Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Loudoun County SEO Providers and Services for Businesses, Nonprofits, Startups - Top 6

There's a proliferation lately of digital marketers and publishers promoting themselves as Search Engine Optimization "SEO" experts, here in Loudoun County.

Mostly originating from very local, low-cost and low-skilled success in commodity, consumer-oriented social media use, recent graduate internships, EZ website design and, frankly, taking advantage of local businesses and business groups who don't really know anything about SEO or digital marketing.

Some are legitimate PR/Communications consultants, small publishers/printers, media producers or IT/software programmers and consultants - but don't have focused, full-scope Digital Marketing/SEO skills and experience. Add these individuals to the legions of offshore, non-American-English-savvy spaminators and affiliates, one-price-fits-all SEO-mills and ISPs (from Reachlocal and Network Solutions, for example), and variations on the I-have-a-blog-therefore-I-can-help-you-market-your-business personalities...and it can paint a confusing picture for Loudoun businesses legitimately trying to find quality, reasonably-priced, trustworthy help to market their products, services and reputation online.

Resident in Loudoun County, there are only a few legitimately experienced, professionally-certified, technically competent and measurably successful SEO consultants or providers making up the core of the engaged digital marketing experts community, particularly with relevant experience marketing and promoting small/mid-sized Loudoun businesses, startups and nonprofits to Loudoun and Northern Virginia audiences - B2B, B2C and B2G. SEO applied not only from Google's perspective, but from ALL the search engines, social media, mobile and digital advertising platforms out there. This list is even further, dramatically limited, when you add digital information technology competence AND paid search (i.e. SEM) to the profile - which, these days, is essential as the digital technology platforms, tools and services change very rapidly on the Internet and within business IT departments.

This is because SEO is not only about "keywords", "copywriting", "social media posts/tags" and "nice website designs". It's about quite a bit more, that changes every day, that's quite complex and requires a great deal of professional expertise and varied experiences to do right.

It's easy to find them, the actual full-service Loudoun SEO experts, for your online digital marketing requirements in Loudoun County, Northern Virginia, metro DC - just use Google, or any other online search engine, and note our (predictably subjective, of course) guidance.

Search (these results of course are only valid on the day of this posting - but they've been basically the same for quite a while) for a phrase like "Loudoun business SEO" or "Loudoun Internet Marketing", or most any variant, and you'll quickly find:

1 - KME Internet Marketing is by far the most experienced, relevant and measurably visible, with the most local civic engagement of any marketing company, at the most cost-effective rates. Offering not only SEO, but a full scope of Dgital Information Management & Technology solutions. Here in Loudoun, since 2005.

2 - Gallop Web Services - a solid Loudoun business and digital marketing community member, active in Loudoun since about 2010.

3 - Synavista - long-time web developer in Leesburg, with some additional SEO services

4 - Netqwik - has offered their core website build/management services from Ashburn since 2005, with addtional SEO services.

5 - Go Fish Digital - a major, though newer player in interactive design and digital marketing

6 - Huberspace, a longtime web development entity in Loudoun, with some additional SEO services

*Update - Blue Tree Digital looks like an interesting newer design-centric marketing firm as well, based in Leesburg.

That's it. If you have requirements for a Loudoun-based, expert and experienced digital marketing/SEO agency - start with this list, with KME in particular, and you'll find what you need.

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Support a #Crowdfunded #Indiegogo public music licensing platform - for artists, producers, distributors

Gideen #Crowdsourced Online Music Licensing & Publishing Startup - New Royalties for Artists, Consumers...Now independent artists, consumers, publishers, fans can get a piece of the global music licensing pie - a new stakeholders community for 98% of the world's undiscovered music. Help support this startup launch with #IndieGoGo donor funding - become a Gideen Tour Manager, Producer, VIP!
http://bit.ly/1bxPyDs

Monday, February 3, 2014

Northern Virginia Data Centers, Soccer Fields and Chickens

Data Centers in Northern Virginia continue to be a quickly-growing, and economically-valuable element of the Northern Virginia business community. However, in a sustainable, long-term perspective, can they be good neighbors? How can the Northern Virginia Data Center community align itself with other local and regional communities?
http://www.madeinloudoun.com/made-in-loudoun/a-soccer-field-on-the-data-center-with-chickens-in-the-parking-lot-in-northern-virginia

Monday, February 25, 2013

Calling all English Blog Spammers, Linkbaiters, Gray Hat SEO'ers - A Business Proposition

Hey, all of you who have graciously and promptly submitted very complementary, gushing, really nice comments to our past blog post - we really appreciate the attention and kind thoughts, whether or not you are a person, an automated spam-bot or perhaps an Amazonian Turk. We obviously also appreciate Blogger's "select all" feature when deleting them, and marking as spam. I'm curious though - when marked as spam, do you'all get a nice response as well?

