Monday, May 14, 2018

Webinar 3 Google Tips on How to Optimize Your Small Business Website Online

Thank you to the Nevada Women's Business Center for allowing us to share:

3 Google Tips on How to Optimize Your Small Business Website Online

Watch here:
  1. Google My Business: Learn how to set up your local listing 
  2. Google Webmaster: Learn how to analyze your SEO 
  3. Google Adwords Express: Learn how to create your first google advertisement

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Website Development Phase 2: Project Management Plan

Christian Estrellado
From my previous blog entry, we reviewed the first phase, documentation. After that phase is completed, we will need to go straight to the Planning Stage. This stage is where the bulk of the work should be completed. The old adage from Benjamin Franklin states that, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This is very true when it involves your web development projects.

Planning involves placing all the moving parts together and managing where everything belongs. For instance, if we are creating a new landing page for a marketing campaign or special functionality on a website, both stakeholder and vendor partner needs to be on the same page prior to development. This can only be done when the overall plan, timeline, deliverables, and sign-offs are met in a timely manner.

This task can be daunting without the right project management tools, e.g. Podio and Trello. Utilizing these tools can make any web development project run smoothly. Having transparent project details in real-time, will ease any tensions and doubts during development.

We will see you in the next phase, which is Development.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Redesigning Your Website Phase 1: Documentation

Christian Estrellado
The redesign of your firm’s website is one of the most crucial rebranding efforts you can undergo. The statistics of online research of companies, whether it’s desktop or mobile, are staggering.  A potential client can make an ill-advised decision of your company by your web presence and social media footprint.

With each website, you need to plan an objective for your visitor. You can funnel them through a flurry of information, or ask for the visitor’s contact information so you can start a drip marketing campaign. These results are both good, but if the website isn’t planned properly you'll miss the objective.

There is a 6 phase redesign approach for an actionable response regarding each website.  The 6 Phase Process is as follows: Documentation, Planning, Development, Testing, Implementation, and Delivery.  By following this process, you can ensure actionable insights regarding your website and your visitors.

The first phase is Documentation. This is the most crucial part of the process, as it can grant success to your project or utter failure. Documentation contains gathering all the information you need for your website, the programming and settings you require for your project, the user flow of the website, and the user experience. By gathering these items in the upfront, it will decrease confusion and the time of the project. Most importantly, by gathering the documentation in the upfront, it will decrease the chances of change orders, work that is added to or deleted from the original scope of work of a contract. This will guarantee your project being on time and on budget.

The pitfalls of not following a strict documentation phase will lead to two issues: project timeline extensions and change orders. At Estro Communications, we follow a strict timeline constraint. If we are granted a 6 week turn around, we follow it through the timeline. This only happens when the documentation is gathered upfront. The second pitfall are change orders; these are changes that are added onto the budget.

The next stage is planning and I hope to see you on the next one.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Interview with Steve Estrellado

Steve Estrellado
Please explain the history behind the creation of your business and how you became involved in it.  Estro Communications was founded in 2010. We, Steve and Christian Estrellado, had the intuition that social media and digital advertising was about to explode. Prior to Estro Communications, we created Estro Entertainment (a marketing promotional agency).  We were often asked to use social media to help amplify our marketing campaigns.  With this experience, we realized that social media will be the wave of the future.

What product or service do you sell and how do you do the selling?  Estro Communications focuses on digital management consulting and marketing communications. Our ideology revolves around building business relationships, not hard-selling.  We use the “new digital norm” of social media to brand our company online. Social media allows us to network with people, as well as advertise our company’s name on digital ads, e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google.

Who was the most influential in helping you as you developed your business? How?  
We had many mentors in our past work experience.  They all advised us to read about the businesses we planned on getting involved in--don't assume that we know everything about the subject.  Reading is a tactic that we use to develop our business. Books such as “Good to Great” and “Built to Last” by Jim Collins influenced us.

Why did you decide to start this particular type of business? Where and how did you develop the expertise or the idea for this business?  The digital marketing industry is constantly evolving.  Change creates opportunity—you need to trust your gut instinct and adapt to change.  We taught ourselves the subject; it was autodidactic.  

What is your educational background?  Are there any classes that you did take or wish you had taken that could help you run your business? Why?  I have a BS in Marketing from Rutgers Business School.  I started college majoring in Computer Science and I switched to business.   I recommend finishing with both a degree in business and in computer science.

To what do you attribute your success?  Be very specific. What would you consider doing differently if you had a chance to start over again?  Why?  I credit my discipline and routine as strengths in our business—I abide by a daily schedule. Managing the business cash flow is very important, meaning you shouldn’t spend more than you make.  Running your business on mismanaged credit can put your company severely in debt.

Did you have any business failures as you were trying to get established? If so, what did you learn from them?  Cash flow is the most important pillar in business; it is the reason why our prior business went awry.  I advise getting a deposit from your clients and receiving the difference once the job is completed—protect yourself if the client defaults.  It is best practice to save at least a year’s worth of expenses in your company’s saving account.  In case your cash flow runs short, you have a buffer to keep business as usual.

What personal characteristics that you possess contribute the most to your success?  Why?  I credit perseverance, faith, belief, charisma, positive thinking and energy as characteristics that make a thriving businessman. These characteristics are the foundation that help push you through those difficult times.

Describe a typical day in your business. Be very specific.
I suggest having a to-do list of what has to be done before you go to work. My work can get pretty hectic even with a to-do list, considering I’m constantly receiving phone calls and emails.  I suggest prioritizing what needs to be done as tasks come in.  Try to get 3 to 5 of the most important projects finished per day.

What are the advantages to owning your own business? Disadvantages?
Advantages include freedom, but freedom with responsibility. I own my own time, and I am able to be spontaneous with my schedule.  I am my own boss and I make my own decisions. Disadvantages include: having to take full responsibility if something goes wrong, having your business come first and putting personal relationships second.

Do the advantages of owning your own business outweigh the disadvantages? Please explain.
Advantages in business always outweighs the disadvantages if there’s an end goal in mind.  If someone owns a business and creates it for the sake of longevity, cash flow and carry on value, it has legacy and it will live on.  But, if you start a business to just go to work, the dream stops there.

What advice would you give to these young entrepreneurs as they venture out to create their own businesses?   One, come in with capital. Two, come in with a team.  Three, have an advisory board, but take their advice wisely.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned over the years?
Our biggest problem was that the first business was getting too big too fast.  Take the time to stop and enjoy your success.  Don’t over-extend yourself and enjoy the moment.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Google Hummingbird will Affect 90% of all SEO

By +Steve Estrellado | @steveestro | Download PDF

Google Hummingbird will now comprehend your search query.  Everyone thinks differently (Google gets that)—people search for the same thing, but use different words to search it.  Most people are creating long-tail intent based searches, i.e. users' searches are becoming longer and more specific.

For example if you own a local restaurant, your best bet would be to write content (on your blog) that describes the meal, experience, price and relevancy to your local area.  Google’s crawlers will be able to comprehend your content and display it accurately to the user.

Google aims to filter out keyword based websites—putting higher relevance to conversation based websites.  From my professional opinion, that means a fully integrated digital presence.  Your web integration should include your company’s: website, social media, review sites and blog (with conversation based comments).

On your part, think of search as if you were talking to your neighbor.  Speak colloquially; use terms that your neighbor would understand—Google will too.

If you are an experienced web programmer, concentrate on structured data, i.e. rich snippets of data relevant to the users’ query.  Structured data will help rank your web properties even more so on search.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

How To Optimize an Online Press Release

Estro Communications
By +Steve Estrellado | @steveestro | Download PDF

An online press release is another vital component to your SEO strategy.  Use an online press release to increase online visibility, gain rankings in search engines and appear on highly ranked (Google PageRank) news sites.

Most companies use online press releases to:
> Generate buzz about a new product or service
> Announce a new client or business relationship
> Showcase any other significant company news

In order to get noticed you need to write for the news sites searching for your industries products or services and the search engines that index your content.

In order to get a better understanding of SEO, I first recommend reading my blog on SEO (Small Business: 10 Point SEO Checklist).

It is important to determine the exact keyword phrase that you would like your online press release to be indexed under. Keyword phrases are a set of search terms that people use to find your content.

3 attributes for keyword phrase optimization:
  1. Location:   Relevant keywords should be concentrated within the title, url and headline.
  2. Density:  Refers to the weight of keyword usage. Top 3-5 keyword phrases should incorporate up to 10% of your content.
  3. Frequency: Search engines are programmed to provide more prominence to fresh content.

Keyword Rich Content: Use keyword rich content that is brief and easy for readers to scan for relevancy.
Anchor Text: Anchor text is text used to describe your content to search engines.
Hyperlinks: Hyperlinks should direct readers back to your website.  Limit in text links to one link per 100 words.

Write relevant content that would engage your targeted readers.  Attach logos, head shots, product shots, audio / video files, PDF’s or any other supplemental materials.  In closing, a strong online press release should garnish incremental website traffic and higher search engine ranking.

All original content copyright Steve Estrellado, 2013.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

How to Market Your Business Online

Estro Communications
By +Steve Estrellado | @steveestro | Download PDF

Digital marketing is the most cost effective way to market your business.  But, most people do not know where to start.  The internet is a complex machine with simultaneously moving parts.  Do not be short-sighted and think that your website is, “just a static Yellow Pages advertisement (far from it).”  You need to connect the digital dots.  

This blog will share a top-level overview of 11 key components to implement a fully integrated digital marketing strategy.

1. SEO  Analysis
Your keywords are the cornerstone to your digital marketing strategy.  You need to clearly identify the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where and why) of your business.   On the internet, you will need to specifically explain your service or product offering in 1 key phrase.

Tip:  Your URL, website title and metadata are vital to your success online.  For more information, read:
10 Point SEO Checklist

2. Competitor Analysis  & SWOT Analysis  
a.     Once you develop your key phrase, you will need to assess the market online.  Google your key phrase.  Who are your top 3 competitors?  Analyze their sites and their digital footprint.

b.     Second, dust off those business textbooks and complete a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis for your business.  This is your business; you need to know what you do.  Be clear, concise and to the point.  No one has time to decipher your message.  Most importantly, determine your unique selling proposition.

3. Website Design
This is your website; treat it like your home.  You need to be happy with how it looks, but you should also be able to easily touch it up.  My best suggestion would be to create a website on or  The interface on Blogger and Tumblr are much easier to work with than

Tip:  Remember to configure your domain to point to that IP Address.

3b.   Online Store
i. An online store is not for beginners.  I would not recommend building a store from scratch.  You should build a store and pay rent to an ecommerce platform, i.e.
ii. Amazon:  I would also recommend selling your products on Amazon

4. Website Landing Page
In order to attract new customers, you will need to create a landing page.  Your landing page should be able to explain your unique selling proposition in 2 seconds.  Most importantly, you will need a call to action (a form or buy now function).

5. Create Relevant Content
 The content you create must resonate with your core audience and target market. For more information, read:
Content as a Marketing Strategy

Tip:  Your blog, podcast and YouTube channel are the epicenter of your content. It should entertain, educate and engage your followers.

6. Social Media
Once you create your own original content, do not hesitate to share it on your social networks.  Each network is a unique ecosystem.  I do not recommend using a CMS (content management system).  Post on each network separately, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram, etc.

7. Local Search
No matter what size your business is, search is now local.  To own search, you need to own your local market.  Start by claiming your Google Places page:

8. Online Reviews
The most important aspect you need to consider are your online reviews, i.e. Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, etc.   These review sites usually rank high on your Google search.  If you do not monitor these sites, your customers will see poor ratings (lost opportunity) for your business.

