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Friday, February 23, 2018 6:25:30 PM

by Robert Clough

The Best SEO Hacks to Use for Your Business in 2018

Without the proper SEO strategies in place, your business won't grow. We provide you with the best SEO hacks to climb the top of Google.

Have you thought about your business website's SEO? Whether you just learned the definition of those three letters or you think you've got a great strategy in place, everyone can stand to improve.

The world of search engine optimization moves fast. Changes can take months to occur or they can be rolled out overnight.

If you want to succeed online, you need to keep on top of the latest tips and trends. That's why we've made this list of 8 best SEO hacks.

Check off every item on our list and you're on your way to a successful SEO strategy!

1) Make Sure Your Google My Business Listing Is Optimized

This is probably one of the easiest SEO hacks on this list. It's also one of the most important ones.

Here's a list of what you need to do to make sure your listing is optimized:

  • Make sure you've claimed your listing

  • Verify your account

  • Update the details of your business - For example, have the correct business hours displayed

  • Populate the listing with high-quality images - Google prefers and prioritizes images of interiors

  • Provide a link to your website - Bonus: make a UTM tag to track clicks

  • Rake in customer reviews - This part really helps with local SEO

2) Improve Your Page Loading Speed

Think about the last time you had to wait a while for a page to load. What did you do? Did you click away from it?

Your customers are doing the same thing. If your page takes more than three seconds to load, 40% of visitors will click away.

Worse, the search engine result page (SERP) won't feature you. You might as well be invisible!

How can you improve your page's loading time? Try these tips:

  • Improve your server time

  • Reduce the amount of redirects on a page

  • Optimize images

  • Use compressed files when possible

  • Minimize coding

  • Cache any browsing

Taking these steps will help towards getting you ranked higher on the SERP.

3) Make Your Page Mobile-Friendly

More of the online world is being accessed through phones, tablets, and other devices. Because of that, Google has made the switch to prioritizing sites that focus on a mobile experience.

AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, gives you a guideline as to building the perfect mobile website. AMP helps pages load faster and work best for mobile devices.

There are many online resources for you to test the mobile usability of your site. Do your research and find one you like to make sure your site is ready.

4) Structured Data Markup Is Key

No doubt you've Googled a company and found a small data panel off to the right-hand side. The data panel might list things like social media sites, recipes, or special offers.

While your Google My Business helps take care of some of that, you'll need to use structured data markup.

For Google pages, use Schema for Google. Open Graph is best for social media structured data markup.

5) Garner Great Reviews

This is one of the essential SEO hacks for local businesses. That being said, it works for any company, large or small.

Make sure you have a reputation management plan in place. It's a bit tedious but it's essential for ranking.

Here's where to start:

  • Have a happy customer? Ask for a review. It's just that simple. (Don't be pushy, though!)

  • Have an unhappy customer? Politely acknowledge their dissatisfaction, apologize, and see if you can take the conversation offline. (For example, give them an email just for customer complaints and go from there.)

  • Respond to everyone - and we mean everyone! A little "Thanks for the great review, (name)!" goes a long way towards building goodwill.

Social proof takes a bit of time and effort but is one of the most effective ways to improve your ranking.

6) Be Smart About Keywords

Every SEO novice knows where to find keywords. A simple Google search will bring up plenty of options for you to center your content around.

We've got some of the best SEO hacks around for being smart about finding keywords.

For local SEO, add a "near" parameter to your URL. Adding "&near=cityname" gives you results as if you searched from the city's name that you typed in.

For free keywords, let your customers do the hard work for you. See what they look for in the search bar on your website.

7) Look for NAP Inconsistencies

Making sure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) are the same across every site is one of the easiest SEO hacks you can use.

Update your listing so that they're consistent across the board. You can use rank tracking software to see where your NAP is listed and see if they need to be changed.

One thing to keep in mind: your listing might appear in places beyond your own sites and social media accounts. You might have to contact the owners of those directories to get it changed.

Having it the same on all of your own sites is the main thing to keep in mind, though, so don't go chasing every single listing.

8) Keep Voice Search In Mind

All of our previous SEO hacks are things that will show you results right now. While that's great, you need to stay ahead of the curve.

Voice search is sure to be a huge disruption in the field of SEO. This is especially true with the rise of devices for the home that relies on voice activation.

Right now, most search is optimized for things people actually type into search engines. The future belongs to those who anticipate voice search results.

Start by creating an FAQ that answers common questions regarding your products or services.

Put Our SEO Hacks To Good Use!

