Increase Your Organic SEO with Blogging

There are numerous benefits of having a business blog. You can engage more customers with interesting content. You can generate good response with captivating calls to action. You can promote your business and share information with people, whether they are existing customers or new site visitors.

However, there is no bigger benefit to having a blog for your business than what it can do for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you want to increase your website’s organic SEO appeal, then having a regular blog is one of the absolute best ways to do it. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. Fresh Content

Having a blog will help keep your web content from going stagnant because you are always adding fresh information, news and insights in the form of blog articles. As long as you are posting often and regularly (once a week is a great goal to aim for), you will definitely see the organic SEO benefits of your blog over time.

2. Relevant Content

A blog allows you to talk about a number of different topics related to your business or customer interests. You can get detailed and specific within each blog article. Cumulatively, you will be able to cover so many different topics without it ever feeling like too much information.

3. Timing

If you took a year’s worth of blog articles and posted them all on your site at one time, you would surely see a quick boost in your SEO. However, it would eventually dwindle if no new content is added. Regularly scheduled blog posts allow you to space out your new content and make sure there is always something fresh on your site. This not only gives followers a reason to keep coming back, but it is better for SEO.

4. Keywords and Tags

Your blog will allow you to include keywords, key phrases, descriptions and tags that can be as targeted as you want. I recommend a “base” of universal tags that you would put in every article you post (geographic references and words/phrases relating to your most common products or services). Then, on top of those you’ll want to add article-specific tags that speak directly to the content and concepts within that article. This will maximize your SEO results for each article you post. The cumulative impact of all these tagged posts is even more powerful, as well.

5. Image Searches

Even if you use only stock photography in your blogs, change the image file names and image descriptions to include your business name and the service/product/topic you are writing about in the blog it is being used with. Images are directly searchable, and they can be another way that someone finds your site organically.

6. Social Media Integration

Link to your social media pages within your blog and then share links to your blog articles on all your social media pages. This addition of inbound and outbound links will really help your organic SEO.

7. Internal and External Links

In addition to social media, you’ll want to include several internal links (links to other pages on your website or other blog articles) and even 1-2 external links (links to outside sources relevant to the topic being discussed).

If you utilize these strategies in your business blog, your organic SEO appeal will continue to grow over time. A blog won’t replace any pay-per-click or paid SEO-boosting you may already be doing. However, when it’s all done in harmony, the results can be truly amazing.

To learn more about business blogging and organic SEO web content strategies, contact NextGear Marketing today. We’re here to help and we have weekly business blog packages for as low as $299 a month!

How Energetic is Your Social Media?

Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a golf fanatic. I spend much of my free time playing golf and I also enjoy watching professional golf. I moved out to the Coachella Valley last year, which is a hotbed of amazing golf. However, I moved in a couple months after the PGA Tour rolled through town with the CareerBuilder Challenge. The event takes place at multiple courses in La Quinta every year.

As this year’s tournament rolled around, I made it a point to attend for the first time. After all, it is now my biggest “local” golf event and I want to support it. I went on Saturday and decided to watch the action on the famous PGA West TPC Stadium Course. After parking and taking a shuttle bus to the front gate for this course, you are dropped off right near the course’s most infamous hole. It’s a beautiful par-3 with an island green, better known by the nickname “Alcatraz.” Naturally, it’s a place where the crowd gathers.

A Disappointing Crowd

It was still fairly early when I arrived and I watched a few groups come through. There were some people in the stands, but it was eerily quiet. Great shots might hear a small smattering of applause from a handful of people watching. It was underwhelming to say the least. I don’t want to bash on the tournament because it is very well run considering it’s a rather complex event. However, this lack of crowd energy is a bi-product of the tournament’s unique set-up that has players spread out over three different local courses on the first three days of play. That also means the crowd is spread out over three courses. When Sunday rolls around, all players (and thus all of the audience) are playing the TPC Stadium Course, and then the crowd energy is much livelier. I didn’t attend this day, but I watched on TV and could tell there was so much more energy on that day.

Why am I telling you this story? Well, it makes me think about the concepts of energy and social participation. Even with a small crowd in attendance on Saturday, there still could certainly have been more energy displayed. However, people feed off other people and it ended up being a very low-key audience. I wanted to clap and cheer, but I didn’t want to be the only one doing it so I stayed relatively quiet.

