SEOdamian's Blog

Helping others understand & share about technology, search

Is Your SEO to Grow Your Start-up? Learn About Angel Investors

Are you trying to develop your site’s SEO because your new business is growing? Are you getting ready to move to the next level with your start-up?

I am constantly trying to see what tools are available to ease my work, and my clients efforts (especially after I set them up for success). I run across a variety of sites that are successful in short-cutting the learning curve. Instead of having to read 2 books, or sit through 5 months of classes or pay $10,000 in consulting fees, there are a plethora of solutions to help you get at least a cursory education on a variety of challenges for start-ups.

Here is another website that I found it has a great deal of wisdom in short nuggets. It is GUST.com, a website that matches investors and start-ups in one place, creating a clearinghouse for entrepreneurs to look for angel investors in a single location. But the nugget that I found that was really valuable was the hundreds of videos that they have as short 1 to 3 minute nuggets of wisdom from those that have been through the trenches before.

Gust matching angel investors with business start-up entreprenuers

A matchmaker for startups and inverstors

These are investors that most often have sat on the entrepreneur side of the table. They have learned the lessons of start-ups. Most often they learned the hard way. They are often boiled down in the way investors talking to many perspective start-ups can grasp most quickly from practice and repetition. The repitition of dealing with many pitches throughout the day, giving the same advice over and over. Their wisdom tends to be in short little nuggets that you can walk away from with your mind clearer and more focused then the cup of coffee you sipped while watching. These might even be good nuggets to put around your management tables to start out at different meetings. It might also be an interesting way to kind of go through and bring in an outside person to lend some advice to some of your conversations/arguments that you and your management team are having as to how to solve a problem. Certainly, they’re not the absolute perfect answer to everything, but I do find some thought-provoking ideas in there that can be helpful in trying to map out your course, and stay on path to growing your start-up.

I know what you think about gust.com, and the idea of looking at short videos for gaining wisdom and keeping your energy level up as you go through the challenging days of marketing your business to the world through search engine optimization.

http://videos.gust.com/video/Knowledge-than-credentials;Staff-Picks

April 23, 2012 Posted by | E-Myth, How To, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Another Analytics Tool To Understand Your Engagements

http://chartbeat.com/demo/

Here is another analytic tool to consider. It is part of the Microsoft BizSpark portfolio, this SAaS tool provides analytics in a manner different then Google Analytics. This tool is more geared towards looking at all your online channels: Twitter, Facebook, Website, mobile. Designed as a dashboard to scan for action steps next, it has a new look and feel graphic that allows for quick absorption of information. The focus here is on how long visitors are engaged. ChartBeat Analytics is that tool. It can in real time show what your traffic is doing. It will show where it is from (in bound links), what the keywords that are driving traffic to the site, what links are getting visitors to your site and more. This lets you focus on what is working to turn it up, and what is not working, to keep on experimenting. You are experimenting your SEO and site conversion,  are you not?

This tool is another example that it is not just about getting someone to your site, but are they paying attention and engaging on the site. This is the same as someone running in the brick and mortar store because of the shiny display, only to find it does not correlate to the products inside. That user will just turn right back around,, and head back into the next store in the mall. Or the person in the mall that’s just looking for a restroom, and in 10 seconds head to the restroom, does their business and turns around and heads back out. The person didn’t buy anything, and best case your store maybe made a slight impact on him. So the next time they are looking for something like what you have in the store will consider you, probably not. You fooled them once shame on them, but they don’t want to be fooled twice. but it wasn’t a true engagement.  What they are really looking for is not real engagements, and their lifetime value to the store or your website is absolutely minimal because you failed them the first time to match your SEO to your real site.

Analytics are tools that help you understand who your visitors are, and allow you to get a sense of how they perceive your website and what the value is to them.  While it does not ask the question directly, you can infer that if they are staying on the site for longer periods of time, they are often more engaged and more interested in what you have to offer. This indicates a good correlation to your SEO and SEM efforts. Unless of course they just got distracted by a phone call.

 

April 18, 2012 Posted by | SEM Industry, SEO tools, Social Media, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Are You Looking at Your Website from Your Cusomers Perspective?

Do you understand specifically what your website visitors are looking for or do you only have a generic idea? If you understand what they are specifically looking for to meet their needs, you have a much greater chance of true engagement. When you have true engagement, your odds of a sale increase dramatically, if not today, then on the next visit.

