Internet Marketing

Info from The Margaret Banks Show

by HL on March 13, 2010

AS promised on The Margaret Banks radio show, I am posting links to information that was discussed during the program. On the program we discussed “Turning Your Passion Into Profit.” If you missed the program, you can listen to it with audio on demand from Mountain Talk 97 Radio during the week of March 15th.

  1. Facebook ABC’s for Business – Get Your Profile Set Right
    Tuesday March 16, 2010, 02:00PM
    Ends:     Tuesday March 16, 2010, 05:00PM
    Event Type:     Training/Seminar
    Location:     Room 107 McLain Hall, ASU Mountaiin Home
    1600 S College St
    Mountain Home, AR 72653 US
    Price:     $35 per person ($25 Mountain Home Chamber members, $20 ASU MH faculty, staff or students)
    Register at:
    Intended For:     Small business owners, managers of non-profits, anyone wanting to expand their marketing opportunities with social media
    Organization:     Arkansas State University Small Business and Technology Development Center

    Seminar for small businesses and non-profits to learn how to use Facebook as a tool for marketing their organization. These session walks attendees through basics of setting up their profiles before starting a Facebook Page. Topics include Why Facebook? What is Social Media Marketing and how can my organization use it? Setting friend lists, privacy settings, keywords for search engines and more. This seminar will be taught by Joe and Christi Wharton of Wharton Marketing located in Arkansas and Louisiana.

  2. Who Owns Your Website?
    Blog article with information you need to know to have control of one of your best business assets – your website!
  3. Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center
    The source for all of that great information including feasibility studies. Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center provides assistance to start up and existing businesses throughout Northeast and North Central Arkansas through quality consulting, training and research – at no charge. Not in Arkansas? Check here to find the SBDC nearest you.
  4. Internet Marketing Pays Off For Small Business
    Blog article with information on how small businesses are increasing revenue with the use of internet marketing.
  5. SEO
    Lots of SEO information is available on this blog and our Facebook page. If you would like to talk to us about SEO, contact us at [email protected] or call us at 870-404-1985.


Meet Herb Lawrence

by HL on March 3, 2010

Herb Lawrence, ASU-SBTDC Center DirectoryI  will be posting regular contributions on issues of interest to small businesses and entrepreneurs.  Look for weekly posts on a variety of topics.  I thought it best that my first post for 2010 should be a little background on me and on the work I do at Arkansas State University Small Business and Technology Development Center.  I apologize in advance if it looks like an “info-mercial” but thought it a good idea to give readers an idea of what I do and how we assist small businesses.

The Arkansas State University Small Business and Technology Development Center, ASU SBTDC, is part of a statewide net­work of seven cen­ters work­ing out of uni­ver­si­ties across the state. We offer eco­nomic devel­op­ment help to start-​up and exist­ing busi­nesses through con­sult­ing, train­ing work­shops & sem­i­nars, as well as mar­ket research assis­tance. Our assis­tance areas include:

  • fea­si­bil­ity studies
  • busi­ness plans
  • mar­ket research
  • finan­cial analysis
  • loan pack­ag­ing
  • marketing
  • e-​commerce and social media marketing

All of our con­sult­ing assis­tance and mar­ket research is free of charge and com­pletely con­fi­den­tial. Our train­ing sem­i­nars gen­er­ally do have reg­is­tra­tion fees from $25 to $49 depend­ing on the type of seminar.

I have been the cen­ter direc­tor at ASU SBTDC for over four­teen years help­ing entre­pre­neurs and small busi­nesses in a fif­teen county area with a vari­ety of busi­ness needs. For more infor­ma­tion about how the ASBTDC can help your busi­ness please visit our state web­site, shoot me an e-​mail or join us on Facebook. We would love to talk to you about your busi­ness and how we might work with you.

I will be post­ing weekly arti­cles on a vari­ety of top­ics that are gen­er­ally of inter­est to our small busi­ness clients. I hope they will prove use­ful to you. We need your opin­ion so let me know what you think. I thought a good way to start would be to dis­cuss a topic that has caught the inter­est of a lot of our small busi­ness clients, Social Media Marketing. Look for that arti­cle next week about how social media marketing can work for your business.


