Link Building

Why Link Building Is Vital for Marketing Local Businesses

Although it’s easy for the layperson to condense promoting a business down to inbound and outbound marketing, any actual marketer knows it is not that simple. There are numerous aspects that come in conjunction with advertising a business, and some of the most important sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Link building, for instance, may not seem as essential as it was formerly. Nevertheless, you should still be focusing on it.

There is a good deal of work which goes into marketing than many people realize. There are many methods of promoting a company, but some of these aspects have been overlooked with the rise of other marketing fads. Link building, for instance, seems to have lost the hype it used to get. That said, it is still as necessary as ever.

Improved Search Engine Optimization

Search engines really are a valuable technique to gain backlinks to your website. 90 percent of traffic originating from Google comes from the first page so it is vital that you appreciate this strategy. Link building gets quality backlinks that lead to your website so that it is an important facet of search engine optimization. When search engines see more quality backlinks coming over to your site, they acknowledge that you are managing a quality site. Ultimately, this helps you progress up the rankings and heightens your exposure.

Targeting the Right Traffic

Proper link building specializes in a target audience. For example, a salon may strive to establish backlinks from modeling and photography pages to draw in new clients. Getting this type of targeted traffic is precisely what increase your sales.

In It For The Long Haul

A newspaper or television ad will cease to reach people when you stop paying for it. Even so, once you have a backlink on a page it is there to stay unless the page owner personally goes in and gets rid of it. While newer links are beneficial your older links will continue to be active. What this means is Google will see the backlink each time it crawls the web. Although newer links enhance search engine optimization, even links on older pages help your SEO.

Most digital marketing strategies are targeted squarely on search engine optimization. You should always be focused on all facets, including link building, so you can keep the site relevant.

Search Engine Optimization

The most beneficial part of getting quality links from other sites is the internet search engine value. Over 90 percent of online traffic coming from Google is driven by the first page of results. What this means is getting on that first page is crucial, and the best way to do that is by optimization measures which include link building. As Google sees more quality links going to your web pages, it will recognize that you are running a quality site. This is how you move up in the rankings, and ultimately, it will definitely increase exposure.

Industry Targeted Traffic

The great thing about quality backlinks is they are generally targeted. A bait and tackle shop, to illustrate, may likely work towards having backlinks from professional fishermen or others inside their industry. This equates to targeted people being shown these links, and getting the right people come to your site is half the battle.

Serious Staying Power

When an agency pays for a spot on a local television program or in the local newspaper, the advertisement will only continue for as long as you have paid for it. With link building, however, you don’t have to replenish the link. Yes, more and newer backlinks are very important, but the first backlink to your site will more than likely remain there. Each time Google sends out its crawlers, it’ll notice this backlink. The simple fact is that this stamina will continue to pay off over time.

Most of today’s internet marketers are focused entirely on SEO. Instead of concentrating on one aspect, ensure you encompass link building and other great marketing elements to draw targeted traffic to your site.

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how optimized it is for local search.

Marketing Mistakes

Content Marketing Errors It Is Wise To Stay away from

Classic marketing methods are swiftly being outpaced by inbound and digital marketing. Of these new promotional approaches, content marketing is undoubtedly one of the most vital. In fact, inbound marketing techniques using customized content double a site’s conversion rate on average. Needless to say, this is only if you stay clear of these common errors.

Focusing Too Much on Yourself

It seems second nature for a organization to focus on itself when marketing to others, however, this should not be the main objective when it comes to content marketing. Consumers enjoy inventive content because it’s helpful. In fact, 90 percent of potential clients find custom content useful. Therefore marketers need to focus on providing value in lieu of saying “Look at us, we are great!” Instead of selling your customers, try showing your customers why the product or service will make their lives simplier and easier and they, in turn, will ask to buy it.

Leaving Out Calls to Action

Just because you are trying to give value more than a “Buy Me” vibe in content marketing, this doesn’t mean you need to neglect your sale entirely. When you have provided the information the client values, always add a call to action at the end that would interest them given the content they read. Make sure it flows perfectly, though. “Buy Now” does not flow well from informative content.

Focusing on Only One Format

The written word is a amazing thing, but it shouldn’t be the only tool employed in your content marketing plan. It is fine if your primary time is spent with blogs and articles, but do not overlook videos, slide presentations, podcasts, or any other form of content that your clients may be interested in. Regardless of anything else, at least utilize video, which is expected to dominate 64 percent of marketers’ strategies in the future.

Don’t let little goof ups ruin your entire marketing strategy. The good news is, the most common mistakes are often avoidable.

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how optimized it is for local search.

