Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Quick and Easy Marketing Methods

Newsletters should be branded if you intend to share company news and not get lost amongst the spam. Temper the marketing tone of your messages by integrating stories about your staff and customers.

Transactional emails are emails that directly promote products, promotions, and include emails sent to confirm an order or new account sign-up. Keep these emails succinct, but write with flair.

Videos are a great way to bring your brand to life. They are the perfect vehicle to introduce your products and services. Be sure to keep them short and snappy, perfect for social media sharing.

Business cards are pocket-sized promotional opportunities. Make sure they include relevant details like your social media handles and links to your website. Loyalty cards are also good for encouraging return visits to your store and should reflect your brand. Postcards are a fun way to raise brand awareness. Whether you choose to mail them, add them to your packaging, or distribute them at local businesses, they must be attractive if you want customers to view and keep them.

Most agencies know how to leverage their own email marketing skills to attract and nurture new business. However, they often overlook email as a communication channel post-sale. Email can be used to entice your customers in a scalable way as it provides the means necessary to continuously deliver added value over the course of your relationship. While many would argue that no one is looking forward to more emails, your emails should be relevant and thoughtfully written to ensure you don’t add to the SPAM issue.

11 Landing Page Must Haves

  1. The ability to pass the 3-5 second blink test. Meaning, will someone after looking at the land page remember what is being offered and why it is being offered?
  2. A gripping headline with clear and concise messaging that draws the visitor in.
  3. Because visuals are understood faster than text, infographic(s) or image(s) must be relevant as well as persuasive. In other words, the graphics must match so that an offer becomes tangible.
  4. lear targeted copy, free of garble goop, and irresistible. Put another way, the content copy has to entice a visitor to take action.
  5. No unnecessary navigation because once visitors notice it, it will distract them from following through with a desired action.
  6. Forms need to be easy, clear, and designed to encourage fill me. Only ask a visitor to supply what is necessary to follow-up.
  7. Don’t forget to include social share icons; however, the quality of the content will determine if it is deemed worthy to be shared by a visitor. In other words, poor content will not be socially shared.
  8. Make the privacy policy easily accessible because visitors are entitled to know what someone is going to do with their information.
  9. The submit button should scream a strong call-to-action, and don’t forget that the color of the button matters as well.
  10. Do display valid testimonials and third party seals of approval near key areas. Keep in mind that the bottom of the page may not be optimal.
  11. Have a unique “Thank You” page for each landing page that conveys assurances for why the visitor had to supply information, and provide access to what is being offer. It is here where links can be provided to other sections of the website.


TV Advertising Effective, Not. 25 Websites That Cannot Measure It.

Television still remains a strong branding medium, but it lacks measurability when standalone homepage URLs are used. Oh sure, Nielsen can provide past commercial audience view statistics based on remembrance surveys or from homes that have Nielsen boxes; however, today’s marketers need distinct data to understand what exactly drives converting traffic to a website. Say you’re an online marketer and your boss demands you buy one commercial ad space with the local market cable provider. Your contract buy stipulates 1000 showings across three networks for a 30-day period at a cost of $5000. How many converted commercial audience viewers can you confirm to your boss were attributed to that commercial? What is the resulting CPA?

Your Analytics show a bump in traffic over the 30-day period in the “all traffic report” for source/medium that reads (direct)/(none). To further twist things up, “new visitors” are 50% of all session visits for the 30-day period. Behavior indicates a 40% bounce rate, and total “completed goals” are 4% of all session visits. However, the question remains as to what amount of the new traffic or returning traffic is actually attributable to that television commercial, and what is the CPA?

You’re not using a custom destination URL, and the TV ads are not directly clickable by commercial audience viewers. There are no UTM tags, or gclid either. Even if you subdivide site traffic by “time”, you still don’t have any clearer a picture because you cannot assume that someone saw your commercial then immediately went online to your website. Are you getting the picture of the problem?

Here are 25 websites I viewed over the past weeks that use TV advertising (and I bet) that they are unable to ascertain what their associated CPA, let alone new visitor traffic is for their expensive TV ads because of sending audience viewers directly to their homepage.

