SEO & Link Acquisition
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How The Wrong Keyword Strategy Can Destroy Lead Conversion

Your keyword strategy is a cornerstone of your inbound marketing program. It helps you to coordinate your online content across your website and social media profiles, ties in your search engine marketing with your organic search results and gets you found among customers who are looking for your product and service. That’s IF you get it right. If you get the strategy wrong, however, it can actually do the opposite—destroy your lead conversion efforts completely! When is a Keyword Strategy Wrong? Your keyword strategy is unlikely to deliver the results you want if any of these criteria apply: It’s not well researched You’re using mainly highly competitive keywords It doesn’t include long-tail keyword phrases You haven’t researched your competitors and what they’re doing—a primary mistake among marketers, according to HubSpot You’re trying to rank for too many—or too few—keywords Your keywords don’t focus on profitable terms for your industry You don’t moni
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Are You Measuring Your Marketing Efforts Effectively?

Measuring your marketing efforts effectively takes more than simply getting monthly reports on your website’s performance. A recent survey by ITSMA found that marketers generally aren’t measuring the things top executives care about, with the result that the C-Suite typically doesn’t use marketing data to inform business decisions. You can change that today, by implementing approaches that will help you to measure marketing outcomes effectively and develop intelligence that supports your business strategy. Create Clear Objectives The old saying “how long is a piece of string?” applies really well to measuring marketing outcomes. After all, it’s difficult to measure anything unless you know what you’re trying to achieve. Your marketing objectives should support the business goals of your company, both in the short term and the long term. Common marketing objectives include issues such as: Growing your market share to reach a specific percentage Increasing the return on ma
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How To Target Your Ideal Buyer in 6 Steps

When you’re trying to reach a particular audience, your success depends on how thoroughly you’re able to target them. It also depends on your market positioning and segmentation, but to achieve both of those you need, first and foremost, to know who your ideal buyer is—and how to reach him (or her). These six steps will give you a clear road map for how to target your ideal buyer today. Identify Your Customer Profile This is more complex than identifying whether your ideal customer is an individual or a businessperson. You need to determine what solution your product or service offers the buyer. This might seem intuitive, but it’s like Features vs. Benefits—the answer isn t always obvious. For example, what does an Enterprise management company really offer? A product/service, or a solution to a problem? In the B2B environment, it’s necessary to drill down deeper than just identifying companies who can make use of your solution. Is your ideal buyer the “chooser” or th
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How to Know its Time for a Website Redesign

At some point in our lives we’ve all heard someone tell us that first impressions are everything. This is no different for your online presence. Would you let the cobwebs and dust gather in the windows of your physical store front or office, allow the décor to become dated or make the store difficult to peruse? Your website is your online store front or office. This is your gateway to your clientele, your 24-hour access point. Making sure your website is up-to-date means more than just adding your new products or services. Let’s look at the “How, Why and When” of website re-design. How to Determine if you Need a Website Re-Design Determining there is a problem with your website is the first step in finding the right solution. Dated Design, Technology & Content Having a website that is old, clunky and, just generally, out of date is comparable to having floral wallpaper and shag carpet in your house. Make sure you stay with the times, don’t use out-dated techniques and featu
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What is B2B Marketing & Why is it Different?

Over the past two decades B2B marketing has emerged as a separate and distinct discipline in its own right, with significantly different marketing practices from those used to reach the consumer or end user. This has implications that marketers and business owners need to take into account when you’re implementing a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy, to maximize the effectiveness of your investment. Here are the main criteria that make B2B marketing different and unique. Product Types; What to Expect In B2B marketing, products are different from those that are typically distributed in the B2C environment. Firstly, they are often more complex and require a higher level of knowledge and expertise on the part of the buyer than consumer products do. Even in the case of consumer products that are considered more complex, such as motor vehicles or computers, the buyer s choice is based on fairly basic criteria. A car buyer might select a new vehicle based on aesthetics, speed,
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How Content Marketing Works To Drive Credibility & Authority

Building a successful brand these days requires you (or your business) to have credibility and authority in your marketplace. Regardless of the size of your market share, your company, or the number of players in your industry, it’s possible for you to become a business leader in your field. Content marketing is one of the most useful ways of doing this, according to the The Content Marketing Playbook For 2015 from Forrester Research. Here s how content marketing works and how to make it work for you. Creates Thought Leadership & Builds Trust Becoming a thought leader is a vital aspect of building trust with your target audience. Customers are far more likely to connect with and take advice from someone whose opinion they believe to be trustworthy. By creating and distributing suitable content, you spread the word about your knowledge and expertise. Generic content won’t cut it, however; it’s important to produce content that encourages your readers to view things differently,
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Remember When Remarketing: Don’t Let Your Customers Forget You

