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Want more traffic to your website and more clients?

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

Most business owners I talk to these days say that they want more paying clients coming to them.  Is that what you want?  If so …

Call today for your free online business marketing strategy session (530) 426-8404

 

Is your marketing working for you?  How many clients are coming to you from YellowPages or print ads these days?

What’s your marketing strategy?  Is it based on great market research and analysis?  How are you better and different from your competition?

Do you have a website yet?  Is your website keyword and search engine optimized?  Is your website easy to find and so irresistible that clients are calling you daily?

We can help you!  To see our very special offer that will definitely help you get more clients, please read on …

A well-designed website with proper keyword and search engine optimization will help your business because people will find your site easily and see what you have to offer.  When we help you with your copywriting, your wording will be so compelling that clients will be reaching out to you!  It’s like having a sales force for your business (that you don’t have to manage).  Our clients’ profits are growing – even in today’s economy.  We’d like to help you too!

Please review the articles on our website – they are designed to help you learn how to use online marketing to grow your business.  Check out the resources as well – we’ve screened 100’s of websites, tools, books, videos and software packages and will be reviewing only the best for you.

For those of you with an existing website, we are offering a SPECIAL, limited time offer of a comprehensive website assessment  with at least 5 great tips on how to increase traffic and sales with your website for FREE (a $97 value).

This is an extremely valuable offer for you (I would say it’s a “screamin’ deal!).  It would take you 100’s of hours to try to learn to do this for yourself and the software alone used to do this efficiently costs well over the normal price. Please e-mail us at Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com to sign up for your assessment and business building tips today - It could be one of the best business decisions you’ll make this year – definitely the best deal.

If you have any questions or if you know you want to use our full services – whether small business web design, search engine optimization specialists or local online marketing, please call us at (530) 426-8404 today to schedule a free intake/coaching appointment to see what the best online marketing solution is to help you reach your goals within your budget.

We can help you with a very cost effective marketing plan, create a new website for you, do keyword research and/or search engine optimization to get more people seeing your site, and visiting your business.

We enjoy serving clients all over the world, and of course are highly excited about supporting our local businesses in Truckee CA, Norden, Tahoe City, Soda Springs, Incline Village, Squaw Valley, Northstar, Auburn, and Reno NV

Here to help you bring your business to the Summit!

Jim Kaspari

Summit Business Marketing

Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


Business Networking Success – How to Diversify Your Contacts

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

A major key to business networking success in building a powerful business network is diversity.

 

What’s the key to business networking success?  Common lore says that we know between 200 and 300 people.  That seems like plenty of people to know in your network.  Why would you want to grow that number?  Won’t it be hard to keep up with even more people?  Don’t they know two hundred plus people and so on and so on?

Most of us hang out with people that think the same way or have like perspectives on life, have similar interests, hobbies, level of education, age, race, professional status, kids in the same grades, etc…

The idea here is to step outside your comfort zone to meet people who are different from you to increase your business networking success.  By meeting and getting to know a variety of people, you expose yourself and your business to people you would not otherwise have met.  It also can help you learn new perspectives on life and be more open minded.  This must have been how the Village People band got together :)you can build your business networking success through diversity

This approach also helps you find those super valuable “connectors” or “lynchpins”.  A lynchpin is a person with a variety of interests that makes them part of several networks, or a new term I just made up “clique connectors”.  These people can tremendously accelerate your business networking efficiency and effectiveness.

You may be shy or uncomfortable with reaching out to new people, but this will go away with practice, so just feel the fear and go for it anyways!  Just think back to how you felt on your first day of work or school or even your first date and how comfortable you are now …

You never know who someone might know, so leave your biases at home and be friendly and network with new folks starting today.

Homework:  To build your business networking success, find a new networking mixer or event  this month and reach out and meet someone you normally wouldn’t approach – set up a meeting to have coffee and get to know them and their network better

Here’s a tremendous book with 52 fantastic Business Networking Success tips:

your clients to let you help them out … their lives will be so much better.

Jim Kaspari

Business Coaching Services . Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


How to Define Your Ideal Target Market Niche or Client

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

Marketing for Small Businesses – How to Define Your Ideal Business Client or Target Niche Market?

 

I know, the title here is redundant – target and niche are very similar words.  This reinforces the importance of narrowing down who we want to market to and work with to get the most paying clients out of our marketing for small businesses.marketing for small businesses - defining your ideal target market is the key to success

Why is it so important (especially in marketing for small businesses) to narrow down our niche market?  If we were big companies with a whole marketing department and million dollar budgets, it might not be so critical.  I will bet you my bottom dollar that they spend a lot of time and money on exactly this exercise, so they get the best return on their million dollar investment!  We have limited time, energy and marketing dollars.  Therefore, we must use all of these wisely.  If you do a newspaper ad or billboard, is that the best use of your marketing dollars?  Perhaps yes, but the point is that these get a lot of readers or traffic (so to speak), but not very targeted.  They can be relatively expensive as tactics for marketing for small businesses.

At any one point in time, only 3-4 percent of the population wants or needs what we have to offer and are ready to buy – no matter what industry we’re in.  What you really want is to target a maximum 20 percent of the population and narrow it down to your ideal clients.  See how now you get at least 5 fold better marketing results?

