Archive for Internet Marketing

What You Need to Know about Writing Enticing Headlines to Attract More Viewers [Infographic]

You write what you think is a great blog article and share it on the social networks. However, when you check your stats a few days later, you see that only a 3 people clicked through to read it. What happened? Or what didn’t happen? It was probably your headline. Writing catchy headlines social media users will want to click on to read more is a skill anyone can develop with some free tools and the tips in this infographic.

One tool I use for both blog post headlines and email subject lines is Co-Schedule’s Headline Analyzer. You want to get a 65 or higher. Anything in the green — above 70 — is ideal. Now, you can drive yourself crazy trying to get in the green. Don’t. You can’t start each and every blog post with “What You Need to Know…”. (I use it often, but not every single one.)

This infographic from Squirrly, lists the Anatomy of Creative Headlines

What You Need to Know about Writing Enticing Headlines to Drive More Traffic

If you don’t feel you have the creativity to write eye-catching headlines, we can help!

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How to Simplify Marketing that is More Complicated than Ever

How Often Should You Blog for Marketing Success?I just watched a webinar on “The Future of Marketing” (this link will take you to the slides). The first presenter, Mark Schaefer made me realize that the “marketing wheel” graphic I use to explain how today’s marketing works is obsolete. Ah, the challenges of keeping up with this stuff!

Before, you wrote a blog post, then shared it on the social networks. Ideally, your target market saw the post, was enticed to click on it, which led them back to your website. Well, that kinda-sorta still works, but it seems like the social media networks, predominantly Facebook, LinkedIn, and I’ll throw in Google+, want publishers to create content just for them. They want to be the content magnets. They want the attention. So your website isn’t the center of it all anymore — the social networks want to be your source of information.

How to Simplify Marketing that is More Complicated than Ever

Source: The Future of Marketing Webinar with Mark Schaefer

What’s up with the Social Media Networks?

The social media networks are in this to make money. They rely heavily on user analytics and data. Moreover, they make changes to their platforms based on that data.

Their objective is to…

  • get people on their platform
  • keep people on their platform
  • collect personal information (yeah, I know, Big Brother)
  • then take that data and use it for advertising

What you need to do in your marketing:

You can’t get around this. To quote the Borg, “Resistance is futile. You must comply.”

  1. Go where your customers are
  2. Focus on building awareness
  3. Give people a reason to go to your website

Because content and information are so readily available — between digital media and apps — people have what they need at their fingertips.

So what’s a small business marketer to do?

  1. Now more than ever you MUST start with narrowing your target market niches. Write up personas, give them names. Get to know them. How do they use social media? What devices do they prefer?
  2. Do some research. Once you’ve narrowed down the niches, you have to study their habits. Breaking them up in to basic age groups is the first key:
    1. Under 25
    2. 25-40
    3. Over 40
  3. What are their pain points/problems that you can solve? How can you make their lives better, easier, more fun, happier, etc.?
  4. Come up with the content that gives them what their looking for — blog posts, videos, podcasts, pictures. What you choose depends on the networks they frequent and what each age group prefers.
    1. Blog posts at least 300 words
    2. Videos that you upload directly to Facebook or Facebook live videos
    3. Short Instagram videos
    4. Short opinion, motivational, inspirational or advice pieces/text accompanied by a picture
    5. Original articles for LinkedIn — especially if you’re B2B
  5. Write this all down in strategic and tactical plans.
  6. Implement the plan
  7. Monitor and measure — check your analytics monthly to see what’s working and not working. Adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly.
  8. Plan for the next month – set new goals and benchmarks
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 every month.

By this point you’re probably thinking, “I can’t do this!” “There’s too much!” “I just want to quit!”

That’s why I created Your Social Savvy Solution SIMPLIFIED! Marketing made simple.

Your Social Savvy Solution Simplified! Marketing made easy!Yes, I added another “S”!

If you follow the steps, in that order, you will be able to reach your target market, draw them to your website and convert them into a sale. I outline everything for you. From optimizing your website and profiles for the search engines — both Google and the social networks — to strategizing for each network — to how to measure your efforts. Each step is covered in detail. Even how and where to do research.

Best of all, it’s affordable! Just $20 gets your started! You can watch the all the videos, download all the materials 24/7. Go at your own pace, in your own time. If you’re a morning person, get up early and watch a video or two. If you’re a night owl, watch them at 1am. Whatever works for you! The individual classes are around 15-35 minutes. Everything is in a logical progression. You can view the videos covering where you feel you need more help first then check out the others later on. You have full-access to all training materials.

What’s more, there are new, updated videos each month. As the networks add new features and change things around, I’ll record both presentations and demonstration videos explaining the changes, what they mean to you and what you need to do to adapt it to your business.

Face it. In this age of modern technology, you have to go at the speed of change or definitely get left behind. It’s your choice.

Join now, stop at any time.

