There’s No Such Thing As a Walk In the Park Selfie – Social Media Marketing Is Hard!

The trick is not to trick someone into becoming a customer but getting on their level and really connecting.

With the simplicity of content sharing, filters, and hashtags, the Millennials make their virtual world of likes and selfies look easy, but the Internet and social media are actual skills of marketing that one must master.

Mel Carson, a contributor for entrepreneur.com, stresses the importance of web search. Search engines like Google keep track of every single word on a particular website. With your business’ website, it is important to skip the fancy talk and use simple key terms that are more likely to be typed in a search box by the public. Websites that include additional links or hyperlinked words to other websites gain a lot more traffic because somebody could search for only one of the websites to have both sites pop up in his or her search result.

We must all admit that social media marketing is hard. If there was not a difference between good and bad social media marketing, the “next Kim Kardashian” would make her debut daily. It takes time and patience to build a solid reputation in a world where every business is trying to grab everyone’s attention. It is worth spending the money on a more sophisticated strategy to make a long-lasting, virtual impact.

The Digital Divide, by Mark Bauerlein, is a collection of essays that discuss how to understand the Millennial generation. When it comes to virtually connecting to this next generation audience, it is about making he or she feel individually important. Reach out by requesting feedback and taking the time to address and resolve issues when somebody submits a bad review. Try to stay as transparent as possible. A lot of famous YouTubers reached public figure status accidentally by posting video blogs that opened up about his or her personal life and true feelings. The trick is not to trick someone into becoming a customer but getting on their level and really connecting.

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Small Business Internet Marketing — How To Turn Your Customers Into A Sales Force

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There’s something known as the perfect customer life cycle. It starts from acquiring a prospect, nurturing them and then making them a customer. However, it goes even further: It includes turning that customer is your sales person. Any business that does this successfully will never lack for quality prospects because they are being referred by the best sales force available on the planet — People who have bought your product/service and love it.
Now the question is: How do you turn those customers into a strong sales force? Here are tips that will help…

1. Start From The Very Beginning
If you start thinking about making your customers your sales persons after they’ve made a purchase, then you are already too late. It starts from the very moment you are trying to acquire them as prospects. This will determine how you design your sales funnel. You will treat them with delicate care because you are NOT just interested in making a quick buck. You intend to build a partnership that will go on for a long time. You will make sure that you connect with your prospect at a level that other businesses in your niche don’t even bother about. You will ensure that you develop products that meet their real desires. You will ensure that any issues or challenges they may have are resolved in a very timely and professional manner. In fact, you’ll simply do everything within your power to sweep them off their feet.

2. You Will Make Them Feel Special Selling For You
How do you think a customer would feel if they know that their friends can buy your product at a special discount just because they referred them? Walk in through the door like every other person and you’ll pay 15% more but come with a coupon or discount code from this special customer and you’ll pay a lot less.
Remember, they already love your product and now you are showing them they are really special by offering their friends a discount. This will motivate them to promote your product.

3. Make Them Your Affiliates
How about paying them even after you’ve given their friends that special treatment all because of them? How about paying them a commission for referring their friends? You can easily start an affiliate program and make all your existing customers automatic members. How do you think your customers will feel if they got a check in the mail? They open it and discover that they’ve just earned commissions for referring some of their friends to your business? Do you think this will make them send over even more of their friends and acquaintances?

Don’t forget this: You are NOT trying to make them promote a product or service they don’t care about. They already love what you offer. You are only giving them an incentive to talk about it the more.

4. Make It Easier For Them To Share In Your Wealth
Affiliate commissions can motivate your customers to spread the word around. However, you can do something special to compel them to go the extra mile: Offer them lifetime commissions on every referral that comes to your business through them. Think about it: All you need is just one encounter with your target prospect if you have a great product. That’s where you spend a lot of money.

If your customers know that they’ll keep earning something (albeit little) for people they refer, they’ll be encouraged to do so. Have you ever been “waylaid” by network marketers? Do you see the enthusiasm with which they promote products from the parent company? It’s because they now share in the wealth. Can you make your existing customers go all out to promote your business this way?

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Small Business Internet Marketing — How To Turn Customers Into Fans

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Many businesses just focus on acquiring new customers without doing anything to turn their existing customers into fans. What they do NOT understand is that doing this would help them make more money from repeat sales (That’s apart from the fact that it would bring in more business just by word-of-mouth promotions). So how do you go about turning those customers into raving fans?