Is Google Page Rank Relevant?

by Admin on February 4, 2010

We have suspected it for some time. We see sites with lower Google page ranks outperforming higher ranked pages all the time. We knew that the public page rank that we see is months old.  Sometimes you see an article that articulates the point so well that you just need to link to it. The great people at the Hubspot Blog did a great job of explaining:

Why Google Page Rank is Now Is Now Irrelevant


Social Security

by Admin on February 2, 2010

Many business avoid using social media like Facebook for security reasons. It is true that Facebook is targeted by hackers and the reason is it is the biggest social network out there. Businesses are vulnerable because you actually want people to see your business phone number and other contact information. So, what are businesses to do? Maybe the answer is they just need some  “social security.”

Here are some “social security” guidelines:

  • Use a good password and change it often. What are the 10 most common passwords (and the most hacked)?

1. password
2. 123456
3. qwerty
4. abc123
5. letmein
6. monkey
7. myspace1
8. password1
9. blink182
10. (your first name)

  • Use an updated browser that features an anti-phishing blacklist such as Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox 3.5 (and higher).
  • Become a fan of Facebook Security to keep up with the latest security threats and solutions.
  • Consider setting up separate g-mail account for login purposes that does not use your name.

Take proactive steps to protect yourself. Facebook can be a great marketing tool for businesses, just do it safely!


Social Media, Anyone?

by Admin on January 26, 2010

A couple of interesting thoughts come to mind after the ABC’s of Facebook class last week. One comment from a participant was that Facebook for business was only for small business – big companies don’ t make friends. On the contrary, big businesses do use Facebook and they use it effectively to interact with their customers. And, their customers are responding. They look to Facebook pages to find out about sales and get special deals and find out about new products and services.

Internet marketing, whether through a website, social media or a blog can help level the playing field, however, it still takes time and effort for big companies and small businesses alike. Another participant in the class said she just didn’t want to have to spend any time on making friends and updating and interacting on Facebook. Actually, in that case, Facebook probably isn’t for her. A big company with lots of name recognition may not need to spend as much time making friends and inviting them to their business page, but for a small business, it is critical. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and hear from existing customers and to let them know what is going on with your business and offer them something in return.

Small or large, Facebook is a good tool for businesses. Is your business using Facebook effectively?


Website Pet Peeves

by Admin on December 31, 2009

Okay, it is the end of the year. Let’s see what pet peeves people have about websites!

  1. Websites that automatically start playing music or a video. People don’t seem to object to music or video being on a site, they just want the option of playing them or not.
  2. Slow loading pages. This one has visitors leaving sites in droves!
  3. Clicking on a menu item and a .pdf starts opening. Again, they don’t really mind a .pdf if they know it’s coming. .pdfs can be slow to load at times and they just want a little warning!
  4. No clear contact information. Okay, they are at your site, they like what you’ve got, now, how do they contact you? Especially, when people are ordering online, they would like to see a phone number to call if there is a problem and they need to actually talk to a real live person.
  5. Out of date sites. They have been looking all over the web for exactly what they found on your page and then find out that you no longer carry that product or the great sale that is advertised on the site was over 2 years ago.
  6. Under construction pages. It is just frustrating to think you have found what you are looking for, just to find out that the page is “under construction.” Why not just finish the construction and then post the page?
  7. Anything flashing. Hey, they are trying to read here, will you get rid of that annoying, distracting flashing thing on the page?
  8. Splash intro pages. Okay, these are for designers to show off what they can do – they do nothing for your business. How often do you you click on “skip intro” on pages like that?
  9. Unclear navigation. If you want me to click on something, you better put the link where I can find it and move around easily. Links all over the page just confuse me.
  10. Dead links. People really hate clicking on a link and getting a 404 – page not found error.

Okay, these are a few of our pet peeves. What about yours?


