Is It Really On Sale?

Spring is here and summer is quickly approaching, so I decided to clean out my closet and update my wardrobe. Most of the articles of clothing I purchased were on sale…or were they?

Truth in Advertising?

One of the items I purchased was a very nice St. Johns Bay sweater that had a blue $10 sticker, strategically over what appears to be the original price. To me…this sticker  indicated that the sweater was on sale.

Sale-Price-$10

Just for kicks, I thought I’d look to see the original price, so I began to peel off that little blue $10 sticker. Low and behold, there was a red sticker, indicating that the article was previously on sale for $20.

Sale-$20

Ok…so I then peeled back the $20 sticker and found that the original selling price was….now wait for it…$20.

Orig-Price

What!!! The original price was $20? But I thought it was on sale for $20 and now at a real bargain of $10!

I realize that I’ve been out of the retail clothing business for many years, but come on…Back in the good ol’ days when I walked 10 miles to school in knee high snow, up hill, I don’t remember fudging a sale price. Come on…Really? I’ve had customers try to haggle, but never did we fudge a sale price.

If those are the tactics retailers are now employing to gain sales then what a shame. Oh well…It’s the way it is.

Did this discovery make me take the sweater back protesting?

No….

Will I go back and purchase from this retailer again?

Yes…

Really…I don’t find it to be that discouraging, it was just somewhat silly and somewhat discouraging.

Do I believe I received a good deal on the sweater?

Yes…Compared to others of like or lesser quality, I’m happy with my purchase.

Marketing is ever evolving, and while the tactics may change the overall principles remain the same.

Share your marketing experiences. The good, the bad and the ugly. What works and what doesn’t. We can all learn a little something from each other.

Posted in Advertising, Retail Marketing | Tagged , ,

Build It And They Will Come?

Build It And They Will ComeWe’ve all seen the TV commercials, build a website and your customers will find you. Well that’s what they say anyway… There is truth in advertising. Build it and your customers will find you, but build it and potential customers will find you is another story.

Recently I have noticed that more and more websites lack the appropriate SEO and internet marketing techniques required to get noticed online. Yes, they have a nice looking website, however after taking a closer look, are missing the appropriate HTML tags and SEO content that Google and other search engines look for when determining the sites search engine results placement.

Why is this happening? Was the site designed by someone using an online service, wants an online presence and does not understand that there is more to creating a website than the look of the site? Is it because the website developer lacks the SEO knowledge and tools to optimize the site? Or lastly…Is it because the business owner lacked the funds to create a fully functioning, well optimized website? No matter the reason, it is unfortunate that so many businesses are missing out on much needed traffic.

I recently spoke with someone who believed that they were receiving hundreds of visitors, and was concerned because they weren’t receiving email contacts. I then reviewed several online traffic tools and found that they were not receiving the hundreds of visitors and in fact, traffic was so low that it didn’t even register. After further review I found that the site lacked necessary internet marketing META tag information and also did not provide an email link on any of the sites pages.

Tips for Attracting More Customers Online

In order to attract customers it is not only important to have an attractive looking site, it is also important to incorporate the following internet marketing techniques.

  • Keyword Analysis; Learn which keywords potential customers look for when searching for your products or services.
  • Competitive Analysis; Work with an internet marketing professional to understand the competitions social media activity, keywords and historical strengths.
  • META Tags; Be sure to develop an informative description and keywords to be used in the sites META Tags.
  • Content; Google and other search engines look for up to date, informative content that keeps the visitor coming back. Keyword should be included in the sites SEO content. This action will help search engines determine a sites page ranking.
  • Get Social; Social Media is a contributing factor to a sites page placement. The more time a visitor spends on a site, as well as the number of pages visited, will aid in a site’s search engine ranking.
  • Back Link Structure; When sites link back to a website, the more reputable it becomes in the eye of search engines. Ask friends and colleagues if you can contribute content on their blog. This blog post should include a link that is directed back to the promoted website.