Who are your clients that you love to work with?  They make you smile and pay you well because you fit their needs perfectly.  Imagine doing business with nothing but these dream clients.  Great business and wonderful quality of life.

How do you find them?  How can  you describe them while networking so that others can refer your preferred client to you?  Your first step is to profile them with a detailed description.  Who have you worked with or are working with now that meets this description?  Could be a business or individual, depending on your business.  What makes you both a perfect fit?   What can you help your perfect client with that they really want or need?  What problems can you solve for them better than your competition?  **Remember** by narrowing down your definition of your ideal client, you don’t have to turn away anyone and you’re not excluding anyone.

Here’s an example from “Jim” – a business coach:

“Frustrated business owners (business stagnant, too busy and want help prioritizing, want accountability support, they feel that they’ve tried everything they know and are not sure what to do next, overwhelmed by online marketing options, team not functioning well, tech phobic, etc…), age 40 – 60, welcome help, open minded, North Tahoe/Truckee areas, 1-20 employees, $100K – $2MM gross, college graduate, has passion for family, sports or hobbies outside of work, excited about getting results.”

Below is an exercise worksheet for you to complete.  It includes some starting points for demographics or criteria for profiling your ideal client.  It is not a comprehensive list, so think of any ways you can describe your perfect dream client.  Be very specific and narrow – remember this isn’t a good client, it’s your ideal!  When you do this, you will be much more effective at networking your business.  Your detailed description will help jog your listener’s memory and they will think of the perfect person to refer to you.

Business to individual consumer clients Business to business clients
Gender Location
Family Structure Number of employees
Marital Status Specialty or type of business
Household Income Size of company – revenue
Location Number of departments
Education Industry
Kids/no kidsHome owner or renter Public or privateYears in business
Other other

If you have questions or want help with marketing for your small business or defining your ideal client, or target market, please feel free to reach out to Coach Jim at Jim@SummitBusinessMarketing.com or call (530) 426-8404 to make an appointment.  Summit Business Marketing provides business coaching services, business plans, marketing plans, website design, online marketing services and is a search engine optimization specialist.

Jim Kaspari

Business Coaching Services . Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


Top 10 Tips for Mastering Business Networking

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

Top 10 Traits to Hone for Business Networking Mastery

Just like the famous David Letterman top 10 listbusiness networking mastery - top ten tips just like david letterman

10)  Dedication to working your network

Business networking is not “net-standing”, “net-sitting”, “net-eating” … it’s net-working!  Manage your contacts and their relevant information in your database, carry referral contact information along with your own, set up meetings to get to know new contacts …

9)  Sincerity

Give your full attention to the person, make eye contact.  Do not multitask on the phone, be genuinely interested in others.

8)  Helpfulness

Helping others can be spontaneous or planned.  Every day you will come across opportunities to help others.  If you see a helpful article or video, send it to others who can use it.  Or get involved in charitable events like the watershed counsel weed pulls or habitat for humanity …

7)  Gratitude

Express your gratitude with a hand written card, message or special gifts that show you know what your client or referrer values and enjoys.  Thank others at every opportunity.

6)  Commitment to Networking 24/7

With practice you will be able to network anywhere, and you will be natural and at ease, conversationally asking about others and sharing opportunities  – at your kids ballgame, in the grocery checkout line, at the doctor’s office …

5)  Good Listening Skills

Listen for the needs and problems of others.  Focus on them and ask open ended questions.  Get to know their knowledge, skills and gifts.

4)  Trustworthiness

When people refer you, they are putting their reputation on the line.  Trust is earned over time.  Be on time or early for appointments, meet deadlines, exceed expectations …  One act that creates a loss of trust can negate many good acts …

3)  Enthusiasm/Motivation

Smile.  Enjoy what you do.  Rejoice in helping others.  Choose to be happy.

2)  Positive Attitude

A constant negative attitude can drive away people and referrals.  When you are positive, you are like a magnet attracting other positive people and ideal referrals.  A positive attitude is contagious, and supports determination, motivation and business and life success.

1)  Timely Follow-up on Referrals

This is the number one trait of successful business networkers.  Your close ratio will decrease 10 fold between 1 hour follow-up and 24 hour follow-up.  Also, if people give you referrals and you don’t follow up, they will eventually stop sending them to you.  By doing what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it builds trust and credibility.

 

In conclusion …

All of these tips are NOT tactics for stalking prey for the immediate sale.

These are the 10 secrets to being a top-notch business networker, and they all involve proactive, long-term relationship building.

Click here for another article on keys to business networking success.

Jim Kaspari

Business Coaching Services . Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


5 Keys to Networking Success – Marketing Success for Small Businesses

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

What’s the best Tactic for Marketing Success for Small Businesses?

 

Building trust and relationships through networking is one of the best way to get referrals for your business and creates marketing success for small businesses.  Here’s 5 Keys for Networking…and For Life:marketing success for small businesses by building trust

 

1)  Be Yourself — you fill a unique space in the universe. No one else can be you.  Your story and your journey add another unique hue to the rainbow of stories being created, and will have a unique impact on others’ lives.  Owning your own value and becoming comfortable with yourself is a great starting point for connecting with others, and in itself is a gift to those around you.

2)  Develop Yourself — continually invest in and develop yourself.  Always be learning, practicing, & developing new insights & skills as you master your craft & the arena you’ve chosen to play in.  This practice will build your self-confidence, effectiveness, and the tangible value you can contribute to others.  Feel free to use this site www.SummitBusinessMarketing.com to develop and learn in the area of marketing for small businesses.

