David Johnston, CEO has a background beginning in local business marketing and customer retention. After taking on high competition projects over the years David has gained experience and insight into the deeper things of ranking algorithms. David has learned how to use Social Media and traditional marketing to get top rankings for clients with Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Adding FileZilla SFTP permissions to a Google Compute Engine (GCE) instance can be a little tricky. When using WordPress on GCE it’s really hard to deal with files if you can’t use FileZilla. This took me several days to finally figure out. Maybe it’s a simple hack to those familiar with command-line but that wasn’t me.
There was no forum or other site posting how to do this. It seems that if you can SSH into the GCE instance you should be able to also SFTP from FileZilla. However, that is not the case. You can read the files but can’t upload files.
So here is what worked for me:
I was logged in via the GCE SSH browser available through the console.
I added my user “david” to the group www-data, which is the Apache group.
The idea of turning manmade constructs (made up stuff) into mathematical formulas has been the key ingredient in almost every advancement in technology throughout history. Recent advancements in the process of turning written language into mathematical formulas, has allowed computers to calculate human language and ideas in amazingly constructive ways.
Character codes aka numerical representations of a single character. This is a little different than the 1s and 0s that make up the actual character, but the concepts are related because the numbers are made up from bits anyway.
The mathematical calculation of vectors applies to thoughts by simply calculating multiple sentences and the vectors of each word.
However, it goes further. You also have to calculate the vectors for all the words in the definitions of each of those words. You have to take into account how the words can have different meanings based on the way they are used.
Here is where you get into “cognitive computing” as talked about in the media. This is a far more thorough and advanced approach. It calculates the vectors of every single layer mentioned above, but it includes synonyms, antonyms, grammar and even the history and origin of the words.
When you calculate all of these together you can create a mathematical formula for representing an actual complex concept. This is where the real advancements in machine learning are coming from such as IBM Watson, Siri, Google Brain and others.
If you are looking to connect your QR Code campaigns to your Google Analytics you are a rare find. Most wonder how to do it but don’t actually look hard enough to find out how. This is a sequel video that shows how to set up your on page goal tracking in Google analytics so you can measure an ROI from your campaigns.
Once you have your QR Code generated using Google URL Builder and Google URL Shortenter you are ready to begin setting up the goal tracking.
Step By Step
Determine which page you want to track as your goal and copy the url in the address bar. (Hint: This should not be the same as the QR Code landing page and should be a “Thank You” page or something similar.)
Go to your analytics account and click “Edit” next to the profile listing belonging to the site you are tracking.
In the “Goals” section click on “Add Goal.”
Give the goal a name.
Check the “Goal Type” selection “URL Destination” box.
Paste the url of the page you want tracked in the box.
Click save goal.
That is it!
You are now set to start tracking your first goal. You can define additional goals if you want. It’s important to only set “real” goals that affect revenue. Every goal should be determined by a “step” you want the user to take on their path to becoming a customer. Typically that requires multiple steps.
What should be the next goals?
Your first goal might be to view a specific page like in our demo video we specified the “application” page. The second goal could be set to a page they can only view upon completion of the form. A third goal could be a what you want them to do after completing the first actions. This could typically be an up-sell on the back end or additional purchase offers. Keep it simple and focus on revenue generating goals. Happy tracking and thanks for watching!
Most businesses use QR Code generators like bit.ly and others typically used for tracking Social Media efforts. This tutorial is based on making sure your brick and mortar traditional marketing is helping your website’s search engine optimization efforts. Google and Bing know what marketing you are doing and making sure they catch everything is very important. This video uses Google tools and primarily focuses on Google in general.
Step by Step Instructions
Determine what page on your website you want to send traffic to and copy the url from the address bar.
Go to Google and search for “Google URL Builder” and click the first official Google listing.
Paste the url you copied into the website box and add your specifics such as “Medium” and “Campaign Name” then click “Generate URL.”
Copy the newly generated url and open a new tab and type in goo.gl and hit enter.
Paste the long url into the URL Shortener box and hit “Shorten.”
Click “View Details” next to the newly shortened url row line on the right side.
Right click the QR Code image and “Save as.”
Either use this image in your marketing directly or you can fix it up in Photoshop or something to make it look better with your creatives.
Make sure that you attempt to scan it with Google Google’s app or something similar. Just go to your app store and search for QR Code Scanner and obtain an app with high downloads and ratings. Scan your QR Code as it would appear on your creative and see if it works. If it works you are good to go! Have fun being a QR Code Ninja from now on. This info isn’t widely known or used so feel proud!
