Everyone in America is familiar with franchises. They are represented on street corners coast to coast; McDonalds, 7-Eleven, Dunkin’, Great Clips, and hundreds more. From fast food to haircuts, and commercial cleaning to glass repair, franchises help meet a need for almost everyone at one time or another throughout each year. Their economic impact is fantastic, with those in the United States alone producing an output of nearly 800 billion dollars annually. In fact, franchises made up 10.5 percent of all US businesses in 2020 and employed over 8.5 million Americans.
Among businesses, franchise organizations have a unique component structure; a central licensing organization – the franchiser, often a large company with an entrenched corporate mentality, which supplies, supports, and collects fees from much smaller local businesses – the franchisees. The success of franchises across 295 industries attests to the benefits of this structure. In at least one area of the franchise world, however, there is an intractable struggle between franchiser and franchisee that often leads to marketing issues and lost opportunities.
That’s where we come in. At MLT Group, we have spent the last decade specializing in website design for franchise organizations and have become franchise SEO experts. In the process, we have assisted several national franchise companies to improve their digital marketing and have achieved outstanding ranking results for a plethora of franchisee sites. Now, for the first time, I’m about to tell you what we’ve learned, the not-so-secret problem in franchise SEO and marketing and the Big Fix that’s needed.
Number One: It’s important to recognize that franchise organizations want their franchisees to be successful. This desire is driven by economics and pride. Successful franchisees pay more fees to the franchiser and promote more interest among other potential franchisees. It is equally important to recognize that franchisers and franchisees don’t always share the same priorities. A franchisee sees business success as primarily defined by profit. The more business the better. A franchiser considers both profit and brand image to be paramount concerns. Which makes sense– the brand they have built is the foundation of their entire franchise organization.
Number Two: This misalignment in priorities frequently leads to problems for both franchisees and franchisers in the realm of digital marketing, with both groups struggling against one another rather than working in cohesive and collaborative harmony.
Concerns of the franchiser:
We need everyone to represent the brand consistently and accurately across all digital platforms. This is important to consumer confidence in the brand.
We worry that some of our franchisees lack the expertise in digital marketing to deliver our brand and messaging appropriately on their websites or on social media.
Even though digital marketing is most effective for service businesses when geo-targeted to the appropriate service area, our ability to assist hundreds of franchisees in producing digital marketing unique to their area and offerings is limited by budget and time.
Digital is more complicated and changeable than print, radio, or TV ads, making it harder to control from one central source.
Even though unique content is essential to search engine optimization, it is not feasible for corporate to write unique content for 400 or 1,500 separate sites, all explaining the same services.
Due to these concerns, franchise organizations often take the following actions which directly harm the digital marketing of their franchisees:
To control brand and messaging, they do not allow each franchise to have a unique “local” website and/or social media presence.
They do not allow each franchise to have its own unique domain name, preferring to house information about the franchise under the corporate “our locations” page or a URL like Bigfranchiseco.com/location_2463.
They may insist on franchisees using duplicate “boiler plate” marketing text for their websites, which is an SEO killer.
They do not accurately inform franchisees that the most effective way to rank on search engines is to have a unique local website with original content that is SEO’d and updated regularly.
Concerns of the franchisee:
Our local franchise needs to rank highly in search engines for the services we offer within our service area.
We need help to design, build, and populate a professional website and/or create an effective social media marketing campaign.
Our digital marketing efforts are limited by budget, available time, and lack of expertise in digital marketing.
We need a local web presence that is not owned by corporate.
Even though regularly posting unique website content is essential to search engine optimization, we do not have the time or expertise to create this content.
We want a robust social media campaign but do not have time to maintain it.
We want leads to come directly to us when potential customers find us online, not directed to us by corporate with fees or strings attached.
“Due to these concerns, franchise owners need their own unique local websites.”
Due to these concerns, franchise owners need their own unique, local websites. Many would also benefit from independent social media campaigns as well. Corporate can do a lot when it comes to buying online ad space for multiple locations or establishing a robust social media presence for the whole organization. Many franchise organizations maintain impressive social media campaigns, and for some, it can be enough for a franchisee to piggyback on these efforts. However, in terms of traffic and lead generation from Google and other search engines, there is no substitute for a robust local website for each franchise or major franchise market.
There are exceptions. Fast-food franchises, rapid oil change locations, car washes, and similar businesses do not need local websites. Due to the nature of their offerings, a central corporate website with locations pages is sufficient for these sorts of businesses.
“It is imperative for businesses to be easy to find and easy to do business with.”
Companies providing services in people’s homes and businesses (cleaning, repair, remodeling, lawn care, pest control, etc.) need independent, local websites optimized effectively for Google and other search engines in order to achieve the best rankings possible. Solid rankings on search engines are the gold standard for being found, and the surest way to drive relevant traffic and leads. With an increasingly savvy consumer market, it is imperative for businesses to be easy to find and easy to do business with.
There are multiple benefits of an independent local website for a franchise. These include:
A unique domain name – important to franchise SEO and local marketing
A platform for unique content specific to the franchise’s services and service area
Ownership of the website for both control and as a valuable business asset
Results – a well-built and optimized local website will get better rankings and more traffic, leading to more leads and better ROI
“Corporate franchise organizations want their franchisees to succeed, however they have legitimate concerns about brand image and control.”
The Big Fix: Corporate franchise organizations want their franchisees to succeed, however they have legitimate concerns about brand image and control. The fix is to allow individual franchise owners to have their own local websites and to offer them trusted vendors who can provide quality digital marketing services that meet corporate brand expectations. Moreover, putting some money into the solution via co-pays helps the franchisees feel they are not bearing the burden alone. Additionally, the big corporate sites often have a good reputation with the search engines, so making sure to link from the corporate site to each independent franchise site provides powerful link juice. All of which lends itself to better franchise SEO, better Google rankings, more traffic, more leads, and better ROI. It’s a win-win that corporate franchise organizations need to understand and implement in the increasingly competitive world of digital marketing.
Theo St. Mane is a partner and director of operations for MLT Group – Creative Solutions in Rochester, Minnesota. He has over 30 years of marketing experience and has spoken at national and regional conventions of franchise groups. He has also consulted on digital marketing for a variety of national franchise organizations since 2012.
While many small business owners know about Facebook ads and other social media promotional materials, you may not know just how much you can use pay-per-click (PPC) marketing to your advantage when you pair it with search engine optimization (SEO) and solid web design.
At MLT Group, we’ve seen many successful uses of PPC marketing tools integrated into a strong digital marketing strategy. When those PPC techniques are combined with SEO capabilities, that marketing strategy can go beyond a single-faceted tool and become a fully fleshed out system.
There are many options for PPC marketing available to you as a business, but by far the most effective tool in the entire scheme of the internet is Google Ads. It’s a big leap for businesses to transition from little-to-no assertive digital marketing to building a full Google Ads account. However, if used correctly, Google Ads can be the single most “worth it” PPC digital marketing strategy.
Basics of Google Ads
The basic role of Google Ads is to put your search result before any organic results.
Google Ads can make your business seen, improving placement in search results and exponentially increasing that improvement as the number of clicks on your site are made.
The money you pay for each click goes to Google, and that means the goal of Google Ads is just that: click count. On one hand, this can mean more prevalence of your site being seen, but on the other, it is up to you to write compelling calls to action in the ad, build effective landing pages, and have the kind of website that’s actually worth visiting and engaging with.
