Cheesy New Year’s Themed Blog Posts Not Welcome Here :)

By Whitney Blessington | January 3rd, 2013

SEO | Social Media | User Experience

I recently watched a pretty solid movie called Pitch Perfect where an overweight character dubbed herself “Fat Amy” so that nobody else could make fun of her behind her back for her weight. That’s kind of what I’m doing with my blog post title. I realize it’s a cheesy “Happy New Year – get your business’ stuff straight” guilt post – but I’m calling myself out first. I don’t want it to be a guilt post – so I guess it’s a “self-help” post by default. But here goes.

Just like typical personal New Year’s Resolutions like losing weight, exercising, spending more time as a family, etc.; businesses have New Year’s Resolutions too, usually involving “doing things better and more efficiently.” Makes sense, right? I guess, as long as these efforts help your business make more money.

Seriously, it’s really easy to get caught up in doing more, when oftentimes the answer is starting by doing less, so that you can do things more efficiently, then do more things that can make your business money. As it relates to offering marketing services to our clients, the best advice I can give at the start of the new year is to simplify things and narrow them down to a few key points before jumping into any major marketing commitments.

1. Optimize Your Business’ “Google Presence” Google is not just a search engine anymore, and your business’ organic search rankings are not nearly as important as your entire Google Presence. By this I mean your Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Google+ Brand Page, Google Places Profile, Google+ Local Profile and of course, AdWords and now the new AdWords Express.

All of these tools are starting to play a more cohesive and equal role in how people locally and nationally find your business. Google doesn’t want you to be able to have one without the others, so optimizing your entire presence and digging in is becoming more important than ever. The good news is that Google has invested billions of dollars in becoming probably the most user-friendly and easy-to-learn as you go platform. Don’t be intimidated by Google. They even have 1-800 numbers now for you to call and talk to someone to optimize your AdWords campaigns. Times have changed.

2. Audit Your Entire Presence So after looking into your Google presence, which should take a few days of work, you’ll want to spend what we call “30 hours of Awesome” on analyzing your entire web marketing environment. This includes your website, your Google Analytics, your social media accounts, content strategy, messaging and cross-referencing all of that stuff with your business goals for now and the future. Create a Google spreadsheet and collaborate with some key co-workers, audience groups and solicit some feedback.

3. Build a Connection with those truly interested in you – I’ve had a vision for a few months about the way this should look, but essentially, there’s a “grand slam” way to market via building a connection with your audience + enhancing your SEO juice + building a solid email list. It looks like this

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 1.49.39 PM

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 1.49.25 PM

Your company knows two key things about your audience:

1. What kind of information they deem valuable

2. How to provide that information to them (whitepaper, blog posts, video, podcasts).

Instead of a stale old “Contact Us” form, generate more leads and build a permission list by offering them a free “download” in exchange for their email address. Chances are, if they give you their email address, they’ll enjoy your download, and they’ll then be on your email list to receive free downloads later emailed directly to them. Trust me, this works. You become a resource for them, and they’ll hire you/buy your products later. This is great content to promote via AdWords and Social Media as well, which all help cork your organic baseball bat.

You are giving your audience a reason for them to give you their information. With your solid content, you are earning their trust and they will come back for more. Them coming back for more equals more traffic, I mean, relevant traffic, which is what Google wants to see.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you more in 2013!

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