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The Latest Tips for SEO in 2017

Posted by Liz Papagni in Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

seo in 2017 We know, we know! It feels like the latest algorithms for SEO change on a daily basis. And now, in addition to boosting your website, you need to be found in a million different places, from your social media accounts to local directories. Don’t panic. We’ve been watching the latest in search engine optimization, so we know how to get you found. Let’s take a look at some of the things you’re facing in 2017.

Mobile Is the Internet

According to Benedict Evans, “Mobile is the internet.” There is no longer a distinction between mobile internet and desktop internet searches. In fact, 71% of internet use takes place on mobile devices. What does that mean? Well, it means if you’re not mobile friendly, you’re missing out. Google really wants you to have those sites optimized for mobile. There are some other benefits you can take advantage of, too. For instance, you probably want to be found on Google maps, too, right? When someone searches for your location, there’s a good chance they’re on the way at that exact moment to spend some money with you. If they’re already on the way to visit, they’re probably in the car, using their mobile device. If you haven’t provided options to make that experience friendly for them, they may just go somewhere else.

In-App and Social Searching

Now, keeping in mind that 71% of internet use is on mobile devices, we should probably understand how people use those devices. Did you know that 92% of mobile use takes place within an app? The app most used, by far, is Facebook. seo in 2017 If people aren’t searching on browsers on their mobile devices, then it’s a good bet they’re using apps to search. And the biggest app is Facebook. Have you optimized your social media accounts to ensure that you’re found? People are using their social accounts to seek out content, too—not just the brand itself. You have a better chance of being found if your content provides the information they’re looking for. This could include links to your website blogs or information posted directly to your social media accounts. To make the most of the search functions, use your hashtags and keywords within the captions, descriptions, and comments. If you can geotag your business, do it! You’ll see a dramatic increase in the amount of people who find your business through your social media accounts if you just let them know where you are.

Voice Search Options

Keywords are still important to finding your business, but you have to evolve with the times. People aren’t looking for “dog collar red medium” anymore. They’re asking, “Where can I find a medium red dog collar?” They’re not looking for “Thai restaurant Los Angeles good rating.” Instead, they ask Siri or Cortana, “Where’s the best Thai restaurant in Los Angeles?” It’s up to you to reinvent your search terms with the most natural sounding phrases. Maybe your company does provide exactly what someone is looking for, but if they’re asking with phrases you haven’t planned for, they might not find you. Your business deserves to be found. Do you need to update your SEO strategy? We’re always here to give you a hand, so just give us a call!  

6 Reasons to Blog for Your Business

Posted by Liz Papagni in Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

blog for your business Starting—and maintaining—a business blog is hard. We know. Creating a content calendar, conducting research, and setting aside the time to write and publish can take a huge chunk out of your time. That’s why so many companies end up forgoing a blog altogether or only contribute a few times per year. Sure, anything you add to your website can help, but a back-burner blog means you’re missing out on one of the most powerful marketing tools available. There are probably dozens, if not hundreds, of reasons to blog for your business, but we think these six are the most important. Let’s take a look.

It’s Actually Pretty Easy

Sure, the thought of researching and writing can be overwhelming, but when compared to many of the other marketing activities you do for your company every day, it’s actually pretty easy to get a blog going. Most website themes include a blogging portal, so you don’t even have to have someone redesign your site or add new pages. All you have to do is click “add post,” and you’re off and running.

Share Your Expert Status

Did you know that 96% of B2B buyers want content from industry thought leaders? That could be you, building credibility for your products, your services, and your expertise. Think for a second: What makes you trust one company more than another when you’re making the decision to buy? Don’t you want to know that you’re putting your own company in good hands? The same is true for consumers, too. Before they buy your products, they want to be sure they can trust you. Show them with your blog.

Increase Your Qualified Leads

More than 74% of companies say that regular blogging increased the quantity and the quality of their sales leads. The reason for this is increased traffic, because B2B companies that blog sixteen or more times per month see up to 3.5 times more traffic than those that blog zero to four times per month. If you’re a B2C company, statistics show that eleven or more blogs each month can bring up to four times as many leads as a business that blogs fewer than four times per month. It just makes sense that more traffic would result in more leads, right?

