Corbin Grimes http://www.corbingrimes.com Thu, 18 Jul 2013 14:58:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 You’ve Got a Website – Now What? http://www.corbingrimes.com/website_marketing_seo/ http://www.corbingrimes.com/website_marketing_seo/#comments Sun, 03 Mar 2013 15:23:16 +0000 http://www.corbingrimes.com/?p=1324 Continue Reading]]> What’s next?

As a business owner, you know that you need to get in front of more prospects who are looking for your product or service; but let’s face it: in this day and age, one thing is for certain – people don’t want to be bothered!

Let’s look at a few examples:

  • People put their phone numbers on the do not call list because they don’t want to be called
  • People mark e-mail as junk because they don’t want to read spam.
  • People trash “junk mail” they receive from the postman even before reading it.
  • People subscribe to XM radio because they don’t want to listen to radio commercials
  • People use DVRs because they don’t want to watch TV commercials
  • People have “No Solicitor” signs on their doors because we they don’t want to be bothered by sales people

These types of traditional outbound marketing techniques are expensive and are becoming less and less effective and so, business owners are struggling to get new customers. It’s not to say that in some cases, if executed properly, these traditional marketing tactics can’t yield a return on investment, but they are definitely no longer the most effective way to utilize a marketing budget.

So, as a business owner, what’s left? How do you find more customers? The answer is simple. You do what’s needed to ensure that (when the time comes) for your customer to look for what you sell or offer, it’s your business that they find.

The answer:  Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you plan on being successful in business, it’s critical that you be found online. Studies show that “findability” is one of the leading factors in business growth. Findability encompasses how you are found online, typically via searches that take place via Google and Bing.

Let’s look at some hard facts regarding behavior online with regard to searches:

  • 90% of people searching for a product or service begin with an online search. (Source: Link 1)
  • 75% of users never scroll past the first page (Source: Link 1)
  • 85% don’t click paid ads – they go straight to organic (non-paid search results) (Source: Link 1)

Think about how you personally find what you want or need. If you don’t decide to buy a product or service based on a refer you got from a friend or family member, where do you turn next? You probably get on your computer, go to Google, and type in a string of keywords. Once you’ve done your due diligence and checked the results that show, you’ll make an informed decision and maybe even decide to buy – going with the best choice (due to cost, quality, reputation, or some other factor). The bottom line is you did your homework online. You are one of 90,000,000 consumers who also do things this way – via the internet.

Maximizing you marketing dollars

As a business owner, it’s key that you maximize the return you see from your marketing dollars. You’ve got to decide where you’re going to spend that money, and ensure that you get the most “bang for your buck.”

Something to consider: When you think about return on investment (ROI), think short-term and long-term. What method will get you the fastest, immediate ROI? What method will provide a sustainable, long-term ROI?
According to Search Engine Journal: Inbound leads cost 61% lower than outbound leads (Source: Link 1)

Fact: Within those inbound marketing techniques, SEO yields the highest overall long-term ROI when implemented properly. That’s a significant reason in itself to choose SEO as one of your key components in your marketing arsenal.
That being said, SEO makes a lot of sense which is why more and more small businesses are doing whatever they can to make sure they engage in it

OK – I get It!

So, you’ve made the decision – you want to leverage the power of SEO. For the most part, you really have 4 options:

  1. Learn SEO, do it yourself, and then keep up with it. (Possible but very technical, and very time consuming)
  2. Hire a full time employee who does nothing but SEO. (Pay benefits, social security tax, etc etc.)
  3. Make it a responsibility of somebody you’ve already got on your team (we call this half baking the pie (and you know how that can turn out))
  4. Leverage a firm with a staff that handles it all for you, and makes it their problem – soup to nuts.

When you do your homework and you way out the pros and the cons, most business owners find that option 4 is the best way to go. Why? This offer the fastest result, and makes it somebody else’s problem!

SEO is an incredibly dynamic industry and requires staying on top of the latest in best practice, algorithm changes, and industry trends. It really boils down to a lot of busy work – work that needs to be done properly and work that you really don’t want to spend your time doing.

The project team at Corbin Grimes can help

The team at www.corbingrimes.com has been doing internet marketing and SEO for over a decade and we’ve got a lengthy, proven track record of success to show for it. We specialize in making SEO super simple for our clients, and we can do it for less than any of our competition.

How? While our team is headquartered in Denver, CO, with our project management and sales staff located here to ensure top service for our clients, our production arm, is located overseas. Why? So we can save you money. Again – we know that SEO boils down to a lot of busy work. Why pay more when you can put those dollars elsewhere in your business? Times are tough and you’ve simply got to make every penny count! With Corbin Grimes, you’ll get the same results you’d get with a firm charging 10x more, but for much, much less. You get the best of both worlds – a local, USA based team to work with, and an overseas team to execute the vision and handle the tasks required to produce results.

What’s more? With Corbin Grimes, you’ll be tapping into decades of small business knowledge with a provider of turnkey small business consulting services that goes far beyond SEO. We know the ins and outs of business and how to avoid common mistakes business owners make. Corbin Grimes offers numerous business development solutions designed to grow your business and ensure that you attain success.

Sounds great – how does it work?

It begins with our strategic planning specialists gaining an understanding of your business, your customers, and your competition. We then devise a customized strategy around your business objectives and marketing budget. Next, a detailed plan is provided, outlining the timeframes and tasks that need to take place. Once everybody is on the same page and expectations are set, we’ll then work alongside your webmaster (or you, or us) to make the required tweaks to your site. After that, numerous “off-page” tasks take place, and then finally, we begin to analyze and measure the results. Detailed reports are available at your fingertips. Communication is key and we take it very seriously here at Corbin Grimes.com! You’ll be in the loop the entire way, and we make sure you see exactly how your SEO is benefiting your business, making recommendations as we go. Our objectives are the same – to make sure you get good return on investment and make your business more money.

