eBusiness Blog

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".

Ending Self-Sabotage: How to Turn the Enemy Within Into an Ally

Ending Self-Sabotage: How to Turn the Enemy Within Into an Ally
You have a big presentation in the morning and have carefully proofed it for typos. You have selected your outfit. You have downloaded the directions and made sure you have a full tank of gas.

Knowing it’s important to get a good night sleep, you turn in early only to toss and turn all night as you rewrite your presentation in your head all night long …

You made a commitment to a spending plan at the beginning of the year and have been diligently keeping your agreements with yourself for over four months now.

Yesterday, you were idly scrolling through a couple of your favorite shopping sites and fell in love with a gorgeous purse in the season’s hottest color.  You hit BUY without thinking …

You’ve just lost those extra 10 pounds (again) and to celebrate, you order in a large pizza with all the trimmings, a jumbo soda, and know that today’s the day that you will demolish the pint of chunky chocolate chip ice cream in the freezer …

These are just a few of the ways we self-sabotage but there are plenty more. 

Can you recognize any of these other self-sabotaging traits that result in you getting in your own way?

  • Pushing or rushing to achieve results:  This behavior almost always backfires; in your impatience, you make mistakes, overlook key details, or make impulsive decisions that have not been thought through.
  • Being overly dramatic:  When your response to a situation is larger than necessary or expected, it can suck all the air out of the room.  It pushes other people away.
  • Withdrawing due to fear of rejection:  If you are afraid of failure, you might talk yourself out of even trying or getting started.  It can lead to paralyzing indecision and overly-cautious behaviors that are undermining and non-supportive.
  • Self-defeating extravagance:  You might tell yourself that you deserve this treat, or that one, but ultimately, if you are undercutting your own financial security, you do not mean yourself well.  
  • Workaholic tendencies: Working all the time may inflate your sense of importance, but it can also create isolating aloofness and a disconnect from the things in life that truly matter, like family, intimacy, self-care, play, and one’s spiritual growth.
  • Stubbornness: When you are overly attached to your own perceptions versus being open to considering other people’s point-of-view, you can find yourself getting competitive versus collaborative. Stubbornness can mask a compulsion to be right and give rise to destructive rebellion.
  • Demoralizing perfectionism:  Perfectionism shows up in different ways, such as excessive questioning, obsessive worrying, compulsively blaming others or oneself, and behaving like a “superior victim.”

So, where does this self-defeating behavior stem from?

The easy answer is that it arises from your thoughts and your feelings. 

Negative thoughts about oneself generate self-loathing. A feeling of not being good enough and of not belonging.

When you stuff those feelings, you empower them.

When I was a child I remember wondering who was that who was speaking such hateful things in my head?

In my 30’s, I discovered in A Course in Miracles that I choose to think the thoughts I think, and that if I didn’t like the thought I was thinking, I could choose to think another thought.

That was truly empowering!

I also learned that our thoughts have the power to create our reality. Thinking a negative thought was an attack thought on myself.  That really got my attention!

I wondered why I would hate myself so much by thinking that bad things were going to happen to me, that nobody loved me, and so on.

By thinking these negative thoughts over and over, I was calling them into my reality.

Growing up in England, I learned we didn’t express our feelings (it just wasn’t done!) and we acted as if nothing was wrong, whether we had been hurt to the core or were feeling traumatized.

As an empath, I could feel the pain and frustration of my mother and could see she had nowhere to go with it.  She died of cancer in her early 50’s and I was in my mid-30’s when I realized I was on the same path.

With this realization, I knew that getting in touch with my feelings and learning to release them safely, harm to none, would not only save my life but support me in showing up authentically in my life.

Through steadily releasing my feelings over time, I let go of my childhood defense patterns of perfectionism, having no needs, and rushing through my discomfort.

Now, that I choose to think thoughts that support me, that mean me well, and no longer entertain or dwell on negative thoughts that terrorize me, undermine me, and now that I choose to release negative feelings quickly, in privacy, without holding on to them, and with harm to none, I see my body and mind as my greatest allies and partners in life.

My willingness to take the time to go step-by-step in building my business, and to allow the passage of time to reveal the right path, instead of being impulsive and impatient has ultimately supported business growth that is connected to my values.

