Is It Ever Better to Start Over with SEO?

As a rule of thumb, business owners turn to us for search engine optimization (SEO) for one of two reasons: either because they have a brand-new company they want to promote, or because they haven’t gotten the results they were looking for in the past. In other words, they are either starting over or building on past campaigns.

Recently, though, we have been encountering a new kind of question: does it ever make sense to begin your SEO campaigns from a blank slate? In other words, should you even consider moving domains and beginning your online marketing campaigns as if you were a brand-new business even if you aren’t?

This would typically be a bad idea, given that search history, authority, and other search indicators are all tied to domain age and previous search activity. However, there are a few situations where starting fresh might make sense. Let’s look at a few of them…

When You Have Changed Names or Industries

Sometimes you can have the same business without having the same business. If you are in a situation where your name and/or location are the same as they have always been but your product or service mix is quite different, then starting fresh can be a good idea. This is especially true if you are getting inquiries that aren’t related to what you currently sell or offer.

When you have a new business it’s usually smart to begin with a new website. It might be hard to start over, but that’s usually the sensible long-term choice.

When Your Business Has Accumulated a Poor Online Reputation

Surveys show that around 90% of all customers look at customer feedback before trying a new business for the first time. So, if a Google search for your company name yields hundreds or thousands of bad online reviews, then achieving a high search ranking isn’t going to help you. 

Of course, this brings us back to the first point. If your business model is broken then you might need to re-launch—with a new name and at different online and offline locations—before buyers will consider giving you another try.

When You Have Found Yourself in Hot Water with Google

This is the situation we hear about most frequently these days. Some business owners, in a rush to make it to the top of search listings, have hired firms that relied on cheap tricks and quick gimmicks. Those can work for a little while, but they can also cause you to be blacklisted by Google. When that happens search spiders treat your content as if it doesn’t exist. 

In most cases the damage isn’t permanent. A team like ours can usually go through your site, piece by piece, and repair things one step at a time. In some severe instances, however, it can actually be easier to restart on a new domain and begin again from the ground up (while being careful not to repeat the same mistakes).

The Good News about Starting Fresh

It’s worth reiterating again that starting from scratch with Google wouldn’t be a good idea for the vast majority of businesses out there. However, if you were to go that route we have some good news: it’s not as difficult to get results as you might think.

As Google’s algorithms have gotten better, and knowledge around SEO has improved, the time it takes to make an impact in the search rankings has decreased. In fact, in 2021 it’s possible to dominate a local or niche portion of the organic market within just a few months. Add in some focused ads and a strong social media effort and you could be drawing in new leads and sales very quickly.

That’s good news for entrepreneurs who are just beginning, of course, but it’s also a good reminder for established business owners who haven’t seen much traction from SEO in the past. Start following a different plan and you could see results much quicker than you think!

SEO and Online Marketing Are All about Strategy and Execution

To turn your website into a source of leads and revenue you need two things: the right approach and an actionable plan to keep your business on track. We can help with both.

The Good and Bad of Blog Post Templates

Web design templates have been around for years. Some business owners (and even a few professional designers) use them to save time while creating WordPress sites, landing pages, and other common tools. Lately, content writing services have been getting in on the act. They have started offering blog post templates that are designed to help you pump out articles with less time and stress than ever before.

We are seeing these blog post templates everywhere, which means you’re probably coming across them as well. But should you be using them for content marketing?

To find the answer, let’s look at the good and the bad of blog post templates.

The Positives of Blog Post Templates

As with web design templates, starting with an article outline offers some advantages.

  • Blog post templates get you writing quickly so you don’t have to worry about creative blocks or staring at an empty screen.
  • Using a writing template gives you a structure you can follow, which can be important for those who have trouble organizing their ideas.
  • Often, blog post templates start with a simple idea that you can duplicate or adapt to virtually any industry.
  • The templates are based on popular article styles so the resulting post should theoretically be something readers will be interested in.

To sum these up cleanly, you would say that when you start with a blog post template, the hard work of writing is done. That’s a huge positive, especially if you’re the sort of person who has trouble being focused or motivated enough to sit down at your keyboard. However, there are a few downsides.

The Negatives of Blog Post Templates

In our business we often note that web design templates can be constraining. Blog post templates have some of the same drawbacks.

  • The topics and outlines you find in blog post templates are all very similar and generic. That makes it easy to crank out content, but hard to write something that stands out.
  • In some ways working with a template can stifle your creativity. It’s hard to generate an original portrait when you’re painting by numbers, and the same holds true when you’re writing from a list of predefined bullet points.
  • If you don’t do enough with your blog post templates, then you could end up with duplicate content on your website, causing Google to ignore the content you’re creating (which sort of defeats the purpose).

