http://www.cafeproje.com Tue, 01 Sep 2020 23:09:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.9 What to do if Your Suspect Click Fraud http://www.cafeproje.com/adwords-2/what-to-do-if-your-suspect-click-fraud/ Wed, 02 Sep 2020 09:08:31 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8542 Click fraud is a real thing and yes it still happens all the time. Unfortunately, if you’re not a savvy internet marketing person, it’s REALLY HARD to tell if you’re getting hit with false clicks (aka invalid clicks). There are companies that offer services to automatically detect and report click fraud and invalid click activity […]

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Click fraud is a real thing and yes it still happens all the time. Unfortunately, if you’re not a savvy internet marketing person, it’s REALLY HARD to tell if you’re getting hit with false clicks (aka invalid clicks). There are companies that offer services to automatically detect and report click fraud and invalid click activity but you can learn how to defend against click fraud on your own if you have a webmaster and some experience with Google Products.

In this blog post, we’d like to share our recent experience with an account that was running Google Shopping ads that we suspected was getting hit with invalid click activity. Our reports were showing a huge disparity between the number of paid clicks vs the actual number of users tracked by Google Analytics after the click was accrued and paid for. As it turned out, we realized the invalid click rate was around 97% or higher within a 3-month course during the COVID pandemic. We’ll explain what we did to find that data, and what we did to solve the problem.

How Does Google Handle Invalid Clicks?

It’s important to understand what “invalid clicks” are. Google’s interpretation of the term “invalid clicks” is pretty vague s you can see from the screenshot below which was taken from Google’s Support site for Google Ads.

invalid clicks

As Google mentioned in their support site, they claim to use a “system” which is “sophisticated” and able to identify invalid clicks in real-time. They also claim to give you credits for any invalid clicks that make it past their “sophisticated system”. Unfortunately, through my own experience as a Google Ads manager, I have seen first-hand that their system doesn’t catch invalid click activity effectively.

What’s even more alarming is that there have been settlements in the past with business owners who have taken legal action against Google for invalid click activity. In a case where Gurminder Singh of Vacaville, California sought financial restitution for spending money on clicks that were not valid, he stated that “Google has a very limited incentive to reduce third-party click fraud, because it, like the third-party website publisher, benefits from each additional click, even if such click is fraudulent.”. To be honest, I could not have said it better myself.

How to Identify Click Fraud or Invalid Clicks on Your Own

In order to track down invalid click activity in your Google Ads account, you’re going to need someone who knows their way around Google Analytics and the Google Ads interface. You will need to look at several reports to really identify invalid clicks. In my most recent exeperience with a Google Shopping campaign, I was looking in my Google Analytics report for Google Ads clicks and noticed that less than 5% of my clicks were actual users as shown in the report below:

Not fair google

The report shows that in the month of August, we paid for 495 clicks which added up to be $1,856.12 in clicks. What’s worse, is that this also happened in July and June which equated to about $6,000 in spend for clicks that were basically all invalid. I checked into many other reports to ensure that the data was in fact accurate, such as my “All Traffic Reports” and even my Google Ads invalid click activity reports to see if there were any big credits that were applied to my account for invalid clicks that were caught from the “sophisticated system”… Low and behold, I received about two dollars in credits for the months of June, July, and August. You can view your invalid click credits in your Google Ads account by navigating to the Billing section, then the “Transactions” link. Once you’re on the transactions page, you must click on the drop-down at the top and change it from “All Transactions” to “Adjustments” to see any invalid click credits. Below is a screenshot of our invalid click credits.

invalid clicks report

During the time that this blog was written, we were in the “Covid 19 Pademic” which was the reason why Google Ads stopped offering phone support (ironically). Getting someone on the chat was my only option when attempting to explain that my Google Analytics data was showing some pretty concerning discrepancies between the number of clicks and the number of actual users. It took about 5 different chat agents that passed me on to the next one, but after about an hour and a half, I was able to get someone that told me I would need to submit weblogs to become eligible for a refund. They explained that Google Analytics data could be inaccurate and it is not acceptable as documentation for requesting a refund.

The term “web-logs” was very vague, when I asked what these “weblogs” were, I received no concrete answer from the chat agent. I managed to get in touch with a more-tenured MCC rep that was able to provide me with insights as to what these weblogs would need to include. Per the email I received from the Google Rep, the data needs to include “data such as who was visiting the site, where they came from, and exactly what they were doing on the website (also the GCLID). Sounds easy right? NOT REALLY. So now that we knew what we needed, we need to allocate hours of work towards proving our case which would require our webmaster’s support.

Once my webmaster generated the weblogs, we were able to send them to the Google Ad representative that was dealing with our case and are now waiting for a reply. We’re planning on writing the second half of this blog post after we receive their response so you can be aware of the outcome. We feel that it’s important for business owners to know about this experience as it can be a big financial burden to companies that are banking on their Google Ads to bring them new business during a pandemic. Hopefully, the Google Ads team is able to manually review the data and tell us whether or not we’re dealing with click fraud or really any sort of reasonable explanation.

If you are prepared to start this process that we went through I recommend starting off with the Google Ads related complaint form which you can fill out here. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that your refund request will be approved and the amount of time and resources it can take to get the refund might cost you more than its worth.

What We Learned About Invalid Click Credits

All in all, I’m very disappointed with the amount of time it took to get this sorted out when it should have been detected in the first place. I’m also not happy about the fact that the chat support agents kept passing me from one agent to another when the agents realized they were not able to help by simply copying and pasting canned messages from the support site. I really feel that with the amount of money we’ve managed as an agency, we should get some sort of dedicated account specialist to help with situation like these that require a manual review from a person that is actually employed by Google in an HQ that is in the USA so that we can speak with someone that is native, not outsourced overseas. I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong with outsourcing customer service overseas but there needs to be someone that is available for escalated situations that are located in the house so they know exactly what needs to be done to remedy the situation. Thankfully, we were able to get some form of credit, although we believe we were owed more. It has been a learning experience and we are going to be more diligent with checking our performance on a daily basis to ensure that the shopping campaign continues to generate valid clicks at a reasonable rate.

 

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Google Testing New Result Formats http://www.cafeproje.com/news/google-testing-new-result-formats/ Tue, 05 Nov 2019 13:00:11 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8516 Google SERPs (search engine result pages) have gone through several face lifts throughout its existence. Just take a look at the comparison of a SERP for the keyword laptop taken in 2009 compared to 2019’s SERP. As you can see, 10 years ago, Google’s SERP layout was extremely cluttered but overtime they have simplified the […]

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Google SERPs (search engine result pages) have gone through several face lifts throughout its existence. Just take a look at the comparison of a SERP for the keyword laptop taken in 2009 compared to 2019’s SERP.

10 years of Google SERP change

As you can see, 10 years ago, Google’s SERP layout was extremely cluttered but overtime they have simplified the layout for the better. This is due to the fact that Google constantly works towards improving the user experience of their products.

Throughout the years, Google has been caught testing many SERP design changes “under the radar” instead of being transparent about them. Recently, Matt Southern wrote a post that showed examples of Google testing results that omitted the URL entirely and showed the website name instead (as shown below).

 

Page Titles Appear Below Website Name in Google SERP

This morning I woke up and went through my typical routine that involves making coffee and spot-checking my rankings for my website (like any SEO nerd). As many of you may know, I’m a co-owner of MobilityScootersDirect.com which is a nation-wide retailer for mobility products. I did a search for a product-specific keyword to see if the rankings improved after doing some optimization the day before. To my surprise, I noticed that Google completely changed the layout of their results for this particular search query.

The search query I used was “Folding Go Go scooter for sale” which is a coveted keyword for the HME (Home-Medical-Equipment) industry. The Folding Go-Go Scooter is one of the top-selling mobility scooters in the HME market. Below is a screen show of the new layout for organic results, as you can see it’s very unusual.

 

new serp result example 2019

The changes that I discovered are also applied to the mobile version of the SERPs. Below is a screen shot of the same Google search query “Folding Go Go Scooter for Sale” where you can see that the layout of the results have changed pretty drastically.

mobile serp result example

 

What Changed in The New SERP Layout?

The most prominent change that you’ll see right away is the fact that Google moved the page title below the website name and name of the URL directory path(s). In the past, the page title would show up above the website URL which appeared in green text as shown below using the query “Facebook for business”.

Old URL format on SERPs

One of the other more noticeable updates to the result format involves the website domain and category path of the URL.? This change actually took place several years ago, in April of 2016 which you can read about by clicking here. Previously, you would find the actual URL of the page on the result’s page. If the URL was very long, Google displayed a shortened version of the URL. The new layout for the search term “Facebook for business” can be shown below and really helps you to compare the difference between the old and the new SERP layout.

New Url Format on SERPS

What Changes Have You Noticed?

If you’ve noticed changes to Google’s SERPs, we’d love to hear about them. Since Google doesn’t publicly announce all of the changes they test or implement, its likely that there are many that go unnoticed. The next time you notice a slight change to the Google SERPs, take a screenshot and share it with the SEO community!

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Building a Forum is a Great Way to Improve SEO http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/building-a-user-forum-for-your-ecommerce-website/ Mon, 16 Sep 2019 14:47:41 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8500 Many of you reading this blog may have been compelled by the title which contains the word “forum” – which may have made the hairs on the back of your neck rise. Although forums have typically been used and abused by spammers attempting to get back-links there’s still value in creating your own forum from […]

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Many of you reading this blog may have been compelled by the title which contains the word “forum” – which may have made the hairs on the back of your neck rise. Although forums have typically been used and abused by spammers attempting to get back-links there’s still value in creating your own forum from an SEO perspective.

As some of my followers may know, I am an SEO nerd and one of the digital marketing leads for an online retailer known as Mobility Scooters Direct.? We’re one of the top players in the powered-mobility space and most of our online revenue comes from organic traffic.

organic-traffic-report-for-mobility-scooters-direct

In late 2017 and early 2018, I hit a bit of a plateau with my eCommerce website’s SEO traffic growth. I kept trying to think of new tactics to improve organic traffic in a creative way that most competitors were not thinking about. That’s when I realized, that a user-based forum could be a great tool for crowd-sourcing content and, creating a ton of internal linking opportunities. Today, the forum is generating new topics, replies to existing topics, and sign ups on a regular basis. I strongly believe that the forum is leading to an increase in organic sales, traffic and overall growth. Not only is the forum generating unique and keyword-rich content naturally, its also supplementing the growth of our email marketing lists and re-targeting lists for Google Ads campaigns. In this blog post I’ll go over the process that we used to create a forum for our e-commerce website.

Choosing a Platform (CMS) & Theme

Just like any website project, you’re going to need to start off with the basics. A domain, a server, a CMS (content management system) and of course a design for your forum is necessary. Choosing a domain and server is easy, and there are several great companies to work with but we’re not going to cover those steps in this article. There are some great blog posts published on the Search Engine Journal that I linked to below for choosing a domain and setting up a server.

How to Choose a Domain Name That Will Stand the Test of Time by Gillon Hunter.

SEO-Friendly Hosting: 5 Things to Look For in a Hosting Company by Amelia Willson.

In my case, I choose to install the forum into a sub-directory instead of using a separate domain. This allowed us to build our existing domain’s content and SEO. You can go about it in either way, you can even use a sub-domain if you’d like. If you plan on building a business that is based on a forum solely, you may need a new domain. If you have an existing business and website that has SEO value, using a sub-domain or sub-directory is probably a better option as you will be adding SEO value to an existing website.

Choosing a CMS & Theme That Works for You

There are several CMS’s that you can choose to manage your Forum. For me, the choice was WordPress because I have the most experience with WordPress compared to any CMS. Additionally, when using WordPress you can choose from a wide variety of themes which allow you to save time and money when compared to building out a custom website from scratch. According to a post by Matt Southern, WordPress powers over 30% of the top 10 million sites on the web – which says a lot. WordPress also offers several awesome plug-in’s that can be used to add features to your website on the front end or management side. There are many other great CMS options out there and I encourage using a CMS that you’re most familiar with.

We decided to go with a WordPress theme known as “Help Guru” which is pretty robust and is fairly low-priced ($69 USD) This theme has a lot of features that are helpful when it comes to the administration of the forum. There are several WordPress Themes that are designed specifically for forums. You can find them on trusted sites like WordPress.org or Theme Forest by using their internal search feature and using the keyword “forum”. We recommend choosing a theme that comes highly rated and that offers features that make it easy to manage the forum.

Organizing Your Forum

Once you have a theme and your design customized to your liking, you’ll need to optimize your forum for usability. We recommend creating main category forum and sub category forum sections so that your users can quickly find relevant forum sections that they can engage with. This is where you can add some SEO tactics by using keyword friendly URL’s for your category structure and by adding section SEO friendly descriptions to each forum section.

category-structure-for-forum

For our forum, we created a category structure that mirrors our product category structure from the eCommerce section of our website. This is because the audience that we are working with primarily engage the forum to ask questions about products that relate to troubleshooting, replacing parts or upgrading their mobility devices. By mirroring our eCommerce category structure, customers who purchase from our site in the past can visit the forum and the category structure will be familiar for them. ?As you may notice from the screen shot above, each category has a description that includes internal links and keyword-rich content. This allows our topic category pages to rank organically on Google for keywords that bring in great traffic, leads, sales and more.

mobility-scooter-forum

Funneling Your Forum Traffic into Your User’s Shopping Journey

As a digital marketer, its important to always think about the user’s shopping journey and how to get more qualified users to embark on that path. Here at Mobility Scooters Direct, we leverage email marketing, re-marketing (through the Google Ads & Facebook network) to keep engaging prospective customers after their initial interaction with us. Reports indicate that on average, our customers interact with our various advertisements at least 5 times before making a purchase on our website. This means that users return to our website or related social media pages 5 times before finally deciding to make a purchase. This is why we find it so important to create multiple touch points through out the customer’s shopping journey.

Our forum is quickly becoming a powerful source for prospective buyers to enter into our user journey. With a few simple API hooks and a registration form, you can get your forum members to join your email newsletter upon sign up. From there you can easily funnel those users into various marketing campaigns like we do. Once a user signs up for our forum, we then follow those users with re-targeting ads across the various networks in hopes that eventually they end up purchasing an item from our store. Having this type of optimized shopping journey creates a snowball effect for sales and conversions as seen in our Google Analytics reporting.

traffic-report-for-forum

sales-from-forum

Restricting Back Links From Users & Preventing Spam

One of the most common issues that you will face when managing a forum is combating forum spammers. Almost immediately, you will start to get fake accounts that use scripts to add topics or posts to your forum with back links. To prevent this, we recommend 2 things.

First, you’ll want to ensure that your forum has some sort of anit-spam feature like Google RECAPTCHA or some sort of plug in that blocks spammers from creating fake accounts. RECAPTCHA by Google works the best in my experience, below is a quick demo video of Google Recaptcha.

Secondly, you’ll want to disable users from being able to add hyper links to their posts or replies. This can be done easily within the Help Guru Theme Options but you might need a developer if you’re not using a WordPress Theme.

When those 2 things are done, you’ll likely mitigate a lot of your spam which makes it much easier to manage your forum.

How Moderators & Admins Can Help With SEO

Once your forum is up and running, you will need someone or a team of people to manage it. Many forums allow active members with to become moderators or administrators to help answer questions or reply to topics. This can be done by modifying user access roles within WordPress or your CMS of choice in most cases. Moderators and administrators can help with adding SEO-friendly internal links, external links, keyword rich responses and more. To get the most out of your blog, its important that the person managing the topic responses and moderation of topics has an understanding of SEO.

Take a look at some of the responses that we post when users as questions on our forum related to our products. As you can see, we are able to add some great links and refer users to certain products that we carry for sale. It’s a win-win for everyone.

example-of-seo-friendly-response-to-forum-post

What Have You Learned About Forums?

If you have experience with forums and SEO, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. There are many ways to go about creating and managing a forum effectively, not just the way we do it. This is why we want to hear from you if you have your own forum or if you have any insights regarding forum management. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback.

 

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How Do I Check The Performance of My Google Ads? http://www.cafeproje.com/adwords-2/how-do-i-check-the-performance-of-my-google-ads/ Wed, 10 Jul 2019 14:39:12 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8485 Every year or so, Google updates its advertising platform and creates some sort of new look and feel to the user interface. If you’re not familiar with the newest version of the Google Ads interface, this blog post will show you how to access meaningful reports. We’ll be focusing showing you how to access campaign, […]

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Every year or so, Google updates its advertising platform and creates some sort of new look and feel to the user interface. If you’re not familiar with the newest version of the Google Ads interface, this blog post will show you how to access meaningful reports. We’ll be focusing showing you how to access campaign, ad group and keyword level reports that show common metrics in a reporting table and linear graph reporting system all available within the Google Ads interface.

It’s important to mention that if you don’t have conversion tracking set up in your account, then you will not see the same type of data being shown in the examples below. Conversions are used to measure meaningful actions that your website visitors complete while on your site or engaging with your ad. The most common types of conversions are phone calls, transactions, quote requests, and live chat conversations. If you’re not tracking these types of actions, you’ll never know if your Google Ads are performing well or not.?

Accessing Your Google Ads Account

The first thing you’ll need to do is gain access to your Google Ads account. To check to see if you have access, go to the Google Ads home page and click the sign in button at the top of the page. To sign in, you will need to use a Google Account email and password. If you can’t sign in, then you probably don’t have access and you will need to request access from your marketing agency. When requesting access to your Google Ads account, make sure that you ask for administrative access so that you can have complete access to your account. When you sign into your account, you should be able to see the Google Ads home page which looks like this:

how to pull conversion reports with google ads

How To View Campaign Reports

Once you’re in your account, navigating to your desired report is pretty easy. First, take note of the different campaigns which are listed all the way to the left side of the screen in the dark column. In the example below, you can see that there are 5 active search campaigns and if you click on the “Campaign” link in the menu to the right of the dark menu, you will see a report showing all campaigns.

accessing campaign reports in google ads

The standard reporting table may not include all of the columns that you want to see but in most cases, it will show you the campaign name first, then the daily budget, then the status and the total number of clicks and impressions. If you don’t see conversions, you will need to add those to your columns by clicking on the columns icon and then adding any columns you want.

How to Add or Modify Columns To Reporting Tables in Google Ads

Adding or modifying columns in your Google Ads report is easy. Simply click on the “columns” icon and then search for the columns you want to add to the report. You can click on any column category you want, then it will open up options for each type of column in that category. Select the column you want, then click, drag and drop it in the column menu on the right side of the columns setting window. You can see existing columns in the columns menu which you can also modify by removing an existing column that you don’t want to see in your reports.

After modifying your columns, you will be able to see the metrics that matter to you. We recommend always including conversions in your reports so that you can compare how much you spend versus how many conversions you generate every day, week or month. This is how we set up our reports for our clients so that they can measure the “cost per lead”. If you sell products on your website, you will also want to set up revenue tracking with Google Analytics.

How To Show Detailed Conversion Reports Using Segments

Showing conversions in your reporting table as columns is great but it doesn’t allow you to see each conversion broken down by conversion action. For example, if you want to see how many call conversions took place, you would not be able to do so using the conversion column solely. To view the individual conversion actions, you will need to add segments to your report. This is very easy to do and can be best illustrated with the video example below:

How To Navigate Between Ad Groups & Keyword Reports

Once you have your columns and your segments set up in your reports, its time to start navigating between campaigns, ad groups, and keyword reports. The columns and segments that you set up can be applied to any of the 3 types of reports and more. To see which keywords are performing better, you would simply navigate to the keyword level report for any campaign (or for the entire account to view all keywords). You can choose to also view ad-group reports which are basically keyword-groups that are categorized for certain things (usually for different locations or services).

Below is a short video that shows you how to navigate between campaigns, ad groups, and keyword level reports. The video will also explain how to review the reports to find meaningful data that suggests your campaign is performing well or poorly.

Now that you know how to navigate your Google Ads account and how to generate meaningful reports – It’s time to evaluate your own account to see if it’s performing the way you want it to. If it’s not, we are always happy to provide a complimentary consultation and recommendation on how to improve your Google Ads marketing strategy.

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Responsive Text-Ads (Beta) – What Are They? http://www.cafeproje.com/uncategorized/responsive-text-ads-beta-what-are-they/ Fri, 21 Jun 2019 17:26:32 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8457 If you noticed a new ad format for your search campaigns called “Responsive Text Ad (Beta), you might be wondering what they are and how they work and what benefits they may provide. Today, I’ll explain how these new ads work, what the benefits are and what type of results you can expect if you […]

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If you noticed a new ad format for your search campaigns called “Responsive Text Ad (Beta), you might be wondering what they are and how they work and what benefits they may provide. Today, I’ll explain how these new ads work, what the benefits are and what type of results you can expect if you switch over to using responsive ads vs standard text ads in your search campaigns.

When comparing standard text ads to responsive, you’ll notice that there are a ton of title fields and that is because the title of the ad is dynamic. When the advertiser enters several ad title variations, Google’s algorithm will automatically use a title that is most relevant to the searcher’s search term. This gives Google the flexibility to use different ad titles and even ad descriptions to craft the most relevant ads possible.

How to Create Responsive Text Ads

Creating a responsive text ad is very easy. Simply open up the campaign or ad group you wish to create the ad for and then click on the blue plus sign to create a new ad. When the ad option menu appears, click on “Responsive Search Ad (Beta)” as shown in the screen shot below:

On the ad-creation page, you can see a preview of your ad as you start to add each ad title variation. Be sure to add as many compelling ad titles as possible while remaining relevant. Using the keywords in your ad title is often helpful towards getting a better quality score but you should always focus on the quality of your ad over simply adding keywords to it. Be sure to use the preview tool to make sure you’re not using too many ad titles that are similar otherwise the ad may contain redundancies in the text. Below is an example of a text ad that you can use if you were to be offering local plumbing services in Miami as an example:

Once you’re finished, you can hit save and then begin to monitor the performance of your ads in your ad report. We’ve noticed that the standard ads compare very similarly compared to the responsive text ads which is why we elect to use both formats. Rumors have it that if you use more of the options that Google Ads providers you, the better you quality score will be.

Should I use Responsive Text Ads or Standard Text Ads?

The most notables pros and cons of using these types of ads are:

Pros: It allows your ad to cover several keyword variations with dynamic titles and ad descriptions that are relevant to the users search term in one single ad versus having several ads.

Cons: It automatically serves your ads based on relevance which some advertisers may not like because they don’t always make sense if you enter ad titles that are redundant. Some advertisers prefer to have more control over there ad titles by having specific text ads for each keyword. Especially those that enjoy using ad groups with very few keywords or only one keyword in each ad group.

We feel that using responsive text ads is just better for organization’s sake. This way, you can easily include call to actions or search terms that are often part of long tail search terms in your title. You can also use Dynamic keyword insertion to yield similar results. All in all, we feel that the responsive text ads are great but not critical if you want to get great results.

 

 

 

 

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How to Find the Best Miami SEO company http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/best-miami-seo-company/ Mon, 06 May 2019 18:24:30 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8470 As the leading Miami SEO Company, we often receive phone calls from various industries requesting SEO. In Miami, FL it is very competitive in nearly any industry you can imagine. Savvy consumers will often shop the market which is a fantastic thing to do. It allows you to compare service offerings, hear what the company […]

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As the leading Miami SEO Company, we often receive phone calls from various industries requesting SEO. In Miami, FL it is very competitive in nearly any industry you can imagine. Savvy consumers will often shop the market which is a fantastic thing to do. It allows you to compare service offerings, hear what the company believes in, and see if you are a great fit for one another. For some business owners, they do not know the ins and outs of SEO so it makes choosing an SEO company extremely difficult.

The goal of this post is to give you clarity on what you should look for and how to find the best SEO company in Miami.

Make Sure the Miami SEO Company Has No Contracts

miami seo company contractIf you are just finding out about a company from a Google search, you do not know if you will get great results nor have good communication. Getting into a situation where you have signed a contract and not happy is not pleasant.

For that reason, you should definitely look into a company which does not require you to sign contracts. Most companies who are confident in their work will offer month to month agreements. This is also advantageous so if you experience any temporary hardship with your business, you will not be on the hook to pay a marketing agency in Miami.

Just because a company doesn’t have contracts, it does not mean that SEO will start kicking in and generating you leads quickly during month 1. It is very rare that any SEO company can hit a home run in less than one month. If that is the sort of results you are looking for, you should consider doing PPC advertising in Miami.

Make Sure The Miami SEO Company Has Good Reviews

the miami seo company reviewsJust like before you eat at a new restaurant, it can be a great idea to check out the Miami SEO company reviews of the company that you are considering using. This will allow you to see the experiences of past customers. To take it one step further, you can always reach out to the people you have found in the review. Ask them what website they own. You can always use tools like SEMrush.com to gauge the success of the campaign. You can then ask the marketing company if they are still working with that client.

Also, some companies will give you fantastic results but have poor communication. Other companies may give poor results but have fantastic communication. You certainly want to make sure the company you are going to be paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to each month has the ability to get you fantastic results?and great communication.

Another great idea for finding the top SEO company in Miami is to call active clients. The Miami SEO company is proud to have plenty of the top businesses in Miami as clients and we’d be happy to share them with you as part of your due diligence process.

Make Sure That Miami SEO Company Ranks!

This tip might sound obvious but when combined with everything sometimes it may get lost in the shuffle.?If you are considering using an SEO company, the proof is generally in the pudding. Does their own website rank? You should definitely answer yes if you are seeking the best SEO company in Miami.

If you have been solicited for SEO services, no matter how fantastic everything sounds, price included, buyer, beware. Agencies that rank very well often do not need to utilize outbound telesales to obtain clients. The rankings from our website keep us very busy with inbound leads so be sure to not fall victim to an outbound telesales SEO company.

Ranking for any keyword related to Miami SEO company is no easy task. Keep in mind, you are battling against?all the companies that say they can rank your website. It can take years upon years to successfully rank for very tough keywords.

Lastly, rankings alone are not the holy grail. That’s right. There is something called Blackhat SEO which does?not abide by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. In short, it is like a short cut that Google does not like. Some companies do this to quickly get some sales, then their website gets penalized.

Ask – Who Will I Work With At The Miami SEO Company?

In this industry, the largest costs that an SEO company will typically have is the cost of skilled employees. Many SEO strategists or project managers can require salaries in the $70k per year range. For this reason, some companies will hire entry-level project managers. We’ve found this out from our clients who have previously chosen another company and subsequently canceled due to a lack of results.

Here is how it works. You will be given a fantastic pitch by an SEO sales veteran but once you move forward, you will get “transferred” to the person who will manage your account. At some companies, this is an entry-level project manager with 1 to 2 years of experience. This is how companies maintain profitability and keep prices low. At The Miami SEO company, we encourage you to ask about the experience of the project managers that you will be working with. No matter which company you are considering, ask what the project has accomplished! Usually, when you are very good at SEO, you will have some side projects that are ranking well and earning side-income!

Setting Expectations

Lastly, be sure that no outlandish promises are being made. You may ask questions that are extremely valid like, “How long will it take for me to get results?” Keep in mind, that is a question based on the opinion of the person you are speaking with. No one truly knows the exact time. Historical ranges are typically given for similar industries however keep in mind the following:

An older website is typically easier to rank than a website that is 15 years old. A website that has a significant amount of content is typically easier to rank than a website that has very weak content. A website that has a blog which is frequently updated is easier to rank than a website that doesn’t even have a blog on their website. A website that has proper on-page SEO on all pages is easier to rank than a website without any on-page SEO. A website with very high quality, relevant industry backlinks will be much easier to rank than a website without any backlinks. In short, these are just a few important factors but there are many more. How websites are ranked is purely algorithmic which makes it impossible for anyone to give an exact time but again, it’s usually easier to give “ranges”. A local painter will typically rank faster than a competitive eCommerce website like a t-shirt business. Always keep in mind, Google is just an algorithm.

If you’d like to see how the best Miami SEO Company can help you, give us a call. We’re certainly one of them.

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Advanced SEO Tactics For E-Commerce Websites http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/advanced-seo-tactics-for-e-commerce-websites/ Thu, 14 Mar 2019 15:46:48 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8432 As an agency that offers SEO, we have worked with many e-Commerce websites and even have one of our own. Since 2009, I have been studying e-commerce marketing to grow our website sales and have learned a lot about what it takes to rank a site organically on a national level. With that being said, […]

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As an agency that offers SEO, we have worked with many e-Commerce websites and even have one of our own. Since 2009, I have been studying e-commerce marketing to grow our website sales and have learned a lot about what it takes to rank a site organically on a national level. With that being said, there’s no official confirmation that any of the techniques that I’m about to explain actually work… I am simply recommending techniques that are considered to be “best practices” and that have worked for my e-commerce website which currently is the dominant player in the respective industry/niche.

SEO Evolving Into UEO

Some of you might be wondering what the heck U-E-O is, which is normal unless you’re a complete SEO nerd like me.? For the normal folks?out there reading this blog, it stands for user-experience-optimization. The stuff you read about like optimizing your title tags, creating meta descriptions that are important to lay the foundation but that can only get you so far. Typically, once you get past the basics for SEO that Google’s SEO Guide?recommends most of the time you’re still not ranking the top positions like you wanted to after all of that hard work.

The way to truly become the top ranking player in your space is to become the BEST SOURCE for information regarding your products while providing the best user experience possible. This can take a long time if you’re in a space that is saturated with competitors that have their online marketing at the top of their priority list like most business owners do now-a-days. In most cases, UEO never ends, especially if your business deals with new product releases, product updates and in general if your industry evolves with technology and innovation. Your web store is essentially a digital version of a brick and mortar store which constantly needs upkeep and maintenance to be the best. You can’t just roll up your sleeves and do it all yourself unless you have a ton of free time AND you’re a full stack developer, a website security specialist, a marketing analyst, a graphic designer, a blogger, a social media marketing expert and webpage copywriter with the patience to write a TON of content. For everyone else, there are agencies out there that can help, including ours that offer free consultations and specific digital services that can help your business grow.

Techniques For Taking Your SEO The Next Level in 2019

Since I can’t possibly cover all of my techniques in one blog post I’m going to share the 3 that I think are the most effective. Please do not think that if you follow these steps you will be #1 on Google because that is not the case. There are many other variables that are at play and if you want to learn more, please call us to speak with an SEO expert.

Get Feedback From You Website Visitors, Then Improve.

In order to improve your user experience, you need to get feedback from your customers. There are many ways to do that, we happen to use Lucky Orange LLC screen recording software to show us the mouse movement and activity of the user during each session that involves an item being added to the users shopping cart. We take our time to analyze those sessions to see where the user may have encountered a usability issue such as not being able to locate an accessory or having issues with check out. The Lucky Orange Dashboard allows you to view screen recording sessions on a table interface as shown below. Below is a little demo of what Lucky Orange is and how it works.


Once you click on the play button it opens up a video player containing the screen recording of the user’s session. Using this tool has allowed us to see not only what to improve the user experience for SEO but we have also found bugs this way as well.

Aside from using software tools, I have learned that your sales team is a great place to turn to when looking for feedback on your website. Our sales representatives are trained to ask our customers (and shoppers) about their experience navigating website and take feedback in real time as they are on the phone or chatting with sales representatives. We often find that the website needs small updates such as adding additional filter options or adding missing specifications that were not provided on certain product pages. Little improvements like this show Google that your product pages are not stale, in fact, it shows Google that you are constantly updating your website. These little updates may seem like they are meaningless, but as a whole Google is watching your updates and appreciates them as it provides THEIR CUSTOMERS with a better search engine experience.

Remember – Think like a search engine, if your customers are searching for a product, you want to refer them to the product page that has ALL of the specs, ALL of the product images and hopefully videos too.

Make Your Website Safe & Fast!

Speed & Security is something that has been quietly becoming one of the most important parts of SEO and my theory is because its the one things most people don’t understand. It’s easy to learn how to update your websites content to include relevant titles, meta descriptions, content etc. It’s not so easy to get your website to be as fast and secure as possible, in more cases it requires a full stack developer, server administrator, and a website security expert. Fortunately, there are tools that Google provides webmasters to better understand what can be done to improve site speed and security. The tools that I turn to are found with the links below:

Page speed insights by Google:?https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Mobile Friendly Test by Google:?https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Each tool works great, simply plug in the URL of the page you wish to analyze and boom, results are delivered quickly and displayed out in a way that is easy to understand for server administrators and webmasters. Keep in mind that your site can still rank very well on Google organically even with a low page speed score, that is because Google’s algorithm considers over 200 factors and page speed is just one of them. Below are some example reports of the page speed insights tool.

Similar to the Page Speed tool, Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is a great way to get feedback directly from the snake’s head if you will. Google will tell you if your web page is mobile friendly or not by entering the URL of any page whether it’s your own or that of a competitor. Here are some examples of the results you might see when putting a site through the mobile testing tootle by Google. You can also use Google Search Console to do a site-wide mobile-friendly test, to set up Google Search Console you will need to verify site ownership with several verification method options.

 

Constantly Create Content!

Most people don’t realize that there is nearly an infinite amount of search terms our there that relates to their products. From search terms that relate to specific product model #’s to category specific search terms. Customers begin searching on Google in many different ways, some like using really broad search terms while others like to use very specific search terms. The goal should always be to capture all types of customers and not to just focus on one type of searcher who uses broad search terms.

In my years of experience, I have found that there are many types of pages you can create on your site to attract different types of potential customers. Most basic e-commerce websites have a content hierarchy or structure that break down in the following order:

Home Page > Category Pages > Sub-Category Pages > Secondary Sub-Category Pages > Product Pages

Obviously, there are other pages like the contact us page, the check out page, the shopping cart page etc… But those are not pages that will drive a lot of traffic to your site via organic searches…? What I’m talking about here are landing pages that you want to ensure are in the #1 spot for (or as close to #1 as possible). These are typically category pages and product pages for most e-commerce website owners.

However, there are other sections of a website that can have a hierarchy system as well such as your blog which has categories, sub-categories etc… The same thing can be applied to your FAQ section or User Forum should you have one. The point here is, you need to start creating new pages (aka opportunities) that can potentially rank on Google organically for all types of search terms. When people buy products, they often have to research ways to troubleshoot them or maintain them by searching online. This is why user-forums are created like reddit.com where people can join a community and discuss topics such as maintaining a common household product.?Forums are great because its a section of your website where actual product owners can post content on your website which Google will appreciate. Often times, there can be conversations with many product owners sharing advice like the thread below that is part of Reddit, the biggest online forum ever. You can create your own forum on your website using the same type of structure by searching for a forum template on Themeforest.com easily.?

 

Category pages are usually the most popular pages being found organically as they are the top level of product categories on your site where most people being their search for products that fall within sub-categories within. If you lack sub-categories you might want to start breaking down your products into small groups that can be used as “landing pages” with specific products that serve a particular audience. For example, our store that sells electric?wheelchairs has a category for heavy-duty?electric wheelchairs and one for off-road electric wheelchairs. They are sub-categories which belong to the “electric wheelchair” category.

Think about your core product, maybe it’s shoes. Your website should have categories for various types of shoes i.e. running, hiking, kleets, basketball, bowling etc… Each of these categories have the potential to generate organic traffic and probably will generate a lot of it if you rank #1 for terms related to these categories. To take it even further – you might create sub-sub-categories that break down your shoe categories even further as shown below:

  1. Shoes > Basketball > Nike
  2. Shoes > Basketball > Jordan
  3. Shoes > Basketball > Addidas

With each additional sub-category you create, you also create an opportunity to view your new page as the most relevant and precise result to a potential shopper who is searching for these products on Google. The question is, how far will you go? Will you have brand-specific pages? How about pages for products of a certain color to attract people who search for “red basketball shoes”? Is that too specific? There is no right or wrong answer… You must know your customer and if you feel it’s worth the energy, then create the page and monitor the traffic reports to see if it’s generating clicks, sales or conversions.? Below you’ll see an example of our landing page report filtered to show only organic traffic, as you can see one of our blog posts is a top driver for conversions.

If you carry thousands of products and you think it’s going to be a challenging thing to accomplish, you’re right. But taking the time to go above and beyond for Google’s customers is what it takes to dominate the search engines in some cases. This doesn’t mean go crazy and create sub-sub-sub-categories that appear to be spammy in nature. Try to create sub-categories for product groups that are containing at least 5 products or more so you don’t waste your time create a new sub-category that only promotes one or two products. For that, you could always just build an FAQ page or blog post that can be updated once per year or as new products come out.

Aside from expanding your sub-categories, you can also create blog posts that can be used to capture common search terms that deal with product attributes such as the durability, weight, speed etc..? For us, we find that many people search for electric wheelchairs that are capable of handling high weight capacities. For that reason, we created a blog post that promotes electric wheelchairs with the highest weight capacity. Prior to creating this page, we did not appear on the first page of Google when people search for “high weight capacity electric wheelchairs” which was a popular search term that was appearing in our search term reports. We also noticed many people search for wheelchairs that are airplane friendly so we created a blog post about that. Over the course of several years, the blog has become responsible for generating almost 35%? of our organic traffic.

Closing Thoughts

You can spend an eternity building an online community for your customers but that is not the message I’m trying to deliver here. You must always use your time wisely, choose to work on action items that will have the most impact on your business growth. Don’t waste time chasing search terms that only get 5 searches per month when you can create pages that are likely to get several hundreds of searches per month first. I would recommend starting off with creating category pages and sub-category pages that your competitors all have, obviously if they are doing it, you should probably do it too. There is a great tool called SEMRush which I use to analyze the pages that are driving the most traffic on my competitor’s websites. Simply enter the URL of the competitor you want to research then open up the landing page report. Check out our impressive graph below for our e-commerce website. Maybe one day you can achieve the same results ??

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Tracking Store Visits & Direction Requests & More http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/store-visits-local-business-insight-conversions-in-google-ads/ Tue, 05 Mar 2019 18:20:35 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8390 If you manage an Adwords account for a business with physical location(s) added as location extensions, you might be noticing some new conversion actions in your “all conversions” reporting metrics . That is because Google Ads now have incorporated insights from Google My Business?(aka GMB) and GPS tracking insights from Mobile Users to track things […]

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If you manage an Adwords account for a business with physical location(s) added as location extensions, you might be noticing some new conversion actions in your “all conversions” reporting metrics . That is because Google Ads now have incorporated insights from Google My Business?(aka GMB) and GPS tracking insights from Mobile Users to track things like in store visits, GPS requests and more. If you navigate to your conversion action settings page in your Adwords account(s), you may notice some “Google hosted” conversions such as Directions, Website Visit, Store Visit or Other Engagements via the local GMB listing. Here is a screen shot of the conversions we discovered in one of our accounts, we did not create these conversions, they appeared automatically.

Take a look at the conversion actions that were tracked from one of the accounts we mange below when we added them to our reporting table for campaigns.

If you take a look at the column headers from the image above, you will see that there is a column for “All Conversions”. For some reason, Google Ads is only showing the Google My Business conversions in the “All Conversions” column. I guess this is because of the way it’s gathering conversion data from another platform (GMB). If you want to see these conversions in your reporting table, simply click on the column icon and modify your columns to include “All Conversion” data. Below I’ve added some screen shots to illustrate where the columns button is located and what to do after you click on it.

Although its not clear how these conversions are tracked how ever it’s a great reporting feature that I hope to see more of, I’ve spoken with some Google Ads strategists who hinted that they simply sort through the map listing clicks for “directions” and filter out any that resulted from a Paid click. What’s interesting is that the data seems to be volatile, in the first few weeks my accounts showed nearly 5 times more direction conversion than it did only a month later. I personally think that their may be some developer-side tweaking going on to fine-tune the way Google Ads reports direction requests. I hope to see more conversion data like this as it really helps advertisers understand the value of a click that doesn’t turn into a online purchase or phone call, especially for brick and mortar stores that do eCommerce too.

Why Does This Conversion Data Matter?

If you own a business with a brick and mortar store location you probably wish you knew how all of the people that walk into your store found your business to begin with. Many customers start their journey online with Google Maps or a Google Search that provides blended results with Google Map listings and web based results like the example below:

 

If you use Google Ads and Google My Business Reporting Insights you can actually see how many people get direction requests from both paid ads and non paid ads. This extra reporting data can help provide value to clicks that would otherwise not have value due to lack of conversion data. See an example of the GMB insights report below:

Having a new potential customer physically walk into your business is in my opinion – on of the most qualified leads you could ask for as a business owner. Coupling these types of conversion with other lead-based conversions (i.e. phone calls, chat requests, quote forms etc…) will really help you get an accurate cost-per-lead for your business – allowing you to optimize your campaigns more intelligently.

How To Track Direction Requests Even Further?

Getting valuable data for our clients is what we love to do. It keeps us accountable and allows us to show value in the work we provide. This is why we love setting up even more tracking within other tools like Google Analytics by using Google Tag Manager and building event-based triggers. While this may require some experience with Tag Manager Triggers for Clicks and Google Analytics reporting, I feel that it’s worth showing you what is possible when it comes to direction requests. In the reports that we use for our clients, we include direction requests, calls, form submissions, chats, add to carts, transactions inside of Google Analytics and then sync up those conversion with a Google Ads account. Below is a example of what this type of report looks like applied to a client of ours that has 11 locations and an eCommerce store.

In order to track direction requests on site, we’ve also started to set up event-based conversions within Google Analytics so we can see the user’s path prior to getting directions from the store locations page. Although tracking does not always work for users that do not meet requirements for being tracked with 3rd party cookies, its great to have some of the data showing the source and medium of people who request directions from the website. Below is an example of a location page we setup direction requests for, when someone clicks the “show directions” link, Google Analytics can track how that click came to be, whether it was from a Facebook referral or an organic search from Google.

 

When inside of Google Analytics, we simply open our event report to see how many direction links were clicked and we can sort that data to show the click source, medium, etc… Check out the reports below which show how many direction requests each location received and then I break down the report to show 2 dimensions allowing us to see the top source/medium for direction requests.

Once the event data is populating in Google Analytics, you’re able to do much more with the robust features built into Google Analytics. Such as play around with the primary and secondary dimension to show locations, device type, browser etc…

 

Ready to Take Your Business Reporting To The Next Level?

If you want to take your reporting to the next level so that you can spend your marketing dollars more intelligently, give us a call. We’ve been setting up and managing accounts just like these for over 12 years. With Google’s products constantly updating and changing it can be very hard to get good results unless you know what you’re doing. Our staff members have all of their Google Ads and Google Analytics certifications up to date which means our team of experts can provide professional management services for you. What are you waiting for, give us a call for a complementary consultation today! ??

 

 

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How to Setup Text Message Extensions For Your PPC Ads http://www.cafeproje.com/ppc/how-to-setup-text-message-extensions-for-your-ppc-ads/ Mon, 30 Apr 2018 14:37:41 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8353 If you advertise with Google Adwords you might be familiar with what a traditional search ad looks like. It usually has a title, URL and description. You may also notice that some ads have extra stuff on their ads like 5-star ratings or starting prices for different industries. See the example below of an ad […]

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If you advertise with Google Adwords you might be familiar with what a traditional search ad looks like. It usually has a title, URL and description. You may also notice that some ads have extra stuff on their ads like 5-star ratings or starting prices for different industries. See the example below of an ad containing ad extensions prominently standing out over the ads above it with the additional ad extensions.

These “extra” things that are found on search ads are called ad-extensions and they’re great if you’re looking to make your ad stand out as an advertiser. When we build out a campaign or take over an existing one, we typically take the time to add all applicable ad-extensions that are available in order to get the best results. Furthermore, Google Adwords uses a quality score rating system that measures your ad’s expected performance. If you receive a 10 out of 10 quality score, you become eligible to pay less than other advertisers with a lower quality score while still maintaining the top ranking positions. Using ad extensions is a well-known way to get a high quality score. Check out the short video below by Google’s economist Hal Varian.

When text message extensions became available, we were excited to help our clients set them up right away. In almost every single case, the accounts that used text message extensions experienced an healthy increase in the total number of leads being generated through Google Adwords. Not only did it provide customers with a way to communicate with sales representatives, it also helped the quality score rise which consequently led to a better average CPC for the entire account. How?

How to Set Up Text Message Ad Extensions

Setting up text message extensions is simple, you just need to provide a phone number that can accept text messages. You’ll also get the option to include a default text message for the user to send such as “I’d like to get more information” so that the user doesn’t need to spend time typing a message. To get started with your text message ad extension open the campaign you wish to ad it to first, you can also choose to only it add it to a specific ad group instead of a campaign if you’d like. Once you’re in the right campaign or ad group, click on the add extension symbol then on +message extensions as shown in the screen shot below:

When you get to the screen to create your new message extension, you’ll see quite a few fields and options that may seem intimidating but don’t worry – setting up your message extension is a breeze. Basically all you need is a phone number that accepts text messages to get it working. You can also choose to add default text that will pre-populate as a message for the user to send such as “I’d like to know more, please text me back”. See the screen shot below to get an idea of what the setup looks like and to the right you’ll see a live demo of the ad extension.

 

Once you’re done with adding the phone number, business name and message text just hit save. At this point, you’re basically done setting up your message extension. Keep in mind that message extensions are applied to the campaign or ad group that you add them to, in order to show the message extension on other campaign ads or ad group ads, you’ll need to repeat the process. Now that you know how to set up a message extension, its time to check the metrics that show the associated reporting metrics. Keep in mind that since Google Adwords constantly changes their interface and GUI, you might want to check in with their message extension support page that shows you the most up to date setup methods in case things change from the time this post was written.

Checking Your Message Extension Results

Unfortunately, Adwords doesn’t really offer too much when it comes to reporting for message extensions. There is no report at this time (4/30/2018) that shows you how many text messages you received broken down by campaign, ad group or keyword… Hopefully sometime in the near future we should be able to see some better reporting. For now, you can go to the ad extensions tab to see how many times your text message extension was shown with an ad. It will also show the number of clicks that the ad with the message extension received. With those metrics, you can see the click-through-rate which is simply clicks divided by impressions.

I’ve taken a screen shot of one of our Adwords accounts to show an example of the reporting for ad extensions. There you will see the message extension and the associated reporting metrics that are available.

Hopefully after reading this post you’ll have the confidence and knowledge needed to set up your own message extensions. Like any ad extension, this is a great way to make your ad stand out over the competition and to improve your click through rate. If you’d like to learn more about how to use Google Adwords, I encourage you to read my post titled “Why Google Adwords Hasn’t Worked For You” which explains how to setup an Adwords account that uses best practices.

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Google Marketing Services For Drone Companies http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/google-marketing-services-for-drone-companies/ Thu, 22 Mar 2018 20:22:14 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8330 Drone Marketing Services Made Easy If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, Google Adwords or Google My Business then you might feel a bit in the dark about how to actually pick a marketing company that knows what they’re doing. We make it easy to understand your marketing results if you’re a newbie or a […]

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Drone Marketing Services Made Easy

drone marketing services

If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, Google Adwords or Google My Business then you might feel a bit in the dark about how to actually pick a marketing company that knows what they’re doing. We make it easy to understand your marketing results if you’re a newbie or a pro at Google Marketing. We build reporting dashboards that report only the most important metrics like total phone calls that last over 30 seconds or more, we also track total transactions, total revenue and total emails if you are looking to generate web form submissions from prospective customers. When you have a simple to digest report that shows you the total amount of money you’ve spent on keyword clicks, you can compare that total amount of money to the number of total transactions, calls or revenue in the same report.

Did you know that Google Adwords generates of 60 billion dollars annually in clicks from business owners paying to show up on at the top of Google? Furthermore, did you know that they provide the most sophisticated tracking and reporting solutions available with Google Analytics? With Google Analytics, there are endless amounts of reporting possibilities that we can help you become familiar with. We even have our own proprietary reporting template that is available for download in the Google Partners reporting dashboard gallery! Check out the example snapshot below that shows some of the neat reporting features we’ve integrated into Google Analytics. You can see how much revenue was generated from each traffic source, you can see the total amount of calls, chats and more broken down by source. If you are spending money on ads, you can also integrate cost for clicks into these reports with ease.

reporting_for_drone_marketing_landing_page

One of the great things about working with a transparent reporting system is that you’ll know if your marketing budget is being put to good use or not. We take pride in setting up professional reporting so that our clients can see the results of our efforts. Since we don’t obligate our clients to engage in any long-term commitment with us, we’re able to earn our business each month by providing positive results each and every month. Whether you’re looking to reach page one of Google for very competitive keywords organically, or if you’re looking to improve the conversion rate of your Adwords campaigns we are here to help!

SEO For Drone Companies That Work

If you’re interested in seeing our recent case studies, visit our case studies section from the top menu of our website under the “Why Us” drop down. When you land on our PPC case studies page, you will see case studies that deal with Google Adwords pay per click campaigns. These are different from SEO campaigns found on the SEO case studies page because with SEO there are no payments made to Google for clicks. Instead, we work on building the websites security, speed and popularity with ratings to obtain the best positions in the organic results. The organic results can be differentiated from sponsored ads on the results page of Google because they don’t belong in a section that says “ad” or “sponsored results”. See the screen shot below to better understand the type of results that can be used by advertisers through SEO, Google Adwords (pay-per-click), Google Maps and Google Shopping.

drone_marketing_company

Google is not just made of one product as you can see from the screen shot above. Each set of results in the screen shot above represent a marketing platform that requires knowledge and expertise in order to get great results. Making a campaign with the recommended settings and watching a few Youtube tutorial videos may cut it for drones, but not for digital marketing. You can easily end up spending thousands of dollars and not getting any sales if you don’t take the time to really learn the platforms. While Google makes it sound easy with their short promo videos and simplified setup options, the truth is that if you want really effective results that are scale-able, you will need a professional Google marketing expert/team on your side.

Get a Proposal For Drone Marketing Campaign Management

If you’re tired of not seeing results with your current SEO provider don’t be surprised, most companies out there don’t have what it takes. Most of our clients came to us after working with a company that could not deliver results that were promised. We take pride in being the top ranked SEO company in Miami and the owners of the company own many ecommerce retail sites that are the top ranked website in their industry. Check out the example below of a website that is only 2 years old and the charts are looking incredible!

Positive_results

With our 12+ years of experience with Google marketing, we can help you get exposure through the Google Maps app, Google Search and Google Adwords so that you appear on all device types when people search for your products or services both locally or nationally. We have been nominated as the best PPC Campaign during the 2014 and 2016 US search Awards and have since then achieved many other accomplishments as experts in the SEO/PPC world. The owners of the company have both been featured as webinar hosts and expert authors on trusted and well-known marketing publications like semrush.com, searchenginejournal.com and many others. If you’d like to get a free consultation from a Google certified marketing guru, visit our contact us page and provider you contact information. Upon submitting your contact information, you will receive a thank you message on a custom thank you page that also contains a link to our online questionnaire. Taking the time to fill out that pre-survey marketing questionnaire will allow us to have a productive conversation together regarding your marketing goals. We’ll be able to develop a marketing strategy based on your feed back generally within 24 hours.

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Why I Use & Recommend Olark Live Chat http://www.cafeproje.com/conversion-rate-optimization/use-recommend-olark-live-chat/ Mon, 18 Dec 2017 15:08:55 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8310 As an eCommerce business owner and marketing expert for over 12 years, I can attest that Olark Chat is one of the most efficient and reliable live chat solutions out there. When it comes to efficiency and reporting, I have a knack for finding the most productive tools out there to make my job easier. […]

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As an eCommerce business owner and marketing expert for over 12 years, I can attest that Olark Chat is one of the most efficient and reliable live chat solutions out there. When it comes to efficiency and reporting, I have a knack for finding the most productive tools out there to make my job easier. I’ve worked with many different clients that use various types of chat solutions but very few are as easy to use and as robust as Olark. I recommend Olark to every single one of my marketing agency clients and they all enjoy using it as much as I do. Some of the key features that make Olark a true asset to my agency and eCommerce business are going to be discussed in this article.

Setting Up Olark is As Easy As 1-2-3

When I start my day in the morning, I usually have about 20 pending tasks and 100 unread emails to go through. The last thing I want to do is learn how to use software that requires a big learning curve. And if you’re like most of my clients, you don’t have time to learn how to use software that is difficult to operate. Unfortunately there is no software out there that doesn’t require a little familiarizing and leg work to get up and running but Olark makes it extremely easy.

First, when it comes to setting up Olark chat for your website there are tons of automated ways to do so if you’re using a modern website management system like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Magento etc. Typically, you can install the Olark app to your website by searching your website’s app store or plug in directory. Below is an example of how to find the WordPress Plug in for Olark Live Chat, be sure to choose the right plug in by checking to see if it’s made by Olark.

installing olark as wordpress plug in

If you’re not able to install via an app, you can always just copy a few lines of code to your website just like you would when you’re setting up Google Analytics. It just requires a code that goes on the header of your pages to trigger the chat window that communicates with your Olark Account. Below is a video demo of how I was able to install Olark in less than 2 minutes using WordPress.

Once you’re finished setting up the tracking code, you can begin to customize your account. Olark has a really great page that gives you tips on how to make your chat box look pretty, how to customize the text that appears in your chat box, how to designate email addresses for messages and how to setup your profile. I highly recommend visiting Olark’s 5 step setup guide page to get the most out of your setup without over complicating things.

Extremely User Friendly Management

Personally, there are two features that I always use and I’ll share those with you now. It’s worthy to note that I’ve been using Olark for my eCommerce business https://www.mobilityscootersdirect.com which is a nationwide retailer for mobility scooters and power wheelchairs. Prior to using Olark, we only communicated with our customers via phone or email which at the time seemed sufficient enough. After adding Olark, we realized we were missing out on a ton of opportunities for sales because a lot of customers do shopping while at work and they’re not able to pick up a phone and call during working hours. Let’s dive into the features that are available with Olark which have helped me generate thousands of opportunities for sales.

The Auto Greeter Feature

First, I’d like to talk about the Auto-Greeter feature, the name is pretty self-explanatory. It will send a message to your new users automatically. This can save your employees time because they won’t manually need to greet your new visitors.

The setup page for the Auto-Greeter is found on the left side menu. If you click on it, it will give you a very simple set of options. You can choose to show new users a templated greeting after a certain amount of seconds that you select from a drop down. Make sure to take advantage of this option, I set my template message to go off after 60 seconds. Make sure to click the off switch to turn on the auto greeter before saving.

auto greeter example for olark live chat

The Targeted Chat Feature

Targeted chat is another great feature that you can use to send custom message templates to users based on what page they’re on. If you go to the “Targeted Chat” section from the left menu of your Olark account dashboard, you’ll notice a custom chat message pop’s up from Olark’s staff asking if you need help with setting up Targeted chat (KUDOS to Olark) which is a great example of this feature being put to use.

To setup a targeted chat message, simply choose the URL of the page that will be used to trigger the custom message when a user is on that page. For example if you want to offer assistance to customers on the checkout page, you can enter your check out page URL and then send a message offering support in a live chat.

Targeted Chat Setup Example

There are plenty of other great reporting features but I’ll let you explore those on your own. Remember you can always chat with Olark’s live support for help when it comes to setting up new features. They’re great to work with and incredibly knowledgeable from my experience.

Reporting Features For The Novice & The Pro Marketer

When it comes to reporting, Olark makes it so easy to setup tracking that you literally just need to check a checkbox to activate Google Analytics tracking (assuming you already have Google Analytics installed). If you don’t use Google Analytics to track your website performance, you might want to join the twenty first century, it’s never too late. Here is a link that shows you how to get Google Analytics tracking going for your website.

If you do have Google Analytics installed, all you need to do is click on integrations from your Olark account dashboard. Click on “Configure” when you’re redirected to the next page.

Connecting Google Analytics to Olark

 

On the following page, scroll down and then click on the Google Analytics icon. From there, simply check the 2 check boxes, then hit save. When you’re finished, you’re done configuring the link between Google Analytics and Olark, wasn’t that easy?

Finalizing Olark Google Analytics Setup

 

Olark’s built in communication with Google Analytics will allow you to see event data in your behavior reports. When you use Google Analytics to measure the performance of your Google marketing efforts for yourself or your clients like I do, you can do wondrous things.

First, you can see many different types of event actions based on what actions are taking place when users engage the chat feature on your website. If you see my example below, you can view event data that tells you how many times a user received a message labeled as a specific event. There are other events that tell you when a user sends a message to the chat operator. I like to track the events that are triggered when a user sends a message to my chat operator because that means that the user is communicating with my representatives.

Event Data Olark Chat Google Analytics

If you spend money on advertising, SEO or promoting your website in general, you can start to track the amount of chats messages that users send via Google Analytics. If you couple this with phone call tracking and transaction tracking, you can start to get a better sense for your marketing performance based on conversions. Tracking conversions means tracking engagements that matter to you as the website owner. Typically, phone calls, emails, transactions and chats are tracked as conversions when you have a professional campaign management team for marketing initiatives. I have most of my client accounts setup to track their daily click budget which can be used to calculate the cost-per-conversion which is very effective for reporting purposes. If you’d like to setup conversion tracking for Olark conversations like I do, follow the quick video tutorial below.

 

 

If you take the time to setup conversion tracking, you’ll be able to use Google Analytics to see how many chat conversations are being generated over time and even which traffic sources are generating them. If you use Google Adwords, you can even see which keyword the search engine user typed in before finding your website and chatting with you. Below is an example of Google Analytics reporting with conversion tracking setup for chats. On the linear graph you can see the number of new users in dark blue and the number of chat messages received in light blue dating back to January 1st, 2017.

Google Analytics Tracking Olark Chats

 

In Conclusion

After working with Olark for several years, I’ve realized they offer one of the most easy-to-use (and setup) live chat solutions out there. I’ve probably worked with about 10 other solutions because of my clients at my marketing agency that come to me with pre-existing chat solutions. Most of the free chat solutions are either too difficult to setup or not feature-rich enough for my liking. Simply put, you get what you pay for in life but Olark is extremely affordable and competitively priced. I also noticed some of the chat solutions out there aren’t as light-weight as Olark which helps keep the page speed low. As a search engine marketer, I always try to use applications and additions that are not going to worsen page speed which is another reason why I recommend it over other chat solutions. If you don’t use a chat solution, take it from me and try out Olark’s free trial to see how you like it. Thanks for reading!

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SEO for Startups – A Strategy Proven to Get Results http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/seo-startups-strategy-proven-results/ Thu, 30 Nov 2017 14:41:16 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8278 Seeking SEO for startups and a strategy? If so, you are likely not the only one. According to Challenger and Gray, in the last quarter of 2016 more than 7% of would be employees took the plunge to launch their own company. This is nearly 60% more than the last quarter of 2014.? Perhaps you […]

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Startup Business StrategySeeking SEO for startups and a strategy? If so, you are likely not the only one. According to Challenger and Gray, in the last quarter of 2016 more than 7% of would be employees took the plunge to launch their own company. This is nearly 60% more than the last quarter of 2014.? Perhaps you are one of the businesses who launched during this period and are now fully operational and running. Now a critical fact has been brought to light. You need targeted prospects who seek your products or services to reach out to you.

There are plenty of overwhelming studies which showcase how often consumers will utilize major search engines, primarily Google. Alexa, a website that ranks websites by popularity lists Google as the #1 visited website in the world.

Keep in mind that SEO takes time. It is a long-term process. If you need instant results, sales, or leads coming in right away you might want to consider hiring an Adwords management company like ours. Alternatively, if you wish to save some coin you can always learn to manage your adwords campaign yourself. Partner, Sergio Aicardi developed a comprehensive adwords learning course which has fantastic reviews on Udemy.

Before we get into what SEO you can do for your startup, you must first understand the user.

SEO for Startups – Why People use Google

It’s no secret that everyone in the world is using Google to find things.? Not only are people using Google to find local services or products, they’re also now expanding to use it for reminders, news, weather and more. As Google continues to expand, there’s no telling what people will use Google for next. For business owners, its critical to show up on the #1 search engine, that is where SEO comes into play. Further, people who typically use Google are doing so for a few very critical reasons which I will briefly explain below:

  1. Seeking Information – Not everyone uses Google to seek out companies products or services. Many times you may have a simple question. How far is the moon from earth? This search query?(search term) has little to do with a service based business or eCommerce store. Millions of people use Google as a “fact checker” or to get answers to information they seek on a daily basis. Or someone who searches – car. You would have no idea if this person was seeking a race car, family car, electic car, the history of cars, etc.

  2. Comparing Services or Products – Some visitors will know they need a product or service but may?want the best deal possible,?may want the highest quality product or service,?may want some free things thrown in with the deal, etc. A simple example is if you wanted to compare a Honda vs. a Toyota.?You would likely want to see consumer reviews, professional reviews, compare gas mileage, maintenance costs, costs of the standard vehicle, costs with options, etc. In this example, you may search for Honda civic gas mileage, honda civic standard price, etc. You would then do the same for the Toyota Corolla.

  3. Inquiring / Buying Services or Products – Lastly, some visitors will be ready to inquire to a service based company or purchase if an eCommerce company. This person is usually done with their research or have an immediate need for the service or product. For instance, if someone types emergency plumber open 24/7 near me. You can tell that user has an emergency and if you do a good enough job at convincing that user to visit your website and you have good visibility, you have a strong chance at earning their business. Most industries have these “golden” keywords that have the perfect user intention.

The goal of any well structured campaign will focus on obtaining the visitors who are in the 2nd and 3rd numbers above. Each piece of content should be focused solely on where that person is in their journey. In other words, you wouldn’t want an overly persuasive pushy article for someone who is just gathering information.

SEO for Startups Strategy – Website Architecture

survival-of-the-fittest-web-design-The-Miami-SEO-Company1Structuring your website is critical for SEO, remember that there are usually several competitors striving to do better than you. Your website is your digital store front, you need to impress your audience and make a great impression as soon as a visitor lands on your page or site. Creating a sound user navigation and architecture is paramount if you want to impress your customer and provide a great experience.

Be sure you separate your website by categories. For instance, if you are an emergency restoration company, you will have a sub-page for Water Damage, Fire Damage, Mold Remediation, etc. If you are eCommerce, you would do the same with your product categories. For instance, if you sell car parts, you would have a sub-page for Tires, Rims, Interior Parts, Engine, etc.

If you are a service based company, you should think about how far your reach will end up being. For instance, if you are that emergency restoration company then you would want to have sub-folders for your state and cities. i.e – 123restoration.com/water-damage/florida/miami <—you would focus on water damage repair in Miami or whatever keyword for water damage in miami gets the largest search volume. You would replicate this x however many cities you would want to rank for.

However, it is critical you write?unique content that will actually help people in that area. If you copy content or use low quality content you can harm your website. For instance, if one city has a higher usage of septic tanks be sure to include that if it is relevant to your service as an example.

SEO for Startups – The Basics

Be sure you are hooked up with Google Analytics & Google Webmaster Tools.

For Google Analytics be sure you setup conversion tracking so you can be aware of where your conversions (purchases or leads) are coming from. Especially if you are spending time on social media marketing, email marketing, PPC advertising, and SEO. Here’s a guide directly from Google on getting conversion tracking going.

With Google Webmaster Tools, you will want to ensure you do not have many 404 errors and that you have an XML sitemap uploaded. Be sure that everything is configured properly. Here’s a great post by KissMetrics on configuring your Google Webmaster Tools.

SEO for Startups Strategy – Site Speed Optimization / Mobile Friendly

seo_for_start_up_companyHave you ever visited a website and it was so slow you hit the back button? How about tried calling a company on your mobile device and nothing happens when you clicked the phone number?

What is the common denominator? Something occurred that was so frustrating you likely left the webpage you were visiting. For you to get into Google’s good graces, you will want to play by their rules. Make your website fast. You can see what needs improving by heading over to their very own Site Speed Insights Tool. Simply enter the URL of the page that you want tested for speed and usability and vua-la, Google’s tool will tell you what your page needs to have fixed or improved. It will also tell you what optimizations were found if any are present. Make sure to work on any items that need work but keep in mind you don’t need to get a 100 out of 100, even Google has a score on mobile that isn’t that great. Many sites still rank very well even though the page speed insight report is not perfect.

To fix these items you will likely need a website developer to take care of each and every action item. Don’t fret if you are not at 100. Many websites are not. If you can get over 80 for mobile and desktop, you are good to go.

It was confirmed not to long ago that an algorithm update was launched for mobile friendliness. So make sure your theme or website is mobile friendly. It is critically important these days, especially if you are in a competitive industry which nearly every industry is online these days. (The secrets out and everyone is trying to rank on Page One).