Armed with these eight SEO hacks, you're ready to conquer the SERP page - and beyond! Want to keep up with the latest trends? Keep reading our blog and check out our free SEO tools!

Now we want to hear from you. Which SEO hacks are the most useful for your site? Which ones have worked for you in the past? Let's have a discussion - tell us in the comments!

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Friday, February 23, 2018 6:21:22 PM

by Robert Clough

Digital marketing is a powerful tool for businesses. Need to reach more of your audience? Check out these five benefits of Facebook advertising.


Wondering if Facebook advertising is worth the money?

This is a great way to bring new customers in, using a platform they're already spending a lot of time on.

Facebook is the world's most popular social media site. No matter who your target demographic is, they're on Facebook. When you harness the benefits of Facebook advertising, you're growing new opportunities for your business, without doing much extra work.

Ready to learn why you need Facebook advertising? Keep reading to find out.

1. Awesome Targeting Options

Did you know that you can target Facebook advertising to specific groups of users?

Once you've narrowed down the demographics of your target audience, such as their average age and typical interests, Facebook lets you customize your advertising to best reach them.

This can be much more effective than the standard SEO strategy of targeting an audience based on the searches they conduct. Facebook has some amazing options for refining your strategy to be more effective. Let's take a closer look at what those are.

Use User-Expressed Interests

The best way to know for sure what someone is interested in is to go by what they say they're interested in.

Facebook makes gathering and using this information easy.

Target Particular Demographics

With Facebook, you know whether a user identifies as male, female, or neither. This makes it easy to target your ads for a particular gender or group of people. For example, you can have a different ad for each gender preference.

Target By Area

Local targeting is one of the best ways to bring new customers into your brick-and-mortar store.

Another thing Facebook knows about its users is where each one is located. You can target users by city, neighborhood, or region - whatever works best for your business.

2. Get Results Without Spending a Lot

If money is your main obstacle to getting the benefits of Facebook advertising, there's no need to worry. You can actually get great results without needing to spend a lot.

At the minimum, you'll need to spend about a dollar a day for Facebook advertising. That's less than a cup of black coffee in most places!

Chances are good you have a larger advertising budget than this. However, even if you're on the tightest budget, you can use Facebook advertising to reach the customers you want with the targeted approach mentioned above.

Compare this to other approaches. If you spend a dollar a day on Google AdWords, you're not likely to get so much a single click a day. From this perspective, one of the benefits of Facebook advertising is that it gives you way more bang for your buck.

Depending on your budget and needs, you can choose from a few different ways to pay:

  • Cost per mille (CPM): Bid for every 1,000 users impressions

  • Optimized CPM: The same as above, but Facebook will show your ad mostly to the people who are more likely to act on it

  • Cost per click (CPC): Pay for every click through to your website

  • Cost per action (CPA): Pay for every action taken, such as email newsletter signup or "liking" your Facebook page

3. Build Customer Loyalty

Facebook also offers the free option of creating a business "page" that users can "like." This can boost the benefits of Facebook advertising even further, without costing you anything more.

On your page, you'll interact with customers in a format they're comfortable with. You can directly respond to their comments and reviews, providing a public record of how your company deals with both the positive and negative.

Many customers respond well to companies with a social media presence that is fun and friendly. Even a company that sells utilitarian equipment, like ChooseToolBox.com, can bring in a surprising number of customers by using fun and humor on a Facebook page.

This direct interaction with customers helps them become more loyal to your brand, by building both trust and awareness.

When you combine this with a Facebook advertisement, you can create a powerful approach. Try running an ad along with a suggestion to "like" your business page, bringing your brand in front of the eyes of new customers.

4. Let Users Choose

If a user sees a Facebook ad they don't like, they can close it, and give a reason why they did so. For example, they might find the ad irrelevant. This feedback allows you to gain valuable insight into who is seeing your ad, and who should be.

Use this information to refine your campaign, giving you the results you really want.

5. Performance Tracking

No ad is worth a penny if you have no way to measure how effective it is.

How can you know how your ad is paying off? Social media is great, but a problem issue businesses face is not knowing the ROI for the money and time put in. Fortunately, Facebook offers a Facebook Adverts Manager section where you can take a close look at an ad's performance.

In the Adverts Manager, you can find out:

  • How many times your ad got shown

  • How many clicks it got, or how many actions were taken

  • Cost per like, click, or conversion based on what you set out to do

You can also use the "Insights" section of a business page to add to this knowledge. There, you'll find things like post engagement, likes on the page, reach per week, and top posts.

