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4 Things Google Wants From Your Website In 2017

By Inbound Marketing, Web Design

Google is the most popular search engine on the planet with over 11 billion searches per month and controls over 67.5 percent of the U.S. search market (Source: DMR). Love ’em or hate ’em, Google dictates whether or not your web marketing efforts will be a success or a failure. 

If you’re a business owner or marketer thinking about how to get more out of your website—here are 3 (actually 4) things that Google wants that should be incorporated into your web marketing strategy.

1.Useful content
Google continues to make strides on ridding its Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs of irrelevant content. 88% of consumers will search and consult on average 10.4 pieces of content before making a decision to buy. (Source: Google, Zero Moment of Truth). It’s no secret that creating content on a consistent basis is a sure-fire way to drive traffic to your website, and for good reason:

  • Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links
  • B2B marketers using blogs generate 67% more leads
  • Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages
  • Websites with blogs have 97% more indexed links

(Source: WPVirtuoso).

If you’re feeling a little behind, there is a reason to be concerned, because if you’re not blogging and creating useful content on a regular basis—your competitors (who are blogging)—are generating 54% more leads than you. If you’re not blogging, now may be the time to seriously consider it.

2. Clean design
The web has evolved over the years from cluttered jam-packed home pages to clean pages where less is more. Your website needs to get to the point quickly as you only have 2-3 seconds to get your point across. Eyequant states that websites looking to decrease bounce rates and increase longer visitor times should adhere to these three precepts:

  1. Make your most important information the most attention-grabbing
  2. De-clutter unnecessary elements on your page
  3. Simplify: give users one task, not dozens

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to maximize your website’s performance for increased visitor lengths. 

TIP: To test your website’s most important information use CrazyEgg: https://www.crazyegg.com

3. Fast load times
The web is a fast, get-in, get-out kind of media. You essentially have 3 seconds to capture the attention of your viewer or they leave (bounce) without saying goodbye. Websites should focus on load times between 2-3 seconds on a broadband connection.

TIP: To test the speed of your website, check out website.grader.com

google ranks for mobile5 things that slow your website down:

  1. Large images
  2. Excess javascript code
  3. Flash and embedded videos
  4. Non-utilized or useless CSS code
  5. Embedded third-party plugins like Twitter and Facebook feeds

By optimizing the above factors, you can increase your website’s load times and potentially increase your ranking on Google.

4. Mobile-friendliness!
Google announced starting April 21st, 2015—your website’s mobile-friendliness will now be a ranking factor. (Source: SEMPOST) This means if your website is not responsive and mobile friendly, you will lose out on potential ranking factors. To find out if your website is mobile-friendly, simply go to your iPhone and search for your company. If your site is mobile-friendly, it will say it under the green URL “Mobile-friendly.” To read more about responsive, mobile-friendly design, check this article out. 

So to sum up, in order to play in Google’s arena, you need to create useful, content consistently, have a clean design, make sure your website loads quickly and is mobile friendly!

 


Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

hunting-firearms-content-marketing

3 Kinds of Hunting and Firearms Content You Should Be Writing

By Firearms and Hunting

If you’ve committed to—or are just getting started with content marketing to help your hunting, outdoor or firearms company drive more website visitors, convert visitors to leads, increase sales and build your brand—there are three kinds of content you should know about that forms the foundation of your content marketing strategy.

Most companies in the industry are getting their content wrong. Most content is highly self-promotional that serves the company rather than their customers. Other brands write about topics that have no relevance to their buyer persona’s problems or questions. Further yet, once companies start writing content, they give up in 3-4 months.

Creating content is not easy and takes time, devotion and the commitment of your entire team to make it work. However, by having a better understanding of what kind of content you need to be creating in the first place, you can focus and plan more effectively so your efforts don’t fall flat.

According to Google/YouTube and Mark Schaefer, author of the new book, The Content Code, there are three forms of content: Hygiene, Hub and Heroic.

