“Find and Keep Customers for Life,” was the byline for the 2009 Small Business Technology Summit, which I attended on Tuesday, Feb. 3. A number of industry leaders gave presentations on social media, search engine marketing, and web applications. The first presentation I attended was on Search Engine marketing by Network Solutions. Here are my notes and an awesome rap video that sums it up.

Search Engine Marketing

Harry Brooks of Network Solutions gave an excellent presentation on search engine marketing. Here are a few of the pointers he gave on search engine marketing.

  • Links – Links are like gold in search engine marketing. Quality links from educational and government sites are platinum. Start by begging and get the “low lying fruit” from vendors, alumni associations, professional groups, etc. Then look for opportunities to get quality links from other sources.
  • Directories – Although not always free, being in trusted directories for your industry speaks volumes for your credibility and helps your rank in search engines.
  • Press Releases & Articles – Make sure your PR team is also helping your online marketing efforts, by plugging your website address in the article. PRWeb & eZineArticles are good places to get started.
  • Forums – Be present in forums where people are seeking out experts. Then link back to resources on your website that are on point and informative. The community will thank in terms of credit and business.
  • Plugins – Use browser plugins like the SEO plugin for Firefox. These can help you determine what you need to do to both your website and determine what sites are worth pursuing for links into your site.
  • Link out – Don’t be a hog and try to trap your visitors into your site. It is o.k. to link out to other experts. It increases your credibility as an expert and you’ll even get rewarded by the search engines for quality links.
  • Pay-per-click + Organic = 45%+ It isn’t enough to just to SEO or Pay-per-click (Adwords) advertising. The combination of a strong organic search engine placement, plus PPC presence has been shown to provide a 45% increase in call-to-action, gain in orders, and page views.
  • Track results – Track everything: expenses, goals, sales, phone calls, requests, newsletter subscriptions, etc. and track them back to the marketing efforts.
  • 4 seconds – That’s how long people spend to find out if your site is what they want. Make sure your people know what your site is about and it takes them less than 4 seconds to “get it.” Best way to test this – have a friend who hasn’t seen your site show it to them and then minimize the window or close the laptop screen. Then ask them what the call to action was for the page.
  • Too much reading, well then see this rap video by m0serious. A quick shout out to my friend, Carle Robbins, who suggested that I watch this video.