Average conversion rates for websites range from 2% to 10%, depending on your industry and your conversion goals. If you have an exceptionally high conversion rate for visitor to lead of 30%, that still means that 70% of your visitors leave your website, possibly never return, and thus never convert. Fortunately, you can capture those visitors attention again through remarketing. In this post, we re going to look at what remarketing is and where you can use it to have a second chance at conversion. What is Remarketing? Remarketing is advertising targeted at people who have visited your website. It works by implementing code on your website that will tag visitors to your website using a pixel or a cookie. As your visitor moves on to other websites and social networks, they will be greeted by advertisements you have created based on the pages they visited. They will look just like other advertisements, but they will make your website visitor remember your website, products, and services
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What You Can Learn from the Google Page Quality Rating Guidelines

Have you ever wanted to go inside the mind of Google to figure out exactly what makes one page more valuable than another? If so, then the leak of Google s Page Quality Rating Guidelines is the answer. This 160-page document, released in March 2014, outlines what Search Quality Evaluators (raters) should look for when determining whether a webpage that is returned in search results for a particular keyword meets Google quality standards. In this post, we re going to look at what you can learn from these guidelines and apply to your own website and webpages. Your Industry Determines the Level of Quality You Must Meet  Google classifies certain types of pages as YMYL Your Money or Your Life. These are pages that could have an effect on a person s wallet, health, or overall happiness. Pages that fall under these classifications must meet very high Page Quality rating standards. These pages include any that handle money (shopping, money transfers, bill pays, online banking, online store,
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How to Be Mobile Friendly; The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Functionality

As we push into 2015, there has been a fundamental shift in the way the general populace access & utilizes the internet. With the majority of all internet usage being via mobile, not only is there value in putting your best mobile foot forward, but the mobile community is becoming increasingly impossible to ignore. With this paradigm shift toward mobile access, the question quickly changes from “why should I be mobile friendly?” to “how do I become more mobile friendly?” On the heels of this shift, Google recently announced their intent to favor websites that have full mobile functionality, making the need for a seamless & fluid mobile experience no longer an option as there will be an inherent SEO benefit to ensuring your online brand offers nothing but the best mobile experience possible. “ When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more pe
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Why Persuasive Copy Is A Powerful Website Conversion Tool

Converting visitors into qualified sales leads is the primary reason why most companies build websites. Sure, there are other factors to take into account, writes George Glover in Business2Community. These could be building thought leadership, maintaining globally-accessible business hours or  simply showcasing your message, but—let’s face it—the purpose of having a website is to increase your sales. To do that, it’s essential that your website converts visitors into leads. Persuasive copy is a powerful website conversion tool for achieving this, for several reasons: Grabs Attention The pen is mighty, and potent words have been used since the beginning of time to grab attention. Persuasive copy captures the user’s imagination and interest by telling stories and painting mental images. Imagination increases his (or her) desire, and desire converts leads. Good copy is borne out of listening. When you know what your prospect is looking for, it’s possible to give it to him i
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Why The Inbound Methodology Works: Attract, Engage, Convert

Marketing is essential for ongoing growth of your company, and most business owners are constantly looking for new ways to generate and convert leads. To be effective, however, any marketing needs to fully understand, document and target your buyer personas. Inbound marketing, which finds its roots in permission marketing (a term coined by Seth Godin), manages to attract, engage and convert prospects primarily as a result of its methodology. How it Works Inbound marketing generates demand for your product or service in your target market by: Creating awareness of your offering Attracting prospective clients to your company Engaging with them early in their search Nurturing prospects through the key points in the sales funnel until they are ready to purchase “Closing loops” in the process by using marketing automation methods to move prospects through key steps in the journey, depending on what stage they are in when they connect with your company Converting visitors to leads, l
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20 Ways To Improve Online Conversion Fast

Whether the goal of your website is to have customers join your mailing list to generate leads or to make a purchase, increasing the percentage of visitors who complete your desired action is known as website conversion. Taking steps to improve online conversion rate will lower the cost per acquisition (CPA) and positively impact all areas of your marketing strategy. The following are 20 ways to improve your website conversion fast and start realizing greater returns. Load Speed  Improve the loading speed of your site. Various studies have shown potential customers will leave a site if it hasn t loaded within three seconds. Over 75 percent of consumers have gone to a competitor site during peak search times if their original choice was slow to load. Website Optimizations You will lose a significant percentage of potential conversions if your site is only optimized for one or two browser. Be sure it displays well on all browsers (check current stats on browser usage) so you do
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How to Evaluate Your Marketing Agency; Are They Right for You?