Those are some pretty big downsides. That brings us back to our original question.

So, Should You Use Blog Post Templates?

Blog post templates are kind of like training wheels for content marketers. There is nothing essentially wrong with using them, but you shouldn’t expect to compete with the leaders in your industry by filling in blanks, either.

Our advice? Give them a shot and see what kind of results you get—particularly if you’re someone who has struggled to create written content in the past. Over time, as you develop your own voice and rhythm, you can stop using them and move on to more effective content marketing habits.

3 Simple Tips for Higher Online Ad Engagement

We are at an interesting point in the history of advertising. On the one hand, it has never been easier to target and reach the specific group of buyers who need to see your ads. But on the other hand, it has never been more difficult to grab their attention… much less earn their business.

The key is to put all the advantages of modern search and social advertising platforms on your side without losing the interest of your market. In other words, it’s all about increasing engagement.

That’s what today’s post is all about. Here are three simple tips you can use to boost online ad engagement starting today

1. Join a Conversation Already in Progress

Most marketers attempt to attract customers by throwing a hook, headline, or image that catches someone’s attention. That can work, but an even better strategy is to join a conversation that is already going on in their minds and simply add to it.

If you know what your target market is thinking or worrying about, then use that knowledge. It’s infinitely more valuable than your products, your services, or even the benefits you provide. Not only do most people agree with themselves, but they tend to fixate on immediate problems and solutions. So, by touching on something they were already spending mental energy on, you can draw them into your sales funnel more quickly.

Not sure what sort of conversation is happening among your buying audience? Talk to a few prospects and customers or look into interest- or industry-specific social media groups. What you’ll learn will be invaluable.

2. Repeat Your Most Important Sales Points

Because of the way most of us interact with the internet these days, it’s difficult to get buyers to hold on to a train of thought. Even if they have an interest in what you provide, they might not act upon their desire right away.

With that in mind, an easy way to boost conversions and sales is to keep reminding them of what you can do. The most obvious way to accomplish this is by using retargeting ads that pull them back to your brand again and again. Just be sure that as you build your campaigns out, you stay with the most pertinent sales messages. Buyers can absorb one or two key points over time, particularly if they see them again and again. But throwing more than that can confuse or overwhelm them.

Repetition has been considered a “must-use” advertising strategy for a long time because it aligns well with human psychology. Put modern digital ad techniques to good use.

3. Get Creative in Your Delivery

If you are following strategies in the first two tips we’ve recommended, the only thing left to do is separate yourself from the competition. That means going the extra mile to stand out a bit.

We are all hardwired to notice things that are more interesting or attractive than usual. Do your advertisements fit that description? Many marketers, if they were being honest, would have to admit that they are wasting money on lackluster ads.

This is one area in your campaign where a good creative team can be worth its weight in gold. A team of designers, digital experts, and online ad specialists can’t tell you why buyers choose you instead of a competitor. But if you give them those insights they can emphasize them in a series of ads that convert again and again.

Want Help Shifting Your Ad Campaigns into Overdrive?

Putting together a profitable ad strategy isn’t always about spending more money or designing dozens of landing page variations. Often, it’s the result of small and consistent improvements made from one step to the next.

Can You Find the Most Valuable Links on Your Website?

We all know you need to have links to make your business website work the way it’s supposed to. But marketers often debate which links matter most, along with how they should be used.

Do you know which links in your business website are the most valuable? Let’s take a look at the biggest categories…

Inbound Links

Business owners and digital marketing experts love inbound links (those pointed at your website from other websites) because they help with search visibility. The higher profile another page has, the better an incoming link from that page. And, not only do inbound links impress Google, but if they are coming from the right sources, they can actually direct targeted traffic to your page. Add it all together and you have a way to generate new sales opportunities.

Outbound Links

Some marketers would say outbound links don’t have any value on your website. That’s not necessarily true. While you don’t necessarily need (or even want) to send visitors away from your website, there are times when it can help you to sell. For instance, if you are trying to highlight an independent site with verified third-party reviews, a link to positive media coverage about your business, or a study that backed up your claims, then a link might be helpful.

Embedded Internal Links

Internal contextual links take viewers from one part of your website to another. For instance, they may lead from one blog post to another that’s on a related topic, or to a piece of content (like a white paper) that goes deeper into a specific issue. These types of links are often underrated. On one hand, they can help make your site easier for search engines to read. And on the other, they help potential buyers to better understand your products and services before they come to a final decision.

