Tag : seo

Why You Need to Care About SEO…Now!

Why You Need to Care About SEO...Now!
10Sep

Not getting enough website traffic?

If that’s the case, it’s time to double down on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your marketing and sales strategy.

It’s all about earning the highest ranking on Google as possible, which is a goal for most businesses. Who doesn’t want to the #1 result on Google for search terms that are relevant to your business, products, or services? Investing time and money in SEO focusing on improving your ranking factors will help you pop up earlier in Google results and trounce your competition.

But first, you need to make sure you get a proper and thorough website audit done. This will help you understand what you need to change on your website to get better SEO.

Improve your keywords

You need to have a keyword-rich website – it’s as simple as that. While you may write the most relevant, informative information on your website, if you are not packing your content with keywords, you are missing the boat.

Keywords can be confusing if you are coming up with them for the first time. Here’s a quick shortcut: Think about the words your target audience would type into Google or another search engine to find a company like yours. Those are keywords you NEED to focus on. For example, if you own a bakery in New York City, your potential customer may type into Google “Bakery near me” or “Manhattan bakery”. It is important that you use the correct keywords on your web page so that your potential customers are able to easily find you in a sea of other similar businesses through relevant results.

In addition, you need to have strong meta tags and meta descriptions along with strong title tags. This will also help your website to be seen as credible by the search engines, which will positively impact your rank.

To get a better idea about which keywords your competitors are using and which ones you should use on your website, try popular keyword research tools such as SEM Rush. With a tool like this, you are also able to see your overall SEO performance and receive suggestions on what you can do to improve your SEO. Also, these tools offer lots of educational opportunities and robust Help sections to fuel your knowledge.

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Watch your website speed

NO ONE wants to wait forever for a website to load. If your site isn’t loaded within 5 seconds, people will go to your competitor and never think twice about your company. And a high bounce rate = a lower ranking on Google.

That is why it is crucial that you have a low bounce rate on each page of your website. So, how do you know if you even have a high bounce rate in the first place? Check your analytics.

If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, you can easily see what your overall bounce rate is, and (even more importantly) your bounce rate for each page. So, if you have a conversion piece and you’re paying for people to get to that page, but your bounce rate is too high – you’re going to want to work on bringing that bounce rate down.

On Google Analytics, you can also see the average amount of time visitors spent on each page. If visitors are spending little to no time on each page and your bounce rate is through the roof, it’s time to think of some new tactics.

First, you will want to make sure that your website loads properly on both desktop and mobile. If not, this needs to be fixed immediately. When all of the pages on your website are able to load in a reasonable amount of time, the focus should then be on keeping your customers there. Remember, just because they visit doesn’t mean they’ll stay.

Want to reduce that bounce rate? Keep visitors engaged! To do this, include incentives such as popups that offer a free download. You might also want to utilize a chat feature so that visitors can immediately be greeted upon their entrance to your website. Here on our website, we’ve included a social proof pop-up at the bottom of our page that constantly cycles through our reviews. It’s just another way to keep website visitors engaged, even if it’s only for a few more seconds.

Make sure your site is easy to navigate

Is your “contact us” form on a random page of your website? Are your menu options unclear? These elements of your website need to be easy to find and easy to use. Without it, you risk visitors bouncing or moving on to your competitor’s website.

Go through each page on your site to make sure that everything is in the right place. Start by looking at your homepage. Is the font too small? Are there so many pop ups that it becomes distracting? Make sure that your homepage is as neat as possible.

When it comes to your menu options, make sure that these work and are linked to the correct pages on your website. If visitors can make purchases on your website, you will want to also make sure that the checkout process has no hiccups. These are just some of the ways website visitors can have the best user experience.

Include backlinks

You’re able to receive a stamp of credibility when your website is linked on other sites. For example, if a blog post shares a link back to your website, it is not only benefiting you by increasing the number of people who will visit your site, but it is also helping with your Google ranking.

It is also important to build links on your own website. For example, if you have a blog on your website, link to other high-quality articles that are already considered to be credible. Link building allows you to show that you have important information to share on your website as well.

Why all this stuff matters

Have you every really thought about what it means to be at the top of the search engines for your most effective keywords?

Obviously, it means you’re going to get a lot more traffic than you would otherwise, but it goes a lot deeper than that.

When customers see your website listed at the top of any given search, they will immediate assign some kind of authority to your brand. It’s only natural. Without even realizing it, their brains are saying: if Google believes this website should be at the top, then they’re obviously doing something right.

It’s also important to remember that SEO doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We’ve already talked about your competition several times in this post, but it deserves to spelled out clearly once again:

If you’re not doing SEO, your competition is.

And they’re going to be happy that you’ve decided to skip all that keyword research, link building, and other important optimization strategies.

