Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4672 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2017-07-19 20:44:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-19 20:44:25 [post_content] => Long Island SEO tips Did you know that approximately 40,000 search queries are being typed into Google every second? Which means there are about 3.5 billion search queries per day, which translates to over 1 trillion searches a year. Search Engine Optimization is hard enough as is, with frequent changes in rules, algorithm modifications and competitors altering their SEO to upend the search results pages. To make things a little more interesting, on Long Island, SEO has its own unique set of challenges. Although there are a myriad of things that can make successful SEO difficult for local businesses, it can also present opportunities to reach more customers and stand out in search results. Why SEO on Long Island Is Different The most common way users search is no different than anywhere else in the USA. When searching for a plumber, most users will type in “plumber” or “plumber near me”. In this search Google will ascertain where the searcher is located, and deliver results from nearby businesses. The big difference for Long Island is that customers frequently add the words “Long Island” to their searches. For example, customers looking for basement waterproofing might search “Basement Waterproofing Long Island” or “Long Island HVAC” – and in each case Google treats this much differently than just a “Basement Waterproofing” search.

This “Long Island” search acts differently than other searches, which presents a big opportunity for Long Island based businesses. Instead of searching immediately nearby, Google treats the search very literally and often returns search results that show the whole island—from Queens to Montauk (see below). In these search results Google evaluates a number of different factors to decide what to show on the first page. [caption id="attachment_4676" align="aligncenter" width="651"]Search Engine Optimization tips for Long Island Google Search for "Long Island HVAC"[/caption]   Because of the way Google treats this search, businesses have an opportunity to improve their traffic from search queries for Long Island. We have searched the Internet and found some of the best tips for your site.
  1. Include ‘Long Island’ in your website content
If people are going to use the term “Long Island” in their search query, Google will look at websites to determine which ones are the most relevant for “Long Island”. In order to have your site considered for these relevant searches, you must include keyword-rich text on pages, in page titles, as well as in meta descriptions which is the HTML code that describes each page. To help Google understand your business, include “Long Island” and other similar phrases throughout your website in meta tags, body text, blog post titles and more.
  1. Build backlinks through other Long Island businesses
Backlinking can have a positive impact on your site’s search engine results. But wait, what exactly is backlinking? It is when an external website links to another, and vice versa. Essentially, it’s one site vouching for another and when many sites link to the same webpage, this tells the search engine that whatever content is on this site is worth linking to. So if Google sees links from other Long Island businesses that point to your site, that is a strong cue that your business is relevant for that particular “Long Island” search. You can seek links from local businesses by becoming a sponsor of a 5K, participating in charity events, and being mentioned in local newspapers, just to name a few.
  1. Create content and make it specific to Long Island
Understand your audience and learn exactly what they’re searching for. Once you have this figured out, cater to those needs and feed them content that is relevant to them. What is it about air conditioning, plumbing, or healthcare that makes it unique to Long Island? What are common Long Island issues that you have to deal with that might not ring true in other parts of the country? Take advantage of this and create something relevant and informative. It may seem obvious but often times, it’s a missed opportunity.
  1. Mobile-friendly
Whether you’re located on Long Island or in California, create a mobile-friendly site. This one is kind of a given but you would be surprised as to how many sites out there that haven’t adjusted yet. It’s all about giving users a positive experience. If a new visitor comes to your site for the first time, you want to make an excellent first impression so be sure your site is compliant with all types of smart phones and tablets and that your images, videos, copy and other content are organized and strategically placed. One bad experience and that user will not likely come back. These tips should be fairly easy to implement but remember to constantly monitor your SEO as algorithms and other factors are continually changing. Just a few small changes to your site can make a big difference in your search rankings. [post_title] => 4 Tips for SEO on Long Island [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 4-tips-for-seo-on-long-island [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-22 16:15:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-22 16:15:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4668 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2017-07-19 20:38:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-19 20:38:55 [post_content] => The answer to this question can possibly change the future of your business for the better… or worse. So which should you choose? We have gathered some intel to help you decide. The benefits of having an in-house marketing team One of best things about having an in-house team is that there is a quicker turnaround. Do you need a graphic for social media? How about some copy for the website? All you have to do is walk over to the marketing department in the office and tell them exactly what you need. Having them in-house also means that there is less confusion when it comes to communication. Since you don’t have to go through as many people, you will spend less time going back and forth. The designated people on your internal team will be solely focused on you and building your brand. If you go through an agency, they obviously have more than one client that they work with so their focus may be slightly less targeted. Another plus is that your business owns everything you’re putting out there. You control your brand voice and every piece of content, so there is not much risk in communicating your message to your customers. This all sounds good, right? Don’t make a decision just yet—not until we cover the benefits of hiring an agency… The benefits of hiring a marketing agency Outsourcing your marketing needs can be far less expensive. There is no need to pay additional salaries for an internal team as well as the high costs of marketing tools and materials. An agency has all the latest tools and relevant software you could possibly need. Aside from saving on money, you also save on time if you hire an agency. Hiring an external team gives you more time to focus on the core part of your business. An agency offers a diverse set of skills. From print and digital marketing, social media marketing and graphic design to content marketing and much more, you have a multitude of creative and marketing people to collaborate with and bounce ideas around. You also have the advantage of having an agency full of people with expertise in multiple industries. They can apply what they’ve learned marketing to one industry and apply it to another. Reputation is everything; when you hire an agency, you will receive nothing but professional work and excellent service. You hired them for a reason, so you can count on a high ROI (return on investment). They’re professionals, after all—they know what they’re doing. At the end of the day, only you know what’s best for your business; we trust that you will make the choice that is right for you. [post_title] => Should You Have an In-House Marketing Team or Hire an Agency? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => should-you-have-an-in-house-marketing-team-or-hire-an-agency [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-19 20:38:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-19 20:38:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4664 [post_author] => 10 [post_date] => 2017-07-13 21:11:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-13 21:11:44 [post_content] =>

3 Tips for SEO on Long Island

Search Engine Optimization is hard enough as is, with frequent changes in rules, algorithm changes and competitors making changes to upend the search results pages, but on Long Island, SEO has its own unique set of challenges.  There are a myriad things that can make successful SEO difficult for local businesses, but also present opportunities to reach more customers and stand out in search results. Why SEO on Long Island Is Different Long Island SEO is a bit different than other areas because of the way that users search.  By far the most common way that users is search is no different than anywhere else in the USA.  When searching for a plumber, most users will type in “plumber” or “plumber near me”.  In this search Google will ascertain where the searcher is located, and deliver results from nearby businesses. The big difference for Long Island is that customers frequently add the words “Long Island” to their searches.  For example, customers looking for basement waterproofing might search “Basement Waterproofing Long Island” or “Long Island air conditioner repair” – and in each case Google treats this much differently than just a “Basement Waterproofing” search. This “Long Island” search acts differently than other searches and has the biggest opportunity. Instead of searching immediately nearby, Google treats the search very literally and often returns search results that show the whole island – from Queens to Montauk (not just Nassau County and Suffolk County).  In these search results Google evaluates a number of different factors to decide who to show on the first page. Because of the way Google treats this search, businesses have an opportunity to improve their traffic from searches on Long Island. Tips for SEO on Long Island:
  1. Include Long Island in your website content. If people are going to search with the term “Long Island” in their search, Google will look at websites and determine which sites are most relevant for “Long Island”.  To help Google understand your business you should add references to Long Island in key places on your website (meta tags, body text other places).
  2. Seek links from other Long Island businesses. Another way Google determines relevance for “Long Island” searches is looking at which sites link back to your business.  If Google sees links from other Long Island Businesses point to your business that is a strong clue that your business is relevant for a “Long Island” search. Even better, if a business links to you and adds a qualifier like “long island plumber”, that is an even stronger businesses relevance signal to Google.  How can you do this? Seek local links from other businesses you work with, become a sponsor of a 5K, participate in charity events that link back to businesses and find ways to get mentioned in local newspapers.
  3. Write Blog content to make it specific to Long Island. What about Air Conditioning, Plumbing, or Healthcare that is unique to Long Island?  What are common Long Island issues that you have to deal with that might not be true in other parts of the country?  Some examples could be “best types of Roofs for Long Island”, “Popular outdoor decks on Long Island”, “Waterproofing a home on Long Island” etc.  These blog post should be informative, and should be relevant to Long Island as opposed to any old blog post that would be good for any part of the country.
