What Does Coffee and Online Marketing Have in Common?

What Does Online Marketing and Coffee Have in Common?

For anyone who knows me even a little bit, you may be tempted to say the answer is Mike loves Coffee, SEO and Online Marketing.  That is certainly true.  Ironically, my passion for good coffee was the driving reason that I took my product management and development skills to the next level and learned eCommerce, SEO and web development.  But that is too long of a story to tell in this post.


Great Coffee and MarketingSo here is how I see things regarding the state of coffee in and around Philadelphia

There are many varieties of coffee grown in many parts of the world.  Each has their own distinct characteristics and nuances.  Some very noticeable, and some more subtle.  And as far as quality and preparation of the end product – that ranges from  a cup of brewed joe at the local diner (sitting for way too long on a warmer), or espresso or Americano or sadly one of those sweet coffee-based drinks that taste more like a milkshake or smoothie than coffee.

There are many varieties of coffee grown in many parts of the world.  Each has their own distinct characteristics and nuances.  Some very noticeable, and some more subtle.  And as far as quality and preparation of the end product – that ranges from not drinkable coffee at an interstate gas station at 2:00 a.m. to that perfect freshly roasted coffee, brewed to order, at a local organic coffee shop.

Quality and style are all over the board.  Mostly it is somewhere in between, more towards the gas station variety in my experience.

So here is how I see things regarding the state of Online Marketing

There are many varieties of online marketing and SEO experts in many parts of the world.  Each has their own distinct characteristics and nuances.  Some very noticeable, and some more subtle.  And as far as quality of the end product – there are several major categories of people who profess to know online marketing, some good, and some not so good.

Three Types of Marketers

The part time novice
“I am a marketer now because I signed up for a guru’s course” type (you probably have a
relative or two in this category)

who know how to do specific things like setting up email auto-responders, managing social media accounts, set up awesome looking and SEO friendly social media profiles, and all flavors of specialized SEO practitioners.  Often time you can find these types working freelance or as part of an agency, many times being the SME (subject matter expert) in their particular skill set.

Marketing Consultant – a good marketing consultant is going to have an upfront conversation with you and your key stakeholders to make sure you are on the same page, find out what you are trying to accomplish (now the tactical how you are going to do it), make suggestions about the correct order of things to maximize results and dollars, and then oversee the implementation of the plan and most likely they have an area of expertise they like to focus on as well.

There are many varieties of marketing tactics and channels

Online Marketing and SEO Plan imageEach has their own distinct characteristics and uses and some are more appropriate for a specific company or product or promotion than others.  And as far as quality of the end product – that ranges from virtually useless like advertising a new flavor of soda on a health and nutrition show geared towards weight loss, to a home run like a well orchestrated SEO or PPC campaign that effectively targets the correct target market due to extremely accurate keyword research and has a ROI tripple the industry average.

Success is measured by goal attainment (opt-in, click through, purchase etc. as defined at the start of the campaign).  In my experience, it is usually somewhere in between.  Part of the disappointment I have heard of is usually related to lack of defining realistic expectations and correct goals for the project.  Reality based expectations for a particular marketing medium are often not properly communicated or defined.  In many cases, there is a miscommunication between clients and more tactical based marketers.  (this does not mean they are not good at what they do.  We all have our strenghts and weaknesses.  Personally,  I love working with that rare individual who thinks quantitative analysis is the cats meow but could care less about conversion of prospects into customers).

For example, we had a recent client that was interested in increasing their online visibility through SEO.  When we talked about their goals, the message they wanted to convey, and their experience with their site to date, there was clearly some work to do.

If we would have run an SEO or some sort of traffic / advertising campaign to their site, it would most likely not have been very effective.  The site had a very low conversion for new traffic (as measured by their goals of new prospects calling in or filling in a contact form) and their current site did not clearly define what they did to their main target audience.

In this case, updating their site look and content to better communicate what they were about, and the advantages of working with them to their target customer was the first step in increasing the effective use of their site.  If SEO was the first step, and we ranked the existing site, they would certainly have gained more visits (raw traffic), but based on existing conversion metrics, very little of that new traffic would have converted into a new potential prospect for their service.  In the end we would have just increased their bounce rate and provided very little value in the form of new prospects and clients.

Final thoughts

My final thoughts on coffee and marketing are this:

defining success first imageWhen it comes to coffee, knowing what you want is most of the battle.  If you just need a quick morning pick me up and routinely pour 10 packs of sugar and creamer in your coffee anyway, probably the local diner or gas station are going to work for you (defining your goal as I need caffeine).  If on the other hand, if you are looking for a freshly roasted dark brew with a hint of acidity and smokiness, but not too heavy, then may I suggest that a French or Italian roast Costa Rican Tarrazu or Brazilian Santos single origin bean freshly roasted this morning in a micro-roaster at a local gourmet coffee shop is going to be to your liking? (defining a heavenly cup of stress reducing aromatic cup of coffee as the goal).

When it comes to marketing, and specifically online marketing, knowing and defining the goal up front is going to go a long way to knowing what type of marketing or SEO program your firm should invest in.  Knowing the in-house expertise and knowing what skills your in-house team lacks will also let you know the resources to utilize to attain your goal.

