Category Archives: website promotion

How do customers find your business website?

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people looking at computer and tablet finding business websiteShocking fact of the day: people are not looking for your website. Unless they have a good reason to search for your website, unless they know it’s out there, your website is just another of the millions of websites out there.

So how can you get that perfectly designed, easy-to-navigate, branded website in front of the people who matter: your customers and customers-to-be? To get the answer, you need to look at the process through the eyes of the very people you want to reach. How do they find out about businesses? What channels do they use to find information?

Answering these questions comes with a somewhat annoying disclaimer: every customer is different and goes through the process differently. Customize your marketing to the channels that your target audience uses to find information.

Search engine listings

When people have a problem, they turn to the modern phone book: the internet. Indeed, statistics show that more than 90% of online experiences start with a search. If you want your website found online, and you want customers to use your website, you need to invest in two vital marketing tools.

Optimization is the process of optimizing your website for the search engines your audience uses to find you (i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). We’ve given you a few tips to get you started as you write the content for your website; the next step is to use optimization technology so your website shows up in search engine results pages of local users. To stay at the top of the listings, write and produce regular high-quality content (information on what makes content high-quality here) so your website is recognized as a source of fresh, user-friendly content.

Once your website is at the top of the listings, it’s time to keep on them on your website with mobile marketing. Mobile marketing is more than just a new age fad; it’s a necessity when research shows that more than three-quarters of Americans have a smartphone. Your website needs (note, NEEDS) to be mobile-friendly for search engines, who use mobile websites as a factor in the rating process, and users who click on your website. They aren’t going to stay on the website if they can’t browse it on their smartphone easily.

Email

Using email to contact customers is a marketing tool with one of the highest rates of return. There is a caveat; you’re not going to get those returns unless your email recipients want to hear from you. Don’t buy e-mail addresses. Build a solid e-mail list by asking for e-mail addresses at the counter, in your content marketing, on social media, through contests, or by offering a discount (other ideas to build your e-mail list here).

When you produce an e-mail, use solid content (to save time, recycle content you’ve produced for your website) and strong call-to-actions to make your recipients want to visit your website. Include strong headlines, images, and videos to capture their attention and keep it.

Social Media

Social media can be useful in two ways: to connect with customers on social media and as an unbiased third-party review of your company. First, social media can be a powerful way to regularly post relevant content that makes customers follow your company—even when they are not contacting you for a sale. Choose your social media platform carefully; it’s more important to create a stellar social media presence on one channel than to be mediocre on many different social media channels. To drive traffic from social media to your website, include posts with your website link in your marketing plan. If you create fresh, high-quality content marketing pieces, add that to the plan.

A solid social media presence can be useful for driving traffic in another way. Include your website in your social media profile and pin a post to the top of the profile with your website link. Users often use your social media page as a way to research your company, and see what past customers think of your business.

Review sites

Research has shown that 88% factor online reviews into their purchasing decision (Source: Search Engine Land). Powerful statistics like this show how important it is to have a solid profile on a review site. Include as much information about your business as is feasible, including your website. Monitor the sites for negative reviews, and use the reviews to showcase your excellent customer service. If you are concerned about the amount of time it takes to monitor the sites, contact a marketing firm that has the tools that can help you efficiently monitor your company’s profiles on the review sites for any negative reviews. Your website and business are going to benefit in the long-term.

Your Top SEO Questions Answered by the Pros

question marks painted on a asphalt road surface signifying seo questionsWe’ve noticed a common theme when we talk to clients about search engine optimization (SEO).  The truth is that even though SEO has been around for awhile, and has evolved into an incontrovertible marketing tool, many business owners and managers have the same questions about SEO.  Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear about SEO—and the answers we have for business owners who need to decide if SEO is right for their business.

What is SEO? What is website optimization?

If you look in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of optimization is “an act, process, or methodology of making something as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible.”  When applying this to getting your business found online, search engine optimization is the processes and content involved in creating an ideal website for search engines and users.  In the past, SEO was focused solely on search engines. Over the years SEO has evolved into a user-focused marketing tool.

