Monthly Archives: February 2015

Unlocking the Local Potential (&Results) of Local SEO

seo image_croppedOur Twitter bio says, “We’re a group of problem solvers with a goal: increase our clients’ website traffic through #socialmediamarketing, #contentmarketing, #websitedesign and #SEO.” We take our social media profiles as personally as we take our clients’ goals (which are VERY personally), so we’re not lying when we say we achieve your online marketing goals.

Recently we were contacted by Laser Tech Systems, a local company, who wanted to get on the digital map. They had utilized traditional marketing methods, and were looking for online marketing solutions. After a full analysis of their business, products and industry, we recommended two online marketing tools to get them found in local search engine results, generate website traffic and keep them at the top of search engines in local towns and cities. We got them at the top of search engines just a week later. Most importantly, 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. Our work yielded long-term results; their printing firm has remained at the top of the major search engines—Google, Yahoo and Bing—since launch. Better search engine results have meant more digital exposure for their business, and stronger opportunity for online conversions.

So how can you get the same results?

  1. Choose a firm that can prove they can get your business found on major search engines. Make them prove it with reports and testimonials, not just promises. No optimization firm can see into the future, but we can prove the value of our product based on the success of other clients who have used our optimization services.
  2. Ask the hard questions. Ask potential firms if they are resellers, or if all the work is done in-house. Don’t overpay a reseller who outsources your optimization work to another firm. Another question: is your SEO localized? Users want local results when searching for products. Being at the top of the results for Tampa, FL customers when your store is based out of Madison, WI is not going to bring customers to your door.
  3. Trust the professionals. This seems counterintuitive after the last two points. Once you are confident in your firm selection, trust their professional writers. Give them the information specific to your business—other marketing materials and what your company excels at—so they can produce content for your website that have the same voice as your other marketing efforts.
  4. Contact KD Interactive. We check the boxes on all the above criteria, and can meet your online marketing goals. Your goals are our goals, and we deliver results—-just as we did for Laser Tech Systems, and continue to do.

5 (More) Online Marketing Mistakes You’re Making

company execMistakes breed inspiration, and inspiration breeds blog posts that help us all improve. We’re building on our last post 5 Online Marketing Mistakes You’re Making with five more common mistakes that we see business owners and marketers make every day marketing on the web and social media. Are you making these common online marketing mistakes?

  1. Not remembering the #1 rule of marketing. Though it’s the rule of successful marketing, many business owners and marketers forget that we’re reaching out to people—real, breathing people. That’s why it’s so important to use another guideline when producing marketing pieces: the two R’s of Social Media Marketing. What do your customers want? Who are you talking to?
  2. Ignoring hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. Hashtags are a valuable way to reach “outside the box”—and, no, we’re not talking about thinking creatively. Adding hashtags to your tweets and Instagram posts exposes your tweets and posts to another audience—to users who are following the hashtag or looking for information on that topic. If you’re tweet or post is useful, this is a sure-fire way to gain followers.
  3. Thinking your social media sites will grow on their own. If you want to gain followers, fans—whatever the social media user base is referred to on your social media site—you need to tell people. Use these ways to spread the word about your site, and don’t forget to give people a reason to want to follow your site.
  4. Making “knee jerk” decisions. This happens to business owners in so many different ways: by responding to an angry customer without thinking (find out how to respond professionally here), selecting an SEO firm without doing research, by tweeting or posting without thinking about the ramifications of what you’re saying. Proper social media posts, choosing the SEO firm that gets results, even responding to customers via your website or social media, takes careful thought (and sometimes training). If you don’t have time, don’t risk it. Look into outsourcing, training or to other business owners for information.
  5. By responding to your customers once a week. It’s not enough! The average American’s time online is growing, giving them more opportunities to reach out to your company with questions through your website and social media. Ignoring their questions, or waiting too long, is a definite way to lose your customers’ interest, and their business. Respond to inquiries (read how to set up an efficient customer service system here) within a few hours of the question, even if it’s just with a “Thank you for your question. Can you please give us more information so we can answer your question completely?”

Effective online marketing takes time and effort, so don’t cut corners. Do your research and keep up with SEO and social media marketing trends, or hire experts who can. You’ll find the rewards from a well-thought out online presence to be worth the time and funds, plus you’ll save the embarassment of common online marketing mistakes.