The best way to cultivate the way Google Ads will handle your placement and which search terms will put your URL in a spot that will yield the most clicks is to set your Ad Goals. By setting your ad campaign goal, Google Ads can understand better exactly what you want to get out of a click.
Other tools you can use to generate data that will guide how Google Ads establishes your PPC ad campaign are Google Ads Conversion Tracking and Google Analytics.
Google Ad Conversions examine what clicks turn into other engagements and sales. However, most PPC experts recommend keeping an eye on the valuable information that Google Analytics provides. Based on the conversion data, Google Analytics uses an algorithm that will generate certain goals that are recommended you build a campaign around. Google uses the engagement results that clicks and further information about interaction with your website to build a goal that you may not be following now, but could benefit greatly from diving into.
Overall, Google Ads is a PPC marketing tool that will provide quick results, place your URL at the top of a search result page, and open the door for you to create new ad campaigns based on all the data Google gathers for you. When used correctly, Google Ads is a valuable tool worth the cost. There is no denying that it will increase traffic to your site.
It’s Not All About the Clicks
While, yes Google Ads will increase traffic, you have a lot more to consider if you want that traffic to mean anything. It doesn’t benefit you to have a user click on your Google ad if your website isn’t actually worth engaging with. Your Google Ad might hook a lead, but to reel it in you need a well-designed landing page and website. To get the full positive effects of Google Ads PPC, you have to consider several things that SEO can control:
Is your site visually appealing and user friendly?
Does your site load in under two seconds?
Did you build SEO correctly so that the search term used correlates to the goods and services you provide?
If you can use SEO to build a sleek, clean site and establish the right keywords in your content, you can combine Google Ads and SEO tools to maximize your investment in an ad campaign. Google Ads is an incredibly useful tool, but SEO still beats out Google Ads in internet traffic sources.
If you aren’t pairing Google Ads with good SEO and web design, then the money your business dumps into Google’s pockets won’t do you any good!
Stitching PPC and SEO Together
Organic traffic is the long game to PPC’s short game. Building organic traffic takes time, but it will generate a continually growing return as Google’s search engine and the Google Ads algorithms get to know what your website offers and what you are trying to accomplish with it.
When you invest in organic SEO, you build equity in your site. You invest in your site – not short-term gains from paid search results.
Overall, Google Ads is a tool you can use to increase traffic to your site, but PPC marketing only goes so far. You have to use good SEO practices to move your site to the top of a result organically.
If you use Google Ads as a crutch, you will soon see that users engaging with your site are not satisfied. SEO reveals whether your site is offering exactly what people are looking for even if it’s a PPC URL, and good SEO practices will allow you to expand and gain an even larger audience/customer base.
To help get the most out of your next Google Ads campaign, contact MLT Group at (507) 281-3490, firstname.lastname@example.org, or online today.
One of the most important factors in running a successful sales or service company comes down to proving to your customers or clients that you provide the best options possible for them. One of the best ways to do this is by gathering and sharing a large collection of positive customer reviews and testimonials. This augments your business reputation management efforts in ways that are much more effective than anything you can do on your own.
Consumers are much more likely to purchase a product or interact with a business if someone they trust recommends it. This creates social proof for your brand. This makes directories and social media and the entire friends and followers dynamic so important for digital marketing success. However, in order to reap the benefits, you first need to attract testimonials and reviews.
How to Get More Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Two main methods exist to get more positive reviews sent to you, posted on social media, and added on popular review sites like Google MyBusiness and Yelp. First, you can impress people so much with your exceptional products, essential services, and wonderful customer service that they are eager to spend their time writing up a five-star review everywhere possible. In order to succeed with any business, this is the type of thing you should strive for continuously.
The other way to encourage testimonials takes a more direct route. You can simply ask for them. Remember that it is absolutely not a good idea to incentivized reviews in any way. Do not hire someone to create fake ones or bribe people with discounts or freebies in order to leave you glowing reviews. If you want to succeed for the long-term without risk of penalization from search engines or the general public, keep things completely aboveboard and positive. A simple “Please leave a review if you were happy with your service” or similar phrase may increase your collection.
Some techniques that encourage people to post more positive reviews and testimonials include:
Asking for them directly but not excessively
Providing multiple platforms and options
Engage more personally with customers to build relationships
Show appreciation for customers who do leave reviews
Always ask for permission to use testimonials
Offer incentives wisely – never for positive reviews only
Business Reputation Management Tasks Off-site
In order to facilitate customer testimonials, step off your own website and social media pages and get involved with the biggest review sites online. Claim your pages and make sure that your customers know they have options. Many of these are dependent on what type of business you run and your target audience. Others, like Facebook, Yelp, and LinkedIn, offer more general possibilities and a higher potential as most people are on these sites as well.
While asking for reviews and directing people to these sites can help, you cannot control everything about the testimonials you get. This is where active business reputation management comes into play. In order to stay on top of your brand mentions online, track them and respond professionally and with excellent customer service skills if you get a negative review. Of course, it helps to encourage more positivity if you engage with satisfied customers as well.
Use Reviews and Testimonials On-site Effectively
Always ask for permission to post reviews or testimonials on your website. If you have ever purchased the product or service online, you have seen positive attributed reviews next to the particular item, on the front page below the fold, in a sidebar, or filling up an entire testimonial page of their own. You have perhaps come across re-posted reviews on a company’s social media feeds, as well.
From a company’s point of view, the ability to use these things in a controlled manner definitely boosts the entire customer experience. Not only do you get more content, which is highly effective at attracting interest from future potential customers and clients, you also get an automatic boost to trust and value. As mentioned above, people are much more likely to make a purchase somewhere recommended to them. Even a picture, name, and testimonial from someone they do not know can help push them over the edge from consideration to pulling out their wallet.
The Power of Brand Advocates and Fans for Digital Marketing
People who take the time to leave reviews become brand advocates and fans. In the entire world of digital marketing, and even before the Internet existed, one of the most powerful lead generation and conversion methods comes from word of mouth advertising. This comes directly from consumers instead of the brand itself, which automatically gives it more credence. It is one of the things that make social media the hottest platform for marketing today.
Getting and using customer reviews and testimonials represents one of the most powerful aspects of digital marketing that can help propel a brand from obscurity to household name status. Business reputation management represents a relatively complex problem for companies who do not follow all the best practices that consumers expect from them. Even those who strive to offer the best products and services and use exceptional customer service methods can end up with a bad review sometimes. While interacting positively with the dissatisfied individual and attempting to transform the negativity into something more useful matters, the best way to improve your audience’s overall impression is to encourage and share more positive reviews and testimonials. After all, the success of any company depends primarily on how the public views it.
At first, your traffic and rankings won’t move much, but after time, they’ll rise up the rankings. Higher rankings mean more traffic and more authority for your website.
When some of your pages start to rank high, they’ll attract backlinks and gain authority on their own.
Why? Because people often Google information to use in their own content and tend to cite results that show up on page 1.
If you write evergreen, in-depth, and useful content, people will link to you naturally, which gives your entire site more authority.
When a single page ranks for one keyword, it will start to rank for other related keywords — these are called LSI keywords.
A single page can rank for dozens, hundreds, or thousands of keywords.
You can go back in and sprinkle these LSI keywords into your content, which will help it rank better overall.
Stop Doing This Immediately
Marketing experts are aplenty in 2019.
They’re all giving the same advice.
People who take that advice give the same advice so on and so forth.
This becomes a content marketing pyramid scheme.
