Repost – How To Use Youtube For Local Business Marketing

This is a repost from Greg’s old Search Simplicity website which no longer is active.


Repost – Local SEO And Lessons From The Stock Trading World

Greg used to run Search Simplicity, a website dedicated to SEO and other online marketing topics.  This is a repost from a guest post he added to his site back in the early Fall of 2014.


Stock Trading Lessons Applied To Local SEO Search Phrases

Making The Phone Ring Part 1 – Local SEO


If you are a local business owner then you know that the bigger picture is that all online marketing actions (SEO, social media, pay-per-click, etc.) should focus on a few things:

  • Getting new first time customers/clients
  • Enhancing profitability for the business
  • Expansion of awareness/exposure if your “brand” is an issue
    • Although this always is taught first, getting new clients and becoming profitable should be any business’ goal, especially if the business one day wishes to sell the business to another party

A local business often faces a series of challenges when it wishes to grow and expand.  One of the biggest challenges is to enter a new geographic where it has no physical presence, even though the business knows that it can fulfill customer demand for the desired product/service.

There are over 20 online methods which can be considered by any local business owner wishing to grow and expand into a new geographic area.  Not all are “search” related, and these methods MAY be beneficial to your business.

You are welcome to review them and then filter them to which are most appropriate by:

  • What your prospective clients would deem as acceptable and appropriate for your business category
  • Then filter further the methods by what best represents the image you want to convey for your business (or that of your client)

Over the upcoming series of posts, you will become familiar with the basics of the 20+ methods.
Today’s post will cover the first method:

Traditional Local SEO

Please note that some of these principles may refer to something called “Parasite SEO” or “Next Best SEO“.  That is where you rank another web property other than your main website for the desired keyword.  Such a “parasite” property could be:

  • One of your YouTube videos or your company’s YouTube channel
  • Your company’s LinkedIn business page
  • Your location’s listing on Yelp
  • Your local chamber of commerce directory page (if you have a page dedicated just to your business)
  • Your specific page on the local BBB site
  • Etc.

Traditional SEO And Its Core Principles

Even though this post is about reaching new geographic areas, a brief history on traditional SEO needs to be discussed.  If you do not understand these, then you risk being “left in the dark” and have significantly-lowered chances of ranking in the search engines for the towns in which you wish to expand.

You also risk spending WAY too much money by making basic mistakes!

Traditional search engine optimization is based on several principles.  Those principles drive the need to consider the strategy as a viable marketing option because it can help make the phone ring, get new walk-in customers, or get new e-mail subscribers/social media followers.

Those principles are:

  • Your website is ranking at/near the top of the organic (free) search engine results for keyword phrases (user queries) which have some sort of demand AND possible “buyer intent”
  • The fact that the search engines are ranking you at/near the top is a tacit “endorsement” that your business (or that of your client) should be deemed more trustworthy than other options
  • If someone took the time to enter such a query (keyword phrase) into the search engine AND clicked the link to some page on your website (home page or other page) then there is a PRESUMED increase in likelihood that the person may take further action and contact you, show up at your location, purchase something from your website or join some sort of list that you control

Do people today make buying decisions from online properties OTHER than the search engines?  Yes they do.  There can be business review sites, social media sites, classified ads and other properties which can generate new business; and to say otherwise would be wrong.

Does a number one organic (free) ranking, however, still help you increase the odds of increasing profitability?  Most certainly!  This is because you are providing what people are seeking (e.g. a solution to their problems).

Why It Is More Difficult To Achieve The Same Outcome (A # 1 Ranking) Than In Previous Years

Ranking your business’ website (or your client’s website) however is significantly more challenging than it was even just 3-4 years ago.  The actual hard costs to anyone doing the marketing likely are much higher than they were from the 2009-2011 era.