Determine Response Rates
Keep in mind that only about 6% of the population uses QR Code Scanners. So if you distribute a flyer to lets say 10,000 residences and you see in Analytics in the “Campaigns” section of “Traffic Sources” that 100 people visited your website, you can estimate an Open Rate, sometimes called Read Rate, of around 1,750 people or 17.5% because 100 is around 6% of 1,750.
If you want to get really accurate you can also track your inbound calls and emails. If you know the normal response rates you can use these to better accurately determine the true “Response Rate” for your marketing campaign. QR Code tracking is a great skill to add to your tool box!
I have seen time and time again an SEO firm or Guru that props up client sites with massive amounts of “rented” links, usually from blog link farms. If your site doesn’t get penalized you will probably get sick of the lack of results soon enough. When you pull the plug on the scam SEO company they usually remove all the links pointing to your site and further damage it. Keep your eyes open for a big increase in ranking followed by a medium size drop within about two weeks.
Now that you have wised up a bit you have a few big problems
First is your ratio of blog roll links to all other types of links are way out of whack. This is easy for Google and Bing to track. They could be in the form of site-wide sidebar links or footer links. You can tell a spam link from a good one just by looking at the other outbound links on the page. If they are linking to multiple commercial domains it is highly likely they are renting out those links. Avoid those types of links like the plague. If you have an SEO ask for link building reports and manually check where the links are coming from.
Natural vs. Unnatural Link Building Graph
The next problem you are going to have is ‘link churn’
The ratio of links you obtain compared to links that disappear is important. Now that the so called SEO Guru removed all their link farm spam it looks like you have a massively abnormal rate of link churn. If sites are un-linking to you that is a quality signal. The search engines may make you work twice as hard to build up a good link profile before they give you the credit you are looking for.
Problematic Link Churn Issues
Easy way to get local GEO based rankings
For a small business you can typically do well with doing just a few things. 1.) Register your business on every free business directory you can find and provide your website link in the appropriate spot. Example: Superpages, YellowPages, CitySearch, Yelp, Yahoo Local, Google LBC, etc. 2.) Blog once a week on something industry related. Put a keyword link in that article pointing to the page you have on your site you want ranked. 3.) Go on other websites that have news articles, on the same topic you just blogged about, and join the conversation. When the opportunity comes up to mention the points you made in your article, that add to the conversation on that other website, feel free to link to your article. FYI: If you don’t make an intelligent comment then your link probably won’t get approved. 4.) If you have friends or acquaintances in the industry try to get them to post one of your articles on their site or blog. If you don’t, try to make some new friends. 😉 Make sure you write something different but on the same topic. Put one link in the guest blog post pointing back to your original article with the keywords you were focusing on for that article as the click-able text for the link.
Customer service on the web is very important and no one is training small businesses on that in an effective manner. We can teach anyone how to find people who are complaining or saying negative or positive things about their business and how to reach out to them.
Using Google to send you alert emails is just one of many ways you can tap into this new frontier of Social Media Customer Service.
Simple Steps To Get Started
We can show you or your staff simple tricks to find people who are using language on their social profiles and blogs that may indicate that they are in the market for your company’s services.
Google has a free system for keeping an eye on the web. You can enter search terms and Google will let you get email alerts for what ever it was you put in the search box. This is nothing new but using it in a smart way is very uncommon. Here is an example of how a local business might use it.
Steps to set up Google Alert
Got to https://www.google.com/alerts
Type in the search box the following with quotes and everything exactly: “the coffee was horrible” Spokane
Change the “Volume” drop down to “All results”
Click the blue Preview results link
You should see something similar to the following graphic.
Feel free to change out the city name Spokane for your city. Keep in mind that the quote marks (“) are important as they keep your search more exact and that keeps out most of the irrelevant results.
Put yourself in an unhappy customers position
What would a dissatisfied customer type on a review site or on their social profile? This could be “the coffee was horrible” or “the coffee was terrible” or maybe even “the coffee was disgusting.” I think you get the point. Experiment with different things your customer base may be talking about on the web.
Tap into your competition’s negative complaints
One great way to build loyalty through social media customer service is to help people who are complaining about your competitors as well as your own products or services. Set up a Google alert for complaining language and your competitors name. It might be something like (“I hate starbucks” spokane) or something similar. Experiment with different variations. If you are not sure who your competitors are just Google them and look up your type of business in a phone book or something.
Why this works and how it gives you an advantage
The simple fact is there is a big circle of crowd based communications going on on the internet that small businesses have no clue about when it comes to listening in on or taping into it to join the conversation. As long as your Google alerts are set up smartly and you are not getting irrelevant results leading you to ignore them, it is an indispensable tool to small businesses.
