Using “Price” as a Tool to Sell More Offline Services, Coaching Services, Etc

This works for any big ticket item you are selling one-on-one. For example, maybe you sell SEO services to brick and mortar business. Or perhaps you sell coaching over the phone to people who got a free 20 minute session with you.

This works in print as well, but it works even better when you’re actually talking to the person.

Let’s say you sell list building systems to local businesses. You’ve sat down with them, explained exactly what you can do for them and they’re excited. “How much do you charge?” they want to know.

Let’s say you charge $1,000 a month for the service. Tell them you normally charge $2,000, and explain why your service is a tremendous deal at that price. Then tell them that if they will allow you to use them as a case study, you will knock that price in half.

Here’s the beauty of this system:

First, you’ve already primed them for a higher price, so when you offer the lower price, they’re actually relieved and much more likely to say yes.

Second, in the back of their mind they’re thinking, “If s/he is using my business as a case study, that means s/he’s going to work extra hard to get good results.” Which makes perfect sense, because you wouldn’t want a case study that failed.

Third, you can use these case studies to bring in new clients. For example, let’s say you performed a service for a plumber. Now you can contact plumbers in other cities and show them the exact results you achieved in that first plumbing business. When they see these specific results, they are much more likely to sign on.

The same goes for any other service you provide to local businesses, professionals, coaching clients, etc.

Show them your ‘regular’ price, then offer the option of getting a reduced price in exchange for allowing you to use them as a case study.

One caveat: In the case of personal coaching (versus business coaching) you might want to change their name in your case study to protect your client’s privacy.

Genuine SEO Isn’t Going Away, So You Might As Well Get On Board

Let’s not kid ourselves, the state of SEO 4+ years ago was laughable, a joke, if you will. Google’s own search results were so easily manipulated with “backlink packages” and the like that it was straightforward to a fault to get a new site ranking, even for a competitive keyword, provided you had the money (or the time).

Over the past few years, Google – and other search engines, too! – has wised up and started making it more difficult to game the system. While some lamented the downfall of blackhat, spammy techniques, it was a game that was doomed from the beginning, and an equal number of people recognized the value in Google’s new incarnation.

Right now, the social and link cues that tell Google a page is important and relevant are more closely aligned than ever with the actual relevance and genuine popularity of that page. This has been Google’s goal for years, so it’s no surprised that they’ve worked extremely hard to move this direction as quickly as possible. I’m sure they’re quite happy with themselves, and they should be.

Is there still some way to game the system? I’m sure, but it’s not worth it, because every loophole gets closed, and at a rate that is gaining speed with every single day.

So, if the old kinds of link building aren’t effective, what does work?

Social cues are big.

Social media is the currency of a generation right now, and content that is blowing up with links, likes, shares, and retweets on social media is going to make a blip on Google’s radar.

Google knows that these are often real indicators of people thinking something is valuable and worthwhile, and they’re all about that positive end user experience.

Leverage and squeeze every drop out of your social networks. Repurpose your tweets and posts to help appeal to different people and at different times. Try scheduling posts to go out on social at various times of day, with different images, and try alternating your headline with a quote from within the page itself.

Mobile is king, for now.

While we can’t know exactly what the future holds, one thing is for sure: Google is big on the mobile trend. It’s for good reason, too, seeing that internet usage on phones has skyrocketed over the past few years, meaning that websites who are responsive to various screen sizes and who don’t have a crappy mobile experience are going to be rightfully propped up in the search results.

This trend is also true of tablets, and any new device that comes out and begins to gain popularity.

Don’t stop building links.

Backlinks are still a big deal, but the focus now is on the quality of the links you’re bringing in. When it comes to lone links with suspiciously consistent anchor text, your efforts are going to get ignored at best or earn you a penalized site at worst. Instead, focus on building contextual links through creating products and services so good other people write about you, through stellar guest posting gigs, and by leveraging the press.

SEO’s Outer Appearance Finally Resembles Its Inner Working

Were you involved in the online marketing world back in 2010? Earlier?

Ever as recently as a couple of years ago, actually, the strategies that were considered surefire paths to SEO domination were completely different from what they are today.

Interestingly enough, however, Google was saying the exact same things about how you should try and rank a website then as they are now: Provide detailed, relevant, helpful content, network naturally with others, and Google would notice.

Unfortunately, their desired reality just wasn’t the case for most marketers. Hitting the top of search results meant putting in the hours to create backlinks, make sure the anchor text of your links matched the phrases you wanted to rank for, etc. These practices were considered spammy by Google, but they worked and so people kept right on doing them.