The Go! Agency’s team of sales and marketing professionals is skilled at crafting integrated marketing campaigns that combine the strengths of SEO, social media, email marketing, and other forms of online ads. If you’re ready to generate real results, sign up for our newsletter or reach out to The Go! Agency today.

Editor’s Note: This blog has been updated and republished to reflect current information. The article was cleaned up, recommendations were reassessed, and references refreshed.

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The Importance of Online Reviews: The Secret to Google SEO Success

The Importance of Online Reviews The Secret to Google SEO Success
16Mar

It should come as no surprise that client reviews are crucial to building your credibility with prospective clients and consumers. Let’s not forget that they also are a major help in converting those prospects into paying customers. These first-person accounts speak volumes as to the quality and value of your products and/or services.

For over 10 years, clients have been asking me about what the best ways are to maximize the exposure of their reviews and how to apply them in their marketing campaigns – both offline and online. During this time we have helped our clients feature these in television advertisements, radio advertisements, billboards, vehicle wraps, signs, printed materials (brochures, flyers, booklets, folders, business cards), online advertisements, email marketing, social media marketing, press releases, and blogs.

But one thing many of these clients were not focused on was something that could take their entire online marketing campaign to the next level: online reviews!

Online reviews, that have been earned and posted on Google, Facebook, Yelp and countless other review sites, have secret search engine optimization (SEO) power that many companies overlook.

Whether you are a local roofing business or an international financial conglomerate – SEO is something that is crucial to your success in this search-driven world. Coming up on the first page of Google is something nearly all marketers are striving for (or should be striving for) on an ongoing basis.

What many marketers have to do to gain that top spot on Google is to pay for a sponsored listing via Google Ads (previously Google AdWords). While it may seem like an easy option, it can prove to be costly. We have worked with clients before that were spending in excess of $10K to $45K+ per month to land that top spot. If you have the right budget, this is a definite win, but if not, enhanced SEO through online reviews is a route that you should be exploring.

Proper SEO campaign implementation focuses on organic SEO – which are the results that turn up that are NOT clickable ads when you search on Google. There are many ways to build your organic search engine ranking (link building, on-website optimization, keyword embedding). One of the forgotten pieces is an online review campaign built on requesting and earning positive online third-party reviews.

Why? The short answer is that there are many reasons why online reviews are good for your Google search engine ranking. Google is the largest and most-used search engine out there, so having your listing be result number 1 will increase your website traffic drastically, thus increasing conversions.

Think about a typical search that you would perform on Google for a business. Depending on the category of the business, you may notice that the top Google search results would be from Facebook reviews, Google reviews, TripAdvisor reviews, Yelp reviews, and more. The more sites you cover and the more quality reviews that you get – you could cover that first full page of Google with just glowing customer or client reviews. This would result in not only SEO success, but also increases in onsite conversions.

Now let’s go into some more specific benefits of executing an Online Review campaign:

1. Proves Your Worth
Having online reviews for your business tells Google that they can trust you. Meaning these positive reviews will contribute to your domain authority. Third-party endorsements help Google realize that your website claims are valuable, real, credible and, as a result, your content deserves higher rankings within the Google search algorithm.

2. Enhances Google My Business Listing Conversions
If you have four- or five-star reviews on your Google My Business account, studies prove that you will get more clickthroughs from your GMB listing to your website. This will increases the opportunity for you to convert that website traffic into sales.

3. Hack Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Ranking Listing:
If you are able to consistently gain quality online reviews (more than four stars and above with comments) Google will use this to determine where your business shows up on SERP. Lots of positive reviews could lead to higher ranking above and beyond your direct competitors, who may be missing this approach altogether.

4. Want More Conversions? You Need More Traffic!
By showing up higher in the organic results, you will gain more clicks to your website. This additional traffic will enable you to increase the amount of opportunities you have to convert this traffic to sales. Also, this traffic can easily be tied to your top or mid-funnel activities (email drips, IP retargeting, online advertising).

5. Consistent Quality Reviews = More Website Updates = More Trust From Google
Having your reviews posted to your website (either automatically or manually) will place new content on your website. The more you add new content, the more that Google will come back to check on your content. It will also let Google know they need to come back often to reindex your page. This will help Google better understand your credibility and award you with higher search engine rankings.

6. Respond and Reap SEO Rewards
Receiving online reviews is definitely a positive result (as you can see from above), but if you want to build even more SEO power simply respond to them! Whether they are good or bad, every review (no matter if it has a comment or not) should get a thoughtful response from your organization or company. You have the ability to amp up your SEO rankings by keeping the communication stream going as it builds trust with not only your customers, but also trust with Google itself.