Today’s search engines want to deliver quality information for online users, so modern SEO has evolved into a process of optimizing for two target audiences: search engines and your users (know who they are).  Website optimization is an important part of any marketing plan, along with content marketing (which improves your website’s SEO value), social media, and email marketing.

Why should I consider SEO? Is it black hat marketing?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most misunderstood elements of a solid digital marketing plan. Between the myths and the shady SEO vendors of the past (and present), SEO has earned a bad reputation that it really doesn’t deserve.

That being said, some of the SEO tactics used today (and in the past) are considered black hat, which are tactics that are used to manipulate organic results.  Be wary of SEO firms that mention buying links, directing users to non-relevant links, and writing content full of a keyword that doesn’t make sense (completely different than optimized writing).  Using black hat tactics to market your website can result in brutal search engine penalties that can take years to resolve.

The proof that SEO works (without black hat tactics) is in the data.  One of our clients, a local print company, was positioned at the top of search engines just a week after utilizing our SEO technology. Their results were localized, with their company showing up in cities and towns search results within 30 miles of their location, including a major metropolitan area. They also invested in content marketing to keep their site content updated and give their customers value, yielding long-term results; their printing firm has remained at the top of the major search engines since launch. Better search engine results have meant more digital exposure for their business, higher website traffic, and stronger opportunity for online conversions.

Is SEO dead?

SEO has changed, but it is not dead. This is a misperception based on the fact that old search engine optimization tactics (keyword stuffing, spammy links, etc.) don’t work in the evolving world of online marketing. That doesn’t mean SEO is dead—far from it—it means that optimization has evolved into optimized writing and technology that delivers exactly what the search engines want: relevant, valuable content (both text and visual on your website, blog via content marketing, social media, etc.).

To get the results that modern SEO can deliver, business owners and managers can either learn the new and continually evolving art of optimizing a website, blog, and social media with well-researched keywords and topics specifically targeted at your customers or hire the professionals who can (and can keep up with it).  If you are a business with a local audience, you can take that a step farther by utilizing specific local SEO technology that targets customers in communities around each business location.

Is SEO going to get me in trouble with Google?

Black hat SEO (i.e. keyword stuffing, cloaking, etc.) can get your business penalized, but modern SEO tactics do not.  Writing optimized content your users want to read for your website and blog, adding pages to your website that deliver value to your customers, building a solid website with optimal structure—all these tactics gain you favor with Google.

What does SEO do for my website? Why should I care about SEO?

Believe it or not, a beautiful, mobile, and user-friendly website is not enough. “There,” you think, “I’ve invested in this website. Customers come and find me!” Unfortunately that’s not how it works—though there are ways to drive traffic to and optimize your website naturally. Customers have a ton of online options, and studies have shown that they make more than 60% of their purchasing decision online.  That’s where local SEO comes in.  Local SEO can get you at the top of search engine listings in towns and cities within a 10, 20, or 50 mile radius. Even if you don’t sell products online, or have any interest in e-commerce, integrating search engine optimization is a smart marketing strategy because online is where people today are looking for products, services and information (and don’t get us started on the effect of mobile devices on search traffic). Statistics back this trend up:

More and more, American consumers are looking to the internet to find local solutions and information. If you’re not online, you’re not on their radar. With more than 90% of users turning to search engines for information, local SEO technology—like KD Interactive’s (shameless self promotion here)—can get your business website in organic search engine listings using keywords your audience searches for.

How does SEO help a company with multiple locations?

Local SEO can get you at the top of search engine listings in towns and cities within a 10, 20 or 50 mile radius. Even if you don’t sell products online, or have any interest in e-commerce, integrating search engine optimization is a smart marketing strategy because online is where people today are looking for products, services and information (and don’t even get us started on the effect of mobile devices).

Want proof that local SEO works? One of our clients, a flooring company with multiple locations, saw their website traffic double in just four months because of search engine optimization. In 30 days, their unique visits increased 122% and hit an impressive increase of 200%. Website traffic is just a number unless you can convert those visits to customer interest. The flooring company receives form submissions every week from potential customers, with 60% of those visits stemming from their search engine optimization package. If you want to tap into that same local search engine technology to get results for your company, read our blog post about SEO terminology or see it in action.

When should I worry about my website’s optimization? 

