Monthly Archives: November 2011

Wednesday, 30 November 2011, 06:42 pm Written by 

Search engines can seem maddeningly mysterious. Your website is well done; your keywords are in place; your product is legitimate and of good quality. So why are you still on page fifteen, and why aren’t you getting the attention you really deserve? These answers can be found through Local Internet Marketing and a quality, Affordable SEO company. Raising and maintaining your rankings is a full-time job in and of itself: but there are people out there who know how to help.

Obviously, you need people who understand how search engines “think.” That is, how your website is prioritized in relation to others that fit the search, and how to keep your website relevant over time. Custom blog content, video, and a specially branded social media presence will all help you get attention from customers, and help keep you up in the ratings. Those things take time, though—a lot of it—and having someone whose sole purpose is to maintain your online presence isn’t just a good idea, it’s becoming absolutely necessary. Consistently providing unique, quality content that will help your website gain traffic is a full-time job, believe it or not.

The ways to get noticed are countless. Blog posting, Targeted email marketing, Forum Posting, and social media will all substantially contribute to how much attention you receive. It’s not just time consuming because it’s tedious, either; yes, updating a Facebook, a Twitter, an email list, and a blog is nitpicky, but are your posts engaging? Do they draw in an audience? Or are you just stringing keywords together and hoping that will work?

The “wired” age has made it much easier for businesses to connect with customers, whether they’re down the street or across the country; people have come to expect a substantial internet presence from the businesses they patronize, whether it’s being able to “like” them on Facebook, or keeping up with their blog. Done right, branded social media and search engine optimization can open up a whole new world for your business. A professional who understands Organic SEO can help you get the attention you deserve—without a daily panic over whether your “tweets” are frequent enough.

Friday, 25 November 2011, 06:39 pm Written by 

Google, while not without competition from sites like Bing, is the king of the search engines. From “cat food” to “charisma tips,” Google has become our go-to for all the minutiae of life: and making sure your business can be found through those searches is the key to success. Buying “sponsored” results might seem like the easy route—after all, it makes sure your website is the absolute first on the page, in a little box and everything. Presto! First Page Placement, and you only needed a checkbook. Sadly, it’s not that simple.

So why won’t “sponsored” links work—and why do you have to go through the time and effort of ensuring your rise through organic rankings? Well, first and foremost, Internet consumers have learned to be wary of all things “sponsored.” As a member of the generation that grew up with computers, Internet safety 101 was to not click on links that didn’t “seem” legitimate; as such, the sponsored results smack of a scam, even if they really are a genuine business.

Rising through the ranks to “First Page” status isn’t easy, but it’s worth it, to be sure. Thankfully, there are people who can help you make sure that traffic finds your site. Partnering with a quality SEO company can make sure that your website is found through Organic SEO, and while it might take some time, they’ll be sure to do it right. Believe it or not, convincing Internet customers that you’re the real deal is more important than ever, and this kind of small Business SEO goes a long way to assuring potential traffic that your website is legitimate.

Making your way up the rankings is hard, but it’s worth it: even if you haven’t achieved first link or first page results yet, your web traffic will come to you through organic rankings, not through sponsored results. Finding a company that knows what they’re doing, and letting them help you climb up the ranks—however arduous it might be—is more than worth it in the long run.

Sunday, 20 November 2011, 06:35 pm Written by 

Social media is a powerful way to connect with people interested in your business—what you do, and who you are. People expect a social media presence from the websites they visit and the businesses they patronize; that kind of “face to face” interaction will make you stand out, and keep people thinking about you. From posting on Facebook to Social Bookmarking on Digg, that presence keeps people aware of who you are, and it keeps your fans and followers engaged.

For example, there’s a museum close to my house, and my heart, that has a fantastic exhibit on the Civil War. The people who work there are constantly bemoaning their lack of visitors: they recently laid off a number of employees. The fault doesn’t lie with the exhibit or the location, though. It’s that their website is awkward and poorly maintained, they have no social media presence aside from a Facebook that hasn’t been updated in months, and the link that allows their fans to “register” for email updates is actually broken. They have no means of receiving feedback, positive or otherwise; they don’t post their special programs anywhere online in a reliable fashion, so potential visitors either luck into a presentation or leave having no idea that one exists.

Taking advantage social media is a key to success. Making it easy for your fans to “share” you with their friends, utilizing Targeted Email Marketing, or showing up when someone “likes” you on their Facebook, builds awareness and makes people feel like more than faceless consumers. Perfectly good websites and businesses can fall by the wayside if there’s no way for people to interact with you through social media.

If you want your business to truly shine, it takes more than a great product, or even a great website. The “wired” generation demands social media feedback and an interactive online presence. That presence can, and will, make or break your business; Interacting with your customers is key, and when you’re fighting to get noticed, it makes all the difference.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011, 06:28 pm Written by 

Whether or not you believe this is the Attention-Deficit generation, there’s nothing more attention grabbing than video. It moves! It makes sounds! At the very least, it’s difficult to ignore. As a society, we’re in love with moving pictures, and websites like YouTube can attest to that ongoing romance. Videos have the capacity to convey a wealth of information in a brief, irresistible way: if they’re well produced, engaging, or even funny, so much the better. Search engines are starting to recognize video as something that people are after. Want First Page Placement? Maybe you should give video a try.

