Marketing - 2/3 - Will Hanke

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Write for the Topic, Not the Keyword

Monday, December 16th, 2013

SEO is Growing Up, and the Search Engines are Getting Smarter

Just a year ago, I gave my writers a list of keywords or keyphrases, and asked them to write content around each one.  And that’s the way SEO’s did things – our entire industry was keyword driven.

But not so much any more. Click to continue »

SMBs Win With a Solid Content Strategy

Monday, October 28th, 2013

This past week in Vegas has taught me one thing above all others, and it’s going to sounds like a broken record to many. Content is your ticket to fame. I use the word fame loosely, as fame to you could be more leads, increased sales, or more traffic. Whatever fame is to you, creating a strong content strategy is the way to get there. Click to continue »

Is Your SEO Guy Hosing You Over?

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Back in 2010, I held an Internet Marketing conference here in Saint Louis.  The keynote speaker was Barry Schwartz, the most well known SEO blogger around.  Barry had a great presentation, and then took time to answer many questions from the attendees.  It was a super way to start off the conference, and everyone loved his session.

During the session, someone asked Barry about other companies outranking their own for their company name.  Now known as Negative SEO, ranking for phrases that normally wouldn’t apply to your strategy has become a big problem for many businesses.  Barry showed us an example of an SEO company that was not happy with the way Jennifer Convertibles handled their account. Click to continue »

If I Were A…St. Louis Pool Contractor

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

This is part two of my “If I Were A” series.  This week I’m taking on the swimming pool industry, one that has really been hurt by the economy downturn.  Who’s installing pools? Not a lot of people, but there are a few local companies who are toughing it out.  Here are some tips for them, and maybe you can apply these to your own industry.

Two Distinct Markets

In the pool industry, there are two main markets: those that want a cheap above ground pool, and those that want an expensive inground pool.  One is a ‘give the kids something to do’ mentality, the other a long term investment.  So we’re already targeting two markets.  In most cases, however, inground swimming pool installers also sell above ground ‘kits’ which you can set up yourself.  So for purposes of this post, I’m going to go with an inground swimming pool installer. Click to continue »

If I Were A…St. Louis Dentist

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Today is part one of a series called “If I Were A…” – in which I’ll take various professions throughout the Saint Louis area and show just what I’d do from an online strategy perspective.  First up – a dentist.


There are some assumptions we’ve got to make here.  The dentist should already have:

  • An office
  • Existing patients
  • A website

Step One – Find A Keyword Niche

toothbrushesCurrently the search term ‘dentist st louis‘ comes up with just 860,000 results.  While this may seem like a lot, in reality it’s not.  Any result under a million is worth looking in to, and possibly ranking for.  According to the Google Keyword Tool, 4,400 people searched this phrase last month.

Switching the phrase around to ‘st louis dentist‘ results in 1.1 Million results.  Slightly more competition for nearly the same phrase. But check this out – this phrase gets twice as many (9,900) average searches a month!

And thirdly, the phrase ‘dentist saint louis‘ yields an incredible 2.7 Million results, yet only shows around 12,100 per month.  Which is a better deal? Click to continue »

Knee Jerk Advertising Won’t Grow Your Business

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Are you feeling the crunch of the economy? Seeing less and less customers come through your door?  Tons of great businesses have closed up shop, and others have been forced to put the little emergency marketing budgets they have into use.

Yesterday I heard a commercial for a small steel company in town and found myself wondering why they’d spend a few thousands on a radio campaign.  I think it’s simply that they don’t know.  They’re feeling the crunch just like the rest of us, and probably listen to that particular station.  So they put together an ad about how great they are, and paid the radio sales piper.

Reactive instead of proactive. Click to continue »

Interview: David Siteman Garland from The Rise to the Top

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

David Siteman GarlandToday’s interview is with David Siteman Garland, CEO of The Rise to the Top.  David bills TRTTT as The #1 Non-Boring Resource for Marketing Like an Entreprenuer: Smarter, Faster, Cheaper.  His website is an awesome resource for anyone who is getting started or already in business.  He also hosts a weekly TV show on ABC.

I’ve spoken with David a few times via Twitter (@TheRiseToTheTop) and also met him at the November ‘edition’ of the St Louis Social Media Group.  He’s quite energetic and I enjoyed his presentation.

David, I know your business has been around for several years, what first spurred you to get involved with social media for your business?

Social media for me was a little bit of being in the right place at the right time. I was one of the first 5,000 members on Facebook because I happened to be in college at the time (back when it was called THE Facebook and only for college students) and my school, Washington University in St. Louis, was one of the first schools to be added to Facebook.

For me, it started as a way to communicate with my friends in school and quickly evolved to be encompass forming relationships with other, promoting my businesses and other people’s businesses.
Click to continue »

Interview with Chris Reimer aka RizzoTees

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

As part of my continuing series on Saint Louis business people, this week I reach out to Chris Reimer, who most people know as @RizzoTees on Twitter.  He’s very active on the social media front, so most questions revolve around that.  Chris founded Rizzo Tees back in October 2007, and his website went live on October 30, 2008.  Chris is a one-man-show, designing and selling funny t-shirts out of his basement in South St. Louis.  And Chris wanted me to pass this on to you:  “I love you more than bacon – never forget!”

  1. Chris, thanks for taking a few minutes to answer my questions.  What first spurred you to get involved with social media for your business?
    Two things – I truly enjoy interacting with people, and a lack of money.
    First, people: I am obviously, at the base of it, nothing more than a new-age salesperson. I mean, in the interest of full disclosure, yes, I have a funny t shirt company, and I’d be psyched if you bought a shirt or two from me! For selfish, capitalistic reasons, Social Media is a great place for me to be. But beyond that, I love Click to continue »

Interview with Russ Henneberry from Tiny & Mighty

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Russ HenneberryAs part of a new series, I’m going to be doing interviews with local (Saint Louis area) industry leaders that are using social media and other forms of SEM to increase their overall business revenue and objectives.  This week I’m interviewing Russ Henneberry, owner of Tiny Business, Mighty Profits.

Russ Henneberry writes and speaks about Content Marketing Strategy and how tiny businesses can make mighty profits using a personal computer, a little imagination and a few well-placed dollars.

  1. What first spurred you to get involved with social media for your business?
    I started a business in 2004 that was a massive failure. The most critical take-away from that failure was that I needed to be more connected to colleagues, customers, and prospects. I realized that going it alone was not a good strategy and that social media was a great way for me to grow my support network.
  2. Tell us about T&M’s online strategy. What online tools are you using now to grow your customer base?
    I use a WordPress blog as a hub from which to consistently broadcast valuable and timely content that would be beneficial to my market. I use video sharing sites (YouTube, etc), Email Marketing through aWeber, and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
  3. Click to continue »

SEO Seminar ‘Failure’ – Lessons Learned

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

For four years I’ve taught HTML, Blogging, Internet marketing classes and more at the local branch of the public library here in my town.  Over the years, I’ve fine-tuned my classes into two hours of jam-packed information.  I’ve received “rave” reviews since I started, and have been told many times that I need to get these presentations to bigger audiences.  Many that took my classes have said that they would have paid for the info they got in them.

Well, either it’s all gone to my head or there really is a market out there for business owners willing to pay for a solid, quality conference to learn how to get their websites rolling.  Or maybe a bit of both.

So after the spring session ended and my teaching classes was off until the fall, I thought I’d make a go of hosting a real seminar/conference, get some real industry professionals to speak, and host an awesome info-packed event for STL businesses.

But I failed.  Kinda.
Click to continue »

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