How to Use On Site and Off Site SEO for Lead Generation

off site seoLooking to bring in more eyes to your website?

Then you probably know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how its goal is to rank your site higher in major search engines like Google and Yahoo. But do you know the difference between on site and off site SEO?

On site SEO is the process of using mechanisms on your website to try to bring in more internet users. Off site, on the other hand, is attempting to do the same through tools not found right on your site.

Using both can lead to better SEO results and lead generation than you’ve ever experienced. Avoiding one or using them together poorly can derail your SEO efforts.

Here’s how to use both for lead generation.

Content is Key On Site

When people talk about SEO, the conversation often centers on how to get people to your website. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the importance of what’s already there.

If you have perfect SEO strategies without the content to back it up, people will leave your website as soon as they arrived. The truth is, it’s impossible to have perfect SEO without engaging and meaningful content on your website.

Think about someone coming to your website and enjoying what they see. They might come back or pass along the page that interests them–that’s potentially ten more page views from one person alone.

Plus, you need to shape your content around any SEO efforts you make. That starts with keywords.

For Keywords, Think like the Searcher

The concept of a keyword is simple: using words that are being searched for all over the internet. The internet user plugs in a term that’s heavily featured on your website, and voila! Your website pops up.

The truth is a bit stickier. Let’s say you run a fictional smoothie shop where the specialty is fresh-blueberry smoothies. You have a gut instinct that those smoothies will draw in more clients, so they should be a focus of your website.

So, you create content focused on “fresh-blueberry smoothies.” What are your prospects of drawing in a big audience of people searching that term?

Not great. It’s not that people don’t want fresh fruit smoothies. The issue is that you need to put yourself in the shoes of the searcher.

When we search term on Google, for example, we try to be as efficient as possible. “Fresh” in this example is a detail that’s great for your product, but not necessarily in the mind of someone who hasn’t yet tried your delicacy. It’s more likely someone might search “blueberry smoothie.”

Centering your SEO content around that term will likely bring better results. That’s why, when picking keywords, it’s important to meet your next customer somewhere between the most descriptive term possible and its most searched version.

Tag it Up

Tags are the goofy cousins of keywords, made famous by the hashtags of twitter. But despite how funny twitter can be, tags have an important and real impact on your on site SEO.

Tags work in a way that’s similar to the function of keywords. By tagging a post with certain terms and phrases, you can cast a net on the internet fishing for searches interest in your content.

But there are a few caveats. Like keywords, you should try to think about what internet users are really interested in. If you can match your tag with a future client’s interests, you’ll start generating more leads in no time.

Be wary, though: if you start to add a huge number of tags to any post on your website, it’ll start to dominate your headspace and seem obnoxious to a reader. So, #trytobeefficient with your tags.

Now let’s move off site.

For Off Site SEO, Social Media is Key

There are well over a billion users on Facebook. When you take Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter into consideration, it’s pretty simple to assume that your page visitors are all over social media.

That’s why it’s important for you to have a presence on some of the various platforms. People will look to your page for general information and updates. Through your social media presence, you can constantly direct people back to your website.

That doesn’t mean you need to dedicate your whole work day to scrolling through boring Facebook posts. You just need to establish a presence for yourself to gain a bit more exposure.

Enter the World of Advertisement

Organic page visits are an important part of your off site seo. You want people to naturally end up coming across your website.

But lead generation through SEO can also happen in a more controlled way through online advertising. Pay per click advertising is one route that’s often beneficial for websites like yours.

In that context, your ads go up on another website, often in the sidebar. You’re not charged until someone clicks on that ad, which directs them to your website.

In that way, it’s a cost-effective twist in your off site seo strategy. It’s another muscle you can flex to help boost the number of eyeballs on your content.

Make Human Connections

Forget the numbers and tags and keywords for a second–you need to be a person. Even in the world of SEO, it’s important you know friends and peers.

Those contacts can be organic and powerful off site leads back to your website. It’s like advertising, but better.

When respected people in your field write blog posts and link to your website, their audience will be drawn to your website. That means you are getting interested and informed people coming to your website–a more valuable client than just any other page view.

It’s the best kind of connection you can have.

It’s Time to Generate Leads

With this knowledge, you’re prepared to make a positive dent in the world of lead generation. If you dedicate real time and effort to on and off site seo, you’ll start to see the results, quickly. Plus, you’ll have time left to focus on your product or service or content.

There’s no reason to feel left out of the party now, even in a world of over a billion websites. Your website deserves a spot.

Looking for more ways to improve your rank? Reach out to our team for a free consultation.

What are you waiting for? Go for it!

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Beginner’s Guide: How Does Pay per Click Work?

how does pay per click work

No matter what size your business is, you’ve got to be online. Beyond a website, beyond a blog, online advertising is essential to online success.

It’s a wild and crazy world online and you need to have skin in the game to make it. Google ad revenue for the U.S. alone is on track to reach over $26 billion.

As a smart business person, you know that it’s all about quality and not quantity. There’s no point in throwing a lot of money into online advertising without a plan.

Pay per click is the way to go. How does pay per click work? Keep reading while we go over how to take your business to the next level with this important tool.

Pay Per Click Definition

Before we answer how does pay per click work, we need to understand what it is. There’s a reason why it’s every online advertiser’s go-to tool.

There are two main types of online attention – organic and paid.

Organic reach happens when a potential customer comes across your ad or site by themselves. Paid, the type we’re focusing on, is when you bid to get your ad posted in places where potential customers will see it.

As you know, it’s not enough for a customer to just see your ad. You’ve got to get them in the door.

With pay per click, you get the ad in front of the customer but only pay when your ad is clicked. It’s efficient and effective.

But how does pay per click work? There’s a lot to it but you’re on your way to being an expert.

Bidding and Placement

The first step is to create the ad that best targets your future customer. You’re going to center it around a keyword.

A keyword is a word or phrase that research shows customers are looking for. Once you’ve lined up your ad with a keyword, you bid on placement related to the keyword.

That bid allows your ad to show up in the advertising section that most search engines have at the top. That gets you a lot of eyeballs and, with the right keyword, a lot of clicks.