Now, however, Google has finally caught up with its own mantra, and since early 2014 those adhering to old school link building practices are probably walking away a little disappointed.

For Google, it’s a win. For us marketers, it makes things more complicated, but it’s a win as well.

Right now, SEO is actually simpler than it has ever been, but it’s not easier. That is to say, there’s a lot of work involved, but the work you put in is more valuable to all parties involved now.

In fact, pages are ranking fairly easily for many website owners now, provided they do a great job of providing content. A key component now is Google’s paying attention to social media cues when determining how much of a buzz a page is creating, and therefore how many people find it interesting and useful.

Right now, you can create a page and be ranking on Google within a couple of hours, provided your piece catches social media fire and gets shared around.

Of course, that means you’ve got to come up with something really good.

Honestly, though, this can only serve to elevate the level of content that gets produced, as webmasters will be able to spend more time focusing on creating really useful, interesting content for their sites instead of focusing on the post-care SEO of creating countless backlinks.

In order to win, then, you need to be onboard with this new thinking. In fact, if you’re still working within the old framework of SEO, you’re likely going to see more problems than benefits. Sites are constantly being penalized and thrown into the SERPs abyss because they have tried to game a system that has always been about staying one step ahead of those trying to game it (and a goal they’ve finally achieved).

Will SEO professionals still have specific strategies you can take to give your site a leg up? Absolutely.

Will they work? Probably, but you need to think of SEO best practices these days as a side dish, because there is no longer a substitute for the main dish of hard work creating genuinely awesome pages for Google to crawl.

The No BS Intuitive Guide To SEO Success

SEO is one of those secretive beasts that has been the obsession of online marketers since the dawn of their profession. Especially with the event of one search engine pulling far ahead of the rest in its usage, an intense culture was born out of focusing on how to best game or manipulate Google’s search algorithms over the years.

Now, for better or for worse – and I think for better – Google has wised up and, through a series of updates, brought their algorithms into the modern day by being able to account for the factors that make a site most relevant to users today. While this is great for Google’s users, it does mean that getting your site on top of relevant search results is no longer a simple matter of pulling the right strings for a few days and awaiting results. So, without further adieu, here are a few ways you can ensure your SEO success in 2015 and beyond.

Google knows what it wants, and so do you!

Google’s end game has always been about providing the best user experience possible. They want to make sure that the results they display are getting people to their desired answers as quickly as possible. While there are literally thousands of metrics that go into determining what websites best service the interests of a given query, a little bit of honesty about your site can go a long way in getting results. In every decision you make, you should be evaluating your options from a consumer perspective: Don’t think about your bottom line, or your conversions, or your sales funnel. Instead, figure out what decision will provide the best possible experience for people searching your niche. Have you adequately answered an asked question?

Will your bounce rate remain low because people want to stick around and read what you have to say? These kinds of questions can help you honestly evaluate the usefulness of your site.

Social Indicators Are Huge

If you aren’t killing it in social media already, you’re behind the curve – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get started now anyways!

Google has been known to, since the beginning of their work as a search engine – weight links and references to your sites as more or less important depending on where they come from. Nowadays, you can bet that social “buzz” is a metric taken into account by Google when ranking any site.

Now, being an expert in your market requires you to also take your social controls by the horns and get active. Promoting your own brand and site(s) through social can generate a kind of natural traction, providing you’re putting out good content – that Google has no choice but to love. Well, that is, until the game changes again.

Ride Waves, Don’t chase Them

The best note to leave you on has to do with education. Simply put, you should be researching SEO and social bloggers and thought leaders regularly. Keeping up is half the battle, and you never know which big trend you can ride the front of and end up catapulted to the top of your market.

SEO Doesn’t Look Like It Did Last Year

A perfect search engine optimization strategy has been the stuff of dreams since, well, the beginning of search engines. Since that time, SEO has gone over so many facelifts and iterations that seemed to completely reinvent what it meant to maintain “best practices” when it came to search engines. As recently as a couple years ago, “link building” was hailed as SEO king, and link building networks found themselves in high demand.

Too often, the trend of providing SEO work became about ‘tricking’ the search engines, particularly Google. Funny, since what search engine companies have always wanted hasn’t really changed in two decades: Google and its competitors simply want to provide the best, most relevant search experience for their users. This is what keeps searchers coming back for more. Over time, they’ve perfected their search algorithms to better achieve this goal by excluding results which try to game the system.

Professional SEO outfits know this, and have for some time. More and more, working in SEO means becoming proficient in a larger number of tasks than ever before in order to guarantee Google’s good graces.

