Technology has been a huge influence on how people have marketed their goods and services ever since people have had goods and services to sell. Whether it was the printing press, the radio, television or the proliferation of trains and cars that made traveling easier, something new has always come along to change how marketing is done. But nothing has ever been as noteworthy as the internet.
Consumers Are Smarter Than Ever
Because of the internet, consumers have a lot of information at the tip of their fingers that they never had before in the history of the world. Now they can look up information about you, and whether it’s right or wrong they’ll learn something about you and your products before buying. It’s up to you to make sure the right information is out there for them to find.
Social Media Is Ubiquitous
Before the internet, stores had to host huge events that were quite costly in order to stir up conversation and social interaction. Today, they simply need to start an active Instagram account or Facebook group or page. Everyone uses some form of social media today to gather information and learn about your business and offerings. In fact, more than 80 percent of the US population uses social media.
Your Audience Is Starving for Content
It’s important to put content everyplace your audience likes to be. If they like Facebook, you need to be on Facebook. If they like blog posts, you need to supply them with plenty of blog posts. If they like getting information through email, then you need to accommodate them. It can be difficult to keep up at times, but with help you can work smartly and efficiently by repurposing content as needed.
SEO Is Here to Stay but It’s Changing Too
Due to the advent of the net, pulling your audience to your information requires knowledge of search engine optimization. This can include on- and off-page optimization of a website and blog, but also of article titles, social media posts and more. It’s all about attracting the right audience to your information.
The Customer of One Is Now an Imperative
Due to the ability to automate and personalize using technology that has been created since the advent of the internet, business owners can make their customers feel special and unique. Even though customers are smart and know a lot of it is automation, they do appreciate it and it shows in purchasing habits.
Inbound Marketing Has Taken Over
Bringing your customers to you is now how inbound marketing works best, as opposed to outbound marketing which was how marketing started. It was posters, magazine ads, commercials – these things all interrupted the consumer to give them the message. Now it’s less intrusive and all about bringing them to you with the right information.
Ecommerce Generates over 1.2 Million Dollars Every 30 Seconds
It seems like e-commerce has been around forever. In reality it has been around in a smaller way since the 60s, but it really came into being as it is today in the 90s when the first book was sold on Amazon in 1995. Nothing has ever been the same since, and it just grows and grows. Online shopping is bringing back grocery delivery even.
Augmented Reality Is Next
What you can look forward to is augmented reality. This will enable people to feel as if they’re in a store when they’re really online. Movies have depicted ideas of augmented reality, such as the Tom Cruise movie about virtual data called Minority Report in 2002. Now marketers are trying to figure out how they can work augmented reality into the everyday lives of consumers.
It’s imperative that you keep up with how marketing is changing in terms of the tools that are used. In many ways, the principles don’t change much. You have to find a way to educate your audience, inform them, engage them, and build relationships with them, so that they trust you enough to spend their money on your products or services.
The New Improved Rules of SEO
A lot of people think that SEO is just a trick, or a bunch of shifty tricks to take to get people to come to your website. While it is true that some of the methods you read about seem somewhat unethical, the fact is that if you follow the rules of SEO without trying to mislead anyone, you’ll find that they are sound business practices that help you build brand awareness, get more traffic and make more sales in an honest and effective manner.
Consumers Are Smarter Today
Most people who are shopping online are clued in on the tricks of the trade now. They understand sales pages, and know what clickbait is and they don’t like most of them. You want to acknowledge that fact with everything you do. Respect their time and don’t trick your audience.
Mobile Optimization Is an Imperative
Today websites need to work seamlessly on any device, so mobile optimization is very important. Your audience needs to be able to read, learn, interact, and purchase through their mobile devices without missing a beat.
SEO Is a Long-Term Strategy
Working on the SEO structure of your websites and blogs will take time. It should not be considered an overnight success measure. Instead, it should be considered a long-term strategy that will work over time to affect traffic on your site.
Content Needs to Provide Value
If you know your audience and understand the message that you want to send to them, you’ll be able to create amazing content that provides a lot of value to your audience. The information should be trustworthy, expertly written, without grammatically errors, and interesting to read.