  • Hotels. com
  • Expedia. com
  • Everyoneon. org
  • Progressive. com
  • Angieslist. com
  • Lumosity. com
  • Magicjack. com
  • Overstock. com
  • Esurance. com
  • Booking. com
  • Zillow. com
  • Trulia. com
  • Realtor. com
  • Travelocity. com
  • Wayfair. com
  • Trivago. com
  • Christianmingle. com
  • Comparenow. com
  • Match. com
  • Eharmony. com
  • AAG. com
  • Lumosity. com
  • Dealdash. com
  • Autotrader. com
  • Kayak. com


12 Online Ingredients That Convert Buyers

Intersecting with your website visitors expectations is no easy task, and getting those visitors to buy is a zigzag. There is not magic formula, and as the web continues to expand you need to define, plan, and execute your marketing better than your competition in order for them to buy from you over your competitor. Here are our battle plans to get your website visitors to buy from you.

  • Develop clear strong calls to action as well as visual signals
  • Mobile ready is great, but we advance mobile smart
  • Don’t detach mobile offers from desktop offers, or social offers because your potential customer who first viewed your website on his/her mobile phone via a social site does not want to have to remember if your desktop offer is now better than what originally registered
  • Deliver products and services that consumers want not what you think they want
  • SEO is no longer about keywords; it is about creating a differentiated brand that separates you from your competition
  • Social, social, and more social because today’s consumers place decision value on what someone says versus what you proclaim
  • Create websites that visually scream, “Buy From Me”, upon open because your visitors make their decision to click the back button before they even blink
  • Shape websites to be visitor intuitive not visitor confusion
  • Since websites cannot be everything to everyone, yours is built to be unique to connect, compel, and showcase your brand’s value
  • Test, test, and keep testing because understanding how to get more and more visitors to buy does not happen without
  • Forms, sign ups, and shopping carts collect only what is necessary because overkill kills the sale
  • Customize email marketing content to spur your recipients to click-thru instead of clicking delete

Social Reviews Dos and Don’ts

The don’ts:

Recently I received a private email from someone who befriended me about two years back on FaceBook. Bear in mind that I have never met this person or frequented his business. His email read:

“Dear Darryl,

I would really appreciate it if you would take a minute to support me on Stik.com. I hold myself to a high standard in business, and your review will help me establish trust with future clients.

My profile is here: www.stik.com/recommend/O**&666La*&^%n.()*tin.*&^guez

Fountain Valley, California”

Now granted, I get why he sent out such a request; however, I cannot fulfill such a request because I have never purchased or used any of the services his business provides. Additionally, the larger picture here is to grasp how many others did provide fake reviews that have never purchased, subscribed, or used any of the services his business provides. Why is this important you ask? Because paid fake or false reviews are spam, and in 2009 the FTC determined:

“paying for positive reviews without disclosing that the reviewer had been compensated equates to deceptive advertising and would be prosecuted as such.”

Now technically I would not have been compensated to write the fake review, but the firm who is collecting the reviews as well as hosting them on their site along with distributing those reviews across the Web is being compensated. That is to say, this type of posturing is nothing more than paid spamming because the firm who is being paid to collect these reviews has no factual valid way of determining if the reviewer ever actually consumed any of the products or serviced made available outside of someone merely having a FaceBook profile. Notice that I said factural. This type of spam is worse than any stranger writing a negative review about your business because the positive spam review is deceptive.

Here is another example of social review spam. In June 2013, an online social site, where I have a profile, sent this email to me:

“Hi Darryl,
Great news!
Your service profile “is ranked in the Top 3 among in Hayward.

Spread the word and earn 25 points.
Promote your highlighted status by adding a link to your website, and earn 25 points. Reply to this email to let us know when you’re done and we’ll award your points!“

Now as much as I do love holding outward social recognition rewards, I had to think beyond the cheap rush. See this social network did not do its homework concerning my location. In fact, their response to my WTF about their email stated:

“Our policy is to place you on the highest-trafficked “landing page” that is nearest to your place of business.

Getting listed on a landing page is determined by a fairly complex algorithm developed by our engineers. That algorithm takes into account many things, including the number of other people in your profession and area, the population of nearby cities, how many Thumbtack points you and others have, and the amount of traffic Google has in your area.

