As a small business trying to maintain a relevant online presence, you must look at your website every now and then for updates. Believe it or not, digging a little deeper to maintain an updated website that catches on with the latest trends in graphics, blogs, UX design, and digital marketing can significantly impact expected returns.
And yet, many businesses find the task of updating their website time-consuming, cumbersome, and frustrating. Well, they have good reason to think so. First, updating a website requires at least some technical know-how for updating and backup, and restoration in case things go awry.
Second, there are several key factors to remember when updating a website – a checklist – so the website feels fresh and works error-free. Be it taking care of plugins or theme updates, poor-quality or too large images, outdated user information and links, broken features, or formatting issues – there are plenty of things to keep a tab on.
While this may seem like a lot, remember that your website is the first impression the customers will have about your business. It is as important to appear organized as to look appealing and unique. In this article, we have broken down a few key reasons that go into updating your website as a small business:
Enhancing the Visual Appeal
Let’s be honest – your website is the first and most important reflection of your company’s ethos for any visitor in this digital world, much like walking into your brick-and-mortar store and judging its appearance in seconds to develop an instant emotion. The user will instantly relate to your authenticity, spirit, and culture if your website seems professional and attractive at first glance. We don’t even need to tell you how they will feel if your website is poorly designed, organized, or outmoded.
While many digital businesses start small, with time, you need to update your website’s visual appearance and organization to highlight your products and services, unify your message, and talk to the customer according to the latest trends. Get rid of outdated elements or entries and focus on revamping your website from the visitor’s point of view – new and old. For repeat customers, finding something new on the website each time they visit is preferable to repeatedly returning to the same site content.
While the website looks are undoubtedly essential, UX is much more than that. The User experience of the website focuses on the entire interaction that visitors have with it, including how simple it is to use, how quickly it loads, how simple it is to access content, and how little friction there is when visitors attempt to carry out the action they’re attempting to carry out. You might need a website update to ensure its navigation is geared toward directing the best UX as far as navigation and access are concerned.
Making Your Website Mobile-Friendly
The term “responsive web design” refers to enabling a website to adjust according to the size of the screen it is being viewed on. Someone visiting your website on a little smartphone might see the same content as someone seeing it on a laptop, etc. Many businesses make the mistake of ignoring a mobile-friendly website design early on, focusing on the desktop view. It would help if you looked at your Google analytics to see what devices your visitors are coming from. Then you can design a site catering to your most important visitors.
The speed at which your website loads significantly impacts whether visitors remain or leave and never come back. Make sure to update your website, or the relevant parts, to maintain a good loading speed with image optimization, lazy loading, and other practices.
Reinforcing with Great Content
Content indeed is King because that attracts the visitor to your website first. With you having only 2 to 4 seconds to engage new visitors with your website, you might want to redesign it to communicate your content better and on-point. Make sure you focus not only on content presentation but also on its quality, relevance, and updates.
SEO and Digital Marketing Enhancement
The website plays an integral role in digital marketing efforts due to the close dependence on SEO. Small businesses like yours might need an SEO update with top-notch, relevant content using the right keywords. Google itself favors websites that actively update their content to show only the most relevant and latest answers to search queries.
Using Strategic Call to Actions
There is a high probability that your website lacks strong calls to action that can turn visitors into buyers. A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link you add to your website to encourage potential clients to convert into leads by taking specific action on your landing page. If each landing page of your website does not have a clear CTA or is not attractive enough to hold on to the customer’s attention, your website certainly needs a quick revamp.
Struggling with Website Updates? We are Here to Relieve You of the Stress!
We understand that the task of updating your website for any or all of the above reasons is a huge responsibility in itself. But you must agree that offloading regular website updates saves time and effort in the long run and augments your selling power immediately.
What if we told you, you could have professional assistance in updating your website on demand without worrying about the technicalities, aesthetics, or function?
At Bash Foo, our website design and development model involves carefully executing any changes to your website in close collaboration with clients to augment user experience. We help set up development, test, and production instances of your website so that updating can be a breeze. With over 23 years of experience in web development, you can rest assured that our solutions will best fit your needs.
The best catch? We specialize in working with and for small businesses! Hurry and get in touch with us today and discover how our services fit your needs. Contact now!
Online reviews play a significant role for businesses trying to sell their products or services. According to BrightLocal, 91% of consumers state that positive reviews make them more likely to buy.
Bad customer reviews potentially harm both a brand’s name as well as financial outcomes. Online reviews lead to more interactions with customers, thus impacting organic visibility. Besides, they also affect consumer decisions – availing a service, buying a product, etc.
This is why it is imperative to pay attention to your online reviews. While positive feedback naturally helps to nurture your brand, negative reviews can sometimes act as a setback. At Bash Foo, we believe that every business must respond to or combat bad reviews that they find online.
How Popular Are Online Reviews?
No matter what the industry, the internet has become a melting pot of businesses of every size, trying to outdo the others to catch the customer’s eye. A majority of customers want to look up the details of a business before buying their products or services. This User-Generated Content (UGC) comes in the form of reviews left about the company or the buying experience, along with an insight into other relevant information.
Sites like Google and Yelp end up being the defacto sites that consumers use when researching a business online. Their reviews cover every segment and business size, with over 115 million reviews on just Yelp’s website. Facebook has emerged as yet another powerful platform for online reviews, responsible for around 19% of all business reviews worldwide.
On the other hand, Google accounts for millions of business listings and 57.5% of all online reviews worldwide. This proves especially beneficial for small businesses, which can gain a positive reputation in no time through Google My Business pages. Online reviews end up as essential marketing tools for brands and transparent references for customers. The numbers speak for the popularity and relevance of online reviews for businesses and consumers alike.
The Basics of Online Reviews Explained
Customers view online reviews as helpful opinions from people who have used the services or products of a business before them and have some insights to share. In today’s times, with the massive penetration of digital and social media, online reviews have come to shape how a business is perceived online.
In the words of Chris Anderson, the Curator of TED, “Your brand isn’t what you say it – it’s what Google says it is.”
Who is Reading Online Reviews?
The answer would be – virtually everyone! Think about the first thing you do when looking for a restaurant online. Or, try to imagine yourself purchasing a garment from an online store. Aren’t we automatically drawn to checking out the reviews to know what others have to say about the product or service?
Around 89% of customers would not take any action on their purchase or booking unless they have read some online reviews. Therefore, it is pretty clear that people read online reviews; in fact, online reviews have become part and parcel of today’s online shopping experience.
Are Online Reviews perceived as Trustworthy?
The same survey from BrightLocal also highlights that 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. A majority of online purchasers have admitted that online reviews have influenced their decision-making in the past. Besides, they are likely to refer to online reviews in the future to make more well-informed choices.
So, why do customers trust online reviews so much? The first reason is that these opinions on the web offer transparency about the business and its products or services from a third-person perspective. Customers want to know everything before they shop. While this was barely possible before, the internet has enabled them to carefully understand every aspect of the product or service by reading the diverse opinions of strangers with seemingly verified profiles.
Online reviews provide customers with unmatched knowledge about a business and its products/services, even if the business itself might not be very transparent in the matter. Secondly, the influence of another person is always welcome when making a purchase. Foodies are drawn to restaurants that create positive vibes, while they will stay away from it if they come to know how disappointing it was.
Customers view online reviews as genuine and helpful resources for helping other shoppers make informed decisions. 86% of consumers would themselves consider writing a review for a business, which means they also trust that the reviews they read are genuine shares.
Why can Negative Reviews be a Concern for Your Business?
First things first, negative reviews are not inevitable, and they are not always bad for your business. Some negative feedback from time to time might even help your business – listing out the areas of improvement and helping you handle criticism better.
However, we have to admit that too many bad reviews can end up jeopardizing the popularity and trust quotient of your online business, doing more harm than good. While combating bad reviews as constructive feedback is easy, handling reviews those trollers deliberately pen down to give you a tough time, is certainly not worth it.
Besides, nasty competitors might also calculatingly leave behind poor reviews just for the sake of belittling your efforts. They might intentionally leave behind multiple 1-star reviews and negative comments to influence your customers, despite there being no truth in it! Such reviews could eventually impact your business by:
Since most people rely on reviews for social proof, accumulated negative feedback can shatter their confidence in your products and services, thereby negatively impacting sales.
With the countless brands in your domain fighting neck to neck, multiple negative reviews on display will only make the pool of customers drift away from your brand to your competitor’s.
