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Fact #2: SEO Is No Replacement For A Good Product

Original post from Search Engine Land

Fact #2: SEO Is No Replacement For A Good Product

Great SEO can’t fix what’s wrong with your product. As a U.S. politician said recently, that would be like “putting lipstick on a pig.” So start with your product — and fix that first.

In the future, the way your customers feel about your products (and the opinions they voice about your business) will affect your visibility on Google. The search engine giant wants its users to keep coming back, so it will ultimately strive to suggest only high quality products and services which their users will love. Thus, “customer delight” might soon become a crucial ranking factor for your website to show up high on Google search results!

Stop thinking about SEO as a “quick fix” or “duct tape” solution for your business. That attitude will prevent you from reaching your potential and can become a threat to your future success.

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business development, facebook, LinkedIn, seo

4 Things Most People Don’t Understand About SEO (Search Engine Optimization) #SEO #optimization

Original post from Search Engine Land.

In an online business environment that’s heavily dependent on organic search, the lack of an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is detrimental to your growth and profitability.

In this column, we will look at three SEO facts that business leaders should know to achieve excellent results.

Fact #1: SEO Is Not An Add-On, But A Build-In

Search engines have become an indispensable part of the consumer’s decision-making and buying process, which means that organic search is important for every business. Being visible in Google and other search engines matters because that’s where most searchers go to look for things — and where most traffic to your website will come from. Organic search connects you with buyers.

Factors that affect your ranking on search engines are not limited to your own site, either. Some of the most important ranking factors are external, such as getting links from other authoritative websites in your niche. Google counts them as “votes” in your favor.

For best results, search engine optimization should be integrated with all of your other marketing initiatives from the start. Breaking down silos and working with other departments is mutually beneficial for all parties! Here’s how:

Content Marketing

If content marketing is an important element of your traffic generating strategy, then you must first research your ideal prospect’s search behavior to gather insights for planning your content.

Doing this before creating your content will help tailor whatever you create to the existing needs and current behavior of your clients.

Paid Search

Some business leaders consider paid traffic to be completely distinct from search engine optimization, not realizing that an SEO specialist can help you amplify the reach and impact of your paid search campaigns.

It is true that SEO and paid search are different beasts, requiring specialized knowledge. But both address search users, and having SEO and PPC teams work together can be powerful.

SEO specialists tap into multiple data sources and use research and analysis techniques that can make PPC experts more effective at generating sales and boosting profits. And conversely, PPC is a great way to try out new ideas and experiment with conversion-boosting techniques before investing a larger budget into long-term strategies like SEO and content marketing.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Just getting more visitors isn’t enough. You must convert them into paying customers, or get them to do what you want. And SEO can bring you better results once you understand your typical website visitor on a deeper level.

  • Why did they come to your website?
  • What do they want from you?
  • How do they intend to act on your information?

Armed with this data and insight from an SEO expert, you’ll better understand the psychology of website visitors and can use it in your online communication to improve conversions.

Business Development

Insights gathered from Google can help future-proof your business. By digging into archived, historical data and comparing it against future trends, you can

  • analyze markets
  • study competitors
  • make sales forecasts
  • allocate resources

All of this will help you find out what you need to become a market leader, how long it will take to beat your competition, and which activities will get you there in a cost-effective manner.

A good SEO analyst can help you uncover information that will warn you against venturing into markets which are too competitive, or safeguard you from wasteful investments in areas with low profit potential.

Branding & Communication

Once you understand what goes on in your ideal customers’ minds, your brand message and marketing communication will be more consistent and more effective. It costs nothing to access Google’s search data and study it for insights.

Are you speaking in your customer’s language? Have you identified the most frequent questions your customers ask? Do you solve the major problems that they are facing?

Your story becomes more interesting when you talk about what they are already interested in.

Knowing what your prospects care about, you can:

  • reach out with a helping hand
  • offer valuable resources
  • plan effective brand campaigns
  • conduct interesting and entertaining interviews
  • use data intelligently
  • combine it with your other data and information to amplify the impact

Integrating SEO into all that you do, both offline and on, can enhance your results and speed up your growth.

On the other hand, trying to “slap on some SEO” like putting icing on a cake doesn’t work. This mindset is why many businesses don’t experience success with search engine optimization.

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arizona, business development, mother's day specials in dfw, texas

7 Critical Questions Before You Become an Entrepreneur

Original post from Startup Professionals Musing.

As a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, the most common question I get is, “I want to be an entrepreneur — how do I start?” The obvious answer is that you need an idea first, but I’ve come to realize that the process is really much more complex than that. Many people with great ideas never make it as entrepreneurs, and true entrepreneurs can make a business out of anything.

The first myth you have to get past is that having an idea will make you an entrepreneur. In fact, even implementing the idea into a solution doesn’t make you an entrepreneur. According to my definition and Wikipedia, an entrepreneur is someone who builds a new business. Based on my experience, creating the solution is usually the easy part of starting a successful business.