I guess thumbtrack’s algorithm and ideas about social scaling still need fine-tuning. In other words, their email announcement is worthless social spam.

See as an online marketer and business owner, I know you want 5 star reviews. What business today does not want 5 star reviews? Today’s social media craze helps sitr consumer to buy. Verily, social popularity is becoming the new SEO indicator when it comes to page rank for both large and small online businesses according to the machine lords; however, as tempting at it maybe to buy reviews or accept misaligned social recognition, think twice. Why? Because fake reviews from people who have never purchased your product, service, or interacted with your brand prior to giving positive reviews, are fakes. Additionally, fake social anything does not dress a business attractive seeing that it is nothing more than spam, and once the bots get wise your website will be punished.

So what can you do to organically increase your social review popularity online?

Here are eight social dos to get you started:

1. Engage with your customers online, and be sincere

2. Don’t make online social experiences complicated

3. Be a giver even if you don’t benefit

4. Don’t talk about yourself because it’s not about you; instead, talk about how your brand can benefit your customer

5. Visibly post on your website as well as on all your marketing material, which social environment(s) your business can be found

6. Do participate daily because no one wants to engage with a business that is not social

7. Do have a loyalty program, and encourage your loyal customers to tell their friends online as well as offline about your business

8. Listen to what your social audience says, and make necessary improvements to your business

How Do I Make Money With My Website?

So you have your website up and ranking, but hold on I’m willing to bet you’ve forgot a couple things. Oh I know those keywords are exactly how your customer searches because you did preliminary fieldwork, and you hold organic slot 1 for every one of those keywords too. In fact, your digital imagery hammers home your content flawlessly. It is like you have a sure bet won; however, I think not. Why? You are not proactively marketing. See your website is your marketing tool, but you still need to focus on developing a sales and marketing framework that brings opportunities a pulling.

Because today’s competitive Web is more than just putting your best foot forward, ask yourself?

  • Are you an entrepreneur, or are you actually a highly skilled person?

Entrepreneurs undertake risks that a highly skilled person will shun from.

  • What is/are the business goal(s) of your website as well as the goal of your website?

If your website is to sell widgets, then it needs to be tailored to showcase each category of widget you carry along with the various widget SKUs. Likewise, your website goal needs to be clear for the site visitor as to what s/he is expected to do.

  • Is your website going to finance your lifestyle, or are you going to take your company earnings and put them back into your product/service to make it even more salable?

Here needles are you an entrepreneur, or a highly skilled person. Unfortunately, lifestyle does not equate to building a business enterprise.

  • What is your product/service value proposition? Why would John choose your website when Mary’s website provides the same?

Your product story is what will differentiate your product/service from what Mary offers. From this, your marketing material basics as well as sales temper blossom.

Now if those questions are not hard enough, now think about sales. Yes, that ugly word [work] known as sales. See marketing is not sales, and sales is not marketing. A sale is about building 1-1 relationships where as marketing is about putting out messages for your product/service. Your website is your best marketing tool, and unless you have a banging retail website that is intuitively clear you need a sales master plan.

For example, let’s say your website’s goal is to generate leads. Well, in order to turn those leads into money you need to have a sales strategy. Some of those leads will become customers straightway, while others will take longer. As I stated earlier, sales are about building 1-1 relationships. This is known as your sales cycles, and there will always be a Bob who will be more hesitant than Lucy when it comes to jumping on board with you.

Let me know what you think.

Copyrights and File Sharing

My Opinion on P2P Filesharing

File sharing was designed to be an innocent practice of “networks [offering] new singers, bands and movie makers the opportunity to showcase their work free of charge to the public. [In addition,] computer games could be tested before going onto the market. Bugs could be fixed and the product perfected.” (The Pirate Bay, 2010)

Today, if I wanted to purchase a blockbuster movie, a new music album or a piece of artwork online, I could easily go and download it from a p2p network and have it within seconds or minutes based on my Internet speed.

I don’t know how everyone feels about that, but it’s a lot faster than getting dressed and heading to my local movie or music store. Not only that, but I can get it for free or for a small membership fee to that p2p network. Just an Internet connection is all that is needed in most cases.

This practice is used every day by millions of users online who download and distribute copyrighted material that is ruining the future of those working in the artistic and entertainment industry such as my company and myself.

