Category Archives: BLOG

3 Simple Steps to Make Your Content Easy to Share

If you are posting content on your website or on social media, one of your goals is to get other people to share it. To maximize your reach, you must motivate your audience to spread your content. Obviously, that means you must be posting content that your readers find useful, entertaining or inspiring. But even with amazing content, you also need to make it easy for your audience to share it.

If you do not optimize your content for sharing, you lose a chance to reach beyond your audience. So take a few simple steps to not only inspire your readers to share, but to make it easier for them to do so.

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Are SEO Keywords Still Relevant Today?

If keywords could speak, you might hear something like “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Although it is definitely true that the Blackhat practice of keyword stuffing no longer works, it is still all about that word.

Keywords are the identifying words that people type into the search box of a search engine, and they are the identifying terms search engines use to point to your site. Yes, you got it, it is a circle… People use keywords to find your site because Google uses keywords to find your site because people use keywords to find your site.

Search engines look at the order of your words, not just the individual words themselves. This Continue reading

5 Ways Social Media Can Boost Your Company’s Success

Social media is no longer a luxury, but rather an integral factor in your marketing plan. That doesn’t mean you need to be on all platforms and spend hours posting, researching, liking and engaging with prospects and leads to benefit from a social media presence. Your customers are on social media, so you need to be there too.

Why? Let’s look at the top 5 reasons: Continue reading

Don’t Bother Me — I’m Advertising!

InSource Extinct Dodo Bird
We’ve probably all heard about advertising campaigns that became famous (or infamous) because they attracted a lot of attention, but didn’t increase sales for the companies buying the ads. Both the ancient, but clever, Alka-Seltzer commercials from the late ’60s and early ’70s (e.g., “‘at’s a spicy meatball!” or “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!“) and the more recent Taco Bell ads with the talking chihuahua fall into that category. In fact, sales of both products went down during the periods when their respective commercials were broadcast. While the failure of both campaigns has provided plenty of argument fodder for marketing professionals, the conventional wisdom is that both campaigns were a waste of money. But it’s just as easy to err in the other direction… Continue reading

Benefits of Using a Mentor—and How to Find One

You are passionate about what you do. You know your products and services. You know what your customers need. You know what you need to succeed.

So why would you need a mentor?

Benefits of Having a Mentor

Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for a while, research and experience demonstrates that businesses who have a mentor are more likely to survive and thrive. Here’s why. Continue reading

5 Easy Tips To Help You Create Stunning Website Images

Fashion model at the beach

 

Have you ever seen a website with models’ heads unintentionally cut off?

 

people at an art expedition

 

With photos that are blurred or weirdly cropped?

 

InSource Loading GIF

 

What about images that take so long to load that you have time to go make yourself a cup of coffee before the website finishes loading?

 

Do you remember the names of the companies? Or their services or products? Probably not. Or if you do, it is unlikely you do so for positive reasons.

Here are some statistics that quantify the importance of images (from Jeff Bullas):

  •  Views: Articles with images get 94% more total views
  •  Search: 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or to contact a business when an image shows up in local search results
  •  Impact on Purchasing: For ecommerce sites, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product’s image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product
  •  Product Quality: In an online store, customers think that the quality of a product’s image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%).

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“Don’t Worry, Ma’am — The Waaaambulance Is on Its Way…”

I’ve met a few people who seemed to live their lives looking at Facebook, sometimes to the determent of their real-world situations and relationships. There must be more of these people than I know; during the recent Facebook/Instagram outage, a 911 dispatcher for Concord and Clayton, California got sufficient calls about it that she felt she had to issue a statement: Continue reading

Do You Need to Improve Your Company’s Website?

It’s the New Year—a great time to reevaluate your website. Is it up to date and accurate? Do visitors find it easy to use? Does it welcome and capture your visitors’ attention? Is it interesting and engaging? Does it reflect the nature and character of your business? If you answer no to any of these questions, you may need to spend some time auditing your website and making some modifications.

An outmoded, badly-organized website reflects poorly on you and your business. Even if you do not have an e-commerce site, the design and functionality of your website effects how visitors view your business.

So take a few minutes to take a look at these 4 questions to see if you should audit your website to ensure that it is serving your business needs.

1. Is Your Website Findable? We have all heard of SEO (search engine optimization) but how well do you Continue reading

Frustrated with Your Social Media Marketing? Try These 10 Tips to Spark Response

Many business owners seem to have bought into the fiction that if they simply build a social media site, customers will magically arrive. But that doesn’t work. Having a Facebook site does not produce customers by itself nor does Pinterest automatically drive traffic to your website. You can’t simply create a site, do a little posting, or even purchase a few thousand followers and then sit back and relax. If you do, you will be frustrated and convinced that you have wasted both time and money. Establishing a social media presence is only the first step. To reach your audience and convert leads into customers, you must engage them. In today’s world, that’s what your customers expect. If you are on a social media platform, you must participate regularly. It will take time and thoughtful activity to build trust and a loyal following. But once you do that, the results can be amazing. Loyal customers can become your best sales people.

Here are 10 things you should do (or not do) to develop trust and build and retain a loyal following:

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How to Create a Marketing Plan for Your Startup

This is the final post in a four part series on how to create a marketing plan for your startup. We have looked at the 5 questions that you need to answer before you start marketing, the 5 factors that influence customers, and 3 popular types of marketing strategies. Now let’s look at what a basic marketing plan should include. You’ll also find a link to a template to get you started.

Part 4:  Want a Successful Marketing Plan? Be Sure to Include These 4 Elements

Once you have done all the necessary research, described your customers, competition, product and market, you have all the information you need to create a marketing plan that will implement your marketing strategy.

Be sure to write down your marketing plan—just like you did your strategy. It will help you stay focused on your goals, maintain a schedule, stay on budget and work consistently to promote your marketing strategy.

Whatever plan you prepare should include the following elements: Continue reading