Getting started

Getting started is simple. Just complete the inquiry form and let us know that you’re interested. We need to know that you’re serious about taking the next step in your marketing and with your business. Are you ready to take your business to the next level?  Tell us a little about yourself, and your business, and we’ll get back to you with a 100% free assessment of your website and an SEO strategy designed just for you. No cost, no obligation – just free advice to help you be a success! www.corbingrimes.com

Direct Line: 303-489-2014

 

Reference Sources:

Link 1 http://searchengineland.com/eye-tracking-study-everybody-looks-at-organic-listings-but-most-ignore-paid-ads-on-right-67698

 

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Demystifying Search Engine Optimization http://www.corbingrimes.com/demystifying-search-engine-optimization/ http://www.corbingrimes.com/demystifying-search-engine-optimization/#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2012 21:21:13 +0000 http://www.corbingrimes.com/?p=1301 Continue Reading]]> Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

So, you need to bring in more customers and get your products and services in front of more people but you don’t know where to start. You’ve got some knowledge of marketing, but don’t have much of an understanding of this new “inbound marketing”, internet based methodology. It sounds technical and complicated, and you think you can’t tackle it. You are not alone. Many small business owners are just beginning to understand what internet marketing is, and how to leverage it.

Inbound marketing is different than outbound (traditional) marketing in that inbound focuses on “findability”- that is, the ability to be found easily. Unlike outbound marketing that focuses mostly on a more invasive methodology of putting your product or service in the face of a prospective buyer (like telemarketing or direct mail), inbound marketing simply makes your business easily locatable and contactable via marketing channels like websites.

Contrary to popular believe, small businesses can engage in this new form of marketing easily and almost immediately. This article demystifies one of the most impact-full and highly popular elements of internet marketing – search engine optimization (SEO).

In this post, we’ll break down organic SEO (not paid) into manageable, actionable phases that can have an immediate impact on your business, and help explain some of the various things you need to be keeping in mind when considering SEO for your small business.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Basics

SEO is the practice of optimizing your website so that it ranks highly, and is compliant with search engine requirements. The end-game – get more visitors to your website by being on page one of Google and Bing.

SEO is a process and like all marketing, it takes money to make money. SEO is not an overnight, easy button for small business success. However, when planned and then executed properly, a good SEO campaign can yield some of the highest ROI (return on investment) of any marketing method. What’s more – SEO can pay great long term dividends to your business if you keep up with it and maintain the higher ranks in search engines that you’ve worked so hard to get.

Search Engine Optimization Planning

A good SEO company will slow you down, and collect all the required information they need up front to do a good job. A good SEO partner will tell you like it is, so be prepared to hear that you might need to make some changes tot hat website your daughter build for you as a college project. ;)

This planning phase is key, and almost always determines the success ratio of your campaign. It pays to take the extra time to do proper competitor research, keyword analysis, and strategic planning before you engage in an SEO campaign. If you choose to skip this step, all the money’s you allocate to your SEO endeavor can be wasted.

It all begins with gaining an understanding of your target markets and the strategic objectives you wish to aim for over a period of reasonable time. Here are just a few things that take place during this phase.

  • Competitor research
  • Keyword analysis and profitability research
  • Budgeting
  • Content creation and management planning

Search Engine Optimization – The On-Site Phase

Post the planning process, on-page optimization takes place where your sites website code is dialed in to near perfection. A series of numerous tasks occur, some of which are very technical in nature and others of which you can easily assist with on your own. This all depends on your level of competency in the given task. In any case, being involved in your SEO campaign is good best practice.

In this phase you optimize your sites code, content, art, etc. so that those individuals in that market find you when they seek for businesses like you online.

Here are a few activities and tips/tricks with on page optimization. HINT: If you don’t know what these things are, consider hiring a professional!

  • Improve Use of H1, H2 Tags
  • Use proper title tags on your pages
  • Create XML and HTML sitemap files, robots.txt files, etc.
  • Add a “quick contact” hovering sidebar, making it easier to connect with you.
  • Add Internal navigation links that link to and from other pages in your site.
  • Use anchor text in your links
  • Utilize Breadcrumbs which make it easy for visitors to move to track where they are in your site navigation
  • Optimize images to have relevant and keyword rich names, alt tags and short descriptions.
  • If your business is a service, add a page about best practice techniques and include a video on the process hosted at YouTube
  • Etc.

Search Engine Optimization – The Off-Site Phase

After on-page work is completed, a more lengthy off-page phase begins where your site and content talking about your services and products is distributed strategically across the internet, ultimately yielding in sources that point to you and your website. These tasks often include:

• Social bookmarking
• Link building
• Directory submissions, etc.
• Article marketing
• etc.

If you are a service provide who caters to local clientele, you’ll be placing heavy emphasis on local SEO. Local SEO entails, more specifically, focusing on ensuring prospects whom are seeking you in and around the city they are in and finding you over your competition. Getting properly setup with local directory sites like Google places (now called Google Plus Local) is key to ensuring you are located first over others.