The Power of Social Energy

I think “social energy” is a good concept. That’s because it really is a great objective to aim for when it comes to your social media marketing efforts. How can you create more social energy with your posts and interactions? Are your posts sparking a lot of likes and comments? Are you responding to those comments and furthering the conversations?

If the answers to these questions are yes, then you are on the right track. However, social media is always evolving and you should never rest on your laurels. Keep looking for ways to grow your social energy, whether it’s utilizing different social media channels, increasing your activity or improving your activity. By “improving your activity,” I mean studying your results and continually making refinements to your approach in order to maximize your social media performance as you move forward.

If your answers to the questions above are no, then you have a lot of work to do. Remember, the quantity of your social media posts doesn’t necessarily equate to the quality of your posts. If they are not engaging and creating the reactive energy you desire, you need to rethink your methods and try some new things until you find the right recipe for success.

Keep Evolving Your Social Media

Social media marketing is so powerful in today’s connected world. Don’t miss out on your opportunities. Take stock of your “social energy” and keep looking for ways to energize your social media activities.

Contact NextGear Marketing for a free social media marketing review. Learn some of the methods you can use to increase your social energy and maximize your efforts.

Defining Your Marketing Duties

This week, I was called in for jury duty. It’s something nobody looks forward to and most people try to find a way to get out of, but it is a responsibility we all face as adult members of our society.

Ultimately, my summons was much ado about nothing. I showed up at the courthouse and was dismissed immediately because the case had already settled out of court. Still, I showed up anyway because it was my civic duty.

The brief experience made me think of the concept of duty, especially as it relates to small business marketing. Do your marketing duties have defined roles? Do you have the people and resources in place to accomplish all the necessary duties? How can you be better at getting all these important marketing duties done efficiently and effectively?

In this article, we’ll look at some of the most vital marketing duties/roles that you need to account for. Whether they are all done by one person, spread out across various team members internally or shopped out to marketing service specialists, you want these duties to be covered. If you get lax or ignore these marketing activities, you lose out on great opportunities to grow your business.

Marketing Manager

Somebody in your company needs to assume the role as marketing manager. This is the person who oversees marketing strategy, budget and execution. Every construction site needs a good foreman to supervise and organize the work being done. The marketing manager essentially fills this same role with a specific oversight of marketing activities.

Media Planner/Buyer

A marketing plan and budget are set, so someone has to be responsible for spending the money effectively. Media planning and buying are very technical (and actually different) roles that need to be covered for an effective marketing campaign.

Creative Director

Much like a marketing manager, but even more focused on a specific objective, a creative director is there to oversee the creative aspects of a marketing campaign. They make sure the brand message is being conveyed properly and defined marketing objectives are being achieved.

Copywriter

You need a good copywriter to effectively communicate brand messages, sales points and other key information in any marketing materials being developed.

Graphic Designer

Whereas the copywriter is focused on content, the graphic designer is responsible for creating the visual components of your marketing campaign.

Web Developer

Web development is a very specialized and important role in today’s marketing world. You need someone (or a whole web development company) who is well-versed on creating, hosting and maintaining your company’s website.

SEO Specialist

Search engine optimization is so important these days, and it is a very specialized skill. If you really want to maximize your online presence, SEO needs to be a major priority.

Blogger

Blogging is a specialized type of writing that requires a different skillset than a typical marketing copywriter. Also, someone needs to be devoted to your business blog content to make sure things get posted regularly. It can’t just be a “we’ll get to it when we get to it” duty.

Social Media Expert

Any business not fully integrated into social media is missing out on a huge opportunity in today’s ultra-connected world. A social media expert will take your business to the next level.

There are other specialized marketing duties that you may want to define for your specific business or company configuration, but these are some of the most important roles you’ll want to have covered. Doing it all by yourself can be extremely daunting and hiring extra full-time employees can be beyond your budget. That’s why many small businesses turn to specialized service providers like NextGear Marketing for help with certain marketing duties.

Our specialty is blogging for small businesses, though we can also help with any copywriting, web content, SEO and graphic design services you require. Contact NextGear Marketing today for more information and to set up a no-obligation marketing review.

 

 

 

Don’t Let Your Content Get Iced Over

I grew up on the northern coast of California, where winter weather usually means a lot of rain and fog. Christmas snow was never anything we expected in our small coastal town.