But if you don’t understand how to look at the trends and numbers, you will have a challenging time understanding what your visitors are really looking for.

That’s why retailers count how many people are coming in and how many people are coming out there also counting how many of them are actually purchasing. I have worked with over 100 different retail chains from single store retailer to office supply big box stores. They are counting by the month, day of the week, hour of the day (I know, I installed the counters that go back to the corporate databases with these body counts). They are counting how many of purchasing customers are actually signing up for the e-mail list. They’re counting how many of purchasers are return customers from previous orders. There also counting what is the average amount of each visitor’s spending. Retail stores count the numbers in so many ways you would be amazed. Just like you need to on your website. Your website is not a black box. You need to be paying attention to what’s happening.

If these types of customer engagement don’t make absolute clear sense to you, then I would suggest you go and spend some time and with brick and mortar retailers. Consider even working as a retailer. Learn how retailers convert the looky loo’s into true engagements. Yes we have all been shopping, but look at how retailers work with other customers not just yourself. Learn how retailers try to customize to the needs of each person, not a one size fits all. It is important that you learn how to look through a store or website through the eyes of a customer. It is important that you understand that the customer is always right in their perspective, and how they are looking at the world. And if you don’t understand their perspective, it will be very hard to understand why they’re not buying from you. If that same attitude of understanding is what a potential customer or visitor is looking at when they see a store and their perspective also becomes very useful.

This attitude of looking at your website comes into play in how you design your SEO and SEM. Did you need to present the right kind of signage from the street to get the customer to pull into the parking lot? Once they get inside the store, they need to see what the sign promised is fulfilled. SEO and SEM is about creating it signage from the street. You can fake a man once or twice, but once you do, they will ignore your sign for the rest of their life, because you made them cut across left-hand lane and pull into your parking lot. And they will tell their friends to ignore you or worse. You need to create a good ‘sign’ in your SEO/SEM to attract your visitors into your store. But you also need the sign to be a good indicator of what is in the store.

Just as stores don’t (at least those that survive long term) have the same layout year after year, websites also must evolve and continue to improve based on what works and what does not. This should be done as measured experiments. You can follow the models used in Lean Start-up (Eric Ries) and E-Myth Revisited (Micheal Gerber).  Those experiments need tools like Google Analytics and other tools like ChartBeat. Topics of other blog posts.

Oh, not selling products on your site?  I would place heavy odds that you are selling your ideas – be they the idea that your service is better then someone elses, or your idea is more important then the next bloggers. Remember to look at the website through your visitor’s eyes in the path they took to get to your website, and your pages.

April 16, 2012 Posted by | E-Myth, How To, local marketing, SEO tools, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New World order – customer perspective 1st, Company perspective 2nd

Next Door Chicago

Who do you think the business is behind this site?

Check out this website and their whole approach to marketing. Let me know how long it is before you figure out who’s actually the big company behind the totally different approach to marketing.

Here is what stands out in looking at this as an effective marketing tool:

  • it is fun and colorful
  • it has movement – both in the rotating graphics as well as in the variable typefaces being used.
  • It is inviting,  both from its graphics and it’s ability to share with others, and the ability to easily find information
  • it states what it can do for me in a non-sales format way before I ever can get to the point of finding out what I can buy from them.
  • It focuses on community and how we can interact locally, rather than with a big mega Corporation.
  • It’s quick, concise, clear, and the messaging text is easy to figure out what it’s about, then get on,  get off, and move on to my next task at hand.
  • the navigation is easy to follow. While I usually don’t like the drop downs and chase the cursor type websites, this one is easy, because the targeted areas are large,  and easy to click on, with a single layer drop-down.

I think the key here is that they are starting from a customer perspective, rather than from a corporate perspective, which is very key for any business these days, especially in working with the younger generation.

https://www.nextdoorchi.com/The owner of Next Door Chicago website.

This site may or may not be the best for search engine optimization. Although it really is not clear exactly what terms they would be trying to optimize for anyways. They do rank at the top for “next door Chicago”. Which if that is their brand focus here, it is a good approach. But I imagine in the list of site objectives, SEO was lower on the list, and they are more successful in other site objectives.

I would love to have your perspectives on this.

April 1, 2012 Posted by | Chicago, Community, How To, local marketing, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment