Do You Know SMO?

SEO is always a big topic online, but are you neglecting your SMO?  Social Media Optimization can boost your SEO and help you build your audience.  Social media is one way to build awareness of your business, and it is also a critical factor in your SEO.

Your social media presence is an important part of enhancing your business reputation and building your business’s reach.   Social media can be an important part of your marketing strategy for growing your company’s online presence.  SMO means more than just Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ or any of the other common ways to connect with others online for the sake of your business.  It’s also blogs, forums, and other interactive communities where your presence can lead to meaningful business relationships.

Your engagement with different websites isn’t about spamming the world with links back to your website – that could hurt you rather than help you.  SMO can help you build your online visibility, generate leads, and connect with potential prospects, customers and clients.

When Google launched their Hummingbird algorithm in 2013, the way they did search rankings changed significantly.  Last year, they tweaked Hummingbird a number of times. reports that  “Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times” every year.  Most of these changes are small, but every so often a Penguin, Panda, or Hummingbird shakes the search world up.  What do these changes mean for your SEO and SMO?

The Hummingbird changes mean that social shares are more important than ever.  Content is king and shared content identifies the best content.  The more that you content is shared on social media, the higher Google values your content and the higher your search ranking.  That’s how important SMO is to your online business.

Do you have a SMO strategy?  Knowing social media keywords and phrases for your niche or industry is the place to start.  What’s hot in your niche?  Use high volume keywords and phrases in your social media posts to build your audience.  Take into consideration that keywords on Twitter might be different than those on Facebook, which may be different from those on LinkedIn…  A good sight for keyword research is  You can also type in a search term at Google and use the suggested search terms that the drop-down autocomplete Google gives you to expand your keyword universe.

Tips For Maximizing Your SMO

  1. Complete Your Profiles.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn all give you space to talk about yourself and your business.  If you’re not fully using this space, you’re losing out.  Use a good picture, use your company name as your user name, give a clear description of your business in the bio section, and use keywords that will help others find you.
  2. Publish great content that others will want to share.  Content drives SEO and SMO.  Great content will build your audience.  For SMO, the best approach is to have a mix of your original content with content from other sites.  Make sure that any content that you create or share via social media is relevant to your target audience.
  3. Post often, but make sure that what you post is of the highest quality.  More content means more opportunity to connect with your target audience, but if your content is poor, chances are that you’ll never see them again.
  4. Facilitate social sharing with social media sharing buttons on your website.  This is the best way to boost your SMO, and it will improve both your SEO and your SMO.  With WordPress, all it takes is installing a plugin and you’re in the game.
  5. Be responsive to comments, questions, and complaints.  Engagement is an important part of SMO and SEO.  Responding in a timely manner encourages conversation, and conversation can build engagement, which can build your audience and your relationship with your audience.
  6. Optimize your content for searches.  Make sure that your social media profiles and your content make use of high volume keywords and phrases that are relevant to your target audience to get the maximum impact from your SMO.
  7. Build your follower base.  You can do this by posting good content on a consistent basis, again, that is relevant to your target audience.  Use keywords and phrases to help them find you.  My post next week will expand on this topic, so look for it.
  8. Guest blog on popular sites in your niche.  One way to build your follower base is to gain followers from other popular bloggers.
  9. Build your backlinks.  Three ways that you can further this objective by writing great content that others want to share with others, linking to other blogs on your blog (often, bloggers will return the favor), and writing guest posts for other websites.
  10. Is your website formatted to display well on mobile devices?  As more of the internet moves to mobile, your website better be able to accommodate this move, or you’ll be left in the dust.
  11. Optimize your content for mobile.  Marketingland reported in 2016 that 80% of social media time is spent on mobile devices.  So, if your readers are going to share your content through social media, how important is it that your content be mobile-friendly?  Very important.
  12. Understand why people share content online.  One reason is that it was helpful for them and they believe that it will be helpful to others.  A second reason is that what they share defines them to others.  People are proud to share content that they discovered and is high quality because it makes them look good to others.  Another reason for sharing content is that it keeps people connected with others.  It can be a conversation point between two or more people.

Those are my 12 best tips for SMO.  What would you add?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.



TBT: Is building a website holding you back?

Today’s Throwback Thursday post is one of the most popular on, which leads me to believe that building a website is holding many people back from starting an internet business, which is a shame.  It’s a shame because it really isn’t very hard to do.   These days, creating a website is not difficult, but again, I am guessing that there are many people who consider building a website and step away saying “I don’t know how to do that.”

You can take classes on it, read books on it, but the easiest way to build a website is to just do it (didn’t a sneaker company say something about just doing it?).  I’ve built three websites, including two WordPress websites (see more on WordPress below).  It isn’t hard.

How Do You Get Started?