Keyword Density Is Old News
Keywords should be in the title tags, content, H1 tags, URLs, alt text on images, and within the image name. Keywords in content should be included in a natural way without any concern about “density”.
Satisfy the Needs of Your Users
This goes back to creating content for the different personas within your target audience. You have to put yourself in their shoes and know what they would find valuable and useful.
You Must Earn Links
Links tell search engines how authoritative your website is, what topic your website should be ranked for, how trustworthy your website is, and how valuable the content you create is. If people are linking to and sharing your content, engaging with the content, and visiting your website, you’ll earn links. In other words, skip the article directories, blog networks, comment spamming, and link trading. They don’t work.
Social Is a Must
The reason you need to use social media is to build community and relationships so that you can distribute your content and information to people who desire it, need it, and want it. You can simply help people out and then reap the rewards.
When you accept these new rules of SEO, you’ll be more successful with your SEO strategy – whether it’s on-page or off-page SEO. Remember that it’s a long-term process that will pay off many times over if you keep up to date on the new rules of SEO.
It’s really not that mobile is winning; it’s that different-sized screens and different browsers have become the norm. Due to that change in technology and the ease at which the public can access it, it’s imperative that you design all your websites for mobile first. When you design for mobile first, you automatically create a situation where your site looks fabulous and works well across all devices.
It’s about the User
SEO isn’t just about your ability to get more eyes on your content, it’s also about the user’s experience. When a user loves the website they’re more likely to keep coming back, consuming the content, and answering your calls to action.
Google Wants You to Go Mobile
Google gave directions to all webmasters to ensure that they build for mobile first, and that responsive design is best for this purpose. The fact is, most people still use Google for search, so due to that it’s best to get on the bandwagon as soon as possible.
Mobile Voice Search
Many mobile devices have voice activated tools and due to that, voice search for mobile is now a common thing. The fact that this exists will help people find your website even more easily from mobile – provided that you have the right content within your website and all pages are responsive.
Ensure Videos are Playable
Ensure that if you have a lot of videos on your website, you’re using a mobile friendly platform. You can make a mistake and have a mobile site other than the video. Test it out before publishing. Adobe Flash doesn’t work well on mobile.
Don’t Use Robots.txt
This is special code that tells search engines and web crawlers how to craw their website and blocks them from certain pages. This can cause loading problems for mobile devices.
Each Device Is Different
Keep in mind that each device is different. Use Google Analytics to discover which mobile device is most used by your current visitors and design for that device first, and then expand from there.
If you use redirects, it’s important to ensure that they work right with mobile devices. Some don’t work well. Test all your redirects to ensure that they work and improve them so that the flow isn’t interrupted for the user.
Optimize Landing Pages
A special landing page is often made for promotions, sales and each product or service that you are marketing. Ensure that your landing pages are fully optimized for mobile. One way to do that is to use services like LeadPages.net or Instapage.com to create dynamic landing pages that work across all devices.
Mobile SEO is one of the most important ways to ensure a user-friendly experience for your customers and leads. Don’t skimp on ensuring that you have covered all your bases when it comes to mobile SEO and designing mobile websites.
If you’re a new company and you want to thrive in your industry, the first thing you need to get ahold of is your brand identity. Branding is one of the basic aspects of online marketing, but it’s also one of the most important, if not the most. What do you want your customers to think of when they hear or read your brand online? Most companies and entrepreneurs tend to lose focus on this matter, especially if they are eager to “get by” and make a name for themselves straightaway. (more…)
How to Comply with Google Panda and Penguin Updates
Doing effective SEO has evolved into a more “natural” and “social” process. Algorithm updates, particularly Google’s Penguin and Panda, are continuously changing the course of conducting search engine optimization. Penguin targets bad links while Panda goes after poor content. Google, through their algorithm updates, has reiterated that website owners and search engine optimization practitioners must create a better experience for users. And that trying to manipulate rankings through keyword over optimization, link schemes, and black hat methodologies will only harm your website — and your business.
See our Infographic:
Here are some Penguin and Panda update-compliant SEO methodologies.
