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Devout dealer puts his faith in marketing - Automotive News (subscription) (blog) - 19 Sep 2016 14:10

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[[html]]Mark Benson believes marketing should be edgy to be effective. And in his search for an edge, he has found religion. <br><br>A couple of years ago, the managing partner of Honolulu Ford not only decided to keep his store closed on Sundays, but also advertised that fact. Benson said he did it to accommodate churchgoers, give his employees a day off and build goodwill. <br><br>This year, he went a step further, launching a cable-TV channel that offers on-demand religious programming created by local churches. The channel is called John 316, a reference to the Bible verse that many believers consider the gospel "in a nutshell." <br><br>Each program on John 316 carries a message in the beginning and at the end showing Benson and the church's pastor thanking Honolulu Ford for the opportunity to show the program, he said. That fixture often runs in the middle of the program too, he said. <br><br>"Dealers sponsor the local high school, Little League teams and all kinds of things," said Benson. "But when it comes to church or American values, we're all afraid." <br><br>If there's one thing that puts that fear to rest for Benson, it's the numbers. <br><br>Once a laggard in the Honolulu market, the dealership began to see its sales rise in early 2014 after Benson opted to close on Sundays, and escalate further after the launch of John 316. It's now the No. 1 Ford dealership in Hawaii, a Ford Motor Co. spokeswoman confirmed, selling about 1,500 new and used vehicles a year. <br><br>"We've been blessed in sales and profitability because we have been bold," says Benson.<br><br><img src="http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CA/20160918/RETAIL03/309199983/H2/0/H2-309199983.jpg&amp;MaxW=200"/><br><br>Lorenz: "Know your market."<br><br>'A numbers game'<br><br>Some advertising experts commend Benson's willingness to step into a religious forum to get noticed, but caution that the strategy is risky if it's not executed carefully. The marketing must come across as genuine to avoid offending potential customers. It could also alter the customer demographics. <br><br>"We're always pushing our clients to disrupt the status quo," said Cory Lorenz, vice president of media for advertising firm DDC Works in Philadelphia. <br><br>DDC Works does religious marketing for some of its clients, including a Catholic-based hospital. But Lorenz warns, "If you go down that road, you'll alienate a portion of your audience. It's a numbers game." <br><br>And in the case of Benson, Lorenz said, the numbers are on his side. Lorenz cited 2010 research showing that 40 percent of Honolulu residents are affiliated with a religion and regularly attend services. <br><br>"If he got one out of three people in Honolulu to buy a Ford from him, that's pretty successful," Lorenz added. "That's Marketing 101: Know your market." <br><br>Fancy Morales, senior marketing manager for automotive marketing company CardTapp in Bellevue, Wash., echoed that advice. "What Honolulu Ford is doing is working for their network, but I don't think what they're tapping into can be replicated easily," Morales said. "They know their market and its communities." <br><br>Ford itself has no control over Benson's decision to launch John 316 because Ford dealers are "independent businesses" that make their own marketing decisions, the Ford spokeswoman wrote in an email to Automotive News. And Benson said he is not using any co-op advertising funds to pay for it.<br><br><img src="http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CA/20160918/RETAIL03/309199983/H3/0/H3-309199983.jpg&amp;MaxW=450"/><br><br>Benson says his Sunday-closure strategy has resonated with religious customers.<br><br>Big banner<br><br>Benson said his decision to close on Sundays and launch John 316 was a marketing strategy but it also genuinely reflected his beliefs. <br><br>A devout Lutheran, Benson, 54, lived in Utah for a year in 1985. There, he first witnessed the power of religion in marketing. <br><br>"The dealers there didn't run away from embracing the Church of Latter Day Saints, because the church was such a positive influence there," Benson said. <br><br>In the late 1990s, Benson was a Ford dealer in Georgia, where his dealership sponsored many local church events, he said. <br><br>Even so, not everyone thought this was the way to go. Scott Hogle, senior vice president of sales at iHeartMedia in Honolulu and a friend of Benson's, advised him against shutting the dealership on Sundays. He worried Benson would get pressure from Ford and lose sales to other dealers who remained open. <br><br>Benson ignored him. <br><br>"Literally, a week later, a big banner was hung from Honolulu Ford over the freeway that read: "Sunday we rest,'" Hogle recalls. <br><br>Consumers liked it and started buying more cars there, Benson said. <br><br>A move such as closing on Sundays, when competitors are open, allows a dealership's message to "evolve" into family values, said Lorenz. <br><br>"A lot of dealers in our area are always talking deal, deal, deal," said Lorenz. "This opens it up to use Facebook content to talk about family values and being closed on Sunday." <br><br>And, Hogle said, it could be perceived by Honolulu's religious consumers that the dealership is "moved by faith not just finances." <br><br>John 316 is the boldest bet Benson has made on religious marketing. He acknowledges that the venture is no charity, and says he's comfortable using religion to make money. <br><br>"Over the years, I would have felt conflict" doing it, Benson said. "Maybe I've matured to the point where I've sat with religious leaders of the community, and they have rallied behind me. They know my heart and you really can't fake this stuff."