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How Not to let Today’s Marketing Technology Drive You Crazy

Let’s face it, business owners, Marketing Technology (or MarTech to the techie folks) can get out of hand. What happened to the days when putting your shingle outside your store and an ad in the Yellow Pages (remember those?) was enough?

Take a look at the infographic depicting all the marketing technology choices out there in 2016:

You can click on it to view a larger image, but don’t go cross-eyed trying to make sense out of it.

How not to let today's marketing technology drive you crazyThis goes to show you the ridiculous amount of marketing technology choices out there.

You can’t be on all the networks all the time!
It’s impossible!

Here are 10 Logical Steps You Need to Follow to keep Yourself Sane in this crazy MarTech world.

  1. How not to let today's marketing technology drive you crazyClearly Define Your Target Marketing Niches – You can have more than one target market! But you MUST identify them. Start with this FREE Workbook.
  2. Do some research on your target, which social networks they use most often and figure out the best way to reach them. Create personas for each niche.
  3. Get to know your target audience. What do they like or don’t like? What are they looking for? How can your product or service make their lives better, easier, more fun, etc.
  4. Get to know the networks. Each one has its own culture. What works on Twitter doesn’t work on LinkedIn. Do you even have to be on Snapchat?
  5. Make a plan. Brainstorm with your team or a mentor. Work out some strategies on how to engage your target audience on the social networks. You don’t have to be on all the networks! Focus on the ones that your target market frequents the most.
  6. Make a content calendar. What are you going to blog about? What does your target audience need to know that will make their lives better…. etc.? (What’s in it for them?)
  7. Optimize EVERYTHING. Each and every description, about section, bio, web page and blog post must be optimized not just for Google, but for the powerful internal search engines that each network has.
  8. The first step towards getting somewhereTake time to learn. You can never waste your time learning how to do something better and more efficiently.
  9. Use it or lose it. Apply what you learn right away so you don’t forget it. Don’t be afraid to wander around Facebook or LinkedIn even Twitter and Google+. You’ll get faster and savvier, the more you participate and engage.
  10. Have confidence. As you learn how to properly and effectively use the social media networks to engage with your target; as you get more comfortable creating the content that your target audience wants to see, you will feel more confident with your marketing efforts and you’ll also start seeing results.

Learning

That’s why I created Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only. It’s where you can go and get all the knowledge that you need, in a logical progression, to become the confident, savvy marketer so you can….

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Generate more leads
  • Grow a following
  • Become an influencer
  • Increase sales
  • Get on the first page of Google
  • Be more effective

What are you waiting for? Special Introductory Price…. Learn More….

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12 Pinterest Mistakes You Need to Correct in 2017 for Exposure

You can’t afford to be making Pinterest mistakes! It’s where 150 million people go to plan, find things they need, and bookmark pictures and videos they want to save for later.

Unfortunately, many small business owners are making these and many more Pinterest Mistakes….

  1. AZ Social Media Wiz Organize Your Office Board on PinterestSkipping Pinterest because you’re a B2B business. Pinterest is very powerful SEO helper as pictures and videos pinned from your website take the link with it. For B2B companies, Pinterest should be a secondary or even tertiary network. For instance, I’m a B2B business and I know most of my potential customers are small business owners who work from home. I have a “Organize Your Office” board on Pinterest.
  2. Not realizing that Pinterest is more than just babies & cupcakes. Yes, if you want consumers and soccer moms, you need to be on Pinterest. However, Pinterest is where people plan how they are going to spend their money.
  3. Using a personal account for business. Keep business and personal separate. Go to http://business.pinterest.com to create a business account or convert a personal one into a business one. Delete any personal pins and boards.

    Free Phone Consult & Social Media Audit

  4. Not taking advantage of the 500-character description areas on boards and pins. Besides, here’s where you can add links and hashtags with relevant keywords. Helps you get found!
  5. Having empty boards. If you have an idea for a board, but don’t have pins for it yet, keep it “secret” until you fill it.
  6. Using shortlinks. Shortlinks like bit.ly or ow.ly are great for Twitter, but not needed on Pinterest. In this case, the longer URL helps with SEO and gives credibility.Pinterest analytics - check them monthly
  7. Not adding categories to your boards. This helps you come up in searches. Make sure it’s relevant. If you create a board on the fly, go in later and add the description.
  8. Not verifying your website. This will connect your website with Pinterest and they will track pin action from you site. However, if you’re a franchise or MLM, you may not be able to because you need your own domain. Being in a sub-domain or sub-directory won’t work. In that case, you can’t get the analytics from your website.
  9. Not checking analytics monthly. Pinterest tells you which pins got the most engagement, as well as, what else interests your followers. Moreover, this is valuable information as it helps you plan what you’re going to share in the future.

