A SIMPLE PLAN TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD.
Embroco Content Marketing Blueprint
At some point during the development of your online presence, many of you may be thinking, "this all sounds wonderful, but where do I begin? How to I get these proven principles into motion?” There are numerous ways to approach this dilemma, but I want to give you what is the simplest and most powerful.
Because people go to google with questions, I believe that is a good starting point.
Start with great questions.
Deliver precise and original answers.
Create a growing Frequently Asked Questions Document.
Periodically add more FAQ’s to your website.
Expand each FAQ into an article & publish on your website first as an article or blog post.
Then you can retitle and rewrite to publish on your social media(facebook & Google plus) and in key places on the web(bloggers & article submission sites). These articles will point back to your website and increase your website's authority.
(Optional) This one depends on your capacity to be on camera. Shoot a short video clip on each Question. Post on your website and on youtube and other video sharing sites.
1. The absolute worst mistake that I have seen small businesses make in my years as a web consultant in is to never get around to setting up a good website. They fall back on one of many excuses, the foremost is, "word of mouth is what drives my business.” "Word of mouth” and running a great business is what keeps you in business, but it doesn't change the fact that most folks looking for products or services are going to go straight to google. The stats for local business search are undeniably compelling. Local businesses more easily rank well for local search with an optimized website. And with your own website (depending on which option you go with) you have total control of their engagement and user experience, which brings us to the second catastrophic mistake that just breaks my marketing heart.
Action Point: Get a Website (but not before finishing this article)
2. The second worst mistake is thinking, "It’s enough to just have a good facebook page.” Facebook is a great tool for brand awareness and creating some engagement with your product. It is not a replacement for a website. For sure it is much better than having nothing, but facebook and other social media tools are much too confining and limited in what they accomplish for businesses. Also, you have no control of the decisions they may make in the future. This was a lesson I learned years ago as an eBay seller. On a whim, they could change the parameters that could totally change your chances of doing successful business. When a person finds you in search engine land, and they have the option of clicking to learn more about you and your products or services, almost all would prefer to click to a website and not a social media page. And you would much prefer that as well because you have control of what kind of content they will see, how it is structured, and want action points you would like them to take as a result of coming to your website.
Action point: Keep your facebook page and get a great website built for you or take the time to learn how to create one for yourself.
3. The third mistake that I often see is using a "cheap" website builder or simple drag and drop website builder. This one hits close to home for me as a website builder and consultant, because I see some businesses go this route after finding out that there is a cost of having a website built for you. And in contrast, many of my happy clients tried this route before deciding to partner with Embroco to achieve their business goals. Many if not all of their pain points in setting up their web presence are not only eliminated but are transformed into excitement as they see the results that were previously elusive. When you hire a professional, they have access directly to "the code", and all of it, thus you are no longer confined to the limitations of "safe and simple" website builder application. Using these DIY services might be acceptable for the hobbyist or a simple blogging site, but for a serious business, hiring someone who really knows how to optimize a site for results both for search engine and in user experience, makes all the difference between success and failure. Website marketing firms build and optimize websites every day, know best practices, and have insights that the business owners typically just don't have time to acquire. I have seen some pretty decent attempts by zealous go-getter types. But the astronomical amount of time that they spent trying to achieve a good looking site leave me thinking, “was it really worth it.” And having a pretty site doesn't mean that your site is optimized for success in a world where your competition online is steadily getting more fierce. Having said that, it noteworthy to mention that there are a few DIY website builders that have have the flexibility and power to make a great website. However, for the best results, I still would recommend hiring a designer with marketing experience to build your site.
Action Point: Hire the right Professional Web Design Firm
4. The next mistake that kills your results is never taking the time to maintain and add fresh content to their site or not hiring someone to do it for them. In order to thrive and not just survive when it comes to ranking well on google, you must have a reason for people visiting your site. Not just once but you would like folks to come back and visit from time to time. Create a valuable resource for your clients. Answer questions. Search engines look for helpful original unique insightful written content. Give incentives, promotions, and knowledge and try to make it interesting or even entertaining. One thing that I have learned working in web consulting over the years is that: "Getting content from business owners is harder than pulling teeth!" There are a lot of reasons and excuses for this, but I believe that the main one is that writing is hard work. It is true that no one knows your business like you do and your insight for delivering good content would be invaluable, however, if you never get around to doing it, you would be much better off hiring someone else to do it. The payoff is that once great content has been created, it is done and it will continue to reap benefits in the future.
Action Point: Maintain and create content or hire someone to do it.
5. The fifth mistake that I want to touch on can be a very costly one, Hiring the wrong web design firm for the wrong reasons. The world of web browsers, code, search engines and aggressive start-ups with big ideas is exciting and rapidly evolving. I am going to list a few things to look out for when looking to hire a web design firm.
1. Don’t hire a firm just because they have been around the longest. This may seem like a viable reason, but I have seen large established firms that are still producing websites that are not optimized for mobile devices with code elements dated by 5-10 years.