1. Over-Deliver On The Promise
Every business can make promises when they are looking to get the sale. However, very few can actually over-deliver. Yes, many just work hard to deliver what they’ve promised. Those who go a step farther by doing more than they promised are very likely to have very happy customers. And you know what? Happy customers easily convert to fans.

2. Make Sure You Provide Excellent Support
Can you remember the last time you encountered a company with poor customer support? How did you feel when you had to be sent from pillar to post just to get one question answered? How did you feel when it was obvious their support staff weren’t adequately trained and so did NOT understand your problem well enough to get it resolved as quickly as possible? You were turned off. Are you likely to do business with such a firm again? I doubt so.

But how did you feel when you met with support staff that resolved your challenge in minutes because they were well trained and knowledgeable? How did you feel when they went out of their way to ensure everything worked just fine? How did you feel when they called back a few days later just to find out if everything was still ok?

Now I know that many businesses do NOT go the extra mile to call back later to check on you and to ensure everything is fine. But that’s something that would turn normal customers into raving fans. Call them to check if everything is still working as it should and be willing to make their lives as easy as possible and you will win their hearts.

3. Show Them You Really Care About Them
The truth is that people love dealing with people who truly care about them. Technology has NOT changed that (and will NOT). How would you feel if you get a birthday present from a company you did business with sometime last year? “Wow, so they still remember me,” you’ll say. That single act will raise them above competitors who do NOT show as much interest in you.

So make out time to brainstorm ways to show that tender loving care (without breaking your budget). Remember that little things count for much in building a relationship? Let’s assume you run a restaurant: You could easily find out their wedding anniversary and give them a special anniversary discount to mark this special day. Depending on how loyal they are as customers, you can arrange a surprise dinner for them. After all, you are making an investment into a customer who would keep buying from you for years.

4. Make Them Look Good Before Their Friends
Make them look good before their friends. How do you do that? Give their friends special discounts and add something like “Special discount for John’s friends.” Get creative. What would make you look good before your friends? What would make your employees look good before their friends? Ask questions and you’ll get a lot of tips that will transform your business.

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Small Business Internet Marketing — Building a Loyal Customer Base

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Customer acquisition is one thing that eats up the budget of most small businesses. However, many of them do NOT pay close attention to building a loyal customer base. What these business owners do NOT recognize is that repeat customers spend about 33% more than first-time buyers on average. Furthermore, loyal customers become brand evangelists who go about telling everyone who cares to listen about your products or services — Wouldn’t you rather have such a customer base? Here are things you can do to achieve this…

1. Always Give More Than They Expect

Every business is driven by a desire to profit. However, some make it so obvious by cutting every corner that they can legally. You can differentiate your business by pretending you are NOT interested in maximizing profits.

Give your customers much more than they expect. Yes, it might eat a little in your profit margin but it won’t go unnoticed by your customers. Some might NOT tell you, but they’ll tell others and they’ll keep coming back to you for more.

Do you deliver services? Try to give a little more than they expect. Do you sell products? Throw in something extra from time to time. Make sure they get delivery of their orders a little earlier than they expected. Think of something that is much more than your competition would dare to do. Do it for them and you are on the right path to building a loyal customer base (or do I call it fan base?).

2. Turn Lemons To Lemonade

Take advantage of every bad situation. Studies have shown that you have a window of opportunity to turn an unhappy customer to a raving fan. Let us assume you just got a call from one of your customers about how they are having issues with your product…

a. Do your best to resolve the matter without compelling them to make another call. If it is such that can’t be resolved on the first call, tell them when you’ll call back and make sure you do.

b. Even if you were able to resolve the matter at the first call, call them again just to check on them and ensure everything is running smoothly. This will show them that you really care about them and are NOT just interested in their money.

c. Can you offer them something extra just to say “we are sorry” for the inconvenience they’ve had to put up with? Try this and you’ll have a customer who goes about using your business as an object lesson of what customer support should be.

3. Make Them Feel Special

Don’t we all gravitate towards people who make us feel special? Your customers are NOT different in any way. Show them they are special by giving them special privileges. Can you give them a unique coupon that entitles them to a special offer? Can you give them another that extend such privileges to a limited number of people they choose?

