Tag Archives: google

Consider the Following Recommendations When Designing a Mobile-Friendly Website

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

Before we get into what defines a mobile-friendly website, let’s first discuss why this is even relevant.  About a year ago, Google released its algorithm known as Mobileggedon.  In essence, this algorithm penalizes websites that are not “mobile-friendly” by decreasing that website’s ranking in mobile search results.

So what may have been the catalyst to releasing Mobileggedon?   Since 2014, mobile devices have been the primary devices utilized to access the internet.   Desktop is still important, but it is no longer considered first-line.  Therefore, Google’s Mobileggedon algorithm is like a “tough love” approach in encouraging businesses to always design their websites with mobile devices in mind.

When developing a mobile-friendly website/webpage, consider the following recommendations:

1) Do NOT design a separate mobile website from your desktop version because it is redundant!

Think about it.Why would you create two different websites (mobile & desktop versions) that contain the same content?Google already penalizes websites for duplicate content.So why would you allow your website to be penalized for duplicate websites?

2) Use Responsive Web Design (RWD)

According to Wikipedia, RWD is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

From a technical standpoint, RWD employs use of flexible layouts, flexible images, and cascading style sheet media queries. This allows a web page to be able to detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation; and change the layout accordingly (think auto-adjusting to fit your mobile device’s screen).

3) Always include a viewport meta tag

The viewport is a virtual area used by the browser-rendering engine to determine how content is scaled and sized.   The viewport meta tag tells your browser that the web page needs to fit the screen.

Typically, when loading full-sized web pages, mobile browsers display the entire page at reduced magnification.When a website does not make use of a viewport meta tag, users may have to double-tap or pinch the screen to adjust the web display.The below illustration shows a typical web page layout displayed on a mobile screen:

In the above example, users typically must rotate their mobile screens, pinch to magnify, etc so that the content can be seen.

Applying a viewport is critical in creating web pages that are mobile-friendly.

The following shows a sample screen layout without a viewport. The initially loaded page is zoomed out much too far to be legible, while zooming in makes content extending off the right edge of the screen difficult to access:

This reflects the browser's default assumption that content should extend 980 pixels wide. Mobile browsers must make that assumption in order to render pages that are not optimized for display on mobile screens.

Finally, here’s the above screen layout after applying the viewport:

There are many different configurations that you can specify your viewport to control.  To explain the technical details any further would be beyond the scope of this article.The idea here is to understand the concept (and importance) of applying viewport meta tags to your webpage.

4) Font sizes and button size matter

Ideal font size is 14px.When creating labels or forms, consider reducing the font to at least 12px.  Same concept applies for buttons.   For optimal viewing, consider creating button size dimensions of at least 44px by 44px.

5)Use high-resolution images

According to Wikipedia, image resolution is the detail an image holds and can be applied to describe digital images, film images, and other types of images. Essentially, a higher resolution means more image detail.

Having extremely high-resolution images will prevent pixilated or even blurry images when viewed on a retina-quality screen.

6) Remove the default zoom

Using auto-zoom may interfere with a web page’s layout elements, especially for images and navigation content. They may appear small or too large in your layout.

The solution here is to make use of viewport meta tags.Again, to describe the technical details of this process in any more detail would be beyond the scope of this article.

7) Use YouTube videos on your site

Because YouTube already utilizes responsive web design (RWD) coding, any risk of difficulties in viewing videos on a mobile device are theoretically eliminated.

8) Don’t constrain your user’s mobile experience

Always include a “go to full website” or “view desktop version” option at the bottom of your site. This will give your website visitors the ability to choose how they want to view your website’s content.

9) Never stop testing

Even after your responsive website is complete, the testing never ends.Be sure to test your webpage on various mobile devices: Apple, Android, Windows, etc.Leave no stone unturned including buttons, layout, font, displays, etc.

Even more important is to allow someone who fits your target [demographic] user.Consider including someone who does not have an extensive technical background especially if this person comprises your primary demographic of potential users/visitors of your website.

Did I miss anything?  Your comments are always welcomed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Work Inbound Marketing?

Why Work Inbound Marketing?

Different teams are going to have different solutions for who does what when it comes to inbound marketing. At a smaller company, inbound marketing strategy may fall entirely to one person to create and execute. A larger team may have more specialized positions in content, social, brand, etc. or really any combination of the above tasks among any number of people, depending on the company’s needs an the team’s strengths.

