Is your site ready to run the SEO Marathon?

Now I don’t claim to be a runner – in fact the closest thing to a marathon I’ve completed was 24 hours of watching the series 24. I don’t think sitting in a lay-z-boy eating Cheetos and drinking Mountain Dew is going to help me train for 26.2 miles of grueling pain. With that said I have had friends and family members around me that have trained for marathons. I have seen them dedicate hours of their life to the most-intense physical training over a several month period, to try and be even remotely ready for the  amount of physical abuse their body will take.

SEO is Like Training for a Marathon?

I liken these training experiences to that of the SEO preparation for major search engine updates in 2015 and beyond. Any business with a major online presence, should be readying their websites for algorithm changes and updates from Google, Bing and Yahoo. We’ve already seen from Google that they have been doing more continuous rollouts instead of it just being a few day process. This means that any number of drops in traffic from our Analytics reporting could be the same algorithm update over a several month period of time. This is making it increasingly harder to pinpoint changes that Webmasters and SEO’s need to make in order to get back in good graces with the search engines.

If we are able to take the marathon training approach, and prepare our websites for the inevitable updates that are to come, we will be ready to take those updates by the horns, and won’t have to worry about it affecting the bottom line of the business.

 SEO Marathon Training Program

A simple guide I put together for this, is my SEO marathon training program:

  • Month 1: Have an SEO site audit done if you have not had one recently
  • Month 2: implement changes of findings from SEO audit
  • Month 3: How does my site rank in the Google PageSpeed Insights tool? Is my site mobile-friendly and are my customers having the best possible experience on my site? Make sites adjustments and changes as needed. (Most likely this will be part of the SEO site audit, but this can take time to implement if major changes are needed)
  • Month 4: Do a link analysis/audit and work through the link cleanup and disavow process as needed.
  • SEO QUART SystemMonth 5: Make sure that the content on my main pages apply to the QUART system that Alan Bleiweiss has so graciously coined for us.
    • Quality
    • Uniqueness
    • Authority
    • Relevance
    • Trust
  • Month 6: Evaluate your site compared to your competitors and make changes that will put you ahead of the game.

At the point month 7 rolls around, your site should be prepared for major algorithm changes and updates as they happen. This is otherwise known as the SEO marathon – the most grueling and physically exhausting event (especially if your bottom line suffers due to rank loss) that your site will go through.

SEO Will Not Stop Changing… At Least in the Foreseeable Future

SEO will continue to evolve every year, and Google continues to show their hand at wanting their customers (people using Google to search) to have the best possible experience when they refer a website for any particular topic. This all comes back to the importance of your site loading quick, giving unique and quality content that is relevant to the searcher and having a well-structured site that is mobile friendly and delivers authoritative information. We know Google is showing the mobile-friendly label in mobile search engine results, and can only believe that they will continue to value sites that are mobile-friendly as the number of mobile searches continues to grow.

I hope that this has inspired you to start your training today and get your site ready for the test that it will be put under as more changes rollout in the search industry.

2015 SEO New Years Resolutions!

Here we are at the start of a New Year and you know what that means! It’s time to start some New Years resolutions. Many of you will make resolutions to stay in contact with old friends, spend more time with family, or the ever popular getting in shape. While you are working on those resolutions, lets consider the top 3 resolutions for your SEO strategy.

1. Run a Site Audit, with link audit included.

When was the last time you ran and audit on your site? 1 month ago, 3 months ago, 6 months ago? Most understand the fact that algorithm’s can change several times over the year. 2014 was a big year for Google and their algorithmic changes. According to Moz change history, Google rolled out at least 13 new updates in 2014 with several other small updates. With that being the case, there is a good chance that those changes have had some impact on your site somewhere along the way. Hopefully the impact was minimal but it’s hard to know exactly what that impact was unless a site audit is performed. If it has been longer than 3 months since you took a good look at your analytics or the data found in your webmaster tools account, now is a perfect time to evaluate that data. A site audit will help to identify any red flags that might hold your site back in 2015. As a side note, if you do find several things that need to be addressed, take it one task at a time. If your site has been hit with Google updates, this can be a bit of an overwhelming task. Start by working on any onsite issues that you have first (duplicate title tags, any content issues, etc.) then work any strategic issues like link detox or 404 errors.