3)  Find out about them – what do they do?  What’s unique and special about how they do it?  why did they start their business?  What do they do for fun?  Often the less you talk about yourself, the better you will do with your networking – when they ask about you, they’ll be genuinely interested.

3)  Connect & Contribute Value — become a person of value — someone who’s interested in others and sincerely seeking to add value to their lives, even if simply by noticing & affirming them.

Asking this simple question, “What can I contribute to this person’s life (or business) today?” is powerful.  The answer may simply be a listening ear, a warm acknowledgement, or it could be something tangible such as a referral, a book or resource, or a practical tip or idea.

4)  Invite with Abandon — this one is key to to anyone who’s looking to invite partners or followers to an event, experience, or cause.  There is a certain freedom to opening a door of possibility for people and then letting them decide whether they want to walk through.  Also great if you are talking to someone who needs what you can give.  Marketing success for small businesses can be distilled to the art of sharing your opportunity with the right people.  Go for it!

5)  Be Appreciative – This tip alone will serve you both in life and business and especially in relating to people.  Being appreciative is something you can practice just like a golf swing.  Begin with your attitude and the words you say to yourself, and then extend this practice to the words and attitude you share with others.  Being appreciative will put you in a state that’s attractive and a joy to be around…and no matter what, you’ll feel better…which is what all of us are seeking daily, anyway — to feel good about ourselves and others.  A sure tip for marketing success for small businesses like yours.

Which one do you choose to focus on today?

For more ideas on marketing success for small businesses, check out these valuable resources:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/marketing/index.html

http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/managing-business/running-business/marketin

Jim Kaspari

Business Coaching Services . Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


How to Set Highly Effective Business Goals

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

How to set highly effective business goals that keep you motivated to take action and reach them successfully …

Your company’s goals will only be effective when you have a clear, measureable vision of where you want to go and how to get there.

Why Bother Setting and Tracking Your Business Goals?

80 percent of small businesses don’t track their business goals.  90 percent of small businesses fail – coincidence, I don’t think so.  Setting effective business goals and tracking your progress quarterly is paramount to your success.  So is creating an action plan to get there.

What are the key elements that make up effective business goals?

We all should be aware of the acronym SMART.  It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable or Action-Oriented, Relevant, and Time Based.

S
Specific – What exactly do you want to achieve? Who will do what, where, when, and why?
M
Measurable – Avoid words like “try” or “hope to”.  Numbers, percentage increase or decrease, time, dollars, widgets, volume are good examples of measurable units.  If it is not measureable, how will you know you achieved your goal?  How will you track your progress?
A
Achievable – Create a stretch goal.  You’re slightly uncomfortable with it, you may not even know exactly how to achieve it … yet, but you believe deep inside that it can be accomplished.  When you set and write down and share a goal like this, your subconscious mind starts working towards how you can do it!
R
Relevant – the goal will help you, your team, your business.  It is a top priority to work towards.  It will make people’s lives better
T
Thrilling – Make it fun and exciting, motivate yourself and your team.  Be excited when you get there!

Short term goals can be quarterly or annual business achievements.  Long-term goals generally are in the 3-5 year time frame.  Since Measureable can include a time-based deadline, I like to have the “T” stand for Thrilling!

What will help you achieve your goals?

So you know the key elements to set a business goal.  What will make it so important and Thrilling that you will actually follow your action plan with accountability and passion and not only track, but achieve your goals?  Here are some questions that will help you keep the big picture in mind …

Why was your business founded or started in the first place (review your Mission)?  If you don’t yet have a mission, it is important to write one.  Check back with http://www.summitbusinessmarketing.com/ soon for the blog on How to write a meaningful and lasting Mission Statement for your Business.  What do you want your business to achieve?  How can your business help you reach your life goals?

What’s your BIG WHY?  How will your company solve people’s problems, help society or change the world?  What’s important to you personally?  Your children, financial security, society, charity, travel, fun, an important cause?

Here are some business goal setting categories and example measures:

  • Customers – customer service (ratings), customer retention (% over time)
  • Profit – net vs. gross annual income, % increase in net profit
  • Marketing – # of leads generated, marketing budget return on investment (ROI)
  • Sales – % close ratio, # of sales, $ sales per month
  • Social – % gross revenue given to charity
  • Employees – satisfaction ratings, retention
  • Quality of life – maximum # of work hours per week

 

How to create a plan to reach your business goals?

You now know how to set highly effective business goals and you have them written, shared and in place.  How do you create your action plan?  Start with your end goal and work backwards.  What are all the tasks and actions that need to be completed in order for you to reach your goals?  What is the best order to do them in?  What are the critical path items?  Critical path items are actions that have to be complete before the next action can be started.  For example, you may have to buy web hosting before your website can be built.  By answering these questions, you can create an action plan complete with the person responsible, start date, deadline for each task, periodicity for repetitive tasks, etc…

An example of working backwards from the big goal could be:  goal – increase profits by 10% over the next year.  This means we need 120 more leads with our 20 percent close ratio = 10 more leads per month = 2 new clients.  What is working well in our marketing plan that we can do more of?  What are new marketing methods we can try?  How can we improve our close ratio?  These questions will help you refine your action plan and you will indeed reach your goal!

