Filter The NoiseBlog

We blog about design, technology, internet marketing and business on the web. As the name implies, we aim to "filter the noise" and share only the most relevant information. Feel free to chime in anytime with your thoughts and comments. Established 2004 in Colorado Springs, Colorado by HighTouch Web Design and Internet Marketing.

What are Inbound Links and Why they are good for your Search Results

Kim Kolb - Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Inbound links are the unsung hero of successful inbound marketing. They help increase traffic, and improve SEO.

But what is an inbound link? An inbound link is a link from one website to another website. For example, this is an inbound link to Hubspot.com. The inbound description is generally used by the person receiving the link. So HubSpot might say, "I received an inbound link from HighTouch.

So why do you need inbound links? Two reasons. First, it's an opportunity to receive referral traffic from another website. An inbound link from a blog is an avenue for that blog's readers to visit you. But depending on the amount of traffic that blog or website receives, the link may send a low volume of traffic.

So what does a good inbound link look like? Good question! There are three primary qualities that define the quality and strength of an inbound link:

1. Comes from an authoritative website. So, if Hubspot were to link to HighTouch's blog, they would be an authority since Inbound Marketing is what they are all about.

2. Uses anchortext. Anchortext is the text that "holds" the link. For example, you can link to another site by either writing the URL, or using anchortext (www.hubspot.com or Hubspot, respectively).

3. Has descriptive anchortext. The reason we like anchortext in point #2 is because it gives the linker the opportunity to describe the linked-to site in the link itself. This is great for the person who is receiving the link, because now search engines will have more information about his or her site. (For Example if you have a link that goes off the site, you can call it something relative to what you are talking about like, click here for more Website Design and SEO tips, linking Website Design as the anchor text.)

You can see here from the Analytics what the sites are that refer traffic to HighTouch...  Notice Facebook is at the Top, just a plug for Social Media Efforts.

Have you checked your site for Inbound Links lately?  Blogging is a great way to accomplish this as well as commenting on other relevant blogs.

What is your highest referring site?

International Builder Show Jan 2011

Kim Kolb - Sunday, January 16, 2011

I have just returned from the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL where the International Builder Show (IBS) was held. 

This was the first time I have been to the International Builder Show. What a massive production. The show was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. They had a beautiful sign out front with nice glittery lights.. Kinda made me think I was in Vegas. The Displays spanned the entire length of the West Building. I have been to a PartyLite Convention before and I thought it was a big production.

There were tons of seminars for Builders as well as networking opportunities.

I was attending this event because I was asked to be a speaker at the Convention. I was part of a panel that talked about the REDMAR process. I was asked to speak on this process and how Inbound Marketing relates to getting visitors to your site. I love it when I am asked to talk about Inbound Marketing. It really makes me feel like my job means something when I get a client who looks to me for advise on how to start or improve their on line marketing efforts.

Although my trip was only one day long. I do plan to go back to Orlando because there was tons of fun I did not have!

How is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging, Email Marketing and YouTube Affecting Your Business

Kim Kolb - Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Every month I like to reflect on how my on-line marketing efforts are working with my Social Media efforts and my website.  Here are tools I use, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Blogging. I have 3 Twitter Accounts, 2 Facebook Accounts, 2 Facebook Pages, 1 LinkedIn Account and 2 Blogs I maintain. Now these are not all my main business accounts with HighTouch Marketing and Design, I also have a passion for Wine in which that is another set of accounts in this mix.  I know what you are thinking..."How does she manage all those accounts?"  HootSuite is what I use, but TweetDeck is also another great tool.

So with all these accounts what is my goal for my business and my passion?  To drive traffic to them! Why? Why would you spend all this time on these marketing efforts and not have a plan?  If you are just aimlessly out there "Playing" then you are not serious about your business. If your goal is not to get more people to your website to find out about you and then to get them to convert to a lead/sale then you really need to stop your efforts. 

Converting a Lead/Sale is different for everyone. With my company HighTouch, my goal is to create traffic to my site so I can convert someone into getting a website redesigned or created and to help that customer market their business.  My Wine site on the other hand, a Lead/Sale is different.  Right now I am working on name recognition, trust and winery profiles. So a conversion can be different for the type of business you are in.

Tracking your efforts

There are great tools like Google Analytics, it is FREE, that you can use to track the traffic on your site, where people are coming from, what they are clicking on, etc.  Tracking your efforts is as important as the actual effort.  You can track all your social media and blogging efforts here as well as putting links on your site to drive traffic to those particular venues.