2. Check your citations:

The second thing to address as part of your SEO New Years resolution is checking on citations. Citations are an important piece of search engine algorithms. Although this pertains mostly to local business, citations are an important branding activity and have a lot of SEO value. With all other components being similar, often times businesses with a number of correct citations will most likely rank higher than those with fewer or inaccurate citations. Correct citations help search engines be certain about your business being who you say you are and located where you say you are located. Often times during the course of a year, companies will move offices or add new offices. Once the new information (phone numbers, addresses, etc.) gets added to the site, it must be consistent in your local citations. Another thing to understand with citations are the impact it has on mobile searches. Consider this, let’s say you are a lawyer in Mesa Arizona and you specialize in DUI. In the event that a person in the greater Mesa area has been pulled over for DUI, they may be standing on the side of the road, or sitting in the back of a police car thinking “I am going to need a lawyer”. So they do what everyone does, they pull out there phone, and search for Mesa DUI lawyer. That person is more likely to see your citation at the top of the mobile search results, than they are to scroll through the natural results. With that said, local citations will be imperative to your site success and overall ROI in 2015.

3. Investigate your link profile:

The third component to your resolutions should be an investigation of your link profile. As mentioned previously, part of your site audit should include a link audit. The Penguin update that was released in 2014 was one of the harshest updates pertaining to links that we have seen. With linking still caring weight in search engine rankings, this is something that needs to be addressed. In 2015, lets focus more on earning links rather than just “getting” them. Here are a couple good ways you can earn a quality link that will help to safeguard your link portfolio from future algorithm updates. Remember the goal is to make sure you are acquiring quality links. Using press sites can be an effective way getting a good link. Consider finding opportunities to support a journalists’ story with some of your own information that can back up the topic of their story. Doing so can yield you links from high authority sites. Another idea to consider is to market quotes from key people in your industry. There are certainly top experts in just about every industry out there. Search for those people, find quotes and use them as link building strategy. Remember back in the day when websites had a page dedicated to testimonials? Although those days are long gone, testimonials can be a good bargaining chip for link acquisition. If you have purchased a product, attended a convention, or been involved in any way with a quality person or site in your space, offer them a testimonial. When people want to sell something, specifically a service, they can never have too many testimonials. If you have had a good experience with that person or their product, offer them a testimonial.

Although you may find that you don’t have time to keep up with old friends in 2015, or that some of your family members are just too annoying to spend time with, or that your addiction to cheese cake is too much for you to overcome, make sure your SEO New Years resolutions are kept! You can be sure the SEO target will move again in 2015, but following these tips will help you keep your SEO momentum in the New Year.

Optimizing Keywords on the Display Network: Pro Tips from the PPC Jedi

Keyword targeting on the Google Display Network (GDN) continues to change year over year. To run a successful GDN campaign you’ll need to fully understand how keywords function on the display network. This post will give you advice on best practices and functionality tips to get the best performance from your keyword targeted GDN campaigns.

Imperial AT-AT Fail
Be sure to implement GDN Keyword best practices and avoid an epic fail.

Understanding Google’s Contextual Engine

Google Display Network keywords are a form of contextual targeting.  Lets make sure we understand contextual targeting works.  Google analyzes the content of each webpage that is part of the Google Display Network. Google touts that their contextual engine “continually scans every page in our network and matches your ads to highly relevant content. The algorithm takes into account: keywords, frequency of words, audience signals, font sizes, word placement and linguistics.” After that evaluation, they determine the ‘central theme’ of the webpage. Google then uses the display keywords you have set to match with these webpage themes.  So just because a page contains the keyword you are targeting doesn’t mean your ad will trigger, because it isn’t matching keywords to words on the page but rather the page’s general content/theme.  On the Search Network, Google matches keywords to a user’s search term.