Here are just a few must have Local SEO listing (please notate if a paid subscription is required)

  • Yelp.com
  • YellowPages.com
  • SuperPages.com
  • Facebook Local
  • Yahoo Local
  • CitySearch.com
  • Manta.com
  • YellowBook.com
  • DexKnows.com
  • MerchantCircle.com

While this phase doesn’t seem like rocket science, it pays to invest the money and have a specialized firm handle the work and handle it correctly.
If you choose to do this yourself, here are just a few local SEO tips you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Add a newsletter signup functionality for specials and sales.
  • Add City and State names in your Title tags, Meta descriptions, and the content on your site (as it fits, don’t just force it in there.)
  • Make use of Schema local markup to better help search engines identify and show your location
  • Include a KML file on your site (Keyhole Markup Language)
  • Create a dedicated city specific landing page on the store, wheelhouse, etc.
  • Add reviews – get the folks who gave you a testimonial to add legitimate reviews. Focus on Google places listing.
  • Standardize your NAP (Name, Address, Phone.) No abbreviations. This will be used in citations. A citation is defined as any place online where a site mentions your company by name and address, but not necessarily linked to it.
  • Put NAP on every page of site
  • Increase Number of citations.
  • Consider using a paid service like Yext to make sure that the information you’ve set up at your Google Places profile is distributed across all of the other major local platforms, in the same standardized format. Each of these entries will become a valid citation, which is extremely valuable in local SEO.
  • Use paid tools like the WhiteSpark local citation finder to locate ideal citation sources for your specific city.
  • Guest blog posts are a great way to add citations (manually approved by web master)
  • Focus on getting new citations, social mentions, and reviews consistently

Search Engine Optimization – The Importance of Analysis

Now that you’ve got all your on and off page work done, you’ll want to be keeping a close eye on your results and making the required adjustments where needed. There are a ton of monitoring tools out there to assist you in this vital phase.

Keep in mind that SEO changes, as it’s an incredibly dynamic field. You’ll want to stay on top of new trends, search engine algorithm changes (like Penguin and Panda), new techniques, and changes in poor practice penalty.

Using tools like Google Analytics is just the start. Arm yourself with the proper arsenal of research tools (free and paid for) to see how you can one-up your competition and squeeze in that extra rank improvement in the SERP (search engine results page)

Search Engine Optimization – Setting Expectations

SEO can benefit your business in as little as one month, to as long as one year. It all depends on budget, your market, your product, your competition and the SEO company you choose to work with. If you choose to outsource your SEO (often a smarter choice) choose a company that practices white hat, ethical search engine optimization practice and will take the time to teach you about the service as you go – making you a better, smarter marketer. After all, your involvement (or lack of involvement) can play a vital role in the success in an SEO campaign.

At the end of the day, SEO can be on of the most effective marketing tools available to a small business owner. Although it’s just one of many (and you should choose wisely where you spend your marketing dollars), it can be the most rewarding.

Consider speaking with an internet marketing generalist who has insight with SEO, E-Mail Marketing, Social Media, and other internet marketing methods so as to identify which is best suited to your objectives.

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The Importance of Knowledge Transfer in Business http://www.corbingrimes.com/the-importance-of-knowledge-transfer-in-business/ http://www.corbingrimes.com/the-importance-of-knowledge-transfer-in-business/#comments Tue, 27 Nov 2012 16:48:55 +0000 http://www.corbingrimes.com/?p=1294 Continue Reading]]> As a seasoned small business professional, I have worked alongside many very knowledgeable and talented individuals in many companies and many projects. Through this experience, I’ve found that information and knowledge is by far the most powerful tool one can have access to in business. As with any tool, I’ve seen it mis-used or mis-understood. I’ve also found that there can be numerous obstacles that can act as a catalyst for information and knowledge being properly shared and distributed across an organization, such as variances in personalities, enterprise environmental factors, cultural norms, etc. Regardless, it is knowledge and information that empower companies to innovate, make forward progress, compete, and strive in business. Knowledge transfer helps us connect and become one, more powerful synergistic force in an organization.

Knowledge Transfer (Sharing)

Knowledge transfer is quite simply, the act of spreading or sharing relevant business knowledge across managers, departments and employees. Knowledge sharing is a key component in good business communicative best practice, and is key to ensuring all inner working elements of your business are literally “on the same page”.

When I speak of knowledge transfer, I don’t just mean information that is relevant to the task at hand. Companies can benefit from transferring knowledge that may only exist for example, in one department, but might be beneficial to all. Here is an example: With SEO (Search engine optimization) There are numerous people in your company that may be able to contribute to your SEO objectives, whether its with on page content, off page content, strategic link partnerships, web programming etc. Keywords should be shared, best practices in writing style should be made standard, etc. Sales should be forwarding link opportunities, customer service – testimonials. Marketing – blog entries, press releases and copywriting. In any case, if all of the individuals in each of these very different departments doesn’t understand what SEO is, why it matters to the company, and what the primary objectives are, you will struggle to have a successful SEO campaign. SEO is an example of one aspect in business that really requires everybody to be on the same page (knowledge transfer).

In some scenarios, knowledge transfer can be so critical, that a failure or breakdown in transfer can result in the demise of the business objective entirely, thus it is critical to ensure that knowledge is properly disseminated to the individuals who need it most.

Communications Silos

In small business, we often encounter “knowledge silos”, or, bottlenecks that keep from the natural proliferation or transfer of knowledge. Silos can come in many forms such as simple communication misunderstandings, poor systems for sharing knowledge, or even individuals whom are unwilling to share knowledge.

Breaking down communication silos is an important part of maintaining good communications sharing protocol in the workplace. That being said, not all knowledge is of course appropriate for all parties, so managers must be proactive in determining what information should be shared, when, and why.

The Deep Dive & The Subject Matter Specialist

Sometimes, a project or strategic endeavor may require an individual to do a “deep dive” on a subject so as to become the resident subject matter specialist. This individual then becomes the facilitator of the new information and spreads the information across departments, coworkers, and even upper level management.
Deep dives can be highly beneficial for small businesses that seek rapid innovation, change, or adaptation to a business scenario or challenge.

Continuing Education

In any business, it’s important to reinforce with employees the importance of continuing education. Continuing education (CE) can reinforce an individual’s skills and knowledge in a particular core competency, or provide new insight into new areas that complement existing core competencies. In either case, the business and the individual employee benefit from this growth.
Employees or businesses that become complacent in their knowledge base tend to suffer and fall behind to their competition that is willing to stay on the forefront of technology, trends, new best practice etc.

