Google search engine optimization (SEO) for your business website.

Do I Need SEO?

10 years ago, digital marketing wasn’t really a thing.

Phone books and directories were. I’m from a town where they (still!) have the business directory placemats in the local diner. If your business wasn’t listed in the phonebook, how would they find you? Not only listed, but listed in the right area of the yellow pages, so that when people are looking for a specific product or solution, they find you.

Enter the internet revolution and information age.

We have a new phone book. Want to know what it is? Search engines.

That’s right. Search engines are THE place people go for information. Right around 80-90% of people search for product reviews before they make a purchase, and that’s only expected to increase. They are the new and improved Yellowpages that offer more information than just the phone number and address.

And the searcher expects that information.

But they don’t just expect it; they want it. They want to know your why. They want to know the reason you do what you do. They want to understand who they’re buying from and how it works. They want as much information as possible, and if your competitor is optimizing their web presence and digital marketing campaign with all the information they are looking for, you’ve probably already lost them without even knowing they were interested.

Don’t think of SEO as optimizing for the search engine (even though that’s part of it). Follow Google’s rules, but do everything through the lens of your user. SEO is becoming SEUO. Search engine-User optimization.

So I’ll pose the question this way: Do you need a consistent, robust SEO campaign?

Yes.

Think of it this way…SEO is like the oil to the engine of digital marketing. Your website, social media, advertising and content are all important in and of themselves. They are the pistons to the digital marketing engine, but they won’t function properly without putting time and energy into SEO.

SEO is a simple enough concept to understand. People use keywords to search for entertainment, information, and solutions to their problems. So if you are offering something, or a solution to their problem, you should make sure that when they type their question in their browser search bar, they can find you.

And that’s where a lot of people stop. But that’s just like putting 2 quarts of oil in your car. It just isn’t enough.

If you put money into PPC (Pay Per Click), and not SEO, then your PPC campaign will be more expensive for you because Google gives preferential treatment to sites that are authoritative and relevant.

If you invest in a nice, fancy website that looks amazing, but don’t optimize it, either no one will find you, or the right people will have a harder time finding you.

If you are consistently on social media, but your posts link to a low quality site that people immediately click off, it will hurt your rankings and branding.

Everything functions better when you put time and effort into SEO.

Here are some tips.

  • Don’t optimize to be number 1 on Google. Optimize to be the most relevant and authoritative business in your field for your user. Google is giving more and more preference to user experience and user behavior, and it would be unwise to try to follow all of Google’s rules and pay more attention to them than your customers.
  • Don’t skimp out. SEO is one of those things where if you don’t put enough resources into it, it just won’t work the way you need it to. You must spend money to make money in this scenario, and the threshold is different for every business depending on a few different factors, the key ones being: keywords, the geography in which you’re competing, and the competitive atmosphere for those keywords.
  • Your off page SEO is only as good as your on-page. There’s no point in putting money into being found if your website isn’t working in your favor. Broken links, title and meta tags, page speed and other factors need to be fixed first to keep from being penalized on all search engines.
  • SEO is a long term investment. If you do a great job of on-page work at the beginning you will see a significant jump in your rankings, but a good campaign takes time. You’re in it for the long haul, so aim to look at it through that lens.

Just like oil for your car, SEO is fluid and needs to constantly be reviewed and adjusted for your website performance. Never think for a second once you’ve achieve a high ranking that you can cut off all optimization and stay at that spot. Your competition is breathing down your neck, your user’s behavior is changing, and your market and industry is always changing, but SEO will help you stay on top of that by remaining relevant online.

social media marketing campaign

Be Social For The Holidays

Just because you don’t think social media will work to your benefit over the holidays, doesn’t mean that’s true. Be the first in your industry to market this way, and you’ll be the one that’s set apart, and set ahead. Don’t be mislead to believe that people have their minds on other things this time of the year. They are geared up for shopping, and now is your chance to enter that conversation.

Don’t say Christmas. Say, Holidays.

To err on the side of caution, it’s best practices to avoid labeling the holiday break as “Christmas” or any other religious holiday unless your business is targeting a specific group of people and is religiously affiliated. Using the term “holidays” also encompasses the start of the new year!