Different Types of PPC

You might think Google is the only PPC game in town, but you’d be surprised at the variety of campaigns you can run.

Google is the biggest game in town – and extremely popular. It’s easy to see why – it’s extremely versatile.

Google allows you to not only run ads on their search engine, like in the previous example, but on private websites as well. That’s a huge amount of potential customers!

Another surprising PPC option? Facebook. Only the foolish count Facebook out of the PPC game.

With two billion active monthly users, you can’t ignore that potential pool of customers. The price is nice, too. Advertising on Facebook isn’t as expensive as on Google, Bing, or other search engines.

Have you ever shopped online and seen the product you looked at turn up in almost every ad afterwards? That’s called retargeting, another effective PPC campaign technique.

The Right Keywords

The beginning and end of your PPC campaign needs to focus on the right keywords. They’re the key to your success.

How does pay per click work together with keywords to increase your targeted reach? Here’s how:

Use a tool (Google AdWords is the biggest player in the game) to discover trending keywords. Find which ones match your company’s goals.

Craft your company’s landing page, website, blog, and any other material to work with your selected keywords. (Here’s where an SEO website expert can really help.)

Build your ads around your chosen keywords. This ensures your ads will rise to the top.

You’ll work hand in hand with search engines to find the best placements, get your ads in front of the right customers, and get them clicking.

How Does Pay Per Click Work With Your Budget?

To get the most bang for your buck, there are a few things to consider. First on the list is the cost of your chosen keyword.

Certain keywords cost more than others. It all depends on what your customers are searching for.

It’s a safe bet that commonly searched for words, like “mortgage” or “car insurance” will cost a lot more than obscure words, like “pickled eggs”.

PPC Ad Examples

Beyond that, you can install an automatic off switch. Using Facebook ads as an example, you can set up a Facebook PPC campaign to use only a certain amount of money.

Facebook allows you to set a daily or even a lifetime limit. If you give Facebook a daily limit of $10, once that money is spent, it turns off your ads.

You can get your first glimpse of the effectiveness of ad this way.

Let’s say you set a lifetime limit of $100 on an ad. You program the ad’s lifetime to be around a month.

If your $100 is used up in a week, that’s good news and bad. The good is that you’ve got an effective ad on your hands and lots of people are clicking! The bad is that you might have to spend more money.

If those clicks lead to conversions, though, the PPC campaign pays for itself.

Putting It All Together

Still asking how does pay per click work in the real world? Here’s a step by step breakdown to give you an idea of how it all comes together.

The Campaign: This is your first focus. Figure out what you want your ad to be about. Who’s your audience? What goal do you want to achieve?

Keywords: Choose keywords that work with your ultimate goal but are still effective.

Ads: Combine your goal with your keyword to create a compelling and effective ad

Stick the Landing: Wherever you drive your customers, make sure the page is optimized for conversion. Get them to see your ad, click on it, and convert.

Call the PPC Pros

Now that you’ve got the basics under your belt, hopefully we’ve answered most of your questions about how does pay per click work.

Need a professional to guide you through the entire process? That’s what we’re here for!

Call us at Market Crest to get a free hour of consultation today!

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What Are The Best SEO Services for Small Business Success?

SEO Services

Virtually every effective marketing strategy in 2017 includes having a proper internet presence. It’s just the way the world works. The problem is, there aren’t enough quality SEO services for small business proprietors out there.

There is a common misconception that SEO only serves large clients, at the expense of the small businesses that really need the help.

The marketplace is intensely competitive. In order to stand out and make waves, a small business needs to employ an expert SEO company. This way, they can use distinct marketing techniques to get ahead in ways that their competition may not be aware of.

Here is a comprehensive list of the most effective SEO services for small business owners:

Competitive Website Analysis

As stated before, the business world in the internet marketing age is extremely cutthroat and competitive. Small businesses without the necessary skillset can get lost in the fray.

There is no harm in assessing the SEO strength of your competitor’s website. They may be employing strategies that would be useful for your business.

You can also take advantage of weaknesses in your competitor’s SEO strategy. If they haven’t done adequate research, seize the opportunity to build a well-rounded strategy.

For example, a common weakness among businesses, especially small and locally owned businesses, is lackluster content. Many business owners assume that as long as their website adheres to commonly accepted SEO parameters, they will stand out.

But the reality is that good content trumps all. Creative, relevant content allows your website to soar high and above the competition. If your competitors do not have the strongest content, you can fill the void in your industry and become a resource for your consumers.

The more people that trust your website, the more that will visit, and the more concrete leads you will be able to generate. For small businesses, word-of-mouth marketing is a crucial asset, and it can sometimes be even more valuable than internet marketing.

But you have to build your marketing presence to get there. That’s where competitive analysis can be invaluable.

Keyword Research

Proper keyword research is the heart and soul of any SEO strategy. It’s probably the most important of the SEO services for small business owners. You should generate keywords based on your business and the services you provide.

For example, if you are a moving business, you want to be able to rank for a keyword like “moving company in (your city)”.

It’s important to rank for a diverse type and amount of keywords so that you aren’t following the exact same guidelines as your competition. Otherwise, it will be hard to stand out. You should try to rank for short keywords and long-tail keywords.

Longer keywords and phrases give you a better chance of ranking for the exact words that a potential customer would type into a search engine.

There are companies that can do keyword research for you. They will most likely use Google’s SEO analytics to determine what keyword list would suit your company.

It’s crucial that your keyword list covers those words that are common in your industry while also diving into a niche that may not be as widely utilized.

If you are marketing a product, you can use keywords to target a demographic that your competitors may not have tried to target. It’s all about doing your research and staying ahead of the curve.

Link Building

Having a number of high-quality links to other websites on your website can be a very quick and effective way to rise up the search engine ranks.

Within your content, link to credible sources or related websites that may be able to supplement information for your customers.

Do not link to competitors, rather, link to people, websites, and companies in charge of leading the conversation in your industry. The key is to build links to websites that will make your website look better.