Many of the reasons for this cost increase stem from the various Google Panda/Penguin (and other) search engine algorithm updates.  Here are just a handful of reasons why the costs went up and the difficulty to earn a # 1 ranking became much more challenging:

  • For a third-party consultant/agency to help a client reach a number 1 ranking in the search engines back in 2009-2011, most of what was needed was acquiring a volume of links which had the optimized keywords in the actual text of the link (aka “anchor text”).  It didn’t matter where those links appeared so long as you had a volume of sites pointing directly to your website.  On-page optimization, for some time, appeared to have dropped in importance.
    The consultants/agencies didn’t have to spend too much “hands on” time on a client’s website.  All they had to do was invest in “bulk link building” software and cheap overseas virtual assistants to pump out high volumes of links.
  • Google made its change in 2012 with the beginning of the Panda/Penguin and other updates.  These required the SEO professional (company employee or consultant/agency) to begin to evaluate where to start acquiring links from authoritative websites.  This required more “finesse” than just bulk-volume link building.  As in most industries, with the need for finesse comes premium pricing.
  • Some of the Google updates then forced the SEO professional to also prevent the “too good to be true” scenario from happening.  Many companies had links which were almost “too perfect” and were properly-optimized everywhere.  Google updated its algorithm to “slap” (drop the rankings for) websites which didn’t have a “link profile” which was more natural-looking.  Hence, the need for “de-optimized” links became more important.  Again, more finesse was now required.
  • The same thing later happened with the on-page optimization.  If a company’s website pages were “too perfect” and had too much properly-optimized content then it didn’t look “natural”.  The SEO professional now had to invest more time on the actual website’s on-page SEO factors.
  • A website’s structure and usefulness also started to become important for the rankings.  Google started looking at how long a visitor stayed on a website, how many pages the average visitor visited on the website, how “mobile-friendly” the site was, does it have Schema/Rich Text markup, and basics like a sitemap and privacy policy visible somewhere on every page.  Again, this required more time and hands-on attention.
  • The SEO professionals who then built their own TRULY private blog networks also got “slapped” recently because some of the way they structured the sites that they used to help clients.  Many of these outside websites were structured in ways which left blatant “footprints”.  Once the search engine algorithm picked up on these footprints, it was able to negate any benefit that these privately-constructed sites were bringing to help a client’s website rankings.
  • Finally, Google is starting to evaluate the quality of the content on OTHER pages which link to your page, not just the text of the link (“anchor text”).  The need for quality articles, videos, images and other media – on authoritative websites – linking back to your desired web page has started to skyrocket.  Again, with the need for quality – instead of bulk volume – comes higher costs due to the need for finesse and more precision.


A Helpful Acronym To Remember When It Comes To Online Marketing

All of the above, and much more, force a quality SEO professional (in-house or third-party) to understand better how to make a company’s website meet three basic measurements.  The acronym you are welcome to use can be “A.R.T.”, “T.A.R.” or “R.A.T.”  Those three measurements, at a “birds eye view”, are:

  • Authoritative:  Is the website attempting to rank # 1 authoritative for that particular keyword phrase (query)?  If someone from Google manually reviewed the # 1 ranking (instead of the robot/algorithm doing the “reviewing”), would that person deem the current # 1 site to be authoritative on the subject?
  • Relevant:    Is the website attempting to rank # 1 offering relevant, timely (or “timeless”!!) information that truly can benefit the website visitor?
  • Trustworthy:  Is the site, overall, trustworthy?  Is it free from spam, mobile-friendly, have practices in place to protect visitor identity, have full disclosures, and other security/reassurance measures in place?

Why Does Google Need All Of This?

The reason why Google – and any other major company in the internet search/social media industry – need to have so many hurdles and filters now to earn a # 1 ranking?  The primary reason is that they are publicly traded companies (see here)!

They need to generate revenues AND beat quarterly analyst estimates just like any other publicly traded company.  They assume that the harder they make it for the average business to earn a # 1 organic (free) ranking, the more likely that business is to resort to spending money on the paid advertising platform (e.g. Google AdWords).

That is the primary way that the search engine makes its money.  Remember that making a search is free to you, so they have to monetize each page somehow!

Pay-per-click advertising is a very viable strategy, and it will be discussed in a future post for local businesses.  Companies, however, which were used to getting traffic from the search engines – but had search rankings drop – typically “stampede” into pay-per-click in an attempt to make their phones ring. With any new marketing strategy, however, they are going to make mistakes and likely overspend.

Guess who benefits at that point?  That’s right, the search engine or social media platform!
That makes reaching their quarterly earnings estimates a lot easier!

