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The Value of Email as a Marketing Tool

With a return on investment of $36, on average, for every dollar spent, email marketing provides one of the highest ROIs in the digital marketing sphere. However, what exactly makes it so valuable, and why is it so effective? 

This article will explore the value of email as a marketing tool and how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected engagement. Here are eight reasons email marketing must be part of your digital campaign. 

1. Everyone Uses Email

Social media might seem trendy, but email is the only medium that everyone uses consistently. Even many young people are no longer using Facebook — they’re switching to platforms like Instagram or deleting their accounts due to privacy concerns and the impact Facebook has on their productivity. Depending on your target audience, most of it might not be on social media at all. 

Even fewer people take direct marketing mail seriously anymore. People are switching to electronic bank statements and bills, and when marketing materials come in the mail, many throw them out without a second glance.

Email, on the other hand, is universal. Even young students use email for university, for example, to communicate with professors. 

Also, people are using email more since the start of the pandemic. According to Mailchimp, email marketers in almost every industry saw an increased engagement rate compared to the previous year. Not only were subscribers opening emails and clicking on links more frequently, but they were also unsubscribing less often. 

Smaller businesses were the ones with the highest increases in engagement, but larger businesses enjoyed better conversions as well. Some industries fared better — for example, restaurants were among those with the highest increases in engagement. 

What may surprise you is that businesses, at first, started sending emails less often as the pandemic began. Nonetheless, consumers showed that they did want to see more emails from the brands they love. 

2. Mobile Devices Make Email Inboxes Accessible

People can now access their email inboxes from anywhere via their mobile phones. Most smartphones come with some sort of email client or app installed, especially Android phones, which often come with the Gmail app installed. 

Screen time has increased dramatically during the pandemic. Among adults, it has increased by 60-80%. When people spend more time on their phones, they tend to check their email apps more often as well. Now’s your chance to boost your email marketing campaigns and reach more people. 

3. It Is Personalized

One major difference between social media marketing and email marketing is that you can personalize each email. Email service providers like Aweber allow you to add details such as the subscriber’s name to each email. Not only that, but you can go beyond that and send each subscriber a happy birthday email on their birthday. To do that, you’ll need to collect their birthdate at some point. 

Thus, email allows you to connect better with your subscribers and create deeper, longer-lasting relationships. 

4. Personalization May Lead to Better Conversions and ROI

Personalization can increase your conversion rate and improve your ROI. Did you know that personalized emails get 2.5x more clicks? Not only that, but they are 6x more likely to drive a conversion. 

There are other ways to personalize an email other than including your subscriber’s name. You can send them emails tailored to their tastes, interests, age group, and more. For example, you can segment your list based on which product they bought or where and how they signed up. 

When sending automated email follow-ups to subscribers, you can tag subscribers based on their actions. For example, if a subscriber didn’t open an email, you can resend it with a different subject line. If they opened an email and clicked on a link but didn’t make a purchase, you can send another promotional email with that link, this time with a special discount. 

This kind of targeted customization isn’t possible on social media. Social media is like blogging, just on a microscale — there’s nothing personalized about it. You create only one version of each post, and that is the one that gets shown to all your followers. Email is one of the few mediums that allow you to automate personalization. 

5. Its Analytics Are Accessible

Tracking your email analytics is easy and will give you deeper insights into your audience and what they are looking for. Regardless of which email service provider you use, you’ll be able to view open rates, track clicks, see how many people are unsubscribing, and more. 

That can help you understand what your audience wants and what makes them tick. The accessible analytics you get from email marketing helps you improve both your email campaigns and your other marketing campaigns. 

For example, if you see them responding to subject lines that mention a specific product or service, you might want to talk about it more on your blog as well or create more social media posts about it. 

6. It Doesn’t Care About Algorithms

While SEO remains important, regardless of which industry you are in, it has a major drawback: You are forever at the mercy of the algorithms. Marketers who have been in the game long enough will remember how major sites like JC Penny were devastated and experienced major drops in their rankings when updates like Google Penguin and Panda came out. 

Even smaller updates can push your top-performing articles off the first page of Google. A drop of just a few positions can make a huge difference in how much traffic and conversions you drive. There is also always the possibility of a competitor outranking you. 

Social media is not much different. Each social media platform uses a unique algorithm to determine which posts and pages show up in the Discover pages and get more exposure. 

Not only that, but on sites like Facebook and Instagram, your posts won’t even get shown to all your followers. Facebook’s algorithms, for example, might decide that your followers would be more interested in another page’s content than yours. It might place your posts further down in their news feeds, and they might not scroll down far enough to see you. 

However, email doesn’t care about algorithms. Inboxes aren’t sorted in a specific order based on what Gmail thinks the user would be interested in, unlike Facebook and Instagram feeds. All emails are shown in the order they came in. 

Some emails might go to the Promotions folder or even the spam folder, so try to avoid that by telling subscribers to whitelist your address and avoiding over-promotional keywords like “free” or “sale.” 

7. Barrier to Entry Is Low

SEO is complicated. As the algorithms are always changing, you need to always be on top of the latest updates and know which strategies are currently working.

You need to know how to write awesome content, create incredible infographics, use the right images, and find the right keywords. The last part can be particularly difficult for some — you need to find keywords that not only get a lot of searches, but don’t have a lot of competition either. That can be hard in competitive niches. 

You also need to know how to do technical SEO, optimize metadata, and do off-page search engine optimization. You’ll need to build backlinks and know which strategies to use to do so. There’s a lot of skill and knowledge that goes into SEO, which is why the best SEO agencies charge so much. 

Social media marketing also requires a certain level of expertise. You need to know how to get followers, what type of content to post, and so on. 

The reason both social media and SEO require special expertise is that with both of them, you’re trying to beat the algorithm. Since email doesn’t involve that type of competition, the barrier to entry is a lot lower. You still need to know how to stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes, so they click on your email instead of others, but it’s easier to get started and see results. 

8. It Can Boost Website and Social Media Traffic

Finally, even if you see results from your SEO and social media campaigns, email marketing can boost them even more. Using email, you can drive repeat traffic to your blog posts and product pages and get more conversions over the long term. 

Also, you can use your email list to increase your follower count. Cross-promote your social media profiles and posts in your emails to boost engagement. For example, if you want to boost a specific social media post, so the algorithm starts showing it to more people, send your email subscribers to like and comment on it. 

Final Thoughts

Email marketing is still underrated, despite what you might see on some blogs. It’s one of the most effective marketing channels and has benefits that no other channels provide, such as personalization and the lack of an algorithm determining who sees which posts. 

Email marketing complements your SEO and social media campaigns perfectly. As engagement has gone up during Covid-19, now is the perfect time to send out emails. 

