Global Marketing Plus

Tips and Tricks for Small Business Success

Archive for June, 2008

Strategy #3: Title Tags & Why They Matter

June 30, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing, SEO, Website Design

One of the most cost-effective ways to boost your search engine performance is to make sure that the title tags on your website are set up properly. When you search in Google, the search results start with a blue underlined link.

Here’s an example:


What displays in the first line of the website listing is usually what is contained in the title tag of a web page. The keywords you placed in the search box are usually boldfaced in the search results.

So, just what is a title tag, and why does it matter for search engine positioning?

According to the World Wide Web Consortium, the Title tag was designed to help people “identify the contents of a document.” When people view individual web pages out of context (often via search), context-rich page titles help tell the visitor a summary of the page.

Instead of a title like “Home”, which doesn’t provide much contextual background, web designers should supply a title such as “Introduction to HoN3 Model Railroads” instead.

Google and other search engines use these rich contextual clues as a way to hone its search results.

On a web page, the title tag is part of the HTML code. Here’s what the code looks like on Global Marketing Plus’s site:

<title>Website Design, Development, Email Marketing, Content Management, PHP programming Salt Lake City, Utah</title>

Most end users won’t see the title tag. But if you remember back to my email tip about subject lines, the title tag is what a subject line is to an email campaign: It entices the end user to pay attention and open the page to read more.

Top Five Most Common Mistakes for Title Tags:

1. Untitled: When many of the popular programs create a new HTML page, it puts ’Untitled’ into the title tag. It’s up to the Web designer to change this… and since most users don’t see it, sometimes they forget to change it.

2. No Title Tag: Like the “Untitled” tag, another key mistake is simply leaving out the title tag. If you do a view source (Internet Explorer: View —> Source), and the title tag appears like:


… then you don’t have a title tag.

3. “About” Tag: Another common mistake for title tags is to have the title tag refer to a section of your website. But a title tag that reads, “About” doesn’t tell me much about what the company or website is “About.” Instead, have it read:

<title>About the Company: Website Development & Marketing, Email Deployment, and PHP

This is sure to get more keywords into the title tag, and if you’re searching for a company, you instantly know what they do.

4. Company Name In Title Tag: If you want your company name, we recommend putting your company name at the end of the title tag so it doesn’t dilute the effectiveness of the keywords.

5. Same Title Tag on Multiple Pages: You should have a unique title tag for each page of the site. Why? As each page is unique, you should have a title tag that describes it’s unique content.

I hope you found this search engine strategy helpful. Changing the title tags on a site is a quick, fast and easy way to increase search engine positioning. Let me know if you’d like us to take a look at your site and make recommendations for you (at no charge).

Strategy #2: Don’t Confuse The Search Engines With Graphics

June 27, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing, SEO, Website Design

This next strategy for Search Engine Optimization is often overlooked. But it’s key to making sure that people can find you at the top of the page when they conduct a search in Google, Yahoo or another search engine.

Search engines are really good at reading text. But they’re very easily confused. And if Google gets confused when it crawls through your site, you won’t rank very high in search results.

Search engines, for example, can’t read words that are contained in graphics or flash animation. So if your company’s name is only contained in a graphic on your site, this content is ‘invisible’ to a search engine. Same thing goes for product or service names. 

Some designers will tell you that Google can now read flash and you can use it all you want.  However, even Google suggests you be careful and avoid it!

The root of the problem lies with graphic designers. Graphic designers are really good at building graphics, but, unfortunately,  they sometimes don’t know how to create SEO-friendly design.

Most websites, however, are designed by graphic designers who are really good at building graphics, and less interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It takes more time to have content placed in text, and use a stylesheet to format it so that a search engine can read it. Especially when it’s so easy to create a good looking graphic in Photoshop.

Here’s an example of a graphic: 

By formatting using text and a cascading stylesheet (CSS), I can make it look exactly the same.  However, search engines can read the text version much easier! 

Here’s an example of a site that uses all flash (and is invisible to search engines).

While it looks pretty to humans, to Google the content is completely invisible. Here’s how the site appears to Google in its text cache. (You can see that there is no text or content that appears.)

Now here is a non-flash version of a simular page.  In this case, the intention was not to copy the first page exactly.  If that were the purpose, this page would look almost the same as the first!