How to improve your alerts over time
Sometimes you might get an alert that is not what you are looking for. When that happens knowing some of Google’s more advanced search operators can help greatly. Lets say you were a local coffee shop looking to capitalize on Starbucks mistakes. You might set up an alert like: “terrible coffee” starbucks. It could look like this:
The problem is these results are not going to be much help. They are showing one writer’s opinion of Starbucks coffee that they posted in an article on the mobile payment processing which they syndicated to tons of blog sites. Let’s refine this in order to come up with some better results.
Change the query to: bad “starbucks coffee” site:facebook.com
This will look for places where someone typed “starbucks coffee” exactly and also the word (bad), in close proximity to it, on the site facebook.com somewhere. Notice how you can see results that are more actionable? You could right click these results, open them in a new tab, and begin a conversation with the people involved. You can interachange site:facebook.com for any site you want. You might want to try site:twitter.com or site:foursquare.com, etc. Go ahead and experiment with it and see what you can come up with that is relevant to your business.
Advanced search operators for Google Alerts
Even with these refinements you still may not be seeing what you want. Here are a few other tricks. Type in this query exactly: bad “starbucks coffee” near:spokane -site:starbucks.com. This query will allow you to find more results, order them by distance from Spokane and exclude results from Starbucks themselves.
Try this really advanced query:
“starbucks” reviews “bad service” OR “terrible service” OR “horrible service” OR “poor service” OR “bad taste” OR “tasted gross” OR “tasted nasty” OR “tasted disgusting” OR “terrible coffee” OR “horrible coffee” OR “coffee was nasty” -inurl:news -inurl:category -inurl:wiki -inurl:definition -site:starbucks.com
Advanced Search Operators Explained:
Operator: ” “
You can search for words like bad service but you will get results that have those words appearing in any order on the page. If you surround phrases by the quotes it will limit results to sites with what you put in-be-tween quotes exactly.
You can pick from many different variations of potential queries. If you don’t use OR and just use a space it is assumed you mean AND which is not what you want.
With the minus sine (-) you can exclude results. You can use it in front of most words and operators to reverse their purpose.
You can specify a word that is required to appear in the actual URL Address of the site listing. This works great for using the negative operator minus sine to get rid of results you see as irrelevant. In our example we excluded sites with news, category, wiki and definition in the url, as they may be more news related or not conversational.
You can specify results from a specific site or exclude results from a specific site like in the example: -site:starbucks.com
Thoughts on advanced search operators
You can see what we mean when we say that Google Alerts have been around for a long time but hardly anyone knows how to use them effectively. The search operators can get pretty technical. If you want to do something really cool, practice your search queries in Google itself first. This will allow you to narrow down your results to things that you know you want which may not appear when you try the query in Google Alerts itself. Actually join the conversations and interact with people while you are refining your queries. Once you are done then paste your query in Google Alerts and create the alert even if there are no results. It will alert you when there is similar results and it may also notify you when someone responds in most cases. It works really well.
Proactive Social Media Customer Service
If you want to get “Real Time” results you won’t be able to do that easily with Google Alerts but you can do it at Google.com. This will allow you to interact in conversions that are happening in the last few minutes or hours. This would be a really smart use of your or your staff’s time during times in the day where business is slow. Check out the links in the sidebar Google provides that help you narrow your search. This example is the advanced query above but with the “Real Time” tab in the sidebar selected.
You can create email alerts from Google results directly sometimes. If you see something similar to the following at the bottom of the search page you should be able to create one. Don’t forget to change the drop down to “All results.”
Conclusion about social media customer service for local businesses
Our goal is to set up training courses for small businesses in the Spokane area to train their staff in internet marketing and online customer service techniques. We want to create something where we can get to the point of holding local classes or seminars. We want to do it all for free because if businesses see the skills we give away for free, make them money, then they may hire us for more advanced services and buy our software packages, etc.
If you would like to have you or your staff trained in basics of Social Media Customer Service please click the contact button at the top of the site and let us know what your needs entail. Thanks for reading and have a great day. We hope this tip gives you an advantage in business you did not have previously.
What you think you know about content optimization may be killing your chance of getting your pages ranked where you want them. With this manual you will be able to train your staff or school your contracted copywriter on the proper way to structure page content in a way that not only improves your chance of ranking but also converts visitors to potential customers. “What is the point of a website if it is not a tool to generate real profit?”