Does match type matter on GDN?

On the Google Display Network all of the keywords are considered to be Broad Match types.  There is no need or benefit to adding phrase or exact match keywords.  Also, since they are broad, you don’t need to include misspellings, plurals, synonyms, and other variations of your keywords. On The GDN, your keywords help Google know what relevant sites to show your ads on; this is called automatic placements.

Pro Tips for Creating GDN Keyword Lists:

  • When organizing keywords, make sure that you continue with ‘normal adgroups best practices’ and put closely related keywords together into their own adgroups. Use common themes to segment your keywords as much as you can.
  • Google has suggested, “Each ad group should typically have between 5 and 50 keywords.”  I would suggest that you keep your adgroups tighter with 5-15 keywords.
  • Avoid keyword themes (adgroups) that are aimed at targeting audiences.
  • You can use Google’s Display Planner to help you build your keyword list.
  • Avoid repeating keywords in the same ad group.  Since the GDN only uses broad match types it is unnecessary to include different match types of the same keyword, plurals, and misspellings.
  • Again, since we are using broad keywords, your long-tail keywords from search don’t need to be included. Shorter keywords of 2-3 words in length tend to work the most effectively.

The Lightsaber, weapon of a Jedi

  • You will not need to find every synonym of your keywords (as you might with you top performing phrase and exact keywords from search); the broad match type will work as a thesaurus for you.  Focus on making sure that you have the right topics covered, but don’t fret about spending all day finding variations of the same words.
  • Remember when starting a new GDN campaign that you should probably start with lower bids than your search campaigns.  You can often get display clicks for less than you’ll find on search, and it is generally safer to increase incrementally.
  • Explore targeting keywords that are not necessarily your current product offering.  The idea here is to increase your reach with your target audience.  For example, if you are selling lightsabers online, your target audience is likely the Jedi.  You will obviously use lightsaber related keywords.  If you were to add “becoming a jedi” and “jedi training tests” keywords then you would be reaching an audience that is new to becoming a Jedi and would obviously be in need of a lightsaber.  Using keywords outside of your product offering works because, unlike paid search, we are not matching intent.

What do Negative Keywords do on the GDN?

Do negative keywords on the GDN work the same as negative keywords on the search network?  The short answer is no; but they are pretty similar.  Excluding keywords will limit the visibility of your ads on the GDN. When you exclude keywords from your campaign or ad group, Adwords attempts to avoid showing your ads on GDN sites that contain those terms; it is not a guarantee though.  Keyword exclusions aren’t as precise on the GDN as they are on the Search Network, (remember we are dealing with page themes, not search queries) so your ad could still appear on pages containing your excluded terms depending on the other keywords you are targeting. One other thought, your ads still could show on pages that contain variations of the terms that you select as keyword exclusions.

Let’s look at some examples

Let’s say you roll around in a sandcrawler and sell droids with your Jawa buddies.  You would create a keyword list that includes terms related to droids.

Wrong Droid
“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

Websites about droids would be targeted by the keywords on your list. You would want to exclude terms like Verizon and Motorola to prevent your ads from appearing on sites about phones.

Keep in mind compound keywords though; for example, “tractor beam.” If you were to just use the negative keyword –tractor, your ad might still appear on pages that contain the term “tractor beam” because the meaning changes when “tractor” and “beam” are combined.

Here’s how to exclude keywords:

    1. Click the campaign/adgroup that you’d like to exclude keywords from.
    2. Go to the Display Network tab.
    3. Click the Exclusions link below the statistics table (bottom of the page).
    4. Make sure you are on the Display keywords tab.
    5. To exclude keywords from an ad group, click the Add exclusions button in the “Ad group level” table. To exclude keywords from a campaign, click the Add exclusions button in the “Campaign level” table.
    6. Add your excluded keywords (one per line).
    7. Click Save.