Building a website without the proper supporting structure will unfortunately hurt your businesses bottom line. A healthy back bone will not only improve the number of visitors, it will also improve a site’s return on investment.

If you are new to online marketing or have a site that is lacking in visitors, First Capital Internet Marketing is here to help. Contact us today and learn how we can help improve your sites SERP.

Posted in Content Marketing, Google Organic Search Engine Results, Internet Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Get More Customers with Social Media

Get NoticedAttracting visitors to your website isn’t as difficult as you may think. The main ingredient to search engine optimization is sociability and avoiding black hat techniques such as purchasing links from link farms. The more social you are, whether it be by blog, YouTube, Google+, Facebook or Twitter, the more likely you are to be found online.

Let’s review several internet marketing techniques that will help to improve search engine results placement.

Social Media and Search Engine Results Placement

Google+: Google+ is part of the Google family of products and is similar to Facebook. It has two attributes that Facebook does not. First and foremost it is a Google product and secondly it offers what is referred to as “Hangouts”. “Hangouts” allow users to chat instantly online and is similar to Skype. The difference is that participation in hangouts will be included in local search results, whereas Skype is not. It also helps to improve a sites link building campaign.

YouTube: YouTube is another Google product used to feature videos. Many businesses are finding this a great instructional tool. It allows companies to feature product or service benefits and instruction visually to YouTube visitors. It too will be included in local search results and will increase the number of incoming links to a website.

Pinterest: One of the fastest growing social media platforms is Pinterest, with over 17 million visitors. This social media platform allows visitors to “pin” images and videos of interest to “pin boards”. Other Pinterest users often re-pin images to their own pin boards. Hashtags are used when pinning, to help others locate particular images that will ultimately direct members to sites of interest, helping to improve a sites back link structure.

Facebook: Facebook is one of the oldest and most social platforms used today. Businesses that are serious about social media use this medium to gather research data from their friends as well as address areas of concern with their customers. Facebook is yet another source for improving a sites back link structure.

Twitter: Twitter is an internet marketing technique that is most commonly used by entertainers, news organizations and businesses. Tweets of 140 characters or less are used to promote and prompt discussions. Sometimes controversial, this platform allows information whether it is true or false; reach the masses in record time. It too can be used to improve a sites back link structure.

LinkedIn: Business professionals use LinkedIn to improve their business contacts and to learn from other business professionals. Promotion of one’s website is frowned upon, however offering valuable information is not. Be careful as to how this platform is used, if incorporating it into your internet marketing strategy.

Blogging and Article Submissions: Whether you have your own blog, guest blog, or submit articles, these methods are a great way of improving a sites back link structure. Keeping a site active with up to date, relevant information is one of the key indicators Google uses to determine search engine results placement.

An internet marketing strategy that includes social media is just one of many factors Google uses to determine a websites search engine results placement. Contact us today to learn how First Capital Internet Marketing can help you achieve higher search engine results rankings and visitors.

Posted in First Capital Internet Marketing LLC, Google Organic Search Engine Results, Internet Marketing, Internet Marketing Solutions, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Results Placement, Social Media | Tagged , , ,

Solicitations Using PPC Costs Money

Stop PPC SolicitationWhen it comes to internet marketing, one of my biggest pet peeves is to receive solicitations by way of Google Adwords PPC advertising. It is unfortunate that those that consider themselves internet marketing professionals lack the consideration to copy and paste the URL address as opposed to choosing to click on the PPC Google Adword. One would think that as internet marketing professionals, they would understand how much this action affects the budget of small online business owners. And it’s not only one time that they reach out using this method, it’s often times several.

How To Handle PPC Solicitations?

The question is how should a small online business react to such internet marketing solicitations, or should contact be ignored all together?

Share your thoughts on this issue by taking the Google Adword PPC Poll.

Here are the questions I’ve asked myself before reacting.