2. Don’t hire a firm just because they charge the most. Also, they don't give a reasonable justification for the astronomical prices. Having a website built for you should be like a trip to the ER. We practice complete transparency with our pricing from the very beginning. It should be simple, this is how much it costs, this is why.
3. Carefully consider the Content Management System that the firm is connecting to the code of their website. This can be a really big issue once a site has gone live. It is absolutely vital that you have a clear understanding of how easy or not it is to maintain and make changes to your site.
4. Don’t hire a mega-firm that sends much of their work abroad which can cause communication issues and may not be accessible to fix things quickly and accurately. This is a temptation for every web-developer. Hire abroad, manage, take the profits off the top, and retire now. This scenario is problematic in too many ways to mention in this article.
Action Point: Hire a small to midsized firm that uses current best design practices, practices fair pricing with transparency, builds in a powerful content management system, and is dedicated to customer service so you have a real person you can call up and talk to immediately.
6. The final blow that deflates the online potential of any local business is a failure to invest in local marketing tools. For the amount of “seo juice” and traffic that these services provide, they are well worth the meager investment. A beautiful and optimized website is the foundation for success, but in today's competitive online atmosphere, it is just not enough. Most competent web firms will offer to incorporate these services for a one-time fee or small recurring fee to keep these vital marketing engines optimized. Businesses can take advantage of websites such as MOZ Local or BrightLocal and use some of their very helpful tools for free or take advantage of their paid services. Keep in mind that some web-firms may already have access to the more advanced tools offered by these local marketing applications, and have experience in implementing and optimizing your results. What do these sites offer? They maximize your presence in two main areas: Citations (listing your site on online directories) and providing monitoring and Analytics. The other key factor that needs to be actively pursued is getting and monitoring online reviews. Marketing firms can help with this, but the easiest way to accomplish it is to just ask your favorite clients to write you a 5-star review.
Action Point: Use local marketing tools or hire your web-firm to set this up for you. At the very least utilize this strategy for a few months.
I genuinely hope that this article was helpful and helps bring your dreams to fruition.
Local Search engine marketing is a mix of marketing strategies applied to your website and other online channels with the goal that it is found in the highest position possible of Google, Bing and Yahoo for searches that are related to your local area.
Nothing else comes close to the versatility that Facebook ad targeting offers. You can target ads based on a number of parameters like interest, gender, user location, interest, education, relationship status, education among others.
Due to the constant and ever high traffic on Facebook, you literally have the chance to get the conversion rates you’ve always only dreamed of.
For instance, let’s assume that your company recently launched their own coffee, you can aim to attract customers from Starbucks by targeting lovers of Starbucks coffee in your ads in a bid to sway them to your own coffee brand.
When you target users based on interest, you will notice a surge in the number of Facebook fans, email subscribers, brand advocates and buyers. Eventually, you will have succeeded in converting more users into customers or potential customers at least. Once they buy into your brand and become actual customers, they will most likely become your advocates as social evidence of the quality of your brand to your target audience/market.
It’s actually a no brainer, if someone didn’t own a car, they probably wouldn’t care about car wipers and blades.
Equally, if I have in the past expressed my willingness to learn baking and I come across an ad that promises to tutor people on baking and all its mysteries and promises to make me a professional baker in under a year, then chances are that I am going to be more inclined to click on the ad, more than I would have clicked on an ad that was selling plastic chairs at 20% off the original price.
A non-profit organization can also seamlessly target users for a higher click-through rate based on their interests and preferences:
Once you have a perfect idea for your ad, the next thing you want to do is to select and target an audience based on one or multiple interests.
Usually, these kind of people are usually pre-qualified leads, because they have already indicated interest in your topic.
Interest-based targeting is usually effective in increasing a Facebook fan base.
Keep in mind that you would have to set up a lead nurturing system if you want to make the best out of your leads. The truth is, the vast majority of them are not just going to magically buy your product on sighting your ad.
Therefore, you would still need to do a bit of marketing, education and persuasion before you get the click-through rate to become a high website conversion rate – before you can accomplish that, you need to have a system that can seamlessly allow you communicate with them regularly.
Sounds pretty basic right? Well, it's quite an easy process if you actually know the basics of it.
You must realize that target audience is the most important significant factor to your Facebook ad success.
There are a few Do’s that can ensure that your odds at targeting users based on the audience are greatly improved.
I’ll go ahead and just conclude that you are familiar with very basics here (gender, age, location etc.). Grouping in that demographic data will help you sieve out all of the people who probably would have no business buying your “chairs at 20% off its original price.” – Basically, those who wouldn’t think twice to care about what you are selling.
But let’s assume, you are still left with a very long list at this point – even after you have added a few interest like celebrities they follow or brands they like and you are target audience is still running into millions.
If you’re caught in that dilemma, here is the next action that you should take;
Customer Segment or Personas
First, divide your audience into multiple customer segment or personas. This may seem very obvious. But it is a complete game changer.
