Category Archives: Online Marketing

Is Google Responsible?

Interesting article on a 40-year-old restaurant whose weekend business dropped off 75% they think due to an erroneous posting that they were not open on weekends. In fact, most of their business was due to weekend traffic. When the Google Places listing stated that the restaurant was not open on weekends, the business dropped so dramatically, that they began to lay off employees and eventually closed their doors in April 2013.

So what does this situation represent? That online representations are critical for any business. I’m not sure the restaurant owner will prevail in his lawsuit, but monitoring your business’  online presence is absolutely essential in the climate of the Internet and business today. Unfortunately for this business owner, he was not an online type of guy and he was confused when his long-established business began to fail.

I have had this concept in mind for years: if you are not online, you will probably not be in business in three years; if you are online, but do nothing to positively manage your online presence, you will probably not be in business in five years. Seems in this case my projections were off.

No business can afford to ignore their online presence. Aside from the value of online marketing, if you are not aware of what is being posted about your business and someone with negative intentions posts for you, you are basically….well, screwed.

Read more on this story about the impact of Google.


Social media trends

A recent article in Business Insider reinforces what we said late last year in the post, “Social media, think it’s here to stay?” Business Insider indicates that the trends in small business social media activity ‘will transform the way we all market our businesses and network in the small business community.”

Yep.  At TAO Consultants, we believe that if you aren’t marketing online with all the tools available to you, you’ll be out of business in 5 years.  If you aren’t online at all, your business may be closing in 3 years. This is our prediction.  And in the world of technology, who knows how quickly the future changes will become critical.

In a recent report, 90% of businesses responding to a survey say that social media is both important to their business and that the real payoff is in creating more business exposure. In fact, 58% of the responders state that they spend more than six hours per week in social media activities with 34% “investing” more than 11 hours per week on such activity.

Here’s another interesting fact:  Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 online activity. I remember the early days of the Internet when you could see the spamming of “sex sex sex sex sex…” over and over in text the same color as the background.  I never understood how someone searching for “sex” online was going to be satisfied with the latest product offering by this site.  Google didn’t like it either.

The video in our earlier posting has been banned, so check out this one:

Business insider has several good articles on the impact of social media on today’s business. Just search “social media” and you have a lot of reading to do.

Chesa Keane

Making Money And Being A Freelancer in 2011 What Does It Take To Be One?

The main difference between an employee and a freelancer is the relation with the one you are working for. As an employee you have to show up at specific hours and do the work according to your boss his wishes. In most cases, a freelancer can determine himself when and how to execute his work as long as the agreed upon quality and date of delivery are met. Although it looks pretty romantic, it can be tough as well. Here we will discuss different aspects of the lifestyle.

One of the reasons to become a freelancer is one determines his own income. Where in a normal job one more or less has a fixed pay, as a freelancer one can often earn more money for the same work. The disadvantage however is that there are always difficult times (like the holiday season) and when you are not prepared for this you will experience moments you wished you had a fixed salary.

Another nice thing of freelancing is that you can often make your own schedule. If your son has a football match or needs to train, you can join him and catch up work in the evening. The disadvantage is of course that when work needs to be finished, you have to burn the midnight oil.

“No boss” is a dream for many people. No restrictions, no comments, but on the other hand also no compliments and no guidance. It is hard “to know it all”. You have to be able to create the final product in good quality and on time. You need to be really competent or be able to work with other freelancers and delegate things you are not really familiar with.

As a freelancer there is hardly any control from a group. As long as your work has proper quality and is delivered in time, you will see happy faces. However, some experience a lack of social contacts. Even if your colleagues might not be the type of people you’ll invite at home, it is still nice to work in a group where you have fun and get assistance.

So, sometimes it can be tough, working as a freelancer. When things don’t run like you want them to run, or when you’re confronted with setbacks, you have to be able to get yourself through without any push or help from a superior. If you are not the type of person to really demand things from yourself, you shouldn’t choose a freelancer lifestyle.

SEO your website – Christmas is on its way

Great article by Josh Hall on Simply Business on how important it is to search engine optimize your web pages for online Christmas shoppers.  Seasonal SEO is something that a lot of website owners do not consider, yet for many companies their business lives or dies by seasonal sales.

If your business is seasonal, then you know how competitive your market is. Getting the attention of your target audience will require concentration on your best keywords and linking those keywords on your website, blogs and social media to your money pages — the pages that convert your traffic to $$$$.

We have often talked about our strategy called Multiple Points of Presence and this is a perfect example of how using your Multiple Points of Presence to build your brand and expand your companies online awareness will bring you traffic and affect your bottom line.

Here are some important considerations:

  • Think in terms of keywords that will be used by your seeking audience and concentrate on long-tail keywords rather than overly general keywords identified by your industry
  • Focus your optimization on your webpages, not your website because there is no way your can build your site’s popularity and authority thinking only in general industry terms
  • Monitor the results of any activity you undertake — if your traffic is not converting to sales, rework your content and keyword focus
  • Now is the time to consider Pay-per-click either through Google AdWords or Facebook Ads – your popular season is when the seekers are out there, so wave your flag
  • Ramp up your social media activity — if you have not embraced the whole social media trend, your business will not be competitive and your chances of surviving as a viable player in your industry is unlikely

While the overall market may be down, you must be aware of the seasonal opportunities and attract as much traffic as you can by outsmarting your competition.  Getting the biggest share of a smaller market will guarantee that you can survive the down cycle and be on top when the cycle turns.