Ideally, you should optimize your website before a redesign (along with these other elements of your website) or when launching a new website.  However, it’s never too late to use SEO tactics to improve traffic to your website and online conversions.

What should I look for in a SEO company?

We’re not going to lie to you:  there are a lot of SEO providers who make promises they can’t back up.  A quality SEO provider has:

Years of experience in technology

A good SEO company has years of experience in technology and keeps up-to-date with information about search engine ranking signals, such as page loading speed, links, etc.  SEO is always evolving, and a quality company isn’t stuck in yesterday’s technology.

Doesn’t use black hat SEO

If you hear words during the sales pitch—or in subsequent conversations—like, “cloaking” or “keyword stuffing,”—or they talk in generic topics about buying links or using content from other sites—alarm bells should go off in your head.  Black hat SEO tactics can get your website penalized so stay away from any company that even suggests it.

Provides data to prove their work

Because search engines are always striving to personalize search results, you can’t just go to your computer and see the results of your SEO efforts.  Ask for data that backs up their assurances of a quality job, and shy away from companies that decline to show you proof.  Choose a company that can give you reports detailing your local SEO results.

Can make recommendations about your online presence

A good SEO company can make online marketing recommendations beyond optimizing your website, such as content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing.

5 Tips to Generate More Website Traffic

cursors clicking on a computer generating website trafficYou don’t just put all your time and effort into creating a website to let it sit, and not generate anything more for your business. Screaming to the world, “We’ve got a new website! Come visit it!” just doesn’t work. The good news is generating more website traffic to your website, and, ultimately, more leads to your business isn’t as complicated as it sounds.

Use search engine optimization

Even if you don’t sell products online, or have any interest in e-commerce, integrate search engine optimization into your strategy to generate more website traffic. More than 90% of users turn to search engines for information, and local SEO technology—like KD Interactive’s (shameless self promotion!)—can get your business website in organic search engine listings using long-tail keywords your audience searches for. The increased exposure of a good search engine ranking in turn leads to more clicks, more website traffic, and more conversions.

Create fresh content

Once you’ve created an optimized website (we’ve given you optimization tips here), don’t stop. Keep giving your customers and potential customers—and search engines—content relevant to them through a blog or other content marketing tool. The goal of your effort is to build trust and generate clicks, so it’s essential that you don’t just produce ho-hum content. Produce quality content. Give your customers and potential customers what they want: entertainment, answers to their questions, knowledge. If you optimize that information with relevant keywords that are relatable to your audience, you’ll kill the proverbial two birds with one stone: you’ll show up in search engine listings for keywords your potential customers are searching for and you’ll get more website traffic from your content.

Plan a strong content distribution plan

If you produce quality content, share your content via social media sites, emails to your customers, even as customer service when a question is asked. Once you start writing content, create a calendar of content topics, social media posts, and customer emails.

For your social media posts, use a good scheduling tool, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, to help you manage your social media profiles and schedule posts. Don’t schedule too far ahead of time so you can stay on top of trending topics, and be flexible with your plan when needed. Share relevant content from other sources, and mix your content in. Always link back to your website pages or blog pages to keep generating continual website traffic. Online marketing results occur from regular work, so don’t give up. If you don’t have time to keep up, outsource your efforts to the experts and give the company the necessary information they need to market your business.

Don’t just focus on website traffic

One of our clients, a flooring company, saw their website traffic double in just four months because of search engine optimization. In 30 days, their unique visits increased 122% and hit an impressive increase of 200%. Website traffic is just a number unless you can convert those visits to customer interest. The flooring company receives form submissions every week from potential customers, with 60% of those visits stemming from their search engine optimization package. The moral of this testimonial is that generating more website traffic means nothing if you don’t have a well-designed site with clear call-to-actions that convert your traffic to paying customers.

Integrate your online and off-line marketing

Don’t treat your online marketing as a stand-alone. If possible, create one calendar of on-line and off-line marketing efforts to ensure that you are integrating the two efforts into one, strategic plan. Add your website URL to your mailers, in-store promotions, and advertisements. Include your specials to your blog(s) and social media channels to reach your online and off-line audience, and to meet (and exceed) your goal of generating more website traffic.