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How to Make Your Small E-Commerce Business Stand Out and Succeed
E-commerce is an incredibly competitive business. There are over 110,000 websites out there making meaningful revenue, and among these are some of the biggest, most powerful companies in the world. How is a budding e-commerce business to stand out amongst the likes of giants such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay?
The good news is that it is possible, and the market for e-commerce continues to grow exponentially every day. However, you will need to think smart and use the right strategies to make sure your customers can find you among the crowd of competitors.
Pick a Niche
Niches are the lifeblood of small companies. Unless you have the resources of a big company, it doesn’t make sense to advertise to the general public — you want to identify the specific subset of people who are likely to buy from you.
You can identify your niche in a few easy steps. To get started, list your passions and interests, figure out which problems you can solve, research your competition, and assess how profitable your niche is likely to be. You may then want to test it by setting up a landing page for your business, paying for online advertising, and gauging interest.
Refine Your Brand
Independent businesses don’t have household names to rely on, so they need to build a strong brand from scratch. A strong brand is more than a logo; as well as a consistent visual identity, the components of a strong brand include your purpose, your promise to the consumer, your target market, and a marketing strategy. All of these have to be clearly defined before you even start selling, as they will guide everything you do.
Nail Your Pricing Strategy
Better prices are among the top reasons why people shop online. You may not be able to outprice Amazon, but you can make sure your pricing strategy is consistent. Are you a budget option or something more premium? Remember, if your products cost more, there needs to be a clear reason why, whether that’s higher quality or strong brand affiliation.
Whatever you do, don’t try to undercut your prices just to compensate with at checkout with higher shipping fees — this is the number one reason customers abandon a shopping cart.
Brush Up on SEO
If you are going to run an ecommerce business, you have to know the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). At the very least, you should work to produce high-quality content for your website to drive traffic and learning to use specific keywords to rank better on search engines. There are several free keyword research tools you can use to get you started.
Delegate and Automate
When you start out, chances are you will be doing everything. However, as you grow, always leave room in your budget to delegate and automate the tasks that you are not an expert on. Some, like graphic design, content writing, and admin support, can easily be done by people seeking freelance jobs — just make sure to use a quality jobs board. Other, more complex tasks, like designing a marketing strategy and in-depth SEO, are best done by a professional agency like Baytech Companies. There are also many tasks that can easily be automated with the right software, such as email marketing, social media planning, or inventory management.
More and more people are shopping online these days, and more and more people are willing to shop around to find what they want. This not only means that there is a huge demand for e-commerce businesses, but they also shouldn’t be intimidated by the bigger players in their industries. With the right strategies and approach, your target audience will find you.
The digital marketing world is in constant flux, which makes keeping up with the latest trends a big challenge. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top digital marketing trends you actually need to know in 2019. We’ve also asked select industry experts to give their two cents on the matter as well. You will want to read this whether you do SEO for medical professionals, web design or work exclusively with social ads.
High-Quality, Creative ContentContent has long been the backbone of good digital marketing and SEO strategies. That may change one day, but not in 2019. The biggest difference in the new year is that there will be an increasing emphasis on nuance in content, meaning that next year’s content is going to be more sophisticated and targeted towards specific markets.
“Hands down the best strategy for SEO in 2019 is to always focus your content with the reader in mind. What is most valuable for them, easy to find on your site and clear and concise. Sure the technical component matters, but great content trumps everything,” said Cinnamon Wolfe, Photo Editor and Business Coach.
Not only will quality content attract and engage your target audiences, but it will create valuable backlinks and SEO juice to keep those leads coming. Ronald Dod, CMO and co-founder of Visiture, pointed to the importance of content for the eCommerce industry.
“We see more and more eCommerce merchants using content marketing to drive high-quality backlinks, rank for research intent keyword phrases, and help drive customer acquisition through content marketing. This may seem simple to the majority of SEO practitioners but for eCommerce merchants using content marketing is fairly difficult to execute in my professional opinion,” said Dod.
Modern Video ContentIt’s been said before, but we’ll say it again: strong video content is a digital marketing must. About 73% of all Americans engage with YouTube, and platforms like Facebook and Instagram have become popular mediums for showcasing video content, too. Consumers love getting information through engaging videos, and video digital marketing is an effective way to rank on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) in the face of paid ads, as Eric Kronthal, President and Founder of periscopeUP, notes.
