Creative Commons image by Michell Zappa.

Creative Commons image by Michell Zappa.

Happy New Year! Now that 2017 is here, you might be ready to roll up your sleeves and really get serious about your digital marketing. Or maybe you have been serious all along, but you just need to boost your appeal to your audience and convert more interest into actual sales. Whatever the case may be, this is the perfect time of year to make the changes you need to see some real differences in the way your business grows through the new year. Take a look at these new year’s resolutions to consider making when it comes to your digital marketing strategy.

Get Organized

One of your personal resolutions might be to get organized. But your laundry situation and the overwhelming piles of paperwork on your desk aren’t the only things that need to be whipped into shape this year! Consider your marketing strategy and figure out how you’re going to organize it. If you’re currently flying by the seat of your pants, it’s time to sit down, take inventory of what worked for you in 2016, expand on that, and throw out what wasn’t working.

It’s best to make a plan of how you’re going to spend your marketing dollars, how often you’re going to put up content, how you’re going to handle social media, and exactly how you’re going to convert leads into sales. This is a big job, and it’s not something you’re likely to figure out during one sit-down session. Schedule some time in the coming weeks to really think about all of this. If needed, schedule a consultation with a marketing expert who can help you see the forest through the trees and figure out what to focus on.

Beef Up Your Brand

Think about what message you’re sending out to the world with your branding. First, the little things: Is your logo and case consistent across every platform and on every site? Check your Google Business listings and various review sites to be sure that your business name, address and phone number are correct. Is your own name spelled correctly on sites that list ownership? Go through your website to make sure that each time your phone number is listed, it’s correct. Nothing screams “amateur” like having your address spelled wrong on your own website!

Once the basics are covered, think about how you are coming across to the world. Do you have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube account? You might not need all four; consider who your target audience is and figure out which platforms they’re most likely to be using. You can check out some stats at the Pew Research Center. If you don’t have the time to keep up with your social media, think about hiring someone to handle that for you. Many times, your social media accounts are the first impression you get to make, so make it a good one.

Create More (or Better) Content

Are you blogging? Think about your content and consider ways to make it better.A� If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some hints from Kissmetrics. If you aren’t putting up creative, unique, and engaging content regularly, consider finding someone who can do this for you. Remember that publishing content is not all you need to do. A good editorial calendar combined with a promotion plan is a must. Your social media platforms will be very helpful here!

Decide what your goals are for 2017 and think about what type of new year’s resolutions you should be making for your business. If you are floundering when it comes to digital marketing and content creation, don’t hesitate to contact Most Optimal for help!


Creative Commons image by  Bert Kaufmann

Creative Commons image by
Bert Kaufmann

With a week ’til Christmas and the first night of Hanukkah, then another week until New Year’s Day, you might be looking for quick ways to boost your holiday sales. If you haven’t been keeping up with your marketing strategy to this point, there aren’t any quick fixes that will bring in a big profit before the ball drops in Times Square. However, if you already have a social media presence, an email list, or a website or blog, here are some ways you might be able to drum up a bit of business in the next week or two.

Send Out a Message of Thanks

While Thanksgiving is already passed, you can continue the message of gratitude by sending out an email to your customers thanking them for their loyalty. This gives people a warm, fuzzy feeling, and it also reminds them that you are here, providing a service or product. A non-salesy email is a nice change of pace, particularly this time of year, and your customers will have you in the forefront of their minds if it turns out they need what you offer.

Donate a Portion of Your Profit

Make it known that from today until (you can choose an ending date), a percentage of your profits from a certain service or product (or a portion of all sales) will be donated to the cause of your choice. This time of year, people are trying to be philanthropic; help them along by letting them know that 10 percent of the sale is going to an animal rescue, the Salvation Army, a nursing home in town, or some other organization. Advertise this on your social media pages.

Host a Giveaway

This can be just about anything from choosing a random commenter on your blog to receive a product, to having an elaborate series of giveaways and deals centered around the 12 days of Christmas or the 8 nights of Hanukkah. People love free stuff, and during the holidays is a great time to get people interacting with your social media pages, YouTube channel or blog.A� As a side benefit, you can do some networking by asking your viewers, readers or fans to visit other business pages or channels to leaveA� a comment. This is a great way to get some reciprocation without having to invest a lot of time, energy, or money into supporting another entrepreneur.

