Monthly Archives: October 2010

Burbank Inbound Marketing Club

The Social Media Clubccd708fe6fbc269344c4e679a64ca39a

Once a week I hold an evening class called the Burbank Inbound Marketing Club. It’s really for enterprise social media lovers, but anyone may attend. It’s part of the The Association’s community outreach and to give a hand to local business owners.

Social Media may seem like a breeze to the younger age group, but for anyone over the age of 35 that wasn’t born with a smart phone in their hands, this social media education can be really helpful. Along the way I’ve been collecting feedback about the class, which I thought I’d share for the benefit of those who haven’t attended yet.

I’ve found that implementing social media piece by piece is easier to swallow than trying to help someone understand a big chunk in 4-5 hours.  Too much information!  So the class really cuts it back to something manageable, and we have a good time.


“Great Presentation!!! Learned a lot about blogging. Thank you very much Trevor””I’m starting to have an idea of what I can do. I pretty much did the same thing I had done the previous time but I still learned new things this time and want to start blogging!

“This was very fun, easy to understand and helpful. I’m SO excited that I can increase my exposure. Thank you! :)”

“Thanks. I do know a little about this, but you helped me do this myself and what to do, in a simple way. THANKS!”

“This class was very informative.  I am fairly illiterate when it comes to the computer.  Trevor and Morgan are very helpful and really consult your understanding.  I have created a blog tonight and am starting to understand what I can do with this social media.  Thanks guys.”

“I confronted the Web Utopia with an actual “doingness” with your help and your simplicity.  You certainly made the Web more accessible for me.  Thank you.”

“I’ve created and maintain a simple yet elegant website for an artist: With the expertise of Really Simple Social Media I’m getting Jane’s Blog up and running so she will be able to maintain her blog and post to her site, Facebook, etc. via Posterous. We’re also working on a social media keyword/content plan. Once this is under way I’m looking forward to working on my own blog, social media marketing plan and website for my ‘simple websites’ business. In the meantime I’m journaling on everything I’m learning. Thank you very much!”

“I think we’re onto something with the use of Posterous, The possibility here of servicing other social media sites from posterous can provide some harmony to my mutifaceted blog activities. Also there has to be a purpose to a blog or web site or social media and this is good to reaffirm rather than just content, content, content. I see that I can go somewhere with this.”

“It was great.  Really starting to feel like I am getting a grasp on the social media system and how to utilize it!”

“I am building better knowledge about social media.”

“This was good! More of a hands on class. I’m getting a clearer idea of what Posterous can do and was able to do more practical application of what we learned. Great to be able to link it to other social media sites and profiles.”

“I enjoyed getting the data on Twitter and definitely getting the words I didn’t understand cleared up – it can be quite a confusing area and strange words are thrown around with great abandon.”

Topics vary. Sometimes it’s tailored to the crowd that shows up. Sometimes we have a planned presentation that we announce before hand. If you’d like to attend. you may RSVP on Facebook by searching for “Really Simple Social Media” and clicking on the Events tab.

I’ve also created a resource for business owners interested in online lead generation. Since every online campaign starts with keyword research, we have a free Social Media Keyword Analysis anyone can use to their advantage. Just click on “Request a Free Social Media Keyword Analysis” to submit a request. For anyone still curious if social media is a good idea, click on “The Seminar” for a series of short videos giving an overview of why social media is so vital in today’s world.

The Simple Social Media website of Trevor Eisenman

The Club is all about implementation, not just endless blathering at the front of the room. We really dig in and get our hands dirty. The whole point is that you learn to do it so you can do it on your own. After all, the tools are free. Why not invest in learning how to use them?

Define The Terms: Internet and Web

Define The Termsis a series of educational articles I am writing, geared towards helping those interested in enterprise social media (also known as corporate social media) have an easier time in cyberspace. The only reason someone can’t apply information for any topic or areas is because the basic terms are not understood. I go out of my way to explain these terms in easy to understand language. While the definitions of these words won’t explain how to use social media, not understanding them might actually make implementation of social media harder to do.

Two of those terms are “The Internet” and “Web,” extremely common terms we all throw around, but what do they really mean?

Nets and Webs: Is There a Difference?

Usually when I bring up The Internet and the Web in my weekly classes, a very common response is, “don’t they mean the same thing?”

Yes and no. Originally The Internet and the Web had completely different meanings, but more recently they have been used with the same meaning in mind.

The Internet

The Internet was around long before we, the general public, had access to it.  These days most of us probably don’t think twice about going online to look something up. But just a few years ago The Internet was just a network of library and governmental computers connected together via phone lines. A simplified description to be sure, but I’m not trying to be technically verbose.

