Image shows robots being assembled in a factory. It is intended to invoke the idea of “The Customer Factory” which is a model of monitoring and measuring customer acquisition activities.

How The Customer Factory Helps You Achieve Massive Growth

When you get your USP right, EVERY “flow” of The Customer Factory is better. Monitoring The Customer Factory for your business tells you if your USP is working. The Customer Factory I learned this idea from Ada Ryland here in Austin, TX who provides consulting services to early stage startups. She did mentioned who she…

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Image of giant sequoia redwood tree as a representative of “massive growth” within the context of your business, which is achieved in part by figuring out your Unique Selling Proposition.

How Your Unique Selling Proposition Fuels Massive Growth

How are your USP and your UVP different? It depends who you ask. When you Google for USP vs UVP, you get various answers. Some people say they’re different. Others say they’re the same thing. My personal favorite is from the website of Jill Konrath, a Sales Strategist. Her definitions are: UVP: A clear statement…

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Image shows person performing business activities with phone, calculator, and other implements.

Top 7 Marketing Techniques for Growing Your Small Business

Why should you outsource your marketing? And why SHOULDN’T you? Got budget? Outsource. Lack budget? Learn how. It’s truly that simple. Nothing in marketing is rocket surgery. The only question is can you afford to pay with big money (and a little time and effort), or must you pay with a lot of time and…

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This image illustrates how focusing on what you provide to your customers that your competitors don’t helps you create your Unique Selling Proposition

Why a Great Unique Selling Proposition Creates Massive Growth

This article provides examples of how a USP that IS MEANINGFUL, has created massive growth for companies. These are real examples taken from real companies (some old, some new), whose USPs helped them achieve dominance in their markets. This article is part of a series of articles. To read the lead article in the series,…

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This image shows a vintage ad for M&Ms candy, with the Unique Selling Proposition clearly identified, which is “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand”.

Creating Your Unique Selling Proposition (Brand Strategy)

A great Unique Selling Proposition (USP) will cause the market to pull your business along. You’ll have trouble keeping up. A mediocre one makes you just like everyone else. Your USP, is the simple idea that explains to someone in very few words what your business does for them that they won’t get from someone else. A…

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Image shows how Contextual Marketing is enabled via social media and “lives” at the intersection of how we define ourselves (profiles), and what we do online (behaviors) allowing advertisers to place highly targeted ads in front of people who are very likely to be interested.

How to generate high quality leads with contextual marketing

What Contextual Marketing is Not Contextual marketing is neither Outbound Marketing, nor Inbound Marketing, both of which provide a lower ROI today. To better understand Contextual Marketing, it’s important to first understand the other forms of marketing. Outbound Marketing Outbound Marketing is composed of “traditional” forms of mass media marketing, such as TV/radio/yellow pages/newspaper ads…

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Image showing what “Walking the Controversy Tightrope” is like

How to increase blog traffic with controversial topics

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics The topic of using controversy to grow blog traffic and generate leads is, in and of itself, controversial. I’ve read articles online that talk about how well it works. I’ve read others about how well it backfires. I’ve seen opinions that you should DEFINITELY do it, and I’ve seen other…

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An image showing a traditional sales funnel.

How to increase leads and revenue with Pipeline Marketing

What is Pipeline Marketing? At its core, Pipeline Marketing is nothing more than the attribution of “credit” for generating revenue, across various activities that are required to capture a lead, nurture a lead, close a sale, and even later resell or upsell the customer. How Does it Differ from Lead Generation? With Lead Generation, the…

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While Google loves links, they hate link building, yet it’s critical to SEO success: Here is an extensive list of link building tools.

Link Building Tools for Better SEO

What Are Links? The word “link” is an abbreviation of hyperlink, and hyper means “jump”. A hyperlink is a jump from one web page to another. Components of a Link Links have two parts. Anchor text On the web page the link originates FROM, the anchor text is the text that “anchors” the link. It is…

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Image showing the numerous tools a company uses for content marketing, and the sheer number of such tools.

The Big List of Content Marketing Tools

This post started as a simple rant about how most Content Marketing tools are too expensive and too complicated for small businesses to make effective use of them, and somehow morphed into a Big List of Content Marketing Tools, with a special emphasis on tools that are less expensive, perhaps even in the range that…

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An image illustrating the creation of data driven content for your audience

What is data-driven content? How is it relevant to your audience?

Data-Driven Content: The New Buzz Phrase Data-driven content is when you pay close attention to the analytics of what you publish (blog posts, social media updates, etc), learn what people show the most interest in, and use that information to guide what you then publish. That’s about it. While it’s a new phrase it’s an…

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What is the value of semantic SEO?

