I just survived another garage sale that my wife, Irma, has put on. That's three in the last six years. While I absolutely hate them, I do enjoy the end result which is some cash in her pocket (or purse) and a house that is less cluttered. During this one (which I hope is out last), I started to think how a successful garage sale is a lot like a successful search marketing effort. Likewise a garage sale that performs poorly can be compared to a search marketing effort that delivers a poor ROI. My wife has always had very successful sales which has been the result of a lot of hard work. This includes thorough preparation, setting up the environment up so it is comfortable for customers, advertising the sale to draw people in and then properly running it. I compared my wife's sale to our neighbor's, who by complete coincidence during this last one, was having hers at the same time. It was apparent that her preparation, set up and actual running of the sale could not even compete … [Read more...] about Search Engine Marketing and Garage Sales
Opinions and observations
In the profit-centered business, customer happiness is merely a means to an end: maximizing profits. In the customer-centered business, customer happiness is an end in itself, and will be pursued with greater interest, passion, and empathy than the profit-centered business is capable of. – Putting Customers Ahead of Investors, John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods A couple of weeks ago, a shopping mall near my home announced that they would start checking the IDs of teenagers at entrances to the mall after 5:00 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, and not allow anyone under 18 to enter the mall unless they are accompanied by a parent or supervising adult over the age of 21. Their explanation was that too many young people were using the mall as a social gathering place on weekend nights, behaving unruly, not shopping, and keeping away customers who wanted to make purchases at the mall. In many ways, the mall is a victim of its own success, being a popular destination for the … [Read more...] about Social Responsibility And The Small Business
As search engine optimization (SEO) professionals, we obsess with search data from a wide variety of resources. Which one is best for our clients? Which keyword research tool reveals the most accurate search behaviors when rebuilding a site’s information architecture? Does our web analytics data validate our keyword research? And, more importantly, did these tools provide your most desired information? Some answers might surprise you. Keyword research data I love keyword research tools. I use all of them because I can discover core keyword phrases, which are commonly used across all of the commercial web search engines. And I can also tailor ads and landing pages to searchers who typically use a single, targeted search engine (and it isn’t always Google, as one might imagine). However, keyword research tools are not a substitute for a knowledgeable and intuitive search engine marketer. All too often, website owners and even experienced search engine optimization … [Read more...] about When Keyword Research and Search Data Deceives
You’re losing revenue, missing opportunities and placing your business at risk — if you ignore how Google adapts and evolves day by day. The Google we see today is not the same search engine “challenger” that launched in 1998. It has constantly innovated to stay on top of the hyper-competitive search market. With your business’ success intimately linked to the search giant, you run a great risk by not adapting and growing in pace with these innovations. What’s Going Wrong Often, when a company decides to launch a new website, it will pick a launch date and just “go for it.” The process is a lot like creating a paper airplane — once it’s launched, you’re no longer in control. It can take any course, fly whatever distance and land anywhere at all. Companies that take this approach to launching a site will meet with designers and web developers, draw up a to-do list, and check off each item as tasks are completed. When all … [Read more...] about Will Your Business (And Your Website) Adapt & Evolve With Google?
Accelerating the growth of your business, launching new products, expanding services, and creating marketing campaigns would all be a million times easier if you could have customer insight while knowing what your competition is up to as well. Since that’s clearly impossible, you need to dive in and find some creative ways to draw insights not only from your customers but also from your competitors. Marketing metrics and ROI won’t help much if there’s a widening gap between you and your audience, and going it alone without comparing yourself to your competitors’ results won’t show you what’s working and what’s not. It might feel shady, or a little “007” to spy on the competition, but it’s 100% ethical and a valuable approach to make sure you’re not losing your edge against the businesses who want your customers. Combine the information you uncover with customer metrics, and you’ll be better situated to prevent … [Read more...] about 10 Surprising Sources for Customer and Competitive Insight