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Welcome to the Golden Age of Marketing

Back in 2020, I wrote this article in the Business Journal about marketing your business during COVID-19. Since then, I’ve been blown away by how quickly marketing tactics have evolved.

Consider the digital shift our culture has recently experienced: 

  • You can now meet with your doctor over a Zoom call 
  • Children can stay at home and still go to school
  • Many businesses restricted to geographic boundaries are now sourcing new customers across the US

So how has this impacted your marketing?

Since many people are now accustomed to using Zoom or Facetime, doing business with a local company isn’t as important as it once was. This means that many local businesses are now competing with companies across the country, for the same customers.

One example of this trend is the increased competition that attorneys are facing. Just two years ago, most law firms wouldn’t target potential clients outside of their county because it would mean having to repeatedly go out of town to show up in court. But today, most courts use video conferencing which allows attorneys in Los Angeles, for example, to aggressively market in other cities.

This example has played out across numerous industries and it’s resulting in local businesses becoming more strategic and data-driven with their marketing.  

The crazy thing is, this national/local dynamic has resulted in a golden age of marketing where the average local business is optimizing their marketing campaigns based on CAC (cost to acquire a customer), LTV (lifetime value), and CPL (cost per lead). These are things savvy marketers have been doing for years, but many local businesses traditionally lacked the time, knowledge, and budget to get the most out of their campaigns.

And this is what has drastically changed the most in the last year and a half!

Where should you start?

Every small to medium-sized business that has had a ton of success with its digital marketing has done two things better than most:

  1. Create tactics around the top, middle, and bottom of their sales funnel
  2. Define multiple conversion points (or KPIs), track their performance, and optimize based on the success

Top of the sales funnel

When advertising to potential customers, you should consider their stage in the sales funnel. Potential customers at the top of your funnel usually haven’t heard of your product or aren’t very familiar with it. So the primary goal of marketing at the top of the funnel is brand awareness. Top-of-funnel marketing channels include traditional outreach like TV, radio, and billboards; and also generally-targeted digital banner ads, Facebook, and Instagram ads as well.  

Middle of the sales funnel

Potential clients that make it to the middle of your funnel have heard of your company or the product you sell, and they’re doing research, comparing you to your competitors. So the goal to reach potential clients in the middle of the sales funnel is to educate and persuade them – but not yet ask for the sale. Targeted ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are great middle-of-funnel marketing channels enabling you to reach potential customers.

Bottom of the sales funnel

Finally, the bottom of the funnel is where someone is ready to purchase; they’ve done their research, and they are focused on getting the best deal—this is where your company asks for the sale. Popular bottom-of-funnel channels include Google Search Ads and Bing Search Ads. Ads on these channels can appear when your potential customer is ready to buy based on their search query’s intent.

To make the most of your target audience spending more time on their devices, your marketing strategies must focus on building brand awareness at the top of your funnel and educating your potential customers in the middle of your funnel.   

Importance of building trust

No matter how you’re reaching your target audience, people prefer to do business with companies they trust. This is why focusing on top and middle of the sales funnel strategies is so important because once you’ve built trust, your marketing will produce more customers.  

As an example, Google “Los Angeles personal injury attorney,” click on a few of the Google Ads, then take a look at the websites those ads are promoting. Most of the sites won’t win any design awards, and yet those attorneys are gaining a lot of clients with Google Ads because they’ve taken the time to build trust among their target audience with top and middle of the funnel strategies.

Ways to build trust

Most people don’t just click on an ad and buy since buying a product or service always has risk associated with it. So they mitigate their risk by looking for contributing factors to support their decision to purchase. This is where a blog post (like this one!), a video, or a podcast can really convey your value and expertise. Specifically:

  1. Write a blog post or a new web page on how your industry is affected by COVID-19 and the specific steps people are taking.  
  2. Then create Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn ads around this blog post to inform your target audience, but not sell them. This could even become a series of blog posts, depending on how long the pandemic and its effects last. It could first discuss who/what is affected by the virus, and then, later blog posts could explain how your industry is recovering from it. 
  3. You will also want to install a remarketing pixel that enables you to stay in front of your potential customers throughout the sales funnel.
  4. Now that your audience is aware of your business, develop the middle of your sales funnel ads (both static and video ads) that detail your company’s value, experience, some case studies, and further industry insights. The goal of these ads is to only appear to people that have seen your COVID-19 related ads and have read your content.  
  5. Over time, as your potential customers consume your content, your company will become an industry expert in their eyes.

Trust = New Customers

After three to six months of running your top-of-funnel and middle-of-funnel ads and reaching thousands of people multiple times with timely and helpful messaging, you’ve finally created some powerful brand awareness and trust.  

Then, once the COVID-19 pandemic has receded, you can then target all of these potential customers with bottom-of-funnel channels like Google Search & Bing Ads. These search ads will be even more effective because you’ve educated your potential clients, so they’re now aware of your product or service, they’ve already compared you against your competition, and many of them are ready to buy.

Creating a Post-pandemic Marketing Strategy

For companies with an established marketing strategy, the good news is they don’t need to start over. And for companies without a plan in place, it’s the best time in the last 50 years to create a marketing strategy!

When companies hire us as their CMO (chief marketing officer), we always start with a competitor analysis and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to understand our clients’ services, products, values, goals, and competitors. So this will also be an excellent place for your company to begin, in light of our new economic realities.

After gaining a better understanding of how your company is positioning itself and where your competitors stand, it’s time to assess every available customer outreach channel to determine the best ways to convey your message.

There are twenty client acquisition channels to consider:

  1. Business development
  2. Referral programs
  3. Public relations
  4. Unconventional public relations
  5. Content marketing: blog posts, social media ads, display ads, video ads
  6. Search engine marketing: Google, Bing, and Yahoo ads
  7. Offline/traditional advertising: TV, radio, billboards, newspaper, direct mail, etc.
  8. SEO (search engine optimization)
  9. Email marketing/marketing automation
  10. Viral marketing
  11. Engineering as marketing (ex: creating lead capture forms)
  12. Hiring a sales force
  13. Blogger targeting
  14. Trade shows
  15. Offline events: meet up’s
  16. Swag products: branded promotional material 
  17. Webinars
  18. Influencer marketing: hiring a brand spokesperson
  19. Networking 
  20. Guerilla tactics

Here’s a more in-depth description of every customer acquisition channel.

When going through every channel, we create one to three ideas for each. Once they’ve been recorded, we grade them based on their ICE score, which rates the idea’s impact, confidence, and ease of implementation, on a scale of 1-10. The top-scoring ideas then become phase one of the new marketing strategy.

