How to make money in today’s economy

March 8th, 2009

The Value of a Content Rich Website

If you are looking for ways to make money in today’s economy – go look in the mirror.

Forget about government bail outs, and loans, and start to leverage your experience and knowledge, whatever it may be. As children our parents would tell us we can be anything we want to be, today with technology it’s true.

If you want to make money in today’s econonmy (or any economy for that matter) find something know a lot about and build an website and let Google know it’s there.

We will help you.

The purpose of any good website is to give the website visitor the information that they are looking for, therefore you need the site to be built or hosted on a platform that the search engine can find.

Think about it this way, let’s say you have a library of CDs with the latest and greatest movies, but you do not have a CD player, although the CD are valuable to someone with a player they are of no value to you.

Proper Design

A website that is not designed properly will never be found by the search engines unless it s built on a platform that the search engines browsers can read. The search engine “bots” do not see the same thing that the website visitors see.
Often older websites (prior to 2007) are built using flash / java script on the front page and when the “bots” see that in the source code they ignore the site because it can not read any text.

Key Word Text

Therefore, it is very important if you want your website to be found for specific key words phases, that you use real text. Unfortunately many website owners are drawn to the flash animation, and most website designer are more than willing to oblige because it makes the site look “cool” and “inviting”. Not to mention makes their portfolio look better, unfortunately, if no one can find the site what good is it?

I like to use the analogy; it’s like building a fine dining restaurant on a road that sits next to an interstate highway without an off ramp. Sure, the restaurant looks good and probably serves good food but what good is it if you can get to it!

Rule #1

Rule number one if you want your site to be found use real text, but just don’t start writing, see rule number two.

Rule #2

The second mistake I see is that most business owners think they know what their customers are looking for, and although that is true to a point “how they are looking on line” is more important when you want to be found by the search engines. Let me give you an example, last week I met with a website owner that sells organic food directly to homeowners. Her website was all done in flash and there was not one line of text about organic food.

I then showed her the top five ways people are searching for organic food (there were over 500)

organic food companies

natural and organic food

organic food store

organic food storeage (this is not a typo this is how people search)

buying organic food online

And then I asked her if she thought any of those people would qualify as a customer for her products and services. Her answer “all of them”.

Rule #2a

I have found website owners never tell their “distinct competitive advantage”. Therefore part two of rule number two; research what people are looking for but do not try to be all things to all people pick just a couple keywords/phrases to optimize for on each page of your site and sprinkle those words as liberally as you can throughout different pages on your website.

And do not try to optimize for everything you do on a single page, you’ll completely dilute your relevance when the search engines crawl the site. Therefore the five top phases above have given this website owner valuable insight into how her site should be designed. There should be a page about companies, another about the difference between natural and organic food, a third about organic food stores, etc. I’m sure you get the idea.

Rule #3

Rule number three, “a website is a website is a website”, basically they are all the same, sure some have fancy pictures and animation and pretty graphics but the technology used to build a search engine friendly website is the same for any website. What really makes a website different is the value of the content, and of course being found.
Again, and I can not emphasis this enough, that starts with knowing what people are searching for and what phases they used to search. Once you have gathered a list of phases that people search for, you pare that list down to identify the keyword phases that are in demand and sync up with your business. Then use those key words as the title to your web pages. The other key words (I generally recommend about five to seven) are then embedded throughout your copy on that page.

Rule #4

Rule number four; content is king. Think about each page of your website as a chapter in your company storybook. The objective is to provide valuable information to people that have found your website looking for you. If the information is pedestrian and mundane then they visitor will immediately leave your site and search again. This doesn’t sit well with the search engines since you have disappointed their clients (and they will penalize you by pushing you down the search engine result page) and naturally it doesn’t sit well with the website visitor because you have wasted their time.

Rule #5

Finally rule number five, it’s not about you! Most website owners start their website with “About Us,” “Our Services” and “Products Offered”. But if you think about it – who cares about you or your services if the stuff people are reading is useless. Do you really think any one cares about the fact that “you love dogs” if they are searching for organic food?