Who is your audience’s audience?

Every post should be crafted for the most engagement possible, which means likes and shares. What does your audience think of as relevant information that they’ll want to share with their followers? Consider these questions when before posting:

    1. Will this post stop my audience’s thumb from scrolling?
    2. Will they want to like and share this post?
    3. Will this post fit in with the context of my follower’s pages? Does it fit into the content they like to share and post, while also standing out?
    4. Does it offer useful content?

Get emotional, and tell your story.

The holidays are a fuzzy-wuzzy lovey gooey shmoopy so-sentimental-I’m-going-to-puke time of year. Cash in on this! Everyone loves a good story, everyone ESPECIALLY loves a good story during the holidays. This is a great time of year to start posting about your behind the scenes moments. Talk about your employees, the history of your company, or any other tidbits that will pull at our little heart strings. Get cozy, tell us about your deepest dreams and wishes, tell us about something (or someone) you love.

  1. Think about how to connect and facilitate conversation with your users. Utilizing user-generated content, and giving your clients/customers heart-felt shout outs will help spread the warm fuzzies. The best part is, those warm fuzzies will be associated with you and your brand.
  2. Use unique visuals to make your posts stand out. We’re telling you this all the time: People aren’t attracted to text. Posts with a picture or video aren’t even worth comparing to text posts, because they will ALWAYS outperform. Think about how to contribute images that fit into the context of the season, yet stand out to your users.
  3. Consider promoting a holiday offer for your customers. It is very easy to customize a discount, sale, freebie, or other type of offer on Facebook. Feel free to reach out to us for more help on this if needed.

For more information on how to post for the most engagement during the holidays, or for other digital marketing answers feel free to reach out to us at SWELL!

holiday marketing campaign

The Last-Minute Marketing Campaign for the Holidays

The tricks have been treated, the turkeys have been stuffed (as well as eaten), and Black Friday and Cyber Monday have already passed. The Holiday season is in full swing as we begin December and approach the end of the year. It’s the busiest time of the year for both consumers and producers, and marketers everywhere are chomping at the bit to see what holiday campaigns are paying dividends this year.

Social Media Accounts

If you don’t have any company social media accounts then this is the year to give your company a gift that keeps on giving. There are 2.3 billion active social media users, and that is growing by 10% each year. If you missed out on a social media marketing campaign this holiday season it’s not the end of the world. There is plenty of time to begin strategizing for next year’s season spike. Christmas shopping begins as early as the middle of August, which gives you plenty of time to build strong social media content.

Create Quality Content

Creating good content is like driving with a blindfold on if you don’t have the right target market. Knowing whom you are trying to target and how your content will reach them is a crucial step to take when trying to reach your holiday goals.

Target Your Buying Audience

If you hadn’t guessed it, Millennials hold most of the buying power nowadays and their presence on social media is higher than ever.

52% of people not only buy gifts for others but also themselves, according to a Facebook study that surveyed 21,000 people 18 years or older in 17 different countries. With that being said you need to realize that the goal of a Holiday marketing plan is not only for them to purchase something, but also for them to come back as repeat customers.

A few ways to light up your website and social media pages are to give it a festive holiday feel. This doesn’t mean posting pictures of cute puppies wearing antlers every week, but you should establish a holiday theme that is welcoming and easy to maneuver through, creating a great personal experience for customers.

Plan Ahead

Planning is something you should be doing months in advance. You should have a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish during the holiday season. The best way to avoid problems is to schedule campaign activities months in advance so you are prepared to act on the activities when the appropriate time comes. Research is an important factor in creating success, and knowing when to feature top sellers and gift suggestions can really make a difference in your campaign.

Always remember, some marketing is better than no marketing. Don’t be afraid to scrounge up a last minute campaign that draws in some customers that you can retain for the future. Set up a retention system so you can keep in touch with customers throughout the duration of the year. Which will give you a better start for next year’s campaign already.

Step out of your comfort zone; use some humor and interesting tidbits about your company to draw in those customers. Have fun with your campaign and continue to learn what tactics do and do not work for your company. Implementing these strategies during the holiday season will soon result in every day being a holiday!