Other Key Points:

Involve your employees in the goal setting process.  This will help keep them motivated and create buy-in when it’s time for change or action.

Set up rewards for those who help reach the goals – ask them what they want for a reward.  What would be exciting for them?

Break down big goals into smaller bite-sized steps or milestones – celebrate these to keep the energy going!

What have you found to help you set highly effective business goals?

Want Help?

If you want help setting highly effective business goals for your business, call Coach Jim Kaspari at (530) 426-8404 to get started today.

Business Coaching Services, Web Design . Search Engine Optimization Specialist . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


How to stop Your WordPress Website from Being Hacked or Spammed

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

WordPress website hackings are on the rise.  How can you keep your site secure?

evil wordpress hacker troublemaker

 

One of my best friends had her WordPress website hacked and rendered useless by some evil-minded techie troublemakers.  It cost her almost a thousand dollars to get it back up and running.  Fortunately, soon thereafter, she received an order for $400.  She called me to find out how to stop her WordPress website from being hacked or spammed.

This morning, I received an email warning about a huge botnet of 90,000 web servers that are hacking into poorly secured WordPress sites.   I have done some extensive research on how to stop your WordPress Website from being hacked or even spammed for that matter.  Apparently, they have automatic software that tries 1,000 of the most common passwords on all the sites they can access.

Here’s my suggestions on how to stop your WordPress website from being hacked or spammed:

  1. Change your admin password immediately.  For that matter, change any user profile passwords that have admin access.  Be sure to use at least 8-10 character passwords with symbols, capitals, numbers, etc… the more complex the better – click here for a tutorial on best password practicesChange your password ASAP – it is too late if your site is already hacked and they’ve created a backdoor to gain access to your site (they then use your site to hack into other sites).
  2. Remove any profiles with admin access that you don’t know or they don’t use or update your WordPress website regularly.
  3. Don’t use public wi-fi  without highly protective security settings
  4. Update your version of wordpress, and all plugins monthly.  It’s also a good idea to update  your theme whenever a new version is available.
  5. Add captcha functionality to your logins – whether subscribers, contact us forms, admin login, etc.
  6. Additional security can be had by users only allowing access from certain IP addresses – this may limit your flexibility if you travel a lot.
  7. A very fancy and new security feature provided for blogs on WordPress.com works by using a google app that generates a new code every 30 seconds and is called two step authentication.  Be careful with this – don’t lose your cell phone!  Note – these instructions are not for blogs/sites build on the wordpress.org upload.
  8. Use the Akismet anti-spam plugin and authenticate with your WordPress.com ID
  9. Any helpful or good ideas I missed?

Jim Kaspari

Business Coaching Services . Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


Why is SEO Important to Your Business?

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

Thanks for coming by my site and reading this article.  I am often asked “Why is SEO important to my business?

Many business owners, even today, don’t know what SEO is, let alone why it might be important to them. If you want to know more about what SEO is, please read my article on What is Search Engine Optimization [SEO]?

Search engine optimization is important to your business just as getting print marketing to the right people is for getting new clients.  You may have spent a lot of money or time on your website, but if people are entering “Pizza in Truckee” or “salt lake city carpet cleaner” or “your service in your town” into Google, and your website doesn’t show up, people aren’t going to click on your site and won’t call, e-mail, visit or buy from you.  SEO is important to your business because without it your business will be invisible to potential clients online.  The other thing to note is that there is more and more competition online every day, so it’s important to keep your site alive with new content and valuable information.  Blogging is a great way to accomplish this.

Of course, you can use traditional marketing to get traffic to your site, and I highly recommend that as one of your marketing strategies in your plan.  I won’t reiterate all the things that Google uses to rank your site and that help you get on the first page of Google, you can see those in the article What factors do search engines use to rank websites.

If you’re starting with this article, you might also want to read Why is keyword research the most important thing a business owner can do?  This is the foundation of proper effective SEO, so please don’t skip this step.

The key steps to doing proper SEO are:

1)  Keyword Research – go to How to use Google’s free keyword tool or the resource page for my favorite keyword research tools and to learn more about this.

2)  Competition Analysis – type in the best keywords for your business.  See who’s on the first page of Google – go to their sites.  Right click on their site (someplace other than an image) and select “view page source” – look at their title, meta description and keywords.  Learn from the best and do better.

3)  Optimize your site, every page and every post for your title, keywords, description – especially optimize your photo tags!

4)  Go on a rampaging backlinking campaign – the higher the page rank the site is that links to your site, the better … hint – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter … Yahoo & Google directories …

5)  Update your site often with super valuable, informative and interesting content.  

Why is SEO important to your business?  Now you know.  Has this been helpful to you?  I sure hope so!  Please feel free to comment below if you have any more questions or suggestions.

Jim Kaspari

Summit Business Marketing

Business Coaching Services, Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


What is Web Copywriting and Why is it Important to Your Business?

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

Everyone’s heard of Copyrighting – you know,  the legal process of protecting intellectual property.  For example, “TM” for TradeMark or the “R” with the circle around it for Registered Trademark ®. Web copywriting is completely different!

