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Internet Marketing

Dec 19, 2016

Google’s Mobile First Indexing Change

Google has released more details on their upcoming Mobile First indexing change that will see the search engine rank the mobile versions of webpages. Currently, Google indexes the desktop version of a page, but will serve the mobile version for those who search from a mobile device. Many webmasters had plenty of questions about this change, especially as it pertains to ranking and indexing websites that currently serve different versions of the same content ...

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Jan 23, 2015

10 Important Features for Your Non Profit Website

The website for your non profit organization is at the center of your digital marketing strategy. Therefore, it deserves the maximum effort to create a user-friendly website that works to fulfill all the goals of your organization. Here are 10 must-have features that can make a successful non profit website: User Registration User Registration is an excellent feature for your non profit website. It enables serious visitors to establish a long-term ...

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Nov 13, 2014

Mapping and displaying Google Analytics Data

Google Analytics (GA) provides valuable detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources but they can only be seen in Googles backend interface by the admin and shared users of the account.  Is there data from GA that would be valuable to display on your actual website? Those of us in the industry for the past 20 years remember the “visitor counter” everyone displayed on their site similar to Facebook “likes” ...

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Oct 13, 2014

Content Delivery Networks

With CloudFlare and Amazon CloudFront content delivery networks are becoming affordable for everyone. What are CDNs and should you be using one? For a majority of small to medium sized websites your site is hosted on a single server somewhere. If your website host management  is with Five Technology this is either in Minneapolis, Chicago, or Dallas. All your customers,  regardless of their location in the world, connect to this server to request ...

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Sep 26, 2014

Transitioning Website Design & Content Trends

Have you been noticing some website design and content trends substantially changing in the past couple of years?  With the exponential growth of different devices accessing the Internet and keeping pace with best SEO practices Ilya Posin with Forbes points out a few that stand out: Goodbye: Mobile Versions of Websites Instead of building mobile-switched sites (i.e. m.websitename.com), many innovative designers and developers are now focusing on ...

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Aug 7, 2014

How To Use Social Media & Blogs for CTA Marketing

Danielle Wiley, column writer for MarketingLand.com shares how important social media and blogging can be for powerful CTA (Call-To-Action) marketing. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and many more are the places people are talking about goods and services. Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report shares that growing trend of consumers turning to blogs and social media when looking to make a purchase, thanks to the trust and clout carried by online ...

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Aug 6, 2014

YouTube and Your Social Media Marketing

After its beginnings in 2005, YouTube has become more than just a place to watch cat videos. Now in 2014, YouTube has become the world’s second largest search engine, a driver of online culture, and a springboard for Internet fame. YouTube has expanded to bigger and better ideas than cat videos. YouTube marketing is a great way to visually connect with audiences. Key Statistics & Demographics YouTube sees over 1 billion visits each month ...

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Aug 4, 2014

Cheap Hosting Is Killing Small Business

I’ll just qualify post this as a bit of a rant right off the bat. Cheap hosting is killing small businesses by tricking them into thinking that their $5 or $10 is such a good deal, they don’t need to do anything else online. I have had meetings with numerous small businesses that basically brag on how cheap their hosting is. However, not one of them brags about how much business, leads or sales their website is bringing in. Do you see the ...

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Aug 1, 2014

Five Goals to Consider for Your Content Marketing

Jayson DeMers, writer for MarketingLand.com, a website on all things Internet marketing related, shares five goals for us to consider when implementing our content marketing strategy . As the Internet content marketing trend continues to rise, businesses are spending more time and money on it. DeMers says that a third of B2B marketing budgets already are spent on content marketing, and more than half of B2B marketers say they plan to increase it even more. ...

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Jul 31, 2014

Three Ways to Prioritize Your SEO

Erin Everhart, writer for SearchEngineWatch.com clearly lays out an effective way for businesses to prioritize their website SEO efforts. Everhart says that the most successful SEOs — the ones who get the most links, garner the most traffic, and reap the benefits from outlined and specific updates — are the ones who’ve mastered it. Here are three ways to prioritize your own SEO efforts, given by Everhart: 1. Define Your Goals When ...

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Jul 28, 2014

6 Elements for a Great Blog Post

It’s no lie that creating and posting blogs on your website is a great way to engage with your audience and frequent visitors. However, do you know what it takes to make an effective blog post? Neil Patel, Co-Founder of KISSmetrics,  tells us that from your blog, you can send out a voice that effectively engages your audience. From your unique voice to even the design of your blog, there are many factors that affect how well your blog post will do. Patel ...

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Jul 25, 2014

What is Link Building?

Jon Ball, writer for SearchEngineWatch.com, a website on all things search engine and marketing related, explains what exactly Link Building is for SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) purposes. Although to web developers, this term may be like second nature. However, Ball points out the fact that there isn’t really a specified definition for this term. For Ball, link building isn’t just the process of acquiring backlinks that point to your website. ...