“Unfortunately we’re likely to see further depletion of organic results on Google in 2019. Just getting to the bottom of page one of Google’s results simply isn’t enough. SEOs must dominate the SERP’s top positions, earn visibility in enhanced results (snippets, answer boxes), optimize for other results in images, maps and video, and look to additional platforms like Amazon,” said Kronthal.
Video content, including the relatively new trend of live streaming, is also the perfect opportunity to reach your intended audiences. When you create personal and relatable content, consumers will be able to build a connection to your brand. Better yet, localize your video content in the new year.
“Businesses that buy into creating a highly-localized and personable experience will reap the benefits in 2019. Think less about what you do and more about the value and convenience you provide and optimize for,” advises Sean Bucher, Director of SEO at Rocket Media.
Innovative Link Building StrategiesEffective link-building can still jumpstart an SEO campaign and it will continue to have a strong impact in 2019. In the next year, be prepared to see more focused strategies for link-building, such as selectively building links to high-quality websites. Google knows the difference between a low-quality link and a high-authority link, and 2019 will be the year for you to know it too — if you don’t already.
“Google warned two years ago that low quality links will not benefit you, and that you are indeed wasting your money if you are using third and fourth-class article portals. To do it properly, you want to focus on gaining links from niche appropriate websites with real traffic. Investing the time to earn links of greater quality will serve your campaign in the longterm, even if you ultimately gain fewer links overall,” advises Airto Zamorano, Founder and CEO of Numana SEO.
As backlinks become a bigger focus, so do the most effective ways of getting those backlinks. Jordan Whelan of My SEO Sucks emphasizes the importance of generating click-through traffic, which will in turn boost your credibility to search engines.
“Going into 2019, our agency has noticed the value of quality over quantity when it comes to backlinks. PR firms will continue to dissolve in their traditional capacity as clients prioritize online hits over broadcast mentions. Guest posting will be the highest priority as it often allows customization of the anchor text which is understandably powerful,” said Whelan.
Seamless User ExperienceAs the new year turns its focus on what consumers are looking for, digital marketing agencies and small businesses will want to turn their attention to the usability of their website. Visitors take just a few seconds to judge a company’s website and if your’s doesn’t impress, they’ll be on to your competitors in a heartbeat.
“Google’s latest algorithm and change in focus now favors websites that provide actual value for the readers rather than just content optimized for search engine rankings,” says Keyan Taji, from Approach SEO.
Google has also made the change to mobile-first indexing, meaning that any company that wants to rank on Google needs to optimize their mobile sites. Consumers are using their smartphones more than ever to look up their every need through text and voice search. If your website isn’t suited for a mobile platform, it won’t cut it for the modern consumer. As Brad Bator from Speed Insight Designs tells us, speed is also a consumer’s main priority.
“If your website doesn’t load within 3 seconds, you can lose up to 30% of your customers! Search engines are boosting websites that load fast, which gives you an easy ranking opportunity if you improve your loading times. Plus, it will give your users a better experience, leading to repeat customers and more sales,” said Bator.
Expertise In The Google AlgorithmAs Taji mentioned in the last point, any changes to the Google algorithm have major implications for you and your clients. A well-crafted and keyword-packed page can be in the number one spot one day and on page five the next. In fact, entire business models can rise and fall with shifts in Google’s search algorithm. Having the know-how to navigate these changes is going to be essential in the next year for consistently high-ranking pages. Jim Turner of Pro Agent Solutions knows this to be true for his real estate clients and for the business community at large.
“To get on the first page of search results, brokers will need a strong partner who understands the changes to the Google search algorithm and also understands newer and more sophisticated techniques to get you visibility with your ideal customer profiles and get leads,” said Turner.
As you get ready to celebrate the new year and all of the joys it will bring, get ready to fortify your digital marketing strategies as well. The key to seeing success in 2019 will be staying on top of the constantly changing trends and not getting attached to any one strategy. Clifton Parker, Creative Director at Ellev Advertising Agency, sums it all up perfectly.
“2019 has been a year of changes, just as 2018 was. So the best strategy for SEO or any other type of marketing or advertising, is to be flexible and adaptable with any changes or trends,” said Parker.
