Effective Online Marketing – new & popular links

An update to the links to popular and additional online marketing opportunities covered in the autumn series of Effective Online Marketing for small business

Complementary to the seminar notes received through attending the awareness event

Have you found any of these of particular benefit to your business online recently ?


http://www.google.com/realtime – searches of realtime social media updates, monitor what people are saying

http://www.google.com/instant/ – instant results as your type searches into the google search engines, see your site move up the rankings with longtail phrases

http://www.tweetdeck.com – social media organiser and schedule posts to multiple networks in advance

http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter – google places, update your location page on google and get a potential free page 1 ranking

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal – keyword thesauraus to work out the best keyphrases for your web pages

http://www.mailchimp.com – email marketing package with free intial usage for list upto 600, create great templates and abide by the regulations

http://www.constantcontact.com – email marketing package, subscription based, lots of functionality

http://www.mail-away.co.uk – email marketing service & package

http://www.google.com/alerts – google alerts, find out whos talking about your business or markets

http://www.twitter.com – short snippet knowledge transfer and engagement social media platform

http://www.facebook.com – consumer based social network, 500 million personal spaces

http://www.linkedin.com – b2b professional social network

http://www.foursquare.com – location based mobile phone app – encourage your visitors to check in and leave recommendations/tips

http://www.etsy.com – craft sales platform with low commission percentages

http://www.wordpress.com – website development tool & blogging platform

http://www.sxc.hu – free stock photo site (use on site but not resell)

http://bit.ly – address shortening tool and click tracker stats

http://wikitravel.org – travel encyclopaedia wiki example

Please note this is not an extensive list, there are many many more social networks, directories, tools, etc etc! I hope this has given you a few options that may be relevant to your business and the inspiration to look for more solutions that complement your objectives and target markets online.

What’s your favourite  ?

Belinda

Belinda Waldock

Presenter of Effective Online Marketing Awareness Event run accross the South West for the past 2 years to well over 800 small & medium enterprises

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

Blogging – where to host your business blog

A question commonly asked: Should I host my blog on or off my website?  Please do comment with your thoughts so we might discuss this topic further!  Here are my initial thoughts on the considerations for where a blog should be hosted.. there are many more I am sure.. utimately it depends on each individual blog, what do you feel are the key decision breakers?

The majority of web advisers will suggest that your blog should be resident on your website, this enables your visitors to see further information and for you to promote your credibility to them.

Blogging on your site provides the search engines with relevant content and so can enhance your search engine rankings if you embed key words and phrases appropriately, links to your blog will also increase the potential ranking of your webpage on the engines, be aware that extra pages and content can also have a dilluting effect on your website in terms of optimisaton.

However I believe there are a few reasons you might consider a separate blog or a blogging platform..

Do you want to have your blog immediately available to a particular new market you are targeting?  Blogging on a platform such as wordpress can get you listed on google in minutes, provides a free diy solution, a friendy collaborative network and new market opportunities.

You can still create links between your blog and site, despite the loss of optimisation under your specific domain.  In practice there is nothing stopping you (other than time perhaps) to having a number of blogs on diverse topics, on or off your website.. as long as it’s not duplicating content exactly, as duplication can dilute rankings.

Are you are trialling blogging for your business?  If you are trying out blogging then this may be perceived as a half hearted attempt by your website visitors.  My advice would be to have a strategy for your blog and to create content and articles in advance so that you have a number of blogs to post and build upon when you start to publish.  If you dont have time to write your own blog, look at how you can comment on other blogs and engage with your marketplace.

Are you are writing about something that is not related to your business?  If you are going to write about your hobby, family, dog or a special interest that you have that has no relevance to your business then keep it separate

It may be a good idea to blog externally about something other than your business so that you can listen, follow and experiment with blogging techniques without risk to your business

Are you writing something that is contraversial or doesnt complement your companies culture and ethos.  Your blog should appeal to your website visitors, or to a specific market sector that your business is looking to reach.  If it doesnt then think about hosting it separately, this could be on a blogging platform or an alternative domain name.  There is nothing to stop you linking from your website and vice versa, as long as its relevant and complimentary

Contraversial ideas or information that you can personally write about but your company cannot (perhaps due to trading standards) should be kept on a entirely separate blog to your business and your individual involvement in the business.  Dont get your business into trouble by writing about something on your blog that you didn’t ought to be saying!

What are your thoughts on blogging on a business website, let me know by commenting below

Belinda

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Free and Easy DIY Google for Small Businesses

I am always amazed at the number of people at seminars who dont know about the google platforms, tools and applications available freely to them via a google account!

Here are a few for starters for you!!

google places, otherwise known as google maps is a superb advertising opportunity for any small business online, search for any service and location on google these days and you will more often than not see a map and business results shown to you first off.

updating your businesses places profile can position you well for your potential local customer base.  It can be rather like that rare treat when you found the right page first time in our old friend the yellow pages directory

verifying your listing is pretty simple, go to http://maps.google.co.uk , search for your business, and visit the page, click then on ‘verify my business’  unless you are a startup you are likely to already have a basic listing, a result of googles bulk content building strategy, if not then you can add your business on Google Maps

you will need log into your google account, if you dont have one you can create one by clicking on sign in at the top right of the google home page and then Create an account now

you can update the basic contact details of your business, add a website link, add photos (enhances your listing) add categories and a description, and the geographic areas in which your business operates to expand your ranking potential.  Plus lots of other additions such as promotions, opening hours, payment details, reviews, webpages and more  such as your google street view.

As a tip you can move a street view location if you dont wish it to be found under your listing, I found my moving it to a local focalpoint, a little known chapel ruin built into granite known as ‘roche rock’, all trace of street view disapeared from my listing, (therefore removing streetview from a google places listing). I cant confirm why, perhaps the mismatch of locations but it seemed to work! Handy for those who run their businesses from home and dont wish their properties to be associated or ‘viewed’.

On top of this google give you a basic analytics page for your google places profile so you can see impressions (how many times your listing was shown) and actions (how many clicked through for more information), it also shows you the keyphrase searches for these referrals.  And if you dont already utilise google analytics to monitor your own website, its far better than the basic hosting stats you may have glanced at once or twice

all this is free of charge, and requires only some commitment of time.   When you want to revisit go to google home and in the top right click ‘settings’ then Google Account Settings, here you can also add tools such as google alerts, verify and monitor the ranking of your site with webmaster tools.  If you sell products online list your products in google shopping (merchant centre) free of charge.

And there are more tools and apps besides, including your free and friendly google thesaurus https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and www.google.com/trends for basic online  market research

If you want to try some cloud computing, then google docs provides you with online admin programs and storage, as well as google mail and calendar


Google – search ‘google’ on www.google.co.uk !!

submit your content http://www.google.com/submityourcontent/index.html

http://www.google.com/addurl/
– add website – although your site will usually be indexed automatically

Google Keyword Tool : https://adwords.google.co.uk/select/KeywordToolExternal

Google Analytics Blog  http://analytics.blogspot.com

https://adwords.google.com/select/TrafficEstimatorSandbox – traffic estimator

keyword tool  www.google.com/sktool/

research online market trends www.google.com/trends

statistics software for your website www.google.com/analytics

google places http://maps.google.co.uk

find out when someone mentions a keyprase with an email alert, eg your business name www.google.co.uk/alerts

googles blog covers all this and more in detail http://googleblog.blogspot.com

webmaster tools – find out what keywords google ranks you on www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

http://www.google.co.uk/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769

google on!

Did you find this post useful?

Whats your favourite google toy?!

Belinda

Belinda Waldock

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine