About hcain

Building an online presence is crucial to the success of any contemporary business. From a website to social media, the modern business must create a solid web presence to keep up with today’s most common method of new business acquisition: the Internet.

Search engines are certainly the most popular method for potential new customers to find local businesses, and Google is chief among them. Millions of business owners now look to Google My Business, the analytics and social media software developed to influence Google search results, to attract and retain customers.

Google My Business aims to frequently improve the properties it offers to users, and has continued its usefulness with several recent developments, including new insights, accelerated mobile pages (AMPs), and an “explore interests” feature, among others.

Key features of the new insights tool tell a business owner whether his or her listing is being viewed through Google Search or Google Maps and whether customers view the listing by searching for the business name (specific search) or by a category or related keyword (general search). An additional update removes Google Plus statistics from the insights panels.

Accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) optimize web content for mobile devices. They remove unnecessary resources, which in turn allows a mobile browser to provide a more fluid user experience. Google has announced that AMPs will be immigrating to Google’s main search results, thus increasing a company’s chances of acquiring organic traffic (versus traffic acquired from paid advertising).

Google’s projected “Explore Interests” feature would allow Google users to browse categories which appeal to them, such as music, shopping, food and drink, or sports. This feature can help drive more traffic to your company’s website by offering readers the relevant content in which they show interest.

A screenshot posted by the Android Police in its blog shows the test stage of the new feature:google my business adds explore interests feature

Search engines are an essential tool for businesses in today’s modern marketplace, and utilizing Google as a means to increase traffic, and therefore sales, is a good business practice. Although a well-rounded web presence is critical for the success of today’s business, but it can be overwhelming and sometimes difficult to navigate. The Public Relations and Marketing Group offers expert web development, marketing, advertising, public relations and social media management solutions to help your company compete in a 21st-century marketplace.  To learn more or for a free consultation, please contact us at 631-207-1057, or visit our website at www.theprmg.com.


The summer season is winding down and that can only mean one thing: IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON! This September, millions of Americans will be keeping a close eye on their favorite teams and fantasy players. While friends and families gather to watch the game, companies will be trying their best to fight for the attention of key viewers.

call to advertise with a television broadcast during football season

ESPN’s Monday Night Football is one of the most-watched television broadcasts, averaging roughly 10 million households per game. In 2014, ESPN’s Monday Night Football games:

  • Ranked as 7 of the 10 biggest cable audiences among households (3 of 10 among viewers) led all networks on Mondays – cable or broadcast – in delivery of key male and adult demos (ages 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54).
  • All 16 Mondays in prime time won the night as the most watched network among households and total viewers – cable or broadcast – in prime time on Monday in 12 of 16 weeks

According to Sports Media Watch, in 2015, the Monday Night Football (MNF) opener brought in 14.3 million viewers, a 24% increase from the previous year.

Cablevision advertising packages for the 2016 MNF season contain eighteen 30-second commercials and one-hundred 20-second promotional shout-outs. These packages start at roughly $4,000.00 for local zones and can increase to roughly $20,000.00, depending on whether you’re trying to reach viewers across all of Long Island. Multi-zone discounts are available and range from 2% to 8%, depending on the number of zones chosen.

Local teams are scheduled to appear on Monday night broadcasts four times this season. The season’s schedule is as follows:

Date Game Day / Time
12 – Sep – 16 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins M 7P – 10P
12 – Sep – 16 Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers M 10:15P – 12M
19 – Sep – 16 Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears M 8:15P – 11:15P
26 – Sep – 16 Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints M 8:15P – 11:15P
3 – Oct – 16 New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings M 8:15P – 11:15P
10 – Oct – 16 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers M 8:15P – 11:15P
17 – Oct – 16 New York Jets vs. Arizona Cardinals M 8:15P – 11:15P
24 – Oct – 16 Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos M 8:15P – 11:15P
31 – Oct – 16 Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears M 8:15P – 11:15P
7 – Nov – 16 Buffalo Bills vs. Seattle Seahawks M 8:15P – 11:15P
14 – Nov – 16 Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Giants M 8:15P – 11:15P
21 – Nov – 16 Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos M 8:15P – 11:15P
28 – Nov – 16 Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles M 8:15P – 11:15P
5 – Dec – 16 Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets M 8:15P – 11:15P
12 – Dec – 16 Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots M 8:15P – 11:15P
19 – Dec – 16 Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins M 8:15P – 11:15P
26 – Dec – 16 Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys M 8:15P – 11:15P
7/8 – Jan – 16 Wild Card Playoff Game (Simulcast on ABC) TBD

 

Contact us for more information about these available packages at 631-207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com.


Off-Page Optimization

This leads us to the broader category of off-page optimization. As you review your Google Analytics results and keyword rankings, you may find that you perform better on Yahoo! and Bing than Google for certain keywords. Your keyword rankings depend on several broad factors. The most important factor is the competition you face. The broader the word, especially if it describes an industry or service, the more difficult it is to rank high. When developing your keywords, you may want to begin narrowing your selection. This is often done by adding a geographic qualifier or being more specific with your keywords. Broad-based keywords do little to help you. If you are just launching your site, it is often suggested that you include some less competitive keywords to start generating visitors and then move into the more competitive words over time. The second major indicator of keyword ranking is the content of your pages and on-page optimization. If you do a good job here and regularly update your site, you should perform well with Bing and Yahoo over time. However, when it comes to Google, it is often more difficult to rank high. In addition to having good content, updating it regularly and having good on-page optimization, Google bases its rankings on the authority of your web site and, unfortunately, creating authority doesn’t happen overnight, regardless of what some online optimization companies will tell you. If a consultant promises you immediate results, he or she is either engaging in potentially blacklisting techniques or they are a complete scam artist. Frankly, the more effort you are willing to put into your site, the more you will get out of it.