You can use this information to create an even better Facebook ad strategy, allowing you to build a system that works based on real information about users on the site.

Even better, you don't need a lot of insider knowledge to parse out this information. Facebook makes it easy to see exactly what's going on with your page and ads.

Ready to Reap the Benefits of Facebook Advertising?

Facebook advertising is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to reach more customers.

With a small investment of money and time, you can see huge differences in your brand's growth thanks to Facebook ads. Want to learn more about Facebook conversion? Be sure to check out this post.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Friday, February 23, 2018 6:16:51 PM

by Robert Clough

Are you having trouble distinguishing between SEO vs SEM? It can be tough to understand. Keep reading to learn the differences and similarities.


Search engine optimization (SEO) is widely known for its value in driving traffic and conversions. But it's important to not overlook search engine marketing (SEM).

Some fail to realize the differences between the two, which is essential to know when building online marketing campaigns. Because of the misunderstandings, some will overlook the importance of the other.

Before you decide on which of the two to use and how to use them, take a look at this quick SEO vs SEM guide.

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

Sure, you've heard the term SEO thrown around quite often. But what does it really entail? In a nutshell, SEO is a part of SEM, which consists of many other components.

The purpose of SEO is to help maximize the traffic your website receives. This is done by optimizing for keywords that help the site get ranked higher in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

The Components of SEO

Now, there are on-page and off-page SEO factors. Let's take a look at on-page optimization:

  • Blog posts and website content that's high-quality and optimized with keywords

  • Fast loading web pages

  • Social share buttons implemented into the content

  • Clean and formatting page URLs

  • Placing keywords naturally in the title tags, heading tags, meta descriptions, alt text, etc.

These are just some of the SEO components for on-page SEO. Let's take a look at off-page SEO:

  • Social bookmarking

  • Social share signals (user engagement, such as likes, comments, and shares)

  • High-quality, natural backlinks

And there are various other factors. You can use sites to determine if your SEO Sydney strategy is working. You can use the site to check the optimization of your landing pages or blog posts.

What Is SEM?

Search engine marketing has multiple components that fall within organic and inorganic methods. For instance, SEO provides organic traffic, while pay-per-click ad campaigns provide inorganic traffic.

Paid search is the opposite of SEO, which is considered free, other than what you pay an SEO expert and writer.

SEO vs SEM, Which Is Better?

There's really no success for one without the other. In a sense, you need both to get the results you truly desire. For instance, you can't succeed in SEM without organic SEO.

If you have a bunch of PPC ads up that lead to poor quality content pages, then your marketing campaign will undoubtedly fail. The two must work hand-in-hand.

The type of campaign you're running will also help determine which of the two best suits the bill. For instance, if you have a limited time offer, then SEM is the better route since SEO takes time to get results from.

Since SEO can take a while in the beginning, it's ideal for businesses to use SEM to start getting traffic to their site. As you can see, there are various benefits to using both together.

Learn More About SEO vs SEM and More!

There's a lot to learn about online marketing overall. You can get your daily dose of information from Search Engine Guide.

Here, we have an assortment of articles with tips and guides for carrying out all sorts of strategies for digital marketing. This includes brand building, analytics, social media, link building and more.

Explore the rest of our blog to see what you can learn to improve your SEO or SEM!

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:06:21 PM

by Robert Clough

Effective and Cheap Startup Digital Marketing Methods

Are you an entrepreneur on a budget? You probably need startup digital marketing strategies. Find out the cheapest and most effective digital marketing methods.


Understanding the world of digital marketing does not happen right away. For startups and big businesses alike, it often takes a bit of trial and error to find the best tools for each company's needs.

The main difference is, though, that startups cannot afford to waste as much time or money as corporations can. If you're an entrepreneur, you know exactly what we mean.

You need a startup digital marketing strategy you can count on to get things going. Once you have established an online presence, play with different ways of expanding it.

Here is everything you need to know to start off on the right foot.

Identify a Set of Goals

Before you start browsing the web and looking into the best SEO opportunities, you need to know what you're looking to get out of your startup digital marketing efforts.

Maybe your focus is on getting as much exposure as possible in a short amount of time. Maybe you want to build a strong foundation for your internet presence over a longer period.

Are you looking to create digital conversions or to get traffic in the door of your brick and mortar?

All these details are worth thinking about. The more you identify your goals, the better you can create a proper startup digital marketing approach to get you from where you are to where you want to be.

Don't forget to consider your audience, either.

After all, any goal you choose comes back to them.

