I have recently started blogging which is surprising given that I have a Search Engine Marketing Business. Over the past ten years I have been building a company that I can be proud of and as anyone who has built their own business knows it takes every ounce of your energy and so blogging hasn't been a high priority. My aim with this blog is to try something different. I am a retired British Judo Team member and during my career had many highs and lows however it is a period of my life that I could never replace and the joy it brought me is something I wish every young person could experience. Recently I was approached by a good friend who was looking to raise money for a group of extremely talented young Judo Players who are all trying to earn a place at the 2012 Olympics in London. The players all train at Camberley which has been producing top quality Judo Players for the past two decades with little or no funding. The current crop of players are exceptionally talented and some of the team are a certainty for 2012 (barring injury of course) and some still have some work to do. Unlike some of the really high-profile sports Judo is truly amateur and embodies everything that is good about the Olympic ideal. Some of the team do benefit from a small amount of lottery funding but the vast majority survive on the help of parents, friends and coaches who work for free and often use the salary to help support the youngsters.
Over the past ten years i have become an expert in Search Engine Marketing - particularly for small to medium sized businesses and I would like to try to use this knowledge to help the youngsters at Camberley. It is my aim to give away Search Engine Marketing secrets (information that would normally cost small businesses thousands of pounds) all I ask in return is that if any business out there finds it useful and helps them they would consider helping the team at Camberley. This help can be in the form of monetary support (even very small amounts will help) or practical help if money is tight. Practical help could include free accommodation (Hotel Owners), help with transport (fix the mini bus, petrol, tyres etc), Equipment (training gear, tracksuits, running shoes, gym equipment etc), Medical (tape, vitamins / supplements, etc), Flights, Train Tickets and so on.
Any business that helps the team with money or equipment will appear on their web site, on their transport, tracksuits, Judo Kits, t-shirts and you can display on your web site the fact that you are assisting and sponsoring young Olympic athletes.
For any company that offers some significant help the Olympic players will be available to visit your company for talks, input their training diaries on your intranet and you will be invited to their annual dinners and have your own table. Just think you could be a sponsor of an Olympic Gold Medalist!!
Keep coming back for useful help on search engine marketing or follow me on twitter and lets hope we can help each other and get some talented athletes to the Olympics.
I have been helping small to medium sized businesses reach the top of the major search engines for over ten years now. Initially clients simply look to be at the top of Google (Bing & Yahoo) however my focus is always on how do we generate more leads, sales, bookings, memberships etc. Of course being at the top of Google, Bing or Yahoo is important however for the vast majority of small businesses it is not enough.
It never ceases to amaze me how clients who are exceptional offline marketeers seem to think online marketing is different? There are traditional, proven, tried and tested methods when it comes to offline marketing and these principles are exactly the same online.
Over the coming weeks and months I will be posting advice and help on reaching the top of Google but before I get into this you should have a good hard look at your web site. My belief is that there are four basic stages to online success:
Traffic - Top of the search engines using natural optimisation would be the main source here
Functional Web Site - When a visitor lands on your web site do they get what they were looking for? Do they get to the right page quickly? Is your message or offer clear? Can they navigate the site easily? Where appropriate have you taken quality pictures of your products and or facilities?
Data Capture - Have you made it easy for your clients to buy? If they don’t buy have you made it easy for them to leave their details? Have you made it easy for them to ask for more information? (having a little contact us at the top or bottom of your site which opens a long web response form or even worse Outlook Express is no where near good enough). Your data capture needs to be bold, varied, easy to use and if you have a telephone number on the site don’t hide it make it stand out.
Lead Management Software - Once you have gathered information from a potential client via your web site how do you handle this effectively? It is essential you can respond to your opportunities by email or text, filter your leads for targeted campaigns, prospect system to diaries reminders and call backs.
Be completely brutal when it comes to looking at your site and imagine you were a new customer - would you want to buy? Is it easy for you to do so? Do you want to leave your details? Have you been given a reason to leave your details? Are you giving too much information to your clients do they need to ask for anything else?
Web Designers are typically not marketeers and so their focus tends to be on the look of the site and the latest technology rather than focusing on whether the site actually does enough business.
I will address each of the four factors over the coming posts and please remember if you find any of the advice I give useful please consider making a donation to the young Olympic Judo Athletes at Camberley. I will post details of how to do this soon.
For those that haven't spotted it, Judo seems to have a regular spot on Sky it is the World Cup Circuit and the boys at Fighting Films are doing a great job of producing the programme.
It is important that everyone gets behind the programme so that viewing figures remain high and we can continue to get some mainstream coverage. Other sites worth visiting include;
http://insidejudo.blogspot.com and www.judoinside.com well worth a look.
I was approached by a good friend to try and help raise some money for the young fighters at Camberley. This has had me looking at all sorts of fund raising ideas, business sponsorship etc. over the weekend I have looked at a number of Judo web sites from various countries and I cam across www.judoinside.com which is a great site carrying some amazing statistics. The guys that run it Hans Osinga and Hans Van Essen always need accurate results and player profile information so any old boys and girls out there that have any old competition sheets or medal results from any international tournaments I am suer they would be really pleased to receive them.
Whilst looking at the site I found myself remembering some outstanding fighters, tournaments and great friends. There were some links to videos (mainly on Youtube) where I came across some great contests with players I hadn't watched for years.
I watched a video of David Bodaveli (GEO) who had to be the strongest Judo player I have ever seen (there were other contenders - Nowak (FRA), Berthet (FRA), Nastula (POL), Van de Walle (BEL) but nothing compared to Bodaveli.
This got me thinking about what was the best fight I ever saw, best throw, best tournament etc. So it would be interesting to get other opinions. This could be done by decade. The best throw I ever saw was in the World Championships (ESP) I fought a Japanese fighter called Sakahita in the semi final and lost on a Koka (I was lucky enough to then win the bronze) however the Japanese fighter fought Kosmynin (USSR) in the final. Kosmynin went on to win many major tournament medals. The Japanese fighter pulled off the greatest Osoto Gari in history - if anyone has the video of this share it on youtube for the rest of the world to see. So you get the point best throw, best tournament, best fighter let me know your thoughts.