Are You Using a “One-and-Done” Approach to Your Website?

We often encounter businesses that have appealing-looking websites, flush with edgy graphics and even decent content, but still missing a major component: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). No matter how attractive your website is, you are missing out on one of the major purposes of website development if your website is not optimized for search engines.

What is the point of having a slick-looking website if most of your prospects (or even customers) can’t even find your website to begin with? That results in missed opportunities for you, and business opportunities for your competitors.

Another issue many companies have, even once they have begun using SEO tools on their websites, is to launch a website and then… leave it alone. Taking the attitude that your website works fine, that meta data is in place and your contact form works does NOT mean it is time to take a vacation.

Not as far as search engines are concerned; they never take a break. Search engines are always crawling your website looking for new information, and if a search engine doesn’t find anything new, then there is nothing new to categorize: therefore, nothing new to push your company’s website further up on the web search results.

We at PWMG call this the “care and feeding” of the search engines. Regular maintenance and “feeding” of information needs to take place in order for you to maintain or improve your page rank. To get started, we recommend using some of the suggestions in this article by Website Magazine. Or, if you’d like a complimentary website review, just drop us a line.

PWMG in Catering Magazine

PWMG has done a lot of work with the foodservice industry, and we were delighted that Catering Magazine reached out to us to share some marketing basics for their readers. Featured in their September/October 2012 issue, you can find the full article here starting on page 44.

A lot of the guidance that we offer here, while directed to the readers of Catering Magazine, could be applied to other small businesses in many markets.

We relish the opportunity to help an organization prosper, and would love to talk with you about your own company’s marketing needs. Feel free to contact us at 630-517-4082.

Crock Pot Girls: Going Viral Thanks to a Targeted, Simple Message

By Kylie Wiltjer, business development director, PWMG

As I often do, I logged on to Facebook two nights ago to check in with my friends and family. As I observed the “Recent Activity”, one item caught my attention: 9 of my friends (most of whom do not know one another) had all “Liked” a page called Crock Pot Girls.

Out of curiosity, and because a busy mom like me is always looking for a good new crock pot recipe, I clicked on the page. It had about 253,000 fans. Impressive! But when I perused the Information page, I noticed this Facebook page was only ten days old. Really impressive! This Facebook page has gone viral.

The Crock Pot Girls Facebook Page has gone viral

However, with this kind of activity, visitors can’t always easily find posts they may have seen before unless they were willing to Like them or comment on them. For instance, if someone found a recipe on the “Wall” they liked and didn’t copy it right away, that recipe would quickly get pushed to the next page of the feed by the time the page was refreshed.

The three busy moms from Texas who started this Facebook page must have realized that the overwhelming activity on their page had quickly become unmanageable, because they also just launched a new blog for Crock Pot Girls.

The blog, which is brand new and clearly still working through some start-up issues, now houses the founders’ growing collection of crock pot recipes and tips. Nothing fancy; just the crock pot information their followers want.

Too often, when something goes viral on the web, the result is quite unpleasant. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here. And more importantly, this viral success story underscores a message that we preach to our customers every day: simplicity is good.

The takeaway is never underestimate the value of a clear, targeted message. The Crock Pot Girls aren’t trying to be all things to many people; instead it has a singular focus, and it has effectively and rapidly engaged the interest of a huge number of enthusiastic fans, creating an online community . As we tell our clients, sharing your product or service offering with the right people, in a focused way, will generate the kind of interest you want and need to grow your business.

Coincidentally, as I work at my office desk today, there is a gorgeous roast slowly cooking in a crock pot on my countertop at home. It will provide a welcome dinner of Italian beef sandwiches for my family this evening. Oh, and the Crock Pot Girls? At the time of this post, just two days after I discovered them, have continued to grow their fans exponentially. The current fan base is 766,668.

Big Sales Loss Due to Google Algorithm Changes?


Have you seen a 40% decline in sales since Google adjusted its algorithm? This company has, and it is working hard to figure out ways to turn things around.

Google handles nearly two-thirds of all web searches. And in February, it took steps to overcome many of the content farms and link farms that big companies used to artificially boost their own rankings, at the expense of web users’ interest in finding useful and well-written content.

If you have noticed that your search rankings are falling and you’d like some help figuring it out, give us a call or drop us a line.

Best Year in Safety Ever! Now Gimme a Bonus…

Only 11 deaths = best year in safety performance in our company’s history? Really?

It is surprising these people still have jobs after first awarding themselves bonuses for their safety record, then agreeing that that the decision was maybe not such a good idea, but only giving part of the bonuses back.

I agree with Fortune’s Colin Barr, they should be called ‘unsafety bonuses’.

Press Release Savings Calculator? Right!

This offer is ridiculous. Cision is pushing its PR distribution services hard, knowing that Businesswire, PR Newswire and a host of other wire services are raking in the dough on wire service fees.

While I applaud the full-court-press manner that Cision is applying to this effort, the idea that this service can save you thousands of dollars on annual press release distribution fees leaves a lot of questions out of their math.

Cision suggests that it can calculate an accurate savings estimate for your PR distribution fees simply by estimating the number of words in your average press release, plus the average number of announcements you distribute annually. It told me that I would save more than $6,000 using CisionWire.

Right.

Once you learn that this automated calculator is comparing rates to the published list prices of Cision’s top 3 US competitors for National Wire Distribution, you can throw everything else out. Because who actually selects ‘National Distribution’ for a press release any longer? Only people who don’t know what they are doing.

Your press release wire distribution service exists to feed the search engines. That’s it. And you can guarantee search engine pick-up by selecting any local distribution channel from a wire service, thereby saving yourself literally hundreds of dollars for each press release you put on the wires.

If you are counting on a wire service to get your news in the hands of the right contact at a key media outlet, then you’d better start praying for some divine intervention. Because the best and most affordable way to get in front of the right media contacts is by knowing where they are, how hey prefer to be contacted, and what kind of news they like to get. That sort of work is best left to a PR consultant that knows how to work with the media.

So next time you issue a press release, don’t forget that a wire service does have its place in the PR outreach process; it will give your SEO a nice shot in the arm thanks to the search engine pick-up it enables, but it won’t get your important news in front of the people who matter: the journalist that has become a trusted source of news to your prospects through years of covering your market.