Have a clear, deep understanding of who your ideal buyer is. Give this person a name, a job, a range of spendable income and a set of hobbies. Create all of your digital marketing initiatives as if you were speaking directly to this individual.

Find the Right Resources and Opportunities

Got your list of goals ready and your perfect customer in mind?

Great - this is where the real work begins. Now it's time to decide which tools you will use to make your initiatives happen. You may have to pick and choose some tools over others, depending on your startup digital marketing budget.

Luckily, most of the choices below can be free or low-cost.

Visual and Written Content

If you have a nice camera and/or a talent for writing, your wallet doesn't have to worry too much about creating content.

Maybe you just have one or the other. That is fine, start with what you have and work what you don't into your budget.

Sometimes, you can trade services with other content creators in your area. See if you can swap a photoshoot for the copywriting you need for your website and email campaigns or vice versa.

If you don't have a knack for any form of content generation, pick up this skill.

You can choose photography, writing, or even graphics and web development. Just make the time to do something - this will offset digital marketing costs now and in the future.

Web Design

Speaking of creating content, you need a place to put it all!

One of the best investments you can make when planning a startup digital marketing project is to upgrade your website. If you are starting from scratch, don't cut corners just to get a domain up and running.

Make sure your landing pages are as best optimized as they can be. Use your industry keywords, work relevant visuals, and focus on every detail from the URL names to the names and alt text of your images.

All of these things are powerful SEO opportunities. But, they perform better aligned than they do on their own. Put all the pieces together as you create your website.

Social Media Marketing

After getting your website up and running, take a moment to expand your online reach further. You will need a bit room in your budget for Facebook and Instagram ads. But, the more important investment here is time.

Social media is all about consistency. To perform well, you need to post a constant flow of content on each channel.

This means planning and scheduling posts ahead of time. It also means responding to user interactions and setting aside time to go live whenever you can, too.

Such initiatives keep your number of followers growing and current followers happy.

Research and Analytics

Whether your main marketing focus is building traffic on your website or engagement on social media, you need research to guide you.

Take a look at what your competitors are doing. Learn from other startups who have successfully launched low-budget digital marketing campaigns.

Try to find the behaviors you can mimic to create your own successes.

Then, check your efforts with online analytics. There are many digital tracking tools out there - the trick is to discover the one that is right for your budget and your needs. This company can help you figure it all out.

Test, Monitor, and Adjust

The more you look into each initiative's performance, the better an idea you have of how well your efforts are performing. This helps you test out different options and weed out the strong strategies from the bad.

It saves you time and money. Plus, testing and monitoring your startup digital marketing campaign puts you in the best possible position to connect with your audience.

This happens as you learn to understand the data in front of you and adjust accordingly. Even something simple like a new hashtag or a different photo can have a powerful difference.

Whenever you aren't sure of what direction to take, use A/B testing. This tool allows you to put two options against one another.

It sends out one set of content to a pool of audience members and the other set to a separate group. Then, you can compare which performed best and make your decision on what stays and what goes.

Master the Art of Startup Digital Marketing

Digital marketing goals are simple to achieve when you know what you're doing. Even with a low budget and the many responsibilities of creating a startup, online success is within reach.

Follow the tips and tricks above and see for yourself!

For more startup and small business digital marketing insights, click here.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Friday, February 16, 2018 7:37:48 PM

by Robert Clough

Digital marketing for real estate businesses is absolutely crucial in today's market. Make sure you're business is on the cutting edge by clicking here.


Recent studies show that almost 80% of Americans now shop online. And, while you can't buy a house on a website, you better believe that prospective homebuyers are doing online research to look for new homes.

For this reason, it is essential for real estate agents who want to grow their practice to make use of online marketing strategies. These strategies can help agents reach new customers and make more sales.

Ready to get started? Check out these 4 essential tips for succeeding in digital marketing for real estate.

1. Building Social Media Marketing

Social media is one of the most important digital marketing tools for real estate available. On social media, you can use tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share images and videos highlighting available properties.

The key is to build interest so that prospects will want to come to your website. Focus on sharing engaging content that captures attention and sparks conversation.

2. Search Engine Optimization

No matter how great the content that you put on your website is, it won't have an impact if no one finds it. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps to ensure that your website's content is tailored to fit what prospective customers and search engine algorithms are looking for.

For real estate agents, it's also essential to focus on local SEO. This is because, in real estate, you want to target users in specific geographic areas. To do target these individuals, make sure to use place-based keywords, and to list your agency on Google's business listing directory.

For instance, if you want clients to find out more about turn-key real estate investing, you can make sure you use specific keywords in your content so they will find it easily.

