Latest Seach Engine Rankings

20 05 2009
It’s show (off) time. I haven’t been posting too often because I’ve been busy getting results for my clients, which is as it should be, right? But I can’t just not tell you how well you could be doing right now, so here goes (you can click on each link to run the Google search yourself:

  1. crates – plastic2go.com.au is #1 – this website receives well over 100 significant inquiries every month
    plastic2go-on-google
  2. plastic crates – plastic2go.com.au is #1
  3. plastic pallets – plastic2go.com.au is #2
  4. bulk containers – plastic2go.com.au is #2
  5. life coaching – behappyinlife.com is #4 & #7 – very tough keyword phrase (others are Wikipedia and large coaching schools)!
  6. life coach – behappyinlife.com is #9 – very tough keyword phrase (all others are large coaching schools)!
  7. parenting classes – behappyinlife.com is #2
  8. organic gold coast – celticorganic.com.au is #9 (and listed in business results in #1C)
  9. african connection – africanconnection.com.au is #1 out of over 36 Million results and against YouTube videos!
  10. family matters – ronitbaras.com is #6, ahead of familymatters.net!
  11. middle eastern music melbourne – ashkarmusicanddance.com is #1

Is this good or what?! I’m so proud of myself I’m going to explode.

Of course, the best part is that from all this ranking comes traffic and from all the traffic come leads and sales. Another good part is that this is all free search. There is no cost involved here whatsoever. I did my online market research, I did my magic with the sites, I did my magic in other places and voilà!

Business from the Internet is not far away. Inquire here.

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Internet Marketing Fundamentals

17 02 2009

Here are some very important things one must understand before taking a business online. I often explain these things to my clients who are offline business owners already, so I thought I’d post them here as I’m sure many others will benefit from the understanding.

Internet shopping is vastly different from offline shopping

Internet users search for different products and service than they would offline and the use different ways to search for them. Based on this premise, the first step in any Internet marketing campaign is to find out how the online market thinks, what it is looking for and what online niches will be profitable to engage.

Search engines are rapidly losing their leadership in driving traffic

With the advent of social networking and social bookmarking sites, which is the online equivalent of business breakfasts and social circles, more and more traffic is directed at websites from mega-sites, in which there is some built-in mechanism for implied trust, sharing and reciprocating. Therefore, a good Internet marketing strategy examines the online social vibe, as well as search trends.

Website content and structure are critical to having a profitable website

Unable to connect message Bringing traffic to a site that does not convert visitors to business leads is a waste of money. Whether it is link creation, paid advertising or newsletter marketing, having a focused website with quality content reduces the costs and increases the effectiveness of the online marketing by at least a factor of 5. Therefore, work should be done on the website itself to prepare it for the off-site promotion work.

The local game is not the same

The Internet is everywhere, so the best online business is one offering products or services to the entire world. Competing in a local arena requires specific focus and a totally different set of strategies in order to avoid getting too much “noise” and wasting money on visitors who will never become clients. Therefore, it is best to acquire knowledge of the local market and possibly couple the online effort with an offline promotion to raise awareness and start a local “vibe”.

The Internet is ever changing

No matter how much effort is spent promoting a website, incoming links will always “fade”, as the number of links on referring pages grows, the number of pages on referring sites grows, the referring pages move away from the top of the referring sites and more sites are created on the Internet. If this is not enough, there is a disruptive change every 18-24 months in the world of technology, which either puts “state of the art” methods in the baseline or makes them obsolete. Therefore, Internet marketing is an ongoing operation, much like offline marketing is.

As always, if you need any clarification on these things or you want my help to take your own business to the Internet, you are more than welcome to contact me.





How to Get Business Online (part 1)

22 01 2009

If you’re reading this, you are most likely a business owner looking to market your products or services on the Internet. So what should you do first? What should you do next? Where can you find more information?

The answer is: right here, of course. Let’s start at the beginning, then, shall we?

Finding a Niche

In the offline world, when customers want to buy something (say a bottle of olive oil), this is what they do:

  1. They go shopping at the nearest mall or shopping center
  2. They enter the store where the product is most likely to be sold (say Wal Mart)
  3. They find the shelf or aisle in which the product is kept
  4. On that shelf, they typically find several types and several brands of their product
  5. They start reading labels and price tags and compare the different options against one another and against their needs
  6. They decide what to buy and add it to their shopping basket, in which there are other, completely unrelated products

Sounds familiar?

In the Internet world, however, things are totally different. When Internet shoppers want to buy something (say a bottle of olive oil):

  1. They go looking for information using their favorite search engine (say Google)
  2. They type in “olive oil”
  3. They take a look at the title, description and URL of the websites listed and consider ways to fine tune their search
  4. They type in a more specific search query (say “extra virgin olive oil” or “cold pressed olive oil”)
  5. They take a look at the title, description and URL of the websites listed and pick out the most relevant sites
  6. They visit only the sites that seem relevant, typically from top to bottom, and stop reading when they believe they have enough information
  7. Now they are ready to buy
  8. They look for sites that sell their preferred choice of olive oil, possibly by searching for “buy cold pressed extra virgin olive oil” or by clicking one of the sponsored links around the search results
  9. They directly “land” on the page that sells what they were looking for and they buy it

Different, isn’t it?