Google’s authority system of ranking is based on the concept of citations. The idea is that the more other web sites “cite” you (through links), the more authority you must have. However, not all citations carry the same weight. For this reason, news sites and popular blogs rank higher with Google. Sites with an .edu extension rank higher. In sum, the more quality back links to your quality and relevant content, the better your site will perform with Google.

Other Off-Page Tips

  • The most beneficial links for SEO purposes are one-way inbound links with relevant anchor text. This is ideal → link http://amazon.com” alt=”great books” title=”great books”>Great books at Amazon and your page’s h1 →

    Great books for sale at Amazon

  • You can generate your own one-way inbound links by posting on Forums, and making Comments. ** If the anchor text is the H1 of the target page, this is huge SEO points. See above.

  • Since links from .edu domains are given nice weight by the search engines, run a search for possible non-profit .edu sites that are looking for sponsors.

As you work towards optimizing your web site, it is important to remember that SEO is not a one-shot process. The search landscape changes daily, so expect to work on your optimization daily.

Building Traffic through Ad Word Advertising

Before we discuss off-page optimization techniques using public relations and social media, it is worth noting that there is an alternative to building traffic on the Web, through advertising. Once your site is developed with the buyer in mind and it has good content that is regularly updated, along with ways to engage and capture information from your visitors (this will always be necessary and will help you with your rankings anyway), then you can begin Ad Word campaigns on the various search engines. To improve your performance, develop professional looking landing pages with strong graphics related to your ad that provide the information that the visitor is looking for and draws the prospective buyer into your sales cycle. You may want to include links to other pages on your site (but you don’t have to), and you certainly want to include a product demo, a free download, a request for a free consultation and an e-newsletter sign up form. All of these “calls to action” are designed to capture information about your visitor and to maintain contact with them, especially if they aren’t buying your product or services today, which most won’t be. However, keep your forms short and limit the amount of required information. The important thing is to give something of value to your visitor and then to nurture them over time. Perhaps one of the best examples of this is Amazon. Have you ever ordered a book from Amazon and then find that you are regularly receiving information about recommended titles specifically targeted to your prior purchases? That is how one company nurtures its buyers. If you are regularly generating content for your site and are engaging in an ongoing public relations and marketing strategy, it will be easy to maintain communication and nurture your new prospects.

Building Web Authority and Traffic through PR

It has never been more important to engage in public relations to build your web-based content and web site authority. What should we write about? The important thing is that it doesn’t have to be a big story or major announcement. Post your news releases in your online newsroom, or if it is an article, on the articles page or blog. At a minimum, especially if you are a professional services organization, such as an attorney, accountant or psychologist, you should commit yourself (or hire someone) to generate at least one monthly column on an area of your expertise. This content has many uses and can serve as the basis of your ongoing marketing program. You can send it to reporters, post on web sites to generate back links, post using social media bookmark services and provide content to your social media followers. Rather than writing a full release, you can comment about items in the news. Blogs and Twitter are great for this. Post your views on your blog and other blogs. As you post, provided that comments are not marked as “no follow,” a back link will be generated, helping to promote your site. Develop a topic to regularly update people on. Use the blog or social media, such as Twitter. You are not only creating content and back links, you are positioning yourself as an expert. Over time, you will also generate additional attention from bloggers and traditional news media.

When writing your releases, you want to optimize the release by incorporating keywords and links to bring people to landing pages on your site, such as a free trial, or to a registration page. You also want to include social media tags to improve the likelihood that the release will be found.

What to Write About: News Release Ideas

Here are some other ideas for news releases:

  • Product and Service announcements

  • Lectures and Events, whether your own or ones that you are participating in.

  • Awards and Recognition of the company and staff

  • Staff announcements

  • Media availabilities and releases on items in the news, for example:

    • Economic reports and how it affects your business

    • Growth and business strategies

  • Charitable contributions

  • Tie in articles about the Calendar and Awareness days

  • Comment on public policy issues

  • Write Opinion-Editorials

  • Articles & Columns

  • Write releases that address buyer problems

  • Announce a new customer or client

  • White Paper or publication released

Blogs: How to Use Them?

The topic of creating and promoting blogs will be discussed in a later article. For the purpose of building and creating Web traffic, one of the most important questions to ask is if it should be incorporated into a web site or be free-standing with its own domain. The first thing to ask is “Do I have the time to develop, maintain and promote two domains?” For most small businesses that can commit to only a limited amount of time, you may want to incorporate a blog into your web site. This will help to keep the web site updated and improve its ranking with search engines. However, having a separate blog site will help you better position yourself as an authority by separating your overt marketing (your organization’s site) from your blog whose primary purpose is to promote your site and position you as a thought leader. This will better enable you to utilize social media since you’ll be asking people to link to and promote a site that doesn’t directly promote your organization.

Using Social Media to Promote Your Site

Social media networking sites may not be as helpful to build your site’s page ranking as the “follow on” is often turned off. However, several social media bookmarking sites should be used including: del.icio.us, Digg and StumbleUpon. You’ll use social media networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to promote your Web content to your friends and followers.

Conclusion

Building an effective web site has become the most important part of an organization’s communications and marketing plan. However, to be successful, it requires an ongoing commitment and resources. In the end, your web site will become a driving force behind your business or cause and you will help to position yourself as a leader in your industry.


Web Site Navigation Scheme Links

Your navigation scheme should include a form to sign up for your e-newsletter and free available downloads, or requests for a free report, analysis or consultation. Your pages with regular updates should also include an RSS subscription so that visitors will receive updates either by e-mail or in the RSS feeder when you update your site without having to come back and visit again. RSS feeds, which can include Twitter posts, are another way to regularly update your site.

