Thursday, July 23, 2015

What is the purpose of your web site?

The purpose of  web site explained

From a FUFISM based marketing perspective your web site is the primary hub of your online presence, and needs to be used as  the core element  of your customer  /  supplier / client communications network.

Every business needs to examine their business plan, and understand the purpose, aims and objectives of their business as laid out in their  business plan.   This purpose aims and objectives of your business or organisation  is then used as a basis to design a marketing strategy, where your online presence needs to be the central point of your marketing strategy.

Your website should be viewed as an essential asset that is used as a communications tool, and forms the core of  all your marketing, advertising and customer interaction platforms, both online and offline.

Online marketing has\many different components, and these all need to be considered when planning your marketing. The trick question is how will you integrate these into your website and your total marketing plan.  

Your online marketing and offline marketing should complement each other and work as a team to get your branding and related business  issues noticed by your intended target market audience in a manner that is not intrusive, objectionable or disruptive, but is pleasant, memorable and  sticky  so that your brand will be in the thinking patterns and thought processes of your intended target market audience when they are looking for your products, services or related information.

So keeping the above stuff in mind, what is the purpose of your web site?

Well this is a very loaded question, and your website has a multitude of purposes, but  it is our view that the primary purpose of your web site  is to serve as a communications hub, that is customer focused and services the information flow needs of   your intended target market audience as well as but not limited to :
  • your marketing  department
  • your Public relations management team 
  • enhance your sales team and  sales related administrative staff
  • enhance your customer care and  related Public relations needs
  • solve  after sales queries and offer  product  information updates
  • interface between your various social media marketing teams and administrative staff
  • act as an online brochure 
  • act as a cold calling business rep.
  • act as a lead generation source
  • So many more purposes that are at first hidden and not very obvious at first glance.

The HOA (Hangout On Air) embedded below where +Ammon Johns  and +Vincent Messina  discuss QUALITIES OF AN EFFECTIVE BUSINESS WEBSITE  is  very helpful  in expanding the issues that you need to consider when determining the purpose of your web site. Take note that the purpose of having an online presence and a website will vary  considerably from company to company.

This HOA helps explain the PURPOSE of your web site!!!   Watch and enjoy.

Remember to document what you think is the purpose, aims and objectives of your web site, and be sure to share this with your marketing team.   Then ask that other departments in your business read over this document and ask them to comment where they think their department fits into this document, and what they feel that you need to add to this document,  discussing the purpose, aims and objectives of your web site.

Do not ignore this input, but act on it and take this feed back to your design team asking how this new perspective can be integrated into your existing website in ways that enhance your customer experience.

Be sure that your social media team are aware of this document discussing the purpose, aims and objectives of your website. Also ensure  that your social media marketing team makes good well balanced use of this information when doing their stuff within the social media environment.

It is vital that your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) team  are aware of this document and make use of this when working with other departments  as well as your various different  marketing teams.  This will help to ensure that your SEO is better integrated into your total marketing plan.

Your document discussing the purpose, aims and objectives of your web site needs to be reviewed and updated at least once every month, then the revised document should be discussed with all your marketing teams, asking how these changes impact on their work.  If there ARE NO CHANGES  ask your entire marketing team WHY ARE THERE NO CHANGES because things are constantly in flux, and many of your aims and objectives should have been accomplished within one month.  You may also have thought of a new purpose that is not listed, but not added it.  Be sure to add all new purposes identified, as this will have an impact on the content of your web site, and may give your content marketing team new perspectives that they can exploit..

Do you have a web site policy document for your business?

If not then make a plan and develop a website policy document as part and parcel of your business policy documentation that is part of your business plan.

Your web site should be updated regularly and maintained  property by the same team who designed your web site.  Your web site is your primary online asset, and needs to be treated with the same respect that you treat your office space, taking into account that this is the digital entrance to your business, so your web pages should display the appropriate style and branding that your customers would expect to find when they walked into your offices.

Your website serves a multitude of purposes, and each of these purposes needs to be listed in your business plan, and then also listed in your marketing plan, as well as in your business policy documentation.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Do you use the social media as a link building tool within your SEO strategies?

Link building as an SEO tool

Well I advise everybody to document everything they do, but *UNFORTUNATELY* I do not practice what I preach...