This pragmatic approach to growth requires a company’s stakeholders to all contribute to the formulation and ranking of each idea. It’s only when there’s complete buy-in by every department head that the best ideas can be identified and implemented.

After managing thousands of marketing campaigns and over $24m on the Facebook and Google advertising platforms, we’ve learned the hard way how to ensure a successful campaign. So by employing the same measures we use above, your business can be confidently positioned as a market leader in the new economy.

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What is the Best Form of Content?

Question: what kind of content is best?

Answer: bears, beets, and infographics

For marketers who want to drive traffic, create buzz or increase conversions, good content is one of the best tools available.

Limited resources, however, means you have to make tough decisions. There’s only so much content you can create with the budget you have. Your content also asks something of your audience — every piece of content requires visitors to spend their limited time and attention on.

Certain kinds of web content are more useful than others. Knowing what your site visitors want to see will help you plan a more effective content strategy.

1. Blogs

Blogs are often at the foundation of a business’s web content strategy.

Blogs are highly flexible and can provide a wide range of information or value for your visitors — like updates on what your business is doing, deep-dives into a particular topic, or commentary on industry news. All of this content can be extremely valuable to site visitors. 

Written content is typically the cheapest and easiest content to produce. It’s possible to contract out the work of writing and editing blogs. You can also handle the entire process on your own, though some may want to hire writers and editors to help generate ideas and polish blog content.

The low production cost of blog posts makes them a good complement to slightly more difficult-to-create content types, like video and infographics. 

There are some things that blogs can’t do, and any written content will require more attention from visitors than content like video or podcasts. In most cases, however, blog posts can lay a solid foundation for a business’s content marketing strategy.

2. Case Studies

While blog posts are the most common type of written content used for content marketing, there are benefits totrying out different, more specific forms of writing — like business case studies.

Case studies allow you to show off previous work and demonstrate what your business does well using real-world examples.

Effective case studies answer many of the questions that a customer may have about your brand. They break down your process and show how you and your team solve client issues as they arise. 

Case studies are an opportunity to show off your expertise and thought process. They also allow you to highlight some of the customers you’ve worked with and provide some concrete proof of how you fulfill the promises you make to potential customers in your advertising.

Like blog posts, case studies are also much easier to create than other forms of content. While you may need to reach out to previous clients for permission to feature their stories, it’s often possible to get started on creating a case study right away.

3. Infographics

Infographics are a highly shareable type of content. Because they are so visual, visitors can break them down quickly, usually learning something new — encouraging them to share them on social media platforms.

If you have an interesting topic or set of statistics that you want to represent visually, you have almost everything you need for a powerful and shareable infographic. 

The downside of infographics is that they are tougher to produce than content like blogs. Most businesses probably can’t do infographics on their own, unless their team includes graphic designers who can translate raw data into a scannable visual format or they use an online infographic maker like Canva.

Infographics are often worth the investment, even if you need to outsource some of their production. The high shareability of infographics and the power of visuals in communicating data make them a great way to provide value to visitors.

4. Podcasts and Audio Interviews

Like blogs, podcasts can take a wide variety of forms and be used to discuss a range of topics. A landscaping business, for example, may use podcast episodes to discuss common problems.

Like blogs, podcasts offer a relatively low barrier of entry for content creators. There’s no right way to create a podcast, and the form offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to script and structure. 

Businesses have found success with podcast interviews, short episodes about industry news, and discussions between team members. So long as you have the right audio equipment, just about any topic can work.

If you want to make your audio sound particularly professional, you will need to invest in audio mixing and mastering. This is especially true if you want your podcast to be widely distributed — mastering helps ensure your podcast sounds great, regardless of the streaming platform. 

However, there’s no need for high-end audio equipment or previous experience with audio. The heavy lifting can mostly be outsourced, freeing you up to determine what your audience wants to hear about.

5. Video

Like infographics, video content is highly sharable and doesn’t demand as much attention from visitors as written content. 

Video is also one of the most popular types of content a business can create — according to data from Hubspot, 54% of consumers want to see more video from the brands they follow. For reference, here are some top video content trends.

Very few businesses will be able to produce their video content in-house, meaning that a partnership with other professionals or businesses is likely necessary if you want to add a video to your content library. 

The unique benefits that video can offer , however, means that this investment is often worth it.

6. Longform Writing

Many content strategies can also benefit from longer pieces of writing — deep-dives on industry topics.

In some cases, going especially long-form can be a good strategy. Many businesses, for example, create informative ebooks that they use to generate leads.

Like blog content, long-form writing has a low barrier to entry. The amount of writing that you’ll need does mean that you may want to pick a topic you have a lot to say on — but the writing process will be familiar if you’ve already worked on blogs in the past. 

If you can pull off long-form writing, it can provide a valuable addition to your business’s library of content. 

Summary: Creating the Right Content for Your Business

Effective content can come in a variety of formats. Podcasts, videos, blog posts, infographics, and ebooks can all be great tools for marketers wanting to attract new visitors and generate leads. 

The right content will depend both on the resources you have and the content you’ve already created. Video content and infographics, for example, are typically harder to create than blog posts — but they can also provide an excellent, highly shareable complement to simpler written content.


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The Top Digital Marketing Skills for 2021

Marketing online might sound pretty simple on the surface. Create a few ads, make sure you have an amazing website, and interact with users. However, the skills required to be good at marketing are a bit more complex if you want to have a good return on investment (ROI). 

Salesforce surveyed more than 8,200 marketers in 37 different countries. They found 75% of marketers feel the pandemic changed the way they communicate and collaborate at work. The skills helping professionals excel a couple of years ago may no longer do the trick.

What Makes a Successful Digital Marketer?

If you want your digital campaigns to thrive, you should focus on developing the skills needed to move forward in a post-pandemic world. Here are the top skills all successful digital marketers have and how you can embrace them in your efforts. 

1. Understand Your Audience

All the work you do as a marketer isn’t very effective if you don’t fully understand people. Excellent promotional specialists know how to dig into analytics and figure out the demographics of an audience. 

They also understand the way people tick. Top marketing gurus dig deep into the psychological aspects of why people do the things they do. They understand the emotions driving individuals to make a purchase. 

Learn about topics such as color psychology and how simply changing the shade of your call to action button can lead to higher conversion rates. 

2. Learn Good Communication

Good communicators know which words elicit a response and what questions people might have. They’re intuitive about their audience and they listen more than they speak. Think about the last time you had an amazing conversation with someone. Did they listen to what you had to say? More than likely, the answer is yes.

Take time to study the intricacies of the English language. Why does a word like “snatch” have a stronger impact than the word “get?” Utilize language to drive user action. See higher success rates with your ads simply by focusing on your verbs. 