  1. Should a polite response be given? – No…This only reinforces the fact that contact was made, and therefore initiates additional contact.
  2. Should a response, scolding the solicitor be sent? – No…This may cause numerous unwanted solicitations costing even more money.
  3. Should the solicitation be ignored? – Yes…In hopes that they will discontinue this practice.

For internet marketing professionals that choose to solicit business using PPC Google Adword advertising, please consider the costs small business owners incur before initiating this method of contact.

Posted in First Capital Internet Marketing LLC, Google Adwords, Internet Marketing, Online Marketing | Tagged , ,

Is Pinterest Right for Your Business?

PinterestPinterest is quickly becoming one of the hottest social media platforms. In February 2012 it had over 16 million visitors alone. Granted, that number is only a fraction of what Facebook receives a month; however Facebook members who are also using Pinterest, are now seeing Pinterest listed on their Timeline. Many users are also finding it to be addicting.

So why should businesses consider adding Pinterest to their internet marketing strategy? Well…it’s very simple…Pinterest is reaching more and more visitors every day, has the ability to drive traffic and helps improve SEO. If your business is one that can take advantage of Pinterest, then consider adding it to your social media marketing campaign.

10 Pinterest Tips

  1. Create Pin Boards – Enhance your brand image by creating pin boards. If you are a retailer of clothing, feature pin boards that appeal to your target audience such as “Hot Spring Colors” and “Look Great No Matter Where You Are”.
  2. Keep Pin Boards Up To Date – It’s important to keep them coming back, so don’t forget to update your boards daily.
  3. Keyword Optimization – Use keywords and hash tags to attract traffic to your boards. Simply add #keyword to the pins description. You can even add multiple keywords to the end of the description. But don’t add too many as it may appear spam like.PinterestHashTags
  4. Easy Pinning – Adding a “Pin It” bookmark to your browser will help you pin images, videos and more to your pin boards.
  5. Pinterest for Networking – Connect with others that share interests. Not only should you post on Pinterest, allow others to do so as well. This is a great way to improve social media engagement and search engine rankings.
  6. Learn and Educate – Pins that are popular have a few things in common. They may contain; likes, re-pins and comments. Use this information to your advantage and find out what your particular market is looking for. It’s also a great educational tool. Recommend videos, books, blogs and anything else you feel would benefit your followers. They will love you for it!
  7. Cross Social Media Platforms – Don’t forget to cross-network by embedding a pin directly onto your blog or posting on Twitter.
  8. Improves Content Marketing – Be creative and drive traffic to your site. Share charts, tips and photos on attractive slides. Whenever you post a blog, be sure to include an image as it will provide readers with a reason to pin. Pinterest Blog
  9. Back Link Building – Posting on Pinterest is a great way to improve your sites back link profile. Include your company’s website URL and Twitter page to your profile. Add a specific website page to pin descriptions.
  10. Is Pinterest Right For Your Business?Pinterest isn’t for all businesses. If you are an online business that offers services that the typical consumer can relate to such as; apparel, wedding themes, sports, home improvement, pets, travel, kids, interior design, technology, interior design, architecture, foods, arts and crafts and depending on your creativity more, then Pinterest is definitely right for you.

The popularity of Pinterest is still on the up-swing, so why not get your feet wet and dive in. Pinterest is a great opportunity for businesses to improve their social media engagement, back link structure, SEO and internet marketing campaign.

Posted in Content Marketing, Internet Marketing, Pinterest, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SEO, Social Media | Tagged , , , , ,

Google Adwords PPC – The Pros and Cons

Choosing to use Google Adwords PPC as an internet marketing solution has its advantages and disadvantages. For some it proves to be a profitable advertising method, for others, a not so profitable endeavor. In order to get the most out of a Google PPC campaign, let’s review the Pros and Cons.

Pros of Google Adwords PPC

  • Has the ability to provide 1st page exposure in either the first 3 center page positions, along the side and even on the bottom of the page. This is beneficial especially to online businesses that are just starting out and are competing against already established online competitors.