Do you know their birthdays? Do you know a few things about their families? If the business you do allows you to get such information about them, then it makes sense to use it to your advantage…

How would you feel if your get a handcrafted birthday card from a company you did business with a year ago? I guess it will awaken the better emotions in you. And believe it or NOT, unless their products are totally useless (and you don’t have any need for them), they’ll be given top consideration. After all, it takes special people to take note of other special people.

4. Make Sure You Keep In touch

Just call to ask how the product they bought three months ago is performing. Just call to find out how their business has grown due to their interaction with your business. Just call to follow up and find out if they are really happy with the services you rendered.

Call immediately after they make a purchase. Let them know you are there for them (And, please, make sure you are really there for them). This will take up some of your resources but it would be well-worth it.

5. Align Your Business To Be Customer Focused

Make sure you set your business up in such as way that anyone that is contacted can offer some form of support to the inquirer. Make sure you empower your employees to take proactive actions. Does a product need replacement? Make sure it is done with minimum fuss. Yes, you may lose a bit, but it is usually far less than the damage you’ll do to your business if you keep the angry customer waiting.

Along these lines, make sure your employees are trained to deal effectively with customer-related issues. There are few things that can repel customers from a business more than having to be sent from pillar to post just to resolve a minor issue.

Lastly, make sure your customers know that they can get to you, the owner, to report any issues. You may need to delegate matters to competent executives as your business grows. However, the point is that they (your customers) must be able to speak with someone who can wipe all their tears away.

6. Could You Just Pay Attention, Please?

You will get to learn a lot about your customers if you only pay close attention to them. You own the business, quite alright, but it’s NOT about you. It’s about them. All you may have to do is get accounts with the different social networks where your customers hang out. Assign an executive to give just a few minutes a day to monitor what the conversation is in your industry.

People are talking and telling businesses what they need and how they can make them loyal customers. However, few businesses are paying attention. How can they when they are too focused on developing the best products and services those customers will never need?

Listen to what they are saying and you’ll be in a better position to give them what they are looking for.

7. Return Calls Promptly

Do everything within your power to ensure every email is replied to as quickly as possible. Make sure you return every call promptly. The quicker your response is; the better for your business. Go to forums and read product reviews and you will find a number of customers who became raving fans simply because of the promptness of response from a product creator.

Nobody likes to be kept waiting. It makes us feel we are NOT that important to the other party. Most of us will opt for a firm that shows us more respect even if they are NOT the very best (But at least they deliver the goods and value your time).

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Small Business Marketing — Winning More Customers Through Social Media

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You can win more customers for your business through social media if you really know how to go about it. There are dos and don’ts if you want to get excellent results. Here are things to bear in mind…

1. Join The Conversation
Don’t ever forget that it is all about holding a conversation. And it is NOT a conversation if you are the one doing all the talking. Listen to what they have to say and then share what you have to say. You’ll soon have no one listening to you if you are the only one doing the talking. People can get that kind of stuff from their TV stations. When people come to social networks they want to hold a conversation.

So how do you get them to hold a conversation? Share tips and ask for their opinions. People like sharing their opinions if they know you’ll listen. Also, ask them what they’ll like your business to focus on the more. Make it about them and NOT you and you would have taken the biggest step in drawing them out of their shells. Many businesses miss the opportunity of holding conversations with new prospects and this costs them dearly as these people move over to competitors who understand how to do this right. Don’t worry if you are NOT skilled in the use of social media. Just get a competent SEO firm and they’ll set things up in a way that you’ll get the best results for your business (You can focus on the things you understand best).

2. Give Much Value
People have so many options these days. Therefore, make sure that they only get top value when they give you their attention. If you are sharing tips, give tips that they can’t find easily elsewhere. If you are sharing something that most people already know, add a slant that isn’t so common. Give them special discounts for paying attention to you. They really deserve it and a move like so would make you stand out more. Think of different ways to reward them for choosing to be part of your audience. But whatever you do, make sure it is always something that they’ll place a lot of value on. Remember, they have very many options.

3. Sell Only 10% Of The Time
Yes, you are into this whole thing to build your business. This isn’t just a game. This means that you’ll have to sell from time to time. However, make sure you only sell for about ten percent of the time. Give free value for about 90% of the time (That is, if you want to maintain your audience). If all people get from you all the time is a pitch then they will tune off and look for your competitors.

