The Goal of SEO Is Not to Drive Traffic

What is the goal of your SEO campaign?When you take a look at your SEO campaign, how do you measure success? Is it by traffic to your site? Is it a victory to simply have a ranking at the top of page one? Many people use these criteria as goals, but unless your website makes money from ads by generating pageviews they only bring a false sense of security. If you own a business, you need conversions. This could be a purchase through your website, a lead through contact form submission, or an email address given by a visitor for future contacts. Of course, you can’t do these without bringing traffic to your website, but the important thing to remember is that you need the right kind of traffic. One hundred interested visitors are far better than two thousand visitors who aren’t interested in what you have to offer.How do you drive the right kind of traffic to your site? Here are four essential components if you’re going to drive leads, not simply rank high and generate traffic.Choose the Right Keywords. It is amazing how often this step is rushed through or entirely neglected. If you don’t pick the terms that someone interested in your business would use to search for you, you may generate traffic, but attract the wrong people. Or, you may pick keywords that generate no traffic at all. For example, if you have a local business without the ability to sell nationally but rank for a nationally used product, you will generate a lot of disinterested traffic. It would be better to focus on the traffic that would be likely to purchase than to be too broad and risk getting less of the interested traffic.
Take Time to Craft Your Meta Description. Even though the description is no longer used as an element in search engine rankings, it is still a critical (and probably most overlooked) factor for click through rate (CTR). The meta description is the 160 character text that appears under the link on a Google search result. This is the one chance that you get to tell the user why they should click on your listing. It is a critical component in showing the user whether or not you are a relevant site to their search. Make sure it describes your site well, gives the user a reason to click, and properly utilizes keywords. Even though the keywords used in the description will not help determine ranking, they will be made bold in the search result page. This makes your page appear more relevant to the exact search and helps increase CTR.
Use Your Titles Properly. Titles are one of the most significant individual ranking factors on your web page. They are also the text that is used for the link on the search engine results page. This means that a title has two very important functions – help your site rankand entice users to click to your site. Use one to two keywords in your title to help them rank, and include text to help communicate useful content to the user. Trying to jam in as many keywords as possible may help your page rank but it has the side effect of making your tag look sloppy and less appealing to the user.
Utilize Landing Pages Well. Do your best to try to drive users to pages where they are likely to have the highest engagement. Create landing pages for different keywords you would like to rank for. Don’t overlap keyword targeting across multiple pages on the site. Instead create unique pages for keywords that you are targeting. Then, develop the page to give a user the best experience possible based on the keyword they were searching for. Make the content relevant. Show what you have to offer based on what they’re looking for. If someone gets to that page you have a very good idea what they were looking for in the search engine, so use that to your advantage. You have at least a “somewhat interested” visitor. Make them a “very interested” visitor.Remember, the goal of SEO is not to drive traffic, it is to drive the right kind of traffic. Make sure you’re setting up your campaign to generate leads!

Tips On How to Preserve and Enjoy Your Furniture

There’s a fine line between being a responsible furniture owner and forgetting what furniture was made to do. Furniture has a purpose and you should get the most out of your furniture. Here are some tips on just how to do that.Invest inFabric Protection You bought your furniture to be lived on. So live on it. The laws of chaos theory state that spills, accidents, and parties that get out of hand can and will happen. You shouldn’t spend that time worried about your furniture to the point that you forget it is just furniture. Using fabric protection can give you that piece of mind you need to enjoy yourself and let your furniture just be furniture. Plus, there is virtually no investment in a fabric protection spray; it’s a no brainer.The Sun Gives Us Life And Takes It From Our FurnitureHeat and light may be the archenemy of furniture upholstery. The light can fade your brightly colored furniture and the extreme heat, or just the fluctuation of temperature can lead to cracking and in some cases, like wood piece, weaken your furniture to the point of no return. To minimalize this effect, try to regularly move your furniture around, rotating the pieces that get the sun exposure. Not every week, obviously, that would be crazy. But switch it up ever couple months. The change will keep your home feeling fresh and it will keep your furniture better preserved.Beware of Wet or Arid ClimatesBasically, you don’t want your furniture to experience too much moisture or not enough moisture. Depending on the climate you live in, you may need to introduce a humidifier or something that does the opposite of a humidifier. I’m not sure what that might be. Basically, you want to avoid drastic changes in moisture or humidity because it causes shrinking, swelling, and cracking. And you don’t want too moist an environment, like many unfinished basements, because your furniture will get that wet smell and that is hard to come back from.Invest in A Table Pad For Your Wood TableTable pads are a great investment. Cheap, long lasting, and protects your beautiful dinner table from scratches, nicks, damage from hot food, and general spills. Your dining room table is the centerpiece of your home, it’s where your family comes together every night, it’s where the holidays really become the holidays (because the food makes the holiday in my opinion), so it should look beautiful all year round.The Boy in The Plastic BubbleIf the boy was a piece of furniture. No one, including your furniture, should have to live like that. Not only does no one want to sit on a plastic cover, but also no one could ever be comfortable in the home of a person who puts plastic covers on their furniture. If I walk into a home and see the furniture covered in plastic, I immediately get nervous. Does Dexter live here? Am I about to be his next victim? This should not be the response you are trying to illicit from your guests. Furniture is meant to be lived on, so live on it.If you follow all my tips, there should never be the need for a plastic cover. Enjoy your furniture; enjoy your life.

