Archive for August, 2008

3 Ways to Increase Web Rankings

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Who doesn’t want more site traffic? More traffic means more clients. And more clients equal more sales. An effective way to increase traffic is to strategically post online articles. Focusing on the three areas below will send your site traffic soaring more than if you were to post articles on random directories.

·       Write articles for sites related to your niche market. Other companies in your industry need articles to bump up their own rankings. Regularly posting on niche sites allows you to swap links and further increase your presence on the internet. People will read your content on these niche-oriented sites and be presented with a link to your site. Getting your link on well-known sites that sell to your target market is one of the best ways to put your name out there and draw explosive traffic to your site.

·       Research the most credible online article directories. There are dozens of online article directories polluting the internet. Don’t choose a directory at random. Some are simply not worthy.  

·       Check out some of the most popular social bookmarking sites, such as Digg, Furl, Stumbleupon, and Simpy. Bookmarking sites allow you to post your favorite online articles, blogs, photos, and videos. Post your own online articles and blogs, or post ones from others that you find compelling. These sites have groups or categories directed at a specific area of interest. Your company will benefit from these extremely niche-oriented groups because you won’t be posting in areas with a mixed market. People with the same interests go to these groups and bookmark their favorite articles, thus eliminating any uncertainty about who is viewing your articles. They’ll most likely be in the realm of your target market.

Need someone to write and post your online articles? Visit us at

How Article Marketing Increases Site Traffic and Boosts Sales

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Message from Michelle

Welcome to this edition of Your Business Marketing Solution.

For those of you Stateside, you’re probably getting ready for Labor Day weekend. Mama Mia and I are preparing to drive to see my family in southwest Missouri, where we will spend the next six days boating on the lake, grilling out, and enjoying time together. I’m so thankful that I decided to take a week off before my busy business season begins.

As summer draws to an end, companies are getting back into the swing of things and looking for ways to enhance their online presence and increase sales. In this issue, we take a look at the benefits of article marketing, specifically how online articles help increase site traffic, establish you as an industry expert, and help boost search engine optimization efforts.

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Have a safe, enjoyable, long weekend.

Feature Article:

How Article Marketing Increases Site Traffic and Boosts Sales

As more companies invest in their web presence, it’s important to make sure your business stands out from the competition. To ensure your target market can find you, you need to have high rankings in the major search engines and plenty of quality inbound links to your website.

Ramping up your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts is the key to online success. Aside from making sure your web copy is optimized–written to integrate keywords into informative, easy-to-read, original content that is search engine friendly–blogs, press releases, and ezines are also great ways to enhance your SEO campaign.

One of the best ways to maximize your SEO efforts is through article marketing.

Article marketing is a cost-effective way to increase your online visibility, drive traffic to your site, and bring in more business. One article provides long-term results, exposing your company to thousands of potential customers–over and over again. Every article you place drives more traffic to your website and improves your site’s link popularity and search engine rankings.

Online articles also help establish you as an expert in your industry. If readers like what you have to say and find the information useful, they will read future articles and possibly share it with a friend or colleague. Often, people will use your articles in their ezines or post them as content on their websites, providing you with the credit. This only increases your exposure and links.

The Anatomy of an Article

  • Articles must offer people useful information. They should be informative and industry-related to ensure you reach your target market. Say you own a day spa. Possible topics might include an article on the benefits of massage or tips to keep skin looking young. Again, the goal is to offer helpful and interesting information and get them to visit your website, so make sure the topic is of interest to your target audience.
  • As you’re writing, keep in mind your keywords and try to incorporate them naturally into the article. Some people make the mistake of thinking the more keywords they use, the more site traffic they’ll receive. This simply isn’t true. It’s more about the placement of your keywords and the correct usage of them that build site traffic.
  • Once you have an article completed, submit it to a reputable article directory. Make sure to include your web address and a brief bio about your company. A specific call to action with your website link is the most effective way to get the reader to visit your site.

Want to see more marketing articles like this one? Visit Michelle’s blog, Sumer Blog.

Tip of the Month

According to, 216 million Americans now use the Internet. Even if you have a great website, if no one can find you, you get lost in cyber space. Ramping up on your SEO is the key to reaching your target market from these 216 million web surfers.

What’s New

Rarely do I run out and buy a book that just hit the bookshelves, but there is something different about Christine Kloser’s book, The Freedom Formula: How to Put Soul in Your Business and Money in Your Bank. Something so different that I opted for the two-day shipping, and it still couldn’t get here fast enough.

I’ve read books for entrepreneurs, and I’ve read books on spirituality and awareness, but I’ve yet to come across a book that integrates the two like The Freedom Formula. This book, which also comes with a workbook, shows entrepreneurs step-by-step how to integrate their soul into their business.