Nullifying SEO Efforts
Ranking high in search engines is a prime necessity when it comes to digital popularity these days. Poor customer reviews online affect the content on the internet associated with you, leading Google and other search engines to prevent your website from appearing high in search results.
Handle Negative Reviews Effectively with Bash Foo
It is clear, therefore, that online reviews have the power to make or break businesses today. Therefore, if you wish to optimize your brand’s digital presence in the current climate, you need to start using online reviews to your advantage.
The first step towards this is to eliminate negative reviews that fail to offer constructive criticism or that seem to be purposely planted to show your brand in a bad light. At Bash Foo, we have been helping brands, especially small businesses, build an improved online reputation over the years. Our best-in-class services comprehensively take care of your digital presence, including eliminating negative reviews that cause consumers to pause.
How do we do this?
We Make Online Reviews a Priority
At Bash Foo, we make sure that your brand does not lose out on one of its most effective marketing tools for the digital world – online reviews. We understand the value of reviews for influencing customer decisions and how they are neck to neck with social media marketing strategies today.
Therefore, while you take care of your business activities, we prioritize effective strategies related to online reviews for you. From charting out a response strategy to helping you take action against a negative review, we have it all covered for you.
We Help Monitor Your Business Reviews Online
Our focus is on continuously monitoring your online reviews across different platforms – Google My Business page, Facebook, Yelp, social media, and even your website. We focus more than just on stars – written reviews make a stronger impression on 73% of shoppers; therefore, we keep a tab on what is being written about your brand.
We are committed to ensuring that no unfair reviews are misleading potential customers about your products and services. Trust Bash Foo to be all ears when it comes to what people are discussing about your business online!
We Remove Negative Customer Reviews of Your Business
While some criticism is welcome, we help eliminate any irrational negative online reviews that trollers or competitors pen to make you look bad. From negative social media comments to irrational reviews on sites like Yelp, we are experts in managing poor online reviews for your business.
Our strategy towards a bad online review is to be responsive, not reactive. Years of experience in the industry have taught us how to tackle negative online reviews. After careful scanning the review in question, we either help bring before your customers your willingness to go the extra mile or dismiss unreasonable feedback the right way. Bash Foo’s idea is to adopt a proactive approach towards response to negative reviews.
Online Reviews: A Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategy
That social proof and influence play a huge role in consumer decisions are already clear to us by now. Business reviews on popular sites such as Facebook and Yelp can go a long way in establishing the reputation of your products and services as a brand if taken care of the right way.
While negative feedback online is inevitable, the best way to handle them is to avoid any friction and deal with the situation calmly. Poor reviews could also end up lending you the right insights to improve customer experiences! The best way is to always lookout for ways to use online reviews as leverage to get ahead in the competitive marketplace and positioning yourself on the top.
It seems as if everyone has tried their hand at marketing automation and has either failed miserably or continues to fight an uphill battle. It is rare to hear success stories.
Wrong. There are success stories, but chances are you aren’t tuned into them. One core reason is that businesses that find a successful venue to market their goods and services RARELY let others know about it. That is why you only seem to hear about the horror stories out there.
False. Business owners and stakeholders love this idea that you can drop some $$$ for a fancy new tool and automate things so that you won’t have to hire or (sometimes) retain employees. Sort of like buying a robot for a factory. They expect a one-to-one or sometimes one-to-many replacement of employees. That is just not the case. Marketing automation demands a team of individuals pouring their talents into the tool.
You’ll need a marketing manager to develop strategy, a content writer to create the email sequences, and a marketing analyst who can install code snippets, filter contact lists, set schedules, and provide reporting.
Marketing Automation = Added Relaxation for Sales Teams
Think of it. As a sales manager, you are only responsible for following up with bottom-of-funnel leads that increase business revenues. You no longer have to answer the phone when new customers call because the Marketing team has been communicating with them. They are responsible for nurturing leads until they are ready to buy.
Again, this is false because when a hot lead does enter the funnel, marketing is often NOT the one you want to communicate with them. They enter with interest, and all you give them is yet another email newsletter or important LinkedIn communication. The sales team should continue to “work” new leads just as they did before the fancy new marketing automation tool was introduced.
All I want is leads.
This is a common thread for the sales team to tell the marketing team. They don’t care about ALL the GREAT Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) that they have acquired in the past month. They are also the quickest to “cancel” them. Telling the marketing team that company XYZ won’t ever buy from us or that the contact being nurtured is not interested, even though all their engagement signals align with interest. Fine. The marketing team states that they will now classify hot leads as Sales Qualified Leads based on specific readiness criteria.
Six months pass, and the Sales team is still balking, stating that the Sales Qualified Leads are still not worthy of a phone call or visit. Now they want their work to be classified as an Opportunity before they engage.
You may be laughing right now, but this is all too common when lucrative sales regions are gerrymandered so that the sales team can earn without breaking a sweat. If your marketing team reports that their lead funnel is getting emaciated by Sales, you should be worried.
The intern can do content writing
Nearly 93% of businesses put content generation on the young. They cost the least, and management knows that writing content takes time. Big mistake here. Content writing is complex, and you’ll not reap any benefit from your campaigns being written by individuals that know the least about your products, services, and organization. The best that you can hope for is grammatically correct prose. Inbound marketing demands persuasive copy. Copy that jumps off the page and makes the reader do a double-take. Copy that speaks without industry lingo or sales jargon. It’s copy explicitly written to help solve a specific problem or fit a particular application. That’s it.
Why is this blog post speaking to me?
Our prospects have all “been there, done that” regarding marketing automation. Their frustration is either that they felt like marketing automation bilked more resources than what it generated or that their manager felt that way. I’m writing this blog post not to bring up the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) but to address that marketing automation should only be added to your marketing stack of capabilities for those companies interested in investing in growth. Businesses that approach marketing automation with a “dip the toe” attitude need not apply.
There you have it—the reason to hire a marketing agency vs. hire interns/entry-level marketing personnel. If you want to invest in an excellently run marketing team but don’t want to invest in that team’s health care bills, 401k, vacations, or management, you can hire an agency to execute just this portion of your business operation.
It costs a fraction of hiring internally, you don’t need experts there to train your newbies, and you can gain near-instant results without wasting time on “figuring things out” or that “crawl, walk, run” approach to growing your sales revenues.
Allowing a marketing agency experienced in helping businesses in your industry is a reliable method to prevent wasteful spending of dollars on a marketing automation tool that fails to bring the results you need.
Hiring the top attorney for your legal needs can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task, especially if you don’t know where to look. 86% of clients meet their lawyers through Google, which means a web search is undoubtedly one of the most reliable ways of searching for top attorneys in your area.
However, many lawyers follow the practice of creating shell offices and promoting them as online firms. They do not actually work out of these cities, yet they list them with the sole motive of reaching into communities that they do not live or work in. Therefore, you might be misled into believing that the attorney works in your area, whereas you might end up meeting just one of his paralegals.
This is why it is essential to follow some best practices when searching for top attorneys in your area and actually finding them. At Bash Foo, we have helped several law firms optimize their websites for search; therefore, you can say we have insights to provide you on this matter!
Let’s dig deeper into this topic.
A Few Things to Focus on Before Beginning Your Lawyer Search
Most people prefer to have long-term connections with their lawyers to resort to them even for future cases. This makes it important to look for the right qualities in your attorney that could make an association with them feasible for you in the long run.
The lawyer’s experience and areas of expertise are prime factors, for most lawyers tend to focus on just one or a few types of law. Therefore, always try to select an attorney who has previously proven experience in the field you seek help in. For instance, a lawyer specializing in divorce cases is not ideal for dealing with business laws or criminal court cases.
Secondly, you might also want to look at the size of their practice. If you need an attorney to only help you out with contract reviewing and documentation, it is not necessary to go for a large firm. However, a large corporate firm with multiple experts and vast experience might prove much more helpful when dealing with more significant business issues.
Location is an important factor since you want an attorney well-versed with state and local laws, rules, and regulations. At the same time, it would be much more convenient for you to make frequent trips to their office for consultations, discussions, depositions, and so on.
This is How You should Search for the Top Attorneys in Your Area
With the internet having revolutionized almost every traditional field, searching for a good attorney has also become more convenient than ever before. Together with the web, you must deploy a mix of conventional approaches for a fool-proof search of the best lawyer for your case.
There are several ways to search authentically for the top attorneys in your area while steering clear of any shell companies or fraudsters. Here is our list.
