Are backlinks still relevant for SEO in 2017

Are Backlinks Still Relevant for SEO in 2017?

Backlinks have always played important role in improving your SEO since the early days of internet development. Every marketer knows how important they are for a website’s search engines rankings. But, a lot has changed during the past few years. Google has released many algorithm updates which has resulted in altering the rankings of many websites for every Google algorithm update. But still, there are a lot of factors affecting your website’s search engine rankings apart from just having backlinks. Are backlinks still relevant for SEO in 2017?

Let’s Find Out

According to Searchmetric’s annual study on websites that rank high in Google, they have found out that, quality content is an important factor in SEO for ranking your website in search engines.

But does that mean, are backlinks not important for SEO anymore? What Google is believing is that, if you have quality content posted on your website, then this quality content should be automatically linked by other websites in your niche.

According to recent study by searchmetrics, there is correlation between a high ranking website in Google with the number of backlinks it has. But the correlation data is coming down year by year. This correlation data is declining with the recent clamp down of Google on link spam. Earlier websites used to rank higher when it has more backlinks than any other competitor. Now, Google is only looking for relevant links, but not the number of links.

Here are the five important factors which are considered important in the world of SEO in 2017.

Number of Backlinks

Backlinks are still considered as the number one factor which affects your ranking. As you can see in the above graph, the graph drawn between the Google positions of a website for a keyword against with the number of backlinks a website has. Currently the correlation data between these two metrics is 2.8. And this has been declining as years passed by.

But in overall, the top 30 websites which appear on Google results are still having high amount of backlinks than others. But the gap between those in top and the rest has been declining.

You need good amount of backlinks from relevant websites than from irrelevant websites. If you have 1000 backlinks from irrelevant websites say blog comments and your competitor has few backlinks from relevant websites which are from same niche, then there are greater chances that his website can outrank your website.

Digital marketers at Designhill, say that it’s better to have few backlinks from relevant websites than to have thousands from the irrelevant website. For e.g. if you have 1000 backlinks from irrelevant websites say blog comments and your competitor has few backlinks from relevant websites which are from the same niche, then there are greater chances that his website can outrank your website.

Referring Domains

The second important factor in SEO is the referring domains. The more number of referring domains you have for your website, the better your chances for it to rank high in Google.

As a live example, you can often see that in Google results, the top positions will be occupied by big websites like wikiepdia.org, imdb.com etc. This is because these big brands have very high amount of referring domains than a normal website. Since, big brands are known for their names and they are often linked by numerous websites.

For example, take America’s Got Talent website. Because of its fame in television, this website gets too much exposure and it will be linked by numerous websites like news websites, magazines etc. Google determines that if a website has too many referring domains, that means it is a quite a popular website and hence its algorithm will put that website in top in Google search results.

It’s not about having too many backlinks from a single website, but if your website has at least one link from many different domains, then your website can outrank those websites with few referring domains. Therefore diversity plays a key role. You want to get a healthy mix of blogs, editorials and web 2.0s as links.

Earlier, site wide links are considered very valuable and those websites with site wide backlinks used to rank really well in Google, but now, Google is considering that site wide link as a single link even though you have your links scattered across the entire website.

36045465 - website and internet domain names web concept with domains sign and text on colorful cubes isolated on white background.

Keyword in Anchor Text

Earlier many SEO professionals used to use keywords in their anchor text when building their backlinks. Now, the trend has changed, and the number of people who are using keywords in their anchor text is been declining.

This is due to Google which always suggests to get backlinks naturally.

For example, if you own a website on “fantasy football” and you use that keyword in your anchor text for building a backlink in this page, then this may seem artificial to anyone, not only to Google.

So, it’s better to get backlink which look completely natural and don’t overuse your keywords in anchor text which will not seem natural.

Domain Name in Anchor Text

Nowadays, more and more SEO professionals and content marketers are using your domain name in their anchor text when building their backlinks.

Because it is natural for people to use domain name when linking a website in their blog post. Google considers this a best practice and thinks that the link appears naturally.

So, if you ever happened to get a backlink, you can use domain name in anchor text rather than using keywords in your anchor text.

Because, using keywords in your anchor text doesn’t help alone with rankings of your keyword, as there a lot of factors which will determine the position of your website in Google.

 

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Backlinks from New Websites

This is another important factor in SEO which helps in determining your website rankings in search engines. Having backlinks from new websites can help your website get ranked in search engines.