Here are some Cool Stats from my friend at Bonsai Interactive Marketing. Pay close attention as these stats show you that people are out there and they are searching for you.  What will they see when they find you?

Facebook Stats:

  • The average Facebook user has 130 friends.
  • More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts,
  • notes, photo albums, etc.) is shared each month.
  • More than 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites
  • every month.
  • There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook
  • through their mobile devices.
  • The average Facebook user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events.
  • People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

Twitter Stats:

  • Twitter’s web platform only accounts for a quarter of its users – 75% use
  • third-party apps.
  • Twitter gets more than 300,000 new users every day.
  • There are currently 110 million users of Twitter’s services.
  • Twitter receives 180 million unique visits each month.
  • There are more than 600 million searches on Twitter every day.
  • Over 60% of Twitter use is outside the U.S.
  • More than a third of users access Twitter via their mobile phone

LinkedIn Stats:

  • LinkedIn is the oldest of the four sites in this ebook, having been created
  • on May 5 2003.
  • here are more than 70 million users worldwide.
  • Members of LinkedIn come from more than 200 countries from every
  • continent.
  • 80% of companies use LinkedIn as a recruitment tool.
  • A new member joins LinkedIn every second.
  • LinkedIn receives almost 12 million unique visitors per day.
  • Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are on LinkedIn.

Blogging Stats:

  • 77% of Internet users read blogs.
  • 60% of bloggers are between the ages 18-44.
  • One in five bloggers update their blogs daily.
  • Two thirds of bloggers are male.
  • Corporate blogging accounts for 14% of blogs.
  • 15% of bloggers spend 10 hours a week blogging.
  • More than 50% of bloggers have more than one blog.
  • Bloggers use an average of five different social sites to drive traffic to
  • their blog.

YouTube Stats:

  • The very first video uploaded was on 23rd April 2005.
  • By June 2006, more than 65,000 videos were being uploaded every day.
  • YouTube receives more than 2 billion viewers per day.
  • The U.S. accounts for 70% of YouTube users.

So what's the point to all this?  The point or rather the questions are:

  • Are you using On-line Marketing to drive traffic to your site?
  • Are you tracking your efforts?
  • What changes have you noticed, good or bad?
photo credit, jaxxshirts.com


Who's Talking About You and Are you Aware of it

Kim Kolb - Sunday, October 24, 2010

Now that Social Media has been around for a awhile, and I say awhile meaning around 2 years for most people that will acknowledge it. There are still businesses out there dragging their feet at even attempting the use of Social Media.  

If you haven't embraced it in some manner, what's holding you back? Do you know if people are talking about you?  What if someone is giving you a compliment right now and you don't know it? Worse is if someone is complaining about you and again you don't know it.  How do you try to fix something you don't know is happening?

The following story is a true story that happened to a friend.  This person lives in a small town in Bend, OR.  He has frequented a particular coffee shop every day, 365 days a year.  He say's he spends about $1,400 a year at this place.  It is a ritual to stop in, and yes everyone knows him.

On one particular morning he went in to order his usual (he orders the same thing every day) and they tell him that they are out of one of the items that is needed to make his drink.  He is fine with this and asks that they order more.  The next day he goes in and they still don't have the item.  He gives the manager $20 to go buy some at the local store for the next morning.  He comes back yet again the next morning and before he could get out of his car, the manager comes running out and gives him his $20 back and tells him not to come back.  

To me this was an easy fix.  Take the $20 go buy the item and make the customer happy.. Nope, not in this case.  Here is where it gets really good.

Immediately my friend who has been a loyal customer for years has now been insulted and made to feel like he is not valued as a customer and worse, made to feel that his offer of help was really not wanted.

Here is where you as a business can't afford to let this go unchecked.

My friend immediate got a Yelp account and started telling the world about this incident.  He was blogging about it and telling people what crappy customer service he had received after being a loyal customer.

It took about two weeks and after checking back on his Yelp account, the coffee shop has made amends and my friend is back to his regular routine.  Obviously they heard the lesson loud and clear and decided to fix this problem quickly so they wouldn't lose a loyal customer.

This is not just for those in the "service" industry, but for every business.  If you aren't listening you can't be certain what is being said.

It is like that old commercial "You tell two friends, then they tell two friends, etc" get the point?