 

Well, that’s not what this article is about.  This article is specifically about web copywriting.  Great copywriters are able to write compelling stories, engage the readers almost immediately and by knowing the reader’s psychology, can even help motivate the reader to take action.  The actions we’d like our clients to take is often a clear invitation (in marketing language it’s called a “clear call to action”) – for example:  “buy now” (how subtle) or “add to cart” or Call now for a free website analysis or estimate – operators are standing by (530) 426-8404. Boy, that sure was a great example of a clear call to action :)

Search Engine Optimization [SEO] helps you get more traffic to your site, web copywriting helps you get more paying clients.  For more information on SEO, click here.

So, it’s important for us to intersperse a clear call to action in our web copywriting.  What are the other key elements?

1)  The Hook – what is going to grab your potential client’s attention?  What’s your perfect client’s biggest problem or need?  What do they dearly want and how can you help them?  Is your website ugly, outdated and no one is visiting?  Boy that sure sucks … wouldn’t it be nice to have a great website design and have keyword research, competition analysis and SEO done for you?  You don’t even have to know how to use a computer, and your phone can be ringing off the hook with new customers – what a relief!

2)  The Pain or ProblemLosing Revenue in Your Business in this Down Economy? Are you worried about how to feed your family and keep your home?  OK, I’m exaggerating, but you get the point.  We are here to help people.  If people are stressed, worried or in pain and we can help them, what a wonderful life this is.

3)  Benefits – these are the things that people like about your service or product – these are very important to highlight.  Great website design that reflects your business personality and makes you stand out from the crowd, simple intuitive navigation, and easy to maintain or make changes. Those are all benefits.  Features would be things like unlimited memory, anti-spam plugins, meta tags optimized.  You may want to have features, but usually people really want to know about results and how you can make their life better.  If someone wants all the details, you can happily provide them, but not in your sales copy.

4)  Results – Get more clients fast!  You will get more traffic by being on the first page of all the Search Engines – especially Google!  You will be able to leap over buildings with a single bound :)

5)  Emotions – what negative or painful emotions are your clients feeling now?   How will they feel after working with you?  Example:  “Are you frustrated because you spent several hundred dollars on a website?  You will be overjoyed and your stress will melt away when more and more customers reach out to you saying they found you on your new website”

6)  Testimonials - Human nature is such that if there’s a crowd around a booth or act, we immediately want to go over there and see what’s so great.  We trust referrals from our friends, and if others are happy with the work and results, we are more likely to be.  It makes us feel safe in our decision to hire someone or buy a certain product.

7)  A Guarantee – stand by your product or work.  When we stand by our values and hold ourselves to utmost integrity this is easy to do.  Always give your clients more than you promise and you’ll sleep well at night.

8)  Special offers or Bonuses – for example, I’ll give anyone free updates and changes for two months if they buy the deluxe website package – you’ll not only get your keyword research done, competition analysis, full web design to your specifications, amazing copy writing, Comprehensive initial SEO, but you’ll get the free updates/changes … AND I’ll teach you how to make easy changes yourself – fast and simple.

So, now you can see the value of good copy writing – it makes your brochures, postcards, website, etc… like having your own sales team that you don’t have to manage – they say the right thing every time and are very compelling.  I hope you enjoyed reading this and that it helps you increase your business and ability to influence your clients to let you help them out … their lives will be so much better.

Jim Kaspari

Summit Business Marketing

Business Coaching Services . Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


How to Use Google’s Free Keyword Research Tool

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

Well, as I write this, the gossip around town (well, around Search Engine Optimization Specialists’ town anyways) is that Google may discontinue their free keyword research tool.  If that does happen, we believe it will be nested in either the webmaster tools or the Pay Per Click Portion of Google’s empire.  Wherever it resides in the future, if I don’t revise this post, please post a comment and remind me, and I’ll correct it as soon as possible :)  Note – I revisited this post in November 2012, and the free keyword research tool is still alive and well and as valuable as ever … the only difference is that it is now in adwords and you have to have a Google account to use it.  It’s free to set up a gmail account.

So, how do you get there now?  Simply click on this link for Google’s free keyword tool or go to www.Google.com/adwords/.  Currently, there’s a pink rectangle on top of the page – click the updated keyword tool link to get to the new site.

There’s at least 2 very cool features here:

1)  type in the domain name of your competition  (you know, those guys in the #1 spot on Google!) in the “website” field and you can retrieve the keyword phrases they are using to optimize their site.

2)  type the keyword or keyword phrase you’d like to optimize for – you can start with a one word idea or a more specific several word phrase – type your word/words into the “with words or phrases” field and click search.  Google will supply you with up to 200 new keyword phrase ideas AND the amount of traffic, the competition level and traffic trends.  This is all super valuable information if you want to successfully do online marketing, or local online marketing.  As I’ve explained in other articles, keyword research is akin to doing market research before starting a company.  If you don’t do it you can fail miserably or at a minimum, you’re leaving lots of money on the table.

Speaking of picking up some of that money on the table, let me give you another super search engine optimization specialists’ tip …  when you do a keyword search/analysis, you want keywords that indicate that people are ready to spend money!  The best way to evaluate this is by what people are willing to pay for a CPC or Cost Per Click ad.  So, you’re asking … how do I get that information?   The software program Market Samurai uses an indicator called OCI – Online Commercial Intent.  You can also find it for free by going to the free Google keyword tool – try the 2nd link above – and click on “advanced options” – set up a filter for “Estimated Ave. CPC” is greater than (>) $1.00 – this will automatically filter out the results for the low CPC ad value keywords – you know those people on the web we affectionately refer to as “looky loos” – get the people on your site that are ready to buy!!