However, this year I spent the holiday season visiting family in Vancouver, Washington. It doesn’t snow that regularly here either, but it definitely happens more often than in my hometown. This year, the snow came down in flurries all day on Christmas Eve and covered the ground with a fresh blanket of powder. It was really cool to have a true, Crosby-like “White Christmas” for once.

The next day, the temperatures stayed below freezing and that snow just turned to ice. It was crunchy and slick, and it made for some dangerous driving conditions on Christmas day.

What is the point of this story? Well, it makes me think of what happens when you let your web content go a bit stagnant. This is a topic I’ve covered before. However, it’s an ideal time to bring it up again because we’re at the start of a new year. It’s the perfect time to revisit your website’s content and freshen it up.

Your website content may have been as fresh and pure as the driven snow when it was first written, but it will eventually ice over if left untouched.

Let me count the ways to keep your content from icing over and becoming dangerously stagnant

1. Update Your Site Content

Take the time to run through every single page of your website. Make sure all the information is still relevant. Add any new information that is needed. Rewrite some sections of text, update graphics and revisit your SEO tags, keywords and links to freshen things up as much as possible.

2. Bring in Fresh Eyes

Don’t be afraid to ask for second or third opinions on your web content. Bring in an outside source or someone who wasn’t involved with the original site development. Let them look things over and provide a fresh perspective on what updates, upgrades and revisions could be made for better site performance.

3. Be Proactive

Don’t neglect your blog, news feeds and other dynamic content sources. Use these to provide fresh, relevant and searchable content on your site regularly. If you don’t have a blog yet, start one. If you do, just make sure to stay on top of it with regular posts. At least once a week is recommended.

4. Social Media Integration

Make sure your site is fully integrated with your social media platforms. Be active with your posts and advertising on social media, share all of your blog posts and news feed links, and engage your followers as much as you can.

5. Don’t Forget Your Brand Messaging

So many business websites these days are focused on SEO. That’s great to attract more site visitors, but only that kind of content can also come off as a little robotic. Don’t neglect your brand messaging and marketing goals. Once you get them to your site, you want to pique their interest and ultimately convert them into customers. Building a strong brand with well-crafted, engaging content is the way to do this.

These are just a few ways to freshen up your web content and keep it from going ice cold on you. To learn more about web content strategy, to discuss business blogging options or for a free, no-obligation review of your current website content, contact NextGear Marketing today.

What Are Your 2018 Marketing Resolutions?

New Year’s Resolutions don’t just have to be personal goals like losing weight or quitting smoking. If you are a small business owner, you should have resolutions to make 2018 your best year ever. That means it may be the perfect time to rethink your marketing strategies and implement new ideas.

Let’s look at some marketing resolutions you can make for 2018:

1. Solidify Your Brand

Branding is so important to your success. Your brand should be consistent across all platforms. It should be evident in any design pieces in terms of a visual brand that is recognizable to your customers. It should also drive any content in print or web marketing. This is what we’d call your “brand message.” All branding elements should work together for the best results.

2. Update Your Web Content

When is the last time you went through your entire website and made some content updates? Content easily gets stale and outdated. Take the time to freshen it up and update as needed. You will experience a natural SEO boost in the process.

3. Get More Out of Your Blog

Speaking of SEO, your business blog is a great way to maximize your site’s organic SEO appeal through regular, targeted content. If you don’t have a blog, start one. If you have a blog but don’t post often, make a concerted effort to be more active with it. If you have a regular blog but aren’t seeing any benefits of it, it’s probably time to rethink your strategy. The content you write, the way you write it and other ancillary facets of the blog like SEO keywords, titles and tags can all make a major impact.

4. Take Advantage of Social Media

It’s hard to have a successful business these days without a strong social media presence. Make the commitment to be more active with social media and learn how to use new and evolving platforms to your advantage.

5. Be More Proactive

In all forms of marketing (print, web, blogging, outdoor, direct mail, social media, etc.), use the New Year to revitalize your commitment. Be more proactive with planning and follow through on those plans to make your marketing campaign as successful as possible. Revisit existing marketing materials and programs to see where adjustments can be made. Marketing should always be evolving. If you sit back and rest on your laurels, you will quickly fall behind the times.

These are just a few of the New Year’s Resolutions you can make to get more out of your business marketing. For more ideas or to discuss blogging, content updates or any other marketing needs you have, contact NextGear Marketing today.