SEO for Startups Strategy – Content is?Critical

You’ve likely read, “content is king”. Well it is a very critical staple to SEO. Your #1 goal is to be an expert in your field and share this information with your potential visitors.? After your website architecture is sound, you will want to write at minimum 600 words about that specific topic.

You will want to head over to SEMrush.com or your favorite keyword research tool to group your keywords by page/product category/service/etc.?Do not go here to find keywords only to stuff them?into your page. Our goal is for you to find the search term with the highest search volume so you can use the most searched variation in the first sentence, use variations in headings, image alt tags, etc.

Write your heart out. Give industry tips others pay money for. Chances are many of your prospects won’t have the time to do your service nor will they have the expertise. But hey, for the few that are DIY’ers, they’ll certainly appreciate it.?The more content the better. We write well over a 1,000 in many instances. Just so you know, if you made it this far in our SEO for Startup Strategy, you’ve read over 865 words already!

Also don’t be stingy, be sure to link to plenty of reputable or authoritative sources. That doesn’t mean you have to link to your competition! Google enjoys when you share other well known websites and give your readers a chance to learn from reputable websites.

Give yourself some love too! Link to internal resources that will help your reader out. This is fantastic for SEO.

Be sure to break sections into headings. This is done with Header tags. Think of these like chapters which separate thoughts. Look at the headers (big words) above, and you’ll see they are for specific aspects of SEO for startups. Strategy isn’t hard as long as you know what to do! With the headings you do not always want to use h1 (the largest).

Bonus Tip: Don’t write one large blob of content. Ever read 1,000 words without proper spacing or line breaks? You wouldn’t?want to. No matter how good your content, our job is to make our visitors experience pleasurable.

The SEO for Startups – Blogging

You always here how blogging is important. We often get asked the question, “Why should I blog if no one is even finding my website?” Very logical question. The question is the answer.

You see, we recommend you blog about a sub-niche of your product or service. Or maybe even focus in on a very small area in your town. Follow the steps in the content section above for this blog post and eventually your website will start ranking for very long-tail keywords.

It doesn’t mean you will rank for your main money keyword overnight. However, the more pages you publish about your topic, the more Google will believe that you are an expert on that topic. Here is a quick example. If we both owned a shop that modified cars, whose website do you think Google would consider more authoritative?

My website, which is updated weekly and has hundreds of posts about the latest technology regarding brakes, aerodynamics, forced induction, tires, exhaust, weight reduction, etc; vs. another website which doesn’t have a blog and hasn’t been updated in 4 years?

Focus on very specific ideas. So when you did your keyword research maybe write an entire huge authoritative blog on something that gets less than 10 searches a month. Eventually all these small posts will increase the overall strength of your entire website.

SEO for Startups – Off-Page SEO & Link Building

seo for start up businessesImagine both yourself and a competitor are reading this very post right now. Let’s imagine you both start implementing everything found on this post. If all else is equal (domain age, amount of content, frequency of blog updates, etc), who would rank better?

*Insert Jeopardy music here*

Alex, What is whoever has more relevant and quality links! That’s right Google main patent and why they became popular is because the founders developed an algorithm known as Page Rank. Even though this numerical number is no longer a huge deal, the fact remains that links are important.

If your website has links from huffington post, forbes, relevant industry websites, authoritative websites in your general niche, frequent bloggers writing about your company, you are obviously doing something right.

So the goal is to gain backlinks from all sources around the web.?Caution. Do not go buying software that blasts your links all over the web or even buying links. There are rules to this game. Doing the aforementioned will get your lovely domain/brand in the toilet. A penalty or filter will be applied to your website. So be cautious. Do not over optimize anchor text. This is anchor text.

One example is you can sign up at Medium.com and write a post. Refer to the content is critical section above so you have some general guidelines to follow. Remember offer value. Don’t write just to write. The more your content gets shared, the better.

Should You Outsource your SEO for Startup Strategy?

Here’s my plug. Yes! Hire our team! Only if you are financially able. We have plenty of case studies from domain acquisition to domination of a national industry in just under two years.

I would caution against outsourcing overseas because there are plenty of horror stories of that work getting websites penalized. If you think I’m blowing smoke to scare you into hiring us, feel free to Google the following: Google Panda Update & Google Penguin Update. Many companies are using archaic tactics.

Bottom line, before hiring anyone. Ask for?current case studies. Ask for?current?references. Ask for?current?rankings of their own website. We love educated consumers because we have nothing to hide and love showcasing our successes. Give us a call today if you want to dominate without question. If not, we hope you enjoyed this resource!

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How to Compete with SEO in a Fast Growing City http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/compete-seo-fast-growing-city/ Tue, 14 Nov 2017 16:43:13 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8275 There are many hot areas in the country right now. Doing search engine optimization or SEO in Greenville, SC can be pretty difficult with all the new businesses popping up. They understand the value of ranking well on major search engines, especially Google. The reward for outranking competition is serious and can catapult a business […]

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There are many hot areas in the country right now. Doing search engine optimization or SEO in Greenville, SC can be pretty difficult with all the new businesses popping up. They understand the value of ranking well on major search engines, especially Google. The reward for outranking competition is serious and can catapult a business from barely surviving to thriving.

A Look at SEO in a Fast Growing City

Greenville, SC is the fourth fastest growing city in America. This listed fact wasn’t created by the state of SC either, it was found to be true by the U.S. Census Bureau.? So how do you compete in a fast growing city like Greenville or any other fast growing city?

The answer is quite simple. Whatever you do, do not take shortcuts. Try not to outsource overseas as this ultimately land you in Google’s “time-out” box. Getting filtered or having a penalty applied to your website is a complete disaster and a nightmare. This can happen for various reasons such as toxic anchor text, copying content, having low quality content, and more.

My partner Sergio Aicardi wrote a fantastic blog post on how to identify if your website is penalized. Feel free to check that out here if you wish to learn more about it.

Actionable Tips to Use for SEO in a Fast Growing City

One thing that is easy for any business owner or marketing manager to do is to constantly blog with high quality, useful content. Even if you do not have a ton of visitors blogging will eventually get you visitors by ranking for long-tail search queries. Sure, its not going to instantly get you to Page One overnight for your toughest of keywords but SEO is a long process. It is a long-term investment.

Unfortunately, blogging isn’t as easy as just writing. You will need to optimize the header tags, image alt tags, include outbound authority links, relevant inner links, and more. Try to use long-tail keywords throughout your article.

If you need immediate exposure, you may be better off investing into Pay-Per-Click advertising.

Another actionable tip to help your Google Map organic performance would be to confirm that all your business listings have the?exact same Name, Address, & Phone Number across all directories. If you are a surgeon, be sure to literally have the same punctuation’s in your MD. Google needs consistency, not doing this can cause you to lose the value of some of these links.

In a fast growing area, you will want to take the extra step to ensure you are doing things your competition isn’t. Just like your on-site blogging, you will want to do the same off of your website. This is critical so Google see’s you are offering good, valuable content to a different audience. The more social shares you get on your content whether on or off your website the better quality it likely is.

Sometimes our clients or visitors are busy running the day to day operations of their business and do not have time to write content. If this is the case, we can help you with our optimized content writing services.

If you read something that was highly valuable and your friends or colleagues would benefit from it, you would likely share it. That is the same kind of thought you want to be putting into your content. Google is not a human at the end of the day but its entire algorithm is based on providing its users relevant results.

Put in the Work and The Results Will Come

Use the above tips to start gaining some traction. Continue to follow our blog to gain actionable insights and tips on activities you can be doing to increase your relevance and rankings. Doing SEO in a fast growing city will certainly require consistency of hard work. You cannot expect to do well after putting this ideas into action for a couple of months. Many times, in competitive industries and locations, it can take over a year to truly do well.

Do not let that deter you. The benefits are truly astonishing once you are the #1 player in your industry. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions or would like to have us take care of everything for you.

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Make These 5 Simple Changes to Improve Your AdWords CTR Today http://www.cafeproje.com/uncategorized/make-5-simple-changes-improve-adwords-ctr-today/ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 15:30:46 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8266 So much time and money can be wasted on AdWords if you are not seeing a click through rate (CTR) that is actually leading to conversions. That said, if you want to get people on your site you need to give them a reason to click to learn more—and that can actually be much more […]

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So much time and money can be wasted on AdWords if you are not seeing a click through rate (CTR) that is actually leading to conversions. That said, if you want to get people on your site you need to give them a reason to click to learn more—and that can actually be much more simple than you think. While improving your CTR may require some attention and change in your AdWords strategy, it is actually much more simple than you probably realize. As an SEO company, we are often confronted with challenging questions about AdWords that require a simple explanation—and this topic is one of them!

Utilize AdExtensions

When people are deciding what to click on, the information they are presented with is incredibly important. Utilizing all of the ad extensions available helps to make your ad more relevant and thus can increase CTR. There are many different types of ad-extensions you can utilize, but below I am going to list a few for your consideration:

A). Sitelinks

Sitselinks extensions literally lets you add additional links to your site (see the example below). There are a lot of different ways you can use this, but adding links to relevant subpages that might catch your target population’s attention is most-ideal. Below is a screenshot from Hallam Internet that shows you how it works:

ad-extensions

B). Call Extensions

Allow people to get in touch with your right away with call extensions. IF your business is primarily brick and mortar or if there are a lot of questions that need to be directed to your staff directly, this particular extension could be a good fit for you.

call extensions

C). Call OUT Extensions

Call out extensions can be used to offer some description of the products or services you offer, well, as much as you can fit in 25 characters or less. That said, concise and direct copy can really do a lot to call attention to your ad over others. You can show up to four callout extensions per ad, and Google can program these to automate depending on the user type! Pretty cool! this means that you can be more directly targeting you customers with every appearance of your add.

call out extensions

Utilize all that AdWords extensions has to offer. This list only shows three of them, so doing a little extra looking into AdWords extensions will help you determine what is best for your ads and how you can maximize the real estate you have on Google’s home page.

Write Better Ads

This is a really critical component in getting a higher click through rate on your ads. Writing better ads that can capture your audiences’ attention are key to getting people to look at your ad over others. One way to do this is to really think about the perspective of your customers—what are they most interested in learning about businesses in your industry when they are shopping around? Make sure these features are highlighted so you can easily be identified as the most important ad to click on. Another way you can get creative and relevant ideas is to look at your competitors ads and get a sense of what works well

Use the URLs as Copy

Google AdWords allows you to place URLs in your ad copy in order to link to specific pages on your site (note: these do NOT need to be the actual URLs of those pages). That said, you really want to use these to your advantage and treat these URLs and an additional opportunity for relevant keywords and ad copy.

Get Creative and Think Outside the Box

Acquiso suggests using symbols (see their example below) in order to create extra attention and make your ad more noticeable. While I do like the idea of using symbols to be unique and capture attention, I actually like the theory behind it even more. Anything you can do to draw searching eyes to your ad and make your ad stand out id going to help increase your CTR.

use-symbols

Always Use Keywords and Segment Your Ads

Keywords that are the most relevant to your business should absolutely be a part of your ad copy. These keywords are going to be the most relevant parts of text to notice for your audience—it is what they are looking to see and the way they confirm the relevancy of your site for what they are looking for.

Along the same vein, you need to be segmenting your ads. One of the biggest mistakes that is made with AdWords is that one ad is meant to serve several audiences, several products, several services, and ultimately several searches. Grouping ads for targeted searches and keywords will drastically help your CTR and make sure that only the most relevant leads are getting through to your site (which will also help with increasing conversions).

The Takeaway

There are many things you can do to help improve your AdWords CTR. Start by utilizing ad extensions and writing effective copy. By thinking outside the box you can make sure that your ad is the one that stands out among the rest (this can be as simple as adding a relevant symbol or being catchy with your copy). Further, by utilizing the most relevant keywords and segmenting your ads for different target groups and searches, you will enhance the quality and quantity of people who want to click on to your adds. CTR has a direct correlation with conversion in most situations, so making improving your CTR an AdWords goal will certainly help boost sales and visibility.

Do you have any other additional tips that have helped you in the past? Which one of these strategies are you most eager to try? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you!

Image credit: Support.google.com?

Image credit: Blogspot.com

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A New Kind of Data: What You Need to Know about Google Search Console Crawl Stats http://www.cafeproje.com/google-analytics-blog/new-kind-data-need-know-google-search-console-crawl-stats/ Tue, 05 Sep 2017 14:45:10 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8248 It’s all about the stats and measurable data. If we can’t measure performance in a quantifiable way, then it becomes difficult to have benchmarks for success and failure. As a new business owner or a small business marketer, all of the different measurable data you can look at might seem daunting, but there are some […]

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It’s all about the stats and measurable data. If we can’t measure performance in a quantifiable way, then it becomes difficult to have benchmarks for success and failure. As a new business owner or a small business marketer, all of the different measurable data you can look at might seem daunting, but there are some metrics that are more important than others to pay attention to. We often talk about Google Analytics stats, but what about looking specifically at Google’s Search Engine Crawl Stats? This is an area that can teach a business owner a lot of valuable information without a lot of effort.

What are Google Search Console Crawl Stats?

To put it simply, Google Crawl Stats show the activity of Google Bots on your website over the past 90 days. This is obviously key in assessing the kind of information that Google is gathering from your site, whether this is CSS, JavaScript, Flash, and PDF files, or images. And keep in mind—Google Analytics can’t offer you this same information, meaning in the past we were forced to make assumptions based on indirectly related data.

You can find your crawl stats at Google Search Console. On the side menu look at the dashboard section> then select crawl> under the Crawl subheading you will find “Crawl Stats” (see the screenshots below):

Your crawl stats after you click should look like this:

 

Your crawl stats after you click should look like this:

 

 

crawl-stats

Your crawl stats after you click should look like this:

google-crawl-stats

Image Credit: Neil Patel

Generally, Crawl Stats Should be Consistent

Generally speaking there is no “ideal” crawl number—you want to aim for consistency. Google claims this means stability in activity over a two week period. Of course, there are some instances where you can expect to see spikes (adding a ton of content to your site, for example). There are also a lot of reasons that your crawl rate can drop. Read on to learn a little more about those cases.

When Your Crawl Stats Spike!

For whatever reason we are programmed to look at “spikes” in analytics as a positive in digital marketing, but in reality an increase in activity isn’t always inherently positive. In many cases a Google Crawls Stats spike could just be indicative of sudden change in the amount of content on your site. Unfortunately, an increase in Googlebots is not always a positive thing, as it could affect the speed and functionality of your site.

If you have just added a lot of new content (or possibly you just have a lot of informative content that is making waves and increasing your crawl rate), then not to fear—this is normal and you can anticipate a drop to normal activity shortly after the new additions. That said, there are some cases where it will not drop off as quickly as you would like. Here are some tips if that is the case:

  • Make sure it is in fact Google that is crawling your site and not another user. You can learn more about checking your site logs here.
  • If you need to urgently stop crawling you can enable 503 HTTP result codes for all of its requests
  • If you find this is happening often, you can set a “preferred maximum crawl rate” to ensure your website is never overloaded with more than it can handle.
  • If you have any invalid URLs on your site that are still active, be sure to 404 or 410 codes, or set up a 301 redirect for pages that have permanently moved to another location.

Did Your Crawl Stats Drop?

Again, consistency is key, so the flip side to craw stat spikes are crawl stat drops. There are many things that can cause crawl stats to drop, which makes it even more important to be aware of this data so that you can turn it around and get Googlebots back on your site again!

  • Sometimes Googlebots are blocked from reading CSS or Java when you install a new (or very broad) robots.txt rule. Make sure if you do this that you enable Google access to this content so that it can crawl it accordingly.
  • Unsupported content or broken HTML are probably the two most important. All too often we see clients who have this kind of content on their site, and consequently cannot be crawled and indexed by Google. This is obviously problematic for SEO! If you notice a drop, these are the two things you should look to fix first. One thing Google recommends is actually using Fetch for Google to see how Googlebots are actually seeing your page so if you know if there is something out of order.
  • On the same note of the “preferred maximum crawl rate” setting mentioned above, you want to make sure that you did not accidentally lower this number and have actually prohibited Googlebots from crawling your site adequately.
  • Now for the worst news that no one ever wants to hear. If you have noticed a sudden, or even, steady drop-off of crawl activity on your site, it may be that you’re not producing enough new and valuable content and Google has opted to just not crawl and index your site as often. The best thing to do is really look at your site and look honestly at the amount of content that you are producing that is truly valuable to your audience—chances are that if you are not nailing this, you might not want to consider taking a closer look at the content you are producing and what you can do to improve your appearance in the eyes of your audience and Googlebots!

Why Looking at Crawl Stats Can Help You SEO

We’ve now talked about the two most important aspects of looking at and interpreting your crawl stats (sudden spikes and sudden drops—i.e, a lack of consistency), and we have talked about some of the most common ways those changes to Google Crawl Stats can happen. However, you might be wondering how to connect this to your SEO and marketing efforts.

Bottom Line. If you are not getting crawled at an ideal rate, regularly, you are going to have a very difficult time actually climbing Search Engine Rankings. To optimize your SEO you need to have Googlebots on your side, looking at all of the glorious content you have produced—otherwise you are wasting your time. Out of all of the stats and analytics you could spend time looking at, Google Crawl Stats are a surefire way to know if all is well on your site, and you are visible to all who could do a Google Search for you online.

Update and Produce Valuable & Crawl-able Content. It is one thing to be able to tell if your crawl rates are in good shape—it is another to make it an actionable statistic. Your goal should always be to produce updated content that is fresh and draws your audience in, but can also be crawled and indexed by Google. Remember to use “Fetch for Google” as a way of looking at how Googlebots see your site, so you can make adjustments for awesome content that is not visible. Below is a screenshot from Marketer Doug:

how-to-fetch-as-google-crawl

The Takeaway

The key point is that Google Crawl Stats via Google Search Console can be used to identify problems on your site in a quick way, that has actionable implications for your SEO and site indexing. By interpreting the graph and noticing inconsistent spikes or dips in Googlebot activity, you can pinpoint what might need to be fixed or improved to help your SEO efforts.

Do you have any stories of Google Crawl Stats saving your site or making your content look more valuable in the eyes of Googlebots? Let us know in the comments section below.

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4 Ways to Make Six-Second YouTube Bumper Ads Work for You http://www.cafeproje.com/youtube/4-ways-make-six-second-youtube-bumper-ads-work/ Wed, 30 Aug 2017 15:24:48 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8245 Companies focus on making their brand recognizable, intriguing, and a notch above their competitors with advertisements telling a story. YouTube’s Bumper Ads are no different, but instead of 15- or 30-second ads, it’s challenging companies to do it in six. Six seconds to tell a story. Six seconds to make an impression. Six seconds to […]

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Companies focus on making their brand recognizable, intriguing, and a notch above their competitors with advertisements telling a story. YouTube’s Bumper Ads are no different, but instead of 15- or 30-second ads, it’s challenging companies to do it in six. Six seconds to tell a story. Six seconds to make an impression. Six seconds to recognize a brand.

It’s definitely possible, as these ads prove, but what is the hidden formula for success? How do you show a product and its value in just six seconds? It doesn’t involve just cutting down a 30-second ad and making it fit—it involves looking at the whole process backward.

  1. Simplicity is Key

It would be easy to muddle a message in six seconds by attempting to focus on too many objectives at once. A bumper ad needs one focal point, one message to really benefit the audience. In a 30-second spot, advertisers have time to build a story, show product placement, and present an offer or an objective for the audience. In six seconds, an advertiser is supposed to do the same thing? No, they are not.

Six-second bumper ads are more useful for brand recognition, implementing intrigue, leaving the audience wanting more and yes, plugging a product, but not all at once. The key is to narrow down your objective first, whether it’s a jingle or joke or multiple six-second ads to create a storyline, and then create around that specific objective.

Boosting brand recall and awareness is an important goal many companies are using bumper ads for. In fact, Cato Institute used bumper ads for just that and increased brand recall by +357 percent and brand awareness by +125 percent, according to an article from Think with Google. The Cato Institute and Libertarianism.org wanted to create more awareness around libertarianism and Libertarianism.org. YouTube ads were a great fit for this since the digital content site focuses on specialized ideas and political commentary.

The result was positive, using well-known libertarian figures to present ideas with some as more playful memes with taglines. They used different versions of the six-second ad to determine which calls to action worked and which didn’t, and also used marketing tools such as remarketing and audience targeting for those who had already watched their videos or had watch similar videos.

The results? Other than the +357 percent brand recall increase and +125 percent brand awareness increase, Libertarianism.org saw a 14 percent increase in website traffic from the six-second bumper ads campaign. Below is that ad:

  1. Budget Your Time Wisely

To state the obvious, six seconds is not a lot of time. With that said, you need to budget that time wisely for how you will use it to send your message. Remember your audience and remember that they’ve clicked on a YouTube video to watch and may need a moment to realize your ad is not their video. Many successful bumper ads began with a unique image or single subject and expound on that. Again, simplicity is important.

A successful ad needs to express a clear and well-thought call to action or message. This isn’t something you can just tack onto the end of the ad—there’s barely a beginning, middle and end to a six-second ad! You’ll need a couple seconds to let this sink in, which again goes back to simplicity. Keep your goal simple, your message simple and budget your time simply.

Although you have a short amount of time to work with, the results are real and positive. Think with Google found from testing 300 bumper ads, 9 out 10 drove significant ad recall. The short time also works wonderfully as a component of a larger ad campaign.

Most of us have probably seen the full-length commercial of the above bumper add – the woman in this Secret Deodorant stress test ad using the hand dryer in a bathroom to dry her sweaty pits pretends to be doing yoga (Namaste!) – when another bathroom user walks in. Secret took the same idea and cut it down to six-seconds with nothing but this view, a few words on the screen and the sound of the blowing dryer. Ad recognition right away!

  1. Look Past Your 30-Second Spots

So, yes, as stated above, creating bumper ads from your 30-second spots does work and can be very beneficial to your goals, but it’s not the only way to get things done. Many times a 30-second commercial has too many components working at once. It works for your longer time limit, but under extreme time constraints it doesn’t fit the bill.

It all depends on your goal. If your goal is brand recognition, then working with similar ideas, images and perspectives will work here. If your goal is increasing website traffic, it may be beneficial to only use a tagline or logo similar to your longer-form ads and to reinvent for this campaign. No matter the goal, your 30-second ads need to be reinvented to fit the new form. And since bumper ads are unable to be skipped, it’s important to make it count since your audience has to watch it to get to their desired media.

  1. Allow the Audience to Fill in the Blanks

This might seem a little weird at first, as an ad is supposed to provide the information, but the society we live in has already exposed your audience, no matter whom they are, to products, needs, emotions. Use that. Images, music and words can create powerful emotions, no matter the length of exposure. Someone somewhere will have an emotional reaction to an image of an abused puppy or a person being laid off or a surprise birthday party. Use your audience to fill in the emotion and connect with the ad.

Storytelling is all about connecting on some level with your audience, so it’s only natural that even a six-second ad can tell a story and connect on some level with your audience. And, if we’re being honest, in today’s society it’s only natural that ads bend and adhere to any platform, length or other restriction. Advertisers have a short time frame to catch their audience attention to begin with, which is what makes bumper ads so relevant.

Have you seen a bumper ad that caught your eye? What are your thoughts on using bumper ads for your business? Let us know in the comment section below.

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What Customers Really Want on a Business Website: A Checklist for Your Customer Experience Website Revamp http://www.cafeproje.com/uncategorized/customers-really-want-business-website-checklist-customer-experience-website-revamp/ Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:11:26 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8237 I have talked to a lot of small business owners recently and over the years who are in the process of either wanting to build a new website for their business or revamp the look of their current site entirely. This is a big project that often has aesthetics and graphics in mind, and of […]

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I have talked to a lot of small business owners recently and over the years who are in the process of either wanting to build a new website for their business or revamp the look of their current site entirely. This is a big project that often has aesthetics and graphics in mind, and of course, functionality and the features you are able to offer your customers and new visitors is equally as important. What I found after talking to several entrepreneurs and established small business owners is that a key challenge is actually identifying what customers really want on a business website and what will make them stay.

We focus so much on SEO and good website practices that it should come as no shock that there is certainly some overlap for benefiting your quest to conquer the SERPs when it comes to website design/redesign, but today we really want to focus on the customer experience and making your website revamp all about them. Below is your all-inclusive list for your website revamp for customer experience:

  1. Eye-Catching Graphics

The first time customers and new visitors arrive on your page they want to get a sense that you are professional, high quality, and willing to spend the time on visual features. While functionality is what all customers really want out of a site (more on that later), eye-catching graphics really grab their attention and make them want to stick around. Make your site interesting, fun, and engaging. If you need some help in the visual aspects of your site you may want to consider hiring a graphic designer, or at the very least, using a website builder. Website design communicates your professionalism and that your company is detail oriented.

Below is an example of a well-designed homepage from Workshops for Warriors. As you can see, they put a focus on high-quality graphics while still using a bright red button to help important text stand out. Their mission is right there on the page, and as you scroll down they continue to highlight different pages on their website with more photography in a grid pattern so that it is easy to digest:

homepage-example

  1. Live Chat

If you have an e-commerce site or really any kind of business where your customers are going to be purchasing or communicating with you online, then live chat is a must-have for your website. Live chat that is regularly monitored is easy and convenient for your customers to reach you. If you are worried about being able to monitor a live chat feature on your website, many of them have apps to easily install on your phone, and of course the ability to receive alerts when you are working on your desktop as well. We recommend Olark, LiveChat, or SnapEngage. Get a full list of software here.

live-chat

  1. Clear Contact Information

In the days of contact forms, and yes indeed, live chat, customers get very frustrated when there is not a way to contact you in the traditional sense. While these other platforms can be excellent ways for customers to contact you, most will still want to see a phone number, email, and location at the very least. This is not to say you do not want a contact form and live chat, as #2 suggested, but you need to make it easy to find your basic contact information.

In the example below the Gino’s East of Chicago restaurant has made it incredibly easy for patrons to find a location, view their address on a map, and click for additional phone/email contact information.

locations

  1. Easy Navigation

The best way to think about this is to think about your own pet peeves on a website. Have you ever been on a site and are just unable to find what you are looking for or find that pages just have incredibly slow load times? There is absolutely nothing worse than getting to a site and wanting to leave immediately because the navigation is horrible. If people can’t find what they are looking for, or ultimately just do not want to stay on your site, than they are not going to be able to shop with your business—its that simple!

We recommend using a breadcrumbs plugin to help with navigation. Breadcrumbs will help follow the path of a user and allow that user to go back to whatever page in their process if they need to. We recommend creating a website where users do not have to go more than four pages deep:

breadcrumbs

If your logo is static and clickable at the top of every page that also helps—this allows viewers to always go back to “home” should they get lost. You can learn more about site navigation?and utilizing breadcrumbs on your website here.

  1. Transparency

Businesses are focusing more and more on the customer experience for good reason—the online shopping world is becoming increasingly popular, but people want to feel connected to the brands they purchase from. One thing that people really look for is transparency about how processes work and what they can expect. Although you might not have a storefront with caring customer services representatives, you can show, through your presence online, that you prioritize your customers.

Below is a screenshot from a FAQ page on Stitch Fix, and online stylist shopping experience where customers get a of personalized clothing shipped to them bi weekly, monthly, or quarterly. As you can imagine, with a service like this, customers have a lot of questions and want transparent answers. A good FAQ page is one way to ease the minds of your customers.

Another example is the email they send out upon joining, outlining once again how the program works and what their customers can expect. This goes to show that transparency and being clear about expectations can extend beyond your website into generated follow-up emails and other ways of showing your customers that you are there for them.

transparency

  1. Hot Deals and Personalization

With so much online noise, consumers are really interested in a personalized experience with the brands they choose. They want to feel like their shopping experience is personal and that their loyalty is rewarded. From a marketing standpoint this is a clear way to keep customers interested, but it is also a key thing that new customers are looking for on websites. It is all about how their experience can be made unique and how they can benefit from spending their money at your business vs. another! According to Entrepreneur this is one way that small businesses can have a competitive edge against their larger corporate counter parts.

The Takeaway

As you revamp your website there are so many things to focus on and take care of, but looking at the customer experience can help you prioritize page elements and really look at the bigger picture. Most customers are happy when they see nice graphics, a live chat/contact information, easy navigation, transparency, and unique deals and personalization. While this is not to say this is an exhaustive list of everything your website needs, it does capture the important features customers want in today’s online environment.

Did anything on this list make you think about your own brand’s customer outreach and website revamp? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Feature Image Credit: huffingtonpost.com

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Machine Learning and Google Attribution: What It Means for Marketers and Small Business Owners http://www.cafeproje.com/getting-started/8231/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:44:09 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8231 Prior to their Google Marketing Next event, Google took to their blog to give users a preview of some of the big changes they’ll be making in the future, and it’s no surprise that many of them seem to center around machine learning. The utilization of machine learning is quickly becoming a growing trend for […]

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Prior to their Google Marketing Next event, Google took to their blog to give users a preview of some of the big changes they’ll be making in the future, and it’s no surprise that many of them seem to center around machine learning. The utilization of machine learning is quickly becoming a growing trend for marketers who have recognized the need to analyze large amounts of data quickly to create and revise their advertising strategies and best meet the needs of customers.

Google is an innovator in machine learning and they’ve come up with several new programs, including the much-anticipated Google Attribution, to meet the demand for more targeted marketing. Read on to learn more about why machine learning is an effective strategy, what you need to know to successfully incorporate it into your company, and how Google Attribution could potentially change the way you do business.

The Significance of Machine Learning

Machine learning is an essential technology for marketers. If you’re not currently using it for your business, you could be wasting valuable time and resources trying to analyze large amounts of data that a simple algorithm could evaluate in seconds. In the past, many small business owners have shied away from machine learning because it had a reputation for being heavily dependent on data science and advanced algorithm building, two fields that many entrepreneurs aren’t comfortable with and don’t have the budget to hire experts to handle.

Today, machine learning is a growing trend for marketers and business owners because it solves data problems quickly so entrepreneurs have access to data in real time and can make quicker and more informed decisions about their marketing strategies. Marketers now have access to data that can tell them exactly what type of ads to send to targeted audiences at exactly the right times to help them make a conversion. Below is a great infographic from e-learning infographics?that gives you an overview of machine learning (visit their site for the full infographic):

e-learning

There are plenty of programs available now that make machine learning accessible for anyone looking to integrate the practice into their marketing and business plans. Google has even taken it one step further by building programs like Google Attribution?that will quickly and easily let marketers know whether or not their strategies are working.

What Is Google Attribution?

Google Attribution is a program that measures online activity from AdWords, DoubleClick, Search, and Google Analytics. Google’s goal is to eventually create a program that will allow business owners to measure whether or not their in-store sales and visits are directly influenced by their online ads, which is a question that any marketer who spends money on advertising is looking to answer.

Currently, anyone who has a Google AdWords or DoubleClick account has access to Attribution, and they can link the data they already have in Analytics.?SearchEngineLand explains that “Marketers can then assign an attribution model to their conversion events [which allows them to compare models side by side.] With the native integrations, the modeled conversion data can feed back into AdWords or DoubleClick Search to inform bidding decisions.”

This is different from the capabilities of AdWords and Analytics in that it gives insight into multi-channel search marketing that AdWords doesn’t have the functionality to provide, and it includes many more touch points that offer more in-depth analytics than Google Analytics can currently afford. You need to have access to Google Attribution to use the product, but below is a screenshot of what you will see from Search Engine Land:

google-attribution-data-driven-800x500

What Does This Mean for Marketers and Small Business Owners?

So what does this mean for you, as a marketer or entrepreneur? Do you need to run out and take a class on machine learning? The answer, in short, is no.

If you’re planning to integrate Google Attribution into your long-term business plans (and we think you should), Google has kindly taken the complexity out of machine learning by automatically incorporating it into their program. All you have to do is learn the ins and outs of Attribution (which, if you’re familiar with Analytics, shouldn’t be that hard to do).

You’ll be able to use Attribution to better understand the journey your customers take from the second they open their browser window to the point where they put a product into their shopping cart and make a purchase. You’ll also be able to determine which ads and/or keywords specifically led them to your site, allowing you to better target your advertising.

And because this data will automatically be uploaded to Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see a clear path linking ads, channels, devices, and conversions to give you a complete view of your marketing performance. All this will happen in mere seconds thanks to machine learning, without requiring you to spend hours searching for and interpreting this valuable data.

In addition, the integration with AdWords and DoubleClick will allow you to make quick decisions regarding your advertising methods so you can update your bids or focus on different channels if the data shows either strategy being more worthwhile than what you’re currently doing. This will save you both time AND money in your marketing budget.

google-doubleclick

The Takeaway

Hopefully, by now you’re convinced that machine learning, and Google Attribution specifically, are both worth incorporating into your business plan. Attribution is still currently in the beta-testing phase, but it’s anticipated to be available to advertisers in the next few months. In the meantime, you can check out data-driven attribution modeling in AdWords to get a feel for what the model is and how it works.

Have you already integrated machine learning into your marketing strategies? How do you anticipate Google Attribution affecting your advertising plans? Let us know on social media!

Feature Image Credit: Respondr.com

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5 Reasons to Spend Time & Resources Conducting Market Research (and How to Do It) http://www.cafeproje.com/content-writing/5-reasons-spend-time-resources-conducting-market-research/ Mon, 07 Aug 2017 15:28:36 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8227 Understanding your customers and prospective customers is at the heart of producing products and services that users want to consume. The true difference between brands that excel and produce products that people want to buy again and again (not just the one-hit-wonders of the world), is that they are keeping the user at the center […]

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Understanding your customers and prospective customers is at the heart of producing products and services that users want to consume. The true difference between brands that excel and produce products that people want to buy again and again (not just the one-hit-wonders of the world), is that they are keeping the user at the center of their design, product development, and marketing strategy. They’re also staying relevant and keeping trends, global insights, and social patterns top of mind in their strategy.

Chances are that if you are imagining a brand that has remained a solid player over the last decade (or even over the past few years), they are doing some kind of market research. So what exactly does that term mean: True market research involves collecting both primary and secondary data to inform the business decisions your brand makes.

  • Primary data includes information that comes to your prospective customers directly (I will explore more examples of this in just a bit).
  • Secondary data includes reports, statistics, case studies and other information that you may not be collecting directly, but it considers the customer demographics, business competitors, and other relevant knowledge that can aid your own brand’s development before implementing strategy.

Collecting Primary Data. If you are interested in conducting market research yourself then you can absolutely start with secondary research, or in other words, relevant research that already exists in the world that you just need to dig up and apply! From there you may realize that you have enough to make informed decisions, but most often, companies who do market research decide to collect primary data based on their own unique pool of consumers. In other words, that means existing customers and prospective customers that meet target audience expectations.

Considering A Market Research Firm Vs. In House Research

The big question that businesses are concerned with is whether to hire a firm or conduct the research in-house. To truly answer that you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have the knowledge in house? Do you have social scientists or other data aficionados that are capable of designing a study and executing to get the kind of data you need?
  • Do you have the resources? For example, do you know how to recruit the audience you want to get answers from?
  • Do you have any experience or is this your first shot at conducting a study? Some research is easier (i.e, a survey) to conduct than others (i.e, a lab based project).

If you have people on your team who are comfortable with social research design and fully executing a study, then in-house can be a cost-effective option. That being said, if this is not your team’s primary role, conducting even just one small study can take an extraordinary amount of time—we are talking a team of multiple people focused on that project alone from design to data analysis over several weeks. Below is a great infographic from ConceptDraw that lays out some of the pros and cons:

conceptdraw

This is why most companies, if they have the budget to do so, decide to hire a market research firm to conduct their study. These firms generally have the staff, resources, knowledge, and ability to take a study from design to analysis, as that is their primary workload. That being said, you as the client are not hands off and disengaged, waiting for the results to come in. Generally speaking most reputable firms want their brands to be involved in their own studies (as much as they want to be!). The idea is that the results shouldn’t really be a surprise to you once the project has wrapped, you should know what is coming by being involved along the way. After all, you should use any market research as a marketing tool.

Why Market Research is Worth It

Regardless of how you choose to do market research it is absolutely worth your time and resources. Here are five reasons why:

  1. You Can Better Understand Your Existing Audience. In marketing we talk a lot about getting to understand your audience. With market research you can achieve this understanding through actual data, which can help to make important decisions and strategic marketing One market research study can serve to improve several future decisions.
  2. Strategic Innovations that are Data-Driven. When you are looking to improve a product or service, you want to make the most innovative, cutting-edge decisions that you possibly can. Often times marketing professionals have very good grounded insights about their target market, but market research can surface key findings to help drive specific innovation and strategy, based on study results.
  3. Find Something Surprising. When we step back from our work and let a fresh set of unbiased eyes look at the problem and conduct research around it, surprising findings can emerge. These surprises can lead to creative product evolution, but can also spark key marketing ideas that can help your business to excel.
  4. Identify New Customers. When research is done right, you will get information from a wide range of relevant demographics, and sometimes this can allow for identifying new customers that were not your initial target. Identifying a new customer base that you had not previously been reaching can help you redesign your marketing strategy to reach even more successfully.
  5. Look Into The Future Business Opportunities. Market research studies allow your audience to be heard in a direct way. This means that they have a channel to express their frustrations, desires, likes, and dislikes (all the more reason third party firms can be beneficial—people often feel like they can be more direct and honest). These comments or ratings, whether in a survey or some other kind of qualitative feedback, can help to identify patterns that can lead to future business opportunities you had not yet considered.
  6. It’s a Great Marketing Tool. Readers love case studies and facts. If presented in the right way for your audience (infographic, article, eBook, etc.) you should see a big surge in backlinks and engagement. If you’re the most recently company to conduct a specific study (or the only one), you should see these benefits for a long period of time.

The Takeaway

Market research, whether done in house or with a third party firm, can be very insightful and help to redirect and improve your brand’s strategy. By knowing your target audience better, getting key insights into the products you offer, and identifying new opportunities, one study can open up a whole new world of possibilities if done well. If you have the and ability and you do not have the knowledge and resources in house, it is always better to work with an un-biased third party (just remember that not all firms are created equal, really do your homework before spending the money). Overall conducting one market research study, or several over time, can be very beneficial for your brand’s development.

Have you ever conducted a market research study? Did you learn something that helped drive your own strategy? Let us know in the comments section below.

Feature Image Credit: thedocumentco.com

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Internet Marketing For DME / HME Companies http://www.cafeproje.com/case-studies/mobility-product-retailer-repair-company-case-study/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 15:37:49 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7787 As you may know, our specialty is?online marketing ?for DME / HME companies. We offer a reporting service that is very transparent that simply shows you the amount of sales and leads you’re getting compared to the amount you spend on advertising. Tracking performance is not only important, it’s critical. In the last couple of […]

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As you may know, our specialty is?online marketing ?for DME / HME companies. We offer a reporting service that is very transparent that simply shows you the amount of sales and leads you’re getting compared to the amount you spend on advertising. Tracking performance is not only important, it’s critical. In the last couple of years, we started working with clients who own DME/HME companies that repair and sell mobility products ranging from wheelchairs, mobility scooters, lift systems, walkers and more. It’s a great industry with plenty of baby boomers to keep a constant flow of online sales flowing.

The typical audience we’re dealing with as you can imagine is comprised mainly of senior citizens that don’t search for products online the same way?younger audiences do. Internet marketing DME/HME products to seniors can be very tricky?because you have to really understand the way seniors usmarketing for HME DME providerse the internet to find what they’re looking for. As you can imagine, seniors use the internet in a completely different way than most younger people do. Don’t get me wrong, as the years go on, the older crowd is getting acclimated to using mobile devices and tablets just as much if not more as the younger working crowd but they still use the internet differently. We’ve identified the patterns, spent the time and money perfecting an internet marketing strategy that works for advertising to DME and HME customers that are looking for your products and services.

We did this for a company in South Florida which is one of the toughest and most competitive ares in the country. The company currently has 2 websites, one that is mobilityscootersdirect.com and the other which is statewidemobility.com. The first website is a nationally recognized retail website that offers products for sale online and the second is a local services and repair website that attracts tons of visitors from South Florida looking for repairs and services. After perfecting the marketing strategy we reached out to a few other DME/HME retailers that we met during the 2015 Med Trade Show in Atlanta.?It was very surprising to see just how many DME and HME companies out there didn’t have a solid online marketing strategy in place or even a mobile friendly website when we attended Med Trade 2015. We’ve been providing great services to our clients and hope to work with you too.

Internet Marketing DME / HME?Results – Show me Them!

If you’re like most business owners, you probably have emails pouring in with solicitation for online marketing so you’re probably asking yourself if this is a legitimate thing or not. As a wise consumer you should always do your research on any company before doing business with them and we encourage you to do your research on us.

The first website we started online marketing in the DME/HME industry was statewidemobility.com which is a local service and repair website offering services in?Fort Lauderdale and surrounding cities for the following products:

  • Mobility Scooters
  • Power Wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair / Mobility Scooter Vehicle Lifts
  • Wheelchair Stair Lifts

 

If you try to search for these types of services in Fort Lauderdale or surrounding cities, you’ll find Statewide Mobility Ranking in the top position of Google just about every single time. An important factor to consider is that these are not “Paid Ads” aka pay per click advertising. DME companies shown below have strong organic presence aka search engine optimization.?Here are some examples.

Local Internet?Marketing DME Results:

marketing for medical equipment companies

In the next image, Google recognized my IP location in Fort Lauderdale so when I search for “mobility scooters” the map listings are in the top for both website’s.?

online_marketing_for_HME_retailers

medical equipment company marketing
marketing company that has_experience with HME providers

National?Internet?Marketing DME Results

 

marketing_for_dme_hme_companies

hme_company_marketing_service

 

Google Analytics Report For Mobility Scooters Direct

This report shows new users and total sessions on the graph and in the table you can see how many visitors each page generated from Google Organic (non- pay-per-click) listings. The dark blue line represents new users on a monthly basis and the light blue line represents the number of conversions (calls, form submissions, sales etc..). Currently the site generates about 25,000 new users each month and that number keeps growing.?

reports_for_mobility_scooters_direct

 

Google Analytics Report For?Statewide Mobility

This report shows new users and total sessions on the graph and in the table you can see how many visitors each page generated from Google Organic (non- pay-per-click) listings.?

mobility_product_marketing_company

Google Analytics Report For?Affordable Medical USA

This report shows new users and total sessions on the graph and in the table you can see how many visitors each page generated from Google Organic (non- pay-per-click) listings.?

medical equipment marketing specialist

The Proof is in the Pudding

Sure, these DME SEO campaigns sure look wonderful. How does it perform? We don’t just focus on rankings and traffic, we focus on ROI and growing a business. Which is why we have phone call tracking to track phone sales, tracking for online sales to measure revenue from online sales and even systems in place to track emails that are received from Google visitors who fill out the form on your website. Our reports can show you exactly how many sales and opportunities have been generated from all of your online traffic sources. Check out our video demonstration below of how we setup Adwords tracking to measure the ROI of an Adwords campaign. We can do the same for SEO campaigns.

In Summary:

We thank you for taking the time to review our success with internet marketing for the?DME / HME industry. We offer market exclusivity so work with us before your competitors do.

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How Many New Blog Posts Should My Blog Have Every Month? http://www.cafeproje.com/content-writing/many-new-blog-posts-blog-every-month/ Fri, 30 Jun 2017 17:44:06 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8201 As the owner of a marketing company that offers guest blog posting services, that’s a question that clients and prospects ask me all the time. There is no exact answer or number that Google wants to see from you, the same rules apply to mostly everything in SEO. There are rarely any superlatives when it […]

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As the owner of a marketing company that offers guest blog posting services, that’s a question that clients and prospects ask me all the time. There is no exact answer or number that Google wants to see from you, the same rules apply to mostly everything in SEO. There are rarely any superlatives when it comes to things like keyword density, word count etc… The factors that Google takes into consideration are way above that type of rudimentary?measuring. If you want to succeed, you need to focus on a lot more than just how many blogs or how many words are in your blog.

Think like a Search Engine….

think like a search engineWhen you think like a search engine you put the world wide web users FIRST. Meaning, you cater to their needs before anything else and prioritize user experience above all else. If you produce good content that your readers like, they’ll keep reading it and probably even share your posts on social media. If you produce lousy content, the readers might hit the unsubscribe button to your social media profiles where you promote the blog posts (or your newsletter if you use email marketing as a way to promote your blog).?The fact that your blog has pretty pictures or keywords in it won’t mean a thing if its not well optimized for the user’s experience. Some of the key ingredients needed for a successful blog campaign are going to be outlined in this blog post but there are MANY other things that you can do to get the most out of your blog campaign.

Now, back to the original question — ?How many blogs should you be publishing on your blog each month!? The simple answer would probably be, as many as you can produce as long as they’re not redundant or spammy. Your blog posts are supposed to be enjoyed by your audience and hopefully help grow your audience not diminish it. ?Hopefully you enjoy this post and after you’re done reading it you’ll want to read more posts. You might even be tempted to follow us on Facebook where we let our audience know when a new post goes live ?? Now, let’s get into the important factors that I consider to be important when it comes to writing a blog post.

What Are The Most Important SEO Factors For a Blog Post?

As a general disclaimer, what I’m about to say is not the guaranteed right answer that Google’s search team C-level execs will endorse however, I’ve been running SEO campaigns for the last 12 years and I’ve learned a lot. What I believe to be the 3 most important factors may not be what other SEO professionals consider to be the most important factors and that’s fine. From my experience if you follow these guidelines and optimize these factors, you’ll gain SEO value from the blog posts your create in the future (or existing blog posts that you re-optimize).

  1. Pristine On-Page Basics – Starting from the top, literally, make sure your title tag is relevant and keyword rich if you want to rank it for some specific keywords. Then move your way down the HTML code and optimize the meta description (yes it matters still). Next ensure that your images have alt tags and that you have a URL that is relevant to the post (using the title is sometimes the easiest way). Using header tags that help the reader understand the sections of your blog and using keywords in the headers when its relevant to do so will also help your page rank for long tail keyword variants.

  2. Engaging Content That Readers Actually Appreciate or Enjoy – A blog that has a high bounce rate is never a good thing, to take it a step further Google isn’t going to reward a blog post by pushing it up higher on the SERP rankings if there aren’t any indications that people actually like the blog post content. Google is a pretty sophisticated machine that uses an algorithm to fetch results in a VERY intelligent way. Google’s algorithm has proprietary technology that can track your blog post and actually see if people are reading the entire post or not, whether they’re sharing it on social media or not, whether they’re leaving the blog post after a few seconds of clicking on it and much much more…. Taking the time to have a professional write your content is crucial to the success of your blog posts. There are a lot of things that you can do to ensure that your readers are going to enjoy your blog posts. Depending on the audience that you’re trying to attract your content might be very technical or less technical, serious or funny etc… This blog post is not intended to explain how to write perfect blog content but if you’d like to learn how, check out this blog post.?

  3. Reference Links Strategically Placed Throughout Your Content – Having reference links to other pages on your site or even off of your site when deemed appropriate is important for SEO and user experience. For example, if a link is used from this page to the “how to write a blog post” page on a 3rd party blog?which was written a long time ago, it would be a relevant post using a keyword as the clickable text. Reference links are often used to refer users to another page on the world wide web that would better explain something or as a resource link giving credit to an original source of information.

There are many things that you need to do to get the most out of your blogs after they’re published such as leveraging social media platforms like Twitter to get more engagements for your blog. You should also be re-visiting blog posts that were written in the past to incorporate new reference links as your new posts start to add up and provide more reference link opportunities for old blogs. SEO is not something that you will ever completely be on top of, there are so many things that you can do that it would probably take a full time team of 8 people or more to really do it all and even then it might not be possible.

The Take-Away From This Post

In short, you shouldn’t spend too much time trying to figure out how many blogs are appropriate to publish each week or month. Instead, you should focus on the quality of your blogs and the SEO factors that matter. When it comes to SEO in general you should always strive to do as much as you can to improve user experience with anything that you do to your website or web assets associated with SEO for your website. Its 2017 and its time to take it back to the SEO basics, start writing content that search engines will appreciate. Getting more links with massive amounts of low quality content is an out-dated technique that could result in a penalty from Google’s smart algorithm. Don’t take short cuts, do things right the first time and always double check your work before publishing a blog. Like always, thanks for reading and I hope to hear your feedback.

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Should You Optimize Your Email Marketing Campaigns for SEO? http://www.cafeproje.com/email-marketing/8194/ Tue, 06 Jun 2017 15:02:48 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8194 When most businesses think SEO, they think about the content on a website; most specifically, a business website that is trying to climb the rankings of Google. In other cases business owners and marketers might think about content that is placed on other websites in the form of guest posting, thereby building links back to […]

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When most businesses think SEO, they think about the content on a website; most specifically, a business website that is trying to climb the rankings of Google. In other cases business owners and marketers might think about content that is placed on other websites in the form of guest posting, thereby building links back to the primary business site via another relevant site. These two categories make a lot of sense. After all, getting ranked at the top of a SERP is really all about the links. You want your own site to be easy to navigate and you want other sites to link back to your site to help you appear reputable within your industry.

When you really break it down into these two categories, it might seem that email marketing doesn’t quite fit into the SEO equation. This leads many to wonder: Is there any reason to optimize an email marketing campaigns for SEO?

How to Get SEO Benefits from Your Email Marketing

The logic discussed above is correct—Google is not going to index your email marketing messages and use them to help you rank well on a SERP. However, companies have figured out a few different ways to make sure that they get an SEO benefit from their email marketing campaigns. After all, it seems silly to create content and NOT show it to Google.

The biggest way to make sure that your email marketing works toward your SEO goals is to post this content as an article or make sure that it is visible on the web in certain ways. Below are a few tips and tricks to make this happen:

Newsletter Section

If you do not want to post this content as another article in the same way you typically would on your blog, you can actually create an entire section for newsletters. Readers will understand that this is different than your typical articles and Google will be able to index this content. The only downfall is that some people may choose to opt out of subscribing because they think they can just read the content on your site, so try and have some sort of reason why subscribing is worth it (offer a coupon, inventive, or some kind of perk that your content alone does not). Remember to link to other places on your website and to relevant reputable sources just as you would with a typical blog post. Workshops for Warriors is one organization that publishes quarterly newsletters on their website, all falling under “Workshops for Warriors’ Email Campaigns” vertical.

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Repurpose “Timely” Content for Relevancy

The biggest challenge with posting your email marketing content on your website is the way the content is written. Because email marketing usually offers special deals or mentions timely events, it might not flow well on your website. You are going to want to make sure you do a bit of editing so that this content will be read for years to come. Often times newsletters are a great starting point for longer-form content that can be elaborated in ways that are not so time constrained. Another way to expand beyond the short copy of a newsletter is to reflect back on the events (or sales) that you have had and showcase your happy customers. You will get to use the content you worked so hard to write in more ways than one.

Add a Canonical Link

This is something that can be done to your actual email message. This will help ensure that your email marketing message and its SEO benefits can be transferred to another webpage without any kind of duplicate content penalty. You can visit Practical Ecommerce for more information about how to get started with canonical linking.

Share Links in Your Email Messages

In order to drive engagement, sharing, and get people to your website, it is important to share links within your newsletter. You can share the top 5 most recent blog posts, for example, so that your audience can go check out some of the other valuable content on your site. Always remember to include a link to your home page and to your social media pages as well. Remember, all of these clicks can be measured! Below is an example of a recent message I received that has plenty of opportunity to take me away from my email and read that same content on the website:

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Write Newsletters with SEO in Mind

Just as your write blog and website content with specific keyword and SEO goals in mind, use this same approach when designing and writing your email mail marketing messages. This can help everything be seamless to repurpose and use your content places that are truly going to benefit your SERP rankings.

Build Your Reputation

While not directly impacting in the same way, emailers can really help to build your brand’s reputation. When your audience takes your business as credible, they are more likely to click on to your site more regularly and this traffic impacts your SEO directly. By using monthly newsletters as an opportunity to build your reputation and credibility, you capture your audience’s attention and drive up engagement. The Miami SEO Company does this all the time by using blog posts as email marketing messages. They aren’t designed to sell, but rather to build up a reputation of a company with thought-out and frequent content:

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Use Your Campaign Feedback

The feedback that you get from your email marketing can be used to improve your marketing strategy and improve your SEO over time. There is a lot of valuable information you can learn about content, clicks, and overall impressions that will help to improve your content and marketing efforts over time. It’s all about Analytics!

Note: If you’re not tracking your email campaigns via Analytics (learn more here), your email marketing software should still be gathering data for you. Below is an example from ConstantContact:

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Although an email marketing campaign’s first goal should be to teach readers and increase visibility, SEO should always be in the back of your mind. Whenever there is content that’s written there is always the option of optimizing it for SEO. Use keywords and promote the content on social media to make sure that you’re getting the most for your hard work. Email marketing is also a fabulous way to improve your reputation and overall user engagement. Plus, the feedback and stats you get from your email marketing campaign can really help your SEO efforts in the future.

Have you discovered a way to help your email marketing campaigns benefit your SEO efforts? Let us know in the comments!

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How to be Philanthropic with your Business http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/how-to-be-philanthropic-with-your-business/ Wed, 24 May 2017 15:21:18 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8186 Before we answer the question of how you can be philanthropic with your business, we must first answer the question of why. Why should a business be philanthropic? In what ways does being philanthropic help a business? Aside from doing a good deed for your community, being a philanthropic business can provide two very obvious […]

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Before we answer the question of how you can be philanthropic with your business, we must first answer the question of why. Why should a business be philanthropic? In what ways does being philanthropic help a business? Aside from doing a good deed for your community, being a philanthropic business can provide two very obvious overall benefits for a business:

  • Increasing Employment Interests. Now more than ever people want to work for a company that gives back. It’s not enough for a company to be successful, but that company should be giving back. Current and prospective employees also feel encouraged and positive about working for a company that cares about others.
  • Increasing Business. Being a beacon of giving in your community will increase business opportunities by forming relationships with other organizations such as the nonprofits your company donates to or volunteers with. Businesses want positive articles and reviews written about them and an impressive way to get that is by giving back to your community

It’s a win-win all around. So now we can get into the how. The easiest way to do this is to choose organizations your employees want you to support (it’s great to get your employees’ opinions to further encourage them to be productive and responsible employees). Once you’ve found the right mission, consider how to make it happen below:

Make Changes to Your Processes

Just as donating and volunteering are important aspects of a philanthropic company, updating and changing processes to better the community and world can make a big difference. Many companies, for example, are doing this by changing processes to “go green.”

An example of this is Walmart – changing their truck fleets to fuel-efficient trucks, saving “thousands of tons of CO2 emissions,” according to a business.com article. Making changes like this will not only show your philanthropic colors, it will save your company money. Going green is an efficient way to save money and make changes that could impact your community in a positive way, and it’s something just about every company can adopt.

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Conservation initiatives usually have a large upfront cost, but pay off in the end. Things such as using less packaging may cost a bit to change your processes, but will benefit the community when less packaging is making its way into a landfill. Companies can also add solar panels to their buildings – again, a large upfront price tag, but will easily pay off when your power bill comes in. These would both be great opportunities to partner with local companies to make these changes and then show the community your worth through local news coverage.

Incorporate Charity Into Team-Building Activities

Giving back to the community is a great way to incorporate team building and camaraderie for your employees. People get burnt out from work and that can make the environment at work tense. Break that tension with an outing for your employees where they can let loose, enjoy their time and feel good about the positive impact their making for their community. In return, your employees will appreciate the company they work for and ideally want to work harder to make it an even better company!

Easy examples of this could be building houses with your local Habitat for Humanity, raising money and participating in a local walk, volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen. Below is an example from DMV.org that has a Give Back program for employees to get out and help within their community (they even go as far as to have a local, financial, and online ways for users to give back, which you can learn more about here):

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Implement a Giveback in Your Goods and Services

Donating a portion of sales, products or services to a cause using a giveback business model is a win-win. Take TOMS shoes business model – for every pair of TOMS sold, a pair is given to a child in need, not to mention they also donate to help with sight, water, safe birth and bullying prevention. Since 2006, over two million children have been protected from hookworm with medication and TOMS shoes.

This is of course the most obvious example, but others such as Give Something Back use this approach. They sell your typical office supplies and give a percentage back to those in need:

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Donation Matching Program

The best way to implement a donation-matching program is to first survey your employees to get a list of charities they want to support. This gives your employees the power to choose where their charitable money is going and will give them more incentive to participate if it’s a charity of their choosing. Bigger companies can implement a full match program (of course, you can put a cap to the amount you match if needed) to match every cent donated by employees to double the amount raised and to show your employees and the community your company supports your employees passion.

This can also be done on a smaller level for small businesses, matching a certain percentage so your company can still match, but maybe not on the large scale of matching 100 percent.

Donate Products or Services

Depending on what industry you are in, you can donate products or services to support charity work. Caterpillar Inc., a global construction company, donates equipment and works with disaster relief efforts year-round. A great example is their philanthropic arm, Caterpillar Foundation, and Caterpillar donated a generator to the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti.

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Note: While giving back is the number one goal, earning media coverage like Caterpillar did above can be used as a great marketing strategy, sometimes called “cause marketing.” Whether that coverage is on your own website and social media channels or through local news organizations, pitching story ideas to local journalists with a philanthropic point can often turn into newsworthy coverage and is an easy way to get great, positive brand recognition.

The Takeaway

Being a philanthropic company is important for many reasons – employee satisfaction, business opportunities, brand recognition and community support. Employees want to work for a generous company that cares for the communities they live and work. Job satisfaction doesn’t just include enjoying the work, it includes being proud of the company you work for, and being a philanthropic company can do that.

Many business opportunities can grow from partnering with other local companies to support charities in the area. This knocks out two company goals – partnership and philanthropy. Brand recognition will follow if you reach out to local news organizations. Supporting the community your company is headquartered (and outside of it) can be such a great way to get positive brand recognition, bring in more partnerships and get prospective employees interested. Philanthropy is a win-win-win. Visit here to learn more about how an agency can help you get started and make sure you’re making the most of your new-way of business.

Have you ever been a part of a company that is philanthropic? Has your business come up with a plan that works? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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How to Get Started Creating and Offering Mobile Coupons http://www.cafeproje.com/mobile/get-started-creating-offering-mobile-coupons/ Wed, 17 May 2017 16:35:23 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8176 Mobile coupons are a great way to get people interested in your business and shopping with benefits, whether that be online or in your store location. As with any other marketing strategy, mobile coupons might not be a great fit for every business, but increasingly more and more businesses are finding cleaver ways to use […]

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Mobile coupons are a great way to get people interested in your business and shopping with benefits, whether that be online or in your store location. As with any other marketing strategy, mobile coupons might not be a great fit for every business, but increasingly more and more businesses are finding cleaver ways to use these kind of offers for their customers.

So what is the difference between the traditional concept of a coupon and a mobile coupon? Mobile coupons are all about easy convenient access to discounts, anywhere a customer might be, and you probably guessed it—right from their mobile device. Another bonus about mobile coupons is that they are incredibly easy to create, manage, and redeemed through your websites (or alternative platforms, if you so choose).

5 Steps to Getting Started with Mobile Coupons

Step #1: Create a Strategy

As with any new task in marketing or advertising your business, the first thing you need to do is implant a strategy and make a plan-of-action. In terms of developing a strategy for mobile coupons, the first thing you are going to decide is where exactly you want to start. Do you have certain products or services that you are ready to promote? Or are some of your products/services easier to discount as an incentive than others? The awesome thing about implementing a strategy for mobile coupons is that you can change your offers (and their durations, discounts, etc.) over time, but to get started you will need to pick one place to start. Here are some questions to help guide implementing a strategy:

  • What do you want to discount or promote?
  • What are you feasibly willing to offer (remember that offering your customers discount should not equate to you losing money)?
  • Is there a certain time frame (month of the year, day, week, holiday) that would be optimum for that promotion?
  • What kind of campaigns can you design around your promotions so your coupons do not stand alone?
  • How can you drive an impulsive purchase (or in other words, how do you get people to act on your offer quickly)?

One thing to keep in mind is that every promotion is going to have a different approach (i.e, a different marketing strategy) once you’ve identified some of these key components. Every mobile coupon that you design is going to look a little different. Once you’ve thought your strategy out, you are in a much better position to hit the ground running with offering mobile coupons. Below is a great example from LA Fitness that I received through mobile. It’s big, it creates urgency, and it fits well on a phone:

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Note: Mobile coupons often also work well on desktop. In the case of email mobile coupons, think of it like a responsive website. You may design them with big letters and easily clickable links for mobile, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work on a desktop.

Step #2 Pick a Delivery Method

Once you’ve fleshed out your strategy you are going to have to pick a method for coupon delivery. The appealing aspect of mobile coupons is that they are easy to use and somewhat instantaneous—people are able to use them and interact with your brand immediately. This means that once people come across your coupon it can be activated and in their hands right away. Some coupon delivery methods include short messaging service (SMS) also known as texting, and email.

Regardless of how you chose to deliver, note that there will be standards and rules very similar to email mailing lists where people muse “opt-in” and can choose to “opt-out” at any point of time. The best tip here is really thinking about your demographic, college students may prefer an SMS coupon, while an older audience may prefer that it is available via email. Do a little research about your audience when it comes to mobile coupon consumption before you decide! Below is a text message mobile coupon from Macy’s that shows how a SMS message might work. The only thing Macy’s didn’t do, however, is create a clear way to opt-out. This message causes confusion when it says “Reply HELP=help.”

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Note: Always be weary of spam SMS mobile coupons. A client of ours received the following from GoDaddy, which already looked suspicious because it says boost sales by “1000%”. When you click the link, you aren’t taken to GoDaddy. If you see something that looks strange, ignore it, and if you’re creating mobile coupons for your business, make sure not to make outlandish promises (as with any advertising).

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Step #3 Consider Automation or a Coupon Platform

There are a lot of platforms out there that can really help with your mobile coupon efforts. As an SEO agency our job is not to sell you on any particular one, but rather, show you what is out there and let you know that they exist to make your life easier.

A short search will show you the plethora of tools and options that are available for mobile coupons. These platforms can help you build, automate, deliver, and customize your coupons based on the strategy you’ve designed. Some platforms work with SMS while others work well with email marketing and other delivery methods (again, this is why it is important to establish your plan and how you want to deliver them first). There are web-based and app-based coupons as well, so once you know how you want to approach your first coupon, there are several sites to help you along the way. A few platforms (in no particular order) that you might consider looking into include: Trumpia, EasyPromos, PlaceCast, Sweeppea, and Street Savings—just to name a few! If you’re a nonprofit, we highly recommend MobileCause.

Also note that you can create mobile coupons available on your own website, Google Maps, Yelp, and Foursquare. Below is an example of a Yelp mobile coupon you can earn when you “check-in”:

yelp

Step #4 Make Sure You Are Considering the Customer (and Your Business)

Before you launch your first mobile campaign, you want to make sure that you can fulfill your promises to the customer, but also that it is going to be a campaign that benefits your business. For example, lets say you are thinking about offering a buy one get one half off special on a product, but you do not have the stock at the time you release the coupon to deliver, or you actually will not be turning a profit by offering that deal. Your coupons should reflect your and your customer’s best interest. If coupons are intended to earn return customers, then you want to make sure you are able to deliver on your promise, and you also want to be sure that the benefit is going to be worth the time and effort!

Step #5 Analyze and Strategize

As with any marketing effort, mobile coupons are something you should measure. There is no sense in repeating efforts that have not been successful, so you need to learn with each campaign and each push for new business. Once a coupon campaign expires you will want to look at how it preformed and make changes to help improvements along the way. Chances are that with each passing coupon you release things will get more successful and drive more business if you learn from what you did well and what you may still need to changer improve upon.

Have you ever tried mobile coupons for your business or have you ever been impressed with another brand’s coupons? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you!

