Where SEO meets PR

Why (and How) to Focus on Local Keywords When Optimizing Your Website

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Website Optimisation |

GreenboxpromoBetween content product and website meta tags, advertisements and social media, your marketing department (or just you, if you operate a website alone) spends a lot of time trying to optimize your website to get more traffic. However, focusing on the most popular keywords in your industry isn’t enough. If you want more traffic to your site and you want to convert more traffic into paying customers, you need to focus on locally-relevant keywords when increasing your search engine optimization.

Greater Interest

According to Search Engine Watch, 50 percent of mobile searches are done to find a local business – and 61 percent of those searches led to a purchase. Capitalize on this trend by focusing on keywords that are specific to your area or the area in which your target demographic tends to reside. For example, instead of focusing on something generic but relevant to your industry like “buy used books,” add your store’s city name to it the term: “buy used books Philadelphia.” If you have stores in multiple cities, include multiple city names on your keyword list.

Less Competition

Few businesses are going to have the word of mouth and search engine result power of multinational corporations like Wal-Mart. These gigantic businesses are the ones that will pop up first for search terms like “new towels” or “buy wedding supplies.” By adding a city, state or even country name to the keyword on which you’re focusing, you’re competing with fewer other businesses, which greatly increases your chances of ranking toward the top of a relevant search term.

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More Relevant

The Pew Research Center reports that 86 percent of consumers feel that a search engine helped them learn something new or increased their knowledge about a topic. When you participate in the community or communities in which your business is based or tends to attract the greatest number of customers, you become a more visible part of that community.

Educate your website visitors about events and causes relevant to your community. For example, if your store is among the sponsors for an upcoming marathon benefiting disease research, you can tie your keywords to search terms relevant to that event and redirect people back to your website through a blog or social media post discussing the event. For instance, you might focus on the keyword “cancer research marathon Chicago” even without any words relevant to what you sell because anyone looking up information on that event or charitable cause will want to learn more. Your website can then provide that information via a post discussing your sponsorship of the event. While the visitor is there to learn more about the event or cause, he may become interested in your products and services.

For most businesses, focusing on local keywords simply makes more sense regardless. If you deal primarily with local customers, you don’t need people in another country reading about your business. If you do accept national or even international orders, your time is still better devoted to finding customers in the most populated areas in which your customers tend to reside. Learn how to incorporate local keywords into your SEO effectively, and see your traffic and conversation rates soar.

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Reasons to Hire a Public Relations Expert for Your Business’ Twitter Account

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Public Relations |

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Social media can be a time-consuming aspect of your business’ marketing, but when you do it right, it’s worth every dime you spend and every employee hour it takes. Conversely, if you do it wrong, it can cause more harm to your business than do good. Consider hiring a public relations expert, either as a new staff member or through a third party marketing service, to take control of your business’ social media presence, particularly your Twitter account.

Twitter Users Are More Interactive

An active company Twitter account will provide you with a better sample of your average customer’s feedback. GfK MRI reports that Twitter users, for example, are 506 percent more likely to write a blog and 314 percent more likely to post a review or a comment than non-Twitter users. These are the consumers most likely to spread the word about your products and services or to share your blogs. They’re more likely to accept free samples for review and share their enthusiasm for your services or products. To build a loyal Twitter following, you need to offer content they’ll enjoy reading.

It Makes Your Company More Approachable

While the last thing you want to do is post anything that could be offensive, an innocuous but more “human” approach to Twitter posts will go a long way. For instance, 360i claims that 85 percent of Tweets are original content, not retweets. Few will be interested in your account if you mostly retweet industry news or simply post links to new products or blog posts. Post Tweets that are relevant to hot trends, your industry or the season in a way that makes your feed seem less like it was written by a robot and more like it was written by an actual person who loves your company.

