Just Ask Betsy....The Be Visible Blog

Where there’s no such thing as a stupid question… about the Web!

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Google Page Rank: What is it? Is it Important?

Question: What is Google PageRank?

Google PageRank (PR) is a number that represents the importance of an individual web page in the eyes of Google. Generally it is believed that when one web page links to another, it is actually casting a vote of confidence. That means good stuff to Google because their ultimate goal is to always deliver the most relevant, quality content to all of their users. So, when lots of sites (people, really) link to a specific web page, it shows Google that the page is popular.

In other words, if a page has a PR of 9 or 10 (10 being the highest), the page has won a popularity contest!

Is Google PageRank Important?

Well, that’s a great question. There is a lot of speculation as to whether a high PageRank benefits a website’s ranking in organic listings (SEO). However, it is ALWAYS good to have as many quality inbound links as possible directing people to your web pages.

If you have the Google toolbar installed in your browser, you can see the PageRank of each page as you browse the web. Don’t know if you have the Google toolbar, or want to install it? Let me know and I’ll be happy to help!

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September 28th, 2009

How can Twitter Help my Local Business?

I spend a lot of time these days talking to local businesses about Social Media and brainstorming about how they can use Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other channels to increase their customer base. And it can be challenging, because in many cases (in spite of the fact that they may be using one or two social channels for their personal use people have a hard time seeing the connection between online social activities and their own businesses.

I came across this article in the New York Times that I think successfully illustrates the opportunities for local business using Twitter. Take a look and let me know your thoughts!

Mom-and-Pop Operators Turn to Social Media


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September 28th, 2009

How and Why to use Twitter

Lots of people ask me why they should be using Twitter.

The New York Times published a great blog about using Twitter for your small business.

And here is a terrific video called Twitter in Plain English. Twitter seems to be a great way to communicate…and I want my clients to do more of that. But, keeping Twitter, Facebook and all the social media going is very time consuming. That’s why I am going to be offering Social Media Marketing services to my clients starting right now. I am helping businesses create buzz by using these new social media tools. Whether for branding or just driving relevant traffic to a website, it’s an easy, fun and free way to market.

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December 16th, 2008

Just Breathe

If you pay attention (or even if you are not paying attention) images of soup kitchens and men in suits and top coats selling pencils on the sidewalk dance around in your head (instead of sugar plums this year). And, as a business person, you may be tempted to hold your breath and hyperventilate your way into 2009.

However, my clients and colleagues seem to be really positive about their businesses in spite of all the doom and gloom. I would like to think it’s because Web marketing is such a cost effective way to advertise and that’s what we talk about. Flexibility and “trackibility” allow us to breathe and know that we can make changes and adjustments in our advertising programs to weather the ups and downs of the market.

So, don’t hold your breath…keep on top of your web marketing and always remember that you can react to whatever is going on out there. Just Breathe.

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November 26th, 2008

The Importance of Security in E-Commerce

Recently I was given the opportunity to collaborate on an interactive marketing program for a small garment manufacturer that just launched their first e-commerce site. The client wants to start selling their products direct to the consumer immediately, rather than continuing to depend upon the retail stores who are their traditional customers, and who are not doing a very good job online.

Although the site is very pretty, I uncovered many issues that will definitely impact sales once the site is up. First of all, what should require the user to click once or twice requires four or five clicks. To drill down to the individual item she wants to buy, the user has to navigate a very complicated and confusing route.

OK, so let’s say the user is so motivated that she is willing to get click through to the point of sale. The biggest problem I see is the lack of security on the site. The pages that require entry of personal information are http not https, and moreover, there is no security symbol from VeriSign or any other site security company.

The public is becoming more and more knowledgeable about credit card fraud and identity theft. It is crucially important that online store owners understand that. Before I am willing to spend my client’s money on marketing, I am insisting that they deal with this security issue.

After all, if you lead a horse to water, you better be sure it’s safe to drink!

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September 21st, 2008

Who Needs a Search Engine Marketing Consulting Firm?

If you have a small business (a small business is generally defined as having under 100 employees, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_business), you may not think you would need to hire a search engine marketing consulting firm. However, the fact that more and more businesses every day are marketing their products and services online, most small businesses are finding that a search engine marketing consulting firm gives them a competitive edge.

No IT department?

A search engine marketing consulting firm can fulfill a very important role in your organization, especially if you don’t have a full-time IT department. The best firms will take a good look at your overall Internet strategy (if you have one) and make suggestions as how it can be improved using solutions that it has had previous success with. More likely your company doesn’t have a formal Internet strategy and that’s where a search engine marketing consulting firm can really help out. It can put together a course of action that not only meets your needs and your timing, but also meets your budget.

Are you doing-it-yourself?

Let’s say you have been managing a Google AdWords program for the past couple of years. If it is going well, you have probably been devoting a lot of your time to it. In order to be competitive, you must be on top of your bids, your keywords, and your ad verbiage. As your category becomes more competitive the cost to maintain your leading edge is going up, lowering your ROI. So you need to devote more and more of your valuable time to managing the campaign. A search engine marketing consulting firm can lighten your load right away. Many consultants have either have developed, or work with a company that has developed, software that can automate your Pay-Per-Click campaigns. No longer will you have to slog through analytics that don’t make sense or worry about being out-bid. All of that is handled for you. Best of all, many search engine marketing consulting firms report how many visitors your site is receiving plus how many people called you from your paid search program and even who those people are.

Don’t know how to start?

If you haven’t yet dabbled in paid search, even better. Because of it’s experience and expertise in setting-up and managing campaigns, a search engine marketing consulting firm will save you a ton of time and money by doing it right the first time.

What does Optimization mean?

In addition to paid search, a search engine marketing consulting firm will explain the benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a strategy for improving the amount and the quality of visitors to a website from the center of a search engine results page (what is commonly referred to as the organic listings). What could be better than being on the first page of results in your category without having to “pay per click”? Unfortunately, there are many, many unscrupulous SEO companies out that who target small businesses, and if you choose the wrong company, you could waste a lot of your precious advertising dollars, or worse, be knocked off Google for an indefinite length of time. Your search engine marketing consulting firm will be able to recommend an SEO company who they have vetted that has delivered top quality work in the past, thereby protecting your website, your interests, and getting you better rankings as well.

Do you hate your website?

If you don’t have a website, or if your site needs an update or even a complete re-do, a search engine marketing consulting firm can be a life-saver. Relationships with numerous website designers will ensure that you can choose the one that is best suited for your project. And, in order to make sure that your beautiful website actually improves and increases your bottom line, your search engine marketing consulting firm will help with concept and copy.

What’s “Social Networking”?

In addition, your search engine marketing consulting firm can help you set-up and manage blogs, newsletters, email campaigns, videos and more.

For a small business, it makes sense to consider meeting with a search engine marketing consulting firm. Free consultations are often available and since the firm has an array of Internet products and services to recommend, you’ll end up with solutions that are right for your business. Worried about costs? Many search engine marketing consulting firms don’t charge ongoing consulting fees but work with their clients on a project-by-project basis.

So, who needs a search engine marketing consulting firm? You do!

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April 1st, 2008

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