How to Integrate Social Media PR With Your Marketing Campaign

By | Destin SEO | No Comments

If you’re running a business and hoping to maintain a strong online presence, then you need to realize that the online marketing aspect of your business needs to be taken care of the way an athlete takes care of his body.

To continue the analogy, know that the various aspects of online marketing act as the nutrients that help your business stay in shape in the digital world.

Remember that the black hat SEO days are long gone. Expert SEOs know that content marketing and social SEO are now the keys to ensuring a healthy online presence for your business. Content serves to establish your reputation as an expert in the field whereas social SEO serves as your PR tool for building relationships with your target market.

So, why should you focus on Social PR?

When you consider the fact that about 70% of those who use social networking to do most of their shopping online. Additionally, more than half of all social networks follow a select number of brands and there are more than 2 billion people spending time on social networks each day.

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Content marketing and social SEO are now essential parts of an effective online marketing campaign.

So, how exactly do you make sure you can take advantage of social PR for digital marketing in the year 2013? Here are some Do’s and Don’ts of social PR you may want to bear in mind:

Dos:

  • Get into your target customers’ social newsfeed. Remember that the more they see you, the more they remember your brand. It may be safe to say that Facebook is the biggest thing in social media today. While you could easily appear on newsfeeds by paying a certain amount, there are a number of creative ways for you to achieve the same visibility without having to pay. Some of the most effective tactics include:
    • Use attention grabbing images and videos in your posts, most people interact with image/video related posts more than links or text-based posts.
    • Schedule your posts during time slots when your target customers are likely to be online.
    • Nothing works like good old-fashioned humor to attract your customer’s attention.
    • Appealing to people’s personal experiences also works well. For example, posts that remind people of shared childhood experiences tend to get good traction.
    • Link your posts to current events, if it makes sense for your business. For example, an online clothing store can create posts about an ongoing fashion week.
    • Post coupons, giveaways to links to free downloads of your information products.
  • Learn what your target market wants and then give it to them. It doesn’t even have to be directly related to your business. Let’s say, for example, you learn that your target market generally enjoys cartoon memes. You could post a new meme on your Facebook page each day and alternate the message of the cartoon between something related to your business and something that’s not. This can effectively help you connect with your market and show them you know how to have fun.
  • Start curating content. This essentially involves putting together great posts from different high authority sites, adding your own commentary to it and creating quick yet engaging content for your site.  So, not only do you end up saving time, you also give your site’s SEO and credibility a boost. Here’s a Forbes article that lists the benefits of curated posts in detail.
  • Encourage Google searches for your brand name. This, however, would involve some offline efforts like advertisements, organizing local event, etc. Of course to ensure that your company URL figures prominently in brand searches, make sure you create enough branded anchor texts in your link profile.

Don’ts

  • Never ignore local SEO opportunities. You need to understand that when people search for things online, they’re more likely to look for those that are within or near their locality. Another thing you need to take note of is the fact that Google now puts a lot of stock on localized searches. This is why it’s important for you to turn your attention towards local opportunities as well. This means making sure, you create a Google Places listing, among other things. Establishing your presence on local business directories and social networks like Four Square, goes without saying.
  • Don’t focus on Google too much. Remember that there are other venues for online marketing and where social PR is concerned, you’re probably better off focusing your efforts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and industry-specific social media sites. Consider this: People send more than 100,000 tweets and upload about 48 hours worth of video to YouTube each day. If that’s not reason enough for you to turn your attention to these sites aside from Google, then I don’t know what is!

social-networking-sites Social networking sites are now among the best venues for online marketing.

By now, you probably understand that social media has significantly changed the way the online marketing game is played. You now need to learn how to effectively combine effective SEO practices with the best techniques in social PR. If you’re a social PR expert, then you’ll need to learn how to think like a marketing expert so you can be sure your social PR strategies will indeed help your business maintain a strong presence online.

This means gaining an understanding of market research, conversion rates, survey data, clickthroughs, web metrics, and other aspects of online marketing. Of course, you’ll have to become well-versed in SEO as well.

Conversely, a marketing expert will have to learn how to think like a PR expert as well. Success in online marketing depends largely on your ability to connect with your target audience and establish a relationship of mutual trust with them. You’ll have to learn how to tell stories and touch people’s emotions so you can gain their trust. People are so worried about getting scammed these days that they’re likely to open their wallets only for businesses they trust completely.

This is why many people working in digital marketing now believe that the best way to sell is not to sell, but to focus on building a strong bond of loyalty with your target market. Don’t let your business get left behind. Take heed of the above tips and start looking forward to becoming more competitive in the digital marketing arena 2013.

If you’re a business needing assistance with Social Media Marketing, Web Design or SEO the Experts at Panhandle Website Design can assist you!

Panhandle Website Design offers Web Design Services and SEO Services to Businesses in Destin, Navarre, Pensacola, Crestview, Niceville, Fort Walton Beach and Sandestin.

<<<Contact Us for your FREE Quote>>>

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Small Business Guide to SEO

By | Destin SEO | No Comments

When it comes to small business SEO, I’ve noticed that certain questions come up repeatedly: How do I optimize my site for search engines? What keywords should I use? When writing a blog post, what should I do for SEO? How can I get my site to rank on the first page of Google?

These are, of course, important questions. Every website these days should be optimized for search engines. However, it’s important to understand that SEO is part of an ongoing, overall online marketing process. It can’t, and shouldn’t, be done by itself separate from your other online marketing efforts, including your business blog and social media activity.

What is SEO, Really?

First, let’s start with a bit of background. SEO refers to search engine optimization, which is the practice of optimizing website content for search engines. Basically, it means implementing certain techniques that will make it more likely for search engines to serve up your website in the results when someone searches for a particular word or phrase online (note also that SEO focuses on organic search results, not on paying for ads).

When we’re talking about search engines, we’re really talking about one search engine for all intents and purposes. Google is not the only search engine out there, but it does have the greatest share of the search engine market. It has 66.7% of the market, whereas the runner-up (Bing) has 16.3%, Yahoo has 12.2%, and Ask has 3%, according to comScore (AOL, in case anyone still remembers it, has 1.8%).

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Google has been sending clear signals in the last couple of years that the sites it will serve up in its search results need to have fresh, quality content. This makes sense from Google’s perspective because their entire business model is based upon giving users the best search results possible:

Our goal is to help people find the best information on the web. To make this possible, we want to help websites focus on creating great content, not tricks and gimmicks to game search engines.

This means that you can’t talk about SEO without also talking about creating content – and not just any content, but great content. If Google is telling you that you need to create great content so that they can show your site in the search results, then you need to figure out how to create this content as part of your SEO efforts.

Key SEO Factors & Developments

SEO is a dynamic field, and there both existing practices and new developments that you as a business owner should know about:

  • Content marketing: As you’ve just seen, Google has made it clear that great content is no longer optional: it’s a requirement. The sites that will see their results served up are those that produce quality, relevant content for users on a regular basis. This is one of the key developments in SEO and has crucial implications for how you market your business online.
  • Pandas & penguins: Google’s focus on content was reflected in changes to its algorithm in the past couple of years. These changes are known as the Panda and Penguin updates and they basically penalized sites that had low-quality content. It’s important to realize that the search engine algorithms are not static – they are constantly changing, and you’ll need to keep up with new developments in order to ensure that your site is continually optimized.
  • Social signals: Google is increasingly factoring social signals into its search results. This means that Google is now considering Facebook likes and tweets in deciding what search results to serve up. It’s no longer enough to think that optimizing for certain keywords alone will get you to the top of the search results; you also need to think about how to get your content shared on social networks.
  • On-page vs. off-page SEO: On-page SEO refers to changes that can be implemented directly on your website. You can implement many best practices, such as having keywords in your page titles (this is one that a lot of small business owners miss!). Off-page SEO refers to practices that you can’t implement directly on your website but that affect your search results, such as getting links back from other high-quality sites. This is a fundamental distinction in the SEO field, and at a bare minimum you’ll want to make sure that you’ve implemented all the best on-page SEO practices.
  • Black hat vs. white hat: Black hat SEO refers to shady practices that can violate search engine guidelines and provide a poor user experience such as stuffing so many keywords onto a page that it doesn’t even make sense when you read it. White hat SEO refers to working within the search engine guidelines and implementing best practices to optimize a site and improve the user experience. Beware of black hat SEO practices (tell-tale signs include spammy emails that guarantee to get you on page one of Google’s search results).