Do yourself a favor and buy this new book.

About Michelle

Michelle Salater is an award-winning freelance writer and owner of Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial, Inc., a copywriting company specializing in writing marketing materials for small to midsized businesses. Michelle’s clients benefit from her five-year experience as a freelance writer and her dedication to each client’s success. With an understanding of the business world, marketing strategies, and magazine publication, she offers a variety of services that address each client’s marketing needs. Her goal is to provide result-oriented copy, including web copy, ezines and newsletters, sales letters, ghostwritten articles, along with other marketing materials such as brochures, postcards, and email marketing.

Michelle resides in Charleston, South Carolina, with Mama Mia, a gorgeous dog she rescued from St. John, US Virgin Islands. She can be contacted at or 843-364-2401.

Travel Copywriting

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Some businesses need to sell more than one element in their marketing campaigns. For example, real estate companies not only need to sell the house, apartment, or condo, but they also need to sell the community, the location, the excitement of the area, and the lifestyle. Companies with numerous selling points need to utilize descriptive words as much as they use pictures.

A travel copywriter can bring any area, item, or idea to life with web copy, brochures, and ezines. Travel copywriters will lure potential clients to a specific location and further persuade them to return or buy in that area. They are skilled in describing the luxurious elements of destinations and creating a visual in the reader’s mind of what that place is like.

When people are thinking of vacationing, renting, or buying, they want to know what they are getting for their money. They want to know what the culture is like, or are there beaches? What makes this place better than other popular areas?

Pictures can only show a fraction of the experience. Words can bring life and vivid description to what’s not seen in photos.

Travel copywriters have the talent. Let them use it for your company.

5 Ways a Blog Can Help Your SEO Efforts

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

1. Search engines hone in on the most relevant information to your search. What’s more relevant than an up-to-date blog with a focused topic? Constantly updating your blog will enhance your site rankings.

2. It’s all about the links. Let’s say someone found your blog in a simple search for a particular topic. Now that they’re on your blog, they have the option of clicking on various links. Links to your main blog page, specific pages on your website, and other links you provide work to your benefit. Links can also be embedded into the written content on your blogs, peaking interest in the viewer.

3. Keyword placement is critical in attracting viewers to your blog. Keywords that are focused on your target market will provide the greatest benefits. A set of the same three or four keywords can be placed strategically in the title, links, categories, and body of a blog. Don’t use generalized keywords or words that you think will attract a general crowd. Why? Because general searches won’t necessarily get you sales. Attract a specific target market with profitable keywords. Your goal is to get a high conversion rate from your visitors. This won’t happen if you generalize your target market. Know your target market and get specific with your keywords.

4. The right keywords can get your blog inbound links from other higher-ranking sites. Inbound links are links from other websites or blogs that go directly to yours. Viewers who see your blog link on other sites may be interested in checking out your site as well.

5. Posting your blogs on social bookmarking sites will also increase your company’s exposure. Popular blogs and articles are ranked and, in turn, can get your blog tons of views per day. The relevancy of topics on these sites also helps increase your search engine rankings.

How a Website Can Double, Triple, or Even Quadruple Your Sales

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Online shopping is increasing in popularity. Just how popular is it? An estimated $204 billion dollars worth—an estimated 17% increase for 2008—according to a recent study by Forrester Research, Inc.

Many companies don’t need an area for purchasing on their website, but for those who do—especially retail companies—the above statistic should be enough to motivate you to get a website up and running if you don’t have one already. For those of you who have a shopping cart on your site, it’s crucial that you update your inventory on a regular basis.

A website is a powerful sales tool, yet establishing a strong online presence is a challenge to some businesses that are unfamiliar with how to compete and stand out among the millions of websites. For apparel companies looking to establish an online presence, this can be even more difficult as many of them, especially the small to midsized businesses, have little or no experience selling products and promoting their businesses online.

Let’s say you own a chic boutique downtown, and recently, your clientele has leveled off. You know you need a fresh marketing campaign, or something that will lift you out of that arid plain you’ve been sitting on and get you steady sales volume.

 You don’t want steady sales. You want skyrocketing sales.

According to the Forrester Research study, most online shoppers are visiting apparel stores online and spending $26.6 billion. How much of that $26.6 billion could you tap into?

Creating a website for online shopping for your boutique will greatly benefit your business. An online shopping cart will allow you to make money 24 / 7. The simplicity of virtual shopping is extremely attractive to people who are too busy to shop downtown or for those who want to save on gas. It also provides customers the option to shop whenever they want—not simply during regular business hours.  