You may proceed with something as easy as the industry your prospects are in. like this:
For instance, let’s say you are targeting other business people, you can easily segregate those people by virtue of their industry (like consulting vs finance). You can also divide them by location (big cities). And you can also further segment them by job title (middle managers vs VP and C-level).
So you can apply these textbook moves by simply chipping in a few parameters like this to help you slash one big group into a tiny bit (this will also save you money).
Filters: Intersections or Exclusions
After segmentation, you can further refine those you intend to target by using interest intersection and exclusion feature.
What if you are still left with a big list? What if it’s still too vague?
For instance, what if what you actually want are self-employed accountants who are not tax attorneys? You can also add “law”, “legal”, “attorney”, “lawyer”, and the likes to further refine the search result.
Notice how these intersections and exclusions actually give you efficient targeting options to find just the right people. Those who are interested in what you have are the ones that may probably patronize you.
The moment you get a steady flow of incoming traffic; you’ll be able to start using custom audiences. This is more like remarketing or retargeting audiences that have just visited your website, subscribed to your newsletter or engaged with you on Facebook.
So, begin with interest targeting.
If you need to refine your audience, split the customers into multiple segments and use intersections or exclusions to filter the list. Then you can go on to try out custom audiences and lookalikes to when you are ready to move to the next level.
If not, the next thing is to begin generating traffic from your first few leads. We’ll get to more of that in coming posts.
Speed, speed and more speed. That is what all website users demand. With prime players like Google announcing speed as a ranking factor, speed is being considered as vital for success on the web. In fact last year, Google made an announcement stating that its plan is to use site load speed as a ranking factor. This change coupled with Google's mobile-first index algorhitm makes it painfully clear that mobile design and page load speed are very important for success on the web. Studies indicate that sites with high speed have a higher conversion rate and a lower bounce rate. Consumers today want an opportunity to compare and contrast products, services and prices. And speed plays a pivotal role here. If your pages are slow in opening, you are out of the race before it has begun. This could translate into a loss especially if you are running paid advertisements.
Making standard web pages to load and render faster has been made possible by Embroco. The speed optimization project undertaken by the developers that power our sites, allows mobile users to instantly view the initial page while additional content is being loaded in the background. Another part of our blazing fast websites is a relatively new service provided by Amazon Web Services called "Lambda” that helps us structure the code on the fly to load certain in the optimal order according to different screen sizes.
Want to quickly learn some powerful foundation principles of SEO and actually remember them. How? By connecting what you are learning about search engine optimization with yourself. How you like to be treated is a lot like google likes to be approached. Play nicely. Mean what you say. Don’t try to deceive. Share good stuff. Be authentic. Be specific with your words. Google’s search engine has gotten a lot smarter and its designers have continuously labored to engineer a search result that delivers as accurately as possible, "What you are searching for,” not some website that really has another agenda for your wallet, and pretending to be what you were searching for. So, google has the intent of pulling the disguise off of the wolf in sheep's clothing. But, keep in mind that google made around 59.06 billion in 2014 from paid ads, yes that is Billion with a BIG B. Therefore, google is not opposed to taking your money to put you at the top. So we have a dance going on between paid results and organic results, and the interesting thing about search engine evolution is that the overall strategies (that I will make crystal clear in this book) for long-term and short term success are starting to look surprisingly similar and easier to grasp. Put simply, google is becoming a lot more like us.
Disclaimer: The Search Engine Not The Company
I need to make a quick clarification, lest some folks think that this book is an entirely different subject. When I say, "Google is a lot like you,” I am speaking about google’s search engine, not Google as a company. This book is about long and short term strategies for the successful growth of your online presence.
Google Hates Being Manipulated As Much As You Do
I recently was making some updates on a client’s website. This site had been taken over by a guru of old, I found hidden over 6,000 words and a local address hidden on every page of the site. It just goes to show the black hats are still out there. Of course, I made very strong recommendations to the client that such be removed.
That word is able to conjure strong emotion, especially if you have endured a relationship with a control freak. Manipulation of search engines used to be quite easy, if you knew the right tricks. You could stuff a bunch of keywords like "presidential election results” on your site in a text color that matched the background color, therefore making it invisible. And then folks searching for "presidential election results” would find your site that sells the "fabulous ab-tracker workout machine.” You could get away with such things because, well a few years back, search engines just weren’t that smart. Amazingly enough, similar techniques can still be found today. I know this because I work on websites every day.
The developers at google were able to differentiate themselves from competitors by developing smarter search engines results. As a matter of fact, most of the attempts at search engine manipulation will, in fact, result in a negative consequence. Google will penalize such actions and your site won’t show up at all. Come to think of it, that’s probably exactly how you would react to such behavior. You would likely delete them out of contacts, unfriend them on Facebook, send a clear message, "don’t call me, don’t bother me, I don’t like being manipulated.”
It goes back to the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Joel Conner / Embroco Enthusiast