Your website is ground zero for all of your online marketing. Whether you are using video, social media, adwords - you name it, everything points back to your website to convert visitors into customers. However, if your site isn't performing at it's peak, then you maybe losing sales. Here are some great tips to make sure you are getting the maximum potential out of your WordPress site.
Optimizing Your WordPress Site
There are a lot of factors that come into play when optimizing your site not only for search engines, but customers as well. As search engines become smarter, it does get a little easier to combine your optimization efforts to please both.
If you have followed any of our posts on Web Design, you know that we have been mentioning for awhile that your site needs to load fast. If your site doesn't load in just a couple of seconds, users will hit the back button to go to another site. Site load speed is also a ranking factor in search engines. So making sure your site loads fast is probably one of the biggest factors in getting the most out of your site. To learn more about how to make your site load faster, see our post "Speed Up Your Site For Better Rankings And UX".
The next thing that must be mentioned is hosting. If you have your site on subpar host, then your site will be lacking. In fact it can hurt not only your site load speed, but user engagement as well. "How" you may ask? Well this was just covered in an article by Chris Garret on CopyBlogger and his tenth point:
It's a great point from Chris. We like how he makes the connection between cheap hosting and "hobby" hosting. It's true. You need to stop and ask yourself if it's worth saving a few hundred dollars a year on hosting costs that could literally be costing your business tens of thousands of dollars in sales due to a slow loading site or not loading because of exceeding your monthly bandwidth. Are you running a business, or is it just a hobby??
Next we move onto more things on your WordPress site itself. We have covered about how important it is to keep your site's themes and plugins updated. "Is Your Website At Risk Of Being Hacked" explains how important these updates are in keeping your site secure. Sometimes these updates can also lead to how well your site performs, or doesn't.
But what about your site's database and links? One of our favorite writers, Colin Newcomer, just made a post on WPKube that covers this:
Those are some really good tips. However, before adding any plugins to your site, make sure you back it up first as they may conflict with others and cause the dreaded "white screen of death". We would also advise that with both of these plugins you deactivate them when not in use as Colin points out with Broken Link Checker. This brings us to our last point -
One of the greatest things about WordPress are the plugins. There are thousands of them. What you must remember is that "the more the better" rule DOES NOT apply here. Too many plugins will slow down your site, while some plugins are hogs and can really slow things down. As a general rule, we try and stay away from "Swiss Army Knife" plugins that do "everything" for you as they tend to be the worst. Also, the more plugins you are running the greater your chances of having a conflict resulting in again the "white screen of death" or the site not functioning properly leading to poor user experience.
Try and use the minimum amount of plugins as possible to get your needs done. It's a good idea to regularly check your plugins and if you are not using them, deactivate and uninstall to keep from slowing down your site and minimize the risk of plugin conflict.
Summing It Up
Getting optimum performance from your website really starts with your hosting. With a low cost hosting provider you may be saving a few bucks, but losing thousands in lost revenue due to customers leaving your site before they even see it. Try and use the plugins that Colin recommends to clean up your database and links. Cleaning your database will mostly only benefit your load times, but broken links can not only impact rankings, but user experience as well. Just these few things can have a real impact on how well your site performs.
If you need help with optimizing your website, need a website rebuild, or just need a web design service, visit us at MD Internet Marketing Solutions
via Blogger Getting Optimum Performance Out Of Your WordPress Site
How Secure Is Your Website?
You may be the owner of a small business with a small website and think your website isn't a target for hackers. After all, what would a hacker want with your website? Your website might be just about your services that doesn't contain any customer information. Why would a hacker even bother with your "little" site? You might be surprised about what hackers can do with your site once they infiltrate it and what they can do.
We are sticklers about website security. We have also taken on customers that have had their site hacked. It's no fun. Every site that we have dealt with that has been hacked did not have any person's personal information whatsoever. So why did the hackers bother with these sites?
If you are using our favorite CMS - WordPress, it's really very simple. It's all about the numbers. As of last year (2016), WordPress websites accounted for around 26% of the websites on the web. So with over a Billion sites on the web that equates to around 250 million of them being on WordPress. It's a numbers game for hackers, why not create one bot that can have the most effect and best chances of succeeding.
What Will Hackers Do With Your Site?
What does a hacker want with your site? Install malware to try and infect visitors computers, try and spread their political views, try and gain access to the server your site is hosted on, and probably sometimes, some geek with too much time on their hands.
So how do these hackers get into your site in the first place? A rather large list was made on WPMUDEV.org recently that has some of the most used techniques:
That's not even the entire list from the post, nor is the post every way that a site can be hacked. As time goes on, hackers get more sophisticated and develop new ways to get into sites to use them as they wish.
How To Keep Your Site Secure
Before you get into a full on panic, there are things you can do to help make sure your site doesn't fall victim to hackers.
The first thing you can do is make sure you use strong usernames and passwords. Never, and we mean never, use the default "Admin". Use very long passwords, maybe a snippet from your favorite song and add a few punctuation marks and numbers before and after.
The second thing and probably the most effective is....... KEEP YOUR SITE UPDATED! Whenever there is a new release of WordPress, make sure you install it right away. Whenever you receive an email that an update is available, get it done. But it doesn't stop there, you also need to make sure that your Themes and Plugins are also kept up to date because they can be just as vulnerable. A classic example of this is the vulnerability in the Revolution Slider back in 2014 where as many as 100 thousand sites were hacked. You won't receive email notifications for these types of updates, so we suggest checking at least weekly that everything is up to date.
Gail Gardner just posted an article today on another one of our top priorities of keeping your site secure with the importance of choosing a good server or hosting provider:
Gail also makes some good points in her article about you company's security policy with employees that have access to your site.
Lastly, we want to point out that you should be making backups regularly. Why? Because if your site does get hacked, restoring your site to it's previous condition will be a whole lot easier.
While you might consider your site not large enough, or have important data that hackers may want, it's still a target. The most important and effective ways of keeping hackers out is to choose a good host, and keeping your site up date to help minimize the risks of your site falling prey. And in case it does fall victim, make sure you have backups!
To learn more about how we help keep our customers sites secure, as well as our web design services, visit our site MD Internet Marketing Solutions
via Blogger Is Your Website At Risk Of Being Hacked?
The Do's And Don'ts Of Video Marketing
Video is one of our favorite ways of marketing our clients to the public. We like video because of the engagement factor over text. However, some companies do struggle sometimes to get views and get their target audience to engage with their video content and take action. In this short article we will cover what to avoid and what must be done to make sure you are creating engaging video content that converts.
