How to Make Your Website Work for You

As a business owner, you know that having a website is vital to your business. But why? What does it do?

The Website Challenge

Of course, you know that it is the equivalent of hanging your sign on your storefront, but in the digital world. The challenge is, rather than competing with 20 other businesses on your street, you are competing for consumers attention against hundreds of thousands of other businesses…around the world! (Of course, this all depends on your industry and target market as to who you are really competing with).

Your website connects you to the world - maximize it

Website Optimization (to Be Found on Search Engines)

Essentially, just because you build a website doesn’t mean people will find you. When building your website, you should optimize it to be found on search engines (so that the search engines can then share your site with people who are looking for your products/services). This is standard for a website development project, but make sure it is covered if you go for a budget option.

Optimizing your website includes:

  • – Planning the content that is on your website (that it matches what your ideal customers are searching for)
  • – Matching that content to title and page descriptions
  • – Having a mobile version of your website
  • – Purchasing an SSL certificate to have a secure https:// URL
  • – Optimizing the layout with schema to appear on Google search results
  • – Creating a website sitemap
  • – Submitting your website to search engines
  • – Connecting it to Google Analytics (more for tracking than optimization, but a best practice)

 

Ok whew! So, you’ve done all that, now what?

Well let’s backtrack a little. Those are the technical details that your web developer should be handling for you, but what about the front end of the website – your user experience? What does your website do for your customers? How does it lead your potential clients through your services to help them make a decision (yay or nay) for your services?

Planning Your Website (Purpose & Customer Experience)

The most important thing you can do for your website is plan out the user experience; how visitors will explore your website.

To do this, you need to understand your target market: what pains/challenges do they have, what are they looking for, why are they on your site, how can you help them?

You want to understand these so that you can address them as quickly as possible on your site. It is important to have a visually appealing website, but it’s even more important to have an effective website!

I talk about target markets and client personas a lot because they are so integral in creating an effective marketing message and strategy.

When you know your target market, you can use the language that speaks directly to them to address their needs. You are magnetically attracting them as they know you are the perfect solution to help them – this message is shared on your website as well.

When I first start discussing websites with my clients, the first thing I ask is, “what do you want your website to do?” “Are there any features you specifically want to see or to have it offer?” and more. I also help with this brainstorming process as this is my area of expertise and I can help direct clients to solutions that they didn’t know were available. From there, the design process includes these elements so that the website is built with a purpose behind it.

Making Your Website Work for You

The purpose of a website is that it attracts clients, educates them, and preps them to work with you before you even talk to them. That way you aren’t talking to a cold lead! You are talking to a potential customer who is excited and eager to work with you so that you don’t even have to sell them on your services/products.

This can include:

  • – Having a free guide/offer to help educate them on their challenge/problem
  • – Adding them to a drip campaign educating them on you and your business, including them on your monthly newsletter (which is entertaining, adds value or offers insight and updates), etc.
  • – Automating your scheduling process/lead sales process
  • – And more!

 

The possibilities are endless and are only limited by your needs and imagination. I had fun the other month developing a quiz to help a client screen out her ideal clients. I was strategizing the automation process for another client’s new website for setting up a hiring and client application process to increase closing rates / decrease no-show appointments.

If you’re wondering how your website could be doing more for you – let’s chat! Also, this guide on website must-haves is perfect for you to review!

25 Website Must-Haves - Free Download

The Perks of Video Marketing 2015

Did you know this year is the year of video marketing? If you’re active on social media, then this is no shock to you and probably isn’t a surprising insight. Videos are all the rage, and reports are finding that businesses are reaping the benefits of using video marketing. As mentioned from Hubspot’s blog post on Meerkat v.s. Periscope, “It’s obvious that live video streaming is here to stay, and marketers will need to get on board if they want to stay relevant.”

This infographic from HighQ gives great insight into the benefits of using videos in your marketing strategies and how marketers are currently using them. It reports, “In 2015 experts believe that video will take up 57% of consumer internet traffic.” 57 percent!

Video Marketing Statistic

As videos are being utilized more and more for marketing, here are some reasons to jump on the bandwagon and start making video content!

Mobile Reach & Videos

According to an article from Singlegrain’s marketing blog, “92% of mobile viewers share videos.” Videos have really taken off, and users are viewing them from their phones more frequently.

Think about it, if you’re visiting a website from your smart phone, would you rather read a page of text or watch a video to obtain the information you need? Videos are a great way to deliver (and receive) information quickly, and to get people to share content. This is why videos are also ideal for landing pages! Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and use videos to bring in more traffic.

Brand Awareness & Videos

Another benefit of using videos for marketing is establishing brand awareness. As we’ve mentioned, videos are engaging and shareable. They are the perfect avenue for informing people about your business and getting your name out there.

Videos are a great vehicle to convey your brand’s tone and voice. If there is one main person behind your business, videos allow you to show the face behind your business. The tone of your brand can be conveyed without necessarily using people. This is accomplished through the style of your video; is it comedic or serious? Is it more informative or entertaining?

