It is important to stay up to date with the latest trends in search engine optimization (SEO), but with Google making changes to their search engine algorithm every so often, it can be difficult. We’ve put together a list of five SEO don’ts that are definitely out of style—and some are even considered to be black hat SEO techniques.
Don’t use unnatural links
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices change so frequently that it is sometimes hard for marketers to keep up. What we did a few years ago can now drastically harm your website’s performance, and what we do now will most likely need to be revisited in a year or two. We’ve put together a list of 5 SEO “do’s” that will are fundamental in increasing your website’s traffic and proving your brand to be a leader in the industry.
Do update content often
Content is one of the keys to SEO, but in order for it to have a positive effect, content must be done right. To keep content updated and fresh,
We recently wrote an article about the importance of integrating visual content into your social media marketing strategy for 2014. In the digital age we live in, people no longer have the time or patience to read through lines of content — even if there is an attention-grabbing title. The shift from text to visual content has been going on for a while, but as we are nearly a third of the way into 2014, there is no time like the present to jump on the visual marketing bandwagon if you haven’t already. One way you can start incorporating visual content into your online marketing is through Vine—the video sharing app acquired by Twitter in 2012. Here are a few ways to use the Vine app features to enhance your online marketing.
Utilize the stop motion video feature
It may seem obvious that successful business depends on satisfied customers. However, many businesses don’t realize that customer service goes far beyond answering a question or replacing a defective product.
Providing great customer service means understanding what’s important to your customers and how well your business performs around those priorities.
To some, the distinction between an inquiry and a lead is simple. To others (especially those new to marketing), the terms seem to be used interchangeably. And to both groups, determining the quality of leads can be tricky. So, for both newcomers to the profession and those veterans already running through the difference in your minds, here are some useful tips to help the process.
An” inquiry” is a window shopper, someone browsing your website. These individuals are not ready to make any decisions yet, but are just looking around to research or gather information. A “lead,” in contrast, is a browser who’s working toward a decision, someone who takes the next step by asking a question or filling out a form on your website (for instance, to download more information or to receive your monthly newsletter). B2C marketers can think of a lead as a shopper who comes in to try a product or request a sample, while an inquiry stands outside looking through the store windows. Though the sale is still not complete, leads carry a much greater potential for conversion.
Social media can often be a tricky marketing channel to use for seasonal businesses. When your doors are closed for a few or perhaps most months of the year, do you shut down your social accounts also? As you can probably imagine, it is not recommended that you leave your social media unmonitored after your business season has ended. In fact, social media presents a great opportunity to engage your customers and get them excited about your brand even during the off-season. Instagram, the increasingly popular visual social media platform launched in 2010 and purchased by Facebook in 2012, is one tool that more and more businesses are taking advantage of to reach its 200 million monthly active users (Source: Instagram). Here’s how you can use Instagram to engage seasonal customers year-round:
The first thing to remember is you don’t have to post on Instagram every day, especially during the off-season. Instagram feeds don’t move as fast as Twitter, so you don’t have to worry about your photo getting buried too deep if you post every other day. It is important to also share your photos on your other social media platforms. Instagram offers easy sharing buttons to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and foursquare; use this feature to further the reach of your photos or videos.
If you’ve ever volunteered in the community, you have probably seen the impact it has made on yourself and on others. You meet new people, feel accomplished and make great memories, all while making a societal difference. Community involvement is not only something you should do as an individual or family, though, it is also a great way for employees to work together for a common good. It can not only benefit your employees, but it can also help your brand in a variety of ways. Here are just a few reasons why community involvement is good for your brand.
Increase brand awareness. This may be one of the more obvious benefits, but when your brand is involved in the community it is a great way to increases awareness of your business. Not only do you gain awareness while you are participating, but you can also use the experience as a great talking point for social media, traditional media or a blog post before and after the event. When you’re getting involved in your community, take photos to help you remember the moment and be able to share it with others later.
When you first heard of Pinterest, it may have been through your friend talking about wedding ideas, or maybe it was a relative who brought a new dish to a family gathering. Pinterest, the widely popular image-based social media platform, is not only for DIYers or brides-to-be, though. Pinterest can be a very powerful tool for businesses to promote their brand on a social network. In fact, statistics show that Pinterest generates more web traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined (Shareaholic’s Referral Traffic Report). If you aren’t taking advantage of Pinterest in your marketing, here are a few tips to help you create a winning strategy:
Remember SEO. When you open up a Pinterest business account, fill out your profile completely and accurately. Use keywords in your profile, the same way you would do on your website. Make sure you link your other social media accounts—Facebook, G+, Twitter—to your Pinterest account, and be aware you also have the option to link your Pinterest activity to your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Also, use these social media accounts to spread the word that you are on Pinterest to get your followers to find you on another platform.
Most small business owners dread the idea of comparing their brand with their competition. We often see their facial expressions change dramatically when we ask them about their competition during a discovery meeting. While dealing with competition seems challenging and stressful, it is important to understand that competition is actually good for your business. New competitors frequently come and go, but only those who are really savvy, focused and good at what they do will survive the daily race towards winning the trust and loyalty of their customers.
In fact, competition is what drives successful brands. When we’re not challenged, we tend to opt for the status quo and do things the way we have always done, which is perhaps the most dangerous way to run a business – a straight road to obsolescence and failure. It’s important to realize that there’s always someone out there who knows better and can do better. This is an uncomfortable reality check that drives us to strive to offer the best products, services and customer experiences we can possibly offer. Let’s face it: we live in world of choices. We have multiple choices and/or substitutes for just about any product or service we can possibly think of. All it takes is a simple web search and a world of possibilities is waiting for us at our fingertips. Marketing has never been so sophisticated, and competition has never been this fierce.
According to KISSmetrics, it can cost up to seven times more to acquire new customers than to retain them, which means if you are not working towards keeping long-term relationships with your customers, you are losing money. In fact, customers actually desire a long-term relationship with a brand—a survey by Responsys showed that nearly three out of four people look for that relationship with a brand that is appreciative of their business. However, your customers don’t want to be bombarded with sales pitches and irrelevant information. In fact, Responsys found that 34 percent of the people surveyed say they leave annoying brands. How, then, do you successfully communicate your brand to keep a long-term relationship with your customers without losing them along the way? Here are a few customer retention tips that will help your brand keep in touch without annoying your customers.
Personalize your approach.
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