Sweat Equity a MustFebruary 18th, 2014

hard-work-aheadI remember an old expression “everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die”.  Now of course this is true if not a bit harsh. But, you are asking yourself what does this possibly have to do it my website?

Clients come to me to improve their search engine optimization, as well as their presence on social media. I of course am happy to help, that is my business after all 🙂

I always tell them I can help, but I can’t do it alone. You are the subject matter expert in your given field. I may be a thought leader in my field, but all that allows me to do is help YOU. You, the client have to put in some sweat equity if you want to be successful. I can provide you the mechanisms to improve your sites visibility with search engines and social media. I have done this for myself, I’ve done this for clients, but still there are many clients out there that want everything, just not willing to put in the time.

Now what does this mean? Well for instance social media. I can help you gain followers visibility, etc. But to do so we have to be active. To be successful in social media, you actually do have to be social.  I know that sounds like common sense but you’d be surprised how many people want to do well with social media but don’t actually like being social. Work is not all about doing what we like to do, that is why they call it work.

At RooSites we often start by having people set up a schedule for work they’re going to do both with their website, and for social media. We have even started a beta test of sending reminders to people each week, to write a blog or an article for their websites. This way they can improve their search engine visibility, and do it the right way, through old-fashioned hard work and quality content. Google loves quality content. And you know what? They should. After all, that is what people are searching for, right? No ones sets out looking for the most optimized website. No, they want the best result set for the what they are querying the search engine for in the first place. So put in the hard work, the sweat equity will pay off.

But, if you aren’t willing to put in the time to improve your site or social media, do yourself a favor, delete your social media pages. Then put a note on your stale website: “We really don’t care about our site, hope you will do business with us anyway.” Hey at least you will get points for honesty.

 

Web Advice: If it sounds too good to be true…July 23rd, 2013

Business owners are swarmed with offers from SEO companies that can make them number 1 in Google. They also hear from companies that can build them the greatest site ever made for short money and really quick. But the truth of matter is: They can’t in either case.

The SEO companies that send out millions of spam emails promising the moon, are 99.9% bogus. They haven’t even reviewed your site, yet promise number one in days. Google uses an algorithm that no one can reverse engineer. Plus, Google is always updating their algorithm to get around the SEO tricks. Have you ever wondered (and you’ve heard me say this before) why emails from these SEO companies come from some nondescript GMail account? Simple, because if it came from their domain you would quickly do a search and find out they are not in the top 100 for SEO. If they can’t help themselves, they can’t help you. Look, we tell people all the time, we can improve your search rankings by old-fashioned work and quality content. Nothing beats quality content, period.

As for the companies who promised to build you the greatest website ever, and get it done really quickly and really cheaply. Well, you get what you pay for. You get a crappy template that they have used hundreds, and in some cases thousands of times. They plug in text, and your site is done. But it’s not original, doesn’t look good, and it’s not quality technology. Chances are you will be looking for new site within a year.

For example: I just had a client that we’ve done a lot of work for contact me. We have maintained a great relationship, but when time came to do over one of their sites, they chose a company promising speed, price and that the owner wouldn’t have to raise a finger. They sent me a link to look at the new site in development. I could not believe my eyes. They were using technology, that not only is outdated, the company that owns it is actually about to retire it and has been dead for years. I won’t mention the technology I’m talking about, I don’t want to embarrass the person, although you would get a good laugh out of it. This development firm has their own niche within a given industry. They do hundreds of these types of sites, very cookie cutter and nothing special from a UI standpoint. Unknowing site owners typically won’t look and see the technology, so it sounds good. Quick, cheap, and little effort. Again, within a year they will be looking for a new solution.

While it is an old expression, the title of this post holds true today. In fact, it is probably truer today then the day it was first uttered. Nothing beats hard work. Companies may make crazy promises, but use your common sense when entering into a new project. And be careful of any email from companies out of the blue, chances are they are spammers, or fly by night outfits.

If you need help with Web Development, or SEO, contact us today, we are glad to help.
 

Website/Social Media: Are you willing to put the effort in?June 10th, 2013

I love what I do. I know I can help companies succeed with Websites, SEO and Social Media. I have a track record of success and have worked hard to maintain a high level since 1996. But to succeed I also need a bit of help from clients.

Clients want to:

  • Have a successful Website
  • Do well in searches (SEO)
  • Have a solid social media presence

 
I can help with all 3. I won’t make unreal promises, but if you are willing to put some effort in together we can meet and probably exceed your company goals.

My maintenance plans are the best in the industry. I can provide the support you need to prosper. Whether you need an hour, 2 hours, 15 hours, or even unlimited support each month, I can support you.

Now here is the catch. You need to put in minimal effort. I say minimal, but there is some effort needed. Content is king, as it should be. Will you be willing to write each month? Perhaps a bi-weekly blog post? Will you sit down and spend an hour or two writing some tweets/facebook posts? I can schedule them for you, and help create a strategy to grow your presence. If folks ask you a question on facebook, can you respond quickly? It is about relationships. If you ignore people they will go to your competition, guaranteed.