The search engine companies have to make institutional investors (mutual funds, hedge funds, etc.) want to invest in internet companies as an industry overall.  They also compete for dominance within the industry itself.  Each search engine company (and social media company) wants mutual funds to consider its company to be the leader (from an investment standpoint) within the internet company sector.

All of this means is that they need to gain institutional investor market share on two levels.  To do so, they need to make their OWN platforms the most “Authoritative, Relevant, and Trustworthy” that they can.  By doing so, each attempts to convince the average searcher to use their platform exclusively over all of the other options… and hopefully click those paid ads on each page!

“Thanks For The History Lesson…. But What Does That Have To Do With The Website I Want To Rank?”

Great question!

Even though all you care about is using the search engines to help you expand your business into a new geographic area, please consider re-reading the above history.  The reasons why I recommend this are:

  • By understanding what is really going on, you likely won’t be subject to someone selling you a “black box”
  • You may be able to reduce your costs to expand into the new area
  • You will know what to post on your website (or other web properties you control) in order to get someone from the new geographic area to take action
  • You MAY be able to expand and get results faster than you expect
  • You can use pay-per-click budgets more artfully and get better data to then use for longer-term  SEO strategies
  • There is less risk (no guarantees of course!) that your website will incur some sort of penalty from the search engines

If nothing else, you also may be able to refute easily the false promises of the multitude of SEO solicitation calls and e-mails you get each week!  Use the above history to shut them down.  Hopefully, you will be removed from the contact lists of the substandard online marketing companies just looking to trap you in some kind of unhelpful, long-term contract.

Expanding Your Geographic Reach

With all of this history, here are some simple ways to make it possible for your website to gain exposure in a new geographic market.  For this, you will want to achieve as much Authority/Relevance/Trust as possible regarding the new geographic area:

  • If appropriate, add a new page to your website specific to that new market.  Consider this to be a “landing page” and add lots of beneficial, unique and helpful content about the specific new area.
  • Should a page on a local authority website for that area (e.g. that town’s city government page, the convention and visitors bureau website, or school district website) provide confirmation about your service then have an “outbound” (external) link to that content on your new region-specific page.  This way the search engines see that you are linking to something relevant and authoritative in order to make your page helpful to any page visitor.
  • Since you want someone in that new market to do business with you, consider some sort of incentive (if you are legally permitted) to have them contact you.   If nothing else, make it easy to have that person contact you.
  • However you can, get links from authoritative sites in that new geographic area to link to your new page.  If you have to make a small donation to a charitable organization in that area, and have them link to your new page, then do so.  Otherwise contact a quality local SEO professional who knows how to get local links.
  • Make sure that the new page is in your website’s sitemap.  This makes it easier for any search engine to index/crawl the new page properly and quickly.
  • If appropriate, syndicate an online press release with a link to the new geographic-specific page.  Use a quality press release distribution service and attempt to have something truly “newsworthy” to share so that the press release readers derive actual value.  That “value” can vary, but make sure it is worth someone’s time to read the release!
  • Hire a good SEO professional to help you gain further trust online in the new geographic market.  The SEO professional does NOT have to be local, but it should be someone who understands the principles of gaining trust in any local market around the United States.

Wrapping This Up

Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your day to read this post.  I hope that you now understand a bigger picture of search engines, from the perspective of the search engine company.
Remember that by doing so, you likely can:

  • Make your website (or parasite page) more authoritative, trustworthy, and relevant in the search engines and get your phone ringing more
  • Cut your overall marketing and advertising costs because you will be much more precise with your budget
  • Have higher odds of longer-term rankings because every time something is published on your behalf it is quality and looks natural.  This likely would cut your costs because you wouldn’t need to “stampede” into pay-per-click advertising and make high-cost mistakes in the process
  • If the quality is good you even may have people voluntarily share it with their friends and colleagues.  This cuts your costs to acquire a new customer/client

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how a deeper understanding of this big picture can help your business grow by, hopefully, making the phone ring with new customers or clients!

Press Release SEO Benefits – Are There Any Still To Be Had?