No longer rushing to the finish line has resulted in my cultivating flexibility, tempering my arrogance and releasing stubbornness.  Calming my mental anxiety through meditation and choosing the thoughts I think, gives me the courage to be myself, to be aware of my needs and ultimately to trust myself.

Does it take time and focus?

Life is an awareness game; it is lived in the present moment.  Every time you become aware you are thinking a negative thought, whether it is about you or a client or someone else, catch it and stop it.

Think another thought, a thought that is positive and supportive.  You free yourself from self-sabotage, one thought at a time.

Love and blessings,
Aimée

Aimée Lyndon Adams

About the Author, Aimée Lyndon-Adams

Aimée Lyndon-Adams is both a seasoned corporate executive and a metaphysician practicing spiritual energy healing. She has provided coaching and healing sessions to individuals, couples and groups and has offered an energy management curriculum of training classes for many years. She is an articulate and charismatic speaker and facilitator.

Visit www.WhatTrulyMatters.com to claim instant access to your free gift for your juiciest life EVER!

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:

SEO 101: Why Entrepreneurs Need to Pay Close AttentionClick 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".

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".

Don’t Be a Jack (or Jill) of all Trades. Be an Industry Master

Don't be a Jack or Jill or All Trades

Why focusing on your core competency will get you greater returns and more referrals

Have you ever hired someone to do a job believing they were the expert you needed to fix the washer or repair your car?

When the washer leaks again or the car breaks down within 24 hours of having it fixed, it is incredibly frustrating.

You thought you had the right company to do the job but instead, you find you hired a ‘Jack of all Trades.’

Unfortunately, the world is full of companies who pass themselves off as experts, but they are really generalists in their trade.

Now, I’m not saying most businesses do a lousy job.

I’m just saying that if a company is a ‘Master’ of their industry and knows their business, it can help that business to stand out from the competition.

And who doesn’t want to stand out?

Becoming a ‘Master’ in your field also leads to making better business decisions when hiring the right people and identifying the necessary up-to-date training.

It also incites innovative thinking by setting the performance bar higher. We ask, “How can we do it better, faster or more efficiently?”

Masters of the business game want, and more often than not, success in turning customers into raving fans.

Here are a couple of additional benefits to discarding the ‘Jack (or Jill) of all Trades’ label:

  • It becomes easier to create a clear marketing message. Once a business has identified its special differentiator, the messages can focus in on what your company does best.
  • The customer may demand a higher quality of work from you, but you can charge higher rates.
  • You don’t always need to chase new markets. Referrals will come naturally as the standards of excellence are established and delivered. This may save marketing dollars.

So, is it time to do a business review?

Is your business a ‘Jack (or Jill) of all Trades’?

If so, perhaps it is time to shift the vision and examine how your organization can become a ‘Master’ or more of a Master of the business game. It’s worth the effort it will take to get you there.

The added bonus? More money in your bank!

About the Author, Pamela Chatry

Pamela Chatry

Do you work too hard? Is your business in chaos? If you are struggling with business issues, contact Pamela Chatry for a complimentary assessment. Pamela has been a trusted and highly respected Business Consultant, Mentor for Women in Business, Self-Employment Advocate, Trainer and Keynote Speaker for over 25 years.

Visit www.pamelachatry.com or call her at 778-856-8970 for help in getting your business to its fullest potential.


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".

What a Baby Giraffe Teaches Us About Viral Campaigns

What a Baby Giraffe Teaches Us About Viral Campaigns

5 Ways You Can Boost Your Business Exposure

Looking for your next big marketing campaign?  Could your business use a brand exposure boost?

You may want to take a lesson from the Animal Adventure Park in New York.

April the Giraffe is close to giving birth any moment now.  Millions worldwide have been captivated on YouTube, watching April the Giraffe’s journey to giving birth (and yes, I’m guilty to admit I too am one of them!).

While following April’s progress from when the Adventure Park thought she was near her delivery date may have started to be a simple enough event, the world began to take notice and April’s pregnancy quickly went viral.

Interestingly, the live feed was installed to help the staff monitor her without needing to be in the barn 24-7. They thought it would be fun to make this feed available to the public at the same time.

Little did they know within days they would have millions of viewers watching April’s every move, anxious to not miss the big event.