    What You Need to Know About Social Media and Website Analytics

  10. Not pinning pictures from your blog posts after you’ve published them. This helps with SEO. Furthermore, it helps drive traffic to your site. When someone clicks twice on a pin, it goes to the originating website.
  11. Pinning just your stuff. Have other boards of related pins that your target may be interested in. Remember, it’s not about you it’s about them – your potential customers!
  12. Not adding original content. Sure, repinning other people’s pins is good (and easy), but you should post fresh videos and pictures regularly. Delete stuff that’s outdated and move boards around seasonally.

If you’re making any of these mistakes, how many more are you making? Find out with this free ebook…..

Are You Making These Social Media Mistakes?

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How to Boost Exposure with New & Improved Search on Pinterest

I wrote on the power of the social networks’ internal search engines, and now Pinterest improved how “related pins” come up in search results. Whether you’re B2C or B2B, this will help you!

For example, you’re searching Pinterest for a particular type of wine. You’d like to find drink recipes or food pairings. With their old system, called “Board co-occurrence”, you’d get other types of wine. However, with their new system, called “Pin2Vec”, you’d get drink recipes.

New Relevant Related Pins on Pinterest

Picture from Social Media Today

How Pinterest Explains it…

“One of the most popular ways people find ideas on Pinterest is through Related Pins, an item-to-item recommendations system that uses collaborative filtering. Previously, candidates were generated using board co-occurrence, signals from all the boards a Pin is saved to. Now, for the first time, we’re applying deep learning to make Related Pins even more relevant.”

We know that Pinterest helps with SEO because when someone pins a picture or video from your website, it takes the link with it. When someone clicks twice on your pin, it goes to the originating website. You want your pins to be relevant and come up as those “related pins” when someone searches for something similar to your business. Furthermore, if you want to increase your chance of coming up in those “related pins”,  it’s rather simple…

First, make sure your Pinterest account is setup properly:

  1. Be certain you’ve set up a business Pinterest account at: Business.Pinterest.com. If you’ve set up a personal account by mistake, you can convert it to a business account, but please, remove any personal pins. Keep business and personal separate.
  2. Create boards with relevant topics that you’re going to be pinning to. You can create a board on the fly as you’re pinning, but you’ll need to add the description later.
  3. Make sure your boards are index in the right categories and have keyword-centric descriptions. You can edit them at any time. You have 500 characters – use them!adding the pin-it button to your browser makes it easy to pin from your site.
  4. Add the Pin It button to your web browser.
  5. If you have a WordPress site, install the Pinterest plugin so the Pinterest “save” button appears when someone hovers over a picture or video. You want to make it easy for people to pin from your site to their boards.

Here’s what you need to do to take advantage of this important, free feature on Pinterest:

  1. Add at least 2 graphics to each blog post and page on your website. Not just the “featured image”. The more “pinnable” pictures and videos you have on your site, but more likely you’ll get “pinned”.
  2. Optimize each picture with the blog post title as well as relevant keywords in the description and “alt text” fields as you upload the image into your page or post.
  3. After you publish your blog post or page, view it and use the “pin it” button to pin the pictures to your Pinterest account. Add more relevant keywords to the description of the pin. You have 500 characters – use them. You can edit them at any time.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!
Change is the law of life... JFK motivational quote

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25 Powerful Words to Generate Quality Leads [Infographic]

Marketing is about getting results. Usually that includes generating quality leads. Moreover, the challenge lies in not just attracting potential customers to your website, but converting them from a visitor into lead and furthermore, converting that lead into a sale. That’s the bottom line, right?

You want to put these CTAs in several places in your website and blog. You website should walk a visitor directly to where you want them to go and what you want them to do. Make it easy for people to do what you want otherwise, they’re not going to it.

I came across this infographic by Barry Feldman on Social Media Today with a whole list of powerful calls-to-action (CTAs) that you can easily adapt to your business and use them to convert visitors into quality leads.

25 Powerful Words to Generate Quality Leads [Infographic]Get Creative! Spin these around to be relevant for your business.

What’s more, use them on your social media posts. Mix the CTA posts with your content posts. Make sure that the links go to landing pages. The landing pages should not have anything else on it but the offer. No sidebar, widgets, or links to other parts of your website. Nothing to distract people from doing what you want them to do — give you their email address.

Also, use these in your marketing emails. Add relevant graphics. Use a free tool like Canva.com to create ads like this one….Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

To make sure you get quality leads, you need to clearly define your target market, understand them and their buying habits. By the same token, your blog articles need to speak to them in language they understand. Your headlines should entice a potential customer to click on the link that you shared on your social media networks.


Related Content: It Takes Time to See Results from Content Marketing


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Your 2017 Success Blueprint – 10 Content Marketing Truths You Need to Know

To have good SEO, you need to have good content. Content Marketing is a crucial a part of your marketing plan as are SEO and Social Media.

Here’s what you need to know and do regarding Content Marketing in 2017:

1. Video – Hotter than Ever!Video marketing is still hot!

Good content doesn’t only need to be written. In 2016 we saw Facebook Live Streaming Video take off and Facebook also admitted that Native Videos (videos uploaded directly into Facebook) get more exposure than plain posts.