So where does SEO fit in to all of this? Is search engine optimization as we know it being absorbed into other marketers’ jobs?

Rather than being threatened by other disciplines’ encroaching on our territory, or overwhelmed by the volume of tasks that go into a robust inbound marketing strategy, modern SEOs should be embracing the rise of inbound as a holistic approach since it allows us to do better marketing. The days of being handed a blog post and told to add keywords to it are coming to an end, and that’s a good thing!

What happens when a company has a lot of employees with SEO knowledge, but no SEO? I learned what that looked like when I started at SEOmoz. Obviously, lots of folks at SEOmoz understand SEO strategy and why it’s important, but it had been several months since an official SEO had worked at the company.

The result? A lot of elements that were important to SEO had fallen through the cracks or been back-burnered. Content producers knew that keywords were important, but didn’t know which ones to be using and where. New features had been added to the website in ways that were great for users, but created unnecessary headaches for search engines. Even though a lot of people on the marketing team understood the basic tenets of SEO, it was nobody’s job to make sure SEO was taken into account; they all had their own jobs to do. It’s one thing to know that SEO is important – it’s another to know what to pay attention to and look for, especially if your core competency is in another field.

The SEO as Inbound Marketer

Even at a company whose internal education around SEO is top-notch, it’s still vital to have someone to be a steward of the site’s online presence and search performance. SEOs need to take a “the buck stops here” attitude toward ensuring
that our designers, content creators, social media managers, PR representatives and the like are working together on a search-engine-friendly strategy that encompasses all of their efforts.

 

An SEO should be continually helping a larger inbound marketing team do better marketing in the following ways:

  • Analyzing keyword data and trends, and tracking traffic and links per content piece, to help the content manager create compelling, keyword-rich, linkworthy content.
  • Working with the dev team to keep the site fast, crawlable, error-free and trackable.
  • Building relationships with influencers in the space, and leveraging those relationships for links and shares.
  • Syncing with the Director of Marketing and PR contacts to enact a solid, consistent brand strategy, then making sure it’s seeded to the right places for maximum authority and impact.
  • Diving into analytics to support conversion rates; sharing analytics data with business development and account management teams to aid retention of search-driven customers.
  • Collaborating with the UX and design teams to make sure a site that’s a lovely experience for users is also a useful experience for search engines.
  • Consistently evangelizing SEO internally through ongoing education, and being a staunch advocate for SEO best practices in every meeting – the buck stops with you.

By starting to view SEO as a series of collaborations with more specialized colleagues, we can build inbound marketing programs as a team effort.

From Keywords to Sessions

One thing I’ve heard Duane Forrester from Bing speak on several times recently is the search session: the idea that people aren’t using search engines to make one-and-done searches, but rather to make a series of searches over a period of time that could be anywhere from several minutes to several days, before arriving at a decision that might result in a conversion. An example might be a user who starts with “honeymoon destinations” and searches for “beach honeymoon,” “romantic beaches Hawaii” and “Maui vacation packages” before finally searching on “cheap flights to Maui.” That keyword might be the one that gets the conversion, but each search is an opportunity to build brand relationships and influence the final purchase.

Even when consumers aren’t actively searching for things, they’re still building opinions about and relationships with brands via social media – not only through the conversations they’re having, but also through the content they consume. People spend a ton of time on the internet, and most of it isn’t on Google.

A robust, marketing-team-wide inbound marketing strategy is perfectly positioned to market to this new breed of searchers. In order to really start some next-level, better-than-ever organic search marketing, SEOs need to be cognizant of the fact that organic search is just part of a larger experience. To ignore inbound marketing in favor of tunnel-vision focus on SEO means fewer opportunities to engage with customers (not to mention fewer opportunities for links, shares, and other awesome SEO benefits).

We’re all in this together. Let’s get out there and make inbound marketing better.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Concise v. Wordiness: The Debate Over “Long form” Blogs

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

As a healthcare provider, I’ve been trained to read through an exuberant amount of information in order to glean what is important.  In a medical emergency, the physician usually has minutes to sift through a patient’s medical records (both past & current) to make quick decisions about how to care for an unstable patient.

This requires having the ability to quickly scan and find the most important points about a given patient who is critically ill.  This includes quickly determining the patient’s past medical history, current medications, social situation, current labs, diagnostic radiology, and physical exam all in minutes' time.

