Monday, February 15, 2016

How to Maximize Your Return on SEO and Content Marketing in 2016

If you haven't already figured out that content is king in today's online-driven economy, get ready to get up to speed.  As time marches on, unique and fresh content is only becoming more valuable, which means that companies who are not maximizing their SEO and content marketing wisely will likely find themselves at the bottom of the barrel (or the tenth page of a Google search.)
Being aware of the importance of these essential ingredients is just the first step to the ongoing process.  Here are some ways you can get the most out of your marketing in 2016:
  • Hire an SEO Agency.  Business leaders who think they can go it alone are often left out in the dust when the numbers start coming in.  The truth of the matter is that there's a lot that goes into executing a strong SEO and content strategy.  Since you're busy doing your day job, it can often make more sense to allocate a portion of the annual marketing budget so you can outsource this task to the experts.  An effective SEO agency will help develop and execute a profitable strategy and take care of the analytics and analysis to help you boost your brand and drive traffic your way.  
  • Socialize About Your Expertise.  Sure, it's nice when people go out of their way to see what you have to say, but you certainly can't rely on the hopes that your audience will stop by to see what you're up to if you're interested in padding your bottom line.  Devote time to make sure you're staying social and engaging with your followers.  In doing so, make sure you're publishing your content on key places like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, just to name a few.  Properly placed paid ads on these sites are a good place to spend a bit of your marketing money, too.  They'll get you in front of people who are most likely to be take notice of the way your business can benefit them.
  • Pay Attention to the Numbers.  As any SEO agency will tell you, marketing is far from an industry driven completely by creatives.  Without metrics in place, the numbers won't mean much, so you'll want to lay out a specific strategy so you understand what you want to achieve and what you're measuring.  Once you've gathered your goals, pay steadfast attention to the analytics.  They'll lead the way toward more leads if you heed their warnings.

How To Succeed With Social Media Marketing

According to Pew Research, about 65% of American adults use social media. If you own a North Carolina business, odds are good your potential customers use Facebook – about half the population of North Carolina does. Or perhaps you’ll find your prospects on Twitter: 50 million U.S. adults are active there every month.
No matter what products or services you offer, social media is a key part of getting your message out to local, purchase-ready customers. Social media may be new to many business owners, but it doesn’t have to be mysterious. In fact, a good social media marketing strategy can be broken down into a few best practices.

Let's look at four of them right now:

1) Be Consistent
Once your company is on social media, consistency is crucial to growing your following. Many business owners and marketers commit to updating their social media accounts at least once a day. When getting started, aim for three updates a week to build rapport with current and potential customers.

2) Add Value
The crux of digital marketing is to demonstrate your expertise by sharing with would-be customers. Find out what questions keep them up at night, develop informative articles or other content, then share it on your social accounts – don’t only post about “hot deals,” or you’ll turn users off.

3) Join the Conversation
If you update your social accounts and do nothing else, you’re essentially talking to yourself. Connect with other users by monitoring trending topics. Respond to what others have to say and add your own take using hashtags to make it easier for Web surfers to find you.

4) Make Use of Visuals
Posts with embedded photos or videos are much more likely to get comments, clicks, and likes. Even if you’re sharing a conventional blog post, think about adding a photo to make it more compelling. Want to go the extra mile? Try using an informative infographic.

Done well, your social media marketing strategy can be a fun and exciting part of your business. What’s more, social media can amplify any other piece of your inbound marketing strategy. That means just a few minutes spent being social every day can add up to tremendous ROI.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Advantages of Creating and Maintaining a Content Calendar

Business owners who endeavor to create an online presence that is strong have reported that their largest challenge lies in finding ideas for their content and then finding the time to write and then publish these ideas and posts on a regular basis.  Creating a content calendar that is comprehensive can assist you in overcoming these issues.  When you make a time commitment that is scheduled, you ensure that your content marketing doesn’t fall by the wayside because you just can’t seem to get around to doing it.  Here is a quick peek at a few of the advantages to creating and then maintaining this type of calendar.