4. Look For Networks That Suit Your Business Best
There are different social networks out there and NOT all of them would serve your business equally. Let’s assume you are into a line of work that lends itself to visuals (say, you sell paintings). You will get the best return on your time and investment by taking advantage of networks that are media focused. Think Pinterest. Think Youtube. Your target customer usually hangs out on places like these because they are visual persons.

The point here is: Look at your business and where your ideal customer is most likely to hang out and then spend more of your resources at such networks.

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Small Business Marketing Strategies — Identifying And Giving Them What They Really Want

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Social media engages your audience. There’s supposed to be a conversation. That is, if you are doing it right. In such a case you’ll be able to give them what they really want and increase your revenue easily. Here are tips to help you indentify and give them what they really want…

1. Make Sure You Give Them Top Quality
The first step is building an audience. However, you can’t build the right audience if you don’t deliver top quality content. This is very important. Also, make sure that the content you deliver ties in well with the core message of your business. That is, make sure it is revolves around your unique selling proposition. Are you focused on making delivery of products faster than anyone else in the industry? Then deliver top quality content that draws attention to getting prompt delivery.

2. Make Sure You Ask Them What They Really Want
Do you want to find out what they really want? It’s very simple: Don’t make assumptions. Just ask them. Many people use social networks the wrong way. They believe that it’s all about them. They believe that people who have elected to follow or like their business are interested in just hearing them talk. Therefore, they just keep talking and telling them all the great products they have released for them.

They don’t just pause to ask: “Do these people have unanswered questions?” “Is it possible that we are NOT meeting their needs at the deepest level?” The few busineses that are smart enough to stop taking and start asking move faster and attract a more loyal and responsive audience. Don’t make this more complicated than it should really be: Just ask them.

3. Watch The Direction Of The Various Conversations
Sometimes people can tell you what they want in very clear terms. Take advantage of such times. However, there are times when they may NOT be able to tell you what they really want if you ask them. You can find out by reading in-between the lines of what they are saying. Make out time (as a business owner) to hang out on your favorite network and just “listen” to the conversation. If you are too busy, delegate a trusted executive to devote half an hour a day to just listen to the conversation. This is NOT going to cost you much in terms of resources but it would help your business position itself better.

4. Reposition Your Business Accordingly
If you’ve asked them the right questions and have also taken the time to pay attention to the various conversations in your niche then you are ready for the next step…

You can tell what they are raving about. You can tell what they think isn’t worth it. It would be great if your product or service is what they are raving about. But if NOT, don’t worry. All you have to do is reposition accordingly. Sometimes your product isn’t different from what they are raving about. It’s just packaged differently. In such a case all you’ll have to do is change the packaging. However, there are times when you just have to dump a “beloved” product that they don’t appreciate. Sometimes you might have to restructure your business. Sometimes you have to retrain your staff. But whatever you do, make sure you are giving them what they really want or else you won’t be in business for too long (That is, unless all your competitors are making the same mistakes as yourself).

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Small Business Marketing — The Power of Social Media

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Many business owners have heard of the power of social media. Yes, they know it has been used extensively by politicians. They know governments have been toppled by conversations that started on social networks. However, many of them don’t realize the power that is waiting to be unleashed in their business if they use social media right. Here are just a few…

1. Raise Brand Awareness

The brands that have a strong presence on social networks take up a stronger position in people’s minds. Facebook, for example, has hit a billion users globally. What does this mean for your business? You can easily build a strong brand just by taking advantage of this and other platforms (But that is if you do it right).

So what leads to this brand awareness? The increase in the number of mentions your business gets is one strong factor. The bigger factor is the number of positive conversations that revolve around your product or service. So make sure you get them talking about you. There are many ways to do this (But that’s beyond the scope of this discourse — Get a social media expert to help you out).

2. Establish Your Expertise And Credibility As A Professional

When people talk they show their ignorance, fears and challenges (among other things). Experts who engage in the various discussions going on (on those platforms) have an opportunity to establish themselves as experts by providing solutions.

If you can make out time to really help people out, they will flock to you (and tell their friends and followers). The more people who get useful tips and tricks from you, the bigger the followership you build. This establishes your expertise and helps build your credibility as a professional.

Many of those people will eventually choose to do business with you. After all, they already know and trust you. You are NOT a stranger. You are a friend who also happens to be an expert on the subject matter.