Navigation Links

Navigational links often fall into the background of a website, and don’t get a lot of thought or attention. However, it’s crucial that they be visible, clear, and easy to understand. When they have all of those qualities, it’s easy for someone to make their way from one section of your website to another. When they don’t, you’ll find that lots of users will become frustrated and leave your pages without ever converting into leads or customers.

The Bottom Line on Link Value

So, let’s get back to the question at hand: which types of links are most valuable on your business website? The answer, of course, is “all of them.” It’s all about context. You should always be looking for inbound links to boost your visibility. Once customers arrive on your website, you will rely on internal linksboth embedded links and navigational promptsto move through your content and see what makes your business special. And, you may even use the occasional outbound link to direct them towards a specific resource or piece of social proof.

To focus too narrowly on a specific type of link misses the magic that comes with having the right mix. So, if you want the best in usability, search engine visibility, and conversion rate optimization, use these link types appropriately when you design your website and put content together. 

Looking to Navigate the Digital Marketing Maze?

The most common reason business owners fail to succeed in online marketing is they try to do everything alone. That spirit of self-reliance serves them well when they’re starting companies, but isn’t so great when trying to figure out the intricacies of web design, online security, search engine optimization, social media messaging, and content marketing.

Why Video is a Marketing Necessity in 2021 and Beyond

Just a few years ago, web designers and advertising executives were pushing the use of video clips as a trendy way to give businesses of all sizes a distinct marketing edge. Now, most of them have come to understand that in 2021 and beyond, video marketing is more of a restrictive necessity.

They understand that video is becoming what a website was five years ago: a marketing tool you need, just to keep up with the competition. Or to put it another way, if you aren’t using the power of video to your advantage, you’re probably losing ground to your competitors who are.

Given that we are in the video production business, shooting and editing clips for our corporate clients, we understand if you think we are overstating the case. To help you see why you can’t ignore the power of video any longer, let’s take a look at a few established facts…

Video is More Psychologically Compelling

Several studies by psychologists have shown that our brains are tuned to pick up images and movement more easily than text. In fact, it has been estimated that the average human absorbs video on a mental and emotional level nearly one thousand times faster than text. Given that time is short and buyers have shorter attention spans than ever, you need to be communicating in a format that gets your message across quickly.

We’ve Been Trained to Watch Instead of Read

While our innate ability to scan visuals more quickly than text goes back thousands or millions of years, the current preference towards video is newer. Most of your customers and prospects today were raised on TV and look at YouTube more often than they do a newspaper. A natural consequence is that they are more receptive to video than they are other types of communication.

Video Boosts Conversion Rates

When you take the first two factors into consideration, it shouldn’t be surprising that many marketers report getting five to ten times as many leads, calls, and walk-in visits after including video into their websites and promotional campaigns. Anything that’s faster, more engaging, and more emotional is going to generate bigger feedback. That’s been proven with video, time and time again.

It’s Easier Than You Think to Get Video

While the results we’ve mentioned speak for themselves, perhaps the best reason to experiment with video marketing is that it’s easier and more affordable than ever. Changes to technology have brought video production costs down, while there are more channels and avenues than ever for promotion. There really aren’t any barriers left for businesses of any size. Why wouldn’t you give video a try?

4 Ways to Get More from Your Marketing Budget

There will be a lot of enduring business lessons from 2020, but in the long run, one of the strongest takeaways will probably also be the simplest: be careful how you spend your money.

You could take our industry as an example. It’s relatively easy to get good online marketing results when the economy is healthy. Throw in a bit of uncertainty, though, and suddenly things that used to work automatically no longer generate returns.

That can put marketers in a tough spot. On the one hand, a few businesses can’t afford to waste money right now. But on the other hand, those same businesses can’t afford to stop marketing either, at least not if they want to continue generating sales.

From our point of view, the answer is to simply be smarter about your spending. To help you out, today we want to give you four ways you can start getting more from your company’s marketing budget…

1. Trace Leads and Sales Back to a Source

You can’t maximize your marketing budget if you don’t know what’s currently working. That’s why we always recommend tracing the source of any new lead or sale. Whether it’s through web analytics, phone questionnaires, or a combination of other tactics, you should do your best to determine how buyers are finding you. Then you can work on emphasizing those sales and marketing channels.

