Motivation for Your Marketing Staff

It seems like just about everyone is search for motivation these days. There is so many books and videos available today that it is hard to figure out what is actually worth your time. This 45 minute exchange with Tom Bilyeu and Mel Robbins is one of my favorite videos on motivation. Let me know what you think by sharing your thoughts.

Top 5 Reasons Organizations Fail at SEO

5 Reasons Why Organizations Fail at SEO - Kansas City

SEO seems to be a pretty common term these days. (Finally, people know what I do!…wait…do they?) As digital marketing continues to skyrocket with interest from small and large companies across the globe more and more marketers are joining the workforce to help them find success online. This brings the out all the training tutorials, e-books, SEO software, and every other gimmick you can think of to get people to focus on learning SEO rather than actually doing it.

I have encountered so many great companies that have a good understanding of SEO and how it works, but they just are not finding success. Below are the most common reasons that I have found are the cause of their SEO falling short.

5. You Never Get Out of Planning Mode
There is no doubt that you must create a solid marketing planning to execute for your website that should include SEO, PPC, Social, and a list of other pieces.

The most common issue here is that planning mode just keeps spinning like a broken record and things like basic on-page optimization don’t get addressed until months down the road if ever because they are STILL being discussed.

4. You Preach Best Practices, but Don’t Have them Implemented
Number four ties into being stuck in planning mode and has become a huge issue for more advanced SEOs. The sights are focused in on big ticket items like content development that the “little” things like the XML sitemap and Webmaster Tools verification are overlooked.

I’m sure you are looking at mine now…Judge all you want, but I don’t always practice what I preach on this blog. I save my magic for my clients and privately owned websites.

3. You Think Having Moz.com Tools Means You Will Rank 1st
I love Rand and the Moz team. I have been with them for years now and even had the chance to sit with him at lunch at SMX Seattle. They are doing great things there and any SEO agency or team that is not using Moz Tools should be ashamed of themselves….True story.

With that all being said. Purchasing Moz Tools does NOT mean you will Rank 1st in Google. It doesn’t do the work for you, provide you with secret Algorithm sauce, or call Google for you. It is simply an outstanding tool that helps YOU do the SEO work needed to climb in the search results.

2. You Think SEO Is Getting Links to Your Site to “Trick” Google
Clients or SEOs that are still focused heavily on links and nothing else make me want to jump out of my window. It takes so much energy to educate them on the other important factors that need to be implemented for solid SEO that you need to determine if it is actually worth your time. Often times, at least in my experience, they aren’t paying you enough to do the work and educate them on why you are doing other things than just building “10,000 links with keyword rich anchor text” to their website.

1. Your Team Roles are Not Clearly Defined
The number one reason that I have seen organizations struggle with their SEO is the structure of their teams. From local restaurants all the way up to pharmaceutical companies there can be a miss in how marketing teams are structured. More commonly known as “too many cooks in the kitchen.”

Whether you are maintaining SEO in-house or working with a vendor you MUST clearly define roles with your team. There is going to be cross over from SEOs, Social Media Analysts, Copywriters, and PPCs. Figure out who is going to do what and then assign the tasks out accordingly. If these roles are not clearly defined you are going to find that projects are going to get bottled necked on one or two people, plates will overload, and most importantly opportunities will be missed!

Keep Ranking.

Is Content Really Still King of SEO?

If you have been anywhere near the world of SEO for more than 1 hour I am confident that the phrase “content is king” has been mentioned at least one time. For almost a decade now adding new content to websites with keyword rich optimization has been the biggest factor to help boost a website’s performance in the search engines. With all the wild Google animals running around these days, like Panda and Penguin, who knows what really makes a difference anymore. Does SEO even work anymore? …Take a deep breath.

It is pretty easy to get scared away from adding new content to your company website or even blog with all the scare tactics that Google continues to put out in the industry via sources like Matt Cutts. If you take the time to read between the lines you will see that they aren’t targeting (at least intentionally) legit businesses that are adding truly relevant content to the internet. The biggest thing to keep in mind when planning new copy to be written is “don’t write crap” just so you rank better. Write content that is actually going to help someone. Whether it answers a question about your service, inspires them, or points them in the direction of a resource they can use your content needs to have some type of purpose for its life.

Makes sense, but does any of that mean that content is still the King of SEO? Yes, it does and here is why. You can’t rank a one page website for multiple keywords/phrases. There must be multiple pages on a site that are focused on the different topics that people are search for. With without content of any kind on these topics you will never rule the search results for the keywords you dream of.

All Types of Content Can Rule
When thinking about content, don’t just think about plain text as your only source. Make sure to mix in video, audio, infographics, and anything else that could be useful to your users. This will not only give you a more interesting page, but now you are creating true “Link Bait” that people may share on their social profiles or link to on their websites, which ultimately helps your SEO even more.

30 Day Challenge – New Website Idea Everyday

Google Matt Cutts with John M Weaver

So with the Matt Cutts 30 day challenge I posted back in March I came up with the idea to come up with a new website idea everyday. After a few days I took it one step further and began purchasing domain names for my ideas.