Here's my proposition - while obviously all of this futile commenting is offshore, english-as-a-second-language linkbuilding spam, it amuses me. So much so, that I'll be including much of it in my next book - but that's another topic.

FYI - I'll need to be inserting some really nice spam collecting, linkbait to attract potential new clients per this offer....so, dear readers, please ignore phrases like the following - cheap inbound linkbuilding copywriting - hundred of free inbound links for maximum google page rank and web traffic ...

However, while amusing, what truly annoys me is the abject lack of thought, consideration or investment that appears to be going into generation of the comments - whether or not the comments are individually typed or generated by a site-scraping, auto-registering spambot client. While most are really funny, and some are outstanding in terms of sheer, unbridled, Faulknerian (i.e. James Faulkner, inventor of the multi-page, run-on, stream-of-consciousness thought sentence by a an idiot man-child) lunacy - all completely reject the notion or even the lamest attempt at proper, or remotely conversational American English grammar.

It's made "SEO" (Search Engine Optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization) 4-letter words among the Internet business marketing and advertising community, and their prospective clients or litigants.

To wit - here are just a few of my most favorites, from this past blog - which have, unfortunately, had to have been unceremoniously sent to Google's trash bin (though likely will live forever on some backup tape):

The compliment: "Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast provided vivid transparent concept my webpage - www.somethingreallystupidlyspammy.com "

The family connection: "My spouse and i were absolutely thankful that Emmanuel could do his preliminary research through your precious recommendations he obtained using your web pages. It's not at all simplistic to simply continually be releasing things that many others might have been making money from. So we see we've got the website owner to appreciate because of that. All the explanations you have made, the straightforward blog menu, the relationships you will help create - it's many amazing, and it's really letting our son in addition to the family know that that issue is enjoyable, and that is exceptionally fundamental. Thank you for the whole thing! My web page - www.somethingequallystupid.com "

The mindless distraction: "Τoday, I ωеnt to the beachfrοnt with my kids. I found a sea shell anԁ gave it to my 4 уear old dаughter аnd saiԁ "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." Ѕhе рlаcеԁ thе shell to her eaг and scгeаmеd. Тherе was a hermit cгab insiԁe and it pinchеd her eаr. She never wants to go back! LoL I know thіѕ is еntirelу off topiс but I hаԁ to tell someοnе! Also viѕit my wеbρаge :: adult personals on www.bitemyearhardthenlisten.com "

and, of course, the Apprentice request: "Hmm it appears lіke уour ѕite аte my first comment (it ωas super long) so ӏ gueѕs I'll just sum it up what I had written and say, I'm thoroughly enjoуing уour blog. I tοo am an аѕpігіng blog blogger but I'm still new to everything. Do you have any points for beginner blog writers? I'd certаinly apprecіate it. Also visit my web page at www.impaid3dollarsanhourtocrankoutthiscrap.com ".

Free SEO inbound web links for business site traffic, blog post and social comments.

Here's my proposition, to all the nice blog spam outfits out there, and to all businesses who think they can outsource quality SEO, linkbuilding and social media overseas, or simply do it on the cheap - in language you'll understand:

Please do what is the needful and kindly let ME (instead of you, or your sorry-assed PHP script) type social comments into high page rank blogs using absolutely, gosh-darned proper American conversational English grammar. Timely, topic, relevant, interesting and possibly useful contextual tidbit content included for free, along with a URL-shortened link (so the link doesn't look so gosh-darned stupid)! For $5 a comment, Paypal accounts accepted, definitely in time for the highest page view traffic on Tuesday mornings before the emails kick off!

That's right - I WILL WRITE YOUR SPAM FOR YOU, AND IT WILL BE GOOD, GUARANTEED - THE GOODEST ENGLISH SPAM YOU'VE EVER SEEN, SURE TO ATTRACT MANY LINKS, FOLLOWERS, FRIENDS, HIGH PAGE RANKINGS AND AMERICAN DOLLARS OR EUROS. It will fool everyone, even Mr. Akismet. It will include a touch of humour and wit, perhaps a nod to contemporary culture or industry, a brief but acceptably warm and casual entreaty or compliment...and it's certain its content won't be unfortunately cluttered with misplaced or missing apostrophes. It will find its way casually and acceptably into more conservative professional forums, like LinkedIn, on topic and without promotional slant. YOU WILL REAP FANTASTIC REWARDS FROM THE MANAGER OF YOUR SPAM-MILL, AND YOU WILL BE CELEBRATED APPROPRIATELY IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE. EVEN IF YOUR OWN LANGUAGE IS SOME VARIANT OF SOUTHERN JERSEY GUIDO. I CAN SAY THAT, I'VE LIVED NEAR THERE.