Everyone copies each other, meaning no one is original or has anything truly useful to share.
Did you develop a strategy based on copying your competitors? It’s time to rethink that.
How? Figure out ways to differentiate yourself from the competition.
One Strategy No One Can Copy
Ayetkin Tank, founder of Jotform, writes a blog on Medium.com
What separates him from other people in the space? He tells personal stories. Look at the story he used to open a blog post about the taste of customers:
You can’t replicate someone else’s personal experience. Stories shape the world and humans love learning through stories.
Try to think of ways to inject more narrative into your content strategy.
Do you have unique testimonials and case studies from people who’ve bought your products or services? Use them.
Do you have industry insights you gained from unique experiences? Sprinkle these stories into your content.
Zig When They Zag
Is everyone in your niche writing blog posts? Do more videos.
Are all your competitors on Facebook? Try LinkedIn.
An innovator is simply someone who has tried something other people haven’t.
Always think…what’s the opposite of what your competition is doing. Do that.
It won’t always work, but it helps you think outside the box. With so many businesses creating content, creativity is at a premium.
Kill the Sacred Cows
Fun fact: a lot of conventional wisdom is completely wrong.
People just repeat mantras over and over again until they become accepted.
If you can discredit the “sacred cows” in your industry and provide better solutions, you’ll stand out.
Nat Eliason is a great example of this. In his post about the Wiki Strategy — which includes creating a ton of content with a heavy internal link structure like Wikipedia –, he called out the sacred cow.
He said backlinks and typical SEO optimization aren’t all that important.
According to Nat, as long as you write the best content possible and cite credible sources, you can rank your posts without any backlinks.
Not only does this fly in the face of typical SEO advice. It’s useful and it works.
When you build a well-designed and user-friendly website because you want your visitors to have a great experience, you get “SEO-credit” in the form of “dwell time” and a low “bounce-rate.”
When you create content people want to share and link to, your site builds authority naturally.
The better your product itself, the easier it is to get positive engagement both online and word of mouth, which helps boost the “engagement signals” Google uses to rank websites.
All of our tips on how to promote your business revolve around putting your customers first.
…But Your Product Has to Follow Through
Here is an aspect of business promotion that goes overlooked — improving your product or service.
Have you been going the extra mile with customer service?
Are you actively listening to customer discussion and feedback?
When was the last time you did a deep analysis of product development?
When you start to hear back from customers online, listen to them. Engage with them.
Take their experiences to heart when they discuss your product, for good or bad.
And when you do improve your product or service, promote the heck out of it. Get that message out. Let the customers know you listened and you acted.
Nothing compares to the reputation of a business that’s sincerely tuned into its customer base. That good sentiment is invaluable in a market that increasingly rewards companies with transparent operations.
Smart digital marketing will take that sentiment, amplify it, and share it with as many potential customers as possible.
#1 – Invest in Your Website
When it comes to promoting your business online, all roads should lead to your website.
Your website is the one piece of the internet you totally control. You own it.*
Social media can drive engagement with your business, but you’ll never have 100% control of those spaces.
When you invest in your website, you build equity for the long-term. You develop an asset that never stops working for you. You build a home base for your customers.
Build a beautiful, easy-to-use website, and fill it with content that’s useful for your customers.
*(Or you should own it. All too often we’ve seen small businesses pay a monthly fee to a web development company for a custom website. NEVER do this! If you decide to engage an agency for a custom web site, make sure you 100% own it.)
#2 – Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO continues to be relevant in 2020, and you should still (mostly) care about Google, whose sites receive over 90% of search queries.
Many people nowadays use Google search and then find their answer without actually visiting a website.
Google continues to grow as an answer service rather than as a simple (but massive) index.
Still, organic SEO drives traffic to your site—but your SEO has to be smart. You must be able to identify relevant keyphrases with strong click-through rates.
Organic SEO will build equity in your site, keeping it working for you in the long-haul. That’s why we recommend organic SEO over pay-per-click ads in many cases.
A couple of factors to keep in mind:
Your market – what keywords do your customers use when searching for services or products you offer?
Competition – Who else is ranking high for your best keywords?
ROI – Some industries have searches with more “buyer intent” than others, meaning people use search to make purchasing decisions more in some industries than others
Organic SEO is STILL a great way to promote your business online, but it’s getting harder in 2020 and will continue to do so.
#3 – Reviews
Google and other search engines use online reviews as a ranking signal.
You should seek reviews on these platforms from your customers.
Also, reviews are a basic kind of social proof, demonstrating your quality.
To get those reviews, you have to have an awesome product or service.
Here are some quick tips for improving your product/service to get more reviews:
Actively seek feedback from your customers and use it to improve your product/service
Make sure to ask for reviews after your service has been performed or product delivered
Follow up with customers regularly (for long-term customers)
Aim to have the best customer service possible (this is not a trivial insight)
#4 – Brand-Building
Marketing expert Neil Patel wrote an article about the future of SEO. In it, he mentioned brand building as one of the top ways to promote your business.
Why is brand building important?
Google trusts established brands.
If you have an established brand, your website has a better chance to rank.
If you create a product or service people rave about, more people will search for your business online by name.
The more searches your business gets by name, the more brand credibility it has.
Focus on putting yourself on the map in your industry with both product/service quality and digital marketing.
#5 – Content Marketing
“Content marketing” means producing content (blogs, videos, graphics, memes, etc.) that resonates with your customer base.
Content marketing is NOT writing a blog post about the 10 reasons someone should buy your product. That’s an advertisement (and a bad one, too).
Content marketing is the long game. Imagine it like you’re building a fanbase for your business. You’re building a following of people who are interested in what you say and do.
You build that fanbase using consistent, engaging content.
And remember: “engaging” is determined by your audience!
Content marketing from a CNC manufacturer might mean white papers and case studies. Something a purchasing manager at an OEM would like.
Content marketing for a B2C company like Casper, who sells mattresses and sleep products, looks like this:
An instructional “how-to” video like this is useful content that adds value for your customer. It’s not a straight-up advertisement. It makes your business look good, establishes authority, and keeps customers tuned in.
Content marketing has mixed results for different companies.
59% of those surveyed in this study agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video.
Social video generates 1200% more shares than written content and images combined.
Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.
Landing pages with videos are 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of the SERP.
Blog posts with videos receive triple the number of backlinks as blog posts without video.
Are you missing out on web visits and leads if you’re not using video? The numbers say ‘yes’ emphatically.
You can use Video in two different ways — as an SEO tool or as part of your content marketing.
How to Use Video SEO to Drive Traffic to Your Website
You’d have to be living under a rock to ignore the fact that ranking highly on Google can send visitors to your website.
What many business owners don’t know, however, is that Youtube – a company owned by Google – has its own unique ecosystem and search function with comparable power to send new leads to your website.
Imagine the following scenario. You’re an e-commerce store selling uniquely branded makeup. The makeup industry is one where video search makes a huge impact. Just look at these results for the query ‘makeup tutorial’:
The top search results for this query have millions of views. If your company creates makeup tutorials, ranks them highly, and siphons some traffic from your videos to your e-commerce store, you have the potential to dramatically increase your sales.
Even better videos for certain subjects — mainly how to material — ranks at the top of search results themselves:
Here’s an example of video potential for a healthy snack company:
And one for a fish and tackle company:
The bottom line is this — if you have creative videos to share, you can use them to drive traffic with video SEO.