2010 SEO Trends

by Admin on December 17, 2009

Having an online presence has been very important for businesses in the past years but it is becoming even more so in today’s world and will continue to grow in importance.  And, of even more importance will be SEO (search engine optimization). Businesses will find that static websites will no longer cut it as consumers have become more and more tech savvy and expect more from their internet experience with websites.

Social media will definitely play more of a role in the coming year, as businesses discover that it is a very cost effective and easy way to connect and communicate with their customers and potential customers. Social media outlets such as Facebook continue to grow and businesses need to be where their customers are!

Blogging can also play an effective role in SEO in 2010. Search engines reward fresh content and a blog is one of the easiest ways to provide it. Many small businesses that have been reluctant to enter the blogging world will need to overcome their objections in order to find a cost effective way to provide that fresh content their customers are looking for.

CMS (content management system) is another tool that businesses can utilize to keep content fresh and up to date. Web designers are (or should be) switching from designing static, brochure style websites that businesses have to use them to update, to more interactive websites that businesses can update themselves.

Small businesses especially can benifit from the trends developing in SEO. In fact, it is to their peril if they don’t!


Facebook for Business – Do’s and Don’ts

by Admin on December 4, 2009

Do start ASAP. It won’t start itself!

Do work at getting fans. Invite friends through Facebook or by email. All your pages posts are for naught if no one is looking.

Do add a Fan Box to your website. Everyone can see how popular your page is.

Do update frequently.

Do make updates relevant.

Do add your blog’s RSS feed to your page.

Do make a memorable web address for your page.

Do publicize your events on your page.

Do engage in conversation with your fans.

Don’t tell people what you had for lunch or any other irrelevant information that they really don’t care about.

Don’t “spam” your fans with the same information over and over.

Don’t talk about politics or religion on your page unless your business is political or religious. Save those for your profile.

Don’t forget to ask your fans what they think. Ask questions.

Don’t make a page and forget about it. If you forget it, so will others. Keep it up to date!

Don’t neglect to give your fans and anyone else who visits your page information about how they can contact you.

Don’t forget to show your passion!

Don’t forget to add your memorable web address to your business card and email signature.

Don’t get on the wrong side of Facebook. Follow the rules!

Don’t stop! Keep it up. Success takes time!


Targeted Landing Pages for PPC

by Admin on December 2, 2009

We have been preaching about targeted landing pages for a long time. From a previous post last April:


A “landing page” is the first page a visitor to your site sees. Almost all of your pages have the potential to be a landing page, so design them as such. Whether or not that visitor remains on your site is determined in large part by what she sees on that first page, that landing page. If she sees what she is looking for (i.e. the search term she typed), she is likely to remain; if not, she will most likely leave.

What this means for websites is that the more targeted the landing pages, the more likely the website is to attract and keep visitors. A “targeted” landing page is a page built around one or two keywords or key phrases. When a person comes to your website from a search engine, she is more likely to remain on your site if your landing page contains, and is built around, her search word or phrase.

For best results, use your keyword or phrase in your page title, headings and content.

If you are going to utilize pay-per-click (ppc) advertising, it is absolutely essential to direct people to a targeted landing page. A startling study by  which was reported by Emarketer found that an alarming number of businesses are not connecting their ppc campaigns with targeted landing pages.

Two-thirds of advertisers did not have a specific landing page relevant to the search keywords they had purchased, misdirecting searchers to homepages, generic categories or search results for canned phrases. Even one-half of product-specific search ads did not link to the product advertised.

Wow, think of all the missed opportunities! When using ppc, make sure you are linking to a page that is relevant to the search phrase you are targeting. People are not starting their searches on your site, they are starting their searches on Google and letting Google lead them to your site (or not).

Wharton Marketing – * (870).404.1985


Internet Marketing Pays Off For Small Businesses

by Admin on November 17, 2009

Small businesses have slashed their marketing budgets in light of the recession, but those that are increasing spending and focusing on internet channels are increasing their business and thriving.

What kind of internet marketing are these businesses spending their money on that is getting these results? Check this out this study from Hurwitz & Associates:

What is your small business doing? Are you taking advantage of the great opportunities offered by the internet? Need help? Contact us at Wharton Marketing!

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