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Judy Kirkland

Search engines are dedicated to giving searchers authoritative and relevant results. That’s why they’re always refining the algorithms used to rate and rank web pages, and search engines are now penalizing sites packed with too many keywords. That’s right!

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How well are search engines reading your web site? Find out with a powerful, yet free, tool called Site:Command.

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Everyone knows it’s now a “best practice” to feature Facebook, Twitter and YouTube tags on your home page. But did you know you should be tagging your offline efforts, too?

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How many of your best customers or clients have web sites? If so, you might want to approach them about posting a link to your own web site. Will they do it? Chances are they will.

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A recent McKinsey study estimated that word-of-mouth (WOM) is the primary factor driving up to 50% of purchase decisions! While most of today’s WOM is still done in person, more people are getting in the habit of asking their LinkedIn and Facebook friends for recommendations on everything from good restaurants to a great CPA.

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The one-click rule

by Judy Kirkland on January 26, 2011 5:00pm

in Office Technology

Web sites used to be designed “deep.” But today’s search engines and today’s web users prefer “wide sites.” Searchers want quick access to specific information and don’t want to have to click through a series of pages to get it. Search engines give higher ranks to pages that are one click from the home page.

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Are you overlooking competitors? With so many people using search engines to locate local services, anyone who uses the same keywords and phrases becomes your competitor.

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Many small businesses don’t set formal marketing budgets for themselves. Don’t skip this step: It will cost you time, money and results.

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If you have business partners who regularly refer clients to you, consider a list swap: They get your client list, you get theirs. This can be an extremely effective prospecting tool.

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Nearly 95% of consumers say free content is a major factor in helping them decide with whom they will do business, according to a recent ChiefMarketer.com study. So think about developing some free content for your site.

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You’ve heard that videos are great marketing tools, and you’ve clicked on plenty of promotional videos online. But are they great for your company? They can be extremely effective for growing your business if you put the right video on your web site. When planning your video strategy, here are four types to consider:

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E-newsletters are a proven way to stay top of mind with clients and increase repeat and referral business. The secret, however, is to keep your e-newsletters short.

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Yes, you should be on Twitter … and not just to talk. One CPA, for example, is having great success by listening. He checks for local CEOs who are Twittering and follows them. He tweets back with a tip or tax angle to consider. He’s landed several new business accounts this way.

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If your web site is too stuffed with repetitive keyword phrases, the text on your pages can end up sounding so clunky that prospects leave almost as soon as they arrive. How can you marry searchability with readability?

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Getting ready to send an e-newsletter to clients or an e-mail promotion to prospects? You might not want to use a great-looking HTML design. While HTML e-mails are eye-catching when viewed on a computer screen, they become virtually unreadable on mobile devices.

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According to the latest MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Benchmark Survey, the web site no longer is just a spoke in the marketing mix wheel. Instead, it has become “the hub of marketing strategy … the primary point of contact with prospects and customers.”

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“In this economy, you can’t afford to trust your web presence to a template-based design,” says Daimon Caulk, principal with Modal, Inc. “Sure, you can find templates for verticals, but they say nothing about you. Simply changing the logo, colors and adding text does not make a site right for your specific business or the way you want users to experience you and your business.”

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What keywords bring searchers to your web site? Is Google having any problems accessing your site—and if so, what can you do to make it more search-engine friendly? Find these answers and more with Google Webmaster Tools.

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Web site templates tank when it comes to search engines, according to a Washington, D.C.-based search marketing guru. Why? Duplicate content and image-based design.

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BlackBerrys, iPhones and other smartphones are driving an increase in on-the-go Internet use. That’s part of the reason that local search visibility is so crucial to your business.

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