Bringing the appropriate marketing agency on board as a strategic partner to promote your business is a difficult process. During the selection phase focus is on static, qualitative characteristics as opposed to quantitative aspects which can be negotiated before finalizing a contract. When beginning your evaluation to determine if your agency is right for you, understanding the focus of the different marketing agency types available can prove invaluable. Some of the most common are: Branding Agencies- Considered boutique agencies, branding agencies develop an identity for your business or product of focus. Services focus on the look and reputation of your brand s appeal to your target market. Advertising Agency- Focus is on the planning and buying of media, such as print ads and television commercials. While services may include internet marketing and branding, advertising is still the central aim. Inbound Marketing Agency- Content-based strategies designed to align your business
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13 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Online Marketing

It’s a new day, and there’s a new way to market your products and services. Gone are the old methods of “interruption marketing,” which used mass media to push out your message to a huge audience who, more than likely, just tuned it out. Online marketing has brought the ability to reach customers right to the door of every company, and there are multiple reasons why you should invest in online marketing & join the digital bandwagon: It’s Where the Customers Are As of June 2014, 87.7% of adults in the U.S. and Canada are online, according to Internet World Stats. What’s more, 97% of those use online media for local shopping. So the old arguments that “our customers aren’t online” and “we don’t sell internationally” simply don’t hold water any longer. Reaches a Wider Audience Because your prospective clients are almost all online, you can reach a much wider audience that you would with any other form of marketing. Traditional forms of advertising have always to
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8 Reports Your Marketing Agency Need To Be Building Every Month

Reports are a vital tool for determining whether your marketing expenditure is delivering value. They’re only useful, however, if you receive—and use—them regularly. What’s equally important, however, is that you are reviewing the right metrics to provide the information you need. Here are 8 critical reports your marketing agency need to be building you each month. Conversions Tracking and monitoring conversions indicates the value your various marketing channels contribute to your overall strategic goals, according to HubSpot. Conversion reports should provide in-depth information on factors such as: Macro conversions, which are those supporting your overarching business goals such as submission of contact forms, scheduling a consultation or making a purchase. Micro conversions, which are steps towards the macro conversions including the length of time visitors spend on a page, how they interact with your social media and pay-per-click results. Cost per conversion, or the
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How To Use Relationship Marketing To Drive New Leads

The purpose of relationship marketing is not to land a transaction, but to build long-term customer loyalty and engagement. Client relationship marketing (CRM) has been shown to drive new leads at a higher rate than traditional efforts, according to Keli Bennet, Consumer Marketing Director at Abbot Laboratories in Illinois. Building relationships typically takes the form of regular two-way, permission-based communication designed to achieve dialog with the client. Here’s how to use relationship marketing & put it to work for your company. Building Credibility Before you can expect prospective customers to be at all interested in establishing a relationship with your company, you’ll need to build up credibility and trust. Become a “center of influence” for your industry by developing your personal profile as a business and thought leader. Some of the ways you can do this are: Maintain visibility through public commentary, press releases and statements. Develop a social media pr
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8 Reasons You Need To Hire an SEO Expert

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to enable your website to rank well in the search engine results pages (SERPs) of major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. A study by Compete.com showed that 53% of clicks from users searching online go to the first result on the list. Reaching the first page of results has always been challenging, but with the constant changes in the way Google indexes content it has become even more so. Bad SEO can harm your business and your online profile, so it’s imperative that your optimization is done both correctly and cost-effectively. Here are 8 reasons why you should hire an expert in SEO to do it for you. Time Saving Attempting to do your own SEO is hugely time-consuming, especially if you or your Chief Marketing Officer is an SEO novice. One of the primary reasons why companies outsource various marketing functions is to save time, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 report on B2B benchmarks, budget and trends. F
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7 Ways to Improve Google Rankings & Protect Them

With Google updating its algorithm once or twice every day, it’s challenging to stay abreast of it. Improving your Google rankings is vital for you to do well in search engine results pages (SERPs) so you need to know what factors the algorithm uses to determine your position. The good news is that there are some tried-and-tested ways to improve Google rankings, regardless of the miniscule changes they keep making. #1: Stop Gaming the System Following best practices is the only real way to benefit your rankings. If anyone is wise to “gaming” the system it’s Google, so avoid anything that could be considered “black hat” SEO. Methods used in the past to try and fool the algorithm include keyword stuffing, link farming, the use of hidden or tiny text, and duplicate content. None of these benefit your Google ranking, and other “tricks” are likely to be dealt with just as ruthlessly. The latest gaming practice to fall under the hammer is doorway pages, which are use
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How To Define Marketing Goals For Your Company

To create comprehensive marketing goals for your company, it’s essential to start with a solid, achievable business plan that includes having a clear understanding of your competition. This is the only way to develop a marketing plan that addresses gaps and delivers the results you want. Here is how to define marketing goals for your company to ensure measurable growth now and moving forward: Why Marketing Goals are Important Having well-defined marketing goals provides you with a strategic roadmap or playbook for achieving your business goals. This is useful for several reasons: It gives you direction, so you can plan ahead of time to achieve specific objectives. You’re able to deal with the ebbs and flows of your market, which enables you to anticipate and plan for a change in advance instead of reacting to it after the fact. According to SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses, goals keep you focused on the main prize whi
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How To Be A Great Client for your Marketing Agency