You may have attempted video marketing on your own, with lack luster results. It can be disheartening. It happens. not every video you create will go viral or be the next dollar shave commercial. Not every video you create is going to be a home run. The important thing to do is learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward with more video content. The good news is that with some careful planning, you can give your videos a lot better chance of being the conversion tool you are looking for.
Two Things To Avoid In Your Video Marketing
Yes, there are some things that you must avoid when making your videos. There are 2 things that we see continually among newbie video creators. One thing that is a must to avoid is making the video entirely too long. This was covered in one of our favorite blogs, Hubspot, where Amanda Zantal-Wiener just wrote about yesterday:
She has some good points throughout her article. However when it comes to video length, it can be really hard to get everything you need to say in under a minute. We tend to make our videos between 1 and 2 minutes. Another point that she makes is about not promoting your video on other channels. There is a lot of controversy about this. Some video experts say to create different videos for different platforms. We tend to agree with Amanda and say go ahead and promote every video you create on every social media platform available to you.
The second thing to avoid and that we see as a problem for a lot of "do it yourself" videos is going on and on about how great their company is, or how many awards they have won, or just continually talking about themselves or the company. What people care about is how YOUR company can help solve THEIR problem. It's okay to tell your viewers about your companies achievements, but keep it very short and to the point. Remember that your marketing videos are to get conversions, so the more you tell them about how using your product or service will simplify or make their lives easier increases your chances of turning viewers into customers.
The Do's In Your Video Marketing
Now on to what is important with your video marketing campaigns. We actually found an article that covers the 2 things that we think are among the most important from Colin Newcomer in an article he has on Elegant Themes blog:
Good article from Colin. Kind of funny that we found it on Elegant Themes site. If you read his full article you also notice that one of his factors is also video length.
We included his article because we find that these things are often overlooked by people producing videos. Many people put too much emphasis on views and don't pay any attention to other metrics, such as drop off rates. While you video may be getting views, viewers maybe leaving the video at 30 seconds in before they get to a call to action.
Then all to often we see videos with no clear call to action. If you don't tell viewers to take action, they won't. Most videos that do have a call to action usually have them at the end of the video. This can be a problem when viewers aren't watching the video to the end, and why paying attention to the drop off rate is important. This can sometimes be avoided on YouTube with the use of Cards. You can have Cards open up with teaser text and calls to action right inside the video and put them towards the beginning of the video to help increase conversions. The problem with YouTube Cards is that they do not work on every device, so if your drop off rate is before your CTA, your video isn't converting.
Summing It Up
Keep you videos short and to the point. It's okay to tell your viewers about your company, but keep it short and remember to tell them how YOU can help THEM. While views are important, don't forget about drop off rates as this can effect your CTA and your video may not convert as much as you would like. To help avoid drop off before your CTA, and if you are hosting your videos on YouTube, make use of Cards.
If you or your company needs help with video production, just visit our site www.mdimsolutions.com for all of your video marketing needs.
via Blogger Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Videos
Can Optimizing For Voice Search Be Beneficial?
Voice search from Google has been around for a few years now and more people are adapting to it because of the ease of use over typing, especially on smaller devices. The accuracy of voice search has also increased significantly as of late, making it more appealing to more people. Is it really that important to make adjustments on your site and content for voice search? That's what we will be answering here.
According to Google, 20 percent of searches on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. As with almost anything in technology, this number is sure to increase in the coming years. And with "personal assistant" tools like Alexa and Google Home purchases on the rise, it's a sure sign people like the ability to just speak instead of type.
Why Do People Use Voice Search
Why do people use voice search? Simple answer - it's easier, especially on mobile devices. Almost every person can speak faster than they type, and not get aggravated trying to type on small screens on their phones. Research does indicate that these are the top reasons, and more, that people prefer voice search which was covered by Nate Dame on Search Engine Land:
Good points from Nate. It's important that you the reader take note of his last paragraph about executives, that 90% of execs use mobile before making a purchase and that they too will soon start using voice search. For that reason alone you should want to ensure your site is ready for voice search.
So how will this affect businesses and search? This is a really good question, and if you stop and think about the possibilities, it could possibly change the entire landscape of search marketing.
That's a good read from Megan. When we at the office started brain storming about the possibilities of voice search, we have to admit that we did think that it could really wreck organic search results. However, Megan makes a strong case for multiple page 1 results based on the searcher's query. In any case, voice search is another trend that must be addressed for local businesses.
How To Optimize For Voice Search
Chances are you have been optimizing your site for regular search. 2, 3 maybe 4 keywords together. For a longtime we have been big fans of optimizing for long tail keywords to target more queries. If you have been following our advice, you are ahead of the game.
Seth Nickerson just made a great video about how to actually start optimizing for voice search that includes using long tails and more:
Great video with good actionable tips that you can start using now to get a jump on your competition. For the point he makes about using Schema, we will devote an entire article to that subject soon.
Summing It Up
Now is the time to start optimizing for voice search. There is plenty of evidence that this trend is going to grow, and if you don't optimize for it, your competition that does will beat you to the punch :o
If you are to busy to implement this or any other Local SEO tactics, contact us at www.MDIMSolutions.com for a free consultation.
via Blogger Should You Optimize Your Site For Voice Search?
Site Speed Effects UX And Rankings
For quite some time Google has been informing the public that site load speed is a ranking factor. The problem is a lot of site owners have no clue how to speed up their site. In this short article we'll cover a few actionable tips to get your site up to speed and better rankings.
In our last post under the web design topic, we wrote about how using a CDN can help speed up your site. Because site speed is so important to both rankings and UX, we thought we would expand further on site speed. Honestly, we could have put this post under the local seo blog because of the ranking factor, but since it's a little more technical, we opted to place it under the website building, design and development category.
First up, lets just cover the FACT that site speed IS a ranking factor to Google. They actually made this public statement about site speed and rankings:
That article is straight from Google's Webmaster Central Blog - all the way back in April of 2010, over 7 years ago! Now that can put to rest any doubt about site speed and it's effect on rankings :)
UX Site Speed And Bounce Rate
A lot of people don't realize how site speed and UX tie together for rankings. If someone clicks a link to your site and it takes more than a few seconds to load, most people just hit the back button to look elsewhere for the information they are hunting. This actually counts against you twice.
The first is obvious, you have lost a customer to someone else. The second is that to the search engines, you are giving a negative bounce signal, which means the person performing the search wasn't given the info they were searching for on your site and decided to search elsewhere. That negative bounce signal can be increased if you are using Google Analytics on your site.
How Do You Speed Up Your Site?
