Enhance Your B2B Digital Strategy

The word digital is still a bit of a taboo in the B2B world with most companies still having not fully integrated digital strategies into their marketing efforts.

Many B2B executives remain unconvinced that digital marketing will really assist them to take their company to new levels. They believe their services or products are too niche to work on social media, yet this notion fails to hold water when the efforts of similar entities are taken into account.

One good tip for B2B companies that have yet or are just starting to enter the digital age is to embrace inbound marketing.

Search engines are used by around 93% of all B2B buyers when they start the process of purchasing. This makes search engine advertising a potentially huge tool, allowing the customer to discover the company on their own without the need for cold calling, direct mail or TV and radio ads.

Showing that you are a trusted advisor is the key to making this technique work. Once the prospect contacts you, it is crucial to talk to a client in the manner of a normal conversation rather than a hard sell.

Making Use Of Google To Help Your Day Run Smoother

The Internet is a very big place. Anyone who wishes to use the Internet in an effective manner needs to be familiar with search engines.

Google has become the primary choice for millions of users, although there are some others.

One of the main reasons for Google’s popularity and general reputation as being the best of the search engines is that they keep on coming up with new methods for surfing the Internet.

For instance, if you wish to look up a news story or current event, then http://news.google.com allows you to instantly have access to news stories that are literally just a couple of minutes old.

Anyone who is looking for a picture of just about anything is almost sure to find it at http://images.google.com, which is quite possibly the largest image search engine in the whole world.

If you’re looking for map or address information, check out http://maps.google.com – hundreds of thousands of addresses now have street view, showing you the actual view from a car in front of the building you’re looking for.

Google also has specific search engines for books, videos and even stock market developments.

How Does Google’s Personal Search Affect Your Business?

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Consider this statement: “On Friday afternoon, Google made the biggest change that has ever happened in search engines, and the world largely yawned.” That quote is from a December 7, 2009, post on Search Engine Land, a website that covers Google, Bing and the other Internet search engines.

Don’t worry if you didn’t read the post. Since it was early December when Google announced that it would start personalizing all search results, we were getting ready for the holidays.

It isn’t clear at first glance just how significant this change will be. A closer look, though, reveals nothing short of a revolution in the making.

Here is what Google did, according to Google: “Today we’re helping people get better search results by extending Personalized Search to signed-out users worldwide, and in more than forty languages. Now when you search using Google, we will be able to better provide you with the most relevant results possible.”

A real world example: I do a lot of searches for recipes, and often click on results from epicurious.com. Knowing this, Google might rank epicurious.com higher on the results page the next time I look for recipes.

Other times, when I’m looking for news about the University of Michigan’s football team, I search for “Michigan wolverines.”

Because I frequently click on http://www.mgoblue.com/, Google might show me this result first, instead of search results about the animal.

Google is able to do this because they are now cataloging all of your searches for over 180 days. It then uses your search history to customize your results.

If you’re not signed in to your Google account, a cookie on your browser keeps a record of your queries.

Sounds pretty innocuous, doesn’t it? Better search results? Tailored to exactly what I need? I like this change! Others, however, might squirm at the Orwellian aspect of an omniscient Google knowing exactly what you want. Whether the change is good or bad is debatable, but it’s certainly going to be big.

Until now, search engines have largely delivered the same results to everyone. Two different people could search for Barack Obama and get back the same set of results.

The days of “normal” search results that everyone sees are now over. Personalized results are the “new normal,” and the change is going to shift the search world and society in general in unpredictable ways.

How might this change shift the world? Here are a few scenarios:

Narrowing your Internet experience
This change could curtail what we’ll call “search-engine serendipity.” Search-engine serendipity happens when you search Google with a preconceived notion of what you’ll find, but instead you end up exploring new ideas and virgin territory. Personalized results may repeatedly channel you through the same grooves, limiting your exposure to things outside your experience.

Confirm your personal biases
Search Engine Land’s Dan Sullivan picks up on this possibility in his post: “Is a search for Michelle Obama showing a racist image? Maybe for one person, but not for another.”