Hygiene Content
Hygiene content makes up the bulk of what you see out on the web. Hygiene content is the lifeblood of your content strategy and keeps your website fresh. These pieces of content typically involve your run of the mill 500-800-word articles that gives your readers “How-To’s”, “Tips and Tricks” and the “Do It Your Self” articles. This kind of content keeps your audience engaged and helps you maintain your search engine rankings. (Source: SEOMOZ)

Some examples of this type of content would be:

  • How to Clean Your AR-15
  • 3 Ways to Become a Better Turkey Hunter
  • 5 Best Hunting Apps for Hunting Coyotes

Hub Content
Hub content goes more in-depth about a certain subject and usually is 1000-2000 words in length and serves more as a reference piece that your readers visit time and time again. Hub content or “evergreen” content serves to attract visitors to your website and keeps them there. This kind of content builds brand loyalty and in most cases will help in building links to your website. You know you have created a piece of evergreen content by quickly looking at your analytics to see what pages of your blog consistently get the most visits. These types of articles require planning, a lot of thought, research and understanding of the topic to make them valuable to your readers. Hub content is also critical in building thought leadership in your category. Hub content also remains high on search engines for an extended period and is typically staggered throughout the year.

A few good examples of Hub content are:

Heroic Content
This is the hardest content to produce and also the most surprising. Heroic content—also sometimes called viral content—typically receives thousands to millions of shares and views and is highly entertaining and educational all-in-one. Heroic content also challenges perceptions and opinions and can be controversial or polarizing.

Here are a few examples:

By focusing on creating these three types of content: hygiene, hub and heroic, your content/inbound marketing strategy will remain consistent and focused all year long. Plan your hub content in advance and think about how to come up with one or two good viral pieces. Then fill the rest of your content calendar with helpful hygiene content to keep your audience engaged and your website fresh.

 

How-can-long-tail-keywords-help-my-business

How Can Long-Tail Keywords Help My Business?

By Inbound Marketing, SEO

Did you know that if your website ranks within the top three listings on Google—your chances of getting clicked on is 6 times higher? Google refers to this as the golden triangle. See below.

For small business owners or start-ups trying to find a cost-effective marketing solution to generate revenue, attaining top 3 rankings on Google could mean the difference between stagnant or explosive growth.

Google controls almost 68% of all web search traffic (87% mobile) — Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. (Source: Internet Live)

Bing is second with 18.7% and Yahoo third with 10%. (Source: Search Engine Land). 

google heat map

If you’re website ranks in the 4th-10th position or is listed on the second page—your chances of being found drops considerably.

So how does one make it into the golden triangle?

Well luckily, due to changing consumer behavior—93% of all B2B and 83% of all B2C purchases begin with an online search (Source: Business 2 Community). Most of these queries are in the form of a question that contains more than one keyword.

 

What is a keyword?
Keywords consist of concise phrases that are one to three words long. Keywords can be anything that describes what you do: category, service, product, brand, location or person.

Here are some example keywords with their estimated monthly search volume: 


  • graphic design (74,000) 
  • realtor (70,000)
  • weight loss (1,500,000)
  • swimming pool (49,500) 
  • brand development (1,000) 
  • cars (1,500,000)

The terms above are highly trafficked and extremely difficult to rank for.

Keywords should always be placed in the title of your website and sprinkled into the copy of your content—but only if it makes sense. Write copy for people, not search engines.

What makes keywords difficult to rank for?
Keywords with a difficulty of 60 or higher (on a scale of 1-100) are highly competitive because there are hundreds or even thousands of competitors in one given category. The more companies fighting for the same keyword, the harder it is to rank.

What is a long-tail keyword?
Long-tail keywords are more conducive of today’s user behavior and easier to rank for. After all, if you have a question—whom do you ask? Today, a rising majority of people turn to Google.

Long-tail keywords add more keywords to the base phrase and are typically created by stating a question. So using our terms above, this is how long-tail keywords look:

As you can see, by adding 2-3 more keywords (adjectives, nouns or verbs), to your string—you can potentially move your web pages, blogs or landing pages higher up in search engine results.

