Inbound Marketing

10 Ways to Improve Your Website Promotion Strategy

Think About a Visitor Conversion

Website visitors don’t mean much if they don’t convert to actionable leads before they leave. Figure out what needs to be accomplished to improve your website promotion and how to make it happen. Revisit this game plan every few months, fine-tuning the approach to maximize results.

Blog Post Writing

Blog Post Creation & Writing

A thoughtful, well-crafted blog post captivates readers and encourages them to share it, browse the rest of your website or subscribe to future posts. If you don’t have the time, energy or finesse to write your own blogs, find a professional who does it for a living.

Blog Post Optimization & SEO

Blog Post Optimization

Whether you choose to write your own content or have a professional write it for you, be sure to fine-tune the message and add some great visuals. Write an irresistible call-to-action and optimize the post for social media and search engines. Then, it’s on to promotion.

Blog Post Syndication on Social Media

Blog Post Syndication on Social Media

A billion+ users means that no other form of marketing has more potential than social media. When publishing a blog, post links and carefully crafted messages to your social media profiles. Syndicate these posts over the course of a few months to maximize exposure.

Website Promotion on Social Media

Website Promotion on Social Media

In addition to your blog posts, be sure to also promote the other content on your website. Determine the most interesting and relevant aspects of your website, posting links to those pages, pictures and unique messages on social media, throughout the month.

Twitter Engagement

Twitter Engagement

Some people see Twitter as weird and confusing. But people who do use it, see it as THE place to get their news, entertainment and education on a daily basis. Follow people, favorite and retweet relevant third-party content to grow your audience to continually expand your exposure.

Sponsored Social Media Management

Sponsored Social Media Management

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow companies of all sizes to expand their reach by sponsoring posts. Optimize your budget, target the right audiences and manage your best performing ads to continually increase the quantity and quality of leads through your website.

Website Optimization & SEO

Full Website Optimization

To take full advantage of the search engines, your entire website needs to be meticulously maintained, by targeting optimal keywords for your business. Update outdated information and continuously improve the SEO titles and tags throughout your website, to increase your organic, search engine visitors.

Keep an eye on keyword SERP tracking, keeping you up-to-date on the overall visibility of your website.

Local Search Optimization

Local Search Optimization

If customers actually stop by your store or office, perhaps the most important form of marketing is local search. Apps like Google Places, Apple Maps and Yelp all collect information from different sources to display the most relevant places to their users. Keeping those sources consistent and up-to-date can be a nightmare to handle on your own. Get a professional to help and get back to what you do best.

Landing Page Development

Landing Page Development

Keeping your website current with new content is as important for your visitors as it is to the search engines. Consistent blogging plays a big part in that, but more is always better. New landing pages, with specific, sales-oriented messages, can focus your visitors, priming them to become actionable leads and customers. Every few months, create a beautiful new landing page, based on the marketing concepts you’ve already developed through the blog.

HTML Email Publication

Email Publication

Email marketing remains a cost-effective way to promote your business. Implement website strategies to grow and nurture your list of customers, prospects and influencers. Design a standout, branded, mobile-responsive email template and blast your latest blogs every month, keeping YOU at the top of everyone’s mind.

Learn about our booster services to keep your website working hard.

Say Goodbye to Worthless Social Media Groups

I just love joining new social media groups, especially on LinkedIn. It’s so exciting to see all those new faces. So, imagine my own sad face when I realized that I had reached my LinkedIn groups limit of… 50? !

What’s up with that? Why would LinkedIn, the preferred business social media platform for millions, not let people join more than 50 groups, especially when Facebook allows us to join up to 6,000?

In any case, it’s time to bite the bullet and detach myself from a bunch of dead-beat social media groups that I don’t benefit from anymore. That’s what I have to do if I want to grow my network and find referrals and customers that are a good match for my business.

Time to Weed!

Experienced gardeners purchase mulch by the truckload and pile it onto their flower beds 6 inches deep. Mulch suffocates the weeds so they can’t, in turn, suffocate the classy flowers. Unfortunately, we can’t just pour mulch over our LinkedIn social media groups and expect our clutter to magically disappear without putting serious thought into which ones are worthwhile and which ones are not.

Here are a few questions that helped me decide which LinkedIn groups to leave:

  • Which groups do I rarely visit?
    Make a list of all these groups and then leave them.
  • Which groups don’t I participate in?
    Unless you really want them to show in your profile, leave any groups you do not participate in.
  • Which groups are dominated by one or two people?
    This was true for a lot of my groups. These groups are worthless unless the participants are true thought leaders in your industry.

(Be patient because LinkedIn only allows members to quit groups one at a time.)

