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Why Ignoring Video Marketing is Hurting Your Business

Why Ignoring Video Marketing is Hurting Your Business

6 Compelling Benefits to Jumping on the Video Bandwagon while the Momentum is Hot

Have you noticed seeing a lot more videos on Facebook lately?  Not only have there been a plethora of Facebook LIVE videos, but I’ve also been seeing a trend of videos made from simple animations or static inspirational images with music added.

All because Facebook has declared video to be something people want to watch more than any other form of content.

Then there’s the popularity of  YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram’s video platforms and capabilities that makes using video hard to ignore in today’s business marketing landscape.

And it shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise either. Think about how we have all been spoon-fed videos since young toddlers on TV.

The good news is, with the advancement of technology over the past few years, you no longer need to be an professional videographer or editor to be able to produce decent-looking videos, especially for a social media audience.

Creating decent-looking videos for social media has become much easier with today's technologyClick To Tweet

Still not sure if you should bother taking on the task of learning to do videos for your social media marketing? Take a look at some of these stats:

  • A Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a photo.
  • 73% of Business-to-Business marketers say video positively impacts their marketing return on investment.
  • According to CISCO, 80% of all consumer internet traffic will come from videos by 2020.
  • 10 billion videos are watched on Snapchat every day.
  • More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day
  • A Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a post with just a photo.
  • On Twitter, videos are 6 times more likely to be retweeted than photos and 3 times more likely than GIFs
  • Companies that use video in their online marketing efforts have been known to grow their revenues 49% faster.
  • Businesses who use videos in their marketing enjoy a 27% higher Click Through Rate (CTR) and 34% higher web conversion rates than those which don’t (Aberdeen Group, 2015).

Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say? But what can video actually do for you that will help boost your bottom line?

By incorporating videos into your business and social media marketing, you can take advantage of the following benefits:

  1. Increase Your Target Market’s Confidence in You

    Since trust is what relationship marketing is built upon, videos make a perfect fit to developing your target market’s confidence with your business offerings.
     
    Because you want to create the “Know, Like and Trust” factor with your ideal client, there is nothing better than having your smiling face be in front of that market in order for them to see your personality, understand your level of expertise, and get an instant impression of you that will lead them quicker to purchase.

  2. Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

    Because people tend to stay on your site’s web page longer by watching a video, the search engine’s algorithms are interpreting that to mean your site is worthwhile. This will in turn boost your SEO rankings.
     
    According to Moovly, your chances are 53x’s greater to be higher up in Google’s search results if your website or blog post includes a video.That coupled with Google’s ownership of YouTube,  your chances of getting higher rankings are increased when your videos are also housed there.

  3. Gain a Higher Social Media Reach

    Getting more people to like, comment and share your posts on Facebook has been an increasing challenge for business owners. The good news is, video has been a shining beacon of hope where 76% of users say they are apt to share entertaining videos on social media.
     
    If you make an effort to create fun and entertaining videos, this will increase your brand exposure and will, in turn, bring more attention to your business in an indirect way.

  4. Enjoy Higher Website Conversions

    Video marketing studies show that 74% of users who watched an video explaining or demonstrating a product ended up making the purchase.
     
    So by simply adding a video to your sales or free giveaway page, you should see a significant increase in people signing up for your offering.

  5. Save on Expensive Production Costs

    With technological advancements we are seeing at an incredible rate, the great news is you don’t need to invest in a lot of expensive equipment to create well-made videos.
     
    All you need is your smart phone and you’re good to go. So videos are now considered a cost-effective solution to getting in front of the masses in a format people are responding well to.

  6. Take Advantage of Showcasing Your Offerings

    A video is a great way to explain, demonstrate and showcase any kind of product or service offering you may have.
     
    Whether you are promoting a new program or offering a free giveaway for list building purposes, adding a video to the landing page will help give the viewer an opportunity to see it in action and visualize its benefits.

So as you can see, there are lots of reasons to start using videos to enhance your marketing efforts that will lead to increased sales.

Unlike as little as 10 years ago, the cost of equipment and production has made video marketing much more affordable for business owners; however, this is not to say it’s simple, easy and a sure-thing for success.

In my Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs monthly membership program, I share lots of tips and strategies on not only video marketing, but many other social media and digital marketing topics to help grow your business. Come and join us and learn!  Click here: www.socialmediagroupcoaching.com

To your success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Why Ignoring Video Marketing is Hurting Your BusinessClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The Ugly Truth: Why SEO Isn’t Driving Better Website Sales

Why SEO Isn't Driving Sales for Your Website

7 SEO-Related Strategies You Can Do Now to Increase Website Conversions

It’s been said you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.  This is certainly true when it comes to online marketing as well.

While business owners are hungry to achieve 1st page Google rankings (and if they’re not, they should!), sometimes they are puzzled why greater traffic doesn’t lead to greater sales.

After reading this article, you’ll find out what SEO is, what it isn’t, and how to harness the power of SEO to drive more sales for your business.

How to harness the power of SEO to drive more sales for your businessClick To Tweet

What SEO Is

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is online efforts designed to help your website get higher up in search engine rankings.

Basically that means when your potential customers type keywords related to your business in search engines such as Google, your website comes up higher in the search results.