In fact, if you read the comments on their Facebook page, you’ll see just how many are intently keeping tabs on the big girl and her mate Oliver in the pen next to her.

While being a daily follower (good thing I have 3 monitors so can always easily check in to see what she’s up to), the huge success of this campaign has me thinking about the lessons we business owners can learn about strengthening our brand identity using this unique case study.

April the Giraffe provides an excellent case study on viral marketing and brand exposureClick To Tweet

So here’s 5 ways you too can build your business exposure as we examine a few tactics from April’s playbook:

  1. Live Video

    Who can resist the thought of seeing a baby animal? Baby animals are a huge draw and April’s soon-to-be-born baby is no exception.
     
    Having a live video allows people to feel they are a part of the experience. Aside from YouTube, Facebook LIVE, Instagram Stories and Snapchat all have a live feed ability. What can you share live that your followers would find of interest?
     
    Remember people don’t want to be marketed to; they want to be a part of something and be entertained.  And once they become part of the story, they get addicted.
     
    Live video is great marketing and an excellent way of building your brand reach.

    Live video is great marketing and an excellent way of building your brand reachClick To Tweet
  2. Sponsorship

    Not only has the Animal Adventure Park gotten incredible visibility out of April the giraffe, but they also turned it into a revenue generating activity.
     
    If you notice, Toys R Us is a sponsor for their video feed.  That’s an excellent fit considering their Geoffrey the Giraffe is the mascot of Toys R Us and kids love the zoo.
     
    The Park set up a Go Fund Me Account and a page asking for other corporate sponsors who want to cash in on the exposure for their brand.

  3. Social Media

    Twice a day, updates are added to the Park’s Facebook page giving their fans insider information about April’s progress.
     
    Fans get to see close-up pictures and read about the latest vet reports of this mama Giraffe to be.  This has been a very effective hook to boost Facebook likes for their business page.

  4. Custom Emoji

    Emoji’s have become a very popular part of pop culture and the Adventure Park capitalized on this by offering an April the Giraffe emoji to their fans.
     
    Why not make your own emoji to create buzz for your own marketing campaign? Make it easy for fans to spread the news for you! Plus, emoji’s are downright fun. Who can resist?

  5. Live Chats

    Every night the Park staff enable the live chat feature on YouTube and respond to as many fans as possible. It literally is a zoo during these chats! Thousands show up to ask questions, make a donation to boost their question’s visibility, and be a part of the whole experience.
     
    Facebook LIVE is a great tool to facilitate live chats. It provides an opportunity for you to showcase your expertise as well as your brand and offer a way for your followers to get to know, like and trust you more.

    Facebook LIVE is a great tool to facilitate live chatsClick To Tweet

Launch Your Own Viral Campaign

Today’s media has changed the way consumers interact with brands.  Your potential customers are exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day.

No one wants to be sold to, but everyone wants to buy.

Which companies do they choose to shop with?  The ones who create community, engagement, and an incredible brand experience just like how the Animal Adventure Park did.

So stick your neck out like April the Giraffe has and you’ll give birth to greater sales and visibility for your business.

Want to learn more about social media and the tactics you can use to help build your brand exposure?

21 Day Social Media Challenge April 17th

I’m holding a 21 Day Social Media Challenge starting Monday, April 17th. For only $21 you will receive bite-sized tips and strategies on social media every day for 21 days.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE 21 DAY SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE 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:

What a Baby Giraffe Teaches Us About Viral CampaignsClick 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".

3 Powerful Ways to Energize Your Business at the Equinox

Energize Your Business at the Equinox

 

To all those in the Northern Hemisphere, Happy Spring! The Equinox was on the 20th of March, which marks the shift into a new season’s energy.

In this case, it is from the introspective, dark time of winter to the expansive, bright light of spring, which promises the emergence of new life and potential for growth.

For many of us, we truly welcome spring to help us awaken from our slumber.

This is indeed the perfect time to take advantage of this new energy and make simple, but highly effective changes in your business and life.

