Free Tips From a Digital Marketing Consultant

Free Tips From a Digital Marketing Consultant

Best Digital Marketing Techniques: Free Tips From a Digital Marketing Consultant

Learning about the best online marketing techniques doesn’t have to be expensive. These free tips from a professional consultant can help you get started.

In today’s digital world, you have to keep on top of different digital marketing techniques to stay relevant and reach out to your target audience.

Expert digital marketing consultants project Google to have a 32.4% market share of the net digital ad revenue worldwide in 2018. It remains the biggest search engine in the industry. With the digital age, it’s important to always be refining your marketing strategy to fit the internet landscape.

The majority of consumers today spend a lot of time online. It’s important to use digital marketing techniques that drive more people to your website and convert this traffic into qualified leads. 

The best way to grow your business is to hire an SEO agency. These digital marketing consultants have the know-how when it comes to digital marketing techniques. There are some things you can do on your own, especially if you’re starting to apply digital marketing techniques to your strategies.

Here are some tips to get you operating like a professional digital marketing consultant:

Keep Up With the Upcoming Digital Marketing Trends

Of all the techniques you can use for digital marketing, “trend hijacking” is useful and proves successful when content marketing. It’s best if you put your brand out there, especially on the World Wide Web. There are likely a number of trends going on in the digital world related to your brand that can help you gain a massive number of online audiences.

The best marketing techniques you can use to capitalize on this is to use tools like Google Trends to help identify ongoing trends. If you have the right set of tools and the passion to stay ahead, you can strive and gain knowledge about your customer base. This can help you surpass your competitors and make your way to the top.

Use Marketing Automation

The digital marketing world is fast-paced and ever-changing. If you want to stay on top of your competitors, one of the best marketing techniques is to get into marketing automation. It’s the best method if your marketing strategy involves result-driven approaches.

Market automation apps can help fill up knowledge gaps your business might have. There are a lot of apps out there that automate the promotion of your business. Some of these apps can do:

  • Automated e-mail marketing
  • Automatic Twitter tweet posting
  • Automatic Facebook feed posting

To test its degree of success, you need to observe the engagement and responses from your target audience. Some people prefer “real people” engaging them in your social media channels. However, there are chatbots out there that can simulate an almost human-like conversation, so you can look for that if you want to get the very most out of automation.

Optimize Your Marketing Techniques for Mobile Devices

A mobile-optimized strategy delivers tons of value for businesses, especially local ones. This is because mobile-responsive websites convert more people on higher resolution screens compared to the lower ones.

Google still keeps its mobile-first stance on the situation, but it’s undeniable that a large chunk of people online use desktops, laptops, and tablets for their online business transactions. If you want to optimize your marketing strategy for mobile, keep these factors in mind. Build mobile-responsive websites that have relevant and engaging content, call-to-actions, and faster load times.

Use Social Media Marketing More

This marketing strategy is one of the newest approaches you can use to gain a massive audience for your brand. With large subscriber base, social media networks like Facebook serve as one of your primary channels for brand promotion. Facebook, for example, influences 52% of consumers’ online and offline purchases.

You can use social media trends to position your brand for all subscribers to see. Recent changes to social network policies now make them more viable advertising platforms. 

Social media marketing does come with a price, since you need to pay these platforms to advertise. The price is worth paying if your target audience is online. SImply target your ads to specific audiences that are more likely to support your brand.

Optimize Your Conversion Rate Through Your Website

When talking about Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), it involves steps that help make your brand more attractive to your audience. It’s a systematic way of expanding your customer base, helps you get found online, increases your conversion rate and helps to reduce the bounce rate of your website pages.

The simple things like filling out forms, subscribing to your blog, clicking on a call to action, and other similar tactics can help convert your site visitors by steering them into performing a specific action. Testing CRO can help you get more understanding about your website visitors’ behaviors and how to best adapt to it.

Make Your Brand Appear in Search Engine Results with SEO

You can use SEO marketing services to focus on expanding your brand’s visibility on the search engine results without paying for the ads. This is called organic traffic.

You need to have an effective SEO strategy and take technical steps to help boost your rankings, drive more website traffic, and increase the search engines’ recognition for your brand. There are a lot of aspects you need to consider when it comes to SEO, from the optimal word count to how other websites link to you online.

The main objective of an SEO strategy is to make search engines prioritize your site over your competitors. That way, you can get more customers and let your business flourish in this digital landscape.

It is recommended to hire an expert digital marketing consultant to assist you with this, as SEO is complicated and needs to be managed correctly. 

Don’t be Afraid to Use Paid Marketing and Campaigns

Despite having an attached price tag, paid marketing (PPC) is one of the most effective means for you to use search engines for paid ads. When you pay for Google or Yahoo advertisements, your website becomes visible at the top of the search results with the “Ad” label. There is a lot of research supporting the fact that online users click more on paid search results than other forms of online advertisements.

Paid advertisements also add another layer of legitimacy to your website, since people will acknowledge the money you shell out to advertise your brand. It’s one of the better marketing techniques to partner with your SEO efforts.

Familiarize Yourself with Influencer Marketing for PR

Another marketing technique you should capitalize on is influencer marketing. It’s one of the most recent and distinct digital marketing strategies that has its own set of benefits for your brand. You can link it to your content strategy, SEO efforts, and social marketing techniques.

Influencer marketing means that you promote your brand with the use of experts, influencers, popular figures, and other celebrities. These people have followers that can change what people consider for buying. It’s categorized under word-of-mouth marketing, which has the potential to spread faster, especially when your influencer has at least a million followers.

Reveal the Power of Partnership with Affiliate Marketing

This is another of the many great digital marketing techniques you can use to market your brand online. This type of marketing has a lot of similarities with commission-based marketing, where you pay your affiliate based on how they perform. When you engage in affiliate marketing, you only pay your affiliate if they’re successful at selling your brand to people.

There are a lot of companies that use affiliate marketing today, like:

  • Banks
  • Finance Companies
  • Travel agencies

Most of these companies report a successful campaign through this strategy. You can try it out and see if it works out for you.

Identify Your Goals to Know the Tools You’ll Need

Your marketing strategy should always tie in with your business goals. No matter what kind of goal your company has, you need to know the methods necessary to measure it. The method you’ll use to measure success depends on the kind of business you have, as well as the goals you set for yourself.

The metrics that you use can help you adjust the strategy based on whether goals are being met. Knowing the areas where improvements are needed can help ensure that your business strategy is sound and adaptable as the digital marketing landscape continues to change.

Get More Digital Marketing Help Today

There are a ton of great marketing strategies out there that you can use depending on the type of business you have. Knowing what works can take a lot of trial and error on your part, especially if you’re doing it on your own. If you want a more efficient way to implement your online marketing strategy, hiring a digital marketing consultant is the best way to go.

If you need assistance with your marketing strategy, MarketCrest can help. We have years of experience working with various brands across many industries. We can determine the right tools to use to ensure that your business thrives in the digital landscape.

Do you have more questions? We offer free consultations and services that can boost your company to the top of the search engine results. Contact us today to get you started on your journey to success.

