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Tips for Combining Content Marketing With Pay per Click Advertising

Ken Bowden - Tuesday, March 31, 2020

When it comes to improving your pay per click advertising, you’ve probably heard it all. Some marketers advocate for the sole use of content marketing, while others support the exclusive use of pay per click (PPC) to grow your business.

Combined, pay per click advertising can be a powerful tool that allows you to capitalize on your content marketing while waiting for search engines to start delivering search results.

Creating high-quality and relevant content should be your long-term strategy to boost your SEO ranking, improve the quality of your landing page and to build your brand’s standing.

We’ve listed four tips for you to do just this.

  1. Zone in on Your Audience

Know your audience. Depending on the type of business you do online, some audiences prefer using social media platforms and others prefer the more formal mediums such as e-commerce stores, blogs or online discussion forums.

Once you know which channels to target, you can hone your content to suit your various audiences.

  1. Brainstorm Your PPC Plan

In order to build a successful PPC plan, you need to determine your campaign structure. The next step would be to build and to refine your campaign’s landing pages. In addition, you need to build a keyword strategy and plan based on your research. Once you’ve completed these three steps, go on to create ads. Think it through and take the time to focus on this; most marketers fail at their PPC campaigns, which costs them more for underwhelming lead generation results.

  1. Amalgamate Calls to Action

Calls to Action are used in written content, blog posts and Meta descriptions as well as advertisement banners. These are woven into your PPC advertising. When conceptualizing your headings and Metadata, you don’t want to provide all the information or answers in your PPC promoted content – it’s a fine balance. Instead, try to ‘persuade’ your audience to click on your website links.

  1. Keep Your Finger on Your PPC’s Pulse

There’s no point in spending time and money on a perfectly crafted PPC and content campaign if you don’t keep on top of it. Follow up on your PPC advertising. In order to maintain your credibility, ensure that you always provide accurate, up to date, valuable and high-quality content to your audiences.

At WSI New Media, we provide a holistic approach to increasing online sales and leads. We specialize in designing and managing PPC campaigns by assisting our clients to see how this valuable resource will capitalize on your content marketing through improved click-through rates, conversions, and profit.

Contact us today for more information.

Why website load speed matters

Ken Bowden - Thursday, March 19, 2020

There is nothing more frustrating than navigating a website with a poor load speed or inadequate performance. Every aspect of our daily lives is fast paced, and a rapid, effortless user experience is essential to stay ahead in the business world of today.  

A website’s load speed is crucial to your online presence, conversion rates and even sales and it has a major impression on SEO rankings. All top website design companies will tell you that slow websites all have low conversion rates, high bounce back rates and unimpressive amounts of visits per page.

For your website to lead your digital presence, you need to avoid this at all costs:

  1. First impressions always count

Your website speed is the first impression you will make. It is vital that your customers (or readers) make a positive instant judgement about your business. In your customers’ minds, you are efficient, trustworthy and confident if your website proves to be professional and reliable.

  1. Your Users’ experience

One of the few ways you can set your website apart from others is through your users’ experience. With an efficient website load speed, this can be achieved by giving your visitors what they want and giving it to them quickly.

  1.  Website speed effects your Google ranking

Google takes website speed into account when ranking websites with a very small ‘signal’. This means that the average website won’t see much change but if your website lags, you will suffer. If your server is slower than two seconds, the chances that Google will pick up your content (or any other relevant changes) are slim and this could be harmful to your ranking.  

  1. Your site’s speed impact on paid searching

Google views a slow website’s speed as a poor user experience which in turn, brings down your quality score. When it comes to pay per click advertising (PPC), paying the most affordable rate for your keyword bidding is determined by your quality score. In paid media terms, your quality score is determined on how relevant Google finds your website’s landing page to a search term.

Your quality score determines what your cost per click is and your average position on the Search Engine Results Page. With a slow website speed or quality score, it will be hard for your website to show up in the top positions on the Search Engine Results Page. Your ranking also depends on how competitive the keywords are.

At WSI New Media, we will help you to benchmark your website and to improve it. We will analyze your website’s performance, eliminate all unnecessary elements ‘weighing’ it down and, optimize your website to ensure that you have the best and most efficient website speed to stay ahead of your game.

Contact us today for more information.