  1. Take these three easy steps to get started:Think of your website as internet real estate.  In the material world a business has a street address and in the digital world a business has a domain name.  Your domain name enables others to find you on the internet.  You buy an internet domain name from a domain seller called a registrar (sounds a bit like college, doesn’t it?).  Under my Recommended Resources tab you’ll see that I recommend GoDaddy.  This is the company that I use.
  2. Once you have a domain, you need hosting.  You can think of hosting as a storage business. You own your domain and website and your hosting company holds the data that keeps your website online.  If there are any technical problems, your hosting company fixes them.

On my Recommended Resources page, you’ll see that I recommend TMD Hosting.  Again, like with GoDaddy, I recommend the company that I use because this company has offered excellent services to me and many others.  If you have problems with your website building or later, a good hosting company like TMD Hosting will help you.

TMD Hosting offers several site-building services, and the good news is that you don’t need to know computer language or have programming skills to build a website.  I chose WordPress for my website because it is easy to use and there are plenty of tutorials on youtube if help is needed.  WordPress is used by Fortune 500 companies and many profitable and sophisticated internet businesses.  If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.

3. So, if you are interested in online marketing, my recommendation to you is download WordPress, get your domain and hosting, and get started.  If that still sounds too hard, do a Google search on “starting a website.”  You may be surprised how much free help is available for you online.  I recommend over  The reason is, having built sites with both, I have found .org to be easier to use, plus there are over 54,000 plug-ins that have been created for  If plug-ins are new for you, download WordPress, and you’ll shortly see what they mean for your website.

If you have any questions, contact me at support at (replace at with @ and remove the spaces).  If you have any questions or comments that you’d like to submit to the community, put them in the Comments section.  I invite your questions and comments and your likes and shares.

The Power of Outsourcing for Your Business


Would you like to earn more money while working fewer hours? Who wouldn’t? One of the ways that successful internet marketers do this is through outsourcing. There are tasks that are time-consuming and not worth your time.  There are tasks that require skills that you don’t have.  There are tasks that you would rather not do.  All of these kinds of tasks are good candidates for outsourcing.

Outsourcing enables you to  focus on what you do best, and hire people who do their best at what you’re not good at. Outsourcing allows you to focus on what’s most important for your business while still getting those tasks done that are not as important, but essential for your success.

Whether it’s website design, logo creation, writing, SEO, or a host of other areas, there are freelancers who will do it for you.  There are many websites where you can find the help you need, but here are…

7 Sites To Get You Started

There are freelancers out there who are highly competent in areas where your competence may be lacking.  They are ready, willing, and able to step in for you, and often at a very reasonable price. Where do you find them? Let’s start with Fiverr bills themselves as the “Freelance Services Marketplace for The Lean Entrepreneur.” On Fiverr, you can find freelancers for logo design, graphic design, digital marketing, video, music, programming, and many other areas. Fivver is the largest online market for freelance services, and best of all, many of the freelancers will take your job for $5 (USD). is another site for finding freelancers to do website development, graphic design, logo design, software development, software architecture, SEO, internet marketing, Photoshop, data entry, mobile apps, and a good number of other areas. boasts that they have “27 million professionals on demand.” They also say that they are “the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and projects.”  Their prices start at $90 for graphic design, so if you’re looking for something above the Fiverr pay grade, this may be the right place for you.

Have you considered using Craigslist?  Craigslist is the 12th most visited site in the U.S. and 60th worldwide.  With 60 million users and over 50 billion pageviews per month, Craiglist is worth a look, plus it’s free.  However, with 80 million ads, including 1 million job listings, there is a lot of clutter that can be difficult to cut through.  Search for freelancers using keywords, but you’ll have to be careful about screening who you hire.  You can advertise your gig and see what response you get.  I have gotten good responses both in numbers and quality from Craigslist ads.

If you’re looking for professional-level help for web development, mobile development, customer service, accounting, or a number of other areas, Upwork is a good place to find freelancers.  Upwork bills themselves as “the world’s largest online workplace where savvyt businesses and professional freelancers go to work!”  Upwork talent works for an hourly rate rather than a set price for a particular gig, so their services are going to be more expensive than Fivver.come.  If you need remote services at a reasonable price, Upwork is a good place to look. is another great place to find talent.  Authentic Jobs calls themselves “The leading job board for designers, hackers, and creative pros.  It’s more of a full-time position place, but it does take postings for part-time work, and there’s a section for freelancers.

YunoJuno is a site devoted to freelancers, but you must register to use the site.

If you’re looking for “the Top 3% of Freelance Talent,” Toptal is for you.  Most of us in the internet marketing world aren’t looking for this level of expensive talent, but if you are, Toptal is the place where you can find them.

I’ve kept this short so as to not overwhelm you with options.  What website would you add to this?  Your comments and questions, and your likes and shares are invited.