There are a lot of things that come into play when it comes to how fast your website loads. The first that we have mentioned before is where your website is hosted. Where your website is hosted alone can make a HUGE difference in page load time. Cheap shared hosting just won't cut it. We feel that hosting is such a big issue we will cover it more in depth in an up coming post.
There's a whole slew of things in the backend of your website to help improve performance. David Manng just wrote a post today that gives great info about how to get more speed out of your site and a few of the techniques that we also use for our customers site's:
David gives a lot of great tips in the article. One of the biggest speed factors that we see for clients that come to us with an existing website is the point he makes about images. We would add that proper image size is also important, especially if your are using WordPress. Many times we see on site pages an image that is 400x400 pixels, but then when the media library is inspected the image is a whopping 1500x1500. Now WordPress is being slowed down by having to resize these images while loading.
In David's article he also recommends GTMetrix and Google's tool for checking site speed. We found another speed tool that we like - https://tools.pingdom.com
Good News For WordPress Users!
A lot of David's tips from above can be difficult to achieve for newbies. We actually ran across an article from WPMUDEV about the new release of a plugin that can help with solving site speed problems:
This looks really promising, while we will have to do some testing on a few of our own sites to make sure it does what it says it will and doesn't break sites. We do have to admit that we were a little confused by the name "Hummingbird", thinking that it was going to be something that talked too, or tickled Google's Hummingbird update.
Summing It Up
If you have been ignoring how fast your site loads, you better start giving it some thought now and taking action. Even if you aren't driving traffic from Google, but social media or other avenues, visitors to your site will not tolerate slow loading sites. We've given you a few actionable tips through a couple of trusted sources to help get the job done. One word of caution, before making any changes to your site - MAKE A BACKUP of your site, just in case things go wrong.
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via Blogger Speed Up Your Site For Better Rankings And UX
What And Why Your Company Website Needs A CDN
You may or may not have heard of CDNs before. There are a lot of important parts to your website, especially if it's the life blood of your business. However, a CDN can be considered an important external part of your site. In this short article we will cover more on what and why you should be using one.
What is a CDN
CDN - it stands for Content Delivery Network. What it actually amounts to is other servers across the web that contain your website and deliver your site content to a user remotely closer to the user that your website is hosted on. That was a little confusing :) Here is a better definition from Webopedia by Vangie Beal:
Her first sentence explains it better than we did, with less words. We wanted to include the second paragraph as well because this is another great advantage of using a CDN - and that is speed and security.
By now you should now that how fast your website loads is not only a ranking factor, but better for the end user also. Your customers will not wait 7 to 10 seconds for your website to load. While proper construction of your website has the biggest effect on site speed, a CDN will help improve speed even more.
Smart Insights did an article that goes more indepth about CDNs and the impact of site speed:
We wanted to give you that snippet just in case you didn't believe us about how important speed is to your site. Those are crazy numbers from Amazon and how much just ONE second of extra load time cost the company 1.6 BILLION! Granted, you are probably not running a site as large as Amazon, but you should take into consideration the same things they do for a successful online presence.
CDNs For Website Security
This is a subject that we are adamant about, Site security. Hackers can do a lot of damage whether they are gaining access to your site or DDoS attacks.
Good article from David. He also gives the same reason earlier in his article that it helps increase speed. He also goes on to talk more about DDoS attacks. DDoS stands for "distributed denial of service".
The way we like to explain DDoS goes like this. Let's say you actually have a brick and mortar store. Then you have a competitor that doesn't like you. This competitor pays a bunch of people to stand outside in front of the door, not allowing customers to get in. This is the basic premise of a DDoS attack. A bunch of computers or servers all going to your site at once. Then your regular customers can't access your site because your hosting server is overwhelmed by the DDoS attack. A CDN will help eliminate this threat.
Summing It Up
If you didn't know what a CDN is, you do now, as well as why you should be using one. Speed and security are the 2 biggest in our opinion. You can either setup a free account with someone like CloudFlare, or get a paid account with someone such as Amazon CloudFront, or a host of others. We have everyone of our clients on a CDN.
For more on how we build and design websites, visit our site. Until next time :)
via Blogger What Is A CDN And Why You Should Use One
What Does It Take To Rank In 2017?
We get this question all the time. In reality, there are a lot of variables that come into play, and what it will take to get your site highly visible in search results will vary depending on your location and niche. However, there are a few things that you MUST do to establish a foot print on the web and give your site an edge.
SEO has been around a long time, and what SEO involves has changed dramatically over the years. It is still one of the best ways to get more traffic to your site, and ultimately grow your business.
When most people think of SEO, the first thing that comes to mind is backlinks. While backlinks are still the driving force of the web, there are a lot of other factors the search engine bots take into consideration now as well. They are looking at engagement on your posts, dwell time on your site, page load time and many other factors.
Tony gives a ton of great information in that article. We really love his infographic that he has on the page and highly suggest that if you are attempting SEO on your own that you check it out and follow it! Everything he recommends in his post, we recommend, and implement for everyone of our customers as well. Mr. Messer, if you see this - well done on the article!
We must add that depending on your niche and location, a lot more may be required to get, and maintain good rankings in search results. If your business is located in a major city, or very competitive, there will be a lot more involved. In this case one of the best things you can do is really dive deep into your site as to how it functions and is structured. This can be very "geeky" and too technical for some business owners.
Search Optimization With Schema
One of the components that we see gaining strength in search results is the use of Schema, or Structured Data. Aleyda Solis wrote an article on Search Engine Land that give a good explanation of why your company should be using Schema:
She produced a great article with a lot of technical information that will make most people's head spin that aren't in the industry. However, she does give good reasons why your site should be using Schema. We would like to add that in our tests, adding Schema and structured data in the form of JSON-LD to your site can make a significant difference in how well your site ranks in search. This is because you are talking directly to the bot and telling it what your site is about without the bot having to try and figure out your site by the page content.
Summing It Up
SEO, rankings and getting visitors to your site has changed over the years, and continues to evolve. It is doable for some small business' to take on their own search engine optimization, but will take a considerable amount of time from their daily schedule that could be spent instead focusing on daily operations. It will also involve a bit of a learning curve as well. Don't let it scare you if you don't have the budget to hire an outside firm. It is important to start creating a "foot print" on the web for your brand to compete in today's online landscape.
Search Engine Optimization Tips For Small Businesses was
via Blogger Search Engine Optimization Tips For Small Businesses
2 Cost Effective Ways To Establish Or Improve Your Brand Reputation
Your company's brand reputation is extremely important to it's success. In our last article we covered what Brand Reputation is. Here is something to think about - the lack of having any comments or reviews about your services or products can be just as detrimental as having bad reviews. In this short article we will give you 2 easy ways to start building a good reputation for your brand online.