What is semantic search? How to do SEO like a professional

What is Semantic SEO? The commonly cited concise definition of semantic SEO is a bit cryptic. “Semantic search is a search or a question or an action that produces meaningful results, even when the retrieved items contain none of the query terms, or the search involves no query text at all.” Tamas Doszkocs But I…

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Increased website interaction on various types of devices

How to increase user interaction on your business website

Best Way to Increase Web Visitor Interaction Increasing visitor interaction has a wide range of benefits online. All other things being equal (which is never fully the case, but the guidelines still hold true) websites that have more visitor interaction rank higher. The aspects of user interaction which directly support your SEO are: Links to…

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Image asking the question “Should you script your videos”?

Should you use a script for your videos? if yes, How to..

You WILL be doing video! Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not next year (probably by next year), but you will be doing video, and sooner than you think. Why? The cost of creating video has never been cheaper. YouTube is the second most used search engine on the planet. Young people like videos…

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How do you use presuppositions phrases to help sell stuff?

How to Sell More Easily and Naturally with Presuppositions

Presuppositional Phrases are the Language of Advertising “Nothing whitens better than Crest” “Why suffer another summer?” “This year, I’ll stop asking ‘Do I look fat’?” Notice the first statement does NOT state that Crest whitens better, yet it is implied. On a marketing and advertising podcast I listened to months ago, the guy who created…

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Optimizing internal website linking to improve SEO

What Is Internal Linking and Why Is It Important for SEO?

Overview The internal link structure of your website has a HUGE effect on your SEO. Ideally your internal link structure should be a hierarchy, not a web. The diagram below shows a nice hierarchy of internal links. Snippet posts link to pillar posts which in turn link to landing pages, which in this example link…

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Small improvements in conversion rate has a HUGE impact

How to choose the right CRO metrics for improved conversions

Conversions and Micro Conversions For a business website, having visitors show up to your website is only the first step. To turn website visitors into prospects, you need some of your website visitors to take the actions you’ve defined. You need to implement conversion (in some form) so you either get contact information which allows…

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What are the importance of putting your customers first in your marketing?

The importance of creating customer focused content and how to

Better Marketing through Customer Focus We’re busy. We’re bombarded with marketing messages all day, every day. We’re very good at filtering them out. Until we let one through. Customers have different behaviors and preferences. They need to be motivated along their buying journey in a chain of steps for them to make a purchase. Think…

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What are the steps to continuous content marketing improvement?

How to continuously improve your content with Deming lessons

Who was Deming? W. Edwards Deming was an American engineer, statistician, professor, author, and a management consultant. He transformed Japanese manufacturing after World War II after American manufacturers thought his ideas were a little weird. Too weird to take seriously. Having said that, I’m old enough to remember when Japanese manufactured products were a joke. When…

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What are the best SEO tips recommended for Wordpress users?

Need strong SEO? Here is how to set up your WordPress site

Overview While having a website that is properly setup for SEO does not guarantee SEO success, having one that is designed and/or setup poorly can guarantee failure. While the bulk of the work of SEO is publishing quality content at regular (and preferably frequent) intervals, it’s critical the SEO setup of your website be done…

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What is the ideal checklist of a great blog post for your business?

How to… The Anatomy of writing the best blog post possible

Background We all want to write good blog posts, and most of us fail to do so. The vast majority of what businesses publish on the Internet is crap. While it’s important to avoid publishing crap, most businesses fail. The prior post (which is linked to below) describes the advantages I(in terms of content quality)…

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What is the importance of storytelling in content marketing?

How to write the best blog posts possible with storytelling

What makes the best blog post, best? Best is a subjective term, yet the title of this post implies you can follow a “recipe” to create posts of high value that deserve to be called “the best”. To be fair, this post teaches ONE method (not THE method) of creating a high quality blog post.…

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The MozBar chrome plugin shows the Domain Authority Score

Find better citation links with mozbar domain authority

What is Domain Authority? It is an integer, between 1 and 100, that was created by Moz (an SEO tool vendor located in Seattle, WA) that provides an indication of the authority of the domain in question. Higher numbers indicate domains with more authority. Few sites have a domain authority (DA) of 100, and to…

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The quality of your website content is NOT as subjective as you thought, per Google

Google Reveals How to Rank High with Quality Website Content

Content Quality? Beyond the obvious idea of higher quality content being “better”, it’s important to understand WHY Google is so focused on the concept of content quality and how this is core to their business model. If you have not yet read part 1 of this article, you should do so as it gives you…

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Google hires people to rate websites as to their quality

Google Search Quality Ratings: Introduction

What does it mean for a webpage to be a “high quality“? While to most people this term seems subjective, Google puts enormous efforts into quantifying our subjective experience of “quality” when it comes to web pages. Human Raters To achieve this end, Google hires human raters who rate webpages as to their quality based…

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backlinks, inbound marketing, seo

Back links

Back links are links from webpages on sites other than your site, than “link back” to pages on your website. The image above should help illustrate the idea. Back links are critically important to the success of your SEO. In the early days of Google, back links were THE search signal, and while there are now…

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A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is: "[the] version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort" — Eric Ries.