When thinking about brand awareness, it’s also a good reminder that the content of your video is of utmost importance. You don’t want to start creating videos just because they are good for marketing and to follow a trend. Videos need to have substantial content that is valuable, informative, and true to your brand identity.

If you’re having trouble imagining what that looks like, get in touch with us today and we can create ideas for video marketing content for your business! We have created a variety of videos for our clients, including informative and testimonial videos.

SEO Benefits of Video Marketing

Using videos along with keywords strategies will allow your content to rank higher in search engines. If you have a WordPress website, you can use plugins such as Yoast to optimize your video content. Even if you’re simply uploading your video to YouTube, you still need to make sure that it is search engine friendly. This means creating a catchy title for your video, utilizing keywords and filling out the description. Doing keyword research beforehand is a great way to figure out what your audience is looking for. Just as with any other marketing content, you want your video content to address a need that people have.
One great keyword tool is Ubbersuggest, and it’s completely free! This tool generates longer keyword phrases that can help you tailor your keywords to your content.

Ubbersuggest SEO Tool

To use this tool, simply visit the website and enter your keyword or key phrase into the generator. Then select which type of content you are utilizing the keyword for from the drop down bar.

Ubbersuggest SEO Tool for Video SEO

Then click “suggest” and give you a comprehensive list of keyword suggestions in alphabetical order.

Ubbersuggest SEO tool- Video SEO

This can help you put a name to your content and get specific with your keywords. It’s easy to to be general in keyword use, but being more specific will ensure that your content appears for more organic searches.

Social Media Marketing

So not only can videos help your website or blog be found in search engines, but they are also ideal for social media engagement. As we’ve mentioned, videos are engaging in nature and therefore are more likely to go viral than other types of content.
As an example, our Facebook posts with videos of client testimonials performed better in terms of total people reached compared to other posts. This is likely due to the fact that this post received more likes, and therefore is more likely to appear in our client’s Facebook feeds.

Facebook Video Marketing

According to Facebook, they determine which stories to show in a feed based off the user’s activity and what type of post it is. It’s also important to tag people in a Facebook post if you mention them. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget and the benefits are huge when you do.

One of the way Facebook ranks your post is whether or not people are tagged. Basically, if people are tagged in your post then their audience is likely to see your post, as well. This ranking system is part of Facebook’s ranking algorithm, called Edgerank. (Check out Sprout Social’s blog post if you want to learn more about this algorithm). Facebook is becoming increasingly popular in terms of video marketing, so make sure to upload all your videos to your Facebook page.
Don’t miss the opportunity to engage users through video marketing and increase your business! Contact us today to hear more about the video marketing services that we offer.

SEO v.s. Inbound Marketing

Search engine optimization! Inbound marketing! These are some of the latest buzzwords that you will hear from marketers, other business owners and even spammers warning you of impending doom if you don’t hire their services! (Don’t get us started on some of the scare tactics that spammers use…) Search engine optimization and inbound marketing are utilized in a variety of strategies, which made us wonder; how are search engine optimization and inbound marketing related? Taking a deeper look at SEO and inbound marketing, we found that the two overlap in many ways and, most importantly, have the same end goal.

SEO is used by many businesses and companies to reach certain goals.

Here are some common reasons why SEO tactics are utilized:

  • Increase your ranking on search engines
  • Improve traffic to your website
  • Increase your website engagement
  • Establish a strong online digital presence for your business

Many of the goals of SEO are interdependent; having a higher ranking on search engines will consequently increase traffic to your site because it will be one of the first pages people see. Overall, SEO is focused improving your website’s search engine rankings so that you appear at the top of search result pages, leading to more traffic to your site and more clients for your business.

Inbound marketing strategies are employed to:

  • Gain new clientele through marketing materials
  • Increase traffic to your website and turn traffic into leads
  • Increase conversion rates
  • Set your brand up as an expert resource, creating valuable content that increases your brand identity while attracting new clients to you
  • Update and maintain your website with content that markets your business

Overall, inbound marketing is focused on creating high quality content which will cause people to seek you out as an expert resource on your chosen subject and will rank well in search engine results. By generating this interest in your business, you will be increasing your website traffic and your search engine results.

So while SEO and inbound marketing involve varying techniques, the end goal is the same – to increase the visibility of your business.

Through our experience, we’ve discovered is that inbound marketing and SEO overlap when it comes to content creation. When using inbound marketing strategies, you need content that is search engine-friendly and engages users. 

SEO and inbound marketing require content that:

Speaks to Your Audience

Creating content that is tailored for your audience is what makes inbound marketing effective. Knowing your audience also allows you to effectively optimize your content for search engines. For example, if you know what search terms your ideal market is using then you can build content based on those terms.