9. Pay Per Click
a. Facebook: Facebook ads are a great way to build your brand online.

Tip:  Facebook is a great way to expose your potential customers to your brand’s personality.

b. Google AdWords: Google AdWords are perfect for generating new leads to your website.  Your AdWords strategy directly affects your landing page (quality score).  Read more:

c. Remarketing: Remarketing by Google, “lets you show ads to users who've previously visited your website as they browse the web.” Read more:

10. Email Marketing
Don’t forget about email.  Email (as long as they opt-in) is your direct connection to your customer.  Keep your email clear and concise.  I recommend using:

Tip:  Never send an email blast from your own email account as a cc or bcc.  Your email account will be blacklisted and every email you send thereafter will be marked as SPAM.

11. Analytics
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Embed Google Analytics into your website.  The data here is more than suffice for any company.

Tip:  You will need to integrate Google Webmaster and AdWords into your Analytics.

In conclusion, digital marketing has multiple components that must work in synergy.  Most people will neither have the time nor the experience to implement such a complicated digital marketing framework.  At the very least, you can be prepared to hold a conversation with your potential digital marketing agency.

If you are looking to hire a digital marketing agency or consultant in your area, please read:
How to Hire a Social Media Manager

All original content copyright Steve Estrellado, 2013.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Content as a Marketing Strategy

Estro Communications
By +Steve Estrellado | @steveestro | Download PDF

Smart digital marketing has provoked and deprecated traditional advertising.  As a modern day marketer, it is necessary to focus on creating blogs, images, videos, and audio podcasts.  The content you create must resonate with your core audience and target market.  For example, restaurants should share mouth-watering food images.  Services (business consultants, contractors, lawyers, and doctors) should share basic how to and do-it-yourself tips.  In essence, think of your business as a publisher of entertaining and educational content.  It is your content that will drive sales from your target market.

Build trust with your prospects with the right content; nurture them to become an educated consumer.  Your business will grow because you have become the authority and thought leader in your business.  Investment advisors have been doing this for years.  You buy their white papers and even their services based on their assessments of the market.

To create an effective content marketing strategy you need to focus on the needs of your customers.  Remember, this is your marketing material.  People are naturally inquisitive.  If you consistently share fresh and relevant content, your customers will seek your products and services.

Overall, if your content specifically answers your customer’s needs it will successfully garnish new inquiries (long-tail leads).  These inquiries are a low-cost and highly-effective alternative when compared to the price of traditional advertising (TV, radio, and print).

Bonus: Technical SEO Tip

Better known as the Panda algorithm update, Google has made it a priority to curate fresh and relevant content from your website.  You’re out-dated website will fall off search if you treat your site as a “yellow pages advertisement.”  Also note, the Penguin algorithm update has made it impossible to use black hat SEO techniques, i.e. keyword stuffing, unorthodox link-building, and spam blogging.

All original content copyright Steve Estrellado, 2013.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Small Business: 10 Point SEO Checklist

Estro Communications
By +Steve Estrellado | @steveestro | Download PDF

To compete in today’s market your small business needs to develop a strong digital marketing strategy.  It is your strategy that will place your business on top of Google’s search algorithm.

 When budgeting for your website you need to make sure that you include a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) package.  In this blog, I will share 10 do-it-yourself SEO tips.  These tips can be implemented by you or your webmaster.  Before you begin updating your SEO, see your website like a search engine sees it by using (

Enclosed are my top 10 SEO tips:

1.  If you happen to find a duplicate copy of your website online ( and you will need to redirect one of them.  In order to specify your preferred domain - I prefer keeping the www - you will need to write a 301 redirect and update your website’s .htacess file.

Example: 301 Redirect Code
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]

2. Set up your website’s Google Webmaster account.  First assign your preferred domain then upload your website’s XML Sitemap (

2b. Create a Google+ business page.  Once you create your page, link your Google+ page to your website via the code provided.

<meta name="google-site-verification" content="Google+ Code Example" />

3. Think of your top 3 search key phrases.  Use Google AdWords to identify your top search phrases.  It is best practice to write out your company’s SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis and identify your unique selling proposition.

4. Once you determine your top 3 search key phrases.  Pick 1 website per search phrase (3 in total) that you would like to compete against. 

5. Update your site’s metadata.  Metadata is used to describe your website’s content.  Google uses this data when adding pages to their search index.