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The Audience Your Business Has Isn’t the Audience You Want: How to Make the Switch http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/8170/ Thu, 11 May 2017 15:00:24 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8170 You may have been building up your audience for the past several months, but an increase in followers or more people paying attention to your brand does not always mean that you have the audience you want to have. In many cases you may not have the audience you want and you have to make […]

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You may have been building up your audience for the past several months, but an increase in followers or more people paying attention to your brand does not always mean that you have the audience you want to have. In many cases you may not have the audience you want and you have to make the switch to attract the people that are really going to matter most as you aim to scale your business. Of course it’s important that you have a handle on your goals (after all, a different audience could be more profitable for you in the long run), but as an SEO agency based in Miami, we have helped several clients redefine, retarget, and ultimately, make the audience “switch” that has helped their business grow in a way that best accomplishes their goals. It’s important, but complicated.

Step #1: Understand Your Current Audience

Ultimately you need to have a following that not only appreciates your brand, but is also highly interested in the products or services you offer. In other words, more than anything, you need to be relevant to the people you are reaching.

First understand who your audience is currently by looking at the demographics recorded on Google Analytics (shown below).

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You can then define the audience you want, and then last but not least, take steps to make changes.

Step #2: Defining Your Target Audience: What Should You Have in a Following?

Once again, you shouldn’t make it your goal to appeal to everyone, by trying to appeal to everyone you neglect the uniqueness of your audience and forget what it is that they really want to her. Consider the following when defining your target audience:

  • What is a problem that your product or services can solve? Or in other words, WHO’s problem can your brand be the solution for?
  • When you picture the clients and customers that you want coming to your business, where might you find them? Can you survey, call, devise a focus group, or find other ways to connect with your target demographic? Simply listing who that person is can be a huge help in defining your target audience.
  • What position makes your brand unique in solving problems for that population? Do you have an angle or a different approach that your competitors do not?

Right now you may have an increasing audience, but how many of them are actually the people who you would define as your ideal customer? Remember, your ultimate goal is going to be targeting a group of people that not only identifies with your brand but also will pay to support your business (or influence others to support your business—usually because they have supported your business in the past).

The best way to determine who will actually pay for your services you should look back on who has in the past, but of course if those paying for your services aren’t the audience you envision for growth (hence why you’re reading this article), answer the following questions to begin to construct their demographic:

  • What age category (or categories) do they fall in?
  • Do men or women (or both) tend to resonate with your products?
  • What kind of employment, income ranges, or other socioeconomic criteria can you say about your customer base?
  • Where do they live? Are the local or are you targeting a much larger scale?
  • What kind of hobbies do your customer base share, and are any of them applicable to your products or services?

The more details you have the more defined your target audience will be, and that will make it easier to “switch over” to the audience that you actually want following your brand.

Note: Testing to Determine Your Target Audience

Asking yourself these questions and making assumptions on what you think you want your target audience to be can often set you on the right path, but we always recommend being completely sure that you’re right about the audience that will help you scale. Google Consumer Surveys are a great way to ask the questions above directly with a pool of people. This will help you validate your thoughts before you move to step 3.

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Step #3: Making the Audience Switch

As mentioned above, the first step is to define your target audience. If you are having a difficult time constructing what this audience actually looks like, you can always do a little more research into your industry. Who is the target demographic of other similar brands and businesses? Better yet, who are they targeting.

You may have gained a rather large following of people who are not your target audience—and you do not necessarily need to get rid of them all together (you never know who in that group might come around to needing the products you offer). That being said, if you want to make the audience switch you need to make a conscious effort to target the audience you actually want following you. Here are some tips to make the audience switch happen in your marketing strategy.

  1. Content Development. Your audience is reading and responding to your content. As such, every piece of content you produce should be heard towards the target customers you want to appeal to. Whether it is a blog post, a YouTube video, a Q&A, or an infographic, make sure that you are keeping your audience in mind when you develop it.
  2. Targeted Advertisements. There is no denying that digital marketing involves advertising, but that doesn’t mean advertising to just anyone and everyone (that is one of the biggest reasons businesses get caught up in an audience that isn’t targeted). You want to make sure you customize everything, from your reach to you ad copy, photography, and content, to fit the target audience you want to build up.
  3. Consider Your Customers Above All Else. Part of branding your business is considering who you want to care about your brand, position, and products. In order to switch your audience over to the people who care about hat you have to offer, they need to be at the center of every marketing strategy you implement—from the layout of your website to the coupons and specials you offer to boost business.

The Takeaway

If you want to switch your audience to a more targeted and refined sample, you need to start implementing client-centered marketing approaches. Putting the ideal customer that you want to target at the center of every marketing decision you make will help you transition from an unruly following to a much more approachable audience. People respond well when they feel like they are being spoken to by your brand’s voice, and this will be the biggest contributor in making the switch and being heard by customers who are more likely to convert.

What issues are you having with your brand’s audience and how did you find yourself in the position? Are any of these tips and particularly relevant for you? Let us know in the comments section below!

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6 Common Mobile SEO Traps to Avoid http://www.cafeproje.com/mobile/6-common-mobile-seo-traps-avoid/ Wed, 03 May 2017 15:00:33 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8148 Your company is growing and so are smartphones’ capabilities. Users typically conduct their initial inquiries on smartphones, and to be successful in 2017, mobile optimization is imperative. Below is a list of suggested practices regarding what to include and exclude when designing the landing pages of your mobile websites. Misrepresenting Yourself Including more keywords than […]

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Your company is growing and so are smartphones’ capabilities. Users typically conduct their initial inquiries on smartphones, and to be successful in 2017, mobile optimization is imperative. Below is a list of suggested practices regarding what to include and exclude when designing the landing pages of your mobile websites.

Misrepresenting Yourself

Including more keywords than necessary can be tempting when trying to climb the daunting list of the hundred other websites representing what you are offering, especially where mobile apps are concerned. However, misrepresenting yourself by including these unnecessary keywords can really be falling on your own sword. Some companies mistakenly think that because Google primarily indexes search results based on desktop page versions, they need to overcompensate with misleading content. If potential users don’t see relevant, accurate content within in the first ten seconds of opening your browser, they are sure to move onto another option. To avoid this, be consistent with your wording, clear in your purpose, and accurate in your content.

social

Neglecting Social Media

Social media is the beast that can’t be killed; it is also the gateway into the mindset of the biggest boom of entrepreneurs we have seen: millennials. Because so many people make use of social media, and because its presence will only increase in the years to come, working within these platforms is imperative. Facebook Live, Twitter’s Newsfeed, and SnapChat’s ever-changing filters offer alternative means to connecting with the public and should not be overlooked. Users’ search results are almost guaranteed to be tracked to a certain degree, meaning potential clients could be led right to you if you have a strong presence on social media. Post images on Instagram, daily. Let the public visualize what your company can offer. Send out tweets, daily. Let the public be reminded of the services you can offer while they scroll through their feed. This is, believe it or not, even more important for mobile.

Ignoring Mobility

Many users are browsing during their 20-minute commute home or during their child’s mundane little league game when their long to-do list is still on their mind. This is typically done discretely on a phone and because of that, mobility is something that must be considered. Too often sites ignore the fact that people need concise details and large key options when looking at a screen the size of their hand. Users are left zooming in to read keys, scrolling back and forth to follow content, and mis-clicking buttons that are placed too close together. To avoid this, consider which elements need to be adjusted in order for your desktop site to be successful as a mobile site.

mobile

Overlooking Organization

You never want users to feel overwhelmed or discouraged when visiting your site. Pages should be aesthetically pleasing, but practical. Manage Inbound identifies the top six components of a visually appealing site as color, font, imagery, simplicity, usability, and consistency. Think of how you navigate a new site- what draws your eye? What do you ignore? What do you expect to see when you open the page? What distracts you? The easier it is for users to guide themselves through your page, the more successful you will be, so take time to live in their shoes and reflect on how to create a beneficial experience.

Abundant Ads

Ads can be tempting in that they provide an extra layer of stability for your growing business, but when those images or links become annoying to users and distract them from further investigating what you have to offer, it’s time to manage those suckers. You can see from the succession of images below, my recent trip to Forbes’s mobile website. Not only am I subjected to a permanent footer as I browse, but also various advertisements within the articles themselves.

mobile-search

Advertisements can frustrate and discourage users from continuing on your site, especially when they can’t find that minuscule “x” to close out or accidentally tap on the ad itself, redirecting them to another site.

If you insist on offering ads on your website, we highly recommend native ads. Native ads look and feel like your site. For example, if you write a specific type of article each week, you could have a sponsor write another article that is just as witty and engaging as the posts you write. The only difference is that is was written by a sponsor. You can learn more about native ads here.

Lagging Load Time

While some mobile sites hit the mark in terms of organization and aesthetics, sometimes they fall short on the speed in which their information loads. I used Test My Site to evaluate a small business: Butcher on the Block. As you can see, their mobile friendliness is top notch at 96/100.

load time

Their mobile speed score, however, could stand some improvements.

mobile load time

When referencing “SEE WHAT TO FIX”, the main areas of concern are:

  • Eliminating render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content
  • Enabling compression
  • Optimizing images
  • Leveraging browser caching

The Takeaway

Avoiding these six mobile SEO traps- misrepresenting yourself, neglecting social media, ignoring mobility, overlooking organization, abundant ads, and lagging load time- will significantly and positively affect your site’s performance and user’s’ experience. For more useful tips on how to successfully build your mobile SEO, visit Google’s SEO Starter Guide, or visit Test My Site to see how mobile-friendly your site is.

Are there any pitfalls that you would add to the list? Let us know your thoughts and your experiences in the comment section below.

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Why PPC Advertising Can’t Be Ignored for a Business Looking to Sell http://www.cafeproje.com/ppc/ppc-advertising-cant-ignored-business-looking-sell/ Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:28:30 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8124 People seem to turn to search engines for one of two things: To ask a question or to find something to buy. In general, it seems that SEO works wonders for those who are looking to find the answer to a question—part of the reason that quality content is so important when it comes to […]

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People seem to turn to search engines for one of two things: To ask a question or to find something to buy. In general, it seems that SEO works wonders for those who are looking to find the answer to a question—part of the reason that quality content is so important when it comes to SEO. However, because SEO strategies and conversations are so popular right now, many businesses are stubbornly trying to “save money” and ignore PPC digital marketing.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is a form of search engine advertisement/internet marketing where advertisers only pay when their ad is clicked. In other words, displaying the ad does not cost money and ads are only paid for when traffic actually gets to the website. Consider the different types results on a search engine page below:

Pay-Per-Click Results

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Organic (SEO) Results

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Maps (PPC) Results

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Utilizing PPC advertising is a quick way to get your company or blog to the top of a search engine results page. Getting ranked to the top of the organic search space takes a lot of work and a long time to see results, so PPC works to give companies that extra edge while they become more established. Consider some of the benefits of PPC:

  • You know that your ad will be on a certain page if you pay for it. An organic position can change at any moment, but PPC is consistent and reliable.
  • If your company is new on the scene, PPC allows you to compete with those larger, more established companies. You have to pay for it, but you have the same marketing opportunities as your competitors with PPC.
  • You will be able to track which keywords convert well and which keywords don’t when using PPC. SEO takes a long time to give you results, so using PPC in order to help your future SEO efforts is a great way to get ahead.
  • PPC doesn’t have to be expensive. You can decide which pages are worth your while to advertise and then spend as much as you want. Having the ability to establish your budget with PPC is a major benefit—but it is even better that you only pay when someone actually clicks on the ad (and onto your site).

Obviously in order to take part in PPC advertising you need to set aside some of your marketing budget to accommodate for it, which you can learn more about here. Once you think your company will benefit from PPC advertising, it’s time to get started. Consider a few of the most important steps to get your advertisement at the top of those search engine pages below.

How to Get Started with PPC Advertising in Three Simple Steps

Decide Which Search Engine You’d Like to Work With

Many companies go running to Google AdWords for obvious reasons—Google is the #1 search engine in the world. However, it’s important to realize that there are other search engines out there that could help you benefit even more and give you more bang for your buck. Look at the competition and the prices of the different search engines and then decide which works best for you needs. Some of the other major search engines where you can utilize PPC advertising include Bing, Yahoo, YouTube.

Do Keyword Research and Decide What You Want to Target

It is important you do a little bit of keyword research and decide where your customers might be searching. Moz said it best, “It all begins with words typed into a search box,” so you need to put yourself in the position of your audience and see how they might go about finding your products and services. You might as yourself some questions to get started:

  • Are they keywords you want to use relevant to your website’s content? They should definitely match up, which might require some website revisions.
  • What websites rank for you keywords? Are they your competitors? That is often a great way to tell if they are relevant!

Once you know the keywords you want to target, be sure to put those keywords in your title, text, and Meta description, as well as in your ad copy. Of course, you can always revise, add, or take away keywords based on performance once you get started with PPC.

Here are some keyword research tools to help you get started:

  1. Consider the Cost of the PPC Ad

Your company will have to pay the search engine each time someone clicks on your ad (regardless if they buy anything or convert in the way you are hoping they will). This is something to keep in mind when you bid for a spot on a search engine. You will need to think about the number of times you think someone will click on your ad, the number of times someone will convert, and then create a formula to let you know how much you should bid. For example, if you get one sale for every 100 clicks and your product costs $10, you should not pay more than ten cents per click (so ten cents would be your bid). If you’re like me and you’re into anything but math, this is a great time to work with your accountant! There are tools on most PPC platforms to help you understand cost-per-click and conversions, but it always helps to go into PPC advertising as informed as possible.

The Takeaway

It is clear that PPC advertising can be extremely helpful in gaining website traffic and sale conversions, especially for small businesses. The biggest thing to remember is that you should be utilizing both PPC and search engine optimization (SEO). There may come a day when your PPC advertisements end, but for most companies they are a great way to increase traffic and gain visibility. This will eventually help your SEO campaign and hopefully put you on the same playing field as the Macy’s and Tommy Hilfiger.

Have you started your own PPC efforts? What challenges are you facing with getting started? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you! If you are interested in help with your PPC strategy, learn about our services here.

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Breadcrumbs On Your Blog Improve SEO and UX: How to Get Started http://www.cafeproje.com/web-design-blog/8129/ Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:54:20 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8129 When Google bots crawl your site, they analyze several different aspects to determine if your blog is something high quality that provides value to Google users. One of the biggest considerations Google uses to help determine a website’s SERP position is navigation. For some websites this comes easy, but websites with hundreds of different webpages […]

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When Google bots crawl your site, they analyze several different aspects to determine if your blog is something high quality that provides value to Google users. One of the biggest considerations Google uses to help determine a website’s SERP position is navigation. For some websites this comes easy, but websites with hundreds of different webpages often find that this can be difficult if they’re not careful. Between jumping from internal link to internal link to category and then to a different article, it’s easy to get lost.?Although the owner of the website might be able to find his/her way around, Google bots don’t have the same background information to be able to do the same. This is where breadcrumbs come into play.

What Are Website Breadcrumbs?

For those who are unfamiliar, breadcrumbs are the little links that show up on the top of the page that help to show you where you have been during your visit to the site. You can then click on the link, and it will take you right back to where you were a few webpages ago. This can be extremely helpful for users when they are navigating a site, and especially when they are very likely to visit a previous page on your site. Breadcrumbs are ultimately all about improving user interactions. Below is a screenshot that illustrates how breadcrumbs work:

breadcrumbs

In this example, I first visited the HigherVisibility homepage, then moved onto the category “online marketing tips,” and then clicked on a specific article. Had I continued to move through the site, the breadcrumbs would have continued to follow along. If I started to get confused and wanted to go back, I could look and see where I’ve been and then click on the link (much easier than continually hitting the “back” button). This can be particularly helpful if users are clicking around your blog articles, for example, and want to go back to your product and services page once they are impressed with what they see. This kind of navigation can really help to improve conversions and get users back to the pages that matter most, and with ease.

Three Types of Breadcrumbs

There are three types of breadcrumbs that I will describe briefly in this section:

  1. Location-Based Breadcrumbs. Location based breadcrumbs let users know where they have navigated in relation to the layout and structure of the rest of the site. These are really the simplest form of breadcrumbs—showing where the user is in relation to the site map. The example above shows location-based breadcrumbs.
  2. Path Breadcrumbs. This is exactly like the example I described above on the Higher Visibility Site. The main difference between location-based breadcrumbs and path breadcrumbs is that path-based breadcrumbs are dynamic and show the user where they are in relation to the unique path that they took. The following example shows that “Page A” can be accessed through several paths by the user, and this path is unique depending on what the user decides to click on.
    • Web Design > Services > Landing Pages > Service A
    • Web Design > Services > Navigation > Service A
    • Web Design > Services > Optimization > Service A
  1. Attribute Breadcrumbs. These kinds of breadcrumbs list the attribute of the current page. For example, the kind of products or services that are present on the current page. Below is a great example from VWO that shows attribute breadcrumbs:

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The Benefits of Breadcrumbs and SEO

It’s worth noting that breadcrumbs can help your SEO in a few different ways:

Keyword Optimization. If one of your breadcrumbs is a keyword you’re trying to target, then that keyword and anchor text in a breadcrumb is another way to make you rank highly in search results for those keywords.

Internal Structure & Linking. Breadcrumbs can help to reinforce your site’s internal linking structure. It helps give you another way to easily connect pages. Remember that you want to make sure every page can be reached within four clicks from your homepage, and this can help keep you on track.

Schemas. Schemas can be used to describe breadcrumbs, making it easier for bots to understand what is a breadcrumb on your page.

Although navigation comes first, this SEO benefit is one to keep in mind. To learn more about breadcrumbs and SEO benefits click here.

The Benefits of Breadcrumbs for Your User

Although SEO is a great reason to make changes to your site, you always want to worry about the users first. While website navigation is also a big factor for visitors to your site, there are other benefits that breadcrumbs can bring:

  • Speed. Breadcrumbs can help users get to where they need to go faster. Clicking the back button and waiting for each webpage to load can take some time, but breadcrumbs avoid all that. It helps keep your visitor organized.
  • Time on Site. Users are more likely to jump around your website if they know that they have breadcrumbs to bring them back to the page that really interests them. It encourages visitors to take more risks and spend more time on your site.
  • Aesthetics. Some feel that breadcrumbs can add to the look of the website. They don’t take up much space on your webpages, so they’re easy to implement.
  • Search Engines. Google and other search engines are beginning to us breadcrumbs in search results (See the screenshot below). This can help to increase CRT and improve your presence for specific searches. Below is an example from WPBeginner:

search-engine-breadcrumbs

Although breadcrumbs may not be the first thing that you’ll implement on your website, they’re a great way to help your website grow as you include more and more pages.

How to Setup Breadcrumbs on Your Website

Setting up breadcrumbs differs based on the type of site you run (Joomla, WordPress, etc.). In most cases, all you need to do is download a breadcrumb plugin and upload the file to your WordPress account. It’s that easy!

Do you utilize breadcrumbs on your site? Have you found that they have helped your site become successful? Share your story in the comments below!

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How New Pinterest Lens Opens Up the Platform to More Industries and Businesses http://www.cafeproje.com/social-media/8140/ Wed, 12 Apr 2017 14:43:58 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8140 Pinterest recently unveiled their new “Lens” feature for all iPhone and Android users in the U.S. to experience, and it certainly has the potential to be a game changer for both consumers and businesses alike. The button that can be found within the spyglass icon directs users to a red camera, and all they have […]

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Pinterest recently unveiled their new “Lens” feature for all iPhone and Android users in the U.S. to experience, and it certainly has the potential to be a game changer for both consumers and businesses alike. The button that can be found within the spyglass icon directs users to a red camera, and all they have to do is tap it to either access their camera roll or take a new photo of something they see in the real world. After doing so, Lens performs its magic and quickly suggests a variety of other pins similar to the photo that was taken, or selected. The search is purely visual, so no typing is required.

No surprises here, this makes it extremely quick and easy for Pinterest users to find what they’re looking for, or possibly to be inspired by something they would never think to search. And for businesses? Because some of these pins are considered “purchase” pins, meaning that they lead to an item that can be purchased through a link, this could revitalize e-commerce for businesses. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Lens, this article by Business Insider explains the step-by-step process for how to use the new feature, but this article covers your next step: What does this mean for small businesses and marketing?

pinterest-16 Must Have Tips for Businesses Using the New Pinterest Lens

While Pinterest is currently a pretty popular search engine and social platform, it definitely trails behind giants like Google, Bing, and Facebook, partially because it hasn’t been around as long as partially because it doesn’t have the searching capabilities that some of the other big name sites feature. Many industries, B2B specifically, also shy away from the network because it is seen as a more creative platform. Pinterest Lens could change that—a feature that definitely sets it apart from the competition.

Use the Information to Better Understand Your Audience

Lens is going to help Pinterest learn, and remember, more about its audience and what they like. It already suggests pins that it thinks users might be interested in viewing, but now customers will have a hands-on chance to teach Pinterest about their likes and dislikes, thus enabling the platform to better anticipate what people want to see. In a world where we don’t often have a ton of free time to spend searching for the perfect product, most likely users will appreciate this intuition and respond by turning to Pinterest the next time they want to get inspired, search for a product, and/or make a purchase. This is great for entrepreneurs who will able to collect new data on customer behavior, habits, and interests and use this information to better target their marketing efforts.

It’s Less Expensive to Advertise on Pinterest than on Google

Because the popularity of Pinterest in general is probably going to increase, this will also make the site a more desirable advertising platform. This could be great for businesses that take advantage of this in the beginning while Lens is still being tested in the beta phase. It’s currently cheaper to advertise on Pinterest than it is on Google, but this will most likely change as Pinterest sees an increase in traffic. By getting in with Pinterest advertising now, you’ll be ahead of the competition who may not want to invest their AdWords money until the new feature has been tested further and all the kinks have been worked out. You’ll be taking a risk, but it might just be worth it in the long run.

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Currently, Pinterest is a great platform for advertising because not all the pins posted are “purchase” pins; meaning, some are just for creativity and inspiration whereas others lead directly to websites where users can make a purchase. Because there’s not much of a distinction between the 2, advertisers are able to take advantage of the trust of users and blend in seamlessly. In addition, the Lens feature will eventually lend itself to more data for ad targeting. I foresee search ads being linked to real world objects in the near future. Better to take advantage of this cutting edge technology now.

Think of Pinterest as a Search Engine Through Photos Instead of Type

Customers can use Lens to find your products on Pinterest. All they have to do is snap a photo of something in the real world that they see and are interested in, and Pinterest will provide them with a list of similar products- some that will be for purchase. A smart entrepreneur will figure out how to optimize Pinterest to ensure that it’s their products that show up on that list of suggested pins, making it quicker and easier for customers to discover your business and fall in love with your stuff. After all, it makes sense that people will soon be more interested in searching via pictures than typing out a search, right?

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Remember: Pinterest Engages with User’s at a Unique Point in the Buying Process

This new form of visual searching will decrease the barrier between customer searches and purchases; it will encourage customers to make more impulse purchases because there will be so few steps between seeing something they like and being presented with an option to buy it. A user will see a product in real life that peaks their interest, snap a photo using Lens, and be automatically presented with a list of similar products they can buy immediately (and again, you want to make sure your company and products appear on that list). This seamless process enables Pinterest to engage with users at a different point in the buying process than other search engines, and there’s no doubt that this will result in more conversions for those small businesses who know how to optimize this feature.

Use Lens to Research Your Competition in a Different Way

Searching with Lens isn’t just for consumers, however. As a business owner, you can also use Lens to research your competition. Try taking a picture of one of your products to see what else comes up. Is it merchandise belonging to one of your competitors? If so, take notes on what they’re offering and how they’re marketing it so that you can learn from their success and figure out how to make your stuff stand out. It’s also a good way to keep tabs on current trends in your industry so that you can ensure your business is always on the cutting edge.

Promote Your Less Popular Products Via Lens

Pinterest Lens also gives businesses a way to promote their other, less popular products. The feature is able to isolate products within an image, so this means that a consumer can snap a photo of a person wearing a jacket and have a variety of pins of similar jackets appear on the site. But if that person is also wearing shoes, and a handbag, or any other type of accessory, chances are Pinterest will recognize those items as products in the photo as well. Entrepreneurs can take advantage of this by placing some other products they want to promote in a photo with a popular product. This is a great way to sneak in some extra advertising and possibly increase conversions on some products that might not have otherwise engaged a consumer.

pinterest-4

Lens is still being tested, and it’s definitely far from foolproof, but it’s potential for success is undeniable. Have you had a chance to experiment with Pinterest Lens? How do you envision the feature working for your business? Comment with your ideas in the section below!

All screenshots taken by author March 2017

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When Content Curation Trumps Content Creation http://www.cafeproje.com/content-writing/8119/ Tue, 04 Apr 2017 15:33:07 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8119 We all know that creating your own original content adds value to your website, both in terms of how users see and understand the authority your company has in the industry that you work in, and for optimal SEO. Quality original content increases your visibility on SERPs, but also puts you in a place to […]

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We all know that creating your own original content adds value to your website, both in terms of how users see and understand the authority your company has in the industry that you work in, and for optimal SEO. Quality original content increases your visibility on SERPs, but also puts you in a place to drive as much traffic as possible through organic ranking, social media channels, and other marketing actions (email-ers, site listings, and community boards of all kinds). Search engines like Google place a lot of value on sites that are generating their own content and really have someone doing digital marketing for them regularly.

So what is with the title? When is content curation really more beneficial than content creation? The truth is, with all of the “noise” on the Internet these days it is almost impossible to truly be producing enough quality content to please search engines and users and beat out all of your industry competitors. The other issue is that when businesses can produce content as rapidly as you would really need to be successful, it isn’t always quality—and Google knows! In fact, it is far more important to produce quality content over quantity.

What is Content Curation?

This is where content curation comes into play. Since it is nearly impossible to create quality content as rapidly as is ideal for both SEO and appearance on social channels, content curation is an important task for marketers to take part in for a small or a large business. Content curation involves going through a large amount of content that is found online in your industry (or in relevant industries) and then organizing, sorting, breaking-up, and ultimately, publishing that already produced content. This is typically done by organizing and structuring around themes that you deem valuable to your audience. The biggest difference between content creation and content curation is that with content curation, you are not writing and developing the original content—you are finding the work others have done and are turning it into something new. Below is a great infographic that sums up the idea:

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Why Should Marketers Use Content Curation as a Strategy?

When you are able to share content that is relevant to both your target audience and others in your industry, you increase your visibility and share your perspective even if it is not your own original content. When other industry experts see that you are sharing their content and connecting with them on social channels they will be more than happy to connect (who doesn’t want their content being shared in some way, shape, or form, right?). This can really help to build up your audience and extend your reach to others in relevant networks.

Further, it is important to keep in mind that reading through other articles, looking at other infographics, and watching other videos that you did not create yourself can help you learn something and inspire original content that you might want to create! Plus, you are not alone in this task. Only 5% of marketers surveyed said that they never shared 3rd party content. Good marketers take part in content curation. If we were to break down the “why” into some key bullet points, it would be the following:

  • It’s a relationship builder, both with other credible sources in your industry who’s content you are sharing and for your target audience.
  • It allows you to post more content more frequently. While content curation does not by any means eliminate the need for you to develop your own original content, it does allow you to post as frequently as you really need to without compromising the quality of your content.
  • It demonstrates knowledge. You can’t possibly know everything there is to know in your industry (that is why original content requires research, linking, and learning), by sharing other authoritative content you are demonstrating that you care about other knowledge that is being produced and you feel your audience would benefit from that other knowledge as well.

How To Curate Content Successfully

There are a lot of ways that you can implement a content curation strategy for your business. You want to maintain a standard of quality and relevancy, making the task a difficult one at times. Before you begin sharing through your networks channels, you need to consider the following:

Where to Research and Gather

You want to find authoritative sites that are generating content that is valuable to your audience. So for example, if you are a visual production studio that caters to corporate clients and businesses, your audience is probably going to be marketing teams, CFOs, and other business executives—not other photographers/videographers/designers, necessarily. If the content you are producing is for your clients, then you want to find other credible sources that are writing on the topic. If this example were the case, you may want to find articles on the importance of visual marketing or how to put a video production strategy into place for small businesses.

Multiple Content Forms

You don’t just want to share links to blog articles; you want to share all forms of content that you can find! This means videos, infographics, eBooks, webinars, community boards, etc. The more diverse you can make what you are sharing the better, and this means not settling on the first random article that you find. If you can organize multiple content forms into themes to share over time and devise a strategy you are going to be better off.

Plan Ahead before Putting Content Together

Not only do you want to research and find multiple forms of content to share, you want to plan ahead and strategize to be the most effective with what you are finding. This really means doing the research first and then organizing before you share anything.

Comment and Recognize Before Sharing

You always want to comment, connect, tweet, or acknowledge the original author before you share their content. The first reason is that content curation prioritizes networking and extending your reach. The second and equally as important reason is that you need to do all you can to give credit where credit is due.

Where to Share Curated Content

What springs to mind when you think of content curation is where to share the content that you find. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Curated Blog Posts. Collecting resources for your audience around the Internet and sharing them in a weekly, curated blog post is one way you can use other’s content in an original way. Make your title something like “the best of the week in digital marketing” or something that explains that it is not your own original work, but you did the groundwork to find it. Below is an example from Search Engine Land, who curates content every Friday. Notice how they also curate their own content (great if you do have a large output):

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  • Weekly Newsletters. Have you found some great content this week? Share the links in an organized, creative, and formatted way with your audience! Weekly curated newsletters can save your audience some time in finding good content when you’ve done the research for them, and this can be extremely valuable.
  • Social Media. Of course, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn are all good places to connect and share content as well. These platforms are great for audience building and demonstrating industry knowledge to your following.

What do you think about content curation? How do you plan to implement a strategy for your business? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image Credit 1: hootsuite.com

Image Credit 2: screenshots taken by author March, 2017

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How Much Should You Spend on a Qualified Lead? http://www.cafeproje.com/getting-started/much-spend-qualified-lead/ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:42:46 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8113 Marketing budgets are an ongoing aspect of business that need to be considered, speculated about, and debated. One of the top questions asked by small business owners is how much to spend on qualified leads. According to Heinz Marketing, the problem is not to ask how much to spend on a “qualified lead” as much […]

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Marketing budgets are an ongoing aspect of business that need to be considered, speculated about, and debated. One of the top questions asked by small business owners is how much to spend on qualified leads. According to Heinz Marketing, the problem is not to ask how much to spend on a “qualified lead” as much as it is “how much you are willing to spend on a customer or conversion?”

As a digital marketing firm in Miami, we get this question a lot from our clients, so let’s consider all of the different arenas of advertising from PPC like Google AdWords to social media marketing like Facebook Ads, and consider not only how much to spend but how to measure success and make adjustments accordingly.

How Much To Spend on a Qualified Lead

Max Budget and Lead Value. There are a few things to consider when you are establishing advertising and campaign budgets, including your max budget (this you really have to determine based on your own profit and spending) and the anticipated profit for each customer you receive.

Once you complete your campaign you can divide the revenue ($X) by the total number of leads (Y) to get the average revenue per lead. This ultimately constitutes the “lead value” for your campaign. Pittsburg Internet Consulting has an awesome lead value calculator that can be very helpful in setting your own budget per campaign. Go check it out here.

Obviously your goal is to make more than you spend on marketing efforts so that you generate a profit. You want your cost per lead to be (significantly) less than what you anticipate the profit per lead being. Here are the most important formulas to consider in marketing budget costs and returns for generating leads and ultimately customers:

Campaign Return= Total Leads * Close Rate * Average Sale Amount * Average Margin – Campaign Budget

Lead Cost = Campaign Budget / Total Leads

Lead Value = Campaign Return / Total Leads

Cost Per Lead. Another thing to consider is that the marketing cost per lead is going to be different in a PPC campaign than it is for a trade show, sales call, or content marketing. You might end up paying $12 for a PPC lead in an AdWords campaign, where you could end up paying $50 for a lead at a trade-show. When you determine your budget you have to decide where your target market is most likely going to go to purchase in your industry. If it is primarily online, then you definitely want to allocate a large portion of your budget to your PPC campaigns and social media advertisements. If direct marketing is going to be a good way to reach your target audience, then make sure your campaign budget reflects that. You can learn more about cost per lead and successful marketing campaigns here.

There is No One Answer. It is always so hard to write responses to a question like “how much should you spend on a qualified lead,” because there is really no one answer. Depending on your industry and campaign you may not want to spend more than $5 per lead, while in some cases it is worth spending $200 on a lead if it will lead to a profitable sale. The key is understanding your budget, the profit a lead can generate, and making educated decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget. You can read more about the complexity of lead valuation (with examples) here.

Measuring Success & Adjusting Your Strategy

Monitor Your Campaigns Closely. Monitoring conversion and sales on every advertisement campaign you run is critical for making sure that you adjust spending per lead in the future. In order to be successful you have to fine-tune and understand what works well and what does not for your individual business, but also against your industry competition.

Check out this Infographic on the 14 most important metrics to focus on in your digital marketing campaigns.

It is really important to monitor how much you are spending and how much profit/return you are receiving on each campaign (your ROI) so that you can consider which methods are best for reaching out to your target audience.

Adjust Your Strategy. There is no “one size fits all” in digital marketing, and as you might have gathered, a lot is individual experimentation and really figuring out what works well to achieve the customers that are interested in your brand. If you notice that you are getting the lowest cost per lead and the most conversions on your social media advertisements, it is a good strategy to start funneling more money and attention to that form of marketing. Conversely, if you realize that social media is not the best way to reach your demographic, keep using the platforms for brand awareness, but put marketing money into PPC or industry events.

Spend to Earn. Marketing budgets can be especially frustrating for small businesses, but everyone knows that a marketing budget is often closely tied to successfully generating qualified leads. Once you decide what your marketing budget is, you can closely monitor what works and what doesn’t so that you can maximize your marketing budget and have the highest profit margin possible.

The Takeaway

While there might not be one answer on what to spend on a qualified lead (it could be $1 or $100 depending on your campaign or industry), the important thing is measuring and calculating your ROI and cost per lead so that you can make informed decisions on digital marketing efforts. By monitoring your campaigns and measuring success you can adjust your future campaigns and strategy to increase your profit and fine-tune your digital marketing efforts.

How have you dealt with qualified leads in the past? Do you have a preferred advertisement method to reach your target audience? Let us your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Google Analytics New Cohort Analysis: Everything You Need to Know http://www.cafeproje.com/analytics/google-analytics-new-cohort-analysis-everything-need-know/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:00:45 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8103 Google Analytics is known as one of the top programs available for companies looking to incorporate data analysis into their business plan. It has a lot of great features to help simplify big data into accessible reports that business owners can use to learn from their successes and failures, but up until recently it had […]

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Google Analytics is known as one of the top programs available for companies looking to incorporate data analysis into their business plan. It has a lot of great features to help simplify big data into accessible reports that business owners can use to learn from their successes and failures, but up until recently it had one big drawback—it lacked the ability to for cohort analysis. This is not a problem any longer, however, as Google recently announced that this will be a new feature of the program. We believe this is a welcome addition for most entrepreneurs, so we’ve put together a list of things you need to know if you’re thinking about doing a cohort analysis.

What is a Cohort?

The Google definition of a cohort is “a group of people with a shared characteristic.” In entrepreneurial terms, this group of people specifically means a group of consumers or a target audience. In other words, a cohort analysis is essentially the study of a group of people who have interacted with your business in some way, whether it be by visiting your website, signing up for email marketing, making a conversion, etc. You study groups of people, or cohorts, over a set period of time to see how their behavior changes. You can determine which characteristic(s) you want to analyze, and Google Analytics will help you figure out how to use that group to maximize the potential of your business (aka to spend more money). This may seem like a daunting task especially for those who aren’t inclined to numbers and data, but thanks to the new cohort analysis feature in Google Analytics, it’s actually pretty simple to do. Here’s what you need to know to get started:

When Creating an Analysis Report, You Have 4 Options

1. Cohort Type

Cohort segments are based around a date, so when choosing the type it’s basically asking you to choose the date where you want to begin the analysis. Right now your only option is customer acquisition date, aka the date that your customer first used your website or app.

cohort-analysis

2. Cohort Size

You may think that cohort size relates to the size of the group of people you want to analyze, but you would be wrong. Remember that the cohort type refers to a date, so when you have to choose an option for type it’s also referring to a time period. The cohort size is the window of time you want to use in the analysis. This is different from the type because the type refers to the specific date where you want to begin (one day), whereas the size refers to multiple dates. For example, if you want to study the number of users who visited your website in a week’s time period, the beginning and end dates of that week would be your size. Your current options are a day, a week, or a month.

3. Metrics

Metrics refer to the actual data that will be produced in the report. According to Lunametrics.com, your options for metrics are:

  • Goal Completions per User
  • Pageviews per User
  • Revenue per User
  • Session Duration per User
  • Sessions per User
  • Transactions per User
  • Total Goal Completions
  • Total Pageviews
  • Total Revenue
  • Total Session Duration
  • Total Sessions
  • Total Transactions
  • Total Users

4. Date Range

This may seem redundant since you’ve already chosen a date range in the cohort size section, but this is Google’s way of double checking what you want and making sure you’ve got the dates correct. To use the earlier example, if you want to analyze how many people visited your website in a week, and you chose Monday, Feb 20th as your acquisition date (aka cohort type), then you would assign the date range as “the last 7 days” and Google would use Feb 20th- Feb 27th as your date range. It would collect data from this time period based on each individual user’s acquisition date. If you choose a week you can choose just the past week, or 2 or 3 weeks before that, and the same with a month- you have the option to look at the past month, or the past 2 or 3 months.

Once you’ve configured a report, there are 3 main sections to review: report settings, data over time, and tabular data.

There are 2 Different Ways to View This Data

1. Line Chart

This data visualization is exactly what it sounds like—a line chart where you can plot the points of all the different cohorts you’ve analyzed in order to see how they trend over time. It’s simple to put together and simple to read, so if you’re planning on presenting this data to anyone else who might not be analytically-savvy, a line chart is the way to go.

line-chart

2. Triangle Chart

Unlike the line chart that looks exactly like it’s name, a triangle chart is not actually in the shape of a triangle. It’s also known as an “impact plot”, and it’s slightly more detailed than a line chart. The triangle chart lists not only the cohorts you’ve analyzed, but their metrics as well, and it uses different shades of color to depict intensity. While it is more difficult to read, it also provides a detailed picture of the behavior of each of your cohorts and may be welcomed by stakeholders who understand data analysis and want an in depth picture of customer behavior.

So What Do We Think?

The cohort analysis feature is still a beta, meaning it’s still being tested and worked on by its creators, so it’s important to take this into account when incorporating it into your business. It definitely still has some issues that need to be ironed out, and overall it’s not terribly accessible for anyone who’s not already an expert at Google Analytics. That being said, we definitely think it’s going to improve over time and develop into a “must-have” feature for entrepreneurs, so by playing around and experimenting with it now you could be putting yourself ahead of the competition who’s decided to write it off until it’s perfect. This way, you’ll be ready and already know how it works and how to implement it by the time everyone else decides to give it a shot. In the meantime, try the new Google Analytics demo account.

Have you implemented cohort analysis into your business plan or had time to experiment with Google Analytics’ version? We’d love to hear about your experience! Comment in the section below.

Image credit 1: yoast.com

Image credit 2: support.google.com

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3 of the Best Digital Marketing Experiments to Run When it Comes to ROI http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/3-best-digital-marketing-experiments-run-comes-roi/ Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:15:09 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8107 There is a lot of experimenting in digital marketing to see what works, but some experiments are better than others. You always want to use the best experiments possible with the end goal being to determine the best ROI for time spent at your business. Before we get started with 3 of the best digital […]

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There is a lot of experimenting in digital marketing to see what works, but some experiments are better than others. You always want to use the best experiments possible with the end goal being to determine the best ROI for time spent at your business. Before we get started with 3 of the best digital marketing experiments for ROI, there are a couple of important things to point out before you get started:

Be Realistic with Budgeting. The first rule in ROI is pretty simple: You want to be extremely realistic with your budget and what you are looking to spend. It is true that you need to spend marketing dollars to get leads and make the most of your efforts, but you also need to pay close attention to money in/money out. Having an understanding of the experimental marketing strategy, its cost, and the anticipated profit per conversion will help you get the best ROI possible (and truthful results).

Be Strategically Clear and Organized. You cannot have a good return on investment without having a clear understanding of the campaign or marketing effort you are pursuing and the strategy that is involved to achieve your goal. This is not to say that you need to micromanage every detail constantly, but you do need to have a clear organized strategy to stay on track and measure/optimize your ROI. In other words, you should not be experimenting to determine what your campaign is or what your marketing efforts are—that has to be solid.

Monitor Reports. The last thing to remember before you get started experimenting is that you need to have a way to measure success and track your reports. Whether you are using Google Analytics or some other campaign tracking software, you want to be sure you clearly define how you are going to monitor before you launch into improving your ROI.

Test and Learn Approach. According to the Harvard Business Review (cited by Kissmetrics), one of the best approaches with digital marketing experiments is the “test and learn” approach. Ultimately, you take one action with one targeted group, take a different action (or no action) with a control group, and then compare the results. Focus on the individual and observe their responses to your tests. See if changes you make lead to higher profits.

Keep it Simple. When you are doing ROI experiments you want to think like a scientist, but you also want to keep things simple. Plan out simple adjustments that are easily measured so that results are clear and you can implement changes accordingly. One of the biggest mistakes we see as a email marketing agency is people not having a clear plan of how they will alter their experiment to get the results they want, so they end up all over the board and never get any concrete or useful data.

With all that said, below are three (fairly easy) digital marketing experiments to maximize your ROI and make improvements on your account:

#1: Experiment with Content Adjustments

We all know that content is king. In terms of ROI, keywords and text on your website have more of an impact than you even realize. Keywords clearly impact PPC advertisement and SEO, but more importantly, they also impact the overall impression that visitors get when viewing your site. While impressing the robots behind a search engine is important, you also need to care about the impact you are making on the humans that you ultimately want to impress. Minor experience with voice/tone, writing format, topic, and author are all great experiments to measure what needs to be changed and implemented for your audience. A great way to do this is by using individual blog posts/social media promotions to track and measure success with these minor tweaks. Here are some tips:

  • Focus on one feature at a time. If you want to look at content topic, for example, you might think about experimenting with 10 different posts, 5 of which are organized around one topic genre, and others that focus on another topic genre. See which of the two sets gets the most engagement, clicks, and other measurable impressions. The category that does can be said to have the best ROI. Writing in that topic genre is going to get you more attention from your target audience on your social accounts and on your blog.
  • Research! Before you start experimenting with language, tone, or topic, you want to do some industry research to see what is most likely to impact your audience. Look at other successful blogs and website content to get some ideas about what to test. While taking a shot in the dark could lead you somewhere good, it is better to inform your experiments with industry standards and audience preferences. Google Trends is an excellent way to get the ball rolling. The example below shows that “growth hacking” may be an interesting topic to explore:

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#2 Experiment with Calls to Action & Placement

One of the simplest and most effective digital marketing tests is the placement of your CTA buttons. There is a lot of research on CTA button placement, some of which state that “Welcome Gates” are the best at maximizing conversion (showing a 10-25% conversion rate) as opposed to “side bar” or “end of post” CTAs. However, while these stats are valuable and important to pay attention to before you start experimenting, you need to understand that placement of these important features are going to depend on your audience and industry as well. For example, in some industries visitors might be more likely to leave a site that has a “welcome gate.” These subtle differences could impact lead generation and are definitely worth your time for experimenting and testing!

This is a perfect case to use A/B testing, which is an experiment that allows you to show one version of your website to certain users and another version to other uses so that you can simultaneously collect this data. Below is an example from Optimizely that shows how an A/B test works:

ab testing

#3 Experiment with Website Characteristics and Visuals

Okay this last experiment is a big category that really encompasses a lot of different tests and tweaks you can make to the aesthetics of your site. Color, layout, imagery, and overall navigation can make a huge impact on conversions and ROI. One study found significant differences for online shopping behavior on e-commerce sites based on website characteristics and shopping cart features. Navigation was found to be one of the most important factors of completing a sale. In other words, experimenting with website characteristics (such as navigation) and visual features can make a huge difference in increasing your ROI.

In the following example from James Caldwell, he found that the version you see on the left below caused a 2% increase just because he changed the color. It may not seem like a lot, but a number like that can be a big difference if you can replicate it all across your business.

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The Takeaway

Users are at the heart of experimentation, and increasing positive user experiences can lead to increased ROI and conversions. By making content adjustments, tweaking placement—especially CTA placement—and making improvements to website characteristics, navigation, and visuals, you can make your site more unset-specific and see a direct increase in profit. Experimenting allows you to take a variety of existing knowledge and studies in digital marketing and tailor them to fit your audience specifically.

Which of these three experiments are you most excited to try out for your business? Let us know in the comments section below!

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5 No-Nonsense Steps to a Successful Affiliate Marketing Plan http://www.cafeproje.com/affiliate-marketing/5-no-nonsense-steps-successful-affiliate-marketing-plan/ Mon, 06 Mar 2017 14:33:39 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8098 For several reasons, affiliate marketing is not the first marketing strategy that comes to mind for many small businesses. After social media maybe wasn’t as stellar as you were promised, or guest posting wasn’t brining in the traffic, or perhaps the conference you attended didn’t bring you any leads: Affiliate marketing is born. For many, […]

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For several reasons, affiliate marketing is not the first marketing strategy that comes to mind for many small businesses. After social media maybe wasn’t as stellar as you were promised, or guest posting wasn’t brining in the traffic, or perhaps the conference you attended didn’t bring you any leads: Affiliate marketing is born. For many, this could be the ticket to success with a little bit of strategy and creativity.

A Brief History of Affiliate Marketing for Small Businesses

Affiliate marketing really has its roots in the pre-SEO concern era as a strategy for businesses that understood the value of the web but might not have the tactical control over rankings and overall search ability that we see today. Moreover, affiliate marketing is really a web-based monetization strategy. As the MarketingLand article suggests, it is important to know that as a strategy it has had a fairly long history of success, failure, Google update comebacks and really every kind of twist and turn you can imagine. According to Venture Harbour, affiliate marketers have really taken a hit from Google rankings and SEO over the last few years, not to mention that competition on the web has increased significantly since its beginnings.

So at this point you’re probably thinking—why even bother? With punishment from Google and wary success stories, why consider an affiliate marketing plan to begin with? Not so fast! There is a lot that affiliate marketers can do to be successful and get a fantastic ROI in the process; you just have to stay one step ahead of the game. In fact, many believe that affiliate marketing is a low-cost and highly effective way to showcase products and services. Consider the step-by-step guide to success below:

Step #1: Find a Niche

One of the pitfalls of affiliate marketers is trying to host everything and anything or involve multiple industries on their site. The problem is that while you might think that being open minded and non-restrictive will actually generate more business; you are going to have a more difficult time presenting your value to a niche market. A great example of affiliate marketing is actually bodybuilding.com, a fitness and nutrition site. The site is known for hosting a variety of fitness supplements, reviews, fitness bloggers, and nutrition advice, but they have a stellar affiliate program offering commission to sites that drive customers to their site.

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Beyond their obvious incentives, valuable content (more on that next) and clearly laid out affiliate strategy, they also have a niche: health and fitness, but even more specifically, catering to the “gym-oriented” “body-building” community. It makes it clearer for them to get involved in their affiliate program as the relevance is obvious to various businesses and bloggers who could easily drive traffic to their site. As for the affiliate hosting a product on their site, they earn another additional opportunity to drive sales and conversions within their e-commerce store and awesome review hosting.

Step #2: Create Quality Content for Your Business in a Different Way

The biggest challenge in digital marketing these days is staying on top of content marketing by publishing long-form posts that Google (or other search engines) see as valuable. Affiliates can actually produce quality content fairly easily as they may not have some of the limitations and restrictions that brands have when publishing their content online. Doing product comparison articles is just one example, but also think about the quality content that you can target towards your audience’s questions, needs, and interests. By establishing your niche and branding yourself, you are much more easily able to create targeted content for your readers, while also building in those links, suggestions, and other affiliate marketing requirements into your content marketing strategy.

Step #3: Provide Incentives for your Partners and Set a Financial Strategy

Having an affiliate site means rewarding those partners who bring traffic to your site. In a sense, you are not going to be able to make money on advertisement, product placement, or promotions without these folks boosting your audience. Before you even dive into building up partner-sites, you need to clearly figure out what your incentives are going to be. What is in it for them? What is in it for you? How are going to have reoccurring affiliate revenue? This is the part of your strategy that you need to have solid before progressing successfully. Below is a great example from EarthEasy that shows another way to lay out the benefits:

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Step #4: Remember to Drive Traffic (in Multiple Ways)

Part of having a successful affiliate program is not allowing other aspects of your business to slip (something we see at The Miami SEO Company all too often). It is critical that you build up an audience for your own brand and site. While you absolutely can rely on partners driving traffic to your site, you really need to focus on getting your own following. More importantly though, you want to have a brand, a clear platform, and a specific product offering that is going to drive consumers back time and time again. Coming up with a clear niche can help to drive traffic that is truly interested in the products, figures, and services that you represent. You may not need to spend the time on product development that the brand’s you sell do, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work on building your own audience.

Step #5: Be Picky When Recommending Products

Not everything is about sales commission. While it may be really tempting to support any product that is bringing in revenue, you absolutely should not support a product that is not going to get positive feedback from your audience. Part of the goal is going to be to generate positive feedback on the products you sell, and you cannot do that if you are selling anything and everything that comes across your desk. Smart Passive Income said it perfectly:

“I only recommend products as an affiliate that I’m extremely very familiar with—preferably products that I’ve used before and have helped me achieve something. If I’m not confident in the product and I don’t feel it will positively help people, I will not promote it.”

Don’t think of promoting products as a “hard sell,” but think of them as a recommendation that you are stamping your name and brand on. Over time these are the details that will help you gain credibility and a reputation.

What is your experience with affiliate marketing? Do you have any tips that didn’t make the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Twitter Now Has Live Video: Does It Matter for Your Business? http://www.cafeproje.com/social-media/twitter-now-live-video-matter-business/ Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:28:23 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8081 On December 14th, 2016 Twitter released a new live video feature that could potentially change the way entrepreneurs use Twitter for their business. As you may have noticed, we have been talking a lot about video in web marketing lately. Aside from social media video is becoming important, but it’s almost a necessity if you’re […]

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On December 14th, 2016 Twitter released a new live video feature that could potentially change the way entrepreneurs use Twitter for their business. As you may have noticed, we have been talking a lot about video in web marketing lately. Aside from social media video is becoming important, but it’s almost a necessity if you’re posting on your social accounts in 2017. Twitter wanted a piece of the pie, and we can’t blame them.

twitter-live

Previously, both Facebook and Instagram had released live video components that are extremely popular and have helped the two social media giants grow in terms of users and followers. Twitter is hoping that their live video will help them compete with these two social platforms that are currently on top in terms of user growth. While Twitter was often the go-to social media site for major organizations who wanted to live stream events such as sports games or the Presidential debates, to name a few, this new live feature will help everyday users and businesses capitalize on video marketing for their own personal and professional use. Below are some ways businesses can make the most of the Twitter live video feature:

Live Video Will Attract New Users and Increase User Engagement

It’s no secret that video marketing has been a game changer for businesses; followers are much more likely to watch a short video than they are to read a long blog post. Nowadays, people have fairly short attention spans (to put it kindly), and so if you don’t peak their interest immediately they’ll move on to something that does. Posting videos is a great way to do just that: Attract new users and engage the followers you already have. It’s much harder to scroll past and ignore a live video than it is to bypass a regular, printed tweet, which is probably why videos on Twitter generate 2.5 times more responses, 2.8 times more retweets and 1.9 times more favorites. Live videos can be retweeted, liked, shared, and commented on—all of which are actions that encourage user engagement and participation. So the next time you question whether you should share new content via a tweet or a live video broadcast, definitely turn to the latter.

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You Can Introduce Your Business Through Live Video

Interested in trying out live video for your business but not sure what to broadcast? Start slow and consider going live to promote your brand and build your image. Most likely you’ve already written some tweets and posted some blog content to do just that, but again, you’re much more likely to attract new followers by doing this through video so it doesn’t hurt to do it again. You may be surprised to find you have a much larger response to your broadcast than you did to anything printed that you previously released. Introduce yourself and your employees, give some background on how you got started in your business, discuss your products and/or services, and consider giving viewers a tour of your store or facility (if you have one). Share what’s most important to you about your business; viewers will appreciate your candor and the inside-look into what makes your business tick. This is a much more personal and effective way to grow your brand.

Businesses Can Respond to Tweets with Live Video

Customers tweet businesses all the time. Whether it’s to ask them a question about a product, express a concern or complaint, or to share an experience they had with the company, Twitter is a great way to reach a business directly. And the faster businesses respond to tweets, the more satisfied their customers are. In the past, most companies would reply to consumer tweets the regular way, in 140 characters or less. But now, Twitter live video has changed that. Instead of writing a reply to a customer, consider responding via live video. Your users will appreciate the personal attention they received and the effort you’ve gone through to answer their inquiry. And if they’re tweeting with a question about a product, answering them live is a good way to address the question with a larger audience who also might be wondering the same thing.

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Live Video Can be Used to Share Events

Planning an event or fundraiser for your business? Going to listen to a speaker in your industry? Consider going live from the event! In the past, business owners would go to events and then come back and write an extensive blog post about their experience, and maybe followers would read it or maybe they wouldn’t. But now, you’re able to give your followers a front row seat to whatever occasion you’re lucky enough to attend. And like I said before, it’s much harder to ignore a live video feed than it is to bypass a tweet or blog post. Going live from an event is another great way to increase engagement as well; your followers can comment on your video feed and you can address their questions directly in your broadcast. They can also share your video, which is another good way to gain exposure for your business.

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The Takeaway

However you choose to use it, Twitter live video is a great addition to your business marketing strategy. If you’re still apprehensive about going live, plan and practice a few videos first. You’ll be comfortable streaming in no time!

Have you published any live videos to your account yet? How do you plan to use Twitter live video for your business? Comment in the section below!

Image Credit: Screenshots taken by author on Twitter, January 2017

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5 Creative Ways to Incorporate Video Into Successful Web Marketing http://www.cafeproje.com/videos/5-creative-ways-incorporate-video-successful-web-marketing/ Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:56:53 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8076 People love watching videos. In fact, recent video marketing statistic trends have shown just how important incorporating video is for a business. Hyperfine Media put out an infographic last year that shed a lot of light onto video marketing statistics and the subsequent implications for marketers. Some of the insights Hyperfine Media found were: Marketing […]

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People love watching videos. In fact, recent video marketing statistic trends have shown just how important incorporating video is for a business. Hyperfine Media put out an infographic last year that shed a lot of light onto video marketing statistics and the subsequent implications for marketers. Some of the insights Hyperfine Media found were:

  • Marketing emails that have video showed a 200-300% increase in CTR
  • Having video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%
  • YouTube has a 100% increase in mobile video viewing each year
  • Once viewers watch a marketing video they are 64% more likely to buy a product online
  • 96% of B2B organizations use video marketing; 73% report positive ROI
  • 90% of users find that product videos are helpful in their decision process
  • 75% of users have interacted with an online video this month

And the list goes on! You can see the infographic here.

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As an SEO marketing firm, we are always looking for unique tips, ideas, and suggestions for our clients so that they can best incorporate video marketing into their existing strategy. Below are 5 creative ways that you can successfully incorporate video in to your existing digital marketing strategy:

  1. Repurpose Existing Content

Repurposing content that you already have created and turning it into a video is one of the best ways to start. Part of the battle when you first implement video into your marketing plan is actually coming up with an idea. If you already have a series of blog posts that you have written, think about changing long-form text into a short 1-5 minute script.

Think about it—the blog posts that you develop and write are already geared to your niche audience. A video series tailored around existing content not only makes it easy to get the ball rolling and get videos live, but you know that the ideas are already geared towards the people you want to reach most.

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  1. Video Live Streaming

According to Entrepreneur, live streaming video with the opportunity to cast your message out to anyone in the world, as well as take live comments during your discussion, is gaining a lot of momentum and popularity. Their article dubbed both Periscope and Meerkat emerging as the frontrunners for video live streaming platforms (and we agree). There are a lot of different angles you can take with video live streaming, including:

  • Discussions or instruction regarding hot topics in your industry
  • Stream a live event to give online viewers an inside scoop
  • Discuss research or experience findings with your followers
  • Show your office environment and present your team in a live and interactive way
  • Do a series of live video interviews where you invite clients or other colleagues in your industry on to discuss a set topic the you can promote to your audience

As always, the key with live streaming is really creating value and a desire to watch. Promoting and advertising an upcoming live stream can also help you get more viewers than you would have otherwise.

  1. Video in Email Marketing

Video does not need to be restricted to website or social media. In fact, as stated above, emails that utilize video can show a 200-300% increase in CTR. Why? Well, there is a lot that you can do with video to produce a call to action. Whether it is showcasing your new products or services and suggesting that your visitors go to your website immediately following, or giving a tutorial immediately after someone makes a purchase with your company, there are so many possibilities when you begin to incorporate video into your email marketing. Ideas and things that are not possible in terms of eliciting an action with still photos and images alone are possible.

  1. Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook (Video in the Social Media World)

Video is increasing in importance in the social media world. It is incredibly reliable for encouraging your following to engage with your brand. With new features released in 2016, such as Instagram stories or Facebook Live, there are even more ways for users to interact with videos online. If you are consistently uploading brief videos of your office culture to your story on Instagram or using the Facebook live feature to host webinars and get feedback from your social media audience, then you are going to be targeting all of your audience that prefers video to other methods. This will also help expand your audience and increasing brand awareness through video marketing.

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  1. Incorporate Video onto the Landing Pages on Your Website

Why keep a page dull and lifeless when you can incorporate video? Sometimes rather than explaining your process in text form or trying to write a description of how a product works, showing a video can be even more interactive, visually appealing, and helpful to a client. This is not to say that text content is not important (of course it is, for your SEO), however, video can lead to conversions and sales because of its appeal to user information consumption. Anywhere you can creatively incorporate video can be extremely effective in your website design. Further, these videos can also be shared little by little on other social media platforms to improve your video marketing reach and have more content to share.

The Takeaway

Video marketing is definitely going to become increasingly important in 2017 and should definitely be factored into your marketing strategy as soon as possible. There are a lot of ways you can incorporate video into your existing plan, including repurposing content you’ve already developed, hosting a podcast, or getting creative with your email marketing. Regardless of what direction you take, make sure the videos you are producing are quality, look professional, and incorporate your overall branding and aesthetic. If you need some help it is always wise to include a professional videographer on certain projects that may need that additional guidance!

What do you plan to do with your video marketing in 2017? Let us know in the comments section below—we would love to hear from you!

Source: Screenshots taken by author January 2017

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Blog Management Services http://www.cafeproje.com/content-writing/blog-management-services/ Thu, 09 Feb 2017 19:21:17 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8088 Looking for a way to get more organic traffic, calls, quote requests or sales? We have several writers that are either perusing a writing degree or that already have one. Our writers know how to research your competitors for compelling topics that your type of prospective customers will enjoy reading. Allow us to provide you […]

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Looking for a way to get more organic traffic, calls, quote requests or sales? We have several writers that are either perusing a writing degree or that already have one. Our writers know how to research your competitors for compelling topics that your type of prospective customers will enjoy reading. Allow us to provide you with the extra bandwidth needed to generate content on the go when you have a company news update, new product announcement or any content related needs.

Get More Traffic Through Q & A Style Blogs.

Our blog management services can help you get more visitors that are researching topics online in the form of a question-based search query. For example, let’s say you’re looking to buy a mobility scooter or wheelchair for a loved one who is disabled and you search Google for “the best mobility scooter for going up hills”. When you search for that keyword, one of our blog posts that we wrote for a client is #1. Many other keywords are producing the same or similar results due to the fact that the blog is constantly updated with new Q & A type blog posts.

 

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Starter Plan Pricing & A La Cart Pricing.

Our blog management services start at $399.99/monthly and that includes pre-planned topic suggestions & keyword research. Each blog post will contain 700-1,000 words, images with image alt tags, optimized URL’s, optimized title tags, optimized descriptions and more. Call or write to us today if you’re interested in learning more about our affordable and effective blog management. services. The starting plan includes 4 blog posts per month, additional blog posts can be requested at an a-la-cart rate of $99.99 per blog post.

Want to see what having routine blog posts created on your site by our team year-round looks like in your Google Analytics reporting? Check out the report below that shows the traffic coming from the blog on a site that we’re managing. As you can see some of the top pages are from the blog, over 50% of the traffic comes from the blog and this site gets over 30k visitors per month.

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5 Things Businesses Need to Know about Duck Duck Go http://www.cafeproje.com/user-experience/5-things-businesses-need-know-duck-duck-go/ Wed, 08 Feb 2017 14:53:39 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8065 Founded in 2008, Duck Duck Go is a search engine that prides itself on being different than Google in several ways. With the slogan “Take Back Your Privacy—switch to a search engine that doesn’t track you,” the platform has appealed to user privacy by providing a search engine which doesn’t build a profile and knowledge […]

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Founded in 2008, Duck Duck Go is a search engine that prides itself on being different than Google in several ways. With the slogan “Take Back Your Privacy—switch to a search engine that doesn’t track you,” the platform has appealed to user privacy by providing a search engine which doesn’t build a profile and knowledge of user habits. It has been said to be “a completely secure and private search engine”—which means that users are not tracked in any form and IP addresses are not collected. This plays out differently than Google as everyone sees the exact same results regardless of user preferences.

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Why Duck Duck Go Continues to Gain the Attention

Duck Duck Go has gotten a lot of attention from the SEO and digital marketing space in recent years, while possibly not being common knowledge in the user community just yet. However, there is something to be said about the digital marketing community being interested. In the coming years, user privacy within a highly digital world could gain a lot of attention and increase in value and importance. Plus, a search engine that doesn’t tailor itself to users does level the playing field in certain ways that could be important for small businesses—more on that in a bit!

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A recent article by Search Engine Land showed that the platform has had 10 billion private searches (and counting) which they are deeming as a reflection of the concern people now have for reducing their digital footprint online. Below is a screenshot from that article that shows the growth of the engine to date:

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5 Things You Need to Know about Duck Duck Go As a Small Business Owner

Offers Several Different Search Features

Duck Duck Go is not just a Google alternative; it is an entirely different concept and platform, containing several unique features in both design and function. Here are a few unique features that are especially important for small businesses to be concerned with:

  • Embedded Social Media. When you conduct a search for a person, business, or brand, you will get instant access to their social media—with a link and icon built in to the search results. Whether it is directly getting a customer searching for you to your LinkedIn or Facebook page URL, or allowing them to connect with one of your employees on Twitter directly, this platform is very social media forward and really makes all of the difference for small business accounts looking to build their following from relevant searchers.

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  • Search Apps (and their Alternatives). On Duck Duck Go, you can search the app store directly, and get immediate suggestions for alternatives if you have not completely settled on a software.

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  • A User Enhanced Platform. This is not to say that Google does not have their users at the core of their design (they do), but some might say that Duck Duck Go has really crafted their engine for the user in unique ways. Some of these awesome user friendly features include auto-suggested searches, maps and local search, image search, and instant answers.

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While Google certainly has these features, Duck Duck Go has maximized the potential of these features on a clean and user-friendly platform. Most importantly to users that prefer Duck Duck Go, however, all of these features are presented with enhanced privacy. This means users can get all they can with Google with enhanced security.

User Experience is Shared

For small businesses this is a big one! Duck Duck Go shows the same search results regardless of the user conducting the search. This is in opposition to Google because it does not prioritize sites that a user has personally been searching, making rankings even more of an even playing field for businesses. This means that if you are the highest ranking in your industry, you get the first place result to every user that searches for your relevant terms. In terms of small business concern for this platform, it is more important than ever to improve your SEO and make sure you are worthy of land in those first few spots for your key terms.

Be Active and Focus on SEO

Duck Duck Go is going to have a slightly different approach to search engine rankings than Google, considering that a search looks the same regardless of the user that is conducting the search. Make sure your website SEO is the best you can make it and that you are consistently writing on your blog and posting on your social accounts. Further, Duck Duck Go’s interest in “instant answers” means that the discussion going on in your industry cold make the cut in answering a searcher’s question. You should be as engaged in your industry’s community as possible.

Advertisement is not a Part of this Search Platform

Unlike Google where you have to be concerned with AdWords, paid search, and other advertisement features, Duck Duck Go does not want advertisement to be a part of their user’s experience. As a consequence, small businesses do not need to be concerned with advertisements in the same way as they do with Google. Going off of the late point, this means you need to make organic your focus!