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8 Powerful Content Marketing Strategy Ideas for People in a Hurry

8 Powerful Content Marketing Strategy Ideas for People in a Hurry

Content Marketing Strategy Ideas for People in a Hurry

If you think you don’t have time for inbound marketing, think again. These quick and easy content marketing strategy ideas are perfect for people in a hurry.

Running a small business tends to keep the owner and its employees pretty busy. From working with customers to planning projects, there is always a task list to be completed. This daily hustle can often lead to essential content marketing strategy and production getting pushed aside. 

While it may seem like a daunting task, content marketing strategy isn’t something that needs to be seen as difficult or overly time-consuming. There are plenty of ways to lead productive marketing campaigns, even with limited amounts of time.

If you think you don’t have time for inbound marketing, think again. These quick and easy content marketing ideas are perfect for people in a hurry.

1. Assign Teammate Roles

To ensure your team is running at its peak performance, you will need to clearly define each individual’s roles and responsibilities. Regardless of how many employees you have, this will be essential to maintaining organization and keeping on track with your decided content marketing strategy. Oftentimes, smaller teams will have multiple roles per person.

As long as everyone knows the responsibilities that have been delegated, processes can be tracked more easily.

When breaking down the workload, it will also be important to define each role with more than just a title. For example, each job title should have a description listing the duties associated with it:

  • Social Media Manager – Responsible for maintaining all social media channels, including scheduled posts, promoting content, and sharing additional business information.
  • Content Coordinator – Decides what topics should be written about, assists with keyword ideas, and decides when to post.
  • Writers – This includes staff writers and guest contributors. If you don’t have enough writers on your team, you can always seek outside assistance to reach your content goals.
  • Editor – Although many writers are adept at the basics of grammar, they are still prone to mistakes. The copy editor will review all of the content submitted by the writers to confirm spelling, punctuation, and other grammar techniques are on track.

These are just a few ideas of roles you can fill for your content marketing team. These people should all participate in contributing to your business’s content marketing strategy. 

2. Define a Set Process

Although you and your team are likely staying busy on a day-to-day basis, you should all have clearly defined processes to follow within your respective roles. Marketing should never have a “wing it” mindset that allows each team member to do whatever they want, whenever they want.

While there should always be room for creativity, every individual listed above should also have a schedule guiding their overall progress for each day of the week.

Social media managers should know how many posts they need to share per day on each social network. Writers should have a number of articles to write each week with deadlines for each one. The content manager will need to know when they should schedule each new blog post.

These mindsets will assist in maintaining a high level of organization and help your team’s content marketing ideas be more effective.

3. Create an Editorial Calendar

Having an editorial calendar for your entire marketing staff is crucial to keeping everyone on the same track. As content marketing ideas arise and are added to the editorial calendar, each team member will be able to sustain a consistent theme within the business.

The content manager may set a topic to be posted about a new product, which would then be seen by the social media manager. They can, in turn, share a social network post on the same product to prove the reliability and consistency of your business to potential customers. They also can send visits back to your website by linking to product pages or blog articles. 

This calendar should be constantly updated to guarantee everyone on the team is aware of the plan and can perform their responsibilities more fully. It may be a good idea to assign updating the calendar as a role itself.

4. Utilize SEO Strategies

While some instantly cringe at the thought of doing search engine optimization (SEO), it doesn’t have to be difficult or take loads of time. But, it is certainly a major piece of any successful content marketing campaign and it should be managed correctly.

To earn conversions, you first need to attract people to your site who are interested in what you’re offering. Writing SEO friendly content is vital to helping those individuals find your site when searching online.

One of the first steps is to optimize your site with keywords. Choose words that best relate to your blog and business model and include them on the site in page titles, descriptions, and in the blog content.

Adding links to other pages on your site will also help with your page views and prove your knowledge expands beyond the single article the reader is currently visiting. Another option is to link to other sites with relevant content, as long as they aren’t a competitor in your industry.

It is also important to keep your site up-to-date with accurate information. Out of date information causes visitors and search engines to think the site isn’t active. This can lead to missed opportunities as they will likely decide to search for a more reliable source.

These quick content marketing strategy ideas will have a strong impact on your site’s engagement and conversions.

5. Hire Freelance Writers

As mentioned above, a great time-saving process is to hire guest contributors. If you and your team are drowning in work, a freelance writer can bring a fresh perspective and save time.

Multiple resources are available online where you can find an affordable freelancer. These freelancers will have sample portfolios and profiles you can review before hiring them to ensure their writing style will fit your needs.

Freelancers also can bring new content marketing ideas to the table for new articles or other forms of content. Other freelancers can offer services like graphic design which can be used to get visuals for your site.

6. Share Photos, Graphics, and Other Visuals

When brainstorming during a content marketing strategy session, consider where you can add visual aid to content. A quick way to get a boost toward your engagement and conversion goals is to share visuals.

If you use visuals on your site, search engines are more likely to recommend your content. Also, your viewers are more likely to remember what they have seen.

If you hire a freelancer and have branded graphics made specifically for your site, it shows people your content is unique and exclusive. 

Using charts and graphs, infographics, screenshots of other pages, and even videos can also boost site conversion. These visual aids are usually more engaging than words and provide a nice break in between your articles and other posts.

7. Post on Social Media

One of the quickest ways to get some content into the world every day is by sharing updates on social media. In the span of a few minutes, you can share a post which can instantly be made available to millions.

A short status update can link followers and others to previous blog posts and sales pages straight to your site’s homepage. If there are ever days where you or your team are struggling with time to devote to marketing, a quick post to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram may be exactly what you need.

There are plenty of tactics you will need to utilize to see solid engagement, but as long as you are using social media as a tool in your content marketing strategy, you have tremendous growth potential.

8. Ask Customers for Content and Engagement

Customers want to be heard by their service providers and other merchants. Asking them for reviews, engagement on social media, or even for guest posts on your blog is a great way to get some quality content.

Having good feedback on your site and on your social media profiles instills further trust in your brand from potential customers.

Content marketing ideas such as contests, discounts, or rewards programs can be used to strengthen the engagement on your sites.

You can also do research to find what potential online customers are searching most for online. This is a great strategy to use when planning content that you want to be found online. 

Ready to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy?

These are just a few content marketing strategy ideas you can use, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you are struggling to establish yourself in the digital world, we would love to help you improve your marketing campaigns.

Hiring a digital marketing company can improve your conversion rates, increase your revenues, and allow you to spend more time on the pieces of your business you really care about.

Feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation or you can contact us directly to get additional information.

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Trademark Attorney: Four Trademark Questions for Growing Businesses

 

business trademarkBy Eric Perrott, Esq.

We have a special guest author today. MarketCrest has known Eric and his law firm for years. Actually, Eric was the attorney that secured both of the MarketCrest registered business trademarks.  

He is a business trademark attorney with Gerben Law Firm, PLLC. Eric counsels clients on trademark and copyright law issues and provides business trademark analysis, process and registration services at flat-fees.