There are many approaches to SEO.  Three common ways include:

  1. Optimizing the main and blog article pages of your website
  2. Link building
  3. Creating keyword-rich content

Google (and other search engines) loves websites that are highly relevant for a given keyword phrase.  So the key is to create valuable content that is optimized for a popular keyword phrase.

Google loves highly relevant, keyword rich content in websitesClick To Tweet

Hiring an SEO firm knows how to capitalize on each of these areas and can help you to optimize your website, create new keyword-rich content and blog posts, and get ranked high in Google.

What SEO Isn’t

SEO does not guarantee you will get more sales or lead conversions. Its sole purpose is to get people to come to your website only.

However, driving traffic to your website with SEO is only half the battle.  It’s also important to make sure your website is designed in a way that converts those leads into sales.

When you have a website that has a solid conversion rate, it ensures the investment you make in SEO will result in a guaranteed boost in sales.

How Do You Improve Website Conversion?

This is where it really pays to hire a marketing firm to analyze your website. 

While a website designer may design a gorgeous website, only a marketer knows techniques to keep your visitors engaged, give them product information, and incent them to take action.

Here are 7 ways to unleash the selling power of your website:

  1. Capture lead information

    Place an opt-in form prominently on every page of your website with a free offer so irresistible that visitors will be compelled to sign up. 
     
    This gives you the opportunity to send an email follow-up messages that builds rapport, provides value, and drives sales.

  2. Make it simple

    Present your options simply so a visitor can categorize themselves and select the right product/service that meets their needs. 
     
    Having 3 or 4 graphics boxes on the home page that show your products and who they are for helps visitors to take the next step.

  3. Build trust fast

    First impressions are critically important.  Within a few seconds people are judging if they trust you, if your option is what they need, and if your solution will solve their problem.
     
    You want to build credibility with testimonials, benefits-driven website copywriting, and professionally designed graphics. 
     
    Add contact information on your website so customers can ask questions and overcome their objections.  A FAQ page or a customer service chat feature helps customers instantly get answers to their most pressing questions.

  4. Build rapport

    Not every visitor will buy right away.  The potential customer might not need your product right away so you may have to prove value more before they feel comfortable in.
     
    They might not trust you yet so offer multiple options that help potential customers stay connected to you.  This can include social media, consistent newsletters, and/ or a blog.

  5. Add incentives

    Create an exit page that gives a special offer before they leave the site.  You could also add an upsell in the shopping cart that gives them a complementary product for just a few dollars more.  Email them a special introductory discount thanking them for being a new customer.

  6. Keep it focused

    A confused mind says “no” so keep your home page simple. Think of it as a funnel so that when your visitors come to your website, think of how you can easily lead them through the choices to buy.
     
    It’s best to remove any text, outgoing links, or information that distracts from the key actions you want a user to take.

  7. Develop a cohesive strategy for each product

    Create a flow chart of possible actions a prospect will take from the moment they land on your website until they buy. 
     
    Have a planned series of marketing communications and offers that work together to nurture that lead into a sale.

SEO and Website Conversion – The Winning Team to Sales Growth

If you are among those frustrated business owners who feels they are doing all the right things to drive traffic but not getting the results you are looking for, look at your website conversion. 

Instead of blaming your SEO team, hire a marketing professional to review your website and turn those new leads into sales for your business.

To your success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

The Ugly Truth: Why SEO Isn't Driving Better Website SalesClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

4 Steps to Finding the Best SEO Specialist for Your Business Needs

4 Steps to Finding the Best SEO Specialist for Your Business Needs

You have an awesome website, but not enough qualified visitors.

Is this a problem your business is experiencing?

Sadly, many entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t realize that once your fabulous website is built, potential clients simply won’t know it exists.

Not until it is properly search engine optimized that is.

Potential clients won't know your website exists until it's SEO OptimizedClick To Tweet

So how do you get people to find your website on the first or second search results page of Google, Yahoo! or Bing?

The answer to that question can be very complex.

This is why most business owners invest in search engine optimization (SEO) agencies or specialists to increase their website search engine visibility that will generate more sales leads.

In working with many entrepreneurs and small business owners, the last thing they want to learn about is SEO! They would much prefer to focus on their own business and core competency than to learn someone else’s expertise.

So if your website suffers from low search engine rankings, and you don’t want to have to learn a whole new profession in order to boost those rankings, here are four steps to finding the best SEO consultant for your specific business needs:

How to hire a SEO Specialist to boost your website rankingsClick To Tweet
  1. Determine What You Want

    Websites can be at varying search visibility stages and will have different SEO needs. For example, your website might only need to be ranked better on different search engines vs. needing everything from pay-per-click advertising, ongoing SEO maintenance, content creation SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Social Media Marketing and more.
     
    So before you jump in and try typing the “Best SEO agency in X city” into Google, you first need to determine what you want out of an SEO campaign.
     
    Ask yourself: “What results do I want an SEO expert to achieve?”
     
    It could be as simple as increasing website traffic by five to ten percent within the next six to eight months. Or your objective might be to build your list of an additional 100 qualified leads over a certain time frame.
     
