In a recent CNBC article,
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by Eva Havle
Recently (and perhaps not so recently) branding has become a “catch-all” buzzword with definitions ranging widely based on who you happen to be asking.
The term “brand” is often misused by alternating it with design, advertising, or marketing. All are indeed components of branding, but not the sum. These improper utilizations have caused much confusion in the business world as to what branding is and how it works.
So what exactly is branding? It is your company’s personality or voice that you present to the world. It can be authoritative, cutting-edge, funny, sentimental, hip or traditional. In order to successfully determine what personality you want to project, you must first understand your target market, competitive landscape and above all, your customers and prospects needs and wants. Every communication with the public – web, print or broadcast – needs to convey how your product or service provides a solution to a problem or challenge for your customers, and the value that your product brings. Successful brands live within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the aggregate of their experiences and perceptions.
Once you make a decision on what persona you want your company to convey, the question then becomes “What’s next, and how do I do it?” A brand is composed of many different elements. Together they capture the interest of your customers and prospects. Some of the components are tangible and definitive, such as banner ads, direct mail, logos and broadcast or print advertising, but branding is also in large part intangible – ideas and emotions represented by visual and verbal communications. A successful brand will achieve the following objectives:
Studies show companies that market their products or services without first establishing their brand identities are not likely to achieve return on investment. So before you invest another dime on marketing or advertising, think about what your company, product or service stands for. If you can’t define your brand, your customers will not be able to either and any marketing investments are very likely to be a waste of your money.
IMM-LLC offers internet marketing services with a focus on regional outreach. As a full service interactive marketing agency, we provide a suite of services from web development and design to SEO and social media marketing.
Our new office opens with our first Baltimore hire, Diane Goodman. Diane brings over 15 years of web strategy and marketing acumen to her new position as Director of Social Media Marketing.
As with any project IMM completes, we work with our core team and bring in fantastic outside talent to round out assignments.
What do you mean by regional outreach?
We love working with clients that want to be found locally. For small to mid-size businesses, we can effectively lower costs for region specific clients because we believe in partnership marketing. Through competitive analysis and parallel markets, we’ll help your business identify other brands that will be effective co-marketers. While we hate the word “synergy” it does convey the “magic” that we look for when we develop solutions that use the web to build your business.
IMM’s founder and CEO Jonathan Meyerhoff will be participating in a team panel for Cornell’s 2015 Pre-Seed Workshop. The Cornell University Institute of Biotechnology is looking to help foster entrepreneurialism within the community by hosting an event that will inspire people to turn their ideas into sustainable businesses. The Pre-Seed Workshop (PSW) will allow potential new business owners to vet their technology ideas to determine their commercial viability by spending two and a half days speaking with local experts to answer key business questions.
A Bright Tech Idea
Do you have a creative or innovative business idea? Are you considering launching a new technology company but you aren’t sure where to start? These questions are the basis of Cornell’s PSW. Many people have innovative technologies or ideas they think will be revolutionary but they don’t know if their idea is viable. These entrepreneurs are looking for advice but they aren’t sure where to go for information. This leads to potentially lucrative businesses never getting off the ground or failing because the business owner didn’t receive the right information at the right time.
Ask the Experts
In developing the PSW, the Biotech Institute wanted participants to be able to receive real answers to specific questions. Therefore, instead of finding a series of guest lecturers, the Institute developed teams of experts who will work with entrepreneurs in hands on sessions during the workshop. These members are experts in the fields of technology, business, finance and legal.
As a team member, Jonathan Meyerhoff brings 20 years of entrepreneurship and sales experience to local entrepreneurs, as well as an understanding in Internet and off-line marketing. He will help evaluate business proposals presented at the workshop to determine their viability.
If you are interested in speaking with Jonathan Meyerhoff about your business idea, Click Here and fill out the IMM Marketing Interview.
Below are 5 Internet marketing techniques that if executed properly, will drive traffic to your web property.
Social Networking – This Internet marketing technique is spreading like wildfire and needs to have your attention! There are numerous social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Ryze, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and many others. These sites allow you to open an account, add your info and network with thousands of other people. They can really bring attention to your website/business.
Blogs – Although blogs have been around for awhile, they are one of the newer online marketing techniques. Blogging is becoming a very popular method of publishing as it does not require any technical knowledge and it can greatly increase the popularity of your site. Some blogs allow the visitors to post and enter their thoughts and opinions as well.