 

Enjoy, and take good notes:

Your trademarks are more than just the name of your company or a sleek logo. A trademark represents not only your company’s product or service, but also the quality, the ethos, the mission statement, the customer service, and many other facets of your business that customers will identify with.

Are you an “Apple” person or a “Google” person?

Are you a “North Face” person or a “Lululemon” person?

Brand identity is important and developing a strong brand isn’t easy. Companies of all sizes spend tens of thousands of dollars on advertising and marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness and to drive new customers to their business.

While marketing and advertising is key for brand development, business owners from local mom-and-pop shops to Fortune 500 companies know that to build a strong, long-lasting brand, companies must protect their trademarks.

Below are four questions company owners should be able to answer about their business trademarks.

 

What are some of my business trademarks?

It might sound simple, but one of the hardest aspects of trademark protection is recognizing what a trademark actually is.

A trademark can be almost anything that represents the “good will” of a business. (Think of “good will” as all of those aspects-quality, customer service, style, etc.-mentioned above).

It can be a word or design, but it can also be a slogan (“I’m Lovin’ It”), unique store layout, or unique product packaging. It can even be a sound (the NBC chime), color (Tiffany blue), smell, or movement (like the unique way a Lamborghini’s doors open). The possibilities are endless.

However, every trademark must be “distinctive,” meaning that it must be something that consumers connect with one business, as opposed to a descriptive term or generic term that merely describes the products or services.

Descriptive words can still become trademarks, but a company must show that over time, those descriptive words are cemented in consumer’s minds as representing one company.

For example, American Airlines, National Rent-a-Car, Best Buy – all of these terms are, at their heart, descriptive. However, they are so engrained in consumers minds as trademarks that the companies enjoy trademark protection for those phrases.

 

Is someone else using a trademark similar to yours?

Once you’ve selected or identified a strong trademark that is not merely descriptive, the next step is to analyze whether another company in the industry has been using a similar trademark for longer than you have.

Under U.S. trademark law, trademark infringement occurs when a company uses a trademark that is confusingly similar to a pre-existing trademark for related goods and services. This is not just an analysis of whether someone else is using the exact same business trademark as you.

Trademarks can be confusingly similar is they are similar is sight, sound, meaning or overall commercial impression. Similarly, the goods and services do not need to be identical either, just similar, which is a legal analysis.

For example, hotels and restaurants are almost always considered “similar.” Wine and cheese have been considered similar because they are frequently used in conjunction with each other.

In order to gauge the potential risk of a trademark, a trademark attorney can perform a comprehensive search and analysis, wherein the attorney will look at registered and unregistered trademarks and provide a detailed analysis of the potential risks from a legal perspective.

Without a comprehensive search, it is extremely difficult to know about existing trademarks that could be confusingly similar to your own.

Once you have “cleared” the trademark, or generally accept and understand the risks of using (or expanding the use) of your trademarks in the marketplace, the next step towards protecting your trademark is registering with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

 

Why should I register my Business trademark?

Trademark owners can register their trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”). Trademark registration gives the trademark owner a number of significant advantages over those who do not register their trademarks. A few of those advantages are:

  • A government document stating that you are the owner of the trademark: When you apply for a trademark, a government attorney will review your trademark in the same way that we discussed earlier – the attorney will make sure it meets the standards of trademark protection and make sure no other registered trademarks are confusingly similar.

When a registration is issued, it is an official document from the U.S. government that gives you the legal presumption that you own the trademark. A prior user can attempt to cancel your registration, but until that happens, you are presumed to be the owner.

  • Trademark Registrations as an asset: Investors and other potential partners often look at intellectual property when looking at the health and long-term plans of a company. Trademark registrations are assets that can show you have a long-term plan for your brand. Trademarks can even be used as collateral for loans in some cases.
  • Deterrents to Competitors: A trademark registration acts a deterrent to competitors, who are likely searching the USPTO website (and other third-party aggregator websites) to gauge the risk of using certain trademarks. In fact, a registration acts as notice throughout the U.S. that you are the owner of the mark. No one can then say that they had never heard of you before selecting their mark – the law presumes that businesses will do their due diligence.
  • Online Marketplace Enforcement: An increasing number of online marketplaces are requiring trademark registrations to join special brand management programs.

For example, Amazon’s Brand Registry Program required a registered business trademark in order to join. The U.S. Customs department also requires a trademark registration to register with their counterfeit brand monitoring program.

From start to finish, registration will take at least nine months and sometimes more, as the government reviews the trademark and allows third-parties an opportunity to object to the registration.

However, your protection starts from the date you apply, so it is important to file as soon as possible.

 

How do I keep my trademarks protected?

You developed a strong trademark and registered it with the USPTO. Now what?

Now, you must police the marketplace and the USPTO to ensure that no competitors infringe on your trademark rights. A trademark is only as strong as its impact on consumers, so if someone else is using a similar trademark, then any experience not under your control can permanently damage your trademark.

Brands are often about first impressions. Customers also are human and don’t have perfect recall and often make impulsive decisions on whether to purchase something without thorough research.

If a customer has a bad experience with a brand that is close in sight, sound or meaning to yours, your brand is likely to suffer as well. Unless that client can recognize the differences at a fleeting glance, the negative feelings they have towards that brand are likely to transfer to you, losing you customers.

Whether its an innocent mistake by a competitor or a deliberate attempt to “cash in” on your brand’s recognition and good-will, you must be diligent about the protection of your trademark against infringers.

If not, you could lose the ability to protect your trademark in the future, as the scope of your trademark becomes smaller and smaller, until you barely have any rights left to protect.

 

Why is protecting trademarks Important? 

Trademark protection is important for a long-lasting and memorable brand. Businesses spend large portions of their budget creating brand awareness, but not nearly enough go through the steps to properly analyze and protect their trademarks.

Through effective trademark protection, business can secure help secure and grow their valuable brands.

Gerben Law Firm, PLLC is regularly a top-filer at the United States Patent & Trademark Office and its attorneys have been named “Top Practitioners” in the Washington, D.C. region by the World Trademark Review. Mr. Perrott provides free consultations on trademark and copyright issues and can be reached at eperrott@gerbenlawfirm.com.

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How to Get Started with Digital Marketing

How to Get Started with Digital Marketing 

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing encompasses a broad range of marketing strategies associated with the internet that are designed to target and engage specific consumers. Attention-grabbing websites uncovered during Google searches, customized email programs, and social media are becoming universal elements designed to engage existing customers and attract new ones. Unlike traditional mass marketing strategies like TV, radio, and newspapers, digital marketing attempts to focus messages to a population that is most likely to require the company’s goods or services in the near future.

As the population continues to spend more time online, creating a presence to connect with them is critical.

Effective digital or online marketing is essential in today’s business environment. According to an Adweek.com, 81% of shoppers conduct an online search before making any important purchasing decision.

Digital marketing, much of which is also termed Inbound Marketing, is designed to attract viewers’ attention with an exciting and pertinent website or other marketing devices that may include such tools as:

  • infographics
  • interest-catching blogs
  • online brochures
  • ebooks
  • details such as newly imagined logos and other branding assets.

Also, useful interactive tools are designed to engage consumers to linger and take notice as they speed through their internet searches.