3. Utilize SEO

You might create the most amazing ad anyone has ever seen. Unfortunately, if it isn’t placed correctly, no one will see it. Figuring out how to optimize your website and your social media presence for search engines gets you in front of potential customers. 

Learn about position zero for search engine placement, study which ads on browsers and social media have the highest response rate and seek keyword phrases your audience is most interested in. 

You can learn a lot by looking at Google’s “People Also Ask” section and utilizing those questions to cover topics on your website. Content marketing becomes much more effective when you solve pain points for your audience. 

4. Get Social Media Standards

Each social media platform has a different feel and personality. Excellent marketers have a firm grasp on the ins and outs of each site. They know beautiful photos work best on Instagram, while a short, fun video reaches people on TikTok. 

The only way to develop skills on various social platforms is by engaging people and learning how each one works. Spend some of your free time following your favorite brands and see how they keep their followers involved. 

5. Stay on Top of Trends

Trends in marketing change constantly, so staying on top of what’s current is a vital part of being a successful marketer. In Criteo’s State of Digital Marketing report, 87% of marketers say they’ll use an omnichannel approach this year. 

The ways people interact with brands varies from what it did even five years ago. People expect a consistent experience, so knowing how to reach them on different platforms makes a big difference in how well received your marketing efforts are. 

6. Get the Right Tools

As a digital marketer, you’ll utilize paid advertising via pay-per-click and impressions. You want every penny to bring results. Make sure you understand the tools available on various platforms. 

Pay attention to the effectiveness of each ad. How many clicks result in sales? Are the ads bringing in qualified leads? If you aren’t reaching the audience you wish, you may need to tweak images, messaging, keyword targeting or even where you’re spending your money. 

7. Learn to Tell a Story

People see and hear thousands of ads in a week. They’re practically bombarded with marketing messages. After a bit, most consumers tune out a lot of the noise just to make it through the day.

Your job as a successful digital marketer is to stand out from the crowd. Tell a story that captures their imagination and makes them want to hear more. Storytelling isn’t natural for everyone, so it is a skill you may need to develop.

If you have a hard time coming up with interesting scenarios for your users, consider bringing in a professional writer to help your team brainstorm ideas and get the language just right. 

8. Develop Agility

The best marketers understand if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. You must learn to think on your feet and change things up at the last minute. 

Some examples include a client who suddenly decides they want to promote a different product than the one you’ve prepared all your materials for. How do you handle the situation? Knowing some tactics ahead of time allows you to adapt and keep your client happy without driving yourself crazy.

Always have a Plan A, B, C and maybe even D. The more prepared you are for possible contingencies, the better you’ll adapt to changes. 

Play Well With Others

Marketing professionals must work with a wide variety of individuals. You’ll need to talk to blog owners about featuring your brand’s story or publishing content. You’ll enlist the help of graphic designers, writers and ad placement specialists. You’ll also have to talk to clients and coordinate efforts with the sales department. 

All successful marketers know how to talk to people without offending. Think before speaking, take a deep breath when you’re frustrated and try to be a people person as much as possible. The relationships you develop today will drive the success of your brand tomorrow. 

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What’s the Best Way to Support Your Mobile Marketing Strategy?

Picture credits: Wikimedia.org

In case you haven’t heard, Elon Musk called us cyborgs.  Seriously, he recently said in an interview that “people don’t realize — we are already a cyborg because we are so well integrated with our phones and our computers. The phone is almost like an extension of yourself. If you forget your phone, it’s like a missing limb.”

Similarly, as a marketer, if you forget to include a mobile marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a big portion of potential traffic for your website. 

According to Statista, mobile devices made up 54.8% of global internet traffic in 2021. The most popular activities include watching videos and getting on social media. More than half of people use their cell phones to get online daily.

As with most promotional efforts, if you don’t develop a plan of action, you can waste a lot of money with very little results. Here are the best ways to support a smart mobile marketing strategy and reach new clients. 

1. Audit Your Performance

Are you aware of how well your site currently performs for mobile users? Take the time to test how your site looks and functions on a variety of handhelds. Pick up your own smartphone and tap every link and button to ensure things work as they should.

Take the time to fill out forms. Can the process be simplified? You don’t want to lose potential leads because they grow frustrated and bounce away. Look for third-party integrations so they can choose to use Facebook or Google information with a single click and not punch in actual characters. 

2. Study New Technology

Every year, new smartphones hit the market. Manufacturers come up with different features and they can impact the way your user interacts with websites. Some of the latest smartphone technology trends include multiple cameras, better security features, faster processors and 5G connectivity options. 

The capabilities of mobile devices advance rapidly. Know what the latest developments are and implement them into your advertising strategy. 

3. Enhance Voice Search

Make sure your site is optimized for voice search capability. People tend to say, “Hey, Siri” and ask a question while on their mobile phones. They might also have smart speakers in their phone they use for quick searches for products and services. If your site is voice search ready, the search engines are much more likely to share the results with the user.

Think about the natural language patterns people use when asking questions. You can search for your topic on Google and pay attention to the “People Also Ask” section for some of the phrasing options. Repeat the question on your page and then answer it for the user. 

4. Make Writing Skimmable (like this article)

Put yourself in the shoes of a person using a small screen to read an article. If you have heavy blocks of text, you’ll lose them. Instead, use short paragraphs, bullet points and subheadings to allow for digestible pieces.

Those using a mobile device to access your website might not read every word of the text. They might scroll down quickly and absorb the headings and then read a few bits and pieces. Work to create writing that is easy to digest. 

You can always offer more in-depth information via videos or longer guides. For now, your basic content should be digestible. 

For social media, using a balance of text and images is vital. Facebook ad images with more than 20% of the picture devoted to text are either rejected or have limited reach. Where you place content dictates how much white space, text and photos to use. 

5. Consider Multiple Channels

Your customers may access information about your business in a variety of places. They might visit your brick-and-mortar store, hop on your social media page and then visit your website. Think about the different points of contact people utilize to reach out to your business.

Datareportal’s Digital 2021: Global Overview Report estimates about 4.2 billion people use social media regularly. Around 5.22 billion or around 66% of the population use mobile phones. If your social media tactics aren’t on par with what smartphone users want, you risk losing them to competitors. 

Test any advertising on social media and see how it looks via the app on a small screen. Is it something easy to digest and commands a quick reaction? 

6. Make Navigation Easy

People expect the scope of your nav bar to decrease on mobile devices. Some people hate the hamburger menu, but it works very effectively on a smaller screen to not take up needed space but still indicate there is more information and a rich navigational hierarchy.

Limit the number of options for categories. Combine the ones you can and go with subcategories to further refine topics. A handful of categories is more than enough to peruse on a smartphone screen. 