For the xenophobic Googler, every search may reinforce his xenophobic worldview because personalization filters sites that don’t jibe with his tastes. Another example: Once Google has you pegged as a bleeding heart liberal, it may serve up Huffington Post for every query.

Polarize our political system
You can see where we’re going with this. If personalized results reinforce our beliefs, we’ll soon have Google red and Google blue. The folks in Mountain View have tried to comfort people by saying that it wants “diversity of results.” But that poses another troubling question: Who will define diversity? Google?

It could reduce the visibility of your website
Since no one but Google knows how its personalization algorithm works, it’s hard to know how far-reaching the change will be. But it’s plausible that a business’ website would no longer rank for certain keywords among certain prospects. If, for example, a person went on an Amazon.com book-buying spree, Google might take note and start displaying Amazon.com for a majority of product-related queries, which is great … if you’re Amazon.com.

It could skew your SEO efforts
Since there is no longer a ‘normal’ set of results, it becomes more difficult to optimize your website. There isn’t one bull’s eye to aim for anymore: there are millions of them and they’re moving all the time as Google refreshes its 180-day cache of your search terms.

Personalized Search for Everyone

http://searchengineland.com/googles-personalized-results-the-new-normal-31290

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/personalized-search-for-everyone.html

Bing, Bing, Bing! Microsoft’s Search Engine A Hit!

If you haven’t heard, Microsoft has released their own search engine in an effort to compete with Google in the search engine market. Originally the search engine that was going to be called “Kumo” has been released and the name is “Bing.”

Microsoft is off to a pretty good start according to the marketing research company that provides marketing data and services to many of the Internet’s largest businesses,comScore Inc. Microsoft has improved their search market share by 1.7 points to 15.5% in the week following the release of Bing.

So what is causing all these improvements, and catching the eyes of the public? What does Bing have to offer that Google hasn’t already thought of? Here are a few of the features Bing has integrated into the search engine. Interface features, multimedia features, instant answers, product search, webmaster services, mobile services, toolbars, gadgets, advertising, and many more.

So let’s talk about some of these features and what they mean to us – the end user.

The interface feature is one of my favorites, probably because it’s so appealing to the eye, and got my attention right from the  very first visit to Bing. The background image changes each and every day, taking you to the most remarkable places in the world, with vivid colors, and great angles.

You can even view the information about the subject of the image by hovering over the image.

Video previewing has never been so cool. By hovering over a video thumbnail, the video actually will automatically start playing, and give you a taste of what the site offers, before you actually click on the result.

The image search is very impressive as well, allowing image searching with continuous scrolling images, with adjustable settings for size, layout, color, and style.

In addition to its tool(s) for searching WebPages, Bing also provides search offerings for health, images, local, maps, news, shopping, translator, travel, videos, and xRank. Most of those are pretty self explanatory, but what about xRank?

XRank is a feature that actually allows users to search for celebrities, musicians, politicians, and bloggers. You can read short biographies and news about them, and track  their own personal trends and/or popularity rankings.

All in all, it sounds like a pretty good engine Microsoft has put together, but will it be enough to compete with the market dominator Google?

Google is the king of search, of course, but the problem with Google’s results is that they’re based soley on mathematical calcualtions, whereas Bing employs some artificial intelligence. Only time will tell. In the meantime, go check Bing out first hand via http://www.bing.com/ and decide for yourself.

Six More Super Effective Search Engine Optimization Tips

Here are six additional search engine optimization strategies you can start today to bring more traffic to your business website:

1. Include only the most important, meaningful keywords in your site’s title tag or the title that appears in the bar at the top of the web page.

2. Make sure your site includes as much information as possible, preferably 250 words on each page.

3. Spend the time necessary to know the keywords your prospective clients use to find your firm and its products/services.

4. Don’t try to trick the search engines by loading your site with irrelevant keywords that have nothing to do with your business.

5. Don’t allow your most important keywords to be contained in graphics. Try substituting formatted HTML text for graphics.

6. Citation mapping, the number of links that point to your Website, is critical to all search engines when assigning ranking.

Use as many relevant quality links as possible that point to your site, to guarantee top placement.