Good Old Google Search
In 2019, around 86% of law firms had a website, which is steadily increasing year on year. Thanks to Google’s latest algorithm update, it is no longer possible for online businesses to rank high unless they assure quality, value, and, naturally, high traffic. This is another reason why attorneys and firms hire top digital marketing agencies to help present their value better and reach out to potential clients on the web.
Therefore, you can use the web as a first step towards researching the top attorneys in your area. Be mindful of using your location (or “near me”) and the lawyer’s expertise when typing in a search query for the most relevant results. Try shortlisting lawyers or firms that have verified Google My Business pages and boast multiple positive reviews. Take a good look at their website to understand their principles, values, experience, and expertise to understand whether or not they are a good fit for you.
Social Networking Sites
These days, social media has quickly replaced search engines to provide more authentic and customer-reviewed information on businesses. The same can be said about law firms and attorneys with a handsome social media presence across relevant platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook.
You can search for the top attorneys in your area on these platforms with ease. The additional benefit you get is in the form of authentic reviews by their clients, who you can look up online too. Word of caution: not all attorneys or law firms readily showcase their work or profile on social media. You might not get all the top attorneys in your area on these platforms. However, it is a good initial step to be able to shortlist some choices. First, find 2-3 lawyers using Google, and then look into what sort of a person they are on Facebook.
Refer to a Reliable Online Directory
Online directories, such as Nolo, offer comprehensive and trusted information on the top attorneys in the US, which you can browse by location. Such directories offer an all-inclusive profile of attorneys, including their experience, education, fees, area of expertise, and so on.
However, you should ensure that you are using only the most reliable online directories for accessing such information. Some directories promise to list only those attorneys who have a valid license and are in good standing with their bar association. Therefore, you can have a list of the best and authentic attorneys in your area in a single click.
Buyers beware of sites like NOLO; however, they allow their attorneys to pay for enhanced listing views and feature spots. They may not be the best lawyer in the pack, but they may have the deepest pockets to buy ads.
Apart from an online directory, you can also access the Local Chamber of Commerce for reliable information on top attorneys in your area. You can get direct line or mobile phone numbers for reaching out to them, saving you from passing through a wave of client advocates or paralegals.
The Word-of-Mouth Way
By far, one of the most trusted ways of looking for and finding a top attorney who can meet your needs is by way of referrals. If you are in touch with another lawyer, say someone who is not an expert in the field you are looking for, you can always ask them for someone who is. Most lawyers have direct contact numbers and emails of fellow lawyers. Besides, they could share their insights on whose work they deem best.
You can also reach out to business referrals – your banker, accountant, insurance agent, real estate broker, and so on – for expert attorneys in your area in the field you are interested in. Such people are usually in constant touch with lawyers and paralegals and can help you instantly with the best recommendations.
Then again, you can depend on your friends, family, relatives, or colleagues to share with you their personal references when it comes to an expert attorney. If they have been in similar situations before, they could even provide you with honest feedback on their experience with the attorney and his firm.
Advertisements by Law firms
Not all, but some ads can actually be helpful in your quest for the best attorneys in your area. There is always a degree of caution to be maintained – do not believe everything you hear or read.
However, with the increasing relevance of internet search for law firms and social media, many reliable and resourceful attorneys and law firms choose to catch the potential client’s attention through advertisements. Look out for their area of expertise, years of experience, location, fees, and so on in such ads.
Taking Help from Non-Profits
Some non-profit groups and men/women support groups often help individuals, small businesses, and families by helping them access the right attorney for their case. Such groups are also the best destination when researching for similar cases, especially if you are a small business new to legal complications.
These groups are well-versed with authentic local attorneys in your area and even help you meet someone who fits your budget and philosophy. From family and divorce lawyers to business lawyers through clinics, you can also access specific experts, such as someone who could deal with an urban sprawl case with help from an environmental group.
It does not end with the search
Even after you have successfully drawn a list of the top attorneys in your area specific to your need and budget, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Actually Finding the Attorney is Equally Important
With no shortage of fraudsters and shell companies on the web, the next step after searching for attorneys is to find them. When using the electronic medium for searching a local attorney, seek their direct email address like firstname.lastname@example.org, instead of email@example.com to have a better chance of actually reaching the attorney. A background check of their office location and a discovery call are also great options.
Be Wary of their Charges
It is an excellent practice to have some clarity over the consultation and interview charges beforehand. Ask the attorney if they provide free consultations and how much an initial interview would cost. Also, be transparent about their fees, included services, method (lump sum, installments), and mode (online, bank transfer, and so on) of payments.
Lastly, before you finalize your attorney, get in touch with them either in person or on a phone call to understand their philosophy and present your concerns. If you hope for them to represent you, your ideologies must match theirs to a certain level.
Living in the past is unhealthy – both for you and your website’s SEO. Search Engine Optimization tactics, just like other trends in the digital world, have seen significant changes over the last few years that have primarily redefined conventional SEO practices.
While some of the traditional strategies continue to be relevant in the current climate, several SEO tactics are now outdated and should be discarded.
The fact that SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media itself speaks of the importance of the right SEO strategies for better results. A vital digital marketing tactic, effective SEO requires businesses to tailor their website to what their audience needs.
The impact of SEO work becomes amplified due to Google’s dynamic algorithm, which demands quality and content over age-old SEO tactics. Let’s take a look at some of the most outdated, obsolete SEO strategies that you need to get rid of today!
Our Content Management Systems have been reminding us to use more and more keywords – paragraphs, headings, subheadings, introductions, conclusions, images – everywhere! While keyword density used to be a standard benchmark for search engines to rank a page higher in terms of value and relevance for the particular search, the trend no longer holds much value today.
The reason behind this shift is the growing inclination of businesses to rely extraordinarily on keywords, almost leading to the abuse of this SEO strategy. From unnecessary repetition to out-of-context mentions, the attempt to overload content with keywords invariably led to poor quality content across such websites. For instance:
“Our food delivery service is the fastest in Portland. We offer quick food delivery services across all neighborhoods of Portland. If you plan to call a Portland food delivery service today, please contact our food delivery company at portlandfooddelivery.com”
Despite being laden with the obvious keywords, such content would do no good for your business – it could even land you up with a ranking penalty.
What Could You Do Instead?
Instead of focusing on keyword density and frequency, search engines now stress more on the relevance and intent of keyword use. Therefore, it is best to act more responsibly when it comes to keyword optimization in your content. Focus more on content quality and use keywords naturally where they fit into the context. Search engines want you to write content for audiences, not their algorithms.
Longer Domain Names to Include Keywords
What seemed like the smartest thing to do a few years back is problematic today – getting longer domain names just for the sake of fitting “keywords” into them. For instance, do not get a domain like fooddeliveryservice-portland.com just to fit in the location and specialty keywords.
Such kind of action is also unrewarding for the long term. What if you decide to expand your business to multiple regions in the future? What if you change your niche or add more services? The only two options before you in such a case would be either to get stuck with an irrelevant domain or buy a new one and lose out on the already established and circulated first one.
What Could You Do Instead?
After Google updated its algorithm, the importance of such domains has fallen considerably. While it may still be considered fruitful to include high-value keywords in your URL, nothing beats a consistent yet unique brand strategy.
Therefore, when it comes to a domain name for your website, try making it as meaningful and relevant for your brand as possible. Opt for a concise brand name. The more deciding factor is the quality of your services and content – not the keywords in your URL.
Duplicate Pages to Rank for More Keywords
Another obsolete SEO strategy that marketers often fall prey to is creating multiple similar pages to rank for more keywords, sometimes entirely duplicated, sometimes with a few tweaks and twists in language.
Sadly, this strategy no longer works. Google’s ever-changing algorithm has brought to the table penalties for content duplication. Therefore, if you are just thinking of populating your website with identical pages just for keyword rankings, it will not lead to anything fruitful.
What Could You Do Instead?
If you are inclined to create similar pages for different services on your website, for instance, and want to play safe with a set of keywords, at least make sure that your content is unique for each of these pages. Make each bit of content valuable and relevant for the audience or region you are targeting. If your content has quality and value, this could outscore other problems.
Besides, you can optimize your pages in other ways for keyword rankings. Consider adding keywords to the site’s footer, including locations, services, links, or other helpful information.
Backlinks are undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of SEO; however, digital marketers tend to behave very immaturely by purchasing links from “link farms” just for additional links. Many also go to the extent of submitting their site to suspicious site directories for “link exchanges.”