    Having these specific key performance questions answered will help you measure the success of your campaign. But do keep in mind that SEO and SEM are relative where the results you seek can be in direct proportion to the money you are willing to invest.
     
    Keeping your expectations realistic is important, especially when no legitimate SEO expert can promise results that are out of their control when it comes to how the search engines behave.

  2. Shop Around

    Once you’ve determined what you want to achieve, talk with multiple SEO experts to compare which ones are suitable for your specific business needs.
     
    A good search engine optimization campaign is a process that can take from four months to a year to achieve your goals. A good SEO campaign first needs to implement website improvements and then will have a cumulative effect before seeing potential benefits.
     
    If an SEO agency promises high search engine rankings in a fast amount of time, run the other way. No one has the secret to that kind of success unless they were part of the inner circle working at Google.
     
    A good SEO expert should show interest in your business and what you want to achieve with his or her help. Have the expectation they are working as an extension of your current in-house team – someone who is readily available to answer your exploratory questions and provide regular status updates.

  3. Check References & Past Performances

    Past performances can accurately predict the future and what the SEO expert can do for your business. If they have had considerable successes helping similar industries to yours, then they will have no trouble helping you.
     
    An ideal way to check on a potential SEO’s credentials is to ask their former and current clients directly. Find out how effectively the SEO campaign worked and what kind of guidance and suggestions he or she provided throughout.
     
    A good SEO expert should not only solve long-term problems, but also be accessible to answer any questions you might have.

  4. Ask About Their Story

    Knowing the personal story of the SEO candidate can help you greatly with determining whether they will be a good fit for you and your business.
     
    Ask them about how they became a Google partner or what their proudest achievement is. Even ask about their best or worst clients and how they handled difficult clients.
     
    It’s much like hiring a potential employee – you need to decide from the “job” interview, not just from their impressive-looking sales page or the number of Facebook likes they have.

Hiring the right SEO help is crucial to your business’s success. Follow these guidelines to help you find the best person or agency that will help you achieve your goals.

Daniel Simmons is our SEO expert at eVisions Media. If you don’t want to  learn someone else’s expertise by taking on the big task of search engine optimizing your website yourself, give him a call to discuss your goals and see if he’d make a good fit for you and your business.

To your success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

4 Steps to Finding the Best SEO Consultant for Your Business NeedsClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Blog Content SEO to Boost Search Result Rankings

Want to make sure you get the best Google rankings possible for your blog articles? Then you need to be more strategic with what you’re writing, who you’re writing for and how often you’re writing.

Watch today’s eTip as I explain what Google and the other search engines are looking for in respect to your blog articles and how to get optimal search engine rankings for your efforts:

 

Blog article writing is extremely important for many reasons. It is a key component to your content marketing strategy in efforts to drive traffic back to your website.

You want to make sure people find your blog articles and one way that can happen is ensuring the search engines are displaying your articles in the search results when people are searching for your blog article topic.

Consistency and Frequency are Key to Blog SEO Success

Writing a new blog article only once every three months is not going to earn you any Brownie points.

Once a week is far better and even more often that that if possible. The reason being, Google will notice that your website is being updated frequently and will reward your search rankings as a result.

Being consistent is not necessarily related to SEO but it is related to your readers knowing they can rely on you posting a new article in a consistent manner, enhancing the strength of your followers.

Write for Your Audience

Speaking of followers, this is another key component to blog writing. You want to make sure you are writing for the people you want to attract to your website.

These are the people who are most likely to hire or buy from you – your ideal target market – so writing articles they will find of value is paramount.

When you pick a blog topic, ensure it’s on a subject your target audience is going to be interested in. Think about what they might typing in the search engines to find answers about. What will they find of value or entertaining and that’s what you want to write about?

Include SEO Keywords

When writing your post, make sure you have included keywords your target market would most likely type in the search engines when finding information that’s related to your article.

But don’t keyword stuff! (Watch this previous eTip about black hat SEO here.)

Using good keywords in the HTML Meta tags are also good SEO practices.

With each article you write, ensure your keyword is included in the title tag and description tag along with 3-4 mentions of it throughout the body of your piece.

Make the title tag captivating so it pulls your audience in and compels them to read your article.

Use a Hero Image

Including a large hero image at the top of your article is also important. This will capture your reader’s attention and be more apt to compel them to keep reading.

Your image can also be SEO optimized by naming the image file using your keyword. The keyword phrase should also be included in the image ALT tag.

The hero image is also very effective in grabbing attention on social media.

Too Busy to Write? Help is Here

There are many SEO components to a blog article that will get you the best opportunity to showcase your business and bring traffic back to your website. If this task seems too overwhelming for you, this is something we do for our clients on a daily basis.

We write articles for busy entrepreneurs and business owners with SEO and brand messaging in mind. We’ll add those articles to your blog and even send them out as newsletters too.

This is one of our specialties so if you need any help, let me know!

If you have any questions about SEO, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. Also, if you’re looking for a qualified SEO specialist who can boost your search engine rankings, give us a call to discuss.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

The Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat SEOClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How Meta Tags Influence SEO and Website Rankings

Why Business Owners Need to Go Beyond Just Adding Content to a Web or Blog Page

How Meta Tags Influence SEO and Website Ranking

If your business has a website (of which I hope so!), then it’s important to think beyond just writing keyword rich copy for the page. It’s also vital to utilize the catalog of Meta tags available that can be associated with that page in order to get better traction in the search engines.