There’s a Fine Line to Walk When Companies Use Twitter

shutterstock_290451212Do not make the mistake of hashtagging the first popular trending hashtag you see, as it could turn into a public relations nightmare. An expert will research the tag before deciding if it’s appropriate for your company to weigh in on it. If it’s something fun, for example, “#HolidayMemories,” then your Twitter account could post happy holiday memories from many of your staff members before sneaking in a promotion to buy something relevant to the holiday every few tweets. If the hashtag is related to bad news in the world or some controversy, do not jump into the conversation, as people will find a corporation weighing in on it offensive. The one exception is if a social issue – for example, LGBT rights – is important to your company’s goals and virtues and you’re willing to storm the angry comments from detractors.

A Twitter account, even for a business – or especially for a business – needs to be engaging and prove more than a place to advertise your latest sales. If you want Twitter users to actively follow your company’s Twitter account – to be invested in it – you have to offer them more. The right public relations expert will straddle the line between unprofessional and too “corporate” to make more Twitter users a fan of your social media posts.

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3 SEO Strategies That Will Drive Traffic to Your Site

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Seo |

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After putting your all into creating a user-friendly, aesthetically-pleasing website for your business, the general lack of traffic your site has received is disenchanting, to say the least. These days, getting people to your website is equally as important as getting them into your brick-and-mortar establishment. The era of the Yellow Pages is long past; Google and other prominent search engines now reign supreme in the minds of modern-day consumers. As Forbes reports, nearly 80% of consumers now turn to search engines when looking for businesses. That being the case, it’s imperative that you boost your website’s search ranking. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to do this with the help of search engine optimization (SEO).

Keyword-Rich Content

Many people associate SEO with keyword-rich content – and for good reason! Inserting industry-centric terms and phrases in the blog posts and articles that appear on your site is a great way to elicit recognition from search engines. Although keywords are effective when plugged into the body of your content, they tend to work best when incorporated into titles and headings. Additionally, make a point of not overusing key terms and phrases. Not only will this make your content sound stilted and unnatural, it can also draw the ire of search engines that become aware of what you’re doing.

Link Building

shutterstock_222806341If links to your site can be found on a fair number of websites, search engines will look favorably upon you. With this in mind, you can benefit from setting a link building strategy into motion. If there are any prominent news sites or online publications that cater to your specific industry, inquire about purchasing ad space. You may also consider a quid pro quo arrangement that entails having them host links to your site in exchange for you hosting links to theirs. As Digital Current’s Jarrod Hunt explains, guest blogging is another effective way to make prospective customers aware of your business. Furthermore, encourage any satisfied clients with sites of their own to link to your business’s website – possibly in exchange for a discount on your services. Regrettably, despite being effective at generating new traffic, links posted on social media sites have no effect on search engine rankings.

Current Events

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Search engines like Google show preference to sites that reference trending topics, so if there’s a way to incorporate a hot news story into one of your articles or blog posts, don’t hesitate to do so. However, when producing content of this type, it’s important to tie things together as organically as possible. If references to current events are sloppily wedged into your posts, your audience is likely to take notice and start regarding your site’s content as negligible click-bait. Furthermore, if Google catches wind of what you’re doing, you can expect to see your search ranking fall.

In recent years, it’s become difficult to find a successful enterprise that doesn’t have at least one SEO strategy in place. Even if you’re a latecomer to search engine optimization, it’s never too late to boost your website’s ranking in Google, Bing and other search engine mainstays. Entrepreneurs who are eager to get their websites the attention they deserve are urged to embrace the magic of SEO marketing.

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3 Myths About Website Optimization Businesses Shouldn’t Ignore

Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Website Optimisation |

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You know that regularly posting new content is key to getting potential customers to visit your website. HubSpot reports that businesses that post between five and 20 blog posts per month get five times the amount of traffic as businesses that post four or fewer. However, good content alone isn’t enough. You have to figure out how to get people to your website to check out the content. (Once they’ve visited a few times, they might check back on their own if they like what you offer.) That’s where website optimization comes in, but you may have heard a few things that no longer work or never really worked in the first place.