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Jul 21, 2014

Tips for Better Off SEO

Although we typically associate SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with on-site factors, such as meta tags and page content, off-site factors are equally important. Off-site factors such as backlinks continue to play a significant role in a page’s search engine rankings. Irresponsible tactics, however, have turned off-site SEO into a minefield of link penalties and backfire-prone schemes. Jason Ferguson, writer for Volusion.com provides a few tips for ...

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Jul 11, 2014

Top 4 Mobile Marketing Mistakes

With 90 percent of American adults owning a cell phone and almost 60 percent owning a smartphone, the mobile marketing field is a force to be reckoned with. This is about 240 million people marketers can reach through mobile marketing efforts. Smartphones allow people to be constantly connected through social media and apps, which makes marketing blunders and fails very fast-moving stories. 60SecondMarketer.com provides fou­r mobile marketing mistakes that ...

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Jul 7, 2014

How SEO and Inbound Marketing Can Grow Your B2B Marketing Performance

Call it organic marketing, call it inbound marketing or even content marketing — the practice of creating useful information to generate demand and attract an audience of buyers vs. buying ads to push messages out to them is one of the highest impact, low cost approaches to Internet marketing a business can take. The practice of optimizing content for better search visibility goes hand in hand with the broader approach of inbound marketing. SEO ...

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Jul 2, 2014

Marketing Your New Business: Where to Start.

Starting and marketing a new business is not the same today as it was twenty, or even ten years ago. It’s important to take initiative on your business idea by setting up your website and social media accounts. Execution is what differentiates a great thinker from an entrepreneur. Everyone and every business starts somewhere — and your top priority right now should be building and growing your online presence. To help get your marketing efforts ...

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Jul 2, 2014

Want to Be a Better Blogger? Embrace Structure

It’s no lie that blogging is a great  Internet marketing  and content marketing strategy to engage with your audience. What is the first step you take as you begin writing a blog post? Lots of people just like to start at the beginning — they stare down the blinking cursor until they’re suddenly inspired to write a clever introduction. However, this isn’t always the best way to start a blog post. Instead, it can be much better to ...

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Jun 30, 2014

6 Tips to Create Meaningful Connections on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is truly a unique and upcoming social media platform. LinkedIn is a source for professionals to marketing themselves or their company to make connections with others. LinkedIn should be viewed as a great tool for marketers to connect with other professionals or companies in a meaningful way, not a platform for shouting your marketing message at unsuspecting people. For example, you wouldn’t approach a table full of professionals at a ...

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Jun 25, 2014

Ten Tips for Skyrocketing Your Facebook Engagement

Looking to spice up your posts and better engage with your audience? Grace Turner, column writer for The  60 Second Marketer, a marketing communications firm, provides ten easy steps to enhance the user experience on your Facebook page for improved social media marketing . Use Images and Videos that Engage Your Audience Many readers are drawn to visually appealing messages. ‘Rich’ media such as photos and videos will grab the ...

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Jun 24, 2014

Definition of Social Selling [In Under 100 Words]

Sam Kusinitz, Editorial Assistant from HubSpot.com, a website for all things Internet Marketing related, defines the term “social selling” in under 100 words. Social selling isn’t just a fancy buzzword — rather it’s become a crucial way for successful sales and marketing teams to communicate to their audiences. Here’s the simplified definition by Kusinitz: Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact ...

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Jun 23, 2014

Benefits of Responsive Web Design and Your Company’s Marketing

We’re all familiar about responsive web design . But as a marketer, we are typically only focused on specific tasks such as creating content, developing email campaigns and updating social media networks. However, if you or your clients do not have a responsive design in place, then all of the Internet marketing strategies you implement will not bring the full potential of results. Today, over 60% of Internet access is made on a mobile device, and ...

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Jun 20, 2014

5 Tips to Creating a Successful Content Marketing Campaign

The phrase “content marketing” is all over the web these days. Content has become a mixture of many things: webinars, blog posts, videos, social network shares and more. If done right, a well-executed Internet marketing  campaign will yield considerable benefits for your business. Content marketing can be just what your brand needs to reach out to your audience and get them interested in your company. Marsha Collier, column writer for ...

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Jun 12, 2014

3 Things You Need To Generate Leads From Your Blog

No matter how many blogs you write for your company, it can be challenging to actually gain readers. Alexandra Skey, blog writer for Getspokal.com, an Inbound marketing company, writes, “The 3 Essential Ingredients You Need To Attract Qualified Leads From Blogging”. Even if your company follows a solid Internet marketing strategy including blogs, promote your content on a regular basis and captures leads via email campaigns, how do you make sure ...

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Jun 11, 2014

Which Social Media Accounts Really Matter?

It’s no lie that social media is important for reaching out and marketing to your audience. However, social media is also misunderstood in some ways. One of those misunderstandings is which social media sites a business or individual should be on. We provide you with some insightful information and advice about which social media sites you should place more or less emphasis on when implementing your social media marketing strategies. For starters, ...

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Jun 11, 2014

3 C’s of Content Marketing

Entrepreneur.com’s  Jim Joseph discusses ways that small to medium businesses can create compelling content for their customers to generate breakthrough business results. It can be very challenging to create good content for your brand that appeals to audience members. There are no standard rules because it’s every brand for itself. However, if your company would like some guidance to create appealing content for your Internet marketing ...