Publish High Quality Content
The era of run-of-the-mill, duplicate, and poor content is over. If you want to get into the SEO battle and win, then producing high quality, compelling content should be in your arsenal. Great content is key to increased visitors, more engagement, more inbound links and higher rankings.
- 72% of B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy – BtoB Magazine
- 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing – Content Marketing Institute
- 90% of consumers find custom content useful. – TMG Custom Media
- 90% of CMOs say high quality content has a positive effect on audience attitudes – Custom Content Council
- 79% of marketers say their organizations are shifting to branded content – Forrester
- 72% of marketers rate branded content as more effective than magazine ads – Custom Content Council
- 60% of consumers feel more optimistic about a company after reading onsite custom content – Content Plus
Stamp it with Google+
Google+ Authorship & Publishership
Google+ is not just the search engine giant's answer to Facebook. Plus is a social layer that connects all your Google activities. Google+ authorship in particular is a powerful SEO tool as it stamps your content on your website or blog with your identity as an author or publisher; and you are given credit for every piece of content you publish. The accumulation of authorship credits helps you to rank higher on search engines.
Google+ is Growing Fast
- Has 359 million monthly active users as of March 2013
- This is way up from 135 million in December 2012
- From only 100 million users in September 2012
Claim your Authored Content
By creating a Google+ profile and linking it to your website or blog, you can claim authorship of your content with your Google+ profile. Once authorship is claimed, your Google+ profile will show up next to your search results.
Get Indexed Immediately
Content posted on your Google+ will be indexed immediately into the Google search results, increasing the possibility of your Google+ network seeing your posted content in their search results. When your audience engages with your content it will be further advertised to your audience’s network. In this chain reaction, posts have the ability to go viral.
Great Content plus Google+ Influence Search Rankings
High quality and compelling content will most likely receive +1s and shares. These act like social recommendations, influencing what searchers see on Google SERPs while they are logged in to any Google account.
Create Content and Publish it on your Blog
Blogging revolutionized publishing content on the web and is the mother of social media. It is now, and more than ever, a great tool for providing high quality and fresh content to your target audience and for SEO.
Write informative and engaging posts that people want to read, make use of and share with their friends and you acquire back links without engaging in black hat techniques.
- Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links – HubSpot
- 92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog – HubSpot
- B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads than those that do not. –InsideView
- Companies that blog receive 434% more indexed pages on average – HubSpot
- Businesses that blog at least 20 times/month get 5x more traffic than those that blog 4 times or less – HubSpot
Do Articles, Press Releases the Right Way
Mass-produced articles and press releases are often tagged as duplicate or poor content, partly due to article spinning, anchor text over optimization and massive submissions. But when implemented the right way, well-written articles and press releases attract the right kind of site visitors.
- 70% of consumers prefer articles over advertisements when it comes to getting to know a company – Content Plus
- 80% of business decision-makers prefer a series of articles over advertisements when it comes to getting information about a company – Content Marketing Institute
Just make sure to AVOID:
- Massive submission of articles and press releases
- Submission to article and press releases farms
- Keyword-rich, overly optimized anchor texts
Use Promotional Copy
Promotional content is a powerful tool. Consumers are attracted to promotional copy because people inherently like good deals. And it's also a type of content that they will share with friends. Consumers visit a site over and over again to check on their latest promotions. Promotions attract visitors, are shared around and produce back links naturally. Promotions attract traffic, leads, customers – and keep them loyal.
- 83% are likely to tell a friend about a company that uses sales promotions, such as special offers, discounts or coupons
- 76% said they have a positive feeling toward a company that offers online sales promotions
- 71% said they are likely to be loyal to a brand that offers online sales promotions
- 66% said online sales promotions improve a company’s image
- 65% said online sales promotions help finalize decisions for undecided buyers
Share It Socially
It's not enough to create high quality content. You need to share it with the world; make sure everyone sees it so that they can link back to your site and share it with their networks. Social sharing completes the modern SEO methodology of attracting social and natural traffic and links. Social media is beneficial not just to SEO, but also to sales as 90% of users listen to recommendations shared from friends.
