search engine marketing

mark cubanAs you probably know, a successful business is "All About Marketing". Internet Marketing Gurus and Founders of, Ryan Totka and Ernie Falco now offer a FREE marketing column for you to enjoy and implement to your online business. We model some of our ideas after successful Internet entrepreneurs and our experiences on the web over the past 9 years. The key to making your business a success is creating a buzz and getting people talking about your company. Our column combines useful everyday marketing strategies, as well simple tips to make your website more profitable.

Listen to our segment on the Entrepreneur Magazine Radio Show with Lee Mirabal on September 10, 2004...Click Here to Listen to the Segment


Use MySpace to Your Advantage
October 21, 2005
by Ryan Totka

MySpaceI'm sure you already heard of, or are a current member of MySpace, one of the most dominant online communities that was recently sold to Fox for $580 million. There are currently over 32 million users, all from viral marketing. Don't we wish all of our ideas could spread like wild fire? Most people use (waste time) on MySpace searching for dates, looking for new friends and just browsing for hot chicks. With this free service to us (advertiser supported), why not have your business take advantage of the latest phenomenon. We recently set up a TornadoPromotions MySpace account, not promoting ourselves, but our services. We invited our friends, some who may have not known exactly what we do in the past. This is a great way to brand your image among a local, or national crowd. Besides music, I think the future of MySpace is promoting services and businesses (as profiles). Let's wait and see if I am right!

Networking is Your Greatest Tool
May 31, 2005
by Ryan Totka

Ever wonder why certain people know so many people around town? It's not because they are shy. They get involved, are outgoing and are great networkers. The best way to spreadsheet the word about your business is to talk about what you do to every person you come across every day. I've had experiences while I was sitting in the bookstore, coffee shop, and car wash when I gave people my business card and it turned into business for us. A lot of times, they may not need your services at the time, but someone they know winds up giving you a call. If you are new to your area and not sure how to get involved, start off by joining your local Chamber of Commerce, sports leagues or any other local business clubs your city offers. I'm actively involved in softball and flag football in Orlando and even sponsor one of my teams. With all the great athletes we have, we are in first place every season, so everyone in the league knows as the team to beat. This is virtually free offline marketing for us. Remember to always carry business cards with you, because you never know who you might run into.

The Greatest Risk is Not Taking One
October 7, 2004
by Ryan Totka

Ever had a great idea that you wanted to bring to the web? Everyday I think of exciting new business ideas I want to start. I just wish I had the time. You don't need a bunch of venture capital money to start a business. All you need is a good strategy and let the web work for you, no matter what industry you are in.  As you probably know, I am a huge Mark Cuban fan (the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and founder of I recently came across an interview with him that I though was very interesting. He touched on taking risk and how important is was to his success in life...Read Mark's latest comments and opinions at his blog site at .

Here are Mark Cuban's five tips for business:

1) Go for it. If you have nothing and lose, you still have nothing.

2) Preparation reduces risk. Sometimes, preparation may tell you to play it safe.
3) Love what you do. That spells success even if you don’t make money.
4) You can’t be effective and be anonymous. Celebrity CEOs are good for the company if they perform.
5) In business deals, look for the fool. If you don’t see one, the fool is you. 

Consider These Names to Protect Yourself
July 14, 2004
by Ryan Totka

Think beyond your company name. Besides registering your dot com company name, think about the .net, .org and other variations to avoid confusion and protect your brand. For example, if your company name is Baseball Bats, Inc., of course you should buy,, .net, and .org if you ever decide to start a non-profit division. Also you should consider getting the dashes between your name like Often time, people forgot to type the "." in the address bar, so it may be wise to get Trust me on this one! It happens a lot. Like I mentioned in a previous tip of the month, try to find a name with keywords in your domain name because search engine such as Google will give your site a higher ranking. For the baseball bat company, I would do some research to see what other terms people are searching with "baseball bat". A good one may be Remember, the more sites you have out there, the better!

Web Users Love Freebies
June 1, 2004
By Ryan Totka

Stop being cheap for once and offer your potential customers something free. Trust me, it's definately worth it. If marketed right, The PR you will get out of it will well surpass the cost of the product or service you are giving away. To give you an example, when I ran a few years ago, we had a $500 scholarship giveaway to students who participated in our stock portfolio contest. I sent a few emails to scholarship portals on the web and they were more than happy to help promote it for us. After three months of running this offer, we built our email database to over 10,000 students. All we gave away was $500. The promotion and website traffic we received from this was tremendous.

Web users love free stuff. Even if it's a t-shirt, a hat or anything else with your company's name on it. They then become a walking billboard for you. T-shirts are the best giveaways because people wear them at the gym, the mall and anywhere else in the public. Depending on your budget and goals, I would suggest running a monthly contest to build your database and promote your company in your community.