As another important element, online consumer feedback and commentary are driving many of today’s purchases. Consumers seeking products to provide pleasure or to solve a problem usually rely on experiential input from online posts to guide their decisions. Effective digital marketers capitalize on positive feedback while minimizing negative feedback in timely ways.

Important disciplines to enhance your presence are:

Experienced professionals like MarketCrest in McKinney TX provide creative support to companies throughout the United States and key international markets.

Establishing Your Starting Pointdigital marketing

MarketCrest offers a free one-hour consultation and discovery call for potential clients to discuss their current situation and identify strategies that may begin to build profitable new revenue and sustainable growth through digital marketing. Each professional at MarketCrest brings a unique set of skills and experience that will provide a holistic view of your brand and market building.

During the discovery phase of the free introductory consultation, the MarketCrest experts will address your current circumstances including:

  • How does your company work?
  • What are the ways you generate revenue?
  • What are your ongoing marketing initiatives?
  • What are your online marketing goals?

From the analysis of your current situation, the digital marketers can develop a customized strategy designed to drive the appropriate traffic that generates qualified leads and profitable revenue.

Once initial objectives are established, the process of further evaluation and strategy development begins. The three core categories for consideration are:

  • Website Design and Development: Evaluate the current design and adjust to meet the new objectives. Such issues as visual appeal, user experience, mobile readiness, and page load speed will be analyzed for acceptability. If tweaks or significant changes are needed, this will be the time to do so.
  • Content Optimization: Evaluation of success rate of your landing pages is essential. With ongoing, real-time analysis of your content, MarketCrest professionals can determine if you are developing trust, establishing credibility, and enhancing the image of your company.  Content should be engaging and include relevant keywords that increase search engine optimization. Other data tools can be added to track demographic and geographic interest.
  • Conversion Optimization: How many visits you successfully convert may depend on a variety of elements in your content. Continual monitoring and adjustment where needed can improve conversion rates.

MarketCrest’s Digital Marketing Process

The MarketCrest Process consists of four steps from the initial discussion to the goal of sustained revenue development.

  • Strategy Development is a result of website analysis, traffic analysis, keyword research, competitive analysis, campaign planning.
  • Traffic Creation will stem from initiatives that include organic and paid searches, display advertising, online directories, social media, public relations, and blogs.
  • Lead Generation is output resulting from improved landing pages, enhanced content, online calls to action, conversion forms, and email marketing, for example.
  • Sales Conversion strategies utilize ongoing analytics, A/B testing (comparing two web pages or other variables), CRM (customer relationship management) integration, lead scoring, and customer nurturing strategies.

 Managing the Strategic Campaign

Once the newly designed digital marketing campaign is in place, MarketCrest will monitor traffic and impact generated by strategies that include SEO activities, content, Pay-per-Click (PPC), web optimization, automation, social network interaction, and more. By monitoring and analyzing real-time data, the firm will actively manage your campaigns, deliver daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual summaries depending on your plan preference. From continuous data, the strategies can be reinforced and refined to ensure optimal results.

Sign Up for a Free Consultation with the MarketCrest Professionals

Situated in downtown McKinney, Texas, MarketCrest, LLC, is an award-winning digital marketing agency committed to helping companies generate more revenue through new business. The firm offers a team of experienced, talented people and proven technologies to attack your market, transform your business, and build market share.

MarketCrest believes that for each dollar spent on online or digital marketing, you should reap at least 2-3 times your investment in meaningful revenue. Contact the experts in driving online leads and successful conversions through well-designed digital marketing campaigns. The firm offers four different levels of ongoing digital marketing support or a specially customized program that meets your objectives.

Visit the MarketCrest website to learn more about our capability and sign up for a free one-hour discovery consultation to learn more about digital marketing strategies that can move your business to the next level.

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10 Social Media Marketing Tips For Small Business Owners

10 Social Media Marketing Tips For Small Business Owners

The transition from using social media as a hobby to a business platform was a difficult transition for professionals. It was like business owners woke up one day to find out they had another HUGE item on their to-do list.

But we as humans and entrepreneurs adapt. Unfortunately, so do the ways social networks work. If you looked at a list of social media marketing tips for small business from three years ago, you’d laugh out loud!

So how do you stay up to date when it seems next to impossible? We’ve got your guide.

Sit back, turn off your notifications for a few minutes and keep reading below.

1. Find Your Audience

There is a natural law of the universe that says people will always take the path of least resistance. In less scientific terms, that means no one wants to do extra work.

For this reason, we recommend that you go to where your online audience already is and post there, instead of begging people to come over to your platform.

If you’re marketing to young people, use Instagram. Ninety percent of Insta users are under the age of 35.

The same goes for Twitter. The age of the network provides a good guide to its age demographics. Generally, the newer the app, the longer it will take for older populations to catch on.

2. Don’t Overcommit

This is one of the social media marketing tips for small business we wish everyone knew. It’s better to do one thing well than to poorly manage multiple tasks at once.

By things, we mean social networks. Yes, it would be ideal to have a presence on every network your audience uses, but is that attainable? Probably not at first, especially if you are managing social media in-house. 

Concentrate on the network with the highest engagement and expand to others slowly. This will give you time to get into the swing of things and you’ll have more users to carry over to the other site with you.

Be Wary of Snapchat

Unless your demographic is very young (under 25), skip Snapchat. The content only lasts for 24 hours and it’s taboo to re-use Snapchat posts.

Unless you have someone who can commit to creating and posting new content every day, leave snapping to the kids.

3. Hire An Expert

Young adults entering the workforce get a bad rep, but they’re not as bad as the news says (although they have killed the napkin industry… look it up). Sure, they love avocados too much (look that up, too!) but they understand social media. They’re the first generation who grew up with it!social media marketing tips for small business

Since they’re on their networks 24/7, these kids can spot a marketing trend from a mile away. Between reading up on trends and personally living them, you’ll be all set when you outsource your marketing to a team with some fresh and young minds. 

If you have a small budget, you don’t have to find someone through LinkedIn. There may be a tech-savvy young family member who will gladly work for half of what a professional would make.

As far as social media marketing tips for small business go, its a win-win-win to hire a marketing firm that will handle your online presence for you. This allows you to really focus on the bulk of the business. 

4. Front Load

You’ve heard that content is king, right? Well, when it comes to social media marketing tips for small businesses, consistent content is king.

Before you make your page or profile public, be sure you have at least a week’s worth of content to post when needed.

You’ll likely run into a few hiccups in your first week and it’ll be nice to have a queue while you deal with growing pains.

For your first posts, think about how you want your company’s narrative to be introduced. Are you going to start with products or show off the humans behind the wheel? Whatever you do, be sure there is a strategy when posting. 

5. Keep a Queue 

If you’re ever in a place where you’re ahead on posts, that’s great. Now write more! Instead of taking a break, throw those extra posts in a folder in case of emergency (ICE).

That way, if you have something come up or have extreme writer’s block, you can reach into the ICE content file and still have fresh content to post.

Make sure these posts stand the test of time! You don’t want to post a review of the iPhone 6 if we’re using the iPhone 10.