Business owners must think beyond keyword rich content and use SEO Meta tagsClick To Tweet

One of the parts of good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques includes HTML Meta tags. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a programmer to learn the basics of Meta tag relevancy and how you can use them to draw your ideal client in to visit your site.

Unlike the early stages of search engines, adding relevant keyword meta tags won’t rank your website higher up the search results anymore. However, Meta tags are a great way for business owners to provide search engines, and their users, with information about their website.

But when used incorrectly, the negative impacts can be detrimental to your business.

Simply put: Tags, by definition, are snippets of text that describe a page’s content but they don’t appear on the actual website itself, they only appear in the pages’ HTML code.

In this article, I’ll cover the six different types of meta tags and why you need to pay attention to them for all pages on your website, including blog posts.

  1. Meta Keywords Attribute (Aka. Keywords Meta Tag)

    Usually, a good keyword meta tag is a list of 10-15 essential ideas related to your web page. They should be based on a specific theme or topic of discussion on any particular page or post on your site.
     
    As mentioned, the “keywords” meta tag was once crucial in the early stages of search engines. In modern times, however, Microsoft’s Bing is the only search engine that still looks at these keywords. Bing also uses keywords to detect spam.
     
    Since some search engines still these tags in their algorithm, we recommend adding them anyway despite many SEO experts saying not to bother.

  2. The Title Tag

    A title tag, on the other hand, is the most important title tag to use on a web page and blog article.
     
    Each page should have a unique title tag that specifically describes the content on that web page.
     
    You will always find the title tags of each web page at the top of your browser, giving the viewer direction as to where they are and more importantly, gives the search engines a primary look into what that page is about.
     
    Meta Title Tag demonstration in Google

    Ideally, you want to use keywords in the title tag but in a way that makes sense to the reader in efforts to draw them in and want to click to continue reading the piece.

  3. The H1 and Other Heading Tags

    These tags are also important. The search engines will look at these as indicators of context.
     
    In terms of on-site SEO, header tags are certainly here to stay–it has been demonstrated that careful optimization can lead to major ranking increases.
     
    Use heading tags as a means to help organize your page or article:

    • H1 tag: What is this page about?
    • H2, H3, H4 tags: What is this section about?
  4. Meta Description Attribute (AKA. Meta Description)

    First and foremost, the Meta description is a short summary sentence that appears in the search result pages under the Page Title.
     
    Often, the meta description information is what shows up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results’ Page) as the page’s description.
     
    Google description Meta tag example
     
    Even though Google had stated that keywords in meta descriptions have no impact on website rankings, they are still considered very important to many SEO leaders.
     
    We at eVision Media, feel that using relevant, well-researched keywords in targeted demographics & geographic regions can only benefit your website ranking.
     
    Another reason to pay careful attention to the Meta description tag is your SERP sales pitch. Use this tag to describe your page in such a way that the user will want to click.
     
    To make the description sound both applicable and sensible isn’t easy; hence, why, we are here to help!

  5. Meta Robots Attribute

    The meta robots attribute is a lesser known meta tag but nonetheless, ranks as the second important meta tag. These tags direct the search engines on what to do with your webpages:

    • HTML code: index/noindex – whether to show your page in the SERPS or not
    • Follow/nofollow- tells the engines what to do with the links on your pages, whether to trust and “follow” your links to the next pages, or not.
  6. Blog Post Tags

    Although not considered official Meta tags, blog post tags are very valuable to your site’s visitors and to search engines.
     
    Much like in WordPress, tags can be used as “categories” next to every blog post to ensure  visitors find the topics they want to read.
     
    From a visitor’s stand point, blog post tags improve the usability of your website as they can identify specific post topics.
     
    Ultimately, blog post tags categorize information on the web page and group them into topics, which in the end, will increase your site ranking.

At eVision Media, we provide hassle-free SEO services that aid in your success of running your business.

Hiring an SEO professional will avoid you from making costly marketing mistakesClick To Tweet

Hiring a professional will avoid you from making costly mistakes.

A little mistake you make now could cause large problems for you in the eyes of the major search engines later.

Some examples include using your primary keyword too often or giving the images in your blog posts the wrong name. SEO mistakes like these can get your website penalized or maybe even blacklisted by Google.

If you don’t wish to take on the big task of search engine optimizing your website, give us a call. This is what we do every day and achieve incredible results for our happy clients.

To your success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

How Meta Tags Influence SEO and Website RankingClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat SEO

Do you get emails or phone calls out of the blue from somebody promising they can get your website at the top of the search engines?

Sounds appealing doesn’t it? Sadly no such promise can be made since Google does not divulge how their algorithms work; therefore, no one knows how to get a website to the number 1 search results position.

Many of these people making such promises attempt “Black Hat” SEO techniques to try and fool Google.

Watch today’s eTip as I explain what Black Hat SEO is and the difference between it and White Hat SEO, which is what your online marketer should be doing instead:

 

If you do get approached by an “SEO Expert” who promises you they will get your website to number one on Google and your business will soar as a result, ignore them.