Keep in mind screen sizes differ, making it harder to select interactive elements on some devices. Are your navigation options large enough for anyone to tap easily? If it is too difficult to select an option, users grow frustrated and bounce away. 

7. Tap Into Mobile Messaging

Many brands design their own apps or use SMS to reach out to customers. People have their phones on them 24/7. You can reach out to them immediately and offer a special sale, let them know about a limited number of products or just share exciting news.

SMS and pushes via apps helps consumers feel connected to you. Imagine someone walks past your store and receives a push notification inviting them to come inside and receive a free promotion. Perhaps you text them when a new item matching their past buying history arrives. 

There are many ways to use mobile messaging to connect with users. Consider what might work best with your business model. Pushes are a good match for retail stores. SMS messages might work best for a B2B model. 

Make Changes Frequently

Create campaign KPIs (key performance indicators) and monitor them with Google Analytics, ad platforms, SEMrush and/or Ahrefs. To gain additional insights, use SpyFu to pay attention to what your competitors are doing and borrow any particularly successful idea. By continually optimizing your campaign based on performance, you’ll be surprised how quickly your mobile website traffic will increase.

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How to Build a Lasting Brand Identity

The way people see your company is something that lingers long after the latest product marketing strategy or logo revamp. Your brand identity is intrinsically tied to who you are as a founder and what your firm stands for.

According to an Edelman survey, 81% of surveyed consumers stated they must trust a brand they buy from frequently. What elements lead to trust and familiarity, though? It makes sense people want authentic, trustworthy companies that align with their core values. Building the image takes a bit more forethought.

Let the public know who you are with the use of visuals, words, and attitude. Brand identity isn’t something you think about once and forget. The key to becoming recognizable is consistent effort to present a consistent image.

What Are the Elements of Brand Identity?

When you think about one of your favorite businesses, there are probably a few things that come to mind:

  • Color palette
  • Typography
  • Logo
  • Packaging
  • Messaging
  • Personality
  • Customer service

All of these things work together and must match the reputation of the brand. For example, if you use messaging claiming you’re a young, hip company, but your color palette and typography is outdated and boring, you send conflicting messages to your users.

Your logo should appear everywhere your brand does. Ensuring everything flows together makes you seem more reliable.

How Do You Build Brand Identity?

Branding isn’t about how you see yourself. It’s tied to how the outside world sees you, which can vary from the way you want to be perceived. Each customer has a different experience with your company. The more consistent you become across various clients, the better chance you have of creating the image you want others to have of you.

Don’t expect people to recognize your brand without massive effort. You can’t just create an amazing logo and call it a day. Everything you do should run through the filter of who you are as a company. You must get the word out in several ways.

There are some steps you can take to increase awareness. Here are the best things for small businesses to do.

1. Create a Brand Strategy

Before you promote your company, make sure you brainstorm and come up with a brand strategy. How do you want the world to see your business? What are the different paths to creating that image?

While you can’t always control the outside world’s perception, you can present information on your business that aligns with the way you want others to see it. Be predictable because you know exactly who you are and what you stand for.

Involve your stakeholders, employees, and customers as you come up with your vision. You might be surprised by the way those who didn’t start the company see it. Their ideas aren’t right or wrong. They serve as a reference to what you’re best at and where you need more work.

2. Choose a Color Palette

The most recognizable brands have a color palette they use over and over. Some of the places you’ll see their company colors include:

  • Logo
  • Website
  • Social media
  • Product packaging
  • Shipping boxes
  • Printed material
  • Advertising

The color palette appears in everything they do, so when someone sees the main hues, they think of the company. Further enhance your image by using customized boxes and labels. Made-to-order packaging is easily recognizable and increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.

You can say a lot just through the colors you use, so don’t be afraid to try something different than anyone has before. Just be aware of why you’re doing it.

3. Make a Logo

Now that you have an idea of your color palette, either make or revamp your logo to match your choices. Keep in mind that there is a psychology to colors. If you choose red, you can create excitement. Blue may signify reliability.

While it isn’t an exact science, and people’s life experiences mean their reactions vary, you can use color to drive emotion.

Take the time to come up with a logo that represents your values as a brand. People should understand what you’re about when they see your emblem. If you see a green leaf within a logo, you probably assume the company is natural or eco-friendly, for example.

Make sure you vet your logo. There are numerous stories of brands coming up with new designs only to realize later they look like something other than intended. Have a minimum of five other people look at the design and make sure it works.

4. Audit Your Processes

Think about the way you want customers to perceive you. What are your unique value propositions (UVPs)? Do you want to be known as having the best service in your industry?

Once you identify what makes you unique, make sure your actions match your thoughts. Using the example of excellent customer service again, you should carefully consider all your policies and employee training. How do you handle it if a customer has a complaint?

Take the time to make sure everything about your business matches who you say you are. Survey your customers and ask them if they feel anything doesn’t match your reputation. The more feedback you receive, the better you can change any problem areas.

5. Use Personas

You’ve likely heard all about buyer personas and how important it is to know your customers. However, you can also create a persona for your business. Make up a fictional person with the personality and attitudes you want your company to have.

Your first step is the buyer persona. It’s much easier to promote your company to people when you know what their pain points are and the emotions they feel. You’ll know where to place your messaging to get it in front of them. You’ll understand the best messaging to get your point across.

Once you have buyer personas, dig into the personality of your company. Give your brand persona a name. How will they react to certain stimuli? What is their favorite color? How do they represent your voice?

6. Study Your Competition

According to a recent State of Competitive Intelligence Report, researchers found that 94% of businesses are looking more closely at competitive intelligence (CI) than ever before.

They’re tracking what others in their industry do well and matching customer expectations. CI also helps you find holes in their strategy so you can fulfill consumer needs.

Pay attention to their messaging and how it ties into their UVP. Are you doing a good job of sharing your UVP through your messaging?

Study everything about your competitors. Take the time to visit brick-and-mortar locations, peruse their websites, and stalk their social media. You don’t want to copy another brand. Your goal is to get ideas for what you’re doing well and how you can improve your branding efforts.

7. Stick to a Style Guide

Once you’ve done your research, settled on some specifics, and are ready to dig into branding, create a style guide listing all the details.

As different people work on projects, it’s easy to lose your focus. Make sure you include things in your style guide such as:

  • Brand color palette
  • Logo – where to use it, sizing, positioning, etc.
  • Typography – preferred fonts, sizes, and placement
  • Voice
  • Personality
  • How you want your customers to see you

Be as specific as possible, creating sections in your guide for easy reference. If someone new works on your website, they can refer to the guide to ensure they use the same style as previous designers. You’ll create a consistent image.