Reviews, opinions, and general education about your business or products are great options. Social media marketing tips for small business that make your life easier? That’s what we’re all about!

6. Post on Time

Remember when we said posting consistent content was one of the key social media marketing tips for small business? That also applies to the time of day too.

When it comes to posts, there are two schools of thought. The first is, post during high volume views and interact with customers. The second is more subtle and simply requires maintaining an online presence. 

Let’s say you run a clothing store. While there may be some scientific data on times people like to shop, you’re more interested in getting your clothes exposure. It would make sense to post when traffic on your page is highest, or to boost your post so a larger audience sees it.

If you owned a restaurant, however, you’d want consumers to think of you at very specific times… like breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or right before.

For example, a restaurant pushing a take-out special would do well to post around 4 o’clock.

Targeting consumers right before they have to go home to their families would remind them they could get something quick on the way home.

Try out each method or a mix of both, then stick to what works! 

Use Scheduling Tools

Now that you know what times work best for your consumers (and it can change!) make sure you never miss prime time.

Thankfully, you don’t have to release each post live at the exact time. Social networks and online tools have settings for automated posts and even automated emails. 

Simply upload the post however far in advance you want, then schedule it to release at the right time. Now you can go to dinner without keeping your phone face-up on the table.

7. Be Human

Now that you know the logistics of posting content, let’s talk about creating it.

Far too many businesses under post because they’re scared it won’t be perfect. However, with so many opinions online, no post is perfect for an entire audience or subject. 

When you’re creating posts, do your best and have a distinct brand voice. Don’t be scared to share a meme or two, so long as it’s targeted to your audience.

We’re not saying that you should forego editing altogether, that’d be crazy. Just don’t overdo it and post like a machine would. Install an editing app (like Grammarly) on your browser to catch mistakes, and keep a personable and honest voice.

Even when outsourcing social media posts to a content marketing firm, be sure to either post or relay information that the firm wouldn’t know. They can create engaging content all day long, but they’ll never be able to tell personal stories like your own staff or customers can. 

8. Engage, Engage, Engage

If location is the most important thing in real estate, engagement is the most important thing in social media marketing. Gone are the days where you could expect consumers to buy products just because you showed it to them. There’s too much market saturation for that!

Brands have to create a brand that makes customers feel like friends. Your brand needs to be something individuals can get to know, something more than a list of products or services.

Keep this in mind when you’re creating content for your website and social media. Is anyone going to engage with or learn something from your post? This is key. 

Reward Engagement

In this social media driven world, people get real validation from online attention. Even if you’re just starting out, there’s a thrill in getting attention from an “official” page.

So, when people engage with your content, give them a virtual pat on the back. Like their comment (etc) as fast as you can and do your best to create a personal reply.

They’ll remember your interaction and get a little taste of recognition from a brand, and you’ll be following social media marketing best practices while providing positive affirmations. 

Steal Engagement

Ok . . . Don’t actually steal it, but certainly, take ideas from other similar companies. Keeping your enemies close is a good tactic online too.

Follow your competition on your personal networks and pay attention to what’s working for them.

Are they having a sale you could match? Maybe they’re having a contest and it’s getting lots of attention. Now you know what your population likes without doing intense research!

9. Build Your Own Community

While we do recommend building your own brand and marketing strategy, there are bound to be other businesses in your community that go hand in hand with your own.

Are you a ski rental place that could pair up with a local charter bus in the area? Or a restaurant with a bookstore next door that could market together & encourage people to buy a book and have a literary lunch date?

There is power in numbers and networking, even online!

10. Blog Like Crazy

If blogging isn’t listed as one of the social media marketing tips for small business in a list you’re reading, disregard that source entirely. Blogs are entirely too important as content landing pages and for SEO purposes. They simply must be a part of your content strategy. 

If you’re working with anything other than LinkedIn or Reddit, you’re going to have restrictions on content size. On Facebook, for example, you can’t boost any image that is more than 20% text, which looks like next to nothing.

You need a place where people can go for more information. Think of your social media post as the preview to any branded original content. You need them to see the preview on your networks, then click to read the full content on your blog, ultimately increasing traffic to your website. 

Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Business: Tying Them Together

You can use all of these social media marketing tips for small business, but if you don’t stay true to your brand it’s no use. Before you start a business, let alone create a social media presence, take some time to figure out your brand and voice.

This can be a big task. It’s hard for someone so deep in the business details to see the bigger picture from an outsider’s perspective. That’s where you need professional help.

We can help you create your brand, your social media presence, and even coach you through building a website primed to generate leads. Check out the case studies on our site, then sign up for a free consultation. You have nothing to lose and followers to gain.

What are you waiting for? Call MarketCrest today. 

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The Ultimate Guide to Online Reputation Management

The Ultimate Guide to Online Reputation Management

Welcome to the world of online reputation management, where one ill-timed tweet or potentially offense comment back to a reviewer can easily cost you your entire business.

In today’s world especially, it can be tough to know the best way to manage your brand’s reputation online. How can you ensure that you defend yourself and your business practices, while also making sure consumers know you value their opinion?

That’s what online reputation management is all about.

Read on to access our ultimate guide to getting it right.

Step One: Find Out What They’re Saying

We get it: it can be incredibly stressful to think about Googling yourself or your business to know what people really think of you.

However, if you don’t face the music, you have no chance of improving — and you’re telling your customers that their opinion doesn’t really matter to you.

The first step of good reputation management is to do a quick search on yourself and your brand.

Read your reviews, make sure you’re aware of any online complaints, and even search your business’s name on social media marketing platforms like Instagram and Twitter. We also suggest setting up a Google Alert for your brand’s name.

This way, anytime someone posts something online related to your company, you know about it as soon as it happens. This allows you to respond to the comment, and control the situation before it gets away from you.

Don’t like what you see?

If unflattering or inappropriate pictures of you or your employees pop up, do what you can about getting them deleted. Also wipe your old Twitter page if needed, and close any college-era social media personal platforms.

Step Two: Control Your Narrative

So, you did a little bit of searching about yourself and your brand.

Unfortunately, you didn’t like what you learned. Before you start panicking that it’s too late, focus on what you can do to salvage the situation.

The first thing?

Build or completely revamp your personal website. This way, when people Google your name, that will be the first thing that comes up about you — and you can present yourself as a professional.

Next, start doing what you can to push those negative reviews, old photos, and social media missteps off the first page of search engine results.

Submit articles to industry journals. Start a blog. Create new social media accounts for both yourself and your business.

Step Three: Respond To The Negative

How you respond to a crisis or a mistake says a lot about your personal character — and your ability to maintain a level head.

Of course, we know that usually, keeping your cool when someone has insulted you or your business is easier said than done.

The number-one rule of responding to negative comments and reviews? Give yourself a few minutes — or hours — to calm down first. Don’t respond or act on defensiveness or raw emotion.

Instead, step away and get control over yourself. Then, really think about what the person was saying. Chances are that, even if they didn’t say it in the best way, they still provided some constructive thought or criticism about your business.

Even better?