Some key points to understand about Video SEO using Youtube are:
Videos can be optimized – Videos on Youtube utilize titles, descriptions, and tags for SEO purposes. The same methods of keyword research and use of key phrase rich content derived from website SEO apply to Video SEO.
Youtube uses similar ranking factors – Google uses time spent on page as a ranking factor for websites. Youtube uses time spent watching videos as a ranking factor. Google measures click-through rates of search engine results pages as a ranking factor. Youtube does the same. Google measures engagement as a ranking factor and experts say social sharing matters. Youtube ranks videos using similar metrics like comments per video.
Content is king – When it comes to ranking highly on Google, nothing is more important than the quality of the content itself, especially with new Google updates like Rank Brain suggesting depth and quality of content will soon become the top ranking factor. Conversely, your videos must also provide content that informs your audience about the topic you optimize your videos for. Yes, Youtube can track the content of your videos just like Google tracks keywords in your content.
The steps to building a traffic engine using Youtube and Video SEO are:
Do your research – In search engine optimization, keyword research is the cornerstone of a successful SEO campaign. You must know how many people are searching for certain terms to decide how to optimize the pages on your site. For Video SEO, follow tried and true methods like brainstorming, using the Google keyword planner and following suggested results on Google search engine results pages. After you have your list of words, take them to Youtube and test your results by typing the researched phrases into Youtube search box. Youtube has a different results page and the words you research won’t have the exact number of viewers as they do searches on Google. Using the results strategy helps you see if there are viable numbers of viewers for your topic.
Leverage existing videos – If you have company videos available that match researched topics, use them! Make sure the video title, descriptions, and tags include an optimized keyword. For each video, you’re allowed to enter a URL in the description – this is where you want to add your site’s URL. You can also add calls to action within the video itself. You can find a guide for doing that here.
Create new videos – If after doing your research you discover a huge potential for site traffic and views, consider shooting new professional quality videos. Using a video production company like MLT group will help your videos rank higher on both Google and Youtube because high-quality videos increase viewer engagement and retention.
Promote your videos – Share your videos on social media repeatedly, send them to your email list if you have one, and embed them into the content on your website. Speaking of the last point, there are more benefits to video than ranking on Youtube and Google.
How Video Has Become a Content Marketing and SEO Staple
We’re long past the days of newspapers. Even “newer” methods of content creation like blogging are seeing rapid changes. Video has become a major part of the content marketing conversation and will only grow from here.
Let’s just take a look at a few of the goals of content marketing and SEO:
Engage your target audience – You want your target audience to know, like, and trust you. What better way to build a relationship with them than provide your content in a medium that’s both easy to digest and fun to use?
Keep visitors on your website – You want visitors to stay on your website for long periods because Google uses this as a ranking factor. Users have been known to visit sites and leave quickly. If however, while reading your content a user discovers a video in the middle of the page, they may find themselves staying on your site well past the industry standard two to three-minute mark for effective SEO.
Give the people want they want – The easiest way to turn off site visitors is to give them content in a way they don’t want to receive it – think providing a written manual where a video could be much more informative. Some people simply don’t enjoy reading, so video provides all-inclusive option to attract new visitors, leads, and customers.
Blendtec provides a great example of video content marketing.
How do you market something as simple as a blender?
Blendtec thought outside the box and created a video of their blender shredding different items like iPhones. The campaign went viral.
When you think of marketing your business, don’t look for the obvious only. Be creative with your marketing because it’s more fun for customers and ‘Mother Google’ wants you to as well.
Let MLT Group Take Your Digital Marketing to the Next Level
If this post made you interested in the power of video production, let’s talk about creating amazing video together.
Thinking of putting together a cool campaign to build buzz for your business? We offer full marketing strategy, social media management, and an entire suite of services to draw eyeballs to your business.
Does the thought of keyword research and SEO make your head spin a little? No worries, that’s what the pros are for. From start to finish, we can help you achieve results that help you grow your business.
When you’re looking for a digital marketing company to work with, check their digital marketing strategy.
With literally thousands of pieces of content, we aim to prove we’re the cutting edge and go to option in Rochester, Minneapolis, the Twin Cities, and across the U.S.
You’ve made it to the end of this post, which means you’re interested. If you’re interested, what you do next is simple. Pick up the phone, call 507-281-3490 and learn how to skyrocket your business’s marketing.
We live in a world of a massive number of choices. We have stronger filters to ignore ads from companies trying to force their message on us.
Instead, we search for the products and services we truly want. And we search for them on our time. We’ve become more shrewd with our buying behavior — reading reviews, buying from companies who educate and entertain us first, and using the internet to make more informed buying decisions.
There’s still room for advertising, but at some point, you’ll have to market yourself well on the internet.
So how do you create this inbound marketing strategy?
Here’s the step by step process.
Step 1 – Understand Your Audience
Quick question for you — what’s your target audience?
Do you know their hopes, fears, and desires?
Do you know their demographics?
Have you been keeping an eye on the channels they use to interact with businesses in your industry?
Before you move into the next steps of the process like keyword research, content marketing, SEO, social media, email marketing, and more, you want to have a great idea of who your target audience is so you can create the right campaign.
Here are some great customer research tips you can use to define your target audience.
Use What You Know
If you’ve been in business some time you know some facts about your target audience.
Brainstorm the following and get the answers to these questions on paper:
What are the current demographics of your target audience (here’s a great article on finding them if you don’t know)?
What are the pain points and problems your product can solve for them?
Can you name some of the goals and aspirations your product can provide them?
How does a member of your target audience see themselves?
Using this brainstorming technique can give you some raw information to make a more detailed customer profile or avatar.
Go Straight to the Source
Sometimes the best method for discovering the needs of your target audience is asking your current customers about your product or service.
If you have an email-list with contacts for current clients, send out a survey with questions related to why they bought your product or service and how it can be improved.
Get on the phone with your current customers and ask them about their needs.
Track every review for your business and comment on your social media profiles and engage with those customers to get deeper insights.
Keep an Eye on Your Industry
There are many ways to keep tabs on the pulse of customers in your industry.
You can go to these sources to find out what customers like and dislike about the products or services in your industry.
Quora is a question and answer social media website.
You can search for terms based on your industry and get great information about what people in your target audience want and need:
Amazon isn’t just one of the biggest retailers in the world, it’s one of the largest qualitative research resources you can find.
Search for products similar to yours on Amazon (if you have a service based business you can find books about the industry).
Read the reviews, especially the 3-star ones. Why? Because 3-star reviews strike the perfect balance — they’re not overly negative or positive. Someone who leaves a 3-star review has honest insights to share.
Forums and Facebook Groups
Forums and Facebook groups provide unfiltered insights you can use to understand your customers.
This is great for industries that require a lot of technical knowledge like welding supplies. In that example, you could search for metal working forums and find out which processes and parts are working well (or not) and why.
Often when searching across the industry landscape, you can find useful information. You can even go as far as swiping the actual words people use to describe your product or service and add it to your marketing messages
Create a Customer Avatar
After you’ve done your due diligence, you can compile all your customer research into a profile you can use for your marketing.
A customer avatar is a detailed description of a member of your target audience. You create a description of the person including information like their interest, job, age, gender, etc
Creating this profile crystallizes who you’ll be talking to in your messaging. You need to have a clear picture of your target audience before you create content for them and know which channels to place and promote your content to attract the right type of visitor.
We recommend content marketing and SEO for each business we work with.
