Clarity - Levelfield's Small Business Blog

- Jeannie Samson, President, Inc

  • So You Want To Be Number 1 On Google: Part II

    2/28/2008 12:00:00 AM Link |  | Add comment

    SEO Goals

    If your following my directions from my previous Number 1 on Google post, you're still blogging...

    To aid you in this new found venture to be at the top of the Google website listings. Here are a few more suggestions...

    Write about what you are doing in your business. If you are restructuring your referral program for your customers then blog about it. If you are establishing a referral program that benefits your customers for the very first time then blog about it. Here at Levelfield we are launching a new referral campaign and I am blogging about it. 

    Our marketing manager looked at our budget and realized we're spending a lot of money with outside firms to drive new leads for our business and we've decided that the people who matter most, our customers aren't getting enough benefits. We've upgraded our referral program to offer two options, $75 checks or 3 months of free service. The best part is that our customers choose the option they prefer. Previously we haven't offered an option as to free money versus free service but we're changing the campaign to allow for that. If your not a customer of Levelfield or OnlineAgency you probably wont receive an insert with the "Meet Amanda. She's here to give you money!" referral campaign included with your invoice but we're giving you the chance to get referral money also. You don't have to be one of our customers to refer a great one, if you know someone who is in need of a website and you refer them to us you'll also be eligible for the $75 check. It pays to refer those in need of a website and we'll send you a check to prove it! Check it out!

    Back to the business at hand, Google and everyone's goal to overachieve and be number one. Remember there are millions of searches and millions of #1's so maybe in fact you are #1 and you don't know you are. Does your website have a reporting tool that shows you how searchers are finding you? My last post was about the Hilux (I originally spelled in Helux) truck and how a misspelled word got me a high ranking on Google for a 'helux truck' someone who wasn't initially looking for my company found my website. Since my update on my incorrect spelling I've recognized that my website has a lot to teach me about who's looking and what's driving their searches.

    So what else has my website reporting tool taught me? If you Google the question 'how do travel agents make money?' the #4 link you'll see references Levelfield's referral program (as of 2/28/08). Not an obviously place to find the answer to your google question but it is a way for travel agents to make money so the appropriate links have been made.

    To come full circle my website reporting tool also taught me, if you Google the phrase 'simple referral program' the #3 link is my Clarity blog (as of 2/28/08). At some point I mentioned "By creating a simple referral program you can create a highly productive marketing system" and this mention led my blog to be a high ranking on Google for 'simple referral program'.

    What has your website taught you about the traffic coming to your site?

  • The Value of Your Dollar.

    2/23/2008 10:23:29 PM Link |  | Add comment


    Regardless of the current economy or the value of the American Dollar against the British Pound or the Euro, your money is the value you make it. I recently started considering the purchase of a new notebook computer. Little did I know that the value of my dollars was in what I truly needed in a computer versus what my instincts were marketed to in needing. We normally strive for the biggest and best regardless of expense. Consider vehicles (gas mileage) and college (tuition). When they can easily replace the other with little value displaced. Purpose of use versus the underlying reputation of having the biggest and best to prove something to someone.

    If the computer manufacturer had their way I would spend the maximum amount of money on a brand new notebook that would be outdated and out-modeled with the latest and greatest the first day I used it. I would buy a computer that could do anything and everything regardless of my intended use for it. Technology is incentivized these days especially in the market for computers. Buy all of these certain upgrades and receive ANOTHER free printer or last year's edition of the latest and greatest digital camera. Are these incentives necessary and do they bring a greater value to what you originally intended on purchasing? I needed a new notebook with updated technology, I was never seeking a printer but the incentive tries to offer me more value...or does it devalue the notebook I was seeking? Its always important to consider the overall value of what you need versus what you are offered. If you are offered more value than what your dollar is worth (to you) then you've got a steal. But if you are spending your valuable dollars on features that aren't useful to you for your intentions than the value is wasted.

    The value of the technologies you invest in should be considered in respect to the business you can produce from it or what you get out of the expenditure. I may spend a lot more than the base price for a notebook computer but the upgrades and/or the add-ons that are valuable to me allows my work to be more productive and effective. So it isn't the functionality of the technology  but what I use it for that creates its value to me.

    When you spend money on any new technology consider the value of the dollars you spent on it, the value you've given to the money you've spent. Not the current markets value. Your hard earned money in business is all the blood, sweat and tears you put into achieving and earning each and every dollar. Don't just get your money out of an expenditure, get your value out of it. Get the value you place on your earnings out of each and every purchase you make, for business or otherwise. The meaning is in the value not in the dollar.