On-Page Optimization and Keywords

Now that you have your pages chosen, the next step is to develop your content for these pages. As you lay out the content of your pages, be sure to write from the buyer’s perspective and to keep on-page optimization in mind. An important part of this is to use your keywords in the text, photos, video, etc. of the page and to repeat these, without forcing or stuffing the page. Here’s a list of important optimization considerations:

Working with Domains

  • Pick a domain name that has potential keywords in it.
  • Choose to pre-pay your domain for a few years in advance. Genuine sites plan on staying around for a while.

  • If you’re using a shared server, you may want to do a blacklist check. If you have spammers on your server, you share the same IP address with them and so you may be considered a spammer.

  • There are multiple ways to reach your home page; make sure your site is set up to redirect the other ways. For example, yourcompany.com, www.yourcompany.com, yourcompany.com/index.html, www.yourcompany.com/index.html all should redirect to the one you pick. Google considers these to be four separate pages, instead of one.

  • Name your Web pages using keywords, for example, www.yourcompany.com/keyword1-keyword2.html.

  • Never block your domain registration information using a privacy feature. Doing so may cause search engines to consider you a spammer for your anonymity.

Use Proper Programming

  • Use the words “image” or “picture” in your photo alt descriptions and captions. A lot of searches are for a keyword plus one of those words.

  • Make sure you have at least one text-based navigation link to make it easy for search engines to find the other pages of your site. Search engines have trouble following links using JavaScript-based images. These alternate text-based navigations are usually found at the bottom of a site.

  • Stay away from developing websites with Frames because you cannot link to a specific page of the site. Use Flash and Ajax minimally. Search engines cannot read anything inside Flash and cannot see inside the Frames.

  • If you MUST have a splash page with Flash or something of the sort, you also MUST place content and link text below it.

  • If you aren’t too slick with CSS, putting your menu on the right-hand side will ensure spiders will crawl your main content first (after ). Spiders read sites top to bottom, left to right.

  • Get rid of code bloat. JavaScript and CSS code should be moved to separate external files.

  • Make a dynamic XML sitemap to submit to search engines.

  • You should have a customized error page. If a potential customer finds a broken link, they can be supplied with links back to the site.

  • You should have a robots.txt file which is used to restrict search engines from reaching certain parts of your site. It also tells search engines where your dynamic XML sitemap is located.

Displaying Your Content

  • Keep your content text-based as much as possible. Search engines cannot read text that is embedded in an image. If you use images, make sure you assign an alt tag and title tag to each image. An alt tag is seen when the image cannot be displayed. It is also used by the visually impaired.

  • Keep your content changing and fresh. Outdated content will rank lower than more recent content.

  • If your site’s content does not change often, then your site needs a blog. Once you have a blog, it’s important TO BLOG ON IT or you will receive little to no results. Crawlers crawl for content; if your site’s content doesn’t change, the crawler will come back less and less often. Three blogs entries a week is proficient.

  • You should have a good content-to-code ratio. This means, even though you enjoy spinning images, with cool effects, and flashy junk, your content-to-code ratio is poor. A blank white page with optimal content will always do better than code-stuffed junk pages.

  • If you are writing a substantial article, then you are most likely dealing with sub-topics. These sub-topics should be split in to separate pages with their own optimizations.

  • Put high-quality outbound links related to your Web site. This doesn’t mean you should link to your competitor; it means you should link to a site that is within the realm of what your site is about and use the keywords considered by Google for that site. This shows users that you are in good faith and not a spammer. A higher ranking will give you more traffic than outbound links. People leave when they haven’t found what they’re looking for; chances are you’d have lost them anyway.

Using Keywords

  • Pick relevant keywords that potential customers may search for. Try to stay away from very popular keywords. The more competition for a keyword, the harder it is to rank high with it. Try narrowing your keyword phrases by adding a location or town.

  • Use keyword phrases in the content on your pages and in the headings. Repeat keywords throughout the content making some bold or italicized – this tells search engines that these words are more important. Make sure each page has a good amount of content – search engines love a lot of text.

  • Don’t try to cram keywords and pull a fast one on a search engine spider. Programmers are constantly rewriting code to find people who try to abuse the spider, and they will find you eventually. So basically, BE LEGITIMATE – write content for a reader and NOT a spider.

  • Use keyword phrases in the title of each Web page. Each page should have a unique title. Don’t list your company name in your title – most potential customers won’t be searching for you specifically. The words towards the beginning of the title should be the most important.

  • Use the keyword and description meta tags in your site. Each page should have unique keywords and descriptions.

  • It is always best to use keywords in anchor text (links). “SEO tips” is always a better anchor text than “Click here.” Crawlers also consider the surrounding text nearest to the anchor.

  • Give each page a focus on a single keyword phrase. Don’t try to optimize the page for several keywords at once.

  • Rather than repeating the same keyword over and over again, it is best to use the keyword’s synonyms. This keeps your content more interesting for readers, and Google won’t think you’re a keyword abuser.

  • The best places for juicy keywords is the beginning and end of your page. Sometimes that’s not where it “looks” best to viewers; in such cases, it’s optimal to use CSS to place your keywords at the top of the source and not change the visual layout.

Blackhat” Methods

Avoid using these methods to prevent blacklisting by Google and other search engines:

  • Having duplicate websites.

  • Auto-generated content.

  • Repeating the keyword in your content too often.

  • Redirecting the home page.

  • Using small pixel text or hidden text on your pages. For example, white text on white background.

  • Submitting your site to a “link farm.”

  • Cloaking: this means displaying a different version of your web site, depending on the IP address of those accessing it.

  • Registering many domains and interlinking them all.


