One of the first things they teach young writers is to always come up with a headline first, and then begin their blog or story.
Behind every great idea, product or service is a team of talented people who put it all together. But - keeping your audience’s best interest in mind when it comes to delivering these things often requires a team of outside resources.
When it comes to interacting with your audience, you must be on top of your social media engagement game. When your followers enjoy what they see, they share it, and when their questions are answered, they applaud you.
Meeting and arranging work with a new client is the first step in your relationship. Getting reacquainted in a kickoff meeting when it’s time to move forward with your business agreement is generally the next step. This meeting serves as an important opportunity to set goals, boundaries, and guidelines. Without it, priorities and goals won’t be established, and potential mistakes can be made.
When it comes to social media, who you follow, and who follows you are two things that play a big role in the image of your brand. Online marketing is all about perception. Although you may be producing great messages on your blog and website, this is not the only thing that people consider when they develop an opinion on your company.
Publishing a press release is a great way to get exposure for your company’s latest project, launch or campaign. Sometimes taking it a step further, i.e. getting in touch with local news outlets, is also appropriate.
When it comes to producing content for your website, social media and blog, there are many speculations to take into consideration. From keywords to fluff pieces, it's important to keep your audience in mind. What are they searching for, and what do they wish to learn more about?
When it comes to flushing out the many topics that stem from your pillar content, organization and planning are key.
The psychology of word meaning runs deep - and the words we see on social media are no exception to this. That being said, being strategic with word use is necessary for the copy on every social media platform you choose to utilize.
It’s no secret that hashtags have many positive uses beyond regular keyword engagement.
If you're anything like us, you've been looking forward to our robot overlords finally taking over some of the more mundane tasks that we end up doing over and over again. Case in point: making frequent, multi-step changes in spreadsheets is a pain, particularly when you end up needing to make the same edits to several sheets.
One great blessing (and occasional curse) of most jobs today is that work can be done remotely. Cloud services like Google Docs and Sheets and Dropbox have enabled increased productivity and the ability to access your files anywhere, anytime. Well, almost anytime: you still need internet access.
Google has recently rolled out an addition to Google Docs to allow offline access. Yep, you read that right: offline access! This means that you can keep working on that pesky TPS report after your plane has taken off or when your subway train goes underground. Pretty cool, right?
To turn on the new offline mode feature, you just need to follow a few simple steps:
A duplicate is the presence of more than one listing on any given platform representing a single entity. And almost every business runs across the problem of duplicate listings. In fact, it’s so common that a Yext survey of 2,719 locations found a total of 40,607 duplicate listings, or an average of 14.93 per location. If you’re not currently using a SaaS (Software as a Service) to manage your business location(s), you don’t have have the option of having a software find and remove duplicates of your business for you.
Local Citation building is the process of obtaining mentions of your business’ vital stats (name, address, phone number, and website; otherwise known as NAP+W) on the web. Google recognizes these mentions and, in turn, attributes them to your business.
You've spent dozens of hours carefully crafting the look and feel of your website. Everything is streamlined, loads quickly, and has a thoughtful and logical navigation pipeline. There's only one thing missing (and it might be the most important element!): the perfect contact form.
Your website's contact form is the end-all be-all of your lead generation pipeline. Whether the visitor to your website got there via your ingenious inbound marketing techniques (e.g. organic traffic to your amazing content!) or clicked one of your smartly-crafted PPC ads on Google, they're eventually going to want to take the next step in their buyer's journey and get in touch with you.
Make sure that your business is making the most of every website visitor. Seal the deal with our guide to making the perfect contact form for your website.
Here's our breakdown of what you should expect to see on a SERP and how you can optimize your business' website and online listings to make sure that you stay on top of the competition!
Whether you’re a small business owner or an up-and-coming corporate executive, search engine optimization (SEO) should be a part of your marketing strategy.
There are a variety of different SaaS (software-as-a-service) tools out there for SEO solutions, each of which purports to solve all of your problems; however, it’s important to find the right tools that fit your business' or clients’ SEO needs!
We’ve tested Moz and Yext (the two most well known SaaS tools) and put them head to head so you don’t have to. With the right tools behind your business, you’re guaranteed to succeed against even the fiercest competition!
Doing business is tough, but that's why they call it "business," right? Whether you're just getting your feet off the ground or you've been around the block a few times, you're bound to have some hiccups with customer relations.
We've posted before about what happy (and unhappy) customers can do for you business by leaving reviews on sites like Yelp. Getting good reviews (and avoiding negative ones) is only part of the reputation management puzzle, though. Today we're going to look at the importance of keeping your customers happy from the outset. Here's why customer service should be the lifeblood of your business.
It can happen to you. Whether you're using keyword stuffing to try to boost your search engine results page (SERP) ranking or just not adhering to interstitial ad guidelines, Google will find out!
Google routinely updates their site-crawling algorithms to look for criteria that they can use to punish a website. Google's harsh punishment comes in the form of a lower ranking for your business' website in search results, which can mean less online presence for your business (and that is a very bad thing!).
Don't let your business get hit with a penalty from Google! Check out our SEO experts' tips for adjusting to Google's constantly changing site-crawling algorithms.
The thank you page (or, in some cases, just a thank you lightbox) is what visitors to your website will see when they fill out a contact form or download content via an offer on a landing page. No content offer is complete without a great thank you page to pair with it!
Recently, we covered the ins and outs of building a quality landing page for your business' website. Next, let's take a look at how to show your appreciation to your new lead by making the perfect thank you page.
Landing pages are specifically designed pages on your website that visitors land on (hence the name) when they click an internal or externally-hosted link to an offer.
The landing page is an integral part of the Awareness stage of the Buyer's Journey, when potentital customers know that your business exists but need nurturing (i.e. education content such as white papers, sample reports, etc.) to get to the next stage: Consideration.
Building a landing page is relatively easy: just treat it like another piece of content that you're building out to enhance your brand. Here's our outline on how (and why) you should build landing pages for your content marketing strategy!
Quality content creation and website development are both time consuming and creatively involved endeavors. You can spend hours tweaking verbiage and layouts just to get that perfectly eye-catching page built out.
Bad reviews are a reality for any good business. It doesn't matter if your customer service chops are polished or if your user experience is streamlined: sometimes, people just don't like you.
The good news is that there are plenty of excellent (and not-so-excellent) ways to deal with negative reviews of your business. Here's our outline some of the best tips from our reputation management experts on how to handle negative reviews and always come out on top.
Unless you're a web designer or an SEO guru, you probably aren't too familiar with the term meta description tag. That changes today!
Google recently rolled out a big change to how they deal with meta description tags: you can now add 320 characters to your meta description instead 160. This means that you can provide more in-depth details of your content and use more relevant keywords. All of this adds up to more clicks and more conversions!
Communication, project oversight, and task management are all integral to the success of any business. There are a lot of great options out there that each have their own advantages and disadvantages, but one of the most prevalent (and flexible) options is Slack.
Slack is, first and foremost, a dedicated platform for communication. In their own words, Slack "creates alignment and shared understanding across your team, making you more productive, less stressed, and just a little bit happier." We can't provide anything more than anecdotal evidence to corroborate that last bit, but Slack has definitely helped us to organize our office!
Topic clusters are not a new concept in search engine optimization. For the past few years, Google and other search engines have developed algorithms to crawl and rank websites based on the network of related and interconnected pieces of content. Take your business into 2018 with a smart content strategy using topic clusters!
Getting started with topic clusters for your business' blog can seem a bit daunting at first, particularly if your content creation process isn't quite streamlined yet. Check out this outline of topic cluster implementation and embrace the cohesiveness of your content!
2018 is here! The holidays are have come and gone, which means that your business just finished competing with a deluge of holiday marketing emails from every other business out there.
As you take stock of your business' 2017 holiday email marketing open and click-through rates, consider what you can improve on in the new year. With almost 50% of all holiday shopping taking place online, your business cannot afford to send out subpar emails!
Check out these 5 essential tips from our marketing experts to making a stronger effort in 2018:
The average open rate for business' mailing lists is around 17%. That means that, on average, 83% of email marketing goes unopened! Why are open and click-through rates so low?
Let's face it, writing compelling emails can be tough. You're usually sending something out just for the sake of keeping up appearances or to announce your new product or service that came out last week (too little, too late!). Meanwhile, your audience probably receives 10 other nearly identical emails each day. Do you think they're going to take the time to open any of those, let alone yours?
Don't worry, though, we've got you covered. Listed here are some of the biggest issues that we see with email marketing campaigns. We've got some fool-proof suggestions for building out your next email!
Black Friday has come and gone and now Cyber Monday is here. In today's digital age, online sales are making up a constantly growing proportion of business' sales. The convenience of shopping online coupled with the availability of deals everywhere (and the ability to compare prices in an instant!) means that consumers no longer need to stand in hour-long lines just to get a good price on their favorite items.
Whether your business involves retail sales, business-to-business (B2B), or software-as-a-service (SAAS), you should take some cues from this year's Cyber Monday sales and give your customers (and potential clients) something that they can look forward to!
It's mid-November here in Dallas, which means that the weather is cooling off, the shops are all blaring Christmas music, and (most importantly!) families and friends everywhere are preparing for a Thanksgiving feast!
Thanksgiving is a great opportunity for friends and family to get together and show appreciation for what they've got; however, an unprepared Thanksgiving can be fraught with chaotic commotion and panicked last-minute oven roasting.
Make sure that you're treating your business' local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy like it's a Thanksgiving feast: be prepared well in advance, let everyone know where (and when) it's going to be, and make sure each that everyone's got food to eat!
The futuristic, sci-fi worlds of films like Minority Report and Terminator where machines are inextricably tied to our lives is not far off. Hopefully, things will turn out a bit less dystopian than either of those films!
Ever noticed the little yellow figure that you can drag-and-drop in Street View on Google Maps? That little guy is named “Pegman,” and he’s about to become your local business’ best friend!
Inbound marketing (including content marketing and social media content) as well as SEO (search engine optimization) are surefire ways to get your local business on the map. One oft-overlooked element of a successful SEO strategy is the optimization of your business’ map listing data.
When consumers are looking for a new business, they use mapping products (e.g. Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc.) 44% of the time! Additionally, on average, 41% of those map search results will result in an on-site visit. (Data from a Google study)
So what can you do to make sure that your business is being found (and is enticing to potential customers that find you via map search)? Read on to find out....
Some may think that content marketing has no place in marketing and that traditional outbound marketing is the right way to go. However, if you’re one of the people that realizes how digital marketing is taking over the marketing world, this statement couldn’t be more false.
If you want to be able to get your website found on the internet, it’s important that your SEO strategy is up to par. The best way to do this is by producing quality content. Without quality content, even the best SEO strategies will fail.
Writing quality content comes with a lot of benefits that traditional outbound marketing does not allow for. The following points will touch on just a few of the areas affected by a lack of quality content and how the addition of better content could fix them.
