Two Ways to Approach Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Along with a website that looks great, or more leads and sales, one of the top requests business owners and executives bring to us is a desire to stand out on Google and the other search engines. They aren’t concerned about search engine optimization (SEO) because they think it’s fascinating or enjoyable, but because they understand that earning a top search engine spot will help them to attract more customers.

That point is pretty self-evident, but it’s an important one to recognize. That’s because not every business owner is going to have the same ambitions, or the same level of commitment to promoting their company through search (or the internet in general). To get the most from your campaigns, creative team, and budget, you have to go into the process with the right ideas and expectations.

With that in mind, today we want to explore two different ways you might approach search engine optimization for your business website…

Philosophy #1: A Minimalist Approach to SEO

Some business owners want to benefit from search engine optimization, but aren’t willing to devote a lot of time or resources to the project. That’s understandable, and it can work so long as they hold the right expectations.

An experienced creative team can audit your website for technical problems, engage in a bit of keyword research to find out what your customers are searching for, and then do some on-site optimization. The likely result is that you’ll show up for specific search terms, particularly those related to your company name or geographic location.

If a lot of your business comes from local buyers or word-of-mouth advertising, that might be all you need. However, this sort of work isn’t likely to vote you to the top of Google’s rankings very often. To reach higher, you have to make a more consistent investment of time or money.

Philosophy #2: Aiming for the Top of Google’s Search Rankings

Just as some business owners want to do the bare minimum in terms of SEO, others want to shoot for the moon. They aspire to aim for a top three Google position for several different search terms and geographic areas.

To do so, they have to follow the same beginning steps as we outlined above. More attention will likely be paid to keyword research, but the basic initial plan is the same. The difference between the first philosophy and second, though, lies in the amount of subsequent work that needs to be done.

In order to truly dominate on Google, you can’t simply make some additions and upgrades to your website (as important as those steps are). If you really want customers coming to you again and again, you have to produce lots of relevant, high-quality content on a regular basis, develop a sales funnel, and get familiar with your web analytics. Additionally, you have to go back to those basic optimization steps again and again periodically to keep your website fresh.

You can perform a lot of these tasks yourself, but the bottom line is you’ll have to spend either time or money (and possibly a bit of both) if you want to blow the competition away on Google. Those investments pay off, but only if you follow through with them.

What Approach to SEO Works for You?

Now that we’ve laid out to different approaches to search engine optimization, ask yourself which one might be right for you. Are you more apt to optimize your site and post a few pieces of content infrequently, or to devote more time and resources to the project in hopes of getting bigger awards?

There is a bit of middle ground here, of course, and a talented creative team can help you make the most of a limited budget. However, if you are expecting to “do” SEO once and forget about it, then you should at least know where to prioritize your efforts and what to expect in return.

Are Negative Online Reviews Killing Your Sales?

Online reputation management is a relatively new topic in the world of internet marketing. For that reason, it’s not so surprising that a lot of business owners either don’t know what kinds of reviews have been posted about them online, or aren’t too worried about it.

However, we want all of our clients and readers to understand that negative feedback on the internet can absolutely kill your sales. That’s because a bad online reputation is like a hidden expense on your bottom line. It robs you of sales and leads without ever showing you the opportunities that have been lost.

That happens because new customers and referrals are likely to Google you, or look you up on their favorite social media platform, before they ever contact you. When they come across negative reviews, they are less likely to take the next step. Or, if they do decide to investigate more, they may be skeptical about your business. In that way, revenue can be lost even though a business owner isn’t aware of the real reason (or in some cases, that there was even a chance to make a sale in the first place).

So, how do you stop bad online feedback from affecting your bottom line? Here are some quick steps you can take starting today…

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Why You Want Web Hosting Through Your Web Designer

Did you go looking for the cheapest hosting you could find after you had someone design a website for your business? If so, you shouldn’t feel bad – experience tells us that’s the “normal” way for a small business owner to choose a place to park their new web presence.

However, a high-quality web design team (like the one we have) will recommend you host your site with the same company that designed it. That’s advice you should take, and today we are going to give you a few important reasons why.

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Using Search, Social Media, and PPC Together

Most of the business owners and executives who come to see us for web design and Internet marketing already know they need to be using search engine optimization, social media, and pay-per-click advertising. What they don’t necessarily know is how they should prioritize them and use them together. In fact, many aren’t sure of the distinctions at all.