When it comes to reading about non-emergent matters (including blogs), I would prefer the writer to be short yet concise rather than long-winded and wordy.   Understandably, it takes skill to be concise just like it takes practice to get really great at reading for comprehension. 

Before writing your article or blog, answer & write down the following questions:

  • What is the topic or main idea of the article?
  • Title: Does my title reflect the content of the blog? Does it attract the reader?
  • What is the problem or issue being addressed and/or solved?
  • Why is this problem important and why should the reader care?
  • Does the article contain examples of the issue being discussed?
  • Is there a link to a specific article of reference?
  • Is there a photo (title or body) that reflects the blog topic?
  • What is the key message/lesson/points of the article?
  • What summarizes the above points? This typically comprises the last paragraph

Sometimes, a given blog topic requires a long explanation in order to illustrate all the points but there are ways to address this issue while still being concise and authoritative on the issue or topic.  This involves breaking up your topic into smaller topics that you write about in a series of blogs.  This will prevent the reader from getting lost or missing your overall points. 

A good example of conducting a “series” of blogs is the following:

I want to write about healthcare reform but it’s a huge category with lots of different topics and issues to discuss or write about.  Rather than submit a thesis-style article about all the various issues affecting healthcare, I submit a series of blogs on the topic of healthcare reform.

In other words:

Topics in Healthcare Reform (Heading)

            Subheading 1: Making PrEP available to all who are deemed “high risk” of acquiring HIV

            Subheading  2: Access to decent, affordable healthcare           

            Subheading  3: High Prescription drug costs

            Subheading 4: Making mental healthcare a priority

In the above, you are creating a series of topics in healthcare reform.  You have created four separate blogs about a different topic in healthcare reform rather than creating one long-winded article, which many would not want to read all at once.  By providing “chunks” of different topics within a series, your reader can read about one topic at a time while not missing key points.

In summary, before you start writing a blog, remember to essentially ask yourself the “who-what-when-where-why/how” questions while making sure your title reflects the content.  Also, if you think your topic is too broad or extensive, consider writing a “series” of blogs about your topic so that the reader gets just enough information that’s concise and will entice them to read more of your work.

OK, Healthcare Entrepreneurs…Your Turn.  Let’s Resuscitate Your Professional Portfolio

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

In this era of inbound marketing, we are constantly discussing the importance of making sure that the traits and characteristics that are associated with our personal lives are congruent with those that define our professional lives.   Many would refer to this as our “brand,” or that ‘intersection’ of values, traits, & characteristics that are prevalent in both our personal and professional worlds.  

For most, it should be easy to determine another person’s character within a specific period of time of interacting with them.  Having this information combined with a decent understanding of that person’s professional background, would serve as a good starting point for understanding that individual’s brand.

As healthcare professionals, many of us are guilty of what many may call outbound marketing strategies.  When we are applying for jobs or looking to advance our careers, we tend to update our CVs and then jump right into the “applying process” but then we forget to do all the other important things that matter.  These include having a completed LinkedIn profile with updated professional photo and publishing articles (or blogs) that further explain who we are & what we do. 

More specifically, we should consider:

*Establishing ourselves with our potential customer base (i.e., patients, hospitals/healthcare facilities, etc) by making sure we can be easily found online

*Making sure our online professional profiles (think LinkedIn) are congruent with who we are and what our mission (or company’s mission may be (i.e., branding).

*Making sure we have a current, professional photograph that clearly shows our face

*Ensuring that our certifications/credentials are highlighted and current

* Publishing blogs (articles) about our product(s) and how it relates to our potential customer base (i.e., areas of healthcare we practice, our target patient population, what services we offer, etc)

In summary, we must take the time to make ourselves more visible.  Gone are the days when patients and healthcare facilities would solely depend on our state’s medical board or sites like Healthgrades to conduct their due diligence.

They want to be able to do a quick Google search and find us along with our current professional photo, our certifications/qualifications, areas of practice, beliefs, etc so that they can make better choices as informed consumers and stakeholders in healthcare. 

Remember that healthcare, like many other sectors, is rapidly changing and will continue to become more like a “big business.”  This means familiarizing ourselves with inbound marketing strategies while ensuring that our online professional portfolio remains current.

Ultimately, the assumption is that we will build a loyal customer base (i.e., patients/healthcare facility/etc) and if our product (or services) is really great, then they will keep coming back for more and they will tell their friends, colleagues, etc about it. 