Whether you're making a special cocktail, a mixtape for your new paramore, or just trying to get your new digital marketing campaign off the ground, the balance of ingredients matters!
The success of any digital marketing campaign is based on the balance (and quality of the following ingredients: content, social media, and search engine marketing (SEM).
Learn how to get the most of each of these inbound marketing techniques below.
There's one unavoidable truth in the world of inbound marketing: content is king.
Any decent digital marketing campaign will include an emphasis on content creation. Creating fresh and exciting content can boost your SEO, make your website more appealing to visitors, and guide potential customers through the buyer's journey.
Still, content creation isn't all fun and games. Cranking out consistently killer content requires a huge amount of effort, and sometimes you still miss the mark. If the quality of your content is getting in the way of your goals, it's time to purge.
It's time for an evaluation of what aspects of your blog are working for you, what needs tweaking, and what needs to get thrown away.
It's nearly time for midterm elections and that means that we're going to start to see a plethora of politicians trying to do something we know quite a bit about: market themselves to an audience.
Digital marketing campaigns share a lot in common with running for political office. You've got to find the right team and allies and make sure that you're putting your efforts in the right place (and at the right time!). For both marketing and political campaigns, you'll need solid data analytics to make sure that you're making the most of every marketing dollar.
Here's our breakdown of the trials and tribulations of running any successful marketing (or political) campaign!
Recently, online video game storefront Steam published a blog post announcing changes to their review system. The impetus for these changes seemed to be a phenomenon known as “review bombing,” where large numbers of reviewers leave negative feedback in quick succession to tank a business’ or product’s online reputation.
Sounds pretty nasty, right? Well, this got us thinking about how unpredictable reputation management can be in the digital age.
Whether a posse of online bullies is trying to ruin your business or you’re just trying to get some more reviews under your belt, having the best reputation management strategies will help ensure that you come out looking awesome.
Google is constantly trying to improve user experience (UX). In the past, Google algorithm updates focused on how businesses could improve their content and SEO practices.
Updates like Panda (which focused on improving the content websites provided), Penguin (which focused on link spam), and Pigeon (which improved local search results) all focused on behind the scenes improvements to Google’s algorithm.
Lately, Google has decided to focus on the visible search results that provide relevant content to users as quickly as possible. AMPs, Schema, and now Posts are all designed with this in mind.
If your company isn’t running PPC ad campaigns, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business. With recent changes to their search engine results page (SERP), Google is allocating more and more space above the fold to PPC ads, snippets, and 3 packs.
Proper use of PPC can make sure your business stays on top of the competition, literally! Check out our 7 must-know stats for making the most of your PPC marketing:
When it comes to PPC, you want to get the most for your marketing dollar. Once you’ve got your ad copy written, your landing pages optimized, and your bids perfected, there’s still more you can do to make each ad campaign count.
We’ve put together a list of 4 things you can do to maximize your ROI, convert more visitors to leads and customers, and make every click count for your PPC AdWords campaigns.
PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, is the standard advertising model on search engines. PPC defines the way you pay for the advertising - each time someone clicks on your ad, you pay the search engine for that traffic.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the massive Houston-to-NYC Colonial Pipeline has been shut down, creating a huge gap in the local gas supply chain. With a DFW gas shortage on the horizon, this morning has seen the area around our office in a total panic!
This sudden gas shortage got us thinking about the implications of a supply chain hang-up in other businesses. The key question we came to was “what should you do when your leads dry up?”
Always be prepared for the unexpected or expect to lose lots of revenue. Make sure that you’re prepared for disaster with five tips from our marketing experts!
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Facebook’s Instant Articles have allowed viewers to instantly access content for a few years now.
While both of these systems do an incredible job of delivering lightning fast content, they also had two serious (and possibly format killing) flaws - neither one of these formats made ad placement or lead generation very easy.
We’ve been seeing a lot of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) vs. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) stories lately, and while these are two distinct marketing choices, we don’t perceive them as opposing points of view, but rather as two sides of the same coin.
Both SEO and PPC are useful and have their own roles in any complete digital marketing strategy. SEO is a long-term enterprise, while PPC is best used for specific marketing campaigns. Knowing how and when to use each is crucial to the success of any business.
Digital Marketing - Any marketing efforts carried out in a digital space (i.e. online).
Above the Fold - Any website content that appears on screen before scrolling. Originally used in print media to refer to the front page of a newspaper that appeared above where the paper was folded.
A/B Testing - The process of testing two different versions of something in order to compare analytics and determine the effectiveness of each version. Used to optimize an ad campaign, landing page, or any other aspect of digital marketing.
Analytics - The collection and interpretation of statistical data involving the way users interact with a website or ad. Typical analytics data includes number of visitors, time spent on page, CTR, and bounce rate.
Attribution - The act of identifying the steps a customer followed through a marketing funnel in order to give credit to each step. A typical example of steps might include PPC ad to landing page to thank you page, or blog 1 to blog 2 to landing page to thank you page. You can read more about attribution models here.
Banner Image - Also called the Hero Image. Banner Images are the main image displayed at the top of a website.
Bounce Rate - The percentage of visitors to a page that did not interact with that page (click on any other links) before leaving the site.
Carousel - A collection of Rich Cards displayed on a SERP.
Cookies - Short text files sent from a website to a user’s computer. Cookies are usually used to retain login credentials, identify former visitors, and customize a website experience.
Conversion - When a visitor or lead becomes a customer. A conversion occurs at the time of a sale to the visitor or lead.
According to market research firm Ipsos, 78 percent of Americans say that online reviews influence their purchases. So, for this reason alone, online reputation management is critical for your business.
The goal of inbound marketing and SEO is to get people to your site, so increasing your Click-Through-Rate (CTR) is essential to the success of any digital marketing campaign.
Rich snippets, rich cards, and Accelerated Mobile Pages are all designed with this in mind.
All of these use HTML to provide a better user experience (UX) for the viewer and a better CTR for your business.
Implementing these types of code can significantly impact your site’s user experience, and the rewards can be substantial for both the user and the business, increasing page rank, CTR, conversions, and your company’s bottom line.
Here are three simple steps you can take to improve your CTR and add value to your SERP listing.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, if you’re not using video content to help market and sell your products or services, then your sales aren’t what they should be.
Advertising, product demos, how-to videos, reviews, Q&A sessions, vlogs (video blogs)... these are just some of the ways you could be using video to help boost your sales, engage with your customers, and increase your brand recognition.
Video can boost the CTR on your emails and landing pages, help your site rank higher in a search engine, and help convert customers. If you’re not using video as a part of your marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business.
Customer Reviews are an essential part of most people’s decision-making process. 90% of customers read reviews before visiting a store or a website, and 72% won’t make a purchase without reading a positive review.
This means that almost all of your customers base their decisions (at least in part) on reviews they read online.
Spending increases by 31% at businesses with positive reviews as well, and an increase in rating of just one star on Yelp leads to a 5%-9% increase in sales.
With good reviews you can drive more traffic to your business, and that traffic will spend more money.
The internet has at least 4.46 billion indexed pages currently active (this is most likely a gross underestimate). Millions of new pages are published every day, and millions of old pages are removed.
So what happens to the URL when a page is removed?
When a page is removed from a server, any links to that page usually become 404 errors (this is the default response for most servers).
There are many good reasons to make sure 404 errors are fixed, but what might surprise you is that there are also good reasons to let some remain.
We’re here to help you understand the best ways to handle a 404 error and whether you should fix it or forget it.
SEO: The Movie is the movie about the history of SEO that you’ve been searching for. This movie is the brainchild of Ignite Visibility CEO John Lincoln, who decided that the thing we all needed to make our lives complete was a movie about SEO.
Sure this sounds crazy, but it turns out he was right. SEO: The Movie might not be this summer’s blockbuster hit, but for anyone curious about the history of the SEO industry, this is the movie for you.
QR codes never really caught on when they were introduced almost a decade ago. They were seen as a death sentence for any company caught using them.
Improper use of QR codes by marketers had a lot to do with it, coloring our opinions of this technology.
When it comes to getting visitors to sign up for your email list it’s not always what you ask, sometimes it’s how you ask it. When and where you place your CTAs can have a huge impact on lead generation.
We’ve put together a list of 4 easy ways to build your email subscriber's list without raising your bounce rate or killing your user experience.
If you run a multinational conglomerate or a corner store, a B2B or a B2C, or anything in between - if your business makes, sells, or distributes a service or product - you need to be doing SWOT analyses.
SWOT analyses are a crucial part of understanding your business and its overall place in the market. If you want your business to get on top and stay there, a SWOT analysis should be the first step in your plan.
Before one dime is spent on a new marketing campaign, before any new product rolls off the production line, and at least once a year, a SWOT analysis should be conducted by your business.
With Google’s announcement about the introduction of their new Lens technology, the information available about your business online is becoming more important than ever.
Google Lens is an augmented reality feature that will work through your smartphone’s camera to provide users with real-time information about your business.
Combining geotagging with image recognition, Lens will allow users to point their camera at your storefront or sign and Google will provide relevant information about your business.
Reviews, hours, and even reservation information can be displayed. If a user doesn’t like what they see, they won’t even need to slow down as they pass your business by.
Google Lens isn’t due to be released until later this year, so you still have time to get “Lens Ready”. We’ve put together a list of a few things you can do to make sure your business stays in focus.
Local SEO can be tricky for businesses with multiple locations. Knowing how to get each location to rank on local searches can drive a lot of traffic to your business and give a boost to your overall SEO efforts.
There are two basic steps to this process, listing each location separately in directories and creating individual pages for each location on your website.
In each case, making sure your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) info is correct is crucial to local SEO rankings.
We’ve put together some best practices to get the most from your business’s directory listings and location pages.
Local SEO Directory Listings
In order for each of your business’s locations to show up in local search engine results, they’re going to need to be listed individually.
When someone searches for a business in a specific location or for a nearby business, search engines use NAP info provided by directory listings to supply this information.
If one of your locations is at or near the area but doesn’t have its own listing, it won’t show up in a search. To avoid this, list each location separately.
Here’s a list of the top 100 directories. We recommend you concentrate on the top 50 directories - that should be enough for search engines to draw good data.
For each location’s listings, the NAP info will need to be identical to avoid confusing your customers and search engines. Here are a few guidelines to follow when listing these businesses:1. Make sure that the business name is exactly the same in each listing. If the name is even slightly different, search engines will assume that each version is an independent business and any SEO juice will be lost.
According to a Capital One survey, 44% of companies don’t have a website. That means almost half of the businesses out there are ignoring one of the biggest profit drivers available.
Websites affect almost every aspect of business, from credibility to searchability. If your business doesn’t have a website, you are hurting you current sales and your future prospects.
Not having a website is such a huge mistake that it may reach back in time to affect the past in ways we can’t even fathom, defying all known laws of physics.