Cross Channel Promotions

Developing a Cross-Channel Promotion Strategy

Where does your audience spend time, and how can you best locate and serve them? This is where cross-channel promotion can definitely be of some help.

In case you aren’t familiar with the concept, cross-channel promotion is where you conceive an integrated plan to market to your audience regardless of which web platform they frequent. With content spread across on blogs, sites, videos, audios, image sites and more lately , it’s more valuable than ever to employ a strategy that meets them where they are.

Where is your audience found?

Having this information at your fingertips is essential to making this work. You need to understand where your audience hangs out, and why they are doing so. Another factor that matters is the platforms themselves. Some platforms convert far better than others, (such as Pinterest for example, especially for women) and realizing this at the outset allows to you to target more carefully.

Still other channels have wildly different demographics. Integrating an Instagram lead with your LinkedIn crowd would not make a much sense, given the age and focus of each audience.

Plan your content strategy accordingly

Once you know where you’re planning on posting, you need to carefully map out a step by step approach to distributing your content there. There are many forms of content that work well for this, including…

  • Search engine optimization
  • Search engine marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media
  • Videos
  • Events
  • Speaking engagements
  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • eBooks
  • White papers
  • Special reports
  • Presentations
  • Press releases
  • Webinars
  • Print

Make use of as many as make sense for your business as a way to widen the reach and overall exposure your content receives.

Simply execute the plan

This is the part where many falter, in the actual execution of the plan. This presupposes you have a plan, which is an absolute must in an endeavor like this. There are lots of moving parts that need to coordinate with each other, and good intentions don’t succeed when there is no cohesive, step-by-step plan for your team to go by.

Taking advantage of cross-channel promotion is an excellent way to send your content to an audience that may have never seen it, through the power of social media and sharing. Get your content working as hard as you do!

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how optimized it is for local search.

Marketing On A Budget

Check Out These 5 Ways to Market your Business on a Budget

Okay, we all can agree that not every business boasts a generous marketing budget, enabling you to take advantage of every opportunity on the planet. Even large companies have limitations, and working creatively within your means, however meager, is a key to online success.

We’re going to check out 5 effective ways you can market your business on a limited budget. We’ll detail them; all you need to do is do them!

5 Tips on how to Effectively Market your Business with a Small Budget

Be Social-Minded – Right now social media is where the people are, and you will be missing out if you do not take advantage of this. Social sites offer you the best opportunity to share your content to a vast audience, many of whom you are not yet connected to! Get active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and also Pinterest and Instagram if you have ANY visual aspects to your business. This is great for direct traffic, referrals, and customer service.

Build an Email List – If you have yet to start building an email list for your business, there’s no time to waste! Get a free email solution like Mailchimp until you have a least 2000 people on your lists, and by then you should be making enough to warrant upgrading to a paid account. Use these lists to communicate news and views about your business and industry, and build up your authority.

Create a Destination Blog – Creating a blog that grows in stature, has repeat visitors and is shared widely is a tremendous asset for a small business on a limited budget. You can really do anything you want from your blog platform; build lists, conducts surveys, hold contests, build authority, announce new products and sales. Make your blog the hub of activity around which your business operates.

Get Visual – These days we are a visual lot, and it’s an established fact that visual content engages and interests your audience many times more than simple text. Make use of videos, infographics, memes, images and other visuals with everything you do. You will get less bounces, more engagement and ultimately better results.

Dip your Toes into Paid Ads – Don’t be scared off of paid advertising simply because you have a small budget. There are many platforms that allow you to run ads to highly targeted people for mere pennies. Facebook and Twitter ads can be had for low prices, and your daily budget doesn’t have to exceed just a couple of dollars. Mobile ad platforms are even less expensive. Check this out today!

Write A Good Press Release

Check Out the Basics of a Good Press Release

Creating a great press release doesn’t need to be difficult. A good press release will help you attract more visitors to your product or service. Reaching the target audience becomes quite simple when you follow certain guidelines which are important for crafting great press releases.

Do things in the format expected and if your event is newsworthy and exciting, expect to see good results. Try to reinvent the wheel, and you’ll get a lot of nothing for your efforts.

Let’s look at several best practices when it comes to creating an effective press release.

How to Create a Winning Press Release

An Attention-Getting Headline – Your headline has to do a few very important tasks for you. First it has to be attention-grabbing, emotional, and encourage the reader to learn more.

Second, you should opt for shorter, preferably 60 characters in length, as this is how much of your headline Google will show in the search results when it gets indexed. Also, remember that you may want to fit your company name and possibly a keyword or two in there.

Short Body Copy – Shoot to make your press release a one-pager. The primary aim here is to have the reader to want and seek out more information by contacting you, not to present it all on this PR.

