John Banks

E-mail : [email protected]

John is a blogger and devoted father of his two daughters. He runs his own blog and has also released some products onto the online marketplace. He is a keen product creator and is also a keen producer of infographics and video promotion. When he is not working online with one of his many 'experiments' as he likes to say he likes to chill out with his family or catch a movie.    You can follow John on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.      Read more posts by this author

A-Z Guide

A-Z of Online Marketing

  • August 26 , 2013

a-z online marketing

This is the complete A-Z of Online Marketing from BizzeBee – this list could have been very different, it got re-written several times. In fact if I was to write it again some time down the line it would change again. But – these terms are all relevant in today’s online marketing efforts. Whilst I would not expect businesses or individuals to use each and every term I am sure you will find some value in some of these. There may even be one or two you are unfamiliar with. So, read on then let the debate roll on……

A – Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is essentially when you promote other companies products and in turn they will pay you a commission for doing so. So, you do not even need your own product to start your own business online. There are many affiliate networks online; Commission Junction, JVZoo and PayDotCom are just a few. There are many more in many different niches online.

B – Blogging

Having a blog is a great way to get fresh new content to your site. Just because your main niche is not blogging doesn’t mean you should not have one. In fact, I would argue that every website or company could and should have one. Blogging is a great way to interact with your readers which in turn are your potential or even existing customers. Google loves fresh content and blogging regularly is a great way to please the search engines, which in turn helps your site and traffic overall.

C – Content Marketing

Content marketing is virtually what all respected online companies will do – to some degree. Content marketing is when a business tries to acquire new customers by publishing new content out across the web. Content can be in the form of a blog, eBooks, videos, presentations photos – basically anything.  We strongly recommend content marketing as you will reap the rewards in the long term as your brand will be in many places across many different mediums.

D – Domain Name

Your domain name is key so choose it wisely. We have discussed this before on the blog and there is a very detailed free report in the email guide. When registering your domain name try to avoid things like hyphens or too long, confusing names. Something that people can “reel of the tongue” will be better overall.

E – Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with your customers. Check out Andi’s post on why you should build an email list from the start. By not having an email list you could be leaving potential customers behind. Offer something of great value to get your visitors to opt-in and treat your list as a very valuable asset to your business.

F – Facebook

Facebook is huge and every business should have some presence on there. It can be a great way to reach out to your customers perhaps in an informal way. It could also be used to run competitions or show off pictures from a staff event. Check out “The Social Media Commitment” and “Tips For Your Business Facebook Page

G – Google Plus

Not quite as popular in terms of numbers alongside Facebook but it is essential to have a profile with your business here too. The benefits of having a Google Plus account are very big indeed. Linking your authorship on your blogs, Google hangouts, free storage with Google Drive are all benefits of having an account with Google Plus.

H – Help Others

Being helpful in the online world is a given. This should be up there on your mission statement, if you try to solve other people’s problems and offer a helpful and effective solution then you will be on the right path that is for sure. If people email you – email them back, if people make comments on your site/blog/Facebook page then interact with them. Basically, care.

I – Info-products

You don’t have to only sell physical products in order to succeed online. The digital marketplace is now bigger than ever and continues to grow. You could create a short course, or a tutorial, write a kindle book that promotes your brand. All of these options are potential income streams for your business.

ebooks

J – Joint-Venture

A joint venture is where you form a partnership with somebody else or many others with a product or website launch. Joint ventures can be a great way to split the workload and utilise each other’s skill sets better. For example you may have one person who is great at creating online products and other who has a large list of affiliates and has many years of writing sales copy. You could form a joint venture and split the profits 50/50.

K – Keywords

Keywords are for when writing content on your site. A keyword is usually something that you will target for somebody to search for. Great content and just as importantly unique content though will have Google picking up your content for keywords you had not even thought of. These may be long-tail keywords, such as full sentences or 4/5 words together. You should at least be wary of what keywords you are targeting.

L – Links

Links are what the Internet is essentially made up off. A link can be an internal link, i.e going from your website to another page on your website. Or, it can be an external link, going from your website to a different website. So – links are important if you want your website to be a success. But the quality of the link is where it matters. I would much rather have one link from the CNN website than 100 links from some very low quality sites that nobody visits.