Still Struggling with Google Display Campaigns?

Need professional assistance? Reach out to the PPC Lead Generation Experts.

May the Force be with you

Yoda: “No more training do you require. Already know you, that which you need.”
PPC Manager: “Then I am a PPC Jedi.”
Yoda: “No. Not yet. One thing remains. GDN. You must confront the Google Display Network. Then, only then, a PPC Jedi will you be.”

Interview of Pest Control Guy by SEOinHouse

Jessica Bowman of sent this series of questions to Thomas Ballantyne of Bulwark Exterminating prior to an attempted interview online. The interwebs did not align that day, the recording failed. Not able to find time to do it again Thomas asked Jessica’s permission to take her questions and answer them by blog. Here is the virtual interview conducted by Jessica Bowman and the Pest Control Guy.

Imagine…. Its 8am, Monday morning and you arrive at work to find that SEO traffic has plummeted.  What are the first places you would look to begin diagnosing the problem?

I’d start at my local listings. My business is local search driven. I’d check to see if they were up and running. Then I’d look at my website. Look for errors. Look for bad script. Look at the .htacces, robot permissions, website logs. If that doesn’t solve it, then I’d retrace recent updates to our website. Any glaring mistakes would be fixed immediately. If nothing is glaring then I’d check twitter for SEO chatter on updates.

There are a number of things that can cause your website traffic to drop, or seem to drop. Things like the simple error of removing analytics code, to bigger errors like adding a “NOINDEX” to all of a sites pages. Trace your steps, and the activity of anyone that has access to your site. Look at your own activity and logs before screaming and ranting at the “SEO Demons”.

If you were to guide an enterprise-level SEO on their budget, what would you suggest be in it?

Money. =) … Everything would really depend on the budget and the company. Are they a location based service? Are they a brand that wants an online shopping cart? Do they want more “branding”? You always have to start with an understanding of where they are now and where they want to be. I’d then look at where they are strongest. What service or product are they best at, or best known for? I’d look at what customers most talk about online, both the good and the bad. Then I’d follow with what service or product gives them the best margins. Lastly I’d compare that data to what is easiest to achieve success for online. For example, Nike is best known for shoes. Hypothetically, their Elin Woods Golf Clubs are getting rave reviews. Where do they rank for shoes? Where do they rank for Golf Clubs? Which needle can we get to move the most with the least effort? How much does the effort cost and what is the potential gain?

To put that in a budget bullet point:

  • Online Listening
  • Website Performance Tracking
  • Site Maintenance/Upgrades
  • Content Creation
  • Content Promotion
  • Paid Search

The amount for each of these will vary based on the sophistication of the site and company. Enterprise companies may also have silos between SEO and Paid Search. Break that down. That data needs to be shared. Paid search is an SEO data mine for the digging. The SEO team and website maintenance may also exist in different departments. Restructure that. If the company is not running all of these areas in sync then add that reformation to my budget.

What SEO metrics do you report on to upper management that other in-house SEOs should use as well?

My CEO and I have a close relationship. It really helps to have a CEO understand the value of SEO. That understanding is actually the burden of the SEO, more so than the CEO. Learn to speak in numbers and dollars then your CEO will understand your SEO.

I report on internet marketing costs and how the cost is trending.

I report on the cost per acquisition.

I report on the trending cost per acquisition.

I report on if internet sales are above or below our target cost per acquisition.

I report on total sales marked as “internet” this month compared to like month of the past year.

What metrics do you follow within the SEO team that every enterprise-level in-house SEO should monitor?

Total cost for the team. Total revenues generated by the team. Is it profitable?