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The Number of Users is Growing

As stated earlier in the article, the number of searches for this platform is growing significantly. This means that although it is a much smaller platform compared to Google, more and more people are actively seeking out ways to reduce their digital footprint online. This platform is clearly reaching people that have privacy and security concerns and is likely to continue growing in both importance and use in the coming year. Start by searching for your company on the platform and see where you fall in search, local and social media results.

What do you think of Duck Duck Go? How do you feel this platform could make an impact on your business’ online presence in the coming year? Let us know in the comments section below!

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30 Marketing Statistics That Will Come Into Play in 2017 http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/30-marketing-statistics-will-come-play-2017/ Thu, 02 Feb 2017 14:59:27 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8062 As we launch in to 2017, there are some important marketing statistics that span a variety of important themes like mobile first optimization, social media, and business content marketing. These statistics are important to consider in your own marketing plan in 2017 and can help shape your future strategies and decisions. Check out some of […]

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As we launch in to 2017, there are some important marketing statistics that span a variety of important themes like mobile first optimization, social media, and business content marketing. These statistics are important to consider in your own marketing plan in 2017 and can help shape your future strategies and decisions. Check out some of these statistics below, broken up into categories you will want to consider in the upcoming year:

Social Media Marketing Statistics

  1. 46% of millennials rely on social media when deciding about purchasing a product or service (Media Kix)
  1. By 2018 Fourteen-billion dollars will be spent annually on social media advertisements. (Business Insider)
  1. 81% of the millennial generation uses Twitter at least once per day. (Pew Research)
  1. 93% of marketers use social media as a primary way to market the businesses they work for (The Fast Company)
  1. 75% of male internet users and 83% of female internet users are on Facebook (Pew Research)
  1. Businesses who have used social media as a marketing tool in the past two years have reported growth in their sales (Social Media Examiner)
  1. 80% of marketers saw a ROI and an increased brand awareness when they spent 6 hours a week on social media (Social Media Examiner).
  1. 22% of the world population is on Facebook, making it the world’s largest social media platform! (Statista)
  1. Snapchat is fantastic for targeting young users, reaching 41% of 18-34 year olds daily. (Snapchat) Not only that, but 16% of marketers plan on increasing their use of Snapchat as a part of their strategy. (Mediakix)
  1. 68% of adults are on Facebook and 79% of American internet users are on Facebook (WordStream).

Business Content Marketing Statistics

  1. Blogging is no where near on its way out, in fact, 23.6 billion blog pages were viewed on WordPress alone EACH MONTH! (WordPress)
  1. 39% of LinkedIn users pay for monthly premium accounts—and the business platform is on the rise for publishing content. (Red Website Design)
  1. 100 million hours of video content are watched (on Facebook alone) daily. That means that producing video content has become one of the most successful forms of business content marketing.
  1. More than 1 million LinkedIn users have published long-form content on the site, in addition to their own website/blog, with 160,000 long-form posts being published weekly (LinkedIn).
  1. SlideShare has also become one of the favored ways to share business-driven content, with 19.7 million SlideShare presentations have been uploaded to LinkedIn in 2016 (LinkedIn).
  1. In terms on long form content, the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words (HubSpot)
  1. Business content marketing revolves around SEO and organic search rankings, in fact, 66% of marketers say improving SEO is their top marketing priority. (HubSpot)
  1. B2B researchers do an average of 12 searches prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. (Google, 2014)
  1. According to 40% of marketers, one of the biggest challenges has been changing search algorithms and staying on top of search engines because of it. (Ascend2, 2015)
  1. 50% of search queries are four words or longer. (WordStream)

Mobile-First Marketing Statistics

  1. 80% of internet users own a smartphone. (Smart Insights)
  1. Mobile advertising is experience tremendous growth—it is anticipated that by 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending. (Marketing Land)
  1. According to Google reports, more searches take place on mobile devices than on desktop computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan. (HubSpot)
  1. Google also noted that 65% of smartphone users say that when they are conducting a search on their phones what they really care about is the most relevant information, regardless of the company that is providing it. (HubSpot) This gives small businesses the opportunity to be the leading experts in new information without necessarily having the brand recognition of top companies.
  1. 26% of consumers start mobile research with an app (think Yelp, etc) thank on their browser. (Smart Insights)
  1. Over 36% of Apple mobile users use iPhones or iPads to read email. Even more significant, 34% of subscribers ONLY use mobile devices to read emails—meaning that desktop email is not the preferred view for many users. (Informz)
  1. Pinterest is “the most mobile social network,” with 64% of its referred traffic comes from either smartphones or tablet devices. (Mobile Marketing Watch)
  1. 91% of mobile users agree that access to content is very important in their mobile use. (Wolfgang Jaegel)
  1. 57% of users say they would not recommend a business that had a website which is not mobile friendly. (CMS Report)
  1. 83% of B2B marketers said mobile apps were important to their content marketing. (Strategy Trends)

What Does it All Mean in 2017?

These are just some of the most significant statistics to inform your marketing plan for 2017. Let’s break down some general things to consider as you devise your strategy for social media, content, and the mobile-first world:

Social Media in 2017. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are going to remain major player in the year, and likely “years,” to come. People use social media to consider brands, products, and services before making a decision. Advertisement on these platforms has had proven results you can track and should definitely be a part of your digital marketing plan.

Business Content Marketing in 2017. Blogging and content curation are not only as important as they have ever been, but anticipated to increase in importance this year. If you don’t have a blog and a strategy for regularly updating content, get on it!

Mobile First Optimization. in 2017. With more people searching on mobile device than on desktops, it is important to make sure your website, blog, and other online presences are mobile friendly and take mobile users into account. This also means tailoring your marketing strategy: email marketing, social media outreach, and other content development to mobile users.

What statistics do you find to be most significant? Anything you would like to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

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How to Master The 5 Minute Online Marketing Pitch http://www.cafeproje.com/getting-started/master-5-minute-online-marketing-pitch/ Thu, 26 Jan 2017 15:00:35 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8012 It’s common for a boss, or a business as a whole, to not be completely receptive to the ideas present in marketing plans. Some believe that content marketing is all about “touchy-feely” stuff and want to hear that type of pitch, when in reality a good marketing plan supports all the areas of the selling […]

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It’s common for a boss, or a business as a whole, to not be completely receptive to the ideas present in marketing plans. Some believe that content marketing is all about “touchy-feely” stuff and want to hear that type of pitch, when in reality a good marketing plan supports all the areas of the selling activities and allows the company to make better, and more informed, marketing decisions.

So if you’re tasked with the challenge of pitching a marketing plan to an unresponsive audience, think about taking some of the following tips into consideration to ensure that your audience sees the many benefits associated with developing a thorough marketing strategy.

Discuss the Context for the Pitch (aka, the Environment of the Company)

In order to get people to listen to your plan they need to understand how and why it may be relevant to them and their business’s needs. You need to explain the big picture right off the bat: Why that particular business needs a marketing plan, how it can benefit them in the long run, and how and why the particulars of the plan will fit in with the environment of the company. You want to get personal, as in knowing your client and their needs, but not unprofessional; there’s a difference between understanding and addressing the goals of your client and becoming “chummy” with them. The latter will not earn you an engaged audience.

Do Your Research and Know the Problems of the Specific Client You are Pitching

A big way to get people to listen and understand the relevancy of your pitch is to do your homework up front, get to know the problems of the specific client/company to which you are pitching, and make sure you tie solutions to those problems in with your plan. Speaking about hypothetical benefits and situations is never as helpful as directly addressing the concerns of your client and showing them how a marketing plan can be the answer. Try to tell a relatable story and make the problem seem as real as possible. You can learn more about our content services as what we recommend as a content marketing agency here.

Speak to the Vision and Goals of the Company

Similar to the first two steps, part of getting to know your audience and tailoring the pitch to their needs involves speaking to their overall goals and visions. If the marketing plan doesn’t match up with both of these, you might as well not even try. Get to know the client ahead of time, learn about their long-term goals, and then incorporate them directly into your pitch. How can your marketing plan help the company reach their goals? Explaining this will go a long way towards helping your client see the value in content marketing. Considering discussing: brand awareness, increased conversion rates, and enhanced customer service, among others.

Show a Case Study and Include Data, Visuals, and Metrics

Once you’ve identified and presented the most relevant marketing goals for your client, consider backing up your claims with market research and statistics. Data speaks volumes, and if you haven’t won over your audience yet chances are you will when they see the numbers that prove your points. Give relevant examples of what other companies are doing, and considering providing an applicable case study that shows their potential return on investment, or ROI. It’s never a bad idea to present this data with visuals (think colorful graphs and charts) to further illustrate your point. Consider including a table or chart that summarizes the revenue you expect to make as well as and marketing expenses for the upcoming year. Offer aggressive, but not over-the-top, metrics that detail the success of the plan. It’s ok to not meet all your goals exactly; as long as you come close your clients will most likely understand.

Incorporate Company Stakeholders

According to the same CBS News article mentioned above, your key stakeholders generally are product development, sales, HR, finance, and executive management. Make sure to include them in on the process. Ask for their opinions ahead of time, consult them when you have ideas, and otherwise elicit their input prior to pitching to the group as a whole. This is a great way to get to know the company environment, problems, goals and vision, as well as to get part of the team on your side before going up against everyone else. It never hurts to start with people in your corner.

Know How to Defend Your Pitch

You already know that pitching a marketing plan is probably going to be challenging, so do yourself a favor and assume that before, during, and after your presentation your audience is probably picking it apart looking for problems. Any time you ask for money there is almost guaranteed to be objections. Knowing this ahead of time will give you a step up because hopefully you can anticipate some of the questions and concerns your client will have and address them in the pitch (with solutions) before they lose interest or completely write you off. Consider speaking to common questions and concerns such as: how much will this cost, we can’t afford this, this won’t work for our company, etc.

Stay in it for the Long Haul

Again, asking for money is always a tricky business, so don’t expect your client to embrace the pitch and get on board immediately. Most likely there will be multiple meetings and revisions that take place; this doesn’t mean your pitch was a failure. The most thoughtful laid-out plans generally take time. Listen to your client’s objections, take them into consideration, spend time thinking of solutions and then re-pitch a revised plan. As long as you’re moving forward, you’re not failing.

Mastering an online marketing pitch is definitely a challenge, but one that can be overcome by following the tips above. Be prepared to do a lot of research and work up front, and don’t get discouraged if your audience isn’t immediately receptive to your ideas. Address their concerns with a solid plan backed up by data and you’re guaranteed to come out on top.

How are you going to get started? Comment in the section below!

Feature Image Credit: techstars.com

 

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Become a Better Email Marketer with These 6 Tips http://www.cafeproje.com/email-marketing/become-better-email-marketer-6-tips/ Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:49:58 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8055 As we approach 2017, it is a good time to reflect on our successes and failures of 2016 and strive for improvement in the coming year. Naturally, one of the things that many marketers are hoping to improve on in the coming year is email marketing. Email marketing is tricky because measuring success is often […]

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As we approach 2017, it is a good time to reflect on our successes and failures of 2016 and strive for improvement in the coming year. Naturally, one of the things that many marketers are hoping to improve on in the coming year is email marketing. Email marketing is tricky because measuring success is often industry, mailing list, and campaign specific. Unfortunately as many small businesses know, even if some of your campaigns performed well over the last year, there is always room for improvement. This type of marketing is constantly changing.

If you aren’t sure where to make improvements this year, don’t sweat it. As an email marketing agency we believe these 6 tips will have you on the path to success in 2017:

Segmentation is More Powerful Than You Think

If you have been sending out email campaigns to your entire mailing list, you may want to reevaluate how you are actually addressing your audience. Sure, newsletters and general content might be good for your entire mailing list, but in most cases, campaigns should be more specific than that. If you want to increase conversions from your mailing list, then you will want to work on your efforts to segment your mailing list and design campaigns around your target audience(s).

A good way to think about email marketing is by using yourself as a starting pint. We are all flooded with a ton of advertisement emails in our inbox every day, so which do you choose to open? Most likely, you open the emails that address you personally or resonate with you in some specific way. Knowing this, you should make an effort to make your different campaigns as effective as possible by targeting a specific section of your audience with most of your campaigns.

There are so many ways you can segment your audience, including personalized products (if you have an e-commerce site), targeting a specific age/location demographic, or considering different industries you target if you are a b2b company. Do a little experimenting and you will likely see a much better response than sending these kinds of campaigns out to your entire list.

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Whether you use MailChimp, Emma, Wix, Squarespace, or any other email platform, all software options should make it easy to segment and customize your email list depending on who you are trying to target.

Make Your Headlines Even More Eye-Catching

Let’s face it, many people delete emails that they are not immediately drawn to, even if they like that they subscribed to the particular brand that sent it. The first thing that people see before they even choose to open an email is the subject line, and that is a really key part of improving your email marketing. Are you inviting your list to an event? Are you announcing a new product? Make it catchy, fun, and above all else; don’t make it sound like it’s a general email campaign that they’ve seen before. The more creative you get with the headline, the more likely people are to open your email, and opening is really the first battle you have to fight in getting people to covert and take the action you want them to take.

Focus on Building Your Email List

Most mail servers have very strict rules about what is acceptable practice with email lists. For example, you are not allowed to purchase email lists from third parties and then use them for your own campaigns. However, while it might take a little longer to build up your list naturally—building a subscriber base will assure that the people that are on your list want to be there. There are a few ways that you can launch into 2017 building a richer subscriber base:

  • Have a page or pop-up to subscribe to your email list on your website. By offering promotions or other bonuses for subscribing (like a 10% off first purchase, for example), you’re even more likely to grow this faster.
  • Add links to subscribe to your email list on Facebook
  • Any event, networking, or b2b opportunity should yield a list of new emails for you to reach out to
  • Ask your in-store clients if they would like to be on your mailing list.

Most email servers will allow you to input how you got the emails for your list along with each addition. Use every opportunity you can to generate new emails so that you can grow your list and account for unsubscribes as you expand and grow your email campaigns.

Content Should ALWAYS be Valuable

So you’ve gotten people to open your email—they’ve read it—now you need them to want to stay on your mailing list! A key component of successful email marketing is providing valuable information with the content you design. This is obviously going to be industry-specific on some level, but if you can teach something, demonstrate knowledge, show something new, or grab someone’s attention in a unique way, they are more likely to pay attention and more likely to stay on your mailing list. Once again, make every email you put out valuable, and designed for the customers who will be receiving the message.

An additional point to keep in mind: In addition to content being valuable, it should also be short, sweet, and to the point. If you think about it from a reader’s perspective, it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to read a five-paragraph essay in their work inbox. However, people may just read 250-500 words of content (or even less). Only keep what is absolutely essential, and if you find yourself struggling, it may just be that you need to break the content up into two different emails.

Use an Email Service Provider (Seriously)

This has been mentioned in this article a few times already, but it is still important to repeat. DO NOT try to send out monthly emails to all of your clients (or even segmented groups of your clients) through Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc. Why? First, of all it will likely be marked as spam and never make it to the inbox in the first place, and this can actually affect future emails you try to send as well. Two, you have no control over design (unless you are a design or coding pro) and aesthetics whatsoever—and that looks extremely unprofessional. It is still all too common to see people attempting email marketing through platforms like this, and it is a waste of time and effort. Many email platforms, like MailChimp, offer free use of the platform up to a certain amount of subscribers, and once you hit a certain point, it is still worthwhile to pay for an email-marketing platform (especially since you have that many subscribers viewing your emails).

Rather than just BCC-ing your entire client list on a standard email, use a mail service provider that will allow you to design and execute unique email campaigns that are quality and aesthetically pleasing.

Use Email Marketing for Exposure, Networking, and Outreach—but not for Sales!

Okay, okay, we know that sales are important. However, with the flood of promotions, advertisements, and sales pitches that people get in their inboxes daily, the emails that wind up being really successful and meaningful to people are those who don’t treat an email like a sale. Email marketing should absolutely have conversion in sight, but treat it like an opportunity to get your brand exposure, network with those on your list, and reach out to the customers you care about. The goal is to get engagement, and after someone is engaged you can start to think about conversions.

Which of these aspects do you want to improve on the most in 2017? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you!

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How to Answer on the Fly When You’re Asked: What Are You Doing for Our SEO? http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/seo-strategies-you-are-already-using/ Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:55:36 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8049 When people hear the term “SEO,” many automatically think of a complicated marketing strategy that requires a whole team of people to manage. However, this isn’t necessarily the case because there are many SEO strategies that you’re probably already incorporating into your current marketing plan without even realizing it. So next time your boss asks […]

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When people hear the term “SEO,” many automatically think of a complicated marketing strategy that requires a whole team of people to manage. However, this isn’t necessarily the case because there are many SEO strategies that you’re probably already incorporating into your current marketing plan without even realizing it. So next time your boss asks what you’re doing to help the company’s SEO, you can confidently answer with some (or all) of the following SEO tactics:

You’ve Designed a Responsive Website

More and more people are searching the Internet with multiple devices: tablets, smartphones, etc. and so a responsive website is a must for 2017. But did you know that by designing a responsive site you’ve also most likely increased your rankings? This is because Google loves a responsive website design (RDW), and with their recent switch to Mobile First, they’re prioritizing mobile sites over desktop when they determine rankings. Thus, having one website and one URL that works for both desktop and mobile puts you ahead of those who have designed separate sites for various devices. Not to mention, a responsive site decreases visitor bounce rate and increases user engagement, 2 things that are essential for great SEO.

You Utilize Email Marketing

Most likely you’re already sending out emails to consumers alerting them of deals, promotions, loyalty programs, upcoming events, etc. These marketing emails can also be used to increase your company’s SEO! Though Google probably isn’t looking at your individual emails, they will take notice if you link back to your business’s website in each of the emails you send out (particularly if people are clicking). You can also use email to increase customer engagement, which will in turn boost your rankings. Encourage them to visit your website, comment on your blog, or visit your social media pages, just like the Ipsy did in their monthly email shown below. This article we wrote last year suggests more helpful ways to take your company’s email marketing to the next level, or you can visit here to learn more.

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You Send Out Press Releases or Newsletters

Similarly to email marketing, sending out press releases or newsletters can also increase your rankings; especially if you link back to your company’s website somewhere in the text. The more links you include in your content that directs back to pages on your website, the more value you’re adding to your SEO. You have to make sure all links are relevant and not there for the purpose of SEO, by if you do that you’re on the right path.

So next time you’re creating a press release or writing the company newsletter, think about how you can incorporate some of those all-important links. In addition, press releases and newsletters are important to SEO because they can (and should) be saved and shared on various social media sites. This also increases user engagement and directs consumers back to your website, which in turn increases your rankings.

You Publish Job Openings on Multiple Websites

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Have a job opening at your company? Post it everywhere, and not just to get the word out about the open position (though that doesn’t hurt). Publish openings on sites like LinkedIn and Monster.com, and in the job description make sure to include a link to your company website. Not only does this direct future applicants to further information about the company, it encourages direct traffic to your website which boosts your rankings (are you seeing a trend yet? Link to your website where you can!). This is also a great place to incorporate those essential keyword links that link back to pages on your website—another great way to add value to your SEO strategy.

You Produce High Quality, Relevant Content

Creating valuable content is great for marketing, and even better for SEO. Incorporate keywords into your content and link back to specific pages on your website, but most importantly, write about what your consumers want. Do keyword research to find out what they’re looking for in your blog posts, and they’ll reward you with future engagement on your site. The lower the bounce rate, the higher your SEO rankings. Not to mention, if they’re impressed with the content you’re producing, they’ll be more likely to share it on social media. This will increase your visibility, which will in turn drive more traffic to your site. All in all, it’s worth it to find out what type of content is relevant to your users and then spend time making sure what you’re producing is of a high quality.

You Participate in Events

Whether you’re speaking, sponsoring, or just attending a conference or event, you’ve got a great opportunity to help your company’s SEO. If you’re a speaker or presenter at an event, most likely you’ll be given a biography page on the event website. Make sure to include a link to your company’s website! This is also a great place to link to your social media profiles as well. If you’re sponsoring an event, you’re probably promoting it all over the place (as you should). Link to the company website on all promotional materials in order to get the word out to consumers and to Google. In the screenshot above, all the businesses that sponsor the Chicago Small Business Expo receive a link to their website on the event site.

Finally, if you’re attending an event don’t be afraid to share what you’ve learned! Post recaps on your blog, go Live on social media, and wait for others to share your valuable content. For more information on how events can benefit your SEO strategy, check out this article by imediaconnection.com

Impressed with how much you’re already doing for your company’s SEO without even realizing it? Think about how excited your boss will be once they find out you’re on the front page of Google. And if you’re not yet incorporating all of these strategies, now is the time to start! What are you doing for your business’s SEO? Comment in the section below.

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5 Tips from an Agency: 5 Ways Entrepreneurs Market Their Small Business Online for Free http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/how-to-market-your-business-online-for-free/ Wed, 04 Jan 2017 14:54:19 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8042 Marketing is one of the most expensive aspects of any successful small businesses budget. The reality is that in slower times of year, or when business just isn’t rolling in the way that you want it to, marketing can seem very expensive. Regardless of the reasoning, however, you never really want to cut your marketing […]

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Marketing is one of the most expensive aspects of any successful small businesses budget. The reality is that in slower times of year, or when business just isn’t rolling in the way that you want it to, marketing can seem very expensive. Regardless of the reasoning, however, you never really want to cut your marketing efforts.

Fortunately, what a lot of small businesses may not know is that even though certain projects do cost money (such as paying a marketing manager, Google AdWords, an email marketing service, etc.), there are several ways that entrepreneurs have marketed online with minimal cost to their business. While nothing is ever technically free (time is money, after all), there are many inexpensive options that can feel “free,” especially in comparison to your other marketing efforts.

Top 5 Ways to Market Your Small Business Online for Free

As an SEO agency, we are always asked about some of the tips that can help entrepreneurs succeed in marketing. Let’s take a look at some of the top ways to market for free and discuss how these strategies can dramatically impact your growth and marketing efforts in 2017:

  1. Social Media Engagement

One of the top ways that successful marketers get a lot of exposure without spending anything from their marketing budget is through social media engagement. This is not just about posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc, but about engaging with your audience and making the things you post worthy of attention from your followers. It does not cost anything to post (unless you plan on “promoting,” “boosting” or using your post as an advertisement campaign) and replying to followers and general engagement does not cost anything either. This is one of the tops ways to get your brand exposure and target potential customers without spending a dime!

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  1. Blog Regularly

If you really want to increase traffic and make a difference on your website, you absolutely have to blog. If people have been advising you to start a blog on your business site for a while, and you have yet to do it, here are some things to consider:

  • Regular positing of content tells search engines that you are consistently adding new material, and this will help your business to be indexed and organic traffic to find you.
  • The ability to develop content that is infused with relevant keywords means that those who are searching for relevant terms are going to be more likely to find you if those terms are present on your site. Blogs make this a possibility with long form content on your business site.
  • You are providing meaningful and useful tips and information for clients and prospects. If you make your blog useful to the clients that you serve, you are more likely to get repeat business. People are also more likely to feel valued and like they are getting the most out of working with your business.

The key here is really keeping your content updated as frequently as you can. This means that you should try to post at least a few times a week if possible. Having a blog costs nothing more than the operational costs for your website, so it is also one of the most effective ways to market without dipping into your budget.

  1. Engage With An Online Community

Nowadays there are so many online communities for any small business or industry. Are you a photographer? Visit an online community, such as a forum, Quora thread, Reddit thread, etc. for photography lovers and answer questions that others might be having. Are you a local restaurant? Join in the chamber of commerce conversation or see if there are forums for local restaurant weeks or local restaurant guides. In addition to engaging others on social media or your blog, use online forums as an opportunity to provide valuable information that people care about and also encourage those who are interested to go to your website.

There are so many creative ways to engage an online community, for example, start a podcast you share your expert knowledge, or a YouTube channel to give step-by-step information about your products. At the end of the day, these kind of communities allow you to reach out with knowledge that could benefit others and build brand recognition for “essentially” free.

  1. Collect Reviews

Review sites like Google Reviews, Yelp, and social media review platforms, such as Facebook, give you the opportunity to build recognition and reputation for free. Have your past customers submit online reviews so that those who come across your business can read directly from others how your business met their needs and went above and beyond. Online reviews go a long way when thinking about why people make purchasing decisions. Collecting reviews is free, even if it is a little work, and can improve your online image and help you beat out local competition when others are trying to make a decision about where to go for products/services.

  1. Local Business Listings

In terms of targeting your local community and really having a specific marketing outreach, nothing is really more important than being included on local business listings. Having your business appear on local searches that are relevant to your products or services is one of the key factors in driving business to your door. Even more importantly, getting your business included on local business listings, for example Google Business, is free. As you can see in the screenshot below, a search for “pizza near me” returned these three top local listings (among others by clicking “more places”) based on my location. It also includes review and pricing information. When people are trying to make a decision where location is key, there is really no better marketing than to be listed on a search locally.

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The Takeaway

With the increasing importance of marketing online, many free (and inexpensive) ways of marketing have emerged for entrepreneurs and small business owners. While some marketing efforts are definitely worth spending a significant portion of your budget, others are completely available without any additional cost to the business owner. Social media engagement, blogging, engaging in a relevant online community, collecting reviews, and making sure your business is listed locally are just some of the ways you can market your small business online for free.

Do you have any other tips or tricks that might help other small business owners? Have you found any of these strategies to be especially helpful? Let us know in the comments section below.

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What is on the Horizon for Marketing in 2017? http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/horizon-marketing-2017/ Tue, 27 Dec 2016 14:56:20 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8014 As the year comes to a close, it is time for us to start reflecting on 2016 and look forward to what is on the marketing horizon in 2017. A lot can be learned from the marketing trends, successes, and failures of 2016, but it is also important to look forward as much as possible […]

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As the year comes to a close, it is time for us to start reflecting on 2016 and look forward to what is on the marketing horizon in 2017. A lot can be learned from the marketing trends, successes, and failures of 2016, but it is also important to look forward as much as possible and discuss what is to come in the next year. A few things we predict include:

1. Video Marketing is Going to be Key

No one will argue that visual media has made an impressive impact on digital marketing over the last year. Videos have earned their place in most marketing strategies, but it is being argued that even more of that is to come in 2017. According to Madison Logic, 73% of marketing professionals claimed that videos (product, service, meet-the-staff, business explainer videos, etc.) had a positive impact on their marketing efforts. Videos are easy to share, gain attention on social media, and they add an extra dimension on your website. Whether you are trying to show how a product works or explore an aspect of your business services, videos are going to be a creative and efficient way to market in 2017 more than we even see currently. Below is a great example of a short and effective video marketing initiative:

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This Integer Emissions Summit 2015 Video shows the importance of networking and and conference events on the industry. The point of the video? Knowledge is power, and the dialogue on the emissions scene and market intelligence presented at events like this urges those in the industry to be in attendance. More importantly that message is achieved in under 3 minutes of video! Integer has this video from the 2015 event hosted on their 2016 conference page—to show potential attendees some of the highlights of their conferences, and importance of their events.

2. Marketers Will Take on a More Important Role

Traditional divisions of labor in the workplace are going to be changing and transforming over the next few years, but it is anticipated that marketers are going to take on an even more important role in 2017. An article by the Huffington Post claimed that more CMOs will be moving into the seat of CFOs and that “traditional” sales departments are a thing of the past. There is no doubt that the knowledge that marketers have makes a difference in business decisions in consideration of the digital landscape, and “data-driven” marketers have the potential to easily transition into a leadership role.

3. Social Media is Changing (as Always)

Forbes has predicted that SnapChat (now a part of Snap Inc.) will continue to grow and be relevant in the marketing world because of its focus on capturing a current moment and “live content.” This likely means that Instagram’s story/moment-capturing platform will also remain important in 2017. However, platforms like Twitter, which has been experiencing “fatigue” according to Forbes, are bound to continue in their downhill path. The reasoning is that while users found small bits of incoming and outgoing information important at first, they are now transitioning to wanting more detailed in-depth information on the topics they are interested in.

4. Long-Form Blogging will Continue to Grow in Importance

Transitioning from my last point, users are craving more in-depth explorations of the topics they are interested in. Blogs are the perfect platform for industry experts, brands, and businesses to write and develop content around specific topics. Blogs are easily shared on social media, and have proven results for improving SEO. It is critical to understand that long-form content is privileged with SEO, so long-form content blogging is not only going to remain relevant but also become more important for organic ranking.

5. “Live” and Real-Time Experiences

Facebook Live, Snapchat, Instagram stories, and other channels for sharing video and 360 experience in real time became really important in 2016. Users are beginning to desire more involved and in-the-moment experiences with the brands they love, so “live” and real-time experiences are going to become key in social media portrayal of business.

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Hubspot recently covered the 7 best Facebook Live examples, one of which was Benefit Cosmetics who has started a beauty “series,” meaning that they post the same date and time every week so that their viewers can look forward to seeing their live posts on a regular basis.

6. Increasing Reliance on Reviews and Testimonials

Things are transitioning fast to primarily digital and e-commerce transactions. Since many people will never actually get to interact face-to-face with the businesses that they purchase from and support, online presence has taken on a new level of importance. In 2016 we read many articles about the importance of reviews and website customer testimonials, and these—for sure—are going nowhere. When prospects search for a business and they are trying to make a decision with only online information, one of the first things they are likely to do is look at what past customers and clients are saying about your business. According to Influencer Marketing, people are still more likely to trust recommendations from others. While word-of-mouth has transitioned to the digital landscape, this has not changed the importance of happy customers telling others why their experience with you was better than any other competitor.

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Focus Lab has taken a really unique approach with their testimonials, which are woven in throughout the site and really capture what their clients love about their branding and customer-centered efforts.

7. Augmented Reality is Coming

No one can deny that Pokemon Go had a crazy impact on marketing in 2016. While the hype has definitely settled, there is no denying that at its peak (earning nearly 10 million dollars a day at the start), it captured the attention of users, and drew them to business locations in a whole new way. The thing that really generated user attention was “augmented reality”—and in 2017 we can expect to see AR apps, AR advertisements, and AR games that will allow business to market to users and drive in-store traffic in entirely new ways. Immersive experiences are definitely on the horizon in 2017, and if you can think of unique ways to market and capitalize on this, you will be ahead of the game!

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8. Sharp and Effective Copy

Marketers are going to need to learn the art of effective copy. In the current digital age, users are more likely to skim articles and have the shortened attention spans that we have had to deal with as marketers. This means that titles, taglines, headlines, and structure need to have the sharpest and most effective copy in mind.

9. Visual Content and User Experience will be Essential

Lastly, visual content: photography, infographics, video, and other visual content are really want draw users in. Visual content has always been important, but it is very likely with the user-preference for visual content, that search engines will soon-follow with privilege visual content as well. Look at Google’s move to mobile-first optimization based on user preferences—search engines are really taking user experience into account, so anything you can do to enhance these features on your own website and social platforms, the better for marketing in 2017.

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Check out: 5 Infographics About Infographics To Master Basics in Five Minutes

What do you anticipate we will see as marketers in 2017? As a small business, what do you hope your marketing team develops for the company next year? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Effective Monthly Newsletters (Best Examples and Practices) http://www.cafeproje.com/email-marketing/effective-monthly-newsletters-best-examples-practices/ Wed, 21 Dec 2016 14:56:34 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8021 You want clicks. You want conversions. You want people to care about your monthly newsletters. Best practices really make for fewer unsubscribes, more attention to important news, and most importantly getting your audience to take the action. Whether it is a sale you are promoting, a new product you want to draw attention to, or […]

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You want clicks. You want conversions. You want people to care about your monthly newsletters. Best practices really make for fewer unsubscribes, more attention to important news, and most importantly getting your audience to take the action. Whether it is a sale you are promoting, a new product you want to draw attention to, or a friendly reminder that “someone” has not visited your site in a while—monthly newsletters can really make all the difference in digital marketing. As an SEO company, we often get asked what some of the “best practices” are in email marketing and we found some well-known companies that do it so well!

#1: Pret

Best Practice: Focus on the Product you Want to Sell??

pret

Pret is an international company known for their fantastic organic coffee and natural food. This email blast is effective because it showcases their frappes and fruit smoothies. Rather than trying to fit a ton of information into one email newsletter (as they have multiple offerings at their locations), they focus on the product that they want users to pay attention to, and of course and go purchase. If you can focus on the product that you want to boost sales on, you are more likely to have users take the action you want them to take.

#2 Sephora

Best Practice: Unique Campaigns and Contests

sephora

If you want to be able to turn-heads and get some attention with your emails, give your readers a trip to Paris! Okay, this may not be possible for everyone, but the point is still sound. Campaigns and contests give readers a reason to click through to your site, and it drives engagement, which is ultimately the action you want them to take. It also gives you an opportunity to get them on your preferred client list or have them see your eCommerce store or any number of conversion actions while they are visiting your site.

#3 Fiji Airways

Best Practice: Get to the point

fiji

Fiji airways wants their readers to know exactly how much flights cost and what the low fares are at the time they send out an email. They do a few things that are best-practice notable. First and foremost, they get to the point. What do I mean? Well, they don’t leave you guessing about the relevant information—they have the prices laid out for you with a plane flying over (Fiji, presumably). Simple, but effective. Readers do not have to do guess work. Further, their information is very relevant. This gives a sense of urgency—if people want to get these fares, this email should not sit in their inbox for two weeks.

#3 Uber

Best Practice: Effective, Simple Copy??

uber

Uber does a fantastic job with their emails because they are so simple and effective. Someone glancing at an email from Uber on their phone immediately knows what they are trying to get you a message about. In this case it is their $2 Uber Pool fare pass, which needed to be signed-up for in this particular location. The top section explains what the campaign is about, and as you scroll down you get a step-by-step breakdown of how to make it happen! Simple but effective copy makes for great email newsletters.

#4 Dropbox

Best Practice: The Perfect Friendly Reminder

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Do you have subscribers to your email list who just simply haven’t used your service or visited your website in a while? Dropbox knew exactly how to deal with this. The message is simple: come back, and you will be happy you started using Dropbox again. Their before and after imagery, along with the language they chose to use—that the individual’s dropbox was getting “lonely” and a list of services they offer, is the perfect combination to remind a subscriber to come back and use your services again.

#5 Living Spaces

Best Practice: Holiday email marketing done right

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Holiday email marketing can be tricky because you want to figure out a way to reach out to the emotions of your readers without necessarily going full-blown santa and reindeer templates (not saying their is anything wrong with going that route). Living Spaces found a way to incorporate “Friendsgiving” as a modern holiday into their push for furniture sales in the newsletter above. What I like about this is that (A) it uses “Friendsgiving” rather than “Thanksgiving,” which is eye-grabbing and unique, (B) it incorporates the holidays and still captures the emotion of the season, and (C) it makes a lot of sense—before you hosted people, if you were contemplating getting new furniture, wouldn’t that be the perfect time to do so?

#6 Yuppie Chef

Best Practice: Make what you are selling immediately useful & know your target audience

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I love this email from Yuppie Chef. The best practice here is not only that they give their readers an awesome recipe for bolognese (although that in of itself would have my attention), they are a cookware eCommerce retailer, and right below the mann photo/recipe, you can see all of the tools you would need to craft a perfect bolognese yourself—meaning that they make their products immediately useful in practice to the consumer! If people can see a practical use for your products/services, they are going to feel a lot more inclined to make the purchase. The takeaway here is that not only do you need to create a sense of urgency, but you need to create a sense of desire. Why would someone opening your email want your product? What can they use it for? In this case, the reader is handed an awesome recipe, and they can immediately see the usefulness in the tools that Yuppie Chef sells.

The second part to this awesome email is that they know their target audience—foodies and people that want the best tools to cook (not necessarily people that just want to eat). The reason this stood out to me is because, as someone who loves to cook, I saw the Le Creuset stainless steel pot and had an emotional reaction—I wanted it! Not only do I love that they have given me a recipe, but I appreciate that they recommended the best pot to boil my pasta in. They have fed me and added to my Christmas list, well done Yuppie Chef.

Do you have favorite strategies that have worked well for email marketing? Is there anything that you struggle with when crafting your own email campaigns? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you!

Image Credits: Campaign Monitor; HubSpot

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Ask Yourself These 9 Questions before Launching Your SEO Plan Into Action http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/8030/ Wed, 14 Dec 2016 14:51:08 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8030 Starting an SEO campaign for your small business is no easy feat; there’s a lot that goes into SEO success, and it won’t happen overnight. However, top SEO rankings are imperative for a successful business, and so it’s worth it to put some time and effort into developing a successful plan. Review the following 9 […]

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Starting an SEO campaign for your small business is no easy feat; there’s a lot that goes into SEO success, and it won’t happen overnight. However, top SEO rankings are imperative for a successful business, and so it’s worth it to put some time and effort into developing a successful plan. Review the following 9 questions before launching your SEO plan into action.

Do you have clear goals and objectives?

One of the first things you should do when creating an SEO plan is come up with some clear goals and objectives to keep you focused throughout the process. Determine what you want to accomplish through SEO and then create your goals accordingly. Consider at what level you’re currently performing, how you’d like to improve, and how you plan on achieving your goals. It’s ok to set high standards for yourself, but make sure they’re attainable as well. It’s also not a bad idea to create goals in the form of benchmarks; that way, instead of waiting a long time to achieve success you have smaller standards to work towards throughout. You can learn more about setting SEO benchmarks here.

Who is your target audience?

seo-2

In order to create goals you’ll need to know who your target audience is that you’re trying to reach. Once you know who they are, figure out what they want. What are they looking for in a website and/or product, and how can you provide that to them? Center your SEO strategy around the answers to those questions and you can’t lose.

Are you familiar with the competition?

If you think that you don’t need to know who your competition is and what they’re doing in order to succeed at SEO, think again. Not only can you learn from the successes and failures of your competition, you need to know where they’re at and where you stand accordingly so that you can make sure your business comes out on top. Is your site consistently falling behind the competition when it comes to SEO? Do some research and figure out why. Is their site more mobile-friendly than yours? Are their keywords more relevant? Are they more active on social media? Get to the bottom of the problem, learn from your mistakes, and get ahead of the game (and the competition).

Have you incorporated social media?

facebook-ads

In order to truly be successful with SEO, you need to make sure you’ve incorporated social media into your strategy. Social media makes it easy to attract and engage customers, and the more consistent traffic you have towards your site the better your rankings will be. Social media is a great place to share your optimized content, to increase brand awareness, to connect with potential customers, and to reward loyal ones. So if you’re not on Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter/Instagram, etc. you’re missing out! Even if you can’t afford ads right away, having a presence is extremely important for visibility, and in this day and age, legitimacy and reputability. Get on social and get results.

Have you done sufficient keyword research?

keywrods

Choosing the right keywords and making sure they’re optimized is one of the most important things you can do for your SEO strategy. You want to try to determine what keyword(s) consumers are going to type into search engines and then make sure to use those keywords throughout your content in order to achieve the best possible rankings. While you will probably still rank without putting a lot of thought into keyword research, you’ll be missing out on a huge margin for success that a well thought out keyword strategy could provide for your business. Consider reading this article by the Content Marketing Institute on exactly how to optimize keywords to gain maximum potential.

Is your content valuable and optimized?

Once you’ve got your keywords squared away, you’ll want to make sure your website’s content is both optimized and valuable for your consumers. One way to make sure it’s optimized is by doing the keyword research suggested above. Google AdWords has a free keyword tool that can help with this as well. I’m putting a big emphasis on keywords because it’s much easier to write valuable content when you have keywords in mind than if you didn’t and tried to fit them in after the fact. Secondly, just make sure what you’re writing is valuable and relevant for consumers and you’re not just creating fluff with keywords strewn about. There’s no point in directing customers towards your blog if they’re just going to be disappointed when they get there. In addition to the AdWords tool, WordPress also offers the SEO Yoast Tool that tells you how well your content is optimized for SEO.

Is your website mobile friendly?

There is absolutely no point in going to all this trouble to drive visitors to your site if once they get there the website won’t load on their phone, tablet, or other device. In 2016, 80% of users own smartphones and tablet devices account for the highest add-to-cart rates on e-commerce websites at 8.58%, so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile you’re definitely missing out on sales. Even better, Google has now announced that they will be mobile indexing first, so you can’t ignore mobile any longer.

Are your metatags and web pages coded correctly?

Metatags create the display text that users see when your site shows up in search engine results. This is important because if your tags are relevant and coded correctly they could dramatically increase the click through rates to your website. The same thing goes for the individual pages on your website; they need to be coded relevantly so that they show up on the appropriate results pages on search engines, thus driving traffic to your site and increasing your SEO rankings.

Do you know how to use Google Analytics?

Last but not least, you’ll need to download Google Analytics and familiarize yourself with how to use it. It’s a free and easy program that will help you track your SEO progress; an important step so you know if your campaign is successful or not. You can reach out to us for Google Analytics Marketing with any questions.

Can you think of any other important questions that should be asked before launching an SEO plan? Comment in the section below!

Feature Image Credit:?Google.com/Analytics

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Where to Begin When You Want to Setup an E-Commerce Store On Your Website http://www.cafeproje.com/e-commerce/begin-want-setup-e-commerce-store-website/ Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:59:01 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=8008 Starting an e-commerce store on your website could seem like a big task to take on if you have never done it before. Maybe you have a fully developed website and are looking to add an e-commerce component, or you could be building a website from the ground up. In any case, you need to […]

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Starting an e-commerce store on your website could seem like a big task to take on if you have never done it before. Maybe you have a fully developed website and are looking to add an e-commerce component, or you could be building a website from the ground up. In any case, you need to know where exactly it is that you should begin.

As an e-commerce marketing agency, we deal a lot with clients that have set up e-commerce stores at various parts of their online marketing journey, and we have used that information to synthesize what exactly it is that you should do in those beginning stages.

Establish Your Product List

The first thing you need to do when setting up an e-commerce store is figure out what you are going to be selling! This seems obvious, but you may not want to dive in immediately with all of the products that you (eventually) want to put on your site. This is definitely one of the more challenging part of starting up.

Once you have a product (or products) in mind, you are going to want to closely evaluate your choices. What are the projections for what you are going to sell and how much inventory are you going to need to have out the gate? The next step, of course is to understand where and how you will be obtaining the products and what kind of relationship you will have with your vendors. All of this should be done before you actually build anything online. This initial step of getting organized and doing background research is going to make or break the success of your e-commerce site from the start.

mrm-usa

Professional Product Photography

One step that people often neglect when initially setting up an e-commerce store is actually having original and professional photo for each product that they want to sell. This really makes such difference in presentation and the quality that your store presents. While this is an investment up front, good professional photography can actually make a huge difference in conversions. People like to view images of the products they are about to purchase, especially if they are solely going to look online, and the better quality the image, the better quality image the better quality the customer will assume the product is. One of the best ways to find a photographer is by doing a local search for photographers that specialize in product photography. If you contact them and explain that you are setting up your store they will know how to direct a shoot and get you going.

chicago-video

Merchant Services

Another decision you are going to have to make is what kind of merchant services you want to use on your website. Many companies choose to go with PayPal, which has its own set of positives (like that it is extremely easy to set up and link to your site) and disadvantages. If you have people working in web design or your finance department that are familiar, they may be able to advise you on what the best option is for your business specifically. The key here is to do your research and make sure it is going to be an easy platform to customers to use and that it will be cost effective for your company.

Consider Pricing

If you already have a physical store you may need to re-evaluate some of the pricing on products depending on stock, shipping & handling, and other factors that may change in your online store. Again, this is going to be one of the things to discuss with your finance department (if you have one). Otherwise, do the research to figure out if there is any reason to mark up (or perhaps even discount if there is less overhead) the products on your online store.

Another thing to consider is what kind of products are actually suitable for online sales. For example, products over $1000 are going typically something that people either want to see in person, or at least speak with someone over the phone. Forbes recommends considering the following four things when it comes to pricing:

  • Price
  • Margin
  • Local Availability
  • Shipping Size

As you can tell at this point, your product list, product photography, merchant services, and pricing is all background work that needs to be done before you can officially launch your store. Think of these firs four elements as the “getting your ducks in a row” of setting up an e-commerce store. You can’t launch one without them, but you also will be very set to get going once all of this footwork is done.

Setting Up the Website

Of course, an article on “where to begin” an e-commerce store would not be complete without a section on actually setting up a website. As you are doing steps 1-4 and getting everything established, you may want to consider adding a new page to your existing site that says “Coming Soon,” so that people know to expect your e-commerce store in their next couple of visits.

Choose an E-Commerce Platform

You are going to want to choose an e-commerce platform to manage this component of your website. Some, like OpenCart are free—while others like Shopify run about $14/month. This is a very reasonable software price and it will help you manage every aspect of your e-commerce site, from products, categories, checkout process, and other functional aspects. Shopify is very streamline and super easy to get started with immediately, while OpenCart allows you a lot more control over technical functions. Of course, these are just two of many platforms you can choose from.

Live Chat

If you don’t already have one set up you are absolutely going to want to have live chat software installed on your site. This will give customers a sense of ease that they can get their questions answered before making their purchase and it will definitely help your conversion rates.

The Takeaway

There is a lot to take into account when you set up an e-commerce site, but don’t get discouraged. The key to getting it going is really staying organized and getting all of the foundational work done before you put the site live or launch any part of the actual site. If you hold off on actually building the site until you have everything ready to go, it will actually be a fairly easy task to build the site; especially with all of the helpful software and tools that exists.

What are your thoughts on building an e-commerce site? Do you have any experience building your own site? Share your experience or thoughts in the comments section below.

Image Credit 1:?http://mrm-usa.com/shop/

Image Credit 2 and Feature Image Credit: Screenshot taken by author November, 2016

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Last Minute Tips: Top Ways Nonprofits Can Leverage Giving Tuesday http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/last-minute-tips-top-ways-nonprofits-can-leverage-giving-tuesday/ Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:00:35 +0000 http://www.cafeproje.com/?p=7996 Almost everyone knows about Black Friday and Cyber Monday; the 2 days following Thanksgiving where people get out and buy, buy, buy. Fortunately, though, Giving Tuesday the Tuesday after Thanksgiving that is dedicated not to purchasing, but to giving back, is starting to become a part of the craze. This day is slowly picking up […]

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Almost everyone knows about Black Friday and Cyber Monday; the 2 days following Thanksgiving where people get out and buy, buy, buy. Fortunately, though, Giving Tuesday the Tuesday after Thanksgiving that is dedicated not to purchasing, but to giving back, is starting to become a part of the craze. This day is slowly picking up steam and publicity year after year, and considering last year an estimated $373.25 billion dollars was donated, this should be a marketing opportunity not to miss for all nonprofits. We’ve listed some tips below that your organization can use to best leverage Giving Tuesday in your favor:

givingtues

First Things First: Create a Goal

Figure out what you want to get out of Giving Tuesday before you do anything else. The Able Altruist says to “establish what your organization’s mission is, what your donation goal is, which donors you’re looking to raise money from (new or existing) and if you’re trying to increase your brand and social media profile as well. You also need to determine how your #GivingTuesday efforts will align with your organization’s existing end-of-year campaign” (This second point is explained further below). Overall, just make sure you know what you’re working towards before you actually start putting in the work, and make sure the rest of your team knows as well. You can learn more about creating a “cause marketing” campaign here.

Incorporate Giving Tuesday into Your Existing Fundraising Efforts

It’s better to incorporate Giving Tuesday into your current holiday fundraising efforts as opposed to running a completely separate campaign. That way, you can use your current audience and promotions to promote this new addition to your campaign as well, instead of having to start from square one with your promotions (this is assuming you started your holiday fundraising around Thanksgiving). And vice versa, you can use the attention you receive from your Giving Tuesday campaign to direct consumers towards your business and your other holiday promotions and fundraisers, making it a win-win for everybody.

The Thread.com example below shows how they incorporated a matching program into their campaign, and offered data to show progress and create interest—and it worked!

thread

Make your Call to Action Clear

When you are creating your call to action, make sure it’s easy to understand and allows people to connect with your organization. The screenshot below shows a great example of not only a call to action and a contest that can also get people engaged, but also what you get when you do participate:

pratt-library

Consider holding an open house or a virtual live event where people can either come in person or online to learn more about your organization and its goals for Giving Tuesday. You can also incorporate a Q&A into this event, or hold a separate one. If your first event is in person, considering holding an online live Q&A session so you’re not asking people to travel twice. Consider having a list of volunteer opportunities on hand as well for those who want to do more than just give money. The turnout to these events should give you some indication of whether you need to step up your promotions.

Utilize Social Media to Promote Your Campaign

Promote, promote, promote! It doesn’t matter how lofty your goals are or how genuine your campaign is, if no one knows about it you’ll never achieve your goals. Use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post regular updates on your efforts (don’t forget to use the #givingtuesday hashtag when you do). Share success stories, personal accounts of people who have been helped, and real-time updates on where you’re at with your goals. As a social media management company, we always tell our clients to be transparent—don’t try to hide anything from your followers. Be honest about where you’re at and how close (or far) you are from meeting your goal. Below is a great example:

facebook-giving-tuesday

Besides promoting your efforts online, make sure you also announce your plan at any events you might attend, such as board meetings, volunteer orientations, press releases and gala events.

Don’t Forget about Email Marketing

According to CampaignMonitor.com, there are four stages of Giving Tuesday emails that you should be sending out to your consumers. The first is the announcement email that lets everyone know that your business will be participating in Giving Tuesday. You want to give a brief explanation about what this is (and consider providing a link where they can learn more) as well as what your business’s specific goal or target will be this season. The next email adds a personal element to your campaign. Consider telling the story of someone who has been, or who will be, helped by your donations. Consider adding a picture or video to this email for added emphasis. Campaign Monitor also suggests having the owner of the nonprofit send out an email explaining more about what the organization does and their particular goals for this holiday season. Finally, once Giving Tuesday has passed you’ll want to send a thank-you email thanking everyone for their participation. Definitely include whether or not you met your goal, and remind them again what their money is going towards. Be specific and include pictures.

The example below from the nonprofit Workshops for Warriors shows an email campaign that tells the story of how a donation will help (left), outlines the goals (right), and even launches a new video to hook in readers:

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-9-38-38-pm

Finally, don’t forget to register your nonprofit at GivingTuesday.org. In addition to receiving a lot of helpful, free materials to use throughout your campaign, your nonprofit might end up being featured nationally—you can’t buy that kind of free publicity that will help your organization long after Giving Tuesday is finished. What are your goals for this year’s Giving Tuesday? Comment in the section below!

Image 1 & 2 Credit: GivingTuesday.org

Image 3 Credit: thread.org

Image 4 Credit: PrattLibrary.org

Image 5 & 6 Credit: Screenshot Taken by Author November, 2016

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Facebook Live: The Business Guide http://www.cafeproje.com/social-media/facebook-live-business-guide/ Tue, 22 Nov 2016 15:00:09 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7972 With every new update marketers have an opportunity to stand out to audiences in an entirely new way. It’s no secret that there are a lot of marketing features on Facebook, but their latest, Facebook Live, is one that is still gaining popularity. Followers love stories on SnapChat and Instagram, and definitely like staying in […]

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With every new update marketers have an opportunity to stand out to audiences in an entirely new way. It’s no secret that there are a lot of marketing features on Facebook, but their latest, Facebook Live, is one that is still gaining popularity. Followers love stories on SnapChat and Instagram, and definitely like staying in the loop with their favorite brands, so why not “go live” on Facebook when there is an important moment happening for your company?

What is Facebook Live?

Facebook Live is a feature that allows you to host a live video broadcast in real-time to your entire Facebook following. The majority of users will get an update in their notifications stating that you are live, and they can click on the link in the notification to see what you have posted. The Facebook back-end algorithm is also set up to prioritize live video feeds over other content, so your post will likely be one of the first things to come up for your followers.

The Benefits

Below outlines some of the benefits of Facebook Live for your brand or business:

  • Get to the top of your followers’ feeds, thereby getting your brand excellent social media exposure.
  • Generate interesting and captivating “live” video content that draw user’s attention. If you’re not sure how this content might differ than for example, your blog content, you can click here for help from our experts.
  • Showcase a large event or significant moment for your company that Facebook users may not have been able to attend.
  • Point the camera at yourself or your surroundings, making it easy to use Live for webinars or to capture events in your local environment.
  • Enable “Public” post so that you can reach users beyond your current following.
  • Easily go live from your mobile device, anywhere, any time.

Getting Started:

  1. On your mobile device, click on the box to update your status.
  2. From the options list, select “live video.”
  3. Once you select “live video” your camera will be activated within the Facebook app (so-long as you have granted permission, if you have not, a screen will pop up and ask you to allow Facebook to access your camera).
  4. First, “Describe your live video…” with an interesting title or an explanation of what you are about to film
  5. Secondly, click the blue “Go Live” box. Once you do, you will be live recording and your friends will be notified.
  6. It is a good idea to wait a few seconds, or even a minute, so that you can allow everyone that wants to watch to get on to your video feed.
  7. Note: You can “test” out live video using the “only me” privacy setting, just as you would with any other Facebook post. This way you can get the hang of the platform before you share with your entire audience.

Video and Presentation Tips

There are a lot of different aspects of Facebook Live to consider if you are using it for business purposes. You need to “prepare” to go-live, rather than just hopping on and winging it. Here are some filming and presentation tips to consider before you do your first live post:

  • Announce ahead of time. If you are planning on using Facebook Live to hold a webinar or showcase an event, let your followers know ahead of time so that they can schedule watching. It is a great platform for these types of seminars because people can “comment” on the video as you are live, making it extremely interactive. So, post a status, send out an email (via your email marketing provider) with the information, and let it be known that this isn’t something they should miss. You can learn more about this marketing tactic here.
  • Have a Good Internet Connection. No one wants to watch a grainy person with only partially audible sound. In fact, that is the quickest way to get people to click off or lose interest in what you are trying to communicate. So whether it is your 4G bars or WiFi connection, make sure that you have good Internet for recording/streaming before you go live.
  • Use a Selfie Stick/A “Cameraman.” If you are going to be doing a longer webinar, you might not want to hold your phone the entire time, so as much as you may not be a fan, selfie sticks are helpful here. Alternatively, you may want to have someone film for you if you want to introduce an event or speak briefly on this platform.
  • Think About Audio. Depending on how you use Facebook Live, you might want to consider investing in a microphone for either yourself or for interviewing that plugs into your phone. This is also extremely helpful if you are live streaming from a loud or crowded place.
  • Create a Strategy. You definitely do not want to be “scripted” with Facebook Live, but you also don’t want to go live without thinking about your strategy or aims of what you want to show/talk about. Have a loose plan of action and stick to it.
  • Call to Action. Just as with YouTube or any sort of podcast, it is a really good idea to end on a call to action. Facebook Live is used for marketing purposes in the business world, so direct your audience where you want them to go after the video is over.
  • Reintroduce Yourself. Keep in mind that even if you announce your live stream ahead of time and give a minute or two delay to allow people to join in, the nature of Facebook live allows people to join in at any point of time. This means that it is helpful to reintroduce yourself and state basic objectives multiple times throughout your live session so that people can catch-up. You will want to mention that you notice you have more/new viewers, or that you are reiterating what you already said for the new people joining in.
  • Be as Engaging as Possible. Facebook monitors levels of video engagement to determine your position on viewer’s newsfeed. If people take actions like switching to full-screen or enabling HD, this is monitored. What does this mean for you as a marketer? To be the most successful you possibly can you want to be as engaging as possible, both visually and with the content you are addressing—another reason to plan ahead!

An Example?

I first heard of this idea because of a blog in our industry, Search Engine Journal. As you can see in the screenshot below, it says that Search Engine Journal was live. In this particular case, they used the feature to create a regularly scheduled Live video. Even when the video is no longer live, it is still available on their Facebook account. The post says “was live.”

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-1-23-07-pm

The Takeaway

Out of all of the Facebook features that can be used for marketing, Facebook Live is definitely one of the new tools that can take your social marketing strategy and user engagement to the next level. It is extremely easy to get started and test out live, so once you figure out these logistics, plan your first “live steam” with some of these tricks in mind. The main takeaway is to really be as engaging and planned as possible, so that it gets a good amount of attention and people want to return for you live feeds in the future.

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Test Your SEO Knowledge with These 5 Key Principles http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/test-seo-knowledge-5-key-principles/ Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:04:16 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7968 Let’s get back to the basics. There are plenty of sophisticated, complex SEO strategies out there that some people are convinced you have to try in order for your business to succeed, but the truth is, if you haven’t mastered the fundamentals of SEO then it doesn’t matter how many videos you transcribe on your […]

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Let’s get back to the basics. There are plenty of sophisticated, complex SEO strategies out there that some people are convinced you have to try in order for your business to succeed, but the truth is, if you haven’t mastered the fundamentals of SEO then it doesn’t matter how many videos you transcribe on your blog or how often you analyze your rankings. SEO isn’t something that can be mastered in one day. Instead, it should be something that you tackle a little bit at a time, everyday. It’s meant to be a set of skills that are built upon over an extended period of time; especially considering the fact that it will be part of your website forever.

While I’m not advocating against higher-level SEO marketing, it’s important that before the new year hits to re-evaluate the basics and emphasize the point that sometimes less is more (at least in the beginning). So before you begin to tackle the complexities of SEO, first familiarize yourself with these 5 key principles.

  1. Use Keywords

keywords

image credit: Google.com

Before you can begin to write valuable content (see number 2), you need to understand what makes it valuable in the eyes of your audience. The answer to this is simple: keywords. Keywords are the words that people are going to search, and so they’re also the words that you want to incorporate into the pages on your website. First, think about the words that are most important to your business and brand. Then, begin typing them into Google to see what version(s) of them begin to pop up. This is Google’s helpful way of letting you know what words users commonly search.

Once you’ve figured out which words to use, incorporate the best ones into all the pages on your website. This will go a long way towards increasing your rankings. If you find yourself repeating the same phrase over and over again, consider using a synonym for abbreviated version so that you don’t sound redundant. Another helpful tip is to include a valuable keyword at the beginning of a post, like in the title or headline. If you’re still not sure how to use keywords or which ones to choose, consider using a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner. It’s easy to use and can be a great resource when deciding upon specific keywords. You can learn more here if you’re unfamiliar.

  1. Deliver Valuable and Organized Content

Once you’ve mastered the use of keywords, you can start incorporating them into the content that you post on your site. Creating valuable content is one of the most beneficial ways build a solid SEO foundation. Furthermore, incorporating keywords into your content is one of the best ways to make sure your content is seen as valuable to your audience. Everyone is familiar with those annoying clickbait articles that use titles to lure in readers, only to disappoint them by not following through with the intended content. Don’t trick your readers into visiting your site; earn their trust by delivering useful content so that they want to become a return visitor.

Once you’ve written some solid content (or paid someone else to do so) focus on organizing that content. Consider both intra-site and on-page content organization. While search engines generally do a good job of sorting through content that is not well organized, you don’t have that luxury on your actual website. Consider using things like title tags, bold text, tables, and images. If you spend some time organizing your content on the various site pages yourself, your users will definitely thank you for it.

 

content

image credit: blog.crazyegg.com

  1. Utilize Linkbuilding

Linkbuilding is a strategy that has the potential to become extremely complex, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Links are basically the foundation of the World Wide Web—it wouldn’t exist without them. According to Moz.com, every link should serve 3 purposes. It should:

  • Provide a legitimate opportunity for conferring non-search traffic
  • Help search engines crawl and index a site
  • Help validate a site

In addition to serving these important purposes, links should be spread out throughout your site in order to give each post an equal chance at ranking. Another version of linkbuilding that could be beneficial is the use of backlinks. These are “incoming hyperlinks from one webpage to another.” People use backlinks when they find your site to be valuable, and they can also be used to build relationships with other bloggers.

  1. Incorporate Image Tags

While this is a basic principle of good SEO, it’s interesting that it’s one that is often overlooked. It’s not enough to just include a bunch of images all over your website; you need to tag them as well so that Google can identify the image, index it, and know when to bring it up in a search. The two most popular types of tags are alt tags and title tags. Both are explained in detail in this article by Yoast.

The short version is this: alt tags (also known as img tags) describe what is in the actual image. The title tag appears when you mouse over an image, and typically includes an additional call-to-action. If your image doesn’t have a purpose, you should probably reconsider using that specific image as it’s taking up valuable space on your webpage.

  1. Work Frequently and Consistently

Finally, all these tips will be for naught if you incorporate them one time and then walk away, expecting them to keep up themselves. There’s a reason why I said in the beginning of this article that SEO is a journey that needs to constantly be revisited. You should always be checking the success (or lack thereof) of your rankings and your strategy, and tweaking anything that needs to be improved. It’s not enough to identify valuable keywords and write meaningful content one time; these are things that need to be done often in order for your site to be competitive. The more often you update your website with fresh content, images, webpages, etc. the more often search engines will visit, and subsequently index, your site. The more search engines visit your site, the higher your rankings will be. Learn more from The Miami SEO Company here.

So again, update your site regularly but keep your standards high—don’t be tempted to post a bunch of junky clickbait articles just to get visitors. Your time and effort will be rewarded eventually. Don’t be discouraged when it doesn’t happen in one day. Stay in it for the long haul and enjoy the benefits of working at your SEO.

If you’re just getting started, hopefully these fundamental principles are valuable to you. If you’ve been in the SEO game for a long time, perhaps this article will serve as a reminder to not neglect the basics. What do you find to be the most helpful SEO tips? Comment in the section below!

 

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The Comprehensive Guide to Business Accounts & Advertising on Instagram http://www.cafeproje.com/social-media/comprehensive-guide-business-accounts-advertising-instagram/ Mon, 07 Nov 2016 15:19:50 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7975 Instagram has been around quite a while now, however advertising and some of the new features specific to business accounts are actually fairly new. According to Instagram, the application has an audience of over 500 million individuals! This is clearly a huge opportunity to get your business and brand in front of many new people, […]

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Instagram has been around quite a while now, however advertising and some of the new features specific to business accounts are actually fairly new. According to Instagram, the application has an audience of over 500 million individuals! This is clearly a huge opportunity to get your business and brand in front of many new people, but you may not be aware of all of the advertisement options that Instagram has to offer.

Further, it is important to remember that there are specific considerations for Instagram when compared to other platforms. This is an image-centered marketing platform, so you will want to choose visuals well. Additional, you will want to consider your copy and target audience carefully.

Facebook & Instagram as Interrelated Platforms

The first thing you need to know about business platforms and advertising on Instagram is that ever since Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, the two platforms have become merged in some important ways. This means that in order to advertise or have a business profile on Instagram, you will need to first have a Facebook Page for your business.

Remember that even though you are technically running campaigns on Instagram, you still control everything including setup, budgeting, scheduling, and creation, through the Facebook advertising platform.

Before we get into the specifics of setting up an advertisement (via Facebook for Instagram), let’s first take a look at the layout of a business Instagram page and discuss some key features.

Instagram Business Pages & Set Up

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If you haven’t already set up your account as a “business profile” you will need to go to your account settings once your page is set up and click “Switch to Business Profile.” Again, you will need to have a Facebook business page set-up before you can do this.

From here you will have some unique features that other general (non-business) profiles will not.

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  • CTA button. The CTA button is available on business profile pages, but also as a part of different advertisements you can run. The CTA buttons options for business pages are as follows (and they can be used in a variety of ways):
    • Book Now
    • Contact
    • Shop Now
    • Sign Up

Remember that different CTAs are going to be better for certain businesses than others. If you are an e-commerce fashion site, “shop now” would be ideal to link to your e-commerce site, whereas a photographer may want users to “contact” them for more information. If you are looking to build up your email list or increase your subscribers, you might choose the “sign up” CTA. You can learn more about how to create a specific strategy for your business here.

  • Business Tagline. When you create a business profile it let’s viewers know that you are a “local business.”
  • Website & Address. Instagram business profiles allow you to add your website and address, which is synced and imported from Facebook, so make sure this is up to date.

Sync Your Instagram Account for Ads

You will need to sign in to Instagram via your Facebook desktop menu. Go to settings > Instagram Ads > & then sign in. This will allow you to use features like PayPal and other information stored for your Facebook advertising on Instagram for advertising there.

