How to Use Keywords to Get Attention

How to Use Keywords to Get Attention

When it comes to developing content, few buzzwords are thrown around quite as much as “keywords.” While quality content remains by far the gold standard for SEO, keywords can be very helpful for guiding search engines and those making queries on them to relevant content on your website. Of course, figuring out what keywords to focus on can be a challenge. Keywords should match the vocabulary and information sought by potential customers, while also flowing naturally within the piece. Here’s what every professional should know about finding quality keywords for their website.

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Determine the keywords people use

You don’t want to use keywords you think potential customers might use. Instead, you want keywords you know are commonly used. Use resources such as Google Trends and Adwords to monitor how frequently certain keywords are used. Look at trends within your market or industry, too. If a keyword has been decreasing in usage, focus somewhere else. If usage is low but has been growing steadily over the past few months, it may be worth looking at ways to incorporate that word or phrase more prominently on your site.

Look for words that match the vocabulary of your customers

In many industries, there’s a difference between the language used by the professionals and that used by their customers. Make sure the keywords you include on your website reflect the language your customers use. If you use your industry jargon, you’re more likely to attract your competitors or others in the industry rather than potential customers.

Make sure your content answers the query

It’s always good practice to run your own searches using keywords before developing your content. This will give you a good idea about the type of content that already exists for a particular keyword or phrase. It will also help you gain insight into the type of content people expect when they type those words or phrases into the search engine.

How well does your content line up with customer expectations? Even if you are able to use a keyword naturally in your content, if you aren’t answering the questions people have, your content will rank poorly. Google and the other search engines want to present helpful, relevant content for users. If your content isn’t addressing customer needs, it will quickly find itself falling behind.

See what your customers respond to

As you develop content, keep a careful eye on the type of content most likely to attract customers to your website. Note the keywords and topics that bring the most traffic and the most conversions. This can help you hone in on what your customers are responding to the most, helping to refine your efforts and increase traffic to your website. It will also help you better understand your customers, which will help you serve them better.

Keywords can be enormous assets when it comes to catching the attention of search engines and potential customers. When you take the time to determine the right types of keywords that will best serve your business, you’ll see much greater return on your efforts. If you’re looking to develop a strong marketing campaign, contact us today to see how we can help.

The Importance of Reputation Management

Companies used to be able to control a large portion of their message through advertising. Now, thanks to digital media, online reviews, and customers doing their own research, creating and maintaining a positive image requires much more subtlety and work.

The importance of a positive image

Customers naturally want to do business with companies they feel they can trust. They want to know a brand performs well, will meet their needs, and will be there to help with any problems that arise. A strong brand presence can be a fantastic advertising tool. It helps to spread your reach and encourage new prospects to become paying customers. But just as a positive review can boost sales, a negative one can spread like wildfire through social networks and hurt a reputation — and the bottom line.

Steps to foster a positive reputation

Focus on the customer experience. When customers feel valued and trust that service is a genuine priority, they become much more likely to return and recommend your brand to others.

Focus marketing efforts on providing value for customers. Customers today research companies before making a purchase, so be that reliable source of information they can turn to for answers to their questions.

Build a community around your brand. Encourage customers to interact with you and with each other through social media and real life events. Strong communities build loyalty and positive associations.

Anticipate people leaving reviews on the major review sites. Take the time to upload pictures and provide information, so the review sites show a complete picture. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews.

How to handle a negative review

Most well-established companies do end up getting the occasional negative review. It’s impossible to please everyone all the time. You’ll probably have at least one customer who thinks you should have done something differently, so it’s important not to panic if someone writes something less than friendly on either a review site, social media, or a blog. It’s also not the time to get defensive and start a battle of words. Instead, take the opportunity to demonstrate the professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction your brand advertises.

Respond to the negative review personally, saying how sorry you were the customer didn’t have a good experience. Restate your commitment to making the customer happy and offer to rectify the situation. Contact the customer offline whenever possible, and see if the situation can be improved. Discounts on future services, money back, and sometimes even just an apology can help smooth over hurt feelings and improve the relationship between customer and company.

In certain situations, you might not want to apologize. Say, for example, the customer complains about something that’s a critical part of your brand. Rather than apologize, try restating your company’s goals. Apologies should be genuine. If you have nothing to apologize for, then stick with being professional and courteous to the customer.