Send Out Holiday Cards… By Snail Mail

This one is not about digital marketing at all. If you’ve been collecting addresses, send out holiday greetings via the good old United States Postal Service. Cards are more appreciated than emails this time of year, and they’re much more likely to be noticed. Go ahead and include a coupon, too.

Put Out a Webinar the Last Week of December

Many people are off from work or have a decreased workload during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Take advantage of this by preparing a webinar, longer video, a podcast, or some other educational media. While people might have less money to spend immediately following the major holidays, getting them engaged while they’re relaxed and happy can pay off in the year to come.

If you have questions about digital marketing and advertising, please contact Most Optimal. We wish you a happy holiday season and the best possible start for 2017!

 

 

 

 


SEO links
Creative Commons image by Adam Levine.

Creative Commons image by Adam Levine.

Whether you are new to learning about search engine optimization, or SEO, or you’ve been at this for a while, you probably wish there were a few silver bullets that would all but guarantee success. Well, there aren’t… but there are some content- and link-based strategies to try if your SEO strategy seems to be stagnating. An SEO company can help you with any or all of these tips, or you can try your hand at these on your own.

Boost your content.

Go through each of your pages and be sure that they all have at least 300 words of content. If they already do, comb through to make sure that your keywords are included somewhere on the page, preferably toward the top. Also, read it out loud to ensure it reads well. If necessary, hire a writer or an editor to make sure that your content is human-reader-friendly. If people are clicking away from your site in frustration because the content is not up to par, then the search engines will not look favorably upon your site. Make it reader-friendly with subheadings and plenty of white space, and be sure that what you are putting on the page is worth saying; it should be engaging and relevant to your business.

Add Internal Links

Within your content, you should have a couple of links going to other pages on your website. You should also have a navigation bar on your home page that will lead to various other pages. One good tip to keep in mind is that the higher up on a page a link is located, the more importance Google and other search engines will attribute to the page it leads to. If you are using a link to a secondary page on your homepage, try to get it in the first paragraph or two, if possible.

Build External Links

Link-building means getting other sites to link to your pages. This can be easier said than done, but there are a fewA� ways to accomplish this without resorting to black-hat methods. One is to ask site-owners who are not your competitors but who still use your keyword on their pages for links. For example, if you’re a landscaper, you might know of companies who will reference landscaping in your area even though they’re not landscapers themselves. Some examples might be real estate agents, nurseries, or companies who do siding or brickwork.

Use Outbound Links

Another way to use links is to link out to other sites. Every site you link to should have content or a product that you believe in. Another consideration is that each of these sites should be reputable. Linking to a random blog does not hold the same clout as linking to a reputable organization in your industry, and search engines are aware of this. As a side note, linking out can actually end up bringing you more external links, which will, in turn, help you score better on the SEO algorithms.

Search engine optimization can be a challenge, but if you have the time to comb through your site and work on your content and your links, you should see some improvement on your ranking. Most Optimal is also available to help you with your local visibility and search marketing. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more!


Creative Commons image by Herman Yung

Creative Commons image by Herman Yung

Search engine optimization can seem like a bit of a mystery, and you’ve probably read a lot of advice, some of which might be conflicting. It’s hard to know exactly what Google and the other major search engines want, because while they’ve given some clues, no one knows the exact algorithms used in ranking pages. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that in general, if you’re writing for a human audience, SEO success will follow. Still, there are some mistakes that youA� might be making. Take a look at this list of common SEO mistakes and see if you are guilty of any of them.

 

Focusing on Quantity over Quality

 

You’ve probably heard that you should be updating your blog frequently with well-researched, compelling content. This is excellent advice, but the truth is, most people do not have the time or the funds to craft high-quality, unique content on a weekly (or daily!) basis. This can lead to shortcuts, such as cranking out a few non-unique posts each week about the same-old, same-old. Guess what? You’ve just made it so Google won’t be interested in your tired, overused information.