Optimize Your Writing Style
You have 8 seconds to suck your reader in before you FAIL! There are many SEO copywriting principals to master in order to make sure your written content is compliant with the latest in search engine optimization techniques. At the same time you are figuring out how to structure your page you need to avoid scaring people off the site completely. You would be surprised just how common site abandonment is.
SEO content structure
All pages need to contain a targeted keyword in the title, introductory paragraph, two or three supporting paragraphs and a concluding paragraph. Each of these should be divided by logical sub-headings to cater to people who scan first before committing to a full read. These are the basics of proper SEO page structure but in order to keep from failing you need extreme skill to write the page content in a way that has a natural flow and tone as people read it. Most people hear a negative tone in their mind as they read and you have to change that to a positive one. That can’t be accomplished by awkwardly trying to stuff keywords where they don’t belong!
You may be a good writer
You may even be a journalist. You may have many people telling you how great your writing skills are. It could be that none of these are true and you are just the “doer” type of person who wants to be successful online. No matter who you are you should understand that the psychology behind effective and persuasive copywriting is not something new. All that is new is the fact you now have to add more science to your strategy to optimize your vocabulary for machines called search engines.
Demonstrate mathematically calculable authority
If you want to succeed online then you need to be concerned with demonstrating authority as an SEO content strategist. There is no room for eccentricities online. If you are already skilled or just want your content to rank well and gain traffic then pay close attention to the science behind the why’s and how’s of structuring your content. Write clean clear persuasive content with an eye to mathematical topical accuracy and you will be a cut above the rest.
I have found some secrets to making apps popular and I want all our readers who are interested to be able to see this case study and Android Market ranking tips. So here goes. 🙂
Being that I am obsessed with playing with my Droid X I decided to make some apps and it has worked out well so far. I have three apps right now. I released them a few weeks ago. I am over 17,000 total downloads so far I think. Here is a link if you want to see what I am taking about. https://market.android.com/developer?pub=Satisfaction+Guaranteed
Free Version of the “1 Touch Love You” Android SMS Texting Application
UPDATE 4/25/11: 34797 Downloads and 10998 Active Installs
UPDATE 9/02/11: 122,857 Downloads, 18,677 Active Installs, 2,465 ratings avg 4 stars, and 560 comments!
UPDATE: 11/20/11 157,838 Downloads
Old Pro Version Video of “1 Touch Love You” App
1 App. ) Just over two weeks ago I launched a social app called “1 Touch Love You.” I recently added a Safe Driving feature that uses GPS speed detection to the pro version. Here is the live demo video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSouBXwYLgU It makes it easy for me to send my wife ‘love you’ messages when at a stop light or when in a rush.The app makes it easy for her to respond when she is busy with kids etc. I even have it so if two people register each others phone they can text “where are you” to each other and the GPS location address link will be auto texted back. There are 50 different “Love you” type of messages for each conversation library. There are now 7 full libraries so people don’t have to manually text very often. Each time someone hits the big fat “Send” button it randomly picks one and sends it. My wife’s friends seem to love it. 🙂 So far it has around 14,000 downloads and 38% active rate. I got 21 sales amounting to about $60 in the last four days after launching the paid version. Here is the video to train users how to use it and shows off some features. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPQNkgnhyXw
Here are a few tips I can share from my research and my own ideas. I contacted over 50 of the top Android developers and got awesome advice and feedback. Hope you all can learn from it and benefit as I have.
Respond promptly to all complaints.
Always, always offer refunds to unhappy users.
Put your feedback options in your app to keep bug reports out of the Market comments. Make this very easy to use.
Make the app sharable. Put Facebook, Twitter, Email and Text Message sharing buttons directly in your app. Put some type of advanced feature in the app that is visibly disabled and only activates when they share your app.
NOTE: I temporary removed the disable feature for add and remove messages that didn’t work unless users shared the app and the install rate plummeted. I feel confident this strategy is sound. People will share apps if they get added features!
Put ads in your apps to your other related apps so users can download those as well. Keep them theme related.
Put notifications in your apps encouraging sharing your app with others after some measurable time and actual use of the app to make sure they are actually happy with it.
Use all of your text description to write about your apps in as much “keyword” rich detail as allowed.
List the names of other related apps in the bottom of your app description so you can rank better in the “related” apps section when users are viewing other apps. It is a good idea to actually write an original statement about the app and why it’s good or bad or similar to your app or not. Don’t just fill it with spam.
NOTE: Do not make your app web dependent for basic functions. If there is a slow data connection your phone will appear broken. Make the app as self contained as possible!
Making money with apps:
Release a paid version that is advertised in a free but limited version. Have all the sharing buttons in the free version send people to the download page of the paid version.