<br><br>"Maybe I've matured to the point where I've sat with religious leaders of the community, and they have rallied behind me. They know my heart, and you really can't fake that stuff."<br><br>Mark Benson, managing partner, Honolulu Ford<br><br>He said he paid about $48,000 to buy the channel for 12 months from Oceanic Time Warner Cable Media. The eight churches that supply programming don't have to pay for it to be aired, but they promote John 316 in their bulletins, at weekly services and through social media, Benson said. Seven are Christian churches and one is nondenominational, he said.<br><br>Since the launch of John 316, viewership has steadily grown: Visits to the channel climbed from 50,866 in April to 57,313 in July. (August's total dropped to 48,941, because of a technical problem, Benson said.)<br><br>"We are confident that the social-media campaigns that the churches implemented will see us surpassing 100,000 visits per month by year end," wrote Jaime Kagawa, account executive at Oceanic Time Warner, in a July letter.<br><br>Benson said some consumers visit the store simply to thank him for Honolulu Ford's support of the local church. In one online customer testimonial, a customer said he was brought to the store by God. Some of the fans who stop by end up buying a car or getting service, he said.<br><br>So far Benson said, his customer demographic hasn't changed, and his atheist and Jewish employees and customers are OK with the Christian-oriented channel.<br><br>"We are in an area that virtually no one else wishes to stand," said Benson. "Isn't that the purpose of marketing?"<br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Is Google Trying to Kill SEO? - Entrepreneur - 28 Jun 2016 03:38

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[[html]]Google is getting ready for a day in court, after a precedent-setting move by a Florida judge who denied the search engine giants motion to dismiss a case that could redefine how businesses engage in search engine optimization. The case is especially noteworthy, as most previous challenges based on Googles search results have resulted in immediate dismissal.<br><br>Google claims the plaintiff, e-ventures Worldwide LLC, engaged in search engine manipulation in order to cause its websites to be ranked higher in Googles search results, stating that doing so was bad behavior that had to be deterred. Consequently, Google summarily de-indexed hundreds of the plaintiffs websites without review or redress. The de-indexing was not based on algorithmic rules or webmaster guidelines, but rather, subjectively applied based on an anonymous tip from an unnamed third party.<br><br>Related: These 9 SEO Tips Are All You'll Ever Need to Rank in Google<br><br>The larger question here is chilling to virtually any small business which seeks a higher ranking, since Googles own definition of search engine manipulation is vague and unpredictable. According to a brief filed by e-ventures attorney Alexis Arena at Flaster Greenberg PC, Under Googles definition, any website owner that attempts to cause its website to rank higher, in any manner, could be guilty of pure spam and blocked from Googles search results, without explanation or redress.<br><br>It seemed as though I was personally targeted by Google, said Jeev Trika, CEO of e-ventures Worldwide. I would purchase a brand new domain and post nothing more than bye bye world and within minutes, Google would de-index that domain too. So, Googles argument that it was removing websites because they were violating Google webmaster guidelines falls flat. It was not about the website content, it was about targeting the website owner. The fact that Google targets people like this is not something that is consistent with their published policies, or what they tell the public.<br><br>The brief notes that search engine manipulation includes anything done to a website to make it more visible on Google — and therefore virtually any business using generally accepted SEO tactics (or any marketing tactics, for that matter) could be accused of manipulation, giving Google an excuse to de-list a website arbitrarily and outside of its algorithmic process, or as in the case of e-ventures Worldwide, de-index all of a website owners properties summarily. Should Google prevail, commonly used tactics such as title tags, incorporating keywords in headlines, incorporating legitimate backlinks, or even writing a daily blog would all be suspect. The outcome of this case could dramatically affect how virtually every business in the world does its online marketing.<br><br>A First Amendment question.<br><br>Google is claiming First Amendment rights, stating that it is a publisher and free to publish or not publish anything it sees fit. How Google defines publishing is a bit of a stretch — they do publish a constantly evolving list of algorithmically-ranked links to websites, but that is by no means the same as operating as a media outlet which exercises editorial discretion. By journalistic definition, a SERP isnt the same thing as an article — its just a mechanically ranked database. Googles entire case however, rests on a First Amendment argument.<br><br>Related: Companies Will Spend $65 Billion on SEO in 2016, Much of it Will Be Wasted<br><br>There is an important distinction being brought out in this case that goes far beyond the rights of e-ventures Worldwide, and calls into question the very nature of SEO and digital marketing. In previous cases, the courts have found that Google does indeed have First Amendment protection, but in those cases, the questions related to the rankings of a website, rather than deletion of websites simply because they were affiliated with a person or a company. Previous cases have held that, for example, if someone claims they should be ranked higher in the SERP than Google shows, Google prevails on First Amendment principles. But, if Google bans 366 websites from all search results because they are affiliated with a particular person or company, then that is a very different thing than anything the courts have addressed previously, said Alexis Arena, e-ventures Worldwides attorney.<br><br>Google did not offer a response to our request for a comment, but they did provide a copy of their most recent June 1 legal filing, which attempted to reinforce their First Amendment claims and argue again for dismissal, again reinforcing its opinion that search engine results are editorial opinions and therefore qualify for First Amendment protection.<br><br>What is SEO and is it a legitimate strategy?<br><br>Before Google refined their algorithm, getting on the first page of search results often could be achieved with tactics like keyword stuffing and artificial linking schemes, but those days are gone, said Jeev Trika, CEO of e-ventures Worldwide. Because of changes to Googles algorithms, Internet entrepreneurs and Web publishers like myself now go the extra mile to provide websites and articles that are relevant, useful, and written to journalistic standards, and that has made the virtual world a better place.<br><br>Related: The Top 4 Reasons SEO Is Dead<br><br>But, says Trika, Google has overstepped its bounds in invoking First Amendment rights to arbitrarily quash websites without review, on the basis of an unsubstantiated third party anonymous tip, and outside the realm of the Google algorithm. Googles actions deny businesses the basic right to market themselves in the digital economy, said Trika. Google in reality controls the market for Internet advertising, and must be held to a higher standard.<br><br>Trika suggests Google is not drawing a distinction between generally accepted search engine optimization techniques — such as simply creating and publishing outstanding articles and useful information — and what they refer to as search engine manipulation. SEO is simply engaging in an ever-changing array of tactics to gain recognition — something businesses have done long before the Internet existed. By Googles own definition of manipulation, any company using header tags or incorporating keywords into headlines could be subject to arbitrary de-indexing.<br><br>Googles business model isnt, at the end of the day, providing a free search engine or publishing data, its selling advertisements, said Trika. The free search engine is merely a vehicle for doing so. Google has an economic reason to deny legitimate Web publishers who are promoting SEO placement in the SERPs so that they can sell more advertisements, but that type of anti-competitive action should not be protected by the First Amendment.<br><br>Ever since the first advertisement appeared in the very first newspaper, companies have attempted to use marketing, advertising and public relations tactics to bring more attention to themselves. SEO is merely one more tool in this time-honored commercial tradition. The outcome of this case may well have a lasting effect on how companies move their marketing initiatives into the digital world.<br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0

Rankings Matter - How To Get Your Pages To The Top - 07 Dec 2015 20:38

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[[html]]seo services dallas
<br><br>Optimizing your web site for the major search engines is more vital than ever with the steadily increasing competition for visitors on the internet. By using the techniques in this article, make sure that you know how to do this. You <a href="https://goo.gl/maps/8EoKI">Oracle Nova in Dallas</a> will soon see your website traffic to increase if you do.
<br><br>Insert your keyword into any summaries you give when providing backlinks. It's crucial to include your keyword, though use the most compelling phrases and don't forget a call to action in those summaries. Not just for the reader, but for the search engines, who are continuously searching for clues about relevant content.