3. Engage Existing Clients

Leave your clients for long enough and they’ll end up with your competitor. It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is. It is important that you stay in their consciousness always. Social media provide you unique opportunities to stay connected.

You can tweet about the things you are doing. You can post a new article that you believe will be helpful to your clients on your Facebook page. You can pin pictures of the last event you held. Simply put: You can keep them engaged.

4. Drive Traffic Directly

Once people are involved on any platform and you are allowed to link to places of interest, you have new opportunities to drive traffic to your site. This is one of the big benefits many people see in social media. They can get many new visitors to their sites (and with that new business).

For example, imagine you’ve just posted a great article on your blog. You tweet about it and some of your followers head over to your blog and really enjoy your post. They like it, share it, reblog it, tweet it, retweet it and get the whole web (at least in your niche) talking about it. What happens? They all head over to your blog to see what you talked about.

Some will bookmark your page. Some will hang around and look at other things you have to say or offer and some will eventually buy from you.

5. Improve SEO

Social signals have increased in importance with respect to search engine optimization. The logic is: People are bound to talk about it on the different social platforms if the content on your page is that good. Therefore, having a strong social presence will help your search engine optimization efforts in a big way.

Better SEO means higher rankings. Higher rankings mean more traffic, increase in your authority level, improved credibility and much more.

6. Help With Reputation Management

One happy customer can tell thousands about how great your products and services are just with one tweet. But by the same token, a competitor or unhappy customer can ruin your reputation with a tweet. So you really can’t afford to run a business without a strong presence on these social networks.

While you don’t really have to do much when you see compliments flying around the web, you have to rise up and counter every attempt to run your business down. You can’t start when people call you names – That would be too late. You should have built a strong followership before anything goes wrong. If you already did then your followers will counter a lot of the bad things being said about you.

And guess what? It’s best for others to defend you when someone tries to pull you down. Just make sure you already have the right structure in place before a hater picks on you.

7. Deepen Your Knowledge Of Your Customers

The more you know about your customers the better you can serve them and the more profitable your business will be. Social media give you unique opportunities to discover so much about your audience or target market. All you have to do is listen to their conversations. Here are things you stand to gain if you do…

a. You’ll Develop Products That Meet Their Needs

It is one thing to have a great product idea but it is another thing to have a product idea that coincides with exactly what people need. You can trust your gut feeling or you can just pay attention to what your customers are expressing as their needs. Companies that build products (or adapt existing products) based on what they gather from customer conversations stand a better chance in today’s market place.

b. You’ll Be Able To Deal With Their Fears

People respond to their fears. They do everything to make sure they never encounter them. But do you know what your customers’ biggest fears are? Pay close attention to their conversations and you’ll find out.

c. You’ll Be Able To Provide Superior Support

Hang out long enough with your customers and you’ll learn a lot about what they hate about your products and services. They’ll also tell you what they can’t live without. All you have to do is address issues that they don’t like and make sure you don’t let go of things they really love — It’s NOT always what you think.

d. You’ll Anticipate Problems Before They Become Full Blown

Is there a glitch in your product? You’ll learn about it quickly if your business has an ear in social networks. You can sense the feeling and the direction of a conversation. So if you sense there might be a problem at one point or the other, all you’ll have to do is release a statement that addresses that problem. This will make your customers love you. How else could you know what they were thinking about if you weren’t interested in them?

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SEO Internet Marketing — How Guest Blogging Fits In

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There are many things that make for a solid SEO campaign. However, there are certain methods that do your overall marketing extra good if you know what you are doing. One of them is guest blogging. Here’s how it helps your overall marketing…

1. It Builds Your Authority
Authority is one very important thing you need if you are going to get your own share of the market. People don’t buy or do business with anyone. We’ve been trained to only do business with people we trust. And while we trust our friends and acquaintances, we also trust institutions that we see as authorities. In fact, we’ve been wired to trust these institutions more than well meaning friends.

Think about it: Whose advice would you take if you want to avoid being in the bad books of the IRS? Would you go with your beloved brother who knows nothing about accounting and tax laws or would you stick with what you CPA tells you? We all know the answer.

