Author Archives: First Page Consulting

Blogging for Beginners

Blogging for Beginners

How the Automotive Business can benefit from Blogging

Blogging is a good way to optimize pages for the search terms you would like to rank in the main search engines.  Content can be text, videos, audio, pictures, animation, etc. If it can be consumed through digital media, then it’s content. In addition, blog content generates discussion, discussion generates movement, movement catches attention and attention improves search engine rankings.

As much as SEO algorithms change (and they change a lot), at the end of the day the core components remain. With that known, and mixing natural tendency to visit a blog, optimizing articles for important keywords is and always will be essential.

Now that we’ve gone through all that I want to discuss some things to consider in 2013 when blogging. First, try writing something that is guaranteed to attract interesting discussions. (and more on that here) Another would be to create a video course on a website, like Udemy. Evergreen your existing content, refresh it and create a course. Then create new content that talks about the course. Not interested in a course? Then create a short video series, post it on YouTube and then on your blog, with a transcription. That way you have two forms of content to absorb in one article. Interview partners and share the discussion in a blog article, or host a local meetup and write about it for people to say “next time I want to go!” Use visual marketing weapons like cartoons and infographics.

Blogging in 2013 can be the same as blogging in 2012, but I think bloggers should keep taking their content to new levels.

3 Tips to Better your Email Marketing Strategy

Email Marketing

3 Tips to Better your Email Marketing Strategy

Email Marketing Strategy

3 Tips to Better your Email Marketing Strategy

Email Marketing is cheap and effective.  Thanks to the Internet, businesses have many new ways to reach their customers. Email is an excellent marketing tool. Below you will find ways to foster lasting customer relationships and use it successfully.

Let your customers know that their time is valuable by giving them emails that are full of good information.  Always add something of value like a tip regarding your service, a suggested use for your product, or a special free offer in each message you send out.

Always ensure that the links you include work. When the links are not working or arrive at a dead-end, your email has lost all of its value. Broken links will also cause readers to question your credibility.  Remember that these devices have a smaller screen and will not be able to display an entire website. Make sure that you understand how these screens look, and how they show your email.

When your customers are opting in to your list, make sure you at least get their first names. That way, you’ll be able to customize your emails so that they individually address each customer to make the experience personal. Your emails will stand out from other bulk emails by helping recipients feel less anonymous.

You should put two links into the email, one that allows them to confirm and the other that allows them to refute their subscription. Your subscribers will like the extra security measure, and you will have extra proof that you are not spamming your email recipients.

  • Look at some of the spam you receive to learn what to avoid in your own email messages. Sign up for free email accounts, post your address on the web and wait for the spam to come.
  • Test the different formats of emails. Your email should be like a funnel, with the most important items at the top and the least important items at the bottom.
  • The more personalized the emails you send your customers are, the more likely they will be to buy from you again. Let them know about your discounts and limited offers.

Email Marketing can be very effective.  It is true that the Internet has opened up a whole new world of doing business. Marketing emails are one of the new innovations available to the savvy entrepreneur. These tips will help you find an email marketing strategy that will work for you.

4 Tools for Better Blogging

AutoMotive Blogging

4 Tools for Better Blogging

Technology, the internet, social media, internet marketing are all incredibly fast-moving industries. How on earth do you keep up to date with what is happening? How do you find what is important and fit in reading the relevant stuff in your busy schedule?  Here is a list of tools that can help you with your online marketing efforts.

Google Reader

Google Reader

  • Google Reader-Google Reader is a tool that enables you to pull content from web sites so that you can be notified of new articles and read them. Most blogs and news sites offer RSS or atom feeds that you subscribe. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds are a popular type of news feed on the internet. Most blogs and news sites offer RSS feeds that notified you when new posts are released.
InstaPaper

InstaPaper

  • Instapaper and Pocket-Instapaper is a tool used to archive articles you may want to read at a later time.  And Pocket (previously called Read it Later) is a tool to hide side bars and other distractions when you are trying to read an article.
SoundGecko

SoundGecko

  • SoundGecko- SoundGecko turns any article or RSS feed into a podcast which you can subscribe to in your podcast player (iTunes for example).
StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon

  • StumbleUpon- StumbleUpon is another fantastic network that helps you discover new content and it is very good at doing so. StumbleUpon has been around for ages, but it has made many improvements over the years.

These are just a few tools I use on a daily basis to make my online marketing efforts less work and more rewarding.  Use the listed tools for Marketing your business online or marketing yourself on the internet.

5 Steps to Online Reputation Management

Monitoring your online reputation is vital for your online business.  Here are a few tips that will help you with online reputation management.

1.    Monitor online reputation. This is the easiest and most critical step. Monitor what others are saying about the business online. This can be accomplished by simply setting up a Google alert. Searching on Facebook and Twitter can also yield information, as well as sites that serve the business industry

2.    Start to build defenses around for the business brand online. If possible, purchase any domain names that might be connected with the business name or brand. This includes the .com, .net, .org, .us and .info versions. A business may never even use all of these domains, but owning them builds some protection around a business name on the search engines. Do the same on Facebook and Twitter.