Pirate thieves and gangs who don’t create the work, but distribute the work are making millions of dollars off of the hard work anddedication of its creators. This shouldn’t be legal. It’s thievery 2.0 and it’s getting larger each day that nothing is done about it.

A list of illegal activities that are increasing with p2p file sharing are:

  • Copying and sharing images, music, movies, television shows or other copyrighted material through the use of P2P technology.
  • Purchasing a CD or DVD and then making copies for others.
  • Posting or plagiarizing copyrighted material on a personal Web space.

(Computer Hope, 2010)

Call it whatever you want, shoplifting, stealing, theft or whatever. These networks and users are allowing and promoting illegal use andno one is doing anything about it.

Preventative Measures & Benefits

Nonetheless, file sharing isn’t all bad. Not everyone is selfish and some do use it for its properly designed use. However, until it can be better managed, it should remain an illegal activity. Until all copyrighted material can be stopped from being given away freely, it is considered wrong and should be stopped.

Those that download, distribute and help in the illegal transfers of stolen material should be penalized and prosecuted. If these thugs begin to be charged for their mistakes, most of this could be prevented. Though not everyone will stop this illegal activity, it should at the least be taken seriously and preventative measures can stop some of it from violating copyright laws and the artistic and entertainment industry can begin to restore itself.


Computer Hope. (2010). Is file sharing illegal or legal? Retrieved September 4, 2010, from http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001042.htm

The Pirate Bay. (2010). Peer to peer file sharing software p2p. Retrieved September 4, 2010, from http://www.thipiratebay.se/

Example Website Business Plan

CompanyEC is an interactive recruitment marketing company founded in 2003 and headquartered in Minnetonka Minnesota. This company utilizes interactive marketing and technology to help its clients find better, engage better and know better candidates activities through multiple channels of recruiting. The goal of the company is to help businesses find better job recruits at an affordable cost. This company believes that recruiting is a form of marketing and they take pride in their marketing skills. By using online tools such as search engines, social networks, employee referrals, past applicants and recruiting networks, CompanyEC finds the best possible job candidates for the position.

This document will include details on CompanyEC’s current search engine optimization (SEO) plan, along with a new SEO plan that will assist in improving the sites structure and its content. Ultimately, this plan will help by improving visibility, sales and user experience for the company’s website.

SEO Plan Objective

This SEO plan will go into details and will place together an effective marketing strategy that will consist of CompanyEC making adjustments to its title and meta tags, pursue possibilities for incoming links and create a stronger architectural design for its website. In addition, this strategy will also include details of how to increase traffic through new content, a social networking presence, through the use of proper link baiting and by upgrading keywords and creating a PPC campaign that will increase site and customer conversions.

CompanyEC’s Current Website

CompanyEC’s current website has over 335k backlinks and over 20k indexed Google pages. CompanyEC also has a great flat site structure that benefits its users and that is easy to navigate (Baxter, 2009). Another positive about the website is that its navigation links are simple and aren’t crowding the page.

Website grader has recorded that CompanyEC doesn’t have a blog, RSS feed, is missing image ALT text and that its domain name is set to expire in nine months.  In addition, the website doesn’t have any del.icio.us bookmark subscribers. The website currently shows as having 20k+ pages crawled by Google. That number is far from being accurate and needs to be investigated and corrected.

Website Improvements

A Strategy that could work well with improving site conversions for CompanyEC includes adding an online blog and newsgroups. This is a great way for the company to start conversations about progress of company, success stories and interact with its users. In addition, this will also help the website with increasing stickiness and unique content, which can benefit the site within search engines. By utilizing this strategy, site visitors will help add content to the website through their questions and responses that will ultimately get indexed by search engines and help draw new traffic to the website.

In addition to creating a site with user interaction, CompanyEC also uses videos to draw their users in. Though these videos may be affective with users, the uses of video ALT tags aren’t being very effective and need to be upgraded. The ALT tags for each video currently says “Play this video.” These tags need to be updated and should include details of the video and keywords should be taken advantage of also when creating these ALT tags.

Keywords and PPC

CompanyEC currently has a very short list of keywords that aren’t very effective. From the home page of the website, the keywords are CompanyEC, Online Recruiting, Interactive Recruiting, Social Network Recruiting, Mobile Recruiting and Recruiting Dashboard.