It may be the case that several marketing campaigns are working in concert to generate returns. However, it may also turn out that a big portion of your time and budget are being wasted.

2. Spend with Your Head, Not Your Heart

We frequently meet with business owners who engage in marketing campaigns that are based on their preferences rather than customer behavior. For example, many like posting messages on Facebook and Instagram, because they are personally familiar with these platforms, even though they aren’t generating real results.

After you’ve taken the time to figure out where new business opportunities are coming from, you need to pour your time, energy, and money into the ideas that are working… even if that means ignoring other options that are more fun or comfortable.

3. Adjust Your Budget in Increments

As a general rule of thumb, you never want to increase or decrease your marketing budgets rapidly. Doing so can lead to wasted money and missed opportunities.

When you scale up too fast, you often become less precise in your targeting. You reach for new demographics or audiences that don’t convert at a high rate. When you cut spending dramatically, you can unintentionally stop the flow of new leads and customers into your company. Neither approach is going to be efficient.

4. Spend a Little to Save a Lot

Many years of experience in this business have taught us that an expert eyeand a different perspectiveare crucial when you’re trying to make good marketing decisions. It helps to have someone who knows the ins and outs of web design or search engine optimization, for example, especially if they can help you evaluate the results you’re getting with a critical eye.

Business owners sometimes think they are saving money by doing everything on their own. In reality, they waste countless hours and dollars because they don’t have access to the expertise they need.

Sell It in Print

Professionally designed marketing materials not only give a great first impression but also instills quality and expertise for your branding image.

You already know that we do great design work at The Marcom Group, but did you know that we can also manage all of your printed materials? What’s that mean for you? With one simple call (or email) we can design your product and deliver freshly printed materials straight to your door.

Here’s a short list of some of things we can print for you:

  • Business Systems (Business Cards, Letterhead and Envelope)
  • Presentation Folders
  • Brochures
  • Door Hangers
  • Forms
  • Flyers
  • Posters
  • Postcards (we can even mail them)
  • Thank You Cards
  • Signs
  • Vehicle Magnets
  • And more…

How COVID-19 Changed Business Forever

It’s easy to say that COVID-19 has changed virtually every aspect of life in the past nine months. However, while some temporary measureslike social distancing, mask-wearing, and avoiding public gatheringswill probably fade away, some other changes will be permanent.

In our business, it’s easy to see how the pandemic emphasized the importance of having a strong website. Even though some entrepreneurs will be anxiously waiting for things to go back to “normal,” we think many of the shifts are irreversible. In other words, all the reasons your website was critically important to your company in 2020 will continue into the future. That’s because we were already moving towards a digital-first business landscape.

As a full-service agency, we deal with everything: print ads, branding, package design, and digital strategies. But this year has been all about online business. The internet has been critically important to marketers for years, of course, but current circumstances have shown what is possible and accelerated a trend that was already in motion.

What does this mean for you and your business going forward? Let’s look at a few things that are already becoming apparent…

Your Website is the Primary Point of Contact for Your Business

In many ways, your website is your most important piece of real estate, your best employee, and your biggest source of referrals all in one. That’s because it can be seen and interacted with by many times more visitors than you, your building, or all of your employees combined. That’s especially true if you’re using search engine optimization and social media to their fullest powers.

When you have a strong website in place it enhances your credibility. It’s easier for people to trust you, and to understand the unique advantages of your products or services. In order to gain these benefits, though, your website has to actually be impressive. It also helps if you can use interactive toolslike online chat and real-time social media feedsto engage visitors from the first moment they arrive.

It’s Not Just about Looks Anymore

Although we are in the “business web design” industry, we recognize that term has become something of a misnomer. That’s because the design (or aesthetics) of a website are no longer the primary or only consideration. What you can do with your pages is just as important as the way they look.

We’ve already mentioned the big benefits that come with using online chat to engage with visitors directly in real-time. What we have also seen this year is that ecommerce plugins, online scheduling tools, and video training modulesto name just a fewcan all make a website more valuable. These kinds of features boost revenue, save money, and make it more convenient for customers to do business with you.

COVID-19 Will Pass but Digital Business is Here to Stay

Speaking of decreased costs and increased revenue, it’s important to remember that bottom-line considerations have been driving business website upgrades for many years. There are a lot of business owners out there who only made changes to their websites out of necessity in 2020. Now that they’ve seen the benefits, though, they won’t be going back.

There aren’t many silver linings to the struggles we have seen in 2020. However, it’s never a bad thing when entrepreneurs and executives can discover lasting ways to find customers or save money. That’s why it’s a safe bet that the “new normal” of relying on business websites is going to be with us even as the pandemic stops being an ongoing concern.