Knowing if your advertising or marketing campaigns are successful or not has been a struggle since long before John Wanamaker quipped about it over 100 years ago.
With no direct way to tie increased sales to a specific campaign, attribution was difficult at best.
Here’s how attribution used to work:
- You run an advertising campaign
- If sales go up, the campaign worked. ROI is assigned based on the increase in sales.
- If sales remain flat or drop, the campaign didn’t work and you fire your ad agency.
Customer loyalty has an enormous impact on sales. Loyal customers spend more time interacting with your brand and spend more money on your products.
80% of your company’s future business will come from 20% of your current customers. Developing and maintaining these loyal customers can determine the future of your company.
While it may not always be at the top of your to-do list, search engine optimization is a task that will need your attention from time to time to boost the success of your website. But what is the best way to go about doing SEO?
Creating great content is all for nothing if no one ever sees it. If you want to maximize your exposure, then posting that content at the proper time is an important part of the process.
We’ve broken down the best times to post your material to your favorite social media sites, letting you focus on producing compelling content for your followers.
The recent WannaCry ransomware attacks have a lot of people wondering if their business is at risk from malware attacks.
The short answer is yes. The long answer goes on for a bit more, but the answer is still yes.
Don’t panic! There are some simple things you can do to help prevent these attacks from shutting down your business or stealing your sensitive data.
Asking for free chicken nuggets on a site with a bird logo seems to be in poor taste.
If you’re not familiar with the story, welcome to the internet! If you have heard about this, here’s a summary anyway: It’s the story of how social media monitoring and a little snark turned into the biggest thing on the internet.
If you’ve been paying attention at all lately, you’ve probably heard about FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s plans to gut the net neutrality rules established in 2015.
These regulations currently prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T, Time Warner, and Comcast from charging companies for priority access to the internet, forcing ISPs to treat all internet traffic equally.
The FCC wants to reverse these regulations, allowing ISPs to set their own rules for how they handle traffic on the internet.
How much are you willing to pay for a new lead? Andrew Cooney paid everything he had in his pocket.
It was the best 15 cents he ever spent (ok, 15 cents is an estimate). All he did was put money in an expired parking meter. That 15 cents got him 500,000 impressions in one day.
The quickest way to lose a customer is to send them to the wrong location or to give them the wrong phone number.
Make sure your customers are given accurate information by providing correct name, address, and phone number (NAP) data in listing directories.
If your NAP info isn’t correct in listing directories then your customers may be given the wrong phone number or be sent to the wrong address, or your location may not get listed in local SEO at all.
Don’t lose your customers! Make sure your NAP info is correct everywhere.
Before you can correct any discrepancies, you need to know that those discrepancies exist. Let’s learn how!
Whatever product or service your company provides, it should solve a problem for your customers. Problem solving is the basis for all consumer interactions.
Sometimes the problem can be minor, even trivial - “I’m thirsty and tired!” Three guys from Seattle came up with a solution to this problem, and in 2015 they made almost 3 billion dollars solving it.
You might be using their solution right now, but even if you’re not you certainly know its name - Starbucks.
If you want to drive traffic to your business, you need to give your customers good directions. This is what NAP (name, address, and phone number) information is all about.
Your customers need accurate contact information about your business in order to find you, and the NAP info provided in listing directories is where search engines get that information.
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing pull information about your business from directories. Your business’s NAP information needs to be correct in these directories before the search engines can get it right.
United has learned the hard way how many people are watching every move they make, with their most recent PR nightmare, but they're not alone. Plenty of companies have had issues with social media.
Customer service and reputation management have changed dramatically in the age of social media, and businesses need to adapt their strategies accordingly.
George Orwell could never have imagined the effects that the internet and social media would have on his idea of “Big Brother."
Smartphones and the internet have joined forces to create a million “little brothers”, watching everything companies do, and broadcasting those actions around the world in seconds.
There are simply too many social media sites for one company (let alone one person) to realistically participate in (here’s a list of the top 60 - yes, 60!). Knowing which sites your customers are active on is the best metric to use when determining where your brand should have a presence, but you need to create the right kind of content for those sites.
Understanding the best ways to use different social media platforms can help you create content that is appropriate for each site, making content creation and engagement easier and more effective. Make the most of your inbound marketing campaign!
You’ve already created some great content, so why not try recycling that older content into a different format and get the most out of it? Reusing and repurposing content can save time, boost views, engagement, and SEO, and increases your ROI.
The hard work has been done, all you need to do is find the right material, find a format that fits that material, and then re-purpose that content!
What can you learn about content writing from Ghost Rider, Ben Gates (of National Treasure), and Cameron Poe (the hero from Con Air)? If you’re a content writer, beginning a new blog post can feel daunting at times. You’ve got to decide what to write about, where to start, and, above all, what to say, and that’s all before you even write a word!
Feeling lost? Writer’s block? Why not seek guidance from the acting career of renowned star Nicolas Cage? Let’s take a look at Mr. Cage’s career for some fresh perspective on creating content.
Your website has three seconds to make a good first impression. That’s the time it took to read the previous sentence. If your site hasn’t loaded by then, 40% of (potential) visitors will move on, and 79% won’t come back.
This is a huge percentage of visitors that you are turning away even before they see your site. Talk about first impressions matter!
All of the work you’ve done on creating incredible content, optimizing your pages for SEO, listing your site everywhere, getting the meta right, all that money spent on PPC... it’s all for nothing if visitors leave your site before it’s even loaded!
Improving your site’s page speed becomes even more important when you remember that for every second faster a site loads, businesses see a 7% increase in conversions.
Numbers don’t lie - email marketing works. The Direct Marketing Association reports that companies that use email marketing see a 4300% return on investment (ROI) from these campaigns. Ignore that number at your own peril!
In order to begin an email marketing campaign, your business needs an email list. Email list building is one of the primary objectives of your website.
It’s no secret that Twitter may be going the way of the dinosaurs. While the curtains have not necessarily closed just yet on this social media giant, there are some interesting alternatives to Twitter that could change the landscape of business communication.
Mastodon is an up-and-coming social media platform bearing some resemblances to Twitter, yet its nuances set it apart so much that it could definitely contend with the tweeting bird.
With Google’s recent updates to its algorithms, user experience is moving to the forefront of design and SEO. Google has shifted the focus of SERP to the consumer, and it turns out that when the consumer wins, everybody wins.
The theory is simple - the more exactly Google can match search queries with user-friendly content, the higher the conversion rate. The higher the conversion rate, the more sales your company makes.
This result is a bottom-up process that starts with quality content written with the consumer in mind, and ending with happy customers and happy companies.
Don’t be intimidated by video. You don’t need to be Martin Scorsese to make a quality video for your business. Sometimes a smartphone and five minutes is all you need to make a video that your customers will enjoy and share.
With Facebook’s release of Facebook Messenger Day, yet another social media site has opted for the here-today-gone-tomorrow style of disappearing content management. Snapchat, the most popular of these apps, has taken the social media world by storm. After just 5 years, Snapchat has 100 million daily users who spend 25-30 minutes a day on the app.
Voice search is becoming a more popular way for mobile users to find the things that they need. As more mobile users reach out to services like Siri or Alexa, businesses and marketers need to adapt to serve the needs of their audience.
Voice search represents a fundamental change in the way that people find the people, places, and things that they want. Accordingly, the marketing and advertising content that you create needs to adopt a more conversational tone, particularly making effective use of long-tail keywords.
Is your business taking steps to prepare for the voice search takeover?
When it comes to content creation, we can learn a lot from comic books. The structure of the storytelling, the way different types of content work together (both text and images), and the conflict/resolution style of storytelling are all examples of things that comic books and marketing content have in common.
Have you ever made a phone call to a business that began with a pleasant recorded voice telling you that "this call may be recorded?" Whether you're a seasoned search engine optimization (SEO) veteran or just getting started, you've probably encountered call tracking technology more times than you can count.
Have you ever been scrolling through an article on your mobile phone when, suddenly, some kind of pop-up appears that takes up the majority of your screen? That’s called an interstitial advertisement (or just “interstitial,” for short). Interstitials are ads that appear in between two content pages and, until recently, were a much-maligned (but highly effective!) form of interruptive advertising.
2016 was a poor year for Twitter. From losing several high-ranking executives (including their CTO!) to their plummeting stock performance, this bird might not be singing forever. While we don't recommend marketers and businesses leave Twitter quite yet (the website boasted over 1.3 billion accounts created by the end of 2016 and traffic regularly increases as things in the world get a little bit crazier), it's a good idea to recognize a sinking ship when you see one.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is almost a dirty word in today's online inbound marketing agency environment. SEO is associated with techniques used to optimize a business' website for ideal performance on search engines. These actions traditionally include keyword optimization, building links and traffic referrals (from links with high domain authority). What's missing from all of those SEO techniques? The customer!
Are you a small business owner or webmaster hoping to improve your local business' web presence? Local search engine optimization (SEO) can be a daunting undertaking, particularly if you're not sure where to start. Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here we'll outline some basic do's (and don'ts) for local SEO that will help you to hit the ground running.
Back in December, we posted about some online marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2017. Today we’re going to focus on one of the most important parts of web optimization in the new year: mobile-first indexing.
We previously covered an overview of referral spam (or ghost referrals) in Google Analytics (GA), which are referrals that can muck up your webtraffic metrics, monitoring, and analysis by generating fake visitor data for your website. Spammers accomplish this by using spam bots to get your Google Analytics tracking ID (e.g. UA-) from your website’s source code. Next, the nefarious spammers send “visitor” information directly to Analytics (bypassing your website).
Note: Looking for even more spam removal tips? You can read Part 2 of our Ghostbusting series here!
Since its launch in 2005 after Google’s acquisition of Urchin, Google Analytics (or GA) has cemented itself as a fantastic and (most importantly) free tool that can be used to retrieve and report upon website traffic data. As the predominant web analytics tool, GA provides webmasters with some highly useful instruments to track online campaigns and conversion rates, perform website optimization, and even generate e-commerce reporting. Unfortunately, the accuracy of all of that robust data analysis that GA provides can be easily damaged by referral spam.
So you want to start blogging, but it's been a while since you last sat down and wrote anything other than perhaps an email or proposal. In fact, for many people, their last experience with any kind of substantive writing was most likely in school. And while writing excellent academic essays is a great place to start, it is definitely not the same as determining a fresh topic and writing an engaging piece of content for the web.
How do you bridge the gap between your intro to composition course and your company's blog? By following the writing process, of course!
Creation calls, and thoughts linger. Abstact thoughts accumulate form and emerge from misty depths. The form hones a figure, and Creativity takes its first step.
But first, you need to crank out five pieces on the healthy benefits of bird watching, a "State-of" industry piece, and three posts for your personal blog.
The figure begins losing form. It grasps at the air - it needs sustenance. It needs movement. Creativity needs writing exercises.
