SMS Text Marketing – Easy and Free!

SMS Text Marketing is growing in popularity, and there are a number of businesses out there based on helping you set up the service and deliver messages to your customers who opt-in.  But why should you pay for this service when the same results are easily achieved by using a tool you already have access to?

Twitter allows you to achieve the same results offered by many SMS Marketing companies at ZERO cost, and here’s how you can take advantage of it:

1. Go to and create an account for your business, but with the word “deal”, “coupon”, or “offers” in the twitter name.  i.e. “JimsPizzaDeals”
(the idea is to make the name easy to remember)

2. Then you can advertise your text message service.  The call-to-action can be something like:

Text “Follow JimsPizzaDeals” to 40404 for VIP specials, offers, and discounts.

Then each time you tweet a deal under the JimsPizzaDeals Twitter account, your customers will receive it via a text message.

Pretty cool, huh?

3. NOTE: when customers text “Follow JimsPizzaDeals” to 40404, they will not only receive future deals, they also receive the LAST TWEET that you previously sent.  After you set up your account, go ahead and tweet a welcome message so that any early adopters will receive it.

4. Customers do not have to have a Twitter account in order to receive these text messages.  They just have to text “Follow (username)” to 40404 and they will be subscribed.

5. The particular twitter account you set-up is JUST for text message offers.  It does not replace a regular Twitter account.  With this special account, you shouldn’t send out more than a few offers per week.

If you’re a local Charlottesville business, and have any trouble getting this set up, or you aren’t sure how your business can take advantage of this marketing technique, contact us and we’ll help you out!


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On The Rise – Charlottesville SEO Web Design

While our blog updating has taken a little bit of a hit lately, business has actually picked up significantly!  Our blog has taken a back seat to our newest clients, Edible Landscaping, and Arden Place Apartments.  We are happy to add them to our family here, and look forward to a long working relationship helping both companies grow their brands, generate traffic, and increase sales!

You can buy plants online at Edible Landscaping.  They ship fruit trees, edible groundcovers, and a huge variety of other plants worldwide.

Charlottesville apartments just got better!  Arden Place is the newest luxury apartment community, and is really going over the top with what they are delivering to their residents.

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Content is still King, SEO can be the Queen

When we’re talking about Search Engine Optimization, what we are really talking about is increasing the search visibility of a website.  We want our information, whatever it is, to be viewed by as many interested consumers as possible.  Keyword research and relevance are the beginning of this process, but what good does it do us to have a million viewers to our content if all of them immediately leave and go somewhere else?

Sure, if we have Google Adsense attached to the webpage we may make a small amount of money on the exit clicks of visitors looking to get somewhere else as soon as possible, but isn’t it more worthwhile to build the extra content that will actually make your viewers think about clicking on those links rather than the back button?  Or better yet provide a product or service directly and generate customers rather than visitors?

Search engine optimization and content development go hand in hand with one another.  Driving traffic without content for consumption is rather counterproductive, and generating loads of unique content without having anyone to appreciate it is completely pointless.  So even if we completely ignore the fact that search engines give higher rankings to websites that are regularly updated, or that have avast array of content, that same content is the whole reason a real person wants to come to your website!

Real people generate your income.  If your website has any traffic at all, but doesn’t generate any sales, don’t let an “SEO Professional” promise you any miracles just from ranking higher.  You need a true marketer who can help convert the traffic they send to you.

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Forum Activity as a form of Advertising

Do you spend time online reading forums or participating in niche communities related to your business?  Online forums can be pure gold when it comes to building recognition for your website since every post you make, question you answer, and in many cases even your forum profile itself has a link back to your website!  Now of course it’s great that everyone else who participates in these forums will be able to see and follow your links, possibly generating business for you, however the hidden bonus you are receiving by participating in an online community is that the search engines crawling those forums will also see your links!

Most web forums allow you to register a website when you sign up, or at the very least have a signature box you can include with any post you make.  The next time you go and read any online website you are a member of, make sure that your profile includes a link back to your business somewhere!  Even if your business doesn’t necessarily fit with the theme of the forum you are participating in, a simple unobtrusive link will hardly be noticed.

Take a minute to think about how many forums you have a profile on, and how many threads or articles you have read.  Surely you have your own thoughts on each of these items.  All it takes is another minute or two of your time to put those thoughts down in text and you have free advertising for your business!  Sometimes what you have to say might just be an agreement with someone else’s statement and you may feel it’s unnecessary.  A more in depth or thoughtful comment will be more likely to entice someone to click on the link to your website in order to find out exactly what you are all about, but as long as you write something more than “Me too” I assure you your contributions will not be frowned upon.