This list of keywords is very short and isn’t being as effective as it can be. By including more relevant to content keywords, CompanyEC can take proper advantage of the search engines by using its keywords to the fullest. Each page of CompanyEC.com includes a keyword list of only six words or less. A good keyword number to keep in mind is between ten and twenty to produce the best results.

In addition to having a small number of keywords, CompanyEC also is not creating a strong list of keywords. While Online Recruiting and Interactive Recruiting is what the company does, these keywords aren’t direct enough to the types of users that CompanyEC are trying to draw in. To make these keywords direct, they should read “Online Job Recruiting” and “Interactive Job Recruiting.” There are many other keyword that can be added to this list, however, this is the direction that CompanyEC needs to be headed. Being that recruiting is a broad term used for job openings, school admissions and the military for example, CompanyEC could be wasting time and money by not creating these keywords to be more direct within its niche and toward its audience type. Being that CompanyEC doesn’t seem to be focused on military or educational recruiting, directing the keywords away from them by using a negative keywords list will help in creating a strong keyword and ad campaign.

With more popular keywords, the company can easily gain more exposure. The current list of keywords, though relevant to the company, is not relevant to users search results. By changing or adding the suggested list of keywords to the website, the company will be found easier by its targeted users. CompanyEC is currently ranked at the top of the search results for its current list of keywords. However, it isn’t beneficial to be ranked high for a list of keywords that aren’t being searched very often.

By upgrading its keyword list, meta tag descriptions and ALT tags, CompanyEC has a great opportunity to increase traffic through its organic search results. CompanyEC should also look to include a sitemap on its website for use with search engine. In addition, sitemaps are also beneficial toward helping some users find their way around the website easier. Overall, it’s a good tool to have and wont hinder the websites structure or performance.

CompanyEC should also include A/B Testing for their PPC ad campaign. According to the laws of A/B testing, by creating multiple copies of the control ad, the user does not lose as much profit due to the control ad always running. Instead of the user losing 50% of ad impressions to the testing ad, that percentage shrinks to 20% because of the additional control ad copies.

In addition to this type of testing saving profits and potentially accelerating the testing process, it also allows for CompanyEC to create a valid testing environment by “comparing the performance of the test ad against the copies of the control only (Thies, 2008).”

In addition to upgrading its onsite search optimization, CompanyEC should also look into marketing its company in well-known directories such as Yahoo, Business.com and DMOZ.com to increase site rank and popularity within search engines. Listing the company website and brand within .org, .gov and .edu websites will also greatly help increase credibility within search engines. CompanyEC should also look to add an RSS feed to its website. Though it currently is involved within social networks and users can stay updated through these tools, having an onsite RSS feed allows for search engines to index them and allows for users an easy click to stay updated with site content.

Job2Web already has a great social networking campaign in place. It utilizes and is involved with all of the most popular social networking sites such as MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube to market its company and product. However, the website itself doesn’t have direct access for users to connect with them via these social networks. The website should include easy click links for these users to follow, like or befriend the company. This is another user interaction strategy that CompanyEC currently doesn’t take advantage of.

CompanyEC should also setup quality backlinks on niche websites and not just broad sites. By including its link on sites relevant to its own will positively help in its rankings. These niche websites should also include sites with a high page rank. Other link building strategies can easily come from participating in blogs and other online forums and local event groups. When placing a backlink on these sites, they should create these backlinks by utilizing unique keyword descriptive anchor text.

Another option to find credible backlinks is to search CompanyECs competitor’s link groupings. “A local link grouping would be a page on the Internet where all or most of your competitors get incoming links from (Caldwell, 2009).” By searching CompanyEC’s company’s keywords, common backlinks of their competitors can be located. Once these backlinks are indentified, CompanyEC should include its business name and link within those same sites if possible. Nonetheless, these links should be on niche websites that are relevant to the works or CompanyEC’s own in order to produce the most favorable results.


By utilizing blogs and newsgroups to involve its site users, CompanyEC can create an affective stickiness strategy which will help with sites user click-through rates and length of time users spend on the website. This could ultimately help with increasing search engine credibility.