3.    Create a social media presence. Businesses should have active Facebook and Twitter accounts. Depending on the specific industry, it may be beneficial to use LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube, too. These social media sites help to build goodwill for the business brand, as long as there is activity and interaction. The sites will help populate the search engines with good content, news and reviews about the business, too. Businesses should actively monitor the sites for company mentions, and respond to any criticisms or compliments in a timely fashion. Think of this the same as if a customer called a business on the phone to vent frustrations or gush about a great experience. More and more customers use social media, so business should, too.

4.    Use the new social media accounts and websites to build positive content. Create positive and compelling content for your sites. Don’t forget to use online press releases, blogs and even advertising sites. Remember, the key to online reputation management is not to remove negative comments from the web (it usually cannot be done), but rather to overcome them with positive content. A negative review that shows up on page 8 of Google search results is not as important as one on page 1. The more positive content you can get onto the first few pages of the search engines, the better protected your business will be from any negative content that might get created.

5.    Commit. This final step ties in with step number 4. Businesses must be committed to continually publish positive company information, or encourage happy customers to do so. Even one new article a week on your website blog could do the job over time. Assign someone in the company for this important task, or outsource to get help.

Keep track of your online reputation management. It is your online business.  It should be you who controls the conversation.

 

Fun Facts about Google

What is it like to work for Google?  The company employs just over 34,000 people.

Internet

Google Stocks

 

Google’s stocks are soaring and people are baffled how much the company has grown in recent years.  Some researchers are predicting Google’s stock shares to reach $2,000 a share!

The first storage space for Google’s servers was made out of legos.

Google Facts

Google Legos

 

Google rents goats.  It rents goats from a company called California Grazing to help cut down the amount of weeds and brush at Google HQ.

Google Goats

Google Goats

The operation of 200 goats (plus herder and a border collie) is kind to the environment, and as Google puts it: “A lot cuter to watch than lawn mowers.”

Google is a super dog-friendly company. It proudly names “company dogs,” like Yoshka (described as a “free-range Leonberger”) pictured above. Yoshka accompanies Urs Holzle, senior VP operations and Google Fellow to the Googleplex. Less senior staff are also allowed to bring their dogs to the office.

Google Dog

Google Dog

 

According to Google’s “Dog Policy”, one indiscretion too many on the Google carpets, or aggressive behavior, means Lassie will have to stay at home in the future. Strong bladdered and friendly canines are more than welcome across the campus.

Unfortunately, cats are not quite as welcome. Here’s an excerpt taken directly from Google’s Code of Conduct: “Google’s affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture. We like cats, but we’re a dog company, so as a general rule we feel cats visiting our offices would be fairly stressed out.”

Google has a Dinosaur.

Google Dino

Stan the Dinosaur

By all accounts, there are many wondrous sights to be seen at the Googleplex, but one of the most arresting is surely the gigantic T-Rex skeleton — nicknamed “Stan” after a “real” dino found nearby — that looms menacingly at Googlers in Mountain View.

Joining Stan in the unique campus decorations is a scale replica of the SpaceShipOne, enormous Android-themed models, pink flamingos, a large LEGO man, Google-colored phone boxes and grown-up size ball pits. One thing seems for sure — just like the company itself — life at the Googleplex must be far from dull.

 

 

 

Internet Training Consultation

First Page Consulting

Internet Training Consultation

When is it time to bring in a professional?

Consultation is one way a dealership can more effectively execute a plan for their Internet Department.  Internet Training Consultants will research a dealership’s online presence before they arrive and point out areas of improvement.   Once there, they review the Internet Department and how it has worked in the past.  They will work on a process that will make the work for the department more efficient and effective.

When is the best time to hire an Internet Training Consultant? The answer is BEFORE decisions are made on switching website providers, vendors, hiring and firing employees are executed.  These decisions are best made with someone who is fully trained in the area.

Decisions made based on mismanaged and misuse of the tools in place will only lead to more startup fees, setup fees or other fees to start over.  Before…

View original post 80 more words

Implementing Google+ Local

Google+ Local

Google+ Local

Auto Dealers

Google+ Local Replaces Google Places

If Google Places has been a method of driving online customers to your brick-and-mortar business, big changes are on the way. Google is importing Google Places into Google+ Local, and this means big changes for businesses and consumers who use the internet to find local establishments. This post is all about Google+ Local Optimization.

What’s in it for My Business?

Google’s algorithms consider many factors when ranking sites. The more web presence and reviews your company has, the better it will fare. When consumers look for a business in their local area, Google is happy to provide the information. When it can provide a great deal of usable information to the customer, Google is even happier. Google+ Local works on Smartphones as well – enhancing the user experience when they are on the road and looking for your business.