I also like to set up an advanced option filter for above a certain amount of local traffic (the more conservative traffic estimate figures).  Check out the settings in this image:

how to use googles free keyword research tool

If you’ve read this far, you’re serious about learning and succeeding in your online marketing.  You deserve a gift.  I’ve written a chapter in an e-book on keyword research From the book – Online Wealth: Proven Step-by-Step Power Techniques the Internet Gurus Use to Generate Cash Online – click on the following link for the whole chapter – FREE:  http://www.truckeewebdesign.com/seo-search-engine-optimization/keyword-research-online-competition-analysis/

I hope this is very helpful.  If you’re having a hard time with this, and want expert help and advice, feel free to e-mail me at Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com – I’ll be happy to help!

Jim Kaspari

Summit Business Marketing

Business Coaching Services . Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


How to Plan for Great Web Design

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

It may seem like it’s urgent and you need to get your website up as fast as possible to help build your business and gain credibility with your clients.  If you want a great web design, proper planning will save you a lot of time and money, and make your website much more useful and professional.  Remember Abe Lincoln’s famous quote – “If I had 5 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 4 of them sharpening my axe”… For more information on Summit Business Marketing’s approach to web design and how we eliminate the complaints most web designers get, click here.

 

What do you want your website to do for you?
Is your website like an online brochure?  Your website can work hard for you if you plan properly and work with the right business marketing coach and web designer.  Your website can help your clients get more information, gather their contact information or use forms to collect more information, sell products or services for you, collect money … and it doesn’t even have to take breaks and you don’t have to write any performance reviews :)

Identify your target niche market.
Determine your ideal clients. How can you define them and create a narrow niche?  What are their needs and how can you use your website to cater to them? What is the main problem you’re solving and how are you different from your competition?

Get to know your competition and determine what’s unique and special about you.
Search on Google for competitive websites.  Type in keyword phrases that you think your clients would type in to find products and/or services like yours.  Model the “big money” companies – many of them have spend millions on research – colors, buttons, locations of functions, font, specific wording, etc…  send this information and the best domains to your web designer.

Map out the design, pages and navigation.
The best websites have very logical and intuitive navigation and information flow.  You might want to use a flipchart, dry-erase board or computer software to mind-map your site.  How many pages should your website have? Some standard pages are: Home, About Us, Products/Services, Portfolio, Testimonials, FAQs, News, Privacy Policy, Contact Us.  Here’s a word document/web sitemap template you can use to map out your site:

Website Site Map Template

To delete a page, post, sidebar or footer element, simply click on the object and press “delete”.  To create another one, simply click on one and use the ctrl-d function to duplicate it, then click in the text box to modify it.

How will you drive traffic to your website?
This step is extremely important unless you have unlimited time and money for your marketing budget! If you do proper market research and get the right domain name up front and optimize your site for the best keywords, you won’t have to drive traffic to your site at all – the traffic will come to you.  Traditional marketing will augment this, and you’ll have a huge advantage on your competition.  Call me today to find out how to get started (530) 426-8404.

Jim Kaspari

Summit Business Marketing

Business Coaching Services . Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization?

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

What is SEO?

Thanks to one of my readers, who asked this very important question – “What is SEO”?  Those of you who were afraid to ask will get some very valuable information for your online business marketing.  One of the Gurus I learned from told me “SEO stands for Self Employment Optimization” – and boy is this true for all business owners that do any marketing online!

Search Engine Optimization is the process by which people get their websites (and/or their client’s websites in my case) to list as high as possible on the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

The whole idea is that the search engine companies make money via advertising.  They will only make money advertising if many millions of people are visiting their site.  People will only continue to use their search engine if it is easy and fast for them to find exactly what they are looking for – whether it is information, products, services, etc…  So, the search engine companies develop and continuously improve their algorithms (fancy word for a calculation that takes into account many variables with various weight) so that we can quickly and easily find what we’re looking for on the world wide web.

See the article – What factors do search engines use to rank websites? To see the exact details of what the search engines are looking for.  Also take a look at Why is Keyword Research the Most Important thing a Business owner Can Do? to get started.

What are the key steps to SEO?

1)      Keyword research – use common sense first – ask 10-20 of your clients what they would type into a search engine and use the most common answers to do your research

2)      Keyword research – use Google’s free keyword tools to see how much traffic there is for keyword phrases, how much competition there is, what keywords your competition is using to optimize their sites and how much people are paying for ads using those keyword phrases.

3)      If you find you’ll be doing keyword research often, I highly recommend buying a software tool such as Market Samurai or Micro Niche Finder.  If you’re going to do it once for a business, Google has all the tools and instructions you need.  The other software tools often pull from Google’s data.

4)      The actual search engine optimization is a complex process of making sure that your domain name, title tag, site description and content all have the keyword phrases you researched and chose in the steps above.

5)      You can also get links to your site from strong ranking pages to help your site have stronger rankings – search engines’ crawlers and the algorithms they use think that your site must be very important and relevant if you have lots of links.

The rest of the details of SEO will have to come in future articles.  There’s too much to explain in one article.  I hope this satisfactorally answered your question – what the heck is SEO?