Provide the information that people are searching for first, then you can put up a few pages about your background, other products and services that you offer etc, and a picture of your and Fido.

Getting started

The Cybercom websites starts with ten pages, we used a basic template website theme either two column or three column and in some instance we can replicate you existing website. If you already have a site with text we will take the information from that site, give it to our content writer (or yours), and provide them with the key word phases to optimize it.

Research

We provide you with at least seven navigation titles and of course, the proverbial contact us, about us, and products and services. If you are using flash on your site we move that to its own page and allow it to be a feature and not a search engine blocker.

After you have outlined your website using the research about how people are searching and what it is you are going to feature, we can develop titles, descriptions, secondary keywords, and headlines for each article that will be written for each page, and then we need content. And again, for many business owners this is the toughest part; to develop relevant content.

Writing Content

As we said at the beginning, the secret is giving the customers the information that they want and that means adding more content to your website. We suggest adding a fresh content page or update an existing page each month, but at least every 60 – 90 days and that is why our pricing is set up the way it is. This allows you to develop trends and patterns to see where your content is lacking and what direction you should be heading.

The most important thing about our business is useful information, if there is one constant we have seen over the years is that the search engines love fresh, relevant useful content.

What is your best net profit product?

August 30th, 2009

Great party last night and and I met an interesting couple that cover the scope of our endeavor .

As often happens, the conversation moves to the proverbial “what do you do?” , I really like it when someone asks me what I do because I actually tell them.!

“I’m an internet business consultant” and I help you deliver to your clients your best net profit product?

What’s that

“I build websites that the search engines can find”

What does that mean

“Most websites built in the last few years are invisible to the search engines except for the company name. What that means is if you are a builder in Charleston SC and someone is looking for a builder on line, they will not find your website because it has not been indexed properly so the search engines can find it easily.”

How can you tell if you website is built so the search engines can find it properly

“It easy, simply click on each page of your website and using the Microsoft Explorer Menu Bar, click on View and then source and see what it says in the Title;  it looks like this:

<title>Internet Marketing Consultant Charleston | Charleston Internet Marketing Consultant | Internet Marketing Charleston</title>

“Then click on each page of your website and see it the title is the same on each page. If it is then your website is not optimized.”

How can I fix that

“There are two things that affect the way the search engines index your website, one is the way the site is coded and the other is the key words that you have on each page that tells the search engines what the page is about”.  Both components are equally important.

“Properly structured code enables the search engines to read your web pages and index it; and the key words tells the search engines what each page is about”.

What do I do first the code or the key words

“Good question, from a technical standpoint you would have to have the code before you can “index” your site, from a marketing standpoint you would want to have the assurance that there is a market for your business. I always start with the latter.”

How do you find out the size of the market for my products and services

“That is what I do, you pay me a small fee to research the various target audiences that you think would be searching for your products and services. For example if you are a mortgage broker, you might consider,  new home funding, or mortgage broker, or mortgage brokers, new home financing, home refinancing etc.”

How much does it cost?

“How much do you have? The key to building a profitable  website is directly related to how fast and how far you want to grow your business, if you are just starting a new company the cost is less than $500.00.  On the other hand if you are selling real estate or you’re a doctor, then your cost are relative to the target audience you are trying to reach”

Explain

“If you are selling real estate and you are trying to sell luxury homes, then spending $500 on a website is kind of pointless. People that are buying million dollars homes are looking for information. The can find a million dollar listing on any real estate website in the country. But if you want to earn the commissions that come with selling or even listing a million dollar house, you need to convince the buyer / seller that you are the right person for them.”

You want to explain to the consumer, your experience, other people you have worked with, how you will market their house, who you will market their home too, etc. Building a website and telling people you are the mother of two and your husband is a retired engineer doesn’t help.

The secret to building a good website is to always remember this WIIFM -”what’s in if for me…”

People use the internet to find information, to be entertained or to learn something, and unless you are in the entertainment business your website must first start with what it is YOU know.  If you can demonstrate to people that the information you have will benefit them, they will do business with you (or at least consider it). Otherwise you may as well save your money.

