What does it take to get your web presence generating leads and revenue for your business?
We all know that the internet is the information super highway with unlimited potential to unlock opportunities for our businesses. Yet, very few entrepreneurs know the secret codes to unlock the portals that stand between success and obscurity on the world wide web. We can spend endless hours studying the ins and outs of optimizing our content or we can partner with the right professionals. Greg Power of Real SEO Ninja has the unique ability to understand what is needed as well as the skill in helping your organization reap the benefits of a solid web presence.
Greg, thank you for taking the time to share a bit of the secret sauce with us. Are you able to explain in less than three sentences what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is to the layman?
Search engine optimization consists of the visible as well as the invisible (back end) actions made within the body of the website to improve the overall search visibility. This is done by constant updates to a website targeting specific keywords that potential clients are regularly searching for that could drive traffic your website. SEO is a full cycle of having a vision for what a business is targeting, developing a strategy for reaching into that client base and structuring the content to connect with those end users. With the right efforts in the set up of a webpage and development of optimization tools, entrepreneurs can expect increased traffic to the site. Traffic raises your webpage rank for specific keywords that in turn brings you into contact with people interested in your products or services.
There are plenty of businesses who have website but do not have an optimizatio strategy. What is the consequence of investing in a website but not paying attention to SEO?
If you want your website to drive potential clients to your business than you need to play the games by the rules that Google has established. A key component of this is getting your website indexed. If your website is not optimized then your progress could be held up by it taking Google too long to index your website. Without indexing your site basically does not exist to Google as the crawlers get delayed in their process on your web page. Instead of sailing the open seas of the internet you will be anchored in obsolescence, far from the first page of Google.
How hard is it to optimize a site after it’s been set up poorly?
Like anything else, it's best to do things right the first time. Age of the domain where your website is registered factors into the equations of success for online presence. Looking at the age of domain, you can expect to have lost the equivalence in search rankings which are key to placement. Attempting to go back and fix something that was set up poorly can be costly. The effort to dig back through a site and fix the structure is difficult because it will likely require restructuring all URL tags, meta descriptions, tags, site structure...the list goes on and on.
What are some keys that entrepreneurs and business owners an utilize towards getting more out of their websites?
The number one technique we use for all of the websites that we construct for our clients is first analyzing relevant trends in searches. Your website strategy needs to be consistent with your goals as a business. Like good business practices, learning what your clients are searching for online and knowing what your top competitors are targeting provides key insights into where you should direct your efforts. There are a number of free tools and resources out there for this level of research or you can partner with professionals who specialize in these areas. Google trends in a common tool that will provide the user with historical data for search terms. Moz is another good free resource as well that offers a wide range of perspectives to maximize your efforts online.
What makes Real SEO Ninja different from all the other web marketing and SEO nerd services?
At Real SEO Ninja we want to partner with our clients and take great joy in seeing them succeed. We pride ourselves in creating real value by helping businesses get the most out of their internet strategy which includes their website, SEO and social media. Real SEO Ninja attempts to simplify the nerdy aspects of SEO for our clients, showing them that dominating local search isn't as mysterious as so many entrepreneurs make it out to be. Instead of being another bill for your business, we strive to be an invaluable extension of your vision and growth plan.
There is money to be made on the internet. Having a website is a key step towards building your empire. The difference between a good website and a mediocre one has a lot to do with quality of the visual, the content as well as the behind the scenes structure. SEO is all of the back end items that can elevate your presence and progress in getting the word out about your business. As with all industries there are professionals and there are pretenders, if you are interested in finding out whether your website and web presence are working for you, contact Real SEO Ninja today.
IZ Ventures - more than business coaching and consulting, we help you connect, collaborate and conquer.
Some of the best business promotional tools are the simplest, ensure you are making the best use of these key items.
So, you want to start a business...
Oh, wait. You started a business...
Ok. Assuming you chose the right business structure, have secured the appropriate licenses and are operating in a field you feel you can have some success in, what do you do in order to get your business off the ground? We have written previously on breaking into a new market and the first steps in getting the word out about your new business.
A few key recommendations for getting your business out there:
Originally published as Powerful Points for your Next Presentation in FM World Magazine, December 6, 2016.
By Jon Isaacson
Getting ‘buy-in’ on a particular project or initiative often rests on how well you present your case. You may also be required to speak to potential clients, or present to an external audience to share best practice with peers. Here, Jon Isaacson shares his tips for creating value rather than wasting time when addressing your audience.
As a facilities manager, you are a salesperson.
You are constantly marketing your value to the organisation and selling the projects that you know are critical to keeping the lights on for your company. It may not be often that the FM department is invited to make a presentation, but these meetings with executives, department heads, team meetings or even to groups outside of the organisation are a great opportunity to get your strategic message across.
However, there’s a fine line between an effective presentation and a waste of time. Here are five key points:
1. Time is money
Time is critical. Knowing how much time one has is an essential parameter for structuring how many points you will want to focus on. You may have at most 5-10 minutes. Your presentation will have to gain momentum quickly to address a primary aspect of the service. Highlight one aspect of the service and complement it with a story that makes it relatable to the specific audience. If you have the time, pay more attention to tone and pacing to keep the audience engaged.
2. Who is your audience?
Is this a general audience? Or people that are familiar with your services? Does this group have specific needs that your company specialises in? Who you are speaking to and what areas you believe would be most effective to highlight are key components in crafting an engaging presentation. Aim to create value for your audience, and by educating it in an area that correlates to your organisation’s services, you can create indirect value for your organisation.