I do need to start doing this myself, as when the smelly stuff collides with the wind making machine, and your rankings go south at a great rate of knots, and you have not been keeping good records of what is done, what is not done, and who is responsible for the different pieces of your SEO then you have *REALLY BIG PROBLEMS*

Keeping checklists for tasks, and who is responsible to ensure that the task is integrated into your total marketing plan can be a real pain in the wrong spot, but it sure helps when problems decide to show their true colours and your online rankings take a tumble.

Most marketing managers, and especially those within the *SOCIAL MEDIA ARENA* do not fully comprehend the needs to integrate all your marketing both online and off line into a single marketing plan, where SEO and related\matters take the steering wheel and control many of the marketing issues in a well managed and efficient manner, that pushes your online content closer to the top of the SERP's  (Search engine Results ages) in many strange and devious ways.

Social media is the biggest and (currently) most powerful link building platform that we have ever experienced.  How you use the social media to create powerful link building opportunities for your online work is not well understood, and then there are them folks that tell you *LINK BUILDING IS DEAD* who confuse many, and cause a vast array of different problems within the SEO Industry.

Links are still one of the most  vital parts of your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) efforts and their value must not be underestimated.

That being said, one must also not underestimate the damage that can be caused by link farms and other bad link building tactics.  How you conduct your link-building practices does need to be  clearly defined  and documented as part of your SEO policy.  Then you also need to keep records of all social media posts that are part and parcel of your  link building activities.

Your company link building policy document, which is a sub-document in your SEO policy  must be shared across all marketing platforms, both online and off line, as every marketing effort has some impact on your SEO.  This could be in the way that you influence your target market audience to use specific key words in their search queries or how you influence your copy writer to frame certain issues, or any number of other seemingly UN-important issues.

Social media managers need to be on top of the issues that impact on your SEO, and use these intelligently when passing  instructions to  others  like, but not limited to the list below. :
  • what to promote, 
  • how to promote specific issues,
  • where and when to promote your other online efforts.
  • what links to use within specific social media posts
  • how to frame social media posts that link to other social media profiles
  • how to ensure that the author of specific articles gets credits for their online works
 If you are not using the social media as a link building tool for your bog and your web site, then you are loosing out an a great opportunity.  From a #FUFISM based\perspective the social media is the powerhouse of you link building strategy, and this needs great care and lots of *SPECIAL ATTENTION* to details as supplied by your SEO team.

Those who tell you that link building is dead, need to be viewed as suspect, and their intentions need to be evaluated carefully.  You need to have an honest discussion with them about the value of social media in general, and what impacts the social media has on your SERP's. (Search Engine Results Pages)  If they tell you that the use of SOCIAL MEDIA improves your SERP's, then you need to ask them to explain exactly how this is done, and if this can be achieved without linking to your online content from your social media posts at all.

listen carefully to their explanations, and ask questions!!!!

Evaluate and then decide which way, because many have been ill advised that link building is dead, and these people may be acting on that advice, which is very dangerous.

Remember that there is plenty of bad advice online, so take your time and evaluate all advice carefully,  before accepting or rejecting any advice.

See these links to expand the conversation on the value of link building... (Social media and SERP's)  (Is SEO DEAD?)    (Issues with Link building)  (what is the value of a link) (what link building tactics do you use)  (what is SEO)

Just in case you need to know more specifics about any component of your SEO policy,  remember that you can use our internal search tool to search for specific subjects within the SEO field.   Look in the top right of the screen when using a laptop or PC...  If you do not find what you are looking for when using our search tool, then leave a comment and our team will try and help you out as best we can.  If we can not help you directly we will refer you to and expert who can.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

What is the SEO value of offline marketing?


Those who do not understand the connections between off line marketing and online content need to listen up and take action!!!!!

In the post hummingbird era all search engines introduced a very large number of new SEOVI (Search Engine Optimisation Value Indicators) which ran along side the old SEOVI and added extra value to your keywords in ways that enhance the context and intent of your online content. These new Search Engine Optimisation Value Indicators are mostly in the form of Semantic Trust and associated inter-connectivity of different digital entities, and come from the OPSEO side of things.