Deciding to Build a New Web Site

If you are starting a new business or organization, you realize that developing your web site is one of your top priorities. In today’s online world, those organizations that do not have a web site, just don’t seem like legitimate businesses or ones that prospective buyers, clients or supporters have confidence to do business with. Increasingly, as traditional marketing approaches become less effective, perhaps led by the phone book, it has never been more important to concentrate your marketing efforts in your web site and to effectively implement an online communications strategy to build your business.

Planning a New Web Site

Whether you are starting a new business or entity, or asking yourself if it is time to re-design your organization’s site, setting out to design a new site takes considerable planning. Planning ahead will help you develop a site that is both content-rich and one that visitors will engage with. This will help your site generate business leads and sales or supporters for your cause or organization.

Design Your New Web Site with Your Visitors (Prospective Buyers, Supporters, and Clients) in Mind

The first thing you need to do is to set out to design your web site with your prospective buyers, supporters and clients in mind (heretofore referred to as buyers). To do that, you must begin with the following questions: Who are your prospective buyers? What problems do they have? What services or products do you provide that can meet their needs? What demographic groups do they fall into? What types of Web content will they respond to? Once you determine who your buyers are, you can develop specific content to meet their needs.

Consider the way search engines work. They seek to provide the best results for what people are searching for. Because of this, you will likely have a separate web page for each of your different products, etc. and for each type of buyer and their problems. The more specific the content, the better, as your page content seeks to cover niche markets.

What Pages to Include in Your Web Site

When deciding how to organize your site, you will want to consider how to best organize your buyer-specific content with ease of navigation in mind. All sites have a home page. This page is going to be the first page many visitors see, especially when they type your company name into a search engine, enter your URL into a browser, or are referred to your home page from another site. It is important that the home page be attractive and inviting. However, it is even more important that visitors can easily find the information they are looking for and that it addresses their problems. Intuitive organization and useful content are more important than a fancy design or impressive technology. The home page should be a gateway to your prospective buyers. When they visit the site, they should be able to find the content they are looking for and feel that the site addresses their needs. There should be links to address their problems from the buyer’s perspective.

Choosing Content Formats for Your Web Visitors

Because different visitors have different preferences in how they access content or learn about your services, there should be different content formats for different users, including video, audio and multimedia. Specifically, if your site has younger visitors, then they may be more likely to want to watch a video or download and subscribe to a podcast.

Getting Your Visitors to Interact with Your Web Site

Every page should also have an e-mail sign up, as well as a call to action to a free download. You will also want links to your contact page and contact form. Every page should have a different call to action based on the page’s content. You may also want to provide opportunities for visitors to interact with your site, including social media bookmarks and ways to share your content with others, and to include links to your social media sites and a blog. You can include links and badges or banners for people to add to their site. You can provide content for others to use on their sites. You can also ask visitors to rate your page or interact with an online forum. You can even ask them to take action by providing them content and asking them to e-mail an elected official, for instance. The purpose of all this interaction is to gather contact information and to have your visitors promote your site.

Measuring Web Page Effectiveness

One measure of your site’s effectiveness is its “bounce rate.” This is the percentage of visitors that do not go onto a second page on your site and is measured in Google Analytics. Although the bounce rate applies to all the pages in your site, it tells us that the visitor did not find what they were looking for or that the site was not for them. If you paid for the results through ad words, then you lost money. Either way, you lost a prospective customer. Considering that many web site bounce rates are in excess of 50%, you can double your real traffic by making it easier for people to find the content they are looking for or improving the presentation of the information they find to show that your organization can address their problems.

Another measure is the page’s search function. If a visitor uses it, they are saying they can’t find what they are looking for, using your navigation scheme. Monitor these searches and change your content accordingly. You can also use Google Analytics and your Ad Word keyword results to see what people are searching for. This will help you decide the best keywords to use for your site pages.


by Steve Gerbino, Web Developer, PRMG

How the System Works

Google Analytics is a powerful Knowledge Management System and Geographic Information System. It gives everyone with access to the Internet the capability of understanding how the world views, manipulates, and navigates their website using the latest data mining technologies. Its ideal availability makes it one of the top analytical information systems used by small businesses.

Getting started is extremely simple, and tracking starts immediately. A Google account and access to one’s Web server is needed. The user then navigates to the https://www.google.com/accounts/Login page, enters their account details and follows the steps necessary to create an analytics account. Google will then provide the user with a JavaScript code to apply to each page they would like to track. They may then view the status to make sure everything has been installed correctly.

Once it has been verified that the JavaScript code has been implemented correctly, Google Analytics will begin collecting data on the visitors to the user’s site. Reports are made on a 24-hour basis, so they can be viewed the next day. Once the 24-hour period has passed, the user can now click “View Report” to enter their dashboard, summarizing all of the data collected.

From here, the user can get a complete overview of the information collected on their site — how many visits, how many are unique, how long did the visitors stay on each page, where are they located geographically, what browser and operating system did they use, what version of Flash do they run, do they have JavaScript capabilities, what percentage each page was landed on, and where the traffic originated, among other useful data. You have the option to customize your dashboard, to show you the ratios that you want to see. You can customize your own ratios, graph types, and location of the information on your dashboard.

A menu is located to the left of the user’s dashboard. This is where they can get more specific in each data collection category.

Each menu item provides a more detailed report on each category, including Intelligence, Visitors, Traffic Sources, Content, Goals, and Custom Reports.

The first menu item, Intelligence, is a new feature for Google Analytics. It is an alert system to identify irregular patterns recognizable by Google Analytics. Users can set their own custom alerts and allow Google Analytics to alert them when their system sees an issue. This can be handy when users analyze many websites that they don’t visit daily. They can see a drop in visitors for a day and find out that there is some problem with their site, such as coding, DNS, worms, or other forms of computer crime.

