Wednesday
Feb242010

Copy & Paste: an SEO NO-NO

I'm an SEO ninja, in case you didn't know.  I've been doing quite a bit of research lately, figuring out the ever-evolving, seriously convoluted world of search engine optimization.  And here's what I've figured out- there's a heck of a lot of stuff out there that affects how your site is ranked on Google and other search engines. 

If you are dying to know all my serious ninja moves, you're going to have to pay me to go all Jackie Chan on your site, but here's my free tip of the day:

Don't repeat content on multiple domains.

Sounds pretty simple, right?  Well, apparently not.  One of the clients that I'm working with has three different websites that draw quite a bit of traffic.  My job is to get in there and make the sites work even harder, and as I was digging through every inch of his content, I got some serious deja vu.  I was reading the same stuff over and over again.  To save time and effort, (let's face it, we all have to find some shortcuts somewhere) my client had copy & pasted content from one website over to another one of his sites.

Big no-no.  To Google, you're (A) Not adding any value with your site since Google's already read this on one of your other sites, and (B) Google doesn't love plagiarism.  (I actually don't know about that last part.  I'm just guessing that this is one of the ways they prevent people from being rewarded for stealing content from other's sites.)  Makes sense, though, right?

So, yeah, it stinks- if you have several domains that cover similar topics, you might be tempted to copy and paste.  DON'T!!  Remember, in SEO, content is king- original content, that is. ;-)

Thursday
Feb112010

Brilliant Idea of the Week

Remember my StumbleUpon post a couple of weeks ago?  Well, I just "Stumbled Upon" this:

I don't know if this is actually real, but man, what a great idea!!  If you can find a way to really SHOW your potential clients and customers the way your product really works, you can make a strong impression.  If that customer is in a buying mood, it's your lucky day.  If they're not, and your impression is strong enough, they just might remember you when they ARE ready to buy.

So, your challenge is this: What can you do to REALLY make an impression, and get people talking??

Tuesday
Feb092010

"Where is the New Customer?..."

I love my dad.  He's a salesman through and through, and I blame my salesperson personality completely on him.  When he runs across useful information or valuable insight pertaining to our chosen profession, he always passes it my way.  This morning, he sent me an article Jeffery Gittomer wrote a few months back. 

"Where is the New Customer?  He's in the New World... Are You?"

The customer is making a comeback - slow though it may be. And when he (or she) returns, you're going to notice a change. A big change. FAIR WARNING: How you prepare for the new customer will determine your long-term success.

REALITY: While your customers were away, online has officially taken over. It's the new showroom and comparison shopper. You can chat, or phone in a heartbeat. You can see every option and some you never knew existed. It's fast, it's accurate, and anyone can choose anything, any time of the day or night.

Yes, the Internet has been there for a few years, but it has taken a firm hold as a trillion dollar option for consumers and customers every place in the world. Your world.

It's a different world now. We are not going to "recover," per-se. We're going to revive and revise. And you can be in it, or watch it pass you by.

Here are some examples of "different" on the business side. Car dealerships, stock brokerages, insurance companies, banks, homebuilders, commercial real estate agents, residential real estate agents, and mortgage lenders have all revised and restructured their business - and that's the short list.

And the customer is different too. Way different.

Let me give you the details of what the new customer (both business and consumer) looks like: (NOTE: I'm using "he" but I also mean "she.")
* He's going to decide somewhat slower. He's been hesitating for more than a year.
* He's angry about the value of his home, and the value of his investments.
* He will not be doing business the same way it's been done before.
* He will not be banking the same way he banked before.
* He will not be advertising the same way he advertised before.
* He will not be buying a car the same way he did before.
* He will not be buying a home the same way he did before.
* He will not be investing the same way he did before.
* He's online. Checking out your website - and your competitor's website.
* He's socializing. Telling everyone what's happening in his world and the world.
* He's Tweeting, Facebooking, and Linked-In-ing. Social media is still a firestorm.
* He's blogging about his experiences with you, for the world to read.
* He's YouTubing about his experiences with you for the world to watch - by the millions (any questions United Airlines?).
* He's Googling, not yellow-paging.
* He's texting. A lot.
* He's using his mobile device to do damn near everything.
* He's WiFi-ing in his hotel room, on the plane, in Starbucks, and at home.
* IF he's reading a paper, or getting the news, it's online.
* He's as likely to watch The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, or listen to Howard Stern for news as he is to watch a network "news" person read a tele-prompter.
* He's purchasing after midnight. By the billions.
* He's looking for ease of doing business with you.
* He is value oriented, but will look to price as part of the decision.
* He wants a relationship.
* He wants, needs, and expects GREAT service after the sale.
* He does not want to wait for anything or anyone.
* He needs help and expert advice.
* He's looking for ideas and answers.
* He can check your price and your facts in two seconds or less on Google.
* He knows as much about your product as you do.
* He knows MORE about your competitor's product than you do.
* He can pay right now IF you can take a credit card online.
* He expects someone to answer the phone when he calls that can actually HELP.
* He is SICK of off-shore call centers, erroneously called "help desks."
* He is SICK of you telling him how important his call is while he stands on hold.
* He is SICK of your recorded hold message.
* He demands the truth. All the time.
* He no longer trusts the institutions he used to hold sacred.
* He expects you to be as computer literate as he is.
* He needs to be understood and feel your sincere concern.
* While you are qualifying him, he is qualifying you.
* If he needs a referral or recommendation, he'll go to Craig's list or Angie's list or Google or his next door neighbor, or anyone else but you...UNLESS you have video testimonials online.