What makes a good Minimum Viable Product?

Have you (or has anyone you know) failed with “Build it and they will come.”? I’m currently reading The Lean Startup in preparation for us developing a software product which will make content marketing both easier to learn and easier to do on a day to day basis. While I know there is need for…

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It's important that your business blog posts actually say something rather than "just" repeat what others already have.

How to Ensure Your Blog Posts Actually Say Someting

Content is King! Yes we know. We’ve all heard this all before. We don’t need to hear this again. I’m not sure anyone believes that more strongly than I do, having direct experience with the marketing benefits of regular and effective blogging. But unfortunately this belief in the value of business blogging has resulted in…

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The full spectrum of social media platforms on which you can market your products and services.

How to automate social media participatation

Can you really automate social media participation? Not fully. At least not yet. One day Artificial Intelligence will progress to the point where a software bot can read a social media post and draft an excellent and maybe thought provoking reply, but we’re not there yet. You can automate only part of your overall social media participation.…

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Marketing automation companies and software programs

Lead nurturing: How to get started with marketing automation

Marketing automation is a form of email marketing that is very sophisticated. It is both the most effective and the most difficult to implement of your email marketing options. What makes marketing automation so powerful is the email’s you queue up are “chained together” with if-then statements. When an email is sent, whether it was…

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How does social media contribute to the SEO ranking of your website?

How Social Media Contributes to Your SEO Ranking

According to Google, Social Media likes and shares are not taken into account when Google presents web pages in a search engine result page (SERP). This was first said by Matt Cutts (of Google) in a video in Jan of 2014. In Aug of 2015 John Mueller (also of Google) said the same thing. In…

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How do you systematize the publishing of content to your business blog

Can (and Should) You Systematize Your Content Creation?

The short answer is yes. In general (there are a few exceptions, but the rule is) Google provides higher ranking for websites that are both updated more often and contain more content (are larger). You want your website to rank? Within your niche you’ve got to publish frequently and build up a large repository of…

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Why publishing to your website under your URL is critical for online marketing success

How to make your website your digital hub (under your URL)

Before I get to how, let me first explain why I have personally known business owners who built up an impressive following on their Facebook business page. Lots of followers, lots of engagements, indications it is leading to real business bringing in real money. Then about a year ago Facebook updates their algorithm and almost…

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Robert Ryan (SEO consultant, Ireland) has proven that blogging is the key to successful SEO.

Why Business Blogging is THE CORE to Successful SEO

The discussion of the importance of blogging to SEO can now cease. Robert Ryan, an SEO consultant in Ireland, conducted an experiment whose conclusion is definitive. In summary…. he built up a website to a health level of traffic. He then stopped blogging for 251 days (8 months and 7 days) then compared traffic levels…

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Show People That Your Customers Back You Up

How to obtain critically important online reviews

Customer tell you they’re thrilled with your service. You ask them to provide you an online review. They say they will. They don’t. How often does this happen to you? If you’re like most small businesses this happens more often you care to admit. If you’re cracked this nut, please share and let us all…

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parallax scrolling websites do hurt SEO, but it's VERY neglegable

How to use a parallax website design and not hurt SEO

Parallax scrolling is when the home page of a website is one big page and scrolls up and down and when you select a menu item on the website it doesn’t take you to a new page, it takes you to a different section on the one big page. There are numerous articles on why…

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Doing your own SEO is not only NOT crazy, but for small businesses who don't have cash to burn, it can be the only way to launch your online visibility.

Doing Your Own SEO is Not Crazy, It’s Inexpensive and Effective

The other day the following post crossed my path on social media. How to do SEO on Your Own (If You’re Crazy Enough to Attempt it) The point of the article is that SEO is hard. It’s complex. It requires specialized knowledge. You should use a professional to do it for you. I think they’re trying to…

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A structured study now demonstrates that outbound links ARE search signals and do positively impact your website organic search ranking

Why You Need Outbound Links in EVERY Blog Post on Your Website

The discussion about should you link to other sites can now be closed. A company named Reboot SEO & Marketing conducted a structured study on the effect of external (or outbound links) on the ranking of the content containing the outbound links. A link to their published results can be found in their article titled….. Research…

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How to ensure your small business wins with Content Marketing

How to Ensure Your Small Business Wins with Content Marketing

Small Business Content Marketing Works We’ve seen time and time again the benefits of effective Content Marketing: Increased organic search web traffic More leads Better leads Engaging with prospects when they’re further down their buyers journey However many businesses (even large businesses) fail to understand the basic mechanisms of Content Marketing and feel challenged to…

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Increase audience engagement with the but/therefore rules learned from South Park

Need Engagement? Use the Simple But/Therefore Rule from South Park!

