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6 Ways to Mess Up Your SEO

6 Ways to Mess Up Your SEO
We talk a lot about what makes for good SEO practices and strong content, but what are the pitfalls and actions that can work against your SEO? It’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do when you are developing your strategy and putting it into practice.

Here are some things to avoid when working on your SEO:

1. Duplicate content
Search engines have web crawler “bots” that scan your website’s content regularly to index them for search results. Search engine bots will recognize content that is duplicated on multiple pages with different web addresses and ignore or demote affected pages, or scan your site less frequently because they believe it’s not updated with new content.

2. Keyword stuffing
Repetition of your keywords throughout your content IS helpful for your SEO, but overdoing it and stuffing keywords in everywhere is not. Both consumers and search engine bots find content overstuffed with keywords unattractive, leading to fewer organic visitors to your site sticking around long enough to convert into customers.

3. Avoiding reviews
Avoiding asking your customers to leave you reviews because you aren’t sure what they’ll say is not worth the risk of losing the search rank boost and authority that reviews can lend your page. Even if you have complaints posted, they can be a place where you showcase your customer service in how you respond to customers who have had issues. Reviews are becoming more and more important to SEO and potential customers’ first impressions of your business, you may as well bite the bullet and take advantage of the real boost they can give your SEO.

4. Opening social media pages—and then ignoring them
Social networks are here to stay, and nearly everyone is on Facebook, Google+ and Yelp. If you haven’t yet done so, open company pages or claim company listings on any and all social media outlets you come across. More importantly, own and manage those pages so that you know what is being posted on or about your page. We have seen incidents involving private party photos posted to the main company sociall media accounts that went unnoticed for long periods of time because no one was paying attention to the activity on the accounts—not the best first impression to give a potential customer who hears your name and searches for you.

5. Having a website that isn’t mobile friendly
Google has adjusted their scoring algorithm to reduce the rank non-mobile friendly websites for the second time. As more and more people use their mobile devices and tablets to search for information, Google wants to serve them with sites that will be easily read on smaller screens and, all other factors being equal, a site that is mobile friendly will outrank a non-responsive website every time on a mobile search. Open your website using your phone or tablet—do you see a shrunken version of your site, or do you see content that is laid out in an easy to read manner that is adjusted to fit your screen? If it’s the former, it’s time for an upgrade.

6. Irregular or no updates
Regular updates are one of the three most important and basic elements of any SEO strategy. If you do not regularly update your page contents, don’t bother considering utilizing online media in your marketing plan, it will be a waste of your time.

There are other technical issues you might want to check in with your website developer about, but the most important element in your SEO plan is for you to own it. Today’s marketplace is ever-expanding thanks to the growth of the internet, and regardless of what type of business you run, you can’t ignore your company’s web presence.
#pspinc #dreamersi #onlinemarketing #blog

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How To Write SEO Friendly Web Content

How To Write SEO Friendly W...
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly content can help generate more traffic to your website by making it easier for search engines to find your site and serve your content to visitors who are actively looking for the information and services you have to offer. Forming a content strategy helps ensure that your information reaches your preferred audience and that the quality of your traffic improves as well as the quantity.

Whatever your goals, having SEO friendly content on your website, blog and social media will help you meet them. How do you make sure your website has SEO friendly content?

Here are a few steps to take when forming your content strategy before you create content for your website, blog and social media posts:

Define a target audience.
Before you even begin to compose your content, take a moment to define your target audience. Who do you want to have visit your website? What makes great potential customer? Where do they live, how old are they, what hobbies and activities might they enjoy?

2. Do research as your target audience
Pretend that you are a member of your target audience—what things would you search for to find a product or business similar to yours? What keywords and phrases would you use?

3. Define keywords
Pick the five most important keywords that your potential customer might use to find your business. Begin writing and blend the keywords you have chosen into your content. Repetition is good, but don’t overdo it.

4. Don’t forget titles and images
Using keywords in organic ways within your content is a must, but you can also use them in your page or article titles and in image names and captions. If you can edit your own website, you can also consider using them in your HTML filenames.

5. Update your content
Most importantly, update your content on a regular basis. Even the best content with great keyword placement can lose out if it becomes dated or stale in search engine results. Search engines are always looking for the latest and greatest to show their users, and give priority to sites that have been updated recently and regularly. By extension, if your site is never updated, it will sink in search results, leading to fewer people finding your site.

And finally, the content you provide must be relevant to what your potential customers are looking for. Otherwise, any visitors that do make it to your site will bounce away and look for another source that gives them the information they need!
#pspinc #dreamersi #seo #websitebestpractices #blog

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Mobile Traffic Is A Benefit For Business

Mobile Traffic Is A Benefit For...

Mobile marketing is marketing on or with a mobile device, such as a smart phone. Mobile marketing can provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas.

In the past, we have covered topics such as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Pay Per Click (PPC), and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). These are broader marketing topics covering wide-ranging media, ads and marketing campaigns. Mobile Marketing is a narrower approach specifically targeted at users of mobile devices. SEM and SEO target browsers on all devices, while Mobile Marketing is geared towards mobile devices and doesn’t always rely on browsers to deliver your marketing message.

Traditional marketing methods relies on distributing a message to massive audiences via traditional media, such as television ads. The marketer selects the program, the time, the location and demographic they want to target with their ad and the commercial is broadcast accordingly. The potential customers that view the ad are just a small part of the audience that watches the television program it airs during.

Mobile Marketing changes this approach, allowing campaigns created “just for you” because mobile devices generate more specific data about their users. This allows for much narrower and more accurate targeting than the wider audiences reached through traditional media.

Small and medium business owners may believe that only large corporations benefit from targeted marketing over mobile devices, but that is not the case. More and more people are getting more of the information they seek through mobile devices on the fly instead of only looking things up through computer browsers, both at home and when they’re away from their desktop PCs. Your business needs to be ready to serve the best information to the most receptive audience to adapt to the evolving mobile market.

Having said that, part of what you need to do to stay abreast of the evolving nature of your internet traffic is to evaluate your website, newsletters and any other online tools you use to create content visible to your online viewers to be sure that the content being produced is mobile-friendly. In practice, this means that your website and newsletter need to be easily readable on mobile devices and small screens, which in turn means that they’ll need to use responsive design strategies that resize your content to adapt to whatever screen your content is viewed on.

In addition to making sure your content is viewable on mobile devices, you’ll also want to make sure that your homepage’s message is concise and easy to understand. Pared with a responsive image, this is one of the easiest ways to get your message across at a glance and engage more customers on more devices.

If you need help with adapting or updating your website to meet the needs of a wider range of visitors, we’re happy to assist you.
#pspinc #dreamersi #onlinemarketing #blog

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7 Easy Tips For Powerful Email Marketing

7 Easy Tips For Powerful Emai...
In our last article, we talked about why you should utilize Email Marketing. Today, we’re going to expand on some of the things you’ll need to keep in mind as you move forward with your email campaigns and newsletter broadcasts.

1) Personalize your mailings where you can — Most people prefer email addressed specifically to them.

Some newsletter broadcasting systems, such as PSPinc’s NewsMAIL, allow you to personalize every email using the information you gathered from your clients and potential customers when they signed up for your newsletters. Saying “Dear Mary” instead of “Dear Customer” in your mailing gives it a personal touch that a generic newsletter can lack.

2) Keep it simple — Don’t send overly wordy articles or too much information in one broadcast.

A recipient will decide whether or not to read your email in three seconds or less. As with face to face communication, first impressions are everything. Make sure your newsletter has a clear and easy to recognize message that engages your reader quickly.

3) Pay attention to the Subject lines — Avoid terms that could accidentally get your broadcast caught in the recipients’ spam filters.

Many people who rely on using their smartphones as their primary email devices don’t open the vast majority of the email they receive. Spam filters also make assumptions about what email might contain viruses or junk mail due to the content of the Subject line. Don’t get too creative or overly long with the Subject line, and be clear about what it is you are sending so that your recipient knows what they’re opening.

4) Stick to your schedule — Figure out when your readers are most likely to open your email, and stick to that schedule so that they know to look for your newsletters.

When you’re getting started with email marketing it’s important to send out information on a regular basis, using the same time and day of the week to broadcast. Depending on your intended audience’s habits and your products and services, you might need to tweak your broadcast time to find the best time to reach most of your customers. Business customers and consumers also have different habits, and thus the best times to reach each might be different. You don’t want to get lost in a CEO’s overly-full Monday morning inbox or ignored by a busy parent on a Friday afternoon right after school gets out, so dig in to your customers’ habits to help figure out the best schedule for your mailings.

5) You need a website — Link to your website’s relevant pages so that interested customers know where to find the information or products they’re reading about.

You don’t want to send your newsletter readers an email that takes five minutes to scroll through to reach the footer—no one has time to read that. To avoid overwhelming your readers, have the information your customers need available on your website, and link to it in your newsletters. This provides an opportunity to really see how your Email Marketing campaign is performing by using your website’s analytics in conjunction with your email marketing system’s performance trackers to see what links get clicked on and how long people remain on your site once they get there.

6) Be considerate of mobile users — Whenever possible, using responsive design in your email newsletters lets recipients read your content on whatever device they use to check their email, no matter what size the screen.

Around half of all email is now checked using mobile devices and smartphones. If your email marketing service doesn’t offer email broadcasts with mobile support, you might lose potential customers who can’t read a miniaturized version of your email on their phone and delete your emails out of hand.

7) Measure your success! — Track what links are clicked on, which website pages get the most traffic after a broadcast, and who opens your emails and when.

Many Email Marketing systems will provide basic statistics reporting from your email broadcasts, such as open rates (how many of your emails were opened by recipients) and click-through rates for the links within the email newsletter. These statistics can help you figure out what is working for your email campaign, and what might need to be changed or updated to better engage your audience and expand your customer base.

Above all, remember to set goals for your campaigns and stay focused on your Email Marketing campaign’s performance so you can adapt your strategies to achieve your goals.
#pspinc #dreamersi #emailmarketing #blog

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Should You Use Email Marketing Or Not?

Should You Use Email Marketin...
How do you stay in touch with your clients? Do you keep track of customers who have visited your store or inquired about your services in the past? If you don’t have any ongoing communication with your past, present or potential future customers, you are missing out on a large source of potential revenue.

Enter email marketing—one of the best and easiest ways to stay on your customers’ radar and make sure they’re the first to know when you have news to share about your products and services. Website updates and blog posts are great, too, but they are passive means of getting information to your audience, and depend on visitors choosing to come to your site, either through direct visits or clicking links in ads and articles. Compiling mailing lists with your customers’ information and interests helps you send them targeted information that they will find relevant to their needs. When the information you send out is really useful, it can also be forwarded to new readers and serve as an introduction to your business and services.

There are many tools available online that make creating and broadcasting email newsletters quick and easy, such as PSPinc’s NewsMAIL. If you have not explored what options are available to you (many are free to use or have free trials!) and haven’t begun using email marketing to foster a long-term relationship with current and potential customers, now is the time to do so. Like any other strategy, email marketing does take a certain amount of commitment, planning and patience to succeed, but if you’re in it to win it, sending out newsletters on a regular basis can help you highlight the best parts of your business to the most interested consumers.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating an email marketing campaign or writing your company newsletters:

Personalize your mailings where you can — Most people prefer email addressed specifically to them.

Keep it simple — Don’t send overly wordy articles or too much information in one broadcast.

Pay attention to the Subject lines — Avoid terms that could accidentally get your broadcast caught in the recipients’ spam filters.

Stick to your schedule — Figure out when your readers are most likely to open your email, and stick to that schedule so that they know to look for your newsletters.

You need a website — Link to your website’s relevant pages so that interested customers know where to find the information or products they’re reading about.

Be considerate of mobile users — Whenever possible, using responsive design in your email newsletters lets recipients read your content on whatever device they use to check their email, no matter what size the screen.

Measure your success! — Track what links are clicked on, which website pages get the most traffic after a broadcast, and who opens your emails and when.

We will expand on these points in our next article—stay tuned!

Think you’re ready to give email marketing a try? We’d love to give you a free trial of NewsMAIL! Just email and ask for a free 30 day trial of PSPinc’s easy to use email marketing system!
#pspinc #dreamersi #emailmarketing #blog

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Inbound Marketing Is Important

Inbound Marketing Is Important
Have you been annoyed by commercials and switched channels to wait until your program comes back on? Or closed a website ad that hides the content you’re trying to reach on a web page? Consumers are getting smarter in finding ways to avoid interacting with or viewing ads and commercials. These traditional marketing methods, such as telemarketing, magazine ads, television commercials and direct mailing, are called Outbound Marketing. In contrast, “Inbound Marketing” has been evolving more recently to reach potential customers in different ways.

Inbound marketing takes advantage of newer media, such as blog posts, online videos, email newsletters, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media marketing and other forms of content marketing. Inbound Marketing’s methods draw visitors to the advertising content, rather than distributing the marketing content to potential customers.

Another difference between Outbound and Inbound Marketing is that with Outbound methods, you attempt to “buy” the attention of your potential customers, whereas with Inbound methods, you focus on attracting customers to your website, social media accounts, etc.

Consumers today do not like being pushed into making their purchasing decisions by overly aggressive marketing, but prefer being persuaded by their own research and analysis of the product or service they require and the companies that provide the options available to them. Many will have made their final choices long before they set foot in a store, which is why Inbound Marketing is becoming a more and more important strategy for promoting companies’ products as well as reputations for service and performance.

There are many tools that can be used for effective Inbound Marketing. YouTube videos are a new and popular tool that can take advantage of great stories and home videos from satisfied customers. You can begin with a simple blog on your website or a YouTube channel to showcase your videos, or expand your reach with Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. Sharing your knowledge, behind the scenes scoop on upcoming products and interacting with potential customers will lead to organic marketing—just be patient and post new content consistently and regularly to grow your audience and your business.

Happy customers are the best way to grow and market your company, and Inbound marketing can help naturally increase your business.
#pspinc #dreamersi #onlinemarketing #blog

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What Does Customer Data Mean For You?

What Does Customer Data Mea...
You don’t have to be a big corporation to capture and utilize customer data to improve the efficiency of your business. An easy way to do just that is to use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to track your customer information, rather than solely relying on Excel or Outlook to manage your company contacts lists.

A CRM allows you to store current and potential clients’ contact information and keep track of communication and project history all in one place. There are many options available, suited to businesses of all sizes. A large company might choose to buy a specific software and install it on a central server or individual computers, whereas smaller businesses that don’t have or need servers might utilize web-based CRM tools, such as PSPinc’s simple CRM, FlatCRM.

Once you have chosen a tool to capture and store information, you can analyze the data and use it to improve your client relationships and grow your business. Here are a few ways trackable client data can be used:

1. Customized email campaigns

As you capture email addresses, you can tag each one with information such as location, age, and preferences for different services or products you offer. You can sort your data to create mailing lists targeting those interests to be used for email campaigns relevant to those specific people. Collecting a few extra details will allow you an opportunity to focus on specific customers, and using an email marketing service that allows you to personalize emails with recipients’ names and details, such as PSPinc’s NewsMAIL, can help you directly address your audience in a more personal and friendly way.

2. Know your customers

As a customer, it can be frustrating to call a business’ customer service department and have to rehash over and over the reason for your call as you get passed to whoever can help you. When your customer service and sales representatives can quickly and easily access information about all prior interactions with a particular customer, it lets them better serve that person by understanding their history with the company and current needs, leading to more positive interactions and outcomes for both parties.

3. Review internal challenges

At times, business owners may have a need to be able to review their company’s interactions with a particular customer if a problem arises. Recording communication data lets you go back and evaluate the situation to determine where control was lost or what the weak link in the process was that failed. The more information available to you in these types of situations, the better, and having access to more data will empower you to make better business decisions as well as short and long term plans.

A CRM isn’t a magic wand that will improve your processes for you, but it is an important tool that can collect the data you need to meet challenges head-on and make informed decisions about your policies and marketing plans.
#pspinc #dreamersi #crm #targetedemailmarketing #blog

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What Is Target Marketing?

What Is Target Marketing?
In past articles, we have covered how to attract people to our website and convert visitors into leads. But how can you attract people who are more likely to convert into leads and customers? Without the right audience, a website can’t generate new business.

In order to attract the right audience to your website, you first need to determine what makes that audience the best one for you. You can do this by analyzing your existing customer base and defining the characteristics that your customers share, as well as comparing your competitors’ offerings to your own. Once you have done this, you can go back to the marketing plan you’ve written and create demographic goals.

While it is beneficial to list out your preferred characteristics, it’s also good to keep asking yourself WHY they are useful traits while you’re compiling your lists.

Once you’ve defined your preferred audience, put yourself in their shoes. How will they seek out products or services like yours? What will be the important decision making points that get them to click over to your website? Where and how will they hear about your business or products?

For example, a restaurant owner might want their audience to include

-locals and people who frequent the neighborhood
-people who dine out often
-people who prefer the restaurant’s cuisine
-people who frequent restaurants in the same price range
-visitors and tourists, if the business is in a hotspot or near a convention center

Once you’ve determined who you would like to approach, you can redefine your messaging, where and how you choose to market your business. It can be more cost effective to choose a narrow target demographic, but too narrow and you can miss out on other opportunities. It’s important to find a balance, based on your acceptable risk and expected return, and what serves your business goals and objectives.