Your Small Business SEO Strategy Needs Long-Tail Keywords

Ken Bowden - Tuesday, March 10, 2020

We all know we need to select appropriate keywords to make our SEO strategies effective. There’s nothing new about that. However, you may not be using keywords to their fullest potential and, therefore, your website or blog may be lagging behind as a result. The problem with most keywords is that they tend to be generic and broad. Thousands of other websites will be using these short-tail keywords, and this means greater competition. If you rely only on short-tail keywords, you will be just one of many competitors, all fighting for attention from the same readers and possibly getting lost in the process.

The solution to reducing competition in this arena is to get more specific. This involves using long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords enable you to tailor search items specific to your business, as opposed to those that would be common across your industry.

For example, say you operate  a heating and air conditioning business in the Greensboro area, and you specialize in heat pump installations. If you use a keyword like “heating services,” you are unlikely to get the specific search engine hits you need. If you extend it to something like “heat pump installer,” you’re being more specific and, in so doing, narrowing your offering. The result is that your website is more likely to come up in search results. If you go even further and create a keyword like “heat pump installer Greensboro,” you have now created a long-tail keyword that is especially likely to bring your website up near the top of the search results.

What this means is that you’ve reduced your search competition by a pretty respectable order of magnitude. If people in your area want your services, they are not likely to type in a generic search phrase that brings up results from elsewhere in the state or possibly from around the country – depending on which of your colleagues in other towns are putting more into their SEO and PPC strategies. Somebody searching for a heating technician in Greensboro is likely to be specific in their search. So, you’ve given yourself a competitive edge.

What this really comes down to is focusing on your unique selling point (USP).  This is an old idea in marketing. The concept of the long-tail keyword takes the USP into the digital realm, enabling you to differentiate yourself from your hordes of competitors. It requires you to think deeper about your business and refine your offerings, an effort that is sure to be rewarded with higher search engine rankings .

Contact New Media Marketing to assist you in creating a winning SEO strategy.

How to Create a Website Design Brief

Ken Bowden - Monday, March 2, 2020

Time for a new website? One thing we can say is that you need to know exactly what you want. The more specific you are with your brief, the better your web design company can build the perfect new website for you. This blog will give you a guide to enable you to draw up the best possible brief to give to your designers. It will help you answer all the questions they are likely to ask before you even make contact for the first time. This will make you more able to explain exactly what you need when the time comes for the briefing.

Company Details

Start with a short but relatively detailed description of the company. Give the designers a full idea of the following:

  • What it is you do,
  • The history of the company,
  • The number of staff you have, and
  • Both short- and long-term business goals.

The designers need to know who they are dealing with and how they can add value. Be sure to include your main contacts and their details, so these can be included in the Contact section of the website.

What Do You Want From the Website?

Explain why you want the new website:

  • What are your goals?
  • What needs to stay the same?
  • What has to change?

Target Market

  • What industries do you serve?
  • Who are your main existing customers and who are the new ones you want to target?
  • Who is the competition?
  • How do you want your customers to interact with your site – inquiries, more info, make purchases?

Your Current Website

Give your designers as much information as you can about your existing site (if you have one). Include information such as:

  • How long has it been up?
  • What is your traffic like?
  • What devices are your site designed for?
  • Are you happy with the current traffic/sales, and so on?
  • How would you like these to change?
  • What are your concerns about the current website?
  • What about the website do you like and want to keep as it is?

The New Website

Explain what your goals are with the new site, for instance:

  • Is it just a redesign, is it a rebranding, or is it a bit of both?
  • Do you want increased traffic or sales?
  • How many pages do you want?
  • What are the key features you need?
  • What type of frequent updates will you need – newsfeed, blog, and so on?
  • Will you do this in-house or would you want the agency to offer it as an additional service?
  • What will the main call to action be, for instance, ‘buy now’ or ‘make contact’ or perhaps other options?

Also, remember to consider the future:

  • How are you planning to grow the business?
  • How can the website be future-proofed to keep up with the coming changes?

Content

  • Do you simply want to transfer the content from the old site to the new or do you want to create brand-new content? The agency can offer you copywriting services if you need them.
  • Do you have videos, downloadable documents and other content that you would like to add?
  • If not, would you like to create some?

Design

  • Give the designers a few links to websites you would like to emulate in some way.
  • Also tell them what you want to come through in the visual elements, for instance, give them some key descriptors of your company that they can keep in mind when designing your look and feel.

Deadline and Budget

Tell the designers exactly what you need in terms of deadlines and tell them what budget you have to work with. You both then have a good idea of what can and can’t be done and how much leeway there might be with regard to money and time.