These people are after only one thing: your money. The odds are great that you will not get the results you were promised and you will have wasted your money.

Often they will use illegal “black hat” SEO techniques to try and fool the search engines at their own game. Yes, your website may see a temporary spike due to these efforts, but alas, it will be fleeting and your business reputation will suffer as a result.

Google Penalizes Blackhat SEO Techniques

The illegal and unethical use of black hat SEO techniques can be detected by Google’s Panda and Penguin’s search algorithms. These two algorithms were developed to detect and penalize sites that incorporate these tactics.

Black hat techniques include cloaking, link exchanges, duplicate content, buying links, keyword stuffing, hidden text, link farms, writing specifically for search engines while offering no real value in the content, and over-optimization.

As a result of using these types of SEO tactics, your website will be de-indexed and will not be found when someone does a Google search for your site.

Embracing White Hat SEO Techniques

White Hat SEO is what Google and other search engines will reward you for when it comes to search engine rankings.

Here, the focus is on using researched keywords, writing content for your ideal target market, optimizing your website with optimal META and description tags and other various legal tactics that can be used to help your site be higher in the search engines.

There are many things White Hat SEO specialists can do to get your website visible in the search engines. One thing they won’t do, however, is promise you will be at the top. Ethically, they cannot promise something they do not have any control over.

Stay Away From SEO Scammers

Avoid the temptation of reading scammer’s emails or listening to their compelling sales pitch who are promising you things that are too good to be true. You will not get the results you are looking for.

We have had many clients that come to us who did get talked into an SEO program by somebody who called or emailed them out of the blue. They got talked into it and were severely disappointed. They spent a lot of money with little results and a big mess to clean up.

After working with us, we got them back on track with a long-term SEO program that provided long term results.

Preserve Your Business Reputation – Hire a Professional

You need to invest in professional marketing and SEO in order to drive organic traffic to your website on a daily basis. The goal being to get people into your sales funnel and attract qualified leads.

Whoever you hire to do SEO for you, make sure you vet them properly and only use White Hat SEO tactics. Your website, and more importantly, your business reputation is too important to not do your due diligence first.

If you have any questions about SEO, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. Also, if you’re looking for a qualified SEO specialist who can boost your search engine rankings, give us a call to discuss.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

The Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat SEOClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The Many SEO Benefits of Creating Keyword-Rich Website Content

How to Use Highly Effective Keywords for a Search Engine Optimized Website

The Many SEO Benefits of Creating Keyword-Rich Website Content

Last week I wrote about the basic search engine optimization principles all entrepreneurs and business owners should be aware of when representing their business online.

And because search engine optimization can be a complex subject, I thought we’d dive further into keywords.

After reading this article, you will be well-informed on the importance of keywords for your website and how to find and use highly effective keywords in order to make your website search engine friendly.

The Importance of Keywords in Your Website Content

How often do you update the content on your website? What about your blog? Has it been abandoned?Falling prey to the busy world of entrepreneurship?

The thing is, search engines love new, current and unique content. They pull the freshest and most relevant content each time a search is performed.

So if your site hasn’t been updated regularly, you can bet your competitor’s content will rank higher than yours in the search results.

Search engines love new, current & unique content; don't miss sales by not being SEO friendlyClick To Tweet

To avoid being ignored by Google and lose out on important organic traffic to your website, it’s important to update it often.

A great way to do this is by consistently adding a new blog article at minimum once a month but more often will get you better results.

(Watch: Overcoming Your Resistance to Blog Writing)

To ensure you provide new and exciting content for Google to index, use different keywords for each article that focus around a specific topic or theme.

Be Careful With Keyword Density

Adding keywords to your blog and website copy is vitally important for SEO but some people can get a little too overzealous and incorporate far too many into their prose.

They write articles using a specific keyword a dozen or more times while aiming for high “keyword density” to let the search engines know they’re targeting that word or phrase.

Unfortunately this strategy actually works against them due to search engines penalizing keyword stuffing.

Instead, focus each piece of content around one or two keywords and let synonyms, variations and so on come up naturally.

Short Tail Vs. Long Tail Keywords

There are two types of keywords to be aware of when writing with SEO in mind: Short Tail and Long Tail.

Simply, short tail keywords are 3 words or less. Long tail are a little different. They are more than 3 words, more targeted and not as broad as short tail.

An example of a short tail keyword would be: “Business ideas” where this would be a highly competitive phrase due to it being so general.

A long tail keyword is more specific such as: “Small business ideas for women entrepreneurs”.

Which then begs the question:

Which Is Better: Short Tail or Long tail?

Short tail keywords have several things working for and against them. If you are trying to drive a lot of traffic to your site, you should use short tail keywords.

But the challenge is if your site is new, you are starting at the back of a very long line while facing an up-hill battle.

Simplifying your options in the table below, you’ll see that long tail keywords are the far better choice for focus and more importantly, getting the highly coveted conversions:

SEO Keyword Comparison Chart

At the end of the day, you need to do what is best for you and your small business.

Finding Ideal Keywords for Website Copy

Keyword research is the process of finding the right keywords in your niche market. This step is important if you wish to grow your blog/website in a shorter span of time.