Probably the easiest way to start building or improving your Brand is with one of the most over looked marketing strategies by small business owners. If you have a website you should most definitely be utilizing the power of the blog, writing articles for your potential customers and prospects to read. You can be your own sounding bullhorn for your services and/or products.
Best part of blogging is that it's almost free. The only thing it will cost you, or someone on your team, is time. (Nobody has enough time in the day!)
ReputationDefenderBlog.com recently wrote a post that covers a few more good reasons that you should be using blog content:
Good advice from them, especially their point of creating sharable content. It's a great idea to take your content and share it across as many Social Media platforms that your company has. Don't forget, Google isn't the only place you can reach your target audience.
So how do you go about setting up a blog? If you are using WordPress as your CMS (Content Management System), it's super easy. Right inside the admin panel you can ad posts. A lot of other CMS platforms have this feature as well.
But what if you have an HTML site or something else that it's not so easy to make posts on? Our suggestion is go ahead and set up either a free or paid WordPress.com site, or a BlogSpot site that you can get free as well with Google. With either of these options you can link back to your main website inside the posts, or direct them where to go or whatever call to action you want.
Yup, video. If you have read any of our posts about video, you know how much we love video marketing. It's our go to source for content marketing and engaging people not only on the web, but also on your site. (Ya, we know, there are no videos on our new updated site, but trust us - THEY ARE COMING!)
There are two great different ways of using video that we like, and have been using for awhile, to help in brand management. The first video you can make is what is known as an "Explainer" video, that does just that - explain your services or products. The second type of video we have been using is "testimonial videos". These can be a little more difficult to produce, but if you have really good persuasive powers, you can talk a past client into being in a video for you.
SmartInsights.com actually wrote about this, and we weren't surprised at all when they recommended these 2 methods in their post. Here's a snippet from their article where they wrote about another type:
We totally agree with the writer that you must be authentic when creating this type of video. We would add that one of the biggest problems we see when companies create this type of video is over promoting, or bragging. If you start going on and on about how great your company is, or how many awards it has won is a problem. Most customers really don't care about that and will quickly click off your video. What new customers want to know is how you have helped someone in the past, and how you can help them!
Summing It Up
There you have it. Whether or not there is nothing on the web about your Brand, or if you Brand is a little tarnished, you can start making it sparkle with these 2, relatively inexpensive ways to managing and promoting your Brand.
And as always, contact us at https://www.mdimsolutions.com/reputation-management for Brand Management services that your company needs :)
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via Blogger 2 Easy Ways To Help Improve Brand Reputation
Is Your Company Utilizing Video To Market To The Masses?
Video is one of our favorite forms for bringing in new customers and keeping existing customers engaged. There are all kinds of crazy estimates about the percentages of which video will be the main platform of internet consumption by the year 2020. In this write up we will cover the reasons your company has to be using video NOW to keep up with demand and continue to grow your business.
We have been firm believers in the power of video for years. 7 to be exact. While ranking factors and the process of getting videos ranked and viewed has changed, the fact that video consumption has not, and is continually growing.
Jordan Kasteler recently wrote a post on one of our favorite blogs - MarketingLand.com. We like what he made the title of the article - "It's time for SMBs to go all in on social and mobile video". We couldn't agree more. In his article he writes:
Jordan makes a lot of great points in his article. One of the most staggering statistics he gives is that on Mobile devices alone, YouTube reaches more Adults 18+ during prime time than any cable network does! That alone should be enough reason for some larger companies to stop putting so much money into TV ads and start making more use of online video.
We also agree with him that there is no reason that any company needs to be overly concerned or overwhelmed with just the though of making a video. It is extremely easy for any company to put out a quality video now. If your company is smaller and doesn't have the budget to hire a professional video production company, there's no reason you can't do it yourself. There are plenty of online editing sites where you can edit your own video and make it look very professional.
What Are The Components Of A Good Marketing Video?
Before you just "wing it" making your own video, you need to put in just a little thought first to make sure you are conveying the proper message and reaching or connecting with your target audience.
He gives some great advice for businesses that want to jump into video. At the end of his article we like the fact he stated that if you are not ready to implement all 7 factors, just start with what you can and then basically fill in the blanks later!
Something else that we feel we should add is that you don't have to try and make a video go viral from the start, referring to Eric's first point of a video that went viral because of a unicorn pooping rainbow ice cream. To get started you can just make a video with pictures of your work with before and after shots if you have a service type business, or multiple pictures of your products, and then voice over with a description about how your services or products can help solve your customers problems. Do not drone on about how great you are or how many awards you have received.
We briefly covered why your business needs to be using video, as well as covered a few points about how to structure your video. So get to it, don't let your competition get ahead of you by getting on the video band wagon before you!
If you would like to learn more about our video marketing services, please feel free to visit our site to find out more :)
The article Why Your Business Needs To Hop On The Video Marketing Band Wagon is courtesy
via Blogger Why Your Business Needs To Hop On The Video Marketing Band Wagon
The Different Types Of Internet Marketing
Digital marketing, online marketing, internet marketing. Ask 10 different people what it is and what it involves and you will get 10 varied answers. Still, it's probably the most cost effective way with the best ROI for reaching the masses. There are multiple platforms for companies to reach their prospective audience across the web. In this short article we will cover a few of the most popular methods, along with our favorites.
Which type of marketing is best for you will totally depend on your field of expertise and niche.
The main types, and our favorites that give our clients the best ROI include:
These five are our favorites. But like we said in the beginning, there are a lot more opinions out there about the different types of internet marketing and what they involve. In fact some marketers actually consider Tv and radio to be forms of digital marketing.
Other Forms Of Marketing Online
There are a few other methods to get your marketing message across. Another somewhat popular form is Affiliate marketing. Susanna Gebauer wrote an article that gives a good description of affiliate marketing:
We couldn't have said it better. For most of our clientele, affiliate marketing really is viable. Susanna also backs up our point for email marketing and that it has to be for someone that is already on your list and not cold emails. She also is a marketer that subscribes to Tv and Radio as methods of digital marketing.
Another term and form that is gaining popularity is what is known as "Viral marketing". It's a bit more complex and requires a little more work, but can have excellent results and involves using video. Viral marketing is when your create a marketing campaign that is hilarious, about a "trending topic" or perhaps even weird, and then gets shared - and shared a lot! It usually causes a big spike in website traffic in a very short period of time.
