A Free Email Marketing Service you Should be Using


The best free email service provider out there

Email is far from dead. People think that just because there is so much spam mail nowadays that people hate email.

Some do. But everyone still checks his or her email. In fact I really think that because people hate spam mail so much, they’ll only give it out if they really want something. So if someone joins your email list, they want more useful content from you.

Sure your email subscribers might not grow to match your Twitter followers or Facebook. With Facebook EdgeRank choosing if your posts are being seen or not and the average life of a Tweet being fairly low, email is a great alternative to avoid the clutter of social media posts.

If you happen to think email is dead or not useful in your business then this post isn’t for you. But you should still be trying to generate leads from your website!

If you want to increase your email marketing, read that last link and use Mailchimp to start out. Mailchimp is another free Internet marketing tool aside from Google Analytics and Webmaster tools. Obviously using something for free to test the waters with is a great way to do it.

Why Mailchimp rocks!

Mailchimp is great because it almost all the capabilites of Awber (affiliate link) which is what I use. With Mailchimp you can:

  • Use pre made email templates
  • Customize and brand your own
  • Create web forms to capture email address
  • Track and analyze visitor impressions of web forms
  • Integrate your blog feed into a email newsletter
  • Send automated emails after a certain day people joined your list
  • Track and analyze how many people open your emails
  • Set up different email lists

Their online support is fairly decent as well. But I personally think a how to video is better if you have no experience with Mailchimp.

Here’s a great video from Serana Leonard from Grass Roots Internet Strategy

As Serena mentioned in the video you can only have up to 2000 free subscribers. After that they have to get paid because not everything can be free.

None the less it made my top 10 list for the best free Internet marketing tools you can use. Enjoy!

How to Setup and use Google Analytics

How to Setup and Use Google Analytics

How to Setup and Use Google Analytics

I recently picked up Optimize by Lee Odden. It’s a book about content marketing which is the biggest buzzword going around these days.

For good reason though.

People like Marcus Sheridan, John Morgan and Lee have been preaching content production for a while now.

Providing valuable content can increase your brand awareness. Content that aims to help and educate people rather than interrupting them.

That in essence is what meaningful marketing is all about. Help and provide value to people rather than interrupt them.

Not A Content Marketing Post

This isn’t going to be a post about content marketing however. Ok, maybe it is.

While I was reading Optimize, Lee mentioned the importance of having a content strategy. Something hit me right then.

“I don’t have a content strategy!”

I blog whenever an idea and the motivation comes to me. That’s not much of a content strategy. It’s driving a few people to this site and for some of you to subscribe to my updates. Thanks to those of you who have subscribed!

But I need to do a better job. For you and me both. My blog is based on educating you about the world of Internet marketing.

Thanks to Google Analytics and those who have responded to my email questionnaire (thanks to Mark Caunter and his wife who run http://www.amrevive.co.uk/ and Jeff Hilliard who runs http://www.kingswood-golf.co.uk/), I’ve realized that you might be fairly new to Internet marketing.

With that in mind, I thought that my content over the next month should cover the ten best free Internet marketing tools you need to be using.

So here we go!

Google Analytics

I never was an analytical guy. Back in my golf course days I could be seen staring out the window. Not a thought in my brain.

That all changed after I finished school. I started to think more about how I could improve each business I set foot into. The mice were turning the wheel upstairs.

Well this analytical mind I now own can hurt me. But when it comes to Internet marketing, it’s great!

Take my example of how I was able to determine what types of people are visiting this site. Google analytics is able to tell you what search terms people are using to land on your website.

This is important, would you agree? Of course it is!

There are few other very important reasons why you should have Google analytics running on your site. But for right now here’s a video showing you how to set it up.

If you’re reading this through my email newsletter, you’ll have to click through to this blog post on my site to view the video’s below. Click here to do that!

And in this video I will show you what areas you need to focus on when analyzing your websites traffic.

Not Provided keywords?!

In the above video I talked about the “not provided” keyword. Here’s a blog post where you can at least find out what page those people land on when they search whatever keyword it is.

Hopefully you enjoyed this post and found it useful. Google analytics can give you such valuable information about your online marketing efforts.

Head over to Jason Acidre’s blog and his post on how to develop conversation-orientated link building strategies using Google Analytics. In that post he shows you a lot of other features in Analytics.

Surely you see the value in that.

If you’re new here, be sure to sign up for my email newsletter below or in the top right hand corner of this screen. That way you’ll be able to receive the other nine parts in the series on the 10 best free internet marketing tools.

Until then, get analyzing!

The Low Hanging Fruit Of SEO

Low Hanging Fruit of SEO

On Tuesday I talked about a few different ways you can get more people to your website.

I was going to add another point to that post. Then I thought it would be better to create a new post altogether. It comes from a suggestion I made to a client which they gave me the go ahead on.

The amount of time required to this is very little. And the ROI potential could be huge. That’s because your competitors aren’t thinking about the other small keywords. You don’t have be a lemming and try to rank for the big keywords in your city.

Go after the low hanging fruit.

There’s more value there. Especially when it comes to local search engine optimization.

Out Care The Competition

Since taking over the online marketing for Victoria Transmission and Auto Care, I thought we could get more traffic to the site if we tried to rank for all our services.

Part of our mission is to build awareness around the fact that we’re not just a transmission shop. We offer lots of other auto care services in Victoria.

My goal is to spread the awareness of our other services with the website.

But I didn’t want to just rank the main page for all of our services though. That would mean trying to rank well over 50 keywords for one page.

It’s not good practice to try and rank a webpage for more than five keywords per page.

Because of this the main page targets only transmission related keywords. So most of the traffic arriving to the website before I started working with them was all transmission based keywords.

And that’s where I knew we could get more people to the site.

Most, if not all of your competitors are only looking at ranking their main page instead of their inner pages. This is shortsighted. Just like they’re trying to only rank for a few big keywords.

This is what Meaningful Marketing isn’t about. Why? Because it’s not looking at other ways to get more prospects and clients. This example is following the competition.

Doing this won’t get you ahead.

Out caring the competition and Meaningful Marketing is the opposite. In this case, care more about those people that are searching for specific products or services you offer.

They’re people out there looking for you. They’re searching for the products and services you offer. They don’t know about you yet. But they will if you follow my advice in this post and the rest of my posts.

There is also a huge benefit of having people land on webpages that actually talk about what they searched for. I’ll explain this benefit in a bit.

Branching Out

Back to my Vic Trans example. I knew we wouldn’t be successful if we tried to keyword stuff the main page with 50+ keywords.

With over 16 services, I thought it would be best to create separate pages for each service. And target those services in our keywords.

So the oil change service page targets three keywords dealing with oil change and Victoria. Since creating these pages back on April 25th, more people are landing on the site with specific searches. It’s not transmission based searches anymore.

This is why it’s important to get specific with your keyword research. Even though Google said there wasn’t enough people searching for these specific auto care services, I still thought people were.

And they are. These pages have brought 45 new visitors to the site within the last 30 days. These pages aren’t ranking within the top 5 for each keyword either. Which is great news. Once I do some backlinking for those pages, they’ll rank higher and we’ll get more people to the site.

All it takes is a couple of these people to book online and get their bodies into the shop. From there the staff rely on their excellent service to retain that customer for life.

The amount of time spent on this is very little. Yet it doesn’t take much to earn lifetime clients from it.

Now to that benefit I mentioned earlier.

You’ll increase your conversion rates from website visitor to client if the searcher lands directly on a webpage that talks about that exact service they just searched. It annoys people when they land on your main page and have to navigate your site looking for the product or service they just searched.

If your site isn’t easy to navigate, people will leave quickly.

Makes it easy for them to find the information they’re looking for. But don’t forget this important step.

The Call To Action

We’ve also included online booking forms below each service description page. After all, what good is to to have people on your website and not ask for their business or contact details so you can market to them.

Once again, make it easy for them to call you or book online.

By creating separate pages for each service, having people land on those pages and placing online booking forms on those pages, we’ve made it easy for people to find and book the service they’re after.

I sound like a broken record but make it easy for people to do business with you!

Staples easy button

Take a look at your website and search engine optimization efforts and ask yourself, are you making it really easy for people to:

  1. Do business with you
  2. Or leave your website and do business with the competition

Hopefully it’s #1 and you’re out caring the competition.

Don’t Be A Lemming When It Comes To Your Websites SEO

Don't be a Lemming when it comes to SEO

Don’t be a Lemming when it comes to SEO

A couple of weeks ago I met with a potential client.

Originally he was looking for someone to help with marketing his Facebook page. However I like to make people aware of the other potential online marketing areas.

So naturally I shifted the conversation to SEO. I tossed a few ideas his way including this creative strategy. All of sudden he was starting to see the light.

He was wanting to drive more traffic to his site using Facebook. That’s tough to do unless you’re blogging for business and sharing it.

We then talked about some other ways we can get people to his site. And he brought up a great way to do that which I will talk about in a minute.

Being that his site has very new, it was going to be tough to outrank the competition. Are you in the same situation? Or maybe you haven’t invest much into SEO.

In either case, it’s ok.

Don’t Be A Lemming

You see, most businesses are trying to rank their website for only a couple of keywords. This is very shortsighted and the competition is tough doing so. Especially in small city like Victoria.

Think about your business and how many competitors you have. Chances are they’re all trying to rank for the same 2-4 keywords.

I don’t want you to follow the lemmings and chase after the same keywords. If you do, it will cost a lot and take a while.