Myth: Repeating Keywords Is Better

repetitive photoIn the early days of the Internet search engine, website owners figured out that the more often certain keywords appeared on their website, the better their chances of getting a high ranking in a search result. For example, a business that sells used books might want to appear high in the results for the search term “where to buy used books,” so they’d repeat that phrase “where to buy used books” over and over again on the site, even when it read awkwardly. Not only does this seem clunky and obvious to visitors and might make them unlikely to return, but search engines are smarter now and are actually more likely not to favor a website with too much repetitive use of the same terms.

Do incorporate keywords relevant to your business and website, but be careful not to repeat them more than a few times per page.

Myth: Small Updates Make a Big Difference

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You may have heard tips suggesting you change the colors of certain phrases (like “click to purchase” or “buy now”) on your website to make them stand out. A consultant will then provide you with evidence that Website A changed “buy now” from a color associated with “stop” (red) to a color associated with “go” (green) and more people then clicked the phrase and completed a purchase. While changing colors doesn’t hurt your website, unless you choose colors that are gaudy or difficult to see, it doesn’t make a big difference, either.

Stop thinking that tweaking the small details with lead to a higher conversion rate. If something’s not working with your current website design and optimization practices, you need a big overhaul, not a small one.

Myth: Feedback Surveys Are Useless

survey photoToo many businesses bypass the idea of asking their own customers what they’d like to see improved on a website because they have some general statistics that consumers like this or that thing. Your established customers are more relevant to your website than the people who took a general, limited survey. Ask your customers what they like and dislike about your site and make large-scale adjustments accordingly.

Incentivize your customer surveys so you encourage more customers to participate and you get a broader, more accurate picture of how effective your website is.

Keep posting quality content. According to Traffic Generation Café, once you’ve posted between 24 and 51 blog posts, your traffic increases up to 77 percent. Good content is the backbone of website optimization because even if you’re able to get people to visit your website with optimization techniques, it’s the content that keeps visitors there and encourages them to come back.

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How a Public Relations Expert Can Help Your Business

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Public Relations |

All things considered, your first foray into business ownership has been a moderate success. You’ve recruited a knowledgeable staff, attracted a fair number of repeat clients and managed to turn a profit every month since your company’s inception. Still, being the go-getter that you are, you know there’s always room for improvement. Although you have a loyal base of repeat customers, you haven’t attracted any new business in months. If you’re determined to expand your clientele, enlist the services of a seasoned public relations expert. With this person’s assistance, your modestly successful company can become a resoundingly successful enterprise.

Identifying Your Target Demo

A lot of fledgling businesses make the rookie mistake of trying to be all things to all people. Suffice to say, this approach almost never breeds long-term success. Focusing on too many different areas will essentially make your business a “Jack of all trades but master of none.” Many first-time entrepreneurs express an unfortunate, albeit entirely understandable, hesitance to target a specific type of client, as they believe this will impair their ability to attract a broad range of customers. However, committing to a particular type of product or service and marketing it to a demographic that’s very likely to need it will ultimately work to your company’s benefit. A PR expert will play an integral role in helping you determine your business’s core strengths, as well as the types of people your promotional campaigns should target.

Editorial Promotion

As Forbes’ Robert Wynne points outs, PR experts specialize in promoting clients through editorial coverage, or “free media.” This runs counter to advertising agencies, who focus on promotion through advertisements, or “paid media.” In essence, their goals are the same: building brand awareness for clients. However, their respective approaches couldn’t be more different. Whereas a public relations specialist will work to get your company mentioned in newspaper articles, online publications, web series, podcasts and television programs, an ad agency will simply pay for promotional coverage. Since the PR approach has the distinct advantage of third party validation, it tends to be more effective at winning over prospective clients. After all, anyone can buy ad space, but it takes a special company to obtain shining endorsements from neutral parties.