Ivan Ivanov recently wrote on Business2Community about what makes up a viral campaign are current events, emotional uptick, the ‘WoW’-Factor, tackling a societal issue and using the correct social media platform. He also goes on to ad:
That's a good read. We especially like his advice about before launching your attempt at a viral campaign to look at other company's failures and triumphs. It is important to note that your attempts to make a marketing campaign go viral isn't always possible.
Summing It All Up
So there you have 7 types of online marketing. If you dig around the web you will find more explanations and types, but for the best bang for your marketing dollars, the first 5 we listed are tried and true methods for all businesses.
To learn more about our internet marketing services, visit us @ MDIMSolutions.com
via Blogger What Are The Types Of Online Marketing?
Your Brand reputation? Just what does this term mean and how does it apply to your business or company? That is exactly what we will cover in this short article.
What brand reputation really boils down to is how your company is perceived by customers or clients online, and offline. It's also involves the emotions and ideas the customers associate with your brand. It revolves around everything your company does, again not only online, but offline as well. The main components that can have the biggest effect on your brand reputation involve public relations, promotions and advertising and customer service.
This can be as simple as someone typing into Google search your company name + "reviews" and what shows up in Google My Business reviews and also reviews left on Yelp and YP.com. It can also involve what people are saying about your company on social networks and talking about your product or services.
With some careful thought and planning, you can actually use the theory of brand reputation as a great tool for marketing. If your product is used by millennials, then making your marketing campaigns stand out and geared towards them is a must. This would be done by making sure your site, product pages or service pages are mobile friendly and making use of the latest social media platforms. Then portray the image that your product or services are the coolest around, and everyone that is cool is using it.
How Is Your Business' Brand Reputation?
There are some important things to remember when it comes to your brand reputation management. Not all of your marketing campaigns will be interpreted the way you intended, or you may have a problem with a product, or for whatever reason, things go wrong.
Amanda Marie wrote a great article on Business2Community.com about do's and don'ts when it comes to your brand's reputation:
Amanda wrote a really good article. However, there is one point that she makes that we don't totally agree with. She says that you shouldn't spam search results with social media profiles and press releases. We do agree that you shouldn't just build a lot of profiles and abandon them.
We take the approach of building these properties and then pushing quality content to them. This can be extremely helpful when your company has received some bad publicity and push that bad content farther back in the searches. By building these other properties and maintaining them, you will also be able to leverage one of her other points of improving search ranking results.
How Do You Begin Working On Your Brand's Reputation?
Some companies let this first step overwhelm them. It's really not that difficult for local businesses. Angely Grecia wrote a good article on MeltWater.com that gives some great advice on taking the first steps:
Great article from Angely. We especially like that her first point about making a good first impression. That ties into what we were talking about earlier about how your brand reputation can be tied in, and to your marketing.
Summing It All Up
How your brand is perceived is extremely important to your companies survival. It can make the difference in spectacular sells, or your business going under. By managing your reviews in search, what is being said on social media, as well as "buzz" about your business, you can take your company to new heights.
To learn more, or take control of your company's brand reputation and management, visit our site @ MDIMSolutions.com
via Blogger What Is The Meaning Of Brand Reputation?
What exactly is reputation management, and how can it effect your business? In this brief article we will cover what it is and why your company needs to monitor it's online presence and what your customers are saying about you and your services.
Online reputation is becoming more important for businesses of all sizes that do and don't have an online presence. Just because your company doesn't have a website, which in this day and age is ludicrous, or doesn't have a Facebook page, or Twitter account, doesn't mean that these platforms aren't important or relevant to your company.
Not only do you have to be concerned with what's being said on social media, but also the countless directories online like Yelp, Manta, Kudzu, YP.com and a host of others.
The Affect Of Your Online Reputation On Your Business
So down to the nitty gritty - let's first look at some statistics about online reviews and how they are perceived by the public. In an article done by Kent Campbell on Reputatoinx.com blog, he shares some brutal statistics:
Good information from Kent that simply can't be ignored. He also stated in his article that businesses with mostly 1 star and 2 star reviews fail to convert about 90% of new potential clients!
In Kent's article, that was mostly about what is happening with what can be found in Google search. But what about social media?
Monitor Your Social Media Reputation
Usually with social media your reviews are in the form of comments. Now there are more platforms that you need to be concerned about. The two major sites that you must monitor are of course Facebook and Twitter. Fortunately, it's easy to respond to these comments, but you must respond to these comments calmly, intelligently and most importantly - RESPECTFULLY. Get this wrong and it can cost your company thousands, if not millions in lost revenue!
Kissmetrics wrote an article with some great examples of "getting it wrong" or "reputation management failures" as they call it:
Great article for Kissmetrics. There is a lot of good information there. How you respond to unsatisfied customers and reviews for social media also needs to be applied to Google reviews and other review sites like Yelp as well.
Summing It All Up
Reputation management consists of just what it says, managing what customers are saying about your company online and giving a proper response, if required.
All to often it's something that companies and businesses think about after it's too late. Bad reviews and negative comments are on multiple platforms and sales are plummeting.
Our company prefers the avenue of "reputation marketing", which is something we will get into in later posts. So stay tuned to our site for more on how you can protect your online presence.
If you would like a free consultation about your company's online reputation, visit our site at https://www.mdimsolutions.com
via Blogger What Is Reputation Management?
Why should your business be using digital marketing? In this short article we will give you some examples of how the internet can help grow your business by increasing traffic by reaching customers where they are spending their time, and most importantly, how you are able to measure your ROI.
If you pay any attention at all to your surroundings in your daily life, it's easy to see why you should be using digital marketing to reach new customers. When you are at the mall, walking down the street, or even at a restaurant, people are on some type of device. That alone should be reason enough. For you naysayers, we will give you more.
Top Reasons You Need To Be Using Digital Marketing
We started to write out a long description, but found this article by Eleana Stylianou that she wrote on CareerAddict.com that gives 10 reasons you should be using digital marketing:
It's important to note her point 3. Everyone has a smart phone now! You need to finish reading her full article to find out more, especially points 9 and 10.
Measuring Your ROI
At the end of our last article - "What Is Digital Marketing And What Does It Consist Of?", we briefly touched on the advantage of digital marketing for measuring your marketing dollars ROI. One of the best ways to check and monitor your ROI is by using Google Analytics.
If you have never used the Analytics tool before, you may be a little overwhelmed at first, but after digging around for a little while, you will come to realize just how powerful this tool can be. This tool can give you a wealth of information.
We found a post on ValueWalk.com which gives a quick overview of what is available with this awesome tool and backs up our claim of how powerful it is, as well as pointing out other uses besides measuring ROI and traffic:
Two key take aways from the article is the ability to measure site speed as well as mobile device reports.