Here are a few ideas on what to do:

  1. Lighten Up! It’s time to open up the shades and invite the new light into our world. The upward energy of spring beckons you to get going and take action:
    • Embrace the common seasonal ritual of “spring cleaning” and do a thorough clearing and organizing of your workspace. This will immediately improve your productivity.
    • Find ways to brighten up your office. Maximize natural light; consider adding color with paint or fabrics; and bring nature into the space with fresh-cut flowers. Your uplifted mood will reflect in your work.
    • Change up your daily routine. Try to get up with the sun to add more space to your day; switch your morning beverage from coffee or black tea to green tea (with honey and coconut milk); lighten up your diet with seasonal vegetables and salads; and add more movement, such as an afternoon walk or yoga in the morning or evening. Tuning into the natural rhythms of the season keeps you on a healthy track.
  2. Refresh Your Online Presence. We often get too comfortable (or busy) to consider how we project out into the virtual world. Take this time to keep your online presence relevant and current:
    • Redesign your website home page that has been the same for at least six months; make sure your offerings are up-to-date; and attend to all of your online accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.). You may decide to reduce your online obligations to only those that give you the best return for your time investment.
    • Are you using the best tools? It seems that the online products and services change monthly, but usually for the better. Make sure you revisit the tools you have and update to more efficient versions (or switch) for a better client experience.
    • Consider creating new pages and new content; use brighter colors to match the season’s energy; and change out photos and graphics for a new look and feel. Your clients will welcome the breath of fresh air!
  3. Renew your commitment to your community. This season is a time for new beginnings, and renewing your commitment to your clients (and potential clients) will undoubtedly expand your business:
    • Ask your clients for feedback. Interview or survey them to ask what is working and not working with what you are providing. The most important step to this strategy is to follow-up with what you heard needs change and what you are committing to do for your clients.
    • Offer free “clarity” sessions. Present the opportunity as a casual conversation (“Tea Time with E”) to help them get unstuck with old winter energy and jumpstart their efforts for the next 3 months. This offer will result in renewed commitment from your clients as well.
    • Consider offering new programs. The creative energy at this time can be used quite effectively to build and offer “pilot” programs to meet your clients’ needs.
    • Above all, be sure to listen to your clients and meet them where they are in the process. Your time together will be that much more productive (and fulfilling) when you approach the work as a co-creative adventure!

It’s hard not to get excited about what spring brings, particularly the insurgence of energy to grow and prosper. The trick is to tap into it and go with the flow to a better and brighter life and work.

To your abundance and success,
Elizabeth Walker

About the Author, Elizabeth Walker

Elizabeth Walker

Elizabeth Walker is known as a "natural" in reinventing herself. After nearly 25 years as a consulting urban forester, and more recently a farmer and blogger on sustainability and permaculture, she is exploring ways to help others become the best of themselves with her unique Alignment Magic system.

She looks forward to identifying and engaging her ideal clients through nature-based coaching and mentoring and help them achieve abundant and sustained health, wealth and happiness in their lives. For more information, visit her website: earthbodywellness.net


Business eTip: What Exactly Is Business Branding?

Today’s video eTip will dive into business branding. Watch today’s video tip to find out why almost everyone has different ideas about what business branding actually is and how you can navigate through that confusion.

What is business branding?

Some people think it’s just your logo.

Other people think it’s your website.

Yet other people think it’s your tagline.

The truth is, your branding is actually the representation of the essence of your business. It encapsulates both you and your business so that people get a feel for what it would be like to either work with you or purchase one of your products.

What is your unique selling position?

The first thing you need to do in order to establish a brand is to fully understand how you want your business to be positioned in respect to your competition; what do you want your reputation to be within your industry and who is your ideal target market?

Ultimately, exploring these elements will help you determine what people would say about your brand after they’ve interacted with it in some manner. In doing so, you can then emulate that “brand story” if it fits your vision or adjust your positioning accordingly to produce an identity that’s more in-line with your business goals.

Making sense of it all

If you’re new to the world of branding and marketing, it’s not always easy to formulate a branding strategy that consistently delivers that “brand story” to your audience. There’s too many elements to keep track of and oftentimes your message can become disjointed and malformed, like a game of telephone.

I can help you with that.

I specialize in streamlining your brand to fit a cohesive narrative that encompasses your logo, website, social media and all supporting marketing materials. Taking this integrated approach is the reason why my clients have so much success with their branding – I help connect your brand with the right audience who are ready, willing and able to do business with you.

If you have any questions about branding or anything at all, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. Or if you are interested in more information about how to market your business, sign up for my free newsletter.

Until next time,

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or finding 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

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".