The Blog

Google Turns 15, Makes Changes That Will Affect How You Should be Marketing

Google has recently made some major changes to it’s search algorithm and also how it handles search analytics. Yes, Google has made changes that you need to be aware and that will have an immediate affect on you as an online marketer.

Google announced a major change to it’s algorithm this week in what is being considered a major overhaul of its search engine. The change is expected to affect Approximately 90% of all search queries. “Hummingbird”, as Google has called this algorithmic update actually went into action nearly 1 month ago. Fortunately, unlike previous updates like Penguin which sent SEOers into panic mode because of the drastic shift in search results, Hummingbird has been a bit more friendly.

The most notable change is the way in which Google search now handles complex questions as queries. Google has essentially improved its understanding of human speech patterns. Most users no long search for things using key words or phrases but instead tend to ask Google questions. According to Google this has been a recent trend over the past couple years. Continue reading

Call To Action Tips for Getting Your Customer to Click!

If you are having trouble getting your visitors to specific landing pages once they are on your web site, your CTAs or “Call to Action” buttons may be the problem.

A Call to Action is when you are asking your visitor to “Do something.” There are a few different types of call to action buttons. While each type aims to get visitors to perform a certain action. These actions can vary depending on the type of business. In most cases however, it is a persuasive graphic that asks the visitor to “Click here”, “Add to cart”, “Download this PDF” or “Watch our Video”, but really it can be anything you want your guest to do.

Below are a few tips for improving your call to action graphics, helping you get your visitors to the pages you want to convert more leads.

Make them large

On any given web page there are probably many links and buttons. You want your CTA to stand out, be obvious. Do this by making it the largest button on the page. Remember, use some common sense here. Just because it needs to be larger don’t go overboard. There is a difference between “Standing out” and just being gaudy. Continue reading

Creating Customer Profiles

The Cheaters Guide to Creating Customer Profiles

Before we can start planning our marketing campaign or where to even start, we need to know who our customers actually are… And more importantly what customers WE want to have. Not knowing what customers you want can lead to an unhappy business plan and a lot of frustration.

Clearly defining who our customers are can help us define our goals, channels, relationships and even our online personality. Each customer is different and has different emotions but by grouping customers by certain factors we can help them more efficiently. Before giving you the answer to the “test”, lets go over some reasons for why it is important.

Reasons why you need to know your customers

  • It can help you find more “best” customers and can relieve frustration
  • Focus on the customer profiles you WANT to have rather than marketing to ALL customers
  • It can build better relations. If you are building up on loyalty brand, why not have customers you want to love!
  • Build products around good clients and their needs
  • Improve current products
  • Can help find where they “hangout” online or get information

The steps below and our “customer profile cheat-sheet” will help you start your path to building a better business. This cheat-sheet is the same one we use as a first step with our handpicked clientele. Below is a summary of what we will be going over on the cheat-sheet along with descriptions for each (if applicable). Continue reading

improve your blog

Put Some Lipstick on That Blog

By now you have seen a million of them – Blogs. B2B and consumer brands alike have been watching the trend grow the past couple of years and most, if they haven’t by now, have added some kind of content marketing into part of their overall marketing and branding strategy. Content marketing, if done well, can bring business more traffic and help build awareness. But aside from your everyday run of the mill blog there is more that you can add into your content marketing strategy to get improved results.

Help get your blog noticed. Here are a few suggestions to help dress your blog up to get the most out of it.

Create an eBook

If you are an industry expert or just very knowledgeable in your field, try writing and eBook that a visitor can use to download. It can be a “How to” guide or even a more detailed version of one of your blogs that provides more insight to a topic that couldn’t be covered in a short period of time. If someone has general interest in what you are blogging about, they might like to learn more. eBooks can range from just a few pages to 8, 10, or 12. It all depends on the subject. Continue reading

Google Ranking Factors

What Does Google Rank, and Why Keywords Don’t Matter

I’ve heard the same jargon for years, “its all about the keywords and keyword research“. More times than not it is from “SEO Specialists” who are pushing their own program rather than what actually is researched to work. We feel this approach does not help our clients and ends up hurting our efforts.