1)    Getting your posts published on a regular basis and on time.  Your customers and potential clients will expect it.  Having a structured content calendar for your content will enable you to plan for your content before you need it.  For example, if you will be running a special two months from now, you could publish something related each week leading up to the event.  Social media aggregation platforms are available to help schedule all your posts and do that ahead of time, if you prefer. 
2)    Get the big picture.  Creating a content calendar that can run as little as a month or as long as a year will give you the advantage of having a bird’s eye view of your online content.  This enables you to:
o   Plan for features/topics that will run in a series of posts.
o   Schedule themes for your content based on the time of year, i.e. Christmas, Memorial Day, July 4th, etc.
o   Make sure that your core message is consistent regardless of the topic being discussed.
o   Work with subjects that overlap to ensure there is no duplication
3)   Time to find ideas.  You might get an idea for a post while you are out shopping or even laying in bed at night.  However, when it comes time to write that next post, that brilliant idea is long gone.  Having a content calendar where you can jot these ideas down as they occur to you can allow for those brilliant post ideas to become brilliant reality.

Make it Work

These are just a few of the advantages to having a content calendar.  However, none of these advantages will apply if you don’t stick to it and make it work for you.  Need help?  Call WSI New Media Marketing in Greensboro today!

Employing a Holistic Approach to Your Online Marketing Efforts

Is it better to invest in SEO or social media?  Should you spend your time and money on marketing content or would it be a better decision to focus on making a responsive web site?

Honestly?  All of them.  Creating a business that is successful will involve each of these elements of online marketing. 

SEO works to influence people to visit your site.  Making sure that you have a fantastic blog will build trust with your audience while it also keeps Google happy – as long as the content you publish is interesting and fresh.

Social media is the online equivalent of a meeting hall for your customers.  Beyond that, users are using mobile devices more and more to access social platforms and any other site…including yours.  This means that you will need to have a responsive web site in order to accommodate the user regardless of the device they are using.

Take a Holistic Approach

We all know that when you have a spectacular website, people will keep coming back.  Your site should be engaging, informative and the online home for your business.  It needs to make any and all visitors feel like they are welcome. Here are some of the things that you will need to be sure to include in your online marketing if you want to take a holistic approach to it.
  • Create a website that is visually appealing and optimized for the search engines to find it.  It should load quickly, be user-friendly, and important information should always be easy to find.
  • Make sure that the content on your site is compelling.  This refers to every piece of content on your site.  Don’t waste time with fillers or fluff.  Use every inch of real estate on your site for content that is relevant and engaging. 
  • Understand and utilize the critical parts of a local SEO campaign.  This begins with your site.  It needs Meta tags, title, description, pertinent images and video.  Code it in the latest accepted format, claim and establish your Google+ page.
  • Create and maintain a social media presence that is vibrant.  Outline your goals and then post relevant information on social media sites.  Also try to refer them back to your site for additional information.  Begin conversations and track your effectiveness with analytic tools on each site.

Doing all of these things is a great way to take a holistic approach to online marketing.  Need help?  WSI New Media Marketing can assist with your online marketing for 2016.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How To Get More Out of Your PPC Ad Campaigns

You don’t need to be the Michael Jordan of PPC campaigns in order to get the most from them.  You just need to make sure that you have an end goal and steps in place that will help you in reaching that goal.

Define the Goal
Exactly what are you wanting your PPC campaign to accomplish?  Before you can begin to get the most from your campaign, you need to determine what you want to get from it.  Your end goal will determine how you are going to use the following techniques in order to optimize your PPC campaign.

Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty with the keywords.  You have neither the time nor the money to waste on those keywords that are not performing well.   
 Remember that when it comes to keywords, quality is incredibly more important than quantity.  Try to find the sweet spot in your campaign.  This is where you will be spending less per click while earning the most, all while getting good traffic.
There are a few programs out there that will allow for you to find the keywords that are both relevant to your campaign and searched for frequently.  These programs can be invaluable when used correctly.  Using the right keywords can result in your ads being more effective.

Ad Text
You don’t need to reinvent your complete ad text, just add some variations to it.  When you are optimizing the text in your ad, use the same guidelines that you did for the keywords.  Remember that each and every ad group needs to always have 2 or 3 variations of the ad text.
You will probably want to have a few trial runs in order to determine which ads are working best and which ones are wasting your time and advertising money.

Landing Pages
You don't want to forget about your landing page either.  When someone clicks on your PPC ad, which page will they be taken to?  This page is called the landing page.  It should be SEO optimized for the search engines to be able to find it and it needs to be directly related to the ad campaigns you have going for PPC.

Bottom line: when it comes to PPC campaigns, optimization can make you or break you.  Neglect optimization and you could be harming your business.