Social media use by businesses has continued to expand in 2016. It’s becoming inevitable - in the age of advertising, every company will eventually take to social media. In fact, in the US, 88% of companies use some form of social media advertising, and the number is growing.
But not all companies do social media well. Even major brands struggle with these platforms. It’s about more than voice and verbiage (even though we have guidelines for those); it’s about fostering connections.
So how can a business use these platforms for effective social media campaigns?
Realizing that 66 percent of people who make New Year’s Resolutions give them up in one month or less is fairly discouraging-especially if you’re a part of that statistic. But the one good thing about losing a resolution is the opportunity to make another, and if you’re in the sales and/or marketing world, we’ve got a perfect one: ending the war between sales and marketing.
Well, you probably know that making attention-grabbing calls-to-action give your emails a purpose. After all, you've got to give your recipients something to do and offer them value, whether that's reading your top blog posts or using a coupon you've sent along.
Filed Under: email marketing
You’re in the thick of holiday promotions now, but after the holiday decorations are put away, then what? Most people haven't even started thinking about it, but the holidays will soon be over and the new year will be upon us. And a new year always means new trends.
Is your team ready? Here's what we predict to be the major trends for 2017.
Even if you don’t manage your own search engine optimization efforts, a cursory knowledge of Schema.org markup code (and some best practices for feeding data to search engines) can help you to streamline your local SEO efforts or better communicate with your SEO provider.
Are you really “customer focused”? Or is that just a part of your mission statement because you thought it sounded good, but have no idea how to really implement it?
While surveys show a majority of customers would pay more for a better customer experience, only 1 percent of those customers thought their current vendors were actually doing a good job.
Remember, when customers choose a small business instead of a larger one, they’re usually looking for a personalized and better customer experience.
Although content marketing use among B2C marketers has risen from 86 percent last year to 90 percent this year and B2B small business marketers see content marketing as a way to level the playing field with larger businesses, less than half of those marketers have a content marketing strategy.
Creating quality content is incredibly important; content marketing can generate about three times as many leads as traditional market and cost 62 percent less than traditional marketing. It makes sense to absorb as much knowledge on the topic as possible.
We've talked before about customer engagement in a broad sense. It's all about forming connections with the person - not the buyer. Customers are people, too. Social media channels offer one of the easiest ways to communicate with customers, and there are proven ways of increasing social engagement using these tools.
Facebook engagement has proven to be somewhat tricky for businesses to increase. Some businesses do it very well, but others do not. Issues can arise when interacting with customers on Facebook, and a declining organic reach can make it difficult to reach those customers in the first place. However, the website still provides excellent opportunities for growth and engagement with customers. Here are 5 things to keep in mind while building your Facebook engagement levels.
Filed Under: Facebook
As marketers, we are always looking for areas of improvement. Whether it's writing better emails, targeting more focused keywords, or crafting especially compelling CTA's, the range of possibilities never end.
It is so easy to get carried away with all the things you could be doing, that sometimes marketer's need to take a second to look at what they should be doing. Making this distinction can then channels itself into more strategic marketing planning if done properly.
If you don't write it down, it won't happen.
It may seem silly to spend time writing a marketing plan. The marketing landscape shifts so much, you just adjust your strategy as you go along. So there's really no need to write down marketing objectives, right?
This line is a throwaway hook. It’s usually something a little outlandish.
But don’t ignore it.
There are plenty of strings to tie to that first sentence.
This could get a little long. For a tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) version, skip to the bottom.There are plenty of strings to tie to that first sentence. Link them up. (get it? A link to local SEO - can't ignore it... outlandish = location joke... no? Fine. Be like that.)
The weekend after Thanksgiving is drawing closer on the calendar, and marketers are preparing for the final push to get customers to companys' doorsteps and websites during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Clocks are counting down fast until those famed shopping days arrive, so the tactics you choose need to make the most impact now more than ever.
Cyber Monday is the single largest online shopping day of the year. In 2013 consumers spent 1.735 billion, up approximately 18 percent from 2012. That's a large increase, and as a business owner you should see this as a prime opportunity for your business to make a profit.
Facebook has proven to be somewhat tricky for businesses to master. Some businesses do it very well, but others do not. Issues can arise when interacting with customers on Facebook, and a declining organic reach can make it difficult to reach those customers in the first place. However, the website still provides excellent opportunities for growth and engagement with customers. Here are 5 things to keep in mind while marketing with Facebook.
Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion back in June has finally resulted in some changes to the social media platform. LinkedIn recently sent an email to many company page holders to inform them of new changes coming to the LinkedIn Company Pages.
Effective Facebook marketing can difficult to define; the product itself is ever-changing. Since the IPO, Facebook grew to one billion active monthly users, purchased WhatsApp and Oculus VR, and even began protecting advertisements from ad-blocking software.Today, the social platform hosts over 1 billion daily users, facilitates 2 billion searches per day, and helps send over 60 billion messages per day. And those stats have drawn advertisers to the social media giant, leading to soaring profits from advertising revenue.
Every small business wants their company to be the one consumers turn to when they need to make a special purchase or plan a special event. The holiday shopping season offers the best opportunities for retailers and service providers to make it to the top of shoppers’ lists.
When you think about traditional sales, your mind may immediately jump to an image of the door-to-door salesman. He makes his way from house to house, intruding on your property and hoping to find a perspective buyer behind a few of those doors. Or possibly you think of the cold caller who interrupts your family dinner or business meeting to pitch the wonders of their product to you without any regard of your actual interest in whatever it is they have to sell.
In an ideal world, every marketing push would succeed. Every customer would respond with joyous praise of your products and services. They would recognize the value you offer, and they would hail your as a superhero (we may have a thing for superheroes). But customers don't always understand us, and not every marketing push becomes a roaring success. Let’s take a moment learn from those masked crimefighters with these 5 lessons.
It’s common knowledge that the holiday’s present an opportunity for many businesses to increase sales. But what many businesses don’t consider is the impact of holiday keywords on their digital strategy. And by “holiday keywords” I don’t just use of the big holidays like Black Friday, Valentine’s Day, or Christmas.
Facebook is trying to build a reputation, folks. It’s looking to undercut its current status as a huge productivity drain, and it’s flipping the script. This month Facebook will reveal its new service - Workplace by Facebook. This product, which is Facebook’s answer to Slack, Microsoft’s Yammer and Google’s Hangouts, was created to help companies boost communication and productivity.
Facebook is a massive company. It services 1.13 billion daily users and is one of the largest marketing platforms in the world; over 50 million businesses use this service to help promote their brands. But is advertising on Facebook effective? Facebook is an interesting company, offering businesses both organic, free posts and paid advertisements, and we have done entries before that measure its reach and usage. But is the value still there for small business? Is Facebook viable for small business budgets? Here are 3 pieces of information to take to the next planning meeting.
Whether you're just starting out on the road to blogging, or your a seasoned blogger looking to get back to basics, reviewing a few blogging best practices can almost always prove a useful exercise in ensuring your blog is living up to its full potential.
Creating ads that generate results requires a combination of powerful copy and visuals. And with so many visual ads in the digital world today, creating eye-catching visuals is key to keeping up and being noticed in a sea of online ads.
But how do you craft a visual ad that really pops? We've put together 5 of our best tips!
If you haven't created in inbound marketing campaign, it is time to get comfortable with it. And even if you have, having a quick, simple guide can make it easier to create campaigns with more frequency and less stress.
Inbound is a powerful marketing method that you want to be sure your business is taking full advantage of. Don't believe me? Check out the stats:
Email marketing is an absolute necessity when it comes to your marketing strategy. But choosing the right software to support your efforts can feel like a huge commitment, so you want to be sure to get it right.
Ultimately, choosing the email marketing software that will work for your business means really understanding what each platform has to offer, and which one provides you with all of the elements that are absolutely essential for your particular needs.
Having a basic understanding of SEO is a useful skill for many reasons. Often there is a lot of uncertainty around how SEO works and why it's important, so understanding the basics of SEO can not only help you implement best practices yourself, but can help you better communicate with and support your SEO vendor. Improve your business' inbound marketing strategy today with this introduction!
Of course most businesses want positive reviews, but every now and then it is bound to happen: you receive the dreaded negative online review. Maybe it's on Yelp or Facebook, or perhaps the offended party leaves a review on every single platform they can possibly think of.
Your initial reaction may be to become defensive. But before you panic, remember that a negative review can actually have a positive impact on your business. And here's a few of the reasons why:
For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a writer. I vividly remember creating a daily publication as a kid with book reviews, poetry (both original and unoriginal), quick tips, and serial stories. I spent hours creating a comic book about my hamster made from white construction paper I had stapled together, and I also wrote several tiny school books for my stuffed animals to use in my "classroom." In college I wrote multiple research papers, literature reviews, personal essays, and creative short stories. And all of this culminated into a career where I write content on a daily basis.
Visual content is such a powerful tool for conveying information and making a lasting impression. But far too often businesses forget to incorporate visual content marketing into their overall marketing strategy. Maybe it's a simple oversight, maybe it's because of the misconception that B2B visual content isn't interesting, but either way, that's a bad excuse.
Recently, we've been talking alot about the value and importance of inbound calls. But we haven't talked much about outbound phone calls. And with the state of the digital world, phone calls often get overlooked or aren't used to their full advantage.
Because phone conversations are one of the most powerful tools your sales team wields, it is important you understand the different types of calls and how marketing and sales can come together to drive more of your desired phone calls.
You started blogging and creating offers with a thousand ideas in your head. You couldn't wait to write about all the great topics you had planned out. But now, it has been a few months, maybe even a few years, and the idea pool is growing smaller and smaller.
I recently got married, and by recently I mean almost a year and a half ago. After some discussion with my husband and some personal contemplation, I decided to change my last name to be the same as my husband's.
Now, over a year later, I am still finding my maiden name in places it simply shouldn't be.
And this experience is often very similar to dealing with your business's local SEO presence. You submit your data to the top directories, and you still continue to find mistakes or areas that need improvement weeks, months, and possibly even years later.
This lead me to consider all the ways that changing your legal name and implementing local SEO are similar. And here's what I've come up with:
Creating valuable content is an important aspect of your marketing. This often means blogging frequently about topics your audience cares about, writing in-depth ebooks that offer valuable insight, and designing infographics that are informative, interesting, and easily digested.
But what about the case study? In the world of inbound, a case study can be an uncomfortable piece of content to write. It feels a little too "salesy" and "me focused" in comparison to the day-to-day writing a content marketer often does. But case studies are a powerful tool, not just for your sales team, but also for your lead generation and lead nurturing.
When it comes to inbound calls, using your website to promote phone calls seems like a no brainer. And with a little creativity, you can come up with multiple ways to ensure your website visitors are directed towards picking up the phone to call. But are you using off-site sources to drive inbound calls? If not, you may be missing out on some valuable opportunities.