The next menu item, Visitors, is a highly powerful view of individual visitors to the site. Here, users can view how many visits, how many absolute unique visitors, how many page views, average page view per visitor, the time spent on their site, their site’s bounce rate, and percentage of new visits. It also shows the users the connection speed for their visitors. You may ask, what is a bounce rate? A bounce rate is a ratio of people who land on someone’s site and immediately leave. The goal of the user is to lower their bounce rate, which is increasing the time on their site. Up at the top, there will be a linear graph of visitors over time. One can see if the changes they made had a negative or positive effect on the amount of visitors they have had with just a glance.

Visitor also contains several sub-menu items including:

  • Benchmarking – compares the user’s site to sites of similar size
  • Map Overlay – shows the user geographical locations of visitors
  • New vs. Returning – new visitors vs. visitors that return to the user’s site
  • Languages – languages spoken
  • Visitor Trending
  • Visitor Loyalty
  • Browser Capabilities – Flash version, JavaScript support
  • Network Properties
  • User defined

Traffic Sources

Traffic Sources is very useful in determining how someone’s site is doing. This will show the user where their visitors are coming from. Direct Traffic means that the visitors actually type in the user’s address in the browser. This usually indicates a returning and loyal visitor. Referral sites are people who’ve clicked a link for another website and landed on their page. Having many referral sites increases the user’s traffic and ranking dramatically. Here, they can see exactly what websites are bringing them the most traffic. Thirdly, Search Engines will show the users what traffic that search engines are bringing them. Not only do they show users what visitors Google has referred to their site, but they show them what they actually searched for in Google to get to their site. Now the user know what keywords are hot and what’s going to get them more traffic. This page is extremely handy.

Traffic Sources also contains the following sub-menu items:

  • Overview
  • Direct Traffic
  • Referring Sites
  • Search Engines
  • All Traffic Sources
  • AdWords
  • AdWord Campaigns
  • Keyword Positions
  • TV Campaigns
  • Keywords
  • Campaigns
  • Ad Versions

Content

Content can be viewed over time, of course, at the top. Users can get a more detailed understanding on the most viewed content on their site, and a variety of other really useful information regarding what content is visible on their site.

Content sub-menu items include:

  • Overview
  • Top Content
  • Content by Title
  • Content Drilldown
  • Top Landing Pages
  • Top Exit Pages
  • Site Overlay

Site Overlay is an interesting item. It will bring up their website with a Google Analytics toolbar at the top and then put an overlay over their site so that it is shown in sectors. Each little slice of the user’s website will have a click-through percentage. This gives them a very powerful visualization of where people are actually clicking on their site. Users can find every link with a white tab showing them the percentage that it was clicked. Where are the hot spots? Where do people never click? This all can be shown with Site Overlay!

Goals

Goals are set by the user. They are pages the user wants their visitors to end up. If the user’s company is selling goods, they may set your goals to the Order Completion page. If the company is looking to get more members on their site, you may set a goal to the Registration Activation page. Another capability of Goals is funneling. A funnel is a path the user specifies from start to finish to achieve a goal. They may specify several funnels to a goal, and once a funnel is specified, they can then analyze where users stop the path or how long each step takes. On their overview, users will have a goal conversion rate — that is, the percentage of the visitors to the user’s site who have completed the goal you have set. This is a very powerful tool and can be used to improve the user’s intentions for their website.

The following are sub-menu items of Goals:

  • Overview
  • Total Conversions
  • Goal Verification
  • Reverse Goal Path
  • Goal Value
  • Goal Abandoned Funnels
  • Funnel Visualization

Positive and Negative Points

Cons

There aren’t many cons to begin with. Google Analytics is JavaScript code, and if users are looking for information about how Bots are hitting and viewing their site, Google Analytics cannot do this for them. JavaScript is not enabled in a text-based session of a bot. Also, viewers that do not have JavaScript enabled will not be tracked. This number is extremely low and will probably affect less than 1% of the user site’s population.

  • Does not track bots
  • Does not track users without JavaScript

Pros

The Pros outweigh the Cons significantly. This software is absolutely free. It costs the Web developer nothing to have this information system working for them within minutes. Why would Google offer such a great service for free? Well, the answer to that is easy. Google realizes the value of data, and with Google Analytics, users have the option to submit anonymous data about their traffic and help Google keep their practices top-notch. Google uses an opt-in approach to this, meaning the user, by default, is going to submit anonymous data to Google. They can easily uncheck the box to stop this.

  • Cost-free
  • Very powerful
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to understand
  • Totally customizable
  • Integration with other systems
  • Integration with Google AdSense & AdWords

Recommendations for Implementation

There is nothing else needed to prepare the integration of Google Analytics to a site. A basic knowledge of Web development and access to one’s Web server through their Web hosting service are all that is needed. The user simply places the JavaScript onto their site’s pages and begin analyzing data. Google could not have made it easier. Extensive training is unnecessary. Once the user logs in to their dashboard, everything is right there at their fingertips. For those who have an advanced system and wish to stream data into it, Google provides information on how to do this, as well as a number of companies who have already designed software to take this information and display it in many different ways.

Customer Service

Google provides a huge knowledgebase of FAQs, as well as a help forum. There are many best practice methods available and ways to improve one’s visibility all in Google’s documentation. One can reach customer service by logging in to their Google Analytics account and submitting a post on their forum, or searching their knowledgebase. Seeing as though their software is top-quality, anyone knowledgeable in Information Technology should see installation of this software as trivial. Any detailed questions have been addressed in their FAQ section, and the forum is reserved for more specific issues.