<br><br>A wise buy would be to open a PPC account if you are going to spend money at all in your SEO efforts. A pay-per-click campaign with Google or any other competitor will help you get your site ranked highly in a hurry. There's nothing these big companies behind search engines love more than money, so it's a "shortcut" for the people who can afford it.
<br><br><img style="float:left;margin:10px;border:none;" src="http://fr.ubergizmo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Google.jpg" width="359" /><br><br>When creating anchor text on your site links and on incoming links, you can boost your search engine rankings by varying the text content of the links. If the anchor text on every link is the same, it can hurt your rankings as it looks like an automated program. Varied links appear as the work of many different people and are rated more highly.
<br><br>Add descriptive text to all hyperlinks that explains what the linked content is about. This makes it easier for search and visitors engines to understand where the link takes them. The link should include keywords that describe the content on the page so that search engines will associate that page with those keywords.
<br><br>Your meta description should make an demand and impact a call for action from the searcher. Use words and phrases that get people to respond in a motivated way. Incorporate phone numbers or specific sales dialogue that create a buying atmosphere before they even click through. Keep it short and to the point at 155 characters.
<br><br>If you are trying to maximize the frequency of search hits, using a specific keyword too often will actually count against you. Search engines will be looking for keywords that are inserted in natural language. Therefore, the content must make sense, though you will have to not only use your keyword frequently.
<br><br>With the massive flood of internet marketers over recent years, search engines are now becoming more selective than ever. The search engine may refuse to pull it up if you flood your content with links or even if you post a link that doesn't blend with the context of the content. You could even be punished as a result.
<br><br>Do not overspend on generating traffic. You do not need to buy all different kinds of traffic. Keep the traffic that you are buying specific to the information that you are offering on your site. By drawing in readers that have no interest in what you have to offer, you will not get anywhere.
<br><br>You are going to have to continually work at it if you are going to make progess on your search engine visibility. The tactics to get to the top of the search engine are constantly changing, so you are going to have to stay on top of all of the new techniques and processes.
<br><br>Keep an eye on the calendar and plan your search engine optimization strategy, to take holidays, special events and seasonal offers, into account. When you research effective keywords, you will see that holiday-related keywords spike, in the days and weeks leading to the holiday. Take advantage of these variations by tailoring, not only your content, but your optimization efforts, to the season.
<br><br>Boost your website's SEO by visiting ".edu" domains and creating backlinks on their blogs and forums. Also search for .edu sites in need of sponsorship. Search engines favor .edu websites and sites with numerous backlinks. Make sure that the comments you leave on these websites are relevant and not a hard sell for your company or product.
<br><br>When designing and coding your site map, you must be certain that it ties in to your main page's URL. Search engines will use the information linked with the site map to select the one page from your domain that is considered to be the best total representation of your entire site. That single page is the one which will be used in search results.
<br><br>If you have recently consolidated pages on your site, you should immediately update your site map to reflect the change. This ensures that the search engines do not determine your site's relevancy score based on dated information. Failure to do so puts your site in jeopardy of losing valuable traffic.
<br><br>Don't overlook images as an important way to grab more traffic. Many site owners and bloggers get a lot of traffic from people searching for specific images. All of the major search engines have image searches, so make sure all of the images on your site or blog are SEO-optimized. Add your keyword phrases into your image captions and filenames.
<br><br>Convince the owner to blog if you're optimizing a website for a company! People love to read what the big honcho in charge has to say, and they adore the idea of being able to communicate back with him through comments. This will drive a large amount of traffic to the site.
<br><br>You can optimize your blog for search engines by using SEO-friendly URLs for each blog post. Most blogging services offer this option, which is a must-do if you are using your blog to make money. Rather than allowing the service to assign a generic URL, create your own post URL that includes keywords.
<br><br>In order to find the best results for what you are looking for when using a search engine, it is important to not use too many words. The more words that you type into the search bar, the more specific that search has become and will hide many valuable options from you.
<br><br>The best SEO tips are short, sweet and to the point, as you can tell from this article. If you only do this or that, they won't give you the runaround with fluff and they don't make any bold promises that you'll be instantly rich. This is real advice for the real site owner. Use it wisely and watch your rankings rise.
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<br><br>Oracle Nova
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