Getting Your Message Across

After identifying your company’s core strengths and target demographic, a knowledgeable PR expert will take measures to get the word out. Depending on the type of business you run, this may entail organizing community outreach events and social media promotions. She’ll also compose and distribute snappy, well-written press releases to noteworthy publications, both print and online. In essence, this person’s job is to strengthen relations and promote communication between clients and their respective customer bases.

Even the most well-oiled machine needs an occasional tune-up, and your ambitious little start-up is no exception. Bringing a skilled PR expert into the fold will help you grow your business and attract a sizable array of new clients. If an influx of excited new customers is what you’re after, don’t hesitate to contact a results-oriented public relations specialist.

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Bringing Your Business’s Website into the 21st Century

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Website Optimisation |

These days, simply having a website isn’t enough. Now that every company under the sun has a site to their name, the digital landscape has become fiercely competitive. In order for your business to remain solvent and stand out amongst the competition, you’ll need to take measures to improve your website. In addition to providing your company with a sleeker, more functional online home, website optimization can help attract scores of eager new clients. When looking for ways to bring your business’s site into the 21st century, consider the following measures.

Design Overhaul

If your business’s website is rife with out-of-date templates, visuals and navigation tools, enlist the services of a seasoned webshutterstock_153928289 designer with a diverse portfolio. It’s important that any web designer you work with stand by her work. This way, if any problems occur down the line, you’ll have an expert to turn to. After giving your current site a good once-over, this person will compile a wide range of suggestions on how to improve it. If you played an integral role in designing the original site, it’s easy to view these suggestions as outright criticisms, so keep in mind that personal offense is not intended. Taking your input into careful consideration, the designer will update the site’s general layout, getting rid of any pages or menus that have been deemed superfluous. She’ll also update the visuals, color scheme and imagery, making sure they’re more in line with modern sites.

Create Content That’s worth Checking Out

check mark photoRegular updates are among the foremost tenets of a successful website. According to Business-2-Community’s Doug Malan, good content is essential to a website’s continued success. In addition to attracting new business, frequent updates will keep your existing customer base coming back on a consistent basis. The type of content you’ll provide varies depending on your field, but most business-oriented website content comes in the form of articles and blog posts. When putting together this content, it’s imperative that you adopt an authoritative voice in order to present yourself as an expert in your respective field. To this end, your pieces will need to be thoroughly fact-checked and composed in a professional tone. Shoddily-written, fact-light posts will elicit disdain from prospective clients and cause existing customers to reconsider their allegiance to you.

Promote Your Content

Even if your web content is second to none, it’s virtually meaningless if people aren’t taking notice. With this in mind, you’ll need to take steps to promote your content. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to go about this. Inserting SEO-centric keywords into your articles, headings and titles is an effective way to get your site noticed by popular search engines. You can also use social media to your advantage by posting links to new content on Facebook and Twitter. When engaging in social media promotion, encourage all of your followers to retweet your links and share them on Facebook. A single share or retweet from a popular follower can increase your web traffic exponentially. As Shell-Livewire reports, a rapidly increasing number of businesses are reaping the benefits of social media promotion.

The vast majority of modern-day consumers take their cues from the Internet. Before many prospective clients will even consider darkening your doorstep, they’ll thoroughly explore your website. That being the case, it behooves ambitious entrepreneurs to make their sites worth visiting.

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From SEO to PR to PPC: The Ins and Outs of Internet Marketing

Posted by on Jun 6, 2015 in Public Relations, Seo |

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Internet marketing is a combination of several factors designed to work together for your sales and branding goals. The reasons companies are successful are because they invest their resources in many separate fields, and develop strategies that complements all work being done. A holistic approach to internet marketing will ensure you’re not letting any opportunities slip by the wayside

 

Defining Your Goals

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Most business goals involve attracting attention from your target audience and converting that interest into sales. You want to build up a clientele that not only comes back for repeated business, but will also spread the word about how great your service or product works. Basically the components of internet marketing are designed to do just that. Some specialize in certain areas, but the right strategy in each will put yourself ahead of the others in the game. Keep that in mind – you’re not just worried about the needs of your customers out there, but you also have to take into consideration what efforts are being done by the competition in your industry. The idea is not just to keep pace, but to come up with a way to differentiate your company in a more desirable way. Here are the major components to internet marketing and what factors go into a holistic strategy.

