The Underrated Value of Local SEO

There are a lot of online marketing tactics worth trying, but few are as universally valuable and powerful as local search engine optimization. Unfortunately, we regularly meet with business owners and business executives who don’t yet understand the importance of being visible in local searches. In today’s post, we want to break down some of the things you need to know in order to make it work for you…

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Why is Your Search Traffic Drying Up?

Is your search traffic from Google starting to dwindle? Have you noticed that your search rankings for important keywords are dropping… and that sales are falling at the same rate?

We meet with at least a dozen business owners and executives every year who are facing the same kinds of problems. The first thing they want to know is why their websites aren’t generating sales opportunities like they used to, especially if they’ve been using search engine optimization for years.

Every situation is different, but below are some of the common reasons we see search traffic dwindle or even dry up completely.

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The Downside to a Successful SEO Campaign (and How to Fix It)

Most online marketers dream of having a top Google ranking for a high-traffic keyword. That’s because they know those websites attract the most visits, and that those visits frequently turn into phone calls, online inquiries, and even walk-in customers.

However, it’s important to note that there is a potential downside to executing a successful search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. Namely that you could suddenly find yourself with a flood of new interest, and that some of your new prospects might not be a great fit for your company.

Granted, getting too many phone calls, email submissions, and inquiries is usually a great problem to have. However, it can lead to difficulties nonetheless, particularly if all the extra activity stops you from paying enough attention to your best current and potential clients.

So, how do you deal with the extra time needed to handle the additional dozens or hundreds of sales inquiries that come your way when you have a high-ranking Google website? Here are a few proven pieces of advice you can follow…

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How To Break Customer Indecision Online

One of the most difficult things to deal with, as an online marketer, is seeing a trend of customers leaving your website at the last minute. They might abandon a shopping cart, close a window before filling out a lead form, or go back to Google when they should pick up the phone.

Why does this customer indecision cost you money? And more importantly, what can you do about it?

Although every buyer and visit is unique, potential customers generally leave you without taking action for one of three reasons: they didn’t intend to buy anything in the first place, don’t have enough information your product or service, or don’t feel sufficiently motivated on an emotional level to move forward. Almost any conversion problem you face is going to come down to one of those issues.

Luckily, none of them are impossible to solve. With that in mind, look let’s look at some fixes you can employ to get customers to place an order or fill out a form instead of clicking away from your website…

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Boosting SEO With Online Reviews

Most marketers tend to think of search engine optimization (SEO) as being all about content creation. That notion isn’t a bad one – you generally will have to write articles, pages, and reports if you want to rank highly on Google – but it isn’t the end of the story. In fact, you can attract visitors to your website using content you haven’t even created yourself.

Don’t worry, we aren’t about to advise you to scrape or copy ideas from your competitors. Instead, we want you to think about the different ways you could use online reviews to boost your SEO efforts. 

SEO and online reputation management (reviews) are often thought of as being completely separate things, but that isn’t the way Google and the other search engines see it. Reviews are valuable buyer-driven content that searchers like. They tend to show up in search previews, meaning they can be seen by potential customers before they ever visit your website or profile. And, reviews demonstrate engagement and authority, which gain more weight every time Google updates its algorithm.

You probably already knew online reviews were important for your business, of course, but if you’re like a lot of the new clients who come to us you might have imagined the quality and quantity of your online reviews were out of your control. That’s simply not the case. Here are some things you can do to boost your SEO campaigns, and your bottom line, using customer feedback…

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Why You Shouldn’t Do SEO Without Social (or Vice Versa)

When social media marketing started taking off, some business owners sought it as a way to replace search engine optimization (SEO). With a few tweets and posts, they imagined they might be able to break away from the competitive and sometimes-grueling cycle of generating and promoting content.

Lately, we have seen the opposite happening: that some small and medium-sized companies are ignoring their social profiles to get back to the more proven strategy of turning search visitors into customers. 

We think that’s a mistake. While SEO might be a more direct route to growing your bottom line, social media marketing still has its place. In fact, we don’t think you should invest time and money in search without also paying attention to your social accounts. Let’s look at why.

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Why you Probably Aren’t Ranking on Google

Amongst business owners and marketing executives, search engine optimization (or SEO) is like a professional sport. Although most decision-makers haven’t done much content writing or technical HTML work, they stay up-to-date on the latest trends and ranking on Google algorithm shifts. They become armchair quarterbacks of search marketing.

That’s generally a good thing. Anyone who has a vested interest in helping their business grow should know what SEO and ranking on Google are all about. However, there is a downside to the intense interest they have and search. Namely that new clients come to companies like ours looking for complicated answers to simple problems.

The details of the search engine optimization campaign are important. However, they only come into play once you cover the basics. To help illustrate what we mean, let’s look at a few Google ranking factors… 

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4 Incredibly Easy Ways to Use Your Company’s Social Media Accounts

Amazing as it might seem, we sometimes meet with business owners and marketing managers who tell us they don’t have the time or patience for social media marketing. They are either overwhelmed with other tasks, or don’t see a clear benefit to engaging customers and prospects through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

We can understand this line of thinking. For one thing, most of the people we work with don’t have a lot of free time. And for another, it is harder to use social media to create instant leads than it is to generate business from search engine optimization or pay-per-click ads.

However, that doesn’t mean social media marketing has to be overwhelming, or that it won’t pay off. To help you understand why let’s look at four simple and effective ways you can use your business social media profiles every week…

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5 Reasons Not to Move Your Website to a DIY Template

You’ve seen the ads on TV and online that promise that you can create a brand-new website in under an hour for one amazingly low monthly fee. Sounds like a great way to upgrade your business web presence, doesn’t it? Sign up to make your own DIY templated website and visitors will instantly come to your website. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.

Unfortunately, the bargain probably isn’t all it’s promised up to be.

Don’t get us wrong: DIY website templates certainly have their place. If you are a solo-preneur or the owner of a startup with no budget, then crafting your DIY website is better than not having one. However, if you have an established company, or want to build one, then these services aren’t going to be a good solution.

To help you understand why their low fees for web design and hosting don’t translate into real value, let’s look at five reasons you shouldn’t move your website to a DIY template…

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Should You be Worried About WordPress Security?

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, with an estimated 172 million websites running on the platform. It’s not hard to see why web designers, business owners, and marketers love it so much—it’s free, flexible, and perfect for promoting content through Google. And, with tens of thousands of plugins available for customization, you can use WordPress to build virtually any kind of web presence you need.

However, that popularity and versatility also come with a small downside: hackers often target WordPress. The sheer number of companies using WordPress encourages them to look for weaknesses that can be exploited again and again.

Does that mean you should be worried about WordPress security? The best answer is probably a mixture of “yes” and “no.” On one hand, you should definitely be thinking about ways to keep your website safe. But on the other hand, it doesn’t mean you have to continually fret over the idea that thieves are going to steal data, mess with your pages, or install malicious software.

If our double-sided answer seems a little confusing, let us explain… Continue reading “Should You be Worried About WordPress Security?”