Intelligent Linking – You often have limited opportunities to link out, so use these wisely. Link to relevant pages on your site, and any other resources that are directly applicable.

Informational and Not Promotional – This one is hard to make yourself do on occasion. This is not a sales letter, but a tool to help get the word out about your event or product. The goal here is to inform and lead, not sell. In fact, your PR may get kicked back if it is deemed too promotional.

Insert Correct Contact Information – If you don’t include or display accurate contact information, you will have just wasted a good amount of money and time. Here’s your opportunity to have people who read this contact you, so make sure it is all current and accurate.

Follow these basic guidelines and you’ll find that not only will you be writing and submitting more press releases, but the traffic, links and search engine listings you’ll get are well worth the effort.

Website Conversion

Is Conversion Optimization A Part of your Plan?

Although you may hear the roar of marketers bemoaning a lack of traffic to their pages as the bane of their existence, it’s a fair bet that they haven’t used conversion optimization to achieve the most from what traffic they are getting.

Conversion optimization merely involves making sure every single element in the sales process, from the first contact to the Thank You page is crafted to ensure that you not only get the sale, but the most bang for your marketing buck.

Let’s take a look at several ways to optimize for conversions, and see if they don’t swell the bottom line a bit!

What to Consider When Doing Conversion Optimization

Use the proper keywords – Making sure you are using the proper keywords for the page the right way is essential for not only making sure you are found in search, but also social media and video. Optimize for one main keyword and a few select secondary keywords, so that it will best focus your search results.

Make sure you test – This is a must. Simply tossing up a page without testing the various elements of the page or offer is a sure recipe for leaving a lot of money on the table. Test every aspect of the sales process, from emails to pages, headline, copy and color: it’s all in play, and you’ll be amazed at the outcomes you get. Test only one thing at a time also, as it will confuse the results otherwise.

Make videos – The word is that by 2018 we will see some 75 percent of all traffic having something to do with video. People are hooked on watching, and this trend is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Not just that, but studies are also showing that consumers are more inclined to convert after viewing your video. Food for thought!

Be mobile ready – Since over half of all Web search is now emanating from a mobile device of some type, it’s imperative to make sure your pages and offers are mobile-friendly. This is easy to get done, and can pay large dividends. Also, make sure your hosting renders your mobile pages quickly, as mobile users are highly impatient.

Employ social proof – People need to know that one way or another they are making the right decision when purchasing a product. 85 percent of consumers will visit at least one social network for confirmation. Make sure you are using social proof, and that you respond to social inquiries promptly.

Google recently rolled out an update for its local search engine results: the previous “local 7-pack” was replaced by the “local 3-pack” (AKA the “snack pack”); which means only three results are displayed in the local listing results instead of seven.

Having your business show up in the 7-pack results was extremely valuable when it comes to putting your business in front of local consumers who are searching for your type of product or service.

However, now four spots are gone in that prime real estate section of the results page. So you have to work even harder to get your local listing to show up on the first page of the results, which means working your way into one of the limited top three spots.

What else has changed?

In addition to the results being trimmed down, several other changes were made that will definitely impact the search experience for users:

1. Specific addresses from the listings have also been removed from the results page – only the street name is visible. Users now have to click through to the full listing (or click on their website link) to get the exact address of the business.

2. Phone numbers have also been removed from the results page. However, on mobile devices, there is a “call” option, which is a bit of relief for mobile searchers.

3. Google+ links have been removed.

4. Labeled as “Google Reviews” before the update, now they are simply called “Reviews.” The number of reviews each business has still shows, which is good.

5. Listings now show each businesses’ hours of operation, based on when the search is performed. For instance, searchers will now see “Closes at,” or “Closes Soon”, or “Opens at,” etc.

6. Before, the local card for the business would pop up when we scroll over the listing. Now, you will have to click through to the second page to see the “Card.”

7. Once you click on a listing now, it opens to a new search view with a longer list of competitors, a version of the old local card, and a map of the business.

The Impact

Now that there are fewer available slots for local listings that show up in search results, you could experience a major decline in website traffic, phone calls, and new customers if you ranked in positions 4-7 before the switch.

However, those companies that show in the 3-pack are likely to receive even more attention; so this is your new goal – to get your company listed in one of those top three positions.

Click Here

Why Do People Click on Your Links?

Much of the time in our quest to connect with an audience, make sales, get opt-ins and more, we are depending on our visitors to make that connection via a web link. So it would stand to reason that one of our primary tasks in this quest is to make it our business to know how to get them to click!

It becomes our job to understand what makes them click. If you thought your job was over once you hyperlinked the words “Click Here”, you’re going to be disappointed! You have to do a little bit more work to earn that click. Everyone is pressed for time, and if you aren’t pushing the right buttons, so to speak, neither will they!

