Marketing can make or break a business. In today’s world of social networking, businesses can easily take advantage of interacting with current and future clients through the use of social media. With Twitter now having over two hundred million users (and growing each day), businesses can communicate and promote in 140 characters or less. Your business has the opportunity to offer exclusive deals to your Twitter followers, while driving traffic to your website and getting to interact with your clients. Here are 5 ways to effectively market via Twitter.

The Alternative Title Tag Conundrum

The Scenario

This is not a post about “10 Surefire Ways to Optimize a Title Tag” or “Increase your Title Tag Click-Through-Rate in 3 Simple Steps.” Not to knock any of those blog posts out there, but I feel like the same information is being regurgitated with catchy titles and cool graphics. Instead, this is an example of a situation I experienced, the test I ran, and the result from that test.

Quick…. Do a search for your brand, company name or even your URL. What do you see?

Do you see the nicely written title tag that you crafted or do you see your exact brand/company name?

More often than not, you will see your company’s name.

For example, conduct a Google search for “WebpageFX.” Instead of showing the home page’s title tag (Internet Marketing Services | Internet Marketing Company), Google decides to display “WebpageFX.”

Seems logical, but why????

Google states it has “algorithms that generate alternative titles to make it easier for our users to recognize relevant pages.” Makes sense to me. If I type in a company’s brand name, I already have awareness of that company and my searching intent is probably navigational, that is, with the purpose to get to a specific site.

This sounds good, but with any automated algorithm there can be flaws. So, sit back, relax, and read how this system can sometimes create headaches.

The Preparation

For the purpose of this article, I am going to create a fictitious company and URL that closely matches the actual website this scenario is based off of:

Fictitious Business Name: Steven, John & Jim’s Surf Shop

Fictitious URL:

Fictitious Title Tag: Discount Surfing Gear & Water Equipment

When conducting a brand search for the company that was similar to this URL, Google screwed up the capitalization of the company name to look like the following:

Original Search Result prior to test

This angered me to no end! If I was a user, I would be a lot less likely to click on a result if the capitalization appeared wrong. So I started researching, researching, and finally… doing more research to find the cause for this.

All of the information out there on the web will lead you to a few possible explanations:

  1. This capitalization inconsistency is located somewhere within the content of my site.
  2. The site is currently registered that way under DMOZ.
  3. There may be an anchor text backlink to your site on the internet that is spelled that way.

I went through and started checking the previous points.

  1. Nope, that type of capitalization was not found anywhere in the source code.
  2. The site was submitted to DMOZ with the correct spelling but has not yet received inclusion.
  3. Aha! I used several tools like Open Site Explorer to find that there was a backlink to the site that included “steven, John, & jim’s Surf Shop”.

The link was legitimate so I easily could have emailed the website owner to change the anchor text to the correct capitalization, but I wanted to run a test. 🙂

The Test

My hypothesis was this:

If I include the brand/company name within the title tag, Google’s ‘Alternative Title Tag algorithm’ could not justify showing the other, incorrect version of the title and would thus include my newly created tag.

I changed the title tag of the page to read like the following: Surfing Gear & Equipment | Steven, John, & Jim’s Surf Shop

I made sure to make it less than 70 characters long, as Google also states it replaces “long or hard-to-read titles with more concise and descriptive alternatives.” I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.

The Results

I checked back in 4 days and voila! The SERP result looked like the following:

SERP Test Result

It seems that by including the brand/company name within the title tag, I have enabled Google to show the better looking title tag that appears in the source code.

Before I took my victory lap around the office, I had to verify the results with another site. This time, instead of messing up the capitalization, Google was confusing the singular and plural version of the company’s name. The alternative title tag with this site would have little impact on the click-through-rate but I still wanted to test my hypothesis again. I used the same 3 steps noted earlier in this post to find that a couple of powerful backlinks were the cause. I changed the title tag to include the brand/company name at the end and voila, again!