3. Email Marketing

Despite the advent of newer tools like social media, email is still an important way to reach potential customers. Sending out emails to folks who have visited your open houses can be an effective way to maintain contact and keep their attention.

Additionally, your former clients can also be good candidates for email campaigns. Reaching out to folks you've helped buy or sell houses in the past can be an effective way to seek out referrals. Consider offering incentives to folks who refer their friends to your agency to encourage further engagement.

4. Go Mobile

These days, more people are using their mobile devices to search the web than ever before. This means that, if your web content is not mobile-friendly, you will be missing out on reaching a large segment of your potential audience. Another key way to make your site more mobile friendly is to use pictures optimized for different screen resolutions.

By targeting mobile customers, you will be able to reach folks who are willing to make impulse decisions. This is because users often search on their mobile devices while they're waiting in line at a grocery store, or sitting in a doctor's office. You don't want those searches to be going to your competitors instead of to you!

Get Started with Digital Marketing for Real Estate Today

With these tips in mind, you will be able to build a successful campaign for digital marketing for real estate.

Looking to learn more ways to grow your marketing strategy? Check out these free SEO tools to continue building your knowledge.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Friday, February 16, 2018 6:47:58 PM

by Robert Clough

In today's oversaturated digital market, it can be difficult to make your website stand out. Read this for our top tips on making your niche website stand out.


Is your niche website struggling to find its footing online?

Trying to stand out from the competition?

Check out our list of four great ways to bring out the best in your niche site and start making changes for the better today!

Better Content

In life, as in web design, it's better to have something to say than to be all color and no substance.

If all you have to gain fans and Internet traffic is the content of your niche website, you might as well make it good.

Create new content, always -- never plagiarize from other websites. Make sure that it is well researched, and link back to and from your website as often and as authentically as possible.

Effective Design

Just because your website is small doesn't mean it has to be bad.

Effective design can make or break whether visitors stay on your website. Cut down on unnecessary add-ons, videos, and site elements that might slow down your site's loading times. New visitors will expect, if nothing else, to be able to use your site quickly, and they're less likely to put up with slow load times than you might think.

Set up your navigation buttons and links and make sure everything works without failing.

Lastly, look into search engine optimization, or SEO. This is a technique that encompasses various web design fields, improving a website to make it look more attractive to search engines. With these tweaks, changes and design nods, your site is more likely to rank highly with Google, making it easier for users to find.

Make sure not to forget mobile optimization, either. More users use mobile devices than desktop computers. If your website doesn't work on a smartphone or tablet, you're missing out on potential business.

For strong, effective design with a simple layout and concise content, check out this shoe website for petitefeet.

Social Media

Advertising lives on social media, and there's no escaping it.

From time to time, business owners will make the mistake of underestimating the importance of a social media campaign.

If your business doesn't have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, it's time to create them. And, once they're created, to use them.

Engage with your clients and fans by finding groups from your business' niche. If you have a promotion, splash it all over each profile. If there's a news update from your industry, comment on it.

Whatever you do, do your best to exist on social media and to make your updates consistent.

Targeted Analytics

One of the most powerful tools a website owner, new or old, can own is an analytics profile with a service like Google or Spyfu.

These profiles offer comprehensive information on how your website performs, in various ways. Visitors. Visitors who convert. Visitors who've been referred to you by searches, or paid advertising, or a referral from another business or blog.

In the fight to get your name out there, knowledge is power. This kind of information can help you to design a better site, and make changes to help keep your content performing at a high level.

Get The Best Out Of Your Niche Website

Any website, no matter how small, can make changes to help it perform better.

You just need to identify what needs changing and start making changes.

Interested in learning more about search engine marketing, and using it to create a better digital presence for yourself? Check out some of our fantastic blog pieces on the topic, and put your website back on the map, today!

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Thursday, February 15, 2018 6:54:35 PM

by Jayson DeMers

After pouring time, money, and energy into designing a website and landing pages for your products, low conversion rates can be extremely frustrating. Even more frustrating, the cause of low conversion rates isn't always obvious.

Distractions and Conversion Rates

Today's online experience is often noisy. It also tends to lack continuity - even when users are navigating from page to page on the same website. There are ads, popups, sidebars, navigation menus, images, videos, text, opt-in forms, chat boxes, etc. While each of these elements is fine when strategically implemented, too many of them - or improper application - ultimately leads to distracting experiences that negatively impact conversion rates.