How to Create an Effective Brand Identity Design: Tips from Professional Designers
Brand Identity Design - Oh so you’ve finally decided to quit your permanent job and start your own venture?
That’s exciting news. Now that you want to focus all your energy into your startup, let’s make one thing clear. The success of your startup depends on your brand identity design. It can either make or break your company.
Therefore, it is important that before even diving into the process of launching your business, you should carry out in-depth market research on how to design the perfect logo for your company.
Mind you, a good Brand Identity Design defines your business niche, and it lets the audience know about the nature and mission of your business. So, it’s worth your time to pay attention to the tips below by professional graphic designers.
Let's swoop in folks!
1. Study your brand thoroughly You might think your job is done after you hire a professional logo designer, unfortunately, that's just the beginning of a crazy ride. So hop on, grip tightly, oh not to the designer, but your business brand.
First off study your business mission statement. Understand what is the message that you want to give out to the world. Remember, customers will only feel attracted to a company that is vocal about their purpose and gives out a clear sign of professionalism.
You can do this through taglines, pictures/videos, the spectrum of colors that define your company, recognizable logo design, and appropriate brand voice.
For example, Nike, a leading sports brand’s mission statement is to encourage their target audience to take risks. Thus, their logo a swoosh aka checkmark with the tagline that says, “ Just do it”, make sense to their audience.
So make sure your logo design clearly represents your mission statement.
Your task doesn’t end there. You also have to look out for your brand's personality. For example, some brands exude bold and sizzling personas, their logos often reflect shades of reds and oranges mainly because that’s what these colors psychologically communicate. Whereas, other brand personas are gentle and soothing in nature, wear light and pastel colors, such as spa or massage salon logo designs.
2. Focus on Your Niche A brand cannot function without defining their niche. You can’t be jack of all cards. You must have a target audience, or else you’ll lose focus in a few months of launching the venture.
Sounds absurd but that’s reality for you.
Figure your niche and incorporate it with the logo of your brand. But before that, list down your competitors’. Look at their logos, brand designs and ways of branding. Observe their uniqueness and note down all the stellar points.
Now start designing your own logo keeping your competitors’ branding in mind and the market you want to target.
Make sure you don’t copy your competitors’ brand designs, just take inspirations from them. Create a logo that is unique and highly captivating, that resonates with your company at a single glance.
For the next tips, click read more!
Photo courtesy of Burst
As any entrepreneur could tell you, the business world moves quickly. In a fast-paced, tech-driven world, investing in the right technology can set your company up for success. Some small business owners worry that the latest tech will be too expensive. However, that’s not always the case. Some technologies are well worth the cost when you consider the end result, and others are mandatory investments to keep your business safe and legal.
Here are some tech investments that could save your business time, effort, and money in the long run:
Today, digital marketing is a major component of any successful marketing campaign. Consumers and businesses spend an enormous amount of time online, so it's important to have a marketing plan to connect with them in this arena. So with numerous digital marketing tools available, how do you choose the most effective ones for your business? No matter what type of business you have, the marketing tools below will be extremely beneficial to your company.
Message Match Your Domain Name
The number one rule of opening a brick-and-mortar business is "location, location, location," and your website is no different. Experts agree that an easy-to-remember domain name is critical for the success of your online presence. Just like the outside of a traditional business, your domain name is the first thing customers will see. A name that is not precise, or does not relate, can make a bad first impression and turn customers away. A concise domain name with specific keywords is also critical for search engine optimization (SEO) and brand-name recognition. Your domain name should also be easy to read, type, and pronounce. It is important to avoid hyphens and numbers. When creating your name, think long-term because your name will define your company for the present and future.
Choose the Right Hosting Platform
Choosing the right hosting platform can make or break your business. WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Shopify are all easy to use and require no special skills to start and manage your site. You simply register for an account, and the technical skills are handles for you. Wix is considered the best website builder, but its vast selection can be overwhelming. Also, your website theme can't be changed once you publish it. Squarespace is ideal for creative businesses and has beautiful templates. The drawbacks are the platform can be difficult to use at first and the plans can be expensive. WordPress has unlimited customization and access to a wide variety of third-party plug-ins. The cons are that coding skills are required and you have to set up your own web hosting. Shopify is considered the top e-commerce platform and allows multi-channel selling on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. The drawbacks are that monthly fees can be expensive with apps, and transaction fees are charged for alternative payment methods. While doing it yourself can save you money, it can be very time consuming and requires coding knowledge. A professional designer will simplify the website-building process.