Backlinking itself is not illegal. You can use links of social media accounts, communities, and associations that you are a member of or resourceful links on your site. Besides being relevant to your content, such backlinks also make sense to search engines and make the process hassle-free.
Duplicate ALT Tags and Captions for Images
Indeed, ALT tags are not readily visible on websites, but that does not mean that they should be treated like hidden caveats for stuffing keywords that seem to work. ALT tags and image captions are equally relevant for your SEO game if you treat them as information-rich resources that add context and relevance to your content online.
Copy-pasting the same ALT tags and captions is as good as not adding one at all. Despite these being essential elements of your website’s SEO, Google does not support duplication of ALT tags and captions and could penalize your content in terms of rankings.
What Could You Do Instead?
Try spending some time working out unique captions and ALT tags for your image while still making relevant, in-context choices. Make sure that the captions are chosen based on utility and value and not mere numbers. Using the proper tags can lead to better rankings for long-tail keywords for you. Besides, it is unnecessary to add tags to all images in your content – just a few images with unique tags could do the trick.
Exact Match Search Queries
Creating websites, domains, and content with multiple repetitions of specific search queries in mind could have worked a few years back, but not anymore. This is because the new algorithm of search engines focuses on value and meaning, not on numbers.
What Could You Do Instead?
Content that targets niche audience pools and their queries will produce results; however, it is time to do things differently. Try focusing on addressing top trends in queries without dwelling on exact matches. Make your content resourceful, engaging and provide the solutions your audience is seeking – the rest will follow.
It might seem enticing to publish a few quality posts on more prominent media publications like HubSpot, hoping for an overnight success story. Sadly, this trend is officially out of trend.
The issue is that these media channels continue growing in size, content, and diversity with time. The more they grow, the more writers they host, and the more similar posts their platform caters to. This considerably reduces your chances of standing out among the crowd of similar content that is live on their platform.
What Could You Do Instead?
Guest blogging could work only in cases where your content has gone viral. In such cases, it plays an integral role in drawing traffic, subscribers, and social proof. However, instead of sending out your content only to more prominent publications with a bigger audience in mind, you could opt for a more balanced approach.
Target specific blog pages, despite them having smaller audiences. Publishing your content on such blogs might also draw targeted traffic to your page and establish stronger relationships with these budding publications right from the start. Also, make sure you choose the publications or blogs wisely – relevant to both your audiences and adding value to your services.
Turn the Tables for Your SEO Game
Ranking high in search engine results demands more than just age-old SEO tactics based on numbers. It is time to act smart and use the power of SEO right. With the dynamic field evolving constantly, it is important to stay upbeat with the latest trends and kick out those that no longer work.
Apart from focusing on quality, learn to market your content well and leverage social media, artificial intelligence, and data analytics to balance quality and numbers. Dwell on trends like voice search, mobile responsiveness, meaningful featured snippets, and predictive search technology.
At the same time, use the latest strategies such as improved User Experience (UX), long-form content (such as this blog), bucket brigades to guide readers through the copy, and optimizing content with videos. Lastly, dive into the technical basics of website and page speed, image optimization, and meta tags for hitting the jackpots.
Get in touch with us for a more guided and technically sound approach to higher search rankings with SEO strategies that work!
So, if you want to generate business from your website or improve your retention rates or increase your site traffic, here is a complete guide to SEO for law firms to help you do that.
What is law firm SEO? Why is it important?
Law firm SEO is a specific search engine optimization practice designed for the legal industry. A whopping 86% of clients find lawyers through Google. So, if they don’t see you there, you only stand to get 14% of the total business in the market.
And since you are competing with other law firms, your firm’s chance of getting clients from that lot reduces even further.
Moreover, people take more than 24 hours to weigh their options before contacting you. So, you need to have better online visibility than your competitors for them to access your services quickly.
But SEO for law firms gets you more than just qualified leads. It helps you build a positive reputation.
How to build an SEO-friendly law firm website in 2021
As of 2021, there are 437,540 law firms in the United States, and more than 80% of them have a website. If your law firm wants to rise to the top of the search results organically, you need to work your way around Google’s algorithms. Here is what you need.
Using niche keywords can help your site rank higher. Law firms that highlight their specializations in their SEO plan enjoy up to 95% more traffic.
Optimized URLs, meta tags, H tags, images
It is impossible to rise to the top if your URLs aren’t user-friendly, meta tags aren’t clickable, H tags aren’t skimmable, and images aren’t optimized for image search.
Interlinking your pages allows you to retain your visitors longer. Since search engines consider your visitors’ session durations before pushing you to the top, adding interlinks is an essential SEO practice.
Both humans and search engines prioritize content above everything else. If your content isn’t worth the visitor’s time, it won’t be long before your site disappears into the lower positions. The golden rule of creating valuable content is following the E-A-T approach. (More on that later!)
Local SEO for law firms in Ohio
Local SEO for law firms helps you garner clients from your local area. The results that you find when you look for terms like ‘law firms near me’ and ‘best lawyers in Ohio’ are all part of local SEO.
And there are only two things you need to know about local SEO; one, it always works when done properly, and two, it is relatively simple to set up.
To set up your local SEO, claim your business on Google My Business and follow the steps. After answering a few questions, you will receive your verification code from Google via mail, and people will start seeing your firm every time they use relevant keywords.
How to build links for law firms
Link building or backlinking is a vital SEO practice for improving your site’s domain authority. Since law firms need credibility to stay in business, backlinks allow you to direct qualified and interested leads to your site. So, although it takes some time, it is worth the efforts.
Once you have created an SEO-friendly website, you must sketch out your content objectives. Since link building is usually carried out through content, you must have great content ideas to become instantly popular.
For instance, writing a piece on ‘Sustainable Law Practices’ might help you drive aspiring lawyers to your site. But a piece about ‘How to Choose a Law Firm’ will help you connect with people looking for lawyers.
So, narrow down your topics wisely and use the SEO content marketing guide in this article (below) to write your article.
Then, approach law magazines that accept guest posts. Please do your research and ensure that the sites you pick have a high domain authority before submitting your articles to them. Link your site within the post and watch your traffic grow.
Next, set up your social media pages. (Check out the social media marketing guide in this article below to do that). The more links you have across the internet, the higher your chance of rising to the top.
In essence, search engines love to see more people talking about your business. Since link building can make that happen, it is an indispensable part of doing SEO for law firms.
“Prior to joining Dinsmore, I discovered how Bash Foo can double website traffic and increase online client bookings through their use of SEO and paid ads. If Mike and his team say it’s time to spend some money, understand that their disciplined approach to ranking law firms within Google will and does pay off”. – Glen McMurry, Partner with Dinsmore
The primary reasons to incorporate SEO content marketing for your law firm are; to bring visitors to your website and to make visitors stay on your website.
Here are some of the best practices to follow when creating and optimizing your content for search engines if you want to generate higher traffic and improve your retention rates.
● User experience
The best content is skimmable. Your visitors don’t always have 15 minutes to read a long piece, but they want quick ideas/strategies to make changes. Heck, if you made it this far in this blog post, you were probably skimming the content. Good for you! We hope this information helps you and your law firm.
Make your content easier to read, more precise, and more research-based. If you are using Yoast SEO to rank higher, use simple sentences while writing to improve your content’s readability score.
● Content structure
Only 53% of law firms have organized site content. The headings, subheadings, and other highlighted text in your content should give the reader a complete step-by-step picture of everything you are writing about. When in doubt, check your outline. If you can understand your article’s structure without reading the entire passage, then your readers definitely will do, too.
● Conversion potential
Your content should be relevant for your visitors to convert them into potential customers. When writing, ensure that your article has well-positioned CTAs, unlike 70% of the US law firm sites. Remember that only 3% of law websites deliver personalized, relevant content. So, if you can be one of them, your rank can potentially skyrocket.
● E-A-T content
To measure the value of content, Google recently announced that it would rank E-A-T content at the top. This simply means that if your content has Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, you will have more chances of organically ranking on the first page.
As a law firm, you already have ‘expertise’ and ‘authoritativeness’ to improve your online presence through SEO content marketing. Focus on building trust, and you will be at the top in no time.
Social media management for SEO for law firms
Social media marketing is the cheapest way of increasing your law firm’s visibility using SEO. It allows you to expand your reach and influence more consumer segments.
