Some Skills for Organic Link Building – Part 1

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

Skills for organic link building are not difficult but do require time and effort to achieve the goal, which is more inbound links. After reading that last statement, you might be asking yourself a few questions, such as what is a link, what is link building, what is inbound, what is an organic link, and in the end, what do I need links for?

For an apprentice, or someone who wishes to do some research before hiring an agency for an inbound link building strategy, these cognitive inquiries arise quite frequently. I’ve compiled a short list of definitions so you can understand the terms leading into our next blog Some Skills for Organic Link Building – Part 2.

LINK: There are three basic types of links 1) an intrapersonal, 2) an interpersonal, and 3) an external. 1. The intrapersonal link is a link on a web page that directs you somewhere within the same page. 2. An interpersonal link sends you to another page within the same website. 3. An external link directs you off the current site to another website, or visa versa (inbound link). There are other types of links, but let’s stick with the basics first.

LINK BUILDING: Link building is when you purposely create links forming a web of networks pointing to and from your website, which generate more inbound and outbound traffic. For the purposes of this blog, we like the inbound best! A link building program is important for page ranking on search engines, and makes the difference between having a visited website or not.

INBOUND LINKING: Inbound, again in the context of Inbound and Internet Marketing, is the process in which your prospective customers come to you without you mass distributing anything outward. An example would be similar to posting a “sale” sign outside of a store, so customers tell other customers about the sale. In contrast, outbound is when you distribute your product through sending emails, flyers, faxes, cold-calls, or text messages. It is the difference between using your brain or brawn.

ORGANIC LINK: An organic link is a link that occurs naturally, or free of chemicals. Inbound Marketing Strategies include Pay Per Click (PPC), which represent the chemicals or some other form of payment for the link. A non-organic link is a paid link for a position on another website such as Google. Therefore, an organic link is a link that occurs because readers, not you, plant the seed on other websites.

See our next blog post titled: Some Skills for Organic Link Building – Part 2 for step-by-step instruction to build those organic links.

Stage 3: Consumer Behavior and Internet Marketing

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

Stage 3: Weighing Value Before the Purchase.

When creating an Internet Marketing Strategy for your brand, you must keep in mind the value your customers – the consumer – place on your product. This differs from your value since you know what the product does. Your customers are processing information they found before making a purchase.

Benefits:

  • Customer Criteria
  • Evaluative Criteria – The Unknown Factors
  • Objective and Subjective Measures
  • Consideration Set

Searching for information clarifies purchasing criteria, isolates brands meeting said criteria, and constructs individual perceptions of the criteria and the need. When assessing value, the questions to ask about your products should be focused around customer criteria. How would your customers measure value; price, the quality of your product, ergonomics or ease of use, life expectancy, features, or a combination of these?

Placing YOU in the consumer’s shoes, the criteria mentioned above might not meet your standards, therefore rendering them insufficient. They might be based on unknown factors, which only you know. The list of unknown factors your customers use is of course the most difficult when assessing value. Your customer’s evaluative criteria (the unknown) are based on two influences, objective and subjective measures.

Objective measures are factual or tangible, and are easily distinguishable when evaluating the needs of your customer. Price, life expectancy, and features would be objective measures. As an Internet Marketer, the price of my products and services, what services are offered, and the physical website built for the client are all objective, and unfortunately, are directly connected to many subjective measures.

The subjective measures, using the few examples above, are whether or not the price is affordable, do you need all the products and services, do you like the website design, and will this benefit you in the long-run. Targeting subjective measures is like asking a child what flavor she wants when there are 100 flavors; you’ll be there all day!

You must find a balance between the objective and subjective measures so you can offer the greatest possible value. This is called the consideration set, which you do this everyday. You find a number of pros and cons, and then funnel them down until you have a few you can live with. Many corporations spend billions of dollars in studies identifying what consumers do not like about a particular product. That’s right, what consumers DO NOT like! When finding what your customers don’t like, you’re left with what they DO like. A simple process of deduction dear Watson! Remember, you talk about what you don’t like more than what you do, it’s not difficult identifying information.

In Stage 4, I’ll be discussing The Final Decision: The Actual Purchase

Stage 2: Consumer Behavior and Internet Marketing

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

Stage 2: Researching Information to Pursue Value

Once you recognize a need, and you wish to fulfill it, you begin the next stage in consumer behavior – “pursuing value.” As stated in the last article, we all have actual or ideal needs. This concept is important since behaviors change based on each need. Example: an actual need usually results in a quick purchase as the ideal need requires a bit more information, such as an cost to saving ratio.

This article offers:

  1. The two types of human needs
  2. Searches used to find value
  3. Behaviors used to find value
  4. Mediums to fulfill the need

Within the two needs, there are two types of searches to accompany them. The first being an internal search, which is usually initiated by actual needs such as where to by milk or toilet tissue. The second is an external search in which fulfilling the need includes guidance from friends or comparative shopping. A perfect example is what television to buy when it goes dark and discontinues its brain numbing service. First you ask your friends and then you compare models at the store.