Content is King
It is important to remember that quality content always starts with the reader. Your goal is to add content to your site that will benefit your customers and your company. The key is to keep their attention and keep them coming back for more. When delivering content, Google evaluates expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness, or E-A-T. Simply stuffing your content with keywords in hopes of high rankings can do more harm than good. You can get ideas for content based on your industry, customer feedback, by monitoring customer behavior or doing research. Ideas include checklists, how-to articles, buying guides, and listicles. Your most important attention-grabbing content should be placed at the top of your page (above the fold) to ensure that customers will read it and hopefully scroll down for more.
Starting a social media marketing plan can be overwhelming for a small business, but it is a crucial tool for businesses of all sizes. The majority of people use social media, and it's one of the best ways to connect with current and potential customers. Before you jump into social media marketing, it is important to have a plan and to define your audience. Two of the best ways to attract customers through social media is by paid advertisements and quality content.
Keyword research is very important in any search marketing campaign. Monitoring and adding keywords to your content has numerous benefits, including driving more traffic to your website and giving you a better understanding of marketing conditions. Basic keyword research involves checking out the competition and using keyword research tools. Many of these are inexpensive or free.
Remarketing involves advertising to people you have established connections with. This could be people from your social media sites, email database, or visitors to your website. This is a great way to gain new customers.
When you ask people to sign up for things such as newsletters or bulletins, it is important to thank them immediately to show them that they are valued. It can also help build a trusting relationship, which can lead to new customers.
The digital marketing tools above are critical to the success of businesses of all sizes. They will help improve branding, drive more traffic to your site, and build relationships with your customers.
Good SEO Begets Good SEO
Getting started with SEO can be slow, but good SEO eventually creates a cycle that reinforces itself. When your website rank improves, more visitors will find your pages in search results. With more visitors arriving at and staying on your pages, you will rank higher. With high rank and wider exposure to your high-value content, more sites will link to your pages. This increases your domain authority and credibility, which further improves your website rank. And so on.
SEO Bolsters Your Business Reputation
Getting to the first page can give you a sense of accomplishment (and maybe even power), but it does more than that. Potential customers trust companies that rank high in Google searches. If a customer can’t find a business on the first page of Google, they usually think there is something wrong with the business. SEO boosts your ranking in search engines, as well as your reputation as a credible source, keeping you at the forefront of the minds of your target audience.
SEO Makes Other Businesses Take Notice
Customers aren’t the only ones who notice when you rank on the first page in Google searches. Other businesses do too. If your content is good enough, you just might get backlinks to your pages from other complementary businesses—furthering your exposure and increasing your brand awareness.
It’s easy to get referrals from customers who already know about your business. But there’s something better than that: referrals from other businesses who have customers of their own! The bigger the referrer, the bigger the buzz about your business!
SEO Rewards Hard Work
You put a lot of work into your small business, especially in producing content. Get that content out there and amplifying your marketing efforts through SEO! The better your SEO, the more traffic to your website and the more data you have to show for your hard work. It’s rewarding to see how your optimization efforts are working.
SEO Equips You for Further Improvement
The more of your target audience you can get to your website, the more meaningful data you will have to work with. Key insights (such as which pages get the most visits, which calls to action are most effective, which landing pages convert highest, and the demographics of your visitors) will inform your content strategy moving forward and help you to refine your marketing efforts down to only those that are worth your time. SEO helps drive visitors to your website that will help you to continuously improve.
Considering SEO Help For Your Small Business?
SEO leads to sustained results and is incredibly rewarding, but it is one of those jobs that need to be done right. It can be difficult, as a small business owner, to find the time to put these tactics into place, let alone figure out what those tactics are to begin with. In this case, it may be best to get professional help to ensure you reap all of the benefits SEO has to offer. In this section, we’re going to teach you how to find, vet, and hire a professional SEO service provider for your small business.
Benefits of Professional SEO Help
As the world of online business continues to grow, so too will the competitive landscape, making SEO more important than ever. Below, we’ve outlined some of the top benefits professional SEO services can provide, particularly to small business owners.
