Blog2019-06-09T08:12:17-04:00

What Is Domain Authority and How It Can Be Improved

Even the best on-page SEO efforts aren’t enough to rank on Google. Today, the search engine accounts for over 200 factors when it determines a SERP’s pecking order, so it’s nearly impossible to optimize your website and content for each of its ranking factors.

But even though you can’t optimize for all of Google’s ranking factors, you can still optimize for one of the search engine’s most important ranking factors — domain authority.

From Google’s perspective, domain authority is like your website’s reputation as a thought leader. The search engine uses your domain authority to make sure you can provide the highest-quality content about your specific subject matter. If you do, you’ll have good domain authority and Google will boost your content’s rankings. If you don’t, you’ll have bad domain authority and they won’t rank your content.

read more here…

June 22nd, 2019|

Instagram for B2B?

Instagram for B2B businesses

Some familiar names are doing great B2B outreach on Instagram: MailChimp, LinkedIn, Shopify, Zendesk, InvisionAp. Some of the common characteristics: adoption of video, highlighting the efforts of their employees, using colorful and original images, tapping staff members to deliver remarks, and delivering inspirational quotes/remarks.

June 14th, 2019|

Does Adding a Blog to a Website Help SEO? Yes, Here Are 6 Reasons Why

Does Blogging Help SEO?
For just about any question or need you have, you know Google is there. For many people, the wildly popular search engine is their first stop when trying to look for just about anything.

That means that no matter what type of website you have, if you want people to find it, you need it to show up in the search engine. And that’s hard.

One of the best things you can do to improve your chances of ranking high in the search engines is to start a blog on your website.

Does Blogging Really Help SEO?
Yes, it does. That’s the simple answer. But having a blog isn’t in and of itself a ranking factor.

Blogging is good for SEO because it helps with a number of things that are important ranking factors. When you have a blog that’s updated regularly with blog posts that are high quality and on topics relevant to your audience, it can make a huge difference to how your overall website performs in the search engines.

There are six main reasons why.

1. Blogging keeps your website fresh and current.
If you ever happen upon a website that you realize hasn’t been updated in years, you probably immediately lose some trust in the information you’re seeing. The company it represents could have gone out of business completely or the website could be providing information that’s been completely debunked or changed since that last update.

Google doesn’t want to deliver its searchers outdated information. Websites that are regularly updated signal to them that the website is alive and offering fresh content. It also gives the search engine algorithms more reason to index your website more often, keeping it more on their radar over time.

You’re probably not going to have reason to update your homepage frequently (and it wouldn’t necessarily be a good business move to do so), so a blog is a more practical tool for adding new content to your website on a regular basis.

2. A blog keeps people on your website for longer.
Google’s number one priority is providing the people performing searches with the information they’re looking for, so they’ll keep coming back to use Google again. If someone who does a search clicks on the first link, then finds it unhelpful and immediately leaves to go back to the search page – that tells Google that the first result wasn’t as helpful as they thought. On the other hand, when someone clicks on a result and stays on the website for a while, that signals to Google that this website is actually very helpful.

While Google hasn’t said outright that dwell time, or the time that people spend on your website once they land on it, is definitely a ranking factor, they’ve made other statements that make it clear it’s something they pay attention to and impart value to.

Someone who comes to your website from a blog post that shows up in the search results is going to have more reason to stick around for a while and read the whole thing than someone who lands on a page with less text or information.

And that becomes even more the case with longer, more comprehensive posts. SEO researchers have found that long form blog posts tend to perform better than shorter ones – the average first-page result on Google is nearly 2,000 words long.

3. Blogging helps you target long-tail keywords.
A lot of people start out doing SEO wanting to aim for the most relevant keywords for your business. For example, if you sell camping gear, you want to show up on page one for the term “camping gear.”

While that’s a nice goal, unless you’re the biggest camping gear brand in the country, you’re probably going to have a hard time landing a top spot for that search. SEO is really competitive. The best bet for most brands is to look for longer, more specific keywords people are searching for that are relevant to the business and try to rank for those.