There are various methods you can use to find keywords. Here are a few we prefer to use at eVision Media:

15 Top Keyword Research Tools

  1. Google Keyword Planner (Free) You must have a Google AdWords account to access.
  2. IMForSMB (Free) Great for localized businesses but has a very limited range of industries.
  3. Long Tail Pro (Free Trial) A very comprehensive keyword tool finding profitable keywords.
  4. 7 Search (Free and Fee Based) Used mainly for paid advertising keyword searches.
  5. Soovie (Free) Multi-platform based tool.
  6. Seed Keywords (Free) Create your own scenarios; very useful for specific niches.
  7. Hit Tail (Free Trial) A long tail keyword tool.
  8. Keyword Tool Dominator (Free Trial) Uses Google, Amazon, You Tube and Bing databases.
  9. Term Explorer (Free Trial) Used by many in-house and SEO-based companies.
  10. SEO Cockpit (Paid) More useful in Pay Per Click paid advertising scenarios.
  11. SEM Rush (Paid) An online tool that lets you find great keywords. You can also put in the URL of a website and it shows all the keywords your website is ranking for.
  12. Word Tracker (Free) One of the best free alternative tools to the Google Keyword Planner that reveals 1000’s of profitable longtail keywords with SEO competition.
  13. Moz Keyword Explorer (Free Trial) Great tool to discover and prioritize the best keywords to target.
  14. Buzz Sumo  (Free Trial) Helps you see what’s being shared so you can get a handle on what’s popular on social networking.
  15. Keyword Tool (Free) One of our favourites. A great Keyword tool that helps you find the keywords people are typing as a Google Search.

There are many benefits to conducting high level keyword researches, including this can lead to thousands upon thousands of long-tail searches.

You probably won’t use all 15 of these tools since many provide the same level of features, but it’s worth it to experiment with several if you want to tackle SEO alone without the expertise of an SEO professional.

Why You Should Hire a SEO Professional

Hiring an SEO professional saves time. Trying to do your own SEO will take up a lot of time, especially if you don’t know a lot about marketing or SEO.

Running a full SEO campaign can be a daunting task to handle alone; fortunately, SEO experts have the knowledge and expertise to do this much faster and more proficiently than someone who is also focused on running their business in a different industry.

Hiring a professional will avoid you from making costly mistakes.

A little mistake that you make now could cause large problems for you in the eyes of the major search engines later.

Some examples include using your primary keyword too often or giving the images in your blog posts the wrong name. SEO mistakes like these can get your website penalized or maybe even blacklisted by Google.

If you don’t wish to take on the big task of search engine optimizing your website, give us a call. This is what we do every day and achieve incredible results for our happy clients.

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

The Many SEO Benefits of Creating Keyword-Rich Website ContentClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

SEO 101: Why Entrepreneurs Need to Pay Close Attention

Whether you are a solopreneur or run a busy business, SEO is a piece of your marketing pie that you can’t ignore.

What the heck is SEO anyway? I know this phrase has been around for years but a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners do not really totally understand what it means.

Watch today’s eTip as I explain exactly what SEO is and what you need to know so you can take advantage of its power in driving qualified traffic back to your website:

 

The acronym SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In terms of your website, your SEO objective is to be visible in front of your target market when they are doing a search in search engines such as a Google, Yahoo!, Bing or any of the other search engines available.

Understanding What Your Target Market is Searching for

When people do a “Google” search, they are looking for a solution to a problem. If your business offering matches that solution, your goal is to position yourself in front of those people so you can provide the solution they are seeking.

This is where SEO comes in.

SEO is a form of marketing that captures the interest of people who do not know you yet but your product or service will be the solution they seek. Your goal is to position your website listing high enough in the search results rankings to be seen by those people.

Ideally you want to be in the first 3 pages of search results. If they can’t find what they are looking for after the third page, they are going to try a different Google search.

Why Keywords are Important

Your job is to understand what your target market would be typing into the search engines. Do some research to find out What keywords they be using if they were looking for your product or service.

Once you have that understanding, take those keywords and phrases and infuse them into your website through title tags, description tags, keyword META tags, and the website page and blog content as well.

No One Knows the Secret to High Rankings

The biggest problem marketers face is not knowing what the best solution is to get a website ranked number one in the search engine rankings.

Nobody knows. No one has that secret to success so be aware of those that promise you rankings at the top of search engines. No one can make that kind of promise.

As an entrepreneur you want to get your website as high up in the search engine rankings so your target market can easily find you.

Then it’s up to your website to appeal to that target market and convert those people either into your list so you can further nurture them or to make a purchase.

The Reality of Entrepreneurship

The reality of being a business owner is you have to keep inviting your target market to come to your website. The best way to do that is by investing in SEO to drive qualified traffic to your website. You want to nurture new people who do not know you yet and convert them into paying clients.

If you have any questions about SEO, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. Also, if you’re looking for a qualified SEO specialist who can boost your search engine rankings, give us a call to discuss.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

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About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Basic Search Engine Optimization Principles for Entrepreneurs

Basic Search Engine Optimization Principles for Entrepreneurs

How Keyword Rich Content is Directly Related to SEO for your Business

Ever wonder what SEO really is but were afraid to ask?

SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”. It’s the umbrella term for all the methods you can use to ensure your website is found by various search engine result pages (SERPs).

Google is the most widely used search engine but it’s certainly not the only one. There’s Bing, Yahoo!, AOL and others.

If your website does not appear higher up in their search rankings, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity.

If your website is not SEO friendly, you're missing out on a huge opportunityClick To Tweet

The goal of SEO is to get qualified leads and prospects to discover your business when they are searching for products or services that you offer in the search engines.

SEO isn’t Rocket Science but it can be Complicated

When it comes to SEO, a few important tactics can greatly improve your presence in the increasingly crowded online space.

If you’re attempting search optimization on your own or more wisely hiring an SEO expert, it’s important to be informed with certain SEO fundamentals before proceeding.

Search engines try to provide the most relevant results to a searcher’s query. Whether it’s an answer to a simple question like, “how many ounces are in a gallon?” to more complicated queries such as, “what is the best Chinese restaurant nearest to me?”

After reading this article, you will gain a better understanding of what you need to know before beginning an SEO campaign and what your role is if you decide to outsource this valuable marketing strategy.

Know Your Audience and What Content They’re Looking For

Why Content Marketing Plays a Big Role in SEO

First let’s look at what SEO feeds on. And that is content (text, images, videos etc) found on your website.

Since great SEO relies on how well your content is ranked,  as well as factoring in your social media and local engagements, you want to keep fluff content to a minimum and focus on quality.

While it sounds time-consuming, quality content has benefits that reach beyond SEO.

Quality website content has benefits that reach well beyond SEOClick To Tweet

Good content is useful across all marketing mediums and forces you to think through your message from a topic and keyword perspective.

The key is to ensure you are honing in on what actually matters to your audience.

It’s imperative you know who would want to buy your products or services and what they’re searching for in the search engines in order for them to find your website as the solution to their needs.

Your initial instincts may be correct, but you might be missing things that could gain additional website traffic, potential relationship opportunities, or new market segments to your business.

Therefore, proper due diligence is paramount in order to map your target audience to the keywords, topics, and phrases they’re using in and around your industry.

Create SEO-Driven Content

Writing only for search engines usually makes your content boring. Typically that strategy won’t help to  convert your visitors into customers.

It’s far better to focus on people first. Make your content as value-driven as possible and then optimize it for search engine bots without sacrificing the quality of your content.

The underlying content is extremely important. Too many people skimp on content but it’s one of the major anchors that tether you to Google’s relevancy algorithms.

The problem we see a lot of entrepreneurs run into is them creating content “they” think is perfect and sounds great to them but SEO wise, can at times be utterly worthless.

Being authentic is important but do so while factoring in the reason why you’re creating the content in the first place with marketing, branding, lead generation and of course SEO in mind.

Thin content with errors, or duplicate content and spun or spam content can really hurt you.

Instead, the content not only has to be lengthy, but it has to be well-written, keyword rich and highly engaging where readers are spending a good amount of time digesting and consuming that content.

Content Creation for SEO Success

As you create content, you’ll want to make sure each page is optimized for:

  • Page speed,
  • bot crawling,
  • responsive friendliness, and
  • overall findability.

An Initial investment in a site audit or recommendations for establishing a few initial best practices will save you much time and money in the long run.

Ideas for new content can be gathered from questions your own clients often ask or visit online forums and social media to find questions around your industry, products, and marketplace for more inspiration.

Check the competition with content ideas to ensure you’re on par with your competitors when it comes to covering topics and questions in the industry concerning your company.

Manage Your Keywords Wisely

The key to pleasing both search engines and visitors is to have quality content on our website that includes keywords your target market would be using in the search engines when looking for a solution to a problem your business can solve.

To do this, you want to run your keywords and topics through a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to make sure the topics and keywords you have chosen have enough search volume and potential traffic to make them worthwhile.

Be sure to take into account the relevance of the search to your audience.

The narrower the topic focus, the lower the traffic typically. This is often offset by the accuracy and interest of the audience.

Do not Spam the keywords!

This also means using different connotations of the same words over and over again within your content.

Google loves NEW content. Keep in mind that websites are liquid so this is where your blog plays a major role in effective SEO.

What Search Engines Are NOT Looking For

Search engine spiders only have a certain amount of data storage. If you’re performing shady tactics or trying to trick them, chances are you’re going to hurt yourself and your business reputation in the long run.

At the end of the day, focusing on quality content that can be easily found by your target audience will benefit all of your marketing and sales efforts. Spend a lot of time on the things above and the rest will fall into place.

Ready to Hit the Top Pages of Google for Your Best Keywords? We can help!

eVision Media offers robust SEO Services.  We are experts in optimizing WordPress sites to rank higher in the search engines. Contact us today to find out more how to boost traffic and rankings with SEO strategies for your business website today.

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Basic Search Engine Optimization Principles for EntrepreneursClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

7 Effective Strategies on Marketing Your Business Locally

7 Effective Strategies on Building Your Business Locally

When I was studying for my business degree and before eVision Media was formed, I was in need of an outlet to be around other like-minded women. Years previous I was a member of the local Valley Women’s Network so revisited their luncheons.