 

SEO

People today do most of their shopping research online through specific searches on major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. In order to drive traffic to your site, you must have a comprehensive search engine optimization strategy. SEO involves the tactics you put into place in order to rank for those specific keywords and phrases. Needless to say, it’s a competitive market out there, regardless of what your industry is. Here are a couple tips to get ahead:

Keyword Research: Keyword research is essential to making sure you rank high in the search engine results, for as many search terms as possible. Create an excel sheet that breaks up your keyword categories based off of your target audience, and how your website might be sectioned. You can then start using the Google Keyword Planner to research keywords and plug them into your excel sheet accordingly. You’ll want to score terms based on relevance to your business and the volume of searches for important terms.

Linkbuilding: Links are one of the main factors in how a search engine ranks websites. Creating a link building plan around all the different tactics you can do to attract inbound links to your site is very important. The best link building strategies are ones where links are earned naturally. Google rewards sites with connections to those with high authority, so find sites with high Domain Authority and Trust Flow metrics, and reach out for link placement. Write a guest blog post with high quality content and include a link back to a relevant page on your website.

 

Public Relations

It’s a well-known face that engaging content which is targeted at the proper audience won’t just boost brand awareness, it will also inspire people to share what they have read around the Internet. The relationships that are built through public relations are the relationships that SEOs dream about. These include relationships with journalists, reporters, and editors can help you earn links from authoritative websites that Google loves. A few links from large authority websites hold far more weight than hundreds of spammy links that were built solely to attempt to manipulate the search rankings. Utilize your Public Relations team around campaigns that will generate traffic from your online social media accounts and funnel those to your desired landing pages. Public Relations will undoubtedly help convert traffic into sales.

 

Pay-Per-Click

Whereas SEO revolves more around organic ways to drive traffic to your website, PPC campaigns involve paying a fee each time one of your ads is clicked. Advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Having the option to target your audience by location is a great reason to choose PPC advertisement. This can make bidding for specific keywords easier and only receiving clicks from clients that you know are potential ones. When you create more than one campaign, be sure not to send all your traffic to the same landing page.

In general, there is no guarantee a customer clicking on that page will turn them into a customer. And since PPC campaigns only last for a period of time its effects are only temporary. Overall though, it can be a powerful way to directly market to audience, so well timed campaigns can cause a boost in sales.

 

Analytics

Regardless if your methods of marketing online revolve around organic or paid advertising, you’re going to need ways to track and monitor key metrics which should tell you how successful your efforts are. Creating and implementing an analytics program requires four steps:

  • Defining your metrics and developing a plan
  • Collecting the data
  • Developing reporting features and capabilities
  • Ongoing analysis and implementation

If you want to combine Google Analytics data with additional analytics tools and platforms to gain insights about your traffic, try Segment. The platform allows you to manage data from over 100 different advertising, analytics, developer, marketing, sales, support and user testing platforms in one place.

Analytics are key when it comes to analyzing your social media outreach. Google’s new section on social media metrics makes it possible to see which social networks (which also include commenting systems like Disqus) are resulting in the most site referrals. Users can also set up a cost analysis by configuring conversion goals that determine social value.

 

Build Trust

In order to convince new customers visiting your site for the first time that theyshake hands photoshould convert, you need to build trust. The internet lacks the assurances that come with a brick and mortar.

If the goal is to get them to make a purchase, prove to them their information is safe. One easy way is to use the services of a verification company that will also provide your website with a visible security seal that will assure visitors that their information is safe and secure.

Other ways to build trust with first-time visitors is to provide a real phone number they can call, and even a physical address — if possible. This shows customers that they have a real way to contact you should the need arise.

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