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Friday, August 05, 2005

Blogs: Good and Bad

What is a good business blog? Clients like to know if they should blog and what
is a good blog if they decide to blog at all. Sounds like a Dr. Suess book, doesn't
it? So, what is a good blog? I decided to take a look around and see what constitutes
a good or a bad blog. If you agree or disagree, please post. As with most things
on this blog it has a SEO slant with a
hint of Internet Marketing bias.

The Good Blog

  • Useful, timely, well-written information with a cohesive theme and style

  • Writing in a personal, yet professional, first-person style

  • Provide easy opportunities for feedback on your postings

  • Reply promptly to comments and feedback. Show your readers you are active
    on your blog.

  • Clean and well-structured design. The purpose of the blog is to provide
    information, make it easy for your reader to do so.

  • Concise posts with clearly evident points and conclusions

The Bad Blog

  • Incoherent, irrelevant"ramblings" on a variety of topics

  • No opportunity for notification - bad.

  • Providing corporate information that should be on your website such as testimonials,
    press releases and other pure marketing efforts

  • Long posts without focus that become a soap box for your personal issues

This list is short and concise because creating a good blog is actually a task
based on common sense and crisp writing. This is one area where your company
can shine. The list of bad blogs far outweighs the list of good blogs. A small
amount of time and effort can reap rewards for your company, big or small.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Most Searches in Search Engines Use Two Words

I just read a small article by David Utter at Search Newz that intrigued me. Mr. Utter posted data from that reveals some very helpful information about your typical internet searcher. In other words we have been given some insight into the mind of how our customers search.

One of the biggest obstacles in SEO is convincing the client to target keywords and phrases they might not agree with. Often the topics of which keywords to target turn into which keyword to target. The education process starts by us explaining to the client that targeting one keyword is foolhardy and a huge waste of our time and their money.

An example: A potential client asked if we could rank them for the term toys. We convinced him that toys could lead to many results that would be of no use to him. Cat toys, dog toys, other kinds of toys not fit for a G or PG audience as well as his own types of products, children's toys.

An now that I have used three paragraphs to get to my point, here it is. People searching on the Internet use more than one word. They most often use two words. This is substantiated by a study done by reports that two-word searches rate just above three-word searches, 29.6 percent to 27.55 percent. The figures they show for July 2005 are an average of searches done over the last two months.

"Search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo can drive a lot of traffic to a web site. It is important that a webmaster or SEO expert knows what kind of search phrases they have to use to drive more traffic to a site," said Niels Brinkman, co-founder of, in a statement.

Remember specific is good on the Internet and targeted is even better. Two-word searches are wonderful, three-word searches are even better and four-word searches are sale waiting to happen. So don't waste effort for a keyword unlikely to bring people to you Internet door, focus on the phrases that will bring sales to your business.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Local results provided by search engines point customers in the right direction

Local customers know where to find local businesses...the Internet. Through search engines and directories, the Internet provides a quick and easy place to choose a local merchant or business.

Just because the Internet is worldwide doesn't mean local businesses can't benefit from having a website and a presence in the search engines. Realizing the benefits of local searches Google recently launched “Google Local.” This feature allows searchers to enter in their zip code and search using keywords. When the results are returned they provide the address and phone number of the businesses. Google and MapQuest have partnered to provide maps and directions to the locations that are returned in the search. Yahoo, AOL and MSN also have local capabilities.

The Kelsey Group and ConStat have found that 70% of US households use the internet to shop for local products and services.

More and more people are turning to search engines and online yellow pages to search for local companies. A website allows for business owners to provide more information about their products and services than a full-page ad ever could.

An important update to make for your site is adding your physical address to your site pages, in the footer perhaps. This will ensure that the search engine's indexing spider or bot pick up the address for inclusion in the search engine. Search engine optimization (SEO) is also important so that not only is your address being pulled for inclusion in local results, but your site is found for the correct terms that describe your business. SEO can be performed on an existing site or as part of the development of a site.