6 Rules You Must Know for Using SEO and SEM to Grow Your Business

If you’re managing a business, you know how important a web and mobile presence is. Whether you’re selling tacos, tiaras, or terabytes, customers need to be able to find you.

You’ve probably dipped your toe into the complex world of organic or “free” search, also known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and paid search, also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). But what do you really need to know about SEO and SEM?

I spoke with SEO/SEM expert Andrew Shelton, founder of the digital marketing agency Martec360, who gave me six rules that you need to pay attention to right now if you want to increase your sales through search:

1. Mobile is king

Need evidence of the importance of mobile? Some 96% of smartphone owners use their device to get things done. About 70% of smartphone owners use their phone to research a product before purchasing it in a store. Half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

Furthermore, Google has begun to make its search index “mobile-first.” That means that Google will primarily index mobile content and use that to decide how to rank its results.

2. Paid search pays off on mobile

On mobile, paid search (SEM) is increasingly paying off. Shelton says he used to tell his clients to focus on free search (SEO) but with users putting mobile first, the continuum has changed.

“The greatest return on investment is email,” Shelton says, “because you have those customers in house. But paid search is next.” He estimates that paid search spending went up by factors of 25% to 50% in 2016.

3. Have a solid content strategy

The old adage is the new adage: “Content is king.” You need high-quality content for your website if it’s going to compete in the free search business. You can’t go about that blindly.

Consider what customer problem you’re solving. What customer questions can you be answering?

Do you have a mechanism for customers to ask questions? There could be a wealth of ideas for blog posts, FAQs, and buyers’ guides right there.

4. Social media is worth your return on investment

Social media can be vexing for many businesses. You definitely have to perform a cost-benefit analysis on it. Spending six hours a day sending out tweets that don’t lead to conversions is going to be a losing proposition.

Treat social media as “an engagement with an ongoing conversation with your customers,” Shelton recommends. “It’s not just for selling.”

In fact, if your social media channels are too hard-sell, they’ll be counter productive. You have to create value. Tools like Hootsuite, Falcon.IO, and Curalate can help.

5. Manage your online reputation

According to Shopper Approved, an app that helps its clients collect online ratings and reviews, 88% of all consumers read online reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business.

All of those reviews are part of the SEO equation. They can help you, or they can hurt you. But an app like Shopper Approved can help push more positive reviews where you need them.

6. Measure and monitor your progress

The only way you’re going see your business grow exponentially through SEO, SEM, and social media is to measure what you’re doing. You have to know where you’re starting, set some benchmarks, and monitor your progress.

Install Google Analytics. There is a plethora of other e-commerce tools you can use for analysis. Data is your friend. Get used to swimming in it.

And if you need help, find a consulting firm that understands your customer and your goals.

Just remember, effective search is process. You won’t get it right the first time. But you’ll get better at it with everything you learn.

About the author:

Kim Folsom is the Founder of LIFT Development Enterprises–a not-for-profit, community development organization with a mission to help underserved, underrepresented small-business owners – and Co-Founder and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, LLC, a small business growth accelerator and revenue based venture fund. Learn more about Kim and her company’s mission to help grow and fund 1000 underserved and underrepresented small businesses by 2026 via their Founders Business Growth Bootcamp program at www.foundersfirstcapitalpartners.com.



Uber reviews Asia business over bribery allegations in U.S.: Bloomberg

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL], which is the subject of a federal probe into whether it broke bribery laws, has started a review of its Asia operations and notified U.S. officials about payments made by staff in Indonesia, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that the Bloomberg report was accurate.

Uber said in August it was cooperating with a preliminary investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice into whether company managers violated U.S. laws against bribery of foreign officials, specifically the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Uber hired law firm O‘Melveny & Myers LLP to investigate how it obtained the medical records of an Indian woman who was raped by an Uber driver in 2014, Reuters reported in June.

O’Melveny & Myers is now examining records of foreign payments and interviewing employees, raising questions about why some potentially problematic business dealings were not disclosed sooner, Bloomberg said on Tuesday. bloom.bg/2xdk6PT

Attorneys are focused on suspicious activity in at least five Asian countries: China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea, Bloomberg said, adding that Uber’s law firm is reviewing financial arrangements tied to the Malaysian government that may have influenced lawmakers there.

Uber and the DoJ could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru and Peter Henderson in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Oracle to Adopt Allout Approach toward Cloud Computing Business

World’s largest business software company to aggressively shift its business paradigm about cloud computing services from fad to futuristic.

oracle-cloudGreatResponder.com Oracle corporation gave very clear cues during OpenWorld Conference organized by the company in San Franscisco. Many executive level participants of the company and its partners along with the CEO of Oracle Corporation have clearly advocated the aggressive approach toward cloud computing.

It is very important to note that, a few years back, the company coined a term ‘fad’ about the cloud computing buzz, but now it is falling in love with the cloud computing solutions. The company is aggressively focusing on the artificial intelligence and super fast speed cloud based services fully optimized for the oracle software platforms.

In a direct onslaught on Amazon web services, the CTO of Oracle corporation Larry Ellison said that AWS was over 20 years behind the Oracle cloud platform in terms of many features and optimized performance.

In his official statement, Larry Ellison said, “Amazon Web Services are simply not optimized for the Oracle Database. I’ll go further than that: Amazon Web Services aren’t optimized for their own databases either, as you will see.” While talking about comparative analysis of the innovative approach and service optimization of both Oracle and AWS, he said, “Amazon services will not get better, but they will get worse”. He further said, “Oracle cloud is 24 times faster for analytic workload, 8 times faster for OLTP workload, 105 times faster for oracle database than the Amazon web service platform.”

While talking about the artificial intelligence in the cloud, Diane Bryant from the Intel Corporation, which is the partner in the Oracle’s pursuit towards artificial intelligence platforms in the cloud, said in her statement, “Cloud computing is a fundamentally more efficient way to deliver all kinds of machine-learning services. It’s now cost-feasible to store and compute massive amounts of data, which is allowing for many of the advances we’re currently seeing in artificial intelligence.” She further said, “Data is the game-changer. It is the differentiator for business. AI is all around us, not just in science fiction, and it is transforming the way businesses operate”.

It is very imperative to note that Oracle has recorded huge growth in the cloud revenue earlier this month, which is a very encouraging sign for the company to aggressively focus on this powerful domain of business in the future.

All articles

Amazon enters the student loan business



Next time you’re ordering your textbooks from Amazon, you can also order a student loan. 

Amazon is entering the private student loan business through a partnership with Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo’s student lenders will offer a 0.5 percent interest rate discount to members of Prime Student, Amazon’s half-price version of Prime for college students.

Amazon already offers small business loans through Amazon Lending, the invitation-only loan program for third-party sellers it launched in 2012. But this will be the company’s first involvement in the student loan market. 

The interest rate discount will be available for all Wells Fargo student loans, including both new loans and loan refinancing.  Read more…

More about Business, Student Loans, Amazon Prime, and Amazon

All articles

JETNET Releases March 2016 and First Quarter 2016 Pre-Owned Business…

JETNET LLC, the leading provider of corporate aviation and commercial aviation intelligence, has released March 2016 and first quarter 2016 results for the pre-owned business jet, business turboprop,…

(PRWeb May 12, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/05/prweb13411657.htm

All articles

Ninox Software Releases New Version of Globally Acclaimed Business App…

Ninox is a database-powered business app maker that enables anyone to rapidly create robust, fully- functional databases for a variety of business or personal applications. The app delivers dozens of…

(PRWeb March 21, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/appshout/ninox-database/prweb13274079.htm

All articles