Typically, I prefer including the brand/company name in the title tag to help build awareness in the SERP anyway so this was the icing on the cake to encourage me to do it more often. Of course, the results for experiments like this may vary, but if you find yourself in a similar situation to the one I was in, test out this method and let me know your findings!

How to Write Your Marketing Plan?

How to write your marketing plan?A marketing plan is the basic foundation towards the success of a product or service whether it’s offline or online. Various methods can be used to come up with this type of plan. The use of marketing software and templates are the methods popularly used by individuals in coming up with marketing plans. However, your choice will depend on your situation and how comfortable you are in using it. Below are some of the steps you can follow in order to come up with a well written marketing plan.

    • Choose the approach you are going to use in writing your marketing plan. If you don’t have the selected approach or method with you, you can either download it from our reliable site or buy it directly from the stores. After this, you can download a sample marketing plan online which will give you detailed instructions on how well you can link your sections in order to come up with a well written marketing plan.


    • The next step is to get started in writing your marketing plan. This point can prove to be a challenge to an individual, especially if you don’t have the strategies to help in the writing. However, you can gather information based on your company and its environs in terms of competition, trends, statistics, etc. which will help in the process of writing your marketing plan throughout. When your resource is internally based, you will be prompted to gather information based on your own business, depending on the size of your company. These can be in the form of pricing, strategies and income statements. On the other hand, you can also use the knowledge of your employees which will lead you to an understanding of external resources.  External resources can include information based on existing articles, research or industry news. Even though you will be prompted to make a printing of the resources, what matters most is the information you will get.


    • The third step is where you finalize your marketing plan.  Writing marketing plans can bring about feelings of exasperation, but upon completion of the writing, these feelings are replaced with feelings of elation as the burden lessens. To achieve this, try setting aside other priorities and focusing more on writing the actual marketing plan. Failing to do so can cause the writing of your marketing plan to continually be pushed back with possibly no completion. Make a schedule you are likely to follow by setting viable due dates on your calendar while keeping other plans (i.e. meetings) in mind. Such a schedule will ensure you finish writing your marketing plan in a timely manner.


  • Run thorough tests on your written marketing plan ensuring all mistakes are rooted out. You can use the written marketing plan to execute all other marketing related programs through the year. It is not advisable to keep your written marketing plan in your drawer; rather, you should refer to it now and then in order to help you execute other marketing plan programs.


Biggest Marketing Mistakes:

  • Not developing a marketing plan.
  • Not planning a marketing plan.
  • Not targeting a specific audience – you need to know who you are selling to!
  • Not developing a clear and consistent marketing message.
  • Believing your product will sell itself – every product has to create its own reputation and brand awareness in the market before sales can occur.
  • Not clearly defining the product benefits – why is your product superior to others like it?
  • Not using wide marketing techniques from offline to online – use all types of marketing techniques from the Internet and TV to radio and leaflets.
  • Not having a back-end revenue program.
  • Not having plans/ideas on how you can grow in the future – it’s a fast moving world. You need to update your products; otherwise your competitors will overtake you with ease.
  • Not upselling your products to your existing clients – if your products do have the latest updates, than you need to voice this to your current clients.
  • Not hiring a marketing firm that will get you the best results – this is probably the hardest bit. Every company out there will tell you they will do the best job, but choosing the right company is difficult. Do your research on the company, ask them to show you their portfolio of the work they have done. This is necessary because you want to be spending money in all the right areas.

Photo By zaraki.kenpachi

Augmented Reality: Where Internet Marketing Is Headed

Leona and I held a Small Business Boot Camp on Internet Marketing on Wednesday here at Murata.

We covered a ton of topics about what we do. But the one thing that made the most impact on our audience (as far as I could tell), was my mention of Layarand the augmented reality technology that’s right around the corner.

This app for Android mobile phones uses the phone’s GPS, the onboard camera, and Layar’s database of geolocated data to overlay info about your surroundings directly on your camera.

Deciding between two neighboring restaurants? Point your phone at each one and read the reviews superimposed on the front of the buildings.

Here’s a video:

So what does this mean for you businesspeople out there?