Because we took the time to establish credibility and online authority through implementation of the above, we will have accomplished two things:  

  1. positive word-of-mouth references from former patients/employers/healthcare facilities, etc (more subjective); and
  2.  a legitimate online “place” for those who do not yet know who we are (or our business) to easily find us to verify the information (more objective).

 

 

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

The Alexa Toolbar: Why You Need this Piece of "%#*&%@#".

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

So you’re probably wondering why I have the Alexa Toolbar Installed on my browser and why I tell my fellow marketers, webmasters and SEO gurus to do the same.

It’s simple. The Alexa  toolbar monitors all my surfing and collects information about what domains I visit. They don’t know that it’s “me” – they collect it as anonymous user data and use it to rank your web sites. Not only does Alexa use this information for determining where people surf on the web but so does google. Let me repeat that fact so it sinks in:

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

Installing the Alexa toolbar and surfing your own site will absolutely help you get your sites indexed by Google more quickly. I just started this blog today, and the GoogleBot has already come by without any inbound links!

Because the Alexa toolbar is such a pile, no one ever keeps it installed. So just by updating and surfing your own site daily, (assuming NO ONE else does), you can get your Alexa ranking from 5,500,000 or “no data” to around 300,000 in under a month and to 100,000 in 3 months.

Alexa Rankings and Google PR are two of the main factors uninformed people look at when considering link exchanges. (Page Rank is completely useless BTW we have a white hat PR 4 site that gets 20 visitors a day and unranked sites that get several thousand per day).

If you remember the Nielsen Company, famous for the Nielsen Ratings, you understand that what is put on television was once determined by what a minute fraction of TV viewers watched: The people with a Nielsen box on their TV Set – The Nielsen Families. Having the Alexa toolbar installed on your browser is like being a Nielsen Family for the web. Your surfing habits will determine what is most “popular” and what sites should be ranked higher in the SERPs.

Alexa’s Toolbar is a Great POWERFUL SEO tool.

That was reason enough for me to install the Alexa Tool Bar. Download it for yourself, and watch your Alexa Rankings Skyrocket over the next several weeks. We know Google looks at the Information, which means that Yahoo and MSN are probably looking at it too.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

How Being Genuine Can Strengthen You, Your Business, and Your Company

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

Recently, I came across an article written by Mamta Chhikara (http://hive.pe/eC), which goes on to list and describe specific qualities that a genuine person possesses:

*They don’t seek attention = Modest

*They’re not concerned with being liked = Confident and Authentic

*They can tell when others are full of it = Intuitive (a good judge of character)

*They are comfortable in their own skin = Self-assured and confident

*They do what they say and say what they mean = Integrity

*They don’t need a lot of stuff = Simplicity

*They’re not thin-skinned = Easy-going

*They’re not overly modest or boastful = Humble

*They’re consistent = Dependable

*They practice what they preach = Genuine, Honest

Always keep these traits in mind not only as business but also as an individual.   As entrepreneurs seeking to gain trust, authority, and a growing customer base, we should always be cognizant of the foundation of inbound marketing, which involves:

*Performing due diligence for you and your company

*Performing due diligence for your targeted audience/clients/potential customers

*Engaging with your targeted audience/clients/potential customers

During the process of engagement, we should always be aware of the above traits of genuineness.  Your future colleagues and customers will be looking for these traits and will likely have the following thoughts/concerns:

*They want to know if you are confident in your company and/or product.

*They will likely be more concerned about the content/effectiveness of your product and/or character more than shiny “bells and whistles.”

*You should be able to eliminate illegitimate leads or potential colleagues within minutes of engaging

*Your customers and your colleagues want to see that not only do you use the product in question, but also that you use the product well and are able to demonstrate the product’s effectiveness to your colleagues and potential customers

*Most of us can eventually “smell” an inferior product or individual within a short period of time.  A usual warning sign is too many “bells and whistles.”  Simplicity is the name of the game.  If it’s too complicated or if it feels like the product (or individual) is too flashy, then it may be perceived as ineffective or disingenuous.

*Your customers and colleagues want to know that they can reach you during tough times or emergent situations.  Are you easily accessible via multiple modalities of communication (i.e., phone, text, email, Skype, etc)?

Now, I am not one who typically needs validation in anything that pertains to who I am as a person but I felt markedly refreshed after reading this article.  Am I a genuine person?  Hell yes!  

