Internet Marketing Category

Spruce Up Your Marketing to Get Noticed

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Spruce Up Your Marketing to Get Noticed

When creating your holiday cookies, you want them to look and taste just right. What you don’t want is a bland cookie with no trimmings. Who would want to eat that? Think about your marketing for a moment. Does your product or service shout “Pick Me!”, or does it kind of sit there, like that plain sugar cookie that gets left on the plate, never to be eaten?

The same is true when it comes to your goods and services. You can have an awesome product or service, but who is going to know if you don’t catch people’s attention? Sadly, you can even have a better service, and still lose customers to your competition because they make theirs look better.

Start attracting more customers by showing off your product or service. What makes it so special? It might be you have a secret ingredient that nobody else has. Do you offer a larger variety of styles than your competitors? Do you provide more services to give your clients every possible way to succeed? We recently started working with Jan at Fix My AC LLC, and what makes him special is very clear; 1. He gives very personalized service, and 2. He doesn’t sell people unnecessary services. Jan is very clear with customers on these two points, and it gives him a definite advantage over his competitors. Telling people what sets him apart on his website, on the phone, at networking events, and on all his advertising is a key strategy for him to win business.

Whatever it is that makes your company stand out, showcase it. Shout it if you have to! If you don’t tell people why you are different, you’re just like all the other cookies on the plate.

Here’s something else to consider: A delicious, beautifully decorated cookie does nothing if no one knows where it’s at. This is the very reason why SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important. The SEO will direct more people to your cookie making it easier and faster to locate you above your competitors. Are you making it easier for your website to get found or are your customers giving up because it takes too much time and work to locate you?

Like the perfect holiday cookie, your product/services should be presented with a beautifully designed website that shows off your best attributes. Getting your website in front of the right visitors is key. These are our top 5 most proven ways to market your business online and build an online presence. All of these concepts combined will truly market the perfect gift you have to offer that beats all the other cookie cutter gift ideas.

  1. Create a visually appealing, informative, and functional website that encompasses who you are and what you do with a way for you to bring in new leads.
  2. Optimize your website with search engine optimization to get your business found faster and easier.
  3. Sign up and interact on social media websites such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
  4. Write a blog with industry related topics that will be both fun to read and helpful to your target audience. Show them that you are an industry leader.
  5. Have a newsletter sign up on your website and generate new emails with content that is valuable and noteworthy.

For more ideas on how make your cookies extra fancy and get them in the hands of hungry customers, contact us at 520.664.2324 or alexis@gowebsolutions.com.

 

Internet Marketing Strategies for Small Business presentation

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

I recently did a presentation for Local First Arizona on Internet Marketing Strategies that you may find useful. Here is a summary of what’s included in the slides:

  1. What is Internet Marketing and why do you need it?
  2. How to research and strategize your marketing plan
  3. What Marketing elements to consider (Website, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing, Paid Marketing, etc.)
  4. Putting your marketing plan into action

I realize the slides themselves don’t tell the whole story, so when I have some time I’ll do a podcast to add the audio of the presentation. Until then, I hope you learn from the presentation. As a little bonus, there is a download link to the spreadsheet planner below. Don’t forget to ask any questions you have in the comments!

Here is the Internet Marketing Planner spreadsheet I reference in the slide show. Feel free to customize it and use it as your own.

The 2013 Search Engine Marketing Trends from the Experts

Monday, February 4th, 2013

nullIt’s no surprise that marketing online is on the rise.  Today people are researching online before buying offline and most offline purchases are a result of such searches.  Monitoring your online presence is an important part of building your business and your company’s reputation.  How are you ranking online?  How is your reputation? Are your efforts returning results?  We took a look at what the experts say the latest trends in search engine marketing are for 2013 and we have broken them up in easy to use chunks for you work into your internet marketing.

 Diversified  marketing

Let’s face it; if there is one thing we know about the Internet, it’s that it’s constantly changing. There was a time when just shifting the words on your website could totally change how you got found…not anymore. There are many more tools available to us than ever before making diversifying your marketing not just smart but critical. Focusing on one method of online marketing puts you in danger of leaving you empty handed if the tide shifts.