Even if you’re not worried about organic search positioning, but are doing paid search engine marketing (like Google Adwords), it’s important that the content on your site is easily digested by a search engine.

Why? Google Adwords ranks the pages on your website, and compares it to your keywords and ad copy. The more relevant Google ranks the text on your site, the less you’ll have to pay for a sponsored ad on Google (and the higher your position).

In Summary: Don’t confuse search engines by keeping your content ‘locked up’ in graphics. It’s a small little detail in the web design process, but one that will pay dividends for a long, long time with increased search results.

I hope you enjoyed this search engine strategy. Let me know if we can help you with your web marketing or search marketing needs.

Strategy #1, Local Search Engine Advertising

June 25, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing, SEO

For businesses that serve specific geographic regions (i.e. Salt Lake City, Utah), you can create search engine ads in Google and Yahoo that only appear to people in your area.

How does this work? A search engine like Google uses a computer’s IP address and other information to discover where someone is searching (including city and state).

Why does Google care where a person is located? Google’s mission is to give their end users the best search results possible. So, if I need someone to mow my lawn in Bountiful, Utah, it does me little good to receive a paid search result from New York (Maybe not even from Provo, Utah, just 60 miles away)!

Thus Google (and the others) tries to match search results to the geographic location of the person searching.

How does Google make money? Google gives businesses and organizations the ability to display paid advertisements (sponsored results) on search results pages. These ads are triggered by keywords you choose (more on this in a different strategy).

You don’t have to pay for your ad to display; you pay Google only when someone clicks on your ad. The technical term is Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. The more relevant your ad (more on this later), the less you have to pay for specific keywords, and the higher up you will appear in the sponsored advertising results.

Local Search PPC Ads. In Google Adwords, you can create an advertising campaign that will target someone in a specific city or state. You can even specify a 5, 10 or 25 mile radius from a specific location (like your retail showroom or office). Below your local ad, Google will place the name of your local area (i.e. Salt Lake City, Utah)… making it more likely that someone searching in your area will choose your organization vs. an out-of-town competitor.


Local PPC Ads are usually a more cost effective option than a national search engine advertising campaign. As a general rule of thumb, the more geographically targeted and specific you can be, the less money you’ll need to pay to acquire new customers. And make sure you have conversion tracking code placed on your site, so you can measure and track how much you’re paying for each new customer via local search engine advertising.

Please let me know if we can help you acquire new customers through search engine optimization or search engine advertising.

With the economy struggling, acquiring new customers is top of mind for most companies.

June 25, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing, SEO

Did you know that 50-70% of consumer and business purchases start with a search engine like Google?

If your website doesn’t appear at the top of a search engine results page (sponsored ads or organic search results), you’re losing potential customers to companies that rank higher.

What can you do? Over the next several blogs, I’ll share with you my top strategies and tactics that can help you acquire new customers via search engine optimization and advertising.

So check back on a regular basis to find new posts.  If you want to add our blog to your feeds to keep current on posts,  click Entries (RSS).

10 Business Card Blunders That Hurt Business

June 19, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing

You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to have an effective business card that captures attention and inspires someone to want to know more about you and what you offer.

By being aware of these ten common blunders and making sure you avoid them, you’ll have a business card that gets noticed and increases your number of referrals and customers.   by Laurie Hayes

Read article “10 Business Card Blunders That Hurt Business

How To Invite A Depression

June 19, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: Humor, Marketing

A man lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes so he read no newspapers.

But he sold good hot dogs.

He put up signs on the highway telling how good they were.

He stood by the side of the road and cried: “Buy a hot dog, Mister!” And people bought.

He increased his meat and bun orders. He bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade. He got his son home from college to help him.

But then something happened…

His son said, “Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio? There is a terrible depression on. The European situation is terrible. The Domestic situation is worse.”

Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son’s been to college, he reads the papers and he listens to the radio, and he ought to know.”

So the father cut down on his meat and bun orders, took down his advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand out on the highway to sell hot dogs.

And his hot dog sales fell almost overnight. “You’re right son,” the father said to the boy, “We certainly are in the middle of a great depression.”

Organizing Cards after an Event

June 13, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing

When I attend a big event I collect a lot of business cards.  I often do not have time to enter the information to my contact database immediately, especially if I attend several networking events in a short amount of time.  So I put the collected cards into an envelope immediately after the event and label the envelope with the name, date and location of the event.