Thanks, dear global spammer and link-builder community, for allowing me to help you - and perhaps help the world improve its online use of proper English grammar, one bit of meaty, tasty, oozing bit of delicious link-bait at a time.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Choosing an Internet Digital Interactive Marketing Partner in DC and Northern Virginia

How to evaluate your digital, interactive marketing partner, for local and regional businesses - particularly in the Washington DC and Northern Virginia marketing and advertising area.

KME Internet and Interactive Marketing in DC, Northern Virginia

We'll put it out there – as you evaluate prospective partners like KME Internet Marketing to help with web marketing initiatives, gaining exposure for your business and driving new sales from the Internet, this is exactly what you should seek.

Research and ask about ALL of these skills and expertise domains, either directly, or as part of your Solicitation or Request for Proposal/Information (RFP/RFI):

1.    Is the firm accessible, with local, hands-on, in-person availability of subject matter experts?  Professional, personal service and communications are critical.

2.    Who exactly will you be working with; are these professionals accessible?  The firm's website should include leadership profiles and pictures, and these individuals should be well-known in the industry and accessible via professional social media (i.e. LinkedIn). The firm's leadership should have demonstrated at least 10 years in the Internet Technology industry.

3.    Is the firm established, well-known and engaged in the community, with clear evidence of success over time?  Avoid the newbies, the out-of-towners, the affiliate marketing scams (there are MANY around), the off-shore-ers, the "website marketing mills", the inexperienced recent graduates, the recent career-changers, the part-timers and interns.  Seek those with community roots and involvement, knowledge of local geopolitics. Does the firm appear among the top results itself, in local search engine results? (Try this – search for "Loudoun Internet Marketing" in Google – and note KME is referenced in nearly every result on the first page!). Is the firm engaged in local business and social media forums?

4.    Does the firm require a long-term contract? This is a clear sign of a revenue-focused firm, vs. a customer services-focused firm.

5.    Is the firm "in it for the long haul"? Firms with established certifications and designations, for example "Disadvantage Business Enterprise" (DBE) designations by the State of VA and the SBA, provide evidence of invested commitment to industry and clients.  KME is a designated "SWaM" (VA DBE) and "WOSB" (SBA) enterprise (in process). KME also maintains Google Adwords certifications.

6.    Is the firm focused on sales, or service, from the very first conversation? Fancy websites and reams of sales material or teams of traveling salespeople are no substitute for personalized, expert advice without the overhead – and therefore lower prices and better return on your investment (ROI).

7.    Is the firm specialized, or comprehensive?  You won't achieve success employing just a web design firm, just a programmer, just a PR contractor, just a social media expert, just an advertising company or employee – you need a firm with the chops, flexibility and expertise to address all your online objectives and challenges, at your price point.

8.    Can the firm "scale"? Does the firm have a robust network of partners and service providers that enable rapid growth and responsiveness to unforeseen or unplanned needs?

9.    Does the firm deliver the right expertise? You may want some of the following services, at different times – but proven, certified expertise across ALL of the following domains is absolutely required for comprehensive interactive marketing success – ask your prospective firm about each and every one; KME is one of only a very short list of "boutique" firms in Northern Virginia whose local personnel can claim this range of expertise, this "value proposition".



13 Domains of Required Interactive Marketing Expertise:

a.    Project Management – organizing time, schedule, resources, people, budget, campaigns, reviews – with rapid response and undivided attention, with experience from the smallest to the largest and most complex programs. Experience with PMP, CMMi.

b.    Business and Marketing Strategy – understanding your business, evolving the business case, managing requirements scope, dealing with nonprofit or government constraints, managing financial concerns, complying with policies, laws and standards, advising the startups.

c.    Communications – excellence in copywriting, PR, correspondence, Social Media - in Perfect American English

d.    Traditional Marketing – creating and buying print or broadcast ads, direct outreach, etc.

e.    Interactive Marketing – current skills in SEO, SEM, PPC, Mobile Ads, Social Media, Online Coupons, Ad Networks, Reputation Management

f.    Creative Design – unique, compelling audio, visual, video planning and production, for your website, your advertisements, your branding, your social outreach, your email, newsletters and other direct communications

g.    Information Technology (IT) – web technologies and architectures, Internet services and hosting, security and privacy, mobile platforms, digital content management, licensing and SLAs, ITIL, custom programming, systems integration, technical performance, continuity and disaster recovery.

h.    Systems Engineering – managing the lifecycle of a web technology project, from design through testing and "going live", including conversions, migrations, maintenance and integration with other projects. Experienced with Enterprise Architecture (EA) and SDLC methods.

