SEO at The Train Station CASE Study

Continuing on from the previous post, how could we encourage more users to join Train Station? It’s one of the biggest problems plaguing small business – lead generation. To drive traffic to the site, all we really require is to frequently publish compelling content. Let’s use CASE to examine a blog post entitled ‘Want to get your body summer ready? Here’s 5 ways to lose the last few kg’s’ to see how we can get more visitors to our site.

  1. Content: we have our content, a beautifully written, informative blog post that explains how to look sexy at the beach. It has a snappy headline, following the question – statement – list formula. The opening paragraph will be keyword heavy rephrasing the purpose of the article. Something along the lines of ‘Losing weight and getting your bikini body ready for summer can be hard work. Especially getting rid of those extra few lbs around the tummy/waist area. Fortunately, there are easy
  2. Advertise: Advertise on using Facebook and Instagram, the two biggest social media drivers of internet traffic. Send out emails to the current client list as well as posting on smaller social media sites as well as affiliate sites. All of this cross-linking will boost SEO. Along with this, the title and opening paragraph will make this article organically list highly in google for various searches such as ‘how to lose weight for summer’ or ‘get a bikini body quickly.’ On top of this, back-linking to previous articles posted on the Train Station will drive the organic listings of those articles and of this article up, so where applicable, reference previous content.
  3. Specialise: This content is already pretty specific. It targets the core group of people who are looking to slim down/shape up for summer. This is fortunately a very large and yet very specific audience. To further target a specific audience, include graphics of the target audience, in this case adults ranging from 20-50 at the beach or on holiday.
  4. Engage: At the end of the post, include a call to action to engage users to join the site. Something as simple as ‘sign up now to receive a free eBook on how to create a total fitness plan’ – a link that achieves the overarching goal of the content.

It is both difficult and easy to use SEO to generate more traffic to our site. Nothing beats well-produced content, however as explained above there are small tips and tricks that will add up over time to drive more traffic to our site and will convince more people to use our product. SEO needs to be worked on constantly. Fortunately, as we post more content and as our company grows, our listings will improve naturally which will in turn drive more traffic to our site.

 

SEO & The Train Station Overview

Traffic = leads = sales. We must answer the question ‘how can we generate traffic? how can we get more leads? how can we spark interest and raise awareness in our company?’

The biggest hurdlethe train station faces right now is a lack of interest/awareness/traffic.The two best ways of generating traffic are SEO and SMM.

Here is the CASE four step process to generating traffic:

  1. Content
  2. Advertise
  3. Specialise
  4. Engage

Content: Create compelling content. A video, an infograph, even an advertisement counts as content. The most compelling content will engage a readers’ interest, identify and solve a problem and leave the reader wanting to know more.

Advertise: Post the content across all social media. Use paid marketing on Facebook and Instagram. Notify your current client base through your email list.

Specialise: Ensure the content is specialised. Know what your content is trying to do and ensure it achieves these objectives. With the Train Station, it is better to write two separate posts, one attracting potential clients, another attracting potential personal trainers, than to write one long post, or two unspecialised posts.

Engage: Leave the readers wanting more, or engage the readers to sign up for your site or buy your product.

Next post, we will examine a case study for The Train Station.

 

SEO and the future of marketing

Throughout university I had always had a vague awareness of what SEO is. The afterthought of ‘I’ll find out about this later’ whenever my lecturers and professors mentioned the topic. However, ever since I’ve started doing some work with The Train Station Group, I’ve been spending a fair amount of my time researching just how powerful SEO can really be.

SEO is about formatting content on your website so that when people search for certain things using search engines like google or yahoo, your website will be a relevant listing. Social Media is king for creating a brand and raising brand awareness, however no one goes to facebook and searches ‘cheap flights to Fiji.’ No one goes on Instagram and searches ‘Samsung smart TV 70inch.’ Google is still god when it comes to click-to-sale purchasing.

The more specific the search, the more likely the sale, for example look at the two searches ‘basketball shoes’ and ‘lebron XII’s red and white cheap size 13.’ This much is obvious. Fortunately for sellers, searches like the latter account for 70% of all searches done on google. This phenomenon, of largely unique searches making up the majority of searches is called the long tail effect.