OPSEO or off page Search Engine Optimisation is not that well understood, and most do not comprehend that OPSEO has two separate components.  The first is ONLINE and the second is OFF LINE. So from a #FUFISM based marketing perspective we have three sectors of Search engine Optimisation that need to be considered and then integrated into your total marketing plan. These are

1) #IPSEO or In Page Search Engine Optimisation
2) #OPSEO or Off Page Search Engine Optimisation
3) #OLSEO or Off Line Search Engine Optimisation

The value of In page and off page search engine optimisation is discussed in many places but who talks of the value of Off Line Search Engine Optimisation? 

Off Line Search engine Optimisation or OLSEO,  is the part where you use your off line marketing to PLANT SEMANTIC SEEDS into the thinking patterns and thought processes of your intended target market, hoping that these seeds will grow into so called GOLDEN SEARCH QUERIES.  Golden search queries are those search queries where your intended target market audience uses your KEY WORDS and semantically related terms in their search queries, which result in your online content being at the top of the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages)

As always understanding your target market audience in great depth is the core issue that needs to be addressed here,   because you want them (your target audience) to be exposed to your key words, so that you can expand on this in your social media marketing and other related online areas to nurture and nourish the semantic seeds that you planted in the off line media.  In other words you need to ensure that your target audience knows what your business, organization or event  is all about, so that they can use the correct terminology in their search queries to surface your online content.

If you simply assume that your intended target market are experts on your subject matter, then you are losing out.  You need to encourage your intended target market to use your desired key words in their search queries, and this process starts by introducing these words and related terminology within the off line world.  Here we are talking about 
  • news  paper advertising and marketing
  • magazines and industry specific periodicals
  • radio interviews and talk shows
  • speaking events and road shows
  • flyers and bill boards 
  • business cards and brouchers
  • any other off line opportunity where you have face tine with your customers, clients, suppliers and other interested parties
 Your SEO starts with the creation of your In Page content, and is then enhanced by your off page work which is basically supplemental marketing, or marketing that supplements your online marketing.  Your supplemental marketing uses all the same research as your original online content and here we are talking of things like  the list below, but include many not mentioned.
  • product, event, company or subject matter research
    • purpose
    • what this is used for
    • how this is used
    • what will the end user needs this for
    • what are the benefits
    • what are the detraction's
    • who should use this and why
    • costs,
    • shelf life
    • availability
    • origins
    • so many other research issues  most of which are subject matter dependent
  • target market research
    • who should read your content and why
    • language issues
    • culture issues
    • demographic issues
    • male / female
    • target market groups and lay out preferences
    • education and literacy skills
  • Target market selection process
  • Topic research
  • key word research
  • Image selection
  • Additional meta data
  • Additional mark up such as schema
  • Author and publisher issues
  • design criteria for online content

Your off line marketing team needs to be aware of  these issues and make wise use of the research notes and other related documentation of both previous as well as future online content.  This will assist them in their choice of words, images, context and related marketing issues, so as to ensure that they are able to plant your desired semantic seeds in meaningful ways,  which will encourage your intended target market audience to use specific words (your key words) when they construct their search queries.  Your social media team will also need these same notes and research data, as they will be expanding on this within their marketing efforts.  Your blogging team will also be using the same set of notes to develop their online content.

It is thus of extreme importance. especially from a #FUFISM based marketing perspective to get all your marketing folks around the same table,  at the same time,  to discuss your total marketing plan, and show each different marketing team, where and how their part of the puzzle fits into the big picture.  This will ensure better documentation of all processes, and enhance cross media marketing efforts.

It is of extreme importance that all your marketing is done within this basic outline, so that each marketing effort can be seen as a stand alone effort, but that it also fits into and augments or supplements your online marketing efforts.  This is an awful lot more important today than it was just a few years back, and the reason is the rapid expansion of the smart phone market and the volume of search traffic that comes from smart phones and other mobile devices.

You should not forget that mobile search is now larger than desktop search, and that many searchers are using last minute searches when in your brick and mortar establishment to ensure that they are getting the best deal, be it price, product support or after sales care.

What this means is that your target market is more educated and more aware of your competition, so you need to ensure that your online content is found above that of your competition, and that your social media team are on the ball, and ready to answer questions at the drop of a hat.

Once again your customers journey starts when they first discover your off line content, and then use the info found within your off line content to venture further, by searching online to discover more about you and your business.  The next step along the way is usually your social media space, and that is the reason that you need to expose your target market to your social media presence within the off line environment, and associate your social media presence with your product, service, event or other information.