  Implementing these tips can help you become more relevant for common ways that users are searching on Long Island, and by doing so, you can increase your traffic from Long Island customers and provide a better overall user experience.  These tips should be fairly easy to implement. Just a few small changes to your site can make a big difference in your search rankings. [post_title] => Long Island SEO - 3 tips to improve your Search Engine Optimization [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => long-island-seo [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-13 21:11:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-13 21:11:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4654 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2017-06-13 15:17:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-13 15:17:30 [post_content] => Is there a future for print advertising? This question keeps popping up and we feel the need to address it. Advertisers have been, and are continuing to, transition their traditional practices to the digital world. They are using similar concepts and designs when it comes to the appearance of their ads; however, their avenues have significantly changed. Mobile advertising, banner ads, and social media advertising are the main avenues marketers are using, but how can you tell which is more effective than the other? Print vs. Digital There are various forms of print advertising: those in magazines, newspapers, on billboards and posters, and direct mail. It is said that print ads have a more lasting effect than digital ads. A huge billboard in New York City has a lifetime of about a month, or however long you pay for it. The amount of eyes that see it on a daily basis is enormous and that type of content doesn’t move as quickly as the little ad on your Facebook newsfeed does. The content that people view online can be more perishable due to such high volumes being pushed out in order to compete with one another. This sort of short-lived content doesn’t possess the quality that readers and customers desire. Although the world has gone digital, major print publications can still find success by focusing their circulation on a smaller audience consisting of key industry influencers and loyal subscribers. The loyalty and passion of those readers are key and the ads hitting those readers have more impact and are longer lasting. There’s also something about print that makes it more eternal. The downside of going digital vs. print With Facebook Business Manager and other similar services, you can quickly create and upload ads, pick your target market, and send them out into the digital world, but how effective is this? Digital ads may capture a customer’s attention in the moment with their bold text and quality imagery; however, they are quickly forgotten. It is very easy to scroll past paid ads on your social media newsfeed; they get lost in all the clutter. And with ad blocker software, you can bypass banner ads altogether. The desirability and willingness to purchase the product or service as a result of seeing a digital ad is less likely than it is with a physical print ad. Print ads are said to be more stimulating—encouraging an emotional reaction from the customer. The information on the ad and the source of the content is better absorbed and retained longer with print. So, although digital ads have a quick turnaround, print ads are more memorable. At the end of the day, we don’t believe that there will ever be a replacement for print advertising. It is the oldest form of communication out there, so to replace something like that would be a difficult, maybe impossible, task to accomplish. [post_title] => The Future of Print Advertising [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-future-of-print-advertising [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-13 15:17:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-13 15:17:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4649 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2017-06-13 15:13:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-13 15:13:18 [post_content] => LinkedIn received a makeover and it’s better than ever. Whether you’re using the mobile app or the desktop version, the new app-like look offers a more user-friendly experience. Here are the new features you may or may not have already noticed… New homepage The new desktop site is much cleaner and easier to navigate than before. The reduced clutter is more appealing to the eye. This new look was created to encourage more user-based engagement. Private messaging/chat You no longer have to go into the email-like structured messages tab to send a message. Whether you’re scrolling down your newsfeed or editing your profile, you are now able to chat instantaneously. This new setup allows you to stay connected without compromising what you’re doing. Similar to the Facebook chat feature, the chat box shows up in a pop-up window on the bottom right-hand side of the screen. Reach recruiters like never before For those looking for a new job, this is a feature you are going to like. The “Open Candidates” feature allows you the opportunity to share things like your career goals, roles you are interested in, and more. This information is then shared with recruiters who will be able to easily find you with possible opportunities that match your experiences and interests. All you have to do is go to the LinkedIn Jobs page and press “Update Career Interests” displayed at the top of the page. Then you can switch the “Let Recruiters Know You’re Open” option on or off. New and improved algorithms To go with the cleaner, de-cluttered look, your newsfeed offers you a variety of organic, sponsored, and native content thanks to new and improved algorithms. Trending Storylines have also been introduced, which are daily-curated pieces about the top developing stories in your industry. In an effort to get users to stay on the site longer than to update profiles and accept connection requests, more content is being offered. Overall, your LinkedIn experience is expected to be more engaging, which allows for more opportunities to connect and engage with others in your industry. Other updated features You can now search for jobs, groups, companies, and posts more easily by utilizing the universal search bar displayed at the top of each page. Also, be sure to utilize “People Filters” which allows you to conduct more comprehensive searches by filtering people through different categories: connections, company and by location. And lastly, stay connected with your network in the