 

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The internet is catered to niceh sellers catering to niche interests. This is where SEO comes in. The more keywords your site will trigger to niche searches, the more likely your site will gain popularity and authority which will lead to more sales. Search Engine Optimisation is about tweaking content on your site, so your site is listed organically for niche searches that will lead to purchases. The better your SEO, the higher your listing, the more likely a consumer will click on your website.

There is a whole lot more to it then that, the best beginners guide I’ve seen on the topic is found here: Moz – Beginners guide to SEO. In the next post, I’ll explore how I plan to use SEO at the Train Station.

 

Creating My First Digital Media Campaign

My sister and her boyfriend are in the process of birthing a great business model. It has been christened the Train Station ™, a great name considering one of the founders’ last names is train. It aims to connect people inspired to become healthy and strong with personal trainers/coaches (PTs) dedicated to inspiring such-minded individuals. Think of it as an eBay for PTs. Potential trainees shop around for trainers based on specialty, location, price and performance reviews.

With such ventures, exposure and clientele base are paramount to success. That is to say, the more people that are using The Train Station ™, the more successful it will be for the founders and clients. There are many ways to generate a user base; cold calling, sending out emails, running ads, posting in forums and specialty groups. The more of these avenues that are used in conjunction with each other, the better. The more overall exposure, the better. The overarching goal is to create awareness of the site, and attract its first customers.

Just after the business starts, and the first clients are being connected to the first PTs promotions such as free PT sessions for inviting friends for clients, and double paid sessions for PTs who recruit clients or other PTs to the site can be run to increase the traffic and consumer base to the site. The only goal here is to increase the user base and generate exposure.

In conjunction with the above promotion, brand promotion and brand styling can be made. A lot of businesses focus on function instead of aspiration. Function meaning what the business actually does. Aspiration meaning what the client could become, what the client aspires to, through using this product. The best thing about aspiration is it doesn’t have to relate in any way shape or form to the product. Picture someone drinking a coke. In my mind I picture an attractive fun person. We all aspire to be attractive, fun people, so if I drink coke I am attractive and fun. It’s complete nonsense, but that is the way our brains work, through connection and association.

Another example focusing on the Train Station™. If we were to focus on function, we would promote ourselves as a place to connect to PTs and find new and different ways to work out. If we focus on aspiration, we would brand ourselves as a way of becoming fit and healthy, of effecting positive change in our lives and the lives of others. We could associate our brand with taking control of our bodies, of our mind. With getting the body we want, the lifestyle and health we want. With achievement. Winners use Train Station, are you a winner? We would do this through the use of videos of clients. Through hashtags and creating a slogan and propagating the slogan throughout the internet so people become aware of it and comfortable with it.

This whole process would take, in all likelihood, around a year from here to fulfill. It’s a daunting amount of work with unknown setbacks and obstacles, but with dedication.teamwork.friendship we will be able to achieve all our goals and build a successful small business. In this blog, I will outline each step in detail, and explain how we implemented our plan and how we overcame the obstacles we come up against. Stay tuned for more. Also, if you haven’t already, check out the Train Station™.

Na Na why don’t you get a job

I’ve decided to get a job. That’s right, old smiling Joel is traversing his way into the world of the gainfully employed. Not that I’m unemployed now, just underemployed. In the quick moment of making that simple decision a lot has shifted. I’ve clarity and purpose. I’m well aware that sounds pretty wanky, yet here we are.

I want a job in the digital media field. Controlling digital content, the online presence and brand of a company. It’s still a relatively new frontier that is rapidly developing and changing at an ever increasing rate, especially since we are becoming almost permanently connected to the internet. For better or for worse, we are all plugged into the matrix. Most of us sleep next to, or near our phones. Most of us are on our laptops or computers less than an hour before bed. Most of us on our phones minutes before bed. The opportunity to reach a nation of people and change their lives for the better has never been greater, the opportunity for embarrassment and self-ruin has never been greater. The likelihood of being lost out at sea and forever forgotten has also never been greater.