When it comes to hosting an in-person event, whether it is a conference, a lunch and learn, a sponsorship, or whatever makes the most sense for your business, leveraging your digital marketing is a powerful way to generate interest in your event, drive attendance, and even create awareness and connection during the event.
Maintaining a blog is hard work. Not only do you have to find the time and energy to write effective copy, you also have to find beautiful images to compliment your copy, optimize your posts to be found through organic search, and most importantly, continue to generate fresh, new topic ideas that keep your audience interested and coming back for more.
When working with an outsourced marketing company, communication is an essential component of growing your business. Aligning your sales and marketing, whether outsourced or internal, is important to contributing to your bottom line.
A common mistake businesses make when working with an outside marketing company is to simply assume that they understand your business and what you expect from them. The problem with that is that that marketing company's goals and KPIs may not be the same as yours.
When it comes to marketing your multi-family home to a demographic like millennials, you may have to use a different approach than you are used to. However, marketing your apartment to this group doesn’t have to be hard at all.
Marketing is the customer facing aspect of your business, and because of this it is a highly important to know how to avoid marketing nightmares before they even happen.
And while, hopefully, you've never been in such a situation, that doesn't mean you could possibly be in danger of finding yourself in such a nightmare scenario.
The potential behind marketing to moms is often overlooked or ignored as many marketers focus their attention on the buying power of upcoming generations like millennials. Sometimes marketers simply don’t know how to appeal to the demographic, so they ignore it.
Filed Under: buyer persona
Marketing online can be a very overwhelming task to undertake, as there are so many moving pieces of the puzzle that seemingly need to come together to create a coherent marketing picture. So while it may seem like a good idea to have a variety of campaigns that focus on the different online marketing initiatives your company may have, this is not always the best solution.
Local search is a powerful piece of your digital marketing strategy for your local business. More and more consumers are beginning their search for local products or services by searching online. And the stats show exactly why this is a smart move:
Yes, we’re still talking about millennials and social media, and it probably won't stop anytime soon. Millennials are one of the largest, most peculiar, and hardest to market to generations to appear in a very long time and ignoring their existence and buying power is impossible. Brands are starting to clue into this and are altering their marketing strategies to appeal to millennials. One brand in particular, Snapchat, has really seemed to master this intimidating artform.
More than ever, renters are searching for their next apartment home online. This means that your website needs to be optimized and ready to capture the interest and information of website visitors. While half the battle is simply optimizing your website to be found online, it is important to remember that optimization should go beyond basic SEO. It should include optimization for user experience.
Read on to discover the anatomy of an apartment home website that is optimized for both SEO and UEO.
With the hold that the digital world has over the buying and selling process, even if you’re a brick and mortar business you can no longer ignore the need for local SEO. However, knowing how or where to start when optimizing your online marketing can be a bit difficult. Start with these foolproof digital marketing staples to boost your local search ratings today!
Filed Under: local search
Inbound calls are an important component of any marketing strategy. And while you should be promoting inbound phone calls on your website and through other digital means, it is just as important to carefully consider what happens once a lead makes that call.
Did you know that your marketing team has one job, and one job only?
A lot of executives and people who have hired an outside marketing team, are often surprised by the answer to this question.
When conducting a review of your business's online presence, you might find that your business has multiple listings on Google+ or Bing Places.
At first this might seem like a good thing - more listings means more SEO juice and a greater chance of being seen, right?
Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works. Having multiple listings is bad for SEO, bad for your customers, and bad for your business.
With the rise of digital media, the role of the chief marketing officer has evolved and changed to encompass a wider array of roles and responsibilities. The marketing landscape has changed in leaps and bounds since the first Chief Marketing Officers appeared on the business scene.
Filed Under: marketing trends
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you probably know by now that Snapchat is currently the hottest social media platform around. Of course, it's been on the scene for quite some time now so it's not exactly new, but the team at Snapchat has been making improvements to the platform in order to encourage user interaction and create a strong, snapping community.
When it comes to managing online reviews for a multi-family property, managers should be sure to take special precautions. The online reputation of any apartment, townhome, or condo is important as it is usually the first thing that prospective renters will encounter.
According to Hubspot’s 7th Annual Report on Inbound Marketing and Selling, companies are 3 times as likely to see higher ROI through inbound marketing than outbound marketing. This drastic increase has lead more people to want to get involved in the world of inbound marketing. But what exactly IS inbound marketing?
Sometimes finding ways to market your small business can be a bit hard. Being in the right place at the right time is one of the best ways to bring attention to your business. If you’re a local small business, one of the best marketing opportunities would be to get involved in community events.
Moz did something right for once, and everyone is talking about it. Well, everyone in the SEO world is, at least. On May 3rd, Moz introduced a new keyword search tool to their product list, creatively titled “Keyword Explorer.” We took some time to explore what it had to offer, so you don’t have to!
You've heard it before (and if you haven't you've probably been living under a marketing rock for the past few years): content is a valuable component of your marketing strategy.
But content is more than just a marketing tool. Content marketing is also important for sales. The problem is that 65% of sales reps say they can't find content to send to prospects and 76% of content marketers forget about sales enablement.
In this day and age it is easy to get caught up in how many interactions you are having via the internet that you simply forget or ignore the importance of human interaction.
If you were asked whether you would want an inbound phone call or an inbound form fill as a lead for your B2B business, the answer would most likely be the phone call. But despite the fact that this is the case, B2B marketer's often focus their time and energy on producing form fills, and forget to promote inbound calls.
When it comes to advertising online, deciding when and where to start can sometimes be a bit of a headache. With all of the advertising methods that there are, narrowing down which ones are most worth your money can prove to be a bit difficult.
What do blog posts, ebooks, signs, brochures, and website pages all have in common? While there's probably a few answers to this question, the most obvious is that they all require words.
Copy is at the heart of nearly every aspect of your marketing. Communicating through the written word is a clear necessity. But unfortunately, creating compelling copy is not quite as simple as it may seem. Here are 8 copywriting tips to help take your marketing copy from boring to brilliant.
Growing your small business into a big business is no simple task. It takes dedication and a specific plan of action to turn the vision you have of what your business could be into a reality.
The trouble is that while most business owners can see the end goal, they have no realistic strategy in place for actually achieving successful growth. Understanding the corporate growth strategies that actually work can mean the difference between your business' success and failure.
Filed Under: business opportunities
Social media is an important part of the buyer’s journey in this day and age. This change has created the need for a new position in the marketing department: the social media strategist. While the position may seem simple and self explanatory, it’s important that they are doing certain things to ensure that they are providing results for the business.
It may not initially seem very important, but making sure that you are able to convey your value to your clients is paramount. In a time where competition is fierce, you need to be able to show your customers why you should be their first and only choice.
Filed Under: buyer persona
When it comes to your multi-family housing unit, social media can feel like a low priority, or an overhwelming aspect of your marketing that you simply don't have the time to deal with. All too often mutli-family complexes start a Facebook page or Twitter, to simply give up on it in a few months and allow it to slowly fall into disrepair.
When you think about today’s trends and demands, do you ever find the incorporation of photos being a part of your thought process? Most of us would say no, but that’s only because we don’t realize how much we actually do consider them.
When it comes to training your team to take inbound calls, there are a few important things to make sure you address. The essential pieces to cover are the two main building blocks of excellent customer service: knowledge of the business and/or products and adequate customer service training.
Finding ways to increase your marketing efforts past your local search optimization can seem impossible. The good news is, marketing has existed long before local SEO, so there are plenty of options out there for ways to gain some additional attention in your local market. By following these tips, bringing in more leads to your storefront will be a breeze.
Why it is important to optimize an email?
According to communications expert and author, Danny Rubin, how you shape your email is just as important as the email content itself. And with his success rate of 96% email responses, or 23 replies out of 24 people, he would know!
It’s that time of the year again! The fiscal year has ended and tax season is making it’s way out the door as well. There is no better time than now to evaluate your website to see if it is performing at its full potential.
Performing a thorough site audit can take a lot of time and energy without the right resources. However, when equipped with a clearly outlined to-do list of tasks, things become much easier. That’s why we’re here to give you just that!
Everyday there seems to be a new trend that emerges. Determining whether or not you should jump on the bandwagon can take a lot of time. One trend that seemed like it would quickly disappear, but defied the odds are memes.
A good number of businesses have been resistant to using social media with consistency, and it typically comes down to a question of if social media is worth it and how to actually calculate social media ROI.
Obviously, you don't want to spend your company's time and advertising dollars on a method that simply doesn't yield any results. But many businesses are missing out on the opportunity to build brand recognition, drive sales, and increase customer loyalty by ignoring the power of social media.
Local optimization is an extremely important, but often overwhelming, aspect of search engine optimization. For multi-location businesses, keeping all data accurate and up-to-date can feel like a never ending process.
So how do you ensure that your data is accurate without spending your entire life scouring the internet for listings and updating them constantly? We've put together a few of the most important first steps for getting the ball rolling when it comes to your multi-family local optimization process.
It’s no secret that every multi-family home has to have quality local seo. The constant task of creating and updating local listings through ownership and acquisitions is just a part of ensuring that your property gets found by renters searching the web.
Inbound calls represent some of the best conversion opportunities for your business. For most businesses a phone call usually signals someone who is further along in the buyer's journey, and closer to making a final decision. This means that your inbound calls can make or break a buyer's decision.
In fact, inbound phone calls have 30-50% conversion rates, compared to 1-2% for clicks. So while you should optimize your website to promote inbound phone calls, you also need to ensure that you and your team are making the most of those inbound calls once they go through.
The process of getting a local business on the map through online listings can be an intimidating task, so many local businesses simply ignore it all together. However, this important SEO step cannot be ignored if local business want to drive customers to their location. With the implementation of Google’s new Trusted Verifier program, the time and effort this process takes is cut into less than half the time!
Web design just keeps getting easier with all the popular website builders including: Squarespace, Wordpress, Cargo Collective, and more. But for the uninitiated web designer, too many build-it-yourself tools may steer you in the wrong direction if you’re not careful. If you do decide to build your own website for 2016, here are a few tips you should keep in mind while choosing your official web design.
Acquiring new multi-family properties is an exciting time for your business. Whether it is simply one new location, or several, your company's growth requires careful negotiation and planning in order to gain the best return on your investment.
When you’re setting up call tracking for the first time, knowing how to tell what’s working and what’s not is the cornerstone for success. Without knowing what call metrics to pay attention to, you might as well not track calls at all because you’ll have no data on the dials that are coming in.
Generating demand for your business's products or services is an essential function of your marketing and sales departments. While demand generation often gets confused, and even overlaps, with lead generation, it is more focused on building brand awareness and driving interest than generating leads. In the long run, the hope is to generate potential prospects and customers, but demand generation is a bit broader and more comprehensive than lead gen.
Filed Under: demand generation
For any company in the multifamily business, getting your properties found with local SEO by potential renters is a high priority. One of the best ways to do that nowadays is through optimized apartment directory listings.