However there are some things that you need to do to be able to use this tool to it's maximum potential. As part of our internet marketing series of posts, we will cover this more indepth in upcoming articles. So be sure check back to learn more about Digital Marketing @ MDIMSolutions.com
via Blogger Why Your Company Should Use Digital Marketing
We decided to write this article to help clear up any confusion as to what it is that our company does. It's been a long time coming, and with our new website completed, we thought now would be a great time to go ahead and publish it.
Digital Marketing, or sometimes also referred to as Online Marketing - unless you don't have a computer, tablet, smart phone or an Internet connection, you have been exposed to it in one form or another. It has become the best way for businesses of all sizes get and maintain Brand awareness as well as bring in new customers. It's the fastest growing and evolving form of marketing on the planet.
Why has digital marketing been expanding at a phenomenal rate? That's because other forms of marketing to the public have really lost their value and effectiveness in recent years. TV ads have become increasingly expensive and out of reach for most business owners. Regular radio has lost potential listeners to commercial free satellite radio and other platforms like Pandora. Even roadside billboards have lost their effectiveness because most passengers in a vehicle are on their smartphone checking out Facebook.
So exactly what is Digital, or Online Marketing?
Basically, it's an umbrella term used for several methods of reaching your audience or clients across the web. A few of the main platforms to reach your company's audience or clientele include:
There is a lot more to marketing online, but these are the basics. Now we will cover how you can reach your audience or new customers with these platforms.
Your Website: In our opinion, and many other professional online marketers, this is the most important part of the equation. Almost all of your ads, social media outreach, emails and everything will send customers back to here to learn more about your services and products. Your website also gives the first impression of your Brand.
One of the biggest assets to your website is to have a blog. You can write content for your audience (like this post). Your viewers can learn more about your company, your services or your products.
Then Local SEO comes into play. You can get your website to rank high in the search results for terms that people using the internet use to find your company's services. This can also be applied to your blog posts as well.
SEM (Ads): Ads are everywhere! You've seen them on Facebook, Twitter and every social media platform, as well as your favorite browser when you search for something on the Internet, like a service or product. It's still a good way to expand your business and your Brand. There is some debate as to if they are still viable as most people skip the ads and get to the content they are after.We feel that it's still a great method and should be combined with SEO.
Video: This is a medium that is growing very rapidly! There are all kinds of estimates on different blogs as well as research that claim crazy numbers like 80% of all internet traffic will be through video by the year 2020. While we don't think it's will be that crazy, by looking at the past history of video, it will definitely take it's lion share of marketing!
Video is extremely engaging. People have short attention spans and would rather watch the internet than read it. You can quickly inform the viewer of who you are, your service, and why they should choose you over the competition.
Social Media: This platform is growing by leaps and bounds daily as well. It seems like there is a new platform every month. However, the tried and true giants are Facebook and Twitter. Others that are really paying off with an excellent ROI are Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Depending on what type of business you have and your projected audience will depend on which social network will work best for your company.
This is in no way an exhaustive list of all the different types of digital marketing. It is, however, our favorites and work the best for every business type that we serve and help grow.
There Are Almost As Many Different Explanations Of What Digital Marketing Is As There Are Digital Marketers!
If you read that article and saw all the different answers, you know what we mean!
But here is the kicker - with all of these types of online marketing, it is very easy to track what types are performing and giving your company a satisfactory ROI. This is explained in a fantastic, lengthy article written by Mike Tomita in his article "Measure the ROI of Digital Advertising Beyond Revenue Impact":
You need to take the time to read that full article if you are interest in some of the best ways to measure you digital marketing ROI.
So there you have the basics of online marketing. If you want to learn more about Digital Marketing, stay tuned to our website!
The post What Is Digital Marketing And What Does It Consist Of? Read more on: http://mdimsolutions.com/
via Blogger What Is Digital Marketing And What Does It Consist Of?
So what is branding? Some old school people may think of branding and applying to cows and cowboys :) A hot iron of the fire and burning an emblem on your steer to identify them from other ranchers cattle. Branding for your company is somewhat similar, only you won't be taking a hot iron and burning emblems on your computer or other places.
Branding is a must no matter how large or small your business is.
Creating Your Brand
The first thing in creating a brand for your company is your logo. In my opinion, your logo is probably the most important starting point for creating your brand. When you see logo's like the 2 red circles or bullseye for Target, or an apple with a bite out of it for Apple, you know right away who you are dealing with.
At Entrepreneur.com, they wrote a great article about things to take into account for creating your logo:
Really good article that goes on to explain more about how to create your logo including logo types and what colors to use and to avoid.
One piece of advice that they recommend, as do we, is that if your aren't very artistic go ahead and higher a graphic designer. Once you start using your logo to establish your brand the last thing you want to do is change it.
Creating Emotion To Go With Your Brand
Also notice how in Entrepreneurs article they state how Allstate's logo creates a warm feeling. This is another major part of your branding. The emotion of your brand. You can create your brand to be warm and inviting like Allstates, or fun and simple like Apple's.
One other thing to take into consideration is the size of your audience and who your audience is. You will notice in our branding that we have a logo, but on a lot of our different profiles I use a nice profile picture. The reason for this is because we don't ever intend to get as big as a McDonalds or Nike. If your company is smaller and just in one general location this may be a better option for you. The reason being is people in general prefer connecting with a person over a company.
Branding Your Website
This should seem like a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how many companies don't ad their logo in a prominent space on their website and everywhere on their site. You want your logo on every page and post of your site.
As I explained above, I also use a nice profile picture as well. It's always the same profile picture. This profile picture is also on our homepage and every page of our site, with posts the exception. You could probably ad your profile picture to your posts if you wanted to, as many authors do. I'm just sure people get enough of seeing my ugly mug:)
Beyond Your Site To Social Media
Now put your logo all across the web everywhere you can. Your Yelp listing, YP page, Kudzu and every other place you put a citation or listing for your business. (More on what citations are and how to build them here)
Then of course ALL of your social media pages. A few of the top social platforms we like and use are Google+, Company FaceBook page, Twitter and Tumblr. This actually helps 2 fold.
When it comes to branding for SEO, just look at big companies like Home Depot and Walmart. It's a fact that Google loves branding. By building a large brand you are telling the search engines that you are a legitimate business by being everywhere on the web with multiple sites.
Add Your Brand Logo Everywhere You Can
There are a few other great places that you can ad your logo.
The first place that a lot of people neglect is their Email signature. Everyone of your professional correspondences should have your logo on it in the signature line, as should everyone that works in your company.