To give videos an extra lift, embed them into your blog posts. The text of your blog post can be your video’s transcript, like I do with my Q&A posts.

“I think video is a megatrend, almost as big as mobile.” ~Mark Zuckerburg

What You Need to Do: Figure out how you can incorporate video into your marketing mix.

  • You don’t have do one every day. Once a month or even a couple of times a month.
  • Use your smartphone to create short how-to videos
  • Get on Facebook and do a live video from anywhere — as long as you have wifi!
  • Do a voice-over recordings of PowerPoint presentations
  • Determine which format works for you — in ease of creation and amount of views they get
  • Try Twitter live videos
  • Coming soon – Instagram live videos
  • Video Converts

In fact, when video is prominently featured on a landing page, conversion rates can go up by a whopping 80%. ~ Convince and Convert

2. Unique, High-Quality Content will be Key

Focus on quality over quantityAbsolutely – Quality over Quantity! Don’t forgo quality in order to get more content out there.

  • No fuzzy graphics — there is no excuse! You can create high-quality pictures with free online, easy-to-use graphics programs like Canva. Download free, license free, online pictures and graphics from sites that I list in this blog post. And don’t steal!
  • Proofread before you publish or post — read your blog post aloud to yourself. Even your social media posts!
  • Preview your blog posts before publishing — Do the graphics look good? Does the eye of reader make a natural progression down the page to your Call-to-Action?

What about unique?

“Most Americans are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertising messages a day!” ~ Convince and Convert

What makes what you have to say or show unique? What makes you different? How is your content different from what your competition shares?

What You Need to Do: Plan out what content you’re going to create.

3. Reshare Your Content on Social Media

Resharing content can increase engagement by over 600%!

Social Media Terms Glossary & Online Marketnig Lingo Guide Free ebookSo you publish your blog post at 9 am and share it on all your social media networks at the time. Someone that logs on at 3 pm or in the evening probably won’t see it unless they have you in a Twitter list or Google+ circle; or have your posts showing first (a Facebook feature). You can manually schedule it to republish on your social networks using tools like HootSuite (ad link), Buffer or TweetDeck.

Another way to give your content extra exposure and traction is to publish it on LinkedIn’s Pulse. At the end of the post, add the line, “This post originally appeared on______” with a link to the original article on your blog. Your site still maintains the authority because there is where the post originated. Yet, on LinkedIn, you validate your expertise by showcasing what you know and how you can help people.

There’s a plugin I use called Revive Old Posts. For free, you can reshare to Twitter. With the upgraded version ($75/yr.), you can also reshare to LinkedIn and Facebook.  I think it’s worth it just to save the time of manually scheduling. You pick the time frame and you can exclude posts that are not “evergreen” or are time-sensitive.

Think of it this way, your perfect potential customer could have missed it the first time it went out!

What You Need to Do: Don’t be afraid to reshare your content.

4. Blogging – a CORE part of your Content Strategy

Blogs are rated 1 out of 5 the most trusted sources of information online.

People ignore the paid ads in Google search and go for the organic content because they know that that’s where they’re going to find the authentic answers to their questions or problems.

What You Need to Do: Read some of my articles on blogging:

Blogger and copywriter service5. Build Relationships through Your Content

“Content builds Relationships, Relationships are built on Trust. Trust delivers Revenue.” ~ Andrew Davis

Good content marketing builds relationshipsAnd this applies not to just blogs, but what you post on social media and the videos and podcasts you produce. The more you post about what you know, the more you solidify and build credibility and trust.

Even if you use direct mail, people are going to check you out online, before they hire you or buy your products. People will…

  • Google your company or brand name
  • Look at reviews not just on Google, but on Facebook and Yelp
  • Compare prices and check out your competition
  • Read more information until they are satisfied that they can trust you

People buy from whom they know and trust.

What You Need to Do: Produce good, quality content, build your following and build your email list.

6. Visual Content

Change is tough, but the alternative is obsolesenceYes, videos, but also pictures, animated gifs and infographics work. Even if you don’t sell a product, you can share inspirational and motivational quotes as well as original graphics.

B2B or B2C, you can use these two social networks to share eye-catching visuals….

Instagram:

Here are some recent Instagram stats:

  • 68% of Instagram users engage with brands regularly
  • Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook
  • 50% of users follow a business
  • 60% of Instagrammers say that they learn about a product or service on the platform
  • 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post, like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend

Pinterest: “The World’s Catalog of Ideas.”

Here are some recent Pinterest stats:

  • 150 Million monthly active users
  • 67% of pinners are under 40-years old
  • Male users have grown by 150% in the past year
  • 87% of pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest
  • 72% of pinners use Pinterest to decide what to buy offline

What You Need to Do: Go visual – figure out what will work for your business.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!7. Be Impactful

Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookFor content to be Effective, it must have IMPACT. In order to be impactful, your content must be MEMORABLE. To be memorable, requires that you truly Understand Your Audience (target market).