Strategic SEO for Your Business

Given these key factors and developments, it’s important to broaden your thinking about SEO from a stand-alone practice to one that is an integral part of your overall business strategy and online marketing efforts. The traditional focus on keywords is still an important part of SEO, but now it needs to be positioned within a broader strategic context that includes:

  1. Differentiation: Take the time to define your niche. All of your competitors are also realizing that they need to create good content to compete online, and you only have seconds to capture a potential client’s attention. Your content needs to be able to meet your business goals, differentiate you from your competitors, and be relevant for your clients. It’s hard to do this if you’re not sure what your business niche is.
  2. Audience: Understand the content that is relevant for your ideal client. What questions do your clients ask you on a regular basis? What are the issues they’re struggling with? What tips and advice can you provide? Your answers to these questions can help your clients, provide great ideas for your blog posts, and give the search engines the fresh content that they want – it’s a win all the way around.
  3. Strategy: Develop a content strategy for your business. Since content is critical to your online marketing, you’ll want to make sure that you’re creating that content strategically. A content strategy is an important component of your online marketing plan, which will help you to ensure that your online marketing efforts and your content creation are aligned with your overall business goals.
  4. Capacity: Figure out your capacity for content marketing. Creating good content on a regular basis and sharing it on social networks takes time. Do you have the time to do it? Can you make the time, maybe by dedicating 30 minutes to blogging every morning? Or can someone on your staff help with this? Do you need to hire someone, maybe a freelancer who can help you? There are many possible solutions, and it’s important to find the one that will work for you.
  5. Content Creation: If you don’t have one already, it’s time to start a business blog. How are you going to create the great content that Google is looking for on a regular basis? A blog is the best way to do this. If you do have a blog but haven’t posted for a while, it’s time to dust it off, put together an editorial calendar, and start writing.
  6. Social Sharing: If you’ve resisted using social media for your business, it’s time to rethink that decision. You don’t have to be active on every network; in fact, it’s better to focus on one or two rather than to spread yourself too thin.  Also, you need to make sure that you’re making it easy for your users to share your content via social networks, such as by adding social sharing buttons to your blog posts – this is a basic practice that every website should have in place by now.
  7. An Optimized Website: In addition to creating and sharing good content, you need to make sure that your website is already implementing best practices for on-page SEO. I’ve seen businesses that have great social media activity but a website that is lacking in basic best practices. Having a well-optimized website is important because it serves as the hub of your online activity.
  8. Continuous Improvement: Realize that you’re in this for the long haul. After you’ve defined your niche, identified your ideal client, developed your content strategy, created your content and shared it on social networks, you’ll need to monitor your results to see what’s working. Are there certain types of content that generate better results than others? What keywords and social networks are driving traffic to your site? You’ll need to make adjustments as the data begins to come in.

This may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! You’re probably already working on these elements in one way or another anyways, by trying to stay a step ahead of your competitors or get the attention of your prospective clients. This just provides a framework for making sure that your SEO, online marketing, and business strategy and goals are all in alignment.

When it comes to small business SEO, there are no short cuts. You can’t just think about choosing keywords for your website and expect search traffic to go flowing to your site; to effectively optimize your website, you also need to integrate content creation and social sharing and figure out how to do that on an ongoing basis.

A good analogy for this is actually weight loss… although there are hundreds of thousands of products on the market that guarantee you will lose 10 pounds in five days or some other variation on the theme, there is really no substitute for eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis. In a similar way, there is no better way to do SEO for your business than to create good content on a regular basis that other people will share on social networks.

If your a business needing assistance with Social Media Marketing, Web Design or SEO the Experts at Destin Website Design can assist you!

Destin Website Design offers Web Design Services and SEO Services to Businesses in Destin, Navarre, Pensacola, Crestview, Niceville, Fort Walton Beach and Sandestin.

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SEO for Businesses in Destin

By | Destin SEO | No Comments

SEO for business simply makes sense.  Not only is it an affordable marketing program, it’s also a great research tool to identify current events in your industry and in your target audience.

Let me explain…

I’m currently working on some keyword research for a personal trainer in Destin.  He’s currently marketing phrases on his website like “personal trainer” and “fitness trainer”.  Those are all fine but the research tells me that people are actually looking for geographic specific personal trainer.  They’re typing in “Destin Personal Trainer”, “Destin Fitness Trainer”, etc.