7. The Long-Tail Effect
Imagine that you begin to have multiple clients writing reviews about your amazing “social media marketing services.” By a few clients writing “social media marketing services” in their review, it draws the attention of Google. Google sees this as an important and weighted long-tail keyword. So when a new prospect searches for the phrase “social media marketing services” on Google, your listing is more likely to be be shown towards the top of the organic search results.

These types of results are ones that those companies pay a lot of money for. Remember that $45K per month budget to be number 1 in the Google search results that I mentioned before?

8. Local Business? Can’t Miss Opportunity
According to research, review ratings are the biggest driver of clicks in local Google search engine ranking pages. This means that those professionals with local brick and mortar locations, by gaining reviews online you can expect higher rankings and more clicks through to your website.

9. Grab Over 91% of Online Traffic
Having a higher organic listing based on the boost from online reviews will increase the odds that your website will be on the first page of the Google search results. Anyone that lives on that first page of Google search results will be gaining over 91% of the web traffic for the search query that generated the page.

10. Genuine Reviews Reduce Website Bounce Rate
One thing not favored by Google: a website that has a high bounce rate. A bounce rate is calculated as the time when someone goes to visit your website and “bounces” away from it after a mere few seconds. Google understands this “bounce” as the user indicating that where they originally clicked through from may have had a message that was not continued when they visited your site.

This is akin to “bait and switch” techniques that have been around for many years.

By having online reviews that are prominently featured online in Google searches you will benefit from the potential customer or client reviewing these before visiting your site. This will lead to the user gaining a better understanding of your company and services/products. So if they choose to click through to your website – they know what to expect and will not immediately “bounce” off your site. This will help you keep and enhance your search engine rankings on a regular basis.

Still on the fence about the power of online reviews to enhance SEO? There are hundreds of articles out there with more information that you can peruse that not only mirror my story, but shout the benefits even more aggressively.

From my perspective, this tends to be the one secret SEO trick that many people overlook. Because of this, it can provide lots of competitive advantage to your company. Online reviews are a crucial piece of your overall online marketing campaign that could be the tipping point of your appearing on page 1 of Google searches or page 10.

Want to get started without having to do any of the setup, execution, and management? We have developed a Reputation Management and Online Review Service that will have you harnessing the SEO power of everything listed above without you having to do any of the setup, execution, or management. Our service starts from as low as $199 per month (not including setup). If you would like to get started today or see a demo of our service, please call or email our team.

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SEO for Amateurs: What, How, and Why

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16Jul

If your brand has a website, you have probably heard of SEO. This concept is frequently mentioned, but rarely discussed in lay terms. What is it? How does it work? Why should you care? We’re here to break it down and help you understand how to make it work for you. 

The What

Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a., SEO) is the process of optimizing the content of your website for search engines (shocking, we know). People rarely look past the first few pages of search engine (let’s be honest, of Google) results, so the closer your website is to the top of that first page , the better. SEO is considered “organic,” in that you are not paying a search engine for your rank. 

The How

Ask yourself how much you really want to know about SEO, because there is a lot of information to unpack here. At first glance, SEO might appear to be an ice berg: small on the surface, gargantuan beneath the waves. In reality, SEO is more like an ant hill: it looks simple enough above ground, but that unassuming mound of dirt hides an extensive and intricate network of tunnels guarded by hordes of zealous soldiers.

What we’re trying to say is this: SEO is surprisingly complicated. Here is a very brief, very broad overview of SEO mechanics.

Search engines (almost all of them, anyway) index sites using crawlers, computer programs that continually browse the internet. As crawlers travel the world wide web, they index and catalog all of the information they find. The search engine’s algorithm then sorts the findings according to two criteria: relevance and popularity. Relevance is influenced by myriad factors, including external links, meta data, and citations. Popularity is a factor because the algorithm–much like middle school students–assumes that popularity is a good indicator of value. (Generally, that holds true.)

You optimize your search engine rankings by incorporating keywords and key phrases into your website and content. How do you know which words are key? Well, what are the most common search terms used by your customers? What do people type into the search bar when they’re looking for your industry, product, or service? Some of this seems like it would be common sense (for example, a gluten-free bakery would use keywords and phrases like “gluten-free,” “gluten-free ingredients,” “celiac,” et cetera), but there are other aspects that you might miss (e.g., there is often an overlap between gluten sensitivity and other dietary restrictions). Most people use keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner or Keyword Explorer from Moz. SEO is more than stuffing your website with keywords and calling it a day. You must carefully integrate keywords into your content.

By the way, remember the ant metaphor? Much like the angry soldier ants who fiercely protect their queen and kin, Google doesn’t play. If there are indications that you’re gaming the system (keyword stuffing, manipulating back links, or any other black hat nonsense), you will be penalized. The algorithm won’t literally attack you, but you’ll lose rank. There is no appeals process, either: the only way to regain your standing is to reform your SEO practices.