For example,suppose your competitor is currently ranking #1 in Google for the keyword “how to get subscribers in YouTube” and you rank 3rdfor it. If you and your competitor match all the metrics except the backlinks from your new website, and if you can manage to get new backlinks, then certainly your website will have more chances in getting ranked in #1 position than your competitor.

If you have currently 12 new backlinks and your competitor has around 324 new backlinks, and after six months, if you managed to get around 500 new backlinks and your competitor has still 324 backlinks, then your website will outrank your competitor.

Conclusion

Finally, what Google is trying to say is that every link should occur naturally or at least it should look natural. Build content with great quality and then automatically other webmasters will link to your amazing content and you get a natural link there.

Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystems

Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem

The word “ecosystem” has meaning outside of a biology textbook. At its most basic definition, it means a collection of living organisms in a certain location that all depend on one another for survival. They form a complex network of interdependency in which removing one organism would have dramatic repercussions on all the others. For example, killing all the grass on the African plains eventually would cause lions to die.

Without the grass, there would be no herbivores to keep the lions fed. Based on this definition, an ecosystem can be described as any kind of complex system in which each component is necessary for others to thrive.

This may already seem familiar to Internet marketers, who manage immense ecosystems of their own. These ecosystems are their online lead generation campaigns, which depend on the coming together of multiple complex systems to form a much larger system that generates new sales leads for their businesses.

These lead generation campaigns need to have all their components functioning in perfect harmony to deliver the best results. If any element is misaligned or missing, it can result in failure of the entire system.

However, keeping everything running smoothly can be extremely challenging for Internet marketers due to the sheer number of components that go into these campaigns and their complexity. With all the reasons why visitors come to lead generation websites, it’s crucial that lead generation campaigns be constructed to capture and convert as many of those types of visitors as possible.

That’s why it’s essential for Internet marketers to have a blueprint as they construct their campaigns. In nature, ecosystems develop slowly over millions of years of evolution. Internet marketers don’t have the luxury of time. They need to know how to build successful lead generation ecosystems right away.

Building the Perfect Ecosystem

We at Straight North, an Internet marketing company based outside of Chicago, have spent a lot of time trying to put together something Internet marketers can use as a blueprint for building a successful lead generation campaign.

Through the research of our professionals, we have identified the most important components all successful lead generation campaigns must have to convert as many website visitors as possible and developed the infographic below.

For instance, many visitors come to a website to research a product or service. They may not need convincing that they should have that particular product or service, only help finding the one that’s right for them. For these visitors, content such as testimonials from past customers can be very persuasive. Other visitors might only be curious about a product or service, not yet entirely convinced that they would want it.

For these visitors, a lead generation campaign can convert them with dynamic, eye-catching content such as videos and high-quality photography. Other visitors don’t even know they want that particular product or service yet, but well-crafted social media posts shared by their friends can inspire them to visit the website to start investigating.

Road Map to Greater Success

These and other elements can be found on the infographic below, and it’s easy to see how they all feed into the main objective of creating new customers and driving more business.

Any online marketer who wants to have the most effective lead generation campaign possible needs to be aware of how essential these elements are and how they fit together. Using this infographic as a road map can help online marketers build their campaigns from the ground up to be as effective as possible.

Initially, this blueprint was created to serve as an internal training tool for Straight North’s Internet marketing professionals. In time, however, the value of this infographic to serve as a useful resource for Straight North’s clients and other Internet marketers became apparent.

Many times, marketers know they need to have myriad kinds of content and elements to attract and convert visitors through their websites, but they don’t know the sheer scope of all those elements. Being able to visualize the lead generation process can help these marketers build a campaign that works.

Whether you’re building a lead generation campaign from the ground up or working to rebuild an existing campaign to become more effective, this flowchart representing the Internet marketing lead generation ecosystem can be a powerful resource to help you along your way.

Ecosystems in nature take thousands upon thousands of years to develop into fully functioning, interdependent complex systems. However, you don’t have to wait that long for your lead generation ecosystem to take shape. Use this infographic to guide your efforts, and you’ll be able to see a more effective and efficient lead generation process emerge from the chaos.

 

Infographic created by Straight North, an internet marketing company

Author Bio:

Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an Internet marketing firm in Chicago that provides SEO, PPC. and web design services. With more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience, Brad has been featured in leading online publications including Entrepreneur, Moz and Forbes.

 

5 Biggest Website Mistakes Ecommerce Business Owners Make

5 Biggest Website Mistakes Ecommerce Business Owners Make

Running an ecommerce business seems like a straightforward affair – you have products that people want and you sell them online. You do a bit of marketing here and there and you’re off, right? Well, not exactly. Ecommerce is a fantastically competitive sector with millions of stores vying for the attention of customers.