Here is the real meat and potatoes, no matter what your boss says is your budget, you won’t have a job if your budget does not produce profits. Granted you have to please the boss. Some bosses aren’t willing to share, or don’t really know. Figure it out. If your average online sale is $10 and it takes $10 to produce that sale you are loosing. If it takes $1 to produce that sale but the margin is only 10% then you are likely loosing.

The other trends are nice to know (website traffic, time on site, pages indexed, bounce rates) but they are all secondary to the big question of “Are we profitable?” That is the real number to know. That is the only number that ultimately counts. “Are your efforts profitable?” You must know this number. You live or die by this number. If you choose to ignore this or if you run from this number then you are running from your job. Tie all of your efforts as closely as possible to profits.


What do you wish someone had told you when you started as an in-house SEO that would have propelled your SEO program to the next level faster?

Make friends and keep learning. Early on in one’s SEO career it is easy to find a single way to win. There are so many ways to win. But believing just because you are winning now that you’ve got it down is a mistake of arrogant ignorance. Humble down a bit and realize that there are others that are winning and in ways you have not yet discovered. Make friends. Keep learning. Keep winning.

What is some of the great advice you learned from other in-housers? How important is it to interact with other in-house SEOs?

I don’t know that I can name any one particular thing that I have learned, there have been so many along the way. Each specific to challenges from different SEO eras. But here goes…

Keep secrets. I personally try keep all the good stuff to myself and I don’t ever share my golden nuggets… STOP. I’m Kidding…like a pest control guy has golden nuggets…

But really, share golden advice in confidence. I can share what I have experienced at Bulwark Exterminating, but I won’t share my friends enlightenment on what Shopzilla, Ebay, or Home Depot experiences. So know who you can trust, and make yourself trustworthy. Because of this, it’s hard to pinpoint some of those golden nuggets that I’ve pick up. Actually they may not even be nuggets they may be gold flakes. But collect enough gold flakes in the friend stream and you can be richer than the guy looking for a gold bar in the public stream.

So yes, sharing with other in-house SEOs is priceless. Tthe ability to reach out and get a general consensus from your SEO peers is a great asset. The collective knowledge of who you know and who you share with is by far one of the best sources of info you will ever find. I rely more on those insiders than I do on any given SEO blog.

(…if any of my SEO friends read this, Thank You. Sincerly, I thank you for yet another great year)

What is one site you envy and would put in the SEO Hall of Fame? Why?

Facebook. Because they beat the SEO game the day they said “screw you” to the search engines. Any website that can learn to exist without search traffic has won the SEO game. In fact, that is my next game.

Perhaps that is a dodge on that question. There are a lot of great websites out there that win at SEO. I don’t know that I have a particular favorite. Usually the ones that I notice or watch are the ones that I see winning in new ways. I thoroughly enjoy picking through any website that is consistently beating the machines. I learn a lot by simply paying attention as I surf the web.

And I should give credit to Mat Siltala with He has opened my eyes to the possibilities of referral traffic and social media. Having shared with me the percentage of traffic his site gets from search versus social and referral. I am indeed awed on how well diversified his traffic is. It truly is my goal to be able to exist online without search traffic.


About Thos003
Pest Control Guy - Thomas Ballantyne

-Thomas Ballantyne
Director of Marketing for Bulwark Exterminating
Follow me on Twitter —> @Thos003

Thomas Ballantyne works with Bulwark Exterminating. He developed their first site and has moved Bulwark from ranking as a small Phoenix Pest Control company to competing nationally for pest control. He’s spoken at both SMX and Pubcon conferences, as well as other smaller SEO events. He’s also a fan of Avalaunch Media and has used them for some pesty infographics.


