Tag Archives: Adwords

Why is website content king?

By Connie Sweet

Content, content and more website content. Every move we make in internet marketing is to drive more content. From content management systems of custom designed websites, to blog entries, to custom infographics, to white papers, our travels around the web are leading us to more and more website content everyday.

As a marketing firm our days are filled with designing and developing unique content for websites, blogs, social media and business print communications for ourselves and our customers. We write and design new website content and upload it to websites through content management systems (the administrative area or back end of a website). We do this because Google told us to.

As we all know Google is the largest search engine on the web, the second largest (at last check) is YouTube, owned by Google. We do what Google says because we want positive results.

What drives the need for all of this website content?

Googles’ strategy for feeding content is truthfully helpful to all of us. For many years search engines we’re pretty much worthless because many ‘SEO experts’ abused the system and dumped keywords and phrases into websites that had nothing to do with the search term people were entering. Websites selling watches would saturate their sites with keywords like ‘graphic design services Lansing’, ‘website design services mid-Michigan’, etc. to get organic traffic to their website. So a search for ‘website content services in Lansing’ would send you to an e-commerce site that sells watches and doesn’t have anything to do with website content services.

Googles’ content driven approach matches actual relevant website content with keywords. When prospects do search for graphic design Lansing, Michigan the search engine will look to see if graphic design and Lansing, MIchigan are mentioned in the website and if so, are the terms relevant to the other information on the website. For instance is there also mention of logo design, website design, etc., other terms that are related to the search query. This results in more accurate results when search queries are entered in search engines.

A few blog articles covering graphic design will help. The other component that feeds the results are key content pages throughout the site with more details on the subject. Along with regular blog entries, your website pages should offer information about your specialties.

Take a look at some of your competitions’ website content and evaluate against your website. Do they have five pages discussing their service in detail and you have one small paragraph? They win. They will win the search war and they may also win the customer because their information answers the visitors questions instantly.

So if you have content why isn’t your website coming up higher in searches?

Enter the frequency quotient. Search engines also place relevance on how current a websites’ content is. A search robot will crawl thousands of websites each day. If new website content is not detected since the last visit, the bots will skip over your site and not index it again. If your competition adds new website content to their site regularly and search bots crawl and index it each time, they will always come up higher in search results than you.

Unfortunately, this requires businesses to create and post relevant website content on a regular basis to compete in the market place. This can be burdensome for small companies who do not have the work force, time or budget.

Options available for driving website traffic

  • compile and create original website content in house
  • outsource content to an internet marketing firm
  • purchase internet advertising including google adwords, social media, etc.

New businesses, especially small start up companies who come to us first for a website design typically attempt the first option for adding website content. Sadly, more times than not other business responsibilities take over and entrepreneurs realize four months have passed without one blog entry or website update. (This goes for social media posting too.) Now desperate, small businesses start looking into other options.

What to consider when choosing to outsource website content development

  • amount of website content to post to be relevant to your target market
  • types of website content that will resonate with your target market
  • do they offer a variety of content, writing, graphics, etc.
  • custom, original content
  • where content will be shared (industry forums, groups, LinkedIN, Facebook)
  • who will moderate online responses
  • what is an affordable monthly budget

What to be cautious of when choosing to outsource website content development:

  • one sized fits all policy
  • limited product solutions
  • tricky SEO practices
  • duplicated content
  • outsourcing / guest blog posts, etc.

Keep in mind website content is not just page copy or blog posts, content is also photos, graphics, logos, e-books, pdfs, and infographics, etc. Mixing up the types of content presented helps to reach a variety of prospects. Considering our eyes process visuals 90% faster than straight text, using graphics on your website can capture the visitor quicker and leave a lasting impression. Another benefit to adding graphical content to your website is that the content is easily shareable in social media and messaging.

As with all marketing, to achieve the best internet marketing results an individualized plan for each business is key. The good news here is this custom approach requires less effort and less expense when implemented correctly. Give us a call today to review your website and discuss what forms of website content will help you to win the organic or paid search war.

10 Internet Marketing Strategies for Small Business

Internet marketing strategies

Internet marketing is not an option, it is a necessity for every small business to grow. We love working with start up companies, we love the passion and the excitement new entrepreneurs bring with each bright venture. It is also hard for us to meet some of these fresh start up small businesses who are following their dreams but haven’t done the due diligence of research. We are often contacted first to design and develop a small business website. One of our specialities here of course. However in our first website consultation we talk to our prospective customers about how they are going to market their new business and if they have considered internet marketing. Unfortunately many small business owners believe having a website is an internet marketing strategy. It is a component but it is not a complete strategy to drive traffic, phone calls and orders in and of itself.

Following is a list of some of the internet marketing strategies small businesses implement. Not all of these internet marketing concepts are necessary for every single business. If you are not sure about which will fit best with your internet marketing goals post a question in the comment sections and I will be happy to help. I will need to know what your product or service is and what your internet marketing goals are. Do you want to increase page views, do you want to make more sales, do you want more downloads, etc.

