“SEO is a marketing function for sure,
but it needs to be baked into a product,
not slapped on like icing
after the cake is baked.”

Duane Forrester

Tactics for Getting Found, Google Edition

OK, time to ‘fess up: you aren’t giving enough thought to your business’ tactics for getting found, right? You say you are? You follow all the rules Google makes and your tactics for getting found adhere perfectly to Google’s dictums? What if I told you that wasn’t possible? What if Google didn’t understand what their own […]

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The Paradox of the Youthful Thought Process

It’s good to be the king. And while we’d all like to be at the top of whatever pyramids are important to us, for young people there’s something special happening. Youthful Thought Process seems to be all about that. That’s not a bad thing. A youthful thought process, lacking in certain elements of studied insight, […]

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What Happens When You Talk Too Much ?

If we met … if you knew me … there’s a distinct possibility that you’d think I talk too much. For me, it’s about transparency and honesty. That said, most people find it endearing for a little while, but sooner or later something flips when you talk too much. I’m pretty sure that isn’t about me […]

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The Day Pono Died, Neil Young Cried.

It’s a big no-no for Pono. And while it may not be as monumental as the day the music died, The Day Pono Died is here. Neil Young must be sad. Last week, The Pono streaming service officially died. Given how misconceived an idea the Pono Player was it’s hard to be surprised. Nevertheless, I […]

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Benefits of a Price Increase: A Customer Service Study

It’s time to raise your prices. Maybe. Back in the days of The WordPress Helpers, I came to know a young man who happens to be one of the more successful members of The WordPress Community. And Pippin Williamson has recently started questioning the way his company does business because customer service is eating him alive. […]

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Too Lazy To Write A Book? Here’s The Ultimate Content Marketing Hack.

Neil Gaiman, a guy who considers himself a lazy author, is not too lazy to write a book. But you are not Neil Gaiman. And now if you’re too lazy to write a book you can have one written by for you for the bargain basement price of just $25,000. That’s the current price; when it […]

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Your Next Business Consultant

This is a test. This is only a test. Except, it isn’t. The Answer Guy is your best option when you need business consulting, and today we’re testing a piece of software that purports to take a new look at Search Engine Optimization. We’re testing—no surprise—for the phrase business consultant. The software we’re using is […]

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Giving Back via Social Media

Today, I’m taking a break from cracking the millennials code. Courtesy of one of my Twitter contacts my mind is on Giving Back Via Social Media. I pointed out how unsocial social media is way back in 2009. I believe that more than ever. But maybe it’s because we’re all missing the point. Maybe social media is about […]

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Cracking the Millennials Code

“Cracking the Millennials Code” has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Whether it’s a discussion of how millennials negotiate, the issues that crop up when millennials have job interviews, or the reality that sometimes older is better, millennials are a tough nut to crack. Yes, I’m old. Yes, the millennials closest to me […]

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Flexing Old Muscles (and when you shouldn’t bother)

I rarely find myself flexing old muscles any longer. Yeah, that’s a reference to my old-and-out-of-shape reality, but more it’s about looking at an older part of the business me and wondering where he went. Or whether it matters. When I was The Computer Answer Guy, I spent hours each day digging into the guts of […]

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Millennials Cannot Negotiate. Why Is That?

Given our focus on business change, my recent fascination with millennials should come as no surprise. Millennials are the future. Millennials are business change, because one day millennials are going to be older and running everything. But Millennials don’t know how to buy cars. Because millennials cannot negotiate. I came across this article about millennials and […]

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Matt Mullenweg is a Fool — But Even Fools Do Smart Things

Matt Mullenweg is a Fool. Hopefully, that WordPress-emblazoned jester’s hat on Mr. Mullenweg’s head softens the “Matt Mullenweg is a fool” blow. Taking that a bit further I’ll point out that the Internet’s oldest and most respected stock tips website uses a similar hat and calls itself “Motley Fool”. So, hey, Matt? No libel here. […]

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When Old Computers Work Better

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Older People Are Smarter Than Younger People. In most ways, I don’t really think that’s true—despite having said it or something like it many times. I do, however, believe that experience counts for something. Put simply, there are certain things that you can’t understand until you mature. So […]

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The Most Upsetting Job News About Millennials

There some REALLY upsetting job news about millennials to report. It has both nothing and everything to do with the idea that younger people aren’t as smart as older people. And it isn’t judgmental about the millennials who might come off sounding bad. It’s about common sense. More, it’s about how common sense gets taught. Last […]

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Uber’s Travis Kalanick is no CEO. Are You?