A blog keeps people coming back to your site and a blog is also very helpful with the search engines because of the ever changing content. Search engines love new content! A good free blogging tool is blogger.com or WordPress.org
Video Marketing – Video marketing or casting is a powerful and versatile tool for your online business. You can introduce yourself, detail what you offer on your site, demonstrate your products/services, offer free instructional videos, etc. Visitors like to see who they may be potentially buying from, so show yourself!
Online Radio – Radio has always been a powerful medium and it continues to be on the Internet. Make yourself available to do online radio interviews. This is very cost effective and can get you and your business established all over the world. One place you can find online radios shows is the BusinessResourcesPodcastDirectory.com
RSS Feeds – RSS meaning Really Simple Syndication is an easy way for you to distribute your articles, blogs, and other content all over the net. You need to set up your feed and then maybe start with a weekly article until you get more used to it. You need to promote your feed so people subscribe to it and you can also make your feed available to other websites for more exposure. One good tool for getting started is the RSS Channel Editor.
Jonathan Meyerhoff if the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing Magicians, a web marketing firm located in Ithaca NY
With Google’s latest algorithm update, Panda 4.0Opens in a new window, online marketers, webmasters and business owners are trying hard to understand how this newest change is impacting the performance of their websites in Google’s search results.
Like many of Google’s updates, Panda 4.0 emphasizes high-quality websites and contentOpens in a new window. But what does Google mean by “high quality”? And how can businesses make sure that their websites are in line with Google’s expectations? These tips will help you keep your website fresh and let you maintain visibility in Google’s search results.
Generate Regular, Unique Blog Content
The original Panda algorithm release was focused on penalizing websites with low-quality content (i.e., scraped or copied from other sources) by giving them lower search results. Panda 4.0 continues to prioritize sites that post frequent, high-quality content over those that don’t. So if your strategy has been to copy or duplicate content, then this search update could be hurting your website.
What to Do:
Today, creating website content means more than just changing the copy on your home or product pages. Your website should also have a blog where you can post unique, relevant content about your business, products and services. Then, build a process to create, post and share new content on a weekly basis.
Making sure the content you post is informative and engaging—like how-to articles, images, lists, videos and more—will help Google determine if your site is authoritative and relevant to people searching for your types of products and services. If you don’t have time to produce high-quality content on a regular basis, you should look for a solution that can provide this for you.
Optimize Your Website’s Core Content for Search
The content you publish to your blog is a huge part of what Google looks for in a quality websiteOpens in a new window. But it comes to today’s SEO, quality refers to having a completely optimized experience. That means you should have a mobile-friendly website and content, optimized metadata and semantic markup, and descriptive core content (the content that lives on your home page, product pages, etc.). All of this can impact how effectively Google can index and surface your website to searchers. If your website doesn’t offer a modern, search-optimized experience, then it will be more difficult for you to drive visits from Google searchOpens in a new window in light of Panda 4.0.
What to Do:
If your site’s experience and core content are outdated, you may need a modern, mobile-optimized website designOpens in a new window; not just for SEO, but also to improve visitor satisfaction and drive conversions on your site. In addition, you should audit your site’s metadata (back-end content that’s read by search engines) and core on-page content to ensure it’s optimized for search. That means it features your target keywords, but is written naturally for your audience, not just stuffed with a series of keywords. This big mistake could get your site penalized in the search results.
Succeed in SEO With a Quality Website and Content
The good news is: by rewarding high-quality websites with increased visibility in search results, the Google Panda 4.0 update will work in favor of businesses that prove to be a unique and useful resource to their consumers.
You need to determine whether your current website and content strategy are helping or hurting your performance in SEO. If you already have a high-quality site, then continuing to create relevant content will help you drive even more visitors from Google’s organic search results. But if not, you need to invest in a modern website and regular, quality content that can make your business an asset both to local consumers and to Google.
Read the original article HERE.