3 Workable Social Media Strategies for Your Small Business

There are a lot of things for small business owners to love about social media marketing. It’s largely free, can help you reach a huge audience of potential clients and customers, and can actually be lots of fun if you’re doing it correctly.

Social media marketing has its downsides, though: for one thing, social media can be a huge waste of time when you’re busy with other tasks. Plus, there are so many social platforms to stay on top of… with new ones showing up all the time. 

With all of that in mind, it’s easy to understand why some business owners feel too overwhelmed to even attempt to put a social media marketing strategy together. In today’s post, we want to remind you that getting social media marketing right doesn’t have to be in all-or-nothing proposition. In fact, we have three workable strategies you might consider in order to give your growing company an extra boost.

Strategy 1: Do a One-Time Setup so Customers Can Find You

The first step towards finding success with social media marketing is just having a presence on the right platforms. Your prospects and customers should be able to find your company (not just your personal profile) on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, at a minimum. You should also have a presence on the major review sites for your area or industry.

The point is to ensure that people who are interested in working with you can find you on their favorite social channels. That makes it easier for them to learn about your business, contact you, or leave a review. It also reduces the possibility that they’ll contact a competitor whom they mistake for your business. Why give some other business owner a sale or review that was meant for you?

Strategy 2: Schedule Weekly Posts and Boost Your Content

Thinking a little bit bigger? You should still set up your social profiles, complete with business descriptions, contact information, and custom photos, logos, and usernames. You could go further by scheduling intermittent content updates. You might even consider charging a few dollars for each post that you put online.

The goal of this strategy isn’t to dominate your industry or area on social media, but to make sure that you stay on the top of your customers’ minds. If they hear from you once every week or two, they’ll be reminded of all the great things that you can do for them. Based on how informative or entertaining your content is, they might even share some of your posts with their own friends and contacts.

Strategy 3: Own the Social Space with Consistency and Creativity

The third strategy is even bigger. It involves regular (or even perhaps daily) posting of content, complete with boosts, hashtags, and messaging strategies. The key here is that you aren’t just posting a lot of content, but you are being creative and building a brand. It ensures that fans and followers will engage with your posts, helping you to gain a bigger viewership over time.

The difficulty with this strategy, of course, is that takes time, money, and attention. That’s why most small business owners don’t start here. In truth, many never even get to this point. If you are managing your social strategy well, you might start with the first strategy, move onto the second and eventually even the third. Once that happens, you are dominating the social space, and it can make a significant impact on your sales from one quarter to the next.

Are Your Search and Social Strategies Generating Results?

Lots of creative firms like to focus on the technical details of things like search engine optimization and social media marketing. We are familiar with these tools too, but we prefer actionable plans and real results. After all, if you aren’t getting new business from your content, then what’s the point?

7 Ways to Deal with Online Competitors and Their Dirty Tricks

In most business books and classes, competitors are treated like an abstract concept. They are in the background, like gravity, but don’t really affect you except as a thought exercise. In that context, the way to deal with them is simple: just do what you do better than anyone else and let customers figure out that you offer more value on their own.

As most of us know, the real world doesn’t really work like that. You do have to concentrate on your own business, but your competitors are anything but abstract. They are people just like you. In fact, in some cases they are petty, unethical, and downright dishonest.

That brings us to a question that’s rarely ever addressed directly enough: how do you deal with the dirty tricks they play? What should you do to fight back when they try to run ads using your brand names, put up websites that look like your own, or try to copy your products? What are your options when they post fake online reviews, try to steal your content, or market their products or services with lies?

In today’s post we are going to give you the answers. But first, a quick warning: don’t try to fight bad behavior with more bad behavior. While it might not always seem like it, those who perpetrate online lies and scams usually get caught. And once they do, they can face severe consequences, ranging from legal challenges to blacklists from search engines and social platforms. Your competitor might be willing to risk the future of their business, but that doesn’t mean you should put yours in jeopardy.

With that little bit of fine print out of the way, let’s look at seven ways you can deal with dishonest online competitors and their dirty tricks…

1. Run Defensive PPC Ads

Suppose you have industry-leading products and services, or just draw a lot of traffic to your website. Your competitors might take an approach that could be summed up as “if you can’t be them, imitate them.” That usually involves running search and social ads based on branded terms or product names that are normally associated with your company. In other words, they try to steal web traffic that’s meant for your website.