Get and Keep More Customers

Those leads are more likely to turn into customers, too. In fact, 92% of businesses that blog more than once per week say they’ve gained at least one customer through their content. So, it’s easy to see how more leads could lead to more customers. How can your blog help you keep those customers? Well, many readers will happily offer up comments when they’re done reading. This gives you better insight into your idea customers’ needs. Learn what you can from their input, tweak your buyer personas, and provide a better service or product for your target audience. That’s what keeps them coming back.

Make More Sales

Buyers who read your blog do so because they trust you. That means they’ll give preference to any suggestions you might make. That trust leads to purchases that can soothe their pain points. It’s true; 61% of buyers say they’ve made a purchase based on something they read in the company’s blog.

SEO

You might think we’d lead off with this one, especially since SEO is on the lips and fingertips of every speaker and blogger. The truth is, however, that quality information that inspires trust in your buyers is much more important to Google than your keywords. Still, you can use your blog to drive traffic according to specific search terms. Just be sure to think through the things your buyers are most likely to search for, create the content that will answer their questions, and the SEO will take care of itself. Have more questions about how a blog for your business could boost your marketing efforts? Want to talk to us about how we can help you get your blog moving? We’re here for you, so just give us a call.

The Fundamental Differences of Marketing B2B and B2C

Posted by Liz Papagni in Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

b2b and b2c marketing “Marketing” is such a broad term, isn’t it? Just the word itself brings to mind thoughts of TV commercials, social media accounts, blogs, pay-per-click and display ads, print marketing, and a million other ways to get your brand and products in front of buyers. With so many different options available, you might be tempted to run after the latest trends in an effort to reach as many people as possible. The problem is that Snapchat and Instagram may not be where your buyers are. In fact, you may discover that all of your latest marketing techniques aren’t gaining traction for one very important reason: you’re reaching for the wrong audience. When marketing to businesses, you’ll use different tactics than when marketing to consumers. Those trendy techniques you’re trying fall on deaf ears before no one’s there to hear you. Let’s take a look at the differences between marketing to businesses and consumers so you’ll know where to find your buyers.

Finding Your Audience

Because 79% of all internet users are on Facebook, it’s silly to say that you won’t find B2B buyers on social media. Of course they’re on social media. However, they’re not looking to engage with brands for their business when they’re online. You might spark a bit of brand recognition with an ad on Facebook or Twitter, but those buyers certainly aren’t going to interrupt their personal social time to go make a purchase for their company. No, these buyers are more likely to find your brand after careful research. That’s why good search engine optimization and incredible content on your website is so important for marketing to other businesses. Your B2B customers must be assured of your authority within your field before they’ll consider making a purchase. If you are looking for customers on social networks, those with a more professional tone are more likely filled with potential leads. The most popular, of course, is LinkedIn. Marketing to consumers, however, is different. An ad for makeup, running shoes, or clothing on social media very well could spark a purchase right in the middle of the browsing session. You just have to know where that audience will be on social media. Are your buyers mostly on Facebook or Twitter, or will your ads reach more on Snapchat or Instagram?

Emotions in Purchasing

Some might assume that B2B buyers don’t react based on emotion, but that’s not necessarily the truth. However, the emotions that do prompt a purchase for business buyers will most likely be different than those that inspire consumer purchases. For instance, frustration, fear, relief—these are emotions that might prompt the purchase for a business buyer. After, of course, weeks or even months of research. Everyday consumers, however, are the ones who’ll stop a Facebook session to make a purchase based on an ad they just watched. Some of the same emotions are tapped, specifically fear—as in fear of missing out—while other emotions like humor, vanity, anger, and warmth could come into play.