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Jun 9, 2014

Why Your Website Will Never Be Finished

We’ve got some news for you: Your company’s website will never be finished. If you believe you are completely finished with your website, then perhaps you’re not doing all you should with it. And this adds up to some good news because if you’re constantly updating your company’s site, you’ll develop an advantage over your competitors who aren’t. Here are three reasons why you should never stop improving your ...

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Jun 5, 2014

Why Your Audience is Your Company’s Biggest Asset

When you think of the most vital asset for your company, what is it? Hopefully you would say your audience because it is your customers that ultimately determine the success of your company. Jayson DeMers, writer for MarketingLand.com, a daily blogging website for all things online marketing, wrote the article, “Why Your Audience Is Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset: Develop It”. In the column, DeMers discusses the importance of developing ...

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Jun 4, 2014

Why Content Marketers Must Strategize More

The Internet marketing industry obviously needs a strong hold on content marketing, and it’s important to understand the motives and goals marketers want to achieve with content, the chief obstacles in their way, and how successful they feel they are. Demand Metric recently published a content marketing bench survey where they asked 521 marketers about their company’s content marketing efforts. The survey used both small and medium sized ...

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Jun 3, 2014

Social Media Marketing & a Call To Action

Danielle Wiley’s article from MarketingLand.com, an online marketing publication website, would argue that social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, etc. are the places where people are talking about your company’s goods and services. According to Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report, there is a growing trend of consumers turning to blogs and social media when looking to make a purchase. We ...

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May 28, 2014

5 Things NOT to do on Twitter

One of the most difficult aspects of learning about Internet marketing is that you have little ability to distinguish cold-hard facts from marketing fluff. You want to absorb as much information as possible without   having to fact check every article you read on new marketing techniques. Unfortunately, in the social media marketing space, you’ll find a lot of “get rich quick” type schemes — but some of those “tips” ...

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May 21, 2014

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Defined

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an Internet marketing term that is tossed around daily in conversations with clients. In most cases, clients have some idea of what SEO is and what stands for. However, in some cases, it seems like business owners and marketers merely know that it is important for online success, but do not really understand what it is Recently, HubSpot, an inbound marketing company, released a short blog post defining this Internet ...

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May 5, 2014

Why Do Websites Need Blogs?

Businesses are investing a lot of resources to establish a presence on social media networks like Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. However, funneling all of your time and money into social networks should not be your only form of Internet marketing . Some companies assume that optimizing their social media networks is enough to boost their online presence, but a blog can also play a vital role in engaging potential customers. Here are ...

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Apr 28, 2014

Getting Started with Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Why is local SEO important? Let’s start by defining what local SEO is exactly. Local search engine optimization (SEO) is a  specialized kind of online marketing that increases visibility for businesses interested in ranking for geographically-related keywords. In other words, when a customer types in your business type (product or service) and your local area (city, state, or zip code) you want your business listing and website to pop up as high as ...

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Apr 2, 2014

Google Plus. Why Is It Important for Business?

You may or may not have heard of the social media platform Google Plus. It is not very popular, yet, and it is highly under-used, for now. However, most Internet marketers believe that it could hold very special powers for Internet marketing in the future.   Google Plus has the capability to get your logo to appear next to your search result listings in Google Search and the offers the opportunity to network with thousands of similar brands and ...

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Mar 26, 2014

5 Theme Website Designs for Churches

Churches are needing quality websites more now than ever before. They face a problem where they need to reach out to younger generations in different ways. The way to effectively do this is through the Internet. Churches can use their website to attract new members and then communicate with members to keep them updated and informed. They can even use the website to receive donations, promote events, and collect forms for volunteer opportunities and sponsored ...

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Mar 14, 2014

Why Does My Company Need Social Media Marketing?

Social media is a great way for people to engage with one another on the web. Peer to peer networking has in fact been around since the birth of the Internet. However, it has really taken off and gone main stream in the last ten years or so. It is called social media for a reason. Users communicate and interact on the Internet in a social context. These interactions can include engagement as deep as spilling a 1,000 word blog post about your personal life or ...

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Feb 26, 2014

5 Best Internet Marketing Blogs to Follow

A lot of us at Five start our mornings with a strong cup of coffee and a good article. Being online marketing consultants we naturally replaced the newspaper with blogs. We try to incorporate a variety of blogs on a variety of topics, including website design, Internet marketing, and website development. Reading blogs daily, or even weekly, can be a great way to stay on top of the latest trends in Internet marketing and get great advice to improve your SEO ...

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Feb 18, 2014

Social Media Content Guidelines

Over the years, there has been a dramatic shift in the content that companies publish as marketing material. The advancement in technology with the Internet and social media has played a part in this. However, there is something more to it. There has been a shift in the buyer persona. The traditional marketing technique was to publish content related to promotional updates. While this is still a part of your content marketing strategy, you need to focus on ...