Travis Kalanick is no CEO. The thought hadn’t occurred to me until I stumbled across this piece at Wired. I found myself thinking back to Mark Zuckerberg’s earlier days trying to run Facebook. It wasn’t pretty. But then Zuck brought in adult supervision and things turned around. Now Uber’s Travis Kalanick is looking for his […]

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Google Cloud Editorial Excellence

I’m a big fan of thinking differently. It sometimes lands me in trouble but is also where most of our business here comes from. And while there are similarities, I’m not talking about an Apple-style “think different”. At least, not usually. Let’s look at Google Cloud Editorial. If you did a double-take on that phrase, you’re […]

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Evergreen Business Ideas and Sustaining Growth

In business, you need to always be looking for new ways to get your messages out. One of the ways we do that here is by re-posting old stories to our Facebook and Twitter feeds. The process is automated, random—and sometimes turns up old work that I’m not all that proud of. Other times, it uncovers real […]

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An 8-Year-Old Watches The Trump Weekly Address

We have something new to look at today. LIVE! IT’S THE TRUMP WEEKLY ADDRESS! If you blinked, you missed it. The first Trump Weekly Address, announced by Mr. Trump himself less than an hour before it took place, went on for under four minutes. It ran on Facebook Live and had a total audience of […]

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The Donald Signs Off On The End of Privacy

Donald Trump is legislating the end of privacy. Like, seriously, THE END OF PRIVACY. And there are both executive orders and bills that go there. And that’s not even the problem. While I’ve had plenty to say about Donald Trump—and very little of it is good—Answer Guy Central isn’t a political outlet. We talk business here, […]

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Twitter followers: How to get 20-30 new targeted followers a day

Targeted Twitter followers can be hard to come by if you're not using the microblogging platform properly.  There are a couple of simple rules you can follow to make sure that you build a niche-specific, highly targeted Twitter network quickly.  One that actually drives you traffic and business and one that is not populated by "empty eggs".

First off, let's take a look at why you would want a substantial Twitter following.

What a large Twitter following brings your business

Twitter is the world's largest social network, that means that there is a huge potential audience for your products, promotions and marketing material.  Take a look at the below infographic (which we published back in 2014) for a few relevant metrics:

The great thing about followers on Twitter is that they are opt-in.  What does that mean?  It means that anyone who is following your account has chosen to do so.  Leads that are opt-in are far more likely to convert as long as you target your efforts properly when you're building your Twitter list (which I'm going to refer to as your Twist for the rest of this article, partly because I can and partly because it sounds cool).

The problem with most ways that quickly...

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Growing your Twitter followers by niche

Twitter is a great tool to spread the word about your business and there are plenty of people online who are prepared to "sell you" Twitter followers.  Here's the problem with buying followers on Twitter: They don't engage, most of them are bots and it is a total waste of time.  Twitter's rules prohibit bulk actions and a lot of services that offer bulk following of accounts by niche have now been stopped from accessing the Twitter API.  That said, following other people is not the only way to get followers on Twitter.

TargetGrow (formerly TargetPattern) is a fantastic tool that takes a very different approach to interacting with accounts on Twitter.  The service takes 5 keyword sets from you and then watches Twitter to return appropriate tweets that match those keywords.  Once it has returned the tweets to you you've got the option to favorite them.  The follow rate from this method of growing followers is about 10%.  If you favorite 100 tweets you'll usually get 8-12 new followers.  Here are a couple of tricks that we've used very effectively with TargetGrow to build Twitter accounts both for ourselves and our clients:

Three things you must do to get the most out of...

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6 Free Internet Marketing tools you should know about | SEO, SMM and SEM Tools

What are the best possible tools for monitoring your Search Engine Rankings, Social Signals and general Internet Marketing efforts?  Here is our list of 6 free tools you should know about and be using if you're involved in any sort of Internet Marketing.

Without further adieu here goes our must have list of 6 free Internet Marketing and website monitoring tools you need to know about:

The Trust Report

The Trust Report is a favorite of ours, it takes a very different approach.  Instead of an SEO score it gives your site an online trust score.  The score is based on your SEO and Social signals and it is presented in a series of easy to understand charts and graphs.  http://www.thetrustreport.com.

Quick Sprout 

Neil Patel is well known in SEO circles and his Quick Sprout tool is truly awesome.  With the ability to compare your performance with your competitors and some extremely in depth metrics we recommend every webmaster run it over their site. http://www.quicksprout.com.


If you're not using the free Moz tools to monitor your website you're missing out big time.  Moz is the go to place to check things like your domain and page authority, both are absolutely essential metrics if...

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What is SEO | Search Engine Optimization explained

I wanted to take some time out from pushing lead generating tools, comparing web hosts and getting technical with SEO and instead look at what Search Engine Optimization is in layman's terms.  Why does SEO matter and, more importantly, why does it matter to your business.  This post is going to be relatively brief, very much to the point and hopefully once you've read it you will have a much stronger understanding of why it is that you should hire an SEO company and why search engine optimization is probably the most important part of your marketing strategy in 2015.

What is SEO?

SEO as I'm sure you know by now stands for Search Engine Optimization.  There's no magic about optimizing your website, it's a very simple thing to do but it is very time consuming.  It is the only way to get yourself to the top of the search engine results pages without spending money on Adsense or something similar.  If you are hoping that your website is going to actually produce organic leads then you should care about SEO.

Why you shouldn't try to do SEO yourself

Chances are, especially if you are a small business with a website that you're trying to get up the Google rankings, you're probably doing a...