Contact WSI New Media Marketing for excellent website design.

7 Instagram Marketing Tips That Deliver Proven Results

Ken Bowden - Thursday, January 16, 2020

7-Instagram-marketing-tips-that-deliver-results

Instagram is an excellent marketing tool that delivers great results. Yet, some people don’t know exactly how to use it. For those who are unsure, here are 7 top Instagram tips to integrate into your social media marketing plan.

  1. Switch to a Business Account

That is… if you haven’t already! Instagram business accounts come with a variety of benefits, including a ‘contact’ button to give your followers direct access to you. You also get access to Instagram’s analytics tools, which allow you to see stats for your content. With a business account, you generally increase the chances of your content coming up in your followers’ news feeds.

  1. Use Cross-Promotion

Promote your Instagram account and content on your other platforms. Your followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms may not have access to your Instagram yet, so invite them to check it out. This simply allows more exposure and helps to improve your brand image.

  1. Be Clever with Your Hashtag Use

There are two kinds of hashtags on Instagram:

  1. Brand or campaign-specific hashtags, which are used to promote your business, and
  2. Content-specific hashtags, which are used within your content.

Be sure to strategize the use of these hashtags carefully.

  1. Focus on Creating a Good Business Bio

A good bio makes a huge difference to users. Make sure you present a good face and explain clearly what you do. Remember to include a profile photo, a good, easy to remember and searchable user name, a link to your website, a short description as well as a call to action.

  1. Strategize Your Content – And Stick to the Plan

Create content in advance, according to a calendar and your objectives. Map out your marketing objectives first and then plan your content accordingly. Schedule your content and stick to the schedule, making sure that every piece of content is posted at exactly the right time.

  1. Use Instagram Stories

Instagram stories work a lot like Snapchat, creating a series of limited-life videos that foster engagement and enable you to connect to a wider audience. The 24-hour life of each video encourages people to watch and share them more than they would with content that they can access at any time. Simply put, all the more people will engage with your brand.

  1. Build a Community Around Your Account

Foster ongoing engagement with your business and your Instagram account by getting to know your audience and engaging with them. Interact with them, ask them questions. Let your audience know that you are not just a business targeting them as customers, but the core of a community in which they have an important stake.

Contact WSI New Media Marketing and let us design a thorough and comprehensive social media marketing plan for your brand.

 

4 Exciting Digital Marketing Trends in 2020 That Will Take Your Small Business to the Top!

Ken Bowden - Friday, January 10, 2020

2020-digital-marketing-trends-for-small-business

Time waits for nobody. 2020 is already rushing ahead regardless, and digital media marketing is running with it. Digital marketing moves as quickly as the technology it uses, so all the world’s top social media agencies need to keep up with the latest trends in order to stay on top of their game. Here are four of the top trends in the practice of digital marketing  in 2020.

  • Greater Personalization

Marketers are using AI to create personalized experiences. Customized content can be delivered to users based on their search history, location, and interests. You can also create product recommendations and content suggestions as well as automate advertising. AIs can also be very effective in automating your email lists. This enables you to hone your targeted emails to a fine edge with mail campaigns that are personalized to the extreme.

  • Sentiment Analysis

Do you want to better understand how customers feel about your products? Social media mentions aren’t always as clear cut as you would want them to be, but now you can analyze their tone with the use of AIs. The AIs analyze posts relating to your brand to understand whether people have positive, negative or neutral feelings about what you do. They can even flag and prioritize negative responses so that you can act on them quicker and take steps to manage your brand’s public image.

  • Chatbots

Chatbots are nothing new. They have been used for some time already as a way to provide customer support quickly and without putting any strain on your staff. They are getting more and more sophisticated now, however, able to provide ever more involved assistance with increasingly more complex queries. Chatbots also streamline customer service and make it not only quicker but also more effective. They can also be used to gather data from their interactions, putting them in a database, which you can then use for marketing purposes, providing information on your customers. You can then use this to perfect your marketing efforts.

  • Video Content for Social Media Marketing

Video content simply attracts more views than any other format. People would rather watch a video than read through even a single paragraph of copy. You can strategize the way you use videos by posting them for limited periods of time – leveraging your audience’s FOMO and prompting a customer to take action. Make use of Instagram Stories for example. You can also add hashtags and get users to engage, thus creating and developing a relationship with your audience and fostering brand loyalty.