You can use other marketing channels, but these two are core elements of any successful inbound campaign.
Content marketing is the process of creating content to attract people in your target audience to your website. Blogging and page content are the main channels used for content marketing through SEO, but the term covers a broader range.
Search Engine Optimization goes hand in hand with content marketing. SEO is the process of adding relevant information about your product or service to your website to rank its pages on Google.
Both activities combined can increase the organic traffic to your website.
If you can convert some of that traffic into leads, content marketing, and SEO starts to work as an ‘automated salesman’ that draws people to your site and through the awareness stages of an inbound marketing campaign.
After you have a great idea of the wants, needs, and interests of your target audience, you can research the phrases they type into Google. This helps you create content that will rank in search engines for terms people use to find your product or service.
How do you find the right keywords?
There are many different processes and tools, but some core strategies when looking for keywords are:
Relevance – You want to find keywords relevant to your business. Keywords that sound good and get a lot of traffic are worthless without the right intent.
Volume – Keywords have a monthly volume – or an average number of searches. If a keyword sounds good to you, but the data says the volume isn’t there, try a different keyword.
Competitiveness – Keywords with higher search volume are usually more competitive, meaning you’ll need better content and more backlinks to rank for those words.
Keeping these items in mind, you can use a combination of brainstorming and competitor research to find keywords to use.
Brainstorm Using Keyword Research Tools
There are tools that help you find important keyword information.
Once you attract visitors to your site with content marketing, SEO, and other inbound marketing channels. You want a system in place to nurture those leads, engage them, and turn them into sales.
The most common lead capturing and nurturing system is email marketing software. Companies like MailChimp, Convertkit, and Aweber work well. You can also use more advanced tools like infusion soft, click funnels, and Ontraport that collect emails but also handle payment processing and other sales features.
You can also create a system where you entice visitors to request to learn more about your service, set up a demo, or a free strategy session.
Either way, you are drawing visitors into a marketing funnel.
The goal of a marketing funnel is to engage with people further after their first visit.
You want to capture their information and continue the conversation.
Here are some great guides on creating marketing funnels:
Google Ads is best for products and services that users show buyer intent for. This means you should only run Adwords campaigns based on phrases for people who seem more ready to buy.
Someone searching for “Size 12 Blue Nikes” is a great example.
Google Ads works well for business owners who want to get a pretty accurate direct ROI number. It’s also great if you are looking to get results a bit sooner as SEO and content marketing take months to start showing great results.
Google Display Network
The Google Display Network allows you to show banner ads on other people’s websites who participate in the Google Adsense program.
If you see a banner ad like the one above, the business is using display network ads.
The only problem with these types of ads is…nobody pays any attention to them.
So why use these type of ads at all?
These ads only work if you have something valuable to give away or useful information that might pique casual browsers interested like a free white paper
Direct advertisement of products doesn’t work well for banner ads.
Facebook ads can work quite well if you do them right. Since Facebook owns Instagram, you can post ads to both platforms at once.
With Facebook ads, you want to provide value up front to build awareness for your brand and get people to engage with you.
This is why a lot of companies offer something free in exchange for an email address. This gets casual browsers into their funnel so these companies can further educate and persuade them.
Video works well on both platforms as well because people are used to seeing videos pop up on their feed and it’s an “easy to digest” form of communication.
How much are you charged for a click on your AdWords ad?
It seems like a simple question, right?
You have probably heard of the phrase “pay-per-click” (PPC advertising) and it makes sense for the most part, especially as a compliment to SEO services.
Your advertisement shows up on Google and you pay each time someone clicks on it.
But how does Google determine how much you spend each time someone clicks on your ad?
In today’s post, we’ll provide a simple explanation for how Google AdWords works.
By the end of this post, you’ll know how you’ll be charged for ads, the different factors that affect your budget, and insights you’ll need to create your own successful Google AdWords campaign.
Factors That Affect How Much You’re Charged for a Click on Your AdWords Ad
Before we dive into specifics on using the Google AdWords platform, let’s talk about some of the different factors Google uses – either directly or indirectly – to determine how much you’re charged when someone clicks on your ad.
In essence, Google AdWords is a “pay to play” platform. If you outspend your competition, your results will appear first. In some cases, it makes sense to spend premium amounts for a click:
If your product has a high price or has a high customer lifetime value (CLV)
The more competitive the service or product you want your website to appear for, the more it will cost.
What factors determine competition? Here are a few:
Commercial intent – Products or services people are searching for because they are ready to buy have “commercial intent.” These keywords (the phrase typed on Google related to the product or service) receive lots of attention from advertisers. Example: Red Men’s Nike Shoes Size 12
The number of advertisers – This relates to the first point, but the more advertisers who want to promote a similar product or service, the higher the cost per click (CPC) because the advertisers will try to outbid each other and drive up the price
The bids themselves – Google uses an auction system to display ads. The behavior of the group of advertisers who bid on keywords changes depending on the word, the industry, and other factors like personality
You can infer why some industries have a different average cost per click than others.
Lawyers and consumer services are at the top. Both make sense in their own way. Lawyers can spend more because the price of their service is high. While the consumer services industry has lower priced products and services, the commercial intent is higher.
Before you create an AdWords campaign, do your research on industry benchmarks.
Better yet, you can work with us to create aPPC strategyy from scratch:
To further answer the question, “how much are you charged for a click on your google ads ad?” it’s important to talk about strategy. Your PPC strategy is one of the major factors for how much you’ll spend per click.
In Google AdWords, you can both set track different metrics like:
Max CPC – You can set a cost-per-click amount you aren’t willing to exceed
Total Budget – You can set an amount for the total amount you want to spend per day, per month, or for a longer period of time
Impressions – This is the number of people who see your ad
Click Through Rate -This is the percentage of people who see your ad and then also visit your site
When you put together an AdWords campaign, you have to keep the metrics in mind while creating your strategy and altering it.
We will walk through the details in a bit, but here are some potential scenarios to consider:
If your impressions and click through rate are low, you aren’t spending enough relative to your competitors
If your impressions are high but your click-through rate is low, your ad might not be persuasive enough
An ad with a high click-through rate, but a modest CPC and number of impressions could mean you can spend more because you have a winning ad that will convert when you increase your bid
If your ad has a high click-through rate, but people don’t engage with your website once they visit it, you may need some design or content upgrades to make your service or product more attractive
When it comes to answering the question – How much are you charged for a click on your AdWords Ad? There are a lot of factors to consider.
Your best bet, learn the basics and start a PPC campaign. Experience teaches you more than any blog post will.
Let’s talk about the basics. Then, let’s talk options. We can help you set up a custom PPC plan based on your businesses needs that will help you attract people who want your product or service.
The Basics Behind Creating a Successful Google AdWords Campaign
When you create ads for Google, you need to research keywords.
What are keywords? Keywords are words or phrases people type into Google when they’re searching for stuff.
Google keeps track of important data about keywords:
Monthly Volume – This number tells you how many people search for a keyword every month
Competition – Google bases this number off of how aggressive the bidders are
Average CPC – This number shows the average amount of money you would need to spend to get a click
Google provides a tool called the Google Keyword Planner where you can see this data and make decisions about which keywords to use for your campaign:
You can use this tool along with good old-fashioned brainstorming to come up with potential keywords to use in your campaigns.
Creating Your PPC Ads
After doing your research, you’ll have a group of keywords you want to target during your campaign.
If your business has multiple services or products, you will want to separate the keywords you targeted into groups based on the different types of products or services you have.