The Why

There is no logical reason to abstain from SEO. A well-designed website is using at least a few keywords anyway–the process of SEO just ensures that the best keywords are being used. A brand has no excuse to avoid this powerful tool.

Need help with your SEO? Yeah, you do. Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

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How SEO and SMM Work Hand-In-Hand For Your Brand

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31Jan

Does your business need social media marketing?

Yes.

Does your brand need search engine optimization?

You bet.

While some marketers think these two online marketing strategies are completely separate, they’re actually just different parts of the same strategy to increase your brand awareness.

It’s time to set the record straight.

First off, let’s explore these two concepts.

Search engine optimization is a process which allows a web page to appear in the most viewable placing possible in search engine results. For example, if someone looks up “fishing supplies” on Google, Bing, Ask, AOL, or Yahoo, they will get a list of related web pages that feature fishing supplies. Businesses that incorporate SEO strategies will, in theory, appear above others.

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Social media marketing, on the other hand, is a tad bit different. Entirely different, actually. This method allows businesses to not only appear in search results on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, but it also allows them to interact with customers through a variety of avenues. Marketers can represent their brand via profiles and pages. They can also share a constant stream of original and curated content, similar to an individual’s activity on these platforms.

We may be tempted to ask ourselves which one is better. SEO or SMM? Well, these two are not competitors. Instead, they cater to completely different aspects of the online marketing industry. The two are essentially completely different crafts despite contributing to the final product of increased online visibility.

That being said, social media marketing contributes to online marketing efforts in ways that SEO, in its nature, cannot. Here are the top advantages social media has over SEO:

  1. Immediate customer and audience communication.Businesses on social media have the ability to respond to customers who are trying to reach out via messages, tagging, tweets, etc. After all, it is social media.
  2. The ability to send out constantly fresh and updated content. SEO allows you to be in the spotlight in search engine results. Social media allows you to be in the spotlight of social media news feeds. The average Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram user checks their feeds multiple times a day, thereby increasing your chances of getting engagement.
  3. Quick personalization and “damage control.”Are there negative comments about your business on social media? No problem. You can immediately respond to the “crisis” in a positive and professional manner. Does a negative comment pop up on search engines? You’re in for quite a headache.
  4. The benefits of “peer reviews” and user-generated content.People like to read reviews from their fellow consumers. While places like Angie’s List and Yelp are helpful for this, social media is one of the most popular places for reviews and offers a special advantage- companies have the ability to respond and tell your side of the story, whether the review is positive or negative.
  5. Considerably less expensive promotional options. Social media isn’t completely free if you want to be successful. Facebook advertisements, for one, is a very helpful albeit paid service. Still, social media promotional services may prove to be inexpensive when compared to premium SEO options.

SEO, on the other hand, is an extremely important tool for online marketing because once you reach the top of the rankings it can keep sending highly tarted traffic to your website. It will take some time to climb the results pages, but the boost to your brand can be extremely valuable.

Effective SEO requires several strategies, from constant, fresh content to regular usability updates and link building strategies. These activities contribute to your site’s ability to attract customers and give them a reason to do business with you.

When it comes down to it, SEO is a visibility tool. SMM is a communication tool.

There is a place for SEO. No smart online marketer would say otherwise. It can help service-based businesses show up when people are searching for solutions.

However, SEO in no way replaces social media marketing. By representing your business on Facebook, Twitter, and the other platforms, you’re essentially giving your customers the opportunity to benefit your company by tagging your business, giving 5-star ratings, sharing your posts, and much more.

It’s a completely different marketing animal, and one that is proven essential for online brand awareness.

Contact us today to start your online marketing journey.

Editor’s Note: This blog has been updated and republished to reflect current information. The article was cleaned up, recommendations were reassessed, and references refreshed.

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7 Innovative Tools That Social Media Marketers Love

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24Jan

When you are trying to market your brand on social media and raise awareness, there are good times and bad. Sometimes, it seems like no one is out there, despite there being literally billions of people on these sites. The truth is, the audience is right there. You just need to have the right tools to amplify your voice.

As a professional in the social media marketing world, we spend a lot of time on official social media sites. We can’t type in the letter F without our browsers compulsively prompting us to go to Facebook or T for Twitter. However, to truly be effective and engaging, you need more than just the basics. Here are the top social media marketing life-saving websites and apps that will ramp up your marketing game.

1. Hashtagify – Let’s face facts. A hashtag is only good if it’s popular. This is where Hashtagify comes in to save the day. Type in a hashtag to see how many people are talking about it or if it’s dead. As you’ll quickly learn, a hashtag is a very time-sensitive tool, and I’m not just talking about calender-centric ones like #ManicMonday or #MerryChristmas. They focus on trends and hot cultural topics and should be used accordingly. 