The same applies to your business. People will do business with you confidently if they see you as an authority in your niche. But how do you build this authority? Well, there are many ways to do this (But that’s NOT what this article is all about). However, guest blogging is definitely one of the best ways to go about it. As you submit top quality articles to sites that have authority in your niche, people start to associate you with some level of authority. The more they see you across different top blogs and sites in the niche (or related niches) the more their confidence level in you rises. They are sure you are an authority in the subject matter. This makes it easier for you do get customers — You are an authority.

2. It Builds Direct Traffic To Get Things Rolling

One of the things you need to get good those signals that determine top search engine rankings is human activity on your site. But how can you get people to your site if they don’t even know it exists? Guest blogging takes advantage of sites that already have a good flow of traffic. People get to read them as your articles are published on those high traffic sites. If they love what you’ve written (they will if you deliver top quality), they’ll click the link on your by-line to get more of you. That brings them to your site.

Now if you’ve done the right thing and placed only top quality content on your site then they are going to get engaged with your content. This will lead to likes, tweets, reblogs, comments, bookmarks and free links back to your site.

3. It Gives You Powerful Editorial Links
Now this is what you were looking for in the very first place — editorial links that will stand the test of time. Guest blogging gives you the very best of editorial links. These are links that are surrounded by top quality content. These are links on sites that have built a high level of authority over the years. These are links from sites that get a lot of social love from their readers.

One thing you can be sure of is that people will build links to your guest posts (if you’ve done them right). This means that the links coming to your site aren’t just powerful because they are on top quality sites (That’s one point). In addition, they get likes, tweets, bookmarks and free editorial links themselves. That’s what will catapult your target site to the top in search engine results. But more importantly, it will keep you safe from those frequent updates from Google.

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Internet Marketing — SEO And Becoming An Authority In Your Niche

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Becoming an authority in your niche has a lot of benefits: It makes it easier for you to convert your visitors to customers. It makes it a lot easier for your messages to be spread around. It also makes it a lot easier for you to get joint venture partners. The list goes on and on. But how do you become an authority while doing effective SEO?

The truth is that doing your SEO the right way will build your authority like NO other strategy. Here are things that make this happen…

1. Good SEO Demands Links From Great Sources
Everyone knows that building links is critical to top rankings. In fact, this is the single most important criterion for getting the rankings you want. However, NOT all links are created equally. Links from the most trusted sites in your niche carry more weight than links from 1000 spammy site.

So let us assume you do the right thing and decide to submit articles to the top 50 blogs or sites in your niche (or related niches). What would you get? You would get traffic from your target audience. You would also get top quality links. But more importantly, you would be seen as an expert in the niche.

How else could you be featured on the top blogs and sites in your niche if you are NOT an authority? To put it simply, those sites pass on their authority to you just by association. This happens while you are building top quality links to your site to improve your search engine ranking.

2. Good SEO Includes Social Engagement
No good SEO firm would consider their work done these days if they do NOT incorporate social signals into your link profile. But what does this have to do with building your authority? Well, if you have been putting out top quality content all over different reputable sites then you would have started a number of conversations. All you have to do is participate in those conversations. The more people see you sharing your expertise for free in response to questions, they’ll come to love and trust you more. One of the components of authority is trust. But when people love you in addition, you’ve got something even better — A beloved authority figure. This will take your business to new heights.

In Conclusion…
While these two aspects of a good SEO campaign will go a long way in building your authority, your top ranking in the search engine itself will solidify whatever gains you’ve got in the process of getting there.

People trust editorial results. They know that you didn’t pay to have Google place you in the top ten positions of their results pages. It’s almost like having the government of your community list your business as the most trusted business in the community for a particular range of products and services. What do you think such an endorsement would do for your business? Believe it or NOT, a top 3 ranking on Google for your target phrases does something similar – People have come to trust Google wholeheartedly. People believe what a trusted institution tells them. Google has become one of the most trusted institutions on the internet. So get that top ranking makes you an authority. The more the number of top rankings you are able to snatch, the higher the authority level you are associated with.

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The Value of SEO Internet Marketing

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Search engine optimization or SEO is a very important part of internet marketing. In fact, there are many businesses that have been built entirely with that as their focus. So why is every expert so interested in SEO? What is the value in it as an internet marketing strategy?

1. It Delivers An Abundance Of Residual Traffic For Free

The first benefit that comes to mind whenever we think SEO is the volume of traffic a site stands to gain. There are sites that get hundreds of thousands of visitors from search engines on a monthly basis. To give you a good idea of how much this means to a business, let us assume that the average PPC bid for the top three spots for keywords in this niche is $1.50…

A site that gets 250 thousand visitors from search engines on a monthly basis saves 250,000 X $1.50 = $375,000 monthly or $4.5 million per annum!