1. Save Time
Because SEO is so in-depth and in a constant state of change, it can quickly become a second full-time job, which you simply don’t have time for. This is where professional SEO services come into the picture. By hiring an SEO service provider, you no longer have to worry about reading article after article covering Google’s most recent update. That means you have more time to focus on the crucial aspects of your business that keep everything moving smoothly.
2. Fast-Track Better Results
Just because you think your website is perfect in every way doesn’t mean that’s the case. Hiring a professional SEO service provider will provide you with an objective second set of eyes that can quickly identify what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. Rather than having to learn to the hard way all by yourself over the course of months or years, SEO service providers can identify and correct problems quickly.
Once your website has been cleaned up and all critical issues corrected, the results should begin speaking for themselves.
3. Tools & Knowledge
Professional SEO service providers are equipped with expert-level knowledge and cutting-edge tools. Together, these give SEO professionals a unique edge when analyzing your website for various factors that affect your overall ranking ability. On the other hand, if you decided to take this on all by yourself, you would not only have to purchase each of the tools and service subscriptions, but you’d also have to learn how to get the most out of each.
Save yourself the headache and time by letting an SEO professional do all of this for you.
While they will do the legwork for you, a good SEO service provider will keep you informed. You will gain knowledge and perhaps even obtain tools to carry out SEO practices on your own and make informed decisions in the future.
What to Look For in an SEO Service Provider
When starting your search for the perfect SEO agency, it can be overwhelming. To help you navigate the hundreds of companies that all claim to be the “best”, we’ve compiled a short list of key considerations.
1. Don’t Always Trust the #1 Ranked Agency
Sure, you could make the argument that they must really know what they’re doing since they made it to the first spot, but in doing so, you also run the risk of passing over the true top performers. Professional SEO service providers that are genuinely awesome at what they do don’t need to spend time ranking for highly competitive keywords. The bulk of their business comes from referrals and they’re always in high demand, regardless of where they rank in search engines.
2. Let Reviews & References do the Talking
Companies that like to brag about their SEO skills and the “secret sauce” without having reviews and references to back it up should be avoided. Top performing SEO agencies will have a laundry list of testimonials, detailed reviews, and references that are happy to share their experience. These are the companies you want to be adding to your shortlist.
3. See if They Specialize in Anything
As attractive as it may seem to go with the company that does it all, you’ll find your money is best spent on an agency that specializes in a particular industry or service. Trying to be the best at everything SEO related is a tall order that very few can deliver on. Really dig into the service providers your considering and see if they have the expertise that applies directly to your industry or problem areas.
How Do I SEO My Website?SEO is about aligning your website with search engines. You both have the same goal: to provide valuable information to searchers when they need it. While the ultimate goal of SEO is to increase organic traffic to your website, the actions you take to achieve that occur both on and off of your website.
On-page SEO efforts are geared at the “crawlability” and usability of the pages on your website. They involve the parts of your website that get seen by the public and get read by search engines. On-page SEO has to do with:
• Page Content: Its relevance to the keywords it’s targeting, the quality of the content, its usefulness to users
• Page Experience: How engaging is the page, does it get readers to stay and click to other pages, is it intuitive
• Page Structure: Title tags, headers, image tags, meta descriptions are all complete and contain keywords you are targeting
Off-page SEO factors involve the backend elements that play into the experience of your webpages. They include
• Site performance: URL structure, internal links, load speed, responsiveness (renders and functions on any device or screen size)
• Backlinks: Links to your site from other trusted sites
• Domain authority: How long your website has been around, how trusted it is by Google
SEO isn’t a single tool or process. It’s not a series of tricks (like keyword stuffing) or secrets (like link trading) you can use to fool search engines. It’s also not a series of shortcuts that allow you to buy your way to the top of the search results. As search engines become more sophisticated, they get better at returning real results instead of low-quality articles stuffed with keywords or supported by cheap backlinks.
Search engines now actually penalize these techniques and reward content that is truly geared for helping users.
None of these tactics will achieve sustainable results and all of them will hurt your trustworthiness to both Google and its users. For more specific help with improving your SEO, check out this page: How to Improve SEO: Tips for Ranking on Google.
How Does SEO Help My Business?
Still not sure if you want to make the investment into SEO? Many small business owners do not think that SEO strategies apply to them. Either they see it as too complicated, or they think their brick-and-mortar business can’t benefit from search engines. Both are untrue. SEO is essential to local businesses and a marketing strategy well worth your time.