Depending upon where you are or whom you are conversing with, we may describe a genuine person as either "the real deal" or "being real."  If you are a fan of Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central, then you are already familiar with his catch phrase "Keep It 100."  It's the same concept and I believe being genuine is parallel with having integrity as well as the other above traits.  

Not only does a genuine & authentic person display his authentic self at all times (obviously with some adjustment for discretionary purposes), but he also "says what he does and does what he says."  He is honest about who he is and his actions reflect his character regardless of the setting.  

 

Become a Lead Broker?

The ad said: “Become A Lead Broker”

$20,000 Monthly income potential… Today Google showed 70.3 million sites under the search term "MLM". All of those people are your prospects…” 

I say, “Why broker leads when one can generate leads?” Leads that a marketer generated him/herself are much better than leads on a list purchased from a lead broker.

Have you ever purchased leads, or used purchased leads? My experience is that purchased leads are largely a waste of time and money. Do you know when, where, or how the broker acquired the leads you purchased? Maybe the broker purchased the leads months or even years ago from another lead source.

Maybe the lead broker did capture the original data, but the data is easily manipulated. When the capture date gets more that a few months old, the broker can freshen up the list merely by adjusting the date to something current (within the last 12 to 72-hours) so he can sell the list as “fresh” leads.

Lead brokers are known to sell and resell, and resell their lists over, and over, multiple times. There is more than one reason for the saying, “The money is in the list”.

People tend to change email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, etc. on a regular basis and for multiple reasons. There are as many reasons as there are fish in the sea. How do you know that the data in the list you just purchased is at all accurate? Quite frankly, you don't know!

Names can stay in a broker's inventory for 10 years, or more.

Lead Poverty

Knowing this, why would anyone in their right mind buy lead list? When new people start out on a business venture, most of them have any sort of a reliable list. Didn't you start at zero names on your first business opportunity? That's called “lead poverty”.

People tend to do desperate behaviors when in lead poverty. When a new marketer has only a few leads, maybe around 10-50 live leads, anxiety sets in and desperation to make a sale, so the new marketer may call everyone on their list every day, or send text messages to those who don't answer the phone, or send out email messages, etc. Come on and admit it, nearly everyone did silly things like this. How many prospects did you actually offend and chase away with such actions? Don't fret over the mistakes. Chalk it up to the learning curve. However, we can help new people avoid those mistakes and teach them better methods.

Most people starting off in a business opportunity don't know how to start making a list of people to contact. They certainly don't want to contact their “warm market”, again… for the umpteenth time. Haven't you been there? (Likely more than once.) Yours truly sure has (more than once).

We don't want to face failure on the first or second day. We start getting desperate We find an ad about purchasing a list of leads. Maybe the ad offers a small amount of free leads as a teaser to get your contact info. Boom! The broker collected a fresh, responsive, opportunity seeker lead just that easy. Maybe it only cost the broker a list of 100 leads to capture your information. That list is likely the same list that he gave to 75-200 other desperate souls in the same boat, this week. Remember that the broker has likely given away that same list for several years to hundreds of other people like you. Do you really think the broker is going to give you a real list of fresh leads?

Your fresh information is worth a lot of money to that broker. Some brokers sell your information as a “premium” lead for $3-5 ea for some purposes, and up to $25-35 ea for other purposes. One guy in the insurance industry said that he paid around $35 ea a couple of years ago for leads through the insurance brokerage he worked in. Tell me just how many of those leads do you want to purchase?

Lead Abundance

How would you like to have an endless supply of leads who want to hear your message and buy your products, any time you make an offer, over and over? If a marketer had such an endless supply of leads and prospects, couldn't we call that “lead prosperity”?

I searched the term “MLM,” and found 25,300,000 results. The term “Network Marketing” produced 51,700,000 results. “Network Marketing sites” produced 20,300,000 results on Google today. How many users are there on Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, Google, and other forums? There are many hundreds of millions of people using these sorts of forums. All of these people are using and consuming lots of product every day and week of their lives. There are more than enough prospects and customers in any niche of the overall marketplace to provide a very decent livelihood for many marketers.

Isn't the challenge that we all face in marketing our respective businesses? Aren't we faced with the choice of buying lists from someone who has likely manipulated, altered, and convoluted the data, or generate the leads ourselves?