Filed Under: multi-family industry
Your brand is the face of your company, but no one likes a two faced person, therefore having a brand with multiple messages and branding can cause distrust, confusion, and ultimately, hurt your business. Brand consistency is the key to correcting this issue.
But where do you start? Follow our triple D process, and your brand will go from forgettable and dull to dazzling and memorable.
If you've spent any time in the digital marketing world, you've heard about the power of "quality content." But, like so many industry terms, you've probably heard that phrase so much it has become nearly meaningless. (In fact, we ourselves are guilty of using this term probably a bit too much.)
So what exactly is quality content? What does it look like? And how can you be sure that you are creating it? Let's start at the beginning to figure out what the heck quality content actually is!
By Vlad Molchadski, an EO Dallas member and CEO of BizTraffic
If you know anything about local listings, you know that the most important information your listings include is name, address, and phone number, otherwise known as NAP. In fact, mismatched NAP is considered as the 3rd largest negative search engine ranking factor for Google.
This means that complete accuracy when it comes to your business's name, address, and phone number is of the utmost importance when creating and maintaining local listings that will actually get found.
The marketing space changes so much and so often, it’s almost like it’s in continual upheaval. As consumers and technology evolve at such a rapid pace, keeping up with all the latest developments can almost become a job unto itself.
Filed Under: marketing trends
As your business continues to expand and grow, it is important that the marketing department keeps up. And unfortunately, there are several marketing problems that might hold your team back from doing the very best that they can do. It is important to recognize these problems and address them before it gets out of hand.
Filed Under: digital marketing
Your website has the potential for being one of your most powerful lead generation machines. In the digital marketing world, specifically the inbound marketing segment, we often focus on generating more form fills and downloads to capture leads information. And while this is a useful and powerful methods, it means that we sometimes overlook another powerful conversion: the inbound phone call.
It’s a tough dilemma for anyone in charge of marketing for their business: do you go with an in-house team or an outsourced agency for organizational growth? With potential leads for your business on the line and so many factors to consider, there’s no clear place to start thinking about which direction to go in.
With so many ways to leverage technology to improve your company's marketing, it can be overwhelming to determine where exactly you should be investing your marketing dollars for the biggest benefit to your company. But one important way to not just gain insight into your digital marketing efforts, but to discover what activities generate the most inbound call results is Dynamic Number Insertion.
If there’s one thing every sales department wants to do, it’s saving time in the selling process so that they can close more deals and grow revenue. But for sales executives that are already busy beyond belief, defining how to do that is an unclear process that they don’t have time to figure out and implement.
If you’re in the business world, you’ve probably heard the term “SWOT analysis” before. It’s an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that’s used to consider all aspects of anything as large as an entire business to as small as a specific campaign.
As buyer's habits continue to change and shift due to overwhelming amounts of information and research tools available at their fingertips, sales departments are having to evolve in order to keep up. While many marketing departments have embraced with open arms the inbound marketing methodology, few sales teams are adjusting their sales strategies to match.
If you've spent any time looking through the recent digital marketing hot topics, you're definitely aware of a strong movement towards more, and improved, visual content. But most of these studies, blog posts, articles, and so forth have focused on using visual content in marketing strategies to improve the visual appeal, or even more specifically, using visual content in your social media marketing to improve engagement.
It goes without saying that revenue is what keeps a business driving forward, and the people that bring in that revenue are essential for success. But in some companies, the sales people that do the feared task of prospecting and face rejection on a daily basis aren’t getting the results that your leadership hoped for. Or maybe they’re meeting goal and nothing more. Either case contributes to slowing momentum alarmingly quickly.
Filed Under: sales
Whether you just joined a new company, received a promotion, or it's simply that time of year, performing a marketing department audit can be a daunting (although necessary) task.
Too many companies waste time, effort, and marketing dollars on the wrong strategies. Performing a full marketing department audit at least once a year aligns and adjusts your team, strategies, and budget towards the same, unified goals.
Beneath all the daily operations that your company engages in-from marketing, customer service, and even providing deliverables-is revenue. And if you want your business to grow, the first step is growing revenue.
Have you ever been asked the dreaded question:
Can you prove your marketing return on investment?
Unfortunately, this question often results in a deer in the headlights look. Something that looks a little like this:
When you’re shopping for a marketing agency, the process can be overwhelming on top of all your other work, and just plain confusing. It’s hard to know who will best fulfill your needs, fit with your internal team, and bring you meaningful results. In short, only a down-to-Earth approach to evaluating an outsourced agency’s marketing effectiveness will separate the fakers from the fabulous.
Writers block. Blogger burnout. Creative barrier.
Whatever you want to call it, it can be frusturating and often even cripling when you are attempting to generate a steady stream of content for your marketing strategy.
Through experience, one way I have learned to cope with writers block is to simply revist some of our top blog posts. And what do I do with these posts? I draw inspiration from them. Or, in other words, I recycle them!
Marketing requires a set of skills and a vision of a company as a whole that is unique from other individual departments within a company. There are many valuable skills that can be learned from the marketing team and applied to all other divisions and aspects of your business.
Knowing what you should be getting out of your marketing team when it comes to analytics and strategy is one thing, but knowing what you should be learning from your marketing team to apply to other aspects of your business is another.
Although content has been an important and growing part of any marketing strategy for years, it is often still overlooked, especially when it comes to sales.
The relationship between sales and marketing has long been a complex, and often troubled, one. But in the search for alignment between these two departments, content (and inbound marketing!) can play a key role creating an effective sales and marketing machine.
To address how content marketing can assist your sales team, it is important to first understand the value of content from a marketing perspective.
Once upon a time, every social media message was crafted and sent in real time. Blanket email blasts cluttered the inboxes of decision makers everywhere. And scheduling a blog post to publish was a foreign idea.
But now, we have helpful tools to complete all of these tasks for us, often in a much more targeted and strategic way. And we have marketing automation to thank.
A pictures worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes. Visual content has long been a powerful factor in any digital marketing strategy. The right images have the potential to catch the eye of your customers, and really elevate your marketing to the next level.
And with Google My Business's recent update, highlighting images that set your business apart just got a little easier. But before you can add pictures to your Google listing, you must first create one.
If you live in the 21st century and have access to the internet, you have definitely seen a hashtag and more than likely even used one in your day.
But if you have a business on social media, you need to learn exactly how to use hashtag marketing to boost your social media presence. Not only can the right hashtags improve the visibility of your posts, they can also improve engagement.
But how do you know what to hashtag and when for maximum results? Every platform is different, so we've broken it down for you based on the channel:
The day-to-day schedule of duties that go along with promoting your company can sometimes blend into a monotonous rhythm: blog post, social post, email...blog post, social post, email...with maybe an offer thrown in there somewhere.
Filed Under: social media
Whether you're a newbie or a veteran blog writer, you know how much time and effort goes into identifying a relevant topic, crafting an attention grabbing headline, writing engaging content, and choosing eye-catching images all for one blog post.
And often times your blog post takes weeks, months, or even years for your blog post to start driving the traffic you want, and capturing the leads you desire.
When keeping up with your business’s social media pages, it can often seem like your posts start blurring together and seem extremely similar. While we all talk about creating social media schedules and calendars, the beauty of social media to its users are that it is spontaneous, fun, and, overall, interesting.
Everywhere you turn, someone is shouting about the virtues of blogging from the digital mountaintops. And while it’s true that creating content can mean huge returns for your business, many bloggers take that to mean throwing up a few chunks of text onto a page and instantly reaping rewards. But it’s simply not the case.
The number of new social tools that crop up every day is astounding, and there’s no way your business can take advantage of all of them. But the ones that can offer something truly unique and valuable to your customers and your company deserve a second look, and Periscope falls into that category.
Webinars are one of the most popular tactics available to content marketers, and there’s good reason for this: they’re effective. How, you ask?
As we all know, the search engine landscape is constantly shifting and adapting, particularly in the world of Google. Panda, Penguin, Pigeon…what’s next? While things might get confusing fast, we’re here to help. This week the highlight of things you need to know is relating to Local SEO.
The evergreen tree is a tree that maintains its leaves throughout the year. It is always green, unlike other types of trees that go through seasons and various shades of color.
If you are new to the digital marketing world, have you ever stopped to wonder why there is such a heavy focus on quality content in the industry?
The answer is Google's Panda Update.
Panda was first introduced by Google in 2011. The search filter rewards and punishes websites based on content quality. At the time it was first rolled out, the algorithm was geared towards attacking content farms that were being used to manipulate Google rankings. Unfortunately, this first version of Panda also hurt many small businesses in favor of their larger competitors.
While many shoppers still prefer to purchase items in a brick and mortar store, there is a significant amount of shoppers who are opting to make purchases online shopping. These shoppers contribute to the success of platforms like Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy.
According to a study conducted by ComScore:
- 55% of regular online shoppers prefer to buy online.
- 44% prefer to buy on a destkop or laptop computer.
- 11% prefer to buy on a tablet or smart phone.
Over the years with many an algorithm update, Google has refined SERPs to give searchers just the information they're looking for. But this post isn’t about them,
As social media and web use become more popular, our attention spans are decreasing along with our ability to digest and desire written content. From formats like gifs and infographics to platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, it seems like everything popular and engaging is visual. As a matter of fact, 83% of learning happens visually!
Most companies nowadays use some sort of social media to promote their business (and if you don't, you definitely should!). Whether they have a Facebook page or a Twitter profile, keeping up with it can be difficult, and require a huge time investment.
Repurposing content is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your content strategy. It provides a way to boost your SEO, reach a new audience, reinforce your message, and of course, save time by making your content work in more ways.
Filed Under: content creation
Being one of the top social platforms, Instagram is most popular for it’s easy photo and video sharing. The race between top social network is a tough competition, though. And this tough competition calls for big changes sometimes.
Everyone loves a good infographic. These highly visual graphics that blend the right mix of fun with information can be very addictive.
And visual content is huge. Using images, graphics and visualizations will draw your audience into your content in a way words never can.
There are a couple of mistakes that amateurs often make when creating infographics. Infographics are time consuming, so use these does and don'ts to make sure that your not wasting your time on an infographic that is going to be a flop.
Filed Under: digital marketing
If you are the owner of an extremely active Facebook business page, you may have recently received an email that looked something like this:
With Google's April mobile update, there is no longer any doubt about the importance of mobile. But Google is (as always) not stopping there.
As mobile users continue to search the web in high volumes, Google is working to improve the mobile search experience with clearly labeled results.
Whenever a website visitor reads a few blog posts, downloads an offer, or signs up for your email marketing newsletter, a spark of interest is instantly seen in your conversion metrics. For marketers and small business owners alike, seeing that visitor become a lead (and start the road to becoming a customer) is a nice win.
If you’re a company that relies on people coming to your place of business, you know that local SEO is a powerful, driving force for physical and digital traffic.