In the end your best net profit product is YOU


Google Search Engine Optimization Tips

August 27th, 2009

At The CyberCom our business is focused on helping people follow Google Guidelines and offering client search engine optimization tips to improve their search results.

If you have not had a chance to read Google’s IPO;  rest assure we have read every word of it (including the Playboy Interview with the “Google Guys” and it’s very enlightening.

In my opinion if you really want to understand how Google thinks it is clearly spelled out in this document.

In Google’s initial public offering they state that they are “focused on improving the ways people connect with information…”. Well that simply tells me that “information” should be the focus of every website we build and it is.

There isn’t one word in Google Guideline about Graphic Design, and I found that quite interesting because 9 out of 10 people that I talk to about a new website they are always asking me about “graphic design”. To my mind your website is not about design but information!

As you read further you will find that Google has the world largest online index of websites and “other content”.  If you search Google Images they are separated from the “web” content and there is a very good reason for that - Google is indexing INFORMATION!

The second paragraph in the IPO basically says that Google makes the majority of it’s money by delivering relevant, cost effective advertising.

The Google mission is to “organize the world information” and make it universally acceptable and useful. And this is very important because if you are going to make your money providing information it’s in Google’s best interest to put the best information possible online.

The key word there is “useful” and Google endeavors to put the needs of their uses first and foremost at the top of their priority list. I once heard a Googler say at a seminar that it’s important that website owners’ understand user are “Google’s customers first!”. They go to Google before they go to your website.

Often I get questions about Yahoo, or now Bing, AOL, Ask etc and my standard answer is that Google controls the lions share of the search market and until proven otherwise I’m going to jump on and stay on Google’s band wagon, and for the record generally if it’s good for Google it’s good for other the other search engines. Although now we are starting to see Bing using different strategies but with 11% share of market this just tells me they have a long way to go!

As you read on in the Google documents you will notice that one of their primary objectives is to provide products and services that are useful to the users. At the Cybercom we seek out client that are willing and able to provide useful information and are passionate about their business, otherwise we are wasting your time and ours.

That means that you website need to take into consideration two very critical components. Of course the first one is quality information but more importantly your website needs to be structured, (coded) in such a way that it is easy for Google to read and index.

That is why TheCyberCom has such a high customer retention rate, our sites are easily crawled and we insist on putting relevant information on each page of your site.

Search Marketing Strategy

March 3rd, 2009

What is Search Marketing Strategy? A set of marketing idea that you want to carry out on your website to get better performance, keeping in mind that people make decisions with their subconscious mind

 

  • Website Traffic
  • SEO
  • Pay Per Click (Display URL should be Unique)
  • Traditional Media

 

How do you measure performance? Benchmarks tracking code for each marketing channel (Phone Numbers)

 

  • Organic listing (each Page of the Website without a specific ID – referring URL)
  • Banner Ad
  • Newsletter
  • Press Releases
  • Paid Listing

 

Think of your website as a storyboard for a movie with the purpose of drawing in qualified traffic

 

Keeping a journal of changes to the website – date, what was changed, and what we are going to measure

 

  • Tracked on an excel spread sheets – database for each client
  • Table at Campaign level
  • Table at Key Word Level
  • Table at the Unique Visitors Level
  • Table of the Referral Level

 

What is the competition doing?

 

Design makes a difference take into consideration the browser age

 

Your pay per click ad should contain a snippet of the content on the actual page

 

 

 

 

The Cybercom Blog is now LIVE!

March 1st, 2009

The Cybercom blog is now online (as you can obviously see since you are reading this).  This is the premier place to find information about professional search engine optimized (SEO) website design, hosting, and consultation.  Our team has years of experience working with high profile corporations such as Disney, Red Lobster, and McDonalds.  We also work with small and medium sized companies to give them a top-notch website at an extremely affordable price.

Stay tuned for more information of how you can have a successful online presence to help increase your leads and improve your return on investment (ROI).