Providing some type of CE program for your employees to engage in (like an online video training library such as Lynda.com) is a great way to ensure that they have access to the tools and techniques required to stay on top. Encourage them to use it, and learn something new about things they are interested in. Then, encourage them to transfer at least one interesting thing they have learned to another in the organization. This practice will encourage the proliferation of knowledge transfer within your company, an aid in making each employee a more valuable, long-term asset to your organization.

Different Personalities Different Communication Methods

One of the more challenging things to overcome with communications in business is the fact that not every personality is the same and thus our methods of transferring information must vary.

Let’s examine a few types of personalities in the workplace.

  • Embracers – The embracer is one whom truly appreciates the opportunity to learn something new. It doesn’t matter who it’s from, or how they learn it – it just excites them that they have gained knowledge they didn’t have before. These individuals typically also share knowledge well with others in a team environment.
  • Hoarders – These individuals like to hoard information, as they feel that keeping it to themselves somehow empowers them over others.
  • Small Dog – Let’s face it, nobody likes to feel stupid. However, some personalities become offended when you enlighten them with something they did not know and especially if you do it over and over. Eventually, they feel incompetent and inferior. This individual is dangerous in the workplace and can become a problem in other ways if not managed properly.
  • Braggarts – The braggart uses information as means of showing others that he/she possesses knowledge that others do not and they are proud of it. Ironically, the braggart, when managed properly, can be a tremendous asset in a small business setting. Put this person in a role that capitalizes on this unique attribute of their personality and let them spread the information like a virus. Just make sure its information you want shared!

Regardless of the type of personality you are working with, you must adapt your methods of approach and persuasion to attain the objective you seek with that individual. In the case of knowledge transfer, taking the right approach can make or break how the individual receives it, (or if they receive it properly) and/or if they choose to then share that information with others.

Systems and More Systems

At the center of any organization with a successful knowledge transfer process is a good system. A system empowers individuals to connect and network in an efficient and cost effective way. Systems bridge communication gaps, record and archive important knowledge assets, and in some cases, make sharing as simple as one click.

A fantastic system used for years in small business is a WIKI. A wiki allows managers or employees to enter important topics into a centralized, often web accessible database. Much like a blog, it’s simple user interface makes it ultra-simple to add, edit, delete posts, articles, documents, etc. Wikis can be used in many ways, and can be adapted to benefit your organization as needed.

Other systems, like knowledge bases, are more robust solutions that allow for deep archiving of large amounts of data and information which can be retrieved at any later date. Knowledge bases are typically used in settings where there are lots of questions and answers being generated continuously – perhaps in a technical setting or intensive environment where rapid change is commonplace.

Some systems are more conducive to tracking progress on projects, tasks or activities. These systems can be an important component in the knowledge transfer process where teams of people are working towards a common objective.
Whatever system you choose, begin by determining the needs of your organizations knowledge share objectives and choose or build a system that supports those strategic objectives. Look for scalability, flexibility and ease of use for both yourself and your end-users.

Conclusion

As Sir Francis Bacon once put it, “Knowledge is power”. Be conscious of how information flows to and from individuals in your organization and seek ways to ensure that positive and valuable knowledge is shared across departments in all ways possible. Be a facilitator of knowledge in your organization. Successful knowledge transfer can yield amazing benefit to small and medium size businesses and help an organization attain a synergistic environment in which individuals capitalize off the benefits of free flowing knowledge. Individuals will experience the benefits and rewards of personal growth and development which will also yield positive outcome to the business.

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25 SEO Tips, Tricks and Secrets http://www.corbingrimes.com/seo-tips-tricks-and-secrets/ http://www.corbingrimes.com/seo-tips-tricks-and-secrets/#comments Fri, 26 Oct 2012 17:31:55 +0000 http://www.corbingrimes.com/?p=1243 Continue Reading]]> SEO Starter Guide: 25 Tips, Tricks, and Secrets You Should Know

Anyone that is just starting an internet business in Denver must learn about Search Engine Optimization Denver, or Denver SEO. Due to fierce competition among internet businesses, SEO can mean the difference between your business failing or becoming successful. Why? SEO determines how far up the search engine rankings your website will be, and how long it takes it to get to the top of those rankings. The closer your site is to the top, the more “hits” you will receive, which translates into more customers, more business, more sales, and more profit for you.

No matter whether you are new to online business or a seasoned veteran, you should be aware that Google is the number one search engine in the world and it is the new way of being found as a business. For this reason, you must know how to get your website to the top of Google’s rankings. This can be a daunting task and you will likely require the help of an Internet Marketing Expert Denver. What’s more? Google doesn’t casually disclose the secrets behind its search algorithm, so we’ve compiled 25 of the best tips and tricks, and secrets for increasing your website’s Google SEO rank.

1. SEO Secret: Read Google’s SEO Beginner Guide

Google has made efforts to assist webmasters and marketers alike with understanding the “rules” of search engine optimization. Although there is no one secret or trick to being number one in Google, there are best practices that they openly share. Download and read the beginners guide to SEO.

2. SEO Tip: Building Power Links

SEO tip number two concerns links. Links of any kind are the “food of search engine optimization” and are helpful to your website, but powerful links are critical. Anyone that is familiar with SEO tricks will tell you that links are a critical part of your SEO strategy, what Google is keeping under its’ hat is that they consider powerful links more when it comes to increasing the rankings of your website. For instance, if you have 100 links from average bloggers, you are doing your SEO work, but if you get just one link from a power site such as the Huffington Post, it will be worth more than the combination of the other 100. When link building, keep an eye on the quality of your links more than the quantity. It will also give your site a boost if you can land any .edu or .gov links. These are considered to be power links by Google as well.

3. SEO Secret: Keeping up with Changes

The third SEO secret all beginners need to know is that Google changes the rules continuously, it is critical to keep up with Google updates. Even as this article is being written, Google is changing the rules. Anyone that stays abreast of internet news and business knows that Google is always trying to take power from Facebook; with the advent of Google+, they are finally making some headway. The way they are doing this is by giving members of Google+ personalized search results. The results for the members of Google+ come directly from activity on Google+; this is Google’s way of ensuring that everyone is using their social networking site over Facebook. Set up a Google+ account and you will be able to use this to your advantage.