You want to enhance your content with links, not steer your audience away from your product or service. You will be rewarded by Google’s search engine algorithm if you have employed high-quality links.

If you have a website that ranks highly while also providing your audience with good content, others in your industry may want to link to your websites.

The more of these relationships you have, the more visibility you will have and the better off you will be.

Optimization

Once you have the knowledge to build a great website in accordance with SEO standards, you have to be able to implement them.

For example, you cannot make the mistake of over-saturating your website with keywords. Not only will the quality of your website suffer, but you will likely not rank as high as you might think.

An optimized website features all the image tags, meta descriptions, and metadata that will take your website to the next level. There are set rules to optimization that can reap high rewards when followed.

But the important thing to remember is that if you have a good website with good content that follows SEO rules, you will have a leg up over many others in your field.

Optimization is key for long-term success in online marketing. But without good content, it doesn’t really matter how high you are ranked. If your website is poor, you will lose credibility. But an excellent website is only the first step.

SEO Services for Small Business Success Mean Little Without Accurate Reporting

For a small business, an effective website works like a sales pitch. It’s a chance to showcase your product or service in a tasteful way.

Because of this, you want to make sure that as many people can see your website as possible. Utilizing these SEO services for small business success listed above are key.

But once you have implemented them, you should have a system in place to track your progress. It’s important to periodically conduct an SEO audit, just to make sure that your website is performing correctly and steadily generating leads.

Click on our social sharing buttons to share this post and continue the conversation or get started! Request a free SEO audit or consultation.

MarketCrest, LLC is an award winning, full-service marketing firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help our clients compete and grow… and we expect to be held accountable for their improved performance.

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Here is How SEO Audits Can Jump Start Your Lead Generation

SEO Audits

SEO Audits can be more than technical– they can seriously improve the user experience, resulting in more conversions. Here’s the inside scoop on how:

Our SEO leader, Carl Lefever knows running a well-functioning website on your own (especially if you aren’t a web designer), is difficult

…period.

Sure the topic is a tough one but having a lead generating website to give your small business a leg up is also an necessity in this day and age.

It doesn’t have to be quite so difficult. There are a TON of resources out there to help optimize your business website and market your firm.

When it comes to online marketing, you can’t dismiss the SEO auditing process and expect to be successful.

A proper SEO auditing strategy could uncover the exact adjustments your site needs to improve functionality…and focusing on enhancing the user’s experience can seriously boost much-needed traffic.

Are you ready to learn more about SEO audits and your website? You’ll end up reaping the benefits of SEO audits before you know it!

SEO Audits and the User Experience

SEO audits the UX The process of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) audit is sorta like having a really great proofreader go over your entire website. SEO audits are performed via marketing services or through SEO audit software.

Standard SEO audits are usually broken down into three groups.

  • Technical Audit

The technical aspect of SEO audit includes SEO tactics, caching, checking databases, hosting, and mobile compatibility.

  • Content Audit

Content checks for SEO audits include proper link use, meta data, customer engagement, website usability, and conversions.

  • Link Audit

Links are important within SEO auditing. Things like link analysis, history, click patterns, and internal navigation are often included in an SEO audit.

A very, very basic analysis will begin with a technical audit and only focus on factors like missing links or 404 error messages. A more extensive SEO audit will include improving the experience for the customer.

Customers are obviously living people with emotional responses to everything, including the purchase of a product or service. Performing a well-rounded SEO audit that concentrates on technical website function as well as emotional connections with consumers will benefit you greatly.

The Benefits of SEO Audits

There are a ton of benefits to SEO audits.

  • Your website will get a serious transformation.

An audit will evaluate the content and technical performance of your website. You’ll have an opportunity to see what needs improvement and what doesn’t, and improve the structure you already have.

  • Search Engine Optimization Will Improve

SEO is key when it comes to marketing. By going through an SEO audit, you’ll have the chance to check for missed opportunities and excesses of keyword stuffing or bad links.

  • Conversions Will Start Happening

One of the best benefits of SEO audits is increased conversion. You’re finally going to be able to evaluate how well your website performs when it comes to generating leads and you’ll also be able to spot weaknesses in your landing pages.

Conduct a Basic Assessment

Before diving into a full blown SEO audit, it helps to perform a content assessment. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be super tech savvy to perform this assessment. Let’s break it down into a couple questions you should ask yourself, shall we?

  • How good is My Website Content?

As a company owner, it helps to put yourself in your customers’ position. When you view your website, pretend you are an individual visiting for the very first time.

Were you satisfied with the information provided to you? Was the content easy to read? Did all of my questions about a product, hours of operation, etc. get answered by content on the site?

Website content should be entertaining, written well, and thorough. Don’t stuff fluff into your content. Consumers want their questions answered and their need for information satisfied, and that is your website’s job.

If you’re not the greatest writer on the planet, consider hiring a freelance writer or blogger to create readable and concise content for your website.

  • Is there some SEO action happening?

Search engine optimization is really important. Check your analytics to review how well keywords are generating traffic. Check to see if you have an adequate amount of keywords within URLs and page titles.

Decide if a website audit is right for you.

If you’re satisfied with the state of your website and the traffic you’re getting, you may not need an SEO audit. However, if you are desiring a greater amount of traffic, an SEO audit will provide you with the information you need to optimize your website to increase your organic search traffic.

Are you ready to get started? Request a free SEO audit or consultation.

MarketCrest, LLC is an award winning, full-service marketing firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help our clients compete and grow… and we expect to be held accountable for their improved performance.

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Boost Pay Per Click Conversions By Avoiding These 4 PPC Mistakes

PPC Pay Per Click MistakesIf you ‘d like to get pay per click traffic, you need to know about the most common errors businesses make– and how to avoid them. Avoid PPC mistakes here!

Anyone with an online presence knows that traffic matters. We’re living in a world with 3.5 billion internet users. That’s a lot of eyes.

Internet advertisements expose your product to more people and generally create more sales. It’s a simple concept, but one that gets mishandled all the time.

When most people think of increasing traffic, they’re looking to build their organic traffic. And, rightly so. It’s a great strategy to attract potential leads, and SEO is too important to ignore.

