Google Local Search and Why Your Business Should Care

Google local listing has become THE place to pull in new customers and keep in front of existing ones.

If you’re still relying on the phone book yellow pages you need to re-think your strategy.  Even the yellow pages are going online to try and compete but why pay them to do something you can do better yourself.

Secure Email Provider 

Need a secure email server that works with any web browser or mail client?  Safeguard your email security with a 4SecureMail secure mail account.  

Shocking Results of the Imminent Collapse of Print Media

The demise of print media has been predicted for a couple of years now.

Here are a few less obvious consequences and fallout of the internet and it’s damaging effects on print media.

Google Site Index Tool & Part-Time Income From Fiverr

One of the questions I’m asked most often is “How do I show up in Google”?  With a couple little tricks, showing up is fairly easy but ranking high for competitive search terms is a bit more difficult.  When I’m setting up a new site for a client I have a couple of places I submit the site URL and RSS feed and can get a new site indexed within hours.  It’s been one of my trade secrets – but someone figured out how to automate it and it’s free!

Click www.HomeJobsCorp.com/quickindex , download and run the setup file.  The first time you run it will ask for your name & email to get an authorization key.  In 4-6 hours your new site will be indexed in Google.

Do you know someone looking for easy part-time income?  This is one of the simplest ‘business in a box’ ideas I’ve seen.  I purchased it yesterday as a curiosity.  It won’t make you rich but for only a couple minutes a day it’s a pretty easy 200 or so a week.

www.HomeJobsCorp.com/fiverr for the details.

If you know someone out of work or have a teenager at home needing extra cash send them this link.  Yes, it’s $7 but if they can’t skip a meal at McDonalds to spring for this they’ve got other problems.

If they purchase and can’t figure one of the steps out have them send me an email, I’ll be glad to help them get off the ground and running.

Thanks,

Dean

Happy New Year! 6 Steps To A Productive 2011

We are about to put the cap on another year – another decade in fact, and I for one have a number of projects left unfinished.  My goal for the new year and my challenge for you is to find ways to increase your productive activity.

One of my favorite sayings is “How In The World Do You Eat An Elephant?  One Bite At A Time!”  It’s that first step into a dauntingly huge project that is the hardest.  Speaking of accomplishing the impossible, here’s an even better story I found.

The Man Who Ate an Airplane

Here are my steps to a more productive 2011:

  1. Outsource Anything That Can Be Outsourced – I like doing a lot of different things, setting up WordPress web sites, producing videos, doing voice overs, playing with photoshop graphics, etc.  The problem is that with over 200 affiliate web sites now I could spend all my time just doing those things.  It’s amazing what you can get done now for just $5 at fiverr.com.
  2. Focus!  I like to think I’m pretty good at multitasking.  The problem is there are several studies now that show it’s more productive to spend focussed time at one task, then move to the next one.
  3. Start With The Most Difficult Task – Procrastination is a killer.  That one looming uncomfortable task, project or phone call can be an incredible drain on your energy level and psyche throughout the day.  Bite the bullet and get it out of the way early.
  4. Use Leverage To Your Advantage – Find a complementary business to share client recommendations or advertising space.  Find someone in your same business but non-competing geographic area and share ideas.  Instead of trying to get a million people to come to you – go to where a million people already are congregating (Facebook, huge forum sites, etc.)
  5. Spend some time each day learning something new – new information, new skillset, etc.
  6. Finally, if you really do have that next “great idea” don’t put it off.  Set aside 30 minutes a day and take small bites at it.  Markus Frind, founder of Plenty Of Fish began building the site in 2004.  He says he would come home every day and force himself to write code for 30 minutes before doing anything else.  He currently has a whopping 3 employees and brings in $10 million dollars a year.

Finally, here are two downloads that I purchased the distribution rights to just for taking the time to read this post.

Million_dollar_briefcase

The Power Of Goals (and an incredible partnership story)

Happy New Year!

Thank You! and Social Media Marketing

Just wanted to start by saying thank you! Going back through the books last month to get corporate taxes ready I realized how fast time flies – many of you have been clients for more than 10 years (1999 and possibly earlier – that’s as far as my QuickBook records go back). We started with a small reseller account and today have a rack of servers serving 500+ sites – mostly from you telling your friends about us since we don’t really advertise.

Speaking of new clients… last month we added 9 more and one of the referrers said “you know I should get something in return for sending these people to you”. So, here’s the deal – if you’re an existing client – anyone you refer to us I’ll credit your account for half of their first year’s hosting fees. Easy money in a tough economy, how cool is that…
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Social Media is all the hype these days and yes, it has great marketing value – but – it’s not a magic pill to make millions overnight. Two months ago, one of my Barbershop quartet friends introduced me to an acquaintance of his, a New York Times best selling author looking for someone to build a ‘million fan facebook following’ to sell products to. It’s a great idea in theory but in practice people really don’t come to facebook to buy something.

So, what should you use social media? First, provide valuable content / info / answer questions in your field of expertise. People will buy from a trusted friend, advisor or coach – not a huckster trying to push their product. Second, use social media sites for backlinks to your site – Google loves links from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, etc. I used to wait several weeks for Google to index my sites – now I can get it done within minutes with a few simple social media links.

I was going to write a ‘how to use social media’ guide but alas the internet marketing super-mom, Michelle MacPhearson has already done it and better than I could.

And it’s free – Social Media Myth Report download
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Speaking of social media – video is KING… Create your own incredible videos…
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What’s In A Name? (Domain Name Secrets Revealed)

Imagine an internet where if you wanted to connect to a web site or email someone you needed to remember a series of numbers and dots called an IP (internet protocol) address in the form of 26.138.201.83.  From 1973 until the mid ’80s this was the method by which a connected computer system that eventually became the world wide web was able to communicate.