My only other exception to these quitting rules are social media groups that tout good causes, like Susan G. Komen for the Cure and The Jimmy Fund. I will keep my memberships in these because I support their causes and want to learn all I can.

Time to Replant!

As I was deciding which groups to leave, I have to admit that I may have joined a lot of these groups for some pretty shallow reasons…

  • how many people were in the group (popularity)
  • whether or not the group had a pretty logo (visual appetite)
  • I got invitations from people I didn’t know (ego)

Not terribly effective ways to choose groups.

Choosing LinkedIn Groups that Matter to Me

With these wrong reasons for joining still in my head, it should be much easier to find new groups that will help me. Here’s the criteria that I will use…

  • the group must be relevant to my business… and therefore me
  • I can visualize myself participating intelligently
  • it will have active and current posts by more than a few people
  • my expertise will stand out from the crowd

With social media being such a big part of business networking these days, it’s important to be thoughtful about which groups will produce the highest-quality referrals, and maybe even some customers…

And, now that I have used my own advice to break up with a bunch of groups, I’ve also decided to take it slow and only re-add one group per month at the most. I think it makes sense, for me, to participate with depth… instead of trying to be all things to all groups.

In any case, I’m down to 20 groups and it feels great!

It’s Time to Overlook the Obvious and Clean Up Your SEO

Since my last post on building an effective website through blogging, a number of concerned business owners have asked about ways to clean up their SEO. Specifically, they understand the benefits of topical articles, but don’t see value in going after those less popular keywords.

To address those concerns, you first have to acknowledge that the technical landscape of SEO has changed dramatically in the last few years. No longer are there surefire methods to rank on the first page for your desired search terms. Google’s ranking algorithm is a moving target that becomes more advanced on a daily basis. Elements that were once a priority for on-page search optimization have been replaced with new factors that Google wants to see.

As a basic example, a year or two ago, the meta description (a short block of text hidden to visitors) was weighed heavily by search engines in their ranking formula. Today, however, many experts agree that it has very little weight, if any at all.

This example is truly indicative of what Google has always tried to do: give its users the most relevant search results possible. At its foundation, the concept of a search engine is to provide wholly unbiased information, prioritized by relevance for its users. The meta description, while useful for a long time, is easily manipulated by marketers… and that’s the opposite of what Google wants.

So, we’re really not talking about Google’s algorithm here. We’re talking about what led them to change it.

It’s Time to Acknowledge Your Competition

Face it, without all that pesky competition you’d rank #1 for whatever you want, right? So, if you can’t join ’em, you really only have 2 options for those highly competitive keywords:

Try to beat ’em

OR

Admit defeat

Obviously, you’re going to try and beat ’em. But, before you suit up for battle, think about the long road ahead. Attempting to outrank your competition for the most desirable search terms will usually end up as a demoralizing, fruitless endeavor. Unless your company provides an abnormally unique product, there will always be a bigger competitor, with more brand awareness, more clout with Google and more money to spend on marketing. So what are you supposed to do?

It’s Time to Overlook the Obvious

I know, ever since 5th grade, you’ve always been told “don’t ignore the obvious”. I’m not here to argue against that age-old wisdom. My point is, if you truly want to clean up your SEO, you need to take note of your most obvious search phrases, recognize the stranglehold that your more powerful competition has on those premium keywords, and then look beyond that glaring first level to a place that’s a bit less explored.

In other words, by modifying those very apparent search terms with appropriate adjectives, locations and less common synonyms, you can find and tap into small niches within the market. While you’re attempting to attract a much smaller group of people, you’re also much more likely to be found by them at all.

At its foundation, these markets are much more accessible to smaller businesses. Plus, if you take this technique and apply it to a variety of niches, what you’ll have is a well diversified and testable marketing campaign. A marketing campaign that can be as focused or broad as you and your team can handle.

In the near future, I’ll expand on the idea of using a diversified keyword portfolio to attract different types of people, and learn which are your best customers.

SEO for Business: Are You on Google’s Naughty List?

It’s sort of amusing to think of Google as being as powerful as Santa… but in the world of search engine optimization, they get to write the list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.

Fortunately, when it comes to SEO for business, there’s a list of rules that we can follow to avoid such scorn and disappointment. So, when you expect the gift of high search engine rankings, you better not pout and just do what Google says, or else you will NOT have a very Merry Christmas.

5 ways to stay off Google’s naughty list this holiday season:

1. Write different titles and descriptions for ALL of your website’s pages.

This is the most common problem we see with older websites that were never optimized for search engines. Page titles have always been the #1 thing Google uses to figure out what each of your pages are about. Make sure every single one of your page titles are completely relevant and unique.

2. Write website content for your visitors, not for Google.

As ironic as it sounds, Google actually doesn’t want you to write content for them. In fact, over the last decade, they’ve spent billions dollars trying to weed out those that do. Write naturally, without stuffing keywords in every chance you get. Always good to use proper grammar and spellign too :p

3. Connect your website to Google webmaster tools.

As daunting as Google’s mysterious algorithms may seem, they will actually tell you about major problems they find with your website. Hook it up to webmaster tools (takes about 5 minutes with the help of your web designer) and in a few days you’ll have a much better idea whether you’re getting coal in your stocking.

4. Make sure your site is fast and mobile friendly.

It might be easier said than done, but Google has started to weigh this very heavily. As websites become more and more bloated with ads, high-res images and nifty little bells and whistles, the time it takes to load goes through the roof. Google wants people to find what they’re looking for, and they know it’s not…
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5. Don’t try to trick Google.

Just as Santa knows when you’ve been bad or good, Google knows when you do things that are against their “code of ethics”. Even if they don’t catch you every time, a pattern of sketchy tactics will keep you from playing anymore reindeer games.

Merry Christmas!

SEO for Business: Bobbing for Customers

If you’ve ever tried working on the SEO for your business website, you know it can be a time-consuming, and sometimes frustrating undertaking. There are a dozen factors you need to consider, even before you make a single change to your website. What’s more… after you’ve made those changes, it can take weeks to figure out if you’ve actually made a difference.

Also check out: Some tips on how to boost your website leads.

If you’re relatively new to the SEO game, chances are you won’t be achieving super high rankings for the premier keywords that you want. One thing you can do to save yourself days of fidgety anticipation is to broaden your horizons from the beginning and start bobbing for customers.

For example: If you’re an accountant looking to sign some new clients, trying to go after “accounting services” will likely be a fruitless experiment. There is simply too much competition and too many BIG players going after the same keyword. If, on the other hand, you focus in on more specific search terms, something like “income tax preparation service”, you will have a much higher chance of success.

There will certainly not be as many people searching for something so specific, but you will end up ranking higher for those that do. As an added bonus, when they see you provide exactly what they searched for, they are even more likely to take you seriously and become your customer!

If you can bob for customers in a few different niches, SEO efforts for your business will gain more exposure, and be far more effective than going after the most obvious keywords you can think of. In fact, if you create different pages (or blog posts), each one optimized for a niche keyword, you’ll have even more luck ranking, converting and learning what works best!

Experimental Marketing: Outbound’s Out. Inbound’s In.

For businesses, the biggest advantage of having a website has always been the ability for customers to immediately access information about about a company, no matter where they are. To this day, no other medium allows businesses to broadcast their products and passions to such a large audience, in a way that matches their brand.

One of the biggest challenges, however, has been getting this great website content in front of the eyes of the people who want to see it. Outbound marketing techniques, such as advertising, continue to be one solution to this frustrating problem—but it’s far from a perfect answer. Costs continue to rise, managing a campaign is becoming ever more complicated, and without the proper understanding of analytics, ads still may not be finding the right people.

So where do leads come from (if not from advertising)?

Most ad campaigns are designed to seek out potential customers, but what if the customers were the ones seeking out companies? When you boil it down, that’s what inbound marketing is all about.

As web technology evolves, companies have more opportunities to be creative in their marketing efforts; Creative in ways that could have been potentially harmful to their brands just a few years ago.

Easy-to-change websites, ever-evolving search engines and widespread social media adoption now allow companies (both big and small) to run mini-campaigns that come with a whole slew of advantages.

Find marketing concepts that work.

Experimentation has always gone hand-in-hand with modern marketing. Nobody knows for sure what’s going to work well and what’s going to bomb miserably. An inbound marketing strategy lets you try new things to attract potential customers. By keeping a close eye on what people like most, you can hone the effectiveness of your entire marketing strategy. You can expand on the concepts that work best to bring in new customers… and ditch the ones that don’t.

Get to know new target markets.

Any good small business will have a pretty good idea who their target market is. However, this is typically based the market they’ve been able to sell to in the past. A creative inbound marketing campaign can expand that potential audience tremendously simply by measuring the interaction of each of their efforts. A new age of analytics for websites, email, social media and search make it easier than ever to figure out who’s interested in what, and more importantly, where you can find them.

Do it all for less.

@Hubspot, an undisputed guru on inbound marketing, recently published the results of their annual survey. They found that 54% more leads come from inbound efforts as opposed to outbound. This is particularly significant given the massive amounts of money being spent on traditional advertising (like TV, radio, billboards, print, etc). One of the most compelling reasons for a small business to practice inbound marketing techniques is the low overhead cost. But what’s even more valuable, as any good business knows, is a great return on that investment.

Inbound marketing allows even the smallest of companies to experiment like the big guys, without giant budgets and massive risk.

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