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Feb 12, 2014

5 Quick Tips About Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is a must for businesses these days. It’s going to be your most effective marketing effort for generating new leads and creating more revenue. Billboards are out, online marketing is in. It can be hard to get started, but we are here to help. Below are 5 quick tips to get started on some Internet marketing of for your business and when you have questions or want to get started, you know where to find us. Set Goals for Internet ...

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Feb 4, 2014

Creating a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

Generating fresh and relevant content can be time consuming, frustrating, and sometimes just plain boring. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some sort of plan behind content generation? Content marketing has taken the Internet marketing industry by storm, but it’s no easy task. Having a content marketing strategy is a must to stay on track and generate the fresh and relevant content that will boost your website’s search rankings. ...

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Jan 21, 2014

Social Media Management Tools to Improve Internet Marketing

There are a variety of social media management tools to enhance your social media marketing efforts. These tools will help you better manage your social media sites and improve your overall Internet marketing strategy. Managing your social media can be time consuming and requires a lot of guess work. Use these tools to make your social media marketing more efficient and effective. Here’s a few of our favorites that have really boosted our social media ...

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Jan 20, 2014

Internet Marketing Starts with a Good Website Design

According to Rich Gorman, a serial entrepreneur and a visionary Internet marketing leader, business owners should constantly be focused on improving business operations. This includes marketing, and let’s be honest, most small business owners have a little room for improvement in terms of marketing. Gorman created a small business marketing checklist , that started with a good website design . Small businesses need a website, but just having a website ...

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Jan 14, 2014

5 Tips to Coordinate Your Social Media & SEO Marketing Strategies

The ever expanding role of social media in search engine marketing has changed the game for search engine optimization (SEO). These things used to be completely different marketing strategies, but we have seen more and more how they need to work together in order to achieve online success. Businesses must begin incorporating social media marketing into their SEO strategies and vice versa. It is more important now than ever before to do this. According to ...

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Jan 9, 2014

5 Internet Marketing New Years Resolutions

Now that you’ve recovered from your New Years Eve hangover and caught up on some sleep from the busy holiday season, it’s time to start thinking about your Internet marketing strategy for 2014. Here are five New Year’s resolutions you should take to improve your Internet marketing strategy for 2014: 1. Use social media marketing more. Social media marketing is becoming a big part of businesses’ Internet marketing strategy. ...

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Aug 17, 2012

City Government Web Design: Things to Look for in Professional City Website Design

Have you ever tried to design a website for your city internally with a limited staff? If so, you will know that it is difficult because of minimal programming knowledge, lack of time and resources, and small budgets that lead to limited functionality. Your staff struggles to manage and edit essential community content, and you are left without a useful operations tool you had hoped would streamline less efficient tasks. So what do you do? Many ...

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Jun 6, 2012

Google Continues To Roll Out Big Changes: Penguin, Google+, and Google Shopping

Every morning I sit in front of the computer with a bowl of cereal and fire up my RSS feed. Lately, my feed has been buzzing with big changes and updates from Google themselves. Here is a summary of three big changes. Penguin Algorithm Update Over a year ago, Google launched the Panda algorithm update . The Panda update was an adjustment to the rankings algorithm that placed a greater emphasis on high quality content. Sites with low quality or ...

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May 3, 2012

Online Reviews: How Important Are They For Your Local Business?

Online reviews can be seen on your Google Places page and other website profiles such as Yelp and Urban Spoon. When someone is using a search engine to find restaurants, hotels, or other local services, they will likely find some of these online profiles and will use what they learn from these profiles to choose where they spend their money. How important are the reviews? Let’s take a look at some of the ways they can impact your business. Reviews are ...

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Oct 25, 2011

A Complete Internet Marketing Strategy Involves More Than Just Building a Website

Having just a website is not enough anymore. Don’t get me wrong here because having a website is absolutely vital to your online strategy. But the web is getting more competitive every year and if you truly want your business to reach its highest potential you should consider the following strategies. Mobile Web Site Mobile web browsing is on the rise with an estimate of almost 100 million monthly mobile users browsing the web. This number is ...

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Jul 5, 2011

What is Online Marketing?

Within the last year or two if you said you were an online marketing company, your elevator pitch was pretty straight forward.  It all starts with a great web design, maybe a usability audit, some search engine optimization (SEO), and throw in a little email marketing and you’re on your way to online success.   Those are all still very important and a cornerstone in any solution provided by an online marketing company, but the game is constantly ...

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Jun 27, 2011

Creating QR codes and tracking progress with Google Analytics

You may have run across a QR code ( Quick Response code) and wondered, “What in the world is that?” QR codes are similar to bar codes. You need a bar code reader or similar app on your mobile phone to read them. They can contain information like text or a URL for a visitor to view. Its most powerful use may be to send a user to a unique URL with a coupon or information they cannot receive any where else. QR codes have been in use in Japan for ...

