Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Category

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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What’s a Bounce Rate and How to Improve It

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Website Bounce RateYou may have heard a person use the term ‘bounce’ to say that they were leaving. A website bounce is very similar.  It is when a visitor views your website and immediately leaves without clicking on any pages. They usually get directed to your site through a search engine or a referral website. If you have Google Analytics added to your site, it makes it easy to see what your bounce rate is. While the average bounce rate depends on the industry and type of website, it normally ranges between 40-50%. Usually, anything over a 60% bounce rate is a bad thing. Keep in mind, this does not just mean people landing on your homepage, but on any page in your site.

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9 Easy Ways to Promote Your Blog

Monday, November 26th, 2012

There is a plethora of benefits to blogging for small businesses. For one, it’s a powerful tool for building a strong online presence. It is a great way to keep your customers informed about new developments, products and achievements. It’s also a great tool for establishing yourself as an expert in your field and building credibility in your community. A blog helps promote your brand and keep your customers well informed. (more…)

How Online Reviews Help Your Bottom Line

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

It’s getting hard to ignore; you do an online search for a Chinese food restaurant and with every listing for Chinese food there is a rating. When you go to book a hotel for a trip, you get to see reviews on the hotels. When you go online to purchase a computer, you can see comments from other buyers. Even a simple search for your hair stylist’s phone number turns up comments about the salon. From your computer, tablet, and especially now from your cell phone, those reviews are turning up all over.
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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.

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…)

Great Rankings Start With A Relevant Website

Monday, March 26th, 2012

It’s a question we get all the time: “How do I get better search engine rankings for my website?” The answer isn’t complicated; in fact it’s pretty easy. Build a site that people like.

Yes, it really is that easy.
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