There are two worlds out there: the real world and the online world. Get involved in both, and your sales are guaranteed to increase.


Want to know more about bringing your company online? Visit to view the list of copywriting services.

Attract the Clients You Want: Know Your Target Market

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Message from Michelle

Along with the hot, hot temperature outside, things are really heating up this month around the office. I’m so excited about my major website changes, new clients, and the launch of a new marketing campaign.

I’m not the only one working to increase my online presence. I’ve had an influx of companies contacting me looking for help with their web copy and search engine optimization campaigns. A handful in the past week alone. These companies all express the same concern: their website isn’t getting them the site traffic and conversion rates they want.

There are a variety of reasons for this–the keywords are too vague, the design is distracting from the message, or the copy doesn’t provide the target market with information they want and need to know. Whatever the case, the underlying problem is that these companies are not speaking to their target market.

In this issue, we take a look at why it’s important to identify your target market and to understand what they want.

Feature Article:

Attract the Clients You Want: Know Your Target Market

Defining and understanding one’s target market is critical to a successful business. There is plenty of information out there on this topic, yet with this wealth of information, how many businesses fail to do the required work?

Identifying and knowing a target market–inside and out–requires us to look at ourselves, at our company, and look into whom we serve and why. Too many companies have a general idea. Some have no idea at all.

The key is to get specific.

Stating a target as “anybody who needs my product” won’t cut it. Defining your target as “people in the medical field” won’t help much either. Trying to be everything to everyone isn’t going to get you the sales you want.

If you want more customers, you have to know whom you are selling to. And you should know as much about them as you can.

The more you know, the better you can target the group, speak their language, and give them what they want. If you speak to them specifically, create desire, and offer something they need or want, you will gain clients.

Speak to everyone, and you’re likely to get no one.

4 steps to defining your target market . . .

1. Identify your target: know whom you are selling to or serving

Let’s say you own a high-end clothing boutique. You sell products to women, but identifying your target as “all women” is much too vague because most of your inventory is designed for a younger crowd. Look closely at your clientele, and you may find most of your patrons are between 24 and 35. Look even closer, and you may uncover a majority of your clients are young professionals who make over $60,000 a year.

2. Understand your target: get specific

Now that you’ve identified your target, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and brainstorm. Make a list of questions you’d like to know about your target, then answer the questions to the best of your ability. You want to define their lifestyle, hobbies, profession, anything you can that will help you speak to their needs and wants.

Ask questions. Where do they shop, dine, drink? What do they read? Did they graduate from college, have a bachelor or master’s? Are they active in their community? Do they bike on weekends, or do they spend time with family? Don’t limit yourself. Keep asking questions until you feel you know these people.

The more specific you are, the better you will be able to speak to your target market.

3.  Know what your target wants

Once you know whom you are talking to, you need to understand exactly what they want. Don’t assume your target knows what service you offer or product(s) you sell.

How do you know what your target wants? It’s simple: ask them. Send out a survey, interview current clients, or post questions on your blog.

Once you know what they want, not what you think they want, then give it to them. Create services and products to meet their needs. If you can figure out what your target really wants, you’ll attract all the clients you want. You will tap into that sweet spot that will keep them coming back for more.

4. Research your competition

You aren’t the only company trying to attract your target market. Researching your competition will help you discover what methods the competition is using to attract this group. Study the competition’s website, research their keywords, subscribe to their ezines, and study their advertisements and sales copy.

Want to see more marketing articles like this one? Visit Michelle’s blog, Sumer Blog.

Tip of the Month

Anyone who owns his or her own business should make it a point to read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. The book changed the way I do business. And for the better.

The E-Myth Revisited is an eye-opening read into the myths surrounding starting and owning your own business. Not only did it show me the difference between working on my business and working in my business, but it also helped me to create systems that allow me to have more free time and work less. Gerber explains, through specific examples, the pitfalls owners find themselves in and presents the solution to the problem in a positive way.

Read more about The E-Myth Revisited here

The Key to Grabbing Your Target Market

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

You’ve decided it’s time to revamp your company’s website and rewrite existing marketing materials. Instead of wasting time and energy trying to do it yourself, hire a copywriter.  

Freelance copywriters, depending on their area of expertise, are skilled in web copy writing, SEO writing, general business copywriting, freelance editing, and much more. A good freelance copywriter knows what it takes to attract potential customers to your site using a simple equation. First, they listen to your needs and your company’s goals and objectives, and interview you to better understand your target market. Then, they further research your target market and competition. Only after this work do they write the copy.

If you’re interested in hiring someone to write or rewrite your web copy, a copywriter should know how to write optimized copy that reads organically. Good copy is important not only for search engine purposes but also because it sets the tone for the website.