It takes a steady hand to guide through these waters on the precipice of perpetual opportunity and ruin and not find yourself lost. And that is where I come in. If you’re an employer reading this, there’s no steadier hands than mine. I’ve the hands of a concert pianist well learned in the art of neurosurgery. The hands of a wide receiver, a wicket keeper and handball player rolled into one. The hands of sculptor, painter and microcircuit worker.

There are companies that do digital media well. Then there’s companies that have no idea. Unfortunately I see so many companies that fall in the latter category and it makes me sad. It makes me sad that they think an intern who gets coffees and donuts can also run their social media and manage their online presence. It makes me sad that companies think that their online presence doesn’t need to consist of anything more than an occasional tweet or Facebook post.

Again this is where I come in. I have so many ideas. So, so many ideas. Most of them are unique, I believe, mostly because I haven’t seen them yet. I don’t want them stolen so I shan’t divulge just yet. Maybe later though. Maybe in an interview.

What do I really want in life?

What do I really want?

Sometimes all I really want is to be happy. That calm, deep seated, serene sense of happiness. The kind of happiness that knows that everything will be okay. That unwavering, unfaltering, oak tree happiness. The kind of happiness that radiates from your heart, like the gentle heat from embers that burns slow, long and warms all that is near.

Other times what I really want to do is to snort coke off the thick ass of Latina with a tiny waist while she eats out an impossibly long legged Russian, with boobs so big you know they give her back problems. We fuck wantonly for days on large piles of money, indulging in only the finest and unnecessary foods money can buy. Out of season fruits picked and harvested by Guatemalan child labourers grown from Monsanto seeds you know have destroyed entire fertile regions. The flesh of endangered animals, I hear giant turtle is especially delicious. We drink Bordeaux’s finest red wine out of the horns of white rhinoceri, which we carelessly spill on our polar bear skin rugs. I do weird things because what was thrilling is now mundane. I offer people watermelon, needlessly insisting it is of the seedless variety, and declare I’m a generous god when they thank me. I look upon happy families knowing they couldn’t even conceive the pleasure a modern day Caligula like me experiences with a mix of triumph and jealousy because I will never have that life. I’m a wilted flower, drunk with too much sunlight.

Other times all I want is a family. A wife who believes in me and supports me. The smell of her neck being the most intoxicating drug to me and only me. I want kids of whom I’m proud. I want the biggest achievement in my life to be that I raised a stable nuclear family. Kids have had their issues but through encouragement and persistence they pulled through. Their personalities being unequivocally shaped by myself and amazing wife, but yet are unique in fundamental and endearing ways. I want to inspire my kids to create, to grow them into the most genuine versions of themselves. I want my wife to be a source of happiness for everyone around her. I want her to be a fundamental part of her community, I want her to pursue the things she likes. I want her to be fulfilled in a world that has taught her to be unfulfilled. I want to do some of that filling.

The life plan I have right now though is none of these things. Before 30, I want to amass 100k selling my soul as a desk jocky, get my CELTA and move to Russia to teach English as a second language for 3 years. Whilst there I want to take up boxing seriously, learn Russian and work my way through the young and hot my smallish town has to offer (750k people). After I’m done with Russia, I move to Dubai and do the same thing. Whilst in Dubai I learn Arabic, learn how to cook properly and get a stable girlfriend of 3 years to look after me. After that I move to Chile, get another job as an English teacher and learn salsa intensively for 3 years. After I’m done there, I move to Switzerland or Brussels and get a Law degree, with the intention of realising my lifelong dream of working with the UN with my proficiency in Arabic, Russian, French, English and Spanish stacked with my background in political science and international relations.

While I’m living abroad as an English teacher I would like to write a lot, concerning myself with anthropology, sociology and politics. I want to focus on the implications of long winters. I want to assess the impact of warfare on the development of technology. I want to research fecundity, monogamy and nuptuality and show how these things affect the progress of a civilisation as a whole. I also want to write a novel about modern love. How a couple meets, gets together and inevitably entropy rears its ugly head and they fall apart. But who knows if I will ever become that wanky.

All in all that doesn’t sound like a bad life. Here’s to making dreams come true.