M – Mobile Friendly

Try to remember not everyone is using their desktop PC’s anymore. People like to use tablets, laptops and smartphones now. So you must make your site user friendly for this audience. I think you will be surprised if you actually looked at the figures for the percentage of people that viewed your site that wasn’t on a traditional PC. If you are a WordPress user there are plugins and themes available that are suitable for this.

N – Niche

When choosing your niche make sure you have an interest in it yourself. This will make the whole thing one hell of a lot easier when it comes to providing content. Whilst it is important to choose a niche that is profitable, choosing one that you are passionate about is arguably more important.

O – Organic Growth

You want your visitors to your site to grow, and this will happen naturally over time if you follow the rules outlined in SEO and social media campaigns. As your site grows with content as will your numbers that are flocking to your site organically.  Organic traffic is what comes to your site from search engines.

P – Promotion

No business either offline or online would have success without promotion. The key is getting the right balance. Do not fill your Facebook page just with promotions to your products or sites, but on the same note make sure you drop a few in now and again. These are your customers after all and they would not be there if they did not like what you do – however over promotion can put people off and drive customers away.

Q – QR Codes

QR or Quick Response Codes are a neat little way of keeping your customers interacting. These are bar codes that when scanned can take the user to a specific page, give them an offer, a website, phone number or many other things. These are huge in the Japan and the East. Soon enough you will see these on product advertising, printed on billboards and being used for marketing and advertising all over the place. Something to consider for your business?

QR codes

R – Research

Essential for when either choosing your niche or even when you are established. Things change all the time so you need to keep up to date. When deciding on a specific product launch or maybe a new website tutorial – make sure you do your research first. It’s amazing how much money can be lost if you get something so trivial wrong. An incorrect pricing structure for example can result in thousands of lost dollars if you haven’t researched the current marketplace.

S – SEO

Search Engine Optimization. You should at least make some effort to try and do this, even if you do only the basics. We have discussed this here on the blog, little goes a lot further than nothing. Do not try to rank for too highly competitive keywords and remember the key principles. Take a read of ‘Now You SEO Me‘ to learn more.

T – Traffic

Traffic is the life-blood of your online business or website. There are many forms of traffic generation from free traffic to paid traffic. Social media can have many great benefits with traffic but can be time-consuming, advertising can be a great way to increase the visitor count but can be expensive, SEO can be great at gaining new visitors but Google change the rules all the time. Basically it can be a bit of nightmare when you start your traffic mission. But – there are literally tons of ways. Check out ‘What To Do After Hitting Publish‘ and ‘10Twitter Traffic Tips

U – USP

Unique Selling Point – what is it that you offer that is different or unique from your competitors? It may be that you offer more, offer it at more competitive pricing, offer more in terms of content? Whatever it is you should stress this in your sites content and marketing strategies. What is our USP at BizzeBee? Well, it’s the fact that we are a team of individuals and with all of our experiences online there is not much that we have not seen or cannot offer advice about.

V – Viral

Going viral is great for your business. This term cropped up in and around various social media circles when pictures or videos got thousands sometimes millions of views. Companies are started to get on board with Viral Marketing as a way of generating traffic and leads to their site. It only take one funny caption, picture or video on a couple of platforms and you could be getting thousands of visitors in a very short space of time.

viral marketing

W – Web Hosting

It is critical from the outset that your online business is hosted the best possible way. We recommend Hostgator here and with their uptimes and great support package you could do a lot worse that signing up with them.

X – ConteXt

Ok – so I didn’t have one that began with ‘x’! – But context is the next big thing to sweep the search engines. If you are an SEO guy and plan to use this for a large part of your traffic methods then you should do your homework on context. It is quite complex but basically it is a new algorithm that is going to be built into the search engines which will make search results more “human” – for example if you search “What is the best traffic method” and “whats the best traffic methods” you would get a mixed amount of results and possibly only a few matching websites across both queries, they will certainly rank differently. So – remember this.

Y – YouTube

YouTube as you probably know is a free to use video hosting platform. This can also be a great traffic source too. Your online marketing efforts can see great benefit from video, not only do marketing videos convert well they can also be a more suitable medium for explaining something. If you have a series of training tutorials you want to teach then using video may be a better way than text. With YouTube you can host them for free and then post them on your site. You need a Google account to upload to YouTube.

