Are you benefitting from the increase in mobile traffic?

We are seeing an ever-increasing amount of traffic to the websites that we monitor from iPhones, Droids, and Blackberries, and predict that there will be an increase in Windows 7 Mobile access.
We have also seen websites from clients, prospective clients,  and competitors that really don’t show up on mobile at all.  For example, it is very common that a website’s graphic designer will incorporate a Flash front page. We have seen that even if the page detects that Flash isn’t available, it will suggest that the visitor install Flash. If the visitor is using Mac’s mobile operating system iOS on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, it is impossible for them to install Flash, even though iOS is the most frequently-used mobile operating device that we are seeing in the statistics. This failure to properly configure the website will ensure that those visitors using mobile handset devices are much less likely to return.Both Google and Bing are aggressively wooing users of their competitor’s operating system and both are very present on iOS. Bing apps are being heavily promoted on iOS and Android. Google is built into Android OS and is the default search engine in iOS. Google just announced the capability on Windows 7 Mobile to replace the default search engine Bing.

Google also just announced big changes in the way that it displays search results for mobiles. Their mobile blog reports that they have:


“expanded the story space to make tapping on articles easier and more accurate. Tapping anywhere on an article headline or snippet opens it up, and clicking on a section heading opens up that topic section on your screen.


In addition, the default view of stories is now collapsed in order  to reduce scrolling time. You can ‘expand’ a story by tapping ‘More sources’, which brings you to related stories from other sources.”


In other words, it’s quicker and more convenient.


As the use of mobiles to access the web increases, your website’s ability to accomplish your business goals will need to work really well on handsets.

Feel free to contact us about any aspect of mobile marketing or SEM/SEO.

SEO update 2010

The state of SEO 2010

There’s been a lot of action in the search engine arena recently. Yahoo’s transition to using Bing’s search results has been largely completed in North America. This means the search results that you get on both Yahoo! and Bing should be very similar. As of the end of August, the total number of searches in the USA show Google with around a 70% market share and Bing/Yahoo! With 25%. Ask and AOL split the final 5% of market share according to Marketwire.

This represents the final month statistics before Google’s introduction of “Google Instant” which has a lot of potential. Google’s new approach is certainly compelling to watch as your results change as you type in your query. Google also showed an increase in paid results in both month-to-month and year-to-year numbers. This is further justification of our recommendation that AdWords is your most valuable pay-per-click resource.

This information is valuable to you not only for the quality clicks it produces but also as our research tool. In a project with our alliance partner, website developer Caxy, Inc., for Hair Professionals Beauty Schools we were able to identify the most commonly used keyword phrases by potential students looking for their options in pursuing their professional cosmetology licenses. This has quickly produced well-qualified visits to the website that could not have found their way there before we started.

We’ve found that we can help most B2C businesses and many B2B businesses. Please visit our website or call or email us to find out how we can make your website a more effective business tool. Our customers have found that the online marketing power we’ve brought to their websites has got them on track to increase sales.

Refining the sales process with search marketing.

Marketing supplies leads. Sales converts those leads. This is the difference between marketing and sales. Internet marketing, specifically search marketing, can provide very well qualified leads but it takes quite a bit of care and planning to use the information gleaned to improve a business’ approach to sales.

What does it mean if search marketing brings in a significant increase in leads but sales sees little or no increase in client interactions, be they inquiries or sales?

Keyword problems?  If the keyword that is most used by searchers reaching your website isn’t increasing actual interactions there are a number of possibilities that need to be sorted out. The keyword may mean something different than what it means to your business.  Some people use the phrase “wedding band” for music and other use it for rings.

Branding problems? Does your brand name suggest something other than what your business actually does? The word “imports” could mean anything from automobiles to zebra print blankets. If your brand name suggests some other product in any way you need to make perfectly clear what your point of distinction is.

Copy problems? Your website needs to clearly state your benefit to a potential customer. They need to be told quickly and clearly what is in it for them. It’s probably not significant to them whether or not you graduated magna cum laude from Harvard if you don’t make it clear that you will get their carpets really clean.

The process of sorting these issues out is something we do with every client but it takes a team effort because, we are marketers and don’t really have direct control over the sales process. We will get you leads and refine exactly how qualified those leads are.

For more information contact us!

Is Facebook better for marketing than email?

Let’s set aside the fact that a large part of the population has given up on email. Many if not most people in their 20’s pretty much stick to text and Facebook. Other people of all ages have become hyper-sensitive to the wide variety of emails that may or may not be “spam”. So the real question is about how to use the current state of affairs to create an effective online marketing presence for your business.

There is a fundamental problem with thinking that email marketing is “better” than social media marketing. They both have strengths and weaknesses.  These characteristics make them great partners but in no way are they alternatives for each other.

Email marketing:

  • Pluses:
    • Elicits an immediate response.
    • Easy to implement and maintain using resources like Constant Contact
  • Minuses
    • It’s great that the effect is so quick but it is completely over in a few days.
    • Anti-spam mentality is so sensitive that there will always be “Do not write” responses to any list
    • The effectiveness is completely reliant on the quality of the mailing list

Facebook (Social media) marketing:

  • Pluses
    • Will produce pretty much forever since everyone seeing your messages has opted in.
    • Is viral by nature so there is a built-in mechanism that increases the number of people seeing your messages
  • Minuses
    • Takes time to establish a number of followers
    • Requires good content generation on a timely basis
    • Requires giving a value to interest new followers

The two, when working together, can overcome the shortcomings of the other and give your business a coordinated online marketing approach.