If you aren’t one of them, millennials can be a tough generation to comprehend. This social generation loves to collaborate and find adventure. But more importantly, millennials are about to become the most important audience that your business wants to reach, so it’s a good idea to get a better understanding of your new consumers.
For many company's the world of Snapchat is unchartered territory. But for company's who are serious about connecting with Millennials and even Gen Z (the generation directly following Millennials), Snapchat is a must.
According to comScore, 45 percent of Snapchat users are 18-24, the largest percentage of that demographic on any social platform. And comScore's study ignores anyone under that age, which you can bet is a significant number of Snapchat users.
It’s happened to everyone: you click on an inviting link, select a promising search result, or type an address into your browser only to be greeted with this:
Filed Under: Website Development
It’s easy to look at the websites that were created in the early days of the internet and laugh, cry, or even stare in shock at the design.
It’s clear from a quick Google search that the options to improve your website are endless. Oh, wait, there’s only 458 million!
Filed Under: conversions
With the horror stories out there about bloggers and companies who have been sued for using images that were not theirs, it can be very intimidating to try and find images to use on your website, emails, and more.
But images are such an important part of creating appealing content. And for some of us visual creativity is not necessarily where we excel or feel very comfortable.
We've delved deeply into the reasons behind Google's update that have made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor and your options for getting your site ready. (Which by the way-I predicted the importance of mobile-friendliness back in December!)
Filed Under: conversions
In the past we have emphasized the importance of setting up a Google+ page for your business. The first major decision you will be faced with is choosing the type of page to create. The list has changed several times in the past and will probably continue to do so in the future, but what you will see today is a choice between local business and brand.
As you might know, Google released an update on April 21st that made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor for mobile search. Now that the so-called “mobilegeddon” has taken the world of digital marketing and SEO by storm for about a month now, it’s time to take a look at how this change might be impacting websites.
Filed Under: mobile search
Facebook's continued dominance has not slowed down, despite some reports projecting such a change to come. Instead, the site has changed and shifted. And several recent studies have brought forth some interesting Facebook usage statistics.
This information sheds light on the state of the internet, as well as its effect on small businesses. And it also offers interesting insight into using Facebook for your business.
Paid search marketing is one of the best ways to help businesses generate consistent traffic from relevant searches and other websites. There are many great benefits paid search (also known as Pay Per Click or PPC marketing) can offer, but small businesses should take care when entering this field.
While they may have superior products or pricing compared to major chains, they often will lack the paid search advertising budget required to compete on the same scale as larger competitors.
You log on to Twitter, type out a tweet, and click send. Your message has been sent out to the world, and over the next few hours you get a retweet, some favorites, and even a reply--which are all tracked in Twitter analytics.
But we often get caught up in engagement with tweets when what we really want is engagement with followers. So how do you custom tailor tweets to the type of followers you’d like to guide down your sales funnel?
Filed Under: Twitter
As you've no doubt heard, Google released an announcement on February 26th that has rocked the search engine space as we know it. The two changes are as follows:
1. Starting April 21st, Google expanded its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
2. As of February 26th, Google began using information from indexed apps as a ranking factor for signed-in users who have the app installed.
Location landing pages are an important part of a website for any business looking to rank in local searches. These pages have the ability to give your business a hyper-local presence without necessarily needing a physical location. Being visible in more markets will increase brand awareness. Additionally, loading them with content tailored for your target areas will attract local customer attention.
There has long been evidence that websites not optimized for mobile are losing sales. But with Google's mobile update you can be sure that you are definitely missing out. There is no longer any doubt about that.
If you’ve put energy into growing your business’ online presence, there’s no way you haven’t worked on your website’s SEO. Just when you were getting comfortable, a more specific type of SEO has rapidly gained in popularity:
Filed Under: local search
Some small businesses may not have the time or budget needed to run a local search campaign. Fortunately, there are many important tasks you can perform that will boost your local search results without consuming your days.
As the battle to climb the search engine rankings rages on, marketers, business owners, and SEOs everywhere are always looking for better ways to position their websites. It’s nothing new, nor is it surprising, that user experience optimization is increasingly becoming an important element in the neverending quest to get on the first page.
Filed Under: user experience optimization
To compete in today’s crowded market as a service area-based SMB, you need to find the right place and the right method for getting your name seen. Building listings does not work as well for service area businesses (SABs) as it does for businesses with actual storefronts.
Tired of Facebook's algorithms and Twitter's character limit? Do you want to be on the social platform that enjoys the highest amount of brand engagement rates at 4.21%?
Then Instagram is the place for you.
This social platform caters towards a younger demographic (18-29) with a leaning towards females. Part of Instagrams charm is that it does not have an algorithm like Facebook that filters out your posts. Similar to Twitter, it provides real time updates starting with the newest content appearing at the top of the feed.
The basics of local optimization include such essentials as:
If you’re in the marketing space at all, you know about buyer personas. But in case you’re someone from outside the industry looking to do your own marketing, they’re these handy ideas about...well, maybe I should let Hubspot explain this one.
When Apple released their new Maps app with iOS 6 in 2012, they received a lot of negative feedback from users that were discovering wildly inaccurate data. (I personally had an experience with Apple Maps in which I found myself in front of a hospital about 20 minutes away from the address I had entered into my phone.)
When it comes to creating a new website, or beginning your SEO or SEM efforts, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. But any good strategy starts with one very important thing: keywords.
Starting with keywords allows you to determine the best strategies possible to make your online marketing campaigns successful. Its important to master these keyword basics so you can fully tackle your website's SEO.
Responding to online reviews of your business can be one of the most daunting tasks you face. Luckily, there is an abundance of advice on how to handle negative reviews. What’s missing are suggestions for thanking positive reviewers. They took the time to leave feedback and that deserves recognition.
Before we kick off this blog, let’s get clear on what exactly we want to skyrocket: your conversion rate.
If you've poured all your time, money, and sanity into the dream of owning your own business, congratulations! I know first-hand that there's nothing like diving headfirst into your passion every day-and every late night, too! With the long hours we entrepreneurs work, we have to get the most for the minutes we spend on a task.
Filed Under: SEO
You may have heard that Facebook wants you to make the move to business manager by June 1, 2015. But should your company be using Facebook’s Business Manager?
Twitter, considered one of the top social media platforms currently on the web, has a bit of a problem. That problem is new user growth.
While Twitter is my all time favorite social media platform, it did not happen overnight (think more like 4 years). Twitter is a slowly acquired taste, and because of this Twitter is trying to tackle its weaknesses head on in 2015 and up its users with some changes to make it a more digestable platform. Seriously, they are taking this whole new years resolution thing to the next level.
For small businesses, good reviews are more important now than ever before. In a recent study, 88 percent of buyers said their decision to purchase was influenced by reviews. Yelp is one of the most well-known sources of reviews for businesses and is a good place to start if you don’t have any.
If you’ve ever taken dance lessons, you learn sequences of steps, the importance of timing, and precise ways of moving. If you’re in sales or marketing, these skills might remind you of another delicate dance that takes places between companies and prospects: lead nurturing.
Filed Under: lead nurturing
Are you having trouble with competitors running up your Cost Per Click or just wish people would call you instead of going to your website to try to find the answer themselves?
Well you are in luck, Google AdWords launched it’s new click to call campaigns last month! But before you go and dispose of your campaigns and start re-configuring all of your settings, you should know you don’t have as much control over the settings of these campaigns.
Picture this: you've poured your heart and soul into creating beautiful, downloadable offers for your company's website. Either an extensive ebook, or a brief checklist/cheat sheet, this offer is just the thing you feel your potential clients need to dip their toes in the water of your industry.
Last week I wrote about user experience and how it’s the central focus of quality online marketing. While plenty of different mistakes can ruin your website’s look, feel and ease of use, one notorious offender tops the list:
Luckily, you can do a few things to reap benefits from this tool and keep users happy at the same time.
If you’ve put energy into growing your business’ online presence, there’s no way you haven’t seen the benefits--and felt the frustrations--of SEO. Because of the all you’re investing in general SEO already, efforts to improve local SEO can seem overwhelming and unnecessary. But you ignore it at your own peril: local SEO is the next big thing in digital marketing, and despite the lightning fast pace at which digital marketing evolves, it’s safe to say that it’s here to stay.
At this point in time we've all heard that we should be producing content. "Content marketing" is the hot thing to do right now, and with constant reminders from Google about its hate for uncreative content, and a wide variety of other sources barraging you with vast quantities of content at any given time, it can be super overwhelming.
The trouble with content generation is finding the necessary balance for how you create your content, especially for a small business that doesn't necessarily have the manpower you need to generate posts every hour.
We have entered a new age of digital marketing, where all of the “entrepreneurs” are trying to jump on the money train.
It seems like you see a new marketing agency pop up on a daily basis. On the other side of things you also have old SEO/PPC agencies stuck in the past, who are trying to load sites with backlinks even though they know they are going to get the client penalized by Google. You will also find agency’s that mainly handle PPC, but believe they can build you a better website despite the fact it is not their expertise.
But don’t let this scare you, there is still hope! In this article you will find the questions you need to ask that will most benefit your company and increase your digital and inbound marketing experience!
(Photo Credit: FootLogo.com)
Do you ever ask yourself, are my pop-up ads annoying my potential clients? When what you really should be asking yourself is: do pop-up ads annoy me?
The fact is that business owners just see the conversion numbers and assume that because their pop-ups are getting sign-ups they are a successful tool. But what they don’t see are the negative effects that pop-ups can cause to their overall website. So, while they might have seemed like a great idea at the time, pop-up ads should definitely be reconsidered.
If there’s one skill entrepreneurs have in common, it’s the ability to think strategically. There’s no other way we could decide how to prioritize tasks throughout the whirlwind pace of our daily lives and still manage to get it all done.
And it’s no different with social media: if you’re going to invest time in doing it right, you’ve got to strategize by choosing a communication style that will keep your followers coming back.
Do you have that one email you look forward to receiving from a company? Whether it be an RSS feed of blogs with topics that arrest your interest, or marketing emails updating you on the latest deal to your favorite store, emails can be a powerful tool when done correctly.
After you’ve written a masterpiece of a marketing email, you need to move on to the next task on a to-do list that seemingly never ends. And making the most of your email subject line seems like yet another time-sink.
But it doesn’t have to be!
You can boost your open rates and have time for a coffee break by including a few quick fixes in your subject line.
The ever-popular hashtag has made its mark on the social media world from its humble beginnings on Twitter to its quick spread to platforms like Google+, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. (Alas, it’s not on LinkedIn anymore.) But if you’re already active on social media, you’re probably wondering why you should bother with hashtags. Do they really make a difference to your social media strategy?
The compelling Call-To-Action or CTA is key to just about anything you do online.
Whether your designing the front page of your website, writing a blog post, sending an email, or setting up the new feature on your Facebook business page, CTA's are necessary to your strategy. Therefore it is detrimental that you master the art of clearly defined CTA's that resonate with your audience.