Business Profile Settings:

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Instagram Advertising

Formatting

There are several different formats of Instagram advertising, all of which focus on visual presentation. You can choose from (1) Photo Ads (2) Video Ads or (3) Carousel Ads, which allow visitors to swipe through multiple photos.

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Advertising Objectives

One of the best aspects of Instagram ads is that you can use them with several objectives in mind. Instagram Advertising claims that the following are all reasonable objectives to have as a marketer using an Instagram Ad:

  • Increasing clicks on your website
  • Increasing mobile app installs
  • Increasing video views
  • Increasing website conversions
  • Increasing mobile app engagement
  • Achieve a predictable audience reach and have greater control
  • Improve page post engagement
  • Improve local awareness and focus on increasing reach to people near you
  • Drive Mass awareness

Setting Up An Advertisement on Instagram

There are a few steps to consider when you set up an ad:

Step #1 Use an Ad Management Tool

To create an advertisement campaign on Instagram, there are three different platforms that you can use. The Ads manager is really considered the most basic, and the power editor has the most advanced features, but all three are effective tools to design and implement an ad:

Step #2 Pick an Objective

As discussed above, when you design an Instagram Ad, you will also need to pick a marketing objective.

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The general categories are broken down into “awareness,” “consideration,” and “conversion,” and of course, different ads that you run could have different goals!

Step #3 Demographic Settings

After you choose your objective, you are going to want to consider your audience and who you want to target with the ad. For some companies this changes ad by ad, but for others the audience might generally stay the same across campaigns. Depending on your goals and industry market you will want to change this. The tools I mentioned in step #1 make it incredibly easy to select your audience. Here are just some of the options you will have:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Relationship
  • Education
  • Work
  • Home Town
  • Ethnic Affinity
  • Generation
  • Parents
  • Life Events
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Connections

Whichever combinations of demographics you choose can be saved for later campaigns as well. For example, if you develop campaigns targeting younger demographics in your business location with specific interests, you can use that same target audience in a campaign that is relevant to the same crowd.

Step #4 Ad Placement

This step is really important in getting your ads featured on Instagram. Unlike Facebook ads you will want to uncheck all of the boxes for placement that are not “Instagram.” See the screenshot below:

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Step #5 Budget and Schedule

The next step in ad development is really setting your budget and how long (and when) you want your ad to be displayed to the audience you set in the previous step. The algorithm does pace itself based on the daily budget you set, so ultimately, the more money you spend, the higher frequency of display. You can either set the ad to be “standard,” which means your ads will show throughout the day, or “accelerated,” which is best for time-sensitive ads, which will help you reach your audience more quickly.

Step #6 Format

As we discussed, there are three different format options for Instagram ads: photo, video, or carousel. This is where you get to be creative and select the visuals and how they will be displayed to your advertising audience.

Step #7 Write Copy, Select CTA, and Publish!

Wrapping up an Instagram ad is pretty easy, but it does take a little planning and thought. The “headline” you have to input will not be displayed to your Instagram audience, so this is an okay place to name the campaign for your own use. You will have up to 2,200 characters to write your copy for the ad, but you really do not need to write that much. Keeping it short and simple, and getting the viewer to take the action you want them to take will be much more effective.

When you are done you simply “place order” and then wait for your ad to be published. Once your ad is live you will want to monitor its performance so that you can make improvements and adjustments for future campaigns.

Promote Posts

An additional new option for advertising on Instagram advertising is similar to the “boost” features on Facebook, it is just called “promote” instead. With the “promote” feature you can add marketing funds to individual photos to enhance the reach and audience, which is a great way to work on increasing your following and brand exposure.

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Instagram business profiles and advertising are great ways to get in front of a large audience for brand exposure and marketing. With all of the different ad features you should have no problem reaching your target audience and increasing conversions. Happy Instagramming!

Photo Credit: All screenshots taken by author October, 2016

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7 Seasonal Marketing Tricks Only a Marketing Agency Would Know http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/7-seasonal-marketing-tricks-marketing-agency-know/ Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:03:50 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7953 While the sight of Christmas trees in October might be alarming for some, businesses know better; the holiday season is a great time to capitalize on some specific marketing strategies that are guaranteed to increase your sales during the busy holiday season. Take advantage of the rush of shoppers to try out some new advertisements, […]

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While the sight of Christmas trees in October might be alarming for some, businesses know better; the holiday season is a great time to capitalize on some specific marketing strategies that are guaranteed to increase your sales during the busy holiday season. Take advantage of the rush of shoppers to try out some new advertisements, products, and incentives, and then sit back and enjoy the increased ROI that your efforts are sure to produce.

If you’re not sure exactly how to work the holidays to your advantage, read on to learn some new tips that can teach you how to make the busy season work for you and your business.

  1. Utilize Holiday Shopping Campaigns

Only those who have physical products to sell will be able to take advantage of this strategy, but if your business falls into that category you definitely want to jump on this idea! The holidays are the perfect time to create specific shopping campaigns that aren’t relevant during the off-season. Google Shopping Campaigns make it quick and easy for consumers to make split second, emotional purchases without having to browse through a bunch of websites and pages to find what they’re looking for. This could be extremely beneficial for your business if you create the campaign(s) the right way. Choose a product, or products, that are season-specific. Keep in mind that your product isn’t going to be the only one featured; you’ll essentially be listed right next to all your competitors, and the best price (and ad feature) will win. So make your prices competitive, your photos outstanding, and sit back and enjoy the extra conversions that the holidays are bound to bring.

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  1. Incorporate Ad Automation

Ad automation is another marketing trick that can be extremely lucrative if used correctly. Normally we recommend a combination of automation plus hands-on activity, and the holidays are no different.The important thing to remember is that ad automation is great in terms of time sensitive holiday campaigns. Google Adwords is a helpful tool to use in order to setup your automated ads, just make sure you monitor them from time to time to make sure you’re getting the desired results.

When you’re creating your automations, think about the best times to run specific ads and promotions. Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), for example, is a huge holiday shopping day, so consider running an ad around that time and/or offering a promotion that begins or ends on that day. Then change up your ads for Christmas—run a different ad for the weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with another one targeted for after Christmas when everyone is rushing to make returns. However you choose to do it, holiday ad automation is a great way to take advantage of the holiday shopping rush while still leaving you time to focus on issues that require more hands-on attention.

  1. Work the Holiday Rush

Another way to work the holiday rush in your favor is to truly understand what it means for your consumers, and then use that to your advantage. Let’s face it, the holidays are stressful for even the most organized person, and holiday shopping is at the top of that stress list. Be the solution for your consumers and alleviate some of that holiday anxiety. Run promotions that offer discounts for clients (who doesn’t want to save money during the holidays?), guarantee product arrival if shipped by a certain date (another huge source of worry for consumers), and even consider offering free shipping. Create contests and giveaway campaigns that can be advertised on social media to get the word out about how holiday-friendly your business really is. Think about what stresses you out during the holidays, and then incorporate solutions into your marketing strategy.

  1. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Social media is the perfect place to advertise all your wonderful holiday incentives. Many shoppers will be purchasing gifts online in order to try and avoid the holiday rush at the mall, and if they’re already on the computer shopping chances are they’ll be clicking back and forth between social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Consider investing in paid advertisements through Facebook. After all, the holidays are the perfect time to start these campaigns since they’ll reach more consumers than in the off-season, and Facebook advertising has incredible options for audience targeting.

You can also ask loyal customers to share reviews of your business on social media, and consider creating a clever hashtag for them to use along with the reviews. Let your followers drive traffic to your site and do the work for you!

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  1. Give to Charity

There’s nothing like the holidays to put people in the giving mood, and your clients will appreciate any and all incentives you offer towards charities. While it’s great to give to charity throughout the year, it doesn’t hurt to amp up your charitable giving during the holidays. When you choose what charity or charities to support, you definitely want to pick a cause that you’re passionate about so that your efforts don’t come across as false. However, also consider choosing one that relates somehow to your business and products. For example, Starbucks supports economic and social development in the regions that supply their coffee, tea, and cocoa. Another good idea might be to support a charity that is especially in need during the holidays, like the Salvation Army or your local food bank. This is a good way to distinguish your regular charitable giving from your increased efforts during the holiday season.

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image credit: timeforkids.com

  1. Use the Season as an Opportunity to Grow Your Database

While the holiday rush is absolutely going to be a stressful time for both businesses and consumers, it also presents a great opportunity for business owners to grow their email database. You will most likely to presented with the largest amount of customers, both new and old, during the peak holiday season; don’t be afraid to ask them for their email addresses! Just make sure you give them some kind of incentive or reward to do so, like free shipping or a discount code. Then, when the season dies down, spend some time and reach out to any new leads and try to convert them into loyal customers.

If you’re not exactly sure what to do with all these new additions to your database, read this helpful article on how to increase your ROI through email marketing. In addition, don’t forget to increase the calls-to-action on your website. You should have a ton more traffic, so increased CTA’s should result in additional conversions. It’s definitely going to be challenging to tackle all this while also fulfilling orders for the holiday rush, but just remember that you’ll appreciate your increased database during the off-season when it’s much harder to generate new customers.

  1. Change Your Content and Products Based on the Holiday

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image credit: hornet.fullcoll.edu

It’s your responsibility to create engaging content, and capitalizing on the holiday season is one more way to do so. It can be hard to constantly come up with new ideas for blog content, so do yourself a favor and write some pieces with a holiday twist. Furthermore, use your content to target specific audiences and build relationships with them that will last beyond the holiday season. If you’re in need of some content-writing tips, check out this article we wrote to help set you on the right path.

In addition to creating seasonal content, strive to change your products to match the seasons as well. This may seem like common sense (there’s a reason why you don’t generally see bathing suits in department stores in the winter) you’d be surprised at how many businesses continue to produce the same products regardless of the month. Think about what products your company produces, and then give them a seasonal twist. Starbucks generates millions just by changing their signature drinks throughout the year (because really, fall doesn’t start until its Pumpkin Spice latte time) and they also create new interest in old products by limiting their release time. Be creative and have fun with something new!

Hopefully now you’re close to being a seasonal marketing expert, so tell us, what strategy are you going to employ first? Do you know any other seasonal marketing tips? Comment in the section below!

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Do More With Your Content Than Just SEO http://www.cafeproje.com/content-writing/content-just-seo/ Wed, 19 Oct 2016 14:53:50 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7950 If you handle the marketing for a small business (or a large company, for that matter), you probably develop blog content with the purpose of enhancing your SEO. There is no harm in that, and in fact, developing content should have a positive impact on your search rankings. However, it is important to remember that […]

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If you handle the marketing for a small business (or a large company, for that matter), you probably develop blog content with the purpose of enhancing your SEO. There is no harm in that, and in fact, developing content should have a positive impact on your search rankings.

However, it is important to remember that your content ultimately means nothing if it isn’t valuable to the people that land on your page. The goal of getting traffic is yes, to get conversions and make the sale or sign-up that you are hoping for, but this can be dramatically enhanced if you are offering visitors the opportunity to gain something by visiting your site and viewing your content. You need to start thinking about how you can develop content that goes beyond your own SEO interest; here are some tips:

  1. Publish Killer Content that Demands Backlinks

Link building is super important to both SEO and content marketers, of course, to boost your own search rankings you want to be able to link out to other sites. Yet, one of the keys to success with content development is actually getting people linking back tot he content that YOU develop. How do you make this happen? There is really only one good answer—you have to publish killer content. When you post valuable, accurate, and useful content that isn’t just bogged down with keywords, people will want to use it in their own writing. For some companies these will mean hiring a more experienced or more expensive SEO Agency that offers content production services or writer, but it will be worth it in the end.

  1. Teach Something New

The people who care most about your business are certainly going to care about what they get out of viewing your content. List posts are often a great way to capture the attention of your audience that just want to get a general sense of a topic (like this post)! While really popular and an effective way to break down information, there are many other creative ways to reach your audience, such as developing infographics, unique video content, or ebooks. Not only will developing these help to improve your SEO, but it will also give visitors (new and returning) to your site something they can learn from you. When you develop content like this, you are likely to be in position where people will come back (or link-back) to your content more frequently.

  1. Convert Don’t Advertise

Publishing new and updated content that captures the attention of your readers is critical, and of course, the goal is to get them excited about your brand. However, building excitement and brand-reputation is not the same as advertising. All too often we see people trying to turn every blog post or video into a sales-pitch. Not only is this distasteful, but there is nothing that makes people “click away” faster than getting sold to as they are trying to learn something or read on the topic.

If your posts are ranking high, there is a really good chance that someone searched the topic you wrote about and landed on your page, which means they are hoping to learn something! Rather than trying to “sell,” try to “convert.” Provide people with such valuable information that they can’t help but look around your site and learn more about what your company offers.

  1. Be Authoritative

Content should be authoritative over everything else (SEO included). People want to know you are knowledgeable about the topic you are writing on (which backlinks to “teaching something new”), but you also want to be original and take the time to actually craft content which is well-written and looks polished. By boosting your online authority, you are improving how you look to search engines, but you are also shaping the way that readers are seeing the content you write as well.

  1. Provide Answers

One aspect of content development that is under-appreciated is the ability to provide answers. How often do you find yourself searching for the answer to something? One of the most popular ways for people to use a search engine is to find answers to the questions they have! If the content you develop, in any form, solves problems that people are facing or answers the questions they are having, then your value level instantly increases.

  1. “Let it Marinate” and Make People Think

I once had a professor who would throw out thought-provoking content to the room, and then would just tell us to “let it marinate.” This often happened right before a weekend, and I could bet that most of us did ponder his comments before we returned back to class. Online content can often be a great place to put ideas out that make people think a bit more than they would have about a give topic. You can grab people with an anecdotal introduction, leave your readers with questions, or tell a story about the topic that leaves people wondering. When people have to think or return to the thought long after they have read your piece, then you know you have developed a successful strategy for gaining repeat readers.

  1. Write Regularly

Many people start a platform for developing content, like a blog, and abandon it after a couple of weeks or months. This is definitely not good practice for SEO, but it also isn’t great for your brand’s image. It has been said that updating your blog twice a week (at a minimum), is best practice. Moreover, you are likely to have returning visitors if people know they can expect new content every time they visit your site. This makes for great SEO but all great brand appearance and overall impression from viewers.

The Takeaway

It is okay to prioritize SEO efforts, but not in compromising the kind of content you are developing, especially in terms of quality. You want to develop content that is so killer that people want to link back to you. You want to teach something new, focus on conversions (over focusing on sounding like a sales pitch), and you definitely want to be authoritative. The best kind of content often provides answers or invites thought-provoking questions. So along as you make it your focus to update regularly, you will be doing much more with your content than SEO and will be seeing the results you need.

What else do you think we get out of content development (besides SEO)? Let us know in the comments section below!

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How to Use the New Google Analytics Demo Account to Your Advantage http://www.cafeproje.com/analytics/use-new-google-analytics-demo-account-advantage/ Wed, 12 Oct 2016 15:24:18 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7938 Have you ever wanted to test different metrics and settings on your website out without having to commit or possibly mess with your Google Analytics settings? With the new Google Analytics Demo account, any analytics user can access a generalized account to look at business data and experiment with different Google Analytics features. How Google […]

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Have you ever wanted to test different metrics and settings on your website out without having to commit or possibly mess with your Google Analytics settings? With the new Google Analytics Demo account, any analytics user can access a generalized account to look at business data and experiment with different Google Analytics features.

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How Google Analytics Demo Works

When you sign-on to the Google Analytics Demo, it will sign you in with your Google account, regardless of if you already have analytics set up. If you don’t have it set up, it will basically make you an analytics account that you can use in conjunction with the demo tool. Before you move forward, make sure you understand Google’s Terms of use. By clicking ACCESS DEMO ACCOUNT, you are giving Google permission to do this action so that all of the features are available to you. You can always remove the demo account when you are done using it if you would prefer not to have it as an option on your account.

All of the data comes from the Google Merchandise Store, an e-commerce site that sells Google related gear. Why this site? Well, the Google Merchandise Store really has all of the different kinds of data you might want to look at and experiment with for a website/ecommerce store, including (1) traffic source data, (2) content data, and (3) transactional data. This allows you to experience the full range of analytics you might be looking at for your own site.

The Google Merchandise Store is real, so go explore and see how it is set up and see what products they offer before you get going with Analytics Demo. The key feature of Analytics Demo is that you don’t only have the power to look around, you also have the ability to edit and alter the generalized account, so that you can experiment with various analytics features. It is completely free to use and is compatible with Analytics Academy as well.

How To Use Analytics Demo to Your Advantage

As you can imagine, there are so many different options and ways to use the Demo Account to your advantage. The purpose of the Analytics Demo account is really to learn in an interactive way—which can be a really awesome experience if you are brand new to analytics!

Here are some things to focus on when you get started learning and experimenting with the analytics demo:

  1. What is Available in GA Reports

This tool allows you to familiarize yourself with these and see what they look like on a complete and functioning e-commerce store. You can run GA reports for:

  • Audience
  • Acquisition
  • Behavior &
  • Conversions

If you are brand new and need to learn more about these, check out Luna Metric’s GA Cheat Sheet, which really breaks down everything that you kind of need to learn before you can get moving.

  1. Acknowledge Important Metrics and Learn How to Analyze Them

There are many metrics to take note of on Google Analytics, but you may not know what is most important for your own website. According to Google, some of the key metrics to take a look at in Demo are:

  • Avg Session Duration
  • Bounce Rate
  • Pageviews
  • Users
  • Sessions

Once you see how the Google Merchandise store is using these metrics and what numbers look like for them, you can get a better sense of what you should be focusing on for your own site. Looking at a fully functional demo account can help you to understand the importance of certain metrics, and what normative metrics might look like.

  1. Practice Makes Perfect

There are a lot of features in Google Analytics (now secure, which you can learn more about here), such as setting up the account properties or pulling reports, which are not necessarily intuitive. Practicing on the GA demo account will allow you to see how the master, Google, has set up their account and you can practice these basic functions without having to worry about your account remaining sound and organized.

  1. Get Inspiration

The GA Demo allows you to explore and see their own predefined dashboards and segments, which are all imported from the Solutions Gallery. This is great because you can get a feel for what you like and don’t like about the analytics interface, and make changes on your own account using the solutions gallery. It is extremely likely that you haven’t taken advantage of a lot of these features and alterations, purely because you had nothing to compare. GA demo allows you to get inspiration and ideas that you can use to your advantage.

  1. As an Education Tool

If you are an educator or you have employees that also need to learn the analytics basics, GA demo is a great platform for them to experiment and learn (without messing with your business’ account). Since it is fully functional and contains data from a real, live, online store, clicking around and actually getting a feel for the platform is so much more effective than just reading about it. As an SEO Agency, we have been telling our clients that it is like learning on the job without the associated risk. Encourage your students/employees/colleagues to go look around to learn more about the GA set-up.

  1. Add Secondary Dimensions

Another perk of the GA demo is learning how to add and create secondary dimensions on your own analytics platform. Secondary dimensions are one way to segment your data on GA, as shown in the screenshot below:

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You might be wondering what the difference between dimensions and metrics is. Dimensions are visible as rows in GA and they can be seen as a set of characteristics of a group of visitors on your site. Three possible examples include: landing page, device type and language. There are many options on how to use dimensions, so using GA demo can help you experiment with segmenting data, before you go change your own account.

The Takeaway

If you are running and responsible for managing your business’ analytics account, learning on the job can be tricky; especially if you are taking over an already established account, or conversely, building it from the ground up. There are so many features to take advantage of with Google Analytics, it is hard to dive in without testing the water first. Of course, this is why it is so great Google Analytics Demo allows you to learn, experiment, and explore, without altering your own account.

Have you had the chance to check out the Google Analytics Demo account? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you.

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6 Apps Every Work From Home Marketer Needs in Their Toolbox [2016 Edition] http://www.cafeproje.com/apps/6-apps-every-work-home-marketer-needs-toolbox-2016-edition/ Thu, 06 Oct 2016 14:38:25 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7930 According to Forbes, one in five Americans currently work from home. This may explain why there has been a recent rise in applications that have been created to assist productivity for those who work remotely. If you are one of these people, you no longer have to struggle with organization, multi-tasking, communication, and other workplace […]

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According to Forbes, one in five Americans currently work from home. This may explain why there has been a recent rise in applications that have been created to assist productivity for those who work remotely. If you are one of these people, you no longer have to struggle with organization, multi-tasking, communication, and other workplace requirements; more than likely, there’s an app available for pretty much your every need. Feeling stressed? There are a multitude of programs available for download that can help you do everything from meditate to fidget more productively.

Check out this list of 6 must-have apps for 2016 that are guaranteed to lower your stress level and increase your productivity, all from the comfort of your own home.

  1. Trello

trella

Trello is one of the most talked-about organization apps of 2016. Whether you’re a large or small business, Trello can work for you. It’s one of the most visual ways for teams to collaborate on projects. When using Trello, you create color-coordinated boards, lists, and cards you can then use to prioritize various projects. Any number of people can collaborate on the projects, and their work shows up instantly for the entire team to view. Trello takes a lot of the time and effort out of having to update or check on the progress of individual team members. It’s also free, so really you don’t have anything to lose.

  1. Cloud Magic

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Cloud Magic’s tagline is “Supercharged emailing with space-age features that put you on top of the world”, and they’re not far from the truth. If you’re someone who works from home and has numerous different email accounts, you definitely want to look into getting Cloud Magic. This app links together all your email accounts and messages so that you only have to go to one place to be connected to everything. It has fun features like read receipts, sender profiles, a “send later” or “undo send” option, and the ability to “snooze” emails for later. In addition, Cloud Magic links with other apps like Google Calendar, Trello, Evernote, Todoist, Zendesk, and others. Use this app to stay hyper-organized while also spending less time checking your email. Although there is a paid version, the free version has more than enough capability for the average user.

  1. Last Pass

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Last Pass is a password manager that can definitely come in handy for anyone trying to work from home. A password manager is a must if you need a secure way to log in to websites from your personal computer. With Last Pass, all you have to do is create and remember one master password; the program then creates and stores passwords for all your other accounts. You know longer have to worry about someone guessing your name and birthdate and then having access to all your personal and professional information. The program even allows you to form fill in passwords for most websites, so you don’t have to type elaborate passwords. If all you’re looking for is a password management/protection program then the free version is more than adequate.

They do, however, offer a premium version, which gives you the option to sync passwords for multiple devices, and an enterprise option that gives you access to a cloud—a handy addition for teams who work from remote locations.

  1. Pocket

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Pocket is a handy app that lets you save webpages for later. This could be great for those who work from home and find themselves easily distracted. Instead of stopping in the middle of a project when you come across an interesting website, use Pocket to store it for another time when it’s more convenient to browse. This app also has browser extensions so you can use it on a computer as well. In addition, you can share websites from Pocket with other apps and on websites, like social media. This would be an easy and convenient way to share important sites and information with colleagues.

  1. WhatsApp

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According to Popularmechanics.com, WhatsApp is the number one messaging system in the world, and it needs to be on your phone. With WhatsApp, you can easily and securely communicate with anyone, all over the world, as long as you have access to Wifi. You can use WhatsApp to message or voice call, and it can save you a ton of money on long-distance charges since it uses the Internet instead of your cell minutes. The most recent version of the app includes encryption, so you don’t have to worry about anyone else accessing your private conversations and information—not even WhatsApp themselves. In addition, WhatsApp works for both Android and Iphone as well as Mac or Windows PC and Windows phone, making it accessible to pretty much anyone. It’s not an app too many people think to use for business purposes, but when you work from home it is an excellent addition to your toolbox.

  1. Solid Explorer

solid-explorer

Solid Explorer is a great way to keep your files neat, organized, and ready to access at a moment’s notice. With this app you’ll no longer have to waste precious work time scrolling through a million miscellaneous files looking for a specific one. Solid Explorer lets you color coordinate your files, edit configurations, and change permissions. The app automatically groups your files into 4 categories: photos, videos, music, and apps. In addition, it works with Chromecast so that you can stream files from your PC or any cloud program to your TV.

Furthermore, Solid Explorer works with encrypted files and has the capability to both create and extract encrypted information. The app costs $2.99, but that’s a relatively low price to pay for all the features that are provided. It’s a great option for larger companies or e-commerce companies.

What needs do you have when working from home? Have you discovered any helpful apps that you can’t live without? Comment in the section below!

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4 Reasons Mastering Adobe Creative Suite is Worth Your Time as an Entrepreneur http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/4-reasons-mastering-adobe-creative-suite-worth-time-entrepreneur/ Mon, 03 Oct 2016 10:11:05 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7927 Only the best companies get their products turned into verbs. Do you ever say you’re going to “search” for something online? Most likely you say you’re going to “Google” it. The term “photoshop” has been around for so long (think, “wow, that model was photoshopped really poorly!”) that it’s easy to forget that it didn’t […]

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Only the best companies get their products turned into verbs. Do you ever say you’re going to “search” for something online? Most likely you say you’re going to “Google” it. The term “photoshop” has been around for so long (think, “wow, that model was photoshopped really poorly!”) that it’s easy to forget that it didn’t start out as a verb. Photoshop began as the name of a product provided by the leader of the design world, Adobe.

Adobe offers more than just Photoshop, however. They’ve created a multitude of products including, but not limited to: Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Muse, and Acrobat X Pro. Now that they’ve introduced Creative Suite, which offers all these programs and more for a monthly subscription; design tools have never been easier or more affordable to access.

That being said, you might be surprised to learn that it’s not just designers who are looking to take advantage of these tools; entrepreneurs across various industries are starting to take notice as well. This is because Adobe is no longer solely geared toward the design market.

There are plenty of benefits that small business owners can gain from taking the time to master Adobe Creative Suite. Here are a few:

It Puts You Ahead of the Competition

While other entrepreneurs are starting to investigate the design world, very few business owners have actually taken the time necessary to learn about the different aspects of Adobe Suite. Thus, you could be one of the first, putting your business miles ahead of your competition. It will be hard for your target audience to ignore your eye-catching logo, business cards, website graphics, and more. This is especially true when they’re not seeing work of the same caliber from your competitors. At the very least, you’re able to create these marketing materials and collateral at a much lower rate than your competitors, which brings us to our next point.

But again, Creative Suite is more than just design. If you spend time learning about all the applications, you can become an expert coder, animator, illustrator, and website designer. In the past, it’s taken a whole team of people (and a large budget) to accomplish all that, but not anymore. Adobe has just provided you with all the tools you need to put your business ahead of the rest.

A New Way to Think and Communicate

Studies show that the attention span of humans has fallen from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds in 2015. It’s also important to know that the attention span of a goldfish is approximately 9 seconds. Way to go humans. The same study attributes smartphones as one of the main causes of this decreased ability to pay attention because they make information so quick and readily available. What’s important about this is that business owners need to recognize this need for humans to get what they want quickly, and incorporate it into their business model.

Learning about design is one way to make that happen. It forces you to think and communicate differently. In other words, text isn’t always the best medium. Many online articles are now written in “blog-style” with short sentences, headings, and subheadings. It’s not uncommon to find infographics being used to explain various concepts. People are looking for websites that are clear, uncluttered, and easy to use. See below to learn about how a “vision” or “mood” board can bring your project ideas to life. Learning about Adobe can teach you all these things and hopefully inspire you to come up with more ways to feed this current population of info-hungry consumers.

Vision and Mood Boards

mood-board

These two things are very similar, the main difference being that a vision board focuses on what you want to see and a mood board focuses on how you want to feel. Most businesses use these two creative concepts do so interchangeably, essentially creating one board based on both ideas. A vision/mood board is basically a virtual bulletin board that you use to collect ideas for projects in the form of photos, graphics, text, etc. Entrepreneurs might use them to help create a logo, website, mobile app, or even a specific product for their business. They save time and money by essentially creating a large vault of ideas that can quickly be called upon to turn into a new page or product and are excellent for collaboration.

There are multiple Adobe programs that can be used to create these types of boards, but Muse is one that I know makes it easy to convert board to published page or product. Check out this article for more reasons to try mood and vision boards, and other resources that may be helpful when doing so, and this article to learn more about creating emotional landing pages.

muse

Creative Suite is Geared Toward Mobile Devices

This statistic published by Forbes says “revenue from mobile commerce will equal 50 percent of all digital commerce in the United States by 2017.” Therefore if you don’t yet have a mobile component for your business, most likely you’re falling behind your competitors. Some businesses are even finding that solely having a mobile site is more lucrative than having a website or a brick and mortar store. Adobe boasts that their suite can “create, deliver, and monetize for any device,” that Creative Suite makes it easier and faster to go back and forth from website to mobile. Finally you can also use the suite to test out and visualize your product on various devices before publication. They also offer software that can analyze and target consumer behavior and advertisements if that isn’t enough. In short, learning Creative Suite is a good way to go about getting it if you want a piece of that huge chunk of digital revenue.

adobe

The Takeaway

In the end, paying for and learning to use Adobe Creative Suite is absolutely worth it for the future development of your business. It will probably be overwhelming at first, especially if you don’t have a design background, considering the suite comes with 28 different programs. However, the video tutorials Adobe has online are wonderful. I suggest you start with a few of the programs that you think will benefit your business the most (Photoshop and InDesign for many), master them, and then move on to the next.

Regardless of how you going about it, taking the time to learn about these programs will not be a waste of your time and will help give you the tools to create the marketing materials you want quickly and for far less than hiring a designer. So where are you going to start? Sound off in the comments!

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5 Ways to Create and Optimize Staff Pages That Bring in the Business http://www.cafeproje.com/web-design-blog/5-ways-create-optimize-staff-pages-bring-business/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:27:02 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7916 When people cruise around a website they typically will check out “staff” or “about us” pages to see if there is anything interesting or valuable to them there when deciding if that is a company they want to work for. Most of the time, unfortunately, the information on these pages and the appeal is lacking. […]

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When people cruise around a website they typically will check out “staff” or “about us” pages to see if there is anything interesting or valuable to them there when deciding if that is a company they want to work for. Most of the time, unfortunately, the information on these pages and the appeal is lacking. The majority of companies have pretty dull and uneventful staff pages and they get skipped over. They’re perceived as unimportant, but they shouldn’t be.

Why Staff Pages Matter

You may be wondering if improving your staff pages is going to improve your SEO in any way—the short answer is that it is not necessarily going to help you rank. While Google does love new content like photos, videos, or written text, on a webpage, this is a short-term boost of new content that does not get updated nearly as frequently as something like a blog or a home page.

However, this kind of creativity can absolutely help your business development! Here are just a few reasons why staff pages do matter and why consumers will care if your page is creative and interesting:

  • It helps with brand image. An article by Moz points out that “about us” pages can strike the perfect balance between “selling themselves to their customers and driving them away with a self-focused approach,” even though this can be a challenging and even daunting task. Some companies do this really well, and in fact, at the time Moz posted this article (2015) they even admitted theirs needed some work. Now check it out! Their team page looks really great and fits their brand’s image.

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  • You can include different forms of media. Why restrict yourself to posed headshots of employees? By creating dynamic and interesting staff pages you are giving your company yet another opportunity to sell your success and worth to your customers. This is the perfect place to include a video of your work environment, a “meet the team” introduction, an infographic, or other creative content to show that you are in fact the classy people in those photos and that you work hard to make your company the best in the industry.
  • Show of your awesomeness (with web design). When people are deciding what company to go with for a product or service, they are looking for any reason to find a company awesome (or not). Web design is often a big selling point, especially when someone isn’t super familiar with the industry you work in. Good web design matters for every single business out there, and staff pages are just one place where you can really show off how awesome your web design really is. When it looks like people spend time and effort on their website, customers might assume they can expect time and effort into all the work you do. You can also hire a Web Design Company like The Miami SEO Company to help you find success.

5 Ways to Creative Staff Pages

If you are looking to upgrade your staff page, you have a ton of different options. A word of caution, not every creative approach is right for every business out there. Obviously you want to consider your brand’s image and the message you are trying to convey with your staff page before you launch forward with creativity.

Here are some examples of awesome staff pages, accompanied by ideas or ways that you can consider improving your own:

(1) Make Photos Interactive in Some Way

One of my favorite staff page examples is ShootProof. If you go on to their staff page and scroll over individual photos of their staff members, an interactive graphic pops up related to their job title. People are going to be more likely to stay on and learn more if they can interact on your page. Check out the images below (and I encourage you to go to their “about us” page and check it out for yourself—it is truly awesome).

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(2) Make it Down to Earth

While staff pages are meant to showcase your credentials and credibility, people also really like when they can relate to the people behind the scenes of a company. They like when pages are human and down to earth in some way. Eight Hour Day, a design and illustrative studio, does this really well. Everything about the owners, designers, and company, including every photo they use, really showcases the “realness” of the people behind the company. Customers and clients like to feel connected to the founders and important people behind the company. In the case of Eight Hour Day, Nathan and Katie—the founders— are a “couple that loves to create.”

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(3) Use Employee Testimonials

Another way to make your staff page different and also provide valuable information to your clients is by having employee testimonials featured. We all know how important reviews are these days, and they can honestly can make or break business. Why not let your (presumably happy) employees share what they love about working with you and what they love about your brand! Rent the Runway does this absolutely beautiful on their “about us” page. After some insight and information about the company, there is a section labeled “Us” with employee testimonials explaining different aspects of their workweek or corporate events. What a great way to give customers some insight into the “behind the scenes” of a company they love or are considering.

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(4) Show Some Personality

“About us” pages don’t have to be corporate headshots. They also don’t have to contain a sales pitch. Sometimes improving your branding is really about showing some personality. For Cultivated Wit this means non-traditional group photos and a headline with personality. There are a lot of ways that you can show the personality of your team. In fact, why not have them brainstorm some ideas? See how your staff wants to be represented on your website and try to capture that as best as you can. That will show a certain authenticity and originality that can’t be duplicated by another site.

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(5) Keep It Straightforward

Provide some information on the number of employees you have, what they have achieved, the Founders names, and so-on, but keep it simple. This is the approach that Chromatic uses, and it works really effectively for their staff page. They have the “majors” and “minors” of each employee’s position, which works nicely to state the positions of the team in a way that is straightforward. They also have a really nice, muted, group photo at the top of the page before you look at each row of individual positions, which again, is a very straightforward and deign-friendly approach.

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The Takeaway

Are staff pages going to get you to be the highest-ranking in your industry on Google? Probably not. However, these pages can do wonders for your branding, design, and overall creativity. They can effectively work to show your “realness” and make your tam relatable. Since the people behind a company are incredibly important, this can make a big difference in the eyes of a customer. By making staff pages interactive, down to earth, filled with personality and testimony, or simply straightforward, you can take your current staff page and bring it to a new level.

What do you think about these clever staff pages and the concepts behind them? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you.

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9 Resources to Help You Learn Coding Basics for the Average Marketer http://www.cafeproje.com/getting-started/9-resources-help-learn-coding-basics-average-marketer/ Wed, 21 Sep 2016 15:28:18 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7903 Coding is becoming one of the more “marketable” skills for professional marketers. All puns aside, of all of the skills you could choose to learn in order to enhance your portfolio, coding is definitely something that has become easy to learn and even easier to apply in the daily work of a marketer. From website […]

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Coding is becoming one of the more “marketable” skills for professional marketers. All puns aside, of all of the skills you could choose to learn in order to enhance your portfolio, coding is definitely something that has become easy to learn and even easier to apply in the daily work of a marketer. From website development to email marketing, those who know how to code certainly have the upper hand.

The bonus here is that there are now also a lot of online resources that teach you how to code for absolutely free. Those options that come at a cost also may surprise you and be less expensive than you’d think. Check out some websites that can help you get started with your class search:

  1. Udemy

 

code academy

Udemy has easily become one of the most popular sites for online courses in general, but their coding courses are fantastic for learning to code as a marketer. A quick search will find you a variety of courses for beginners, entrepreneurs, and even for kids! If you are a beginner and looking to learn applicable coding skills, they had courses on C#, HTML, JavaScript, and Web Design. The platform is extremely to use and classes start around $20 or so, there are also some free classes on Udemy—but most of the coding classes are low cost.

  1. Coursera

coursera

If you are looking for a site where you can learn from the best, without paying high-stakes tuition, Coursera is where it is at! With top names like Penn, Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan, Stanford, UC San Diego, and Duke, you can absolutely expect to learn from the best professionals in the industry! Top courses include “Web Design for Everybody” constructed by the University of Michigan, “Code Yourself” by the University of Edinburgh, and “Learn to Program: Crafting Quality Code” by the University of Toronto.

  1. Codecademy

 

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Codecadmy offers a completely free platform to learn how to code. Their website features a bunch of success stories of people who literally knew nothing about coding and then went on to implement it and become extremely successful in their careers. With over 25 million viewers around the globe, this is one of the more successful (purely coding) instructional sites out there, and it is definitely a good starting point if you are really looking to develop that skill set. This is not a place to learn theory, but rather a place to get thrown in knee’s deep with coding lessons and activities for learning quickly. They offer variety of courses including HTML & CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Python, and Ruby on Rails. It really is a one-stop shop for coding skills, so this is what we recommend as a Marketing Agency?for those who work with us on our web design and landing page teams.

  1. Khan Academy

 

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Khan Academy was one of the first sites to offer online coding courses. Since then they have expanded their course selection to include just about anything that might interest you in this arena. The website is known for using drawings, games and animations, to teach difficult concepts—and their coding courses are no different. Khan Academy teaches JavaScript, HTML and CSS. One of the really cool features is that students enrolled in the course at the same time can interact online and share the work they’ve created.

  1. code.org

code.org

Code.org is really a site dedicated to learning advocacy, with the mission statement “Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.” Obviously, not every child is enrolled in an academic environment where learning computer science skills is a possibility. Further, female students are often discouraged in one way or another from pursing this goal. As a project of advocacy, to make coding available to all, this site is a truly fantastic project. Even if you are a marketer having the desire to learn coding for performance reasons, I would highly recommend checking out this site. It is a great resource for beginning students. That being said, once you do become more advance, they also look for instructors to help children improve and learn their coding and computer science skills, so why not give-back for the skills you acquire?

  1. edX

 

edX

Similar to Coursera, edX offers courses from the top name institutions—notably: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, UC Berkeley, The University of Texas, University of Maryland, and the University of Queensland. They offer a variety of coding courses, as well as series of courses for coding to get the most out of your learning experience and gain a range of skills that would be tough to learn in one class alone.

  1. Code Avengers

 

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Whether it is Python, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Web Development, or other coding skills that you are looking to learn, Code Avengers is a good place to start. The courses range in time that you will need to dedicate. For example, Javascript is 77 hours of learning, where web development is 25 hours total. The best thing you can do is start with a little research and see what exactly it is that you want to learn coding for. If you are really just looking for skills to enhance your wed development as a marketer, than you may not need to spend 77 hours of your life learning Javascript (then again, that could always come in handy…right?)

  1. Treehouse

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Are you not completely sure that you have time for an online course or that you want to spend the time learning coding right now? That is a totally reasonable feeling and you might want to check out Treehouse for a free trial! Before you commit to a paid course you have access to their entire course library for free. Best of all, Treehouse offers the same type of courses (Javascript, HTML, C#, etc) as the other programs on this site—you are just guaranteed a try before you buy.

  1. Lynda.com

lynda

Lynda (brought to you by LinkedIn) is quickly becoming one of the most popular educational sites on the Internet. Similar to Treehouse, they also offer a free trial to explore their courses and try-out a few to see what you like. There are a ton of developer tools, which can be really useful for marketing skills outside of coding as well (such as app development), but their coding classes are really strong and their offerings basically cover anything you could need as a marketer. Some of the biggest companies such as Microsoft, NBC, Adobe, and Patagonia, have referred their employees to Lynda, so you know that it has to be one of the top places to go for online education.

The Takeaway

As fast as learning software is concerned, there is no shortage of it on the market. Checking out any of these sites is a good starting point if you are interested in learning coding (I am almost afraid there are too many options). My recommendation is to first figure out what kind of coding skills you want to acquire and go from there. If you are certain it is time to get learning, you might look into one of the sites with op-university developers, otherwise take advantage of one of the sites that offers a free trial.

What are your thoughts on these coding courses? Have you tried any of them yourself? Let us know in the comments section below!

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8 Steps to Protecting Your Brand’s Identity http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/8-steps-protecting-brands-identity/ Tue, 13 Sep 2016 14:26:07 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7898 A company’s brand is just as important as it’s products and services. So many big name companies are recognizable just by their logo; think Coca-Cola, Nike, Twitter, etc. People view those logos or hear those names and there is automatic brand recognition and respect. Those things are worth protecting at all costs, because it doesn’t […]

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A company’s brand is just as important as it’s products and services. So many big name companies are recognizable just by their logo; think Coca-Cola, Nike, Twitter, etc. People view those logos or hear those names and there is automatic brand recognition and respect. Those things are worth protecting at all costs, because it doesn’t matter if you’ve developed the best, most creative business idea in the world; if someone else steals it, it’s going to be extremely costly to fight to get it back. Sometimes, it won’t even be possible to do so. Thus, to keep your dreams from going down the drain, you need to establish a solid brand identity first, and then work hard to protect it from the competition. Follow the steps below to learn how to make it happen!

brands

  1. Build an Original Brand

Before you worry about protecting your brand’s identity, you need to make sure that your brand is unique to you. This means doing research to check out your competition so that you don’t accidentally borrow someone else’s name or logo and call it your own. There’s no point in doing a ton of work to protect a brand that belonged to someone else first; you could end up in a world of legal trouble, not to mention all the hard work you put in to develop and protect your brand’s identity will be for naught. It’s been said that some large companies will throw the book at smaller companies who even suggest the possibility of brand infringement. To avoid that giant headache, do the necessary research upfront and pick graphics, fonts, colors, names, and logos that are original and representative of only your company. Keep a couple other options on the back burner too, just in case.

  1. Utilize Trademarks

 

trademark

According to RetailCustomerService.com, “trademarks are the primary means by which we can harness the power, and capture the value, of brand identity.” A name, a logo, a slogan, or a signature product can, and should, all be protected by a trademark. Once you’ve come up with the name or design you want to trademark (and you’ve made sure no one else already has it) you need to register it with the U.S. Trademark Office. It’s easy and cheap to do, and it’s one of the best insurance policies to prevent others from stealing your stuff. Once you’ve registered your trademark, make sure it’s used consistently within your company. The trademarked name, font, colors, logo, etc. all need to be the same from your website to your brick and mortar store (if you have one) to packaging and advertising. This is a good way to build professional brand awareness as well as to protect your investment from possible infringement.

  1. Choose and Register All Your Domains

Your website’s domain name is a big step in increasing brand awareness, and so once you pick a good one you’ll want to register it in order to prevent it from being stolen by anyone else. Choose a name that is short, unique (see step #1) and easy to remember. It may be worth it to pay for a .com, .net, and .org version of the domain as well, just to make sure no one else buys it and sets up a similar website that could damage your brand. In addition, as a Marketing Agency we suggest paying for domain names that are similar to yours, but perhaps are misspelled, and then using those sites to direct people back to your own website. Paying for domains is one of the cheapest ways to get brand insurance; GoDaddy offers coupon codes, Register.com has some affordable options, and even Google is starting to get into the domain game. For $5- $12 a year, you can’t afford to not register all your domains.

  1. Look into Getting a Copyright

If you’ve created a unique logo for your business, it may be eligible for a copyright on the grounds of it being an “original, artistic work.” A copyright makes it so that no one else can use, or profit from, your icon or symbol without your permission. A logo is an important part of your brand and deserves to be protected just like your name and website. Check out the U.S. copyright office to see if your graphic meets the requirements for a copyright.

  1. Create a Social Media Presence for Your Brand

You’ll definitely want to use all aspects of social media, including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. in order to both promote and protect your brand. Advertise your company, it’s taglines, colors, and graphics consistently across all social media platforms and have a plan in place in case you receive negative feedback. If you’re not sure how to utilize social media to your advantage, SteadyRain offers a plan that can help your business grow while also safeguarding your brand’s identity.

  1. Consult a Lawyer

If you have the budget to do so, it’s not a bad idea to speak to a lawyer. Copyrights, trademarks, nondisclosure agreements, and contracts (among others) can easily become confusing and overwhelming, and mishandling them could mean the demise of your business if someone takes advantage of your lack of legal expertise and steals or ruins your brand. If this does happen, the first step is usually to send the offending company a cease and desist letter. While you can do this yourself, odds are it will be taken more seriously if sent by a lawyer. And if the company ignores the letter, you are able to file a civil suit, but at that point you’ll definitely need a lawyer. I’m not suggesting you go use your tight budget to put one on retainer right now, but it wouldn’t hurt to be familiar with one or two so that you know who you can turn to if something unexpected were to happen.

  1. Monitor Your Competition and Your Brand’s Online Reputation

Another good way to check on your brand’s reputation is to monitor what people are saying about it online. There are a ton of free tools that allow you to do this including Social Mention, TweetReach, Addictomatic, Google Alerts and Image Raider. Go online and search your business name or tagline on Google and Bing and see what comes up. Check out the competition’s websites and marketing tools and make sure they aren’t using your company’s brand information. The longer a business uses your trademarked or copyrighted symbols without getting caught, the harder it will be to get them to stop. The easiest way to avoid this is to constantly be monitoring what others are doing so that you can catch and stop any infringement immediately.

  1. Protect Your Brand with SEO Strategies

Some SEO strategies that may be worth looking into in order to protect your brand would be: optimizing local search engine listings by making sure your business is listed in Google Places, Bing and Yahoo Local, Yelp, and Foursquare. Then, brand these listings and advertise them just like you do your website. In addition, utilize responsive web design so that you website looks and functions just as well on mobile as it does on desktop. If one is awesome and the other is not, it’s only going to hurt your brand’s reputation.

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What steps have you taken to safeguard your brand’s identity? Comment in the section below!

Image credit: creativemarket.com

Feature Image credit: smallbiztrends.com

Image credit: domain.me

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5 Reasons SEO White Labeling is Actually a Bad Idea http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/5-reasons-seo-white-labeling-actually-bad-idea/ Mon, 05 Sep 2016 15:15:34 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7895 Don’t be fooled by the word “white” in regards to this SEO practice. You may not yet be familiar, but SEO white labeling (also known as an “SEO reseller”) is basically a partnership where two companies work together to sell and deliver services, and then share the sales profit. In most cases you can think […]

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Don’t be fooled by the word “white” in regards to this SEO practice. You may not yet be familiar, but SEO white labeling (also known as an “SEO reseller”) is basically a partnership where two companies work together to sell and deliver services, and then share the sales profit. In most cases you can think of SEO white labeling in the following terms, with companies “A” and “B”:

  • Company A: Responsibilities typically include sales/customer acquisition and account management.
  • Company B: Manages and executes product development and the actual delivery of the services.

Consider a software (for example) which is created and managed by one company, and then can be utilized and provided by several other companies that put their own name on it, but who did not originally invent or develop the software themselves. Company B is the original developer of the product, but Company A is actually the agency that works directly with the customer/business. The reason people choose this route is because it is typically a cheaper service, since building this kind of service/product from the ground up (i.e, Company B) is really expensive and takes a lot of time, people, and energy to execute.

On the other hand, dealing with clients and sales is also a different side of the challenge. Company B doesn’t want to deal with client relations and account management. However, company A can take care of all of that and not have to worry about the product development on the back-end.

5 Reasons Why SEO White Labeling is a Bad Idea

To summarize, a “white-label vendor” is a site which sells products directly to clients (products which were developed by company B), but under a completely different domain, brand or company name than “company B.” They are completely separate entities, and company A becomes the face of the product.

All of this sounds pretty collaborative, and with the cost-benefits aspect of SEO white labeling. It is pretty clear to see why companies might go this route; however, there are some problems with this system and there are a few reasons why SEO white labeling is actually a bad idea.

#1 “Company A” Gets All of the Credit

In our introduction we laid out the scenario where company A is dealing with sales and account management, and ultimately getting to put their name on a product and service they didn’t develop. While both A and B are sharing the profit from the client and both are benefiting in a financial way, company A is getting all of the credit and is ultimately the brand that is attached to the product, even though it was developed by company B. In other words, company B is putting in a lot of the footwork to make white-labeling possible, but their brand is not achieving any growth in recognition.

#2 There Are Major Benefits to Account Management

One of the reasons that company B opts to develop the product without having to deal with account management is because it cuts down their work load and allows them to focus on the product itself. The problem is that actually managing accounts and dealing with sales directly can actually teach a company a lot about what needs to improve, change, and what clients are actually looking for in the service. By cutting out the relationship with the client directly—without taking any additional steps to get feedback from company A on sales and client relations—the developer is missing a lot of valuable insight that comes with account management.

#3 Price Isn’t Everything for Clients

One of the biggest draws to SEO white labeling is that it is cost-effective. It is cost-effective because there are two businesses doing two parts of the process and sharing the income. However, when companies split their roles like this, they may lose site of some of the other really important aspects of business, like providing outstanding customer service or really understanding what clients need. When price is the main selling point, or the thing that separates a company apart from others, it is possible that clients will not be getting the best service possible.

#4 Reviews, Testimonials, and Word of Mouth

This is more-so an issue for “company B” in this white label scenario than it is for company A. Nowadays, reviews, testimonials, and positive word-of-mouth from clients goes along way. If you are company B, you are probably getting positive feedback from the folks at company A, but company A is the one that is getting all of the reviews and positive customer feedback online. Their brand awareness is improving through their customers’ feedback. Ultimately, this is one of the downsides of while labeling that makes the business relationship more asymmetrical than it initially appears with revenue and splitting costs. If you are developing the service from the ground up, you deserve just as much praise from customers as the brand selling your product, but unfortunately, the product will have company A’s name on it.

#5 You Lose Originality

If you are company A, and you are getting products from company B, who is outsourcing their products to multiple vendors, you do not have an original product for resale. Increasingly, those who choose to white label and provide a product to multiple sites are interested in having a multi-brand or a multi-domain strategy. It is not enough for them to work with your company alone, especially because company A is getting all of the recognition and growth on the surface. Long-story short, if you are participating in a white-label exchange, you could really be compromising on the originally and quality of the products you are selling.

The Takeaway

White labeling appears to be very lucrative on the surface. At first, it looks like a pretty even exchange, where both companies are benefiting from the collaboration. However, in most cases, the company that is actually doing the sales, account management, and customer service is going to benefit a lot more than the company that is providing the products and services. More importantly, all of these disadvantages could potentially impact your SEO rather significantly.

As a Marketing Agency, our recommendation is not to get involved in a white-label situation. There is value is working both sides of product/service development and customer interaction.

Have you partaken in a white-label exchange or purchase of any kind? Have you considered white labeling or opted out for any particular reason? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

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Taking Advantage of Pokemon Go Still Isn’t Over: 6 Ways to Make It Happen http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/7873/ Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:34:09 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7873 If you’ve recently seen swarms of people in one area wandering around, seemingly without a destination, chances are they’re playing Pokemon Go. This game is a new version of the 90s hit, and it’s making its creator, Nintendo, a ton of money while also getting people out of the house and exploring their communities. The […]

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If you’ve recently seen swarms of people in one area wandering around, seemingly without a destination, chances are they’re playing Pokemon Go. This game is a new version of the 90s hit, and it’s making its creator, Nintendo, a ton of money while also getting people out of the house and exploring their communities. The game can be downloaded on your phone and uses an augmented reality heads-up display of the real world that makes it appear that Pokemon are actually present in the real world. Then the players have the task of catching as many as they can using various strategies.

In order to find Pokemon, players have to go around town and check out new businesses. So why not use its newfound popularity to increase the traffic to your business?? Tons of companies are capitalizing on the game and getting great results because of it, so we advise business owners to do the same before the hype dies down. Here are some ways to use Pokemon Go to increase traffic and conversions for your small business:

  1. Figure Out if Your Business is Already a Pokemon Hot Spot

This means that you’ll need to download the game and experiment with it a little, which I highly recommend if you’re going to get the most out of this type of marketing. However, if you don’t want to do that you can always buddy up with someone who already plays. Regardless of how you do it, you need to figure out if your business is either a Gym or a PokeStop. The most important thing to know for a business owner is that both these places generate a ton of foot traffic. Check out a screenshot from one of my favorite bars, Poor House, as a PokeStop that a player would see:

pokestop

If your business location happens to be one of these two things, you might see an increase in revenue even without doing any extra marketing.? Unfortunately you can’t force your company to become one of these two Poke locations; if it is, you’re just lucky (although there is talk of sponsored locations in the future). If it’s not already a spot, follow the tips below.

Note: It’s not a bad idea to incorporate some of these strategies even if it is a hotspot; you’ll only increase your chances of your audience making a conversion.

  1. Drop a Lure

A “lure” is something that anyone can pay a small fee to drop at a specific location, or if you’re a player you sometimes pick these up for free at PokeStops. A “lure” will attract Pokemon so that users nearby can capture them. 99 cents gets you one lure that lasts for 30 minutes and $9.99 buys you six hours worth of lures. The lure then shows up on the map in the game and everyone playing will be drawn to the Pokemon there. The one downside of this is that lures can only be dropped at PokeStops, which I said before are set locations that can’t be changed.? So if you’re lucky enough for your business to be a PokeStop, pay to drop a lure and watch the traffic come in.

If it’s not a stop, you might need to get creative. Drop a lure at the PokeStop closest to your business and then advertise from there. Post a sign directing players to your company, or have an employee stand there and hand out flyers, coupons, or business cards. It’s a small price to pay for a big reward.

  1. Take Your Business to Where the Pokemon Are

pokeshop

Image credit: theverge.com

Along similar lines to number two, if your business isn’t already a Pokemon hot spot, take it on the road to where one is! If there’s any way to mobilize your product, do it. Set up a stand at a popular Gym or PokeStop and advertise your product. Bring some samples of whatever you sell, plus some incentives (coupons, discounts, free gifts, etc.) to hand out to players.Then, make sure to direct them to the stationary version of your company.? Ten year old Miranda set up a lemonade stand at a popular PokeStop and quickly met her financial goal of raising enough money to purchase a new cell phone. Her business has become so popular that now she’s saving money to buy an IPAD, and her parents are looking into getting the stand its own business license.

  1. Know Your Audience and Target Them

A lot of people have a skewed view of who plays Pokemon Go; the most common assumption is that it is teens and adolescents, generally male. This is false. Pokemon Go players come from every demographic and aren’t biased based on age and/or gender, so don’t assume that players? won’t be interested in your business. Target your marketing to Pokemon Go players by using advertisements that speak to both Pokemon players and your target audience; considering there are 7.5 million plus players the chances are good that there will be some overlap in these two groups. Get creative, like Chris’ Ono Grinds Island Grill in San Diego, CA did below:

pokemon-businesses

  1. Offer Incentives to Players

This requires you to know how the game works; if you offer incentives to every person who walks in with the app on their phone, you’ll probably end up losing money. Instead, choose a game strategy and then tie a marketing strategy to it; for example, offer a free gift if they catch a rare Pokemon, or a coupon if they make it to another level. You can also take pictures with Pokemon in the app, so some businesses are offering discounts if people post their pictures on social media and also check into their business at the same time. The Four Seasons Catering and Eatery ?was one of the first businesses to offer incentives to Pokemon Go players, and on the first day they had a dozen people come in to claim their free bottle of water; every one of those people also made an additional purchase from the restaurant.

pokemondeals

  1. Offer a Place for Players to Charge their Phones

One downside the players complain about is that the game is incredibly draining on their phone battery. Fortunately for business owners, you can use this to your advantage. Make your business a charging station, and then advertise it! Once you get players coming in to charge their phones, offer them additional incentives that are tied in with making a purchase. They’re going to have time to kill if they have a dead phone, so they might as well relax with a snack and a beverage, or by browsing your store’s inventory.

Although this game is most likely a trend that will die down at some point or another, that’s no reason to not take advantage of its popularity today.? In fact, it’s even more of a reason to jump on Poke-marketing before it gets boring and outdated. Marketing for Pokeplayers now could potentially create new, loyal customers who will keep coming back even after the game loses appeal. This article by Venturebeat contains a list of businesses that are already capitalizing on the Poke-phenomenon if you’re still looking for inspiration.

So how are you going to get Pokeplayers in to your small business? Comment in the section below!

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Forward Masking a Domain is NOT Your Friend: 3 Steps for SEO-Safe Domain Migration http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/forward-masking-domain-not-friend-3-steps-seo-safe-domain-migration/ Wed, 17 Aug 2016 15:00:31 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7865 Sometimes after you have already established a website and online presence, you come across a reason that you want to transfer content to a new domain. Whether it be that you’re changing the name of your company, want to use a different domain extension, or something else, there are plenty of reasons you may want […]

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Sometimes after you have already established a website and online presence, you come across a reason that you want to transfer content to a new domain. Whether it be that you’re changing the name of your company, want to use a different domain extension, or something else, there are plenty of reasons you may want to migrate one domain to another. In many cases, people also want to keep their original domain as well—after all, all of the SEO efforts have a ton of value, and why wouldn’t you want to keep all of your hard work in tact?

At this point you may have already come across articles on “domain masking” (that platforms like GoDaddy.com allow you to do) and how this is not best SEO practice. If you haven’t, this article serves to warn you that domain masking will undoubtedly have a negative impact on your websites overall online presence. Here are the details:

Why You Should NOT Mask Your Domain

The biggest issue with domain-masking is that by constructing a second domain that is more-or-less the same as the original, you are creating “duplicate content” and search engines do not play kindly with that. Google sees two domains with different names and the same content, and makes a choice as to which site they prefer. It will really only serve one site in terms of rankings and search-ability for users. The problem is that it is often not the site that the site-owner prefers (as you don’t get to choose which of the two will be preferred for SEO purposes). The other possible problem is that Google will index both sites, but then you have two websites with duplicate content—and you don’t want that either.

As you can probably guess, this is kind of a messy situation, as there are obviously cases where you don’t want to keep your original domain, but you do want to keep the same or similar content. Let’s look at three reasons you might want to migrate your domain next:

When You Might Want to Migrate Your Domain

There are a few scenarios where you will want to migrate your website to a new domain. Here are three examples:

  • Let’s say the first domain you picked is no longer relevant to your brand’s image, or maybe it was never relevant to begin with—then this is a scenario where you might want to migrate your domain.
  • Country-Specific ccTLD. If your business relocated or opened a new international office, you will want the ability to migrate your domain to that you can use the country-specific ccTLD of the country where your business is located.
  • Authority & .com TLD. If you are moving from a .biz to a .com, for example, you are going to want the ability to migrate your domain name.

In many cases a domain migration can actually have a positive impact on SEO. Here are three steps to make sure that you have a safe domain migration.

SEO Safe Step #1: Preparing to Migrate

Migrating your domain really takes proper planning over almost everything else. You are going to want to configure all site settings (like links and crawl stats)—basically anything on the back-end of your SEO efforts. It is also 100% necessary to generate a sitemap and construct an organized layout of all of your pages, including images and videos that your site hosts. In terms of crawling, you want to make sure you verify any blocked content, as well as pages that re-direct to 404 error pages.

Some other things to keep in mind:

  • Indexing—record all of the information on your index pages
  • Ranking—record the ranking achievement of each page, as well as any/all relevant keyword data
  • Traffic—record all of your organic traffic information such as conversions, bounce rates, and visits.
  • Links—record all internal/external links coming to your pages, and especially the anchor text, authority, and source.

Knowing this information before you do any kind of implementation will help immensely. Further, monitoring and doing analytics post-migration will also be a lot clearer with this background preparation.

SEO Safe Step #2: Implementation

Actually implementing the SEO-safe migration is a little more complex. Aleyda Solis made an amazing infographic that also outlines these steps. Below is a screenshot from that infographic, which speaks to the steps and aspects involved in implementing an SEO safe migration:

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 7.36.10 PM

While this is a highly involved process (as you can see), each step is really critical to be sure that you take extra care in handling the migration. It is not enough to just do a 301 redirect, but as Solis notes, the sitemap you generated before the move becomes extremely helpful in notifying search engines of your old/new site. You are going to want to also make sure to update your new domain on ALL platforms that your old domain was associated with: business profiles, social media, etc.

SEO Safe Step #3: Monitoring Post-Migration

After you migrate your domain you are going to want to pay attention to any kind of issues that could possibly happen, such as errors in crawling, your Index Status Report (for both your old and new sites). Monitor your rankings closely as well as traffic and conversions on your new site. Taking note of all of this on your old site will allow you to compare and contrast pre-post migration. In many cases SEO might actually improve pretty immediately (depending on the reason for your domain migration), in others, it might take some time to improve your rank position or organic traffic. You may also need to consider new keywords and linking that may be a change of practice from your old website.

The Takeaway

Takeaway #1 from this article should be that forward domain masking is not your friend—do not do it if you do not want to hurt your SEO. In some situations domain migration can be a good option, and will actually bode will for a company’s SEO; however, it is important that you figure out whether or not you actually fit the mold. A good way of checking is by working closely with a marketing agency, The Miami SEO Company.

Lastly, as this article suggests, you want to make sure you prepare, implement, and monitor the domain migration accordingly. It can be a highly involved process, but taking extra care in paying attention to detail can make it an SEO safe process.

Are you considering migrating your domain? Have we scared you away from masking your domain? Let us know in the comments section below! We would love to hear from you.

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SEO Explained from an Expert E-Commerce Company http://www.cafeproje.com/e-commerce/seo-explained-expert-e-commerce-company/ Sat, 13 Aug 2016 11:11:27 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7880 A business that ranks on the first page of search engines can expect an increase in their bottom line. While the method to reach that pinnacle may appear complicated, a company that is an expert in e-commerce search engine optimization (SEO) can handle the grunt work and accomplish that aim. Every business seeks a method […]

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A business that ranks on the first page of search engines can expect an increase in their bottom line. While the method to reach that pinnacle may appear complicated, a company that is an expert in e-commerce search engine optimization (SEO) can handle the grunt work and accomplish that aim.

Every business seeks a method to increase their visibility in an ethical manner. With increased visibility comes the opportunity for increased sales and customer good will. This translates to a better bottom line in the long-term.

Most people who hire companies for goods or services, begin their search on search engines. The potential customer will access a search engine, such as Google, and then type in a specific two to five letter words or phrases.

For instance, consider fictional people, Bob and his wife Debbie. Bob and Debbie live in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Bob wants to celebrate his wife’s birthday on Friday at a local Italian restaurant — as that is his wife’s favorite cuisine.

Google Search Results, Italian WPBBob begins his search by accessing the search engine Google, where in the search bar he writes, “Italian West Palm Beach.” Bob is greeted by options on the first page, such as “ZUCCARELLI’S ITALIAN KITCHEN,” which he selects with his cursor; and later, accesses with his wife through their front door.

But how did Zuccarelli’s Italian Kitchen earn its coveted spot on Google’s first page for that specific phrase?

The Basics of SEO

To begin, SEO refers to various techniques that are used to raise a website’s search engine results. The term ranking relates to the position of a website on search results.

It is important to understand how the search engine web crawlers search and discover relevant articles because this affects the bottom line for businesses.

Whenever a user types information into a search engine, such as Bob did, the search engine has web crawlers that analyze millions of websites per second by scanning specific keywords that appear frequently in a website, whether it be in a headline, boldface type, or a link.

Setting up a business on the web is equivalent of a building being built. A group of interested people preform research on the appearance of the building, as well as decide what services the company offers.

The building is only as strong as its foundation. A weak foundation can translate into a cheap faulty building, with the potential to collapse when challenged with a natural disaster. However, a building with a strong base can take up challenges when presented, and over time, provides the springboard for the business to expand.

A website that is built should be designed, coded, and written in a manner that is optimized for SEO performance. Images, like windows on a building, present a look into the company situated on the website. Therefore, they need to be set up well, with keyword-rich alt text; in addition to having permission to use the image.

According to The Yahoo! Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World, the best technique to have an advantage in SEO ranking is the following:

  1. “Write information-rich copy that people will want to read and link to; and,
  2. To figure out which words people are likely to use in searches, and then embed those keywords throughout your copy.”

The Style Guide continues, “Good SEO copywriting makes your page more readable for both search engines and humans.” These principles are important to keep in mind as the website is built and used.

The Miami SEO Company Provides Expertise in SEO

company that has experience with ecommerce seoFor our clients, we provide expertise in a potentially confusing environment — delivering excellent return on investment. Chances are that people like Bob have found an Italian restaurant that we have provide e-commerce SEO services for.