Today, more than 90% of lawyers use LinkedIn for business, while 47% use Facebook. Social media works because 35% of them have generated business either directly or through a referral by simply managing their social media pages.
The most successful social media management is one with high audience engagement. And the quickest way of increasing audience participation is by offering them solutions to their problems.
Once you set up your social media presence, create posts that demonstrate your expertise in the legal field. Remember, E-A-T content applies to social media, as well. If done correctly, social media marketing can double your website traffic.
Know your basics –
Avoid offering legal advice
Be transparent about licensing
Avoid running misleading legal advertisements
Post general content
Stay active between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during weekdays
Engage with other lawyers
Use visual aids
How to find an SEO agency for law firms in Ohio
From avoiding keyword stuffing to doing niche keyword research, doing SEO for law firms isn’t easy. So, it is wiser to outsource your SEO activities to marketing agencies in Ohio if you wish to save time.
And while it can be tempting to appoint any agency that offers you the cheapest quotes, remember that 40% of law firms neither get regular reports nor analytics from their marketing agencies. So, they never know how their online presence is being managed.
Furthermore, there is fierce keyword competition in the legal space. To get the best SEO results for law firms, you need to work with a digital marketing agency that can target the right search terms to help you achieve your goals.
Bash Foo is a professional digital marketing agency with years of experience doing SEO for law firms in Ohio. Our team of SEO experts is proficient at creating optimization strategies that deliver the best results every single time. Ring us up and connect with one of our specialists to get a customized SEO plan for law firms today.
That’s bad news for small businesses that can experience more than a 107% revenue boost over the holiday season. This year, you have to offer your customers deals and make your offers lucrative enough for them to be interested in what you’re saying.
So, if you’re an online store, there’s hope as 65% and 64% of shoppers have decided to buy products online instead of in-store to avoid crowds and to shop from the comfort of their homes, respectively.
More specifically, beverage, food, and clothing brands are in for a treat because consumers, who will be shopping from home, will be inclining toward them more than anything else.
Since “Holiday Season 2020” is nothing like the ones we’ve experienced before, it can be tricky to make marketing decisions during such an important time of the year. So, here’s a comprehensive list of all the holiday digital marketing tips you need to equip yourself for the final event.
Smartphone use in up by 55% in 2020, and if your site doesn’t load in less than 3 seconds on your prospectives’ screens, you’ll experience high bounce and customer turnover rates, which isn’t ideal in today’s economy.
The article advises against using the year in the URL. So, instead of writing /sale/2020/black-friday, consider writing /sale/black-friday. This will help you build link equity.
Link equity or link juice refers to URLs’ being one of the most crucial determinants of your website’s value. They help pass authority to the page they’re associated with. Simply put, the longer you keep using the same link, the higher the authority of the page (in terms of SEO).
Using a permalink will also make it easier for you to get found on Google year after year, which will allow you to make more sales.
Raise your email marketing game
Whoever said email marketing belongs to B2B couldn’t be more wrong because 59% of people admitted to emails being a significant influence on their buying decisions.
Stats have revealed that more than 40% of Americans subscribe to email lists to receive savings and discounts and 1 in every three subscribers reported having purchased something from the brand whose emails they receive.
If that’s not all, in 2019, 39% of consumers turned to emails from brands to receive information on deals and promotions before they could purchase from them. So, you should definitely be where your audience is.
For Black Friday 2020, 52% of Georgia, 51% of Wisconsin, 50% of Illinois, 48% of Virginia, and 47% of New York will be the top spenders in the U.S.
So, instead of spraying and praying, you can specifically target these states for now you know where the highest spending potential is.
Use keywords that your customers are using to look for you
People probably love free shipping more than free gifts. And if you can combine the words fast delivery with free shipping, nothing can stop you from making more sales.
This holiday season, customers expect free or fast shipping, and 64% of them are refusing to pay extra for quick deliveries. And while we can all blame Amazon for spoiling people, we have to play the hand we’re dealt.
Start by taking care of two things; putting a cap on the ad impressions when you’re retargeting your ads and sending the customer a cart abandonment reminder within an hour of leaving to recapture their interest in the product. This will allow you to avoid missing out on easy closes.
Consider partnering up with money-saving apps
Money-saving apps are the new buzz in the market. They’ve been around for some time but have only begun to gain popularity in the past couple of years.
Usually, these apps can be installed as a Chrome extension and be used during checkouts. One fine example of an excellent money-saving app is Honey.
If you haven’t heard of Honey yet, then you probably don’t watch many YouTube videos because the brand has practically roped in every other YouTube influencer for affiliate marketing. As a result, Honey has a vast customer base of 17 million active users.
Automatically finds and applies valid codes during checkouts, customers find shopping using Honey to be more convenient. So, if you can partner with a money-saving app like this, which already has a vast customer network, you can easily take the guesswork out of your marketing and enjoy better sales figures.
Offer free rewards for recurring purchases
Nowadays, every business is trying to build an ecosystem to keep customers coming back. A good loyalty program for automating future purchases is quite feasible for retaining customers.
So, instead of offering 10% off sitewide upfront, make it a little more interactive. Ask your customers to share feedback on their purchases in exchange for 10% off their next bill.
For new users, setting up a ‘spin to win’ pop up also works wonders and reduces the bounce rate because the rewards won from the spinning wheel encourage them to check out the site if nothing else.
Remember that getting people to look at your products is as important as closing is. So, if you’re not selling anything, at least make ’em take a look. Because even if you generate a 5% increase in retention through your popups, you can increase your profits by 25%.
Answer FAQs for every product
A 2019 survey by BlackFriday.com revealed that Amazon’s ad was the most-anticipated Black Friday ad in that year — even though it didn’t release an official Black Friday ad, just a list of deals.
There are countless reasons people choose Amazon, but one of the major ones is that Amazon offers a small space for discussions, increasing trust among buyers.
If you don’t have infinite resources like Amazon, this minor addition can help build a community. Moreover, it can also help you increase your domain authority because you’re allowing potential buyers to use your platform to ask questions and get answers.
And why stop there? You can combine the aforementioned loyalty program with the FAQs section and ask customers to answer questions from the FAQs to receive more points/rewards, which they can redeem with their purchases.
See how everything just connects when you’re on the right track?
Seize the opportunity for as long as you can
The final quarter of the year is definitely the most stressful time for the marketing and sales teams. But it also brings in a ton of revenue, so who’s complaining?
So, there’s plenty of time to earn. Here’s what we recommend; as soon as you’re done with Black Friday, start making arrangements for Christmas SEO, followed by that for New Year’s. This will allow you to remain relevant throughout the last quarter and rank higher in search results for your desired keywords.
Although there’s quite a lot of time for businesses to cover up their losses throughout the year, there isn’t enough time to plan and execute effective marketing strategies.
In August, Apple became the most valuable company globally after reaching the $2 trillion mark. To give you a perspective, Samsung has a net worth of $295 million.
But with the complaints about Apple’s lack of innovation on the rise, it makes you wonder why Apple is still so popular and what we can learn from its communication method.
Why people choose Apple
Three words: better user experience.
Today, you can walk into an Apple store to get a repair done, and you’ll be happy even if they charge you a premium fee because you’re getting a quick solution. But the same isn’t the case with Android.
A survey by PCMag revealed 47% of people who switch from Android to iOS do so to experience better customer service. Apple has streamlined a rich user experience – something that sits at the absolute pinnacle when it comes to smartphone satisfaction.
They’ve positioned themselves as being ‘style with substance,’ which basically means that you get the best of both worlds. And that’s the communication they’re sticking to despite creating products that many people believe aren’t worth the hype anymore.
Still, Apple continues to grow because their communication keeps winning even if their products aren’t performing well in some parts of the world.
So, what can we learn from Apple?
Reducing churn rate
If you know anything about email marketing, it’s a tool to reduce the high churn rate, which means retaining customers after the free trial is over. And Apple has been doing that without any emails.
To reduce the churn rate, it’s essential for you to find out two things; why people are leaving and why people are staying.
Apple realized this before they went all-in with their marketing activities. So, when they launched their iPhone, they made sure to highlight the fact that the phone can store thousands of songs just like an iPod – a device that was already a hit among their target audience.
Since people were familiar with iTunes and they loved it, they felt it was easier to transition into an iPhone than leaving the ecosystem and switching to Android.
Familiarity. That’s the main ingredient.
People will always buy things that they know and are comfortable with. So, Apple leverages its existing products’ strengths and markets the hell out of it to keep you tied up.