Example: Metadata
<title>Insert Title Here</title>
<meta name="description" content=" Insert description here" />
<meta name="keywords" content=" Insert keywords here" />
<meta name="Copyright" content="Insert copyright here"/>
<meta name="Author" content="Insert author here" />
<meta name="Publisher" content="Insert publisher here" />
<meta name="Owner" content=" Insert owner here" />
<meta name="Robots" content="Insert robots here" />
<meta name="googlebot" content="Insert googlebot here" />
<meta name="Distribution" content="Insert distribution here" />
<meta name="Classification" content="Insert classification here" />
<meta name="Rating" content="Insert rating here" />
<meta name="Revisit-After" content="Insert revisit-after here" />
<meta name="Allow-Search" content="Insert allow-search here" />
<!—Insert comment here-->

6. Manage your online ranking with an SEO software e.g. SEOmoz.  SEOmoz is an online reporting tool that develops data driven action sets focused on advancing your SEO.  

     5 benefits of using SEOmoz:
  1. Track your website’s ranking
  2. Find errors and missed opportunities
  3. Find recommendations for improvements to your website
  4. Track your competition
  5. Discover link data and metrics
6b. Monitor your website’s backlinks and develop a strategy to create targeted link building.
I recommend using Open Site Explorer (

7. Since you run a progressive business, take control of your local listings by using ( This tool can make the process of claiming business listings on Superpages, Yelp, and other prominent local search directories more efficient.

8. Set goals and measure your website’s traffic on Google Analytics.  Monitor your:
  • Direct Traffic: Determine which URLs are the most popular destination for direct traffic.
  • Referral Traffic: Determine which domains are referring the most traffic to your site.
  • Search Traffic:
    • Organic Keywords: Learn which keywords drive the most visitors to your site.
    • Paid Advertisements: Create compelling digital advertisements i.e. AdWords traffic, as well as paid traffic from other advertising platforms.
9. Submit your website to Google (  Only submit your website if there is a significant change or when your site has dropped from the search index.   

10. Create a social media (Facebook, Twitter and Google+) content strategy.  I will discuss the importance of social media and content marketing in a later post.

Keep in mind Facebook’s Graph Search.  Graph search will revolutionize the way search is done.  Your likes and recommendations will go a very long way in tomorrow’s search index.

All original content copyright Steve Estrellado, 2013.

Friday, January 4, 2013

How to Hire a Social Media Manager

Estro Communications
By +Steve Estrellado | @steveestro | Download PDF

Digital marketing consultants have become the most sought after talent.  They can create droves of new business, decrease your marketing spend and better the image of your brand online.  But hiring a digital marketing consultant can be a daunting process.  Most business owners are not even sure of what to look for in a candidate.

These are 5 tips to think about before hiring a digital marketing consultant.

1. Rapport: It is important to build immediate rapport with the potential consultant.  Within five minutes, you will know if your relationship will be prosperous.   Ask yourself, did the consultant listen to your challenges?  Did they offer friendly advice and share some basic best practices?  Did they make you feel comfortable?

2. Vocabulary: Digital marketing is convoluted with a cadre of technical jargon.  It is important to qualify your potential consultant by how well they articulate themselves.

3. Experience: Can the consultant demonstrate their aptitude in digital marketing?  The consultant should specialize in inbound marketing.  Inbound marketing consists of search engine optimization, landing page design, pay-per-click, social media, and content marketing.

4. Educate: Does your digital marketing consultant educate you while they are working?  It is important to understand the fundamentals of their work.  Is the consultant open to teaching you the basics of digital marketing?

5. References: Lastly, it is important to ask for references.  Ask for at least 3 client references.  If you see their case studies, they should be able to furnish the corresponding references upon your request.

In conclusion, it is important to find a trusted digital marketing partner.  Once you vet your partner thoroughly, we recommend a minimum 12-month term to quantify their results.  Remember, this is a big investment in one person or team.  Take your time when you plan your hiring.

All original content copyright Steve Estrellado, 2013.