There's a lot that goes into optimizing conversion rates, but you're going to find it impossible to thrive if you don't deal with distractions quickly and efficiently. How you address distractions will depend on your specific conversion goals, but you should take care of the underlying issues as soon as possible.

4 Ways to Eliminate Distractions

Distractions are problematic because they aren't always obvious or apparent. Sometimes you need someone else to point them out and suggest a change. Having said that, scrutinize your site and try to be as objective as possible.

As you look for answers, here are some solutions to common problems:

1. Simplify the Background

One of the biggest distractions in web design is a busy background that's filled with lots of different colors graphics, and visual elements. If you want to maximize conversion rates in today's environment, you must find a way to simplify the background.

Most websites are getting better about understanding the value of minimalism, but there are still plenty of distractions in this area. For example, while there's nothing wrong with Harbor Freight as a business, their website is generally an example of what you shouldn't do. Their homepage is busy, crowded, and overly colorful.

To contrast this, take a look at Fabness, an online provider of canvas prints. Notice how simple the background is on product pages like this, with negative space accounting for most of the design.

2. Establish a Consistent CTA

"The point of having a CTA on your page is to give page visitors a single action to take. It's crucial that you give potential leads one path to follow to conversion, so that you don't lose them along the way," Claire Grayston writes for Wishpond. "Companies often insert too many messages, steering potential leads in all directions, rather than helping them to conversion."
While there are instances where you can include more than one CTA on a page, it's almost always better to stick to a single call. You can phrase the CTA in different ways, but the desired outcome should be the same. This keeps visitors focused and prevents conflicting actions.

3. Stop Using Your Homepage as a Landing Page

People arrive on a landing page because they clicked through from another place - such as a PPC ad, social media post, or email newsletter link. And when they click, they anticipate finding out more about whatever you're promoting. Unfortunately, a lot of marketers are linking to homepages, instead of landing pages.

The problem with sending visitors to your homepage is that they have to start the process over and search your website for what they were looking for in the first place. A much easier solution is to always send referral traffic to designated landing pages that hold the visitor's focus and promote continuity. 

4. Eliminate Superfluous Content

It's easy to assume that more is better, but less is more when it comes to content. Instead of developing long-winded content, strip out the superfluous details and zero in on what really matters. It'll save you time and your readers won't be as distracted.

Stay Focused

Distractions are the death of conversion rates. Today's online users have attention spans that last for just a few seconds. Every little distraction that's present on your site is a threat to their focus - and ultimately to your bottom line.

By efficiently and effectively eliminating the distractions that currently exist on your website, you can increase conversion rates, grow your revenue, and build a business with unlimited potential.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Thursday, February 15, 2018 5:35:04 PM

by Jayson DeMers

Search engine optimization (SEO) is known for being one of the most cost-efficient online marketing strategies available, but with one important caveat: it must be treated as a long-term marketing campaign. Most SEO agencies require their clients sign a contract for a minimum term of 6 months to a year or more for this purpose; no matter how much work you do, it's nearly impossible to see meaningful results after just a week or two of effort.

So let's zoom out for a moment. Assuming it takes anywhere from several months to a year to see results from your SEO campaign, what kind of results can you expect after a full year of effort?

The High-Level Overview

It should be no problem to create a full SEO strategy within the first few weeks, highlighting your target keywords and determining your path of execution. After that, you can probably knock out most of your onsite optimization-related tasks in the span of another few weeks.

Beyond that, most of your efforts will be focused on recurring additions, including blog posts and link building; the more time you spend on these, the more your authority and results will grow, but you'll need at least a couple of months before you start to see results.

According to Josh Steimle, you can start seeing actual results (i.e., increases in your traffic) around 4 to 6 months into a campaign. Depending on how much you're investing, you could start seeing hundreds to thousands of visitors by this point, but it's just the beginning.

According to Higher Visibility, it's possible to see a 44.27 percent increase in traffic after 12 months of effort--though this figure is based on starting with an existing stream of organic traffic. John Doherty validates these projections, stating that it takes about 12 months to see what your SEO campaign is truly capable of. At that point, progress will probably taper off unless you invest in bigger, better strategies to handle it.

Ultimately, if you put in a fair amount of effort, you can probably build your organic traffic figures into the thousands (if you're starting from scratch) or increase them by upwards of 50 percent if you're starting with a baseline.