We’re not talking about SEO though. Most web focused businesses already have a decent SEO strategy, even if there is always room for improvements.

Pay per click ad campaigns can drive high value visitors with the greatest likelihood to convert. Make the most of your pay per click ads by avoiding these common mistakes. 

Our focus is on how bungled most pay-per-click campaigns are.

In 2014, 10 percent of surveyed companies said they planned to increase their PPC budget for the upcoming year. The rest of those businesses misread the market.

Seventy percent of surveyed businesses ended up increasing their PPC budget in 2015.

We think this increase in spending is likely related to the growing number of mediums allowing businesses to get pay per click traffic. It’s a good thing for smart advertisers and a bad thing for naive ones.

Not only did most companies not see the PPC success coming last year, but now they have to catch up with new and ever evolving platforms. It’s not going to be a smooth few years for small businesses without the large budget to adapt.

So we’re stepping in, so we can champion for the little guy. We’ve broken down the two biggest mistakes we see that prevent people from getting pay per click traffic.

You Aren’t Using Mobile to Get Pay Per Click Traffic

Mobile traffic represents 51 percent of our digital media consumption daily, yet some people still choose to ignore it.

Don’t be one of those people.

In fact, in 2015 Google disclosed that mobile searches had outpaced desktop searches on its platform.

Another study showed mobile platforms make up an estimated 58 percent of U.S. online searches.

The shift in users device preference means businesses either adapt or suffer. The number of resources you’re putting into mobile ads per year needs to increase drastically.

We’re seeing more and more studies come up with numbers supporting mobile’s ability as an advertising platform. An astonishing 93 percent of people who use a mobile device for research go on to make a purchase.

That’s an unheard of percentage. Conversions are what make pay per click campaigns worth running, and with mobile, they’re easier than ever to come by.

The results of a Flordia law firm provide substantial proof to any doubters that these studies aren’t one-off anomalies.

When the law firm increased mobile ad bids by 25 percent their conversion rate tripled, their click through rate increased, and their cost per click decreased. New customers also increased by 149 percent.

That’s an increase in business and a lowering in cost across the board. You don’t even have to question why this works so well for small business, just understand the results and climb aboard.

Confusion About Keyword Targeting

Keywords are important. So important that we’re using them right now in this article.

Pay Per Click and Keyword mistakesPeople don’t realize that your keywords and how you apply them are the fundamental basis of your marketing. Everything goes through a search engine, and your ad success is going to depend greatly on what people are searching for.

You have two basic choices when choosing keywords, short-tail, and long-tail.

The highest Google AdWords bid on a keyword is for “best mesothelioma lawyer,” at $935.71 per click. That’s a short tail keyword and an unheard of price for a small business budget.

There’s just no way to compete with companies like Progressive or Geico, but you don’t have to.

Long-tail keywords cost significantly less than short-tail, and also help target customers likely to purchase your products.

That’s the easy part, though. Once you’ve established a keyword you must know how to use it.

We feel that half the battle to using keywords correctly has to do with budgeting.

Championing what’s called a “broad match.”

It’s a feature that displays ads based on keywords that are similar to your desired text string. If your keyword is “black sweatshirt,” and someone searches for “black sweatpants,” your ad could still appear.

Bing Ads has reported companies receiving as much as 57% of their total impressions and 43% of their clicks through broad match.

That’s a great statistic for those with money to burn on failed conversions. People will be less likely to purchase sweatpants if they were searching for a sweatshirt.

Instead, try out phrase match and negative match targeting.

Phrase match only shows your ads if the search incorporates your keyword. Our example “black sweatshirts” ad would appear in a search for” buy black sweatshirts,” but not “buy black sweatpants.”

Negative matching allows you to exclude keywords altogether. For example, when people searched “red sweatshirts,” you could exclude your ads from appearing.

In theory, these keyword options will make sure you only pay for ads that target your demographic.

Not targeting better ads  – Google allows businesses to use customer email addresses 

Create lists with the Google Display Network that tell the platform what ads to serve based on specified criteria. Customers who have added an item to their shopping cart in the past thirty days can be specifically targeted with unique ads.

Health food service, Julian Bakery, saw a 35 percent increase in conversions using Google Display Network.

Avoiding cross-matched target ad groups can further this success. Try to target the most specific demographics you can without overlap to save money and increase conversions.

Small business will never be able to go shot-for-shot with massive corporations. This doesn’t mean we’ll fail, only that our pay-per-click strategies need to stay savvy and mistake free. Keep in mind these two mistakes and take steps to avoid them to watch your traffic grow.

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Combine PPC and SEO for Your Best Results Yet

 

PPC and SEO

We’re taking a deep dive into why PPC and SEO are a match made in heaven. Read on for the search knowledge you need to jump start your marketing campaigns.

Okay. You have your website live, your products uploaded, and tons of blogs to make your website Google friendly. But nothing great has happened yet.

Sure, SEO is important and landing your site on Google’s first page results is essential if you want more sales, engagement, or any other call to action you are hoping for. But why not combine it with another, equally effective method? 

What is PPC?

Since we are sure you know what SEO is, let’s explain briefly what PPC marketing is. Long story short, PPC is an advertising model through which advertisers pay an online source to run their ads and direct traffic to their websites. The way advertisers pay for this service is actually in the name of this marketing model– yes, PPC stands for Pay Per Click.

When talking about PPC, many publishers automatically think Google Ads. However, since it’s 2016, every popular website or platform with millions of users (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) allows you to publish your online ads.

 

benefits of combining PPC and SEOThe Benefits of combining PPC and SEO:

  • PPC and SEO can exponentially boost your exposure and make your product or service popular to online users.
  • Your conversions will increase so much you will not even believe it.
  • You can lead searchers to the content that you choose and you will not just let them click on that bad Glassdoor review that shows up first on Google (everyone has them).
  • More visits lead to a more involved audience. How will someone like your Facebook Page or follow you on Twitter when they haven’t even gone to your website yet?
  • And, last but not least, investing money on advertising, makes a company feel more legitimate. sorry to say, but it does.