Z – Zest

And finally  – ZEST. You must have zest in order to succeed online. You will get knockbacks, you will get hurdles to overcome, you will get bad customers – but it’s how you raise up above these challenges on your journey to the top. Zest is defined as living life full of excitement, energy and anticipation. All great strengths that will help you in your bid for your own slice of the online empire.

I hope you have taken something from this article. Please feel free to drop a comment in below, I would love to hear your thoughts. Or perhaps you would have given some letters different online marketing terms?

now you SEO me

What “Now You See Me” Can Teach Us About SEO?

  • August 16 , 2013

Weird title for a post I know but bear with me, this is actually an SEO post. Recently I went to watch the new movie “Now You See Me” – it’s very good – check it out. But whilst watching it I remember thinking the whole way through how is this going to end. The film has a few twists and turns in it and without spoiling the ending it sort of pans out as you would expect – in the end. Well, it did for me.

So what does this have to do with SEO?

Well, during the film the characters are often mentioning about being one step, two steps or even ten steps “ahead of the game”. There is a lot of manipulation, trickery and trying to fool the audience.

Now, I actually see this in a lot of SEO strategies online. Whenever there is a system, a set of rules or a strategy in anything in life there will always be people out to try and beat it or rather bend the rules to suit themselves or give themselves the advantage.

Online marketers are always trying to come up with the next best way to beat Google and get their site ranking above everyone else out there. I have been on record many times in saying that if you rely on Google alone as your only source of traffic to your website you are setting yourself up for a huge fail.

Simply put Google changes its rules and algorithms too much to keep up. Over the last few months alone I have heard of many of my fellow marketers sites dropping of the radar literally over night. Why? Because the system they once had is no longer what Google values.

So what can you do about it to future proof yourself from more Google slaps?

Here at BizzeBee we have some mixed opinions on SEO and the debate will always go on. I strongly recommend you read some of the other posts on this subject. I am going to break this down real simple. In my opinion it can be broken down into three steps. If you just follow these three steps, over time you will do ok and you will not get any slaps off the charts in terms of rankings.

Content. Links. Social Media.

That is it.

Now let’s talk about each one separately.

Content

This is by far the most important aspect of the three. Without great, kick-ass content then you can probably forget about the other two. Whether you write for a blog or are writing articles for a website the content should be great. Forget spinning articles, or buying below-par articles with bad grammar and spelling mistakes, this will not do. Your content should be aimed at providing user engagement, conversions and revenue.

The old days of optimizing for search engines are on there way out if not over altogether. It’s time now to write for guess what….. humans! Be sure to use catchy headlines and engaging content.

It should also be noted that exact match domains are a thing of the past – as well as exact match anchor text. You should now be concentrating on keyword diversity within the posts you write. I tend to just write – the keywords within the posts tend to find themselves.

Another thing that is great for SEO now is personal branding within your content. BizzeBee is a brand, so we try to reflect this in our posts, our downloadable content and our members area (coming soon).  Also add your personal brand to the content – adding Google authorship is a great way to start.

In a nutshell the better content you produce the more people will want to naturally share it, giving you better quality and niche matching links coming in. And this is the key – as having more natural links coming in is a good thing in Google’s eyes.

Techniques to avoid: Focusing on numbers, clicks and page views, trying to write for search engines, using EMD (exact match domains), being anonymous with your readers.

Links

I touched upon links in the closing stages of the last section. And links are still important but not the quantity as the old black-hat days would have led us to believe. It has been about quality of links for some time and nothing has changed really. Except make them natural. So, this brings us back to content SEO again. Natural links are when someone willingly links to your post or website from their own similar site in terms of content.

If you are a content marketing business then buying 500 links from Fiver linking to your site from various fake social media profiles or garbage hashed link farm websites is not going to give your post any credibility at all – in fact it will do it damage. However just a handful of links from similar or higher ranked websites will give your post a much better chance of ranking higher in the search engines. How do you do that – write great content, and let the readers choose to link it.