In addition, including keywords and better descriptions within the sites video ALT tags will create an extremely effective strategy plan that is not only beneficial for search results within search engines, but will also be helpful by creating higher traffic within video directories.

Overall, the biggest concern that I see with CompanyEC is that they do not create many opportunities to get their users involved with the company. Though CompanyEC does have accounts on every major social networking site, their website doesn’t say this and they have failed to include user interaction directly on its own website via blogs, newsgroups or RSS feeds. In addition, CompanyEC should include an easy bookmark feature on its website. By including a bookmark widget, CompanyEC can gain user dedication and rank better with search engines that index bookmark websites such as Del.icio.us and Google bookmarks.

To create a strategy that will encourage user interactivity, CompanyEC can also setup email marketing and newsletter campaigns, along with creating polls and surveys to gain user feedback on what else the site could do to enhance the user experience. The newsletters should include information on upcoming specials, events and changes that CompanyEC has made within its company that can benefit its users. Allowing users to opt out of receiving emails and referring a friend for discounts should also be included within each newsletter.

The website should be regularly checked by utilizing web stats and tracking tools such as Google Analytics. By viewing monthly reports, CompanyEC will be able to see which keywords, content and PPC campaigns are being most affective. In addition, it will also allow for CompanyEC to see where visitors are coming from, how long they stay, where they go when they leave and how CompanyEC stats compare to its industry benchmarks.

This website business plan will improve user experience and search engine credibility. With these new changes to CompanyEC.com, it will only be a matter of time until it sees an increase in profits and user activity.

Local Search Optimization

This article starts by introducing the reader to a two-part search marketing formula known as global search. This two part formula consist of anchor text and authority. The author includes that anchor text and authority still do matter when it comes to geographical specific searches. The overall concept is “If you can win the authority + anchor text battle, it could just be the tie-breaker in an otherwise close match (Caldwell, 2009).”

Another strategy the author mentions is to watch closely to your competitors and their local link groupings. “A local link grouping would be a page on the Internet where all or most of your competitors get incoming links from (Caldwell, 2009).” By searching your company’s keyword, you can indentify your competitors and then indentify the backlinks that they have in common.  Once these backlinks are indentified, you should include your business name and link within those same sites if possible.

In addition to link building, another important factor to remember when it comes to geographical specific searches is address citations.  Address citations include listing the company’s name, address, phone number and website wherever possible. In addition to including this information, by using the proper address brackets, this will also help legitimize the company’s membership in that geo-location, which will ultimately help search engines place higher priority and trust to that company’s specified address.

While CompanyEC (CEC) has a competing level of anchor text and page rank, it loses to its competitors when it comes to authority. Most of CEC’ competitors have been in business at least five years longer than CEC has. Because CEC still falls to the second page of Google for the search term “Dallas Web Design,” this goes to show that authority is a high factor in determining its rank positioning.

CEC has used the local grouping technique mentioned within this article to find and place its web address backlinks. This has been proven successful by CEC progressing quickly within the local search ranks. A technique CEC used to find these local groupings was by using tools such as Google, Yahoo, Alexa and iWebtool.com to search out competitor’s backlinks.

Being that CEC is an all-online business, it doesn’t get a chance to use its address very often. However, when CEC did a majority of its business offline, it did have the opportunity to compete better in the local market by placing its address within local and international online databases, which include Google and Yahoo local, Merchant Circle and the Better Business Bureau.


Caldwell, R. (2009). 3 Keys to success for local search seo. Retrieved June 25, 2010, from http://www.searchenginejournal.com/local-search-seo/8786/

Sell what sells

Give them what they want

As a business, you need to focus your marketing campaigns on what generates sales. The best campaigns are those that influence product purchases. If consumers dislike the campaign, but it sells products better than favored campaigns, then the advertisement would be considered a success.

The goal of any campaign is to generate sales. The ideal campaign should build trust, influence sales, and generate brand awareness. Your business should target and adapt your marketing strategies to focus on what consumers want and will purchase. The consumer is the ultimate power broker within any organization.

Your business should structure its marketing efforts on identifying and meeting the consumers’ individual needs. Those needs must be met within all aspects of the business, including price, customer support, and overall value.

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