Google PPC Ads - Top

Google Ads - Bottom

  • Allows businesses to control the demographics, location, days of the week and times ads are displayed online.
  • Google Adwords PPC provides the tools needed to determine the keywords, traffic and competition levels of relevant keywords.
  • Google Adwords is also beneficial to search engine optimization (SEO) as it provides valuable keyword research results.
  • Campaigns can be started or stopped at any time.
  • Control the advertising budget by choosing the keywords that meet budgetary needs.
  • Test keywords and ad’s through campaign testing. A click through rate, determined by impressions and number of times an ad was clicked, will help to determine the keywords and ad’s that were most productive.
  • Google reports that utilizing a PPC campaign in conjunction with organic search engine results will help to improve website traffic by 50% or more.

Cons of Google Adwords PPC

  • With popularity and the need to be seen in the first 3 positions of search engine result placement come price. The cost of running an effective PPC campaign may become pricey, and therefore businesses that are competing against already established online businesses, with cash to spend, a Google Adwords PPC campaign may not be effective or affordable.
  • Unfortunately there are businesses that operate using unethical practices, and while understanding the cost of advertising, will click on PPC ads in order to break the bank of competitors. There are also those that click through PPC keywords for solicitation purposes.
  • One con, that may be going away in the near future, is the technique of using misleading ads to direct traffic to their site. Businesses will use the name of a competitor as a keyword, to which the ad is then directed to their site, and not that of the competitor. PC World reports that Google has recently been found responsible for those that use misleading ads and will most likely tighten the reigns on this practice.

Businesses that are starting an online presence realize how important driving traffic to their site is to their bottom line. An internet marketing strategy that incorporates social media, SEO, content marketing and PPC advertising has been proven to improve a sites search engine results placement.

Google Pay Per Click advertising may not be right for every business, however it is important to weigh the pros and cons and decide before making a decision.

If you are interested in Google PPC advertising contact us today.

Posted in Content Marketing, First Capital Internet Marketing LLC, Google PPC, Internet Marketing, Internet Marketing Solutions, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) | Tagged , , , ,

Google Panda 3.4 Update

google panda update Google has once again rolled out a Google Panda Update. Google Panda 3.4 is the latest version and takes issue with blog networks that were spamming them. One of the only sites to verify that it has been effected by the latest update is “Buildmyrank.com”. Those who once reaped the benefits of such services are now finding that their sites are being penalized and in some cases even deindexed. Link building is one of the internet marketing solutions businesses use to get noticed online.

Link Building Dont’s and Do’s

  • Lack of Social Signals- Google is paying more attention to social signals when determining search engine results page rankings. In order to take some of the power away from those that purchase links from unrelated sites, link farms and blogging networks that practice spamming, Social sharing from Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Digg and Reddit are now influencing the rankings a site receives from Google.
    • Create Google+ and Facebook pages as well as a Twitter feed.
    • Provide up to date, informative content to all social media sites.
    • Be sure to add badges to your website allowing visitors to become friends, connections and followers.
    • Include social sharing options to your site, enabling visitors to share content they themselves deem informative.
  • Too many exact match anchor text links - In the past standard link buildingprofile was to achieve 40% of the inbound links as exact match anchor text links. Now it is recommended that only 10% – 15% of the inbound links profile is exact match.
    • Brand Anchors – This form of link anchor text incorporates the name of your business into the keyword text and are commonly used to link back to the home page. In order to make it appear more natural, consider linking brand anchors to the internal pages as well.
    • Junk Anchor Text – Often seen as “contact us” and “visit us today”, this form of link text is important to use as it looks most natural to Google.
    • Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) – Simply stated, this type of text link is composed of words that are related to the targeted keyword. For example, a site that features “knitting” would target word phrases such as “knitting instruction” or “free knitting patterns”. This type of keyword is important as it is more natural for searchers to search for keywords of this nature.
    • Naked URL’s – In short, Naked URL’s are just variations of your sites web address. For example; www.firstcapitalinternetmarketing.com can also be labeled as http://www.firstcapitalinternetmarketing.com or http://firstcapitalinternetmarketing.com. These URL’s can be linked to both home and internal pages of a website.