These are called ad groups:
Each ad group will have its own individual set of keywords:
When you visit the campaign settings, you can set a daily budget and a bidding strategy:
The dashboard provides useful tips to help with your campaign. You can choose between manual options where you can set your own bid prices. You can also use Google’s ‘smart bidding options’ which allow you to choose your budget and leave it to Google to make the best use of your money.
For each Ad group, you can create different advertisements to display on the search engine. Make sure to use appealing media in your ads like pictures and logos. If you need a new logo, you can hire a logo maker at an affordable price.
Google uses a quality score measure to determine how likely your ads are to get click-throughs. It also uses your quality score to determine your placement. An ad with a high-quality score and a lower bid could show up higher than an Ad with a low-quality score, but a higher bid.
Should you be on social media? If so, which channels? Does social media marketing matter in your industry?
Perhaps the most important question is what will digital marketing actually do for your business?
You want to take your business to the next level, but you want to make sure you’re getting a return on your investment.
Before we dive into specific answers to each question, let’s start with this premise.
Digital Marketing is a Tool to Grow Your Business
At MLT group are digital marketing goals for you are simple.
We use digital marketing to help you find more customers, increase your brand awareness, and engage your visitors.
Instead of starting with digital marketing tactics and going back towards the needs of your business, we start with your business goals in mind and create digital marketing solutions to meet your needs.
The best digital marketing campaigns are customized because one size fits all solutions don’t work in business on or offline.
In our guide, we’ll discuss some of the individual components of digital marketing and give you the insights you need to make an informed decision for your business.
Why Digital Marketing is a Necessity for Minneapolis Business Owners
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a second.
He or she is looking for a product or service you offer.
What do they do next?
Do they grab the nearest phone book? Look in the newspaper?
No. Either on their desktop or phone, they go to searching for information online.
They go to Google and enter the service or product you offer into the search box. When they see the results, do they find your business?
This is someone with either the curiosity or intent to buy your product or service.
From a logical standpoint, it seems like a no-brainer to display your business in front of people who are already looking for what you have to offer, right?
If the idea of putting your products and services in front of people who are actively searching for them isn’t enough, consider some startling pieces of data:
Not only do these techniques need to be used on a single page of your website, rather for each page of your website.
This is where working with a smart digital marketing company comes in. At MLT group, we take the guesswork out of your hands and do the heavy lifting to make sure each page of your website makes Google go gaga for your Minneapolis business.
On-site SEO is just the beginning. You must also use different techniques to show the search engines why your site deserves the top spot.
Google uses links to determine how much ‘authority’ your site has.
It considers a link from another site to yours as a vote for the quality of your information. In digital marketing terms, we call links from another site to yours ‘back-links’
To increase the authority of your website, you want to get as many backlinks from quality sources as possible, because they increase two important metrics:
Domain Authority – This metric measures the authority of your entire website
Page Authority – This metric measures the authority of a single page on your website
To gain our current level of authority, we had to earn links from 107 different sources.
Link-building is an art form, one that doesn’t come easily to business owners with little digital marketing experience.
We’ve built a network of reputable sources in various industries to help our clients gain the links they need to boost their authority and climb the search engines.
How does it work? Sparing you the nitty-gritty details, we reach out to our network to find reputable places on the web that feature businesses like yours.
If you work with us, you can focus on running your business while we focus on getting the right websites to notice it.
Research, Tracking, and Strategy
Research, tracking, and strategy are important before during and after you launch your SEO campaign.
Pre-launch, you need to make sure you’re using the right phrases in important areas of your website.
For example, you may consider yourself a ‘maid service’ but the phrase ‘house cleaning’ might receive more searches per month.
Once you find the key phrases you want to use, you’d perform on-site optimization and begin your link-building campaign.
You’d want to track the following important metrics to measure growth over time:
Positions of target keywords – Even a well-optimized page will take time to reach page 1 on Google, so it’s important to know where the pages on your site stand in the beginning. This helps set expectations and keep you focused on long-term growth.
Traffic – You’d expect to see your traffic numbers grow over time. Quarterly measurements provide solid data.
Traffic sources – Traffic can come direct, via search engines, from social media, or from people clicking on links to your site from other sites.
MLT Group Provides ‘Done for You’ Tracking and Reporting
We consider an SEO campaign mature after 12 months and measure the progress of important key metrics each quarter.
We provide our clients quarterly ‘scorecards’ giving them an easy to understand snapshot of their site’s SEO progress.
Imagine you’re working with us on an SEO campaign after 12 months.
You check your scorecard to find many of your services ranking on page one.
Your traffic has improved quarter over quarter, meaning more leads and customers to your business.
You notice a service doing well but in need of a little love. What do you do? You simply speak with one of our digital marketing specialists and we alter your strategy, implementing several micro-techniques you’re unaware of but get the results you want.
That’s the power of working with a digital marketing company.
Keeping up with your digital marketing on your own and running a business is a tall task. Why not work with a professional?
Case in point, Search Engine Optimization is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Strategy # 2 – Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) is different than search engine optimization (SEO).
With SEO, you can perform techniques on your own or work with a Minneapolis digital marketing agency to get traffic through your website from ‘organic’ search rankings.
Organic simply means you didn’t pay for the search results. As we discussed earlier, Google uses a variety of techniques to choose which pages show above others.
Search engine marketing involves the use of paid listings, which can come in many forms.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Take a look at this search engine results page (SERP).
At the top, you’ll see the paid listings (PPC), move further down and you’ll see the organic listings:
You’re probably wondering how pay per click advertising works in comparison to organic search techniques.
Here’s the way to look at both.
Pay per click advertising does work, but it isn’t as effective as ranking your website using SEO.
Why? Because the click-through rates are much lower.
Think of your own user experience. How often do you click on advertisements?
With PPC advertising, you can spend your way to the top of the results. With organic search, you must earn your spot, which is why they’re more trustworthy and convert much better.
The benefit of PPC advertising over organic SEO is the fact that PPC can provide instant results.
Since an SEO campaign can take up to 12 months to mature, a PPC campaign can help you get traffic, leads, and sales in the short term. Many companies opt for using PPC while their organic results improve.
How Pay Per Click Advertising Works
Pay per click advertising involves bidding dollar amounts (per-click) to get your business to show up in paid listings.
You can create a PPC campaign and set metrics like:
Bid amounts (the highest you’re willing to spend to receive a click for ‘x’ term)
Ad groups – these groups contain the keywords you want to target for the campaign
Each campaign will have a set daily budget limit, and you pay each time someone clicks on one of your results that appear for one of the search keywords you targeted.
The highest bidders get the top results. You must decide whether the terms you want to target are worth the cost-per-click (CPC).
This can be based on the price of your product, the number of leads you can convert to sales, and potential conversion rate of the page you send the ads to.
If you do use a PPC campaign, the following techniques will help them perform their best.
For your campaign to be effective, you must make sure to use the right keywords as part of your PPC campaign.
How do you find the right keywords?
A few techniques are:
Competitor research – You can use tools like SEM Rush to see where your top competitors are spending their money on ads
Google Keyword Planner – The Google Keyword Planner is a tool provided by Google to give you important data such as average bid amount, traffic volume, and competition (example below)
Brainstorming variations – Once you have a sample of keywords you find through the keyword planner, search for variations of those terms to see if they are viable too
You can then use this data to come up with a comprehensive PPC plan.