To help you with the process, or get an outside opinion, may I suggest a brief 30-minute conversation with an experienced online marketer and SEO consultant over a great cup of coffee (or beverage of your choice)?

If you already know your goals and are now searching for the right team to put your plan in action,  we have skilled experts in Marketing Consulting, SEO, Web Design, Custom Web Development and more.

You can Contact Us Here with any questions or to schedule a brief intro call to see if we may be a good fit to work together.

Best of success in your marketing efforts!


procrastinating with cyber security and privacy

Concerned about Data Privacy and Cyber Security? You’re not alone…

Are you concerned about data security but have not gotten around to doing anything about it? You are not alone according to a recent article over at ZDNet. Most people surveyed on the topic are more concerned than ever, yet have put off taking any actions to make sure they or their business are protected.

It may be that they think the odds are in their favor (they are not), or more possibly could it be that many individuals and businesses do not know what steps they can and should take?

Some solutions for corporate data protection are complex and and require specific knowledge and expertise. Others are very simple like not leaving default passwords on your devices or using your significant others name as your login password.

At DelVal Technology Solutions we are constantly analyzing the newest threats, whether they be online, network-based or email based. We implement solutions and industry best practices to ensure our customers are well protected.

While no IT or Managed Services Company or cyber security expert can guarantee you will never be compromised, you can significantly reduce your risk of being a target by being proactive and making sure you are working with an IT company that understands security and data protection.

If you have not done a recent cyber threat analysis, you need to and we can help.

We can put together a comprehensive test to determine any vulnerabilities and then make specific recommendations about how to mitigate any risk areas we find.” I would write this way, “If you have not recently completed a cyber threat analysis or security risk assessment, you should! And we can help. We have the tools a know-how to thoroughly test for risks and vulnerabilities, and then work with you to mitigate those risks.

In the meantime, practice strong password protection; change your passwords periodically and NEVER write passwords down on a yellow sticky and post it on your desk. You never know who may see it and what their ultimate intentions may be.

Referenced Source: Zdnet.com data privacy article

Website Design

6 Landing Page Trends to Look for in 2016

Designing a landing page to convert to new potential customers takes some thought and planning.

Whether you are looking to get more sign ups for your monthly newsletter, or are running a specific promotion for a product or service, your landing page design can make huge differences in how many sign ups you get.

You can read more and see some examples by going to the article referenced below. The article touches on some important web design trends for 2016.

Get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you create outstanding landing pages that integrate inside your current site, or create stand alone landing pages for your next promotion.

If You Haven’t Already… Follow Us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DelValTechnology/


Source: Autopilot Blog Article – Landing Pages Trends for 2016

eCommerce gains continue for 2016

Shoppers Spent $1.1 Billion In Apple’s App Store During Holidays – #tech /via @BuzzFeed

Not bad! eCommerce is growing leaps and bounds and many online platforms and stores broke records this year including Amazon and more regional smaller companies as well.

If you have an existing eCommerce site and are not getting results, talk to us. We can help get your targeted traffic, upgrade your store platform, and even do a site redesign to give it a more modern look.

We offer a no obligation consultation to determine recommended steps based on your unique situation.

Looking to start a new online store? We can do that! We can guide you through the process from design, data loading, store setup and more.

You Want To Rank For What?

What does my website rank forWe often have clients and friends ask us how to get their website to rank on the first page of Google.  When I hear this question, I take a deep breath, smile, and ask a simple question…  Well, what to you want your website to rank for?  Sometimes I get a dumbfounded blank stare, other times I get a laundry list of things that are barely if at all related to the content of the actual site.

If a person knows what they want to rank for and are certain, the next question I ask is… why do you want to rank for that?

Ranking a website is often called SEO or Search Engine Optimization.  It is part science and part art and always changing.  Many terms come to mind like white hat, black hat, Matt Cutts, Article Writing etc.  The bottom link is to rank a website, the very first think a business owner or manager need to decide is what is the desired outcome of ranking my site?

In most cases, there are several desired outcomes, which require different tactics and different pages on the site.  For example, once goal may be to get new customers.  Another may be to make the CEO feel good that his website ranks #1 for his industry in his home town or even across the country or world. Another goal may be to grow a marketing email list….

Windows XP is officially dead in April

Way back when Windows 7 was released, Microsoft began discussing the fact that they would one day pull the plug on Windows XP Support. Given the number of XP machines in use, Microsoft repeatedly delayed and postponed the final death knell for Windows XP. Well, it appears that XP is finally going out to pasture.

As of April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide service packs or security patches for Windows XP (and also Office 2003). What does this mean to you? If you have any Windows XP machines still running at your business, you should come up with a plan to replace or retire them. After support expires, these XP workstations will become a serious risk to your technology infrastructure because they will become significantly more vulnerable to viruses, spyware, and other malware.

See this link for the official details from Microsoft:

Obviously, we are here to help with any of your XP migration plans. For most situations, we are recommending that our customers replace the Windows XP machines with Windows 7 or Windows 8 workstations. In some cases we can upgrade the existing hardware, but in most cases it will be much more cost effective to replace it with a new desktop workstation or a laptop. Contact us at info@dtsolutions.com if you have any questions.