Notifications tab where you can view work anniversaries, birthdays, new positions, profile views, and more, all in one place. [post_title] => New LinkedIn Features You Should Know About [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => new-linkedin-features-you-should-know-about [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-13 15:18:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-13 15:18:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4629 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2017-05-22 16:33:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-22 16:33:32 [post_content] => Social Media Activism and Marketing Social Media Activism. Haven’t heard of this word yet? Well here is the formal introduction: Social media activism is the action of using social media to vigorously campaign in order to bring about social and/or political change. It has been quietly used as a strategic tactic over the past few years with causes such as KONY 2012, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and plenty more; however, it appears that we have seen an increased use of this latest marketing trend. Marketing and Social Media Activism So how does one social media activate? The first thing you want to do is to clearly identify and define the cause or stance your organization wants to make. Second, you then inform all stakeholders in your organization so your firm is activated before you reach out. Third, advocate on your social channels and reaffirm your commitment. People tend to gravitate towards companies that stand for something. Once you've chosen the path you want to go down, you need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Nothing is more destructive to a brand than to say you're going to do something, and then do absolutely nothing about it.  Brands have gotten into muddy waters for not doing what they say they would and the results are not pretty. Probably one of the best examples of social media activism we’ve seen this year would be the Women's March on Washington back in January 2017 when hundreds of thousands of people attended the largest inauguration demonstration to date. ‘Sister’ marches all over the country and across the globe took place as well, all in support of equal rights for women and basic human rights for all. It was such a historic event but how did this all start? With a single Facebook post. A woman in Hawaii posted on Facebook one evening and by the next morning, thousands of women responded in support of this protest. And because of its huge success, it inspired the March for Science that was held on Earth Day in April 2017. This series of over 600 rallies and marches around the world were in support of scientific research and its importance to our society. Be transparent, be authentic Whether it is politically or environmentally related, raising awareness for a nonprofit, or whatever the case may be, you must be transparent and truly authentic. Do not support a cause because it is “trendy”; support it because you sincerely believe in its mission and the work being done to accomplish its goals. Because of this rise in social media activism and cause marketing, consumers are beginning to expect brands to be more socially conscious and take a strong stance on social issues. As a marketer, you naturally want to appeal to your consumers and feed them content that they value, but keep in mind the possible outcomes. Although some issues can inspire, be mindful that some topics can light a fire that can hurt. The effects a single individual or a group of people can have are incredible. As marketers, harnessing that energy can be beneficial to your brand and most importantly, the cause you are campaigning for. With the current political climate, social media activism is a new form of marketing that many are embracing. The power of social media and the availability of information online has us connected with the lives of people from all around the world, and being so connected and emotionally exposed makes it hard not to voice our opinions. We’re not even halfway through 2017 and social activism is a light that is shining brightly. [post_title] => What Marketers Can Learn From Social Media Activism [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => what-marketers-can-learn-from-social-media-activism [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-01 15:25:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-01 15:25:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4626 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2017-05-22 16:24:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-22 16:24:55 [post_content] => Welcome to the fifth and final part of this blog series—you made it! In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of crafting a headline and the significance of interviewing industry experts. For our last go around on this topic, we will be talking about the impact of social media and the importance of website functionality. Social Media The impact that social media can have on directing website traffic is HUGE and if you haven’t figured that out by now, then you should keep reading. Since its inception in the early 2000s, social media has evolved into a powerful marketing tool. It has grown to where social media profiles are considered to be quality sources, just as that of a newspaper or magazine or the news coming from your local TV station. It has become a significant part of a buyer’s journey. In fact, the validity of your social profiles can sometimes make or break a sale. Before the social media age, you had one channel to promote your content and that was through your website. Now, you have several avenues to promote content and each channel has its own purpose. The key is developing a solid social media strategy; this way you are organized and thorough in every piece of content you put out there. Be sure to optimize your content for each channel because among Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on, there endless opportunities to reach several different audiences. Having a social media strategy can be a powerful way to direct followers to your site. A post on Facebook that catches someone’s eye can lead them straight to you and boom, you have a new customer/client. And do not forget to monitor and analyze your results. See what worked and what did not; gather both positive and negative feedback from your audience and use that data to improve the parts of your strategy that need work. Website Functionality So far, we have given you nine ways to increase your website traffic. You can do them all exceptionally