Is Authentic to Your Business

Any content that your business puts out should be true to who you are. This is important because marketers can get carried away with getting higher rankings, and use SEO tactics ingenuinely. Examples include putting keywords into blog posts and meta descriptions just to be found, even when it doesn’t apply to the content of that page. All content for your business should speak from your business and carry a coordinated tone; be mindful of the personality your business is developing through content. Content creation takes time, but it’s worth the investment.

Is Visible Online

If you’re spending time and possibly money on developing inbound marketing material, you want people to be able to easily find it online. This is how SEO really supports your inbound marketing strategies. Using on-page SEO techniques improves the chances of your website being found. Ensuring that your page has quality information, useful keywords and proper meta descriptions will bring people to that landing page when it is part of a larger campaign!

SEO and inbound marketing are linked in a way that is inseparable, as they both stress the importance of quality content for marketing your business. This is why content marketing is all the buzz now.

Businesses are currently shaping their marketing strategies with the user in mind, as they should. Several years ago, when SEO started to gain momentum, some businesses got carried away with taking into account Google’s algorithm changes rather than focusing on the larger picture – providing value to their client through their website. Now the pendulum is swinging the other way, as marketers are discovering it’s more effective to create content with the user in mind, not the computer. Remember that all the tools out there are helping you to be found by people who are searching for what they want to find online. Creating useful content is how you will be found, create leads, and gain business.

Creating content for your business can be daunting, but it’s worth the investment to create quality content for your website because it will truly improve your business. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you reach your target market! You can also leave us a comment on Facebook to tell us what marketing strategies you currently use.

What is SEO Content Writing?

Remember the days of going to the library? Maybe growing up you were fascinated with a certain topic and wanted to find books to learn more. Or recall your college days, all those awful research papers where you had to find authoritative sources. For a research paper you need a book with quality content – you can’t just use any source.

Just as we expect to locate quality books with valuable information from a library, these days we expect to find quality content online. When we go to a website, we want to be able to find the information we need. Websites are valuable when they work for us – when they provide the information, tools, or services we are seeking. And if you have a business or work for one, you want the website to be valuable to clients and potential clients. We all know having a digital presence is of the utmost importance for business today.
SEO (search engine optimization) content has been a buzzword for quite some time now. SEO content is media (text, videos, and images) that is created with the intent to gain traffic from search engines. Content that is optimized for search engines allows you to be found on sites such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. (This site has an updated list of the most popular search engines used today!)

writing_seo_content_tips

Do you need to know about SEO content and how to utilize it on your site? In short, yes.

Search engine optimization strategies (a.k.a. improving your website’s traffic and ranking online) are absolutely beneficial. Although SEO teams and marketers have been changing their strategies the past few years, there is a resounding “Yes, SEO is needed and crucial for business.”

If the SEO landscape is continually changing, what SEO strategies can you trust? Well, this is where “SEO content” comes in. Creating quality content for your website or blog proves to be an authentic and sustainable way to gain traffic to your site. (Check out our recent post on SEO strategies and how content benefits your business.)

Here are the first few steps to take when creating SEO content. If you feel overwhelmed by SEO, we’re here to break it down.

Create a platform

Blogging is a great way to continually update your online presence with fresh information (content). If you need a website or blog, we can set up hosting for your business. As a business, you need your own domain (even just for a blog) to build credibility with online users. Researchers at HubSpot found that blogging frequently for business (at least 11 times a month) greatly impacts inbound traffic! First pick your platform and then start writing!

Think about the user

Secondly, thinking about your audience is crucial when it comes to writing search engine optimized content. Google creates their search engine algorithms (changing the SEO landscape) in order to make the online experience beneficial for the user. So what we see in SEO strategies is that considering the user is becoming the focus. Search Engine Land sums it up as, Creating an engaging, resourceful, helpful website that allows users to complete the tasks they came for is the foundation of a strategy that attracts Google’s attention.”

What is your niche audience? Think of a problem that your target market faces and write about a solution to that issue. Delivering useful information is what will effectively develop your website’s traffic.

Be authentic

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – there are no shortcuts in SEO and using cheap and fast tactics (such as keyword stuffing) will not help your website get a higher ranking on search engines. However, developing genuine content for you website or blog that is effective. Stay true to your business by writing about the services or products you provide. Another important aspect here is to remember to not mimic competitors. Look to competitors for inspiration or even what to avoid, and then create original content.

Building a quality brand identity (for your business) which delivers useful content is how you will kick-butt at SEO. When you have great content on your site, it will convert visitors into leads. Don’t worry, we’ll continue to share tips for search engine optimization and how to improve your website! We get excited about these kind of things.

No matter where you are at with developing your digital presence, we will come alongside you in your journey. We can help you in everything from designing an entirely new website or livening up the blog you haven’t updated in months. Set up a time with us today to get together and discuss creating SEO content for your website!


What we do know for certain is that the constant in SEO is the experience — and that experience stems from the type of content a brand creates and how it delivers that content.” – Search Engine Land