If you run a subscription based site, offer them a free trial period. Often times, you need to lure your user in by giving them a quick taste of your services. Because there may be many choices on the web, this free trial may turn into a customer for life.

Link Popularity: The Key Ingredient to Ranking Better
March 9, 2004
By Ernie Falco and Ryan Totka

Search engines such as Google rank your website higher in their search results when other relevant websites are linked to your site.  Google will measure how relevant these inbound linking sites are to the content on your website and work that in to the overall equation that determines where you site is ranked in a search. When looking for sites to exchange links with, you need to find websites that are within your industry and research the right pages to link from.  However, they don’t have to be your direct competition because they probably would not want to link to your site for obvious reasons. You may ask yourself, who would consider linking to your site?

An example would be our Sports Speaker website,; we could have team and player fan sites, athletes’ official sites, informational sports sites and other speaking bureaus linking to us. As you can see there is a fit among the types of content offered on both sites. They may not necessasarily both be a speaking bureau site, but they do offer information about athletes, which Google will see as relevant content. If your business is based in a certain geographic, it is also wise to get links from other sites in you region.  Since is in Orlando, we may want to go after other sites in our area. This may help our ranking when people search “Orlando speakers bureau”, “speakers in Orlando” etc.

Ultimately what this does is allows Google to see your site as a credible and valuable resource within your industry. Search Engines such as Google figure that if they see other high traffic / relevant websites linking to you, they see your site as a leader in your industry. Beside the increased chance for better search engine placement, you also have a rapid increase in traffic from visitors finding you through these new links. The best part about it all is that link tradeoffs are generally free. You just have to invest your time in finding the right partners...Have Us Help You Build Link Popularity for Your Site

Profit Off of Misspells and Other Search Term Variations
November 5, 2003
by Ryan Totka -

Many people that try and market their products and services through search engine marketing often forget about popular misspelled terms and other search term variations. This is often an untapped market for many advertisers. While many of the main terms go for a few bucks a click, you may get misspells at the minimum of .10 per click for that same type of lead. For example, if you are a mortgage broker in the san diego area, people may type in "San Deigo Mortgage", "San Deigo Morgage" or "San Diego Morgage". Searchers may also type in SanDiego as one word, which is a seperate search terms. As you can see, there are many other variations. You can't assume that everyone has won a national spelling bee. That's just a fact of life. By Brainstorming and typing fast on the keyboard may spark up some new keyword ideas. Ask friends or family how they would search when looking for a product or service. As you can see, having bad grammar may pay off after all...Let us Assist You With Your Pay Per Click Campaign

Get Domain Names That are Keyword Enriched
October 4, 2003
by Ryan Totka -

Ever wonder how some websites get free placement in Google, the Internet's most used search engine? Having relevant content is the most important, as well as having good link popularity (other sites linking to yours). You also want to optimize your site with the right meta tags, focusing on targeted keywords in your titles and descriptions. A little know secret that has worked for us is using domain names that are keyword enriched. For example, we recently purchased and designed,, with the intention of getting free placement for the term "orlando used cars" which gets over 130 searches a day. We now also get FREE top placement in Google for terms like "orlando bmw", "orlando mercedes", "orlando toyota" and more. It has also been known that domains with dashes (-) get better placement. Go to Google and look up different search terms. You will notice that the top results are often websites with long domain names that include the keywords you typed in. All you have to do is replicate your site, make a few changes and let it get spidered by Google.  The goal isn't for a potential customer to go to the address bar and type in your website's name, but to find you in a search engine such as Yahoo in Google. Statistics show that 81% of all Internet traffic comes from search engines...Purchase Your Keyword Enriched Domain Name Now!

Make Your Contact Information Highly Visible
August 26, 2003
By Ryan Totka -

Although it sounds simple, many website designers do not put all the important contact information at the top of their site. If the goal of your site is to find qualified leads, sales or people to contact you, we can't stress this enough. Put your phone number at the top right of your site and make sure you have it on every page. With people searching on the web, you never know when they might find a backdoor page on your site. Let's face it, we don't like to waste time searching for contact information. All the important information should be at the top fold of the page. If you are a small business and hide your phone number and email address, people may lose confidence in your company, thinking you are hiding something.

Along with a phone number, make sure you have a contact email address at the top. Some may choose to call, fill out a form or simply email you, requesting information about your products and services. First, make sure that your email works. If you are online all day, send it to an address that you constantly check. Potential customers don't like waiting days for someone to get back to them. If you respond within the first hour, this increases the chance for sale and prevents them from browsing to other competitor websites. A quick response also looks very professional. What does that say about your business when customer support doesn't get in touch with a potential client in a reasonable amount of time? Waiting may prevent them from becoming a customer in the first place...Have Us Make Changes to Your Website

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