This year, try some new ways to get your marketing message out. Are you spending all your time on social media? Try sending out some press releases. Have you been working to get links to your site? What about a small paid campaign on Google Adwords or Facebook? Monitoring your efforts for greater return and longevity in more than one avenue will directly show you which avenues are effective.  Today more and more marketing strategies are getting results and it is important to see what is effective for your business. Bottom line: always be testing out new ways to market!

How you can do it:

  • Mash up your content – creating fresh, moving content keeps your website crawled by search engines. Take that fresh content, and integrate it with other tools (some call this “re-purposing” your content). Write a press release, then put it on your blog, post it all over your social media, and then send it out to the media. Have a tutorial or how-to? Write it up as an article, share the pictures on Pinterest, and then make a video out of it. The ideas are endless!
  • Amp up your social media – search terms apply to social media sites as well, keep your accounts active, updated, and social; no one likes to visit an inactive social media site
  • Try out some paid marketing if you aren’t already – budget for paid marketing and monitor your success. Paid marketing WILL get people to your site, but you keep them there with great information. As you focus your efforts on paid, keep in mind that re-targeting ads also gets results.
  • Utilize the distribution of Press Releases – press releases give you exposure to many outlets you might not have otherwise been able to reach. Distribute your next one on PRWeb.com and monitor your results. News articles are not dead.
  • Monitor your Search Engine Optimization efforts – If you don’t have a monitoring tool like Google Analytics, how will you know where to focus your efforts? Monitor what pages people visit, how long they stay on your site, and adjust your content accordingly.

Mobile web

7.96% of all web traffic in the U.S. is mobile traffic – Pingdom. If that wasn’t enough, mobile makes up for about 20% of search traffic according to Google.  If your site isn’t mobile optimized, consider losing your visitors fast–because chances are; they’re looking for fast information. In a study by Equation Research “What Users Want from Mobile“, it is pointed out that 74% of mobile users will wait only 5 seconds for the mobile page to load before abandoning it, and according to Facebook, 488 million users regularly use Facebook mobile.

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What Users Want from Mobile

How you can do it:

  • Responsive web design – responsive web design allows your website to be seen on mobile, desktops and tablets – in a smaller, mobile-optimized format that is easy to navigate and read.
  • Make sure your phone number is “clickable” on phones and tablets – when people visit your website on a phone they like to be able to click your phone number or address so they can contact you more easily, make sure your phone number and address are in txt, not an img.
  • Don’t over-visualize – flashy websites might be appealing on a big screen but when you are looking for information quick, skip the imagery and get right to business.
  • Skip the sound – though we’re not a huge fan of loud music on websites to begin with, leaving it on your mobile version might frighten the mobile user trying to do a search discreetly, especially if they have the ringer turned up.
  • Only present useful information – if your website is jam-packed with information and resources, consider skipping some of the excess information in your mobile version and provide only the useful information on the go.

Content optimization vs. SEO

I read a tweet the other day from @___Mansfield that said: “Step aside SEO! You need to think about CMO now http://geeklesstech.com/step-aside-seo-you-need-to-think-about-cmo-now/ ….”  Though it certainly has shifted, in our opinion CMO (Content Marketing Optimization) is, and should have always been a part of Search Engine Optimization. No one is going to write your website for you, and if you are using borrowed content, Google will know.  Content is your way to keep your website living and breathing – something Google spiders love to crawl.

How you can do it:

  • Focus on content; rankings and conversion will follow – Google loves websites that people love. Provide useful, informative, and exciting content to get people frequenting your website as a go-to source. The more people visit the site, the more relevance your website will have online.
  • Blog about it. – if you have an interesting product you want people to know about, share it with the world. You don’t have to be a blogger to blog, simply be an expert in your field with a thing or two to say about your product or service. Fresh keyword-rich content will get Google scanning your site for relevance, and relevant information will boost your site’s reputation. If you don’t have a blog, consider getting one. It takes much less effort than you think.
  • Make content strategy a crucial part of your business – an aimed content-management plan will set you apart as an expert in your field. According to HiveFire, 82% of B2B marketers now utilize content marketing as a strategy in their marketing efforts–because it works.
  • Provide custom content – it may be useful in your brainstorming efforts to find ideas online, but it is crucial to not only set yourself apart as THE source in your field, but one who is providing custom content that isn’t already out there yet. Fear the cookie-cutter blogs and write the content that you would like to read.