The Variables

Of course, there are dozens of variables that could influence the type of results you see after a year of investing, including:

  • Your industry. Some industries are simply more competitive and harder to rank for than others. It may take far longer to build authority in a high-demand retail space than in a heavily offline industry like manufacturing.
  • Your competition. If you have a close competitor who is already dominating the SERPs, it's going to be harder to carve a spot for yourself. An open field, however, means you should see a spike in your rankings and results early on.
  • Your target keywords and overarching strategy. Your keyword targets should lean to focus on high-traffic, low-competition opportunities. If you choose the wrong keywords, the rest of your strategy could collapse.
  • Your content contributions. A year's worth of content for one organization might be 52 articles--one post a week. For another, it might be closer to 365--a post every day. Your content contributions play a heavy role in your ultimate results.
  • Your link building approach. Your authority is strongly dependent on the quality and quantity of links you build. Similar to content, your investment here can vary--and have a tremendous impact on your eventual results.

How to Tell If Your Campaign Is Floundering

The real question on your mind is probably, "how can I tell if my campaign is failing after a year?" You want to know if, after a year, you're seeing worse-than-average results. So how can you tell that for sure, considering the complexity of the variables involved?

  • Your growth has been stagnant or unpredictable. If you haven't been growing for the last several months of your campaign, or if you seem to grow and shrink in unpredictable chunks, it's a sign that something is wrong.
  • You aren't sure what's working and what isn't. Which of your tactics are working, and which ones aren't? Regardless of your results, if you don't know the answer, you need to readdress your campaign strategy.
  • Your ROI is suffering. Calculate your return on investment (ROI). Are you earning more revenue than you're spending on upkeep costs?

If you've spent a year on your SEO campaign and you still aren't seeing the results you want, it's time to change things up. Start researching new keywords targets, and consider changing your agency, contractors, or employees to get some fresh eyes on your campaign.

You don't want to spend another year leading a stagnant campaign when there's so much to gain from a more worthwhile investment.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 10:13:36 PM

by Robert Clough

Don't let a bad tweet destroy your business online. Here are five of the biggest social media mistakes to avoid in the new year.


Research shows that almost 80% of American adults now use at least one social media account. This makes social media a powerful tool for marketers to use to build trust and relationships with their potential customer base.

That said, some marketers make the mistake of assuming social media will be a "magic pill" when it comes to driving engagement. In reality, social media is a tool like any other. Using it successfully requires thought and strategy.

Ready to learn how to make the most out of social media? Start by avoiding these five common social media mistakes.

1. The Generic Profile Picture

One of the worst mistakes marketers can make with their social media strategy is failing to brand their social media presence. If your profile picture is a blank silhouette or a Twitter egg, you won't be able to make an impression on your followers.

A good idea for your social media profile picture is an image of your storefront or your company's logo. If you don't have a logo yet, you can easily make one an online free logo maker.

2. Trying too Hard

The operative word in the term "social media" is social. Folks turn to social media to have interactions and build relationships, not to view ads. For this reason, posting too many hard marketing messages could be a turnoff to your audience.

Instead of pushing sales pitches, work on using your social media presence to develop a rapport with customers. This will help improve brand reputation and build customer loyalty.

3. Using Hashtags Incorrectly

Hashtags can be a great social media tool. Posting updates that include popular or relevant hashtags can be a great way to catch your audience's attention.

For this reason, it's a good idea to look for relevant hashtags in your industry, rather than creating your own. That said, creating custom hashtags can be an effective way to start your own social media campaign. The key is to strategically push out the hashtag to encourage your audience to use it.

4. Losing Control of Your Feed

It's a good idea to make your social media profile a place where your customers can engage. But if your page becomes dominated by customer complaints, you've lost control of the narrative. Not only that, but you are hurting your chances of reaching future customers.

While you can't always control what people post, you can control how you respond. If there are complaints on your feed, respond to them and try to make the situation right.

5. Being Too Political

While some customers may appreciate supporting businesses that share their views, being too political can be a detriment. Rather than focusing on specific candidates or issues instead focus on values you plan to abide by.

Tackle Your Social Media Mistakes Today

Learning to avoid these five common social media mistakes can help you elevate your digital marketing strategy.

If you're looking to take your strategy even farther, we have the resources you need. Start out looking at our free SEO tools for more help.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 10:05:18 PM

by Robert Clough

Create Paid to Click Ads to Generate Passive Revenue


It's always a smart idea to bring in any extra revenue you can for your business. We look at paid to click ads that will bring in passive income.

Are you looking for better search results, and don't quite know how to coax them out?

If you've even glanced in the direction of digital marketing in recent years, you'll have heard of paid per click (PPC) advertising. If you listened when you heard, you'd know how this is considered one of the greatest marketing styles anywhere.

