Category Archives: Mobile

“I Can’t Afford Digital Marketing!” We Believe you Can!

“Hubspot? Pardot? These guys are just too expensive!”

We hear this a lot, and we understand. We love working with both of them, but you may not be ready for the big guys of digital marketing. Don’t just give up…there are ways to make things happen if you’re a small to medium-sized business owner:

  1. Get your website priorities in order. The goal, of course, is to be so fully optimized that you’re on page 1 of organic search results. Is this going to happen for you? Well, it depends on so many factors. Just as with traditional marketing, there’s placement, competition and, what we believe to be most important, customer experience. You can have the most optimized site on the web but if customers can’t navigate to what they want, or have a pleasing buying experience, your competition is a click away.
    • We recently audited an online retailer for fine teas because they were losing customers during check out. While their selection was wonderful and their site was easy to navigate, their shopping cart had problems. Changing one mailing field created problems with the credit card verification, thus customers were becoming frustrated and leaving the site. Analytics showed most went to Amazon where the customer buying experience is fast and easy.
  2. The basic best practices for SEO still apply:
    • Do refresh your content regularly with keywords and phrases that you have researched and found to be what the customer is looking for.
      • The most compelling key phrase for your business may not have anyone searching for it. Unless you want to spend significant dollars on creating a category, find alternatives by doing your research.
      • Don’t overdo it. Keyword “stuffing” has a negative effect for search engines.
    • Quality links are better than the quantity of links you may have. One link from a highly trusted site can boost your rankings significantly. Competitive research, analysis, and using ethical link building (hint: don’t buy or pay for links) will provide you with the quality that Google is looking for.
      • One of our clients has #1 organic rankings for most of the prominent phrases in his industry. What was missing was the plural of these phrases – the competition was beating him out here. We refreshed page content and titles and, most importantly, found a few influential bloggers that linked over using the plural formats of his terms. Bingo, the site started gaining traction for those terms as well.
    • Use Webmaster Tools to understand how Google is seeing your site. This is especially important if you have bad links coming in. There are some very unscrupulous people out there that will send bad links to their competition to affect their rankings. If you think this is happening, find the bad links and disavow them. If you don’t, you may find yourself in a penalty situation.
  3. Mobile is here to stay. I won’t preach – since 2016, most sites are first found on a mobile device. If your site is not mobile friendly, you are losing customers on a minute to minute basis. And, Google’s algorithm rewards sites that are mobile-friendly. Just do it!

So, where do you start with digital marketing outreach? If you are a small to medium-sized business, you can start small and reap rewards:

  • Create some content that people will find compelling
  • Have customers sign up to receive this content
    • Now you have their email address
    • Use a small, free email service (Mailchimp, etc.)
  • Rinse and repeat.
  • TRACK in analytics.

It’s pretty simple, will bring more customers, and potentially pay for the big guys someday.

We can help! Talk with us…the first conversation is always free!

 

Six things you can check right now to improve your site

Whether it’s a defined goal, aspirational resolution or just a subconscious want, “Make the website better” is a common theme this time of year. The first quarter is kicking in, so it’s time to get started. images

But before you do—and this is important—step back and adopt a neutral perspective. Don’t automatically hate your website, but don’t fall in love with it either. Instead, if you look at it through the eyes of an uninterested-but-reasonable shopper, you might see things you can improve.

  • Quick! What’s your site about?  Within a few seconds, your visitors should know what your site is about and have a good idea how to navigate it. Returning visitors should have a feeling of confidence and familiarity. Make sure your visitors know what’s in it for them: a great deal, a new product or a quick path to the information they want. This should happen fast with no ambiguity.
  • Appearance is important. Do your pages look strong and up-to-date?  Does your site appear up to the standards of a professional business, or does it look like it was coded by your nephew in 2007? Is it welcoming and intuitive? Is it ready for a modern and sophisticated user whose expectations of online experiences grow by the day? Would you buy from a website that looks like yours?
  • Are your keywords really hitting?  Sure, the keywords that worked a few years ago might still be working. Or maybe not. Knowing exactly what your target audiences are looking for, what terms they use, and how search optimization evolves can make a big difference in traffic and search rankings. If you haven’t done a keyword analysis in a while, it’s time.
  • Be honest: Are your pages fast enough?  If web pages don’t load in a split second and users have to wait to see them, the propensity to click off is higher than ever. Users aren’t patient. Slow-loading pages not only keep customers away, but search engines don’t like them much either.
  • Do your visitors get lost?  Here’s why good website navigation is so important: Aside from the human experience, usability influences your search engine rankings. Make sure your site’s navigation is intrinsically easy enough to let visitors know where they are, where they came from, what their options are and how to complete the sale or desired action. The easier it is to navigate your website, the higher your conversion rate. Simple as that.
  • Do you offer compelling content and a clear call to action?  Stale and boring content isn’t flattering. And it’s not effective. Make sure your pages are interesting, current, informative and error-free. Answer the visitor’s inherent question, “What’s in it for me?” as clearly as possible. Do some periodic refreshes. Update some photos. And most of all, make sure each page features a clear call to action.

Not sure where to start?

Hey, we get it—it can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help. Drop us a line and we’ll walk through these things together. Soon, that tuned-up site will be hummin’ right along for 2016.

Google: Delivering traditional web-based results is soooo 2014.

In early June, Google announced that iOS users who search with the Google app will be able to find content that exists on other iOS apps.

That means searching for a restaurant might return content from an app like OpenTable. Or if you’re looking for a recipe, the results could include something delicious from iphoneyour Pinterest app.

See what they’re doing here? That’s right: Delivering a better experience. It means a combination of high-quality results AND the front-end interface users enjoy. In other words, it’s not just about web browsers anymore.

If we’ve learned anything from Google, Bing and Yahoo in the past year or so, it’s that user experience is becoming the top factor in terms of search rank. So it’s not just about traditional WEB content, but ALL content.

In the coming months, Google says it will roll out new search features to help users find content from even more apps. Bing’s doing it too. In many ways, it’s simply an intelligent response to how we realistically use our smartphones.

But just like every other technology rollout, it’s nothing to fear. Sure, it’ll mean some new optimization techniques, but they’re all pointing to the same thing:  Better user experiences.

 

Yet Another Mobile Milestone

smartphone searchEvery day it seems, we cross another threshold in the online world. We saw this one coming, but now it’s officially here.

Google just announced that more searches now take place on mobile devices than on computers. And it’s not just in the U.S., but in 10 countries that include Japan and most of Europe. To add even more emphasis to the importance of mobile, Google did NOT include tablets as mobile devices, only smartphones.

For marketers, this means two things:

  1. Google’s recent mobile-friendly algorithm update may as well be a giant message in the sky that says “Mobile is now the primary screen!”
  2. Content matters more now than ever before. Why? Because even Google admits that paid advertising on mobile platforms isn’t as effective as desktop ads.

In other words, organic results—based on solid content, smart keywords, long-tail phrases, descriptive page titles, good H1 tags, and rich media like video—are still the name of the game.

Not a shock, right? If you combine small screens, smart on-the-go users and a savviness that mentally blocks brazen attempts at interruption, it’s easy to see users want meaningful content.

“Google is a company built on intent and immediacy. Our mission has always been to connect people with what they are looking for in the exact moment they are looking.”

That’s Google VP Jerry Dischler talking—not in 2010 or last year, but yesterday. Don’t overthink what he’s saying.

Always consider the customer first…and be available where, when, and how they’re looking for you!