References

http://web-analytics-review.toptenreviews.com/free-web-analytics.html describes Google Analytics as both “comprehensive” and “easy-to-use”.

http://www.blippr.com/apps/337954-Google-Analytics users describe Google Analytics as “amazing,” “All of the tools you need to report from tracking page views to ecommerce,” “The most powerful analytics!!!” and “Google Analytics continues to make progressively better enhancements while the former leader WebTrends remains relatively unchanged.”

http://www.mediacollege.com/internet/statistics/software/google-analytics/ claims that Google Analytics is “The best stats application I have used.”


More attorneys are using advertising to expand their practice in the face of increased competition in the legal profession. Additionally, there is now heavy emphasis of marketing through the Web, challenging attorneys to find effective marketing tools that allow customers to find their firm over others. This article provides you with PRMG’s top tips and techniques for attorneys to market through the Web, including through their website, SEO, directories, and PPC advertising. 

 

Website

Since the website is one of the first impressions people will get of the firm, it’s important to develop a professional website. When planning on a design, determine the message you want your website to communicate about the firm, the audience you are trying to reach with it, and your budget. A strong site could include the following sample elements: 

  • Home/Introduction
  • Firm overview
  • Areas of practice
  • Frequently asked questions/requests for more information
  • Client lists
  • Client testimonials 
  • Publications page
  • Attorneys
  • News
  • Calendar of events
  • Photo gallery
  • Resources and related links pages
  • Question of the week/submit questions
  • Multimedia and video 
    • Flash video is nice, but not search engine-friendly
    • Firm overviews
    • Practice overviews


Blogs

Integrating a blog, which can have its own domain, into the firm’s website is a driving factor of additional traffic and increased page rank value of the master domain. Blogging, article writing and utilizing case studies correctly online can have a positive impact on your site’s ranking position. Since search engines place heavy emphasis on new, current and quality content, a blog is a great vehicle to ensure that your site is fresh. Attorneys should routinely generate weekly and monthly blog content on their practice areas as part of an ongoing strategy. 

Blogs also increase communication with the firm and its customers, providing added value for its services. They raise the organization’s profile online, and engage and influence debates and opinions about your market, presenting yourself as a leading attorney in the field. 

 

Social Media Sites 

The most popular examples of social media sites are Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, MySpace, and YouTube. Use of these sites can, most importantly, increase the number of quality organic links to your firm’s website. Social media sites serve as a quick, layman’s vehicle to tell people what is happening in your firm as compared to regular e-mail and snail mail campaigns. Ads are now even available on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, which provide an opportunity to micro-target demographics. For example, Facebook captures postings to create analytical data on what people are talking about, which can then be used to target market certain keywords. 

 

Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Once the firm’s website is developed with SEO in mind, Google Analytics or another program such as Web Position Gold should be used to measure the site’s performance. In order to achieve good SEO rankings, a comprehensive program that includes on-page and off-page SEO strategies should be put in place to maximize ranking. Building rank power for the firm’s website begins with providing quality, relevant content, then optimizing the visibility of the content using standard on-page optimization techniques. Once on-page optimization has been performed, the growth of the site’s rank power can be fostered through a good link-building program that also includes social media. These techniques can help SEO grow exponentially. 

 

Referral Websites and Directories

Referral websites such as FindLaw and Lawyers.com provide public information about lawyers, and allow customers to find an attorney based on practice areas and geographic areas. Of the two sites, Lawyers.com appears to provide better branding, while FindLaw generally creates more appealing sites and achieves better search engine results for its directory. Both referral sites are relatively expensive, though, with the price depending on the attorneys’ practice areas, geographic areas, and type of listing. An alternative to using these two pricey directories is to develop and maintain your firm’s own website with SEO.

There are numerous attorney directories, such as attorneypages.com and others that are specific to areas of practice, which provide listings and charge based on the geographic and practice areas. Local directories, such as lilawyerpages.com and nylawyerpages.com, to be developed by PRMG, are also available.

 

E-Newsletters

Though unsolicited faxes are illegal, unsolicited e-mails are not. One requirement is that the e-mails must allow readers to opt out. E-newsletters are a useful tool for generating leads, organizations are able to identify and track recipients who click through. The firm can then follow up with those who click through by sending a brochure and making a follow-up call, for example. 

A number of programs can be used to send out e-newsletters, with popular ones being Microsoft Outlook, StreamSend, and Constant Contact. Through these programs, e-mails can be sent in HTML format or as attachments in PDF format. However, there are limits on the number of e-mails that can be sent out through the programs. Third-party vendors like StreamSend and Constant Contact increase the likelihood that e-mails will reach the intended recipients by integrating with sales force automated programs. StreamSend and Constant Contact also provide HTML and text options and can decipher which format to deliver to recipients, such as sending a text version to a BlackBerry.

 

AdWords and PPC Advertising

Google, Yahoo, MSN, Facebook, SuperPages and phone directories all use AdWords or another form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Taking advantage of AdWords allows you to control your budget by only paying for the ads that have been clicked through. In order to maximize your PPC budget, use long-tail keywords with high search volume and low competition. 

Using AdWords can increase the traffic driven to your firm’s page, especially when the topic is in the news. Track which keywords are working for your firm, and use them in the website’s SEO. Using these techniques to drive customers to the firm’s website is important since search engine placement and paid searches have largely replaced phone books, especially in today’s “green” era. 

 

From website development and optimization to blogging and e-mail marketing, PRMG’s experienced staff can develop Web-based solutions to help you develop and build your firm within your means. We’ll develop your website to help you achieve top search engine ranking, and help you implement a comprehensive Web marketing strategy that will allow you to reach your targeted audiences and grow your practice. 

Contact PRMG today to learn more about our comprehensive and customized Web solutions at (631) 207-1057, or email: johnzaher@theprmg.com.