Lets take a step back

Years ago Google would rank websites based off of their keyword density on individual topics. This worked at first because the internet was just starting to blossom. Once marketers learned how to influence these rankings they could rank for terms with no real content on the page. This was a problem because Google wanted only GREAT CONTENT, not spammy content. Thus Google evolved into a complex algorithm hidden behind layers and layers of updates. Continue reading

empty stadium

Why No One Reads Your Blog

So you have a blog do you? I bet since you are reading this that it’s not not doing what you want it to do – bringing traffic and potential customers to your door.

If this is the case don’t feel too bad you are not alone. Many business struggle each day with their blog. They know they have one, they know they need it, and they are posting to it. Still, their site traffic remains stagnant. It’s almost as if nothing has changed except for the additional time that went into creating the blog in the first place and the extra time its taking to come up with ideas, write the blog, and then circulate it around the office for everyone’s feed back. You then post the blog and anxiously watch Google Analytics to see if it brings in any new visitors.

It doesn’t. You are disappointed once again. And you’re out of answers. Why is no one reading your blog?

Here are a few mistakes businesses make when managing their blogging strategy. Continue reading

SEO Can Be a Bore, Spice It Up With Social Marketing

Let’s face it. SEO can be a bore to most. (But not to us nerdy types!) The art of priming your website so that search engines rank you above all your competitors can be somewhat exhausting. First, there is the ridiculous amount of time spent picking and choosing keywords to “Go after.” Then there is measuring keyword competitiveness and trying to decide if it’s really worth it to go after “that” word that scores a 9 in difficulty. After that, you have to then decide if the search volume is great enough to warrant any time spent on it. Finally, there is probably some SEO company in your ear telling you that you used THAT word to many times on the page your gonna get penalized, or THAT word wasn’t used enough.

C’mon already. Who needs this??

You Do! Well maybe not, at least not exactly like that. But you get the point. Now would be a good time to step back from the standard SEO site tactics and look towards social marketing for a change of pace. Studies have shown that businesses which state they are not seeing improved site results from typical SEO also say that they are NOT utilizing social media. Most have taken the step to set up a Twitter, Google+ or Facebook account, but few actually use it as part of their SEO or marketing strategy. Continue reading

Conventional Marketing Death

Is Conventional Marketing Dead?

Most marketers would agree that traditional marketing is in decline. The rise of the Internet and all its social media outlets have given a much greater voice to the consumer. Through participating in these social channels like the popular Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, the consumer has a greater amount of power than they have ever had in the past.

A recent IBM study notes that 63% of marketers believe traditional branding methods are losing their effectiveness. Customers now control their own destiny in a way. They have the ability to decide where they want to go (via the Internet) and when they want to go. Mass media channels are losing their reach as a result. Responses from direct media are in decline. However social channels are growing and consumers are soaking them in for all their worth. Continue reading

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing, Understanding the Difference

Traditionally when one thinks of marketing they are usually thinking of outbound marketing. Outbound marketing can be thought of as a marketing philosophy that tries to find a way into your life through one-way communication. Such tactics are ones that you probably know very well, because at some point during your life you have probably been on the receiving end of some companies outbound marketing campaign.

Have you ever received an email, direct mail, exhibited at a trades show, seen a billboard, or maybe gotten a telemarketing call during dinner? If you answered yes to any of those then you know what outbound marketing is. Continue reading

Be Helpful

Be Helpful with your Posts In 6 Steps

Education and being helpful. These are the two best ways marketers can keep viewers interacting and engaged with their company. When a prospect is in research mode they are trying to gain as much knowledge about the subject first, THEN judge your business based off their findings. By supplying viewers with this information we are being “helpful” but also showing that we are an authority about a specific topic.

Why is being an Authority so important?

By being an authority, it helps make us an “industry standard” meaning our expertise becomes a big part of what we do. This gives us traction and an edge over our competition, because lets face it… if you are not the leader, they will be. Trust can be established if you are writing helpful and insightful content, you may be answering questions perspective customers didn’t even know they even had. Continue reading

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