instead... clients call on us for search marketing services and guidance.

Today, I wanted to take a few moments to address the question of "how search engines work". However, instead of diving deep into every segment of the search engine process, I've decided to highlight only the few key areas... doing so will better assist those of you readers whom are in fact clients, potential clients, or the DIY kind of folks.

So how does a search engine work? Well, in the most basic form, there are 3 major parts to a search engine: the crawl, the index, and the serving of content.

The Crawl

Search engines have technology commonly referred to as "spiders". This technology "crawls" the Internet (through the use of links) and searches for new or updated versions of web pages. As apart of the process, "spiders" will record a single copy of each page that it crawls, known as a cache copy, and will store it within the search engine's database... also known as the index.

The Index

Search engines maintain a tremendously large index... billions upon billions of web pages. With the use of filtering and cataloging technology, search engines decipher through their index (rather quickly mind you) and determine what each page is about. Each page is then labeled and cataloged accordingly.

The Serving of Content

Each search engine will employ its very own unique algorithmic formula for when determining which web pages show up in their results. When a user types a keyword or phrase into a search engine's search box, that engine instantly begins reviewing its index for web pages that best represent what the user has searched for and serves up its findings.

Labels: