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How to Make the Most of Your Business Blog

Posted Thu, September 3, 2015 by Julie Short

In a recent post, we reminded readers and clients that blogging isn’t dead… if anything, it’s more important than ever to your search engine optimization and Internet marketing efforts.

However, a lot of businesses aren’t using their blogs as effectively as they could be. Part of the reason might be because blogging isn’t a cutting-edge topic anymore, the way social media and mobile marketing is. That’s true, but it doesn’t take away from the importance of a healthy blog.

The other reason probably has to do with the fact that a lot of companies simply don’t know how to make the most of their blogs. That’s understandable, but it’s not enough reason to give up. Today, we are going to give you some easy tips that can help you get the biggest marketing impact from your company’s blog…

Post Regularly – having a blog won’t do anything for you if you don’t regularly post new content. At a minimum, you should be adding new articles once or twice a week; even more often is preferable. That signals to readers – and search engines – that you are an ongoing and current source of new ideas.

Sell Ideas, Not Products – speaking of ideas, the focus of your blog should be on advice, insights, and concepts. Once you have someone’s attention, you can get them interested in what you have to offer. Begin your posts with a marketing pitch, however, and you’ll quickly lose the attention of readers.

Share More Than Text – most of your blog posts will probably be written, of course, but don’t forget that you can use images, video, and even audio or custom graphics to explain or accompany an idea. Visual content is great because it’s easy to understand, not to mention share over social networks.

Promote Your Blog Via Social Media – social media and blogging go hand-in-hand. When you add a new post to your website, make sure you’re promoting it via Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. That helps drive traffic to your blog and provide value to those who are following you on social channels.

Invite Feedback – posting to your blog isn’t just about spreading your thoughts, it’s also about getting feedback from readers. So, make sure to enable comments and invite visitors to submit their own thoughts. If you get lots of lively discussion moving back and forth, you’ll have the basis for plenty of future topics.

Learn From Your Best Posts and Ideas – like most things in life, 80% of your blog comments and traffic will come from 20% of your posts. So, if you hit on a winning idea or concept, feel free to revisit it, update the thought, or generate a related post. The spin-off article you come up with might be even more popular.

Your blog can be a source of new information, a hub of social activity, and the centerpiece of your search engine optimization plan. Are you getting the right kinds of results from your posts? If not, it’s time to put these tips to work on your website.

Posted in : Website Content , SEO/SMO/SMM , Business Strategy , Blogging | 
Tags : blogging , effective blogging , blogging tips


How to Organize Your Website for Better Search Effectiveness

Posted Wed, August 6, 2014 by Julie Short

For all the discussion that revolves around search engine optimization, many business owners (and more than a couple of web designers) tend to focus on the wrong things, or miss the obvious. That's often the case when it comes to website structure (how your pages and links are organized), which can have a surprisingly-large effect on how easy your content is to find.

That effect comes in two ways: how your pages are displayed in search results, and how well Google and the other search engines are able to understand what lives where on your business website.

In the first case, a website with an easy-to-use site structure can be displayed multiple ways in Google search engine listings, and even have "sub-results" for individual pages. And to the second point, search engines can't necessarily find or crawl your content without the right webmaster tools. Even when they can, they may not understand how pages work in relation to one another, which in turn means they don't know how they should be displayed, either.

Luckily, it's not that difficult to organize your website for search effectiveness. Here are a few basic ideas we always keep in mind when working with our clients:

Draw a flowchart before you begin. This will allow you to envision the way your website pages should be set up. It also gives you the chance to ensure that everything follows a logical flow from one topic to another.

Make it easy to get from A to B. Try not to "bury" anything on your business website, particularly if it's an important topic or product. A good rule of thumb is that it shouldn't take more than two or three clicks to reach any part of your website from anywhere else.

Stick to languages Google understands. Lots of designers love flash and animation, but these are hard for search engine spiders to crawl. Code your site in HTML or CSS whenever possible to make it more searchable.

Don’t draw visitors too deeply into the rabbit hole. If your website goes more than three or four layers deep (something you can see from your flowchart), find out if you can simplify it. The deeper you go with individual layers, the harder it is for users to find what they're looking for.

Make sure your navigation menu is easy to see and use. It should be visible from every page, of course, and with main topics and subcategories that are easy to understand.

One thing you might notice about these tips is that they aren't just good for search engine optimization; they also make your site easier for actual customers to use. That's the whole point. Search engines just want what people do, and that's a website that's clear, intuitive, and full of great content.

Are you getting all you can from search engines and social media? Talk to the San Antonio web design team at WebRevelation today to see how we can help take your Internet marketing to the next level.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM , Website Content , Websites | 
Tags : websites , organization , effective


5 Web Design Blunders Visitors Hate

Posted Wed, July 30, 2014 by Julie Short

If you are like most of the business owners and marketing executives we work with, you probably don't want to unintentionally drive new customers away from your website. In fact, the thought of watching that revenue slip away probably makes you queasy.

Even so, we see websites every single day that have fatal flaws. Despite their best intentions, the owners of these sites are doing their very best to scare buyers into clicking in another direction.

Are you making the same mistakes? We hope not, but now is a good time to check and be sure. Here are five web design blunders visitors absolutely hate:

1. Unconventional or sloppy designs. Although it might seem unfair to lump "unconventional" and "sloppy" web designs together, to your customers they are one and the same problem. That's because all of us use dozens of websites every day. We know what they're supposed to look like, and how they should work. When you deviate too far from that, you make it difficult for people to actually use your site, which makes them want to look for answers elsewhere.

2. Hidden content. When you have content on your website that isn't crawled by search engines, or can't be found within your internal link structure, you have a problem. That's because it's going to essentially be invisible for most customers. In that case, you can’t get the sales you want because they can't find the information they need.

3. Huge blocks of text. Have you ever come across a web page that has lots and lots of information, but in long, imposing paragraphs without any subheadings? If so, then you already know how easy it is to just take your attention elsewhere. Having big blocks of uninterrupted text is like inviting visitors to take their time and attention to one of your competitors.

4. Pop-ups and obtrusive ads. Although some marketers swear by on-page pop-ups, blinking ads, and other forms of Internet obnoxiousness, the reality is that readers will usually tolerate them, but almost never like them. There are plenty of ways to make your most important offers stand out without driving visitors aggressively from your website. Why shout when a whisper will do just as well?

5. Unanswered questions. There are probably a lot of basic questions you're used to hearing about your products or services: how much they cost, how long they take to get, what "fine print" comes along with the purchase, and so on. If these aren't answered on your website, it makes it seem as if you have something to hide.

Making your business stand out, online or off, is hard enough without shooting yourself in the foot. So, if you notice one of these five blunders on your own website, take care of it now before it can impact your business even more.

Is your website suffering from a fatal flaw? Talk to the creative team at WebRevelation today by calling 817-283-3324.

Posted in : Websites , Website Content , Business Strategy | 
Tags : websites , effective design


What Separates the Winners From the Losers in Search Engine Marketing

Posted Wed, November 13, 2013 by Julie Short

In many ways, search engine marketing is a "winner takes all" sort of endeavor. That is, in most markets there are a few companies that are attracting the lion's share of traffic, dominating the top sponsored listings and converting visitors into clients or customers at a much higher rate than their competitors.

While this is common knowledge, though, the factors that separate the "winners" from "losers" in search engine marketing aren't. So, if you're tired of putting together campaigns that seem to be overshadowed by other advertisers, here are the three things you need to be sure you have:

1. The very best keyword and market research. Many search engine marketing campaigns fail before they even get off the ground, simply because they aim for popular keywords and search phrases instead of profitable ones. In order to find the right buyers for your company, and avoid wasting money on the wrong keywords and phrases, it's important for your research to be targeted and specific. In addition, you want to know everything you can about customers you're trying to attract, beyond the search terms they prefer.

2. The right offer for every search phrase and add combination. If most of your search engine marketing simply leads potential buyers to your site's home page, then you are probably missing out on sales and marketing opportunities. Instead, you have to create the right partnership between search terms, ads, and marketing offers to envision what a potential customer might have in mind and suggest the next step that makes sense for them.

3. Some sort of mechanism for following up with potential customers. In most markets, very few people are going to make a purchase, or even request a personal meeting, the first time they visit your site. But, if you can convince them to sign up for your email newsletter, for example, or follow you on social media sites, then you've laid the groundwork for a relationship that can grow and continue in the future.

Because search engine marketing campaigns are optimized one incremental percentage point at a time, the real success – and the key to smashing your competitors – lies in constantly improving and becoming more efficient. Keep these three factors in mind, and you'll have a head start on all the other companies you’re bidding against.

Need help making your Internet marketing campaigns more profitable and efficient? Let WebRevelation help. Call or email our team today to request a free consultation and see what we can do for you.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : SEO , Effective campaigns


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