It’s admittedly a tired stereotype. In TV shows and movies we are beaten over the head with images of the therapist repeating questions back to the patient for comic effect. “What do you think about that?” As a fictitious talk radio therapist, Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier Crane began each of his broadcasts with the iconic phrase, “I’m listening.” As digital marketers we talk a lot about this but are you listening? Are you really listening?
If you cast aside all of the social media talking heads, the biggest way in which channels like Facebook and Twitter are different from our traditional broadcast mediums is the fact that they are multi-directional in nature. Simply put, this means that rather than crafting the perfect 30-second TV spot and blasting it one-way at whomever may be watching, we are now having conversations where our community can actually talk back (gasp!). – Are You Listening? by Nick Westergaard
Traditional wisdom teaches small businesses to partner with people whose services complement their own. If you’re a wedding planner, partner with a caterer. If you’re a landscaper, partner with a house painter, etc.
But to truly stay ahead of the competition, small-business owners need to think outside the box by initiating partnerships that dramatically increase the value that they offer their current and prospective clients.
Below is a guide to implementing three counterintuitive strategies that will expand your business reach and let you tap into new market segments through business partnerships.
Reach a New Audience Through Business Partnerships
Strategy #1: Go Where Future Clients Are Already Fans
In 2009, Chicago-based insurance company Aon signed on as the new sponsor of England’s celebrated Manchester United soccer team. Commentators questioned the connection. Aon is strictly a business-to-business company, and the most visible part of a Manchester United sponsorship would be the addition of the company’s name to team jerseys.
But Aon stood by its decision. After all, millions of soccer fans wear those jerseys and the sponsorship would effectively turn them into what the company’s chief executive called “walking billboards.” Even better, Manchester United boasted a large fan base in Asia, one area where Aon was looking to grow at the time it secured sponsorship rights. This partnership allowed Aon to flood its future target market with its name, thus building brand recognition. – 3 Counterintuitive Ways to Reach a New Audience Through Partnerships by Ted Devine
Not getting the search traffic you were hoping for? In a new Webmaster Help video, Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts reveals five of the biggest basic SEO mistakes webmasters make, and suggests a few ways to improve your website.
1. Your Site Can’t Be Crawled
The biggest mistake, according to Cutts, is having a site that isn’t crawlable – or not having a domain at all.
Google uses web crawlers (a.k.a., bots or GoogleBot) to find and index web pages by following links. If you make your good content really hard to find, then Google can’t crawl, index, and rank your content.
To fix this, Cutts advises surfing around your website to make sure you can reach the pages on your site by clicking on regular links, ideally in a text browser (to do this, from Google’s search results, click on Google’s cache of your page/site, then click the “Text-only version” link).
2. You Aren’t Using Words People Search For
Do your pages use the words people search for? If not, users won’t be able to find your website.
For example, Cutts said if you have a page about Mount Everest’s elevation, you wouldn’t just put the words “Mount Everest elevation” – you’d want to use words like “how high is Mount Everest” because people are going to type that into the search box. Or, a restaurant website should include its menu in plain text, not just a PDF, and include its business hours. – Are You Making These 5 Basic SEO Mistakes? by Danny Goodwin