A recent conversation came up in the online marketing community about the effectiveness and benefits of press releases for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes.  With so much “clutter”, and with any small business able to purchase low-cost distribution of its “news”, many SEO gurus have written off using online press release distribution as a valid strategy to improve SEO rankings.

The question is if whether or not to skip using online press releases as part of one’s SEO efforts.  The answer is if you used them in the way they were used in 2008-2010 then their importance has diminished considerably, and using an online press release distribution service for SEO benefits will have to drop significantly in terms of priority on the checklist of actions to be taken.

If, however, you apply some of the advanced methods then you actually may find that online press releases actually can benefit you quite nicely from a SEO perspective!

These advanced methods include:

  • Having truly legitimate “newsworthy” content to share
  • Geo-targeting
  • De-optimized anchor text to the company website (home page or other)
  • Linking to one’s social media properties
  • Linking to one’s “Tier 1 properties”
  • Embedding YouTube videos (or other online videos) which already are optimized properly
  • Intelligent link building to the press release URL
  • Backlinking to the press release channel URL
  • Having “evergreen” content to be worthwhile long after the event was deemed to be “fresh” news
  • Leveraging the press release URL to authority websites and bloggers seeking guest content

There is a ton to discuss in each of the bullet points listed, so feel free to contact me with your questions.

Here is one of the recent article’s where experts call into question the effectiveness of online press releases, and you will see my first comment at this link:


Stock Trading Lessons For The Selection Of Local Keyword Phrases

Greg, from Search Simplicity, recently asked me to contribute a guest post about helping select solid keywords for local search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.  Often, people only target two or three keywords.  By borrowing from the short-term stock trading principle of “multiple time frame analysis”, one can become much more artful in choosing keyword phrases to help accomplish the ultimate goal of any local SEO campaign:  getting the phone to ring consistently with first-time new customers or clients!

Here is the link to the article:


Greg modified the text a little bit in order to emphasize his recent real estate SEO post & industry-specific service.  That is fine with me.  Just know that when you see the word “plumber” that was the original example I used.  He did his best to modify, so I am okay with the adjustments.  Remember, it is his blog and I granted him the professional leeway to modify the text to serve his needs as well!

Feel free to contact me with your questions and if you would like to schedule an appointment about your local SEO efforts, not just the keyword research and selection process.   Thank you and please consider sharing this post (or the specific URL on the Search Simplicity blog) with those whom you think might find it useful.

Google Penguin Update Recovery Tips Podcast

The other day I was invited by JenningsWire/ to be the guest on a podcast.  I was asked these kinds of questions regarding the recent Google update and what kind of Google Penguin update recovery tips may be useful to help businesses (both local and national) improve their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts:

  • Google had its Penguin 2.1 update in the beginning of October. What took place?
  • Why is link building still important? Shouldn’t people just be focused on social media now?
  • Some SEO professionals recommend to their clients that they build links in “tiers”. Why do you think this is the case?
  • What else is missing from most companies’ SEO efforts?
  • Researching keywords has changed recently as well. What recommendations do you offer that are unique and not commonly suggested?

You can listen to the podcast here or click the image below:



The audio content is roughly 10 minutes long.  One of the topics we covered is about using intelligent link building in the upcoming months.  Click this link for more information to read a recent article about which types of links to consider for your new link building efforts.

Reaching The Entire DFW Market

Some business owners throughout the Dallas Fort Worth region truly can serve the entire DFW market and even additional markets.  Unlike smaller services which can serve a realistic radius of 5-10 miles (or an even smaller radius), these businesses have a different vision such as:

  • there is enough profit margin in the transaction to justify the time and expense to travel to a small town across the DFW Metroplex and conduct business
  • the business is so unique, or perceived to be so specialized, that prospective customers across the region want the product, service or other benefits associated with the particular business
  • the business can ship products and/or already has representatives near to the smaller towns in DFW

One question is which types of businesses can justify marketing to a wider radius than just the regular small 5-10 mile radius which is common with many local businesses?  Another question is how to reach the smaller towns without having to become a member of each local chamber of commerce or placing ads in every newspaper or print publication across the region?