4. SEO Secret: Fill Your Website with Great Content

SEO secret number four is that there really is not any secret to SEO other than filling your website with great content. Google does not want businesses to know that great, fresh content is the most important thing you can have on your site. In the end, the people that use them power Google, and other search engines, and those people are looking for great content that helps them solve their problems. When setting up your website start creating content for people and not for search engines.

5. SEO Trick: Purchase an Old Domain Name

SEO trick number five. When you purchase your domain, purchase an old domain. The reason for this is that search engines assume that new domains are unreliable; therefore, they impose an aging delay on new domains. If you purchase a new domain, you will wait a minimum of ten months before your site has any chance of entering the top 20.

6. SEO Secret: Make Your site Spider Friendly

SEO secret number six is to create a website that is spider friendly. Keep in mind that spiders do not fill complicated forms. The way to work around this is to use an alternate HTML link that will enable the spiders to have access to your entire site. The best way to accomplish this is to have complete site map that includes links to all of your site’s internal pages.

7. SEO Trick: Use Keywords Properly

SEO trick number seven concerns keywords. Do not overload your website content with popular keywords such as “games,” “television,” or other popular keywords. A better strategy is to use a keyword phrase such as “great games,” or “interesting television.”

8. SEO Tip: Do Not use Spammer or Farm Links on Your Website

The next of our SEO starter tips and tricks again concerns links. Take great care to ensure that you are not using spammer links or a link to farm websites on your web page. If you do this, Google will mark your site as a spammer site and it will have detrimental effects to the rank of your site.

9. SEO Secret: Create a Fast Loading Website

This next SEO secret is one that many beginners do not even think about. When building your website ensure that it is a fast loading website, and that it is reliable. Websites that have a lot of down time and load slowly get bad rankings from Google.

10. SEO Tip: Never Rename Your Website

Another great piece of advice is do not rename your website. Once your website is up and running, do not rename the website. If you do Google, and other search engines, will start your site from the bottom. This means you will need to re-start your SEO campaign.

11. SEO Tip: Use Your Most Relevant Keyword in Your URL

This next tip is another very important tip for your SEO strategy. Make sure that you have your most relevant keyword in the URL of your website. This may seem like a small thing but all search engines use this as a method of checking the relevancy of your website. Another thing to remember is to have your main keyword in you title tag as well.

12. SEO Secret: Use Primary Keywords when Naming Files and Folders

This SEO secret brings us to number twelve. Use your primary keywords in the names of the folders on your website. For example, if your website is about pet supplies use contact_us_for_pet_supplies.html as a folder or file name. Do this for all of the files and folders connected with your site and you will see dramatic results in your ranking.

13. SEO Trick: Avoid using Cloaking on Your Website

The next SEO trick is to avoid site cloaking. This is the process of having two sets of content, one for users, and an entirely different set of content for spiders. Several years ago, this was a popular method of fooling the spiders into giving a website higher ranking. Again, advanced algorithms catch this and will drastically lower the ranking of your website.

14. SEO Tip: Never Over Optimize Your Website

One of the biggest mistakes made by beginners is to over optimize their website. This is another of those old practices that worked in the past, but now this SEO strategy will kill your site’s rankings. Again, good content that is changed regularly will go a long way to increase your rankings.

15. SEO Tip: Keep Your Content Fresh

Having good, high quality content on your website is critical. You must also keep your content fresh, having new content on your website will give your rankings a big boost. If you do not have the time to write new content then you should make use of one of the many websites that offer writing services. These sites are full of talented freelance writers that can write your content for you.

16. SEO Tip: Make use of Google Analytics URL Builder

Our next tip is to use Google Analytics URL Builder. This is a tool made by Google, which allows you to understand who is visiting your site, and what they are doing when they arrive at your site. Are they making a purchase, registering for something, or just bouncing out? The tool also allows you to easily track Facebook leads, e-mail leads, and leads from almost anything on your site. This great tool will help you ensure your SEO strategy is working.

17. SEO Secret: Learn how to Use Google Alerts

The next SEO secret is to make use of another Google tool. This tool is Google Alerts, and is a monitoring tool that allows you to notice what is happening within your industry. This allows you to find SEO opportunities and adjust your SEO strategy in order to take advantage of those opportunities.

18. SEO Trick: Create a Site Map for Your Website

Search engine spiders love site maps. They do not necessarily help increase your ranking, but they do allow the spider full access to your site via the links in your site map. If you have power links, and links containing the keywords for your site then your site map will help boost your rankings.

19. SEO Tip: Start a Blog in Conjunction with Your Website

The next SEO tip is one that most people do not like doing but it can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to your SEO strategy. This tip is to BLOG, Blogging is a great way to advertise your site, and get the news of your site out to the world. You can make use of Google to monitor the success of your blog by using search tabs.

20. SEO Tip: Find and Use Unique Keywords

Finding unique keywords is critical for your SEO strategy. There is a simple way to find unique keywords for your site. First, do a Google search using a keyword that describes your website. Once the results come back click more search tools, then click related searches. This will give you a list of keywords that are related to your main keyword, but they are likely to be more unique.

21. SEO Secret: Learn about and use the Google Page Speed Tool

This next SEO secret concerns using another Google tool. We mentioned in an early tip that the speed at which your site loads is critical to Google. They make a tool called Google Page Speed that will help your tune your website for maximum page speed.

22. SEO Trick: Format Your Keywords so they Stand out

Use bold, italics, or bold italics to make your keywords stand out from the rest of the text on your site. Search engine spiders will pay more attention to the keywords if they stand out from the rest of the page.