Jim Kaspari

Summit Business Marketing

Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


What’s the Best Possible Investment You can Make Today?

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

We all want to know the best possible investment today!

Of course, any wise person would answer “It depends”.  Yes, the best possible investment today would depend on your current financial situation, your short and long term goals, how active or passive you want to be and the amount of risk you’d like to take.

But today, I’m going to share a big secret and will tell you about an unbelievable investment that you can make today.  There’s a lot of talk about the rough economy.  Government will be raising taxes, and inflation looks unavoidable at some point.  Any clues on the incredible investment yet?

Banks are giving between 0.25% and 5% ROI Annually [Return On Investment]  Stocks have been at the same level 5 times in the last 12 years.  Real Estate investments have been hit hard …

Here is the secret:  The best investment you can make is in yourself or your business.  Let’s talk business.  If you think you have marketing “expenses”, you’re doing the wrong marketing.  Most of my clients get between 200 and 1000% return on their investment.

Let’s just say someone pays us $1,200 for a comprehensive business analysis, plan and tracking system.  “Holy #$&@” you might say … “I don’t have that kind of money!”  Or maybe you do, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is how we think about money.  When that client makes an extra $500 in sales each month, what is their return on investment over a year period?  Yes, you guessed correctly – 500% ROI.  If that was a stock, would you buy it?

If you know an entrepreneur or small business owner that would like help with “getting paid to do their marketing”, please share this blog with them.  I promise they will thank you.

The key is to be smart in investing.  You wouldn’t take your whole life savings and buy one stock.  So, have a marketing budget that’s a percentage of your gross sales (many businesses use between 4 and 10%).  This will ensure your continued success.  For help with how to best use your marketing budget – whether it’s web design, online marketing, a revised or new marketing plan, keyword research or search engine optimization – call us today!  530-426-8404 or e-mail Jim@SummitBusinessMarketing.com

Jim Kaspari

Summit Business Marketing

Business Coaching Services . Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


5 Critical Questions to Greatly Enhance Your Marketing For Small Business

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

Want to Get More Results from Your Marketing for Small Business?

 

Here are 5 critical questions to help you get better results with your marketing time, budget and efforts.  These questions will not only help you to create an effective marketing plan, but will help you choose marketing strategies and tactics that act like “magic bullets”.  You’ll be able to clearly define your niche market, get your opportunity out to the right people, or make it easy for them to find you.

You’ll also be able to clearly convey why your business is better, unique and different than your competition.  Your clients will be chomping at the bit to take action because they fully understand how you can solve their problem and/or make their life better.

Here’s the exercise:  start broad and brainstorm in answering all the questions.  Share with team members, family and friends to get additional ideas.  Then go back and clean up grammar, redundancies, etc… Once this is done, go through all the content and highlight the unique, special, highly beneficial and important points.  These will become your compelling copy, website content, marketing materials and your key conversation/networking points.

1) Who are you?

In answering this question, include your mission, vision, the story of why you started your business, team bios, skills and experience.

2) What do you do?

Include all products and services.  You can also use this to brainstorm future products, services, packages and ongoing support for your clients.  This is a great time to do “test marketing”.  Ask old clients what else you might provide.  What’s going on in their life?  What’s their biggest challenge/problem that your company might be able to help them with?

3) Who do you do it for?

The idea here is to clearly and narrowly define your target market or niche.  It’s very tempting to want to do everything for everyone, but unfortunately that path doesn’t lead to success and takes an enormous marketing budget – both time and money.  How can you define 80 percent of your clients to narrow down your marketing focus?  What’s their age range, sex, religion, race, education level, etc…?  What do they read, listen to, what websites might they frequent?

4) How do you do it?

Here’s a great place to distinguish yourself from your competition.  How do you provide service, follow up, support?  How do you select your products, do delivery, take orders, provide refunds, etc…?

5) Why do you do it?

Why are you in this business?  What’s your passion?  How do you plan on making the world a better place, even if it’s one person at a time?  What’s in it for the clients?

This is a great exercise for us all to do periodically, no matter what stage of business we’re in.  Marketing for small business can be looked at as a dynamic experiment and a path of continuous improvement.  I hope you found this useful and it helps you get more clients and share the gifts your business provides for your clients.

Jim Kaspari

Summit Business Marketing

Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


Seven Secrets to Getting a Website that Works for Your Business

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

Do You Want to Work for your Website or Have a Website that Works Hard for YOU?

1)      First of all, you need people to actually SEE your website!  I know I sound like a broken record sometimes, but many business owners pay $100’s or $1,000’s of dollars to have their website professionally designed and built for them.  That’s nice, but I’ve seen a large percentage of sites out there that aren’t keyword optimized, and I can tell that no one did keyword research for the business owner.  This is equivalent to borrowing thousands of dollars to start a business and not doing competition analysis.  What are your clients typing in browser windows to find a business like yours?  What keyword phrases have the most traffic?

2)      How can people see your site if there’s thousands of indexed sites with your same keywords?  Many people use one word keywords to “optimize” their site.  Crazy!  Most single keywords literally have MILLIONS of sites competing with them.  Look for 2-4 word key PHRASES that have decent traffic and low competition.  That way you have a much higher probability of being on the #1 page of a given search engine.

