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Posts Tagged ‘About.com’

Getting Technology Out of the Way

April 17th, 2011 No comments

You hear this a lot lately. It’s a philosophy that Apple has successfully employed since 1984. Get the technology out of the way and empower the user to imagine and create.

The truth is that hiding the nuts and bolts of advanced technology from the user reduces intimidation and allows a wider variety of people to use the gadgets we take for granted.

The same is true of your online marketing. When the technology behind your marketing tools is complicated or too time-consuming, they are not used to their full capacity. You end up getting a lot less value for your investment of time and money.

At MHMSM.com, we have always promoted a 1-2-3 Online Marketing Strategy™:

  1. Your website
  2. Your email marketing campaign
  3. Your social media strategy

Each of these three parts needs to be carefully planned in order to come up with an overall solution that allows the client (you) to manage their online marketing with maximum effectiveness and minimal expenditure of time and money.

A simple interface that is no harder to use than a word processor, use of automation wherever possible and integration of functionality allows even a non-techie to manage the day-to-day necessities of a powerful marketing system is essential to the success of any online marketing program.

Creating an online marketing strategy that accommodates these requirements takes some planning and is at the heart of the MHMSM.com 1-2-3 Online Marketing Program™. This plan didn’t come into existence full-blown, but has evolved over the years from our beginnings in the web marketing business in 1996.

Let’s take them one at a time.

1-Website and/or BlogYour website
Using the popular (with good reason) and easy-to-use WordPress platform to deploy your website enables you to have a traditional page-based website with the ability to place fresh content on your site on a regular basis. This is important to achieve and maintain good ranking in he search engines for your keywords.

If you can use Word, you can use WordPress to create or update content, insert or change images and manage an interactive website that truly incorporates social media.

The WordPress platform is Open Source (free to use) and the self-hosted version is extendable by the use of plugins to do much more than the core version does right out of the box.

This is currently the world’s best platform for developing a new website or for refreshing older, static websites.

Automation possibilities include automated backup, search engine updating, discussion management, connection with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and much more.

2-Email MarketingYour email marketing campaign
An effective email campaign is still the best way of maintaining regular contact with your current and prospective customers. With an average Return on Investment (ROI) of over $45 for each $1 invested, email marketing in projected to be a major play in marketing for many years to come.

You need a solid platform to run your email marketing program, one that allows you to create multiple mailing lists, design and send an email as easily as WordPress allows a post to be created and supplies you with the tools to monitor the effectiveness of your Email Marketing Campaign simply and accurately.

I have used and tested all sorts of email marketing programs, applications and providers and I have to say that there is no better than Aweber.

Aweber is the granddaddy of Email Marketing Service Providers. Economical and easy-to-use, Aweber pioneered many of the services that emailers take for granted these days.

Offering over 150 templates to make your emails look their best and videos to guide you through the process, Aweber is as easy as it gets.

You schedule emails to go at any time you like so you can set up emails to go while you on vacation or a business trip and the system handles them automatically.

A completely automated autoresponder system lets to send a series of emails at predetermined times after a subscriber signs up.

You can even set it up so that the application sends an automated email every time to post to your blog.

Your first month’s service is only $1 and you only pay for the number of subscribers you actually have. Only at Aweber.

3-Social MediaYour social media strategy
Having a great social media strategy gets more important every day regardless of the demographic your customers fit into. For example, the age segment showing the fastest growth of Facebook users are the “over 55s.”

Once more, using available automation techniques and plugins can make your life easier. They can’t do ALL of the work for you, but they can make many functions fully automatic.

When we set up a 1-2-3 Online Marketing Program™ for our clients, we use WordPress plugins to not only allow visitors to easily “like” your Facebook Fan Page and quickly send your post to their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr accounts, we also set it up so that every new post is sent to Google, Bing, Yahoo, About.com, Facebook and Twitter – and you don’t have to do a thing to accomplish it.

And we offer ongoing training to make sure you always get the most out of your online marketing investment. Things change fast in this business and keeping you on top of those changes is what we do.

For more information on MHMSM.com services, visit the MHMSM.com.com website.

How Do You Rank on New Search Engine Blekko? Should you care?

November 3rd, 2010 1 comment

Blekko logoThere’s a new search engine in town. It’s not the first challenger to Google’s supremacy, but it may be one of the more interesting ones.

According to their About Us page, “Blekko is a better way to search the web by using slashtags. slashtags search only the sites you want and cut out the spam sites. use friends, experts, community or your own slashtags to slash in what you want and slash out what you don’t.”

Blekko has some interesting features. Theoretically, using what they call “slashtags” you should be able to narrow your search to results that are only of interest to you. Each result has a “spam” link. If you click that, you will never see that search result again – that’s a real plus if you are getting a lot of garbage results in your searches.

But there are drawbacks…

Overall I found search results on Blekko to be much LESS useful than on Google even when using the slashtags to focus my search. In the example givenin their video, it looks easy and accurate – in my experience, it is neither.

It my tests, I found that it does a HORRIBLE job with local search. Adding a town and state name to a keyword (a typical ‘long-tail’ search in Google) yields results so varied that they are completely useless. Creating my own custom slashtag produced the same poor results.

I conduct a lot of “one-time” searches and creating my own slashtags for these seems to be a lot of work for little return. If I take the time to create a slashtag, will ever use it again?

I hope that this project grows into something that I can use, but right now I’d have to say it is not ready for primetime. Need results in a hurry? Use Google – or Bing, Yahoo or About.com. If you have time to kill on a new shiny object, give Blekko a try.