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FatCow vs GoDaddy | Cheap web hosting companies compared

FatCow and GoDaddy are two hosting companies that most people who need hosting services are more than likely to come across in their search for the best value web hosting and domain registration services.  To be honest, their service offerings are both much of a muchness, but there are some key differences between GoDaddy and FatCow that you need to consider before making a final decision on the best web hosting service for your website.

Before we begin, a disclaimer.  One of Google's most important ranking factors is site load speed. As with any shared host you are going to have issues with this from both of these providers.  If load speed is seriously important to you then we suggest going with a dedicated server.  That said, shared hosting platforms are more than enough for most people and here is a breakdown of what we think about the two compared.

FatCow vs GoDaddy: Support
Advantage: FatCow

Over the years I've had quite a few clients hosted with both service providers.  Support is not an issue until you really need it and I've found myself on more than one occasion in need of support from both FatCow and GoDaddy.  

In my experience, GoDaddy responds more quickly but responses...

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Finding Long-Tail keywords the easy way

You can do all the onsite search engine optimization that you want and it won't make a lick of difference unless you're working with the right keywords or keyword sets.  Long-tail keywords are absolutely the way to go, the traffic is more targeted and there is generally less competition.  Finding long-tail keywords that you want to rank for doesn't have to be difficult, it doesn't require any specialist tools.  With this one simple trick you'll be all ready to roll with your long tails.  Before I start I am assuming that you've already done your basic keyword research, that you know what niche you're chasing and that you're looking for ways to rank your content faster.  Without further adieu, here is the quickest and simplest way to find long tail keywords without using any specialized tools.

Finding long-tail keywords using Google

Let's say you have or are working with an auto repair shop that specializes in Europeans, specifically Mercedes Benz vehicles.  The strategy you've got in place includes video, blog posts ad various other forms of content marketing.  To rank for Mercedes Benz Repair you're either going to need a magic wand or a huge advertising budget.  However, if you...

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SEO for WordPress, Drupal and Joomla

Just because you’re using WordPress or one of the other readily available open source content management systems for your website it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be extremely proactive about your SEO.  In this article we’re going to take a look at some general things that apply to you if you’re using a CMS as well as some more specific things that you need to know about SEO if you’ve chosen WordPress as your hosting platform. 

SEO for content management systems

The three biggest content management systems are relatively well optimized for SEO out of the box.  Joomla, Drupal and WordPress between them are responsible for the content management of pretty much every major website you’re likely to visit that hasn’t developed a custom CMS.  The reasons for their uptake are basically that it makes it a whole lot easier to deploy a website if you don’t have to worry about coding the front end. 

Content Management Systems enable website owners to focus on the content of their websites without having to embark on a huge development job when they want to make major changes.  One of the biggest problems with content management systems SEO is that these systems are modular by design,...

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SEO For Real Estate Agencies: Real Estate SEO Tips

Real Estate Agencies have a hard time in Search, listings are transient so driving traffic and backlinks to them can be pretty pointless.  There are things that agencies can do to maximize their organic search engine reach though.  On the below list.ly list we've put together a few of our favorite online resources for Real Estate SEO.

SEO Tips for Real Estate Agents
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How to rank content without thinking about SEO

Once you stop trying to blackhat seo the search engines and start trying to actually work within their guidelines you'll notice a couple of extremely important things.  These things will not only apply to the way that you approach search but also the way that you approach communications in your life in general.

Far be it from me to suggest that Google's all encompassing approach at attempting to own all the information on the planet and decide how relevant it is (many could consider this dangerous, but that's another post) has an upside.

The reality is though, that it does.  In this post I'm going to approach SEO from a perspective that many people may not have looked at it from before.  I'm going to talk about how Google's ranking factors, and the never ending journey on trying to work within them, have improved my offline communication skills.

This is not a post where I'm going to go into hundreds of ranking factors and break down what you need to change about your writing in order to be producing more optimized content.  I'll leave that to the likes of Brian Dean.  The fact is that the 200 (or however many there are) ranking factors don't matter.  You should not be...

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3 essential tips for using TargetGrow to build your Twitter following

If you haven't signed up for a free trial of TargetGrow (formerly TargetPattern) yet then you're missing out.  If you want several hundred new, targeted, real, organic Twitter followers by the end of the week then get there now and sign yourself up (yes that's an affiliate link but all we get is a free week, this post is about them because we love them and we think they're awesome).

Like any tool to grow your social media following there are a few things you can do to get the most out of your TargetGrow free trial that will make all the difference (you are highly encouraged to take a paid package if it works for you and if you do it right it will). 

1. Choosing your keywords
In the TargetGrow interface you're asked to select five sets of keywords to go after.  Apply some thinking to this before you just randomly slap some down.  What followers are you interested in?  Don't be too broad (marketing for instance) try to narrow it down if you're looking at a broad niche, you'll get much better results.

2. Don't just favorite everything on your list.
TargetGrow's interface is great and their system is really intuitive but make sure you read the tweets you're favoriting.  For starters...

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Employees Come First … Don’t They?

In all the years we’ve been putting out business process and business change content, Richard Branson’s only come up here once—and not for anything good. But Sir Richard has a long history of doing business the right way and taking care of his people. So his well-known position that employees come first is no surprise. […]

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