When I am ready to enter the details into my database I do three things:

1.  On the back of each business card I write the event, date and location.

2.  I enter the information in a file titled “Place of Contact”. This allows me to do more focused marketing.  A group visiting the same event probably has similar business interests.

3.  I email each person whose card I collected.  I mention where we met, briefly explain our products and services and tell them where to find more information on my website.  I even create different email address books for each event I attend.

Why Site Visitors Leave Your Website After 12 Seconds!

June 10, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: SEO, Website Design

During the past six month, our team has been conducting research to find out what makes a successful website and why other websites never reach their potential.  We surveyed thousands of web visitors to find out what they like and dislike about different websites.  We also studied website statistics for thousands of websites.

How long does the average visitor stay on a website?

Our research shows that a visitor stays only a short time!

0–29 seconds ….about 65% (ave. 12 seconds)!
30 seconds – 2 minutes …about 17%
2 -5 minutes …about 7%
5 -15 minutes …about 5%
15 -30 minutes …about 3%
30 minutes -1hour …about 2%
over 1 hour….about 1%

What causes a person to leave a website so soon? 

We hear lots of complaints about the use of Flash or JavaScript to cycle images and messages on homepages. We wonder: Is Flash truly a killer app? Or is it a sales killer?

I’m not talking about the Flash site introduction pages, which fortunately have nearly disappeared. I am talking about an increasing number of small sites which are cycling images, changing messages, and sending offers across the screen — generally causing havoc among people trying to understand an often complex webpage.

This is not a tirade against Flash or JavaScript. It is an appeal for improved usability.

Problems with Scrolling Messages

Here are the problems caused by changing messages and scrolling offers:

  1. Distraction. A large percentage of people, especially those with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), find them incredibly distracting. It is difficult to read — let alone comprehend — a webpage where dominant images continue to change and distract.The first rule to get conversions is: Convey your value proposition. Make clear what business you are in and why it is of benefit to the reader. But Flash often distracts viewers from understanding this essential message.Eyes are naturally attracted to motion and light. If your visitors don’t finish reading a paragraph, they won’t understand the value proposition. And unless they understand your value proposition, nothing will happen. Our user testing constantly reveals this pattern of distraction.
  2. Disappearing messages. Some sites cycle images and messages a few times and then stop. However, once the cycling has stopped, it is impossible to go back and look at the messages. Visitors become frustrated when they can’t review them.
  3. Ineffectiveness. Flash does not seem to increase the effectiveness of messaging. Flash images alone convey little beyond an attractive look and feel, but these displays often consume 10% to 30% of valuable homepage real estate.
  4. Transitoriness. When we allow test users 8 to 10 seconds to view a homepage — and then hide the page — they rarely remember the content of the Flash messages. Far more often they are able to remember simple static headlines.
  5. Trained avoidance. Our testing indicates that Flash is becoming like banner ads that people have trained themselves to ignore.

If you watched users get frustrated day in and day out with cycling images and messages, you might lose patience — as we often do — with sites that don’t spend the time to determine exactly the kind of impressions they generate. As you explore new and supposedly engaging website technologies, be sure to test them before fully implementing them on your site.

Email Tip #12. Know when email doesn’t work

June 10, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: Email Marketing, Marketing

Pick up the phone instead…

Email remains one of the primary ways that businesses communicate internally among their staff, and externally with their customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

However, make sure you recognize when email is losing its effectiveness. It’s easy to hide behind email when we don’t want to speak to a scary client or team member. I’ve been guilty of that as well when I have a million things going on. But sometimes a three minute conversation can clear up the confusion inherent in five days of back-and-forth email messages.

Email Tip #11. Use Folders & Filters

June 05, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: Email Marketing, Marketing

If you’re like me and you receive a lot of email, you can use folders to store messages from different people or clients.

In most email programs, you can set up automatic rules (often called filters) that will place all messages from Joe into a specific folder.

That way you can review all of the messages Joe sends over to you, reply to the ones that need attention, and not have to spend the time moving the messages from the inbox to another folder when you’re finished. All of the messages addressed to, for example, go to a different folder that I don’t check as often, because people who send to that address are usually trying to sell me something.

This one strategy has made me amazingly more efficient at dealing with the large volume of email I receive each day (usually about 650 messages per day).