How to choose the right keywords?
Relevance is key in choosing keywords. Make sure when choosing your keywords you select the ones that most closely describe your product or service. Another method that should be considered is adding a location. By adding a location like Denver or Indianapolis, you concentrate your results to a specific geographic location. This can align your search engine rankings to local competitors and bypass national or global competitors which tend to be harder to rank against.

Here are a few tools to help you choose the right keywords:

long-tail keyword searchWordtracker
The best place to start with understanding what keywords you should go for is Wordtracker. Wordtracker gives you the ability to start with a seed keyword that in turn gives you results based on that term. It will also provide search volume and competition. So for example, if I search for “types of lemurs.” See right.

HubSpot
HubSpot’s keyword tool displays the same information as Wordtracker, but is much easier to use. We use HubSpot for all of our keyword research and analysis. It allows us to track our keyword progress as keywords climb in rankings and allow us to see what our competitors are up to. It also shows us other keyword opportunities that may exist.

The concepts of keywords are fairly easy to grasp, but knowing where to start is the first step.

With a little understanding of how long-tail keywords work, you can begin attracting visitors to your web pages–even in highly competitive categories.

So how do I use long tail keywords?
It all starts with a blog. If you’re not consistently updating your blog on a regular basis, and are competing for competitive keywords, it’s going to be very difficult to rank. You may try Pay Per Click—which is paid advertising on Google—but chances are those keywords will be very expensive.

How do I track progress?
There are several free tools out there to help you track your keyword’s progress. Google Analytics is a free service you can install on your website. A paid version we recommend is Counter Central. Google and other search engines typically crawl your website once a month looking for updates. Recently, its been noted that this is done on a weekly basis. Check back once a week and record your progress. Here are some additional tips to speed up your crawl rate

To get started with long-tail keywords and blogging, check out the free resource below. Good luck!

Inbound Marketing Toolkit

 

Free Download:
Inbound Marketing Tool Kit
 

Get started with Inbound Marketing by learning about the tools needed to grow your business and prove ROI.

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Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

 

The 5 Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business

The 5 Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business

By Business, Inbound Marketing

 

Starting a business blog is tough. When I first started blogging for my branding agency it was difficult to generate ideas consistently and then write clearly and concisely about them; but over time, I became better—and faster. Blogging for business starts with the intention to solve your customers problems and to answer their hardest questions.

I set a goal to become a better writer. No matter what it took, I committed to writing at least once a week, twice if I got lucky. Every time I came across an interesting piece of content that sparked an idea I wrote it down. Over a few months, I had a growing list of healthy topics.

This in turn allowed me to create a content calendar that aligned with my inbound marketing campaign efforts which turned my idea list into a blogging factory.

I love this video from HubSpot that explains how to become a better writer:

Like training for a marathon, it’s hard at first, but you eventually become stronger and faster.

1. You stay on the cutting edge of your profession

Inbound marketing and blogging forces you to change your mindset about marketing. You become a natural curator of content as you peruse daily articles and blogs. By committing to blogging that leads to the search of new ideas, you become keenly aware of your industry and your client’s industries.

2. You have more things to talk, post and tweet about

Blogging creates the basis of your social media efforts. By posting and tweeting your content, you begin to attract visitors and gain followers.

3. Solve your customer’s problems

By blogging on topics that solves and answers your customer’s toughest questions, you become—over time—a recognized resource and expert.

4. Generate website traffic
Blogging is the secret sauce to generating traffic to your website. By blogging on topics that answers your customer’s questions, you create a bastion of posts that expand your keywords’ digital footprint on Google and other search engines. You increase your website’s authority by generating inbound links, social media shares and authorship through Google+.

Check out these stats:

  • 37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable type of content marketing. (Source)
  • Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month. (Source)
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not blog. (Source)
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. (Source)
  • Blog posts incorporating video attract 3 times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (Source)

increase website traffic

 

5. Establish thought leadership
By blogging consistently, you quickly begin to establish thought leadership within your industry and amongst your prospects. By earning followers on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you begin to establish top-shelf awareness that allows you to constantly remind your prospects of your products or services.