I am not saying you have to have a Yelp account, although it isn't a bad idea, I am talking more like Facebook and Twitter.  There are more people on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn than you would think.  This is where people start their searches.

My advice.  Start somewhere.  Engage your clients/customers and start listening and interacting.

What are you doing to ensure you hear your customers?

photo credit : The Freeman

Blogging is the Elephant in the Room

Kim Kolb - Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Blogging seems to be the Elephant in the room.  We all know we need to do it.  We know it is good for our business, yet it is the one thing on our todo list that just gets moved each day until we "have time".

Well, "It is time" to quote the Lion King.  Blog is not a bad 4 letter word.  In fact it is a great word! Think of Blogging as a "ray of sunshine" or that ahhh you get when you have that first sip of coffee in the morning.  

What is blogging?  Blogging is writing about something you are passionate about or are well versed in the subject matter.  When you blog about something you know and love, people look to you as a Thought Leader in that subject matter.  The biggest fear I hear from people is that they have nothing to write about.  I beg to differ.  If you have a business and you offer a service or product, you have something to say.

I read a newspaper article the other day and in the article, one of the people being interviewed talked about how if you are not on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, then you will be left behind.  Well, let's add Blogging to the mix.  Blogging, I would say is more important than the others because it is creating remarkable content on your site.  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are avenues to tell people about your great content.  

Benefits of Blogging:
  • Provides fresh remarkable content to your site that is searchable
  • Provides a place for readers to comment which creates more content that is searchable
  • You become a Thought Leader in your Industry
  • Provides more Inbound links to your site
  • When someone leaves a comment or trackbacks back to you, it provides validation
  • Provides search engines with great content to help you get found
Blogging is the Mojo of Online Marketing.  If you aren't blogging, I challenge you to start.  If you are blogging, KUDOS to you!

I would love to hear your thoughts on how you think Blogging is or isn't beneficial to your business.

Have You Set Up Your Facebook Business Page Correctly?

Kim Kolb - Wednesday, May 19, 2010
How does a restaurant become your "Friend"?  Or you want to become a fan of a company and all they offer you is "Friendship".  How do you determine the sex of your company?  Is the company really as old as the owner or the person who set it up?  Do all your "Friends" really need to see the pictures from the last girls night out on your wall?  Do you see where I am going with this?  

A Personal Profile is just that.  It is you personally with all "your" personal info.  It is your family members and friends from grade school, it is your "farmville" stats and your "personality test" score. This is not what a business should be displaying to the people that are trying to become a Fan. These are applications that can only be on a Personal Profile.

A Business Fan Page is for the Business.  There is no personal information that can be viewed from your Business Page that anyone can see.  It is just that, for Business.  Your Business Page does not have a gender or an age.  It doesn't show the girls night out pictures that your friends posted to your personal wall, and it certainly isn't going to ask anyone to help them move the pink cow out of the road.

Here's the Rule from Facebook:  If anyone has a Business Page set up as a Personal Profile, Facebook can at anytime disable your account.  Yes, this means that without warning your contacts will disappear.  Protect your efforts of getting followers and create a Business Page

How can you get your "Business Page" from your "Personal Profile".
First, create a Business Page from your profile (Applications, Pages and create from there.  You can also scroll to the very bottom and click on help and then click on pages).
Once you have it all set up, send a Wall Post to all your "Friends" and tell them that you would like them to "Fan or Like" your business and provide a direct link for them.  I would do this a couple of times in the next few weeks and then you can either get rid of the "Personal Profile/Business Page or keep the Personal Profile Page and remove anyone who has moved over that is not actually your friend.

I really do encourage anyone who is not running their Facebook Business Page correctly to fix it before something happens to your content and your contacts.

I hope this helps you get on the right track.. Consider that you have gone to great lengths to evolve to where you are.. Don't you want to do it right?

If I missed any tips, please leave a comment.

Is Social Media A Fad, Like Home Computers Would Never last

Kim Kolb - Thursday, May 13, 2010
I hear people making this comment often "This Social Media Stuff isn't going to last". Really? Sounds like a similar comment that people made back in the 80's about Personal Computers not making it. So, knowing what we know about computers these days, that everyone has one or maybe two in everyone home, I would rethink that comment about Social Media and start the acceptance process.