Buyer’s Journey

The B2B will usually take a longer route between want and buy. These purchasers need time to research everything, send their acquired information up the chain of command, receive permission to make a purchase, and then to complete the sale. The process can take weeks or even months. Compare that to the relatively short consumers’ journey, which could take a matter of moments, depending on their need for the product and the effectiveness of the marketing. For products and services a buyer has used before, the journey becomes even shorter. They’re more likely to keep making the same purchase again and again, until they’re disappointed for some reason or a new brand manages to catch their eyes.

The Lifetime Value

B2B sales take weeks or months to complete because they’re usually purchases worth thousands of dollars or more. That kind of money can’t be simply thrown around. That’s why relationships, loyalty, and providing value is such an important part of building your brand for B2B marketing. You really want those buyers to come back again and again, preferably with bigger orders each time. And remember, it costs less to keep a customer than it does to find a new one. Everyday consumers, however, have a much lower lifetime value. You may have repeat purchases, but they’re not likely to cost thousands of dollars. Excellent service and product value can increase your chances for repeat purchases, which does, in turn, increase the LTV of those buyers. However, marketing is more often focused on acquiring new customers than keeping current ones. Understanding the key differences between marketing to businesses and consumers will help shape your marketing strategies. If you’ve been throwing everything at the wall to see what will stick, it’s time to give us a call. We will help you refine your strategy so that you’ll effectively reach the right audience every time.  

3 Tips to Amplify Your PPC Marketing

Posted by Liz Papagni in Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

ppc marketing Pay-per-click advertising is just one aspect of the wide range of digital marketing tools available to you, but—in the right hands—it can certainly be one of the most powerful. Unfortunately, PPC marketing can also be one of the most expensive, especially if you make costly mistakes that impact your return on investment. Because PPC is such a powerful tool, many want to jump right in and reap the benefits right away. Google makes starting an AdWords account super easy, which might lead users to believe that creating campaigns will be easy, too. Before you attempt pay-per-click advertising, there are a few things you should know.

The Bidding Process

Ensuring that your company shows up in Google searches requires knowledge of search engine optimization. Remember: your competitors already have AdWords accounts and have been bidding on the keywords associated with your business. If you want to beat them in the bidding war, you have to be thorough. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying top dollar for some keywords when others could bring similar results at a much lower price. First, consider any trademarked words and phrases, as well as any other terms you’ve branded. You’re less likely to experience competition for these terms, but you’ll only receive traffic from searchers who are already familiar with your brand. Next, consider industry-related terms. These are the words and phrases that you’ll compete the most for, so be creative. Long-tail searches are less likely to be bid on by competitors, and they’re also more likely to bring you buyers who are ready to convert. For instance, if you sell shoes, and someone searches for “red patent leather pumps,” that buyer already knows exactly what she’s looking for and probably has her credit card at the ready for when she finds what she needs. Finally, bid on competitor keywords. This is where you’re likely to find some customers who weren’t already familiar with your brand, and then you can win them over with your unique selling proposition. This is a trickier process, so wait until you’re more familiar with PPC before you attempt it.

Investigate Sitelinks

You can set your PPC ads apart from competitors with this tool, which is just an easy-to-add extension for Google AdWords. This is a cost-efficient way to clarify and narrow down your ads for anyone who’s searching for the products you sell. Let’s take a look at the red shoes search from earlier. A query through Google for “women’s red shoes” brings back two ads. The first, from ModCloth, shows four additional links at the bottom, giving the searcher the chance to further refine the search. sitelinks example This is Sitelinks at work.

A/B Test Your Campaigns

Not even the most seasoned PPC marketing experts can predict exactly what will catch a buyer’s eye. What works with one campaign could achieve dismal results with the next. This is because buyers’ needs change, and so do the trends. To always get the best possible results, create two versions of your campaign. They should be identical except for one piece, such as the headline. Run those two ads at the same time for two weeks, and then examine which had better results. If headline B worked better, then use that headline and then change something else, such as the image used or the copy in the body of the ad. You’ll never achieve perfections because, as we said earlier, buyers’ needs are always changing. What you can do is ensure that you’re always presenting the best possible option at that time to your buyers. Pay-per-click can be daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you’d like some help developing powerful and relevant PPC marketing campaigns, give us a call.