23. SEO Tip: Learn to use Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool

Using the Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool is the perfect way to know that you have added a picture to your website correctly. Why is this important? Adding pictures to your website is a great way to increase the number of hits your site receives and increase your Google ranking.

24. SEO Tip: Read and Learn the Google Guide to SEO

Our next to last SEO tips is to make use of the Google Guide to SEO. This guide does not tell you everything there is to know, but it does give you the basics of “on page” SEO. This guide is also a great way of learning about AdWords.

25. SEO Tip: Keep Learning

Our last SEO secret is to keep learning and keep on top of internet trends and Google trends. If you want to be successful on the internet, this is probably the most important SEO trick to remember. Knowledge is power; this is especially true when it comes to SEO.

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A Beginners Guide to Local SEO http://www.corbingrimes.com/local-seo/ http://www.corbingrimes.com/local-seo/#comments Mon, 22 Oct 2012 20:11:57 +0000 http://www.corbingrimes.com/?p=1229 Continue Reading]]> Local SEO Basics

Even with the increase in technology and the Internet, most businesses are still doing business locally. When it comes to Denver Search Engine Optimization, the gyst of Denver SEO is as follows: If you own a dog grooming business in Denver, Colorado, then you will probably not want to cater to those living outside Denver, the idea being, most individuals search the Internet in order to find a local business. If your business is currently not on the World Wide Web, now is the time to rethink that. If you want to increase your business, then you need to have an online presence, because chances are, your competition already does.

Your Denver SEO Plan will include:

A Website – You definitely need to have a local website in order to get on the map. The trick is making the website local. In order to make your website local, your address and contact information should be visible on each page of your site. This will make it easier for search engines, such as Google to determine where you are located. If you own a chain business, then you should have one specific web page for each location. For the content on your page, use keywords that locals would type in when searching for your location. Additionally, consider building a dedicated landing page that caters to the demographic profile of your local based prospects.

Get Listed in Online Directories – Having your business listed in an online directory will help your local search engine ranking. When you list your business in an online directory, you need to make sure the business has the exact same name and address in each listing.

The Search Engines Need to Know About Your Location – Don’t just sit there and wait for the search engine to notice the location of your business. Go ahead and help the search engines out by telling them about your business. Google allows individuals to set up their business as a place. In addition, you’ll want to take advantage of any free (or paid) local directory listing like YP.com, Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc., etc. The more credible sites you’re listed on, the better. Google recognizes all of these websites listing and linking to you, so it all helps.

Online Reviews are good – You should encourage your customers to leave online reviews. Online reviews will help establish your popularity with search engines, which will increase your chances of getting closer to the top in local search results.

Point blank, if you own a business, then you need to go ahead and make your online presence. Just remember that no matter how good your local SEO is, it is not going to be 100% successful, until you do things offline to meet your customer’s needs and create customers that are satisfied. By combining good local business practices with good local SEO practices, more individuals will hear about your business.

 

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10 SEO Terms You Need to Know … http://www.corbingrimes.com/seo-terms/ http://www.corbingrimes.com/seo-terms/#comments Mon, 22 Oct 2012 20:07:54 +0000 http://www.corbingrimes.com/?p=1222 Continue Reading]]> SEO Terms – The Basics

When it comes to SEO, you don’t want to be left out in the cold. If you have a website or blog, then you definitely need to do some research on SEO. A good way to start would be to familiarize yourself with some common terms used. In this posting, we are going to give you 10 SEO terms you need to know.

1.) SEO
Some people don’t realize that SEO is an abbreviation. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the terminology given to the process of making your site and/or blog more visible in Search Engines. There are many different Search Engine Optimization techniques a webmaster can use.

2.) SEM
SEM is short for Search Engine Marketing. Search Engine Marketing involves marketing products or services through search engines such as Google. It is divided into two main columns – SEO and PPC. PPC (Pay per Click) consists of buying clicks from search engines. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) involves optimizing a site to make it show up in the organic search results.

3.) Backlinks
A backlink is a hyperlink outside of your website and blog that is pointing to your website. If you are not using backlinks, you should start, because they affect the Page Rank, which influences the search rankings.

4.) Search Algorithm
In order to find the relevant web pages for a search query in Google, individuals use Google’s search algorithm. According to Google, their search algorithm considers over two hundred factors, including the title tag, Page Rank value, the content of the site, the age of the domain and the meta tags.

5.) Sandbox
No, when we use the word “Sandbox” on the Internet, we are not referring to something fun. The Sandbox is where Google places the newly discovered sites and blogs. When a site appears in the sandbox, it is not going to show up in any of the search results, no matter what is typed in. Once Google has verified that the site is legitimate, the site will be moved from the sandbox into their main index. If Google finds that a site is not legit, they will keep it in the sandbox.

6.) SERP
SERP is short for Search Engine Results Page. For example, when you type in a keyword in Google, the SERP is the page that comes up. In order to increase your chances of receiving a lot of visitors to your page, you should have a high rank on the SERP page.

7.) Title Tag
The Title Tag is the title of a web page. The Title tag is important when it comes to search engines. In the title tag, you should have all of your main keywords.

8.) Panda and Penguin
The Panda and Penguin updates are referring to updates released by Google. The updates are for the search engine ranking algorithm.

9.) Spider
A spider is a computer program that crawls the Internet, collecting information on websites.

10.) Keyword Density
In order to find the keyword density for any page or article, just take the amount of times the keyword has been used and divide it by the total number of words in the article or page.

These 10 terms barely scratch the surface of the SEO world. SEO is an incredibly dynamic and complicated area within inbound marketing, and it’s important to stay up to date with this ever changing field if you want to stay on top.