Let’s say you own a luxury real estate company. You know the exact target market you’re trying to appeal to but don’t know how to appeal to them. Presenting the facts and photos of your real estate isn’t going to cut it. This is where website copywriting becomes a vital element of your company’s success.

Web copy for a high-end real estate company needs to have a very specific tone, one that expresses a chic, sexy, luxurious lifestyle that creates desire for the potential client. Unique and well-executed web copy will speak to the company’s target market while incorporating keywords and phrases to increase search engine rankings.  

Eliminate competition and increase your clientele by hiring a copywriter to bring in sales. View Michelle Salater’s copywriting services.

Why Care about Web Copy?

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Can you relate to the following scenario?

You have a brilliant business idea. You are clear on what you offer your clients. And you have a website you paid a lot of money for. You think you’ve communicated effectively what you offer. And, even better, you’re getting site traffic. But . . .

And this is a big but . . . it can make or break your business.

No one is calling you. Customers aren’t buying your products. They aren’t emailing for a consultation.

You decide you need tweak the web copy on your site. So, you try a little of this and a little of that. Still, nothing changes. Frustrated, you scratch your head and wonder, What am I doing wrong? The answer lies in the quality of your copy.

Think of web copy as bait. If you want clients, you must give them what they are hungry for.

The information you find necessary isn’t always what the potential customer needs or wants. Your copy must speak to your target audience. And you must communicate your message a clear, concise, informative way. If you don’t, the alternative is that they will go somewhere else—no matter how stellar your services or product may be. Remember, for your potential client to feel the same enthusiasm you have for your product and services, you must project this image.

Need copy? Contact Michelle today.

Data Research Tips for the Small Business

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Researching the industry that your company is a part of can be extremely beneficial to the growth and long-term success of your company. Understanding the economy, as well as the demographic changes occurring in the U.S. can lead to new products and services, and changes in existing ones. When first researching data for your business, I suggest learning more about your competitors and other business owners in your industry. Research competitors’ demographics, target markets, company success, number of employees, years in business, etc. This is going to give you an idea of what your competition is like, and help you create tactics to be on top. After doing extensive research on the industry and your competitors, dive right into customer profiles and demographics.

Places to Research:

·       Census Bureau: The Bureau is an excellent source for data on the economy and the people of the U.S. It’s a great place to get an overview on the industry your business is a part of. This website provides data on people, households, businesses, industries, geography and recent news.  This website also provides the Survey of Business Owners (SBO), which updated every five years. It’s a great place to find stats on business ownership (based on various demographics), characteristics of businesses, and characteristics of business owners. 

·       Other stores in your industry: Visit other companies’ websites and stores to get an idea of what they’re doing right when it comes to attracting customers. Once you have an idea of the positive aspects of your competitors, figure out what would make your company stand out above the others. Are their prices too high? Is their website amateur? Is the customer service good/bad?

· This website provides free market research for over 250 industries and has contributors worldwide. The goal of is to “let the global community of research and others contribute high-level core research on all major business research topics” (

·       Outsource: Market research can be very difficult and sometimes you may not know what to do with the information you receive. It’s about searching, sorting, and analyzing. This could get extremely time consuming and confusing. Outsourcing your market researching to a professional allows you to focus on other areas of your business, things you are more familiar with. Since market researching is an important element to the workings of your business, it’s sometimes best to leave this task up to the professionals.

Want more small business marketing advice? Subscribe to Your Business Marketing Solution, a bimonthly ezine filled with marketing tips and informative articles. 




When Life Gives You Lemons . . .

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Owning a small business is a challenge (fun and exciting) in and of itself. But when life happens, small business owners have find balance between work and personal demands.

Over the weekend, my dog ran away and was missing for eleven hours. She disappeared at 11:15 p.m. Saturday night and someone found her at 10:00 the following morning. We searched for her almost all night. When we went to pick up Mama Mia from a man who found her, we realized she’d been hit by a car.

On three hours of sleep, we rushed to the animal hospital. She was admitted and kept over night. I slept a good four hours before I had to pick her up at 6:00 a.m. and take her to the vet.

While Mama Mia is doing fine and recovering quickly, I am dragging. Lack of sleep, worry, and running all over town have worn me out. On top of that, I have customer’s with needs and promises to keep. I have blogs to post and web copy to rework. My accountant called. I need to update my QuickBooks.

This morning over a cup of coffee, I wondered what other small business owners do to balance life’s demands and customer demands. How do we make lemonade when we’re thrown a sack full of lemons?

I have no clear answer. No perfect solution. What I have learned is to take it one step at a time. One day at a time.