First of all, if you want to be working in SEO in 2015, you’d better know how to write and prepare some great content. More and more now, SEO positions look for someone who can create the actual content that will help to populate, update, and keep their web properties valuable.

This means that being able to write blog posts, scripts videos, create images in Photoshop, and more should be in your CV’s skill list. Let’s face it, SEO now is an aggregate of other tasks and companies aren’t looking to pay four different salaries to have them accomplished when one ambitious employee with a bit of know-how can make it happen.

You also need to be a strong team leader. This is truer if you’re working in a brick and mortar company than if you’re doing SEO for your own blog, but it’s still relevant to enterprises of any size. A large part of an SEO expert’s job is educating others. Because content creation, social engagement, and more all tie into SEO these days, it’s important than anyone and everyone on a team have a basic working knowledge of what SEO is and how you seek to achieve it. In a sense, your job is to help instill SEO into workplace culture so that employees are keeping search engine impact in mind when they work on their own projects. Even if you’re a solo marketer working from home, instilling SEO smarts in any freelancers you hire or business partners you might be taking on can be invaluable.

In the old days it seemed to be that everyone was preaching the “building” of links, when what they should have been on about was the “attraction” of them. Now, more people are catching on, and so should you. Create content that is so good it has to be shared, and make good use of social channels. Your goal should be to attract links from other people who want to repost and talk about your content – what was once limited to syndication is now expanded into the entire arena of social media.

And finally, always keep your eyes peeled for the next trend – the most successful SEO’ers don’t chase waves after they crest, they ride them as they form.

Google Announces Cancellation of Its PageSpeed Service

If you currently are using Google’s free PageSpeed Service to speed up your web pages, you should probably start looking for another service now.

That’s because Google recently announced that it is cancelling its PageSpeed service, effective in August.

Google’s PageSpeed Service, which was first launched in 2010, uses tools to analyze and optimize websites in order to implement the best web performance practices. Fast and optimized pages lead to better visitor engagement, retention and conversions.

But Google is pulling plug on the service, although the free tools it offers will still be available on other open source platforms.

Google’s official announcement came May 5, although rumors of PageSpeed’s demise have been flying around tech message boards and have been hinted at in numerous tech blogs for the past several weeks.

August 3 Deadline

Web page owners using Google’s PageSpeed Service have until August 3 to make the necessary DNS changes to remove sites safely.

Google recommended that webmasters using the service login to the PageSpeed console and look at the list of their domains. Any domains that are labeled “Enabled” will be affected once the service shuts down for good.

If a web page’s DNS is not changed prior to the shutdown of PageSpeed, it will be completely unavailable. The console will offer advice if a webmaster tries to delete a live domain. If this change is not made by August 3, the site will break, Google warned.

On May 5, big pink banners began appearing on PageSpeed pages stating, “PageSpeed Service has been deprecated and will be turned down on 3rd August.” A link is provided that directs visitors to Google’s official announcement.

Options to PageSpeed

Google offered PageSpeed several options, some free and some paid — that they can switch to prior to the service’s being shut down.

Web masters are advised to check with their service provider to see if they offer provider hosted PageSpeed. In some instances, switching to this version could be as simple as checking a box in the provider’s control panel.

There also are PageSpeed modules available for many of the most common web servers. So web page owners who run their sites of their own server are advised to install one of these.

Google also has developed the open-source Apache module mod_pagespeed.

There are currently two pre-built binary modules available: Apache 2.2 and Apache 2.4.

There’s also a plugin for Nginx that Google has developed. But this must be compiled from the source.

Other options include:

– IIS, WeAmp has a commercial port of PageSpeed to Microsoft IIS.

– Apache Traffic Server, WeAmp also has ported PageSpeed to the Apache Traffic server.

– OpenLite Speed, This platform supports a PageSpeed module that can be compiled and loaded into a webserver.

– Cloud-Based Alternatives, If webmasters prefer to use a cloud-based product, EdgeCast EdgeOptimizer integrates Google PageSpeed with its CDN offering. Or, many CNDS offer similar functionality that don’t use PageSpeed technology.

Why PageSpeed Mattered

PageSpeed was designed to allow web pages to load faster for users. It features a quick and easy setup and allowed users to keep up with the latest optimization technologies without having to constantly search for them online.

One of the biggest benefits was that it used Google’s existing fast and secure infrastructure, which won’t be available for web masters who switch to open source server modules. It was widely praised for creating happier users and better conversions.

While Google doesn’t explicitly explain why it has pulled the plug on this popular, helpful service, some tech bloggers speculate that CloudFare captured this market and Google may have decided to stop.