Types Of Businesses Which Qualify

Here is just a short list of the types of businesses which can pursue larger-radius marketing at the DFW level or even state-wide:

  • Corporate relocation services
  • Specialty legal and financial services
  • Industrial products
  • Higher end home improvement services (e.g. interior design, remodeling, etc.)
  • Custom home builders
  • Surveyors
  • Higher end home repair services (sewer line installation, etc.)
  • Etc.

How To Reach All Of DFW And Beyond

The first thing you need to know is that there are over 200 towns and cities which comprise the DFW region.  This is not just Dallas, Collin, Denton or Tarrant Counties either.  The neighboring counties also are included as there can be highly-qualified prospects in the small towns throughout every DFW county.

To narrow down the options of how to reach these people, and do so in a budget-sensitive manner you have a few options:

  • TV ads — obviously you must be hyper-vigilant about your budget and any tracking you can generate here
  • Same with radio ads
  • Classified ads are a great way to get exposure.  Be sure to optimize your ads to include the towns and cities which you serve; and be sure to play nice by the terms of service and posting rules for the various online classified ads you intend to use
  • Direct mail targeting specific neighborhoods in specific zip codes.  A good mailing list broker, who can highly target your prospects across the region, would be a very wise investment here
  • Paid press release distribution can be beneficial, especially if you mention specific towns in your content
  • Pay Per Click (AdWords) is a smart way to start.  You can target each specific town, but you want to send the traffic to optimized (town-specific) landing pages on your website.  Also, be sure that there is some sort of benefit easily visible to the prospective customer and a “call to action” (e.g. “call today” or “download this coupon”)
    • Note that there are other pay-per-click services besides Google AdWords, Yahoo’s advertising, and Bing’s advertising services.  Please contact us for these alternative options where your competition may not be advertising
  • For business-to-business (B2B) advertising in the Dallas Fort Worth region you may consider targeted advertising within LinkedIn
  • You can do demographic-based targeted advertising, especially town by town, in Facebook.  Just note that:
    • depending on the devices your prospects use, you may not get complete exposure on Facebook to those using mobile devices
    • you likely will have a higher conversion rate if you send the traffic to a page you control within Facebook.  Most Facebook users don’t like to be led automatically off of Facebook at first, so consider sending the traffic to Facebook page you control regularly which has consistently-updated benefit-laden content (coupons, discounts, helpful tips, entertaining videos, etc.)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  This is one of the trickier, but possibly soundest ways to get hyper-targeted prospects.  You can have created for you a multi-niche website (or a blog which resides alongside your website) which has town-specific optimized pages.  Ideally, the content on each of the 200+ towns is unique including article content, images, any embedded videos, etc.  Just so long as the combination of text/images/videos is unique you should be good, especially for phrases people type in which may have relatively low competition in the search engines.

The latter option (the blog/website with town-optimized pages) gives you additional benefit.  For example, here is a website which has town-optimized pages for varying business niches.  Here is one for a series of highly-related niches.  And here is a site with optimized pages for just one niche.

The benefits here are:

  • That you can control specific content for each town or city in which you want to market.  For example, if you want to give coupons in one town but not another you can do so
  • You have optimized pages to which you can send your pay per click (PPC) traffic such as traffic Google AdWords.  This increases the odds of gaining a higher “quality score” for your ads (assuming everything else is done right) and possibly saving money by reducing your per-click costs
  • The optimized page could rank well in the search engines for the times when the phrase is entered alongside the specific town (e.g. “your business Plano TX”)
  • You even go “deeper” than the specific towns.  For example, if you want to offer incentives to people in specific HOA’s or parts of a town then you can do so.

If you would help on any of these topics then you are welcome to contact us with your specific needs.  Thank you for your time and consideration to share this post.

Next Best SEO – Presentation From McKinney Texas

I want to thank Debra Pope for the invitation to present to her Networking University members who attended the workshop. It took place in the area of McKinney and Allen Texas on May 14 2013.

During the presentation I covered what is known as “Next Best SEO”.  This is where business owners, who simply want the phone to ring with prospective customers or clients, have additional options besides just attempting to rank their respective websites in the search engines.  What many of the attendees didn’t realize is that their websites, or ones given them by a corporate office, may – in fact – be violating several of Google’s best practices.