8. Seek Out Quality

In your advertising and online presence, you’ll use images. You may have a photograph on a blog post or a hero image of your products on your social media page. It’s smart to think about the ways you want to highlight your brand through photographs.

Come up with rules, such as using only unique images or a certain size or orientation. Perhaps you want to add a transparent color overlay to all images to align with your brand’s color palette.

You should also define the style of the photos. If your brand’s personality is fun, the images should show people laughing, in recreational moments, and enjoying themselves. There won’t be room for somber images.

Make sure they are high-quality, professional photos. The last impression you want to leave of your business is that you’re cheap and don’t really care about quality.

9. Embrace Visualization

Statista predicts the visualization market will reach $7.76 billion by 2023. Infographics and visuals help consumers better understand complex concepts. An image has a much bigger and lasting impression than words alone.

Think about the questions you get from your clients. How can you explain them simply using images?

Look for opportunities to add infographics or pull out pieces of data and highlight them with a pie chart, graph, or illustration. You want to be seen as the go-to expert in your industry. The way to accomplish this is figuring out how to take complicated issues and make them easy to understand.

10. Monitor Your Reputation

One irate customer can leave numerous bad reviews, tell others how much they hate your business, and severely damage your reputation. Whether you deserve the report or not, such low ratings might keep others from giving you a chance.

Spend time looking at reviews of your company. What are others saying? Don’t just read the positive feedback. Pay attention to the negative comments, too.

Whenever possible, reach out to people who complain. Try to make the situation right. If you solve the issue, you may turn an unhappy customer into a lifelong fan. If they aren’t pleased after your best efforts, others will see how hard you tried.

You can also hire reputation management firms to clean up past mistakes. If you had a stint where quality or customer service wasn’t ideal, you should first fix that problem and then seek a remedy to your poor reputation.

11. Keep It Simple

It’s tempting to sing your own praises. You may be great at multiple things, and you really want your customers to know about them. However, for the purposes of branding, embrace only one or two UVPs (unique value propositions). Make sure they are ones your competition isn’t promoting. This gives you a distinctive edge.

Sticking to basic messaging also allows you to drive the same point home over and over. Every time consumers see an ad, your tagline, a post on social media, or get an email from you, they should get a similar message.

People are inundated with advertisements. On a typical day, they might see billboards, hear radio ads, see commercials on TV, get newsletters in their email inbox, text messages, and see ads on social media. Phew! If you want them to remember you, you must say the same thing more than once.

Stick to the same idea, and they are much more likely to remember and associate the message with your brand.

Never Stop Growing

Brand identity gets developed over time with consistent effort. Your core values likely won’t change, but you’ll learn better ways of doing things, and your UVP may change over time. Keep branding in mind when you buy a new product, change your look, or create a marketing campaign. How others perceive you ties into how well you live up to your brand’s promises.

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How to Market Your Business to the Next Generation of New Hires

Recruiting new employees is a crucial element of any successful business, but it’s not just about bringing on potential hires. It’s also important to garner top talent and those with a propensity for moving the business forward.

Of course, it’s no small feat enticing new candidates to join your operation, especially in today’s market and in certain industries where labor shortages are a reality. As if that wasn’t enough, everyone has to contend with the pandemic and the new distanced way of doing things, particularly through remote work.

How can you market your business to the next generation or an up-and-coming wave of new hires? What are some changes you can make to create a more welcoming and desirable workplace?

Mind Your Reputation

Like it or not, your business and upper management, including you, are going to develop a reputation. That reputation will be visible both inside and outside the company, and that’s true no matter what an organization does to stem the flow of information that’s shared.

This information could be shared openly through social media and professional communities like Glassdoor, Quora, Crunchbase, Indeed, LinkedIn, and many others.

Some 86% of consumers across all age groups read reviews for local businesses. Furthermore, 95% of millennials read them, and 91% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. People tend to base their decisions upon reviews, and they also have an impact on SEO (search engine optimization) ratings.

It’s important to acknowledge that a reputation can and does form, and also how the information is disseminated internally and externally. You must remain conscious about this information, as well as your public image. Negative details are always going to surface at one time or another, but you should be doing everything you can to put forth the best your organization has to offer.

Regular updates from a CEO, founder, or upper management can help turn the tides, as can community-oriented and social movements, particularly those that give back to local communities and support the environment.

Encourage Innovation and Growth

Unique ideas are challenging to embrace because they can either turn out to be positive or negative events. When they are negative, a business can take a hit financially and to their brand image.

The point here is just that change can be frightening, especially for executives who have been doing things a certain way for years, maybe even decades. However, a business cannot continue to grow when it stifles innovation and change, including among employees and top talent. Potential new hires can see this, and they understand what’s happening within a company’s ranks.

If you are not allowing your employees to enact change or make a difference, a lot of candidates are going to walk away. Many from the younger generations are chasing opportunities where they can truly make an impact.

Reward Your Team(s)

When an employee goes above and beyond, are they ignored, do they get a pat on the back, or are they rewarded handsomely? The reaction can significantly impact productivity, ambition, and morale within your company — and, by proxy, it will affect new candidates, too.

Discover and establish new ways to reward your employees for their hard work and successes. There are the tried-and-true methods, of course, like bonuses, promotions, and trophies, but there are also unique opportunities. You might host a live event to encourage and support your best earners. You might offer an all-expenses-paid vacation or a pre-paid dinner out with their family.

New hires will see this happening or hear about it, and it will draw them into your available opportunities.

Create Perks

Parallel to providing rewards and opportunities for growth is the creation of additional perks. These are beneficial things that often align with the office dynamic, improving things like productivity, social interactions, and employee wellness.

Issuing standing desks to an entire department is one example. Offering creative and shared spaces for various teams to work is another. Smart lighting, with the option to fully control scenes, colors, and brightness, is yet another.

Perks might also include on-site cafes or eateries, amenities like a gym, pool, or day care, and much more. Everything from air quality to room color and beyond could be considered a perk, depending on the workplace. Benefits for a family, such as a spouse or children, can also be excellent perks. Even something common, like life insurance, could provide some welcome peace-of-mind for team members with loved ones to think about.

New hires are always interested in these perks and what it means for their overall experience. The more perks, the more likely it is they will sign on, especially if they believe it’s going to improve their workdays and lifestyles.

Be Honest

A colorful job description is one way to attract talent, but it’s not a valid strategy for retaining it. After signing on with the company, people will realize quickly whether you presented a truthful representation or something more fantastical.

It’s better to be genuine and honest. Remain candid about the growth and opportunities available, but be clear about responsibilities and work. It’s always a good idea to mention the amenities and benefits available, but just because they exist doesn’t mean they are accessible. Someone with a 70- or 80-hour workweek is not going to have time to visit the on-site gym.