Well, that covers The Internet. It’s as simple as the “hardware” part of the package. Just like your desktop computer has hardware components separate from the word processing software, The Internet is just that. Networked hardware. It is considered a proper noun, i.e., capitalized just like a person’s name would be.

The World Wide Web

“Web” is a shortened version of “World Wide Web.” Originally it meant all the linked documents that “rested” on The Internet. Like the software on the desktop computer.  Wow, these explanations are getting shorter and shorter.

There you have it. Hardware and software. Not sure if I can make it simpler than that!

Common usage has somehow reduced the two words into one meaning, leaning towards “web” more than”hardware.”  After all, most of us aren’t experts at hardware, so I suppose it’s not much of a surprise people tend to focus on the document concept.

Look it up on the internet,” is not as accurate as, “Look it up on the web.” But since it’s in such common use “incorrectly,” it doesn’t really matter because just about everyone uses the two terms interchangeably.  Besides, we all generally understand what is meant.

A similar example might be the word cola. Most of the time we mean the “Coca Cola” brand, but cola could be used for any brand’s similarly flavored soda pop.

World Wide Web = WWW

Just in case the dots didn’t connect already, “web” comes from World Wide Web, which is also seen everywhere as WWW. In simple terms, behind the scenes is a language computers use to locate “resources” on the web. Like any language, it had to be uniform in structure so that all computers could talk to each other and achieve results with consistency.

There are three important words in what I just said, leading up to the next, and final, concept of this article:

  1. Uniform,
  2. Resource
  3. Locate
Uniform; meaning “one form” in it’s most basic concept.
Resource; meaning a website or other “document” on the Web.
Locate; meaning to find. Let’s change it slightly to “Locator” for this article.

Uniform Resource Locator

To find documents on the Web, we need a Uniform Resource Locator.  Another way to say that is, a universally recognizable location for a website so we can find it when we want to see it. We’ve all been using Uniform Resource Locators for awhile. Every time you go to a website by typing in “,” or any variation thereof, that’s a URL.

Now you can dazzle others with your increased understanding.

Understanding these words brings you one step closer to utilizing corporate social media and other online resources to your advantage. There are so many opportunities available to promote and create online lead generation, both free and otherwise, it’s worth learning the basics and getting involved in whatever way you can.

Listing Your Business Online: The New Yellow Pages

You Just Had to be There

Not that long ago, neglecting to put a business listing in the Yellow Pages phone book was tantamount to business suicide. You just HAD to be there.  Today, the fingers still “do the walking,” but they are not alone. They have the company of a mouse.

You know, the mouse that’s plugged into the computer.

Of Mice and Men

Aside from the fact that there are more people on this planet than there were 20 years ago, before this whole Internet thing happened, we certainly seem to have more problems. Health issues are rampant, education, politics, the list goes on. There are a lot of problems that need solving.

How do you solve your problems? I’m willing to bet it’s the same way most people do, they reach for that mouse and do a quick search online. I’m not teaching anything new here, just pointing out it’s a habit most people with access to the Internet have. They use it to solve problems.

I remember once my wife spilled hot candle wax on our carpet. Or maybe I spilled it.  Either way, there it was, bright red wax on a beige carpet. My first instinct was to pick at the wax until I got it out of the carpet. Realizing that would probably take the better part of an hour (with dubious results), I opted to spend 5 minutes online first.

So, would you like to know the secret to getting out candle wax from a carpet in a few minutes with just about zero effort? A paper bag and an iron. Yep. Just place the paper bag over the stained area, pass the hot iron over the paper bag, and the paper soaks up the hot wax. Done.

Gotta love it. And your customers will love you too if you can solve a question like that without jumping down their throat to sell them 5 things before they can say boo. But that’s really a topic for another day. Today’s post is about using this penchant for internet problem solving to your advantage by listing your business on this new “Yellow Pages.”

Google Places: The New Yellow Pages

Technically, the Yellow Pages is also online. Their site, at the time of this writing, gets over 240K unique visitors per month. Not bad. However, it doesn’t hold a candle to the number of unique vistors Google gets per month. Here’s a graph showing the big search engine gorillas at this party, courtesy of, based on the number of unique visitors to each site per month:

Comparison of Google to Yellow Pages

When it comes to unique visitors per month, Google is top dog compared to The Yellow Pages.