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May 11, 2011

Choosing the Right SEO Company

Choosing the right SEO company can be a daunting task. Those in the industry know the qualities of excellent SEO work. But what about those not in the industry? It can be difficult to tell the difference from an outside perspective, we want to give you an idea of what you can do to make sure to hire the right SEO company. Here are some qualities professional SEO provides. Research The cornerstone of every successful SEO campaign is research. Keyword ...

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May 4, 2011

Blogging for SEO: Drive traffic to your website with fresh content

Blogging is perfect for website owners who want to take an active role in raising their SEO profile. Its not just SEO, there are numerous benefits to blogging . If a website offers fresh and informative content that is updated often that is a site that is more likely to get bookmarked, shared on Facebook and Twitter, and maintain a higher level of returning visitors. Lets take a look at some of the SEO benefits of blogging. Fresh Content People love ...

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Jan 17, 2011

Don’t Make Google Think, Claim Your Google Places Listing

Ask any local search authority and you’ll find out that step one online for a small business is claiming your local listing with the major search engines.  Without even having a website, your local listing like Google Places can be a great marketing tool for a business. What happens if you don’t claim your listing? Well, you leave Google to guess …  and they might guess that your one location, small town meat shop is a billion dollar, ...

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Nov 19, 2010

Minnesota Search Marketers Unite: MNsem’s First Event

All it took was three search fanatics and a few ideas over beers to form the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association .  That trio of search marketers was Clint Danks , James Svoboda , Lisa Raehsler who formed MNsem, hit the social channels and put together the groups first event that took place last night at FRWD . The Beginning of Something Great? When James hollered at me about MNsem launching, my reaction was ...

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Oct 20, 2010

Local Search Study Shows Over 70% Of Consumers Start Online

Looking for a local business, service or product starts online for close to 3 out of every 4 consumers.  I’m guessing that number reported by a recent Local Search Usage Study isn’t alarming to consumers or business owners these days. What continues to be alarming for me is the number of businesses that lack correct information online, multiple sources to be found by and online marketing strategies (no matter how small they might be). Inc. ...

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Jul 15, 2010

Great Web Design & SEO Bring Exposure, Not Just Leads

The efforts and investment in your business having a well designed website that ranks well on Google, Bing and other search engines is mostly geared at generating leads and new business.  Consider that you also get a bleed of other benefits when your web design is solid and your site has search engine credibility . 4 Quarters Design & Build is a Five Tech client that witnessed this bleed first hand.  Their recently redesigned website earned them ...

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Jun 17, 2010

SEO, Shots & Steak Sandwiches In Philadelphia

The title might mislead you to think I went to a wild party, but the shots are not of the adult beverage nature.  I did consume a few cheese steak sandwiches. This week I had the opportunity to speak on search engine optimization at a conference put on by the Immunization Action Coalition out in Philadelphia.  The conference is called the Social Media Summit and focuses on helping the medical and health community bring awareness to vaccinations, ...

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Jun 7, 2010

2010 Local Search Ranking Factors Released

I’m excited to have taken part of an incredible group of local search panelists for David Mihm’s 2010 Local Search Ranking Factors . For the last three years, David has sough out, compiled and published his Local Search Ranking factors that are the read in local search.  In bringing together a great group of local search experts together you get more than one opinion, rating and thoughts on over 60 elements that are part of local ...

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May 14, 2010

Local University Twin Cities Event Recapped

The dust has settled and Local University Twin Cities is in the books.  Thursday was a jam packed day of Internet marketing information, tips, data, tools, how-to’s and more from a fantastic panel of local search, SEO, analytics and social media experts. Two packed sessions of Minnesota business owners, marketers, web designers and more soaked up an incredible amount of Internet marketing knowledge from leading experts as well as staff from ...

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May 3, 2010

A Search Engine Optimization & Internet Marketing Seminar For All

In less than 2 weeks, Local University will descend on the Minneapolis and St Paul area bringing a wealth of SEO, local search and Internet marketing information.  You can still register for the May 13th event that features speakers from Google, Bing and other national Internet marketing experts . Who is this conference for? This has been a big question I get when talking about the event.  I thought I would offer a small summary of what I feel ...

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Apr 6, 2010

Sold On The Minneapolis & St Paul Real Estate Bar Camp

I had a great time today sharing some of my web design and Internet marketing experience and knowledge with hundreds of real estate professionals at the Minneapolis & St Paul Real Estate Bar Camp event today. It was great to be around and interact with people truly wanting to learn, improve, share and take steps to trying new things.  I met and talked with so many Realtors, Brokers and Mortgage professionals that are excited and dedicated to ...

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Feb 8, 2010

Small Business Wins Big With Local University

I had the pleasure of attending the first Local University put on by GetListed.org in Spokane, Washington on February 4th, 2010.  This one day event, provided a fantastic amount of local search, SEO, social media and other Internet marketing information to over 150 attendees looking to have a better grasp on how they can be more visible online. Organized by GetListed.org co-founder David Mihm , the seminar featured a great line-up of experienced ...

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Dec 11, 2009

When Done Right, Google AdWords Brings The Right Results

It’s highly accessible and tempting for anyone to create a Google AdWords account and start spending some money on pay per click search engine advertising.  Unfortunately this easy access doesn’t translate to an ease in getting results. The Details Matter A successful Google AdWords campaign involves the right research, configuration and tracking to get you anywhere near the perceived pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. When done ...