2. BuzzSumo –While Hashtagify helps you see what hashtags are popular, you will still need a tool to help you find the best content. You should note that BuzzSumo Pro is not cheap, but the free version will help you discover the best shareable and popular content on the web.

3. BundlePost –Bundle Post’s tagline is “Stop managing your posts. Spend more time engaging.” This tool can help you with the quantity side of social media marketing. Sharing and curating others content is essential, albeit time-consuming. Bundle Post can automate a personalized bundle of content for your social media accounts. It even works alongside Hootsuite.

4. Hootsuite –Speaking of Hootsuite, it’s rare to find a marketer who isn’t in love with this tool. You can find content, schedule your posts, and study analytics inside one lovely tool. 

5. StayFocused –Here’s a secret. Our brains do not automatically block all distracting content. We work on the sites many go on to play, so we must ignore a whole lot of enticing content while we’re trying to execute marketing strategies. StayFocused will help you stay on task by limiting the amount of time you spend on distracting websites. This is great so you can keep moving and complete your task. A Google Chome extension is available for free.

6. Grammarly –Ah, the typo- destroyer of worlds. Luckily, Grammarly has the power to fight back. This handy tool will help your copy become sharper, more engaging, and correct. Remember your English teacher in high school? It’s like her, only nicer. 

7. OneTab –Social media marketers need to research and do A LOT of web browsing. On average, most managers visit 200 web pages a day. That sounds like a nightmare for those who only like one or two tabs open at a time. Well, OneTab is here to help. It’s a fantastic tool that will combine all our pre-existing tabs into one, shareable web page that adds a bit of convenience to a chaotic day. 

HELLO?! Is anybody out there? Trust me, there are tons of people out there. The above tools will help your brand’s online visibility to skyrocket and your following to increase exponentially. Try a few today and get back to us and tell us what you think! 

Contact us today to get on board with social media marketing! 

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How To Start Your Social Media Copywriting Journey

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26Jul

When you first set foot in the world of social media marketing, you have some “company soul searching” to do. You have to reassess what is important, which services you want to promote most prominently, and perhaps most important, what you want your customers to remember the most about you and your team. All of this is of course conveyed through the written word in all the fields that the social media platforms provide.

This is the time to start talking about yourself. Every company needs to make sure their social media profiles are optimized with the most relevant, updated, and essential information so a customer does not have to make an effort to find the information needed to interact with your brand and in the long run, make a transaction.

Fill In Every Field.

Creating a social media profile for your company from scratch will force you to go back to the drawing board for certain items such as “mission statement” and “company objective.”  Other times, you will (and should) have all the information immediately available. It’s important to fill out every single field the platform offers. Some sites such as Instagram will require very little information to achieve a 100% optimized profile. Others such as Facebook will have request quite a bit of writing. Additionally, others may have certain functions hidden behind a paywall or only allow so many details before you have to upgrade to a premium account. Regardless of platform, be as thorough as possible.

But here is the good news – a lot of the heavy lifting may be already done for you through pre-existing marketing and general information you have created for your company for other purposes.

However, if you are writing from scratch, ask yourself what you would want to know about your company if you were stumbling across it as a customer for the first time. What is your team’s work ethic? What do you hope a customer can take away from their experience with your company? What products are your pride and joy? Consider these questions when trying to define your business and what makes you stand out.

Keep in Mind the Keywords!

In the world of social media marketing, we often talk about keywords when referring to content. Yet keywords also help you when you are in the early stages of page optimization. When you are filling out your company’s About section, Company Overview, Mission Statement, etc., keep in mind the words that people would use to search for a business like yours.

For example, if you run an auto repair shop in Miami, you should definitely incorporate “auto repair,” “Miami,” “Florida,” “automotive,” and other relevant words in your copy. You may want to even consider some top-performing hashtags. Just make sure you don’t overuse them and ensure they are evergreen. In other words, make sure they are hashtags that stay relevant and do not depend on the time of year or a temporary element of your business.

Set Hours and Mark Your Location

Consider social media your online “open / closed” sign. Many people use company’s social media pages as resources for information and perhaps one of the simplest requests is to figure out if a location is open or closed. Simple, but very effective.

Another vital aspect of optimizing your social media pages is to set a location. Yes, this may seem obvious. But I cannot tell you how many companies I have interacted with that have not added a location to their Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram pages. These companies miss out on location service and targeting audiences. This is particularly useful for mobile users because they will be able to see what companies are in the area that offer a particular service or product. This is also very helpful when companies who wish to delve into more advanced advertising techniques, as locations, zip codes, and regions are all instrumental in finding the right audience.