Social Media is not a fad, in fact it grows every day.  Watch this video and leave a comment on what you think about Social Media.  As someone who is doing Inbound Marketing through Social Media daily, you should be rethinking your online marketing strategy. If you are not in tune with what is being said then you are out of the conversation, it is like being stranded on an island by YOURSELF!

Please leave a comment (hint: it provides an Inbound link to your site)

If you like what you read, please subscribe to our blog as we put out Tips, Tricks, and all around good ideas for you to use in your business.  Make sure you turn up the volume on this video.. The Music alone is inspiring.

Hi, I'm with Kirby Vacuum, Don't shoot

Kim Kolb - Thursday, April 15, 2010

OH My Gosh! I didn't even realize companies still used Door to Door Soliciting, I mean Sales, oops I mean Marketing.  I think this out does the Billboard ads.  

I was working in my home office today and I got a knock on the door.  Hmm, I thought.. Not expecting anyone.  I opened the door, I am not kidding on this next part, the young kid, maybe early 20's says to me as I am opening the door, "Hi, I'm with Kirby Vacuum, Don't Shoot"!  Since I am not real quick with my responses... I took a second and said, I have had a Kirby before and I don't need another since I have all hardwood!  The Rep did not seem to take this as harsh as I probably made it sound. He just said, "Okay, thanks".  Off to the next house he went.

What is Kirby's goal in going door to door?

  • Personal interaction
  • Face to face
  • Set up Demonstration
  • Closing a deal

With Outbound Marketing, you are being interrupted when you didn't ask to be.  Somebody is interrupting what you do to tell you what they do.  Telemarketer's, TV ads, all are Outbound Marketing. 

How does Kirby track their Outbound Marketing?  Just like we track Yellow Page ads, TV ads, etc. There is no way to track them unless there is a physical action that takes place.  You actually have a demo scheduled, you clip the coupon and use it, you tell the person where you found them.

  • If last year's "Outbound Marketer" could have tracked what he did when he came to my house, he would have been able to tell this year's "Outbound Marketer" that I don't have carpet.  
  • What is the cost-benefit to having people pound the pavement?

I do have to say that the salesperson had a wonderful attitude.  

I would love to hear feedback on this and your thoughts about door to door sales.

You Are What You Post

Kim Kolb - Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Over the last 10 months I have watched a variety of people in what and how they post.  Let me do a disclaimer right now.  I am not a perfect blogger, nor do I want to be.  I am a "Balanced Poster", but like to be an "Original Poster".  I have my favorite ways to post and am not being critical of anyone. All I have to say is "You Are What You Post"!

Here are my views of the different kinds of posters out there.  This could be posting on a Blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • The Re-Poster -  This is the person that finds an article that someone just nails, and you think "I wished that were my idea".  You repost it as a sign of validation to the writer and to your friends that you have found an incredible article you want to share with them.  
  • The Re-Purposer - This is a person that finds a great article, but thinks a little different take or explanation will expand on the article or give it a different view point.  
  • The Original Poster - This is the person who takes time to think about what they want to write.  They write from their experience or about their industry.  
  • The Balanced Poster - This is the person that plays with all the cool kids above.  They have re-posted a great article, re-purposed information to write a great article and they have come up with their own original thoughts.
What kind of Poster are you?  Do you have any additional Posters you think I should add?

Small Businesses Using Blogging and Social Media WIN

Kim Kolb - Friday, March 05, 2010
Are you still dragging your heals on getting into the Social Media world?  Have you started a Blog yet?
There is a huge amount of data about there that says the Blogging is one of THE BEST, way to get leads.

According to the Small Business Success Index (SBSI), Social Media has doubled to 24% over the last year. There were 500 small business owners surveyed on their Social Media usage.  61% of the small businesses said they had used social media to attract new customers.
It was also noted that 45% of those small businesses reported that blogging and social media was a great contributor to lead generation.
According to SBSI, this is how small businesses are using Social Media:
  • 75% created a company page on Facebook or LinkedIn 
  • 69% post status updates on Facebook or LinkedIn
  • 26% use Twitter to talk about their industry expertise
  • 39% have a blog to talk about expertise
Blogging has become one of the most used tools for lead generation according to HubSpot, "State of Inbound Marketing Report."

Inbound Marketing using Social Media and Blogging is far less expensive than traditional marketing.  Don't delay getting on this train... It is fast and furious and you certainly don't want to be left at the station.

How is your company increasing it's Social Media presence?

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