Or you could guest post – but be warned here. Do not just guest post for the sake of getting a link. Earn links from top ranked respected blogs or sites within your niche. Engage and interact with them first, establish a good working relationship. This will give you a better chance of getting a valuable link from their site to yours.

Do not participate in link exchange programs, these are a waste of time and quite often not what the person is saying they are. If you like some content and feel it should be linked or shared, then do so. It is good practice to offer links regardless of whether you get one back. Your time will come.

Techniques to avoid: Buying links, participating in link exchange systems, adding to directory websites manually, focusing on short term gain.

Social Media

Today is all about social media – its everywhere and it’s how people express their views on your work. Great content will naturally get tweets, likes, +1’s and mentions along the way. And – the success of social media campaigns comes largely down to what? I will give you a clue – it begins with C.

Yes, content. And there are a few more C’s. Communication and community are two more that spring to mind. Your social media profiles should be inter-linked with your SEO campaigns, you should encourage reaction to your posts or content and anyone who shares your posts or content should be noted. Be sure to follow up personally now and again to the share or link if anyone makes any comments.

Participating in a community of like-minded people is also great for your SEO. Answering and solving people’s problems is great and a sure fire way to earn you some respected traffic and social shares along the way to your content. Its these relationships that will help build your personal authority.

One last thing on social media with regards to your SEO, using #tags. Try to use tags where applicable in your content sharing across the social media networks.

Techniques to avoid: Spamming social media sites and communities, focusing on keywords too much, article submission sites, commenting only for backlinks.

So there we have it my social media jigsaw only has three parts. Content, Links and Social Media.

SEO 3 steps

The film “Now You See Me” was all about trickery, deceit and fooling the system (audience). With SEO you cannot do this. Sure, you may come up with a system that may trick Google for a short while but ultimately you will always fall.

The best way to be “one step ahead of the game” is to just write great, unique content. If you only do this then you are already at a long term advantage to those who believe in link farms and keyword stuffing.

If you stick with this and avoid all the black-hat rubbish that is out there your posts will have better chance standing the test of time and Google will have no reason to slap you down with the next update.

Thanks for reading, as always your comments are welcome. We encourage debate so please share your thoughts in the comments box below.

10 Facebook Tips

Tips For Your Business Facebook Page

  • August 8 , 2013

Every business worth their salt these days has a business Facebook page. Why? Because times are changing or rather times have changed! Facebook has over 900 Million users worldwide so to ignore this platform would be unwise and just plain silly. You have the potential to reach an audience and spread your message in a way you never had before.

You can loosen the tie with your Facebook page – you do not have to be so “business” if you know what I mean. Have a bit of fun with it.

Facebook users are more of a “share and like” type – they love the interaction. Remember it’s a social media site, the keyword there being social.

It can be a great way to run competitions and if your message goes viral then you will be attracting a lot of extra potential customers but more importantly your brand will be getting more exposure. Great for the long game.

With a business Facebook page your potential reach to people comes directly from your “likes” to start with, but then what they like and share also appears on their friends timelines – further increasing your exposure. Sort of like a ripple effect – although Google will probably tell us off for using that term so, as Facebook calls it – insights.

Although the difference between a successful, vibrant, interactive page and one that just sits there gathering dust with nobody to talk to comes down to a few things.

If your page is brand new you should probably start by sending your page out to your friends, you can do this straight away from the invite friends link.

Whatever you do – DO NOT BUY LIKES – these will be fake, offer no interaction and be a waste of money. A page with 100 interactive fans holds much more value than one with 1000 fake fans. All these sites do is fuel peoples egos. They will get found out soon.

Do try to keep your content relevant to your audience but do not be afraid to test the water with something that you would not ordinarily be associated with. Consistency is also key with these pages, try to post at least once per day – this will give your audience the thought they are on your mind. Which they should be.

You could also add some personal touches to your Facebook business page, how about some pictures from the office, a staff party or perhaps a video of the production areas? Think a little outside the box – it can be a great way to show your human side. Things that you may want to keep away from your main website for example.

The 10 Tips Infographic below will give you an insight into improving your Facebook business page.

Facebook Tips Infographic

So, go ahead – get your Facebook business page online now and start to take action on the steps outlined above. You will soon see your captive audience grow.

Please, if you do have any comments or thoughts add them below. We would love to hear from you.

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