Their review gives you the chance to prove to both current and potential customers that you want to listen to feedback and keep your customers satisfied.

Start by thanking the person for their review. Then, assure them that you’re going to follow up on the situation, both with the reviewer and the responsible staff/team member.

Next, ask them what you could do to make their experience better. Finally, offer them either a free or discounted service/product if they’re willing to give you another chance to make it right.

Step Four: Consider A Professional

Let’s face it — whether because of your age, your nationality, or even the amount of time you spend online, you won’t always know what’s appropriate and what’s not.

Further, you may not have the time or even the writing ability to craft an apology in the right way or to correctly respond to a review.

Sometimes, hiring professional marketers or an online reputation management expert is the best course of action.

First of all, they have the time to do the research into what’s being said about you online. Additionally, they have the marketing experience needed to prevent you from making major mistakes in the first place.

And finally, they have the resources to actually address and fix the situation — instead of just ignoring it.

Need More Help With Online Reputation Management?

Remember — managing your reputation online isn’t always about avoiding mistakes. Instead, it’s about knowing the proper way to own up to them.

Looking for a reputation management professional with the skill set you need?

We can make it happen. In addition to managing your brand’s online reputation, we also offer Search Engine Optimization (SEO), PPC, website design, and several other online digital marketing services to take your brand to the next level.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to start thinking about your online reputation management strategy.

Instead, spend some time on our website to learn more about how we can help you avoid making costly mistakes that severely damage — or even outright destroy — your brand’s reputation.

When you’re ready to take control of your narrative, reach out to us to get started with a free marketing quote.

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10 Reputation Management Tips From An SEO Expert

 

10 Reputation Management Tips From An SEO Expert

Ninety-seven percent of consumers in North America read online reviews to learn more about a business. If you are not taking an active role in how your business is being perceived online then it’s time to start.

Reputation management is vital to succeed online today. In this article we have compiled helpful tips to help you manage your online presence, respond and learn from and reviews, and discover how to use search engine optimization (SEO) to help your pages rank!

Let’s get started!

1. Create A Consistent Online Presence

In order to manage your online reputation, you need to BE online. Create accounts for your business that are applicable to your industry. These go beyond Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (Though, you should have those too!).

Do some research to find popular sites in your industry. For example, if your business provides home services, consider creating an account on Houzz. Are you a B2B company that’s looking for hot leads? LinkedIn and LinkedIn Groups will become your kingdom.

Delve into the digital world and find your niche. Among the websites we’ve listed above, you can also create accounts on Pinterest, Flickr, and Vimeo. Keep in mind that not every industry will thrive on these platforms. Do some research of your own to find out if your business will be a good fit.

2. Make Social Media A Priority

Social media is no longer just for friends and family. Users are turning to social media to follow brands, learn more about a business, and of course, share their grievances with the world.

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are replacing email complaints and comments. In fact, in the past two years, customer interactions on Twitter have increased 250 percent.

Reputation management begins with your customers. Respond to their comments, listen and always apologize.

Social media is an essential part of business today. These platforms are putting the user in your hand and encouraging engagement. All they expect in return is a response.

3. Don’t Ignore Google (Or Google My Business)

When it comes to reviews, Google should be one of your many areas of focus. With more than 3.5 billion searches made per day, you cannot afford to take a blind eye to your reviews.reputation management

Manage your online reputation on Google by claiming your Google My Business local listing and page. Manage your free listing directly, read and respond to reviews, and control your address, phone number, contact information, and photos.

An incredible 56 percent of local businesses have not claimed their listing. Be part of the proactive 44 percent that are taking reviews into their own hands.

Google reviews may be important but remember that Facebook, Yelp, and Foursquare reviews can be equally important. Tackle your reviews on every platform for the best results.

4. Reply to Every Review

You cannot expect to effectively manage your reviews if you don’t reply. Reply to each and every review, the good, bad, and ugly. Avoid defensive language and always be gracious and genuine.

Users seek out reviews to see what others are saying. When users stumble upon a negative review that has not been replied to, they’re only getting half of the story. Reply promptly and offer compensation and your sincerest apologies. Not only do you have the potential to win back a customer, your genuine response may sway a prospective customer.

Replies should always be conducted in a timely manner. A great rule of thumb is to reply within 24 hours Monday through Friday, and 48 hours Saturday and Sunday.

5. Encourage Customers to Review

Studies show that 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust friends.

Encourage your customers to leave reviews whenever your business completes a service.

Don’t be afraid to ask customers to leave reviews. If they’re thrilled with the service you’ve provided they’ll be happy to help.

A few clever ways to encourage reviews is to:

  • Ask in-person once service has been provided.
  • Include a link to leave a review on your monthly newsletter.
  • Make it easy to leave reviews by adding a “Leave Us a Review” button on your website.

Set internal goals every quarter to keep momentum and ensure that the number of your reviews never go stagnant.

6. Encourage Honest Reviews

Honesty is always the best policy. Everyone loves five-star reviews, but they should be earned, not just given.

Genuine, honest reviews are powerful tools for business. 

If you’re hovering around a 4 or 4.5 rating, don’t worry! 94 percent of customers said they’d use a business with a four-star rating and 68 percent claimed they trusted a business with a mixture of positive and negative reviews.

Encourage honest reviews of service and reply to every review.

7. Listen and Learn from Your Reviews, Even the Negative Ones

Reviews are windows into the services that you offer. Negative online reviews may be the byproduct of a bad day or peeved customer, but if you’re receiving consistent reviews mentioning a specific service or aspect of your business, listen!

Address any issues, be it customer service concerns or a specific employee complaint. Negative reviews are also an opportunity to build your brand. Genuinely apologize and offer compensation when it’s warranted.

What you don’t want to do is argue. Arguing a negative review is acceptable maybe one out of a hundred times… maybe.

One of the most popular “What Not To Do” examples is the now infamous Amy’s Baking Company.

On an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsay met Amy and Salomon “Samy” Bouzaglo, restaurant owners in Scottsdale, Arizona. Not only did they refuse to believe any of their negative reviews–literal dozens of reviews–they actively sought them out and argued each one.

The episode and its subjects were so abrasive and unmanageable, focusing on each negative review as though it were a personal dig, it led to eventually closing their doors permanently.

If there was ever a cautionary small business tale about the importance of reputation management, it’s that one.

8. It’s Never Too Late to Apologize

Everyone has bad days, sometimes there are fires that you just can’t put out. If your business finds yourself on the wrong side of service, own up to it and apologize.

A genuine apology goes a long way online. Some customers may even respond with gratitude and understanding.

Apologize and offer compensation if you feel that it is warranted. Compensation can turn angry customers into satisfied ones. On platforms like Facebook and Google, the user may even edit their review to add a star or two and an extra line.

Customers check reviews before choosing a business. If they find a negative one, a genuine apology may be the deciding factor.

9. Don’t Stoop Down to “Trolls”

Negative reviews are almost a guarantee, especially once your business expands and has a few years under its belt. While there is a protocol when it comes to negative reviews, many businesses fail to anticipate are “trolls”.

A troll is internet slang for someone that consciously tries to stir up the pot by posting rude, inflammatory comments online.