It soon becomes very obvious that you have very little room for error which can be a problem considering how easy it is to make mistakes as an ecommerce business owner. The worst among these are website mistakes that can effectively destroy your online store.

Today, we explore these mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.

1. They Ignore SEO

We live in a world where people’s online habits are governed by various search engines, primarily Google. In such a world, not doing search engine optimization for your ecommerce store is one of the worst things you can do. Namely, without doing at least some basic SEO, you are allowing worse online stores than yours to rank higher than you and take your customers.

The good news is that it does not take too much work to get the SEO basics done for your ecommerce store. This will include finding the right domain name, handling your meta descriptions, ALT tags, sitemap and robot.txt file the right way.

In addition to this, you might want to start a blog which will help you rank for certain keywords, as well as start a guest blogging campaign that will be able to target some higher visibility websites which might be averse to linking to product pages.

Of course, you will also want to do your product descriptions the right way, meaning you will be writing them all on your own (or hiring someone to do it) as opposed to just copying manufacturers’ descriptions. Altogether, ecommerce content can get quite serious, but you need to do it the right way.

2. They Don’t Blog

We already touched upon your ecommerce store’s blog, but since it has become so important, we should probably say a bit more about the benefits of featuring an ecommerce store blog.

For one, your blog will provide you with content that you can build on as part of your content marketing strategy. You will be producing mind-boggling content that will set your ecommerce website apart from the competition and even tell a story.

Ecommerce tips

Your blog can also build you a following if you happen to strike gold, i.e. a way to engage with your readers who will then recommend your blog to their friends and acquaintances.

Your blog will also be a great tool if you decide to build some links to your website which is an integral part of SEO no matter how you cut it. Namely, since website and blog owners are averse to linking to product pages, a smart blog link might work better.

3. Their UX is Appalling

One of the main reasons why people even purchase at online stores is that it is more convenient than getting out and driving to a store. Unfortunately, this condition is not fulfilled if the website is difficult to navigate and if you start pulling your hair out because you cannot find the ‘proceed to checkout’ button.

In other words, the user experience should always be the focus of every online store, no matter how big it is and what it sells.

Imagine if you were the person buying at your online store. Can you find the products easily? Can you find information that you need before you make a purchase? Is it easy to actually purchase the products? Are you being hassled by never-ending ads?

If you feel that your user experience could do with a bit of tweaking, then by all means tweak it.

4. They Lack Visuals

The web has been undergoing a shift from text to visual since its earliest days and we truly live at the age of precipice where the focus is being absolutely put on the visual. When ecommerce website owners are in question, this is perhaps even more important than for some other webmasters.

For one, your product pages need to feature as many images and as HQ images as you can humanly muster. You might not have the budget for it, but rotatable images are even better, especially for products such as clothing, shoes and accessories. They really give the potential customers a clear image of what they are buying.

Your blog should also feature visual content heavily. For example, many lifestyle brands nowadays do not even write articles and, instead, they do videos that cover one aspect of their work – how-to videos, behind the scenes videos, interviews or anything else they can think of.

Another thing to keep in mind is the visual layout of your website and its unison visual identity. Namely, people need to be aware of what website they are on at any given moment In order for this to happen, your ecommerce website has to be visually coherent and homogenous.

5. They Lack Customer Engagement

All the best ecommerce websites are teaming with customer action and interaction. They feature dozens of product reviews where people truly go into detail about the stuff they bought. They also feature lively blog comments sections where people get into huge arguments about the stuff that is talked about in the blog post.

The days of static internet are long gone and people want interaction. Your customers want to leave reviews of your products and your customer service.

User experience is crucial

Let them do that. Not only will your website look more serious, but it will also give Google and other search engines a clear signal that your website has organic traffic. This can do wonderful things for your SEO efforts, providing you with absolutely free content that will play a role in the rankings.

Of course, if your customer service is appalling and you sell products that are subpar in quality, customer engagement may not be the best idea in the world.

However, if you can stand behind the products you sell and you know a thing or two about customer service, let your customers say nice things about you.

In addition, if you’re selling products both on and offline, you run the risk of ruining the customer experience when a product unknowingly sells out. Integrate the on and offline experience with a high-quality eCommerce platform and use a connected portable credit card reader for offline sales. All transactions should be processed through the same dashboard.

 


AUTHOR: James D. Burbank has been in brand promotion for almost two decades. He is the editor-in chief of BizzMarkBlog.

