OUR BLOG

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.

 

3 New Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Ken Bowden - Wednesday, October 9, 2019

ways-to-drive-traffic-to-your-website

Drawing traffic to your website can be a tricky affair. At times, you think you’ve hit on the winning formula, only to find that your numbers suddenly start to drop. You’re throwing in every trick in the book – every keyword is perfectly researched, all your social media postings are carefully strategized, your website design has been carefully planned for optimal UX, and yet the traffic dwindles.

That’s okay. It happens. The thing to do is remember that the internet – and thus digital marketing by extension – is an ever-changing thing, and you need to adapt with it. Every so often, you need to regroup, rethink, and try something new. Here are three tips to help you give your traffic a boost.

  1. The Celebrity Touch

Celebrity endorsements have worked since the days of newspaper ads – and they still do. Now, we’re not suggesting that you pay your favorite sports star to do a cheesy commercial giving your product the thumbs up. Digital content marketing can be more subtle and more interesting than that. You can draw interest to your site by posting content that features celebrities connected with your line of business, and leveraging off their fan base. It can be as simple as an interview with a star, famous author, or a luminary in your industry. You’d be surprised who’s willing to talk to you if you only ask.

Alternatively, ask a well-known blogger to write a guest blog for you and/or write a blog for their site. In this way, you could be attracting a whole new audience.

2. Social media: LinkedIn, Reddit

LinkedIn is the most effective platform to post business-related content. And, its users have a bigger attention span than those of other social networks. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, it has users that are more likely to click on, and actually read, in-depth articles on subjects that interest them, as well as clicking through and finding out more, provided they see a benefit to them professionally.

Reddit is another way to open up to different audiences, but in this case, you need to be a bit smarter and more targeted. Don’t just post content broadly; identify and research specific sub-Reddits that are applicable to your market, where potential new customers may be found among the readers.

3. Be Adaptable

Ultimately, no matter whether you follow the above advice or any other specific tips, the point is to be willing to shift your opinions and strategies in order to move with the times and undulating trends of the internet. You need a holistic SEO strategy that can help you keep your finger on the pulse all the time and change your approach accordingly.

WSI’s Adaptive SEO™ services will help you keep ahead of the trends, altering the angle of your digital marketing attack, while still maintaining the integrity of your brand. Contact us to start applying the adaptive treatment to your SEO strategy.

 

 

 

What KPIs Should Your Mobile Marketing Analytics Track?

Ken Bowden - Wednesday, October 2, 2019

what-kris-should-your-mobile-analytics-track

As fun as mobile marketing campaigns can be, they have no use unless they actually yield measurable results related to the growth and profitability of your business. Mobile marketing is there to boost the acquisition of new users/customers, and the retention of existing ones, and to aid in increasing your business’s revenue and/or profit.

Perhaps the above is stating the obvious, but how do we actually measure these variables? Well, in order to do so, you need to focus on a set of central key performance indicators (KPIs). Here are the four main KPIs your mobile analytics should be tracking daily so as to ensure you aren’t just ‘winging it’ with your marketing efforts:

  1. Cost per Install and/or Acquisition (Cpi/Cpa)

This is a question of the feasibility and profitability of your business, as well as the cost-effectiveness of your mobile marketing. Whatever analytics system you are using, make sure it can tell you exactly how much it costs you to acquire one new user/customer. You can then adjust your marketing budget accordingly or, if all goes well, have real figures to take to your finance department when they question your ad spend.

2. Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)

This crucial metric tells you how much gross profit is generated by a single customer over the entire time you are doing business with them. It’s calculated by multiplying the average period payment (say your monthly or annual subscription fee) by your average gross margin and the number of periods the customer is expected to be with you. Together with your CPI/CPA measurements, this metric enables you to work out and project the profitability of individual users and groups of users. This helps you know where to focus your marketing and customer retention efforts.

3. Daily Active Users (DAU)

Acquisitions are fine. But, they mean little to your business in the long run if they don’t translate to consistent, regular customers. This KPI enables you to see how many active customers you have and to set goals for their retention, as well as for the addition of new active customers and the targeted acquisition of more.

4. Revenue

What is the net impact of your mobile marketing on overall revenue for the business? This is something you can and should measure. It is perhaps the simplest KPI to measure. The figures acquired from this, together with your user data, will often enable you – or your analytics software – to calculate the three KPIs above, as well as a range of others.

The beauty of mobile marketing analytics is that they offer the tools to use marketing in a targeted and scientific way, with the stats to back you up. They also help you to adjust your strategies by giving you clear indicators of what works and what doesn’t.

WSI are experts in mobile marketing. Contact us to refine your campaign.

 

 

Stay Connected

© 2021 WSI New Media Marketing. All rights reserved.