Time Travel and Stockpile

Let’s face it – no one will like or follow an empty page (except for Apple, which hasn’t shared a single tweet, but manages hundreds of thousands of followers thanks to its name). You will want to create a ton of content and, if the platform allows, backdate it. This is only a function offered by Facebook and a select other platforms, but it proves to be useful when you are trying to position your business as legitimate and modern.

You should also stockpile content that you can start sharing, including tweets from industry influencers that are available for retweeting and quote tweeting, news articles you want to share and comment on, and ideas you may want to later talk about in the form of a blog or note.

Pin Your Spotlight Content

After you have been created content for some time, create a piece of content that you are particularly proud of and pin it to the top of the profile. This will be the first post that your followers see when they visit your page. This should be a piece of original content that expresses just what your company is all about, whether it’s a promotional piece or a useful piece of content that can be used a resource.

Later down the road, you can use this prime piece of real estate as a spot to promote a sale, holiday greetings, or other time sensitive information. Yet when you are just starting out, pick your best content and start pinning. This post should be switched out on a weekly basis.

Invite Your Regulars And Start Following Prospects

Now that you have your social media page fully optimized, you are ready to invite followers. Think of it this way, you have cleaned up the house and set up decorations, now it’s time for your party guests to come by and enjoy what you have prepared! There are many ways to start gathering a large following on social media, many of which will come as you start sending out relevant content and generate a large amount of user-generated content and feedback. However, when you are first starting out, you need to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

Offline, you need to ask your loyal customers to like your pages and share them with your friends. Encourage employees to do the same. Have social-media-exclusive incentives and sales only to be found online and make it known at your location. Train your employees to tell customers and clients about your pages. Most importantly, your content and copy should be a homing beacon for these people to come because of the “takeaway” they will receive. This is why you cannot just write promotional posts. You need to become an informative, educational, and entertaining resource that people will welcome into their social media sanctum.

Online, you can start following major influencers and those who follow them. This will introduce your newborn pages to new people and social circles. Try to be selective about who follows your page, but do not be too picky because you never know who those people will know and they will be able to see your content if and when they share it.

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The 5 Most Useful WordPress Plugins

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24May

If your website uses WordPress as its CMS, it’s important to choose the right plugins. Plugins are pieces of software you can add to your website to add new features, both onto the website itself, but also to help you run the website in the background.

The best plugins can have a drastic effect on the number of people that visit your site and how they interact once they’re on there.

Here’s a list of our five most useful WordPress plugins and why you should add them to your site.

Yoast SEO

An SEO plugin, whether it’s Yoast or Moz is essential for your website. These plugins help you to optimize the pages of your website and any new blog posts so that they have the best chance possible of showing up in search results.

The reason we like Yoast is its content analysis. When writing a blog post, it gives an indication of what needs improving, such as word count and keyword regularity, so that your post has better SEO.

If SEO is important for your business, we’d always suggest getting a professional to do it. But using an SEO plugin will at least help you cover the basics so that search engines are better able to index your pages.

LiveChat

Next time you’re on our website, you may notice a little pop-up in the corner. It’s our Marketing Assistant, Dan asking if you need any help in a chat window.

Of course, Dan isn’t typing that to every visitor. But if anybody does reply back, they’ll be put straight through to him.

LiveChat is a way to offer real-time customer service to your visitors. Whether it’s answering a quick question about a product or guiding them to the correct section of the website to help.

The major upside of LiveChat is it can add a more human element to your website. Engaging with another person over chat can help you instantly connect with your customers.

WPBakery Visual Composer

Creating a website from scratch is a tough feat, even for a web designer with years of experience. That’s why it’s handy to use a platform like WordPress so that there’s a framework to start with that can be built upon.

But even with WordPress, you need a lot of experience to create new pages on your website. If you’ve got no idea where to start and are still coming to terms with using WordPress, WPBakery Visual Composer can be a massive help.

The composer allows you to create website pages with a drag and drop editor, rather than the basic text editor of WordPress. Meaning you don’t have to worry about coding and can focus on the layout of your pages.

The downside to a visual composer is that it can be limiting regarding what it allows you to do. If there’s something specific you want on your website, you will probably have to hire a website designer to code it for you.

A Backup Plugin

There are a lot of backup plugins for WordPress, so we won’t recommend one. We’ll simply say, there are a lot of backup plugins for a reason. They’re essential for any website.

A good backup plugin will allow you to schedule a full backup of your website to be done regularly. Along with emailing you a backup of your blog posts.

People often think that their website is permanent and nothing bad could happen to it. But you should treat your website like any other piece of data and make backups.