Rethinking Health Insurance

Overview:The cost of healthcare is driving a difficult dilemma — Few of us can take the risk of a major illness or injury which can often be many thousands of dollars, yet health insurance that offsets this significant financial risk can be very expensive. The combination of a High Deductible Health Insurance plan along with a tax favored Health Savings Account (H.S.A.) can be a sensible middle path; Health Insurance for major medical situations while the Health Savings Account allows you to set aside your own money for routine or future medical costs. If you are self-employed and are paying for your own healthcare insurance coverage, this can be a path to affordable medical insurance that still provides important financial protection. An H.S.A. qualified High Deductible Health Insurance policy still has the substantial protection of a major medical plan, just not the “low-end” benefits. Don’t be fooled by “Cheap” Health Insurance or “Affordable Healthcare” plans that limit benefits that you might need and still leaves you vulnerable to catastrophic medical expenses.Two Parts:Health Insurance Component. A High-Deductible H.S.A. compliant health insurance contract.
Savings Account Component. A tax advantaged “Health Savings Account.”It is important not to confuse the two components.The High-Deductible Health Insurance: It is your backstop to protect you from the financial risk of a major illness or severe injury. The health insurance contract completely stands on its own but is a prerequisite for the tax advantaged Health Savings Account. These insurance contracts are really misnamed. You can indeed have a H.S.A. compliant health plan with a range of deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket limits. Insurance companies offer a range of “H.S.A. compliant plans” with different features within the IRS rules — just find a plan that makes sense for you. Be sure that any plan you select is labeled as H.S.A. compliant or compatible. Very few of us can afford the healthcare costs of an illness such as cancer, heart attack or a severe injury. These costs can run into the hundreds of thousands. My older brother’s struggle with Lymphoma, for instance, resulted in over $500,000 in healthcare costs over two years. A High-Deductible Health Insurance is often lower cost because you are not buying the “low-end benefits” but it still offers financial protection similar to any “Major Medical” health insurance plan beyond the maximum out-of-pocket. This is a critical component to this overall healthcare finance strategy.The Health Savings Account: An optional, tax advantaged savings account that you can use to set aside your own funds toward future medical costs. You are required to have a High-Deductible Health Insurance plan to take advantage of this exceptional tax deal. In 2009, the maximum contribution to your H.S.A. is $3000 for an individual account ($5950 for a family account) plus a “catch-up” contribution of an additional $1000 for people age 55 or more. This contribution limit is adjusted for inflation by the IRS each year. One of the very important advantages of the Health Savings Account is how broadly you can use the funds for healthcare expenses while retaining the tax savings. Examples are over-the-counter medicines, eye glasses, dental expenses and more. A second important advantage of a Health Savings Account is the tax impact. Essentially, the money you set aside in a tax year in this special account and then either retained or spent for qualified medical costs is reduced from your taxable income. A third very important benefit is with a Health Savings Account, if you don’t spend the money contributed, you keep it. What you contribute this year and don’t spend is retained for future healthcare expenses. Don’t confuse the H.S.A. with a “Health Reimbursement Account” (H.R.A.) which you may have had with an employer sponsored plan.Core Advantages:Lower health insurance cost. Why pay for benefits you don’t use?
Insurance protection for a major injury or illness. The “major medical” insurance protection of the High Deductible Health plan is a critical component.
Tax Savings. Optional but productive tax deal with the Health Savings Account.
Broad Eligible Expenses. Your H.S.A. funds can be spent for many different qualified healthcare costs.
Use it or Keep it! Money you set aside in your H.S.A. can be spent for qualified medical bills but is retained if you don’t use it.Is it a Good Fit?This healthcare financing strategy, a High Deductible Health Plan paired with the Health Savings Account, is a good fit for many folks but not everyone. Here are the criteria that I want my clients to consider:Can I qualify? Normally, you have to be in good health before the health insurance company will make you an offer.
Can I save? This strategy is better for folks that are willing to save for future healthcare costs.
Can I decide? This strategy is better for folks that want to make choices on what to buy with their healthcare dollars.
Can I spend? For this strategy to work safely, you have to be willing to spend your money when you need to for necessary healthcare expenses.Summary:I purposely have not focused on the tax rules, plan details, etc. Most folks get caught up with this extensive detail and become completely confused. The big picture is what I want you to see — This can be a great deal! — Buy health insurance for the catastrophic risk only and self-insure your normal healthcare costs with contributions to a Health Saving Account. You save on your insurance costs, save on your taxes and have an overall better outcome.