After setting your target keywords and budget amounts, you can run a test period (one to two weeks) and check the results to answer important questions like:
How well are the ads converting to leads/sales?
Are you spending too much/too little for your target keywords?
How does your click-through rate stack up against your impressions?
These insights provide information you can use to alter your strategy over time.
If this sounds like a tall task, you can rely on a Minneapolis digital marketing agency like MLT Group to handle the process from start to finish.
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Many smart SEOs know the benefits of a solid content marketing campaign.
The search engines want to provide the best results to users and it analyzes content to help make that decision.
Content marketing comes in many forms, but it’s the process of creating content that gives users what they want, is optimized for search, and persuades your readers to take the desired action.
So what forms of content does content marketing encompass?
Page content – From homepages to category pages to service/product pages and more, each page on your site can be used to attract visitors
Blog posts – You can use your blog to cover a wide variety of topics related to your industry
Social media – We’ll discuss in-depth soon, but social media can be an effective content marketing tool to build your brand and even convert casual visitors into loyal audience members or customers
Email marketing – Email is another useful channel to communicate with your audience, share informative content, offer promotions, and more
Media – Videos, infographics, photos, and all forms of media count as content marketing even though they aren’t in written form
These are just a few examples of content marketing. It’s an all-encompassing term that covers any aspect of communicating with your audience.
If you decide to work with us, we can explore each option in-depth. For now, let’s talk about how to create a successful content marketing campaign regardless of the medium.
How to Create An Awesome Content Marketing Strategy
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a second.
What impression will they have about your business when visiting your website?
Does your content answer their burning questions and address the problem they need to be solved?
Can they find the information they need quickly?
Will they stick around to check multiple pages of your site because they’re informative and persuasive?
Is your offering clear? Do they know why they should choose your business over the competition?
Do they feel like you understand not only their needs but the means with which they like to interact with your type of company?
Is it easy for them to engage with you?
These are the questions you need to answer before you create any piece of content.
Once those questions are answered, you can create a content marketing campaign that works.
Content Marketing With MLT Group
When you work with MLT Group, we collaborate with you to understand both your business goals and the target audience you serve.
Then, we conduct research to decide the best types of content to create, which channels to use, and a strategy to continue drawing in new visitors while keeping your current audience engaged.
Instead of treating content as an afterthought, we consider it a core piece of your digital marketing strategy.
Without content that reflects your brand, engages visitors, and works toward the desired result, you’ll end up with wasted time, effort, and money.
This is why choosing the right digital marketing agency in Minneapolis is important. You need to know they have the expertise and resources to help you grow your business with content marketing.
Our company puts you in touch with one of our SEO specialists to create the perfect campaign.
Then, we work with our staff of SEO content experts who can write content both humans and search engines love.
We’ll distribute your content across the right channels and track the results to make sure your traffic, brand-equity, and other important business metrics are seeing steady growth.
Digital Marketing Strategy # 4 – Design and Build
When you think of words like digital marketing, SEO, content marketing, etc you don’t necessarily think about the way your website is designed and built.
These two factors are critical to SEO success for many reasons.
At the end of the day, Google’s number one priority is giving their users the best experience possible.
Again, putting yourself in your users’ shoes, imagine how they view your website.
Does your design look professional? Does it match the impression of your business you want to portray?
Is the site navigation simple and easy to understand?
Does your site appear and function well on a mobile device? Does it load quickly?
Designing and building a website with responsive coding, SEO-friendly coding, a simple-sitemap, and clear calls to action (CTAs) showing the visitor where to go or what to do next are all hugely important for digital marketing.
Let’s look at some of the important digital marketing and SEO factors related to design and build.
Design and Build Related Digital Marketing Metrics
Search engines keep track of the following factors that are informed by design and build:
Mobile friendly – Your site must be mobile friendly or it won’t receive favor on search engines, period, because Google has switched to mobile-first indexing
Bounce rate – A bounce occurs when someone visits your website and leaves right away. Slow loading websites, unprofessional looking design, and difficult to understand navigation can cause more bounces, which harms your SEO
Dwell time – The longer a visitor spends on your website the better. Professional design with effective calls to action and simple navigation can keep visitors on your site longer
Crawlability – Search engine bots ‘crawl’ through your website to find pages to ‘index’ or place on search engine results. Your sitemap, link-patterns, and site errors (or lack thereof) affect crawlability.
As a full-service marketing company, we keep your digital marketing goals in mind from start to finish, including design and build along with content marketing, SEO, PPC, social media, and all other forms of digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Strategy # 5 – The Suite of Additional Strategies and Services
When you work with us, we focus on providing the best solutions for your business.
This is why we’ve created an ‘a la carte’ menu of services where you can see exactly how much each service costs, how it benefits your business, and information on if the service is a good fit.
SEO, content marketing, SEM, and design/build are all core services almost any business should employ.
The following list includes services that can add even more value to your business.
Social Media Marketing
You know your business should be on social media, but which platforms do you use, how do you use them effectively, and how do you know if social media will provide good ROI for your business?
Working with a digital marketing agency will help you answer those questions in-depth.
There are two forms of social media marketing you can use — free and paid.
Paid Social Media Marketing
Companies like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linked in have paid advertising platforms you can use to promote your business.
You have many options to target potential customers like demographics, interests, geography, and more.
You can pay for impressions (simply the number of people who see your ad), clicks to your web page, or even more advanced metrics like email sign-ups, video views, page likes, and more.
There is a lot of opportunity to do well with paid advertising on social media right now because it is a newer industry, which means (for now) the costs aren’t as high as PPC ads on Google.
This is a section that deserves an entire guide of its own. The simplest way to understand the breadth of paid social media marketing is to talk to us.
Organic Social Media Marketing
Similar to SEO, you can create content for social media on your own or work with a team of experts at a digital marketing agency to help you.
The key here is to remember that social media isn’t just about likes, comments, and shares.
Just like SEO and other digital marketing techniques, it’s first and foremost a tool to help you grow your business and brand by giving users what they want and love.
There are many aspects that go into a social media campaign, but here are some useful tips:
Promote all blog content through social media to give it extra reach
Share interesting and informative tips with your audience
Use creative forms of media like video and infographics
Update your pages regularly
Gear your social media content toward a certain result and use strong calls to action
Online Review Campaigns
Did you know that the number of positive reviews your website gets affects your search engine rankings?
Positive online reviews also let potential customers know your brand is trustworthy and provides quality services or products.
We can help you create a review building campaign to reach out to your customers and generate positive buzz around your business.
Email marketing is still one of the best marketing channels because it provides direct access to your customers and potential customers.
You can use email marketing to:
Share useful tips and information directly with your audience
Offer promotions and discounts
Sell directly to your customers (after educating them about your product)
Encourage your audience to share your brand with their networks
We can help create custom messaging, design, strategy, and implementation to use email to reach your business goals.
From creating corporate videos and commercials to creating logos to making infographics to creating custom graphics to use in your content, we provide a wide array of media services to add flair to your digital marketing campaigns.
Our marketing strategy services help to create a full marketing plan for your business.
We can help you define your target audience better by using in-depth market research techniques and tools like surveys, data-driven research, and interviews.
We can help you craft a unique selling proposition, tag-line, and promotional messages.
We’ll help you cover every aspect of your marketing campaign from budget amounts to recommended channels, target campaign launch dates, the frequency of messaging and promotions, and much more.