Knowing what your audience is looking for, and the giving it them via the search engines is THE BEST way to get traffic that converts into sales. $$$$$

SEO For Business Doesn’t Have To Cost A Fortune

I know that many SEO firms charge quite a bit, well, the work they do for their clients may justify that but the truth is, many of these companies are working for companies that are larger than small businesses. The competition for the keyword phrases they’re trying to achieve top ranking for his much higher and truth be told, their websites are probably a nightmare to optimize. Many larger companies love all the bling they see on websites when in reality all that does is slow down the site and create havoc for the search engines.

So, SEO Webmasters have to work on many more factors just to get the websites to rank.

But, small business websites don’t normally have to these issues. Their websites are simpler and easier to manipulate as far as coding so that the search engines can read them and therefore, display them to the proper audience.

If you have a small business and you’re considering some form of Internet Marketing, take a look at SEO For Business, you’ll find that it’s a valuable tool for your company.

If your in search of an Destin SEO agency, look no further than Panhandle Website Design as we can assist you with your SEO

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Top 7 Web Design Mistakes Destin Businesses Make

By | Destin Web Design | No Comments

As a Destin business, your website is a vital piece of your marketing and branding efforts.
Visitors are coming to your website for a specific reason, and you want to ensure that you answer their questions and use your website to sell your product or service.

If you get your website designed wrong, you can easily lose thousands of dollars initially, and ultimately lose even more money in potential revenue that you could be making from a well designed, properly functioning website.

Grow your bottom line by avoiding many of these common mistakes among business owners:

1. Putting urgency over understanding your target market.

 

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Instead of focusing on getting your website done as soon as possible, you must first research your target audience in your specific market. Then, design your website around your research.

For instance, if your target market is older, perhaps the font size should be larger. Or if your product is geared towards a younger demographic, then you need to think about catering your site to be smartphone compatible.

You’re going to have to determine where should your users go once they get to your site? That question is easily answered if you know your market.

2. Design is too busy or flashy.

My company, Panhandle Website Design, is an Destin web design and development company, and we know that in order to be successful on the Internet you need to focus on marketing your website — not a flashy design. Your design should not just be focused on bringing users there, but also getting them to the right place once they reach your homepage.

Plus, flashy websites don’t look good on mobile phones or tablets, and a large majority of Internet users now visit websites from these wireless devices.

Remember: when a visitor comes to your website, they probably already know what they want out of it. If within three seconds they can’t figure out what to do next, you might need to go back to the drawing board.

3. No clear call to action.

What do you want users to do once they’ve found your website? Do you want them to buy your product, contact you, or subscribe to your business e-newsletter? You need to tell visitors what the next step is and when (ideally, now!). Your content should answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” and then the call to action tells them what to do next.

4. Paying too little or too much.

You don’t know how many times people come to my company after they’ve hired a cheap designer, let them make business decisions that are poor, and ended up with a horrible product. At the same time, companies get distracted by expensive agencies that work with big brands, and don’t realize these agencies might not be able to help a small business that’s ROI focused. Simply put: don’t blow your budget on your website, but do your research to ensure you’re receiving a quality product.

5. Stale, out-of-date content.

Customers expect your website to contain the latest information about your products, services, and company. When it doesn’t have this, they may assume you’re not in business any longer, or simply aren’t innovative and ahead of the competition. Your content must address the needs of your customers (or potential customers) and be updated as things change. If you have a blog, updating it at least once a week — if not more — can help you drive visitors to your website and keep search engines happy.

Additionally, avoid putting links to your Facebook or Twitter pages if you only have a small following. People may think your business is too small and end up not hiring you.

6. Trying to target everyone.

This goes back to knowing your target market; your website will be a mess if you try to accommodate every kind of visitor you might end up getting. It’s best to figure out your most frequent users and focus on creating the best possible experience for them. If you try to please the masses you’ll likely end up not pleasing anyone.

7. Taking the DIY route.

Your website is often your customers’ first experience with your brand. If you don’t have design experience, do you really think you can do it justice? Remember first impressions are everything. Don’t allow your customer to make assumptions about your business because of a poorly designed website.

If your in search of an Destin Web Design and Web Development Company, look no further than Panhandle Website Design as we can assist you with Web Design, Contact Us to Get a Free Quote

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