The server with your website on may crash, the building could get flooded, or your site might be hacked. There are any number of reasons your data could get compromised. So it’s always good to have a recent backup so you can easily get your website back online but also, so no data is lost.

JetPack by WordPress.com

So you’ve read this article, and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. WordPress is meant to make your life easier, not harder. Now you have to install all these plugins, it seems a little too much work!

Fortunately, WordPress have released their own plugin named JetPack. Why is this plugin so amazing? Because it does many of the things listed above, and more…but in one plugin. It’s like fifty plugins in one.

It lets you create backups, check analytics for your website, gives you security protection and includes SEO tools.

The downside is that many of the better features cost money. But the price is worth it for the convenience, and a lot of the main features are free.

For many, it’s the only plugin that is needed.

What WordPress plugins do you use for your website?

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SEO V.S. Social Media Marketing: What’s The Difference And What Marketers Need To Know

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10Dec
When people begin to research online marketing, they quickly realize that two terms seem to dominate most conversations – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM). In fact, these two are used so much that it can make someone’s head spin, especially if they’re not entirely sure of the difference.

To start things off, let’s establish some definitions.

Search engine optimization is a process which allows a web page to appear in the most viewable placing possible in search engine results. For example, if someone looks up “fishing supplies” on Google, Bing, Ask, AOL, or Yahoo, they will get a list of related web pages that feature fishing supplies. Businesses that incorporate SEO strategies will, in theory, appear above others.

Social media marketing, on the other hand, is a tad bit different. Entirely different, actually. This method allows businesses to not only appear in search results on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, but it also allows them to interact with customers through a variety of avenues. Marketers can represent their brand via profiles and pages. They can also share a constant stream of original and curated content, similar to an individual’s activity on these platforms.
We may be tempted to ask ourselves which one is better. SEO or SMM? Well, these two are not competitors. Instead, they cater to completely different aspects of the online marketing industry. The two are essentially completely different crafts despite contributing to the final product of increased online visibility.
That being said, social media marketing contributes to online marketing efforts in ways that SEO, in its nature, cannot. Here are the top advantages social media has over SEO:
  1. Immediate customer and audience communication. Businesses on social media have the ability to respond to customers who are trying to reach out via messages, tagging, tweets, etc. After all, it is social media.
  2. The ability to send out constantly fresh and updated content. SEO allows you to be in the spotlight in search engine results. Social media allows you to be in the spotlight of social media news feeds. The average Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram user checks their feeds multiple times a day, thereby increasing your chances of getting engagement.
  3. Quick personalization and “damage control.” Are there negative comments about your business on social media? No problem. You can immediately respond to the “crisis” in a positive and professional manner. Does a negative comment pop up on search engines? You’re in for quite a headache.
  4. The benefits of “peer reviews” and user-generated content. People like to read reviews from their fellow consumers. While places like Angie’s List and Yelp are helpful for this, social media is one of the most popular places for reviews and offers a special advantage – companies have the ability to respond and tell your side of the story, whether the review is positive or negative.
  5. Considerably less expensive promotional options. Social media isn’t completely free if you want to be successful. Facebook advertisements, for one, is a very helpful albeit paid service. Still, social media promotional services may prove to be inexpensive when compared to premium SEO options.
We don’t do traditional SEO, as it takes quite a while to be effective, whereas social media takes 4 to 6 weeks to really take off. It is also quite costly. With SMO (social media optimization) we get people to your site via PR, targeted relationship building, social media advertising, and strategic use of keywords, hashtags, and algorithms.
Now, there is one bridge to connect these two worlds and that is Google+. By posting social media content on this platform, your SEO rankings will be improved on Google via the keywords you used in your updates. Google is by far the most popular search engine and offers this helpful solution to have best of both worlds.
When it comes down to it, SEO is a visibility tool. SMM is a communication tool.

There is a place for SEO. No smart online marketer would say otherwise. It can help service-based businesses show up when people are searching for solutions. However, SEO in no way replaces social media marketing. By representing your business on Facebook, Twitter, and the other platforms, you’re essentially giving your customers the opportunity to benefit your company by tagging your business, giving 5-star ratings, sharing your posts, and much more. It’s a completely different marketing animal, and one that is proven essential for online brand awareness.

Contact us today to start your social media marketing journey!

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How To Be A Google+ Genius

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17Jul

In 2011, Google replaced its first attempt at a social media network, Google Buzz, with Google+. However, during its run the website seems to be underappreciated by the general populace. Of the top social media networks in the US, Google+ is one that is often overlooked. This is a shame since it really does have some interesting approaches to the social side of the internet and very effective tools for perfecting your marketing. In November 2015, it underwent a facelift in an attempt to attract new life to the platform and new users may be wondering just how to use the website.