10 Internet Marketing Strategies for small business

  1. Web Presence – First and foremost is to have a fully functioning quality website. A website that communicates quickly what your product or service is key in keeping your visitor engaged in staying on your website long enough to determine if they want to work with you. List your services or products, make it easy to locate contact information whether it is an online form and most definitely provide an email contact and phone number on all your pages. Don’t skimp on your website design. If your website looks cheap your company will bear the burden of this perception.
  2. Content Marketing – Content marketing includes articles, blog posts, press releases, e-books, all types of photos including product photos, staff photos, stock photos for your blog posts, and videos. Don’t ever worry that you are offering too much information on your website. Note you will naturally be adding relevant keywords to your content (see SEO below) and you will be answering every visitors question each time they come to your site. Sharing your wisdom and expertise adds credibility and trust for your customer and bodes higher search results than websites that don’t get updated frequently and have less content
  3. SEO/SEM – Search engine marketing helps bring your website up in search results within search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. The use of relevant keywords holds high importance in SEO for small business websites. To use Connection Group as an example, as a graphic design and marketing company in the Lansing Michigan area we want customers who are seeking graphic design and marketing in the Lansing, Michigan to find us. The best way to be visible in search engines is to make sure we have those keywords (graphic design, marketing, Lansing, Michigan) on our website in various places.  There are many components of SEO and many bad practices by disreputable SEO firms to avoid. Please post in comments if you have questions.
  4. Local Search Marketing – Local search incorporates the rules and tactics for standard SEO and integrates maps, such as Google maps. When a customer searches your product or services a map with local companies who fit the query come up. Your company and similar companies in your industry will have listing that include contact information such as address, phone number, and can include website and there will be a symbol on the map indicating your exact business location.
  5. Social Media Marketing – Everybody groan and get it over with. I know social media for small businesses is an internet strategy that challenges the best of us but it all comes down to your goals and your audience. Some of our customers rock Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and others report increased sales rates from the traffic they received from LinkedIn. The most challenging part of social media as an internet marketing strategy for small businesses  is setting the frequency of posts and determining return on investment. To start, I recommend securing social media profiles with your business name in all of the main social media channels. The next step is to evaluate which social media channels your customers spend the most time in, when they are there and what they want to hear from you.  Piece of cake right?
  6. Email Marketing – Email marketing lists are considered by many to be the most valuable database in many small businesses portfolio. Email marketing lists are built from customers and prospects who have expressed an interest in your product or service. Whether you gained them through a give away, a promise to keep them updated on new product releases, or discounts, these people have opted in to receive communication from you. Unlike a phone call, or face to face meeting, emails can be sent 24/7 and the recipient can choose when they will look at them and how they will respond. Small businesses should consider using an established email marketing software such as Mailchimp to help ensure your campaigns reach your customers in-box without getting caught in spam filters.
  7. Landing Pages – A landing page is a page on your website that is designed to capture visitors contact information. Landing pages contain a lead capture form (conversion form) also known as an online inquiry form. Created for a specific audience they can be a very successful internet marketing strategy. Good landing pages are simple and focus on one message to achieve the goal of capturing the lead content. Consider using landing pages with email campaigns targeted to previous customers, use of landing pages with online advertising allow ease of tracking and optimizing for each ad, and lastly landing pages can be used for giveaways and free downloads of e-books, original graphics, etc.
  8. Mobile Compatibility – Mobile marketing statistics so far for 2014 show some industries are seeing nearly 50% of visits to their websites from mobile users. This of course will vary with demographics and your actual product or service but it is high across the board – high enough not to ignore. Most small businesses are investing in responsive website design rather than going with a desktop website and a separate mobile website. Maintaining two separate websites is just crazy unless that’s all you have to do all day. Responsive sites provide the best of both worlds. Those visiting your site on a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer get the same information, it is all just scaled for the screen size they are using. Questions? Let’s talk.
  9. Online directory listings – Make sure your business is listed and complete your information and be sure there is accurate contact information in all main online directories such as Google, Bing, Yelp and YP. Consumers who do not know your company name but are searching for your product or service can view your listing and contact you. Most directories have free listings and others offer more options at a cost. There are many other service listings like Yext, etc. and also industry specific directories you will want to explore.
  10. Google Adwords and Social Media Paid Advertising – Google Adwords can help bring you to the top of searches page by paying for top placement. Internet advertising is sold on a cost per click (CPC) or cost per  impression. You build ads using keywords for your product or service depending on your budget and how many others in your industry are advertising the same keywords and setting similar budgets your ad will come up in when people search for your product or service. Due diligence must be paid to each online adverting campaign to make sure you are getting in the top rankings and that you are taking advantage of each opportunity. As you work to improve organic search engine results for your website by adding content, etc. Although not for the faint at heart or for those who are not very ‘techie’, Google adwords and some social media advertising can be a good addition to your internet marketing strategy.

So which of the 10 internet marketing strategies above does your company need the most to increase inbound marketing results? Do you think you need to start working on all or them, or only 1 − 4, or are you completely overwhelmed and want to go back to door to door sales and forget all this crazy internet stuff? Connect with us, we can help with all of the services listed, we know the ropes and we can help get results.

Stay connected!

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