Contact me to begin planning how to achieve this for your business.

How does your website look to a visitor using a mobile handset?

Mobile handsets are increasingly of the smartphone variety.  This enables Web access on the go.  The number of mobile visitors to websites has skyrocketed with the popularity of the iPhone and now Android from Google has surpassed the iPhone with an even better Web capability. What does this mean regarding the use of your website for marketing purposes?

I gave a presentation to an organization that asked me to assess their current website for Internet marketing purposes.  It had an all-Flash interface which inherently has search engine optimization problems. Search engines only have a limited ability to “see inside” a Flash animation which mostly looks like one big graphic to their spiders. Since the content is cloudy others sites with more optimized content will out-perform all-Flash sites easily. Flash also has ongoing security and performance problems which were detailed by Steve Jobs in his explanation of why Flash will not be allowed on iPhones. I showed the board of this organization how their site appeared on an iPhone. Visitors get a message that tells them to install Flash which is and always will be impossible on an iPhone. As the use of handsets for making searches increases it will become increasingly more important that business websites have an effective strategy for servicing mobile users.

 It’s never a good idea to make a visitor do something in order to view your content.  It’s more likely that they will go somewhere else and never come back.

Did you know that search engine marketing could help a 501(c)(3) too?

I sat on the Board of the Edgewater Development Corporation for five years and co-chaired its Marketing Committee.  If you are familiar with not-for-profit organization you know that they are frequently (and increasingly) under funded.  So a Google Grant that I help arrange for the organization is coming in very handy.  It is an in-kind grant that powers an AdWords campaign on Google to up to $10,000 per month.  It has multiplied traffic to the website year-over-year again again. This goes a long way in promoting the mission of the EDC: to attract business to the Edgewater neighborhood.  It also has the benefit of increasing the total amount of funding to the organization that can be claimed in future grant applications.

Search engine marketing is effective for many small to medium sized for-profit businesses, too. to read about some of the companies that we’ve helped market. Call 773.769.7362 to discuss what sem[c] can do for your business… be it for profit or non-profit.

The opposite of SEO is called “de-listed”

SEO can help if you get delisted!

What’s worse than Google not listing your site?

How about getting completely removed from any listing of your site on Google after you are on the first page of returns? This is called delisting. Unfortunately it can happen as it did to one of clients last week. SEO can help you get relisted after the problem that caused the delisting is solved. sem[c] can help you with both.

How could this happen to one of my clients you ask?  The answer is that this client had opted to not have us monitor their site. They had enjoyed first place SERP on the first page of Google for so long they didn’t think it was necessary. But, their webserver got hacked by what looked like a botnet which is a criminal software that spammers use to take over computers all over the world. The spamming activity it was performing certainly led to the delisting.

Why would you do? Would you even know? My client only noticed after I became involved in solving the problem. The website statistics show that the delisting occurred several weeks earlier. It must be noted that the graphic design company who designed the site as well as the coder that they employed to implement the site neither noticed the problems nor were able to fix it.

How do you recover? You need to make sure any and all problems are fixed properly.  Then you need to begin the relisting process which is just slightly more complicated than getting listed in the first place.

Have we seen the end of the cold call?

When’s the last time that you successfully reached a prospect with a cold call? With today’s sophisticated phone trees and voicemail systems you could make many, many calls before actually speaking to a human being let alone a person that could benefit your business. Then, what’s the odds that the person who you reach actually needs what you have right then?

On the other hand, it’s really nice when business comes your way from an inbound cold call, isn’t it? You can get more of that type of call with Internet marketing.

Internet marketing puts your contact information in a context that lets your self-qualified prospects easily find you. sem[c]’s effective integration of search engine marketing and optimization can get results right away. An attorney recently came to us after being with a large service provider who provided no leads at all in more than four months. The day after we started his campaign he made an appointment to discuss estate planning after receiving a cold call from our campaign.

That’s the kind of response that you can expect from – contact us to start getting leads for you business.

You might never need to make a cold call ever again.

Why SEM?

Why not SEM?

It seems to me that while everyone has heard about Google and most people choose Google when they search for something, few people have discovered how great a tool it can be for getting new business by making the fullest possible use of your website.

You can improve the business results from your website by using the proved search engine marketing techniques that we’ve developed at sem[c]. In very competitive businesses you get more visitors when your name appears at the top of the list of search results at Google. We saw this happen recently with a big increase in clicks the first day that my personal injury attorney client appeared at the top of the page.

I have increased the traffic to a spa’s website by ten times very quickly and at a very reasonable cost without even waiting for Google to index the site.

No one can guarantee that people that visit your website will make you money. I do believe that people who will make you money will look at your website.

One great thing about the Web is that you can get great information about who is visiting a website, where they came from, what they were searching for and what they looked at. Let me know if you’d like to look at some real metrics.