Nothing wrong with being in two places at once on The Internet. By all means, create a business profile on as many sites as you can.  But today we are going to focus on Google Places. Here’s a short video with some case studies of actual application:

Google Places: Case Studies Video

When I first came across Google Places, I tested it by listing the Burbank Inbound Marketing Club, a weekly class where I teach local business owners to implement enterprise social media. Within a few months the site had thousands of impressions. An impression is where the Places page showed up on search requests.

Not only am I able to track the number of impressions, but I am able to see the search terms used to reach my Places page, the number of people who actually clicked on the listing (called an Action), and the locations they clicked from when asking for driving directions.

Google Places Map

This data can be useful for a local business as it’s a type of consumer analysis. If a high number of requests came from one area for a restaurant, for example, the owner might consider opening a 2nd location where the requests are coming from already.

To create a business listing on Google Places is pretty easy, if you are already familiar with the internet and have already done your search engine optimization (so you have your keywords worked out already). There are some pitfalls to be aware of, which I will cover in another post.

If Google Places seems complicated, best to hire someone who knows how to optimize websites for search, and who can tie your Google Places listing together with your website or any other online presence you might have. Otherwise you might inadvertently put yourself at a disadvantage, or at the very least, not take advantage of all the features that are available on the site.

Happy listing!

How Google Gets You Face to Face With Online Customers


“Google” is a Typo

Google is one of those words that just flies off our tongues these days. But what does “Google” mean? I ask the business owners I work with all the time, and most haven’t a clue, so I thought I’d clear it up.

Google is actually a typo. Or a misspelling. Either way.

The original word is “googol.”  Oddly enough, the word was coined in 1938 by the 9 year old nephew of a mathematician, Edward Kasner. There are probably several versions of this story floating around, but the word is, the new phew (Milton) advised that a number so large should be called something silly, and offered the name “googol.”

How large a number is a googol? Bigger than you can imagine. It’s so big, it’s larger than the number of elementary particles in the universe. Last time I checked, that was pretty big. A googol is the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.

So when the founders of Google were registering the domain name on GoDaddy or whatever they were using, they typed “Google” and it was available. They liked it so they took it. Works for me.

Google: An Essential Part of Off Page SEO

What does the name of Google have to do with Off Page SEO? Not much. But Google itself is essential. Because Google indexes content, and serves that content up based on a user’s provided search terms, one may leverage Google to showcase their web presence. It also is a type of consumer analysis in that one can observe trends and identify words and phrases having a high volume of search requests.

Facebook LogoTwitter

Sites like Facebook and Twitter are indexed very often by Google because of the enormous amounts of new information these sites add daily. For more reasons than one, Facebook and similar social networks quickly make it to the first page of a Google search for relevant terms. If you have 20 social media profiles, and you list your website address on them, a trail is being laid right to your website’s “front door.”

Incorporating Google for an Effective Marketing Plan Online

Content. The most important way to get on the first page of Google (and other search engines) is to provide well-written content.  All web content should utilize keywords (words Google uses to link a request to a specific website or resource on the web.  If you know what keywords your potential customers are searching for already, these words should be incorporated into written articles, blog posts, status updates, etc., whenever possible (but within reason).

A great feature of the web is that content stays up for a long time. Beats that flyer tacked up on a telephone pole that withered into a soggy mess in the last rain! Even better is that there are plenty of free places on the web to post content.

Long Tail Keywords

A long tail keyword is simply a more specific keyword that a well-educated potential customer would be using in their search efforts.  When I say “well-educated” I don’t mean a college graduate. I mean they have done their homework online, and they know what they are looking for. Here’s some examples:

Not a long-tail keyword: Chocolate
Long Tail Keyword: Dark Chocolate Gift Basket
Long Tail Keyword for "Chocolate"

The picture above is a screen shot from Google’s Adwords Tool. Someone searching for the phrase “dark chocolate gift basket” is probably searching for something they are ready (or very soon will be) to buy.  So while there are less people searching, they are also hotter prospects. The other two words listed are also long tail keywords.

Long Tail Keyword Research and Social Media for Business

Social media for business boils down to one thing. Being visible on the 1st page of Google for a relevant search term. Another way to say that is, be one of the 10 vendors actually in the room with the prospect who’s ready to buy.

If you aren’t showing up on the first page of Google for something you sell, you just aren’t in the same room as the prospect. Again, we come to the subject of content. By ensuring the keywords in your articles, status updates and tags contain long-tail keywords that are relevant to your customers, you have a better chance of showing up in the “sales” room. Of course, before you are able to put together appropriate content, the long tail keyword research needs to be done by an experienced marketer. Otherwise a lot of work might go into creating content that is hiding you, not helping you, on Google Searches.