Video content for public relations

Creating Effective, Compelling Video Content For Public Relations

As an online marketer or PR expert, it’s time to begin using new strategies to keep your audience engaged, enthusiastic, and ready to share your latest content offering.

No one will deny that white papers, press releases, and case studies are excellent online content options. But they aren’t the only fish in the pond.

There’s never been a better time to jump all over video content creation. It’s the hottest media format online right now.

According to Forbes, after surveying a group of senior executives, they determined that 75% of them watch work-related videos on a weekly basis. And slightly more than half watch work-related videos at least once a week on YouTube.

Video marketing campaigns can be challenging to pull off, but experienced PR firms can make it happen with the right guidance.

We will now share practical tips to help you create a powerfully effective online video approach.

Let your video tell a story

Storytelling at a Higher Level

With a traditional press release, there’s only so much you can say.

You can use it to share action-oriented motivational anecdotes and statistics with your audience. But it isn’t necessarily enough to get your target audience to take the appropriate action.

As an example, let’s say your client runs an organization that has started a crowdsourcing campaign for raising funds to feed and shelter stray dogs. Even if your client made a clear and impassioned plea for help,  what would set the message apart from the dozens of other appeals for money that the average person receives each week?

In contrast, how moved will your target audience be if they watched a video of your client feeding, sheltering, caring for, and playing with skinny, hungry-looking stray dogs?

This video would really tug at your target audience’s heartstrings and make the psychological connection between the heart and the wallet. It will convince many caring people to make donations to the charity without much thought.

Sharing true life video like this is how you take storytelling to a higher level. It makes it possible to recognize the value provided by the nonprofit, and to help support their mission, people will gladly provide funding so they can continue advancing their righteous cause.

This type of sad, true-to-life video might even have the target audience weeping and bursting into tears after they see the state that these beautiful dogs are in.

What’s more important, this video will inspire many to take action to support their cause.

Video testimonials offer social proof

The Powerful Effects of Video Testimonials

Sharing testimonials with your audience is an excellent way to generate additional business. Corporations have used this approach for years. Think  “nine out of 10 doctors recommend,” the premise of many commercials.

When former and current customers take time to speak highly about their experiences with an organization, this is priceless information that you should immediately share with the world.

Posting a copy of emailed testimonials from clients on your website and on your social and media network is certainly a great idea, and it will bring new business into the fold because it provides “social proof” as to the value of your product.

Do you know what’s even better?

Video testimonial is way more powerful and it will create even greater conversions when potential customers see real people talking fondly about their experiences with a company.

Recording client video testimonials will certainly take time, effort, and energy from PR firms. But the long-term positive effects that it will have on the business will far outweigh any inconvenience one might experience during the video testimonial creation process.

Short videos engage viewers

Make Your Video Short and to the Point

People have taken to video because it’s easy to consume lots of information quickly without putting forth any serious effort.

PR experts agree that it’s a waste of time to create hours upon hours of video content that nobody will ever watch. Your viewers expect business oriented videos to be short and sweet and get directly to the point.

On the video site YouTube, the average length of the most popular videos was 4 minutes and 20 seconds, while the shortest was 42 seconds, and the longest was 9 minutes and 15 seconds.

So give the viewers what they want. Share video information in short bursts, kind of like soundbites.

Video services agree that short videos receive many more views than their longer counterparts.Statistics noted on The Next Web reports that two minutes is the maximum recommended length of a video that viewers will click on, watch in its entirety and engage with.

Conclusion

PR teams should recognize the value of sharing video content during their public relations efforts. Please use these strategies to create action-oriented videos that every audience is happy to watch.

How to build a better website

How To Build A Better Website

Many of us in business management can easily remember when companies rarely had a website. Those that did had only the most basic of information and no interaction. There was a good reason for this.

The average consumer did not have a home computer until the mid to late 1990’s. They were available, but they were very expensive and not easy to use.

In 2017, it is safe to say almost all of us have at least one home computer and the computer is used for everything from buying groceries to going to college.

In this age of technology, we would be shocked to know a business that did not have a website. To say we would hesitate using that business is not an understatement. Taking into account the how cheap hosting and starting a website with the help of WordPress is, there is really no excuse.

What Your Website Should Do

Your website should be a guaranteed ROI (return on investment). It is the gateway to your business and company. When your website comes up, it swings wide the doors to your products, service, ethics, reputation, and personality.

That all important “first impression” is no longer the receptionist with the bright smile, the salesman stopping by to introduce himself or even the business owner with his extensive experience and moral compass.

The first impression is on a screen that will or will not navigate a client through your world with a personal feel and little human interaction.  There’s tons of great resources out there that you can check out on how to start a blog and making a great impression.

What makes your website a winner?

KPIs tell you how your site is performing

Key Performance Indicators

In order for you to gauge how well your website performs, you must have clear Key Performance Indicators. This goes hand-in-hand with a good computer management team to follow, track, and report the KPIs.

There are many types of KPIs, and the ones you incorporate will depend on the expectations you have of your system. Basic functions measure the number of visitors and return visitors that have logged on to your site, how much time they have spent in each area, and how much money those visits generated for your business. But this is not even the tip of the iceberg. Your website designer will present you with a wealth of information and data that your website can provide to you seamlessly.

Provide excellent website content

Web Pages and Content

Business owners finally understand that every single web page is a home page.

Your website stands in the center of all your inbound marketing effortsEvery page must provide fresh content, interactive applications, audio, video, and visuals. Designing the pages that are bound to boost your result is crucial to achieving you lead generation goals.

Every page must be designed using the latest technology trends to hold the interest of the viewer and to keep them on your site longer. Further, each page should make them want more. This not only makes the consumer more prone to use your business, but they will share the information and draw others to your website.

If you are continually growing and giving information to them, they will come back again and again. This is key to building your brand.

Select a good domain name

Location and Searchability

You can have the best website in the world, but it will do you no good if no one finds it. This is why your geolocation and Google position is critical.

Of course, this process begins with a good website address.

Expert PR firms are quick to ensure the web address is user-friendly, that the home page is written in a geocentric manner, and that the content keyword rich so it secures a good position with the Google search engines.

This is not a one-shot project. Every day people are trying to get their websites on the top pages of the search engines. It is one thing to get there, and another thing to remain there.

Your website is one of your greatest assets, give it the attention it needs and it will serve you well.

Take Advantage of Tech Solutions:

In conclusion, building a website or enhancing your existing one might be a dreadful task for many small business owners. However, with new technology solutions, the task of building a website could be easier than ever. Even if you are not a developer yourself.

One website building platform particularly stands out: the Bookmark Website Builder. This tool uses Artificial Intelligence to build your website in minutes and then simply walks you through the process of editing your web pages, content, searchability and design.

3 Ways SEO & PR Should Work Together

3 Ways SEO & PR Should Be Working Together

Search engine optimization (SEO) and PR have traveled down separate paths for many years, but any reason this was true in the past is no longer relevant.

Early SEO practices of introducing keywords into copy in order to achieve search engine rank and using page link building was regarded by Public Relations agencies as tricking search engines to achieve PageRank. What the PR agency did was help clients relate with audiences because of their shared interest in providing high-quality content.

As a result of Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, the goals of SEO and PR came together. Due to these updates, the significance of referral sites and editorial quality has moved to the forefront. Most spammy types of SEO have gone by the wayside.

SEO and your average PR strategy have goals that are nearly identical.

  • First, they both aim to attain earned media, which means publicity gained through promotion. Commonly, this means mentions, shares, reposts, or reviews but also different promotional items
  • Second, they both need informative, newsworthy, and relevant content as the backbone of their strategy. Content is king.what

Unfortunately, great content does not find an audience by itself. The question that both SEO and PR professionals ask is how can you get other websites to talk about you. Public relations firms have always specialized in getting out the news about companies.

Developing an SEO plan

The Evolution of SEO

Google’s updates have changed SEO forever. And because of this, search engine optimization had no choice but to evolve into a content oriented, public relations focused practice.

It’s true. SEO professionals need PR expertise to truly stay relevant in this industry. Or they have to team up with PR professionals to get the best benefits from their content creation and publication practices.

What SEO companies can contribute to the process are solid techniques to get quality content recognized. Proper keyword placement, links, and descriptive meta tags can help material sent out through media channels rank well in Google.

3 Ways SEO and PR Should Be Working Together

With that said, we will now take a look at ways that you can integrate the two to create a major boost for your company.Achieve doman authority

1. Domain Boost

Blogs and guest posts are a major component in the public relations plan of just about every big enterprise. They are important because they help the company achieve a measure of expertise and authority in their market.

When writing a guest post with a byline for a website, make sure an SEO specialist looks it over. Have them focus on making the anchor text and links most advantageous to the business.

When PR professionals have a search engine optimization expert look over their content, they may discover a great way to help give your domain a boost.