Most of us can, off the top of our heads, name at least a handful of companies who have achieved brand recognition through viral video. Commercials that don’t even feel like you’re being advertised to, or at least campaigns that are engaging enough that you don’t mind that the product is part of the punch line. That kind of presence is priceless in the “wired” era: online video consumption continues to expand, and it’s worth taking advantage of.

Video is becoming a larger and larger part of making sure you’re found. Website SEO is obviously important, and if search engines are taking video presence into account, it’s worth taking advantage of. This kind of Internet marketing turned the Old Spice guy from an out-of-work actor into an instantly recognizable icon; with more people consuming their “television” through their computers, you can bet that the YouTube videos were just as, if not more, effective than the actual television commercials.

The goals of advertising are pretty simple, even if the solutions aren’t; grab the attention of your customers, and hold onto it. Video advertising is an efficient, interactive way to make that happen, and many websites are already utilizing video as a tool. With a short, effective piece, you can grab the attention of countless Internet consumers. It seems beyond unlikely that the appetite for Internet videos will wane anytime soon, after all: so why not take advantage of it?

Thursday, 10 November 2011, 06:24 pm Written by 

Running a small business is difficult. It’s also expensive, time consuming, and risky: as a business owner, you have to bank on being noticed, and on that attention leading to customers coming your way. The key to gaining that attention is SEO (search engine optimization) and social media—it isn’t enough for people just to find you, they want to feel engaged by you, like they’re part of a group of friends rather than faceless, wallet-holding targets. Small business SEO is a challenge, there’s no way around it: and the key is to make sure you have someone who can keep up.

To keep an audience engaged requires constant feedback—and that time investment is untenable for a small business owner. Blog posting has become one of the most reliable ways to keep customers engaged: especially if it’s clever and engaging, it will encourage people to keep tabs on you, or to consider your business more strongly if they’re unfamiliar with who you are and what you do.

Putting a face on the business, if you will, is the ultimate goal: and a blog is, clearly, a great way to do that. The drawback, though, is that consumers are time-judgmental. A blog that hasn’t been updated in months can lead to the assumption that the business no longer exists, or that the information presented is no longer relevant. Custom blog creation is a great solution to these issues. The responsibility of posting something novel every day, or even every week, is daunting: it just makes sense to leave it to someone who can make it a priority.

Businesses need people who know how to ensure they can be found, how to consistently create content that will show up through complicated search engine coding and can dedicate the time to making sure their content is fresh. It might not seem like a challenge to keep up, but it is: and businesses need to ensure that they don’t fall behind. Web presence will make or break a business—it’s important to make sure it’s being done right.

Saturday, 05 November 2011, 06:20 pm Written by 

What is mobile compatibility and how does it effect local businesses? The wide range of mobile operating systems, mobile browsers and smartphone manufacturers has created a compatibility nightmare for web designers. Many smartphones don’t support Flash! and as a result visitors to your sight see nothing when they’re on their smartphones. Some sights are mobile compatible but not mobile friendly, there’s a lot of zooming in and out for smartphone users and as a result a lot of your sites content doesn’t reach them because they move on to easier to view sites. In short, even if your local small business has great visibility through first page placement, your message may not be effectively conveyed to smartphone users. Should you be concerned?

Yes. Information Week reported there were roughly 1.5 billion local searches made from the 61.5 million smartphones currently in use. Few small businesses are truly taking advantage of this huge opportunity for exposure to consumers in their geographic areas. With that kind of untapped resource out there you need an expert in your corner that has experience in every facet of mobile compatibility and web presence. You’ll need someone to help you bring those smartphone users to your site and a site design that allows smartphone users to navigate easily, and find what they need and contact your business.

Truly mobile friendly sites use a tool that identifies when a smartphone or mobile user agent is accessing your site and shows that user a mobile website design different from the one those on a computer would view. Mobile browser, device, and operating system combinations are virtually endless so you can’t worry about your site looking identical on every one. You’ll just need to make sure that once organic SEO has done it’s work and the consumer is on your site; the content about your company, it’s products, and services is displayed in an easy to navigate and effective manner.

With 1.5 billion local searches via smartphone in 2010 and every evidence of increased smartphone usage in the years to come this segment of consumers isn’t one that can be ignored by businesses if they hope to remain viable. Locally owned small businesses tend to flourish when they focus on what they do best, whether that be a service or goods. They have experience and ability within those parameters. When it comes to web presence; making sites mobile friendly by reducing the amount of images or reducing load times by compressing images, SEO, driving traffic, and PPC advertising there are experts out there that can address these important issues more effectively than the average small business and in doing so allow the local businessman to do what he does best. Run his business.

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