Yes, you’ve guessed it right. Both PPC and SEO help your website shine and gain more visitors. Additionally, it can help “webpreneurs” promote their products/services and achieve more sales. After all, it’s a material world we live in, right?

Now, that we’ve finished the theory class, let’s take a look at four different ways to combine PPC and SEO to make your life easier and your income bigger.

PPC and SEO Keywords Matter

And, maybe, they matter the absolute most. One way to monitor what people really need these days is by visiting the Google Trends website and take a look at “what is hot right now.”

However, since you are running a business there is another, quicker and more effective way to help you understand what your audience really needs from you. Your website’s search bar. Yes, if you don’t have one, you ‘d better add one right now. Right this second.

This way you will know what content would be wiser to promote the most on PPC marketing and what SEO modifications you have to make in order to ensure these products are found first on Google results.

In other words, this way you will allow your own visitors and the keywords they use to provide you with the focus keywords you’ll need to keep in mind.

Very clever, huh?

Your Website Also Matters

Having a website is not even enough when you are entering the world of digital entrepreneurship. You have to create a website that both looks amazing and is modified for PPC and SEO purposes as well.

For example, according to Google, an important factor that the most popular search engine is looking for when deciding where each page is going to show up on results, is the website’s loading speed.

Is your website fast enough? Do you need to make some small modifications to meet the standards that Google has set? In addition, and again, according to Google, PPC rates vary and among these parameters is your page’s load speed.

Why pay 5 cents per click when you can have the same results with just 2?

Extra tip: Please make sure your website looks beautiful and easy to navigate in. You’ve got your visitor’s attention. Now, all you have to do is to provide them with a reason to stick around.

Test Performance

We know, the word “performance” may sound intimidating to any Internet marketing newcomer. But, to be honest it’s much easier than it seems. Monitoring performance requires you keeping your eyes open and see what your audience is all about.

An easy way to monitor your website’s performance is by promoting via PPC marketing different products, product categories or services to different kinds of people. Targeting specific demographic profiles is one of the most important tricks a marketer has to keep in mind.

You might be promoting your products to 25-year-old women who live in Minnesota, but no matter how niche this audience might seem, it will help you get your products’ appeal on them. If it turns out to be a mistake and this audience is not that right for you, you can just keep experimenting.

Makes sense, right?

So, after promoting anything you want to promote to different kinds of consumers, you will understand what each audience needs or what audience your website speaks to the best.

This way you will have the ability to make some more modifications in order to make your page SEO friendly and reach the people who will engage the most.

Target Different Keywords

Yes, you guessed it right. You can (and you should) target different keywords for PPC campaigns and for SEO purposes.

In fact, since some keywords are more expensive than others, you can target the cheap ones via PPC and work your SEO magic on the costly ones. This will save you some money but still help you succeed.

After this primer, you’re ready to jump start your search marketing with some PPC and SEO action!

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Why Your Great Website Design is Not Paying Off

SEO packages and website design

There’s no point in having a gorgeous website design if nobody’s visiting.

Design is good, but it’s converting traffic that will bring the ROI you crave. 

Creating a website that is elegant, user-friendly, full of great content, and converts leads into customers can be very difficult and expensive.

As a result, businesses will shy away from the right sized SEO program to save some money. “I mean, we built it and they will come right?”

Um, no.

Are investments to make your website search engine optimized (on-site SEO) really necessary? Shouldn’t a great looking and functioning website be enough to draw in potential clients?

The truth is, SEO packages are just as important for a website as the design itself. Read on to discover why SEO packages are so important and worth the investment.

What are SEO Packages & How do I Pick the Right One?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the process of bringing traffic to a website by increasing the site’s visibility in search engine results. Websites can improve SEO by maintaining high quality and unique content and by indexing pages correctly.

Search engines rank websites based on various criteria, such as blog article length, site reputation, page titles, keywords, and so forth. They catalog all of these details for every website.

There are also algorithms that take some of those criteria and rank various websites that both meet the search terms, as well as their algorithm for website quality.

SEO is a way to ensure that your website receives a high ranking from a search engine’s algorithm and is one of the top search results when a potential client searches for your products and/or services that your business offers.

To further complicate things, search engine companies like Google will change their algorithms often to ensure that websites aren’t cheating the system by catering their website specifically to the algorithm. Search engines want their users to find the content they’re looking for, not just websites that are good at SEO.

If your website isn’t good at SEO and doesn’t stay on top of it, then you will not receive the traffic you need to grow. Businesses, in order to be successful in this age of algorithms, must work hard to ensure that their websites are popping up in the search results.

If your content isn’t showing up organically in search results, you may have to rely on paid ads to drive traffic. Thats not a huge problem but most business owners prefer to have a large portion of their traffic being driven by non paid advertisement for obvious reasons. 

Unless a potential client has a flyer, business card, or brochure with your web address listed on it, most people are going to find your website using a search engine.  SEO will make sure your website shows up in those search engines.

Have a website and not sure if it is optimized for search engines? Consider an SEO Audit to ensure your website is fully optimized.

Why isn’t Great Website Design Enough?

Let’s say you’re an architect. You’ve built a beautiful house that is perfectly proportioned, has lots of natural light, flows well, and is comfortable.

Now you need to find a buyer for your home to get the return on your investment. The issue, however, is that you’ve placed your entire budget into materials and construction of the house and cannot afford a real estate agent. Despite the fact that you’ve placed a “For Sale” sign in the yard, you haven’t received any phone calls expressing interest…

See where this is going? A beautiful, well-designed website is great. But if your potential target lead is unable to find your website, or is even unaware that it exists, how will you be able to win that lead and convert them into a client?

Search engines are easy and reliable. All of us use them on a daily basis for most of our internet activity. There are so many websites that we would be lost without a guide. Only after your website is found can you impress them with the great design and content.

So a vibrant SEO package customized for the amount of traffic you need to reach revenue numbers is what your marketing plan needs. 

SEO packagesSEO Packages: Transforming Your Site Content Into Growth

It is just as important to win over (convert) the client once they do visit your site.