After 30 days of domain acquisition I can honestly say I have more SEO ideas running through my head than ever before. Some of these sites will be created with white-hat SEO strategies while others are going to be fun with a black-hat edge.

Start snagging domains for your ideas!

Something New for 30 Days

There is no hiding the fact that I’m still a big fan of Matt Cutts. He played such a huge role in connecting SEOs like me with the folks running the show at Google. He recently spoke at Ted Talks and discussed how the Try Something New concept has added new motivation to his life. View Matt’s video below and be sure to share your thoughts below.

 

Do You Really Know What Your Customers Want?

What do your customers really want - kansas city

There is no question that new customers do not grow on trees. It takes a lot of time, energy, and money to generate new leads each month for your business so ask make sure you are giving them what they really want. If you are thinking in your head right now, “I Do” I challenge you to stop again and ask again. I realized that I am guilty of not looking deeper and maybe you are too.

This past week I decided to finally do something that was long long overdue and take my son out for a “guys” night. I asked my son, Landon, where he wanted to go and he said Minsky’s Pizza so we could play in the game room. When we got there he was excited to see that there were three new car driving games where he could climb in the seat and take the wheel. We ordered our pizza and played the car game for a while and after a few races Landon said he wanted to go home because he did not like the new game as much as his old game. The new games moved to fast, were really loud, and most importantly did not last as long on a couple of quarters.

As we ate our pizza and it hit me that the restaurant made a move to upgrade machines to potentially attract new customers with a nicer game room, but in the process they disappointed one little guy that had been coming there since he was a couple weeks old. Not at all what they were trying to do, but something as simple as different machines changed their service just enough to make repeat customers think about how much they liked the place. Interesting.

After a couple slices of pizza my asked if he could go play the games again and headed back to the front of the room. This time around he sat down at a 1980s style Mrs. Pacman game. (If you know what I’m talking about you should feel as old as I do. ha) He put in a quarter and played and played and played and played and finally needed another quarter. Landon do you want to try the cars again? “No, I like my old game!” So he kept playing and laughed every single time he would eat the blue guys.

This old game kept us in there for another 30 minutes and was the topic of discussion at our house for the next several nights at home. The point I’m trying to make here is that you can remind your customers why they love your product or service without taking it away. Take time to ask your customers what they like and why they keep coming back and use that in your advertising to generate new customers. If one person can relate to an old Pacman game then there is a pretty good chance someone else will too.

Updated: Are You Optimizing for Search Engines or Users?

Article Update

I originally wrote the following article in 2007. While reading it again I would say it is more of a rant than a true article. I was very frustrated with how easy it was to manipulate the Search Engines and reading how people were taking advantage of tactics, which ruined things for us White Hat SEOs.

I attended Mozcon 2012 and heard Wil Reynolds talk about RCS (Real Company Shit). 100% on the same page of where I was with this rant. You can implement great SEO, but if you marketing is not doing great things for customers then it does NOT matter. Watch Wil’s entire Mozcon session and see if it changes your thinking.

Original Article

Many people appear to see SEO as the chance to simply manipulate search engines so their site can rank high in the results. True that many SEOs are doing this, but they are missing a big piece of the puzzle, real marketing skills. Congratulations for getting your site in the top ten search results for Google, Yahoo, or MSN. I’m not sure if you are ready to be congratulated on your unique visitors though. You may have traffic from your rankings, but do you have a decent ROI (return on investment)?

There are hundreds of web sites that make it in to the top ten with terrible designs and even worse marketing techniques. If you haven’t heard this already allow me to be the first to tell you; rankings don’t me a thing if your vistors don’t stay! Lots of traffic does not always mean lots of conversions.

My advice is pretty simple. Do not try to manipulate the search engine spiders, just work on speaking their language. They are smarter than you think and eventually they will catch up with your tricks and believe me it will not be worth it.

Build a clean user friendly web site that meets the search engine optimization guidelines and you will surely see decent results on your ROI. It takes time to do things efficiently so have patience.

Microsoft and Yahoo Strike a Deal

Yahoo Microsoft Deal 2009

Well folks, many sites are publishing the news that Microsoft and Yahoo have officially agreed on a deal to merge their services. Although it is not a complete merger, Bing (Microsoft) will be powering Yahoo search over the next 10 years. Details are apparently yet to come, but for a more complete scoop read Nathania Johnson’s article over at search engine watch.

The days of chasing Google, Yahoo, and Bing/MSN are officially over. If they merge search engine results for SEO, traffic volume could be negatively impacted for many webmasters. Something tells me Google is going to come out a head on this one.

Keep Ranking!

Thanks to Jennifer Laycock – Search Engine Guide

Jennifer Laycock - Search Engine Guide

I just want to take a minute to thank Jennifer Laycock over at Search Engine Guide. She has always had such great material, and is a huge reason why I am as far along in my SEO career today. Her books and projects have helped spark many ideas for my own development and education.

I emailed Jennifer the other day and asked her a question about using the no follow tag…eventhough she as a 4 part series about it. Despite her kids and busy schedule at work she emailed me back the same day…the same day! I have friends that don’t do that.

So thank you Jennifer! Be sure to take a look at her work at SearchEngineGuide.com.