- 92% of consumers around the world say they trust online recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising
- 70% read other experiences
- 65% learn more about businesses, brands, products & services
- 53% compliment brands
- 50% express concerns about brands, products & services
- Users spend 30% of their time online on social channels where content can be shared. – AOL & Nielsen
“Natural and social” SEO focuses on creating high quality content users want to read, use, and share. High quality content can spread naturally across social networks as well as build natural links. This consequently results to higher Google rankings.
Google Penguin and Panda updates are meant to improve Google search results for users. Business owners can do their share in improving the user experience by employing SEO service providers that use natural and social methodology. Quality SEO will result in increased exposure of your website, higher rankings in the search engine, more traffic to your website, and result in more sales for your company.
Call us now or send us a message to schedule your free consultation on SEO.
Why You Need The Best Atlanta Local SEO Marketing Company
Small business search engine optimization, or SEO, can take your business to the next level by giving it greater visibility. This service will help a website, online video or blog rank higher in the search engine results. Here are 5 reasons why you ought to hire the best Atlanta local SEO marketing company to position your business in front of prospective clients searching for your service or product:
They Possess the Relevant Skills
You want to hire the best local SEO marketing company in the same way that you would hire a lawyer to represent your case in court, or prepare your legal documents — they are the experts. You probably do not put a crown on your own tooth, or change the brakes on your car. Obviously, you could learn how to do this yourself, but you pay someone who specializes in these things to do it, because you know it will be a much wiser investment over the long term.
They Can Adapt To The Changes Better Than You Can
Related to the point above, the web is constantly shifting and changing. Search engines make updates to their algorithms to improve their results, and online marketers have to adapt to this. For the uninitiated, it can be difficult to stay up to date with the most effective SEO services for small business. The small business search engine optimization experts at Grow Smart Marketing spend nearly all of their time studying these changes and updates, so they will know the optimum way of designing your website to be search engine friendly. Also, whenever the need arises, they will be capable of adjusting your website. It might be hard for a non professional to know when to do this.
You’ll Save A Lot Of Time
By hiring true experts in local SEO services for small businesses to tackle your online marketing, you will save a considerable amount of time. It is hard to overstate the amount of time that goes into a good local SEO marketing campaign. A top SEO firm will (hopefully) have many years of experience and a fully knowledgeable team that can work on advertising and optimizing your site for you. Thus, your website will improve its’ search engine ranking far more rapidly than if you had tried to optimize it yourself.
Also, there is a high probability that a good small business SEO consultant will have contacts with other professionals. They will be able to use these to hurry along your campaign. The SEO company you hire will know both the latest optimization tricks, and what techniques do not work. A top small business search engine optimization professional will have learned from trial and error which methods are best to spend their time on.
Every good SEO marketing firm will use a tracking system on each website they optimize. Thus, you can see daily visitors, which keywords they have typed in to discover your website, which search engine they used to reach your site, the amount of time each visitor stayed on your website, which location your visitors came from and much more information as well. Furthermore, SEO firms use very helpful web based tools, like keyword analyzers, which will show you the amount of searchers typing in particular keyword phrases (or keywords) each month.
You can Concentrate on Your Business
Possibly, the best part of paying a top small business SEO consultant to assist you with online marketing is that you can focus more on your business; which is what you are best at. As mentioned above, a considerable amount of time goes into building and managing a strong local SEO marketing campaign. Undoubtedly, for the first 3-6 months, you will have to constantly work on link building, article writing and website development for your site on a daily basis. This doesn’t leave much time for growing your business.
On the other hand, if you only had to focus on running your company and managing your staff effectively, while the leads came flowing in, you would be in a very good position. It just doesn’t make sense for most small business owners to be constantly shifting their attention toward online marketing while also trying to organize and manage their daily company activities. Running a company is hard enough on its own!
The best return on investment (in both time and money) is for you to work with one of the top Atlanta SEO experts who has the knowledge and experience, as well as the time and resources to properly optimize your business website. You might not like the idea of spending cash on something you believe you could do yourself. However, hiring a true expert in SEO services for small business is a wise investment that will reap good dividends in as little as 4 to 6 months, and easily pay for itself many times over in the coming years.
If you’d like a free no-obligation quote on getting your website ranked in the search engines, give us a call today!