An internal search for information involves a simple scan of your past involvement with different products and services. You normally don’t include other people, you make an executive decision to visit the store or make a quick stop on your way home from work. Pretty simple, and the most basic of the two in contrast to external search, which involves a number of variables to execute.

The variables in an external search start with personal sources, usually a phone call or text message to friends, family, or a trusted individual. If you don’t find an answer, then you turn to public sources such as television, radio, or mailers. These are mostly old school forms of marketing, but they do seem to reach you at the perfect time when looking for information. The final method is well known, marketer sources such as social media, ecommerce websites, and salespeople. Facebook is always a great place to find new sources for information, but it hasn’t reached the popularity of an ecommerce site such as Amazon.

Something to keep in mind when considering needs, about yourself and your client, nothing beats status symbols and trends for marketing. We all wish to be part of the in crowd, or to be noticed amongst a crowd of well-accessorized individuals. Under this condition, your external need might rely on vanity, which is certainly a tough variable to market for when selling a service in comparison to a product. What is the best tip? Be conscious of your own behaviors, and include them in your marketing strategy. You’ll find that being authentic will generate more chatter about your offerings, causing a viral effect and build credibility.

In Stage 3, I’ll be discussing Evaluation: Weighing Value Before the Purchase.

5 Stages to Internet Marketing for Consumer Behavior

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

Stage 1 – Problem Recognition; The Need: By Bruce Aristeo

After spending weeks adjusting and reformatting my company’s new website for inbound and social media marketing, I have been reading 3-4 of the latest marketing books, watched dozens of webinars, read countless blogs, and have done my best to keep up with the current influx of news. Now that I have found a space to write blogs, I thought about everything I mentioned and had a revelation. The revelation was a question… Who is my customer?

The first and foremost objective when starting a business (Marketing 101) of any kind is having an idea of who is going to consume your consumables. In my case (Internet Marketing), the consumable is information and service, so that covers a broad spectrum of those who will consume. I looked into this further, and what I found was the number one industry most knowledgeable about their client base is… the auto industry.

The auto industry has a mega-database of psychological studies that will supply them with data for at least the next twenty years. Some basic information is 68% of women buy new cars, but 83% of women influence car purchases, which helps sales focus on what women look for when they enter the showroom. Other tidbits, the need for speed is desired by both sexes; men wish to know the horsepower from 0-60, while women want speed to get them out of harm’s way.

As an Internet Marketing Agency, I’m not selling cars; I’m selling the idea of selling to businesses and attracting leads to convert into sales. Finding clients who wish to use a service in helping them sell is a broad market indeed, but that doesn’t mean the machine should stop rolling until I find my client. Conceptualize, implement, experiment, reorder, and start the process again. Every business has a learning curve, and along the way, each lead adds another piece to the puzzle, thus enhancing my next strategy. The point is… don’t stop moving because you’re unsure, keep attempting different ideas and collect data to edit your strategy.

I’ve established the foundation of a 5 stage series and have included some key-terms (NOT keywords) to client behavior and the purchasing decision process. The first of the terms is consumer behavior: the action an individual takes in acquiring and then utilizing products and services. The second is purchase decision process: the different stages your client moves through when making a decision about which products and/or services to buy.

Stage 1: Problem Recognition and The Perceived Need

Problem recognition is the first step in the decision-making process. It is the perception of an individual’s ideal or actual situation. What’s important is the increase of one must be extreme enough to initiate the action, which is to purchase or not.

An example between the two… Do you have an actual or ideal need when you run out of toilet paper? Do you have an actual or ideal need when your shoes are out of style? First, you want to know the difference between ideal and actual, and I haven’t disclosed the information. An ideal need is one in which you think you need something because it fulfills an internal self-concept, or schema (self blue-print), of who you think you are. The actual need is something that is real (tangible) and discontinues until you supplement or replace it.

How do you as a business owner apply this first stage to your understanding of clients that you wish to attract? It’s easy, look at the products and services you offer. Create a need in your customer by exposing the shortcomings of competitive or currently used products. As an Internet Marketer, I can only expose the difficulties a business owner is having by NOT utilizing my products and services. I therefore create an actual need within the client by emphasizing their lack of traffic and leads (tangible) to their website.

If you own a flower shop, I would suggest creating a need of “Joy” by conveying how flowers bring a smile to those who are down. A plumber could offer a 24-hour service, bringing relief or a sense of security to homeowners. Financial services create a need by offering lines of credit to business owners, enabling them to expand. Whatever your niche, a cause and effect exists in your product line that you can use as influence to attract more customers; you simply NEED to look for it!

In Stage 2, I’ll be discussing the Information Search: Pursuing Value and Worth.

3 Tips to Branding Identity

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

Jason’s Insights regarding branding:

Take into consideration that everything you perceive is branding; also consider that everything you perceive was branded by you. Sports teams, automobiles, companies, and even the sunshine and rain are brands and part of a marketing strategy. You’re probably thinking “WHAT?” The sunshine and rain cannot be brands! Think about this… What company placed sunshine in a bottle, and which one used the rain as a means to sell a product?