Yes, we’re back to that again. What does it mean to Understand Your Target Market?

Knowing the answers to these questions as it applies to your perfect customer…

  • What makes them happy?
  • Who do they trust for information?
  • Where are they hanging out online? In other words, which networks do they prefer?
  • What angers them?
  • What are their pain points and problems that you can solve?
  • Who influences them?
  • What are their wants, desires and dreams?
  • How is your content going to impact their lives? To Sell or Not to Sell: What is the Right Ratio on Social Media

Is your content going to try to sell them something right away even if they’re not ready to buy? Or is it going to provide useful information that they can use right away hence building trust?

People Buy from whom the Know and Trust

You need to map where the customer is in their buying journey.

  • Do they need more information?
  • Have they developed trust towards your company?
  • Can they make a decision to buy right away, or do they have more questions?

What You Need to Do: Download my free Define Your Target Market Workbook

  1. Answer all the questions as it pertains to your business whether B2B or B2C. You can have more than one target market.
  2. Create buyer personas for your defined targets.
  3. Research your target and your industry so you can understand their buying habits as well as their online media usage.

8. Create Memorable and Evergreen Content

Content that's memorable builds trustIf your business is anything like mine, you need to educate your target market in why they need your product or service; why what you have to offer is better, different, more effective, etc.

Your content can, of course, be in the form of a blog or static pages on your website, but they can also be….

  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Social Media Posts

The objective is to build trust and credibility. You need to us Truth as a Service.

Evergreen content is anything that’s not time-sensitive, seasonal, or talking about an event or specific day. It stands the test of time. You can share it over and over again and it still is applicable. Its information is useful and solves problems that people keep having.

Give them best practices to tackle their problems. Think emotion and functionality. The folks at Copyblogger define it this way….

These special resources are in-depth examinations of a problem, solution, trend, or topic. They can help your audience find tons of information on a subject that interests them, which adds value to your blog.

Evergreen content is timeless.

What You Need to Do: Plan out your content marketing strategy.

9. Provide the AnswersYour content markeing should provide answers to the questions your target is asking.

It’s up to you to provide the answers to the questions Your Target Market Personas are asking. Are you getting it yet? You can’t answer the questions if you don’t know what they are!

I like Q&A sites like Mosaic Hub and Quora. I’m signed up to get an email every time someone asks a question in my fields of expertise. The idea is to try and be the first one to answer the question — providing the best answer. If you see that someone beat you to it and their answer is the same as yours, I give them a thumbs up and don’t bother writing the same thing. HOWEVER, this just gave you material for a blog post or a video. If people are asking it on those Q&A sites, they’re asking it also on Google and YouTube.  [Related: SEO in 2017] YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to its parent, Google. The most searched-for phrase on YouTube is “How to”.

What You Need to Do: Get on those Q&A sites and search for the questions pertaining to your field of expertise.

10. Make sure EVERYTHING is Optimized for Mobile!

Google Mobilegeddon 2017 is coming!I cover mobile as it relates to SEO in the previous article of this 2017 planning series.

Here are some tips to make sure you’re content can be seen on mobile devices:

  • Large enough type. No smaller that 14 pt, 16 pt is considered the best size.
  • Pictures not too large and they should be responsive – that is, they move over when viewed on a small screen so you can see the text.
  • External links (links to sites outside yours) should open to a new tab in the browsers.
  • Your mobile website should have the same content as your desktop site. What that means is that it contains all your static pages and your blog posts.
  • Make sure there are NO POPUPS in your mobile site. Starting Jan. 10, 2017, Google will block sites with popups in mobile!

What You Need to Do: Visit your site on a mobile device. If it’s not optimized, do something about it.

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Your 2017 Success Blueprint – 10 SEO Truths You Need to Apply Now!

I truly hope you’re taking this downtime to Plan and Prepare for 2017. In order to provide you with some guidance (and save you time), I’ve sifted through dozens of “2017 predictions”, “2017 trends”, “2017 must do” blog posts and articles for you. I’m dividing them into 4 posts: SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing and Marketing Strategy.

Most of these experts are no longer using the word “trends”. What’s trending implies that it’s hot for a short time and then it goes away. (That’s what they said about Facebook and you can’t say a site that gets close to 2 BILLION active monthly users is a “trend”.) These are MANDATORY if you want to be found online. Ignore these at your peril. 

Look for “What You Need to Do” under each “truth” to help you plan and prepare for 2017.

Let’s start with SEO:

1. Google will keep changing their algorithm

“Google is trying to make its algorithm a mirror image of the heart, mind, soul and needs of the customer.” ~ Seth Besmertnik in Search Engine Journal.

