To help our clients better get their feet wet, we started this 101 section to offer up a step-by-step structure from which they can build their very own web presence - when they can steal a moment or two from their busy days. We place this section online not only to allow anyone a chance to read it, but also so we can show our clients how we ourselves are in the process of building our own online web presence, warts and all. And when we’re slacking in an area, they can call us out on it. We make plenty of our own mistakes.
We tried to make this as universal as possible. So far the principles have appeared to apply to:
- the office furniture company building their first online store
- the non-profits bringing awareness to a beautiful yet overlooked collection of wonderful children
- the green companies making the world a cleaner place
- small business owners blossoming into 4-person shops
- radio stations trying to compete against those better-funded
- churches looking to take the Good Word to those who aren’t always able to come to them
- an online social network bursting apart at the seams, going hand-in-hand with its celebrity owners as they prepare to grace the international stage.
Steps to build a web presence
- Sign up for a Google Account [REMEMBER: It’s Free]
- Set up essential online profiles
- Survey the battlefield: terms, competitors, buyers, stakeholders..
- "Put on Ears"
- Online Keyword Research
- Local SEO
- ”Become a Friend a Friend Would Like to Have” on Social Media
- Blogging 101 - a Conceptual Exercise
- Social Media Syndication
- Become a Resource - Blogging Layer 1
- Outreach & Spotlights - Blogging Layer 2
- Industry News & Product Reviews - Blogging Layer 3
- Corporate News & Events - Blogging Layer 4
- "Tidings of Great Joy" - Blogging Layer 5
- Analysis: Analytics & Updates
- Call-to-Action / CTA: Convert the Following
- Lather, Rinse, Repeat
- Our Process: Time to Get Advanced
Yep. That’s itIt’s never so much that there’s a trick or secret recipe to this online/digital/internet marketing. Only Google has something like that and they don’t share - by the way, if anyone ever tells you they have, report them to Google! No one has their formula.
What it comes down to is persistence, dedication, and discipline to not want to vomit a sales pitch. Enjoy the writing. Take solace in the grind until it becomes as much a part of your day as your morning coffee (or iced tea as in Finn’s case). In fact, it often goes best when you put the two practices together.
And we’re here to help if you have questionsAs always, please let us know how it goes.
Hopefully at this point you’ve realized that a web presence isn’t a Ron Popeil, set-it-and-forget-it, widget practice. It takes dedication, discipline, persistence and a bit of stubbornness just to set everything up.
With a little luck you are on the blogging path now. The tutorial should have helped at least get you to the point where now, at worst, you’re extremely dangerous. Yes, it’s a real fine way to start.
Time to analyze the resultsWhen it comes to digital marketing, the term used to measure traffic and performance is Analytics.
What is analytics?For years, I wrote the word analytics in either Microsoft Word and even Google Docs and the spell-checker would tell me that I mispelled the word. That means it wasn’t in their dictionaries. That’s how new the word is.
In short, the term Analytics has to do with patterns and trends in web data: visits, unique visits, keywords used in search engines to find web pages, time on site...Set up properly, the website can tell you where the web visitor came from, what web browser they used as well as determining how many of them performed the desire action on your website.
Google Analytics - the best free tool on t
The fun part with this last layer blogging is that it involves a completely different approach and a completely different style of writing from the other layers. The first four layers required technical expertise with a dash of simplicity to make it readable for those who don’t have your level of said expertise. And, once you get the hang of the material, a touch of charm to give your blog a writing style and distinguish yourself from the competitors will give you that great recipe for corporate blog success.
When it comes to the "Tidings of Great Joy” layer, the research centers around making sure your community calendar(s) are up to date and that someone is up to date on local news. While you’re at it, make sure you’re on the mailing lists for the press and news announcements of such institutions. Such steps will make it that much easier to give shouts of support out when your communities are involved in big events. Well, unless you really want to hope that you get quick, up-to-the-second information from one of the chi
At this point you’ve turned your blog into a wealth of industry information for your clients and staff (and, sure, competitors). You’ve also started promoting the stakeholders in your community with outreach and spotlight posts. You’ve even started reviewing the latest tools, tricks and tactics your industry has to offer. Now that you’ve shown that you are a part of the community, it’s now time to tell us a little about yourself.
Blogging Layer 4 - Corporate News & EventsYour company has annual events. Write about them. Give the stakeholders a bit of insight into the rituals.
Your company has promotions. Tell us about them.
How to Start a Business Blog #3 - Industry News & Product Review Blogging - 101 Web Presence Tutorial #12
When we prioritized our layers of blogging for the 101 tutorials, we did so with a long term focus in mind. The first layer is what stakeholders will be searching for the most. Most of those terms will typically last as long as the technology & strategies in your market. The second layer also holds a bit a longevity, especially if those people and events that are spotlighted have good careers or are annual events.
In the next following cases, the long-term sustainability of traffic from such posts are hit-or-miss. They’re mostly only seen by your stakeholders - not that there’s anything wrong with that. Though, the more you work on the SEO of your site - its trust and fraternity - the more likely that on occasion you’ll receive huge traffic spikes from these upcoming layers.