Fortunately, in 1984 the first ‘name servers’ were developed – basically a series of computers that would translate ‘company.com’ into it’s respective IP address.  And thus the gold mine began!  The guys with the foresight to register money.com, business.com, insurance.com, finance.com and any number of other one word, easily remembered domains would eventually become millionaires.  No need to build a web site or business around the domain – just the name itself was worth millions.  Just like in the real world where a patch of bare land in Manhattan is like gold – domain names are the real estate of today’s world and location is everything.

So, how do you choose a domain name in today’s world when the vast majority of easily recognizable names are already registered.  Let’s start with what is called the ‘top level domain’ – .com, .edu, .net, .info, .biz, .tv, .me, etc.  Unless you have a specific reason to buy one of the alternatives (e.g. – bite.me) the most valuable, most recognized and easily remembered is a .com domain.  Most people if they only remember the first part of your domain (startamicrobusiness of startamicrobusiness.com) will instinctively add the .com at the end.  If you own startamicrobusiness.net you’re going to lose a lot of visitors and wasted marketing efforts to the guy who owns startamicrobusiness.com.

Which brings us to the part of your domain that goes in front of the .com.  Most companies will instinctively choose the name of their business (billscleaning.com), and you’ll probably still want to register that just so a competitor doesn’t buy it, but you’ll also want to think outside the box a bit.  What are some phrases that people will type in to search for your business niche?  24 hour plumber?  If so, 24hourplumber.com is going to easily outrank you in the search engine listings just as frenchcookingtips.com will easily outrank cullinaryinstitute.com.

Now that I have you thinking outside the box you’re probably wondering how to choose between several good options?  You don’t!  When I began registering domain names 15 yrs ago they were $75/yr each.  With the current competition in the marketplace you can register your favorite names (and you’ll want several) for around $10/yr (namecheap.com)

Start with one main web site and point all your domains to it.  As you continue to develop your internet presence peel off your other domains one at a time and start a small niche web site for each one.  The beauty of this strategy is that the search engines love very focused web sites and will rank your individual domain sites higher than if you had several different branches on one main site.

There’s another benefit to this strategy.  I have several niche’s that I one 4 – 6 domain names based on a couple of search term phrases.  The beauty is that in a few common search phrases in that niche when someone does a Google search for that phrase, 4 of my sites (all different domain names) are in the top 10 rank.  The chances of someone finding me on the internet are 4 times greater than the guy who put all his eggs in one basket with only one domain name.

Send me a note if you have any questions – search for your perfect domain names at http://dean-martin.com/namecheap.

Build It And They Will Come…

Unless of course, you’re on the internet…  With approximately 200 million web sites vying for the same visitors most sites get little to no quality traffic. With the current economy every client I talk to is looking for ways to increase efficiency / cash flow or just get enough money to pay the mortgage or lease.

With several clients calling to say they’re closing the doors and several others on the brink of doing so (which of course, hurts our business) I thought I would try to send out a couple emails with what I see several successful clients doing. I have no agenda except to help those who have paid my bills over the last few years to stay in business and possibly grow in a recessing economy. Feel free to delete if you’re not interested.

1. Focus on what you do best – 80% of your time is spent chasing a 20% return / reward. Figure out what you spend 20% of your time doing in your business / church or non-profit that is returning 80% and do more of it. What can you outsource (or stop doing completely) that is not the most productive?

2. Communicate with your clients – Keep your organization’s name in front of their minds by regular communication. Direct mail / phone / press releases / email – whatever it takes to remind them of you and the services you provide (some they probably don’t even know about). You are collecting email addresses from everyone you do business with aren’t you?

3. Build email lists – both clients and potential clients. Don’t send spammy emails – everyone gets too many of those, provide valuable content and they will read it. Use one of the mailing services so you comply with SPAM-CAN laws. A far greater percentage of your email will be delivered and read. Don’t just send email from your own computer – AOL, Comcast and yahoo will block you when they see a large volume of mail coming from the same IP address and your ISP will soon be calling. There are two affordable services we use for our clients – Aweber (http://dean-martin.com/aweber.php) and iContact (http://dean-martin.com/icontact.php). They are well worth the couple dollars per month fee.

4. Become THE EXPERT in your field – Whether online or offline, look for opportunities to put together quality content in your field of expertise. You know more about your field of expertise than 90% of the population and they are interested in learning about it. Put together a powerpoint presentation or video and speak at Rotary, Lions, etc. or plan your own seminars. Start a blog – either on your current web site or start a separate one. The act of formulating your thoughts on a subject into a presentation or blog article will stimulate creativity and soon you’ll be thinking of new ways to use your knowledge.

5. Start creating video content – Video is King! Your clients cannot stop watching them and Google loves them… Want to rank higher in the search engines? – put more videos on your site. Create videos, post on youtube and any other video sites (I have a list of them) and then embed that video into your web page. You don’t even need a video camera… Here’s a video I put together for my daughter’s wedding
http://revver.com/video/1759790/justin-andrea-video-their-lives-to-this-point/ – 95% of it is just still photos using the coolest program on the internet – Animoto (http://dean-martin.com/animoto.php).

6. One main web site is not enough – Google is the king of search engines and if you’re not on page 1-3 you won’t be found. The web sites that own page 1 of Google for their search terms build little mini networks of sites (this can be done cheaply and easily) – all of them interlinked and pointing back to their main web site.

That should be enough to get you started.  If you have any questions on any of these items feel free to email or leave a comment.