It’s Customer-First marketing NOT keyword-first marketing. It’s all about the Customer Experience (or CX). Which brings me back to YOU MUST clearly identify and understand your Target Market. (Download the Free Workbook). Users want to solve problems. Once you’ve identified your perfect customers’ pain points, then you can give them the content that will help alleviate them. Yes, you still have to do keyword research, but more important is target market research.

What You Need to Do: Use this free workbook to create buyer personas – for both B2C and B2B businesses. Free Download: Define Your Target Market Workbook

2. Mobile-First

Mobile will dominate desktop when it comes to searches. Google has over 80% of all mobile searches. The first Mobilegeddon happened in April, 2014. Now, the next one will be January 10, 2017. ANY website with a popup ad on their mobile version of their website, WILL BE BLOCKED! I wrote about it in this post. 

Because of Google’s “mobile-first” stance, mobile sites have to have the SAME CONTENT as the desktop site. In other words, if you have a mini-version of your site that comes up when someone is on a tablet or smartphone, with minimal content, it will lose “authority” in mobile search results. Not good.

What You Need to Do: Visit your website on a mobile device.

Is there a popup? Do you have the same content that’s on the main desktop site? If not, contact your webmaster and make sure that…

  1. Popups are removed
  2. Your contact information is easily found
  3. It’s not just mobile-friendly or mobile-responsive, but it’s your full site content that comes up

3. Local Personalized Content – “near me”

If you’re a LOCAL BRICK-AND-MORTAR business, this is important. (If you are a local consultant without an office where you want clients to go to, then skip down to #4.) People will search for things like, “gluten free bakery near me”. If your business is not in GOOGLE MY BUSINESS with your actual brick-and-mortar location, you won’t come up. However, that doesn’t mean you have to add the words “near me” in your content. No. Google bases the search results on the user’s GPS and your listing in Google My Business.

What you need to do: Go to Google My Business and make sure your listing is accurate.

4. Voice Search – “OK, Google”

This is something to consider when doing the copy (static content) on your website. People don’t talk like they write. Whether they’re using their smartphone, Amazon’s Alexa, Siri, Google Home or other voice command system, they’ll ask a question. It’s up to you to have the answer to the questions your target market is asking!

What You Need to Do: A website audit.

  1. Go through your site and read the content in your main pages. Is it compelling enough to attract a visitor and KEEP THEIR ATTENTION? Does it answer their questions?
  2. Look at your meta tag descriptions – Is the question you are answering there?
  3. Go through your blog posts – are they all optimized? Do they have have the relevant keyword tags? Are they indexed in the right category? (And that’s not “uncategorized”.) Are the titles worded in the form of a question?

The best way to figure out what your target market is asking is to get to know them.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & RankBrain

Yep. Now machines are trying to do your thinking for you. Well, think about it. Sometimes when you’re looking for something, you’re not sure what to ask. You may enter several search terms in the box before you get the answer you want. Google’s new AI, RankBrain, will come up with “people also ask” with other similar questions that you may be asking yourself. All in attempts to provide you with the best answer to your question. It’s machine learning as it applies to search. The AI has the ability to learn and categorize information to accurately match a searcher’s query.

RankBrain, an artificial intelligence algorithm, modifies the weighting of other algorithms over time to place more importance on some than others.  It also plucks out the important keywords from questions or longer searches to be able to ‘understand’ questions and answer them as accurately as possible. ~ SEMRush

Search results on Google

In searching for “business plan”, below the paid ads, was the definition as well as related questions. The top box is called a featured “snippet”.

 

Now you must be asking, “How do I get my answers as the ‘featured snippet’. Here’s Google’s answer to that question:

When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question, and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.

What You Need to Do: Identify the user’s intent.

What does the searcher expect to find when querying your keywords? Answers to their questions and problems. What are they asking? Use Q&A sites like Mosaic Hub and Quora to see what people are asking in your field of expertise.

6. Attract the RIGHT traffic, not just ANY traffic

Increase the right website trafficWhat good is a visitor if they’re NOT your target market? You should have Google Analytics installed on your website. Check it every month. This will give you the “bounce rate“. That’s a measurement of how long a visitor stays on your site. The right visitor will read the blog post then look for related content based on categories, recent posts and keyword tags. If someone lands on one of your web pages and sees that it’s not what they’re looking for, they’ll leave right away. The more times that happens, the higher your bounce rate will be. You want your bounce rate around 50%.

Plus, you want conversions. You want that perfect potential customer to land on your page, see what they need and grab it. You need the right calls-to-action in the right places to capture the right traffic and convert the right visitor in to a nice, warm lead. In your strategic plan, you want to think “Conversion Rate Optimization”.

A way to avoid a high bounce rate is to write for your target market with the search engine in mind. That’s in both your site’s main pages and your blog posts.