We covered many of the ways in which a business can grow through the use of internet marketing, of which SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) were just a part.  We briefly reviewed other online marketing techniques such as video, pay-per-click, press releases, online classified ads, etc.

The attendees also learned that each major search engine is, or is part of, a publicly-traded company; and each wants to make ITS quarterly figures!  The goal, then, is to give each search engine’s users the best possible content in a way which is user-friendly, is authoritative and relevant.  One way to accomplish this is to rank OTHER web properties – in addition to the companies’ websites – in order to help get the phone to ring.  Several examples were included in the presentation.

Four (4) action steps were given at the end of the presentation to help any business begin to improve the chances of receiving a call, e-mail or walk-in from a first-time customer or client by SEO efforts on other web properties.  These were labeled also as “promote the promoters” strategies.

Feel free to download this PDF from the workshop:

If you are interested in getting help to promote your website or other web properties which mention you favorably (or otherwise give authority) then you are welcome to contact me.

Thank you again to everyone who attended!

Getting More Out Of Any Chamber Of Commerce Membership

An Online Marketing Strategy To Leverage Your Local Chamber Of Commerce Membership

In the upcoming weeks I will post more about how any small business or medium-sized business owner or executive can boost his or her online presence through the business’ chamber of commerce membership.  Obviously, most of the benefits from any chamber membership comes from the “real world” participation:  weekly or monthly breakfasts, attending ribbon cuttings, going to quarterly or annual luncheons, and any opportunities to meet new people coming into the area through chamber events.  The ability to gain online marketing benefit, however, is not often as obvious.  In a moment you will learn one of the many strategies you can employ to get more online exposure through your chamber of commerce membership.

This blog entry helps three parties to benefit:

  • The prospective customer or client benefits because he or she is able to find products or services in the local market which have the possibility of meeting some sort of minimum standards
  • The business owner or executive wins because he or she feels that the membership paid to the local chamber of commerce is providing extra benefit above and beyond what was promised initially; and the business has the potential to grow through acquiring new customers or clients who never heard of the business previously nor were referred in any manner
  • The local chamber of commerce wins because its website gets more exposure and, therefore, can help the chamber gain more credibility and (passively) the possibility of attracting new members

First, you will want to know why your receiving calls about “SEO” services are so prevalent.  The underlying assumption is that by ranking at the top of search engines for a phrase which have some degree of consistent demand (number of searches each month) you will receive a good degree of pre-qualified prospects to a web PROPERTY.  Please note that this does not necessarily mean that the property must be your website.  It could be an online video on your YouTube channel, a press release, a local newspaper article about your business or a page on your website other than your home page.  Also note that ranking first does NOT mean an automatic number of new customers or clients.  This is because many elements have to be in place for someone to call or e-mail you out of the blue.  Such elements include price, guarantees, reviews, your promises, ease of finding contact information and several other factors.

Next, you have to know that the search engines want to give its users the very best possible results.  This is because each major search engine is part of of, or entirely, a publicly-traded company… and they need to meet analysts’ quarterly earnings expectations!  Therefore they want you to use that one site for ALL of your “who, what, when, where, why, how” questions.  This is because they know that out of every 100 queries made through their engine a certain number of people will click one of the paid ads where the search engine earns revenue from the advertisers.  Therefore, the more queries made through that particular engine equals more revenue for the parent company!  It is a “market share” game for the search engines, and therefore each engine always seeks out the best ways to return quality results so that you stay loyal to it and not “defect” to another search engine.

Remember that in any local market, the chamber of commerce’s website tends to be “authoritative” to these search engines.  One of the reasons why is that you cannot “spam” the chamber website very easily, if at all.  If a web property which you control appears on the chamber website then it likely had to go through some sort of human approval process (assuming a degree of human control) before it can be read by the search engine robots/spiders.  This type of control process lends itself to making each link on the chamber website more “trustworthy” than most other links in your local market, and you can begin to use this your advantage.