Yes, I know they would have spent quite a sum to get their SEO right and they might have invested over a number of months. I know they’ll still pay a good chunk to a good SEO firm just to maintain their position.

However, can you take away from the fact that such numbers justify whatever amount they’ve spent on SEO (Especially when even the most expensive SEO companies will only command fees that are less than 10% of the amount that would have been spent paying for such a high volume of visitors)?

A business without the right volume of traffic is a dying business. Just imagine what you can do if you can command the right audience and you’ll see the wisdom in getting your SEO right.

2. Builds Your Credibility And Pre-eminence

There are companies that have huge marketing budgets. They can buy any volume of traffic they need. However, there’s something they can’t buy just like that: Credibility and pre-eminence…

The government has made it compulsory for search engines to label adverts accordingly. Go to Google, for example, and you’ll see that they are placed in different areas of the search page and are labelled as “sponsored ads.”

People are generally conditioned to take adverts with a grain of salt. While PPC ads that appear on search results pages are targeted (because someone is actively searching for what is being offered), they are NOT usually the first places a regular searcher looks. Most searchers will only consider PPC ads if they don’t see what they are looking for in the editorial section.

And that’s just the small part: Adverts are treated as self-promotion while editorial results are treated as endorsements by Google. Believe it or NOT, many people rarely question something once they found it via a search on Google. Their conclusion is: If Google thinks this is the best page for my search then it has to be a credible source. This is even truer if they click to your page and meet top quality content (which is what you get with good SEO).

What do you think would happen to your business if the regulatory body in the industry lists it in its top ten? Treat a top ten ranking for your target keywords the same way. Getting high rankings builds your credibility. But that’s just the beginning…

People begin to see you as an authority if your site keeps appearing for most related searches. The more the number of search phrases you rank highly for, the more your authority grows — Your pre-eminence grows.

3. Helps With Reputation Management

Mudslinging and “demarketing” are things that few successful businesses are unaware of. An unscrupulous competitor or a customer from hell could decide to post negatively about you. And because people love to read gossip, you could see your business suffer due to unsubstantiated tweets and retweets.

How do you survive?

People who read such gossip might want to get more information about you and so they head over to a search engine. But guess what? When they get there and start their search, they see you ranking for top keywords. They visit your site and see you deliver top quality content. They see reviews from past customers. They taste the goodness of your business first-hand and…

They now have doubts about what was tweeted about you. But that’s NOT all…

A good SEO strategy takes social media into consideration. This means that you’ll have an army of followers (and defenders) on sites like Twitter. So when folks try to trash your business they are countered by people who you connected with as you were trying to optimize your business for top rankings. The result…

An effort to “demarket” you is nipped in the bud because you had a good SEO firm who went about the process the right way.

4. Improves Visitor Engagement

You can’t be talking about SEO without looking at how your visitors respond. Every SEO expert out there knows that a high bounce rate will make it very difficult for you to get those top rankings. Therefore, they’ll offer suggestions that will increase visitor engagement and reduce your bounce rate.

The more your visitors engage with your content the more they assimilate your messages. Is this NOT what you really set up your site to do in the first place?

But having highly engaged visitors starts a domino effect: They bookmark, share, like, tweet, retweet, reblog, pin and take every other social action we all love on our properties. Those in turn bring in new visitors, improve your rankings on search results pages and the process is repeated all over again — Helping you build perpetual traffic!

5. Increase Your Bottom Line

Well, you are NOT into this (I mean your business) just for the fun of it, are you? You are here to make profit. So SEO counts for nothing if it doesn’t increase your bottom line. How much more money do you stand to make with a good SEO campaign?

Your have zero recurrent costs when it comes to customer acquisition if you get all your traffic via organic search. So if you sell a $100 product and used to spend $25 per paying visitor then your profit was $75. However with free traffic your profit margin increases.

With a high profit margin you can afford to price your product more competitively. No one wants to pay more for the same product. You can afford to offer discounts that your competitors can’t even attempt.

You can invest more in other parts of your business. You can spend more money to build world-class support. You can invest more in research and development. Simply put: You can take your business to new heights faster if you have more funds available to you.

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