3)      Use Google Keyword Tools to do your research – it’s free and quite effective.  I’ll have more articles on the details on how to do this or just go to the Webmaster Tools area and read up on it there.  Start with http://www.google.com/sktool/# to get keyword phrase ideas related to your business.

4)      Next, you want clients to STAY on your website.  You have 3-7 seconds to capture a potential client’s attention and have them either read your home page or clickthrough for more information.  Start with a catchy title or question.  Think about the problem you’re solving for them or empathize with their feelings.  Tell them how they’ll feel once you’ve helped them.  “Spent thousands on your website and getting no traffic?  We can help you get more clients today!”  For more information on effective copywriting, read our blog post:  http://www.summitbusinessmarketing.com/category/web-copywriting/

5)      You want your clients to patronize your business.  What do you want them to do?  Tell them clearly, with a clear call to action.  “Call us today at (530) 426-8404 for a free website analysis or e-mail us at info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com to set up an appointment.”

6)      Do traditional marketing.  Networking, send postcards, give out business cards, newspaper ads, etc… Make sure your website is prominent and easy to read with your clear call to action.  When you use as many tools as possible, it’s much easier for you to get a website that works hard for you.

7)      Do online marketing as well.  Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, Google Places are all free and you can have your webpage on all of them.  I’ll have many more articles on marketing, but these secrets will help you get started today.

Jim Kaspari

Summit Business Marketing

Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com

** Bonus Secret:  after your website is up and running, do a google search for your main keyword phrase.  Usually several directories with high page rank will come up on the first two pages of Google.  Enter all your company data into the directories with a link to your website … voila – more listings and makes it easier for your clients to find you and … another strong backlink!

Here’s a great example …


What key search engine factors rank websites best?

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

What are the secret key Search Engine Factors?

What factors do search engines use to rank websites?  This question is very important for business owners that want to drive traffic to their websites.  Whether they want to sell products or services, understanding how their website can be found easier than their competition is critical to their success.  The reality is that no one person actually knows the exact key search engine factors and their weights in the algorithm, but we do know what works when we test and collect data over time.   Also, understanding why search engines are in business helps us figure out the best strategies for getting your website ranked well for search terms that will bring the right people to your website.  Click on the following link if you still want to learn more about what SEO or Search Engine Optimization is.

secret factors search engines use to rank sites

Search Engine Algorithm??

This is not a comprehensive list, but includes the main criteria search engines use to rank web pages (Google, Yahoo! & Bing).  This should be very helpful to you.  If you want help with keyword research or SEO for your company, please feel free to contact us at info@summitbusinessmarketing.com or call us at (530) 426-8404.

  1. The main goal for search engine companies  is to make it as easy as possible for their clients to find exactly what they are looking for.
  2. Domain age
  3. Page Rank [PR] – this is a logarithmic scale – for example a webpage with PR 4 is 100 times better ranked than one with PR 2
  4. Number of times your page has been indexed by the search engine – the more often you make changes or add content, the more often the “spiders” will index your site
  5. Valuable, unique content with relevant keywords/keyphrases [KW’s].
  6. Domain name contains KW’s
  7. Website title contains KW’s
  8. Site Description contains KW’s
  9. KW’s in Header Tag – use large Header font
  10. Photo tags contain KW’s
  11. Videos are tagged with keywords and have a link back to your site (Hint – Google owns YouTube)
  12. Page backlinks (backlinks from sites with high PR are much better than a high number of backlinks from lower PR sites)
  13. Domain backlinks
  14. Backlinks from .edu or .gov websites (these are considered good resources)
  15. Yahoo Directory – this costs money
  16. DMOZ directory
  17. Google cache age

Jim Kaspari

Summit Business Marketing

Smart Business Coaching, Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com


Why is Keyword Research the Most Important thing a Business owner Can Do?

Posted on by Web SEO Guru

Many business owners fail to do adequate keyword research before having a website built.  It’s so sad to hear about these poor people – they spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on their website, and it’s not optimized to get the right traffic to the site.  If you’d like to learn more, please read the following bullet points:

  • You want relevant visitors coming to your website that are looking for what you have to offer and are willing to pay you for it.
  • The biggest mistake that business owners make is NOT doing test marketing and research to see what the demand or need is for their products and services AND what’s the competition.
  • Many business owners have spent Thousand$ of dollar$ on website design and get very little traffic.
  • If your website is not on the first page of Google when people enter their search terms, no one will go to your website.
  • 40% of people click on the #1 result in a given search engine, the 7th result only gets 3% of clicks.  Ranking well in a search engine can easily double your business.
  • Many one or two word keywords have MILLIONS of indexed webpages – that’s your competition.  For example, if you enter “new car” in Google, you get 37,700,000 indexed pages.  If you type in “new BMW convertible car”, you get 8 results.  Which of these would you like to compete in?
  • Keyword research allows you to find specific keyword phrases that have high traffic and low competition.  This makes it possible to do search engine optimization and get your website ranked highly in Google, Yahoo! And Bing J

Our team has incredible tools, experience and knowledge to be able to do great keyword research for you – even if you already have a website built.  Call today for an estimate (530) 426-8404  or e-mail us at info@summitbusinessmarketing.com

Jim Kaspari

Summit Business Marketing

Web Design . SEO . Marketing Consultation

p.530.426.8404 | f.440.425.6094

Info@SummitBusinessMarketing.com