Connecting with current customers

As a business owner, it can be hard to find that balance between taking care of your current customers and finding new ones, but at the end of the day it is much more difficult to get a new customer than it is to do repeat business with an existing customer. Many people forget that online marketing isn’t just about getting new customers, it’s also about staying connected with the ones you already have, and some online tools do an incredible job helping you connect.

How you can do it:

  • Email marketing is still critical – using services like Mailchimp and Constant Contact, are great tools to distributing your email campaign, monthly press release, or newsletter. Keep an email opt-in form at the counter in your place of business so you can collect emails from the people who would benefit from your information. Consider putting a “newsletter signup” form on your website too.
  • Ask for reviews – It’s as simple as that; ask and you will receive. If you are running your business they way it should be run and delivering on your customer service, there is no reason to not ask for those reviews. Reviews whether bad, good, or neutral, help your rankings (though the better ones hold more weight). Encourage your customers to post a review on Google or Yelp, or even have them post reviews directly on your website.
  • Employ a referral system – referrals can be one of the best sources of new business. Offer clients a perk when they refer new customers.
  • Connect with your clients and other businesses on social media – connecting with your current customers via social media gives you access to their interests and friends as well. When they share your information, think about how many of their friends see it too. Connecting with other businesses is important as well because potential and current clients like to see that you are involved in the business and local community.
  • Take advantage of social networking – supporting other businesses and networking groups not only gets your name out, but it puts a face to the business. Spending all of your time and efforts online will not be very fruitful if you don’t put forward a face that people can recognize and trust.

Taking your Social Media to the next level

Social media is taking the world by storm. According to TechCrunch, people socialize 40% more on social media sites than they do offline. Though this may be a scary statistic, it’s important to know that it is a growing avenue for advertisement and can boost your rankings if it is used right.  Some businesses only use social media platforms to get their business found online, but there are many different tactics that can get your brand moving on social media sites, and when more than 1 million websites have integrated with Facebook in various ways, it’s important to pay attention.

How you can do it:

  • Use visuals and media – the general rule of thumb is to keep your posts and Tweets short, sweet, and to the point. The trick is to provide compelling information in that short space. Using media and visuals give you a higher chance of being seen especially on Facebook. If you have a YouTube channel, share your videos on Facebook and watch the engagement.
  • Integrate your social media – an easy way to get your website found online is by making it social. Add social media buttons to your website and integrate them with your Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, G+ and Pinterest accounts, check out “Get More Website Traffic in 7 Minutes with Social Sharing“. On your blog posts and pages that you think are sharable, add social share buttons to get people advertising for you.
  • Try social media marketing –“Social marketing” like Facebook ads cost less than PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing on Google, Yahoo and Bing, and give bigger return. Utilizing “Promoted Posts” on Facebook directly increased one of our clients likes by 50% and even generated them more leads.
  • Automate your posts – if you don’t have time to spend 30 minutes a day with your social media, that’s okay.  Sites like http://bufferapp.com/ allow you to schedule Tweets and Facebook posts days, weeks, and months in advance.
  • Monitor your success – on Facebook, once you gain 30 followers, you are given Facebook statistics to see the interaction and “likes” on your page. We recently started using Sprout Social, which allows you to connect several different accounts including your Linked in, to monitor stats and analytics.

The thought of online marketing can seem overwhelming, but when broken down, it is more palpable. Take time to optimize the content on your website and to keep new content flowing and you will begin to see results. Recognize the search trends people are leaning towards and make sure your website is a reflection of those trends.

