The Web For Business.com Blog

Internet marketing observations, perspectives, tips and tricks for your education and enlightenment.


Where are you putting your efforts?

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, May 21, 2015

When you create good content, where should it go?

From my perspective, it should go on your website first. Once it's there, you can then work on marketing it further. This approach makes sense for many reasons.

CONTROL

Let's face it: you don't control Facebook. Google doesn't owe you anything. Putting your useful, pertinent, relevant content on your site is the easiest, surest way to build your online foundation. If Facebook shuts down your profile (either on purpose or by accident), your "satellite" content will take a hit, but your foundation will remain strong.

RELEVANCE & FRESHNESS

I'm sure you've heard that search engines value sites with good content. If you're putting your good content elsewhere, you're building someone else's website and not your own. Don't complain about your search engine positioning if you're not adding new, relevant content to your site.

EMPIRE BUILDING STARTS AT HOME

I've said it before but it's worth saying again: For most people, the value of social media is to amplify what you already have. There are companies that get the majority of their business on Facebook. That's great - for them. If you're not in that situation, I suggest it is more important to craft a compelling website that showcases your knowledge and builds your credibility. Your website should be the single source of all great information about you and your business so when people come calling from wherever they hail from online, they'll get a complete picture of what your company's all about and not a pale reflection of your social media presence.

It's really that "simple". Post useful content on your site as part of your blog. Then market the heck out of that content so lots of people learn about you. When they come to your site, have it be a good mix of design and content and calls to action. Keep at it consistently to generate leads and make sales.

If you have any questions or want to know more about any of the topics I've discussed here, please feel free to contact me. I promise to answer all pertinent questions!

 

 

3 Marketing Words to Remember

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Online marketing is not a Sisphyean taskFeeling overwhelmed?

When I talk to people about their online marketing, I hear this all the time.

"I don't know where to start."

"Which is the best platform?"

"I don't have time to create content."

I get it. It's not easy. The idea that the internet levels the playing field between big and small companies is a myth because big companies have more resources than small ones. Marketing takes time, and that's often in short supply for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

My advice: stop worrying about doing things perfectly. Lists of "best practices" are interesting but they may not be best practices for you. One of my favourite marketing mantras is "Ready. Fire. Aim." This is how marketing works in my opinion. You ready your content or campaign, release it, then measure how successful it was and adjust accordingly.

READY

Getting ready means knowing who your audience is and preparing appropriate content for them. Content doesn't need to be writing. It can be pictures or videos, quizzes and contests. It doesn't need to be a major effort. Be creative! Content ideas are all around you, every moment of the day.

FIRE

Stop obsessing about your choice of platform to distribute to. Pick a popular platform and run with it to the best of your ability. Do you like Facebook? Fine. Use Facebook - as effectively as you can. Think Twitter's the thing? Great. Use Twitter - as effectively as you can at this particular moment.

Do you use software that can blast your update to twenty-five of the top social media platforms plus add it to your blog? Superb! Just get on with it already.

AIM

Save some time to see how your content fared online. What were the results? Did you get any likes or shares? Retweets or views? If you did, that's great. Figure out why and do it again. Were your results below your hopes? Figure out why and DON'T do it again.

People who are good at marketing didn't get that way overnight. Improvement only comes with effort. Just getting started is an effort, but once you're going, you have momentum. Keep on moving, keep on learning, keep on improving.

I wish you the best. Please share your stories of success!

Silence is NOT Golden

Mark Kawabe - Friday, September 19, 2014

Here's what silence sounds like online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your goal is to market yourself online, you're not going to get far being silent

What does silence "look" like online?

No recent website updates. When nothing's changed in over a year on your website (including your blog), what message does that send your clients and prospects?

No recent social media updates. Nothing new in a month or more on social media? Even a month is a long time in this era.

The online marketing world started with static websites, bulletin boards and email. With technology's advances, we added blogs and CMS systems that gave companies and individuals more opportunities to provide information to their customers on a regular basis. The development of social media has given companies hundreds of platforms on which to share their knowledge.

This is the blessing and curse of the online marketing world. Silence is measured by activity. A lack of activity says you have nothing to say or are inattentive. It may not be true. Many entrepreneurs and small organizations are quite busy running their businesses and taking care of their customers in the real world.

