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AMMA Marketing
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AMMA Marketing helps small business owners capitalize on the power of the Web to find prospects and convert them into customers.
AMMA Marketing helps small business owners capitalize on the power of the Web to find prospects and convert them into customers.

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AMMA Marketing Founder Ray Ricciardi
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SEO From a Marketer’s POV
Neil Brown
AMMA Marketing
Those of you who have been associated with marketing for many years, as we at AMMA Marketing have, recall promotional trends come into and go out of fashion.  Depending on your age, you may wax nostalgically about green stamps, toasters given away by banks, preview nights at the mall, or free samples distributed to every USPS patron.
One trend that is well into its second decade, and which shows no sign of abating, is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.  SEO should never be the only tool you employ to generate business.  However, if you plan to get most of your business online, SEO should be your most important long-term tool because most internet users trust organic search results over paid results.
So, what is SEO? 
If you are unfamiliar with marketing in the online world, think of the physical world “competition” between Wal-Mart and Saks.  Both stores sell women’s clothing.  One store (we’ll let you guess which one) positions itself as a 1-stop shopping destination with clothing which is low cost, mass-produced, and sold in an aura of self-service and inattention to comfort and detail.  The other chain positions itself as stylish, with high quality garments bearing renowned brand names sold by attentive customer service personnel.
Obviously, the stores want and attract vastly different clientele.  You see this reflected in their pricing, physical ambiance in the store, customer service, where they advertise, and what they say in their ads.  It is unlikely that the descriptors used to sell to customers of one chain would appeal at all to customers of the other chain.
That same concept applies to SEO marketing.  It starts with understanding what attributes about your company and product appeal to your customers and/or those you want to become customers.  This should be narrowly defined – are they focused on lowest price, a broad array of products in a category, an aura of exclusivity, frequent bargains, or any number of other attributes. 
Through online research, we can then determine what words a prospect, seeking to buy what you offer, uses when placing an inquiry into a search engine. Most searches will be made using a low number of somewhat similar search phrases. 
Once those common search terms are known, we can then weave those terms (multiple times) into the copy for your web site, blogs, and anything else that is part of your online presence. 
This is included as a part of your overall messaging, which addresses questions such as: To whom are we talking? What is the main idea we want to communicate? What do we want your target audience to feel about your company’s products and services? What do we want your target audience to do as a result? 
 
Subsequently, when a potential customer uses those terms while searching online for a product or service like yours, your site should rank higher in the results than it would have before SEO was undertaken.  How much higher?  Candidly, each situation is different, and needs to be analyzed before that question is answered. But, having that core message as your starting point will ensure that your marketing dollars invested will get the best return possible making each user search profitable.
The actual “doing” of SEO is much harder than explaining the concept.  SEO is not a magic elixir to fame and fortune but, done properly, it will work in tandem and be driven by your several other marketing tactics. To learn more about online marketing tactics  AMMA Marketing sponsors the Online Business Marketing University. That provides individuals seeking a career in Internet marketing, current SEO'S and businesses owners with a desire to improve their online marketing skills, with the knowledge and tools needed to attract and retain customers, and increase sales and profitability.
There are several mistakes you can make regarding SEO. The first mistake is to not have a message that sets you apart from your competition in some tangible way.  The second mistake is to NOT use it on your web site, because we can guarantee that your most successful competitors are using it.  The third mistake is to do it once, and then never update content or add fresh contents.  Because SEO is dynamic and content needs to be changed, Search Engines love fresh content.  Fortunately, there are handy ongoing analysis tools that will tell us when your SEO results are lagging, and what needs to change to improve them.
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Watching the homeless people's faces yesterday when it was their time to eat made my Thanksgiving
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