i.    Information Architecture – the organization and placement of digital content and text copy on your site and social channels, use of "metadata" and "semantics", the navigation routes and funnels, the user experience (UX) and accessibility (i.e. Section 508) concerns

j.    Training and Transition – understanding what's necessary for your business and employees or partners to understand and use the new website, review and update content, modify business processes and roles, change application features and configurations.

k.    Business Performance and Analytics – creating and using analytics and reporting tools, to monitor, measure and dramatically improve the success of your marketing, mission or business.

l.    Industry Awareness – constantly evaluating new technologies, testing new services, maintaining awareness of digital trends and events that may impact your business – from search engine algorithm updates, to new website plug-ins and mobile consumer platforms.

m.    Industry Channels and Relationships – your business should be able to take advantage of the firm's social media channels and networks, content networks, publications and professional relationships. The firm should have access to experts in your industry.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Online Business Feedback, Yelp, Reviews & Critics - Managing Digital Reputation in DC

Nearly every business we work with is finding that more and more effort is required to manage their  online reviews and feedback. Particularly for local or regional businesses, the very first thing online consumers do in considering to visit or buy, is to seek out online reviews, search for online reputation or trust signals, and canvass their social media networks for trusted advice and opinion.

More often than not, the aggregate perception developed in a consumer's mind, from this online collection of "reputation proof points", will overcome ANY direct marketing, advertising or SEO efforts being made.

It's hard to fight back, and lawsuits really aren't the answer. This recent example here in Northern Virginia may result in some compensation - but the damage is done, and will last for a long time on the Internet.

Establishing consistent, durable and very positive online messaging isn't easy, and requires constant attention.  There's also no specific, simple answer, tool or web service - and furthermore, any tools or methods that are working today, will not be as effective tomorrow, given the constant changes and updates being made to social sites, search engines and competitive reactions.

What is absolutely necessary, to maintain a very positive, trustworthy, engaging and respectable professional presence online - is professional care and feeding of your online reputation paired with superior products, services and customer engagement.  It's not necessarily expensive, but requires time spent determining your status, planning your approach, executing an ongoing strategy and staying on top of the reviews.

Your response to online review and PR challenges also requires absolutely professional, high-quality American English copywriting and communications skills, with innate knowledge and understanding of your locality and local news, your market and customers, and your products, services and technical vocabulary.

We can help - as we do for all of our clients. The customer, community and revenue fallout from bad Google or Yelp reviews can be diluted, overcome, even officially retracted if unfair. Critics and negativity can be promptly, effectively, legally addressed. Positive feedback and testimonials can be solicited, collected and expertly highlighted. Great experiences and news can be prominently placed and optimized for maximum visibility. Professional public relations (PR) and communications strategies can be implemented, at extremely reasonable rates - and far more proactively and effectively than traditional advertising, web design, media publishers or PR firms can offer.

This is a difficult, quickly-growing issue that will always take time to address and monitor, and has to be an extremely important part of every business marketing and outreach plan.  Contact KME Internet Marketing today for more information, or to discuss the many ways we can help.  

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy New Year 2013 - DC and Northern Virginia Digital Marketing Update by KME

Happy Holidays from KME Internet Marketing!

Hopefully you and yours will find time to decompress and finish up planning for business success in the new year.

KME has several significant announcements to report. We're now a certified "SWaM" (Small Woman-Owned Business), by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprises (DMBE). This certification both solidifies our presence and support for the small and local business community in Virginia and the DC area, and enables additional teaming and partnering opportunities for our services, aligned with responses to very large, complex government initiatives. Find out more about our Virginia SWaM Certification.

We're also now delivering IT & Marketing advisory services to startups and emerging businesses, essentially providing CIO/CTO/CMO consulting during the strategic planning and investment control stages of a new business. We've already helped several new, local and national startups through IT planning, marketing strategy and other technical decision hurdles, for both the benefit of the startup team itself and for communications, engagement with the investor community.

Several of these startups will emerge this year, and one has already been purchased; obviously they're somewhat "under wraps" at this time but moving aggressively towards their Beta release and securing additional rounds of investor financing, partnerships and growth.

Along with our roster of startups, our successful and satisfied client and partner list continues to grow. Newer SEO, SEM (Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Marketing) or interactive web marketing initiatives range from Government to Commercial, large to small businesses - including the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development (DED), Hunt Country Propane, HIS Sign, Belfort Furniture, Kastle Systems, Signature Kitchens, ProTier Industries, and Shenandoah Urologic Specialists.

2013 is shaping up to be a very busy year for us and our Internet Marketing clients, particularly as web and mobile engagement technologies become a critical part to every business growth and marketing plan under the continuing pressures of the sluggish economy and cost savings requirements.

Have a fantastic holiday season, and happy New Year!

Kelly McLaughlan
CEO - KME Internet Marketing

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