A method that we use to help these businesses claim the first page of Google is by having their Internet presence constantly provide original content that has relevance and genuine value to their readers.

Through hard work, our writers investigate the industry the company is in and provides information that their potential and current customers deem as important. Our content managers will then access sites such as Google Keyword Planner and select anywhere from five to 15 keywords to include in their upcoming campaigns.

The campaigns accomplish two aims: because of the skill of our writers, the articles completed resemble the efforts of a public relations department. Secondly, the articles preform the SEO function that they were initially created to accomplish.

For the former, the articles have clear and concise writing, with keywords that accurately reflect the content. While for the latter, the juxtaposition of original content and relevancy to current events makes the articles highly effective.

Purchase Services for E-Commerce SEO Performance

USSA15 Shortlist BadgeOur method always works — the only variable is the time it takes. On average, within weeks of the commencement of campaigns, our clients quickly move up ranks, some reaching page one faster than others, depending upon their industry and competition.

We love the challenge of beating your competitors and implore you to consider our services for your business. Seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. our representatives are available to answer relevant questions. They can be reached at (786) 375-9981.

An important question to consider before speaking with our representatives are first and foremost, what makes your company unique? The uniqueness that your company has is what separates you from your competitors and an excellent concept to have your campaigns revolve around.

The uniqueness speaks in the products and services the company sells; the culture that exists within the company; and the resilience that helps the company overcome potential obstacles in the way. This information helps our representatives efficiently propel your company to search engine dominance.

During non-working hours, we recommend checking out our blog, which we constantly update with important information on the industry and how we can help your business save money on the bottom line with our services.

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25.76168-80.1917925.76168 -80.19179Miami, FL, United States
3 Reasons Why Squarespace Deserves to be Part of Your Marketing Strategy http://www.cafeproje.com/web-design-blog/3-reasons-squarespace-deserves-part-marketing-strategy/ Thu, 11 Aug 2016 14:30:38 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7838 WordPress is wonderful; don’t get us wrong. But for some businesses and for some people, WordPress doesn’t quite meet the mark. Whether it be from a design standpoint, usability, power, customer service, etc. there are other platforms out there that are growing in popularity and can give you choices. Squarespace is a great one. Squarespace […]

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WordPress is wonderful; don’t get us wrong. But for some businesses and for some people, WordPress doesn’t quite meet the mark. Whether it be from a design standpoint, usability, power, customer service, etc. there are other platforms out there that are growing in popularity and can give you choices. Squarespace is a great one.

Squarespace is definitely a preferred platform when it comes to company webpages, brand websites, and e-commerce stores. When you begin to think about ways to optimize your marketing strategy, having a streamline website/blog base is key. An effective website can absolutely make or break the way that your brand is perceived and how successful you ultimately are. We’ve outlined 3 reasons why Squarespace could be the ticket to your marketing success:

  1. Website & Blog Building for Professional Appearance

It is critical that your online presence looks as professional as possible in any online arena, and this really starts with your website and blog. This can be a difficult task if you have the wrong website builder. With the importance of a great web presence for your online marketing strategy, it is important that you can develop an appearance that looks clean, professional, and visually appealing without all of the hassle that other website builders can bring-on.

Squarespace is extremely design-oriented, but it also gives you a lot of freedom to design and manipulate without having the knowledge of coding that some site-builders require. There are so many templates to choose from and you also have the option of developing cover pages-which are single scrolling page layouts that can be used as a standalone website.

Below is an example of a Chicago-based Photographer who has utilized the cover page feature of the Squarespace platform to showcase his work in a professional way (with an infinite scrolling homepage to show several portfolio images):

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 10.43.40 AM

More Pros on Squarespace as a Site-Building Platform:

  • Responsive templates
  • Automatic re-size to optimize viewing experience on different devices
  • Extensive styling options: adjust the fonts, colors, image opacity, sidebar width, background images, sizes, spacing / padding, etc.
  1. Measure Referral Traffic and Other Analytics Directly with Squarespace

Squarespace can be considered a jumping-off point for great marketing because it is really an all-in-one platform. In one case study, a user created a website and started a blog on Squarespace. Weekly, she posted her site’s articles to LinkedIn and after 9 months she had 72 new organic connections and had gotten 1000 new users to her website in a week from LinkedIn traffic alone. Look at the Squarespace metrics that you can use directly on the interface (from the Sweet Blue Bird study I referenced above):

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 10.44.22 AM

As you can see from this screenshot, 71.25% of the new traffic was from LinkedIn alone! This goes to show that Squarespace is a great platform to construct a blog—and then from there, promoting it on various social media sites (such as LinkedIn) can lead to an increase of traffic. What this study really shows is that the analytics that are incorporated into Squarespace allow you to directly measure where traffic for your blog and website is coming from. As a Marketing Company we deal directly with clients interested in Analytics, so it’s crucial to have this functionality incorporated.

If you operate an e-commerce site, the functions and analytics are also fully integrated into the platform. Click here to learn more about why Squarespace is an ideal platform for e-commerce sites specifically.

The fact that it is both streamline and user friendly, especially when it comes to analytics, is why it should be considered in your marketing strategy.

  1. Squarespace is Ideal for Marketing Features

There are some important website features that good marketers include on any brand’s site. Squarespace incorporates theses in a streamline and user-friendly manner and also has a lot of options to allow you to present them in a visually appealing way.

Every good website should include:

  • Social Media Buttons
  • Call to Action features
  • Mobile Friendly design (you can check the layout and mobile view from the desktop interface)

With Squarespace, it is easy to build the kind of site that is going to engage your social media platforms and allow your marketing efforts to tie back to your primary website and blog.

Setting Up Your Website

  1. There are a few different billing options depending on what you are looking for in a site builder, so choose the one which best works for your marketing needs.
  2. Get a domain name (Either from a third party or for $20 on Squarespace) Go to: the Squarespace website to follow the links to purchase a domain name. If you already have a domain that you are looking to transfer to Squarespace, unfortunately they are not going this yet, but you can register to get notified once they start accepting this transfer.
  3. Include a keyword that describes your brand.
  4. Figure out your site layout and decide on what pages you will need. You shouldn’t include more than 6 pages on a website. You can always use a secondary, drop down page (or pages) if you need more than six for your company’s layout.
  5. Choose a template.
  6. Add e-commerce at no extra charge. Squarespace also has videos that make it really easy to learn these features and set up shop.

Some Downsides to Consider

Of course, there are always downsides to any online product. A lot of people think the pricing is a little high (compared to other cheaper or free website builders). Integration with Google Analytics, Facebook Retargeting, and other Google Webmaster tools are a little buried within the platform. See the screenshot below:

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 10.46.31 AM

The Takeaway

Good marketing starts with a good website. In order to have a website that fits well into your marketing strategy, you need to have a site builder that allows you to develop all of the features to connect to social sharing, measure responsiveness, and make your online presence look as professional as possible. While there are some downsides to the platform, when compared to other site-builders Squarespace is hard to beat for marketing strategy development.

Do you currently use Squarespace? What are your thoughts on Squarespace as a launching-point for good marketing? Let us know in the comments section below!

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10 Ways to Alter Your User Experience Strategy from GoodUI.org http://www.cafeproje.com/user-experience/7824/ Wed, 03 Aug 2016 09:12:47 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7824 GoodUI.org has launched an incredible research project on user experience and has developed 75 “good ideas” that produce amazing results when it comes to improving your online strategy. All the data has come from real websites and brands/businesses that have shared their data for project analysis on user experience. Ultimately a good interface will lead […]

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GoodUI.org has launched an incredible research project on user experience and has developed 75 “good ideas” that produce amazing results when it comes to improving your online strategy. All the data has come from real websites and brands/businesses that have shared their data for project analysis on user experience. Ultimately a good interface will lead to better user experience and higher conversions, mostly because your site is easier to use for people who land on your page.

Here is a list of 10 ways that you can alter your user experience strategy based on the GoodUI.org study and how you can put their ideas into action:

  1. Simplify UI Functions

Rather than having several similar functions spread across a page layout, try consolidating the functions into one, rather than fragmenting UI. It is so interesting how making edits to a website over time can actually lead to several of the same elements, phrased in different ways, can be clustered over the page. While a website can start off clean, it can quickly get cluttered and busy without taking into account how users are interacting with the functions you want them to. As GoodUI states, “the more UI fragmentation there is, the higher the learning curve which your customers will have to deal with.” Merge your similar functions together and clean up the page.

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 9.43.13 AM

 

  1. Distinct Call To Action and Tab Styles

Navigating an interface can be a challenge when the style and themes are not visually appealing or clear. Clickable actions like links, buttons, tabs, or other calls to action should be distinct and text should be clear. This is one way to be sure you are getting users to take exactly the action that you want them to.

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 9.43.52 AM

As you can see in the screenshot above on UC San Diego’s website, scrolling over “admissions” bolds that option with a darker color, and brings a new side menu in the same darker blue. This makes the action very clear for users that are looking for admissions related actions.

  1. Target a SPECIFIC Audience

If you are selling a product or service, or perhaps targeting a specific audience in some way, then it is better to let people know ahead of time rather than after the fact. Creating some qualifying criteria for your customers can actually be better in the long run (less returns, trouble-shooting emails, and overall mix-ups from people mistakenly clicking through to something they didn’t need). As Good UI suggests, while this is risky because you could be eliminating potential clients—transparency is something that will build reputation and be better for user experience long term.

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 9.44.14 AM

  1. Recommend Specific Products or Services

Recommending a certain product or service over an equal display has been shown to increase conversion. When people are given too many choices they can often have a difficult time making a decision. When this situation occurs, people are often likely to turn to recommendations and are more likely to follow-through with a purchase. If your company offers a variety of products or services this may be something you want to consider. It is an easy tweak and can really improve user experience on product pages.

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  1. Curiosity > Reservation

One of the stronger “ideas” GoodUI presented was stirring curiosity as a conversion tactic. Presenting some information and a sample, which hooks the user, can actually lead to higher conversion rates. This test actually showed a +21% median effective rate for conversion, which is fantastic.

Daniel Bridges of www.findsomeone.co.nz submitted data from his dating website that showed an increase in signups when people were given endless vs. limited search results.

As you can see in the screenshot below, when users were “curious” about other options after being teased with some free data, they were more likely to sign-up.

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  1. Repetition

One of the most impressive findings has been a repetitive layout with CTA (call-to-action) buttons. The only thing that was changed in these tests from a control page was an additional CTA button at the bottom of the page as well as the top of the page. In the data set that GoodUI developed, this was shown to have an 84% median effect for conversion on product pages. So, rather than just having the CTA button that you want users to click at the top of the page, add and additional CTA at the bottom and you are much more likely to see results.

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You can also check out an article we wrote here that talks about the habits of your users, how you can determine what those are, and how it relates to keyword performance.

  1. Grab A User’s Attention

Shown to be +53% effective, grabbing the attention of the user—whether it is to increase size, contrast, or color—is shown to increase conversions. Emphasize primary calls of action, it is really as simple as that!

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As you can see in the example above from match.com, they immediately have sexual preference, age range, and zip code the second you land on their home page. Their goal is to get people signed up as quickly as possible, so they have chosen a pop-up call to action, where the user can immediately get to the information they want (and the sign-up the site wants), as quickly as possible.

  1. Try for Gradual Engagement

In some cases you want to get people signed up as quickly as possible, but in other cases you might want to engage people gradually. This was actually shown to have a +26% effective rate on Good UI’s research. As they state, “Instead of asking visitors to sign up immediately, why not ask them to first perform a task through which something of value is demonstrated.” Adding this level of personalized and customized experience can allow people to feel more committed to your company before they re actually asked to sign up.

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  1. Baby Steps and Smaller Commitments

Another highly effective user experience tweak is actually asking for a smaller upfront commitment, and then building to larger commitments down the road. Smaller connected actions over time, rather than one large commitment up front is shown to be more successful in establishing commitment. One example of this would be asking for a monthly fee rather than an annual fee, as that is more do-able for most people, and it is much easier to commit to from a financial perspective.

Another example, based on the screenshot below from the Good UI ideas page, shows that on a dating site, it might be better to ask people to “see who is looking” rather than “finding the love of your lifetime.” Even though online dating can certainly lead to the love of a lifetime, this might be too much of a commitment to ask up front.

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  1. Use Natural Language

Informal and more conversational style of language was shown to have a +8.2% effective rate in experimental tests. For whatever reason, people (and possibly search engines/SEO), might prefer this style of language to dry and to the point language typically found on online forms and content. This is also something we often remind our email marketing clients of when it comes to writing content for that medium. We have also found this to make a big difference in traffic numbers, so this wasn’t so much surprising as it was reassuring.

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What are your thoughts on Good UI’s 75 great ideas for user experience optimization, and the 10 that we have covered in this article? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Tips for SEO Success: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel http://www.cafeproje.com/semrush/tips-seo-success-dont-reinvent-wheel/ Sat, 30 Jul 2016 09:30:14 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7818 To maximize options for your business, these simple tips for SEO success will provide strategies that need to be implemented now. These provide a long-term frame work that every competitive business should utilize. One of the first steps to implement is a basic outlook on the industry at large. The market is oversaturated by competition; […]

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company that has experience with ecommerce seoTo maximize options for your business, these simple tips for SEO success will provide strategies that need to be implemented now. These provide a long-term frame work that every competitive business should utilize.

One of the first steps to implement is a basic outlook on the industry at large. The market is oversaturated by competition; each competitor must therefore must take a broad view of what has worked and what hasn’t to best position themselves.

It is imperative that we learn from our competitors. An often repeated adage is “don’t try to re-invent the wheel.” What does that adage mean in an SEO concept? It means to analyze their websites, their strategies, etc. before you begin day one of your marketing campaign.

Their success and failure offers a compass to follow to help your business achieve success. Important questions to consider are the following:
1. What have your competitors done that works?
2. How do your competitors frame their products?
3. How do their locations influence their marketing campaigns?
While there are more questions to consider in addition these, these questions provide a starting point.

Securing Position One

It isn’t impossible to secure the top position on search engines results. When viewing the industry at-large, a useful software program is SEMRush. According to Udemy’s “Online Google Adwords Training Course,” SEMRush provides a “very thorough understanding of any websites search engine marketing foot-print.”

Manual research, such as through Google Keyword Planner, can be time consuming and less productive. Over the same time period, SEMRush can provide keywords, along with concrete data that will increase the bottom line for every business.

After securing the best keywords from the software—taking into account search volume, similar keywords, cost per click, and more—you are ready for the next step, which is to provide high quality content.

Improve Search Rank Visibility with High Quality Content

13The content that is published on your website blog will increase the rank of your business in search engines. It should come as no surprise as high quality content improves search rank visibility. Over the course of several months, the position of links should improve.

Content within these articles should discretely promote the business and their products—
grandiose claims should not be included. For instance, one of our clients sells dangerous goods hazmat shipping.

Each of our articles from that client discuss the value of having their products, then provides specific recommendations from their inventory that relates to specific values, and concludes by providing the best method to acquire their products and speak with a representative for additional information.

This works two-fold—it appeases the search engine as we sprinkle in our keywords from SEMRush, while also providing public relations efforts, as new customers can learn more about the products in a convenient manner, and learn about the business generally.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

A concept that was drilled in my brain by different college professors in the journalism department was the following: Don’t reinvent the wheel. This can be used for your business.

This concept can be summarized by accepting what works and what does not work. While each article on your blog should be unique, it is okay to maintain similarities in each article—otherwise, how would you be able to include specific keywords?

It is important to review competitor’s articles, along with the information provided from SEMRush. Important information, such as how to they position their products, how often do they publish, and how they promote their content should be considered.

As you analyze this information, one will quickly understand what is working and what isn’t as the top search engine results will all carry similarities. Having discovered the secret to their performance, it can then be applied to your business.

It is imperative to differentiate your products from your competitors at this point by clarifying the advantages your products offer and the satisfaction your customers have received from the products you are promoting. It is also imperative to not become deviated and maintain focus on your keywords that you have chosen.

Returning to our client in the dangerous goods hazmat shipping industry, one way they are different from their competitors is they are family owned and operated. We highlight this difference and include the value of dealing with a company that holds scrupulous, family-ordinated values.

It is important to think clearly about the advantages your business has over their competitors. Our meticulous methods guarantee results in the long-run. While our example may not specifically work with your company, there are similarities that are consistent and can be implemented to your own unique marketing campaign.

Hire The Miami SEO Company

The information provided in this article may make you question everything you thought you knew about SEO Success. We understand this, and we want to help. (The information covered in this article goes into more detail on our Udemy course.)

If you prefer to get the ball rolling now on improving your SEO success, we recommend reaching out to our team. The representatives from our company can quickly access the strengths and weaknesses of your business online presence. From there, they can provide specific and actionable solutions.

Over the course of a couple months, the hard work our team provides will quickly become apparent as your business secures top position for a variety of keywords, thereby leading to new customers and increased bottom line performance.

Our representatives can be reached at (866) 886-0374 seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. We will be happily awaiting your call and improving your business success. During non-working hours, we recommend that you visit, ?E-commerce SEO Company on our website, or to visit our blog.

Our blog provides a variety of articles related to SEO and PPC performance. These are highly informative and are an asset to businesses interested in following the latest developments in the industry. The information held within are from experienced professionals in the field who have a unique insight.

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25.76168-80.1917925.76168 -80.19179Miami, FL, United States
The Miami SEO Company has Content Writing Positions Available. http://www.cafeproje.com/careers/miami-seo-company-content-writing-positions-available/ Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:05:17 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7848 Looking for part time or full time work from home position? The Miami SEO Company has positions available for remote content writers. There are many benefits to being a content writer for our team and we’re eager to hear from you. Benefits include working on your own time, taking on as many or as little […]

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Looking for part time or full time work from home position? The Miami SEO Company has positions available for remote content writers. There are many benefits to being a content writer for our team and we’re eager to hear from you. Benefits include working on your own time, taking on as many or as little clients as you would like, and the ability to work from just about anywhere. Creating content for web pages is fun, and you can also write about several topics that are interesting to you. Content writing is never boring and it is perfect for a creative mind! As an equal opportunity employer, we are more than happy to consider applicants who have disabilities, military veterans and senior citizens.

What is a Content Writer?

240_F_105904872_AeVHfpVsB6CWbTsPrcXukkDKPf7gUlnUWhat is a content writer? Content writing is a fast growing field. With the ever growing popularity of the internet, clients hire SEO (search engine optimization) companies to provide content using focused keywords. A content writer takes on the responsibility of creating text content for blogs, social media, product pages, web pages and other forms of web-based written content. For example, if you are on Google, looking for a dentist in Coral Springs, you would probably type in “Coral Springs Dentist”. From there, you will see pages and pages of dental offices in the area. The purpose of content writing is to generate “traffic” using specific keywords which will generate more visibility to your client.

How to Become a Content Writer.

240_F_95631083_bMTu4eSNwROSwouIjv9C93M08DAWXTnzHow can you become a content writer? Preferably, the Miami SEO Company would like individuals that have a two-year college degree in writing or a similar course. The individual must enjoy writing and also will need to be able to produce content without grammar or spelling errors. You must also be creative. Many clients want numerous articles written for their site. Therefore, you, as the content writer, will need to be able to create fresh, exciting, and original content for each article. The Miami SEO Company is also an equal opportunity employer. We follow all OFCCP compliances and welcome individuals with disabilities to apply. We believe that all persons with any type of disability should have fair treatment and have the right to work.

Responsibilities of a Content Writer.

240_F_106989238_IDM2Yb1EEQckM3PilpVJ2U8ywik5FDZOWhat are the responsibilities of a content writer? Being a content writer, you will need to create and post content to your organization’s website in a timely manner. You will need to do research about your client and devise a fact filled article that fit their business. You must also be able to communicate effectively with your clients to ensure your writing material is what they are expecting. The content writer must also upload appropriate photos, diagrams, or charts to the articles that pertain to the clients business which will increase the reader’s understanding.

How to Get Started As a Content Writer with Our Company.

If this seems like an opportunity that you don’t want to miss, come join our team at the Miami SEO company, http://themiamiseocompany.com/. We feel that we have created a company that is enjoyable to work for. This job is perfect for those who want to write full-time or even part-time. We have many clients in professional services, manufacturing, technical services, and private companies that we provide content writing for. Founders Jason Hawkins and Sergio Aicardi have been in the industry for more than 10 years and have had over 5,000 clients. Learn more about Sergio and Jason who are featured in many well-known publications such as:

Search Engine? Journal
Semrush
Ahrefs
Content Marketing Institute?
And many more.

What Are the Miami SEO Company Requirements?

Eligibility requirements:

  • Applicant must be in pursuit of or in possession of a college / university degree that requires at least 2 years of education.
  • Applicant must have experience with WordPress content management system.
  • Applicant must have the ability to write engaging content without any grammar or spelling errors.
  • Applicant must have reliable internet access with a reliable computer or laptop.
  • Applicant must speak English or Spanish (bilingual is a plus).
  • Applicants must be proficient with Microsoft Office products.

Please use our contact us page or any contact form on our website to inquire about a job position. Simply include your contact information and employment opportunity of interest in the message field and someone will contact you.

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Google Analytics is Now Secure: What You Need to Know http://www.cafeproje.com/analytics/google-analytics-now-secure-need-know/ Wed, 27 Jul 2016 15:25:36 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7770 Google Analytics made some updates earlier this year in April 2016 that encrypts and protects all clients and webpages regardless if they are HTTPS or not. In an email to existing customers they wrote: “For years we have followed our clients’ desires to secure their traffic or not, securing traffic for secure websites, and not […]

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google analytics gone secureGoogle Analytics made some updates earlier this year in April 2016 that encrypts and protects all clients and webpages regardless if they are HTTPS or not. In an email to existing customers they wrote:

For years we have followed our clients’ desires to secure their traffic or not, securing traffic for secure websites, and not for insecure ones. But with the increase in privacy related concerns we have made the decision to secure all communication to and from Google Analytics, protecting our clients, our client’s end users, and the broader internet”

Privacy concerns certainly prompted this change in security, and as a consequence there are some things you are going to need to know. There is no way to opt-out of this protection now, so the changes will impact everyone using analytics, so check out some of the things you need to know below:

  1. Short-Visit Traffic

Google notes on their help pages that Analytics users might see some effects on short-visit traffic data because of this security change. Because HTTPS-encrypted traffic can be slower than traffic that isn’t encrypted, Analytics may end up missing some the short-visit traffic you would have normally measured more accurately otherwise. Encrypted traffic (which is going to increase because of this update) is likely to be slower than similar unencrypted visits. This can result in lost hits as visitors may navigate away from your page before Analytics has the chance to log the visit.

The most common instance is when someone lands on your page and leaves within second of opening a web page. According to the article, “The tracking pixel may have less of a chance to fire, “for example, if a user closes a page within 1 second of opening the page” when that traffic is encrypted”. While this is definitely a change to take note of, it appears as though it will be a minor impact to your overall measure of visits and consequential strategies.

  1. Firewalls

This next issue is actually pretty big, and as far as we know, there is really no way to get around this hiccup yet. Users that have firewalls installed will block encrypted traffic, which means that when users with a firewall visit your website, Analytics is not going to be able to capture and collect any of that visit information. This is unfortunate and really just something to note at this when you are looking at your visit data: those who have firewalls will not be included in your visit count or other data that analytics collects.

  1. It is a Universal Update

One thing that needs to be absolutely clear about this update is A) you can not opt-out (as I mentioned earlier) but also B) there is nothing that you need to do in order for it to take effect—no coding, settings, or downloads in order to have the security features. Google really made this move as a preventative measure for its clients, and as such, it is a totally universal update. This means that it has taken effect equally for everyone, and since the change occurred in April, you are already seeing the change on your analytics data!

  1. Heightened Security Pros

So far these updates probably sound like a bit of a pain for measuring and tracking analytics data, but don’t fear. After looking into the research that exists on this change, I would say that the pros absolutely outweigh the cons. While some of the data might be skewed or necessarily omit some users based on firewall settings or short-visits, the security that comes with the update protests your analytics data from being hacked. It also makes sure that your website traffic is as safe as possible. This security means that your customers and clients are even more protected than they were previously.

  1. HTTP to HTTPS

With this security update, Google is definitely moving towards having maximum security for their users. So, aside from the actual impact on Google Analytics, Google is also offering incentive for those who switch over their website from HTTP to HTTPS. Google has said that HTTPS sits have a potential ranking signal, meaning they are considered over HTTP sites when it comes to search results. When people fill out a secure form now on HTTPS websites (or, now, on non-secure pages protected with encryption by Google) there is no way the customer’s data can be stolen. It is clear to see why this plays to a favored spot in Google’s rankings.

  1. More Information is on the Horizon

If you take a look around, there is actually very little written on this particular change that Google made earlier this year. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t an important change—as we described above, heightened security is always something that an SEO marketing firm likes to hear. Yet, the changes in counts and website data that is a consequence of this change has yet to be discussed at length. Most say that the data this change impacts is not going to be highly significant, yet I think with time these changes are going to be looked at more closely and it will be apparent if this change is really as minor as everyone is claiming. Regardless, more information is bound to be on the horizon.

The Takeaway

This update in April 2016 was a change for the better. Non-secure pages and un-protected websites will not protect users in a way they did not previously. As this article has explained, this change in security is going to impact some of your data—especially short-term visits and users who have firewalls in place. Yet, these negatives are outweighed by so many positives and there is bound to be much more information on the benefits (and perhaps, the consequences) of this update and security updates to come soon. It is also worth considering changing your site from HTTP to HTTPS to offer maximum security to your visitors, but also to gain some favor in the organic search rankings.

What do you think about this security update? Do you think the benefits of security outweigh some of the accuracy of pre-update data collection? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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5 Things You Need to Know about Google’s New Local Search Ads http://www.cafeproje.com/local-marketing/5-things-need-know-googles-new-local-search-ads/ Tue, 19 Jul 2016 15:17:30 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7766 Google is making important changes to what viewers can see when they conduct local searches. Google is describing this as “the next generation” of local search ads, which is actually as exciting as it sounds because they claim that a third of searches are local. The goal is really to make sure that businesses are […]

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Google is making important changes to what viewers can see when they conduct local searches. Google is describing this as “the next generation” of local search ads, which is actually as exciting as it sounds because they claim that a third of searches are local. The goal is really to make sure that businesses are visible right as customers are search with relevant keywords online.

Take for example the search below for “best coffee shops in Chicago” on the left:

This is an example of a common mobile search that someone would do while looking for a coffee shop with stopping at in the city. As of now, the most visible listing for this search would likely be the “top rated” (or the highest ranking based on ratings), but Google is rolling out many new features for local searches that are going to make advertisements and other features more visible. This is a great way to put your company at the top of a search query if you don’t yet have the ratings to back it.

local

For example, in the image above on the right-hand side, the first of the search results is an “ad.” This gives “Quality Smog Check” more visibility in this search, even though they also have the ratings to back their position. You will also note that their drop pin on the map is noted in a purple color, tying it to the advertisement in the search results.

Many of the changes are still in beta, and they definitely do not dominate local searches yet, but as the year progresses they are going to become more relevant and it is wise to get ahead of the game. You can learn more about local SEO here, but below are some tips to get you prepared for the new initiative:

  1. Online and Physical Store Locations BOTH Remain Important

These updates in local search features are really about bridging the online and physical business world. At this year’s Search Summit Conference some statistics were addressed that really emphasized the importance in connecting online presence and physical store location. One of the most surprising is that 90% of global sales will still occur in store, even though e-commerce has become a prominent option in the modern world. Another is that 84% of consumers conduct local searches. This means that now, more than ever, it is important to have a presence online that will draw-in local buyers to your storefront.

  1. Promoted Pins are Going to be Important

As mentioned in the second screenshot example, local search advertisements will be noted with a “promoted pin,” in other words, a pin that stands out with a different color from the other location pins that occur with the search. These promoted pins have not started just yet, but they will be released on Maps soon.

See the example below where Walgreens is marked with a “promoted” advertisement pin:

local-2

These promoted pins are really going to be a chance to stand out. If you look back at the first screenshot of this article, where all of the location pins are the same color, you can imagine how having a uniquely colored marker will make people more likely to check out your location. We know that Google is moving towards optimizing online to offline metrics, so it is really just a matter of launching these new tools to make measuring these trends more accessible.

  1. In-Store Promotions & Eye-Catching Advertisements

With the new updates, your business is going to have the opportunity to showcase specials, promotions, or discounts right in the Maps application. In the example above you can see a banner at the bottom of the map that says “$3 off contact lens solutions” as a part of the Walgreens local search advertisement.

Imagine how beneficial this will be. If someone is doing a local search for a pizza restaurant, and they click on your advertisement to see that they are just in time for a lunch special, they are going to be even more inclined to stop at your location over others.

  1. You might be wondering how ads will compete…

Since this is still in beta, and a variety of aspects of the local ad platform are still being teased out, it is hard to know exactly how ads will compete with each other for the top ranking position for a given search. This is one of the reasons you want to be one of the first businesses to implement this strategy, because ultimately in the beginning you will not nearly have as much competition. That being said, Google claims that it will make the “top ranking” advertisement position based on the following user factors:

  • Location
  • User Behaviors
  • Time of day
  • Demographics
  • Query context
  • Search/browsing history
  • Interests
  1. Getting Started and Pricing

According to the Google AdWords information pages, there are some things you should know about eligibility and pricing to get yourself started.

Getting Started:

In order to participate in showing advertisements on Google Maps, you need to do the following:

  • Make sure location extensions for your AdWords account are enabled
  • Check to ensure your Google My Business Listing is up-to-date!
  • Set bids by location—this will make sure you are reaching those closest to the location of you’re business
  • Use keywords that link your content to your location!

Pricing:

  • The pricing for location ads is actually fairly simple. It utilizes standard cost-per-click (CPC). On maps this means you will be charged when a user: 1). Gets location details, 2). Clicks for directions, or 3). Mobile clicks-to-call.

These ads rank higher on maps and location based searches, so when people get more details that leads them to your storefront and the pay per click associated with it. The reason this is actually a great price is because if someone is doing a local search for something they want to find immediately, and they land on your ad, the likelihood that they will be coming to your store and getting your business is high. Further, this is all going to be measurable since it is tied to Google analytics—you can see if your in-store profit is associated with number of clicks in a given day.

The Takeaway

So far in 2016 there has been a lot of buzz about these changes to Google local searches, and the anticipated results are pretty major for small businesses and corporations alike. Since a third of searches are local, this is really going to be a way to bridge the gap between online marketing/advertisement and physical store spaces. Further, this is going to make a break-through in measuring online to offline analytics.

With Google’s emphasis on mobile users and making things optimized for mobile searches, it is going to be really interesting to see how these changes play out in the months to come!

What do you think about these updates to local searches? Do you plan to partake in advertising in this way? Let us know in the comments section below! We would love to hear from you.

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3 Tips for Using the New “Think With Google” http://www.cafeproje.com/mobile/3-tips-using-new-think-google/ Thu, 14 Jul 2016 15:07:14 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7758 As a part of their new platform, Think With Google offers free testing to see how mobile-friendly your website is—something that has become a quintessential part of the Google platform and overall search rankings. Since mobile optimization is a key part of an SEO strategy, this tool is going to be a great asset to […]

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As a part of their new platform, Think With Google offers free testing to see how mobile-friendly your website is—something that has become a quintessential part of the Google platform and overall search rankings. Since mobile optimization is a key part of an SEO strategy, this tool is going to be a great asset to small businesses.

The homepage of Think With Google allows you to simply copy and paste your home web address to figure out whether or not you’re doing mobile optimization right (or at all). In the example below we use our own web address for The Miami SEO Company:

google-1

Then we reviewed the following results from the tool:

google-2

As you can see above, we are doing very well with mobile friendliness—receiving a score of 99/100! However, we have room to improve our mobile and desktop speed based on Google’s most recent evaluation of our standing as a website. Most business websites can always use a little improvement and by clicking the “Get My Free Report” call to action button, you can see what Google would recommend to make the necessary improvements.

Keep in mind that because this impacts your SEO, this report is an easy way to evaluate your standing and make necessary changes. As Google claims on the Think With Google webpage, people are 5 times more likely to leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly, so make sure that your mobile friendliness (at the very least) is in the “good” category.

Three Tips for Using “Think With Google”

In order to explain how to use Think With Google, and how this could positively impact your SEO, I am going to use a popular website, therollingstone.com, which is a good example of a website that is optimized for mobile, but has work to do in other areas.

Once you enter your website into the search bar (as noted in the screenshot below), Think with Google will run the report for you:

google-3

 

As you can see, The Rolling Stone has excellent mobile friendliness, 100/100. Meaning they are highly optimized for mobile.

google-4

Upon scrolling down to the initial report, you can see that the score gets a “nicely done” from Google.

TIP #1: Optimize for Mobile First!

google-5

If your page does not have a score of “good” this is the first thing that you are going to want to work on. This is really the essential feature of this testing tool, so if you are getting a low score, take a look at the customize report that it provides you and make necessary changes. Here are some examples of things that might be problematic if you are getting a low score.

  • Site design
  • Use of Flash
  • Pop Ups
  • Titles and meta descriptions
  • Local search
  • Responsiveness
  • Coding

The great thing about Think For Google is that rather than trying to optimize everything in the best way possible (although admittedly, that is never a terrible idea) you can actually see what your site is specifically doing wrong in this area.

TIP #2: Consider the Importance of Your Mobile Speed

In the example above, Rolling Stone got a 57/100 on mobile speed with the ranking of “poor.” Your second goal with using Think With Google is to improve this score. Now granted, if you go on Rolling Stone’s website, they have a lot of articles and content to load, which is why the mobile speed is probably on the slower end. What is awesome about these reports, though, is that even when you are in a situation where you have a lot of content or a solid reason that your mobile load time is a little slower, Google will still send you best practice suggestions and pin-point exactly what is causing the delay. From here, you can make changes accordingly.

As the screenshot above explains, nearly 50% of visitors will leave a mobile site that does not load in 3 seconds. That is a whole audience you do not want to be missing out on. Best to make adjustments and at least aim to move your score out of the “poor” category.

TIP #3: Get Your Desktop Speed In-Check

According to an infographic by KissMetrics, the jury is out as to whether users actually expect their desktop to load faster, equal to, or slower than their phone these days. The conclusion: Every second counts, and users expect all mediums to run fast.

As you can see from the third report glimpse we got from Rolling Stone, they need some work on their desktop speed as well:

google-6

Their desktop speed is actually LOWER than their mobile speed, which is kind of surprising and rare. Nonetheless, while many things are shifting towards encouraging mobile optimization, this does not mean that desktop speed isn’t important anymore. According to this report glimpse, 9/10 people claim that they use multiple desktop screens. People want to have quick website loading experiences on their desktop computer; if your site isn’t holding up, this could mean the loss of business or users who follow-through with the actions you want them to.

Decreasing your load time can certainly increase conversions. This means that you could be losing business as an eCommerce company if your desktop load time is not up to snuff.

Using the Think With Google report, you can identify what is not working well with your desktop load time and implement necessary changes, just as you did for mobile. While this tool really is mobile-focused, having a website which works efficiently on all types of devices is going to give you a higher ranking and better SEO in the eyes of Google.

The Takeaway

Google wants web pages to be optimized for user experience. That is why free tools and reports such as the new Think with Google are so valuable to large companies and small businesses alike. We often talk about “optimizing for mobile” or “considering load time” but we rarely have the opportunity to pin-point what the flaw is so accurately.

All Think With Google takes is a website and an email address to email the report. With the report comes all three components which I listed as “tips” in this article. My advice is to start with optimizing for mobile friendliness (this is tip #1 because it should be your top concern), then move to mobile and desktop load times. In the end, there are zero reasons not to use this report to your advantage.

Have you tried out the new Think With Google tool or experienced any of the other features of the new platform that you like? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you!

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Understanding User Behavior for Keyword Performance http://www.cafeproje.com/case-studies/understanding-user-behavior-keyword-performance/ Mon, 11 Jul 2016 11:11:02 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7778 One of the best practices for ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO) is to consider the intention of users behavior based on their previous search queries, because it has a direct correlation to the success of your keyword performance. To best undertake this task, it is ideal to look at users as if you were a […]

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Luis Llenera - UnsplashOne of the best practices for ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO) is to consider the intention of users behavior based on their previous search queries, because it has a direct correlation to the success of your keyword performance.

To best undertake this task, it is ideal to look at users as if you were a psychologist. While under this method of scrutiny, analyzation considers the past websites users have visited and how that will influence future behavior.

For instance, potential buyers who visit search engines often do so with the intention of buying and making their shopping experience convenient. These are normal, everyday type of people we see at work, in the mall, at the airport. They use verbiage related to purchasing, such as “inexpensive,” “buy” and “where can I find,” all with the goal to get the best deal on the product.

Therefore, shouldn’t we make the process as easy as possible for those potential customers? They are certainly lucrative. The answer is yes, and to accomplish this, it is important to set up your company for success. There are two popular methods to accomplish his aim, which are engaging in a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or an SEO campaign.

This article will focus on the latter. And, since our customers are already looking for the best seller of their product, it would behoove us not to employ the best SEO strategies. One of them is including a blog that provides a wealth of knowledge.

The blog accomplishes two strategic objectives: delivering products in a reading friendly manner that ranks for SEO and educating potential customers on the value of various products within the inventory of a company. Use them correctly, adding quality content in a consistent manner that has a recurrent delivery, will increase product loyalty.

The blog articles sprinkle buyer intention keywords within the articles that have been known in increasing sales and better behavior. (Better behavior, according to Sergio Aicardi’s online training course, “can be measured by a longer than average time on site, a higher than average amount of pages per visit or the more obvious one, a better conversion rate.”)

These blog articles provide insight into products customers are searching for in an efficient manner. Not only do the potential customers have a better understanding of how the products work, through their understanding the customer builds brand loyalty; therefore, you can expect multiple purchases from that customer through their lifetime.

Positioning that Takes into Account User Behavior

It’s important to not just offer a consumer a product but to use strategies that will increase the chances of them making the purchase. A common method utilizes the “framing effect,” which is “an example of cognitive bias, in which people react to a particular choice in different ways depending on how it is presented;” and according to NBC News, influences decision making, such as in a recent study.

With 20 volunteers, researchers informed them that when they received a sizable piece of money they could do the following: keep a portion or gamble, or lose a portion or gamble. The former were cautious towards risk; while the latter were more risk-seeking. Those who were more risk-seeking had greater brain activity in their amygdala—the region in the brain where happy emotion is produced.

Data Influences Ecommerce SEO Performance

As this study provides, the method of framing is an important consideration when compiling SEO friendly articles. “The framing effect is something that marketers utilize when creating compelling call to actions or unique selling propositions.”

Benefits of Using Coupons For Your Ecommerce Store2A simple method to provide the framing effect that is popular among companies today is to provide coupons within the articles. For instance, the article can provide that the user will receive 20 percent off of purchases of $100 or more; or savings on various products listed within the site. By providing that 20 percent savings are only available with purchases over $100, inadvertently a price floor is set that the user apply when shopping.

But how did we reach that price floor?

Meticulous handling of data, which is conducted by our company, determines the best pricing decisions. We use real-time data within the articles to determine these price floors. This data is captured through the understanding of past user behavior. Therefore, not only is each keyword carefully considered prior to inclusion, but so is the price amount on the coupon that is inserted within the article.

Understanding User Behavior for Keyword Performance

We want to work with you to create the best campaign that captures value for your customers. A unique and effective approach to is consider information in the way a psychologist does. Done in this manner, the business is place in their best footing moving forward to beat their competition by gaining considerable market share.

Within time, by employing the best ecommerce SEO practices, your business may become first on search engines, or experience increased sales with a successful PPC Campaign. To learn more, visit our blog, which provides a wealth of information.

A second way to receive additional information is to speak with one of our skilled representatives that are extremely knowledgeable on the best SEO and PPC practices. They can be reached at (866) 886-0374. It is important to provide our team with the type of industry you’re in, the your goals you would like to seek with sales and performance, and the type of budget that you have.

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4 Strategies That Lead to Success in SMS Marketing http://www.cafeproje.com/mobile/4-strategies-lead-success-sms-marketing/ Wed, 06 Jul 2016 09:09:52 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7743 Think about how important the role of your cell phone is in your day-to-day life. Do you ever leave home without it? Do you turn to your phone as often as (if not more than) your computer when you need to find information? If you’re like most Americans, your cell phone plays a huge part […]

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Think about how important the role of your cell phone is in your day-to-day life. Do you ever leave home without it? Do you turn to your phone as often as (if not more than) your computer when you need to find information? If you’re like most Americans, your cell phone plays a huge part in how you consume information throughout the day. I know I never leave home without it, because how would I get somewhere without my Google Maps?

More and more people are now using their cell phones to assist in making purchases and researching future purchases as well. Most retail stores, from clothing to sporting equipment to grocery stores and more, have apps you can access from your phone to save money and find coupons and promotional information. There are also a variety of apps, such as RetailMeNot, that you can download to find coupons for the stores closest to you (it uses your location to suggest stores and sales, and sends you push notifications about important promo info for the places you frequent the most). Businesses are also getting more into SMS marketing in order to build up a client base and share important product information.

So what exactly is SMS marketing, and why should you consider adding it to your business plan? Read below to find out.

How SMS Marketing Works

SMS marketing (short messaging service marketing) is a sales technique that uses text messaging to send promotional messages. These promotional messages may include things such as coupons and specials, product updates and information, announcements for an event, etc. Customers have the choice of whether or not to sign up for SMS marketing; if they choose to opt in, they usually have to text a code to a specific phone number, and then their phone number is stored for future use in whatever marketing software the business has chosen to purchase. If they ever want to opt-out, the message will almost always say “Text NO to opt-out of these messages,” or something to that effect.

Why SMS Marketing and Advertising Works

SMS marketing works for a variety of reasons:

  1. It builds up a large database of loyal customers. You can then target this group for specific advertising pitches by sending them promotional info or letting them know of sales in advance.
  2. People prefer these types of ads. In 2016 it is the preferred message of communication for many Americans, and 73% of adults who own cell phones send and receive text messages, according to a study by Pew Research Center. Forbes also published a study that said 60% of consumers prefer SMS marketing to email marketing and push-notification services.
  3. SMS marketing is a very cost-effective form of advertisement because it costs very little to send the messages. You typically pay according to your provider and cell phone plan, which for many includes unlimited texting.
  4. SMS is one of the biggest channels for mobile ads. According to Convince and Convert, although only 65% of Americans own smart phones, 100% of cellphones are SMS enabled, making it one of the biggest channels for mobile advertising.

Strategies for SMS Marketing Success

  1. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Consumers have to opt in to receive SMS marketing, and they also have the choice to opt-out if they’re not happy. Keep in mind you’re probably not the only business that is sending them text messages, so you have to tread lightly. In addition to promo messages, people receive texts alerting them to flight information, bank information, social media updates, and more, so if you’re clogging up their feed by sending too many unnecessary promos, your advertisements are probably going to be the first ones to go.

  1. Do the research to find a good software program.

Because SMS marketing is so popular, there are hundreds of vendors to choose from when you’re trying to figure out which software program will best support your business. So do your due diligence to find out which one will actually work best with your goals, and don’t just choose the first program that looks good. When you’re searching, think about things like: cost, reviews and referrals, ease of use, and compatibility with your CRM, and analytic potential.

Also keep in mind that in order to figure out if your SMS marketing is working, you need to be able to analyze conversions. If your software program doesn’t have this capability, you could be throwing money down the drain. As long as you investigate all these aspects, you’re bound to make a good choice that will result in success for your business. A few great options include SlickText, sumotext, and eztexting.

  1. Be transparent about your intentions.

People don’t want to give up their privacy for just anybody, so make sure your goals are clear. Tell customers what they should expect once they sign up. Give them the option to customize the types and frequency of messages they receive, ie: sales updates once a month, promo information weekly, etc. Accommodate different phone types such as the iPhone and Android, as well as those who may not have a smart phone (yes, there are still people out there who don’t have a smart phone—refer back to the 65% statistic above).

  1. Consider message content, timing, and frequency.

Never forget that people are going to be receiving your messages on their phones, and most likely are going to be responding to them also using a mobile device. Make promotions clear, easy to understand, and easy to obtain. If you send them a link to open, make sure it opens to a site that is compatible with a mobile device (ex: uncluttered, easy to navigate, etc.). Also remember to always include a clear call to action (CTA) because, as with most marketing initiatives, this is how you’re going to track how successful your marketing plan is.

Thinking in terms of timing and frequency, Convince and Convert also reports that over 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes. That means you shouldn’t be sending text messages today about an event that’s happening next week. By the time it happens, your customers will have forgotten all about it. Always consider the immediacy of these messages when you are constructing your message content and thinking about when to send it.

When SMS Marketing Won’t Work

  1. If you rely solely on SMS marketing.

This is a good way to tank your advertising efforts. Always remember SMS marketing is opt in, so you need to pursue other channels as well. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Use SMS marketing along with social media marketing and email marketing, not in place of it.

  1. If you don’t have enough time to devote to creating a successful plan.

If you’ve tried SMS marketing and it hasn’t worked for your business, chances are you didn’t have enough free time to devote to developing and maintaining a successful marketing campaign. SMS marketing isn’t something you can set up once and forget about—you need to constantly be thinking about the types of messages you’re sending out, when you’re sending them out, as well as analyzing the results. This is why this type of marketing is sometimes hard for small businesses to handle; they just don’t have the time and the manpower necessary to make sure it’s successful. Consider this before you spend a lot of time and effort in this realm.

  1. If you’re not personalizing your text messages.

People don’t want to receive the exact same promo in their email, on your business’s Facebook page, as well as in text form on their mobile device. If they can get the same offer on the first 2 channels, what’s the incentive to give up their privacy by providing their phone number to subscribe to SMS marketing? You need to make sure the messages you send out via text are unique and valuable to your consumers.

  1. If you’re spamming your customers.

I know I touched on this above, but I can’t emphasize it enough; if you send out frequent, irrelevant messages your consumers are going to opt out of SMS as quickly as they opted in. Nobody wants a bunch of spam text messages crowding their messages folder. Think about your goals ahead of time and make a plan for how frequently you want to send out messages in order to meet those goals. Chances are, you won’t feel the need to send a text every day if you have a long-term plan in mind. This is something you have complete control over, and your audience will thank you for it with their loyalty.

The Takeaway

SMS marketing campaigns can be hard to get right, but if you put the time and effort necessary into developing them, chances are they’ll pay off for your business in the end. Consider the strategies mentioned above and you should be off to a good start. Take your time planning your strategy and make sure you have the man power to follow this campaign the same way you track your email marketing campaigns, social campaigns, etc.

Has SMS marketing worked for you in the past? Why or why not? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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5 Things You Need to Know about Google’s New AdWords Interface http://www.cafeproje.com/adwords-2/5-things-need-know-googles-new-adwords-interface/ Wed, 22 Jun 2016 08:11:14 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7723 Google has just rolled out their new AdWords interface, and for those looking to improve their online presence, it’s a big deal. Every year Google does their best to update and add new features that are both for desktop and/or mobile interface features. An announcement by Enhancement Campaigns informed the online world that all AdWords […]

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Google has just rolled out their new AdWords interface, and for those looking to improve their online presence, it’s a big deal. Every year Google does their best to update and add new features that are both for desktop and/or mobile interface features. An announcement by Enhancement Campaigns informed the online world that all AdWords updates were now going to be for both mobile and desktop—they would not longer be separate considerations. This was really good news considering Google AdWords is actively used on both types of devices. As a consequence, we also have gotten more types of mobile ad features with each recent update, and luckily this update is no different.

At this point we might even go as far as to say that Google tends to emphasize the importance of mobile use and mobile users. As WordStream points out, this also means that SERP is changing to reflect the favor of mobile users. Consider the following 5 points to help get you up to speed:

  1. Responsive Display Ads

One of the new features that is only going to continue to improve over the course of the year is change to the responsive display ad designs. As a web design company we continually create responsive designs for new and existing websites, but it is a pain to have to create ads for different formats (especially on mobile). Luckily with this update, and future additional updates to come this year, all you will have to do is provide Google with a URL, headline, description, and image, and then Google will create responsive display ads for you. With this, you will now be able to run ads that adapt to the content of the websites they’re on, without having to make all of the adjustments yourself! Below is a screenshot from Wordstream that shows how responsive designs look:

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 9.58.47 AM

  1. Google Shopping Products Feed Specification

May 25th Google announced updates to the Shopping Products Feed Specification in their AdWords update. The specification allows you to input information that Google needs about your products to run even better Shopping ads.

Here is a brief overview of some of the features associated with this specification:

  • Unit Pricing. An update to the way prices are displayed, which will be available for all markets and applicable categories.
  • Color & Size. This update is an attempt to make color and size more consistent to make the shopping experience better for users. This will particularly be enforced for apparel products in Germany, France, Japan, and the UK.
  • Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs). Also of this update, GTINs are required for all products with a GTIN assigned by the manufacturer. GPC is required for all products falling within the ‘Apparel & Accessories’, ‘Media’, and ‘Software’ categories. According to Google, not providing values for the ‘gtin’ or ‘gpc’ attributes will result in item disapprovals.
  • Maximum Image Size. Because ads with higher quality images are proven to be more effective there has been a change to the maximum image size of apparel/non-apparel ads. Requirements for non-apparel products will be increased from 32 x 32 to 100 x 100 pixels & the minimum image size for apparel images will remain 250 x 250 pixels.
  • Maximum Feed File Size. Has increased from 1 GB to 4 GB. Files can either be submitted in compressed or uncompressed format

It is important to note that these updates and changes must be made soon! As of September 1st, 2016, all of the updates, except the GTIN requirement updates, will be required and any product data that doesn’t meet the requirements in the Products Feed Specification will be disapproved. Since Google understands that the GTIN requirements can take more time, this particular update will need to be made by February 14, 2017.

  1. Local Search Ads on Google Maps

With this AdWords update, local search ads are beginning to be incorporated into the Google Maps platform. When someone searched for a local location on Google Maps (to get directions or map where a location is in relation to themselves, for example) the ad can appear as a part of the search result, along with the pin and other information given previously. In the new ads, brand logos and offers will appear directly on the surface of the map, rather than just alongside the map. Take the screenshots below as an example:

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 9.58.04 AM

As you can see, a search for Walgreens resulted in an ad in the search results, alongside of the typical information needed in maps. You can see that the logo is also incorporated into both the location and the business information as well. This is a great way to get customers information about products or sales as they search and intend to come to your location. This ability to add logos and offers is a really nice addition to this AdWords update for businesses.

  1. Expanded Text Ads

As I mentioned in the beginning, Google is really aiming to make updates for a mobile-first world. As such, expanded text ads have been updated to appeal to mobile users. This update has intended to optimize for screen sizes of the most popular smartphones. These new expanded text ads in AdWords provide more ad space so you can showcase more information about your products and services before the click. Here are the key changes Google announced:

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 9.58.17 AM

These features will progressively be rolled out on the AdWords interface was the year goes on, and it is highly recommended that you start planning for how you will want to make changes to you ads. Google said that on early testing, some advertisers have reported increases in click through rates (CTR) of up to 20% compared to current text ads. This could be one of the best interface updates to happen yet this year. Again, it is all about making ads better for mobile users.

  1. Effective Measures of In-Store Conversions

One thing that has been missing is moving from online to offline, or, connecting the online and physical worlds, especially if your business is not a purely ecommerce location! Although Google has considered this important for a while, with this new update, in-store conversions will become more widely available to more types of businesses (where previously it was only available to select businesses). According to Word Stream, 90 percent of sales will happen in stores, as opposed to online—so this is a critical feature to be adding to the new AdWords interface.

How does it work? Google looks at a user’s phone location history to determine whether the person who searched and clicked on your ad ended up walking into the store. You can then take this as a direct link from someone moving from the online to the offline world. Even if they do not make a purchase, your online presence allowed them to discover and walk into your store and that can be taken as an online to offline conversion.

The Takeaway

These are just five of the features that Google AdWords rolled out in their interface this May 2016. Many of these features are only going to get better and further developed as the year goes on, so it is best to look into them and start planning for your ad success now, knowing how these features can help your business.

Are any of these updates particularly exciting for you? Have you looked into any of them since the new update came out a couple of weeks ago? Let us know

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5 Ways to Utilize User Explorer to See the Big Picture http://www.cafeproje.com/analytics/5-ways-utilize-user-explorer-see-big-picture/ Wed, 15 Jun 2016 09:18:58 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7718 When we think about wanting to understand user behavior in a “big picture” kind of way, we typically think to look at aggregate user behavior; however, looking to individual user behavior can actually tell a big picture story as well. While looking at aggregate behavior is important in your analytics to marketing implementation, especially when […]

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When we think about wanting to understand user behavior in a “big picture” kind of way, we typically think to look at aggregate user behavior; however, looking to individual user behavior can actually tell a big picture story as well. While looking at aggregate behavior is important in your analytics to marketing implementation, especially when considering things like large demographic areas, looking to individual user behavior can actually help you in improving aspects that personalize user experience.

There are many times that you might want to gain insight or troubleshoot an individual user experience, and User Explorer, which is a part of the Google Analytics platform, can help you identify these aspects for improving overall experience on your site.

5 Ways to Use User Explorer for Improving Your UX

As a marketing agency, we are constantly interested in ways our clients can use individual client experience to help them improve their website and marketing strategies. Let’s break down some of the ways that User Explorer can be used as a tool to aid in this task.

  1. The User Report

The user report is by-far one of the most powerful tools that User Explorer has to offer. According to Marketing Land, this page provides a ton of very useful information: The page itself shows a list of client IDs collected from visitors’ devices and browsers. It also includes a variety of basic data such as session count (on your website), average duration, bounce rate, revenue, transactions and goal conversion rate, which are of course all valuable to know in relation to individual users.

The individual report for client IDs is also extremely helpful because Google Analytics is able to show the user’s activity history and time-stamps each site interaction. This “client ID view” can be filtered by PageView, Goal, E-Commerce, or event, and individual entries can be clicked for additional data. You’ll see in the screenshot below that you can find this report by visiting Audience>User Explorer.

user-explorer-1

Using this information, you can learn things like what time and the frequency an individual customer visited your site. This kind of visitor information can tell you how users are interacting with your site so that you can transform and tailor experience. This then gets into actually clicking on an individual user.

  1. The Profile Layout

There is so much information for you to gain out of the organization of the profile layout alone when you actually click on a user. In the screenshot below of a user report profile, you can see that there are many valuable details on an individual visitor to your website:

user-explorer-2

  • Client ID and Profile Photo. Keep your clients straight and identified under their own profile name.
  • Number of Sessions. See how many sessions they have participated in on your website.
  • Revenue. See how much they have spent on your E-commerce site. In the above example, we can see it is zero—as such, if this client has not purchases anything yet, then their individual user data might provide insight for improving conversions.
  • Date & Time. If you have a client who in a long-time customer, the user page will allow you to filter by specific date. Also note that there are time stamps for what they have viewed.
  • Acquisition Date. Date they first landed on your site.
  • Acquisition Channel. Discover how they landed on your website in the first place.
  • Device. Are they a mobile or a desktop user? This can make their experience incredibly different! If you realize that more desktop people are converting, for example, you may have a problem with some of your mobile site features.

One thing the profile really does, with all of its explicit features, is paint a very detailed picture of an individual user. Yet, it should also be noted that there is not excessive or unnecessary information. You can see the most important details to help you make an informed understanding about this individual’s experience. If you then, for example, notice a lot of people on mobile devices are having more sessions or not converting, you can take action to improve mobile features. This then helps to improve the “mobile user” experience, a big picture dynamic constructed from individual experiences.

  1. Segmentation to Move from Micro to Macro

As we discovered above, this individual user information can be used to paint a big picture. The segmentation feature can be key in moving from a micro (small) picture to a macro (big) picture.

The screenshot below shows what happens when you click “Add a Segment” to create a segmented page on User Explorer. By using the segmentation feature you can look at features that individual clients have in common, such as products, purchases, actions, events, etc. This can be used when you are observing many individuals exhibiting the same behaviors or trends, to see if there is a macro issue or overall trend occurring.

In the screenshot below, you’ll see that I am choosing to segment by traffic sources. As I continue to segment down, the percentage of users (on the right hand side) fluctuates.

user-explorer-3

  1. Acquisition Channel

I briefly mentioned the acquisition channel in the profile layout, but this is an important point to stress. Each client will include an acquisition channel, this is the channel which is based on the user’s first session ever on your website. This is one of the most important aspects you can associate with user behavior. If you are having more success with conversations with individuals who come from social channels, then it is absolutely time to boost and focus on your social marketing. Similarly, if you noticed people were referred by email, and then successfully made a purchase, then it is definitely time to make big strides in email marketing for your company.

  1. Revenue

If you are an E-commerce business, you want to know who is purchasing your products. These are ultimately the people who have been sold and/or have had positive experiences with your company. If you can look at revenue as just one aspect, in comparison to other aspects, of a users experience, you may be able to figure out why some people are easier to convert than others.

The Takeaway

Looking at individual user behavior has many benefits. In many cases it may simply be to just look at individual user behavior—why were they upset by their experience? Why did they purchase so many times in such a short window? Other times you may have bigger pictures goals in mind, such as improving user experience for those on mobile devices.

The point is that the User Explorer feature adds something really great to Google Analytics, that is, the ability to look at individual users in a detailed manner. From here, you can either look to improve and work with the experience of that one user, a group of users that a user is associated with, or extrapolate out for bigger picture conclusions about user experience on our website.

Do you have experience using User Explorer (in GA) with company’s website? Do you have any questions on this feature? Let us know in the comments section below.

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9 Video Editing Software Platforms Great for Creating Promotional Videos http://www.cafeproje.com/video-production-services/9-video-editing-software-platforms-great-creating-promotional-videos/ Sat, 11 Jun 2016 09:00:01 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7693 Being able to market an awesome video is one thing, but if you’re working at a startup, actually creating that video might fall under your responsibility. You’re the one who really understands creating a message that speaks to the specific audience, so although video production is a whole different animal, you’re still the best person […]

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Being able to market an awesome video is one thing, but if you’re working at a startup, actually creating that video might fall under your responsibility. You’re the one who really understands creating a message that speaks to the specific audience, so although video production is a whole different animal, you’re still the best person for the job.

This is where video-editing software comes into play. Whatever you’re taping, you’re going to need to know how to slice and dice it to create your message. Having this skillset in your back pocket can come in handy when you’re shooting short narratives or covering quick events, so although you may not be creating the main promotional video for your company, you’re the one who can keep video marketing afloat.

A few things to do before you start creating your promotional video:

  1. Goals for your Video. Asking yourself the following questions is important before you actually start filming:
    • Who is the target audience?
    • What tone are you aiming for with your video? Funny? Professional?
    • What action do you want viewers to take after watching your video?
    • What’s your budget?
  2. Plan the video. It’s important to sketch out your ideas for the look and feel of your promotional video. Whichever type of video you decide to create, take the time to plan shots, locations, scripts, etc.
  3. Editing. This is where the software below comes into play.
  4. Distribution. Where will this video be used? Will the video live on your website and be shared through social media? Or will it be used in meetings to stockholders and investors? Is this a video promoting a new program for clients or a video showcasing your employees and your workspace?

Once you’ve answered a few questions about your promotional video and how you plan to shoot, edit and use your video; what software is out there? I’ll focus on free and low-cost options in this article, but you can learn about more advanced options here.

Free Video Editing Software

  1. Windows Movie Maker

Easily one of the most well known video editing software around, Windows Movie Maker is offered for free and already installed as part of the Windows Essentials package with Windows 10. Designed with simplicity in mind, users drag and drop video clips or photos into the app. Soundtracks, captions or credits can be easily added. You can edit your videos into your company’s own unique style and add and edit audio before sharing it online.

moviemaker

  1. iMovie HD

iMovie HD, like Windows Movie Maker, comes with Mac OS products. The product organizes imported videos by events, where users are then able to drag and drop clips into order. Titles, transitions and a soundtrack are easily added, for a simple user experience.

iMovie also offers trailer templates such as Romantic Comedy, Adventure, Drama, etc., which have titles, soundtracks and graphics specific to its genre. Your video seamlessly integrates into iTunes as well, allowing users to import their own soundtracks and enhance those soundtracks in the software.

Slow motion, fast-forward, instant replay, rewind, flash, hold and other enhancing effects come with iMovie HD. Once the video is finished, users export their video to iTunes, where it can be published to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and MobileMe Gallery.

imovie

  1. Blender

I wanted to throw an editing tool that is free and good for animation on this list, and that’s where Blender comes in. This tool is known for its 3D modeling and animation tools, but it is also great for video editing as well. The core tools used for animation are also great to import, cut, splice and blend video, images and audio. Blender offers more intensive tools for color balance, white balance, hue, tonemaps and more.

The tool is available for Windows, Linux and Mac, and is made for professional use. This one may take a little more training to understand and use tactfully, but offers a great deal of features.

blender

  1. DaVinci Resolve

This free video editing tool offers Hollywood-level editing processes with an easy-to-understand interface. It’s well designed to quickly insert, replace or swap edits. One of the best features is Resolve’s ability to automatically match or balance shots – even if they were taken on different cameras!

resolve

Now let’s look at software that comes with a dollar sign.

Low-Cost Video Editing Software

  1. Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate, Price: $114.99

Pinnacle provides a variety of video effects, along with the ability to upload directly to Facebook, Vimeo, Box and YouTube. This is one of the favorite video editing software out there. Pinnacle is also great for stop motion or animated films and provides tons of sound options from the ScoreFitter.

pinnacle

  1. Corel VideoStudio Pro X9, Price: $79.99

Corel VideoStudio offers great video editing from one camera or multiple. They offer more than 1,500 effects, titles and templates that can be edited freely. VideoStudio is also a great option for stop-motion and animated videos. The features are usable for all levels of video expertise. Quick and easy videos can be made with the FastFlick feature, where you replace the placeholder media with your own video or images. Slideshows can also be made quickly, easily and look professional with the Capture, Edit, Share Workspace.

corel

  1. Final Cut Pro, Price: $299.99

Pricier than the rest, Apple’s Final Cut Pro offers revamped editing software for faster performance, great organizational tools and powerful multi-cam support. There is also an option to customize your default settings to set shortcut presets for video and audio.

finalcut

  1. Adobe Premiere Elements 14, Price: $79.99

Premiere’s recognizable platform allows users to enhance and brighten videos with new effects, transitions, themes and more. Organization, editing and sharing has never been easier. Organization your clips with labels, folders and search so you can easily find and edit with the expert guidance of the platform. You can share your creations on a disc, HDTV, YouTube and Facebook quickly and easily.

premiere

  1. AVS Video Editor, Price: $59

AVS supports multiple video formats, making it easy to combine videos from different cameras, computers and smartphones. It offers more than 670 video transitions and effects, 46 text options and 34 templates for disc menus, you can enhance your movie quickly and easily. AVS is a great product for new or intermediate videographers who want great effects and enhancements with a speedy interface and lower price tag. This was personally the first editing software we used as an email marketing agency because it allowed for all of the Founders to collaborate together despite working with different phones and technology.

avs

Of course these are just a few of the options available, but if you’re a beginner (or rather, a marketer and not a video producer), these are great options to start with. If you have experience in made-easy video editing, let us know your story and what software you use in the comment section below.

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Ecommerce SEO is for Ambitious Businesses http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/ecommerce-seo-ambitious-businesses/ Tue, 07 Jun 2016 08:09:23 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7708 To rank first on Google is neither simple nor easy, as the competition in the market place often has similar goals. Ecommerce SEO is for ambitious businesses who don’t necessarily just work hard and for long hours—these businesses work smart. According to Google’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide, following best practices make it easier […]

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Benjamin Child -- Unsplash

To rank first on Google is neither simple nor easy, as the competition in the market place often has similar goals. Ecommerce SEO is for ambitious businesses who don’t necessarily just work hard and for long hours—these businesses work smart.

According to Google’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide, following best practices make it easier for search engines to understand, crawl and index the content on a website. As the guide and an expert ecommerce SEO company would point out, decisions for the site should first be crafted as to providing the best value for the visitors of the site.