Next, packaging. If your company delivers a physical product with packaging, put your logo there as well.
Lastly, your business cards. In addition to your logo being on your card, also consider using your branded profile picture as well. This is a great trick to get people to remember who you are. Months later they may look at your business card and wonder who you are. If you have a profile picture on your card, it's makes it a lot easier to remember.
Summing It All Up
To get started building your brand, start with a great logo. Then create the feeling and emotion that you want to go with your brand which can be tied in with your logo. Then put your logo everywhere you can possibly think of to reinforce your brand to your audience. Then by using branding as part of your SEO strategy, you will help your website with better rankings in the search engines.
via Blogger Creating And Reinforcing Your Brand
Images are important to include in your blog posts, for a few reasons. They are great for helping to break up your content as well as help "tell the story" that you are trying to convey. Good pictures also help with social engagement and shares. A couple of things that bloggers neglect to do is optimize them for SEO and speed. With this short post we will cover why you should be using images if you aren't, as well as optimizing them for SEO.
Using Images For The Reader
Everyone knows the old saying - "a picture is worth a thousand words". Images are easier to process and visitors to your site will be drawn to them. Articles with great images are also more likely to get shared more across social media platforms. When is the last time you went to a blog posts that was long or all text and just read it?
Images help break up your content and should be visually appealing. It is important however to remember to use the right image to help tell your story or convey your message. Your image should be relevant to the article and should be somehow related.
Posting a picture of some beautiful woods scene when your article is about exercising doesn't relate. A picture of someone actually exercising or wiping sweat from the forehead after exercising would be a much better choice.
Great article from James. Later in the article we really like where he talks about how images help with learning. He talks about how infographics really help with this. Yes, inforgraphics are considered images :) and are great for helping people skim your content. Read the full article to learn more about why you should be using images in your posts.
Images And SEO
So we covered why you should be using pictures. So how can they help with SEO?
The first thing is naming your images. We actually like naming our images BEFORE we upload them to our website to make it easier. Using one of your keywords that you are trying to target is good to use as part of the image name. Just don't over do it by keyword stuffing.
Rizvan Ullah, someone we have quoted before, wrote an article on Johnchow.com that explains optimizing your photos or images very well:
Great article from Rizvan, with another great point that he makes earlier in the article, and the it's important to compress your images as well.
Images Without Compression Can Hurt Your SEO
Image compression is a BIG part of the SEO equation as well. Why? If your images aren't compressed they will make your website load slower. A slow loading site is not only a turn off for visitors, but the search engines as well. Site load speed is a ranking factor.
Compressing your images is fairly easy if you are using a WordPress site as there are a multitude of plugins that will compress the images. Earlier on in Rizvan's article he lists 3 plugins and one of them is one that we use, EWWW Image Optimizer. If you don't like any of his recommendations, there are a LOT more :)
Summing It All Up
If you aren't using images in your posts - start. Our brains are wired for images. Make them relevant to your topic and also use infographics where possible. Images also help get your content shared more on social media. And by taking the time to find some great images you can help boost your website search engine ranking as well!
via Blogger How Using Images Boosts User Engagement And SEO
So you just spent some time or money on creating a new company video. So what do you do with it now? Just let it sit on your desktop and collect digital dust? Just leave it on whatever platform you chose to upload it to and HOPE someone views it and takes action? In this short article we will cover a few things you can do with your new business videos to help increase visits to your site and increase sales.
First, let's consider what your video is about. Did you create a video that explains your business and who you are? If so, then a great starting point for the video is on your website. Studies show that websites with a video on the homepage rank higher in the searches.
Your homepage is also a great place if your video is about your company and who you are. This type of video will actually help the viewer trust you more over your competition that doesn't have a video on their site.
If your video is about your services, product overview or product demonstration, consider making a separate page on your website to showcase all of your videos.
Using my favorite example, a plumber, ideally you would have separate pages for hot water heater replacement, new construction, and so on. It would be great to have a separate video for hot water heater replacement and have that at the top of your page for hot water heater replacement. A video that demonstrates how careful your company is and your guarantees will always convert higher than your competition that doesn't have a video on their page.
Optimize For Google
If you have followed any of our previous posts or checked out our site, you should know by now that YouTube is our favorite platform for our marketing videos. Why? Well, YouTube now reaches more 18-49 year olds than any cable network. AND, with proper optimization of your channel and your video, your video can rank in Google search. Read our previous post "YouTube SEO"
This is a great place to start with any video that explains your services, or a video that is meant to drive sales. It may be a little more difficult to get the video to rank for some niches than others, but well worth the effort.
If you made a video that has customer testimonials, then this is another must. You need to get the video ranked for "Your Business Reviews". People are constantly searching business reviews. Again, studies show that people are much more likely to click on a video thumbnail over text. This is also a GREAT way to help with your online reputation management as you can help push bad reviews back a page by having multiple customer testimonial review videos on the first page.
With YouTube as your platform, you can also connect your website to your channel. This allows you to have clickable annotations directly inside your video so that the viewer can click through to your site, from inside the video! These annotations work on almost platforms that the video is shared on without stripping out the clickable annotations.
There are also what is called "cards". These cards work pretty much the same way as annotations, except that they also work on most mobile devices with the exception being mostly Apple devices.
Of course social media! Post that video everywhere you can! It's almost like social media was created for video and vice versa. Your company Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn and every other platform you have. Depending on the type of company video you made will depend on the results that you get from social media.
If your video is about your company, then posting this video across social media helps with your branding. This works well, even with "boring" type niches. Check out this snippet from Cameron Uganec over at HootSuite:
That's a great post from Cameron, and I suggest you read the full article that gives even more reasons and ways to use your videos.
Videos that show the inner workings of your business and show the human side of your business are GREAT for social media. People don't like connecting with businesses, they like connecting with other human beings :) Also remember to ASK for shares and likes of your video to help get it out to more potential customers.
Summing It All Up
Optimize that video! Get it ranked in the searches. If it's a video about your business and who you are, get it ranked for your company name. If it's about your services, name it your service, i.e. "hot water replacement Marietta" and get it ranked for that. Testimonials - "Your Business Reviews". And lastly, don't forget about the all mighty social media card and ASK for shares. Until next time :)
via Blogger What To Do With Your New Business Videos
The post Will Regular Blogging Help Generate Traffic To YOUR Site? was
Blogging. Some people love to write, others hate it. But the question we want to address here is will blogging on a regular basis really help drive traffic to your website? The short answer is Yes. But, you have to do it properly, otherwise you are just putting up content without helping drive visitors to your site. This will more than likely be the first in a series about blogging.