How’s Your CRM?

Customer Relationship Management is a powerful tool in the hands of a savvy entrepreneur and it will help you grow your return on investment many times over.  CRM enables you to maximize your upsell, downsell, and resell opportunities.  Effective CRM will help you scale your business upward in the shortest time possible.  But, what are the pieces that are necessary to plan and execute your CRM strategy?

The objective of customer relationship management is building great customer relations.  Easy, right?  If it were, so many companies wouldn’t fail at this most basic task.  Every connection that you make with your customers can be a stepping stone to repeat sales, upsales, and downsales.  Or it can signal to them that future engagement with you isn’t worth their time, effort, and financial investment.  How can you use CRM to build your business?

The backbone of your CRM strategy is data collection.  Create a way to capture information about customers and leads, and you’re well on your way to growing your ROI.  What kind of information is most helpful?  Customer history, preferences, and their social media presence are all helpful data points.  Also, your past interactions with them in the sales process.

If you’re at the beginning stages of your business, you can do this on a spreadsheet.  As your business grows, you may want to invest in CRM software.  What is essential is that every point of contact with potential customers and your existing customer base be positive and valuable.  Help Scout gives an example of the kind of interaction you don’t want to have with your customers and potential customers:

“You risk ruining your first impression when you treat your customers like Comcast treats people calling in: “Can we have your personal information, account information, blood sample, and deepest fear?”

Before creating your CRM strategy, start with your vision.  What is it that you want to accomplish with your business?  What is the why and how of your business?  Why are you in business (and a good answer is not to make money).  How does your business help others?

Now, the strategy question – how will you achieve your vision?  This is where CRM can be invaluable.  You may plan to compete on price, through an extensive product line, and excellent customer service.  Whatever your competitive advantage is, how will you communicate this to your customers and potential customers?

Next, what are the metrics that you will use to measure how you’re doing?  These are your key performance indicators, and they can help you determine what steps you need to take to achieve your business goals.  Three of the most basic metrics are sales revenue, net profit margin, gross margin, and monthly recurring revenue.  MRR is particularly relevant if you are offering a training program that clients enroll into and continue month to month.

Other important metrics are sales growth year to date, cost of customer acquisition, customer loyalty and retention, and customer satisfaction.  Tracking your leads per month, your lead to customer conversion rate, and monthly website traffic are all helpful as you monitor your CRM.

8 Quick Tips For Great CRM

  1. Follow up sales with a thank you – a personal one, not just something that you’ve written and placed in your autoresponder.  That’s the kind of personal touch that build relationships with customers and demonstrates that you care about them.  Make your customers feel special and you’re well on your way to differentiating yourself and your business from at least most of your competition.
  2. Stay positive.  The Help Scout post mentioned above gives a good example of how rephrasing information can improve your customer’s experience with you.  Instead of saying that a product isn’t available like this: “I can’t get you that product until next month. It is back-ordered and unavailable at this time,”  how about presenting the same information like this: “That product will be available next month. I can place the order for you right now and make sure that it is sent to you as soon as it reaches our warehouse!”  In the positive statement, the focus is not on the problem, but on the best possible solution.
  3. Make timely responses.  In this nanosecond world, people do not like to be kept waiting.  Response time is critical to building good relationships.  At the very least, respond in 24 hours.  Quicker response times mean happier customers.
  4. Be personable.  You are not a faceless corporation; you are a real, breathing, helpful person.  Let your customers know that.
  5. Develop a strong relationship with your customers through consistent and helpful communication.  Your email list is a great way to do this.  Ask for feedback, give great support, do everything you can to make your customer a happy customer.  Happy customers become repeat customers, and when that happens, you don’t have to be sweating new lead acquisition (at least, not sweat it as much).
  6. In everything you do, exceed the expectations of your customers.  Meet their concerns with understanding and address their concerns with the very best that you can offer.  If there are any requests, criticisms, or complaints, address them quickly and effectively. Do everything in your power to resolve issues and make things right for your customers.
  7. Use social media to build your relationship with your customers as you’re using it to widen your audience.  Social media is a great place to show more of your personality.  Engage with those who comment, start conversations, interact with those who are engaged.
  8. Communicate clearly.  Stay away from business jargon, insider language, and trite cliches.  Good communication is clear communication that is concise, easily understandable, and free of words and phrases that cause your hearers to roll their eyes and take you less seriously.  Here’s a good example of what not to say, and what to say from Erika Napoletano of American Express.  With jargon: “To get you the engagement you want on your company blog, we need to move the needle. Shake things up.”Without jargon: “To increase engagement on your company blog, we need to give your readers a reason to stay on the page. Engage them on a deeper level. That’s why we’re proposing your fantastic solution.”

What would you add to the tips?  I invite your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.