NOTE: I used video very effectively to encourage sharing and rating. Most people don’t even know they can rate and comment in the market. My app has a pretty high rating and commenting rate compared to other similar apps with far more downloads. This is vital for internal market ranking.
NOTE: App ranking seems to be based on a combination of download rate and viral spread mixed with app crashes, freezes and uninstalls counting against those metrics. The most important factor is positive ratings and comments along with a high active user rate.
NOTE: Bad comments, spam and sabotage comments are common in the Android Market. 🙁 AI developers should ban together for protection. You can rate down bad comments and mark them as unhelpful and even mark them as spam. This is pretty cool because your positive comments can float to the top of the list. I got about 10 people I know to rate and comment to get my app going. If anyone needs a real app review of something they are proud of let me know. I would love to leave a positive comment and rating if the app deserves it. 🙂
Not using ads at all is an option, well sort of, there are hardly any apps using CPA affiliate links in their app functionality. If you provide a cool app that is basically a service, like a calculator or finder tool, find CPA networks or companies that have click tracking capabilities and send customers to them on a revenue sharing model. The advantage is the link does not look like an ad plus the payouts are usually 20 times more profitable than click ads like AdMob and Adsense who just rip you off.
NOTE: There are some errors users are going to experience with AI apps. I strongly suggest you use AppToMarket and set your API level to at least 7. Allowing old phones to install your app will create tons of bad ratings and bad comments because they don’t have a new enough phone to handle your apps.
NOTE: Adding too much functionality and complexity will kill your active install rate. I added a ton of cool features and saw my active rate drop by 10% which was over 1,000 users at the time because I thought I was adding cool stuff. Keep it simple or get your app ranking killed in one day! The last thing you need is 10 uninstalls where the user click “Defective” as the reason. 😉
NOTE: Amazon is selling apps so get yours in there as well!
Generally, my experience with getting into Android development has been shockingly awesome. I am so grateful to Google’s AI team and AppToMarket! My life course has been altered permanently for the better. 🙂 I am more confident now then ever that moving into app dev was the right move for me. 🙂 Not quitting my high stress high paid day job anytime soon though. 😉 I genuinely appreciate everyone in the AI forum’s insight and feedback. A special shout out to the guys who figured out the math for the GPS speed calculation. I had to add a ton of stuff to stabilize the readings but i worked out! Thank you very much in the most serious way. 🙂 I hope the conclusions of my research somehow provide value to you in a way that makes you more money!
Have a great day making awesome apps! Add me to your contacts and Facebook and Twitter. I love Skype video and screen sharing though! I want to stay in contact with everyone here and I will keep you up to date in my adventure from going from my current expertise to delving in the app world. If I can help you in any way like you have helped me don’t hesitate to ask. Again, sincerely thank you for all the info and advice from the forums! 🙂
P.S. Text me a link to your app in the market and we can build some real reviews and comments!
Finally the safe driving feature is completed. 🙂 Yeah!! I am sorry all of you waited so long. You can now say “I love you” with confidence that there is a high chance the safety feature in this app will read the text aloud to your loved one and auto text you back saying they are driving. Hopefully this will save some lives.
This feature was inspired by the tragic death of a young 16 year old teen in my neighborhood that died only 2 weeks after getting her license. The news said that she rolled her family’s SUV because of trying to use her phone. It really hit home since it was only a couple blocks down the street.Even now when I think about it my heart sinks. I can’t image what the family must be going through. My heart goes out to them!
I wanted to do something to contribute to safe driving. I developed this feature with the help of Google App Inventor, AppToMarket and the great guys in the AI forums who figured out the complicated math for calculating driving speed based on GPS location sensors. I had to do a ton of work to make it stable but I think it turned out great.
At the time of writing this there are over 13,000 downloads of my free “1 Touch Love You” app which has a ton of auto texting libraries designed to say “love you, miss you, love you too, miss you too, how are you, I am fine, and I am sorry” so you can just pick and send. Not having to type text messages for common stuff you save several times a day is a great benefit to many who appreciate that.
When life is busy and hectic the last thing people have time to do is say “love you” as much as they want. You should really check out this app because not only will it help you say what you feel more often it can now contribute to the safe driving of your loved one. No one wants to send a text to someone while they are driving and put them in danger. Download this app and also install it on your significant others Android Smart phone and keep them safe when you text them. 🙂
Whether you like it or not the tidal wave of machine learning systems is crashing at your door steps. You have two options. You either embrace integrating artificial intelligence into every aspect of your business or you continue fossilizing with the rest of the dinosaurs.