As you're thinking about (and making excuses about) these statements, you better be thinking about your answers and responses to them. And you better be making the strategic decisions and game plans to make them happen.

The economy is coming back - BUT NOT TO THE WAY IT WAS. Don't take my word for it. Ask any daily newspaper.

After reviewing these statements, ask yourself this BIG question: Will your new customer buy from you, or your competition?
_______________________________________________

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Red Book of Selling and eight other business books on sales, customer loyalty, and personal development. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on sales, customer loyalty, and personal development at www.trainone.com. Jeffrey conducts more than 100 personalized, customized seminars and keynotes a year. To find out more, visit http://www.trainone.com. Jeffrey can be reached at 704.333.1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com

©2009 All Rights Reserved - Don't even think about reproducing this document without
written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer, Inc • 704/333-1112

Monday
Feb082010

"Sweet" PR

I love innovative, "fresh" ideas.  There's nothing like finding a really cool brand promotion that someone's thought of to really excite the marketing mind.

Dunkin' Donuts has done just that. **

**Please note that a lot of my post details/ facts have been pulled from Mashable's post where I discovered this cool promotion.**

Last year, Dunkin' Donuts implemented a "Create Dunkin's Next Donut" promotion that saw a lot of activity.

- 130,000 “Create Dunkin’s Next Donut” donut submissions

- 218,000 total donuts created

- 25,000 donuts posted to Facebook. 

- 174,000 votes

- 269,000 more donuts created after the promotion was over

That last stat is especially interesting and proves that even without the promise of a big prize, the company has hit on something that its customers absolutely love to do.

For Dunkin's 60th Anniversary, they're doing the promotion all over again.

Here's the thing- Dunkin's done a really top-notch job at a number of things.  Remember, they were a has-been sinking ship brand not too long ago.  With a serious marketing budget, new influx of healthy options added to their menu and a revitalization of franchises, Dunkin' is making its way back to household name.  For an antiquated company (this is their 60th year), they've done what a lot of (ahem) mature companies have not- taken advantage of social media and viral marketing.  Actually, with all the gadgets out there today, this really isn't difficult for ANY company to do, if you know your way around a computer and the Internet.

So, what's to stop you from doing something like this?  What's to stop you from coming up with a way to engage your customers and creating a buzz for your own business?  It may not be creating a new product...  What if you capitalized on your customer's social conscience and asked them to join you for a well-publicized community service project?  What if you played to people's cost-conscious attitudes in this supposed economic downturn and highlighted some DIY aspects of your business?  

There's a million ways to get out there and sell your company without really selling your company.  Create a buzz!  (And create a donut while you're at it- you could win $12K!!!)  Check out the YouTube video explaining the Dunkin' promotion...

 

Thursday
Jan282010

Thanks, guys!

Just wanted to thank our friends over at Eagle's Wings Athletics.  We did some design and print work for them a little while back, and they sent us this testimonial for our website:

"Fresh Look Creative recently did some design & print work for our company.  We were very impressed with the professionalism and quality of customer service!  Kelli spent quite some time in our on location consult helping us to come up with new and inventive ideas that would truly benefit our company’s needs.  We will definitely use Fresh Look Creative again in the future, and we recommend them to anyone in need of print work, web design and more!" 

-Bret Stout, Owner of Eagle’s Wings Athletics

We appreciate the shout out!

See the work we did for Bret's company in the "Preview Our Work" portal.