They are alternatives though. And they’ll get targeted traffic to your site. I truly believe it’s about the quality of the visitor rather than the quantity.

Do you want targeted leads to visit your website? Of course you do! Read on and I’ll explain these alternative methods for attracting targeted prospects to your website.


I’ve already talked about how to rank your Google Places business page as quick and easy way to jump to the top of Google. You can also use Google instant when using this strategy.

Another alternative was what my potential client mentioned in our meeting.

He runs Studio Y Design here in Victoria. They sell high end modern contemporary furniture.

During our talk he mentioned that people call the furniture they stock many different things. I call it modern. My mother calls it contemporary. A few of his clients calls it futuristic.

So while all his competitors are trying to rank for “Victoria BC furniture store”, he could try and rank for “Victoria Modern or contemporary furniture store”.

All you have to do is listen to people during conversations while in your store. Find out what they call certain products or services you sell. They might describe it differently. Jot down all the responses and rank your webpages for those terms.

Another idea I had was to create pages based on the brands of furniture he carries. I asked him how many people come into his store know about the brands they carry. He said quite a few.

The chances are good those very same people are searching Google (or Bing) for that brand name and the city they live in. Why not create pages that target those brands so these people can find you?!

Doing so will allow you to attract targeted prospects to your website.

To summarize what I’ve talked about:

  1. Don’t follow the lemmings
  2. Think of the other ways people might search what you have to offer
  3. Listen to what your customers are calling your products or services
  4. List all of the brands you carry
  5. Create pages or blog posts that target points 2, 3 & 4

On Thursday I’m going to showcase an example from one of my clients and how we were able to generate more targeted traffic to their website. It was really easy to do. So be sure to watch out for that post.


You can now read my post on how to get more website traffic for free here.

How To Get Google Places Page or Yelp Reviews

How to get more Google Places Page reviews“Why didn’t you just ask?”

How many times have your heard this? Too often I’m sure.

This is how you can get more reviews on your Google Places page.

Simply ask them too.

Yelp says you shouldn’t ask and that reviews should be up to the reviewer. So be wary of following my advice below when it comes to Yelp.

First Impression

Last week I explained how to setup and properly optimize your Google Places page. But I didn’t mention anywhere in the post how to get reviews and why they’re important.

Back in days of telephone books, we had no way to tell if the business was trustworthy. We just went through a page at a time and made our decision based on very few things.

So there was no first impression outside of a logo and advertisement.

However the internet has given everyone a voice. And with that voice people can say what they want about anyone. Including businesses.

When people find any Google Places business listing, they want to see what others have to say. Especially if they’re a first timer. It’s why Urbanspoon and Trip Advisor are so big.

Reviews are like a comment card. But everyone can see them. It’s not like the old days of comment cards when management were able to discard the bad reviews.

To sum it up, your reviews are your business’s first impression.

More the Merrier

Having just a few reviews is fine. But just about every Places page I see has 0-5 reviews. I believe the more reviews you have, the higher your social proof.

It also means that your business must be pretty remarkable. Especially if your competitors have very little reviews. If people love your business and take the time to write a review, you’re doing something right!

The more reviews you have the easier it is to stand out from the competition.


Getting More Reviews

I started this post off by saying all you have to do is ask. And that’s what I want you to do.

If you’ve been in business for over six months, chances are good you have repeat clients. Those are the ones who would be willing to write a review.

All you have to do is ask them.

There are only two ways we communicate (outside of body language) so here are the two methods you can ask for reviews:

1) After checkout (verbally)

If you have a physical storefront, you probably have a computer with a POS system. When they’re finished their checkout ask them how their visit was and if they have a Google or GMail account. If they enjoyed it (I’m sure they did) kindly ask them to write a review on the spot.

This might be hard for some of you to do. I suggest asking those repeat clients whom you’ve built a good rapport with.

When you do this, make it really easy for them. Have your browser on your Google Places page and be sure you’re logged out. Then all they have to do is click on the “Write a Review” button and they’ll be asked to sign into their Google/Gmail account.


Some people might not know their password. But you can ask them to follow step two.

2) Send out an email (text)

If you’ve followed my advice on lead generation and retention, you’ve built an email list. Through that list you can send out an email asking for reviews.

I have embedded a line in my signature that states:

“Reviews are important for local search engine rankings. I was hoping you could write a quick review on my Google Places page.”

When it’s embedded in your signature, you won’t forget to put it in every email.

When doing so, make it really easy. So either screen record how to do that with a voiceover or use my method of taking screenshots for step by step instructions like I did in this post.

As I said be weary of doing this for Yelp. If you have an influx of reviews on Yelp, they filter them.

But Google Places pages don’t have filters. So get out there and ask for them reviews!

Update *** September 1st 2015

Here is another easy way for you to get more Google reviews.