well; however, if you do not complete this tenth and final one, you may have wasted your time. Website functionality is crucial. You want to make sure your site is fast, responsive, and compiled into an attractive layout that allows visitors to navigate through easily. A reduction in load time of 1 second can result in a dramatic increase in conversions. Ensure that all your pages are as responsive as possible and are accessible on a PC, mobile device, and any other smart devices. If a visitor is having any sort of trouble loading your site or the format is all jumbled, they will likely leave and not come back because of that experience. Your website design should be clean and appealing to the eye with high-resolution images and graphics that convey a story. Also have clear calls-to-action and make it easy for them to purchase or inquire more information. Well, there you have it. Thank you for reading 10 ways to successfully drive traffic to your site. We hope you will take this information and apply it to your current marketing strategy. Until next time! [post_title] => How to Drive Traffic to Your Website: Part 5 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-drive-traffic-to-your-website-part-5 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-01 14:56:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-01 14:56:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4605 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2017-04-13 19:15:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-13 19:15:56 [post_content] => artificial intelligence and B2B marketing The largest, and probably the coolest, technology trend to emerge in time for 2017 has to be artificial intelligence, or AI. Get used to that abbreviation because you are going to see it pop up more and more as this technology continues to spread. From Siri, to self-driving cars, to pizza tops (high top sneakers that order pizza for you—yes, this is totally real), we are seeing AI transform itself into various industries. Some of the many anticipated benefits of artificial intelligence include providing better insight on potential accounts and a more detailed analysis of campaigns, in addition to identifying prospective customers. In the next few years, AI will revolutionize the marketing industry and make itself a permanent fixture in our daily lives. From scheduling meetings to acquiring new leads, AI will become vital for any B2B marketer. Here are a few ways in which AI will change B2B marketing… Predictive Analytics can assist in targeting and sales Ever hear of Salesforce? An excellent example of AI technology at work. This software and others alike have been developed to collect and analyze customer data more efficiently than any human would. It also has the ability to increase metrics such as lead volume, lead conversion, and sales acceleration. Based on the information it interprets, it will give you suggestions on new leads suited for you, while nixing those who aren’t. This saves you time in going through all that customer data yourself, and helps you to properly understand the behaviors, motivations, and hesitations of current and future leads. Tools such as Predictive Search Programs This is exactly what it sounds like. Have you typed something into Google and it automatically fills your search query with suggestions? That is a predictive search program doing its job. It is extremely useful when it comes to websites that contain a lot of information. And beneficial when it comes to potential prospects who are first-time visitors; it helps them find exactly what they are looking for without any hassle. New visitors are more likely to return to a site where they had a good user experience. If a site is too confusing and overwhelming, you probably won’t be seeing them again. Virtual Assistants Siri, Alexa, Cortana are all voice-controlled, hands-free assistants. They use voice processing which makes them capable of answering basic questions as well as automating basic human tasks. The notion behind AI is to have machines and software “think”, so that we are able to be more productive and achieve our goals and objectives a little faster. Personalization Although many aspects of AI are in fact automated, personalization is something this technology will actually improve upon. By using machine-learning algorithms, marketers will be able to personalize their content and campaigns relevant to the individual that is being targeted. This process pulls data-rich information about a customer’s behaviors and preferences, and predictively personalizes content based on that individual. It is always a struggle getting the right piece of content delivered to the right person but with AI, this will be more accurate. If executed properly, the ability to translate personalized conversations to large amounts of customers will ultimately result in more conversions. There are so many other benefits to AI that were not mentioned. In fact, half of this blog post was written using AI—voice-to-text software on a smartphone! As this technology develops and progresses, we are hoping to continue adding to the list of promising qualities. 2017 has only just begun and we are anxious for what comes next. [post_title] => How Artificial Intelligence Can Benefit B2B Marketing [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-artificial-intelligence-can-benefit-b2b-marketing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-01 15:27:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-01 15:27:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4599 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2017-04-13 19:08:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-13 19:08:34 [post_content] => Are you getting tired of this yet? No? Good, neither are we! In our previous blog post, we talked about how direct mail, testimonials, and case studies are extremely important in driving traffic to your site. Next up is crafting viral worthy headlines and interviewing industry experts. Let’s do this… It’s all about the headline This element is often overlooked but is probably the most imperative. Whether you’re writing an article for a political newspaper, drafting a marketing blog post, or headlining a monthly email newsletter for a nonprofit, when it comes to content marketing, it’s all about the headline. You never want to “judge a book by its cover,” or, in this case “judge an article by its headline”; however, that is the mindset you must be in. If your title isn’t captivating and is just plain boring, no one is going to bother reading any further. They will just assume your writing