Your Off Line marketing thus has an awful lot of value and importance to your online marketing, and needs to be taken seriously.  You need to ensure that all three of the SEO sectors are addressed and properly integrated into your total marketing plan at the highest level.  preferably at the C-SUIT  (Chief Something Officers) level

Once again these three sectors of SEO are, 1) IPSEO, 2) OPSEO, 3) OLSEO

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

What is the purpose of your online strategy and why should it be documented?

What is an online strategy?

During my research for the book I am writing on FUFISM I have spoken to many folks, in a variety of different environments from random folks in shopping malls, to focused online communities where SEO and online marketing are discussed in the most serious ways you can think of.  The question posed here  "What is the purpose of your online strategy"  always gets a strange answer.

Most ask do you not mean your online marketing strategy, and my stock answer is NO I am not talking about online marketing, I am talking about your online strategy and why you have an online presence in the first place.  Online marketing is only a small portion of your online presence, what about all the associated stuff like customer service,  public relations, event management, research and other business related issues?

So what is the purpose of your online strategy?

Sure sales and marketing are part of the mix of reasons for having an online presence, but they are not the only reasons that you need to have an online presence.  As you document the purpose, aims and objectives for your online presence, many more issues will come to mind, and these can then be added to your documented planning for your online presence.  An unplanned online presence is a very dangerous affair for many different reasons, and  these will surface as you progress through the methodology of setting up your online presence, documenting the procedure and actions as you go along.

From a #FUFISM based  marketing perspective,   planing and documenting your plans is one of the core elements that need to be addressed,  and done right, because your entire online marketing effort will hinge around and be influenced by these documents and associated activities.

Having an online strategy is the first step in your online marketing efforts, as this documented general online strategy will  inform your online marketing strategy, and discuss how your online marketing efforts will dovetail and mix with your off line marketing strategy. Understanding how your off line marketing and online marketing mix and influence each other is also a very important part of your planing strategy.

Before you formulate your online marketing strategy you need a clear understanding of all the components of an online marketing campaign, and a very deep understanding of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.  Remember that SEO is the primary issue that needs to be integrated into all your marketing efforts both online and off line. Other components are more subject matter intensive, and require deeper planing around the issue at stake.  An online marketing campaign should, at least in my mind have the following components as bear minimum

1)  a website
2) a blog
3) a social media platform
4) a documented  off line marketing component
5) a documented management strategy
6) a documented collaborative strategy to ensure cross media and cross platform integration.
7) an SEO strategy that links this campaign to your other online work.

These seven basic components need to be well integrated, and shared across company divisions and marketing departments, both online and offline.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation has three distinct layers that need to be clearly understood, with a proper focus on how they need to be integrated  into your marketing strategy, both within the off line as well as the online environment.  I have discussed these issues before  in the 4u brand blog, and you can read these posts later by following the links at the end of the article.

From a FUFISM based\ marketing perspective the three SEO layers are

1) IPSEO or In Page Search Engine Optimisation
2) OPSEO or Off Page but still online Search Engine Optimisation.
3)OLSEO or Off Page and also off line search engine optimisation

These three layers of search engine optimisation all have the same target market audience, and the target market research done should be shared by all three layers.  Each of these three layers also needs to be documented and shared across platforms, across media and across departments. The two main purposes here, are to ensure that research is not duplicated in silos, and that any silos within your marketing structure are removed and reduced to common shared documentation.

The online environment has changed radically over the last few years, and the introduction of the Google Hummingbird algorithm, along with its cousins in other search engines, has changed the online search environment in more ways than most people could possibly imagine.

 Search went form strings and links to now include this list and many other seemingly unrelated  issues.....

  • strings, 
  • links,
  • things, 
  • context of content,
  • people, 
  • places, 
  • activities and 
  • many other  hidden issues as associated \with semantic footprints and related human social media  issues.

The old set of SEOVI or Search Engine Optimisation Value Indicators that search engines used before Google introduced the HUMMINGBIRD algorithm did not vanish or become redundant,  but are still very much part of the primary search picture. What did how ever happen is that a brand new set of search variables or  SEOVI were introduced which run along side the old variables, and are factored into new and updated search algorithms which  enhance and contextualize the old variables so that your online content may be better matched to search queries

SEO or Search Engine Optimization now includes  a vast array of new SEOVI (search engine Optimisation Value Indicators) and understanding the Google Hummingbird algorithm will help you better recognize these new SEOVI so that you can deal with them in the most appropriate\manner, as they are very varied, and pop up in un-thought of locations, such as the new Google Collections, which has  many folks debating a host of related\ marketing issues that have come to light through the use of Google collections.  see link at end of document.