EverestBelieve me I know your busy.
That is why I am here. And the time I need is minimal. In truth, the reason I wrote this post is due to a client I support. I built him a kick-ass website a few years back. Getting him to do anything with his site or social media is harder than climbing Everest (at left) blindfolded with your legs tied together. (Pretty hard, right?) But here’s the part that kills me. He is on Facebook 7 days a week playing silly games. And during work hours as well. …I am just too busy Barry, he claims.  You see he forgets we are friends and I can see stuff in my media feed. Hey I am thrilled he is good at words with friends, but I know one thing: That game ain’t making him money. (And if he is so good at words with friends then he should be able to string together a few sentences, for a blog post or 140 character tweat?) I am just saying….

In closing. If you are ready to take your website/social media to the next level, fill out my contact form and let’s chat. I can help you, if you are ready to help yourself.

 

The true meaning of being a solutions providerApril 23rd, 2013

You hear the term “solutions provider” tossed around quite often these days. It sounds great, right? A company will study your unique problems and goals and come up with a solution that meets your needs.  Sounds great, sign me up.

Not so fast.   In reality, typically web development firms will not create a solution that is necessarily best for you, but rather best for them.  If you have a meeting to discuss whether to tweak your website or to build a new one, 99% of the time you will receive the recommendation to build a new site. If you tell them you have a $5,000 budget, you will receive an estimate very close to that amount. And if they are a shop that focuses on Microsoft Technologies, they will steer you in that direction, knowing full well that many not be the best for you.

I am always amazed at the short sightedness of companies, going for short term profits rather than taking a longer view. For RooSites, we want you to be a customer for years to come. We know if we do the right thing by you, that you in turn will have us manage your website and refer us to others.

In the past couple of weeks we had examples of “doing the right thing”.  I wrote about the first example in a blog post about this on April 2nd, entitled: Sometimes having a client NOT spend money is best. Read Post → It was a perfect example of how we could have pushed the client to build a new site, which would have made us money. BUT he does very well in searches, and his website looks ok and certainly professional. Also he had gained several new patients from his appointment request form in the past few months. So I advised holding off a year or so. Again from a purely profit standpoint, not a great move, but in the long run it should pay off with a happy client and referrals.

The other example was concerning a company’s website where they had a Drupal content management system and a separate WordPress blog hosted elsewhere. One of their biggest issues is that their blog content isn’t being indexed with his main site. As blogging is very important to the company, my first thought was to bring everything into WordPress. (Drupal is a great CMS but if blogging is important I favor WordPress) But after further investigation, the cost seemed too great. So, I came up with a plan to install WordPress directly onto their server, create a custom theme to match his Drupal site, and then import the posts. This would save him 50% or more and achieve everything he wanted to do from an SEO perspective. This was a good example of being a solutions provider, not just shoehorning in a solution that is easy for me or more profitable.

Bottom Line: If you’re dealing with a company that seems to provide solutions which are best for them, and not you, contact us today. We are a true solutions provider.
 

The Power of SMEJanuary 29th, 2013

The first time I heard the expression “SME” was about 13 years ago. I was working on a project at Fidelity Investments in Boston. I was the technical lead on a web development project and a project manager approached me after a kickoff meeting and asked me if I would be the SME for the technical team. I answered forcefully, yes of course I will be. (Of course then I had to actually find out what a SME was). SME is short for subject matter expert. This means you have the knowledge to represent your team and answer all questions related to your field. LinkedIn Uses the term “thought leader”. But both actually mean the same thing, an expert in your field.

People tend to ask me, what is the best thing I can do as far as writing content or social media? My first response is anything that portrays you as a subject matter expert, is a good thing and you can never hurt you. Whether you are writing a blog post or sending a tweet, if the information you you are posting shows that you have a distinct knowledge in your field, It will help you. It will drive people to your business.

Everyone is seeking experts who are leaders in their field. Whether you’re hiring a lawyer, an accountant, a plumber or a web developer, you want to make sure they know their stuff. So if you learn something you didn’t know, reading their blog post or tweet, perhaps saw a tip or an idea you hadn’t thought of, it influences your opinion. Most of all it makes a positive impression that people will remember.

Perfect example of what I am referring to occurred in my BNI Networking Group last week. The CPA in our group, Bob Champagne of Champagne & Bibeault, LLC, told us about a credit available to Senior Citizens called the Senior Circuit Breaker Credit. It is worth a thousand dollars and they can go back 3 years to get refunds from prior years. Now, in a room full of Attorneys, Financial Planners, Business Owners and Professionals in many fields, no one knew of the refund Bob referred to. Instantly Bob’s credibility increased. What a perfect blog post, facebook posting or tweet this would have been! There are a lot of CPAs to choose from, but little things like this differentiate Bob from the others who may do your taxes yet miss out on things that result in savings, and in this case money in their pocket.

So the question you are probably asking is how can you write content that portrays you as a SME? The first thing is to try and take sales out of the equation. Too much sales talk drives people away and should make up not more more than 20% of your postings. Write about what you know, give tips, ideas, and things that will benefit your readers. They will appreciate it, and hopefully this will lead them to contact you and eventually lead to business.