Few organizations can survive and expect to thrive today without a website. However, a website should be far more than an online brochure. To be effective, a website must be marketed to draw prospective customers and visitors to your site, and once they are there, visitors must want to stay and learn more about your product and services. This article provides you with PRMG’s Top 10 Tips for marketing on the Web.

 1. Build a Strong Website – Your website is one of the first impressions people will get of your organization and should be carefully planned out. When planning on a design for your website, determine the message you want your website to communicate, the audience you are trying to reach with it, and your budget. Our article on developing a website to obtain higher search engine ranking also provides more tips and information on building a strong site. The following are some sample elements to include in building a strong site:

  • Home/Introduction
  • Company/Organization Overview
  • Areas of Work/Services Provided
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Requests for more information
  • Previous Work/Client Lists
  • Testimonials
  • Publications Page
  • Calendar of Events
  • Photo Gallery
  • Resources and Related Links Pages
  • Multimedia and video
  • Flash – nice, but not search engine-friendly
  • Company overviews

2. On-page Optimization – This involves making changes to the site itself – text content, architecture of the site, HTML code, page layout – to ensure higher search engine rankings. When it comes to the leading search engines, correct content can make all the difference. On-page optimization, which accounts for about 40% of a site’s ranking, places keywords throughout the code to show the search engines what your site is about, helping to increase traffic to your site.

3. Off-page Optimization – Off-page optimization deals with changes made outside of the site itself to increase the quantity and quality of inbound links to the site. The goal is to maximize the site’s exposure on the Web, getting as many sites as possible to link back to your site. Approximately 60% of search engine ranking is based on inbound linking.

 Read Developing a Website to Obtain High Search Engine Ranking for further details on Search Engine Optimization.

 4. Blogs – Integrating a blog, which should have its own domain, into your website is a driving factor of additional traffic and to increase the page rank value of the master domain. Since search engines place heavy emphasis on new, current and quality content, a blog is a great vehicle to ensure that your site is fresh.

Blogs can also increase communication with your organization and with customers, providing added value for your services. They raise the organization’s profile online, and engage interest in issues within your market, presenting the organization as a leader in the field.

 5. E-Newsletters

  • Can be sent out as e-mails in HMTL format or as attachments in PDF format
  • Create lead generation
  • Identify and track recipients who click through
    • 15%-25% of relevant content-related unsolicited e-mails are opened
    • 25%-35% of e-mails sent to pre-existing contact/customer/client lists are opened.
  • Third party vendors increase likelihood that e-mails reach intended recipients
    • Provide HTML and text options and decipher which to deliver to recipients, such as sending a text version to a BlackBerry
    • Integrate with sales force automated programs

6. Social Media Sites

  • Most popular examples – Facebook, LinkedIn & Plaxo, MySpace, YouTube, etc.
  • Most important use is to increase the number of quality organic links to your site
  • Quick, layman’s vehicle to tell people what is happening in your business as compared to regular e-mail and snail mail campaigns
  • Ads now available on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube that give opportunity to micro-target demographics
    • Facebook captures postings to create analytical data on what people are talking about, which can then be used to target market certain keywords

7. Directories/Links – Place your links on free directories, and pay for directories that can prove that they have high traffic and click-through results. Reciprocate links to relevant content on your website.

 8. Advertising

  • Ad Words – PPC (pay per click); drive traffic, especially when topics are in the news
  • Banner Ads
  • TV – Purchase on websites, such as New York Times
  • Social Media

 9. TV – Stream video on the web. 20%-80% of people who go to the website will view the video, which should be your best foot forward.

 10. PR Newswire/Marketwire – Post articles and events online. Use press release distribution services such as PR Newswire and Marketwire.

 From website development and optimization to blogging and e-mail marketing, PRMG’s experienced staff can develop Web-based solutions to help you develop and build your business or organization within a budget you can live with. We’ll develop your website and help you achieve top search engine ranking, and you will have peace of mind knowing that all of your techniques are “white hat,” meaning we’ve never had a client site banned from Google.

 Isn’t it time that you let your website work for you? Contact PRMG today to learn more about our comprehensive and customized Web solutions at (631) 207-1057, or email: johnzaher@theprmg.com.


One of the most common projects PRMG is asked to work on is to develop or re-develop a client’s website for the purpose of obtaining high search engine ranking. The article below provides an outline of the steps to take toward developing a strong website for improving search engine ranking, as well as some of the techniques the firm utilizes to acquire and maintain high rankings.

Why SEO?

Search engines provide the majority of traffic to websites across the Internet, regardless of website focus. Therefore, if your site cannot be properly located and indexed by the leading search engines, you are missing out on the best opportunity to drive targeted visitors and potential revenue.

Download Top 10 Tips


One of the areas of PRMG’s business that is least understood is our public relations and media services. While it takes years to develop media contacts and experience in handling these matters, here are some of our favorite techniques to obtain media coverage as part of our comprehensive PR/marketing strategy. 

METHODS

Press Release v. Press Conference — A press conference is effective for crisis management, and to address an issue affecting your organization. While you hope you never need to address such critical issues, you definitely need a PR agency to help you defuse any explosive situation. 

To ensure more exposure for a press conference, media advisories are used. These are invitations to the media which succinctly describe the “who, what, where, when, why and how” and what photo opportunities (also known as “photo ops”) are available. 

If your announcement is not sufficient enough for a press conference, you can simply use a press release. A press release draws attention to yourself, giving media outlets the “who, what, where, when, why and how.” Press releases can be used for just about anything — announcing a successful merger, a new hire, your organization’s recent accomplishments or the publication of your article in a peer-reviewed journal, to name just a few.