3. A bit about you
You might be tempted to talk extensively about your history and explain every detail of what your business does, but the value of this to your audience is inversely proportionate to the amount of time you may spend explaining these personal details. Introduce the organisation with enough personal details to relate to the demographic, before swiftly moving on to the main points.
4. Tailor your style
Making use of time and respecting the audience are key components to a good presentation. Know your goal for the meeting. If this presentation is for broad appeal to reach as many people as possible, then humour is always a friend. Your goal in a generic forum should be to create a knowledge void that draws additional interest from as many people as possible. For broad appeal, leave your audience with at least one nugget of value or piece of information; do this by presenting at least three key points that you believe will connect with as many people as possible. If you are aiming to grab a specific demographic or even a single client, then tailor your presentation to target them.
5. Keep practising
Work on developing your skills in those soft areas such as public speaking, communication and sales. FMs do all the work behind the scenes, so it is valuable to your organisation to be able to explain operations in a clear, concise manner. You are the first point of contact for marketing the services that you and your facilities team provide to your organisation.
Originally published as Three Keys to Successfully Approaching New Clients Through Email, November, 22, 2016 in Restoration & Remediation Magazine (R&R).
By Jon Isaacson
All businesses need new clients, restoration most certainly included. Even the most basic research allows you to identify potentially valuable future customers, and draft a list of prospects. If the prospects are of as much value as anticipated, then the team must understand, appreciate and honor the etiquette of good business approaches and the gatekeeper to those clients. Paul Buccheit, the creator and lead developer of Gmail, expresses the sanctity of email, “Only my phone number and email are private because I don't want random people calling me. But I like the ability to share everything.”
Who is the gatekeeper? In the modern economy the gatekeeper, or first line of defense, for clients of value is their email. Approaching a potential client through email can either be perceived as an invasion of privacy or a respectful approach that honors business boundaries, depending on how the content is composed. The drafting of an email will either allow admittance into the outer courtyard or expel you into the moat of oblivion. Thankfully, the keys to honoring the modern gatekeeper when approaching new clients are rather simple.
1) Subject Line
"People often decide whether to open an email based on the subject line," business coach Barbara Pachter says. "Choose one that lets readers know you are addressing their concerns or business issues." (Smith, 2016)
The subject line should be concise and answer the question whether there is value for the targeted client to open this email or pass this failed attempt at communication through to junk mail (the moat). Junk mail is the default setting for most email from unknown sources, as well as emails that are clearly a solicitation. So, if you are approaching people through email, you must recognize that email is the invitation, not the drawn-out conversation. Your subject line is the extending of your hand and your body language transmitted through however many characters you utilize in this important electronic transmission. An effective posture when composing a subject line will be respectful of time by providing a brief value proposition without being kitschy. The goal of the subject line introduction is to get the email opened.
2) First Paragraph
“It’s better to say nothing than spend 1000 words or an hour speech saying nothing. Get to the point – fast.” Richard Branson
If the email is opened, congratulations, the careful efforts have made it through the first line of defense and the relationship is past the initial cyber handshake in approaching a potential client. Any day that emails are not added to the hundreds of efforts banished to junk/block is a good day. If emails to prospects are introductions and the introduction is received, it is appropriate to follow up. Don’t ruin the good favor that the well thought subject line has created by now backing a dump truck of information upon the prospect. Remember the current advancement is only into the outer courtyard, not yet within the castle walls.
Continue with the theme of the subject line and maintain respect for time, be brief and expound on the value proposition to the client, then ask for the opportunity to discuss further. This is the elevator pitch as the client has opened the outer gate but will discontinue the interaction just as quickly if there is an inability to connect.
3) Follow Up
Director of Marketing for The Muse, Elliot Bell encourages, “Remember: If someone does ask you to stop following up, stop following up. But until you hear that, it’s your responsibility to keep trying.”
Research, care and respect have advanced the efforts to this point and now it’s time for appropriate follow up with respect to the correct etiquette. This email is meant to ensure the client received the original email and determine whether they would like to discuss the content further. A follow up call or email should be brief and respectful, with a personalized addendum to the value proposition from prior email.
When a call is made, there is an inherent request to venture further into personal space as well as asking for additional time, so the same principles applied in previous stages are as essential. The purpose of follow up is to answer for both parties whether there is value in moving forward with this potential business interaction.
All clients have value and in the modern economy email serves as a gatekeeper when approaching prospects. Being brief, concise and respectful when composing a value proposition will enable greater success in introducing oneself through email. As noted in a previous article entitled Marketing Step One, good business practitioners are always looking to create opportunities to show potential clients how their organization can serve specific needs. Each step in the process of meeting new clients is about breaking down barriers rather than storming the gates in one fell swoop. All individuals are unique so it is important to listen through the process and learn from successful as well as unsuccessful approaches to new clients.
For a personal example of how the author was able to initiate and build a networking resource for local clients in an underserved market, read How To Network With Local Facility Management Peers posted on FacilityExecutive.com. Many of the invitations that lead to ongoing business relationships that built Local Facilities Manager’s Connection (LFMC) were initiated through emails using the principles outlined in the source article above.
Smith, Jacquelyn (2016, February 1) 15 email-etiquette rules every professional should know.Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/email-etiquette-rules-every-professional-needs-to-know-2016-1/#1-include-a-clear-direct-subject-line-1
Bell, Elliot. Pleasantly persistent: 5 rules for effectively following up.The Muse. Retrieved from https://www.themuse.com/advice/pleasantly-persistent-5-rules-for-effectively-following-up
Jon Isaacson / IZ Ventures - More than coaching and consulting, we help you Connect, Collaborate & Conquer. #MTWSL
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