So before you quit your day job, tax all your friends and investors for money, or max out your credit cards to design and build a product, I recommend that you seriously contemplate the following more basic questions:

  1. Are you prepared to adopt the entrepreneur lifestyle? Starting a new business is not a job, but an adventure into the unknown, similar to Columbus setting out to find the New World. It’s a big step into a new lifestyle, like getting married after being single for many years. Yet startup founders are often lonely, since no one else can make their decisions.
  2. How strong is your passion for this opportunity? You have to enjoy working with people — partners, customers, investors and more — as well as products to start a business. You have to embrace making decisions and the responsibility of setting milestones, measuring progress and celebrating the victories and defeats.
  3. Are you confident and disciplined in facing tough challenges? Starting a business at home or on the Internet is hard work — not a get-rich-quick scheme. You will be operating outside of any proven realm, no mentor can give you the answer, and it won’t help to blame anyone else for missteps and environmental changes you can’t predict.
  4. How familiar are you with the contemplated business domain? Remember that the grass always look greener on the other side of the fence. It may make more sense to work for a similar startup before charging ahead on your own. The ultimate best teacher is failure, but a less painful one is getting related work experience and training.
  5. Which business model best suits your mentality? Some people love to deliver services, where personal acumen is tested every day. Others love technology and products, to be replicated and sold while you sleep. If something totally new is not your forte, you can always buy a franchise, acquire an existing business or be a consultant.
  6. Have you mapped out a complete plan? Few entrepreneurs can assimilate and hone a complete plan in their head. That’s why I believe the process of writing down your plan is more valuable than the result. Also, a written plan multiplies your ability to communicate to constituents, and facilitates parallel feedback. Money is not a substitute.
  7. What is your funding situation and alternatives? Fundraising is stressful and difficult, which is why 90 percent of successful entrepreneurs choose bootstrapping (self-funding). Too much money too early kills many startups, according to investors. There are always non-cash alternatives, such as recruiting partners with equity and bartering services.

After asking yourself these questions, and finding yourself still determined to be an entrepreneur, you will have already started. From there, it’s a simple matter of forging a trail to success, and conquering all the problems and challenges that are sure to surface. Starting a business is a marathon, so you have to make an overt decision to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

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carrollton, organic living, shop local, texas

Organic Heart!

Join #MyCo and #RescueYoga for #OrganicHeart2015 in Carrollton, Texas! June 20th from 2-5pm. There will be live demo’s, tips on the organic lifestyle and how to incorporate it into your daily routine, shopping, and vendors.

RSVP today! https://www.facebook.com/events/357676194442913/

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arizona, direct selling, dsa, texas

What exactly IS direct selling?

Original post from DSA.

Direct selling is the sale of a consumer product or service, person-to-person, away from a fixed retail location, marketed through independent sales representatives who are sometimes also referred to as consultants, distributors or other titles. Direct sellers are not employees of the company. They are independent contractors who market and sell the products or services of a company in return for a commission on those sales.

Orders are usually placed in person or via the consultant’s Web page. Sometimes the phone is used to place orders or reorders, but only about 12% of sales take place this way. Home shopping parties are the most widely recognized sales method, where friends, family or acquaintances get together for a few hours to learn about or sample a range of products or services. However, the majority (about 70%) of the direct selling industry’s sales actually occur using a one-to-one approach where one seller may present the products or services to a single consumer.

Just about any product or service can be purchased through direct selling somewhere in the world. Many people think of cosmetics, wellness products and home décor as products that are often sold through direct sales, but add to that countless other product categories including kitchen products, jewelry, clothing, organic gardening supplies, spa products, scrapbooking supplies, rubber stamps and much, much more.

Direct selling should not be confused with other types of sales that take place away from a fixed retail location such as magazine sales, home repair services, telemarketing, wholesaling, real estate sales, or “work-from-home” businesses such as envelope stuffing or product assembly.

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arizona, definitions, direct selling, fun facts, texas

What exactly IS direct selling?

Original post from DSA.

Direct selling is the sale of a consumer product or service, person-to-person, away from a fixed retail location, marketed through independent sales representatives who are sometimes also referred to as consultants, distributors or other titles. Direct sellers are not employees of the company. They are independent contractors who market and sell the products or services of a company in return for a commission on those sales.

Orders are usually placed in person or via the consultant’s Web page. Sometimes the phone is used to place orders or reorders, but only about 12% of sales take place this way. Home shopping parties are the most widely recognized sales method, where friends, family or acquaintances get together for a few hours to learn about or sample a range of products or services. However, the majority (about 70%) of the direct selling industry’s sales actually occur using a one-to-one approach where one seller may present the products or services to a single consumer.

Just about any product or service can be purchased through direct selling somewhere in the world. Many people think of cosmetics, wellness products and home décor as products that are often sold through direct sales, but add to that countless other product categories including kitchen products, jewelry, clothing, organic gardening supplies, spa products, scrapbooking supplies, rubber stamps and much, much more.

Direct selling should not be confused with other types of sales that take place away from a fixed retail location such as magazine sales, home repair services, telemarketing, wholesaling, real estate sales, or “work-from-home” businesses such as envelope stuffing or product assembly.

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arizona, direct selling, fun facts, texas

Direct Selling = $31.63 billion dollars!

Fun direct selling facts:

$31.63 billion dollars a year in the U.S.A!

$166.9 billion dollars a year worldwide!

15.9 million people are involved in direct sales!

82% of sellers report a good, very good or excellent experience with direct selling!

74% of US adults have purchased products from a direct seller!

78% of sellers say direct selling meets or exceeds their expectations!

76% of sellers have been with their company 1+ years!

Information provided by the DSA.

I’d say making the move to direct selling is a wise move! What business do you want to learn about?

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