Some companies come to us with a good idea of where their marketing needs to be and we provide the right solutions. If, however, you need a ‘ground-up’ solution requiring a digital marketing agency that works just like an in-house marketing professional that handles everything, we’ve got you covered.
Digital marketing is a tall task.
As a business owner, you already have a ton to focus on.
Why not work with a digital marketing agency that helps you save the time, headache, and frustration of having to be a marketing expert for your business.
We have the expertise. You have the drive and ambition that made you a successful business owner.
Let’s work together to build a successful digital marketing campaign. Fill out the form below and let us provide a custom plan to help you grow your business.
E-commerce marketing can do wonders for your business. With the right strategies, you can engage people who are interested in your products, build a base of loyal customers, and grow your influence to reach every corner of your market.
In today’s post, we’re going to teach you different e-commerce marketing strategies ranging from SEO tips, content marketing, social media marketing and more.
If you use just one of these strategies, you’ll see results that can help you grow your brand and your bottom line. Before we dive into the tips, let’s talk about the unique power of e-commerce businesses.
Why E-Commerce Businesses Are The Future
The internet has changed the way people buy and the benefits of e-commerce businesses are impossible to deny.
Here is a short list of benefits e-commerce businesses provide their users:
Convenience – You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to purchase from an e-commerce store
Speed – Most e-commerce businesses offer fast shipping. Just look at Amazon, who’s gone so far as to test ’30 minute drone deliveries’
Options – When shopping online, you can hand pick the products you want without ever having to visit a store and you can compare prices between different businesses without having to visit them
There are numbers to shed light on the shift in markets too:
In 2017, e-commerce was responsible for around $2.3 trillion in sales and is expected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021
As you can see in this graph from the Census Bureau, e-commerce market share is steadily rising:
It’s unlikely that retail will disappear, but it’s obvious the internet is here to stay.
If you’re an e-commerce business owner, providing a great user experience and solid marketing strategies allows you to reach a larger audience than you ever could with a physical location.
As an e-commerce business owner, you’re already sold on the power of the internet. For those who have the potential to move into e-commerce, but haven’t yet, consider how you can market and sell your products online to keep pace with the changing trends for the future.
SEO works well for e-commerce businesses who do it right. Just take a look at this search engine results page for the phrase “green tea for sale.”
Each page that appears in this picture represents an organic search result. Organic means the businesses achieved these results without using paid advertisements. That’s the beauty of SEO — you can achieve results through effort and sound strategies alone.
These e-commerce SEO strategies will help you rank your business on Google and put it in front of buyers looking for your product.
Here are the e-commerce SEO strategies you must use to succeed.
Optimize All Site Pages
The most important pages on an e-commerce website are it’s category pages, product pages, and blog poss.
You want to optimize your pages using the following techniques:
Use key phrases in your page titles
Use key phrases in your meta description
Place key phrases in your content
Optimize images by placing key phrases in their ‘alt tags’
Make sure your content length meets SEO standards
Add media to your pages like pictures, infographics, and videos
Here’s a great example of an optimized e-commerce website.
Cup & Leafs E-Commerce Product Page SEO Analyzed
The Cup & Leaf blog sells tea products. When you visit one of their product pages you’ll see organized information that also serves an SEO purpose.
Most product pages use the product name in the title. In this example, you’ll see an optimized key phrase as the product title:
When you scroll down, you’ll see a product description that’s optimized but also very informative and persuasive to customers (key phrase highlighted in red):
The content is in-depth, but not overwhelming. It uses key phrases but doesn’t stuff them in the content. It’s informative, describes benefits, and cites reputable sources.
It takes time, but providing on page SEO to each of your products will help them rank on search engines.
Cup & Leafs SEO Content Analyzed
The Cup & leaf blog uses content marketing and SEO through their blog. When you look at their blog page, you’ll see posts with titles that match topics tea lovers might type into Google:
Each blog post has optimized content, but also provides useful and relevant information for readers. This is key because content marketing and SEO are more about making users happy than search engines. Typical optimization doesn’t work anymore. The search engines are ranking content that’s useful for readers. It’s now their number one priority:
Notice the techniques used here:
Optimized page title
Key phrase in the first sentence of the content
Internal & outbound links
Imagine you’re a tea lover who searches for tips on making great tea. You land on this page and read articles giving you the exact information you’re looking for. Then, when you read the post, it ends with a call to action to check out the company’s products.
This is exactly what Cup & Leaf does.
At the end of one of their posts, you see a call to action to buy their products at a discount:
The owner of the company — content marketing expert Nat Elision — shares the entire SEO & content strategy he used to start the company in this guide.
Highlights from the post:
Research topics – using tools like ahrefs, the Google keyword planner, and more, you can perform keyword research to find topics with traffic volume.
Design the blog to drive sales – each post has a call to action to enjoy a discount or try related products
Gain product reviews – this increases social proof and is a positive ranking factor for SEO
Write long-form content – long-form content is a positive ranking factor.
With a sound SEO strategy employed, you can use more e-commerce marketing techniques to build awareness for your company and ultimately drive leads and sales.
Use the Following E-Commerce Content Marketing Strategies
Content marketing works especially well for e-commerce businesses. To have an effective content marketing campaign, you need to understand the full breadth of the phrase.
Check out this definition of content marketing from the content marketing institute:
Content comes in many forms, including but not limited to:
Written content – pages and blog posts
Photos & infographics
Let’s walk through examples of different types of content marketing and discuss what they do well.
We discussed SEO and content marketing for e-commerce businesses already, but it’s important to know the details of running a successful content marketing campaign. Here are some need to know items.
When you do the right research, you can create a strategy that targets the right customers and creates the types of content they want to read.
You can use keyword research — a staple of SEO — to discover topics people are actively searching for.
Check out our guide to keyword research for more detail.
You can also research what your competitors are doing well to create better content and use strategies like link-building to leapfrog them in search.
Here’s an example. Using the Ahrefs tool, you can discover a lot of useful information about a competitor. Sticking with our tea example, I found a tea company and looked for search data:
In the organic keywords section of the tool, you can see the keywords that get the most traffic and links to the pages receiving the traffic:
Then going into the individual pages, you can see where they’re gaining links from, as well as important metrics to know like site authority, the number of backlinks, and the phrases the single page ranks for:
Using the ahrefs keyword analyzer tool, I can estimate the number of links I need to build to the page:
Next, I’d create a piece of content about chai tea lattes and make it more detailed entertaining and informative than the competitor’s post.
Then, I’d build links to the page by sharing the content with people who are likely to link back to the page. This is known as the skyscraper technique.
You can also leverage reviews to discover what your customers like and dislike about your type of product. Check out this review on Amazon for a green tea product:
Using these insights, I make create content discussing both the quality and cost-effectiveness of my product.
Question and answer sites like Quora provide useful information as well. I typed in “chai tea” on Quora and got the result:
Knowing people want to know the difference between masala and chai tea, I could create content on this topic. My result may even show up in a cool Google snippet like this one:
Once you have solid e-commerce marketing research you can implement your campaign.
It’s important to know your target audience, goals, and key performance metrics before you begin creating content.
You also want to create a content calendar with topics you want to write about and block out time to create content.
If you’re an e-commerce business owner, you might not have time to create the content yourself. This is where a digital marketing agency can come in handy.
At MLT Group we have the staff, resources, and creativity to create a content marketing campaign for your business.
If you’re interested in a done for you e-commerce marketing strategy, fill out the form below for a free audit:
Video content marketing has grown in popularity in recent years.