Enhance your SEO

Most businesses that have been around for a year or two already exist in Google’s database listings, including Google Places, and will remain in a list of millions of results when users search for the solution to what they’re seeking. Most of them (some estimates are as high as 85%) will choose a business that they found on the first page of Google’s results. By optimizing your listing with SEO, it’s possible to reach a sizable portion of online consumers and grow your market share in the process.

Summary

Google+ Local is designed with social networking in mind, merging it with traditional indexing methods. SEO allows consumers to target themselves as your audience. Following these simple steps to maximize the types of information your target customers can find in the search engine results page, you’ll discover ready, willing, and able customers because your company will be one of the first with a Google+ Local result they can find.

Breaking down Google Panda

Internet Training, Automotive

Google Panda

Well now that we know that the Google Panda update is no joke in the way it has affected high page rank websites and big brands, we need to be more cautious about how it can affect us. The question we need to ask ourselves now is how this new Panda algorithm will affect our link-building.

  • Links will never be the same. Google’s Panda algorithm has uncovered shady link-building methods such as JCPenney, Overstock.com, Forbes and more. It has also penalized low quality sites as well as spammy/scraper sites in their recent update. What does this mean for SEO specialists and link-builders?
  • Don’t stick to what Google deems as ‘low quality’ sites. For example, if you were someone who liked to go with article submission through ezinearticles for links back to your site, you have to think twice now that it has significantly dropped in ranking due to its reputation with Google as a low quality site.
  • Watch out for sites that are peppered with Google adsense, text links, or other advertising gimmicks. They are not really something that neither Google nor people would call ‘quality sites’. Get away from them.
  • Sites with little or no moderation are to be avoided as well. Especially if you can see your comment link approved immediately after you post it. Those sites are most probably the home of lots of outbound links and spam. You don’t want your link to be found anywhere near there.
  • How should you do your link-building with the Panda update?

Well, there’s only one real authentic way to build links – create good, quality content that people love and will link to. Write your heart out. Be interested in people and in giving people the things they are interested in. Create videos that will get viral and create buzz.  Link-baiting is a great way to go and chances are, Google isn’t going to penalize your unique content because of its value and authenticity.

Digital Marketing Benefits with Google Tag Manager

The company is aiming to reduce the administrative overhead of both Web administrators and digital marketers, Google has launched a service that will manage their website tags.

The tag management system could aid in organization’s digital marketing efforts.

Google Tag Manager is a free service, such as Google Analytics or Google Adwords.

Using Tag Manager, an organization embeds a snippet of code that connects each page to Google, which then provides the needed tags for each page when it is called by a browser.

Shifting tags from the Web page to a hosted service could potentially help manage tags in a number of ways, according to the company. Google has developed a mechanism to load the tags so they don’t get in each other’s ways and slow the page load times. Google also offers a number of tools for debugging and the previewing of tags. Users can specify which pages, or which types of pages, can be delivered with which tags and multiple sites can be managed from a single Goggle account.

Google is not the first to offer to enterprises a tag management service. QuBit, co-founded by former Google executive Graham Cooke, has offered a tag management service, and plans to incorporate Google Tags into its offering.

The company has estimated that only 5 percent of the top 10,000 websites use tag management software or services, though it expects that number to grow rapidly.

Although the service is primarily aimed to serve digital marketing, it can be a handy general use tool as well, especially as an alternative to the sometimes cumbersome tag controls found in today’s Web content management systems, Cooke said.

While remaining enthusiastic for Google‘s new service, Cooke also expressed concern that Google would not keep its own system open and not be willing to work with partners, such as QuBit.

Digital Marketing will benefit for this tool. “The question for Google is, ‘are they going to allow a marketplace of third parties if they potentially compete with Google?’,” Cooke said.

Pinterest and Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Why Pinterest is Important

Pinterest is currently the fasted growing social network on the planet, with a current user base of over 11 million in the U.S. alone. Businesses should strongly consider how they can use Pinterest to grow and promote themselves, and this video from MDG Advertising does a great job of summarizing the key points, benefits and strategies for Pinterest success.

PINTEREST VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

The People Who Pin:

  • 60% Female / 40% Male
  • 29% are between 35-44 years old, with most users falling between 25 – 54 years old
  • Income levels for 37% of Pinterest users are $25,000-$49,999

Why You Should Be On Pinterest:

  • As of Jan., 2012, there were more than 11 million U.S. visitors
  • Pinterest is the fastest site in history to pass 10 million
  • Pinterest drives more referral traffic than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ combined
  • Companies like Etsy and Real Simple are using Pinterest

How You Should Use Pinterest:

  • Pin your own content that has great images.
  • Repin great content and images that other people pin.
  • Collect your pins into Boards.

How To Make Pinterest Work For You:

  • Decide whether your customers are using Pinterest, and how.
  • Add a Pin It button to your site and content.
  • Improve the quality of the images you use on your website.
  • Pin News and Tips as well as products and services for variety.
  • Watch and Follow the large brands and learn from them.