If you’re uncertain how to make good use of these trends, you can always hand the work over to a top social media agency that can use all of these methods and technologies to promote your brand. Contact WSI New Media Marketing and let us follow the trends for the good of your brand, through social media marketing, PPC advertising, website design, and mobile marketing among other methods.

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Building Links for SEO

Ken Bowden - Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Beginners-guide-to-SEO-link-building

Creating content that search engines can not only understand, but which also answers questions, unfortunately, doesn’t necessarily mean that your content will rank. In order to outrank competitive sites, you must earn links from authoritative websites by nurturing your audience who will assist in boosting your content.

  • What is Link Building?

Simply put, link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to your website. One of the many tactics used in SEO marketing, these links inform Google that your site is a quality resource. Google’s algorithms are not only quite complex, but they are also always evolving and, therefore, sites with more backlinks, tend to earn higher rankings.

  • How Do I Go About Building these Links?

To ensure the long-term viability of your website, you need to engage natural link building, in other words, earning these links rather than buying them. However, organic link building is not easy and it has been proven to be a time-consuming process.

  • Internal Link Building

There is a relatively easy way to build your links for free – internal link building. You need to consider the following when attempting to get your web page to rank:

    • Anchor text is one of the most important things that the search engines consider when ranking a page. It tells Google what your page’s topic is about. If many links point to a webpage with a variation of a word or a phrase, the page has a higher chance of ranking well for these types of phrases. Be careful not to use too many backlinks with the same anchor text, as this could indicate to search engines that you are trying to manipulate your site’s ranking. Be precise about the anchor text you want to use.  
    • The quality of the linking page is considered too. Search engines favor links from high-quality pages in boosting rankings over questionable sites. Ensure that your content is unique and engaging so that people will want to reference and link to your site.
    • Naturally, people will share the link of your home page, which makes it difficult for your other pages to achieve their own high rankings and to generate their own link equity. So, single out the page you’d like the anchor text to point to.
    • Set up a system for interlinking your pages by using a keyword research tool, which will provide numerous relevant and popular keywords. Assign keywords to your content and link your pages using targeted anchor text. This is the most important step as you need to ensure that you are linking the right pages with the right anchor text.
    • Place your site in front of your industry. Invite like-minded bloggers or individuals with a large social media following to review and to share your site.

Need help with your SEO? Contact us today for more information.

 

How to Use Instagram Checkout for Your E-Commerce Business

Ken Bowden - Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Instagram-checkout-for-ecommerce-buisiness

With global mobile commerce sales expected to increase by 20% for the remainder of 2019, 30% of consumers say they would like the option of purchasing directly on social media platforms.

 Instagram jumped on this social media marketing bandwagon with their recently launched checkout – a feature which enhances the shopping experience by making purchases simple, convenient and secure. Gone are the days of navigating to the browser when wanting to make a purchase.

  • So, How Will Instagram’s Checkout Work?

As a retailer, implementing the checkout feature is quite simple. Once you’ve created an Instagram post, you can tag the product(s) featured. Your customers will be able to click on the post to view the product and to select a color, size, and shipping options. The first time the Instagram user makes a purchase, he/she will need to enter personal and billing information, which is securely saved, making every purchase following almost instantly. 

  • Why Is Checkout so Important for my Business?

The visual contender, Instagram, has become a fast favorite for discovering millions of new products. It has – and continues to be – a very powerful social media marketing tool. Now, with the option to check out directly in the app, you will have the ability to shift more potential customers to actual customers.

 With the ability to check out directly on Instagram, you’ll increase the chances of sales, which otherwise might be lost. That being said, you shouldn’t forget about your own e-commerce website. By making your products available on various platforms, you will not only increase your customer base but also your overall sales.

  • How Do I Use Checkout Successfully in my Business?
    • Start focusing on your Instagram community and grow your follower base. The more followers you have, the more users will see and share your products.
    • Ensure that your Instagram feed is aesthetically pleasing and that the images you use are of high quality. 
    • Use product tabs to ensure that your account is set up properly to allow for the checkout feature to be implemented. 

This new feature is exciting for anyone in retail. By offering your customers a seamless and convenient shopping experience, you’ll create a larger, more loyal audience in the long run.

Are you ready to take the next step in your social media marketing strategy? Contact us for more information.