Most SEO packages will include a full assessment of your website’s user-friendliness. If your website design is beautiful but impedes visitors from finding the content they’re seeking, then the design isn’t user-friendly.

The aim of an SEO on-site analysis is to ensure that your visitors are arriving at the content, and then being converted by your “call-to-action” to paying customers.

A great SEO company will know how to use the website design and content to your advantage.

There may be a few tweaks to the wording, page titles, or the internal and external links on your site. Ultimately, though, your company’s brand and message should stay the same.

Until organic search traffic from SEO efforts dominate the website’s search traffic, your marketing plan could also include PPC (or pay-per-click) consulting. That is, understanding your website’s potential for growth through the use of PPC advertising. Then, you could capture a dominant share of the online search traffic and transform your business rather than go for steady growth!

SEO is Just as Important as Website Design

While your website’s design may seem like the most important priority when turning your website into a lead generation monster, it’s just not the case. 

Your company will benefit hugely from the proper sized SEO package, which will allow you to capture a larger share of the online search traffic. 

About MarketCrest: We are a firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult and Get Content & SEO Help NOW! 

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10 Marketing Mistakes Your Business Can’t Afford to Make

Marketing Mistakes to avoid by MarketCrest

 

Some business mistakes are more costly than others. In the digital marketing world, there are at least 10 marketing mistakes that you simply cannot afford to make and still expect to achieve your revenue targets. Here are 10 huge mistakes to avoid.

1. You Don’t Have A Written Sales Strategy

Make sure Marketing and Sales know the revenue target required to reach your annual goal. Factor in the length of the sales cycle, close ratio, repeat business, capacity, onboarding and time to pay. Also collect information on existing customer revenue, anticipated growth, churn and carry over (sold fresh the previous year and in the coming year will bill a full 12 months).

When you know what you need to sell… and when you need to get it sold and billed, you are ready to build your marketing plan. 

2. You Don’t Have A Written Marketing Strategy

What is your one-page plan for supporting the revenue goal the way it needs to be sold this year (products/services)? What is your marketing expense required to execute on your marketing plan and how will the cost be allocated across the calendar year? Not sure if you are investing enough on your marketing? Check it against your industry and small business benchmarks (often 3-10% of sales depending on your industry and how mature your market is).

Analyze the previous year’s category spend and determine what to cut or expand. Create a SWOT analysis if needed.  How many personas (target audiences) will you be marketing to and can you segment the existing contact information to match. Do you need to secure additional contacts? Do you need to secure resources to help you attain your marketing goals? Have you considered all the marketing tools and technology available to support marketers in this app heavy environment?

43% of companies have an executive in their organization who is directly responsible for an overall content marketing strategy. (Curata, 2014)

48% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy, and 35% percent have gone so far as to document their strategy. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015)

3. Your Website Pages and Content Weren’t Designed For A Specific Purpose

Personas and Keyword analysis will determine your web page content and content plan for the year. Understanding your target audience is key to designing content for a specific purpose. Do you have content designed to help your target market get through their entire buying cycle? What if they are “kicking tires” and what do you have for them if they are deciding between your firm and one other?

52% of marketers support two to four roles and buyer personas with dedicated content. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, 2014)

48% of marketers use dedicated content to support three to five buying stages. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, 2014)

84% of B2B marketers and 85% of B2C marketers are actively looking to gain a better understanding of their audience or planning to do so in the coming year. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015)

4. Your Website Is A Static “Billboard”

Google rewards websites with lots of high quality, fresh pages. Quality content increases the likelihood of increased traffic, lengthy stays and high page rankings. Create content that engages an audience, keeps them on your page, or makes them return.

90% of consumers find custom content useful. (Demand Metric, 2014)

5. Your Website Is Not Built for Conversion

It is important that your website has the ability to reel in consumers and offer them an option to become engaged with the company. This allows you to create engagement, nurture them during the buying cycle, monitor and score their activity and nudge them to convert.

61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content. (Custom Content Council, 2011)

Website conversion rate is nearly six times higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters (2.9% vs. 0.5%). (Aberdeen Group, 2014)

Examples: Do you have strong Calls To Action (CTA) on your web or landing pages? Many companies rely on CTAs such as Speak to a Specialist, Request a Quote/Sample, Get Help Now! Request a Free Consult,  Sign Up Here, Download Here, and Follow or Share our Social Media Links.

6. You Don’t Publish Content

Consumers want a service or company that they can trust. Trust comes from being a credible source. One way to achieve credibility is to become an industry expert online by publishing original content that customers or other industry leaders may reference when looking up relevant information.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. It might be a blog article, web page, landing page, ebook, slide deck, video, webinar, photo, social media post, podcast, infographic, case study, white paper, check list, research paper, or a press release.

 75% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago. (Demand Gen Report, 2014)

86% of B2B marketers report that their organizations are using content marketing, and 70% of them are creating more content than they did one year ago.

80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Roper Public Affairs, 2012)

marketcrest repurposing content

 

7. You Don’t Repurpose Existing Content

Consumers like to consume content in various ways. Some like to listen, some watch and some read. If you understand this, you can create content that is helpful to your visitors and customers and maximize its reach by repurposing content. Example: One, high-quality blog post or article can be turned into a slide deck, video, email, tweet, facebook post, brochure etc. Invest in quality content and remember to repurpose it relentlessly.

 

8. You Aren’t Building A List Of Relevant Contacts

Having a list of contacts is crucial. Keep track of all consumers, industry leaders, people who have visited your website or requested information, referrals, etc.

Also know even a good contact list will decay by about 20+% each year because people are constantly unsubscribing, switching jobs, moving or getting new email addresses. As a result, you must be building your database of contacts 12 months a year. Having a long list of contacts creates a bit of a “tribe” that can support your business in good time and in bad. Share industry and company news; new articles, ebooks and research…then when you are ready to introduce a new product and service they will be there to provide advice and spread the word.

With a list constantly in a state of decay, pay close attention to the formula for List Growth Rate:

 What It Is: The rate at which your email list is growing.