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to know who you want to reach and learn as much about them as you can in order to communicate your offerings effectively to your target audience.
#pspinc #dreamersi #onlinemarketing #blog

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How To Effectively Generate Leads Online

How To Effectively Generate L...
It's one thing to generate more traffic to your website, but it is another thing entirely to generate leads and convert visitors interested in what you have to offer. If you monitor your website’s traffic using Google Analytics or any other monitoring software, you will see a statistic called “Bounce Rate.” The Bounce Rate shows the percentage of visitors that reach your site and leave within a very short period of time, i.e., visitors that “bounce” right off your site. In order to maintain a healthy, low Bounce Rate your site needs to engage your visitors and keep interested parties on the page long enough to be enticed by what you have to offer. For this, content plays the most important role on the homepage.

How do we engage visitors and convert them to leads?

First of all, do you have a way to capture a lead on your website? Can visitors easily figure out how to contact you? Do any of your staff that answer new callers ask where they heard about your business?

Your website’s homepage needs engaging content an attractive call to action in order to generate leads from your site traffic. Both of these aspects must make sense to an interested visitor if you want to turn them into a potential customer. Having things like “Sign up for our newsletter to receive offers and coupons!” or “Register for free samples!” can help persuade a visitor to submit their information and inquiries via a simple form that doesn’t discourage their interest while signing up.

Calls to action should be noticeable and easy to access from the first page your visitor lands on. Brightly colored banners or buttons pointing are easy to find and encourage clicks. The forms they lead to should be basic, without asking too many questions or for too much personal information. Too long or complicated a form will lead to visitors abandoning your site rather than finishing and submitting their data, and you don’t want to increase the Bounce Rate from your lead capture form.

Changing up the placement of your call to action items on a regular basis will let you see what works best for generating leads on your site. Little changes to the form, the color, or the location of the link could have a big impact on the effectiveness of your lead generation.
#pspinc #dreamersi #onlinemarketing #blog

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Writing An Online Marketing Plan

Writing An Online Marketing Plan
Are you ready to do business online? What does your website say about you, your products and services?

Building a website is only one part of your marketing strategy. The business marketing plan you create for your product or service helps you determine the strategies you will use to achieve the goals you set, as well as establishing benchmarks that allow you to measure your online marketing activities’ performance.

How do you write a marketing plan?

Step 1 - Set an objective and goal

Set a goal and create specific marketing objectives. These will form the foundation of your marketing plan, so take a little time and work out what you want to achieve and what actions you would need to get there.

For example, you might like to be able to gain 10 new clients every month for a service-based business, such as a salon, or to increase your product’s monthly sales by 50% within a year, such as a tea shop might.

Be specific and set quantitative objectives with timeframes for completion, otherwise your plan won’t be effective. Setting reasonable, and measurable, objectives in a concrete timeframe will be the framework for the rest of your marketing plan.

Step 2 - Make a list of tasks and action items

Take the objectives you created and list all the things that need to be done in order for you to complete them. Be realistic in what you can do, these shouldn’t be hypothetical or aspirational.

If our salon owner from Step 1 wants 10 new clients each month, they are probably going to want to get 30 inquiries from potential new customers. The owner can place ads to attract those potential customers, but they aren’t going to only want 30 inquiries. The ads must reach a larger audience and appeal to the type of possible customers that could convert to new customers due to being part of the target demographic, such as distance from the salon, ability to afford the services offered, etc. Different actions reach different people, so you must choose the ones that will be most effective while still being affordable for you.

Step 3 - Share your list with your team

Share your ideas with your team and get feedback. Sometimes, things that seem like great ideas turn out not to be feasible options, and you can’t know what will and won’t be possible until you discuss it with your team. Different points of view can also be very helpful in coming up with new ideas or compromises that will make your strategies effective in gaining new business.

Step 4 - Take action

Once you and your team are clear on the objectives and what activities need to be undertaken, it’s time to schedule the activities and set dates for review. Periodic reviews help keep your projects from going off the rails without anyone noticing while also showing what strategies are working and will lead you to a successful outcome.

Whether the marketing plan is meant for online or offline business, the basics are the same. Set your objectives, create a plan and measure your progress towards your goals and objectives along the way.
#pspinc #dreamersi #onlinemarketing #blog

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