 

Use These Notable Days of the Year to Pump Up Sales Performance

Ken Bowden - Thursday, November 14, 2019

Major holidays have long been used effectively as pillars around which to structure powerful marketing campaigns. Christmas, Easter, Halloween, July 4th – these are all obvious sales boosters. In the world of social media, however, there are many more notable days you can use to boost your brand and increase sales. Almost every day there is some lesser-known quasi-holiday that brings with it opportunities to stretch your brand, add a little personality, and up your profits. Here are just a handful that can really help you increase your profile on social media. Before you try to leverage any of them, remember to make sure that they can fit your business; never try to force anything.

  • Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday

Grouped together, the days of the Thanksgiving weekend already make up a well-established bumper period for retail – and increasingly for other businesses too. The basic strategy with these days is to sell products at a large discount so as to increase the number of items sold and achieve economies of scale. Discount your goods strategically, calculating what you can afford to sell at a hugely reduced price and what you think will draw the most buyers. Post your discounts on social media and make sure that your value offering comes through clearly, bringing attention to the benefits of dealing with your business, as opposed to any others, during the crazy, Black Friday rush.

  • International Coffee Day (September 29)

You don’t have to be directly involved in the making or selling of coffee to make use of this one. Coffee is pretty much the core ingredient of almost all social and business interactions. This is a perfect opportunity to invite prospective clients in for a free coffee, giving you the chance to make your actual offers. It doesn’t matter what you do – coffee goes with everything!

  • National Friendship Day (1st Sunday in August)

Friend referrals are an old marketing tactic. This day offers a great opportunity to have a little fun with them. Offer discounts or contest entries to everyone who brings or refers a friend to you, for example. Or you could devise a twofer deal – buy one get one free – if that’s what will work for your business. Think about your brand and how this will work, then get creative. It’s an opportunity for fun, uplifting, perhaps even emotive marketing campaigns.

There are many others: National Doughnut Day, National Flower Day, National Emoji Day, and many more! Look them up and create a roster, plan ahead and have fun with them. They are an excellent opportunity to engage your audience and give your sales that little shove they may need at certain times of the year.

WSI can help you develop a highly effective social media marketing strategy that works all year round. Contact us for help with your campaign.

 

 

How to Build a High-converting Email Funnel for the Festive Retail Season

Ken Bowden - Thursday, November 7, 2019

Build-a-high-converting-email-funnel-for-festive-retail-season

Email marketing is known to be a low-cost, high-return marketing tool. According to a Campaign Monitor study, roughly $44 is made back on every $1 spent on email marketing. That’s at any regular time during the year. In the holiday season, this increases dramatically.

To really get the best results from your email marketing though, you need to make sure that your mailing strategy builds into an effective, enticing email funnel that draws and converts those clicks. What follows is a fairly foolproof sequence to help you build up your funnel.

  • Start by Expressing Gratitude for Your Halloween Trade

As November begins, send out an email thanking your customers for doing business with you over the Halloween period. This makes them feel appreciated and that they are a part of your brand. Send to all customers, whether they made purchases last month or not.

  • Send a Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday Teaser Email in Mid-November

Don’t jump too soon after 1 November. Give them a couple of days to settle and make sure you’re not bombarding their inboxes. About 5 to 7 days after your “thank you”, send the first teaser of your Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. Keep it brief and high level, and focus on prime offerings across all niches of your market. However, be sure to hint at, but hold back your leading, most exciting offers. Those are for the next email.

  • Send Your Main Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday Email a Week Later

Give it a week and then drop the main mail about mid-way through November. Now you can unveil your biggest offer, the one that will have them queuing outside your door for hours. Since this is your main offer, put more effort into it: give the graphics a lot of thought, and make them eye-catching and unmissable.

  • Send Offer Reminders Four Days Before Black Friday

Let it rest again. And then, as the week of Thanksgiving starts, send out reminders of that main offer, as well as other major deals. People may have been very excited by your original offer mail, but then they have got on with their busy lives – your offer could slip their minds. This is just to make sure that they don’t forget – and that they know why they shouldn’t forget.

  • As of the Next Day, Send Out Countdown Emails Until Black Friday

Normally you don’t want to overdo the number of emails you send. Now is the time to up the ante, however, by fanning the flames of anticipation. Each day, send out a short, bold reminder of your top deals, and let the customers know that there is a very limited time before the offer will be live.

  • Send Your Post-black Friday/ Cyber Monday ‘thank You’ Emails

If you followed the sequence and focused on great content (as well as incredible offers), you should now be very happy with the results you achieved. Now, as November rolls over into December, there’s only one thing left to do:

  • Repeat the Process for Christmas

WSI can help you build a top converting email marketing funnel. Contact us for help with your campaign.

 

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