If we generate the leads and data ourselves, we know exactly what interested the lead, the date and time when the lead provided the data, and that a live person responded. Isn't that some valuable data? That information is in your list. It is a unique list. It is a valuable list. There is money in that list.

Outbound Marketing

How does a marketer use those purchased lead lists? Typical uses include cold calling, sending out email broadcasts, even sending solicitations via surface mail. Taking that sort of initiative is outbound marketing. Many marketers have used such methods for decades, and made actual fortunes. However, is that the most effective way to do business, make sales, and generate revenue for the business?

Honestly, who likes to do cold calling? It's hard work, emotionally. It can be effective, but it is frustrating, at best. Who likes getting email from someone you don't know? Don't we all feel a bit offended with a bunch of strange email in our email inbox? None of us like that stuff. There must be a better way.

Inbound Marketing

What if prospects and customers actually came looking for our products and information? Wouldn't that change the whole marketing dynamics?

Marketers can use a blog, assorted social media sites, newsletters, with links to the assorted sites to attract readers. When people come to those forums, read and interact with each other and leave their contact information, your efforts are inbound marketing and those leads are more valuable. The people wanted your information. They wanted to give you their contact info. They want more of what you are offering.

Welcome to inbound marketing. We haven't intruded on anyone and risked offending anyone with our sales pitch. People came with some interest in our products and services. Isn't that lead more receptive to our pitch and promotion? Isn't that person more likely to purchase our products? You can sell to that person more often and for a longer time. That person is worth a lot more to your business than any lead list that you purchase. Inbound marketing is far more productive than outbound methods.

Personally, I would rather have a list of inbound leads that I generated than any list from a lead broker. Using a purchased lead list may be a way to get started, or have something to do while the inbound strategies kick in, but make sure it is only for the short term. Do not count on it for any long term use. 

My advice: do not become a lead broker. Instead, implement inbound marketing strategies to develop your own unique list and make more money in your business.

Thanks for reading.

Rix Robinson

Contributor

 

One Way to Transform Your Blogs & Online Business Profile Into a Loyal Customer Base for Your Product

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

Yes, the old days of outbound marketing are long gone but, unfortunately, many online businesses have yet to figure this out.   These misinformed entities are still using techniques to spam in the form of unsolicited phone calls, text messages, emails, letters in the mail, etc.  They have also been known to use blogging platforms as a means of spamming us with their marketing deals, parroting such phrases as “game changer,” “you must get on board now!” and others. 

What they fail to realize is that blogging platforms are not for spamming.  They are for attracting your potential clients/customers by gradually establishing rapport, trust, and authority with them.  Blogging also serves as a means to provide useful, relevant, and current content that pertains to your company’s product while also appealing to your potential target audience/clientele base.  What do I mean by this?

For example: You are a new small business and your product is tires.   Before you even begin to start marketing your product (in this case, tires), consider the following:

*Establish yourself with your potential customer base by making sure you can be easily found online

*Make sure your online professional profiles are congruent with you and your company’s mission

*Make sure you have a current, professional photograph that clearly shows your face

*Ensure that your certifications/credentials are highlighted   

* Consider blogging about your product and how it relates to your potential customer base.

 Potential blog topics include (using our above example of tires):

  • What is tire rotation and how often does it need to be done?
  • What is a “pot hole”? What causes them?  Why are they dangerous?  What to do if you hit a pothole?
  • Why is tire tread important?
  • What cities in the US are more prone to potholes and what can you do to decrease your risk of running over one? 
  • What is a “tire blowout”?  What causes them and how can you avoid them?
  • What is the range/average price of tires (used v. old) and how does your company stack up against other related companies?

Is it starting to become a bit clearer?  Remember, we are in a more data-driven era then ever before.  We all want to have as much information about each other as possible in order to establish rapport and trust.  We all need to be easily found online.  This includes having a current professional photo of yourself which should include your face.  We all need to have our credentials, education, certifications, etc easily discovered in order to establish credibility.  We need to inform our potential clients/audience/customers on what it is that we “do” while providing useful, relevant content to these potential customers through use of social media (blogging, blog-sharing, blog-casting, virtual conference rooms, marketing campaigns to name a few).

Change is hard but if you identify yourself as an entrepreneur, then it is absolutely imperative that you fully comprehend the concept of inbound marketing.  This methodology will increase your online credibility and your online authority while strengthening your rapport with potential clients/customers, etc.  This will significantly increase the chance that your target audience will trust you and what you have to say.  