Don’t have a website or a blog? Here’s a few places to start your online presence that show up well on Google searches:

The reason I suggest all of the above sites is because they work insanely well with Google in terms of showing up on search results. Obviously Google Places is part of Google, but the other sites are either geared to be optimized or have a special deal with Google or both.

Of course, there are many other sites, but the sites above are good places to start. Having optimized content is an important factor in an overall campaign, which can and should include traditional media to build awareness, especially if your online presence is new. Try to do both, but at least leverage the free tools at your disposal.

The Key to Online Lead Generation

How many business owners wake up in the morning, and the first thing they think of is what keywords they should be using on their website or blog? Probably not too many. I have to admit, it’s not a very exciting topic. But it is part of an effective marketing plan.

What if I told you that keywords = new clients? That’s right! Skip this morning’s latte at Fourbucks and hunker down for a good read, because, that’s exactly what keywords mean. New Clients.  Why? Because right now, at this very minute, millions of potential customers are searching for products online. For example, here’s a breakdown of some of the most-searched-for insurance keywords according to Google:

Main Insurance Keywords

The “Global Monthly Searches” number represents the number of people searching per month for each keyword. The numbers above are for online searches in English, in the United States, averaged over 12 months.

Lack of keywords (or ineffective keywords) = hiding you from new clients.  Another way to say that is “your site isn’t on the 1st page of a Google Search.” The first step in wrestling this topic to the ground and gaining the upper hand is understanding exactly what keywords are. 99% of the business owners I talk to have only a vague idea what keywords are, usually don’t know if they have any keywords on their websites, and don’t know if they are effective.

“Keyword” is an appropriate name because keywords really are “key” to online lead generation.  Using Google (or similar sites) to search for answers to questions develops keywords.  In other words, the potential client or customer typing into Google’s search service are where keywords come from. They do NOT come from the IT Department, a co-worker, or a brainstorming session. They already exist – they just need to be located. It’s not hard to locate them if you know how to do what’s called “long tail keyword research.”

In the same way that an insurance agent would strive to provide a client with a plan that meets the client’s needs, every website’s written content should strive to match the words and phrases your customers are searching for. In a practical sense, if no one is searching for a particular phrase or term, it’s not a keyword.

It’s similar to getting married.  In this case, the potential prospect is the Groom. He’s got a problem to solve, finding a Bride (i.e., your online presence, such as your website).  Google plays the role of Matchmaker.

When the “Groom” types in a description of what he’s looking for, Google “matches” his description with websites that contain the same words.  There are at least 3 places on a website that Google indexes (kind of like a library indexes books so it knows exactly what it has on the shelves). Each location is an opportunity to place appropriate keywords to help Google do a better, more accurate job of it’s Matchmaker role:

1. The website’s title
2. The website’s description
3. The website’s written content

Out of these 3, which one is the most important for your site?

They all are!  Originally, websites had a list of keywords to define the site’s features, but Google had to stop relying on the keywords list – too many “brides” were listing “qualities” they didn’t really have, creating a bait and switch scenario on searches.  A potential client searching for “life insurance with cash value” might get a website showcasing “Belgium chocolate with almonds” instead. While stuffing a site with irrelevant keywords might work briefly, Google eventually figured it out and now relies on the actual written content of a site.  Other search tools might utilize keywords for search, but Google does not. If it’s written well, Google might also use the Title and Description of the website in it’s search results.

Right about now is when my clients ask me about their website’s title and description. Do they have any? Where are they located in a website?  Actually the title and description have been in plain view on Google search results all along.  Type in “Life Insurance” on Google Search, and you’ll get 10 search results back. Each search result is usually made of 3 pieces of data, 2 of which are the Title and Description (very important to have filled out properly).  Here’s an example:

Hold on! That’s just a Google search result.  How do you look at the Title and description on your own website to check for effective keywords?  Ah, that’s a whole other ball of wax.

Let’s do what Google does, and go to the place in cyberspace where a website’s keywords are stored. It’s easy to get there.  You don’t have click your heels 3 times and say, “there’s no place like home” to get there, but there is sort of a man behind the curtain effect. Kind of like the movie “The Matrix,” there is the visual result of the website’s programming that you can see, and then there is the programming code “behind the scenes” that in-the-know people can access for the real scoop.

Let’s check out what Farmer’s Life Insurance is using for keywords.