 

Instead, concentrate on quality. Put out new information, package it a different way, and use interesting and varied sentence structure. You might need to hire a pro to do this, but the good news is that if you put up just one or two posts per month, you’re doing fine, as long as they’re of a high quality.

 

Keyword Stuffing

 

This is something that should have been beaten out of most bloggers by now, but we still see it sometimes. Keyword-stuffing has gotten a bad rap, and for good reason: Human readers and search engines have caught on to the fact that putting keywords, especially long-tail keywords, into your content over and over again does not result in easy-to-read, interesting or compelling content. Also, Google can detect when you’re varying just a word or two within a long-tail keyword phrase. This means that “luxury properties in New Orleans, Louisiana,” and “luxury homes in New Orleans, Louisiana,” both count as the same keyword in terms of figuring out density.

 

Just write naturally. While you should include your keywords a couple of times within an article, there’s no reason to try to get it into every paragraph or every few sentences. In fact, it can hurt your ranking.

 

Not Building Links

 

You want other blogs and websites to link back to your site and posts, as this not only brings more visibility (and more readers) to your site, but also boosts your Google ranking. Just getting a few of your friends to link to you, however, or, worse, putting spammy links in other people’s blog posts (don’t do this!), is not the way to go. A qualified SEO company can help you develop the links that you need. Creating excellent content will help, too, as this will raise the number of natural links you get.

 

If you have found that you are making some of these SEO mistakes or you don’t know how to use SEO properly, Most Optimal can help. Contact us to find out more about how we can increase your local visibility and bring you more business.

 

 


How can you create good how-to content?

How can you create good how-to content?

Quick question: The last time you wanted to know how to do something (replace a part in your washing machine, make a souffle or teach your dog to stop barking at the mailman, for example), how did you go about learning?

Chances are very good that you typed a�?how to (insert desired activity here)a�? into your favorite search engine. From there, you either read an article, scanned an infographic or watched a video on how to master this new skill. Depending on what you were trying to do, you might have been referred to a professional (not many of us can completely rewire a house after watching a YouTube video, after all), or you might have felt confident enough to tackle your problem on your own.

No matter what type of business you own, providing how-to content to your clients and customers is an excellent way to build credibility, increase the number of visitors your website or social media accounts get, and, ultimately, boost your sales. Here are some tips on creating good how-to content.

Consider What Your Customers Tend to Ask You

If you find yourself answering the same types of questions over and over again, a large number of people are probably searching for those same answers. For example, if you have a septic cleaning business, you are probably asked, a�?how do I know when I need to have the tank pumped?a�? nearly every day. If you own a shoe store, parents of young children may approach you regularly to ask, a�?How can I tell if my toddlera��s shoes still fit or if he needs a bigger size?a�? Writing a how-to article or making a video explaining concepts like this can bring in a lot of traffic.

Keep It Simple

Dona��t go too overboard in providing a million details or trying to address every potential complication. If your readers or viewers cana��t get through your piece in a few minutes, what youa��re trying to explain is probably too complicated. Remember that not everything your customers ask can be addressed in a simple how-to article, infographic or video.

You might need to narrow your focus. Instead of, a�?how to plan and prepare for a dinner party,a�? focus on a�?how to properly set a formal table.a�? This allows you to be specific and give useful information that goes beyond vague generalities (i.e. make a guest list, come up with a menu, send out invitations, etc.).

Include a Personal Touch

Rather than making your piece a�?strictly business,a�? find a way to incorporate some of your personality into it. Most people dona��t want to read or watch something dry and humorless. Be conversational and, if youa��re using photos or a video, be sure to show what youa��re doing. Feel free to cite a few fun facts or share a short anecdote.

Dona��t Forget a Call to Action

Your call to action, or CTA, is an important part of your how-to article or video. You dona��t want your piece to be too salesy, but you also dona��t want to neglect to inform your readers or viewers how to get in touch with an expert (you!) if they need more help than your tutorial can provide.

How-to content is a great way to reach out to your potential clients and customers. For more help and suggestions, give us a call or drop us an email!