One of the most powerful features of Google+ is its ability to improve one’s SEO. Since Google is the king of search engines, this may seem obvious for the uninformed but when you take into consideration that Facebook posts do not appear in Google’s search results, this automatically puts Google+ in a more preferable light, doesn’t it? On top of SEO, it indexes every piece of content you share through your Google account and comes up in search. This alone proves Google+’s worth.

Now, if you have a Google+ account, there is a very good chance you have Facebook and Twitter as well. This means you have already written content refined for social media that isn’t coming up on a Google search. By simply reposting your content onto your Google+ account, you will be doing your social media marketing a favor. However, there is more to this social media platform than search engine optimization.

While Twitter has their Lists, Google+ has Circles. Circles essentially perform the same function as Lists, however, you can use them to filter the content on your news feed as well. You can choose to only see posts from a specific Circle, which can help social media marketers refine content searches.

Google+ also gives you the room for writing long form articles, and helps spread your original content quickly. However, we would not recommend using a Google+ page solely for blogging purposes, but rather publish a snippet and then link to your actual blog.

As you can see, Google+ has a place in the social media marketing world, despite Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram’s growing domination. By having a Google+ page you will show that you are serious about social media and its effectivity, as well as spreading your word through the web. To truly develop a powerful page, you will need some background in social media marketing. We have seen professionals really benefit from its features and we have the know- how to help you succeed in this new frontier.

What do you think of Google+? Comment below!

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Are You Using Keywords in Your Content Marketing?

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24Oct

Whether you know it or not, you most likely create ‘content’, and engage in ‘content marketing’ every day.  With online channels that include websites, sales pages, blogs, articles, social media channels, mobile apps, newsletters, and email – the use of content and content marketing is unavoidable in the sales and marketing world.  If you’ve ever posted anything on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter (or composed an email for that matter) you’ve created content.  The question is, was it good content?

First, what exactly is ‘content’?  Very simply, it’s information that is valuable and relevant to the reader.  ‘Content marketing’ is the act of getting that information to the right people on a consistent basis – with the goal of inspiring them to take action.  Remember, the key to content is: valuable information, with the most common uses being on social media and blog posts.

Consistently publishing updated content on these sites, with the best wording to get your message across, is crucial to getting more traffic from social media sites and search engines, while creating a power of influence over your visitors.  It  will also help make YOU the person (or business) that people think of when they need the type of services your offer AND help get you found in online searches for your type of business.

The first thing everyone reading this should do, whether you have a blog or social media channels or not, is to create a list of keywords and keyword phrases that define your business.  Why?  These are the cornerstones of your marketing plan.  They should be the words and phrases you use on sales calls, your printed material, and on your website and social media to create continuity with your overall strategy.  What are they exactly?

Your keywords and keyword phrases are literally the words and phrases that your potential client might type into a search engine to find you and/or your business, or in other words – the features you provide that make you valuable and unique.  It’s important that you use these in everything you do, online and offline, so that you are known for that particular set of ‘terms’.  If your business deals with “elders” or “seniors”, or “assisted living facility florida” or “senior memory development 33770”, these would make your list of keywords and keyword phrases.  The longer your list and the more unique, the better.

By consistently utilizing these keywords and phrases in your social media and blog posts, you will in time become more findable in online searches by potential customers, peers, other respected members of your audience.

In addition to the written word, things that can be considered good content are photos and images, quotes, infographics, videos, and testimonials to name a few.  However, be sure to pepper these with descriptions and comments that include your keywords and phrases for an extra punch.

Stuck for ideas to create original valuable information for your audience?  Try some of these:

*Google Alerts:  Enter your keywords and Google will trawl through all of the new results on a daily basis and email you with the results.  These are great ways to come up with topics that are not only topical, but also hot off the press.

*Your Staff:  Ask the people within your organization.  They may have ideas that you haven’t thought of!

*Competitive Analysis:  Look at what your competition is writing about and see how successful it is.  Then write some original blogs and articles with those topics in mind.

*Social Media:  Do a social media search for your topic and see what comes up.  I suggest using Twitter and LinkedIn for this as they tend to give you the most relevant results.  See what people are talking about, see what they are asking about.  Find some hot topics and create a blog or two around them.

One great tip is to keep a page on your computer desktop just for jotting down ideas.  If you see something interesting, cut and paste the link so that you can go back and expound on it later.  Be creative, explore what makes your business unique, and share it with the world!  Using some of these tips will help you to create content that is effective, well received, and will

THE GOLDEN CONTENT RULE: MAKE SURE THAT YOUR CONTENT IS ENGAGING, ENTERTAINING, EDUCATIONAL AND FOCUSED ON YOUR TARGET MARKET AT ALL TIMES!

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