Even though funds were very tight at the time, it was important for me to have some human interaction – even if only once a month.

Little did I know, going to these meetings ended up being the catalyst for eVision Media’s birth.

During this time I connected with women entrepreneurs who where either eager to start a new business or take their business to the next level. Being the former webmaster for the Vancouver Sun and Province, it was a natural thing for them to ask me questions about branding and websites. I was more than happy to share my knowledge.

Eventually conversations evolved into them hiring me so they could get the help they wanted with their marketing presence.

The next thing I knew I was in business as a web developer!

That was over 14 years ago and I’m proud to say a handful of those women are still clients today.

I have to smile when I think about it because I really had no intention of starting my own business. I was going back to school with the idea of landing a CIO position somewhere.

Turns out my calling was much more important than that – helping business owners realize their dream.

The Many Benefits of Attending Local Live Events

Fast forward to present day, I still value the connections made when attending networking and other similar events.

Recently I was in Vernon attending the WOW-Woman of Worth Conference where I had an opportunity to get to know many incredible women I would never have met otherwise. (I was inspired to write these networking tips while there.)

I am also a member of the Business Professional Women’s Group and attend meetings in Langley and Abbotsford.

The connections found at events like these have been invaluable – not only professionally but also personally.

Connections found at live events are invaluable. Not only professionally but also personallyClick To Tweet

Social Media and Online Marketing is Not the Only Way to Generate New Business

Sometimes with Social Media and online marketing being so prevalent we forget about our own back yard and the opportunities available to us. All we have to do is simply step away from the computer and check them out.

My business was literally created by connecting with people locally. 

And just because Social Media has taken over the online networking landscape, doesn’t mean there’s any less value in building your business at that grass-roots level.

Building your business at a grass-roots, local level is just as valuable as social mediaClick To Tweet

Do you market your business in your hometown?

If hiding behind your computer has become the norm for you, I encourage you to explore local opportunities to get better known in your home town.

Here’s seven tips, ideas and suggestions on how you can take advantage of generating business through local efforts:

  1. Network where your target market is hanging out. First be clear on WHO that target market is and then do some research on where they gather.
     
    This is an easy one if you are a B2B business like eVision Media; there’s plenty of networking groups available tailored for that crowd.
     
    But you might have to look at other shared interests. For instance, if your target market is very health conscious, join a popular yoga group and get to know those people who attend.
  2. Volunteer at community groups. Volunteering in community groups are a great way to boost your visibility. Not only are they a great way to give back to your community but also an excellent way for you to showcase your skills and expertise.
     
    Do a search for groups that could use your skillset. A great example is if you are a bookkeeper or accountant – volunteer to be the bookkeeper for the group.
  3. Create your own Meet-up. Setting up local, more casual events on a subject you know would be of interest to your target market is a great way to build your brand visibility.
     
    These types of gatherings can be very beneficial to the attendees where you can offer something of value to them and showcase your expertise at the same time.
  4. Set up a trade show booth. Many trade shows have thousands of visitors. They are a great way to build your brand visibility and bring more awareness to your business offerings with the local crowd.
     
    Set up a professional display and strike up conversations with those showing interest in what you are offering.
     
    Be sure to have a way for them to get onto your mailing list by offering a draw or free giveaway. Just be sure they check off a box giving permission to receive your regular newsletters.
  5. Join the local Chamber of Commerce. Even if your target market is not business owners, there are still plenty of great reasons for you to get to know other business owners in your area by joining your local chamber.
     
    Not only can they be a great referral source for you, but they are still people who could be interested in what you have to offer at a personal level.
  6. Nominate others for awards. We had the honour of being nominated for, and won the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence award in 2016 in the home based business category.
     
    I was also nominated for a WOW – Woman of Worth award in the Business & Prosperity category. The amount of free publicity and exposure we received for each of these awards was priceless.
     
    I encourage you to nominate someone for similar awards. Not only is it very gratifying to make someone else’s day, you also gain a lot of exposure from being the person who nominated them. Another option is to  be an award sponsor, again bringing you great satisfaction and business exposure.
  7. Don’t forget your business card! While some may poo-poo this, I’m still a believer in the value of business cards.
     
    Get professional cards designed and printed. Use them wisely – always ask the other person you’re talking with for their card first and reciprocation will ensue.
     
    Your business card is a first touch-point that person will see your visual brand so ensure you give off the right first impression with a professionally designed one.

Aside from getting out there and getting involved in local community activities, you could also take advantage of various paid advertising opportunities. Newspaper advertorials, radio ad spots, sponsorships and even billboards can all be taken advantage of at a local level.

Don’t Forget About Your Website

No matter what kind of activities we are doing when trying to drum up new business, don’t forget the importance of your website.

With every potential customer you meet, assume they will be heading to your website to check out you and your services. They might even do it right there so ensure your website is mobile friendly and shares the right brand messaging that will compel them into action and hire or buy from you.

Always be seeking opportunities where you can build your business exposure and double bonus points when you can couple those opportunities with giving back!

I’d love to hear from you – share below what ideas you have about local business exposure that’s worked for you?

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

7 Effective Strategies on Building Your Business LocallyClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".