If the situation is resolved completely, you can ask the customer to remove the negative review. You can also post another reply to the review, saying you were glad you were able to work with the customer to resolve the issue.

By making your efforts to satisfy the customer public, you’re advertising your commitment to customer care. People understand that even the best companies make mistakes. It’s the steps taken to correct these mistakes that matter.

Managing your brand’s reputation will have an enormous impact on the trust potential customers feel. Understanding the factors that go into reputation management in the digital age can help you better leverage technology to improve how you’re seen online.

What Relay Teams Can Teach Us About Teamwork

Few people exemplify skill and teamwork better than a well-coached relay team. Whether at the Olympic Games or a high school track meet, the relays are often one of the most exciting events.
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Relay teams typically consist of four of the most highly skilled runners at a particular distance. But skill alone isn’t enough. The teams must practice together to get their timing and execution just right. It takes a great deal of teamwork to win a relay event.

In a relay race, runners must pass the baton from one to the next within a predefined zone. If they fail to make the handoff within that zone, they are disqualified. At the same time, the runner receiving the baton cannot start their leg of the race from a complete stop. The amount of time they’d lose would be astronomical. That means the runner handing off the baton and the runner receiving the baton must time their running perfectly so that the second runner can pick up speed while still receiving the baton within the zone. This requires a level of precision that can only be developed with practice and considerable communication. When a team masters this aspect of running a relay and combines it with phenomenal skill, they can accomplishes incredible things.

How running a relay relates to running a business

Like running a relay race, running a successful business requires more than just having talented people. You could hire people who are absolutely genius in their respective roles, but if they can’t communicate well together, they won’t accomplish much.

Building a successful team in a professional environment requires finding employees who can accomplish their jobs effectively, but also fit together as a group. When a relay team is working together, they understand how their roles fit together to form a cohesive unit. The same is true of your organization. Everyone on your team must be clear about their individual role and how it relates to the end goals of the organization.

The handoff

As with a relay team, the handoff is critical in business, too. Every member of the team has their own job to do, and handoffs dictate how well potential leads and prospects are passed from one department or team to the next. When these handoffs are handled well, leads are moved seamlessly down the sales funnel, and relationships develop and grow.

The perfect handoff occurs when the members of the team know how to communicate with one another. They understand each other’s respective roles and strengths and know how to work together for the betterment of the team. For example, in a team with weak communication, the marketing department might hand off a lead to the sales team before that lead is ready to move along. However, when the two departments communicate and understand each other better, they improve their handoff skills, boosting the odds of conversion and success.

Track and field can be a source of entertainment, but also inspiration. The next time you see the sport, watch carefully how well the relay team fits together. Use some of their insight when planning your hires and organizing your business.

Seth Godin’s Blog: Five thoughts on software

Wow! Seth Godin made some great comments about software in his blog post that apply to the sticky situation we face with PrintSmith Classic versus PrintSmith Vision.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/01/five-thoughts-on-software.html

I especially like his points in #2 and #5:

“2. Removing features to make software simpler doesn’t always make it better. You could, for example, make a hammer simpler by removing the nail puller on the other side. But that makes a useful tool less useful.”

I can’t help but think of the removal of the Report Writer module for a 3rd party substitute, Crystal Reports. If I’m going to spend hours and hours recreating reports, maybe I ought to look at other solutions that are compatible with my iPad and my iPhone which is even more valuable to me.

“5. Most of all, software as a whole just isn’t good enough. …… But given how cheap (compared to cars, building materials or appliances) it is to revamp and reinvent software, and how urgent it is to create tools that increase the quality of what we make, we’re way too complacement.
Fix all bugs. Yes, definitely. But more important, restate the minimum standards for good enough to be a lot higher than they are.
We need better design, more rigor and most of all, higher aspirations for what our tools can do.”

I have a list of things that need fixed in PS that have been on the list far too long. Now would be a great time to fix them, unfortunately, this brings us back to the issue of incompatibility with the iPad and the iPhone. Thus, we are forced to look elsewhere…..

What a Symphony Orchestra Can Teach Us About Harmony and Marketing

We all have some type of music we find pleasing to the ear. For some, it’s classical. Others prefer rock, hip hop, pop, or jazz. But no matter what type of music we enjoy, there’s something about a symphony orchestra that seems to draw admirers from a wide variety of musical backgrounds and tastes.