Finally, let’s cover a trend at the time of this blog post in the world of search engines. Many people now have easy access to “spammy” links in large volume.  What you want is to never have anything deemed spammy touching your website.  Ideally, the only links you want actually pointing to your website are located on web properties which the search engines respect.  These could include helpful videos on video-sharing sites, links to your site on press releases, local newspaper websites pointing to your home page, local directory websites, endorsements from happy customers on their social media properties, and similar types of links.  One of these types of quality links is a link from the local chamber of commerce’s website to your website.

Remember earlier that you read about ranking web PROPERTIES, not just your website’s home page.  Here is where your chamber of commerce membership begins to pay off in terms of helping you in the search engines.  Let’s take a look at an example for this website on the website, although it applies to anyone who has a membership in most chambers of commerce around the U.S.:

Internet Marketing Services McKinney Tes

Internet Marketing Services On The McKinney Texas Chamber Of Commerce Website

Note the website link (URL) which is

Now take a look at the query in Google for “online marketing services McKinney TX”

McKinney Texas online marketing services

Chamber of commerce sub-folder (directory) appearing in the search engines

You can see that the sub-folder (directory) for “internet marketing services” on the website is ranking # 2 for this query.  The first three listings are paid ads, and the Chamber’s website is the second in the “organic” results.  Odds are that the Chamber has not spent a lot of time or money (if any!) promoting this specific sub-folder (directory), yet it still ranks near the top of the results.  This is just one of many examples of where a chamber of commerce’s website has authority in the search engines.

Even though my website’s listing is not directly showing in the results, the directory listing category page on the chamber website where my listing appears is ranking well.  This is fine to me as it gives authority to this website as well as anyone’s business who meets the Chamber’s minimum standards for appearing on that page.

In order for your business to gain more exposure, you can further boost your chamber page listing in the search engines with quality links.  For example, if you write a press release and are permitted to use up to three links then consider a strategy like this:

  • a link to your website’s home page (or another page on your site which best serves the interests of the press release’s readers)
  • one of your social media properties (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.)
  • the specific listing for your business on the chamber website

Please refrain from buying “spammy” links and sending them to your local chamber’s website as that will not benefit you in the long run (and maybe not even in the near term either!); and buying those links won’t help your fellow chamber members either as there likely will be no search engine reward for doing so.  Instead, whenever you have an opportunity to promote your page on the chamber website then do so.  Roughly 5-10% of your link building efforts can go to your business’ chamber website listing.  You can dedicate the other 90-95% to building quality links to your home page, “inner pages” on your website, articles, local directory listings, social media properties, videos and other helpful content you have produced for prospective customers and clients to find you.

I hope that this strategy begins to help you change how you look at your membership in any chamber of commerce around the country.  There are many more ways to leverage your membership in order to gain new customers or clients online.  If you cannot wait until the next blog post to discover these methods then you are welcome to contact me for more information; and we can discuss your strengths to increase the chances that your chamber membership will produce more customers through strategic online marketing.

How A Good Search Engine Marketing Service In Dallas Will Help You

What A Search Engine Marketing Service In Dallas Should Explain To You

Many local Dallas area business owners complain that they get calls, direct mail postcards, and other solicitations from people “promising to rank them number 1 on the search engines.”  These owners often complain that they don’t believe any of what is said, and they stick with (what they believe is) “tried and true” marketing in local Dallas area magazines, chamber of commerce meetings, and TV spots.  Sadly, these owners are mistaken because the internet marketing solicitations they receive are not “apples to apples” and, therefore, the owners get denied good, quick education on what the search engines can do for them.  Here is a quick list of what a good search engine marketing service in Dallas can provide.

First, you want to make sure that a good Dallas search engine marketing firm explains to you the difference between search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM)!  Knowing the definitions of what you are being sold is the first step!

SEO refers to getting your website’s pages (not just your home page) to rank well in the search engines for keyword phrases which have actual quantified demand.  This latter part will be discussed in a moment.  SEM refers to getting your company’s name and/or message on the first page of the search engines for the same phrases, but this also includes getting your other web properties (e.g. business directory listings, YouTube channel or specific videos) to rank well in addition to getting listed on the Maps/Places listings.  SEM also includes the pay-per-click (PPC) placement for the same phrases.

