Saturday, July 14, 2018
Why Your Business Can No Longer Afford to Ignore SEO
Your corporate brand is a digital representation of your business's persona, voice, mission and values. When it comes to digital visibility, nothing outperforms search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the art and science of optimizing websites utilizing both "on-page" and "off page" factors to influence Google's search algorithm to rank that site or page for specific keyword queries entered by web users. This process is an ongoing endeavor that ideally will be adjusted to keep up with Google's never-ending updates.
Google reports utilizing over 200 ranking signals and makes minor updates to their algorithm hundreds of times per year in addition to a handful of "core" or major updates. Enterprises that rely on Google to drive brand awareness, visibility, leads and sales should constantly analyze their sites, identifying both opportunities and potential optimization bottlenecks that could be hurting performance.
Just how impactful is SEO for your business?
Curious how impactful SEO is for your organization? Consider the following stats:
- 81 percent of shoppers conduct online research prior to making a purchase (Adweek)
- 97 percent of consumers research products online prior to making a local purchase (BIA/Kelsey)
- 66 percent of B2B buyers rely on blog posts to shape their purchasing decisions (Forbes)
- 71 percent of B2B buyers report starting with a Google search
As you can see from the above stats, SEO is a core driving factor. Businesses that fail to keep up with the rapidly evolving world of SEO risk losing up to 70 to 80 percent of the market that starts when consumers search online (usually through Google) for products or services.
With global competition heating up, most businesses simply can't afford to ignore SEO as a part of their marketing and branding mix. Below are four steps businesses can use to incorporate SEO into their current marketing strategy.
Winning the Social Media Marketing Game
Thousands of years ago, clans gathered around fires to share their day’s experiences and to tell stories that established group norms and shaped social organization. Today, the fire’s embers have been replaced by the glow of internet-connected devices, but the communal exchange of stories and perspectives remains a fundamental force in social development.
From a business standpoint, a few important differences emerge from this evolution. Social media users can now publicly discuss their experiences with brands or products, forming large coalitions of interest that exert vast social pressure on brands and other organizations. From the presidential election to the newest cereal, everything is now a matter of public interest.
The essential principle, however, of shaping our world by sharing stories remains the same. The connections we build with others around us are the infrastructure of social change. Understanding how these connections are formed on social media, the purpose of these connections and how they can be leveraged is foundational to social media marketing.
Understanding social mechanics with game theory
Though the need to participate in social exchange is obvious, it has proved challenging to effectively model how social systems work, especially when considering the impact of new media and technology on societal discourse. Game theory, a mathematical evaluation of competition and cooperation between interested actors, is a promising solution.
Despite what its name may suggest, game theory has little to do with “games” as we might typically think of them. It seeks instead to understand how rational participants, bound by a set of rules, respond to different stimuli. The application of game theory to social media can help us identify the objectives of social media users, and how they work to achieve them.
The “players” of the social media “game” are clearly the users — brands and consumers alike. Brands use social media to reach new customers, build a loyal audience and respond to consumer reviews, while the private social media user wants to keep up with friends, stay current and participate in social conversations about matters large and small.
Small Business Guide to SEO
SEO describes a group of practices that drive organic traffic to a business website by boosting its place in search engine results.
If you're a small business owner and you use the internet to drive customers to your business (which should be most of you), you're probably at least somewhat familiar with search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO offers an exciting possibility: If you know how to use it properly, you can boost your business to the top of the search results for your industry, which is some of the best free advertising you can get. However, SEO can also be intimidating, in part because your competition likely well aware of it, and also because SEO can seem both straightforward and mystifying if you're not an expert.
Optimize for local SEO and drive more customers to your business
It is estimated that more than half the searches on Google are made with “local intent.” This means that one out of two people in Google is actually looking for local products or services when they search for something. So if you don’t get your local SEO right, you’re losing out on earning more customers for your business
Successful local SEO requires putting in the effort to optimize and get your profiles and websites ranking for local searches. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut. However, local SEO is fairly straightforward and uncomplicated.
5 top use cases for AR/VR in business, and how you can get started
1. Create brand awareness
The report stated that companies that are looking to create "buzz" about their products can start with implementing AR. Companies can reach a large audience by showing off the technology during events, product launches, and ad campaigns.
2. Train employees
Immersive technology has proven itself to be an effective tool in training situations, according to the report. It can be useful in employee training by providing them with a close to real life experience to learn their skills and not have to deal with the cost consequences of mistakes. The report emphasized that this use of mixed reality (MR) or VR allows employees to learn by doing rather than by reading.
3. Test and learn customer needs and preferences
Customer satisfaction remains a top priority for most businesses, but testing more complex products can be a financial and logistics issue. The report suggests that implementing AR, MR, or VR could solve those problems. An immersive technology experience can allow potential customers to interact with a prototype allowing companies better insight on consumer preferences.
5 Reasons Podcasting Should Be a Part of Your Marketing Playbook
How To Make Best Use Of A Podcast
Podcast were made famous by MTV’s Adam Curry, over a decade ago but after that initial burst of popularity they fell out of favor, said Kent Lewis, president and founder of Anvil Media. “In the past few years, though, podcasting has seen incredible resurgence. Research shows consumers value podcasting as a medium for information and entertainment and appreciate brands that utilize the medium.”
By now most companies are familiar with podcasts and, for the reasons that Lewis gave, they are generally thought to be among the possible strategies for a digital marketer to try. However, when used correctly they can be a far more potent tool, as Lubetkin’s client story shows. They are, for example, ideal for targeting and educating a specific audience about a concept or company. And while they are unlikely to go viral — unless you are producing Serial or This American Life — they will leave an indelible impression on your audience. Here are other reasons why a podcast should be among the top of a digital marketer’s go-to tools.
Positioning Your Brand as an Authority
When purposefully launched and marketed, a podcast can set you up as the subject matter expert in your field, said Laura Pence Atencio, a radio show and podcast host and author at Socially Savvy Geek. “When you speak directly to your target market about the exact issues and struggles they are facing and provide them with solutions, they quickly learn to trust you,” she said. Or put another way, “There’s nothing quite like having the chance to speak directly to your target customers...,” said Viv Conway, co-host of Ace The Gram podcast.
The type of guests that a podcast has can also establish branding creds, said Scott Orn, COO of Kruze Consulting and host of the podcast Founders & Friends. Kruze Consulting is an accounting firm that focuses on serving venture capital-funded startups, he explained. “Since we often interview guests who have large social media followings, we will see many of the podcasts tweeted and mentioned by guests — it gets the word out about us.” And, he added, the fact that important venture capitalists and noted lawyers in the space will do an interview with Founders & Friends shows how influential Kruze Consulting is.
Preparing Your Business For The Artificial Intelligence Revolution
Today, when asked about artificial intelligence (AI), many people start painting science fiction inspired images of machine-ruled futures and robots completing manual tasks for human beings. To them, AI is only a concept, something that’s going to happen tomorrow.
In reality, artificial intelligence is already part of our lives. We use AI every day. It’s not only on your smartphones, laptops and cars, it’s everywhere.
Is 2018 The Year That The AI Revolution Goes Mainstream?
For the last few years, AI has entered the consciousness of every industry. It has become part of mainstream conversations. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are considering artificial intelligence to solve real business problems.
In the past, only the largest corporations could afford to invest in AI technology, but things are changing fast. In fact, the high-speed growth of AI makes it more likely that startups and younger businesses will be able to embrace the technology earlier than their corporate colleagues.
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, the global economy can see a potential contribution of $15.7 trillion from AI by the year 2030. China and North America will receive almost 70% of this potential global GDP growth.