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Dec 3, 2009

Web Design Project: Ranchline Network

Sometimes you have to go bigger, the Ranchline Network web design project is an example of that.  The Ranchline brand has 4 other websites on our web platform and I have worked with them for years, including on their logo design. Ranchline Network is a national real estate listing website, focusing on high-end land and ranches for sale . The website features hundreds of listings from brokers and agents all across the US and even Internationally. ...

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Nov 16, 2009

Talking Social Media With Community Banks

I had the opportunity to talk about social media with members of the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota on November 12th. We discussed how community banks could utilize Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social media platforms to connect and communicate with their customers and prospects. The events other presenter, Cindy Cofer Evert offered great insight and tips on press releases and PR.  Her info made for great web ...

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Aug 10, 2009

You Want A Higher Search Ranking, But Is Your Website Worth Being Found?

It’s no secret that businesses have a lot of questions and misconceptions on how to have  higher search engine rankings for their website.  Search engine optimization for many is confusing and often even overwhelming. With all of the complexity in SEO , we offer this simple question to help clients get a better grasp. Is Your Website Worth Being Found? Does your website answer questions?  Does your website provide service or process ...

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May 12, 2009

Big Omaha Conference Recap: Applying Some Theory

The Big Omaha conference on May 7th and 8th in Nebraska was a great 2 day collection of events and speakers in web, business and creative.  While many conferences in the web design world deal with “how-to” and strategy, I found Big Omaha to push theories and lines of thinking. The line-up of speakers featured some great Internet minds.  Kicking off Friday morning was Jason Fried of 37signals . Jason stressed getting away from ...

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Apr 20, 2009

What Is Holding Your Company Back From Internet Marketing?

Two things happened last week that had me thinking about Internet marketing and the opportunity for success a business has with it. It also made me think about why companies seem to be held back from exploiting the benefits of marketing online. Number One: Who’s The Crazy One? The first was reading a great Internet marketing article from Andrew Eklund on MinnesotaBusiness.com.  The article easily outlined why Internet marketing is a dream ...

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Apr 9, 2009

SEO Presentation At The Buffalo Chamber Of Commerce

I was very fortunate to get to speak at the Buffalo, MN Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Luncheon today.  I presented on some ideas to help a small business website succeed, search engine optimization (SEO) and web analytics. I think I only put one person to sleep and the group had a lot of great Internet marketing questions in the follow-up. There were some great Buffalo and Wright County businesses / organizations in attendance and I enjoyed ...

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Apr 7, 2009

Google Local Search Part 2

Our last post looked at the new Google search features incorporating local search results into regular search queries.  For many search terms you no longer need to apply a city and state to get local results. A New Top Keyword I thought I would update that post with how this new Google search feature has effected our search engine traffic.  Prior to this local feature, our top terms of referral traffic were our company name and then “web design ...

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Mar 12, 2009

The Fight For Attention, New Online Advertising Explodes

On visiting ESPN.com the other night the main homepage ad caught my eye more than normal. How couldn’t it? The rich media ad for the iPod Touch made the ESPN website explode. As a recent Washington Post article pointed out, online advertisers are hoping that bigger and bolder ads can save display and banner advertising . There was no doubt I couldn’t miss the Apple ad as the iPod Touch device jumped out of the ad frame and exploded the ...

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Mar 8, 2009

A Small Coffee Shop Web Design Project Has A Big Future

Last week we launched the Blackwater Coffee Company & Cafe website. While the web design project was small in size on the surface, but its part of a very big service we are rolling out. The Blackwater web project included the following: Custom design elements over an existing CSS layout Full CMS back-end for updating of all website content Easy to use menu admin that allows for creating unlimited menus, categories, sub-categories, item ...

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Mar 1, 2009

Best Buy Meshes Online Reviews With Offline Marketing

I came across a great example of online marketing and offline marketing working together over the weekend. We often see traditional marketing driving people to the web, but I found something different going on. I found online marketing elements being put to use offline. I’m old school on Sunday mornings and almost always head out to buy the Sunday paper ( Star Tribune ) to read while having breakfast. As a gadget and tech guy, I usually look forward ...

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Feb 5, 2009

Web Analytics: The Business of Numbers is Business

I came across a blog post recently that stated web analytics should be called business analytics (sorry I forgot where!) and I couldn’t agree more. Yes, the tool is producing statistical information from your website, but it truly is providing stats, behaviors, strengths and weaknesses of your business. I’m still amazed at the number of conversations where a business is asking for help in improving search engine rankings, but has no idea if ...

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Dec 21, 2008

Our Internet Marketing Seminar Features The Basics of Web, SEO & Email Marketing

Five Technology is very excited to announce an Internet marketing seminar to teach and discuss the basics of search engine optimization and email marketing. The seminar is on January 20th, 2009 from 9:00am to Noon in Buffalo , Minnesota . You can get the full details, schedule and register online by clicking here. Why Are We Doing A Seminar? Our philosophy is and has been to share what we know. It’s not about secret recipes, but ...