Content on the internet has a tendency to linger for years and years.  If not on its original website then it is on one of the many web archival networks that exists.  This means that if you read and respond to 3 or 4 articles, blogs, or forum posts each business day then you will generate around a thousand links back to your website every year!  That is free advertising in its easiest form.  Every individual who reads that page will have the opportunity to visit your website, and every link back to your page from anywhere will have the search engines thinking more highly of your business page.

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SEO Charlottesville – Backlinks

A backlink is a link back to your website from somewhere else on the internet.  When Google or another search engine sees that your site has been linked to from somewhere else on the internet, your page suddenly seems a bit more relevant in the eyes of that search engine.  Backlinks are an incredibly important part of Search Engine Optimization for your website, and while you could simply create the content and hope other people find and link to the great information you are putting out there to be found, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to give your website SEO efforts a little push.

The best way to organically promote your website, and build up your backlinks, is to register on forums that are related to your website and highly trafficked.  You can then become a part of those communities, leaving a link to your website in your signature or on your profile page.  Those signature and profile links not only let the members of the forums you participate in check out your website, but they also help to improve your search engine rankings!

In addition to participating on forums, you may want to hunt down bloggers that are relevant to your business and send them information about your products for them to review.  If you read their work and make comments on their posts, sometimes there will be a section there to leave a link to your website.  If you enjoy writing, you could even offer the blogger in question a “guest blog post” written by you, and that would surely contain a direct link to your website as you would put it in the post somewhere!

These are just a few methods we use at SEO Charlottesville to build awareness, recognition, and the search engine relevance of this very website!  If building backlinks seems like a lot of work to you, that’s because it can be.  Sometimes it’s easier to just have another company entirely (such as ours) do all your link building for you.

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Localized Keywords

When building a website to attract local business, one of the most important aspects of website construction is to specifically target local internet searches with both your on-site and off-site SEO efforts. It doesn’t help your business to target an unnecessarily broad keyword if you cannot offer services to the wide spectrum of consumers who will be clicking on your site.

While it would be great for a locally owned spa to rank on the front page of Google for the search term “Spa”, it is unlikely that ranking will be achieved without inputting a huge amount of SEO effort. If this spa were located in the Charlottesville, VA region it would be much easier to target a longer tail keyword such as “spa virginia”, “spa va”, or even “spa charlottesville.” Internet searchers are a wily bunch, and for the most part have figured out that if they are looking for a local business it is necessary to add their state or city (or both) to the search in question.

As an example, my company, SEO Charlottesville, is targeting businesses local to Charlottesville, VA for its marketing efforts. Looking at the page source you will see many of the SEO targeted keywords are region specific. When building a system of links back to your businesses home page, having those regional keywords included as part of your backlinking strategy will encourage the search engines to display your business listing over those of other local businesses when region-specific words are included in the search terms.

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Keyword Relevance

As a business owner you may think you know which search terms customers are going to use to find your site. You are likely wrong unless you have already done a substantial amount of research. You already know what your site is about, and how you would go about finding it, but your potential customers don’t know all about your business already and will be looking for it in a different manner.

Your customers don’t live and breathe business the way you do. If they did, they wouldn’t need your services. When you are describing your business or product, don’t rely on industry terms. Your future customer isn’t searching those terms, and if you center your website and SEO on them he’ll never find you!

Another common mistake made by individuals who are new to internet marketing is trying to rank for popular terms that are unrelated to their business. Imagine a real estate agent trying to rank for the phrase “Paris Hilton”. Even if they manage to hit the #1 spot for that term, the traffic they will get from it means nothing, because those searchers aren’t looking for a real estate agent.

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SEO Charlottesville

Welcome to our SEO Charlottesville blog!  Here we’ll be keeping you updated on the latest trends in search engine optimization, along with reliable strategies and new twists on old plans.  If you’re a local business owner (anywhere, just imagine your town’s name instead of mine), this blog contains information and links that will help you to achieve higher visibility on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, as well as any number of other search engines on the web.

We’ll be talking about Web 2.0 strategies, copywriting, mobile marketing, as well as just plain old good, solid business advice.  Like us on Facebook, add our RSS feed, and follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss any opportunities to increase your bottom line!

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