These instructions are for PC users*:

1. Go to the site you want to check. In this case, Farmer’s Life Insurance.

1. Using your mouse, right click anywhere on the site except the pictures or images. Alternately, you can use the Shift key while pressing the F10 key at the same time.

1. A little box will open up with a short menu. Click on “View Page Source” (or press Ctrl V).

1. A page will open up showing the programming code that makes up the content of the website. You don’t have to understand the code to find what we are looking for, fortunately.

1. On this new page, right click again (or Shift F10) and click on the “Find Again” option.

1. Locate the Search box that appears at the bottom of the page (on the left) and type in the word “Title.”  As you type, it will start to highlight any matching word on the page.

1. Observe the title in quotes following the highlighted word. Are there any keywords in the title? How about the Description?

1. Try searching for the list of keywords by typing in “keywords” in the search box. Note the keywords Farmers uses.

Just because a big company has listed their keywords on their website doesn’t mean they are good keywords.

Keywords: Helping You or Hiding You?

Earlier we discovered that the word “insurance” is searched for over 55 million times per month. So, obviously, that keyword should be listed EVERYWHERE, and we should include in every sentence on an insurance website, right?


The fact is, unless you are prepared to pay a lot of money advertising on Google for ads that show up when the word “insurance” is searched for, it’s too late to show up on the first page of Google for a word as general as “insurance.” There’s just too many other companies already using insurance as a keyword. In other words, the competition for the 1st page is too great.

The way around this is to be more relevant and focus on niche keywords and phrases instead of one-word keywords. Think about how you search for solutions on Google yourself. How many words do you have to type in to refine your search to find something useful?

When fishing for leads and interested customers (and ready to buy), do you want to be in the Olympic-sized swimming pool with 400 screaming kids, their parents, grandparents, a group of bikers, etc? Actually, for the word “insurance,” it’s an ocean, not a swimming pool, of people searching for that term.

Or do you want to appear in the 10-person hot tub with the hot models (I mean prospects) that have already taken off their advertising deflector shields? That’s what using more specific, or more relevant, keywords can do for your website, blog or other web presence: get your site front and center and visible to interested prospects who have already educated themselves through the internet.

Two Kinds of Keywords

There are two kinds of keywords to focus on. The keywords used in the meta data of a website, and the keywords in the content of the site that potential customers actually see. The meta data is within the programming language of the site (remember the keyword search we did earlier?), and the content is all the pages of written words on a site (the pages the consumer sees when they visit). Both are important.

Meta data is data about data. “Meta” as a prefix means “a higher level of description.” A meta-newspaper would be a newspaper describing other newspapers.  Meta data is data about the data on a website. It can also mean “behind,” which is rather apt because the meta data is sort of on a hidden web page “behind” what a prospect sees when they type in a web address.

Each page of a website can have it’s own list of keywords specific to the content of that page in it’s title, description and list of keywords. Being more specific helps your page be more relevant to what a potential customer is looking for. At the same time, the content of the page itself should contain keywords and phrases currently being searched for on Google. Which words to use requires savvy, experience and skill, and some way to measure the results on a regular basis.

Just because keywords are added to a site doesn’t mean Google knows about it instantly. It may take 3-4 months for Google to catch up with your changes. It’s worth hiring someone to research keywords and track a website’s progress, so you can focus on servicing and retaining your client base.

Social Media Keywords

If people can comment on your site and carry on a conversation, or share the site’s content using email or Facebook, etc., you are already using social media. Usually social media refers to sites that specialize in conversations and sharing, like Facebook and Twitter.  Because these sites regularly add fresh content and are so active, they show up well on Google searches. The same with blogs. Similar to a website, Google indexes social media site content and serves them up as search results for user queries.

Researching keywords for social media is similar to, but not the same as researching keywords for a website. Social media sites are so dynamic, so active. Most websites sit around and wait for someone to show up. The two are not the same beasts at all, although a potential customer may not care or notice the difference as long as their question gets answered.

Similarly, researching and using keywords for a regular website is different than researching and implementing keywords for blogs or other corporate social media.

Hopefully this article has empowered you to at least verify your website has keywords listed in the site’s meta data. If you’d like to take it a step further, request a free evaluation of your keywords for either your website, social media content or both. You’ll get a report back showing how the words on your site rank and which ones would be the best to use for your enterprise social media efforts. Personally I feel the most effective is our Topic Optimized Marketing service, which is an enterprise level social media service.

Get started today and optimize your web presence for tomorrow’s searches.

* Attempting to use this instructions on a website that is created using pictures and videos (also known as “Flash”) won’t work as there isn’t any place for the keywords to be listed.