This idea is so simple it’s one of those things that once you know it you wonder why you didn’t already know it. In a video that crossed my path on social media, I saw a short video where the two creators and head writers of South Park are teaching their “but/therefore” rule to a…

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Low budget small business marketing is possible online when done well. Most do it poorly.

How to market your small business on a limited budget: Inbound rescues!

New business? High hopes? Too few leads? You’re not alone. The #1 need for ANY business is a steady stream of quality leads. People who both need what you sell and have the means to pay for it. But… marketing costs and marketing costs big. Some new businesses budget 40% of total expenses to marketing…

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Why does your small business need a content manager to ensure your inbound marketing succeeds?

What is a content manager? Why does your business marketing need one?

Succeeding at generating leads through Inbound Marketing requires publishing useful content at frequent and regular intervals. But… Small business owners are busy, wear many hats, and constantly juggle priorities. Therefore… Most small businesses I’ve worked with who start with Inbound Marketing, fail. But… It doesn’t need to be this way, as generating quality content takes…

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How does creating educational and informative content upgrade your social media marketing efforts?

How Quality Educational Content Enhances Your Social Media Marketing

First I wish to point out (or maybe fess up) that the title of this post is intentionally redundant. Per Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines, educational content is by definition of high quality as it satisfied one of our basic search intentions, which is to learn something. This article is really about people who focus on…

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How do you design landing page form to generate high quality website conversions

How to Create Landing Page Forms for High Quality Leads

Before I get to the form part of the landing page, I’ll talk a little about landing page design in general. Landing pages should be sparse and contain only what is absolutely necessary to convey what is needed to encourage a conversion. Value Offer Urgency What problem do you solve? How do you do so?…

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The importance of fresh content (blog post topics) can not be overstated.

The BEST Way to Find a Steady Steam of Blog Post Topics for Your Inbound Marketing

Start Transcript Hi, I’m Kevin with Inbound Marketing University. Today’s Inbound Marketing minute describes the best tip for finding a steady stream of fresh content ideas. It’s not what you may be expecting. It’s not respond to questions that customers and prospects ask you. It’s not go on online forums and see what questions other…

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Attract More Who Buy by Attracting More Who Don't

Attracting More People to Your Website Who Buy, by Attracting More Who Don’t

Start Transcript Hi, I’m Kevin with Inbound Marketing University. Today’s Inbound Marketing minute describes how you increase the number of website visitors who are likely to buy, by increasing the number of website visitors who are not. The principle behind this is that websites that are busier tend to rank higher. Getting your website busier…

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Some business blogging repetition is unavoidable, but there are ways to being too repetitive

Avoiding Feeling You’re Too Repetitive with Your Business Blogging

  Start Transcript Hello, I’m Kevin with Inbound Marketing University. Today’s Inbound Marketing Minute addresses a feeling that every Inbound Marketing effort hits sooner or later and that’s when you feel that you’re being too repetitive in what you’re saying. The reality is, there are only so many ways you can express a concept and…

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Being repetitive with Inbound Marketing without doing so with social media helps

The Value of Repetition in Your SEO and Inbound Marketing Efforts

Successful Inbound Marketing requires frequent publishing of fresh content. However…. everyone I’ve taught to do this at some point gets back to me with the feeling that they’ve said everything. They fear they’re running out of topics. Here is what you do when (or even before) that happens to you: Don’t Promote Every Blog Post via…

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SEO and Inbound Marketing tools can help grow traffic and generate leads

Inbound Marketing and SEO Tools to Help Generate Leads Through Your Website

Let me first clarify what this post is not. It is not a comprehensive list of SEO and Inbound Marketing tools, but rather is a list of the essential tool types you need, with some mention of specific and well known tools. Within each tool category there are either zero to dozens of options. Where…

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What does the perfect Google friendly website look like?

How is the perfect “Google friendly” website built and what does it look like?

The perfect “Google Friendly” website is a very large repository of information that many people find useful and is updated multiple times a day. To illustrate this point have you ever looked up the 10 highest ranking sites on the Internet? The list below is as reported on Alexa.com. Google.com: Facebook.com: YouTube.com: Baidu.com: The leading…

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