The first thing to make sure that your posts drive traffic is to know how to create engaging content to get people to read and ultimately share your content.
Catchy And Curious Post Titles
The first part of your blog post, and probably the most important is the title. Writing engaging titles that sparks interest with your audience is a must.
One of our favorite tactics for this is making our title a question, such as the title for this post. In our opinion it really helps spark the interest of potential readers, especially to people that are really seeking the information that your blog post is about.
Rizvan Ullah wrote a post on JohnChow.com that can give you some more great ideas as far as how to write great titles to increase click throughs, including another favorite of ours and we should use more often, using numbers:
Great post from Rizvan. He also covers more about how he uses questions to drive user engagement as well as using superlatives and being to the point. If you are having problems coming up with engaging titles, read the full article.
When it comes to writing the article itself we really like Rizvan's point of being to the point. With some business types or niches, it's even possible to help tell a story. I don't want to get to in depth about how to write, as this post is more about will blogging get you more traffic and how.
Social Media Shares
One of the most important reasons that we want a catchy title is for our next point, sharing and getting your content shared on social media. A lot of local search engine optimization companies skip or don't even address the importance of using social media.
Using social media is part of our core SEO strategies. After all, our objective is to drive more traffic to your site and get more sales. You really don't care where the traffic or sales come from, as long as they come.
So once you have crafted and posted your new article, go ahead and share it on your social media profiles, especially your business profiles (which you should definitely have!). And here is the kicker, ASK people to retweet, share and like your content. Studies show that asking people politely such as "please retweet" or "please like and share" can practically double the amounts of retweets and shares a piece of content gets. We don't think the search engines put a lot of weight on likes but they do on shares, so the more shares the better. For more on likes vs shares, check out this post - "Will Social Media Help With Your SEO?"
So to sum it up with social media, the more shares, the more eyes that will be on your content driving more traffic to your site.
Okay, so we have a good post that is being shared across social media and your site is getting more traffic. However, there are some things that you MUST avoid to keep people from bouncing off or clicking the back button and leaving your site.
Avoid Making These Mistakes!
One of my biggest pet peeves is pop ups. Everyone has seen them. You are looking for some information, a headline gets your attention, you visit the site, and right away you are bombarded with a pop up trying to get you to sign up or buy something. Then sometimes there are multiple pop ups, one right after the other. Sometimes you can't even find the "X" to click out of the darn thing. In those cases, I always hit the back button.
Another turn off and sure way to get someone to leave your site in a hurry is to many ads. Over at ProBlogger, they recently made a post that gives you some excellent tips of things to avoid on your blog that talks more about advertisements:
Be sure and read that full article as it really has some great tips as to what to avoid with your blog to help keep people on page and not click the back button.
It's funny that earlier in that article another thing that makes them "hate" a blog is pop ups. I'll give you one more tip with pop ups, because we know that they do work. In my honest opinion, the best place to have them is when someone is getting ready to leave your page. That way they have had the opportunity to absorb your content, and if you did a good job, maybe they will subscribe, or do whatever it is that you want them to.
In my honest opinion, if you craft your post correctly with good titles, Yes, they will help generate traffic to your site by getting more clicks in the organic searches as well as getting shared more across the social media networks. More clicks + more shares = MORE TRAFFIC AND MORE SALES!
via Blogger Will Regular Blogging Help Generate Traffic To YOUR Site?
Looks like Google is changing things up once again. Imagine our surprise at that! Google is always mixing things up, sometimes for the better, and other times for the worse. This time Google is changing the local 3 pack to a 2 pack with a twist.
It hasn't been that long since Google changed from the 7 pack to what is now the 3 pack. If you don't know what we are talking about, it's when you search for a business service and something like this pops up in the search:
That was a search for Marietta plumber and what was returned.
Now Google is going to change this to a 2 pack, with a really big twist. It will still be a 3 pack, although now the top spot will be an ad! So in the example above, the listing of Roto-Rooter would be an ad.
How much will it cost? Well that remains to be seen. We can bet that it will cost a pretty penny since the snack pack generates so many leads.
How will this impact Google and the user performing the search? Well obviously it will be great for Google as they will make more money from local businesses trying to bring in more customers. For the user on the other hand, probably not so good. There is a good chance that a business that isn't that reputable could potentially end up in the 3 pack.
Can you blame Google? After all, they are a business and make a lot of money from ads. We would have preferred to see them leave the pack at 7, then take one away for ads, but we don't have any control over what they do.
How Do You Get Into Google's Snack Pack?
So how can you combat this? If you still want to be in the 3 pack, one of the best ways to get there and stay there is by getting a lot of citations with the correct name, address and phone number of your business listed everywhere.
These citations are places like YellowPages.com, Kudzu, Manta and Yelp to name a few. The more of these citations you have, the better your chances of being listed in the 3 pack. However, it is extremely important to make sure that your business information is listed EXACTLY the same way across all platforms. For instance, if your address is 1234 Main Street, and that was how you listed it in Google, you would want to make sure that you listed your address that same way across all platforms and not abbreviate Street for St.
There is some debate, as usual, if getting more good reviews will help get you into the 3 pack. We tend to lean towards no on that, since you can do a search for a business service and businesses with less reviews than others will rank higher in the pack.
Try Google's Featured Snippets
There is another way to get top listings however. And this is something that has been around for a very short time and SEO's debate whether or not it is beneficial to creating leads or not. It's Google's Featured Snippets.
Here is what Google has to say about this feature:
Here is an example when we searched how to unclog a drain:
Notice that it comes before any of the listings? Pretty cool. Take notice also that there is a link in the snippet to the website where the information was taken from.
Will you be able to rank a featured snippet for something like "Atlanta Plumber" or "Roswell Electrician"? Probably not. However, if you can do some serious keyword research you can increase your chances for these snippets popping up in different places.
Ryan Clutter wrote an article in Search Engine Journal that explains the best ways to increase your chances of getting featured in these snippets:
Ryan makes a lot of great suggestions in the article. One suggestion that he makes that we really like later in the article is making your long tail keyword search query (what your intended audience is searching for) your H2 tag. That's super slick! If you are performing your own SEO, you need to read the entire article so you can be equipped better for featured snippets.
So if you are bent on staying in the 3 pack, more citations to keep you there. We would highly suggest that you also take into consideration on making posts on your site that can possibly get you into the featured snippets. After all, it can help increase the chances of driving more traffic to your site, which is what we are after anyhow.
Be sure and contact us if you are in need of an online marketing company to help handle all of your SEO needs :)
via Blogger Google’s 3 Pack Changing To 2 And What You Can Do
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