We’re pleased to announce that the Requisite RE private home sale service is now live.
Brent St. Pierre and the Requisite RE Team work with Toronto-area private home sellers to maximize the promotion and visibility of their properties while reducing selling costs and especially in the area of reducing real estate commission fees. Click on the logo to visit the site.
If you are a Toronto small business owner there are issues that can impact the effectiveness of your Web Presence as a lead generator for your business. I have a little mantra that I apply to websites: Capture – Convince – Convert:
- Capture: Bring traffic to your site from search engines, social media and ad campaigns
- Convince: Encourage the visitor to stay on your site with quality content
- Convert: Provide some kind of Call-To-Action that the visitor takes so that you have at least a name and and email so you can begin building a relationship.
Today I’m going to focus on the “Capture” element. As you know, Google continues to be the top way to search for information, with over 70% market share. Their search algorithm (Google’s highly secret application that translates what you type into the search box into a list of clickable search results) contains over 400 “signals” (says Google) to help determine how your website will rank relative to your competitors for a particular search term.
Over the last year Google has been under pressure on several different fronts, the two most notable being:
1) Search Results. Users were complaining that there were a lot of junk sites showing up in search results – poorly written articles, texts that were so packed with keywords so has to make them “reader-unfriendly”. As Google depends on people using their search engine to be an audience for Adwords, Google had to do something to improve search results.
2) Social Media. Last year was the first time people were spending more time on Facebook than on Google properties. As well, Facebook is a “walled garden” i.e. Google can’t index and rank Facebook content and is therefore missing out on measuring user behaviour inside the world’s largest social media site (900 million users).
Google has responded to these pressures by carrying out a number of adjustments to their algorithm that:
- devalues certain types of links that point to your website
- places greater weight on recently posted content
- places greater weight on the contextual page content and less on the traditional on-page SEO elements.
- places greater weight on links coming from social media platforms.
What this means to you and your website:
Blogging on your website is important. Regular postings containing keywords relevant to your business will satisfy both the relevancy and current “signals” for search engines in addition to keep past visitors interested and coming back for more. Make sure you categorize and tag each post using your proven keywords.
Claim your business on Google + Local. Google has merged Google Places (their local search/map service) with Google+ (their social media platform). Cross-linking between Google+ and your website is a good thing.
Getting links from other social media to your site. Satisfies Google’s new emphasis on social media.
Your Next Steps
Most professionals simply do not have the time to keep up with current SEO practices or where their website ranks and what they can do about it. Also, effective blogging on a regular basis is a serious time commitment and often one of the first things to fall off your “to do” list.
Over 80% research the Internet first prior to making a decision.
If you’d like to have a no-obligation 15 minute chat and “health check” of your website and your rankings, please contact me
Yours in business success
The Business Exchange is hosting the Business, Franchise & Investment EXPO & Conference on Saturday, April 28 2012, 11:00a.m. – Sun, Apr 29 2012, 11:00a.m. at the Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place in Toronto.
For those entrepreneurs considering taking on proven business models via franchising, this would be a good opportunity to do so.
Franchise EXPO Info & Tickets
AT&T Inc. has announced that it had agreed to sell a majority stake in its Yellow Pages business to the private-equity firm Cerberus Capital for $950-million.
The sale is part of AT&T’s strategy to sell off shrinking parts of its business to focus on growing ones, in particular wireless. Revenue from the Yellow Pages business has shrunk 30 per cent in two years, as consumers turn to the Web instead of phone books.
Twitter is allowing brands to create Facebook/Google+ style brand pages. This feature, along with a redesign focused on usability & discoverability of content, was rolled out this week
Twitter is following in the footsteps of Google who recent launched Google+ brand pages.
List of Twitter features
Jeff DeChambeau, a Senior Analyst at T4G, an IT services company, made a comment on a start-up community site (Facebook timeline is too awful to be an accident) on how Facebook is manipulating user behaviour to increase brain activity and increase susceptibility to advertising , along with a link to his personal blog.
Result: 35,000 hits in 24 hours.
Then CBS News/Techtalk contacted him and created an article on over-sharing information around the topic and quoted him.
Nice to see a positive example of an insight being spread around the Net.
Debbi Arnold of D.A. Consulting is presenting Small Business Workshops at the Miles Nadal JCC (750 Spadina Ave, at Bloor). The next two are:
Time Management: November 4, 2011. 10:30am-12:30pm. Learning effective time management skills to set yourself up for success
Marketing 101: November 11, 2011. 9:15am-12pm. Learn marketing fundamentals to build a successful business.
Each seminar is $40. Register online via Paypal at http://www.daconsult.ca/
Here’s a good article that covers the kind of things we do for Toronto Small Business clients after the essential web site optimization has been done. Content curation, blogging, white papers, photos, videos and article syndication all support the promotion of a small business’s expertise in a particular domain:
Why Content Marketing is King
To find out more, contact bernie
While an on-line “daily deal” from the likes of Groupon can increase the exposure of your small business, there are three downsides:
- You damage your brand with poor on-line reviews from one-time users of your service or product
- You can negatively impact your value proposition with existing customers, who will now expect to pay less.
- If not careful, you will lose money on your discounted offer.
For more, read this New York Times article on deal sites
Bruce Hunter, CEO of Lighthouse 360 reports that 93% of business owners have no plan on how to increase the value of their business. Much of this stems from the entrepreneur ”working in the business” rather than “working on the business”.
Bruce has a useful tool on his website – a free business assessment tool that can get a small business owner started down the path of thinking more strategically around the growth and how to manage it.