Adwords Enhanced Campaigns Resource

Advertisers are scrambling to understand Enhanced Campaigns and get their campaigns in order for the fundamental shift in how Adwords is managed. We’ve compiled a list of as many sites as we know of that are reporting on this change. We will be reading and re-reading anything we can get our hands on to understand the changes! Hopefully this will be helpful to you too:

Last updated – 4/2/13 – I’ve marked my top 5 most useful posts with ***

From Google Themselves:

Articles That Will Best Help You Prepare

When to Upgrade to Enhanced Campaigns

Enhanced Campaigns – Pros

Enhanced Campaigns – Cons

Enhanced Campaigns – Neutral

We will be updating this as often as we can so come bookmark and come back later!

If you have any site’s we’ve missed add them in the comments and we’ll add ASAP. Also, if you need a Utah pay per click company that knows Enhanced Campaigns, check us out. :)

Your Business in 2009 & Looking Forward to 2010

Now is the time to write those blog posts about the year. What significant milestones, new products did you create or accomplishments did you attain? I hope everyone at Dream Systems Media will get together for a few posts like this. For my new blog, the most popular post of 2009 was “5 Killer Press Release Examples.”

Title your posts like this: “The best ____ of 2009” or “the top 5 blog posts” of the year. These make excellent ideas for press releases. They often get picked up on social sites because they’re catchy and you can increase your chances by adding pictures for each point. Here are some examples of this kind of press release from Business Wire.

You don’t have to have a web site to send out a press release – local businesses can do this as another way to market their business. You should do it for your business.

Here are some lists that I plan to check out during the holiday break:

Top SEO Books from Lee Odden

For me 2009 was about product launches, something I’ve never done before. It started with writing a book about online PR, then I produced an online PR DVD to go along with the book. I also did a lot more public speaking.

Once you’re done thinking of important milestones of 2009, write blog posts or press releases about what’s coming in 2010. The ideal for a press release is to predict trends in your industry or expertise. You’re going to start seeing a lot of these. What’s new in social media in 2010? How about in SEO?

For me 2010 may hold the following: writing another book, developing my email list, finding JV partners for my DVD and creating an online PR store with my products. Some of these topics make excellent press releases (launching a new online store, JV opportunities for my DVD, one about the book, significant speaking engagements, etc).

What have you done in 2009 that was successful? What is coming for 2010? We want to know! Please leave your comments.

Getting Quality Backlinks with Press Releases

My approach to press releases is different than traditional PR. Most of the press releases I write are less about getting press coverage for my news, and more about getting quality backlinks to my site. However, it is possible to do both. It starts with a good story and added to that, online distribution.

Many people believe it’s enough to blog about their news. For some high traffic blogs (thought leaders) this might be true. For most blogs there isn’t the distribution. You want to reach outside of your community for greater exposure.

Here’s an IM conversation I had recently about the importance of press release distribution:

Clogon: i guess i just put my “press releases” in the form of blog posts

Me: yes and your reach is pretty limited compared to a distribution site that sends it to thousands of people

Clogon: so which one do you prefer at this point – or are there better ones?

and cost?

Me: even our hero [name deleted] said the pr is what killed it the last time I worked with him

on a contest

prweb is still the best

tell me you can get that kind of reach for free

not going to happen

even if you blog you should be sending out press releases

it doesn’t need to be either/or

What should you write about?

This is easy if you have news to announce – like a new product. If you don’t have any news of your own to announce, look at the news going on in your industry right now. Then give your opinion or slant on it.

One of the best ways to increase visibility is to tie into a trend. Right now a trend that’s hot is the economy and how it’s affecting your business, customers or community. Anything that has a green benefit (as in saves the environment) is popular. For example, colleges are trying to save money by cutting down on the number of commencement ceremonies. What is happening in your industry?

I look at press releases as feature stories more than hard news stories. That way journalists or bloggers have a ready-made story to work from and a good angle. We’re either lazy or we’re overworked and giving us a good storyline is helpful. We can add our opinion and input and it’s good to go. So give us a good story and make sure it’s not boring or bragging. That’s the fastest way to turn off a writer.