If your business has the misfortune of being plagued with a troll or two, don’t panic, but act quickly. Don’t hesitate to block someone who is obsessively commenting, reviewing, or spreading rumors about your business.

The most important lesson is to not stoop to their level. Delete the comments, attempt to assuage the review, but do not fight back. If you reply with a vengeance, you’re only pouring more fuel to the fire.

10. Invest In Reputation Management

Reputation management is a round-the-clock job. The only downside to social media is that there are no “off” switches. Comments and reviews can come at any hour of the day, any day of the week. An upset or frustrated customer doesn’t take the day off.

As a hardworking business, you may not have the time to respond to each comment, every review, positive or negative. Crafting response after response takes a lot of time and energy. Enlist a trusted member of your team to help carry the load, or hire someone specifically for the role. Reputation management should never be left and forgotten. Have an active role online and you will control what is being said about your business.

Don’t be afraid to outsource the job with a third party reputation management source. Reputation management programs vary depending on your needs. While most are integrated with social media to monitor mentions and delete inappropriate comments, others have a more web-based approach to reply to messages and negative comments on posts or blog articles.

Trust us, it’s worth a little time and money.

Need A Helping Hand?

Reputation management will never be a “one and done” solution. It requires marketing expertise, hands-on management, consistent online content, and a whirlwind of patience.

Sometimes, you just don’t have time. That’s where we come in!

MarketCrest is an in-house marketing company that offers everything from SEO and web development to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and content marketing.

Sign up for an hour of free marketing consultation with an expert. Our award-winning team has helped local businesses and large corporations alike take control of their digital presence.

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How Small Businesses Benefit from Fractional Marketing

How Small Businesses Benefit from Fractional Marketing

Not every business can afford to hire a top-notch marketing exec, or even have enough work to keep them busy for the price. However, pretty much any company on the planet can benefit from getting a dose of expertise from a seasoned CMO.

Whether that’s big picture consulting stuff, or deep dives into a few select problem areas, fractional marketing is a compromise. You get the benefit of having an exec on staff at a lower price. Check out some of the benefits of fractional marketing services, here.

What, Exactly is Fractional Marketing?

A fractional CMO (chief marketing executive) is an outsourced marketing expert you can hire to help you with your marketing efforts. Small and medium-sized businesses may find that they need someone on staff that can hel

Fractional Marketing

p them tackle a specific project and that their needs vary throughout the year.

Working with an expert on a project basis means that smaller budgets can still benefit from working with someone with the skills and experience needed to help you grow your company.

That could take the form of hiring a content expert who helps you implement a strategy, then helps you find quality freelance writers or digital creators that can flesh out your website.

Or, you might need help getting into the nitty-gritty of web analytics and learning how to convert data into actionable to-do items.

Sounds good so far, right? Here is a look at some of the more specific benefits of fractional marketing

Save Major Cash

One of the main reasons you should invest in fractional marketing service is, it’s an affordable way to gain access to top talent in marketing.

Unfortunately, when many companies make budget cuts, they do so at the expense of marketing, despite its boundless potential to drive sales. With a fractional CMO on hand, you’ll be able to pick and choose where those marketing dollars go. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of getting an expert’s advice on how to spend said dollars.

Help Fill in the Blanks Where Marketers are Struggling

If you have a young marketing team without much experience or a single marketer, spread too thin? In both cases, bringing on an outside marketing expert can help ease the burden, and help coach those team members with much to learn.

In this case, you’ll want to bring on the fractional CMO in a consulting capacity. Ask them if they can help you strategize and help your team learn the ins and outs of developing and implementing a marketing plan.

Over time, your team should be able to take over, develop leadership skills, or become SEO experts. Figure out where you are lacking and talk to your consultant about how you can go about fixing it.

Ultimately, you’re bound to see promising results as far as conversions are concerned, and your team will benefit from the real world education they get just by coming in to work.

A Fresh Set of Eyes

A fractional CMO provides a newfound clarity to your workplace. It’s always a smart idea to get a fresh set of eyes on the case, as an outside perspective can help you break old habits that might be hurting your business, or give you some insight into what customers see when they look at your product.

Business owners sometimes assume that they’re explaining everything to consumers in a way that makes sense, but in reality are putting out unfocused or confusing messaging. Working with an outside source can illuminate these areas at a fraction of the price it costs to hire a dedicated marketing person.

A Network of Experts–At Your Fingertips

Hire one full-time person and you probably just have access to their individual pool of knowledge. And no matter how smart and savvy your new staff member, there’s still the issue that one employee can’t be an expert in everything.

With a fractional CMO, you’ll find that this person doesn’t work alone. They probably have a team back at their office that can help them with certain tasks. If they’re a content person, they’ll be able to get you in touch with a data expert.

Revamp An Underperforming Team

If your marketing team is underperforming, you might not have the know-how to diagnose the problem, much less find a solution.

Your outsourced expert will be able to identify problems with staff, as well as weaknesses in the leadership team causing some of the problems.

Help With Digital Analytics

An excellent fractional CMO will know the ins and outs of digital analytics. If you’re not of the data-driven mindset, it can be hard to make the most out of your digital analytics, even if you’re reading all the right reports.

The CMO will be able to help you find the right software solution for your company, as well as turn reports into a to-do list your employees can use. Additionally, the fractional marketing consultant should be able to train the appropriate staff on how to run reports. And–how to use those reports to make informed decisions.

Ready to Get Fractional? Give MarketCrest a Try!

MarketCrest offers a range of marketing services, including fractional marketing. We know your marketing dollars can sometimes be the hardest to part with.

Fractional marketing can help you make the most out of a smaller budget–we’ll help with the big picture stuff, and help you hit your revenue targets through email and content marketing, SEM, and a whole lot more.

Fill out the form here to sign up for a free one-hour consultation. We’re happy to walk you through the process and get you started on the path to success.

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How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate and Improve Your Lead Conversion

Lead Conversion

Do you want to reduce your website’s bounce rate and improve your lead conversion?

If so, you aren’t alone.

Bounce rates measure the number of users leaving your website after viewing only one page.

According to ConversionVoodoo, the average bounce rate in the e-commerce industry is 33.9 percent. Even if you are on par with your competition, you will still lose nearly 3 out of every 10 visitors that land on one of your web pages.

But we can help.

Read on to learn more about how you can lower your bounce rate and produce a higher lead conversion on your website.

Improve Your Written Content

You can improve your lead conversion by improving the quality of your written content.

How?

Enhance the readability of what you write. Consider who your target audience is and what they want to read.

Are your products and services geared toward a more sophisticated consumer? If that’s the case, you can write at a higher level. If your audience is new to the industry, you may want to consider a simpler approach.

Your web content should be easy for visitors to read and understand.

Create a Smooth Browsing Experience

To maximize the value of your website to your business, you must create a smooth browsing experience for visitors.

If you don’t, you risk losing potential clients, often in the blink of an eye.

According to Amazon, a delay of just one second would cost them $1.6 billion of sales revenue each year.