An easy way around this is to simply run your own ads for the same terms or branded search phrases. You might not prefer to spend money on search traffic that was meant for you anyway, and that’s understandable. However, you’ll end up getting most of those visits at a very low price (usually pennies per click). And in the process, you’ll deprive your competitor of that web traffic while also driving up their pay-per-click budget at the same time.

2. Lock Up the Right Domains

A similar tactic some dishonest competitors will use is to direct searchers towards a website that looks like it’s owned by your company. Usually they’ll be savvy enough to employ a variation that’s just different enough from yours to avoid any legal liability. Again, the goal is to siphon traffic away from your website and towards their copycat pages.

If you have a very popular company, it’s worth taking the time to snap up a handful of related domains. As with running ads on your own branded search terms, this can be annoying but it’s ultimately going to be inexpensive.

Not sure which domains you should reserve to play defense against your competitors? Get together with your web design team to evaluate search in traffic patterns, along with your most important keywords or brand names. Then you can come up with a list of the most obvious targets and lock them up before your competitors can.

3. Monitor Your Online Reviews

One particularly nasty tactic some desperate competitors will use involves hiring people to post negative reviews of your business. The theory in this case is that if they can’t beat you on price, service, or value, they can at least make you look worse in the eyes of potential customers who might not know better.

This is an area where a little preparation goes a long way. For a few dollars a month you can have your web development team deploy reputation management software that will keep you informed any time someone leaves feedback about your business. If lots of false and negative reviews show up at once, you’ll be alerted before they can do any damage, and as an added bonus you can use the same tools to improve your reputation online with legitimate reviews, boosting your sales in the process.

4. Protect Your Content

There are lots of scams related to web content, but a competitor who is jealous of your success may simply use it as their own. Unfortunately, this is something that’s common enough for us to have seen dozens of times.

Protecting yourself from this kind of theft is pretty simple. There are software tools (like Copyscape) that will scour the web and let you know if someone has posted your copy-written material. If you find that has happened, you can contact the company hosting the offending website and have them remove the pages right away. Google and the other search engines will also take action against blatant content duplication or scraping. However, you have to monitor the web and be aware of the problem before you can do anything about it.

5. Post Comparison Product Reviews

Sometimes, the problem with competitors is that they try to pass their products or services off as better, using false or misleading information. If you come across minor exaggerations, you might not care enough to address them. If you feel like they’ve shared something inaccurate that’s going to hurt sales, though, you might decide to take the issue head-on.

The easiest way to do that is to simply post a side-by-side comparison video or product review. Just put what you have to offer up against the competition and point out the differences in a clear and accurate way. This type of content tends to attract plenty of views and can be easy for buyers to understand. 

Just be sure that you are sharing your facts, comparisons, and assessments. Being untruthful or overboard doesn’t help you. In fact, it just makes it harder for customers to separate you from others who are being unethical with their marketing.

6. Get Customers to Tell the Story

Even if you are completely honest and straightforward in your marketing, it can be hard to get buyers to pay attention. It’s a chicken-and-egg problem: because your competitors lie, it’s difficult for buyers to trust you. And because they don’t trust you, they can’t see the value in what you are offering.

To get around this stumbling block, you just have to let your satisfied customers do the talking for you. People might not believe marketers, but they do believe impartial reviewers who look and act like themselves. So, if you have testimonials from customers who faced the same problems that the rest of your target market is dealing with, get them to share their experiences.

The caveat here is to make sure your reviewers are uncompensated, specific about the benefits they received, and are easy to verify. Do that, and their kind words will do more to boost your sales than any kind of marketing content ever could.

7. Just Keep Leading the Pack

You knew this piece of advice was coming, didn’t you? As frustrating as it might be, the best way to deal with an unethical competitor is usually to ignore them and do your own thing. They might be getting under your skin, but they probably aren’t making a very big dent in your bottom line.

Think about it this way: when someone tries to imitate your products, your content, or some other aspect of your messaging, they are basically admitting that your business is better than theirs. They’re pointing out that you have the real thing and they are a pretender.

Naturally, we don’t want you to ignore serious copyright violations or let a competitor steal money from your pocket. When in doubt, though, your best bet is to work on your own business, continue racking up those positive reviews, and watch your reputation (and profitability) just keep growing.

Are You Getting the Right Kind of Online Marketing Advice?

Having the right information and strategy has always been key to finding customersand surpassing your competitors—on the internet. Now, with the changes and disruptions we are facing in 2020, it’s more important than ever to have a winning plan.