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What is SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

We’ve had a recent up-tick it seems in clients wanting to know how to make their web-site more visible to search engines and, more importantly, people. This used to be called SEO but, seems the new phrase is SEM.

The bottom line is this: SEM is a marketing campaigns based on search.

What SEM Is:

The process of marketing your site and or services through search engines; namely Bing and Google. Make sure your site shows up properly for terms that people are searching for. Make sure your using the right keywords. Make sure you’re getting links that are on target.

There are dozens of options at your disposal. The basics are:

  1. Build a Quality Site with Quality Content
  2. Acquire Links to your site and pages
  3. Promote via Social Media

Firstly building a quality site, that is having original well-formed content. You’ll want appropriate keywords, but don’t over saturate. And make sure the site you operate follows current "best practices" (use a tool like: SEO Sorcerer).

Get some links. Ask your blogging friends or those who operate other sites to link to you. Perhaps your web-designer or developer can link to you. There are also tools to purchase links however, those are generally frowned upon by search engines.

More Facebook Likes, Tweets, Plus-Ones and Pins and all that social stuff helps. Perhaps run an advertisement on Facebook or try to introduce a new hashtag on Twitter (or use popular ones in your tweets).

That’s the basics of what SEM is. The reality of the situation, like so many other things, is that SEM is a big, complicated realm. It’s generally a good idea to get a consultant or other subject matter expert involved to help you. SEM is much to complicated to be executed properly while trying to run your business.

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10 Business Model Canvas Tools – Review

The business model canvas gets mentioned a lot in lean/start-up circles.
Here’s my quick review of 8 of them.

The current best-list of business model canvas tools is located at http://leanstartup.pbworks.com/w/page/47250326/BusinessModelCanvas.

BM Designer

A free tool, embeddable on blog or web-page, highly interactive UI, good clues/info-tips on the various sections.

BMFiddle

Also free and based directly from Osterwalder. This is a very attractive JS based UI, pretty colours, good prompts for the section data, excellent highlighting/diff viewer. Markdown support.

canvanizer

Free, only requires email (but fakes accepted). Multiple canvas templates (business model, lean, swot, customer journey) to choose from. A very awesome and unique canvas history replay tool.

Business Model Brainstorm Kit

This is an actual, tangible kit for purchase. It comes with magnetic icon blocks that you can stick to surfaces and then draw on. They also have links to some super awesome examples around companies you’ve heard of (Spotify, Groupon).

The Business
Model Canvas & Toolbox

The original, a big PDF to download to help you get started as well as an iPad application. A web-application is in the works.

Business Model Press

This one is a WordPress plugin, if you’re already on WP why not give this one a try? It’s currently invite only beta.

Lean Canvas

This one provides a nice canvas UI, between $12 and $49/mo and a two person free plan. The Lean Canvas based on the Osterwalder canvas.

Lean Launch Lab

Free for a single user, then plans between $9 and $99/mo. Allows for multiple projects, multiple collaborators. LLL also provides more tools than just a canvas. There are some good tools for experiments and customer interviews for example as well as team communication tools.

Plan Cruncher

Not so much a canvas but a quick plan/model builder; has some very plesant icons to add to the model. Produces a PDF document of your Idea, Team, Product, Revenue, Funding Goals and Partnership. I think this is turning out an executive summary and does really help you focus on the message (with “tweet length” limits)

Opus Business Canvas

update: dropping this canvas tool – use bmfiddle!

This last one is ours, just made it while working through Start-Up Owners Manual.
It has a typical canvas layout, allows for markdown input, exportable as markdown as well. Canvas is free and can be shared widely with your collaborators. Our UI is a bit more limited than the others.

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