Social Media Continues to Gain Prominence

Everyone knows that you should have a website, have a blog, have Facebook and maybe even a Twitter account. Why? Isn’t it enough to just have your website? Well, perhaps five to ten years ago it was, but today it is imperative that you have social media. If you can get lots of likes and followers, so much the better!

There is a definite reason why Google, and other search engines, are increasingly factoring social media into their ranking algorithms. That reason is: Credibility. With so much on the Internet being spoofs, trolling or just downright misinformation, what’s a search engine to do to find the most relevant, credible results? If a search engine sees that you not only have a website, but a Facebook page, a Google Business page, a Twitter account, etc., all linked to your website, it will know that your business/organization is more serious and should be taken as a reliable source of information and products/services.

Please get in touch if you would like a review of your social media presence, or if you don’t have one at all and would like to get started!

They Got To The Top For Free!

In my continuing series of posts about things clients love to say, this is one of the most common, and most difficult to explain how it is simply not true. If a non-professional has managed to take their site to the top of the rankings it may be there for one of several reasons. The top two would be that A) the site is being ranked for something very specific in an equally specific geographic area, or B) the administrator of the site has done their homework (and lots of it) to get their site to the top.

In other words, unless you happen to be selling sheepskins in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or something equally esoteric, it is going to take an immense amount of study to learn what to do to take your site up the ladder. I encourage clients to learn about Inbound Marketing (formerly SEO) as it is instructive, allows clients to understand what they are paying for and introduces how large of a field it really is – and how much there is to do.

Please get in touch with us if you’d like an Inbound Marketing review of your site. For everything from alt tags to backlinks, we’ve got you covered!

But My Competition Does it Themselves!

This is a phrase I hear quite frequently from clients. It is understandable and it points to the mythical belief out there that somehow sites “just get to number one.” This could not be further from the truth.

The good news for the industry we are in is that lay people can and do learn how to engineer their sites to be in accord with best SEO practices. We are not rocket scientists and you do not need a PhD from Stanford to become a top expert in the field.

On the other hand, the fact that it can be learned without having an advanced degree does not mean that it is easy or can be learned quickly. All the sites which have made it into the top five have had the attention of an individual or a group of individuals who have studied SEO and refined the practices on their site for a significant period of time.

Whether it is done yourself or you hire a firm like ours to do it for you, no site just makes it to the top on its own, just as no garden flourishes without being well tended. Call us. We can save you a lot of reading time!

Why do I Need a Mobile Site?

This question is almost always asked when we recommend building a mobile site in addition to a standard desktop site. The issue is even more important today as it is almost certain that Google is basing its results, in part, on whether or not URLs have a mobile site.

The reasoning is logical! If you provide a mobile site then you are making yourself more accessible to more individuals, therefore you are more relevant. The leading statistic driving this trend is that sometime last October, mobile devices became the preferred way we browse the Internet.

So, help out your site and your audience and make sure you are mobile ready!

Inbound Marketing – It’s Not One-and-Done

I keep getting phone calls from clients who have declined to put up blogs. “I need to do something about my ranking.” I find it astonishing how many people believe that web developers are witch doctors who can conjure up ranking after performing on-site SEO. Yes! We DO help you with that! However, you really need to put effort in yourself. I do, too. All of us who have presences on the Internet must do our part to help our sites get to number one. It may be difficult to fathom, but you can no longer put up a site, even a site with very well done on-site SEO, and expect it to get to the top of the rankings. It is imperative that you now build social media as well – and blogs are the best place to start.

If you do not have a blog going, talk to us in Burlington, VT about getting a relevant blog started and relevant posts made. Make your work bear even more fruits. Build Facebook and Google+ pages as well and link them all to your site. Inbound Marketing, formerly known as SEO, is no longer “One-and-Done,” it is “Never Done.”

The Text Rule

I thought of this as a creative way to talk to new clients about their web presence. Every time we begin the process of building a new site, the first remark from the client is invariably “The site will look good, right?” It gives me pause. Yes, of course the site will look good! However, that is not the question that clients should be asking, nor is it what they should be thinking about. The right question is “You will load up my site with good content, right?” This is what everyone should be thinking about!

I have distilled the concept down to a simple rule – call it “The Text Rule.” No matter what your site looks like, if it has great content it has a much better chance of making it to Number One. Let’s face it. Who wouldn’t want a site of just text and links, if they could be Number One? Number One gets traffic. Content gets you there, not design. No worries! We will continue to craft beautifully designed sites anyway!

Yes! YOU are a writer!

When I speak with business owners and marketing managers the number one obstacle I come across when it comes to creating content for websites is: I’m not a writer!

The truth of the matter is that we are all writers. All of us, whether by writing or dictation, craft business letters every day. If you can write or dictate a business letter, you can create a blog post. Think of a blog post as a letter to a potential customer!

All you need to do is explain some aspect of your business, or tell a story about your business. It could anything, from an idea you had that solved a customer’s problem to a strategy you have developed for clarifying a customer’s needs.

Whatever aspect of your business you decide to write about, just make sure it is RELEVANT to what you do. Do not write about last week’s dinner date with your wife!

If you want to get started, begin with answering the question, “My business helped someone by doing…” And you are on your way to creating some great content!

Be Wary of Monthly SEO Charges

I felt a need to write this post this morning because of a phenomenon that I constantly come across when talking with people about their websites: People are paying monthly SEO fees! First of all, anyone that uses the term “SEO” is already dating themselves. We’ve moved beyond that – way beyond that. SEO is only the tip of the iceberg which we now call Inbound Marketing. And what is the focus of Inbound Marketing? CONTENT! Yes, CONTENT is what you should be MOST concerned about when it comes to getting found and ranked by the search engines. Of course, it is always best to have your site coded correctly with old-school SEO tactics, but those alone are really not going to give you the lift or “Google Juice” you need to get you to the top. So, if anyone or any firm is charging you a monthly fee for SEO, make sure they know your business and are posting at least one to two relevant blog entries a week on your site. If they are charging you for on-site coding, fire them immediately. On-site coding for the search engines should be done, but only rarely and correctly. Save yourself some money and get yourself ranked. Contact us about developing a plan to get yourself found and ranked by the major (i.e. Google) search engines.

Facebook Advertising – A Cost Effective Alternative

Most businesses enjoy good results from paid advertising on search engines. Of course, the Gold Standard for search engine advertising has always been and probably always will be Google AdWords. However, there are an increasing number of significantly less expensive alternatives worth considering. One of our favorites is Facebook advertising. For sometimes a tenth of the per click cost you can reach a qualified, educated and interested audience for your business. Facebook places its ads on mobile devices based on the user’s likes, timeline posts, group memberships and more. You are virtually certain to reach people who are looking for your products and services. Please give us a call to talk about starting a Facebook advertising campaign.

Welcome To Our New Site!

The web changes quickly, and so do we. Welcome to our new web presence. If you’d like to know about the inspiration behind the new look, it is taken from one of the current schools of design: Flat Design. With the minimal emphasis on non-essential elements and the highlighting of navigation and important information, Flat Design is a wonderful new gateway to delivering the content you have to the audience you want in one of the most concise ways possible. Talk to us about how we can help you make your site more concise, more relevant and more found.