The new iPhone 12 variants are all about nostalgia. It’s a sum of all of Apple’s most loved parts, i.e., the body of iPhone 5, MagSafe, and mini screen size.
So, before you create any strategy, figure out that familiarity factor in your product or service to get one step closer to making a successful campaign.
Controlling the conversation
The first rule of PR is you must always control the conversation. This allows you to steer the story in the direction of your choice and avoid giving into rumors, which can harm your brand image.
When iPhone X was launched, let’s be honest, nobody liked it. People bullied Apple for copying Android and ditching their signature home button.
Notice how they raved about the positive reviews from those who have the authority to influence the market?
They even brought in YouTube stars to say nice things about the product and quickly roped in Hollywood to work its magic as they did back when Apple replaced Blackberry in movies. That had never happened before.
If you head over to Apple’s YouTube channel right now, you’ll notice that they’ve turned off the comments under all their videos. They know that we are living in a world of memes. It doesn’t take long for people to joke about product features that can ruin sales.
By switching off the comments, they curb negative PR, which doesn’t hurt their sales much.
Remember what happened to the iPhone 7? People joked about the headphone jack being removed, and now, the whole world wants earbuds. Interestingly, iPhone 7 and 7+ have the highest sales of any iOS devices, with close to 80 million units sold to date.
And if you walk into an Apple store, you might spot the iPhone 7 positioned right next to the recent launches because it still sells like hotcakes.
Selling fun over features
The most fundamental principle of successful marketing is that you should always sell usefulness over features.
Gone are the days when people sat through the list of specifications before buying a phone. Now, all they see is how good the camera is.
But since Apple is still innovating, they have a unique way of showcasing their features. Because people care about the camera, in iPhone 12’s official trailer, Apple has led the video with what’s new with the camera.
After grabbing the attention, they move on to more critical features. But they don’t just lay down the features; they show what you can do with them.
Apple always tries to sell fun over features like editing on-the-go. But when they do talk about features, they stick to the details.
This way, even if they aren’t convincing people to buy from them, they’re creating a desire in them. So, they won’t wait for a second before running to the store when they have the money.
Having a clear target
Even the worst marketing campaigns can work if you have your target audience correctly figured out. So, if you aren’t familiar with your product or service’s accurate buyer persona, allow Apple to teach you.
Apple operates in two market segments:
That’s why they don’t obsess over their price points or get bothered by the memes. They’ve sold a smartphone for $999, and just when you thought they couldn’t go any higher, they are now selling the iPhone 12 Pro Max for $1,099.
Apple isn’t wasting time appeasing people who aren’t their target. They focus on their customer base and speak to them directly. Their communication is clear.
They know that this isn’t a race to the bottom, so they avoid price wars and focus on adequately positioning their value in the market. Because at the end of the day, a convincing value proposition is all that the customers care about.
And many businesses follow the same rule. For example, Ahrefs charges up to $9,990/year, while Majestic charges up to $3,990/year. Yet, people continue to choose the former because it has a unique value prop that’s still unmatched.
You don’t need to advertise if people are continually talking about your product. Creating a buzz is one of the most important marketing strategies that Apple has mastered. Here’s what Phil Schiller, VP of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, had to say about advertising.
Schiller said Apple decided not to pay for any advertising during a brief period after the device was introduced in January 2007 and when it went on sale later in the year.
“We didn’t need to,” Schiller said. He read from several rave reviews of the iPhone and iPad, explaining that such stories did a better job than advertising to build buzz.
Word of mouth publicity is better than any paid marketing. So, if you can convince people to leave positive reviews, you won’t have to spend a dime on paid marketing.
Ditching the jargons
Take a look at this official trailer for all the iPhone 12 launches. There’s nothing that you can’t understand. Not a single dialogue, and you know exactly what you’re going to get.
Because they’ve kept it simple.
And when they do use a technical term like A14 bionic chip, they quickly follow it up with what it means, i.e., it’s the world’s fastest and most powerful chip.
When it comes to marketing, speak your customers’ language. You can’t talk about the eco-friendliness of a barbie when selling the doll to a 5-year-old. Instead, you’ll talk about how you can style it for different occasions to drive sales.
If you see Apple’s website, you’ll notice that they’ve simplified the copy significantly. For example, the copy on the watch section is planned out to make checkout easier for you.
Filled with well-positioned CTAs, the copy is designed to make you understand the technology while telling you what you can do with it, such as gifting the watch to someone for Christmas.
See how they’ve personalized the copy for the holiday season way ahead of time?
Apple knows that their target audience isn’t facing the wrath of COVID-19 as much as the rest of the world is. They’ve still got the purchasing power, and they’ll be looking for present ideas. So, Apple is cashing in on the opportunity the right way.
Leading with the intangible benefits
In 2016, Apple launched MacBook Pro with a touch bar – a feature that makes editing documents and producing tracks more convenient. But when Apple first introduced it, they addressed the intangible benefits more than the tangible ones.
For instance, they used sentences like “the touch bar allows you to interact with your MacBook” or that “it offers a more immediate connection to your content.” And then, they dove into the technicalities of having all your hidden commands in front of you for easy accessibility.
Apple’s entire marketing strategy is designed to spark a user’s desire before they move on to making a sales pitch.
They don’t sell you a 12MP camera. They sell you the experience of capturing, editing, and sharing crystal clear videos in Dolby Vision and clicking beautiful phones in wide, ultra-wide, and selfie mode even in low light.
Even when introducing MagSafe, they led the audience in with the line “everything just clicks” rather than saying something like “charge your phones faster with MagSafe” because intangible benefits drive sales and customer satisfaction.
Joining the conversation
It’s not just about controlling but also joining the conversation. Apple is one of the few companies that catch on pretty quickly.
The moment the world started inclining towards being more environment-conscious, Apple hopped on the bandwagon. They announced that they would be reducing their use of plastic by not offering adapters with the new phones.
Sounds noble but remember that this is the same company that launched iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and iPhone 12 mini all in the same year. Those plastic adapters aren’t harming the environment as much as these bulk launches are.
But their communication worked, and people are beginning to adapt to their logic with time. They’re also garnering more sympathy and brownie points for caring for the planet, which will affect their sales numbers.
Building a community
You know what they call Apple enthusiasts, don’t you? Apple fanboys/fangirls.
No matter how condescending it sounds to those on the outside, the Apple fanbase is a loyal one. They stick to their brand year after year without complaining about the lack of features or higher prices.
And every brand needs that to become the most valuable company on the planet.
Countless businesses have been asking people to join their Facebook group for years, but now, they’ve gone one step ahead and created more closed communities on Slack, where they can control the conversation.
These communities have the potential of spending more, generating a buzz around new launches, and becoming influencers for your products. Make this happen, and you’ll never go out of business.
Apple is indeed working with marketing geniuses to deliver campaigns that make people stop whatever they’re doing and listen.
And sometimes, no matter how much you invest, finding the right people can be quite tricky. So, why not speak to an agency that knows what they’re doing. Bash Foo has been creating marketing solutions for the past two decades, and we’re always willing to collaborate with businesses that love meeting goals.
Your website is one of your business’s most powerful tools for attracting new customers and keeping current customers informed when they make online searches. For this reason, your website needs to rank highly on the results pages of the world’s most popular search engine. Ranking highly on Google, though, is easier said than done. But armed with a little knowledge, you can make smart decisions on how to optimize the content on your site so it ranks highly. Here is some information about how Google is changing the search industry, and what you can expect in the future.
1. Google Updates Their Algorithms More Than You May Realize
It’s Google’s job to deliver reliable search results to people looking for information. Because of this, Google has gotten even better at understanding our search terms and the context surrounding them. In the past, Google was able to recognize certain terms but struggled with understanding conversational phrasing. But because of the way people use search engines changes constantly, Google has to be extremely flexible and adaptable to stay on top of the search engine game.
Google uses specialized algorithms to understand, categorize, and rank every webpage on the internet so that it can quickly return accurate results when someone makes a query. Though Google has made some major changes to their algorithms in the past few years, they’re constantly making smaller updates. For businesses, this means that their page rankings may change, but not to worry. Just as Google’s algorithms evolve, so do online search tactics. Staying ahead of the curve on algorithm changes can really give your business a boost.
