The only thing that is certain is change.

And that is certainly true for the post office. The biggest change due to take affect January 22, 2017 is that Presort Standard will now be known as Marketing Mail. The wording on indicias will eventually need to be updated, and while the post office has not set a firm date yet, many insiders believe mailers will have a year to comply with this change.

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Are you a traditionalist? You don’t like change? You think what you have done and what you are doing is ‘good enough’. If it isn’t broken, why fix it? In marketing, business, and in life, we all get into a place of complacency (whether we realize it or not). Everything is working out swimmingly, so let’s ride that wave. Because you’re a smart person, in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, “When is it going to all change?” Stay ahead of the curve. Most people know SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, however, I look at it through a different pair of lenses. I call it Strategic Evolutionary Obsession. Are the traditionalists still with me?

Strategic Evolutionary Obsession is developing a smart, passionate roadmap for the future. Putting it in simplistic terms, you need to have a proper plan in place, moving forward with your business/organization. That’s why it is so vital to have a presence in search engines. SEO goes much deeper and is more involved than just rankings; this isn’t 2011. When you are searching for anything in life, you are either searching online, or asking others for recommendations. And they developed their opinions and answers from researching online. It’s time you start to look at Google as ground zero for information, intelligence, and growth.

Why dip your toes into the SEO waters?

  1. SEO isn’t dead- More and more people are realizing this and are knocking on our door for our services. They understand in order to grow; you have to be progressively visible online.
  2. No one is going to stop using a search engine to look up information- Currently over 4 billion people worldwide are using Google everyday. Also, 90% of customers check online reviews before making a purchase. You have to ask yourself, what if you got a little piece of that monstrous pumpkin pie? (I like pumpkin pie; it has nothing to do with SEO).
  3. You’re doing PPC and social media marketing- SEO needs to be the strong foundation to all of your marketing efforts. What’s the point of putting on a fancy Mediterranean style roof on your 10,000-sq. ft. brick mansion, if the foundation isn’t fixed first and not level? Work from the ground, up. Not the top, down.
  4. Google and other search engines are constantly changing their algorithms- Because of the constantly evolving search engine algorithms, your authority and visibility are constantly being reevaluated. It takes a team of SEO experts to handle the change, data, and time involved. If you want more information about this, check out our proprietary SEO technology, which we use as an extra boost, that stays ahead of these changes, SEAD.
  5. In my humble opinion, this is the most important reason. Your competitors are doing SEO- They have the vision, they are ahead of the curve, and they aren’t looking at SEO at the basic level. They are buying into, Strategic Evolutionary Obsession, the new SEO.

Strategic Evolutionary Obsession: a progressive and psychological mindset. Not only should you be looking at your marketing efforts with this mindset, you should be living your life like this. But I’m not a therapist, so seek professional help for that. For professional SEO help, I would be happy to help you!

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Before the Internet existed, we relied on board games for entertainment. While visiting my grandparents, I found myself gravitating towards the board games cabinet – and as I choked and coughed on decade-old dust, I spread out the games and looked at all the available options. With so many games, how did we choose? As tensions escalated, my mom would intervene and pick a game for us. Having too many choices gives a child anxiety.

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With so many consumers researching products and services online, the importance of online reputation management for businesses is undeniable.

Reputation management is ‘the new black’ in corporate strategy, according to Bruce Rogers, Forbes magazine’s Chief Insights Officer. ‘In their fight to increase revenue, grow market share, increase the stock price, attract and retain the best talent, and secure their license to operate, companies are turning their focus on their reputation,’ he writes.”

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With the vast majority of consumers researching purchases on the internet, it’s no surprise that so many companies are making online reputation management a chief marketing focus. Failure to consistently, thoroughly, and accurately monitor and analyze your brand could keep your company from reaching its potential – or, worse, cause serious damage to your brand.

There are scores of online reputation management tools and services out there. This series is intended to provide you with some guidance as you consider your options.

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Years of work, extensive resources, and loads of money go into the making of a strong brand. But in today’s super-connected economy, those brands can be taken down more easily than one might expect. Not by their top competitors, but by the average Joe behind a computer or smartphone.

You may deliver impeccable service, but occasionally something will slip through the cracks. A sales associate might be having an off day. A contagious illness might cause a location to be short-staffed. You may have an issue with a supplier and run out of stock of an item.