Now you might understand what social media is, but the big question is why is it important for your business?
Social media is hugely important for businesses because it allows your company to interact with, and stay in front of, your customers or potential customers.
As any marketer or small business owner knows, website traffic is only as good as the customers it eventually brings in. Plainly put, you know you've got to get visitors to convert, and you've already optimized your landing pages, implemented some A/B testing, and made your calls-to-action clear. If you're still looking for ways to really max out your conversion potential, the ideas below should help rev up your numbers.
Filed Under: conversions
So you’ve created a blog, claimed your domain name, and you’re just sitting down to write about a topic relevant to your buyer personas. But then...the phone rings. A client has a problem. You’re dying to eat lunch. You decide to do the post another day. And you briefly wonder, why aren't you getting the results everyone’s talking about? What’s missing from your content strategy?
You might have all the tools and ideas you need for a content strategy that will keep the leads coming. But you might as well not have any of it without one key factor:
2014 has been a year of drastic changes for social media platforms. In order to keep up and compete, we've seen a variety of social sites make some rather drastic changes. We put this post together to reflect back on the changes of 2014, and look forward to new innovation and new social platforms in 2015!
Mobile search is more important than ever as Google rolls out its new “mobile-friendly” tags that appear next to websites that meet certain mobile criteria. These tags appear when a user searches using Google on a mobile device.
Starting January first on the right foot can set the pace for a successful and profitable year. Some tasks may have to wait, but here are three important things you should have on your calendar to accomplish in January:
Small business owners are always looking for the next big thing to up their marketing game, especially if you're just starting out. If that's you, I've got two words: email marketing!
Before you roll your eyes at a seemingly old technique, allow me to explain why this should be the next logical step in your strategy--and why it'll grow on you fast.
With the ever changing online world, it can be hard to find an online marketing company with experience and the right tactics to make your website and brand reach its full potential. But there is nothing that can hurt your online image more than choosing the wrong company.
One of the biggest factors in digital marketing is trust. If a user does not trust your site your bounce rates will increase and the potential client will not convert on your site. This ultimately affects your PPC conversion rate, as well as your SEO rankings. In this post I will provide you with the top Trust Seals in the industry and will give you insight on why SSL Certificates are so important.
If you were hoping online review sites like Yelp would go away, I’m afraid that won’t be happening anytime soon. In fact, according to the latest statistics, in the 10 years Yelp has been around, it has accumulated listings from 86,000 businesses and 67 million reviews.
And as far as consumers go, a survey earlier this year found that among U.S. adult Internet users, 79 percent check online reviews at least some of the time before making a purchase. In fact, consumers want even more from their reviews.
Let's be honest: small business owners and marketing executives have to guard their time on the job carefully to make sure the most important tasks of the day get done. While content creation doesn't seem like it would make that list, it should.
So if you're trying to convince your boss or yourself of the value of content marketing for your business, some of the reasons below should convince you (or your senior executives) to invest time and money in this new style of marketing.
In any industry there are often buzz words that get so overused they tend to lose their meaning over time. We use them in every day conversations, but do we really understand what they mean or what the real differences are between them?
Two such phrases in the digital marketing industry are Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing.
As social media evolves, we often take a close-up look at specific changes happening on certain platforms. But if you're putting precious sweat-equity into keeping your marketing strategy current, it's helpful to step back and see the big picture of where social is going. These are just a few social media changes that are on the rise across many networks.
Creating content for blog posts, or really anything, is hard. At least when you first get started. Let's just admit that up front.
And a lot of times it just does not seem to be as important as the other projects your working on. There's not always that instant gratification of increased website traffic, and the piece doesn't go viral overnight.
On top of all the other duties small business owners contend with every day, choosing the best way to promote their company adds yet another task to an already overcrowded to-do list. But it doesn't have to be difficult. To help you get the most for your hard-earned money, we've compared ad programs from social media giants Facebook and LinkedIn.
Here's how they stack up.
Recently, Google announced its new feature: Inbox by Gmail. This is the new email application that Google is describing as having been created based on what they have learned from Gmail. It is not meant to replace Gmail, but instead provide an alternative for users.
Currently Inbox is invite only, but in time that will change. So what is Inbox, and why is it important? And does this new feature bode any changes for your online marketing strategy?
When the perfect opportunity arrives to turn more shoppers into buyers, the pressure is on. And that time is now.
The National Retail Federation predicts a 4.1 percent increase in sales for this holiday season over last year’s holiday sales. Total spending for November and December should hit $616.9 billion, which is more than 19 percent of retailers’ total earnings for the year.
What’s your online shopping cart abandonment rate? If you had to make a guesstimate, what do you think online cart abandonments cost your business in lost revenues?
Snapchat isn't just for sending your everyday pictures and video overlaid with tongue-in-cheek text anymore. Monday the company announced Snapcash, a new feature that allows users to send money to friends using the app. So how does this work?
A couple weeks ago Yahoo rolled out Tumblr's new and improved video experience. Videos will loop, play automatically, and "pop out" so that users can watch and scroll at the same time. Why? Yahoo said that Tumblr is expected to generate more than $100 million in revenue, mainly because of sponsored advertising.
Filed Under: video marketing
When it comes to email marketing for a small business, a lot of times it just ends up on a back burner. Seriously, so many small businesses already have enough of a struggle creating blog posts on a regular basis and posting to social media consistently, that creating content for email marketing just seems like another complete time and resource drain that may or may not ultimately assist your business in gaining the leads you actually want.
Grocery chain Whole Foods recently announced it did 150,000 Apple Pay transactions in its first three weeks of accepting the new payment form. And while Whole Foods is a huge company, that amount of Apple Pay transactions obviously means there are a lot of customers who want to use their mobile devices to make payments.
On October 17, 2014 Snapchat made the announcement: advertising was coming to Snapchat. Snapchat has been rapidly growing and changing to keep the attention of its audience. It was only a day or two later that the first Snapchat ad was seen by Snapchat users.
And while it is not a regular thing as of yet, over the next few weeks we will begin to see it take off.
Statistics abound across the internet that make it obvious mobile marketing is in. A Google study says 77 percent of mobile searches happen in a place like work or home that’s likely to have a desktop computer. Because the searches never stop, your mobile campaign is crucial to bringing in business on every device.
It only seems fitting that in honor of Halloween, we compiled 4 of the scariest mistakes that companies somehow still make when it comes to their internet presence.
Since social media is always evolving and what was hot yesterday could be ice cold tomorrow, you need to be flexible and ready to adopt new technologies quickly in order to keep your business on the leading edge of social media. With so much going on right now in social media, this is the ideal time to create your social media strategy for next year.
Here are five trends to keep in mind:
Many small businesses have long enjoyed Twitter’s free ability to connect with customers. Now a Nielsen study shows that promoted tweets can bring social media marketing to the next level with increased engagement, brand lift and message association.
But if you’re on a limited marketing budget the big question to answer is whether stretching your reach is worth stretching your dollars.
It's now been over 3 months since Twitter allowed everyone access to their accounts analytics. This has given us all a chance to get used to the interface, and interact with the information.
If you haven't been using Twitter analytics for your company account or your personal account, in which your purpose is to gain an audience and establish yourself as an expert in your field of expertise, I recommend you start now.
Filed Under: BizBlog
There once was a time when consumers were forced to walk into a physical store to make purchases. Hours were spent in stores and malls looking through products, perhaps testing a few, and eventually, purchasing them. But the internet has revolutionized the way we shop, making store shopping much less necessary.
With the hundreds and sometimes thousands of emails your customers will receive in the next few months, it’s likely your marketing emails will get deleted before they’re even opened.
In fact, the average retailer will send out 22 promotional emails in the month of November alone. How will you make sure your email marketing campaign works this holiday season?
Here are a few tips to help get your business’s emails noticed:
There comes a point in every small business when it's time to continue expanding your online marketing techniques. Once you've gotten into the habit of publishing blog posts consistently, and keeping up with the social media platforms of your choice, its time to branch out your online reach.
So where do you turn?
Are you already falling a little behind on your holiday marketing?
A whopping 49 percent of marketers begin their holiday marketing before Halloween, so if you haven’t got anything solid planned yet, you’d better get a move on.
According to the NRF (National Retail Federation), 20 to 40 percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place in the last two months of the year, so the holidays are an important time to market your brand as well as your products and services.
Online marketing often can be a confusing and fast changing space. Acronyms and buzzwords like SEM, Inbound marketing, social marketing, and lots of words that use optimization seem to flock up repeatedly, but oftentimes their real meanings are lost in translation.
Have Yelp reviews got you down? Feel like your business gets buried on page 4 of the reviews, or maybe some negative (and unfounded) reviews are getting too much play? Do you think the problem could be because you haven’t purchased any ads on Yelp?
Actually, Yelp has long been accused of manipulating ratings, a charge they’ve continuously denied.
As social media continues to be a driving force in customer relationships and even contributes to your companies overall sales, it is important to learn to use it correctly and effectively to gain the largest audience possible and to make the most of your valuable time that is dedicated to this marketing platform.
Think you can’t afford to hire a celebrity to represent your business? There are all sorts of celebrities out there—including YouTube stars, who are more likely than mainstream celebrities to help market a small business. With the average consumer watching 20 hours of online video per month, YouTube stars could be even more familiar to your customers than Channing Tatum.
Here’s why reaching out to YouTube stars can benefit your business:
When it comes to businesses with physical addresses, it is important that customers can search, and actually find, reliable information about your business quickly and easily. Local listings provide a way to stay consistent and be found in a reliable place.
When forming your marketing strategy becomes all about Millennials (consumers born after Gen Xers, roughly from 1982 to 2000), you’re not necessarily doing anything wrong.
Millennials are the most important generation to come along in the last 100 years, according to a recent Adroit Digital study. However, although Millennials are a population of more than 80 million, don’t forget the Baby Boomers when creating your marketing messages.
Reaching the right social media audience is vital to your online marketing campaign, but when you look at all the choices, making a decision on which social media platform to use can be overwhelming. Not only are these platforms very different, and require extremely varied techniques, but they are often very time and resource consuming which can be a problem for a small business.
In June a few select users were given access, but now anyone who want to see their analytics can. This means that no matter who holds a Twitter account (a business, individual, or character like Voldemort, Don Draper, or Grumpy Cat) can now see a variety of wonderful data based on their tweets and followers in Twitter's analytics.
While most everyone has been talking about Facebook's forced download of Facebook Messenger on mobile devices, Facebook has also been working on some other new features to improve their usability and create some positive publicity.
“If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Wasn’t that one of the first good manners rules you were taught as a child? The same could be said for branding on social media, and the good news is your customers may agree.
Your customer service strategy needs to include more than a policy that “the customer is always right.” Instead of being reactive, your CRM (customer relationship management) strategy should be proactive, which includes constantly creating new ways to make customer relationship interactions more personal.