Your benefit:

  • Coloring – picking and setting the mood
  • Logo – the shape of things to come
  • Consistency – maintaining the status quo

Branding stems from that knowledge that human beings, such as you, either find or don’t find value in a product or service. It has never been as simple as “liking” or “disliking” something; it has always been deeper. Simply liking or disliking something is a surface perception, and as a marketer or business owner, you want to know about the “WHY?” Otherwise, how could you ever adjust your market or product presence?

A perfect example of surface perception is, ask a child who dislikes mayonnaise why he/she dislikes it. You’ll first get a simple yucky face, and then maybe a simple answer such as “I don’t like that stuff.” That doesn’t help you prepare for your next purchase because the child isn’t telling you “WHY.” How would you know if a mustard and mayonnaise blend, such as Hellmann’s Dijonnaise® would be liked? You definitely need more information to pull that one over on the little bugger!

Branding the details of big three benefits…

1) Color: Human beings (that’s you again) observe the world visually first, so the best place to start is with color. Choose colors that represent your company and voice when marketing to the world. Bright colors might grab you, but are they too tight a grip? Lighter colors are quiet, but are they too dull and put you to sleep? Thinking about your brand, choose colors that emotionally connect your brand to your environment. For instance, if you were a restaurant owner, you wouldn’t want your color concept to include Pea Green. WHY? Pea Green is not an appetizing color and is more associated with other unmentionables.

2) Shape: Logo, we all go! Continuing on the path of color, you reach the edge, that edge is the shape of your logo. Think of ancient cave drawings and the stories they told without using words. The study of Semiotics has been around for thousands of years, so that makes your job a lot easier (if you read Latin). The research of signs and symbols has already been done, so how does your logo relate to your story? How do you communicate your products or services without words? Your Logo is not just a colored shape; it is the means by which customers are told who and what you are without speaking.

3) Consistency: Focus on time line details; at the very moment a customer interacts with your brand, through his/her cognitive process, and after the close of a sale. Your goal should always be to maintain a consistent emotional connection, which leaves your customer with a personal relationship to your brand Identity. As for me – Don’t advertise fine dining and serve me burgers! Understand how the world views your brand, and what your brand does for the world. Create your identity and let your customers run home with it.

BTW: Sunny D® sold you sunshine and Rain-X® sold you windshield wipers! That’s branding…

5 Tips to Better SEO and Internet Marketing

Bruce Aristeo

Bruce Aristeo

I’d like to share 5 tips to better SEO, back linking and Internet Marketing! I remember the day I found out about a new way to communicate with others; it was through a service called AOL… Are they still around? My friends and family had AOL, businesses used the service, and everyone was talking about it. I joined not because I needed to chat with friends, or because I wanted email; it was because I could download small apps that would add new sounds and graphics to my computer system. Outside of AOL, a small network existed that I signed on to only to play a game. In this game, I drove a tank around an island looking for other tanks to shoot. I could build a fort by having the little man climb out and cut down trees to construct walls. If killed, another man would parachute onto the island and climb in my tank. However, if the man landed away from my tank, he had to run across the field while others shot at him. It was a blast! (No pun intended)

My question is, are we all business these days? We all know that simply building an aesthetically pleasing website is not the answer to gaining traffic. In addition, we know that a simple strategically placed keyword is not jetting us to the top of Google. So, how do we add fun and engage the perspective visitors? I visited a restaurant some time ago; they had the table covered with a large sheet of white paper. NO! Not a whitepaper… I sat for a moment, and for the life of me I could not figure out what the paper was for? Was the restaurant saving costs on washing regular tablecloths? Then, in the corner of the table behind the menus, I saw a small box of crayons. As they say in North Jersey, “Forget about it!” I went crazy drawing all over the table… In short, I had a blast! I thought about this after reading my 20th blog containing 5 tips to SEO. Simply a brief mention of a few minor points and not really slicing down into thicket seemed to cause sadness. I needed some intellectual stimulation with some quality and insight to the tips I was reading, I needed someone to blast! What have I become? Am I now the little guy jumping from the tank and being blasted by regurgitated material? I then stopped and laughed. Out of the blue I remembered the simplicity of the Motorola 19K bps modem I used back then, and being able to walk away from my computer for at least 5 minutes while it signed on to the network. Not really sure what the modem had to do with anything, it just came to mind and I’m laughing as I write this…

Internet strategies, inbound marketing, keyword research, rich content filled websites, blogging, and an unlimited list of methodologies to increase ranking are definitely one way to succeed, but where is the fun? What can I do to add content that will engage the part of a consumer who wishes to enjoy his/her visit and still keep it all business? How do I blast him to have fun and remember to come back?

So here are 5 tips to better SEO and back linking for fun!

  1. Misspell a title phrase and see who notifies you.  Whoever does, give them a reward.
  2. Hide a small graphic on the page, and whoever clicks it gets one-month of free service.
  3. Set up your pages with the same content on them; only change the first sentence on each.
  4. When a visitor scrolls down, have the page scroll back up automatically.
  5. Finally, a classic, set up a sound bite so when a button is clicked a funny sound is heard. You know what sound.

Let’s not forget how to have fun!