From a FUFISM based\marketing perspective you have three elements  that make up search, which need to be addressed\in your SEO. these are

1) your online content and all other world wide online content
2) the search engines
3) the world population which includes your target market audience

It is the function of a search engine to match search queries to online content in ways that satisfy the end user who typed in or other wise placed a search query for the search engine to reply with a SERP or Search engine results page.

It is your duty as a publisher, author or marketer to ensure that a search engine is supplied with the necessary tools and knowledge to  enable the search engine to construct a bridge between your desired target market audience and your online content,  with well laid out approaches and road\ maps that make it easy for your target market audience to access your online content across these bridges, (read SERP's) in high traffic volume loads.

So when drafting your document discussing the purpose of your online presence you need to be clear on your online marketing needs and aspirations, so that this may be introduced to the rest of your staff in ways that they can understand the match between your purpose of being online and how much of this is for marketing.  You must also be clear to mention the other purposes of your online strategies, along with how these will interact with,  and influence your online marketing strategies.

Take your time and do a good job here.  Remember that this document is a living document that needs to be revised and updated\ on a regular basis, with a minimum of One month between updates or revisions.  If there have not been enough changes to your marketing structures or your target market research, then just say so in your monthly update, but be sure to do this at least once every month.  The middle of the month is in my opinion the best time to do this, as it is usually a bit quieter and there is no demand for reports on success / failure of your various marketing efforts at this time.

Once you understand what you want to achieve within the online environment, and have documented this clearly in ways that all staff members can read and understand, you will be ready to start drafting your online marketing policies, along with who is responsible to ensure that your SEO is integrated into all your marketing plans, both online and offline.

Remember that your online strategy  is a live growing document, and keep it updated and relevant.  

You documented online strategy needs to be very clear and have a minimum of the following issues discussed in detail, the more you add here the better your online marketing results will be.

  • The purpose of your online strategy
  • the aims of your online strategy
  • the objectives of your online strategy
  • a guide line to your online policies for 

    • your web site
    • your blog
    • social media
    • internal office use  
    • research issues
    • online marketing
    • Integrating SEO with 
      • your web site
      • your blog
      • your social media  marketing
      • your print media marketing
      • your radio marketing
      • event planing and related marketing
      • other  marketing strategies such as hashtag marketing

Discovery of your online presence is a very complex and complicated  matter that has many twist,  turns and strange deviations.  There are basically three avenues that your online content can be discovered by your intended target market audience. these are listed here.......

2) BY MEANS OF YOUR ADVERTISING, either online or off line.

The first, discovery by accident,  is not a good option, the second, discovery through your advertising / marketing efforts,  is a bit better, but can be very costly, the third, using a search engine,  is the best option. Unfortunately this option  requires lots of understanding and co-operation from many different folks in a  wide range of separate disciplines. 

For these folks to have an understanding of how they need to cooperate and  work together as a team they need to understand your online strategy, and where their efforts fit into the picture, as well as how their work will impact on others efforts so that they can maximize these different areas, which each will impact on their own associated SEOVI as well as other independent but related SEOVI (Search engine Optimisation Value Indicators.)

This documented purpose of your online presence will inform many different activities, actions as well as  interactions and then ensure that every marketing project, whether online or offline,  knows how their efforts are impacting on your online presence, what needs to be done to improve both the project in question and your online exposure in general with a focus on the specific project.

From a FUFISM based  marketing perspective the purpose of your online strategy is to improve your visibility both within the online environment and the off line environment and ensure that your intended target market audience  discovers your online presence, then follows through and completes your desired CTA's or Calls To Action within your online content, be it 
  • in the social media,
  •  within the pages of your blog,
  • within your  web pages,
  •  in an online forum or 
  •  in any other online resource, or off line area where you may be active with your supplemental  marketing efforts

LINKS  to related  blog posts discussing SEO related  issues.


key words versus query: what is the difference?

Link to a google collection where #FUFISM, SEO and semantic search are the core focal element

 Semantic value of a Google plus collection
Googlwe collections as an SEO tool