- Improves Visibility
Consumers rely on search engines to get answers to questions, learn more about products and services, and to find and compare businesses. Even if a customer is already familiar with your business name, they are likely to type that into a search box rather than type your domain into the address bar. At the very least, then, you’ll want to make sure searchers can find your site when they’re looking for you.
- Increases Website Traffic
If you provide valuable information and make it easy for search engines to find and organize it, they will reward you with higher rankings. This increased exposure means more visitors to your pages.
-Generates Qualified Leads
SEO is a great targeting tool. Since search engines return results to users who are actively searching for a particular term or phrase, getting to the top of that stack means you’re providing information to the people who want it most, when they want it. This means that the people arriving at your site through search are interested in buying and more likely to convert.
Is Free Advertising
Unlike paid methods, you aren’t paying to get information in front of people who might not be interested at the time. You are connecting your business with an active audience who is searching for what you have to offer. It’s free advertising on Google and beyond!
Ultimately Leads to More Clients
Improving your SEO allows your business to get found online by potential customers, which increases qualified traffic to your website and to your store. The more qualified traffic you’re getting, the more leads you can convert into customers. In addition, Google search results nowadays also enable consumers to engage with businesses directly from the results pages, making engagement and conversion even more seamless.
Need help with your SEO? Let us know and we can explain what and how you can achieve your online lead generation goals!
Everyone that is serious about growing their business and establishing themselves as a top brand is today actively involved in search engine optimization. For enterprises that have always thought that having a website was reason enough to boast of their online presence, a wake-up call was long sounded. Numbers do not lie, and for top-rated sites, it is a whole new level of operation that they would do anything to maintain as they grow their market supremacy. Nonetheless, it has never been a better time to tap to what has proven to be more than a promise but a dream that can be lived by any enterprise.
All suggestions and questions as to whether search engine optimization is dead are misinterpreted facts which simply fail to acknowledge the fact that the marketing technique has tremendously advanced. One of the primary reasons why SEO is not dead is because every day there are more and more internet users who are after quality content. Search engines are built to work for the favor of the billions of active internet users who rely on the platforms for instant access to information. This translates to the reality that no business can ever hide from that quality content rules and is the most efficient way to attaining their marketing goals.
In the past, SEO was all about desktop websites as it was the one place where everyone would go when looking for a product, service, or objective information. Times have changed, and today the primary mode of accessing the internet is through smartphones which account for an average of 69% of the total time spent online. Essentially this means that a company that has mobile abilities will automatically gain a competitive advantage as they have direct access to the largest and most active market segment.
To avoid locking out such a massive percentage of the market, any business that is thinking about search engine optimization must equally include in their plans having a mobile-friendly website. Back to facts backed by statistics, another factor why embracing the change is fundamental is that no visitor will have second thoughts when it comes avoiding a website that will not load in a smartphone. This decision is made instantly, and within a couple of seconds as page-speed ranks as the determining factor for anyone browsing the internet. If the immediate competitor has taken the right measures in having a mobile-optimized site, it requires no magic to know where all those prospective clients would all be going to each time.
At a time when mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches, the only one on the losing end is a business that fails to keep up with the current trends. Search engine algorithms have also been upgraded to take to account mobile optimization as one of the factors that determine the ranking on the search engine result pages. Google’s mobile-first indexing is a game-changer which is rightfully intended to ensure that all visitors to the platform have a smooth experience regardless of the device used. Once all the steps are taken to give all visitors a platform is practical, search engine optimization gets to have the impacts desired.
For any business looking to get found online, SEO is crucial, and let’s face it, if you’re not looking to get found online, you’re not looking to get found at all. The digital world is where your customers are, and it is there that you need to stand out to them and stand apart from competitors.
Many small business owners feel they don’t need SEO because they obtain most of their business through word of mouth referrals. Although word of mouth marketing is an effective way to bring in business and build up your reputation, it’s not a scalable way to grow your business. Search engine optimization, on the other hand, is.
Read on to understand more about why it’s so important, how it works, and how it helps small businesses like yours.
What is SEO?
Many business owners see search engine optimization (SEO) as a mystery, an enigma that only those with inside knowledge can solve. The truth is, SEO is an important part of any marketing strategy, and it doesn’t have to be complicated.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a combination of efforts put into place to help search engines like Google find and trust your business website, organize the information you’re publishing, and present it to users searching for it.