2. Google’s Algorithms Are Getting Smarter
Google is at the forefront when it comes to machine learning and natural language processing (NLP). These new technologies help computers understand elements of human conversation and can teach them the meaning of new words and phrases. For example, Google introduced an algorithm update in 2019 called BERT. This update was considered by Google to be its most significant change in the previous five years. This algorithm uses NLP to fully understand the meanings of unknown words by using the words and context that surround them. This update was a huge step up for Google and their ability to understand the intent behind searches.
Users around the globe conduct billions of searches every day, and Google gathers useful data from each one of these searches. Machine learning thrives on high-quality data, and Google has an ample source of relevant data from all the searches conducted. Machine learning algorithms analyze trends, words, and phrases that are often used in conjunction, and how certain words relate to one another and then use this to make predictions about the meaning, context, and user intent of searches. Google is getting better at understanding exactly how humans think and speak.
3. Big Changes Are Coming Next Year for Online Search
Earlier this year, Google announced an algorithm slated for next year that focuses on the usability and user experience of websites. While the content of your site is important to how Google ranks you, so is the experience that users have on your website. If your site isn’t quick, responsive, and easy to use, people might get frustrated and leave before they have a chance to find the information they were looking for. Google doesn’t just want to return the most useful and informative results, they want the information to be easy to access as well.
Google’s new update, called Google Page Experience will analyze how quickly your web pages load, how quickly your site responds to user input, and how visually stable your site is. Google has created an initiative called Web Vitals to detail the metrics that are most important to ranking:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): this metric measures your site’s loading performance. A website with an LCP metric will have the largest piece of content on a page load within 2.5 seconds.
First Input Delay (FID): this metric measures the interactivity of your site. When a visitor does something on your site (i.e. clicks a button), the site should respond in 100 milliseconds or less.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): this metric measures the visual stability of your site. Do certain elements on your page move (i.e. ads or images)? This can sometimes be distracting, so your pages should have a CLS of less than 0.1.
To prepare for this algorithm change, make sure that your site responds quickly. Pages filled with large, high-quality images can take a long time to load, so it’s important to optimize the images, code, and files on your site.
4. Now Is The Time You Need To Focus On Your SEO Strategy
With big changes on the horizon, it’s important to focus on building a strong SEO strategy now. In fact, using outdated SEO techniques can actually have a negative impact on your overall ranking. Though keywords are still important, focus on a holistic content marketing strategy that includes creating helpful, informative content that your audience is looking for. Following a topic cluster model is an SEO technique that may work for many businesses. It works to let Google know that you’re an expert in your field based on how you structure the links and content on your pages.
Also, make sure that your site is optimized for mobile browsing, as mobile’s share of browsing will only continue to increase in the coming years. Google ranks sites that aren’t designed for mobile use lower, as this can impact the user experience. When planning an SEO strategy, focus on what your audience really wants and needs, and aim to delight them from the first interaction they have on your website.
If you want to get a better handle on which SEO tactics are best for your business, a professional agency may be able to help. At Bash Foo, we have 20 years of experience in digital marketing, and we are happy to help make your marketing goals a reality. Contact us so we can help you find a marketing solution that meets your business’s unique needs.
Search engines are more complex than they used to be. Every year, Google updates the algorithms to better reflect real human search intent and results. Most of us still remember a time when keyword stuffing not only worked, it was considered mandatory to flag the search engine crawlers at all. Now, stuff a keyword inorganically and you’ll win a penalty instead. SEO changes optimal strategies every year, but the one unifying theme of these changes is the human experience.
Search engines are themselves, optimizing to give the searchers the best experiential results. That means not just being the right answer, informative, and reliable as a source – you also need to appeal to the sensory journey of your website visitors to build a presence for search engines. Where do you think Google gets the text and images for every Position-0 snippet? The same place it gets every other search result – existing websites.
Formatted and Organized Page Layout
The first place to begin is an organized webpage template. Organized web pages are easier for web crawlers to explore and more appealing for users. Create a formula for each page, something that aesthetically presents your page content and information. Then match the template or modify it for each page of the website. In this way, your menus, action buttons, conversion assets, and content are all quickly found by the eye and by crawlers cataloging your website for search results.
Product Pages with Clear Details
Google has some amazing shopping search results and wants to help searchers find items to buy. In addition to fully integrating your GMB profile, your product pages also need detailed completion. Once again, choose an aesthetic and functional layout for all product pages, then present the same complete data for each or the same data for each category of product.
For example, you might always list material, weight, dimensions, size, fastener type, etc. in the first few lines immediately after your paragraph description. Remember that your title, image, price, and shipping are the four details Google is most likely to harvest and display.
Ask and Answer Questions
One of the best ways to earn your content a snippet-spot is to ask questions and answer them using the typical question language. Remember your W’s “Who, What, When, Where, and Why”. Ask these and other typically formatted questions, considering the way that your audience might ask questions that your team can readily answer through service pages, product pages, the help section, and of course, your blog. Pose questions to answer and then answer them in language that web crawlers will immediately recognize as direct, useful, and concise.
Hierarchy of Headers
Google loves to answer questions in lists. You may have noticed that the top snippet is often a list answer, and the list doesn’t have to be at the top of your article (though that helps). What search engines really need is a hierarchy of headers. Your title is H1. Your section titles are H2. Sub-paragraph headers should be H3 and below. A list of H2 headers or H3 headers underneath an H2 category are more likely to be picked up and used for quick search engine answer snippets.
Use Numbered and Bulleted Lists
Search engines also love lists that are easy to suss out as lists. The use of numbers makes this exceedingly simple for the crawlers to determine when one point follows the next, no matter how many sub-points are in between. Make the use of numbers to sequence any long or listed information.
Concise information is equally appealing, and bullet points have a certain appeal to a very wide user audience. Find creative and simple ways to make use of bullet points. Pre-list your article topics, list instructions, recipe ingredients, or project supplies. Create outlines, frame ideas, and summarize the coming content. Just use useful configurations of bullet-point lists.
Short, Informative Paragraphs
Wherever you place information – from blog article to product and service pages – make your paragraphs concise and informative. Search engine crawlers make snippets from quick-answers and digestible in-depth answers. Break up your paragraphs by point and be free with subheaders that tell what each paragraph is about.
Make use of your image metadata. If you want your images to appear as the snippet image on search results or in image searches – you have to tell the crawlers what they’re looking at. Make sure your alt-text and captions are descriptive and simple. Name the people, the setting, the activity, or the subject. Name prominent colors, categories, or uses. Stick to 4 or fewer keywords for your image details, choose the best four.
Share Charts and Graphs
Charts and graphs are fantastic for attracting search engine visitors and keeping their attention. Many people rely on charts, infographics, and graphs to understand the massive amount of data we deal with every day. If your team is good at making graphs that explain related concepts, then you have a great tool for building awareness, following, and search engine ranking.
Search engines will often favor a well-built graph with a clearly-marked axis or a key so that searchers get the best possible information on their search. Use the image labeling techniques to ensure that web crawlers know exactly the graph they are looking at. Then build pages around your charts and graphs detailing the data and information surrounding why that data is important.
Work with Professional Web Designers
Every business designs its own brand for the website, including everything from web page layout to your images and assets. For most teams, it’s perfectly usual not to have an SEO expert on staff, much less a visual web design artist who can remodel your website’s presence for search engines. IF you know that your website needs a boost in search result traffic but aren’t sure how to make that happen, you can count on us. As an experienced team of web designers and SEO experts, we’re here to help your website reach that coveted tier-zero snippet territory – not just attracting visitors but also informing them, keeping them, and beginning the conversion process.
Contact us today to consult on your website remodeling plans.
Hiring in the current employment market requires action and finesse. When there are more jobs available than there are skilled professionals to do them, the most courteous and strategic employers win the best talent. Many new recruiting and hiring strategies have been developed in the last ten years in order to respond aptly to the War for Talent. Sure, you could actively compete with your business contemporaries for the best talent. But why compete when you can nurture?
One of the most effective modern recruitment techniques is email nurturing. This is a friendly outreach method that HR professionals can use to build their talent network and fill roles when applicants are lacking. Through email nurturing, you can get in touch with great professionals and build that relationship into winning a great job candidate. Email nurturing is designed to help you turn passive candidates into promising leads.
What is Email Nurturing?
Email nurturing is one of the leading ways for HR to reach out to potential job candidates. The nurturing process involves a series of friendly emails that provide candidates with timely information and opportunities. It’s a way of building a conversation and keeping your passive candidates engaged even when there’s no ongoing conversation.