Ultimately, the assumption is that you will build a loyal customer base and if your product is really great, then they will keep coming back for more and they will tell their friends, colleagues, etc about it.  Because you took the time to establish credibility and online authority through implementation of the above, you will have accomplished two things:  positive word-of-mouth references from your loyal customers (more subjective) and a legitimate “place” for those who do not yet know you or your business well to easily find you to verify the information (more objective).

How to Better Market Your Business Online

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

We keep hearing about the importance of understanding the concept of inbound marketing and how the old days of utilizing outbound marketing techniques have become obsolete.  Everyday I am beginning to realize just how critically important inbound marketing really is.  In hindsight, I’ve been utilizing a form of this technique for quite some time now as a young physician still at the beginning of my healthcare career.

No potential client wants to feel like you [the company] didn’t taken the time to research who the client really is, what the client really wants, and what the client is looking for.  It is your responsibility as the “CEO” of your “company” to do your “due diligence” by first understanding what the goals of your company are.

Furthermore, people need to know who you are and what “certifies” you as an individual knowledgeable about whatever topic or product you are selling.  This comes from a complete, professional profile page with a current photo of yourself, which includes your face.  Think LinkedIn as a great example of what your company profile page (or individual profile page) should look like.  It should also include educational background and certifications so that your audience has tangible evidence that you are knowledgeable in your field.

Once you understand the mission or goal(s) of your company (or yourself), then it’s time to determine who your potential clients are.  Who or what are you selling?  Who or what will be interested in your product (or you)?

Next, you will need to strategically figure out a way to “speak” to your targeted audience (i.e., your potential clients/customers).  In theory, this should attract a growing audience/client base by providing them with useful, relevant, and specific information that is germane to whatever it is you are selling.   Blogging is one way to accomplish this task.  Using this method will attract your targeted audience/client base because you are providing useful, relevant, and helpful information to them in your blogs.

Once you have completed the above, you will realize that it’ll be a lot easier to market your products because you have established credibility through your professional profile page, which should include a current professional photo of yourself/company along with all relevant education/certifications.  You will have provided useful, relevant content to your targeted audience and they are beginning to trust you because the information you are providing is deemed helpful to them.  Because you are sharing your blogs over multiple social media platforms, your clients can easily find you online and any questions they may have about your credibility can be [for the most part] easily answered through a general online search of you and your company.

Finally, you may be able to acquire a small sample of individuals willing to try your product for free (or for a small fee).  The key here is having those few individuals who have agreed to try your product show the rest of your target audience how well your product works.  Social media can be a huge strategy for getting the word out about how well your product works on an impartial individual who has no direct interest in your company.

For example: You (or your company) are selling a skin cream that you believe will help with wrinkles and dry skin.  Utilizing the above recommendations, this should give you and your company more credibility, visibility, and trust among your potential clients/customers:

1) Due Diligence for you and your company

-What are the goals/mission of your company?

-Who are you or your company?

-What do you [or your company] look like?
-Do you have a completed LinkedIn profile for yourself and/or your company (updated professional photo,

educational background, certifications, etc)?

2) Due Diligence for your targeted audience/clients

-Who are you marketing to (demographical information)?

  –>Example: Women of all ethnicities and sexual preferences who are between the ages of 35 and 50 who are    single and live in the Los Angeles area

-What are you trying to sell them?

   –> Skin cream that makes them look younger

3) Start speaking to your target audience

-Create blogs that are specific to your target audience

–>Potential blog topics: What causes dry or wrinkly skin?  At what age does our skin begin to wrinkle?  Are there any differences in skin aging between men & women; or among the different races/ethnicities?  Why?  How?

  -Create surveys or polls to get an idea of how many women (or men) have issues with dry skin/premature wrinkling,     etc

               -Eventually start creating campaigns showing the success of your product by those who have no interest in your                       company’s bottom-line

Please note that these recommendations are not by any means all-inclusive but it is a start in the right direction.

Think like a customer.  Would you want to make a significant purchase from someone or some company that you know nothing about?  Would you go see a physician who you know nothing about (at least with regard to qualifications/certifications)?  Would you plan to have an elective procedure at a hospital or healthcare facility that you know nothing about?

What additional tips would you suggest to better market one’s self or business?

Your comments are always encouraged.