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Dec 16, 2008

Blog Radar: Web Content Strategy, Twitter Marketing, Search Marketing & SEO Fundamentals

Great Internet marketing blog posts are always on my radar and I have four I’m highlighting here that can provide some great education, examples and ideas for any business working to succeed on the web. Each one has some great takeaways you can plug into your business strategy online. Better fundamentals, better content, better use and better marketing.  Great reads! + The SEO Pyramid Fundamentals SEOmoz and the fabulous ...

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Oct 8, 2008

3 Tips For Making Your Website A Destination

The same way that a hot vacation spot or an amazing restaurant brings people in from a variety of sources and places, a great website should do the same. Create something of value, entertainment and enjoyment and you’ll get a faithful following, a great reputation, referral business, buzz and profits. Your website can be this same type of destination on the Internet. A solid website builds repeat users and conversions. The site’s ...

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Sep 24, 2008

Using Twitter & Retweeting To Increase Blog Traffic

I recently asked the help of a few Twitter users to measure the impact that Twitter can have on promoting a blog post . Plenty of bloggers on Twitter will tweet about their own posts but I wanted to see the power of “ retweeting “, when other Twitter users put out a link and suggest your blog post to their followers. The outcome: Some simple Twitter promotion and retweeting DOUBLED my normal blog traffic for the day. I’ve ...

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Sep 11, 2008

Email Marketing Case Study On Our Web Design E-letters

Want to see what someone else gets for open rates and click thru’s on their email marketing? OK, I’ll share with you what we’ve experienced this summer with our small start to email marketing for our web design and Internet marketing services. Five Technology’s Email Marketing Facts: With Five Technology as a new brand/company to start 2008 we inherited a small list from our parent company Intrcomm. Our first e-letter ...

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Jul 23, 2008

Question: Should I Start A Blog For My Business?

Most small businesses have heard of blogging, some read a few blogs and others have jumped into business blogging already. You might be wondering if you should start a blog for your small business . Most small business owners or management I talk to have some misconceptions on blogging. These “blog fears” are often a combination of misinformation from uninformed sources and their own inexperience. Lets address a few questions that ...

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Jul 16, 2008

Building An Email List to Start Email Marketing

I work with clients from time to time that are basically ashamed they have never taken the opportunity to acquire permission to market to their customers via email. It’s not a big deal, and it’s better to start today then to wait another week, month or year! Lets take a look at three tips to remember if you are just starting to build an email list to leverage email marketing for your business or organization. You can also view a quick ...

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Jul 2, 2008

Google, Getting Crawled & More From Matt Cutts via USA Today Tech Talk

USA Today’s Jefferson Graham recently did a video segment on Google by interviewing Google’s Matt Cutts for their Tech Talk section . The video is great to get a base understanding of Google’s search results and and search engine optimization basics. The biggest takeaways I found: + It’s tough to be found for a term being searched if that text isn’t on your website somehere, listen to Matt’s ...

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Jun 26, 2008

Your SEO Team, NBA Draft Style

With tonight’s NBA Draft looming I thought I would morph it a bit into the search engine optimization world. If I had to draft a team of SEO pieces to work together as a team to achieve search ranking greatness, here is what I would draft for my five SEO starters. 1. Point Guard – Keyword Research: As the point guard is often the floor general taking care of handling and passing the ball to all of the team, the keyword research ...

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Jun 19, 2008

My First 30 Days On Twitter

It was after watching a video on Twitter Marketing 101 posted on Doug Karr’s blog that I finally signed up for Twitter . I had probably made it to Twitter.com numerous times after reading other blog posts or print articles on Twitter, but for some reason I held off on getting involved. Looking back I compare it to late 2006 when I finally started business blogging after sitting on the sidelines (for far too long). Now 30 days into Tweeting, I ...

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Jun 10, 2008

SEO: Keeping Search Engine Optimization Simple

We’re all aware of the KISS theory, keep it simple stupid.  So I was reminded the same should apply to SEO when reading a post by Eric Enge on Search Engine Land and the power of simplicity in explaining SEO to clients . Search engine optimization can be complex with all of it’s facets and processes, but the true root can still be a simple one.  For me, the most simple sentence explaining SEO to non-search types was ...

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Jun 4, 2008

Google Search Inside of Google Search

After reading a story about the top newspaper websites (thanks to Ed Kohler’s Tweet ), I wanted to view the San Francisco Chronicle website since it received an “A” grade. Upon typing in “San Fransisco Chronicle” into my Google search field (bad article, no links!) I saw something I had never came across before. A search feature to search the SF Chronicle site , right from Google. As you can see, Google is ...

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Jun 2, 2008

Internet Marketing Worth Reading From Minnesota

I felt like I had come across some great posts and interesting articles with Minnesota roots the past few days and I thought I would pass them along to you. Maybe it’s because we finally had a weekend of 75 degree days with plenty of sunshine to get our great MN minds going. + The StarTrib had an interesting article about the private community of North Oaks asking to be removed , and actually being removed from Google Maps.   Gets me thinking ...