Next Steps

For those that have been penalized or deindexed by the latest Google algorithmic change here are a few steps you can take to recover.

  1. Remove or change incoming links that use exact match anchor text to Brand, Junk, LSI or Naked URL’s.
  2. Abandon your current link building campaign and start fresh with a new campaign that consists of a well rounded strategy that incorporates all anchor text techniques.
  3. Get Social on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Include Reddit and Digg social sharing options, as well as others, to all website pages.

Google is constantly changing the way it determines search engine results placement. Keeping up with the changes is an ongoing endeavor that can take up an enormous amount of time. First Capital Internet Marketing Consultants is here to help small business owners focus on their business by providing the internet marketing solutions that will get them noticed. Contact us today and learn how we can help improve your search engine results placement.

Posted in Backlinks, Google, Google Panda Update, Internet Marketing, Internet Marketing Solutions, Search Engine Results Placement | Tagged , , , ,

Solicitation via Google PPC Poll

Google Pay Per Click is a service that is often successful. If you are a business that has used PPC to promote your website and have been reached through PPC for solicitation purposes this poll is for you…

Thank you for participating in the PPC Poll.

Businesses that that turn to the internet to promote their products and services reach out to customers using many internet marketing techniques. Social media, Google PPC and article submissions are just a few of the online marketing solutions used to connect with customers.

First Capital Internet Marketing Consultants is focused on providing quality internet marketing, social media management, SEO and content marketing solutions for your business. Contact us today!

 

Posted in Content Marketing, Google, Google PPC, Internet Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media | Tagged , , ,

Does Social Media Go Too Far?

Social media platforms are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to reach a large number of people with little or no dollars. Twitter seems to be the favorite social media option of the news media. Unfortunately the ability to send out brief messages at an instant, eliminates the time it takes to get all the facts before posting. Journalistic integrity sometimes appears to be lost in the fervor that is social media.

Social Media and Journalistic Ethics

When journalistic professionals neglect, or reject, their ethical principles for instant recognition and gratification, they have the ability to influence public opinion based on their own conjecture and not fact.

Let’s take for instance the horrible incident that occurred in Florida. Trayvon Wilson, a young African American, was gunned down by a vigilante White/Hispanic man by the name of George Zimmerman. This incident is by all means sad and horrific, and yet it is important to review how the news media handled this story. I am not defending the actions of Mr. Zimmerman, as I do not have all the facts. The details of this story are emerging and changing daily.

Initial social media reports were that Zimmerman (a neighborhood watch volunteer) shot an innocent boy for no apparent reason other than racism, focusing on his caucasian background.  They failed to report that crime had recently been a concern in this area.

U.S. News reports that Mr. Zimmerman is said to have allegedly been attacked by Trayvon as he was walking back to his car, thus resulting in this extremely unfortunate happening. It has also been reported that Trayvon was allegedely suspended for drug use.

Trayvons’ mother has applied for trademarks, containing his name by “The Smoking Gun a site that tracks document filings and criminal cases. Trademarks will be used to distribute materials featuring Trayvon.

Social Media Bounties

The “New Black Panthers” has put a bounty of $10,000 on Zimmermans head, wanted dead or alive.  They are also attempting to organize a group of 5,000 volunteers to capture him.

Spike Lee, a well known director, used Twitter to post Zimmermans home address, not once but twice!

Social media platforms, while used to inform and update, have the ability to misinform, convict and possibly harm individuals. The details and facts continue to emerge and it is our responsibility as responsible, compassionate human beings to think before tweeting.

Posted in Social Media, Twitter | Tagged ,

Today is Chip and Dip Day! Do you Double Dip?

Posted in First Capital Internet Marketing Consultants Poll, First Capital Internet Marketing LLC