A good story will get you links – sometimes not to the press release itself – but they see the story and link to the domain.

Want more information about press releases? Read my Book.
My book, “I Want a Killer Press Release, Now What?!? A Guide to Online PR” goes over more ways to increase your exposure online. It’s in pre-order both in paperback and as an ebook. I wrote it after years of writing press releases and seeing what works. Also as a resource for people who want to write and distribute stories themselves. I also charge a fee to review and improve press releases that are already written. It’s my favorite thing to do.

FREE OFFER: I’m looking for before/after examples of press releases so I have a special offer. I will review and improve your press release free. Just be one of the first 10 people who make a comment on my blog or become a fan of the online PR book on Facebook.

By entering you give me permission to use your name in blog posts and promotional materials. Email me when you’ve done this. If you’re one of the first 10 then I’ll ask you to send the press release to grocerybike @ gmail .com

No matter what your budget writing and distributing news online monthly or quarterly is a great way to build links and get traffic to your site.

Now Is The Time To Take Advantage of Search Marketing

The Setting Resolutions Trend!

I have been reading a lot lately about marketing resolutions for 2009, and rather then share what mine are personally – or what my companies are – I thought I would give some insight as to what trends I am starting to see, and what I feel is going to be a businesses most important investment in 2009.

In the last month I have signed 4 pretty big clients, and each one of them has told me they see an opportunity online because of the slow down in the economy.  Whatever little they are doing online, they are seeing a ROI, and want to take things to the next level because they feel online is where its at.

All of my family and friends who are very aware of what I do for a living, keep asking me how things have been the last few months.  Keep in mind these are the same people who told me I was stupid when I quit my job, and went off on my own and left corporate America – they keep looking to say I told ya so rather then listen to me?  I kinda feel bad when I see everyone around me losing their jobs, and struggling to make ends meet, and I tell them that my business has never been better.

Why is that?

I embrace online marketing, I put big bucks into it, I spend nothing offline and I put every ounce of energy I have into learning/testing/implementing everything there is to know about Internet marketing.  I guess you can say – I feel that I am on the right team.

I had a chat with my brother the other day, and he was even telling me his very traditional company (when it comes to advertising) who has been putting 100k plus/month into print/offline marketing has finally opened up a bigger budget for online marketing in 2009 because they finally see the writing on the wall.  If only I could have only convinced them years earlier (and I tried) they would be leaps and bounds ahead of their competition.  I still feel its better late then never though, and that now is the time to take advantage of search marketing!

So I guess in sharing this insight with you I am also givine you my main goal of 2009, and that is to help businesses better understand the power of marketing online.  Shoemoney did a great post a while back talking about how when online marketing is done right – there is no recession.  You must learn to adapt, and change your business model and figure out a way to make money.  A good friend of mine made an analogy for me (with regards to his business) – he said:

“Mat, its like we have million dollar homes for sale in a market that only wants Condos and Town Homes.  So we have to figure out how to make a Condo, and Town Home product.”

He understands how to take advantage of down markets.  When everyone else is crying about sales being down, he knows what it takes to increase them.  When everyone else is crying about not making any money, he understands how to make his business money.  This is a sign of a true business owner – one that will make money no matter what the circumstances around him/her!

What are my thoughts on where you should be focusing your business resolutions? (in order of most importance)

  1. More money into Search Marketing – SEO, PPC etc.
  2. More focus on Reputation Management
  3. Branding
  4. Embrace Social Media – Learn it, use it, grow your business with it!

IMO – Maybe the most important resolution that businesses need to be making is the one that involves what they spend in online advertising.  I feel now is the time for business to be spending money, and putting money into their online marketing campaigns.  If you are making resolutions for your business, and figuring out budgets for 2009 – let me help you make your most important 2009 resolution – increase your online budget and finally start to embrace Internet marketing.  I can promise that if you do you will see a great ROI, even in a down turned economy!