Although Amazon is a reputable leader in e-commerce, this statistic shows the tremendous impact slow load times can have on any business.

You can create a positive user experience for website visitors by spending time on web design and testing the front end. This way, by the time your website reaches the public, it has few glitches.

Users will want to browse other web pages if you make it easy for them to do it. Cut down your load times and watch your bounce rate go down with it.

Add Blog Content to Your Website

Blogs allow you to increase lead conversion while also improving search engine optimization (SEO).

By writing regular blog content, you generate interest in your website while also showing your reader you are an authority in your field.

To do this, spend time researching hot topics and other trends in your industry. What are some emerging areas in your field? Are there any unique issues posed by changes in the technology your clients use each day?

Your blog content should be relevant to your audience and provide them value. If you create well-written blog content that continually interests your readers, you can create a following over time.

Blog content also has a positive impact on your website’s SEO.

According to Axonn Media, a company with blog content has 434 percent more indexed pages–pages included in search engine results–than one that doesn’t.

Open External Links in New Windows

The external links on your website should be set to open in a new window.

If they open in the existing web browser window, your visitor is immediately taken to a new website. In short, they have “bounced” from your site and may not return.

However, when external links are set to open in a new window, you eliminate that risk. Your website remains open in its existing window and you avoid a user having to use the back button to return to your content.

Multiple back button clicks for a user can result in “back button fatigue”, according to UX Movement.

For example, if your user opens an external link that doesn’t open in a new window, they’re taken directly to the external website. Then, they may click one or more links on the external site.

If they decide they want to go back to your website, they may not be able to find it easily. Clicking the back button multiple times is tedious and load times on the external site may be slower than yours.

Mobile Optimization Matters

Your website should operate seamlessly across desktop and mobile platforms. From a user’s standpoint, it matters now more than ever before.

According to StatCounter, mobile web browsing surpassed the desktop for the first time in October 2016 when 51.3 percent of users accessed the internet through a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet.

Mobile web browsing has been trending upward since 2009 when the study began. And with the continued advances in mobile web technology, it’s showing no sign of slowing down in the future.

As a business, focus on ensuring that users have the same experience on your website, whether they access it from their smartphone or laptop computer. Website optimization for mobile has never been more timely.

Wrapping Up: Improve Lead Conversion on Your Website

In today’s digital age, your website can be a potential client’s first (and only) impression of your business.

You need to make the most of this opportunity and send a positive message to that would-be client.

How can you do that?

Have a professional web design and fast load times.

But drawing a visitor to your website is only part of the process.

You need to decrease bounce rates and improve lead conversion to generate more interest in your business. More interest then creates higher revenues.

At MarketCrest, we have an award-winning team built to support your revenue goals. We’ll help your company grow and stand out from the competition. We’ll work with you to identify marketing opportunities and increase revenue.

Contact us today to learn how we can help your business develop a stronger web presence.

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Why Hiring an SEO Agency is the Secret to Growing your Business

SEO agency

Being a business owner requires wearing many hates. Some you can wear well, others you will need to pass on to someone more qualified.

How your business is represented can make or break your brand. Branding is your calling card and is often equated to meeting someone in person and handing him your business card.

The difference is, instead of meeting one person, you are meeting hundreds, thousands or many more. This is why your SEO strategy is best left to an SEO agency.

If you are tired of winging it and want to have your SEO done right, continue reading for reasons why you need to hire a professional.

You’re at the Bottom of SERPs Rankings

SERP stands for search engine result pages. A business with an online presence needs to be concerned about their ranking.

In the digital age, when consumers are in search of a particular service or product, they generally do an online search. The goal is to have your business appear on page one of the search results page.

Unfortunately, many business owners do not understand the importance of having a high ranking.

Studies show that 75% of users limit their search to the first page of the search results. An SEO agency will be able to implement a plan to get your business website to page one on Google and other search engines.

You Did Not Know Your Business Needs a Google My Business Page

If you asked, “What is that?” you need an SEO agency working for you.

An SEO service that is provided to businesses is Knowledge Graph Optimization (KGO).

KGO is how the SEO industry labels Google My Business Page (GMBP). Your business contact information, social media links, images and more, appear in the right side column of Google SERPs, when someone enters your business name.

Your GMBP can also include a Google Map, reviews and more. The process of setting up the feature begins by submitting a request to Google and going through a verification process.

A trained SEO strategist can get this done for you in no time. Now, when someone searches for your business, they will have all of your pertinent information at their fingertips.

Your Business Does Not Have a Google Virtual Tour

A business that provides a service needs a Google Virtual Tour. An SEO agency will be able to get this done and connect it to your GMBP.

A Google Virtual Tour is a 360-degree tour of your business or service? It gives the potential customer a 3D view of what your business offers before they step in the door.

If you have ever visited a hotel website, chances are there was a 360 tour option to explore guest rooms, site amenities and more. Realtors are also taking advantage of this feature.

Outsourcing SEO services can take the legwork out of this and other strategies by connecting you with professional photographers and videographers.

Your video can also be used on your website, social media and at trade shows.

An SEO Agency Can Link Your Social Media Accounts to Your Website

Today, social media is a very important aspect of brand awareness and marketing. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are SEO must-haves.

Social media helps extend your marketing reach. When used correctly it extends the reach of your website content.

Another portion of your SEO strategy will be to post links from your website to your social media pages. This will place content in front of an audience that may not know about your product, services or website.

Optimization

By optimizing your blog pages and more, via social media, you increase traffic to your website when people click on the links. The more your website links are clicked, the higher the website goes in SERPs.

SEO services can direct you to which content will do best on each social media platform. Example, professional images loaded to your website can be used on Instagram and Pinterest to promote your brand.

Links on your website for sales and promotions can be promoted via Facebook and Twitter by purchasing ADs on those platforms.

Create a Link Building Strategy

Agencies offering SEO services should also provide link building strategies to help improve your rankings. They also guide you in how to place links in the content on your websites.

There is more to link building than simply linking to outside sources within your website blog and other content blocks. You will need to understand the rankings and usefulness of the sites being linked to.

Linking also includes incorporating links from your website into new content you are producing.

Although link building is only one of many SEO tactics to improve your SERPs, the use of backlinks has been tested and proven to be an important part of your SEO strategy.

You Need Regularly Scheduled Website SEO Audits

Once you have your website optimized for SEO juice, you will need to have regularly scheduled audits performed. The purpose of SEO audits is to ensure your current strategy is still netting the best results.

Some things your SEO agency will check for in the audit are your current SERPs ranking and ways to improve it.

They will also check to ensure you are not using broken links to other websites. In addition, your page links will be checked for optimization. Also, a test can be run to see what websites may be using your webpage links.

Other tools will include keyword usage and the usefulness of your social media strategy.

Are You Ready to Get the SEO Help You Need?

We have pointed out reasons why your business may need to hire an SEO agency to improve your SERPs ranking. Finding the right service provider is like finding the right accountant.

There are plenty of companies on the market, but which one is right for you.

MarketCrest is a full-service marketing and consulting firm that offers SEO services. If you are ready to take your brand to the next level, click here to schedule your free one-hour consultation today.

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