Join us as we take a closer look at the marketing miracle of paid to click ads, and how you can start benefiting from them.

PPC Is a Direct Line To Your Business Goals

In any business, it can be hard to get from where you are to where you'd like to be.

One of the biggest reasons most businesses decide to turn to PPC advertising is that it allows them to identify and pursue specific goals.

Looking for brand exposure on a deeper, more meaningful level than what you currently have? Perhaps you've been trying to boos your e-commerce, or drive conversions of a more general nature.

Whatever the case, PPC marketing can give your pest control business an edge you never even thought possible before.

Better Measurability

PPC is a fine-tuned machine, with a lot of moving parts.

While it can seem intimidating, the truth is, it gives you more control (which we will get to in a minute) and better opportunities to gather data.

There is a wealth of marketing data to be gathered from a robust PPC marketing campaign. View high-level performance statistics on how many clicks you receive, how many of those convert, and where that traffic is coming from.

Advertising campaigns can run into money, especially when you're trying to achieve results fast. With what you're investing in PPC, the fact that nearly every inch of it is trackable can be of great value.

Little-To-No Learning Curve

As we've mentioned, digital marketing can be a tricky field to get into.

If you're not up to date with the latest developments in advertising and digital platforms, a lot of the time you can feel like you're lost at sea.

That said, you'll be surprised to find that PPC requires little to no introduction in order to get started. With a few clicks around Google AdWords, it's possible to create the kind of advertising in minutes that SEO takes hours or days to create.

Add to this the wonderful fact that PPC advertising is self-contained. SEO is great, but requires fixing websites, editing copywriting, and making changes across various areas, to get results.

PPC advertising is done almost entirely from the same console. You could do it all yourself, without even having to get your development team involved.

Complete Control (Particularly Over Your Budget)

Marketing a venture that can run into money, especially if you lose track of how many different avenues you're working with at any given time.

PPC, by its very nature, is a marketing tactic you can control precisely, down to the last byte. You simply set your budget, assign a cost per click ratio to your keywords, and let the ad run until it reaches your target rate.

From there, it's as simple as running out of water from a jug that only carries so much. When your assigned budget runs out, the ad is done running.

This kind of control extends to other aspects of PPC marketing, as well. Users choose which keywords they'll use, and can edit their ads as necessary.

And, while the AdWords platform has final say on exactly where your ad is featured, based on your input, the ability to change it makes all the difference.

Complements Other Marketing Campaigns

While PPC is a powerful enough style of digital marketing that it could exist on its own, it also works well alongside other marketing channels.

Working with SEO, paid to click ads can use their impressions and SEO's opportunities for traffic to target the same audience. It does this by using performance data to guide SEO in a more effective direction, based on what does and does not work.

SEO strategies can also inform PPC usage. Using search data from these campaigns, it is easy to identify and target keywords for paid campaigns, optimizing the process.

Go-Forth Pest Control, near Cary NC, by way of an example, would be able to use PPC to promote their pest control services, fairly easily. This would work hand in hand with their SEO marketing, creating an effective overall campaign to help promote them.

Target Far More Effectively

As a caution, advertisers will sometimes spread their AdWords campaigns across many networks. They do this in order to garner exposure for their brand, safely.

Paid to click ads stand to benefit a lot from targeted keywords, and you can really hone in on the best ones by testing out different combinations. Ensure a broad scope of AdWords usage while getting as many impressions as possible.

Getting the best out of your PPC targeting setup means being able to reach people outside of your audience, by casting as wide a net as possible.

Maneuvering Your Outreach

Google has gone a long way to expand its reach beyond just its own search results in recent years.

Gathering a network of other websites to display sponsored ads, it's not unusual to see results on sites like the New York Times. These ads are displayed in strategic locations around the site, giving advertisers with a great way to reach out to potential clients.

Getting Results Faster

In business marketing, it's important to get results back as quickly as you can.

And, in digital marketing, there's no quicker turnaround than PPC marketing. Provided you have a website up and running, simply create an AdWords account, set up your ads, and get to work.

This might be understating how complicated this really is to do, but it's still a long way off from any other form of marketing, in terms of getting results.

Unlock Better Marketing With Paid to Click Ads

PPC marketing is as powerful a marketing tool for use on a pest control website as anywhere else.

With some attention to detail, a few choice adjustments, and integrated usage, paid per click can earn your site traffic you've only dreamed of.

Interested in learning more about PPC marketing, and using AdWords to impact the way your site operates? Read our blog pieces on the topic and unlock the power of truly effective digital marketing.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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