Even this real world activity can have some bearing on your online presence. Consider the various review sites that people can share their great experiences with your company. Those sites make up part of your organization's online presence.

I'm not suggesting that if your organization doesn't exist online that it will cease to exist. Thousands of businesses have virtually no online presence and yet, they're still in business. I am however suggesting your business will be enhanced by having a robust, well thought out and executed online strategy.

That means talking about what you do, sharing your knowledge and demonstrating your authority in your field of expertise. You can choose to be silent online, but I believe even a whisper is better than nothing in today's connected world.

Enlightenment for Everyone

Mark Kawabe - Friday, November 08, 2013

EnlightenmentIt's Friday. The week has had its challenges. People are looking forward to the weekend. That's the rhythm of many people's lives. Work hard during the week and take the weekend to recharge.

Recharging is great. My question to you (and to me) is this: What am I recharging for?

I have been building websites and marketing online since 1997. Much of my time has been spent educating others (and myself) about the ever-changing online landscape and how a business or organization can use it to their benefit. I've had lots of successes and challenges during that time, but one thing I have come to realize lately is this: I am more than the sum of my accomplishments.

During chats with clients this week, I encountered surprise from several who recognized that I do more than just design websites. It wasn't just that I also help with social media marketing or PPC campaigns or anything like that. They were surprised that I also teach martial arts. They were surprised that I am dipping my toes in the pond of public speaking on topics that have nothing to do with the internet. They seemed surprised that I am a multi-faceted individual.

They were surprised, but I wasn't. Moreover, despite my multi-facetedness, my talents are all related. There is a common thread that ties them together. I believe that thread to be enlightenment.

I'm not suggesting for a moment that I have all the answers to everything. I know I don't. I just have a perspective that there is much more within all of us than what we allow ourselves to be. To put it into a visual perspective, there is a light within all of us that is obscured to a greater or lesser extent depending on our own experiences and perspectives on our selves. This manifests in many ways in all areas of our life, including our work.

There have been times in my life where the challenges of running my own business seemed enormous and overwhelming. Looking back, most of that was not because they were truly so, but because my perspectives on my self were such that I didn't see that I had the ability and strength to overcome them. Through changing my perspectives, I have rediscovered the joy in my work as it is a reflection on the joy I feel about my self. It's not just the joy in my work that has returned, but the joys in my life are more apparent to me now than they were in the past.

These new perspectives have helped me recognize my own light, my own abilities and strengths. I have new perspectives on my work and also on how I can help my clients achieve their own goals and allow their own lights to shine forth. Having perspectives based on Truth, love and compassion have changed how I see my self and how I see others around me and this has given me new insights into how I can help my clients, students and others delayer and unlock their own potentials.

So yes, I am a website designer and internet marketer. One of thousands like me. Yet, there are none the same as me. We are all here with our own unique abilities, to experience our own challenges and to evolve and grow. I am here to be of service to those who need my abilities in website design, online communication and all that other stuff I do for work, but I also know that no matter how awesome I am at my job, that I am much more than the sum of my accomplishments and that the same is true for each and every one of you who has invested energy in reading this blog post.

Everyone deserves enlightenment. In this blog I help shed light on the online world and share positive perspectives on how to let your light shine online. I hope you've enjoyed the read and I hope you'll keep enjoying my perspectives on how to move forward online.

Have a joyous weekend.

Attention: You don't have to be perfect

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, November 07, 2013

Gasoline pump price $20.00The internet seems to work in a "ready, fire, AIM" mode. Nothing is perfect the first time around. There are always updates, version 1.3, 2.4 and 6.7 on the way.

Microsoft Internet Explorer is on version 10. Mozilla's Firefox is at version 25. Google Chrome is on their 30th iteration.

What makes you think you need to get things right the first time around? It's okay to pay $19.99 or $20.03. You've still put gas in the vehicle and put effort into your goals.

Continuous change is the hallmark of the web. Something that is new today is forgotten next week. People's memories are short, and even though mistakes get made, companies are judged by what they are doing today instead of what they did last year.

This is good for the entrepreneur. You can have made mistakes and yet those mistakes don't have to define you. They are part of your growth. You can acknowledge them and demonstrate you've learned from them and then show the world what you're made of.