In conclusion, the task of taking on blogging for your business may make you gag, but once you get the ball rolling, it becomes a habit that is easier to maintain over time. The benefits of being on the edge of your profession, having interesting topics to grow your social media networks, generating traffic and establishing thought leadership is an essential component of doing business with today’s skeptical customer.

Interested in learning more about our Indianapolis or Nashville inbound marketing agency? Contact us today to learn how we can help your business through blogging.

 

Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

 

Blog and Content Marketing

7 Steps To Better Content Marketing And Blogging

By Inbound Marketing

If you’re going to spend the time writing a blog you might as well learn how to do it correctly because it takes a little practice. There is a lot of meaningless content floating around out there on the internet from people who don’t know how to blog correctly.

In this article, I’ll give you 7 steps on how to write a blog post that engages your readers, optimizes your web site, solves your customers problems and establishes your brand’s credibility and trust.

1. Pick a topic that solves your buyer personas’ problem
Every blog post worth its mustard must be written for someone specifically in mind. To write a blog post that whimsically moves from thought to thought will confuse your reader and in most cases cause them to ‘bounce’ off your website. By identifying who your buyer persona is first, it will help you to keep your thoughts focused and targeted. You can’t help anyone when you try to help everyone.

2. Create content that is relevant and remarkable
According to Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, “every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until  2003. That’s something like five exabytes of data, he says.” (Source: TechCrunch) That’s a lot of content. Content can take the form of anything that is written, tweeted, recorded, snapped or placed on the internet for someone to read or view. When you set out to create content in the form of a blog, try to do your best to create something that is remarkable, relevant and that solves your customers problems. This will make sure your efforts and time isn’t thrown on the pile of content fodder.

3. Outline with keywords in mind
Once you have figured out who you are writing for, organize your thoughts into an outline. Start with a catchy headline and introduction. The headline should include the keywords you are targeting and pertain to what the article is about. Sprinkle your keywords throughout your article—but only if it makes sense. Do not write for search engines, write for your customers.

4. Organize with bullet points and sub-heads
As you move through your outline, create short, succinct sub-headlines that provide information that tells your persona what the information is about. People tend to scan articles quickly, stopping at sections that interest them. Make sure your sub-heads are specific to the information or problem you are solving. Another tip is to use bullet points to divide your information into chunks that can be consumed quickly. Give them what they need to make a decision quickly.

5. Use images
We live in a highly visual society. And like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words rings true in the wild world of blogging. Use visuals in the form of images, infographics or diagrams that tell the story quickly. A strong visual helps to make the article ‘sticky’ by keeping them on your site longer. It is suggested that Google now counts visitor length or ‘dwell time’ as a metric in determining the authority and rank of your website. (Source: Backlinko). Articles with images get 94% more views. (Source)

6. Cite your facts and stats
If you’re giving advice or recommendations, source your information from credible sources to back up your claim. This will add an extra layer of trust and establish authority in your writing. Human beings love little stats and bits of factual data. Always try to include a simple amount of these little factoids to engage your readers further.

7. End strong
Just as its important to write a good introduction, its equally important to end with a good conclusion. Re-itereate the points you made, why the information given will help solve their problem and a call-to-action (CTA) on what you’d like them to do next. This can be contact for more information, download a whitepaper, visit this page etc.

In conclusion, a good blog post starts with sharing remarkable content that solves a problem and is geared towards your buyer persona. Format your blog starting with a catchy headline with a targeted keyword, a good introduction that tells the reader what they will learn, organized and succinct sub-heads, good visuals, cited sources and a strong ending. By following these tips you’ll be on your way to becoming a strong writer and a blogging pro.

 

Business bloggingFREE DOWNLOAD: Intro to Business Blogging

New to blogging? Download this resource to learn the basics for marketing success!
In this eBook, we give you some powerful pointers on how to generate content, optimize, promote and measure your blogging activities that maximizes your time and efforts.

 

 

 


Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.