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What is Search Engine Optimization?

27 Jun

www.myseomagic.comI started my first web page in the late 1990’s. I used free hosting sites and their built in web designers. This suited my purpose at the time. Later I learned that there were tricks you could do to make searching for your site come up closer to the top. This was back in the day when hotbot was the search engine of many people. Of course there was yahoo and a few others like alta vista and of course AOL.

Now the big kahuna is Google. Oh sure, yahoo, bing and a few other very minor players exist; but the real search engine of choice is Google. So, to make sure you optimize your website for search engine results, you need to understand what “Search Engine Optimization”, or SEO, means and how to utilize the processes and strategies.

You can learn about the best SEO practices by looking at some of the top SEO places. Of course they want to sell their service, but they also can give you some very good tips and pointers.

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mySEOmagic for SEO and internet marketing

25 May

It was by sheer accident that I googled myself last year. I used a fairly common search phrase to find a birthday party magician in Dallas. In the past I had been on the first 3 pages, and I always felt that was good enough.

So here I was looking at the google page for my search, and there were about 3 or more pages for one particular magician, and one that I didn’t know. Seems he had lots of listings on the first page, and I had none. No sweat, I thought to myself. On to page two. Still no MrGoodfriend, and still a few more of the mysterymagicman. Hmmm… on to page 3. Wash, rinse, repeat. No MrGoodfriend, yes mysterymagicman. At this point I’m a little miffed. Page 4, 5, 6…  Okay, now I’m getting past miffed and on to p!ssed. Pages 7 through 12 offer no relief to my growing anxiety. Finally, page 13. There’s MrGoodfriend’s omagic.com page listing.www.myseomagic.com

I knew what the problem was. I had set up my web site years ago. Done some minor tweaking here and there. I was sure it was “optimized”. I had key words and such all over the page. I had nice images and content. In other words, I had done some on-page optimization, but very little off-page stuff.

I looked at mystermagicman’s stuff, and started ‘following’ what he was doing. I ramped up my efforts on the off-page optimization. I also revisited my on-page optimization, and started using some webmaster tools to see what problems my site might pose for search engines. I found my site had some slow loading pages. I did some cascading style sheet fixes (.css) and voila! I cut the page load time in half! Plus I learned a lot about cascading style sheets.

Next I did the social marketing things. I tweeted, facebooked, tumbled, pinned, and stumbled. I also encouraged my clients to do some reviews. Six weeks later, I’m on the first page of google for the same search.

So with this lesson in hand, I have partnered with a family member who owns eKrum Online Marketing Service, and we have developed a program for niche marketing online. Let me know if you ever want to go from page 13 to page 1 in six weeks. I think I can help you out.

Build Your Business By Doing Four Simple Steps

8 May

successful marketing

By Derrel Allen

How to Build Your Business

Creating a successful and beneficial business is no easy task. Success is dependent on many outside issues, including competition, timing and demand. In the beginning of your business, you have little control over these factors. Assuming all of these outside factors are in your favor, having a sound business plan can lead to having a successful business. Here are four steps to consider when you’re building your business from the ground up:

1. Determine your business. What are you selling?

This question isn’t as easy to answer as you may think. For example, Nike is in the sportswear business, but the truth is that when you buy a pair of Nike shoes and a t-shirt at the mall you’re buying a lot more than sportswear — you’re buying an image, a feeling. You’re buying the Nike brand. Richard Thalheimer, the former CEO of The Sharper Image and the founder of RichardSolo.com, has worked in specialty retail for more than 30 years. When asked what business he’s in, he’ll tell you “convenience” or “innovation” before he specifies any particular industry, and he’s built one of the most powerful brands in America. Understand this, there’s more to a product than just the product. Your brand is what sets your product apart from your competitor’s product.

2. Select your market. Who are you selling to?

This step is a bit less interpretive as the first, though equally valuable. Who are you selling to? or more importantly, what do you know about this person? Understanding your consumer is a key to success. What do they do? Where do they hang out? What do they watch on television? These are just a few of the questions that you should be able to answer about your them. Knowing the answers to these questions will set a direction when it comes to devising a marketing strategy. Richard Thalheimer understood his market for The Sharper Image, probably as well as they understood themselves. From an article in the LA Times, Tracy Wan, who was president and chief operating officer under Thalheimer says “Richard has the amazing ability to figure out the things that people want to have.” This adeptness to recognize your consumer’s desire can only be a result of knowing them like your neighbor.

3. Create a marketing strategy. How do you speak to these people?

This is an ascertainment of understanding your brand and your customer. As mentioned in number two, understanding your consumer can provide significant answers concerning your marketing strategy: Where should you advertise? What’s the voice of your brand? What kind of prices are reasonable for this demographic? In order to engage your customer, a.k.a. sell your product to them, you must know where your advertisements will be noticed, how to speak to them, and how much they will be able to spend, among many of things. Really, this step should have been combined with the last because who your market is dictates your marketing strategy entirely.

4. Learn by observing others. Seek counsel from those who have undertaken it.

There are many books written by professionals who have already started their own business and have been successful in doing so. One that comes to mind immediately, as we’ve already mentioned him a couple of times, is Richard Thalheimer. “Creating Your Own Sharper Image” shares the story of how he grew his tiny office supply company, The Sharper Image, into the thriving enterprise that it has become today.

Remember, building a successful business in not all about the dollars and cents. Equally as valuable is the brand equity and your ability to engage your buyer, which is only attainable by understanding them. Assuming there is a demand for your product, and you can compete with the other brands, following these four steps shall lead you in the right direction.

About the Author

Derrel Allen is an information technology adviser for a Fortune 100 company and internet marketing consultant. He is also a professional entertainer, using magic to teach and entertain. You can find out more about him at his website: corporate magic.

Professional Sporting Events

8 Apr

Event magician Dallas TXI love sports. I love going to live sporting events. What I really like is participating in the events. This weekend was full of participation.
It started with the Texas Rangers opening day on Friday. I took my daughter and step-son and we tailgated in the parking lot. While that wasn’t a professional engagement, it was certainly a lot of fun.

One of the highlights was the B-1 bomber fly-over. Probably about 1,000 feet and with full after-burners on, the sound shook everything. All of the cars in the parking lot with alarms started chirping and screaming. It’s good to know that if anyone got locked out of their car after that, they could call and Arlington locksmith to get them taken care of.

Saturday, it’s off to do pre-game entertainment at the Allen Event Center. The Allen Americans of the CHL are in the playoffs against the Texas Brahmas. My job was to entertain with some close up magic. I’m so glad it is April and not July. Even in April things get quite warm. I have a lovely bowler hat I like to wear, but this heat was not going to cooperate.

party magician in Dallas TX

MrGoodfriend's magic hat.

When the kids start coming around, I forget the heat and start making them smile. I really like to hear them go “Woah!” Another favorite? “How did he do that?” I was performing near the make shift petting zoo. They had a rabbit there, and the kids kept wanting me to make him disappear. I did get to do a fun rabbit card trick. And of course you always have the one boy who keeps asking if I can make his sister disappear.

After a little over an hour of this fun, I was ushered inside to the Season Ticket Holder’s Club Room. Much nicer inside, especially with the air conditioning, doubly cold because of the ice rink. I stationed myself near the bar, and started the tricks again. The crowd was smaller, but equally enthusiastic. I even got to ‘teach’ a couple of tricks.

All in all, a rather enjoyable Easter weekend, with some fun times at professional sporting events. If you are interested in seeing how magical entertainment can help your event, please feel free to drop me a note, and I’ll be happy to show you The Magic of MrGoodfriend.

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