Back in 2004 a guy named Rand Fishkin and his Mom created a little SEO consulting company named SEOmoz. Over the last 9 years Rand has built SEOmoz and Roger the Robot into a juggernaut of SEO tools and information. SEOmoz.org is one of the most recognized, most used, most authoritative SEO sites on the Internet. So what did Rand and company do today? They changed their brand.
SEOmoz.org is now Moz.com
SEOmoz announced today that they are changing their name to Moz. This is an interesting move because there are already two existing brands that prominently use Moz in their names. Mozilla is the community that created the FireFox browser, the Thunderbird email client and the Bugzilla bug tracking software. Mozilla is the evolution of the original Netscape Internet browser, so they are a well established brand. The Open Directory Project, one of the oldest and largest directories on the Internet, is also known as dmoz (again, originating from Mozilla). So now we have dmoz, Mozilla and Moz, will this create brand confusion?
Is Changing Brands a Good Idea
Changing brands is a dicey prospect at best. Most of us are working hard just to build a brand, but when you get to the level where SEOmoz is you have a little more leeway to change up your brand. The question in my mind is why did SEOmoz drop the SEO portion of their name? Is Search Engine Optimization no longer a term they want to be associated with? According to Rand on their official Moz blog these are exactly the reasons they are changing. “For many folks outside of our community, the acronym SEO has (unfair) associations with spam or manipulation.” SEOMoz hasn’t change directions, but want their brand to more accurately reflect the full range of marketing tools that they offer, many of which aren’t strictly SEO related.
So Should I Change My Brand?
If SEOMoz has changed their brand, should you change yours as well? Probably not. SEOMoz is a large, established, successful brand. They have the foundations that allow them to make a well thought out adjustment to their naming and positioning. Many small business owners get more caught up in the novelty of changing their name or website or logo on a regular basis than they do in actually building their brand to be a force in their community.
At e-Marketing Partner we help you establish and improve your current brand. Unless your branding is completely ineffective you are better off investing in reputation management and brand building around your current public face than you are in making wholesale changes.
Running a small business is a challenge, and there are lots of areas of competition for your marketing dollars. Some small business owners, due to marketing budget restrictions or just in the name of efficiency are skipping website creation completely and just using Facebook as a public Internet presence for their site.
Here are five good reasons why a Facebook page isn’t enough for your business.
You Should Use as Many Marketing tools as you can – Everyone is fighting for your marketing dollar. TV, Newspaper, Radio, SEOs, Facebook, Linked In, Sign Dancers, Window painters, etc…. and that’s a good thing. Marketing is all about getting in front of people in different ways. Engaging with social media can definitely be positive for your business, having your own established, professional website that attracts visitors and generates leads is probably the best place to spend your marketing dollars. Don’t just put up a Facebook page and call it good enough, use all the tools that you can.
Facebook changes stuff… A LOT – If you are new to Facebook you may not know this, but every few months Facebook makes some fundamental change to their site that causes mass outcry among their users. They have had an ongoing fiasco with business pages, fan pages, cover images, newsfeeds and Timeline just to name a few. A Facebook page isn’t something you can just setup and revisit every year or so (not that we recommend that for any of your marketing). A Facebook page requires constant monitoring for major changes. Facebook’s typical warning time is a maximum of 30 days.
Facebook isn’t the best platform for Local SEO – Right now, Internet marketing is still all about search engine optimization. So far, Google’s search still is the most effective way to get new leads and customers in your door. In fact, back in January one of the writers over at Forbes Magazine did an analysis of using Facebook to acquire new customers and determined that Facebook Pages Are a Bad Investment for Small Businesses. Your best bet for new traffic and customers is a well designed website created on solid Search Engine Optimization principals. Being at the top of the Google rankings will help your business grow.
Facebook advertises for everyone else – Facebook has gotten crazy about advertising lately. Not only are their sidebar ads, but promoted posts are cluttering the newsfeeds. My guess is this is the determining factor behind recent reports that teens are tiring of Facebook and moving to Tumblr. Why let your competitors advertise on your Facebook page? Why encourage people to disengage with your brand and click elsewhere? Create your own page where you can steer people to a sale.