  • How to Calculate It: ([(Number of new subscribers) minus (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] ÷ Total number of email addresses on your list]) * 100

 Example: (500 new subscribers – 100 unsubscribes and email/spam complaints) ÷ 10,000 email addresses on the list * 100 = 4% list growth rate

As we suggested, there is natural decay on your email list. It expires by about 22.5% every year. Always be growing your list…

9. You Don’t Email Your List At Least Once Per Month

Look, you can’t kill email! It’s the cockroach of the Internet, and that’s a compliment. Resilience is a good thing.

These days all emails are not created equally. A savvy marketer with the right technology, can set up workflows for email nurturing, include images, personalize with customer names, segment, and provide CTAs optimized for mobile. You have people willing to listen. Doesn’t your business have something important to say?

91% of consumers check their email daily (ExactTarget) and 48% of emails are opened on mobile devices (Litmus).

74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email (Merkle).

66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message (Direct Marketing Association) Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300% (Direct Marketing Association). 

Your company will want to measure your email program’s effectiveness. The most common email metrics are: sent, delivered, bounced, open (open rate), click (click rate or click to open), unsubscribe rate and marked as spam. Find the right key performance indicators for your business so you can test, tweak and improve.

10. Your Business Can’t Be Found Online

Here is how you got in this situation…

1) you are not actively performing on-page and off-page SEO

2) you are not helping people find your firm by using paid search or Pay Per Click ads (PPC)…

Just because people can’t find your company online, maybe it’s not the end of the world. Some companies don’t require online leads to increase sales. If you are one of those firms congrats…you are blessed almost beyond belief. For most of us, our potential clients use the internet to research and jump start their buying process. If we can’t be found…then it’s like we don’t exist….

By 2016, more than half of the dollars spent in US retail will be influenced by the web. (Source: Forrester Research )

Content creation ranks as the single most effective SEO technique. (Marketing Sherpa, 2013)

In search engine optimization, on-page optimization refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or Web page listing in natural search results. These factors are controlled by you or by coding on your page. Examples of on-page optimization include actual HTML code, meta tags, keyword placement and keyword density.

In search engine optimization, off-page optimization refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or Web page listing in natural search results. These factors are off-site in that they are not controlled by you or the coding on your page.

Examples of off-page optimization include things such as link popularity and page rank.

If your company is not helping people find you by using paid search or PPC (a quick hit)…get started the right way.

Tip #1: Identify which organic keywords drive traffic and convert on your website.

Tip #2: Determine how much you’re willing to pay for a lead or conversion.

Tip #3: Don’t Go It Alone

Paid Ads are a great way to “test” new landing pages (copy and CTA).

PPC can be a good quick hit but it doesn’t compare to proper SEO and content marketing per dollar spent, content marketing generates more than three times the number of leads than paid search does. (Kapost/Eloqua, 2012)

Content marketing costs between 31 and 41% less than paid search, depending on the organization’s size. (Kapost/Eloqua, 2012)

Summary:

Make sure to have a written sales AND marketing strategy. Create a website that has SEO optimized copy; fresh unique content; is constantly evolving and more than a static “billboard”… and has landing pages that produce conversions. You will want to have a list of relevant contacts (the making of a “tribe”) and make sure to be contacting them at least once per month.

If you are operating without a formal sales and marketing plan designed exclusively for the current year and your annual revenue target…you are operating on a wish and a prayer. You can repair the damage quickly though…contact the team at MarketCrest a request a free consultation. Tell us about your current business challenges and imperatives and we will share how similar companies are solving those issues using online or digital marketing.

 

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How to Increase Traffic Leads And Sales Using Keyword Optimization

More inbound traffic means more leads – and this means more conversions. Here’s a step-by-step guide on why and how optimizing for keywords will increase sales.

Who wants more inbound traffic, more leads, and more sales?

If you raised your hand, then you’ll definitely want to read on and learn how to use keyword optimization to get more business.

You may have heard rumors from internet marketing circles and forums that keywords are dead. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. And even better, we’re going to tell you which type of phrases and queries to target, and how to properly optimize your website and pages for these keywords.

Don’t worry if this sounds Greek to you. All will be revealed if you keep reading.

Keywords Still Matter!

When Google released the Hummingbird update in 2013, many optimization practices were rendered obsolete (like keyword stuffing and measuring keyword density). This update changed the way Google ranks websites, shifting from away from keywords in favor of the quality and relevance of the content provided.

BUT – the update didn’t render keywords obsolete. Matter of fact, they’re still part of Google’s over 200 ranking factors.

Sure, keyword density doesn’t count for anything anymore. And keyword stuffing can get your site penalized. But, the placement of keywords is still important.

We’re going to look at how to optimize a page using proper keyword placement and best practices. But, before diving into that, a brief discussion about the different types of search queries is a must if you want to gain more business through keyword optimization.

Types Of Search Queries: What Are They? And, Why Are They Important?

Entrepreneurs and small business owners new to search engine marketing often focus too much on search volume when researching and targeting keywords.

Make no mistake: search volume is important. And, if you can find a keyword with high search volume and low competition, you’re off to a hot start! Should your website rank for it, an upswing in traffic is almost guaranteed.

But, will the traffic convert into sales?

The answer depends on the content of the ranking page and the search query. If the two don’t match, converting visitors into subscribers or customers may prove difficult.

Now, there are three types of search queries:

  • Navigational: Searches performed to find a website. Example: “Pennsylvania official website”
  • Informational: Searches performed to research info. Example: “how to research keywords”
  • Transactional: Searches performed to buy something. Example: “best smartphone $500”

If the goal is to increase qualified leads and boost sales, keywords with transactional intent should be the target.

Let’s say you are a computer and hardware reseller, and you want to get more gaming graphics cards out of the shelf.

A transactional phrase with high commercial intent like “best gaming graphics card” is a good target. Whoever is searching for the phrase is more likely to buy than a user searching for an informational phrase like “what is a GPU.”

Other potential targets include:

  • Buy gaming graphics card
  • Gaming graphics card reviews
  • Gaming graphics card deals
  • Gaming graphics card discounts
  • Gaming graphics card under $200

So, pay attention to search volume but don’t neglect the type of search query and commercial intent of a keyword.