It’s possible that you might be linking to the wrong page in your byline or using the wrong anchor text. An SEO expert can help boost the overall efficacy of the content by recommending or even changing up your links and anchor text to help give your domain an even bigger boost.

2. Improving Influencer Outreach Efforts

In an effort to boost the online reputation of a brand, PR teams and SEO experts should partner in this endeavor. In lieu of the most recent Google updates, social signals now play a more prominent role in search engine rankings. So it makes sense to have established relationships with major influencers. And establishing these relationships are cohesively valuable for PR teams and SEO firms alike.

By working together, PR teams and digital marketing agencies can determine, evaluate, and even reach out to major influencers in the industry together. This partnership can help boost social signals overall for the business while creating lasting media relationships.

It’s important to leverage certain media connection outlets such as Haro to leverage link building opportunities.

Promoting a product launch

3. PR Special Events & Stunts

In an effort to attract excellent coverage for your business, it’s important to make a big deal about special product launches, huge events, and even over the top stunts in the media.

Not only will you get great coverage this way, but you’ll get incredible backlinks for your business as well. Instead of having your PR team work solely on these media extravaganza events, you should have your SEO team get involved as well.

By bringing search engine optimization into the mix, you can help generate even greater levels of hype before the event takes place. This will also help you repeat the successes over and over again.

Both SEO and PR agencies can use their contacts with major social influence to help spread the news about the event far and wide. And if you invite bloggers, webmasters, journalists, and other brand advocates to the event, they are definitely going to cover it as well.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that PR and SEO teams should be working together  at this point. If your teams are still working separately, take some time to bring them together so you can experience the full benefits of both of their efforts.

Digital Marketing Trends

Digital Marketing Trends In 2017 & Beyond

Digital marketing continues to advance quickly. A favorite social media platform will suddenly begin to lose its luster, and before long, many of the previous users will gravitate toward the newest shiny object out in social media land!

What pushes changing technology trends? Customers have increasing expectations from the devices they use, and development teams meet and exceed those expectations. Soon, a new device or application that hits the market and captures popular imagination.

What’s New in Digital Marketing in 2017?

What’s new in digital marketing in 2017? Here are five insight into the future of digital marketing.

Mobile technology rules

1. Mobile technology rules the market.

60% of the people accessing the Internet each day do so through mobile devices. What this tells you is that mobile should be your number one priority so your content, shopping experience, and payment processing needs to be mobile friendly. If it’s not, you are missing out on a huge potential opportunity since six out of 10 of your website visitors are checking you out via mobile devices.

2. Competition for digital ads continues to increase.

As digital advertising becomes the way to go, the prices to advertise online are becoming more and more expensive as more companies enter the fray. While the competition is healthy, the downside is that it’s going to cost more to reach your customers while expanding your business. If you want to try internet advertising, now is a good time to try if before prices increase even more.

Bonus: Using cartoons to get more creative with your ads: Business Cartoons For Digital – Print

User experience is crucial

3. The user experience is the priority. 

Users are spending more and more time online via digital platforms, so creating a positive user experience with the customer in mind is definitely something that you must seriously consider. This is particularly important when creating mobile sales funnels and e-commerce websites.  In today’s digital world, the user experience is the most important aspect of every digital marketing campaign.

4. Video advertising has a massive influence over your audience.

Video is huge online as we all know. YouTube has videos in the billions uploaded to their website every month, and these numbers continue to grow at an astronomical pace. The same holds true for video advertising. People love to watch videos online, and your video ads will have a massive influence on how they spend their hard-earned money. If you want them to spend their money on your products and services, then you need to start using video advertising sooner rather than later.

Apps make mobile tech useful

5. Apps are becoming the new digital norm.

App usage increased over the last few years so that app usage is become a part of our day-to-day life. This trend will continue since mobile devices continue to grow in popularity. Jumping on the mobile app bandwagon will definitely be a good thing for your business if you want to attract new customers that already have their credit cards in hand.

Conclusion

Each year brings new digital marketing advances as new and improved apps and programs are introduced. Staying abreast of trending digital marketing advances will to keep you on top of everything so that you never fall behind the competition.

Reaching yhour customers through great public relations

Reaching Your Customers Through Great Public Relations

The reputation of your company is your most important asset. How the public perceives you and your brand will make or break you. You must have a positive presence and maintain goodwill between your company and your public. That reputation, positive presence, and sense of goodwill is the creation of your public relations team.