As always, if you don’t want to do it yourself, we specialize in getting you found online.  Click here or give us a call at 520-664-2324.

We Love Comments! Feel free to leave one below.

The Ultimate Website Review Checklist – 2013 Edition

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

The Annual Website Review ChecklistHere it is, 2013. The haze of the holidays are behind us, end of year reports are almost done, and you may even have some of your planning done for the new year. In fact, it’s a great time to take a look at your website to make sure it’s running right, getting found, and most importantly, getting you new business. Our solution? The Website Review Checklist.

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12 ways to convert website visitors to customers

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

As a web design and Internet marketing company, our clients consistently have one request: get me better rankings and more traffic. Though it’s something we love to do, it falls short of what I think the real goal should be, and the real reason you have a website in the first place: to get more business. Many people simply chase the traffic and don’t focus on what they do with website visitors once they come to their website, so today we’re going to give you some quick and easy ways to turn those visitors into actual customers.

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Get More Website Traffic In 7 Minutes With Social Sharing

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Everybody can agree that you need to be actively using social media if you are a local or small business in order to stay in front of your customers. Facebook has over 955 million active users and is one of the world’s most popular and trusted websites out there. Google may be number one in traffic, but people spend more time and view more pages on Facebook than Google, according to ComScore data; yet, knowing all of these facts, so many small business owners just can’t seem to figure out how to use social media to promote their brand or to get their employees engaged enough to use it.
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A big shift is coming in Local Search, thanks to Apple

Monday, June 18th, 2012

There is no shortage of those that want to challenge Google, but how many really have the resources? Apple does, and after Google took a bite out of Apple by launching the Android platform, Apple is getting ready to bite back in a way that will affect how you get found on mobile phones.

The 3 Stages of Social Media

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Social media is about engaging customers where they’re at. You can’t afford to ignore it any longer, especially as a small business. In our experience, we see three levels of using social media and three direct results due to those levels of engagement. To be truly successful, social media has to be a genuine part of what you do, but not everything you do. It’s just one marketing tool to reach everyone out there (be careful to choose the social media sites that match your company and message). If social media is done well, it can bring in new customers and create some really cool customer relationships. Knowing the levels and being prepared for what level you want to be at is a great starting point.

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101+ Blogging Ideas to Make Blogging Easy

Monday, May 7th, 2012

As a small business owner, you know that blogging provides great payoffs; it makes a big impact on your internet marketing and search engine optimization, it positions you as a subject matter expert, and it costs next to nothing. The question is, how do you blog and still have time for all that other “more important” stuff, like run your business?

First, start to shift your thinking that doing a blog is a big deal because, quite simply, it’s not. A blog can be as little as 100 to 300 words and you don’t need to be a professional writer to pull it off. It’s just a casual, informative way to keep up with your customers, vendors, fans and others in your industry. As long as the content is relevant, you’ll get a great return on your investment of time and effort. According to HubSpot’s 100 Awesome Marketing Stats Charts & Graphics:

  • Blog readers keep growing and blog articles influence purchases;
  • Most people read blogs more than once a day;
  • Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors;
  • Companies see 67%-88% more leads per month when writing a blog.

Do you want your blog to really get noticed? Add a graphic, a video, an infographic, or a downloadable tool like our Social Media in 15 Minutes a Day handout to really add some zing. Keywords are also important for search engine optimization so you rise to the top of the heap in Google.

The bottom line is that you have no more excuses because we’re giving you 100 great ideas of things to blog about. (more…)

Social Media in 15 Minutes a Day

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

It’s a challenge you may be a little too familiar with—a lot of social media and not a whole lot of time. As a small business, using and being a part of social media with your clients is really important and here’s why–nearly 67% of people online use a social site regardless of age. Conversations on social media influence purchases and help companies to get found online, too. What’s more, social media greatly influences sales, getting found online and lead generation.* Remember, as social media expert Paul Chaney says, content is king, conversation is queen, and conversion is the prince! Now that you know a bit more about why social media is important, here’s how to master it in just 15 minutes a day…

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