For whatever reason, a customer has an experience with your brand that is not at the level for which you are normally known. Then, they want to vent. And they do. Online.

How much can one, two, or a handful of negative reviews or posts actually damage an otherwise strong brand?

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What is search engine reputation management? It’s simply managing the type of content showing up in search engines for a specific word, as it related to you or your company.

The most obvious issues is when negative content ranks in Google for your company’s or your name. Some examples are low ratings, scam articles, poor service reviews. These pieces of UGC or 3rd party ‘criticisms’ can damage your ability to generate new business, retain customers, and just be downright embarrassing for employees.

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When you go swimming you have a few options before getting into the pool, 1) jump right in a hope the temperature is okay, 2) dip your foot in before jumping determining to jump or ease in, or 3) slowly move forward.

Well, if you have a startup the options aren’t much different. But the reality is that your investors want short-term results (not just sales, but any metric movement). So option 3 isn’t a real solution for performance, option 1 can lead to a lot of failure and missed projections. That leaves you with the ‘dip your foot in first’ and quick to determine your approach.

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Here’s a cause for celebration – your business anniversary!  Why not throw yourself an anniversary party where you get some fabulous gifts:

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In short, it’s very different from conventional SEO. That’s because it deals with the search rankings of much larger websites.

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Effective Marketing Takes Creative Risk

by Rocky Cipriano

“Safe advertising is the riskiest advertising you can do.” – Bill Bernbach, Co-founder, BBD Advertising Agency In my book, Branding Insights for Small Business, I point out that creativity is marketing’s most underutilized tool. An ad, brochure or website is just a delivery method for a sales message – it’s the creativity in that message […]

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The Ultimate SEO Checklist for Website Redesign: Part I

by Kevin Rowe

Without proper planning during a website redesign you can decimate your organic traffic. This article is Part I in a series of articles that will create the ultimate SEO checklist for consideration when redesigning a website so that this devastation doesn’t happen to you. If you don’t want to lose traffic during a new site […]

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The Evolution of Branding II

by Brad VanAuken

I had mentioned in the previous post that branding goes as far back as recorded history. However, in the modern era, outside of brand identity development, branding activities were largely confined to consumer packaged goods companies such as General Mills, Kraft Foods, Nestle, P&G and Unilever. Then, in the mid-to-late 1990s, companies began to realize […]

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The Evolution of Branding

by Brad VanAuken

People have branded their livestock to indicate ownership since ancient times. Artisans and other merchants put their marks on their wares to indicate source, and with that, a level of quality assurance. After that, consumer packaged goods companies such as Proctor & Gamble (P&G), Kraft Foods and Unilever developed and refined the brand management discipline […]

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CMOs and CEOs

by Brad VanAuken

According to Robert Rose, Chief Strategist at Content Marketing Institute, “The Fournaise Group conducted a study that found that while 90% of CEOs do trust and value the opinion and work of both CFOs and CIOs, a full 80% of them do not trust and are not very impressed by the work done by marketers. […]

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Are You Giving Your Business a Bad Name?

by Rocky Cipriano

Here’s a quick refresher on naming your business, product or brand. I’ve written in both my books about the importance of naming your business, but in my experience, it’s still overlooked as a critical component of a business’s overall brand image. What you call your business, product or brand can quite literally make you a […]

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How a Tagline Can Benefit Your Company – Or, how to grab your prospects’ attention in 8 words or less

by Donna Vassallo

Taglines are short, notable phrases that help define your company and distinguish you from your competitors — all in just a few well-chosen words. Personally, I think every business should have a tagline. (Then again, I am a copywriter, so I would say that.)

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Repositioning Versus Rebranding

by Brad VanAuken

Question: What is the difference between repositioning and rebranding?

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Mac Malware

by Holly Howell

I just set a record with phone support to Apple Computer this past week. Macs are not impervious to malware. It took 3 software tech support conversations (over an hour each) and a visit to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store (also over an hour) to find the malicious problem.

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The Subject is…Subject Lines

by Donna Vassallo

And how they get your emails opened and read.

 I’m sure you’ve all seen articles on how to write a killer email that will inspire your readers to take action—whether that’s buying your products and services, making a charitable donation, signing up for your newsletter, or filling out a form to learn more. But what […]

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