By Jonathan Meyerhoff
Well as a guy who has been studying the inner workings of the Internet and search for over 15 years and who has also studied and practiced yoga and meditation for close to 20 years, the idea of the Internet becoming like the movie “The Matrix” is not too far fetched to me. That meaning, melding consciousness and the human element or electromagnetic force with the Internet, which would enable someone to virtually travel through cyber space and experience virtual realities. Also the possibility of uploading programs or knowledge into the human brain could happen when you think about it
Whether this will manifest in our time or ever, it’s very interesting to think about. It is my prediction that within the next decade, we will see something arise that enables humans to connect to the Internet directly from the brain via some kind of API or application. This is just one more reason to build your own Internet empire around your business in order to have more control of your “Internet World” or Matrix. Having a website or blog is like having real estate on the Internet and the sooner that you build up your real estate the better. This is done through expanding your social media platforms, video marketing,content marketing and press release syndication, social bookmarking, creating multiple blogs, establishing redundant servers or hosts, establishing relationships with complimentary high authority websites and getting links from them, creating websites for all of your interests and connecting them together etc. The possibilities are endless and keep expanding. So don’t blink…
In September 2013, Google introduced its brand new algorithm known as Hummingbird Algo Change. This advance finds countless SEO companies curious and gives rise to many unanswered questions, specifically: what effect will this algorithm have for any kind of website? To help make sure you don’t fall straight into a panic attack and to help you prepare your SEO strategy properly, I prepared a simple guide to demonstrate what the Hummingbird update is, its effect on your rankings, and how to exactly modify your SEO technique to benefit from the updates.
So, what do we know about Hummingbird?
Even though Hummingbird was announced on September 26, it was in fact released a month before that and is said to affect up to 90% of search queries.
Compared with Penguin and Panda, Hummingbird is not a consequence-based update. In the past, Google aimed at SERPs clean-up through low quality-level content. Now, Hummingbird transforms the way Google responds to several types of queries, allowing the search engine to get the actual significance behind a query, instead of the individual phrases in it.
Additionally, the algorithm highlights a better option with conversational queries, taking into consideration the increasing number of mobile search customers and the use of voice recognition technology.
So most importantly, Hummingbird is about Google aiming to catch users’ actual search intent and to best find the content that matches it.
But what does this mean for Internet Marketers and SEO?
Several issues now become more essential in website development, but the most important is the relevance of the written content on a website, instead of a site loaded with keywords and phrases. To get a better idea of how to adapt your digital marketing strategy, it is wise to gain an understanding of which mechanisms Google likely uses to achieve the “relevance” goal, and what each of these mean for your site.
1. Adapt your Keyword Strategy for Conversational Queries
What’s happening? The first challenge Google has to deal with today is the growing number of conversational phrases people use to search the Web. Quite likely (and that is especially true for mobile voice search users), these queries will be of a longer, more question-like type for example: “how do I…?”, “where is the nearest…?”, “where can I get…?”, etc. By interpreting these longer phrases, Google can no longer rely solely on keywords and provide different results for each of them. But getting many queries ties to a tighter “common term”, based primarily on the searchers’ intent:
What should you do?
Try determining all conversational phrases people are likely to use when searching for your services, and classify them into informational, navigational and transactional queries.
Make sure your content covers each of the 3 types:
-For informative requests, create educative, Wikipedia-type written content.
-Navigational requests are your own brand name, your product or service name, the brand of your website, etc. Precisely what often allows you rank better for your brand keywords and phrases are the brand and website names described by thematically related information.
-For transactional inquiries, use suitable keywords in your written content – for instance “hire John Bertrand – an SEO expert with years of experience”.
Whenever possible, target conversational phrases just as they are. For the rest of the conversational terms, use their shorter equivalents.
2. Leverage Synonyms and Dual Search Terms in your SEO
What’s happening? Another step towards relevant search results is determining what a page is about using not only individual keywords, but their synonyms and dual search terms.
Basically, this indicates that Google’s current search results are not just for the specific phrases the individual entered in, but for additional theme-related phrases.
For a theme-relevant website, this results in extra exposure opportunities; it’s likely to get to Google’s top result not only for your targeted keywords, but for their synonyms, too.
On the contrary, a page cut for a separate keyword (without keeping in mind its dual search terms and synonyms) is likely to be replaced with a page from a theme-relevant site.
What should you do?
-Expand your keyword research, focusing on synonyms and co-occurring terms to diversify your content.
-To see which search terms Google takes into account concurrently, pay particular attention to the relevant keywords and acronyms as well as spelling alternatives of your keywords outlined in search results:
-Expand your synonyms list with the keywords that already bring traffic to your website (check your site’s Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics).