Media Availabilities — This is an effective way to get the added exposure your organization needs. The trick is to keep an eye on the issues of the day and stay “ahead of the curve” so that, by the time the media availability is sent out, it is not a dead issue. Such media availabilities have garnered coverage for our clients in daily and weekly publications and on local TV stations.

Photos and Captions — These highlight the good your organization does, and provide positive publicity. It can be your organization making or receiving a donation in the form of a mock check, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the celebration of a successful inaugural event or the hosting of a local youth group at your office.

It is always better to have the photo op take place in a location that resonates with what you are doing, and to invite elected officials whenever possible to present certificates of appreciation or proclamations to you. Having elected officials come to photo ops helps in a two-fold manner: it makes the politicians look good, and it gives the impression that your organization has a strong ally in local government.

If your organization has opened up a new office or an additional office, let everyone know! Send out the announcements, and follow up with the media. Invite local elected officials, as they like to be involved in ribbon-cutting ceremonies. After the event, send out photos and releases for added exposure. It can also be posted on your organization’s website.

Op-Ed Pieces and Letters to the Editor — An op-ed piece or a letter to the editor focuses on important issues in the news; it can also be a message to raise people’s awareness about certain issues such as environmental conservation, drunk driving and domestic violence. 

If someone has made allegations against you and/or your organization, sending out a statement via press release may help, but that may not be enough. An op-ed piece or a letter to the editor gives your side of the story, so to speak. Good op-ed pieces address each allegation or argument made against you, and refutes them in a clear, concise manner. It is also advised that you refrain from any ad hominem attacks, and stick to “just the facts, ma’am.”

Columns and Articles — A monthly column could be written by you or someone else in your organization. These could be sent to the media, placed on your organization’s website or newsletter, or used in a blog. This column could be used to address the issues affecting your organization, or give people an update of what your organization has been doing.

Public Service Programs — Public service programs also have a place for you to get the word out on your organization. All TV, cable and radio stations are required to provide various forms of public programming and access. Take advantage of these opportunities. Contact public access program hosts and radio stations to suggest yourself as a guest. 

Posting Releases Online — It’s not enough to just do e-mail blasts and faxes. With news moving at the speed of light as fewer people get their news from newspapers and magazines and more people receive information from online news sites, your name should be out there as soon as possible. 

Distribution sites like MarketWire can get your press release to more nationwide and niche publications, but, depending on how far you want your release to go, it can cost you a few hundred dollars. If your budget is limited, look to websites that offer free press release distribution. PRMG uses free sites such as PRLog and, locally KIOLI.org, to help get our clients’ names out further; however, the reach for such free sites may be limited to Google News, Yahoo! and MSN. In any case, using these distribution sites provides that needed additional reach.

If your organization has its own website, then your press release can be posted in the “News and Events” section. That same press release can also be incorporated into upcoming editions of your e-newsletter. 

Social Networking Sites — Teenagers aren’t the only ones turning to Twitter, Facebook and MySpace to keep in touch. Many professionals are using these sites to give themselves more visibility on the Internet. If you have a professional Facebook or MySpace page, you can post a notice stating you have a press release out there, and you can post the press release on your page. Your press release can also be picked up through postings on Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit and other sites. Word of your organization will spread fast.

TIPS

Press Events — Client events always need publicity. A press event is good for getting media coverage. First, send out a calendar of events release, which describes in one paragraph what the event entails. This should only go out to the “Calendar of Events” sections of newspapers, TV and radio stations.

Later, send out a press release publicizing the event — who, what, where, when, why, how (and how much); a media advisory should be sent out the day before the event. At the event, distribute media kits containing additional copies of the press release to members of the media to help them supplement their stories. And, as always, hand out business cards, and let them know they can call you for further information.

Anniversaries, Milestones and Recognition — An organization’s anniversary or milestone always gets attention. See if a local elected official can come down to issue a proclamation. 

Promotions and new hires make for good news and get your organization recognized. Add a quote from the organization’s director or president, and the new hire to liven up the release. These types of announcements are ideal for business magazines which dedicate a section of their publication to these announcements. Always send a head shot to the papers along with the release.

Awards and Competitions — Local newspapers, civic and charitable organizations, chambers of commerce and municipal governments seek “Man of the Year” or “Woman of the Year” nominees for their awards. Some also look for the “Business of the Year” as well. Check with local media outlets, chambers of commerce and governments to see which contests they are running.

Tying Events into Holidays and Awareness Campaigns — See how local governments celebrate Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Get your organization involved in a local Memorial Day or 4th of July parade as a sponsor and/or a participant. What special events are taking place for Earth Day? Clients love to be seen as a good neighbor in being “green.” (Getting the media to cover this in today’s day and age is a big plus.)

Thanksgiving and Christmas are major holidays in which the events usually consist of food donations, or toy and clothing drives. These are tricky for getting post-event coverage, especially for Christmas, as most weeklies close down for that holiday. Try to set it 2 weeks before the holiday; if you wait any later, many media outlets will have covered enough food and toy drives to consider your event irrelevant. Remember: For the holidays, timing is everything.

But if everyone else is doing toy drives, food drives or clothing drives, maybe your organization can think “out of the box.” Animal shelters could do animal adoption drives; local anti-DWI groups could do a “Drive Sober for the Holidays” campaign. Doing events that are off the beaten path will become more newsworthy.

Tying an event into a campaign always helps. For example, May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month; if your non-profit specializes in promoting safe teen driving, create an event around that. Environmental groups can create events in the month of May, which is also Clean Air Month.

The list may seem quite lengthy, and this might seem like a lot of information to absorb. But this information will be helpful in getting your organization the necessary coverage. This will keep you happy, and in the papers.

If you have an event or an announcement you need help in publicizing, please contact PRMG for a free consultation at (631) 207-1057, or email: johnzaher@theprmg.com.