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May 20, 2008

Making A Company Overview Video For Your Website

Video, video ,video … it’s a hot topic.  But how can your small business use Internet video ? A company overview video is a great way to bring more to the table on explaining and showing who you are, what you do and how you do it.  Your website visitors are engaged with visual and audio instead of just reading text and viewing photos/graphics.  Here are just a few of the basic items you can cover and include for your own company overview ...

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May 16, 2008

Five Business Blog Tips Video For SEO

Rand over at SEOMoz put out his Whiteboard Friday video this week on Business Blogging and offered up 5 tips if you are considering blogging for business, especially to help your SEO efforts. Rand’s weekly videos offer great SEO tutorials and education and I was excited when I saw it ventured into blogging and SEO this week. Here is the video: SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday-Blogging for Higher Rankings from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo ...

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May 13, 2008

Email Marketing: You Spent Dollars To Get Them, Spend Cents To Keep Them

We all know the high cost of attracting a customer or client to use our services or buy our products the first time. It’s not cheap. So with all that work and investment, doesn’t it make sense to spend a few cents on keeping them? It sure does. Thats why Email Marketing rocks. Affordable communication with your customers – just pennies per! Branded marketing or information right to their inbox A fantastic ...

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May 5, 2008

Making New Business Blog Readers Feel Welcome

Graphic designer David Airey , from across the pond, put out a great post today on elements your blog should contain/display to welcome first time readers and obviously turn them into long time readers. David points out that while you have been blogging for weeks, months or years; the visitor might be reading your blog for the first time ever. Since my niche in blogging is more focused to business blogging I thought I would outline David’s ...

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May 1, 2008

Basic Online Marketing: The Sandwich Board of the Internet

I read a USA Today article this week about small businesses using sandwich board signs to attract more business and the issues some city governments/councils had with them “cluttering up” the streets. More businesses are looking to increase the ways that they attract customers past their existing signage in these economic times and the sandwich board is one of the cheap basics. I’ll stay out of the politics of the article, but it got me ...

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Apr 23, 2008

SEO Example: Debut On Page 8 For Minnesota Website Design

With search engine optimization being a process (not a trick) I thought I would post a series of updates over time on our own SEO process. We have identified the search term “ minnesota web design ” as our most sought after keyword term.  With the newly re-branded Five Technology website up for just 2 months we are at least now on the radar on Google appearing on page 8 for this search.  It won’t be easy or ...

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Apr 15, 2008

3 Reasons to Start A Business Blog For Your Small Business

If you are considering adding a blog to your small business website here are 3 reasons to start a blog today. Business blogging is a growing strategy of many small businesses for a number of reasons, but here are three with visuals I built to accompany them (I’m a visual guy). Start a Business Blog Reason #1 – Build Content Many small business websites consist of basic page structure. You’ll find many a four or five page site ...

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Apr 14, 2008

Page Title Tutorial: Basic SEO To Get Better Search Rankings

If you are a search engine optimization beginner a great place to start is with your site’s page titles. Please make note right now that SEO is a process of many components , not just one or more “tricks” to rank better. Page titles are very important to aiding in a better ranking from Google, Yahoo or MSN but they are not a magic wand (nothing is!). I can’t count how many times a potential client has complained of their lack of ...

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Apr 7, 2008

Business Blogging Meetup A Great Resource

Combine veteran business bloggers, business blogging newbies and those considering blogging with good pizza and an open forum and you have the recipe for some great sharing and blogging tips. Tonight was the 2nd meeting of the Biz Bloggers Meetup group started by blogging pro Caroline Melberg and about 16 great business people attended. (photos taken with my Treo) The mix of online experience and industries represented made for ...

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Apr 1, 2008

Go Green With Local Internet Marketing, Trashed Phone Books Just Pile Up

Internet marketing is an easy way to help your environment and market at the same time (ah, the feel good angle). Here in Minnesota, record numbers of phone books are being tossed out , with up to 85% ending up in the regular trash according to a recent Star Tribune article. The article cites that part of the reason is from the disappearance of recycling bins for them and the increase in the number of book types printed. They step around the fact that ...

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Mar 31, 2008

Three Search Engine Optimization Strategies That Are False

In talking with prospects, new clients and even just random people at business events I hear some common misconceptions on search engine optimization. I thought I would give you the top three and also let you know just a bit on why they are false and not part of true search engine optimization. 1. Keyword Meta Tags This is still the biggest one out there. Once upon a time, many years ago, keyword meta tags mattered . Then people started ...

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Mar 29, 2008

Earth Hour: If Not For Google, I Would Be In The Dark

Jumping online to search out some info this morning, the Google home page (see screen shot below) made me aware of something I haven’t heard anything about. I found out about Earth Hour . Google’s Summary : On Saturday, March 29, 2008, Earth Hour invites people around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – from 8:00pm to 9:00pm in their local time zone. On this day, cities around the world, including ...

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