These are called long-tail keywords and they’re extremely important for any SEO strategy – half of all searches are for terms that are four words or longer. But they can be awkward to try to fit into your product pages. However, they’re the perfect kind of terms to target in a blog post. A store that sells camping gear can use their blog posts to provide information on terms like “best camping gear for cold weather” or “what do you need when you go car camping?”

These searches don’t attract as much traffic as “camping gear” does, but they come from people clearly in your target audience of campers and, if you can make it onto page one, you’ll get way more traffic from these topics than you would on page five or ten for broader more popular terms.

4. A blog gives you opportunities for internal linking.
So much of SEO is about links and internal links are the easiest ones for you to get since you can create them for yourself. Failing to include internal links on your website that points users from one page on the site to another is one of the simplest SEO mistakes you can make.

While you can probably find some good internal linking possibilities on the main pages of your website, once you start publishing blog posts, the opportunities will really blossom. As you add more pages on various but related topics, you add more opportunities to naturally link those pages to each other.

Every time you do so, you can strategically use the anchor text to better tell Google what the page you’re linking to is about – strengthening its connection to your target keywords in how the algorithm sees it.

5. A quality blog gives others sites more reasons to link back to your site.
Those internal links matter, but the hardest part of SEO is earning external links. For Google to see your website as trustworthy and authoritative, other sites (and respected ones) have to link back to yours. It’s not impossible to get external links without a blog, but it’s much, much harder.

When you write a blog you fill your website with page after page of valuable information. Any time another website decides it’s valuable to their readers to point them to useful information on a different site, there’s a far higher likelihood that your website will provide that information that’s worth linking to if you’ve got a bunch of great blog posts.

Research bears this out. HubSpot has found that companies that have a blog on their website earn up to 97% more inbound links. It just makes sense that more websites will link to that really helpful post you wrote about how to find the best Mother’s Day gift for a picky mom than to your homepage.

6. A blog helps you connect with your audience.
This isn’t a direct linking factor like links are, but it is something that significantly contributes to linking factors. When your audience reads a post they love, they’re more likely to share it, drive more traffic to it, come back to your website again to see more of your content and maybe even sign up for your email list. When you get lots of traffic and repeat visitors, that shows Google that people like your website and raises your authority level in their algorithm.

And while that’s pretty great from an SEO perspective, it’s ultimately more important to the success of your website than where you are in the rankings. People in your target audience visiting your website, connecting with it, and becoming regular followers is more valuable than any #1 spot on Google (that’s the whole reason you want the spot in Google to begin with).

A blog is a good way to make those connections and start a continued relationship with the people you want to reach.

June 8th, 2019|

A Guide to Brand Awareness

Learn how to boost your brand awareness and positively impact your marketing efforts, consumer perception, and revenue.

Have you ever heard people refer to themselves as “Apple people,” “Nike people,” or “Trader Joe’s” people?

This is what brand awareness can do for a brand: embed itself into people’s lifestyles and purchase habits so that consumers don’t have to think twice before becoming a customer, time and time again.

This guide will help you better understand brand awareness, establish it among your audience, and build campaigns that allow it to continually grow and morph with your business. Let’s dive in.

What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness represents how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how well they recognize it. Brands with high brand awareness are generally referred to as “trending,” “buzzworthy, or simply “popular.” Establishing brand awareness is valuable when marketing and promoting your company and products, especially in the early stages of a business.

Brand awareness might seem like a vague concept, and in truth, it is. For those marketers and business owners out there who like to gauge success with neat and tidy numbers, brand awareness will likely ruffle your feathers.

But just because it isn’t a metric that can be perfectly determined doesn’t mean it doesn’t carry value. Brand awareness is incredibly important for business success and overall marketing goals. Here’s why.

Brand Awareness Fosters Trust

In a world where consumers rely on extensive research and others’ opinions before making a simple purchase, brand trust is everything. Once a consumer bonds to your brand, they’re more likely to make repeat purchases with little to no forethought –– which then bridges the gap between trust and loyalty.

