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What Would Mom Say

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Poulin Lumber

Hi *|MERGE1|*,

It's that time of year when we all make our new years resolutions. A fresh start. We've had a few of our clients come to us lately requesting a fresh new look for their website. One of my clients said he was hesitant to ask us, not sure how we would respond. Why we like to think our designs are timeless, we know that times change and there are more cool features out there that we can now take advantage of. We're always excited to implement the latest and greatest new technologies. A fresh new look is a good thing. It's also a good time to review and revise outdated content.

The Latest Craze

Google Plus

Google Plus is Googles version of Facebook, but on steroids. It has the normal facebook features, but also has 'Circles'. Circles are nice because you can group your friends in one, your business acquaintances in another, and your relatives in yet another cirle. This has obvious benefits, since your business acquaintances don't need to see the photos of you at the last superbowl party. Another nice feature is 'Hangouts', which is group video chatting for up to 10 people, where the video screen focuses on only the person chatting at the time.Google also ties in its search engine through 'Sparks', by helping to provide relative content that you are interested in by topic. And of course there are mobile versions and even a handy Google toolbar to make access super easy.
You may have seen the +1 button on websites and in the search results. This is basically Google's version of the 'like' button.

There will be more features rolling out in stages,  but I think it's safe to predict that Google is trying to encompass everything they can, to be a one stop source.
Not sure how well it will catch on though, since everyone has time and friends invested in facebook. Sometimes even a cool new hangout won't catch on if you can't coax your friends into joining you.

SEM Tip #7

Google Adwords
As more and more businesses are turning to the search engines to gain customers, many are unaware of the possible paid options that Google has to offer.  Google's 'pay per click' program allows businesses to create an ad, and have the ad appear when users search for a specific keyword phrase. There are endless possibilities and you can target as many keyword phrases as you wish. 
Ads that you create will appear either at the top of Google's search pages (usually with a shaded background), or in the right hand column. The order in which the ads are listed are determined by a few different factors such as cost, relevance, and location.  
Costs can range from as little as .01 per click for some keyword phrases, but a more realistic range is .25 to $5.00 per click, depending on your keywords and competition. The best part is that you have total control as to how much that cost will be, and you can pause your campaign at any time.

You can also target certain geographical areas. For example, if your business services just Vermont, you can tailor your ad to only appear in Vermont. 

Ideally organic listings are the best, but don't dismiss the benefits of these paid leads in addition to your other marketing efforts.
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