What You Need to Do: Really Understand Your Target Market

7. You can start RANKING in a few weeks

This used to take months! If you’re not on page 1 of Google search, do this:

  1. Publish relevant content — answering the questions that your target market is asking — in 3 blog posts a week
  2. Make sure you’re incorporate all of the tips listed on this page!
  3. Become active in social media,

And you can start ranking in weeks not months!

What You Need to Do: Blog 3 times a week and engage in social media.

8. Create Long-Form Content

I know many of you aren’t going to like this one. I know you struggle with coming up with 1, 300-500-word article a week never mind longer ones and more often!

What is long-form content? Well, this article is – sort of. At this point I’m at just over 1200 words*. The experts are recommending 2,000 to 4,000-word articles!

However, not just wordy articles. Offer information of INCREDIBLE VALUE. To whom? To your target market, of course! Yes, we’re back to that.

Remember, Google loves fresh content. Lots of it. Longer articles will stand out.

What You Need to Do: Write, write and write some more.

Blogger and copywriter service9. Rank for Authority in Your Field

Be known for authority in your field. All this writing will have an impact. You will rank for authority in your field. This is more than having your really nice LinkedIn profile coming up first when someone Googles your name. I love it when I ask someone, “How did you find me?” And they respond, “I Googled _________ and you came up.”

What You Need to Do: Show off your expertise and knowledge.

10. Don’t just Rely on SEO

In 2017, solely expecting SEO or search engine traffic to be the only marketing you do is recipe for failure. You can have the most optimized website, but if you’re not creating the fresh, relevant content that Google wants, AND you’re not participating in Social Media, you’re not going to get the results you need. Nothing is going to happen.

What You Need to Do: Diversify your marketing efforts by adding content marketing and social media.

11. Bonus! What still holds True

Besides the above 10 “truths”, the following aspects still apply for improved SEO:

  • Using images and video
  • Site speed – it has to load fast
  • No Flash
  • User-friendly link structure – easy to navigate
  • Links to your social media profiles
  • Sharing your pages and posts in your social media.

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Make yourself bigger to overcome challenges. Learn how to do SEO right.

Do you have any questions? Please comment below and I may use it in a Q&A video or future blog post.

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Q&A Video Realtor: How Do I Increase My Sales?

A Realtor asked, “How can I increase my sales satisfactorily?” He then elaborated: “I have been dealing in the Real Estate business for 20 years. Three years ago I launched my Website, but I did not notice a big difference since then. How can I improve my sales?” Without knowing where he’s located or looking at his site, I’m assuming that all he has is a glorified online brochure – aka a stagnant website. That, by itself, is like having a billboard in the middle of the ocean. Sure a passing ship MAY see it, but it’ll be few and far between.

In this installment of Q&A with the Wiz, I answer his question. It’s a good lesson on how to do it right in today’s marketing world.

Here’s Q&A Realtor: How Do I Increase My Sales?

The Real Estate industry is highly competitive and very saturated. That is there are too many Realtors out there for the number of potential customers.

What makes him or her different from the other Realtors in their office or down the street? How do you stand out? What’s your passion?

People buy from whom they know and trust. Building trust and credibility online is more than just saying “I’ve been in the Real Estate business for 20 years.”

Today’s Inbound Marketing is like a 3-legged stool. You must have a website properly optimized for the search engine, along with fresh content in the form of a blog (at least weekly) and then you have to share your blog posts in the social media networks as well as actively participating and engaging with followers. You can’t have one without the other 2 and expect results.

The content, when shared on social media, will drive people to the website. It’s up to the website, with a clear call to action, to capture that lead. You’re converting a visitor into a lead – a warm lead! You need to give them something. Maybe a guide to living in your city. A free downloadable ebook that the visitor to your site, if interested, will give you their email address in return.

Once you have their email address, they’re put into a drip marketing automation system. They first get a thank you for downloading with a link to the ebook. Then in a day or two, you might send them an email asking them when they’re planning on moving and offer a free phone consultation. If they don’t respond in a few days, you may then send them a video of you in front of one of your listings. And so on….. Even having a monthly newsletter with excerpts from your blog as well as your current listings will keep you “top of mind”. And if they’re still interested, they may take action.Book your free 30-minute phone consult

When I ask a Realtor, “Who’s your target market?” They almost always say, “Anyone who wants to buy or sell a house.” Then I “Say narrow that down.” Then they’ll say, “Hispanics” or “Snowbirds” or some other category. Narrow it down a little more. “Retirees living in Canada and the Northwest U.S. who want to move to Phoenix.” OK, now we have a target!

You have to write a blog post at least once a week. 2-3 times a week is optimal. Start with every frequently asked question you can think of that you’ve been asked in your career as a Realtor! Write about the neighborhoods, the arts and cultural events, things to do, etc. Show off your knowledge of the area. The idea is that you’re building that trust and credibility and you’re sharing information that your target market wants.