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Beginners Guide to E-Mail Marketing for Business http://www.corbingrimes.com/beginners-guide-to-email-marketing-for-business/ http://www.corbingrimes.com/beginners-guide-to-email-marketing-for-business/#comments Sat, 04 Aug 2012 02:47:05 +0000 http://www.corbingrimes.com/?p=1112 Continue Reading]]> Email Marketing in small business is one of the most exciting ways to generate new leads and create opportunities. Email marketing requires many components of work, and each has to be done in a meticulous manor.

Here is what needs to be done to execute an effective, outbound email marketing campaign:

  1. Procure a data list broker. One of the best for business lists is Dun and Bradstreet. One of the best for consumer email databases is Experian. These will charge you to obtain a single, one- time use list, or license you access to a database.
  2. From there, build a list that meets your demographic profiling needs and/or other business requirements. You can specify specific industry verticals by identifying that industry’s SIC code.
  3. Design a powerful email marketing campaign with well written copy, professionally designed art, good offer, strong call to action etc. You’ll also need a complimentary landing page to collect leads. Consider offering a WIFM or downloadable freebie to sweeten the deal. Have an attention/results oriented subject line and a catchy headline in your email.
  4. Procure an ESP (email service provider). Choose an ESP that offers a dedicated IP address, image hosting, list management, and simple to use/navigate user interface. It’s also handy to have access to critical reporting metrics like deliverability rates, click through rates, and responses.
  5. Load your list, and schedule campaign deployment.
  6. Watch the leads roll in!
  7. Capture leads in a CRM, like ZOHO. These systems help you organize and manage your prospects, leads and customers.
  8. Be sure to manage your list’s unsubscribes and be ethical about CANSPAM laws. Treat your list with respect and don’t abuse your recipients with an overly aggressive send frequency.
  9. Periodically, append new email addresses to your database to curb attrition.
  10. Analyze your metrics further and begin to segment your lists and narrow your targeting to the utmost possible precision.

Designing and deploying one or more email marketing campaigns is a lot of work. Maintaining and sustaining profitable email marketing program requires expertise, and constant attention to deliverability and open rate trends. Consider hiring an Internet Marketing Experts Denver like those at CorbinGrimes.com to guide you through your first email marketing campaign or to manage a longer term email marketing effort.

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The Importance of a Software Project Specifications Document http://www.corbingrimes.com/the-importance-of-a-software-specifications-document/ http://www.corbingrimes.com/the-importance-of-a-software-specifications-document/#comments Fri, 06 Jul 2012 01:44:42 +0000 http://www.corbingrimes.com/?p=880 Continue Reading]]> Experienced Project Managers know to never take on a project until they understand what is required. Project managers must then properly solicit those requirements from everybody necessary (stakeholders) and document those requirements in a formal process.

Every project has it’s requirements. Project requirements should always be:

  • Measurable
  • Trackable
  • Traceable
  • Complete
  • Consistent
  • Acceptable

Once approved, the requirements go into a more formal “spec document”. Far to often, spec documents (or sometimes refereed to as SRS, or “Software Requirement Specifications” document) are overlooked in a software development project. A requirements management plan is then written to help control the requirements of the project.

A properly written specifications documents includes all the required functional and non-functional essentials. In depth explanations using words and or visual aids, clearly convey all important aspects of the product or service via a scope statement. These are key components to the product, and are largely considered non-optional.

Project stakeholders who do not typically create specifications documents, or, do not understand the critical value they bring to a project perspective usually rush or completely fore-go developing the spec doc, or create what is called a “minimal specification”. (Like a drawing on a paper napkin)

Failure to properly produce an adequate spec can double or even triple project costs, create unnecessary delay and potentially cause even further damage to a business. Furthermore, lack of detailed spec can cause issues such as “scope creep” which can cause the additional of unplanned for ad on-s that can potentially slow a project own to a crawl. The most effective time to produce a properly written spec document is always at the beginning of a project, as the costs involved in remedying mistakes increases exponentially when they are corrected mid-way or towards the end of the project.

When a software project (or any project) has to have work done twice it is called “re-work”. Projects that requite re-work can incur additional costs ranging from anywhere from 30-50%. Inadequate requirements can account for up to 80% of this additional cost. (Microsoft Software Requirements V2.0 – 2003)

Spending time up front to do proper (adequate) due diligence, identify the requirements of the primary project stakeholder(s), and document this so all team members ore “literally on the same page”, is unequivocally vital to a projects favorable outcome.

 

By Corbin Grimes | 2012

Corbin Grimes is a business consultant in Denver, Colorado. His passion for internet marketing, information technology, and international business has aided countless start-up companies in growing their businesses. Today, Corbin Grimes focuses on SEO (search engine optimization) and international business outsourcing, leveraging the expertise of talented individuals all over the globe.

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Cheap Web Design | Tips and Tricks to an Affordable Custom Website http://www.corbingrimes.com/cheap-web-design-tips-and-tricks-to-an-affordable-custom-website/ http://www.corbingrimes.com/cheap-web-design-tips-and-tricks-to-an-affordable-custom-website/#comments Wed, 20 Jun 2012 18:22:10 +0000 http://www.corbingrimes.com/?p=1077 Continue Reading]]> Does your start-up company need a custom website designed? Want a custom website, but don’t have a huge budget to do so? Want to keep the project cheap, but also have it be professional looking and well performing? If you are this individual, you’ve come to the right place. Fortunately, you are in luck! There are many ways to build an inexpensive website while achieving the objectives noted above and without breaking the bank. Here we will explain how to build a cheap website that looks good, and works well for your business needs.

Corbin Grimes leverages many of these techniques for entrepreneurs who come to us with a shoe-string budget. What most people don;t understand is that you don’t have to sacrifice much to keep your custom website project low. Here are some of the tactics we have use to produce affordable, low cost websites for small businesses we have worked with in Denver including non-profit organizations and start-up companies with limited operating capital.