Even though you are optimizing for search engines, search engines build their ranking algorithms around user behavior, so at the end of the day, you are optimizing for end users as well.
One of the most common ways to find information on the internet is to use a search engine. Users will enter a search term or question (also known as a keyword) into Google. Then, using a complex algorithm, Google will return what it has identified are the most appropriate and useful results.
This is different than browsing a news site or scrolling through social media looking for information. Googlers are actively looking for a specific answer or doing consumer research, which you should keep in mind when creating your website content.
The search engines (i.e. Google) people use to find information are essential because they return prioritized results for users. Google’s “spiders” are constantly crawling the web, recording everything they find in a database (or index). When you perform a search, Google is actually returning results from its index rather than the live internet.
The important thing to remember is that all search engines use specific criteria for ranking results. They look at factors like keyword density and meta tags to understand what your pages are about. Also, they keep track of which pages are linking to your content, and they use that information (along with other factors) to determine what page has the most authority.
In order for your potential customers to find you via a Google search, you need to rank high on Google; particularly, on the first page; ideally, in the top few results. That’s why you need to optimize your content for search engines. Hence the term “search engine optimization.”
SEO can be complex and takes time, but the key takeaway so far is that if you want to rank your business higher on Google, you need to make sure that:
• Search engines can find you
• They can tell what your web pages are about
• They believe your page/site has authority and credibility for the content you’re promoting
At Nielsen’s Consumer 360 Conference, speakers and attendees discussed the attributes, inclinations, and behaviors various consumer groups in the U.S. In a session titled “Marketing that Matters,” three unique consumer groups were identified and analyzed to provide a fresh perspective on the opportunities these segments represent for marketers.
BABY BOOMERSBaby Boomers—Americans born between 1946 and 1964—number 80 million, and have long been the most marketing-friendly consumers in the country’s history. Their sheer number has amplified their impact and transformed every product category they have embraced. Today, boomers are rapidly growing out of the 18-49 cohort -- long thought to be a sweet spot for marketers -- but this generation is simply too big, valuable, and important for marketers to revert to the traditional “cut-off” at age 49.
Instead, they remain important as ever to the success of marketers and brands. Today, the 50+ age group consists of almost 100 million consumers, and by 2030, it will grow another 34 percent.
Today, boomers account for nearly $230 billion in sales for consumer packaged goods (about half of total sales), and in five years, they will control a full 70 percent disposable income in the U.S. They will continue to dominate spending, yet advertising dollars are being funneled elsewhere.
“Whatever the reasons for this divide, it’s a missed opportunity,” said Beth Brady, Nielsen’s leader for marketing effectiveness.
MEDIA MOMS Today’s moms in America direct most of American family spending, but are harder to reach via media and marketing than in decades past.
Moms with children under six watch less TV overall than the general population, but fit in their favorite programs by watching two more hours of time-shifted TV per month than the adult population generally. But mom is clearly not a couch potato; she’s often multitasking while consuming TV content. On any given day, 67 percent of moms use the internet while watching TV simultaneously.
With busy lives, it’s no surprise that moms are early tech adopters, always open to new technology that may make them more efficient. Tablets are quickly becoming one of mom’s favorite media devices. About a quarter of moms with tablets use them while watching TV several times a week.
Smartphones, meanwhile, still play a big role in many aspects of moms’ lives, and they are quickly becoming an important venue for moms and their shopping. More than 20 percent of moms with children are experimenting with mobile shopping.
“These moms are showing a propensity to engage in commerce-related activity on their phones, whether price-checking, searching, or pure financial transactions,” said Jessica Hogue, a senior vice president of client solutions at Nielsen.
POLARIZED CONSUMERS Much attention of late has been paid to increasing income disparity in the United States. Lower income consumers—those who earn less than $30,000 per year—are a growing segment and now represent about 30 percent of the country’s population. While these consumers, not shockingly, spend less overall than average, they collectively represent a big part of the country’s total spend and are expected to grow in the future.
This segment of consumers engages with media across all screens. In fact, they spend more time online than other income groups, averaging more than nine hours a month on Facebook and streaming more online video than other consumers as well. Lower income consumers also watch more TV than other consumers and are particularly accessible via daytime television.
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