Use social media to not just connect with pFree Download: Define Your Target Market Workbookotential clients, but also referral sources. It’s not who you know it’s who your friends know. You’ll want to be on LinkedIn for professional connections, Facebook and Pinterest to reach the consumers, Google+ and Twitter for exposure.

It will take a lot of time and effort, but if you diligently blog 2-3 times a week and spend a few minutes a day on social media (once you have a social media following built), you should start seeing results in 2-3 months. Figure it’s going to take about 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following on the social networks, if you’re starting from scratch — beside blogging 3 times a week. And if you’ve never blogged, the more content you put out there, the faster Google will take notice.

Increasing sales, though it’s the bottom line of what you want, is the end goal. Set a monetary goal for the year. Break it down in to monthly goals starting modestly in the beginning then increasing as you get better at marketing.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

 

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3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces Results

What does an “effective website” or “results” mean to you?

  • Would you like more visitors to your site? That’s nice, but are they buying or converting — doing what you want them to do?
  • Increased conversions? That’s when a visitor to your site either buys something or downloads a freebie to be added to your email list.
  • More sales?

That’s it! The bottom line – more sales!

The bottom line is sales! Unfortunately, many small business owners only have a really nice online brochure that doesn’t come anywhere near being an effective website.

And, guess what? It’s not your fault. It’s another case of not knowing what you don’t know.

Usually when a small business owner hires someone to build a website for them, they want the best price around for what they think they need. You hired someone who told you that sure, they can build a WordPress website for you. Well, anyone can. That’s the beauty of WordPress. It’s fairly easy to construct a site, however, like when constructing a house you need 3 critical things:

  1. The foundation and walls – bricks, wood, paint, etc., aka the DESIGN.
  2. Functioning parts — plumbing, electrical, etc., aka the DEVELOPMENT.
  3. All the insides — furniture, appliances, decorations, etc., aka the COPY.

Each of these components, like in building a house, requires specific talents and skills to build a house that’s livable. Sometimes you find the perfect contractor or company who has all of the talents and skills needed. But, that’s rare and it may be expensive. Let’s break each one down….

A Web Designer

3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces ResultsA designer is a very creative person who can take your logo and color scheme and create a beautiful online brochure. The designer might be a very talented graphic artist and make your site “easy on the eyes”, but can they write? Do they know the mechanics of creating effective calls-to-action, back it up, create a shopping cart and secure it from hackers? Sure you want to help out your relative who just graduated from design school, but in the end, you’re not going to have a site that works for you.

For instance, a realtor contacted me and asked me if I could determine why their website wasn’t coming up on the first page of Google. (Isn’t that everyone’s wish?) Well, the site was gorgeous. It was promoting a new condo in downtown Phoenix. There was no blog with fresh content touting the benefits and fun of living downtown. There was no way to capture leads. Yes, they had a contact form to setup a tour, but it wasn’t compelling enough. It lacked good copy.

A Web Developer

web developerThis is a techier person. They can figure out all the mechanical parts of the website. The developer will build a secure shopping cart, install all the proper plugins to make it secure, back it up and make it search engine optimized. They’ll make it easy to navigate, mobile responsive, and install all the widgets needed to engage the visitor. A developer may not have a eye for design and they probably aren’t creative writers. They usually put up the information that you give them – but is it effective copy?

I was asked to review a website and in reading their “about us” section, ran into the phrase “grown slowly”. It stopped me cold. Slowly? That’s a negative connotation. That word doesn’t need to be there. Just having “grown” is sufficient. It implies logical growth — from a mom and pop outfit to a company with over 50 employees.

There was another site that listed in their “about us” page why they stock the products that they’re selling. All text, no pictures. A designer would have added graphics or videos to make it more attractive.

The Copywriter

Good copy helps a target find what they want. Good marketing copy walks the visitor through a logical progression to exactly where you want them to go. It’s compelling, enthralling, enchanting. (Don’t laugh, it’s what you need!) It captures the visitor’s attention with eye catching, curiosity-piquing headlines and sub-headlines. It keeps the reader going with bullet points (people don’t like reading long sentences or paragraphs) and bold and italics for emphasis.

So where does this leave you?

Do you have a beautiful website that’s not working for you? FEAR NOT! It can be fixed! Even if you attempted to build it yourself, it’s OK to admit you’re not a designer, developer or a copywriter. You know your business! And that’s what you should focus on.

First, let’s start with a free 30-minute phone consult. I’ll also do an SEO check up for you! Click here to BOOK NOW!

Blogger and copywriter service
In conclusion, if you’re website is not effectively drawing potential customers in, then converting them, it’s nothing more than a really pretty online brochure. Don’t you think you should do something about it?

If you built it yourself and you want to still do it yourself, we can have a coaching session and I can walk you through the steps to improve your WordPress website. (If it doesn’t require the skills of a developer. In that case, I’ve got a few techies I can recommend.)

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

Ready for a rewrite? Or would you like to focus on your business and leave the writing to me? Not Sure? Here are details…

 

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