PR is defined as whatever strategic communication process your company uses that creates and maintains your image in the eyes of your customers, clients, staff, and the general public. This perception is far-reaching and affects your relationships with your investors and colleagues. Even if your company has a good reputation, that does you little good if no one knows about it.

A bad reputation can be a PR nightmare for you. Even if you have the best product since sliced bread, buyers will go elsewhere if they perceive you as less than sincere, unconcerned, or with poor service. An investor will think twice about funding you if your company has a bad reputation.

Make sure your PR is culturally sensitive

A Cultural Problem Too

Good public relations is critical, but the problem becomes more complex as there is more than one “public” – especially if you want to sell your product to different cultural groups within the US or globally.This is one area where most small businesses fall short. But, even big businesses have made huge mistakes by not considering all of their “publics.” An example would be Gerber baby food, made by Nestles.

When Gerber started selling their baby food in certain African markets, they sent the same food, with the same labels as they use in the United States and other countries. It was good with the investors, it was good with corporate, it was good with everyone that had a hand in making, selling, and shipping the product.

However, the sales numbers were very disappointing. Gerber failed to consider the parents who would be buying the food. Rates of illiteracy in some parts of Africa are high. Unable to read the words on the jars, some  consumers apparently mistook the picture of the cute baby on the front as  indicative  of what was inside (ground-up babies.) If the company had done appropriate research, they would have known what pictures of the ingredients on the front. In any case, the baby food did not sell.

There is debate as to whether this story, widely reported in credible sources, is the truth or an urban legend, but the case points out the importance of knowing your audience and knowing how to keep your reputation intact with them  Public relation teams must use research to effectively (and sensitively) reach the target audience.

Getting out the public relations message

Working With Your PR Team

Public relations professionals need all of the information about the goals of your marketing campaign and who your company wants to reach.  Your PR people can only do their jobs once they have the information. They are professionals at reaching target audiences. They do their homework and know what avenues to pursue. In most companies, PR departments are not usually responsible for doing market research, but they should receive the results of studies, surveys, focus groups and other research techniques and take the results to heart in planning their approaches.  

Keep in mind, public relations is most effective when it is working with your marketing team. PR must effectively communicate your brand, its value, and what it offers in a bold, effective, but culturally sensitive way. Communication throughout the departments is important so that everyone paddles the boat in the same direction to build your brand and good customer relations.

Public Relations Coverage

PR pros skillfully place your company out there for maximum exposure and maximum impact. They may use newspapers, magazines, television, radio, social media, and a host of other tools, both paid and unpaid. Work with your PR team to get your reputation and presence out there. You hire them for their expertise, let them use it. But, don’t hesitate to ask them what they are planning and what results they expect from their actions.

It is your company. Hire a good public relations company to create your reputation in the public eye. Put a good team in place to carry the message throughout the other brand-building departments in the company. This is a recipe for success.

Bonus Tip: Social Media

As the power of social media platforms continue taking over, several resources discuss combining the power of PR with reach, using tactics like Instagram marketing. Here is a resource on how to get more followers on Instagram to get you started.

SEO Strategies & Public Relations

SEO Strategies and Public Relations

Content marketing, the creation of content about your business, is currently a 44 billion dollar industry that public relations firm professionals can capitalize on. Many business owners have gotten that message that by adding content, even low-quality content,  to their websites, blogs, and social media accounts, they can gain additional  “free” exposure when information for their customers is search-engine friendly. As a result, the internet is flooded with a mix of information that is often low quality

By developing high-quality content, PR professionals can capitalize on this growing trend of acquiring free or “earned media” in addition to placing paid advertising. When it comes to media relations and digital communications, here are some must have skills every PR specialist needs to get maximum value for what you publish.

SEO Strategies For Public Relations

Don't forget the importance of backlinking

Understanding Backlinking

You are pitching and blogging for your clients and you link to relevant content on their sites. Good content is key and back-linking, or gaining links to your client’s website is critical. Acquiring  Inbound Link (IBL)  is the most important part of marketing on the internet.

Why?

When a website links to your client’s site, Google gives SEO points for being easily found. They are now back-linked to your site. The more popular the website becomes, the better. As they receive more SEO points, they improve their rating on Google.

This strategy and many other SEO strategies allow them to climb up the search engine ladder. It allows them more “hits,” as they show up on the first page or two of website searches. You can keep the momentum going by pitching your clients as contributors to high-traffic websites.

Using Keywords Correctly

Understanding keywords is critical too. Using keywords in every headline and title written on every page of their website adds to a site’s  SEO strength. The content written on each page of their website is important to their SEO strength.