Industry news & product reviewsYour industry will have tools, tips, tricks, tactics and, mostly, products that will help your industry - or sponge off it but that’s anoth
While blogging to be a resource for your stakeholders offers sustained, targeted traffic over time, using your corporate blog for other purposes not only offers up diversity into the writer’s day but it also offers your stakeholders a glimpse into your company’s inner working. Focusing some of your blogging effort on some of the non-profit and outreach your company works on, spotlighting key events and personnel, helps bring such diversity.
Ideas for Outreach & Spotlight Blogging1) Doing a series leading up to a non-profit’s annual event: If the non-profit you work with has an annual event - a charity, auction, dinner, outing - that has become an event that stakeholders have circled on their calendar, doing a series of blog posts covering the event details, key moments, 2) Feature client successes: When your clients win, everybody wins. Give them a shout out. Show your support. And if they are a part of a
Two lessons back we suggested an exercise to begin a business blog. We recommended writing down a list of topics and lessons you would use to begin teaching your business / craft to a 5-year-old child. Whether or not you actually did that is up to you, but if you haven’t yet done so, take a moment to consider those concepts as we begin the first layer of a business blog: The Resource Layer.
Become an industry resource with your blogPending on your niche, your industry is a wealth of inspiration and ideas. Start simple and small, explain what the industry generally agree to be best practices for the processes and practices of your industry. A how-to guide, a best-practices manual and a directory of all the players in your market, the resource layer of your blog is a map to your industry. It is used for your clients. It will be seen by your competition. And, eventually, they’ll copy it. That’s okay. Let them. First mover advantages to such transparency are typically benefic
While we were starting BakedFinn and testing out our strategies, one of the most popular questions heard regarding social media was,
"There’s too many platforms out there for us to keep up with. Once in awhile we even work during our days. So, how the H*** do we manage?”After you’ve signed up for the 20 social media accounts to make sure your name is owned, you’ll find yourself starting out easy and only using a few accounts. For most businesses, it’ll come down to the big five:
Social media can be a whole lot of fun. Most of us at BakedFinn haven’t purchased a CD at the local BestBuy in years because of the social media tools that are out there which share content such as much, videos, images and - for the purpose of this discussion - thoughts & ideas. A great medium to exchange, research & share ideas, social media is the modern-day way to meet new relevant connections and collaborate with said key people.
101 - Why have a blog?The problem with a lot of social media messages is that everything is so instantaneous that eventually all the messages get lost in the void. The way to show what you stand for and to have the answers for the questions people will ask you regarding your products, services, institutional knowledge & solutions for common problems is to have them written on a blog.
That is just one of the many wonderful reasons to have a blogThe problem most people have is where to be
After organizing and directing tweetups, liveblogging and building our own web presence, we’ve seen a lot of confusing information. Coaches, trainers, instructors, experts, strategists (sorry, Finn), Gurus, ninjas, best-selling authors all claiming their social media advice works best. Slapped labels, branded words, cool iconography all backed by PowerPoint presentations...it's enough to make one's head spin.
When we get asked about Social Media training we get a little nervous at first because we’re afraid of a self-fulfilling prophecy: saying that we aren’t like the snake oil salesmen and then turn around and give similar pitches. Don't get us wrong, there's good folks out there doing it right. There's trainers out there doing it right, but still, the nerves hit.
From our experience, the advice that we found works best comes from an old Tim McGraw song, "Live Like You Were Dying.” The advice:
Be a friend a friend would like to have<
Local SEO / Search Engine Optimization is crucial for all businesses who use the brick & mortar element in business. The reason is that even if your site is being outranked by competitors, you still have a chance to get noted exposure when people who search in your area for services or people who use long-tail keyword phrases with geo-targeted keywords in their searches by getting a good listing on local directories, especially Google+ Local (formerly Google Maps). A Google Maps listing sits higher than traditional organic listings. Getting visibility in maps can mean everything.
The first question some might ask is, "Wait? Don’t all businesses have a brick & mortar component?” The answer is, "nope.” Some are just an online platform. Others are brands. The majority of their business is either online or through franchising & affiliates.
With that settled, let’s begin.
Elements of Local SEOIn our experience, Local Search Engine Optimization comes down to a few components:
When it comes to the coveted, "keyword research,” we believe that unless you have buckets upon buckets of cash to invest in a deep & involved SEO strategy which, by the way, if you do, let us know! We can help the best thing for most clients to do is to pick up the the themes that their potential customers will use when searching for products and services.
”But, wait? Haven’t we be doing this already?”
You just had a "The Karate Kid” moment!If you’ve been following our 101 tutorial to this point, it might have dawned on you that you have been filling out much of this information when you were creating online profiles & surveying the battlefield. Yeah, we just pulled a "The Karate Kid,” on you: you’ve already done most of the work in this step!
There’s no such thing as dabbling in Internet marketing. You go at it or you don’t. There’s no in-between. Ok, maybe there’s a little in-between if your market is haphazard, but nowhere is there an excuse not to properly do the basic steps after you’ve established who or what you’re going to market. Those first steps? Own your brand name on the basic internet marketing, search engine, blogging and social media platforms.
Why would anyone do that?
The reasoning is more than brand reputation and squatting, these tools will also help you track, support, and promote your brand in the top channels.
The list is the top twenty profiles we create for clients in the order we find them important with respect to ownership. We’ll also give some reasons why.
Four tips before we get started
- As we go along you’ll see that some of these accounts will allow you to login or c