The “takeaway” is that Search Engine Optimization is a sub-set of Search Engine Marketing, and many Dallas small business owners have not yet been properly educated on this difference.  No matter which Dallas online marketing firm or consultant you choose, please be sure to understand this difference!  Make sure that you are getting a good amount of value for your marketing budget.

Next, a good Dallas SEM service will help you with thorough keyword research.  This means getting you ranked for phrases which people actually type into the search engines with some sort of decent monthly volume (i.e. “Demand”).  From there, the firm should provide you with at least some form of figures on the competition against that demand (i.e. “Supply”).  This will help you to choose the specific phrases for which to optimize and create content; and you can further refine which phrases on which you will spend time and money to be indicative of a likely customer who will buy, join your e-mail newsletter, walk into your store, etc.

For example, if you are a plumber then you would love to rank # 1 in the search engines for “Dallas plumber”.  That phrase, however, might be too competitive for you to rank well based on your current content, number of people linking to you, and your budget.  Instead, you may wish to pursue ranking well for a phrase which still has some demand such as “24 hour plumber Dallas”.  If you rank well for that phrase, chances are that you are going to get some late night calls to fix the problem right away!

A good search engine marketing service in Dallas also will provide you with options so that you get a customized strategy.  For example, you may be sitting on some really helpful “how to” or “tips” videos you recorded last year but they are still applicable to the end viewer.  Your SEM firm can help you optimize your videos, your video channel, and the descriptions of your videos when you decide to upload them to a video-sharing site.  The SEM service can then help you optimize the video content for specific cities and towns and turn them into titles such as “Dallas Plumber Shows You How To Shut Off The Water In An Emergency.”

The next element of a helpful search engine marketing service in Dallas is to explain the benefits on-page and off-page optimization.  The “off page” component is the creation of helpful, quality content which is used to drive traffic to a web property you control (e.g. your home page, Facebook page, YouTube channel) to encourage the website visitor to take your desired “call to action” step.  You should be advised on how to change that destination page(s) including adding the keywords to the various “tags” on that destination page.  This is known as “on page SEO”.

Another trait of a helpful SEM firm is one which will help you understand that a website’s aesthetics (appearance) is NOT the “end all” when it comes to web marketing.  The appearance primarily affects what is known as “conversion rate”, and it is possible that a very pretty, fancy website actually could HURT your intended call to action.  This is because your DFW audience may expect content on a consistent basis.  If you invest most of your money on the website’s appearance, yet leave little for content generation then you may alienate your audience.

The “takeaway” is that you must get into the heads of your primary audiences, whether they are current customers or prospective customers.  Your SEM firm should explain ways in which you can better identify these elements if you are not yet familiar with them.

Should you decide to pursue online paid advertising, of which pay per click is only one method, then the Dallas SEM firm should explain your options.  For example, if you want to appeal to people in Frisco then you might consider a few things which a traditional SEO firm wouldn’t explain to you:

  • You have the ability on Google’s search network (ads which appear on to restrict your ads to certain zip codes and a geographic radius around them
  • You can modify your ad to have the keyword in the ad
    • From there, you must send the “click traffic” to an optimized page for the same keyword.  If not, you risk incurring a form of “surcharge”
  • Google has a “display” or “content” network on which you can place your ads on websites OTHER than the search results
    • These can be targeted for specific keywords such as “Frisco TX” or specific websites which accept Google ads
  • You could skip the search engines entirely and pay for ads on sites which rank well in the search engines for the city-specific phrase
    • For example, you could buy ads on if you specifically want to target Frisco
  • You might be able to pay for certain advertising in your Google Places listing
  • You could pay for advertising on the Yahoo and Bing search engines, although their rules are slightly different than Google’s
  • You could pay for advertising on the lesser-used search engines, but the quality of traffic might be better.  This is a case-by-case basis

Finally, a good search engine marketing firm in Dallas will help you track results.  Whether it is something as basic of based on the improvement in your rankings all the way to advanced split-testing for landing pages, make sure that you get at least some form of measurable results.  In addition, do whatever you can to make sure that the SEM firm accounts for mobile phone usage in addition to desktop and laptop users.

I hope that all of these elements help you better choose a professional search engine marketing service in Dallas.  If you have any questions, or need clarification on anything presented, then you are welcome to contact me.  Thank you.