You Have Control of Your Website – Ever have a phone book print your number wrong? Maybe they put your business in the wrong category on the Yellow Pages. Unfortunately once that book is printed the mistake is permanent, the best you can do is get it fixed next year, and that’s if the phone book people actually get it done. Facebook is kind of like that. Here is an excellent article that discusses 14 Ways New Facebook Betrays Small Business. Every one of these items is a non-issue if you own your own site. If there is a problem, you just call up your webmaster or SEO and have the change made. If Facebook breaks your page your options are much more limited.
Build a Website with Local SEO for your Business
At e-Marketing Partner we love all marketing channels. Facebook, Linked In, G+, Pinterest, they are all awesome, but none of these sites are a substitute for having your own domain and your own website.
Many small business owners have a funny attitude toward their website. Some treat it as a necessary evil that they spend as little money as possible on, like business cards or stationary. These people rarely update, complain if it costs them anything and typically don’t generate many leads on the site. Others consider the website their own little sandbox to play in. They update it regularly, but don’t consult a professional to help them clean up the rough edges and maximize their traffic flow. Your business website should be more than a credit card or an enjoyable activity, it should be a business asset that introduces potential customers to you and generates new contacts to your business.
Tips For Making Your Website an Asset
Pick a Great Name – Once a website is established it can be expensive and difficult to migrate the site to a new name without losing ranking and traffic, so it’s important to pick a good name for the long term. Pick something as short as possible. Often your email and business cards will use your web address. Not only are long addresses hard to find, but they take time to spell while on the phone with customers or vendors. It’s also good to try and pick a name that can stay with the business as it grows. Try not to pick a domain that targets your city or local region if you intend to pull customers in from other areas. Get a name that can stay with the business even if it’s sold or the business name changes. Many professionals will pick a domain using their name (e.g. drjohnsmith.com) rather than something more generic that a future business owner can use.
Look For Value In Your Website – Traditional advertising (newspaper, TV, Radio, direct mail) is generally a one time experience. New artwork, copy and recordings are usually generated for each campaign. Your website is an ongoing value, it can be built upon, information can be updated and added without losing the market share you have already gained. You should be tracking incoming leads from the website, watching your traffic flow with a tool like Google Analytics and trying to put a monetary value on the traffic from your site. As a small businessperson it’s difficult to keep track of all the data that your business generates, but it’s good to have at least an idea of how many times your phone rings because of your website and what kind of dollar value those leads are spending with you.
Consult a Professional – Running your business website yourself can be a very rewarding experience, but sometimes a professional review can reap large benefits. Think of it like you would running a business expansion past your accountant or a new contract past your lawyer. A simple website audit by an SEO professional can help you determine if you are putting the right amount of resources into your site and find problem areas that can be addressed.
Your website is a tireless employee that works 24 hours a day. It answers questions for customers while you are asleep. Treat it like the valuable asset it is. Invest in your website and it will add value to your business and when you decide to retire your website will help you get top dollar for your company.
Is your website in Joomla!? Are you tired of the difficult article management, having to install components for every mundane thing, frustrated with the Joomla upgrade process or just looking for something more mainstream? Converting your site to WordPress is a great solution.
Finding a Joomla! developer
Why would you want to leave Joomla!? Joomla! won an award in 2011 for being the best Open Source CMS and the Joomla! website boasts over 35,000,000 downloads. Unfortunately, Joomla! can be difficult to use, hard to maintain, vulnerable to hackers and not well supported. Joomla! developers can even be difficult to find.
WordPress, on the other hand, has documented 62 million sites and has a huge community and developer pool to draw from. Here at e-Marketing Partner we appreciate the Joomla! team’s efforts and contribution to the Open Source community, but find WordPress to be a superior product.
Restoring a hacked Joomla! site
Recently a client contacted us. Their Joomla! installation had been hacked and was down, they needed a solution ASAP! Fortunately we were able to port their whole site into WordPress and install it on our Managed WordPress Hosting solution in just a few days. The client is now up and running with a site that is all but indistinguishable from their old site and most of their previous functionality intact. We are still working to enhance some of their old needs and provide new customization to allow optimum communication with their audience.
A colleague and I were discussing the merits of various VOIP providers today and the discussion turned to VOIPo. VOIPo was started by the HostGator people and the conversation turned over to our thoughts on their hosting services.
I was defending HostGator with some comments about their customer service when things took an unexpected wrong turn…
B:HG is the walmart of web hosting, but for their price point I think they do excellent.
J: If HG is Walmart, who is GoDaddy?
B: The dollar store
B: GoDaddy is like getting web hosting along with your taquito when you stop for gas.