Automotive Advertising Agencies Leverage Viral Marketing Through Social Media and New Technologies

Consumers own the dealership of tomorrow, today… so get to know your new boss! Monetizing social networking is the challenge of the day and automotive advertising agencies that hope to serve their auto dealer clients need to apply new technologies and consumer-centric solutions to put their customers to work for them.One constant in the auto industry is change, and since human nature is also a constant, most productive change is driven by technology. New technology driven solutions are able to integrate proven real-world selling systems with efficient and scalable online platforms to sell more vehicles and service with less staff. Auto dealers know they need to leverage social media and the viral marketing messages that it generates, but they don’t have the resources or skill sets to do it; yet! Salespeople and brick and mortar dealerships will always have a role in the sales process, however tomorrow’s virtual dealerships are already being built. Automotive advertising vendors have developed a variety of customer-centric online applications that blur the line between the real and the virtual world allowing dealers to use C2C comments to market to social networks from the inside out vs. B2C that does it from the outside in.The explosive growth of Internet based digital marketing by auto dealers has been fueled by dealer’s needs vs. their wants as advertising budgets have been reduced in synch with reduced sales volume and profit margins. The initial investment for many dealers was limited to building their online virtual showrooms as consumers replaced their local car row with the Internet Super Highway as the place to shop for a vehicle. The consolidation of brick and mortar facilities may have been accelerated by a shrinking economy and government dictates however, the writing has been on the virtual wall for some time. Technology has always served as the catalyst for change and the Internet has proven to be the platform to introduce the next evolution of the auto industry.From the auto dealer’s perspective, Internet based social networking was initially perceived as the virtual version of a Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, Community Event, Fraternity, etc., etc. linked by technology that serves as a central communication and distribution tool. This limited understanding and application of social media was based on the presumption that B2C marketing messages were the objective as dealers attempted to replicate proven real world selling processes translated onto the World Wide Web as an extension of their virtual showrooms.Relationship based selling processes in the real world were presumed to be transferable onto the World Wide Web, but based on experience; not so much! Dealer-centric messages relying on the fact that people like to do business with people that they like are diluted when filtered by the glass wall that isolates the customer from the dealer. The logic to — Sell yourself, sell the dealership, sell the vehicle and then justify the price — is an accepted wisdom based on the one constant that has survived in both the real and the virtual world — Human Nature! Unfortunately, human nature also drives the need for consumers to seek the path of least resistance when looking for information to satisfy a need — like purchasing or servicing a vehicle — and the next generation of consumer-centric social networking and C2C marketing satisfies that need better than an auto dealer can; or ever will.Internet based social networks represent an online community of likeminded consumers who have a strong influence on their online friends. Auto dealers recognize that they must invest and involve in these online communities as people, not as an auto dealer. However, they will always be perceived as an outsider with self serving interests no matter how much they try to join in on the conversations. Their best intentioned efforts to prioritize the interests of their online friends to earn their trust and consideration when they need a new vehicle — or service for their present one — will always be suspect.