For instance, a company that sells cars should ensure that their website revolves around accessing inventory and reviewing specs. As the core products are provided, the presentation of those products and information on the company can then be designed in such a way to be synonymous with excellent SEO. Consider the following:

They’re [the users] the main consumers of your content and are using search engines to find your work. Focusing too hard on specific tweaks to gain ranking in the organic results of search engines may not deliver the desired results. Search engine optimization is about putting your site’s best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.

As a reminder, SEO affects organic search results, not the sponsored content that show up on Google searches. What this means—and keeping with the example of a car company—is that if Daniel Jimenez is looking for a car, the most common starting point is to search on Google. On the Google search engine, Jimenez types “New Hybrid Sports Cars,” which provides the following results:?Google Search Results

The small “Ad” labels are the sponsored content. However, beginning with “8 of the Best Hybrid Sports Cars for 2015,” are the organic search results. An expert ecommerce SEO company can tell you that being the first result takes patience and consistency.

Rules to Implement

To begin, an ambitious company should ensure that their basics are covered, which consists of creating accurate and unique page titles, and to utilize the meta tag.

For the former, page titles should be unique on each page of the site as they inform both search engines and users the topic of a page, and show up as relevant pages to various search results. Best title practices should “accurately describe the page’s content, create unique title tags for each page,” and “use brief, but descriptive titles.”

While for the latter, meta tags are often used as snippets from website pages, as they provide search engines a brief summary as to the contents of the page. Meta tags should be brief, about two or three sentences that are direct. Best practices are to “accurately summarize the page’s content,” and “use unique descriptions for each page.”

Another important rule to implement is navigation, as it helps visitors to a website locate the content they want, and reliably shows search engines a hierarchy of the information that is covered on the website. When considering navigation, the best ecommerce SEO company would tell you that it is important to carefully choose the root or home page. This is often a general page that welcomes users to the site, while also providing an avenue to access more specific content.

william Iven -- unsplashRegardless of the page, there should also be a breadcrumb list, which often are on the upper most left or right side of the page that leads visitors to previous pages or the root page. Best practices to consider are to “create a naturally flowing hierarchy,” and to “use mostly text for navigation.”

Lastly, and among the most important rules to consider is to offer excellent content as word-of-mouth buzz builds a positive reputation, naturally improving SEO, depending upon the content. The content should compel a user to want to return to the site, tell their friends, and build brand loyalty. While this sounds difficult, it is possible to accomplish with the help of an expert ecommerce SEO company.

Some things to consider are that within content, keywords should be mixed as this accounts to various search behavior. Other best practices include writing “easy-to-read text; stay organized around the topic; create fresh, unique content; create content primarily for your users, not search engines;” and include anchor text to describe a page and how it relates in the larger picture.

Employee a Company that has Experience with Ecommerce SEO

This article shouldn’t be used as the sole source of information on the best ecommerce SEO practices; rather, as a starting point to improve organic rankings on search engines. To learn more, our blog provides a wealth of additional information; alternatively, simply contact our company where a member from our team can answer any question that you may have on SEO ecommerce. Our number is (786) 375-9981 and we’re open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

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25.778994-80.19522325.778994 -80.195223Miami, FL, United States
An In-Depth Look at How to Use and How Not to Use Broad Match Keywords http://www.cafeproje.com/adwords-2/depth-look-use-not-use-broad-match-keywords/ Tue, 31 May 2016 04:04:43 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7686 It seems as though 50% or more of the new accounts we get as a marketing agency all have one common pitfall—they use broad match keywords incorrectly. Broad match keywords allows Google’s algorithm to arbitrarily show your ad for “related keywords.” According to the Google AdWords website, broad match lets a keyword trigger your ad […]

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It seems as though 50% or more of the new accounts we get as a marketing agency all have one common pitfall—they use broad match keywords incorrectly. Broad match keywords allows Google’s algorithm to arbitrarily show your ad for “related keywords.” According to the Google AdWords website, broad match lets a keyword trigger your ad to show whenever someone searches for that phrase, similar phrases, singular or plural forms, misspellings, synonyms, stemmings (for example, floor and flooring), related searches, and other relevant variations.

Although it may work in some instances, in others it will cause you to spend a lot of money and see few results. The worst part is that this can be a tough thing to spot if you’re new to AdWords. Regardless, whether you’re a veteran or a novice, consider some of the following best practices and examples to understand how it all works.

A Quick Example of Broad Match Keywords Gone Wrong

We recently took a look at a customs broker’s account after he told us “I’m managing my AdWords account and I think I’m doing a good job…”. Within 5 minutes the issue was clear: he had the keyword “custom broker” in broad match setup with a high bid. This was causing search terms like the following to serve:

“custom cars”

“custom shoes”

“custom clothes”

The screenshot below shows some of these search terms and the data associated with them in this specific example:

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 8.08.00 PM

Of course a custom broken does not need to have his ads showing up for searches like “custom clothes, but not all hope is totally lost with broad match terms—there are ways that you can use them and have them be more effective modifiers for your AdWords business account.

How and When to Use Broad Match Keywords Correctly

A broad match keyword is okay to use if you have modifiers, which are plus signs appended to beginning of words in a search query which you want include as a required word. The below example is a broad match modified version of the keywords our client would have wanted to use:

+custom +broker

We changed the broad match keyword to the above keyword and VUA LA. Now he’s getting calls left and right. The moral of the story is that while broad match keywords are good to use in certain circumstances, there is a very specific way that you need to have them in order to be effective.

There are a few different keyword match types to check out, but we are going to focus on broad match keywords below (and I’ll briefly address modified broad match keywords towards the end of the article).

3 Reasons Why you Should Use Broad Match Keywords (Correctly)

Despite the fact that there is a common misconception suggesting that using broad match keywords will give you significant amounts of unqualified traffic (hence the example above), this is not the case when you use them correctly. There are three positive effects of broad match keywords you should consider:

  1. Increase Your Traffic. Working with keywords, and specifically, broad match keywords can increase traffic associated with your campaigns. The point I want to emphasize is that, if done correctly, adding broad match keywords can be helpful in your AdWords campaigns; especially if you’re spending time and money ramping up bids on exact and phrase match keywords. In many cases it may end up being more cost effective to implement some broad match keywords.
  2. Build Brand Awareness. Broad match keywords can be extremely effective way to build brand awareness (as the case study in the introduction showed, once they are implemented correctly and efficiently). If improving awareness is one of your PPC goals, they certainly allow you to reach a wider audience and get your name out in front of more people.
  3. Discover Key Words. Using broad match keywords allows you to target and identify new keywords for your campaigns. This is partially because have a wider target audience than exact and phrase match key words do.

Keep up with Search Query Reports in AdWords

When you are using broad match keywords, you want to be sure to keep up with the search query reports in AdWords. This will allow you to see what user searches triggered your ads specifically, and from here you can identify new long-tail keywords or different keyword phrase variations to use.

Another aspect of the search query report is that it also points out any typos or misspellings that may occur in your broad match keywords. You should be implementing “misspellings” in every PPC account, as there are many different types of variations that can be identified through search query reports.

To view your Search terms report:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Click the Keywords tab.
  4. Click the Search terms button.
  5. You’ll see data on which search terms triggered impressions and clicks. To download the data in a report, click the download button. The screenshot below shows how it works:

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 8.22.38 PM

Negative Keywords to Aid Broad Match Keywords

Nine times out of ten, using negative keywords is generally a huge positive when working with broad match keywords. For many businesses, the best way to keep things in order and working in your favor is through the consistent application of negative keywords on a regular basis.

Below are a few case study examples that show problems that can occur when negative keywords are not implemented:

A nursing degree program: the keyword “nursing school” brought in queries for mothers learning how to nurse/ nursing their children.

A men’s clothing retailer: the broad match keyword “men’s pants” brought in searches for “knife money clips”. Or the broad match keyword “men’s boxers” brought in search queries for “photos of old men in underwear.” (The number of things that can go wrong should be totally clear).

In the case study examples addressed in the PPC Hero article, it is clear how these broad match keywords could have run up an enormous bill without immediate action.

Account Structure & Broad Match Keywords

As the case study in the beginning of this article suggested, there are ways of strutting accounts that help to prevent some of the mishaps with broad match keywords. There are really two different ways that you can structure your account in order to control your broad match keywords more effectively:

  1. Ad group-level match type segmentation. The first option is segmenting out your ad groups by “match type,” which means you will basically be tripping the number of ads you’ll be implementing in an account. This can be slightly overwhelming if you are not prepared, however, as I mentioned in the section above, negative keywords are absolutely going to be your best friend here. Segmenting your ad groups by match type allows you to make use of embedded negatives; this will resolve any issues with your broad match terms messing with your phrase and exact match keywords. For the record, it seems to be the consensus amongst search experts that this is the structure to go with.
  2. Campaign-level match type segmentation. Luckily, you can also use embedded negatives with campaign-level match segmentation. With this structure, you are also able to control your broad match spending with campaign-level budgets. However, similarly to what occurs at the ad-group level match type, you are also doubling and/or tripling the amount of campaigns under your management—so you need to be prepared for greater accuracy but much higher volume of work to deal with.

What is with “Modified” Broad Match Keywords?

Since this article focuses on broad match keywords, I am not going to drag the point out too much, but basically last year Google rolled out modified broad match keywords. You may want to consider making use of these purely because they allow for a greater accuracy and precision than do broad match keywords. You have a much greater control of search queries and they function much better for branded key terms.

A case study that compared broad match keywords to modified broad match keywords showed some important aspects of modified broad match keywords:

  • Result #1: modified broad match keywords significantly reduced the impressions the ads received. With a 4,000 drop in impressions, clicks were not impacted whatsoever. This shows that modified broad keywords reduce the number of times an ad is shown with irrelevant search queries.
  • Result #2: Click through rate increased significantly (an improved CTR is always great, but this is also more cost-effective).
  • Result #3: The cost-per-click was actually not different for the two groups (broad match and modified broad match). However, because ads were being shown to more relevant audiences with modified broad match, this actually did affect the value of the two.
  • Result #4: No difference in effect on the conversion metrics.

So what is the takeaway here? It is probably best to give modified broad match keywords a try since they are a fairly new feature of Google AdWords, and clearly have some positive impact on search query results and online marketing in general.

The Takeaway

In the end, broad match modifiers are a positive thing to implement, but with limitations. There is a specific way that you need to implement them in order for them to be effective. In the case study we started out with, it was simply refining the “+” in the search terms listed. Making use of negative keywords and account structure features can also play an extremely positive impact. Remember, there are may positive reasons to use broad match keywords such as increasing traffic, building brand awareness, and discovering keywords. At the end of the day, after learning all of this information and how positive broad match keywords are, you might also want to consider paying special attention to “modified” broad match keywords, with all of the benefits of specificity and targeted results that come along with them.

Do you have any experience with using broad match keywords on AdWords? Did you have to make any changes or try anything new after this article? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you!

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Effective Email Marketing for the 21st Century Business http://www.cafeproje.com/email-marketing/effective-email-marketing-21st-century-business/ Wed, 25 May 2016 11:11:17 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7670 Effective email marketing for the 21st century business need not be difficult nor confusing. In fact, having excellent ROI on email marketing efforts is possible as long as a few simple rules are practiced. Our company is the best email marketing company in Miami and the tips and information that this article will provide are […]

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Effective email marketing for the 21st century business need not be difficult nor confusing. In fact, having excellent ROI on email marketing efforts is possible as long as a few simple rules are practiced.

Our company is the best email marketing company in Miami and the tips and information that this article will provide are strategies that we actively employ on behalf of our clients. These tips and information are simple to implement — the difficult part is to be patient while the positive results come in.

Strategies for Email Marketing

Email marketing should be strategically designed so as each email to a potential customer is catered to their needs, rather than sending a broad umbrella of information. Often, this can be done by segmenting the email addresses collected by providing a few brief questions when the customer signs up.

For instance, in the clothing industry, if the customer is a woman, it would make the most sense to send her products that are most popular among women in style; rather than sending her an email that includes products for children and adult males.

A recent study from Exane BNP Paribas and ContactLab, The Dawn of Luxury CRM: Email do’s and don’ts, followed luxury brands and determined that their engagement with customers can be improved. The author, Marco Pozzi, said the following about the research:

The fact is that luxury brands have a lot more work to do in engaging their customer through email. Achieving customer segmentation will always be a challenge but there remains a lot of room for luxury brands to differentiate in their emails and create more personalized campaigns. Simply sending generic content and treating all customers as one does not build a relationship with customers. Customer shopping habits have changed and they expect an integration of different channels as part of the omni-channel experience.

The part that is lacking, as Pozzi points out, is personalizing the campaigns to the customers.

Understanding the Millennials

To best personalize campaigns, knowing the customer and taking careful analysis and comprehension of their needs and desires is imperative. An emerging group in society today are millennials. According to research firm FutureCast, there are 6.2 million millennial households that earn over $100,000 per year, who are likely to spend $1.4 trillion annually by 2020.

Photo by Josh Felise - UnsplashThis is big business and monetizing email marketing to millennials is important for efficient and effective marketing in the 21st century. There are several key points to take away from this generation. One, for instance, is that millennials prefer new and interesting experiences over the collection of various things.

For instance, backpacking through Europe after college is preferable to purchasing a unique painting. That experience of going from one country to another, with their best friends, trying the various cuisines, and sharing their fun on Facebook has high value. Alternatively, so is attending the latest art event or the headline concert. The content of the emails should be organized around this.

Another factor to take into consideration is the preference millennials have towards artist appreciation over art appreciation. Discovering an artist with a viral social media feed that resonates with the person is preferable to a famous artist they do not know who may have art work hanging in a museum. The connection is the important part to take away. Having discovered an artist whose style speaks to them encourages the millennial to purchase several pieces of their art and follow their career.

The same could be said about their preference for one brand over another. The way the brand represents themselves is key criteria to whether or not they will purchase their products consistently throughout their lifetimes. High value is placed on rebranding their services and products to maintain the interest of millennials.

Using Pertinent Information for Email Marketing Campaigns

bkk_mockupAll of this information is imperative to consider for effective email marketing. When designing the information within the emails, for instance, rebranding the email every couple of months is known to help in the success of that campaign. According to the Direct Marketing Association, for every dollar spent on advertising, between $43 to $70 is returned.

However, if the email, from lack of engagement is marked as spam, then the company losses out on a tremendous revenue opportunity. It is best to send one to six emails per week. Within these emails, it is important to have a focused and compelling subject line that also avoids all caps.

According to the Nielsen Norman Group, 80 percent of users only scan email messages. Having quality content and presenting that quality content in a format that is eye catching is imperative to the success of the email. Bold images, strong headlines, and a clear and concise call to action should be used.

One of the most important tricks for the best email marketing campaigns is to ensure that the content sent is responsive, thereby optimizing it for mobile. What this means is that the content adjusts well to variety of screens, such as to a large computer monitor or a small smartphone screen. The latter is especially important, as the number of users accessing email via their smartphones is estimated to increase in the future.

Responsive emails will adjust the text to a readable size. It will also format all the material to best fit the screen of the device. In addition, the email will load more quickly if it is responsive to the device that the recipient is using.

Assistance from the Best Email Marketing Company in Miami

For more information on the best email marketing practices, visit our blog where we provide a wealth of information. Alternatively, to speak with one of our skilled representatives, who can provide answers to any question you may have, while personalizing the answer to your business, call us at (866) 886-0374. We’re open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

To further personalize and improve the customer service our skilled representatives provide, fill out our brief questionnaire by visiting: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_jWSSwR1TbLQpHAyIq4CHPQHkR7c5hWCIPvIUESIfJA/viewform. This allows our team to have a better grasp on the goals and values of your company.

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How to Use an Exit Overlay to Help Boost Your Subscriber List http://www.cafeproje.com/uncategorized/use-exit-overlay-help-boost-subscriber-list/ Wed, 25 May 2016 09:24:46 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7635 Think of all the reasons you might leave a website. The site itself is complicated and difficult to navigate? The content wasn’t what you thought it would be? You got distracted and told yourself you would come back, and then you never did? These are all common examples of why 3 quarters of people leave […]

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Think of all the reasons you might leave a website. The site itself is complicated and difficult to navigate? The content wasn’t what you thought it would be? You got distracted and told yourself you would come back, and then you never did? These are all common examples of why 3 quarters of people leave a website intending to return and take action, and yet less than one third of them ever actually do this.

This is a big problem for online businesses that depend on users to convert once they’ve visited a site, and who spend big bucks on advertising in order to make this happen. It’s a huge blow to companies to have so many people click on advertisements, visit a site, and then leave without ever subscribing or making a purchase, never to return again. So what’s the answer? How can you prevent this from happening to your business website? Two words: Exit Overlay.

overlay-1

An example of an Exit Overlay by KissMetrics

What is an Exit Overlay and How Does It Work?

An exit overlay is a popup that appears in the same window that a person is browsing in, as opposed to a different window like a traditional popup. The point of it is to persuade users not to leave the site, and instead draw them in with promotions, sign ups, and other leads. The rest of the window becomes dark so that you only focus on the overlay that has appeared. For example, below is one example from Get Rooster that appeared while I was doing research for this article:

overlay-2

It included a call-to-action (“Get My Free Guide”) and a promise of a free product if I signed up with my email address.

Exit overlays generally appear when a site’s algorithm detects that the user may leave the website, usually based on time on the webpage. The tracking algorithm detects mouse movements, pauses, and other gestures that may suggest that a user plans to abandon the website. That’s when the overlay appears and tries to draw the consumer back in.

Why Exit Overlays Matter and How to Be Successful?

According to Fireclick, 70-95% of your website users will leave the site without making a purchase or otherwise performing an action that you would like. This is a huge percentage that results in a major loss of revenue over an extended period of time. Thus, it could be extremely helpful to enact exit overlays in your site to try to decrease that number and encourage users to make a conversion. They generally stay out of the way of users who are already taking an action, such as making a purchase, and so they target the users you want and make your marketing more efficient.

Exit Overlays are generally affordable, and because they run off an algorithm, they are mostly automatic and require very little of your own time and effort once they are created. They’re an easy and cost-effective way to keep consumers on your site for a little while longer in hope that they will take a desired action, as long as they are done correctly (more on this in the next section). When done wrong, they do little more than annoy your users and encourage them to leave your site.

So now that you know what they are and why they’re important, here are some tips for how you can make exit overlays work for you and your business in order to boost your subscriber list and keep visitors on your site longer.

Determine what your audience values

Your exit overlay should tap into an offer and/or product that is already popular with your users. Use Google Analytics or another conversion tracking tool to determine what your users are looking for. Then, make sure your offer is clear and to the point. Before a consumer is going to give up their email address, they need to understand perfectly what they are getting in return.

overaly-3

For example, the overlay on the bottom of this Express website clearly states that if you enter your email address, you will receive alerts and offers for promotions in the future. Then it gives you the option to choose whether you want these offers to be for men’s clothing or women’s. There is no confusion about what the user will be getting in exchange for their email address, and more than likely Express used some kind of tracking tool to figure out that their audience values coupons for their products.

If you need extra help, our marketing agency The Miami SEO Company can help you learn more about reading email marketing and other metrics to better test your exit overlay messages.

Figure out what kind of offers work best with your website traffic

Once you’ve analyzed your audience with a tracking tool and determined what you think will be popular with them, test it out. Don’t be afraid to use trial and error a few times in order to get it right. If promising a money-off coupon in exchange for an email address isn’t working, then change it to something else. Perhaps your users are looking for more of a long-term offer, such as reward points every month for spending a certain amount of money. Whatever it is, get to know your audience and then be flexible about what you choose to offer them. An extensive subscriber list is a valuable marketing tool, and it will take time to build up. Be patient and don’t expect it to happen over night.

Put thought into the design of the overlay

How big should it be? What should the headline say and look like? These are important questions to consider when designing an overlay because they will directly impact the effectiveness of the marketing tool. It should look good and be consistent with the rest of your site so that your audience doesn’t mistake it for an outside advertisement.

Put your overlay on high traffic pages

Did I mention that Google Analytics is an incredibly important tool? They have a wonderful option that allows you to run a traffic report for the last 12 months so you can see what pages your users visit the most. Most likely this will be your home page, landing page, and main product pages. A Google Analytics traffic report exported to an Excel spreadsheet might look something like this one from Next Analytics:

analytics

Don’t waste an exit overlay on a page that doesn’t generate a lot of traffic. It will be a waste of time for you, and for your consumers. Then use the valuable data you gathered before to determine what types of offers these people are looking for and what they are willing to give up their email address in exchange for.

Know when to activate your overlay

According to KissMetrics, there are 5 good ways to activate an overlay:

  • Upon entry
  • Upon exit
  • After “x” number of page views
  • Scroll-activated
  • Time-activated

What you don’t want to do is screw up the timing for your overlay and instead of driving an action, you scare away a potential subscriber. Overlays can be very beneficial when used correctly, and very annoying to users and detrimental to your site when used incorrectly. In order to determine what works best for your site and your customers, you will need to test out the above timing options. Analyze your results and go from there! Don’t be afraid to make changes if something isn’t working.

Refresh your offer over time

Optimization is key for online marketing, and it’s no different for exit overlays. Make sure you’re up-to-date on current trends; your overlay should reflect that. Continue to analyze your audience and determine what they’re looking for when they access your site. If you audience isn’t converting anymore, run tests to figure out why and then do something about it. Eventually your first offer is going to get old and need to be refreshed in order to maintain effectiveness, especially if you have people continuously visiting your site (which is the whole purpose, right?) So know your competitors, learn from what they’re doing right (and what they’re doing wrong) and use this knowledge to your benefit (and the benefits of your consumers).

If you follow these important tips, you should have a sizeable subscriber list in no time! This should in turn increase your conversions, and thus improve the success of your business! Have you used an exit overlay before? Did it work for you? Do you know any other tips that might be helpful? Comment in the section below!

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Review of the “Shopper Approved” Review Platform http://www.cafeproje.com/e-commerce/review-shopper-approved-review-platform/ Thu, 19 May 2016 09:28:27 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7622 In 2016, in order to present the best image of your Ecommerce business you need to have customer reviews, and you’ll want to collect a few different types of reviews including merchant reviews, product reviews, and local reviews (and if you don’t believe me, check out this article). This is where the platform Shopper Approved […]

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In 2016, in order to present the best image of your Ecommerce business you need to have customer reviews, and you’ll want to collect a few different types of reviews including merchant reviews, product reviews, and local reviews (and if you don’t believe me, check out this article). This is where the platform Shopper Approved comes into play. Shopper Approved is a software that can help you add all of these different types of reviews to your existing website. Not only that, but they also offer a risk free trial so that you can test the waters and see how it works for your own customers and existing client base.

shopper-approved

The three types of reviews they focus on include:

Merchant reviews. Online merchants can collect reviews based on customer’s shopping experience (this is key for Ecommerce sites).

Product reviews. This allows you to collect reviews for specific products and services that you offer on your site.

Local reviews. If you are a location-based merchant, you can collect reviews offline and bring them online for others to view on your website.

As a marketing company especially concerned with Ecommerce, Shopper Approved is definitely one of the best review products we’ve found available. Check out some of the reasons that Shopper Approved is a solid choice for your company below and why we recommend it to others so often:

Top Reasons to?Choose Shopper Approved

There are several top reasons why choosing Shopper Approved over other software is a smart idea, so let’s delve into 5 of them:

#1 Increase your number of reviews

So what is the point of having a review platform if you never have customers provide you with feedback? Shopper Approved claims that they can collect 70x (!) more reviews than their competitors. That translates to about 42% of your customers providing feedback on their experience shopping with you.

#2 You gain access to a large distribution network

Reviews are great to have available on your website, but they really mean nothing if they aren’t going to improve your SEO and be available for the world to see. Shopper Review has access to an extensive distribution network: Google, Yahoo, Bing, Citysearch, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. They also have a Google Rich Snippet/Schema code that allows you to add 5-Star ratings directly to your own domain name in organic search listings, along with an API for advanced integration. With these aspects being so important for product reviews, it is an area that you just should not compromise.

#3 Customizable surveys

The review surveys (for all three types of reviews) are extremely customizable, which makes matching and integrating with your existing site incredibly easy, but it also means that you can collect the kind of information that you want to collect. By being able to change certain aspects or ask the questions you really want to ask, you can understand your customers better and really make improvements where it counts.

#4 Video testimonials

Video testimonials can seem untouchable if you’re a new business, because it can be hard to organize and publish, but Shopper Approved can do it all for you. With all of the talk about making product/service pages more unique and optimized with content, this is something that you absolutely should not be missing out on. Shopper Approved is the only review company that actually collects and allows users to upload video testimonials. Not to mention, once you approve a video, it automatically syncs directly to your YouTube and Google+ accounts. They are also frequently displayed in Google Organic and Google Video listings.

For one, this takes a load of pressure on placing your video testimonials elsewhere once you get them (or asking for them in the first place, which was really the only option before this software incorporated it), but secondly, it also assures that your video testimonials are in as many places as possible for other users to see and hear great things about your company.

A word of video caution. Now, as much as I love this feature, there could be a downfall. It is one thing to have a customer give you less than five stars or go on a comment rant when they are unsatisfied with your product or services, but can you imagine them taking to a video testimonial for a negative review? This could well be the reason no other company has dared give customers this option. However, that being noted, I do think the positive review possibilities are well worth the risk. Hopefully Shopper Approved will acknowledge this possibility soon and create a solution. If not, negative video reviews could become a funny trend o the Internet.

#5 Best pricing

In the top five reason s that Shopper Approved is one of the best, it is nice that we are able to say that in addition to all of its other awesome features it also is the best priced in the industry. They are really upfront and transparent with their pricing. Moreover, their Pay-As-You-Grow model has given many companies the opportunity to easily and affordably collect customer ratings and reviews as their business grows over time, rather than having to invest a hefty amount up front.

shopper-approved-prices

#6: Extra: They give back

On their website you can find even more reasons that their company is one worth choosing. One of our favorite features is that they are a company with a lot of integrity as well—they give back to through the World Teacher Aid foundation, and have helped to feed and educate nearly 1,000 children to date. In addition to all of the awesome features you get with the software, you also know that you money is going to a company that cares about the global community.

The Takeaway

Customer reviews are a really important feature in Ecommerce, and especially as content for product/services pages. Plus, the benefits for SEO and visible reviews on other platforms is becoming essential in website success as well. Shopper Approved has the ability to pull the most reviews, customize surveys to fit the needs of your site, and gain access to a large distribution network. It also allows for the ability to have your customers provide video testimonials (so long as they don’t decide to go on a viral-worthy rampage) and Shopper Approved has the best prices, by far, of the entire review software industry. Again there are several other cool features the platform offers, so give it a free trial.

Do you have experience with Shopper Approved? What are the most important necessities for you in choosing a review software platform? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to get your feedback!

*Note: We received no compensation or request from Shopper Approved for this review. We genuinely enjoy the platform and wanted to share our experience.

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The Best Content Marketing Practices to that Expert E-Commerce Companies Use to Beat Competitors http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/best-content-marketing-practices-expert-e-commerce-companies-use-beat-competitors/ Sun, 15 May 2016 09:30:34 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7644 The rules for communicating your business online to the public at large can be perfected with a company that has experience with ecommerce SEO. The best content marketing practices that expert e-commerce companies use to beat competitors will fatten your bottom line in the long-term. What these practices are and the best methods of their […]

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Checklist for SEO E-Commerce WritingThe rules for communicating your business online to the public at large can be perfected with a company that has experience with ecommerce SEO. The best content marketing practices that expert e-commerce companies use to beat competitors will fatten your bottom line in the long-term. What these practices are and the best methods of their implementation will be explained in brief within this article, focusing on their implementation in WordPress.

Most often, content that is shared with the public is utilized within WordPress. For the SEO novice, WordPress can come across as a scary site. Seasoned users seamlessly publish high quality content that is search engine friendly, but how do they do it? Let’s take a closer look.

WordPress Best Practices

To begin with, the content should have a page title. For both the audience and the search engine crawler, the page title provides briefly what the content in the article will be about. When selecting a page title, it is important to keep in mind that it is less than 65 characters and contains relevant keywords on the subject the content relates to.

Secondly, after providing the page title, a meta description follows, which is a short description of what the article is about in 160 characters or less. The meta description is geared more towards the person than the search engine crawler, thereby should be unique and to the point —?writing in the meta description shouldn’t shuffle keywords because of this.

Now to the bread-and-butter, which is the content. At the minimum, content should be at least 300 words in length. Content is something that you can’t fake, and the traffic you receive is often based upon the quality of content. Common rules of writing should be employed, such as providing interesting and relevant material in a readable and engaging way. It is important to also maintain the brand voice throughout the website, which includes the content of new aritcles, giving the writing a signature feeling.

An expert ecommerce SEO company would recommend including product benefits within these articles. This improves the likelihood that the customer will purchase from your company. The logic is that if the customer is on your site, they most likely are interested in purchasing product from your company; therefore, make it easy for them.

One of the best methods of providing quality content is by including information that is both shareable and unique. Often, writers will grab content from one site, piece it into their content, find another site, then piece that content in as well. Truly unique content, such as including your personal experience and testimonials from past and current clients, is preferable to provide.

For instance, Andrew Fatalo, owner of Mobility Scooters Direct, employs our company to assist in their company’s content production. Mobility Scooters Direct is the place to go for people who need assistance in traveling from one place to another, whether it be due to past injuries or morbid obesity. Fatalo’s company has spectacular customer satisfaction, and to showcase this to visitors of his site, we interviewed past customers and told their stories.

Julio was one of these people. He suffered an ankle injury and needed a travel mobility scooter. Due to his advanced age, it took him longer than expected to recover, but he didn’t sacrifice in transportation due to the mobility scooter he purchased from Fatalo’s company. Julio loved his product, shared it with many friends and work colleagues, and also appeared in a video on the site. Telling a story of past customer’s satisfaction provides credibility and allows potential customers to emphasize with previous clients.

Additionally, it is important to reread the document. It is important that the content follow good writing practices. A time tested method is to do so out loud to check for grammar. Alternatively, writing content in the inverted pyramid form will add credibility because it makes it easier to browse the content. As you scan over the content, separate information by including titles within the content as well. By providing a title or headers to separate different sections, it is easier for the reader to comprehend what you are writing and for the search engine crawler to understand key points, thereby ranking your article higher on search engines.

Having finished writing the content, consider adding photos that visually aid in article comprehension. If you do not have any photos, there are many websites that provide free photos that can be utilized. Using photos without permission can land you in trouble and is not a recommended method. Once you’ve selected the photos, ensure that ALT tags are provided, which describe the image, specifically for people who use screen readers like the blind.

After having done that, include internal links within the article. Ideally, you will want to include at least three that point to important pages on your site. It is recommended to place these links on keywords. This also aids in the goal of ranking page one on Google or other search engines.

Hire an Expert E-Commerce Company

ecommerce seo servicesRegardless of the size of the company, our team of experts can help. We use proven stratigies to increase conversions on the website. Our decisions are guided by concrete data that we have acquired from various software. As we carefully analyze your site, we are also able to pin point opportunities to increase untapped revenues.

We encourage you to give our company a call today — our number is (866) 886-0374. We’re open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST. When speaking with one of our skilled representatives, we recommend discussing your previous history, the foundation and values of your company, the best and worst preforming products, competitors and goals. As we learn more, we can provide you with the best service that you deserve. No question is a bad question, and feel free to ask our team for answers on the most difficult issues your company is facing. Customer service is paramount to our success — as of this article, we have a 4.9 rating on Google — as we value each and every client as family.

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How to Use Justuno Exit Prevention Pop Up Software to Earn Conversions http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/use-justuno-exit-prevention-pop-software-earn-conversions/ Wed, 11 May 2016 09:36:34 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7616 Justuno is a platform that specializes in conversion rate optimization and has the goal of using analytics to improve your site to help grow your email subscribers, reduce cart abandonment, and increase your sales conversion. One of the most unique ways that they do this is through customizable “pop-ups,” which can do a variety of […]

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Justuno is a platform that specializes in conversion rate optimization and has the goal of using analytics to improve your site to help grow your email subscribers, reduce cart abandonment, and increase your sales conversion. One of the most unique ways that they do this is through customizable “pop-ups,” which can do a variety of different things: Offer discounts, ask for an email to record the customer in your system, and most importantly for many, help to prevent people from leaving your site. Below is an example that shows how it works:

justuno-1

With their pop-up designing software, you can build and customize these pop-up windows for your website very quickly. Not only can you fully tailor them for your brand’s message, but you can also change everything from position, presentation, and sizing while deciding what is best for the style you’re after. Check out how it all works below.

Exit Prevention and Google’s Rules

Justuno is considered a marketing overlay, meaning that the pop ups you create open within the same window as the landing page the user fell on—none of the formats with Justuno actually prevent users from entering or exiting sites. In contrast, other pop-ups can open up in a new browser page and ultimately prevent users from entering or exiting websites. Google allows modal overlays that open within the same window that a visitor is browsing but it does not allow pop ups that open in a separate window outside the window the visitor is currently browsing.

What this means is that using the Justuno format will not affect your SEO or your standing with Google. In fact, marketing overlays are actually beneficial to online users, and while they cannot actually stop a user from exiting, they can prevent it!

justuno-2

In the screenshot above from Modavanti you will see an example of a site that is using Justuno, in this case by asking their customers to sign up to an email list in order to get $20 off of their first purchase. Many people “just browsing” will likely want to take the opportunity to get $20 off their purchase, rather than waiting. Below shows another design the site used:

justuno-3

With that said, below shows more information from the Justuno site that illustrates a lot of ways to personalize user experience with targeted pop-ups and promotions. They discuss their segmentation engine and the ability to target specific users and track visitor behavior in order to create personalized website experiences.

justuno-4

Here are some reasons that pop-ups can actually help with exit prevention and give you and your customers a valuable experience on your site:

  1. You can provide information or content that they might have missed scrolling through your site.
  2. A pop up can contain promotions, email opt-ins, notifications, and more. These notices can convince customers that they do in fact want to shop with you rather than leaving your website.
  3. Both parties benefit from the experience. The shopper gets an immediate promotion, while you get their email and a way to keep in touch with them after their first purchase (or in the event that they don’t make it through to check out, you have a way to followup with them).
  4. Social media links can be used in popups, and this is a great way for you to get more fans and followers. It is also a way people like to engage these days, so if they are interested in following your social platforms, it could make all the difference in when they choose to leave your site.
  5. These particular kinds of pop-ups do not interfere with the user experience. In fact, they actually give users the opportunity to “x” out very easily. Although, note the cute example the Modavanti uses: instead of just having an “x” (see the screenshot above) they actually have a “please don’t x me out” in order to encourage people to take advantage of their promotion. This works well with their fashionable business, but there are other ways that you can do this in a cheeky way in order to keep people from exiting.
  6. You can create rules to control when, where, and how the pop-ups occur, so that you are not completely bombarding your new visitors and returning customers.
  7. These Justuno popups will not effect your SEO rankings because they do not hinder navigation or user experience.
  8. You can offer a sense of urgency for the sale, rather than having the customer feel the need to return later.
  9. You can promote related content and keep your visitors on your website! Maybe what they were looking at wasn’t what they were looking for, but if you can re-direct them to similar products, that might keep them on your site and looking for what they need.
  10. You can give them fewer options to choose from (more on that below).

The Paradox of Choice and Pop-ups as a Solution

We can also look at how effective exit pop-up software can be by looking to studies on customer behavior. Research done by Barry Schwartz, an American psychologist, described The Paradox of Choice phenomenon in his book. His research demonstrated that people cannot make decisions when they have too many options to choose from. People are less likely to buy and less satisfied with their purchase when they feel overwhelmed

Not only to exit pop-ups tend to motivate your website users in one way or the other, they also decrease the amount of choices they have in their next action. As we have discussed, there are a lot of ways you can use Justuno pop-ups: you can motivate customers with a discount, free shipping or even simple notification. The point is, in using the “paradox of choice” to inform marketing decisions, you actually want to do something to direct the user to one action or choice, rather than the cornucopia of possibilities which exist on your website.

A Pop-up Caution

As an email marketing agency we?are huge fans of Justuno, and many of our clients use this to help their conversion rates, not all pop-ups are created equal. As a marketing agency, we like to encourage our clients to really think about their own user experiences on websites. How often do you like to see pop-ups? What kind of pop-ups do you like to see? When would you provide a business with your information?

While Justuno gives you many different possibilities for customization (especially for timing and optimizing user experience), you need to think about how pop-ups can also negatively impact users on your page. This is where looking at analytics and customer feedback after you implement the software can come in handy.

Do you have experience with Justuno or another exit pop-up software on your website? How has it helped you to optimize your conversion rates? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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How to Use Olark Chat to Gain More Conversions http://www.cafeproje.com/user-experience/use-olark-chat-gain-conversions/ Tue, 03 May 2016 08:25:42 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7579 These days having the ability to chat with a business directly on their site is almost essential. The days of texting are upon us, which means that more and more users prefer to be able to chat, and therefore multi-task, than pick up the phone for a call that they assume will put them on […]

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These days having the ability to chat with a business directly on their site is almost essential. The days of texting are upon us, which means that more and more users prefer to be able to chat, and therefore multi-task, than pick up the phone for a call that they assume will put them on hold. With this in mind, if you have just started to entertain the idea of getting a chat feature on your website we recommend Olark Chat. We personally have found that this software is one of the best for increasing your conversions.

In short, Olark allows you to see who is on your site and what they are doing, and it even provides details about what is in a customer’s shopping cart, which means it offers data that other tools (such as Google Analytics) just can’t provide. Below examples how it all works when it comes to customer insights, as well as what else is offered.

Customer Insights: How Improve Your Conversion Rates and Gain More with Olark

Communicating with your customers directly is one of the easiest ways to see feedback and know what you need to do to improve your product and experiences. Of course, having live chat isn’t the end of the story. There are several other things you can do to improve your conversations and improve the type of customer insights that you are gaining from chat. Some examples include:

Sync Up Your Live Chat With Your Google Analytics

The problem with solely relying on chat for customer insights is that it can be slightly misleading. If you look at chat transcripts and cross reference analytic stats and trends you are seeing, you can begin to get a fuller picture of what is going on. This is probably the number one thing that makes Olark more appealing than most other live chat tools out there.

It is also known for being one of the platforms you can really integrate with other software that you are using as well as with Google Analytics. Some of these include Shopify, Salesforce, Big Commerce, Zen Desk, HighRise, and NutShell.

Targeted Chat

Cut down on time that you spend interacting with those who are ultimately not destined to become customers. With Olark’s targeted chat you can figure out how to avoid the chat feature popping up on troublesome pages.

Selectivity

One of the reasons Olark works really well for customer conversions is that you can be selective in when you want the chat to appear. Rather than having the chat bombard visitors, you can try out different targeted approaches and see what ends up working best for your analytics.

Conversion Transcripts

Perhaps one of the best features of Olark is their conversion transcripts. When you use a feature like a live chat, you are constantly learning from and interacting with your clients. Once you can develop a better understanding of your customer (alongside of other conversion strategies such as A/B testing) you are one step closer to increasing your profits and having conversion rate success. By collecting data through the Olark conversion transcript feature you can begin to analyze your data and design a plan.

conversation-transcripts

Understanding Qualitative Data

There are a lot of things you can learn from quantitative data (or data that relies on numerical information), but qualitative data can give you insights that numbers cannot. Conversion transcripts provide valuable information about user behavior, or their goals and interests in your business, that sometimes numbers can not capture! You can look to this qualitative data to see themes emerge which help you to optimize your website.

Two Examples:

(1) For example, let’s say a lot of people are asking a question related to your check-out process that just isn’t clear on your website. You can use this transcript data to improve this feature of your check-out process and get more clients to “finish” their purchase.

(2) Another example may be a question that keeps popping up regarding a certain product or service. Maybe your description isn’t clear enough, or maybe you need to provide more content such as a blog article or a webinar, so that people do not have as many reservations. In any case, these questions can actually help to inspire new site ideas and changes.

Note: If you need help analyzing your data, Olark has help for you available. For a step-by-step process for analyzing Olark chat transcripts and increasing conversions click here.

Create a Word Cloud

One of the recommended steps after conducting transcript analysis is to create a word cloud. Once you’ve analyzed at least 20 transcripts and you are to the point of adding them to the “Real Quote” column, you can navigate to this site and paste all of the entries to discover the most used words.

What are the top 5 words that showed up? How can this offer insight into what people are talking about and what is going on in your live chat? Sometimes this method can really shed light on what people are really focusing on and can help you to strategize when looking at all of your transcripts gets too overwhelming.

wordcloud

Customizable Options

Olark is also extremely customizable, allowing you to change the text, font, color, and API. There is a lot that is in your control so you can give your account a little bit of personality for both you and your users to see.

Pricing

In doing a comparison of live chat software, many companies do not list a price up front or say it “varies” by site and project. In comparing those that do, Olark is definitely one of the least expensive options for all of the features it offers, and the product also offers multiple levels and different packages depending upon what your business actually needs.

In the screenshot below you can see the kind of packages they offer:

pricing

Don’t Forget: Get as much information as possible and always follow up

Remember that Olark isn’t everything—you still have to make sure you’re gathering your own information and following-up. You want to get as much information as possible from each customer chat. This means beginning the conversation with information collection early on. You want to start out the conversation by getting a name and email address at the very least, that way you can follow up (with specific information) after the chat finishes.

When you collect email addresses and have the ability to follow-up about customer experience on your website, you open up so many more possibilities in terms of converting potentially lost customers. Make it a top priority to follow up with everyone you engage with conversation with, and you will definitely see a noticeable change in conversions using this software.

Getting Started with Olark and the Takeaway

It is extremely easy to add Olark Chat to your site. As the Olark site suggests, you just copy your Olark code, paste it to your website, and then login to chat. The screenshot below from their website shows how it works:

getting-started

As a marketing company we are always concerned with strategies to help our clients improve their conversion rates. Olark is not only a company we support and learned to love, but it is also one of the best out there in terms of features. If you are looking to improve your qualitative (and quantitative) data analysis with a program that integrates well with existing software at super competitive prices, look no further for a live chat platform. In using transcripts and word clouds, you will easily identify some of the top issues your clients are concerned about and be able to optimize your site in response to their needs.

Have you tried using Olark or another live chat? Let us know in the comments section below.

We received no compensation from Olark for writing this review.

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3 Steps for Creating a Native Ad Strategy for Your Business http://www.cafeproje.com/marketing/3-steps-creating-native-ad-strategy-business/ Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:00:04 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7553 Advertising has gotten pretty clever and not so “in your face,” which consumers appreciate, and a big part of this movement is the use of what are called native ads. Native ads are becoming very popular for their formats, content and placement because they blend in with the theme of the page where they are […]

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Advertising has gotten pretty clever and not so “in your face,” which consumers appreciate, and a big part of this movement is the use of what are called native ads. Native ads are becoming very popular for their formats, content and placement because they blend in with the theme of the page where they are advertising. Many web surfers may not even realize they are clicking into or reading an advertisement. In other words, although there may not be a formal definition for native advertising, it’s usually quality content that rolls with the website layout rather than popping or flashing in your face.

The content is generally well written and insights interest to the consumer from the similar subjects they are searching. Examples are sponsored content, promoted tweets or posts, interactive videos, or graphics. Native ads can be found mostly online, however, print advertorials do work as well.

Examples and How Native Ads Can Help Your Business

  1. Honesty

Be open and honest with your consumers. Mark content that is sponsored or promoted, meaning it’s not overly emphasized on the content to make it look like an ad, and this way the consumer can see that the content isn’t natural to the site. The great thing about native ads is once you find the right venue; your consumers may treat native ads like regular content. Hence why well-written content is important.

Buzzfeed is one of the best websites out there using promoted content/ native ads. As you can see in the screenshot below, Physicians Formula Eye Booster is advertising their product, but instead of talking about their product they are incorporating it into an article that goes along with the theme of Buzzfeed.

buzzfeed

  1. Write for your audience.

Yes, this is an ad and yes, you do want to gain your target goal whether that be purchases, views, pledges, etc. However, it’s important to write for your audience and not the marketer. Native ads are meant to have meaningful content for their consumers. You also need to make sure you follow through on what your headline promises in order to keep your reputation in check (which can be a big risk if native advertising is done wrong), which you can learn more about form our online reputation management services. See above, “11 Struggles That People Who Haven’t Tried Fake Eyelashes Will Never Understand,” it’s written like a listicle Buzzfeed article. People who visit Buzzfeed.com expect articles of this nature. The content is also perfect for this audience – a majority are women, and women know makeup struggles.

At the end of the article, you will find the call to action, as shown below:

buzzfeed-2

“Get a real boost and say goodbye to fake. Try Physicians Formula Eye Booster Doll Lash Extension Kit.” It’s a simple two-sentence plug, and it works. It’s not in your face. It’s not yelling from your TV to buy this new product. The article entertained you and then made a suggestion to try their product. The call to action is followed by a similar promoted article from the same brand. Link your content inside your content! If someone clicks on an article about fake eyelashes, they’re sure to be interested in eye makeup articles. In the second article, they link to the Eyelash Booster Kit mentioned in the first article. It’s all tied together as a package.

  1. Keep it short and on point.

Don’t try too hard. Your readers can tell if it’s forced. This is fairly easy to do for listicles and graphics, but it’s important to keep this in mind no matter what type of native advertising you’re doing. Keep it simple. You don’t want to lose your audience in a jumbled mess of trying to be entertaining and selling your product at the same time. That’s almost worse than pop-up ads (almost).

Why Does This Type of Advertising Work?

According to Shareaholic, 70 percent of people want to learn about products through useful content rather than traditional advertising, and people click and view native ads a whopping 53 percent more than banner ads. The content is also easily shareable. If people are passionate about a product, they want their friends to know about it. In the social media world, that means sharing to your newsfeed, and native ads are an easy way to do that. Sharing a native ad doesn’t feel like you’re promoting a product – you’re promoting information surrounding a product.

A native ad campaign can be a great way to boost already-known products or introduce new products to your goal markets. The important thing to do is always clearly define your content as an ad for your consumers. No one likes to be tricked, and your ad may be taken down by the ISBA or IAB. Brainstorm ideas for your audience and stick to the message. Your native ad campaign can create exciting new avenues for catching your target audience’s attention.

Have you tried native advertising before, either allowing it on your website or advertising on another website? Let us know how it works for you and what results you saw in the comment section below.

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How Email Marketing Comapanies Can Help Manage Your Newsletters http://www.cafeproje.com/email-marketing/best-email-marketing-company-sends-newsletters/ Sun, 24 Apr 2016 11:11:41 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7598 Email marketing is a method to directly market your products to a group of people via email. These emails are sent to prospects and clients whom you have email addresses. The best email marketing company sends newsletters, which can indirectly generate significant amount of money for the business, while also generating good will from the […]

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e-mail newsletterEmail marketing is a method to directly market your products to a group of people via email. These emails are sent to prospects and clients whom you have email addresses. The best email marketing company sends newsletters, which can indirectly generate significant amount of money for the business, while also generating good will from the practice.

Email marketing is a method that is useful to build brand loyalty because the customer becomes so invested with the business that they would never think to purchase product or services from your main competitors. One of the strengths of sending newsletters in email marking campaigns is the ability to organize events—something that email marketing experts in Miami constantly do.

For instance, government organizations often have event showcasing new programs or celebrating a local achievement. Recently in Coconut Grove, FL. a new park was built in the heart of the area. On it’s opening, Regatta Park was announced with a celebration. To increase attendance, emails were sent to announce the opening and sought to promote visiting the park for the celebration or in the near future at their own convenience.

This is advantageous because email marketing should have content worthy of being sent. High quality content on a reoccurring basis ensures that your email address isn’t marked as spam — regardless if you are the local government or a private business. Additionally, by promoting an event, it offers an incentive to share the email with friends, increasing the awareness of the event and the company who is behind the high quality content.

PC Magazine offers an excellent consideration when considering sending a newsletter:

Electronic communications have removed two significant costs from this outdated list: printing and mailing. You would think this a good thing, but technology made email almost too easy and inexpensive, and far too quickly for businesses to realize the ramifications of flooding customer inboxes. When things become too quick, easy, and inexpensive, it’s human nature (or at least marketing-manager nature) to abuse the vehicle. Today, many communications are just blatant sales pitches masquerading as newsletters, and have soured much of the customer ecosystem. Many users don’t even open emails nowadays if the subject line purports to be a newsletter.

If you want your newsletters to be valued and read, you need to resist the easy route (and in some cases the cheap route, too). Spend some time and effort creating an editorial calendar and writing “real” stories. This means creating inherently interesting and valuable content for readers that’s not necessary applicable directly to selling your product or service. Sure, you can provide a link for a promotional offer. And yes, you can advertise a new service. But, before you hit send, step back and objectively assess your content: Would someone other than your marketing director or CEO view this content as objectively valuable even if they aren’t interested in buying anything right now?

In short, having a customer’s e-mail offers an opportunity to increase sales but it is important to be conscientious of their view point and not abuse the relationship with below average content. It is imperative to ask: who is my target market and what value will they be receiving from my email?

A good newsletter will be designed in a manner that creates a favorable image for the company. Company colors and zero to no white space are important concepts before sending the email. Content will be arranged in an asthenic nature; as will photos that relate to the information being sent. Consistency in the design for the next newsletter and the one after that is important to ensure.

The best email marketing company will go a step further when sending out newsletters via email campaigns by tracking analytics — such as the open rate and the time spent viewing the content. While analytics don’t sound sexy, they provide a wealth of information that can be utilized and increase the bottom line of your business. This method is preferable to using guess work, especially considering the feasibility of analytic access nowadays.

e-commerce seo firmAn advantage of email marketing is that it is an inexpensive marketing vehicle. If a business sends out newsletters to customers, it is advantageous to investigate how the open rates differ from various days of the week to the times in the day they are sent. It is generally known that Internet usage declines in the evening and sees a jump in midmorning.

With that in mind, are your customers more inclined to read about, commit to and share your newsletters in the evening when they’ve finished their responsibilities for the day, but might be a little tired? Or in the morning, when they have the most energy but are preparing their minds for the tasks they must achieve in the day. While each has their own pros and cons, it is important that in the long run, your newsletter analytics are the best gauge as to which sending time is most advantageous.

Cross-channel marketing is important to keep in mind when sending out the emails. For instance, Wednesday afternoon is always a day that is recommended when sending out a newsletter, because Internet usage peaks on that day. Rather than only sending a newsletter via email, the best email marketing company may also populate their social media feeds with these newsletters.

In conclusion, seeking the advice from an email marketing expert in Miami is an effective method to increase revenue while adding little expense. The methods used to contact prospects and past customers are useful for maintaining relationships. However, email marketing shouldn’t be abused, which is a potential downfall for businesses that try their hand at it themselves.

We’re the best email marketing company and we deplore you to find out why. Our representatives can be reached out at (866) 886-0374. Our company is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. To learn more about email marketing, analytics and other efficient services, you can visit our blog by clicking here.

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What to Do When You Rank High Organically but Not Locally http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/rank-high-organically-not-locally/ Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:05:23 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7547 Sometimes even when you are doing everything right and your local SEO should be performing swimmingly, you’ll find that you have no problem ranking organically but cannot rank locally. This is a frustrating situation that sites like Search Engine Land have written case studies about because even professional SEO specialists have gotten stumped on this […]

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Sometimes even when you are doing everything right and your local SEO should be performing swimmingly, you’ll find that you have no problem ranking organically but cannot rank locally. This is a frustrating situation that sites like Search Engine Land have written case studies about because even professional SEO specialists have gotten stumped on this from time to time. As a Marketing Agency, these kinds of issues come up with our clients and we’ve tried to find a way to break down what other industry experts are saying about this puzzling issue.

It is not uncommon for businesses to find themselves ranking high organically but not ranking locally, and as you are likely aware this can effect your placement in the maps app, review results, and ultimately coming out on top when people are looking for a business near them. While you want to rank high for the keywords people search so that they discover your business, you really want those people to be looking for a business in your area, otherwise you’ve gotten traffic but can not really provide these people business. What a conundrum this is!

The Problem

If you have gone on to the search engine results page (SERPs) you might find that you are ranking first organically with a specific search query, but you are not ranking both organically and locally.

The Solution

As you might have gotten from this introduction, the solution isn’t always clear-cut to this issue. In fact many SEO specialists have stumbled upon why this issue might be happening for a specific business. To troubleshoot and begin to solve this issue we advise the following:

  1. Check for any NAP issues. Most of the time when this issue occurs, local SEO experts point to checking for NAP issues. In other words, the assumption is that NAP (name, address, and phone number of the business) are not consistent across the web. This is clearly important, so even if you don’t have any doubts, double check your website, blog, social media, any review sites, etc. This can definitely cause a disparity between organic and local ranking.
  2. Use Google AdPreview Tool. The next thing you can try is viewing the SERPs with the Google AdPreview Tool, which will allow you to set your location and view the results. What the case study in Search Engine Journal found when they went through this step is that the business that was experiencing this discrepancy had a mailing address that was different from the physical location of the business. Ultimately, Google does not care where your mailing address is, they care where your physical address is—so if these two do not match up, then you could be dealing with an issue! See the next step for going about solving this mini crisis:
  3. How you can tell what city a business is in on Google:

Step 1: Go to Google Maps and search the city name (and state). Google will highlight the area on the map that belongs to that city. In the screen shot below you will see that I typed in Chicago, Illinois. The area that is within the red border (and is also shaded red) is considered to be within the city of Chicago.

google-maps

Step Two: See where your business is in relation to these city borders. If your business doesn’t fall inside that highlighted area, it means you aren’t in the city limits. If you aren’t in the city limits, you don’t have a physical address in the city, and this is the #1 ranking factor for Google’s “the Local 3-pack”.

In the example below we can see a “Chicago” business that is not actually within the city of Chicago (although they do have a second location which falls within the city limits). As you can see in the first screen shot, their Chicago location ranks in the 3-pack of search results for “Chicago lash extensions,” and their business address is within Google’s Chicago physical business address limits.

google-local

However, in the second screenshot you will see the second location for Chicago Lashes and Eyelash Extensions, which is not technically in Chicago but rather is in Skokie. If you return to the first in this series of screenshots you will see that while not too far out of the city at all (actually only about 15 min drive from the city center) Skokie is not actually within the city of Chicago. Even though the business name has the branding of a Chicago company, since Google does not define its physical address within the Chicago boundaries, it is not a ranking local search, even though their organic SEO is great.

local-results

Step 3: See what city you’d want to use by looking to Google Map Maker.

In the case of Chicago lashes, they really do not need to worry about local search because they have a location within Chicago. As a consequence, even though their location in Skokie is not high ranking for Chicago (and it has the Chicago branding in the name), their address on Ashland Avenue is the top result in the Local 3-pack. Their business website directs visitors to the different locations they have, so this really isn’t as much of an issue for them as it might be for you!

In order to rank locally you are going to want to be sure that you are using the city that Google would want you to use. Here is the way that you can see what boundaries Google defines your physical address in:

  • Go to the Google Map Maker
  • Search the city name, and zoom into the map until you see the location of your business.
  • Click the red “ADD NEW” button and select “Add a Place.”
  • Put the marker down on the map exactly where your business is.
  • Select any random business category and a fake name, and hit “”
  • On the record that comes up, the city that is automatically populated in the city box is the one that Google Maps would consider your address to be in. If it lists a county (as in the case study from Search Engine Journal), it’s most likely because the area you are in is unincorporated. Below is a screenshot from that same case study:

case-study

The Takeaway: Keywords and Location Matter

If you are finishing this article with your head spinning a bit, you aren’t alone. You might be asking yourself—why do search keywords impact organic vs. local traffic in such a confusing way? How can I be ranking highly in organic results but not local results?

Keywords without a city name (for example, “lash extensions” searched from a user in Chicago, IL) rely more heavily on traditional organic ranking factors.

Keywords with a city name (“Chicago Lashes”) rely more heavily on true local ranking factors, which include:

  • The physical location of your business (and more importantly as the examples above showed, if it is in the physical city limits of the city searched).
  • The categories you are using in Google My Business or Map Maker.
  • Inconsistency with your name, address or phone number (NAP)—always check this first.

Overarching Solution: If your business is in a situation where you are ranking highly for organic SERPs but struggling with local pages, you might want to shift your focus to gaining organic ranking for the keywords that include city names and gaining local ranking for the keywords that do not. This could really impact the way that Google interprets your business for both local and organic rankings.

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Increases ROI with Email Marketing http://www.cafeproje.com/e-commerce/email-marketing-increases-company-return-investment/ Wed, 20 Apr 2016 11:11:40 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7562 Email marketing is a method to increase the return on investment (ROI). This isn’t for one industry, such as animal non-profits; rather, for every business across the board that is dedicated to achieving success. “It is the process of using email to advertise and sell products and services,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary. An important […]

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e-mail newsletterEmail marketing is a method to increase the return on investment (ROI). This isn’t for one industry, such as animal non-profits; rather, for every business across the board that is dedicated to achieving success. “It is the process of using email to advertise and sell products and services,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary.

An important task that email marketing experts in Miami constantly focus on is building the audience list. This is a process that should be constantly utilized. There are a couple of methods that are predominately used such as using social media posts to point the audience to sign up pages. Another is to have timed pop ups, for instance, following the purchase of items that offer to provide important events like upcoming sales and product information.

When you have a customer’s email, it usually suggests an important implication: the customer already has had a relationship in the past with your business and is open to maintaining that relationship. It is important to cultivate this relationship by providing the best products to their mail box, in the most efficient method, which promises not to waste their time by sending excess emails that can come across as spam.

An effective method that the best email marketing companies use is sending email newsletters. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, newsletters are defined as “a printed document with information about the activities of a group, sent regularly to members or friends.” These newsletters, created by The Miami SEO Company specialist, juxtapose important information and vibrant placement of company colors and related photos. This method seeks to bring customers back to their company’s website and promote products that they may want to purchase.

Creating these newsletters isn’t rocket science; yet so often are these lazily done, which makes having an email marketing expert managing these communications a method that increases ROI—especially considering, it allows you to focus on other aspects of the business that you have proficiency on. For referral traffic, newsletters have been ranked as one of the top five sources. The ultimate goal is to make these email campaigns provide the right type of content the customer seeks, thereby creating a ritual habit that they will consume the newsletters.

In essence, newsletters are a proactive strategy that brings customers to the site rather than to wait for the customers to visit the site. For instance, The New York Times, a major world media outlet, within the last few years has made major strides in developing and honing their newsletters.

They have more than 30 newsletters, ranging from categories of “News, Politics & Opinion,”— where they have newsletters for “The Upshot” (an economic slant on the news) and their popular “The NYT Now Morning Briefing” (a collection of around 10 impacting and trending stories)—to “Lifestyle”—where they have newsletters such as “Real Estate” and “Well” (provides the latest on health, fitness and nutrition).

These newsletters boast an open rate of 50 percent, which is double the industry average. An advantage of having such a variety of newsletter topics is ability to divide customers in segments, providing a specific mix or focus of the news that they have a high level of interest in. From trial and error, The New York Times has learned that the most successful method is to have the newsletters written and curated by a journalist as opposed to an RSS feed.

For massive media companies like The New York Times, it can be expensive to send out these email blasts to all of the interested persons who signed up, ranging in the hundreds to thousands of dollars per month. However, for small and medium sized businesses, the email marketing experts from our company can direct you to a more cost value solution. Membership is usually between 15 to 40 dollars per month, depending upon the size of the email list messages are being sent to and the added features associated with the account.

One of the most valuable aspects that these marketing services offer is the ability to track the analytics of the email marketing campaign. The best email marketing company can discuss for hours the importance of tracking analytics. To sum up the main points, having the ability to track analytics is paramount to determining whether or not the campaign is successful, should be tweaked, or should be chalked up as a learning lesson to not have an email campaign with that focus ever again.

Keep in mind, the value of analytics builds over months of consistent usage of email campaigns. It is difficult to gauge the success of one newsletter, for instance, without having sent 20 or more similar newsletters. This is because there are certain items within the newsletter that are trackable. Most important is click-through rate—which content is most often selected and used as a bridge to the site.

Over the course of a couple of months, one can discover that placement of a social media icon on the left side followed by a short product description has a probability of 60 percent of being opened as opposed to a social media icon on the right side of the page with a similar product description. The best email marketing companies, such as The Miami SEO Company, have a wealth of experience in designing newsletters based upon analytics from a wide variety of experience that it saves you money from using a trial-and-error approach, quickly bringing your business ROI.

To learn more about how email marketing increases company return on investment and how it can apply to your business, feel free to initiate contact with us. We can be reached at (866) 886-0374 or at (786) 375-9981. Another method is to visit our Contact page on our website by clicking here, which offers the opportunity to fill out a brief contact form that is sent instantly to our specialists. We pride ourselves on always being available for our customers, which is why we’re open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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An Expert Ecommerce SEO Company Can Provide Good Topics That Increase Google Rank Organically http://www.cafeproje.com/adwords-2/expert-ecommerce-seo-company-can-provide-good-topics-increase-google-rank-organically/ Thu, 14 Apr 2016 11:11:13 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7573 Content is king. There is a significant market today to have a business rank organically. Many different businesses compete with one another to rank first on Google search results. While tactics may vary between companies that specialize in ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO), there are firm rules that don’t. Firstly, one of those rules is […]

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Get More Out Of AdWords Shopping CampaignsContent is king.

There is a significant market today to have a business rank organically. Many different businesses compete with one another to rank first on Google search results. While tactics may vary between companies that specialize in ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO), there are firm rules that don’t.

Firstly, one of those rules is that content should be of reasonable to high quality—depending upon your resources and time. While we all want to hit a homerun at each at bat, for many, it is not always possible. Understanding you limits is paramount to success in life and in the field of SEO.

Having a company that specializes in ecommerce SEO allows you to consistently have content, while enabling you to direct your focus to other matters. This is important because Google has web crawlers that scan numerous pages a day. These web crawlers ranking websites that score well on their internal algorithms. These algorithms critique the page for correct spelling, proper text formatting, proper grammar, and more, all to determine how high the page (and website) should be ranked on any giving Google search.

Think of your favorite media outlet, for instance. Chances are, the outlet has a distinctive voice and a range of topics that are discussed on the site. These topics, in essence, define the website to the Google web crawlers. When searching for topics that are related to that media outlet, there is high probability if it is a popular media outlet that it will show up on the rankings.

One detail that separates your favorite media outlet from the typical mom and pop store is that the media outlet is constantly adding new content on a regular basis, while the mom and pop store is uploading content when they can. Having a company that specializes in ecommerce SEO is an advantage that the former can hire to improve their organic ranking.

The content that is created for our clients can highlight popular products or provide an opinion on trending industry news. The key is to write it in a way that makes the reader want to share the content. Utilizing sharable content results in a greater concentration on the content in the article at hand and provides free publicity.

Producing a trending article is challenging, but when you do, it is helpful to analyze what about the content was successful. Was it the angle on the topic? The time and day the article was post? Etc. This is where analytics come to play.

If you are not utilizing Google analytics, you are missing out on important data. It provides a clear and concise picture as to what works, what needs to be followed over the course of a few months, and what clearly does not work. This data can help drive sales because you can pin point fluctuations on the site. If for instance, there is a correlation between website activity usage and sales in store during two or three months in the year, Google analytics helps you discover this trend, allowing you to increase revenue when you send out promotional coupons via e-mail.

Returning to the Mom and Pop store, what should be understood is that for every month they are not devoting attention to SEO, there is a reduction in potential profits. Such as sending out promotional coupons via e-mail, the Mom and Pop store has the potential to increase brand awareness and ROI by utilizing topics in their marketing campaign that resonate with their target audience.

An expert ecommerce SEO marketing company is able to analyze the industry trends and how the Mom and Pop store can best profit from them. This careful analysis significantly prevents counteractive problems from occur. For instance, Client XYZ owns a farming business. While XYZ has a good grasp of the internal workings of the business and their competitors, she does not include writing as her specialty. Therefore, she publishes blog post sporadically and writes on topics that do not always relate to her specific business.

The first thing that a company that specializes in ecommerce SEO does in this situation is use Google Analytics to discover which keywords are trending in her industry. Following that, these keywords help dictate the content the company should be publishing. With past experience, our ecommerce SEO company quickly recognizes trends that suggest the keywords should be updated and does it.