Every company wants to have good clients, but not everyone knows how to be one. In the words of John Costello, Chief Global Marketing-Innovation Officer of Dunkin Brands: The best way to be a better client is to be a better partner, with clear objectives, open communication, quick, thoughtful decisions and mutual respect, where you both listen to each other s point of view. Nice words, but is it a case of easily spoken, not so easily done? Here are some time tested methods on how to be a great client for your marketing agency. Sustain a Sound Client/Vendor Relationship The secret sauce for achieving this is to view your relationship with the marketing agency as a partnership. Both the client and the vendor have the same objectives: to see the client’s marketing program succeed. There’s absolutely no value for the agency in having the client fail—if the agency wants to retain the client’s business, improve its standing in the business community and realize growth, it has to be
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Where to Post Your Content: Content Marketing 101

Developing content for your content marketing strategy is only the beginning. Where you choose to place your content can affect the type of results you will see from your content marketing. In this post, we re going to look at the reasons why you need to utilize both on-site and off-site content placement, and the advantages of each. On-Site Content  Creating content for your website is essential in a variety of ways. From a search standpoint, blog content gives Google more pages to index, leading to increased visibility in search results. Regularly updated blog content gives people a reason to come back to your website and subscribe to your newsletter. Plus, it gives you and your website visitors something to share on social media. On-site content also gives other website and blog owners a reason to link to you. When you are performing outreach, you may not be able to get someone to link to your products page. But you may be able to get them to link to a great tutorial that has a ca
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Mobilegeddon: Is Your Business Prepared?

With Google's new mobile-centric update, dubbed Mobilegeddon, we find ourselves asking the questions "What Can We Expect?" & "What Should We Be Doing to Prepare?" With a rapidly approaching release date of April 21st, Google promised 2 seemingly minor changes that have potentially massive ramification. Firstly is their intent to offer a SEO ranking benefit to any website that meets their stringent requirements to be labeled as mobile friendly. Secondly is the injection of android apps, from the Google Play Store, in organic search results. If you haven't seen it yet, here is what Google had to say about these changed in their announcement they had released on February 26th, 2015: “ When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’v
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How To Use Offers To Convert Visitors To Leads

One of the primary reasons for using inbound marketing as your sole online marketing strategy is to develop prospective customers and generate sales. Your website might be attracting a substantial number of visitors, but unless you are “capturing” usable information it is unlikely those visitors will ever become your clients. Online offers are a non-invasive, non-threatening way to draw users into your circle of influence, and at the same time give them a taste of what you can do for them. Defining an “Offer” In the context of inbound marketing, an offer is usually a piece of informative content that you provide on your website. The content is free and typically can be downloaded electronically, although hard copy items such as booklets, magazines and CDs sent by mail sometimes accompany it. Offers can take the form of: eBooks, white papers, and educational guides Videos, webinars or podcasts Slide shows, templates, case studies Photos, infographics and/or other imagery Offer
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9 Common Misconceptions About Social Media As A Marketing Channel

Social media often gets a bad rap with small business owners, if they buy into the misconceptions about its value as a marketing channel. We’re here to set the record straight on some of these common beliefs: 1. Social media is fun, but it’s only good for entertainment. The perception that social media is not a tool for business is one that’s been around for some time. Harvard University recently joined the ranks of believers, however, with a Facebook following of more than 4 million. The institution is also making good use of Twitter to connect and network with people from all industries, proving that there s more to it than entertainment value. 2. Our customers aren’t on social media, it’s only for teenagers. This is a common objection from the C-suite, and nothing could be further from the truth. Whether your target audience is baby  boomers or millenials, it’s on social media: Millenials, who are a primary target market for most industries, check their smartphones o
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How to Maximize Your Online Content Budget; What are You Wasting?

Rich and compelling content is what drives online business more and more each day. As business owners we need to ask ourselves, is the development cost or time worth the outcome? Many business owners know that they should be blogging to promote their business with fresh content, but often are doing so without clearly defined goals in mind. Have a Clear Objective in Mind When Starting Out With any great content marketing campaign there are defined goals, a roll call of project assets needed, and all potential roadblocks are mapped out prior to the campaign execution. Know what it will take and plan it out in advance with clear timelines defined for execution. You can’t define clear goals unless you know who you are trying to reach with your message. Ensure that the message matches the audience by utilizing buyer personas. Having a process to uncover this by connecting with your sales or management teams can be hugely valuable in refining your campaign goals. Having a discussion among
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