Remember, the SEO strength determines if you are going to come up on page one of a search engine search or page 139 (or worse). Search engines crawl the metadata on every website looking for keywords. This determines their search engine position. You must help clients write keyword-rich, pointed information on their websites. It makes a big difference.

Don’t Go Crazy

Although ongoing Google algorithm updates now evaluate over 200 variables and pay more attention to context than to the excessive use of specific keyword phrases, keywords are still important. However, do not make the mistake of stuffing your clients content with keywords. There are two reasons for this. One, it makes the text hard to read and redundant. If the keyword does not easily fit in the sentence without ruining the flow of the wording for the reader, do not use it. This will backfire on you – the second reason for using too many keywords.

Overusing keywords used to work in getting Google to place you higher on search engines. But Google is on to that and they will penalize you (lower your SEO rating) for doing this. In the world of internet, you do not want to upset Google. Be natural and use the keywords when they fit, and you will reap your reward.

Shareworthy Content

Once you create content, you should share it in places where potential customers can see it, interact with it, and click on links to the website. Do your homework and know what works (and what doesn’t) on social media. You must be consistent in posting concise and good information. Post “Tweets” that are informative and to the point. You want valuable and useful content that people will look for. You have limited time on social media to grab attention, so do it well.

Use video for great interaction

Be Visual

We have always been a visual society, but never more so than today. In the digital age, it is all about visual content. People expect to great pictures, cool graphics, and video. They want stimulation and entertainment without working too hard to get your message.

Google references photos just as they do print, so it is important to give your photos a meaningful title and save with .jpg or .png. This is just another trick you can use to allow your client to place better and therefore get more hits and make more sales.

Public relations firms have an opportunity to maximize client exposure on internet sites not only through paid advertising but through utilizing modern SEO strategies.

Content marketing for law firms

The Perfect Approach to Content Marketing for Law Firms

Over the last few years, content marketing has become a phrase that has certainly reached the height of popularity in many businesses, including law firms. Overall, this increasingly popular concept is making its way through major marketing circles, and the biggest corporations in the world like American Express, FedEx, and Coca-Cola to name just a few, are embracing content marketing and taking advantage of its full potential.

Smaller business owners are even having major success with this powerful new trend. This isn’t just a flash in the pan scheme that is going to disappear overnight. On the contrary, content marketing is here to stay because it provides actual value and substance.

What is content marketing? Is it really going to help put your law firm on the map?

Defining content marketing for law firms

Defining Content Marketing

The working definition for content marketing is quite simple: it means you take content created for your business and then use it as a way to promote your company.

Why is content marketing effective for the family lawyer?

Simply put, this method of disseminating information about your business is successful because it gives those interested in your company valuable information that they need to know and learn.

As an example, let’s say that your family law practice is looking to bring in new clients. You create a content marketing campaign discussing the many aspects of family law. You freely share this information with your target audience and it helps to attract new business.

For starters, by creating valuable content around family law, you prove to your potential clients that you are knowledgeable in this area of law. It shows them that you not only understand family law, but you are a serious authority and can help them with any family law related matter when they are in need of representation.

Content marketing shows your law firm is knowledgeable

Content Marketing & Making Personal Connections

Another excellent benefit of content marketing for law firms is that it helps family lawyers create a personal connection with their potential clientele. Often, you can make this connection with a blog that readers can reach through a link to a blog on your practice’s main website? By setting up a blog, you can share blog posts and other content with people visiting your website. This will help your law firm twofold.

First, it will provide valuable information for your visitors to read. If you create the right type of content, you will connect with your visitors on a personal level.  You write the content in way that appeals to a broad audience in the niche market you want to reach. While you want clients to see you as knowledgeable, you want it to be readable to potential clients.

Second, by creating additional content for your blog and website, you will generate additional traffic in the search engines. Keep an eye on the design, as it is an important visual part that will keep your visitors on the page for longer periods of time.  This will allow more visitors to find your website and they will see that you are an excellent lawyer that can represent them in all matters pertaining to family law.

Content marketing helps your law firm make a personal connection

Provide Value

Lastly, by creating engaging and powerful content, you will provide value to those looking for your legal services before they ever step foot in your office. Instead of bombarding potential clients with marketing messages, you’ve chosen to share valuable content that proves you are an expert in the field. It also proves that you are personable, down to earth, and ready to help when your clients need you the most.

Conclusion

As a family lawyer, you may have overlooked the value of content marketing, but it offers excellent benefits to your budding practice. Please take advantage of the opportunity that content marketing provides.

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