Start With On-Page SEO

We now have a clearer idea of which type of keywords to target if you want to get more high-quality traffic and generate sales.

Let’s get to the optimization part!

On-page SEO is always the starting point when you want to rank for a keyword. And, unlike external elements like backlinks (more on this later), on-page optimization relies on elements that you can control.

Here are some keyword placement and optimization best practices to always keep in mind:

  • Page URL: Yes, having keywords in the URL is still a good thing. And not just for optimization purposes. Microsoft’s research showed that URLs are one of the elements a searcher considers when deciding which website to click.
  • Page Title: Include the target keyword or a slightly tweaked variation to maintain a natural flow. Make it compelling to catch the attention of users, and keep the title under 55 characters so Google displays it in full.
  • Page Description: The description should accurately describe the content of the page and have the target phrase and other closely related terms. About 155 characters is a good benchmark for length. And of course, you want a clear and convincing description so users are persuaded to click.
  • Content: The content should be logical (what the user expects) and comprehensive while using the main phrase and related terms in a natural way. Don’t sacrifice grammar and readability just so you can include an exact keyword. And lastly, no keyword stuffing!

Now, there’s more to on-page SEO than placing the right words at the right places. If you want to learn more about other on-page SEO strategies you can employ today, check out this infographic which shows the 16 factors that Google and users love… and read the full Keyword Optimization article from our partner Carl Lefever here.

 

 

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Why You’re Failing at Content Marketing

failing at content marketing

Content marketing is vital for any brand that wants to promote itself online. You need a content marketing strategy if you want your efforts to be fruitful. However, even with a strategy in place, you might find that your content marketing isn’t seeing the success you want it to. Are you failing at content marketing?

If you think you MIGHT BE failing at content marketing, there could be multiple reasons for it.

People often approach their content strategy in a disorganized manner. They don’t think about it in-depth.

There are many techniques you should think about. They will ensure your content strategy involves high-quality content on a consistent basis.

Here’s why you’re failing at content marketing and how to fix it.

You Aren’t Publishing Consistently

If you want to create a successful content marketing campaign, you have to be consistent. This applies to the frequency of your publishing and the quality of your content. Are you currently publishing only sporadically, when you can find the time?

This isn’t the best approach to take if you want your content to take off. You need to have new content available on a regular basis if you want to attract attention. You’ll have more to share and more information that’s helpful to your customers.

By publishing regularly, you can keep your website up to date and search-engine friendly. Plus, your social media posts will be more diverse. You also need to maintain consistent high quality in all of your content.

Your Content Is Too Short

How long is long enough for the articles that you publish? Many people choose a short 500 words per post. Some even decide on even shorter posts and publish them frequently.

However, longer content is often the best choice for a winning content marketing strategy.

There are several reasons to publish long-form content instead of sticking to shorter pieces. To begin with, people like reading longer articles. You can get more in-depth on the topic you’re covering and provide more information.

Search engines also like longer content and view it favorably over shorter pieces. Articles of at least 1000 words are a better choice than those of 500 words or fewer.

Your Content Needs to Be More Unique

How do you come up with ideas for your content? If you search for the topics you cover, can you find hundreds of similar articles? Perhaps you even rewrite content to make it suitable for your brand.

If you want people to share your content, it needs to be unique. It’s boring if it’s just like all the other content on similar topics. You don’t have to avoid writing about anything in particular. There are many subjects people have written about before that you can give your own twist.

But your content shouldn’t look almost identical to other pieces. It’s better for search engines and for people if it’s fresh and presents a new angle.

Don’t pump out boring content if you don’t have anything to say.

You Are Not Repurposing Your Content

Do you repurpose your content? If you don’t, you should be.

You might begin by publishing your content on your own website. But you can use it in a number of ways to spread it far and wide. For example, you should consider publishing your content on LinkedIn. This will allow you to reach a professional audience of people from your industry.

You can also repurpose content by turning it into different forms. Some people prefer visual content. Your blog posts could contain information that would make a great infographic. You could also make your content downloadable by turning it into a PDF guide or even a course.

Repurposing your content helps you make the most of it across a range of channels.

You’re Not Using High-quality Copywriters

Writing your own content can be a good idea if you have the time and the skills. But there’s a lot more to writing quality content than many people think. You might have some good ideas, but it takes a lot of work to turn an idea into a great piece of content. Perhaps you can bang something out in half an hour, but will it really be as good as you need it to be?

If you run a business or a website, you have a lot of other things to do. Not everybody is able to produce the high-quality content they need on a regular basis.

If you want to ensure you can publish consistently, you should access quality copywriters. You can pass on the responsibility of writing your content to someone else. They have the skills and knowledge to help you.

 

promote the best content marketingYou Aren’t Using Paid Social Media Promotion

You’ve published your content, and not you just have to sit back and wait for the clicks and shares, right?

If you’re wondering why not one is coming to look at your content, you need to get sharing it yourself.

Don’t rely on people discovering it on their own.

You should be using social media promotion especially. Make sure you’re using appropriate channels for your brand. It could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat.

Sharing using free methods will help you reach your followers and their followers.

However, if you want to expand your reach you need to use paid promotion. You can do this on a range of platforms to reach out to people in the right demographic.

You Don’t Pay Attention to SEO

Remember that SEO is important for your content, even if you’re sharing via social media channels. You still want your content to be discoverable on search engines and for your website to have a good reputation.

If you’re not thinking about SEO when you choose topics and create your content, you’re missing out. It’s important to be up to date with the latest SEO content writing tactics. To make sure you’re following the rules, using copywriters to do all the hard work will help.

Don’t let your content marketing strategy be a failure. Publish high-quality content and promote it in the right places to make the most of your campaign.

About MarketCrest:

MarketCrest is a Marketing & Consulting Services firm focused exclusively on strategies that drive revenue growth. Simply put, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance. MarketCrest provides Content Marketing, Marketing Automation and CRM solutions, and services for clients. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult with a marketing strategist.

 

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