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An orchestra brings harmony to life. Its beauty comes from the different sections — woodwinds, percussion, strings, and brass — working together to create something spectacular. If just one person or one section is out of tune or out of line, the entire piece can fall flat. The same is true in your marketing.

The importance of harmony in marketing

Just like an orchestra, marketing works best when every member of the team works together to perfectly complement the others. In today’s busy world, countless platforms vie for your audience’s attention. Print media, inbound marketing, social media, PPC ads, retargeting ads, radio advertising, and more all seek at least some portion of the metaphoric pie.

Too often, we try to meet these demands by randomly throwing content at all of these different platforms. We see each platform as a checklist of requirements, rather than a resource to be leveraged. By finding harmony in the platforms we use to carry out our plans, we stand a far greater chance for success from our marketing efforts. The key to creating this harmony is five-fold:

  1. Develop the central message for the new marketing campaign.
  2. Identify the key characteristics of buyers the marketing campaign will target, including where those people will be found.
  3. Use these characteristics to prioritize your advertising platforms and decide which ones will receive a greater share of the budget.
  4. Develop the campaign with all of the platforms pointing toward a common goal, such as leading buyers to a particular promotional webpage.
  5. Use common colors, language, and themes across the different platforms to create a unified brand.

Take the time to learn how different platforms complement each other, such as how social media can drive people toward the inbound content on your website. This will enhance your efforts and your reach. Marketing works best when different platforms are used in unison to create a common message for prospective customers. When marketing is performed well, it can make people sit up and pay attention.

Finding the right rhythm in your marketing requires careful analysis and planning. When you can accomplish this, you’ll see far better results from your marketing campaigns. If you’re interested in developing a successful new marketing campaign, contact us today. We’d be happy to help you get started.

5 Ways to Increase Visitor Engagement in 2015

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As you prepare your marketing plans for the year, one of your chief priorities should be website visitor engagement. As engagement increases, so do brand loyalty and conversions. Engagement helps page visitors begin to build a relationship with your brand. This in turn helps to increase their trust in what you have to say and makes them more likely to end up buying from you. Here are a handful of changes you can make to greatly enhance your visitor engagement and see measurable changes in 2015.

Make content easily shareable

Encourage page visitors to interact with your brand by sharing your content. You can accomplish this by making your content interesting and easy to broadcast across various social channels. Enable social share buttons on every piece of content you produce, and share the content yourself on a variety of social networks. If your content provides high value and is timely, readers will be more likely to want to share that information with their connections.

Use gamification and promotions

Use fun contests and games to encourage page visitors to remain on your website and tell others about your brand. There are a number of different types of games and promotions you can use. For example, have customers solve puzzles to earn coupons. Encourage them to share your brand with friends to earn points. Run contests on your social media pages that invite people to tell stories about their successes with your brand. Use these opportunities to encourage communication and build a relationship between page visitors and your company.

Encourage feedback

When customers know their opinions are valued, they’re more likely to feel loyal to your brand. Customers appreciate companies that go the extra mile to help them and make their experiences memorable. Encourage this level of engagement by letting customers vote on different topics they’d like to have featured on your website, leave reviews of your products and services for others to see, and offer opinions and feedback about your brand and their experience with it. Your page visitors will enjoy having their voices heard, and you’ll gain better insight on your customers, which can help you improve your marketing and customer service efforts.

Remember customers

Work with your website developers to create a website that will remember customers and their preferences when they return. Simple things, such as automatically filling out forms or remembering products that the customer looked at the last time they visited, can be excellent for boosting engagement. Such conveniences will make it easier for customers to convert, while at the same time helping them feel as though the services they’re receiving from you are personalized to their specific needs.

Make recommendations

In addition to remembering customers when they return to your website, add functionality that provides solid recommendations based on past purchases, too. Consider websites such as Amazon that offer recommendations based on the buying habits of others who have bought similar products in the past. These services encourage people to dive deeper into the website, increasing their interaction and improving the odds they will convert. Similarly, make sure your calls-to-action always fit well with the topic and intended audience of the content you’re presenting.

Increasing visitor engagement on your website can help your brand take its marketing efforts to new levels for 2015. Keep the above tips in mind, and see how you start building stronger company loyalty in the new year. If you’re ready to start developing a new marketing campaign, contact us today to get started.