The Dark Side of Social Media Marketing

social media_croppedWe know this blog post seems contradictory for a firm that believes in social media marketing, and even offers social media marketing services. We can even hear the question, “Wait, there’s a downside to social media???” The fact is: business social media marketing is a world of untapped potential with endless possibilities. We’ve seen customers make purchasing decisions on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ve seen potential customers become loyal customers because of social media. That being said, businesses have to remember that marketing opportunity comes the potential for negatives. The more you know about the negatives of social media marketing, and common mistakes other businesses make, the more prepared you can be to avoid them:

  1. Losing business because of slow response times. Customers expect prompt responses when they ask questions on social media. What is a prompt response? Think minutes or, at worst, a few hours—not days or weeks.
  2. Brand image problems associated with an angry online customer. This does happen, and sometimes it happens in spite of all your best efforts. The most important part is to respond, and respond professionally and quickly. Try to take your discussions with the angry customer into messages where you can gather details and offer customer service. Just make sure you respond promptly—an unanswered angry customer is an angry customer who posts disparaging comments and reviews all over your social media pages until they get an answer.
  3. Losing customers because of sporadic social media posts. This negative is especially true for your younger customers who rely on online engagement with companies. If they don’t see you (or hear from you), they are not going to turn to you for information and questions when it’s time to buy.
  4. Unfavorable business reviews. Don’t delete the unfavorable reviews, or angry customer comments. Customers see this as hiding from the truth and manipulation. Rather, respond to their reviews with a professional reply, and ask them to message you with details about their unfavorable encounter. Ask them questions, offer them a discount (but make it a meaningful offer so you don’t insult them) and promise them better assistance in the future. Remember, in today’s day and age, any encounter with a customer can go viral—both the good and the bad.
  5. Backlash from inappropriate business social media posts. As a rule of thumb, don’t post or tweet about politics or religion. Stick to what you know—your products, services and industry—without selling too much. Before you post anything, think “how will this be viewed by my customers?” If your post can be taken in any negative way, err on the side of caution. Don’t post or tweet it.

The good news is that 90% of these problems can be avoided with education and research or outsourcing to an affordable social media marketing agency. Good social media marketing agencies offer affordable social media marketing packages, so you can select what’s right for your business. Hiring a social media marketing agency also means hiring social media experts who can answer all your social media marketing questions, and make recommendations based on what they’ve seen work for other businesses. Really, social media marketing is simple: to harness the positives, avoid the negatives by contacting the experts that can help you tap into that marketing potential.

5 Mistakes You’re Making in Your Online Marketing

company execThey may be unintentional, or the result of bad advice. Whatever the cause, business owners with good intentions trying to harness these new web trends and technologies repeatedly make the same online marketing mistakes—and don’t achieve online marketing results because of it. Are you making the most common online marketing mistakes? You don’t have to walk around with a label on your back, or shout it to the world, but you should be aware of the most common online marketing mistakes:

  1. Thinking that a functional and beautiful website is enough. “There,” you think, “I’ve invested in this website. Customers come and find me!” Unfortunately that’s not how it works. Customers have a lot of online options, and studies have shown that they make more than 60% of their purchasing decision online. Another stat: more than 90% begin their internet search with a search engine. So how do you get your new website found? Contact a reputable company that can achieve results with optimization, updated content and social media marketing. These three concepts get your website found by local customers—and keep you there.
  2. Putting the same posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram. Social media sites are not “one size fits all.” Each site has its own audience and set of rules. Your manual or automated cross post is going to be obviously out of place and not achieve the results you set out to achieve. If you want a presence on all social media sites, outsource your social media marketing to the experts.
  3. Not making regular social media posts. Neglecting your social media pages, or posting sporadic bursts of  posts and tweets, is an unintentional way to get lost among the thousands of social media pages who update regularly.
  4. Not backing up your marketing with excellent customer service—including online customer service. If you are online, if you have a Facebook page or Twitter profile, customers expect you to respond within hours, if not minutes. Whether it’s an email through your website, or a post from one of your customers, use these steps to build a system to respond, both professionally and promptly.
  5. Selling too much. We can hear you, “but that’s why I’m online! That’s why I invest my time and money.” Today’s customers don’t want to be barraged by advertisements and sales pitches. You’ll find that your engagement numbers—those responding, liking, favoriting and asking questions—quickly decrease. Don’t get us wrong: it’s okay to offer discounts (in fact customers follow your company for that reason), but your job is to be helpful and offer your customers assistance so they can find what they need. If you don’t know how, outsource your online marketing efforts to a company that can.

Knowing and not knowing the rules and latest trends in social media can mean the difference between social media success and failure. So why would you trust just anyone to manage your social media pages? Don’t trust your efforts to any intern or the youngest employee in your company. Trust your company’s image, and social media success, to social media experts who can maintain a stellar social media presence—and achieve the goals you set out to achieve when you started your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram profile.