-Tap into Google Suggest for relevant keyword ideas:
What’s happening? Another way for Google to identify what your website or your business deals with is co-citation. In a simple language, this mechanism means that each time your brand (or a link to your site) is mentioned alongside with your competitor’s or similar web resources, this serves as a hint to Google that your firm and those other companies are related. On top of that, if the competitors are already authoritative in your business niche, your site for Google now also seems a weighty niche representative.
Example: If your website (1) is mentioned on websites A, B and C together with your competitors (2, 3 and 4), for Google, the 4 websites become associated (see the scheme):
What should you do?
-Determine your top rivals (the biggest niche specialists trustworted by Google) and make certain your brand gets described together with them
-Perform a Google search for “Top 10 [the generic term for your biz]…”, “Best [the generic term for your product] of 2013″, etc. If your business isn’t there, reach out to the publisher and ask them to put you on the list.
-Research the competitive brands ranking higher for your keywords and phrases, to find more citation possibilities.
-Reverse-engineer competitors’ backlink user profiles to see which niche information the links are returning from.
What’s happening? Even though using “industrial” anchor texts in hyperlinks is one of the most significant SEO no-no’s these days, Google still depends on backlink anchor texts to much better understand the theme of a website.
The perfect proof for that is the famous example of Adobe.com that (still!) ranks due to the anchor texts in its links:
What should you do?
-Perform an inventory of your website’s internal links and discover if you can better optimize the exact anchor texts for LSI semantically-related keywords and phrases.
-Check your site’s external links’ anchors to make sure they are relevant enough or revise your anchor text strategy.
-Don’t forget to not only use keywords in the anchor texts themselves, but also to surround the links with keywords and their synonyms.
What’s happening? Another thing to pay attention to in the age of smarter Google is Universal Search. It’s quite likely that the new, relevancy-focused algorithm will make Google show more Universal search results to your target users.
Let’s say that Google sees your intent – learning a chest workout. Obviously, the most informative result for you is a training video:
If you’re wondering where to buy pizza in Chicago, no doubt you need local pizzeria listings:
This means that now, even more than before, Universal Search gives you the opportunity to outrank competitors when cracking the “organic” top 10 seems improbable, and, drive more traffic to your site by using additional traffic channels.
What should you do?
-See what types of search results appear on Google for your main keywords.
-Consider the possibility of getting a Google+ Local listing.
-Optimize your images for Google Images.
-Make videos and optimize them for YouTube.
What’s happening? To collect more info about your website, its theme and content, Google is likely to pay even more attention to the so-called “structured data”. That is a perfect way to get extra exposure in Google’s Knowledge graph; to add more info to rich snippets, to feature your article’s authorship, to get into the search results carousel, and so on.
What should you do?
-Make sure you use the maximum number of structured data properties, that is, let Google know more about your site (use Google+ for Google authorship, get listed in Freebase to increase your chances of hopping on the Knowledge Graph, etc.).
-To help Google make better sense of your site, whenever possible, try implementing schema on your site (use Schema.org markup for Videos, use Organized Data Markup Helper towards Google recognize more regarding movies, events, and so on. on your website).
-Use Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure Google interprets structured data correctly on your webpages.
Read original article HERE.
We have always believed that Information Technology is a key component within the Internet marketing puzzle. If you don’t have sound IT infrastructure, both land area network and wide area network, all the efforts you may have put into a marketing campaign can go up in smoke! IT, Telecommunications, Infrastructure Systems and business processes as well as HR.
Our senior director of information technology, Mark Braxton has over 30 years of extensive experience in systems design, technical architecture, convergence and delivery across multiple platforms. His core strength is machine to machine technology. You can read more about him on his personal web site here at www.urm2m.com
In order to offer more value to our customers, we recently brought on Mark Braxton to the team so we could offer IT/Information Technology services.
Mark is a leading expert in Information Technology, wireless communications, and global positioning. He has over 30 years extensive experience in systems design, technical architecture, convergence and delivery across multiple platforms. You can read more about Mark Raxton HERE…
Welcome Mark and thank you for bringing world class IT services to our team!!
In a recent CNBC article,
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Have you done a Google
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I know, I know… What
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4 Essential Web Design Features for
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It goes without saying that
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