1.) Consider utilizing a web 2.0 compliant template – there are many preexisting templates that are easy to configure and customize. Templates are inexpensive and can save you money immediately. Additionally, you’ll save time and money by eliminating the guesswork that goes with firming up your websites look and feel. Templates provide an affordable means of fast tracking your website, and can be customized in almost limitless ways. Look at templates for WordPress – one of the most popular web 2.0 compliant CMS (content management systems) available.

2.) Work with a company that has internationally located developers – As business continues to become more and more global, services such as web design, and graphics design are being outsides to countries with highly talented developers, at one fifth the cost. Corbin Grimes leverages a team of experts located across 7 different countries whom can accomplish any task. Why pay a USA bases graphic artist $45.00 an hour when you can get that same quality design work for only $10.00 an hour? Let’s face it – there are certain things in business that just make sense and this is one of them!

3.) Utilize free stock image libraries – When building your custom website, you’ll find that integrating art assets such as graphics, photos, and video can be costly. However, they don;t have to be. Do your research and locate web based resources that offer this type of media for free. Consider taking your own shots and integrating those into your website, instead of paying up to hundreds of dollars to license somebody’s work. Checkout Google images for images that are available to use (look into the licensing guidelines, and always abide by copyright laws/restrictions) I do however recommend considering to allocate a portion of your budget to some professionally composed imagery – your viewers will notice the difference so cut corners with this only where you can get away with it.

Feel free to reach out to us for other tips and tricks on how to produce a cutting edge custom website for less!

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Marketing 101 | The Customer Lifecycle http://www.corbingrimes.com/marketing-101-the-customer-lifecycle/ http://www.corbingrimes.com/marketing-101-the-customer-lifecycle/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 22:46:02 +0000 http://www.corbingrimes.com/?p=1042 Continue Reading]]> The Customer Lifecycle in Small Business

It is every small business owner’s goal to obtain more customers and increase their sales but did you know that statistically speaking, it is nine times more difficult to get business from new customers than it is to get more business from your existing customers?
In this article, we will discuss the ideal customer lifecycle (CLC). The CLC below outlines in a step by step fashion, how customers are procured, and how a small business owner can yield as much value from that customer over time as possible.
There are seven phases to the customer lifecycle.

1.) Attract Traffic – It all begins with lead generation. While the methods of lead generation may vary between small businesses, there are common marketing tactics and best practices that work for any business. Methods including website optimization, search engine optimization, social media marketing, direct mail (postcards, letters, etc.) e-mail marketing, all provide viable means of getting your product or service in front of more people.

• Many small business owners begin with their immediate sphere of influence (friends and family) to begin getting the word out; this can create some quick customers simply via word of mouth and referral.
• Keep in mind whom you are speaking to, and make sure that they meet your target market.
• Maximize the bang for you buck, and measure your successes and failures so you know where to spend your marketing dollars.

2.) Capturing Leads – Behind any marketing endeavor is a call to action (CTA) – the statement that prompts your customer to take an action (ex: to buy something or sigh up for your service) Your marketing should have a backend system that funnels that interest to the CTA, and then captures their information in an organized way. In e-mail marketing, for example, marketers use what is called a landing page. The landing page is a simple form that reiterates the value in the offer (or value proposition), and then makes it easy for prospects to take the next step. Good systems keep prospects focused, and minimize “friction”, or distraction points. Design your system to capture the lead quickly, and efficiently.

3.) Nurturing Prospects – Getting quality leads is difficult, and many small businesses let leads slip right through the cracks once they come in. Consider using CRMs or other systems to keep track of your prospects, leads and customers. Be sure you are regularly communicating with them, and not only when you want something from them ($$) but just to let them know you are still there.
Whatever systems you use, be sure you can be timely in your follow ups and follow through with your conversations in a consistent manor. This helps avoid having customers slip through the cracks and missing out on opportunities.
Don’t treat all of your leads as the same, because they are not. Try and qualify your leads using questions and qualifiers to determine (as quickly as possible) if they are just window shopping.
4.) Convert Sales – Converting an interested lead usually takes multiple touches. Did you know that on average, a lead requires up to seven touches before it can be nurtured into a customer? Having good systems in place helps ensure that your follow ups and touches are consistent and diligent. Persistency, being one of the key elements of any good salesman, is key in lead conversion. Do what it takes to close the deal, even if it means taking on business that is not necessarily profitable upfront. As you work the customer (properly) over time, more business will come.

5.) Deliver & Satisfy – Delivering the product (and as you’ve sold it) is imperative to retaining a customer, but their satisfaction is even more important. This is where you’re customer service comes in to play. Remember this acronym: P.P.M.I. – It stands for “personally pleasing memorable interaction” and it is the cornerstone fundamental to good customer service in small business. Be sure you leave your customer with that “wow” feeling – they will come back for more!

6.) Up Sell Customer – Once you’ve satisfied your customer, you’ve opened the door to additional opportunities. Look into new ways to get new business from your existing customers. Timing is everything, so play your cards right!

Are upgrades available to what you’ve sold? Are they experiencing challenges that other products you have can solve? Spend time getting to know your customers pain points, and find ways that your products or services can resolve them.

7.) Get Referrals – A satisfied customer is often compelled to share their positive experience with their immediate share of influence. Nowadays, they can even do so via the social media channels, reaching hundreds if not thousands in a single mention! The best way to get a referral is to ask for it. Devise a simple follow up note (sometimes thank you notes can be used) and ask them for the referral. You’d be surprised how many small business owners completely forget to leverage this very important means of lead generation. Follow up with referrals quickly, and keep all parties in the loop as to your progress. (this will ultimately help your efforts)

By Corbin Grimes | 2012
Corbin Grimes is a small business consultant in Denver, Colorado. His passion for internet marketing, information technology, and international business has aided countless start-up companies in growing their businesses. In addition to focusing on internet marketing and small business development, Corbin Grimes focuses on SEO (search engine optimization), custom website design, and international business outsourcing, leveraging the expertise of talented individuals all over the globe.

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