So to help make your pages a veritable clicking paradise, let’s examine 5 ways to optimize your links for clicks.

5 Tips for getting the clicks!

Say something with your link text – Link text is valuable in the sense that you have the chance to sell or persuade one more time. Instead of opting for a totally vanilla “Click Here”, try getting far more specific and benefit-oriented in your link text. You’ll be rewarded with more clicks!

Make each link on purpose – Don’t just insert links without having carefully strategized their purpose. Unless it is an informational content piece, don’t include links outside the scope of what you hope to gain from the page; such as a link to an offer, lead magnet or other objective.

Understand about the color of your links – There is a definite psychology pertaining to color, and you have to have this firmly in mind when designing links and buttons. For example, blue is a trust color, and orange encourages quick action. Get aquainted with these concepts!

Don’t get cute – Trying to hoodwink your audience by promising something in your link that’s not really true will get you a venomous response, and almost no results. Avoid using “clickbait” type of link text at all costs.

Use strategic placement – Understand that the placement of your links is extremely important. Almost always on a landing page you’ll want one link “above the fold” on the page, and include others every scroll or two. After all, the objective is to get the click, right!

Content Marketing

Have You Created your Content Marketing Calendar Yet?

Content marketing is without a doubt the buzzword lately, and more than that, it is an incredibly effective way to gain search rankings, brand your company, energize social media and much, much more. With the wide array of content publishing options at our fingertips today, one thing becomes abundantly clear: to be great at this you’re definitely going to need a content marketing calendar.

Precisely as a result of ease with which you can publish content in various forms all over the Web in the blink of an eye, having an organized plan of attack and strategy is more important than ever before. Let’s take a look at some of the hallmarks of an effective content marketing calendar, and how you can implement one.

Who should do this?

Even if you are a large company with several departments making use of the calendar, you’ll need to have a person dedicated to making sure the overall plan is advancing, and people are being held accountable. This presupposes that you’re using a single content marketing calendar. We believe this is best as even while there may be different people or teams working on different aspects of content creation, it is vital that there is a common vision and goals at play here. Having more than one calendar is asking for it, and really hampers efforts at promotion. Resist the calls for independence here.

This is to lessen the chances for assignments and deadlines falling too far behind, and jeopardizing marketing promotions that are inextricably intertwined.

What should you use for a content marketing calendar?

This can be a simple spreadsheet customized for the task. This is usually sufficient. There are many other forms of collaborative software if you have a large organization or want more automation.

Software like Basecamp, Teamwork and others provide useful platforms for running projects, and can help you keep track of complex campaigns easily. There is a cost and learning curve associated with this, however.

Generally a simple solution works best, and we would encourage this to get started, especially of you haven’t before attempted to task your content marketing. Upgrading to more sophisticated systems can always happen later on if need be.

Get Blog Traffic

How to Build Traffic to Your Blog

If you’ve started a blog for your small business you know the worst thing that can happen is that no one reads it. I mean, that sorta defeats the purpose, am I right?

Done correctly, a business blog will have a multi-faceted benefit to your business. It can not just bring you new customers, it can help shape and define your brand, establish authority, amplify search rankings, enable social sharing and much more.

Yet if this is taken up haphazardly, or worse yet, indifferently, you’re going to be preaching to the choir, and wondering why you started this dang blog in the first place.

One the best ways to start building a blog audience is through the use of paid ads. This doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, and it can bring about great results if you give it a little time. Here are 5 recommendations for buying that traffic.

5 Places to buy paid ads for your blog

Outbrain – You’ve seen these ads, usually following content on major websites. Outbrain’s Amplify is great for showcasing your best blog posts, and it carries the added benefit of placing your content on major sites with massive readership you might not have been able to otherwise. (Tip: Partner this with a retargeting ad on Facebook for killer results!)

Facebook Ads – If you haven’t begun using Facebook ads yet, you are definitely missing the boat. The most robust ad targeting available on the Web allows you to precisely target your ads, and get in front of precisely who you want to see to your pages!

Google Adwords – The granddaddy of paid ads is still kicking, and can be useful mainly for their vast reach in online advertising. Care should be taken here not to get taken to the cleaners, however.

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates – If you have content that appeals to professionals in any sense, this could be a goldmine for you. People on LinkedIn are more businesslike, and a bit more engaging, so if this one fits, don’t hold back!

Pinterest Promoted Pins – While still asking you to get on a waiting list, once you’re in you will find a lot of engaged people who love to interact. The demographic of Pinterest is primarily female, so if your product or service is visual and applies to women, go for it!