Brand awareness establishes that brand trust. When you put a proverbial face to your brand name, consumers can trust easier. Brand awareness efforts give your brand a personality and outlet to be sincere, receive feedback, and tell a story. These are all ways that we, as humans, build trust with one another. The human/brand relationship isn’t any different.

Brand Awareness Creates Association

When you’ve had a paper cut, I bet you’ve put on a Band-Aid. When you had a pressing question, I’m sure you’ve Googled it. When you needed to make a few copies, I’m guessing that you Xeroxed them. And when you’ve packed for a nice picnic, I’m willing to bet you grabbed a Coke to drink.

Am I correct? Most likely. But … notice how the some of the words above are capitalized. These are brands, not nouns or verbs.

Speaking in brand-less terms, Band-Aid should be referred to as bandage, Google, as a search engine, and Xerox as a copier. But it’s more fun to refer to the brand itself, even if we aren’t using their specific product.

That’s what brand awareness does. It associates actions and products with particular brands, subconsciously encouraging us to replace common words with branded terms. And before you know it, simple paper cuts or picnics are doing the marketing for us.

Brand Awareness Builds Brand Equity

Brand equity describes a brand’s value, which is determined by consumer experiences with and overall perception of the brand. Positive experiences and perception equal positive brand equity, and the same goes for negative notions.

Here are a few valuable things that come from positive brand equity:

  • Higher prices due to higher perceived value
  • A higher stock price
  • The ability to expand business through product or service line extensions
  • Greater social impact due to brand name value
  • How does a brand establish (and increase) brand equity? By building brand awareness and consistently promoting positive experiences with the brand. Brand awareness is the foundation of brand equity.

Once a consumer is aware of a brand, they start to recognize it without assistance, seek it out to make a purchase, begin to prefer it over other similar brands, and establish a loyalty that not only spurs on other purchases but also inspires recommendations to family and friends.

That my friends, is why brand awareness is so important. It establishes trust with your customers, creates positive associations, and builds invaluable brand equity that allows your brand to become a household name and consumer staple.

How to Establish Brand Awareness

Brand awareness among your audience and the general public doesn’t happen overnight. It also doesn’t happen from a simple advertisement or marketing campaign.

Strong brand awareness is a result of multiple simultaneous efforts that extend beyond trying to get paying customers.

If you expect to raise awareness of your brand by running a few product advertisements on Facebook, you won’t get very far. Not only will the consumer be focused on the product (not the brand), but the ad will also lack impact beyond a simple sale.

Here are some ways to establish a solid brand awareness foundation and make a lasting impact with your audience:

Be a Person, Not a Company

When you get to know a new friend, what do you like to discover about them? I like to learn about hobbies, passions, likes and dislikes, and more. I also pay attention to how they speak, what they like to talk about, and what stuff gets them excited.

These are the traits your brand should determine and promote about itself. To leave an impact with your audience, you’ve got to define yourself as more than a company that sells stuff. How else would you define yourself? What words would you use if you had to introduce your brand to a new friend?

Socialize

Introvert or extrovert, outgoing or quiet, all humans benefit from social contact and spending time with one another. It’s how we stay connected, learn new things, and become known by others.

The same goes for your brand. If you only attempt to connect with others when trying to make a sale or get support, you won’t be known as anything beyond a business with a singular intention (and the same goes for a person).

To raise awareness of your brand, you’ve got to be social. Post on social media about things unrelated to your product or services. Interact with your audience by asking questions, commenting on posts, or retweeting or sharing content you like. Treat your social accounts as if you were a person trying to make friends, not a business trying to make money.

Over 50% of brand reputation comes from online sociability. Being social leads to greater awareness and simply being known.

Tell a Narrative

Storytelling is an incredibly powerful marketing tactic, whether you’re marketing products or promoting your brand. Why? Because it gives something real for your audience to latch onto.

Crafting a narrative around your brand humanizes it and gives it depth. And weaving this said narrative into your marketing inherently markets your brand alongside your products or services.

What should your narrative be about? Anything, as long as it’s true. It can be the narrative of your founder, the tale of how your business had its first product idea, or the little-engine-that-could story of how your small business made it in this big world.