is just as commonplace as that title. The headline you choose must do two things: it must appeal to your target personas and it must also promise to provide some type of value to these target personas. If they are taking the time out to read what you have to say, make it worth their while. Properly introduce the topic that will in some way enhance their lives by keeping it short, sweet, and relevant to what you wrote about. The best headlines touch upon the key components of the message you are trying to express. Some examples include: “The Best Way to…”, “The Fastest Way to…”, “The Easiest Way to…”. Think about when you yourself are researching online on how to do something; let’s say you’re looking up how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey. More often than not, the first words you type are the “best”, “fastest”, or “easiest” because you want to cook the turkey in the most efficient way possible. Another tip to consider are is starting with a number: “The Top 5 Best Ways to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey” or by starting with “How to Cook the Best Thanksgiving Turkey.” People love clear and concise directions so your title should allude to that. And you always want to speak directly to your reader and be sure to use strong adjectives that entice your audience. Interview industry experts  A sure-fire way to drive traffic is to organize informative interviews with experts in the industry. Doing so it gives credibility to your site and to your brand as an overall authoritative source. By providing new views and opinions, even if they do not align with your own, you offer your audience multiple perspectives on a particular subject. And as an added bonus to having an industry expert exclusively conduct an interview with you, you will have the benefit of drawing in their audience and social following, thus opening you up to a whole new audience of people who may not have even thought twice about you until now. And be sure to have them share the interview on their own social channels and perhaps their website. With that type of exposure you will be sending a new wave of traffic to your site. Well, that’s it for part 4 of how to drive traffic to your site. Stay tuned for our fifth and final blog post in this series. [post_title] => How to Drive Traffic to Your Website: Part 4 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-drive-traffic-to-your-website-part-4 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-01 15:20:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-01 15:20:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4579 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2017-03-13 16:34:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-13 16:34:32 [post_content] => Brands and Politics Have you gone onto your Facebook page lately and seen endless amounts of statuses, memes, comments, and videos of people incessantly sharing their political views? If you haven’t, then you’ve been spared the headache. But, it seems as though your aunt Linda isn’t the only one voicing her opinion. Brands have taken it upon themselves to make it known where they stand; either on the right, left, middle, wherever. If a brand’s views aligns with yours, it gives you all the more reason to follow and support this brand, right? But if you happen to disagree, like really disagree, to the point where you’re getting into Twitter battles with opposers, or even unfollow said brand, things can get ugly for them real quick. Companies could and actually have been losing loyal customers because of this, and are missing out on opportunities to gain new ones because of their newfound political voice. So, should brands be voicing their opinions or just stick to what they know and sell product? This country’s current political climate is very heated right now. Weeks leading up to the 2016 Election were tense but now that we have a new President, forget about it. Conversations between friends and coworkers can’t be had without making a jab at politics. Young children are even expressing opinions because what’s happening right now is affecting everyone, no matter how old. Social media only adds to this by giving people a platform to articulate their thoughts, vent their issues, and communicate with others who share (or don’t share) their views. Individuals aren’t the only ones doing this. Some brands feel the need to voice their opinion, while others choose to stay neutral in order to avoid any conflict whatsoever. If you watched this year’s Super Bowl, you definitely saw the mysterious ad from 84 Lumber called “The Journey Begins” featuring a Mexican woman and her daughter traveling to the U.S.; when they arrive at the U.S. they are faced with a border wall. The Fox network actually rejected the original ad to avoid controversy. The ad was then cut short and the end of the ad would have to be seen on the company’s website. Millions were curious as to what happened to the mother and daughter, so curious that 84 Lumber’s website crashed that night. Brands like this one feel compelled to speak up about controversial topics, due to the fact that everyone purposely avoids them or sweeps them under the rug every time they are brought up. They feel that much more obligated to bring light to them and in doing so, they firmly mark their line in the sand of where they stand. However, the risks here are tremendous. Back in January when Starbucks announced that they plan to hire 10,000 refugees in response to President Trump’s travel ban, the internet went crazy, threatening to boycott the coffee chain because they would rather assist foreign refugees than Americans. Another instance happened in January as well with the ride-hail company, Uber, when the company switched off its surge pricing during the time of a union taxi strike at John F. Kennedy Airport. Many took it as them protesting the support of the travel ban and as a result, #DeleteUber took the internet by storm. This goes to show that with whatever intentions you may think you have, nothing can stop the power of the Internet. While some companies intentionally take a political stand, others choose to stay neutral in order to avoid any conflicts with current or potential business. They do not want to insult or alienate anybody. But whether you choose to make your views known or keep them on the back burner, this political climate is just getting warmed up, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what unfolds over the next four years. [post_title] => Should Brands Have a Voice When it Comes to Politics? 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