It sure seems like this year has gone quickly, I can hardly believe Christmas is less than a week away. But I wanted to take time to put out a newsletter, thinking that perhaps it will give you some good ideas and directions so you can hit the ground running in 2015, headed in the right direction. This year has had major ups and downs for me — on the up side, I have a new grandson this year, the first grandchild and he is of course adorable. On the down side, my dad passed away just before Thanksgiving after a brief battle with liver cancer, but one needs to deal with both situations and keep moving forward, even though the latter situation was significantly tougher than the former.
There is a big difference between success and failure, where you of course want to follow the success path. But to get there, you need to do what successful people do and follow their advice. You COULD do it on your own via trial and error, backtracking, and picking up the pieces of your errors, but wouldn’t it have been easier if you had followed sound advice the first time?
Getting ranked within Google is getting harder and harder as Google tries to decipher who is relevant and who is spam, where even spam sites can have the right keyword density and a ton of links going to them. This is a huge project for Google, and one that I am not sure they can ever sort out completely, so there are many people that are looking at alternative ways to get quality and authority links.
Authority links? Yes. A link is not a link, all are created differently. A link from a one-page website about dog food with less than 10 words of content obviously does not carrry the same level of authority as a link from a page on cnn.com, using two very extreme examples. Do you see the difference? In fact, if you had 1000 links from 1000 different one-page dog food sites, they would in sum total still not be as much value as a single link from a page on cnn.com.
Google is paying more attention these days to social media than it ever has before. Sure, it still looks at authority and high value links from authority sites but it is also factoring in references and links to your site from the popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Drigg, LinkedIn, and various others.
If you do not have a Facebook fan page for your web site yet, get one created and make sure you have good relevant content on it, as well as good and relevant graphics. For the graphics, set the ALT tag to describe what the graphic is about, since Google is pretty poor about reading graphic images and will pretty much take your word for what the graphic is, based on the content of your ALT tag.
Don’t have a Tumblr account yet? Get one created, see the previous paragraph. Ditto the others.
You don’t have the time and/or don’t have the technical expertise to do that? Then have it done for it. The site I have used for years is called fiverr.com and I think I have mentioned that site in these newsletter before. Log into fiverr.com and create an account (free) and then just look at the tasks you can have done based on your search for just $5. Search on “backlinks” and find hundreds of backlink projects where they will create “x” backlinks for you for just $5. Search on “facebook fan page” and find hundreds of offerings for folks there to create a Facebook fan page for you for just $5. Want some Facebook “likes” and “shares” from your Facebook fan page? $5.
The variety of services here is staggering. But like anything else, read the reviews. Each fiverr.com seller has a rating with reviews, so read the reviews to find out what you are getting and determine if its really worth it. There are even flags to indicate where the seller resides. While you might be tempted to choose a USA vendor, there are actually some quality offers from folks in India, Taiwan, and elsewhere.
Hopefully you feel that you can invest a $5 gig or two into your business. The investment is very small but the returns can be huge. Over the years, I have invested as much as $200 into link packages from sellers that do not deliver more quality than a fiverr gig or two would have done at a fraction of the price. It’s a small investment into the future of your business and the dividends can be huge for you.
So what’s hot right now? I can tell you for sure, DSL is not. DSL is not worth your time and effort, nor mine. DSL died a long time ago but just hasn’t had the good graces to fall over and completely die yet. But for the locations that still need it because they don’t have other options, they DO have other options, spelled T1, and if that is out of their budget, then keep that customer on your Christmas card list if you want to but I cannot help. Cable is luke-warm in my opinion. I’m not excited about cable, and have a higher percentage of horror stories with cable service than the percentage of issues with dedicated circuits. What is hot right now remains Ethernet circuits and MPLS circuits, and that is particularly attractive when there are multiple sites involved. Even a two-node MPLS deal can be attractive and well worth your time if one of those nodes is international, where MPLS is significantly more cost effective than point-to-point. T1 and bonded T1 are still strong and could be considered “bread & butter” but for the same amount of marketing effort on your part, the returns are much higher on Ethernet, on Gigabit Ethernet, on MPLS and and multi-location sites.
I hope these newsletters are helpful to you, giving you ideas, generating some brain juice, or perhaps just providing a necessary kick in the pants. Maybe you are already more than happy with your level of income and getting more just means more headaches for you with your tax return and the IRS, in which case I salute and envy you. I know that I have not gotten a lead from many of you in more than a year, and also know that a few dozen of you will not even receive this since your email bounces every time I send an email.
There is a saying that I learned at the airport when I go out flying that says: “Never let your airplane get somewhere that your brain didn’t get to about 5 minutes earlier“. The words of wisdom there are that your brain needs to be at least 5 minutes ahead of the plane, and you need to be fully aware (“situational awareness“) of where you are at all times, where you are going, and how you are going to get there, having a viable and workable plan already in place, with contingencies already thought out. Waiting until you actually get there to figure it out is your worst possible option because you may actually be headed in the wrong direction, or when you DO get there, you are going to have other duties to contend with that you need to be prepared for.
The same is true of your marketing efforts. You need to be every bit as aware of where you want to get to as well as how you are going to get there. “More money” is not a sufficient direction, any more than “up” is sufficient when I am flying. Simply submitting your web site to the search engines is not sufficient to get you where you presumably want to go, especially since you are then competing with a SEVEN FIGURE number of people taking that same very lax approach.
I appreciate you and your efforts and look forward to continuing to work with those of you who are as serious about this as I am, so that we can both reach our goals. I appreciate your leads and your efforts with Telarus, and you need to know that I do take leads very seriously, since without QUALITY leads, neither of us make money.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions, comments, or suggestions. My very best wishes to you for a happy holiday, and a safe, healthy, and prosperour new year!
Telarus Senior Technical Consultant & Authorized Sales Agent
President, JA Communications Group Inc.