An email nurturing campaign might open with an explanation and an invitation to engage. The next email might include more information about the role and the company. The next one might be about benefits and the company culture. All the information you want candidates to know that might influence their decision, you can provide through an engaging email nurturing campaign. In other words, a series of useful and interesting emails about taking the job.
Tools to Enhance Your Email Nurturing
Every HR professional knows that tools can reshape a task. Depending on your recruitment style and the size of your company, your email nurture campaign can become much easier with the right software.
CRMs, for example, are great at putting together a profile of information and many are designed to feed that profile into personalized email templates. For HR of a large company, this kind of streamlining can empower your team to reach far more potential candidates per year.
Other tools like Litmus and Grammarly can check your emails for quality and impact, which can help you perfect your strategy before the first emails are out of the gate.
HR Email Nurturing Best Practices
1. Constant Talent Outreach
With email nurturing, you have the opportunity to seek out new talent and you have every reason to constantly grow your talent network. Passive candidates are those who are currently employed and/or satisfied with their situation but who might consider a role in your company if the circumstances were right. Email nurturing makes it possible to connect and build a relationship with hundreds to thousands of professionals so each time you encounter a promising professional online, start nurturing.
2. Open with Honest Flattery
In your first email, your passive candidates will want to know why you’re reaching out in the first place. Many professionals get boring canned invitations to apply for jobs all the time. What makes your email stand out should be open and honest flattery. Why did their profile catch your eye? What credentials, past work, or experiences made you think they would be a good fit for your open roles?
By conveying this, you not only flatter your candidates, you also tell them something about how they might be valued to the company and the nature of the work.
3. Reveal Your Sources
When you reach out, candidates also wonder how you heard of them. Did their LinkedIn profile dazzle you? Or did you get a referral from a past boss or coworker? Revealing this mystery opens the door to a personable and productive conversation where the candidate knows your vector of approach.
4. Ask What the Candidate is Looking For
Don’t just explain what the candidate can do for the company. Modern hiring is all about enticing great talent to choose your company. How do you entice each individual person? By asking. Remember to ask your candidates what they’re looking for in a role and what might persuade them to change roles. No doubt the answer will be useful to you.
5. Collect Templates but Write Personal Messages
Email nurturing templates are incredibly useful. They give you structure, tone, content, and an idea about how to spool out information in a conversational way. But they’re not a campaign on their own. When you’re reaching out to a candidate, this should be a connection between people. Some emails are simple or formulaic enough to automate safely. In most cases, the best communications will be done by planning from templates but making each message personal. Consider the candidate’s history, experience, and responses so far.
6. Relate as a Person
Include details about yourself. No one wants to email with a robot, and email campaigns open that risk. So put a piece of yourself into your messages. Use interesting facts about yourself as ice-breakers and example-answers to your questions. This kind of personability will relax most candidates and they’ll feel freer to share personal details. The important soft-skill details that no one shares with a robot.
7. Know When to Automate
Some emails can and should be automated. Anything you can automate will save you time and increase the speed of a good email nurturing campaign. Good times to automate include out-of-town messages and follow-ups on incomplete applications. Anything that you would genuinely say the same way to everyone can be smoothly automated.
8. Help Candidates to Self-Engage
When considering a new job, most people do a lot of research. So make that smooth and welcoming for passive candidates. Create a web portal that provides all the relevant information a prospective candidate might need. Create a social media funnel for candidates. Get candidates interested in your employer brand and powering their own engagement through activities, research, and conversation.
9. Welcome Referrals and Recommendations
“Is there anyone you’d like to refer?” is a question that every recruiter should be asking everyone they know. It’s an open, friendly invitation, just in case. It’s a great way to turn a few declines into a positive hire down the line. Many people know someone who’s in the industry or looking for a job, but they’d normally never mention it. By asking for referrals and recommendations with each conversation.
10. Invite Feedback
Finally, always invite feedback. Always welcome each contact you make to critique and leave comments. You never know when really useful insight, information, and opportunities can arise. Not to mention the useful survey data.
Contact us for more insights to attract new customers and nurture the customer relationships you have already built.
In the hospitality industry, upsell of hotel reservations has evolved from a business goal into a refined art form. Diners in restaurants allow themselves to be tempted by desserts. Guests book appointments in the spa because they’re enjoying the vacation. And your staff does everything in their power to make these upselling indulgences entirely worth the price.
But in the world of online booking and digital marketing, your upselling efforts have to go beyond the borders of your property. These days, travelers often plan their entire vacations out ahead of time with online bookings and an absolute budget. Even those who make impulse decisions in the hotel are less likely to splurge because they don’t know what to splurge on. Today, we’re here to talk about how to use your digital marketing tactics to encourage your guests to upsell themselves before and even during their stays.
Create an Upsell Bonus List
The first step is to hammer out a standardized list of booking upgrades for guests. In reality, there are thousands of unique things you would do for a guest (and charge them for) if asked. And at least a few dozen listed on a price sheet somewhere in the spa, restaurant, behind the front desk, or printed in each room’s hotel book.
The key here is to make a ‘menu’ that you can both use as a strategy guide and provide to guests who are looking to be upsold. Because in digital marketing, a list of services is more powerful than the suggestion that guests can have everything. Online, everyone looks at the menu first.
Offer Bonuses While Guests are Booking
The first way to use these upsell bonuses is through your online booking UI. This is something guests can’t get through third party booking partners like Hotels.com. The key is to make the interaction casual, simple, and transparent.
After a guest has selected the room they want, offer a drop-down of checkbox options. Do they want a few extra pillows stocked before they arrive? A chilled bottle of champagne waiting in the room? To pre-book a spa treatment on the first night to unwind from the flight?
Next to each option, neatly list the additional price. The more transparent, the better. This allows someone planning their vacation to make the decision with no hesitation. Either they want and can afford the bonus or they don’t. Underneath your first three or four options, include a dropdown that says ‘More…’
This can reveal a long list of upsells that guests might want, ideally separated by category. You might be surprised how effective this method is for pre-upselling guests who book online.
Market Full-Package Booking Deals
The next option is one hotels have been working on for decades: vacation packages. If you can make a package good enough, guests will spring for the all-in-one deal and pay for more than they normally would booking each activity and luxury one at a time. And as with any good hotel policy, the best packages are the ones that give guests every ounce of extra enjoyment from what the upsell included.
You know best what makes a great package experience at your hotel. Classic packages include multiple nights, complimentary room extras (like a bottle of wine), spa treatments, dining or room service, and shuttle tours.
Market these packages through all your digital marketing channels. Feature the potential experiences on social media. Spotlight the packages on your website and, if possible, through your booking platforms. Consider reaching out to travel services to bring your packages to the attention of their clients. And feature your package deals in PPC and banner ads if you use these channels.
Send ‘Upgrade Your Booking’ Email Offers
Another great digital way to upsell your guests is to target guests who have completed their booking but their trip has not started yet. During this time, they have likely been researching more things to do and getting excited (or possibly worried) about their trip. This is the perfect time to send an email offering a few key upgrades to their existing booking.
This essentially gives guests the chance to book more details about their trip after a few days to think about the time they’ll spend there. Guests may have a great deal of fun browsing your bonuses and adding little extras at their leisure, with pressure to choose at the moment of booking the room.
Upsell Guests During Their Stay
Finally, never forget that guests are often easiest to upsell when they’re in the throes of enjoying their holiday. Vacationers often love to splurge and get a little more joy from the vacation and will happily take opportunities for a fun or luxurious upsell. There are a couple of ways to do this that are more reliable than guests taking front-desk suggestions.
There are three places you should absolutely place your list of stay-bonuses and upsell options available to current guests: Your wifi landing page, the smart tv directory channel, and the guest book inside every hotel room. Right next to the room service menu. You may also include these delightful little upsell options on the pamphlets and table signs in other areas of the hotel.
First, you should absolutely print your upsell bonuses list in the guest-book included in each room. Right next to the room service menu. Second, you should include a section about upgrading their stay on the wifi login page, a page that every plugged-in guest will visit at least once during their stay.
Upselling to digital-age guests is only a challenge if you limit your methods to in-person interactions. Your modern professional and traveling students do everything online and through their phones. So the best way to upsell the wonderful hotel experiences you have to offer is to do it through digital marketing. Let us boost your bookings and guest satisfaction with expert hospitality software and the insights you need to succeed. Our team would be honored to upgrade your hotel management experience. Contact us today to find out more and consult on your hotel performance and popularity.