In conclusion, there are many more methods that can be utilized to increase a business rank organically. The selection of good topics is important, because as the old adage goes, “content is king.” To learn more, check out our blog where we’re constantly posting the most important information. Alternatively, if you’re interested in learning additional information, contact one of our ecommerce specialists from our company directly at (866) 886-0374.

Each day, our ecommerce specialists are sharpening their skills becoming more proficient at their job. During the conversation you have, it is important to provide information about your business, such as what you are currently doing for SEO, how many conversions lead to sales and what ideally you would like to have done. The specialists are highly efficient and pride themselves on quickly delivering a plan to increase ROI, while always having availability for their current and new clients, no matter the time or day. Our hours are from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

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EBooks for E-commerce: How to Create a Winning Strategy http://www.cafeproje.com/e-commerce/ebooks-e-commerce-create-winning-strategy/ Tue, 12 Apr 2016 13:00:37 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7543 Writing any kind of book or lengthy writing project can be stressful, especially if you don’t have experience. You could hire someone with experience but it can be tough to find a writer who also has the knowledge of your industry, so it oftentimes falls on the marketing team or the small business owner. To […]

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Writing any kind of book or lengthy writing project can be stressful, especially if you don’t have experience. You could hire someone with experience but it can be tough to find a writer who also has the knowledge of your industry, so it oftentimes falls on the marketing team or the small business owner. To make matters more stressful, in addition to writing the content you have to design and format it, make sure it is edited, and make sure it looks professional. While your head may be spinning trying to take this project on, remember that eBooks are one of the top strategies for lead generation and you will be benefiting from your efforts in no time! You just have to learn a few basics and you’ll find that creating an eBook is easier than it seems.

Know Your Audience

Before you even begin developing an eBook, you need to strategize and figure out who exactly your audience is in the same way you would when writing blog content or creating your website. To discover if your eBook audience will differ at all from your website audience, try looking at the metrics from your newsletters—these people tend to be the ones who are most interested in your content as opposed to only your products.

Your goal is to get a sense of who your current audience is and why they would benefit from an eBook in the first place. You want to use this eBook to convert leads to clients and prospects to customers, so it is essential to know who will be downloading or even just opening your eBook in order to continue developing your strategy. I would also recommend talking to other small businesses about how their eBook worked or didn’t work and seeing if you can gather any tips that way.

The Writing

Content development is the first task of developing an eBook even if you’re an ecommerce company. Whether you are solely doing the writing or you have divided it up by chapter or specialty, developing the content in a cohesive way is really important. There are three major steps to writing and developing EBook content that have proven to be successful strategies, ecommerce company or not:

STEP 1: Choosing a Topic

You have already decided that your eBook is going to relate to your ecommerce store or general interest in ecommerce, but you need to make your topic unique and make sure it will contribute something new to the existing literature online. Also remember that your goal is lead generation! You absolutely want to pick a topic that is going to transition a prospect from downloading and reading to having a conversation with your sales team.

Of course being able to come up with the right topic will take a lot of research and a lot of collaboration between you and all of the departments in your business. The best topic will cover something that can benefit your company at every level of the sales cycle. If you have no idea where to start, I recommend trying HubSpot’s topic generator for a few ideas.

STEP 2: Write an Outline

Every good writer knows that the next step in the writing process is developing an outline. This essentially becomes your Table of Contents once the eBook has developed, for now it should be a way to conceptualize the layout and progression of your text. In developing your outline, you can think of each chapter as an individual blog post (length and generally focusing on one topic, specially) but you want to make sure they flow together and ultimately construct a cohesive book.

A word on length. Your project does not need to be a research dissertation! In other words, it does not need to be a 300-page book on the topic. Write and develop as much content as you need to speak to the topic. The topic you pose might be able to be answered in 13 pages or 30 pages, it is your call—but you want to make sure that your prospects get enough out of it to spark interest in your product.

See the table of contents below for an example of set-up. As you can see, this example is a 30-page book that provides sub topics under each theme or topic the book will address:

table-of-contents

STEP 3: The WRITING of an eBook Copy

The last step of the writing process is of course actually focusing and writing it. This can seem daunting and sitting down at a blank screen is always a little intimidating. There are a few things you can keep in mind to make sure you get it done:

Keep it simple. My advice is to try to keep your language simple and straightforward. Think of having a conversation with your reader where you are explaining information of value to them so that they can become even more interest in your brand. Avoid using dense language or industry jargon that your client would not understand.

Format and Formatting. You are going to want to keep your format consistent across your text. Also make sure that you use appropriate formatting to break up and emphasize points. Examples include bullet points or subtitles.

Here is a great website with links to everything from articles on writers block, editing, and design: Click Here.

Further Aesthetic Development

Once you have your content written you are going to need to design and format your eBook. Here are some design features to keep in mind (in addition to the cover page and the title page, which we have already mentioned):

  • Don’t forget to design your chapter pages.
  • Utilize brand colors in your design (and if you aren’t sure how to add your colors to PowerPoint for eBook design, click here)
  • Incorporate visual elements, like company owned photography or stock photos you purchase—visuals always enhance an eBook presentation!
  • Find a way to highlight or emphasize quotes or statistics in-text. Pull quotes is a great way to do this and make sure they stick out.

Optimization, Promotion, and Launch!

Here are some things to keep in mind at this final stage of your strategy. Remember to check back with your initial goals for lead conversation as well—is this fitting the niche of your audience? Once your eBook is launched, do you expect positive results?

  • CTAs: Within the text of your eBook, remember to add links to any CTAs for you website or blog. These are extremely important in successful conversion.
  • EBook Landing Page: You should have a landing page dedicated to your eBook download so that prospects can be referred to it easily and you can promote the book on your social channels or even through paid search.
  • Promote Your Book: Remember to take your URL and utilize it in both social and email marketing, that way you reach both existing and future clients.
  • Track Success: Keep on top of your analytics to see how the book is doing and any improvements that you might want to make.
  • Finish Strong: Make sure at the end of your eBook that you move clients down your marketing funnel and launch them into the next phase of conversion. You can do this with a CTA (preferably) such as a “for more information” button, and also provide them your contact info once again in case they want to call or email you directly.

Do you have any personal stories about writing an eBook for your business? Let us know what worked for you, what didn’t, and what you learned in the comment section below.

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To Rank Organically, Seek Out an Ecommerce SEO Company http://www.cafeproje.com/e-commerce/rank-organically-seek-ecommerce-seo-company/ Fri, 08 Apr 2016 11:11:26 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7558 Every business has the potential to be ranked #1. There are SEO techniques that can improve business visibility on organic search results. Organic search has been, and will remain, the main source of traffic for business owners — and this will continue to be the case in the future. Every day, most people will engage […]

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Rank #1 in SEOEvery business has the potential to be ranked #1.

There are SEO techniques that can improve business visibility on organic search results. Organic search has been, and will remain, the main source of traffic for business owners — and this will continue to be the case in the future.

Every day, most people will engage in methods to solve their problems—using the web as their go-to option for answers. A goal for ranking is to utilize organic search for best results. Ranking in local search directly leads to increased visits and sales—most people shop nearby their residence.

For instance, if you own a book store, having periodic events where authors speak with customers about their recent published work, has been known to increase overall sales. These authors leave positive impressions with readers by publishing stories that touch the reader emotionally and intellectually. Therefore, the events often time attract the ideal customer.

A well ran campaign from an expert ecommerce SEO marketing company accomplishes a similar feat. As mentioned, customers want to solve their problems when typing in a sentence or a phrase into Google. Our company increases the odds that the company will show up when those phrases are written.

A customer seeking a new book from an author that recently attended one of the book store’s events, may be lead to their site by the juxtaposition of their name and the local search of the company’s products, in this case, a book. Over the long run, our clients become leaders in local searches, scooping up customers like a shovel scoops sand on a beach.

Success in an often?turbulent business environment?can be a challenge for the most seasoned business veteran. There are many duties related to business that must be performed and having to focus on a field in which the person does not specialize in can be a recipe for disaster.

Having the assistance from an expert ecommerce SEO marketing company can make the difference between a positive or negative quarter. Each business is unique and therefore has their own individual story. Part of the allure of having the assistance from a company that specializes in ecommerce SEO is that the story of the company is understood by potential customers and investors in the highest light.

There are many strategies that can be employed to increase effectiveness.

Often times, many mistakes occur in the beginning of the transition from a well-functioning brick-and-mortar store to having an online presence. An aspect of the frustration is that many customers already maintain a positive light about the company, and are more than willing to share their experience — as long as their vision of the company’s web presence is similar with the positive satisfaction they associate with the company. These companies can range from those that seek exclusivity, to those that want to become a value option in the eyes of consumers. An expert ecommerce SEO marketing company understands this and based upon the budget, can apply the necessary steps most efficiently.

With that in mind, it should be of no surprise that leads that originate from SEO are known to have the highest close rates. When a strong SEO campaign portrays the company in a specific light that is synonymous is with success, customers translate the online experience with the best values.

To take a step back, one of the reasons these business become a dominant local company on Google is through the use of proper optimization. Proper optimization is synonymous to having a website that incorporates the best technique known today on the site. ?This can include having a website that provides a unique webpage experience and a mobile experience. An example of this is a responsive background that alters the screen to best fit the device of the user.

When the site has been built with a strong foundation, such as having each brick layered correctly on a 20th century building, the odds are increased that the site will be attractive to Google web crawlers and potential customers. Excellent page visibility can depend on the time and the budget for the project—in addition to the quality of the ecommerce SEO company.

Which Path Do I Take?Without the help from a company that specializes in ecommerce SEO, many times the self-started business entrepreneur will fall flat on their face within a few months of their journey. There is so much advice and strategies to use. One need only to search on Google, typing in “ecommerce SEO,” to be bombarded with a nexus of idea after idea.

So where do I start?

Andrew Fatalo, Vice President of Mobility Scooters Direct and President of Statewide Mobility, had the following to say after his experience with our company:

After working with The Miami SEO Company for just a few weeks, my Adwords campaigns generated 3 times as many leads for the same monthly budget. My monthly revenue has quadrupled and I couldn’t be happier. The industry competitive keywords have also made it to the first page of Google as promised. Thank you Sergio & Jason for helping me grow my business! I would highly recommend their services.

Fatalo is amongst one of our happy clients who continues to do business with our company today. Like Fatalo, your business can reap the benefits of an excellent SEO campaign by utilizing our company. If you’re interested in learning additional information, reach out to one of our ecommerce specialists from our company, who pride themselves on always being available for clients. The ecommerce specialists can be reached at (866) 886-0374, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

During the conversation, the ecommerce specialist is able to provide both you and your business with general strategies to optimize your web presence. These center around a careful analysis of your business; and after a more detail analysis, a more detail strategy will be proposed that provides an opportunity to select a service mix that returns the most ROI.

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What the New Google SERP Layout Means to Your PPC Ad Strategy http://www.cafeproje.com/ppc/new-google-serp-layout-means-ppc-ad-strategy/ Mon, 04 Apr 2016 08:07:18 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7534 At the end of February, Google announced a big change coming to its search results – PPC ads on the right side of search results pages would be no more. Aside from an aesthetic change, this impacts advertisers’ strategies and budgets. The new layout will delete the right side ads, allowing only four ads at […]

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At the end of February, Google announced a big change coming to its search results – PPC ads on the right side of search results pages would be no more. Aside from an aesthetic change, this impacts advertisers’ strategies and budgets. The new layout will delete the right side ads, allowing only four ads at the top and/or at the bottom (three ads max). So, each SERP will host seven or less ads.

There are two exceptions:

  • Product Listing Ad (PLA) boxes, now called a Shopping Campaign
  • Ads shown in the Knowledge Graph

Super commercial searches, such as “organic dog treats in San Diego,” would allow a fourth ad above the search results. Commercial searches, according to Google, are those that carry the intent to purchase. Consider the following example:

new-serp-layout

The top “boxed” ads are considered commercial and so are found above the ad and the website. It’s not only advantageous for advertisers, but for consumers as well. Google has the right idea – if a person is searching for, say, Burberry rain boots, it’s safe to “assume” they are searching for them because they are interested in purchasing a pair. Burberry gets its popular boots shown at the top of the SERP and the consumer sees immediate results, making it easier and quicker to make a purchase.

What does this change mean to advertisers?

To put it plainly, there are less available spots “above the fold” for advertisements, which will lead to more competitive prices (up, up, up), although that has not been seen quite yet. Advertisers need to revisit ad strategies to:

  1. Manage the budget. Does more money need to be allotted for your ad campaign to make up for the cost difference? Can your company afford to advertise in this way? Could your budget go further on other channels? It’s important to understand your budget and how you can get the best viewership for your dollar.
  2. Evaluate the channel. Will continuing to use Google SERP be advantageous for you or your client? Smaller brands may have to make big changes if the budget doesn’t support the current strategy. Understanding the different channels available for you or your client and strategizing the usage could save you green, and headaches.
  3. Update the content. How can you make your content stand out? With less ad space on the SERP, your content needs to shine brighter than the rest. Shinier content can include: Video, infographics, answering customer questions, and branded content.

Track the success of each new piece of content on the new layout and find ways to reproduce that success as well as revisiting the content that fell flat and trying again. While visiting your content, one of the most important aspects to consider is your audience. Is SERP advertising the best way to reach your audience? What does your audience enjoy? What are their hobbies and interests? Updating content, evaluating the channel, and managing the budget won’t mean a thing if your audience isn’t using the channel. You can check out our PPC advertising services to learn more or get some personalized advice.

Don’t Forget About Social Media

Google’s update will also lead you to revisiting your social media presence. Social media becomes more important as the opportunities for engaging customers becomes slimmer through organic search. Not only does it provide more vehicles to share your content, it will help make customers more aware of your brand, which will lead to organic searches from them in the future. Transitioning them from window shoppers to consumers through social media can be easy and inexpensive:

  • Interacting directly with potential customers. Respond to positive reviews or comments. Your customer will appreciate it and, most of all, remember it the next time they need what you’re selling.
  • Interacting with current customers’ questions and issues. This improves your authority on the subject and earns trust. Trustworthy companies are successful companies. Earn their trust and you earn a lifelong customer.
  • Sponsored ads. Shell out some money to get your ads noticed. Not just on SERP but on social media as well. Social media such as Facebook is “pay to play.” To get your ads in front of new consumers, you have to budget for some eyeballs to see your ads.

Consumers are on social media much more than they are on your website or researching your brand, so you need to not only get the content in front of them, but cater it to your specific audience or audiences. Creating and implementing that content is just the start. Good customer service needs to back up your products or services in order to get a positive perception out there. Many people love sharing brands they are passionate about, so make them passionate about yours!

Sum It Up For Me

The new Google SERP layout is a big change, mostly with the amount of ads allowed on a search page. This will likely send the price for these spots skyward, even if your budget doesn’t move. Revisit your budget, research advertising channels and update your content. Most of all, keep your audience in mind. Always. Go where your audience goes, and revisit your brand if your audience isn’t buying it.

Have you seen an impact in your traffic or paid advertising metrics because of the change? Let us know how it affected you in the comment section below.

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5 Ways to Help Gmail Ads Work for Your Business http://www.cafeproje.com/uncategorized/5-ways-help-gmail-ads-work-business/ Mon, 28 Mar 2016 11:55:56 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7521 Gmail ads are a great way to earn further visibility for your brand with a targeted audience, and generally at a much lower cost than a PPC ad. In my opinion, Google didn’t make a big deal publically about Gmail ads back in 2013 when they were launched, and then when they were finally available […]

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Gmail ads are a great way to earn further visibility for your brand with a targeted audience, and generally at a much lower cost than a PPC ad. In my opinion, Google didn’t make a big deal publically about Gmail ads back in 2013 when they were launched, and then when they were finally available to all advertisers in September 2015 they still didn’t get much air time. Because of this, the opportunity has flown under the radar for many companies. Fortunately, it’s easy to get started and you can start seeing results immediately.

The 101 on Gmail Ads for Your Business

As you may have guessed, Gmail ads will target users based on the activity seen in their Gmail accounts and the ads will show up in the Promotions tab. Below is a screenshot of what an add would look like to a user using Gmail:

gmail

The ads are considered native ads because they don’t necessarily look like an ad because, as you can see, they take on the form of Gmail in your inbox. They are promoted to the top of the promotions tab so they aren’t lost in the mix of, for me, thousands of promotional emails I receive.

How to Get Started

To create a Gmail ad you simply open your AdWords and set up a Display Network and then create Gmail ads format in the Ad gallery. Choose your template from the four options: Image, Single Item, Multiple Item templates or Custom HTML; add information and click preview.

Here is what the four templates look like:

formula

Image template: This template is basically a landing page for one promotion. If you have a strategy centered around the one goal this is the ideal template for you.

Single template: This template allows for an image and text for still just the one promotion. You’ll have the graphic, content and the action button to get your audience to do the magic.

Multiple template: This option tends to look like an e-commerce page with a number of products blocked out with images. Each image links out to more information on the desired website.

Custom HTML: This is about the same as the old platform. You’re allowed more creative freedom with this, including embedded videos, forms and “click-to-call” capabilities.

So, what are the advantages?

Cost. Cost is currently pretty low, which makes this a great time to check it out and play with the possibilities. That being said, you’ll want a strategic plan for its use in order to see success. It’s a development commitment.

Placement. Getting an ad into a future customer’s inbox can be the best thing you do for your advertising campaign. People check their email all day every day, so they are bound to check out the promotional emails in their inbox, even if it’s just to delete them.

Catch ‘em and reel ‘em in. The key to success with Gmail ads is your subject line. Your subject is how you are going to get potential customers to click on your email. Those keywords you’re using to find your audience are the words you’ll want to refer back to in that subject.

Ad formats. The multiple options for ads makes it easy and engaging for your audience – and it’s not too difficult to develop on your end. Gmail has removed standard text ads and replaced them with these fewer, higher-quality native ads. So, your audience isn’t seeing that many ads in their inbox, and less ads equals less competition equals higher click through rate equals more money. Amy Sherman, senior director of digital marketing with Renaissance Hotels, noted users spent 25 percent more time on the website and there was an 18 percent increase in page views per visit after working with Gmail ads.

X Ways to Use Gmail Ads in Your Marketing Plan

Now that you’ve been convinced to use Gmail ads in your marketing plan, here are some tips to use them to the fullest.

Use your existing email campaign data

The library of emails you already have from previous email marketing campaigns can be used in your Gmail ads plan. Pull a recent report and dial down to the open rate for your email campaign. Emails that have done well for your campaign organically will likely do well in a sponsored email format. Sorting by open rate will reveal your shining stars. Those stars twinkling up at you are the emails you want to target with sponsored Gmail ads. Use that treasure chest to your advantage and a repeat customer will likely come back more than once.

Use EMOJIS

It’s true. Use the emoji-driven world we live in today to catch the attention of your most wanted. Obviously, use pertinent emojis for your content. Emojis make people smile and it makes the ad feel more personal. “This company is using emojis to communicate? I used emojis to communicate! I love emojis!” You’re welcome.

Use your competitors to your advantage

While using your own keywords to drive Gmail ads to prospective customers, why wouldn’t you throw in your competitors as well? People in the market for your competitor’s product are in the market for yours as well. Get on their radar by using your competitors.

Pay attention to what your Analytics are telling you

Don’t just report the click through rate for opening your Gmail ads—take a deep dive into where they go from there. If they aren’t ending up on the content you expected or wanted, take a step back and see how you can fix it. As a Marketing Agency, we use this tactic for email marketing campaigns and Analytics always give us great insight into whether or not these ads are really working.

analytics

Mix it up with your formats

Gmail ads offer so many different formats it would be a shame not to use them. Not only that, but people don’t want to see the same thing every time. Freshen up your ads just like you would your content.

Have you used Gmail ads in the past or seen them as a consumer? Let us know what worked for you or what tips you have in the comment section below.

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How to Create a Winning Social Media Assembly Line for a Smoother Strategy http://www.cafeproje.com/social-media/create-winning-social-media-assembly-line-smoother-strategy/ Wed, 23 Mar 2016 13:30:55 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7516 “There has to be a more effective way” is something you might have found yourself saying over the past year as you plan out and implement all of your social media marketing, and you’re not the only one. With so many social platforms and roles and responsibilities it takes to manage them, it can feel […]

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“There has to be a more effective way” is something you might have found yourself saying over the past year as you plan out and implement all of your social media marketing, and you’re not the only one. With so many social platforms and roles and responsibilities it takes to manage them, it can feel a little bit daunting at times and you might be questioning whether there is a more effective way. The best strategy for success is to plan ahead. As a social media management company, we believe a social media “assembly line” should do the trick for most small businesses.

Keep in mind that to make this work smoothly you might need a team of employees who work on social media—that way you can divide and conquer. It is also important to keep in mind that different social platforms have different perspectives for content. I like the image below by SocialRank because it shows that even if you are posting the same content to multiple accounts there is going to be a different way you address it and ultimately a different purpose for posting:

socialrank

When you’re developing your social media strategy, you are going to go through three phases, what BufferSocial calls “The Wheel of Social Media strategy”, and it includes (1) Plan, (2), Implement, and (3) Measure.

Within these three stages you are going to have several other tasks and goals, all of which have priority and should be done in a relatively consistent order. Keeping this general idea in mind, below I have constructed the Social Media Assembly Line to help you conceptualize the tasks in each phase, and we will discuss each phase in more detail afterwards.

assembly-line

Step 1: Plan

This is the beginning of your assembly line. You actually want to sit down at the drawing board once you have decided upon a campaign or have developed a piece of content that you are ready to take to social media. Once you have the piece of content or campaign you are going to want to decide where you will be posting and how your content will be best served. As the image in the intro suggests, you can in fact take one piece of content and distribute it widely across all platforms, however, you need to keep in mind the different perspectives that those platforms have.

After you have decided what and where, you can devise a schedule. How many times will you post this particular piece of content? It is going to depend on the time of content and purpose. If it is for an event, you might want to post more frequently than a blog post with a visiting authoritative writer. Planning this out and actually marking it on a schedule is going to be essential for the next step, implementing.

Lastly, you are going to want to plan who is going to be responsible. Most companies do not have one person responsible for social media. This is great as it takes the load off of one person; however, you want to make sure that you are not getting your wires crossed. You do not want the working content form posted on Twitter, or people posting to Facebook twice in one day. Devising a plan for who is responsible for what in this assembly line is essential.

Step 2: Implement

Once you have developed a plan, the actual implementing is fairly smooth. You will make considerations for whatever platforms you have decided to share your content on and then tailor your content to each before you post. Remember, as the screenshot above shows there are different forms and styles you will want to follow for positing.

You are going to want to stay on track with the schedules you have designed keeping in mind specific days and times. A helpful tip is to have a whiteboard in your office where you can visibly see the schedule and check each post off as it happens. You can also set calendar alerts on your computer calendar so that you get notifications.

As we discussed in the “planning” section, you are going to want to hold employees responsible for their delegated posting duties, and check back in with them to see how the initial responses are from your audience, you don’t have to wait until the next step to start getting a feel for how it is going.

Step 3: Measure

The last and possibly the most important step in your social media marketing assembly line is to measure. This means looking at all of your traffic on analytics and figuring out which forms and platforms got the best response. This is really helpful in designing your next social media marketing strategy and knowing how to launch forward with content design.

That being said, different content is going to have different effects on different social media platforms. In other words, just because your last post was more popular on Twitter than Instagram does not mean next time you should eliminate posting to Instagram. Obviously certain content forms are going to do better certain places, and this isn’t a mark that you should shift your entire strategy. Pay attention, though, because maybe there is a creative and different approach to take with the content that is not performing as well on certain platforms, in which case repurposing you main content for certain platforms might be an effective strategy. Below is a sample screenshot:

measure

Divide and Conquer

Something that has come up a few times in this post in the notion of planning ahead and diving the workload into manageable pieces. If you think of this work as an assembly line, you may also want to think of the staff you have on-board as assembly line workers. You do not want everyone doing the same thing at the same stage, so always make sure you have a “divide and conquer” mentality to get things done more efficiently. One way to think about this mentality is to have step 1, 2, and 3 be a teams of their own, and within each team, divide up the work further.

How do you feel about conceptualizing social media marketing as an assembly line? Do you feel like this might help your business stay on track and improve? Let us know in the comments section below.

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8 Ways to Help Create Content on Service and Product Pages for Better Conversions http://www.cafeproje.com/content-writing/8-ways-please-customers-reap-benefits/ Thu, 17 Mar 2016 15:40:31 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7510 Most businesses are aware of the benefits of a blog and having great content on your blog, social channels, and homepage. However, many keep the content on their product pages bland and don’t worry about how to optimize this content. Unfortunately, this is leaving a lot of opportunity on the table. Once you have your […]

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Most businesses are aware of the benefits of a blog and having great content on your blog, social channels, and homepage. However, many keep the content on their product pages bland and don’t worry about how to optimize this content. Unfortunately, this is leaving a lot of opportunity on the table. Once you have your content-rich pages ready to go, move to your product pages and see what you can do.

Top 8 Ways to Optimize the Content On Your Product Pages

The ultimate goal of product and service pages is to convert visits to purchases. You have a person on your site, now how do you flip them to customers? Your content is there not only to describe and promote your product, but also to turn that into dollars, so make your content work for you. Strategically writing, placing and promoting content will drive people to your website. Consider some tips to making it happen below.

  1. Keep a Conversational, Unique Tone

Using your colorful and unique descriptions not only makes the experience for your user unique and memorable, it works for you in the form of SEO. Having content that is conversational will help organically push your content to the top. Without it, it’s going to be harder to wade through the other products and services using similar verbiage.

  1. Pay Attention to Page Layout for Your Content

The layout of your product or service page is important. Make sure your unique, descriptive content and images are next to the checkout button. Have this button and the content as high up on the page as possible, and make it easy for the customer to add a product to the cart and check out or keep shopping.

In so many words: The simpler the better. The more cluttered the page, the harder it is for a user to navigate to content they’re searching for. A cluttered page or confusing layout will lose a website visitor pretty quickly.

  1. Use Images and Videos

Unique images and videos are just as important as unique descriptors. Use your own interesting photos and create “how to” videos for your products. Zappos is a great example of this, which is shonw below. As you can see, the company created product videos using its own staff, and according to the Wall Street Journal article, because of this they saw a 10 percent increase in conversion. In other words, the same benefits you see with video on your blog can transfer over into your product pages.

zappos

  1. Provide FAQs

Providing a Frequently Asked Questions page can help for many reasons. Providing this will give your website visitors the chance to get their questions answered without having to submit a question that is then sent to an inbox overflowing with similar questions. And who knows how often that inbox is checked? Do I even need to talk about the annoyance your customer (probably now former customer) will feel if they have to actually interact with a human being? FAQs will not only be helpful for your customers, but it’ll save your employees time – instead of answering annoyed customers’ questions, they’ll be working (presumably)!

  1. Discover your Brand

Having a strong brand for your company – who you are, what you stand for, what you offer and whatyou believe – makes you memorable, and shows your company is into more than just selling a product or service. Check out how IKEA brands their content to show they are more than just a furniture company:

ikea

IKEA shows they are more than just interested in selling you a new bed; it shows they care about the well being of their employees. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Branding your content creates a consistent message. Take jingles for example, they always stick in your head (remember the Oscar Meyer Wiener song?). Now you don’t necessarily have to create a jingle, but using consistent imagery, phrases or slogans will make your brand more memorable. Walgreens’ slogan “At the corner of happy and healthy,” is warm, comforting and acknowledges their mission without saying “come to Walgreens for all your pharmacy needs.” It sticks. Their brand goes further – into the stores. They rebranded every store and trained employees to end transactions with employees with “Be well” also sticks.

Note: A great place to start with this initiative is actually hiring a social media marketing company. Start there and once you have a good foundation and campaign in order you can move to your product pages.

Putting this type of content on a product page is a great way to make sure that you stand out and you don’t just look like the typical product-price-photo webpage that others companies use. Taco Bell’s “Live Más” encourages diners to live each day to the fullest – and fill up on TB. It links to the company’s corporate social responsibility as well, which brings me to my next point.

  1. Keep In Mind Corporate Social Responsibility

Customers want the companies they support to be socially responsible and give back to their communities – especially the communities where they live and work. Corporate Social Responsibility is not only beneficial for your communities it reinforces your brand. A company’s reputation is just as important as the quality of its products and services. Your good reputation in social responsibility will increase the notion of your positive brand. Great CSR also helps attract and retain employees – they care just as much about their employer being socially responsible as customers do. Taco Bell again shows how you can brand yourself and show your Corporate Social Responsibility:

livemas

  1. The Simple Things

As far as the layout and content of your page goes, make sure you provide the product name, price, purchase button and suggested products. These pages can get cluttered and you don’t want the important information getting lost in the mix. Ensure your descriptions, product names, images, and videos are tagged appropriately for SEO (which means using keywords, which you can learn more about here if you need a reminder).

  1. Customer Reviews

Having a positive report with customers speaks volumes. Customers providing positive experiences under a customer review section strengthens that report. If other people similar to me like this product, I will too. Reviews also offer the opportunity for your company to work to repair negative relations based on bad reviews. Reaching out to your customers and offering an apology, explanation or even refund for a disappointing experience will get them to come back to your company. Amazon is the King at using product reviews, but individual items can as well, as shown below on a page for Sony:

reviews

Taking the time to create product and service pages for your customers is the best way to give your customers a positive experience – turning them into repeat customers. Designing with your audience in mind is the quickest way to appease your customers and move your brand to the next level.

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Make a Great Impression with your Website in 15 Seconds or Less http://www.cafeproje.com/uncategorized/make-great-impression-website-15-seconds-less/ Tue, 15 Mar 2016 13:30:48 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7505 Most people cruising the Internet are not web designers, but they do make flash judgments on a website based on the first 15 seconds; if not much quicker. Many components can make or break a website’s success. This means that whether you are selling a product or representing an organization, your website needs to catch […]

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Most people cruising the Internet are not web designers, but they do make flash judgments on a website based on the first 15 seconds; if not much quicker. Many components can make or break a website’s success. This means that whether you are selling a product or representing an organization, your website needs to catch your visitors within those first few seconds, especially with the amount our culture relies on the Internet – expectations are high, and if not met you won’t see those visitor conversions you’re expecting. If a website is slow to load or the content isn’t clear and concise, most people will click the back button before you can show them your platinum content. Pulling your visitors in and leading them to content based on your brand and communication plans all starts with a killer website.

Here are a few tips to convert those visitors to customers, stakeholders and supporters:

  1. Good design

A webpage with sleek, clean and easy to follow design wins visitors over in a snap. Good design involves unique photos; concise and interesting content; practical design and a focused mission, vision, and brand for your company. A simple, easy-to-understand design will play well to all generations of web surfers. Who is your audience? What do they need to know when the first land on your page? What do they want to know? What do you want them to know? Ask yourself these questions to first, build your website for your audience, and second, to provide information about your company that you want your visitors to know.

Note: Keep in mind that hiring a web design company may be your best option to meet your goals if you don’t have any web design experience. Make sure you convey these thoughts to your company if you do decide to go this route.

For example, MailChimp simply explains its purpose in the header, shows an example through a graphic, offers a sign up button twice on the page and points users in the right direction for special features, pricing, support, their blog and miscellaneous. Understanding your users needs through website data and analytics will set your website up to cater for your audiences needs. Below is a screenshot example:

mailchimp

  1. Graphics

This is going to be short and sweet – make sure your graphics load quickly and are saved in an appropriate format. Check out some suggestions here. Make sure those graphics are unique and interesting while you’re at it. Nothing is worse than a boring stock photo. Have photos implementing your brand. Make your graphics (photos, videos, infographics, etc.) work for you by getting creative and taking some time to come up with images that are unique.

  1. Highlights

Get a great customer review? Highlight it on your website! Customers can sell your product or service better than you can. Potential customers trust their peers – if HockeyRulez818 loves this product, I probably will too! Customer reviews are free advertising, so rather than bragging about why your product or service is the best, have your customers do it for you. Customers are honest and potential customers yearn for honesty from companies trying to get their business.

Testimonials are also a great way to highlight what people are saying about your company. These types of highlights are sometimes also called credibility markers, which you can learn more about here.

  1. Mobile

It’s 2016, your website needs to be easily accessible on the go. According to a comScore report, 60 percent of online content comes from mobile devices. Twenty-three percent of that traffic comes organically from Android or iPhones users. Websites with responsive design are the best for this because the user never leaves the original website, such as a m.text.com website. Responsive design is when the website grows or shrinks to the size of the device in use. Responsive design restricts some capabilities with some products, but it’s worth the change – your site looks clean and user-friendly on any and every device.

The example below shows how a website may look different on different screens. A responsive design will do this automatically. Notice how the images change location and the text shrinks to the size of the screen.

responsive

  1. Freshness

Keep your website fresh and update content regularly. Your visitors want to see new content and improvements every time they visit. Try linking your fresh content to different areas of your site – if something is buried three clicks deep that you want your visitors to see, link it from the homepage and watch the magic happen. Current content will bring visitors back to see what your company is up to. Converting visitors to loyal customers will increase your website visits like no other. Tie that in with your social media accounts and loyal customers will check in often.

  1. Direct users to the right pages

It may not seem like this is something a user would notice in 15 seconds, but this is actually a way to make sure that users are landing on the right pages in the first place. If you can make sure this happens, then you can make sure you even have a chance to make that impression in the first place.

When posting content elsewhere, don’t just link to the homepage, link to pertinent content that can direct your visitor to other similar content. Direct users where you want them to go – you have the power to promote your content and get your audience there. Use it. Article pages should have links to similar articles or pages of your website, whether it’s to apply for a job or find more information on how the company is innovative. Use your website to your advantage. The more you cross-promote your own content, the more clicks you will get.

The Takeaway

Your website is the main hub of your company profile. It’s where people can go to research your company, learn what the company has been doing via articles and press releases and hopefully create repeat customers and fans of your product. Using the Internet to your advantage is the best way to reach customers and this is the time to do it. Smart design, beautiful and interesting graphics, engaging and fresh content, and especially a mobile friendly website are easy steps to create a website that will keep visitors interested.

Do you have any tips you would add to the list? Let us know in the comment section below.

Feature Photo Credit: dreamstime.com

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How to Utilize Podcasts for Content Rejuvenation http://www.cafeproje.com/content-writing/utilize-podcasts-content-rejuvenation/ Wed, 24 Feb 2016 13:51:13 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7279 Repurposing content is something that is not only helpful when you are out of fresh ideas—we all know it can be a good option when you are in need of fresh content but don’t know where to start—but it can also be a step in the right direction when you see that a piece of […]

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Repurposing content is something that is not only helpful when you are out of fresh ideas—we all know it can be a good option when you are in need of fresh content but don’t know where to start—but it can also be a step in the right direction when you see that a piece of content has done particularly well. In other words, ask yourself: Do you have a blog post, webinar, slideshow, or other presentation of your brand’s content that was a major hit with your audience? You can rejuvenate this content by turning it in to a podcast.

First Things First: How to Make a Podcast

There was a great article put out by Digital Trends that I highly recommend reading for an even more detailed explanation of actually creating a podcast in the first place. Still, below are some of the basics before diving into how to actually repurposing your existing content into a podcast:

  1. Choose your topic. In this case, we are going to focus on turning an existing piece of content (preferably one that was really successful on your site) and turning it in to a podcast through repurposing and making it in to an audio program. You want to choose something that is going to offer your audience something unique and useful.
  2. Consider making a program. While it may seem like this idea could be useful for one or two pieces of content on your site as of now, eventually you are going to have even more content to repurpose and add to a podcast. For this reason it is a good idea to consider making a program that can be attached to your brand. It will offer your company a lot of credibility and will be an ongoing project that you can continue to add to. This means that it is not exclusively for repurposing content either, you can also develop content in this way originally as well. Once you establish a program, you will definitely want to consider having the same format for every show so that your listeners know what to expect (this is what the most successful podcasts tend to do).
  3. A few words of caution. Before you begin, there are definitely a few things you will need to know and keep in mind to be most successful:
    • You will need to obtain artist consent if you want to use any non-original music during your podcast. Truthfully, obtaining rights can be difficult sometimes, however contacting the content creator for direct consent (especially if it is an up-and-coming or local artist) can be the way to go since it will mean exposure for them. There are also sound files available online that are already specifically licensed for use, visit Creative Commons Search or freesound.org.
    • Have a Script. This is absolutely essential in order to have a successful podcast. Do not just go in and try to record without having something written first (and no, the content you are repurposing does not count). You will need to figure out how you want to re-develop and scrip this content in a unique way. In most cases a podcast is never more than an hour, so try to assess how long you would like the recording to be.
    • Stick to a schedule. While this may not be on your radar as you are developing a podcast for the first time, keep in mind that some of the most successful podcasts have a very regular schedule when it comes to how often they are writing, producing, and promoting new content on their podcast. If you are brand new to podcasting, once a week might be too ambitious—but once a month could be a good target goal.
    • Find examples. Find other examples of similar podcasts that may have objectives that parallel your own. Listen to their audio content and note what they do well and how you might want to design your own podcast.
  4. Equipment and other considerations. You can see the article I referenced earlier in this post for a detailed exploration of types of equipment recommended to start a podcast. It is actually pretty inexpensive to have the equipment you need: a microphone, recording software, a mixer (optional), & a pop filter. Below is a sample screenshot:podcast
  5. Record and convert. Once you have done all of the above you are ready to record and get going to create something you can publish on your website. Search Engine Journal does a great job of utilizing podcasts in their “Marketing Nerds” series, so I recommend checking that out to see how a strategy might work for you.

Making it Social

One of the reasons you might want to repurpose content into a podcast is if it went over particularly well with your audience. As a social media marketing company, we see content development as directly linked to social media use. If your followers really enjoyed a particular piece of content, especially if it was shared or “liked” a lot on your social media platforms, people will be very excited to listen to a podcast on the same topic. You want to make sure that they are going to get something unique and rewarding by listening to the podcast (as opposed to returning to the original piece of content), and you also want to make sure that you are promoting it to all of your existing social audiences.

social

When you are trying to figure out what to rejuvenate and bring back to life through a podcast, it is a good idea to look to social media shares and social media analytics in general. If you shared a piece of content and many people followed the link back you tour site, this means that the topic you chose was one that got people really excited. These make for great podcasts and there is a lot you can do with them.

Merging Multiple Content Relics

Repurposing content into a podcast does not need to only involve one piece of content. In fact, since you likely want a podcast longer than an average blog article when scripted and drafted into audio content, you may want to consider merging multiple pieces of content. In the event you don’t, you will likely have to elaborate or go into more detail than you originally did.

Take for example that you wrote a blog post on a topic that was really popular with your audience, but you also wrote blog posts or developed infographics/video/webinar content on ideas related that were far more specific or maybe offered support for ideas in the popular piece. Merging these content “relics” together could pain a full and complete picture that might be far richer than they are as stand-alone pieces.

Your Existing Content

The extent to which you can repurpose and develop podcasts based on your already existing (successful) content, is going to depend on how long your brand has been around and how much content you have to work with. If you are lucky enough to have been around for a decent amount of time already, I can almost guarantee that you have more than enough to work with if you get creative and explore what your followers might want to see in a podcast form.

Always start with your analytics and measure what topics, ideas, and types of content have been successful in the past. You may also want to elicit feedback from your social audience directly, ask them what they would like to see in podcast form. In the end, podcasts have become a popularized way to produce content, and using this to your advantage could not only improve your SEO and site overall, but also help rejuvenate content that your followers clearly want to see more of in the future.

Do you have any more ideas for utilizing podcasts to help rejuvenate old content? Let us know in the comment section below.

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4 Reasons Why GoDaddy Site Builder Sites Wreak Havoc on Your SEO http://www.cafeproje.com/web-design-blog/4-reasons-godaddy-site-builder-sites-wreak-havoc-seo/ Mon, 22 Feb 2016 02:58:12 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7386 For the vast majority of businesses, GoDaddy site builder sites are not a good idea to use if you’re looking to be successful with SEO. Despite the fact that GoDaddy manages over 60 million domain names, which makes them the largest domain registrar in the world, and has over 13 million paying customers, their website […]

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godaddy site builder bad for seo?For the vast majority of businesses, GoDaddy site builder sites are not a good idea to use if you’re looking to be successful with SEO. Despite the fact that GoDaddy manages over 60 million domain names, which makes them the largest domain registrar in the world, and has over 13 million paying customers, their website builder is still inferior to most. It seems like they should be the experts at building websites and it seems like they would have ironed all of the kinks by now, but as surprising as it may be, that’s still just simply not the case.

The sooner you can understand more about some of GoDaddy’s limitations, the more ready you will be to make a decision when it comes to your website. This is ultimately one of the most important decisions you can make for your business, so it’s best to be aware of the negatives as well as the overly publicized positives you’ve probably been reading.

4 Limitations and Reasons That Prove the GoDaddy Site Builder is a Bad Idea for SEO

Keep in mind that GoDaddy is a do-it-yourself website builder with a drag-and-drop functionality. What you see is what you get when you create your website, so it’s easy to use and it’s extremely quick to get started. Of course in similar fashion to the “you get what you pay for” mantra, the ease of GoDaddy means missing out on a lot of opportunity. Consider some of these limitations below:

You can’t change or customize your themes.

If you ever decide you want a new theme (or essentially a new design) you have to start all over. This means you lose all of your content. Other website builders like WordPress or SquareSpace allow you to change and customize your theme whenever you’d like without having to rebuild all of your pages, so this is probably the biggest downside to GoDaddy.

In addition to changing themes, which often changes the look and design of your website, you don’t have access to edit the HTML or CSS code. This means that even if you decide you don’t have to change your theme completely but you want to make a few changes, you can’t. You’re stuck with every little aspect of that theme. No A/B testing to see what earns you the most clicks or conversions, and no changing your style as your company grows.

Why It Matters for SEO:

If you do end up trying to change your theme or make changes and something goes wrong, losing all of your content is also going to force you to start over when it comes to SEO. Any improvements you saw in your rankings or SEO juice you built up in the past is wiped away when your content disappears, so if you ever want to make a change you have to start completely over in the SEO department as well. It takes a long time to really build up your SEO, so this is crucial.

On another note, if you are unable to redesign your theme, this means that you are unable to improve your navigation over time. This makes it incredibly hard to expand so your site won’t go anywhere in the way of SEO. Google likes to see navigation and traffic, and that’s hard to find if your theme is struggling to offer content engaging content because you’re trying to integrate third-party blogging platforms (more on this in the last section).

It’s not up to par for mobile.

mobile friendlyIf you’re not already aware, Google favors websites that are mobile friendly / responsive but many website owners continue to use out-dated websites that are not compatible with mobile devices. ?In the past this might have been something you could overlook, but not anymore. According to Google, more searches are taking place on mobile now than desktop in 10 countries. This means your mobile presence needs to be on point and strong enough to keep readers on your page, and the GoDaddy website builder doesn’t offer that. While it will use a responsive theme automatically, you don’t have any flexibility when it comes to where you want content and images shown to mobile users. It’s really a control issue here, and it’s a pretty simple concept—you, the website owner, have very little.

Why It Matters for SEO:

As Google discusses in the link mentioned above, mobile is critical when it comes to SEO because that’s where so many people are now searching. This is where the majority of your traffic will probably come from, so you have to make sure that you have an optimized site for those screens. If you don’t, that would-have-been traffic will click away to a site that is mobile optimized. According to Radware article, almost half of mobile users expect pages to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40$ will abandon a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load, and the same goes if the site is tough to read.

There are very few e-commerce tools.

So obviously this will only affect your company if you plan to setup an e-commerce website, but it’s still something to keep in mind just in case you ever anticipate wanting to add an e-commerce option to your business. It may not be a part of your plan now, but many businesses find later on in the process that there is a need. In either case, just keep in mind that the website builder offers no e-commerce tools. This means no setting up payments, filters, searching for products, etc. You can setup your website with a PayPal store, but this can get messy and confusing for both you and readers. It’s best to keep everything hosted in one place.

Why It Matters for SEO:

This is a situation where navigation and website architecture is important. If you don’t make it easy for those visiting your e-commerce website to make a purchase, you won’t earn those natural links you need for good SEO and you will confuse the Google bots trying to index your website, which is a recipe for poor SEO.

You have to integrate a separate blog option.

This one is definitely hard to believe, but there is no blog option with these builders. If you want a blog, you have to integrate a separate blog such as WordPress. Of course being that content is one of the most important aspects of SEO, this is a huge disadvantage. Although GoDaddy may seem so “easy,” this is the perfect example of something that actually makes it much harder than if you were to just use a builder like WordPress in the first place.

Why This Matters for SEO: Content matters not only to keep people reading and interested in your website, but it’s the number one way to earn organic links that drive up your position on a SERP. It gives Google something to index and it gives readers something the link back to in their own writing, so the easier you can make content creation for your website the better.

So Why Would Anyone Consider GoDaddy Site Builder?

You can read about all of the positives here, but you’ll see one main theme—it’s easy. It’s easy to use because you can’t make any changes, any customizations, any mobile updates, and everything is set to go for you.

For the vast majority of companies this is not going to cut it if you want a website that is going to look and stay competitive. If all you’re looking to do is throw up a website without having to really “create” anything other than write content then this might be a good option, but in our opinion, that’s about the only situation where you’ll see success. The moral of the story is that while many of the options seem appealing, it’s what GoDaddy doesn’t mention that is actually the most important for your website success overall.

Extra: So What about the Yahoo Site Builder CMS?

Unfortunately, this is almost just as bad as GoDaddy when it comes to SEO. As a web design agency we get asked all the time about GoDaddy with Yahoo not far behind, and unfortunately the answer is typically the same. Really any do-it-yourself website builder is going to have the same problems—little customization, difficult redesigns, poor mobile options, etc.

Note: While it’s true that WordPress is a do-it-yourself CMS system, it’s customization and SEO abilities far surpass anything like GoDaddy or Yahoo so it is generally put into categories with other systems like Joomla or Drupal.

The Takeaway

In the end, it’s almost always worth it to invest in a website redesign before investing heavily into any type of online marketing that drives traffic to your website, especially SEO/SEM.?This means that before you even think about SEO externally you need to think about how your website is built and structured. Always make sure that you’re building an optimized website so you’re ready to hit the ground running with your SEO.

Do you have experience using the GoDaddy site builder? Let us know your thoughts and your story in the comment section below.

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11 Things You Should Know about the New Facebook Local Awareness Ads http://www.cafeproje.com/social-media/11-things-know-new-facebook-local-awareness-ads/ Thu, 18 Feb 2016 14:37:11 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7265 Naturally, Facebook Local Awareness Ads can be helpful if you’re interested in targeting customers who are shopping in your area or who live relatively close to your business. Facebook originally launched Local Awareness Ads in 2014, but they have made some serious improvements since. For this reason specifically, you may want to consider hiring a […]

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Naturally, Facebook Local Awareness Ads can be helpful if you’re interested in targeting customers who are shopping in your area or who live relatively close to your business. Facebook originally launched Local Awareness Ads in 2014, but they have made some serious improvements since. For this reason specifically, you may want to consider hiring a social media management company (shameless plug) to help get you accustomed to the new features and make sure you’re using them to your advantage.

Nevertheless, regardless of who manages your social media, it’s important to educate yourself about this type of social advertisement and understand some of the recent improvements. Consider some of these changes and tips to success below:

Make Sure It’s Offered in Your Area

Before you think about your ad options, consider your location and the location of your intended audience. Local Awareness Ads are only available in some countries, so if your intended audience is a global one, do your due diligence in researching your options.

local

If you are launching the campaign within the United States, there should be no problem using Local Awareness Ads. You can get very specific with your location, too, down to the exact address or addresses.

Consider Your Preferred Engagement Type

The refreshed layout of the Local Awareness Ads setup pages means it’s a little bit easier for a company to determine their needs and how best to accomplish them. The column on the left side of the page makes it easy to select the type of engagement that might work for you. For example, if your typical user is within a more “mobile-friendly” age group, then an ad within the Facebook app might make the most sense. On the other hand, an older target demographic would be more likely to access Facebook on a desktop. If this is the case, an app engagement would probably be a fruitless endeavor.

mobile

You are now also able to remove feeds that don’t suit your needs, whether that means removing the desktop feed or removing the mobile feed (as shown in the screenshot above). This is a new feature that allows you to get even more targeted.

Get Your Objectives in Order

Delving deeper into the new look of the Local Awareness Ads section, it becomes easier to create an ad that specifically meets your needs.

objectives

This selection of objectives can help form your overall social advertising plan and budget, so it would be worth your while to explore each one before making a choice. You might also choose more than one objective to meet your needs.

Extra Tip: Don’t Avoid the Tutorials

Pay attention to the tutorials Facebook offers; especially if it is your first time usual Local Awareness Ads. The screenshot below shows you can you find these tutorials to learn more:

tutorials

You’ll be prompted with the tutorial upon your first login, and it only takes a few minutes to read through each pop up. This will help you be as prepared as possible before you begin the ad-creation process.

There’s a New Help Section, Too

If the tutorial doesn’t seem to offer the tips you need, there is an improved “Help” section with frequently asked questions, options to ask other users for advice, and an option to contact Facebook directly, which you can see below:

facebook

This help section is available on almost every page you visit within the Local Awareness Ads section, so you can always reference it during the middle of a task. The slide-out menu means you don’t have to pause your efforts to do some research.

The help section on each of the ad creation pages is tailored to the topic of that page. That means if you are working on image selection and get confused, the help section will be pre-populated with common image-related questions and tips.

Learn More about New Ideas

If you are new to creating social media ads, a glossary of useful terms could prove helpful. Luckily, the Facebook ad setup process includes such a gloassry.

glossary

You can learn more about the different options for campaigns and objectives, or get a little bit more in depth when you click on any of the drop-down menus.

The alphabetical listing contains hundreds of campaign-related terms, as well as dynamic links within each listing to other related terms. This extension of the help sections means you likely will not have to take time contacting Facebook with questions.

New Options for Videos

New options offered by Local Awareness Ads means that a video might not be out of reach for you. Some people and business are intimidated by videos in ad campaign because of the production costs.

slideshow

This new option allows you to use low-cost images to create a slideshow in lieu of a video. Not only does this help keep costs low, it also means you can finish the ad quicker than if you used a video. Smaller businesses especially might find this new option beneficial.

Easy Image Selection

While photographs are definitely cheaper to commission than a video, they aren’t free and may still be out of budget for a small business – or even a large business with a small social media budget.

image-selection

You can opt to use purchased images, or explore the free stock images Facebook offers. Photos make any text piece more engaging, so it would be unwise to not use any images. The free option makes visually engaging ads accessible to businesses and budgets of all sizes.

Get a Better Visual on Your Target Area

Using the updated map can help you visualize your target area.

maps

You can enter your preferred address and select the area surrounding that, or you can opt to simply drag the targeted area around.

Integrate with Instagram

You can simplify your advertisement efforts by integrating your Facebook ads to Instagram.

instagram

This new option means you can kill two birds with one stone by combining social media endeavors.

Updated Calls-to-Action

An updated section more easily explains the calls-to-action offered through Local Awareness Ads.

connect

Most people don’t click on un-engaging ads, even on Facebook, but they do look at them. And just viewing an ad can and does influence the behavior of a potential customer. Providing engaging information will help encourage people to look at your ad.

Beyond that, offering a call-to-action gives users the opportunity to directly engage with you. Some engagement options include sending you or your business a message, calling your business directly, viewing a map of your location and finding direction, or something more specific to your needs.

Whether you are already using Local Awareness Ads or are just considering it, following these tips and learning more about new features will help make your advertising campaign a success.

Once again, you can get started by visiting the official Facebook Local Awareness Ads page. Give it a try and let us know what you think and what worked for you in the comment section below.

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9 Quick Ways to Improve Website Navigation for Better SEO http://www.cafeproje.com/search-engine-optimization/9-quick-ways-improve-website-navigation-better-seo/ Tue, 16 Feb 2016 14:28:30 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7261 There are many things that factor into good SEO and improving search engine rankings, but website navigation is one of the most important. Navigation really lies in the hands of your web design team, but unfortunately it is not always an easy task because SEOs and online marketers generally need to offer suggestions. If you […]

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There are many things that factor into good SEO and improving search engine rankings, but website navigation is one of the most important. Navigation really lies in the hands of your web design team, but unfortunately it is not always an easy task because SEOs and online marketers generally need to offer suggestions. If you don’t have someone in-house that can make sure your navigation is running soundly, and optimized for your SEO, then it might be time to consider working with a company that can help you along the way. After all, web design is critical for your SEO and navigation can be one of the tougher aspects of a site to optimize.

All that being said, if you are trying to improve your website navigation in-house, there are some things that will definitely help you to optimize for SEO. Below explains some tips to get you started in the right direction.

Make sure you are mobile friendly.

This belongs at the top of the list because even in 2016, it’s shocking how many business sites have not optimized their site for mobile. If there is one easy way for Google to knock you down a peg in the search rankings, it is definitely this. Mobile-responsive design is now an online standard because of the Google algorithm that penalizes sites without certain mobile-friendly features. If you are looking to improve your overall navigation, one of your first questions should be: is the site optimized for mobile? Below shows the difference when looking at a Dominos website on mobile:

mobile

Consistency is key.

One of the most essential factors in good website navigation is being consistent. Users want to feel like they are having a good experience regardless of what page or what part of the site they are on. If your navigation changes from page to page (except for intentional and necessary differences), visitors are going to be frustrated and will have to re-orient themselves. Improving your navigation consistency is a big plus for SEO.

Make getting to your social platforms easy.

We all know that social media is very important, and it is especially important that any visitor to your site can access your social media pages with ease. Make sure that your call to actions buttons are visible and work! You should aim to have social media buttons on every appropriate website page—this will help make sure that visitors like, tweet, share more of your content and visit your social media pages more often.

Optimize your use of breadcrumbs.

If your website has a lot of pages, breadcrumb navigation can be especially helpful in improving the navigation experience for users on your site. Breadcrumbs reduce the number of actions a website visitor needs to take in order to get to a higher-level page. They also make it easier to find certain sections and pages. Breadcrumbs are helpful because they work as visual aids that tell the user where they are on the site. Below is a screenshot from Smashing Magazine that shows how breadcrumbs work:

breadcrumbs

Extra: Make your navigation links as accurate as possible. Any navigational link on your site should be really clear to users. Whether it is a specific navigation link, a CTA (call to action), or an internal link of some kind, it should be clear where the link is going to lead them.

Consider your site layout.

One of the best things you can do when looking to improve your navigation for better SEO is to consider features of your site’s layout. Let’s take the toolbar for example. Not only is this an extremely helpful feature for users to be able to navigate and find various pages on your site, but they also provide important keyword and layout information. This is why it is so important to label correctly and do everything you can to make sure the layout is as sleek, well organized, and properly identified.

How many times do you need to hit the “back button?”

A good benchmark of your site’s overall navigation is to see how many times you need to click the back button in order to get to another page on your website. There should be navigation features that would never require a user to hit the back button at all. If your website navigation requires using the back button to move away from site pages, then I highly suggest that you implement an alternative design strategy as soon as possible.

Fix all broken links.

Internal links may not always stay valid, especially if they are directing the user to another website which is not your own. It is important to note any chances and fix broken links regularly. There is really nothing more frustrating than reading a blog, coming across an opportunity to navigate to another suggested topic, and then finding out that the link the webpage suggested is broken. Do not do this to visitors on your site—take the opportunity to fix these to improve your navigation, ASAP.

Optimize for user experience.

There are certain features people use on websites which require a lot of data and then ultimately negatively impact the site’s navigation. This is not to say that you shouldn’t use these features all together, but being selective and not overwhelming the page is one of the better choices you can make for the visitor’s navigation experience. Large videos, infographics, Flash components, and animations take much longer to load than simple graphics and text. Not only does this negatively effect load times, but it also makes it more difficult for search engine robots to crawl the site, which will definitely hurt your SEO. You need to optimize and use these features strategically so that your SEO doesn’t suffer and your users don’t get frustrated with the site.

Moving Forward

Improving website navigation is clearly a multifaceted issue that may take time to get to the best possible place. Truthfully, there are a lot of things that you can work on individually, but you also want to start by looking at your analytics and seeing if there is any one place you should start sooner rather than later.

This is the trick to not only handling it one step at a time, but also keeping your SEO in the forefront of what you want to accomplish. Further, it is a good idea to go onto sites that you really admire and see what you really like about the navigation experience. Using a model site is a great way to figure out your own preferences as a website user and figure out how you might be able to implement these ideas and changes on your own site.

The Takeaway

In the end, website navigation is never really done being optimized. There are going to be many opportunities to test, tweak, improve, and change various aspects of your site, and you want to try to embrace these practices as much as possible. The sooner you can get started the better.

Do you have any suggestions for improving website navigation? Did you find any of these tips helpful for your website specifically? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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5 Website Characteristics That Will Help Draw Authoritative Authors to Your Site http://www.cafeproje.com/content-writing/5-website-characteristics-will-help-draw-authoritative-authors-site/ Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:18:21 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7257 When it comes to getting authoritative writers to endorse you or take part in guest-blogging on your site, there are definitely characteristics that will make your website stand out among the rest. In other words, while you may be reaching out to authoritative figures now, if you have a standout site that draws authoritative authors […]

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When it comes to getting authoritative writers to endorse you or take part in guest-blogging on your site, there are definitely characteristics that will make your website stand out among the rest. In other words, while you may be reaching out to authoritative figures now, if you have a standout site that draws authoritative authors to you, they may even end up doing the asking.

Having authoritative figures in your industry connect with you will not only help you increase followers and allow your site to be more dynamic, it will also help increase your SEO and a variety of aspects of your social media presence. Why? Because having authoritative guest writers typical increases your clicks, social engagement, and will ultimately help to improve the overall popularity of your blog. The big question is how you can make this happen, and fortunately the answer is pretty easy once you know what you’re looking for.

5 Website Characteristics Authoritative Authors Look For in a Website

As a social media marketing agency, we cannot emphasize the importance of networking on any and all social and virtual platforms, but of course this is much easier to do when you have a website that’s ready to go (and there are things you can do to draw in authors specifically). Consider some of the tips below:

  1. Make sure your blog is in tip-top shape.

As I mentioned, this post is all about characteristics that are going to draw authoritative authors to your site. In order to make that achievable, you need to make sure that your site is in the best condition possible. The first thing any successful figure (in any industry) is going to do is stop by your website/blog and look at the content that you have. You want to make sure that you have recent posts that are relevant, and you also want to be sure that you are positing consistently and that it looks like you are making updates where they are needed.

It is always a good idea to have a good variety of content types, which means straying from the traditional text-block content. A good way to make this happen is to actually repurpose content from other successful blog posts that you have had, which you can learn more about here. This shows authors that you’re not just an updated blog; you’re a blog that’s going places.

  1. Look and examine what the author has written and use links when appropriate.

Before you can make an impression strong enough to have someone want to write on your site, you need to know who they really are as a writer. Correction: Not only do you need to know who they are, but you also need to make the argument that their work and knowledge is relevant and useful to your own followers.

One of the ways you can do this is by reviewing their writing and linking it to content that you are developing. If the relevance and your interest in their work makes sense, than it is going to be a far more successful endeavor when you ask them to write for your brand. Additionally, if they see you are linking to their page, they may even reach out to you. In other words, it’s all about the long game when trying to grab these writers.

A good way to find influencers in the first place and understand where they may be writing is actually to look at your competition and see where they are linking. You can use many different SEO tools to make this happen. Below shows what one of the most popular, Open Site Explorer, looks like. Don’t forget to sort by “only internal” for these purposes:

links

  1. Share your accomplishments (now is not the time to be modest).

If your blog has had some success, you definitely need to be vocal about it. When you ask an authoritative voice to guess blog, you want them to know that their piece is going to be read, appreciated, shared, and liked, otherwise they might not make the connection that it is worth their time. One way to do this is by sending a few metrics along with your introductory email to authors you are targeting. If you are doing well, these metrics speak for themselves.

Another idea is to use social media to share any accomplishments, and ultimately connect your blog platform and audience to any success stories. Thigns like testimonials, privacy badges, and company videos are also great options. This is definitely the less direct approach, but this is the way you can attract A-list authors that maybe weren’t on your radar. Check out more credibility marker ideas from an article we wrote for SEMRush here. Below is an example from the article that shows how testimonials can make your website more appealing (in this case, on the Econsultancy website):

testimonials

  1. Be social with potential authoritative authors.

Going along with #2, one thing that often sets you apart from the rest is networking and making connections where they really count. Make sure you are following and actively engaging with authoritative voices in your industry. By engaging through comments, likes, and other interactions, you begin to establish a relationship and build rapport. These social networking connections are in many cases all that you need to be able to broach asking about a guest blog.

If all else fails, you can always reach out via email, but make sure to mention the activity that you have had with them on social media, for example “I really enjoyed your post on Twitter on Tuesday” or “Thanks for sharing our blog post a few weeks back, it was an honor to have that reach your audience.” This way you are pointing out the present relationship you have with them before you ask for their support in furthering your professional connection.

  1. Support other bloggers you have hosted in the past.

If you have already had a guest blogger on your site, you definitely want to promote their posts and make it clear that this was a successful endeavor for them. One of the things the authoritative writers do when they are looking at the possibility of guest blogging is look to see how past guest bloggers were treated and what kind of outcome their piece had. Make sure you really take the time to thank and appreciate anyone who volunteers his/her time and writes for you. This includes posting the article on all of your social media platforms and mentioning them as a tag so it appears on their feed as well. Guest blogging should always be treated as something that is mutually beneficial.

The Takeaway

Getting someone with an authoritative voice in your industry to write on your blog is definitely something that can help you to increase website and blog clicks, social engagement, and will aid in improving the overall popularity of your blog. This relationship should be mutually beneficial to the author that chooses to write for you, so before you make this your latest goal, you will want to make sure that your blog is in great condition and has the most relevant content possible as recent posts. You will want to connect with them through social platforms, but also be familiar with their work before you begin. Lastly, do not hold back your accomplishments when you are trying to reach out and gain support from authoritative voices in your industry—give them a reason to dedicate their time and energy to you.

Do you have any experience with gaining access to authoritative guest bloggers? Have you been a guest blogger yourself? Is there anything you would like to add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below.

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How to Boost Referral Traffic from Instagram http://www.cafeproje.com/social-media/boost-referral-traffic-instagram/ Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:04:41 +0000 http://themiamiseocompany.com/?p=7252 There has been a lot of discussion about gaining referral traffic from the most popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The discussion generally centers around the benefits social media exposure can offer. However in recent news, updates to Pinterest have made SEO authors go wild with how to boost website referral traffic from […]

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There has been a lot of discussion about gaining referral traffic from the most popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The discussion generally centers around the benefits social media exposure can offer. However in recent news, updates to Pinterest have made SEO authors go wild with how to boost website referral traffic from the use of that particular social media platform—but what about Instagram? Is there no discussion because it is not a site to waste effort on when it comes to website referral traffic? Or, is it just that there is untapped potential not yet realized?

The answer is pretty simple: Instagram is absolutely a social media platform with tremendous website referral potential. Part of the reason it isn’t discussed as much is that there are some difficulties with tracking referral traffic straight from the app with analytics (more on that, plus a solution later in this article). The truth is that Instagram is a fairly young platform in the social media world, and that is another reason it has not been as openly embraced as some other social media platforms have. This is a mistake, as Instagram is both up and coming and being used by some valuable target demographics.

Why Instagram and Referral Traffic Matters

For example, consider this: According to Marketing Land, Instagram’s user base “is largely made up of young, urban demographics, with a significant skew towards women.” Additionally, over 1 in 5 teens (ages 13-18) use Instagram on a regular habitual basis. While this may seem to be excluding a large portion of relevant population for your business, there is a point I want to make. Regardless of who your target audience is right now, you have to consider marketing in terms of change and future as well. Teens using Instagram now are going to be in the “young adult” category in 2-5 years. Thus, tapping in to that audience now, as the app grows in popularity is a smart idea.

Secondly, this app is growing popularity, and will be reaching past these demographic boundaries in just a matter of time. Why, you might ask? Because Instagram is a highly visual experience, where photos dominate text, and infinite scrolling, following features, and ability to easily promote posts make users feel like the experience is worthwhile.

What is Referral Traffic (and Why Should You Care)?

For those who are