Establish Top-Notch Training

In a perfect world, finding the ideal candidate is always possible. More than likely, that’s not going to happen often, if at all. Instead, you should focus on a foundation or baseline, which can be improved through solid training.

It then becomes critical to provide that training and continue building on what’s available so that teams and employees grow stronger and more skilled over time. This has the added benefit of giving back to potential candidates. Yes, they might be signing on with a company to work and provide support, but they’re also gaining invaluable knowledge and skills.

Leverage and Encourage Team Bonds

It never works well when you try to force relationships or put forth the idea that your teams are “like family” when they are not. After people sign on, they realize almost instantly how the dynamic is within the office or workplace.

Building strong bonds and relationships is key to having a reliable and productive team. Create spaces that are conducive to creativity and collaboration, and then find ways to encourage these genuine human interactions.

Host a happy hour every Friday night, for example, after work has finished. Host regular events, field days, gatherings, or even celebrations that include the various teams and departments. Competitions can also be a lively and fun event, with proper rewards for the victor.

Many organizations have also found that buddy or ambassador programs help boost new hire and onboarding program proficiency.

New hires and potential candidates will relish the opportunity to participate in these kinds of events and experiences, and they’ll want to become part of the dynamic.

Don’t Forget Your Biggest Asset

While many of these strategies are important for improving the hire rate of new and potential candidates, there is one weapon in your arsenal that will always be the most important: your existing employees.

Word-of-mouth buzz and employee satisfaction can help frame the positivity and success of your brand, both internally and externally. The happier your employees are, the more positively they’ll speak about your organization, its products, and their own responsibilities. This creates a wave of positive information that can significantly impact your brand’s reputation.

Of course, the strategies laid out here are also important, including perks, rewards, the company’s reputation, regular innovation and growth, and team relationships. Focus on all of these things to develop a happy and productive workplace and a desirable opportunity for potential candidates.

Nettra's Hall

Four Benefits of Hiring an SEO Company

Businesses need customers, and their customers are online. So it’s more important than ever to find your company when they’re searching for your product or service. The issue is, very few people search past page 1 on Google, which means your business must be one page one for your potential clients to find you.

The scary part is, the inverse is also true: if you’re not on page 1 of Google’s search results, your company does not exist to your potential customers!

So if your business is trying to gain more customers, you must deploy effective SEO strategies to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). An effective SEO campaign helps to spread awareness of your brand, builds your company’s credibility, brings more organic traffic to your web pages, improves the user experience, and ultimately converts more of your website traffic into potential leads.

Search engine algorithms frequently change, and your potential customers search the web in different ways as technology evolves. Consider the increasing popularity of voice search as an example. People that use Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home will often use various search terminology when compared to how they type in a Google search on their phone or laptop.

SEO is a continually evolving practice that requires diligent research and adaptation to new technology and processes. This means the best way to approach SEO for most businesses is hiring an established SEO company with extensive experience. 

Below is a summary of the most significant advantages to working with an SEO agency:

Website Improvements

While you may associate an SEO professional with just increasing your website’s organic ranking, an SEO expert can also help you improve the user experience and the conversion rates of your website. Take a look at this case study on Kuykendall Solar, a California solar subcontractor: we were able to optimize their web design and make their site more appealing to their target audience. This produced a 24% conversion rate, which led to a 408% ROI with Google Ads and a 550% ROI with Facebook Ads.

SEO services can also help you optimize your web pages for all devices. For many industries, mobile devices now make up the majority of web traffic. So your site must be easy to navigate on smartphones and tablets. Your site must also load quickly on all devices because it’s a determining factor for organic rank. Also, a fast-loading website ensures you won’t lose potential customers as they wait for your website to load. 

A Healthy Backlink Portfolio

Link building has always been an essential element of an effective SEO strategy. A backlink is simply a link from one website to another. For example, if an owner of a CPA firm based in Las Vegas guest writes an article in Entrepreneur.com, and the article links back to the CPA’s website, that link would be considered a high-quality backlink. 

So why are backlinks so important? Simply put, because they help Google do their job better.

Google’s algorithm utilizes over 300 different ranking factors to determine how every website ranks for their specific keywords. And backlinks are a crucial factor because they help Google determine the most relevant results for every search. 

So if someone in Las Vegas is searching for a CPA firm, there is a strong probability that the CPA firm in the example above will rank higher because a popular website (Entrepreneur.com) is pushing traffic to that CPA firm’s site.

This specific backlink is a big deal in Google’s eyes because it tells them this CPA firm is very good at what they do, which influences Google’s algorithm to rank their site higher.

Digital Marketing Services

While SEO can be a standalone service, it’s usually a component of a more encompassing digital marketing campaign that includes social media marketing and content marketing. This is often where the great SEO agencies separate themselves from everyone else because it takes a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge coupled with years of experience to manage and optimize a cross-platform marketing campaign successfully.  

Social media marketing isn’t about posting on Facebook or Instagram. Instead, it uses those platforms to target potential customers and then push them to their website. Social media ads differ from posting on Facebook or Instagram since the average organic Facebook post only reaches 1.5% of your audience. On the other hand, Facebook ads can reach most of your fanbase with the same message at scale. 

Content marketing is so effective because it acknowledges how the majority of people make buying decisions. For example, when was the last time you clicked on an ad and bought something? It’s probably been a long time! Most people research before they purchase anything. For example, when I shopped for an iPhone case, I read reviews on various cases and a few articles before making up my mind. Another word for this is content marketing.

Most people are in research mode as they shop. Sure, Google & Facebook Ads produce new customers, but you’re appealing to a small percentage of people that made up their minds and want to buy now. The majority of your potential customers are looking for great information to base their buying decisions on, and that’s where helpful articles and videos come in.

As a more specific content marketing example, take a look at our website. We’ve produced blog posts and videos designed to inform and educate, instead of asking for the sale. Of course, some companies will implement the strategies and tactics we teach and have success. But many people are looking for an agency to help them with these tactics. So by offering many insights like our internal processes, how we manage campaigns, what works best, etc., it slowly positions us as an expert in our reader’s eyes.

So the goal of content marketing is to get your potential customers to perform their research on YOUR website.  

But it doesn’t stop there. We create ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google to push targeted traffic to various blog posts and videos to answer their marketing-related questions. We then show them similar blogs or videos they may be interested in, which increases their time on our site and builds our reputation.

We call this creating a gravitational force around our brand. Since at any time, we’ll have over 1,000 people reading various articles or watching videos on our site with the goal of them ‘orbiting’ closer to calling us, eventually becoming a client.