Bottles of olive oil So you see, even if you have a pretty successful offline business selling olive oil, putting up a website featuring all your products on one page or mixing your shopping cart with some history of olive oil or olive oil recipes will get you absolutely nowhere on the Internet compared with sites that have a page dedicated to one very specific thing – cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. One click to get to it, one click to buy.

The upside, of course, is that you can have as many pages as you need on your website, so you don’t have to save. There’s not rent to pay for commercial space by the square foot, no cleaning for the extra pages, only the setup cost. But the returns, oh, the returns!

The difference between having your website listed at the top of the first page of search results and having it listed on, say, page 15, is pretty much like the difference between having a website and not having one. So you must identify your online niches first, and then have your website designed to have dedicated pages for each niche.

Doing this step first makes all the rest of your search engine optimization (SEO) possible. If you don’t do this first, you are effectively crippling anything you will do later on.

Of course, being deeply involved in your own business and having an offline mindset, it is best to engage an Internet marketing consultant to help generate ideas and check how often people search for them, because some niches are not worth your effort. Not wasting your time and money on those niches and discovering “golden nuggets” you couldn’t think of yourself will bring you more than enough value to cover anything the Internet marketer will charge. Guaranteed.





#1 in Google Search

11 11 2008
The other day, I typed “be happy in life” (without the quotes) into my Google Toolbar search box and, lo and behold, my very own life coaching website appeared in the first position, followed by links to its subpages and then another entry, pointing to the free inspiration articles on my site.
Google AU search for "be happy in life"

Google AU search for"be happy in life"

See for yourself.

“But this may be only in Australia”, I said to myself and checked on the main Google site. Be Happy in LIFE was showing in the first and second positions there too.

See for yourself.

“This is too good to be true!”, I thought in excitement, “I wonder what’s happening on the other major search engines”.

Well, in MSN/Live Search, Be Happy in LIFE appears first and my contact page appears second.

See for yourself.

If this isn’t amazing enough, Yahoo! Australia agrees with Google.com, showing the Be Happy in LIFE home page first and the free inspiration articles second.

See for yourself.

The only one that rained lightly on my parade was Yahoo! global/USA, listing Be Happy in LIFE in the 5th place and the free inspiration articles page 6th. I decided this was OK and my day was still great.

Of course, I share the secrets of how I’ve done this with my clients, so that they can get the same for their business. Would you like your business to top the search engines too?





The SEO Myth

3 10 2008
Someone told me today about a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) service he was using. Being the God knows what time I’ve heard about this type of scam, I thought I’d write about it to prevent others from falling for it.

SEO is aimed at getting your website top ranking in the search engines, typically measured on Google Search. The assumption is that the higher your website appears in the search results, the more traffic it will get, the more sales or leads you will convert and the more dollars will make it into your pocket.

So shifty operators contact unsuspecting business owners or website owners and offer to get their websites a top search engine position at a surprisingly low cost. Sometimes, this cost seems even lower, but it must be paid on an ongoing basis.

“Wow”, thinks the website owner, “I’ve been struggling with this for so long, and here is an expert who does this for a living. Surely, my sales will skyrocket within days and I’ll be rich in no time”.

Unfortunately, this is not quite the way it happens. When the owner (let’s call him Jim) sits with the SEO expert (let’s call him Bob), Bob asks Jim to tell him about his website. Let’s say Jim runs a doorknob business called “Jim’s doorknobs” and lives in a small town called woopwoop. Bob suggest that the best thing to do is to get Jim the first position in Google for the keyword phrase “woopwoop doorknobs”, which Jim excitedly agrees to. Bob, stating he was going to give Jim great service by working with additional phrases, throws in the keyword phrases “jim’s doorknobs” and even “best doorknobs in woopwoop”.

Jim leaves Bob’s office all pumped up and patiently waits for the sales to start pouring in.

A month goes by and the sales are pretty much the same, so Jim rings Bob. “Great news!” says Bob, “Like I said, you’re number one for your keywords now. Google them now and you’ll see”.

Sure enough, Bob has delivered on his promise, and Jim’s doorknow website is now the first to appear for his 3 chosen keyword phrases, but he gets no business. “Bob”, he says, “Why am I not getting any sales?”

“Oh, this takes a bit of time to build up, because of the way the search engines work, you know. Give it another month or two and you’ll see”.

After 3 months, Jim starts to suspect that something is wrong, so he calls his friend Bruce, who knows a little about Internet marketing. As soon as Bruce hears the chosen keyword phrases, he says to Jim, “I think there may only be a handful of people looking for these. Being number one for a keyword phrase nobody looks for will make you proud, but not rich”.

So next time someone tells you they’ll put you at the top of the search results, ask them how many times they think people might be using this keyword phrase each day on the Internet. Anything over 300 is good. If the answer is “I don’t know”, run away fast.

Of course, the keyword phrases you choose must also be directly linked to the problems you solve, the solutions you provide or some unique aspect of your business, so that you get qualified traffic you can convert to sales.

Remember, you want to get more business online, not more traffic, not a higher position, not a higher page rank and so on. More business! That’s the only way to measure the success of your website.

Gal