Your social media and other internet marketing endeavours fall into that category. You don't have to be perfect. Your attendance doesn't have to be 100%. More doesn't always mean better, but none won't do either. The balance between time, results and your audience's demands can be tricky to find, but when you find it, it will be worth it. Keep moving forward and giving it your best effort each time you do something. It may not be perfect, but it's better than doing nothing.

Turning the Online Monster into your Servant

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, July 25, 2013

Websites. 1000 social media websites. Blogs. YouTube. SEO. There are thousands of ways to market online. What's a business to do? Here are some tips on how to turn the online monster you've created (or are thinking of creating) into your servant.

Plan

When managing your online presence seems overwhelming, it's probably because you didn't plan. If you don't know where you're going, you'll have no idea if you're getting there or not. Fortunately, you can change this whenever you want.

Implement

This is where many people start - they start doing before planning. If this sounds like you, take a deep breath, back away from your monitor and take some time to plan your activities. Make a schedule. Define your goals. Then work on making them happen.

Social media sites make it easy to implement. Slap up a post or a picture or comment and voila! You're done! But how do you know it's what's most beneficial?

Websites or other corporate social media tools that are not current demonstrate a failure to implement. Most businesses can improve in this area. My business included.

Measure

Do you know how many people read your last Facebook post? Did anyone like them? Do you know who they were? How did that Facebook post compare to the previous one - and the one before it?

How about your site traffic? Is it up or down from last month? How about your search engine rankings?

Not measuring the results of online activities means you're shooting at targets without knowing you've hit them. This is why many business owners say marketing online doesn't work for them. They or their staff don't measure the results they get.

Analyze, Study & Plan Again

So you've planned, implemented and measured. Can things be improved? Of course they can. Take what you've done and build on it to make it better.

If you don't know HOW to make it better, you're in luck. There are at least a few million pages of online advice (including this one) on how to improve every aspect of your online presence.

If you've read my earlier blog posts, you'll know this stuff isn't rocket science. It's "common sense" - but we all know how prevalent that is these days. I came across a website just before writing this post that proudly exclaimed their latest news on the homepage - except it was from 2011. When the primary purpose of a website is to create confidence about doing business with you, how does something like that benefit your business?

Most "problems" with websites and online marketing are solved by following the steps above. If you don't have time or patience to follow the prescription, then feel free to call "Dr. Mark" at 905-227-6667. I'd be happy to help you manage your online marketing needs so you don't have to.

It's never too late . . .

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, February 21, 2012

. . . to start moving in the right direction.

What could you do today to start moving in the right direction?

More importantly, are you certain you're doing the right things right now?

It's Monday. The start of a new week. A chance to start again.

A chance to change. To grow. To improve.

How will you choose to spend this day?

Do you measure?

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, February 16, 2012

And how?

Do you rely on statistics from your ISP to know how your website is performing?

In my opinion, most of the stats I've seen from ISPs are useless.

It doesn't take much to install Google Analytics. It's free.* It measures most of the things you need to know about your site's performance.

Do you have it installed? If not, you can have it installed today. In most cases it should take around 15 minutes by an experienced website developer. Budget 30 minutes if you call someone unfamiliar with your website to do the job.

 

*Free: depends on your perspective. There is no financial cost to use Google Analytics. However, you do give Google information about your website's performance. Whether that matters to you or not is up to you.

Which is it?

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is your website an asset or a liability?

Why?

What are you doing to make it a better asset or less of a liability?

 

What's New for YOU in 2012?

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Welcome to 2012. I'm glad you've made it this far. What's going to be new for you in 2012?

Here are my predictions about the changes most small business owners will make in 2012 to their online marketing efforts.

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If you don't see anything listed above, well, I hope you get my point.

It is my prediction that MOST small business owners will continue to market themselves online more or less the same as they've been doing.

I think there are many reasons for this, and they're remarkably similar to the reasons most other new years resolutions fail.

  • It's too much work.
  • I don't have time.
  • It won't make a big difference.
  • I don't know how I can do things better.
  • I don't have time to learn how to do things better.
  • I don't want to learn something new.

And so forth.

Most want results without the investment required to achieve them. That's nothing new.

What I'm hoping is new this year is for more people to choose to prove my predictions wrong.

I wish you peace, health, happiness and prosperity in 2012.

With my Best Regards,

Mark Kawabe