People like hearing stories about each other. Authenticity is impactful, and it can lead to a big boost in brand awareness.

Make Sharing Easy

Whatever your industry, product offering, or marketing strategies, make it easy for your audience to share your content. This could be blog posts, sponsored content, videos, social media posts, or product pages. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s shareable.

Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective way to establish trust and familiarity among customers. If someone sees that a friend or family member is recommending a product or service, they’ll take notice of that product … and brand. Is this a brand worth exploring? Do they have other great products I can rely on? What are their social accounts like, and what do they talk about?

If you make it easy to post about your stuff, consumers will raise brand awareness for you by simply clicking “Share”.

Brand awareness is about impact.

It’s about interacting with your audience in ways that don’t only ask for money, participation, or loyalty.

Imagine if you met a new person who wanted to be your friend. If they asked for any of the above, you’d probably laugh and walk away, right? Not only is that a shallow approach to friendship, but it also leaves no lasting impact on you.

The same goes for establishing brand awareness among your audience.

How to Increase Brand Awareness

What about expanding your established brand awareness and building on that strong foundation? What can you do as a brand to campaign for awareness and constantly increase it?

May 28th, 2019|

The Importance of the Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Pixel allows you to automatically create custom audiences of users who have visited and/or taken specific actions on your website (i.e., filled out a sign-up form, visited a product page, etc.). These audiences can then be used to create highly segmented retargeting lists.

I still hear from Facebook advertisers who aren’t currently using the Facebook pixel — or aren’t using it to its full potential. Excuses range from confusion and intimidation to ignorance regarding whether it’s needed at all.

Is the Facebook pixel needed? Heck yeah, it is. For every reason imaginable.

Without the Facebook pixel, you’re limiting yourself from the most popular targeting options. You aren’t able to accurately track conversions (how in the world do you without the pixel?). You can’t optimize for conversions. You can’t do any of the fun stuff.

You know… the fun stuff that leads to measurable results.

The Facebook Pixel allows you to utilize the following…

When the pixel is on your website, Facebook knows when someone visits. They know what page they visited and when. As a result, you can create some pretty amazing audiences.

1. Website Custom Audiences

Everything on this list is important, but I would have a fraction of the success I’m having with Facebook ads without Website Custom Audiences. They are amazing.

– All of your website visitors during the past 1-180 days
– People who visited a particular page or group of pages
– People who visited a particular page but not others
– People who visited during the past 180 days, but not lately
– People who executed certain events X number of times or valued at X dollars
– People who were within the top 5%, 10% or 25% of most active visitors

2. Standard Events
With Standard Events, you can inject a little bit of extra code on specific pages to tell Facebook that a general type of event happened.

Standard Events include the following:

– Search
– View Content
– Add to Cart
– Add to Wishlist
– Initiate Checkout
– Add Payment Info
– Purchase
– Lead
– Complete Registration

3. Custom Conversions
Since the pixel is on your website, Facebook knows when someone visited and what page they visited. As a result, you can define what the purchase of a particular product is by simply telling Facebook that URL.

4. Conversion Tracking
Now that you’ve created Custom Conversions and/or Standard Events, Facebook knows what a conversion is based on activity on your website. So if anyone hits those pages with Standard Event code or that were defined as a conversion with Custom Conversions, Facebook can report that back to you.

First, you have to be sure to tell Facebook to track conversions. I have no idea why you wouldn’t, but do that when creating your ad…

5. Conversion Optimization
If you don’t create Standard Events and/or Custom Conversions, you also won’t be able to optimize for conversions…

6. Dynamic Ads
If you have a big e-commerce site, you need the pixel. It’s a must.

7. The Total Package: RESULTS
The bottom line is this: If you don’t have the Facebook pixel on your website, you have an uphill battle. Your targeting is second-rate. Tracking your results is damn near impossible. You can’t optimize for the action you actually want.

And that’s bad. I want you to have success. And without the pixel, you’re making it extremely difficult for yourself.

Let us help you with using the Facebook Pixel.

May 23rd, 2019|