A Tailored Approach

The best SEO companies can adapt their approach to fit you and your business model. Some businesses need long-term SEO services behind the scenes, while others may need SEO specialists to take a more visible role in their company’s growth. For the most effective results, an agency should get to know your business so they can determine how much time and effort should be spent on each element of the campaign.

Most SEO agencies start by analyzing your current web presence and your direct competitors to see how you’re ranking. It’s important to remember that you’re not trying to beat Google, you’re trying to outrank your competition.

Office pic, no meme

What Does An SEO Company Do?

Photo: © 20th Century Fox, All Rights Reserved.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re new to digital marketing. If you’re shopping for SEO services, you’ve probably come across multiple SEO companies and digital marketing agencies. Although most SEO agencies describe their professional services on their website, it can be difficult to navigate SEO terminology to decipher what they do. 

So, what is an SEO agency, and what can SEO do for your business?

What is an SEO agency?

An SEO company (or agency) offers professional search engine optimization services to organizations to improve their online presence and search engine visibility. Search engine optimization is a collection of processes and tactics that result in your website ranking higher in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

One of the major benefits of partnering with an SEO company is that they offer specialized experience in helping businesses rank on search engines. SEO professionals provide a wide range of services, from website audits and web design to a personalized SEO strategy, and can help your business implement specific tactics to reach your goals. 

Every good SEO company shares the same goal for its clients: to grow their business. Ultimately, an SEO company’s job is to partner with you to boost organic traffic, drive leads, and increase sales through search results.

What are SEO services?

SEO services are categorized into two areas: onsite SEO and offsite SEO.  

Onsite SEO focuses on tactics to make your website more search engine-friendly like adding relevant keywords, internal linking, updating metadata/alt image tags/schema, increasing site speed, and user experience-related design.

Offsite SEO consists of tactics deployed outside of your website that also result in a higher organic ranking for your website. These tactics primarily focus on earning high-domain-authority backlinks and updating 150+ online directories (or citations) like Google, Yelp, YP.com, to name a few.

It’s important to point out that not every SEO agency specializes in onsite and offsite tactics. This is mainly due to the high degree of technical ability onsite SEO requires, and the level of expertise offsite requires to gain high-quality backlinks.

More specifically, SEO services typically involve:

Business evaluation and site analytics. SEO companies typically start by evaluating your current website and what keywords it’s currently ranking for, which involves looking at the site’s architecture and content to assess factors such as coding and keyword density. Evaluating your current website is the best way to determine your website’s existing strengths and weaknesses before developing a robust SEO strategy.

In addition to website analysis, the SEO agency will consider your business and industry. They will look into your target audience and overall business goals before implementing an SEO strategy. By learning more about your goals and target audience, the SEO agency can decide which tactics can best improve your website’s organic ranking.

Developing a long-term SEO strategy. After completing an in-depth analysis of your website, an SEO agency can help you create a long-term SEO plan. Developing an SEO strategy and drafting goals for your SEO campaign depends on your industry, type of business, and overall goals.

An experienced SEO firm will consider what they’ve learned from your site audit and analysis to develop a personalized plan for your website. Part of developing a powerful SEO campaign involves keyword research to identify the keywords and phrases used most by your target audience. 

Optimizing web design and load speed. Search engines focus on serving the best possible results, creating a positive user experience, and prioritizing content that offers significant value. So if your website takes a long time to load, Google will not rank it very high. A web developer with extensive technical SEO experience can optimize your UX (user experience) for desktop, tablet, and smartphones, boost your load speed and fix any technical issues that could be slowing your site down.

Update your citations. Many of your potential customers use Google, Yelp, and other online directories (or citations) to search for local businesses. So it’s crucial to keep your listings updated to increase the amount of leads produced by your online presence. 

While there are a handful of these directories that everyone regularly uses (Google, Yelp, Bing, etc.), there are over 500 citations, worldwide! An SEO agency can help business owners to determine which directories are relevant to their businesses and potential customers, and strategies to optimize each listing to boost local SEO, rank higher, and build your online reputation.

Building a high-quality link profile. First of all, what is a backlink? It’s one of the most critical aspects of your offsite SEO campaign! A backlink is simply one website linking to another website. Google puts a lot of weight on backlinks because they demonstrate your authority in your industry. For example, if a realtor in Los Angeles writes an article for Zillow that talks about LA real estate trends, and that article links back to that realtor’s website, that link would be considered a high-quality link in Google’s eyes.  

So why is this important? Because Google rewards relevancy! They want to provide their search traffic the most relevant results that line up with their search. So if a local real estate website has very respected, highly-trafficked sites like Zillow linking to them, this shows Google they’re very good at what they do. Google, in turn, rewards them with a higher organic ranking. 

Yet, Google won’t put your site on page one just for one great backlink. They look at your entire link profile to assess the quality of the inbound links your website has earned, including the number of links, and their diversity. The quality of your link profile helps search engines rank your website and understand how your site relates to your competition with similar products or services.

Benefits of SEO

If you’re thinking about developing an SEO strategy, you’ve probably already considered the obvious benefits: more leads, sales, and revenue. While these are important, there are various other tangible benefits of working with an SEO agency:

Improved search engine rankings. An experienced SEO firm can help your website rank higher in search engines. Using current SEO tools and strategies, an SEO specialist knows what it takes to optimize your site and make it more appealing to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The higher your website ranks for relevant keywords, the better your chances of reaching potential clients.

Increased website traffic. In addition to boosting your site’s performance in organic searches, SEO companies help improve the quality of traffic visiting your website. If you’re ranking for keywords and phrases that align with your product or service, the website traffic you’re bringing in will be more likely to purchase your product or service.

Measurable results. SEO firms can also help your business grow by delivering quantifiable results and valuable insights. This data analysis is often applied to benefit other segments of a marketing campaign like Google Ads, Facebook ads, content marketing, and even traditional advertising channels.

Boost Your Online Presence with SEO

If your business is actively pursuing new customers, developing an SEO campaign is a great idea. So the next question is, where do you start? 

You can build an internal SEO team that is actively engaged in increasing your organic ranking by focusing on:

  • Technical SEO: JS frameworks, XML sitemaps, taxonomy, redirects, log files
  • Data SEO: reporting, feeds, data visualization, structured data, location data
  • Content SEO: keyword research, creative assets, copy, internal links in copy, semantic HTML

Or, if that requires too many resources, consider hiring an SEO agency. Keep in mind that not all SEO professionals are created equal—many just focus on one or two aspects of onsite and offsite SEO processes and tactics.

Ultimately, the best SEO firms have a deep foundational understanding of onsite and offsite SEO processes and tactics, and how they relate to each other. This expertise is vital because it allows them to understand your competitor’s tactics and recommend a strategy designed to boost your website’s organic rankings without breaking the bank.