    Consider a picture of a camel in a Helux Toyota truck. If this image is too hard to picture in your mind, feel free to image search "camel in truck" to find one. Would a super duty truck be of value to a driver with this kind of cargo? The value of this truck is in its specific use. If you are in the camel transport business this is a high value product!

  • Reporting Tools and Google Queries - Sometimes They Surprise You!

    2/21/2008 12:00:00 AM Link |  | Add comment


    First of all I'd like to make a correction to an earlier blog post. I referenced a picture of a Toyota Helux Truck and I have recently become aware of its incorrect spelling. It is actually spelled, Hilux instead of Helux.

    Earlier today I was checking my website reporting tool and noticed some interesting facts about page views and search engine rankings for our website. With our traffic reporting tool I noticed that I was receiving traffic on my blog for specific search queries. The first search that truly surprised me was regarding the Helux Truck comment that I corrected earlier in this post. Simply by mentioning a camel in a truck I unintentionally drove traffic off of Google onto my Business Blog as the number one ranked web page for the search query "helux truck". This unique content on my website helped to increase my website traffic.

    Another noticeable query was that for a "small business blog" on Google. The request landed my blog as 13 of 14,600,000 web pages relating to small business blogs, ranking right behind the Washington Post at number 11, I feel pretty good about my standings in comparison to a well known, much larger business in the media industry.

    With all this traffic that has been driven off of the search engines to my blog or the website for various reasons I must mention the fact that by simply blogging I'm not directly guaranteed to make more money. I wont make any money off of my comments about a camel and a Toyota truck but my website did get more traffic. The whole idea of blogging to increase your visibility online is an attempt to open as many roads as possible to your store which just so happens to be on the internet. The more traffic you drive, the wider the audience you'll have and the greater potential for creating more business and potentially make more money for your small business.

    Keep Blogging for your Small Business! You never know who might be interested in your website and your business because of a camel in a truck.

  • So you want to be Number 1 on Google

    2/14/2008 12:00:00 AM Link |  | Add comment

    SEO Goals

    Let's say you are a travel agent. You want to be number one on Google in all Travel related searches.

    If you really wanted to set your goals high, I'm here to offer you free advice on exactly how to achieve this.

    Google the word, travel.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, Here's your competition...
    2 Billion other travel related websites (As of 2pm Central Time; about 2,010,000,000 for travel)

    Who's the current number one? Yahoo; of course.

    If you plan to compete with this number one spot on Google here's your next step...
    Do a simple site search on Google, to find out how many unique pages are being fed into this website so you can truly understand what your competition has that you may or may not have. (As of 2pm Central Time; about 7,860,000 for Your competition has almost 8 million pages of travel content and (I'm just guessing here) you do not.

    How do you compete???
    Its a two step process:
    1. First, you must build 7,860,000+ pages of unique travel-related content. In other words, its time to start blogging A LOT!
    2. Second, get out your checkbook its time to spend as much if not more money than Yahoo on internet marketing. I hope you have that kind of money...

    After all is said and done, you've created close to 8 million new pages of travel content and you've spent millions of dollars in your marketing budget. After all this time and money you might have a chance to be #1 on Google!

    This was free advice, I offer no guarantees. Simply something to consider when you set your SEO goals.

  • New Niche Markets

    2/7/2008 12:00:00 AM Link |  | Add comment

    Niche Markets

    After reading the latest industry news in my business we noticed an important market that we had yet to tap into. Vacation Homes. We've continually provided service to other major venues in the travel industry, i.e. Cruise Lines, Tour Companies and Destinations but this was the first we considered this area. This area of the vacation industry fit seamlessly into our current business model.

    Instead of spending precious time trying to become number one on Google I turned to my tried and true method, learned through history and experience. Through insight and capitalizing on what works well in my business, I was able to expand my market with the current model and product. I found a vacation home provider that wanted to work with my platform and network. We showcased them and added visibility to their business through our network, we sent a feature in our newsletter to all of our existing customers expanding the audience for our new niche supplier.

    The net result of this campaign into a new market in the industry created a great story to tell to the next vacation home supplier we recently approached and added to our network of suppliers. My tried and true method worked! Its been proven and it fit seamlessly into our business model. I've created a new niche we can build from in the future and took no shortcuts to get there.

    Anyone can participate in the growth of their business in this way. Every step you take to generate revenue should be simple and should add up and produce a force for your business. Through the inspiration of the day to day processes I understand my business' strengths. Reading the latest news in the industry allowed me to generate a new niche for my business.

    More time and money is wasted attempting the impossible feats in small business. If you don't have the same collateral that your much larger competitors do in their ballooned marketing budgets, becoming number 1 on google won't better or worsen your chances at small business success. Spending all your time and money focusing to help Google's bottom line is a sure fire way to run out of both. Focus on your strengths as a company to grow your business.

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