That’s understandable—the men and women we work with our busy building and running their companies. They don’t have the luxury of learning the ins and outs of Internet marketing the way we do. So, if you feel as they do and aren’t sure how you should use search, social, and PPC to grow your company, here are a few things we want you to keep in mind…

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5 DIY Online Marketing Video Tips

Online videos can change the results you get from your internet marketing overnight. They can add more punch and persuasion to your landing pages, help you to get more views on your social feeds, and open you up to an entirely new audience on YouTube.

The best part of this might be that the cost and complexity associated with producing online videos has gone way down in the last couple of years. Now, virtually any business owner or marketer can release fantastic clips if they are willing to put a little bit of time and effort into the project.

So, how do you make sure your clips stand out for the right reason? Here are five DIY online marketing video tips you can put to use right away…

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Adding More Personality to Your Social Media Marketing

In many ways, social media marketing is the great equalizer. That’s because it puts small businesses—and even small business owners—on par with Fortune 500 brands.

In fact, we would argue that the little guys actually have an advantage. That’s because most people don’t want to see big-budget advertising when they go on Facebook and Twitter. Instead, they want to follow their passions, find interesting and offbeat stories, and connect with other people. Each of those is at odds with the mass-media approach bigger corporations follow.

Knowing that, how can you use your social media advantage in an effective way? The short answer is to add more personality to your profiles and feed. Here are a few reminders to help you do exactly that…

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The Second Most Important Sales Page on Your Website

At any given moment, the most important selling point on your website is likely to be your home page or landing page, depending on which one is attracting the highest number of views. What a lot of small business owners fail to realize, however, is that the second most important sales page is one that’s often looked over

Years of studying web analytics have shown us that a companies “About” page gets more traffic than marketers realize. Moreover, the impression that it leaves a reader with will go a long way towards determining what will happen next. That’s particularly true if there are team member bios, or a story about the history of the business.

There are probably a couple of reasons for this. The first is that, as humans, we like to know other humans. That is, we want to know a bit more about the men and women we are doing business with. Looking into their bios and stories is a good way to understand who they are and how we might work together with them.

At the same time, the About page on your website tells potential customers what it is that makes you different from all of your competitors. It’s a chance to show off your unique skills, talent, or perspective. It’s your shot to fill them in on what sets you apart.

Knowing that, how can you make the most of your About page? Here are a few good tips to help you get started…

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4 Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your Website Today

Do you feel like your website could use a facelift, or perhaps a performance boost?

Often, we hear from business owners, managers, and executives who want to get more from their web presence, but they have been hesitant to give us a call. That’s because they are afraid that a short conversation will lead to a proposal for a brand-new website – one they might not need or be able to afford.

There certainly are times when it makes sense to build a new site from the ground up. However, if your pages were laid out in the last few years (and are mobile-compatible), you probably don’t need to start over.

Here are few steps you can take to make your website feel new without putting a major dent in your budget…

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Balancing Short vs. Long Term Internet Marketing Strategies

One of the fun things about the early days of internet marketing was that almost everything seemed to happen instantly. You put a website or ad online, promoted it, and could be assessing the results within hours.

There is still an aspect of instant gratification to working on the web, but the process of designing websites, planning campaigns, placing ads, and (especially) evaluating results has begun to stretch out. And so, we have reached a point where online marketing has come to represent traditional marketing, in that businesses need to balance short and long-term strategies if they want to get the best results.

With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways you can get the most out of both…

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4 Ways Your SEO Can Beat the AI System

For a lot of us, the term “artificial intelligence” brings back memories of sci-fi novels, movies, and comic books. But, what was once purely in the realm of the imagined has been made real – and it’s already affecting your business and SEO.

That’s because Google and other leading tech companies are already utilizing AI in a number of ways. In particular, the world’s largest search engine is using it to assess ranking factors, analyze searcher behavior, and re-organize search results on an individualized basis.

One of the great ironies of this is that even though Google is using artificial intelligence, it’s deploying it in a way that emphasizes the human touch in content creation and online engagement. To understand how that impacts you, here are a few tips to keep in mind as SEO goes sci-fi…

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